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‘Little birds must not make so much noise’

“Little birds must not make so much noise,” warned Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin in his strategic meeting with Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, in the Second World War documentary. “Then they were giants”! The obvious implication must be that noise attracts attention and with attention, all manner of problems set in! Walter Mzembi, a rural MP […]

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Statecraft illiteracy vs black capitalism

When Finance minister Tendai Biti speaks, what is unmistakable is his exuberance of youth, often couched in alluring language, laced with terminology that etymologists have yet to discover. Choicest terms from his lingo basket include juntacratisation which refers to the militarisation of state institutions. He has also given us thugocracy; the art of using brutish […]

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When radio dies, not once, but twice

Radio died for me two weeks ago when I finally turned off from SAfm (one of South Africa’s premier talk radio stations and part of the South African Broadcasting Corporation stable). I had been a loyal listener of this radio station for close to seven years. It was a painful death. You see, like any […]

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Comment: No recovery — we’re going backwards

Talk about recovery in this country has often centred on GDP growth, capacity utilisation in industry, inflation, per capita income and the whole gamut of economic data often used to measure wealth. Only recently government has been talking about positive economic growth projections buoyed by a revival in agriculture, mining and the manufacturing sector. All […]

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Moore, Kamkwamba, you and me

A couple of days ago I found myself at a business breakfast in the company of a large gathering of some of Harare’s most influencial CEOs. They came to interact with one another and to listen to Finance minister Tendai Biti. Don’t ask me how I ended up in this distinguished circle; suffice to say […]

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Inspiration, discipline bulwarks of life

I read an amusing take on the saying “It is darkest before dawn . . . that’s the best time to steal your neighbour’s newspaper!” The reason I am writing this is far too often we exhort people to be passionate and to light their candles instead of cursing darkness; but what if there are […]

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Comment: Slashing of passport fees welcome

The government’s decision to slash the price of ordinary passports by 200% to $50 from $170 is a good gesture, as it will make the travel document affordable to everyone, including its own workers. This makes the official document exactly what it is — basic, just like a national identity card. As far back as […]

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Lifestyles built on scouring powder

John Munemo (38) sits on top of a 150kg bag of scouring powder — commonly known as “Vim” the brand name of a once popular similar product — in anticipation of clients. Most of the potential customers would be driving along the Harare-Masvingo highway, and whenever a car stops, he has to jostle for the […]

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Urban poor ignored in Mozambique

Carlos Matos, who has worked as a policeman in the Mozambican capital, Maputo, for the past 12 years, has to borrow a few dollars each month to supplement his US$52 wage. He lives rent-free in a one-roomed flat; his few possessions include an ailing television, a hot plate, a fan, and photographs of his two […]

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Money laundering not a victimless crime

In a week in which R’n’B megastar Alliaune Badara Thiam (Akon), dancehall superstar Ryan Henriques (Sean Paul) and Windies cricket legend Brian Lara were in town, even FSS couldn’t help a bit of indulgence by officially taking notice of these “kings of bling” in this financial column. For those familiar with this writer, the mention […]

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