New SMEs motorbikes lie idle

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Blessings Mashaya

NEW motorbikes meant for Small to Medium Enterprises ministry district officers around the country have been left to rot for four years, after government failed to distribute them.

In a report presented to the National Assembly by the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Small and Medium Enterprises Development, the government said district officers were still being trained on how to use the motorbikes.

“The committee was also deeply concerned that all the district offices that were visited had no transport. The committee was informed that district heads had no vehicles.
“There were also no motorbikes for officers who are expected to monitor SMEs and cooperative projects in their wards.

“The committee received disturbing reports that motorbikes purchased four years ago, which by now should have been distributed to all districts, were still parked at the head office in Harare, awaiting distribution.

“The reasons given to the committee for the long delay in distributing these motorbikes were not convincing.
“The committee was informed that training of riders and provision of riders’ safety kits were the main reasons the ministry has failed to distribute the motorbikes,” the committee said.

They added that the district officers are facing serious transport challenges.

“The committee was told that ideally, district development officers should be based at the office for two days while three days should be spent in the field.

“However, without reliable means of transport, district development officers overseeing 32 wards, in the case of Chivi District, were not visiting projects as frequently as they should.

“The committee was informed in all the districts visited that ministry officials were failing to meet the requirements for cooperative projects to be visited at least once every month by junior development officers and once quarterly by the district head.

“The committee was further informed that consistent adherence to a monitoring schedule was not possible as officers were relying on transport from partners and non-governmental organisations operating in their area,” they added.

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