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Lulu Brenda Harris

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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About Lulu
Lulu Brenda Harris is a journalist based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Lulu reports on news analysis, politics, health, development and sustainability. She is an innovative thinker with a keen interest on trends taking place in the creative destructive era.
English Ndebele Shona
Investigative Reporting

Zimbabwe’s govt mulls compensation scheme for victims of human wildlife conflict

10 Oct 2023  |  The Independent
Government officials in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland North province are considering a compensation scheme for villagers affected by human-wildlife conflict, particularly from elephants encroaching from Hwange National Park due to climate change. The province lacks a formal compensation policy, unlike neighboring Botswana. Discussions with the United Nations highlight the need for technical assistance and potential studies to address the issue. The UN acknowledges the problem, exacerbated by climate change and reduced tourism revenue due to COVID-19, and is exploring ways to help.

Several Devolution Bills yet to be considered in Parliament

05 Oct 2023  |  cite.org.zw
Several devolution bills, including the Provincial Councils and Administration Amendment Bill and the Urban Councils Amendment Bill, are pending in Zimbabwe's Parliament. Analysts and political figures criticize the slow progress and flawed nature of these bills, arguing that the central government is reluctant to relinquish control. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised legislative action, but skepticism remains high. Critics, including legal expert Dr. Vusumuzi Sibanda and ZAPU's Patrick Ndlovu, highlight the government's unwillingness to implement devolution, linking it to a desire to maintain centralized power and control over resources.

Animal activists drag Govt to court over translocation of Jumbos

05 Oct 2023  |  cite.org.zw
The Zimbabwe Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA) has taken legal action against the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) over the secretive translocation of young elephants, believed to be sold to a Chinese safari park. ZNSPCA has filed a criminal charge and sought urgent relief from the High Court of Zimbabwe, citing lack of transparency and cruel conditions during the elephants' transport. The animal rights group is also investigating the condition of the remaining elephants and has called for a full-scale investigation into the matter.

Nkayi Road construction mired in fresh controversy

01 Oct 2023  |  cite.org.zw
The construction of the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road, a critical infrastructure project in Matabeleland North, has been delayed due to alleged corruption and theft of materials by government officials. Despite starting in 1993, only 50 kilometers of the 155-kilometer road have been completed. Investigations by CITE revealed internal conflicts and accusations of material theft, which have been denied by senior officials. The Public Service Commission and the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry conducted investigations but found no conclusive evidence. The poor state of the road has led to numerous fatal accidents, highlighting the negative impact of corruption on public infrastructure and economic development.

Villagers block mining activities at Matobo Hills world heritage site

01 Oct 2023  |  cite.org.zw
The government has halted mining activities by the Mazinhue Syndicate at the Matobo Hills World Heritage Site following protests from local villagers. The villagers, supported by officials from the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, emphasized the cultural and historical significance of the site. The Matobo District Development Coordinator assured that no mining would occur, and the issue would be addressed through proper channels. The incident has raised concerns about potential corruption in the issuance of mining licenses in protected areas.

Zimbabwean government drafting statutory instrument to ensure communities benefit from trophy hunting

01 Oct 2023  |  The Independent
Zimbabwe's government is drafting a Statutory Instrument to ensure that revenue from hunting quotas is allocated to communities affected by human-wildlife conflict. The Minister of Environment, Mangaliso Ndlovu, emphasized the need to reward these communities, citing the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) laws. Concerns have been raised about the misappropriation of CAMPFIRE funds and the pricing structure for wildlife trade. The government aims to empower communities coexisting with wildlife, addressing issues like those raised by Matabeleland North legislator Lwazi Sibanda regarding the sale of elephants in Tsholotsho.

Lawyer and seven others denied bail, accused of disobeying police orders

05 Jul 2023  |  cite.org.zw
Eight individuals, including lawyer Farai Chauke, were denied bail in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe, for allegedly disobeying police orders to disperse from a banned Citizens Coalition for Change rally. They were charged under the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act and are represented by Ross Chavi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. The Law Society of Zimbabwe condemned attacks on lawyers, referencing the assault on Obey Shava in Harare and the cyberbullying of Fadzai Traquino, highlighting a pattern of violence against legal practitioners.

New reporting manual provides guidelines for covering Zimbabwe's elections

01 Apr 2023  |  International Journalists' Network
The Zimbabwe Media Commission, in collaboration with UNESCO, has released a manual to guide journalists covering the upcoming elections in July. The manual aims to ensure journalists' safety and access to information, covering electoral systems, voting procedures, and post-election events. It also addresses media polarization by promoting ethical behavior and uniform standards. Despite its late release, the manual is seen as a positive step by various stakeholders, including the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum and the Media Institute of Southern Africa. However, concerns remain about journalists' ability to vote and their safety while reporting, with calls for amendments to the Electoral Act and better engagement with law enforcement.

Zimbabwe is selling baby elephants, but where does the money go?

23 Mar 2023  |  www.africanelephantjournal.com
The article by Lulu Brenda Harris discusses the controversial decision by CITES to nearly ban the transfer of African elephants to zoos abroad, which has been met with opposition from Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe, which has a significant elephant population and has been exporting baby elephants, voted against the resolution. The country's wildlife authority, ZimParks, claims the sales support conservation efforts, but the lack of transparency and accusations of misrecorded sales have raised concerns. Activist Sharon Hoole and others believe that the proceeds from elephant sales are not fully declared, with some funds potentially being misappropriated. The article also mentions the involvement of Eagle Italian Leather, a company allegedly linked to the trade and supplying goods to the Zimbabwean government. Conservationists and activists are fighting for transparency and have taken legal action to demand information on the elephant sales. The government's stance on the issue is to use wildlife sales to fund conservation, but the lack of clarity on financial transactions has been criticized.

Zimbabwean livestock keepers battle two enemies to protect their herds

12 Jan 2023  |  The Independent
Communities near Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park are facing increased human-wildlife conflict and cattle rustling. Predators such as baboons, crocodiles, elephants, and hyenas are attacking livestock, while thieves steal cattle to sell in Mozambique. Villagers are employing various strategies to protect their herds, including fortified kraals and active herding. The Gonarezhou Conservation Trust is working to reduce conflicts and support communities, while the Chiredzi South Rural District Council manages problem animals. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority assists in areas without the CAMPFIRE program. Despite these efforts, challenges persist, with cattle rustling identified as a significant issue.

Zimbabwean activists call for government to set up environmental courts

12 Jan 2023  |  www.independent.co.uk
Environmentalists in Zimbabwe are urging the government to establish specialized environmental courts to effectively prosecute individuals responsible for igniting bush fires, known as veld fires, which have resulted in loss of life, property, wildlife, and domestic animals. The Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) has called for urgent action following the '10-10-10 Veld Fire Disaster' where ten men died fighting a fire. MIHR Coordinator Khumbulani Maphosa recommends harsher penalties for environmental crimes and the establishment of support mechanisms for community environmental defenders. The Ministry of Environment is working on amending the Environmental Management Act to address these issues, while the Environmental Management Agency has been educating citizens about the dangers of veld fires. Traditional leaders and government officials acknowledge the need for more punitive laws to deter such environmental crimes.

Zimbabwe in catch-22 over CITES membership

14 Nov 2022  |  The Independent
Zimbabwe faces a dilemma over its CITES membership, unable to fully benefit from its large elephant population due to a ban on ivory trade. Environment Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu explained that leaving CITES would prevent trade with primary markets like China and Japan, who are CITES members. Ndlovu emphasized the need to influence CITES for market access, especially since Southern Africa holds over 85% of the world's elephant population. The upcoming CITES conference in Panama is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to advocate for its position, focusing on science-led decisions rather than politics. Despite the challenges, Ndlovu acknowledged the conservation successes achieved through CITES, including curbing poaching and saving bird species.

Villagers living near Zimbabwean national parks want compensation for economic loss caused by wildlife

01 Nov 2022  |  independent.co.uk
Communities near Zimbabwe's wildlife areas are seeking government compensation for economic losses due to crop and livestock damage by wild animals. The government recently approved payments for victims of human-wildlife conflict, covering death, maiming, and injuries, but not economic losses. A specialized unit within the Department of Parks and Wildlife will manage the relief fund, financed by hunting revenues. Villagers report significant losses, with Gonarezhou National Park's surrounding villages losing up to $75,000 annually. They argue for compensation to prevent resentment and maintain food security and cash income. The Gonarezhou Conservation Trust (GCT) and CAMPFIRE, a government initiative, provide some community assistance, but personal compensation is lacking. The law currently does not allow for compensation of economic losses, and authorities are still working on a policy.

Young Zimbabweans volunteer to learn anti-poaching

24 Jun 2022  |  independent.co.uk
In the northwestern Hwange region of Zimbabwe, young volunteers are participating in a 14-day anti-poaching program created by local tour operator and safari hunting business owner Wisdom Bushe Neshav. The program, which began in 2020, has trained volunteers in wildlife navigation and poacher tracking. Neshav emphasizes the importance of wildlife appreciation over poaching, which is detrimental to community welfare. The program has been successful in removing over a thousand wire snares since July 2020. Despite the challenges, volunteers self-fund their participation, demonstrating their commitment to wildlife conservation.

Trial begins for four Zimbabweans arrested for possession of live pangolin with intent to sell

19 May 2022  |  The Independent
Four individuals were arrested in Mwenezi District, Zimbabwe, for possessing a live pangolin, four lion teeth, and a python skin with the intent to sell them for over US$5,000. The trial began on May 19, 2022. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority enforces strict laws against pangolin poaching, with mandatory sentences for illegal possession. The accused were apprehended by a team from Chiredzi Parks Investigations, the Criminal Investigations Department, and the Police Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit. They face multiple charges, with potential sentences ranging from fines to several years of imprisonment.

Community participation key to reducing wildlife crime in Zimbabwe

30 Apr 2022  |  The Independent
Conservationists in Zimbabwe emphasize the importance of community involvement in reducing wildlife crime. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has made significant strides by educating communities and involving them in conservation efforts. Key stakeholders like Bhejane Trust and Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust support these initiatives by providing incentives and implementing programs like 'Community Guardians.' Despite challenges from external influences, community participation has led to notable successes in wildlife crime prevention.

Chinese miner invades Matobo ranch

24 Jan 2022  |  cite.org.zw
A Chinese mining company, Edsabri (Private) Limited, has illegally invaded Inyorka ranch in Matobo, causing environmental damage and prompting the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and local authorities to issue eviction orders and fines. Despite these actions, the miners have continued their activities without an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report. The owner of the ranch, Philip Mpofu, and local officials are working to have the miners removed and arrested. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has also engaged the police to address the issue.

CITE to hold annual healing film festival

01 Oct 2021  |  cite.org.zw
The Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE) will host its Annual Healing and Reconciliation Film Festival in October, themed 'The Power of Memory.' The festival aims to highlight the importance of transitional justice through films and academic lectures, focusing on the historical injustices in Matabeleland and Midlands from 1982 to 1985. CITE Director Zenzele Ndebele emphasizes the project's goal of truth-telling for community healing and preventing future abuses. This year's activities, mostly online due to COVID-19, include film screenings, public lectures, and workshops, featuring documentaries like 'One night in 1983' and 'Children of the Genocide.'

Another Gukurahundi memorial plaque stolen

01 Sep 2021  |  cite.org.zw
A Gukurahundi memorial plaque in Silobela, Midlands, erected by the pressure group Ibhetshu LikaZulu, has been stolen shortly after its installation, mirroring a similar incident from June. The group accuses the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government of attempting to hide the occurrence of the Gukurahundi massacres in Midlands. The theft occurred during the commemoration of the United Nations Day of the victim of enforced disappearances, and has been interpreted as a sign that the government is not ready to address or be held accountable for the mass killings. Analyst Khanyile Mlotshwa views the vandalization of memorial plaques as a continuation of the crime against humanity and suggests the government's actions contradict its public statements encouraging open dialogue about the genocide.

Cimas partners with business associations to procure Covid-19 vaccines

30 Apr 2021  |  cite.org.zw
Cimas Medical Aid Society in Zimbabwe has partnered with various business associations to procure Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines for its members, who will be vaccinated for free. As of April 30, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that over 85,000 people have been fully vaccinated. The vaccines, procured through the government, are being administered at Cimas and other approved facilities. Cimas CEO Vuli Ndlovu emphasized the importance of vaccination and the company's commitment to health and wellness, including correcting misinformation and investing in health infrastructure.

19 testing lab issuing fake certificates

10 Feb 2021  |  cite.org.zw
A corrupt network involving staff at the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory and doctors at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo has been illegally selling fake Covid-19 certificates to individuals wanting to travel outside Zimbabwe. These certificates are issued without conducting actual tests, posing a significant health risk. Investigations by CITE revealed the involvement of hospital staff in this illegal activity, with the matter currently under investigation by the hospital's control department and the police. The article highlights the challenges faced by public health institutions in managing resources and the impact of corruption on public health safety.

BPRA wins Bulawayo street names lawsuit

01 Jan 2021  |  cite.org.zw
The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) won a High Court order halting the government's renaming of Bulawayo street names without resident input. The court set aside Statutory Instrument 167/20, which aimed to rename several streets, including 6th Avenue Extension to Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Way. BPRA argued that the local government ignored proposals from the Bulawayo City Council and failed to consult landowners as required by law. The court ruled in favor of BPRA, ordering the local government to cover the legal costs.

MISA condemns continued attacks on journalists – #Asakhe

05 Oct 2020  |  cite.org.zw
The Media Institute of Southern Africa's Zimbabwe chapter has documented 30 media violations against journalists by state authorities since the Covid-19 regulations began in March. These include the arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and a police raid on ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu's home. MISA Zimbabwe expressed concern over the increasing attacks on media workers and the deteriorating safety for journalists. The organization also addressed these concerns to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which condemned the human rights violations in Zimbabwe. MISA Zimbabwe urged the government to ensure journalists' safety and align repressive laws with the Bill of Rights.

Horror as woman electrocuted while relieving herself

03 Sep 2020  |  cite.org.zw
A woman was electrocuted inside an electricity substation in the city center while relieving herself. The incident occurred around 1 pm on Thursday, and witnesses were unable to assist due to fear of electrocution. The substation was unattended, and this was not the first electrocution reported there. The lack of public toilets was highlighted as a contributing factor. The area was cordoned off by police and the fire brigade when CITE arrived.

Returnees housed in quarantine centres in Bulawayo raise concerns over conditions

08 Jun 2020  |  cite.org.zw
Returnees quarantined in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, are experiencing poor conditions at facilities like United Education College and Bulawayo Polytechnic. They report overcrowding, insufficient testing, and extended stays beyond the 21-day requirement. The country's COVID-19 cases are rising, particularly among returnees, with 206 confirmed cases since March 20, 2020. Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke acknowledged the issues and plans to send a team to investigate. He mentioned the challenge of accommodating different levels of people in one place. Dr. Gibson Mhlanga from the Ministry of Health and Child Care admitted to a shortage of testing kits but assured that new supplies have been received and PCR testing will be conducted on all quarantine days. He emphasized the importance of following social distancing and hygiene protocols to prevent cross-infection.

Bulawayo Bombing Survivors Feel Neglected by Government

08 Jun 2020  |  cite.org.zw
A year after an explosion at a rally in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, survivors feel neglected by the government. The blast, which occurred at a rally for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, killed two and injured 47. While high-profile victims received top-notch care, poorer residents struggle with medical bills. David Ndlovu and others accuse the government and Zanu PF of neglect, noting a lack of updates on the investigation. Some, like Margaret Chidzoba, report receiving government assistance, but many others, including victims like Happiness Ntabeni and Pamela Moyo, have been left to fend for themselves. The government's response has been inconsistent, with some receiving aid and updates, while others are left in the dark. The incident involved a grenade, and there were reports of investigative conflicts between the police and the army.

Experts explain COVID-19 testing procedure at Mpilo Hospital – #Asakhe – CITE

08 Jun 2020  |  cite.org.zw
The National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (NTBRL) at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, which now also serves as a COVID-19 testing facility, is experiencing delays in testing due to inadequate machinery and space. The lab conducts TB tests in the morning and COVID-19 tests in the afternoon using a PCR machine, which takes about five hours to produce a result. The testing is part of a government program and is offered for free, although the cost would be around US$100 per test if charged. Mpilo began COVID-19 testing last week to increase the country's testing capacity, which was previously limited to the National Reference Laboratory at Sally Mugabe Hospital in Harare. Zephaniah Dlamini from NUST, which is partnering with Mpilo for testing, explained the testing process and the challenges faced due to the high volume of samples and the need to batch tests efficiently.

Tortured Zanu PF man exposes military hand in brutal attacks – #Asakhe – CITE

08 Jun 2020  |  cite.org.zw
Mutshiwa Dlamini, a Zanu PF supporter and mechanic from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, was brutally assaulted by soldiers in the aftermath of protests on January 14. Despite his political affiliation, Dlamini was attacked and accused of participating in the protests. He suffered severe injuries and was denied assistance by the police, who claimed they could not interfere with military operations. Human rights lawyer Tineyi Mukwewa assisted Dlamini, who is now on a security forces' hit list. Dlamini's brother, a retired major general, and War Veterans deputy minister Victor Matemadanda were informed of the incident. The Zimbabwe National Army and Zimbabwe Republic Police have denied involvement in civilian attacks, attributing violence to imposters. However, multiple cases of assault and sexual violence have been reported, contradicting official statements. Human rights groups claim 12 people were killed and over 70 injured by gunshot wounds during the crackdown.

ZIMA suspends all medical gatherings

23 Mar 2020  |  cite.org.zw
The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) has suspended all medical gatherings as a precaution against the coronavirus, allowing only critical training for Covid-19 management with safety protocols. Zimbabwe recorded its first death from the pandemic. ZIMA's National Secretary-General, Dr Sacrifice Chirisa, emphasized the importance of safety and protection for medical practitioners, urging them to use hand sanitizers, running water, and face masks, and to learn about coronavirus protocols and care guidelines. ZIMA is also advocating for the production of COVID-19 case management guidelines and will hold a meeting to discuss preparedness in private practices.

Zimbabwean Villagers Embrace 'Lost Crops' to Fight Drought

27 Aug 2019  |  Medium
In Maphisa, Matobo District, Zimbabwe, villagers are turning to 'lost crops' like amaranth, millet, sorghum, and raphoko to combat drought conditions exacerbated by climate change. These indigenous crops, which are drought-resistant and offer health benefits, were once widely cultivated but fell out of favor due to the introduction of hybrid crops. Now, with the support of organizations like Dabane Trust and ICRISAT, and initiatives like the 2019 Seed and Traditional Food Fair, local farmers, predominantly women, are reviving these crops. The St Anna community has also established a seed bank to preserve these varieties. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Settlement’s National Gene Bank is involved in preserving indigenous crops and providing farmer training, with the aim of ensuring food security in the face of changing climate conditions. The FAO notes that Southern Africa has seen a decline in maize production, increasing the demand for cereal, with global cereal production forecasted at 2,685 million tonnes for 2019.

Bulawayo says only ready for 100 cholera cases, 10 patients admitted

16 Sep 2018  |  Zimbabwe News Now
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, is currently managing 10 suspected cholera cases at Thorngrove Infections Diseases Hospital. An emergency meeting was held to discuss containment strategies following 30 cholera-related deaths in Harare. The city has prepared 110 beds and has adequate medication but faces challenges with fluid supplies and laboratory staffing. Health officials emphasize prevention and strict hygiene practices to avoid a crisis similar to the 2008 outbreak that resulted in over 4,000 deaths.

July 30: The power of first-time voters

29 Jul 2018  |  thestandard.co.zw
Zimbabwe's upcoming elections may be significantly influenced by first-time voters, with young people aged 18 to 22 comprising the largest demographic of registered voters. The 2018 final voters roll shows a 372% increase in registered voters in this age group since 2013. Various leaders from civic organizations and political parties encourage the youth to vote thoughtfully for a better future, emphasizing their power to effect change. The article highlights the groundwork laid by social media campaigns and activists to increase youth voter registration.

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