BVTA inspires 197 vendors with leadership skills in Bulawayo

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has successfully executed Leadership and Advocacy Trainings in Bulawayo’ 29 wards targeting its Wards Committee structures, poised to inspire vendors and informal traders to have better lives.

The objects of the trainings were to enhance the leadership and public policy advocacy capabilities of its ward structures. One hundred and ninety seven (197) members of the Ward Structures were trained. BVTA carried out trainings after noting that most those occupying positions lacked adequate leadership and advocacy skills that hinder their effectiveness in mobilizing and providing leadership at local level. This is part of BVTA`s broad strategy as enshrined in their 2016 – 2018 Strategic Plan to build capacity of vendors to be able function and have better lives.

The scope of the trainings focused on BVTA Constitution and reminded the structures on their leadership constitutional obligations, their term of office as well as functions and roles played by BVTA Executive Committee.

Essentially the trainings acquainted members of Ward Structures about key aspects in leadership. The trainings emphasized that leadership is about motivation, inspiring people to aspire and make positive contributions in communities and changing their lives. Ward structures were sharpened with knowledge on qualities of good leaders for example that good leaders have a vision for the future, have strength of personality, the will power of a never say die attitude.
The Ward structures were made aware that good leadership is not about use of coercive means, force, and abuse of authority, abuse of power or use of threats to get the work done.

The course handed BVTA Ward leaders with a tools box of leadership skills that is envisaged to assist in leading membership within communities. It emphasized that leadership skills are tools, behaviors and capabilities that a person needs in order to be at motivating and directing others. The skills were portrayed as characters of professions such as the behavior of a Captain who directs the sail, who delegates duties, gardener someone who cultivates trusts and makes members of the group feel the sense of belonging and ownership of the group or organization. Furthermore, a diplomat someone who is able to solve conflicts that are inevitable in groups, the talk show host someone who is an effective communicator and who masters nonverbal communication among other skills.

The training course was complemented by imparting vendors with lobby and advocacy skills that will enable vendors and informal traders to organize themselves and speak against to find solutions that affect them in their day to day lives. The course has already to motivated vendors to organize themselves and speak in one voice in order to improve their conditions especially the constant violation of rights and abuse from law enforcement agents. An increase of vendors visiting the organizational offices to join the association has been recorded.

One woman vendor from Ward 7 confessed how the training has helped her to change the way she thinks and  conducted her business “I have been stuck in my vending bay for the rest of my life to the point that I had quit attending church services, these trainings have made me to gain useful information to do other things, I have learnt that I can delegate someone to remain manning my vending bay whilst I attend to other issues in the community and seeking other opportunities that may arise in the informal sector”

The trainings envisages to improve coordination of activities of vendors and informal traders at ward level. This form of decentralization will make the organisation more accessible and be able to promptly respond to the needs of vendors across the city.


Bulawayo once the city of excellence turns to Blair toilets.

I used to think The City of Bulawayo was a city of excellence until I joined Uhlelo LweZakhamizi, Inkundla KaZulu, and other civil society organizations in an Anti Prepaid Water Meter Door to Door campaign on Saturday 21 June 2014. It was very surprised to see a Blair toilet in one of the townships. Attached are pictures that show Blair toilets in Cowdry park popularly known as Emastendini. This is 34 years after black majority rule and independence. 

Views from various bloggers  ImageImage

Is the City Council to blame or the developer? There are parts of the city were serving of stands is done by developers who instead of having the capital to do so they rely on deposits from buyers. So be sure its council which I doubt”

up until zanurised ple took over Byo kwakungekho lokhu…right nw zanu linked land developers doin sh***t ol over eg kubombudane etc…cn bet thts a land developer area leyo”

“in Mahatshula i bought stand from developer in a medium residential place over five years ago.stil dusty roads n no sewer line only water…”

“You are over analysing this its the Political and economic regime we are under that allows such things and establishes the enviroment for it to happen there are the source of this madness in 2014”

“ey shouldnt sell undeveloped stand. wt pisses me off with the city council is that pple actually bot those stands from em. $3500 is serious money and ey need to start focusin on real issues bayekelane lamabhawa. i propose we go to a council meetin and protest in ere. mnxxxmm such things make me feel lyk taking it to the street”

What I deduce from these bloggers is that
(1) Council is to blame for the mess at Cowdry Park, because they sold unserviced stands (2)
(2) Misplaced priorities and awarding of tenders to developers has also contributed to the mess at the eye sore township.
(3) The current regime is equally responsible for this mess.
(4) There is an invisible hand that has covert strategies to destroy the city of Bulawayo.
Way forward
– Door to door campaign to enlighten on the infringements of their rights.
– Massive residents protest march against the council and government to act on the mess.
– The council must not stop selling not serviced stands forthwith.
– Dialogue between council and residents


Shunning locals from jobs and disrespecting their language is a time bomb


The past week has seen a number serious debates and contestations on topical issues that are pertinent to the Matabeleland region, the language and access to jobs and places in higher learning institutions took the centre stage. One of the key debates was a burst out in parliament pitting the Bulawayo provincial affairs Minister Eunice Sandi Moyo and two MDC T lawmakers Honorable Ruth Labode and Honorable Dorcas Sibanda The two argued that residents of Bulawayo are often overlooked for jobs and for places at higher learning. The minister is allegedly to have shot back and said that she is not a tribalist. One begins to wonder the origination of word tribalism in a very simple and straight forward question like this. The honorable minister could have demanded evidence from the two and promised action. Similarly her response proves there is an invisible hand or force that influenced her response. The other was the interview made on Radio Zimbabwe with the minister of Provincial Affairs for Matabeleland South Abednico Ncube. The minister was asked how far true it was that children in Gwanda were failing Grade Seven Examinations because they were being taught by Shona speaking teachers, Minister Ncube shot down the assertion choosing instead to blame headmasters of the schools for the failures. Report says that this did not go down well with listeners who during the phone in session, listeners castigated the dominance of teachers who do speak Ndebele in many schools in the region who are made to teach lower grades in primary schools, some listeners proposed secession as the panacea as they felt their language and values were under serious attack.

Opinion makers in some sectors of the society have vehemently disagreed with the two law makers and listeners from this region but in this piece I will briefly demonstrate the validity of their claims and they have a serious case that needs to be taken seriously and urgently to avoid recurrent and perennial conflicts that daily emanates from these issues.
First I would like to correct perceptions that the two were advocating for the Ndebele to be the only ones entitled to get jobs in Bulawayo. According to quotes made in the newspapers in allegedly statements proclaimed in parliament, the two never in their questions mentioned that they are speaking for Ndebeles but they said local people. Bulawayo is a cosmopolitan city and the word “local” refers to any anyone from Binga, Victoria Falls, Plumtree and other areas and there is nothing Ndebele about their arguments. To me this is a critical issue that the two raised. I have empirical evidence that local jobs are taken by outsiders, and I can prove that with my experiences two years ago in resort of Victoria Falls where during the opening of one food court a bus came with over 30 young people to open a restaurant, simple logic tells every sane person that Victoria Falls is a tourism hub and there is no justification whatsoever to import over 30 people to open a restaurant unless if it is specialized skill which was then proved otherwise in the subsequent investigation.
The two lawmakers were bashed for raising these issues in parliament instead of visiting the office of the minister of state for provincial affairs, let me remind those who care that the role of parliament is to make laws and hence the two had every justification to table the issue in parliament in order to encourage the making of laws that will enhance the constitutional provisions to promote the empowerment of locals. There is nothing mischievous and problematic by raising issues in parliament as its role is to make laws that will serve the interests of the masses, maybe their questions will trigger someone to sponsor a bill that speaks to the issue at hand.
The constitution of Zimbabwe also acknowledges that some regions are historical underdeveloped due to political disturbances that occurred some 31 years ago, these have a bearing on employment patterns due to the simple fact that the people who were killed then most of them were the productive and if my statistics oral history survivors are correct most ranged from 20 -40 years which means that over 50% were young people who could have risen within the ranks by today will be managers in various companies and organizations here in the region, but the whole lot was exterminated, then it left vacuum that was replaced by other people from outside the region, who have risen within ranks are now managers and directors today are employing their kith and kin at the expense of locals.
To further prove that employing people who are not conversant with even the language is very detrimental to the values and ethos of other tribes, I had a an experience at one primary school in Bulawayo, I saw a teaching aid which wrong constructed Ndebele word: Iqaqa was constructed as Iqhaqha, qaphela was spelled as Qhaphela, Qeda as Qheda, Qamula as Qhamula, Quma as Qhuma. I wish the two legislators had the opportunity to see these teaching aids and took them to parliament to proved that critical locals jobs are taken by outsiders who then teach innocent children the wrong language. This is gross disrespect of the Ndebele language and indeed the two lawmakers have a serious case that cannot be ignored by sane leaders and those with people at heart. It is also the violation of constitution Chapter 1 section 6 (3) which asserts that the state and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must ensure that all official languages are treated equitably and take into account the language preferences of people affected by governmental measures or communication.
One will argue that is the duty of the head to monitor the work of the teachers but conceivably the head also in not conversant with the Ndebele language. Stakeholders working in cahoots with the Ministry of primary and secondary education and School Development Committees must set up systems to monitor teaching methodologies and tools in school. If teachers are not enough who are conversant with the Ndebele language, those from other regions must be allowed to teach other subjects like English, Mathematics, General paper and made to be assisted by those who are able to speak and teach Ndebele. If this continues unabated parents, human rights organizations and other stakeholders will view it as calculated to moves to exterminate the Ndebele language.
By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Victoria Falls Residents Chairperson – scores first in Zimbabwean football.

The chairperson of the Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association (VIFACORA) has been nominated by Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) to be the Head Of Delegation in the Zimbabwe Warriors vs Burundi match in the AFCON qualifiers today at The National Sports Stadium. in his facebook post today in the morning he exclaimed “Who says people from Victoria Falls can not lead????Watch ZBC TV today at 14h45 as the Chairman of VIFACORA leads the country into the giant Arena!”  I say congratulations Mr Dube  for this is a clear sign of your visionary leadership.