|Blue Gold condoms|
Masvingo – The Blue Gold condom which replaced the Panther condom popularly known as ‘Madembare’ has been received well in Masvingo.
The Madembare condom were phased out last year following numerous calls by different organizations especially sex worker groups who were saying their clients were despising it.
The new brand was launched and started distribution last year in November and has now been distributed to all the corners of the province.
Speaking to TellZim News, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) Provincial Marketing and Communications Officer Herbert Chikosi said the reception of the new condom is satisfactory.
“Statistically volumes are up and through interaction with the sex workers they have indicated that they want the new product.
They are happy with the vanilla scent on the new condom which they say is appealing just like the other brands that are sold in shops unlike the panther,” said Chikosi.
Chikosi said the condom is now accessible in all areas of the province and a very few areas still have the panther which is slowly disappearing.
He went on to say the youths and other members of the society have also embraced the new brand and have since nicknamed it the ‘bonde radirwa sugar’ condom.
The Madembare condom became unpopular among the public and was often criticized by sex workers as unappealing and not to have the comfort accorded by other condom brands as they had no lubricants.
However, gender champions have complained that only male condoms are being distributed first at the expense of the female ones.
Centre for Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe (CDCGZ) programs manager Chidaushe Mudadi said women should be given an equal choice as men in terms of sexual issues since they are prone to abuse if they do not have their own condoms.
“While we appreciate the rebranding and the availability of the new condom, female condoms should be made available the same way male condoms are. Women are often left without a choice and this result in some being abused. So we call for the responsible authority to make sure that they make female condoms available so that women have a choice,” said Mudadi
Pensioners in Masvingo have challenged the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to improve their pension payments at an event recently hosted by NSSA at Great Zimbabwe hotel.
Masvingo Pensioners’ Forum chairperson Oliver Dube said NSSA needs to improve their benefits since inflation is chewing much into the pension funds.
“NSSA need to improve our pay outs because the money is now affected by inflation and since January 2019 some of the pensioners have not received their full benefits. Our payments need to be reviewed either on a monthly or quarterly basis.
“We pay rentals and medical bills just like other citizens but we no longer afford to do so because of the poor earnings we are getting which are also affected by the ever-rising inflation,” said Dube.
Dube said the government needs to prioritise the health of the pensioners even if it means allowing them free access to health facilities.
“NSSA should review our medical aid earnings or provide us with free access to medical facilities. As old people we are vulnerable to various diseases and even some of us who got injured during the tenure of their employment find it difficult to cater for their health needs,” added the chairperson.
Dube further proposed that NSSA addresses the lost pension policies of the 2008-09 era by providing pensioners with soft loans which would help them to engage in income-generating projects.
“We also propose that NSSA provide us with soft loans so that we can start our own projects as a way of recovering our lost policies for the period 2008-09,” suggested Dube.
Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare professor Paul Mavima who was the guest of honour at the event promised pensioners that the ministry is going to look into the problems they are facing.
“NSSA constructed a mobile clinic that will be covering the whole country and will add more mobile clinics in each region for the pensioners.
“Recently NSSA opened an isolation centre for pensioners in Harare. This isolation centre will be turned to a clinic for the pensioners and providing free medical attention to them,” said the minister.
Minister Mavima also assured the pensioners that NSSA has started to reserve funds that will help pensioners to start their own projects.
“NSSA has reserved US$2 million to help pensioners to start projects of their own and also started negotiations with banks so that unnecessary charges on the earnings are removed,” said Mavima.
Mavima also said that NSSA is going to create a board of members with representatives from both the southern and northern regions as a way of de-centralising the operations of the authority. The board will also ensure communication between the authority and pensioners.
|Zaka ward 19 Councillor Peter Imbayarwo|
Jerera residents have said they continue to cry out to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) as it is allegedly failing to put to an end the water crisis in some parts of Jerera.
TellZim has learnt that ZINWA is reported to have halfway solved the problem but only few houses are getting the water and the majority of the households are yet to receive the precious liquid.
This has prompted residents to resort to the use of bush toilets during the night since there is no running water to flash the toilets, a development which can lead to outbreak of diseases.
Speaking to TellZim News, Zaka Ward 19 councilor Peter Imbayarwo confirmed that people are still complaining that there is no water running in their tapes.
“ZINWA has claimed that they fixed the problem but some low density residents are still complaining that they are not getting water.
“West view A and B in low density are still experiences water challenges. They said that ZINWA has promised them to fix the problem,” said Imbayarwo.
Imbayarwo said that the low density suburbs are using small pipes that cannot pump water well and the extension has increased.
He however attributed the problem to the national water authority instead of the council which should take responsibility in the servicing of residential areas.
“There is too much extension in low density areas and they are using small pipes. They are calling out to ZINWA to come and fix their problem,” said the councillor.
Contacted for comment ZINWA Masvingo Provincial communication and Marketing Officer Tsungirira Shoriwa told TellZim News that he is supposed to contact his partners in Jerera and hear what they say before commenting.
“I will have to hear my partners in Jerera and confirm why there is an issue like that and get back to you,” said Shoriwa.
A health hazard is looming in some parts of Jerera Growth Point as low density suburbs are reportedly going for long periods without water.
|Masvingo Provincial Medical Director Amadeus Shamhu|
...as Masvingo district closely follows
Covid-19 positive cases in Chiredzi continue to shoot up since June 4 as the district has been declared Covid-19 hotspot.
On June 4 only two positive cases were recorded, but the number has already shot up to a total of 188 Covid-19 positive cases by June 18.
Masvingo Provincial Medical Director Amadeus Shamhu confirmed to TellZim News last week that investigations have since been launched to ascertain the cause of the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, but the results are yet to be released as they do not want to speculate.
“I am yet to receive the findings of the investigations we launched in Chiredzi after noticing the rising number of Covi-19 cases there, but if you contact me on Monday (June 21) I should have them by then,” Shamhu said.
Masvingo Provincial Covid-19 taskforce spokesperson Rodgers Irimayi also told TellZim News that the risk communication team is on the ground doing awareness campaigns in Chiredzi, which has increased the number of people being tested.
“We have a risk communication team on the ground doing awareness campaigns and the number of people being tested has definitely increased, which also contributes to the high number of positive cases.
“Increase in number of cases could also mean there is increased testing, which is a good thing,” Irimayi said.
Irimayi however added that it has already been established that those who have been vaccinated are more resistant to Covid-19 than those who are not.
“Vaccination has given those who have been jabbed some immunity against Covi-19, and even when they test positive, the effects are much better for them than those who have not been vaccinated,” Irimayi added.
Meanwhile, together with Chiredzi, Masvingo district Covid-19 cases have lately been dominating provincial statistics after an outbreak at Morgenster Teachers College last week.
The institution has been placed under lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions have been tightened across the two districts, which have been on the national hotspot map for over a week now.
There is uncertainty over the re-opening of schools which was scheduled to open on June 28, 2021, TellZim News can report.
Jasper Chimedza, Health Ministry Permanent Secretary said there was going to be a review on the decision on whether schools will remain closed or will open.
“We have not made a decision yet, there is going to be a review as usual to see if schools are going to open or will remain closed,” said Chimedza.
These likely changes could be effected after Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga imposed new Covid-19 restrictions last week on Saturday June 12, 2021, which banned all gatherings.
Schools have been recently a covid-19 hotspot evidenced by quite a good number of reported cases of the virus.
Two schools in Matabeleland South reported 106 cases of Covid-19, reigniting fears that schools are hotspots and that authorities were not adequately prepared for their reopening.
Morgenster Teachers College was recently declared a Covid-19 hotspot after a spike of 67 positive cases since Saturday June 12 which led the institution to be locked down in less than a month.
|Women in Manyama area socialising after meeting ZEC and WCoZ|
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) has called for increased women participation in politics by partnering with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to teach women about participation in national politics.
On June 11, 2021 WCoZ invited ZEC to deliver voter education to Manyama women teaching them on how best they can improve their participation in politics as well as procedures required in the voting processes.
“As WCoZ Masvingo, we have seen that there is less participation of women in politics especially in the rural areas because they lack knowledge and information about politics and elections. The move of offering voter education to women is to empower them with political knowledge so that they equally participate with men in politics especially those women in the rural areas who lack such knowledge,” said Belinda Mwale.
ZEC district elections officer, Gertrude Murumbi said they had increased voter education to raise awareness for women who live in the rural areas on how to conduct the voting processes.
“Voter education is a way of informing people on how to vote and the necessary requirements needed to carry out the voting processes, especially women in the rural areas as they lack access to such information,” said Murumbi.
Murumbi also explained the voting system called proportional representation meant for the senatorial elections, in which every first seat in every political party is given to a woman.
“It was discovered that women are left out in politics, so this voting system is meant to uplift women in politics,” she said.
ZEC district elections officer also highlighted that the educational level of an individual does not count in politics.
“Most women are discouraged from participating in politics because of their levels of education, but as ZEC we are saying that does not count when it comes to participation in political activities,” said Murumbi.
One of the participants expressed her gratitude to the voter education they received which will in turn stimulate women participation in politics unlike in the past scenario in which they were restricted.
“We are grateful for the voter education that we have received, in the past we were left out because of patriarchal society beliefs where we were told that politics is about leadership and leadership is meant for men. Now that we are educated and have a better understanding of politics we are going to participate and we are not going to be left out,” she said.
|Taskforce Provincial Information Officer (PIO) Rogers Irimayi|
As Covid-19 positive cases continue to rise in tertiary institutions in the province, Masvingo Covid-19 taskforce recently engaged higher learning institutions leaders to discuss ways to fight the pandemic.
Principals and deans from different tertiary institutions namely Bondolfi Teachers College, Masvingo Polytechnic, Masvingo Teachers College, Great Zimbabwe University and Reformed Church University explained how they are adhering to Covid-19 protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Taskforce Provincial Information Officer (PIO) Rogers Irimayi stated that they have since advised principals to abide by the standard operating guidelines of Covid-19.
“We advise tertiary institutions to abide by the standard operating guidelines, fumigation of all offices, temperature checking, masking up, sanitisation, social distancing and above all encouraging all to get vaccinated,” said Irimayi.
Masvingo District Medical Officer Dr Muskwe also a member of the taskforce highlighted that there is not enough manpower to test all students but they will screen students so that they will be able to identify possible cases.
“Manpower is not adequate to test all students but screening will enable us to identify possible cases,” said Muskwe.
Muskwe encouraged all institutions to have a copy of guidelines on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
However, some of the principals stressed that they are still conforming to the set rules and guidelines of Covid-19 though they feel there is a loophole in as far as movement of students in and out of campuses is concerned.
The principal of Bondolfi Teachers College Kizito Chitsama explained the situation at the college and how students are moving in and out of the college.
“The institution has more than 600 students and they are allowed to travel home visit their families now and then. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 there have been restrictions on movement in and out of the campus.
“Despite these restrictions, communities still interact with students which put us both at risk,” said Chitsama.
Chitsama’s sentiments were also echoed by his counterpart at Masvingo Teachers College Benson Mutambudzi who explained that the institution is still using the similar strategies though he was quick to point out sources of risk.
“The institution is using similar strategies for their 618 students. The college has enough accommodation but students prefer staying out as they avoid paying the high accommodation fees.
Mutambudzi also expressed concern on the free movement of people through their premises to plots east of the college as those passers-by often mingle with students which might also be a major driver of Covid 19.
Masvingo Polytechnic principal Callisto Muzongondi and Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Dean Sarafina Mudavanhu also stated that their colleges are acting in adherence to the set guidelines and rules.
The taskforce summoned tertiary institutions administrators to a meeting after Bondolfi and Morgenster Teachers Colleges recently experienced Covid-19 outbreaks leading to them being locked down.
The delegates agreed that partition hostels to reduce the numbers of the students and reduce on campus lectures and adopt e-learning.
Aerial picture showing part of Chipinge town
CHIPINGE – Football lovers and night travelers in Chipinge will have something to smile for as Chipinge town council is planning to renovate and refurbish the monumental Gaza stadium and restore the street lighting.
This was revealed during an engagement meeting organized by TellZim News between Chipinge councilors and residents.
Ward six councilor Lovemore Mutimwiyi told the resident that the council was planning to refurbish the stadium and resources were being put together.
"Plans to renovate the stadium were part of our discussion in the last full council meeting to which everything will be changed from the fence to upgrading the terraces and renovation of the toilets. Everything has been budgeted for and I want to assure residents that very soon they will progress at the stadium,” said Mutimwiyi.
Gaza stadium is famous for hosting Chipinge’s most activities that draw public gatherings like rallies, football matches and public holiday’s celebrations among others.
The fence and the grandstand of the stadium had been damaged and the toilets are in a terrible state but the councilor assured residents that the renovations would bring sanity to the once glorious stadium.
The councilors also told the residents that street robberies would soon be a thing of the past as council plans to refurbish street lights.
Residents had asked councilors what the council was doing to minimize cases of theft and robberies in the streets at night especially in areas where there are no street lights.
Ward 5 Councillor Haruchemwi Nhengu said plans were already underway to restore street lighting in all the residential suburbs.
"Street lighting is very important; we have had quite a number of theft and robbery cases at night and these thugs take advantage of the dark. We discussed the matter in our full council meeting and it was resolved that street lights be restored as soon as possible. I think you have noticed that we have erected a functional and environmental friendly solar street lights from town up to Chinheya but most of them were stolen,” said Nhengu.
"We have since decided to use a new type of street lights which are LED Outdoor Flood Lights which will be installed on a booster like platform with one light covering 40 to 50 meter radius. This means we need a few light to cover the whole ward," said Nhengu.
Residents also complained about public toilets which they said were in a desolate state resulting in travelers and other dwellers opting to use bushes and roadsides to relieve themselves especially at night.
"This is a very genuine complain by residents and the issue of public toilets in wards seems to have been forgotten and need urgent attendance. I will definitely present the issue to the responsible authority in council," Said Mutimwiyi.
MASVINGO- A deal between City of Masvingo and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) is far from being a reality as the two parties continue to fail to meet and map the way forward concerning the second phase of the water augmentation project.
The two parties are expected to enter into a deal which will see IDBZ pump US$60 million, a move expected to make the city’s water woes a thing of the past.
However, it has been difficult for the two to meet, map a way forward and kick start the project since IDBZ postponed yet another meeting with the city fathers.
This was confirmed during a recent full council meeting by acting town clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa, who said the prospective benefactor had cancelled the meeting on the 11th hour and that a new date will be communicated.
“We were supposed to meet with IDBZ this Friday but they contacted us asking for a postponement of the meeting. A new date will be communicated soon,” said Mukaratirwa.
Water conveyancing, purification, storage and pumping infrastructure is expected to double under this program.
If it becomes a success, the water augmentation phase 2 will see the local authority pumping 60 mega litres, against the current 30 mega litres which is reportedly being pumped daily.
The city’s current water demand is estimated to be around 45 mega litres daily and this has on many instances forced the city fathers to introduce a water shedding program.
Although the water plant was expanded before, it still remains short of the demand, the need to expedite the water augmentation project remains one of the city’s top priorities.
Infrastructure breakdown has contributed immensely to the erratic supply of water, since they are using infrastructure which was installed during the Rhodesian era.
Continuous power supply problems have also been one of the major contributors to the city’s water problems.
The city is however reportedly contemplating to install an alternative (solar) power source at Bushmead Water Works.
Masvingo has been experiencing perennial water challenges in recent years due to the ballooning population which is way above its pumping capacity.
The city has also witnessed the creation and expansion of suburbs which have come as a burden to the local authority as it struggles to cope with service delivery demands.
Sewer reticulation has also been a headache for the city fathers while the Mucheke Trunk Sewer project still remains ‘on the cards’ for many years now.
|Masvingo residents at the public hearing meeting|
MASVINGO – Masvingo residents demanded during a public hearing meeting held early this week that no retired army and police officers should be appointed into the Independent Commission.
Speaking during a public hearing of the proposed Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill, residents told the joint Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Peace and Security Services and Defense and Home Affairs that retired security officers must not be appointed as commissioners.
Clayton Bere from Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) said that commissioners who will serve in the commission must not be members of the security services.
“We do not want members of the security service or retired officers to be appointed as commissioners. Those who will be part of the commission shouldn’t be related with any political party since most of them account for the majority of human rights against citizens especially during elections and this might compromise its independence,” said Bere.
“This Bill is not independent at all, it gives the President more powers to appoint individuals that serve in the Commission, we need public interviews to be done so that qualified people will be appointed in the committee,” said Phillip Mukaro.
Another resident Reason Chipwanya said the Commission must not only investigate but must be given powers to prosecute those found on the wrong side of the law.
“The Commission must be given arresting powers so that members of the security services that violate human rights are arrested and charged with harsh penalties,” said Chipwanya.
The Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill seeks to provide for an independent complaints mechanism for members of the public against members of the security services in fulfillment of Section 210 of the Constitution.