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Zambia, Zimbabwe: Preserving a legacy of unity, co-operation – The Herald

Innocent Mujeri


The historical camaraderie between Zambia and Zimbabwe is one that has always been admired, not only within the confines of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, but also across the entire African continent.

To many, the two nations have long been perceived as Siamese twins, sharing deep-rooted Pan-Africanist ideologies, visions of a united Africa, and resistance against undue external influences.

It is thus surprising, if not disheartening, to witness the strain that has emerged between the two nations during the tenure of President Hakainde Hichilema in Zambia.

The names Nevers Mumba and Joseph Kalimbwe have surfaced, with allegations of being instigators of hostilities towards Zimbabwe.

One may ponder: What has changed?

There is an old African saying that says: “When two brothers fight, it’s the neighbour that enjoys the show.”

Within the fabric of African unity, it is crucial for countries, especially those sharing strong historical ties, to avoid public spats and misunderstandings that can be exploited by external players with ulterior motives.

The resurgence of Zimbabwe’s economy under the guidance of President Mnangagwa is nothing short of remarkable.

Faced with challenges such as sanctions and international pressures, the country’s recovery trajectory seems to defy expectations.

Its economic strides, notably surpassing Zambia in certain sectors, are evidence of its resilience and adaptability.

With a renewed vigour, Zimbabwe has showcased considerable progress in areas ranging from infrastructure development to commerce, capturing regional and global attention.

However, with such success comes a complex interplay of reactions.

The tourism sector, for instance, has witnessed Zimbabwe registering a higher number of visitors than Zambia.

These achievements, while worthy of celebration, have seemingly cast a shadow of competition rather than camaraderie.

One cannot help, but wonder if Zimbabwe’s economic renaissance is being viewed through the lens of envy instead of being seen as an inspiring testament to what African nations can achieve even against significant odds.

Mumba and Kalimbwe, along with other regional figures, must recognise and understand the underlying dynamics of relationships between neighbouring states.

Competition, while inherent to nation-states striving for progress, should always be grounded in constructiveness.

When individuals or entities engage in actions that intentionally tarnish the image of a fellow nation for ephemeral gains, they inadvertently harm the integrity and well-being of both involved nations.

The long-term consequences of such actions can be far-reaching, undermining years of diplomatic efforts and partnerships.

Furthermore, these negative strategies do not just stop at bilateral repercussions.

They significantly erode the foundational mutual trust that binds countries together.

Joseph Kalimbwe

Such divisive tactics cast an unwarranted shadow over the united endeavours of the SADC nations.

The primary vision of SADC is to cultivate a cohesive, collaborative regional environment, where each member nation thrives while supporting its neighbours.

Actions that go against this spirit not only hinder individual nations but also stunt the collective growth and unity of the entire region.

It is essential to differentiate between healthy competition and malicious intent.

If the root cause of the current tension stems from the perceived threat of Zimbabwe’s resurgence, then it is vital for leaders to remember that one nation’s success can be beneficial to its neighbours.

Instead of being threatened, there is an opportunity for mutual learning and shared growth.

The concerns about Mumba and Kalimbwe’s alleged actions should not overshadow the age-old ties between the two countries.

If their actions are indeed detrimental to the bilateral relations, it becomes incumbent upon President Hichilema to ensure that individual ambitions do not override the national interest.

Such introspection is essential for both nations to move forward amicably. It is vital to respect the sovereignty of each nation.

While open dialogue is encouraged, there is a fine line between constructive criticism and unwarranted interference.

Both nations have a rich history, with stalwarts like President Kenneth Kaunda, Cdes Joshua Nkomo, and Robert Mugabe laying the foundations for co-operation.

Their legacies are too precious to be jeopardised by fleeting disagreements or misunderstandings.

Again, the current tiff between Zambia and Zimbabwe does not serve the interests of either nations or the broader African continent.

It is a momentary hiccup in a long-standing relationship that has weathered much more significant storms.

Both nations have more to gain from unity and cooperation than from discord.

The shared spirit of Pan-Africanism, coupled with mutual respect and understanding, is the path forward.

For the sake of the future generations and in honour of the past leaders who envisaged a united front, Zambia and Zimbabwe must find common ground and rekindle their legendary bond.

The African dream of unity, prosperity, and self-reliance is too important to be sidelined by transient disagreements.

The SADC region and the continent at large will undoubtedly benefit from their harmonious collaboration.

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Bulawayo colleges open companies as Education 5.0 bears fruit – The Herald

Bulawayo Bureau

BULAWAYO’S Hillside Teachers’ College and the United College of Education have ventured into full-time industrialisation through establishing and registering new companies in line with the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 model.

The development adds impetus to the on-going efforts by the Government to re-industrialise Bulawayo and anchor the country’s economy on increased high-value production with a focus on substituting imports and stimulating export earnings.

UCE, which specialises in primary school teacher training has set up a company called Collinvest (Pvt) Ltd and registered it with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ). 

The new company deals with musical instruments and production of protective clothing as well as uniforms.

UCE principal, Dr Adam Luthuli, has said the college, in line with Education 5.0 philosophy on innovation and industrialisation, is now producing goods and services.

“The college’s company, Collinvest (Pvt) Ltd, which is registered with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ), is overwhelmed with requests for musical instruments, protective clothing and uniforms. Our company has received orders from Gwanda State University, Manicaland State University. Kusile Rural District Council, Hwange Rural District Council, United Bulawayo Hospitals and Harare Central Hospital,” he said on Friday during the institution’s graduation ceremony. 

Dr Luthuli said the company is into production and repair of marimba, mbira and was also running chicken and piggery projects.

He said the company intends to produce assistive devices such as hearing aids, wheelchairs and prostheses or artificial body parts.

Hillside Teachers’ College, which was established in 1956 to train secondary school teachers, has already set up a secondary school as part of efforts to bridge the shortage of schools in the country while pursuing other commercial ventures.

A total of 56 Form One learners are now attending classes from the main campus awaiting the construction of new school premises in Matobo District after the local authority gave the institution a 24-hectare piece of land.

The college is also producing nutritious ‘Madhumbe Crisps’, a product that has been approved by the Government analyst laboratory and is expected to hit the market soon.

One of the female students at the college has also come up with a unique garment design concept to assist breastfeeding mothers and T-shirt, which allows a mother to breastfeed in public without exposing any part of her body.

Hillside Teachers’ College acting principal, Dr Sifelani Jabangwe, said the national agenda of attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030 was premised on innovation and industrialisation, which puts colleges and universities in the spotlight to lead from the front.

“As we celebrate our ceremony under the theme: ‘Transformative Teacher Education for Accelerated Innovation and Industrialisation’, I would like to underscore the fact that it is imperative for us as a college to have our teacher education bringing innovation and industrialisation into the foreground,” he said. 

“Against this backdrop, we have embraced these two concepts as part of our core mandate in line with  Education 5.0 and have since embarked on a number of projects, which are reflective of this stance.”

Following the Government’s call for colleges to assist former students to form consortiums and establish schools, Dr Jabangwe said 10 former students approached the college expressing an interest in establishing a high school. 

“We were offered 24ha of land in Matobo district about 30 km from Bulawayo. We are ready to start phase one of the construction of the school.”

“I am pleased to inform you that January 2023 saw the college’s commencement of two form-one classes with an enrolment of 56 learners at our newly established practicing school,” he said. 

“We have had to create space for those classes within the infrastructure that we have for now. However, as we look to enrol classes in future, our plan is to build the school at our Hillside Teachers’ College 4ha extension stand. 

“The college is working closely with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to regularise operations of the school.”

 Dr Jabangwe said three college students and a lecturer have initiated a project to produce Madhumbe crisps.

“The project uses the local resource, madhumbe tuber. The product has been tried and tested and has also undergone assessment by Government analyst laboratory,” he said. 

“I am actually happy to say that the same product is actually available and is on sale right here on our campus and has been packaged as Hill Madhumbe Crisps advertised as ‘Traditional crispy taste just for you!”.

Dr Jabangwe said the college had also established a recording studio that is set to benefit the institution through recording fees to be paid by local artists although lecturers and students are the immediate beneficiaries.

He said the college was hoping to step up production of breastfeeding dress which was designed by one of the students which allows the mother to breastfeed in public without exposing any part of her body. 

The Education 5.0 blue-print prioritises the development of five-main faculties in learners, which include teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation as key pillars driving an innovation-led and knowledge-driven economy.

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Lithium firms form association – The Herald

Michael Tome Business Reporter

LOCAL lithium companies have officially launched an association aimed at promoting the development of the industry.

The Association of Chinese New Energy Miners (ACNEM) is critical to enhance communication between the lithium miners and local stakeholders including the Government while safeguarding the rights and interests of its members.

Entities involved in the initiative include Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe, Sabi Star Mine, Gwanda Lithium, Sinomine Bikita Minerals Spodumene Project, Kamativi Lithium Project, and Global Platinum Resources.

Addressing delegates at the official launch ceremony, Mines and Mining Development Minister Zhemu Soda said: “It is pleasing to note that as Zimbabwe we host various battery minerals that include lithium, graphite, nickel, and cobalt. The development of these resources will contribute significantly to the country’s vision of becoming a prosperous Upper Middle-Income Economy by 2030.

“Chinese companies are at the forefront of new energy technology, and they have a wealth of experience in developing and operating new energy projects. This Association will bring together Chinese and Zimbabwean companies to work together to develop Zimbabwe’s new energy sector. The Association of Chinese New Energy Miners in Zimbabwe is a welcome addition to the Zimbabwean business community,” said Minister Soda.

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Zhou Ding said the establishment of the association would boost Zimbabwe’s new energy sector.

“I believe that the association will also serve as a bridge to facilitate China-Zimbabwe cooperation in the new energy mining sector, encourage its members to better practice corporate social responsibility, protect their legitimate rights and interests, and push for the healthy, sustainable and high-quality development of Chinese mining companies in Zimbabwe,” Ambassador Ding said.

Ambassador Ding said the mining industry output has increased to US$9,8 billion in 2022 from US$2, 9 billion in 2017. ACNEM president Mr Wang Zhenhua said Zimbabwe was poised to become an important player in the global new energy industry supply chain.

“Currently, Chinese-funded lithium mining companies are the main ones. In the following stage, we will do our best to recruit various types of lithium mining companies in Zimbabwe, such as locally-owned lithium mines, other capital-funded lithium mining companies, and upstream and downstream companies. We will work together to seek common development.

“Encourage member companies to expand and strengthen business and dig into the downstream chain, support value addition, and extend industrial chain when and where conditions allow. Create more jobs and social wealth for Zimbabwe and promote greater development of the mining industry,” said Mr Zhenhua.

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Zambian President fires Information Minister amid rising tensions … – The Zimbabwe Mail

Chushi Kasanda

THE embattled Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has terminated Chushi Kasanda’s appointment as Information and Media Minister, replacing her with UPND spokesperson and Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa.

The President has also removed Dr Anna Songolo from the office of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and has further appointed Thabo Kawana as Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary.

Meanwhile, President Hichilema has appointed Dr Ron Mwambwa as Auditor General, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

According to a statement issued by State House Chief Communications Specialist Clayson Hamasaka, Monday, the President has appointed Princess Kasune as Central Province Minister after transferring Credo Nanjuwa to be Minister for Southern Province

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