Faced with crippling water problems and a host of other service delivery challenges, the cash-strapped City of Masvingo recently paid $169 260 towards First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s traditional food cooking competition which was held at Masvingo Polytechnic College.
The amount translates to US$2 015 on the official interbank rate.
The traditional food cooking competition was held on March 24 and the city council was requested to foot the total cost of the competition to the tune of $338 520 equivalent to US$4 030.
The Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes dated March 22, 2021 show that council was asked to donate towards the cost of hosting the traditional cooking competition held by the First Lady.
“It was reported that the council was requested to donate towards the cost of hosting the cooking competition to be held at Masvingo Polytechnic College at a date to be advised. The competition would be hosted by the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa.
“The total cost of the competition was US$4 030 which was translated to RGTGS 338 520. The committee noted that council could not pay the full cost of the event but agreed to pay half of the cost which was US$2 015,” reads the minutes.
Mayor Collen Maboke told TellZim that he was not aware of the developments and said he would confirm with the Finance director.
Acting Town Clerk engineer Edward Mukaratirwa said he had no comment on the issue.
“The request came in from the minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira. He wrote to all local authorities looking for donations and the city council responded.
“It is our responsibility to help when need be. It was the city council’s donation which made the event successful. This is the First Lady we are talking about and we know in future we may need something from her as a local authority,” said the councilor.
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (Murra) spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba lashed out at the city council saying the decision was diabolic, inconsiderate and counterproductive.
“We are so much infuriated as residents to learn that our council donated over US$2 000 to a cooking competition at a time residents are confronted with the worst service delivery ever. Residents in Rhodene and other suburbs have spent over two months without tap water but the council finds it sensible to donate that money to a traditional food cooking competition.
“We feel that that this is a case of misplaced priorities. How could they do such a thing when they could have sunk a borehole for residents to access water? We do not know how these decisions are made and they should consult us,” said Mtimba.
He said the council must bring back the money and put it to good use for the benefit of the ratepayers.
“The Finance committee should be brought to account. This is diabolic, senseless and inconsiderate. They want to bootlick the First Lady by sponsoring her and donating money when we are not getting the services we are paying money for.
“Our roads are in a terrible shape and are infested with pfumvudza-like pot holes and garbage is not collected yet you see a whole city council sitting and agreeing to donate to a traditional food cooking competition.
“We want our money back. We will not tolerate that as residents,” said Mtimba.
Four universities participated in a moot competition which was organised by the Institute for Community Development in Zimbabwe (ICOD Zim) and the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) at the Herbert Chitepo Law School to raise awareness on the rights of People With Disabilities (PWDs) especially women and girls.
Participants at the competition were GZU, University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Midlands State University (MSU) and the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU).
The competitions ended on a high note with the hosts coming out first, followed by MSU at second position, UZ at third and ZEGU last.
ICOD Zim director Talent Maposa said the moot court competition was a platform to promote the uptake and access of Sexual Reproductive Health Right (SRHR) knowledge since women with disabilities suffer from sexual violence and abuses.
She said most of the victims’ cases go unreported and they do not receive justice because law officers often stigmatize and stereotype them.
"We realized that women with disabilities still face numerous barriers such as communication barriers. Moreover, most if not all health facilities in Zimbabwe do not have Sign Language interpreters and materials written in Braille.
“Some health facilities have stairs but do not have elevators and ramps that are friendly to PWDs who want to access such health services. This moot competition is therefore a platform for advocacy," said Maphosa.
She said ICOD Zim remained committed to lobbying, advocating and championing the rights and fair opportunities for PWDs and WWDs.
Herbert Chitepo Law School dean, Victor Nkiwane said he was excited by a chance for his institution to compete in such a noble initiative.
"I am excited to be part of the success of the moot court competition and I am impressed by efforts being made to ensure that issues of PWDs are mainstreamed by raising awareness through platforms as this,” said Nkiwane.
The Ministry of Information Media and Broadcasting Services has deployed four new District Information Officers (DIOs) in Mwenenzi, Chiredzi, Zaka and Chivi in place of retired and promoted ex officers.
Thembinkosi Ncube has replaced Samson Matsilele who retired from Mwenezi last year while in Chiredzi, Rangarirai Mashamba has replaced Itai Dhliwayo who has been promoted as Mashonaland East Provincial Information Officer.
Zaka and Chivi have opened new posts which were taken over by Shingirirai Hwande and Tinofara Hove respectively.
In an interview with TellZim News, Masvingo Provincial Information Officer Rogers Irimayi said the new dispensation intended to enhance information dissemination and the officers will play a vital role in their district in accomplishing their duties as they have the link between government and the citizens.
“The new dispensation intends to enhance information dissemination. Officers will play a vital role in their districts as they provide dissemination link between central government and citizens,” said Irimayi.
He went on to say that the development project areas covered by the new officers will be put in the limelight through enhanced media reportage.
He said he hoped the communities will embrace the new officers as they provide information and clarification on government policies.
“The development projects in the areas that the new officers cover will also be put in the limelight as they will help facilitate enhanced media coverage. It is our hope that communities will embrace the officers as they have come not to spy on them but to provide them with information and clarification on government policies,” he said.
|Chief Fortune Charumbira|
A total of 43 Chief Charumbira’s subjects were arrested on last Sunday (April 11) after they allegedly invaded Chief Bere’s territory and began pegging plots to settle people.
Chief Bere’s chieftainship was revived in 2018 taking up huge chunks of territory from Chief Charumbira.
Chief Bere’s spokesperson, David Masomere confirmed the invasion and said Charumbira’s subjects were arrested after they had pegged plots for his people in Bere’s territory and stirred a fierce war.
“Charumbira crossed the line, he distributed plots to his subjects in our territory without consulting Bere.
“We reported the matter to police and his subjects were arrested for their actions,” said the Masomere.
He said that they now fear for Chief Bere’s security since the chief wanted to shift from his homestead to reside in the plots.
“We now fear for the security of the Chief, what kind of a person comes in another chief’s territory and allocate plots for his people, we don’t know what more to expect from them, anything can happen,” said Masomere.
Masomere further alleged that Charumbira does not respect the government since he was not in the position to distribute plots without the permission from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement.
“Charumbira doesn’t have respect for the government, he has no right to allocate plots to his subjects, even Chief Bere himself is not allowed to do so, it’s the duty of the government,” said Masomere.
No comment could be drawn from Chief Charumbira as his mobile was not reachable.
The arrested are said to have been released without charge.
|Lovemore Matuke commissioning the staff house|
Gutu Rural District Council (RDC) has constructed a seven roomed staff house at Gwira Secondary School in Ward 8 Gutu North which was commissioned a fortnight ago by the deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Lovemore Matuke.
The project started in 2017 and was completed this year using devolution funds.
Matuke praised Gutu RDC for channeling the devolution funds towards community development.
"We thank our local authority for doing such a great job in community development. This is not the only project that they are doing but there are plenty others. I am impressed they are using the devolution funds well," said Matuke.
Gutu RDC council chairperson Nicholus Zambara said they decided to build the house after receiving a request from the school.
“We received the request from the school citing that teachers were being discouraged due to the distance they were traveling every day from Mpandawana town and this was negatively affecting the school's pass rate so we decided to build the house adding to the existing one.
“With this move, we hope there will be an improvement since the teachers will have more time with learners," said Zambara.
People have expressed mixed feelings regarding the recent government decision to resuscitate the National Youth Service (NYS) which had suffered serious decline over the years, partly due to lack of sufficient funding.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana later tweeted that NYS was important for youth development.
“The (NYS) is an important youth development programme which is crucial in nurturing young people into becoming responsible and resilient with a clear sense of national identity and respect for national values,” said Mangwana.
However, Youth Forum Zimbabwe director Ashton Bumhira said the return of National Youth Service should worry all right-minded Zimbabweans as it could worsen politically-motivated abuses.
“We should consider that there has not been an attempt to overhaul its implementation and syllabi from its previous stint,” said Bumhira.
He also said the timing of the re- establishment of the programme towards elections was scary for advocates of human rights.
“Graduates of this programme have a history of being used by the ruling part to intimidate, abuse and coerce people to vote for the ruling party especially in rural areas where they will be mostly attached,” said Bumhira.
He said the programme was mostly likely to be used to create a partisan support base for Zanu PF, and not to genuinely empower young people.
“Government needs to consult all interested stakeholders and stop this top down approach to public policy making. It is clear that the reintroduction of the programme is a creation of the executive and like previously it will fail,” he said.
Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) team leader Rosewita Katsande agreed, saying re-introduction programme raised fears of the old days when graduates allegedly were used to unleash political violence.
“The youth are sceptical about the re-introduction of programme because in previous elections, graduates were instruments of terror. Young people also question the re-introduction of this programme without taking into account the impact of past similar initiative to assist in shaping the rebranded youth service.
“The previous National Youth Service played a destructive role of polarising communities and militarising the youth. We have never had a transparent audit and evaluation of the previous activities of the National Youth Services,” said Katsande.
She also said the previous programme was implemented in a manner and environment that were not friendly for young women.
“We recall the sexual harassment of young women at these camps and there was no recourse for the victims. There is therefore need to review the curriculum in a transparent and inclusive manner to get young women voices.
“Government has to offer facilities that are gender-sensitive and enhance a culture of learning unlike the military style in the previous programme. As long the programme is run in a partisan and discriminatory manner, it will not provide a safe space for women,” she said.
However, MyAge Zimbabwe director Onward Gibson said the re-establishment of the service was a good move but there was need to protect women from sexual harassment in all spaces.
“The youth service programme is a very good developmental programme and the most successful countries have similar initiatives. We should surely harness the youth demographic dividend as they are at the core of development.
“I think the issue of sexual abuse is rampant in work places across every sector and I am sure there is need to safeguard young women from sexual harassment across board especially in programmes that involve girls and women through policies,” said Gibson.
NYS Masvingo provincial chairperson Tavara Mudukuti said he was glad to programme is back as he had waited for a long time for it.
“Many young people have benefited from it mentally and physically. During the time of disasters, the graduates help, just like they did in Chimanimani.
“Resumptions of this programme also mean jobs for the unemployed youth in the province and the whole country,” said Mudukuti.
Zimbabwe National Youth Service Graduates Association (ZNYSGA) Masvingo provincial spokesperson Tariro Bwerinofa said it was exciting that the programme is being reintroduced as the country marks 41 years of independence.
“When you graduates from the service, you know the national agenda, you have the love for your country and you want to work for your country. As an association, many of our members are serving in many government departments while others are now self-employed.
“We do a lot of non-paid community work including helping security agencies and we definitely have a role to play to make Vision 2030 a great success,” said Bwerinofa.
GUTU - MDC Alliance Councillor for Ward 33, Bernard Chimwango was recently arrested for allegedly organizing a football tournament sometime in March, contravening the set Covid-19 regulations which prohibit high-risk sporting activities.
Chimwango was arrested together with MDC Alliance provincial youth chairperson Achievement Chimbwari as well as party member Langton Guvava.
The trio are accused of coordinating a football tourney at Mupata Business Centre on March 26, 2021.
It is alleged that the MDC Alliance youth structures in Gutu Central organized the tournament which comprised four teams from the constituency.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyer, Advocate Martin Mureri confirmed the development and said his clients were yet to appear in court.
“They are charging them for allegedly violating Covid-19 regulations. It is alleged that they organized a football tournament. The last time I went there (Gutu) they just recorded warned and cautioned statements. So far there is no date for their court appearance,” said Mureri.
The case was recorded at Gutu Police Station at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) under CR 34/04/21.
Meanwhile, two other people linked to MDC Alliance are in custody for violating Covid-19 regulation on March 13.
Charles Zvenyika and Edward Chagonda appeared at Gutu Magistrates Court on Wednesday, April 16, and were remanded in custody to April 23 for trial.
On Monday, April 12, MDC Alliance Cllr for Chiredzi Rural Ward 18, Gilbert Mutubuki was arrested for allegedly addressing a public gathering meant to incite public violence Mhandamabwe Business Centre in Chivi district.
He appeared in the Masvingo Magistrates Court the following day where he was given remanded out of custody 06 May on $5000 bail.
MUTARE- Despite going for over a year without any activity due to the Covid-19 induced lockdowns, the District Registry office here is reportedly processing only 60 national Identity Documents (IDs) per day against a huge demand.
Manicaland provincial registrar Joyce Munamati said she could not issue a comment on the matter.
The Conscious Development and Empowerment Trust (CODET) together with Election Resource Centre (ERC) have since written to the District Registry Office expressing deep concern over a small number of IDs being processed despite the office having been on a long sabbatical.
The two civic organisations bemoaned the snail pace at which the registry office was processing identification documents saying this will have debilitating effects on the number of youths who will be eligible to vote in elections.
CODET and ERC requested the District Registry's office to ensure that IDs were made available to all as stipulated under the confines of the law saying if the process was not expedited it would have a ripple effect on people's rights to electoral processes.
"Identity documents are a constitutional right, essential for one to claim their right to Zimbabwean citizenship, to be able to participate in the socio-economic and political development of the country and for one to be able to register to vote.
“The approach taken by the District Registry to only assist a specific number of people per day disenfranchises citizens and has a direct bearing on the ability of the populace to participate in electoral processes," reads part of the letter which was directed to Mutare District Registry office by CODET and ERC.
CODET director Vimbai Berete told TellZim News that they were calling on Mutare Registry's Office to expedite the process of accessing IDs or Birth certificates so that citizens can access their documents without any unnecessary delays.
"People are booking to access services and those who booked on April 13 can only access the services on May 11. This means that a person will have to wait for four weeks in order to get an ID or Birth certificate.
"This is inconsiderate since the office has not been operating for a very long time due to lockdown restrictions leading to a large number of people in need of IDs. This has a possibility of infringing on our constitutional rights.
"We are pushing for more young people to register and vote but without their national IDs they cannot be active members of society.
“People are incurring a lot of transport costs as they will be given a later date of which they would have travelled from very long distances for their Identification documents to be processed," said Berete.
As 2023 elections are fast approaching, political parties have found themselves in a race to win the youth vote which is believed to be the game changer in the upcoming elections.
|Sports, Manica Diamonds new head coach Johannes Nhumwa (Centre)|
MUTARE - As the traction towards the return of football in the country continues to gain momentum, all is perfect and organised for Manica Diamonds FC who are eager for their second dance in the much-coveted Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Gem Boys paraded their diamonds in their debut PSL season and have resumed group-training under the tutelage of Johannes Nhumwa aka Dutch Mentor.
Team manager Masimba Chihowa told TellZim News that their books were clean and that their players were getting what they signed for without any delay.
“We paid all our players and we do not have any bad relations with them since all of them are paid very well without any problems. Players are happy because we do not owe any of them but they are all paid their full salaries.
Chihowa confirmed that they started training last Tuesday but added they had not yet had any new signings.
“All players are back on training and we started training on Tuesday last week. We trained the whole week and this week we are also busy training.
“No new players available and we did not release any players all are available. They are eagerly ready to play and only waiting for football to kick start,” said Chihowa.
Chihowa also said they expected to play very well like what they did last time in 2019 as they completed their first taste of topflight football on position five.
“We expect to play very well like what we did in 2019 season before action was stopped. We were playing some quality football and the team finished fifth after the boys put up a solid performance. I also hope the team will continue with their good performances and take it from where we left it,” said Chihowa.
All Manica Diamonds players have been reportedly tested for Covid-19 and all results came in negative.
In an interview, Nhumwa said they have no changes from the team and said he was targeting a better performance and finish in the top four.
“So far there are no changes from the team and the setup is still the same. We have not yet signed any new player but we will definitely look into that if there is need.
“All the players are available and they are all training very well and I am confident that we will finish the upcoming season in the top four,” said Nhumwa.
Nhumwa took over from seasoned gaffer, Luke Masomere who parted ways with the Mutare giants after a spate of poor results.
However, critics accused Nhumwa of hijacking and toppling Masomere since he was his lieutenant when he at the helm of the club.
Nhumwa went on to produce some good results when he was on the driver’s seat, earning him probably the most challenging job in his career.
Nhumwa’s job at Manica Diamonds is reportedly being eyed by many top gaffers who are being charmed by the solid funding.
During the height of Covid-19 lockdown, the club lost talented midfielder Last Jesi to Sudanese side Al Hilal and have also secured the services of former Masvingo Pirates and Masvingo United speedy forward Michael Tapera at the end of the 2019 season.
MUTARE- Zanu PF central committee member and also Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency shadow Member of Parliament (MP) Esau Mupfumi has donated football and netball kits to teams in various wards of the constituency.
The kits, valued at US$8 000, have been donated as a way to ensure that the youth would participate in sports during their free time and shun drug abuse and criminal activities.
Mupfumi also called on the City of Mutare to remove illegal vendors whom he said have taken over the sporting facilities.
“The youth should be kept busy and shun criminal activities as well as drug abuse. We want all the sporting facilities to be upgraded by the local authority so that the local clubs can have a place to train and have tournaments.
“It is very imperative for people to engage in sports activities as they ensure good health, promotes sustainable development, entertainment and unity within communities,’’ said Mupfumi.
City of Mutare has since allowed vendors to operate at Dangamvura grounds and Chikanga sports fields also known as Harlem.
Dr Mupfumi is facilitating sporting events in all wards of Chikanga-Dangamvura constituency which will be held every Sundays.
Dangamvura-Chikanga selective team coach, John Munhenga, said he was happy with the generous gesture and called on all teams to take advantage of the donation to foster competition and scout for talent.
“We are extremely grateful to Dr Mupfumi for empowering youths by donating sport kits. As youths we are looking forward to be assisted in business projects that improves our livelihood,” said Munhenga.
Mupfumi, who lost to MDC Alliance candidate Proper Mutseyami in the 2018 parliamentary elections, is said to be challenging for the seat again in the forthcoming by-elections after the recall of Mutseyami.
Alpha Cottage recently received help in the form of reusable and disposable sanitary pads, mealie-meal and detergents from Social Economic Action Transformation for Humanity (SEATH), Chosen Generation (CG), Bright Minds Zimbabwe INC Trust and Sainte Aide.
SEATH Trust founding director Tendai Mafuka said it was imperative to for civil society to do more to ensure the welfare of the most vulnerable members of society.
Children at Alpha Cottage are orphans and other victims of abuse and abandonment.
“We want to show some love to the children and show them that they are not alone no matter what life gives them. They should also not give up in life and we wanted to show them that as young people, we can be role models for each other,” said Mafuka.
SEATH began operation only a few months ago but has achieved a lot on the ground through rigorous fundraising for charity.
Bright Minds INC Trust chairperson Tawanda Toperesu said his organization was also pleased to be able to lend a hand in a genuine case of need.
“We are grateful to support our younger brothers and sisters as we understand that the pandemic has crippled a lot of capacity in these kinds of institutions,” said Toperesu.
Masvingo Association of Residential Care Facilities programmme coordinator Kudzai Dakwa thanked the organizations for the assistance, saying there was greater need to coordinate efforts to improve situations in charity homes.
“We are facing a lot of challenges when we release children who are supposed to leave. The rules require us to let go of children when they turn 18 but you still find that such kids often become street kids and some end up in early marriages because they are lacking life skills,” said Dakwa.
|Construction of school facilities has started|
…Shirley Makausi back from retirement to lead new school
…pupils to have driver’s licences by time of leaving school
A new privately-owned secondary school is being built in Rhodene suburb to help satisfy the expanding need for quality educational facilities in Masvingo province and beyond, TellZim can report.
Junior High School is being built on a 5 hectare piece of prime land on the northernmost part of the city close to the road to Harare.
The school, which promises to offer some of the best learning facilities in the whole southern region of the country, joins the prominent Junior Enterprises portfolio which includes a driving school and a microfinance institution.
Besides its association with the strong Junior brand, Junior High has another ace up its sleeve in the name Shirley Makausi who will be the inaugural school head.
Makausi is capable leader who transformed Ndarama Government High from just another public school to a school of choice.
When she left Ndarama in 2019 upon retirement, Makausi had created an impressive legacy that many would wish to emulate, but which very few or non are able to match.
Her decision to lend her reputable name to the Junior High project and, in the process, take on bigger challenges, gives weight to the school’s stated aim of providing quality education under the best facilities and conditions, but at a very affordable cost.
In an interview with TellZim News, Junior Enterprises director Noah Marima said he was excited by the opportunity to once again connect with the community through educational provisions.
“We have been here for years and people have come to trust our brand. What better way is there to give back to that community than invest in its education? We can only achieve the growth that we hope to achieve if access to quality education opportunities is widened. We are therefore building Junior High School to contribute to that objective,” said Marima.
The school will be a sterling combination of academics and extra-curricular activities, with massive investment being directed to the construction of quality classroom blocks, science labs and sporting facilities.
The school is sandwiched by a bald mountain to its north – giving it a recreational aura – and by the outer edges of the leafy Rhodene suburb to its southern end, elevating it to a quiet and convivial place for learning.
In an interview with TellZim, Makausi said she was humbled by yet another opportunity to serve in the education sector.
‘I accept the offer to serve with humility and I will do my best. It’s both an opportunity and a challenge, but I am ready to expend all my remaining energies and expertise to make Junior High School the success that it ought to be. Parents and all stakeholders need to see that we are back to serve; to help nurture their children to greatness, and Junior Secondary School will be the place where that will happen,” said Makausi.
She said she was humbled to be identified as the most suitable school head among many other potential candidates.
“As I settled in retirement, I had thought my time was up and was a bit taken aback when this opportunity was availed to me. I thank God that the Junior brand saw in me the capability that I myself probably could no longer see and this indeed is a challenge to me. With God on our side, we will build this project and make it a great success,” said Makausi.
The school is expected to enroll its pioneering classes in January 2022, with all pupils having a chance to attain driver’s licences from Junior Driving School by the time they complete their ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels.