Zimbabwe: A Paradise of Africa?
Published on 24th November 2008
|Erick Ndenga from Kenya|
East African students from Kenya (Erick),Uganda (Rose) and Tanzania
(Ebben) jets in from Zimbabwe after attending the BOOST Fellowship
BOOST Fellowship is a non-profit organization, whose core mission is to equip
young people with Life Skills and build on capacity. Boost work with tertiary
institutions within and beyond Zimbabwe.
The BOOST Fellowship is organized to teach, train, empower and mentor students
through its paradigm of “Entrepreneur Intelligence” and “Possibility-oriented
Living”. Based in Harare, Zimbabwe, and works with youth, primarily
University Students, It is currently operational in ten universities in Zimbabwe
and has an average membership of 40 students per university, bringing
to a total 400 students on the program countrywide.
The students give the African Executive their first hand experience in the country.AE
: What kind of attitude did you have about Zimbabwe before you went?Rose
: I expected to find a country with empty shops and stalled activities as has been reported by a section of the press.
Ebben: I expected a country with no food or transport
Erick: I expected to be met with street demonstrations
AE: How was your attitude challenged when you arrived there?
Rose: I found people going about their daily business normally
Ebben: Food was available and I saw very fancy cars on Zimbabwe roads
Erick: I found a peaceful and beautiful country and wondered whether a section of the press should be trusted
AE: How would you describe Zimbabwe?
Rose: It is a very beautiful country with good physical infrastructure in place. Harare city is well planned and organized
I wondered whose economy is bad in Zimbabwe if they could still manage
to buy fancy cars because most cars I saw on the streets were new. Food
was also available
Is there any shocking experience you encountered while in Zimbabwe?
|Rose Nyawera from Uganda|
Water scarcity is a big problem in the city.It is rationed by the
government. This makes people to buy unpurified water.In addition,
commodity and service charges are unpredictable. For instance,
the fare you might use to board a taxi is not the same amount you are
likely to pay the next hour. You find it doubled. AE
: What other experiences did you have in Zimbabwe?Rose
commodities are not affordable since the government controls how much
money an individual can withdraw at a time. Long queues in the banking
hall are the order of the day.
I was surprised to realize that I could understand some words in their
native language. It was interesting to realize that we share some
commonality in terms of foodstuffs consumed.
I saw military men easily interacting with civilians and they were out
in the streets as opposed to our country where they are in the barracks
most of the time.AE
: Between Mugabe and Tsavingirai, who is the best bet?Rose:
love Mugabe but feel his time is up as he achieved his mission of
liberating them from colonial rule. Some feel that Morgan is not
best suited for presidency as he is not highly educated.
They wonder how Morgan will confer degrees in public
universities as chancellor if he is academically upto-date.
|Ebben Musuya from Tanzania|
AE: So who is their best bet?
Ebben: Simba Makoni
AE: What makes Zimbabwe tick?
They have ventured into black market for currency exchange rather than
banks and they depend on mining industry to boost their revenue
base.People work for themselves instead of waiting for government
AE: How would you compare Zimbabwe to your respective countries of residence?
They have better infrastructures like good buildings, their roads are
in good conditions, and the town is well planned such that there is no
traffic snarl up
AE: what is your parting shot?
Rose: Zimbabwe is rich and beautiful country. If its economy stabilizes, it will regain its prestige as a paradise of Africa.
Ebben: Zimbabweans can change their country if they want since the citizenry is empowered through education.
Erick: Political barriers are the only stumbling block to Zimbabwe, the Paradise of Africa.