HARARE and Norton
residents should brace for massive water cuts from today as council carries
out repair work on three pumps at the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment
The warning comes in the wake of reports that council has not been
truthful on the reasons affecting the supply of potable water to its
residents and those of satellite towns, sources at council have
"The city wishes to advise residents . . . that they might
experience water supply disruptions as from tomorrow (today). This is due to
some repair works which will be carried out at Morton Jaffray water plant",
said the director of works, Mr Psychology Chiwanga.
Mr Chiwanga said
repairs would be carried out on pumps 4, 7 and 10 from 8am to
During the same period, council intends to effect a water connection
to the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
While council has blamed the
water shortages on mechanical faults at Morton Jaffray Water Treatment
Plant, some sources at council have said the problem is to do with chemicals
and a negative working culture by some employees.
But town clerk Mr
Nomutsa Chideya dismissed the claims as untrue saying council had sufficient
stocks of chemicals.
"We have adequate stocks. You can bring your
photographer to take pictures of the huge stock piles," he
Recently, Mr Chiwanga blamed the shortages on an electrical fault
at the water plant, which he said caused the tripping of the water
But three weeks after, a period residents say should have been
enough to rectify the problem, water shortages still persist much to their
Northern and eastern suburbs have received intermittent water
supplies from the period before Christmas. The affected areas stretch from
Borrowdale in the north, Greendale, Mandara, Tafara, Mabvuku in the centre
to Msasa Park, Park Meadowlands and Epworth in the south.
are sometimes restored for only brief periods only to disappear shortly
Residents are complaining that council is failing them most
during the wet period when demand is not very high.
"We are not
watering our gardens because there is rain water," said one
In a separate but related issue, Mr Chideya said council
was still locked in meetings over the transfer of water to the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority (Zinwa).
He said the transfer process was
not an event but a process that should take at least two to three
Zinwa, whose capacity to handle the city's water management is in
doubt, is expected to pay several billions to the Harare City Council for
the various infrastructure it put in place such as the water works, and
MASVINGO City Council has failed to deal adequately
with the rampant illegal gold-mining activities that are posing a serious
danger to the water reservoirs located on a hill on the outskirts of the
The depleted municipal police force has been
unable to stem
illegal gold panning, which, if unchecked, threatens the city's water
Council has over the past year been grappling with the problem
of illegal panners who have dug deep shafts that are encroaching towards the
The reservoirs have a combined capacity of 25 000
cubic metres and supply the whole Masvingo city.
Executive mayor Mr
Alois Chaimiti yesterday conceded council was failing to stamp out illegal
"We have a thinly staffed municipal police on the ground and
they are not enough to curtail the problem as some of the panners usually
sneak to the site during the night.
"We are, however, going to beef
up the municipal police numbers so as to stem the illegal panning which
poses serious risks if not stopped," said Mr Chaimiti.
said council could not effectively deal with the problem on its own and
called on the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Office of the Mining
Commissioner to come to their aid.
Masvingo provincial mining
commissioner Mr Pidious Shumba yesterday acknowledged the gravity of the
situation at the reservoirs, but said they was little they could do as the
area was within sole municipal jurisdiction and control.
"That is a
reserved area which falls under council; therefore, we do not issue licences
to anyone to undertake mining activities there.
"We are, however,
concerned that some of the illegal panners are said to be producing licences
whereas we never issued licences to anyone mining there.
together with the police, should arrest such people.
"We also think that
the council could introduce 24-hour security at the site, but that could
also not be enough as some of the guards may be bribed or the panners may be
very violent as has happened in many cases," said Mr Shumba.
they had on several occasions written to council about the dangers of
illegal mining near the reservoirs.
They had even advised council to
licence one responsible miner in the area.
Illegal gold panning
activities countrywide have not only resulted in serious damage to
infrastructure like roads, railway lines and schools, but they also cause
massive land degradation and siltation of rivers.
To those who choose silence, let me adapt the Rev Niemoller's famous
words.FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE NDEBELE,BUT I WAS NOT A NDEBELE SO I DID NOT
SPEAK OUT. Then they came for the farmers, but I was not a farmer, so I did
not speak out. Then they came for the farm workers, homosexuals and the
trade unionists, but I was neither, so I remained silent. Then they came for
the journalists, but I was not a journalist so I did not speak out. And when
they came for me,there was no one left to speak out for me. STOP THE
ZIMBABWE - STOP THE REMOVALS
Saturday 29th January 2005 1.00pm to 5.00pm Home
Office 50 Queen Anne's Gate London SW1H 9AT Nearest tube: St James
Park on the district line
UK Zimbabwean Community Campaign to Defend
Asylum Seekers (UKZCCDAS) is greatly concerned that the UK government has
resumed forced removals of Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers.
change of policy on Zimbabwe comes as a shock given the fact that the
situation on the ground remains the same as when the suspension was
announced two years ago. The suspension was originally won by the struggles
of refugee groups and human rights lawyers who targeted the airlines
ferrying 'failed' claimants to almost certain torture.
November the government was embroiled in the fiasco over the English cricket
team tour of Zimbabwe. Yet as New Labour ministers loudly knocked Robert
Mugabe's human rights record for six, the Home Office was quietly bowling
'failed' Zimbabwean asylum seekers straight back into his hands.
not safe to remove Zimbabweans in the run-up to the general election
expected in March. The Zimbabwean regime is paranoid and will treat anyone
deported from the UK with suspicion. A Zanu-PF Minister recently said that
"the threats by the United Kingdom to deport about 10,000 Zimbabweans might
be a cover to deploy elements trained in sabotage, intimidation and violence
to destabilize the country before and during the parliamentary
There is no prize for guessing what might happen to
Zimbabweans who are sent home by the UK government. Unfortunate Zimbabweans
that have been deported so far have been subjected to inhuman treatment by
the regime in Zimbabwe.
UKZCCDAS calls for an end to these forced
removals. In particular we call on the Home Office to pay heed to the
latest statement from the UNHCR issued in December, which emphatically
states that there should be no 'forced removals' to Zimbabwe.
are staging the demonstration at the Home Office (who are the policy
For more information contact: Stoptheremovals_zimbabwe@yahoo.co.uk Or
Call the following Dr Brighton Chireka on 07960209253 Emily Madamombe on
07900061215 Arthur Molife on 07960126028 Wilson Ncube on
Londoners take the district line to St James Park station.
Use the Broadway exit and you will see the Home Office as you come out of St
James Park Tube station.
Those outside London you can come by buses
to Victoria station. Get the East bound district line from Victoria Tube
station to St James Park which is one station away from Victoria. Use the
Broadway exit and you will see the Home Office as you come out of St James
Park tube station.
Those coming by trains from outside London can get
South bound Victoria line from Euston Station, change at Victoria station
for east bound District line to St James Park which is one station away from
Victoria. Use the Broadway exit and you will see the Home Office as you come
out of St James Park tube station.
HUNDREDS of Zanu PF
supporters loyal to opposing factions clashed in Glen Norah on Thursday
night as the in-fighting in the ruling party over the selection of
parliamentary candidates continues.
Police had to intervene to
calm the two factions, one loyal to war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba
and the other to former Harare commissioner Cleveria
Chizema has since been confirmed the Zanu PF candidate
for Glen Norah in a controversial quota system for women adopted by Zanu PF
last month ahead of Chintoimba, who has splashed millions of dollars in the
Zanu PF supporters told The Daily News Online
yesterday that Chizema and her faction attended a funeral in Glen Norah A on
Thusrday night. While she was delivering her speech at the funeral,
Chinotimba and his youths stormed the occasion and started assaulting the
"There was confusion as the two factions clashed
and the coffin had to be hidden in the bedroom as the two groups of youths
started trading blows," a Zanu PF supporter who attended the funeral
"Chizema's faction was chanting that the female candidate
was the party's choice and that Chinotimba's group was disregarding the
party's position that Glen Norah was reserved for women."
Police had to be called in to calm the two factions. The new quota system
has caused confusion in Zanu PF as some Young Turks who were vying to
contest some constituencies now reserved for women are asking what criteria
On Tuesday, hordes of Zanu PF supporters besieged
their party headquarters demanding an explanation on why the party had come
up with some candidates who were to stand unopposed.
Botswana denies Xmas holiday meeting with Tsvangirai
07, 2005, 18:30
Botswana has denied a report that president Festus Mogae
met with Morgan Tsvangirai leader of Zimbabwe's opposition party Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), during the Christmas holidays.
to an article published in the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper the two met at
Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe. It said that Mogae, accompanied by
representatives of President Thabo Mbeki, tried to convince the MDC to
contest the forthcoming election in Zimbabwe.
The report quoted
Mogae's spokesperson as saying: "Mogae met Tsvangirai during a private visit
to Victoria Falls over the festive season to brief him on the deliberations
he had with other SADC (South African Development Community) heads of
"He reiterated that the common position was for the MDC to
participate in the election or risk losing its relevance."
Mogae's office said he and his family had paid a private overnight visit to
Victoria Falls, arriving on December 29 and departing the following day for
Kasane (Botswana). As a matter of protocol he was met by Stan Mudenge,
Zimbabwe's minister for foreign affairs, and other government
Mogae last met with Tsvangirai in Botswana in November and
had expressed the hope that the MDC would continue to participate in the
electoral process in Zimbabwe. - Sapa
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Jan 2005 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government is planning to set up a transit
centre in the busy southern border town of Beitbridge to assist vulnerable
youths deported as illegal aliens from South Africa.
The centre, to be
established with the help of Save the Children Fund (Norway), will help
youths under 18 who have been expelled for crossing the border illegally,
but have no money to return to their homes.
Public Service, Labour and
Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana told IRIN that the idea of a transit
centre followed reports that some deportees, especially girls, had been
victims of abuse and sexual harassment in Beitbridge.
"We decided to
enlist the help of non-governmental organisations to deal with the problem
of young deportees, who are usually dumped around town. There are
substantiated reports of young girls going into prostitution because they
cannot find money to go back to their distant homes. Some, especially boys,
engage in criminal activities to find money for food and travel," said
The minister said Save The Children (Norway) had donated over
US $11,000 to help with the development of the centre, to be located about
15 km from the border post. According to a plan unveiled by the Beitbridge
District Child protection Committee last week, the centre is to provide
meals and accommodation to affected children for up to three
"We realise that most female deportees are sexually harassed in the
process of deportation. To this end the centre will also try to offer
counselling services to the affected before we release them. Through liaison
with other district social welfare offices, those of school-going age shall
be sent back to school in their own areas of origin," he
Mangwana noted that transporting the deportees back to their homes
was proving difficult, as bus operators were refusing to accept
government-issued travel warrants.
Zimbabwe's economic crisis has led
to an exodus of young people looking for work and opportunities across the
border in South Africa, and hundreds of illegal Zimbabwean migrants are
caught, detained and deported from there every month.
the South African authorities, 900 Zimbabweans are due to be expelled on 15
January - a figure inflated by the suspension of deportations over the
legislator Justin Mutendadzamera, has threatened to quit the MDC if party
leader Morgan Tsvangirai declines to nullify the outcome of primary
elections in the constituency that saw him lose the seat to Manicaland
provincial chairperson, Timothy Mubhawu. Mutendadzamera's threat comes barely
less than a month after outspoken St Mary's legislator Job Sikhala
confronted Tsvangirai, demanding to know his fate in the MDC after the
opposition party had delayed holding a confirmation exercise in his
constituency. Mutendadzamera has since written a letter to Tsvangirai and
copied it to secretary general Welshman Ncube, national chairman Isaac
Matongo and national organising secretary Esaph Mdlongwa threatening to quit
the MDC if his case was not attended to. "I hereby seek the nullification
of primary election results conducted at Harvest House on December 21 for
the following reasons-the date for the election was neither convenient to
the electorate as it coincided with the eve of the public holiday when most
people had gone for the holidays," read part of Mutendadzamera's
letter. He also alleged that the date for the election was not communicated
to the electorate when it was set and was kept a secret until he heard about
it through the grapevine by youth national chairman Nelson Chamisa on
December 20. "When my constituency officer Victor Mpofu phoned the
Secretary General's office, he was told by Mukashi that it was true that
elections were going on the following day, but he advised him not to tell
the people nor mention his name as the source of information," he
alleged. He argued that since some voters had gone on holiday or they did not
know about the election, the process was suspicious. Mutendadzamera
further alleged that the rumour about the elections was also spread by a
woman named Amai Duncan, Mubhawu's campaign manager. "This means in one way
or the other Mr Mubhawu was accorded an opportunity to campaign with a
target date which is grossly unfair, if an election is expected to be deemed
fair," stated Mutendadzamera. He accused Mubhawu of violating party rules by
vote buying, hiring thugs to harass his supporters, among other things,
which he said guaranteed disciplinary action. He added: "It is
regrettable that having made several representations to the authorities
nothing has been done to correct the situation.I can safely restore my
political dignity by resigning if the party cannot uphold its own principles
and policies." Mutendadzamera said he felt safe by quitting the MDC than to
be disowned by people who claim to be democrats while they rig their own
elections. "To this end if the party chooses to protect a person like Mubhawu
at the expense of the wishes of the people of Mabvuku and Tafara, the party
stands to regret more than it did when it approved the candidacy of Sekesai
Makwavarara, worse still the candidacy of anybody else in Zengeza other
(than) the choice of the people. Mubhawu could not be reached for
comment. Tsvangirai spokesperson, William Bango would not commit himself on
the issue yesterday when contacted for comment. "Please, please, don't
waste my time over those issues. I have not seen any document. Contact Paul
Themba Nyathi," he said curtly. Nyathi professed ignorance over the
issue. "Is he hoping that by sending his letter to The Daily Mirror, it is
going to promote his cause? I have not seen that document," Nyathi said.
Health ministry to curb spread of sleeping
The Daily Mirror Reporter issue date :2005-Jan-07
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare will launch a Human African
Trypanosomiasis Survey (HATS) in tsetse fly infested areas in an effort to
evaluate the prevalence of the sleeping sickness in the country from the
findings of the research. Trypanosomiasis is the medical term for the
tsetse-fly induced disease - sleeping sickness, known in other areas as
Nagana. Nagana is the Nigerian term for the disease. Health Minister,
David Parirenyatwa, confirmed to The Daily Mirror that his ministry intended
to gather knowledge of cases related to sleeping sickness and would soon
launch a survey aimed at improving methods of administering the prevalence
of disease in the country. He said: "My ministry will soon launch the survey
intended to look into the prevalence of sleeping sickness in the
country". The HATS programme is a World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative
after the organisation had identified that some countries in the world were
not reporting on prevalence of the disease amongst their populations. A
WHO Assembly held in the year 2003 cited amongst other reasons, poor
diagnosis and limited knowledge as cause of ignorance to the existence of
the disease in most countries across the world. "Under auspices of WHO,
countries have to work on stopping the disease", added Stanley Midzi, a
doctor working for Ministry of Health in the section of Disease Prevention
and Control. "WHO will commit US$10 000 as assistance to each country that is
going to undertake the programme after producing a good proposal to the
organisation. We have so far provided our own", said Midzi. However,
Midzi said the Health ministry's target is to start the survey on the
prevalence of sleeping sickness in February this year depending on the
availability of the said "provisional" funding from WHO and local
stakeholders. The objectives of the HATS programme are to assess the
knowledge, attitude and practices of health personnel especially those
working in Zambezi Valley and Kariba in the country. The two areas, that
are predominantly hot all year round, are tsetse-fly infested and are
regarded as reservoirs of sleeping sickness in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, people
working in the health sector will help with recommendations on the treatment
of sleeping sickness or on whether the disease is quite prevalent in the
Valley and surrounding areas.
OPINION January 7, 2005 Posted to the web January 7,
COMING into 2005 could not have been the best
transition for me (and probably many others), but it was unequivocally worse
for the financial industry, which literally rolled down into the New
I rolled over into 2005, hoping to get over 2004's setbacks. I
therefore equipped myself with the necessary absorbers, which many banks
obviously lacked, to cushion me from the previous year's trials and
tribulations and ride the shocks.
But all the same, or all the
difference, here we are the poor and the rich, the collapsed banks and the
survivors, the yet-to-take off Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group and the banks
suing the Reserve Bank, all radiant, or otherwise, 2005 would redefine
The turn of 2004 might not have been accompanied with much delight,
specifically for Zimbabwe's banking industry, which is still nursing the
wounds of a forgettable year full of unexpected changes.
But it will
be a period financial institutions would wish to forget in a hurry, submerge
2004's calamities and proceed with operations as if 2004 never
But it is not as simple as all that. The year 2004 did exist,
whether we like it or not!
For the financial sector 2004 closed on
more than a sad note, although "mad" would be a better word.
assurances by the central bank, the turmoil that characterised the financial
sector during the last 12 months continues to rage like a veld
The unexpected closure of CFX commercial bank and its two
sister companies followed by their subsequent placement under curatorship
was a painful reminder to the industry and public at large of the
instability that characterised the sector in the first 11 months of a
Besides draining the public's confidence in indigenous
banks, the failure of merged CFX Bank raised a fresh wave of dust that
appeared to have settled when the RBZ's clean-up campaign claimed arguably
its biggest casualty of the year when illiquid Trust Bank was
The closing two weeks were a source of agony for the industry,
which seems to have spilled over into the New Year.
Rumours were rife
in the market that Kingdom Bank was heading CFX's way, but the former has
dispelled such speculation saying the bank is fundamentally sound and
But who will repair the damage that has been visited on
black-owned banks? Worse still, RBZ's brainchild, ZABG - an amalgamation of
troubled banks meant to be a lasting solution to the mayhem in the sector -
failed to take off as envisaged.
The banking group was initially set
to begin operations on January 1, 2005, but the central bank has since
postponed its opening to a later date citing various technical
Even more disturbing is that three banks, which were
supposed to form the core of the giant ZABG, are intent on suing the RBZ for
dragging them into a forced marriage.
Time Bank has already filed
papers at the High Court challenging the central bank's decision to place it
under curatorship, while Intermarket Bank and Royal Bank have resolved to do
It is now doubtful whether ZABG will commence operations with
pending court cases from more half of its subsidiaries hanging over its
However, this is 2005. It's a new year, and anything can
The year 2004 saw several attempts at corporate restructuring and
proposed acquisitions,, although, regrettably, most of them did not see the
light of day
In the financial sector the Commercial Bank of
Zimbabwe's proposed merger with Datvest Asset Management was aborted while,
on the other hand, the cash-rich conglomerate, Innscor, withdrew at the last
minute from a proposed marriage with CFX Bank. Did they smell a
Only two courtships ended in marriage, notably mergers between First
Banking Corporation and Southern Africa Reinsurance Company, and eventually
the doomed alliance between CFX FS and Century Holdings.
ambitions did not go unnoticed with analysts saying it was "uplifting to
note how active Innscor was during 2004's last quarter, seeking means to
diversify its operations and improve shareholders' value".
First to be
proposed was the share buy back in which the conglomerate was keen to
acquire 10 percent of its own share capital in any one year.
latest foray is its bid to acquire the shares of Colcom minority
shareholders with a view to holding a controlling stake in the pork
processor, which exercise is expected to be completed by
"The great effort that the company has put in building a solid
financial base as well as improve shareholders' wealth has immensely boosted
stakeholders' confidence in it.
"It is no surprise therefore to note
how Innscor's share price has firmed on the local bourse," said a Harare
Other positive developments during the past quarter include the
expansion plans by Kingdom Financial Holdings and Econet.
plans to open a merchant bank in Zambia, funded by a proposed increase in
share capital, while the latter has successfully disposed of its 14 percent
stake in Mascom Wireless Botswana to fund the expansion of its Zimbabwe
A share consolidation scheme was also launched, which will
improve Econet's share value.
For those companies/banks yet to
acquire shock absorbers 2005 might be the ideal year to guard against future
humps and potholes. Wish you a prosperous 2005, come rain or
CUBA marked 46 years of revolution yesterday
expressing confidence that its relations with Zimbabwe will continue on a
strong path this year.
Speaking to journalists in Harare, the Acting
Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Javier Dokomos Ruiz, said the relationship
between the two countries remained unwavering last year.
He said the
two countries whose relations were based on solidarity and internationalism
principles remained united despite efforts by the United States and its
allies to condemn both countries.
"There was a positive exchange of
delegations, a common fight in the international arena against attempts of
imperialist forces of unjustly condemning our two countries for defending
our sovereignty," said Mr Ruiz.
He said the presence of the Cuban Medical
Brigade, made of qualified health professionals and technicians in Zimbabwe
made the bilateral relations between the two countries a
Cuba has also participated in several cultural events in
Zimbabwe like the Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF), the
International Images Film Festival for Women, and the Gwanza Month of
Photography among others.
Mr Ruiz noted that Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship
Association also carried out a number of important activities to express its
support to the Cuban cause.
"We are convinced that the relationship
between Cuba and Zimbabwe will continue on its strengthening path during
2005," Mr Ruiz said.
The chairman of Cuba-Zimbabwe Friendship Association
Mr Lovemore Gwati commended Cuba for its resilience against forces of
He urged Cuba to remain committed to the welfare of humanity
and continue to score and tell more success stories.
THE dispute over the ratification of this year's
proposed school fees by some private schools has spilled into the courts
after the Government rejected the fee levels, saying they were not
Last week the Association of Trust Schools and 14 other
private schools took the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Cde
Aeneas Chigwedere, to the High Court, challenging his decision to reject
The 14 private schools had proposed fees for this term
of between $15 million and $28 million including levies, which the Secretary
for Education reduced.
Dissatisfied with the secretary's decision,
the schools appealed to the minister to set it aside.
and evaluating the appeal on the basis of the proposed amounts, Cde
Chigwedere made slight upward adjustments.
However, the schools, unhappy
with the new levels, resolved to continue with the appeal process laid down
in the Education Act, leading to litigation at the High Court.
schools are also seeking interim relief stopping the minister from closing
the schools in the event of an impasse on the ratification and
implementation of the proposed fees and are seeking permission to demand the
proposed fees and levies pending the determination of the case by the High
Justice Rita Makarau, who heard the case sitting in her
chambers, granted an interim relief, slightly changed from the original
draft order, with the consent of the ministry, represented by Mr Clement
Muchenga of the Civil Division in the Attorney General's Office.
Muchenga on Wednesday said the private schools were granted an order that no
schools were to be closed or threatened with closure pending the
finalisation of the case.
"The applicants or other members of the
Association of Trust Schools could charge the fees and levies set by the
minister pending appeals lodged with the High Court," said Mr
He said during the hearing, the schools, through their lawyer
Advocate Eric Matinenga, had argued that the fees that had slightly been
increased by the minister were insufficient to finance their
But Justice Makarau noted that the schools could not charge
fees they had set because in terms of the Education Act, fees and levies had
to be approved first by the Secretary for Education, Mr Muchenga
"We are now waiting for the court to determine whether the fees set
by the minister are reasonable or not," he said.
The schools which
are challenging the ministry's decision include Peterhouse high schools for
boys and girls in Marondera, which proposed $28 million and $20 million
respectively; Watershed, $20 million; Lomagundi College, $20 million;
Hillcrest College, $25,8 million; Falcon College, $23 million; Whitestone
primary, $21 million; while Chisipite and Arundel proposed $16 million each.
These are all fees for boarders.
Arundel, one of the schools that have
notified the High Court of their intention to appeal, said Cde Chigwedere
erred in failing to remedy the ultra vires decisions of the secretary by not
appreciating that under Education Act, the secretary has no power to reset a
fee as applied for by a school.
Cde Chigwedere, the school said,
erred and acted ultra-vires the Act by failing to appreciate that the power
of the minister was restricted to either upholding or dismissing an appeal
in terms of the provisions of the Act, and not to reset the fees for the
"The respondent, instead of making decision that the Secretary
ought to have made, adjusted the fees slightly thereby setting another fee
himself well bellow what the school, in consultation with parents, had set
and agreed," read part of the grounds of appeal by Arundel.
Secretary and, subsequently, the Minister did not act lawfully, reasonably
and in a fair manner as required by the provisions of the Administrative
Justice Act of December 2004 in resetting the fees," the school
The ministry, it is further argued, made unreasonable and unfair
decisions that could affect the rights, interests and legitimate
expectations of many people, especially the responsible authority, pupils,
parents and guardians.
The date to hear the case is yet to be
Cde Chigwedere, speaking on a Zimbabwe Television live
programme, Face The Nation, on Thursday last week, confirmed that the
schools were granted an interim relief on the matter.
said his ministry had since gathered information on the operations of the
schools and was convinced that the proposed increases were not
Cde Chigwedere said investigations conducted by his ministry
revealed that some of the private schools were, going by the ministry's
standards, grossly overstaffed and that 70 percent of their expenditure went
towards teachers' salaries which could be catered for by the
He said while the ministry appreciated the impact of
inflation on school budgets, there was need for parents to know that they
were being cheated in some cases.
Staffing levels have been a bone of
contention between parents and the ministry, with most parents preferring
the small classes offered by the schools while the ministry says that there
is nothing to gain from such class sizes.
The high proportion of
total costs absorbed by salaries for teachers and support staff has been
accepted at most parents meetings.
Vumelani Moyo, born and bred in Jetjeni remembers that it is
only just about five years back when other tribal groupings, mainly the
Ndebele, settled alongside them in the village that started as a refugee
camp of sorts for the Bakalanga of the Nswazwi clan who were fleeing the
sparks ensuing from the conflict between Tshekedi Khama and John Madawu
Nswazwi in 1947.
What the easy smiling young man knows is
that though they have long lived in their adopted country (Zimbabwe), they
have always been looked at as aliens, or to be precise as Batswana. And the
close to 300 families in the three wards that make up the Nswazwi area in
Zimbabwe namely Nswazwi, Mbuyane and Maipaafela are not
"My parents have long told me that home is Botswana
and I believe that as well. I would love to return home some day", he
The people he has grown around live through a double
consciousness complex. They have to juggle two distinct identities all at
the same time. One runs the inevitability of ending up in that middle
bastardized space where one is a mish mash of this and that but
disappointingly nothing in particular worth identifying with inside of
They are like a people stuck somewhere along
the way in a place without a name. Batswana, he says, view them as
Zimbabweans and so does their ancestral home's laws.
other hand Zimbabweans perceives them as outsiders even though their law
recognizes them. The young man understands this duality of social being. It
has confronted him time and again on both sides of the border.
have been arrested from time to time in Botswana for border jumping. I work
as a mechanic in Gaborone where I have adopted the name Mmoloki. Ga se gore
re a tshela golo fa go tlala. I would like to join my brother in Dagwi who
has now assumed Botswana nationality and is doing just fine. There are many
job opportunities there", he says.
But his silver haired father
would not hear of him relocating to Botswana with the 480 or so strong
legion of those who want to return. Maybe it is old age that brings out the
cynicism that does not sit well with the son.
"My parents have
cattle here and feel that life is better here than in Botswana because they
know that with the foot and mouth disease, they cannot be allowed to cross
the border with their head of livestock. They have a lot of faith in the
growing of crops and rearing of livestock. I will be the first to leave when
my father dies", he adds.
Sixty-six year old Motshidisi Khupe is
the chairman of the repatriation committee. Laying back on his chair, he
assumes the picture of unfettered composure and peace whilst around him
Radio Botswana's DJ Sly`s Rush Hour Experience wins the sonic space with
ease from the distant clatter of cow bells.
It is only until he
catches wind of the assertion that they are moving house because of
increased economic hardships in Zimbabwe that he is transformed into a
wildly gesticulating automaton.
"Do we look like we are starving?
Just look around, we have cattle, we grow crops here and feed ourselves. All
we need is to get back to our ancestral land. It is our detractors who
spread such malicious words.
We have nothing against any
government. We are not threatened by Zimbabwe's economic crisis. We are
doing this in a lawful manner. We discussed this issue with the authorities
here to help us get back home. The issue still rests with them. We still
await their response", he relates.
For the gray bearded Isaac
Dambe, the irresistible urge to get back home came to him on that fateful
14th day of June of 2002 when he joined the expedition that exhumed
Nswazwi`s remains from Jetjeni for reburial the following day in
He says that he felt that he should have returned right
away with the bones because without Nswazwi`s spirit around there was
nothing left for him to remain behind.
All that had held
everything together, the adhesive that had kept them hooked to the place was
no more. It was these bones of their father committed to the Jetjeni soil
that had given them a special yet false sense of belonging in
"You would remember that since 1995 when our people in
Botswana requested the bones for reburial, we fought tooth and nail because
it was his spirit that kept us alive. We lived according to his law. He was
my spiritual leader. Whatever I wanted, I pleaded with him. Now that our
ancestor has gone, what are we left here to do?
bones here, everything we do can't go right. The repatriation of the bones
weakened me. It killed in me the will to keep at it in this place", he
This interestingly serves as the committee's official
reason for relocating, more than four decades after the last en mass exodus
to Botswana that resulted in the formation of the village of Marapong in
The issue of contention remains nothing but the bones,
Nswazwi`s bones. They say that if it was not for the repatriated remains
they would be staying put in the area with a perfectly clear
Dambe`s explanation, unlike that of the young Moyo
tries to propagate a holistic view that treats their spirituality as a very
invaluable property, having a direct impact on all spheres of life, the
social, economic and as well as the political.
reflects the generation gap; a simple case of the young gravitating towards
the modern and more fashionable cash economic system that drives them to
seek paying employment. This is at the expense of the old folks'
agricultural activity that characterizes their frugal living.
kind of life does not shy away from being hinged on the spiritual and the
supernatural. Perhaps the truth is that each of these people has his own
reason for leaving. A lot of these people have over time trickled
individually out of the village into Botswana, never to return.
Although the Khupes and the Dambes claim that they are familiar with
Botswana and know what to expect, Mma Sphiwe represents a significant number
of the legion bound for Botswana, if all goes well, who have never set foot
on the soil they call their ancestral home.
After forging a
life in Jetjeni over the years, how will she stand the ripple of a sudden
change, a need to start all over again in a different country with its own
set of different rules and limitations? Is she simply romanticizing about a
place she barely knows, a place she has just heard of from the Radio
Botswana stations they admiringly refer to as "ya kanyi kwedu (the one from
"Life is the same wherever you go. We are going to manage
just as others did in 1958 when they relocated home and blended with ease
forming the present day Marapong. Our people have always gone home there and
survived because we have people over there. Goshwe, Dagwi, Marapong and
Nswazwi are our people.
It has always been easier for the
educated to go home individually whilst for us the best bet is as an
organized unit because the cost is unbearably high", she says
As their Kgosi in Nswazwi (Botswana), Mathafeni Nswazwi
relates, the 1958 relocation resulted in a new village, Marapong. To avoid
fights with those who did not run away to Zimbabwe during the
Tshekedi/Nswazwi debacle, the returning tribe was given new land to
The returnees were people with developed social
institutions like a tribal leadership that could also claim direct blood
ties with Nswazwi as he took many wives. How then are they going to ensure
that there are no frictions between the existing tribal authorities in
Botswana and the ones in Jetjeni?
"This is a spiritual exodus.
It is for those who genuinely want to get back home and nothing else. Not
everyone wants to leave. Even some headmen here do not want to leave
Those who go back are simply going to be ordinary men and
women. People who are headmen here for instance, will no longer be when we
get home. We are going to be quietly slot into our respective wards back
home", says Khupe.
Mathafeni Nswazwi, is a man who is
uncomfortable with the issue of the repatriation of his
Although he says that the Jetjeni people originate in
Nswazwi, he seems more like a reactionary spectator watching from the
sidelines without much interest in the whole repatriation thing. He claims
to have no idea whether there has been any progress made as far as the
relocation exercise is concerned.
"I do not want it to be said
that we called them here. We did not ask them to come here. We never said
that we need them here. They are the ones who want to come here. They should
therefore make the necessary preparations to come over here as they are the
ones who want to come here. We can only come in when they have finished all
the paperwork with the two governments. We would then post them into their
respective wards", he comments with a shade of worry in his eye and
Does the old man smell a rat in this repatriation exercise?
He is not telling anything more. But one thing that is certain is that the
issue causes him discomfort.
He is a man not excited by the
prospect of the coming men and women and children of his father's blood and