Shurugwi Rural Areas
also known as Shurugwi (District)
is an area around Shurugwi
, mainly to the east, beginning 20 km from the town centre. The area between the town and the rural areas was mainly occupied by white commercial farmers. It is thought that at one time, these farms were owned by three families who were all related. The total area of these farms is approximately 60km x 40km similar to an area that was occupied by more than 4000 African families. Most of the black families are subsistence farmers
is generally grown by the majority.
There are a number of primary schools in Shurugwi Rural. Most of them like Vungwi Primary School
were built as far back as 1905. The list includes: Banga,Bokai, Chekenyu, Chikato, Dombwe, Hanke, Makonde,Makotore, Matamba, Mavedzenge (St Peter), Mhangami (St Pius), Ndaora (St Augustine), Nhema (St Francis), Pakame,Rusike Shamba, Tumba (St Paul), Vungwi, Wida, and Zvishazha.
There are a number of secondary schools in Shurugwi Rural, notably Mupangai Secondary School, Chivakanenyaka Secondary School, Batanai Secondary School, Rusungunuko Secondary School , Dombotombo Secondary School, and Bokai Secondary School, among others. The academic results from year to year are generally poor and below par which is generally blamed on the teachers.
There are only 3 boarding schools
which are all in rural areas
Hanke Adventist High School, a Seventh-day Adventist school which traditionally offered up to 0-Levels and was called Hanke Adventist Secondary School. It was recently upgraded to offer all levels through A-Levels and changed its name to reflect that. As it is a mission school, both the primary school and the high school are on the same campus which can cause confusion between them.
Tongogara High School, only 10 km from Hanke, is a government-run high school. The boarding facilities are generally reserved for A-Levels students while the Form 1s to Form 4s are general day-schoolers, commonly known as upper tops. Only A-level boys wear trousers. Tongongogara was founded to offer A-Levels but that was changed due to the shortage of schools in the area. It is the biggest high school in Shurugwi by student population.
Pakame Mission, about 40km to the southwest, is a Methodist-run mission. Like Hanke, it traditionally offered classes up to form 4 (O-Levels), but was recently upgraded to offer up to A-Levels. Pakame is considered the best of the three in terms of O-Level pass rate.Rusununguko is now a high school offering A levels as well.
Zvamavande Rural Hospital
is the only hospital in Shurugwi Rural. It is located 2 km southeast of Cha Cha Cha township
, 2 km southwest of Vungwi Primary School
and 7 km northeast of Rusununguko Secondary School
There are a number of rural clinics in Shurugwi Rural. Notable clinics include Hanke Clinic, on the same campus as Hanke Mission; Saint Francis Clinic, near the residence of Chief Nhema
and facilited by his politician son, Francis Nhema
, about 40 km northeast of Cha Cha Cha Township
and 20 km northeast of Hanke Adventist Secondary School
; and Tongogara Clinic, situated at Tongogara Shopping Centre. There is also Gundura clinic, about 5 km from Pakame Mission
.There is also Rusike clinic about 15km south of Cha Cha Cha.
Zvamavande Hospital is the referral centre for all other clinics in the region which often transfers patients to Shurugwi Hospital in Shurugwi.
People still walk long distances to health centres. Serious cases are sometimes transported up to 10 km by ox-drawn carts. This happens especially to those that are from areas that are not easily accessed by cars such as resettlement areas commonly known as "minda murefu" (literally, "long fields").
HIV & AIDS
Like other rural areas, Shurugwi Rural Areas
has suffered the wrath of HIV
, partly because of unawareness and poverty. Sex is considered the only form of entertainment in rural areas, given that many families do not have TVs and there are no cinemas to watch movies. Due to an unexpected number of deaths between the middle 90s and the early 2000s, people have been frightened by the consequences of AIDS
and the HIV rate in the area has recently declined.
There has been considerable resettlement, since 80% of the area around Shurugwi was owned by commercial farmers (generally Caucasians) who lost their farms because of the domestic land policy of President Mugabe
. The people who claimed these farms (mostly black families without land) have struggled to survive due to lack of knowledge regarding good agricultural methods. Most of the beneficiaries are not originally from Shurugwi.
The most notable politician from Shurugwi
was Herbert S.M Mahlaba
who worked as the governor
and resident minister of the Midlands Province
, a former liberation fighter who would sing songs of the Zimbabwe liberation struggle at funerals. He died tragically in a car accident on the 30th day of December 1998. He was a Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Adventist
Of late there is Francis Nhema, the Minister of Tourism in the Mugabe cabinet and an MP of Shurugwi.
MPs have usually come from the north (15 km north of Cha Cha Cha Township), an area under the guardianship of Chief Nhema, as opposed to the south which is under Chief Banga. David Ruzive, a former MP who has been heavily criticized, was also from Nhema. This has caused more development in the Nhema area than in the Banga Area.
Cha Cha Cha Township is the best-located township in Shurugwi Rural because it is where major roads meet. Unfortunately it has been neglected and the the growth point was placed at Tongogara Township where it refused to grow.
Frank Mbengo is an academic from Mbengo Village, situated 1 km southwest of Vungwi Primary School, 1 km northwest of Zvamabande Hospital, and 1 km from Cha Cha Cha Township. He ran several times as an independent but was not elected. Some reports say he was offered a cabinet post by Mugabe but declined.