Archive for the ‘Poverty’ Category

JOHANNESBURG – To show how the party led
by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe uses
brute force against its opponents, Elton
Mangoma , a cabinet minister in the country ‘s
troubled power -sharing government, rolled up
a pant leg during a recent interview at his
home to reveal scars from a 2007 police
beating that he said shattered his kneecap.
” If South Africa, the African Union and the
international community fold their arms , then
Zimbabwe can descend into chaos, ” warned
Mr . Mangoma , a leader in the Movement for
Democratic Change, or M. D . C . , the party that
fought Mr . Mugabe ‘s rule for a decade before
regional leaders pressured it into governing
with him for the past two years .
On Thursday , the police came again for Mr .
Mangoma , the minister of energy and power
development, who now stands accused of
criminal abuse of office in a deal to procure
fuel – charges he denied through his lawyer.
Also on Thursday , Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court –
viewed by many as partial to Mr . Mugabe, 87 –
invalidated the 2008 election of a speaker of
Parliament from the Movement for Democratic
The day ‘s events provided yet more evidence of
Zimbabwe’s rapidly deteriorating political
situation .
” The fact of the matter is that Zimbabwe is in a
crisis ,” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ,
leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change, said in a statement on Thursday .
Mr . Tsvangirai , who in March 2007 was badly
beaten at the same police station where Mr .
Mangoma said he was beaten , cited signs of
what he called a campaign by Mr . Mugabe’ s
party, ZANU-PF , to ” promote chaos and fear in
the country ” : 73 meetings of the M. D . C .
banned or disrupted by the police in recent
weeks; assaults on Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s supporters
in the slums of the capital, Harare , and in the
countryside; a propaganda onslaught against
him and his party in the state- controlled media ;
and the arrest and jailing of M. D. C . leaders and
activists opposed to Mr . Mugabe ‘s 31 -year rule.
Mr . Tsvangirai , who won more votes than Mr .
Mugabe in a March 2008 general election but
withdrew before a June runoff after widespread
attacks on his supporters , contended that
members of his party were being hounded by a
police force and criminal justice system
controlled by Mr . Mugabe .
” But ZANU-PF cadres and securocrats who
murdered people in the run-up to the 27 June
election are roaming free, ” Mr . Tsvangirai said .
He said Mr . Mangoma and six activists accused
of treason after watching videos of the
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were ” innocent
victims of a barbaric and senseless
dictatorship . “
Mr . Mugabe ‘s supporters said that the activists
were plotting to overthrow him. Jonathan
Moyo, a member of ZANU- PF ‘s Politburo , wrote
in the Feb . 27 Sunday Mail , a state-controlled
newspaper, that with the uprisings in North
Africa, ” no doubt vigilance has become the
order of the day all around .
” Only God knows why these hopeless copycats,
whose death wish is to be arrested at the
Harare Gardens and be charged with treason in
accordance with the rule of law they love
preaching about, honestly think they can do an
Egypt or Libya in Zimbabwe,” Mr . Moyo wrote.
ZANU-PF ‘ s crackdown seems driven by anxiety
about revolutions against autocratic rulers
sweeping North Africa and the Middle East , as
well as by the party’ s own push for elections
this year – elections that leaders of the
Movement for Democratic Change have warned
could lead to another violent and discredited
election .
In interviews in recent days , spokesmen for
both Mr . Mugabe and his party have said that
the elections must happen this year .
But South Africa, tasked by regional leaders
with brokering Zimbabwe’ s power- sharing deal ,
is pushing back against Mr . Mugabe ‘s rush to
the polls with unusual vigor that marks a
surprising break with its long and much
criticized ” quiet diplomacy ” in responding to its
neighbor ‘ s decade -long economic and political
In a statement on March 1 , Marius Fransman ,
the deputy minister in South Africa’s
Department of International Relations and
Cooperation, said South Africa and the region
took the position that any election held before
Zimbabweans adopted a new constitution
through a referendum would violate the power –
sharing agreement .
Told that ZANU-PF officials had said there
would be an election this year , Lindiwe Zulu , a
special adviser to South Africa’s president ,
Jacob Zuma , said in a recent interview that
pulling one off that soon would take a miracle .
And on a recent visit to Zimbabwe, Ms. Zulu
said , Mr . Zuma ‘s team plainly voiced concern
about a recurrence of violence and
intimidation .
” If they are going to have an election by
October , they would have to do a 360-degree
turnaround at high speed, ” she said .
Even more forceful comments came from
South Africa’ s deputy president , Kgalema
Motlanthe, who acknowledged the harsh
realities confronting his own country , where
more than a third of working – age people are
jobless and often resent the estimated two
million Zimbabweans who have settled here to
escape their devastated homeland .
Mr . Motlanthe called for the next Zimbabwean
elections to be a watershed in the country ‘s
history, free of violence and observed by
international monitors from the region and
Europe, his spokesman , Thabo Masebe,
confirmed .
” It is the will of the Zimbabwean people which
must determine the future of Zimbabwe as a
country , and it is in our interest as a country
that indeed we proceed in that direction ,” Mr .
Motlanthe said last week. ” Because if we fail
and Zimbabwe implodes , literally the border
between Zimbabwe will disappear and we will
sit with all the problems. “

Published: March 11 , 2011


Renowned academic and educationist Phineas
Makhurane has said Zimbabweans continue to
live in abject poverty despite having a good
education system and highly -skilled manpower .
Makhurane was addressing delegates at the
launch of the Zimbabwe Economics Society
( ZES )’ s Policy Options for a Pro -Poor Economic
Development: Strategies in Zimbabwe report at
a local hotel on Tuesday .
The report follows research funded by the
United Nations Development Programme .
ZES president Lovemore Kadenge said the
research focused mainly on Bulawayo and
Harare .
The former National University of Science and
Technology vice- chancellor said while the ability
of Zimbabweans to acquire knowledge was
undoubted, it was shocking that poverty still
haunted the country .
“ It is clear that in Zimbabwe there is poverty
which is increasing and it seems cannot be
eradicated completely . Many people here fall
below the poverty datum line and all of us are
touched by poverty directly or through our
extended families.
“ We have a big problem here , a big problem of
poverty. I have never doubted the ability of
Zimbabweans to acquire knowledge or skill even
where poverty is concerned . I can testify that
ours has been the best system of education in
the whole world although we could have done
better in fostering an entrepreneurial education .
“ The question then is , why in light of this
knowledge and skills capacity , are we still poor ?
As a nation we lack one crucial thing , which is
the correct attitude, that is the willingness to
implement our know-what and our know-how .
Knowledge, skill and the correct attitude do not
overlap in our case,” he said.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers ’ Union
president Donald Khumalo said :
“ From a civic society ’ s point of view , it is
important that people own their destiny, drive
programmes and decide what they want in their
communities . It is important to get to the
bottom of the problem with the poor
communities than to prescribe solutions from
above . ”
Bulawayo East MDC-T MP Thabitha Khumalo
said from a Matabeleland perspective, there
were leaders who relished in the under –
development of some regions in the country .
“ In Africa, we are rich in natural resources, but
we are very poor . Europe has no resources, but
their people are living in comfort . Why ? The only
buildings constructed in Bulawayo after
independence are the ones that were built by
pension funds.
“ There is a deliberate exclusion of Matabeleland
in terms of infrastructural development . It ’ s
either they forget we are there or they don’ t like
us. We have rulers who believe that some parts
of this country should not be developed for
reasons best known to them , ” Khumalo said .

2011 10 : 35