The Habakkuk Trust advocacy work on the re-industrialization and development of the marginalized, underdeveloped and massively de-industrialized Matabeleland Region that culminated in a Matabeleland Leadership Summit held in Bulawayo in January 2011, has finally paid fruits as the Cabinet is reported to have agreed to have Bulawayo companies accessing funds under the USD40 million Distressed and Marginalized Areas Funds.
According to the Newsday 06 October 2011, the Cabinet has adopted a report entitled ‘Let Bulawayo Survive’. ‘This development will see collapsing companies in the region accessing $40 million Distressed and Marginalized Areas Fund’.
Habakkuk Trust has set the regional and national agenda on sustainable development of previously marginalized communities leading to a number of organizations and political parties subsequently buying into this Debate. The Summit that was organized by Habakkuk Trust in January was attended by Matabeleland Leaders who included 6 Cabinet Ministers, the Speaker of Parliament, Members of Parliament, Leaders of civic groups, Councilors, leaders of political formations, church leaders and leaders in the business and academic sectors. The Minister of Industry and Commerce Honorable Professor Welshman Ncube who also attended the meeting later became the Chairperson of a Cabinet Committee tasked with investigating the levels of de-industrialization in Bulawayo.
Habakkuk Trust will continue monitoring the actual implementation of this Cabinet decision and shall continue advocating for other national and local level issues.