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Wendy Muperi

Dublin, Ireland
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About Wendy
Wendy Muperi is a Zimbabwean journalist who has covered health, politics, socio-economic issues, has been been a parliament and local government reporter among other roles. She has worked for Zimpapers and Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Independent. Wendy contributes to The Economist, Christian Science Monitor,  Bhekisisa and New Zimbabwe. In 2014, Wendy co-founded the Health Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (HeJAZ) & Communication for Development (C4D). She holds an MSc in Public Policy from Dublin City University, Ireland; an Honours Degree in Political Science from University of Zimbabwe and a Diploma in Journalism and Communication from the Christian College of Southern Africa in Zimbabwe. Wendy is an alumna and also a mentor of the US embassy Women Journalists Mentoring programme (WJMP). She is a passionate journalist with great people skills and has worked extensively with visiting journalists.
English Shona
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Business Politics Current Affairs

Why We Wrote This

10 May 2019  |  The Christian Science Monitor
The article discusses the challenges faced by Zimbabwe in dealing with the adoption of orphaned children due to the twin crises of HIV/AIDS and economic decline. The traditional practice of taking in relatives' children is under strain, and there is a cultural resistance to adopting non-relative children. Stanislaus Sanyangowe, the deputy director for child protection services at the Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, highlights the low number of domestic adoptions. The ministry is trying to change mindsets by distributing information on adoption at various public gatherings. The article also shares the story of the Nhika family, who are struggling to care for their orphaned grandchildren on a meager pension, and Mary Muchando, a teacher who has adopted two daughters, one from her extended family and another found abandoned. The article underscores the cultural complexities and financial hardships surrounding adoption in Zimbabwe.

Inside the illegal abortion market: 'I nearly touched hell'

29 Jan 2019  |  bhekisisa.org
In Zimbabwe, restrictive abortion laws are driving women to seek dangerous illegal abortions, as safe procedures are inaccessible for most. Tapiwa Chiwenga's harrowing experience highlights the risks and costs involved. Despite legal barriers, nearly 67,000 abortions were performed in 2016, mostly outside the health system. The Guttmacher Institute and local organizations like Katswe Sistahood provide data and support, but the global gag rule has led to funding cuts for essential services like contraception, potentially increasing the demand for illegal abortions. Healthcare workers advocate for legal reform to save lives, as criminalization fails to address the root causes of unplanned pregnancies and only exacerbates the public health crisis.

Zimbabwe’s tight abortion laws aren’t curbing demand, they’re driving them underground — and it’s about to get worse.

29 Jan 2019  |  bhekisisa.org
The article discusses the dire situation of abortion laws in Zimbabwe, where the Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1977 severely restricts legal abortions, leading many women to seek dangerous underground procedures. The journalist, going undercover, exposes the clandestine market for abortion pills and traditional medicines in Harare. Despite the law, an estimated 66,800 illegal abortions were performed in 2016, often resulting in complications. The article also touches on the impact of the US global gag rule, which has led to the closure of hundreds of family planning sites in Zimbabwe, exacerbating the issue. The story of Tapiwa Chiwenga, a pseudonym for a woman who underwent a risky abortion, is used to illustrate the personal toll of these laws. The article argues for the need to address the unmet need for contraception and socioeconomic factors driving unplanned pregnancies, rather than criminalizing abortions.

Restrictive governments in Africa are limiting web access more often precisely because internet use is booming.

23 Jan 2019  |  csmonitor.com
The article discusses the trend of internet shutdowns in Africa, particularly in the context of government crackdowns during elections or protests. It highlights the increasing reliance on the internet and mobile technology in African economies, such as mobile money, which has been significantly affected by these shutdowns. The article features the story of Alice Ndlovu (a pseudonym), a teacher in Zimbabwe who struggled to access money sent from her son due to an internet blackout. The shutdowns are seen as a means for governments to control information and quell dissent, but they also have unintended economic consequences and affect both supporters and opponents of the regimes. The article mentions organizations like Access Now and NetBlocks, and references the High Court ruling in Zimbabwe that deemed the internet shutdown illegal. It concludes with a note on the growing resistance to internet blackouts and the increasing value people place on their rights when they are threatened.

As more citizens reach for the web, more leaders reach for the ‘off’ switch

23 Jan 2019  |  csmonitor.com
The article discusses the increasing trend of internet shutdowns by African governments as a means of repression, particularly in response to protests and to control information flow. It highlights the case of Alice Ndlovu, a pseudonym for a teacher in Zimbabwe, who was unable to access money sent from her son due to an internet shutdown amid fuel price protests. The shutdowns are a reaction to the growing internet penetration in Africa, which has economic benefits but also enables social change and challenges government control. The article mentions several countries that have experienced recent shutdowns and discusses the economic costs, citing Zimbabwe's daily loss of $5.7 million during the blackout. It also touches on legal challenges to shutdowns and the growing resistance to such government actions.

As more Africans reach for web, more leaders reach for ‘off’ switch

23 Jan 2019  |  www.csmonitor.com
Internet shutdowns are becoming more prevalent in Africa as governments attempt to suppress protests and control information flow. Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Sudan have recently experienced shutdowns, impacting economic activities and citizens' daily lives. The shutdowns are a response to the rapid growth of internet users on the continent, which has increased from 4% to 25% in a decade. This growth has brought economic benefits but also challenges to government control. African courts are beginning to challenge the legality of these shutdowns, and resistance to internet blackouts is growing among the populace.

ZEC rolls out voters’ register

22 Jun 2018  |  newzimbabwe.com
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced the availability of the consolidated voters' roll for the 2018 harmonised elections, which is now accessible to candidates and the public. ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba called the release 'historic' and emphasized the importance of the voters' roll in democratic elections. The announcement follows a High Court order requiring the release of the roll. Chigumba defended ZEC against accusations of employing serving military personnel, stating that any security personnel were retired. The voters' roll, which includes over 5.6 million voters, will be provided to candidates for free, while the public can purchase it at varying prices. Chigumba also called for non-violence from political parties and objective reporting from the media for free and fair elections.

Zimbabwe’s new president may not be able to fix the economy

19 May 2018  |  www.economist.com
Zimbabwe's economy faces severe challenges as it transitions from using the American dollar to a confusing mix of local bond notes and mobile money, exacerbated by a cash-strapped government issuing near-worthless IOUs. The ousting of Robert Mugabe and the succession of Emmerson Mnangagwa bring uncertainty to the country's economic restoration. With a fiscal deficit of 11% of GDP, striking civil servants, and failing businesses, the upcoming elections add pressure to the ruling party, which may resort to cash splurges and voter intimidation. Citizens like Priscilla have resorted to informal jobs, and infrastructure has deteriorated, leading to a decline in tax collection and emigration of skilled workers.

The behavior of Robert Mugabe's wife 'Gucci Grace' inspired rage across Zimbabwe — but her downfall also led to rampant sexism

16 Dec 2017  |  businessinsider.com
The article discusses the sexism faced by women in Zimbabwean politics, highlighted by the fall of Grace Mugabe, the wife of former President Robert Mugabe. It explores the misogynistic attitudes prevalent in the society, where Grace Mugabe's ambition to become president was met with sexist insults and a general belief that women are unfit for leadership. The article includes perspectives from various individuals, including Sakhile Sifelani-Ngoma of WiPSU, former MP Margaret Dongo, and independent candidate Linda Masarira, who comment on the challenges women face in politics. Despite women holding one-third of the seats in Parliament, the article suggests that women are still tokenized and face discrimination. The new political landscape under President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Auxillia is also touched upon, indicating an ongoing debate about the role of women in Zimbabwean politics.

Graceless: Women warned off politics in Zimbabwe

13 Dec 2017  |  csmonitor.com
The article discusses the political legacy of Robert Mugabe, focusing on the role his wife, Grace Mugabe, played in his downfall and the broader implications for women in Zimbabwean politics. Grace Mugabe's ambition to become president and her aggressive political style led to a backlash filled with sexist insults and criticism. This has sparked a wider debate about the role of women in politics, with many expressing misogynistic views that question women's capabilities as leaders. Despite women occupying a significant portion of parliamentary seats in Zimbabwe, they still face discrimination and are often seen as tokens. The article includes perspectives from various individuals, including politicians and citizens, highlighting the deep-seated misogyny in Zimbabwe's political landscape. The situation is further complicated by the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and his wife Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is also facing pressure to conform to traditional gender roles despite her political position.

Graceless: Women warned off politics in Zimbabwe

13 Dec 2017  |  www.csmonitor.com
Grace Mugabe's fall from power in Zimbabwe has sparked a wider debate on women's roles in politics, with many facing sexist backlash and criticism. Despite women holding one-third of the seats in Zimbabwe's Parliament, they are often seen as tokens and face challenges from society and male colleagues. The situation is exacerbated by Grace Mugabe's controversial political style and personal history, which has led to a generalization that women are unfit for leadership. This sentiment is being challenged by female politicians and activists who are fighting against the deep-seated misogyny in Zimbabwean politics.

Hope springs anew with Zimbabwean newborns

05 Dec 2017  |  www.csmonitor.com
In Zimbabwe, as the nation anticipated the impeachment of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, two women, Progress Garakara and Moreblessing Mutsakani, gave birth to daughters Aleeya Nokutenda Garakara and Meryl Mutsakani. The births coincided with a historic moment for the country, as Mugabe resigned after 37 years in power. The event sparked hope among citizens for a brighter future, free from the hardships and economic ruin that characterized Mugabe's rule. The newborns symbolize a new beginning and the aspirations of Zimbabweans for a 'Great Zimbabwe.'

A prayer for the future

21 Nov 2017  |  csmonitor.com
The article narrates the stories of two Zimbabwean women, Progress Garakara and Moreblessing Mutsakani, who gave birth to their daughters on the day Robert Mugabe resigned as president after 37 years in power. Progress gave birth to Aleeya Nokutenda Garakara at the Edith Opperman maternity hospital, while Moreblessing welcomed Meryl Mutsakani in Chitungwiza. The article reflects on the hope for a new beginning in Zimbabwe, symbolized by the birth of these children on such a historic day. It also touches on the hardships faced by the families due to the country's economic collapse and the anticipation of change following Mugabe's resignation. The story is interwoven with the political events of the day and the personal lives of the Zimbabweans affected by the long-standing regime.

Why African widows get evicted by their in-laws

26 Jan 2017  |  www.economist.com
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, a former Zimbabwean MP and cabinet minister, was evicted from her home and lost nearly all her possessions to her in-laws after her husband's death, despite having legal ownership of property. This case exemplifies a broader issue in Zimbabwe where widows are often dispossessed of their property by in-laws, a problem exacerbated by traditional customs and legal loopholes. Human Rights Watch and The Loomba Foundation highlight the widespread nature of this issue and the difficulties widows face in retaining their property, with many marriages not legally documented and widows unable to afford legal representation.

Decriminalising the sex trade in Zimbabwe

05 Jan 2017  |  www.economist.com
Following Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court's 2015 ruling decriminalising prostitution, sex workers initially celebrated freedom from police harassment and bribes. However, the influx of young women into the trade due to economic desperation, a result of Robert Mugabe's mismanagement, has led to increased competition, plummeting prices, and violence. Veterans like Tambudzai Mikorasi are struggling with reduced income and resorting to hiring protection. The lack of police intervention has also led to a rise in robberies and rapes. Organizations like Katswe Sistahood express concern for the girls and young women forced into sex work for survival, with no economic recovery in sight.

The article summed up the deplorable state of Zimbabwe's health sector 35 years after independence particularly focusing on the public health sector.


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