Despite a mandate to eradicate HIV/AIDS under the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Zimbabwe has done little or nothing to reduce the rate of infection among vulnerable gays and lesbians, say activists here.
As unemployment deepens across this Southern African nation and as the country battles to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of the December 2015 deadline, thousands of urban Zimbabweans here are facing starvation.
With the ruling Zimbabwe Africa National Union Patriotic Front party in Zimbabwe seized with internal conflicts, attention to key development areas here have shifted despite the imminent end of December 2015 deadline for global attainment of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Zimbabwe has lost 12 billion dollars in illicit financial flows over the last three decades and experts say this illegal practice is perpetuating social inequalities and poverty in this southern African nation.
Pregnant at 15, Samantha Yakubu* is in a fix. The 16-year-old boy she claims was responsible for her pregnancy has refused to accept her version of events, insisting that he was “not the only one who slept with her”.
Ethel Maziriri, 27, holds an Honours Degree in Social Work from the University of Zimbabwe, but instead of working in her chosen profession, she works as a cashier in one of the country’s leading clothing retail company. And it’s not by choice.
Mavis Gotora from Mabvuku high-density suburb, in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, walks up and down, as she persuades one passer-by after another to board the private taxi cab she drives.
Millicent Gananda, 34, and her two children enjoy their food at a roadside restaurant in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, before they dash into the supermarket next door.
For 22-year-old Moselyn Muchena, a final year computer science student at the University of Zimbabwe, it seemed obvious to create a mobile application offering easy access to services in the local catering industry, largely because of the huge number of female entrepreneurs in that sector.
For many young Zimbabweans like 19-year-old Shelton Mbariro, running an unlicensed, backyard handmade shoe business has become a way to escape unemployment in this southern African nation.
When the Tokwe-Mukosi dam’s wall breached, so started the long, painful and disorienting journey for almost 18,000 people who had lived in the 50-kilometre radius of Chivi basin in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo province as even those not affected by the flood were removed from their homes.
As the villagers sit around the flickering fire on a pitch-black night lit only by the blurry moon, they speak, recounting how it all began.They take turns, sometimes talking over each other to have their own experiences heard. When the old man speaks, everyone listens. “It was my first time riding a helicopter,” John Moyo* remembers.
“Ndipei sand dzangu,
” (give me my hammers) sings Zimbabwean artist Winky D. He may be singing in Shona, the local language spoken by some 80 percent of Zimbabweans, but his Shona is different. It’s Street Shona. So what he really means, loosely translated, is that someone is exceptionally good at what they do and therefore needs to be recognised for this.
Madeline Murambwi sits behind the wheel of her brand new Toyota Land Cruiser, threading her way through the traffic in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. She's on her way back from the tobacco auction floors where she just pocketed thousands of dollars.
Rutendo Mawere reports from Harare on the link between gender-based violence and HIV and efforts to stop the practice.*with additional reporting by Ish Mafundikwa