Sunday, September 24, 2017

AMISOM Concludes Security Training for Somali Security Officers
AllAfrica.com

The AU Mission in Somalia has trained sixty officers from the Somali security forces in the prevention of recruitment and use of child soldiers in conflict.

The two-week training supported by the British government and the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, through the Dalhousie University of Canada, drew participants from the Somali military, police and intelligence services.

Representatives of non-governmental organizations, federal and regional level member states, also participated in the training which ended today.

"We should spare these children from being recruited into radicalism, from being recruited into committing acts of violence against their own people, against their own country and against their own neighbors," Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, said in his remarks during the course of the capacity building workshop.

Noting that the use of child soldiers in conflict was widespread in Somalia, the AU Special Representative expressed the need to establish the exact numbers of children fighting wars in the country.

"It's difficult to know exactly how many underage children are involved in this battle. We have to say its widespread, particularly within the Al-Shabaab ranks," Ambassador Madeira stated.

The training focused on the identification of child soldiers, the prevention of their recruitment, their rehabilitation and reintegration.

Ambassador Madeira said the training was co-facilitated by Somalis previously trained in other trainings undertaken by AMISOM.

"This blueprint is part of AMISOM's exit strategy and is aimed at capacitating Somalis to take responsibility of training their own counterparts," he explained.

Mr. David Concar, the British Ambassador to Somalia attributed the widespread recruitment of child soldiers in Somalia to violent extremism propagated by the Al-Shabaab militant group.

"It does a huge harm to communities and it's holding back the cause of peace in this part of Africa," Mr. Concar noted.

"So we take this problem very seriously. We want to do something about it. That's why we are working with the African Union through AMISOM and with the Federal Government of Somalia to fund special targeted training," he added.

Mr. Simon Mulongo, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, said the training would equip Somali national security forces with skills and knowledge, to effectively contain the problem.

"As Somalis, you have to determine and manage the destiny of this country. Whereas AMISOM and other international partners are going soon, it's your duty and obligation to understand governance, to be able to run the affairs of the country efficiently," Mr. Mulongo remarked.

The training was coordinated by Mr. Musa Gbow, AMISOM's Child Protection Advisor.

"The purpose of the training was to pre-select potential trainers who in turn will be trained sometime in October during a Training of Trainers session, so that they can continue to propagate the message and train their counterparts across the country," Mr. Gbow explained.
Kabila at UN Pledges DRC Elections But Still No Date
2017-09-23 18:59
News24

New York - Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila told the United Nations on Saturday that his country is moving towards holding elections but vowed to resist "foreign diktats" on setting a date for the historic vote.

Addressing the General Assembly, Kabila appealed for support from his "true friends" as his country confronts what he described as major logistical and security challenges to organise the vote.

Under an agreement reached with opposition groups last year, elections are to be held this year in the large mineral-rich African country, paving the way to the DRC's first democratic transition.

But months later, a date has still not been set for the polls.

"We can affirm that we are most certainly moving towards credible, transparent and peaceful elections," Kabila said.

"This is an irreversible process and this should be put in place without external diktats or interference."

In power since 2001, Kabila officially ended his term in office in December, but he was allowed to remain under the New Year's Eve deal in exchange for guarantees that elections will be held.

The UN Security Council has demanded that elections be held before the end of this year, but concerns are growing after election officials said in July that a vote in 2017 was unlikely.

Kabila told the UN assembly that organising the elections in the vast country presented major logistical and security challenges, but that he was confronting these "with undeniable tenacity."

Voter registration is progressing with 42 million people out of a total of 45 million citizens of voting age now on the electoral lists, he said.

The United States has threatened to slap sanctions on the DRC unless elections are held this year.

Fighting 'terrorism' in Kasai

Kabila defended a military campaign in the Kasai region, which the United Nations has said resulted in hundreds of extrajudicial killings, saying his forces were fighting "terrorists".

"In the Kasai, a mystical tribal militia is using the civilian population, including children, as human shields, attacking people and state buildings, sowing terror," he said.

Kasai has been in turmoil since a tribal chieftain known as the Kamwina Nsapu, who rebelled against Kabila's regime, was killed in August.

More than 3 000 people have died and 1.4 million have been displaced, according to the Catholic Church.

Kabila described as "barbaric" the murder of two UN experts in the Kasai, and pledged to "shed full light" on the crime and bring those resonsible to justice.

Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean national and American Michael Sharp were killed in March while investigating reports of more than 40 mass graves in the Kasai.

Their bodies were found in a shallow grave. Catalan had been decapitated.

The president renewed his call for a drawdown of the 20,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo, saying that after 20 years, the force cannot "stay in my country indefinitely."

Kabila was first propelled into office after his father, Laurent-Desire Kabila, was assassinated in January 2001.

He won a first five-year term in 2006 in a poll organised with the help of the large UN mission.
Zambia National Education Coalition Condemns Proposals to Reintroduce Corporal Punishment in Schools
September 23, 2017
Lusaka Times

A Tungi Primary School pupil planting a Rosewood (Muzauli) tree during the launch of the National Tree Planting Exercise for 2016/2017 Planting Season for Western Province in Mongu

The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has said that it is in support of the ban on corporal punishments in learning institutions and condemned any proposals to reintroduce it.

In a statement released to the media, ZANEC said that ZANEC Members Organisations resolved to reaffirm their position that corporal punishment was not only bad for the learners but equally for the teachers.

Below is the full statement

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT BAN IN SCHOOLS

The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has reaffirmed its support for the ban on corporal punishments in learning institutions and condemned any proposals to reintroduce it.

During a special coalition meeting convened on 18th September 2017 ZANEC Members Organisations resolved to reaffirm their position that corporal punishment was not only bad for the learners but equally for the teachers. Members agreed that if corporal punishment was reintroduced in schools, teachers would be contradicting the provisions of the laws of Zambia particularly the Education Act of 2011 (Section 28) that prohibits it. Zambia is also party to the United Nations (UN) convention on children’s rights and the African Charter on the rights and welfare of children that both denounce corporal punishment.

ZANEC, is a consortium of 68, education sector oriented Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that promote quality education for every Zambian. ZANEC also builds consensus among players on various issues in the education sector to inform its advocacy positions.

It is ZANEC’s view that the ban on corporal punishment should be sustained and advocate for the use of other means to correct learners.

Corporal punishments is not just hurtful to learners but also promotes violence among them and does not show human dignity. Corporal punishment which involves physical canning and hard labour encourages absenteeism among learners due to instilled fear.

We are aware that since the ban of corporal punishment in 2003, some challenges have been faced regarding disciplining of learners but re-introducing it is not a solution as the benefits to the ban are more than the negatives. What is required now are concerted efforts between the parents and the respective schools to invest and engage more in counselling and guidance.

We are aware that the Ministry of General Education (MOGE) has introduced the Guidance and Counseling Department in all schools across the country. This should be the best medium to use in ensuring that learners are disciplined. The coalition members call upon the Government to ensure that Counseling and Guidance is introduced and mainstreamed as a subject in all teacher training colleges.

The responsibility of bringing up morally upright children still remains the primary responsibility of the family. It is therefore important that parents work closely with the schools to ensure that children remain focused and retain the discipline inculcated in them. The function of the schools on the other hand is to blend family and academic values in learners so that they grow into responsible adults.

The coalition members also agreed that there was need for more emphasis on civic responsibility on pupils in the education curriculum so that family values could be inculcated in the leaners. The coalition would like this emphasized to learners, parents, teachers and society as a whole that rights come with responsibilities.

Regrettably ZANEC members also noted that most parents do not attend school Open Days thereby missing out on an opportunity to share well-coordinated approaches with the schools on the correctional strategies on their children’s behavior. Parents have also been advised to attend school Open Days so that they could share ideas with their children’s teachers on how to inculcate better academic and moral values.

Besides encouraging parents to attend Open Days, the coalition members have proposed that Youth Friendly Corner should be introduced in schools to curb misbehavior through peer motivations.

Teachers should also sign a Child Safeguarding Policy upon being recruited for employment as a commitment to prevent corporal punishment.

Finally, ZANEC urges all learning institutions to strictly adhere to the government ban on corporal punishment as the measure was progressive.

Grace M. Sinkamba
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Second Coming of Global Witness
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Mzingaye Khumalo
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

Forget the transparency issues that Global Witness is raising about the Marange diamonds. That is just but a gimmick.

Critics from time immemorial have argued that the meaning of a given text lies in the empty spaces between sentences or words.

Similarly, the Germans have a proverb which says “if you want to kill a dog you allege that it has rabies”.

The aforementioned assertions aptly sums up the agenda of Global Witness insofar as its interests in the Marange Diamond Fields are concerned and as epitomised in its September 2017 publication of its report titled “An Inside Job”.

The publication in its entirety literally attempts to allege that the Marange diamonds have “rabies”, so to say, in deliberate efforts to kill the dog.

In pursuit of the takeover of the Marange Diamond Fields, the US, through Global Witness, claims to have “uncovered new evidence that reveals how Zimbabwe’s feared Central Intelligence Organisation, (CIO), the military, notorious smugglers, and well-heeled political elites, all gained control or ownership of companies operating in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields”.

This report is a follow-up to a similar one published in 2010 whose title was “Return of the Blood Diamond”.

The 2010 publication made claims that “Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF political and military elite are seeking to capture the country’s diamond wealth through a combination of State-sponsored violence and the introduction of opaque joint-venture companies”.

At the centre of the claims was the then Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Dr Obert Mpofu, whom it said had “been at the forefront of efforts to block oversight of the joint venture companies, Canadile Miners and Mbada Diamonds”.

Whereas Minister Mpofu is no longer in the midst of things today, a new fall guy has been identified, of which this time is the Central Intelligence Organisation.

It stands to be seen if the Global Witness will manage to play President Robert Mugabe, who represents the aspirations of the masses, against his own intelligence service.

But judging from President Mugabe’s Goliath remarks at the 72nd United Nation General Assembly, America could once again be on a losing streak against this small country in Southern Africa.

Forget the transparency issues that Global Witness is raising about the Marange diamonds. That is just but a gimmick.

Global Witness is aware the CIO is clean, but is just taking chances in pursuit of its agenda to take control of the oversight operations.

This would not be the first time America has done a similar act in Africa. True indeed to the words of renowned literary author Allan Paton who said “history is the shadow of the future”, the mighty America is once again back with its old same bag of tricks of penetration.

America seeks to do with the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe, what it has done before in some parts of Africa through its proxy, the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development which USAID co-finances alongside the European Union.

What is important for the majority of Zimbabweans is to understand that the import of the report is to solicit support against the Government-led model of managing of the Marange diamond fields with a view of warranting external intervention which would be led by none other than the mighty America.

Secondly, Global Witness is not what it seems to the naked eye.

Whereas Global Witness masquerades as an international non-governmental organisation that purportedly seeks to “break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide”, it is in actual fact a CIA outfit that seeks to expand the US hegemony in the diamond sector, particularly in Africa.

In fact, this naked truth and strategy by Global Witness is there for everyone to see in the said latest publication by Global Witness.

In part, the publication’s executive summary reports: “The diamond sector in Zimbabwe is currently at a crossroads. After a decade of disappointment, only root and branch reform, supported by a more transparent and responsible international diamond trade, offers hope of avoiding a repeat performance.”

It adds: “Despite offering early promise and hope, diamonds have failed to benefit the Zimbabwean people. Instead, they have provided secret off-budget funding for state security forces consistently implicated in their oppression.

“As elections and a divisive presidential succession struggle loom, this has serious implications for Zimbabwe’s democratic future, and casts serious doubt on President Mugabe’s claim that private investors are solely to blame for billions of dollars of missing diamond revenues.”

As alluded before, the strategy that Global Witness intends to use on Zimbabwe is a carbon copy of the Côte d’Ivoire experience.

Riding on Côte d’Ivoire’s 2002 political instability which saw that country being slapped with UN Sanctions in 2004, which were in 2005 enlarged to include a ban on the export of rough diamonds, the US found an entry point to control the operations of that country’s diamond industry.

Once Côte d’Ivoire was standing on shaky ground, the US under the disguise of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) marked its entrance into that country.

DDI masquerades as having “keen interest in offering its expertise” diamond mining operations.

The US followed up its first stage through the establishment of grouping of nations that came to be known as “Friends of Côte d’Ivoire (FOCDI)” In 2010. FOCDI’s mission was couched as to “help the Ivoirian government move towards KPCS compliance and the lifting of the embargo.”

This group includes the United States, the European Union, Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom, Brazil, Ghana, and the Republic of South Africa.

The mission culminated in the appointment of technical assistance and an advisor duly deployed in March 2013, funded first by USAID, and from August by the EU.

This is the same script America seeks to use in Marange in pursuit of having control of the mining operations.

The executive summary of the same publication further claims that “basic information on Zimbabwe’s production and revenues has never been meaningfully reported, frustrating efforts to make sure funds are going where they are supposed to”.

If this reported scenario is indeed spot on, America by now should have relinquished its post as the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme Working Group Chair on Statistics.

The core business of this working group is to “ensure timely reporting and analysis of statistical data on the production and trade of rough diamonds. By doing this, it can identify anomalies and ensure the effective implementation of the scheme”.

Judging on how judicious the mighty America is, one is left wondering how the WGS missed on the alleged shambolic diamond financial reports of Zimbabwe.

In essence “An Inside Job” is an attempt by America to seek legitimacy in its illegal quest to superintend over resources of perceived weaker countries.
US$360m Windfall for Farmers
 KUDA BWITITI
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
Chief Reporter

Farmers who delivered grain to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) are smiling all the way to the bank as the parastatal has promptly doled out at least US$360 million for the produce to date.

The Sunday Mail is reliably informed that Treasury has upped weekly disbursements to GMB, which has seen the parastatal paying about US$40 million to farmers every week.

Notwithstanding some hitches, the GMB is transferring the money into farmers’ accounts within two to three weeks of delivering grain.

This is a notable progression from previous years when payment would take months.

As a result of the effective payment system, many farmers have already started preparing for the forthcoming season.

Buoyed by the success of 2016-17 season, Government has set the tone for yet another bumper harvest during the 2017-18 season.

Last Friday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made told The Sunday Mail that Treasury has “tremendously supported” the post-harvesting season as $360 million has been paid to farmers so far.

“To date, US$360 million has been paid for maize. Deliveries are still coming and we continue to make payments,” he said.

“The pace with which we are paying is smooth and I must commend the Minister of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the way they have tremendously supported us.

“I know there may be one or two farmers that may not have been paid as a result of one anomaly or the other, but surely from the broader perspective, the payment system has been very effective this season.”

Dr Made said payment has also been effective for producers of small grains.

“For the first time in so many years, communal farmers have delivered small grains like sorghum, rapoko, cowpeas, sunflower and groundnuts. These are reaching 40 000 metric tonnes.

“The small grain farmers have been paid around US$15 million.

“Soyabean farmers have delivered 18 000 metric tonnes of the crop and have been paid US$12 million.”

Dr Made said the swift payment for grain deliveries has positioned farmers in good stead for the forthcoming season.

He said indications are that the country is heading towards another good season.

The Agriculture Minister said the Presidential Well-Wishers Agriculture Input Scheme would be expanded from benefiting 1,8 million maize producing households to cover the same number of soyabean producers.

“We are also going to have the Cotton Presidential Agriculture Well-Wishers Programme to support 400 000 households,” Dr Made revealed.

In an interview last week, Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union executive director Mr Paul Zakaria said although farmers have a few queries, they were largely satisfied with how GMB has handled payments for grain deliveries.

“Farmers are generally happy with the payments.

“However, there are a few cases where some are complaining. We discovered that in the majority of these cases, the problems have to do with the farmers’ banking details or some minor mishaps.

“We engaged GMB and they promised to attend to all the queries.

Speaking during a recent Zanu-PF Breakfast Seminar held in Harare under the theme “Command Agriculture and its impact on industry and the economy at large”, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the agriculture sector would spur economic growth.

“Under normal circumstances, the agriculture sector provides employment and income for 60 to 70 percent of the population. lt supplies 60 percent of the raw materials required by the industrial sector and contributes 40 percent of total export earnings,” he said.

“It is generally accepted that when agriculture performs, the rest of the economy experiences a boom.”

This year, Zimbabwe is projected to harvest at least 2,7 million tonnes of grain in what could turn out to be the largest yield achieved by the country since the fast track land reform programme in 2000.

The country also expects to save up to US$300 million on maize imports after authorities announced a ban on foreign grain imports.
Africa Has to Be Wary About Its Resources
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Taurai Changwa
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

AS commodity prices are trekking northwards on the international market, many African countries, which have predominantly resource-rich economies, are beginning to celebrate.

Growth in many such resource-rich countries, including Zimbabwe, is expected to be underpinned by the mining sector.

But it must be noted that the net benefit accrues to global resource consumers who value add these minerals and resources into commodities that are later on absorbed as finished products by African countries.

So Africa becomes the biggest loser.

Greed has really stifled progress in Africa.

Moreso, there is a global financial architecture that is not friendly to African economies.

Many global mining houses that make a living out of mining precious resources on the continent have offshore accounts through which they use to bank their proceeds.

This, they argue, is ostensibly meant to facilitate offshore transactions.



For African countries, money that is banked in this way becomes dead capital since it does not sweat for local economies.

Though it is practically impossible to list the sheer amount of minerals that are found on the continent, it is very easy to count companies that are involved in value addition and beneficiation.

Clearly, with such seemingly scandalous endowments, Africa should be the richest continent in the universe.

However, as long as the current status quo remains, Africa will continue to be a source of raw materials that sustains industrialisation and wealth creation on other continents.

Time and again, President Robert Mugabe always talks about beneficiation, but little progress is being made.

It is worrying that Africa continues to import both basic commodities and sundry items.

There is no reason for all these products not to be manufactured in Africa.

Africans are not children of a lesser God, whatever the Americans, Europeans, Australians and Asian can do, they, too, can also accomplish.

Greed and corruption, however, continue to be the major drawback.

Africa is bleeding because of greed.

This narrative can be easily changed.

America boasts of the likes of Andrew Carnegi, J P Morgan, J D Rockefeller, Levi Strauss who were the 19th century entrepreneurs that helped shape America made it what it is today.

Every civilisation has not always been rich, civilisations have had to work hard to achieve affluence.

Africa can easily write the same script.

There are so many African entrepreneurs on the continent that are showing the way.

It is time for us to turn the opportunities that exist on the continent into material gain.

Every nation works for the good of its own citizens, it is a fallacy to think that there is an investor that will work for the common good of the country.

It therefore becomes incumbent upon us to be the authors of our own destiny.

Often those who come as angel investors end up looting local resources.

So there is need to begin the small steps to success.

No one ever started big and it is important to eliminate a mindset of wanting “quick wins”.

Equally important is the need to unlearn the attitude of being individualistic in nature.

Enterpreneurs worth their salt should be able to love behind enduring legacies.

Coca Cola was produced in the 18th century but up until today it remains a competitive product.

Steve Jobs invested in the iPhone and the brand is still competitive today, even after his untimely demise.

We also need to introspect and ask ourselves difficult questions.

What is the legacy that we are leaving behind?

But this obviously cannot happen if we pre-occupy ourselves with selling raw materials.

As observed by both the Southern African Development Community and the African Union, the continent desperately needs to industrialise.

It is now time for the gospel of self-sufficiency.

Deliberate empowerment programmes that have been created by Government since the 1990s have been able to spawn a new class of successful black investors, across many industries, including banking, insurance and agro-processing, among others, and it is the same talent pool that has to be leveraged on to create a new successful future for the country.

We need to get the maximum possible value from our natural resources.

We must not think short term.

Foreign aid isn’t the solution.

To sustainably change our economic fortunes, there is need to change the way we talk and think about Africa.

It is not about making people feel guilty, but correctly diagnosing a problem in order to provide a solution.

We are not, currently, “helping” Africa. Africa is rich.

Let’s stop making it poorer.

By adding value to our own natural resources, we are able to ensure that at least we also benefit during the boom cycle in the global commodities market.

Taurai Changwa is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe and an Estate Administrator. He has vast experience on tax, accounting, audit and corporate governance issues. He is a director of Umar & Tach Advisory. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted at tauraichangwa1@gmail.com or or whatsapp on 0772374784.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: UN Created to Cause Wars?
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

The world has a long way to go before global peace can be achieved, forgive us for handing such a bitter pill.

The mess engulfing the United Nations is testimony that the evolution of international unity from being a myth into reality is still a far cry.

When the UN was established in 1945, following the destruction caused by the Second World War, it was pertinent that there would never be a repeat of that or anything close to it.

The opposite has, however, been true.

Conflicts have erupted unabated, with the UN not doing much to facilitate peace in ravaged nations. Syria can attest to that, so can Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq; the list seems endless.

Whatever justifications there is behind the wars, they are still wars and innocent people have suffered and continue to suffer.

People are crying for help, may the UN please hear them.

The 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly ends in New York tomorrow and it is clear that no coherent and convincing framework will be put in place to address this pressing issue.

Instead, United States President Mr Donald Trump used the platform to display his arrogant and reckless persona in his inaugural address at the Assembly.

History will remember him as the statesman who threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea on an international podium.

Mr Trump is spoiling for a war and the UN is unlikely to do anything about it. Here is why.

Mr Trump leads one of the five countries that are the permanent veto-wielders within a multilateral institution that is one of the most dictatorial establishments in the world — the UN.

It is an issue of organisational structure, period.

Only 15 members – among them his US, Britain, China, France and Russia – are within the UN’s Security Council, which is one of the institution’s six principal organs charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.

Why should a select few consider themselves the custodians of global peace?

Why should the fate of 180 member nations rest on the decisions of five nations?

We ask, therefore, is the UN in search of global peace or dominance?

If it was genuinely a case of global peace, why are decisions not being made through democratic votes?

President Robert Mugabe is on record saying the UN’s structure is a cause for concern and will continue to brew problems for the whole world if left unresolved.

America and her allies have never made it a secret that they do not like the Zimbabwean leader for daring to question such structures and attempting to conscientise other heads of state.

To them, President Mugabe is a threat in their search for supremacy.

In his address at the Summit on Thursday, President Mugabe reiterated the need for quick reforms on the UN Security Council; challenging the world to invest in peace, not war.

As for Mr Trump, the reincarnation of the biblical Goliath, it cannot always be “America first” all the way.

America is not more equal than Syria, North Korea, Zimbabwe or any other country.

In fact, there can never be any “united states” if there are no united nations.

Any murky water within this United Nations establishment will most likely choke everyone, America included, not just the small fish.

Not even Mr Trump’s “walls” will be able to protect the US from  such.

The United Nations General Assembly should be a place where world order is propelled, not chipped into.
Nhari-Badza Rebellion Was Always Coming
 MUNYARADZI HUNI
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

Comrade Kenny Constantine Mabuya, whose Chimurenga name was Cde Kenny Ridzai (born 1952), was deployed to the war front in Rhodesia in 1972. He fought many battles and was at one time mistaken for a sellout by Frelimo comrades who went on to torture him. Despite the torture, after he was released, Cde Kenny refused to be sent to the rear in Zambia.

In this interview with our team comprising Munyaradzi Huni and Tendai Manzvanzvike, Cde Kenny narrates his several battles at the war front around Centenary area. He narrates how he was later shot and sent to the rear. A few weeks after his arrival at the Zanu farm near Lusaka, the Nhari-Badza rebellion started. Cde Kenny says he was not surprised at all because he had worked under Nhari and Badza at the war front. While at the war front, he had seen enough such that when the rebellion started, he knew it was always coming.

SM: Last week you indicated that after you met some of your comrades, you refused to go to the rear to rest and was deployed around the Centenary area. Tell us of your operations there.

Cde Kenny: Like I told you when it was suggested that I should go to the rear to rest, I said I was not injured and handisati ndanyatsorova hondo. Of course I had been tortured by the Frelimo comrades and I was skinny but I wanted to go back and fight the struggle. So on deployment, we were put in sections. A section would have seven comrades. Our commander at this time was James Bond. There was also Cde Mabhonzo, Kid Marong’orong’o and others. We were instructed to go and open the war front around Karuyana. This area borders with Centenary, where there were some commercial farms. We were deployed in three sections, I was leading one of the sections, the other two were being led by Cde Tamai and Cde Christopher. Our mission was to mobilise povho. We were supposed to educate povho about the war. However, if we met Rhodesian soldiers, we were supposed to ambush them and plant landmines along roads that the Rhodesians were using. So around that area, we had only two ambushes – one at Karuyana bridge where all the three sections converged for this offensive. We planted a landmine close to the bridge. We had been told that every Monday, Rhodesian soldiers would drive past the bridge. So we planted a landmine, an anti-tank mine and waited. Around 9:15 am, the Rhodesian soldiers came. They had a mine detector vehicle at the front, but for some reason they failed to detect this landmine. I think there were about five Bedford trucks. The first truck yakabva yatsika landmine and exploded. We then started firing.

SM: Did the Rhodesian fire back?

Cde Kenny: Yes, they tried to fire back, but they were just too confused to know what was happening. They quickly retreated but takavarova kwete mbichana. But this was guerilla warfare so immediately after this ambush we escaped. We knew that in no time the Rhodesians would call for airpower. So we escaped. We planted quite a number of landmines around this area. We would tell povho that such and such an area is now a no-go area. Some didn’t heed our call and chikochikari chairohwa nelandmine chichi simuka mudenga. Even some buses aiputikirwa but we would warn people against using roads where we would have planted the landmines. This was around 1973.

The other battle happened when Rhodesian soldiers spotted us at our base. We were actually having tea when suddenly we saw mujiba achisvika achimhanya. He told us that varungu vari kuuya and we quickly took positions. Someone had sold us out and so the Rhodesians wanted to take us by surprise but we quickly took positions and got ready for them. We actually moved a bit away from the position we were. Takaswedera in the direction that they were coming from so we would take them by surprise. And indeed we took them by surprise. Takarovana kusvika vatiza.

SM: How many did you manage to kill?

Cde Kenny: I am not sure because like I told you, after the attack, we had to escape quickly because we feared their airpower. After about two/three months, we would retreat to Mavhuradonha mountain to give our commanders progress reports. We then moved to Bakasa area where we had a battle with Rhodesia soldiers and we downed one helicopter.

SM: Can you briefly describe the Rhodesian soldiers, what kind of soldiers were they?

Cde Kenny: Hondo vakanga vasingainzwisisi. Hondo inoda experience. These soldiers had received military training just like us but the difference was that they were fighting for money and we were not being paid. Inini ndakanga ndakashinga kuti pasina mari ndoda kufira Zimbabwe. Ivo they were not prepared for that. The other thing is that we were young so the bravery was just something.

Because we were young, we didn’t have families to worry about. These Rhodesian soldiers would be thinking about money and their families, so they were not really committed to the war. Some of them after a battle vaitiza netsoka kutosvika pakupondwa nepovho. Slowly we started having semi-liberated zones, areas were Rhodesian soldiers could not come.

After a while, James Bond was moved to another area and our new commander was Thomas Nhari, that one wekuzopanduka. His deputy was Cephas Tichatonga. Badza was also there. So from Karuyana, we moved to Centenary. Our task was kuvhura front. Kuvhura front meant mobilising povho about the war.

SM: During mobilisation what would you tell the povho?

Cde Kenny: There were so many restrictions that were against black people. We would tell them kuti kana nyika yava yenyu munoita zvamunoda. We told them that they would have opportunities to open their businesses and even own farms. We also told them that kana nyika yava yedu, we will have the freedom kutaura zvatinoda. We told them that the people will be the government and so they will be free to say what they wanted. Smith was forcing people to do certain things and we were saying all that would stop. We said ours will be the people’s government and so inofanirwa kuita zvido zvevanhu. We were fighting for the people, fighting to free the people. But first we had to remove Smith and his soldiers. Remove his system.

SM: Were you as freedom fighters inspired by other African countries that had attained their independence?

Cde Kenny: For me not quite. Remember I was now living in Zambia. Yes, Zambia had fought some war but it was totally different from our war. In Zambia it was mainly talks between vana Harry Kumbula, Welensky, Du Pont, Kaunda and others. Of course living in a free Zambia was different from living in a colonised Rhodesia but in terms of the war, ours was completely different.

So we went to Centenary which was mainly a commercial farming area. There were many tobacco farms. These white commercial farmers are the ones that were giving Smith lots of support. So we knew that in Centenary, Smith akanga akabata. Our first mission here was to destroy the tobacco and kuita maambush. Of course, later we had to mobilise povho in these farming areas. So we did this in Centenary. By this time, I was now the commander of the three sections. The other task we had to carry was to burn makomboni.

While in Centenary, one day we had problems with a spotter plane which kept on flying over us. On the ground, we could see Rhodesians on horses moving all over the place. We really couldn’t move on this day. We then sat down in the evening and said mabhiza aya and that plane zvinorara kupi? We then planned to go and hit the camp where these horses and the spotter plane were kept during the night.

We discovered that this spotter plane yaigara about 500 metres from the homestead yeumwe murungu. There was a small airstrip at this farm. In the evening, my group went to hit that spotter plane. We were told that at that homestead there were Rhodesian soldiers so we used a mortar, which we used to call kaduri kambuya Nehanda to throw bombs onto the homestead. Before all this we captured the soldier who was guarding this spotter plane. This soldier then showed us around and we went for the attack. We destroyed the spotter plane while the other comrades attacked the homestead. Everything was timed to make sure that the Rhodesian soldiers would not have a chance to fire back. The surprise element was important.

So we destroyed the spotter plane, killed the Rhodesian soldiers and killed all the horses during this night. We then escaped into the mountains. This was our way of sabotaging and weakening Smith. When we went back to give reports to our commanders, Nhari and Badza, they complained that we had not burnt makomboni. I then said, it was not advisable to burn makomboni because this is where we were getting information and food. I told them that the farm workers were assisting us to destroy the infrastructure at the farms.

SM: But you were putting the farms workers in trouble?

Cde Kenny: Yes, but we devised a plan where we would leave the farm workers nemakasha emabara so that they could show the white farmers that magandanga anga ane pfuti so they forced us to destroy fodya. This trick worked to a greater extent. The farm workers would show the white farmers makasha emabara to indeed confirm that we were in the area.

So when I told Nhari and Badza that it was not necessary to destroy makomboni, they accused me of not following orders. They then said I was no longer a platoon commander. They demoted me and they actually wanted kuti ndirare pasi vandirove. This was common punishment during the war but some of my comrades vakaramba kuti aiwa hamungamurove. They supported me. So I was demoted from platoon commander to section commander. They also said hauchadzokeri kuCentenary. I was deployed around the Guruve area.

SM: So much have been said and written about Badza and Nhari. What kind of people were these comrades?

Cde Kenny: I first met Nhari and Badza at Intumbi in Tanzania. I don’t know how they had joined the liberation struggle. We were however told that vakanga vatiza kuZipra. I think they had committed some crime kuZipra and they came to join Zanla. Both of them vakanga vari vanhu vane hasha nehumbimbindoga. Zviya zvekuti zvandataura ndizvozvo.

So I was deployed in Guruve and continued with our usual operations of mobilising the masses and ambushing the Rhodesian soldiers. This was now around 1974. Then kwakazouya maScuzapo, these were black Rhodesian soldiers who would pretend to be freedom fighters. Some of them were fellow comrades who had joined the Smith regime, vapanduka. These comrades knew our operations and our bases. They were hired by the Smith regime to pretend to be freedom fighters.

One day while at our base, mujibha came saying kune macomrades akabva kuMozambique. I asked this mujibha kuti how did you know these are freedom fighters and he said vane pfuti maAK and so on. He said these “comrades” had pamphlets written “Pamberi nehondo” signed by Cde Tongogara.

I suspected that there was something wrong. We sent one of our comrades to pretend to be povho to establish who these people were. It was not possible for reinforcements to come from Mozambique without any communication so I suspected there was something wrong. This comrade went in the evening and came back saying these comrades looked suspicious. He said uuuum handifungi kuti macomrades. He showed us the pamphlets and my suspicion even grew. I then said let’s see what will happen tomorrow. During the evening, these fake comrades went pamba pasabhuku saying show us where the comrades are. Sabhuku akaramba for a while. He then got into his house pretending to be changing his clothes. He then sent one of his sons to quickly come and alert us what was going on. As this boy was trying to sneak out of the homestead, kakabva kabatwa kakabvunzwa kuti uri kuenda kupi?

Around 4am, I woke up to go and relieve myself. I saw something that was looking suspicious. As I was trying to establish what was going on, pfuti dzikati dzarira. We were under attack. That battle was intense. We later learnt that as they were advancing towards us, these mascuzapo vakanga vakaisa sabhuku pamberi. Before getting to our base sabhuku actually called saying “pamberi nehondo.” I actually heard him from where I was trying to relieve myself. Immediately after this, that’s when the battle started. This sabhuku was shot and killed ipapo. I was shot in the leg. We lost two comrades but I managed to escape. Others got injured. After running for a while, I saw a helicopter coming. This is when it really dawned on me that these mascuzapo were under the Rhodesian forces. These were fellow comrades who had been captured and were now working for Smith.

This was my third time to be shot and injured, but this injury was troubling me. That is when I was ordered to go to the rear for treatment. This was 1974 around October, I went to Chifombo. I didn’t stay at Chifombo for long. I then went kuZanu farm that was near Lusaka. I was the security aide waCde Chigohwe. In no time after my arrival at the farm, we were told that there were disturbances at Chifombo. We were told that Nhari and Badza were behind the disturbances. These comrades had arrested all the commanders who were at Chifombo. They were now saying they had taken over as commanders. This was sort of a coup.

SM: As someone who had worked with Nhari and Badza, were you surprised to hear this?

Cde Kenny: I wasn’t surprised at all. You know I am convinced that the death of Chitepo later, the problems started at the war front. When Nhari and Badza ordered me to move from Centenary to Guruve, there were so many suspicious things that were going on.

SM: What suspicious things were happening?

Cde Kenny: Kungorova macomrades zvimwe zvisina tsarukano. Also nyaya dzevakadzi. You could see kuti vanhu havasisina shungu nehondo.

SM: What do you mean nyaya dzevakadzi?

Cde Kenny: Ahh, Nhari had a wife, Badza wake and Cephas wake. They were going around with these girls. This was not allowed but they were doing it openly. We would recruit female comrades, ivo votora vovaita vakadzi vavo. When I got to Chifombo, I actually told the commanders there kuti zvakuitwa nemacommanders enyu kufront hazviiti.

I wasn’t surprised at all when they tried to take over the struggle. Vakanga vatopanduka kudhara. So when we were told of these disturbances at Chifombo, we said hazviiti. We waited for them to come kufarm. We were ready to fight them but they never came. They actually went to Lusaka hoping to capture mashef vana Tongogara, Chitepo, Hamadziripi, Gumbo and others. These rebels were heavily armed. They were about 33 and if I am not mistaken there were three female comrades in this group.

Next week, Cde Kenny will narrate how the Nhari-Badza rebellion was dealt with and how the liberation struggle continued after this dark episode. Don’t miss your copy of The Sunday Mail
Surrounded by About 100 Rhodesians, I Still Survived
 MUNYARADZI HUNI
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

COMRADE Kenny Constantine Mabuya whose Chimurenga name was Cde Kenny Ridzai (born 1952 in Filabusi) two weeks ago narrated how despite the fact that he could not speak Shona, he joined Zanu from Lusaka, Zambia. He spoke about his training at Intumbi in Tanzania and how he was deployed to the war front at the beginning of 1972.

In this interview with our team comprising Munyaradzi Huni and Tendai Manzvanzvike, Cde Kenny narrates how after a battle in the Chunya area, he got separated from fellow comrades. Two of his comrades lost their lives during this battle and immediately after the attack, Rhodesian helicopters came to finish them off.

He narrates how he became a “son” of some family around Chief Makuni area in Mt Darwin for about two months as he tried to evade the Rhodesian forces. While staying with this family, one day Rhodesian soldiers surrounded this homestead armed to the teeth, but Cde Kenny survived. How exactly did he survive?

SM: Cde Kenny, let’s continue with your fascinating story. After being deployed to the war front in 1972, when exactly did you start the war?

Cde Kenny: We got to a stage where we said we had mobilised povho enough and we have enough ammunition to start the war. You know I actually think some of the ammunition is still in Mavhuradonha Mountain. Zvombo zvakanga zvakawanda izvozvo and panovigwa zvombo sometimes paizivikanwa nemunhu one. In 1972 after about two to three months in Rhodesia, we were ready for war. We started with ambushes nekuteya zvimbambaira. Some of the comrades in our group included Cdes James Bond 007, Kid Marong’orong’o, Mabhonzo, George Rutanhire, Vhuu and others. During this time we would move around in groups of seven people only. My commander at this time was James Bond. But before this on our way to Rhodesia, my commander was Cde Gwitira. At one point I was a commander of my section. We were the first comrades to open Chaminuka Sector. In fact hondo isati yarwiwa, pakatanga kutakurwa homwe yaMbuya Nehanda. The leaders said Mbuya Nehanda should be taken from Mt Darwin to Chifombo for her safety. So she was taken to Chifombo before the war started. You may want to know that hondo yakarwiwa nemasvikiro who included Chaminuka, Mbuya Nehanda, Kaguvi, Mbire and others.

SM: Tell us about your first battle.

Cde Kenny: Our first battle was around the Chunya area in Mtoko. When we got to Chunya, we mobilised povho first and then planted landmines along several roads. We then ambushed Rhodesian soldiers near a bridge. We first blew our landmine then attacked mabhunu iwayo. After the attack we retreated to our Gathering Point. I think this was around August 1972.When we got to the Gathering Point, we discovered that some of the comrades had run out of bullets. We then walked to a nearby mountain where we had hidden some of our bullets. This mountain was near Kotwa. I think mabhunu anenge akanga awona zvombo zvedu and they were waiting for us hiding. I think we were around five and we were not aware that mabhunu were waiting for us. We got near this mountain around 5am. We saw footprints showing njombo dzevarungu and we knew mabhunu ari mugomo. I told my fellow comrades kuti mugomo hamusisiri right. These comrades thought I was saying this because of fear. Takaitirana nharo ipapo. I was with Cde Charakupa, Zeki, Adam Nziramasanga and another comrade to make us five. The comrades insisted that we should go up the mountain. We then decided to go up the mountain moving in battle formation. Just a few metres from where we had hidden the bullets takaona makudo akati zii, akaita seakabata shaya looking at us. We knew that we were in danger. I actually told the comrades that we were walking into a trap but they still insisted that we move ahead. I just saw a tree branch moving to one side and I instantly knew that someone was about to fire at us. Before I could say anything, bullets started flying all over the place. I quickly took cover lying down. Before I could see where the bullets were coming from exactly I just started firing back. After a while I discovered that pano pashata. I then retreated. You know only two of us came out of that mountain. Two comrades vakarohwa vakasara ipapo. I think Cde Charakupa was captured. Takabva tarasana nacomrade vamwe vakapona ipapo.

In no time, helicopters came in full force looking for us. After running for a while I decided to take cover ndakatarisa kwandaibva nako in case someone was following me. I was still holding my gun. The helicopters kept on hovering above so it became very difficult to move during the day. I devised a strategy kumhanya ndichihwanda nemiti.

SM: You said two of your comrades were shot dead while the other was captured. How did you know this?

Cde Kenny: We were later told nepovho. You know povho actually knew that after a battle, they were supposed to go and check for any casualties from our side. During these days we had proper uniform for soldiers. So I walked, I decided to go to another nearby mountain where I knew we had hidden some ammunition. As I was walking there was dead silence. I instantly suspected that pakanga pane mabhunu. First I could feel that there was someone smoking. I could smell it. Then I heard mabhunu laughing. Ndakabva ndatanga walking back slowly. After a while I ran for my dear life. I didn’t know where I was and where I was going. I was not familiar with this area. I decided to walk going to the North because that was the direction to Mozambique. I spent about three weeks walking. I found myself around Nyadhire River and it was overflowing. I met some villagers who instructed me how to cross the river. I crossed the river and continued with my journey. Whenever I met povho, I would hide my gun because I didn’t want them to know who I was. I then slept and the next morning I went up a small hill and saw some women vari patsime.

I remained under cover until around 3pm when some women came kutsime kuya again. Ndakaviga pfuti yangu then went to these women kuno kumbira mvura. I asked for directions and they gave me. I continued my journey until I got to Chief Makuni area. This was very close to the Mozambican border. I knew about this Chief and that he supported the struggle. So I went to see him. I explained to him kuti ndakarasana nevamwe vangu and I was on the way to Mozambique. This Chief akandipa one of his aides, but he didn’t want to sell me out so he told this aide that uyu ndiye mwana wandakaita kuBulawayo nemukadzi muNdebele. The Chief then said so I want you to look after my son. So I stayed at this homestead semwana weipapo.

SM: You stayed at this homestead for how long?

Cde Kenny: I stayed at this homestead for about two months. After a few weeks, it was discovered that ndakanga ndiri gandanga because I was now mobilising people to join the struggle. Most of the people in area were political conscious but like anywhere else hakushaikwi masellouts. So I knew that any day I could be sold out. I prepared for this day by going to Makuni Primary School where I was given a pass that showed that I was a pupil at the school.

Ndakanga ndava kutobatsira this family kurima and doing everything that is expected from a child. Kutoenda kunovhima, kufudza mombe and so on. Sometimes ndaitosangana nemabhunu but ndaiva nekapass kangu kechikoro.

One day someone went to Mt Darwin and informed the Rhodesian soldiers that Chegorerino (the aide) was staying with a gandanga. One day tiri kudanga tichikama mombe around 2pm tiri kudanga, we saw musha wese wazara mabhunu. Handina kana kufunga zvekutiza. I just asked vakomana vandaiva navo kuti chitsamba changu chekuchikoro chiya chiri kupi. The Rhodesian soldiers started searching the whole homestead. I remained calm at the kraal with these two boys. After searching the homestead, one of the soldiers said “call those boys here.” I think there were about 15 soldiers. When we were called, I went in front and started walking towards these soldiers. Chakandiponesa ndechekuti I had stayed for about two months at Chegorerino homestead. Today if you go to that area, those who were old enough will tell you about this story.

So I was in front as we walked to the Rhodesian soldiers. The white Rhodesian soldier then said take off your shirts. Handina kubvisa mabutton properly. I just pulled my shirt mabutton ese achibva. Kuita kubvarura shirt. I threw the shirt away. Like I told you I had stayed at this homestead for about two months. This white Rhodesian soldier wanted kuona kuti kumusana kwangu hakuna sign yekutakura pfuti here. After staying at this homestead for two months, those marks were no longer visible. The whiteman didn’t see anything. He repeated the same with the two other boys. After this, we went back to the kraal and sat down. We watched everything from a distance.

It was only when the Rhodesian soldiers were leaving that we discovered that there were about 100 soldiers surrounding the homestead. Vamwe vaibuda neapa vamwe neapo. They walked to Makuni Primary School where they had parked their vehicles. As some of them were walking past us, takatsvaga bhora and started playing bhora rechikweshe tichitevera mumashure mavo. That is when we discovered that they had parked their vehicles at the school.

SM: Where did you gather this courage to actually follow behind the Rhodesian soldiers? Some people would think this was an opportunity to run away?

Cde Kenny: I can say chaiva chivindi. Like I told you zvaiva zvemudzimu. I am told of the two boys, one of them passed away. The other one is still alive tikamutsvaga tomuwana because after the war, I once contacted him. After this incident, I started thinking kuti if they come back for the second time, they would capture me. As I was thinking about leaving, Mambo Makuni called for a meeting and asked who had told the Rhodesian soldiers that tiri kuchengeta gandanga. He was very furious. On my part, after a week ndakaunganidza povho and told them the truth. I told them that indeed I was a freedom fighter and told them that as you have always heard, macomrades anonyangarika. So pauya mabhunu ndanga ndisitoripo, vanga vachitoona muvhuri wangu. You know povho believed what I was saying. After two weeks, Mambo Makuni assigned some elders to accompany me to the border. We left in the evening going to the Mozambican border. I later crossed into Mozambique and met some Frelimo comrades. While with these Frelimo comrades, ndipo pandakaoneswa nhamo. These Frelimo comrades were not yet aware that there were some Zanla comrades who had already crossed into Rhodesia. So when I met these comrades, vakandishungurudza. These Frelimo comrades tortured me. Kupfuura mabhunu. Ndakarwadziwa (pause, tears rolling down his cheeks). Ummmm, I will never forget the treatment. (long pause, weeping uncontrollably). So what went on to. . .(overcome by emotions). I explained to these Frelimo comrades that I was a Zanla freedom fighter. I told them that we were fighting our own war in Rhodesia. They said I was lying. They took my gun and was made a political prisoner. I was beaten up (weeping). At one point they took me to some secluded place in the bush and said we are going to shoot you. Gara apa! Paaa! Shouting pamaside pangu. I then said if you want to kill me, just go ahead. That is how bad things were.

I was under captivity for about two to three months. The treatment was bad. Ndakarwadziwa (tears falling down). Ndiyo hondo yakandirwadza chete (overcome by emotions. Weeping uncontrollably). Story yacho I don’t want to think about it a lot. This treatment went on and on. Then one day, one of the commanders of that area came. He was aware that we were fighting in Rhodesia and even knew of Cde Mupunzarima and others. He was going around the Frelimo camps to assess the situation. That’s when he came to this base. He was told my story and was told that ndiri mutengesi.

This commander then called me and I went to see him. He interrogated me and I told him my story. He then ordered the Frelimo comrades to give me back my gun. He then said he would go around with me until he came across other Zanla comrades. I went around with this commander until we met some comrades. I was told that some comrades went kumasvikiro asking about me and they were told that I was alive somewhere.

SM: When this Frelimo commander came, did you say anything to these comrades who were ill-treating you?

Cde Kenny: I didn’t say anything. The Frelimo soldiers didn’t even say sorry to me.

SM: Who are the Zanla comrades you met after this ordeal?

Cde Kenny: I met Cde Mupunzarima, Cde Zvinotapira and others. I think James Bond was also there and Cde Mabhonzo. Cde Zvinotapira had come with some reinforcements. I was then ordered to go back to the rear. I refused to go to the rear. I said going to the rear to do what? They said hauna kusimba and it was true ndakanga ndakawonda zvisingaite. I refused to go to the rear. I was then told to join the group that was being deployed to the war front. We were deployed around the Centenary area. This was around 1973.

SM: Why didn’t you want to go to the rear?

Cde Kenny: Going to the rear to do what? I wasn’t injured. I also knew that kurear kwainetsa, even food chaiyo. I had gone for training to fight and not to stay at the rear. I was deployed with Cdes James Bond, Mabhonzo and others. Tisu takazovhura nzvimbo like kwana Bakasa and so on.

Cde Kenny will continue narrating his intriguing story next week. After being deployed to the war front, the battles continue. Make sure you get your copy of The Sunday Mail next week.
It’s Decision Time for Farmers
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Peter Gambara
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

The summer season is upon us and a lot of farmers are contemplating what crops they should grow.

Since Government introduced soyabeans to the Command Agriculture programme this year, I have heard some farmers debating whether they should incorporate both crops in their cropping programme and, if so, how many hectares of each crop they should grow.

In this article, I look at how profitable it is to grow some of the most common crops in Zimbabwe.

In order for farmers to be able to compare how profitable it is to grow each of the crops, it is essential to look at each crop’s Gross Margin Budget.

Such a budget simply looks at how much income one will get per hectare, how much it costs to grow a hectare of the crop, and how much money the farmer will be left with after meeting those costs.

It is therefore necessary to know the recommended seed, fertiliser and chemical rates as well as the diesel required to till a hectare, expected yield levels and prevailing market prices.

I will start with the most common crop in Zimbabwe — maize.

The Command Agriculture programme set the target for maize at 5 tonnes per hectare.  At a GMB producer price of $390 per tonne, a farmer will rack in US$1 950 per hectare before costs.

The programme recommends basal fertiliser of 350 to 400 kilogrammes per hectare (kg per ha), whilst top dressing fertiliser is recommended at 350kg per ha. A bag of basal fertiliser sells for around US$29 per 50kg, whilst a bag of AN or Urea sells for around US$32 per 50kg. One requires 25kg of seed per hectare and this costs US$60 for a 25kg of short to medium season variety and US$90 for a long season variety.

It requires about 100 litres of diesel to plough, disc, plant, apply herbicides and harvest the maize using a combine harvester.  Its costs approximately US$70 per ha to hire a tractor drawn disc, US$70 to US$80 per ha to hire a tractor-drawn planter, US$20 per ha to hire a tractor-drawn boom sprayer and US$100 per ha to hire a plough.

The total costs per hectare can then be summarised as follows — tractor for tillage US$70, diesel for tillage US$96, seed US$60 to US$90, basal and top dressing fertilisers US$442, herbicides and insecticides US$61, combine harvesting US$104, wages US$96.

These give a total variable cost of US$974 per hectare and a gross margin of US$970 per hectare. With most crops, the total variable costs constitute about 50 percent of the gross income, meaning half of that income goes towards meeting the costs and the farmer remains with the other half.

It therefore will benefit the farmer to increase the yield level per hectare by ensuring that the management levels are good.  They can make sure the planting is done early (maybe with irrigation), the planting is done well, the weed control is effective and done on time, the fertiliser rates are adhered to and the top dressing fertiliser is applied on time and correctly.

If one increases the yield level to say 8 tonnes per hectare, the gross income increases to US$3 120 per hectare and the gross margin will increase to over US$2 000 per hectare. You can imagine what happens to these figures if a farmer increases his or her yield level to 10, 12 or even 16 tonnes per hectare. Soyabeans are being introduced onto the Command Agriculture programme for the first time this season and many farmers would want to know the economics of growing them.

An average farmer will achieve two tonnes per hectare, whilst a good farmer will achieve anything between 2,8 and 3,5 tonnes per hectare.

Only exceptionally good farmers will yield four tonnes per hectare. Soyabeans tend to do better on heavier red soils rather than loamy sandy soils.

One requires approximately 100kg seed per hectare, at least 200kg per ha of basal fertiliser (Compound L instead of the MaizeFert, Compound D), 100kg per ha of top dressing fertiliser. Things like tillage and combine harvesting are the same with maize.

The chemicals also differ, and I would estimate the total cost of herbicides and insecticides at US$88 per hectare.

Soyabeans tend to suffer a lot of attack from leaf-eating insects and require a lot of fungicides.

The total variable costs will amount to between US$600 and US$700 per hectare.

At an average yield of 2,5 tonnes per hectare (2,5 tonnes x US$610 per tonne = US$1  525), the gross margin for soyabeans is approximately US$825 per ha.

This is obviously much lower than the potential income from growing maize.

However, soyabeans provide a big opportunity for farmers to introduce rotation in their farming.

The monoculture practice of growing maize after maize and sometimes after wheat, another cereal, presents its own problems. The maize stalkborer (rukonye) that attacks maize at cob formation stage will generally build up if maize is grown on the same piece of land year after year.

Once the maize crop has matured, some of the stalkborer will hide in the soil, waiting for the next season.

Pests like the notorious fall armyworm that caused a lot of problems for farmers this past season also builds up when one does not rotate crops.

It is essential to break the cycle of the armyworm by incorporating legumes in the rotation.

Last season, a lot of farmers who wanted to grow winter wheat faced a challenge as maize could not be harvested on time as the moisture content was still too high. Soyabeans mature much earlier than maize and therefore soyabean/wheat rotation makes sense.

Many farmers have ventured into flue-cured tobacco growing and it seems they are not making any money, most are just breaking even. I attribute this to low yields per hectare as well as failure to keep costs under control.

A small-scale farmer can easily achieve 2 000kg per ha, a good A2 farmer will target to achieve 3 000kg per ha whilst the exceptionally good farmers who plant an early irrigated crop can achieve 4 500kg per ha.

It is important for these farmers to contain their costs at approximately 50 percent of their income.

The average price at the floors for good tobacco is US$3 per kg, therefore the small-scale farmer will gross US$6 000 per ha, the average A2 farmer US$9000 per ha and the exceptionally good farmer US$13 500 per ha.

Tobacco requires 600kg per ha of Compound C (approximately US450 per ha) basal fertiliser, 100kg per ha of AN (approximately US$70 per ha) and lime and other fertilisers (US$100).

It also requires one to raise seedlings in a seedbed (US$400 per ha) and a lot of spraying is required (about US$400 per ha).

Coal for curing (5 tonnes at US$140 per tonne = US$700), diesel for tillage (US$120 per ha) and to move the cured tobacco from the lands to the barns (US$120 per ha), electricity to run the barns (US$200 per ha) as well as a heavy labour force (average two labourers per ha at US$94 per person x 8 months = US$1 504 per ha).

The packaging used to wrap the tobacco requires US$150 per ha whilst the transportation of the tobacco to the floors will require an additional US$180 per ha.  The total costs for the A2 farmer will therefore total approximately US$5 000 per ha, leaving the farmer with a Gross Margin of approximately US$4 000. However, quite a number of farmers are contracted by tobacco merchants who are willing to provide the farmers with diesel for their own private vehicles and living allowances.

This means the total costs for such farmers balloon to equal the potential income, thereby leaving the farmers with very small gross margins. In all situations, its better to target a high yield. However, some A2 tobacco farmers only achieve 1 500kg per ha, some maize farmers achieve three tonnes per ha and for soyabeans 1,2 tonnes per ha.  With such yields, these farmers are likely to only break even every year.

What are some of the reasons for achieving low incomes from farming?

Like I have indicated above, the major factor is low yield and a number of factors that include poor fertiliser management. Poor fertiliser management includes applying low fertiliser rates, poor placement of fertilisers and poor timing of top dressing fertilisers.

Maize top dressing fertiliser should ideally be applied at four, six and eight weeks after emergence.  Placement of fertiliser should also be such that it is easily accessible to the plants.  Most of the low yields in tobacco are due to low fertiliser rates and in some cases use of completely wrong fertilisers.

Poor weed control also contributes to low yields in a number of crops.

Many farmers also sometimes overlook the issue of plant population and yet this has a major impact on the yield. Most of them are used to inter-row spacings of 90cm and in-row spacings of 30cm in maize, giving a plant population of approximately 37 000 plants per hectare.

However, to be able to achieve yields of 10 tonnes per ha and above, farmers should aim for at least 50 000 plants per hectare.

That means reducing the inter-row spacing to 75cm and the in-row spacing to 25cm, to give a plant population of at least 53 000 plants per ha.

The ideal plant population in tobacco should be approximately 16 000 plants per ha.

When Government embarked on the Fast Track Land Reform Programme, there was massive response from across the whole country.  Seventeen years down the line, some farmers remain poor because they are failing to master the art of profitable farming. They are failing to pay attention to the details outlined above.

Farmers should always attend field days, demonstration plots and agricultural shows so as to learn from those who have succeeded in the agric sector.

They should also consult their Agritex extension officers whenever they need guidance.

Farming can be very profitable but it needs determined farmers who keep an eye on the costs involved.

Farming by remote control will never work.

Good luck in choosing your crop combinations for the new season.
‘Win-win Between Zimbabwe, China Education’
OPINION & ANALYSIS
SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
Ambassador Huang Ping
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

Last week, President Mugabe bade farewell to a group of Zimbabwean students going for various studies in China of a scholarship programme. We publish a speech delivered by Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping at the event held at State House in Harare.

Your Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe,

Your Excellency Dr Grace Mugabe,

Honourable Dr Christopher Mushohwe, Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services and Executive Director of the Presidential Scholarships Programme.

Dr Misheck Sibanda, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet,

Representatives from Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Company,

Dear students and your family members,

Distinguished guests,

Comrades and friends,

All protocols observed,

Good Morning. Mangwanani.

It gives me great pleasure to attend today’s farewell ceremony for students of presidential scholarships sponsored by Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Company.

First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Your Excellency President Mugabe for hosting the event for those students and sending Dr Mushohwe to accompany them to China.

I still remember vividly that in August last year, it was here at the State House that Your Excellency bid farewell to students going to China.

This year, you once again take time out of your busy schedule to see off the students.

It shows the great importance Your Excellency attaches to the Zimbabwe students, to China-Zimbabwe all-weather friendship as well as to educational co-operation with China.

My appreciation also goes to Hon. Minister Mushohwe, for your excellent achievements in the management of Presidential Scholarships Programs, especially carrying out the China-related programs which we are celebrating today.

I would like to express my appreciation to Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Company.

You have been consistent in fulfilling your pledge of offering 150 scholarships for students to study in China and donating US$2 million to build primary schools in Zimbabwe.

What you are doing today will become a valuable legacy for both China and Zimbabwe.  I also wish to express my congratulations to all the students benefiting from this programme.

I believe you and your family have worked very hard for this valuable opportunity.

You deserve a big round of applause.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s event is only one of the many good examples of the successful China-Zimbabwe educational cooperation.

The Chinese government is providing dozens of scholarships to Zimbabwean students every year and has donated to quite a few primary and secondary schools to Zimbabwe, such as Amai Mugabe Junior School in Mazowe, China-Zimbabwe Friendship School in Bindura, China-Zimbabwe Friendly Primary School in Lupane, and the Sino-Zimbabwe Friendship High School in Hatcliffe, etc.

The Chinese government has also donated school blocks, desks and chairs, computers, textbooks and stationery to schools all across Zimbabwe.

Thousands of Zimbabweans have taken training courses in China in recent years with the sponsorship of the Chinese Government.

We are most glad to note during the visit by vice chairman of Standing Committee of Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress Mr Wang Huizhong to Zimbabwe in May this year, where he pledged that Zhejiang Province would provide 200 scholarships for Zimbabwean students to study in China.

The Chinese businesses and communities here in Zimbabwe have also joined hands with the Chinese government in this regard, by setting up scholarships for Zimbabwean rural students, building school blocks, and providing training opportunities to employees, to name a few.

In a word, our cooperation in educational exchanges is a win-win situation as this cooperation not only benefits the next generation of Zimbabwe and jump-start the development of Zimbabwe, but also cultivates the young champions for China-Zimbabwe relations and people-to-people friendship.

Therefore, the Chinese Embassy and businesses in Zimbabwe will continue to do everything we can to advance educational exchanges, provide more scholarships for talented Zimbabwean students and help more students unlock their potential and realize their dreams.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Zimbabwe has well-educated and hard working people.

The literacy rate of Zimbabwe is the highest among African countries and the education system of Zimbabwe is unrivalled in Africa.

These achievements in education are particularly owing to the support of Your Excellency President Mugabe.

I believe, with such strong commitment of Your Excellency and the synergy between China and Zimbabwe, the students gathered here today are blessed with golden opportunities to embrace a brighter future.

Dear students, as you are leaving soon, I wish you all the best in China. I hope when you come back, you will become the champions of China-Zimbabwe friendship and make greater contribution to the revitalization of Zimbabwe.

Thank you very much, tatenda.
Corporate Strategy Under Dollarization
OPINION & ANALYSIS
CONTRIBUTOR SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
Persistence Gwanyanya
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

It appears the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has done almost everything that a monetarist can do to address the cash challenges under dollarisation.

As such, the persistence of cash shortages could just be a reflection of the impotence of monetary policy under this currency regime.

It is thus unsurprising that the RBZ has been increasingly calling for participation from other economic agents to complement its efforts towards the achievement of a permanent solution to the cash crunch.

The central bank’s call augurs well with the proposition that Zimbabwe needs to rebalance her economy towards increased production and exports, whilst simultaneously reducing consumption of imports as a permanent solution to her cash challenges.

Achieving this economic rebalance requires business to evolve from import dependence to export-driven models. This clearly calls for strategic rethinking at corporate level, not only for the good of the country, but also for the sustenance of business.

Just like in the case of China, this evolution should be supported by sound investment and business policies. The absence of monetary policy independence brought by dollarisation has incapacitated the apex bank from printing money.

Economic agents now have to earn money from mainly exports. It is estimated that exports contribute about 60 percent of the country’s liquidity.  As such, the liquidity challenges could be traced to the underperformance in the export sector.

Thus, in the current environment, the future of business lies in its ability to explore opportunities in the export market. This is because the continued dependence on imports would be unsustainable due to exorbitant cash premiums in the parallel market.

The current cash shortages have meant increased reliance on the black market for foreign currency to meet business’ import requirements. Barely 10 months after the introduction of bond notes, cash premiums have grown to more than 40 and 27 percent for electronic money and bond notes respectively. This has made it very difficult for import-dependent entities to sustain their businesses, which underscores the need to diversify into the export market.

Equally worrying is that the country has remained a consumptive economy, which consumes more than 80 percent of its GDP. This high propensity to consume is also reflected in high fiscal deficities, which translated into unsustainable debt levels. The high level of indebtedness at both private and public sector level makes Zimbabwe an unattractive market, which again underscores the need to diversify into the export market and minimise the exposure to Zimbabwe risk.

Being a commodity dependent economy, which relies on five commodities for more than 80 percent of its export revenue, the country is predominantly a price taker on the international market. This coupled with the usage of a strong dollar as the reference currency calls for increased productivity to be competitive on the international market.

A strategic thrust towards increased productivity should also be fostered through supportive pricing models. Productivity-based rather than the current cost plus pricing models are more ideal in the current situation. Unlike the current situation where prices and wage demands are based on needs, they should be based on productivity – output per unit.

Needless to mention that utility providers such as Zesa and municipalities are major culprits to transform. It would be difficult for Zimbabwe to compete at international level given the advancement in technology and knowledge. This makes value addition and beneficiation a key differentiator to transform the country’s comparative advantage on mainly primary goods, into competitive advantage.

In the area of manufactured products, Zimbabwe should forget about competing with China and other developing and developed countries which are producing these at a cost almost impossible to achieve. Supported by sound infrastructure, logistics capabilities as well as efficient utilities providers, these countries can produce manufactured goods at significantly low cost that makes it almost impossible to compete with.

As such, Zimbabwe should focus on niche markets to satisfy mainly the needs of the local market. This includes the manufacture of branded or customised products which meets the specific needs of the customers, for example corporate wear and school uniform.

It is clear from the above analysis that Zimbabwe should transform from being an import-dependent to being an export-driven economy. This calls for corporate leaders to rethink their business models. This strategic thrust would have to be supported by sound investment and business policies.

There should be an incentive system to encourage exports. Most of us have pinned our hopes on the Export Processing Zones Authority to come up with appropriate policies to promote exports and transform the country into an export-driven economy.

Supportive policies would also suggest a review of the foreign currency management system by the RBZ, where 80 percent of export revenue from gold, platinum and chrome are surrendered to RBZ. The ultimate thrust at policy level is to ensure that our policies make export business more attractive and thus encourage it.

Persistence Gwanyanya is the founder and futurist of Percycon Advisory Services. For feedback email percyconadvisory@gmail.com or WhatsApp on +263 773 030 691.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Zimbabwe 'President an African Hero'
By Munyaradzi Huni
Herald

Malawian president Professor Peter Mutharika says President Mugabe's rich history makes him the only remaining hero of African nationalism.

He said he always cherished meetings with President Mugabe whom he described him as "the last man standing", adding he learns a lot from the African icon.

President Mugabe and his Malawian counterpart are in New York attending the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, which started on Tuesday.

Speaking after visiting President Mugabe at his hotel, the Malawian leader said Zimbabwe and Malawi shared a long history that will never be forgotten.

"We spoke about Malawi and Zimbabwe. The long history. You know President Mugabe is my brother. Former president of Malawi and myself, we have worked very cordially.

"Zimbabwe and Malawi are almost one country. No conflict, no dispute whatsoever. Hundred percent friendship," said Prof Mutharika.

"I would like to come to Zimbabwe and he also wants to come to Malawi. We spoke about the continued exchange of our visits in the near future," he said.

Turning to his meetings with President Mugabe, he said: "I always learn so much from him. You know he has such a rich history. He is the only remaining hero of African nationalism, the struggle for independence. He is the last man standing. He has such a rich history of Africa.

"Each time I meet him I learn so much. He gives us a perspective of where we have come from. I am always excited to meet him."

The Malawian leader has continued to disappoint the West that was hoping they could use him to strain relations between Malawi and Zimbabwe. Instead, he has spoken openly about his affection for his Zimbabwean counterpart.

After attending the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York two years go, Prof Mutharika spoke about his country's close relations with Zimbabwe.

"We have excellent relations with Zimbabwe. We have never had any problems . . . In the whole African Union I think it is clear that President Mugabe is seen as a real hero you know, when he speaks everyone listens because he has such a rich history of the struggle against colonialism. I think he symbolises that generation of very great African leaders," said the Malawian leader at the time.

Despite efforts to cause divisions between the two countries, the Malawian government has maintained strong ties with Zimbabwe.

When those seeking to cause friction between the two countries planted false stories on social media of bad relations between the two countries, the Government of Malawi responded: "Malawi has no business to dictate to the people of Zimbabwe how they should conduct their affairs. The people of Malawi and those of Zimbabwe are assured that the Government of Malawi remains resolute to its policy of not interfering in internal matters of other countries."

Zimbabwe and Malawi have a rich history dating back to 1963.
Zimbabwe President Hits Out At Trump
By Munyaradzi Huni
Herald

President Mugabe has said the world is "embarrassed, if not frightened" by what appears to be a return of the biblical Goliath in reference to US President Donald Trump, whose speech at the 72nd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly seemed to threaten other nations.

In his speech, Mr Trump threatened to obliterate North Korea and attacked Iran in a manner condemned by many delegates.

President Mugabe urged Mr Trump to blow his trumpet in a way that brings unity, peace, cooperation, togetherness and dialogue to the world.

He said all countries should respect the provisions of the UN Charter to bring peace and development to the world.

He said Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular had defeated imperialism and so "bring us whatever monster by whatever name and it will suffer the same defeat".

"Are we having the return of Goliath?" asked the President in reference to Mr Trump.

President Mugabe said each nation should build on its strength and that there should be respect for each nation's independence and sovereignty.

He also called on the US government to tackle serious issues to do with climate change saying "let's work together, climate change is real".

President Mugabe then expressed his condolences to the people of Puerto Rico and other nations devastated by natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

While urging nations that can assist to chip in with a helping hand to those affected, the President said the world at the moment "demands more, not less, solidarity".

The President said Zimbabwe supported Africa's position regarding reforms of the UN Security Council saying the process was moving too slowly.

He said this raised suspicion that those benefiting from the current set up could be derailing the discussions.

He said the current set up of the UN perpetuates a historical injustice, adding the gap between poor and rich nations continued to widen.

He said the world should not expect to reap peace when it is investing in war, which led to greater human misery and the mass movement of people fleeing war and conflict.

"A different, better world is possible," said the President.

He said each country should have a right to its resources and to decide its destiny, citing Western Sahara and Palestine as countries that were being denied the right to self determination.

He called on the UN Security Council to demonstrate its authority in Western Sahara and Palestine by working with the African Union to solve the problems in the two countries.

The President said Zimbabwe remained committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said Zimbabwe respects the sovereignty of other nations.

Throughout his speech, President Mugabe received wild applause from several delegates who seemed relieved that at last someone was bold enough to take on the bullish Mr Trump.

The afternoon session when President Mugabe delivered his address was chaired by Zimbabwe's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Fredrick Shava.