Category Archives: Politics

(Video)Harare #SolidarityMarch,Jah Prayzah’s crowning moment?

Jah Prayzah‘s latest album, Kutonga Kwaro,  seems to resonate with the current political situation in Zimbabwe.

We have curated reactions (press reports and social media content) to the intersection of the artiste’s music and Zimbabwe’s political drama.

Kubatana, a non profit organisation in Harare used Jah Prayzah’s song , Masoja, as a soundtrack to its video of the  solidarity march . Meanwhile, the Daily News’ referred to the solidarity march as Jah Prayzah’s crowing moment.

Amid blaring car horns and the generous serving of anti-President Robert Mugabe songs during the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) solidarity march on Saturday, was the constant din of music star Jah Prayzah’s music.

If it was not the hit —Kutonga Kwaro  — which turned out to be the de facto anthem of the march that celebrated the ZDF’s seizure of power last Tuesday — then it was the old favourite Mudhara Achauya or the party song Ndini Ndamubata.

Harare was turned into one big party anchored on Jah Prayzah’s music. No artiste in the recent past has had his music played by such a huge concentration of people. It was clearly the Jerusarema hit-maker’s crowning achievement.Daily News

The article further claimed that Jah Prayzah is linked to Emmerson Mnangagwa .

However others felt that Jah Prayzah’s music is nothing but just prophetic artistry.

ARTISTS are prophetic!

The above phrase aptly suits Jah Prayzah’s current album if scenes from the solidarity march on Saturday are anything to consider.

Songs which include Kutonga Kwaro, Ndini Ndamubata and Masoja off the crooner’s album Kutonga Kwaro became anthems as people repeatedly played the music in their cars during the march.

Most of the people labeled Jah Prayzah, the prophet arguing his songs are reflecting on the prevailing situation.

People took to social media including Twitter with others saying JP is the ‘spirit medium’ of the country. – H Metro

Zimbabweans reiterated this prophetic position on social media.

However, Jah Prayzah is on record denying  any deliberate political motivation or inspiration in his music. His managers have said people are free to interpret the songs and titles the way they want as in other art genres.

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#CurrentSitutation: UZ Students Strike,Refuse to write exams until Mugabe steps down

STUDENTS at the University of Zimbabwe have called off exams until President Robert Mugabe steps down.

The students are also demanding that Grace Mugabe’s PHD be revoked and that  Levi Nyagura, Vice Chancelor of the institution should resign.

Grace’s degree attracted intense criticism and speculation after claims that she did not write a thesis and did not take the required period of time to complete it.

According to press reports, Nyagura is perceived to be Mugabe’s ally and also thought to be complicit in suppressing dissent at the university.

Grace Mugabe graduated with a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Social Studies Department of Sociology in 2014.

University of Zimbabwe students say they do not want any external interference in their demo.

ZICOSU TUMBLES AT NUST

By Costa Nkomo| Nust- ZW

ZIMBABWE Congress of Students Union (Zicosu) lost National University of Science and Technology (NUST) student union elections yesterday to National Students Council (NSC).

Pablo Tinashe Chimusoro, the NSC representative, together with five Councillors from his camp, romped to victory after he garnered 1227 votes (47%) followed by a ZICOSU representative Natasha Aliki who got 757 votes (29%), while ZINASU  represented by Pashor Sibanda came third with 643 votes (24%)

For the first time in four years,  2627 students participated in an election. This is also the first  time  in the history of Nust SRC elections that either Zinasu or Zicosu  have failed  to secure the top student  leadership post.

It has been alleged that Zicosu  embarked on a vote buying drive in a bid to secure the top post for Aliki. Former student president, Shadowlite Ndou, was also present to drum  up support for Aliki.

Zicosu is alleged to have distributed about $500 plates of sadza, alcohol worth about $800 and $600 worth of airtime among other goodies.

When contacted for a comment Zicosu campaign manager, Blessing Zhou did not deny Zicosu’s attempt to buy student votes. However, Zhou could not be drawn to disclose the exact amount of money that his party spent.

“It was a tough race, anyone could do anything to make it,” said Zhou.

“Without vote buying, Pashor should have been the Vice President, so vote buying counted ” added Zhou.

Zicosu had lured ZBC news presenter, Rumbidzai Takawira, to campaign for them in a video clip that went viral on social media.

Takawira who addressed herself as ZBC Newsbae said, “Vote Aliki, vote Tanaka Alice, and you will see change at Nust.”

While ZICOSU was left disappointed by the students who enjoyed the goodies, for Chimusoro, it was personal integrity and selfless character that won him this year’s Nust SRC elections.

” I am proud of Nust students, I’m happy for the faith and trust they have in me, I owe them desirable service delivery” said Chimusoro.

Chimusoro also welcomed elected Councillors saying that he was ready to work with everyone despite different political orientation.

“I am ready to work side by side with everybody, Zicosu, Zinasu, NSC, everyone is important, and I do hope we are going to deliver as a united team,” Chimusoro said.

NSC secretary general, Kudakwashe Chikondowa urged students to stand for values and integrity as these are the most important traits that a leader should possess.

“If Zicosu arranges bashes for you, you are welcome to go and enjoy yourselves, those who received bribes like airtime enjoy it, but when you go to the ballot remember who is capable to defend your interests throughout the year,” said Chikondowa on election day.

Efforts to contact Aliki were fruitless as he was unreachable immediately after the pronouncement of election results.

Meanwhile, the newly elected SRC leadership is expected to be sworn in early next week at a hand over take-over ceremony to be held in the Council Chambers at Nust.

UZ Chancellor AU donation could have paid fees for 2000 students

Press Release|Zinasu Information Department| University of Zimbabwe

President Mugabe’s 1 million dollar donation to the African Union which sent tongues wagging this week could have paid school fees for at least 2 000 students, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) has claimed.

This comes after medicine students recently held protests over their inability to pay high fees at the University of Zimbabwe(UZ), leading to the arrest and detention of several student leaders, among them Zinasu spokesperson Zivai Mhetu and UZ Students’ Union treasurer  general Ignatious Mukwichi and secretary for sports Kudakwashe Guta.

President Mugabe, who also doubles as the UZ Chancellor, could have used the 1 million to pay fees for 2 000 struggling students at the biggest university in the country if he really had their plight at heart, Zinasu spokeperson, Mr Zivai Mhetu, said.

Not more than a week ago students were up in arms at UZ because they are unable to pay the increasingly unaffordable tuition fees only to hear that their Chancellor is giving away 1 million dollars to the AU as if he has dealt with all the problems affecting people in his own country.

“Donations should be made by the Bill Gates of this world who have more money than they can spend not Heads of States of impoverished countries whose citizens are wallowing in abject poverty and absolute misery said Mhetu”

Fees for general programmes at UZ were around five hundred dollars meaning that had he chosen to, Mugabe could have paid fees for at least 2 000 students at the institution, many of whom are being forced to defer their studies or drop out completely because of their inability to pay fees.

Countless students are being forced to drop out of school, not at the UZ alone but countrywide. It is against this background that we have been clamouring for grants and loans. But instead of giving us grants and loans the Head of our government and all State Universities is busy dishing out money to international organizations as if he is a one-man donor agency competing with the US-Aid.” said Mhetu.

Students at the tertiary level in Zimbabwe have been dropping out of school en masse due to economic hardships with Zinasu claiming that 12 000 students dropped out of school countrywide in the first quarter of 2016 alone.

21st February Movement Inspires Nust Students: Video

by Costa Nkomo | Nust-ZW | @costahcostah

MORE than 250 National University of Science and Technology (NUST) students joined their Chancellor President Robert Mugabe in Matopo on the 25thof February 2017 to commemorate President Mugabe’s 93rd birthday.  It was the 31st 21st movement celebration held in Matebeleland South province for the first time in history.

Cover image credit: AP

Photo Essay:#FeesMustFallReloaded 2016

#Storified from #Instagram: This photo essay illustrates the struggle of the #Fees2016 protests in South Africa which has led to temporary closure of public universities over the past week.

 

Give us feedback. Is free education feasible in South Afica???

THE BIG STORY: National university shut down in South Africa

  • Key Questions: What’s happening to Zimbos studying there? Are they back home? Do they have to travel acrosss that country to crush at relative’s places?

 

Johannesburg, 19 September 2016 – The Wits S-R-C says it’s going to continue to fight for free education. It believes it’s possible in South Africa. Video: eNCA
Johannesburg, 19 September 2016 – The former CEO of the Council On Higher Education says government is passing the buck.
JOHANNESBURG – Students on several campuses around the country have begun their intentions to stage a shut down at the designated campuses.

This follows Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande’s announcement on Monday that universities and colleges should increase fees by no more than 8% in 2017.
University of Witwatersrand (Wits)

Students at Wits university have vowed to shut down the university.

The university, however said the academic programme and all university activities continue as planned as extra security has been deployed on the campus.

REACTION: Fees announcement a ‘quick-fix’ not a solution: expert

Wits said security has been strengthened and police were on stand-by.

https://embed.iono.fm/epi/333165

 

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Meanwhile, UCT students gathered for a mass meeting following Nizmande’s announcement.

UCT suspended classes, lectures and tests on Monday.

Univerity of Pretoria (UP)

University of Pretoria students were also preparing for a shutdown, with reports of lectures being disrupted.

https://embed.iono.fm/epi/333149
University of Free State (UFS)

University of Free State students disrupted classes, following government’s 2017 fee hike recommendations.

The students and the Student Representative Council made the announcement that there will be no classes at least for the rest of the week.

eNCA

https://www.enca.com/south-africa/universities-shut-down-on-the-cards-0 (19 September 2016)

HIGH COURT BLOCKS STUDENT LEADER SUSPENSION

A High Court judge has ordered the reinstatement of a Midlands State University (MSU) student who had been suspended by the tertiary institution for allegedly branding an MDC-T placard on campus.
MSU authorities recently suspended Archbold Elias Madida for allegedly holding a placard inscribed “MSU Students support MDC-T” on campus.
This followed an anti-government protest staged recently in Gweru by Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party.
The MSU authorities had claimed that Madida’s conduct was “harmful to the interests of the university”.
However, Madida, with assistance from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member Takashinga Pamacheche of Gundu and Dube Legal Practitioners filed an urgent chamber application in the Bulawayo High Court.
He was challenging his suspension which he argued amounted to victimisation and sought an order to have it set aside.
On Tuesday, High Court Judge Francis Bere ordered MSU and Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe, who were cited as respondents respectively, to allow Madida to pursue his studies at the university.
“The applicant (Madida) be and is hereby allowed to be on the university’s premises, attend lectures, participate in university programmes and have access to all university facilities,” reads part of the order granted Tuesday by Bere.
Bere also ordered that Madida’s suspension pending a disciplinary hearing against him be permanently lifted.
Prior to being suspended, MSU security personnel had on Tuesday 16 August 2016 escorted Madida from MSU’s Zvishavane campus to the university’s Gweru main campus, where the authorities had scheduled to convene a disciplinary hearing for him.
However, Madida’s lawyer was later advised that no hearing was to take place but that just an enquiry was to be held which was conducted in the office of the Chief Security Officer only identified as Chademana.
Madida denied all the allegations leveled against him and insisted that the authorities proceed in whatever manner they deemed fit.
Madida’s lawyer also resisted attempts by Chademana to have the legal practitioner leave the university premises without her client which Pamacheche refused to do and insisted that the security personnel ensures that the MSU student travels back to Zvishavane campus as they were the ones who had escorted him to Gweru.
In the end, the MSU security personnel capitulated and made some arrangements to facilitate Madida’s return to Zvishavane campus.
Students at state-run universities and other tertiary institutions, most of them derelict after years of under-funding and mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe’s administration, have been participating in countrywide anti-government protests organised by pro-democracy activists, which are becoming routine as the country’s political and economic crisis worsens.-channelzim

RSA IS NOT BURNING: IN DEFENSE OF THE COUNTRY’S NATIONAL AGENDA

by Buyile Sangolekhaya Matiwane | Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

Observers of the current affairs discourse in this country could be forgiven for thinking that South Africa is totally bereft of hope and that the state is on the brink of collapse.
The dominant views emerging out of this one sided discourse are those of doomsayers who use the country’s genuine growth and development challenges as a tool to support their imaginary theories of a failing state, led by a government that is incapable of addressing the needs of ordinary citizens. To this end, unemployment, crime, service delivery protests, government’s response to the drought, the performance of the Rand and slowing economic growth rate are paraded as examples of how the ANC led government is, in the words of one commentator, “fiddling while Rome burns.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. In a forthright and frank assessment of our economic challenges during a period of slowing global volatility, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan noted that a decline in demand for our commodities and their prices has created a toxic mix of reduced export earnings, declining investment, job losses and in some cases business failures.
It is for these and other reasons that Minister Gordhan delivered one of the most balanced budgets that advocates for a period of fiscal consolidation marked by a reduction in the budget deficit, freezing non-essential managerial and administrative posts and introducing specific new taxes to augment national revenue.
To respond to slowing global demand for commodities, which is leading to job cuts, especially in the mining and associated industries, government has identified and is investing in key sectors of the economy that have the potential to create thousands of new, sustainable jobs. The National Growth Path (NGP) calls for targeted investment in infrastructure development, the agricultural value chain, the mining value chain, the green economy, the manufacturing sector and tourism.
To respond to the challenge posed by the NGP, government has kick-started a comprehensive infrastructure development programme that is turning South Africa into a massive construction site. New roads, railway lines, power stations, dams, bridges, pipelines, schools, hospitals and clinics are either in the planning stages, construction phase or have just been completed. The country is spending R1 billion a day on a massive infrastructure development programme that has so far created over 200 000 jobs.
On a daily basis, the socio economic conditions of our people are improving for the better. When completed; Medupi, Ingula and Kusile power stations will add over 1600 Megawatts onto the national grid. Six months ago President Jacob Zuma opened Medupi Unit 6 which has added 800 Megawatts onto the grid. The results are there for all to see. When was the last time South Africa experienced large scale load shedding?
South Africa is investing in its people and putting them to work. In terms of government’s commitment to industrialisation; buses, trucks and rail locomotives are being manufactured and refurbished here at home, in targeted economic zones such as Rosslyn in Tshwane and factories in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Industrial Development Corporation has set aside billions of Rands to invest in new manufacturing ventures, the green economy, grow the pool of entrepreneurs and to create new black industrialists.
Other large scale infrastructure initiatives include widening the Durban Harbour and increasing its container terminal capacity, expanding capacity at the Port of Ngqura, completing the De Hoop and Clanwilliam dams and extending the Bus Rapid Transit system that has proved successful in Tshwane, Joburg and Cape Town to other metros such Ekurhuleni which is about to pilot the first phase of its BRT system.
Our State Owned Companies (SOCs) are crucial in driving this infrastructure development through targeted spending on developmental projects with the propensity to create thousands of jobs and ensure that infrastructure can meet demand once the global economic outlook improves. This is the mark of a government that works, that is creating new industries and maximising opportunities for investment, employment and growth.
But boasting about investing in infrastructure is futile if this investment does not result in visible improvements in the lives of ordinary South Africans. When a municipality, working closely with Eskom, extends transmission to an area that had no electricity and Gogo Dube switches on the lights in her home for the first time in her life that is when we are working. When a single mother of four receives the keys to her brand new home after years on the waiting list and smiles because she has always dreamt of cooking in her own kitchen that is when we are making a difference.
When a young entrepreneur receives funding for an idea that could change the world for the better and create jobs for locals, we know that our efforts at improving the lives of our people are bearing fruit.
President Jacob Zuma has put infrastructure development at the top of his agenda and is personally overseeing coordination of all the major infrastructure development programmes along with members of his executive. As the President has aptly put it: “Infrastructure development is critical for both industrialisation and to boost employment in construction and other sectors, especially during such a difficult time.”
The doomsayers are wrong. Unlike ancient Rome, South Africa is not burning. It is a thriving democracy that turns 21 next month, blossoming into a fully matured adult along with the complications that come with such changes. This ANC led government has developed sound policies and put in place concrete programmes that will douse any fire before it becomes an inferno.
Yes, we have challenges. The crime rate is still unacceptably high, levels of poverty and inequality must be reduced, and economic benefits are still skewed in favour of a tiny minority. But despite what the critics may believe, this country is on the correct path towards a trajectory of shared growth, development and poverty alleviation. Let us all put shoulder to the wheel.

OF STUDENTS PROTESTS: ZIMBABWE vs SOUTH AFRICA

by Senamiso Moyo | University of the Witwatersrand

As a Zimbabwean student studying in South Africa, the recent student protests that swept through the country were a strange occurrence. It was amazing to witness students gather in large numbers to fight against unrealistic tuition fee increases imposed by the universities.
The general feeling amongst most Zimbabwean students, as we watched our South African colleagues shut down universities, public roads and march to the Union Buildings (where the executive arm of government sits), was mostly fascinating and intriguing. Most of us grew up in post 1980 Zimbabwe and had never witnessed such a huge protest before. Where singing, dancing and generally disruptive behaviour on the streets was used by people to get the attention of the bigger heads and have their demands. Throughout most of the demonstrations we kept asking ourselves, “Where are the riot police? Or why don’t they just accept the increases? After all its life”
Not to say we don’t have protests and demonstrations in Zimbabwe, but they are usually dealt with so much more differently, especially if it concerns what the State considers trivial matters. Any gathering that seeks to disrupt the peace or the functioning of Civil Society is usually nullified before it becomes a matter to write home and report about.
However, throughout these protests we were exposed to the good and the bad of protest action and to some extent, we gained an understanding of why the Zimbabwean government deals with disruptions like this so swiftly. At first students were united in one movement which led to President Jacob Zuma announcing that there will be no fee increases for the year 2016. However, there was now a lot of external political interference riding on the wave of what was for a good cause. Various political institutions then used the student movement to pressurize the ANC government to provide free education and an end to non-standard labour practices within tertiary institution. The reasonableness of the demands was now seemingly lost and the majority of the students wanted to resume classes with final exams fast approaching.
What subsequently transpired was a huge conflict between the student bodies. There were the more politically inclined students who wanted to continue with the protests and the shutdown of campuses. Funded by rival political parties, they staged one of the longest on-campus occupations in history, defending their stance by any means, which included threats of violence. Then there were the majority of the students who accepted that 0% increase was reasonable and wanted to continue with exams, campus had of course been shut down for two weeks.
As part of the majority I began to understand why the Zimbabwean government dealt with disruptive action so swiftly. When the demands from protestors became unreasonable, everyone looked to the The South African Police Service (SAPS) to act. The University did everything within the ambit of the law to deter protestors. However, in respecting the right to freedom of protest afforded by the South African constitution, the SAPS just watched on and basically did nothing. Exams were postponed and this put a lot of students in danger of not graduating and foreign students whose permits were to expire soon in danger of having to leave the country without writing examinations. This is the great disadvantage with the right to protest, it affords the protesting party too much power, it seizes being negotiation and becomes a demand with no room for bargaining. This is only acceptable in so far as the protesting party does not abuse this right as the protestors did in this case.
The plight of poor students and exploited workers is one that I sympathise with deeply. However, any right that is afforded in any constitution, may be limited if it infringes on the rights and interests of another person. Zimbabwe and South Africa are two extremes, and there is still a long way to go in establishing a balance in this regard.

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