The mist around Harare Masvingo Tollgate arson: Mugari
The 14th of January 2018 will be documented in the history of our country Zimbabwe, as a day where the citizens of Zimbabwe united and rise to challenge the austerity measures which seeks to impoverish the general citizens.
By Elvis Mugari
Zimbabweans from all walks of life came together for the love of their country, The people of Beatrice farming area refused to be left out and join other Zimbabweans who were fighting for justice, equality, Human Rights, Rule of law to mention but a few, The people’s concerns were just but legit.
However, Beatrice/Seke area was not spared by the violence which erupted in many cities and towns around the country during the demonstrations, of which all progressive Zimbabweans condemn in the strongest of terms. The violence claims the Harare-Masvingo/ Mbudzi Tollgate which was introduced 2009-2010, We dug deeper in order to ascertain the legit reasons why the protestors, of all the things, resort to destroying the tollgate and we have identified so much smoke around this issue, hence we found it paramount important to share with all Zimbabweans.
The introduction of Harare -Masvingo/Mbudzi tollgate between 2009 and 2010 brewed a feud or a conflict between the Ministry of Transport and Beatrice Farmers and of late ,the conflict worsened by the people who had been allocated residential stands just after the Tollgate along Beatrice Road (Denota farms) by the ministry of local government.
If the mind of this writer recalls well, in 2016 the people witnessed a joint demonstration between the Beatrice farmers and the residents against the ministry of Transport and their concerns was /is still legit.
The farmers are blaming the ministry of transport for the losses which are they recording pointing out that, the tollgate is limiting their weekly movements to Mbare Market to sell their products.
On the other side, the Denota farm residents feeling strongly that the Government through the Ministry of Transport is robbing them on a daily basis since they commute each and every day to and from the Central business district paying tall fees. Jointly the farmers and the Denote farm residents blaming the ministry of Transport and Government for stationed a tollgate close to the city centre saying it will affect people who commute on daily basis.
We tracked this conflict from day one to the day it transformed to become a powder cake up to the 14th of January 2019 where the powder cake exploded, The protestors who destroyed the tollgate were not from Harare South but those were the Beatrice farmers and the Denote farm residents who capitalised on the situation to decent on the government and the ministry of transport.
On In-depth research and some couple of interviews, we conducted today with the farmers and residents from different areas namely Landas, Marirangwe to mention a few claimed responsibility for the destruction of the tollgate. A farmer who agreed to talk in condition on anonymity representing all the farmers and residents (Mrs. X) said “We have warned the ministry of Transport years ago, the government must listen to its people. Yes, we destroyed the tollgate because the government gave us a blind ear over our concerns, We as farmers we are warning the government, If they re-erect this tollgate, we will destroy it again.
Mrs X went on to say, the tollgate must be stationed 40 to 50 Km away from the City centre just like Norton and Marondera tollgates so that it will not affect commuters.”
This writer prays and hopes that the farmers, residents and the government must find common ground and resolve this conflict until it turns to be nastier than what it is today.