LatestLetter to editor

National Roman Catholic choir competitions at Gokomere Mission…

-serious concerns raised over venue!

BY Munhu Mutapa

One thing l like about Zimbabweans is their tablodization of real things in their lives. They are much interested in materialistic side of ‘ mbingas’ ( rich fellas). But they forget to forge their lives not in the ‘ mbinga styles’ but through hard work.

 You need strong networking to become a mbinga. Mbingas’ are just overnight millionaires without any risk taking business plan at hand. If you ask them their source of opulence, they will simply brush you away by saying ‘ l own a gold mine.’ These people have become Zimbabwe’s role models.

 As Zimbabweans are also becoming notorious on blaming the government of today on all their misfortunes. They don’t look further than that, they don’t look at private companies’ way of doing business, they also don’t question how private and mission schools are run.

Those ones are out of their bounds, the government must take all the flak. If their roofs leak, the government will be indirectly held responsible. So, let us change that mindset and also ask ourselves what we should also do for our government?

Last Saturday (25/11/23), Gokomere Mission was the host of the National Roman Catholic Choir Competitions. The scorching heat held the attendants at ransom; as many people on the event could be seen holding a bottle of water, Pepsi, Coca Cola , ice cream etc.

These were efforts to cool their bodies and rehydrate themselves. Some boozers could be seen outside the boom gate of Gokomere High School, drinking their favourite beers. What irked many competitors of the event, was the place where the competition was held, they complained that it is now too small for national events.

Number two grievance, was the archaic blair toilets which they complained of user unfriendly, no running water and a strong pungent smell inside them. The ampi-theatre, popularly known as Gato Ra Muzondo by residents and former students alike, is now too small to hold an event of such magnitude.

 It doesn’t offer any protection against the sun or rains. Air movement is restricted to those who were adjudicating and singers, exposing them to asphyxiation. Number three grievance was the availability of beer on such events, many devout Roman Catholics didn’t like the idea.

All mission schools in the country are facing that divesting problem where buildings left by white missionaries remain in the same status; in many cases they are falling apart. Buildings are not rehabilitated; you wonder if the building is yellow or white as most of them can’t afford new looks from their owners.

 Gweru and Masvingo Dioceses raised us, and we have the right to tell Priests in Charge of Gokomere and Driefontein Missions to make us proud. These two missions own vast tracts of land, which white Roman Catholics Fathers, in the mould of Fr. Walter ( Machavangu), Fr. Rimle, Brother Emery, etc, kept our electric, carpentry, mechanic, plumbing, dairy, horticultural projects, etc, sustaining the former Gweru Diocese ( which gave birth to Masvingo Diocese).

Now these two mission farms are now empty of beef and dairy cattle. Workshops are no longer catering for what the white Roman Catholic Fathers intended them to do. They were our vocational training centers, our silos and our academic institutions.

Now the light is burning under the table. It is not healthy for us Catholics to bemoan our departed white Sisters and Fathers. The late Bishop Chiginya advocated for black Priests to be in charge of churches in Zimbabwe and beyond. So please our Fathers don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Let Gokomere and Drierfontein Missions shine again.

Fr. Vincent Muzenda, who is now the Priest in Charge at Silveira Mission in Bikita, deserves a round of applause. When he was Priest in Charge at Gokomere Mission, the local people called him ‘ Warrior,’ he was a Father on a mission. He made every inch of Gokomere Mission garden green, he kept broilers, layers, and pigs.

 The mission became self sufficient, instead of going to Mbare Musika to get some cabbages, they were grown at the mission. Only passion fruits were outsourced. You deserve to be emulated Fr. V. W. Muzenda.

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