SOUTHERN NEWS | Propaganda won't affect Chamisa, says Carter

BULAWAYO - MDC senator Michael Carter has said he is optimistic that MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa will rise above all the negative machinations by his opponents.

Carter said the current onslaught by the Zanu PF propaganda machinery against Chamisa were not only a clear sign of desperation but will as a matter of fact have less effect on the election voting patterns.

“When you look at the exaggeration Zanu PF and its mouthpieces use I don’t think they are very serious because they are opening people’s mind to the alternative,” Carter told Southern News.

“That there is an alternative reality that people can vote for. I don’t really think that those exaggerations do have any impact on the voting trends as people are not that gullible. I really don’t think the exaggerations have any effect,” he said.

The MDC senator said the Alliance did not only have a chance to sweep seats in the second largest city but to win the entire election.

“I can feel the electricity, I can feel the energy, I am sure we are going to retain Bulawayo.

“There are huge changes that we have witnessed historically, Robert Mugabe is not here and Morgan Tsvangirai is not here, the whole pendulum has changed and Chamisa is talking to the right people and that’s where the voter lies, so that we win this election,” he said while also heaping praise on Chamisa.

“I think Chamisa is doing the right thing. He is opening their minds and is being among them. He knows that the secret to win lies in talking and connecting with the people.”

Bar ladies collapse after eating cake laced with mbanje

HWANGE - Two Hwange bar ladies were hospitalised after they unknowingly took a muffin cake that had reportedly been laced with mbanje, a magistrate’s court has heard.

Terence Kuzai Machina, 26, and Tendai Terrence Mafara, 27, both of Hwange, appeared before Hwange magistrate Rosemary Dube facing two counts of assault.

It is the State’s case that May 25, Machina baked muffin cakes at his place of residence and laced them with dagga.

He then teamed up with Mafara and later on during the day they proceeded to Hwange Cricket Club.

The complainant — Memory Sibanda — a female adult is employed as a bar lady.

On the day she was on duty when she was approached by Mafara who then offered the muffin cakes to her without disclosing to her that the said cakes were laced with dagga.

Unemployment woes continue to dog Byo

BULAWAYO - That factories in the second largest city closed en masse in the past two decades, is no longer news.

Also, that most of those who were thrown out of their jobs turned into the informal sector for survival is no something worth a read anymore. However, of note is the different kinds of alternative sources of survival that some of the unfortunate ones opted for.

About two months ago, Southern News revealed how open goat selling business at the Kelvin industrial site has thrived as the city’s manufacturing industry has remained subdued.

However, just a stone’s throw from where goats are being openly traded, right in front of Davies Granite company — are hordes of trucks whose drivers are desperately looking for business — thus to provide transport to customers who would want to have their quarry ferried.

So desperate are these truck drivers that as soon as someone drops off from a vehicle or a kombi on the main road they all stampede to convince the person to hire their services.

It’s even worse for those who park their vehicles in their midst as before they can get off, the drivers will be all over them like a swarm of bees.

However, this is not funny at all as these are grown-up people whose only quest is to eke out a living from the clearly unpredictable business.

Of interest is the number not only of people who are into this business but also the trucks parked in the area awaiting the load whose time is not known to them.

Those who are building houses or are into construction business in the city have been their biggest customers.

Unlike their colleagues who sell goats a few yards away who can at least be assured of selling two or more goats per day, the story is different here as the drivers can go for two days without any client knocking at their door.

It is so much that they can’t predict their monthly income.

“It’s been a year since I was here. We provide transport to those who need it but mostly those who will be buying quarry,” Palito Weza told Southern News.

“Unfortunately, the challenge is, there is too much competition as you can see we are more than 150 here and those dozens of trucks are waiting to get loads.

“One has to be really active and not sleep on duty if you entertain any hopes of at least getting something at the end of the day,” he said.

“The fact is it’s hard to make enough money here. Our wish is that industry should just open such that we get employed.

“We just hope things will change after elections,” Weza said.

Southern News established that each load costs $50 as long it’s being transported within the environs of Bulawayo. Outside carrying quarry, the trucks are also in standby for any other hire that may come.

“Life is difficult here,” said Charles Chinyope, 38.

“I used to be a machine operator at one of the big companies that shut down in 2008 and since then, I have been struggling to make ends meet.

“However, since I came here I have been trying to fend for myself and my family through the proceeds from here.

“We can spend the whole day stampeding for customers but in the end you go home empty-handed. That’s how difficult life can be here. The worst thing is that some of us are employed. At the end of the month, the truck owner has to pay me so if I don’t produce anything, it means he can’t pay me anything.”

During the visit there is one thing that remained outstanding from the numerous interviews the news crew had — the desperation for employment.

“We are in this situation because of the economic situation. If only things were normal we would not be suffering like this,” Erasmus Nkomo said while pleading for an economic recovery.

He added: “Our hope is that the next government will put more focus on the economy than politics.

“We don’t eat politics but for years, our political leaders have subjected us to politics and this is why we now don’t have any industry to talk about in Bulawayo.”

After consuming the cakes, the court heard, the complainant became noxious and dizzy. This resulted in her failing to carry out her duties. As a result, she was rushed to hospital where she was examined, admitted and was said to be suffering from drug-induced psychosis.

The same also happened to the second complainant Lisa Nyoni who is also a bar lady at the club. A follow-up was made, resulting in the arrest of Machina and Mafara.

The accused were, however, not asked to plead and were remanded in custody to today pending trial.

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