Not yet Uhuru for Bulawayo’s homeless


SQUATTERS at Ngozi Mine dumpsite, located between Richmond and Cowdray Park suburbs in Bulawayo, have condemned Independence Day celebrations as “meaningless”.

Report by Khulani Nkabinde

The squatters yesterday told NewsDay that they do not see any reason to celebrate Independence Day given their plight.

“For me Independence Day is just like any other day,” said Leonard Dube, a sculptor by profession.

“People in Bulawayo normally converge at White City Stadium to celebrate Independence Day, but I don’t go there because we have been left out. We don’t have proper houses to live in, so why should we celebrate?”

Dube said even if he went to White City Stadium, he ran the risk of failing to get food there due to “overcrowding”.

“I think the organisers should hold these celebrations in schools so that people don’t overcrowd at the stadium. As for me, I will continue working on my sculptures here at Ngozi Mine,” he said.

Another slum dwellers at the dumpsite, who only identified herself as MaNdebele, said she last attended Independence Day celebrations in 1985.

“Ever since that year, I have never gone to celebrate Independence Day. It is meaningless to me,” she said.

“It is better to cook something and eat with my children here than to go and celebrate. We have suffered a lot hence we live in such an environment as this”.

Another squatter who refused to be identified said Independence Day had been turned into “a political gathering for campaign purposes.”
“I stopped attending Independence Day celebrations 10 years ago when I realised that its purpose had been hijacked by politicians,” he said. “It no longer has value.”

However, Moses Moyo and his nephew Fortune Mdlongwa said they would attend the celebrations today.

“I am very happy about this day,” said Moyo. “I will find out where the celebrations will be held and I will definitely go there.”
Mdlongwa said: “It is an important day for all Zimbabweans. It does not matter which political party you belong to, we all have to celebrate. We are now free.”

Despite being happy, Moyo bemoaned the fact that they have no decent place to stay.

“We were told that we would be moved from here anytime, hence we cannot build proper structures,” he said while harvesting his maize crop.

Bulawayo has over 100 000 people on its housing waiting list.
One of President Robert Mugabe’s promises in 1980 was to provide housing for all, but that has remained a pipe dream for the majority.


  1. Every time I attack Gukurahundis, their Gukurahundi party and its Gukurahundism, many of you want to shut me up simply because you don’t want to hear the word GUKURAHUNDI.To me this amounts to supporting them.

    According to your upbringing, Gukurahundi means Shona – that is why you don’t want to hear that word “GUKURAHUNDI”.

    Well, some of us in Mthwakazi will never allow ourselves to be dissuaded – because our understanding and upbringing says Gukurahundi means ZANU PF, its leader Gukurahundi Mugabe and all those who support it – it does not mean Shona.

    If you believe it means Shona people, that is your problem – your own funeral, not mine. Jabulani Sibanda is a Gukurahundi because he is a member of the Gukurahundi party ZANU PF, but he is not Shona. There are many such examples.

    If we allow ourselves to fall for your tricks, for fear of treading on sensitive Shona toes, this means allowing the Gukurahundis to go scot- free – this we will not allow.


  2. There no country in SOUTHERN AFRICA that does not have problems of accommodation.Even South Africa that you envy, the situation is worse than ours.I have been to Khayelitsha,Dunoon and other settlements in Cape town.Should we say that these folks are not independent.There POSITIVE strides that our government has taken after independence.One of these reforms is ensuring that we go school.Hameno zvavo vanohumana but NDINOFARA KUVAMUZIMBA.

    • Gukurahundis can not make positive strides – theirs is Gukurahundism only and nothing else!!

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