Govt, political parties not doing much to curb violence

16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, aspiring women leaders reflected on the challenges posed by political violence.

IN December, the Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (Walpe) and the Women and Law in Southern Africa with support from the Netherlands embassy hosted a live TV programme on Bustop TV with aspiring women leaders discussing the topic “Is enough being done to punish perpetrators of political violence against women?”

To mark the end of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, aspiring women leaders reflected on the challenges posed by political violence on aspiring women and how inaction on the part of political parties, the police and government was discouraging women from contesting for public office.

The panellists concurred that women were, indeed, the biggest victims of political violence before, during and after elections and that the perpetrators are mostly men.

They also bemoaned lack of timeous response to reported cases of political violence, surge in cases of political violence and lack of stiff penalties for perpetrators.

The net effect of these vices is a further decrease in the number of women occupying leadership positions.

The women highlighted that the media could play a significant role in curbing violence against women in elections by reporting and publicly naming and shaming all perpetrators.

  • The aspiring women leaders recommendedMandatory sentences or penalties for perpetrators should be enacted,
  • Political parties should do more to curb politically motivated violence,
  • Use of social media to name and shame perpetrators,
  • Automatic disqualification of candidates who have a history of violence by political parties,
  • Development of toll free lines by women’s organisations for reporting cases,
  • Operationalising the independent complaints commission, and
  • Political parties’ code of conducts must clearly condemn and punish perpetrators of politically motivated violence against women. - Walpe

Fire Sports minister Kirsty Coventry

I DON’T want to sound like a racist, but whoever thought of picking Kirsty Coventry as Sports minister just because she excelled in winning swimming awards needs their brains examined.

We cannot allow mediocrity to creep into such a crucial post just to please some community on the guise of inclusivity

Coventry is just a tortoise on a lamp post. That post needs a vibrant someone.

Sport is big business around the world and has the capacity to create thousands of jobs, from playing right up to marketing.

Kirsty has so far failed to improve sport as minister.

She has not done anything tangible to show that she has what it takes to build sport in the country, especially the most beautiful game of football. She has lost all respect.

Zimbabwe’s football is in intensive care unit and it was dealt a big blow when it was suspended last year by Fifa due to political interference.

The restructuring committee which was set up by the Sports and Recreational Commission (SRC) released a damning report, where it highlighted many concerns which need urgent attention and made recommendations for reforms and a new Zifa constitution, but SRC chairman Gerald Mlotshwa says they are “not in a hurry” to get the Fifa suspension lifted.

Chances of Zimbabwean players getting contracts overseas are now very slim as the local football isn’t all that competitive. Young players who are supposed to showcase their skills at international level have been adversely affected.

There is no grassroots sport development policy to talk about in the country. Zimbabwe has abundant talent, but those in charge have shown they are incapable of bringing development to the game.

Instead of making sure that we get the Fifa ban lifted, the football administrators are not taking action.

They are not aware of the amount of pain and suffering they are inflicting on the young athletes who want to make breakthroughs at European clubs and eke out a living.

When a country has non-sport people at the helm, sport suffers and the end result is the breeding of a young generation that gets hooked into drug and alcohol abuse because they have nothing else to entertain themselves.

Everything ends up being political while the beautiful game of football is suffering. Football clubs are playing without any sponsorship.

Our stadiums are in a sorry state while some now look like potato fields. We cannot even afford to bid for an Africa Cup of Nations tournament because those in power have neglected everything. - Leonard Koni

Crop condition better in northern parts of Zim

IN December, almost the whole country received normal to above normal rainfall although poor spatial and temporal distribution was reported in some parts of the country.

By end of December, the country had received accumulated seasonal rainfall between 75% and 125% of the long term average and is considered typical.

Crop condition in the northern parts of the country was mainly average and mediocre in the southern parts.

Government distributed approximately 66% of maize seed and 88% of basal fertiliser targeted under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme which targets mainly rural communal farmers.

Government estimates a 63% increase in area planted under maize and is targeting a production of three million tonnes of maize.

On-farm-based casual labour opportunities are gradually improving with the scaling up of farming activities.

This is likely to lead to an improvement in income for households who are able to access such opportunities.

Livestock condition is fair to good due to an improvement in availability and quality of grazing pastures as well as water.

Headline inflation continued to steadily decelerate with annual inflation shedding 11.2 percentage points from 255% in November to 243,8% in December 2022, and monthly inflation gained 0,6 percentage points from 1,8% to 2,4% over the same period.

In December, the price of Compound D increased by 46% from $31 500/50kg in November 2022 to $46 082/50kg in December, while the price of AN fertiliser increased by 25% from $45 500/50kg to $56 688/50kg compared to November 2022.

When compared to the same time last year, the prices of the two commodities increased by 821% and 530%, respectively.

According to HungerMap LIVE, 5,2 million people were estimated to have insufficient food consumption and eight million were estimated to be resorting to “crisis and above” food-based coping, similar to October.

Midlands, Matabeleland North, Mashonaland Central, West and East provinces reported the greatest increase in insufficient consumption over the last three months.

Prices of basic food basket commodities were stable between November and December 2022 in both urban and rural markets, but remain significantly higher compared to the same time last year.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network projects that vulnerable urban households are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) as cost of living continue to rise. In typical rural deficit-producing areas in the south, east, west, and far north, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to persist throughout the lean season into early 2023.

The food poverty line for an individual was pegged at $22 193, which is stable when compared to November 2022. - World Food Programme


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