Week 17

Wekelijkse selectie van nieuws uit Zimbabwe

Mnangagwa taunts ‘rogue’ NGOs, promises smooth poll

MOUNT DARWIN – President Emmerson Mnangagwa Tuesday vowed resistance against “rogue” NGOs and “surrogate entities” he accused of attempts to fan instability at the expense of the country’s hard-won independence. 

Zimbabwe’s second post-independence leader was presiding over the 43rd Independence Day commemorations attended by multitudes, but boycotted by opponents, in Mount Darwin. 

“As the harmonised general elections draw nearer, I call on the nation to remain vigilant and protect our hard-won Independence,” Mnangagwa said. 

“No voices, foreign or local, inclusive of rogue NGOs, should sow seeds of division and disharmony among us. 

“Unity and peace should be preached in our families, churches and communities.” 


Zimbabwe’s widening chasm between rich and poor

Lying 160km northwest of the capital Harare, Mt Darwin was the beneficiary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new policy to “leave no one and no place behind”. 

Except that coming from Harare, the town is like stepping onto another planet altogether. 

The road to get there has potholes, but is in good shape compared to other places. 

When all is said and done, the widespread poverty and suffering faced by many locals was inescapable. To watch all the opulence on display, the locals must have felt they belonged in a different age to their visitors. Zimbabwe, they observed, has become one of the most unequal societies in the world. So, after the fascination with the once in a lifetime opportunity to witness first-hand how the rich and powerful who ruled their lives lived, it was back to the daily hustle of putting food on the table and looking for school fees for their children. 

Leaving no one and no place behind? 


‘Zim road rehab programme lagging 20 years behind’

ZIMBABWE’s road rehabilitation programme is 20 years behind, a senior government official said yesterday in Bulawayo. 

 “It’s no secret that we have a 20-year gap in the maintenance of road infrastructure, not 43 years. As a country we are confronted with a huge task of attending to our road infrastructure to ensure that it meets regional and international standards and maintain it at that,” Transport ministry permanent secretary, Thedius Chinyanga told a Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) workshop. 


Exhibition celebrates Tengenenge arts community

IN celebration of Tengenenge Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) is currently presenting an exhibition of stone sculptures from the world-renowned community. 

The artworks show different approaches in technique and subject matter, ranging from the naive to ultra-modernist aesthetics, proving that the movement is alive and continues to evolve. 

Situated 150km north of Harare on the outskirts of Guruve growth point, Tengenenge art community was born out of necessity when international sanctions crippled tobacco farming in colonial Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe). Former tobacco farmer, the late Tom Blomefield founded the sculpting community in 1966 after being influenced by the late Chrispine Chakanyuka, who was a sculptor and nephew to Joram Mariga, considered to be the “father of Shona sculpture”. In the heat of Zimbabwe’s war of liberation, Blomefield sold the farm in 1973 and moved to Harare. In 1985, five years after Zimbabwe’s independence, the Dutchman returned to Tengenenge and assumed directorship of the arts centre. 

link and also: https://megagallery.nl/tengenenge/)

(Tom Blomefield died on 8 April 2020, aged 95, in the Netherlands; his ashes were buried at Tengenenge on 6 December 2020)

Gold Mafia: Angel faces UK probe

THE gold smuggling and money laundering exposé by an international broadcaster, where several politically-connected Zimbabweans were implicated, has attracted the interest of United Kingdom legislators who have turned their guns on controversial cleric Uebert Mudzanire, popularly known as Uebert Angel. 

A  House of Lords member, Jonathan Oates has tabled a series of questions in the second chamber of the UK Parliament centred on Mudzanire after he was secretly recorded allegedly offering to help under cover Al Jazeera journalists launder US$1,2 billion in dirty money. 


‘Middlemen milk women smallholder farmers’

THE majority of women smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are getting less than 15% of the value of their produce while middlemen, transporters, processors, wholesalers and retailers get the lion’s share, a recent survey has revealed. 

The survey conducted by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) across six districts — Chipinge, Mwenezi, Gokwe, Chimanimani, Honde Valley and Mutasa — showed that women smallholder farmers were being exploited. 

Only 30% of women own A1 and A2 farms while 32% have economic decision power. As such, women, who are the majority smallholder farmers, are subjected to unfair trade norms. 


Malaria ravages Mash East, Central provinces

MASHONALAND East and Mashonaland Central provinces have recorded the highest number of malaria cases so far this year, the Health and Child Care ministry has revealed. 

In its weekly disease surveillance report dated April 13, the ministry said: “The provinces that reported the highest number of cases were Mashonaland East 913 and Mashonaland Central provinces with 1 838 cases. The cumulative figures for malaria are 42 020 and 72 deaths.” 

Malaria transmission is seasonal and unstable, causing sickness and death across all age groups. The disease, spread through the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito occasionally occurs during warm and wet seasons, particularly in February, March and April. 


Our investment puts Zim on global map: Chinese firm

INTERNATIONAL lithium miner, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt says its investment in Zimbabwe has put the southern African country on the global map of renewable energy and technology value chains. The Chinese firm acquired the Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe (PLZ) asset in 2021 for about US$378 million. It then began building one of the world’s most sophisticated plants for the processing of hard rock lithium mineral resource. The plant was completed in January this year. 

“Our investment in Zimbabwe thrusts the country on the global map of renewable energy and technology value chains,” PLZ chairperson George Fang said in a speech to mark the company’s first anniversary yesterday. 


Zimbabwe’s ruling party vilifies the opposition as American puppets. But the party itself had strong ties to the US

Although it has not been well documented, the US provided critical support during Zanu’s founding in 1963. It also helped the party consolidate its authority following independence in 1980. Since the US government imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001, these ties have been overshadowed.  As elections approach in Zimbabwe, the role of the US looms large. Zanu-PF overlooks historical aspects of its own relations with the US as it seeks to undermine its domestic opposition and appeal to continental allies. 


UNESCO laureate helps a young woman in Zimbabwe pursue her studies

For Audrey Matambo, a 22-year-old university student and young activist from Harare, the support received from 2016 laureate of the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education, the Female Students Network Trust (FSNT), was life changing.  Audrey was suspended from her university after she initiated protests against ongoing water rationing and the lack of adequate sanitary facilities for female students. 

In Zimbabwe, traditional gender norms and gender-based discrimination are still pervasive, especially in tertiary education institutions. FSNT Director, Evernice Munando, explains that sexual harassment and discrimination are the greatest challenges facing female university students in Zimbabwe. 


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