Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cross posted on Global Voices

I do a weekly roundup of blog news from a handful of southern African countries at Global Voices. Here's this week's edition.

Zimbabwe:- A coalition of opposistion civic groups, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) held improptu demonstrations in major cities in Zimbabwe on Saturday. This is Zimbabwe, the blog hosted by protest group Sokwanele/Zvakwana reports that 18 people were arrested by Zimbabwe’s brutal police who were caught unawares by the demonstrations.
“[Saturday’s] protests saw 18 people arrested by the police . They will all face charges of breaching the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). In Zimbabwe, it is illegal for people to gather in groups of three or more to discuss politics or hold public demonstrations without first seeking police permission. “
Both This is Zimbabwe and Zimpundit are anxious about the prospects of even larger protests called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) for today.
“Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) intends to have it’s 300,000 members on the streets after what it calls a breakdown of talks with the government,”
writes Zimpundit.

FirePussy notes that while there may be “no explosions” in Harare, people in some of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods have been without water for over a week now. Tragically she notes, the nation has submitted a bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2010, a move which will obviously cost the nation billions of dollars.
“I noticed a group of women waiting for a lift at the corner of Enterprise Road and Arcturus Avenue. What caught my eye was that each of the women had a 5 litre plastic container of water by their feet. They were probably on their way out to Mabvuku/Tafara a high-density suburb otherwise known as a township, east of Harare. This high-density area hasn’t had water for the past week.

But hey, the national football association have recently put in a bid to host the 2010 Africa Cup. Never mind the fact that our decrepit infrastructure (and that includes the government) can’t supply clean drinking water to its urban residents.”
DRC:- Congogirl has notes that one the nation’s best established citizens is ready running for president. Oscar Kishala, the senior director of oncology at Millennium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, appears ready to leave behind his life of luxury for the tremendous taks of restoring his war ravaged country.

Malawi:- Mike of Hacktivate points out MSMs inability to articulate a full perspective of the world’s story. He is surprised by a New York Times article that focuses on deforestration but neglects the fact that it is hunger that forces people to take logging jobs;
“Surprisingly there is not a single mention of the famine, but perhaps that is a good thing as people tune out when they hear about another “famine in Africa”. Instead it talks about how Malawi is losing its forest, and how the loggers manage to survive with their sad profession.”
He also has exciting reports about two new innovations that hold exciting prospects for the lifestyles of Africa’s millions. First, is the “hipporoller” which simplifies hauling water over long distances–a mundane reality in Africa.

Second is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk which pays people for doing simple tasks that computers cannot do.

Read Ethan Zuckerman’s discussion of this scheme here.

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