Tuesday, December 6, 2011

By Khumbulani Maphosa

Bulawayo - The Bulawayo City Council has agreed to implement some recommendations that were tabled by Habakkuk Trust and NANGO western Region at an advocacy meeting on the proposed 2012 City Council Budget.
Addressing delegates at the advocacy meeting that was held on Tuesday 29 November 2011 in Bulawayo, The local authority’s Financial Director Mr. Kimpton Ndimande pledged that:
• The local authority does not have any plan of dealing with issues pertaining to people with disabilities and would appreciate NGO intervention and assistance in that regard,
• Council is willing to avail the proposed budget at convenient places like Housing offices but people should be encouraged to make use of them so that it does not end up being waste of resources,
• Council acknowledges that it has only consulted during budget formulation and not during auditing. However, Council is concerned that the audit is a technical exercise and Council will welcome input of NGOs on the concept of social audits.
• Council endeavors to provide housing for its residents and in 2012 Council is going to open up affordable stands,
• The local authority has since terminated contracting private land developers as they tend to be corrupt and have sub-standard work,
• Council shall look at possible sources of income to finance its activities though; donor funding is dwindling fast due to the global financial crisis.
• An audit has been made by Council on its properties and viability of its Small Business Units.
• The “work for debt” concept has since been introduced by the local authority. However to limit political manipulation and abuse of the system, the council has been doing it at a small scale and will look at up scaling it.
• Council is willing to improve the welfare of informal traders however there are national level legislative frameworks that inhibit the smooth implementation of some council efforts. For instance Operation Murambatsvina affected the Council’s 5th Avenue project and now when Council wishes to block a street it has to apply.
The 29 November advocacy meeting was a follow up to the 18th November stakeholders budget analysis meeting which came out with a 21 point submission paper.

By Odiya Shumba
Matobo - School children in Kezi Ward 8 are carrying drinking water to school every day due to lack of clean water for domestic use in the area. This came out at a community consensus building meeting organized by Habakkuk Trust Kezi Ward 8 Advocacy Action Team. This crucial meeting was held on the 29th of November 2011 at Bidi Ward centre.
“Our young Primary school children are carrying 5litres of drinking water to school every day and on top of that they pay 5Rands for Borehole rehabilitation” lamented Mr. Peter Ndlovu, the Advocacy Team Convener. This is clear evidence of the negative impact of acute water shortages in Kezi Ward 8 and Matabeleland South Province as a whole. One of the villagers who was in agreement with Peter Ndlovu added that teachers at one of the Secondary schools in the Ward Mqabuko High school left due to lack of water resulting in the abrupt closure of the school.
Access to clean water remains one of the critical issues being faced by communities in Matabeleland North and South where Habakkuk Trust currently operates in. According to villagers most dams in Ward 8 have since dried up due to siltation and the available dip wells have also dried up due to the lowered water table. The existing boreholes are being over used resulting in incessant break downs which take time to be repaired as there is acute shortage of repair kits.
The community therefore called for the urgent need to repair the broken down water points, installing more windmill water points in the ward as the available one used to work well during its time. The community has also done an in-depth research on the water issue and has realized that there is a survey that was done on the possible water points in the community and wants the finding results of the survey to be implemented.

By Khumbulani Maphosa

Mangwe – the Mangwe ward 2 and 12 Habakkuk Trust advocacy action teams with other community stakeholders have called for the urgent development and subsequent implementation of a water resource development plan to curb water shortage problems in the Mangwe District and other parts of Matabeleland.

This came out during a water policy dialogue meeting held at Plumtree on the 30th of November 2011 and attended by among the advocacy teams, the Minister of National Healing and Reconciliation (who is also the Bulilima West M.P) Honorable Moses Mzila Ndlovu, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) UMzingwane Catchment Operations Engineer, the District Development Fund (DDF) Accountant, the Mangwe Rural District Council (RDC) Chairperson, the Plumtree and Mangwe business community and local civic society.
The policy meeting that was organized by Habakkuk Trust in conjunction with a local daily newspaper, Newsday, resolved the following measurers as key issues of implementation to alleviate the water shortage situation in the region:

• The urgent need for a national water policy which guarantees the citizens of Zimbabwe adequate clean water on a daily basis,
• Matabeleland South should be declared to be a water shortage area and subsequent adequate fiscal and resource interventions from government and private sector be availed,
• The need for a water resource development plan that will put to an end the interventionist approach of water supply in the district,
• DDF pledged to drill one borehole in ward 2 in 2012. DDF further reported that another NGO, CADEC has also pledged to drill one borehole in ward 2 in 2012,
• There is need for closer interactions and collaborations between government departments,
• Villagers want ZINWA to remit a certain percentage of the revenue it collects from pumping water (that is supplied by dams in ward 2 and 12) into Plumtree town back to the community,
• Residents are willing to offer manpower if ZINWA pledges to scoop all the silted dams in the area,
• ZINWA to live to its jurisdiction over all bulk water and test water in all dams not only water in the dams that supply Plumtree town,
The Policy Dialogue meeting is a follow up to the advocacy capacity building and subsequent community consensus building meetings done by Habakkuk Trust in Mangwe ward 2 and 12.

By Khumbulani Maphosa

Plumtree - The government of Zimbabwe is behaving like a drunken man who does not differentiate his left foot from his right foot and has no well defined travel arrangement though he knows where he is supposed to be going.
This was said by the Minister of National Healing and Reconciliation and Member of Parliament for Bulilima West, Honorable Moses Mzila Ndlovu when delegates at an advocacy meeting in Plumtree on the 30th of November 2011.
Hon. Mzila, a vocal advocate for justice and healing in the country, lamented how the government lacks a coherent and well defined strategy of dealing with past human rights violations and ethnic injustices. He further lambasted the country’s security apparatus for victimizing him when he openly speaks about the injustices that happened and continue to happen in Matabeleland.
‘I was arrested, beaten and incarcerated by the police for having openly spoken out about the problems of Matabeleland, ” revealed Minister Mzila.
Minister Mzila further lamented the gross underdevelopment of the Matabeleland region due to the Gukurahundi era and further lack of commitment by the government to equalize development in the country. He called for the government to adopt deliberate strategies to develop Matabeleland if the issue of national healing is to be realized in then region.

A female Habakkuk Trust Advocacy Action Team member in Tsholotsho ward 5 (Siphepha) has been summoned to the local police station by the Inspector Zengeya for wearing a Habakkuk Trust t-shirt.

According to reliable sources from Siphepha, the lady (name withheld) who is a member of the neighborhood watch committee and an active Habakkuk Trust Advocacy team member left her home last Saturday to the local clinic (which is adjacent the police station). On her way to the clinic she met Inspector Zengeya who called her and cautioned her for wearing a Habakkuk Trust t-shirt as he claimed that ‘Habakkuk Trust is affiliated to MDC’.
Sources further explained that Zengeya further ordered the lady to report at the police station for further questioning.
The Habakkuk Trust Action team members in the ward have, however vowed to continue wearing their t-shirts as they know the organization is non-partisan.

Since the beginning of 2011 Habakkuk Trust has been faced with massive resistance from Tsholotsho following a Public Dialogue meeting on local resource management and beneficiation that was held at Tsholotsho in January 2011.
On the day of the public dialogue meeting, some senior local authority personnel did not turn up though they had confirmed their attendance prior. Soon after the meeting Habakkuk Trust staff members were told by the Tsholotsho Rural District Council Administration Officer that the organization shall be ejected from the district. The reasons for the ejection were not explained but seemed to be bordering on grounds of speculation. Since June 2011 Habakkuk Trust has been working on renewing its expired Memorandum of Understanding with the local authority but was told that it has to change its programming and focus on food aid and other relief work for the MOU to be renewed.
Habakkuk Trust has also had a public meeting stopped at Siphepha centre as the clearing officer castigated the organization for inciting people against their leaders.
On the 19TH of October 2011 Habakkuk Trust staff members who had gone to Siphepha centre for an action team meeting were unceremoniously forced to cancel the meeting by the Officer in Charge who claimed the meeting was not cleared. The team was further barred from distributing the Voice of Habakkuk Trust newsletter as the officer in charge deemed it to be politically inclined.

Friday, October 7, 2011


The Habakkuk Trust advocacy work on the re-industrialization and development of the marginalized, underdeveloped and massively de-industrialized Matabeleland Region that culminated in a Matabeleland Leadership Summit held in Bulawayo in January 2011, has finally paid fruits as the Cabinet is reported to have agreed to have Bulawayo companies accessing funds under the USD40 million Distressed and Marginalized Areas Funds.
According to the Newsday 06 October 2011, the Cabinet has adopted a report entitled ‘Let Bulawayo Survive’. ‘This development will see collapsing companies in the region accessing $40 million Distressed and Marginalized Areas Fund’.
Habakkuk Trust has set the regional and national agenda on sustainable development of previously marginalized communities leading to a number of organizations and political parties subsequently buying into this Debate. The Summit that was organized by Habakkuk Trust in January was attended by Matabeleland Leaders who included 6 Cabinet Ministers, the Speaker of Parliament, Members of Parliament, Leaders of civic groups, Councilors, leaders of political formations, church leaders and leaders in the business and academic sectors. The Minister of Industry and Commerce Honorable Professor Welshman Ncube who also attended the meeting later became the Chairperson of a Cabinet Committee tasked with investigating the levels of de-industrialization in Bulawayo.
Habakkuk Trust will continue monitoring the actual implementation of this Cabinet decision and shall continue advocating for other national and local level issues.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gwanda Schools and Tsholotsho Clinic get buildinmg materials

Wilikisa Gets Cement Boost
Habakkuk Trust continues with its quest of linking advocacy and sustainable development, as the organisation sourced 71 bags of cement which were recently delivered to Wilikisa Primary school in Gwanda ward 2.
The cement is expected to be used for plastering a classroom block that was commissioned in July this year by the local Member of Parliament after Habakkuk Trust Action Team of the area had lobbied for funds to floor and roof the block through the Constituency Development Funds. Some of the cement will also be used for roofing toilets in the school.
It is now three years since the Gwanda Ward 2 Action Teams identified the dilapidated state of the schools and lack of adequate classrooms as the major advocacy issues. The Action Teams then took their issues to the policy dialogue and further lobbied other stakeholders to assist improve the schools. The Ward 2 community has tirelessly worked with the Action Team in providing manual labor towards the project.

Bethel Primary school receive building materials
The Bethel community in Gwanda Ward 14 also received cement and other construction materials that include asbestos sheets and roofing trusses which were sourced by Habakkuk Trust courtesy of the advocacy efforts of the Bethel Action Team on the issue of improvement of educational infrastructure in the area.
The community is expected to partner with the Action Team in implementing the actual construction of the classroom block providing manual and technical labor.
The Bethel Primary School project is the second project to be completed by Habakkuk Trust in ward 14 as the organization assisted the community, at Sengezane Village to electrify a clinic. This is inline with Habakkuk Trust’s vision of linking advocacy with sustainable development as well as seeing communities take a lead in initiating developmental processes in their areas.

Building of a health facility in Tsholotsho Ward 9 underway
The construction of a health institution at Tsholotsho Ward 9 is underway as Habakkuk Trust has sourced 94 bags for cement to the work that has been pioneered by the Action Team in conjunction with a local Community Based Organization – Jowa Development Trust.
Sofar the community has managed to mould 20 000 bricks with cement sourced through the Constituency Development Funds as when Habakkuk Trust made the delivery of 94 bags of cement at the beginning of September, the community was already at advanced stages of finishing digging the foundation of the clinic.
The cement will go towards the slab and foundation construction.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Zimnyama villagers walk for several kilometers to get water

By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

321 villagers convened at Zimnyama centre to attend a community meeting organized by Ward 2 Habakkuk Trust Area Action Team to solicit for community views and consensus on the key advocacy issues raised during an advocacy training workshop conducted by Habakkuk Trust two months back.

The elderly, the young, men and women alike braved the scorching heat of the natural region 5 weather to discuss issues concerning access to water and access medical care in the ward.
A unanimous decision was reached that access to water is the most critical issue in the ward as the area generally receives very low and erratic rainfall patterns, and there are few boreholes.

Though the clinic was one of the issues raised during the training workshop, community members concurred that access to water is the major issue as currently people are forced to travel upto 7km daily in search of water.

Testimonies from community members
Mrs. Ester Ndebele 71 years old from Vaka Village
The water situation is bad for us the old women because we do not have anyone to assist us fetch water from afar and we end up skipping meals because of lack of cooking and drinking water.

Mr. Robert Mahamba Ndlovu 44 years old from Mapulula 2 Village
Most of the boreholes in the village are malfunctioning and the only dam we have dried up sometime back. If the dam could be resurfaced and the boreholes repaired and sunk deeper it will save us a lot.

Miss Salome Ncube 26 years old from Sosombane Village
The situation is so hard that in some areas we are risking our lives trying to get water. The wells are now so deep that at anytime the sand call curve in and kill people drawing water. In pother areas we now use ladders to go down and access water.

Ms. Mavis Moyo 36 years old from Mapulula 2
We now get water from a neighboring ward and in the water points people end up fighting and this creates a lot of conflicts in the communities.

Mrs. Thokozile Songo 47 years old from Mapulula 1 Village
After children dismiss from school they are forced to travel long distances to get water and this affects their learning and studying times.
Even those that want to have projects, the projects can only run for 3 to 4 months during the rainy season after that they have to fold down.

There are 11 wells at Mapulula 1 village and of those 11 only 6 are functioning though they break down often, servicing about 140 homesteads

Mrs. Crista Ndlovu from Osabeni Village
In our village we get drinking water from the dam, sharing it with animals. The situation is so bad that we now reuse water especially bathing water is used twice.

Mr. Mayisa - Village Head
There is a pipe that runs from Mthunduluka dam to Vaka and Sosombane schools. That pipe needs to be repaired and the dam resurfaced. There are tanks in the communities that have the capacity to hold lots of water.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Life in Tsholotsho will never be the same again. The memories and scars of the Gukurahundi terror campaign which have been kept sore by the massive underdevelopment and deliberate acts of marginalization and seclusion leadership are about to be refreshed. Civic Society groups, development workers and opposition activists may be forced to re-plan and realign their work owing to threats of political violence from a well known terror campaigner, war veterans’ leaders and ZANU PF stalwart, Jabulani Sibanda.
According to credible sources that spoke to Habakkuk Trust on condition of anonymity for security reasons, Jabulani Sibanda descended at Tsholotsho Ward 5 (Sipepa) on the 14th of July 2011 in the company of four other war veterans and addressed a meeting of village heads. It’s in the meeting where Sibanda is said to have told the village leaders to ‘stand straight’ in their political affiliation or else ’they will see’.
Sibanda who was accompanied by Jonathan Nkanyezi (from Nyamandlovu), Patrick Ncube (a Tsholotsho DDF worker), a Mr. Ncube and Alice Dube (both Tsholotsho Hospital workers) is also said to have told the village leaders that he is going to be organizing community meetings and wants every village leader to come to the meeting with all the people under their leadership.
The sources say earlier on the day Sibanda had disrupted a meeting at the clinic that was meant to discuss the development of the institution. He further went on to threaten a clinic official whom he told ‘you have no respect and your days are numbered’.
Sibanda has previously been accused of masterminding and executing violent mafia style political terror activity in Masvingo and parts of Mashonaland which left many people dead and some maimed. His presence in Tsholotsho raises fears that he will throw the early 1980s Gukurahundi ripped area into chaos and anarchy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Church leaders speak out on the election road map

Information Department
Church leaders c have called for an independent electoral commission and an updated voter’s roll as well as a non partisan security system as part of the major issues before the holding of elections in Zimbabwe. This came out during a Church and Elections Think Tank meeting organized by Habakkuk Trust on Wednesday 11 May 2011 at Habakkuk Trust UMkhankaso Centre.
Some of the issues that the Church leaders demanded include:
• Culture of violence need to be addressed
• Police and all civil servants should be non partisan
• Need for print and electronic media reforms
• Amendment of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA)
• Civic society to carry out voter education
• Establishment of an electoral court
• Timely accreditation of local observers
• Early deployment of SADC observers
• Access to Information Protection and Privacy Act (AIPPA) need to be revisited
Habakkuk Trust has organized a series of sector based think tank meetings for various civics that are meant to critically discuss and inform the electoral process in Zimbabwe. Today the organization shall be hosting another Think Tank with the youths.

Thursday the 12th of May saw youths from various institutions, civic groups and community interest groups in Bulawayo coming together to deliberate on the issue of the election roadmap in a think tank meeting organized by Habakkuk Trust at UMkhankaso Centre. This comes as a result of the proposed SADC facilitated election roadmap for Zimbabwe.
The youths noted that the problem lies with the political parties as they do not have programmes that encourage youths to vote or partake in any political activities, ‘the exclusion of the youths start within the political party structures as they use them as observers. We need youths vying for Councilors and Members of parliament posts so that the fellow youths can identify with them,’ lamented Mlungisi Dube a youth commenting on the issue why youths of today lack enthusiasm on political issues.
The issue of delinking the security forces from the political processes came out strongly as the youths vowed that it is going to be a lengthier process than what it is expected to be. ‘Our problem as a country is a security force that is linked to political processes and to delink them will take longer periods than expected,’ noted Darlington Gama. The issue of the security sector reforms has been deemed as paramount in the run up to the elections as opposition parties demand the declaration of non-partisanship by service chiefs who had be viewed as partisan in the previous elections.
Other major issues that came out of this meeting are:
• The urgent need to enact media reforms
• The cleaning up of the voter’s role
• The youths being encouraged to engage in group voter registration
• The utilization of the social networks such as Twitter and Face book for information dissemination
• The need to encourage youths to partake in political processes
• The youths being the game changers in Zimbabwean politics
Habakkuk Trust will continue to host such fora meant to gather people’s views on key governance, policy, human rights and development issues with the aim of increasing citizen participation in such processes as well as influencing policy.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Habakkuk Trust Information Department

In a recent case of politically motivated violence, a 32 years old Gwanda woman was on Monday abducted and tortured by alleged youth militia and war veterans in Silonga, Ward 15 before being released the next day.

Narrating her ordeal to Habakkuk Trust, the woman (name withheld) says ‘ZANU PF youths and war veterans came to my homestead, handcuffed me and beat me with an iron bar on the forehead after which they dragged me to their base within the farm and I was beaten severely all over the body and released the next day in the evening’.
The visible shaken and traumatised woman also revealed that her assailants took away her identity particulars, clothes and medication which they threw into the toilet.

The woman who is an MDC-T supporter said she was beaten for her affiliation with the party and accused her of being an ‘MDC-T daughter in law’.
After her release on Tuesday evening, the mother of two children, a Grade 4 girl and Grade 1 boy sought transport from well-wishers who took her to Gwanda and then Bulawayo where she was accommodated by a Pastor. The Pastor then took her to Habakkuk Trust offices for assistance.
‘As I was running away through the bush I noticed that there were many of them on the road and this made me hide for safety’ narrates the lady who did not report the matter to the Gwanda Police because of fear.

Habakkuk Trust has through its linkages with other civic society groups, managed to advocate for the woman to get immediate medical attention and sought shelter for her and her two children.
By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

Bulawayo residents have for the past three days been living in absolute fear emanating from the increased number of armed police details in the streets and the increase in roadblocks along major highways leading to the Matabeleland Capital and Zimbabwe’s second largest City.
Residents have witnessed an increase in the number of armed youthful police officers wearing helmets, carrying teargas canisters and button sticks at major spots such as Egodini bus terminus, TM Hyper and the City Centre.
Emakhandeni residents and local leaders said yesterday they witnessed 8 heavily armed army trucks parked at Emagestini.
Another concern especially from residents traveling along the major highways leading to the City has been the recent increase in roadblocks and police searches.
The prevailing situation continues to instill a lot of fear and despondency to the residents especially at a time when the nation is supposed to be preparing for an election. There are areas within the City where residents have been finding it difficult to carry on with their normal lives and to conduct development work because of fear of police harassment. A case in point is the Habakkuk Trust Emakhandeni Action Team that failed to have a meeting yesterday fearing the police might descend on them.
The heavy police and military presence in the City comes at a time when there has been numerous arrests of civic and political activists nationwide on allegations of plotting mass demonstrations against the government – the Egypt style.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Minister challenges the Church on Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.

Information Department

Zimbabwean Church leaders have been challenged to take a leading and influential role in the quest to achieve healing, reconciliation and integration in the country as well as help to develop a road map for healing.

This challenge was made by the Minister of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration Honourable Moses Mzila Ndlovu at a Think Tank session held at Habakkuk Trust’s UMkhankaso Centre today. The meeting that was attended by Church leaders and Christian organisations was aimed at giving the Christian community an opportunity to interact with the Ministry of National Healing as well as influence key issues of healing affecting Matabeleland and Zimbabwe at large.

‘As the Ministry we are more of listeners than implementers and we expect the Church to stand up for the broader society and in turn we will take seriously your contributions on how we should work’, reiterated the Minister.

The major advocacy issues that came out of the meeting include:

- The need to review legislation to cater for the victims of Gukurahundi,
- The need to accord the people an opportunity to articulate their own expectations of how the healing process should be done.
- The need for the Churches to actively participate on issues of reconciliation and rehabilitation,
- Peace committees to lay a foundation for national healing,
- The Church should participate in the All stakeholders conference to be convened by the Ministry,
- Perpetrators of violence to stand up and say what wrongs they did and seek forgiveness,
- The need for people to speak out on injustices and lack of accountability
- The need to break the ethnic divide.

The Think Tank meeting is part of a series of Sector Think Tanks that Habakkuk Trust is hosting in order to influence policy making and development in the country. Last week, the organisation has hosted a think tank on the mining and extractive sector.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

In a reaction to the residents’ complaints over ZBH Television and Radio licence fees, Habakkuk Trust has initiated a campaign meant to help the residents amplify their voices and complaints on the said matter.

The campaign that is aimed at assisting the citizens petition the broadcasting authority over license fees is a reaction to the ZBH programme of licences fee collection. The main borne of contention is that:
• The ZBH license staff demand fees even from those citizens that are on satellite dish and do not view Zimbabwe Television,
• Residents of Bulawayo are complaining that they do not see value in paying their licenses because there are very few programmes from the region and there is rarely any news coming from this region,
• They also raised concerns that ZBH is no longer a public broadcaster as it has literally turned out to be a ZANU PF broadcasting authority which churns out partisan messages and information. This happens in the context of a Government of National Unity and at the expense of other developmental news.

Habakkuk Trust and the Advocacy Action Teams have therefore begun circulating a petition demanding the broadcasting authority to immediately reform its operations or face residents’ boycott of license fees. Moreover, the petition demands the authority to stops collecting money from residents until such a time when its programming is improved, balanced and non-partisan.

The organisation therefore urges all progressive citizens to sign the petition and write letters on the issue.

Currently, residents are being forced to pay USD50 per year for home television licenses. Home radio listeners without television sets are forced to fork out USD20 whilst car radio owners will have to part with USD30.
Habakkuk Trust will also be running a special news flash on licenses that are meant to publish residents’ views, opinions and comments regarding the issue.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Zimbabwe's History Distorted

By Linda Moyo

The Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture Honourable Senator David Coltart on Friday called for the revamp of the education sector saying the education curriculum has for the past two decades not been reviewed and the history textbooks need to be re-written to reflect the true history of the country .Senator Coltart made these remarks at a Leadership Summit hosted by Habakkuk Trust .

According to the Minister, the education sector needs hundreds of million of United States dollars to turn the sector around because it has been under funded for the past two decades owing to the lack of political will to revamp sector.

Moreover the Minister said his ministry is trying to come up with text books in marginalised languages because for the last 30 years the focus has been on Shona and Ndebele.

‘We have sought to address the issue of minority languages and text books in Venda and Sotho are coming up,’ said the Minister.

The Minister also said the history curriculum has not been reviewed and was in-accurate because if you study the subject one does not get to understand who Joshua Nkomo is and what role ZAPU and ZIPRA played in the war of liberation.

‘The history curriculum is wrong because if you read it you can not tell who Joshua Nkomo was and what role ZAPU and ZIPRA played in the war’, said Honourable Coltart.

Senator Coltart further said teachers have lost motivation and Matabeleland South has lost a large number of Maths, Science and English teachers to the neighbouring countries like South Africa and Botswana who offer better remuneration and working conditions.

Of concern the Minister noted that students in Matabeleland walked long distances to school and the road networks were poor compelling students to play truancy and teachers not to go to those schools.

According to Senator Coltart because of low population density in Matabeleland there is need to build boarding schools and or to bus students from neighbouring communities.

‘The distances to be walked by students are too much and because Matabeleland is sparsely populated there is need to either build boarding schools or bus children to school,’ lamented Senator Coltart

Senator Coltart was speaking at the Matabeleland Leadership Summit organised by Habakkuk Trust last Friday to accord an opportunity for legislators, cabinet ministers and leaders of civic society, business and the church to explore ways of working together for the development of the region.

Friday, January 28, 2011


BY Khumbulani Maphosa

7 ministers and 103 business, political, civic society and church leaders today turned up for the Habakkuk Trust organised Matabeleland Leadership Summit that was meant to discuss key critical development issues in the region as well as accord the ministers a platform to account to the citizens on what they have been doing for the past years for the region.
Of the ministers who turned up and accounted to the people today were Honorable Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture Senator David Coltart; Minister of Public Works Honorable Joel Gabbuza; Minister of National Healing Honorable Moses Mzila Ndlovu; Minister of Water Resources and Development Honorable Samuel Sipepa Nkomo; Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals Honorable Gorden Moyo; Honorable Minister of Industry and Commerce Professor Welshman Ncube as well as the Speaker of House of Assembly Honorable Lovemore Moyo.
The meeting that saw key issues being discussed recommended major issues that include:
• Habakkuk Trust facilitate regular ministers meetings so that they can account to the people on key national issues,
• Habakkuk Trust to facilitate space for ministers of government from Matabeleland to meet, dialogue and caucus on key issues affecting the region,
• Need for follow up issues to tackle development issues in the region,
• Legislative advocacy to influence the formulation and implementation of policies that promote development,
• Thorough audit of all industries and identify industries that need recapitalization.
Habakkuk Trust Information Department will next week run a series on the meeting.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tsholotsho Community Fuming Over Leaders' No Show

Information department

Tsholotsho leaders yesterday revealed their in co-operative attitude inciting resentment from villagers .Two M.P’s representing Tsholotsho North and South, Professor Jonathan Moyo (ZANU-PF) and Maxwell Dube (MDC) respectively, snubbed a crucial meeting with community leaders on Tuesday. The meeting sought to discuss how local villagers benefit from natural resources The Senator for Tsholotsho Believe Gaule managed to attend the meeting which was also attended by traditional leaders, Councillors, Habakkuk Trust Action Team members, CAMPFIRE project leaders and community stakeholders.

Villagers were annoyed by the absence of their Members of Parliament from a Public Dialogue Meeting organised by Habakkuk Trust in Tsholotsho. The local authority’s Acting Chief Executive Officer and District Administrator Mr Themba Moyo was among the invited leaders who did not turn out for the meeting.

‘If leaders fail to come to meetings of such magnitude, what would be the meaning of that?’ said one Mr Moses Moyo, an Action Team Member for Tsholotsho Ward 5.

Mr Moyo who was supposed to make a presentation focusing on the Local Authority’s legislature on natural resources and how the community can benefit from them when contacted to answer for his absence he simply said he had forgotten about the meeting.
‘By the way that meeting is today, I will send someone to take minutes on my behalf,’ Moyo said.

However his representative gave a brief presentation on the issue though she left important aspects of the topic and generally, the attendants felt robbed because these are their leaders and they should be always accountable to the public.
‘This is where communication breakdown starts because the CEO was supposed to be here to answer to some of the questions that the community has about the Campfire dividends,’ said the ward five Councillor Paul Ndebele.

The public invisibility of Political leaders is seemingly a cancerous habit that has swept through most of the current crop of leaders in Zimbabwe and these leaders only become visible when its election time as they would be aiming at mobilising supporters. So as to use them then dump them soon after getting their much needed votes.