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November 23, 2017

What is Robert Mugabe’s legacy?

Reporting from Zimbabwe, Nhau Mangirazi examines the legacy of nearly four decades of Mugabe rule 21 November 2017

Robert Mugabe has stepped down as President of Zimbabwe today after 37 years in power.

The announcement came during a parliamentary session to impeach him, after he had initially refused to step down – notwithstanding being detained the army.

‘This is a second independence from our own oppressor. The man with iron fist is gone,’ said kombi driver Rodwell Mangava.

In Karoi, a town 204 kilometers northwest of Harare and within Mugabe’s home province, people said they welcomed his resignation. ‘It was long overdue. He must go and rest,’ said 45 year old vegetable vendor Charity Danga.

Fear and loyalty kept him in power

His own party, Zanu-PF, resolved to fire him at the weekend and impeachment proceedings had started.

His wife Grace has been banned from party politics for life, along with others linked to the Generation 40 faction behind the expulsion of ex-vice president Emerson Mngagwagwa.

After winning independence from the British in 1980, liberation leader Robert Mugabe ruled the country for seven years as Executive Prime Minister. For the next three decades he held the post of Executive President – but these years became increasingly tainted by failure and corruption.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and African Union Goodwill Ambassador, says now it’s critical to ensure that the political negotiations go beyond discourse on power and party interests, and maintain a clear focus on the social and economic wellbeing of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Fear and violence

According to the many thousands of Zimbabwean citizens who have taken to the streets in the past few days, Mugabe made elections a ‘ritual meant to legitimize him and his Zanu-PF party’.

George Makoni, vice chair of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, says Mugabe used various violent and patronage tactics to ensure he maintained his position as head of state. Fear and loyalty kept him in power.

Major hospitals lack adequate medicines, while Mugabe and his family travel to Singapore for treatment

He manipulated critical institutions constitutionally supposed to be independent, including ‘courts, security forces and traditional leaders among others’, says Makoni.

‘Furthermore, the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) played to his tune – he is the one who appointed all its officials,’ he adds. ‘ZEC ensured that elections were rigged in his favour. The 2008 elections denied opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai ascendency to power, despite his having overwhelmingly won the election.’

Achievements…

Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and African Union Goodwill Ambassador, says Mugabe advanced women’s and children’s rights in Zimbabwe.

She says: ‘No one will deny the achievements the country made in the first 10 years of his rule. A raft of laws addressed the personal rights of women, including the Legal Age of Majority Act and the maintenance and inheritance laws.

‘The major focus on health and education brought major benefits to girls’ school enrolment, reduction of maternal deaths and treatment of HIV/Aids. On the policy front, President Mugabe can pride himself that the country signed almost every law.’

And gains lost

However, she says, most gains were lost or eroded in the last 10 years, as a deep political, economic and financial crisis gripped the Southern African nation.

Mugabe has presided over a nation in which 90 per cent of the population is now unemployed.

‘The impact of loss of jobs and income affected women and girls most,’ says Gumbonzvanda. ‘The evidence is clear from just the scale of domestic and gender based violence, rates of teenage pregnancy and child marriage.’

Another contentious issue has been the massive land grabs Mugabe ordered in in the 1980s, and then in 2000.

With the help of liberation war veterans, Mugabe made aggressive land grabs from former white farmers, as part of a land reform programme that he said would rectify colonial imbalances.

Instead, several thousands of farmers were evicted from farms in the Mazowe area within Mashonaland Central province, east of Harare.

Muzzling the media

Njabulo Ncube, national coordinator of Zimbabwe National Editors Forum, accuses Mugabe of muzzling the media by passing harsh and repressive media laws which have seen the harassment, arrest and assault of journalists.

‘Under his watch, newspapers were closed and have yet to recover; journalists remain jobless and some have died in poverty,’ he says.

‘He is going down in the history of Zimbabwe as a media hangman.’

Ailing health sector

Although Zimbabwe has one of the highest levels of education in Africa, Mugabe stands accused of failing to deliver decent health services: major hospitals lack adequate medicines.

Meanwhile, Mugabe and his family travel to Singapore for treatment.

While most rural women have to walk 30 miles to access local health facilities, Mugabe’s daughter Bona gave birth in Singapore.

Itai Rusike, executive director of the Community Working Group on Health, says that Zimbabwe had made tremendous gains in reducing HIV/AIDS related deaths over the years through multi-sectoral efforts.

‘[But] if the current situation is not addressed urgently, the country will end up losing gains recorded over the past years,’ he adds.

What is most disturbing is that the shortages of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) come at a time when the World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning of a drug resistant HIV strain emerging in developing countries. Interruption of drug treatment has been blamed for increases in this new strain.

‘There is evidence of failing access to drugs in recent years, most sharply in clinics that form the frontline of the healthcare system with the community,’ Rusike says.

As the international media focus on the world’s oldest leader, Mugabe may be more.remembered as the man who won much for his country – and lost more.

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June 26, 2017

Hurungwe Aids gala- when the dead smile and dreams fulfilled

Filed under: Feature,health,Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:19 am
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By Nhau Mangirazi

MAGUNJE– Sir Philip Sidney once said: ‘They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts’

When Karoi based National Aids Council, Nac official Rumbidzai Manatsa mooted the idea of Ministry of Health spearheading Magunje Aids gala, some took it as a daydream.

It was a tall order and few understood it well.

biggie-tembo-music-videos

The late Biggie Tembo

Unknown to her and other partners was that the late Mhosva Marasha aka Biggie Tembo and Prince Tendai Mupfurutsa kept their fingers closed and smiling in their graves.

For the late Hurungwe music icon it was time for their kith and kin to enjoy music near their rural homes. It is here where they were raised before venturing to the modern world but came back to be buried here.

Prince Tendai the ‘Character’ hit maker body lies under Mupfurutsa  village a few kilometers from the venue- Magunje stadium.

Likewise, Tembo who led the Bhundu Boys is buried in Hurungwe.

Both made music lovers happy during their lifetime as Tembo’s band was the first to tour United Kingdom while Prince Tendai’ Barbed wire music, the first genre before Zimdancehall came up nearly two decades later made international impact musically.

Tendai Mupfutsa

The late Tendai Mupfurutsa

These two musicians are smiling in their graves following the successful musical gala recently.

It was a revival when the crowd sang along Fred Manjalina aka Kapfupi,  Freeman’s real name Energy Sylvester Chizanga and Blessing Shumba who

drove all the way from Mutate to entertain the crowd.

But hold on, another late legendary artist is smiling broader as his dream was fulfilled.

This is none other than the late actor, poet and Aids activist Eliot Magunje known as Madzibaba Jazzman in Paraffin drama series who passed on April 2003.

His body lies near Kemureza dam near Magunje growth point.

He is among few of Zimbabweans to openly come out about his HIV-positive status and was influential in promoting better health for people living with HIV/Aids in the country.

Magunje had a dream when access to testing was limited besides stigma associated by disclosure then.

He was angry that drugs to prolong life on HIV patients were too expensive.

By then, late Magunje’s dream was never understood but it was literally accomplished at the weekend when at least 800 people were tested and counselled about HIV and Aids for free.

This is besides over 150 women who underwent Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Camera, or VIAC- an effective way to prevent cervical cancer in women age 30-50 years old.

About 60 people were tested on Sexually Transmitted Infections, STI while over 100 women got family planning services that came close to their villages.

Even pensioners had a chance to inquire on services provided by National Social Security Authority among other services.

Sixty seven Rogers Matanha of Mupingashato village said the gala could have been good to honor local talented musicians on such events.

‘We hope the organizers will get to understand historical background of the area and associate it with current events.  It was going to be good to mention Magunje as pioneer on advocacy for free testing here in Hurungwe.  While Tembo and Prince Tendai Mupfurutsa are gone, they remain our musical heroes’

Nac communication manager Madeline Dube said music galas are making an impact on the society as they offer HIV and AIDS services to the community in a more relaxed manner.

‘We are now offering better services to males who are often left out by other health programmes. As Nac, we are providing HIV and AIDS services in a comprehensive manner under one roof ‘one stop shop” approach’, said Dube.

Hurungwe district medical officer Doctor Annamore Mutisi said there no one on Antiretroviral Therapy, ART with 28 558 people accessing it for free.

‘Zimbabwe has identified sex workers, youths, long distance truck drivers, artisanal miners and prisoners as key populations that need more and targeting prevention interventions. It is worth mentioning  that these groups are predominant in Hurungwe. More efforts need to be done so that we close the gap in new infections. Its no longer going to be business as usual,’ said Mutisi.

The gala held under the theme Closing the tap on new HIV infection, indeed made dreams of the late Magunje become a reality.

August 6, 2015

Go and be tested on HIV and AIDS, farmers told

Filed under: Agriculture — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:32 pm
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From Nhau Mangirazi in Siakobvu
Kariba Zanu PF Member of Parliament Isaac Mackenzie has urged farmers to be tested on HIV that causes Aids so that they can be on life supporting anti retro viral drugs as the country is losing farmers to the deadly diseases.
Officially opening Kariba district agricultural show here, Mackenzie bemoaned the wiping out of farmers due to HIV and AIDS though it is the backbone of the country’s economy.

Kariba MP Iisaac Mackenzie handing over seed maize packet to a winner in siakobvu.Photo....By Nhau Mangirazi

Kariba MP Isaac Mackenzie handing over seed maize packet to a winner in Siakobvu.  Photo….By Nhau Mangirazi

Mackenzie said, ‘’We are losing a lot of farmers who are shying away from being tested on HIV so that they can get life supporting drugs. Although I am still yet to get official statistics on this topical issue, many of the players in the farming sector have died due to HIV and AIDS and it impacts negatively on the turn-round for our economy that is agro based. I am urging you all that we must be tested as farming is one weakest areas on unprotected sex that mainly contributes to spread of HIV and AIDS’’ said Mackenzie.
However the drought prone district had positive results when farmers from Mola’s Ward 3 scooped most of the prizes in small grains, sowing, vegetable, commercial farming as well as livestock management.
One of the judges accused some of the participants of cheating.
‘’We are sorry that some participants had the tenacity of cheating by buying some products especially bakery category. We are judging to assist how you can be economically viable but once you cheat, it therefore means we are aiming to empower you through these competitions’’ said the judge.
Farmers from remote Mola scooped fifteen prizes and won wheelbarrows,

shovels, seed maize, blankets among other items

July 28, 2015

TB jails Zimbabwe prison guards

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:59 pm
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By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI-Prison officer Mathias Kadiki (not his real name) has been on guard to Roderick Chambwe (not his real name) for the past three weeks at Karoi hospital side ward.

Chambwe, a convicted criminal is serving part of his sentence at the local prison.

He is on tuberculosis medication but the two are now sharing tiny side ward at the hospital where a prisoner lies on the bed as he coughs.

Not protected

‘’ I am exposed to contact TB though I am assigned to night-duty with some patients suffering from TB. As workers no one is concerned about our welfare and plight’’ says Kadiki in our interview punctured with deep hard coughs from Chambwe.

Kadiki is not protected against TB that can be spread through the air. The writer had sneaked into the hospital room during lunch hour.

A SafAids media manual on TB and HIV says, ‘’TB transmission occurs indoors. An individual risk of exposure is determined by the concentration in contaminated air and length of time a person breathes that air’’

The risk is high when one has had close and prolonged indoor exposure with the affected person suffering from TB as it will affect approximately 10 and 15 people per year’’

Transfer on medical grounds

Prison sources at Hurungwe prison situated about 50 kilometers south of Karoi town say one officer had to apply for transfer on medical grounds early this year.

‘’ Our prison cells are in deplorable state as we are using former farm tobacco barns as cells while we are using former farm workers’ houses as accommodation. It is pathetic here for both prisoners and the officers.’’, an officer who can not be named for professional reasons says.

Government took over the farm in 2003 during the height of land reform but it has not been rehabilitated for prison officers.

2 Billion Infected

Approximately 2 billion (one-third of the world population) are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis the cause of TB. It is cause of one person in every three people AIDS worldwide.

Doctor Mkholeli Ngwenya within the ministry of Health‘s TB and Aids unit admits that even health workers are at risk to be infected during the discharge of their duties in assisting TB patients.

Silent death for care givers

‘’There is need for advocacy and assistance to health workers as well who are fighting to combat the spread of TB and Aids. Care givers are dying in silence. They are vulnerable’’ he says.

Dr Ngwenya explains that the health ministry is working with other ministries among them defence, police among others in educating them on the link between TB and Aids as a health issue. ‘’We are working together on TB at workplaces to lobby for policy shift by the authorities. Generally prisons are overcrowded with poor ventilation and lack of sunlight’’ says Doctor Ngwenya.

Hope renewed

His words of assurances are what prison officer and many others in his predicament have been waiting for too long. Hope is renewed as Kadiki says, ‘’every worker has a right to shelter food among other basics ‘’

For Zimbabwe workers which is ranked the 17th among 22 high burden countries on TB worldwide, there is great need of policy shift as it is a major public health with estimated incidence rate of 539 cases per 100 000 people according to World Health Organisation Global Tuberculosis’s report of 2009.

As the battle to combat TB continues, officer Kadiki says, ‘’ I hope it will be soon that workers Government and other stakeholders address our health plight”

For Kadiki and some prison officers, only time will tell.

October 20, 2014

Confusion over parental consent on HIV testing in Karoi

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:00 am
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Trust Urengwa speaking to patients at Chikangwe clinic

Spreading the word of hope…..Male mobilizer Trust Urengwa at Chikangwe clinic in Karoi

By Nhau Mangirazi

Karoi

There was confusion among parents in Karoi town who had agreed to have their children tested the HIV virus but snubbed the counseling and testing here last week.

Some parents expressed concern on why the Ministry of Health and Child Care slotted a day for counseling and testing at schools for the ten day program launched here on Monday.
Few pupils at Tambawadya, Chikangwe and Tafara primary schools were tested in the company of their parents who turned up while the majority of parents developed cold feet at the eleventh hour.

‘’Initially they asked for our consent and I signed but on the day in question the teachers asked children that we must accompany our children to get the results but I was not prepared for this. Although they say its voluntary but once they give a watertight program that it must be done within a day at certain place where breach of confidentiality is compromised it is no longer voluntary’’ said Jonas Matarara of Chiedza.

A teacher at one of the schools revealed that at least four pupils were tested in a class of 46 pupils.
‘’It is unfortunate that there was confusion and few parents were prepared, hence few children were tested as many felt that after consenting will never be asked to be available’’ said the teacher who cannot be named for professional reasons.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted here revealed that some private colleges sprouting around Karoi town were not targeted during the program.
‘’We do not know anything about the program although some of our students are sexually active risking their lives to get HIV virus’’ said a teacher at one of the colleges who refused to e named.

A parent Veronica Muchaya aged 38 years and a mother of three children from Chikangwe high density suburb said she had no time to spare due the economic challenges.
‘’I do not have the time to go school to have me and my children tested as I have to put food on the table for them first before I know of their HIV status’’, Said Muchaya.
She is vegetable vendor at Chikangwe market.

Acting Hurungwe District Medical Officer Doctor Admire Chikuturo confirmed the challenges of orphans and vulnerable groups on the consent to have them tested.

‘’Our target group includes adulthood and those below 16 years who need consent from parents or guardians to be tested but it will be difficult for orphans and vulnerable group some who still need that services. Results will remain confidential but will assist Government in future plans.’’, Said Doctor Chikuturo.
ZNPL+ sidelined

Zimbabwe National of People Living with HIV, (ZNPL+) district focal person Charity Nyamutowa professed ignorance of on-going program.
‘’We were never informed of the program. We are being sidelined but our involvement could have assisted to mobilize our members to be tested. The outcome will not be true reflection of the reality on the ground on HIV status and needs of our district. We are facing acute shortage of cotrimoxazole here and our members are worse affected but we are not involved. Should we bulldoze ourselves if we are not welcome? ’’, said Nyamutowa whose organization has over 60 support groups.

The Ministry of Health launched HIV testing and counseling (HTC) campaign aiming at gathering adequate data to boost resources mobilization for testing, care and other services.

Hurungwe district has 36 wards with estimated population of 370 000 according to 2012 Zimbabwe Statistics covering Karoi town, Hurungwe rural council, resettlement and communal farms and Chirundu boarder post relying mostly on farming as source of income.

It is characterized by existence of high risk groups including sex workers, gold panners, truck drivers and soldiers.

September 14, 2014

HIV and AIDS counselors bitter over salaries

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:09 pm
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By Nhau Mangirazi

CHINHOYI- HIV and AIDS counselors within Mashonaland West province are bitter over unpaid salaries as they are forced to get allowances only for contracts that are going for nearly three years as the health sector faces new challenges.

In three month long probe carried out within the province’s rural and urban hospitals where they are first port of call for mostly pregnant women going through mandatory HIV testing, the workers have since given up on the ‘’abuse by senior officials who can not discuss the issues openly’’ according to our sources.

‘’We are not getting salaries and there is no pension for us, so you can not plan for the future. Everyone has responsibilities but we are on the receiving end here for our families. There is no future for us and those in authority do not care what we are going through after counseling patients as you face the reality of being overworked but underpaid’’ lamented one senior counselor at Kadoma hospital speaking on condition that he is not named.

Mental torture

In Chinhoyi, another counselor summed it up, ‘’we are going through mental torture and no one feels sorry for us.’’

Another health crisis is looming as the counselors who were trained to relief pressure on nurses and doctors on HIV and AIDS issues will soon abandon their core duties.

‘’With the rate of HIV and AIDS tuberculosis co-infection, some patients are likely to default and we can not make follow up as we face our personal problems that are not being solved amicably by those in position of power’’ added another woman counselor at Karoi hospital.

She added that it seems their plight can not be solved though they play an integral part within the health sector especially on HIV issues.

No one concerned

‘’No one is concerned about us. We thought the ministry of health was likely to engage us as part of their workforce so that you are assured of decent salary monthly and be on pension. Our allowances may take up three months and there is no explanation why there has never been an increment for three years. It is frustrating’’ added a Kadoma worker.

Some of the workers in rural clinic echoed the same sentiments saying they have since lost hope after some who were trained two years ago are still yet to get certificates.

August 12, 2013

Back to basics on HIV and AIDS

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 12:14 pm
Tags: ,

By Nhau Mangirazi

During the mid eighties when I was doing my secondary school in the small town of Karoi in Mashonaland West province, many of my friends from Hurungwe rural areas who had come to school in town were free as ‘’lodgers’’
They had the independence that I envied as I stayed with my parents and my father though now late was strict.
Although I was staying with my parents, I joined my friends who had the independence of visiting Pedzanyota hotel in Chikangwe high density surburb, but chased away, never to set my foot around again. I did not want to disappoint my father.
I used to get snippets of previous night errands from my friends whose parents were in rural areas, farming for their survival in town.
However, I remember a Karoi town council policewoman who used to also work as a neighborhood watch police officer, though now late.
Her name, Mai Jingura rings a bell to many during her days, may her soul rest in eternal peace.
She was heavily built, admirable to many men including some of my friends who frequented the beer hall and the hotel during the night.
She took an initiative that lacks from our elders now those sugar daddies, and sugar mamas of this world.
She was ”hooked” to some of my friends during beer drink in the beer-hall but she would sneak away with men of her age.
However, during one night errand one of my friends insisted that he wanted to book her for the night although it was tough to convince her for the outing.
They agreed on payment before they went to her house.
As my friend who I will call Joe since he may now be married or dead, Mai Jingura was a ‘’good woman to experiment manhood’’
He was just eager to go for it and he had the freedom to do it.
‘’When we arrived at her house, I was welcome only to discover that she wanted to teach me a lesson. She undressed but demanded money before we could get on bed. She slapped me on the face and asked me to leave. She told me to make a report if I was offended by her action’’ Joe told us the following morning.
His night experience shocked us all.
He had taken part of his monthly food allowance from his rural parents but threw it into the deep well for nothing.
We told him that it was part of adult life experience.
None of us gave him assurance if he could get his money back as we all knew Mai Jingura was both council police officer who used to wear Zimbabwe Republic Police uniform.
She knew the law and was doing it within the law, we assured him.
Though her name was later associated with robbery as she ‘’demanded’’ money from many young men especially schoolboys, Mai Jingura’s defence was simple- ‘’I want boys to desist temptation of engaging in early sexual life’’
She was never arrested as none of those who were ‘’robbed’’ made police report.
Though few remember her role in shaping the small Karoi community, she tried to mold some of us that we must face the reality of early sexual encounters at our own risks.
She is never remembered.
Her bold stance saw her being called a thief but I personally respect her because she set a tone of how people in society must strive to build a better future of young generations.
Some of her victims may respect her that she taught them the hard way but at least some agree with me that HIV and AIDS is all about going back to basics and RESPECT the time when we are old enough to face the consequences .
We need to teach our children the risks of early sexual life, sexual transmission infections, early pregnancies, HIV and AIDS and how it is negatively affecting our social, political and economic gains since independence.
The productive age group in the country and elsewhere is greatly affected by this pandemic but none like the late Mai Jingura take leading role in our societies and give in a small way?
Lets us all have positive attitude to this challenge of HIV and AIDS.
In a small way we can change our destiny as a country against the spread of HIV and AIDS.
Let us all go back to real basics about HIV and AIDS and ACT.

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June 20, 2013

Outgoing Hurungwe Junior Senator scores first

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 4:09 pm
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By Nhau Mangirazi

Karoi-Outgoing Hurungwe senator for Junior Parliamentarian for 2012/2013, Shepherd Marime got an award as Mashonaland West Outstanding Junior Parliamentarian.

Marime is Form 6 student at Chikangwe High School had a clean sheet following his initiatives that gave youths a voice, assisted the disadvantaged during his term of office.

In an interview, Marime said, ‘’I attended Day of African Child in September last year and was touched by the lives of many orphaned children at Just Children’s home near Karoi Hospital where I spent my spare time.’’

He worked with Hurungwe Senator Reuben Marumahoko to raise awareness to the young to vote ‘’Yes’’ during referendum.

‘’I joined forces with Child Prime Minister and went to Kariba where we advocated for young people’s rights. I assisted some Karoi youths to report cases against brutal police officers over face booking allegation and the case is under probe. Locally, I worked with Young People on Sexual and reproductive health in disseminating information on sexually transmitted infections. We want youths to understand more on health issues and their rights for a better future’’ said Marime.

 

Senator Shepherd Marime

He articipated in various awareness campaigns by inviting Environment Management Agency, to celebrate World Water Day and during World Aids Day commemoration held in Birimahwe in Hurungwe.

‘’I initiated street clean campaign with children living with disabilities. We sourced funding for two Chikangwe High school students’’ he added.

Marime said he raised awareness to youths to be registered as voters in forthcoming elections.

‘’It was resolved that I worked hard during the last session of Junior Parliamentarians that will see me getting the award’’ he added.

June 7, 2013

Patsime casts writing net wide

Filed under: Arts,Social scene — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:32 pm
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Face of a winner... Obriel Mupokosa showing off his certificate

Face of a winner… Obriel Mupokosa showing off his certificate

By Nhau Mangirazi
Karoi-Obriel Mupokosa of Chiedza Karoi is the winner of Patsime Trust’s Buddyz for Luv essay writing competition in Karoi as they cast their net wide in promoting writing culture in youths.
The school situated in the outskirts of Karoi’s new suburb of Chiedza was established as a satellite school in 2007 with an enrolment of 700 pupils and it is proving that there is future on writers like Mupokosa.
The Form Two student says writing is a passion and is happy to write stories on social issues.
‘’I must admit that the story is a personal creation to reflect the reality of our society. Some people are not opening up on their HIV status and are moody. Some are dying in silence. People must open up and they must be assisted at all costs. Health issues must not be secretive’’ Mupokosa explains.
In his essay, he explores a story of an aunt who failed to tell him that she was HIV positive and did not want him to know that she was taking on Anti retroviral drugs, a situation pushed by stigmatization.
Later he discovered that the tablets she always kept as a secret were being distributed at a local clinic monthly.
He confronted her and she wept forcing him to write the essay ending words …’’that is how I discovered that my aunt was HIV positive’’
The writers’ club patron Mr. Luckson Handiseni says they formed the club two years ago with twelve participants.
‘’I am glad that Patsime Trust is assisting us in nurturing talent especially on writing. Obriel story proved that talents are natural and his story was well written and is understood easily’’ says Handiseni who is an English language teacher.
Though the school is among several of satellite schools in farms where they transformed tobacco barns as classroom blocks, with students like Mupokosa there is hope that talented writers will soon grace our newspapers and books from Karoi.
Skumbuzo Sibanda who gave the prizes says Patsime Trust is empowering the youths through writing skills.
‘’If the youths can write on social issues like health, divorcees, education among others, then they are empowered to guard themselves against abuses by relatives or any one. We are grateful on Patsime gesture’’ says Sibanda who is Karoi based Baptism of Fire theater group director.

April 25, 2012

Donor funding high time we start afresh

Filed under: Comment — Nhaudzenyu @ 9:45 am
Tags: , , , ,

Donor communities are well known for spearheading development in
education, food security, infrastructural development, housing, health
among other sectors.

Africa in particular has received large sums of funding from mostly
Western countries and this has created semi God monsters of local
leadership who approve the requests for funding.

Zimbabwe is a recepeint of donor funding and we have a better story to
tell as it is assisting to in reviving our battered economy. HIV and
AIDS pandemic is literally going past its sale by date as pledges made
to Global Fund is dwindling. Other diseases among them malaria,
tuberculosis, cancer are seeking funding and it will be day dreaming
that HIV and AIDS will attract many donors in future the way it was in
early 80s up to 90s.

Times are changing for the better or worse and we remain our own
enemies as small communities at work, organizations, nations and
continents over donor funds.                      

Some market shops are white elephants in small towns after donors pulled out at the last
minute or one of the top officials could have diverted the initial proposal to suit his intentions.

In rural areas, some bridges were neglected halfway and it is a sad situation as to source new funding for the project remains a tall order.

Some officials who are good at convincing the donor community with sounding proposals have made a killing when they seek huge financial assistance that will leave them with fat pockets even when donors pull out before the project is implemented fully.

However, the story of Just Children is rude awakening to all those who rely on donor funding as some workers feel cheated when major donors pulled out. They still believe he owed them a living on the initial
proposal to full fund the project and their livelihoods.

The Western countries are feeling the heat financially and not all can afford to splash large sums of funds  they get it from their own Governments.
It is high time that the natural resources including gold, diamonds, and platinum, among others are sold and transparently by the Government to fund home grown projects that will assist organizations
that foster development.

If such plans were put in place the way Western countries appreciate good governance, then the Jairosi Jiri initiative could not have seen his widow as a destitute at all cost. The late Jiri could have been
Zimbabwe’s first hero with several streets named after him as a guarantor of people’s rights.
He had a vision to look after the blind and disabled.
As we call for transparency from organizations that get donor funding, top management must not abuse their workers by underpaying them while they get out of office allowances among other incentives.
Those donors that are still funding some projects must not survive on divide and rule tactic. We want action that suits everyone but with long standing against donor fatigue

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