22 November 2018
Hwedza Rural District Council (HRDC) has clashed with villagers for expanding their communities without engaging traditional leadership.
The friction has come at a time when the HRDC has been encroaching into surrounding villages.
Hwedza paramount headman Aron Maruta urged HRDC to engage them and map a way forward.
“Imagine, we hold rainmaking ceremonies called Mukwerera to get enough rains at Maruta’s solo grave opposite Hwedza Grain Marketing Board where there used to be a thick bush with a harmless white lion keeping that holy place and grave for decades, today they are surrounding that shrine with foreigners, how will Hwedza receive enough rains?” he said.
One of the villagers who spoke to H-Metro, Tsitsi Kashanga, whose child was buried and the remains later exhumed by the HRDC ,was bitter over the council’s actions.
“I am always in tears when I pass through these new stands because my child was buried here, where I am standing.
“I appealed to the council excavators to stop digging my child’s grave on my way to Hwedza Township, later, the official apologised to me and told me that this road was going to be stopped.
“You just woke up to be welcomed by strangers offloading their building materials just by your door step,” she said.
Contacted for comment, HRDC acting chief executive officer Jeremiah Bako said their operations were above board.
“Firstly, Hwedza Rural District Council executive do not just go and urbanise any rural community before officially calling for meetings with them.
“We do everything above board, some of these villagers do not come for these meetings, some come and those who initially resisted are mostly the ones who misinform people.
“If there are any villagers and headmen with any complaints about our urbanisation and growth we kindly ask you to bring them in written form for record purposes or come in person.
“We meet and share the vision and finally come out with what is possibly harmonic for further development of Hwedza Rural District,” said Bako.
“A developed Hwedza Rural District still remains in Hwedza and benefits the Hwedza people in Mashonaland East.
“So let us not spend our valuable time complaining about street talks, we are your drivers as the executive and you are the engine, so your voice is needed first as a way of developing your district.
“You know your area, tell us and we compliment your contributions but being guided by what is officially supposed to be done.”