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July 29, 2016

YARD POSITION ON THE RECENT ARREST OF WAR VETERANS

Filed under: opinion,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 3:10 pm

HARARE- The Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD), unequivocally castigates and lambasts the overzealous and equally misinformed decision to arrest the War Veterans’ leadership, clumsily orchestrated by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) following a communique addressed to the ZANU PF leadership.

Both the Secretary General and the Spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), Cde Victor Matemadanda and Cde Douglas Mahiya respectively, were arrested by members of the ZRP Law and Order Divisions over trumped up treason allegations, after the alleged authoring of said communique that denounced the President and First Secretary of ZANU PF, Cde R.G. Mugabe.

This arrest stands out as a ridiculous and yet callous violation of human rights as well as the wanton abuse of a public institution to serve personal interests. As YARD we question the constitutionality of the arrests whilst fully cognisant of the fact that the communique is a document that was directed to the leadership of ZANU PF and therefore nothing more than an in-house matter. Surprisingly however, the ZRP moved in to take action in this particular party matter, party of which does not have a law enforcement agency and least of all the ZRP as part of its structures.

It is horrifying to note that the ZRP, as an apolitical institution seems to be employing double, partisan standards in its approach to this particular matter. This partisan approach subsequently has highly detrimental effects to the establishment of the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

As YARD, we remain consistent in our adherence to and observation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the regional resolutions made by the African Union. The leadership of this country however seems to be exhibiting chameleon-like behaviour and desperately needs to work towards good governance and the creation of rule of law.

What is worse is the not so surreptitious creation and consolidation of a dictatorship in this once Republican Zimbabwe. The police force and the ruling party have taken a stance to criminalise opposition and any divergent opinions to the rulership of one man.

Regime change has become a testimony of imperialistic rhetoric. Democracy and democratic principles of the majority having their way while the minority has its say has been rendered alien to Zimbabwe by the President of the country.

The President, who used to be the voice of reason, has become the protagonist of retrogressive elements in Zimbabwe. In total contrast, the President is fuelling illegal arrests and issuing reckless statements against his former allies with impunity.

As the youth of Zimbabwe, we demand the immediate release of the incarcerated War Veterans. The sacrifices that these men made, can never be repaid by such levels of oppression and political repression. Such attacks on the War Veterans is an insult that smacks of disrespect and lack of appreciation of the highest order. Political rights and liberties have been trampled upon by this current regime and its upon these grounds that the calls for regime change from within become audible.

To all Zimbabweans, and all vibrant organisations such as the #thisflag and tajamuka movement, we call upon you to once again show your unity of purpose and work for the achievment of justice to these sons of the soil. We call upon the international community to act decisively against inhumanity and violation of human rights in Zimbabwe. The moment of truth has come for all Zimbabweans to show patriotism to the country and stand up for the leadership of the War Veterans. Let us show again the unity we saw with the good pastor as we defend the rights of these innocent War Veterans whose only “crime” is honest speech and a cry for justice to prevail.  Let us show our solidarity with them and rally behind them as they appear in court tomorrow, Friday 29th July 2016. YARD encourages all citizens to stand up and be counted in their support for those who sacrificed for us to enjoy liberation from the oppressive white regime and are now standing up once again to defend us from the shackles of the current black regime. Let us turn up in our thousands!

Zimbabwe is living in momentous times and needs a united people against oppression of the highest order which is being orchestrated by this Government.

YARD NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON

TINOTENDA MHUNGU

28 July 2016

July 25, 2016

Pensioners spruce up Kariba

Filed under: Feature — Nhaudzenyu @ 12:31 pm
Tags: , , ,

By Nhau Mangirazi

KARIBA- Phillipa Gumpo aged fifty-seven years is a former nurse at Nyamhunga clinic since 1975 whose professional marriage to health spanning to three decades has been an inspiration for community work and cleanliness.

Traditionally married to the Gumpo family whose business empire included shops and properties controlling the resort town since independence until the late 2000, Phillipa had her stake in the health sector and it is paying off during her retiring age.

Now a retired nurse who started her profession as a nurse aide in 1975 at Nyamhunga clinic to be a fully qualified nurse, Phillipa’s heart bleeds as she recalls how children under the age of five passed on during the 2003 cholera outbreak that hit the remote Gache Kache, in Kariba rural outskirts.

‘‘I witnessed unwarranted deaths of children during my days as a nurse aide in 1975. I have been in health sector since then and places like Gache Kache have been hot spots on water borne diseases as well as cholera but the worst contribution to these diseases is failure to have a clean environment that impacts negatively on our well-being as a community’’, she explains.

Phillipa is among few elderly volunteers helping the clean-up campaign in the resort town.

She says everyone has a duty to play to have a better looking environment.

‘‘I see this as the only thing that I can do to plough back to the community that am part of before I retired in 2011,’’ she explains.

Married with two grown up children and two grandchildren is part of Nyamhunga ward two Community Based Organisations, CBOs that monitors and clean up at the business center with dotted shops as well as vegetable market every Tuesday around mid-morning.

‘‘We volunteered ourselves and it is paying off as we encourage others to keep liter away. Women must take this as the only way that can help us away from mainly water borne diseases including diarrhea,’’ adds Phillipa.

Another grey haired seventy-six year old Freddy Mususa is one of six surviving workers who built Kariba dam.

Mususa popularly known as ‘Kariba 50’ says they started working on one of the biggest man made dam in 1954 on the project bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia with an Italian company Imprest and his heart has been with the town since then.

Born in 1940 in Mutoko, Mususa worked as assistant to Italian technicians for the project says the resort town of Kariba has been his home and remains part of the community here.

‘‘Although I retired in 2001 from formal employment, I remain part of the Kariba community. I see no reason why I should stay away from volunteering in keeping our town clean. I am used to working, why should I stay at home when am able bodied and keep my town clean,’’ he says with a face beaming with confidence.

A father of six grown children and three grandchildren, Mususa like Phillipa are among pensioners keeping town clean against waste management.

The two pensioners are part of 90 volunteers in the resort town covering nine wards operating as CBOs.

 

Kariba Mayor Tracy Ndoro on foreground takes lead in cleaning up Kariba town.....Photo By Nhau Mangirazil

Kariba Mayor Tracy Ndoro on foreground takes lead in cleaning up Kariba town…..Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Reduced rates on sanitation

Local leadership here admits that the birth of clean ups teams in Kariba have brought significant changes in public health.

Moses Tawedzera, municipal city environmental health technician admits that there is reduced rate in incidence and prevalence of water and sanitation related diseases such as typhoid, cholera, malaria and common diarrhea.

‘‘So far we have recorded zero cases of typhoid and cholera. The prevalence of malaria has also reduced as breeding sites were eliminated, due to hygiene behavior (knowledge and skills) bringing about change promoted through awareness campaigns on proper solid waste management during the clean-up activities,’’ he adds.

He adds that community participation and cohesion has been boosted as realized in the uptake of hygiene enabling facilities such as purchasing of refuse bins and proper use of refuse bins resulting in the eradication of illegal dumping and burning of waste, a practice that attracts fine from Environmental Management Agency, EMA.

Tawedzera explains that increased refuse collection from residential areas to the dumpsite pegged at 90% worked well in reducing illegal dumps in the urban area by 74%.

He adds that there is enhanced flow of water in the storm drain as a result of storm drain clearance, and improved clean water inflow into the lake.

‘‘Improved aesthetic value of the town in areas which were formerly illegal dumpsites transformed into economical recreational parks among other projects that beautify the places.

‘‘By and large many stakeholders and the community are appreciating the cleanliness of our urban and all embraced in Kariba municipality, attracting more tourists, hence direct foreign investment,’’ he further explains.

The clean-up campaigns kicked off in October 2015 and are still operational.

He adds that volunteering in the town, as the number of participants from the first major clean up to the second major cleanup which marked the CBOs six months of existence.

‘‘It can be noted that the number of participants has increased from approximately 40 to 60 members per each ward. We have had residents volunteering to be in CBOs in their wards,’’ he adds.

There are 45 females, six males and thirty nine youths covering all wards.

Munyaradzi Nhariswa the Mashonaland West EMA provincial educational promotion and publicity officer explains that clean up campaigns are part of the agency’s broader strategy of inculcating and promoting active citizen participation in waste management.

‘‘Citizen participation and stakeholder engagement are some of the key principles provided for in the National Integrated Solid Waste Management plan. The results of these interventions include creation of a community and stakeholder driven clean, safe and healthy environment which is a key enabler of the growth of the tourism industry’’

Words say it all from Kariba residents

Words say it all from Kariba residents

 

He adds that literature confirms that tourists are ‘‘environmentally conscious and are more than prepared to visit resorts with the best environmental practices’’

Kariba assistant district administrator Witness Kufa also says there is need to invest more in sprucing Kariba town as it is the face of Zimbabwe to both local and international tourists.

‘‘We appreciate the commitment of sprucing the resort town as it will have long term benefits for the town and nation at large as this is a resort town,’’ added Kufa.

Leadership part of clean up

Kariba town Mayor Tracy Ndoro says local leadership takes up the cleanup seriously.

‘‘We advocate for clean-up campaign here as we know Kariba is a place for many international visitors daily. They do not notify when they will come so we are geared to see our town clean every day,’’ she explains.

As locals here continue with their zeal in making the town clean, animal and human conflict has resulted in vandalism of refuse bins in residential areas and lay-by points by baboons and elephants searching for food hence re-littering, another challenge affecting the project.

‘‘Most fixed bins were displaced by elephants hence back drawing the value of clean-up campaigns. This has

Words say it all from Kariba residents

seen elephants or baboons feeding on waste hence spreading waste all over the place. These are real litter bugs that we cannot fine for not keeping Kariba clean,’’ explains Tawedzera.

This is the little story keeping the resort town of Kariba clean

 

 

 

 

 

July 20, 2016

Plans for agric college in Hurungwe frustrated

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 3:27 pm

By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI — Hurungwe is among Zimbabwe’s farming districts with potential to reverse the country’s worsening food security situation.
The district, covering 19 678,34 square kilometres, is Zimbabwe’s second largest district surrounded by four of the country’s 63 districts namely Guruve, Makonde, Gokwe and Nyaminyami.
With eight traditional chiefs, namely Kazangarare, Chundu, Nematombo, Chanetsa, Nyamhunga, Mjinga, Dandawa and Dendera, the district has a population of 329 197 people, according to the 2012 census.
At a projected three percent growth rate per year, the population is now estimated to be around 370 000.

Boasting of three Grain Marketing Board (GMB) silo depots in Karoi, Magunje, and Mkwichi as well as two GMB stack depots in Vuti and Mudzimu, Hurungwe is one of Zimbabwe’s key agro-zones that could easily reverse the country’s precarious food security situation.
The three silos and two stack depots are empty as output continues to dwindle due to several challenges, among them failure by the district to leverage on its immense potential.
Despite its immense potential that once helped Zimbabwe become the regional breadbasket before land reform in 2000, Hurungwe is stuck among some of the country’s least developed districts, agriculturally.
Critics now argue that its fortunes could have been much better if it had a tertiary agricultural college for its population to broaden their knowledge in farming.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s 2015 state of the world food security situation, Zimbabwe is among countries with a high food deficit of between 25 and 40 percent.
While climate change and perennial droughts are affecting countries like Zimbabwe, the country still has regions such as Hurungwe that continue to have favourable rainfall and hence should improve the country’s food security situation. But this is not happening.
Hurungwe residents believe that an agricultural college in the area would allow the district to realise its full potential as that would help transform local farmers from subsistence to commercial.
“I think government policy on tertiary college establishment has been compromised as we must have a college in Hurungwe. It is taking long to be established,” said Charles Matara, an agricultural graduate from Mupfure Agricultural College, some 250km away from Hurungwe.
Matara, now 38 years old, is farming a 25 hectare plot on Longhaul Farm, situated about 35km east of Karoi town, 200km north-west of Harare.
Hurungwe acting administrator, Friend Ngirazi, said they were making frantic efforts to ensure the establishment of an agricultural college.
They had also made appeals through the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development for government to allocate more resources to the GMB to help it boost food production in Hurungwe.
“Hurungwe is the second largest district in the country, but gets an almost equal share of resources with smaller but unproductive districts. We are appealing to the government to allocate more resources to GMB so that farmers are paid early to boost food security,” said Ngirazi.
He admitted that failure to establish a college was negatively impacting on production.
During the height of the land reform programme in early 2000, the area’s district lands committee had earmarked Nyamanda Farm, situated about eight kilometres east of Karoi, for the establishment of an agricultural college. The farm had all the facilities for both animal husbandry and other farming activities.
The farm was initially owned by Chris Sheppard and was, as part of the land reform programme, allocated to the brother of a former minister who is underutilising the property.
Ngirazi admitted that the issue of establishing a tertiary college in the district remains a challenge.
“The college issue is affecting every administrator who wants to see Hurungwe prosper and we have since asked Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Dr Godfrey Gandawa, to work on it as a matter of urgency. It is true that Nyamanda Farm was earmarked for an agricultural college but nothing has progressed,” said Ngirazi.
Gandawa could, however, not be reached for comment.
Hurungwe has five Members of Parliament, namely Godfrey Beremauro representing Hurungwe Central, Gandawa standing for Magunje, Sarah Mahoka for Hurungwe East, Keith Guzah for Hurungwe West and Reuben Marumahoko representing Hurungwe North, all from the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Critics argue that these Parliamentarians should work together to push for the establishment of the college. Beremauro said a council resolution to establish the college was rebuffed due to political divisions during his 17-year tenure as Hurungwe Rural District Council chairman.
“As Hurungwe Rural District Council, we recommended Nyamanda (Farm) as a farming college to the lands committee, but to our surprise a former Cabinet minister’s brother came with an offer letter against the wishes of local administrators who wanted to see development in Hurungwe,” said Beremauro.
He also had no kind words for his fellow politicians in the ruling party whom he accused of fuelling underdevelopment in the district.

“As politicians in Hurungwe, we are now our worst enemies because we are divided. We do not have the same voice on developmental issues as some use money to buy votes and favours, but are not concerned about development once they are in office. This is a major leadership crisis we are facing,” he said.

Trainos Mawanga, who has closely watched developments in Hurungwe, said both local policy makers and government are to blame for the half-hearted approach and should assist Hurungwe with a college.

“Farming in Hurungwe is done at subsistence level; why not give the farmers expertise in the form of a college? Hurungwe has been neglected for too long and we call upon our political leadership to stand up for this noble cause as a matter of urgency to boost agricultural production in the district. Our farmers need training, especially now as we face challenges of climate change,” said Mawanga.

A district agriculture extension officer indicated that several reports were written over the years lobbying for the establishment of an agricultural college to no avail.

“We have raised this issue on several occasions as it will make our work easier, but we have not seen urgency in it and it is affecting all extension officers one way or the other. Our reports are gathering dust in offices. We are prepared to give extensive farming training to equip our farmers, but our efforts are being frustrated,” said the officer, who declined to be named because he has no authority to speak to the press.

newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

The forgotten Karoi-Binga highway

Filed under: Feature,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 3:20 pm

Nhau Mangirazi

HURUNGWE — Twenty-six years after government committed to linking Karoi and Binga through a 340-kilometer highway, the venture remains a pie in the sky.
After its construction was commissioned by President Robert Mugabe in 1990, the road was only tarred 30 km from Magunje to Chivakanenyama business centre before the project was abandoned with more than 200km yet to be tarred.
And 10km of the tarred 30km is already dilapidated, while villagers have since helped themselves to heaps of quarry stones that were meant for the road construction.
“The road could have played a major role in advancing tourism in the area,” said 65-year-old Jonathan Masara from the Chivakanenyama area.
“Senior government officials including both Vice Presidents Emerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, and ZANU-PF’s secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, used this unfinished tarred road and we are surprised why none of them even queried about the unfinished project. As much as they were concerned about some dusty roads that were hurriedly repaired during (the June 2015 by-elections) campaign period; as well as drilling of boreholes, why are they turning a blind eye on this sorry state of the road that should have been tarred,” queried a businessman at Zvipani shopping centre, who spoke on condition that he is not named.

During the height of campaigns for the Hurungwe West by-election in June 2015, big names in government and ZANU-PF drove up and down the forgotten highway, drumming up support for Keith Guzah who sought to replace expelled Hurungwe West Member of Parliament and former Mashonaland West ZANU-PF provincial chairperson, Temba Mliswa.

Mliswa stood as an independent candidate and lost to Guzah. In the bruising battle for the constituency, no one mentioned that it has been more than two decades since the Binga-Karoi highway was commissioned.

Some players in the tourism sector believe that if government is selfless, it must work on the remaining 270km and help open the shortcut between Victoria Falls and Kariba, the country’s two most popular destinations.
Upgrading the road would reduce by nearly 300km the distance by road between the two tourist resorts.

“Anyone who wants to travel from Victoria Falls to Kariba has to pass through Bulawayo before connecting to the Harare highway.

“The distance is over 1 000km. It could have made economic sense for the country because the highway would boost revenue for councils through which the highway would pass.

Government could have even installed a tollgate in between and boosted its coffers,” said MP for Kariba, Isaac Mackenzie.

Hurungwe Central MP, Godfrey Beremauro, bemoaned the lack of progress on the Karoi-Binga road saying government must priorities the construction and servicing of roads that are key to the country’s economic development.

“It is of major concern for us because we believe a shorter route (between Kariba and Victoria Falls) could have been a bonus for adventurous tourists. We must be innovative in securing better benefits for our tourism sector at all cost. Villagers would also benefit in one way or the other,” added a frustrated Beremauro.

Hurungwe Rural District Council chief executive officer, Misheck Joram Moyo, regretted the lack of progress on the highway.

“With a lot of natural vegetation along the way, the highway meant a great deal to us. Some villagers in Hurungwe and part of Kariba rural are craftsmen and they could have easily raised income by selling their wares to passing tourists,” said Moyo.
Having been at the helm of Hurungwe Rural District Council for nearly two decades, Moyo believes an upgraded Binga to Karoi road would have also opened to the world some of the country’s hidden treasures, such as the Mutambiranwa Falls located about 50km west of Magunje.

A Siakobvu-based tourist guide, Forster Mashiri, said it is regrettable that government is still yet to complete the road.
“If Karoi-Binga road was upgraded on time at least some tourists from Victoria Falls could enjoy free game viewing along the way. We must boost tourism that way. We are appealing to the government to take this project seriously because it has better benefits for communities,” said Mashiri who cut his professional tour guide teeth in 1988 when he was with the Nyaminyami Rural Council. This was the time when the now struggling Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) was at its peak assisting many rural councils across the country with generating additional revenue from their natural resources.

CAMPFIRE benefitted communities through proceeds from animal trophy hunts as well as meat from the killed animals.
newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

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