THE Tokwe-Mukosi dam and its environs are a strategic investment area with potential to uplift the livelihoods of people in Masvingo, the Chivi Rural District Council has said.
More than 2 500 families were relocated to Chingwizi camp after heavy rains flooded the Tokwe-Mukosi basin early this year amid fears that the dam wall could collapse.
However, Chivi RDC chairperson Killer Zivhu said council was working on initiatives aimed at reaping fortunes from the area as it has vast potential for development.
"Despite the flooding that affected the people in that area, I believe it's time we turn Tokwe-Mukosi into the massive development project that it is," he told stakeholders at a meeting in Harare last week.
Zivhu said council wants to raise US$10 million in order to kickstart development projects in the area and it may soon be selling commercial stands in preparation for business.
"We know that this figure may be startling but with the number of educated people in this country and beyond, we can make progress towards achieving that amount of money for development," he said.
Zivhu took a swipe at government officials in Masvingo who have been in positions of influence but have done little to improve the lives of the people in their communities.
"Some of the ministers have been in positions for years but there is not even a borehole to show for it, except moving around in expensive vehicles and with bodyguards," he said.
The council is presently working on mobilising funds for development of the area from people who were born and grew up there.
Zivhu was challenged by people in attendance to sell and distribute stands to interested people at Chivi growth point in order to stimulate revenue inflow for council.
Council has been struggling to raise money with revenue only emanating from shops which are also struggling to remain viable.
Chivi is known as a dry district that has been hit by perennial food shortages over the years owing to incessant droughts.
The Tokwe-Mukosi flood situation has also worsened villagers' lives as they solely depended on subsistence family and hardly have any other means of survival.
Former Zanu PF member of parliament Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said Tokwe-Mukosi is a jewel that must be taken advantage of as an opportunity.
"Nobody will come and develop Chivi Rural District as long as the people of that community sit back. People must unite and work towards developing Chivi Rural District," he said.
"Very soon, Tokwe-Mukosi shall have irrigation, houses, commercial stands, sugar plantations, a tourism area but unfortunately it is presently known for Chingwizi, not the jewel that it is."
Deputy Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Mathius Tongofa urged people to use solar energy in rural communities to promote sustainable and cost-efficient methods of spear-heading developments.
He said emphasis should be put on development ahead of politics.