ZIMBABWE UPDATE April 2013
ZIMBABWE: African Development Bank asked to support a debt audit
The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has written to the African Development Bank, calling on them to signal they would support a debt audit in Zimbabwe, and release all information on past loans to the country. The letter was supported by over 30 international organisations, including Third World Network, Zimbabwe Europe Network, Eurodad and CADTM. A copy of the letter can be seen here. The letter was delivered to the African Development Bank office in Tunis during the World Social Forum, along with 2,400 postcards from individuals supporting ZIMCODD’s call for a debt audit.
Nyamapanda, a growth point in Mashonaland East, has been subjected to years of unrest from the Rhodesian war, the civil war in Mozambique, operation Murambatsvina and the recent politically motivated violence. Today it is peaceful but in need of income generating schemes and good governance. The Mayor, having been helped by Christian Aid partner Silveira House in the past, asked them what they could do to help the community flourish.
Following years of unsettled political climate, electricity can be erratic, so the radio is the most common form of entertainment. When the radio goes wrong expert repairers are needed fast. So Silveira House set up training in repairing of television and radio for a newly formed cooperative. By creating these self employment opportunities they hope to reduce poverty in the area and make the workers self reliant.
Following training from Silveria House this small radio repairs cooperative of four is making great strides. The small room they originally rented is so overcrowded that stock has to be placed on the roof. A pile of old video players sit in the corner ready for them to take parts from each to make working machines. Spares are always a problem so they actively hunt out any electrical goods that are thrown away.
Many on these schemes have little understanding of organisational or business skills. After training, the group got their own reconditioned computer and now feel very professional as they are able to print out quotes, invoices and record their transactions. They are earning a living from this venture and it makes them feel great.
As well as business training the entire group has attended Silveira House led workshops on coping with the impact of HIV in the workplace and communities.
Today, people know about the repairers and come for advice and to bring their broken equipment. The group dream of expanding and want to move into mobile phone repairs and have asked for training on this. Rangarirai said that although the training takes a long time, it is worth it. “We are able to buy the spares we need – now we need a bigger room.”
Thanks to Commitment for Life churches who are supporting the invaluable work of this Christian Aid partner, Silveira House is giving men, such as Rangarirai, a chance of a better and more productive future.
Author: David Wiggs
I am the webmaster for Purley United Reformed Church and have been involved with the church since my late teens. I work in Croydon and live in Caterham.