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MASVINGO - The ground breaking ceremony by President Mugabe for the $998 million Beitbridge-Harare Highway dualisation project has been pencilled for May 5 this year at Chaka.
This was said by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Masvingo Senator Shuvai Mahofa during the 37th Independence celebrations held at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo where she read the President's speech to thousands of people in attendance.
"The major road system, on which the country's economic development is heavily dependent is definitely set to improve. We are pleased that the long awaited Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Road dualisation is finally going to start. We are going for the ground breaking ceremony on May 5 so that the project can start.
"The project, which is set to have significant positive subcontracting arrangements to indigenous companies, will see locals earning $400 million. It is also set to boost local production of sourced materials, and is poised to create employment for our people," said Mahofa.
The $400m is part of the 40% which is allocated to locals as subcontractors in the project where they will supply various materials and labour.
The first phase of the dualisation project will cover the 583km stretch from Harare to Beitbridge and the ceremony will be conducted near Shashe River Bridge which borders Masvingo and Midlands Provinces where the highway will pass through.
"We chose the boundary of the two provinces because the road will be passing through Mash East, Midlands, Masvingo and Mat South Provinces and this is almost the midpoint of the provinces," said Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Joram Gumbo.
The road project will be implemented under a built operate and transfer (BOT) 25 year programme funded by the main contractor, Gieger International.
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  • Clinic that served 20 000 people closed
  • Clubhouse, lodges, golf course growing trees and grass
  • Farmers receiving untreated water

CHIREDZI – As it happened in many places and towns in the country, it is happening in Chiredzi where Masvingo's single largest employer still runs the Province's only remaining industry.
Mkwasine, one of the major sugarcane estates is crumbling at the hands of new farmers who took over the land from Tongaat Hullet.
The new sugarcane farmers themselves have told The Mirror in separate interviews that they have failed.
Mkwasine Clinic which served a population of more than 20 000 people has shut down and people are travelling many kilometres to Chiredzi Town and other places for medical services. Mkwasine Golf Club, has also shut down and it went down together with several recreational facilities including a large venue for meetings, lodges, golf course, tennis courts, cricket and squash.
The farmers are getting untreated water from their tapes because they cannot afford water treatment chemicals. The Mirror has also established that Zesa has disconnected power in many places because the farmers are failing to pay for electricity.
A huge workshop for servicing the Estate has since been closed.
The road network is almost impassable after Tongaat Hulett was forced by the new farmers to withdraw its manpower from Mkwasine Centre.
Work force was pushed out as Zanu PF gurus scrambled over workers' houses and commercial buildings at Mkwasine.
Many farmers who spoke to The Mirror conceded that the situation has become a big crisis and said things were better under Tongaat.
Mkwasine Sugarcane Farmers Association (MSFA) Chairman Rtd Col Dennis Masomere said the situation at Mkwasine was a mess.
He however, said farmers were liaising with Chiredzi Rural District Council (RDC) and the Ministry of Health so that they take over Mkwasine Clinic. He also suggested that Tongaat Hulett be called back to provide services.
 "Things are in a mess in Mkwasine but we cannot declare ourselves incapable of running the show. A proper handover from Tongaat Hulett is taking time. Our roads are not being maintained, the clinic has closed down and our water system for domestic use is not working properly as well as electricity which Zesa is disconnecting due to non-payment of bills by farmers.
"We no longer enjoy critical services from Tongaat," said Masomere.
Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association of Zimbabwe (CSFAZ) chairman, Tawanda Mafurutu said, "There are problems in Mkwasine but as farmers we can't do anything since it is an issue which is being handled by Government through the Ministry of Lands.
Farmers can't takeover service provision because they have no money.
"We hope things will change after the start of the sugar cutting season. Tongaat still has an obligation through their social responsibility policy to support us".
The Mirror also spoke to one of the Mkwasine farmers Wellington Mudzimiri who bemoaned the collapse of the clinic, workshop and country club. He said lives were being lost unnecessarilly because of the closure of the clinic.
Tongaat Hulett Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager Adelaide Chikunguru said the company is still providing services in Mkwasine especially where its critically needed.
"The consortium of partners, Triangle and Hippo Valley Estates used to grow some 4800 hectares of sugarcane at Mkwasine which has now been allocated to A2 farmers.
"The two organisations continue to provide farmer support services to outgrowers in Mkwasine with an annual budget of US$2m . We are still offering agronomic extension services, estate management services, coordination of cane harvesting and cane haulage as well as infrastructure maintenance and agro inputs sourcing and distribution" said Adelaide Chikunguru.
She however, confirmed that many social amenities which were meant for their employees were cut since they no longer have a workforce in Mkwasine.
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GWERU – Two men, a CIO operative and a Zanu PF youth leader who were convicted and jailed for shooting and nearly killing former Gweru Mayor and businessman Patrick Kombayi during the 1990 General Elections have died within days of each other.
Kizito Chivamba who was now the Zanu PF vice chairman for Midlands Province and MP for Chiwundura Constituency died at Gweru General Hospital yesterday (Wednesday 19 April 2017). His co-accused in the Kombayi shooting George Rushwaya died in Harare last week.
Kizito who was the Zanu PF youth chairman at the time was convicted and jailed for shooting Kombayi who was the Zimbabwe Unity Movement Parliamentary candidate for Gweru Urban along Harare–Gweru Road in Gweru but was released one year into his jail term after President Mugabe pardoned him.
George Rushwaya whose name did not feature prominently in court but is understood to be one of those who fired shots at Kombayi died in Harare last week and was buried last Wednesday at the family farm in Nyazvidzi, Gutu.
Their deaths within days of each other have sent tongues wagging in and outside Gweru.
The other convicted person in the case, former CIO director, Elias Kanengoni died last year while the The Mirror could not establish the whereabouts of the fourth accused Bonni Hungwe.
Kizito Chivamba died after a long illness.
Zanu PF Midlands spokesperson Cornelious Mupereri confirmed Chivamba's death but declined to comment on the shooting incident. He said more details on Chivamba will be given in due course.
The late Chivamba joined Zanu in 1972 as a youth activist. He was once Zanu PF chairman for the province after Jason Machaya was suspended from that position.
Mourners are gathered at his Farm in Sino Area.

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CHIVI – Vision Trust Zimbabwe (VTZ) has donated medical equipment worth $500 000 to medical institutions clinics in Chivi district last Monday at a ceremony held at Mavende Primary School.
Chivi acting district administrator Vafias Hlavati was the guest of honour at the handover ceremony where wheelchairs, syringes, catheters, beds, tables, gurneys X-ray machines, operating tables, suction machines and a dental chair, were given to Chibi District Hospital, Chasiyatende, Ngundu, Razi, Zivuku clinics and Chivi Rural Hospital (Chishave)
Chasiyatende Clinic is still under construction and Zimbabwe Defence Forces are providing labour and logistical support with assistance from Vision Trust International in the USA.
VTZ director Davison Mzezewa said: "Vision Trust is partnering Benevolent Healthcare (ProjectCure) in the USA for the supply of the medical equipment that we are distributing today."
Hlavati said the medical help would go a long way in assisting the district and the province as well.
"This is a blessing to the people of Chivi and we thank VTZ for their support and initiatives in our district; kana une mavoko maviri hautsvi nomutakura(if u have both hands it is easier to handle hot food). To us VTZ is a partner and with their support our district will rise to greater heights, "said Hlavati
Speaking on behalf of the Provincial Medical Director, Wellington Mutematsaka who is Chivi Hospital administrator expressed gratitude for the donation at a time the country is facing serious shortage of medical equipment.
He said: "VTZ has always delivered on its promises and as Chivi District Hospital we are delighted to receive the dental chair worth $ 20 000 and now we will no longer refer patients to Masvingo for dental care."
ZDF representative Retired Colonel Masomere added that the partnership that exists between the two organisations will continue in order to bring health care to the people in the province.

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CHIREDZI – A Chiredzi based company Marneveal Computers trading as Lifestyle has donated school blazers to 53 underpriviledged pupils at Chiredzi Government High School.
Speaking during the handover last Thursday, Lifestyle shop manager Benson Nechiora said the donation was done to help those in need so that they don't feel out of place at school.  The company was also ploughing back into the community, said Nechiora.
The consignment cost $1537.
"Marneveal Computers trading as Lifestyle is a company which specializes in cane haulage, deals in protective clothing and embroidery and has a retail shop in town. We saw the need to plough back to the community and we chose to give to the needy pupils at this school so that they can feel equal to others" said Nechiora.
Chiredzi Government High head expressed his appreciation for the donation.


MASVINGO – Gutu United Primary School has won this year's edition of the N.Richards sponsored provincial quiz competitions held on Friday last week at Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site.
Gutu United garnered 52 points outclassing seven other schools who won from their districts including the defending champion Madyangove Primary School.
For their efforts they pocketed $130 as a school and $50 prize money for each of the three competitors as well as school fees payment for the second and third term from the main sponsor N.Richards who poured in $1470.
The competitions which ran under the theme, 'Museums and Contested Histories; Saying the Unspeakable in Museums' was also sponsored by FBC Bank which was represented at the competitions by its branch manager Abson Zvobgo.
The bank gave each of the seven participating schools $100 worth of satchels for the pupils.
Raphinos Alexander Chabaya who is the Zimbabwe Open University regional director was the guest of honour.
Florence Chimbarwe who is the Gutu United coach was over the moon with the results.
Morgenster Central Primary School which is from Masvingo Rural came second with 50 points and received $115 as a school and each child who participated got $45 and a satchel, Masunda North Primary from Chivi recieved $100 for coming third and each pupil got $40 and a satchel and Bani Primary of Chiredzi which was in position four got $85 as a school and each pupil received $35 and a satchel.
On the fifth position was Museti of Bikita who got $70 and each pupil received $30, Rudhanda Primary of Zaka in position six got $55 and each pupil got $25 and Rutenga Primary from Mwenezi was on seventh position and the school got $40 and $20 for each participant.
The Museums and Monuments southern region director Lovemore Mandima paid tribute to the quiz sponsors N.Richards and FBC for their continued support which keeps pupils up to date on the history and heritage of the country.
Masvingo acting district schools inspector Letty Chadamoyo also attended the event.
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MURAMBINDA - More than 100 members of Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe (BACFOZ) at Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera are pooling resources together to built a 12-roomed block that will provide accommodation to junior Police officers.
The block is expected to cost about $40 000.
Murambinda (BACFOZ) chairperson, Searchmore Kudenga confirmed the development and said the plan is to complete the building by August this year.
BACFOZ comprises business people from all over Buhera District.
Kudenga said the project was a result of the realization of the acute accommodation problems that particularly face junior cops who have just joined the force as they live in squalor in the growth point's suburbs.
He said such problems would force officers to get late for duty particularly when they are called during emergencies.
"We have discovered that we have few police officers in Murambinda because there is an acute shortage of accommodation. Sometimes crimes take time to be attended to or are left unattended. We realized we need to help our Police by alleviating their accommodation challenges," said Kudenga.
BACFOZ Murambinda executive comprises of Construction organisations represented by Saineti Chari, Buhera Bussiness Association Chaiman, Tasisios Makumbe, BACFOZ logistics Llyod Kaserera and Chief Inspector for Murambinda Police, Jeffrey Mudzemba
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