By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
30 April 2014
Zim music luminary Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi on Wednesday visited Chingwizi camp, where the Tokwe-Mukosi flood disaster victims are temporarily sheltered.
On the trip with Tuku was gospel singer Charles Charamba and dozens of other local musicians who have been moved by the plight of the displaced villagers.
Tuku’s manager Sam Mataure told SW Radio Africa that this was a fact-finding tour and an opportunity for the superstar to interact with the displaced villagers, and see for himself the conditions they live in.
“We hope to see for ourselves what the situation is and then return to Harare where we will hold fundraising shows and use the proceeds to buy donations for the flood victims,” Mataure said Wednesday.
Mataure however ruled out any musical performance, on this occasion, to entertain the more than 3,000 villagers sheltered at the camp.
“Today’s trip is about seeing firsthand what the conditions are like and what the needs of these families are. Sometimes artists fundraise without really understanding why they are doing it.
“There is a difference between witnessing these disasters through pictures and being on the ground to see and hear for oneself what the issues are. So we will use this occasion just to assess the situation.
“We will then decide on the fundraising events or if we need to return again to donate and perform for the people at the camp,” Mataure added.
Since moving to the transit camp in February the flood victims have experienced many challenges, including overcrowding, lack of food and clean water.
At least 7 people have reportedly died as a result of the unsanitary conditions at the camp but the government is yet to demonstrate any real sense of urgency in solving the problem by at least resettling the families on permanent plots.
Tuku is the first high-profile Zimbabwean to visit the flood victims who have been relying on western donors for their basic needs for the past three months.
From Chingwizi, Tuku will head to the capital on Thursday where he will mark Workers’ Day, spreading the cheer and saying ‘thank-you’ to staff at Harare Hospital.
“I will spend my May Day morning talking to nurses and patients at Harare Hospital and then I will give them a little performance as my way of saying thank you to them as representatives of all the workers of Zimbabwe,” Tuku said in a statement.
The musician’s manager said the hospital visit is just one of the humble superstar’s many philanthropic gestures, and added that they decided to make the visit public to coincide with Workers’ Day.
“Tuku knows, just like everyone else, how difficult things are in the country at the moment but on this Workers’ Day occasion he has chosen to visit Harare Hospital, spend time with the staff and the patients just to cheer them up.
“It’s also our way of encouraging Zimbabweans, to thank in whatever way they can those people they think work hard to serve the country.
“Our health facilities are in dire need of support and this will be another opportunity for Mtukudzi to see for himself what the needs of the hospital are.
“This will be followed by fundraising activities and appeals to fellow Zimbabweans to financially support the health institution,” said Mataure.
Popular musician Tanga Wekwa Sando, who was born at the hospital, is expected to join Tuku on the tour which will take place on Thursday morning.