Zimbabwe: Beitbridge youth and women want city budget to boost investment
Thupeyo Muleya – Beitbridge Office
The youth and women here have urged the Municipality of Beitbridge to develop an annual budget that creates an environment conducive to investment and their equal participation in matters of the economic development of the city.
The appeals were made at yesterday’s budget consultation meeting held in the border town.
Most of those who contributed said that in most cases, women and young people carried the brunt of poor service delivery and were often left behind on civic participation issues.
Some said the local authority should devote part of its allocated devolution funds to solving street lighting issues and establishing youth interaction centers in each of the six neighborhoods.
Other projects include the modernization of existing sports facilities and the establishment of rehabilitation centers to accommodate drug addicts and the acquisition of a modern fire station.
“We appreciate the invitation extended to young people to contribute to the development of the municipality’s annual budget for 2022,” said Zibusiso Ndlovu.
“We call on you, as authorities, to consider creating an environment that allows us to develop our talents in the fields of artistic entrepreneurship, ICT and culture.
“We therefore hope that in this budget funds will be committed for the creation of interaction centers for young people and the modernization of upgrading facilities. These are very important to us.
Mr Kudakwashe Garayipasi said that there are many young people in the city with entrepreneurial skills and they would do better in a supportive environment that recognizes their importance.
He said they needed space to market or showcase their skills and that the board should serve as a bridge between young people and potential investors.
Miss Kudakwashe Mukandatsama said the council should commit more funds to address water and sanitation (WASH) issues in Ward 6, where there is a glaring shortage of such facilities.
“Women and children are most affected where there is a lack of the WASH zone, as they have to move to get water from the few available sources,” she said.
A representative of women running small and medium-sized businesses in the city, Mediah Mazivofa, said the local authority should revive the craft center and also establish market stalls at the Zimbabwe National Railways station.
This, she said, will help them market and sell their wares to tourists accessing the country by road and rail.
She said women and youth should also prioritize the allocation of business booths for them to participate in economic development projects.
“We want the council to consider the modernization of market stalls and business facilities housing SMEs so that we can do business in a safe and supportive environment,” she said.
Speaking at the same meeting, the municipality’s chief financial officer, Mr. Anymore Mbedzi, said they are consulting residents in areas such as women and youth, businessmen, churches, politicians, informal traders and SMEs, among others.
He said the local authority had received $ 211 million as devolution funds for next year and wanted all sectors of the community to have a say in how the funds should be. used.
“We have covered a lot in terms of improving service delivery through the allocation of devolution funds and we recognize the importance of all stakeholders.
This is why we consult them in their sectors to obtain their submissions so that we can meet all their needs, ”said Mr. Mbedzi.