Political polarization affecting development in Umzingwane District

The political differences among community members has reportedly adversely affected development initiatives in Umzingwane District Ward 9 thereby stalling some of the projects which could by now be benefiting  villagers.

In 2002, the community initiated a Cultural village to display their unique cultural lifestyles, their artifacts, tourists’ attractions as well as document their diverse cultural practices.

The Cultural village which was meant to attract tourists and ensure that the community benefits from tourism proceeds never came to fruition as a result of political disputes.

The cultural village which was completed 10 years ago and officially opened by the then Matabeleland South Governor Angeline Masuku, was never used as per the plans as a result of highly unstable political environment in which different political parties were claiming its ownership.

The community had also built chalets in one of the villager’s homestead, 100m away from the cultural village to accommodate visitors.

“The cultural village was never used largely because political parties were claiming its ownership,” said Mrs. Rebecca Sibanda at an advocacy training workshop organised by Habakkuk Trust. “At the moment, the cultural village is being used as a baby clinic.”

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Some of the participants at an advocacy workshop

The community members said under the food for work programme, they are roofing the toilets so that they resume their cultural village project.

Habakkuk Trust recently trained 41 people from the Ward on human rights, advocacy and development.

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