Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Out of work heroes

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Kubatana (an on line community for Zimbabwean activists) communicates via email to thousands of Zimbabweans locally, regionally and internationally. Our email newsletters often provide some inspiration and motivation. Here’s an excerpt from our latest newsletter. If you’d like to subscribe visit us here and send us an email!

When we choose to love, we commit an act of liberation as courageous and radical as any foray into the tear gas.
~ Starhawk

Say No to No!
Isn’t it high time someone got negative about negativity?
Yes it is. Look around.
The world is full of things that, according to nay-sayers, should never have happened.
“Impossible.” “Impractical.” “No.”
And yet “yes”.
Yes, Ireland won a world cup cricket game.
Yes, condoms were invented.
Yes, yes, yes. What does it take to turn no into yes?
Curiosity. An open mind. A willingness to take risks. And, when the problem seems most unsolvable, when the challenge is hardest, when everyone else is shaking their heads, it’s up to all of us to turn no into yes.
(BP Shell – adbusted)

Her vision’s scrubland
Of out-of-work heroes
Who yesterday a country won
And today poverty tasted
~ Dambudzo Marachera from the poem Oracle of the Povo

A brief interview with Petro Masina somewhere in Harare
Hi, what’s your name?
Petro Masina.

What job do you do?
I’m a cleaner in an office block in Highlands.

How are things?
Tight. So tight. I live in Westgate. It’s now costing me $12 000 one way to work. My employer gives me $25 000 a week for transport allowance. My salary is $120 000 per month. I want to find a job as a gardener, then I can be stationary and maybe my boss would buy food for my family.

Public Events

Stay Away 3 and 4 April 2007

On 27 January, the ZCTU issued an ultimatum to government with the following demands:

1. That the Government should take steps to address the economic meltdown;
2. That parties to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum should as a matter of urgency sign the Kadoma Declaration and the Prices and Incomes Stabilization Protocol;
3. That Industry at National Employment Council level should ensure that parties go back to the negotiating table and review current wages as they are still fall far below the PDL;
4. That the Government should as a matter of urgency address the concerns of the striking doctors without victimizing them;
5. That the Government must urgently address the contents of the September 13 2006 ZCTU petition that led to the mass protests countrywide;
6. That the ZCTU totally rejects the implementation of the proposed National Health Scheme until and unless it has been agreed to by the workers, the owners of the money;
7. That all these concerns be addressed by the 23rd February 2007 failure which the ZCTU General Council will meet on the 24th February 2007 and decide on the dates of the next industrial action.

On 24 February, when these concerns had not been addressed, the ZCTU announced plans to mobilise for a stay away 3 and 4 April 2007, and to continue to organise stay aways every three months until the situation improves.

Read the full text of the ZCTU Communique about the stay away.

For more information phone the ZCTU on 794702/42 or 702517.

Youths Gag Statues across Europe for Free Expression in Belarus
On the anniversary of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s controversial re-election, young people gagged statues across Europe simultaneously in a bid to support the suppressed civil society in Belarus. In the middle of the night on 19 March, youth in more than 60 cities from Pristine, Serbia to Edinburgh, Scotland joined Young European Federalists (JEF) in a joint action to promote the message “give voice to the citizens of Belarus.” According to JEF, Belarus has outlawed meetings of more than ten people and NGOs since last year. Free expression is severely limited – the Internet is monitored by authorities, for example, and in the past two months, arrests of civil society and opposition activists have increased. Hundreds of prominent statues in 23 European cities were gagged on the eve of the elections last year. JEF has committed to doing this action every year until “the dictatorship falls and the citizens of Belarus are given a free voice,” said Asa Gunven, vice-president of JEF Europe.

Which African dictator had a law which required citizens to wear clothing reflecting his face every Monday, or risk losing their job? Email your answer to Kubatana

One comment to “Out of work heroes”

  1. Comment by timo:

    kamuzu banda