Interrogating our follies: short-term-ism in the Zimbabwean psyche

Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the ever-lasting pressures of political office has always been about limitations of time-scales of influence. You can only influence policy while you are in power, hence the obsession with “low-hanging” fruits and “quick wins”. Also the election cycle is short (+-5 years); hence there’s pressure to show some tangible results in the time that one is in power.    It’s no … Continue reading Interrogating our follies: short-term-ism in the Zimbabwean psyche

Tick-borne diseases: symptoms of deeper issues.

Taruvinga Magwiroto Recent reports of the on-going outbreak of the tick borne disease Theileriosis (also known as January Disease) in Zimbabwe has laid bare some of the problems and issues facing post land reform Zimbabwe. Theileriosis is more than a problem for livestock farmers. It is symptomatic of failures of social safety nets, institutional failures and the spectre of climate change. Because Zimbabwe is located … Continue reading Tick-borne diseases: symptoms of deeper issues.

Command Agriculture in Zimbabwe: can it be transformed?

Taruvinga Magwiroto “Command Agriculture” is a curious name to a government initiative meant to finance farmers and boost food productivity in the country. The first thing in the overhaul of the model is to change the name. But for the record, the “martial-sounding” name comes from the fact that when it was incepted, it was coordinated by the army. In fact the programme was jointly … Continue reading Command Agriculture in Zimbabwe: can it be transformed?

Neighbour’s Voices: re-considering the role of the neighbour in Africa

Taruvinga Magwiroto In Africa, being regional neighbours is a little bit like family. The mere fact of geographical proximity makes the history similar, the struggles analogous and the future somehow conjoined. It also makes your fortunes somewhat intertwined, such that “neighbourhood” has much more meaning than we think. The other day on Twitter, an influential South African journalist surmised how hard it must be for … Continue reading Neighbour’s Voices: re-considering the role of the neighbour in Africa

Africa and the evolution of Big Ideas

Taruvinga Magwiroto At some point in the history of man, there have come along some great ideas and theories with powerful explanatory capabilities. Ideas like capitalism; democracy; Marxism and its variants; modernisation; theory of evolution…the list goes on. Ideas are important because they provide the edifice upon which the practical world works.  One obvious thing that these ideas have is that they originated from the … Continue reading Africa and the evolution of Big Ideas

South Africa and the Burning Boy: crises and the quest for good governance

Taruvinga Magwiroto Watching the agonising and soul-wrenching spectacle of a young man being burnt alive in South Africa, to the atavistic howls of a patently blood thirsty crowd got me seriously thinking. Not about the horrors that young man must have felt as the life was cruelly squeezed out of his burning lungs. Not the literal “up in flames” of dreams of the good life … Continue reading South Africa and the Burning Boy: crises and the quest for good governance

Zimbabwe: Making sense of the issues and staking the future Part 1.

Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the attractive-sounding ideas that I have is that “to dream the future look at what worked in the past”. But looking at what worked in the past will not suffice if we don’t ask a crucial additional question: why? So the full question becomes: “what worked in the past and why?” This is particularly important in the Zimbabwean case because what … Continue reading Zimbabwe: Making sense of the issues and staking the future Part 1.

Re-building Zimbabwe’s agriculture: Between a rock and a hard place.

Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the foundational premises that should anchor any development plans for Zimbabwe and other developing countries is the centrality of land as the primary economic resource. Indeed, this fact is recognised in Zimbabwe. That, ostensibly, is why the land reform programme was launched in the first place. Fundamentally, it was about re-distribution of the national cake, broadly speaking. However, no sooner was … Continue reading Re-building Zimbabwe’s agriculture: Between a rock and a hard place.

Reflections and musings on my trip to The Fens.

The 20 August 2019 trip was probably the best of all my Marshal Papworth trips. Maybe it is because now I have a better grasp of what I was doing the whole of last year. Maybe it’s because now I know more of what I want to be doing in future. Maybe it was the fact that, for once, as fate would have it, the … Continue reading Reflections and musings on my trip to The Fens.

Designing our rural futures in post land reform Zimbabwe

Taruvinga L. Magwiroto One thing that we can be sure of is that all humans aspire to the “good life”, or at least a decent, dignified one. Everybody wants a good life, and deserves one. But what can be in contention is the definition of a good life. Whatever the good life is, we know that in reality, some have it better than others- because … Continue reading Designing our rural futures in post land reform Zimbabwe