HIFC Mentored Stories

Zim farming season under threat

By John Kachembere

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s prospects of a good farming season might be in jeopardy following revelations that part of government’s $160 million inputs are yet to reach the intended farmers, while rains continue to be elusive in some parts of the country. Despite years of declining agriculture output due to persistent droughts and lack of inputs, government had struck the right chord this year by ensuring that most rural households have access inputs.

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Malnutrition Ravages Mat South

By Farai Sibanda

Gwanda,  January 10, 2014 – Malnutrition has hit thousands of villagers especially children in Matabeleland South province as severe hunger stalks the area due to a ravaging drought caused by poor rains in past two seasons.

This has seen most children suffering from malnutrition admitted in hospitals and clinics in the province as they have no food for consumption.

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Poisoning residents through ‘garbage-filled’ smoke

By Phillip Chidavaenzi

Harare residents’ health is at serious risk as no action has been taken to contain the proliferation of the burning of garbage in the central business district and high density suburbs where inconsistent garbage collection by the municipality has seen people opting to burn waste.

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Forced marriage aborted as alert neighbours raise alarm

By Catherine Murombedzi

Intervention by an alert community member of Mopane area in Chegutu East averted a minor’s forced marriage. The marriage could have seen a 13-year-old orphan handed over to a 65-year-old man (name with held). The girl lives with her aunt who is a member of the Johanne Marange Apostolic sect and the man behind the botched marriage is also a leading figure of the same church.

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Tongogara Growth Point: Forgotten, neglected

By Moses Mugugunyeki

TONGOGARA Growth Point in Shurugwi, Midlands province, is one of the several rural service centres accorded growth point status by the government shortly after independence. With the new status, villagers expected a boom in business and a better life, but that has not been the case.
Instead, they are crumbling. It is unlike other growth points — Mupandawana in Gutu, Murambinda in Buhera, Mutora (Nembudziya) in Gokwe North, Murewa, Jerera in Zaka, Mutoko and Gokwe — that are now fully-fledged business centres with banking services and large supermarkets.

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Political expediency compromises calibre of legislators

By Maggie Mzumara

IN a country with supposedly the highest rate of literacy in Africa — 92 percent — and in a generally conservative society where the majority of citizens are not only cultured, dignified and self-respecting, but also law-abiding what would prompt and allow the representation of people at a level as high as Parliament to be carried through by individuals with scanty educational stock or even those of questionable moral standing or mirage-like integrity?
As the newly sworn legislators get ready to tackle the mandate ahead of them as representatives of the people and members of the critical legislative arm of government, speculation on what to expect of their performance is inevitable.
Questions on how some of them made it into the august House also abound.

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Exposing GMB grain and inputs manipulation

By Tawanda Majoni

More people are going hungry, we are producing less maize and relying more on food aid. The government’s national programme through the Grain Marketing Board has been heavily criticised. Is the distribution of food aid politicised? How are people in the rural areas coping with the current food crisis? Household food hunger has been increasing over the years due to a combination of factors, among them bad harvests caused by recurrent droughts, perennial shortages of inputs and disturbances to agricultural production due to the accelerated land redistribution programme that started in 2000 and displaced close to 5,000 commercial farmers.

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Life in Chikurubi Female Prison: Part 2

By Thelma Chikwanha

I entered the small library which is used as a classroom. There were about four or five inmates gathered around a desk.
One of the inmates was said to be their teacher. She said she was reading for a Master’s in Business Administration.
After being introduced to the women, I asked for their level of education and the first one to answer was a pint-sized woman sporting cornrows on her head.“I am now doing Grade Five,” the woman, who judging  by her appearance, is in her mid-20s, said proudly with her infectious smile betraying that she was gratified by her achievements.
I was later informed that when she first came to the prison, she could neither read nor write. My heart went out to her upon learning she was a good student. The young woman in question was in prison for sexually abusing a minor and her sentence will end in December this year.

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Electorate unprepared and intimidated

By Regina Pasipanodya

The recent intervention of soldiers at an MDC-T manifesto launch here is more evidence that the electorate is being intimidated in the run up to elections. In the MDC’s manifesto, the party promises, among other things, an improvement of the education system and health service delivery, an increase in food security and the creation of millions of jobs over a staggered period.

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Tobacco gains: A loss to others

By Melody Chikono

WHILE tobacco farming is improving the livelihoods of thousands of Zimbabweans, certain sections of society are crying foul ― blaming the negative effects of tobacco on a number of calamities, including death due to the inhalation of its smoke.Zimbabwe is pressing ahead with tobacco production as the number of growers are surging each year, contributing positively to the national coffers.
This is despite the health concerns, child labour and deforestation associated with tobacco farming.
Zimbabwe realised more than US$1,2 billion in tobacco sales in the last season.

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Zimbabwe Food Security Threatened by Tobacco

By Stephen Tsoroti

When Mirosi Chingawo, a small farmer in the Madziwa area of Mashonaland Central, switched from farming food crops to tobacco in 2010, few people thought about the implications at the time. Now Chingawo is among the growing number of farmers in Zimbabwe growing tobacco and moving away from food staples such as maize, sorghum and millet. This threatens the country’s food security.

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Pain of living with albinism

By Regina Pasipanodya

Born with albinism, Sarah Ncube has lived everyday of her 34 years faced with discrimination and segregation even from within her family. Ncube is amongst many people living with albinism in Zimbabwe, who says for more than two years, she had to endure a miserable experience living among in-laws who could not stand the sight of her.

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An answer to a woman’s worry

By Shamiso Yikoniko

Zimbabwe, like most countries, is grappling with the huge challenge of non-communicable diseases that are on the increase at an alarming rate.  Cervical cancer, accounting for a third of all cancers, tops the list.  To combat the problem, the Government recently introduced a low-cost free cervical cancer screening method: Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Cervicography (VIAC), for effective early diagnosis and treatment.

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Diamond curse plagues Chiadzwa

By Clemence Manyukwe

WHEN formal diamond prospecting commenced in Chiadzwa, surrounding communities were under the impression that development had finally come to their doorsteps. Nearly five years on, the perception has completely changed.
Some families in Chiadzwa and surrounding communities in Manicaland Province have been left poorer and at the risk of life-threatening diseases such as cancer. This is as a result of environmentally unfriendly mining activities in the area

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Poverty forces children into early marriage, labour

By Tatenda Chitagu

The saying that “today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders” has lost its meaning in most parts of Zimbabwe given the prevalence of child labour nationwide. Although the government has put in place policies that protect children from abuse, extreme poverty exacerbated by the decade-long economic meltdown has seen a good number of the country’s children being forced into child labour. Most affected children come from poor families with no source of income. These children help contribute to the pool income of the family.

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Family planning: It takes two

By Roselyne Sachiti

HLETIWE TITI NGWENYA (40), a former Johanne Marange Church follower from Gokwe, last month gave birth to her 15th child, Mthandazo, after a series of complications. Her child’s birth left some people green with envy and others in disbelief. Sadly, Mthandazo died at three weeks, leaving Ngwenya devastated forcing her to forsake the religion she has been following since birth. Click link to read more:




Jobless graduates due to outdated curriculum

By Victoria Mutomba

But most of them have failed to secure employment due to the declining job opportunities in the formal job market, a situation that has constantly recurred over the past 10 years. A snap survey by NewsDay, based on average enrolment figures for individual institutions, indicated that the combined total of last year’s graduates is pegged at nearly 10 000. Click link to read more:



The Silent Killer

By Jeffrey Moyo

ZIMBABWE’S health services are struggling to cope with a growing tide of patients suffering from an age-old condition — diabetes. A shortage of drugs, especially insulin, has exacerbated the problem. But lifestyle and diet has contributed too, say health experts. Eating “fast foods” heavy with fat and carbohydrates, such as chips and burgers, and consuming heavily sweetened soft drinks, encourages the development of diabetes in ordinary people, and are poison to those who already suffer from the condition. Some even blame the increased consumption of imported genetically modified foods. Click link to read more:



Health sector crying for overhaul

By Phillip Chidavaenzi

Although the country’s health sector is expected to start enjoying a resuscitation following the nod by Treasury to the Health Services Board (HSB) proposal to reopen the doors of employment, analysts have warned that only a complete system overhaul will inject new life into the comatose sector. In 2010, Treasury imposed an employment freeze in the civil service arguing that the salary bill was unsustainable. The freeze came against the background of a critical shortage of nurses in the country’s hospitals and clinics.

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