Is something happening we should know about? Our readers give us some of our best story ideas.

WhatsApp: +263 7 18636459
Twitter: @TheCB_News
Facebook: The Citizen Bulletin

No Connection, No Job: Nkayi Youths Blame Govt for Dwindling Job Opportunities

Man patching road...Nkayi locals say menial jobs are not a reliable source of income. Image by Bassey

BY CALVIN MANIKA | @The_CBNews | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | AUG 23, 2022

While the central government says devolution will primarily benefit locals through job opportunities, in Nkayi district, villagers say they are being systematically side-lined even for manual jobs that do not require any qualifications.

NKAYI (The Citizen Bulletin) — On any normal day at the Nkayi business centre, youths will be milling around in search of menial jobs such as fetching water and firewood as well as  off-loading goods among a coterie of available “piece-jobs”.

Nkayi resident, Mthulisi Ncube (27) says menial jobs help them to buy basics for their children, but are not a reliable source of income as remuneration is always little.

“We need proper employment especially from government institutions and parastatals, but it’s not easy for one to get employment without connections,” Ncube says.

Ncube says he once got a contract at the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) Nkayi offices through a friend.

His contract was not renewed when it expired and Ncube believes he was a victim of nepotism.

“I was fired because other permanent workers now wanted to have their chance of bringing their own relatives. I was very unfortunate.”
Mthulisi Ncube (27), Nkayi resident

A number of Nkayi villagers accuse the power utility among other government departments, of sidelining them for manual jobs such as digging trenches which does not need educational qualifications.

They blame this on systematic marginalisation, nepotism and tribalism.

In 2019, ZETDC Hwange district officials bussed people as far as Mashonaland for a smart metering trial project resulting in local youths staging a protest.

In September 2021, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) supporters also staged a demonstration at the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) offices in Bulawayo protesting the alleged hiring of labour from outside the city.

This was not the first time the party has staged a demonstration against the NRZ over the alleged recruitment of people from outside Bulawayo.

In an interview with The Citizen Bulletin, Shadreck Sibanda, one of the village heads in Fudu, did not hide his disappointment regarding the flawed recruitment processes at government agencies in the district.

“Non-governmental organisations are always transparent in their recruitments.  We want our own government departments and companies to be exemplary and stop the practice of having only the connected, and their relatives getting jobs.”
Shadreck Sibanda, Fudu village head

ZETDC Nkayi office is accused of nepotism and sidelining locals from manual jobs such as digging trenches.

For Michael Ngwenya, a social development activist in Nkayi, questionable recruitment policies are to blame for the widespread poverty in the district.

“For example, we gathered that at one of the government departments, out of the 10 contract workers, only 3 were locals despite the fact that the job they were hired for did not need any qualifications,” Ngwenya says.

Without job opportunities, many locals end up in South Africa to escape poverty.

ALSO READ: Locals Ignore Threats to Delist Vic Falls As a World Heritage Site

Ngwenya says marginalisation and tribalism remains evident in Matabeleland as characterised by the composition of senior government officials in the region.

“We have a lot of educated people in Matabeleland like any other province. The challenge is the appointments of heads of government institutions and companies who come with a train of their relatives, to take our places,” adds Ngwenya.

Nkayi South Member of Parliament Stars Mathe refused to comment about concerns raised by the villagers.  

*Edited by Lizwe Sebatha | Fact Checked & Proofread by Melody Mpande | Reviewed & Commissioned by Divine Dube.

Do you have a hyperlocal story to share?

WhatsApp us on: +263 71 863 6459.  Email us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since You’re Here, We’ve a Small Request…

Our hard-hitting hyperlocal reporting and analysis reaches one in every three people across the greater region of Matabeleland, southwestern Zimbabwe. That means our content reaches approximately 60,000 readers each week. However, in order for our well-rounded journalism to reach more people who need it to make informed decisions about their lives and their communities, we need to build a strong audience of followers that would receive our rigorous reporting in just one place. Because of exorbitant internet data costs, we know most of our readers use messaging apps such as WhatsApp to get all our content in one place. But the platform, predominantly used by our readers, is not primarily designed for content distribution and reader engagement. That is why we’re building a WhatsApp Bot to navigate this challenge. But in order for this strategy to work effectively to serve our needs, we want all our casual readers like you to be part of our growing WhatsApp Community. To be part of this community of registered users, WhatsApp the word "JOIN" to +263 71 863 6459. We look forward to engaging and building a lasting relationship with you. Thank you.