A story is told in Greek mythology of a young woman named Antigone. After her brothers’ struggle for power they are both killed in battle. King Creon makes a decree that one of them, Polynices, should not be mourned or buried whilst the other would get a state funeral. The failure to be buried had implications for Polynices as it meant he could not proceed to the underworld, angering the gods.
In the past month Zimbabweans have hit the streets, and the government has met them head on. People have taken on the fear of a collapsing and fractured government with courage, especially when this is the government that, over the years, has met every threat with excessive violence – from Gukurahundi through the Food Riots, the elections in 2002 and 2008, and every little demonstration by the NCA and WOZA to the recent expressions of discontent.
‘Youths are our future leaders’.
This adage is thrown about in most social and political gatherings. National leaders are always urging community leaders to afford youth more opportunities to positively contribute towards the development of societies. In principle, it is a fact that the present generation shall not live forever hence the youth shall “take over” someday.
When Eldred Masunungure pointed out in 2004 that Zimbabweans were “risk averse” with respect to political participation, apart from voting in elections, one understood that this was a reasonable attitude to take when confronted with a “risk-taking” government. But one still wonders what will it take to change “risk” averse” into “risk-taking” when the events of the past year are thought about.
This week Zimbabwe celebrated Heroes’ weekend. A day which many people do not think much about as it has been politicised and personalised by a political party. It has lost its integrity i; honouring those who gave up something or everything so that we can enjoy the privileges we were denied because we were considered less than.
The minister of local government together with some army official this last week gave an ultimatum to all vendors to vacate from the CBD into designated bays or be forcefully removed. This issue which has been a bone of contention has caused a lot of discomfort. The issue has been debated in parliament, in mainstream media and more interestingly on social media.
So what is the big deal with vending in Harare?
By Fortune Madhuku
Walking along several streets of Harare, one is greeted by a deafening noise from competing vendors who sell second hands clothes, commonly known as ‘bhero.’
“Bhero, bhero, munhu wese. Ne$1 chete wapinda machena!” meaning “Second hand clothes on sale here. Just a dollar and you get a good deal!” scream out the vendors in their efforts to outdo each other.