EASTERN NEWS | Shadowy group runs amok in Sakubva

A MYSTERIOUS group of people suspected to be soldiers on a revenge mission, turned Sakubva high density upside down last week, when it randomly assaulted people in the township — hardly two weeks after a soldier and footballer was attacked by a machete in the township.

The army disowned the group while police spokesperson Charity Charamba said they were investigating the incidents.

Residents, however, said the shadowy group could have been soldiers on a revenge mission following the attack on their colleague, Kudzai Mwaramba who had his arm amputated following a horrific attack by a man suspected to be part of a gang known as The Japanese gang, Hardwork Mushati.

Mushati has been charged with attempted murder after he attacked Mwaramba, who apart from being a soldier, was a footballer with Eastern Region army side, Buffaloes.

The suspected soldiers left dozens of people injured — including body builders at a city gym — in hair-raising scenes which left residents of Sakubva shocked.

Residents said the group was looking for the members of the notorious “Japanese gang” which was accused of harassing people.

Police were forced to deploy heavily armed riot teams to try and bring order to the township.

“We are, however, not treating it (the incident) like an entrenched gang violence incident and we are open to any information that can prove that it was not just an isolated incident,” Charamba told Eastern News.

Two weeks ago, Mwaramba was attacked by Mushati who swung a machete at him as he tried to stop a scuffle which had occurred over control of a car wash.

He had his arm amputated as a result.

The court was recently told that Mushati had been on the run for more than a year.

Prosecutor Matthew Chimutunga told the court that Mushati was a wanted man who had been evading the police for more than a year after he skipped trial in a case of assaulting his daughter.

The court was also told that Mushati had assaulted police officers and unlawfully left their custody in 2016. 



Govt to build 6 600 health posts

Government will build 6 600 community health posts across the country as part of reducing long distances that villagers have to cover to access clinics and hospitals.

But the model that government adopted has attracted sharp criticism from a large section of the society which feels they are derisory and outdated.

Heath and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa told guests in Bende in Nyanga during the official opening of a health post, that government was committed to building thousands of such posts across the country which he said would help reduce the gap between communities and health facilities.

“This is the first health post in the country.

“There is no community health post anywhere else (in the country) and we are hoping to have 6 600 of these. Our aim is to have one in every village,” Parirenyatwa said.

They will be manned by fully trained nursing staff, he said.

The Bende post was built at a cost of $43 000.

The health posts have been a subject of jokes on social media where disappointed citizens have nicknamed them “clinics in a tin.”

The community village health posts would be built of metal.

However, in Bende, villagers welcomed the gesture by TelOne who sponsored the construction of the  health post — revealing their agony of seeing people die and pregnant women suffering from attempted abortion (medical term for miscarriage) due to long distances they needed to travel to access the nearest hospital.

“Some people would die on the way and many women had miscarriages…

“We are so grateful to TelOne.  Government should reward them by giving them tax exemptions,” said a village head.

Manicaland provincial medical director Patron Mafaune said the area was previously serviced through outreach activities which were more expensive.

Mafaune said the new health model was going to speed up the availability of health care services to communities as health posts were less expensive to set up than clinics.

Before the opening of the Bende health post, Nyanga health facilities were serving an average of 4 907 people per institution.

The number is expected to go down with the introduction of the new facility.



Arda Transau families at risk

RESETTLED families staying in the Arda Transau area are at risk of being left homeless if heavy rains pound their area.

The new homes have developed cracks and are at risk of being destroyed by strong winds and flooding.

Their fears have been heightened by the strong winds which swept the area last week, blowing off some of the roofs made of metal sheets.

Last year, more than 40 houses in the area had their roofs blown away by heavy rains.

“The situation is bad and we are appealing for those who can assist to help affected households.

This is not the first time this has happened and we feel all the houses need to have the roofing nails that were used changed otherwise this is going to continue happening,” Caiphas Mujuru, one of the locals said.

The families were resettled at Arda Transau to pave way for the expansion of diamond mining fields in the Chiadzwa area.

Diamond firms which were operating in the area contributed to the construction of the homes but they have since been removed by government — compounding the situation for the relocated families —who had tried in vain to resist the move to resettle them.

Apart from having shaky roofs, most homes, according to the relocated families, were not earthed and are at risk of being hit by lightning.

Arda Transau Development Trust official Tawanda Mufute said the entire community needed economic empowerment to strengthen their weak housing infrastructure by patching cracks and repairing damaged roofs.

“Some of the roofs that were damaged more than two years ago are still to be attended to as people continue to sink further and further into poverty.

“As a community we are praying that we do not lose lives because of the poor housing infrastructure. No one really feels comfortable in these houses,” Mufute said.

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