THE meeting held in Bulawayo by Zanu PF ministers to tackle challenges facing the Matabeleland region was just a talk show with no tangible and fruitful results, political analysts have said.
Last weekend, about nine government ministers met in Bulawayo to discuss the slow pace of development in Matabeleland.
Ministers who attended the meeting included Simon Khaya Moyo, the Senior Minister of State in the President's Office, Francis Nhema (Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment), Obert Mpofu (Transport and Infrastructural Development), Douglas Mombeshora (Lands and Resettlement), Stembiso Nyoni (SMEs) and Saviour Kasukuwere (Environment, Climate and Water).
Other ministers also present at the indaba were Kembo Mohadi (Home Affairs), Andrew Langa (Sport, Arts and Culture), Eunice Moyo (Provincial Affairs in Bulawayo) and Abedinico Ncube (Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland South).
Mpofu told the meeting that through the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Development (Zim Asset), his ministry was working on resuscitating parastatals such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
He promised that by year-end, NRZ would be fully functional. Kasukuwere said his ministry was committed to the completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project which is considered the long-term solution to the perennial water problems facing Bulawayo.
He said the first phase of the water project, the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, would be completed by 2016.
Mombeshora said Bulawayo was facing a shortage of land for expansion. He pledged to ensure that the metropolitan province acquired more land from neighbouring provinces.
However, political analyst Edwin Ndlovu said the meeting was a talk show.
"The meeting was much-ado-about-nothing. Nothing new came out from the so-called meeting. Zanu PF thinks Zimbabweans are stupid.
Actually, this is political campaigning and they think by so doing they will win Bulawayo come 2018, but that's impossible. The meeting was a talk show without any positive results," said Ndlovu.
"They think by talking about issues affecting Matabeleland, they will get our votes, yet people of Matabeleland know that Zanu PF is the author of our misfortunes."
He said the government was bankrupt of ideas.
"With Zanu PF in power nothing good will ever happen in Matabeleland. People who believe diesel can ooze from a rock are clueless and can never resuscitate our economy," said Ndlovu.
He said the only solution to the challenges bedevilling Matabeleland was a change in government.
Another political analyst, Thabani Ncube said the meeting was just held in order for Zanu PF to buy time until the 2018 elections.
"The meeting was a waste of time. If they are really concerned about solving the problems of Bulawayo, they should have called all the relevant stakeholders from the city, for example the city fathers," said Ncube.
"These people do not have a solution to the crisis affecting the city and the nation as a whole and that's why they are having such meetings just to buy time. They want to appear to be doing something up to 2018 when the elections come. They lost all the seats in Bulawayo in last year's elections and they are seeking to be politically relevant."
Another political commentator, Lungile Moyo, said it was high time the government started working rather than making new promises.
"This is high time they hit the ground running, not to make endless promises. Promises were made during the election campaign and we don't need more promises. We now need to implement plans.
We need less talking but more action," said Moyo.
"We know the challenges affecting the city such as shortage of water and closure of industries that have left thousands of people jobless and there is no need for people to start sitting down and asking themselves about the challenges affecting the city as if it's something which is not known."
He said the much touted Zim Asset blueprint was not going to be successfully implemented as the government was broke.
Efforts to get a comment from Khaya-Moyo, who convened the meeting,were fruitless by the time of going to the press.