As I traveled down the Chivhu road via Murambinda in Buhera District in Manicaland recently, I had no idea what wonders awaited me. I found myself captivated by the sounds of Paul Mpofu’s classic song, “Ndakabva Naye Kwamurambinda.”
The song, tells the story of bringing a beloved woman from the rural village of Murambinda to the big city of Harare, playing in jiti-style drumming, adding to the already captivating atmosphere of the town.
As Mpofu’s story of love and determination played in the background, I also noticed the strong sense of a community that exists in Murambinda. The people of the town are proud of their heritage and traditions, and they are committed to preserving and celebrating their culture.
The bumpy road seemed endless, but as I arrived at Murambinda growth point, I saw beautiful houses with electricity and water. A billboard caught my eye, and as I approached it, I read that these houses were constructed by Sabi Star Mine for relocated villagers in their area of operation.
I continued my journey and passed the Gaza turnoff via Nyazura Road. It was then that I saw a Sabi Star mine gravel road, and as someone with an interest in mining, I had to stop and have a chat with some residents. They told me that the company was commissioned last year and has done a lot of corporate social responsibility initiatives in the community.
l was told that one of the most significant initiatives by the lithium miner was relocating 40 families from Tagaria and Mukwasi villages in Buhera North to the locations of their own choice. 22 families opted to relocate to Murambinda township, where the mine purchased 22 x 450m2 stands, while 17 families opted to stay locally, and one family chose to go back to their ancestral land in Mberengwa.
But the company didn’t stop there. They drilled 18 boreholes in the community equipped with solar pumps, ten drilled at schools, and eight in surrounding villages in consultation with local leadership. They also constructed a clinic at the Mukubu business center to benefit the local community.
The Sabi Star mine also upgraded the 30km access road from Gaza Business Center to the mine and other roads in the community. This has significantly impacted the community’s transportation and access to goods and services.
“The mine has transformed our lives. We used to travel long distances to fetch water, and our children had to study in schools without clean water. Now we have access to clean water, and our children have a better learning environment,” said Janet Chikwanda, a resident of Nyashanu village.
Another resident, Petros Moyo, shared, “Before the mine came, we had no access to medical care. We had to travel long distances to get medical attention. Now we have a clinic right here in our community, and we have access to clean water that has transformed our lives.”
“The company is creating a lot of jobs for our children and we are very happy that they are now staying away from drugs we really need to thank Max Mind for that,” said a resident who identified herself as Mai Saru.
In a time where mining companies are often criticized for their negative impact on communities and the environment, l have learned that the Sabi Star mine is setting an example of how mining can be done responsibly while positively impacting the lives of local communities.
As I continued my journey to Buhera, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the opportunity to witness firsthand the positive impact of mining on local communities. The Sabi Star mine’s initiatives have not only improved the lives of the locals but have also contributed to the economic growth of the community. It is a reminder that responsible mining can have a positive impact on people’s lives and the environment.
As I journeyed through Murambinda, I found myself struck by the unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that the town has to offer. And as Mpofu’s song played on, reminding me of the town’s rich cultural heritage, I couldn’t help but think that Murambinda truly is a hidden gem in Zimbabwe.
In the end, my road trip to Murambinda was an unforgettable experience that left me with a newfound appreciation for the town’s wonders. From the vibrant market to the natural beauty of the Marovanyati Dam, Murambinda offers something for everyone who takes the time to explore it. And with Paul Mpofu’s classic song providing the perfect soundtrack to my journey, I know that my memories of Murambinda will stay with me for years to come.