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Archive for March, 2011

Mangoma remanded in custody

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Friday, March 25th, 2011 by Amanda Atwood

According to the latest SMS from the MDC, Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma, who was arrested earlier today, has been indicted to the High Court for trial 18 July. He has been remanded in custody.

Mangoma was arrested earlier this month, released after five nights, and is accused of unlawfully abusing his office as Energy and Power Development Minister by ordering his subordinates to procure five million litres of diesel from a South African company, Nooa Petroleum without following tender procedures.

Nehanda Radio reports that police are also looking for co-Minister of Home Affairs (which controls the police) Theresa Makone with a view towards arresting her.

The MDC speculates that their MPs are being targeted for arrest pending possible elections for Speaker of Parliament next week Tuesday. The voting margins in Parliament are very tight, and the absence of a few MPs on either side could make a difference in the result.

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma arrested again

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Friday, March 25th, 2011 by Amanda Atwood

I just got this text message from the MDC:

Hon Elton Mangoma was this morning picked up by the police from his house.  More details to follow. Say No to violence. Yes to peace. mdcinfo

The MDC have said that he is to appear at the Magistrate’s Court this afternoon.

Mangoma, Zimbabwe’s Minister for Energy and Power Development, and an MDC MP, was  arrested on 10 March and detained for five nights.

He was released on 15 March on $5,000 bail and told to report to the police every Wednesday. The High Court judge who presided over the bail hearing descried the state’s case against him as “weak.”

He has been accused of unlawfully abusing his office as Energy and Power Development Minister by ordering his subordinates to procure five million litres of diesel from a South African company, Nooa Petroleum without following tender procedures.


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Friday, March 25th, 2011 by Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa

Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder
at the daily miracles of your life, your pain
would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your
heart, even as you have always accepted
the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity
through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the
physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink
his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided
by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips,
has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter
has moistened with His own sacred tears.

~ Khalil Gibran

Some advice for job seekers

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Thursday, March 24th, 2011 by Natasha Msonza

What NOT to do when applying for a job vacancy:

1. NEVER write at the end of your resume that referees will be made available upon request. Unless you assume REFEREES and REFERENCES are one and the same thing.
2. NEVER append your CV as a link to some kind of a down loadable web application. Just attach a word or PDF document, plain and simple. What if the reviewer has poor internet connectivity?
3. Try to include referees from some of the organizations you claim to have worked for before.
4. Working for 7 different organizations over a space of 2 years is not a very consoling attribute.
5. Use reader-friendly fonts like Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman, and the less colourful the better. Black and other dark colours give a more professional look.
6. Always spell check and ensure that your CV doesn’t reflect all the gory track changes detail. This can be accomplished by simply finalizing your edited document without mark-up or simply editing outside track changes.
7. Avoid appending a photograph of yourself unless you are absolutely sure that it will work to your advantage, or if you have been specifically asked to do so.
8. You never single handedly reduced the HIV prevalence rate in Zimbabwe.
9. Make your CV up to date to show you really mean it, like for example 0912 is now 0772. In view of this being a small world, it is important to keep track of your referees’ location, contact details or current job.
10. Lastly, if I had the PM as a referee, there are certain vacancies I just wouldn’t apply for.


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Thursday, March 24th, 2011 by Tina Rolfe

I find myself in the prime of life, although sometimes it’s hard to tell – tending to corpulence, sporting a pimple or three (are you still supposed to get those after puberty?), every day governed by routine (it would take a task force and organization on an epic scale to introduce any semblance of spontaneity to my life! Which kind of defeats the point.), the monotony of cooking dinner EVERY night. This is the prime of life?

Well, you’ll just have to imagine it.  Try harder.  Add Bridget Jones knickers. There you go!  But apparently, strictly statistically speaking, I am at my sexual peak (so there!).

I catch myself paraphrasing my parents, especially with my kids, “finish your vegetables, there are children starving in Ethiopia.” Or, “I can give you something to cry about.” In conversations with teenagers and young adults I inevitably end up using sentences that include “when we were your age.” I see them rolling their eyes, muttering something about having to walk to school and no mobile phones and 25 cents could buy you a coke AND crisps, and we didn’t have a TV, and rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.

I realize I am uncool and my kids think I am ancient (well, they are both under 6 years old – EVERYBODY is ancient.  My only comfort.), and if I were to go to a nightclub, most people there would be thinking something along the lines of mutton and lamb.  On the other hand, I bring the average age down to 50 at the local bingo or quiz night – and I have to listen to the oldies “whenwe” chatter as punishment (and to polish my own). One of these days we will compare stories on who had the tougher childhood!

Under pressure from my daughter to perform in the “mom’s race” at her school this Saturday, I have considered training (for a very brief moment). Suffice to say, I didn’t win last year much to her disappointment. I thought I would give the “winning isn’t everything, it’s how you play the game…” speech – apparently that speech is for losers – of which I was one … but let’s not dwell on it. We’ll see how I fare this weekend.  At least she can collect some “whenwe” memories of her own … tortuous recollections of mom blundering over the finish line fourth – one up on last year.

I am ever hopeful!

African politicians ban media to avoid criticism

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Thursday, March 24th, 2011 by Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa

In this article by Issa Sikiti da Silva for BizCommunity.com, Henry Maina, director of Article 19 talks about why African politicians ban media:

The fundamental reason that many African governments ban and harass the media has more to do with personal connotations than other issues, Kenya’s Henry Maina, director of Article 19 Eastern Africa, told delegates at the two-day Regulations and Rights media conference last week in Johannesburg.

“If you look closely, you will see that politicians across the continent don’t want to be criticised,” Maina, a specialist in criminal justice, human rights, advocacy and governance, said.

In many African countries, where the head of the state, ministers and members of the ruling party have become the law themselves, and courts exist only to try cases of petty crimes and murder, any journalist who takes on the government will be promptly arrested, tried in a ‘kangaroo court’ for high treason and executed or jailed for life.

Prosecuted for insulting authorities

In other countries, however, where there is some sort of rule of law and social justice, criticism of the government usually end up in courts, with journalists being prosecuted for insulting high-profile authorities.

Maina described these laws as archaic and oppressive, saying Africa should repeal them. “More than 40 African countries still have these colonial laws, including official secret laws. Why? If you are going to keep secrets, you should do it in a progressive manner,” he said.

Maina fired a salvo at South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, for proposing the creation of a media appeals tribunal and resuscitating colonial laws.

Critics believe the ANC, which brags to be the sole contributor of the restoration of freedom of expression and press liberties enjoyed today by all citizens, has turned from hero to villain by re-enacting some of apartheid’s legislation, including the National Key Points Act, the Film and Publication Amendment Act, and lately the much-hated Protection of Information Bill (aka Secrecy Bill).