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Archive for September, 2013

Herald’s “Cabinet Supplement” fails to inform

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Friday, September 20th, 2013 by Amanda Atwood

herald_cabinet_supplement_130920I saw this announcement about a Team Zanu PF Cabinet Supplement in The Herald yesterday, and (naively, I know) I got excited to see the supplement today. I thought it would contain useful information like profiles on the ministers and their portfolios. Maybe it would have brief descriptions of the priorities of each ministry, or a few call out comments from each minister about their hopes for their ministries, and the challenges they would face in delivery.

Instead, the supplement features:

  • A photo line up of 30 ministers and their names and portfolios
  • “How the President came up with his team,” an article quoting Mugabe’s press conference on the announcement of Cabinet.
  • The full transcript of Mugabe’s press conference on the announcement of Cabinet.
  • A full page photo spread of the Cabinet members being sworn in.
  • “Cabinet blends youth, experience” article
  • “Business, labour welcome new Cabinet” article
  • “Ministers promise to deliver” article
  • Congratulatory messages to the new Cabinet and individual ministers, in the form of full colour display adverts

The actual “meat” of the supplement – articles, comments, information and journalism – takes up less than 3 pages of the supplement; the congratulatory messages take up more than 11. So, more than one week after Cabinet has been announced, the state’s newspaper cannot do anything substantial to inform the Zimbabwean people about these new ministers, their backgrounds, qualifications or responsibilities. Holding one’s government accountable is difficult enough at the best of times. If Zimbabwe’s state newspaper can’t outline even basic facts about the country’s ministers and their portfolios, where do the rest of us begin.

WOZA members arrested in Harare demonstration

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013 by Amanda Atwood

“Leaders of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise  (WOZA) have been arrested in Harare where they were marching to Parliament building to deliver a list of demands to the Clerk of Parliament,” Radio Dialogue reports.

According to Radio Dialogue:

Magodonga Mahlangu, one of the leaders of the group, in a brief interview with Radio Dialogue, confirmed that she had been arrested and was being taken to Harare Central Police station.

“I am in Harare, I’m under arrest and i am going to Harare central police station. I was beaten as i was climbing into the vehicle. I was thrown in and beaten. I am battered and bruised. It is only the voice that is there,” she said before the telephone call was terminated.

According to a statement issued by WOZA before the march:

Over 400 members planned to march to Zimbabwe’s Parliament to hand over a list of demands. The protest was planned to ‘test’ new provisions in the constitution and to make the voice of women heard around the direction that local and national government should take as the take up their positions. The protest also marks the international day of peace commemorated throughout the world on 21st September 2013.

The theme selected by a consultation conducted is peace must deliver freedom and development for all. Seven thousand WOZA members consulted wanted a theme that spoke to the peace bragging rhetoric by politicians that has for the most part been meaningless chatter. Additionally as the UN convenes and President Mugabe plays his sad old song about removing sanctions, WOZA members also call for him to remove his sanctions on Zimbabweans enjoyment of human rights and freedoms.

Speeches won’t fight corruption – action does

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013 by Fungayi Mukosera

Corruption in Zimbabwe has now reached the grass roots; this simply means that even a new ZRP recruit who just earned his blue uniform to be a neighbourhood watch now knows that the only way to make a living is to squeeze the life out of other people’s pockets. A few days ago I hinted to my friend that our country is fast becoming a little Nigeria, the culture of corruption that was instilled in us from the top will only be an inheritance that we will forcibly pass on to our children and theirs.

Instead of fighting corruption, the politicians have spent much of their time preparing threatening well dressed speeches and planning how to fight corruption without active resolve. The president has during the last five years been making threats to stamp out corrupt ministers. We have rallied behind him in such efforts, the Anti graft commission has on the other side fed him with a vast amount of information to vaccinate and pacify his cabinet of corruption but we are still waiting for the time his ministers finish pursuing that function, maybe after that we will see action.

Thabo Mbeki at one point provided him with detailed information involving corrupt Zimbabwean ministers and ANC members. Press reports said names and amounts of demanded kickbacks were provided and the president even confirmed that but up to now we have not seen action to show commitment to free our country of this bondage. Some have taken the current rants on Goodwill Masimirembwa as a sign that the president is willing to fight corrupt government officials. Still we have to realise that sacrificing our allies when they become expendable is not fighting corruption. This has always happened in the past that whenever a government official falls out of his master’s grace, he becomes a sacrificial lamb.

I renew my support again today in fighting the scourge of corruption in Zimbabwe before it eats our dignity out. Unnecessary immunities to face justice among some ministers and oligarchs in our country should be lifted and the anti corruption bodies should be allowed to execute their duties without repression or fear of persecution. Corruption is fought by structures and procedures which are designed to bring good governance rather than speeches, sacrifices and threats.

Young people have a role to play in the development of Zimbabwe

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013 by Lenard Kamwendo

According to the International Center for Research on Young Women the world’s youth population currently stands at 1.1 billion and 85 percent of these young people live in poor countries.  As the youth population continues to grow not much is being done to integrate young minds into the development of their countries.

Socially entrenched attitudes have relegated youths to mere spectators of development in their respective countries and recently young people have resorted to engaging in protests to seek redress from governments. The only time young people’s contribution to society is valued is when politicians look for support during elections. Many young people have been used as foot soldiers in unleashing violence in the communities they live in. Young people’s voices continue to be suppressed as they lack representation in decision making at the highest level. The appointment of a new cabinet in Zimbabwe is a good example of how the young generation continues to be sidelined in decision-making.

Year in and year out Zimbabwe continues to churn out graduates from various colleges but most of these young minds end up on the streets or cross borders to do menial jobs in neighboring countries. Some people may blame our education curriculum for not doing much in helping young people who are not gifted academically but talented in other fields. A high literacy rate with the backdrop of high unemployment figures calls for debate as to whether these young people and educated men and women are lacking technical skills for them start something of their own?

The recent Food For Thought debate session hosted by US Embassy Public Affairs section brought together young panelists from various backgrounds to share experiences and the way forward in creating opportunity for young people in Zimbabwe. A presentation by Chiedza Gadzirai of the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe highlighted that sport has contributed a lot of social and economical benefits to a lot of young people in Zimbabwe.

Masimba Kuchera of the Center for Disability and Development gave an example of how government in Kenya managed to create opportunity for youth through the formation of an i-Hub where young people meet to share opportunities and ideas in the information technology sector. As a young person born with visual impairment Masimba lamented government’s failure to give adequate support to people living with disabilities. The low priority status given to programmes targeted at disabled people has resulted in many failing to participate fully in the development of the nation. Glanis Changachirere founder of the Institute for Young Women’s Development reiterated the fact that the playing field can only be level when young people are accorded an opportunity to represent themselves in decision making at top level.

Clean up in Zimbabwe!

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013 by Bev Clark

Clean up the World Weekend 20th – 22nd September 2013

Miracle Missions – Clean & Green Zimbabwe: A Member of Clean Up the World

Clean Up the World inspires and empowers communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment. Now in its 21st year, Clean Up the World, held in conjunction with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), mobilises an estimated 35 million volunteers from 140 countries annually making it one of the largest community based environmental campaigns in the world. The campaign brings together businesses, community groups, schools, governments and individuals in a range of activities & programs that positively improve local environments.

We are encouraging EVERYONE in THE CITY OF HARARE and across Zimbabwe to Clean Up their communities & engage in on going community projects.

Only 1 week remains until Clean up the World Weekend 20th – 22nd September 2013.

Get involved! Please . . .

-Volunteer at an organised clean up
-Organise a clean up & register your event
-Collect a bag of litter
-Clean your verge & drain
-Remove posters from trees, lampposts, buildings & walls
-Cut long grass to avoid disease
-Show your neighbour how to compost
-Reduce …reuse…recycle

For further information contact 0772 240 442 or Email cleanandgreenzim [at] gmail [dot] com or hooknook [at] yoafrica [dot] com


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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 by Bev Clark