Stories written by Ignatius Banda

Zimbabwe Makes First Journalist Arrests Under Cybersecurity Law

Zimbabwe's press freedom credentials suffered further criticism with the arrest of two journalists from a privately-owned newspaper charged with transmitting "false data messages."

Zimbabwe Turns to Boreholes Amid Groundwater Level Concerns

Faced with cyclical droughts and low water levels in supply dams, Zimbabwe is turning to boreholes for relief, raising concerns about already precarious groundwater levels across the country.

Tobacco Consumption Slows in the West, Grows in Africa, say Researchers

Cigarette smuggling has emerged as one of the most lucrative enterprises between Zimbabwe and South Africa, with border authorities seizing contraband worth millions of dollars in recent years.

Zimbabwe Elections Rekindle Voter Apathy Concerns

Activity in the streets of Zimbabwe’s second city is testimony to a thriving informal sector where thousands of people eke out a living selling all sorts of wares.

Zimbabwe Crackdown on NGOs Could Impact Election Observation

Zimbabwe is pressing ahead with a controversial bill that critics say seeks to criminalise the operations of nongovernmental organisations working in the country.

Call for Increased Global Efforts to Ease Africa’s Climate-Induced Water Crisis

When years ago warnings were sounded that future wars would be fought not over oil but water, the predictions were dismissed as alarmist.

The Dilemma of Zimbabwe’s Food Security Efforts

On January 10, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) arrested three men found with fertilizer worth about 130,000 US dollars.

What Will it Take to Turn Farmers Toward Climate-Resilient Superfood Millet?

Millet could be Africa’s silver bullet for combating anaemia – and apart from health benefits, it is climate-resilient.

Experts call for Improved Protection of African Fisheries

With subsidies of global fisheries back on the World Trade Organisation’s agenda, experts are calling for African governments to upscale the protection of the sector long plagued by activities that continue to threaten the continent’s blue economy.

Turning Carriers of Water into Managers of Water

Each morning, Langelihle Tshuma checks her taps to confirm the water supply before preparing for the day ahead. Despite living in the city, the married housewife and mother of four has become accustomed to what in most cities would be considered an essential service.

Zimbabwe’s Urban Sprawl Dilemma

Ndaba Dube, a Bulawayo resident, says he built himself a home on a small piece of land after the authorities kept him on the housing waiting list for more than two decades. The land he chose is in an old township established before Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

COVID-19 Locks Down Therapy Support for Zimbabwe’s Trafficking Survivors

Before Zimbabwe imposed lockdown measures last March as part of global efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic, Grace Mashingaidze* would attend workshops in Harare arranged by a nongovernmental organisation assisting trafficked women who had safely made it back home.

New Report Calls for Improved Eating Habits in a World of Extremes

With the two extremes of global hunger and obesity on the increase, a new report suggests a radical reset for food and nutrition to ensure the long-term sustainability of livelihoods and the environment.

Policy Inconsistencies and Poor Research Slow Young Farmers in Africa

It is not everyday that a young farmer registers success in his enterprise and vows this is what he will do for the rest of his life. Yet this is the story of Lihle Moyo, a 27-year-old farmer from Gwanda, about 160km south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city.

“In Zimbabwe there is Freedom of Speech, but no Freedom After the Speech”

A long-running gag says “in Zimbabwe there is freedom of speech, but no freedom after the speech”. But for journalists and activists who have been forced to endure nights in the country’s overcrowded and filthy holding cells, this is no laughing matter as prison inmates have no personal protective equipment to guard against COVID-19.

Punches & Insults: Why Zimbabwe’s Women Candidates Want to Change the Political Playing Field

“I have long given up on active politics,” Gertrude Sidambe, a 36-year-old member of one of Zimbabwe’s opposition parties, tells IPS. When female members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front complained last month about political violence as male members chose brawn over brains to solicit for positions, the party’s National Secretary for Women’s Affairs Mabel Chinomona advised that they enter the punch-and-insult battlefield and “fight” like everyone else. 

Bulawayo Water Crisis: When the Taps Run Dry and the City Runs out of Ideas

Dotted across the Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo, the water tanks installed in private residences is evidence that years of a water crisis, that has seen some suburbs here going for months without running water, has not spared anyone. The large plastic drums, locally called Jojo tanks after the company that manufacturers them, and which have a storage range of up to 10,000 litres, have assumed a class status of sorts in Bulawayo.

Sustainability of Zimbabwe’s Natural Food Sources take a Knock Amid Growing Economic Crisis

Sarudzai Moyo, a former teacher, has begun a new career as a fishmonger. Once a week she makes the 450km journey from Bulawayo to Binga, on the shores of Lake Kariba, where she buys between 100 and 150 kilograms of fish for resale as the demand for cheaper dietary options increase in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe and US Diplomacy – this Time the Fight is About George Floyd

“As tall as he is, if he continues to do that I will kick him out of the country,” thundered Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe in 2008, his anger aimed at the then United States ambassador James McGee after the diplomat questioned the results of Zimbabwe’s 2008 general elections.

COVID-19: Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Farmers Step into the Food Supply Gap

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe' second city of some 700,000 people, has experienced a shortage of vegetables this year, with major producers citing a range of challenges from poor rains to the inability to access to bank loans to finance their operations. But this shortage has created a market gap that Zimbabwe smallholders — some 1.5 million people according to government figures — have an opportunity to fill. 

Zimbabwe’s Afforestation Challenge

“I have never planted a tree in my life,” laughs Jairos Saunyama, a tobacco farmer, revelling at the absurdity of the question of whether he is involved in the country's afforestation efforts. Sawunyama is one of thousands of farmers who are blamed by local conservationists for turning the country's forests into deserts and dust bowls.

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