Contractors pictured with the communications manager of Musina Municipality, Wilson Dzebu (fourth from left), and local ward councillor Phillip Mbedzi (fifth from right) at the construction site of the network tower at Bennde Mutale village.
Community members from the deep rural village of Bennde Mutale outside Masisi will now be able to connect with the rest of the world after many years of isolation. This comes after a service provider started with a project to construct a network tower in their village.
For many years, the village made headlines on regional, provincial and national media platforms for not being able to get in touch with the rest of the world. Bennde Mutale is one of the villages that were incorporated into Musina after the disbanding of Mutale Municipality.
Mr Lindelani Malugana, one of the villagers said although the era was one of technology, it was a huge setback for them not to be connected with the rest of the world. “We have had to travel a long distance to Masisi just to get cell phone coverage to make a call. Although it took many years, we are happy that our plea has been answered and we will soon be able to make a telephone call at home.”
Malugana said not having a network in his village had many disadvantages. “Some have missed job interviews, because prospective employers could not get hold of them. It was also difficult to contact the police and ambulance services when emergency situations arose.” He expressed thanks to the service provider, Musina Municipality and the government for taking their needs into consideration.
Local ward councillor Phillip Mbedzi said villagers had been complaining for some time that they did not have network coverage. “This has been on our agenda in every meeting at the municipality. Although we have done a lot to improve the lives of our people, there is still much to be done. With the tangible testimony that our people can see, it gives us hope that we are moving in the right direction.”
Mbedzi said he was happy that the project would provide jobs to some locals during the construction period.
Mr Bernard Janse van Rensburg, who represented the contractors, said the erection of the 56m tower would be complete at the end of April. “With the kind of work force and the expertise we have, there is no doubt that we will meet the completion deadline.”