November 23, 2017

What is Robert Mugabe’s legacy?

Reporting from Zimbabwe, Nhau Mangirazi examines the legacy of nearly four decades of Mugabe rule 21 November 2017

Robert Mugabe has stepped down as President of Zimbabwe today after 37 years in power.

The announcement came during a parliamentary session to impeach him, after he had initially refused to step down – notwithstanding being detained the army.

‘This is a second independence from our own oppressor. The man with iron fist is gone,’ said kombi driver Rodwell Mangava.

In Karoi, a town 204 kilometers northwest of Harare and within Mugabe’s home province, people said they welcomed his resignation. ‘It was long overdue. He must go and rest,’ said 45 year old vegetable vendor Charity Danga.

Fear and loyalty kept him in power

His own party, Zanu-PF, resolved to fire him at the weekend and impeachment proceedings had started.

His wife Grace has been banned from party politics for life, along with others linked to the Generation 40 faction behind the expulsion of ex-vice president Emerson Mngagwagwa.

After winning independence from the British in 1980, liberation leader Robert Mugabe ruled the country for seven years as Executive Prime Minister. For the next three decades he held the post of Executive President – but these years became increasingly tainted by failure and corruption.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and African Union Goodwill Ambassador, says now it’s critical to ensure that the political negotiations go beyond discourse on power and party interests, and maintain a clear focus on the social and economic wellbeing of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Fear and violence

According to the many thousands of Zimbabwean citizens who have taken to the streets in the past few days, Mugabe made elections a ‘ritual meant to legitimize him and his Zanu-PF party’.

George Makoni, vice chair of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, says Mugabe used various violent and patronage tactics to ensure he maintained his position as head of state. Fear and loyalty kept him in power.

Major hospitals lack adequate medicines, while Mugabe and his family travel to Singapore for treatment

He manipulated critical institutions constitutionally supposed to be independent, including ‘courts, security forces and traditional leaders among others’, says Makoni.

‘Furthermore, the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) played to his tune – he is the one who appointed all its officials,’ he adds. ‘ZEC ensured that elections were rigged in his favour. The 2008 elections denied opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai ascendency to power, despite his having overwhelmingly won the election.’


Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and African Union Goodwill Ambassador, says Mugabe advanced women’s and children’s rights in Zimbabwe.

She says: ‘No one will deny the achievements the country made in the first 10 years of his rule. A raft of laws addressed the personal rights of women, including the Legal Age of Majority Act and the maintenance and inheritance laws.

‘The major focus on health and education brought major benefits to girls’ school enrolment, reduction of maternal deaths and treatment of HIV/Aids. On the policy front, President Mugabe can pride himself that the country signed almost every law.’

And gains lost

However, she says, most gains were lost or eroded in the last 10 years, as a deep political, economic and financial crisis gripped the Southern African nation.

Mugabe has presided over a nation in which 90 per cent of the population is now unemployed.

‘The impact of loss of jobs and income affected women and girls most,’ says Gumbonzvanda. ‘The evidence is clear from just the scale of domestic and gender based violence, rates of teenage pregnancy and child marriage.’

Another contentious issue has been the massive land grabs Mugabe ordered in in the 1980s, and then in 2000.

With the help of liberation war veterans, Mugabe made aggressive land grabs from former white farmers, as part of a land reform programme that he said would rectify colonial imbalances.

Instead, several thousands of farmers were evicted from farms in the Mazowe area within Mashonaland Central province, east of Harare.

Muzzling the media

Njabulo Ncube, national coordinator of Zimbabwe National Editors Forum, accuses Mugabe of muzzling the media by passing harsh and repressive media laws which have seen the harassment, arrest and assault of journalists.

‘Under his watch, newspapers were closed and have yet to recover; journalists remain jobless and some have died in poverty,’ he says.

‘He is going down in the history of Zimbabwe as a media hangman.’

Ailing health sector

Although Zimbabwe has one of the highest levels of education in Africa, Mugabe stands accused of failing to deliver decent health services: major hospitals lack adequate medicines.

Meanwhile, Mugabe and his family travel to Singapore for treatment.

While most rural women have to walk 30 miles to access local health facilities, Mugabe’s daughter Bona gave birth in Singapore.

Itai Rusike, executive director of the Community Working Group on Health, says that Zimbabwe had made tremendous gains in reducing HIV/AIDS related deaths over the years through multi-sectoral efforts.

‘[But] if the current situation is not addressed urgently, the country will end up losing gains recorded over the past years,’ he adds.

What is most disturbing is that the shortages of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) come at a time when the World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning of a drug resistant HIV strain emerging in developing countries. Interruption of drug treatment has been blamed for increases in this new strain.

‘There is evidence of failing access to drugs in recent years, most sharply in clinics that form the frontline of the healthcare system with the community,’ Rusike says.

As the international media focus on the world’s oldest leader, Mugabe may be more.remembered as the man who won much for his country – and lost more.


August 15, 2017

MZ among unsung Zimbabwe heroes

Filed under: Feature,News,News — Nhaudzenyu @ 12:30 pm
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By Chenai Maramba

KAROI– Zimbabweans celebrated 37 years of independence and remembering many political heroes who fought for the country liberation before independence on 11 and 12 August 2017.

As the nation took time to reflect how those who fought before and after independence, too many of the unsung heroes of our time will forever be remembered.

Although the heroes’ status has been politicized with the thrust of Zanu PF and Government officials being given the highest accord, it is disheartening that there are some who fought for equality to all after independence but whose voices have been silenced.

For some when Movement for Democratic Change, MDC led by former Prime Minister of Government of National Unity Morgan Tsvangirai , was formed in 1999 as the only strongest opposition party to challenge Zanu PF misrule, it was a tough decision and it needed those with focus to take it to the fore forefront and challenge the status quo.

Several thousands have suffered in silence over challenging Zanu PF misrule and some have passed on and are unsung heroes of Zimbabwe post-independence era.

One of these is the late Luckson Kanyurira whose abduction and death in the resort town of Kariba remain vivid to many peace loving Zimbabweans.

Others are Tonderai Ndira who was murdered during to run up to 2008 elections.

Learnmore Jongwe passed on prison following a suspected set up by Zanu PF spies in 2002.

But Karoi farming town situated about 204 kilometer north-west of Harare has been the hot bed of political victimization by mainly Zanu PF youths against opposition members.

But behold, another young soul among hundreds of MDC supporters is Malvern Muzivoreva well known as MZ who was born and bred in Karoi farming town on 18 January 1983.

Late Malverne Muzoworeva MZ an MDC activist who fled from Zimbabwe in 2008 and died in South Africa. One of unsung opposition members from Karoi

Late Malvern Muzivoreva MZ an MDC activist who fled from Zimbabwe in 2008 and died in South Africa. One of unsung opposition members from Karoi in Mashonaland West province,

He attended Karoi Junior primary school and later went to Karoi High School for his O level.

MZ was politically conscious on need for democratic change as well as total independence of every citizen.

It was not by coincidence that he was actively involved with MDC.

One of the founding MDC members Frack Kuchekwa recalled how MZ was in the forefront of organizing youths in the party.

‘Malvern was among few MDC youths around Karoi town who used to go around the farms selling party cards with the need to have workers know their rights so that they cannot be looked down upon. He was an active youth MDC member and we looked forward to him for greater ideas as a party,’ said Kuchekwa.

While MZ was being active in opposition politics, at family level life was becoming hard for their eldest sister Mary, born in 1974 who had to toil for the four member family following the death of their mother, Evelyn in 1993, when MZ was only ten years old.

Hardly a year years after joining politics MZ’s father, Campion passed on. Two years later he was arrested in September 2004 and stayed in Karoi prison until 2008.

This became the hardest time for his sister, Mary as she had to fend for the other brother and another sister, without formal employment.

‘Unfortunately he contracted Tuberculosis, TB while in Karoi prison due to squalid conditions. We knew that his arrest and incarnation was politically motivated,’ recalled another MDC supporter James Kadara who worked with MZ.

Malvern was later released on bail 2008.

MDC activist Malverne Muzoworeva in all white who fled from Zimbabwe in 2008 and passed on in South Africa. In this file photo he was with brother Marevlous. Both are now late.

MDC activist Malvern Muzivoreva in all white who fled from Zimbabwe in 2008 and passed on in South Africa. In this file photo he was with brother Marvelous. Both are now late.

This forced him to flee Zimbabwe that year to join his sister Mary who was battling to make ends meet during the country economic, social and political crisis before Government of National Unity in 2009.

‘Malvern had no choice than to flee the country as there was no medication in public hospitals and TB is curable so he had no option but to follow her sister in South Africa,’ added his close friend, Kadara.

He was later to get better medication at Kempton Civic Centre clinic until the time of his death on 2 April 2016.

‘Her sister was by his side for these years when he battled TB in South Africa and she has been man enough to shoulder the burden of political mismanagement by the ruling party,’ added Kuchekwa.

Former MDC Mashonaland West provincial spokesperson Big Haurobi added his voice that many unsung heroes are not recognized due to the Zanu PF barbaric attitude.

‘We have too many unsung heroes of this struggle and we hope one day people like MZ will be remembered by peace loving Zimbabweans. He was among youth cadres who gave up their life in the face of abduction, threats,. brutality in the province that has been the hot-spots of opposition politics,’ added Haurobi.

He added that besides challenges faced many of Malvern’s relatives remain targets of Zanu PF regime.

‘We know for a fact that the regime is targeting MZ relatives and we wish they could stay safe wherever they are because MZ played a pivotal role although we are fighting a regime with diabolic intentions,’ said Haurobi.

He added, ‘We must remember Tapiwa Mubwanda who was killed in cold blood murder in Hurungwe. These are many and women who paid price for this,’

Jawet Kazangarare and former soldier Peter Madamombe terrorized MDC supporters in Hurungwe.

As the nation remembered fallen heroes, Malvern Muzivoreva MZ is among unsung heroes’ of our time, concluded Kuchekwa.


August 14, 2017

Venice Mine rope in police to evict former workers

Filed under: News,News — Nhaudzenyu @ 1:38 pm

THE new owners of Venice Mine in Kadoma last week roped in police to flush out former workers, who had refused to vacate the mine houses claiming they were part of their retrenchment benefits.

By Nhau Mangirazi

The former workers had continued to stay in the company houses following the departure of their employer, Falcon Gold, in the 1990s. They refused to move out of the houses after the new mine owner, Abminprint, brought in its staff leading to clashes last week.

Abminprint chief security officer Raston Madzimbo, however, said his company was not targeting the former workers without cause.

“It is true that we called police to assist us in evicting some criminal elements within the community. These are people using violence as part of survival, among them illegal gold miners. They go around with knives, they are just criminals,” Madzimbo said.

The disgruntled former workers accused their former employer of shifting goal posts after they initially promised them the houses as part of retrenchment compensation.

Doubt Masaga, a representative of the former workers, said the homes and disused mines were rightly theirs because they were owed by their former employer who sold the company.

“As former workers and members of Zanu PF youth we are advocating that the new mine owners take care of the former workers and their dependents so that they are not thrown out into destitution, but rather they be given mining rights so that they too can to use mines and earn a living,” former mine workers’ representative Doubt Masaga, said.

Another former employee, Dickson Phiri added: “There is uncertainty for majority of former workers and their dependents as new owners have not been helpful but rather want to evict us and victimising us since we do not have financial muscle to fight them through legal means.”

July 2, 2017

Commemorations for State sponsored violence victims held in Bulawayo  

By Our Correspondent

BULAWAYO– The Movement for Democratic Change led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held commemorations for state sponsored violence victims at Sizinda Hall in Bulawayo at the weekend.

The meeting brought sad memories of state brutality since Gukurahundi era and renewed Zanu PF terror campaign tool after 2000 chaotic land reform.

Senior MDC-T members including Vice President Thokozile Khupe, national chairperson Lovemore Moyo, national deputy chair Morgan Komichi, secretary-general advocate Douglas Mwonzora , were among those who attended.

The event was touching as some could hardly hold back tears as they remembered horrors they went through Zanu PF terror machinery.

Victims recalled sad memories under Zanu PF in post independence era where at least 20 000 civilians were killed by the Government in 1983 Gukurahundi era where ‘liberator turned assailant’

Khupe observed a minute of silence for all victims but later called on Veterans Activists Association, VAA, to remain guided by the thrust to an independent nation that values human life and political freedom.

‘We have gone dark past and perpetrators must be ashamed of. We gather here to remember those who are victims of State sponsored victims. We must remain focused, fostered by unity to be a truly independent nation. No one must be maimed or killed because of different political ideologies neither should we leave in fear of a Government of the people. As MDC-T we must remain united and not break the spirit of living and departed victims’ said Khupe.

She called on Zimbabweans to be part of a better future.

They came from such areas like Hwedza where a victim was shot by a known state intelligence officer while others came from Matabeleland South, North, Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Central and other provinces.

Chairperson Moyo assured victims that MDC-T will never forget them.

‘As a party we recognise all victims including the Gukurahundi victims. This sad day however mark a definitive day where the party and VAA fought for the betterment and recognition of all political victims in post independent Zimbabwe. Let us preach unity , unity and more unity and shun violence. We must work together and admit lost souls into our party ahead of forthcoming elections’ said Moyo.

Senator Komichi thanked God for such an initiative and observed a moment of silence for late Joshua Nkomo who passed on 1 July in 1999.

Komichi called on party members to register to vote, fight corruption, anarchy and vices than inter-party fights each other.

Many speakers including Mwonzora and Bhebhe called on party supporters to remain united in fighting against Zanu PF as a common enemy fighting people freedoms.

Among well known victims is Themba Ndebele of Nkayi whose whereabouts still remain sketchy since 2002.

Bhebhe pledged assistance for other projects including the rehabilitation of alderman Zet Sibanda’s grave and unveiling of his tombstone.

Alderman Sibanda late political icon in Nkayi who never lost to Zanu PF until his unfortunate death in an accident.

The VAA chairperson Victor Zunza applauded the mainstream for joining hands with the victims.

‘We have suffered enough in silence but our voices are crying out that we want everyone to be part of us. Our departed friends’ pursuit of true freedom will never be in vain,’ said Zunza.

MDC-T VAA national deputy spokesperson Blessing Mandava said it is refreshing concerned Zimbabweans must shun any form of violence.

‘Violence is retrogressive and the nation must move forward. We are geared to remain united in the spirit of togetherness and fight our oppressors through democratic means,’’ said Mandava.

May 12, 2017

Zim out as Georgia wins the secretary General for the UNWTO

Filed under: News,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:47 am
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Is this a good or a sad day for World Tourism? The large camp from Georgia obviously is having a great day. Is this a great day for Georgia and also for the world?

Zurab Pololikashvili, the candidate from Georgia was elected this afternoon as the next secretary-general for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid today with 18 votes.

One can only congratulate the prime minister of Georgia on his support for his Madrid ambassador.

This election result may not have been about to let the best candidate to win, but about international politics and how they work in a real world.

Time will show – the task for tourism is a tremendously important task.
Would defeated candidates try a plan B between now and the general assembly in China? It may be a wise decision.

It came as a no surprise for the second placed Zimbabwe tourism minister Walter Mzembi who had support from Africa as well as other international nations.

Mzembi lost by a three margin when he garnered 15 votes but domestic politics that has put Zimbabwe on international radar with human rights abuses, lack of rule of law, media repression among other challenges weighed against him.

Zimbabwe is battling to spruce up its battered image since the controversial 2000 land reform.

***Additional reporting by theweeklymirror

April 30, 2017

Hundreds register for highway project jobs

Filed under: News,Travel — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:43 am
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KAROI — More than 700 people hoping to get employed in the dualisation of the US$3 billion Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway have started registering for jobs in this farming town ahead of project’s commencement.
But sources claimed that officials from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in Karoi have suddenly started demanding US$1 per for every job seeker wishing to get recruited under the project, saying this was for recruitment forms and stationery.
Karoi residents hope to benefit from the Harare-Chirundu stretch of the dualisation project, which passes through their district.
The project has been on the cards for many past years with the latest promises of its commencement being the closest yet that it had nearly come to fruition.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Joram Gumbo told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport in February that dualisation of the Harare-Chirundu road would commence soon after Independence day celebrations last week, following a ground-breaking ceremony that was scheduled for mid March.
None of that has happened yet.
Some 756 job seekers have, since last month, registered with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
A 27-year-old unemployed job seeker, who cannot be named to protect him from victimisation, said: “I paid US$1 to get my waiting list number after I submitted the forms. I only got wind that registration is ongoing at the (Ministry of) Labour offices and am prepared for any job. Initially, they wanted at least 800 casual workers.”
Sources at the offices, who spoke on condition that they remained anonymous, however, dismissed the allegations that they were acting corruptly.
They said the office needed to buy stationary which it was not receiving from Harare.
“We do not have an official position on the recruitment of those who will be employed for the Chirundu road project and (about) when it will commence. Some politicians in the district are asking job seekers to register, but we do not have stationary at all… we do not even have a photocopying machine. We do not take donations without any receipt. These accusations are false because we give them forms to be photocopied,” said one source, who blamed the sudden spike in job seeker numbers on politicians who are hoping to gain political mileage ahead of the 2018 general elections by leveraging on the highway construction.
But the development has brought to the fore the potential danger of such a critical government office having no stationary or photocopying machines when it handled a lot of private and confidential documents whose printing is now being outsourced from private businesses in the town.
One source said: “We normally have labour judgments typed in some private offices but these must be private and confidential between two concerned companies or individuals without involving third parties. We hope government will provide stationery so that job seekers do not photocopy the forms.”
A Hurungwe district labour officer refused to comment on the issue, saying he had no authority to speak to the press.
Karoi residents’ interim chairperson, Freck Kuchekwa, said he had been on the Ministry of Labour’s job waiting list for the past seven years and had never been asked to pay.
The Ministry maintains a waiting list of potential recruits for various public and private sector projects that may need casual labour.
“Personally, I have not paid anything even when I renew to be on the waiting list annually. It is easier to be recruited by potential employers as they normally ask through labour offices to get casual workers,” said Kuchekwa.

April 24, 2017

Karoi shortlist eight for top post

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:01 am
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KAROI — Eight candidates have been shortlisted for the position of town secretary out of the 59 applications received by the municipality last month.
The selection process is being done by a committee comprising four councillors, an official drawn from the public service and two executives from other councils.
Council chairman, Richard Ziki, said the majority of those who applied for the job did not meet the requirements, which included 10 years of working experience in the public sector of which five should have been at managerial level.
“Only eight met the requirements and will be interviewed soon,” said Ziki, without disclosing the names of those who made it for the interviews slated for Thursday next week.
“We hope to get the best candidate for the town after the best three names are submitted to the ministry (of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing) for approval. For now, as policymakers we have done our level best and hope the interviews will give us the best candidate for the town”.
Early this year, council invited suitably qualified candidates to submit their applications for the job.
The position fell vacant when the previous secretary, Maxwell Kaitano, left the municipality in August last year to join Chinhoyi council as town clerk.
Currently, finance director, Wellington Mutikani is the acting secretary.
He is believed to have also applied for the position, according to sources.

Zinwa descents on Karoi residents

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 9:51 am
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KAROI — The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has unleashed debt collectors on residents of this small farming town in a bid to recover about US$300 000.


ZINWA operates over 500 water supply stations around the country, feeding water mainly to growth points, small towns and rural service centres.
These include Karoi, Murehwa, Mutoko, Hwedza, Sadza, Guruve, Zimunya, Nyika, Nkayi, Lupane, Esigodini, Marula, West Nicholson and Shamva, among others.
While the parastatal has made every effort to ensure that water is available most of the time, it has been hamstrung by a number of factors, resulting in cases whereby some areas are going for days without the resource.
While she declined to be drawn into what is happening in specific areas such as Karoi, ZINWA’s corporate communications and marketing manager, Marjorie Munyonga, said the authority was battling an obsolete water reticulation system, inconsistent power supply and machine breakdowns.
She said they have instituted measures to make sure that water is made available to everyone especially in areas that do not have the resource.
“The rehabilitation and expansion of reticulation systems, which the organisation is undertaking, will improve water supply,” she said.
Countrywide, ZINWA is battling to recover US$146 million owed by debtors.- The Financial Gazette

April 5, 2017

MDR-TB reversing fight against TB

Filed under: health,News — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:00 am
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World Health Organization, WHO, is concerned about worrying cases of Multi Drug Resistant-Tuberculosis, MDT-TB as it is reversing gains made in fighting TB, an official has revealed.

Giving solidarity message to mark World TB day commemorations held at Selukwe primary school in Shurugwi recently, WHO representative Doctor David Okello said there is need to scale up fight against MDR-TB.

”Importantly, TB is still a major public health challenge in Zimbabwe but statistics are worrying. TB is fuelled by HIV and Aids infection but the trend of MDR-TB is reversing the gains made in the fight against TB in the country.” said Doctor Okello.

He, called upon stakeholders including Non-Government Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and communities to step efforts in fighting TB.

”Let us all join hands in this fight to end TB by 2030 through our continued commitment and action. Let us also invest in care and support of all programs to end TB and leave no area unattended in our societies. TB is everywhere including mines, mobile populations and health care facilities. We therefore must renew our call to diagnose, care and treat those infected as TB is a curable disease,” he added.

He applauded political commitment shown by parliamentarians through health child care portfolio committee that had its members tested during the public event.

 ”The commitment by MPs, UN family, USaid among others will leave Zimbabwe as a success story in ending TB,” he added.

According to WHO, Zimbabwe is among few countries contributing 80-85 percent of global TB-HIV and drug resistant TB.

In 2015, the prevalence of TB in the country was 292 cases per 100 000 population.

TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV with estimates of 70 percent of Zimbabweans suffering from TB co infected with HIV.


Filed under: health,News,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:42 am
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MPs waiting to be tested for TB in Shurugwi– Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

By Nhau Mangirazi in SHURUGWI

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care has urged people to get tested for tuberculosis (TB) in order to get early treatment and avoid the further spread of the disease.

Speaking on the sidelines of World TB Day commemorations at Selukwe Primary School in Shurugwi yesterday, MabvukuTafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) said it was imperative that legislators lead by example.

“If we are saying we want to expose corruption, we must as well lead by example on infectious diseases like TB. It’s high time we are tested and know our status and be cured,” he said.Former Health deputy minister and chairman of TB caucus, Paul Chimedza said the committee was working closely with stakeholders in health sector in effort to curb the spread of TB.

“Community health workers must be equipped with skills to test TB in all outlying areas,” Chimedza said.

“Our thrust is to assist communities on health matters.”

Together As One directr Washington Masenda said there was need to have more nutritious food for TB patients as some default due to lack of food.

“We must improve food security as we move to eradicate TB,” he said.

Minister of State for Midlands province Jaison Machaya said the province had a high TB prevalence rate due to mining activities.

“It’s sad to note that TB though curable has relatively high prevalence rate in the province due to mining activities that ironically drive our economy,” Machaya said.

Deputy director of the TB unit, Charles Sandy bemoaned lack of drugs to treat multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.

Health minister David Parirenyatwa said Shurugwi was targeted because it was a mining area.

“TB is a leading cause of deaths among HIV patients. We must be geared to end it. Poverty contributes to TB,” Parirenyatwa said.

He said health workers were at risk of TB infections and revealed that MDR cases rose in 2015 from 427 to 433-

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