Pakati, Chanetsa & Mapanga schools to re-open!

A deserted Pakati Secondary school in March 2020

News announced yesterday confirmed that schools across Zimbabwe are to re-open very soon. Reports coming through say that the following dates apply:

Monday 15/03/2021 – all exam classes to return – Grade 7 (Primary) and Form 4 (Secondary), plus Form 6 (A level)

Monday 22/03/2021 – all other classes to return

A strangely quiet Mapanga Primary school in April 2020

Below are some comments from contacts, some of the Heads of the 5 schools in Ward 14.

Mr Mahachi (Pakati Primary) – “We are not yet ready, but hope we will be ready by the date. We expect deliveries of some few PPEs from our district offices before opening, and the exam class teachers will be starting on the 10th to help with preparation work.”

Hoping to see scenes of students returning, like these from Pakati Primary in October 2020

Mrs Maenzanise (Mapanga Primary) – “Here we are really good. We are running around to put everything in order for schools are opening 15 March.”

Mapanga Primary student arrives & sanitizes in readiness for class in October 2020

Mr Mawedze (Chanetsa Secondary) – “We are starting to enrol Form 1 learners today, To start preparation to for opening schools, we will put all the measures which we can to protect our learners and teachers from covid19. We will improvise whatever we can. We are doing staff development meetings so that all teachers are well equiped with the covid information .This will allow us to protect the learners and ourselves from covid19 infection as a team.”

Chanetsa Secondary school during lockdown, June 2020

Below are some more pics from the re-opening in October 2020, from both Pakati schools & Mapanga Primary – we hope to see similar pictures very soon:

Other restrictions are also being eased as Zimbabwe starts to re-open its economy. Below are the changes which are to be introduced according to reports (unconfirmed at this stage):

1. Wearing of face masks, tempreture checks and washing of hands in all public areas remains mandatory
2. Curfew adjusted 10pm to 05:30 am
3. Supermarkets open up to 7pm
4. Industry to open with strict adherence to WHO standards and national guidelines..
5. Letters no longer required for movement
6. SMEs , food markets and informal markets can reopen on condition of strictly adhering to WHO standards
7. Intercity travel, can now resume, but operators must ensure disinfection, wearing of masks, sanitisation

I also received this update from a source on 25th Feb on the Covid situation in Zimbabwe:

“Vaccination has begun to front line workers with just over 4000 vaccinated. Yersterday there were 50 new cases and 4 deaths. Cumulatively we have around 35 000 cases around 2000 active cases, around 1400 deaths and around 32 000 recoveries.”


If you or anyone you know would like to help us to support the schools, please see our fundraising & merchandise pages: and

Update on fundraising!

Even during these difficult times, it is heartwarming to find there are still people generous enough to donate funds to Friends of Pakati. These have been in two main ways: donations, and sales of merchandise. Can you or anyone you know do the same? Here is where to donate: or

During February, we have raised a total of £273, made up of £33 in sales of merchandise and £240 in donations. What this means is that, as of 28th February 2021, this year we have raised a total of £498. If you see our map below, the chart shows how much progress we have made towards our target of £5340. What it also shows is that we have passed our first two milestones of London and Paris on our way from Bradford to Pakati.

Bradford to London———————172———-Total——–172——–22/01/2021

London to Paris————————-214———-Total——–386——–26/02/2021

Total so far: 498 – meaning we are 112 miles out from Paris, 317 from our next target, Cannes

Paris to Cannes—————————-429————————–815

Cannes (France) to Cagliari———-318————————-1133

Cagliari (Sardinia) to Tunis———-371————————-1505

Tunis (Tunisia) to Tripoli————-228————————-1732

Tripoli (Lybia) to Sabha—————411————————-2143

Sabha (Lybia) to Abeche————–902————————-3045

Abeche (Chad) to Yalinga————-532————————-3577

Yalinga (CAR) to Kisangani———-435————————-4012

Kisangani (DRC) to Lubumbashi–796————————-4808

Lubumbashi (DRC) to Ndola———120————————4928

Ndola (Zambia) to Harare————367————————5295

Harare (Zimbabwe) to Pakati———45————————5340



See our up to date financial situation here on our page


Merhandise – latest happy customers!

Hopefully we will have more satisfied customers in the near future👍

News, Good News & News of Things to Come…


I have begun discussions with a friend of mine who is a freelance journalist, plus editor and content provider for video. We discussed issues around a strategy, content, shorter & longer pieces, a mixture of things really. What we will need will be things like footage from the schools (as long as relevant permissions are granted) and/or around the area, introductions to key people, explain about the project, various different topics, maybe a collage or two. Mostly it will require content which will encourage people to support us through donations, sale of merchandise, and participation in our ongoing challlenge for 2021.

New for us will be a greater online presence, maybe places like Instagram, YouTube and perhaps Google Ads. I am looking for help & guidance to market Friends of Pakati across these and our existing social media pages, on both Twitter and Facebook (see above). If you or someone you know has expertise in social media marketing please get in touch.


I am hearing from someone who wishes to remain anonymous about a new donation – possibly around £200.00 – coming to us very soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow, which is fantastic news for Friends of Pakati! The individual concerned has specifically asked that I tell absolutely no-one, nor can I publish their name, age or background in any way, nor my connection to them. So, I hereby make the commitment to the donor to respect their wishes.

Should you, dear reader, or anyone you know, also be kind enough to donate to us, please use either of the following: or

Challenge for 2021

See below our main fundraising challenge for this year:


If you want to buy some of our merchandise instead, please see:

Or contact us via email:

Things to come here on Friends of Pakati

● Updates from both Pakati schools and others in Ward 14

● Covid news in Zimbabwe & Ward 14 depending on available information

● New material to come from former Pakati student and recent contributor, Portia Nemaruru

● More about Friends of Pakati’s new improved online/social media presence to boost its reach & expand its content as mentioned at the top of this page

● Latest news on our progress in fundraising at

One year ago…

…Friends of Pakati published a post which went on to be our most popular by some way. With a current total of 889 views, the next best is 485 – which was a follow up post about the making of the original post!

Below I have recreated that post, and added in the ‘story behind it’ one. I remember the feeling of optimism at the time…we were looking forward to another season of sporting success at both Pakati schools, and planning fundraising events to help us get more IT and possibly other equipment out to the schools that September. Corona virus was only just starting to emerge as a global threat….enjoy the post, as we look forward to the world slowly emerging from its slumbers, and our efforts to improve things at Pakati schools get back on track!


Pakati Primary – new sports tops on show as they prepare for the Zonal sports competition

Thanks to Mr Chorichi, Teacher and Sports Director at Pakati Primary school, for the pictures and information below.

Pakati Primary school football team, with trainer Mr Gonye, seen in their new Scunthorpe United tops – Up the Iron!

In the last two weeks the Primary school have been training their young athletes for this years Zonal Athletics Competition, due on 28th February.

The trainers for the Athletics team are Mr Mupayikwa, Mr Chakanyuka, Mrs Kupara and Ms Chigumadzi (seen above)

Discus throwers above are Percy Mahachi and Moreblessinh Masiya

As with the Secondary competitions, the Zonal athletics for Primary schools will be held at St Pauls sports grounds in Musami.

Soccer captain Panashe Chinyama with the ball
Blessed Kandikita is the High Jump entry for Pakati Primary

Melgyne Chiroodza will once more represent the school at the Zonal competitions, this time at long jump

Pakati Primary school athletes resplendent in their Scunthorpe United shirts

Amazing…..the story behind our most popular post so far

Wow! The recent post about sports at the Primary school really took off after a few shares…this blog gets an average of around 25 views per day. The day I posted this it exploded to 603!…. next two days were 151 and 174. The best post recently has had 45 views. This one is now at 860…

I know that fans and staff of Scunthorpe United have shared it, and after speaking to several yesterday at the match, the picture above of the Pakati Primary students sports teams wearing the shirts donated by the club last year was VERY popular. Below is the story behind the picture….

Back in 2018 after I first revisited Pakati Secondary school for the first time in nearly 30 years, I set this blog (and social media presence – and ) up with the aim of getting some computers to them and the nearby Primary, all from discussions with the Head of the secondary, Mr Mugove Chifaka.

September 2018

I fundraised (see for details) partly by walking from here..

…to here….

Then I got donated LOTS of shirts to sell…

4 among many donated shirts for sale which raised £100’s for us

…and then more still to take to the schools, not least by Scunthorpe United!

Not just one shirt either…

but 16 of these, and a few more of these too..

All of them were packed in with the donated computers from the Stephenson Group from Leeds…

….which arrived safely in Harare, Zimbabwe….

…shortly before I did in September 2019…

…before being taken to the schools to be unloaded…

….then unpacked, and formally handed over to the schools…

….then tried on by the students….

…then finally put to good use recently!


At this point, we included a fundraising challenge for 2020 ‘Get TIED UP for Pakati’, to get fans of Scunthorpe United to wear ties to an away game & pay towards our funds accordingly. I will add in here this year’s challenge instead..


A massive thanks to the Iron – including all who work for and support the club – from Friends of Pakati! THANK YOU

What is Friends of Pakati all about?

There will be some who have not seen our blog & website, so this is designed as both a reminder and an introduction to Friends of Pakati, its vision, its history, its key people, and what further support we need in 2021.


See our vision & how it has developed here


The Author – Chris Walker – was a teacher at Pakati Secindary school between 1989 and 1991, through the UK international development charity, VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas).

September 2018

I revisited Pakati in 2018, that is when I met the current Head, Mr Mugove Chifaka (see above photo). We discussed developments at the school, and when asked what development he would most like to see, he said ‘computers’. That single word – computers – is what really launched Friends of Pakati. The actual launch, after 3 months of preparation, was on 16th January, 2019. This coincided with the 30th anniversary of the day I first set foot in a classroom as a newly qualified teacher in 1989.

This website was created, a social media presence added, email set up, and a fundraising page was developed. There was media interest from local press & local radio in my home town of Scunthorpe, and support from many who know me through the local football club, Scunthorpe United.

A sponsored walk from Bradford City (where I live) to Scunthorpe United (my home town) before a match between the two, raised a fair amount, and all we raised by August was doubled by the Chairman of SUFC, Pater Swann.

2019 saw us deluver donated IT & sports equipment to the Schools..

..and in spite of Covid19 delaying us, we continued to raise funds throughout 2020. See what we have raised since we began…


Our current activities include selling merchandise…

…see plus a fundraising challenge….

..see how we are doing..


From the vision link seen above, and the ambitious fundraising challenge, it is clear we are aiming high this year, in spite of Covid 19 and its effects around the world. Donations and sales have still been coming in, and I am hearing of more to come from a variety of sources. Regular updates are added, including here:

The current plan is still to go ahead and visit later this year to take more IT equipment and other items to benefit the two schools. Our vision inlcudes trying to get internet connection (probably via Satellite) to the schools and surrounding area. There is also the possibility of getting help to 3 other nearby schools if funds permit.

Any donations to either or

Contact us via our important links –

Around the website

There are a number of other fascinating pages here on the site, including school histories ( and ) and profiles/stories of people conneted to the two schools here:

People behind the scenes

As with many ventures, behind the scenes there are several key players supporting Friends of Pakati. Below are the ones most involved, the driving forces, including the Heads of the two Pakati schools, the local Councillor, two former students of the schools, another former teacher like the Author from the UK, and an important employee of the main donor organisation for IT equipment,

Mr Mugove Chifaka, Head of Pakati Secondary school
Mr Ambrose Mahachi, Head of Pakati Primary school
Alderman Israel Maliki, Councillor, Ward 14, Murewa District
Bothwell Riside, former student of both Pakati schools
Lorraine Mapuranga, former student at Pakati Secondary school
Debbie Chadbon, former teacher at Pakati Secondary school
Stuart Pine, IT Manager, Stephensin Group Ltd

There are of course too many others to mention who have helped & continue to help us, with their stories, their donstions in various forms, with their help to publicise us on, the internet, radio & press, as well individual word of mouth. THANK YOU ALL👍

**Weekend Star** Former Pakati student Remigio Kubhadya in wildlife protection

Hwange National Park

Just this week, I have been in contact with a former student of Pakati Secondary school, Remigio Kubhadya. Below is his story, as told to me over a few days. It is great to tell of how well people can do from such backgrounds, something I am very familiar with having spent some time at the school previously as you may know.

At Makwika village in Hwange

Hi there, can you tell us a bit about yourself please?

My name is Remigio Kubhadya, and I come from Chadenga village near the sign post of Pakati, on the road from Musami to Rhodes township.

When and where did you go to school? Who do you remember most?

I did my Primary education at Chanetsa school, but I went to Pakati Secondary school for my ‘O’ Levels. I was there from 2003 to 2006. By the time I started, the secondary headmaster was Mr Chowa, and there was Mr Siduna who taught me English. Mr Sagonda taught commerce, and by the time I ended my ‘O’ Levels Mr Chingoriwo had replaced Mr Chowa as Head of Pakati Secondary. During the time I was at school, my friends were Elvis Jeke, Coster and Clever Munemo from Dzimauta village near Pakati Primary school.

What did you do after finishing school?

After school, I was farming on my father’s plot, as he has a five hectre plot in Shamva. In the year 2012 I joined the Zimbabwe Republic Police force (ZRP), and worked at in Hwange for 6 years. Later I transferred to Kamativi Police where I worked there for five months. In December 2019 I then went to Matebeleland North Provincial Communication Centre, where I am currently still attached to.

So is your current job part of the ZRP?

Yes, in the communication department of the Police, which also takes me into Hwange National Park, the largest game park in Zimbabwe.

Ah ok, thats good, thank you. What do you actually do in the Park? Are you based at Sinamatella?

I go there on anti poarching duties as a way of minimising activities that are done by poachers, who at times put cyanide in water to poison elephants, or who might kill them with rifles, as well protecting other animals from poachers who slaughter animals for meat. As part of this role I go to Sinamatella Camp, I also go to Robbins Camp deep inside the park. We also support Park staff with their ongoing reseach into the health of Park animals. It is very important to protect the wildlife of Zimbabwe.

National Park staff seen checking the health of a lion inside the park

Tell us more about the Communications work please..

The Communications Centre is there to communicate with other districts, as well as the general HQ in Harare. It is like we are middle men sharing information to, from and between the districts and Harare.


I am married, and we are blessed with two boys. We have been living in Hwange since 2013.


My thanks to Remigio Kubhadya for his story & photos. The two pictures from Hwange National Park were taken from free images on the internet.

Interview with Stuart, from the Stephenson Group Ltd, our IT donors

Very recently, I was speaking to Stuart Pine, IT Manager at the Stephenson Group Ltd from Leeds, in Yorkshire, England. We first spoke back in January 2019, as I was launching Friends of Pakati. I was being interviewed about the project by BBC Radio Humberside’s Sports Talk, largely because I am known as a fan of my hometown football club, Scunthorpe United.

As Stuart drove home from Leeds to his home in East Yorkshire, he was listening to the broadcast, and contacted me by email soon after. His employers had a few computers to give away, and try as he might, Stuart could not get anyone to take them. He was very reluctant to take them to the recycling facility, so offered them to me. Not surprisingly, I jumped at the offer! It was quite expensive to get refurbished computers and have them shipped out, so this seemed an ideal scenario.

Stuart, Chris & Richard in June 2019

Following the original discussion with Stuart, an arrangement was made for me to visit the Stephenson Group Ltd at their premises in Leeds, and to collect the donated items. I met with Stuart and his colleague Richard, and we had the publicity photo seen above taken. Full details of this are seen earlier on the blog at and

We packed the goods in the back of my car, and later, after preparing them for use, drove them to the shipping company based in Leicester….

…where they were wrapped up & boxed ready to ship to Zimbabwe, in time to coincide with my visit to Pakati. After the trip, I posted this:

During the recent call, lasting over 1 and a half hours, I asked Stuart some key questions – below is part of what came out of the call….

What do you think about the project itself, and the blog?

I liked the story you told on the radio broadcast, and thought it would be great to see the computers going where they would be used to benefit the schools concerned. Our company, the Stephenson Group Ltd prides itself on its community support, both here in the UK and internationally, not least because we trade in many different parts of the world.

I keep up to date with the blog regularly, and really enjoy the stories of the students past and present, along with other community developments. The company likes to see how its donations are being used at the two Pakati schools, and we are delighted to be able to offer more equipment through your project.

What are you thinking of donating this time?

We are looking at a minimum of 13 desktop PC’s, mostly with monitors, keyboards, mice, and cables. We may have some laptops too. Also, as our IT equipment changes, then we can add more kit to the scheme.

Are there any other ways either the Stephenson Group Ltd or you yourself might be able to help Friends of Pakati?

I have some ideas myself, and some good contacts which I will use to see what additional support we might get. From Stephenson Group Ltd, some logistical help might happen, along with publicity on their new up-coming website. Links to other companies might mean more interest in Friends of Pakati.

Stuart with his daughters Felicia and Freya

On a personal level, I can also speak to the school my children go to, local football teams I have contacts with. I will be asking people I know at work and outside of work about things like fundraising ideas, promotion, merchandising, social media use – all to raise the profile of the project.

A while ago I mentioned to you about formally setting up Friends of Pakati as a Charity. You said you were willing to become a Trustee for us, is that still the case?

Yes, very much so. It will be good for the project to get greater recognition, and it will enhance our co-operation with Friends of Pakati.

I also mentioned to you about my next planned visit to the schools, delayed now until at least September/October 2021. How would you feel about coming along too, as a representative of the Stephenson Group Ltd?

Yes! To be able to see what happens to the goods we have donated will encourage us to continue helping Friends of Pakati. For me personally, it will mean visiting somewhere I have never been before. It will be wonderful to see the schools in action, to see where you lived and worked in such a different environment to what we are used to here in the UK. I hope to also get a chance to see some sights in Zimbabwe, such as Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park.

Coming soon….

• part 2 of Stuarts interview & further information

• new profiles of former Pakati students

• latest information from the schools

• updates on fundraising/sales of merchandise

Latest news on funds raised…

I have just been notified that we have received another 2 donations of £20.00 each, plus an individual has bought a key ring at £3.00

This brings the total to date is now £268.00 which puts us just over Northern France…still a long way to go!

You can help if you wish – see about our fundraising challenge

Have some merchandise delivered to your door – see

Or just donate! or

Thank you!

January highlights…

This first month of 2021 has been a busy one for Friends of Pakati….see the links below to the various posts which have been important for us, some of which are our newest pages too. The key elements are around our fundraising activities, but also we continue to tell the stories from our former students.

Newer pages… – goods for sale – financial accountability is essential – how well are we doing?

As 2021 progresses, Friends of Pakati will continue to promote fundraising for our Vision and provide stories about the schools, their history, their present and their future. We will also tell you about what our former students are doing, where they live, there concerns and hopes for the future.

We welcome all who are happy to support us, wherever they are in the world, however they are willing and able to. Please join us/continue to support us and spread the word among yoyr contacts & social media platforms👍Thanks!

Fundraising in 2021 so far – Plus a trailer for an important upcoming post…

This year we have a big challenge ahead of us, with a target of over £5000 to reach by mid-July. The main idea is to get as many people as possible to walk/run/cycle/wheelchair/swim – by any means but under their own steam (as many times as they wish) – for at least 1 mile and donate at least £1 per mile to us here: or

The second main way to contribute is by buying some of our merchandise -see

Thirdly, anyone who wishes may just give us a donation to either or and it will all be added in to the pot.

First ever computer lesson at Pakati Secindary school, September 2018

So, how far have we got in getting the next batch of donated IT & other assorted goods to Pakati up to now? Well, since the official launch on 16th January this year, we have recieved the following amounts:

Walking challenge: £30.00

Merchandise: £140.00

Donations: £55.00

Total: £225.00

Below is the list of places to pass close to along the way from Bradford to Pakati as the crow flies, including the distances – taken from

  1. Bradford to London———————-172———-Total——–172——–22/01/21

2. London to Paris——————————-214————————–386

3. Paris to Cannes——————————-429————————–815

4. Cannes (France) to Cagliari————-318————————-1133

5. Cagliari (Sardinia) to Tunis————-371————————-1505

6. Tunis (Tunisia) to Tripoli—————-228————————-1732

. Tripoli (Lybia) to Sabha——————–411————————-2143

8. Sabha (Lybia) to Abeche—————–902————————-3045

9. Abeche (Chad) to Yalinga—————-532————————-3577

10. Yalinga (CAR) to Kisangani———–435————————-4012

11. Kisangani (DRC) to Lubumbashi—796————————-4808

12. Lubumbashi (DRC) to Ndola———120————————4928

13. Ndola (Zambia) to Harare————367————————5295

14. Harare (Zimbabwe) to Pakati———45————————5340

15. Pakati

Right now, therefore, we have our goods somewhere between London and Paris, over the English Channel!

Coming soon on Friends of Pakati….

I spoke recently to Stuart Pine, IT manager at the Stephenson Group from Leeds, England. He was the one who instigated contact, offering to donate PC’s to us back in 2019. Below is a very brief quote from the forthcoming blog…

What do you think about the project itself, and the blog?

I liked the story you told on the radio broadcast, and thought it would be great to see the computers going where they would be used to benefit the schools concerned. Our company, the Stephenson Group Ltd prides itself on its community support, both here in the UK and internationally, not least because we trade in many different parts of the world.

Stuart with the Author in 2019

I keep up to date with the blog regularly, and really enjoy the stories of the students past and present, along with other community developments. The company likes to see how its donations are being used at the two Pakati schools, and we are delighted to be able to offer more equipment through your project.”

Much more to come from the interview, including a surprise or two…