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The Power of Civic Literacy and Mentorship on Community Development – Connections to Communities (C2C)

Brian Tawanda Manyati

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Every individual on earth has a role to play in making this world a better place for its inhabitants, but unfortunately, many people do not participate in finding solutions to issues that affect their communities, and thus they unconsciously surrender their fate into the hands of others.

The main reason that cause people to fail to get involved in discussing and implementing ideas that can transform their communities is the lack of knowledge on civic issues plus a deficiency in role models and mentors that can inspire community engagement that is of mutual benefit.

As such, on that note, Connections2Communities (C2C) under the 1873 Network regularly comes up with discussions and programs that touch on real-life issues so that people across the board can be open-minded and be informed in their daily interactions and pursuit of their dreams.

C2C is member-driven initiative which seeks to raise awareness on the urgency and need to be active citizens on any aspect of human life through working together than individually in building community power towards solving problems that are faced from time to time. 

It is a platform that accommodates people from all walks of lives regardless of their backgrounds and social standing since we believe that diversity is the DNA of initiative and creativity.

More-so, we are convinced that it is everyone’s responsibility to define and shape issues that help in efficient problem solving and that is why seek to ensure that our connections are utilized for the common good of our communities.

Two of the main vehicles adopted by the 1873 Network towards the achievement of this noble objective of attaining a better world for all is civic literacy initiatives and mentorship programs.

In basic terms, Civic Literacy means having the knowledge and skills that you need in order to participate towards making a positive change in your community.

For example, in Canada, this includes knowledge on voting as well as an understanding on how the government works plus insights on the rights and responsibilities of citizens and elected members of government.

When you have strong civic literacy skills, you know how to make your voice heard by all levels of people in the government, be it before, during and after an election. 

We know that public Sector and Electoral Reforms are some of the subjects that people must be conversant on especially when we talk about civic literacy and that is why the 1873FM radio had programs concentrating on Judicial Reforms using the ZIMRE Judgement of 2005. 

Community development in any society is mainly a result of individual and collective participation and responsibility since every person in a given place has a role to play in the positive transformation of society.

If the majority of people in a community would rather choose to be eloquent in their silence by remaining aloof on issues that affect them directly, they will continue to be burdened by crisis after crisis which will erode their dignity and undermine their worthy on the face of this planet.

A divided society in which some citizens think that the obligation of a better community is someone else’s responsibility usually succumbs to chaos and poverty but if people come together and contribute their ideas on issues that affect them, they are likely to prosper and live in peace.

All too often, although we live in communities, it is the case that as individuals we keep problems to ourselves until things get worse, but however, when people connect and share ideas, it becomes easier for them to broaden and deepen the space of problem solving. 

In the course of our civic literacy and mentorship programs, we usually and deliberately use case studies so that members can understand the subject better and relate with the issues in a practical way.

At present we are looking at the interplay and intersection between the rule of law and prosperity as well as the power of literacy on corporate matters in helping bridge the divide. 

In this regard, Mr Mutumwa Mawere, a member of the C2C initiative has agreed to share his experiences as part of provoking, igniting and inspiring others to document their stories.

Having touched on civic literacy and highlighted its relevance and importance, it is now necessary to shed light on why we engage in mentorship programs and reflect on the approaches that we adopt.

It is a fact that in life, knowledge, ideas, insights and experiences may not be same among ourselves in our various communities since we may find that there are people with rich and vast experiences that if shared, hold the promise to inspire others. 

This is because of the fact that people from all walks of lives have been through some experiences that when shared in an organized way, such may help to touch and transform many souls since story telling is one of the bridge builders and a driver of positive thinking.

In C2C, we usually adopt the wholesale mentorship approach as compared to the retail one which often involves one-to-one interfaces between a mentee and a mentor.

Wholesale involves a community-centric mentorship where a mentor is shared by a group of mentees. 

As C2C members, we believe that when we can come together in this way by making use of technological advancements, i.e., remote engagements in order to better organize mentorship programs that can optimize on the use of scarce time available to our mentors. 

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Attention ZEP Holders

zwnews24 Editor

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Attention ZEP Holders:

  • As per the latest decision by cabinet all ZEP holders have now been granted a 12-month grace period meaning that all ZEP permits will only expire on 31 December 2022.
  • During the 12-month grace period holders of ZEP permits should apply for the mainstream visas which they qualify for and need to ensure that their applications comply with the provisions and requirements of the immigration act and regulations. There is no need to apply for a waiver as change of condition is permitted during the 12-month grace period given.
  • At the expiry of the 12-month grace period, those who are not successful will have to leave South Africa or be deported.
  • All updated information will be published as received.
  • To apply for a mainstream visa please CLICK HERE

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Watch Thandiwe Newton talking to Trevor Noah about her documentary film “President.”

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Zimbabwe

It’s Controversy after Controversy for SMM Administrator Gwaradzimba as Allegations of Fraud Land on His Face

Brian Kazungu

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Afaras Gwaradzimba: Picture Credit - Herald Zimbabwe

Brian Kazungu, 19/04/2021

The SMM Administrator, Afaras Gwaradzimba is engulfed in a dark cloud of fresh controversy following new allegations of fraudulent changes on the Companies share allotment form in order to make an ‘illegal’ transfer of shares to a ‘fictitious’ company called SMM Holdings (UK).

Even though the operations of companies in a given country are governed by a specific Act of Parliament, like the Companies Act, surprisingly, the form which was used for the transfer of shares in this case has two different Acts thus raising eyebrows on a potential case of fraud.

The CR2 form, now called CR11 which was used in this case is a statutory document in its own right in line with the Companies Act 24:03 but it was altered to also ‘illegally’ accommodate the smuggling-in of the Reconstruction of State Indebted and Insolvent Companies Act for the purpose of SMM share transfers.

Under this new revelation, Gwaradzimba is thus being accused of rewriting or amending the Companies Act without any legal authority to effect those changes and for violating the established legal proceedings in managing corporate issues.

The alleged fraud is said to have been necessitated by the fact that under normal circumstances, subject to the Companies Act, there is no provision for the involvement of a State appointed Administrator in the affairs of a company since a company is subject to control and management by its Directors.

Mr Mushai from the Companies Registry said that the CR2 form is a statutory document which means that it is a form required in terms of the relevant regulations and Act of Parliament.

He further added that if there is a new allotment of shares, there is a need for those responsible to submit another CR11 form rather than to alter the layout of such a statutory document.

In 2009, an attempted controversial takeover of SMM Holdings, a United Kingdom registered entity through AMG Global Nominees, a company owned by SMM Administrator, Gwaradzimba was short down by the Supreme Court in the UK under case A3/2008/0918.

However, under the new but contested company status, SMM Pvt Ltd which was 100% owned by SMM Holdings Pvt Limited is now under Nickdale Investments situated at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and SMM Holdings Limited (UK) whose registered address is Block 2, Tendeseka Park, Samora Machel Avenue in Harare, Zimbabwe.

It is therefore not clear how a foreign registered company is using a local address for its correspondence and thus further raising eyebrows and speculation on an attempt to secretly highjack a company from its actual owners.

In a letter copied to Mr. Gwaradzimba as well as to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the President of Zimbabwe, SMM Holdings is contesting the new share arrangement as fraudulently illegal.

“Based on the records kept at the Registrar of Companies, it is clear that it was represented as true and fact that a company by the name SMMH Holdings Limited (UK) was allotted shares and the address of this fictitious company was fraudulently represented as a Zimbabwean address notwithstanding the fact the UK Court of Appeal precluded no other company except our company to be a shareholder of SMM even if the reconstruction scheme that was purportedly approved and implemented without our knowledge and consent was to be accepted as a lawful scheme.

SMM Holdings is also seeking clarity on the basis upon which a company take over which was dismissed in a United Kingdom Supreme Court went on to be successfully recognized as legal in Zimbabwe when the company in question remains the same.

It also further highlights and provides evidence to the fact that Mr Gwaradzimba was well aware of the United Kingdom Supreme Court ruling which he went ahead to act against.

“It is worth highlighting that prior to the placement of SMM under extrajudicial reconstruction and the appointment of Gwaradzimba as Administrator, our company was the sole shareholder of SMM.

..It will be noted that while our company was divested of the control and management of SMM on the basis that SMM was indebted and insolvent, the government of Zimbabwe used Mr. Gwaradzimba’s personal company, AMG Global Nominees Private Limited (AMG), the appellant in this as a vehicle to acquire the bearer share warrants in SMMH…

It follows that when Mr. Gwaradzimba filled the papers in Zimbabwe on 12 November 2009, he has constructive knowledge that the attempt to acquire the shareholding in SMMH had failed and as such, there could be no basis of any lawful relationship between AMG and SMMH.” SMM highlighted.

Gwaradzimba is no stranger to controversy in the SMM matter since even from the start, his appointment, modus operandi and remuneration has been challenged by various stakeholders including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and by investigators that were tasked with a fact finding mission on allegations of criminal activities in the company.

Investigators in the SMM saga found Gwaradzimba’s appointment to be a conflict of interest since he was a former SMM auditor. “….it is the considered opinion of the Investigators that the appointment of Gwaradzimba and Manikai was ill considered and, therefore, inappropriate…” The investigators said.

In the same vein, the RBZ also regarded his remuneration in the SMM deal to be ‘unscrupulous’.

“…..the fact still remains that Mr Gwaradzimba, the Administrator is getting payments set at 6% of gross proceeds, of all SMM companies which is even more lucrative than shareholders themselves, let alone revenues to Government.” Gono reported to President Mugabe.

Interestingly, Gwaradzimba who was appointed by Chinamasa to run the affairs of SMM under the controversial Reconstruction Act is on record saying that he does not directly run the operations of the company, and yet, it is his mandate under the same Act.

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