News Release By The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC):

Justice Dorothy nyaKaunda Kamanga, handed down judgment in the Blantyre High Court in a case in which eleven women sued the Mwanza Police and Mwanza District Hospital. The applicants were arrested during police sweeping exercises in Mwanza in September and November 2009. On both occasions, a number of women were detained overnight at the Mwanza Police Station and subjected to forced HIV tests at the Mwanza District Hospital the following day. The women brought an application in the Blantyre High Court in 2011 alleging that these actions violated their constitutional rights. Justice nyaKaunda Kamanga ruled that the action of subjecting the applicants to forced HIV testing was unreasonable and a violation of their rights to privacy, equality, dignity and freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The applicants were represented by Chrispine Sibande and supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa. “This case could not come at a more critical time,” says Chrispine Sibande. “The Malawi government is in the process of finalising the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Management) Bill. Draft versions of the Bill have included provisions allowing mandatory HIV testing of various groups, including sex workers. It is internationally accepted that forced HIV testing is counter-productive and violates human rights. We hope the judgment will ensure that these provisions are finally removed from the Bill. The judgment is also progressive in that it considered equality between men and women in relation to HIV testing.” According to Anneke Meerkotter from SALC, “the case, in recognising the right not to be subjected to mandatory HIV testing, sets an important precedent in protecting the rights of vulnerable groups who are often subjected to such practices, not only in Malawi, but in many countries across the world. The case is testimony to the courage of the applicants, who were willing to hold government accountable for the violation of their rights despite the personal risks they faced in asserting their rights.”

As by-elections approach

From Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN):

ZESN greatly emboldens political parties, the independent candidates and supporters to observe the law in their conduct and further implores the ZEC to continue providing the voters’ roll to the candidates and interested parties on a timely fashion, and the government of Zimbabwe to expeditiously align the electoral laws to the Constitution so as to avoid the electoral disputes that might compromise the conduct of the election and outcome. ZESN also calls upon political parties to entrench intra party democracy.
- Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)

Textures – Book Cafe Thursday


Notice of Ward 8 (Highlands, Chisipite, Newlands, part Ballantyne Park, Glen Roy, Gunhill, part Eastlea, part Glen Lorne, Lewisam) report back meeting

Date: Tuesday 19 May 2015
Time: 6pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Highlands Presbyterian Church, 112 Enterprise Road

Convenor: Councillor Chris Mbanga (Tel: 0772516703, email: cmbanga [at] mweb [dot] co [dot] zw)

In attendance: Council officials including Highlands District Officer Mr Funny Machipisa

Police have been notified


1.    Prayer
2.    Notice of Meeting
3.    Attendance Register
4.    Matters and updates from the Previous Meeting
5.    10% Retention Ward Revenue
6.    Water Update
7.    Waste Management Issues
8.    Road Maintenance
9.    Any other business

Need a bit of a shake up, some provocation? Then read Albert Gumbo:

Now, add to that other unique features. Scotland has Nessie, we have Nyami Nyami but beyond a few vendors selling sculptures we do not even have “hoax” sightings! Can we not promote the legend of Nyami Nyami? Nobody else has Great Zimbabwe and the view from the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls is the best waterfall view in the world, if we may patriotically say so ourselves!  Then there is Kariba and our abundant wildlife. So what is exactly stopping us from going big on tourism? If the Zimbabwe government momentarily stepped out of its vicious cycle of trading insults with whoever criticises it, perhaps it might find there is more sunshine in joy than in the bitter grey world of recrimination.  With that Damascene experience might come the willingness to build on harnessing what is positive about the country and actually start to rebuild a prosperous society that can create jobs and opportunities for returning residents flush with skills from the imperialist Western world, impertinent Botswana and big brother South Africa, non? We consistently believe in “lighting a candle, instead of cursing the darkness.” There is very little to be gained by fist waving at the world except for the temporary satisfaction of, “I showed them!” What is more sustainable is to build friends, to offer a welcoming face to the world. Paul Kagame cuts a stern figure, I don’t think anyone has ever seen him smile, but he has tourists paying a premium to see the Silverbacks in the mountains of Rwanda. Tourism brings development, good will and currency.

Read more


“Instead of waging an all-out assault on the castle, the prankster slips through the gates wearing a fool’s outfit…” – Art Tinnitus, quoted in Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution

A press release from: The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC):

Lusaka – On Friday 15 May, the High Court in Lusaka is expected to deliver judgment in a case against the Attorney General. The case concerns two HIV-positive prisoners who challenged the poor prison conditions and lack of adequate food in Lusaka Central Prison as violations of their constitutional rights. The case was commenced in 2012 by two HIV-positive inmates who are legally represented by the Legal Resources Foundation. The two inmates who are on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment alleged that they experienced a lack of adequate food, abysmal prison conditions and barriers to accessing HIV treatment in Lusaka Central Prison. They argued that these conditions violated, among others, their rights to life and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment. The government denied their allegations. The trial was concluded in December 2013. The two inmates have since been released after one of them was pardoned and the other completed his sentence.

What: The High Court deliver judgment in the Lusaka Central Prison Case, M and Another v Attorney General

Where: High Court, Lusaka, Zambia

When: Friday, 15 May 2015, 09:00

An article by Charles Dhewa writing for Knowledge Transfer Africa (KTA):

From a recent eMKambo survey, bread is losing its footing to substitutes like sweet potatoes, potatoes, butternuts, pumpkins, rice & tomato stew as well as boiled sugar beans, cow peas and roundnuts all mixed with maize to produce mutakura in Shona or Inkobe in Isindebele. In urban areas where urban farming has spread like wildfire, consumers are now producing their own bread substitutes mainly sweet potatoes. This development, together with increasing health consciousness among consumers, has certainly slashed the demand for bread. Economic hardships are also prompting many households to think creatively about how to save the elusive US$. Every household tries to be conscious of the cost of a US$. Some of the key questions on consumers’ minds include: How much of a household’s US$ can buy a five litre bucket of sweet potatoes which can feed a family of six for the greater part of the day?  Three cups of rice for a US$ can also feed a family of six for half a day.  For many households, a dollar should take a family of six from breakfast to lunch whereas a loaf of bread that costs $1 cannot take a family of six for half a day.  Resorting to bread also attracts other additives like margarine and jam costing at least $2 over and above the $1 for a loaf.  In most households, a loaf of bread is now for children going to school with other members of the household depending on various substitutes for breakfast.

More here

Imagine Zimbabwe


Where is Itai Dzamara?

“Failed Mugabe Must Step Down” – these words were on one of Itai’s posters that he used to hold up during his ‘occupation’ of Unity Square in Harare. I agree with what his poster suggests and I’m pretty sure you do too. Does his disappearance have anything to do with his vocal criticism of Mugabe and his government?

Here’s the latest on Itai from VOA:

EU Warns of Strained Relations With Zimbabwe Over Dzamara

“We reiterate our call on the Government of Zimbabwe to take all necessary measures to ascertain Mr Dzamara’s whereabouts, safeguard his wellbeing and accord him the full protection of the law, within its overall responsibilities of ensuring the safety of all its citizens.

“Furthermore, the EU calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that those responsible for the abduction of Mr Dzamara are brought to justice”.