Zimbabwe: Let’s make farming attractive to youths

By Sheuneni Kurasha

I welcome you dear reader to this inaugural installment of our weekly column, Farmer’s Diary.

We will be exploring all things farming.

The purpose is to share knowledge and exchange experiences on farming and help each other to be more efficient and productive farmers.

After all, “kugara nhaka kuona dzevamwe” (we become better by observing how others do things).

When I decided to go into commercial farming as a young professional, seven years back, I did not just have the task of convincing my spouse that I was going into a noble business.

I equally had to face a barrage of questions from many of my friends and colleagues who were sceptical if I had made the right decision to consider farming as a business.

Seven years on, my wife has not only supported me, but has also joined in and brought in new perspectives inspired by her engineering background.

This is a story for another day.

It occurred to me that farming was not so “cool” for many of my friends in the late twenties and early forties.

I vividly recall one friend quipping that, “We are really getting old, even one of us is now a farmer.”

It is not surprising that farming either as a career option or business is not a popular option among the youth.

After all, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the global average age of farmers is 60-years-old.

This means there are simply not enough young successful farmers to look up to. Farming is typically viewed as a rural venture for old people and one where people go into it as a last resort and often on a subsistence basis.

This brings me to my next point.

In the last seven years, I have been into commercial farming, specialising in pedigree livestock breeding, particularly boran cattle, boer goats and damara sheep, I have witnessed a growing interest among young people aged between 30 and 40 years in venturing into commercial farming.

I now spend hours on end responding to inquiries on our farming Facebook Page, on how young people can break the barriers and go into farming.

We need to realise that if Zimbabwe is ever to address the perennial food-related challenges such as food insecurity, malnutrition, and increasing food prices, in a sustainable manner, there is urgent need to make sure that more and younger people are incentivised to go into farming and remain there.

In my view, the primary duty to ensure that young people are attracted to farming lies with the Government.

There should be immediate and deliberate policy measures and specific programme interventions aimed at making young people view farming as viable and a fashionable career and business option.

This is more imperative considering that Zimbabwe, just like other African countries, has over 60 percent of its whole population below 24-years-old.

In addition, families are also centres of nurturing future farmers and luring them to take farming as a career and business option from an early age.

Hence the saying: farmers beget farmers.

make farming attractive to youths
Let’s make farming attractive to youths
Sheuneni Kurasha
I welcome you dear reader to this inaugural installment of our weekly column, Farmer’s Diary.

We will be exploring all things farming.

The purpose is to share knowledge and exchange experiences on farming and help each other to be more efficient and productive farmers.

After all, “kugara nhaka kuona dzevamwe” (we become better by observing how others do things).

When I decided to go into commercial farming as a young professional, seven years back, I did not just have the task of convincing my spouse that I was going into a noble business.

I equally had to face a barrage of questions from many of my friends and colleagues who were sceptical if I had made the right decision to consider farming as a business.

Seven years on, my wife has not only supported me, but has also joined in and brought in new perspectives inspired by her engineering background.

This is a story for another day.

It occurred to me that farming was not so “cool” for many of my friends in the late twenties and early forties.

I vividly recall one friend quipping that, “We are really getting old, even one of us is now a farmer.”

It is not surprising that farming either as a career option or business is not a popular option among the youth.

After all, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the global average age of farmers is 60-years-old.

This means there are simply not enough young successful farmers to look up to. Farming is typically viewed as a rural venture for old people and one where people go into it as a last resort and often on a subsistence basis.

This brings me to my next point.

In the last seven years, I have been into commercial farming, specialising in pedigree livestock breeding, particularly boran cattle, boer goats and damara sheep, I have witnessed a growing interest among young people aged between 30 and 40 years in venturing into commercial farming.

I now spend hours on end responding to inquiries on our farming Facebook Page, on how young people can break the barriers and go into farming.

We need to realise that if Zimbabwe is ever to address the perennial food-related challenges such as food insecurity, malnutrition, and increasing food prices, in a sustainable manner, there is urgent need to make sure that more and younger people are incentivised to go into farming and remain there.

In my view, the primary duty to ensure that young people are attracted to farming lies with the Government.

There should be immediate and deliberate policy measures and specific programme interventions aimed at making young people view farming as viable and a fashionable career and business option.

This is more imperative considering that Zimbabwe, just like other African countries, has over 60 percent of its whole population below 24-years-old.

In addition, families are also centres of nurturing future farmers and luring them to take farming as a career and business option from an early age.

Hence the saying: farmers beget farmers.

One of the major impediments for young people to go into commercial agriculture is cost and, thus, access to farming land. For Zimbabwe, the Land Reform Programme will have failed if it does not include a deliberate policy to promote access to land by young people.

One of the ways in which Zimbabwe and other African countries can harvest on the demographic dividend is through attracting young people into farming and supporting them to become successful farmers.

After all, young people can easily harness technological advancements, including social media tools to enhance their productivity and profitability.

Social media tools facilitate access to information and exchange information, including experiences and existing opportunities.

As the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina observed, the next generation of millionaires and billionaires in Africa will be farmers.

We need to get more young people into farming.

For feedback, kindly get in touch on email: kurashas@gmail.com

Source Sunday Mail

Zimbabwe: MDC Youth leader acquitted


By Mandla Ndlovu


MDC Youth President Happymore Chidziva has been acquitted of charges of inciting public violence by a Gweru magistrate.

Chidziva was being accused of inciting public violence during the pre-election campaign rally in Gweru last year.

He was being represented by his Lawyer, Jeremiah Mutongi Bamu from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Chidziva was arrested together with Chamunorwa Madya, the Deputy Secretary-General for the MDC Alliance Youth Assembly and one Mafaiti Mubaiwa. Madya and Mafaiti were charged over the August 1 post-election violence.


Source Bulawayo24


Zimbabwe giants Dynamos call on Cameroon ex-youth in rebuilding exercise


By Michael Madyira


The Zimbabwean giants have endured a trophy-dry spell for the past four seasons

Dynamos will next week assess three players from Cameroon as they move a gear up in their rebuilding exercise.

Former Cameroon youth international midfielder Herve Vincent Mbega, Theodore Landry Tsala and Claude Ngahan Junior are expected in Zimbabwe next week for trials.

Ngahan is also an ex-Cameroon U-20 national striker while Mbega represented Cameroon at the 2011 Fifa Under-20 World Cup.

The Harare giants have gone for the past four seasons without winning the league title after enjoying a dominant run from 2011 to 2014 that saw them claim the league crown in those seasons.

Much emphasis has now been placed on recruiting a striker among the players who will undergo trials. “We are expecting one other striker from Cameroon and the other from Ivory Coast and even if they arrive, it will be a bonus. Otherwise, I think we are comfortable with what we have,” Dynamos coach Lloyd Chigowe told The Herald.

“Last week we had two Ghanaians. One of them is here and the other one I think is now training at CAPS United. We will retain the midfielder, we are impressed with his qualities.

“We are going to propose to the executive that we have a training camp probably in Zambia or in Malawi but it’s all subject to the budget allowing.

“Otherwise if it can’t be done we will find somewhere to camp locally and make sure that we bond away from the glare of the public.”

Dynamos have already signed Congolese striker Ngandu Mangala while they also close to securing the signature of Ghanaian midfielder Robert Saki.


Source Goal.com


Zimbabwe: Mash Central MDC youth leader jailed 6 years


By Simbarashe Sithole/Kenneth Nyangani


MDC Alliance provincial youth chairman for Mashonaland Central, Tonderai Samhu, and four accomplices were on Monday slapped with a six-year jail term each by a Bindura magistrate for barricading roads and burning tyres in Mvurwi during last month’s protests, which were triggered by fuel price hikes.

Samhu (34), together with Wonder Zuze (35), Beverly Mureya (41), Patris Dandajena (34) and Elisha Benjamin (50), had two years of their sentence suspended by magistrate Vongai Guwuriro.

The five were part of the 12 Mvurwi protesters who were arrested last month, while seven others were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Prosecutor Clement Kuwanda told the court that on January 14, the five mobilised people to gather at Mvurwi Community Hall the following day in protest against the fuel price hikes.

On January 15, the convicts met at Stardic service station in Mvurwi, where they broke into song, beating drums and dancing.

They drew the attention of other Mvurwi residents, who joined in.

The group of about 150 people marched towards Rwizi service station and later to the Mvurwi- Guruve Road, where they blocked the road with stones and worn-out tyres.

Kuwanda said they blocked the intersection of Dawson Road and Birmingham Avenue using the wreckage of a Mercedes-Benz.

They also blocked Harare-Mvurwi and Mvurwi-Mutorashanga highways using council refuse bins, drainage pipes, electricity poles, stones and logs.

They also burnt tyres in the middle of the road, obstructing the free movement of people and threatened to torch vehicles passing by.

Meanwhile, another Mutare protester was yesterday slapped with a three-year jail sentence for barricading roads and burning tyres during the three-day Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions-organised stayaway.

Liberty Sithole (30) appeared before provincial magistrate Sekai Chiundura who, however, suspended one year for five years on condition of good behaviour.

It is the State case that on January 15, Joseph Mushati saw smoke in the air near Islamic Church in Dangamvura and went to investigate.

Mushati reportedly saw the convict in the company of others, who are still at large, burning tyres and barricading roads with stones at Boka turn-off, thereby blocking the free flow of traffic.

The informant continued to follow the convict, who continued to barricade roads, before reporting him to police.


Source News Day


Zimbabwe: Youth League Rallies Behind ED


By Freeman Razemba


The Zanu-PF Youth League yesterday reaffirmed its full support for President Mnangagwa’s efforts at turning around the economy and urged the nation to be united, peaceful and focused.

The league’s secretary for information and publicity, Cde Yeukai Simbanegavi, who was addressing a press conference after the league’s first national executive meeting of the year, said the President was working hard to make sure that the promises made in the party’s manifesto that was used during the elections which emphasised re-engagement, fighting corruption, keeping Zimbabweans united and the creation of jobs were realised.

She said they understood the task at hand and had absolute faith in the direction that the President was taking the nation.

“We have had a very fruitful meeting and as the Youth League representing the entire youths from Zimbabwe from all the 10 provinces, we stand in support of the Government and the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

“We support the President’s efforts in turning the economy around. He has not been resting since he was elected and is still making sure that the manifesto that was put across during the elections of re-engagement, fighting corruption, keeping Zimbabweans united and the creation of jobs is achieved,” she said.

Cde Simbanegavi said the measures and policies that Government had put in place such as bringing fuel prices in line with those obtaining in the region were welcome.

“Those who mean the country well and have no other nefarious political agendas will agree that the move by the President has paid off. There are no more fuel queues and the black market has died. We also applaud the President for providing the cushioning allowance for civil servants against economic hardships. The youth league understands and has absolute faith in where the President is taking the nation, which is to achieve economic and political stability as a county,” she said.

She said as the Youth League they were also taking part in ensuring that Vision 2030 was achieved and that the national executive had come up with a raft of economic activities for the youths of Zimbabwe to engage in.

“We also want to warn non-governmental organisations and small political parties such as the MDC-Alliance to desist from using youths as political weapons of mass destruction.

“Youths are the future and we condemn those that want to use young people to bring darkness in the country through burning and vandalising homes and businesses, sabotaging the economy by forcing people from their economic endeavours.

“We remind these that President Emmerson Mnangagwa believes in political freedom for all. All of us have been given space to engage freely at every level. However, we should respect every citizens’ right not to be forced to take part in stay-aways and riots that are organised by individuals hiding behind social media,” Cde Simbanegavi said.

She said the Youth League was not weak and would deal with any rogue elements.

She said they had noted that there were some local and international groupings as well as NGOs who were engaging in clandestine activities aimed at distracting the President from turning around the economy.

“They are still calling for stay-aways in the media. Some are in the Diaspora, we urge them to stop trying to do that forthwith. The media should also set the correct narrative about the election results.

“We can’t stay in election mode forever. Elections are over and (Nelson) Chamisa lost to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa by over 400 000 votes and that is the population of a whole province. The 0,6 percent is just a random statistic but 400 000 is a specific number that shows the gap that Chamisa lost by,” she said.

Cde Simbanegavi said there were organisations that were also going to court to assist the looters and rioters arrested by the security forces.

“We ask why these lawyers that are going to represent these rioters and looters are also not going to represent those whose shops, cars, buses and homes have been vandalised and burnt?” she said.


Source Herald


Zimbabwean Goal Keeper Joins Spanish Side


By Staff reporter


RISING Zimbabwean goalkeeper Martin Mapisa took a huge leap towards his dream of becoming a fully-fledged professional footballer in Europe when he joined Spanish lower division outfit Velez CF. He signed a two-year contract after arriving from Malaga-based side CD Almunecar this week.

The tall 20-year-old goalminder was officially unveiled by the club on Tuesday together with German striker Mathias Comes. Mapisa has been a sensation since joining CD Almunecar from Aces Youth Soccer Academy of Zimbabwe together with compatriot midfielder Abubakar Moffat.

The Tercera División is the fourth level of the Spanish football league system. “Vélez Club de Fútbol is a Spanish football team based in Vélez-Málaga, in the autonomous community of Andalusia.

”Founded in 1922, it plays in Tercera División – Group 9, holding home matches at Estadio Vivar Téllez, with a capacity of 3 000,” according to the club’s official website. However, central midfielder Moffat is likely to remain with his current employers for a further six months with the current transfer window closing today.

AYSA founder and director, Nigel Munyati, confirmed the latest developments. “Yes that is very true, Mapisa is now with Velez and that is quite a big move for his career, the league is very competitive.

“I wish him the very best and like I have already said this group is destined for greatness in the game. “Abubakar is still with his club but it is a good club for his development,” said Munyati.

Another promising young Zimbabwean player Panashe Kuzamba has been invited back for further assessment with Spain’s Segunda Division (Second Division) side Malaga. Kuzamba, who turns 18 in July, is based in Australia and was recommended to Malaga by UK-based Zimbabwean coach Phillip Zulu.

He had trials with Malaga last month and has been invited for further assessment at the former La Liga club after impressing them during his initial attachment there.

“Panashe was at one stage at my academy here in the UK before he was snatched by Marbella City FC academy in Australia who gave him a full-time residence there. And, after impressing at Marbella City, he was invited for trials by Malaga last month.

“They assessed him and they have now lined-up some clubs in the La Liga Under-19 League and Second Division where they want him to play as they prepare to sign him in the next transfer window,” Zulu told our Harare Bureau from his base in Leeds, England, yesterday. He also said another Zimbabwean player Washington Bgoni, a 19-year-old goalkeeper, will soon be heading for trials in Germany.

“Bgoni is currently playing for Francis Marion University (FMU) Patriots in the United States but I’ve organised for him to go for trials in Germany and he will be going there soon,” Zulu said.

Mapisa, Moffat and Bgoni are among a number of talented overseas-based players who are eligible to play for the national Under-23 side in the upcoming African Cup of Nations Under-23 and 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

The others are Seth Patrick, Sharma Bako, Admiral Muskwe, Joshua Jeche, Martin Zulu, Kundayi Benyu, Nydam Tristan, Arnold Ndiweni, Jonah Reinhard Fabisch (Jnr), Tawanda Mutoti and Andy Rinomhota.


Source Bulawayo24


Zimbabwe troops assaulting youth and others in capital

Witnesses say Zimbabwean soldiers are still roaming the streets of the capital and assaulting people, even after the president denounced violence by security forces as “unacceptable”.

Soldiers in two army trucks appeared to be targeting street vendors as they cruised Harare’s streets at nightfall.

Human Rights Watch’s southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga says uniformed soldiers have injured many people and there is “no reason for the wanton attacks”.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa cut short an overseas visit amid growing accounts of violence by soldiers, police and ruling party youth gangs in a crackdown on protests against a dramatic fuel price increase.

The ongoing assaults raise questions about the influence the president has to rein in the military’s use of force.

Human Rights Watch says “the mask has now been taken off the Mnangagwa government” in Zimbabwe after hundreds of people were wounded or arrested in a crackdown on protests and at least 12 were killed.

Southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga told reporters in Johannesburg that the military opened fire on crowds, killing bystanders as well as protesters, and wounding others. Security forces have gone house-to-house in Harare, Bulawayo and other cities, beating and torturing men.

He calls the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa the same as that of longtime leader Robert Mugabe but with “an even more brazen system in charge.”

Mavhinga says the shootings in broad daylight and the shutdown of the internet are extreme and unprecedented.

He urges Zimbabwe’s neighbors to pressure it to stop abuses, especially South Africa, the 16-nation Southern Africa Development Community and the African Union.


Source News24