Emergency preparednes or unpreparedness in zimbabwe

The Gwanda branch of Powersales clothing store was razed to the ground, this was the original fear that inspired this piece, and this week my worst fear became a reality. its been few months since i posted the original blog these were my thoughts then………

vanvodloza's Blog

The Gwanda branch of Powersales clothing store was razed to the ground, this was the original fear that inspired this piece, and this week my worst fear became a reality. its been  few months since i posted the original blog these were my thoughts then………

it was just last year when i caused a stir on social media when in questioning the state of emergency preparedness of the Mat South capital i likened the towns Fire tender to a Cold war relic that belonged to a museum. The Thing was useless in the few fires incidents that occurred , as a result homes were razed to the ground. Then the town did not even have a qualified fire fighter in its fire station since the death of its only qualified fireman for years. I raised these concerns with my uncle who also happens to be the town’s Mayor and he…

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Its all fun and games untill when you have to be admitted to Hospital and you dont have Medical Aid

forget my earlier post about emergency preparedness and not knowing the number to call in case you need an ambulance. Events in the past week have shown me that, that is not the worst of the worst. Say you have got the number for the ambulance, you have been taken to hospital, you have been admitted you have been given a prescription, tests have been recommended. How do you pay for all that?

If like me you don’t have any form of medical insurance your condition is most likely to worsen at the sight of the bill. Honestly i had never given much thought to the idea of having health insurance. Why really? i have not been seriously ill in three decades, nor have i spent a night in hospital in that time. All this evaporated when reality set in and the unthinkable happened, a bout of malaria earned me my first visit to the hospital in three decades.

First up a deposit of US $35 upfront before you can say “hello doctor” , i was like alright i spend way more on night out, Doctors fee $29, and no one has even touched you at this point!!!! whhhat!  next up “hello Doc” then some 10ml injection $5. after that then comes a series of tests , full blood count malaria slides, urine chemistry, that costs $44 dollars.ohh and they take mobile money, Ecocash is kindly accepted. By this time you probably be thinking well this is the worst part, financially, until the Doc says “Sir your Temperature is 38.9 i strongly recommend that you spend the night for observation”. The rates are charged at a minimum of two nights, a ridiculous $250 for two nights, if you are not jolted into instant recovery like me, you will probably need that bed not because of whatever ailment you have but from the costs. I flatly refused the overnight observation requested medication and to come back in the event my condition gets

In all this time i haven’t even given thought of the cost of the pills , seriously how expensive can a couple of antibiotics be!! to my utter disbelief as much as a Johnie walker Black, $28, $28 for a blister-pack of  10 zinnat  tablets. At this point i am thinking if only i had health insurance. But judging from recent events in zimbabwe   im pretty sure im not too far off those with medical health insurance.

im happy i manged to move from a crazy fever to be able to blog within 24hrs without paying for a hospital stay. Now im going to take time to choose a health care plan.  i hope i can find one. haven’t bothered total my bill but i know im not having a drink for a while

its Land re-redistribution time in Zimbabwe

ive lost count of the the number of Chimurengas we have had in Zimbabwe. i Van Vodloza, vow to be remembered as a War veteran by future generations. We the youth can not be excluded from this Land re-redistribution exercise, we need our share of the national pie. I am tired of moving in and out of my parents and grand parents Houses, its about time i get my own land regardless of being a “Born-free” and all.

Ofcourse they will never grow tired of having us around but i speak for most  of us the “Bornfrees” when i say its is time we got something we can use to do something for ourselves and our country.i welcome  Recent Media reports Quote Top Government figures as saying we will get our piece of the pie. that completely changes the direction of my initial draft. But i still believe that i should air my initial draft.

Rhetoric will turn to action we will get our inheritance.

zimbabwes indegenization and me

vanvodloza's Blog

In the year 2010 as a final year Geography an environmental Studies student i wrote an presented a paper that later on became the guideline for the country’s indeginization of the mining industry. This was inspired by events and observations i had when growing up in the mining town of Gwanda. I could never understand how a community surrounded by so many Mining Houses could remain so much way underdeveloped , the roads were bad, there was no phone lines PTC said who would call In rural areas, the Schools were horrible i never wished to learn there, Children walked !0km a day or more to get to school. From an early age my dad drilled the way central government worked, i always thought it was not fair that all the royalties and taxes collected from the local mines would go to central government and then develop other regions yet…

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CAMPFIRE: Are local community benefiting?

Is CAMPFIRE still relevant to Local communities

CAMPFIRE is short for Zimbabweans Communal areas management program for indigenous resources, a marvel idea in which local communities benefit financially from their resources. These include the sale of hunting quotas, sale of timber, sand and other resources. The community then uses the funds to fund their developmental projects. The program aims to improve the sense of ownership of resources through the financial incentive. It has been part of the Zimbabwe conservation strategy for decades now. However over the years its positive impact on rural community livelihoods has been on the wane, a case in point the Gwanda Rural Council area.

As a principle local communities are supposed to get a share of the proceeds from the commercial exploitation of their natural resources. This is however no longer the case in some communities, the Rural District councils are not honoring this principle. In one specific case, in Gwakwe communal lands in Gwanda district the council continues to make thousands monthly from the abstraction of river sand, pit-sand and gravel by private companies and mines. Yet none of the funds find their way to the local community fund or projects.

The community does not have a clinic and villagers have travel about 10 km to the nearest health institution a major concern, especially given the number of people on HIV treatment. There is need for an Early childhood development center, the high number of young couples and the birth rate also means there is need to invest in the education sector. Even Grade zeros walk 7km to and from school on a daily basis and have to cross a river on the way, a major hazard hazard during the rainy season.

Unemployment is incredibly high, most locals sustain their livelihoods through engaging in either illegal artisanal mining activities or working legally on registered claims at a rather steep tribute basis. The mining activities initially were dominated by the male youths but recently the number of women has significantly increased. This has now created a whole new problem, with nowhere to leave their children, toddlers and infants now accompany their parents to the mine fields, exposing them to all sorts of hazards. Surely a ECD center would not be a bad idea, keep the children safe, allow the parents to work, and provide an education to our children in the process and hope it will help break the vicious cycle of poverty.

This Is all happening In a community where the councils top customer contributes in excess of $10 000 American on a monthly basis alone. How does the local community fail to benefit ? Where do the funds go to? This is a big rip off !, it surely goes against the very principles that govern the CAMPFIRE initiative. At what cost? The environmental impact of these abstraction activities is left unchecked by the RDC. The activities are not carried out in a sustainable manner at all, in one site were pit sand is being mined the operation is worryingly close to the main road. The pits remain unfilled causing an eyesore an posing a risk to the locals, their livestock and even motorists in some areas. The nonstop sand abstraction on the Gatsi river has significantly reduced sand levels and caused the loss of a portable water source albeit the only one. The locals a subjected to the persistent droning of trucks and LHD vehicles well into the early hours of the morning making sleeping difficult .

Yet they do not remotely benefit from these activities no sign of development has touched their lives. The next thing the resources will be depleted and the RDC will move the activities to another area, the locals will have nothing but pits all over their land and muddy water from the river to show for it. Let there be fair and equitable distribution and use of resources, let the people reap the rewards of stewardship over their resources. It is their land after all.

Zimbabwe Football : is it dejavu?

I can imagine most of the Zimbabwean football community almost choked on their porridge when they heard the Sunday morning news reports that ZIFA President Curthbert Dube had been relieved of his duties at 51 Livingston avenue by wait wait for it…….. By the same nameless and faceless ZIFA councilors who voted him in, at an Extra ordinary General Meeting. A wave of joy swept throughout the nation and beyond its borders as the story broke. Pity i had to hear the news from one of the most boring Sunday morning Radio football shows, the hosts epically failed to ride the the wave. They did not even seem remotely aware of the Magnitude of the story or was it disappointment on their part. This was the kind of news story handled well, could increase your stock and listener-ship and be counted among the nations finest, set the tone of the nations debate around the story. What a pity the nation had to wait until Monday for Zimbabwe’s finest to properly deliver the news. Think that total football show needs new host who have an idea on whats going on and know how to present radio, I feel the nation was robbed.

Back to the real business, you get the sense of dejavu, that feeling we been here before, storyline sounds all too familiar. Remember that former ZIFA president? That one who shares a name with a zodiac sign, yes him!. That prolonged national outcry that preceded his eventual ouster. Those fierce calls from the media,even there was a exciting and dynamic duo of Radio sports presenters at the forefront who went by the name EzRick SbaKnight remember them? Ezra Tshisa and Eric Knight?. Eish! Wasn’t the nation relieved when Leo lost his ZIFA pet. It was the dawn of a new era, the nation was filled with expectations of the good times to come, this was the act that would set in motion a chain of events that would see our football emerge from the doldrums and set-off on a course of recovery and transformation. What a false dawn it turned out to be. We went two steps forwards and and three giant leaps backwards after that! There was brief hope when we went to the AFCON then nothing.

A series of Administrations later we found ourselves back were we began!, the script still reads the same, a ZIFA president the nation loves to hate, corruption and misconduct cries ringing in our ears (remember Rafiq), the state of our football in a sorry state, teams traveling arrangements chaotic, debt and so on. This time its Carthbert Dubes neck that was on the line,again there is a dynamic and exciting media duo at the forefront as the voice of the people this time they go by Barry and Mike, they have gone in to the saga with no fear nor favor, like Ezra and Erick called it like it is they even tried unsuccessfully to get the ZIFA president to their shows.

My greatest fear is that as a nation we could get carried away, Again!. As I said we have been down this path before. New faces have come and promised to take us to footballing glory, talked the talk, struck the right cords!, raised the nations hopes. Then turned out to be mere re-incarnations of their predecessors and at times even perfecting the art of deceit, leading us even deeper into the abyss. It has been said before and we will continue saying it, we need people with the nations footballing future at heart. We need Patriots at the helm, not a bunch of pretenders or mercenaries. We do not have the luxury of a false dawn, nations that are traditionally weaker than us have eclipsed us, never imagined a time when Botswana could be better than us. We keep on rebuilding, going back to the drawing board year in year out, we still don’t have a philosophy,our youth teams don’t qualify for major events or even fulfill fixtures. We need

Names will get thrown around , some will emerge make convincing speeches, even brown envelopes will exchange hands! I hope we wont go full circle this time. I never understand how people are not interested in creating legacies for themselves. We wait to see how the story develops in the coming days, I am expecting twists and turn, the Saga begins

chaos and opportunity

As we turn 35 the senseless Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have re ignited, watching the video clips makes yoour body cringe. Back to zmbabwe at 35 our economic woes persist we now cementing our status as the “bread basket case”. At this rate only divine intervention can save us from this miser. Divine intervention as we normally take it is a giant act, but in reality it is small acts that offset a much larger ripple effect that influences or change the course of events. We have been praying for it for a long time maybe we are busy fixed on huge acts and have been letting the small acts that may help us change our course. What better time than in this moment of madness when our neighbours are carrying out senseless attacks on foreign nationals do we launch a charm offensive on their foreign investors. Coupled with the impending crippling Mining sector strikes in SA these events make this the opportune time to court the Foreign Direct Investment we need to kick start our economy.

In our culture we say Ukuwa kweyinye indoda yikuvuka kweyinye, loosely translated to one mans misfortune is another’s fortune, our relationships with the western world have been steadily thawing, why not make them even better. There is no need for a wholesale change in indegenization legislation all we need is to guarantee the safety of forein investment and assets. We have the natural resources, the Human resource capital with the work ethic. Im talking about a nation with a work force that continued going to work as usual even after going for months and months without recieving their wages. I was there at SMM during the most trying of times, i watched as family men and women continued goin to work as if all was normal, with the same energy and effort. NRZ workers and the rest of the Zimbabwean workforce will tell you the same story.

I’m talking about people who went for months without pay not a pay increase not bonuses, but they never toyi toyid or burnt a library or school. Service delivery? What service delivery! Refuse collections just improved recently, refuse remained uncollected for months we just chilled and grumbled here and there, but no toyi toyi. What more can can an investor ask for we have the people, the skills, the work ethic ,the land ,the resources the transport network, the communications network and we a land of peace, i just wont push the harmony bit but when it call for it a]we capable.

Imagine we getting the Billions we need to get ZIMASET of the ground using all that FDI we can entice! Afew million and Hwange coal is transported by NRZ locomotives to New Zimsteel or to the Tobacco fields or where ever its needed in the country. A Functioning Railway network may even reduce those deadly haulage trucks on our roads, maybe railway travel may even become a mode of choice, reducing the congestion and even carnage on our roads.

Maybe with a Functioning economy we would be able to actually reduce that figure of our nationals from the diaspora{ how much Ive wished to use that word in a sentence ..diasporaaaa} Cut that rumored 3 million Zimbos in SA in the process save them mindless xenophobic attacks and other District 9 related ills.

Oh yes! our good old friend corruption! I havent forgoten you we wil get rid of you by fire by force! If you dare rear your ugly head,as they say in some circles. Anyone associated with you we will go AirZim bosses on them. There is no room for you in the New Zimbabwe. Lets get working my fellow countrymen, lets use this misfortune and turn it to our advantage one stolen investor at a time. This is divine intervention let us use this miracle to get our mines, our factories, our farms our economy working again. Lets get those ranches functional , lets get that leather to Bata , lets have Canned beef on our shelves again, how much i miss it!

Let the sleeping Giant rise and remind the world what a great nation we are. We are descendent’s of great Warriors and kings and Entrepreneurs. They say the best time to rebuild is soon after a tragedy , when the pain and emotion is at its highest , we use that energy to propel us into action. When we can still smell the blood of our dear brothers and sisters, when the wounds still have not healed. No weapon or xenophobia used against us shall prosper. Now is the time we take out our pens and calculators, crunch the numbers ask the Why and How, Why should investors come to zimbabwe and How do we get them to come with their funds. It is the time we calculate how many we can court and for which sectors. We calculate the growth projections for our economy and work towards recovery . This is the time to put that awesome Education system we love to brag about so much into good use. Go Zim Go