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July 27, 2017

Zambezi biodiversity project may assist rural women

Filed under: Feature,health — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:49 am
Tags: , , ,

By Nhau Mangirazi

HURUNGWE- Twenty two year old Ratidzo Hungwe of Muchini village in Hurungwe ward 25, Chief Dandawa looks depressed.

She is eight months pregnant and has not registered yet at at Zvipani clinic about 25 kilometers away.

Her story is the reality gripping many pregnant women villagers here some travelling for over 50 kilometers to access a health facility.

For pregnant women it is worse as the country battles to control maternal health rate currently pegged at 614 per 100 000 births reduced from 960 in 2015.

Of course its mandatory to register at clinics on time  but we do not have the $10 to spare for that. This the the third child am expecting and it is just normal to go there when I am ready to give birth,’ she said with confidence.

Hurungwe Rural District Council, HRDC, gender mainstream officer, Alice Paraziwa-Maponga has passion to see things changing for the better for women like Ratidzo.

She believes a biodiversity project currently on consultation must benefit women and girl child in particular.

The initiative Strengthening biodiversity and ecosystem management and climate smart partnership landscapes in the mid to lower Zambezi region of Zimbabwe, will start next year and will run until 2024.

The project is aimed at maintaining sustainable biodiversity.

‘This is a positive development for women as they are the major victims of human-wildlife conflict here. It will empower women and the girl child in general as they are victims of human and animal conflict. Women must be involved at planning stages as they are also likely to suffer due to lack of water.

“We call upon implementers to consider sinking of boreholes and rigs for better water and sanitation among other commitments. This will empower women and girl child in the long run,’’ said Paraziwa-Maponga.

Global Environment Facility

Hurungwe is among three local authorities including Mbire and Muzarabani set to benefit from a $10 million injection from Global Environment Facility, GEF, with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) monitoring the implementation process.

There will be a core financing of $52 million from local partners including from Ministry of Water, Environment and Climate Change including department of National Parks among other stakeholders.

Paraziwa-Maponga said money accrued from the projects would economically empower the girl child through entrepreneurship trainings and nutrition gardens since the district’s livelihoods are agro-based.

‘Women and the girl child are greatly disadvantaged due to lack of quality education. On social services and amenities, we look forward to seeing renovation of dilapidated clinics in outlying rural communities and building of more clinics that will assist pregnant women who normally walk for more than 70 kilometers to access a health facility. That has a negative impact on the maternal health of our communities,’’ she said.   

According to the 2012 National Census, the district had a population of 329 197 and with a 3 percent annual growth projection, the population could now be around 390 000.

Participants during a recent stakeholders meeting held in Magunje about 35 kilometers west of Karoi town agreed that there is critical need to curb animal and human conflict.

Some highlighted that there is need for the communities to be ‘empowered and such projects where issues of environment, animals and human are discussed’  

Traditional leaders including Chiefs, headmen, heads of Government departments were among participants.

Hurungwe district administrator, Friend Ngirazi, said all stakeholders should come on board and share ideas about the project.

‘We are gathered here to discuss issues that affect communities but we must be frank to each other and map the way forward truthfully,” said Ngirazi.

Engage communities

Council chairman Tichaona Matthew said for Strengthening biodiversity and ecosystem management and climate smart partnership landscapes in the mid to lower Zambezi region of Zimbabwe project to be a success, communities must own it from inception.

‘As policymakers we are not against any developmental projects, but we feel short-changed when communities do not own these projects. Although the Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources, Campfire, was a success story as it left tangible evidence including clinics, schools and better roads maintenance through proceeds accrued, it was later rejected when communities felt they were being side-lined.

“That is the challenges we must address before we engage the communities and they must own (Strengthening biodiversity and ecosystem management and climate smart partnership landscapes in the mid to lower Zambezi region of Zimbabwe) project. We must not impose it on them,’ said Matthew.

Council chief executive officer Joram Moyo said there is need for political will from policy makers.

The project will cover at least 40,000 square kilometers in Hurungwe that still boasts of elephants, cheetahs, hyenas and lions among other animals.

It will cover six of the 26 wards and is likely to revive some conservancies that had been vandalised while animals were driven out due to rampant poaching soon after the land reform in 2000.

For women like Ratidzo who are suffering in silence to access health facility, the biodiversity project may soon revive hope and reduce the country maternal health challenges.

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HIV gala revives dreams of late Madzibaba Jazzman Magunje

Filed under: Feature,health,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:47 am

By Nhau Mangirazi
MAGUNJE- Sir Philip Sidney once said: ‘They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts’

When National Aids Council, Nac official Rumbidzai Manatsa mooted the idea of Ministry of Health spearheading Magunje Aids gala, some took it as a daydream.

It was a tall order and few understood it well.

Unknown to her and other partners was that the late Mhosva Marasha aka Biggie Tembo and Prince Tendai Mupfurutsa kept their fingers closed and smiling in their graves.

For the late Hurungwe music icon it was time for their kith and kin to enjoy music near their rural homes. It is here where they were raised before venturing to the modern world but came back to be buried here.

Prince Tendai the ‘Character’ hit maker body lies under Mupfurutsa  village a few kilometers from the venue- Magunje stadium.

Likewise, Tembo who led the Bhundu Boys is buried in Hurungwe.

Both made music lovers happy during their lifetime as Tembo’s band was the first to tour United Kingdom while Prince Tendai’ Barbed wire music, the first genre before Zimdancehall came up nearly two decades later made international impact  musically.

These two musicians are smiling in their graves following the successful musical gala recently.

It was a revival when the crowd sang along Fred Manjalina aka Kapfupi,  Freeman’s real name Energy Sylvester Chizanga and Blessing Shumba who drove all the way from Mutate to entertain the crowd.

But hold on, another late legendary artist is smiling broader as his dream was fulfilled.

This is none other than the late actor, poet and Aids activist Eliot Magunje known as Madzibaba Jazzman in Paraffin drama series who passed on April 2003.

His body lies near Kemureza dam near Magunje growth point.

He is among few of Zimbabweans to openly come out about his HIV-positive status and was influential in promoting better health for people living with HIV/Aids in the country.

Magunje had a dream when access to testing was limited besides stigma associated by disclosure then.

He was angry that drugs to prolong life on HIV patients were too expensive.

By then, late Magunje’s dream was never understood but it was literally accomplished at the weekend when at least 800 people were tested and counselled about HIV and Aids for free.

This is besides over 150 women who underwent Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Camera, or VIAC- an effective way to prevent cervical cancer in women age 30-50 years old.

About 60 people were tested on Sexually Transmitted Infections, STI while over 100 women got family planning services that came close to their villages.

Even pensioners had a chance to inquire on services provided by National Social Security Authority among other services.

Sixty seven Rogers Matanha of Mupingashato village said the gala could have been good to honor local talented musicians on such events.

‘We hope the organizers will get to understand historical background of the area and associate it with current events.  It was going to be good to mention Magunje as pioneer on advocacy for free testing here in Hurungwe.  While Tembo and Prince Tendai Mupfurutsa are gone, they remain our musical heroes’

Nac communication manager Madeline Dube said music galas are making an impact on the society as they offer HIV and AIDS services to the community in a more relaxed manner.

‘We are now offering better services to males who are often left out by other health programmes. As Nac, we are providing HIV and AIDS services in a comprehensive manner under one roof ‘one stop shop” approach’, said Dube.

Worth mentioning

Hurungwe district medical officer Doctor Annamore Mutisi said there no one on Antiretroviral Therapy, ART with 28 558 people accessing it for free.

‘Zimbabwe has identified sex workers, youths, long distance truck drivers, artisanal miners and prisoners as key populations that need more and targeting prevention interventions. It is worth mentioning  that these groups are predominant in Hurungwe. More efforts need to be done so that we close the gap in new infections. Its no longer going to be business as usual,’ said Mutisi.

The gala held under the theme Closing the tap on new HIV infection, indeed made dreams of the late Magunje become a reality.

Pool night final in Karoi

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:44 am

By Nhau Mangirazi
KAROI- There was an all night pool final in the small farming town of Karoi recently as the game is making inroads in resettled farms and communal areas.
Sternage Daka popularly known as Sir Dhaka organized the grand final that saw Mako Bakani walking away with cash prize of $70.00, a T-shirt
and a cue stick.

The second prize was won by Norest Chiyangwa who also pocketed cash prize.

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Daka said pool was now popular in small town like Karoi among others.

‘The game is becoming popular in small towns as it is in big ones like Harare, Bulawayo among others. Playing pool- even competitively- can be a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Playing pool will give you an appreciation for a sport that involves skill and creativity; it is also a sport that can be played professionally and profitably. Many people are opting  to  play pool since it does not require any great athleticism; rather it is about having a sharp mind and thinking ahead’ said Daka in an interview.
He added that teams within Karoi will soon compete in other towns.
‘We are gearing to go places! as we will soon have a Karoi top select team competing with Chinhoyi top cream and go further to other cities to compete for the  nationals’ he added.
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Many people are opting  to  play pool since it does not require any great athleticism; rather it is about having a sharp mind and thinking ahead, concluded Daka.

July 4, 2017

Hurungwe headman facilitates marriage of 14 year minor as police dither on arresting hubby

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 9:40 am
Tags: , , , ,

By Nhau Mangirazi
KAROI-A 14 year old Hurungwe girl bolted out of a Karoi Children’s home where she was surrendered to for medical examination and safety on Wednesday last week, investigations reveal.
The girl at the center of controversy was married off to a 27 year old man who is headman Emmanuel Mavhunga’s late brother’s, son.
Police in Magunje launched a manhunt to arrest the underage girl while the husband who was picked up for sleeping with a minor was released out of police custody after 48 hours had lapsed without going to court.
A source at Magunje charge office confirmed that the suspect did not appear in court as scheduled when he was picked up soon after the girl was rescued.
‘We had a suspect who came here on Tuesday but due to pressure as we were hosting senior District officers for inspection, the suspect did not go to court and was released. He will be summoned to appear in court,’ said a junior officer at Magunje police camp.
In a move likely to complicate the underage marriage, the girl skipped out of children’s home in Karoi hardly two days after she was surrendered by child welfare officials.
According to villagers, headman Muchini facilitated payment of a beast and money. The girl was rescued from her child marriage by district welfare officer Blessing Simango on Tuesday last week and left her at the children’s home for care and safety.
However, sources revealed that when Simango visited the home on Wednesday, the girl was nowhere to be seen.
Sources at Karoi Children’s home revealed that she absconded from the premises hardly two days she was at the center.
‘We got a 14 year old girl late on Tuesday whose case was of child marriage. We took care of her just like any other children we have here from different backgrounds. However, we were surprised that she was nowhere to be seen early on Wednesday morning. We never suspected that she could abscond,’ said a source at the center who declined to be named.
Investigations made on Tuesday revealed that the girl was married off after headman Muchini facilitated the marriage.
The area situated about 105 kilometers west of Karoi is in ward 25, Chief Dandawa within Hurungwe rural district.
Headman Muchini paid off the money and a beast since the 27 year old husband is headman’s late brother’s son.
Villagers told theweeklymirror that the headman was the prime suspect of early child marriage that has set tongues wagging in the remote village.
‘Headman Muchini released the beast for damages and $50 cash as token to the girl’s parents late in January and he did this to silence both the parents not to report the case to the police. He is the custodian of the husband after his parents passed on few years ago,’ said a villager Moses Chapara.
The girl’s’ mother aged 39 confirmed that the case went before headman Muchini who heard it and facilitated payment of cash and the beast.
The mother said they are still yet to collect the beast from their in laws.
‘Soon after Diana* eloped we got a word from our son in law that there were ready to pay some money and they said they will release a beast as part of damages to our daughter. They paid $50 as token of appreciation. We are still yet to get the beast. We tried to get the headman assist us but he was elusive to get the case reported to the police. Our child was problematic and we just thought it was good riddance on our part,’’ said the mother whom we can not name to protect the victim.
The father of the girl is aged 43 year old was silent during visit and interviews. He is a fisherman who is always in Gache-Kache fishing camp.
According to villagers the victim whom we can not name to protect her was married off to a 27 year Grade 6 dropout who is a neighbor to the girl’s parents.
It is believed the husband who was living with the minor as wife since January is an orphan but has been living with his uncle headman Muchini.
Muchini was not around during our visit.
Some villagers confirmed that headman Muchini facilitated payment of the beast as a cover -up to the child marriage act.
Hurungwe child welfare officer Blessing Simango refused to talk to the press over the case saying he had no authority to talk to the press but sources revealed that the girl has been rescued and surrendered to Hurungwe children’s home in Karoi for probation and better welfare.
Recently, Hurungwe East Member of Parliament Sarah Mahoka bemoaned high cases of child marriages where traditional leaders are accomplices by demanding fees from suspects and once paid they never act to have suspects arrested.
Mahoka told Primary and Secondary minister Lazarus Dokora that the district has high cases of child marriages.
‘We wonder why Chiefs and headman are paid fees as this has resulted in high numbers of child marriages in the district. Our girls are dropping out of school early and married since traditional leaders are not stamping authority. They demand money called chigaramaratanda and will never protect the girl child,’ said Mahoka recently at Karoi Enterprise school.

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.

June 26, 2017

Hurungwe Aids gala- when the dead smile and dreams fulfilled

Filed under: Feature,health,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:19 am
Tags: , , , ,

By Nhau Mangirazi

MAGUNJE– Sir Philip Sidney once said: ‘They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts’

When Karoi based National Aids Council, Nac official Rumbidzai Manatsa mooted the idea of Ministry of Health spearheading Magunje Aids gala, some took it as a daydream.

It was a tall order and few understood it well.

biggie-tembo-music-videos

The late Biggie Tembo

Unknown to her and other partners was that the late Mhosva Marasha aka Biggie Tembo and Prince Tendai Mupfurutsa kept their fingers closed and smiling in their graves.

For the late Hurungwe music icon it was time for their kith and kin to enjoy music near their rural homes. It is here where they were raised before venturing to the modern world but came back to be buried here.

Prince Tendai the ‘Character’ hit maker body lies under Mupfurutsa  village a few kilometers from the venue- Magunje stadium.

Likewise, Tembo who led the Bhundu Boys is buried in Hurungwe.

Both made music lovers happy during their lifetime as Tembo’s band was the first to tour United Kingdom while Prince Tendai’ Barbed wire music, the first genre before Zimdancehall came up nearly two decades later made international impact musically.

Tendai Mupfutsa

The late Tendai Mupfurutsa

These two musicians are smiling in their graves following the successful musical gala recently.

It was a revival when the crowd sang along Fred Manjalina aka Kapfupi,  Freeman’s real name Energy Sylvester Chizanga and Blessing Shumba who

drove all the way from Mutate to entertain the crowd.

But hold on, another late legendary artist is smiling broader as his dream was fulfilled.

This is none other than the late actor, poet and Aids activist Eliot Magunje known as Madzibaba Jazzman in Paraffin drama series who passed on April 2003.

His body lies near Kemureza dam near Magunje growth point.

He is among few of Zimbabweans to openly come out about his HIV-positive status and was influential in promoting better health for people living with HIV/Aids in the country.

Magunje had a dream when access to testing was limited besides stigma associated by disclosure then.

He was angry that drugs to prolong life on HIV patients were too expensive.

By then, late Magunje’s dream was never understood but it was literally accomplished at the weekend when at least 800 people were tested and counselled about HIV and Aids for free.

This is besides over 150 women who underwent Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Camera, or VIAC- an effective way to prevent cervical cancer in women age 30-50 years old.

About 60 people were tested on Sexually Transmitted Infections, STI while over 100 women got family planning services that came close to their villages.

Even pensioners had a chance to inquire on services provided by National Social Security Authority among other services.

Sixty seven Rogers Matanha of Mupingashato village said the gala could have been good to honor local talented musicians on such events.

‘We hope the organizers will get to understand historical background of the area and associate it with current events.  It was going to be good to mention Magunje as pioneer on advocacy for free testing here in Hurungwe.  While Tembo and Prince Tendai Mupfurutsa are gone, they remain our musical heroes’

Nac communication manager Madeline Dube said music galas are making an impact on the society as they offer HIV and AIDS services to the community in a more relaxed manner.

‘We are now offering better services to males who are often left out by other health programmes. As Nac, we are providing HIV and AIDS services in a comprehensive manner under one roof ‘one stop shop” approach’, said Dube.

Hurungwe district medical officer Doctor Annamore Mutisi said there no one on Antiretroviral Therapy, ART with 28 558 people accessing it for free.

‘Zimbabwe has identified sex workers, youths, long distance truck drivers, artisanal miners and prisoners as key populations that need more and targeting prevention interventions. It is worth mentioning  that these groups are predominant in Hurungwe. More efforts need to be done so that we close the gap in new infections. Its no longer going to be business as usual,’ said Mutisi.

The gala held under the theme Closing the tap on new HIV infection, indeed made dreams of the late Magunje become a reality.

May 12, 2017

Zim out as Georgia wins the secretary General for the UNWTO

Filed under: News,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:47 am
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

 

ROAD CONSTRUCTION

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.

newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

April 24, 2017

Tonga arts centre abandoned

Filed under: Arts,Feature,Travel — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:14 am
Tags: , , , ,

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

Karoi shortlist eight for top post

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:01 am
Tags: ,

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.
newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

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