Exposed: Shocking evidence of abuse at Herbert Chitepo Housing Co-operative

A Zimbabwean PARLIAMENTARY committee investigating the impact of housing co-operatives in national housing development has exposed shocking evidence of abuse at Herbert Chitepo Housing Co-operative, which takes its name from one of the country’s outstanding liberation war icons.

Herbert Chitepo was killed in 1975

Herbert Chitepo was killed in 1975

The Portfolio Committee on SME and Co-operative Development said the co-operative had not actually held annual general meetings since 2009. The accounts have not been audited for the past 6 years which is a criminal offence under the Zimbabwe laws. That said, those responsible are free, and one disappeared into thin air after members demanded accountability. No doubt with a significantly enhanced bank account.

Based in Kuwadzana Extension in Harare, (the Capital of Zimbabwe) Herbert Chitepo Housing Co-operative has 501 members, one of the biggest in Zimbabwe, however 88 of their members are yet to receive their stands. The Parliament committee said it was concerned by the developments at the co-operative, but the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development said it was difficult to close such large and complex co-operatives like Herbert Chitepo.


The Parliamentary committee, which carried public hearings at the co-operative, said in a report released in June 2015 that, “this is the most problematic housing co-operative that was cited by the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development,” .
“The management committee of the co-operative, chaired by Mr Chinyanga, was accused by the majority of its members of abuse of office and misappropriation of funds.”
“Since 2009, 6 years ago, the housing co-operative has neither held its annual general meetings nor had its financial records audited in line with the Co-operative Societies Act. The ministry highlighted that it could not place such controversial co-operatives under liquidation, however this means that the majority of members of the society would lose their hard earned contributions if the co-operative was dissolved.”

“During the public hearing, it emerged that some members were unfairly kicked out of their houses; some of the female members experienced gender based violence and there were regular physical fights between the management committee and some it’s members as well as a host of other unresolved, hostile conflicts.”

zimbabwe co-operative

In addition, the committee was informed that the treasurer of the Herbet Chitepo co-operative had disappeared following mounting pressure from the society’s members to account for the society financial resources,”.

The corrupt rot in administration at Herbert Chitepo Co-operative epitomes mismanagement that has characterised various housing co-operatives across Zimbabwe, which has forced the ministry to contemplate setting up a tribunal to handle a flood of complaints.

However, the model of co-operatives, which was adopted by the Government as far back as 1980 when they came into power, has failed to work in Zimbabwe, where hundreds of income generating projects then expected to later develop into fully fledged companies providing jobs and opportunities, unfortunately collapsed in the formative years of the country’s independence down to corruption, theft of funds and mismanagement.

The co-operative concept has recently returned in the form of housing co-operatives trying to create pools of financial resources among low incomes earners to buy land and develop low cost houses.
However, yet again, the housing co-operatives have become the centres of fraud, abuse of people by the connected elites and corruption, which has recently seen ZANU-PF youths being arrested and charged for defrauding people of funds while lying that they were being sent by powerful personalities. The co-operatives use the names of respected nationalists and those with links to the liberation struggle over 35 years ago.

The names include that of the late first lady Sally Mugabe, Herbert Chitepo, Border Gezi (Gezi was in charge of recruiting and organising groups of young ZANU-PF supporters into a militia in 2000. The militia groups he led were implicated in violent attacks on supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change, and in invasions of white-owned farms. At a special ZANU-PF congress later that year, Gezi was appointed Secretary for the Commissariat, with responsibility for organizing Robert Mugabe’s re-election as President two years later. He was killed when his car skidded off the Harare-Masvingo road (apparently hitting a black dog in the dark) and crashed in April 2001) and several other colourful and interesting characters.

“Twelve housing co-operatives were cited for defying…Co-operative Societies Act, as well as, using it as a tool to intimidate dissenting voices,” the committee said.

In similar news the Zimbabwe property market has been hit by a wave of fraudulent activity. Common fraud with regards to title deeds includes:

  • Relatives and creditors altering tittle deeds records at the Registrar for deceased estates
  • Bonds (loans) being registered against properties without knowledge of ALL the rightful owners
  • Money being collected for property sales without the transfer of tittle deeds to the buyer being recorded at the Registrar
  • Sales or letting of property without the knowledge or consent of the tittle deed holder

African Harrier-hawk shot with a pellet gun

African harrier-hawk

Not sure if you recall the story of the sorry tale of the shooting of an African Harrier-hawk with a pellet gun in a garden of the suburb of Mandara, Harare back in May 2015? Luckily the bird did actually survive but we would like to let you all know that it will amazingly be able to fly again and will be freed (hopefully in a couple of months) once the feathers on its wing coverts have grown out. Last week the bird was moved to Twala Trust to a large enclosure and is flying strongly and building up its strength.

The African harrier-hawk is a medium-sized raptor. The head and breast are pale grey while the belly of the bird is white with fine dark barring. The broad wings are pale grey with a black trailing edge fringed with a narrow white line. There is a bare facial patch of variable colour, usually red or yellow. Male and female African harrier hawks are similar in colour, but young birds have pale brown instead of grey, and dark brown replacing black. An unusual trait of this species is the double-jointed knees it possesses, which enable it to reach into otherwise inaccessible holes and cracks for prey.

The birds hunt mainly in trees and bushes, but not on the wing. It performs hunting in weaver bird colonies to probe their nests. It hunts by soaring, searching from a perch or walking on the ground, or over tree trunks, flapping loosely its wings. It invades waterbirds colonies to eat young and eggs, and may perform a low coursing flight across vegetation.

African Harrier Hawk

African Harrier Hawk


Grateful thanks to Leslie De Beer who has been responsible for the rehabilitation of the bird and to Sarah Carter of Twala Trust for giving the hawk a home during the final stages of its recovery.

On that note, I`d like to emphasize how expensive, time & energy consuming it is to rehabilitate an injured animal. The rehab of the African harrier-hawk has cost over USD350 in vet bills etc. Our wildlife is very precious. Let us respect and protect it. Preventing cases like this is better than trying to cure!

The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary, run by trustees Sarah Carter and veterinarian Dr Vinay Ramlaul, is a rescue and rehabilitation centre offering a safe haven to a wide variety of wildlife, farm and domestic animals and birds.

The Twala Trust is creating a forever home for the animals and birds they have rescued from all over Zimbabwe. From lions to meerkats, donkeys to owls, our beloved animal family will live the lives they so deserve in the care at Twala. They are currently building the infrastructure necessary to house the animals at Twala, but are already taking in rescues.

If you would like to donate to help out please follow the link below:


Julia Pierini

Concern as courts set age of consent at 12

Some LAWYERS and MPs say they are increasingly worried by what appears to be the trivialisation of child sex abuse by the courts, with the age of consent in Zimbabwe being reduced to only 12 years, although it is 16 under the Constitution.   Child sex predators are getting away with community service sentences rather than jail, with magistrates and judges reluctant to pass exemplary punishment.

Back in 2013, when a magistrate sentenced a man who had sex with a 14-year-old girl to an effective 12 months in jail. When the man appealed his sentence, another judge rebuked the magistrate, saying it was “an extremely harsh sentence that was imposed without any plausible justification as it would have the effect of further prejudicing the accused person.”

Disgusted campaigners want law reforms to align legislation with the new Constitution to reaffirm 16 years old as the age of consent and give judges more powers to issue deterrent and harsher sentences. MDC lawmaker Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said “It’s terrible,” as she surveyed the current sentencing guidelines on sexual offences against children.

Campaigners say families of victims have lost faith in the law, to the extent of making private arrangements with those who rape their children. Back in April 2015, Plumtree magistrate Livard Philemon sentenced a 19-year-old man who impregnated his employer’s Grade 7 daughter (13) to 315 hours of community service.   While observing that Conscience Nleya, of Bulilima, had “destroyed the girl’s future”, Philemon still handed out the light sentence.

1 500 children have been raped in the six months: Priscilla said that the Police: “Look at stocktheft, it has a mandatory sentence for each cow or beast stolen, but for a young girl or woman who has had her future violated through rape, there’s no such thing. “What does it mean to us women? It simply shows that cattle have more value than our children. “There’s that comparison that losing a cow is worse than having a woman raped.”

In May 2015, Future Ncube, a 19-year-old Kezi herdsman who impregnated his 12-year-old “lover” was sentenced to perform a mere 210 hours of community service by Gwanda regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza. The magistrate said while passing sentence: “Both of you exhibited immaturity and you were oblivious of the dangers of engaging in sexual intercourse.” Lawyer Alex Magaisa says while the age of consent under the Constitution is 16, in practice it is in fact only 12 years old– and the Zimbabwean courts are playing a major role in lowering the age of consent.

Writing in The Chronicle today, he said: “While it’s often said the age of consent in Zimbabwe is 16 years, it is on analysis, effectively 12 years for girls. The law says a young person is under 16, but it’s only girls under 12 who are actually protected by the presumption that they’re incapable of consenting to sex at that age.   “This is too low and exposes young girls to abuse. The average age of consent in most other countries is 16.” When magistrates have tried to lean heavily on paedophiles, they have in some cases bizarrely met resistance from higher courts.

Going back to February 2013, a magistrate jailed Gugulethu Tshuma, a 20-year-old man for an effective year in prison without the option of a fine after he pleaded guilty to abusing a 14-year-old girl. The man appealed and shockingly, Justice Andrew Mutema blasted the magistrate for being delivering too harsh a sentence. The judge, citing earlier cases to backup his point, added: “Her appearance is important because the moral blameworthiness of the man will be less if he wrongly believes, from her appearance, that she is older than she actually is. “Similarly, the girl’s character – whether she be virgin or promiscuous, a flirt or demure – must have a like bearing on whether the accused was knowingly preying on the innocent or merely risking lying with an under age but worldly-wise girl.”

I’m guessing that Muteme doesn’t have a daughter?

Magaisa says the attitude of some magistrates and judges is slowing down the campaign against child abuse. He said: “The law does not provide sufficient protection for young girls, but worse, the attitude of the judges and magistrates to sexual offences leaves a lot to be desired.” Reading some of the judgements of magistrates and judges demonstrates an influence by patriarchy which remains dominant in our society.”

Activists have attacked the law for providing refuge for child sex predators. While section 64 and 70 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act expressly states that a child under 12 years cannot consent to sex, the law becomes ambiguous on how to treat offenders who target victims between 12 and 16.   Effectively, courts are increasingly accepting that 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds are “capable” of giving consent to sex – a notion that does not sit too well with many parents, including the Information Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo who wrote on Twitter last Saturday;  “There are no extenuating circumstances in statutory rape (sex with a young person). A child below 16 cannot consent to any sexual act.

“In Zimbabwe, the legal age of consent is 16.” (well, apparently not?)

Simbo, currently a PhD candidate at the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Law, said the categorisation of sexual offences into indecent assault, consented and un-consented sexual intercourse was leaving children at the mercy of child sex predators and paedophiles.   “Children are vulnerable, and as things stand twisted men can rape a child and get away with a lesser sentence as magistrates depend on the circumstances. It’s unfortunate rape itself attacks life, but sexual crimes against children can be reduced to the levels of just mere assault. “The sentences are not deterrent and can encourage perpetrators to go on rendering the law ineffective.”

Chiedza Simbo, the former director of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, told The Chronicle: “The problem we have is that the law is viewing minors differently… we’ve some clauses talking of children under 14 or under 12 years. “We can’t have a Grade 7 pupil consenting to sexual intercourse. We should not even be having debates about whether they are mentally capable or not.”


Misihairabwi-Mushonga says faced with an ineffective justice system, some parents are having to settle matters with sex offenders to the detriment of the victims themselves. “For me, the biggest issue that arises is that sometimes parents are forced to opt for that person to marry their child because they are not sure whether justice would be properly delivered,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga.   Reforming the law is not an urgent national grievance, says Women’s Coalition chairperson Virginia Muwanigwa. “We’ve not finished aligning our laws [with the new constitution] but as far as I’m concerned, the constitution overrides all other laws. It’s unfortunate that our courts are still using the old legislation which has no place in today’s society,” said Muwanigwa. Herald

Meanwhile in LUSAKA (Zambia) a High Court judge has called for national reform to tackle the increasing cases of sexual offences. Mr Justice Chalwe Mchenga said the 15-year maximum sentence introduced by the Penal Code Amendment Act number 15 of 2005 had no no impact on reducing sexual offences. Chalwe said the current maximum jail sentence appeared not to have any effect as evidenced by the increasing number of people being arrested, prosecuted and convicted for sexual offences. “Since it is now apparent that the lengthy sentences that Act number 15 of 2005 introduced have not had the desired effect, isn’t it time for us to have a relook on how we deal with sexual offences and sexual offenders in Zambia?” he said.

Oscar Pistorius ‘to be freed from prison in August’


South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services said a South African parole board is set to recommend that the disgraced athlete Oscar Pistorius, who was recently convicted of killing Reeva Steenkamp (his girlfriend at the time), be released from prison as early as August.

Oscar, 28, was sentenced back in October 2014 to five years in prison for culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2013. In South Africa, culpable homicide means a person was killed unintentionally but unlawfully.

Pistorius acknowledged firing shots through the bathroom door in his home, but said he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom and had not realised that Reeva had got up in the night.


Pistorius’ fall from grace was one of the most dramatic since that of O.J. Simpson in 1994, when the American football player turned sports announcer and movie star, was charged with murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

OJ Simpson had been acquitted in a very public criminal trial but found responsible for the deaths in a subsequent civil suit.

Like Simpson, Oscar Pistorius was handsome, successful, popular and wealthy when the charges were filed.

In his 2014 trial, a judge found Pistorius to be not guilty of murder. Prosecutors are appealing that verdict.

Both of Pistorius’ legs were amputated before his first birthday. In the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Oscar became the first athlete with both legs amputated to participate in the Olympic Games, running in the 400-meter race and the 4 x 400 meter relay.

Under South African law, Pistorius must serve at least one-sixth of his sentence — 10 months — before being released. It is said that the parole board is prepared to recommend that he be released on August 21, 10 months to the day since his sentencing.

Video below showing Oscar playing football with Radovan Krejcir, who is currently awaiting trial to face multiple charges including kidnapping, attempted murder and drug dealing.

In the 90 second clip, which was published by South Africa’s Daily Sun, the men are seen taking it in turns to play striker and goalkeeper in an empty exercise yard at Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria, South Africa.

Giraffe killer


Africa’s western black rhino officially declared extinct


According the latest review of animals and plants by the world’s largest conservation network, the African western black rhino is now officially extinct

The subspecies of the black rhino — which is classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) on the Red List of Threatened Species — was last seen in western Africa back in 2006.

Poaching Rhinos in Africa has always been a massive challenge and the IUCN warns that other rhinos could follow shortly, saying Africa’s northern white rhino is “teetering on the brink of extinction” while Asia’s Javan rhino is “making its last stand” due to continued poaching and lack of conservation.

Simon Stuart, who is the chair of the IUCN species survival commission recently mentioned that in the case of the western black rhino and the northern white rhino the situation could have had very different results if the suggested conservation measures had been implemented twenty or more years ago”.




While we are probably at the point of too little too late, Stuart added that “These conservation measures must be strengthened now, specifically managing habitats in order to improve performance and preventing other rhinos from fading into extinction,”

The IUCN points to conservation efforts which have paid off for the southern white rhino subspecies which have seen populations rise from less than 100 at the end of the 19th century to an estimated wild population of 20,000 today.

Another success story is that of the Przewalski’s Horse which was listed as “extinct in the wild” back in late 1996 however now, thanks to a well organised captive breeding program, has an estimated population of over 300.

Apart from poaching, old age also plays it’s part. We mentioned the sad story a few weeks ago of a Black Rhino who tragically died at age 43.

Karanja at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The rhino died on December 24, 2014 at the age of 43. PHOTO | COURTESY| LESINKO OLE KOOL

Karanja at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The rhino died on December 24, 2014 at the age of 43. PHOTO | COURTESY| LESINKO OLE KOOL

Shockingly, the latest update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species reviews more than 60,000 species, concluding that 25% of mammals on the list are at great risk of extinction.

Apart from animals, many plants are also under threat, say the IUCN. Recent studies of seventy nine tropical plants in the Indian Ocean archipelago revealed that more than three quarters of them were at risk of extinction.

According to the IUCN, populations of Chinese fir which was once widespread throughout China and Vietnam, is being threatened by the expansion of intensive agriculture.

A type of yew tree (taxus contorta) found in Asia which is used to produce Taxol (a chemotherapy drug) has just been reclassified from “vulnerable” to “endangered” on the IUCN Red List, as has the Coco de Mer — a palm tree found in the Seychelles islands — which is at risk from fires and illegal harvesting of its kernels.

In the oceans, the IUCN reports that five out of eight tuna species are now “threatened” or “near threatened,” while 26 recently-discovered amphibians have been added to the Red List including the “blessed poison frog” (classified as vulnerable) while the “summers’ poison frog” is endangered.

“This update offers both good and bad news on the status of many species around the world,” Jane Smart, director of IUCN’s global species program said in a statement.

“We have the knowledge that conservation works if executed in a timely manner, yet, without strong political will in combination with targeted efforts and resources, the wonders of nature and the services it provides can be lost forever.”

Dying reflections



Mugabe’s dying reflections
“Ninety years old today and now nothing left to do,
There is simply no soul on earth left for me to screw.
I have succeeded in making Zimbabwe a place of living hell,
Most opposition I have killed; those who shout and yell.
I have ignored the people’s pleas for over thirty years,
Their pleas to have a healthy land brings me close to tears.

I hate White folk with a passion, of that all are aware,
Stealing their farms and livelihood I deemed very fair.
Grace, my typist, precious wife, a billionaire self made,
A far cry from poor Sally who was just a chamber maid.
I am told the great big wheel turns, as it did in my favour,
I am the Black man’s idol, his number one best flavour.

As I reflect upon my days, my lust for wealth and power,
The West will see me as Hitler in my closing hour.
My rhino skin cares little for their jibes and scorn,
Eating only caviar now, I have lost my taste for corn.
Thank you Britain and America for giving me this land,
With China and with Russia, they made a four piece band.

Thanks of course to South Africa too for helping rig the vote,
Please join me in my dying hour as I choose to gloat.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe whom Rhodesians love to hate,
These countries handed me Rhodesia on a silver plate.”

Written by Alf Hutchison Author of “Sounds of Distant Drums”

Zimbabwean Drums
The drums are calling old man, and they are louder by the day.
They are calling you to judgement and now’s the time to pay
for the wrongs you’ve done your country and the trust betrayed.
So hear those drums swelling, hear well and be afraid.

You came to power on waves of hope that you would make your mark,
in a land that shone in Africa like diamonds in the dark.
In simple faith the people put their trust in your care,
and were repaid by the Fifth Brigade and the CIO and fear.

twenty eight years of motorcades and lavish trips abroad
a nations heritage is lost through patronage and fraud.
The Chiefs grow fat while people starve and famine stalks our homes.
On idle farms the weeds grow rank and cover cattle bones.

the youth are taught your slogans but even as they sing
the drums of change are beating for the truth is seeping in.
The demagogue has feet of clay and lies will not sustain
the shattered land that once seemed free and will be so again.
Too late to blame the drought, the Brits, the whites, the MDC.

For all know where the finger points with cold finality.
So hear the drums, old man, and listen to them well,
They foretell of your end days and they have much to tell.
for he who sows the seeds of hate will reap the grapes of wrath,
so tremble in your bed at night, at the end of your sorry path.

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

The acting Environment Minister, Walter Mzembi has stated that Zimbabwe will not be deterred from exporting 62 baby elephants to China, France and the United Arab Emirates. The Minister said that Zimbabwe has in excess of 80 000 elephants but only has the capacity for 42 000.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force does not believe this figure is accurate because a proper count hasn’t been done since 1997 so no one knows exactly how many elephants there are. A count was done in Hwange National Park late last year which resulted in a figure of 22 000 elephants however, the elephants do not live there all year round. Hwange has the highest concentration in the country.

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

Mr Mzembi stated that the reason for the worldwide outcry about the exportation is political and that the people who are objecting don’t want Zimbabwe to make any money. Really? I think it is fair to say the rest of the rest doesn’t give a toss about Zimbabwe and is certainly not bothered if they make money. However, there is meek objection to Government officials making vast fortunes by raping and pillaging whats left of the country.

The Zimbabwe Government recently received a letter from 31 tourist agents in America who stated that if the exportation goes ahead, they will not be bringing any tourists to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

In a new survey released last month, it showed that the elephant population has decreased by more than 40% in the Zambezi Valley, Matusadona and Chizarira areas. The survey is a partnership between the Great Elephant Census, a Mr Paul Gardner Allen Project and the Parks and Wildlife Authority.

A full professional count needs to be done. Every year in the hot season, elephants come into Zimbabwe from Botswana and Zambia to look for water in Hwange National Park. Therefore, all the elephants in the park are not Zimbabwean elephants and do not live there all year round. However, it appears that the counts are always done in the hot season.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force pointed out that the count should be done in winter and simultaneous counts should be done in the surrounding countries of Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia. We would then get a much clearer indication of the true elephant population in the whole region.

Naturally Elephants and other wildlife do not respect western borders and go through passport control etc.

From reports, a total of 27 baby elephants would be sent to China, while 15 would be sent to the UAE and a further 20 would be taken to France, with each buyer paying a £26,000 for each animal.

Speaking to the press and all other ignorant and stupid people, Mzembi said: “Our habitat is not designed to carry too many elephants that are in its environment. We have an over-population of elephants.”

The Zimbabwe government announced in December 2014 that due to an ever expanding population of elephants, (despite no official count since 1997) it would begin a programme of exportation of elephants from Hwange National Park to try and control the numbers of elephants.

There has be no mention of what would happen to the money form the sale of all the elephants and other wildlife to foreign buyers?

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

Both the government and Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife authorities said that the step had to be made to ensure the country’s elephant population does not grow any bigger citing that the elephants where consuming and destroying the environment and food sources for other species.

The truth of the situation is that the exportation has involved young animals being violently taken away from their mothers and then exported in tough conditions to unfamiliar surroundings.

In a statement on Peta’s website they said: “These innocent and terrified babies have been traumatically stolen from their families and their natural habitat, only to be sold to the highest bidder and sentenced to a life of abuse and captivity.”

Going back to 2012, 4 baby elephants died after being shipped to China from Zimbabwe, which prompted the US and European Union to sign a petition against the exportation of baby elephants from Zimbabwe.

As with any petitions and statements, this has been ignored by the Zimbabwe Government who has argued that they are currently suffering from a conservation funding crisis and that the funds appropriated from the sale of the elephants would be used to help with conservation efforts. There is no proof the funds have gone in this direction?

Speaking on 6 January, Water and Climate Committee chairperson, Anastacia Ndlovu, , said: “The selling off of live elephants will enable the wildlife authority to raise enough funds to protect the jumbos and other wildlife.”

More Info:

Previous post on China stealing baby elephants

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

‘Girl bomber’ kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

‘Girl bomber’ kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

'Girl bomber' kills 19 people in Maiduguri market


Nineteen people have been killed and several more injured by a bomb strapped to a girl who was apparently only 10 years old in north-eastern Nigeria.

The bomb exploded in a market in the city of Maiduguri.

“The explosive devices were wrapped around her body,” a police source told Reuters.

So far, the market has been targeted twice in a week by female bombers. Local correspondents indicated that all the signs of the attack point to the militant Islamist Boko Haram group.

Boko Haram have been fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Nigerian north-eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

'Girl bomber' kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

The recent bomb attack follows heavy fighting in the Yobe state capital Damaturu on Friday night, with a large number of buildings destroyed as well as innocent civilian casualties.

An assault on the town of Baga on Wed left hundreds of people dead, following on their seizure of a key military base there on the 3rd January.

Amnesty International described the attack as possibly the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram – with bodies apparently left strewn in the surrounding bush.

Unfortunately most victims in the recent Baga attack were children, women and elderly people unable to escape quickly enough when Boko Haram insurgents raided the town by firing rocket-propelled grenades and using high powered assault rifles.

Boko Haram has forcefully taken control of many towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria during 2014.

'Girl bomber' kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

The conflict has forced over 1.5 million people to flee their homes, while more than 2,000 were killed last year.

Borno State police spokesman Gideon Jubrin said that the 10 year old young girl bomber let off an improvised explosive device near the area of the Maiduguri market where chickens were sold. It is also possibly the bomb was remotely detonated.

The BBC’s Abdulahi Kaura correspondent in Lagos said that this will not be the first suicide bombing involving young girls, part of a new strategy intended to capitalise on the fact that people in the Muslim-dominated north are less suspicious of women.

This could have massive and far reaching repercussions in the entire world as muslim woman will come under significantly more scrutiny especially with the traditional burka.

In further violence reported on Saturday a vehicle in Yobe state exploded at a checkpoint near a police station, killing at least two people.

Female Suicide Bombers

Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram is accused of unleashing a new weapon of war – the female suicide bomber, fuelling concern that its insurgency has entered a more ruthless phase.

4 teenage girls carried out attacks in the biggest northern city, Kano, last week, which has led to speculation that Boko Haram had turned some of the 200 schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 into human bombs.

Mike Omeri, a government official said the security forces had arrested three people in neighbouring Katsina state – including two girls aged 10 and 18 – with explosive belts strapped around them.

The new strategy kicked off last June with Nigeria’s first female bomber – a middle-aged woman who rode a motorcycle into a military barracks in the north-eastern city of Gombe. She killed a soldier who was searching her at the checkpoint and she detonated her device.

“To use female suicide bombers is the most dramatic strategy that an organisation can use. It becomes easier to penetrate targets because we are less suspicious about women,” Martin Ewi, a researcher with South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies (ISS), told the BBC.

When you have female suicide bombers, the security challenge becomes bigger – it means you need female officers at every check-point to search women”

“It also shows desperation – and tends to be the last card that an organisation plays. But we don’t know whether Boko Haram has reached that stage, or whether it has decided to play the card early,” he adds.

Boko Haram violence is over its negotiations with the Nigerian Government to get their commanders released in exchange for the freedom of the abducted schoolgirls they took back in April.

Boko Haram has now carried out 11 suicide bombings – by men and women – since launching its insurgency in 2009, which indicates they’re copying the tactics of jihadi groups in other war torn, muslim based countries.

5 Recent suicide bomber attacks

  • 8 June: A woman rides into a military barracks in Gombe on a motorbike, she detonates an explosive killing herself and a policeman
  • 27 July: A young girl with an explosive device concealed under her veil blows herself up injuring five police officers at a university campus in Kano,
  • 28 July: A young woman lines up in a kerosene queue at a filling station in Kano. She kills 3 people and wounds 16 others after detonating her bomb.
  • 28 July: Six people are injured after a young woman detonates her bomb at a shopping centre in Kano
  • 30 July: Another six people are killed when a teenager blows herself up in a crowd of students at a college campus in Kano.

The Future of Zimbabwe?

The Future of Zimbabwe

And so another year starts, 2015 and another year that Robert Mugabe is in Power since 18th of April 1980. Interestingly, he is on the top 15th longest standing dictator. Fidel Castro leading the list at 52 years in power.

The Future of Zimbabwe

Let me first say I am no expert but I am passionate about my country, I felt little choice but to leave back in 1999. Many of my friends left at the same time and are scattered around the globe. My parents still live in Harare, my brother in SA. Below, I have a few questions and observations about Zimbabwe;

The first question is, do we want Mugabe in power for the next 20 years? I suspect he shan’t survive 20 years however, I think you get my point?

The Future of Zimbabwe

The next question is what will he do in the next, lets say 10 years? Will it be anything positive? When was the last time Mugabe did something positive, inspirational or useful?

It would appear his recent introduction of coins that are supposed to be the same value as the US Dollar is a prelude to an attempt to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar and perhaps even start it off matching it to the US Dollar as per the coins? A few think this is rubbish and will never happen but I have seen this reported on more than one site and lets face it, Mugabe is a man who does what he wants. And as time goes on he is realising more and more than the West is willing to do less and less to oppose him. And why should they?

The Future of Zimbabwe

What has Zimbabwe got to offer or barter with the rest of the world? We have no oil and China is currently raping the minerals from the land daily, while even wild animals are being sold abroad to various countries for personal profit to Government officials (apparently)

If we go back to 2000, 15 years ago Zimbabwe still had a lot going for it but it was starting to rapidly drop off. She always had strong tourism throughout the country, one of the world’s foremost tobacco suppliers to the entire world. Exporting fresh produce around the world (I worked for Selby Enterprises doing this back in 97)


Harare – Capital of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has always had a strong mining background especially for gold. I worked for Fawcetts Security who collected gold from a number of mines around the country. I actually went on a few gold collection runs to Mutare. We would leave at 4am and be back just after lunch.

I understand Robert kindly sold off various mineral rights to the Chinese for 10 years a number of years ago. The real repercussions of this, i am not sure? However, what I do know is that this will not benefit Zimbabwe or it’s people or it’s economy.

victoria falls

Victoria Falls

Neither shall of the loss and private sale of her wild life (baby elephants and lions and so on) be of any benefit to a country being raped and pillaged year after year.

When I was 10 years old (1986), I knew nothing was going to change in Zimbabwe. My dad was adamant that things would turn around, the US was waiting for Mugabe to dethrone and then they would sweep in and save the day and everything would be great. However, i knew that things were already not great, things we already desperate, even that long ago but nobody was doing anything about it. i knew then, the only way forward was it if did something. If I for example and hypothetically picked up a gun and shot Robbie myself would there be any change.

Matobo Hills

Matobo Hills

And sure enough, almost thirty years later, nothing has changed, apart from the fact that things have got progressively worse and worse and then beyond worse. And still, the people of Zimbabwe sit and wait.

But what can we do I hear you ask? Well, this indeed is the question. What can we do and what are we willing to do?

I would be willing to stand for President but I am probably not the best person for the job and my family is there and I would be concerned for their safety. I am not Political by any stretch, I say things how they are and how I see them.

So what are our options really?

Other African countries seem to have a degree of success by having new Government leaders elected who have been educated in top Western Universities like Standford, Yale, Oxford or Cambridge. Is there a highly educated, black individual who would be able to elected?

Would Mugabe even allow this or would our new knight in shinning armour suddenly hit a black dog crossing the road in the middle of the night? The driver would probably survive if thats any consolation?

The biggest challenge would not be a single man called Robert Mugabe but the multitude of powerful people in the background keeping him in power. It is the people we don’t see that are making sure Mugabe stays in power for as long as he does they will remain powerful and will reap the vast financial benefits of having a President in their back pocket.

great zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe

The quest to make any kind of change is indeed a substantial one but do we make a stand or do we look on, helpless and unable to do anything and watch what is left of our beautiful country be pillaged bare?

There are a lot of clever and able people in the world, surely we can come up with creative ideas for a solution to countries being ruled by a dictator for decades?