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Archive for March, 2012

Democracy means You run Your country

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012 by Michael Laban

The news from Senegal – elections were held against the incumbent. He lost. And he has left office.

Try as he might to stay, the people want him gone, and he is gone.

He changed the Constitution to say no third term, and then stood for a third term. Which he was legally entitled to. His first term in office, when he changed the Constitution, did not count against the two term limit. So said his court. So he was quite correct, he could stand.

Understand; correct is a legal term. It means legal or illegal under the law. Things are correct or incorrect, according to what is written in the statutes. Right and wrong though, are moral terms. Some things are right, and some things are wrong. We know these things if we look inside ourselves. Things like murder, theft, adultery. They are wrong. We ‘know’ that. They are also against the law, which makes them incorrect, but we know they are wrong.

So, the sitting President of Senegal ran for election, which he was correct to do. However, he was wrong. And the people told him that. They had the ability, and they had the power, to say “no”. And they did. And he left. That is democracy.

Next door, in Mali, there is a coup. The army supplanted the elected government, in order to give themselves the power and resources to fight the Tuareg rebels (fellow Malians). However, it seems from reports that while the army was looting in Bamako, the capital, the rebels took some towns in the north! So you have to wonder, why did they really stage a coup? This army captain and his buddies. While they do not have the strength to fight the Tuareg, they also do not have the brains to keep themselves from stealing.

Either way it seems democracy is the best answer. While it certainly is not perfect, it certainly has it’s short-comings and faults, democracy is the best course. Even if it is only ‘least worst’. Even if the only reason is you cannot blame yourself for what went wrong. Under democracy you make the decisions, you make them work, and you live with the consequences. Under democracy, you cannot blame or find scapegoats amongst the political elite, the captains of industry, the securocrats, foreign capital, etc. It is you. You run your country.

Equinox 2012

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012 by Bev Reeler

Once again, the sun has moved north across the equator
painting rainbows on the thatch through the crystal in the A-frame

it is the coming of winter,
the nights begin to carry the first memories of the cold dry season
but still it rains

2012 …

the wobble in our planetary axis
returns us to the same place we visited a 26 thousand year ago
the completion of some galactic cycle

and our solar system sails through the equator of our galaxy
in the slow timeless turning of the universe.

leaving us
to give meaning to the movement
doom or salvation?
or just the speeding up of everything that we know?

- because movement there is!

the global mind connects across the planet
through twitter and blog and skype

What is it we are thinking?
what are we seeing as the potential of this extraordinary experiment?
as we increase in our numbers and expectations
and economic planning
-  busy borrowing from the future

have we lost connection to the place we began
the home which has supported our lives?

travelling blind into this new turn of the cycle
as if severed from the fire of our being

but cracks appear in the edifices of our belief systems
and the knowing-unthinking darkness born of our killing and greed

threads of survival?
a sense of holding?
a creative connection emerging alongside this chaotic crumbling?

New life continues to be born this morning
as if into an emerald
glowing with the luster of yesterday’s rain
flowers like fractals of rainbows
sung into being

NGO job vacancies in Zimbabwe

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012 by Bev Clark

Work in and for Zimbabwe. Help grow our nation. Check out the vacancies below. If you’d like to receive this sort of information, as well as civic and human rights updates, by email each week drop us a note saying “subscribe” to info [at] kubatana [dot] net

Please note that the job vacancies we carry are related to the NGO and civil society sectors only.

Finance Officer: Zimbabwe Aids Prevention And Support Organisation (ZAPSO)
Deadline: 30 March 2012

Location: Harare
Department: Finance and Administration
Immediate Supervisor: Executive Director

Basic Function

Major tasks
-Consolidate all ZAPSO financial statements
-Prepare the administration and consolidated budgets in consultation with relevant departments
-Develop and maintain financial management systems and set all internal control systems
-Prepare monthly cash flow forecasts to adequately plan for future expenditure and present to management and ED for approval
-Monitor, review and report on transactions against budgets on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Prepare reports with budget variances for management, board meetings and donors according to donor reporting requirements
-Ensure bank accounts have a positive balance
-Prepare and ensure all relevant purchasing, advances and other requisition forms are available
-Keep all cheque books and other security items in a secure place and make sure all are numbered in sequence
-Ensure all source documents are maintained and recorded in the accounting ledgers
-Ensure there is proper filing system, storage and retention of financial records

Person specifications
-Hold a minimum qualification of a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Finance or full CIS and at least 2 years experience
-Experience in managing donor funds
-Excellent computer skills and at least one Accounting Package

Interested applicants should submit their C.V’s and cover letter to: zapso [at] mweb [dot] co [dot] zw

Project Nurse Beitbridge: Medecins Sans Frontiers
Deadline: 30 March 2012

-Qualified Registered General Nurse
-At least 5 years post-qualification experience
-Experience in HIV/AIDS, TB and TB/HIV treatment programmes including ART and PMTCT
-Experience in Pharmacy Management
-Experience in Management of Nutrition/CMAM programmes and/or Data Management/Medical Surveillance is an added value
-Excellent training facilitation skills
-NGO working experience will be an asset
-Fluent in English and local languages
-Computer skills: Word, Excel, Power Point
-Able to work under pressure and in a changing environment
-Responsible and flexible

Send CV to:
HR Admin, MSF-Spain
165 Tower Lane
Zimbabwe Or Msfe-beitbridge [at] barcelona.msf [dot] org

Administration Assistant/Driver: British Council
Deadline: 4 April 2012

Location of post: Harare
Reports to: Accountant
Department: Resources, Zimbabwe
Pay Band: CA 2 /Grade J
Duration: Indefinite

Purpose of Job: To provide BC Zimbabwe with the administrative support services and driving support as required.

Administrative services specifically relates to processes affecting:
-Supplier & Inventory Management
-Internal transport services

Specific Requirements: The post requires a valid driving permit, generic administrative skills, basic computer literacy and good spoken and written English.

Other important features or requirements of the job:
-Operational work requires occasional (or sometimes regular) work outside conditioned hours, for example in the evenings or at weekends
-Overtime or TOIL should be agreed with the line manager in advance to maintain an adequate work-life balance
-Post holders may be required to travel abroad on BC business and should therefore hold valid travel documents

We are committed to Equal Opportunities and Diversity.

To apply, please complete the application form and email it to glenda.munyukwi [at] britishcouncil [dot] org [dot] zw

AusAID Office Manager: Australian Embassy
Deadline: 5 April 2012

AusAID, the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development, seeks an experienced and dynamic Office Manager to help oversee and implement the corporate functions of their Harare post. Based in the AusAID Office at the Australian Embassy Harare, the successful candidate will be engaged as a non-ongoing employee for two years, with the possibility of an extension.

The Harare Office Manager will be the only full-time corporate position in Harare and will undertake basic administrative, financial, human resources and IT tasks.

Key responsibilities include: implementation and coordination of the office administration function including management of assets, and properties, purchase of office supplies and payment of invoices; management of office budgets and finances; recruitment and contracting of new staff; travel support for all officers; record keeping; and drafting and management of small value contracts.

Selection criteria:
-Experience in an office management and administration role undertaking the tasks outlined in the position profile.
-Excellent standard of written and spoken English including negotiation and representation skills.
-Well developed people and team skills, including the ability to work effectively in a diverse team in dispersed locations (Zimbabwe, Kenya, offices across Africa and Australia)
-Sound judgement, problem solving skills and initiative to achieve results.
-Ability to adapt to change and be responsive to new challenges

An experienced-based salary package will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

How to apply: Further information about the selection process and the application pack can be obtained from the Australian Embassy website at www.zimbabwe.embassy.gov.au

Please note that late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will not be considered. Applications will not be acknowledged and only short-listed applicants will be contacted. If you have not been contacted by 20 April 2012 for an interview, please consider your application unsuccessful. AusAID reserves the right not to make an appointment.

For further information about AusAID, please visit our website www.ausaid.gov.au

Director General: African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
Deadline: 31 May 2012

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) (thereafter referred to as “the Organization’), is an intergovernmental Organization, which was established in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1976 by an Agreement concluded under the auspices of the United National Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The Organization was created, inter alia, to promote the development of Intellectual Property laws appropriate to the needs of its members, establish common services and training schemes, assist its members in the acquisition and development of technology and the evolving of common views on Intellectual Property matters.

Membership of the organisation is open to all member states of the African Union (AU) or of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).  The present members of the Organization are:  Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (Total: 18 states)

Applications are invited from suitable qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the post of Director General of the Organization, the full description of which is as follows:

Duty Station: Harare, Zimbabwe
Duration of Appointment: Fixed-term contract of four years
Scheduled Date of Entry on Duty: January 1, 2013

Principal Duties
The Director General of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization is the Chief Executive Officer of the Organization. The duties are specified in the Agreement creating the Organization (the Lusaka Agreement) and among others include:

(a) Managing the Office in accordance with the decisions of the Administrative Council and approval of such decisions by the Council of Ministers, including in particular the appointment of the staff of the Office in accordance with the staff regulations;

(b) Preparing the draft programmes of activities and budgets of the Organization;
(c) Reporting to the Administrative Council on the execution of the tasks of the Office, and controlling the budget and expenditure of the Organization; and
(d) Exercising such other powers and performing such other functions as are vested in, or assigned to by the Councils.

Minimum Qualifications Required
(a) At least a Masters Degree in business administration, engineering, law, public administration, sciences, social sciences or technology. Additional qualifications in any of these fields would be an added advantage;
(b) At least five years of experience of administration in the field of Intellectual Property at a senior level;
(c) At least ten years of experience in administration and corporate governance at a senior level with a demonstrable track record;
(d) Very good communication, negotiation and diplomatic skills in English. A working knowledge of any of the other official languages of the African Union would be an added advantage; and
(e) Respected and empathetic leadership qualities with strong Intellectual Property knowledge.

Age: Minimum 35 years and maximum 60 years at the time of making the application.
Nationality: To be eligible for appointment, candidates must be any of the nationals of a Member State of the Organization and should have support from their respective governments.
Conditions of Employment: Salary and allowances on first appointment shall be those applicable to Grade DG of the ARIPO Salary Scales of the Professional Category.
Base Salary: US$103 170 per annum (fixed)
Post Adjustment: Depending on the cost of living of the host country (Zimbabwe) a post adjustment index, which is presently 20% of the base salary, is applied as a cost of living allowance.
Dependence Allowance: US$960 per year for each dependent child up to a maximum of three children is paid.
Education Allowance: An education allowance of 75% of the cost of attendance at an educational institution up to a maximum of US$6000 is paid for each child per year up to a maximum of three children.
Medical Examination:  The appointment is subject to a satisfactory United Nations type of Medical Examination.

Other Conditions of Service: The Director General is accorded appropriate privileges and immunities for a head of a diplomatic mission by the host country. Other terms and conditions of service shall be subject to the ARIPO Staff Rules and Procedures or be determined by the Administrative Council of the Organization.

Applicants should submit detailed curriculum vitae indicating pertinent personal data, two-passport size photographs and accompanied by certified copies of relevant certificates and names and addresses of two persons from whom references can be obtained to:

The Director General
African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
11 Natal Road, Belgravia
P.O. Box 4228
Fax: (263-4) 794072/3
Email: mail [at] aripo [dot] org

Applicants may also use the online application form which may be downloaded from the ARIPO website and click “vacancies”. If applicants are unable to download the application form, they may send an email or fax requesting for such forms from the Director General at the address indicated above. The original formal application should then be sent to ARIPO using the normal procedures for forwarding such applications through the Registrar General of the national IP Offices of the Member States.

ARIPO is an equal opportunity employer.

Victory for democracy in Senegal

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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 by Lenard Kamwendo

After trying to amend the constitution so that he can cling to power for a third term in office Abdoulaye Wade finally conceded defeat in a presidential run-off. Mr. Wade accepted that Macky Sall defeated him in the Sunday election run-off.  Mr. Wade’s third term bid was marred with violent protests, which left some people dead. After former Zambian president Rupiya Banda, who accepted defeat and transferred power peacefully, the Senegalese president has shown some maturity by handing over power without further violence and bloodshed.

Enough of the fluffy breast cancer imagery

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Monday, March 26th, 2012 by Bev Clark

Kristen Tedder, or Tutu as she is known to friends, was never going to react to breast cancer in a conventional way. This is the performance artist whose Doris Day meets Courtney Love routine had the Gallagher brothers whooping for more at a London club in the late 1990s.

Her latest project is Punk Cancer: a visceral, disrespectful and decidedly un-pink approach to fighting breast cancer. “All the pink, fluffy breast cancer imagery didn’t do it for me, so I went down a different road,” Tutu explains. “I learned to love breast cancer because it’s part of my body and it taught me a lot about my life. But I also wanted to kick its ass.”

When we meet, Tutu, 45, is wearing a T-shirt, created with London label Earl of Bedlam. It features a stencil of herself, boldly one-breasted, and, in Never Mind the Bollocks lettering, the phrase: “Cancer Sucks: Fight it, Love it, Live it, Survive it.”

More from the Guardian here

Zimbabwean logic

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Monday, March 26th, 2012 by Michael Laban

The other bit of news I am looking at (how are Gwisai and gang?) is story of a Chitungwiza woman who was doing plastic recycling. And was arrested, and did a few nights inside. Seems she did not have a license to deal with waste. So, in Zimbabwe, throw your garbage all over the place, no fear. Try and deal with it, go to jail.