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1 Oct 2022 | Newsletter Issue 12

Job Sikhala – A plea for tolerance


Job Sikhala entering court

Prison is a terrible place no matter the conditions. I was in police detention two decades ago. The conditions were inhuman then; hey must be worse now.

I hear from Hopewell Chin’ono, Jacob NgarivhumeJacob Ngarivhume speaks on his 45 days in prison) and others that conditions in Zimbabwean prisons have deteriorated. There is an urgent need for prison reform and infrastructure modernisation, but that is a subject for another day.

Sikhala and MP Godfrey Sithole have now been in prison for 109 days. They face charges of inciting violence following the murder of Moreblessing Ali. Moreblessing’s mutilated remains were found three weeks after she was reported missing. It is difficult to dismiss the suspicion that the two incarcerated MPs and 14 others are being used to send a chilling message to opposition supporters. Pius Jamba who is accused of the gruesome murder of Moreblessing seems to be getting far better treatment than Sikhala and others now commonly referred to as the Nyatsime-16.

Moreblessing’s gruesome murder and the Nyatsime-16’s continued detention is the intersection of what is so wrong with Zimbabwe right now. It is an ugly space where we have become highly intolerant of each other’s varying views. It is a space where an under-pressure government has criminalised dissent. Years of repression and evidence of high-level corruption have fuelled militancy among the youth desperate for a better life. Those dissenting have become toxic out of sheer frustration and anger and in a desperate attempt to be heard. Instead of responding with compassion and occupying the moral high ground, the government has resorted to intimidation and brute force. It appears there is no adult in the room.

We cannot continue like this. We are, as a nation, hurtling towards self-destruction. Evidence all round points to a future we don’t want. We must press the Pause button and take a good look at ourselves. Most of us are too angry, too toxic and too ugly inside to be of any use to ourselves and posterity.

We need help. We must not expect help from neighbouring countries or the international community but from some cool and wise heads in our midst. People such as Reverend Kenneth Mtata, Todd Moyo, Shingai Mutasa, Muchadeyi Masunda quickly come to mind.

We have to start talking to each other and not past each other. We have to stop the name-calling and insults and have tough conversations around the issues that continue to bedevil our society. An election under the current environment will not resolve our problems; if anything it will accentuate our political differences.

Tolerance, empathy, compassion and love are critical ingredients in nation building but they are in acute shortage at the moment. We must realise by now that “a house divided against itself, will not stand.” Whatever our differences we remain compatriots, not sworn enemies.

In the interim, and urgently, those responsible for Moreblissing’s murder must be brought to justice. The Nyatsime-16 must face a fair trial and be discharged if the state has no evidence to convict. Their treatment is a serious indictment of the Zimbabwe justice system.

In Conversation with Dr Chaii, AKA Philip Kembo

We love celebrating Zimbabweans who excel. We are even more excited when they beat the odds in foreign lands and make us proud. The beautiful conversation with talented musician and producer Dr Chaii (AKA Phillip Kembo) was inspirational at so many levels. He has worked with some of the world’s most talented artists and received three Grammy nominations in this hugely competitive space. Tsitsi Chakomoka had this to say on YouTube after watching this episode: “This is one of the most beautiful conversations on the internet right now! One hour didn’t seem enough. This episode is available here if you have not watched it yet.

MasterClass with Charlotte Kudzai Sibanda

Owning her own physiotherapy private practice at the age of 28 Charlotte Kudzai Sibanda calls it a satisfying job as she helps people restore, maintain, improve their health and quality of life. Charlotte takes us through her Physiotherapy journey on the next Master Class.

Watch the Masterclass here.

Coming Next: In Conversation with Professor Christopher Chestanga

Professor Christopher Chestsanga made history in the world of science when he discovered two enzymes in 1979 and 1985. The former Director General of the Scientific and Industrial Research Development Center(SIRDC) and former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe has lots to say about the relevance of our education to our economic priorities. Subscribe to to watch this episode.



in conversation with trevorZimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube sits
down with various high-profile guests in a series of candid,
conversations that seeks to go beyond the headlines
and beyond the sensational.

Most recent episodes:

Listen to all the podcast sessions here.

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