Zimbabwe: Forgotten Matobo Villagers Still Rely On School Teachers for Current News

(File photo).

Forgotten villagers in Matebeleland South's Matobo community say they still relied on old newspapers, teachers and their school going kids as sources on information on what is happening in the country.

This, they said at a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Zimbabwe organised World Press Freedom Day belated commemorations held at Amagugu Cultural Heritage centre in the area Saturday.

Zanu PF Matebeleland South Proportional Representative MP, Ester Nyathi was guest at the event, held some 70 kilometres outside Bulawayo.

The villagers told the legislator they were living in isolation as the area did not have reliable access to radio, television and mobile phone networks.

"We do not have any radio reception, neither do we have mobile phone network in our area.

"We are actually living in the dark in as far as communication is concerned; you have experienced today. No phone network, no radio and no television," one villager Samson Nyathi told the legislator.

Sibonile Netha said some fellow villagers relied on reading old newspapers that were often used as vegetable wrappers at market stalls.

"We actually rely on expired newspapers that are sold to wrap vegetables at the market. We only got to know of what is happening at traditional beer gatherings or when we visit the townships.

"Most of the information that we also get comes from schools through our children who would have heard it from their teachers who frequently visit Bulawayo," said Netha.

The villagers also told the Zanu PF legislator that because of information poverty, they did not even know the names of the country's cabinet minister, let alone that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was substantive health minister.

On her part, the MP pledged to take the villagers' concerns to parliament.

Journalists and members of the community attended the celebrations.

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