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Same old grievances as Zim enters election season – Zimbabwe Independent

an elderly person being assaulted and interrogated in Murehwa .

THE year 2023 is an election year for Zimbabwe.

Political analysts say the election will centre around the same old grievances that have been plaguing the country.

At the end of last year, Zimbabwe topped the World Bank’s world food inflation list with 353%.

Although elections often bring with them hope, political analysts have said that the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe will focus on the same old grievances — unemployment, corruption, healthcare and economic growth.

At the end of last year, the World Bank’s world food inflation list indicated that Zimbabwe had the highest food inflation of 353%. It was well ahead of Lebanon, which was in second place with 240%.

Despite government’s promotion of the use of local currency, goods and services in the southern African country are sold in US dollars.

It makes life hard for most workers, both in the public and private sectors, who are forced to buy dollars on the black market so that they can buy goods such as fuel.

The situation in the country has inspired leading local musician Winky D to write two songs: Ibotso, which is about wanting better living conditions and a corruption-induced poverty, and Dzimba Dzemabwe, a song about daily struggles.

In the latter, Winky D raps: “Night and day, my heart is bleeding when I look at the poor and the needy; everything has gone with the greedy; we need a national healing.”

But those aligned to the ruling Zanu PF party said his lyrics were not true. They didn’t like that Winky D evoked emotions.

As a result, the Economic Empowerment Group (EEG), an outfit of mostly young, privileged entrepreneurs and dealers linked to Zanu PF, called for Winky D’s music to be banned.

EEG secretary-general Clifford Hlupheko said at a Press conference: “Most of the contents are meant to sow seeds of despondency and anarchy mostly to the youth population. We don’t welcome that.”

They also called for the music to be banned from the national radio station and for Winky D to be banned from performing in Zimbabwe.

According to World Bank data, Zimbabwe’s youth — those born after the country’s independence in 1980 — constitute more than 60% of the total population.

Like in Zambia, the youth could play a key role in the upcoming elections.

There are fears that the youth will vote for the opposition.

The storm cooked up by EEG over Winky D’s music drew the attention of the biggest opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). Its leader, Nelson Chamisa, called Winky D “the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)”.

Political analysts have said the upcoming election will centre around the same old grievances: Employment creation, fighting corruption, economic growth, and healthcare.

The only time that Zanu PF lost total power was during the government of national unity of 2009 to 2013, which brought together the Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s all-time strongman Robert Mugabe, and splinter MDC leader Arthur Mutambara.

Tsvangirai had beaten Mugabe in the first round of polls, but fell short of the 50%+1 vote majority.

An election re-run was set up and because of political violence, Tsvangirai withdrew from the race, leaving Mugabe alone.

However, negotiations at the behest of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) saw former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s “quiet diplomacy” bringing together the three principals to share power.

Zanu PF does not want history to repeat itself.

In his New Year’s Eve speech, President Emmerson Mnangagwa called for peace ahead of and during the elections.

He said: “We will be holding the general elections mindful of the fact that we are a diverse but one people, united by one flag.

“I urge each of us to continue being peace-loving and politically mature citizens.”

But while he’s on leave, political violence has flared up with video footage taken in Murehwa, 75km northeast of the capital Harare, showing elderly people being assaulted and interrogated for attending a CCC gathering last week.

Amnesty International (AI) called the violence outrageous.

“This callous, politically motivated attack against older people who had simply attended a gathering for a political opposition party is outrageous.

“Such cruel acts of violence, which have repeatedly marred Zimbabwe’s political landscape in the past, gravely threaten the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly,” said Flavia Mwangovya, AI’s deputy director for east and southern Africa.

While acknowledging the reality of violence, Zanu PF distanced itself from the perpetrators.

“It is, therefore, presumptuous, hasty, and even sinister to rush to brand them as Zanu PF members, given that we are in an election season often fraught with all sorts of chicanery,” said Daniel Garwe, the party’s Mashonaland East provincial chairperson and National Housing minister.

He also claimed that it could have been stage-managed violence by the CCC so that the blame would be put on Zanu PF.



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Music at the Farm presents Valentine’s Day concert Feb. 12 – Valley Breeze

BURRILLVILLE – Music at the Farm will present a Valentine’s Day concert on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m., at Grace Note Farm, 969 Jackson Schoolhouse Road, Pascoag.

The concert “Ah, The Birds” will feature flutist Virginia Sindelar and pianist Elias Dagher. They will perform “Martinu’s First Sonata,” “Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat,” “Joueurs de Flute” by Albert Roussel, “Vivaldi Concerto in C Major” (Goldfinch), Massiaen’s “The Black Bird” and Jules Mouquet’s “Pan and the Birds.”

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Ukraine war – latest: Russia hints it will do something to ‘gain world’s … – Sky News

Positive signs are emerging that the West is willing to provide more, and better, weapons to Ukraine. But with the first anniversary of the conflict fast approaching, there are fears that Ukraine and Russia could remain locked in stalemate over the next year. 

Professor Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, has warned in an essay for Foreign Politics that “incrementally expanding military and economic assistance” – as the West is doing currently – “is likely to only prolong the war indefinitely”. 

He wrote that Ukraine’s allies should start rapidly expanding their weapons deliveries and sanctions on Russia to support a “breakthrough” in the conflict. 

“Even though Putin must understand by now that Ukrainians are willing to fight for as long as it takes to liberate their country, he still believes that time is on his side. That is because Putin expects Western governments and societies to lose their will and interest to keep helping Ukraine,” he said. 

Professor McFaul said the support should be provided “swiftly” – and could even be part of a “Big Bang” to mark the anniversary.

“Rather than providing ATACMs in March, Reapers in June, and jets in September, NATO should go for a Big Bang,” he said. 

“Plans to provide all these systems should be announced on February 24, 2023, the first anniversary of Putin’s invasion. 

“An announcement of this size will produce an important psychological effect inside the Kremlin and Russian society, signaling that the West is committed to Ukraine’s ambition to liberate all occupied territories.”

He acknowledged there were risks to providing more support, but said there were also risks to taking no action.

For example, he said fears that Vladimir Putin could escalate the war have so far not come to fruition. 

“The reason is simple: Putin has no good way of doing so,” Mr McFaul said. 

“He is already using very expensive cruise missiles to attack apartment buildings. He cannot attack NATO, lest he risk a broader war that Russia would lose quickly. That leaves him with only the nuclear option, but even that would not serve him well.”

He added that if the war drags on for years, many more people will die – and this would be “the cost of incrementalism”.

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Beyoncé announces much anticipated ‘Renaissance’ world tour … – The Zimbabwe Mail


Beyoncé is taking her “Renaissance” global — the superstar will start a world tour in Sweden in May with stops throughout Europe and the United States.

The highly anticipated tour announcement she made on Instagram and her website Wednesday comes days before the Grammy Awards on Sunday, where the global superstar is the most nominated artist and could make Recording Academy history.

Beyoncé, the most decorated woman in Grammy history with 28 wins, could break the late Hungarian-British conductor Georg Solti’s record for most awards won if she wins four awards.

Her 2022 album “Renaissance” is a celebration of dance music and is nominated for album of the year. Her tour will make stops in London, Paris, Barcelona and Toronto before ending Sept. 27 in New Orleans.

There were hints that she might tour again after she performed an invite-only show in January in Dubai at the Atlantis The Royal Resort, her first show in four years. Her last solo tour was in 2016, but she went on tour with her husband Jay Z in 2018.

Ticketmaster said in a release that sales will begin Feb. 6 and fans will need to register through their Verified Fan system. Sale times will vary based on city.

Source: AP

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