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Mbuya Chisare is making good use of her piece of land

....but she still lacks proper housing

Beatific Gumbwanda

CHIREDZI – Patricia Mahinzu (78), whose picture circulated on social media while using her bare hands to build her own hut in September 2020 is still to get proper shelter, but her grandchildren are now enrolled at Ratidzo Primary School courtesy of the generosity of well-wishers, TellZim can report.

The grandmother is currently receiving some food parcels from former Zaka West Member of Parliament (MP) Festus Dumbu.

In September 2020, a picture of an old woman hard at work using her bare hands to build a hut circulated on social media and many people dismissed the picture as fake news.

Mahinzu, who is more commonly known as Mbuya Chisare, stays in a resettlement area commonly known as ‘Kuma 3-Hectare’ some few kilometres behind Cottco Depot in Chiredzi.

She still stays in the hut which she built for herself using farm bricks and thatches.

The torrential rains being received in many parts of the country including the Lowveld have made her more apprehensive as she fears that her homestead could be swept away.

In an interview, Dumbu said he was pleased to be able to regularly help the old woman with such basics as food parcels and clothings.

"Currently, the focus is on her basic needs like food and clothing but I am also glad that we have managed to build for her a fowl run where she will raise some chickens. Someone has offered 40 Sasso chicks which will be delivered any day from now,” said Dumbu.

He said he was mobilising other well-wishers to contribute to the construction of a proper house, with work expected to begin sooner than later.

"Fees for all her three grandchildren have been paid for and back school provisions were provided. Mbuya havachazivi chinonzi maricho, courtesy of kind hearts from well-wishers," said Dumbu.

Last year, mbuya Chisare provided her national ID which shows that she was born in Baye village near Jerera in Zaka district on the September 12, 1942.

She said she was married to Jalisi Maiza of Chijubana village in the Chitepo area of Chipinge South but he died in July 2005.

They had two daughters and a son but one of her daughters is now late.

Her second daughter, who has two children of her own, is now a widow and is critically ill at her marital home in Chipinge district.

Mbuya Chisare’s only son illegally migrated to South Africa ‘many years ago’ leaving behind a wife and three children and she has since completely lost touch with him.

She now looks after three grandchildren including a 16-year-old girl who dropped out of school while doing Grade 3.

After the death of her husband, Mbuya Chisare went to live with her daughter and her son-in-law in Chipinge but when the son-in-law died, she moved out as there was no more food at home.

She said she worked in the resettlement areas for several years without a salary, but just for food so that she would not starve.

Three years ago, she got a piece of land in the Kuma 3-Hectare area, Buffalo Range where she built a pole and mud hut.

Gogo Chisare’s daughter-in-law, who was abandoned by her husband when he illegally migrated to South Africa, then heard that she had found her own place.

She sought and found her; stayed for a short period of time before disappearing, leaving all her children in the care of Mbuya Chisare.

Mbuya Chisare managed to finishe building her hut before the onset of the rains.

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