Thursday, May 26, 2011

Relocated families bitter

MUTARE: - Families that were recently relocated from Chiadzwa said they are worried at unfulfilled promises made by the government and the companies that are mining diamonds in Marange.
The families said their grievances during a meeting held in Mutare that was organized by the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association, ZELA, and the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, CCDT.
So far about 60 families have been moved from the diamond rich area of Chiadzwa to ARDA Transau in Odzi area. The families are worried that they were promised that a health centre will be built for them but up to now nothing has been done.
“We were promised that a clinic will be built for us but up to now we have to walk to Odzi Township for medical attention,” said Susan Mangwiro one of the family members that was relocated to ARDA Transau.
Mangwiro also complained that besides not having a school nearby they do not have a good road network to ARDA Transau hence commuters do not ply the route.
“We have to walk a distance of 12 kilometers to the Mutare Harare highway in order for us to get transport into town,” she lamented.
Odzi is approximately 45 kilometers from Mutare along the Harare highway.
Lovemore Matende said they still have not received full compensation from the companies that are mining in Chiadzwa.
“We only got US$1 000 when we were moved from Chiadzwa,” said Matende. “We would also want the companies to construct dip tanks for us and put a perimeter fence along the railway line because we are losing our livestock to trains that are hitting them,” he added.
Gilbert Makore of ZELA said urged the families to remain united to effectively challenge the companies and government on some of the unfulfilled promises.
“You should not allow yourselves to be infiltrated, you have to remain focused until all your that you were promised has been fulfilled.
CCDT chairman Malvern Mudiwa said the companies still have to provide a source of clean water to the families in ARDA Transau.
“The families are still walking long distances to the nearest source of clean water and the companies are quite on this and many other issues,” said Mudiwa.
A Mbada Diamonds official who was present at the meeting refused to talk to the media on the issues that were raised by families that have been relocated.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zanu Ndonga leader slams GNU

CHECHECHE:- Wilson Tarugarira Khumbula the long forgotten Zanu Ndonga leader has come out of the political doldrums and likened Zimbabwe to a ship that does not have a captain to direct it and its just sailing own its own not knowing where it will end up.
Khumbula blamed the leaders of the three political parties that formed the Government of National Unity of spending most of their time fighting each other at the expense of national development.
“Zimbabwe is like a ship that has just been thrown into turbulent waters without anyone to give it direction,” said Khumbula. “These leaders are spending their energy fighting each other and nothing much has been done to advance the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans”.
The former Chipinge legislator said there was a lot that the three political parties promised the people but nothing has been done two years after the unity government has been formed.
Khumbula said schools still do not have adequate books, in hospitals there is no medicines and the police are mounting roadblocks at will so that they can get money from motorists.
“Police officers are mounting roadblocks so that they can extort from motorists and our soldiers are going to Chiadzwa so that they can get diamonds,” lamented Khumbula.
On the issue of elections Khumbula said his party is ready to participate in the next election. Khumbula said elections should be held so that the country becomes governable. But he also urged all opposition political parties to put their differences aside and unite so as to remove Zanu PF from power.
“We know things are hard and there is a lot of violence that takes place towards elections but that should not stop us from having elections, people should experience difficulties first in order to enjoy the fruits later,” he said.
Khumbula said Zanu PF uses violence as a tool to intimidate voters and the magnitude of violence increases when we approach an election but that should not stop a country from having elections.
“As Zanu Ndonga we have lost so many of our cadres due to political motivated violence and some have even skipped the country,” he said.
“We can’t go for another five years without an election as this will plunder the country into chaos, at present the country is not governable as there in no government to talk about,” said Khumbula.
On the structures of his party Khumbula said they now do not rely on having structures as they are infiltrated and destroyed by Zanu PF. He said instead they now just rely on having members across the country.
“Even Zanu Pf does not have structures maybe the only structures that hey have are from the police and the army, the MDC it’s the same because if they have structures they are beaten up, so we no longer rely on structure but by just having ordinary members allover the country,” said Khumbula.

Hunger stalks Manzvire in Chipinge

MANZVIRE: - Drought has hit hard this part of Chipinge South and some women in this area have embarked on a food for work project that has been initiated by Christian Care a Non Governmental Organisation so that they can feed their families.
Villagers in this remote area of Chipinge South were anticipating a bumper harvest but the dry spell that has hit some parts of the country lately has left their crops wilting in the fields. The people of Chipinge normally plant small grain crops that are drought resistant such as rapoko and sorghum but these crops this time around could not stand the dry spell. Cotton is the only crop that seem to be doing well in the area but villagers who spoke to this reporter said the harvest is going to be below 50 percent. It’s easy for one to start fire and raze down the whole field as the crops have completely wilted and died from moisture stress.
NewsDay came across a group of ten women who were slashing tall grass along the Tanganda – Chiredzi highway. In normal circumstances the slashing of grass along the country’s highways is supposed to be done by the Ministry of Roads. These women at the end of the month they get food hand outs from Christian care which has initiated the food for work project.
Phillipa Mtetwa who leads this group of ten women said they have been slashing along the highway for and doing other road maintenance work for the past three months.
Mtetwa said each person gets a 10kg bag of maize meal at the end of the month but the distribution varies with how big one’s family is.
“The amount of food one gets depends on how big one’s family is, if one has registered that they are five in their family they get a $50kg bag of maize meal and five bottles of cooking oil,” said Mtetwa.
She said they are getting basic food stuff such as Matemba, cooking oil, soya chunks, beans, bulgur and maize meal and this has been going a long way in sustaining their families.
“If we had not been engaging in food for work, we could be starving by now,” said Mtetwa.
Another elderly woman who is part of the grass slashing project Lucia Mhlanga said some kids had stopped going to school because of hunger but because of the food handouts they are getting from Christian Care their problems have become minimal.
“Kids where absconding classes because of hunger and some young high school girls were now engaging in prostitution so as to put food on the table,” said Mhlanga.
Mhlanga said before Christian Care came to their rescue they have been engaging in some piece jobs at a farm owned by a company called SABOT in Chisumbanje area which is approximately 40 kilometers from Manzvire. SABOT is a company that is building a multi million ethanol plan in Chisumbanje and when the project is finished it is expected to create jobs for thousands of people in Chipinge area.
Mtetwa said their dilemma now was that the Christian Care food for work project is coming to an end at the end of March and she does not know how they will survive after that.
“Christian Care has indicated that they are going to suspend the project at the end of this month and we don’t know how we are going to survive after they have left,” said Mtetwa.
The secretary of the group Joice Mwaangireni said their wish is to venture into some income generating projects such as sewing clothes and brick molding.
“If we could get a donor who will give us sewing machines we can start income generating projects that can help us look after our families,” said Mwaangireni.
Mark Karinda the Christian Care regional area manager for Manicaland refused to shed more light on the projects they are carrying saying only Reverend Matonga the national director can comment on the humanitarian work they are doing.
“We are assisting the government in food distribution through empowering the community in doing projects that can help them,” said Karinda.
Manzvire and areas such as Checheche, Chibuwe, Tanganda and some areas in Buhera are some pats of Manicaland that have been hit hard by drought and they would need food assistance from the government.