Thursday, 21 August 2008
Whether it is nobler for Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC to give up 10years of struggle against a regime that has killed, maimed and looted by just signing away authority back to them and acknowledging ZANU PF’s rule at Zimbabwe's lowest point in all possible terms. Or is it easier to continue with the fight that the MDC has waged for the last ten years as an opposition party, but with the knowledge that they have the majority in Parliament and the people's mandate.
The talks have gone on for more than a month now, two weeks more than what was agreed. The talks are said to be hovering around three sticking points. The first being the amount of powers that Mugabe as president and Tsvangirai as Prime Minster should weld, the second being the time length of the agreement before fresh elections are held and lastly the size of the cabinet.
It has always been a tough call for Morgan and the negotiators to sit down with the enemy and try to reach a compromise. The old adage " Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" should however explain why Robert Mugabe has for the first time been willing to discuss a power sharing deal with a group he has called all sorts of names from prostitutes to puppets of the west since time immemorial. The defeat his party suffered on the March 29 elections was a wake call that made him realize how they could never win a free and fair election.
The questions to us young people today are, Should Morgan Tsvangirai agree to brush under the carpet the trials and tribulations of the last three or so decades and pretend all is well by gaining a post equivalent to that of a school prefect? Will an agreement between ZANU PF and MDC with Mugabe as a powerful President bring about the much needed economic transformation? Must it be enough for Morgan Tsvangirai and a few of his comrades to gain government posts, while Mugabe and his lieutenants are given amnesty and heroes' status for atrocities carried out against millions of Zimbabweans? Or should the MDC continue the struggle for the democratization of Zimbabwe continue in the knowledge that power does not lie in controlling the uniformed forces, but in the hands of the electorate.
Let us know what you think, post your comment on the blog. Speak your mind!
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
We the young Zimbabweans who met on the 25th of July to discuss the current negotiations on Zimbabwe and representing the National Youth Development Trust, Zinasu, YIDEZ, International Socialist Organisation, Habbakuk Trust, Bulawayo Dialogue, Intsha. Com, ZIMCODD, Radio Dialogue, National Constitutional Assembly, Students Christian Movement, Students Solidarity Trust and Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association.
Recognising that the crisis in Zimbabwe has resulted in the structural disempowerment and systematic marginalisation of young people;
Cognisant of the fact that the young people have been greatly affected by the crises in Zimbabwe;
Acknowledging that any process of dialogue in Zimbabwe should be based on the results of the March 29 elections
Recognising the need to set a new political precedent that respects electoral democracy as an important aspect of political transition;
Deploring the continuous marginalisation of young people in the economic, social and political agenda as shown by their lack of representation in the current negotiations,
Do hereby resolve that;
Years of intimidation and violence can not stop up, neither economic, social and political marginalisation silence us from shaping a new and genuine democratic dispensation for our country;
As a way of putting in place a new precedent of political power transition we therefore resolve that there be a Transitional Government that is mandated with the following:
a) Drafting and bringing to a referendum a new democratic people driven constitution which shall, among other things, deal with the following issues,
· Comprehensive electoral reforms
· Provide for an independent electoral commission
· Provide for a clear separation of powers between the executive, the judiciary and the legislature
· Restoration of the rule of law
· Scraping off of draconian legislations such as POSA and AIPPA
b) Economic reforms
· Restoring credibility of the country in the global finance institutions like the IMF and the World bank
· Re-oiling the Zimbabwean industries to create employment opportunities for the youths
· Provision of basic commodities for the survival of the people
c) Professionalising state institutions like the public media
· Depoliticisation of state media journalists
· Opening up of the media to everyone including opposition political parties and civil society
d) Professionalising the civil service especially the army and the police force
· Depoliticisation of civil servants
e) Preparing people for a free and fair presidential run off which shall be monitored by local, regional and international observers.
It is our well considered view that the above mentioned issues constitute the democratic fundamentals and necessary prerequisites for a new political dispensation in Zimbabwe which if ignored the outcome will be disastrous for the democracy project.
Monday, 26 May 2008
This Africa Day, one wishes there was something to celebrate. Do not get me wrong, the National Youth Development Trust hails that historic generation of
This obtaining situation has raised a lot of questions about what African Solidarity really means. Does it mean that those who drove the liberation movement of
For us it never rains but pours incessantly. To add to our profound suffering, our Southern neighbours just woke up one morning and decided we are no longer welcome in their land. A spirited campaign of xenophobic violence has been visited on the millions of foreigners living as political and economic refugees in
What an insult. The statement, to begin with, is blatantlly sexist. People are failing to realise that most of the foreigners, especially Zimbabweans are enterprising women who are just commited to the cause of feeding their families. Our people are accused of accepting any salary for a job and, therefore prejudicing the locals. This is just a pointer to the crisis in
Do not get me wrong, I am in total agreement with the assertion that the South African government has the primary objective of serving the interests of South Africans. Certainly, this is not an issue of foreigners stealing jobs, it is an issue of two communities of poor people frustrated with their circumstances. If there is someone that the residents of Thembisa, Alexandra and Diepsloot should be angry with, it is their government for failing to swiftly expand vital social services such as housing.
Be that as it may,
My concern, disregarding the technical and procedural dimensions mentioned above, is that Africans can still think in such a primitive way at such a time as this. Have they no sanctity for human life to murder poor brothers and sisters. One does not let emotion cloud their judgement and resort to shedding blood. Nelson Mandela, the world statesman, is on record for saying that
The National Youth Development Trust notes with rage that unemployment has driven many young people to South Africa for economic survival and the latest developments makes their plight even worse. We believe that Zimbabweans have the obligation to solve their own problems but our brothers should not exonerate themselves from playing their part. We applaud the South African Personalities Against Xenophobia for the noble campaigns and demonstrations they have been having as a response to the crisis. Is
We have so many problems bedevilling us as Africans that we need to work together to solve. Neccessity, more than anything else, dictates that we stick together. Sectorial interests must not divide us in our quest to achieve the African Dream. Mayibuye!
Mziwandile Ndlovu-Thwalimbiza, Convention Secretary.
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
Not withstanding the huge task and complications that may accompany a historic harmonized election, NYDT would like to express disappointment for the commission's delay in the announcement of all election results. It was NYDT and every Zimbabwean's expectation that a body like ZEC would have the necessary tools to compile and as per the law deliver the election results timely and accurately, so that there is no information blackout that allows other interested parties to announce their own unofficial results- creating confusion, frustration and despondency among the voters. The delay in the election result announcements is an infringement on the rights of the millions of Zimbabwean voters who braved the cold and dark night to queue, some of them traveling from as far as
It is saddening that an institution with as important a mandate as that of ZEC can relax on important processes like a nation's selection of its representatives and more so the youths' right to take part in a process which is the determination of their future. How does ZEC explain the none existence on the voter's rolls of thousands of voters who swear they registered to vote and the continued appearance on the voters roll of Zimbabweans long dead and buried? Does this not suggest that ZEC did not have a supplementary voter's roll? How does ZEC explain its refusal for the MDC to check the voter's roll in electric format to avoid embarrassing discrepancies like that of having more than seventy voters claiming they stay in a cabin on a piece of bear land?
Shall we assume that ZEC as a body will run away with the true elections results much like its chairman Justice George Chiweshe literally ran from media practitioners who wanted to know why the election results were delaying?
Zimbabweans needs to know why it has taken so long to announce the outcome, we need to know why the voters roll was still in shambles when you said all was in order weeks before March 29, we need to know why some polling stations opened later than 7am, we need to know why at some voting stations the ballot papers were not in the announced colours, we need to know why ballot papers ran out by 10am at some voting stations, we need to know why some polling agents were refused entry into polling stations, we need to know why some candidates were allowed to talk to voters at the polling centers. We need to know this and we need to know it now!
Whatever the explanations, ZEC has not done enough to ensure that they produce uncontested electoral outcome. If anything, it has confirmed the fears of the voters and destroyed any bit of electoral confidence that was left in the electorate. We also condemn the premature pronouncements of elections as free and fair by the regional observer teams, despite the fact that the announcements of results is not even half-way through.
NYDT Information department
Cell : 011 446 150/ 011 745 758
Thursday, 13 March 2008
The levels of intolerance that prevail in the Zimbabwean political landscape have really reached alarming levels. There is an African proverb which says, “When lice begins to reach his underpants, a man must boil his clothes”. This is a simple proverb which means that a problem must not be allowed to reach alarming levels before drastic measures are taken to solve it. The perpetuation of a culture of intolerance and violence in Zimbabwean political landscape has really reached alarming levels and as we move towards determining the future of Zimbabwe on the 29th of March, we call upon all the young people in Zimbabwe to stop the rot by acting responsibly, condemning violence and diverting their energies towards building a better political culture in Zimbabwe. It is only when we allow differing opinions to emerge that we progress as a nation. Wise men say, "When two business people always agree, then one of them is of no use".
It is therefore imperative that government security forces practice tolerance and become the sole protectors of the citizens of Zimbabwe not perpetrators of the violence they are supposed to curb. Leaders deserve to be respected and a disagreement with their views should not be expressed through the use of bullets, button sticks nor teargas but should be raised in a respectful non violent manner.
Sunday, 17 February 2008
After years and years of preaching the message to the young to participate in the electoral game, finally, something has made them take their first step towards participation. This must tell us something. It in a way answers the questions as to why youths have been apathetic in previous elections. Maybe they did not realize the importance of voting then compared to now or they had not found anyone worthy of voting for.
However, a lot of mystery still surrounds this last minute action by Dr Makoni, a longtime ZANU PF member and Robert Mugabe loyal. While others believe he is the bridge between the nationalists and those calling for a democratic revolution since he understands ZANU PF operations and is generally acceptable to international, regional and local democratic forces, others believe that he is nothing more that a ZANU PF creation to cause confusion and divisions within the opposition movements in Zimbabwe.
They raise questions as to why he took so long to breakaway. If the ZANU PF congress produced and unworthy candidate why did he hang in there until the end of ZANU PF primaries and a realization that he won’t make it to parliament. Many have asked why he remained a loyal member of a politburo which presided over decisions which resulted in gross human rights violations. Such decisions include, the Gukurahundi massacres, land/ farm invasion, unleashing of green bombers on opposition politicians, Operation Murambatsvina, the Industrial invasions and many such events that he seems to have kept quiet about over the years.
Those who support him have been quick to defend him and argue that the decisions in the politburo are made by about 40 members and that it is possible that Dr Makoni has voted against most decisions that led to disastrous directives and policies such as the gukurahundi massacres, land reform and the invasion of factories. There are also arguments to the fact that, as a loyal member of ZANU PF, he could not publicly declare his opposition to the ZANU PF leadership at these occassions.
During his first press conference, Dr. Makoni announced that he is still a loyal member of ZANU PF and this means that he is loyal to ZANU PF ideologies, ZANU PF principles and ZANU PF policies yet it is such policies, principles and ideologies that have brought us to where we are today. Another eyebrow raising incident is that of him filing his papers to contest in the ZANU PF primaries for an MP’s seat in the Makoni District. The question is, if he originally wanted to be president in place of Mugabe today, why was he willing to sit in parliament being led by the same man he is now challenging. His defenders allege that his nomination papers for the ZANU PF primaries were filled by someone else and that Dr. Makoni was out of the country by then. What they have not said however is who instructed that person to complete the nomination for Makoni
Also suspicious is the secrecy surrounding those who are in ZANU PF and are said to be in full support of him. The only close associates that have been seen hanging around the rebel Dr. are Dr Ibbo Mandaza and Kudzai Mbuzi. Save from media speculation that General Solomon Mujuru, Retired Colonel Vitalis Zvinavashe, and former Zipra Intelligence Chief Dumiso Dabengwa are amongst some of his backers, we have not heard of any more and none of those mentioned above have come out to publicly support Makoni. Once again his loyalists have argued that it is a matter of strategy for his other backers not to come out publicly because that will make them targets of the regime.
With less than 40 days to go before the historic harmonized elections, Dr Makoni has a lot to prove to the nation about how genuine he is about altering the fortunes of ordinary Zimbabweans and how capable he is of delivering if he is to be given the chance to do so.
Youths, have your say on this issue. Do you think Dr Simba Makoni offers a better answer to Zimbabwe’s problems than President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai? Do you trust his intentions and why? Please also let us know if you are a registered voter, if you will go ahead and vote and if not why you will not do so?. When you vote will you be voting according to the candidate’s party or according to the candidate’s capabilities.
Post your comments by clicking on the word comments then writing in the blank box that will appear on you computer screen immediately afterwards. Make sure you choose the anonymous signature if you do not wish to be identified and please use language that is friendly for all blog readers.
Saturday, 12 January 2008
A student is supposed to pay tuition fees in advance of the resumption of the school term. School fees have been increased by 600%. This entails a Government boarding school charging tuition fees of about Z$250million. Parents with Children attending private schools like Petra or Girls College High Schools are this year expected to folk out no less than Z$I,6billion and Z$1,5billion dollars respectively minus the groceries.
For day school students, given that many of them learn far away from their homes, parents need to avail a monthly transport and lunch allowance which is nothing less than $200 million dollars per school going child. This means that a family that has more than two school going children will require no less than half a billion dollars every month just for lunch and transport.
This is an impossible feat. Especially considering that a civil servant (for example a senior teacher) after a 1000% increment by government last week, will be taking home nothing more than Z$250million monthly. How does a parent working as a civil servant and has more than one school going child afford to pay fees for his/her children. This same scenario applies to most bread winners working in the country’s industries and are being paid peanuts. For example industrial production workers earn about 80million dollars and are expected to cover their own and their children’s transport fares plus school fees and food at home, how do they explain not being able to afford their children’s basic needs on the first day of school?
Learning institutions also have their part of the bargain to meet. Government has to make sure that schools have adequate learning material and facilities like textbooks, science labs, good infrastructure, enough and competent educators. Teachers have to be well remunerated and a good work environment created for them to stay on in their jobs. Teachers in turn have to advance their skills and dedicate most of their time to the teaching profession so that they ensure continued quality delivery.
The failure by the above to meet half way has caused a breakdown in the Zimbabwean school’s education system once known as the best in Southern if not all of Africa. The reasons are as follows (At least according to those concerned).
Teachers will spend most of their time sitting or dealing in anything else that will supplement their paltry salaries than in the classroom teaching. Students will spend the day gallivanting in the city streets than sit in class waiting for a teacher who is hardly ever present. Government will hesitate to increase teachers’ salaries because it claims it has no money. Parents will delay paying fees because (in the case of civil servants) Government always takes its time increasing their salaries and when it decides to do so it announces it through the national press. This encourages everyone else to hike their service costs in anticipation of the civil Servants’ “hefty increments”.
The above situation will culminate in nothing less than disaster. Our brothers and sisters risk being sucked into criminal and prostitution rings due to their vulnerability. An unempowered youth group, lacking in positive activity and adequate education is susceptible to risky survival tactics and mostly not serving of their interests. The girl child (especially in rural set ups) risks being left out of the classroom as parents are once again forced to choose between who (given the limited resources) is most beneficial at the time to educate. Needless to say, given the above state of affairs, the future looks bleak for the school going youths of Zimbabwe and for the country as a whole.
Who do you think is to blame for the situation that this sector is in and how do you think it can be improved on? Youths speak your mind on this and other areas to do with education in Zimbabwe by cliquing on comments. A window will appear where you can post your views and send it to us with your name or in anonymity. Let us and others like you know how you really feel.