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The New Times – Rwanda
Figures show that districts have saved billions in Francs over the last five years thanks to the National Service Programme (Urugerero), under which high school graduates carry out development activities during their holidays.
Urugerero, a concept borrowed from an ancient Rwandan tradition, has seen tens of thousands of youths not only take crucial civic education lessons, but also physically help in the construction of basic infrastructure and provision of socioeconomic services.
Specifically, these energetic men and women have built housing units for the vulnerable, set up ‘kitchen garden’ for disadvantaged households to help meet the beneficiaries’ nutritious needs, fix roads and bridges especially in neighbourhoods in the countryside, and played a part in mobilisation for vital socioeconomic causes.
The programme is conducted under the auspices of the National Itorero Commission, which has for years played a major part in imparting good values among different segments of the Rwandan population.
That districts are now trying to integrate Urugerero into their mainstream development and ecosystem services points to the positive role that the programme is increasingly playing.
Like other homegrown solutions such as Umuganda, Urugerero should be harnessed further with view to maximise its potential. It is important that the National Itorero Commission works more closely with district and sector authorities to periodically identify areas where future Urugerero intakes can be of use for greater impact.
The Herald – Zimbabwe
For almost half-a-year now, the country has witnessed unwarranted price hikes on commodities by business and the ordinary consumers are carrying the load.
It is fact not fiction that businesses in Zimbabwe are no longer making profit, but profiteering. Profit is making money. Profit is business. Profit is revenue and indeed profit is good yield. On the contrary, profiteering is fraudulent. It is evil. Profiteering is racketeering, exploitative and abusive.
What is happening in Zimbabwe is no longer good business, but massive profiteering by the business community that has lost its responsible goodwill and is abusing the consumer.
It takes just a simple walk into three shops looking at one commodity and one will be shocked by not only the price madness, but also the pricing distortions. These distortions speak to nothing, but brazen profiteering. Profiteering should stop.
Today’s businessman in Zimbabwe, big or small, has thrown business ethics through the window and is focusing on profiteering.
The majority of businesses in Zimbabwe would lie that the prices are being triggered by the fuel price hike. In the past few weeks fuel prices dropped from about $3,45 per litre to $3,35 per litre, average, but we did not witness any corresponding price reduction on commodities.
Instead the prices continue to shoot up. Well, this is very abnormal in any business. Business in Zimbabwe should start acting responsibly and be part of Vision 2030.
The Government had made it clear that it does not intent to control prices and business should therefore act responsibly. But as things continue going on an upward pricing regime, despite all efforts by Government, the Government might be forced to think otherwise.
One would think it is good business practice to differentiate between profiteering and profit. Each time profit margins go beyond 25 percent one should start thinking and believing it is not right. That is international standard practice.
The net effect of all this pricing madness has been eroding the salaries of all workers. It has been disenfranchising the consumers. It has been eroding family and national food security. It has been putting health services beyond the reach of many. It has been putting the nutritional status of families into disarray.
For once business should take a pause and be part of national building. Recent developments have seen Government talking tough about the business practice. It looks simple, but the Government has been forced to rethink and act on certain things it ordinarily should not be doing. That should send signals to business that soon there will be a big rift between them and Government.
The price of bread, for instance, has forced Government to change the modus operandi of the Grain Marketing Board. The Government is now moving to create bakeries at all GMB depots nationwide and private bakers might soon regret ever increasing the price of bread.
Time, they say, is a great teacher. Some bakeries who failed to heed Government calls to reduce bread prices will find themselves out of business. Government would not want to venture into such business, but bad business practice is forcing Government to eat into some businesses.
In the next few months, Government might forced to eat into more business space and pit itself directly against private business because private business has shown no national interest in being part of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP). Business has made it too difficult for Government to ignore the brazen profiteering.
Business has refused, through its action, to be part of nation building.
The time for business to relook at its operations, review its pricing mentality and do the right thing is now. Business should surely know that it is attracting regulation to itself. Bad business practice attracts action. Do they not say that cow dung naturally attracts flies?
This is the time to stare each other in the face and say, this is wrong and that we certainly can do better as business. It cannot be too hard a chore for business to look at national interest and make profit, not profiteering.
Business in successful nations plays ball. It plays its part and, indeed, becomes part of nation building with long-term focus. Our business is focusing on the short term and not long term. The time to act is now not tomorrow.
The Herald Zimbabwe
By: Beaven Dhliwayo
President Mnangagwa last week announced that the Government has identified land for the relocation of people affected by Cyclone Idai in addition to those who are still living in areas that are prone to natural disasters.
The announcement by President Mnangagwa is of great importance as land is an important resource used by human beings for several purposes such as building houses and roads, agriculture, forestry, mining and setting up industries. Also, it provides habitation to a variety of flora and fauna. Hence, it is among the most important natural resources.
Land has different meanings for different people. Few people look it as an area of a ground or a structure that is not covered by water, few people look it as the area for producing grains to feed themselves their family and their livestock.
For few people the land they belong to or where they live is like their dignity, that is why most of the people look their country as their land and give it more respect than any other thing. In India people give respect to land as mother and worship it.
The swift response by President Mnangagwa bolsters his message that the new dispensation is a servant leadership which places the wishes and aspirations of the people at the centre of its programmes as it seeks to transform people’s lives by attaining a middle-income economy by 2030.
Decent land where people can build actual houses and not tents is a welcome as it seeks to avoid the human suffering and congestion witnessed at Chingwizi Transit Camp in 2014 following the Tugwi- Mukosi disaster.
People were being treated of diarrhoea at Chingwizi on a daily basis as water hard to get and women had to wait long hours to get the precious commodity.
At the camp, there was prevalence of moral decadence, further exposing the dwellers to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Speaking in Mutare recently after a briefing with the provincial Department of Civil Protection officials, President Mnangagwa said: “We are not through yet; we still have a lot of work to do.
The task remains to continue to rebuild schools, bridges, hospitals and dams. Our people across the board continue to give moral and material support in an endeavour to restore normalcy, not only to Manicaland, but to Masvingo as well as Mashonaland East.”
The Transitional Stabilisation Programme recognises that functional public infrastructure remains a key enabler to unlocking economic growth potential, increase competitiveness and productivity, whilst equipping public services to meet demand.
Furthermore, infrastructure is considered a key component of the investment climate by reducing the cost of doing business and enabling people to engage in socioeconomic activities.
From an economic point of view land with its resources like oil, minerals, water, vegetation and animals is inequitably shared among nations and societies due to geopolitical constraints.
Land ownership is still much disputed since the historical settlements between the nations has never been fair to all. Colonialism was fuelled by expansionist policies of the kings which was further strengthened by imperialistic policies to assert the right on all resources associated with a particular land including its human resources. This ultimately caused war, deaths and destruction.
Zimbabwe experienced torrential rainfall caused by Cyclone Idai from the March 15, 2019 to March 17, 2019.Tropical Cyclone Idai, which was downgraded to a tropical depression on March 16, 2019, caused high winds and heavy precipitation in Chimanimani, Chipinge, Buhera, Nyanga, Makoni, Mutare Rural, Mutasa and parts of Mutare Urban districts among others, causing riverine and flash flooding and subsequent deaths, destruction of livelihoods and properties.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care is leading the health response to the effects of Cyclone Idai with support from partners with overall guidance by the Civil Protection Unit at all levels. Focus has now shifted to ensuring continuity of health care, restoration of services and the prevention of outbreaks.