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Archive for June, 2012

Extramarital affairs and lousy sex

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Friday, June 29th, 2012 by Marko Phiri

“Do married men have affairs for the bad sex?” asked Rielle Hunter, mistress to then US Presidential hopeful John Edwards when she appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. Morgan took a pause before he continued with the interview. Apparently according to Hunter who has written a book on her scandalous affair with Edwards which produced a child, she had the best sex of her life with Mr. Edwards, apparently explaining what drove the relationship. Yet it was a relevant question with resonance in Zimbabwe, many thousands of miles away, where the so-called small-houses have become a virtual cultural phenomenon, with purists mourning the morally straight and narrow ways of our forefathers. Are these extra-marital relationships always about sex, great or otherwise? You listen to pub tales where grown men find the pub as some kind of refuge from what they see as henpecking back home. It’s clear then that some men take to the bottle, while others take to extramarital relationships to deal with whatever is happening on the home front, yet there is no doubt that a lot of explanations that emerge seem to be solely based on common-sense street-based sociology which has done nothing to understand the growth and acceptance of what other researchers say has become a major springboard for HIV/Aids.

A young preacher who this year returned to the motherland after spending five years of Bible school in Mauritius said to me the other day that when he left Zimbabwe, he had never heard such a term as “small-house” and it had to be explained to him recently by fellow churchmen what it meant. He seemed genuinely lost, and all I could think of was, “well, my friend, you’ve been away too long.” The fact that the preacher appeared dumbfounded that small-houses had become common-place, accepted even, it did point to a need to better understand what drives this “small-house” business without haughty moralising. But then, there are many out there who see everyman as a potential candidate for Cheaters the television show. Others go an extreme extra mile and see everyman as a potential rapist!

Yet I find myself having to ask whether indeed it is all about sex, whether great or mediocre, or something else. Years ago NBA superstar Dennis Rodman had a fling with Madonna, and he made sure he told the tabloids about it: “I thought she was gonna be an acrobat, not a dead fish,” or something to that effect. Another Hollywood wise crack was asked by a hack who thrived on the salacious what he expected from a woman he took to bed. The hack must have expected a blow-blow breakdown about acrobatics and such, but the Hollywood guy responded: “Nothing, she must just lie there.” Ergo, why do men keep having extramarital affairs, is it about the great sex as some would have the world believe? In developed countries, some have explained it off as a sign of mid-life crisis, I wonder then in a country where life expectancy for men is under forty, when does mid-life set in?

Move your body

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Bev Clark

Visualise us

WOZA members arrested during sit-in protests

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Elizabeth Nyamuda

A sit-in protest in Bulawayo by members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) in Bulawayo led to the arrest of 100 of its members. The protests were organized to push for devolution of power, an immediate release of the constitution and expose the disrespect to the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo whose statue is still to be put up in the city.

The police in Bulawayo arrested over 100 members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group, as they conducted a sit-in protest on Wednesday calling for the immediate release of a draft Constitution. According to WOZA, many members in custody were handcuffed, which is a violation of women’s rights protocols.

Over 100 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) are in custody at Bulawayo Central Police station, many are handcuffed in violation of women’s right protocols. Riot Police ran wildly around the Main Street and 8th Avenue intersection on orders of their Officer Commanding Bulawayo who was present to demand they arrest members.

Lawyers have been denied access on three separate occasions. Those in custody include WOZA leader Magodonga Mahlangu, three minor children who are not members of WOZA and 3 breastfeeding mothers in custody. WOZA national coordinator Jenni Williams was not arrested.

Ten protests were due to start at 11am Wednesday 27 June 2012 but Riot police had already arrested 40 members and by-standers by 10:30am. Only 3 of the ten protests made it to the sit-in location will be the road surrounding the space where the memorial statue of late Joshua Nkomo should be.

Four additional protests were conducted after 11:30 am marching from the Statue to the Bulawayo Central Police station. Riot police were deployed to refuse them entry into the police station and threatened to beat them before dispersing them from handing themselves in.

Read more here

Ouch! That gotta hurt

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Marko Phiri

Watched Zanu PF chief doctor of spin Rugare Gumbo in last night’s news bulletin talk about Daniel Shumba’s bid for a “prodigal son” return to the higher echelons of the party he cursed for poor governance and lack of democratic principles a few years ago.  Shumba left the party after seeing what every other Zimbabwean seemed to notice, that this party Zanu PF was no place for progressives. And his chosen way to make himself heard? He formed his own political party, the United People’s Party.

It’s crazy why people who seem better off and can lead productive lives as private citizens minding their own business always seem to think entering gladiatorial politics is the way to go, their own contribution to the betterment of humankind. Of course not many Zimbabweans even know Shumba formed a political party of his own, and it just became one of those outfits that make very forgettable appearances in the run up to elections and quietly disappear soon after. Think such parties as the African National Party, Peace Action is Freedom for All and others in between.

And now, Daniel Shumba has once again rekindled his courtship with Zanu PF, only to be told he must line up like everyone else and join from cell level and then work his way up. And this for a guy who was once a Zanu PF provincial chairperson! No favours here comrades, we don’t forget that easily. And yes, he must first publicly announce that he has disbanded his political party. I cannot even start to imagine what is going in this guy’s mind after what Gumbo told the nation on national telly. And in classic Zanu PF-speak, Shumba “expelled himself” from the party!

Surely Shumba must have shoved it and went on with his many businesses, than subject himself to such humiliation, first at the
2008 ballot back then when he had to launch a constitutional court application to contest and now at the hands of Zanu PF itself. I suppose Shumba’s flaw is that, like many other ill-informed Zimbabweans, the future of Zimbabwe lies with Zanu PF, those types who are obsessed with being members of this party of the miserable past simply because it offers them unbridled avenues to self-aggrandisement. Everyone knows this by now, but then for Shumba to be told that he must re-join the party as an ordinary card-holding member ought to be yet another lesson for all Zimbabweans Africans that there is life beyond politics. But then he did once say that forming the United People’s Party was a joke. Yeah right, look who’s laughing now!

Maternity fees to be scrapped

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 by Elizabeth Nyamuda

Government has put an end to the distress of mothers who after giving birth could not foot their medical bills. Some women who face complications while giving birth at clinics are usually transferred to hospitals and this results in them facing a higher medical bill than they had budgeted for and most likely beyond their reach. Thus after giving birth, the joys of holding your newborn are sometimes not enjoyed by many women in Zimbabwe because of the financial constraints they faced in paying for their medical bills. In some cases women would be detained at the hospital or clinic until their bill was cleared or in the worst scenarios have their belongings confiscated. But alas, this is going to be a thing of the past as rural clinics and hospitals have scrapped maternity fees. Next week this same waiver will be introduced in provincial and central hospitals as reported by Newsday.

The oppressive boot

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Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 by Bev Clark

An excerpt from an article in The Week about poets involved in Poetry Parnassus running alongside the Olympics.

Stars of the festival line-up include two Nobel laureates, Ireland’s Seamus Heaney and the Nigerian Wole Soyinka. Heaney has been called “the greatest poet of our age” by a number of academics and critics. Soyinka, who has been arrested several times and imprisoned twice for his human rights stance, writes largely about what he describes as “the oppressive boot and the irrelevance of the colour of the foot that wears it”.