Tag: Zanu-PF

Dear Zanu-PF, here’s my application for one of those 2.2 million jobs you promised

Dear post-election Zanu-PF (aka Government of Zimbabwe)


With reference to your election manifesto, which excited even the MDC-T to splitting point and made me put a cross next to your name on the ballot paper, I hereby apply, publicly, for any one of the 2.2 million jobs you promised in Zim Asset. In case you have forgotten, this is that economic blueprint you came up with in October 2013, which is meant to “to provide an enabling environment for sustainable economic empowerment and social transformation to the people of Zimbabwe”.

July 31 marked exactly one year since I cast my first official ballot in the country’s elections, ending previous attempts at maintaining my political virginity. Now, there is some background I should give you. I do not bet or play the lotto because everything I put my bet on seems to lose. Even when I want my football team to win, I don’t watch the match. That is why I have not been voting all these years. I hated to see what I love losing. But last year, for the first time, I took the risk – and the jinx was broken! You won the election. However, looking back on my country, I’m concerned about whether the jinx was really broken. Could it be that in you winning massively, Zimbabwe actually lost quite a lot?

Forgive my rambling. With so many of my job applications gone unanswered, I do not know if it was my cover letter that failed me, or the comma that was missing from my CV, or if it’s just that none of the 2.2 million jobs you promised are on the market yet. But the issue at stake here is that I am looking for a job, and urgently so, because I am 31 and unmarried and cannot afford to be unemployed. One may ask why I am applying to you. Most of the companies I approached are either already closing down or downsizing staff, and employing me is an unrealistic dream for them. But I know you have 2.2 million jobs that you promised me in 2013, and I have come to claim at least one.

I am one of those “resources that gives Zimbabwe a comparative advantage over regional and other international countries is its economic complexity that includes the strong human resource base, which is an outcome of a deliberate educational policy instituted by the ZANU-PF Government at Independence in 1980.” Unfortunately, I have been trying to make myself a useful resource with little success, hence I’m approaching you so that you can employ me.

I hold a qualification in tourism and hospitality, among other numerous qualifications, and should be glad that tourism is one of your key target economic areas with huge potential. It’s just that I have not seen what you referred to in Zim Asset as “Quick Wins” or “rapid results yielded “in the shortest possible time frame (October 2013 – December 2015)”. Obviously I blame this on the fact that no initiatives have been implemented or “blitz interventions” made since I voted for you. Damn the sanctions, of course. Oh, I had forgotten that there are also sanctions-busting strategies. So damn the inaction. What have you been doing this whole past year?

Secondly, survival has taught me all these other vital skills and given me a great deal of experience, which will account for any gap periods in my CV. Like most others, I am now a serial entrepreneur, sometimes vendor, marketer, social media enthusiast, administrator, occasional job-hunter and writer. So, do not get me into the unemployed-experience-unemployed conundrum. I don’t deserve it, neither do millions other Zimbabweans who have faced desperate situations, including this economy, and lived through it.

And if there are any other things that you deem important which I do not have, such as a driver’s licence and a passport, please remember that I might not have been able to afford the $200+ required to bribe driving inspectors, or had the time to wait in unending queues at the Registrar General’s offices.

And lastly, if it turns out that all the other vacancies have already been filled by the numerous educated but unemployed youths roaming the streets – most of whom are thinking of leaving the country – I would like to become one of the officials in the Office of the President and Cabinet who will “play a leading and co-ordinating role as overseer of the implementation process to ensure attainment of set targets of the Plan.”

At least I know that vacancies still exist in this section of Zim Asset because, with nothing happening, my only guess is that no one is co-ordinating the implementation process of this brilliant document. My claim to employment in this section is backed by my qualification in monitoring and evaluation, and validated testimonies that I am discreet, patriotic and intelligent enough to meet your requirements.

Please note:

  1. Do not take this a joke; I really need a job and so do millions others. And the earlier you make those “blitz interventions” for “Quick Wins”, the better it is for all of us. December 2015 is not far away.
  2. At this point don’t refer me to non-working youth funds. I have tried those before. All I need is a job. A piece of land would be a welcome alternative though.
  3. Please ensure that I get a job in haste before South Africa and its post-election ANC deport the more than 3 million jobless Zimbabweans there back home.
  4. I can attend interviews as fast as the kombi you want to banish without an alternative can take me to the venue.

Regards (because we are compatriots and I deserve better from you),
Lawrence Hoba


Lawrence Hoba is an entrepreneur, author and passive politician.  His short stories and poetry have appeared in The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories, Writing Lives, Laughing Now, Warwick Review and Writing Now.  His anthology, The Trek and Other Stories (2009), was nominated for the NAMA in 2010 and went on to win the ZBPA award for Best Literature in English. It tackles the highs and lows of Zimbabwe’s land reform. Connect with him on Twitter: @lawhoba

On Bryan Adams in Zim: Let us have our concerts and dance

Tonight Canadian rock musician Bryan Adams performs at a sold-out concert in Harare which has, over the last few days, become less about the music and more about Zimbabwe’s strained political relationships with the west.

According to reports, the approximately 3500 tickets sold out within ten hours of going up for sale late last year.  They are said to have ranged in price between US$ 30 and US$ 100.

Under normal circumstances, such modest figures might be overlooked. But this is Zimbabwe and if the reports coming out of the international media are anything to go by, Adams’ concert has the power to significantly assist in legitimising the autocratic leadership of the Zanu-PF government which returned to one-party rule through last year’s controversial elections.

This all sounds a little peculiar to me, especially considering that every now and then – contrary to what these recent media reports state – Zimbabwe has been known to receive a few international stars of repute. Joe Thomas, Sean Kingston, Ciara, Sean Paul and Akon have all visited Zimbabwe in the last five years. R Kelly is rumoured to be set to perform in Zimbabwe later this year.

Some of these artists’ performances in Zimbabwe, Sean Paul and Akon’s for instance, have been directly linked to campaigns led by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), a parastatal which works closely with government ministries and is headed by Zanu-PF loyalist Karikoga Kaseke. In 2010 ZTA,  working with other local initiatives, is rumoured to have invested over $1-million into hosting Sean Paul and Akon, who played at a once-off concert to an audience of over 20 000.

Interestingly the two came in for little, if any, scrutiny for being involved in this controversial concert. During the show, Sean Paul performed a rendition of Zimbabwe, a song written and performed for the nation by Bob Marley at Mugabe’s 1980 inauguration as prime minister.

Bryan Adams. (Pic: AFP)
Bryan Adams. (Pic: AFP)

From what is available online, it appears that Adams’ agent took advantage of the South Africa leg of his tour to explore the possibility of a performance in Zimbabwe.

The motivations thereof are unclear and I am not the right person to say whether or not they are political. But I will say it is unfortunate that so much effort has gone into angling what is – for the ordinary Adams fan –  meant to be a good night out.

But can the ordinary Zimbabwean afford these tickets?

The insinuation again is that the auditorium will be filled with an audience of political bigwigs and Zanu-PF supporters because it is only those actively moving the party’s agenda  who can afford to part with US $30 or more for this concert.

Every year, one of the biggest international festivals, the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa), takes place in Zimbabwe. With most tickets ranging in price from $5 to $20, the average arts aficionado can expect to spend at least $50 on tickets alone over the duration of the week-long festival. Over the years, Hifa has had to answer many questions around the elitism of the event and its accompanying exclusion of the majority of Harare, and Zimbabwe. The festival – which attracts a large audience of white Zimbabweans – also brings into focus issues around race, access to resources and the arts in Zimbabwe.

It is therefore an unfortunate and reductive analysis of the state of affairs in Zimbabwe to assume that none besides the flag-waving and slogan-chanting can actually invest in having a good time. This analysis is not meant to gloss over the very real fact that the majority of Zimbabweans are living in the direst circumstances of poverty owing to Zimbabwe’s political and economic decline. It is not also not meant to cover up the many sins of those in political leadership who are looting and plundering the nation’s resources for personal gain and self-interest.

But it is intended to nuance the debate a bit. Because Zimbabweans can and do still enjoy and crave normal pursuits outside of the heavily politicised realm of party politics and sovereignty.

The idea I get is that this concert, through the person of Adams, will significantly alter the dominant narrative of autocracy and strife in Zimbabwe. But in case it was in doubt, US President Barack Obama this week sent a timely reminder that this won’t be the case soon, by ruling out Zimbabwe’s participation at the US-Africa Summit in August.

It’s not that simple.

So what is it about Bryan Adams that has attracted so much attention, and for such a small show?

The only difference I can make out between him and the other stars that I previously mentioned is that he is white.

Is there more at stake when a white international musician runs the risk of legitimising a black-led government that is known for delegitimising the rights of its white population? How did the Akon and Sean Paul case, with much clearer political links, attract less attention when they performed in Zimbabwe? Was it because that was when Zanu-PF was still within the power-sharing agreement with the MDC?

I hate to come up with conspiracy theories, but something about the coverage of tonight’s concert is off. And it has been off for many friends whom I have had this conversation with.

Many Zimbabweans aspire to more than being political pawns in a game of chess they neither sought nor control.

Let us have our concerts and dance.

Fungai Machirori is a blogger, editor, poet and researcher. She runs Zimbabwe’s first web-based platform for women, Her Zimbabweand is an advocate for using social media for consciousness-building among Zimbabweans. Connect with her on Twitter


Baba Jukwa, ‘Zimbabwe’s own Julian Assange’

His name is whispered in buses, bars and on street corners by Zimbabweans eager for the inside scoop on President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party. One avid follower even climbs a tree in a rural village for a signal to call a friend for the latest tidbits from the mysterious yet stupendously popular character.

Baba Jukwa, or Jukwa’s father in the local Shona language, is a Zanu-PF party “mole” who says on his popular Facebook page that he is disheartened by the “corrupt and evil machinations” of Mugabe’s fractious party.

Since its launch in March, the Baba Jukwa page has at least 230 000 Likes – more  than Mugabe’s and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s.

Baba Jukwa's Facebook page.
Baba Jukwa’s Facebook page.

The page reveals what it claims are exposés by well-connected insiders of Mugabe’s health secrets, murder, assassination and corruption plots, and intended intimidation and vote-rigging ahead of upcoming elections scheduled for the end of July.

Zimbabweans who are fans of Baba Jukwa’s page now say they have unfettered access to what they have always wanted to know but never dared ask for fear of being arrested. Under the nation’s sweeping security laws, it is an offence to undermine the authority of the president and national security operatives.

Baba Jukwa claims on the page that there is a bounty on his head, although it is believed there are several authors behind his name because the writing style of the posts changes from day to day.

Inside info
After state-run media loyal to 89-year-old Mugabe said the president made a trip to Singapore for an eye check-up, the Baba Jukwa page stated: “When we welcomed him at the airport yesterday early in the morning our old man, ladies and gentlemen, looked weaned and very weak. It was clear that the chemotherapy process he went through in Far East Asia was still having effect on him.”

The page also said Mugabe was suffering from a severe recurrence of prostate cancer.

With the catchphrase “tapanduka zvamuchose,” a Shona term meaning he has “gone rogue”, Baba Jukwa gives details of secret venues and times of undercover meetings.

Zanu-PF insiders have reported they are afraid to leave important meetings to go to the bathroom in case they are suspected of firing off smart phone texts to Baba Jukwa. The page has reported getting tip-offs from the midst of meetings of Mugabe’s politburo, its highest policy making body, and other confidential gatherings.

Zimbabwe has an estimated 12-million mobile subscribers with 60% estimated to have direct access to the internet through their cellphones, according to commercial company reports from the three main mobile networks.

McDonald Lewanika, director of Crisis Coalition, an alliance of democracy and human rights groups said the Facebook page has provided ordinary Zimbabweans with a platform to access information on secretive state security operations. Lewanika said Baba Jukwa remains anonymous because of the dangers associated with what he is doing.

“It is a bad sign for the country that there’s no free flow of information,” Lewanika told The Associated Press.

The faceless Baba Jukwa vows to end Mugabe’s rule by exposing the alleged involvement of his top officials, secret agents, police and military in the violence that led to disputed elections in 2008 and corruption and internal plotting ever since.

Baba Jukwa says Mugabe won’t be able to withstand a gruelling election campaign.

‘He fabricates lies’
Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said that his party does not know the identity of Baba Jukwa and other possible contributors.

The posts are factually incorrect, he said. However, some have proven to be correct as events unfold. The distribution of private and secret telephone numbers of security agents and forecasts of political developments have been corroborated in later public statements by Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.

“Whoever he is, he fabricates lies and is not doing any good to the morality of our society,” Gumbo said.

Baba Jukwa claims Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is incensed by the page, is making desperate efforts to establish his identity and has put a $300 000 bounty on him or other contributors being unmasked. That claim could not be verified.

“They are wasting their time as I am extremely careful and working from within the country and will never go anywhere as long as these evil old people exist I will continue fighting. My blood will water freedom and democracy for Zimbabweans if I die for this cause,” he posted recently.

Asijiki“, a word in the local language for “we do not retreat”, is the sign-off Baba Jukwa uses at the end of all the posts.

Baba Jukwa has been dubbed “Zimbabwe’s own Julian Assange”  by his followers, but he describes himself in the local Shona language as “mupupuri wezvokwadi” (the harbinger of truth).

Leaked information
A former minister from Mugabe’s party was killed in a car wreck on June 19 after a post from Baba Jukwa had warned of an assassination plot against him several times. The page claimed Edward Chindori-Chininga was suspected of being a Baba Jukwa contributor who leaked inside information on infighting in Mugabe’s party.

“I told you there will be body bags coming this year … The war has begun,” Baba Jukwa posted on his wall.

His posts have detailed the correct private phone numbers of police, intelligence chiefs and under-cover intelligence officers and urged readers to call them.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the nation’s black empowerment minister, publicly admitted to receiving least 50 insulting calls a day. Some even went to his children and aging mother.

He said the calls were taking a toll on his family but added: “It’s a price we have to pay for our country”.

Baba Jukwa has promised to revealed his identity in time.

“I assure you will know me in a new Zimbabwe where our government will be transparent,” he said. – Sapa-AP

Zanu-PF steps up intimidation in Zim

After Zimbabwe’s controversial new Constitution was given the go-ahead in the March 16 referendum, the ruling party has intensified its intimidation campaigns across the country in the lead-up to the elections.

Footage obtained by the Mail & Guardian reveals how Zanu-PF propaganda is being used in public: often through a very visible military presence in urban and rural residential areas, and in party meetings where citizens are admonished for considering voting for any party other than Zanu-PF in the upcoming poll.

Human rights groups including the Zimbabwean Peace Project have noted that fears of violence and intimidation in the country are escalating. Last month, prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested for allegedly obstructing justice, and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s aides were detained after a raid on Tsvangirai’s communications office in Harare.  “What we are seeing are signs of fear,” Tsvangirai said in response. “The targeting of my office is reprehensible and is meant to harass and intimidate the nation ahead of the election, now that we are done with the referendum.”