Seven public institutions in the villages stretching from Mutsinzwa to Chirorwe villages in Bikita District have been electrified by the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) bringing excitement to the whole community. The electrified institutions are Kudadisa secondary school, Chirorwe primary school, Mutsinzwa and Chirorwe business centres, Chirorwe clinic, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and Rural Development Infrastructure Agency (RIDA) offices.

The electrification project was officially commissioned by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon Edgar Moyo at a function attended by scores of villagers and civil servants from the vast district. In a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon Yeukai Simbanegavi, Hon Moyo said electricity was the key driver to rural development and modernity.

“Electricity or energy in general is a key driver to industrialization, modernity, economic development, and improved conditions of living of people in any nation,’’ he said. Hon Moyo said that as leaders, they cannot talk of successful agricultural production for food security, mining development, tourism, and commerce without the availability of electricity.

He said government’s thrust was to ensure that all rural community access modern energy services by 2030, pointing out that before independence electricity was a preserve of the towns and cities and rural communities lagged behind.

“While electricity is available in towns, cities, large scale commercial farms and growth points driving industries, agricultural production, and mining, the same cannot be said in many rural areas of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Many rural communities lagged in development as the colonial government never gave much priority to rural electrification as they mainly favoured towns, cities and large-scale commercial farms,” added the minister.

The minister paid tribute to REF board, management and staff for their commitment to duty and for exploring renewable energy technologies such as biogas and solar to meet its mandatory obligation of universal access to modern energy services by 2030.

The function was marked by pomp and fanfare from school children and village dance groups who recited poems, danced and sang in praise of REF and government for brining electricity to the community.