Voices from Zimbabwe and the Great Lakes

Zimbabwe: The Interception of Communications Bill is having a pronounced toll on the Zimbabwean blogosphere. Posts from domestic bloggers have slowed down noticably over the last two weeks. Despite this tragic reality, several cyberactivists continue to chronicle the largely unheard Zimbabwean story.

The unceremonious death of Tichaona Jokonya, the minister of information is the biggest news out of Zimbabwe this weekend. Jokonya died in his hotel room Saturday morning. Describing Jokonya's death Zimpundit expresses reservations about late minister regarding his role with the Interception of Communications Bill,

Jokonya’s tenure at the helm of the ministry was clearly marked by a softening of the government’s stance on independent media practitioners. Jokonya was even rumoured to have been making benign attempts at “defrosting” relations between his ministry and the independent media establishment.

Lately, he appeared to have buckled down and had began singing along to ZANU-PF’s abuses of independent media. Addressing a press conference earlier last week, Jokonya described locally based correspondents of foreign media as “traitors” saying,

“You know what the end of a traitor is? The end of a traitor is always death. The unfortunate thing about a traitor is that you are killed by both your own people and the person whom you are serving,”

Further, even though it is yet unclear what role he played in instituting it, the repressive Interception of Communications Bill came into effect during Jokonya’s reign.

Still on the subject of death, the father of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC died this past week too. Zimbabwe's overenthusiastic police brazenly distrupted funeral proceedings calling on MDC supporters at the funeral to remove party regalia they had on. Said The Bearded Man

The police have overstepped the mark and I am horrified at the actions. A death in the family is hard enough, without Mugabe's heavy-handed tactics making it any harder. Morgan, I am so sorry for your loss. My sympathies to you and you family. May your father rest in peace.

The Bearded Man continues to do daily news roundups.

The defiant Accoustic Motorbike offers the the latest appraisal of what life is like on Zimbabwe's streets,

Sure enough, the cheapest decent sized bottle of shampoo I could find was $995,000

And of course, it’s not just shampoo. Or airtime. Bread went from $80,000 to $140,000 per loaf over night. Commuter taxis, the most common form of transport, have gone from $50,000 to $70,000 a ride or more. Every time you turn, the price of something has gone up, and there’s no guarantee that the metaphorical belts can get much tighter than they already are.

All of which might make you think that the time is ripe for mass action, some kind of non violent collective action in which the people of Zimbabwe finally stand up for themselves and demand the responsive, accountable, democratic government we deserve. Except that, as people get more and more poor, and more and more hungry, do they also get less and less able to think beyond individual survival for themselves and their family. I’m not entirely convinced that a hungry woman is always an angry woman. Sometimes she’s just hungry, worried and desperate.

Malawi: Mangaliso of Mangaliso's World is surprised that South Africa and the Southern African countries do not laud Clements Kadalie's contributions to this part of the world more,

OK back to the story of one Clements Kadalie the founder of the first all inclusive Trade Union organisation in South Africa ( advised by one Mr Batty) which changed the face of Unionism and and Politics in SA and safely SADC.

Educated in Embangweni, Nkhatabay and livingstonia. Moved to South Africa established the ICU ( Industrial Commercial Workers Union) achieved a lot in uniting various Ethnic Groups and races.

Uganda: Undo, out on the town in an attempt to escapte the insanity brought about by the World Cup meets “Swipe” who

Detests football with a passion I never knew could exist. He claimed he was falling sick sitting there thinking his girlfriend was watching football. He was dying all of that time and probably reciting Ginsberg’s howl. Lamenting the change in fortunes. He couldn’t trim the scope of his concept of hate to even watch one match. He seemed at some loss with his incomprehension of this love for football by a girl of all things.

A rarety in Uganda.

Dennis at Country Boyi lampoons the corruption of workshops in Uganda.


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