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August 11, 2016

Karoi- a haunted town

Filed under: Feature — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:18 am
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By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI– The sleeping Karoi town awakes from casual deep slumber as Hurungwe tobacco farmers’ flock to sell their crop once in a year.

The Government decree to pay farmers through banks slowing down cash circulation has negatively impacted on farmers’ energetic unplanned spending.

Karoi remains one of the least developed towns within Mashonaland West province that stand test of time during drought.

The farming town awaited Brazilians style farmers dropping few dollars as they dribbled past vendors dotted in every street within central business centre during their shopping spree adding sparkles of life.

Hurungwe farmers are nicknamed Brazilians, after the leading tobacco producer of golden leaf internationally.

Majority residents are vendors without industrial investment in the town another sad chapter for the country.

To add misery to residents and potential investors here, provision of infrastructure like industrial properties to rent especially from pension funds and insurance companies remain an unfulfilled dream.

Outgoing town secretary Maxwell Kaitano explained that there is hope.

‘‘Our residents rely mostly from selling their merchandise to farmers especially during the tobacco selling season. Karoi is luring investors due to be witnessed in the near future’’, added Kaitano with confidence.

Constitutional drawback

However, he admitted that the new constitution has affected expansion due to legal drawbacks.

‘‘Karoi was offered all farms within 10km radius for expansion, but according to the new constitution, delimitation can take place after 10 years. This is affecting our developmental plans,’’ explained Kaitano in written response to The Weekly Mirror.

He added that moves are afoot to improve service delivery through refuse collection.

‘‘Following the purchase of our truck, refuse collection improved significantly in all suburbs. Furthermore, council purchased 5 000 outdoor refuse bins. A Community Based Organization (CBO), Chenai is creating an environmentally clean town through dumpsite clearance,’’ he added.

According to 2012 Zimbabwe statistics census, Karoi town population is pegged at 28 606.

Karoi scored 93 percent in primary school attendance ratio but dropped to 76 at secondary school attendance.

Birth certificate possession is pegged at 75 while youth unemployment is 71 percent.

‘‘The statistics show that Karoi is faring well in issues of child protection and youth considering the high rankings are above 50%, according to the summary.

The living conditions classified as access to safe sanitation; the town scored 90 percent, access to electricity 83 percent and access to drinking water 81 percent.

‘‘This is attributed to the fact that Karoi in collaboration with UNICEF drilled boreholes in Chikangwe, Chiedza and town, providing unrestrictive and uninterrupted water supplies to residents considering that Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Zinwa is failing to regularly provide water to all residents.

‘‘The council is doing better on public health issues such as refuse removal and access to sanitary facilities such as toilets’’, he added.

‘‘Currently, water and sanitation management is under Zinwa but is failing to refurbish the water pipes installed during the colonial era that rust and very old. A lot of water is lost due to water bursts and seepage,’’ Kaitano explained.

Tobacco trucks in Karoi

Tobacco farmers assisting in boosting Karoi town fortunes but remain a pipeline dream….Photo By Nhau Mangirazi 

This however is a drawback to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number six that make it mandatory to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.

The local authority battling to restore yesteryear zeal, will take advantage of Urban Council Act (Chapter 29:15) that empowers local authorities to run their own water and sewer.

‘‘To that end, arrangements are underway for the takeover of water and sanitation (sewer) from Zinwa. Council has the capacity to run its own water following the appointment of substantive Director of Engineering Services as part of requirement’ concluded Kaitano.

There was no immediate response from Zinwa owed several millions of dollars by mainly Government departments affecting their operations.

Ballooning debt

Saddled by a collective ballooning debt by both residents amounting to $2 414 418.70 in Chikangwe, Chiedza and town and a further $971 358.25 by ratepayers as at 29 February 2016, council is battling to offset $500 000 salary arrears.

Kaitano bemoaned non-payment of rates by residents and ratepayers as greatly affecting provision of essential services.

Ironically, twenty years ago, the town was full of life as surrounding farms and communal farmers injected sound economic nucleus all year round.

Moses Matamba a former mechanic with John Deere said they were used to be hired to repair generators in non electrified Bumi-Hills hotel in early 2000 using a private jet 300 kilometers away.

Ironically, Karoi progressed in electrical and mechanical engineering boosting the farming town industries, according to Matamba.

‘‘We had every latest tractor and other farming equipment and back up for spares. Karoi was never such a ghost town as we had garages catering for farmers. There is no hope that Karoi will regain its lost pride,’’ he added.

Socially, a crop of young players among them late Tapfuma Kamangira, Norman Mupariwa, Temba Mutukura and Christopher Mutale who grew up in Karoi became the backbone of Grain Tigers in Premier League in late 1990s.

Late Zifa boss Phil Hwata also hailed from Karoi while current Fifa recognized soccer agent Gibson Mahachi first kicked plastic balls in Makazhu streets a few meters from Chikangwe community hall built in the 1970s.

Mahachi admitted that the town is not making an impact nationally besides its potential.

‘‘As an agent, I have players in Europe and South Africa but I cannot give out their names. We need time to prop up our town,’’ said Mahachi.

Haven of prostitution

The town has been a haven of prostitution during tobacco sales season as some commercial workers welcome the invasion of rural farmers flocking from as far as Kadoma, Chegutu, Mhangura and Kariba to make quick money during selling season.

‘‘Rural farmers pay handsomely wherever tobacco floors open in Karoi. It is always brisk business and this year is not exceptional,’’ said a commercial worker Rhoda Mudzenga, aged 30, a mother of two from Kadoma currently using council guest lodgings in Chikangwe suburb as her  business base.

Glimmer of hope

All is not lost as a glimmer of hope awaits many of residents and potential investors awaiting change of witch riding a broomstick signaled as a sign of bad omen here.

Kaitano paints a bright picture with dreams to attain municipal status in two years time.

‘‘Our dream and vision is to attain municipal status by 2018 through clients charter with key stakeholders and ways of mitigating weaknesses to turn around and lure investors,’’ he added.

On the other hand, council is considering the recommendations from parent ministry in devising ways of ease of doing business, he concluded.

As the tobacco season brings hope for business and boosted livelihoods in the country through multimillion exports of golden leaf, Karoi misery remains part of life but there seem to indications of change of fortunes where majority are fighting the tide of hope lost to turnaround the economy.

Karoi may fail to achieve UN SDG number 17 that calls for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable as more than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas.

‘’Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.  Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable mean ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.  ‘’ say UN website.

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July 25, 2016

Pensioners spruce up Kariba

Filed under: Feature — Nhaudzenyu @ 12:31 pm
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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

 

 

 

 

 

August 6, 2015

Go and be tested on HIV and AIDS, farmers told

Filed under: Agriculture — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:32 pm
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From Nhau Mangirazi in Siakobvu
Kariba Zanu PF Member of Parliament Isaac Mackenzie has urged farmers to be tested on HIV that causes Aids so that they can be on life supporting anti retro viral drugs as the country is losing farmers to the deadly diseases.
Officially opening Kariba district agricultural show here, Mackenzie bemoaned the wiping out of farmers due to HIV and AIDS though it is the backbone of the country’s economy.

Kariba MP Iisaac Mackenzie handing over seed maize packet to a winner in siakobvu.Photo....By Nhau Mangirazi

Kariba MP Isaac Mackenzie handing over seed maize packet to a winner in Siakobvu.  Photo….By Nhau Mangirazi

Mackenzie said, ‘’We are losing a lot of farmers who are shying away from being tested on HIV so that they can get life supporting drugs. Although I am still yet to get official statistics on this topical issue, many of the players in the farming sector have died due to HIV and AIDS and it impacts negatively on the turn-round for our economy that is agro based. I am urging you all that we must be tested as farming is one weakest areas on unprotected sex that mainly contributes to spread of HIV and AIDS’’ said Mackenzie.
However the drought prone district had positive results when farmers from Mola’s Ward 3 scooped most of the prizes in small grains, sowing, vegetable, commercial farming as well as livestock management.
One of the judges accused some of the participants of cheating.
‘’We are sorry that some participants had the tenacity of cheating by buying some products especially bakery category. We are judging to assist how you can be economically viable but once you cheat, it therefore means we are aiming to empower you through these competitions’’ said the judge.
Farmers from remote Mola scooped fifteen prizes and won wheelbarrows,

shovels, seed maize, blankets among other items

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.

October 14, 2013

Mackenzie bemoan lack of electricity in Kariba rural

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:24 am
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By Nhau Mangirazi

Siakobvu– Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Kariba Isaac Mackenzie is bitter that rural folk whose grandparents were displaced to pave way for the construction of dam that generates electricity are still yet to see lights in their homes after nearly 50 years.

Tonga speaking people were forcibly removed in the early 60s to pave way for Kariba dam construction.

Some of the affected were resettled in Zimbabwe’s Nyaminyami area while Zambia had new settlement in Siavonga.

Electricity generated is equally shared by the two governments who also share natural resources in the man made lake.

However, Mackenzie who comes into parliament for the second time since 2000 says the rural folk have been shortchanged for too long.

He was among the young tusk elected in 2000 but served one term before he lost.

Mackenzie says his election this time will give a boost to communal folks battling to make ends meet.

MP Isaac Mackenzie 4.JPG

Kariba Member of Parliament Isaac Mackenzie

Electricity without industry

‘’It is unfortunate that electrification program targeted few rural areas including Siakobvu business centre that has no industry to talk about’’ he says.

Mackenzie admits that the Government initiated program was disastrous as it never assisted some industrial sectors in remote areas of Bumi Hills, Chalala and Mola among other areas.

‘’Why did Zesa left out industrial areas of Ume Crocodile farm, Tiger Bay and Bumi Hills hotels as well as Kipling Lodges that employ several hundreds of people? They are being forced use generators but why not capitalize on their potential for better revenue? There is no business to talk about at Siakobvu.’’ He adds.

Also sidelined is Chalala business centre where there are 13 kapenta companies that need electricity.

Donated computers gather dust

According to Mackenzie, computers donated by President Robert Mugabe during his nation wide computerization program are still yet t be used as the school has no power.

‘’It is a pity that even computers donated by President Mugabe are gathering dust at Mola secondary school due to lack of electricity. These are some of the challenges that I will take head on and lure investors in the constituency whose livelihood is tourism but looks neglected’’

He adds that due to poor road network commuters are overcharged.

‘’Our roads are in bad shape and needs rehabilitation as a matter of urgency. The better road is at Siakobvu and the remaining 55 kilometers to Bumi Hills, commuters pay $10.00 that is exorbitant for rural folk’’ he says.

Poachers bleed council

Mackenzie resigned as Nyaminyami rural district council chief executive officer last month (August) but admits that it will be an uphill task as his former employer is in financial crisis due to rampant of poaching.

‘’Nyaminyami council relied on game hunting but uncontrolled poaching bled it. The annual quotas declined drastically affecting its revenue base’’ he says.

However Mackenzie faces a daunting task to lure investors in the remote area situated about 245 kilometers north-west of Karoi town.

September 7, 2013

Kariba has one secretary- DA

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 1:04 pm
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By Nhau Mangirazi

Kariba- Kariba District administrator Amigo Mhlanga has denied that there are two secretaries working in the resort town.

Kariba residents and senior government officers including the local administrator are divided over the appointment of Webster Gupo Tembo and Richard Kamhoti as secretary.

According to interviews carried out by the council, Kamhoti was recommended for the position where Tembo came second.

However, the matter was not resolved amicably resulting in both showing up at work in July.

Mhlanga denied that the two are at work although residents and some workers say both are at the resort town offices creating confusion.

One worker speaking on condition that he is not named said, ‘’Tembo took a council vehicle on Friday though he is still yet to sign assumption of duty form as required by the law. Mhlanga is behind all this and we can not do anything as we are juniors’’

However, Mhlanga who was also in Chinhoyi at the time of writing said, ‘’Tembo is the town secretary and is at work officially’’

He refused to comment further.

Mhlanga is implicated over the confusion over the resort town appointment of two secretaries that has seen Kariba Incorporated Ratepayers and Residents Association taking him and outgoing Minister Ignatius Chombo to High court.

In their urgent chamber application filed by Vitalis Mudzonga of Mwonzora and Associates the residents complained that the confusion was becoming a financial burden.

The application pointed that Mhlanga recommended Gupo Tembo against Kamhoti who was the first during interviews.

‘’Residents and ratepayers will be badly affected if Tembo is appointed against the will of 5000 residents. This will lead to either maladministration or failure by the municipality to run effectively. It is a wastage of resources and financial burden’’ says part of the affidavit.

However a ruling is still yet to be delivered although Mhlanga insist that Tembo remains in office.

Kamhoti said he was traveling and could phone back but his phone was later switched off while Tembo’s phone was switched off at the time of writing.

June 28, 2013

Hurungwe MDC-T MP rebel

By Nhau Mangirazi Chinhoyi- Tall Severino Chambati rebelled from Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai here on Friday when he successfully submitted his nomination papers as an independent House of Assembly member. Chambati’s chief election agent Allan Tivapasi submitted the papers around mid morning but was quick to say they are not rebelling against Tsvangirai. “We will campaign for councillors, Chambati as an independent and President Tsvangirai, said Tivapasi. He claimed Wilson Makanyaire’s winning results were manipulated as he “never got 3200 votes at all”. Tivapasi claimed Makanyaire had abused his party position to impose two unelected council candidates, “We are against the primary elections that were manipulated by provincial organising secretary Makanyaire who tampered with the electoral college in Wards 25 and bussed people from Magunje constituency. The national election directorate did not assist us”. Tivapasi alleged that there were no elections in ward 25 which is Chambati strong hold. The Weekly Mirror saw the receipt that Chambati paid $10 to Zimbabwe Election Commission. He confirmed that he will stand as an independent where he will face Makanyaire and Zanu PF’s Temba Mliswa. Makanyaire could not be reached for comment at the time of writing. Some sources revealed that Kariba MP was also planning to stand as an independent where he was defeated by one Mandishona in a seven men race during primaries. He will face former MP Isaac Mackenzie. In Magunje constituency MDC-T candidate Ralph Magunje will face disgruntled former party member Tonderai Kusemamuriwo while Zanu PF will be represented by Godfrey Gandawa who trounced MP Franko Ndambakuwa by over 2000 votes.

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