By Moses Ziyambi
The legacy built by renowned philanthropist and humanist, the late Jairos Jiri is crumbling due to neglect and failure by authorities to support what he so painstakingly built over many difficult years.
Jiri died in 1982, leaving behind 16 centres that housed and trained people with disabilities but the association’s training centre in Masvingo is crumbling.
It has been several weeks since the institution closed down due to many problems including water shortages caused by a breakdown of the borehole that supplied water for domestic use and for agriculture.
The institution is now manned by a few care takers but the normal courses in agriculture and other skills for people with disabilities have ceased due to the myriad of problems being encountered there.
Many broken pieces of equipment lie in the yard, symbolizing the shocking decline of what was once a great facility which mentored great people like the now late musicians Paul Matavire and Chamunorwa Nebeta of the Glare Express fame.
A source told TellZim News the facility was rapidly declining and there was no future for it unless authorities urgently intervene.
“It’s now an empty shell. Nothing is happening there. It has been a gradual decline that started long back after government grants stopped coming or came by fits and starts. Donors are no longer coming as they used to do because they resent government involvement in what started as a charitable trust institution started by a private philanthropist. Jairos Jiri Masvingo is just like Ngomahuru Mental Hospital; taken over by government and then neglected in the most pressing hour of need,” said the source.
It also emerged that the problems were not unique to Jairos Jiri Masvingo as the case was similar throughout the country where the association has a presence.
TellZim News called Jairos Jiri Association national director Wilson Ruvere who first insisted that all was well at the centre before changing tune after being pressed with facts.
“There was a storm which wrecked the water tanks and we don’t have water there. We are running around looking for help so that we can resuscitate operations possibly in January 2020. We can’t operate without water,” said Ruvere.