Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
ABOUT 25 000 jobs will be created through the Sakubva Urban Renewal Project, the construction of the Gemmology Centre and the Industrial Hub in Mutare, the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba has said.
She said work on the Sakubva Urban Renewal Project began a few weeks ago.
“In the spirit of devolution, people from this province will provide labour, while local companies will supply the bulk of the materials needed in carrying out the work,” she said.
“These projects will create 25 000 jobs and will help to alleviate poverty among the locals as people will get employment. Shifts will be introduced to speed up the completion of the projects. We want people to live in decent accommo+6dation, while our facilities are world class,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.
The minister said funds for the construction of the Gemmology Centre and the Industrial Hub have since been released.
“Treasury has released a total of $30 million to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to kickstart the Gemmology project. The Department of Public Works will undertake the construction work as the project is a Public Sector Investment Programme,” she said.
Dr Gwaradzimba said the Gemmology Centre will be established in Fern-Hill under the jurisdiction of the Mutare City Council.
The local authority donated land for the project.
Dr Gwaradzimba revealed that President Mnangagwa is expected to commission the Gemmology Centre.
“In order to expedite the implementation of the Gemmology Centre, Fern-Hill was designated as a Special Economic Zone, which will be catalytic in bringing investment to the area,” she said, adding that the Gemmology Centre will be a centre of excellence training students on how to cut and polish precious minerals.
“The centre will focus on value addition and beneficiation of precious minerals. The Diamond Park or Gemmology Centre will also be instrumental in jewellery manufacturing and marketing. It will definitely develop into an international trade centre for precious minerals.
“The project will be spearheaded by the Zimbabwe School of Mines in Bulawayo. The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works will also be active partners in the construction of the Gemmology Centre.
“The Innovation Hub and Industrial Park are being spearheaded by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.
The hubs will be established in our institutions of higher learning and are meant to spearhead technological innovations to leverage economic turnaround,” she said.
Dr Gwaradzimba said a technical team has already been constituted. The team is mandated to ensure that work on the Gemology Centre and Industrial Hub is expedited.
She pledged to personally monitor progress on all the projects to ensure that the ventures do not remain on paper.