Categories
ESSENTIALS Opinion

After Mugabe – ‘Not much has changed in HE’

Kudzai Mashininga
4 minute read

A year after the departure of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe after 37 years in power, opinion is divided on how much progress the new government under Emmerson Mnangagwa has made in reforming the country’s struggling higher education sector.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education Daniel Molokele said there had been no significant changes in the sector as political interference in the running of higher education, corruption and chronic underfunding has continued under the country’s new leader.

“I would say there haven’t been any significant changes to differentiate between the previous and the present era. So we still need more time to see those promised changes, but one thing that I can clearly see is that in terms of budgeting, in terms of prioritising the higher education ministry, there is still a challenge. The ministry asked for a budget of US$900 million something in the national budget; it got a budget of US$380 million. So we are still underfunding higher education.”

Reforms

After coming to power, Mnangagwa introduced the Transitional Stabilisation Programme aimed at reinvigorating higher education and ensuring the system is relevant to the labour market. In March the government held a Higher and Tertiary Education Infrastructure Investment conference at which investors committed US$1.5 billion. The government is also working on establishing university towns and has pledged to set aside 1% of the country’s gross domestic product for research.

However, Molokele, who is a former student leader at the University of Zimbabwe, argues that institutional governance systems are still a problem, with university councils filled with political appointees who do not have real influence.

Furthermore, the current situation, where the state president is also the chancellor of every state-run institution of higher learning, has been a recipe for disaster.

“Universities need less political influence and more emphasis on academic freedom,” he said.

“There is corruption in the administration of most institutions of higher learning. The vice-chancellors have a lot of power and they need to be more accountable,” he said.

Earlier this year, the vice-chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Professor Levi Nyagura, was suspended over the awarding of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2014 to the former first lady Grace Mugabe under controversial circumstances, and after lecturers from the department of sociology submitted a petition to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission calling for the PhD to be revoked and nullified.

“We need to see more autonomy and independence in institutions of higher learning. We know that the University of Zimbabwe Amendment Act of 1990 changed the vice-chancellor from the chief academic to a chief disciplinarian and that trend then affected all the other universities run by the state. We need to see more academic freedom in Zimbabwe,” said Molekele.

Students ‘learn in fear’

Concerns have also been raised by students. In a position paperreleased in November, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) said under Mnangagwa students’ rights continue to be trampled upon and universities continue to arbitrarily suspend students.

The union said students learn in fear as their freedoms of association, and right to information and assembly, are not respected due to draconian colonial legislation which has been redefined by the current regime as institutional ordinances that seek to give unprecedented power to university authorities to expel and suspend students.

“Many UZ students are still serving their suspensions after the college executed the ordinance 31 to suspend them,” the statement said.

The statement said that after the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University demonstration in Bindura, 50 students were suspended without a disciplinary hearing, which the union successfully challenged. There was also the National University of Science and Technology demonstration, where seven students were detained only for questioning the administration.

Soaring cost of living

ZINASU said Mnangagwa has failed to make higher education accessible as pledged by his administration as the cost of living soars.

In recent months, there has been a jump in prices of goods and services with some service providers demanding payment in foreign currency even though the majority of citizens are paid in local Zimbabwe bond notes.

The jump in prices resulted in year-on-year inflation rising to 20.85% for the month of October from 5.39% in September.

ZINASU said the current fee structure is unmanageable for many students who come from struggling backgrounds.

“These challenges have a strong bearing on the education of our students. If the economic situation continues to deteriorate, students will be forced to discontinue their studies,” it said.

President of the College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe David Dzatsunga confirmed that the economic situation is becoming dire, resulting in a lack of resources and equipment for use by students and lecturers.

“The economic situation is dire and generally students are struggling to purchase the required materials. Student welfare is not at its best and that creates downstream problems,” he said.

Austerity measures

Dzatsunga said the new administration announced austerity measures in the national budget in November that are being implemented without consultation, worsening the situation for lecturers.

For example, the government has said that duty on imported cars must now be paid in United States dollars even though workers are being paid in Zimbabwe bond notes.

“The austerity measures have the effect of eroding our salaries and we may end up earning the equivalent of US$110 … The conditions of service are deteriorating,” he said.

Dzatsunga said while government had introduced a new curriculum in schools, teacher training colleges had not reviewed their own curriculum.

“This means that teachers are being taught the old curriculum to go and teach the new curriculum,” he said.

‘More needs to be done’

Zimbabwean academic Dr Admire Mare, a senior lecturer at Namibia University of Science and Technology, said the new minister in the post-Mugabe era – Professor Amon Murwira – has tried his best to improve the situation. However, he said, more needs to be done.

“I think the current minister of higher and tertiary education, science and technology development is trying his best to put our universities back on the global map after years of infrastructural decay and lowering of academic standards.

“The replacement of Levi Nyagura [as University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor] is also a step in the right direction because academics were being denied the opportunity to attend conferences and engage in forward thinking conversations with their peers,” said Mare.

He said while these are important steps, there is still a need to ensure academic standards in teaching, research and community development are strengthened.

“Academics ought to be incentivised to publish in authentic peer-reviewed journals and this can be done through a Zimbabwe national research fund or foundation which helps the ministry with disbursing research funds to active researchers. There is also a need to ensure that technological hubs become part of the academic ecosystem so that research and development are connected,” said Mare.

Originally published at http://www.universityworldnews.com
Categories
NEWS

Student jailed 4 years for hit and run killing

Curator | Nust-ZW
2 minute read.

A 25-year-old Zimbabwean student at a South African university has been jailed for four years after he was convicted for killing Harare businessman and socialite Shingi Mukandi in a hit and run road accident last year.

Alfred Machipisa, a third-year student, was convicted of culpable homicide.

He was accused of failing to stop after a fatal road accident to both render assistance and report the accident to the police within the mandatory 24 hours.

Machipisa will however serve 3 years effective after Harare magistrate Edwin Marecha set aside a year of his sentence conditionally.

“The accused deserves punishment for his gross negligence.

“A fine will trivialise the offences and worsening his case is that he did not stop after the accident.

“He only pitched up at the police after three days of manhunt. Maybe if he had stopped to check on the victim, if he was still alive or needed help, it would have been different,” said the magistrate.

Court ruled Machipisa was negligent by travelling at an excessive speed while failing to keep a proper look out.

The magistrate said he also acted negligently by failing to render assistance or guarding Mukandi’s lifeless body.

Prosecuting, Isheunesu Mhiti said on July 22 last year, around 9pm, Machipisa drove a white Isuzu KB300 due west along Harare Drive while trailing Mukandi’s green Kawasaki motor cycle.

Mhiti said as Machipisa passed number 201 Mt Pleasant, he negligently drove his Isuzu at an excessive speed in the circumstances and failed to keep a proper lookout for the road user ahead.

The vehicle that was involved in the accident

“Machipisa failed to keep a safe distance between his car and Mukandi’s motorcycle that was ahead of him and as a result, hit him from behind,” Mhiti said.

Due to the impact, Mhiti said Mukandi flew off the motorcycle and landed approximately 70 meters away from the left side of the tarmac.

His bike was picked some 100 meters away from the point of impact.

Court heard that Mukandi’s body and the damaged motorcycle were discovered by a passer-by who called for an ambulance.

The ambulance crew declared Mukandi dead at the scene. An autopsy was carried out on Mukandi’s body at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and concluded that he died due to injuries sustained in the accident.

At that time, Machipisa had hidden his car at his father’s place in Harare’s Mabelreign and handed himself to the police three days later saying he was still in shock.

Born in 1984, Shingi was the Executive Director and Head of Operations for Freight World which is one of the leading shipping, forwarding and customs clearing organisations which was established in 1991.

The businessman and socialite was known for his partying ways and was a biker.

Original Article: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/shingi-mukandis-killer-driver-jailed-4-years/
Categories
sex

#HearMeToo: How Can I Deal With Sexual Harassment On Campus?

Staff Writer | Nust ZW
5 minute read

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment includes any unwanted sexual behavior​—including touching or even making comments of a sexual nature. But sometimes the line can be blurred between teasing, flirting, and sexually harassing.

Do you know the difference between them? Take our  sexual harassment quiz and find out!

Sadly, sexual harassment doesn’t always stop when you graduate from school. However, if you develop the confidence and skills you need to deal with sexual harassment now, you’ll be prepared to deal with it when you enter the workforce. And you might even stop a harasser from hurting others!

What if I’m being sexually harassed?

Sexual harassment is more likely to stop if you know what it is and how to react to it! Consider three situations and how you might deal with each one.

SITUATION:

At work, some guys who were much older than I am kept telling me that I was beautiful and that they wished they were 30 years younger. One of them even walked up behind me and sniffed my hair!”​—Tabitha, 20.

Tabitha could think: ‘If I just ignore it and tough it out, maybe he will stop.’

Why that probably won’t help: Experts say that when victims ignore sexual harassment, it often continues and even escalates.

Try this instead: Speak up and calmly but clearly tell your harasser that you won’t tolerate his speech or behavior. “If anyone touches me inappropriately,” says 22-year-old Taryn, “I turn around and tell him not to touch me ever again. That usually catches the guy off guard.” If your harasser persists, be firm and don’t give up. When it comes to maintaining high moral standards, the Bible’s advice is: “Stand firm, mature and confident.”​—Colossians 4:​12The New Testament in Contemporary Language.

What if the harasser threatens to harm you? In that case, don’t confront him. Escape the situation as quickly as possible, and seek the help of a trusted adult.

SITUATION:

When I was in the sixth grade, two girls grabbed me in the hallway. One of them was a lesbian, and she wanted me to go out with her. Although I refused, they continued to harass me every day between classes. Once, they even pushed me up against a wall!”​—Victoria, 18.

Victoria could have thought: ‘If I tell anyone about this, I will be labeled as weak, and maybe no one will believe me.’

Why that thinking probably would not have helped: If you hold back from telling someone, the harasser may continue and even go on to harass others.​—Ecclesiastes 8:11.

Try this instead: Get help. Parents and teachers can give you the support you need to deal with your harasser. But what if the people you tell don’t take your complaint seriously? Try this: Every time you are harassed, write down the details. Include the date, time, and location of each incident, along with what the harasser said. Then give a copy of it to your parent or teacher. Many people treat a written complaint more seriously than a verbal one.

SITUATION:

I was really afraid of this one boy who was on the rugby team. He was almost two meters (6.5 ft) tall, and he weighed about 135 kilograms (300 lb)! He got it into his head that he was going to ‘have me.’ He pestered me almost every day​—for a whole year. One day, we were the only people in the classroom, and he started closing in on me. I jumped up and ran out the door.”​—Julieta, 18.

Julieta could think: ‘That’s just the way boys are.’

Why that probably won’t help: Your harasser is unlikely to change his behavior if everyone thinks it’s acceptable.

Try this instead: Resist the temptation to laugh it off or to respond with a smile. Rather, make sure that your reaction​—including your facial expression​—makes it clear to your harasser what you will and will not tolerate.

Sexual harassment quiz

“In middle school, boys would pull on the back of my bra and make derogatory comments​—like how much better I would feel once I had sex with them.”— Coretta.

Do you think that those boys were

  1. Teasing?

  2. Flirting?

  3. Sexually harassing her?

“On the bus, a boy started saying nasty things to me and grabbing me. I smacked his hand away and told him to move. He looked at me like I was crazy.”— Candice.

What do you think that this boy was doing to Candice?

  1. Teasing?

  2. Flirting?

  3. Sexually harassing her?

“Last year, a boy kept telling me that he liked me and that he wanted to go out with me, even though I constantly told him no. Sometimes, he rubbed my arm. I told him to stop, but he wouldn’t. Then, while I was tying my shoe, he smacked my rear end.”​— Bethany.

In your opinion, was this boy:

  1. Flirting?

  2. Teasing?

  3. Sexually harassing her?

The correct answer to all three questions is C.

What makes sexual harassment different from flirting or teasing? “Sexual harassment is one-sided,” says a girl named Eve. “It continues even when you tell the person to stop.” Harassment is serious. Not only can it affect your grades and health but it can also lead to sexual violence.

Curated from JW.ORG
Categories
NEWS sex

Zimbabwe Announces Suspension Of Customs Duty & Value Added Tax on Sanitary Wear

Curator | Nust-ZW
One minute read

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube yesterday suspended customs duty on sanitary wear for the next one year.

Presenting the 2019 National Budget in Parliament, Prof Ncube said this was meant to cushion underprivileged women and girls in the interim, while the local supply of sanitary wear improves

I propose to suspend customs duty for sanitary wear for a period of 12 months beginning December 1, 2018. I also propose to exempt imports of sanitary wear from Value Added Tax,’ said Prof Ncube.

POLITICS OF PERIODS

Parliamentarians and various organisations have been running campaigns aimed at advocating for health and wellness particularly access to sanitary wear.

The campaigns call for standardised, affordable prices for sanitary wear, pushing for a mandatory sustainable sanitary wear budget in every Government institution and public spaces, free sanitary wear in schools and also pushing organisations like the United Nations to prioritise girls and young women’s health and wellness.

These campaigns have revealed that:

…many young girls miss school during their menstrual periods, while others are subjected to sexual harassment and abuse as a result of lack of access to sanitary wear, which makes them eventually drop out of school.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs and Youth, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga is on record as saying the health needs of girls should be prioritised by Government.

Parliamentarians from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party have urged the government to invest in the industry and provide free period products as a show of respect.

“Sanitary wear should be made readily available free of charge just like condoms; government should pay for sanitary wear. Government should take the dignity of women and girls seriously,” Jessie Majome, a Zimbabwean legislator from the opposition MDC party, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation

Sources: Chronicle + Reuters
Categories
INSPIRATION

Binga-born student makes shortlist for prestigious 2019 Rhodes Scholarship programme

St Kate News
2 minute read

THE Selection Committee for the Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholarship programme has announced that a St. Catherine University student is a finalist for the 2019 programme.

Maakwe Cumanzala is an international student at the Minnesota Catholic liberal arts university in with a double major in economics and mathematics.

“This is an extremely competitive award, so being named a finalist is a remarkable achievement” said Lynda Szymanski, Interim Provost and Professor of Psychology at St. Catherine University.

“Maakwe is an extraordinary student and campus leader. Faculty, staff, and alumnae recognized her potential and encouraged her to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship; it is a fabulous example of how we live our mission to educate women to lead and influence.

“Maakwe is an extraordinary student and campus leader. Faculty, staff, and alumnae recognized her potential and encouraged her to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship

“We are proud of Maakwe, and we are thankful for all members of our community who have helped prepare her to be a competitive applicant.”

The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world.

Administered by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, the programme offers fully-funded Scholarships each year for post-graduate study at the University of Oxford – one of the world’s leading universities.

Selection Committees for the Scholarships look for young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges, committed to the service of others and show promise of becoming value-driven, principled leaders for the world’s future.

Cumanzala has embraced several leadership opportunities while a student at St. Catherine University, including President of the International Students Organization, Peer Mentor with the Multicultural and International Programs and Services, co-President of the Economics Club, and a Transfer Orientation Coordinator.

In her current role as the Student Senate President at St. Kate’s, Cumanzala is working with other student leaders to effectively advocate for inclusive change and empowerment of students on campus through student initiatives.

Cumanzala’s college career reflects her greater life goals.

“I come from a small town – Binga, Zimbabwe,” she explained.

“Growing up, I was exposed to the disparities that the Tonga people face – especially the women and young girls so I decided at a very young age that I wanted to bring about the economic empowerment of my tribe and all other minority people in the world.

“The first step is for me to receive a sound education.”

Each finalist participates in an interview, to be held in Harare, Zimbabwe. If she is chosen to move forward as a Rhodes Scholar, Cumanzala intends to pursue an MPhil in Economics at the University of Oxford.

She also hopes to collaborate and receive mentorship from the renowned professors in the Centre for the Study of African Economies

Following her Oxford studies, Cumanzala plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Development Economics, and establish an independent economics research lab in Zimbabwe to use data-driven evidence to inform policy.

“The Rhodes scholarship would offer me a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to create theories that will be influential in setting domestic and international policies that bring about equality in the world,” said Cumanzala.

“As a Rhodes Scholar, I would continue being an exemplary academic and leader to inspire minority girls to engage in higher education and claim their seat at the table.”

Categories
Opinion

Diary of a Zimbo Studying Abroad: Check In – Summer 2018

5 minute read

I auditioned for an accapella group on campus last week (I know, you can gasp out loud). If you’ve lived with me for an extended period of time, you might know that I like to sing, but I would have never dreamt of doing it in front of a group of amazing people sitting behind desks while noting everything I did in their notebooks.

Sadly, I did not perform as well as I had expected to. I find this funny because I thought accapella groups hardly reject people. The other thing is that the only accapella group I auditioned for is one of the best on campus so maybe I was way over my head.

During the audition, I knew that I had not done as well as I had been expecting and I remember feeling dejected for a couple of hours after the audition. I think I was daunted by the fact that the person who auditioned right before me had been so good and sang Stone Cold by Demi Lovato.

Now, I have huge respect for anyone who sings any Demi Lovato song and still sounds good, but that also intimidated me. The other thing might be that I am a decent singer but I am not amazing.

I know that and I have made peace with it. But, the experience revealed to me a few things I had neglected to take note of over the summer/winter break. Here they are, in no particular order.

Take it as it comes
I am one year closer to twenty-one this year, which makes me happy. What makes me happier, however, is the growth I’ve seen in the way I handle disappointment. I am able to be kind to myself and to forgive myself for what I deem to be my failures.

Being able to objectively figure out causes and effects without getting too emotional over them has been another area of growth for me. Understanding that the effort I put in is as important as the outcome has opened up my mind to the possibility of enjoying the ride while I work towards the end goal. The goal was to get into the accapella group.

I spent a lot of time practicing and I enjoyed every moment of going over which song to sing with my friends. I might not have made it into the group, but the process of getting ready for the auditions made me challenge myself and fall back on a support system I had not taken the time to acknowledge last year.

“But if you never try, you’ll never know.”
I love this T-shirt I got two years ago which has a motto on it which I have come to live by without realizing it. I’ve realized that I would rather try, despite going against my defaults, than have questions beginning with the words “What if?” weighing me down. I’ll be honest, I almost did not audition. Just like I almost did not go for the first day of my internship with Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) through the Zimbabwe Career Connect (ZCC) back in June. I have a very deep-seated fear of the unknown.

I lie planning for the future, but when the future becomes reality and I have to get down to doing what it is I set out to do in the first place, I suddenly have trouble breathing or thinking straight.

In both instances, I had to put one foot of the other and keep walking to the place I wanted to go to. Last week while I sat outside listening to the amazing person who sang before me, I almost stood up and left.

In June, during our initial meeting at Education Matters, I sat in a circle with people I did not know and wondered why I would want to be taking a four-hour commute, including time spent in traffic, to and from the WCoZ offices during the Zimbabwean winter. In both cases, I realized that the regret of not knowing what might have been would weigh me down for the longest time.

Book of Gratitude
I began keeping a book of gratitude over my break as an effort to find the little things I enjoyed about my time back at home instead of concentrating on all the negatives that were pervasive to my experience. Writing the three things I was grateful for at the end of each day became my favorite daily ritual and I have promised myself to continue doing it at Wellesley.

My book of gratitude helps me to slow down and appreciate a little bit of the abundant good in my life every day. Without that book of gratitude, I know I would have focused more on the cold weather and my long commute.

Instead, I was grateful for my supervisor’s guidance at WCoZ and the conversations I had with strangers in the combis. Last week, after I got rejected, I know I would have focused more on how I failed to impress and how it made me feel inadequate.

Instead, I was grateful for the support I received and the realization that while the goal matters, the experience is important too. Outside of these two events, I am filled with gratitude for the chance to experience a liberal arts education, the support my family gives me, the people I am coming into contact with and the connections I am making on a daily basis.

Not that I did not appreciate all of this before, but having ten minutes of the day where all I am concentrating on is gratitude has helped me to see this clearly.

Which is to say that..
My summer/winter break was not the best out there; In fact, it was filled with disappointment. My first week of classes has been a whirlwind of excitement, anger, confusion and laughter.

I, however, refuse to police the happiness derived from the experiences which come with seeing one’s family after a while and seeing one’s friends after three months and from simply being home. I have resolved to enjoy the experiences that come my way, walking undaunted and pursuing my goals fearlessly while nurturing the values I cultivate along the journey.

Curated from USAP Perspectives: http://www.edmattersafrica.org
Categories
ESSENTIALS Politics

Hacking forces MSU to stop SRC polls

BY BRENNA MATENDERE | Newsday 
One minute read

MIDLANDS State University (MSU) students have raised concern after the institution’s administration halted the Students Representative Council (SRC) elections and postponed them indefinitely.

The university claimed its server had been hacked to interfere with the elections that were being carried out electronically.

The elections were scheduled to be held from November 9-15 but on the first day of voting, MSU registrar Erasmus Mupfiga posted an announcement on the institution’s website that the elections had been postponed indefinitely.

“This communication serves to inform you that the SRC elections that had been scheduled for Thursday 9 November and Thursday 15 November have been postponed until further notice. The postponement has been as a result of a serious and massive security breach that has been detected by our information and technology department,” read part of the notice.

MSU spokesperson, Mirirai Mawere, confirmed the developments.

“Yes I can confirm that they have been postponed until further notice. The postponement is as a result of a serious and massive security breach which has been detected by our information and technology experts. The university has a duty to ensure that the SRC elections are conducted in a credible, professional and transparent manner so that the results thereof truly reflect the will of all the students,” she told Southern Eye.

Zimbabwe National Students Union Midlands chairman Tinashe Chiriga, however, slammed the university’s decision and accused the administration of seeking to protect a candidate from the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu), which he said was headed for defeat.

When the polls were halted, Jacob Lawrence Sedze (Zinasu) was leading the race for the SRC presidency with 248 votes ahead of Elsie Moyo (Zicosu) at 102 and Richard Sweto (Independent) who had polled 71.

“The biggest challenge we have is that no official communication was made to the candidates. Just a message to the students on the public e-voting platform was circulated by the registrar,” Chiriga said, adding that the development had raised anxiety among students.

Categories
NEWS

Pregnant NUST Student in Train Suicide

Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter

A 19-YEAR-OLD student from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Bulawayo was crushed by a train in an alleged suicide with family members managing to identify her by part of her leg and jacket she was wearing.

Blessing Mangena of Cowdray Park suburb who was a first year Statistics student lay on a railway track near her home on Monday night after her boyfriend allegedly disowned her pregnancy and told her he was married.

The student, who was said to be brilliant in her studies, lived with her uncle as her parents work in South Africa.

Blessing’s parents, Mr and Mrs Mangena, arrived from their South African base yesterday evening and could not contain their grief at the death of their daughter.

Police from Luveve Police station attended the scene.

Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident yesterday afternoon.

“I can confirm that we attended the scene of a case of sudden death where a 19-year-old woman was found lying dead on a railway line. Investigations are underway and at this time we cannot disclose the cause of death,” said Insp Ncube.

The Chronicle visited the family and spoke to Blessing’s uncle, Mr Trust Munkombwe, who lived with her as her parents reside in South Africa.

Mr Munkombwe said he works in Binga but at the time of the death of his niece, he had come home for examinations at Lupane State University.

He said his niece left a suicide note, revealing the reason why she decided to end her life. “She said she was sorry for disappointing the family. She did not know how to break the news to us but she was four and a half months pregnant and had discovered that her boyfriend was married after pretending to be a bachelor during their relationship. She asked us to be strong for her mother,” said Mr Munkombwe.

The suicide note read: “Mum is the best, please comfort her for me. I love her”.

Mr Munkombwe said they started looking for her at around 8PM on Monday to no avail, before they learnt of her death from social media messages, hours later.

“After we had given up looking for her, we saw some viral messages on WhatsApp which were alerting people of a young woman who had been crushed to death by a train at Cowdray Park near the Water Works. I rushed there with my neighbour and to my shock, we discovered that it was my niece. I could only identify her by my jacket that she had borrowed in the morning when she left for school,” he said.

Mr Munkombwe described his niece as a hard working and brilliant student who never had any disciplinary problems at home.

He said she was also an active member of the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Cowdray Park suburb.

“It was so painful I could not even look at her. All I could identify her with was my jacket and a piece of her leg and shoes she was wearing. That was all.

If only she had told me, I would not have allowed her to do this. These are the problems of child headed families. I am away at work most of the times so children lack counselling and guidance and neighbours also fail to act in loco parentis as our communities have changed,” said Mr Munkombwe.

“Her parents invested so much in her education. She passed very well at Mtshabezi High School in her O-levels before attaining 13 points in Maths, Biology and Chemistry at Sizane High School for her A-Levels. Her dream was to study Pharmacy, although she was enrolled for Statistics at Nust.”

Blessing is survived by her parents and young brother.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course. — @andile_tshuma. Pictures: Zimlive.com

Categories
CAREER NEWS

Great Zimbabwe University to launch Community Radio Station in Masvingo

One minute read

Great Zimbabwe University will soon launch its Campus Radio Station following the recent successful installation of the digital equipment imported from abroad.

The campus radio station, the first to be owned by a university in Zimbabwe, is now awaiting licensing from responsible authorities before it can start broadcasting.

Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo said the radio station will reach out to people living in Masvingo and its surroundings, adding that this non-commercial radio station will broadcast a variety of educational programmes and programmes to enhance social awareness and educate the audience about their social responsibilities.

“We are going to establish a radio station as a university, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe. The radio station will usher in a new era in the history of GZU. We hope to train the best broadcast journalists in Zimbabwe.

Radio plays an important role in our lives and quality journalism is essential in educating, informing and entertaining,” said Prof Zvobgo. The campus radio station will serve as an incubator of the broadcasting talent available at the University.

GZU RADIO

As the government moves to licence more radio stations, graduates from GZU are expected to be well primed for absorption into these new radio stations due to the practical experience they would have acquired from the Campus Radio Station.

Besides terrestrial broadcasting, a website for the station from which the station will stream live, is currently being developed. With livestreaming, the GZU Campus Radio will be accessible to people outside its broadcast radius through the internet. – GZU Facebook

Categories
CURRENT AFFAIRS

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

 | Kennedy School, Harvard University

 4 minute read

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What went wrong

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

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

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

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

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

What needs to happen

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

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

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

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

Robert Rotberg does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.Originally published on The Conversation.