Monday, February 21, 2011

Minister challenges the Church on Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.

Information Department

Zimbabwean Church leaders have been challenged to take a leading and influential role in the quest to achieve healing, reconciliation and integration in the country as well as help to develop a road map for healing.

This challenge was made by the Minister of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration Honourable Moses Mzila Ndlovu at a Think Tank session held at Habakkuk Trust’s UMkhankaso Centre today. The meeting that was attended by Church leaders and Christian organisations was aimed at giving the Christian community an opportunity to interact with the Ministry of National Healing as well as influence key issues of healing affecting Matabeleland and Zimbabwe at large.

‘As the Ministry we are more of listeners than implementers and we expect the Church to stand up for the broader society and in turn we will take seriously your contributions on how we should work’, reiterated the Minister.

The major advocacy issues that came out of the meeting include:

- The need to review legislation to cater for the victims of Gukurahundi,
- The need to accord the people an opportunity to articulate their own expectations of how the healing process should be done.
- The need for the Churches to actively participate on issues of reconciliation and rehabilitation,
- Peace committees to lay a foundation for national healing,
- The Church should participate in the All stakeholders conference to be convened by the Ministry,
- Perpetrators of violence to stand up and say what wrongs they did and seek forgiveness,
- The need for people to speak out on injustices and lack of accountability
- The need to break the ethnic divide.

The Think Tank meeting is part of a series of Sector Think Tanks that Habakkuk Trust is hosting in order to influence policy making and development in the country. Last week, the organisation has hosted a think tank on the mining and extractive sector.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

In a reaction to the residents’ complaints over ZBH Television and Radio licence fees, Habakkuk Trust has initiated a campaign meant to help the residents amplify their voices and complaints on the said matter.

The campaign that is aimed at assisting the citizens petition the broadcasting authority over license fees is a reaction to the ZBH programme of licences fee collection. The main borne of contention is that:
• The ZBH license staff demand fees even from those citizens that are on satellite dish and do not view Zimbabwe Television,
• Residents of Bulawayo are complaining that they do not see value in paying their licenses because there are very few programmes from the region and there is rarely any news coming from this region,
• They also raised concerns that ZBH is no longer a public broadcaster as it has literally turned out to be a ZANU PF broadcasting authority which churns out partisan messages and information. This happens in the context of a Government of National Unity and at the expense of other developmental news.

Habakkuk Trust and the Advocacy Action Teams have therefore begun circulating a petition demanding the broadcasting authority to immediately reform its operations or face residents’ boycott of license fees. Moreover, the petition demands the authority to stops collecting money from residents until such a time when its programming is improved, balanced and non-partisan.

The organisation therefore urges all progressive citizens to sign the petition and write letters on the issue.

Currently, residents are being forced to pay USD50 per year for home television licenses. Home radio listeners without television sets are forced to fork out USD20 whilst car radio owners will have to part with USD30.
Habakkuk Trust will also be running a special news flash on licenses that are meant to publish residents’ views, opinions and comments regarding the issue.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Zimbabwe's History Distorted

By Linda Moyo

The Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture Honourable Senator David Coltart on Friday called for the revamp of the education sector saying the education curriculum has for the past two decades not been reviewed and the history textbooks need to be re-written to reflect the true history of the country .Senator Coltart made these remarks at a Leadership Summit hosted by Habakkuk Trust .

According to the Minister, the education sector needs hundreds of million of United States dollars to turn the sector around because it has been under funded for the past two decades owing to the lack of political will to revamp sector.

Moreover the Minister said his ministry is trying to come up with text books in marginalised languages because for the last 30 years the focus has been on Shona and Ndebele.

‘We have sought to address the issue of minority languages and text books in Venda and Sotho are coming up,’ said the Minister.

The Minister also said the history curriculum has not been reviewed and was in-accurate because if you study the subject one does not get to understand who Joshua Nkomo is and what role ZAPU and ZIPRA played in the war of liberation.

‘The history curriculum is wrong because if you read it you can not tell who Joshua Nkomo was and what role ZAPU and ZIPRA played in the war’, said Honourable Coltart.

Senator Coltart further said teachers have lost motivation and Matabeleland South has lost a large number of Maths, Science and English teachers to the neighbouring countries like South Africa and Botswana who offer better remuneration and working conditions.

Of concern the Minister noted that students in Matabeleland walked long distances to school and the road networks were poor compelling students to play truancy and teachers not to go to those schools.

According to Senator Coltart because of low population density in Matabeleland there is need to build boarding schools and or to bus students from neighbouring communities.

‘The distances to be walked by students are too much and because Matabeleland is sparsely populated there is need to either build boarding schools or bus children to school,’ lamented Senator Coltart

Senator Coltart was speaking at the Matabeleland Leadership Summit organised by Habakkuk Trust last Friday to accord an opportunity for legislators, cabinet ministers and leaders of civic society, business and the church to explore ways of working together for the development of the region.