Chiredzi
Population
 (2012)
30,197
Websitewww.chiredzi.co.zw

Chiredzi is a small town in Masvingo Province, founded in 1961[1]. It is located near the Runde River, which has a tributary called the 'Chiredzi'. As the administrative center for Chiredzi District, it is where both the rural and district councils are based.

Geography

The town is at 21° 3′ S, 31° 40′ E.
It is 203 km south east of Masvingo, and 108 km by tar from Ngundu Halt on the Masvingo - Beitbridge road. Chiredzi means, 'a place where a fish can be caught by a line or a string'. [2] [3] Chiredzi serves the area's irrigated agriculture industry, primarily the sugar industry.

  1. Chiredzi is served by a small international airport at Buffalo Range called "Buffalo Range Airport" or "BFO."
  2. The non-profit organization, Elias Fund, has its Zimbabwean base of operations in Chiredzi. The Mashoko / Hippo Valley Christian Mission also had headquarters in Chiredzi, from which it oversees two orphanages and a number of schools and churches throughout the province.
  3. The Hippo Valley Estates is located here, with its A-school and private school, that is Hippo Valley Primary school. South Eastern College is also located in Chiredzi, and serves as the only A-rated private high school in the area.
  4. Hippo Valley Hospital is one of a number of centers for the treatment of HIV or AIDS in the province.

Population

The population in 1969 was 2710 Africans, 538 Europeans, 6 Asians, and 10 Coloureds for a total of 3260.
In the 2012 census there were 30,197 people in Chiredzi.

Events

A Chiredzi Town Council plan, for a $300 000 upgrade of its water conveyancing system to improve distribution efficiency and plug leakages, was announced in March 2019. The town’s chair Gibson Hwende said they had managed to buy most of the materials for the upgrade, and recently received the final consignment of pipes, valves and other materials. Council has budgeted a further $90 000 for implementing the project.

[[Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association] chair Jonathan Muusha said residents in most wards had been waiting for the commencement of the project since water availability was important. Council has been struggling to supply water to all parts of the sugar cane growing town, forcing residents to boycott payment of rates in protest. The local authority is now battling to recover more than $10 million for rates, a situation that has crippled service delivery. [4]

Chairperson, Gibson Hwende, in July 2019, said, council received $450 000 for a project to complete a five-kilometre pipeline project from Public Sector Investment Programme. Council has has already spent $388 000 on pipes for the construction of a 2,8km direct trunk line to Makondo suburb from Chigarapasi, a 1,8km direct trunk line to Ward 5 and the rest for maintenance of pipes from the water works.

The plan is in three phases.

  • Phase one - a 400m direct trunk line from the water works to reservoirs.
  • Phase two - the 2,8km line to Makondo subarb from Chigarapasi, the ward 5 line which shall be connected directly from the hospital.
  • Phase three – long-term, involves the upgrading of the water plant.

[5]

A feedback meeting, called by council in January 2020 left residents dissatisfied. Chiredzi Town Council chairperson Gibson Hwende did not explain several issues, including the tender processes which has allegedly being flouted. The meeting was to be on how $6,5 million received from government as devolution funds is going to be used as well as to address service delivery and the water situation. Gibson Hwende did not give the actual figures as he continued to say $6,5 million to $6,6 million, and also admitted that a transformer had already been bought, but failed to explain how that happened without going to tender.

The transformer is supposed to be installed at the waterworks and connected to the Hippo Valley Estates power line to ensure continuous water pumping and supply to Chiredzi town, after erratic power supply from Zesa has caused water shortages in the sugar growing town. Hippo Valley Estates is generating its own power and is contributing over 15 megawatts to the national grid. [6]

In the 2020 Chiredzi budget, council proposed to purchase vehicles for management. Hoever, Chiredzi United Residents and Ratepayers Association (Chirra) has voiced strong objections saying town engineer, Wesley Kauma, does not deserve a vehicle because he has failed to deal with the water crisis. Chirra chairperson Jonathan Muusha said “Incompetence should not be rewarded.” “The town is dry most of the times and we wonder what the engineer is doing. We will not reward someone who just comes to work to warm the chair and do nothing.” [7]

Wildlife

There are several game parks in the area. [3] Chiredzi has Gonarezhou National Park with Malilangwe. The two places have been visited by celebrities and support tourism. They enclose the wildlife consisting of carnivorous, herbivorous and omnivorous animals, such as the red-billed quelea and Zimbabwean cheetah.

Further Reading

Sustainability of Chiredzi town water supply and wastewater management in Zimbabwe - PDF Download. [8]


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References

  1. [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed), Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  2. [Mary Akers (ed.), Encyclopaedia Rhodesia] (The College Press, Salisbury, 1973) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  3. 3.0 3.1 [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019
  4. Chiredzi embarks on $300k upgrade of water system, The Herald, Published: 28 March 2019, Retrieved: 20 April 2020
  5. [https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/07/chiredzi-rehabilitates-water-systems/ Chiredzi rehabilitates water systems], Newsday, Published: 24 July 2019, Retrieved: 20 April 2020
  6. Chiredzi Town Council grilled over tender process , Zimbabwe Situation, Published: 4 February 2020, Retrieved: 20 April 2020
  7. No Car For Chiredzi Town Engineer Until Water Crisis Is Resolved, Says Residents, Tell Zim, Published: 10 January 2020, Retrieved: 20 April 2020
  8. Sustainability of Chiredzi town water supply and wastewater management in Zimbabwe, Research Gate, Published: January 2019, Retrieved: 20 April2020