Letters: Time for stability to return to Zim

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Letters to the editor

Time for stability to return to Zim

SINCE attaining independence in 1980, Zimbabweans have not enjoyed the fruits of the liberation struggle.

It seems Zimbabwe is always at war with itself.

Early in the 1980s, Zimbabweans abducted, tortured and killed each other during the Gukurahundi madness.

The quest to retain power was at the centre of such heinous acts.

Even though Zimbabwe enjoyed relative peace in the 1990s, the economy was showing signs of fatigue.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund-prescribed structural adjustment programmes left the economy in bad shape. They triggered job carnage and company closures.

WORLD BANK

This led to mass protests which were organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

The fast-track land reform programme and the formation of the MDC in 1999 provided the turning point.

Opposition and civic society activists were abducted, maimed and killed at every turn all in the name of retaining power.

Activist Itai Dzamara disappeared and has not been found since 2015.

Itai Dzamara

When the late former President Robert Mugabe was given the boot in November 2017, the world thought Zimbabwe had  turned the corner.

August 1, 2018 and the January 14-16 2019 shooting of peaceful protesters are testimony that a leopard will never change its spots.

Peace has remained a pie in the sky for Zimbabwe.

More and more people are turning to drugs because they cannot make ends meet and bear the hardships.

Zimbabwe is struggling despite being endowed with natural resources as well as having a well-educated citizenry.

Corruption, greed, nepotism and looting have all turned a once jewel of Africa into a basket case of southern Africa.

Inflation is wreaking havoc, with authorities completely at sea.

Whenever citizens use constitutional means to voice their anger, this is met with brutality.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa should revisit his inauguration speech to establish  how many of the promises he made have been fulfilled.

Zimbabweans can’t be always at war with each other. –Mukunda Chitova


Zimbabwe will be ruins by 2030
SOUTHERN Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, was slapped with United Nations sanctions in 1965 which were removed in 1979, but managed to develop to be one of the richest nations in southern Africa.

Zimbabwe was slapped with targeted sanctions by the United States and the European Union in 2005 and has been reduced to ruins, but government officials and connected people became very rich, amid poverty among  ordinary people.

Is it because of the kleptomaniac tendencies of former President Robert Mugabe’s government, which have gone unchecked for years, or it is because the late Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith regime was shrewder than our dear leader, who seems to be at sixes and sevens

If the Smith regime had the Marange diamonds at its disposal, we would have inherited a First World country at independence not just the jewel of Africa that the late former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere alluded to.

Diamonds

Apart from schools built with assistance from donors, the Zanu PF government has done nothing particularly for the rural people other than destroy what was built by the repressive colonial regime. Everything has been reduced to rubble.

National roads have become death traps, littered with huge craters.

Senior government officials have become very wealthy by creating briefcase and shelf companies owned by themselves and their relatives which they award lucrative tenders.

The education and health sectors are on the death bed.

Healthcare workers are on the verge of embarking on an industrial action  and the government responded by promulgating the Health Services Amendment Bill  — which seeks to bar them from exercising their rights.

If we continue at this rate, Zimbabwe will be a shell by 2030, with nothing to show for the natural resources the country is vastly endowed with. –Muzokomba villager


Need for drones is becoming inevitable in farming

OUR planet is being destroyed by natural disasters and is full of man-made complex phenomena. These events are not only changing the ecosystem of our planet, but also questioning the very existence of humankind.

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has become increasingly necessary to deal with the effects of natural and man-made disasters, and even to modernise farming techniques.

Drones, commonly referred as UAVs, are mostly associated with military industry. But with recent developments, it is becoming useful in the areas of cinema industry, information technology, and other specialised operations in last few decades. The scope of UAVs has further been widened to other areas like agriculture.

A computer-controlled drone

According to some sources, the first use of aerial vehicles dates back in 1921 where the USDA, in collaboration with the US army, deployed it for crop dusting at McCook Field (Dayton in Ohio, US). It is widely reported that aerial vehicles began assisting various farmers in 1939 and beyond.

Even if the military industry initially used UAVs widely in different operations, other sectors quickly embraced UAVs when they learned about their widespread application.

The agricultural sector eventually started using this technology to improve farming precision and efficiency. Thus there is no doubt on the importance of using UAVs in agriculture. Different types of UAVs are available in the world market for agriculture.

They are helpful in facilitating agricultural precision by monitoring, making observation for yielding a better crop quality and plus preventing fields from any sort of damage. The aerial view provided by these UAVs can assist in the information on crop growth stages, crop health and soil variations in real time helping in any mitigation if required.

Since agricultural technology has driven farming revolution in recent years, one of the key pivotal points in this aspect is the usage of UAVs in different commercial and other big farms.

Agricultural UAVs are also applied to farming in order to help increase crop production and monitor crop growth. Monitoring crops from the sky using agricultural UAVs helps to gain more efficient crop insights and to more accurately plan and manage their operations.

The sensors and digital imaging capabilities of the drones can give farmers a richer picture of their fields. This information may prove useful in improving crop yields and farm efficiency.

Agricultural UAVs allow farmers see their fields from the sky. This bird’s-eye-view can reveal many issues such as irrigation problems, soil variation, and pest and fungal infestations. Additionally, the drone can survey the crops for the farmer periodically to their liking.

Weekly, daily, or even hourly, pictures can show the changes in the crops over time, thus showing possible “trouble spots”. Having identified these trouble spots, the farmer can attempt to improve crop management and production.

Apart from military, using UAVs for the cinema industry is becoming familiar in Africa. Suggesting that individual farmers in Africa must use UAVs may be unthinkable given the farmers’ economic potential. But large investor farms as well as government-run big research farms have to use UAVs for agricultural purposes. Unfortunately, it is uncommon. –New Farmer