We received this disturbing report via WhatsApp today:

Hi I want you to address an issue today pliz I’m on my way to Mutare right now and the way the conductors try n force people into their buses is not good at all. I’m a woman aged 21 and I ws harassed sexually assaulted and the worst not one of people around tried to help me. I’m crying all the way to Mutare now what has Zimbabwe come to be nhai apa no police officer was around kwango kungomisa mabhazi achitadza kubatsira vanhu vacho. My bags are all torn apart. If I had any means of taking justice I would.

Whilst isolated cases like the ‘mini-skirt’ touts trial make headline news, incidents like this are experienced by women in Zimbabwe daily. They are part of what make the Orange Day campaign (the 25th of each month) so critical.

Invitation from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe

The long awaited Consumer Protection Bill Draft was launched in October 2014 by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Mike Bimha. As per Constitutional requirements, every Bill before enactment must be deliberated upon by Zimbabwean citizens.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has started carrying out consultations in other parts of the country so far Mutare, Midlands, Masvingo and Matabeleland regions have been covered.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) is inviting all those interested to attend a consultative workshop on the draft. Your input is very important as it is key to the drafting process to ensure that the Zimbabwean consumer is adequately protected.

The workshop shall be held on the 04th of February 2015 at Anglican Cathedral Hall (Corner Sam Nujoma and Nelson Mandela Avenues). Starting time is 0830hours.

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Jill, Tag a Life International

I just want to express the depth and pain of suffering that we young women in Zimbabwe are going through because of our male citizens. It is really our cry that we as young women enjoy the rights and the freedom of equal participation. That we enjoy our rights and not fear being subjected to any violence. We want to be able to express how we feel through the way we dress, and through the way we behave. It may not be one person’s preference but I shouldn’t be judged and I shouldn’t be a subject of violence. Where I have seen people express the way they feel through dressing is mostly in places like Borrowdale and Avondale. What about the child that stays in Mufakose? Are we saying that we are going back to where we say the rights of our streets were just for the wealthy and for the other races? Is that what we are going to? I don’t think so. I think our forefathers fought for this country so we can express our dressing however we want and not be harassed by anyone. Talk about morals and tradition from what we learnt since grade one we knew anaMbuya Nehanda our ancestors used to wear ‘nhembe’ that only covered the back and front. They didn’t wear anything on top. The moral I learnt from that is the men from this generation, actually respected the women. So this is what we are crying for as young women. It should not be a hassle to get a taxi into town. I should not be afraid to get into a kombi. My mother cannot afford a taxi for me to use everyday. I should be able to walk anywhere I want. Should I be scared about my physical appearance? This is a Godly given body and I should be proud of it. We are really crying for this to stop. Thank you to all individuals and organisations that are standing with us to stop this culture. This culture of discrimination, the culture of violence against women needs to stop. “Taneta” – we are tired of this!

Ropafadzo, The Women’s Trust

Violence against women and girls is on the rise in Zimbabwe. As a young girl I went to a mixed school. The things that I saw disheartened me. We find that at the stage of adolescents that is when harassment starts. During the first year of my high school, my teacher sent me to the next class. When I entered the classroom boys started to jeer, shouting out names at me. It really gave me a picture that boys start to exhibit violent tendencies at a very young age. It is our plea as young girls to the government and organisations in the women’s right sector to implement, activate and create programmes that educate boys as young as ten years not to harass women. As young women I believe we have right to be free, to be able to do things that we want to do anyhow and anytime.

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Graphic by Tanaka Matava

Tanaka Matava is a graphic designer and a recent graduate from the Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology.

Late last year I had a chat with Tanaka to find out where he gets his inspiration from, and his plans for the future.

Tell us about the Child Abuse Project and Exhibition?
I noticed that with issues of child abuse, most organisations focus on helping children. But I don’t see that working because the adults are the ones who abuse children so we have to educate the adults. Children are voiceless entities. In my project I used Emotionalism Philosophy, particularly the extreme emotionalism to cover the five types of abuse: emotional, sexual, physical, neglect and witnessing family violence. If one looks at my images you feel like the child in the image – abused. I was trying to validate and reinforce post-social attitudes and behaviours that would deter individuals and communities from child abuse.

Share with us, something about yourself that fed into this project?
I wasn’t abused. I just noticed that child abuse is a subject many people avoid yet it’s very important. I’m a free and wandering spirit. The source of my artistic creativity is consumed by self-evaluation, which I think is the case for many artists. Witnessing child neglect hurts me. The books I have read, and the movies I have seen, contribute a lot to my work. I studied the work of Chaz Maviyane-Davies where I learned about extreme emotionalism and used it to influence my project.

Future projects?
In 2015, I will be exhibiting some of my work alongside some artists from Iran.

Rusike vs The State – Veritas Zimbabwe

Some useful observations from Veritas via Twitter on a case before Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court:

Does sending a photo shopped pic of the Pres via WhatsApp qualify as Undermining the Authority of the President? This is the legal qstn before the Constitutional Court in the case of Shantel Rusike v The State. Sec 33(1),(2) of the Criminal Code set out the crime of publicly undermining the Authority of the President. But what does public mean in light of current means electronic communications? eg WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook. The matter was heard this morning & judgment on the preliminary points has been reserved.

Job Vacancy in Bulawayo

Seeing as Zinara has gotten millions to fix the appalling state of roads, and never mind – what happens to the revenue they get from tollgates and license fees – we asked Kubatana members to tell us where needs fixing and this is just some of what was said:

The road from Westlea to Machipisa is in a very bad state. / In Houghton Park, Silcox Road needs attention. / Kadoma – Sanyati Road needs urgent attention. / I stay in Mainway Meadows close to Mbuya Dorcas Hospital. The roads in my neighbourhood are too bad they should take a look at it. / Seke Road and Chitungwiza Road are so badly damaged. / There is a road taking us to our school in Binga it is so bad it is dangerous. / Kuwadzana, High Glen Rd T Junction up to Kuwadzana 4 Shops. / Call for rehabilitation road maintenance pothole programme from St Mary’s Police Station to Chigovanyika Chitungwiza. / Arcturus Road from Harare Drive past Kamfinsa Shops all the way to Enterprise Road. / Mutoko Road. / The road that is used by kombis from Budiriro 4 shops up to where it joins High Glen Road at the flyover. That road is now worse than a rural road. / Am in Mutare, Sakubva high-density suburb. The road I need most to be fixed is the one that links Sakubva Stadium and town CBD. / I am in Budiriro 4. The road that joins Budiriro 5 OK via current shopping centre via Budiriro 4 is badly damaged. / Harare Masvingo Road. / I am in Chiredzi. Chiredzi Chivhu Road via Zaka Gutu. / I live in Tafara. The road from Mabvuku Spark which passes Mabvuku Clinic to Tafara High 1 is no longer a road. / Budiriro 5 Bhinya Road needs total resurfacing running from ZFC Aspindale to Budiriro. / I live in Milton Park. The road I need them to fix is Bishop Gaul Road. / Road for fixing – Katsande Road, New Marlborough. / Mutare-Masvingo Road via Birchenough Bridge. / I am in Kadoma and the roads are so bad, especially when it rains. / I reside in Chitungwiza and the roads from here to Harare CBD are devastating. / In Glenview 3 from Tichagarika S/C Willowvale Rd, Glen View 3 turn off to the shopping centre road needs to be fixed. / Ours has been over patched. It now needs an overhaul. If you by chance happen to drive along Mutare-Chiredzi highway from Tanganda to Checheche you will realise to say it’s a highway is a mockery. Part of this road is seriously potholed. / Mitchell Road needs fixing not patching, complete overhaul. / Rhodesville Ave from Samora Machel past Kamfinsa shops up to Court Road. / Greendale Ave now has some serious potholes soon after Food Lovers when you’re coming from Samora Machel, all the way to the end of the road by Courtney Selous School. / Shawasha right turn after Powland up to the boom gate – Glen Lorne, Harare. / From Harare to Kanyemba via Mushumbi Pools. / I’m in Masvingo, Rujeko A, B & C street roads are very dangerous. They are not longer potholes but gullies. / Mutare to Chiredzi Road and Birchenough to Masvingo Road are not suitable to travel due to unbearable potholes. / Jambezi roads are an eyesore to watch of which even buses shun the route. / Mutare – Starting from central business district at OK then Dangamvura turn off. / Dorowa Road, Nyazura. / Masotsha Ndlovu Road in Waterfalls near Mbuya Dorcas Hospital. / Knightsbridge Road in Highlands is in a sorry state including Princess Road. / Gweru to Mvuma is now dangerous. / The road between CA & St Mary’s in Chitungwiza is now painful to drive. It’s better they scrap off the tar if they can’t fix it. / Glen View 1 Road. / In Chinhoyi town the roads are not up to standard in locations. / Zambezi boarder road believed to be tarred. / I’m in Dzivarasekwa. Every road needs to be fixed i.e. Pasipanodya St, Gushungo St, etc. / Here in Glen Norah, the road from Masimbi to Specimen via Chitubu is in state I tell you! / The road which is used by commuter omnibuses from Bulawayo Road round about to Mereki Shops in Warren Park D. / Kamunhu area, Tafara High road to Kamfinsa to Tafara way requires potholes to be filled by the city of Harare. / Arcturus Road needs greater rehabilitation mostly corner Harare Drive and Arcturus Rd. / Marlborough, Marlborough Drive near Lomagundi the road is terrible. / Glen Norah has big potholes. / Mbare to Waterfalls way there are some gullies at the middle of the roads. / The part of road between Murairwa bus stop and Gutu turnoff along Harare – Gutu Chiredzi tarmac is full of deep wide potholes and last week Mandaza bus fell over one of these injuring scores of passengers. / Hatcliffe, Harare – Roads are like potato fields. / Stuart Ave in Borrowdale and Cameron Road in Borrowdale. / Raffingora – Banket Road. / Alexander Road, Highlands. / Here in Zvimba Murombedzi; rural roads are not pleasing potholes everywhere. You can travel for 3 hours on a journey of 10 or 15 km. / Not even a single road in Glen Norah A is being repaired especially a badly damaged road which stretches from Chitubu shopping center into the residential, a route used by kombis. / In Bulawayo the road that leads to Luveve cemetery from Ntemba road, a wide path that was once a tarred road…in fact that ‘wide path’ has patches of tar…a tarred dusty road so to speak. / Chitungwiza town council has filled the potholes with mud and sand but what will happen when it rains again. / There are Dangerous potholes at Chinhamo service station along the Chitungwiza highway. / In Glen View as you enter it from town after the bridge before Glen view 8 industrial complex, just after Engen service station and from Tichagarika shops to Glen View 3 shopping centre. Then 17th road that connects Highglen shopping centre through Budiriro 3 and Glen View 8. Also from Engen service station to Royal College in Glen view 8. From Makomva Total service station to Patrenda road. / In Glen view 4 behind the shopping centre. From Glen View new hall towards Glen Norah A Chitubu AFM church. From Glen view 3 turn off to Budiriro 2 ZRP.

As we all know Borrowdale Road is the driveway that the President (one Mr R G Mugabe) uses to go to work and back, and often to the airport. Sometimes also to bury a Hero. So it comes as no surprise that this is the one road that is kept beautifully maintained. What! No potholes . . . yip. Meanwhile the roads throughout the rest of Harare, courtesy of zero road maintenance (even though we pay our motor vehicle licenses, pay toll fees and we apparently have a Ministry of Transport), have deteriorated to such an extent that you and your car risk serious injury.

If we could I’d say vote the bastards out, but as we know, the ballot is just a load of bollocks in this country.