Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 28, 2016

Wash your clothes!

IMG_0689.JPGThis other day I was reading Exodus  and came across a Scripture which showed me a number of pointers.

Exodus 19:10,11 King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

What struck my attention is that God cares for us even to the extent of monitoring the condition of our clothes. He said to Moses to tell the people to sanctify themselves- the spiritual cleansing and more importantly, WASH their CLOTHES!

Most of the times we think God is only concerned about our spiritual state, cleanliness. We always consider a sinless life as the only ultimate goal.

But God sees beyond the spiritual. He goes to the extent of inspecting our clothes.

How smart are you today?

The children of Israel were in the desert on their trip to the promised land. Many of them could have been taking advantage of the shortage of water in the wilderness. Some of them could have taken advantage of the fact that it is always dusty and windy in the desert and that being justification for being scruffy.

Even in our times, some take advantage of the short supply of water in our areas. Some blame the economic situation as a reason to be scruffy and not presentable.

“Zvinhu zvakawoma,”they say.

But still, kuwoma kwezvunhu should not be an excuse for our presentation.

At some point many years ago I had one pair of trousers and one shirt but I kept these two pieces in good order, washing at night and ironing by day. Things were tight for our family as we grew up. Thank God who raises up the poor from the dust and the needy from the dunghill, we cannot complain now!

God instructed them to wash their clothes. By extension this means that God cares about everything about us.

No wonder Jesus said “Hamuchenerani nema flowers”. But He did not say garai netsvina.

 

 

 

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 27, 2016

Film business getting exciting

Last year we had Dead End Season 1 on ZBC.

This was my first appearance in a TV series. How thrilling it was.

A year down the line, I am still enjoying the first Episode of Dead End. I use it as inspiration in all the other projects I am working on.

I am in #WeneraZimbabwe soapie also on ZBC. It is exciting and yet challenging to meet the required standards but I work hard to get to the top. The vision is great and therefore will continue working harder to see it through.

dead end season 1

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 20, 2016

36 years of independence

What is independence?

What are the principles that determine whether the nation is free?

Can there be an independent but not free society?

Discuss

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 13, 2016

Zim ICT Policy Almost Ready

Opinion

THE other day I chewed almost the whole barrel of my pen. I was using the pen to complete the set of forms for membership at this institution in central Harare. Chewing the barrel of the pen is a habit for me which I believe somehow enhances my thinking capacity. But this time the kind of thinking was associated with the amount of personal information required on the forms. Somehow, I felt this institution was intruding for they wanted information about my blood group, my height, my children including where I was born and when.

They almost wanted to know why I was born!

In my thought process many questions flashed through my mind.

What if all this valuable information is leaked just like the WikiLeaks, or recently the Panama files?

What if the institution is hacked, what will become of my personal data?

How much security does this institution have on personal data?

I am not the only one in this “barrel chewing” business when faced with sets of forms to complete.

To make matters worse, banks, insurance companies, medical aid societies from time to time require customers and members to update their personal data under the “Know Your Customer” requirements.

This poses challenges to the security of the amount of data they hold.

But how much is personal data worth?

Worldwide some unscrupulous organisations collect data from customers and sell to advertisers and data brokers. There is a thriving black market for data in the digital economy.

Cybercriminals have created a web of networks fuelling a digital economy for stolen data.

But Zimbabweans should not worry about cybercriminals because Government is almost done with an Information Communication and Technology policy, ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has said.

The ICT Policy is aimed at addressing the abuse of personal data and protect people from cyberbullying which takes place using electronic technology.

“Some of the issues the ICT Policy and the Bills (Cyber Security Bill, Data Protection Bill, the E-Commerce Bill) will respond to include abuse of people’s data when they go to banks, insurance houses, medical aid societies. Data is now being spread all over, people hacking into accounts and sending negative stuff all over. We are going to address these issues very soon,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.

He said only last week the Cabinet committee which is looking into the ICT Policy received important input that is now being finalised for further discussion.

According to Minister Mandiwanzira, the passing of the ICT Policy will pave the way for the introduction of various Bills relating to data.

“I must say that most of the pre-parliament work on the Cybersecurity Bill, Data Protection Bill, the E-Commerce Bill has been done. What remains is for the processes at Cabinet to clear the policy.

“Once the policy is out of the way you shall see a pipeline for these Bills coming to parliament and they will respond to the various challenges that we are beginning to face within social media space,” he said.

Some of the objectives of the policy include; to develop a legal framework that addresses issues related to cyber security, protection of data, intellectual property rights (IPRs), broadband, e-transactions and ethical and moral rights; and facilitate provision and maintenance of infrastructural facilities necessary for ICT development, such as reliable supply of energy, communications and transport.

The policy also seeks to put in place mechanisms to ensure that existing infrastructure is effectively utilised through, among other modalities, sharing to avoid duplication; manage internet traffic at national level as well as on the Gateways; systematically promote and support the relevant and sustainable development of ICTs; embark on extensive capacity building and training programmes to provide adequate supply of qualified ICTs personnel and knowledge workers in all sectors and advocate for the establishment of ICT structures for effective implementation of ICT strategies.

It will ensure the promotion of the research and development of local ICT products regionally and internationally; promote local content development in indigenous languages; establish institutional mechanisms and procedures for determining sectoral application priorities and promote, support and enhance the development and use of ICTs and ensure equitable access to attendant benefits across gender, youths, children, people living with disabilities and the elderly- Herald

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 7, 2016

Somersault!

The @HeraldZimbabwe carries a report on millers crying foul over government’s issuance of import permits to certain companies and individuals to import mealie meal.

The report – http://www.herald.co.zw/millers-cry-foul-as-govt-issues-maize-meal-import-permits/ says that Zimbabwe has issued 68 permits for the importation of 140 000 metric tonnes of maize meal valued at an estimated $60 million, irking local millers.

On their part, the millers argue that Government should not authorise the importation of finished products such as maize meal fearing that the landing price for imported maize meal could be lower than local producer prices; hence driving them out of business.

Furthermore, the millers argue that because they are in the process of importing grain, government should show good faith and stop importation of maize meal.

The sector’s arguments make sense to an extent. However, their pricing structures may have justified the importation of cheaper maize meal. The issue of pricing is critical in Zimbabwe.

It does not apply only to the millers but to the entire economy. Prices of locally produced goods are much higher than in the region.

While I implore the millers to revisit their pricing structures, I  note that the issuance of import permits for maize meal exposes government’s policy flip flops.

On the one hand, government is seeking to promote value addition and beneficiation while on the other hand it is promoting imports of finished goods. A contradiction indeed!

These are the issues that make an investor, whether local or foreign, unsure whether to invest in Zimbabwe.

Government should set policies and follow them to the letter. It would not send right signals if government is to somersault on its own policies.

 

 

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 6, 2016

President Mugabe meets war vets

Thursday, April 7, President Mugabe is expected to meet war veterans at the City Sports Centre in the Capital, Harare.

What scenarios could come out;

  1. A non-event, no scene no Waaal kind of outcome;
  2. President Mugabe, as Patron, hearing the war vets cries and promising to act on them;
  3. War vets singing for their supper-to appease their Patron so that he can act on their issues;
  4. War vets bulldozing their demands as before- the Chenjerai Hunzvi style
  5. Or squabbles disrupting the meeting

 

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 4, 2016

‘Set Up Gold Reserve Bank’

By Conrad Mwanawashe

VISITING investment consultants from the United States of America and Canada have implored Zimbabwe to consider setting up a gold reserve bank and introduce a gold currency with a view to attract international capital.

Under the initiatives, Zimbabwe could link the gold bank and currency to a gold debit card and finance it through economic citizenship.

Economic citizenship is when an individual goes through the process of naturalisation in a second country on account of his/her financial investment into that country’s economy.

In interactions with the business community and Government officials at a breakfast meeting on Friday, New York Times best-selling author and chairman of Casey Research, Doug Casey and Casey Research senior editor Nick Giambruno, pointed out areas where Government could target with a view of turning around the economy.

The breakfast meeting was organised by the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion.

Apart from setting up a gold reserve bank and introducing a gold currency, they said Government could also consider the economic citizenship concept. The gold reserve bank could become an international gold bank attracting deposits from all over the world in any currency from depositors who prefer to hedge in gold. The bank would then convert the amounts deposited into gold using prevailing market rates.

They said Zimbabwe should take a leaf from developed nations such as China which, despite being the world’s largest gold producer, is heavily importing gold to back its currency.

Mr Casey, who is also an investor and international business consultant said setting up or converting the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe into a gold bank could be necessary to raise capital.

“If you set up a gold bank in this country all the people (Zimbabweans) become shareholders and it will be possible to raise maybe as little as a $100 million on the world market and that will capitalise the bank,” said Mr Casey.

“People could deposit their euros and dollars into the gold bank and the bank will buy gold and convert the currency into gold. This is how the gold bank is built. As more and more people deposit their savings into the bank it is transferred and converted into gold and when it grows it can be converted into notes or coins and it will be growing,” he said.

He reckons that this way, there will be billions deposited into the bank by African countries and even the whole world converting their money into gold.

Apart from bringing money into the country, the use of gold as a currency could also increase confidence in Zimbabwe’s currency, financial system and ultimately economy as it attracts international capital.

“The gold bank can be implemented with technological aspects because the country can introduce gold bank debt cards and there are many ways to do this. This can make Zimbabwe a free country in Africa and the bank will create good public relations for the country,” said Mr Giambruno.

A number of countries, including China, are accumulating gold reserves because gold is fungible.

“If you did that, Zimbabwe will be the first country to have gold currency in the world and this will improve the life of Zimbabwean business people and citizens,” he said.

Local economists, however, said although the idea sounds noble, the challenge is that Zimbabwe is not aware of the quantum of minerals it possesses because there has not been enough exploration.

The director responsible for mining promotion and development in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Mr Den Makandwa confirmed that opportunities are available in the exploration.

“You will realise that Zimbabwe is yet to experience extensive mineral exploration as well as application of modern technology. You will also realise that most of our minerals deposits at the moment are by global standards, except for platinum group metals, because they still need to be investigated further. This presents opportunities in exploration both in brown field and greenfield projects. We would welcome interventions in exploration,” said Mr Makandwa.

The lack of reliable information from exploration makes it difficult to use gold to back currency.

Another challenge would be the value of the gold which is determined on the world market, which may make the gold backed currency volatile.

“It is very vulnerable to speculation. In other words they (the visiting investors) are simply suggesting introduction of a local currency to improve liquidity,” said Mr Thomas Masese, an economist with the Africa University.

“It (introduction of a gold bank and gold currency) is feasible but it still needs discipline, it is the same as when you are able to seigniorage your own currency. The amount in circulation has to be correctly linked to the level of output or production in the economy. You must also have enough reserves of gold to prop up the currency when under speculative attack. You do not necessarily need a gold bank because the reserve bank through Fidelity Printers and Refiners are the legal custodians of the country’s gold,” said Mr Masese.

But the economist feels that instead of a gold bank to resuscitate or grow the economy, Zimbabwe needs to work on economy hygiene issues such as the cost of doing business, boost production, increase competitiveness of local products, attract investment, policy consistence, fighting corruption and sorting out the indigenisation issues. – Herald

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 1, 2016

Where is the bottleneck?

What an eventful beginning to 2016!

Indigenisation overdrive; polarisation in the political parties; hirings and firings; recalls; Vote of No Confidence(s).

While all this is happening the economy is yearning for some impetus, some form of intervention to lift it from its knees where it has been stuck for the past decade.

Zimbabwe needs some economic direction.

This year alone I have covered quite many forums where most of the discussion centered on what WILL be done and not on what HAS been done.

Brilliant blueprints and policies have been proffered but implementation remains a challenge in Zim.

Where is the bottleneck?

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 5, 2010

Conrad on new media

I was asked by the Standard Newspaper to do a piece on New media focusing on general aspects.

We hope to follow this up with a more detailed expose on the different aspects of new media.

Kindly enjoy reading from the link below and feel free to send me your comments and areas you wish I can touch on
http://www.thestandard.co.zw/entertainment/23857-new-media–communication-made-easy.html

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | September 25, 2009

Mugabe’s farms exposed

See how Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has illegally benefited from the often violent land seizures.

visit:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/6231765/Robert-Mugabe-has-built-up-10000-acre-farm-of-seized-land.html

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