Archive | February, 2015

The environment in Zimbabwe

22 Feb

Some years ago I was a part of some enquiry which had nothing to do with the environment. I however had break enough to divert and talk about something else. That’s when I mentioned the state of rivers the state of what used to be leafy hills and mountains. Then I remarked : I wander why Zimbabwe has no environmental agency to deal with these things. Guess what, the vice chair of the enquiry was actually in the board of directors of the environmental agency. In respect of who she was we ended there.

I have looked at the agency’s website and got absolute disappointment. The lady from the enquiry is no longer in the agency board but that’s not where my disappointment lay.

My immediate visible problem with the legal provision,the environmental management agency act, is that it is too general. I would like a piece of legislation that apportions specific responsibility to the agency for rivers, for example. It is meant to be supported by regulations and they are scanty. I don’t think the act being a 2002 legislation still conforms to the constitution and the dynamic nature of issues environmental.

There seems to be a distinct difference between what the Act purports the EMA to do and that which it does. Looking at what the EMA says to do you would be tempted to think they are a purely industrial waste management agency. The emphasis of what they do is waste management, protection of wet lands etc, without really addressing detail.

The following quote is a summary of what environmental management services department does:
1. Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs)
2. Environmental clubs for schools
3. Environmental competitions for communities, corporate, NGOs and individuals
4. National commemorations for national and international environmental days
5. Environmental projects
6.Produces the Zimbabwe Environment Outlook Report and other environmental databases
7. Research
8. Trainings
9. Offers consultancy services

I mean really! Rivers are being damaged by gold panning and construction sand diggers. Yet all the regulation of rivers the EMA recognises as its duty is to make sure everyone digging for sand has a licence. That can be done even by the local kraal head. Environmental clubs for schools? Come on. Ok maybe not but what exactly are environmental projects,what is value in legislating for an agency to commemorate environmental days?

What I particularly find incomplete for logic are the many layers of managing the environment all of which have duties buried in the same words. There shall be a minister who will be responsible for the same with his permanent secretary who will be on the management board together with 15 others. Of the 15 one will be a lawyer and the others must be experts in various environmental departments.

There is also a council where again secretaries of relevant ministries are expected to be members. So there are 4 layers of managing the environment before we even look at executive management, operational stuff and support services. This is just a waste of money and time.

Out of all the four layers of administration of our environment there is not even a single one that is specifically charged with implementation of action. It portrays itself as a regulatory and licensing body than a damage control and management entity. In their view of what they do they see workshops and seminars as essential. Yet they are targeting school children. A man struggling with a field under annual erosion needs the advice and support from the expertise of the ema. A panner who wants to extract gold cares less what he is doing to musuruveki river, to tugwane,to tugwi, runde and Save and wider still the ocean. All he needs are correct methods, that is if the EMA are themselves aware of any.

Forests, hills and mountains lie desolate at the watch of a constitutional body commissioned with the task of protecting resources. I looked for information of what of our resources are extinct or almost. There is no such info. What insects, trees, shrubs, birds, animals or crops that are perishing, and the site of EMA has not even a clue.

How polluted are our towns from smoke? These are things that really make responsible reading. When I am assured that the water we drink is well monitored, well managed and is clean and fit for drinking.

Nicknames/mazita ekunemera

20 Feb

Today let me tangent away from anything political,elections,football yobs and the other topics. I would want to be what I think is what I do best, kungozviwana ndechiseka zvangu.

You know people are funny, they have names that are not exactly names. Names that their moms and dads never gave them. Just visiting forums and facebook will make you realise how enterprising people are, creative in poetic names. Reminds me too of the Rhodesian bush war days when soldiers from the regular army and freedom fighters all had names they chose ahead of their names. Funny enough when I was in primary school I remember a craze for self given nicknames that once hit my locality. I never picked any and I remained who I was.

Nicknames. I personally do not like them and I do not call people by nicknames even if they are ok with it. When I moved to a new job some years, there was a man who colleagues called by his nickname. I went for about 2 weeks addressing him with his real name and his response was always unfriendly. Not knowing anything about him I just concluded he was just by character a bad fellow. Then one day he cracked…….he wanted me to call him by his nickname like everyone else. Oh oh. 

 A man obsessed with things military was nicknamed storming Norman and was so proud of that he preferred that to his real name. The world never ceases to amaze. A highly educated professor, a man of many books and worth every bit of academic respect he attracts. And he publicly calls himself njayothuvi ( dog of pooh). Not quite as comparable with snoop dog because the difference is in african languages pooh is a word that is stronger in its nature than shit. 

 During the Rhodesian war, there was a white soldier who had created a daring reputation for himself and for some reason was nicknamed Makaranga. A farmer not far from my rural home was called chigocha, and I never came to know what was kugocha about him. A man a village or two from ours was called vaZiduzvi. I once dated one of his very pretty daughters but I always chuckle when I think I would have been mukwasha wavaZiduzvi. (Big shit’s son in law). 

 The facebook names I used to see some, requesting friendship when I was playful enough to spend hours and hours on facebook, were amazing. Mudapakati. This name could mean one who likes the middle, the centre or sex. There was one girl calling herself vaMaDube. There was a girl calling herself big hure.

The history of nicknames hits wide in cultures. People seem to enjoy nick naming one another. I don’t know what it is people find nice about it but it is a common social activity. Some nicknames are short forms of real names but some get corrupted. James for example can be Jim, Jimmy, Jamie,jemhu, yemhu, thimi,kadzimi and if that catches on one becomes yemhu forever. Other examples are junior, juju justo etc just for some one whose real name is the father’s first name and could be nyson for all you know.
Ana Tindo ndevamwe. 

Among Nigerians one common nickname for girls is chichi. In ndebele bongie can be sibongile, sibonginkosi or bongani. 

 Then there are real nicknames which are given to someone because of their deeds. Mujubheki was one who had lived in joburg. Zimwaya is one who spreads lies. Marujata was a hyper active woman. Gumbomutsvairo was someone always on the move, same as swerakuenda. Musiyadzasukwa was a pisshead, one who leaves the beer places when all has been washed clean.

The worst I remember was this young boy who used to dress in oversized clothes. I am not talking of size 12 on a size 10; he would dress in real big clothes and we used to nickname him zinhu/zunhu,some thing, a huge thing. 

 A boy used for streetwise errands by township heavies could be matuda/ tuda. We had this girl who was so assertive that everybody called her Mudhara Susan. Mudhara is old man and Susan was her name. There was an attempt to paint her male. Chasura is a praise name of the hungwe clan yet one guy was called that, purely because he was stinky. Chasura, besides being a clan name, implies a fart.
Ndapedza.

Chelsea supporting (racist) yobs

19 Feb

I was shopping in a supermarket one day. A woman was pushing a pram in which a little person aka a baby sat. He was probably 18 months or so; can they talk at 18 months….I am sure he was that age which can barely talk. At the top of his voice the little boy went,”mummy that man is black”. Mummy was embarrassed, she didn’t know how I was going to react and she apologised for what?

I do not think this in anyway illustrates or proves that the little boy is racist. I might be wrong but to me it just meant race is a topic in that household. At that age the mum has had a conversation with his son about people being different racially distinct. The circumstances are known to them.

On many other occasions I have met someone and they just change their facial expression. Suddenly someone happy looking changes to a stern face simply because, may be they have seen someone they hate,fear or what?

I always remember when my daughter had reached the age to start school. That would be over 10 years ago.i went to the local primary school to enquire about enrolling her. I found this receptionist lady and told her my story. No she did not understand an single word from me she said. I tried speaking slowly and all. No she couldn’t understand. “I can just about make out you need a school place for a child is that right?” Yes yes I said. She advised me to come back on the next Monday maybe there would be someone else who would understand me. Fair enough.

On Monday,4 days later, I was at reception. There she was. We had a flawless conversation from then till 7 years later when the girl finished. Miracle of time. In 4 days she learnt how to understand an african talking English. People have a problem with different people. This is what I can’t understand.

Every time I go out to meet a person for the first time, I sincerely hope and pray that I be able to accept them for who they are. My dream each time I see a human being is that I start and end with their best side, that I don’t see who they are and what they are if it is deeper than just that they are a person.

So anywhere, the football funs of Chelsea football club went over to Paris as Chelsea had a fixture against Paris St germaine. They get on the train and they are obviously happy and singing in praise of their team in anticipation of good football. A black Paris resident commuting to wherever gets on the train. The yobs refuse him access into his own train in the sense that first great western train or other is these yobs own train, if you see what I mean.

Then they sing a confession that they are racist and they love it or something to that effect.

My questions on this madness are, if one British man had not video recorded this was it going to be known about? Already with video evidence there are people who are hell bent on putting a spin on this. The McCoy guy who claims a totally different view from seen on video is just one.

If it wasn’t for the video would the Paris police be even talking as the prosecution authority is saying, that there will be arrests and jailing. We’re any arrests made anywhere considering the many different racist incidents the press has reported so far.

A caller to a radio chat on the issue tried to take the issue back to the Chelsea of the 70s. He drew clear parallels that Chelsea supporters were racist and still racist now. Ian Wright, a legendary gunner who played and lived in London during his time also hinted at a long history of racism at Chelsea.

Is Chelsea racist or Chelsea happens to represent a society that is racist? Chelsea as a club is certainly not racist. I don’t think any club would be racist in terms of policy and get away with it. Claiming they are not racist because they have black players is just rubbish. If that was their only reason it would leak; it is not water tight.

Society is racist, maybe both sides but certainly many white people have a problem relating to black people. At work there are people who will get away with stuff because no one is prepared to do something. A union poster, for example was posted in the gents toilet at my work place. There is a place where Union posters are put regularly being changed. This was a poster to promote racial harmony and it featured different skill colour hands holding. The black hand was cut in a x shape by some work place racist. There are very few ethnic minorities at my work place but it was a reminder to my heart that among the almost 100 colleagues there is at least’ one possible racist .

If I could return to the Chelsea yobs.more than two seasons later they still singing in defence of the their captain who a competent body found guilty and fined? So they confirm their captain is racist and that is right to be? They can be racist if it is in support of John terry and what did Paris train have to do with that? The thing is whether they were doing it to the black Parisian or were doing it for John terry, the fact remains they are racists and something needs to be done. They make it sound like John terry is indemnified for issues racist.

I have heard the John terry song before. I am sure it is sung a few times at Stamford bridge or in groups of drunken supporters. John terry knows there is a racist song in his honour. The Chelsea publicity team there is a racist song in support of John terry. Kick it out knows the song. Every football fun in England knows the song I am sure. If I, who only but rarely attend football matches in the grounds, have heard this John terry dong what more of real football funs. And what has been done about it?

I know even mild clubs like my dear mighty gunners appear docile, but when it comes to their arch rivals they have mean but certainly non racist songs.

The FA should take this one up. They must investigate the sentiments that Chelsea have always been racist. They must put a stop on this John terry bull****. How do the FA think Anton feels hearing a man who insulted him being idolised for it. How do the FA think we feel as a people when someone they found guilty of an offence is instead hero worshiped in every game his club plays in.

It is difficult to see what can be done with Chelsea as a club. The media chronicles a long streak of negative footprint left by Chelsea in Paris particularly since 1985. To put this to a stop I would deduct points from them. Why? Not as punishment sad such but so as to hit them where it pains the supported,players, technical staff and the executive all at once. They lose money sugar dad will pay but points is when everybody else will think about doing something.

Yet on the other hand there is a risk of sympathy multiplying wrong doers when they start seeing themselves as a victim of the system.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Source : http://www.coolnsmart.com/racism_quotes/

Happy valentines!

14 Feb

Two years ago today, Valentine’s Day I found myself in the custody of an activist style police force detained for many hours. Up to today I do not understand why a man sitting in his car watching street activities can be a threat to a nation or its people. I am someone with loads of political opinion most of which I keep to myself. However, I have never been a political activist. I belong to no political party though I have some sympathy for some, while absolutely loathing some. So here I was arrested on Valentine’s Day afternoon on my way to meet a friend.

That is certainly not tragic. Not when you actually remember that two years ago’ Valentine is when the South African legless runner killed his girl friend in cold blood. The case then drew out long and high ending with Oscar Pistorius getting jailed for what others think is a very unfair sentence either way.

Valentine’s Day is a day that seems set aside for celebrating romantic love. It is a day those fortunate enough to be in love do all sorts of stuff in celebration of their good times. Out to a movie. Out for dinner. Prepare a candle light supper. Go to Valentine night boat parties. The list is endless.

It is a pity I have non of the sort. For the first time this year is when I feel so left out. No one to Valentine with, and actually feeling bad about it. I normally would care less but well I suppose it is that sense when one realises I can’t rather than I won’t. I hope one day there shall be that special one to take to that special Valentine dance, find a place that plays songs like venenzia or chitekete and dance the love away looking at beauty personified………(dream on James)

Anywhere, blissful as the intention is, Valentine’s Day is not a special day in the sense that anything else comes to a stand still. All the other events that shape and order the world still go on. In history there is an American president who suffered double tragedy on Valentine’s Day. He lost both his mum and his wife within hours of one another.

As I sit typing away, there are people mourning because someone they last visited at the avenues clinic, harare Central mpilo or St Luke’s just yesterday, died overnight. There is a harare family that is in mourning right now for its two daughters gunned down in the name of love. They can’t be the only ones, but thank God for valentine because at least out of the billions of people out there, there is at least one who has found joy today, bless them for there are too many tears already. So those who can, go on go dance to that ndinonyara….yes yes…ngoma ngoma, ini ndinonzi nox, ndinobva kuzaka rinopisa dhe dhe dhe…………

Happy Valentine folks

A fool says in his mind……….

14 Feb

I attended a Protestant church boarding school. I do not agree with anyone who says that is when I was brain washed because by the time I went to boarding school I was already a boy of faith. I wasn’t brought up a regular Sunday school child but by age 8 I already had learnt to read the bible among other books. By age 8 I had read my first Shakespeare ,things fall apart and cry the beloved country.

Anywhere,one of the things I learnt at an early age was that there is God. The scripture I loved but could not recite like one kudakwashe was the Lord is my shepherd . The one I found blunt and hard hitting was about a fool saying there is no God.

Why I am saying all this is because yesterday someone found out or released information that the USA has 5% describing themselves as not believing in God. The United Kingdom has 20% unbelievers. I don’t know how that was reached but all the same ngatishande nezviripo.
Last night I proved that the bible is truly amazing and when it describes a fool as one who says there is no God, it is exactly spot on.

I heard a group of young men pouring scorn on God and realised how shallow a mind that knows no God is. Maybe not their fault but all the same hell bound fools.
I will not refer to any scripts or anything on Google to answer some of the questions that came up. I just want to make sense as my ordinary self.

The first I heard ranting was a radio presenter who at the end of the day did not lose his latent traces of christian up bringing. He could say he is an unbeliever but found it hard to say there is no God. His story is tragic even more so as took away his faith. He questions why there is a God who allowed his dad and mum to die. I have heard may stir that argument.

What the ignorant do not realise is that to God dying is not ultimate. To God whether you live or you die you are who you are. You are not with your family, you are not seen but you are His child and you are not the late. He has access to you if he so wishes. To man when one dies, apera.

The problem is that we see God in the way we want Him to be. We want Him to be one who clears the way for us. We want Him to be our think tank. We expect him to be some huge animal whose duty is to make sure we are safe; a guard dog of some kind. I don’t think so.God is God. We expect a servant God.

The other youth went into it with science. This reminded me of a sermon my school minister preached where he emphasised that science can neither prove nor disprove God by its measuring instruments. He said the day that will happen will be the end of the world. God can not be fathomed by science’s measurements. God can not be proved by people claiming to see him or not see him in a giant telescope. God is God

Others were arguing that immorality and hypocrisy are enough proof that God does not exist. So the word of God teaches morality. People decide to be immoral and that proves God does not exist? I don’t get the logic.

Anywhere there should not be any need for proof. This is a matter of faith and faith is ,”the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.” How more simple can that be. As I have told many unbelievers, even when I don’t see God I just believe He exists. There are many many useless things I can’t see but know or even believe they exist. What more just believing that somewhere out there someone made all that is and that to me is God Almighty.

People do care about their past

13 Feb

Well I have taken a break from political write ups to empty my sadness over one thing I am passionate about. You know, I totally understand sadness as I actually have lived sadness so many times that I have worked out how to be happy in the face of sadness. You would never know what I mean.

Anywhere one of the ways to beat sadness is to make someone else happy. It’s something that I have experienced and not read of. I have helped someone, some people and experienced joy as I have never before. But then personally the joy has come most particularly from helping someone and not hear from them again. If they were to loiter, I would end up feeling they had paid with their gratitude.

The one topic I am addressing today is helping people find their relations. The first ever person I successfully helped with that was a girl given away for adoption when she was a baby. In adult life, she and her adoptive parents wanted to track down her biological parents.

I must admit I struggled with morality on this one . I thought for a while how I would feel as an adoptive parent if my daughter decided to find her parents. After soul searching and deep thought, I decided I would be selfish if I denied someone a chance to gain that which she deemed important. The fact that the adoptive parents were involved helped my decision.

I spoke to the parents many times trying to get as much detail as possible. This was my first such assignment ever and it was full of clumsiness and inexperience. They could not believe why I was doing this and worse still for totally no penny. A lot of my time and money was going into phoning them and their daughter. It was their visible trust that spurred me on.

I will always cherish that email; the one in which a contact confirmed that the girl’s mother was living and had been located in South Africa. It didn’t come easy as some relatives did not want to cooperate. Someone even asked to be paid to help a lost daughter of her relative to re-unite with her mum. Disgusting behaviour if you ask me!

My mentor advised me not to break the news until all was set and direct contact with the mum was had. How wise! I got the mother’s phone number relatively easily. I hesitated calling her for almost a week until I managed to pick myself up and call her.

She answered in one of the South African Nguni languages which in all their variants I understand them practically. Hers was Xhosa, I am sure. I introduced myself in a few Xhosa words to gain affectionate familiarity. I apologised for the tainted Xhosa but for trying she , was happy.

I told her what my work, if it could be called that, was. I explained how hard I had pushed to get her. She went so silent I thought the phone had cut.
” nawe bakuthumele abako..( the adoptive parents surname)?” She said softly. It was misleading and I thought it was acknowledgement but when I said yes the phone went dead. This time it had been cut.

I gave her an hour and called again she picked the phone and apologised. She started narrating the story and I cut her short and said mum,I am not being rude but can I not intrude into your privacy please.
She stopped. I realised she was ready.

I gave her the daughter’s number. Yes they did re-unite. It works .

Election fever is upon us.

11 Feb

Come May 2015, I believe it’s the 7th, but whatever date it is it has to be a Thursday; when we sleep that night we likely to wake up to a new government. Come May we are back to the polls to elect rulers of the island nation.

I am not surprised by the fever surrounding this year’s elections considering all that is likely to happen. What surprises me is the angle the Tories are taking this time around. They are bashing in some cases in a way that I consider as below the belt and surely it is going to get dirty.

Generally I hate parliamentary debates. When it comes to house debates I would rather have the House of Lords. Parliament itself is so polarised that the only time there is some respect for order is when they are talking about so casualties of war.

I hate the prime minister’s question time. I hate presidential addresses. But as for the prime minister’s question time I hate it with passion. I am always left thinking why politicians play so stupid. I have even wandered why gogo vaWilliam doesn’t ask them to behave. For those who have not watched this, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition take turns to go to the podium and say each their own idea of an intelligent contribution. It is more like a verbal ping pong. A match to see who says better rubbish, who gets more jeers, who gets the most boos or who gets the most applauds.

What’s wrong with that, is first I bought my tv for 90% entertainment and the other 10% being for funerals,news state of the nation addresses etc. secondly my idea of politicians talking, in typical african macho is where one has a booming voice, telling lies and not even caring what the other person is saying. Ndava kuhumana?

So I was saying because of this election fever these days I listen to this radio station. Lucky enough I have quite some time to listen to it as I have to drive to London for work these days. So this radio station has no music. It has a few stupid adverts but it is purely a conversation radio station. The anchor or radio announcer generates a topic. He then invites callers to contribute any point. Some announcers are strict and will censor anything they don’t agree with. Some do not even take callers but ramble on. There is even a programme for bashing pop stars.

Anywhere today among other topics there was this about the Labour Party. I have a suspicion most people who phone to this wander radio are above middle class people. Of cause I and other lower caste people like me , have phoned in before. I have heard some being almost told off and for me twice I have failed to go past the first screen.

So the story about labour was that they bought a bus, a campaign bus which the radio was calling a battle bus. The bus is meant to be a means to promoting the labour agenda of bringing women to labour, to the Labour Party not labour room, sorry for that. So they decide to paint the bus pink in line with feminine colours. I am thinking that’s brilliant; my logic is if it was meant for crèche children it would be whatever colour but certainly with pictures of the sponge bobs, the Micky mouse, Minnie Mouse, the humpy dumbties, Winnie the Pooh,the Bob the builder ….All the lot. So to me it was just as much as a theme for the right group.

Oh my God. Then this miss phoned in. She just was anti labour through and through. I have no issue with anyone being anti anyone but boy! She went on to say she had never dressed in pink in fact she has never worn a dress. Who does labour think we are?
And I am thinking so, what is wrong with a pink bus. Calls and calls came on and they were all bashing the labour leader, the labour house leader and all about labour. Then it slowly started dawning to me that I was in the middle of a campaign. The so called radio presenter was certainly biased. He had started by expressing his own view.

In most cases the first called calls to endorse the presenter’s angle. When you call you don’t land on radio. You are answered by a receptionist who will ask what it is you want to say. If your point is unacceptable obviously a decision is taken . So much for a neutral radio. I just think they are another voice for the rich and famous and most of them in protection of their wealth are Tories. Next I will develop the funding and support bases of these two parties.

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