Category Archives: CURRENT AFFAIRS


by Andile Tshuma | @andile_tshuma

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has set up a Biometric Voter Registration Centre at the National University of Science and Technology to make it easier for students to part take in the voter registration exercise.

The voter registration exercise commenced yesterday at the institution and is set to run for 16 days.

National University of Science and Technology Director of Communication and Marketing Mr Felix Moyo said it was noble and important for ZEC to bring the voter registration to the campus as it had a high population of youths and members of staff who were eligible to vote.

“It is such a good gesture that they have shown us and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission id very welcome here at NUST. We have been a polling station before so we are very much in support and are very patriotic to all such causes for our country,” said Mr Moyo.

“We hope that the students will make use of this opportunity and register while we still have this facility on campus,” said Mr Moyo just after completing his registration.”

Mr Moyo urged students at the university and from other institutions to make use of the facility as voting was an integral part of them having a say in their future.

“It is very important for youths to take such matters seriously as they are the custodians of the future, The youths should be engaged in such processes as they are molded into becoming tomorrow’s adults. We hope that the students will make use of this opportunity and register while we still have this facility on campus,” said Mr Moyo just after completing his registration.

Bulawayo initially had one voter registration centre however, ZEC has since set up 68 voter registration centres across the city and 2508 centres countrywide.

The voter registration Blitz is set to end on October 26.

The electoral body’s chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, said the second phase will be held from October 29 to November 13, whilst the third phase will run from November 16 to December 1, with the last phase running from December to December 19.

She urged political parties to advise their members of the various forms of proof of residence required for the exercise.



by Prudence Muzenda | Uludağ University, Turkey

The quick introduction of  bond notes, roads flooded with police officers, wanderers everywhere and almost everyone turned vendor. Well at least that’s what welcomed me back home. After the long  drive from the airport I suddenly noted the difference. The way I was living back in Turkey was probably what others were dreaming to live one day, yet I was just a student who worked part time, but it could have been better than being in the sun all day trying to make a dollar or two. Life…

After a flight of  at  least 9 hours , I couldn’t wait to stretch my legs in South Africa ,OR Tambo Airport, waiting for my last flight home. Only a few more hours and I would be there.  I was delighted, yet tired ,but that couldn’t overwrite the fact. I  swiftly went to baggage claim since my flights were not connected. In about 30 minutes I got my luggage and swiftly drifted again, now searching for my next flight check-in point . After about 20  minutes I found the desk, flooded however, because everyone checked in from there, as long as they were using SA Airways going wherever they were going. I didn’t want to complain a lot since that would change nothing, but really the system was just…

I frequently checked my wrist watch , I didn’t want to miss my flight which was scheduled 7:20am. Well there was still time since l had landed at 4am, but still, I just didn’t want to  take any  chances. Time passed so fast and  l actually realized it was an hour before boarding time. The excitement… Passport control was a nightmare. Everyone wanted their passports stamped, “where are they all going?” I gave it a slight thought. The last scanning point  before the boarding gate was a total put off. “Excuse me can l check your bag” , whispered a well dressed South African lady, as soon as my bag had passed the scanner. I gently smiled and gave her a go ahead. She didn’t seem friendly at all but l tried to stay calm. She opened my handbag and took all the cosmetics I had. “These won’t board the plane” she said ,in an unfriendly way. I literally froze. I had forgotten about all this . Back in Europe only 250ml of liquids weren’t allowed on board, but in South Africa, it was a 100ml limit. “All of them?” I asked, in a rather sad voice, “yes” she said, throwing them in a bin which looked like had only stayed there for that purpose. “May I at least have one perfume it’s new and it’s not that big either” , I said to her in a pleading voice possible. “Sorry sisi here we don’t work like that ” ,she vehemently gave a shout so that everyone could hear.. My heart sobbed.

…bond notes, roads flooded with police officers, wanderers everywhere and almost everyone turned vendor. Well at least that’s what welcomed me back home…

I packed the little of my hand luggage left , I could feel my heart breaking but I told myself there was more to life than the hand and body lotions that had cost a fortune, (well to me I should say). As if that was not enough, I slowly walked down to my boarding gate only to realize the flight had been delayed to 10:20am. Wait what?… 4 more hours in this place ,torture…”Welcome to Africa”, I said to myself.

When  I got home,everything seemed so new. Although  it had been a year, there had been quite a lot of changes, and there I was , being a foreigner in my own home. I gave  a quick smile to the new house maid who knew neither English nor Shona . She was Tonga and knew a little bit of Ndebele. Wow! “Where did you even find her?” I asked my dad, curious on how we would communicate.I was so bad in Ndebele. I could only pick up a few things but couldn’t utter a normal sentence.  And Tonga…

It was  12 mid day, so my dad was mandated to return to work. Fine by me ,I would actually get some rest. Straight flights were a pain… Just as l had hoped for l finely rested for  at least  5 hours and before I knew it , it was already evening.  Not so many hours later, I saw my mum ,dad and little brother again. All happy, I was thankful.  The Lord had  reunited us again, safe and sound , all in one piece.

I was touched on how people actually got  used to the poor standards and acted as if it were normal. What exactly needed to be done? Everyone seemed to be struggling.

Days passed and I got used to the new environment. My dad  asked if I could join him at work because there was an unfilled position. I was actually intrigued because staying home alone was a little boring, at least I would get myself occupied for a while. In no time I started work.

As l drove to work everyday , I noticed how life had really changed in my country. Pot-holed roads were just but  another thing people were struggling. As early as 8am , as cold as it was , people were already in the streets trying to make a living. I was touched on how people actually got  used to the poor standards and acted as if it were normal. What exactly needed to be done? Everyone seemed to be struggling. I actually wondered who the buyer was, because everyone was selling something. “Things are hard” was the new black . Everyone said the same thing. So many companies had closed, there were no jobs. No jobs meant no investments, less money circulation and poverty at its peak. How I wished it could all change. Where did we all go wrong?

I was always a little bit late , parking was just but a problem, so I always took long , or must I say I liked making the grand entrance, oh well…



Why HIV is bad for our African economies: Message to collegiates and African young people.

Sineke Sibanda

A few weeks ago, a local newspaper here in Zimbabwe published a story that despite an overal fair decline in cases of HIV in our country, about 3 provinces had inadvertently recorded a rise of upto approximately 3% in new infections, labeling them high speed hotspots. Of course I did not take heed to it at first as I thought it didn’t really concern me. But wait! I thought to myself. With issues like HIV that have no cure as yet, we might be in trouble if this trend keeps going on.

After a chat with a colleague, I was thinking through the bigger picture. For instance, what does it mean to have an active age-group being infected by HIV/AIDS? I thought through it in terms of how it affects our economy, and it was sad that we might be on a regressive course.

According to the World Health Organisation, Africa is still battling to contain the virus and subsequently its affecting economic development in most of our countries. Roberts, Dixon and McDonald (2002) in their health economics theory article ( argue that HIV/AIDS reduces labour supply, and productivity, it also reduces exports while increasing imports.

True, this sort of situation is bound to happen in a situation where the workforce is weak and is largely on medication. It means we need more hospitals than we need to build new companies because at the end of it all, our people are more important than anything else. Because the people that are supposed to be manufacturing the drugs are off sick, it means we have to lose money through imports, low productivity and forget about the exports we could be making.

When I looked at it this way, that is when I thought its probably something we need to think about as young people of Africa with the hope of seeing Agenda 2063 come to fruition.

A case in point is Zimbabwe, where an annual budget is $4 billion, and of that amount, 8.3% (US$330.79 million)  (UNICEF, 2016) [] was dedicated to the health ministry. Sad to note that the ministry itself was worried that the allocation was very inadequate, this means only one thing, that we have more sick people and need to cultivate a culture of healthy living and avoid what we can.

What is more heartbreaking in the case in point is that the Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development was allocated 7.6% and these are the institutions that should device methods of making our countries better. Probably, if we had fewer sick people, we would have half of the health ministry allocation going toour science and technology development ministry. The UNICEF made this conclusion on the budget:
The 2016 health care allocation is 1.6% lower than the total budget allocated in 2013, mainly reflecting a weakening fiscal environment constraining government spending in general, and health & child care in particular, (UNICEF, 2016: 3)

This case is not only unique to Zimbabwe, I’m sure some countries share in this calamity too but it all calls us to do one thing, take possible action to save the future if we cannot save ourselves.

Depite some of these epidemics being those we can control, they have continued to keep us pre-occupied and subsequently stalling development. According to the Amfar ( statistics, in 2015, there were 19 million people in East and Southern Africa—more than half of whom were women—living with HIV in eastern and southern Africa, and an estimated 960,000 people became newly infected.

In 2015, 470,000 people died of AIDS-related causes. Eastern and southern Africa accounts for 46% of the global total of new HIV infections. The statistics are not quite pleasing to be honest, so on a yearly basis, the world loses about 15 million people to HIV related deaths.

I don’t at all intend to paint a gloomy picture, but for something we can control as African college students and young people, we can surely do better to make our home a beter place. I’m also in search of ideas on how best we can work on this together. As we speak, according to the Economic theory predictions, the pandemic has already reduced average national economic growth rates by 2-4% a year across Africa. Imagine how else we could have used these ‘losses’…

Let’s orange the world and help eradicate violence against women.


Don’t people have a decency to at least pretend like they adhere to certain commemorations which speak directly to the woman? It’s not like we are asking for something which may go beyond a month of sustaining this pretense. Here I am sitting in a full kombi, the usual ‘four- four formation’. Just before my eyes, I witness a sliding door operator(hwindi) insulting a woman for standing her ground and frankly not accepting coins as her change after paying her bus fare. I did not interfere  and try to play  hero in someone else’s fight due to fear of being left stranded in the middle of nowhere. Was it her fight entirely?

By Duduzile Mathema| Nust-Zw | @MathemaDuduzile

I quiver in anger at the thought of my selfish act at the time, but what could I have done?? It’s not like I would have been dropped off and I would have called my notorious brother to settle the score with the conductor on my behalf. At this moment and time as I reflect, I come to a realisation that all this transpired during the 16 days of activism against gender based violence. Where were the other women such as myself? As I hinted on our pretence earlier on,  I just wish that if only one of us, ‘women’, could have had the courage to speak for that lady maybe she would not have left the Kombi thinking that she is just a mere non-entity.

Here I am thinking that when women’s rights are being violated especially during these 16 days against gender based violence, it is all narrowed down to the domestic violence where the man is always the villain. The one to brutally bash the wife for not conforming to the duties which are expected of her. At heart, I am an activist who learnt a lesson today, that I hardly understand the concept of gender based violence. Embarrassing as it may sound, I desire for my fellow women at large to be aware of men or other women who sought to hurt them in ways which may go against the objectives of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based violence.

According to the Zimbabwe Demography Health Survey (ZDHS) of 2015 34.8% of women are reported to have experienced violence in their lifetime. The ZDHS explains that violence of women is bound to happen regardless of geographical location, status, level of education and time. In as much as women who have received tertiary education are exonerated from the list of the abused, ZDHS of 2015 affirms that 1 in every 5 women is a victim even if she may be educated.

From 25 November 2016, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women, to 10 December 2016, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence Campaign is a time to incite action to end violence against women and girls around the world.  “Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls”  is the theme for this year’s campaign. With education being at the core of this year’s campaign, women and children should not suffer any deprivation in terms of receiving education about the various forms of gender based violence which is usually inflicted on women. In the 2016 Action Kit the aspect of education has been disintegrated into the following criteria: non-discrimination and equality, right to information, best interest of the child, academic freedom, advanced levels of education, human rights education, technical and  vocational education, free and compulsory basic level education to all, freedom to choose and establish academic institutions.

The narration which came up at the beginning shows how women can suffer at the hands of the general community and yet nothing is done. The type of abuse that this woman was exposed to is psychological abuse. She let the conductor insult her whilst the majority of the women in the kombi did nothing to save the victim. What does it reflect on us as women?

However, in as much women are victims of gender based violence, it is necessary to make an observation of the fact that societal structures have a role to play in moulding such behaviours. Patriarchy is still prevalent within our society and women are considered as inferior beings as compared to men. Therefore, from the anecdote highlighted earlier, the victim may have tried to defend her actions but because she was having exchange of words with a man, she somehow lost the argument.

People have adopted a mentality of being self-absorbed in their own affairs at the expense of someone in dire need of assistance. When the conductor was in his moment of glory whilst humiliating this woman,none of the women in the kombi bothered to make the woman’s issue their own. Some continued in their conversations as though all was normal.

Putting the issue to rest, there are a few recommendations that I propose as a way of helping bring a reduction to the escalating figures of violence in Zimbabwe. Since I witnessed an act of abuse in a kombi, I believe that with all things being normal there is need for ALL taxis to have call lines where victims can be able to report cases of abuse so that they may be dealt with. During this time of the year whereby gender based violence is brewing in people’s kitchens, advocacy levels should be increased. Social media can be used for the greater good to push the message about gender based violence. Pastors in churches can further this campaign through speaking about it in their various denominations. Community dialogue could be heightened so that people can receive education about gender based violence.

Let’s orange it and help eradicate gender based violence.

Duduzile Michelle Zinzi Mathema is a Part 3 Student from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) studying Journalism and Media Studies.

Harvard students are taking legal action to support the university on affirmative action — USA TODAY College

In this Aug. 30, 2012, file photo, people are led on a tour on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) In another installment of Harvard University’s legal battle over affirmative action policies, several current and previous students have joined the fray in support of the university. The Harvard Crimson reports the students…

via Harvard students are taking legal action to support the university on affirmative action — USA TODAY College

Mfana Graduate — The Lens Blur.


Its well past after the hour of 9 in the morning and there I am in bed. I try to act if I am sleeping but consciously I am wide awake, feeding my brain with what I want to dream.

via Mfana Graduate. — The Lens Blur.

It’s been almost a year now since I graduated and this has been my daily routine now, and even accustomed myself to be time ignorant. ‘Around 10’ I say to myself in my laziness. I reluctantly open my eyes as I sleep on my back. My eyes meet the aligned timber trusses on the roof. My eyes quickly get drawn in my absent-mind and get focused on that little hole on the asbestos which sends through the beam of light straight to the age of my bed. In my contemplation my mind start thinking how that little hole gives me trouble during the rainy season that I will be forced to rearrange the room so the water from the roof does not wet my bed. Quickly I snap out of it, bringing myself back to reality. It is awfully quiet outside, all the kids are at school obviously. I drag myself out of the bed and reach out to the light switch near the door. ‘Click, click’ I switch on and off the light. “Better kune magetsi” (Good, there is electricity), I mumble to myself with a slight grin on the edge of my lips. As I say this, my head is all now engrossed on the idea that I will spend the rest of my day binge watching the TV series I got on the disc from a friend next door. Quickly I put on my slippers and get out of my room.


I walk out of the house now heading kumashops (grocery shops). As I walk past a group of 4 boys of my age sitting on what is now only left visible as the remains of what used to be a small bridge on the edge of the streets. “Mfana graduate” a voice emanates from the 4 and the other 2 crack in laughter. I force a little smile from my lips and I raise a thumbs up to the boys on the bridge. ‘Mfana graduate’ as it seems, is now my nickname. For those who want to be subtle they cut it short to ‘graduate’. Like they say, the nicknames that you hate most are the ones that stick. Well I did not care anymore. As I draw past them, the other one shouts, “ko chimbondisiirawo 5 bond”. I turn and shaking my head respond faintly, “wangu, pakaipa apana mari”. He nods and they quickly get back to their business, with what looked like the other boy was selecting the good marbles in his hands and throwing away the bad ones. I pay no attention to detail and I just keep on walking.


It seems like a long walk of shame to the shops alone. In a flash a chubby boy of the age of 6 or 7 ran past me, in what seems like they are playing a game of chasing each other. I quickly turn my head to look behind me and other 4 boys of the same age, with untucked uniforms, the other 2 with shoes in their hands, are running chasing the boy who just passed me. All break in laughter in pure joy in their little game as it seems. I break into their joy and ask, “ko sei musiri kuchikoro?”, the so-seems-talkative one snaps at me and sharply answer, “tadzingwa”. They seem not to care less that they are out of school right now as they are so caught up in the moment of their play right now, or does it ever cross their mind what not being in school means anyway? A memory comes to me, those days I was still that age and never cared for anything, attending the nearby council primary school and spent most of the times playing and just being a child. How I miss that. With that thought, subconsciously my mind then links that to the image I saw posted on our class WhatsApp group from university, it read “DO NOT GROW UP, IT’S A TRAP” in that jiffy I manage to just laugh at myself. What an irony!


In that moment a loud hooter horns followed by a shout “town here? Town mota! town Coppacabana! Town yakuzara mota! mukuenda here akoma?” In my awakening I realise a commuter minibus going up and down the road looking for passengers going to town.“Mukuenda here akoma?” the boy standing at the door of the commuter minibus shouts again now looking in my direction. I check behind me, looking maybe there was someone he was referring to. But no. There was only me in the proximity. I realise he was asking me if I was going to town, and I shake my head sideways then he shouts“zvinotooneka kuti hamusikuenda kutown, nedzapata ramakapfeka iro akoma” the few passengers in the minibus crack up to the joke, which also made me crack up on my own as I walk past the minibus too.


“Aaah graduate urisei”, William shouts sitting behind the newspaper stall. I can sense the sarcasm in the tone but I just play along, “zvirisei vakomana” I reply. William, profoundly known by many as Widzo or Baba Tanaka, almost the same age as me but now has a child turning 3 this year. Widzo and I shared the same primary school and grew up together. He now runs an array of stalls at the grocery shopping mall, from the newspapers, airtime, discs and even vegetables. He is an ‘accomplished’ person and commands awe from the people around his stalls whom mostly have vegetables but their sales are not as high as how Widzo sells each day. In that light he has managed to cater for his small family that he even moved his wife and child from his family house and now rents a one room in the same high density surbub. I go straight to Widzo and we have a fist hand shake – ‘big up’ they call it. He opens a space for me to reach out the newspaper on the stall and I begin to browse through. “So what is being said in the papers today, graduate…”, another man who has a stall of tomatoes next to Widzo’s interrupts me. “#ThisFlag yanyarara ka?” (#ThisFlag have gone quiet now?) he adds on inquisitively before I could even gather what to respond to his first question. Before I could even talk in the wake of it all, it seems like all hell let loose as everyone on the stalls throwing their views to the question.


“Haa Pastor aida kudya mari dzedu uya”

“…saka chii chakuitika manje zvaarikunzi akaenda America?”

“isu sema vendor tinofanira kuenda kumarch nekuti kanzuru yatinyanyira”


Men and women around the stalls simultaneously talk in what seems like a whole episode of questions without answers and no one is even cares or heed to answer what the other asked. The debate goes on and on that they do not even notice my bids of farewell as I take my way back home.

In that moment as walk back home, I was in deep thoughts. So is this really going to be my life? Is this how I will have to be like for the rest of my life? These are some of the questions which scares every fibre in me and I try hard to evade from confronting myself with the realities of it. Ever since I graduated, no matter how many times I try applying to all the advertised positions I am academically qualified for in the newspaper, I still haven’t got a job yet. It’s past a year now and still nothing seems to be changing or is there going to be any change? I draw myself into more questions again. Is it going to be any better for you graduate?



by Sineke Sibanda

I’m so thrilled that for one of the few times as a country we have been able to construct or rather fix another road other than the common patches that we are used to, when patching potholes which make it hell to drive on anyway. Keep it up minister Joram Gumbo, you have done well.

I’m however worried with the kind of faith that our current administration has shown towards its people, its structures, its institutions and above all its future, the graduated youth. Apart from feeling betrayed that they school their own children in other countries to increase their chances of being international employees, I’m insulted that they have totally shunned opportunities for the ordinary people too.

Just a few days ago, they were banning imported property for the very reason that there is need to promote local property but surprisingly, today they are themselves importing ‘intellectual’ property from China to come and do a road construction for the Harare-Beit Bridge-Chirundu highway. A clear picture that for the past years our teaching stuff has been vainly working towards producing theoretical idiots that are incapable of doing something practical for their country. I do not have the statistics of how many personnel we have drooled out of colleges with expertise in the built industry, architecture, civil engineering etc. but I’m sure there are skilled people in the country who studied the relevant bit and could carry the project.

The worst betrayal you can feel as a college student under this administration apart from the fateful drought of jobs is when they show you that your degree is useless and cannot move your country forward. This actually tells an interesting tale, a sorrowful song that we are not good enough for the jobs they promised. You tend to wonder, to whom the promised two million jobs were for? The Chinese or the locals? If it’s the indigenous Taku or Sihle of Zimbabwe, then which jobs, digging the road and wheelbarrowing around a half-ton of wet cement? It is said the project given to Chinese based China Harbour Engineering Company will create about 300 000 employment opportunities, but which kind of jobs? It’s not the indigenous Zimbabwean in the lead, despite all the professed qualifications.

I don’t know if this doesn’t tell you a story about our education system. The common story here is that our education system has been turned into a commercial entity than a country building developmental lifelong project. We are still learning to be employees and our government endorses that. It is for this reason that our government has ignored the whole fairy tale that we are the most schooled in Africa. I call it a fairy tale because a fairy tale is a creative story of things that cannot be touched or felt but only imagined. If it was a reality, our government would be contracting us to do the jobs other than look elsewhere for expertise. So what is the meaning of going to college if a group of people are imported from China to do the exact same things we have been taught in college?

Above: Jobless Zimbabwe University Graduates  taking a rather innovative protest stance against worsening economic situation in the country took in Harare  CBD  playing soccer in the streets. (29 July 2016)

I read that the Zimbabwean consortium of 13 capable companies which had come together to work on the tender sometime in 2013 were betrayed by some government officials who demanded bribes before the project even took off. It seems we just don’t want to see a fellow Zimbabwean getting better in life and I bet now our administration is satisfactorily happy that the project is not in the hands of fellow black Zimbabwean professionals.

Of what use is our education if it cannot build the country and save government millions of US dollars used to import, accommodate, entertain, feed and pay other countries’ nationals for a job we can equally do? It’s no use at all because it is every graduate’s dream to leave behind a legacy of offering national service in return for a better profile other than just a degree certificate hung at home. The best thing you can ever do for your people as a failing government is to at-least invest in your own people. By contracting foreigners, whose profile are we building here? We all know that government is broke, at-least that’s what they want us to believe and we have witnessed it in the way they pay our civil service staff. But even if you can’t pay your people much, give them a profile and increase their opportunities to get better jobs in future.

With the state of job-scarcity today in Zimbabwe, I swear it is far much cheaper to employ locals to do the actual job than it is to hire foreign expertise because all we want is to evacuate the bridges in our suburbs and come back home in the evening with bread for our siblings to take to school the next morning, I’m sure they are tired of ‘Maputi’ and jolly-jus in their lunch tins.

It is so funny and hypocritical how this government preaches ‘indigenisation’ and go on to do the exact opposite. You should see them when they talk about this concept and emphasise it, OMG! It’s the best gospel in town, so sweet to your ears yet so bitter in taste. We are on a mission to indigenize but there is no faith in our own indigenous people and skills, so what are we exactly indeginising if we cannot invest in our human capital?

I can go on and on because of the injustice that has been done to our graduates, our learning institutions and a whole lot other things but today I just wish to get an answer for my question, of what use are our degrees? Who will employ our graduates if our own government which expects our votes in 2018 does not have faith in our capabilities. We are not that stupid, if the jobs are ours, give them to us, if you don’t trust us, give us a chance to prove that we are ready to build our nation. I write about this because I’m a student too and if I keep quiet, when my opportunity opens, you might pass it on to people of other countries while I wallow in poverty, joblessness and misery.

Sineke Sibanda is student in one of the local universities and writes on behalf of the concerned graduates. He can be contacted on

Image Credit: Newsday