Friday, May 4, 2012


Habakkuk Trust MANGWE: Izimnyama (Ward 12) community in Plumtree district lying in Matabeleland South Province has challenged most of the communities in Matabeleland Region by its development efforts. It has since proved to be a development oriented community, with a high potential of bringing positive change to the lives of its villagers. Lack of basic service delivery in the community is soon to be history, as the process of constructing a clinic and a recreational centre has already gathered momentum. The mobilization of resources has been done by the entire community with support from the local now based in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Botswana. Resources like cement, bricks, barbed wire among other things have since been mobilized. The Ward 12 Councilor Mr. Edward Masisa Ndlovu told Habakkuk Trust that “Izimnyama community is development oriented with the capacity to drive own development issues through its local resources’’. The Councilor praised the community members for the effort they are showing in bringing their project to a success. However the major challenge which is drawing back development processes is the unavailability of water. Councilor Ndlovu emphasized that, “water is generally our major problem in this area. However, we have since sourced a few water bowsers which will ferry water from Plumtree town”. Councilor Masisa Ndlovu is part of the community members that received capacity building in advocacy and development facilitated by Habakkuk Trust in 2011. He was also trained by Habakkuk Trust on the concepts of citizen participation, development and peace-building together with other Mangwe Rural District Councilors in the same year. Currently, he and the Habakkuk Trust Ward 12 Community Advocacy Action Team have been instrumental in advocating for access to water in the area so as to ensure the smooth running of other community projects.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


On Friday 17 April 2012 Habakkuk Trust in conjunction with Shalom Project, NANGO Western Region and held a Water Summit to commemorate the 100 years of the dream for a Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project. Below are some of the recommendations from the breakfast meeting that was attended by various stakeholders who include among others civic society, business, and the academia.
• There is need for clarity on the operations and separation of powers between the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust and the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project,
• Clear separation of roles between the national government, the local authorities, National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project and Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust on the project,
• The Bulawayo City Council should consider other sources of water,
• There is clear explanations on the progress made at the Gwayi Shangani Dam and on the details of the deal the Minister of Water Resources and Development has struck with the Chinese,
• All the responsible authorities should come up clean on the costs involved in drawing water from Gwayi Shangani and the Zambezi and the true implications of the project,
• The petition that is being circulated should be handed over to the Minister,
• Formulation of clear sources of funding for the project,
• Civic society should facilitate the formulation of a Matabeleland Declaration on Water that is going to guide the timelines on the completion of the project,
• Bulawayo City Council should speed of the duplication of the Insiza Pipeline

Habakkuk Trust shall continue its advocacy work on access to clean water for all and shall continue to lobby various stakeholders on the issue.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

100 years on, the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project is still without progress in commencing the scheme which is seen as the salvation to the perennial Matabeleland and Bulawayo water woes; civic society in Bulawayo has decided to tackle the issue head own through a breakfast water summit to be held on Friday 13 April 2012.

The organizations, Habakkuk Trust, Shalom Project Trust, INTSCHA.COM and NANGO Western Region have sought to use the breakfast meeting which will convene key leaders from the region to:
• To assess the challenges and obstacles in accessing funding for Bulawayo’s water woes,
• Advocate for the speedy implementation of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, and
• Formulate strategies of ensuring that the project is implemented.

The breakfast meeting shall be guided by key presentations from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water Resources and Development; the President of the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe; the Bulawayo City Council Engineer and representatives of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project among other stakeholders.


On Tuesday 10 April 2012, 42 participants who attended the Habakkuk Trust Local Level Advocacy Training programme earlier this year in Matobo Ward 4, convened at the ward centre to elect their 25 member community advocacy action team.
This action team is set to be instrumental in pursuing advocacy on issues of access to clean water, and access to health facilities through the construction of a community clinic.
Currently the community advocacy team is researching thoroughly on the two advocacy issues in preparation for a community consensus building meeting and a policy dialogue meeting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

Bulawayo: As the chaos and political machinations surrounding the disbursements of the Distressed Industries and ,Marginalized Areas Fund continue unabated, the Habakkuk Trust Community Advocacy Action Teams have added their voice calling for the immediate disbursements of the funds as de-industrialization is hurting ordinary citizens.

According to an Opinion Poll carried by carried by Habakkuk Trust most Advocacy Actions have described the continued confusions surrounding DIMAF as both selfish and uncalled for. Vusumuzi Mpofu from Entumbane lamented that ‘this chaos around DIMAF is hurting us the ordinary citizens as we are the ones who are unemployed. It is unfortunately that they (government) are delaying with these monies at a time when we are hungry and they are full’. His sentiments were echoed by Ethel from Sizinda who questioned the genuinety and motive behind delays in disbursing the funds saying ‘these leaders should start having the people at heart and speedily ensure that DIMAF is channeled to deserving industries immediately’.
Another resident Siboniso Mabhena from Makokoba called for all stakeholders involved in the DIMAF process to ‘stop bickering and start creating employment for the people of Bulawayo so as to curb unemployment, crime and vice in the City’. Speaking on the same DIMAF issue Joseph Ndlovu from Nketa stressed that ‘DIMAF was meant for Bulawayo industries. Government and the banks concerned should simple keep the promise, disburse the monies and stop hiding behind systems that do not work’. Glander Nyoni from Gwabalanda also questioned if the current bickering on DIMAF is at the best interest of the people or the politicians and if this bickering is helping alleviate the plight of Bulawayo residents?

The Distressed Industries and Marginalized Areas Fund (DIMAF) is a government fund that was created by cabinet in 2011 to help cushion and curb massive de-industrialization in Bulawayo. Since the fund came to effect there has been a lot of bickering, machinations, blame game and debate on the fund. Bulawayo industries have been complaining that the stringent systems being set by the financial institution administering the fund makes it difficult for the distressed companies to access the fund. Recently the Minister of Industry and Commerce revealed that most Bulawayo firms who deserve to benefit from the fund were finding it difficult to do so. Shockingly though was the Minister’s revelation that one company that benefited $1million from the fund is using the bulk of the money for the rehabilitation of its Harare branch.

Habakkuk Trust shall continue to monitor the developments surrounding DIMAF as well as advocating for fairness, transparency, accountability and equity in the disbursements of the fund.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


By Information Department

The three members of the secessionist group, Mthwakazi Liberation Front, who are jointly facing treason trial, appeared in the Bulawayo High Court yesterday (Monday 20 March 2012). The three Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas are being charged with distributing subversive material that is deemed to have been aimed at inciting the people of Zimbabwe or a section thereof to overthrow a legitimate government and create a separate Mthwakazi state.
Yesterday 2 out of 11 key state witnesses were cross examined and they both failed to identify the accused persons.
The packed High Court gallery was treated to a fun filled court session as the state prosecutor seemed to be struggling to get his details on track. At one time he announced that the three are facing charges of murder and at one moment the judge told him that ‘it seems you do not know what you are reading’.
The case continues today at the High Court of Bulawayo.


By Information Department

The social impact of the Mangwe water project, which shall see a total of 28 defunct boreholes being rehabilitated, is tremendous; it has breathed life into the rural communities of Ward 1 and 13 in Mangwe.

In primary schools where boreholes have been rehabilitated like Mkhaya Primary School for example, the school’s newly found vivacity is evident for everyone to see. Children who once struggled to concentrate in class or participate in extra mural activities because of exhaustion from walking long distances to and from school without proper hydration can now be seen playing sport with great enthusiasm and joy. Their teachers do confirm that the classroom environment is filled with pleasure and productivity. Importantly too, is that sanitation in the school is now up to standard, and looming health crisis has been averted.
Ultimately, in yet another year of poor rainfall in the Matabeleland South region the rehabilitation of boreholes has been a timely intervention. The rehabilitation of boreholes has shared the load on water points that are stressed by over use and the lowering of the underground water table, especially during the dry season. The villagers now expect to go through the dry season with an adequate supply of clean and safe water.
The contribution of Habakkuk Trust Advocacy Action Teams on the project is stellar and selfless, and they have shown that they now possess the skills and aptitude to pursue bigger advocacy and development issues in their region such as irrigation projects, dam rehabilitation and utilization, the pressing issue of pastoral rights and grazing land as well as key decision and governance issues.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Habakkuk Trust Information Department

Bulawayo residents have vowed that they will not vote for a draft constitution that does not guarantee the devolution of political and administrative power to the provinces.

According to a survey conducted by Habakkuk Trust Information Department on the 14th of March 2012, residents from across the City said they wanted devolution of power to be in the constitution and will vote ‘no’ for a draft constitution that does not have devolution of power. ‘When people went for the Copac Outreach process, they spoke openly that they want devolution of power and Copac and the Government of Zimbabwe should ensure that devolution is given to the people’, said Mr. Joseph Ndlovu from Nketa. His sentiments were further echoed by Ms Siboniso Mabhena from Makokoba who observed that ‘without devolution of power, there is no need for a new constitution’.
Mr. Vusumuzi Mpofu from Entumbane refused that devolution of power will divide Zimbabweans on ethnic lines saying ‘the truth is that currently Zimbabweans are heavily divided along tribal and ethnic lines. Devolution of power seeks to address the root causes of what has divided us’. This was supported by Miss Glenda Ncube from Gwabalanda who also observed that ‘devolution is a form of healing and I don’t see it dividing people at all’. A Sizinda resident, Ms Ethel Banda reiterated that ‘it is not cast in stone that devolution will divide people’ suggesting that since the centralized system of government have proven to promote tribalism and racial discrimination maybe devolution can be the solution to the problem.

Friday, February 10, 2012


By Information Department

The mood is euphoric, the excitement is soaring, the atmosphere is heavily saturated with hope and happiness and the script resembles Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. From the advocacy training in 2007 to the policy dialogue, numerous public meetings, the research on the state of boreholes and water points, a number of advocacy meetings with key stakeholders, linking to the Rural Partners Indaba, the training of pump minders and the resuscitation of water point committees; it has been indeed a long, tedious, frustrating but fruitful walk for water freedom in Mangwe ward 1 and 13 communities.

Courtesy of funding support from the Australian Embassy, Habakkuk Trust has contracted a service provider to rehabilitate 23 boreholes in Mangwe ward 1 and 13 and an estimated population of 1 200 villagers shall benefit from the exercise. This will bring to logical conclusion the advocacy issue that the community advocacy teams in the area have been pursuing for the past 5 years. The Habakkuk Trust staff that accompanied the service provider to the community reports that the Advocacy teams on Wednesday 08 February 2012) organized community meetings where they briefed the community of the success and also introduced the service provider. The advocacy teams also sought community support in the project.

Habakkuk Trust have been advocating for access to clean water in Mangwe, Bulawayo and other parts of the Matabeleland Region. Four years ago (in 2008) at the Water Indaba that was organized by Habakkuk Trust, a water expert presented a paper suggesting that linking there is need for increased water pumping Inyankuni to Ncema dam to augment the Bulawayo’s water supply, a proposition that the local authority has since adopted and implemented through the Inyankuni – Ncema water works duplication pipeline.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


(25 January 2012)
Their life is now nomadic. They travel long distances literally on a daily basis not in search of pastures or fertile farming lands like the Masayi or the San communities of yesteryear. Theirs is the quest for access to clean water and basic health facilities. Unlike the Masayi and the San who used to settle where they have found their pastures and arable lands, the people of Ward 4 in Matobo have to comprehend the scorching heat and rough terrain to and from the sources of water and health.

Access to Health
Villagers who spoke to Habakkuk Trust during the advocacy workshop conducted at Edwaleni primary school on Tuesday revealed that they travel upto 30km to access the nearest clinic as there is no such facility within the ward. ‘Some villagers die before even reaching the clinic as it is far and there is no easy access to transport’ revealed Mrs. Gracious Ncube, a village secretary. Another lady villager who is a village health worker explained that maternal health is heavily compromised as some pregnant women need specialist attention during delivery.
The Councilor of the ward, Councilor Sibangani Ncube also explained that people living with HIV and AIDS are facing a great risk as ‘some of them need counseling but they are not able to access such services’. To evade defaulting, most of then ask the Councilor whenever he is going to Maphisa Centre to refill their Anti-Retroviral Therapy.

Access to water
Villager also lamented lack of government efforts in addressing their water needs. A village head who spoke on condition of anonymity complained that ‘since independence we have been reporting to the relevant authorities year in and year out that access to water is a major challenge in this area, but they have done literally nothing about it’. Reports from all the seven villages in the ward revealed that there are few boreholes and dams in the area. Most of the boreholes were drilled long back and the dams have now silted. ‘It’s true most of the boreholes in this area are actually older than me hence the incessant breakdown,’ explained the 37 year old Councilor.
Sibonisiwe Ndlovu from Mashumba village explained that the village used to survive from a borehole within a nearby school but since the borehole has now broken down, the school is at the brink of closure as teachers are complaining of uninhabitable conditions.

Issues of access to water and health are not only peculiar to Matobo ward 4 only. Habakkuk Trust has in the past 6 years been assisting communities in Gwanda, Tsholotsho, Mangwe, Matobo and Bulawayo to advocate on such issues. Major advocacy successes have been realized in some areas, though more holistic and permanent solutions need to be implemented. The Policy dialogue meeting on water that was held in Mangwe in December 2011 resolved that there is need of a comprehensive national water policy guarantying every citizen access to accessible clean water on a daily basis. It was also resolved that Matabeleland South need to be declared a water shortage area and adequate government resource allocations and special measures be availed to solve the problem.