Govt boots out 600 orphans

via Govt boots out 600 orphans – DailyNews Live 19 June 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba

HARARE – Government has dumped orphaned and disadvantaged children after seizing a farm from a non-governmental organisation (NGO) looking after the children and allocated it to Bindura University.

Save Our Souls (SOS) Zimbabwe has lost one of its farms, Glen Avilin Farm 3 in Bindura, after the ministry of Lands gave the university an offer letter for the farm.

The NGO was utilising the 534-hectare farm to produce food for more than 600 orphans to sustain itself.

Gary Birditt, director of SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe, told the Daily News yesterday that the ministry of Lands took over the farm without consulting them.

“It was handed over to the Bindura State University on June 12,” Birditt said.

“There was no consultation prior to the takeover.  On the day of handover of the farm, June 12, an offer letter in favour of the Bindura State University was produced by the Bindura State University senior staff.”

Birditt said his organisation used part of the farm to cultivate soya beans and seed maize, while the ministry of Agriculture was leasing some land.

“The farm was recently under seed maize and soya; both crops have just been harvested,” he said.

“Full time training of agricultural and engineering students had ceased, apart from training being conducted by the ministry of Agriculture who are leasing some land, hostel accommodation and training room facilities from SOS Children’s Village,” he said.

The Daily News crew paid a visit to the farm on Tuesday and it was deserted.

Offices were locked and the SOS supermarket was closed.

The NGO is now left with one farm at Maizelands in Bindura and aso a number of schools in the town.

Martin Dinha, the minister of state for Mashonaland Central, yesterday declined to comment on the seizure.

“Who told you about this? I want names so that I can be able to assist you. Without giving me names I will not be able to comment,” Dinha said.

Douglas Mombeshora, the Lands and Rural Resettlement minister, was unreachable for comment.

SOS runs a number of schools and children’s villages in Bindura.

The aid agency came to Zimbabwe soon after independence.
SOS Children’s Village Bindura comprises 15 family houses with a capacity to take in up to 180 children, an administration building, a multi-purpose hall, a sports field and a house for the village director.

The adjoining SOS kindergarten consists of three group rooms and a playground and can accommodate up to 90 children.

The SOS vocational training centre at Maizelands farm has been operational since 1983.

It comprises three branches namely agricultural training, farming, and car mechanics. It has a capacity to take in up to 130 youths.

On 1 400 hectares of farmland, millet, cotton, peppers, sun flowers, soybeans and citrus fruit are cultivated.

The farm provides the SOS Children’s Village with agricultural products and contributes towards its maintenance through the sale of its products.

It also runs two SOS Hermann Gmeiner primary schools, one for up to 990 pupils on the premises of the SOS Children’s Village and a second one for up to 1,080 pupils on the site of the Maizelands farm.

The aid agency also runs the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Secondary School.


  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Lord have mercy.

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    There is a lot of idle land in Zimbabwe — why not allocate idle land to Bindura State University?

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    This is a good way to bring God’s judgment down on their heads. Keep ding this ZPF for God Himself will deal with you.

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    Petal 8 years ago

    Only heartless, vindictive and spiteful people without a conscience will do this
    one asks questions is this done because it is run by a caucasian
    there was an article on this site that disgrace is running an orphange?
    ZHR Lawyers and civil society need to voice their concern about this

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    Petal 8 years ago

    Hope someone will bring this article to Aldo EU Ambassadors attention and see what he says – we would like to read his reponse

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    Petal 8 years ago

    “Gary Birditt, director of SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe, told the Daily News yesterday that the ministry of Lands took over the farm without consulting them.”
    shows the unprofessionalism of these vindictive theiving scumbags who do not have a conscience-always going behind peoples backs

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    Petal 8 years ago

    sure it is going to be a university or either someone is eying all the hard work put by them? Still they should have made communication with the person who oversees the Orphanage. why have they not found an alternative solution to this instead of kicking out children who do not have parents – very very heartless people

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    uuuuh unbelievable .kicking the orphans out ? Where are they now ? Let us b optimistic may b da gvnt has a better stake for them . I cant imagine these little souls being left in da open . Another holocast

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      Petal 8 years ago

      Sic Bob and Disgrace Gucci who is marketing herself with her orphange,would be throwing tantrums and imprisoning people if it was the other way around

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    Petal 8 years ago

    Two universities in the region of plenty HO Ho Ho! and the poor souls have to make way for it