Wednesday, 6 June 2018

MDC | ZANU PF | When the oppressed becomes the oppressor

Under the stewardship of its late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) maintained a non-violent stance and insisted on ‘free and fair’ elections.
Zimbabwe's protagonists in the 2018 July 30 elections

That way, the party won the hearts of many Zimbabweans and the international community. Its ability to thrive in a hostile environment characterized by violence without engaging in the same was admirable. Since 2002, MDC activists were harassed, brutalized, raped or even killed as Zanu PF supporters unleashed new techniques to intimidate and torture them.
Naturally, women bore the brunt of this violence, as they were more vulnerable – if they were not victims, they were widowed.
Not only does Zanu PF have a history of turning against the opposition but it has perennially marginalised women in the party. Women in the party have been relegated a status of endorsing party positions, made by a predominantly male leadership. They are cheerleaders who are violently pushed out of the party if they challenge the status quo. Former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s ouster in 2014 is an example of this. Her ejection from the party was accompanied by attempts to humiliate her through the changing of a heroic liberation narrative as a freedom fighter by attaching labels of her as a ‘loose’ woman.

In his book, Pedagogy of the oppressed, Paulo Freire states that over time the oppressed start internalising the ways of their oppressor. He says that the oppressed begin to desire the position and role of the oppressor so that when they are eventually promoted to a position of authority, they may actually become more oppressive than the original taskmaster.
Could this be the case with the MDC?
Signs of the Internalised Oppressor Complex
The culture of violence and intolerance, which has crept into the MDC over the years has today left the same women that sought refuge in the party suffering or pushed to the periphery.
Early signs of the party evolving to can be traced as far back as 2006. That year, former Member of Parliament, Trudy Stevenson, was assaulted with other members in Mabvuku for belonging to a rival faction. Later in 2014, the party’s Harare North Youth Secretary for Information, Angela Hwanyanya was also beaten on allegations of belonging to a faction led by Elton Mangoma.
So the recent occurrences in which former, Deputy President of the party, Thokozani Khupe became a victim, the party had morphed into the very oppressor that it was fighting against. Khupe was assaulted by members of the party at a rally in Bulawayo and at Tsvangirai’s funeral in Buhera. Later at a Supreme court hearing, members of the party court labelled her a “whore” in chants that followed the setting aside of a ruling by the High Court that a faction she leads, could use the party and symbols.
Vanguard - the MDC's youth militia which has been likened to ZANU PF's Border Gezi 'green bombers'

Most disturbing is the fact that the MDC youth, known as the Vanguard, are in essence, a militia that have been in the forefront of terrorising members of the party that are seen to go against the grain. For example, former Harare West legislator, Jessie Majome, alleges that she was abused by party youths (both young men and women) by being called names on social media platforms. It is clear that Majome was ‘managed out’ of the party and was forced to opt to stand as an independent candidate in the same constituency.
Time for real change
So even though, MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa has castigated the ill-treatment of Khupe and other women in the party, it will take concerted effort to redirect the movement towards non-violence and tolerance. This is particularly as some women in the party are allegedly also participating in the continuing violations against their counterparts or endorsing sexism against women by its leadership.
It is the responsibility of the party’s new leadership to stir the ship back to the founding values of tolerance. This can be achieved through reflection, introspection and ultimately bold decision making in flushing out any oppressor tendencies within the party.
The current state of toxicity and violence that the party finds itself in will alienate women who for a significant number of years, had found refuge in the party, as they exercised their democratic rights as citizens.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

July 30 | Zimbabwe's unique version of democracy

Zimbabweans are expected to go to the polls in July 2018. However, what is clear for whoever comes into power is that reforms are not only necessary but also urgent for moving the nation forward.

While it is encouraging to note that there seems to be agreement across the political divide that Zimbabwe needs to start practising real democracy, the question is whether as a society we ready for true democracy?

Democracy is a system of governance where citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body, such as a parliament. Democracy is also known as ‘the rule of the majority.’

In a democracy, leaders or representatives of political parties are given equal opportunities to be elected through a free and fair process.

Discourses around democracy have varied in the political parties. In its over 18 years of existence, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has prided itself as being a party founded on democratic principles, and whose main objective is to turn Zimbabwe into a ‘true’ democracy. On the other hand, the ruling ZANU PF party claims that Zimbabwe is a democracy; and that since independence it has governed the country democratically.

Free and fair electoral process

The fact that elections are held periodically can be interpreted as democratic practice. However, when considered against, the participation and promotion of women to ensure that they are a part of this very important national process, it is clear that women play a subordinate role.

After many disputed elections that were marred by beatings, killings and abductions of political activists, it is clear to me that our politics is not only toxic but also anti-women.

It is not only national elections that are mired in controversy.

Over the years it has become clear that even at local or community level elections for Student Representative Councils (SRCs) in universities and committees for housing cooperatives, churches and even sports bodies will more often than not invite controversy. If Zimbabweans cannot conduct free, fair and transparent in their small interest communities, we cannot claim to be ready for free and fair national elections. For us to exercise justice and fairness at a national level, we need to adjust our attitudes and create gender just and fair communities in our small spaces.

A disturbing trend within the realm of democracy in Zimbabwe is that there is little room for gender justice within political parties. A quick analysis of the primary elections in the country’s two main political parties, Zanu PF and the MDC-T bears testimony to the fact that within the Zimbabwean context, rights differ for men and women.

Clearly, at political party level, women are relegated to peripheral roles of cheering as the men take the front seats in the making of policy and representation. The parties have become cultic as they concentrate all power on one center. Even in our daily lives, group decision-making is limited. There is always a single man calling the shots – chair, president, pastor or prophet. Where effort is made to elect a representative council or committee, women are bequeathed ceremonial roles and surrender power to one male turning the whole system into a dictatorship.

Making it work as a unit

A united, just and fair citizenry that acknowledges the importance of gender equality is what Zimbabwe needs at this juncture.

As a country, we should be at a point where there is no questioning of women’s rights to participate as equals and also hold leaders accountable the same way men do. But we are not! We need to organise ourselves and mobilise each other to make demands for leadership that is truly representative of our interests as a people.

Women within political party structures must come to fore and demand the creation of systems that firstly recognise their existence and nurture them for office within the structures and at a national level.

As we trudge towards the historic 2018 elections, we must remember that true democracy begins with us. The leaders that we elect at national level are simply a reflection of the kind of people that we are as a society. We need serious attitude adjustment if we are to enjoy the fruits of true democracy.

For the good of the Republic!

Monday, 21 May 2018

Mugabe | Mnangagwa | Chamisa

We are inundated with requests by aspiring candidates & political parties that seek our services as their PR (propaganda) managers. We remain however, steadfast and unwavering in our non-partisan endeavors.

We notice that state media has upped the ante on Nelson Chamisa (the guy on everyone's lips). Their recent scandal was an allegation that he wants to impregnate a woman just to prove himself. However, there's no evidence he ever said that.

Now to Emmerson Mnangagwa & his aides. Word is that they lied that the £100million from Britain was to end the cash crisis. Instead the money was disbursed through Standard Chartered Bank as a loan facility for private sector companies (or it was a sum to celebrate Prince Harry & Princess Meghan's royal wedding). Whichever the case, please ED can you tone down on misrepresenting MOUs as business deals.

Embattled Temba Mliswa (Chris Mutsvangwa's nemesis) intends to take Parly Committee on Mines & Energy to deposed leader Robert Mugabe's blue roofed house to question him on the missing $15bn. The old man is apparently too old to come to Parly buildings yet he's the very guy who wanted to contest as ZanuPF presidential candidate this July election.

Now back to our business, we are not political outfit & we aren't a propaganda machine.

Watch out for F.E.A.R Corporation results this May 2018.

For the good of the Republic!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

#IWD2018: Why Zimbabwe needs to #PressForProgress

On the 8th of March every year, people around the world march, rally or gather around in conferences to reflect on the roles played by women and the progress made in dealing with the challenges they face. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressForProgress which is a realization that progress has been made but a lot still needs to be done. This day is particularly important to Zimbabwe which has entered a ‘New Dispensation’ of many possibilities.

In a period of uncertainty, the only certain thing is Zimbabwe will be different from what it has been for the past 37 years. We are therefore presented with an opportunity to go it all in to deal with our past challenges which include the glass ceilings on women and male exclusivity in decision making. It’s prudent that we learn from our mistakes as we chart our way forward.

The gender gap is widening despite concerted efforts to raise the status of women in various fields of endeavor. Men’s earnings are increasing more rapidly thereby widening the pay gap despite numerous initiatives to break glass ceilings and force salary disclosure. The Global Gender Gap Report of 2016 by World Economic Forum states that it will take more than 217 years to close the gender parity gap.

Not only are women being paid less than the man in similar jobs or positions but women remain confined to jobs and industries with lower average pay and are more likely to undertake part-time work due to domestic commitments like child care. Only 22% of senior managerial positions in organisations are held by women.

Women in Zimbabwe remain alienated in politics and are still seen as minors in the field. The sexist, misogynistic and violent nature of politics has kept many women out of the political arena. The way Joice Mujuru was hounded out of ZanuPF and her portrayal as a sex pest that rose to prominence through bed hopping are unfortunate realities of Zimbabwean politics. Further to that, People First elders in Didymus Mutasa & Rugare Gumbo sought to give her a ‘queen bee’ status that left her at their mercy.

Such benevolent patriarchy was the driving force behind installing Grace as Mugabe’s successor by the G40. The cabal made of males wanted to manage Grace in her seemingly powerful capacity as leader of both country and party. The media was quick to blame her for Mugabe’s demise. ZanuPF saw an opportunity to sanitize Mugabe by placing all his misdeeds on his wife’s head. In a society that already judges the woman, Zimbabweans forgot Mugabe’s wrongs of 37 years and decided to focus on Grace’s side shows.

The violence on Thokozani Khupe and her harassment speaks volumes of how even a party like MDC that tries to be modern and inclusive still can’t fathom to have a woman at the helm. It is no doubt that Nelson Chamisa has charisma and age on his side, but he also enjoys male priviledge where there is an unwritten consensus that the next Zimbabwe president can only be a man.

The #metoo movement which saw women coming out to share their stories of sexual harassment bears witness to the rampant acts (reported or unreported) of sexual harassment. In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s scandal, more women in showbiz including award-winning Lupita Nyongo came forward relating their horrid experiences.

This should be a lesson for Zimbabwe as we advance towards true gender justice. Progress has been made towards achieving an inclusive society but there is need to up the tempo in efforts to undo deep rooted patriarchy.  Many women victims still take the blame for the harassment and a good proportion of our population still do not understand what sexual harassment means. Society still glorifies male sex predators finding reasons to shame the women victims.

Zimbabwe is at a juncture where it’s possible for a wholesome shift in the way we think and act. We are at a point where we can embrace modernity and inclusivity for the benefit of everyone. This is a chance for our mothers, sisters and daughters to start seeing the benefits of a ‘New Dispensation’. The New Dispensation means nothing if it only benefits the male elite!

We are at that point when all genders should start making breakthroughs without some benevolent male benefactor that will claim the credit at the end of the day. This is the moment when young students find their way through college unhindered. We are presented with an opportunity to create a gender just system that assimilates both male and female into professional fields without the woman having to pay more with her body. A gender just society that rewards competence is possible.
An inclusive and Gender just society should be the bedrock of a new Zimbabwe.

For the good of the Republik!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

F.E.A.R Corporation Unaudited Financial Results FY 2017

Unaudited annual financial results for the trading year ending 14 November 2017. The report contains the Director’s views, the Corporation’s consolidated financial statements and maps a way forward in the 2018 financial year. Unaudited Annual Financial Statements.

Welcome to our presentation of the F.E.A.R Corporation 2017 Financial Statements.
The preparation of financial statements is in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards (AASBs) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). The annual (and interim) reporting period ending 14 November 2017 represents relatively little change in terms of accounting standards which is a welcome relief for us.

Our objective in preparing the 2017 Financial Statements was to illustrate our commitment to adopt and maintain standard accounting procedures and financial reporting. However, these Financial Statements do not envisage every possible transaction and cannot therefore be regarded as comprehensive. Management is responsible for the fair presentation of financial statements and therefore may find other approaches more appropriate in their specific circumstances.

These Financial Statements have been reviewed and updated to reflect changes in Australian Accounting Standards that are effective for the financial year ending 14 November 2017. However, no account has been taken of any new developments published after 14 September 2017. The Grant Thornton website contains any updates that are relevant for 30 June 2016 financial statements, including our Technical Accounting Alert on “Accounting standards issued but not yet effective for November 2017”.

In some areas, alternative presentation and disclosure approaches are also illustrated in the Appendices.

For further guidance on the Standards and Interpretations applied, reference is made to Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations sources in the Appendices. The use of this publication is not a substitute for the use of a comprehensive and up to date disclosure checklist to ensure completeness of the disclosures in Australian general purpose financial statements.

Itai Bryan Nyamawuya
Managing Director
F.E.A.R Corporation

F.E.A.R Corporation Unaudited Financial Results FY 2017

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