Category Archives: CURRENT AFFAIRS

#PFEE Economy Collapsing: Why ED Has No Answers !!!🤔

 | Kennedy School, Harvard University

 4 minute read

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa campaigned in July for Zimbabwe’s presidency, he promised to be a business friendly leader, and to return his country’s economy to twentieth century times of plenty and prosperity.

But Mnangagwa has already shown himself incapable of jettisoning the state centrist, rent-seeking predilections of his predecessor. A “big-bang” sharp break with Zimbabwe’s recent past is essential to reassure consumers and capitalists. Yet Mnangagwa and his cronies have so far rejected anything forward-looking and sensible.

Mnangagwa’s administration is struggling to overcome the national economic destruction wreaked on Zimbabwe over two decades under Robert Mugabe. This included profligate spending, immense debt pileup, colossal corruption, and ravaging of the country’s once immensely productive agricultural sector.

As a result, Zimbabwe now lacks foreign exchange with which to buy petrol and ordinary goods to stock the shelves of its supermarkets. In the last few weeks many shops – such as Edgars, a long-time clothing store; Teta, an eatery; KFC, a fast food outlet – have simply shut their doors. Queues for petrol stretch for miles.

Banks have no US dollars, or South African rands or Botswana pulas (the notional national currency), and therefore cannot supply stores or customers with the funds to carry on business as usual.

The locally created Zimbabwe bond note which is officially supposed to trade 1 to 1 with the US dollar, has been trading as high as 10 to 1 on the Harare black market according to unconfirmed local shopping experiences. In its October 20th edition The Economist reported that the bond note, known unofficial as the zollar, was trading for as little as 17 cents, or roughly 6-1.

The new administration has naturally resorted to printing its own faux money. That inevitably has led, as always, to hyperinflation and monetary collapse.

China may yet help Mnangagwa – but in exchange for multi-years worth of precious minerals and Virginia tobacco at discounted prices. With Zimbabwe’s leadership so thoroughly tainted by decades of peculation and mendacity, and devoid of any real notion of “the public interest,” Mnangagwa’s regime is otherwise unlikely to clean up the prevailing fiscal mess because of its refusal to break sharply with the fiscal derring-do of the Mugabe era. Its principals continue to profit from Zimbabwe’s economic mayhem.

What went wrong

Zimbabwe’s economic weaknesses are unsustainable. Governments in such parlous straits would turn, even now, to the International Monetary Fund, for a bailout – as Pakistan has just done. But Zimbabwe is already in arrears to the international lending institutions and has very few helpful friends left.

Government is running a hefty overdraft. And it’s been unable to collect as much as it needs from the national tax base. Its now attempting to impose a 2% tax  on internal electronic financial transactions. This only shows desperation. If implemented, it could yield twice as much revenue as is derived annually from VAT. But that losing manoeuvre has already helped drive commerce underground. It has also undermined what little confidence consumers and financiers have in their current rulers.

The Mnangagwa government has also reimposed import and exchange controls, thus creating additional incentives to avoid regular channels of commerce. Those controls also permit officials to allocate “scarce” resources and licenses to import, export, and so on. These are well-known occasions for corruption and for giving rent-seeking opportunities to cronies.

It wasn’t always this bad. Despite the massive loss of formal employment that occurred under Mugabe, the informal sector flourished and Zimbabwe’s poor probably benefited. This was partly because under the unity government of 2009-2013, when Tendai Biti of the Movement for Democratic Change was finance minister, there were no such controls and there were plenty of US dollars and no questionable bond notes and Treasury bills. Hard currency (the US dollar) permitted Zimbabwe to start growing economically after the long Mugabe slide, and individuals and businesses to prosper. The country ran a budgetary surplus.

But this all came to an end when the government of national unity collapsed in 2012.

What needs to happen

To begin to restore the economy, the government needs to acknowledge corrupt dealings and repatriate the huge amounts of cash that have fled the country as laundered money.

The regime could also try to take ill-gotten gains away from Mugabe and Grace Mugabe, as Malaysia’s new government is doing to its previous kleptocratic prime minister and his wife.

Gestures in that direction would help to begin to restore confidence, a step towards eventual prosperity. So would promises to restore the rule of law. Investors might also return if a sound currency was likely. But that would only follow shedding of ministers, civil service layoffs, military reductions, and many other indications that Mnangagwa and his minister of finance were serious about reducing the debt hangover.

Cutting some sort of deal with the IMF would also be worthwhile, but that could mean giving control over the Treasury to foreign advisors. Zimbabwe is and, since Biti’s day, has been, a basket case. It’s time to acknowledge that fiscal reality and to do something about it.

Robert Rotberg does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.Originally published on The Conversation. 
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#WednesdayWisdom: Mnangagwa’s been wooing Zimbabwe’s white sports heroes. Here’s why

Tapiwa Chagonda | University of Johannesburg
4 minute read

Sport in general, and particularly gifted sports people, have been known to rouse feelings of national unity. In the process, they instil a sense of patriotism and pride in their countries. Good examples include George Weah, the soccer legend from Liberia now the president of his country and Imran Khan, the cricketing star from Pakistan, now its prime minister. Notable sports figures have managed, to some extent, to unify their troubled nations. In the process they have shown how powerful a force sport can be.

This salient observation has not escaped Zimbabwe’s newly elected president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. In a bid to restore and paper over the badly damaged relations between the governing Zanu-PF party and the country’s white community both inside and outside Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa has appointed the former swimming sensation, Kirsty Coventry as Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

The 35-year-old is a seven time Olympic medallist. She is the only African to break the 1:00 min barrier in the womens 100m backstroke. She also has the highest number of individual Olympic medals of all female swimmers in history.

But Coventry’s appointment is not where Mnangagwa ended. He also reached out to the flamboyant footballer, Bruce Grobbelaar, the former goalkeeper for the Zimbabwean national football team as well as British football club Liverpool whose nickname is “Jungleman”. In an interviewhe described Mnangagwa’s call which started with the president saying: “Hello, Jungleman, how are you?”

By wooing Coventry and Grobbelaar, Mnangagwa is clearly hoping to achieve a number of outcomes. The first is that he is hoping to repair the damaged relations between Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe’s white community. As a long shot, he might also be hoping that this will help normalise relations with the West which could, in turn, unblock much needed foreign direct investment.

Working with the hugely popular Coventry and equally liked Grobbelaar could also lure the young urban electorate back to Zanu-PF. They left the party in droves for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) when it was launched in 1999.

The history

When Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 the country’s populationstood at just over 7 million people. The white population was around 230 000. This began to decline steadily white Zimbabweans began to emigrate to countries such as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The exodus increased significantly after 2000, when the Zanu-PF government began embarking on violent land grabs that resulted in Zimbabwe’s economy going into meltdown.

The last census in 2012, put the number of white Zimbabweans at 28 000. This community has been very active and is still, to a limited extent, influential, in sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Whites have also traditionally been active in sports such as cricket, rugby and swimming.

Zanu-PF’s fractured relationship with the white community dates back to Robert Mugabe’s rule. He presided over the breakdown in relations when he began implementing a violent land reform programme which ended up benefiting Zanu-PF members and chiefs.

But relations hadn’t always been bad between the party and white Zimbabweans. At the advent of independence, Mugabe famously pleadedwith the white community:

Stay with us, please remain in this country and constitute a nation based on national unity.

And in 1980 Mugabe retained white Zimbabweans such as Ken Flower. Flower had been in charge of Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith’s intelligence services which had been accused of masterminding the assassination of some of Zimbabwe’s leading nationalists such as Herbert Chitepo and Jason Ziyapapa Moyo.

Mugabe also appointed white ministers such as Dennis Norman(agriculture) and advocate Chris Andersen (mines) to his first cabinet.

But this rosy relationship turned sour in 1999 when the white community rejected a draft national constitution that included a clause on redistributing the country’s most fertile land – the bulk of which was in the hands of around 4 000 White farmers – without compensation.

This set the scene for violent land seizures. This, in turn, resulted in sanctions being imposed on Zimbabwe by a number of Western nations. These only served to harden Mugabe’s resolve towards the white farmers. In a presidential election rally in 2002, he thundered:

Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy.

In the intervening years Zimbabwe’s political and economic landscapes have continued to deteriorate as the country became a pariah state and a basket case. This was largely because of the punishing ramifications of the sanctions and the corruption and ineptitude of the Mugabe regime.

Zimbabwe’s economic crisis reached its peak in 2008 when hyperinflation reached a stupendous 231 million percent, officially, even though leading inflation experts such as Steve Hanke estimate that the country’s inflation rate far exceeded the official figure.

Picking up the pieces

For his part, Mnangagwa has always cultivated good relations with white Zimbabweans. This goes back to the 1980s when he had cordial working relationships with people like Flower who were in intelligence.

In later years, Mnangagwa has been linked to a number of white business people in some of his business ventures.

In mending the relations with the white community by roping in Coventry and Grobbelaar, Mnangagwa might just have pulled off a masterstroke. He must be hoping it will eventually help extricate Zimbabwe from its economic quagmire.

Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg. Chagonda has in the past received funding from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). Article curated from The Conversation.

Catholic university students strike

Lungile Ngwenya
One minute read

Catholic University of Zimbabwe (CUZ) students in Bulawayo temporarily brought business at the institution to a halt after they staged a demonstration over alleged unfair distribution of resources.

The Bulawayo campus was temporarily shut down Thursday morning by students in protest over alleged preferential treatment of the Harare campus.

The students wrote a petition to the institution stating their discontentment towards the treatment they have been receiving from the university`s management.

The institution’s director a Mrs Simango, met with the disgruntled students at the campus entrance in a bid to address some of the grievances raised by the students.

A part two student at the university (name withheld) said they want equitable distribution of resources at all the campuses countrywide.

She said the protest was a result of the institution not addressing their grievances.

According to the petition written to the university`s management, the students alleged that they were exposed to “unhealthy living conditions” and “female students are complaining about sexual harassment from male lecturers…”

“Shortage of furniture at the campus leading to students moving furniture from one room to another, unreliable internet connection and expensive canteen students need competitors (sic),” read part of the petition.

“There is more preferential treatment for Harare campus than Bulawayo for example when Harare campus students are coming to Bulawayo, they come with one or two buses but when its about Bulawayo going to Harare only a handful students will go, we need explanations why it is like that (sic)”.

The students vowed to continue with the strike if their grievances are not addressed by the university authorities.

Originally published on www.cite.org.zw

You might have to carry generator and push lawnmower to gas station in Zimbabwe

Own Correspondent|Lupane State University
One minute read

HARARE – Zimbabwean government says it will ban the use of jerry cans at service stations to prevent people from hoarding fuel.

Energy Minister Joram Gumbo said the ban on fuel containers is meant to prevent hoarding.

He’s told state media that service stations that allow customers to hoard fuel risk having their operating licenses cancelled.

Zimbabweans on Twitter were irked by the announcement and aren’t relishing the implications of the government’s move.

Does this mean that an ordinary man will have to apply to authorities to use his jerrycan?

Will the ordinary man have to push his car if it runs out of fuel say 5kms away from the gas station?

Fuel supplies ran out last week, sparked by panic buying and foreign currency shortages.

There were long queues and widespread fears that the country was sliding back into the hyper-inflationary crisis it went through 10 years ago.

Image credit:@malonm10

Will leave this here …

Students’ protests ‘Pfeeeeee’ as kombi fares hike

By Staff Reporters

2 minute read

As the economy continues to spiral out of control, with basic commodities’ prices shooting up, students haven’t been spared from the madness.

From the 50cents, that was already too high for them, UZ students woke up to find that there’ll be yet another adjustment to their budgets.

UZ students - byo 24
UZ students protests. Credit: bulawayo24.com

“Kana zvikanesta toenda netsoka” was the new slogan at the University of Zimbabwe today as students protested against the newly introduced kombi fares of 75 cents, which rendered their daily dollar deals obsolete, taking away the value a single dollar had in their lives.

Speaking to Campus Moments Magazine, a UZ student only identified as Tkay condemned the hike as daylight robbery, arguing that it was not consistent with their budgets.

“Its not fair you know, we are only students and are not working and we cant cope with these fares. My ‘coin’ has lost its value and my budget is already strained for me to squeeze out $1.50 for transport,” Tkay said.

In a short video in possession of this publication, students were chanting slogans and vowing to resort to walking than to pay the extra $0.50 cents for a return trip on top of the dollar they were used to paying

This challenge hit hard especially students who stay away from the college premises.

Another UZ student, Tariro Mandiri said, “I paid $0.75 today, they were not negotiating anything. I think we are the most affected and we wouldn’t have to worry about all this if we had enough accommodation in rez.”

According to Tawanda, a kombi driver who ferries UZ students, the ongoing economic crunch and fuel shortages in the country is what has necessitated their unwelcome review of prices.

combi pic
hararenews.co.zw

“If you look closely, as commuters, we have been reluctant to react to the ongoing economic challenge, but at the end of the day, we are in this for profits. Everything has gone up, and if we continue charging what we were charging, we would better park these vehicles,” said Tawanda.

Another kombi driver, Nicholas Chebvute argued that the fuel queues were also eating into their productive time, forcing them into the black market.

“To be frank, if we are to follow the queues, it would be hard to make anything,’ Chebvute said, “so we are forced to buy from the black market where a mere 5 litres costs $10 where as I could get the same at a very reasonable cost of about $7 but we are a time sensitive businesses and we cant spend more than an hour in a fuel queue because that is a complete trip.”

As the economy continues on a downward path, the students’ community has continued to press the government to take the necessary steps to abate the situation so as to save the future of the nation littered across colleges.

If you are student in college and would like to write on this platform, get in touch with us here: newsroom@campusmoments.org

I’m Zimbabwe, and I’m in an abusive relationship with Zanu PF

by Thandekile Moyo | @mamoxn 
5 minute read

MY name is Zimbabwe and I am in an abusive relationship with Zanu PF.

Domestic abuse is defined as “chronic mistreatment in marriages, families, dating and other intimate relationships”.

In 1979, a woman named Lenore E. Walker developed a social theory known as the cycle of abuse which explains patterns of behavior found in abusive relationships. Initially, it was called the battered women syndrome as in her study Lenore had only interviewed women who had been subject to domestic violence. Further study has shown this cycle applies in most cases of abuse regardless of whether it is men abusing women, women abusing men, men abusing other men or women on women abuse.

What she discovered is that abuse follows a certain pattern that becomes a cycle repeated over and over again until it is broken by either the abused person leaving, intervention from a third party and in some cases, death.

I have examined my relationship with Zanu PF and I have no doubt the relationship we have fits the cycle of abuse to the tee. The cycle has been modified over the years but basically has the following phases that are repeated over and over again over long periods of time.

* Honeymoon phase
* Tension building phase
* Explosive phase
* Reconciliation or calm phase

I started dating Zanu PF in 1980 after he saved me from Rhodesia, another abuser I will not dwell much on. To win my affections Zanu PF fought Rhodesia to the bitter end and drove them almost completely out of my life. I remember my independence from Rhodesia like it was yesterday. We marked it with massive celebrations that lasted late into the night. Zanu PF was my knight in shining amour. He offered me a sense of security and I felt he loved me dearly. This was undoubtedly our first honeymoon phase.

About a year later, Zanu PF accused me of infidelity. He’s a jealous man you see. He thought I wanted to leave him for ZAPU and went into a raging fit. I tried everything to convince him he was seeing things. He then told me he knew ZAPU was hiding arms caches which they wanted to use to destroy him, so as to take me from him. He made wild accusations and told me I was hiding ZAPU and did not love him. He then withdrew all his love and threatened to wipe out my family. This was the first tension building phase.

The first explosive phase came unexpectedly. There was nothing I could have done to stop it. Under the #Gukurahundi code name, Zanu PF killed thousands of people accusing them of hiding ZAPU. I have never known such fear in my life. I couldn’t believe he was capable of such. He said I had pushed him to do it. I made him kill them. I would weep day and night because of the pain he caused me. I told his family but they didn’t believe me. I found myself thinking it would be better to leave him and told him so.

When he realised I was about to leave his change was “catapultic”. He apologised profusely and promised he would never do it again. On the 22nd of December 1987, he and my father signed a unity accord. He agreed to go for counselling. Said he loved me, couldn’t imagine a life without me and therefore asked me to stay. He promised there would be no more violence. Some say my father only agreed so that the killings of my people back home would stop. I don’t know. Typical of abusers, after that Zanu PF chose to completely ignore the incident. This marked our first reconciliation phase.

The next few years were relatively calm. I can safely say we went back to the honeymoon phase. We all got along great and he was the man I had fallen in love with once again. Some of my relatives still hated him for the earlier incidents but to be honest I simply tried to forget about the incident. Although through it all I watched what I said, was on my best behaviour and tried not to provoke him.

In 1999, the MDC came on the scene and the tensions yet again began. MDC continued trying to woo me and in 2008 I decided to give him a chance. This led to another explosive phase where Zanu PF tortured and murdered my cousins and other relatives whom he accused of encouraging me to leave him. He beat us all into submission until we agreed to another unity accord. He decided to give MDC a few rights to me, what they called a power sharing deal.

We entered another calm phase and in 2013 I forgave him completely and broke all ties with MDC. We were back to the honeymoon phase which ended with another jealous rage on August 1, 2018. Since then we have been in the reconciliation phase. He is up to his usual tricks, has asked neighbours to come and help him wash his hands of the blood of August 1. He’s promising me the world again and claiming he has changed for the better. He is a new man, he says, and calls this the “new dispensation” of our marriage. I do not know what to make of it.

A few days ago he called in my brother Zenzele Ndebele for questioning because he intends to show a documentary of Gukurahundi, an era he refuses to acknowledge at all. He also sent his police force to arrest my friends in town, the vendors, who retaliated with surprising violence. Through all this my beloved Zanu PF takes no responsibility for his actions. ZAPU pushed him into Gukurahundi. He denies 2008 killings ever happened. He says MDC incited the August 1 army killings. He has never admitted to any wrong-doing. He says the vendors provoked him so he had no choice but to beat them up. He says he is as soft as wool.

Thomas L. Cory in the Healthscope magazine says by definition, a toxic relationship is one characterised by behaviours on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently physically damaging to their partner. He says a toxic relationship damages self-esteem and drains energy. A toxic relationship is not a safe place. It is characterised by self centredness, insecurity, dominance, control and we risk our very being by staying in such a relationship.

I am in a toxic relationship with Zanu PF and I know not what to do.

Curated Post from Zim Live: https://www.zimlive.com/2018/09/im-zimbabwe-and-im-in-an-abusive-relationship-with-zanu-pf/

NUST SRC, failed students?

Varsity Magazine
2 minute read. 

As the current SRC board for 2017/2018 term is about to end, it would be wrong if we look past their endeavors without saying a word. Last year as they were campaigning for their various posts, they made promises to the students and some of the presidential candidates went on further to give us their manifestos and what they were intending to do after being elected into the office. The question that now remains is, were the promises fulfilled?

Pablo
NUST SRC Outgoing President Pablo Tinashe Chimusoro

If we can answer, then we will know the very reason why we elect prospective candidates into power. The current board which was led by President Pablo T Chimusoro and the vice President Natasha Aliki who were both leaders of NSC and ZICOSU respectively did manage to transform the livelihoods of the Nust community.

I will just mention a few achievements that were done by the current SRC board so that we know what we will be expecting from the next Council. Sockets where replaced in one of the small lecture theatres, a new bus was bought and it happens to be that the bus is for the students only but the situation is totally different on the ground because currently the lecturers are the ones using it ,Two flat screen TV were bought and are placed safe at the students residents ,there were also additional Wi-Fi routers installed in students residence. The outcry of attachment fees was also facilitated by the SRC and the issue was brought before the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education ,Science and Technology Development Prof Murwira although the policy has not be fully implemented.

Entertainment wise ,they did what they had to do to make life of a normal UBA and USA enjoyable by bringing Stunner ,Seh Calahs , the Gafa of our time also known as Winky D and managed to host a successful Miss Nust 2018 event.

However, some may not agree with me that all of the promises that the SRC made were fulfilled. Is it they couldn’t fulfil because they were not intending on fulfilling at all or the Nust administration made it hard for them to do what they were supposed to do. In my own opinion which I am entitled to, I believe all of these facts should be put into consideration and I will give an example.

When we opened our second semester end of January 2018, the lecturers went on strike which stretched to three weeks and the SRC took ages to organise a demonstration. Why they did that? There is no reasonable explanation

Midlands State University to Partner Chinhoyi University of Technology

One and a half minute read

In a development that is set to advance mineral valuation and beneficiation at national level, Midlands State University and Chinhoyi University of Technology, are fervently working towards establishing a mutual working relationship that will see the two institutions collaborate through research and knowledge transfer to improve the quality of graduates through exchange visits, infrastructure and equipment sharing.

During a visit to the University on the 3rd of September 2018, Professor David J. Simbi the Vice-Chancellor of Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) underscored the importance of collaborative partnerships among Zimbabwe universities as a means for bringing about economic growth.

Speaking during a tour of the Midlands State University Zvishavane Campus where the Faculty of Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering is housed, Professor Simbi who was involved in the establishment of the Faculty, said CUT was keen to partner MSU to advance mineral valuation and beneficiation.

“One of our mandates as universities is to enable economic growth through researches and we hope that a successful partnership with Midlands State University will help us achieve this goal.”

Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa also echoed the same sentiments saying collaborations were very necessary particularly in light of the rise in the global knowledge economy which calls for strategic partnerships that go beyond the traditional research activities at universities.

The partnership is expected to produce graduates who fit into the job market as well as go on to transform mineral valuation and beneficiation in the country.

Commenting on the envisioned partnership, Midlands State University, Executive Dean of Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering, Dr A. Mamuse was optimistic that the relationship between MSU and CUT would empower, uplift, and inspire better learning and research systems for both institutions of higher learning for the benefit of the nation.

Under the proposed partnership students and staff from both institutions are set to benefit from exchange programmes, collaborative research opportunities and co-supervision of student dissertations in the case of the latter. The CUT delegation also had a chance to tour the University’s facilities during their visit.

Source- MSU Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/152730054824638/posts/1768461226584838

An Apology Is Not Enough For Sexual Harassment Ariana, Please Press Charges

Dear Ariana Grande

The evidence is overwhelming. The whole world was watching. Your breast was groped in front of the entire world. You looked uncomfortable. He also went as far as to insult your beautiful name whilst groping you. He violated you. He was so disrespectful to you. It’s not okay.

Let me tell you something about Bishops Ariana, well most Bishops, especially those highly esteemed by their church members, those who have prestigious yet ridiculous titles they haven’t earned like Archbishops, Apostles, Prophets, Most Reverend etc. For some reason, they always feel like they are above the law especially when it comes to women’s bodies. And the biggest culprits are the black self-proclaimed prophets. I know that to be true because I used to be a member of a black church.

I’m not surprised that during the late Aretha Franklin’s ceremony, Bishop Charles H Ellis III felt at ease…

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