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Archive for the 'Zimbabwe News' Category

Don’t demonstrate against the wrong thing if you don’t want to get arrested

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Friday, November 15th, 2013 by Amanda Atwood

Yesterday, demonstrators gathered outside the US Embassy to protest sanctions. They got a bit of attention on Twitter, and an article in The Herald, but it doesn’t sound like anyone was arrested. Never mind that actually, according to the US Embassy in Harare, the US “does not maintain sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe or the country of Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, last weekend students at Eveline Girls High School in Bulawayo held a peaceful demonstration to protest the lack of electricity at their boarding hostels.  Eight students were taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station and detained for around four hours.

Moral of the story? Demonstrate against non-existent sanctions and you won’t get arrested. But demonstrate against all-too-real failures at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and you will.

The Zimbabwe I want

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Friday, November 8th, 2013 by Bev Clark

Here’s an important contribution to the discussion on democracy in Zimbabwe. Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare – his contact email address is at the end of his article.

Never, has so much been owed by so few to so many.

My name its Vincent Tichafa Musewe, I am an African who by God’s design, was born here in Zimbabwe so that after I am gone, this place will be a better place because I have lived. After all that is true leadership.

I therefore must share with you my idea of Zimbabwe. It is not what I see today.

We must revive our economy as a matter of urgency but more important, we must tell a new story about our beautiful country. We must invest a new narrative, a new paradigm so that out of our bosom, may be born a new beginning where all Zimbabweans regardless of race can live up to their full potential.

We must hurry and be gripped by the creation of those circumstances we desire most without being cowered or being afraid. After all, fear is a mental construct.

We must create a country where all are free to pursue their dreams without limit; a country whose unimaginable wealth can be utilized to eradicate poverty and lack; a country whose resources are applied to the benefit of all and not to the benefit a few men and women simply because they have access to arms of war.

My ideas and inspirations in creating a new Zimbabwe are based on one undeniable truth; that any nation that does not create freedom and liberty for its citizens to live up to their full potential will in turn, never attain its own full potential. The people must come first and their happiness and development must therefore be nourished, protected and preserved so that our country can truly become what we imagine it to be.

The dignity, security and prosperity of every Zimbabwean enshrined in our constitution were not fashioned to be applied at the whim of our leaders, but these are non negotiable rights for everyone born Zimbabwean. It is a non negotiable instrument that cannot be returned to sender. We must demand that this government meets its obligations.

In my opinion, no economic blue print no matter how clever and intelligent it may sound can ever create the conditions necessary for progress until the values of those that lead us change. Economic blue prints hardly excite me simply because we have had so many of them. Let us therefore be careful and not be complacent because the days are dangerous.

To our politicians:

I do not care how many degrees you may have; how many doctorates and academic accolades you may lay claim on, if I see young Zimbabwean girls in South Africa or in Harare becoming prostitutes to make a living so that they may feed their children back home.

When I see small burnt children at a hospital that cannot treat them because there are no medicines, I don’t care what car you drive.

When I hear that Zimbabweans are fighting off animals for fruit so that they may have something to eat, I do not care where you live or what designer suit you are wearing.

I care less for the sophisticated English words you may use in justifying your entitlement to power when I know that my brothers and sisters in the Diaspora must take three jobs so that they may survive and also look after their siblings at home.

When pensioners who worked for half of their lifetime cannot buy food, I am not impressed by the way you walk or talk.

I care less for the balance in your bank account when I hear that a large number of young mothers are dying from cervical cancer or that two million Zimbabweans will go hungry this season. When I see desperate youth wonder how each day will turn out because they are unemployed.

What use are your degrees in history, philosophy, rocket science, medicine, politics if those degrees lead to wide spread poverty, depression and hopelessness? What use are they when we know we in Zimbabwe have some of the largest mineral resources on earth including vast fertile soils yet we are facing an economic calamity? They are useless.

Never, in my opinion, has so much been owed by so few to so many.

The Zimbabwe I seek to create will have none of this.

Unfortunately I do not see this Zimbabwe I dream of coming tomorrow. I know, however, that it is buried deep down within my soul and it was born the day I was born in Highfield. God willing, it will surely come to pass in my life time.

All we need is now is hope and a strong belief in our potential but this hope must be underpinned by action; action to do what we can from where we are with what we have to create the circumstances we deserve.

We must accelerate the creation of a new Zimbabwe that is not limited by the imagination of those that only seek personal benefit but a Zimbabwe of unlimited potential underpinned and fashioned by the free spirit of the people of Zimbabwe.

It will take a while but I am convinced that one fine day, in the steal of the night it will come.

Don’t give up!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe [at] gmail [dot] com

Zimbabwe’s parliament: “a meeting of more or less idle people”

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Thursday, November 7th, 2013 by Bev Clark

A report, from the Research and Advocacy Unit, interrogates whether or not Parliament is “a meeting of more or less idle people.” It costs $1,115 per sitting to maintain an MP, and the average House sitting is 2 ½ hours long. Read it here

Harare water crisis

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Monday, November 4th, 2013 by Amanda Atwood

I went to the public dialogue on the Harare water crisis organised by the Wetlands Survival Forum last week.

I found the meeting, and the conversations I had with participants afterwards, both illuminating and infuriating.

Harare’s water situation is in a crisis. It was good to hear Mayor Manyenyeni acknowledge that, but as he also noted we are at least five years away from a solution – And a lot longer if the behaviour of both Harare residents and leadership doesn’t change.

Issues of urban cultivation, litter, development on wetlands, watering of lawns, the city’s decrepit infrastructure of pipes, siltation in Lake Chivero, the proliferation of boreholes and bulk water abstraction are all contributing to a dire water situation for Harare. According to one person I spoke with after the meeting, Harare’s water system will collapse within the next ten years unless large scale changes are made. It simply won’t be able to keep up with the growing demand and the steadily reducing supply.

There are some very basic things each of us can do to make a difference, like

  • Don’t water your lawn, and speak with your neighbours, workplace and others about the negative impact a green lawn has on all of us
  • Shower into a bucket and use that “grey water” to then fill your toilet cistern
  • Place bricks wrapped in plastic (so they don’t crumble) or 500mL plastic water bottles in your toilet’s cistern so it uses less water with each flush (especially for older toilets, which typically had larger tanks)
  • If it’s just urine, don’t bother to flush – Every flush of the toilet wastes a lot of water
  • Don’t litter. The plastic you throw out on the road will likely get taken into a storm drain in the rains, and make its way to Lake Chivero, where it adds to the pollution choking the city’s filtration system
  • Look into rain water harvesting. At a large or small scale, effectively capturing the rain water that does fall and bringing it back into the household for use would reduce the demand on both boreholes and the city’s water supply

But in addition to individual actions, there is a massive need for collective action. Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Mutizwa (Ward 9) said that local government’s concerns about some wetlands development projects had been overruled by national government, despite legislation like the Environmental Management Act which protects wetlands. In order to change Harare’s water situation, local and national government needs to be engaged. The Wetlands Survival Forum was set up to try and coordinate groups around the water issue – so support its efforts and get involved with it where you can. You can like them on Facebook to follow their activities, or email wetlandssurvivalforum [at] gmail [dot] com to get involved.

No littering, no praying

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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 by Amanda Atwood


A subscriber sent us this picture of a City of Harare sign they spotted at the open space opposite Coca Cola in Graniteside between Seke Rd and Dieppe Ave. Whilst I’m all for no littering, I’m not sure you can tell people where they can’t pray?

Meanwhile, “litterbugs” may face community service, The Herald tells us. Hopefully this includes preventing the wholesale dumping which is taking over Harare’s open spaces, and ensuring effective waste management and collection practises across Zimbabwe.

Access the Zimbabwe Youth Development Fund

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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 by Amanda Atwood

“The Youth Development Fund is a revolving facility and as such the youth are expected to pay back the loans so that others can use same,” Zimbabwe’s Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment said on Twitter.

“How and where is this revolving fund being distributed? Is this not a campaign gimmick? Who has benefited?” Tinashe Nyaruwanga asked the Minister.

The Minister replied that the Youth Fund is administered by CABS Stanbic Allied IDBZ and CBZ and will soon publish the total amounts.

Asked how one accesses the Fund, the Minister said “please contact Mr Sigobodhla on 04-707741 with your business proposal.”