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Archive for the 'Economy' Category

What’s next after elections: The way forward for young women

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Friday, September 20th, 2013 by Amanda Atwood

A recent report from the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) discusses some of the challenges facing young women in Zimbabwe today, including their vulnerabilities in the present economic environment.

In their recommendations, they say:

There is a need for civil society to push for the recognition of the informal sector as a source of livelihood for young women and these should therefore set up mechanisms of advocacy both at policy level and economically. For example this can be done by setting up markets like Mupedzanhamo for young women to sell their goods without fear of harassment and intimidation. Secondly, by creating platforms to encourage young women to desist and resist entering risky relationships of exchange through introducing various mentorship programs by either the relevant ministries or non-governmental organizations. Thirdly, by including policies that take into consideration historical gender imbalances for example the current indigenization policy, these policies should also consider gender protocol and enforce gender budgeting to ensure young women claim their space in empowerment. Lastly, the media has an important role to play in helping to address these issues young women face daily because of the current economic environment. It should act as an education tool rather than objectify women; it should be gender sensitive and create platforms for young women to air their views as well as inform them of the various opportunities open to them from various organizations.

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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.

Zimbabwe faces numerous challenges

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 by Bev Clark

President Mugabe noted that the economy was facing numerous challenges characterized by declining production levels, high production costs, company closures and high unemployment level. The government will therefore prioritize sustained economic recovery and growth and in particular the implementation of pro-poor economic policies. – Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust newsletter on the First Session Eighth Parliament

Fatten the lion and starve the impala and call it preserving the ecosystem

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Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 by Fungayi Mukosera

Have you ever wondered and come to a reasonable explanation as to why it is very easy for EU and America to engage Zimbabwe on economic talks like the ones that were held in London in March 2013 but very difficult to engage if it comes to good governance? As we speak the EU website actually confirms that they are in ongoing economic talks with Zimbabwe but there is only passive mention of good governance and respect of human dignity as pre-requisite.

Is this not a move to fatten the lion and starve the impala and call it preserving the ecosystem? If they acknowledge that the government in Zimbabwe is illegitimate and does not represent the will of the people then what does it mean if they keep pushing to engage an illegitimate regime? Are they fattening and empowering the oligarch in Zimbabwe to trample on the defenseless populace? I guess this is the complicated part of sovereignty but the complication as it stands is a deliberate attempt to prey on the ordinary citizens.

Anti West but still got some love for Mickey Mouse

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Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 by Lenard Kamwendo

When you spend more than five years getting bashed from all sides with election campaign rhetoric it gets difficult to believe every word, which comes out a politician’s mouth. Politicians’ now use every occasion as an opportunity for electioneering. Forgive me for thinking the same on the recent announcement by our out-going Honorable Minister of Tourism who seized the occasion at the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly to show some love for Disneyland.

Just yesterday the President warned of a tit for tat with the West for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe and today we wake up to hear promises of building Disneyland in Victoria Falls. This is just too comical. It’s hardly a month after the harmonized elections and urban dwellers are in a ‘fix’ as they have resorted to shallow wells as sources of water. Who would want to come to a cholera-ridden country? Neither would residents opt for a theme park over service delivery. As highlighted by the Minister yesterday, Mickey Mouse comes with a price tag of US$300 million and if this money can be put to service delivery before Mickey it will go a long way in fulfilling elections promises.