The politics of reform in Zimbabwe — zimbabweland

Last month two major reports came out on economic and political reform in Zimbabwe. The first from Chatham House, looking at economic reform and the question of re-engagement by international actors, and the second, from the Institute for Security Studies, looking at similar themes, but focusing more on the political challenges. They come to rather […]

via The politics of reform in Zimbabwe — zimbabweland

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The Engineer Complex

I have done a lot of research (replace a lot of with a little) by doing interviews of engineers without informing them that I am interviewing them, and I have come to the conclusion that some engineers (especially those that work in the construction industry, as they are the one who I mainly work with) suffer from the engineer complex.

 

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This is something an engineer(s) engineered the shit out of…. 

 

Now the engineer complex is very hard to explain so I have tried to break down some of the behaviours that us of smaller brain power can understand. You see it seems that engineers are far too clever for us mere mortals to keep up with. They have to sometimes speak a version of english known only to non engineers that they have a basic understanding of. This in turn aids them in keep us mere mortals from all sorts of demises. These include mixing dangerous chemicals that have the potential of killing everyone with in a two square meter radius, to making a concrete design that can’t hold the force exerted by the Titanic, to making proper use of Microsoft Project.

 

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A drawing of another thing that an engineer(s) engineered the shit outta… again

 

All in all they tend to be pleasant people all round. In fact as much as they do not want to admit it some of them exhibit traits of humanness. I have worked with engineers who are best friends with alcohol, others who feel they need more than one woman in their lives (their wife plus one), and others who are so chill that you don’t know if the emotion known as anger has EVERY come to visit them.

I would like to warn any engineers that read this who I have worked with or work with currently that I am going to say something that you may not like… and I don’t really care. So in a sense there are spoilers…..

  1. They like to say who is an engineer and who isn’t: It not like engineers are the only professionals on this planet. So what if Lukaku is an engineer or studied engineering. The dude is now a footballer. He gets paid to score goals. I do get the feeling that sometimes they are trying to look down on me because I was too dumb to keep up with ridiculous equations that will be solved for you using a computer.you-are-not-who-they-say-you-are1
  2. They like to show that they know what they are talking about: Ok so this is a work place and we are all adults. So unless its mathematical, opinions are like assholes. We all have one. I don’t try and prove you wrong if you say that Chelsea would win the World Cup if they played in it. That’s your opinion. Maybe wrong for a few reasons, such as why would a club team be playing against nations, and who will play if there are some guys that play for their nations and also Chelsea. However that is a conversation for another time (replace another time with never).fb_img_1475669383647
  3. “That time in college when you and some other engineer showed your lecturer he was wrong”: That’s nice. It is good to hold onto the small victories hey. It helps you to keep a focus and motivated to achieve the other things in life you want to achieve. But damn, its like that guy who wants to tell you about the number of beers he drank while hanging from a tree upside down with one hand while catching multiple boomarangs in his mouth….35924256
  4. Do you know what project crushing is? I can show you: Maybe it is the engineers who are kinda fresh out of uni/college. They sometimes think that it is their job to teach everyone a little bit of engineering. I think thats actually quite commendable.
    tumblr_odzhr1wjxl1qkvbwso1_400
    There is some information that you struggle to find the relevance

    We should learn some more about the built environment especially if you work in it. I sometimes wonder if some engineers think that everyone else who is working in the built environment was created out of moon dust when the project started and as such do not know a single bit of engineering? Engineering covers a lot of subjects. There is engineering in project management. It’s not the kind of engineering that some engineers consider to be engineering.

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    Useless information me thinks….

     

     

     

     

     

    So to all my engineers out there (except for the chemical engineers and the electrical engineers coz I haven’t worked with any of you guys and have a very basic understand what the two do), keep engineering, stop being annoying. Your faculty wasn’t the only faculty at university/college. So what if you had the best soccer team. That was then. let’s do the here and now and see how that goes. There may not be any equations for you to solve, but I am sure I can find ways to keep your overactive brains from gathering dust and forgeting how to engineer the shit outta… shit.

 

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That’s my story and I am sticking to it…

 

 

 

Been so long…

Wow its been so long since I left some dribble on the internets that I was almost at a loss as to what to harp on about. The truth is I am still lost. I guess I have been ok. Watched a few movies and kinda gotten on with life.

I suppose I could talk about the Batman vs Superman movie… or the Star Wars movie. Those were the two most recent movies that I watched. I think its gonna have to be a butchering of Batman vs Superman. Unfortunately there will be no pics involved as I can’t really be bothered but there will be loads of SPOILERS for those of you who are yet to watch the movie. Of course with the movie being a little “old” I hope (but don’t care much if you haven’t) you have watched the movie.

As far as I am concerned it was an OK movie. Doomsday was crazy which I loved. The attempted reboot of Alfred and also of Lex Luthor were both off. I will get to the two main heroes and some of the plots involved in a second.

Do you remember The Joker from The Dark Knight? It felt like they were trying to make Lex seem like that. I mean from the comics and cartoon movies Lex was never batshit insane. He was a crazy dude, but he had all of his ducks in a row. Maybe not a straight row, but there were organized. This new Lex that they decided to pull out seemed like a Joker remake and a very poor one.

Regarding this new Alfred that they decided to give us: No. If I was a billionaire and my butler acted like this fella I would have sold him to a bunch of pirates. That seemed like more his territory than being a billionaire’s butler.

Ben Affleck as batman: May it be the last time. Just no. I guess they were trying to maybe make him cooler, but you can’t take something that is cool and make it cooler. That’s like saying “the ice isn’t cold enough. Maybe if I put it in the fridge it will get colder”. No dude. That shit doesn’t work.

Superman dies at the end. That brought a smile to my face, simply because I despise that monkey who flies around in his underwear. It was nice to see that it was Doomsday who ripped a huge hole through his chest. That was satisfying.

There was a little introduction to Wonder Woman. That was cool. They could have maybe introduced her a little more than they did. Maybe they did but the movie got to various boring parts (like the dream that Bruce Wayne has that’s a dream in a dream in a dream (Inception has gone and gotten everyone excited)) and I missed the introduction. They seem to be saying that she was a genetically modified something something, but I had always know her to be an Amazonian warrior.

Overall I think that the movie was ok. The dialogue between most of the characters was again ok. The story was ok. Of late superhero movies have been struggling since Deadpool and Antman were done. Those were two very clever movies which were extremely enjoyable. Batman vs Superman was kinda…. meh it was ok. We now have to wait for Superman Returns (whatever shape that will come in) and then eventually the Justice League and the crew that is going to be involved in that potential fuck up.

But who am I but an unpaid movie critic….

Oh yeah I give this time watching this movie a 6.5/10…..

Misinformation and Disinformation

This has been a long time but too much has happened in the last few days that has resulted in me taking to my blog to bitch and whine and moan.

I believe that we should be proud of the countries we are from. We should not be afraid to admit what is wrong with those said countries and should be willing to accept the situation we are in. I believe that in most cases blaming it on the past does not help much of a lot.

So there was this article that I read online. It was on Zimbabwe’s main newspaper website. I hope that some of you take the time to read the article and then you may be able to follow my rant. I will not be drawn into any opinion about whether the newspaper is impartial or not as I am only focusing on this one particular article.

Zimbabwe not in tatters

Now I briefly read the article written by this Trevor Ncube dude and I didn’t see much wrong with the article. He makes a few good points about how he feels a political change needs to be done in Zimbabwe and then talks about what the situation on the ground is. Everything is fine at this point.

The trouble all begins. According to Bernard Bwoni he is “…lost for words trying to understand the motive behind such trailer-park trash-talk against Zimbabwe and its people? It is his opinion and yes he is entitled to it just like the rest of us, however, to categorically say “Zimbabwe is broken. Its people are broken. Their minds and spirits are broken” is too non-specific and hence the challenge. This is ‘broken’ and reckless journalism. What test did Mr Ncube use to determine that the people of Zimbabwe’s “minds are broken”? Zimbabwe has a population of around 13 million people and it would be interesting to find out how many actually have their “minds broken” ”

Further into the article he talks about how we need to hold the nation up and be positive about the “achievements” that we have made since post independence. malcolm-x-youre-not-to-be-so-blind-with-patriotism-that-you-cant-face-reality-wrong-is-wrong-no-matter-who-does-it-or-says-it.jpgThere is no need to try and lie to people and engage in scathing attacks of other journalists because they have made their own opinion heard. Now don’t get me wrong, in my opinion this country is broken. I won’t go too much into the reason why I feel the way I do. I am going to try and focus on some of the comments that are made in the article by Bwoni (Another reason I decided to take this to my blog is because for some reason The Herald doesn’t post most of my comments…. bastards)

 

What worries me is that in 2016 (even though to be fair Zimbabwe is barely past the 1999) we have individuals writing in newspapers but who are writing from a point of blind patriotism.

patriotism

The reason why I chose the above image is because it is quite powerful with regards to levels patriotism. Some of the things that are printed in the newspaper and online need to have better editors working on them. It sometimes seems that articles that are made available for reading online and in newspapers are not edited and people are allowed to write whatever comes to them.

Here are a few examples of alarming comments made:

  • The current peaceful environment in Zimbabwe does not prevail in a ‘broken’ country and that must never be taken for granted. ‘Broken’ is what you have in Libya today, Syria, Iraq and many other ‘broken’ nations where peace does not apply. Zimbabwe has its own fair share of challenges but ‘broken’ in not one of them. Far from it.

In short without going to deep into this first statement, saying that a country is broken because there is no peace is wrong. It is wrong because that is saying that if there is no war in a country it is not broken.

  • However, the fact of the matter is that Rhodesians were short-sighted and only created infrastructure for the minority. It is a fact that Zimbabwe’s infrastructure has struggled to cope with population increase and unsustainable rural-to-urban migration….

So 36 years later, the blame game is still on? I would have hoped that after 36 years that sort of comment wouldn’t be used. Shouldn’t there have been a plan in place to improve our infrastructure? We surely can’t expect a pre80s infrastructure to function in the 21st century?

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  • Shops are full, fuel is in abundance, cars are choking the roads, delivery trucks clog the highway. And surely that does not happen in a “hell-hole” or a “broken country”

I think this will be the last statement that I am going to look at from this article. Now I am no economist (in fact my background is in construction) but I know the shops are full because we are importing a LOT of stuff. Industry has all but stopped operating resulting in us importing more than we export. This means that our balance of trade is negative. We are giving out more money than we are taking in.

Just because there is fuel at service stations, doesn’t mean that the country is not broken. It just means that we have managed to get away from a precarious situation we once experienced when we had empty shops and no fuel. Just because that situation is not here right now, does not mean we are no longer a broken country.

The truth about patriotism is that it is a mixture about being proud of where you are from, your heritage, upbringing and culture. However you have to be honest. There is no need to lie to yourself or to others. Some of us have been here and can see what is actually happening, and not what you try and report is happening.flags-1024x508

Update: Shout out from The Midlands Massive

So its been a while since I got on here and said a few random things about whats been going on in my life (Not that you care, but it helps me vent random shit into the internets). I may or may not have mentioned but I was preparing for my wedding to my person. That happened. It was awesome. I think I didn’t get a chance to thank a lot of the people who managed to make the day happen. But it was amazing. My wife looked amazing, my groomsmen looked bosses and generally we managed to survive the whole day.

No pictures will be updated until we get the ones from the photographer so don’t complain about wanting to see how it went down. All in good time…

As with all weddings my lovely wife was a little late. She made me wait. I was mad until she arrived and then I decided to relax. After the wedding we had our honeymoon was in the Seychelles. That was pretty awesome. I’m not really a beach person, but my wife managed to get me into the sea a few times and I couldn’t get enough.

Seychelles is an interesting little island. The hotel we stayed in bumped us up from a standard room into a much nicer room. All we did was we showed them our wedding certificate and upgrade was free!!!!

Apart from the room the holiday was awesome. We got outta this country for a few days and got to forget about the stresses of life and just enjoyed hotel living. All in all Seychelles was awesome. Expensive, but awesome. It took us a few days to figure out that the easiest way to ball on a budget was to fill the minibar with all the alcohol we needed and eats as well.

Also coz it was my first time going to a beach resort, I didn’t plan my things properly. I should have gone with a backpack and then I would have been ready for this. But I acclimatized eventually.

The weather was good generally. Well by good I mean that it was humid all the time, and then it was also kinda wet. We managed to do the beach in the morning and most afternoons it was wet. We also did manage to go jet skiing which was the dogs bollocks. Muchos fun!!

Oh by the way we almost missed the flight to the Seychelles coz we were in the airport bar getting drunk…. quite frightening.

After the honeymoon we really didn’t have much time. We essentially moved immediately from the wonderful sunshine city that is the capital to a very small town called Gweru 272km away.

At the moment me and my wife are trying our best to adult. We have done well so far. We have survived about a month. We don’t have any intention of going back to Harare anytime soon. The house is awesome, the air is fresh and it is far away from the maddening crowd.

So if you are ever in Gweru, give us a call. You may or may not answer the phone and we may or may not see you. House warming happening soon. Keep smiling

Tongs