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Kudzai Chimhangwa

Harare, Zimbabwe
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About Kudzai
Kudzai Chimhangwa is an independent journalist. I regularly travel to Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa in pursuit of news assignments. I have worked as a staff reporter in Namibia and Zimbabwe for independent publications and been freelancing thereafter for 7 years. Additionally, i have done investigative reporting for the United States based Centre for Investigative Reporting. In 2016, i worked as a fixer for a Danish TV news crew, traversing the length and breadth of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

For that in depth multi media news and analysis of events and their implications within the wider construct of regional grouping Southern African Development Community (SADC), Kudzai is the journalist to contact.
Languages
English Ndebele Shona
+1
Services
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop
+9
Skills
Business Finance Politics
+10
Portfolio

Unfreedom Monitor Report: Speech

01 Jun 2023  |  Global Voices
The Unfreedom Monitor's report on Speech, part of a Global Voices Advox research initiative, examines the use of digital authoritarianism to constrain free speech, with a focus on Rwanda. The Rwandan government employs repressive laws, surveillance technology, and state-led crackdowns to silence dissent, leading to a culture of self-censorship. The government has been implicated in using Israeli NSO's Pegasus spyware to monitor political opponents, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, allegations it denies. The report underscores the importance of privacy and data protection online, as surveillance practices hinder journalists' and activists' freedom of expression.

Zimbabwe’s information war on digital platforms threatens free expression

31 Mar 2023  |  tolerance.ca
Digital technology significantly contributes to the propagation of propaganda and disinformation, leveraging its vast platform to reach a wide audience and potentially threatening free expression in Zimbabwe.

The deadly quest by Zimbabwe’s poorest for a few grams of golden hope

03 Jul 2022  |  www.modernghana.com
In Masvingo, Zimbabwe, women and children, including the likes of Thelma Murambiwa and a 14-year-old boy named Alex, are illegally panning for gold in the Bhuka mountains to survive amidst a dire economic situation. Despite the risks of collapsing pits, arrest, and health hazards, the allure of gold and the necessity to provide for their families drive them to continue. The government-owned Fidelity Printers and Refiners reported an increase in gold output, but many miners lack permits and sophisticated equipment, leading to a thriving black market and environmental degradation. The National Aids Council highlighted the rise in HIV/AIDS and sexual exploitation in these mining communities.

How Artificial Intelligence could influence Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections

How Artificial Intelligence could influence Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections

13 Jun 2022  |  Global Voices
The article discusses the potential influence of artificial intelligence and biometric technology on Zimbabwe's 2023 elections, highlighting concerns about transparency, voter data manipulation, and information security. It examines the role of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and its partnership with Chinese startup CloudWalk Technology, as well as the implications of using AI-driven facial recognition software. Experts express concerns about the misuse of biometric technology by authoritarian regimes and the challenges of collecting biometric data from marginalized groups. The article underscores the need for a solid legal framework and strict safeguards to protect privacy and personal security.

Can Zimbabwe handle the coronavirus amid a collapsing health care system?

26 Mar 2020  |  Global Voices
Zimbabwe confirmed its first COVID-19 casualty, raising concerns about the country's ability to handle the pandemic given its fragile healthcare system and poor internet access. Zororo Makamba, a 30-year-old known for his video series, died from the virus. Healthcare workers have gone on strike due to a lack of personal protective equipment, and President Mnangagwa has banned large gatherings and closed educational institutions. Civil society groups are calling for a national effort to strengthen the healthcare system and improve access to information.

Outrage as Zimbabwe’s military declares social media a ‘dangerous threat’

19 Mar 2020  |  Global Voices Advox
Zimbabwe's National Army Commander Edzai Chimonyo declared social media a threat to national security, sparking outrage over potential government surveillance and restrictions on freedom of expression. The proposed Cyber Crime, Security and Data Protection Bill, which allows government snooping on private communications, has faced criticism for its potential to cause self-censorship. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and various individuals have expressed concerns, while some, like Nobleman Runyanga, have a more sympathetic view towards the military's role. The article highlights fears of Zimbabwe moving towards a military state.

How Zimbabwe's biometric ID scheme — and China’s AI aspirations — threw a wrench in elections

30 Jan 2020  |  Global Voices
Zimbabwe's 2018 elections were marred by distrust due to the introduction of a biometric voter registration system and a partnership with Chinese company CloudWalk Technology for facial recognition technology. The system, which required citizens to submit biometric data, was seen as a tool for voter intimidation and monitoring. Despite assurances, the technology's use was opaque, with no biometric checks conducted during voting and ruling party agents collecting registration slip serial numbers post-election. The lack of a data protection law in Zimbabwe and the potential for increased surveillance raised concerns about tech-driven authoritarianism. Civil society groups and experts criticized the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's independence and the transparency of the election process.

How Zimbabwe's biometric ID scheme (and China’s AI aspirations) threw a wrench into the 2018 election

30 Jan 2020  |  Global Voices Advox
In the 2018 Zimbabwean elections, the introduction of a biometric voter registration system, developed in partnership with Chinese company CloudWalk Technology, raised concerns about voter intimidation and privacy. Despite promises of increased election security, the system's use by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which had questionable independence, and the ruling party's actions post-election, led to distrust among voters. The lack of a data protection law in Zimbabwe and the potential for surveillance technology to limit freedoms heightened fears of a tech-driven authoritarian future. The partnership with CloudWalk is part of a pattern of questionable election-related business agreements in Zimbabwe.

Varakashi: Zimbabwe’s online brigade targets activists and dissidents

28 Nov 2019  |  Global Voices
Zimbabwe's online brigade, known as Varakashi, aggressively defends President Emmerson Mnangagwa by targeting activists, dissidents, and opposition figures on social media. The Varakashi, comprising government supporters and ZANU-PF members, engage in online harassment, spreading fake news, and disinformation to discredit critics. The article highlights the economic and social challenges Zimbabwe faces, including hyperinflation and power cuts, and the government's optimistic economic forecasts. It also details incidents of harassment and arrests of activists, the abduction of comedian Samantha Kureya, and the targeting of foreign embassies and NGOs. The Varakashi's actions have significantly impacted public discourse and stifled free online debate.

Zimbabwe government continues to weaponize information online to control citizen engagement

14 Oct 2019  |  Global Voices
Since the ousting of Robert Mugabe in 2017, the Zimbabwean government under Emmerson Mnangagwa has been using social media disinformation to control public perception and suppress dissent. Tactics include spreading false information, discrediting reports as 'fake news', and internet shutdowns, particularly during anti-government protests. The rise in internet and mobile phone usage has made social media a battleground for information, with the government and its supporters actively working to mislead the public and discredit organizations like Human Rights Watch. The situation reflects a historical pattern of media control and suppression of free expression in Zimbabwe.

What do Zimbabwe’s internet disruptions say about the state of digital rights in the country?

19 Jul 2019  |  advox.globalvoices.org
In January 2019, Zimbabwe experienced internet disruptions and social media access restrictions imposed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration, citing national security during protests against a fuel price hike. The disruptions, which included a total network shutdown in Harare and Bulawayo, were challenged and deemed illegal by the High Court. The government's control over the ICT market and potential future disruptions raise concerns about the state of digital rights in Zimbabwe. The Mnangagwa administration is also pushing for policies and a cybercrime bill that could further restrict online freedoms. Despite the diverse ICT market, the government maintains control through ownership and regulatory bodies. The cost of mobile data in Zimbabwe is one of the highest globally, making it inaccessible for many citizens. Activists and journalists emphasize the importance of digital rights awareness.

Zimbabwe’s internet crackdown shows the ‘economic sabotage’ of shutdowns

12 Feb 2019  |  theworld.org
In January 2019, the Zimbabwean government, led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, imposed an internet and social media blockade following violent protests over a significant fuel price increase. The shutdown had a detrimental impact on the economy, with experts estimating a direct cost of $5.7 million for each day of the blackout. Businesses, particularly in the tech and e-commerce sectors, were severely affected, with operations grinding to a halt. The shutdown also disrupted mobile money services like EcoCash, which is central to the country's economy. Despite the economic damage, the government has stated it would not hesitate to repeat the shutdown for state security reasons. The World Bank projects Zimbabwe's GDP to grow by 3.7 percent, slightly above the estimate for sub-Saharan Africa. However, the internet blockade has highlighted the vulnerability of Zimbabwe's economy to such government actions.

Amid civil unrest, internet shutdowns are making Zimbabwe's economic crisis worse

29 Jan 2019  |  Global Voices
Following a significant fuel price hike in Zimbabwe, civil unrest erupted, leading to violent protests and a government-ordered internet shutdown. The High Court later ruled the shutdown illegal, but the incident highlighted severe economic and human rights impacts. The government defended its actions, citing security concerns, while critics argued it was a gross violation of rights and an attempt to suppress dissent. The shutdown severely disrupted business and communication, exacerbating the country's economic crisis.

This analysis looks at the pros and cons of the Namibian government's black economic empowerment policy. Interestingly, the article generated a lot of debate in the topic which is of increasing importance to impoverished Namibians, wishing to enter the business sector.

Zimbabwe's Industrial Ruins: An Elegy for the Working Class

05 Apr 2017  |  The Standard
The article, reported by Kudzai Chimhangwa, describes the severe industrial decline in Harare's Workington Industrial area, once a hub of manufacturing activity in Zimbabwe. The area is now filled with abandoned buildings, rusting machinery, and overgrown vegetation, symbolizing the country's economic meltdown. The decline is attributed to capital flight, company closures, job losses, and ill-conceived political policies, including the indigenisation policy. Local economic analyst Takunda Mugaga and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president George Nkiwane provide insights into the causes and impacts of the industrial collapse. The article notes that in 2013 alone, 711 companies in Harare closed, leading to over 8,000 job losses, with the situation worsening since then.

This article was basically a informative piece highlighting a € 68 million support project to Namibia's agricultural sector. The initiative was aimed at providing direct support for farmers without access to European markets for their products.

This article was basically a informative piece highlighting a € 68 million support project to Namibia's agricultural sector. The initiative was aimed at providing direct support for farmers without access to European markets for their products.

This article was the product of collaborative investigative work between myself and journalists from the United States, Denmark, Malawi and South Africa. The Charity in question has been fleecing the donor community of millions of dollars. I was based in Zimbabwe where the headquarters are and spent the better part of 2016 carrying out investigative work on the charity's modus operandi as well as establishing sources. The results of the work we did was an international audit of the NGO by big organizations such as UNICEF, USAID and the UK's DFID.

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