Empowering Rural folks: CGCDZ commissions’ sewing machines to Rugare Noruenzaniso Cooperative in Bikita ward 13.

Forty community partners (10 male and 30 female) were trained on how to make re-usable sanitary pads/wear and face masks in ward 13 Bikita, Masvingo province. The development is expected to go a long way in empowering the community which find it hard to buy these products (sanitary wear and face masks) which are necessary to everyday life.

The cooperative is expected to make these products for their personal use as well and sell to others for income generation.

CGCDZ Promote Small Grain Crops Production in Masvingo and Bikita Districts

Small grains (sorghum, pearl and finger millet) are ranked second staple cereal crops after maize in Zimbabwe and play a vital role in the Zimbabwe’s food security and nutrition.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humankind today and is already having adverse impacts in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas where the majority of the population in Zimbabwe lives and mostly depend on agriculture-based livelihoods. There are increasing calls from government and civil society for the production of small grains, such as sorghum, millet, and rapoko instead of maize production in order to enhance food security against the background of climate change in Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwe through H.E. E.D Mnangagwa has taken the lead in the promotion of the growing of small grains.

 Research has shown that sorghum and millet have the potential to contribute towards food security in many of the world’s poorest and most food insecure agro-ecological zones like Zimbabwe. It has been argued that sorghum and millet have the potential to improve household food security in semi-arid regions because of their adaptability to such environments.

In this regard CGCDZ took the initiative of improving food security of 250 households in Bikita and Masvingo district through the provision of small grain crops. Each household received one kilogram each of millet and sorghum capable of covering one hectare. During the distribution of the small grains in Bikita, the CEO of CGCDZ encouraged communities to adopt the growing of millet and sorghum which suited the ecology of Bikita as well as taking advantage of the monetary benefits the crops had on the market. 

One community member in Bikita Pindeni Chiduwa who received support from CGCDZ in the form of small grains last year showed off the plough and goat she bought from money accrued through brewing of beer from the yield of millet. Community partners welcomed the donation from CGCDZ and pledged to work hard towards improving their income and diet through growing of small grains.

The distribution in Masvingo district in Sipambi area was well received by the community partners who promised to allocate a considerable hectarage towards growing small grains. CGCDZ Operations Manager Mr. Chida Mudadi urged community partners to heed to the effects of climate change by moving away from predominantly maize farming which has failed them for many years by adopting growing of millet and sorghum.

CGCDZ will follow-up giving technical advice from planting up to harvesting and storage of the small grains to the beneficiary farmers in Bikita and Masvingo

CGCDZ Support Community Projects Through Drilling of Solar Powered Boreholes in Masvingo District

The Centre for Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe (CGCDZ) during the month of October and November drilled four boreholes in wards 11, 12 and 33 of Masvingo district. The organization targeted women initiated projects engaged in horticulture in Nhikiti, MaSibanda, Gwengavi and SpringSpruit villages. CGCDZ also erected taps outside the fenced community gardens to provide water to the wider community for drinking.

Centre for Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe (CGCDZ) seeks to improve and sustain the quality of life of the marginalized communities through empowering them with relevant skills and resources with a view to reducing the devastating effects of poverty. CGCDZ’s core focus is sustainable and smart agriculture targeting community partners, (mostly women) from Bikita and Masvingo Districts in an effort to create equal economic opportunities between men and women. 

Community partners from the beneficiary villages have been engaged in market gardening of late, however, their efforts were hampered by lack of a perennial water source hence the intervention by CGCDZ. Besides provision of a reliable solar powered borehole, CGCDZ will embark on a series of trainings to enable the women farmers undertake farming as a business. This intervention by CGCDZ will promote agro enterprises through the creation of market linkages and value addition of the produce thus promoting sustainable food systems and WASH goals in line with SDGs viz Food security (SDG 2), Gender equality (SDG 5), Water security (SDG 6), Climate action (SDG 13). The Operations Manager of CGCDZ, Chida Mudadi emphasized on the need for communities to guard jealously their equipment (fence, solar, control box and pump) by creating community committees to guard the equipment against vandalism and theft. The ward Councillor of ward 33 Tawanda Dube promised that they will play their part in safeguarding the equipment as well as maximizing it in the production of food to fight against hunger in their area. Community partners were ecstatic by the CGCDZ gesture and the village head of Vengesa village Ms Junior Charumbira pledged to other developmental partners to compliment government efforts towards attaining the country’s vision of a middle income economy by 2030.

CGCDZ obtains Chief Charumbira buy-in on community projects

National Council of Chiefs president Chief Charumbira has praised the Centre for Gender and Community Development Zimbabwe (CGCDZ) for initiating projects that are meaningful to his rural subjects, saying all people needed to work together for development.

CGCDZ visited Chief Charumbira’s homestead on October 13, 2020 to launch a project in the presence of many other villagers.

The organisation will in the near future drill boreholes for the Charumbira community, introduce fish farming projects and establish a gardening project on a one-hectare piece of land.

Charumbira said he was pleased that non-governmental development partners were now more sensitive to local traditions and were now more tactical in their engagement.

“What I like about CGCDZ is how they have involved us right from the beginning; they did not simply come and make recommendations. Different people have different needs and I am glad that the development assistance that will be rendered to us is a result of consultations.

“I therefore challenge them to carry-out the projects to their conclusion because we as a community have given them our blessing. Many other people came before them and proposed other things but they failed because the ideas were not born out of sufficient consultations,” remarked Charumbira, who has vast knowledge of developmental support models, having in the past worked with the World Bank.

He said he looked forward to another gathering with CGCDZ in the future, but that time celebrating the successes of the envisaged projects.

CGCDZ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elliot Vengesa said his organization fully understood that communities have to be consulted if development is to succeed.

“We are aware of the significance of broad consultations in successful development interventions. We are grateful to Chief Charumbira and the community he leads for realising that sustainable development needs a collective approach whereby all stakeholders work hand-in-glove. We are very confident that this project will make a big difference in the lives of the local people,” sad Vengesa.

CGCDZ operations manager Chida Mudadi said the project was focused on development and fighting poverty.

“This is one of our ways to help this community adapt to climate change and fight poverty by improving livelihoods. Whatever piece of infrastructure installed here will belong to the community. We therefore expect people to respect that property and care for it, knowing fully well that it belongs to them and them alone,” said Mudadi.

In Mashava Ward 33, CGCDZ is implementing similar projects which will directly benefit a total of 65 people from different families.

Effects of COVID-19 on Centre for Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe (CGCDZ) Women Partners at Tagona Cooperative in Bikita District of Masvingo Province Zimbabwe

The effects of COVID-19 have not spared anyone that is men and women, however, women are more affected compared to men. The pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities, and increasing the vulnerability of women thereby amplifying the impacts of the pandemic.

COVID-19 is not only a challenge for global health systems, but also a test of our human spirit. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their gender.

It is not an exaggeration to say, economic and financial response and mitigation strategies by governments, philanthropists and NGOs have put in place, COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of life, particularly for people who are already vulnerable or marginalized.

Centre for Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe (CGCDZ), is a local NGO based in Masvingo Zimbabwe with a mandate of sustainably improve the lives of marginalized communities mostly women, through economic empowerment projects. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has seen the development of a new world order that has further driven women into oblivion. The pandemic disrupted women livelihoods especially the informal sector which was their domain. The movement restrictions imposed by government has resulted in most woman abandoning their livelihood activities for example their gardens being destroyed by animals or crops drying due to lack of attention.  

During a pycho-social training meeting held in Bikita on 05 June 2020 at Tagona cooperative, the organization randomly selected women to share their experiences during the COVID-19 induced period. The pictures were taken with the consent of the community partners who also signed the consent form as a group. The brief interview dwelt on three questions namely, their age, how the community partners came to know about COVID-19 that is the medium and the challenges they are facing during COVID-19 period.

Tagona cooperative comprise fifty partners forty-three (43) females and seven (7) males. The cooperative partners make peanut butter, engage in farming and recently with support from All We Can, CGCDZ secured a pop-gun making machine for the group as a quick return project. The pop-gun making machine had proved a hit before the outbreak of the pandemic cashing plus or minus two hundred Zimbabwe dollars per day. 

This is what the women said about their experiences during the lockdown caused by COVID-19:

Mollia Gwatida

My name is Mollia Gwatida aged 62. I got to know about COVID-19 through the radio but due to poor transmission and money to buy batteries. I did not get finer details about how the disease is spread and prevented. Government is concentrating COVID-19 information in urban areas hence our source of information are NGOs like Centre for Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe (CGCDZ). The pandemic disrupted our sources of livelihood and movement restrictions imposed by government have made life more difficult since we relied on buying and selling. Life has become unbearable since raising a meal has become a nightmare. The period has witnessed an increase in theft and unlawful entries into our properties by thieves. It has become difficult to discipline children a shared responsibility with teachers that now rests with us at home.

Angeline Pasipanodya

My name is Angeline Pasipanodya aged 60 and l reside in Bikita district in Masvingo province under chief Marozva. I came to know about COVID-19 through television and radio. I am grateful to CGCDZ for targeting marginalized communities by coming to share with us COVID-19 related information. Their intervention is handy in the sense that it has brought more insight through face-to-face interaction hence complementing the efforts of government that are not reaching to all of us. The outbreak of COVID-19 plunged us into poverty after the imposition of the movement ban. I relied on a small garden which I failed to attend to during the level one of the lockdown. Access to PPEs is a challenge as you can see by the mask I am wearing. If we get support to start up on other short income projects it would save lives. At family level, I am experiencing a serious shortage of food because consumption levels have increased due to the lockdown.

The health delivery system has shifted all attention to the fight against COVID-19 while ignoring other ailments. I am a diabetic patient, when I went to the clinic personnel manning the clinic told me that they were only attending to emergency cases.

Mukai Matsvimbo

My name Mukai Matsvimbo, I am aged 62. I heard about COVID-19 through the radio, television and phone. I have information on how to minimize the spread of the disease but we lack PPEs. CGCDZ has come to our rescue but they did not give us enough that can take us through the COVID-19 period because of their limited budget. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, I was running a lucrative poultry project supplying 50 chicks fortnightly to a nearby restaurant. The twenty-one days lockdown period induced by the pandemic which resulted in movement restrictions and closure of shops resulted in the loss of one hundred broiler chickens I was keeping. I could not go to the growth point to buy chick feed for my chicks either could I travel to deliver the ones that were ready resulting in massive deaths of the chicks and huge losses being incurred. I am grounded and looking for assistance to kick start my poultry project.

Ellen Zano

My name Ellen Zano aged 56. I reside in Bikita district in Masvingo province Zimbabwe. I heard of this disease through the village head during a meeting when announcements of movement restrictions and banning of gatherings where being made. I am grateful to CGCDZ for the training in pysco-social after being traumatized by what I went through after the outbreak of the disease. I lost hope in life after schools closed because I sold everything for the education of my son whose graduation was suspended/postponed after the outbreak of this disease. He is the one I thought would look after the other school going siblings in primary school. I have a burden to fend for my family of five, thus as a widow my life is difficult. CGCDZ provided PPEs to mitigate against the disease but because of food shortage we are pushed to go out in search of food thus violating government restrictions.

Shuvai Machekera

My name is Shuvai Machekera aged 55. I am a member of Tagona cooperative. I heard about this disease through the radio and phone. Unfortunately there was no-one to give us detailed information and an opportunity to ask questions until the arrival of CGCDZ. 

The challenge we are encountering is that of children who are not going to school. Their continued stay at home has seen an upsurge in drug and substance abuse. Girls are at more risk of sexual abuse both from age mates and elder people. We ask the government to expedite the opening of schools so that our youths are occupied. Gender based violence has escalated in the village although I haven’t experienced it in my family. I would be grateful if CGCDZ provide us with mealie-meal on top of the PPEs they are giving us because we had a poor harvest.

Centre for Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe commemorating International Day for Elimination of Sexual Violence 19 June 2020

According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Chapter 2 section 17 subsection 2, “the state must take positive measures to rectify gender discrimination and imbalances resulting from past practices and policies”. 19 June 2020 is International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence and CGCDZ is standing in solidarity to eliminate sexual violence during this period of COVID-19 by encouraging its community partners in Masvingo Province to report any cases of Gender Based Violence to:

CGCDZ Community Development Officer in stripped black and grey jacket distributing tippy-tapes kit at Ruwara ,Mhene village ,Masvingo District ward 12.

 ZRP Victim Friendly Unity (0242) 700171-6,

Musasa Project toll free line  08080074


CGCDZ direct line +263 2261 263


Background to the Amendment Bill

Background to the Amendment Bill
On 17 December 2019 Cabinet approved the formulation of the Constitutional Amendment (No.2)-H.B.23, 2019 that would amend several provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Bill was published in a Government Gazette Extraordinary on 31 December 2019. The Bill was published again on 17 January 2020 to correct the anomaly which had occurred in the initial publication where the clerk and not the speaker had gazetted the Bill contrary to the Constitution.

The proposed changes in the Amendment Bill
Among a number of issues, the Bill proposes amendments to provisions relating to the following areas
• Judiciary: Appointment of judges to the superior courts, retirement ages of judges
• Prosecution: Appointment and removal of the Prosecutor General
• Composition of executive: Number of ministers
• Legislative oversight role: Approval of agreements

Key issues
Erosion of the Mandate of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission – The proposal seeks to create the office of the Public Protector, appointed by the President, who will take over certain functions concerning public maladministration, from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.

Removal of Parliamentary Oversight – The removal of the Parliament’s power to approve the government’s bi-lateral loan agreements paralyses Parliament in playing its oversight role of holding the executive to account regarding fiscal accountability

Appointment of Judges – The proposed changes to the process of appointing judges without subjecting them to a public interview and extending the retirement age of judges in office erodes the independence of the judiciary and subjects it to the control of the executive.

Appointment of the Prosecutor General – The proposed changes to the appointment of the Prosecutor-General who will be appointed by the President on the advice of the Judicial Services Commission, without the intervention of a public interview procedure, and makes special provision for his or her removal for cause by a Tribunal.

The critical weaknesses of the amendment bill
The Amendment Bill is anti-rights, anti-democracy and anti-transparency It seeks to reverse the gains that were celebrated in the 2013 Constitution which was, through the COPAC process, endorsed by 94,5% of the Zimbabweans. The Bill unjustifiably consolidates power into the hands of the President. This creates an autocratic government which is ring fenced against the checks and balances presented by other arms of government.

The Bill seeks to introduce the office of the Office of the Public Protector. Where the offender is a public official, the Public Protector would overtake the following functions from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC):

• Receiving and acting complaints from the public
• Investigate human rights abuses by public officials
• Secure redress for victims of human rights abuses by public officials
• To direct the Commissioner General of Police to investigate cases of human rights violations

There is no justifiable reason why the above functions should be taken from an independent body such as the ZHRC to be placed in the hands of an official appointed by the President. This is a threat against transparency and separation of powers. It further threatens the independence and impartiality of both the Public Protector and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.

The Bill is anti-transparency as it takes away the power from parliament to approve the government’s bi-lateral loan agreement. This paralyses the parliament’s oversight role of holding the Executive to account regarding its fiscal accountability.

Currently, judges are subjected to a public interview which are normally televised on national TV. The amendment proposes to scrap this practice and instead have judges appointed by the President in consultation with the Judicial Services Commission. In addition, the amendment seeks to extend the retirement age of judges to a maximum of 75 years of age if they pass unspecified mental and physical fitness tests. This proposed amendment undermines the independence of judges. They will no longer be appointed on merit but on political loyalty. In addition, any extension of the in tenure in office before retirement may be subjected to the whims of the President. Without security of tenure, judges become more susceptible to political interference. Judicial independence requires ‘the absence of certain connections’ between the judiciary and other arms of government to secure impartiality in the conduct of the judicial role. As custodians of the constitution, with the duty of applying the Constitutional provisions and value, to enable the judiciary to apply the law without fear or favour, the authority must not be derived or seemingly appear to be derived from appointments and approvals from the President.

In the same vein, the Prosecutor General would also be appointed without being subjected to an interview. Significantly, if the Prosecutor General commits an offence that may warrant his removal from office, it is the President who appoints a special tribunal to investigate the matter. Such tribunal would report its findings, not to the public, but to the President. It would also make recommendations on whether or not the Prosecutor general must be removed from office but the President makes the final decision.

In What way is the Bill retrogressive?
It threatens the independence and impartiality of the Judiciary and the Prosecutor General. Instead of an appointment process that emphasises merit, the Bill wants to promote loyalty. Zimbabwe has a legacy of human rights violations and electoral contestation. This requires a stronger and independent judiciary.

It ring-fences the Executive against transparency and accountability as it takes away the oversight role of the parliament in so far as fiscal responsibility is concerned. Zimbabwe is rocked by allegations of corruption and abuse of power. It requires more transparency not less.

It interferes with the duties of the ZHRC, an independent commission established in accordance with the Constitution as it takes away its mandate and vest it in the office of the Public Protector. Zimbabwe does not need more institutions. It requires stronger and independent institutions.

What must the government do?
The government must refrain from amending the Constitution and speed up the process of aligning the Constitution with other legislative enactments of Zimbabwe.

What can the public do now?
The people must reject this bill. This can be done in various ways.

Firstly, the public can write to the Parliament of Zimbabwe with their views on the Bill. Write to: The Clerk of Parliament- Attention: Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Thematic Committee on Peace and Security

Bikita Minerals Child Protection Committee Comes to the Rescue of an Abused Child

The Situation

The lack of oversight mechanisms to monitor human rights abuse cases in Bikita Minerals had seen an increase in child abuse cases taking place without perpetrators being brought to book.  Children were exposed to unsanctioned beatings, denied food, education and general neglect especially from the guardians. Under the CEADZ project CGCDZ deal with women and youths and it is through the establishment of the Child Rights Committee that child abuse cases witnessed a reduction. The Child Rights Committee which is dominated by women partners under the CEADZ project play the watchdog role of monitoring and exposing child abuse cases in the mine.

Cohabitation is the dominant type of marriage in the mining area whereby either the woman or the man enter into the union with his or her child. This has resulted in one party from the marriage abusing the other’s child. Ignorance on the rights of children was one other factor that caused people from the mining compound to disregard children as having rights.

The Response.

 After getting wind of the prevalence of child abuse cases going unreported, CGCDZ conducted informal interviews to get in-depth information on the gravity of child abuse cases in the compound. Based on the above information, CGCDZ undertook constitutional awareness training sessions targeting children rights. The purpose of the training sessions on child rights were to enable women and youths to respect and acknowledge children rights. The training package dealt with the constitution, mainly Part 3:81 which speak on the rights of children. The training package on the rights of children saw the establishment of the Child Rights Committee. The committee comprising women trained under CEADZ play the watchdog role of monitoring and exposing child abuse cases in the mine. The committee members were endorsed and mandated by the mine management to play an oversight role of protecting the rights of children in Bikita minerals premises.

The Results.

The oversight committee called Child Rights Committee was established by Bikita Minerals residents which acts as a watchdog committee to monitor and protect children’s rights in the area.

The oversight committee on Children Rights in Bikita exposed a case a stepmother who severely beat her stepchild and denied her food. The incident came to light after the child reported to school with a swollen hand. The class teacher approached the committee and a report was made to the police leading to the opening of a docket against the perpetrator. However, in the interim the child was sent back to her biological mother.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑