Former Zanu-Pf politician, Savior Kasukuwere who is currently exiled in South Africa since the 2017 change of Zimbabwean government has been castigated for attempting to taint the reputation of President Mnangagwa.
Ephraim Chizola, national leader of Munhumutapa Royal Charter, a grouping of likeminded business persons aligned to the ruling party told journalists at a press conference in Harare Thursday afternoon that no amount of mudslinging by the G40 will discredit the progress achieved by President Mnangagwa and his government as witnessed by major projects currently being undertaken countrywide.
“As you are aware, within all the country’s ten provinces there are numerous developmental projects that have since taken shape as a result of the Second Republic. These have since started to transform our economy towards the attainment of VISION 2030. The projects include but not limited to the following; the mighty RGM International Airport expansion, the world Class New City and Parliament Building, the Magnificent New Road Infrastructural projects and, the Giant Tugwi Murkosi Dam. It is also through the Second Republic that the country honored long and forgotten fallen heroes of our struggles, the likes of the Mbuya Nehanda, whose face has been inscribed on the country’s currency and the subsequent erection of a life sized monumental statue of the same Mbuya Nehanda in the city of Harare,” said Chizola.
“However, it is disheartening to note that regardless of these historic achievements, our various media houses and Government information and publicity agencies remains low key in their roles of apprising the general populace of these achievements. This has left our own Munhumutapa, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde ED MNANGAGWA to run a lone race towards the heralding of the great works by the Second Republic,” he added.
MRC seeks to contribute towards the mobilization of 5 million votes targeted for Mnangagwa through what they have dubbed 14 Million Smiles campaign.
Zanu-Pf is currently embroiled in factional fights which saw their recently held provincial elections largely characterized by violent contestations and disputes. It is suspected there is a bigger chunk of current Zanu-Pf members who still sympathize with those who were expelled at the inception of the second republic. Savior Kasukuwere is reported to be considering a return to Zanu-Pf to challenge the re-election of President Mnangagwa in the 2023 harmonized elections.
Covid 19 has been seen as an evil one of the most devastating pandemics of all time claiming lives as well as disturbing economies and also the normal functioning of societies around the world. However, this misery brought about changes that the world needed and can be called “benefits” when it comes to international trade as well as international diplomacy which refers to the interaction between states that is both in relations and the exchange of goods. In this writing, I will be looking at the other side of Covid 19 not as misery but rather as a mother of a new form of international diplomacy and also a catalyst in the trade of new and another set of trades between nations.
Covid 19 has brought about improvements in the science and technology sector. In this case, as a result of covid 19 countries and communities have resorted to lockdown measures as a way of curbing the spread of the virus. Thus this resulted in online lessons for schools and we’ll as meetings. For example, the 2020 G20 Riyadh summit held on November 21-22 was supposed to take place in the capital city of Saudi Arabia but however, due to covid 19, this meeting was done virtually. In this regard, we also see an upgrade of the African Union Headquarters by the Chinese whereby they inserted a technology whereby officials can attend their meetings in their respective countries. Thus this is another improvement to the diplomacy due to COVID-19
We also see a boost in the trading center during the COVID-19 era whereby we see the importing of some goods necessary for the pandemic. I’m this case a case study of Zimbabwe comes into light whereby there has been a lot of vehicle imports in the COVID-19 era Speaking during his delivery of the 2021 national budget in parliament on Thursday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said about 800million U.S. dollars was spent on importing buses and light commercial and passenger vehicles from 2020 to September 2021. Due to the abolishing of an unregistered transport systems that is the Kombis and mushika Shika system. A lot of people in Zimbabwe had resulted in purchasing of private vehicles from abroad, also due to the taking over of the government transport system Zupco, it has put more pressure on the transport system since those with no private transport now depended on Zupco thus we saw The government of Zimbabwe under Zupco purchase more bases to cater for these needs. This improved trade between Zimbabwe and as well as other countries we traded in
Moreover, this period has brought peace around the nations. In this case, it has improved the living and working together concept as the whole world. Due to a common goal and a common enemy which is Covid 19 all states around the world has become one family and has set all the difference aside so as to focus on the problem at hand. As a result, we see countries joining hands to find a cure for Covid 19 in light of this we see the production of vaccines Where nations wherein a race to produce vaccines, and also the Free distribution of these vaccines. This issue is very critical in the diplomacy and trading corners at an international scale
It will also be unjust if it happens that Improvements in the medical and pharmaceutical arena. In this case, a rise in improvements in the medical arena is also seen during the Covid 19 era whereby nations now began to focus more on the medical field of their nations. For example, Zimbabwe the purchasing of ventilators and also the rise of infrared thermometers as and also surgical masks.
Last but not least the rise of the forgotten and underrated traditional medicines as helpers for Covid 19 as an illness. This has also brought another trading factor to light Which is traditional medicines for Example Madagascar came forward which is their traditional drink which they claimed that it cures Covid 19 though this was never approved. There is also the rise of traditional medicines like the Zumbani in Zimbabwe. This has now been available in supermarkets some pharmacies and well as is also being exported to other countries as far as Europe.
Though we are in agreement and trying to support the pandemic it was misery however, I had to look to the other side of the coin and accept that it is now among us and see what we had gained from its discovery those are some of the positive changes brought about by the Covid 19 era
Brighton B Chingwara
A Masters Student in International Trade and Diplomacy at The University Of Zimbabwe 2022
The Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms has welcomed the announcement of the by-elections for local councils and house of assembly representatives saying that they were long overdue. They have have accused state institutions allowing to be used to influence electoral processes.
Addressing a presser held in Harare this Thursday, Mr Marvellous Kumalo said;
“The credibility of these elections depends on the cooperation of ZEC, state media and security”
He further said that these entities have historically been used to prejudice the electoral processes and results.
The association called for the immediate repeal of SI 225A (2020) which suspends the running of by-elections.
Residents were also encouraged to utilise the by elections as a chance to correct the gender discrepancies in Parliament by voting in female representatives.
The association also encouraged the electorate to vote competent representatives who are capable to match the demands of the offices.
Zimbabwe’s huge and diversified mineral resource base which is highly characterised by the ancient Greenstone Belts (gold belts) – some of the world’s richest minerals has seen the country experiencing intensified mining activities from both locals and foreigners especially Chinese nationals.
Large and small scale gold mining activities happening in the country’s gold rich areas have proved to be detrimental and less beneficial to the respective communities. They have promoted unjust mining induced displacements, which most of the times have failed to benefit community members and develop the communities in which the mining take place.
An example, can be taken from Chiadzwa where people were moved to Adatransal without benefiting anything and nothing improved. Also, there are disempowering mining activities happening in Makaha, a rural community in Mudzi’s Chipangure and Chinoa mountains by Chinese Nationals living in the rural community which are denigrating the community’s development. Most of the inhabitants have been left vulnerable, jobless and homeless following a series of unwarranted displacements and evacuations.
Also, vendors and business people especially grocery and clothes retailers are experiencing losses as a result of low purchases of goods due to low buying power as a result of endemic poverty.
Interviews with community members revealed that earning a decent living is now proving to be difficult as most parents are finding it difficult to buy food, pay rentals or even send their children to school.
“We were benefiting from that mountain because some of us had managed to earn a decent living but when most local miners could no longer work in the mountains, we longer had a source of income to send our children to school and we are now suffering.
“And when they use chemicals or explosives to blast the mountains, nearby houses are affected exposing people to unsafe and poor living conditions as at times they are not evacuated to and compensated with safer homes. As you can see our road is very bad, we were hoping that the Chinese would fix it and build more schools for our community so that real development takes place in Makaha as well,” said a local business woman.
“The Chinese Nationals robbed us a decent living and left us struggling, because many of us are now jobless theft and murder have been on the rise. All hope has been lost and we are hoping that other opportunities for better jobs will be created for us so that we earn a decent living,” added a local miner.
Meanwhile, a national campaign pushing for transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources in the country, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Zimbabwe called upon the Government to ensure and commit to fair prompt and adequate compensation during mining induced displacements happening in rural communities in order to protect the rights of displaced citizens living in those communities.
Through its coordinator Joyce Machiri, PWYP Zimbabwe further urged the government to be committed to community consultation and approval through Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) which is “inclusive, independent, and consultative assessments, relocation with prompt, fair and adequate compensation, relocation destination preparedness, protecting mining communities from abusive practices of the mining companies and implementing international standards on mining induced displacements”.
As the lifeblood of the Zimbabwean economy (contributing to 60 percent of the country’s export earnings as of October 2018, and around 16 percent of the national GDP, according to the Mining Technology’s 04 March 2020 Analysis by JP Casey), mining has resulted in a lot of mining activities taking place in the country’s peri-urban and rural communities at a large scale. This has seen an increase in mining induced displacements, which when conducted in an unclear and unprofessional manner are stripping people living in marginalized or rural communities off the right to land and shelter.
In order to ensure the protection of the vulnerable communities (rural and/or poor communities) PWYP Zimbabwe insisted on the need for the mining induced displacements to be conducted in a transparent, accountable and human rights based approach that is in compliance with the Zimbabwean Constitution.
Development Induced Displacements and Resettlements (DIDR) constitute a major social problem and a challenge for enjoyment of fundamental human rights that are enshrined in the Constitution.
In Zimbabwe, mining companies often fail to pay adequate and prompt compensation, give people adequate notice and follow due process before relocation and to provide proper relocation facilities and services before relocation. In the process they violate litany of procedural and substantive environmental social economic and cultural rights. However, addressing the media in a press statement in November last year Joyce Machiri called for transparency and compensation of development induced displacements and resettlements;
“Displacements have to be done in transparency and accountable manner through free, prior informed consent and leading to appropriate agreements and compensation. Lack of transparency on the mining deals that the government signs with investors and the absence of adequate benefit sharing arrangements have increased tension, negative suspicions and conflicts whenever mining induced displacements are announced. If done properly, conflicts and poverty can be reduced and the lives of mining communities can be improved, bringing in the desired development from mining activities,”
Publish What You Pay Zimbabwe Coalition is a part of the Publish What You Pay global network – a worldwide campaign for an open and accountable extractive industry made up of more than 1000 member organisations and 51 national coalitions.
Media Center in partnership with Hurungwe Community Radio held several interface and trainings with a deliberate bias towards equipping citizen journalists with basic journalistic skills. Citizen journalists were drawn from 26 rural wards in Hurungwe District and ten from Karoi urban giving a total of thirty six citizen journalists.
Furthermore, Media Center in partnership with Hurungwe Community Radio also held interface meetings with several Civil Society Organizations which included Chakanyuka foundation, Karoi urban residents associations and National Aids Council.
Interactive meetings with residents associations were meant to equip them with skills and knowledge pertaining to governance statutes of local authorities. The main thrust was to enable these organizations to hold local authorities accountable in so far as their operations are concerned.
The interactive meeting held with Chakanyuka Foundation was held in the midst of the first hard lockdown in 2020. The Chakanyuka Foundation is an organization whose main thrust is to assist orphans, the aged as well as the less privileged. The meeting also brought together some local leaderships in the form of village heads. Hurungwe Community Radio acted as a vehicle to disseminate information pertaining to raising awareness on Covid 19 especially in rural communities.
People living with HIV/Aids suffered the double tragedy of stigmatization and challenges in accessing anti-retroviral drugs during lockdowns. Media Center in collaboration with Hurungwe Community Radio provided the National Aids Council with a platform to alert people facing this predicament on how to overcome the challenges. It was refreshing to note that after the audio from NAC was aired on the Hurungwe Community Radio WhatsApp platform there was a positive change in attitude by members of the security forces who were allegedly denying these affected people.
By and large, the partnership between Media Center and Hurungwe Community Radio has been very fruitful notwithstanding some challenges faced some of our journalists especially on issues to do with gadgets and data so as to smoothly carry out their mandate. Going forward, it is our fervent wish and hope that Media Center will continue to play its collaborative role with our organization so as to improve access to information by marginalized communities and also bringing to the fore developmental issues which are hitherto kept under wraps due to unavailability of news outlets.