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    Saturday, 9 September 2017

    Scramble for houses as Tongaat totally pulls out of Mkwasine



    MORRIS BISHI
    CHIREDZI BUREAU

    CHIREDZI – Tongaat Hulett has finally withdrawn all its workers from Mkwasine Estates and the move has triggered a scramble for houses left there while new sugarcane farmers are confused on how they are going to get water, road and other services.
    Tongaat withdrew all its employees two weeks ago.
     The Mirror understands that some Chiredzi residents are relocating as a result to Mkwasine where houses which used to belong to Tongaat are being sold for as little as $300. It is understood that the houses are being sold by workers
      Mkwasine had an administrative settlement where Tongaaat workers who serviced sugarcane fields provided water, serviced roads, ran the golf club and a clinic lived before the estate was taken over by Government.

    Tongaat which lost the Estate to Government in 2006 has continued to keep skeleton staff at Mkwasine to assist new farmers with management of services but totally withdrew its remaining workforce two weeks ago after handing over the services to the Ministry of Lands and Rural Ressettlement.
     Confusion now reins in the once thriving urban settlement as buildings are collapsing out of neglect, Mkwasine Farmers' Club has been abandoned and the golf course is all heath. Roads have become dilapidated and water supplies have become unreliable while farmers express confusion on who is now in charge.
     The Mirror understands that Tongaat has transferred its remaining workforce to Mwenezana, Hippo Valley and Triangle.

    Efforts to get a comment from the Minister of Lands Dr Douglas Mombeshora were fruitless as his cellphone was not reachable until the time of going to Press.
     Tongaat, communication and corporate affairs manager, Adelaide Chikunguru said she was out of the country and referred questions to Hippo Valley community services manager Willie Mpofu who requested questions in writing but had not responded up to the time of going to Press.
     "I am currently out of the country on leave and will be back at the end of this week. Please get assistance from Willie Mpofu of Hippo Valley," said Chikunguru.
     Mkwasine Sugarcane Farmers Association Chairperson Dennis Masomere said the situation of services was critical at Mkwasine after Tongaat fully pulled out. He said the situation was worsened by the Ministry of Lands which has not given the new farmers authority to take over management of services.
     "Things are no longer the same here and we don't blame Tongaat as the company clearly told us that it was going to hand over everything to the Ministry. The problem is now with the Ministry which is reluctant to give us authority to manage our own services," said Masomere.
     The Mirror is reliably informed that Abinel Mutembwa  who was the Finance Administrator was moved to Mwenezana, another senior employee identified as Alex Koti went to Hippo Valley and Milton Murombo who was moved to Triangle. The transfer of these senior employees marks the complete departure of Tongaat from Mkwasine.news

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