BY Matabeleland North Correspondent
WOMEN’s Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development
Minister Sithembiso Nyoni torched a storm from fellow MPs when her ministry reported that it had failed to employ ward development coordinators in Matabeleland North because there are no people qualified for the posts.
A director in her office Evan Dumba who was responding to questions from Members of Parliament in the absence of the Minister at the ongoing 2019 pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls said the ministry advertised for the posts but failed to get takers.
“We are finding it difficult to get ward development coordinators in Matabeleland North. It’s a fact that we are not getting people for the position after we advertised in July or August because there are no
people with required qualifications,” said Dumba.
He did not mention how many were wanted and the qualifications they were looking for.
Dumba attended to questions after Joram Gumbo who is Minister of State for Presidential Affairs responsible for Monitoring and Implementation of Government Programmes, had been thrust into Nyoni’s shoes as acting Minister, excused himself saying he had been given short notice to read the ministry’s report and respond to questions.
Other Ministers were presenting their proposed budget expectations which the Women Affairs Ministry did not do.
On the insistence of Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda, Gumbo took the challenge but could not save Dumba who cut short his speech as MPs interjected.
Ironically, Nyoni is from Matabeleland North where she is MP for Nkayi North.
First to launch a broadside on the Ministry was Nyoni’s counterpart from Nkayi South and Zanu PF’s Stars Mathe who said Nyoni lacked seriousness.
“We are leaders in Matabeleland North and we have never heard about such an advert. We expected this ministry to be serious servicing our people but it seems its being taken as a joke. I propose that it be unbundled so that youths, women and small and medium enterprises are covered in a different ministries,” she said.
Another Zanu-PF MP for Gutu East Berita Chikwama accused Nyoni of elitism saying she and her ministry were out of touch with reality on the ground.
“The problem is that they do everything from the head office in Harare. They should move out to communities because this is shocking to say they can’t get people in Matabeleland North when the Ministry is not even visible on the ground,” she said.
Outspoken Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba said Zimbabwe had enough educated people to take up any job as he challenged Women Affairs Ministry officers to investigate why people had not applied for the posts if the report is true.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga who is a proportional representation MP for Bulawayo said Nyoni lacks strategic planning.
“A lot is bundled together in the ministry. Some of the roles should be unbundled because their challenge is a strategic problem,” she said.
Some said Matabeleland North is being deliberately marginalised to open way for preferred candidates.
They said the province which has challenges with mobile network and broadcast transmission could not be expected to get information through the internet or radio.
Gumbo could not address the parliamentarian’s concerns as he told the gathering that he will update Nyoni.
The Speaker, Mudenda implored Gumbo to seriously take up the issue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying Parliament was worried that a ministry was being run without a strategic plan spelling out budget and agenda.
“Our economy going forwards as said by Finance Minister is to be driven by SMEs and issues raised here have an impact on our economy. You have to take this issue up as Minister of State in the President’s office,” he said.