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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. 

Zimbabwe

What Is Hopewell Chin’ono – Is He A Journalist, Activist or A Politician? – Identity Literacy 101

Mutumwa Mawere

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Hopewell Chin'ono: Picture Credit - Facebook

Mutumwa Mawere, 30/12/2020

I hope Mr. Chin’ono will forgive me for using WHAT instead of WHO in asking the question raised in a WhatsApp group created by Mr. Tinashe Jonasi called #Unite Zimbabwe that I am a member of.

A question was posed in this group on whether Mr. Chin’ono is a journalist or an activist

As a member of the C2C initiative, I thought of weighing in on this question to help provoke, inspire and ignite conversations on one of the most complex but simple human problems.

Issues of identity, identity politics, citizenship, nationalism and patriotism have challenged mankind since creation.

Who am I? If I say I am who I am, most human actors would seek to go further to import profession, tribe, clan, family and career in the description.

It would not be self-evident to many that the human identity is after all a gift of nature and the properties of humanity are not divisible by profession.

It is the case that humans without any exception enter life as complete actors and cannot change this identity into another.

Common sense, logic and reason dictates that humans have no capacity to create a new identity but life gives all of us stages to act on.

Branding is a human creation but is limited to the specific grouping or identity one belongs to.

If this is accepted, then the answer to the question raised above is that Mr. Chin’ono is a human being who is endowed like all of us with certain unalienable rights including the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

In his pursuit of happiness, he is entitled to choose which mask to use to solve a problem.

Is there a problem in Zimbabwe that needs fixing? It is easy to bury one’s head in the sand and choose to point fingers at anyone who tries to raise awareness of the problem.

What is the role of the media? It is inform, educate and entertain. You can pretend that speaking truth to power requires a profession but the truth of the matter is that those who step forward and choose to use their voices to provoke, ignite and inspire change know better that civics ILLITERACY could be the most pervasive problem.

The cat does not need to be black or white to do the job.

Below is an extract of the thread in the group:

[12/29, 12:42 PM] +263xxxxxx: Is Hopewell Chin’ono a politician?

[12/29, 12:44 PM] Arnold Mutaviri: What is he?

[12/29, 12:45 PM] mdmawere1: He may not know it but it is self-evident that he is a human being of flesh who is mortal and fallible.

[12/29, 12:46 PM] +263xxxxxx: He is a public figure and an investigative journalist

 [12/29, 12:48 PM] mdmawere1: Does being a public figure mean that he loses his right to possess his constitutional rights?

[12/29, 12:51 PM] +263xxxxxx: He doesn’t lose any constitutional right but maybe the problem lies with my understanding /definition of a politician.

Can we say in all fairness and truth that Chin’ono is a politician?

[12/29, 12:53 PM] +263zzzzzz: No he is not

[12/29, 12:54 PM] mdmawere1: What if he is who he may choose to be?

[12/29, 12:56 PM] +263xxxxxx: There is a difference between a politician and an activist or social/political commentator. Chin’ono might be raising some fundamental societal issues but he is no politician.

[12/29, 12:56 PM] mdmawere1: Who is a judge or should be a judge?

[12/29, 1:00 PM] mdmawere1: How many people are called politicians when they are no different to thugs?

[12/29, 1:01 PM] +263yyyyyy: No he is an activist

[12/29, 1:03 PM] mdmawere1: On what authority do you conclude this as fact?

[12/29, 1:04 PM] +263xxxxxx: A politician must:

  • Possess a political following (call it clout)
  • .He must be entertaining some ideas of wrestle power from the incumbent (through Democratic processes or otherwise)
  • Must have a political structure in place (party, logos, offices etc. )
  • His ambitions  must not be implied but explicit (that he want nothing but to be the next big thing politically

[12/29, 1:05 PM] +263yyyyyy: There is a thin line btwn the two. Characterized by behavior, actions, base.

[12/29, 1:06 PM] mdmawere1: And still remain human after all the above?

[12/29, 1:06 PM] mdmawere1: And between your ears lies is a mind that knows it all enough to judge others.

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Politics

Zimbabwe’s Biggest Problem Is Denialism Says Businessman Fred Mutanda

Brian Kazungu

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Brian Kazungu, 24/12/2020

Fred Mutanda, a Zimbabwean businessman with interests in the pharmaceutical industry including a controlling stake in one of the country’s biggest drug manufactures CAPS said denialism was Zimbabwe’s biggest problem.

In his Christmas message to members of a Connections2Communities (C2C) social media initiative called What Is A Leader, Mutanda expressed concern on the way how circumstances are denied as if they never happened and yet those developments will be affecting people’s lives.

He then suggested that people need to agree on how to correct the wrongs such as Gukurahundi as well as the lack of rule of law and violation of property rights by the government rather than to be in denial.

The issue of denialism was also corroborated in a different conversation on Twitter by Zimbabwe’s former Minister of Tourism, Walter Muzembi who was commenting on the reports that South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi had shot down a proposed engagement with Zimbabwe authorities on challenges being encountered at the Beitbridge Border Post.

Mzembi indicated that whether there is crisis or not, there is a much bigger problem in the country which denialism and propaganda cannot solve.

Mutanda’s concerns in the What Is A Leader platform were also touched on by a fellow member who indicated that the problems in Zimbabwe dates back to the time of the Lancaster House Conference where many critical issues where left unaddressed.

Another member of the same group used examples in decrying the lack of good governance as evidenced by the mismanagement of funds and other resources which is meant for the development of communities such as was the case with Copper Queen Resettlement.

He said that even though the resettlement initiative had finances in place to cover for schools, clinics, tapped water and a 100km tarred road network, the reality on the ground was deplorable as the only symbol of what could have been there are clustered taps and their meters heaped at shopping centers.

 Below is a WhatsApp between Mr Mutanda and other members on the issue of denialism and the situation on the ground in Zimbabwe.

[12/23, 19:30] Caps Mtanda: As the year comes to the end and we are going to celebrate Christmas my message to everyone on this platform is denialism. This is Zimbabwe’s biggest problem. Just like Holocaust denialism.

In the case of Zimbabwe, people deny that Gukurahundi happened. People deny there’s no rule. of law in Zimbabwe. These are things we have to think about. Agree on how the wrongs of the past can be corrected.

Dispossession of properties from black people by a black government. Thank you for reading

[12/23, 20:10] +263xxxxx: Mukoma Freddy thank you so much for your message. As for me, I would like to say we lost it as liberators of the struggle to accept to go to Lancaster House for negotiations. Why do I say so?

It’s simply because when the struggle was being waged the idea was to fight the system. The system that had created a situation where a minority (Whites) exploited the majority and the Nation’s resources.

When we agreed to negotiate we were made not to change the system but to inherit it from Rhodesia as it was.

Independence was not won but granted by the crown on the basis that the new Gvt at ‘Independence’ and even now became Administrators of the system of exploitation for the benefit of a few. By going to wage a war we wanted to change “The Laws.”

The Administrative system of Gvt

-The Distribution of Wealth and Resources to our people equitably

-One man one vote

-Change the system of Education to suit our historical background than have our curriculum budget funded by British council

-Equitable distribution of Land

-Change national emblems and signs to our liking and historical background

– Define our relationships with other nations depending on what suits us

-Allow true Zimbabweans to rule their destiny not aliens polluting our political space as is happening since Lancaster Agreement which suits the exploitative nature of those still benefiting from exploiting us.

It’s unfortunate that Zanu Pf as a Ruling Party has been infiltrated by aliens who are in to advance the interest of our former colonizers and International capital. These aliens have nothing to lose that’s why they allow our national resources to be exploited by international capital while real Zimbabweans suffer. These aliens are the ones who favor to bank their loot in Switzerland, Europe, America and UK.

Their children study abroad being pampered by corrupt proceeds from exploitation of national resources.

These aliens because they know that anytime they will not be there they use this system that is against majority progression to enrich themselves. They use the alien laws to screw up fellow black people who seem competent so that they kill competition of ideas and development ideas. If they see fellow black proving to be doing better than them while outside this bad system they use laws to disenfranchise them so that only them represent what is development by being front runners of capital to exploit our people and resources. This has been the case since 1980.Alternative voices are not entertained. Diversity is not allowed or encouraged. This is our situation and this stems from us having allowed us to be duped to negotiate at Lancaster House Conference. The consequences are what you have or are experiencing today. Zimbabwe requires a radical shift that has to come from the people and a Leadership committed to true and total emancipation of the country from exploitation from foreign interested parties and partners internally who act as fronts using structures of political parties and Gvt. We should not agonize but get organised. Aluta Continua…✊✊🤝🇿🇼

[12/23, 20:33] +25xxxxx: I strongly believe going back 40 years to blame a miscalculation of that period and export it to describe today’s misfortunes is a mission its own.

We have the human cap and resources to chart our own independent life. Incidentally we even inherited one of the best infrastructure and its superstructure, think of the Railway networks and its Communication systems.

I hail from the Copper Queen Resettlement 2 which was well financed to be the second best resettlement areas in the country with schools, clinics, all water metered villages with tapped water and 100km road network tarred.

Visit the reality my leader and the only symbol of what could have been are clustered taps and their meters heaped at shopping centers.

Now, we may have so many questions on what happened, what went wrong but I find it difficult to attach what my brother talks of Lancaster house conference and the reality in Copper Queen Resettlement 2.

I also remember one of the esteemed VP recently blaming the whites for not teaching them how to run the country 40 years after running and ruining it into the process.

[12/23, 20:49] Caps Mtanda: Thank you for your comments.

The problem is not the Lancaster House Conference. After every conflict there has to be a negotiated settlement.  The Lancaster House is not the problem. But our failure to hold leadership or each other to account.

I was with ZPRA yet 99% of my family members were in ZANLA. I lost more than 10 family members in Mozambique.

No one accounted for all who died under the ruling party. No one held the leadership to account for all the comrades who died in Mozambique or in exile. It’s not the Lancaster House Conference. It’s our failure.

The war had to end. I operated with Zanla comrades in 1974 and 1975. I was in Chiweshe and Madziva when villagers were moved to protected villages.

We were all freedom fighters. Today we are idolizing Mbuya Nehanda. I was just a 17 year old when one of the Mbuya Nehanda spirit mediums died.

It’s painful and that’s the denialism I am talking about. We carried her body all the way to Angwa River. She was to be left on top of a tree.

In March 1975 H Chitepo was assassinated. That week Mugabe and Tekere left for Mozambique but did not attend Chitepo’s burial.

In August Edson Sithole was kidnapped in Salisbury. Our own people don’t want to talk about it. Instead they impose fear to suppress the truth.

I had differences with Edson but when Chitepo got killed he realized there was an enemy among us.

So the problem is not how we negotiated but our failure to implement what we agreed on as the Patriotic Front. That led to the death of Tongogara.

We brought a very good Constitution with a Bill of Rights from Lancaster House. Our problem has always been leadership. Hence this platform “What is a Leader”

Our problem is fear, fear of the unknown idolizing of our government leaders.

[12/23, 20:54] Caps Mtanda: Very interesting that you talk about Copper Queen Resettlement 2.

It was financed under the willing buyer willing seller Lancaster House Conference Agreement

[12/23, 20:58] +25xxxxx: Kuwait Dinar was supposed to electrify all schools and clinics…….by 1990 none is electrified

[12/23, 21:01] Caps Mtanda: All the money went into someone’s pocket. It should be allowed to continue happening today

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Zimbabwe

It Was a Business Transaction with Ginimbi- says Mutumwa Mawere

Own Correspondent

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BY CONNIE V, NOV 9, 2020: https://afriquebeat.com/2020/11/09/it-was-a-business-transaction-with-ginimbi-says-mutumwa-mawere/

In December 2018, Mutumwa Mawere was quoted by iHarare saying, “I paid R340,000 for gas which gas was supplied to his company, Pioneer Gas and delivered to Zimbabwe and sold. After selling, the profit was supposed to be shared with the principal being used to buy new gas. Little did I know I was converted into a bank. He then said it was a loan without security and paid a bit.” Mawere alleges.

These are the same words he said to me this morning as we discussed the money that he is owed by the late fellow businessman, Genius Kadungure aka Ginimbi.

Apparently, in 2018, Ginimbi tweeted, ‘Good morning ‘ and Mawere grabbed the opportunity to ask for his money back, “Please can you pay what you owe. I am not the govt of Zimbabwe. My patience is running out.” he replied to Ginimbi’s tweet. It is alleged that Ginimbi then deleted his Twitter account shortly after that.

In this morning’s interview, Mawere stated that it was a business transaction that Ginimbi was simply supposed to honour while he was alive, now that he is late, it is now in the past and the past should be buried with Ginimbi.

Mawere says that he is not bitter but, obviously, this will affect any further businesses he might have in the future.

“Suppose a young man will approach me in the future and ask me to assist him in his tomato selling business. How do you think my response will be? It could be, I will pay the supplier, after selling, you can pay me from your profits and also use the money to buy new stock for sale. But, it just might be something totally different.”

The Ginimbi-Mawere money story is nothing new, but what lesson can we draw from it? How is it possible that a man with Ginimbi’s wealth, the flamboyant life he lived, the glamorous US$12m mansion and fast luxurious cars failed to pay a R340 000 debt?

In Shona we say, ‘yafa yakaloader’…. May his soul rest in peace.

This article first appeared on Afriquebeat published by Connie V: https://afriquebeat.com/2020/11/09/it-was-a-business-transaction-with-ginimbi-says-mutumwa-mawere/

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