Sunday, June 26, 2011

Muzorewa played critical midwife role to Zimbabwe

The Standard, Sunday 26 June 2011.

At 31 Zimbabwe has had a chequered history full of excitement. The late Bishop Abel Muzorewa was the first black Prime Minister who acted as the midwife for Zimbabwe. He played a very vital role by leading a government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia against attendant difficulties of trying to forge a united nation. The double-barrelled name was just for convenience because the former ruling party of Smith could not accept change so fast.

For some of us GNU is another convenient arrangement which should not be taken lightly. We still have antagonistic camps that only came together to usher in the change that people wanted. It has been an insurmountable task, but not in vain. Who thought the two main parties would sit together and govern this beautiful land? It is indeed a daunting task.

On January 29 2003 I wrote a letter to The Herald which was published under the title, Round table talks are the answer. Excerpts of the letter went like this; “This is a letter of appeal to both, His Excellency, president Robert Gabriel Mugabe and MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai to come together as Zimbabweans and find a solution out of this quagmire. As I see it, round table talks are part of the answer or you force the people to determine their future.

“We are where we are because of the mistakes we have all made. The solution can only come when we have put our heads together and take stoke of our situation openly. Now we need men and women who are prepared to climb down from our known positions just to save the situation.

“Let us not fool ourselves by saying the old message that we will maintain our positions of not wanting to talk with the ruling party or the opposition party. These two parties and other stakeholders should be involved in seeking a lasting solution to the problem bedevilling this wonderful nation.

“The nation is suffering and the people are looking to you as leaders to help them out of this mess. Instead what we hear are entrenched positions that are so repugnant and intolerant. That is not good for the people you purport to lead. Both the two leaders can be worth hero status if only they can bury their differences and unite for a purpose.”

Little did I know that five years down the line, in 2008, they would finally take heed and come together and form GNU. Tough though it may be to accept, this is the result of Muzorewa's midwife role to Zimbabwe.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rev Kadenge spot on; jobs, not handouts

The Standard, Sunday 19, 2011

I thank Rev Dr Levee Kadenge for a well thought out and honest contribution in The Standard of last week. Strive Masiyiwa is, indeed a man of immense business acumen.

The market dominance of Econet should be an inspiration to all young entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. No man in our beloved country or abroad, can point a finger at Strive Masiyiwa and accuse him of looting or forcibly acquiring his vast wealth. Econet, as Rev Kadenge pointed out, has and continues to provide hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans with some sort of income in our harsh, dog-eat-dog, economic environment.

As Zimbabweans, let us for one moment imagine the country without Econet Wireless. Masiyiwa has clearly shown the heights to which Zimbabweans can reach through hard work and disciplined foresight.

We are educated, well-mannered, hardworking and peaceful people. A good deed breeds a good deed while evil deed breeds even worse evil. No man or woman in the world should expect praise for ill-gotten wealth. Men who have achieved success through their own intelligence have built vast business empires, sometimes even surpassing their own wildest dreams.

Let us follow good examples and strive to grow our country through honest, hardworking and sinless ways. Do not take what is not yours for this would be stealing. We must realise that our country needs an overhaul and we must do it together, regardless of sex, age, colour or political party preference. We are all Zimbabweans!

President Robert Mugabe and PM Morgan Tsvangirai must realise that Zimbabweans are fed up with their politics and want them to do something to help the millions of people attain better living standards.

Our children are unemployed and people are dying. Our police force is terribly corrupt and the Chinese are milking our motherland Zimbabwe dry – the list is endless.

We don’t want “hand-outs.” Give us jobs and the economic growth we need to keep our people from migrating to the Diaspora where they are treated like second-class citizens

by Enzo Doul Murambi, Mutare.

Rev Kadenge’s letter titled “Free hand-outs breed dependency culture” (The Standard June 12) needs response.

While I strongly agree with this notion, I was however disappointed with the author’s choice of examples. The author failed to bring out a sound link between the recipients of farm implements and those who have benefited from Econet’s scholarship programme.

Econet and its founder should in fact be commended because most of the beneficiaries are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have excelled in their fields of study.

The author should have used more convincing examples to bring out his noble view.

by Yugo

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Free handouts breed dependency culture

The Standard, Sunday, 12 June 2011 14:01

Who said suffering is not necessary to achieve one’s goals? Most Zimbabweans know how Strive Masiyiwa suffered in order to establish Econet. He was not only vilified but was demonised as if he was doing something to destroy the nation. He was involved in providing a service to the people which has even surpassed its orginal set goals. If Masiyiwa had given up we could not be enjoying the wholesome benefits we do today.

As one travels across the country, they will notice the jobs created by selling airtime cards, which is just amazing. Every corner of the road, every shopping centre, wherever people are, young and old vendors are waiting to sell the much needed airtime. In towns’ every street and in several homes there is someone selling the airtime.

Econet has gone further to offer services to the community that can only come through suffering. Young women and men are on several scholarships and others have crossed continents on such schemes and are movers and shakers wherever they go. We are now proud to associate with such innovations. Indeed we are the richer because someone had to suffer first.

It is equally true that those who got their way easily have folded-up and others will follow suit. They say “easy come easy go.” Zimbabweans should be reminded that whatever you get for nothing is a curse. Who has ever made it in life by getting free handouts?

Many a farmer have been given handouts and a number are crying for more each year that comes by. Those who have worked hard and used the resources they have scratched from their hard earned money have made it in life.

Someone shared with me very sad stories about free handouts. There are so many well-placed people who get most of their farm inputs and even farm machinery for free and some of these are lying idle on farms. Some of the guys sell the inputs and sometimes hire out some implements.

One farmer got a combine harvester and mice and rats have eaten most of the tubing. The harvester was only driven to the farm and that was the end of story.

Zimbabweans have an admirable work ethic that is the envy of most nations. If you want to kill that work ethic then hand out free things.

While the intention of the giver is noble, it is the given who then develop an attitude of “we will be given again”. Indeed we need start-ups but we should pay back so that people become responsible. The more we receive handouts, the bleaker our future.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ubuntu, something we can share with the world.

The Standard, Sunday, 5 June, 2011

Sovereign nations are known for their independence and interdependence. This is why even our nation has links with Non-Aligned Movement, SADC and AU to mention a few. At one time we were members of the Commonwealth. There are benefits and risks we take to be aligned to any friends. With our “Look East” policy we have gained more friends, some of whom we could have never interacted with as we do now.

Your friends bring all sorts of things including their gods. When the West dominated as our friends one would say their God was part and parcel of the friendship package. Now that we are concentrating on the East, the Dragon is also taking its toll on us. We have a bigger choice as to which to follow. While it is very difficult to separate between the gods of our friends and their goodwill, we in Africa should always exercise the sovereignty we have always prided in as an African race.

Africa has never been without God. Yes, during the missionary error Africa was treated as a dark continent. A godless people. But everyone knows that Africa is the cradle of both humanity and civilisation. Perhaps the picture painted by missionaries was for a purpose. Indeed missionaries did us a lot of good. In the process it was realised that a lot more could have been done to acknowledge the humanity of Africa. Our philosophy of Ubuntu/Hunhu is in sinc with the Godly philosophy when God created human beings. This original gift is what we should share with a world that is fast losing direction. We are right when we say “I am because I belong”. Hence I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper. Humanity is sacred.

If God chose Africa to usher in humanity and to endow us with the first civilisation for other nations to copy, no one should be allowed to temper with that reality. History however has taught us that those who wanted to benefit from us did not stop at anything to dehumanise us. But all is not lost. We have to pick up the pieces and reclaim our position among nations/continents. When we see emptiness in the so-called advanced nations as they show their prowess, Africa should in sober fashion put its foot down and demonstrate that life has meaning after all.

We have a lot to offer to the world at this critical stage of the development of humanity and the world where scandals seem to rock even the highest positions of influence. Within African models, be they knowledge systems, business and religion something with human face should come from them.

At the onset of missionary enterprise the former were at pains as to what name we should give to God. A two day missionary Conference was held in Bulawayo in 1927 where about 60 missionaries from various denominations came together for that purpose. There were less than 10 African church workers including ministers present.

The main subject of debate was whether Africans should be allowed to use God or Mwari/Musikavanhu and Nkulunkulu/UMdali even when they pray in vernacular. After two days of intense debate and many presentations of papers for and against the use of God as the only term to use, the issue was put to vote.

The argument from those who wanted the use of the word God was that anything different would remind the Africans of their heathen gods. A secret vote was taken and God lost. An empty world waits for the cradle of humanity to bring sense to a senseless world.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge