By Habakkuk Trust Information Department
Bulawayo: As the chaos and political machinations surrounding the disbursements of the Distressed Industries and ,Marginalized Areas Fund continue unabated, the Habakkuk Trust Community Advocacy Action Teams have added their voice calling for the immediate disbursements of the funds as de-industrialization is hurting ordinary citizens.
According to an Opinion Poll carried by carried by Habakkuk Trust most Advocacy Actions have described the continued confusions surrounding DIMAF as both selfish and uncalled for. Vusumuzi Mpofu from Entumbane lamented that ‘this chaos around DIMAF is hurting us the ordinary citizens as we are the ones who are unemployed. It is unfortunately that they (government) are delaying with these monies at a time when we are hungry and they are full’. His sentiments were echoed by Ethel from Sizinda who questioned the genuinety and motive behind delays in disbursing the funds saying ‘these leaders should start having the people at heart and speedily ensure that DIMAF is channeled to deserving industries immediately’.
Another resident Siboniso Mabhena from Makokoba called for all stakeholders involved in the DIMAF process to ‘stop bickering and start creating employment for the people of Bulawayo so as to curb unemployment, crime and vice in the City’. Speaking on the same DIMAF issue Joseph Ndlovu from Nketa stressed that ‘DIMAF was meant for Bulawayo industries. Government and the banks concerned should simple keep the promise, disburse the monies and stop hiding behind systems that do not work’. Glander Nyoni from Gwabalanda also questioned if the current bickering on DIMAF is at the best interest of the people or the politicians and if this bickering is helping alleviate the plight of Bulawayo residents?
The Distressed Industries and Marginalized Areas Fund (DIMAF) is a government fund that was created by cabinet in 2011 to help cushion and curb massive de-industrialization in Bulawayo. Since the fund came to effect there has been a lot of bickering, machinations, blame game and debate on the fund. Bulawayo industries have been complaining that the stringent systems being set by the financial institution administering the fund makes it difficult for the distressed companies to access the fund. Recently the Minister of Industry and Commerce revealed that most Bulawayo firms who deserve to benefit from the fund were finding it difficult to do so. Shockingly though was the Minister’s revelation that one company that benefited $1million from the fund is using the bulk of the money for the rehabilitation of its Harare branch.
Habakkuk Trust shall continue to monitor the developments surrounding DIMAF as well as advocating for fairness, transparency, accountability and equity in the disbursements of the fund.