By Byron Mutingwende
For Magna Mudyiwa, the Member of the House of Assembly for Mudzi West Constituency leadership is a natural calling and the legislator is using sport to unite people for peace and development.
The hardworking legislator is the brain behind the annual Magna Mudyiwa Sports Tournament ever since coming into office after the Parliamentary by-election for Mudzi West Constituency in 2015.
“Sports drive community development in that they promote unity, peace and development. Since 2015, people from all walks of life converge at Chingwena High School on 22 December – the Unity Day holiday set aside by the government to celebrate the historic signing of the unity agreement between former President Robert Mugabe the leader of ZANU and the late Vice President who led ZAPU to compete in sports,” Hon Mudyiwa said.
Prior to the tournament day, the legislator facilitated a tour of the district by the media to appreciate development projects she is driving with the local leadership.
Caritas has sponsored five piped water schemes in the district. Mudzi District is prone to water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid. The piped water schemes will service schools and the community.
Speaking to journalists during the tour, John Misi, the District Administrator of Mudzi said the schemes were set up in Chimukoko, Goronga in Ward 11, in Kudzwe and at Nyamapanda Primary and Secondary as well as at Mapombo School.
“Caritas has also solar-powered all the boreholes in the mentioned areas. Water is pumped to irrigate crops at the schools and community gardens. Working with Hon Mudyiwa, the district authorities and other local leaders, World Vision has built five state-of-the art dip tanks at Nyahuku in Ward 1, Musawu in Ward 17, at Chori in Mukota A Ward, at Shinga in War 4 and at Chingamuka. These communities used to travel for at least 15km to the nearest dip tank before the intervention. The situation was dire for the Nyahuku community on the border with Mozambique because people lost their cattle, which mix with those from Mozambique due to contagious tick-borne diseases like heart-water and red-water,” Misi said.
The Community Technology Development Organisation has built a seed bank for small grains at Chimukoko and is in the process of developing a second one at Masahwa.
“Some generational and small grains need preservation. We have been losing some varieties of rice every year, for example. Seeds in the seed banks are kept under excellent conditions. Communities have the ownership of various seed types and won’t have any need to go to far way places to look for the seeds during the planting season. The seed banks act as local cenrees of research on improving the locally collected and preserved seed varieties.
World Vision built the dip tanks under its Productive Assets Creation (PAC) projects. Community members provided labour and other local materials like bricks and river sand. In exchange World Vision provided them cereals and cooking oil, targeting the vulnerable, food insecure and child-headed families under the Social Welfare Food for Work Scheme.
The Hon MP is also working with the local council and other stakeholders in rehabilitating the roads. Alouis Kambambaira, the Councillor for Ward 9 who is the Chairman of the Mudzi Rural District Council said the 30km stretch of road from Mudzi to Chikukwa is being rehabilitated using the Zimbabwe National Road Adminstration (ZINARA) funds.
“Each of the 18 wards was given a fund to rehabilitate at least 21km stretch of road. Council is opening blocked drainages around towns like Kotwa and Nyamapanda. We are also building the Chimango, Chingwena, Chori, Kambanje and Muzezuru clinics just to mention a few,” Kambambaira said.
Turning to the sports tournament, Rita Mafuta (56) from Mafundi Village under Chief Nyamukoho who was a spectator said sports promote physical fitness and social cohesion. Nyaradzai Manuel (38) from Kaitano Village in Ward 7 shared the same sentiments.
“These games target all age groups from children, youths, adults and the elderly. When we meet at the tournament, we share strategies on how to overcome our daily challenges and have the opportunity to meet our leaders with whom we share our expectations on development,” Kaitano said.
Washington Nyamukapa from Ward Marodza Village in Ward 8, who coaches the Masarakufa and Benda local football clubs hailed the fact that the tournament had become a calendar event for the constituency.
“On Unity Day, the 22nd of December every year, people from all the wards covergw here for the sports tournament. We meet our local leadership and spend the whole day interacting on issues of development. We also have a one-on-one discussion with our MP. It also helps to identify talents among our people,” Nyamukapa said.
The tournament consists of teams from Masarakufa, Suswe, Nyamukoho, Bangauya and Shinga areas. It covers soccer and netball. Hon Mudyiwa said there are plans to include other disciplines like women soccer, volleyball, handball and basketball in the future.
The first prize for soccer was a floating trophy, a soccer kit with stockings, a ball and $80. It went to Chiunye Football Club. The second best soccer team was Suswe which got a soccer kit, a football plus $70. The third best soccer team got $40 and a football while the rest of soccer teams got $30 and a football each. The best netball team got $70, netball and bibs, second best g0t $50, netball and bibs while the rest of the netball teams got $30 and a netball each.
The locals appealed to the legislator to mobilise funding to rehabilitate the Rwenya Bridge that connects Mudzi and Nyanga Bridge, which was washed away by the rains in 2013. Due to the growing population of Kotwa Growth Point, the Nyamuwnga Dam is failing to provide sufficient water to the residents. The constituents said there was a need to consider using the Kudzwe Dam, some 20km away to complement the available water. There is need for about $2 million to connect the dam to the growth point which is growing into a town very soon.