Zimbabwean Children Receives Support From UNICEF AND SPAR Partnership

UNICEF and SPAR Zimbabwe signed an agreement to collaborate on awareness campaigns in support of UNICEF programmes for children

A Memorandum of Understanding was singed to roll-out joint awareness and communication campaigns on child rights related issues.

Through this collaboration UNICEF highlights how much the organization values the engagement with the private sector to deliver results for the children of Zimbabwe.

For SPAR Zimbabwe the agreement reaffirms the company’s social agenda to contribute to building a better society for all.

The collaboration between UNICEF and SPAR Zimbabwe will focus on sharing messages on health-related issues with the customers of SPAR.

A first campaign was launched a few weeks ago on diarrheal diseases including cholera and preventive measures to protect oneself against the infection, highlighting the importance of handwashing, good hygiene and use of safe water.

“The partnership between UNICEF and Spar Zimbabwe speaks to our private sector engagement for the promotion of the rights and wellbeing of children and their families.

The campaign rolled out through SPAR Zimbabwe network will without doubt reach many people and complement the communication campaigns of the Government, UNICEF and partners in Zimbabwe.

We look forward to further engagement with SPAR Zimbabwe on several issues that focus on the rights and the well-being of children”, said Dr Tajudeen Oyewale, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe.

As part of the national response, cholera awareness is promoted through SPAR’s social media platforms and in all their 35 stores across the country.

The communication material developed to support the campaign is based on the health messages developed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care. 

“Our collaboration with UNICEF is in line with our Mission Statement “Better Together’ which encapsulates our philosophy of being part of the community in which we operate, not just geographically, but also by being involved at grass-roots level in sustainable community development projects.

Our initiatives are based on our five key pillars of Responsible Retailing which focus on Women, Children, Active and Healthy Lifestyle, Animal Welfare and Environmental issues.

We also work closely with our supplier partners in ensuring that our initiatives are realized to its fullest”, Cypren Borerwe, SPAR Zimbabwe General Manager said.

While UNICEF and SPAR Zimbabwe have agreed to extend the cholera awareness campaign for a few more weeks, both partners are already engaged in talks about other child rights related campaigns for the months to come.    

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Zimbabwe Names 6 To Exihibit At 60th La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Gillian Rosselli, Troy Makaza, Moffat Takadiwa, Chipfika Kombo, Victor Nyakauru and Sekai Machache will represent Zimbabwe at the 60th Venice Biennale, Italy as announced by Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Dr Kirsty Coventry.

Running from the 20th of April upto the 24th of November in 2014, the exhibitors will exhibit under the Zimbabwe Pavilion and the theme is yet to be established.

The art showcase in Italy, which is a huge platform of artists all over the world equated to World Cup of Visual Arts, will be such a platform where Zimbabwe will engage the World and try to foster synergies.

“In line with NDS1, this platform has been critical in the Image Building and persuasion of International Corporation and it offers new engagement in the Culture sphere, Dr Coventry remarked.

Executive Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Raphael Chikukwa will be the 2024 Pavilion of Zimbabwe Commissioner whereas Fadzai Veronica Muchemwa will be the Curator.

Dr Coventry said that, “As Government, we have seen many carriers flourish from this platform”.

Some of the notable Alumni are Portia Zvavahera, Virginia Chihota, Misheck Masamvu, Gareth Nyandoro, Masimba Hwati, Dana Whabira, Kresiah Mukwazhi, Wallen Mapondera and Ronald Muchatuta who have worked on a number of high-profile exhibitions.

From the dusty farms of Karoi, Moffat Takadiwa appreciated the government of Zimbabwe for recognising his talent and being honoured to grace the affluence of Italy.

“I grew up in farms, in karoi and to have travelled this milestone is by God’s Grace”, Takadiwa said.

Takadiwa appreciated those who have been assisting him on his journey.

Gillian Rosselli was happy to be representing Zimbabwe on the art grand stage.

“I will draw women”, as a way of uplifting them, Rosselli remarked.

She also encouraged women artist in the country to unite for their good.

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‘A Gathering’

The writer was so nostalgic when he received an invitation to attend the official opening of “a gathering” from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

What is the “gathering” all about?, among other questions remained lingering in the mind of this scribe as the day progressed nearing the event time.

“Between the artist and viewer, curator and viewer, and between the works of art themselves. It clicks when an exhibition feels like it has answered some questions, and raised even more”,Thelma Golden aptly put it.

Having attended the “gathering”, Golden’s words started to make sense, as the writer thought he understood that the gathering was all about the launch of exceptional art from Misheck Masamvu, Georgina, Dareth Nyandoro and various others.

After a deep reflection on the art, the scribe had no objectionable doubt that though it was a “gathering”, but only a gathering of an uncompleted puzzle as the exhibition created more questions than it explained. Thelma Golden, was absolutely correct in the quote above.

“Art is no longer expensive like it used to be, as it used to invovle purchasing of expensive canvas, brushes and paint but now art can be made through available material that can not be for sale”, Pikirayi Deketeke the guest of honour said.

Art is no longer a preserve for the elites and the rich alone, but it is all encompassing as it now solely depends on the creativeness of the person behind the art.

Yesteryear art was premised on sculpture and canvass but art being dynamic, art can now be done through found objects as exihibited and it is also encampassing across social strata.

The guest of honour paid tribute to Dr Solomon Guramatunhu who was in attendance for being the most collector of Zimbabwean art.

Deketeke went on to urge Zimbabweans to be collectors of art by Zimbabweans as it helps the industry grow.

The rare talent exhibition probably out of this world, is too enormous task for the one writing this, to reduce the representation of art into words.

If it was possible, it only requires another work of art, the artist and the curator to describe their art for the readers of this epistle to comphrehand the talent behind the art.

Nina Baldwin an artist parexcellence states that, “art touches the soul… art is communication… it reaches out from the canvas and passes through the eyes of the viewer right into his heart where it can leave an imprint of beauty that can make the spirit sing”.

The work of art at the Zimbabwe National Gallery exhibited starting yesterday, besides making the spirit sing, it edifies the soul and the imprint will remain eternally engraved in all corners of the hearts of those who attended.

The communication was unblurringly visible, for all sundry to see how through art, the artists spoke on societal issues.

Political, economic, social and technological aspects were all incorporated in the art through the art.

Abstract and sometimes comprehensive subjects such as climatic change and its effect was reduce into art for easy grasp.

Indeed, it was a worthwhile ‘gathering’ of artists, art lovers, art collectors and the art itself at the gallery.

‘A Gathering’ Read More »

Environment and Poverty Interconnectedness

There is a general belief that poverty is only associated with financial lack to afford a decent living. This write up will unpack how the environment also can be a measure of poverty through assessing how the ecosystem can sustain the population or how environment degradation such as pollution and erosion, and climatic change can be indicators of how people living in a certain environment are susceptible to poverty.

Environmental and poverty issues normally have not been interesting stories to many people, but with the climatic change we are currently experiencing and natural disasters mainly in cyclones which result in several lives being lost, this is the right time that mankind should develop an interest and be involved in changing this planet for a better world. Take a sit and enjoy the reading!

Historically, the measurement of poverty had been a primarily monetary focus. It has been calculated using the average income required per inhabitant to cover basic needs. 

It is very important to recognise that poverty and environmental issues are interrelated. Poverty among people puts stress on the environment whereas environmental problems cause severe suffering to the poor.

Environmental poverty can be defined as a degraded environment unfit for human survival. Environmental poverty is also the lack of the healthy environment needed for society’s survival and development as a direct result of environmental degradation caused by human activities.

Poor people depend on the environment for their livelihoods and well-being. Improved management of the environment and natural resources contributes directly to poverty reduction, more sustainable livelihoods and pro-poor growth.

In most poverty measurements, the environmental impact was missing. Poverty is not explained simply by the responsibility of the individual, but by the context that surrounds that person. 

Several studies show that global warming has increased economic inequality. It has favored colder countries like Norway and Sweden and dragged down economic growth in hot countries like India, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

New methodologies such as the HDI adjusted for planetary pressures (IDHP) have been developed for the Human Development Index. This takes into account the pressure that each country exerts on the planet in two areas; carbon dioxide emissions and the material footprint, understood as the extraction of natural resources to satisfy the domestic demand for products and services of a country.

People, whether they be rich or poor, consume water, food, and natural resources in order to remain alive. All economic activities are directly, indirectly or remotely based on natural resources and any pressure on natural resources can cause environmental stress.

Environmental damage can prevent people, especially the poor, from having good and hygienic living standards. As poor people rely more directly on the environment than the rich for their survival, they are mostly on the receiving end of environmental problems.

To fight poverty, promote security and preserve the ecosystems that poor people rely on for their livelihoods, priority must be placed on pro-poor economic growth and environmental sustainability at the heart of economic policies, planning systems and institutions.

Poverty often causes people to put relatively more pressure on the environment which results in improper human waste disposal leading to unhealthy living conditions, more pressure on fragile land to meet needs, overexploitation of natural resources and more deforestation.

Insufficient knowledge about environmental friendly agricultural practices can also lead to a decline in crop yield and productivity. Environmental problems also add more to the miseries of poor people.

Environmental problems cause more suffering among them as environmental damage increases the impact of floods and other environmental catastrophes.

Soil erosion, land degradation and deforestation lead to a decline in food production along with a shortage of wood for fuel contribute to inflation. The worst consequences of environmental deterioration, whether they be economical, social, or related to mental or physical wellbeing, are mostly experienced by poor people.

More rigorous efforts should be undertaken by the governments of all countries to eradicate poverty and in turn, to save deprived people from the dreadful implications of environmental damage. There should be more collaborative partnerships among all sections of the society so that even the people living in poverty are linked to the world through their participation in social, political, and economical spheres along with their active participation in environmental regeneration.

The general belief is that there cannot be any environmental solution without alleviating poverty from the world.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) joined hands and launched the Poverty-Environment Initiative. The Poverty-Environment Initiative is a global UN programme that helps countries to integrate poverty-environment linkages into national and sub-national development planning, from policymaking to budgeting, implementation and monitoring.

With both financial and technical support, UNDP and UN Environment assist government decision-makers and a wide range of other stakeholders to manage the environment in a way that improves livelihoods and leads to sustainable growth.

The Initiative works with key government partners to raise awareness, influence policy making and strengthen the mainstreaming of poverty-environment into budget processes, sector programmes and sub-national planning.

The overall aim is to bring about lasting institutional change and to catalyse key actors to increase investment in pro-poor environmental and natural resource management.

Economic growth is often regarded as the key to fighting poverty especially in Africa, while China’s success in poverty alleviation has been well recognised as a result of economic growth.

Economic growth alone is often insufficient, especially if the growth is achieved at the expense of environmental quality, income equality, and social justice, which are other components of sustainability.

Environmental degradation is “slow violence” that particularly affects the poor and occurs gradually and out of sight with delayed destruction dispersed across time and space, Nixon once made the remarks.

Geographical displacement of sources and sinks, traditional ecological knowledge, and environmental justice are central to “the environmentalism of the poor”.

To achieve sustainable poverty alleviation, many researchers assert that economic growth can lead to both economic and environmental goals while environmental protection may impede economic growth.

Suggestions are that the best and probably only way to attain a decent environment in most countries is to become rich in alignment with the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC), which suggests that environmental quality first decreases and then improves along with economic growth.

In policy making and practice, the “grow (pollute) first, clean up later” approach continues to dominate the minds of leaders in developing countries such as China.

Chinese scholars and officials tend to misinterpret the EKC as a law and misuse it to support the “grow (pollute) first, clean up later” path.

They also tend to apply the EKC to the place’s overall pollution levels or even the whole environment, though such claims have never been proven.

Since the 1980s, the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, and Chinese government directives have repeatedly warned that China should stop following the “grow first, clean up later” path taken by more developed countries, which led to an acceleration of environmental pollution and serious health problems.

Qu Geping, the well-known Chinese environmental protection minister (1987–1993), frequently called for Chinese officials at all levels to stop following the EKC and the “grow (pollute) first, clean up later” path.

The repeated warnings have been necessary because local officials tend to believe that rapid economic growth must be achieved at any costs, even if the cost of future cleanup is higher than current economic gains, because impoverished areas have no other path to economic wealth.

This script attempts to contribute to knowledge on how to achieve sustainable poverty alleviation and development.

China’s economic achievement has been an inspiration to many around the world and leaders from developing countries are turning to China in search of solutions to their own developmental quagmires.

According to the United Nations 1995, sustainable development involves the maintenance of wealth, where the required measure of wealth includes not only manufactured and human capital but also natural capital.

The purpose of estimating environmental accounting prices is to evaluate the benefits and costs associated with changes made to the environment due to human activities.

Recent studies have attempted to apply environmental and ecological valuations to recognising ecosystems as conventional wisdom tends to believe that the “grow first, clean up later” path is an economic law that must be followed by all countries, even if it has been proven that the cost of cleanup is higher than the economic gains during growth, because only polluting industries are available to societies at early stages of development.  

Developing countries should avoid using unsustainable approaches to poverty alleviation and realise that alternative sustainable approaches are available.

Environmental problems in the modern world reflect a combination of ignorance and institutional failure. Global environmental problems often affect the resource base of the world’s poorest people most severely.

During COP26, it is sought that the leaders of each country make the necessary commitments to reduce emissions, mobilise funds and promote adaptation and resilience, especially to protect the environment and human populations.

The World Bank at the global level and each country at national level define poverty in different terms. Economic growth has proven to be one of the main ways to define and reduce poverty.

It is observed that countries with the greatest human development are also the countries with the greatest material footprint per capita and, therefore, the greatest environmental impact.

Poverty and climate change have a two-way relationship which are the factors that aggravate environmental poverty can be divided mainly into two categories: the increasingly recurring disasters produced by climate variability and the pollution and depletion of natural resources.

In 2016, World Bank and Global Fund for Disaster Reduction and Recovery revealed that 26 million people are pushed directly into poverty each year due to disasters produced by climatic changes. 

The UN estimates direct economic losses from disasters from 1998 to 2017 at nearly $3 trillion, with climate-related disasters accounting for 77% of the total.

People living in poverty are more vulnerable and more exposed to climatic disasters. This is partly due to the fact that they have a lower capacity to choose where to locate their home and this is usually of lower quality and less resistant.

Additionally, the increase in food prices as a consequence of climate variability disproportionately affects populations with few resources.

Forced migration is another of the main climatic factors that push people into poverty. According to one of the IPCC reports, approximately 10% of the world’s population lives in low-lying coastal areas (just 10 meters above sea level) whose habitability is in constant threat due to rising sea levels. 

A study estimated that more than 1 million people living in three mega deltas; the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta in Bangladesh, the Mekong delta in Vietnam and the Nile delta in Egypt will be directly affected by coastal erosion and loss of land by 2050.

On the other hand, the decline and depletion of natural resources due to deforestation, soil erosion, overfishing or air pollution reduce the resources essential for human life, especially affecting the most vulnerable people.

Pollution is the cause of frequent illnesses and, in some cases, can lead to disability and inability to work. A 2017 global report published by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health estimated that pollution was the cause of 9 million (16%) of premature deaths in 2015, fifteen times more than deaths caused by conflict and three times more than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined.

According to another Berkeley Earth study, air pollution in China is responsible for 1.6 million deaths a year, about 17% of all deaths in the country.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNNESCAP) warns that the depletion and scarcity of natural resources in agricultural societies and in coastal areas dependent on marine resources further hinders access to these resources for people who they cannot diversify their economy. In Cambodia, overfishing has depleted the fish stocks in Lake Tonlé Sap on which millions of people depend.

Policies developed to address environmental poverty should not only reduce the negative impact of our consumption (especially the richest 10% of the planet) but also find ways to increase sustainable economic opportunities for those living in poverty and address a just transition that protects communities affected by ecological transformation.

 “The worst thing about poverty is its silence”, Borja Monrea. Millions of people are already experiencing environmental poverty and understand that its origins and consequences are everyone’s responsibility.

Environment and Poverty Interconnectedness Read More »

Zimbabwe Taking A Lackadaisical Approach To End Poverty

Eradicating poverty in all its forms, everywhere, requires indicators that measure sustainable pathways out of poverty, and not only the absence of acute poverty.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a high standard for human development with the pledge ‘to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment’ according to United Nations General Assembly, 2015.

The first and overarching goal of this agenda is to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere.

This vision implies a life free from abject poverty, but also a reality where all are empowered to lead a life they value, make their own choices, and reach their full potential.

In an effort to eradicate poverty, the government of Zimbabwe from its several initiatives came up with Temporary Stabilisation programme (TSP) which was then succeeded by the National Development Strategy (NDS1) which is a medium-term plan which sets out the social, economic, governance and environmental development trajectory for Zimbabwe for the period 2021 – 2025.

Sectors have also developed their specific strategic plans guided by the broader NDS1 framework for consistency and coherence purposes. The NDS1 seeks to alleviate poverty through poverty reduction programmes and advance the economy towards an upper middle income as embedded in the Vision 2030 Agenda launched by the government.

Zimbabwe is suffering from immense poverty. In 2019, extreme poverty was at 34 percent, an increase from 29 percent in 2018. This represents a change from 4.7 million to 5.7 million people living in poverty.

The cause of this swift increase was an economic contraction of around 8%.  Poverty has not decreased in 18 years and recent survey show that extreme poverty may have risen by eight percentage in last decade.

The World Bank expects a continued increase in extreme poverty in Zimbabwe in 2023. Fortunately, many organizations are working on innovations in poverty eradication in Zimbabwe to combat this problem. The government besides having good policies on paper, it is lagging behind in implementation.

The 2016 – 2021 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), co-chaired by Government and the United Nations, is the strategic document via which UN Entities channel their support to the achievement of the SDGs in Zimbabwe.

The United Nations in Zimbabwe also supports Government to conduct regular monitoring and reporting on progress towards the SDGs at national and sub-national levels.

In addition, the United Nations regularly facilitates national and local consultations and advocacy campaigns in partnership with the Office of the President and Cabinet, Government Ministries, Parliament, Development Partners, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Youth Group, Media, and the Public on mainstreaming and implementation of the SDGs.

A recent World Bank report, Spatial Patterns of Settlement, Internal Migration and Welfare Inequality in Zimbabwe, suggests that entrenched poverty is a deep rural spatial poverty traps. Land redistribution seems to be failing to nreak the straps created by colonialism.

In 2017, extreme poverty was 13 times higher in rural than urban areas and believed to have nearly double as of late.

In addition to a general economic downturn, several droughts across Zimbabwe have caused the prices for food and other essential goods to rise. These same droughts slumped agricultural production, especially in rural communities, where people were hit the hardest by this downturn.

Zimbabwe has also been struggling with hyperinflation for more than a decade. This problem results from economic mismanagement by the nation’s previous president, Robert Mugabe and even worse in ED Mnangagwa’s leadership. Zimbabwe faces severe hyperinflation, which does not help with its fight against widespread poverty.

Zimbabwe has ample resources and capacities to successfully implement SDGs, if decisive action is taken in policy design and sustained implementation, institutional change and allocation of funds.

Besides a plethora of resources, the country is hit by poverty and hyperinflation, Zimbabwe’s citizens are struggling.

A well-functioning accountability and transparency mechanisms at all levels are key to transform the lives of the poor people in Zimbabwe.

Curbing corruption, closing the tap on resource leakages and loopholes as well as international efforts to cap illicit financial flows which drain financial resources should be implemented and issues such as the gold mafia should be non-existent in developing nations such as Zimbabwe.

Improvements in secondary roads and ICT infrastructure to allow better movement of goods, services, people and ideas should done towards eradicating poverty.

Incentives can be created to enable people to move away from areas that are too densely populated to less dense areas.

In recent months, food shortages, high inflation and power outages have reached critical levels.

Zimbabwe will not be on track to eradicate poverty by 2030 if current growth trends continue going on.

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Zimbabwe: Copy India To Reverse The Tide Of Poverty

India, one of the most densely populated country of 1, 33 billion population as on Thursday, June 1, 2023; based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data, makes the country rank as world’s second most populous nation.

India has made great strides in reducing its overall poverty level in recent years and continues moving towards the right direction, Zimbabwe with its 72 percent of its 14 million population wallowing in poverty should take a leaf from India.

The country of India is an independent state found in South Asia, and it is ranked as the 7th biggest in the world with an area covering 1.269 million square miles.

According to recently published Global Multi-dimensional Poverty Index in 2023, 415 million individuals were able to escape multidimensional poverty in the last 15 years. It exhibited a sharp drop of poverty from 55,1 percent to 16,4 percent.

India’s 16,4 percent of the 1,33 billion population is considered to be poor and 4,2 percent are considered to be extremely poor. 18.7percent of the people are considered to be at the risk of poverty.

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), India’s economy in 2017 was worth $2.611 trillion. The country has managed to maintain an impressive GDP growth rate of 5.8% over two decades and managed to reach the highest point of 6.1% during 2011-2012.

India is among the world’s most rapidly growing economies. However, the country is ranked 140th, regarding nominal GDP per capita and rank at position 129th, in regard to GDP based on purchasing power parity.

According to IMF, at the growth rate of 11,5 percent, India is going to be the fastest growing economy in 2023. It is the world’s only country to register a double-digit growth in 2023.

Just like any other nation, India was affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, and many were pushed into poverty. It is estimated that about 7 million jobs were lost in a year. Zimbabwe and other countries should move on and capacitate their citizens than continue mourning the impacts of covid on poverty.

As per the real time data from World Poverty Clock, 7 percent of the Indian population are living in extreme poverty and 0,6 Indians are escaping extreme poverty every minute.

India maintained a protectionist approach with influence from the socialist economies up to 1991. State regulations and intervention were widespread during this period, and the economy was protected from the outside world.

India government’s spending on rural welfare schemes helped in a big way to reduce national poverty. About 70 percent of Zimbabweans live in rural areas and if the government of Zimbabwe increase rural funding the rural lives will be uplifted. Devolution and decentralisation policy embarked by the Zimbabwe government should not be a paper policy but should be practically implemented.

The acute imbalance of payment which culminated to a crisis in 1991 forced the Indian government to liberalise its economy and ever since the country has moved towards a free market-based economy which emphasizes direct investment inflows and foreign trade, and this positively impacted the economy.

Some of India’s natural resources include iron ore, bauxite, manganese, mica, diamonds, natural gas, oil, arable land, and chromites among others.

Bihar is the poorest state in India. Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya being some of the states known for their poverty.

Measures By India To Curb Poverty

Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)

Is one of the driving schemes of poverty alleviation programmes that has bestowed a lot in ridding the evil of deprivation to a certain level. It was introduced in 1978-79, the major objective of the scheme stands as providing self-employment to the target audience that exists below the poverty line. The target includes agricultural labourers, small and marginal farmers and rural artisans. In addition, inclusions are compelled where 50 percent is allotted to the scheduled castes and tribes.

Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana

It is known as Samproorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana. It intends to generate demand driven communities in the rural areas with the rationale of employing the people. Employment is provided to those living below the poverty line defined by the government. 3 percent has been allocated to providing barrier free infrastructure to disabled people.

Pradhan mantri Grameen Awaas Yojana

It was launched in 2015 and is one of the flourishing schemes under the poverty alleviation programmes initiated by the government. It thrives to provide free houses for the people living in the rural areas that are poor. The advancement is made through the subsidy process, involvement of the private sector and reasonable housing to the people at subsidised rates.

National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)

The Programme was launched in 1999 with its main objective being giving social security to the neglected categories of the society that are widows, disabled and aged persons. Pensions are provided to people who are contemplated as destitute. The scheme bestows social security to the eligible beneficiaries. The beneficiaries do not have to contribute at the first phase to receive this pension under the National Old Age Pension Scheme. The government also provides funds under the National Maternity Benefit Scheme to the women for their prenatal and postnatal sustenance. This financial grant is given to women belonging to families that are not financially well. Then there is national family benefit Scheme which provides funds to families whose main wage earner dies due to any reason. Under this, a sum of 10 000 is provided to the household.


The scheme was enacted in 1999-2000 and its main aim has always been to provide a nutritional diet to the senior citizens who are unable to do that for themselves. This scheme under the poverty alleviation programme provides 10kg of free nutritional diet every month for the aged citizens.

India channeled a lot of resources to the rural areas and the marginalised members of the society for it to be recognised for its classical reduction of poverty over the years.

Zimbabwe is in cordial relationship with India and should take notes of how they managed to reduce poverty, they can even do exchange visits among other measures. With a clear and robust poverty policy, Zimbabwe is deemed to eradicate poverty in a short space of time considering its vast natural resources and a relatively smaller population as compared to India.

Zimbabwe should embark on :

Improving agricultural productivity and boosting resilience to climate Change

About two thirds of Zimbabweans work in Agriculture related industry while many Zimbabweans directly or indirectly depend on it. Incomes from agriculture are the lowest reflecting low productivity and high exposure to climate risks.

There is need to increase market orientation of agriculture diversification to high volume crops and resilience from climate change. Government subsidies to agriculture should be apolitical but based on merit. Measures should in place to recover loans offered to farmers.

Transition of the economy from rural, low productivity to higher productivity activities in industry and services often concentrated in urban areas.

It has been reported that the pace of urbanisation and structural transformation has been sluggish limiting the opportunities for income growth. Since climate change is one of the most severe risks Zimbabweans face in the coming decades, with serious ramifications on poverty, livelihoods and food security, policies to boost resilience must be implemented now to avoid worse outcomes in the future. Corruption being so cancerous that it is found in every stratum of life, authorities being, should try to nab it from the roots so that any activity planned for poverty eradication will not crumble down through corruption.

Zimbabwe is one with the most educated people in the world, it has some good strategies on blueprint that address poverty, but this writing is a clarion call to authority to be practically involved in fighting poverty. If those policies still remain on paper, the greater citizens of the country will remain in shackles of lack. India, your all weather friend is willing to assist of how to eradicate poverty.

Zimbabwe: Copy India To Reverse The Tide Of Poverty Read More »

Mnangagwa Set To Lose August 2023 Elections

Around 6 million of the 15 million Zimbabweans have registered with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissioner to cast their votes in the harmonised elections slated for 23rd of August this year.

This epistle will use statistics to highlight how poverty is the death knell to Mnangagwa’s bid to retain power.

Picture Quotes. Com, agree with this writing that, “statistics can be made to prove anything even the truth”. In the same vein, the write up uses statistics to prove the truth.

72 percent of the total population lives below the poverty datum line and these poor people will decide those who will represent them in various positions during the election.

Approximately 4,05 million Zimbabweans are estimated to be facing insufficient food consumption as from the beginning of February 2023 as revealed by HungerMap LIVE.

The number of people with insufficient food has increased from February and by the time the country holds elections, the level of lack will have exponentially increased if the currently economic landscape is anything to go by.

According to Forbes Magazine, 95 percent of the population is unemployed and those employed are struggling to make ends meet as inflation is eroding their indecent wages.

$1 USD is equivalent to $4 000 Zimbabwe Dollars on the blackmarket. Most of the employees are earning below $100 USD if their salries are converted to USD.

According to UNICEF, half of the adolescents in Zimbabwe aged 13 to 19 are outside of school.

Poverty is the reason why they are not at school, because parents lack the resources for school fees leading to absenteeism.

Some of the adolescents who dropped out of school due to poverty have attained 18 years and will be participating in the elections alongside their poverty-stricken parents.

President Mnangagwa’s government allocated 12 percent of the budget to Education below the globally agreed target of 20 percent.

The economically less well off have the power in their hands through the ballot with which to determine who runs the affairs of the country for the majority’s good.

In a free and fair elections, voting determines who wins positions of power.

Free and fair election breads good governance and deters the election of bad leaders, holds bad leaders accountable through de-election and enables citizens participation in decision making vital for economic development.

Once in power, elected officials help to oversee how society is organised and how public funds are allocated.

Bernard Shaw aptly said, “it is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics”. Reading to this far, is a semblance of intelligence and statics do not lie.

The statistics above highlights the level of how poverty is affecting lives, taking into cognisance that more than half of the population are wallowing in poverty, the poor can wittingly utilise their vote in the forthcoming election.

Mnangagwa will not have a chance to retain power considering the large number of people dwelling in poverty.

In normal essance of the word normal, the majority will not vote him back to power considering their poor living standards.

With inflation eroding the purchasing power as well as living standards and corruption shoveling cash from public treasures to private vaults of the political elites, an election becomes the only way of correction of the misnomer.

Had the numerical polling strength of the poor truly mattered, election outcomes would have shown how the poor, using their voter’s card, punish bad leaders by dethroning and booting them out of office and replacing them with good ones.

Sadly the poor often times wind up being on the receiving end of a flawed electoral process.

Elections campaign in new democracies are often characterised by significant amounts of vote buying which is an attempt by political parties to mobilise support by distributing cash or money or material benefits to voters in exchange for support before the election.

Poor people are often identified as the prime targets of vote buying campaigns by politicians.

Poverty creates fertile grounds for electoral clientelism and vote buying.

Clientelism is the payment by political parties of minor benefits such as food, clothing or cash to citizens in exchange of their votes.

Poverty is an important source of vote buying that enables political parties to exploit the material needs of deprived voter groups by trading rewards for vote.

So many of the poorest people choose not to vote not because of apathy but disgust.

Poverty makes elections costly it attracts voter bribery, elections violence, costly electoral justice and voter’s apathy amongst other ways.

Through vote buying, intimidation, hook or crook that are the only chances that Mnangagwa can win an election as the statistics has revealed that it is impossible to win a fair election when you are presiding over a poor and unhappy citizens.

Conclusively, “Every citizen of this country should be guaranteed that their vote matters, that their vote is counted and that in the voting booth, their vote has a much weight as that of any CEO, any member of the congress, or any President”, as said by Barbra Boxer.

In the same breath, citizens of Zimbabwe are urged to vote in their numbers and vote for leaders of their choice that have the propensity of uplifting their living standards.

Mnangagwa Set To Lose August 2023 Elections Read More »

Mbira Music The Cherry Plum That Spiced African Day Celebrations

The two-hour time slot was not enough as mbira lovers were left calling for more at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe on Africa day.

Classical acts from Panashe Mujuru, Chiedza Tiyenga, Evelyn Singizi and Klara Ana Rosa mesmerised fans with their exceptional traditional mbira playing prowess that resonated well with the African Day that was being celebrated on 25 May this year.

The well-choreographed performance was a five star, revelers felt shortchanged by the generous free entrance fee and event planners promised to make corrigenda to the acme mismanagement.

As if not enough, the free entrance to the function was coupled with an array of delicacies of traditional dish that was cooked with so much mastery that left all sundry salivating for more.

A stella performance from Evelyn Singizi, left the whole auditorium singing along to the chorus of her impromptu, honing her maestro on live performance.

Chioneso Maraire is the inspiration that led Singizi to embark on the Mbira playing journey. “Growing up listening and watching to Maraire’s songs was all I needed to decide to follow her journey in the mbira realm” said Singizi.

She started playing mbira instrument in 2020 when she enrolled with Great Zimbabwe University for a degree In Media Studies.

“I have always had a traditional background, dancing to traditional music at an early age whilst doing Grade 3 and I still do traditional dance as of now”, said Singizi.

Playing Mbira music especially coming up from a Christian background comes with its own challenges. Singizi put it that, “I never got support from my parents or family, but I do have support from people who I look up to in the music industry “.

In the music industry, women face challenges in a patriarchal dominated society that are not only limited to sexual harassment so as to get time slots during life performances.

“Sometimes you will be given a chance to perform at big stages but in this patriarchal society, you need to sacrifice other things to gain something.

Cyber bulling is some of the other things we face as young female mbira players and performing with renowned artist becomes a halucalem task”, Singizi bemoaned.

Singizi urged the National Art Council of Zimbabwe to promote Mbira Music so that the Mbira Sound be nationally celebrated sound just like amapiano genre in South Africa.

One of the artists of note who kept mbira lovers to their feet is Mujuru Panashe.

Mujuru started playing mbira when he was doing his form one at Sahumani Secondary School in the Vallies of Honde.

Besides being taught mbira at school, “I used to go a little further on my own and put variations to what I was taught and come up with top notch sound and that is when I discovered that I was so talented”, Mujuru said.

Just like in Singizi’s case, no family support was offered to Mujuru as they believed that the playing of mbira was a sacred mode and evil spirits manifested.

“Hupenyu Wenherera”, a soliloquy peace in making is a story of orphans suffering in the hands of relatives and was so emotional performance by Mujuru that fans could be seen shedding one or two tear drops.

Mujuru signed off his performance by performing ‘Varimugomba’, a message to God and ancestors appealing for help. The help might be late in coming, so one should assist self and help will be met on the way, sang Mujuru, a spiritual uplifting song.

The writer of this script thought he had read and mastered it all about decoloniality philosophy, the black skin white masks as alluded by Frantz Fanon, but was left with pale face of shame when Klara Ana Rosa did a sterling performance.

“Shoko”, a mbira song filled with biblical imagery from John 1 verse 1, was the last song of the event, an act that became so personal to this writer and got him into thinking.

Conclusively he realised, Africa was not about the colour of the skin, ‘but the conception of the heart’. Klara is more African than most of the black people as revealed by her African allegoric song with Christianity insinuation and her traditional mbira playing artistry.

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Humble Background Inspired The Most Sought After Realism Artist

Realism artist, Award winning Keith Zenda born in Chirumanzu rural area in 1985 was inspired by rural lifestyle to become a phenomenal artist.

Zenda unfortunately lost his father at a tender age and his mother raised him.

“I am a first born in a family of four boys and grew up being taken care by my mother after my father died in 1996”, Zenda said.

During his school going days he was so normadic that he attended several schools.

Zenda said that, “I did my primary school at Chilimanzi Primary School, then transferred to Fairview Primary School and then transferred back to Chilimanzi Primary School”.

“For my secondary education, I went to Siyahokwe Secondary School and did my Ordinary level at Mambo High School in Gweru”, he went on to say.

Growing up in rural areas, Zenda used to mould small sculptures, did some drawings and managed the charts for his primary school classroom.

“I started drawing when I was in grade 4”, Zenda revealed.

One of his art is a drawing of a young boy carring some bananas in a dish.

Zenda revealed that the art of a boy with a dish of bananas is a replica of him growing up.

“I grew up selling some bananas after school time and on weekends helping my mother who was a vendor then”, he said.

As a first born child he assisted in the livelihood of his family through selling.

He went on to say, “my art captures the social lifestyle that I am surrounded with.

I can say I grew up in poverty and now I am telling my story through art of how I came out“.

Being born in poverty does not mean one can also die in poverty, Zenda’s story is a tale that inspires every child brought up in marginalised communities to aim for higher and better life.

Zenda has a unique and personal art which he refers to as his identity.

“My art is known as realism or surelism which I am branding to zendaism art for my identity”, he said.

Zenda bemoaned lack of art support from society, be it moral or physical support.

“In our communities they don’t appreciate and value art that much, an artist have to search for people who have interest in art in order to make ends meet”, said Zenda.

Instead of concentrating on art, most of the time artists spend their time on social media platforms searching for market for their products, Zenda hastily put it.

He added that there is preconceived misconception that, “art is more known and mostly appreciated by white and rich communities”.

“The support on artists must improve especially from our business community and government”, he said.

There must be diverse art curriculums in schools, artists grants, bursaries, art residences, more art events at national level and to engage artists on the cultural exchange programs as a way of supporting artists, Zenda emphasised.

Meeting His Excellence the President of Zimbabwe E.D Mnangagwa, meeting some esteemed business leaders, winning an art award and being nominated on the NAMA Awards are some of Zenda’s major highlights in his illustrious carrier.

“When I go to some art events and come back home without selling anything are some of my lowest moments in my carrier”, Zenda added on.

“Art can be for fun or therapy. Art heals as well as it brings the community together.

Upcoming artists must not limit their imagination and must think outside the box”, Zenda said these encouraging words.

As parting remarks, Zenda said, “I am establishing an Art Center and mentoring youths and upcoming artists from the grassroots level as a way of giving back to the community”.

To view his art, one can log on to this link :

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Climate Change, Too Lethal For The Poor

Climate change and poor are deeply intertwined, climate change disproportionately affects the poor people in low-income communities in developing countries across the world.

Changes in long term weather patterns or averages due to natural or external forces attributed directly or indirectly to human activity are referred to as climate change.

More than 2 billion people which is approximately one third of the global population are living in poverty and they face persistent threats to their livelihoods especially from climate changes.

Globally, 75% of people living in poverty in rural areas depend on natural resources such as forests, dames, lakes and oceans for their livelihoods, hence they are on the frontliners of more frequent bushfires, droughts, cyclones and other disasters driven by climate change.

Despite gaining worldwide recognition over the past decade, climate change is frequently understood differently by different communities.

Estimates by UNDP indicates that by 2030 more than 100 million people could be displaced due to more frequent and severe climatic disasters.

Climate Change causes people to lose their means of subsistence, compels families to change their lives and derives people deeper into poverty.

“Born Too Soon” Report

The report is calling for global action to prevent preterm births . Statistics in the report highlight that 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely worldwide. Contributing to this is the imminent threat of climate change- the report indicates that extreme heat exposure increases the risk of preterm birth by 16 percent.

In 2020, almost 1 million newborns died due to complications of preterm birth. Those that survive face an increased risk of disabilities such as epilepsy, learning disabilities and cardiovascular conditions which have lifelong impacts on them and their families.

The intersection of extreme heat with inequality and coverage of health services also impacts on the management of preterm birth.

Despite this, maternal newborn health is under represented in climate policy documentation.

An analysis of 50 national and international climate policy documents showed that only 12 percent referred to maternal health.

“Climate change and especially higher ambient temperatures, is a clear evidence based threat that will have increasing adverse health impacts, including on preterm birth”, says Professor Stanely Lutchters.

COP 24 held recently in Poland highlight that unless urgent action is taken under the Paris Agreement, climate change will catalyse a resurgence of poverty and decelerate progress across sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Arab Region Is the world’s most food import dependent and water insecure region.

More than 40 percent of its 357 million population is already exposed to drought and other climatic disasters and this will increase as temperatures rise faster than the global average by as much as five Degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Social Protection systems play a key role in combating poverty and help build climate resilience of the poor.

Adaptive Social Protection (ASP)

These approaches help communities anticipate, absorb and adapt to climate risk through solutions like:

  1. cash transfers before and after climate disasters
  2. subsidies to enhance food and water security for affected communities
  3. employment generating programmes around climate resilient infrastructure
  4. use of weather indexed insurance for farmers and
  5. systems to facilitate mobility and effective resettlement for climate affected communities.

The negative impacts of climate change are felt more severely by low-income countries and people living in poverty.

This is because they tend to depend on natural resources for their day-to-day survival and they have limited capacity to cope with the extremes climate change brings.

It is critical for communities to comprehend climate change because human activity is the primary driver of the emissions and atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Understanding how climate change is perceived and how to adapt to it is crucial because it may be used to support specific policies that target issues in vulnerable sectors.

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