Sunday, July 30, 2006


The campaign for the Zimbabwe presidential election expected in early 2008 is on.

No, there was no formal announcement by anyone but events in Harare in the past week suggest the fight is on and, once again, it is going to be President Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF and Morgan Tsvangirai, representing a coalition of the opposition parties.

Isn’t Mugabe supposed to retire in 2008, you may ask. And, oh, who chose Tsvangirai as the candidate for what opposition coalition?

It is no rocket science really.

Mugabe has been making the same moves he has made over the last 26 years to announce, indirectly, that he is not gonna let anyone or anything make him lose Zimbabwe house to any opposition leader, particularly Tsvangison.

He has put loyal army personnel in key positions in most strategic institutions, he has since announced an intention to pay war veterans more money and millions of taxpayers Zimkwachas have been allocated to strengthen the National Youth Service (Green Bombers) which we had been made to believe was being disbanded.

To top it all, the president has employed his oldest and most effective trick. Berate his ministers. Call them useless and corrupt and even initiate their arrest and trials. Remember the likes of Kumbirai Kangai in 2000, Chris Kuruneri in 2004 and now Brighton Matonga and possibly other ministers, are in the firing line.

The trick works wonders. Ministers get arrested, ambitious party cadres campaign hard in the hope to fill vacated positions and the masses say; “Ndiva Mugabe chete vanogona”. Before you know it, its another 6 years of Gushungo rule.

On the other hand, Tsvangirai is getting smart by the day. He knows that more than anything, his only chance at grabbing Zim House from Cde Handiende is to lead a united front of all opposition parties.

Contrary to earlier reports that he would boycott a church organized coalition building meeting, he turns up and once he got the chance to stand on the podium, he invites his biggest rival, Arthur Mutambara of the other MDC faction, for an embrace.

My God! It worked like magic. Mutambara was soon gushing that he would have no problem deferring to Tsvangirai. Anybody still thinks Tsvangirai is not intelligent?




So, here goes:

Something very disturbing is happening among us, the Zimbabwean community in Toronto. A fight of sorts between politicians and journalists, no less.

A fight that has a potential to damage personal reputations and community harmony in a foreign land.

The vice chairman for MDC Toronto, Mr. Andrew Mudzingwa is suing journalist Mrs. Mazvita Irene Mlambo for alleged damaging statements published on the MDC Toronto Yahoo Group.

According to a letter of intent to sue, sent to Mrs. Mlambo by Mr. Mudzingwa’s lawyers, Levine, Sherkin, Boussidan – Barristers, the MDC leader was particularly ticked off by Mrs. Mlambo’s assertions, on July 1st, 2006, that he was “involved in fistfights at parties” and “pilfering funds and benefiting himself”.

The letter stated that Mr. Mudzingwa will seek “general damages, special damages and aggravated damages together with interest and costs arising from your actions”. The journalist was given seven days from July 25th, 2006, to make “a clear and unequivocal apology and retraction” if she did not want the lawsuit to proceed.

Mrs. Mlambo is seeking legal advice.

Under normal circumstances, this matter would be stuff that makes interesting reading and the writer and readers alike would gleefully follow the whole saga as it unfolds. Except, this is really a sad example of how we, as a people excel at throwing pot shots at each other and rubbing each other with mud.

In fact, I am as much part of this saga as the two antagonists and I will explain how.

Sometime in January, in my capacity as a journalist, I asked a Mr. Cornellius Msimbe of MDC Dallas, what he thought of the split of the party in Zimbabwe. My idea was to find out how MDC members in the Diaspora were affected by the split and how they were reacting to it.

Mr. Msimbe contacted Mr. Andrew Manyevere, the chairman of the Toronto MDC to find out who I was. Despite that we lived as neighbours in Dallas and that my wife, was in his executive, Mr. Manyevere said he did not know me and he went on to call me such names as “prostitute”, “unclean” and “enemy of the people of Zimbabwe”. He went on to state, in the MDC Toronto Yahoo Group, that he was going to launch an inquiry into my activities.

A concerned MDC member forwarded Mr. Manyevere’s statement to me. I did the responsible thing, I e-mailed Mr. Manyevere seeking explanation – I never got it.

I also wrote to his executive, through vice chairman, Mr. Mudzingwa, seeking a clarification of my crime and why an Inquiry was being launched into my activities – I never got a response from him either.

Many, within MDC Toronto, urged me to sue for the same reasons that Mr. Mudzingwa is suing Mrs. Mlambo –defamation and possibly worse. I did not do that out of respect for Mr.Manyevere as an elder and also because I knew that I was far from being a “prostitute”, “unclean” or an “enemy” of anyone.

But then, sometime in June, Mr. Mudzingwa used the same MDC Toronto Yahoo Group to praise certain journalists at my expense. He implied that they knew journalism better than me because I wrote about faults in MDC Toronto.

Again I was urged to sue, but I did not even so much as react, again because of respect for Mr. Mudzingwa’s views and also because I know my trade and my work speaks for itself.

However, Mrs. Mlambo did not take kindly to Mr. Mudzingwa seeking to divide journalists and particularly for the MDC’s top leadership’s propensity to target me. She did not have to do this, but somebody had to defend our profession and she stood up for us.

Mr. Mudzingwa may feel that he has a right to sue Mrs. Mlambo and surely nobody can begrudge him that.

However, I just need to remind Mr. Mudzingwa that when he accepted his position in MDC, he should have known that all sorts of things will be thrown at him and a lot of his decisions and judgement willbe questioned, sometimes in not so charitable language. He, as a community leader should learn to accept some of these criticisms as a source of inspiration in his leadership role.

At stake, more than anything, is our reputation as Zimbabweans. We stand to lose more with this unnecessary fight than we can gain, individually or as a community.


Monday, July 24, 2006


So, the Toronto District School Board believes it has found a solution to the problem of black children lagging behind in schoolwork.

The "solution" is a program called Africentric Curriculum to be launched in November with 10 social study units that it's hoped will interest black children enough to do better in class.

Among the units will be lessons on Canada's first black politicians and prominent black artists.
The "gem" of them all is a math unit on racial profiling, where students will grapple with data on how and why Toronto police "treat black people more harshly than whites."

This exercise is "not to get students all worked up about racial profiling" says University of Windsor education professor, Andrew Allen.

It is "to allow them to use data about who gets stopped by police to come up with their own conclusions and develop a critical view of the world."

Really, professor? Further, is the aim here to help black students catch up with their schoolwork? I don't think so.

What I see in all this Africentric nonsense is institutionalized racial profiling.
Studying statistics on how many black people are arrested and how "badly" they are treated by the police as compared to white criminals does not make a black student understand and suddenly be able to balance a math equation.

What I get from all this, and no doubt many students will too, is a scare tactic, perhaps to vividly warn black children of how the system allows police to mistreat people like them.

Shouldn't the fact that some Toronto police officers, who are supposed to "serve and protect" all of us are known to treat black people harshly, make it necessary that they attend lessons to deal with the data showing how they are doing a disservice to the black community?

And how does learning about the first black Canadian politicians and leading artists, in a two-week "Africentric" (whatever that means) program, help a student solve a physics or chemistry problem, or write a legible English composition?

If the idea is to address the problem of non-inclusion of black achievers in the formal curriculum for all Canadian students, the solution is simple, rework the curriculum and include the kind of heroes and achievers that black children will identify with.

Why is there an assumption that white or Asian students will not or should not be inspired by black luminaries?
And why should we assume that black students will not be inspired by achievers of other races?

There are deeper problems in the black community that began a long time ago when some people had a "bright idea" to treat blacks as sub-human.
Over the years, remedies have been made to a large extent and continue to be made.

However, amid all the efforts made to ensure equal treatment of all people, there come others -- including black people who should know better -- who get carried away with the idea of pleasing us and end up harming us instead.

When white children fail or lag behind in school, does the TDSB send them to some Eurocentric program to inspire them?

Of course not. They get tutors. They go to summer school. They do extra lessons until they improve.

This is what should be recommended for black students.

Their parents should be notified to help, either by giving their child extra home schooling on the particular subject they are failing or engaging tutors to help out.

Granted, many black families cannot afford such services as tutors. Therein, you see, lies the real problem -- economic inequality.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Controversy with a potential to divide the Catholic Church is brewing in the most unlikely place, Africa, following the nomination of former Tanzanian president Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere for sainthood.

The late African statesman's nomination last year by bishops of the diocese of his native Musoma district is already causing a re-look at the Catholic Church's criteria of declaring someone a candidate for sainthood.

Catholic doctrine states that apart from living strictly by the tenets of the church's teachings, an individual has to have done outstanding faith-guided deeds for humanity when they were living and caused documentable miracles after their death.

It is these merits that Nyerere's supporters have to publish with testimonials to prove the late politician is worthy of joining the exclusive class of people holier than most mortals. That is going to be an uphill struggle.

Not because Nyerere was a politician, as some people are already implying. What will prove difficult is to follow the rules of the process of beatification and fulfil them as expected. Nyerere was known to have been attending Mass and following all the steps of Catholicism on a daily basis and he often fasted.

Fr. Michael Meunier, a Toronto priest who worked in East Africa in the 1990s and is a proponent of the beatification of the late president, recounted to me a story of how a few years before his death, Nyerere was being honoured for his work. Nyerere was said to have not touched the food he had been given because it was during Lent. One of his hosts suggested that when Nyerere meets with God in Heaven, he would confidently declare that he accomplished the work he was put on earth to do.

"Nyerere replied that only Jesus Christ has the right to stand before the Lord and say He accomplished His work. He said when he gets before the Lord, he would only say 'I tried,'" said Meunier. The question is what did he try and how did it turn out vis-à-vis his proposed beatification.

Compared to such candidates as the late Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Nyerere's case will be rather arduous to prove. He attended Mass every day, fasted and did other Christian things, but thousands more unknown people could have done that and even have surpassed him.

As a politician he is as revered as the likes of Nelson Mandela of South Africa and he led his people to self-rule as well as democracy by the time he retired in 1985. However, it is in that process of becoming a national leader and continental statesman that he made decisions and actions that would make his beatification controversial.

Upon leading Tanzania out of British colonial rule in the early 1960s, Nyerere introduced his own brand of socialism, Ujamaa (familyhood), a policy of communal agriculture modelled on Mao Zedong's collectivization in China — minus the brutality.

Ujamaa failed dismally and by the time Nyerere resigned from the presidency and declared "I failed" in 1985, Tanzania had been reduced from Africa's largest exporter of agricultural products to the largest importer of the same.

Tanzania still has not recovered from that disastrous policy and is now rated one of the world's poorest countries. Nyerere is considered father of Pan Africanism and is one of the leaders who came up with the idea to start the Organization of African Unity.

He was personally instrumental in the formation, funding and successful execution of the independence movement that swept east and southern Africa from the late 1960s right up to 1994 when South Africa became democratic. However, during all that time, Nyerere was suppressing the need for multiparty democracy in his own country.

He also took his country to war with Uganda to drive out the brutal dictator, Idi Amin, but in his place, he re-imposed another dictator, Milton Obote, whose authoritarian rule had caused Amin to come to power in the first place. He was also instrumental in the coup that brought France-Albert Rene to power in The Seychelles.

Of the freedom movement protégés he supported actively, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has turned out to be a dictatorial monster in the same mould as Idi Amin. Admittedly, Nyerere cannot be penalized for actions of the Obotes and Mugabes, but his own actions in it all will make his candidacy for beatification very hard to defend.

In my view, Nyerere was an African scholar-turned-politician who played his part to free the people of Africa admirably. He led his people with the compassion only a true Christian could do, but his desire to produce a perfect community in the region also caused him to make some mistakes. Will these mistakes stand the test of beatification? I doubt it.


Saturday, July 15, 2006


Little Simbarashe Edmore Jowa was laid to rest in Brampton on Saturday. As the last shovelful of dirt was thrown onto the mount that is to be the permanent mark of what was once a vivacious young boy, I felt renewed pain in my heart. The kind of pain all parents feel.

For Simba’s parents and others who have lost children, it is the pain of finally realizing that “my son, my daughter” is really gone.

For the rest of us, it is the pain of knowing that it could have happened to us. It is the kind of pain that comes because you want to take some of the pain off Edmore and Nyaradzo’s hearts, but you know you cannot.

I did not know Simba or his parents. In fact, when I first heard the sad news on CTV on Monday night, I was not paying attention, so all I heard was that two kids were rescued from some creek and one drowned. It was sad news but I was removed from it.

Then the following morning I bought the Toronto Sun newspaper and there his picture was, beaming like all kids of his age always are. The name “Simbarashe” hit me hard. He could only be Zimbabwean. As I read the story and recalled what I had half seen on TV the previous night, my heart sank.

I had just left my own seven-year-old son at home. He is as active as Simba must have been. I imagined someone calling me with the sad news that my son has been in an accident. Just the thought scared me and my heart went to the Jowas immediately.

Today, as I joined hundreds of other Zimbabweans, Canadians and other nationals celebrating Simba’s last day among us, I marveled at how Simba managed, in death, to bring us together.

My wife and I met a number of people we had last seen years ago in Zimbabwe, some of them relatives we did not even know were here in Canada. No doubt other people had similar experiences.

Simba’s departure even brought out the best of speakers to rally the Zimbabwe community together and urge more unity and full integration into the Canadian society, so Simba’s living peers could live longer and prosper, closer and around his final home than to move away.

Simba, to me you are a seed that we planted today here in Canada. God took you away from us for a purpose and that purpose is to unite us all the children of Zimbabwe.

Rest in Peace Big Guy and we shall always sing your song, “NdiJesu Chete.”


Sunday, July 09, 2006


I said it, didn't I? That it was totally irresponsible for Kofi Annan to let an openly pro-Mugabe former Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa to mediate in Zimbabwe's crisis.

It made me believe rumours that Annan is actually coverting the presidency in his native Ghana. He, by the way, is leaving his United Nations Secretary-Generalship in December and may find himself without a position of influence, hence the idea that he may be eyeing John Kufour's throne and that he wants to stake the support of the Bad Boys of Africa Group (BBAG) for which Mugabe is an integral part.

Anyway, it was heartening this weekend to read that pressure is being applied on Annan's UN to be directly involved in efforts to talk sense into Mugabe to relinguish power in Zimbabwe.

Reports from Washington say diplomatic movers want UN Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari to be called on to help advance the mediation process. Gambari, the UN’s top political officer, actually has the backing of the United States, Britain, Denmark and Japan among other democracies.

Lets hope Mugabe allows Gambari to do his job.



Its all over till we meet again in Africa. Yes, God willing, I will be in South Africa in 2010 to cheer Zimbabwe this time around and so it should be.

They were not at this year's World Cup so I had the luxury of supporting any other team without feeling guilty and I chose England despite the political hatred between Tony Blair and Robert Mugabe. Well, they are the politicians, they can deal with it.

When England was booted out, I went for France but we all know they came out second best just a few minutes ago.

The just ended World Cup came a few months after I inagurated my blog and I just thought of trying my hand at soccer analysis/armchair coaching. I used my own brand of sports commentary, that is masking my inability to play by pretending, to those who don't know, that I am some kind of pro.

To my surprise, I attracted myself a little fan club, including some serious soccer followers who gave me tips and some of the wayward predictions I made.

Most importantly, my rather zany interest in the beautiful game rubbed onto some of my friends who otherwise did not even know or care about soccer. Patricia, an American, got so interested that she supported Ghana all the way.

I got feedback from a lot of readers of this blog some patting me on the back for coming up with a not so serious way to comment on sports yet others laughed at my lack of foresight.

But the best of all was that Saleem Samad, editor of Toronto-based South Asian newspaper, Durdesh, offered me a weekly column for my "unusual sports commentary". Mind you South Asia is not really a soccer region, so the gesture means a lot to me, thanks Saleem.

So, after all is said and done, I am happy with myself and I will be glad to keep bombarding you'll with my version of commentary on my favourite sports, soccer, tennis, athletics, swimming and basketball.

By the way, my Nadal lost to Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Venus Williams had already bowed out in the early rounds. I feel like I am betting on dead horses all the way, but i will not stop.

Canada is due to host the FIFA Under 20 World Cup next year. So, watch this space.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Those who read this blog regularly will know that I said it before. Mugabe is preparing to stay in power until he drops dead. And typical of any dictator, he is putting his trust in soldiers, men and women who take orders and ask no questions. Men and women he knows as long as he keeps them happy, they will not turn their guns on him.

Is it surprising then to hear from Harare that he intends to appoint one more army man, former Airforce of Zimbabwe commodore, Mike Karakadzai to run the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH). A media insitution of all organizations.

He now has almost all key economic institutions run by active or former soldiers, now information dissemination is going to be done at the point of a gun.

Remember that recently there was a call from the Zimbabwe government for all journalists to undergo national service (read Zanu PF indoctrination). Now, Karakadzai is likely to require that television and radio journalists undergo military training.

How will it all end?



A friend forwarded me this story and I am reproducing it as is. It is not for the faint-hearted!!!!!!


A man from Nkalokazi in Highflats has been found guilty of attempted rape after he was caught raping a pair of panties.

Dlokodla Xaba (35) was found guilty by Induna Muzi Mkhize after a woman (27) laid a charge of attempted rape against him after she caught him raping her panties in a tree behind her house. The woman also said he harmed her dignity.

The woman said she left her clothes on the line. Among the clothes were her panties. When she realised that one pair was missing she started looking for them. She found Xaba hanging them in a tree and raping them.

"When I asked him what he was doing, he told me that it had been a long time. He told me that he loved me but that I was ignoring him, so he raped my panties to satisfy himself," said the woman.

Xaba pleaded not guilty and said he did not rape anybody as it was just a panty. "I did not want to commit a crime. I thought it would be safe if I had sex with her because I love her, but she did not want to fall in love with me. I have been asking her to marry me since last year. when I saw her panties hanging on the washing line it turned me on. I do not think I can be charged for this. It was only panties," pleaded Xaba.

But the Induna said Xaba degraded the woman's dignity by taking her underwear and raping it.

Well, what can one say.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006


A little bird whispered it in my ear recently but I shooed it off because I was not in the mood for gossip. Besides, I could not imagine a world diplomat of Kofi Annan's caliber thinking, let alone applying, to become a member of the Bad Boys of Africa Gang (BBAG).

BBAG is the grouping of Africa's leaders who get into power on a popular ticket and then refuse to go - read Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni among others.

My rumour-mongering little bird swears on everything in the world that it heard that Annan, who is due to leave the United Nations in December, is eyeing the presidency in his native Ghana and he knows that to get that post, he will need the full support of the BBAG, so he will do anything to please them.

Boy, how I wish I had not shooed off that rumor-mongering bird. It could have warned me of what happened in Banjul, The Gambia on Saturday, July 1st, 2006. On that day, when all of Zimbabwe's suffering 13 million citizens and our worldwide sympathizers were pinning hopes on "level headed" Annan to rescue us from the Tyrant of Harare, Baba VaChatunga, what does the world's top diplomat do; he fakes a meeting with Bob (all of 30 minutes) and comes out to announce that he won't mediate in Zimbabwe's problems. He is leaving that to former Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa.

Mkapa, honestly Annan? With due respect to a fellow journalist (Mkapa is a journalist actually), this is the same guy who recently wrote an article declaring his unwavering support for Mugabe.

Mkapa, drew parallels between Mugabe and Tanzania's first president, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere neglecting to mention that Nyerere is still revered, years after he died, because he owned up for making a mistake with his ill-conceived brand of socialism that left his country on the verge of starvation. After apologizing publicly, Nyerere gave up power voluntarily. Mugabe is refusing to do that.

Mkapa extols Mugabe's struggle against colonialism. Well, nobody disputes that. It is the present that he is messing and whatever good he did in the past is now being erased by his wayward leadership. Now for Annan to come to Banjul (where another dictator, Yayah Jameh is refusing to go) and tell the world that Mkapa will mediate between Mugabe and the opposition - that’s really a joke in very bad taste.



Last weekend I was taken in with the holiday spirit gripping everybody in Canada, for Saturday, July 1 was Canada Day. Modern Canada is 139 years old.

On that day, our first ever, Canada Day, my family and I took off to the world famous Niagara Falls. We were not disappointed. The Falls are a natural wonder and the beautiful facade of five star hotels flanking the Falls make it a double spectacle for those like me who marvel at both natural creations and technological advancement.

However, I must admit. Coming from Zimbabwe, home to the Mighty Victoria Falls, Niagara seems like a cute puppy while the Mosi-oa-Tunya - "The Smoke that Thunders" is like Cliford, the Big Red Dog, all scary and adorable at the same time.

Although I have always disputed the recorded history that Dr. David Livingstore, the famous British world explorer of the 1850s, was the first ever to see the Victoria Falls, I still believe his description of them remains the most apt.

Upon stumbling at the spectacle nature had thrown in his path through the jungles of Africa, Dr. Livingstone is said to have uttered: "Scenes so lovely must be gazed upon by angels in their flight."

You only need to go there and see for yourself. Actually, my advice to anybody thinking of visiting both wonders, is to visit Niagara first and finish with the Victoria Falls.


Monday, July 03, 2006


I know you have been waiting for it. You want to see me cry crocodile tears for England. Well, go ahead and laugh because I have actually been mourning England's loss to Portugal.

But, now that I am done mourning, what is left in me is anger. I am angry at myself really. See: I let myself be talked into going out of town on Canada Day, July 1, the day of England's quarter finals match with Portugal. That meant that I would not be available to watch the match and direct the boys since I declared myself their Long Distance Armchair Coach.

Also, being the team's self-elected Talisman, I erred by not wearing my England T-shirt on that trip out of town. So, it was not really surprising when someone sent me a text message that we had lost. I am sorry guys, I take the blame!!!!!!!!

But, Sol, Ashley and young Walcoat, come August, I will be on my couch every Saturday to cheer you on as we (Arsenal) challenge for the Premier League Championship. And talking of Arsenal, call me fickle, but I am now with France all because of one Thierry Henry.

I know my prediction scores for World Cup have been going down. It was a 50 for the quarter finals and now I tip Germany and France (if you are reading this now, you may already know that I mised the mark on Germany because it was beaten 2-0 in the last two minutes of extra time) to slug it out on July 9 with France taking the cup.

As for my England T-shirt, I have decided to wear it whenever France is playing until after the competition. What I will do with it after that, I do not know yet.