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

Tonga arts centre abandoned

Filed under: Arts,Feature,Travel — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:14 am
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Bumi Hills Arts and Craft Centre was a ray of hope for mostly Tonga villagers, who had an opportunity to showcase their craftsmanship to the world.

By Nhau Mangirazi

The abandoned Bumi Hills Arts and Craft Centre

Established in 1995, the project was aimed at economically empowering the rural folk, while also promoting Tonga arts and crafts.

The centre, which was established by Nyaminyami Rural District Council, sold beads, dagga pots and grass crafts to mostly tourists, who used to visit the internationally-acclaimed Bumi Hills Hotel.

Situated about 300 meters from the hotel, the arts and craft centre was well-furnished with art for visitors from the community, who overworked themselves for classic products.

But the centre is now in ruins, 22 years down the line, with buildings collapsing with the hanging poles of the grass-thatched roof burnt by veld fires some few years ago.

There is no longer a caretaker for the premises now in thick forest.

The place is now an eyesore after the local council abandoned the project, claiming it was now a burden that they could not shoulder for too long.

“It was a council project aimed at empowering the communities in arts and craftsmanship. The council used to sell the products and remit the funds to the owners monthly,’’ a council worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Villagers under Chiefs Mola, Nebiri and Negande relied on proceeds from the sale of their artefacts to pay for school fees for their children.

As fate had it, the political and economical crisis in late 1990s forced the centre to shut down after only four years in operation throwing hundreds of villagers back into destitution, as it had become a source of livelihood for them.

“We used to pay fees for our children through funds raised through the sales of artefacts from here. Although the sales were minimal, as there were many members, it was a promising outreach project for us.

“It was a form of employment, where our art was being recognized internationally by tourists, who would find markets for our products. It is sad that the council resolved to close it, saying it was no longer viable,’’ Petros Kasanga, a local villager under Chief Mola, said.

Former council chairman, Washington Moyo, admitted that the local authority had to wean off the project, as it was not its core business and was becoming costly to run.

“As council, we were being forced to assist communities get their profits, but it was not part of our core business. Our mandate was to see it off, but the communities had no resources to keep it running and this affected its operations. It’s unfortunate we could not train them how to run the project on their own,’’ Moyo, a businessman in the Mola area, said.

However, the closure has negatively affected many parents, who can no longer afford to send their children to school.

“Generally, some people blame the Tongas for not valuing education, but without a source of income, where do you expect them to get money to pay school fees? There are no income-generating projects or industries to talk about here, but we need cash to survive. It is pathetic as our source of hope was dashed by the council several years ago,’’ a local teacher, who refused to be named, said.

The teacher at Marembera Primary School, who cannot be named for professional reasons, said that the project was inspirational to many locals, who could appreciate how art and culture could be a beneficiary to the community.

Newly-appointed Nyaminyami Rural District Council chief executive officer, Tsana Chirau, said she was still to acclimatise herself with projects in the area.

“I am just new in office and I need time to be abreast on council projects, including pending issues and income generating that the community was benefiting from,” she said.

The art and craft centre was also a foreign currency generation project and helped boost tourism in the country. Newsday

July 24, 2015

Kariba Publicity Association striving to market Zimbabwe

Filed under: Travel — Nhaudzenyu @ 8:35 am
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Kariba dam wall another source of tourism attraction,,,,,,,,,,Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Kariba dam wall another source of tourism attraction,,,,,,,,,,Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

By Nhau Mangirazi
KARIBA- Kariba Publicity Association is making strides to market the country through the strategic resort town as one of safe destination tourism centers bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Speaking in an interview here, Kariba Publicity Association chairman Nigel Ncube said though it was registered in the early 1960, KPA was formally registered as a trust in 2011.
‘’We are happy that domestic tourism is improving and internationally we are marketing Kariba to the outside world. Although our tourism arrivals have improved, we are still yet to get more compared to the pre 1999 era when tourism was major income revenue contributor for the country’’ said Ncube in an interview here.
According to Ncube, domestic tourism is gaining ground here as form of employment for local fish traders ran out during a Zimbabwe Power Company versus Dynamos match in May.
‘’We ran out of fish during that match and it boosts our revenues in a small way. We are happy that during such matches we get improved arrivals in lodges, hotels among other players in the tourism sector’’ added Ncube.
Although there were no statistics from Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to support his claims, Ncube was jovial that they will involve all stakeholders to keep the light focused on Kariba town as safe destination.
‘’It is our mandate to market our town and we will strive to include all stakeholders. Of late, some of our clients blamed Air Zimbabwe on their flight cancellation affecting their travelling plans. We hope it will be rectified soon and boost our tourism arrivals’’ he added.
However, Air Zimbabwe that resumed domestic flights in August last year defended flight cancellations as unforeseen challenges that could affect some foreign tourists.
Air Zimbabwe public relations officer Shingai Dhliwayo said flights cancellations were demand induced and few incidences were to do with unforeseen technical challenges.
‘’We are providing service to Kariba route though the route is still growing but we are happy to promote this important tourism destination. Whenever we have had such disruptions we have sought alternate transportation to deliver on the promise to our passengers and this has been in the form of replacement aircraft wherever possible. However, we are happy to promote the growth of this very important destination on our Zimbabwean tourism itinerary’’, said Dhliwayo in written response to TheWeekly Mirror.
Although tourism arrivals surged last year, but the latest information makes a dent to the country tourism sector.
‘’These cancelation has had negative impact and currently affecting the tourists arrivals as it goes down to other down-stream operations here’’ said one tour operator speaking on condition that he is not named.

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