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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

No Christmas for Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims




Tell Reporter

Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims settled at Chingwizi in Mwenezi are facing a bleak Christmas following government’s failure to compensate them this year.

Three quarters of the 3000 of families affected by Tokwe-Mukosi floods which hit Chivi District in February and March were moved to Chingwizi transit area but up to now they are yet to get compensation.

Scores of affected families told Tell-Zimbabwe recently that they wished if government could be considerate enough and spare them the heartaches through making available part of their compensation money so that they can join others in enjoying Christmas Day and New Year Day celebrations.

Raina Moyo,45 who has not yet received compensation appealed to government to extend assistance even in kind so that they see off the festivity in good spirits like their counterparts who were compensated.

To date government has disbursed a paltry $2 million of the estimated $9 million for compensation and only a quarter of the affected families have received amounts ranging from $600 to $15 000 depending on the developments made on their original homes at the time of evacuation.

“Some of the settlers at Chingwizi were compensated but the large number, with my family included, is yet to receive anything. This is disheartening especially considering that it is Christmas time when others will be merry-making. We hope government will consider our plight between now and Christmas Day. For now, we are not selective on our demands that we would accept even food hampers, especially for our children,” said Moyo.

Berita Vhurumuka who said the only solution to the trauma they suffered during the floods is compensation adding that the national budget is silent about their plight.

“We have suffered as victims of natural disaster and making matters worse Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa was silent about compensating flood victims when he announced the national budget last month. The budget is silent about when and how Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims will be compensated.



“We call upon powers that be to make available some funds for those who did not receive compensation specifically for Christmas,” said Vhurumuka.

“When we ask the powers that be, they give us non-committal responses and that makes us lose hope.”

A village head, Samuel Tsikisai said their wish is to lead a normal life given the fact that they have been given permanent sites.

“We want to lead a normal life like any villager in the country but as long as we are not compensated life will not be good for us. Our poverty has become man-made because some of us we were living better lives before the disaster and used to enjoy Christmas like others. As it is many people here wear long faces as each one is pondering on what to do during Christmas,” said Tsikisai.

Contacted for comment Provincial administrator Felix Chikovo said government is yet to release funds to that effect adding that as soon as resources are made available the affected families will get their compensation.

“Although it is difficult for me to say when the compensation will come from this end, our commitment as government is that we are seized with the situation and everyone will receive his or her share. We are going to compensate every affected family according to the results if the property assessments,” said Chikovo.

He said the families have not been receiving their monthly food rations and government is moving with haste to assist them.

“I can confirm that it is now two months without families at Chingwizi receiving their food rations. The department of social welfare has released food vouchers for the families but we are presently working on transferring the vouchers into cash for Grain marketing Board to start supplying the food. Minister of State for provincial affairs Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti is in Harare ,seized with the issue, as we speak,” said Chikovo.

“However, Tongaat Hullet is expected to supply some food to Chingwizi and government will also supply the rations anytime from now. For their appeal for Christmas food hampers, that is a genuine request, we will consider that and take it to the next office for consideration when they make an official request.”Local

 

Woes for Chiredzi never end!


...And the watcher says Its okay or Zvikahle


I do not know whether I am getting old or the people I speak with are pulling my leg. Whenever I engage in a conversation, they usually say to me “mudhara.”

The gist of this contribution is not really on my age, but on the hopeless surrendering spirit that is with Zimbabweans. Meet any stranger or acquaintance and ask them in Shona how they are, and the answer is the same, “Zviri bhoo, Its Okay or Zvikahle.” Even if “zvakapresser muviri wese” they will say “zviri bhoo.”

I think we take this from our British colonial legacy where we have all our salutations on the positive. Like “good morning,” “good day,” “good evening” etc. without finding out from the other chap how they are really, really feeling. I mean, what is good about a morning or an afternoon if one is not aware of a neigbhours’ circumstances? That is why we have a plain “masikati,” which is then followed up with a qualification “Maswera sei?” That’s more like it if you really want to know what is happening in a person’s life.

Unfortunately for us, that colonial affliction has permeated society so much that it has become part of folk lore. That is our culture now. And our very undoing in terms of how our political affairs, our very own lives have been taken for granted.

Now back to that resigned feeling that has anesthetized Zimbabweans. The dominant languages in our culture are Shona and Ndebele. The people of Chiredzi in Masvingo Province have been influenced on the language front by the Karanga people of Zaka, Nyajena, Chivi and to a lesser extend the Ndau people of Chipinge. Even if you are in their home town Chiredzi, it is rare to hear them using their mother tongue. When I went to get my national ID at the District Administrators’ office in 1985 I noticed so many elderly people having their names being distorted by clerical staff who were issuing the documents. So you end up with Mukachana instead of Mukhachana, Mushava in place of Muhlava, Makanani when it is supposed to be Makhanani.


Chilonga bridge in Chiredzi


All this is water under the bridge now. But there is something that is devastating that we have learnt to live with as a legacy of this relationship with the rest of the citizenry. Loyalty, submissiveness to whatever is the situation, docility. We just tell ourselves as Zimbabweans that “Its bhoo!” “Ndizvo, chero zvazvaita chikepe chedanda.” We go with the flow.

In the local Shangani language that is spoken in Chiredzi rural, the equivalent of ‘Zviri bhoo’ is “zvikahle” if you come from the Chilonga and surrounding areas. If one goes dipper into the hinterland, at places like Chingele, Chikombedzi, Malipati, Muhlanguleni – the “zvi..” is substituted with “svi..”

So, ‘svikahle.’ Its OK, zviri bhoo, ta tata.

What is OK in Zimbabwe? In Chiredzi? Why has it become so tragic? Are other parts of Zimbabwe spared?

Potential  source of employment lies in sugarcane plantations

When cyclone Eline damaged the bridge near the former Chambuta Refugee Camp many years ago the entire Shangani community in Zimbabwe became excommunicated from the rest of the country. At the time of writing, nothing has been done to rebuild the bridge that links the TransFrontier Gonarenzou Park to the Buffalo Range Airport. The South Africans are waiting with their moneybags on the other side of the border and are entertaining all the tourists from all over the world. Svikahle.

Beside the investment in sugarcane irrigation in the Lowveld, that is in Triangle, Hippo Valley, Mkwasine and a few remaining commercial farms surrounding the town of Chiredzi, there is no economic activity generating employment for young people. There are not technical colleges, universities or any vocational training institutions. The only ones that are available and credible are in the town of Masvingo and its environs and we continue to sing Svikahle chorus.

Those living in SA coming home for Xmas

The only other link to civilization after the Chambuta bridge was swept away by that cyclone is a low bridge located at Chilonga Irrigation Scheme to carry produce to the market in the town of Chiredzi. The structure is so weak that during the last rainy season, Lundi river swept the thing away cutting off the whole community. In the town of Chiredzi itself, the once clean, almost manicured town has now turned into a rural centre. If one is not driving a 4X4, it is safe to drive parallel to what was once the tarred road. The dust road, over the years, has actually crept right into town and the town council now needs graders to maintain the dust roads and we again sing Svikahle. Its bhoo!!

Because there is no employment being generated in the district of Chiredzi, unless if one is prepared to slave in the sugarcane plantations, the young men and women have migrated to South Africa where they are doing menial jobs. They have their own “Wenera” now and this has had negative consequences on the family structure. Young men come home to die after having contracted HIV/Aids.

The degree of poverty in the rural areas is crushing. Households still use the bush for their toilets. There are no roads to speak of, except pathways. There is no furniture in schools. In fact, going to school is no longer regarded as a license to a better life but a waste of time. Hence the exodus to South Africa to work in farms and firms in that country. Svikhale.


Living standards remain generally poor

Earlier, I did ask the question, is this happening in Chiredzi only? Hell no! The whole country is in decay. Is it because of sanctions? Maybe to some extend. Who will come to our rescue as a country? Not SADC, not Zuma, not South Africa. Neither does our solution lie with the AU.

We have all these calamities because we have said to ourselves its bhoo. Svikahle. Life goes on. That is the tragedy that has gripped Zimbabwe, where we expect someone, somebody, somewhere to put their head on the block. And we tell ourselves that it will be OK, soon. In the meantime we run away to South Africa, Botswana, America, UK, Europe and Australia to make some noise from there. The people we sent to represent us in government  have also developed this leg disease. Instead of mobilising the people to say “It’s not right, it’s not OK,” they have taken tthat opportunity to fight their factional wars .

 As long as we continue on that path, the tragedy will continue to unfold. While other countries in the entire world are leapfrogging in terms of development, Zimbabwe backtracks and reminds itself of the war of liberation struggle. It was a good struggle and it brought many positive changes. Isn’t it time to consign it to history, get over it and forge ahead? Otherwise for now let me say svikahle!!!

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I want a clinic in Rhodene - Cllr Beta

 

By Moses Ziyambi

Ward nine councillor in Masvingo Urban, Mr Babylon Beta is fighting for an establishment of a small clinic in his ward saying the people in that area were having problems with going to the General hospital which expect patients to pass through a clinic which will in turn refer them to a referral hospital.

 Speaking to Tell Zimbabwe recently, Beta said he was not comfortable with the situation where patients have to go to Masvingo General Hospital even for minor ailments.


Ward nine Cllr Babylon Beta

“The problem is that Masvingo General Hospital is a referral hospital which normally expect patients to firstly pass through a clinic which will in turn refer them to the hospital for further treatment. You would be very lucky or you would be seriously ill for you to be given treatment at the general hospital without reference from a clinic,” said Beta.

Masvingo General Hospital is the province’s biggest and sole public referral hospital.

Beta said authorities were aware of the problems but lack of funding was hampering progress.

“As councillors we want to develop our communities but we don’t have the funds. In my ward, most roads and street lights are in a state of disrepair and I frequently raise this issue at council level but there is no money.

“I would also have wanted to see more boreholes being drilled in areas like Northleigh in order to cushion residents against water cuts,” said Beta.

Unlike in other wards with more boreholes, residents of Ward 9 have to grapple with persistent water cuts without an alternative source of water.Local

   

 

 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

City council losing US$11 000 on bars every month

 

By Moses Ziyambi

The Masvingo City Council is losing at least US$ 11 000 on its seven bars dotted around the city every month, Tell Zimbabwe has established.

This comes at the backdrop of a dwindling revenue base, unpaid rates amounting to millions of dollars, a ballooning salary bill and the resultant poor service delivery at the council.

An insider told Tell Zimbabwe this week that the council did not have a choice but to lease the bars to private individuals starting January 2015.

“Losing huge sums amounting to 11 000 dollars per month, what option do they have? They will start leasing most of them (bars) from at least early next year. They want to rid themselves of the mess and lease most of the bars except only two; Chidavaenzi and MerryMe. These two will be easier to manage,” said the insider.

 “It’s painful for the ratepayer who ultimately has to foot the bill,” added the source.


Masvingo city town clerk Adolf Gusha

Council- run bars include Chidavaenzi (Mucheke bus terminus), Chiororo (Pangolin) and MeryMe (Rujeko)

These startling revelations come as the city council struggles to maintain optimum service delivery with several suburbs going for several hours without water on a daily basis.

Refuse collection is also erratic as council has only two refuse- collection trucks while other trucks remain attached in the ongoing labour dispute.

Masvingo city mayor Hubert Fidze could neither accept nor deny the allegations. He laughed and said, "who told you that information."

"I cannot comment about that now but you can talk the town Clerk," said Fidze.Local

 

 

 
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