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Mr President, what message do you have for diasporan Zimbos at UNGA?

Letters

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

In September 2018 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, you promised Zimbabweans living in the United States that you were going to work hard to ensure that they vote in 2023.

I am sure some of them will be waiting for you to fulfil your promise and put in place mechanisms to enable them to vote in next year’s harmonised elections.

Given the resistance to the diaspora vote from some of your colleagues in Zanu PF, are you going to tell these Zimbabweans that “I am sorry, I had overrated my capacity to deliver, I am a captured President who dances to the whims of a few misdirected Zanu PF officials who do not like the diaspora vote”? I hope you will be honest enough to tell them that.

Zanu PF finance secretary Patrick Chinamasa, politburo member Ziyambi Ziyambi, chief whip Pupurai Togarepi, party spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa and of late Zimbabwe Electoral Commission spokesperson Jasper Mangwana among others, have vehemently ruled out the diaspora vote in the near future.

Have they overpowered you, Mr President? If so, that proves you are not worth to be President as you go around promising things that you cannot deliver.

How do you expect Zimbabweans to trust you when you promise things that you will not deliver on which do not need many resources to implement?

Don’t you see that our fellow African brothers and sisters in countries such as Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa, among others, are enjoying the diaspora vote?

Why should Zimbabweans not enjoy the same freedoms?

Your not-so-smart colleagues are abusing a constitutional judgment for Zanu PF’s selfish reasons, and you, as a person who has legal training, should school them that the Electoral Act or the Constitution of Zimbabwe is not cast in concrete and can be amended.

Did Zanu PF not push for the amendment of the Constitution to do away with the presidential running mate clause?

Did Zanu PF not push for the amendment of the Constitution to include a quota for youth parliamentarians?

Were you saying the truth when you said you were to work to ensure there is diaspora vote in 2023?

Whether you have succumbed to the whims of the Chinamasas of this world, or whether you were cheating when you promised the diaspora vote, your weak side has been exposed, and Zimbabweans now know you are not worthy to be their President.

Zimbabweans in the diaspora must take you to task for misleading the world that there will be a diaspora vote for Zimbabweans in 2023. You must pay dearly for this.

I bumped into a programme on Studio 7 recently in which the president of the Patriotic Party, Charles Mutema, said a petition has been submitted to Parliament for amendment of the Electoral Act to include the diaspora vote.

I hope you will influence your parliamentarians to do the right thing and respect Zimbabweans living in the diaspora for their constitutional right to vote.

I also encourage Zimbabweans in the diaspora to stand up and claim their right.

We have a ruling party that does not respect the diaspora, who are a major contributor to Zimbabwe’s struggling economy.

Sadc, the African Union, and the United Nations need to know that Mnangagwa has failed in his duties as President on simple things that other African countries are doing or working on doing. -Kennedy Kaitano

Smart farming is key for the future of agriculture

BETWEEN 2013 and 2015, the area of land available for agriculture decreased by 0,7%. If we want to expand or maintain our current food output, we need to increase our productivity — without imposing an additional burden on the environment. More with less, welcome to the world of smart farming.

But what is smart farming?

Smart farming is a farming management concept using modern technology to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products. Farmers in the 21st century have access to global positioning system, soil scanning, data management, and internet of things technologies. By precisely measuring variations within a field and adapting the strategy accordingly, farmers can greatly increase the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilisers, and use them more selectively.

Similarly, using smart farming techniques, farmers can better monitor the needs of individual animals and adjust their nutrition correspondingly, thereby preventing disease and enhancing herd health.

And what does one need for smart farming?

Knowledge and capital are essential for any innovation. New farming technologies require more and more professional skills.

A farmer today is not only a person with a passion for agriculture, he or she is also a legal expert (to find their way through a growing maze of regulations) and a part-time data analyst, economist and accountant (making a living from selling agricultural produce requires bookkeeping skills and an in-depth knowledge of market chains and price volatility).

Furthermore, smart farming requires capital. Thankfully, there are a wide range of options available.

From using low capital investment smartphone applications that track your livestock to a capital-intensive automated combine. In principle, implementing smart farming technologies can be easily upscaled. -Mazvanya

Zim must work on converting unrecyclable plastic into eco-concrete

THE plastic recycling sector has come a long way, with some countries such as South Africa having improved technology, better implementation of waste regulations, greater consumer awareness, and growth in the market for recycled material.

Despite these developments, there have always been plastic material streams that are difficult to recycle and therefore end up in landfill or, unfortunately, in the environment.

Seeking out a solution to repurpose unrecyclable and/or difficult-to-recycle plastic packaging, some firms have designed innovative solutions that use commonly mismanaged plastic waste and convert it to an eco-aggregate called RESIN8.

The production of RESIN8, therefore, contributes to increased recycling rates and creates an output product that meets the acceptable building standards and is welcomed by the construction sector.

One of the greatest challenges of the plastics and recycling sector has been finding a solution to repurpose and to reintegrate difficult to recycle plastics into the economy.

Focus should be made to make waste a valuable resource, keeping all plastics out of the environment through investing in recycling infrastructure.

The RESIN8 solution will divert thousands of tonnes of plastic that would have gone to landfill, or have landed up in the environment, but will now, instead, supply the construction sector with a high-quality eco-aggregate to be used in the production of various concrete products.

To produce RESIN8, waste plastic is first shredded and then mixed with mineral additives.

The mixed material is fed through an extruder to produce RESIN8, which is then granulated into a concrete aggregate-like material.

The RESIN8 granules are used as a replacement for natural aggregates in the concrete mix used in the production of a multitude of concrete products.

To date, RESIN8 has been used in the construction of 700 houses in Costa Rica, and in South Africa, three large-scale residential buildings in Khayelitsha and about 2 000 metres of roadside kerb and channels on various projects in Cape Town. -Plastic recycler

In response to Mayhem as schools reject Zimdollar fees, NANETTE ALLMARK says: I remember the same school issue happening during the days of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor. We go round and round in vicious circles.

VINCENT MUSANDU says: We are stuck with people of questionable character as our leaders. Where do ordinary citizens get United States dollars from?

TINEYI CHIWODZA says: Sadc knows the truth about Zimbabwe and the solution needed. All they have to do in 2023 is an early deployment of election observers and make sure the election is free, fair and credible. I will tell you that three months down the line after the polls, Zimbabwe will be the country to be in.

In response to Sadc must intervene on Zim crisis, NICHOLAS MASIIWA says: Who is the Health minster by the way? Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga has no history of medical studies. His estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa’s hand is rotting as the courts deny her her passport so that she gets medical assistance in a private hospital in South Africa. The sad part is that when he was down, he had to be flown to South Africa and China so he could be treated. I doubt such people would care for the ordinary person.

SOCIOLOGIST ARNOLD T. MBONJANI says: At least the world is beginning to know the truth about how Zimbabwean politicians have impoverished citizens due to massive looting and plunder of national resources.

BENJAMIN CHIMANYIWA says: I thought she was wrong until this week when a certain lady passed away because she could not be operated on without paying upfront. Limpopo province Member of the Executive Committee, Phophi Ramathuba is 100% right. At least she is attending to patients  and demanding payment later. Back home, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals is demanding payment upfront from sick people.

CLEOPAS MURESA says: Phophi Ramathuba is right. I don’t see anything wrong with her sentiments. Everyone should feed her own children. Foreigners, particularly Zimbabweans, are overstretching South Africa’s health budget.

GONZO MABHONZO says: I support Phophi Ramathuba. What is happening is a disgrace. Someone in Zimbabwe is seeking another five years after doing nothing to improve the health sector. It’s even worse now than it was in 2017.

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