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Elephants harass villagers


Newly-installed headman Azviyambiwi Ndou, also known as Chikwelengwe, says he hopes the incoming government will rescue his community from a host of problems, among them lack of educational facilities, inadequate health institutions, scarce water sources and menacing stray elephants.


Chikwelengwe community, which lies 70 kilometres east of Beitbridge and shares the Limpopo River with a section of South Africa’s Limpopo province, has no electricity.

Business centres are few and far apart, with most people relying on shops across the border in South Africa, whose access is largely dependent on the state of the mighty Limpopo River.

Speaking to journalists soon after his installation last Friday, headman Chikwelengwe pleaded with government to immediately attend to problems besetting his subjects.

“Elephants are a danger to the community; they roam around our area and it limits the movement of children, some who even get scared to go to school,” he said.

“Children meet these animals regularly and this has an effect on their attitude towards school. We need decent water sources, health centres in our vicinity and accessible roads,” he said.

Chikwelengwe also spoke on the need to electrify the area.

He was installed headman after an eight-year power vacuum following the death of his predecessor.

A lively ceremony lit up the area in the Mopani woodland, with his relatives of the Ndou totem thronging his homestead for the ceremony.

“The government has at last heard our pleas, we wanted this recognition. We are pleased,” an old woman said before breaking into dance as she recited their totem.

Guest of honour Chief Matibe told his new subjects to listen to the people.
“Work with the people and be an arm for development. Heed what the comminity says,” Matibe said before bestowing Chikwelengwe with badges and decorations for the headmanship.

“Government expects headmen to work with all arms of development,” Matibe told Chikwelengwe, who will have at least 18 kraal heads under him.

Zanu PF members, led by MP-elect Albert Nguluvhe, Ambassador Aaron Maboyi-Ncube and outgoing Beitbridge West Member of Parliament Metrine Mudau joined the community in celebration.

The Chikwelengwe community was treated to a variety of entertainment from the Zion Christian Church choir and the local Tshingondo (Sungura) Band, among others.

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