IT is unfortunate that our economy still relies on tobacco farming and selling when other countries are moving away from its use due to the serious health problems it causes.

In recent years, Zimbabwe has rapidly increased the size of its crop, regaining its spot as one of the world’s top five exporters of tobacco.

It exported just over 200 million kilograms (220 000 tonnes) of tobacco in 2021, according to the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board.

However, the government must move with speed to control smoking in public places.

Health researchers say non-smokers are affected more when exposed to cigarette smoke.

Passive smoking, which refers to indirect smoking by non-smokers, is prevalent in Zimbabwe, so the government must enact
a law that makes public smoking a crime.

Dangerous products must be banned from public places. Smoking in beerhalls must be banned as well.

To highlight the danger of smoking: In a hall of 100 people if 10 decide to smoke, the smoke would affect everyone.

Smoking is very dangerous.

Some governments have moved to force the producers of cigarettes, through their adverts, to inform the public of the dangers of smoking.

Smoking laws must be enacted to protect the public.

The effects of smoking are dangerous because the diseases caused by smoking are difficult to cure, even in developed countries.

With local and international football watched in bars, young people are thronging such places to watch soccer, wrestling and movies.

Laws not to ban, but control smoking in confined places must be enacted to protect non-smokers who go to beerhalls only to drink, play games or watch television. –Mai Ruru

Love, compassion are necessities, not luxuries

THE widely circulating news photo of Pope Francis in Canada kissing the hand of the indigenous residential school survivor, assuming it was a genuinely heartfelt act, was both moving and significant, at least to me.

Though I am not a fan of Catholicism nor the Pope, the image somewhat brought to mind how the Biblical Jesus most profoundly washed his disciples’ feet, the act clearly revealing that he took corporeal form to serve.

And that he, as a hopeful example of the humility of the divine, joined humankind in our miseries, joys and everything in between.

Regardless, many indigenous people have learned the hardest way about being considered disposable and likely feel the Pope’s hand-kiss definitely will not suffice.

Human beings can be consciously/subconsciouly (mis)perceived and (mis)treated as though they are disposable and, by extension, their suffering and deaths are somehow less worthy of external concern, even by otherwise relatively civilised countries and their religious institutions.

Along with the inhuman(e) treatment they suffered while living in the religious residential schools, the immense inhumanity is also evident with the many indigenous children who were deemed unworthy even to be buried in properly marked graves by Christ’s supposed messengers, let alone their remains returned to their indigenous families… I can imagine Jesus spinning. Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. –Frank Sterle Jr 

Let’s make the African dream a reality

IT is now five months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started. There are several lessons that Africa can learn from the war.

Ukraine has managed to stand its ground and defend its sovereignty despite the odds being staked against it.

Ukraine has refused to be bullied. Likewise, Africa should stand for its values.

The African dream should be to stop being subordinates of its former oppressors.

Africa is a rich land full of natural resources.

Unfortunately, the continent exports raw materials and import finished goods made from its own resources.

Let us utilise our raw materials to develop ourselves and our continent.

Africa can write its own story if it gets its act together.

Our African dream is to see the people love and embrace who they are.

Our women and sometimes men must stop bleaching their skins and be proud of who they are.

We are Africans so never will bleaching change that Africanness or who we are.

Let us welcome and make use of technology and globalisation, but we must not let our culture take the back seat, while we adopt other cultures.

History has it that technology began in Africa along the Nile River in Egypt, but we as Africans seem to forget all that and let others take credit for our efforts.

Let us not look down upon ourselves. Let us not be cowed into submitting to alien dogmas.

Africa has had some of the greatest leaders, but it is the least developed continent because its people always find fault in their leaders while praising Western leaders.

The dream that our forefathers such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Sékou Touré of Guinea, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein (Egypt) and Nelson Mandela (South Africa), among others.

Thomas Sankara is one leader who transformed Burkina Faso in no time owing to the pan-African ideals he pursued. Let us make use of the knowledge, wisdom and good leadership in our midst and develop Africa.

Let us stop being myopic and make our African dream a reality; let us join hands and work together and make our great land a paradise for ourselves. –Muzokomba Villager

IN response to Inflation spikes to 257% as prices sour, FARIE MADONDO says: Mthuli Ncube is just a mere figure representing the Finance ministry. All the decisions are made at Zanu PF headquarters in the politburo.

JAPHET MPOFU says: We are on multiple currencies and some food baskets are bought outside the country on duty free. I don’t know where the Finance minister Mthuli Ncube got his inflation figures from?

QINISO BAKITHI says: God forbid, here we go again. Zimbabwe has had a strikingly similar cycle since the year 2000. I wonder what the root cause of our predicament is. Is it that Zanu PF is recycling its deadwood? Is it about the ruling party’s inability to learn from past mistakes? Zimbabwe is in one hell of a mess.

ANSEL THOMPSON says: The government should fast track the introduction of small denominations of gold coins targeting consumers and not just investors and speculators. A gram of gold coin would be small enough to control prices in shops and would strengthen the Zimdollar.

IN response to ‘We did not cook Matobo figures’, NKULULEKO SIKHETHABAHLE DUBE says: The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency should not hide behind a finger. It cooked census figures. It is now brazen. I am from Matobo, it is impossible to have a whole ward with no females. I would understand if there were more females than men.

MARK MOYO says: Why are these people doing statistics on grazing land? These are the numbers used to rig elections.

MIKE BABA KANKULULEKO says: The place they are referring to is a grazing area along the Shashani and Shashe rivers. Only men stay there looking after cattle, ZimStats was not supposed to classify the area as a ward.

IN response to Outcry over Beam funds, RICHARD MATAMBIROFA says: Were we not promised free education in 2018? What happened then? Why are we still paying fees?

IN response to I can’t be tried in Zim: Marry Mubaiwa, MANUEL S MANHARE says: She is correct because she is alleged to have committed the crime in South Africa. You cannot commit a crime in Russia and be tried in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has got no jurisdiction to try a case that has been committed in Russia.

Source Newsday