African statement on the political crisis in the United Kingdom

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators clash with police officers during a pro-Brexit rally in Parliament Square on March 29, 2019 in London, England, which is part of the United Kingdom. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

We pledge our support to the people of the United Kingdom who are protesting for democratic representation. We would like to take this opportunity to remind the unelected leader of Britain of his obligations to respect the democratic will of the people.
We would remind both the Prime Minister and the Queen of Britain that power is derived from the people, through their elected representatives, and we are strongly against any efforts to sideline Parliament in matters of governance. The regime must respect and adhere to these principles.
We would also like to remind the UK regime that it is their obligation to respect the rights of all European migrants and protect them from both harm and unfair deportation.
We would also urge both sides to formulate a plan to come together and discuss peace in a civil manner, and will be supporting and advising these efforts. We also urge patience from the people currently on the streets and ask them to be resilient and not resort to violence.
We implore the security forces and Metropolitan Police to show restraint in this difficult time, and to respect the human rights of all those exercising their rights to protest in London and in the rural areas.
We also hope that the BBC state media show restraint and report in a non-partisan matter.

In the same breath, we urge service providers not to disrupt or shut down the internet during this time of crisis.

We look forward to shepherding the ruling regime on crafting a written constitution, and will be advising on, and sending observers to, a referendum on said constitution.
We look forward to brokering a peaceful resolution to the current crisis and are confident that talks will begin as soon as possible.
We hereby reiterate our commitment to spreading democratic values and strong institutions to nations across the Western world, who find themselves in need of both support and technical assistance. 
Africa stands ready to assist, both in resources and in expertise.

Mnangagwa repression proves new Zimbabwe a lie

Picture: Zimbabwe Republic Police drag a protester during clashes in Harare on 16 August 2019. Photo- Aaron Ufumeli/EPA-EFE


“When a hyena wants to eat its young, it first accuses them of smelling like goats.” – Ancient Zimbabwean proverb

­The military junta currently looting Zimbabwe is flailing. The government of Emmerson Mnangagwa is swinging wildly at anyone showing even the mildest hint of dissent, further signalling that repression is its go-to instrument of governance.

The renewed pattern of kidnapping and torturing innocent people is yet another sign that the wheels have come off the bandwagon, and any pretence by the Mnangagwa administration at reform is incoherent bullshit.

This is besides the fact that many unarmed civilians have already been shot dead on the streets of Harare, and nobody has been held to account for it. Not a single soldier who murdered civilians has been prosecuted, despite much pretence to be doing something about it.

Yet the accountability never rested with the soldiers on the street, but with the people pulling their strings. Nobody wanted to claim responsibility then – indeed, the “Commander in Chief” at first expressed ignorance of any military operations in the capital city, though he later admitted to it.

At the time, I found it funny that none of Mnangagwa’s advisors pointed out the obvious foolishness of admitting that he had no control over the army, which was a clear sign of ineptitude and incompetence.

In another continuation of policies perfected over 39 years, Mnangagwa and his junta have been jailing civil society members, accusing them of receiving sedition training in the most random of places, and hauling them to jail straight from the airport – do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Ridiculous charges have seen several innocent activists tossed behind bars and hauled before the courts for a never-ending stream of bail hearings and applications. Their crimes? Attending workshops.

More recently, opposition politicians, youth leaders, union bosses, civil society organisers, and now comedians, are being dragged from their homes, tortured and beaten, then dumped in remote locations. “Mugabe’s people do it, they’re a Third Force,” waffle Mnangagwa’s shills.

Abduction has been part of ZANU-PF’s modus operandi since the 1980s, further proving any attempts to divorce Mnangagwa and his coterie from their historical record as utter folly.  While the so-called Second Republic claims to be a departure from Mugabe’s rule, the student has attempted not just to mimic, but to surpass the master.

In yet another replay of the repression we have become used to over 39 years of “independence”, innocent civilians were brutalised by the police just last week, with officers tearing into old women and journalists with reckless impunity.

Video footage of baton-wielding, jackbooted thugs wading into peaceful civilians was beamed across the globe while hired PR firms and their social-media surrogates attempted to paint the peaceful protesters as violent.

It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. No matter how loudly the military junta screams about being a departure from the ZANU-PF we know and hate, they simply cannot resist the temptation to revert to their baser instincts.

Suppression is in their system; despotism is in their DNA. Team Zimbabwe may have lost their head coach, but the team remains the same, and the assistant has taken over. If he aims to replicate and surpass the work of his former boss (which he enthusiastically participated in), we the people should be very worried.

The military is a blunt instrument which Mnangagwa has shown no fear of using, and when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. All the fancy talk and planted op-eds in the world can never hide the truth – there is nothing “new” about Zimbabwe’s so-called New Dispensation.

These bloodthirsty predators simply can’t help themselves. They can deploy as many shrieking sock-puppets as they can muster, and plant rambling treatises in international publications, but the truth will always out.

“I can’t believe what you say,” the song goes, “because I see what you do.”

Indeed, James Baldwin. Indeed.

PICTURES: Zimbabwean blogger gets EU weapons training

Shocking images prove that Western powers are training Zimbabweans to overthrow the government. Source: classified


In a devastating revelation sure to cause shockwaves in Zimbabwean political and diplomatic circles, pictures have emerged of a well-known anti-government blogger undergoing weapons training in Europe.

Joe Ruzvidzo is renowned for his dislike of the ruling ZANU-PF party, and the leaked pictures confirm that the European Union is identifying and training activists to overthrow the legitimately elected government of the sovereign Republic of Zimbabwe.

The Western-sponsored tutelage in various arms of war is being conducted at a training camp on the outskirts of Vienna in Austria. The secret camp is cunningly disguised as an amusement park.

The surveillance pictures we obtained prove that the West is indeed training dissidents to overthrow the legitimate government, dealing further blows to the credibility of the EU and their opposition lackeys.

Contacted for comment, the incriminated blogger, who is known to spew profanities on social media that are not suitable for reproduction in a family publication, resorted to crass obscenities, telling this reporter to “get fucked.”

While the suspect was recently spotted in the company of a well-known counter-revolutionary agent code-named Comrade Fatso, state security agents have expressed alarm at the extent to which Western-sponsored regime change machinations have progressed.

The training not only covers arms, but seems to also include advanced driving courses using the tactical designation “bumper cars.” The camp also features propaganda praising prominent British historical figures like “Jack the Ripper,” revealing the hidden hand behind Zimbabwe’s economic and political sabotage at the hands of Western-sponsored neo-imperialist running dogs.

Further analysis of the footage also suggests that the EU is training the Zimbabwean opposition in the use of giant spinning contraptions, developed for the sole purpose of manipulating weather patterns and exacerbating the effects of climate change and droughts in African countries. These “Ferris wheels” are designed to inflict damage whilst appearing innocuous and fun.

We have acquired leaked video footage from the top-secret Austrian training camp. Sources say that analysts at the CIO are working overtime to identify the other individuals in the video.

Investigations are ongoing, and we understand that state intelligence operatives are keen to interview the man. The police have also issued a call for information from members of the public.

State agents are also asking for any information leading to the apprehension of what are believed to be three accomplices also shown in the pictures, one of whom may be masquerading as the chief suspect’s wife.

How to clean a rusty teapot

When a teapot isn’t cleaned, it develops rust and a scaly build-up over time; if not cleaned regularly, it’ll make the cleaning of the teapot a much harder task than it should be.
 
There are obviously right and wrong ways to clean a teapot, and it is very important to know what’s what. The wrong ways include using toxic chemicals like acid, which could leave residue in the pot.
 
This method is especially harmful to children, who would continue to slowly ingest poison until the teapot is given a thorough clean. The application of harsh substances to remove other harsh substances rarely works without leaving a bitter taste to any subsequent brew.
 
There are also outdated methods in Zimbabwe, which some people still claim are the best way simply because their grandmothers and ancestors used them. Some will even try to market old products as new, pretending to slap fresh packaging on the same old rubbish.
 
Old folks in the rural areas would swear by the use of river sand to scour the inside of a teapot, but you would be hard pressed to find river sand that hasn’t eroded away after Chinese miners dried out the river beds. That, or all the sand has been carted away to be sold to construction firms.
 
Another outdated method, although people swear by it to this day, is the use of baking soda. Although it has sometimes been found to be effective, pouring white powder into a teapot can be very dangerous.
 
Zimbabwe is shaped like a teapotWhite substances act as an abrasive, and while they are applied with with boiling water, you must be careful not to burn yourself. You also have to continue scrubbing the inside of the teapot, as baking soda is an abrasive that will mix with the stains. To get a properly clean teapot, one would have to thoroughly rinse it with clean water to remove the mix of old stains and the newly-applied white powder.
 
The white powder is also famous for removing mineral deposits in teapots, especially when applied liberally.
 
Another ill-advised method of cleaning your teapot is to wait around for a little-known wanderer, however charismatic and well-spoken, to knock on your door with advice on how to keep it clean.
 
Others may choose to fold their hands and stare at the teapot, hoping it will somehow clean itself. Every member of the family is entitled to delicious and healthy tea whether they participate in cleaning the teapot or not. It is perfectly okay to sit by; everyone is entitled to complain about the bitterness of the tea.
 
The best methods are fresh, natural Zimbabwean cleaning products, as these are safer and will leave your teapot looking shiny and new! Vinegar works well for general cleaning, and to remove stains and rust. Using a newly-purchased bottle of vinegar, fill the teapot with equal parts water and vinegar and bring to the boil.
 
Swirl it around, and then wash the teapot as normal and rinse completely with clean water. Rinse again, to remove any leftover residue! Diluted vinegar can also be used to polish the exterior of the teapot.
 
Repeat this method once every five years to keep your teapot clean and fresh.
 
Asante sana. Buy my book.
 

My book ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ by Joe Ruzvidzo is free today!

So my book Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories has been out for a while now, including the audiobook version which was no easy feat to produce.

I’ve been having an inordinate amount of trouble getting it published in my own country Zimbabwe – long stories, as usual. Besides that, our dead banking sector (we don’t even have a currency) has prevented many of my people from buying it using the available methods.

It’s had some not-bad press, including a kind review in Brittle Paper, and an interview on Radio France Internationale.

So for those without a credit card or international payment ability (and those who do but just couldn’t be arsed to be mildly entertained for a couple of hours), here’s a gift.

A free version in PDF format, today:

OFFER ENDED. YOU’RE TOO LATE. BUY THE THING, PLEASE.

I hope you like it, and even if you don’t, I hope you tell me why in a review on Goodreads.

If you actually can buy it, and enjoy it enough to spend a few pennies, you can buy it here:

Amazon | Apple iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Rakuten Kobo | Audible | iTunes | Audiobooks.com | Libro.fm

You’re welcome, and just like I sign my paperbacks …

… Sorry it’s shit.

Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories - where to buy

Time For Another Social Media Hiatus

It’s becoming a habit, I reckon. Lately I tend to tune out and block out the social media noise when I need to focus on something.

Last time I logged off, I resurfaced in the south of France. The previous time, I popped up in Oxford.

This time, I reckon I’m just going to focus on my exams in May, and the really hard ones coming up in July. And of course I’ll be working out, and working, and just generally focusing on myself.

Besides, I can really get by without all the random videos on Facebook, and the random idiots on Twitter.

Meanwhile, you can buy my book, including the new audiobook version, here:

AmazoniBooks | Barnes & Noble | Rakuten Kobo | Audible | iTunes | Audiobooks.com | Libro.fm

and many more outlets – search for ‘Ruzvidzo’ in your favourite store!

Toodles, and behave.

Zimbabwe and the diaspora vote

July 2016; members of Zimbabwe’s diaspora protest against Robert Mugabe in Johannesburg. Photo: Ihsaan Haffejee / Groundup


Zimbabwe is a constant joke, I tell you. Nothing illustrates our hilarity more than the hullabaloo surrounding the so-called diaspora vote.

The so-called President of the so-called republic has announced that there will be NO diaspora vote, and embassy voting will be limited, as usual, to government employees on national duty. 

Any other citizens? Screw your constitutional rights, because “we don’t have the resources.

“We are not there yet in terms of resources, we do not have the resources to make sure that you vote from where you are. Voting won’t take you 10 minutes, so if you want to vote, just come home and in less than 10 minutes you will have finished voting and go back to your work.”

Bullshit. You could raise $1m from Zimbabwe’s diaspora before dinner to fund the diaspora vote, if you wanted to. It’s not a lack of resources that plagues us, it’s a lack of political will from ZANU-PF’s military junta.

New dispensation, indeed.

There are anything from three to five million Zimbabweans abroad, so if I just say two million are of voting age, divided into one million dollars before dinner, that equals a hypothetical fifty cents per hypothetical voter. And that’s just before dinner, tonight.

And also, how interesting is it that the so-called President of the so-called republic has pronounced that it will not happen, even after the Constitutional Court has kicked the can down the road and reserved judgement on the matter?

Or is that judgement being released in ten years or something? It wouldn’t surprise me.

And then I hear shit like “… just come home and vote …” from a fellow citizen. I find this very strange – baffling, even. 

If you’re comfortable with MY rights (which are constitutionally protected by the way) being so easily abridged, what makes you think that YOU have any rights at all?

Today, It’s my right to vote being infringed upon, and you say haaa just come home and vote, man, (because we all have $1200 lying around of course).

Yet tomorrow, you’ll get arrested for your journalism, or have your house demolished, or even for something stupid like taxes or whatever or at a roadblock and the cops or soldiers may beat your ass, then you’ll come crying to me for support!

Listen – if ANY Zimbabwean has no rights, then NO Zimbabwean has any rights.

Today you’ll say “Joe come home and vote, what constitution what ConCourt blah blah,” yet tomorrow you’ll be whining about how the same constitution guarantees you the right to clean water, and then wonder why there’s nobody there to speak up for your rights.

This is, of course, for the ordinary citizens who have taken up this no-diaspora-vote mantra.

I’m not talking to the ED / ZANU political operatives – like I said before, those can fuck off forever.

I don’t argue anymore; I just swear.

Audiobook Lovers Listen Up! Behind Enemy Lines – A Sample

Updated below

Now that the audiobook of Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories is complete and will be available on all platforms soon, here’s a sample. If you weren’t completely turned off by the sound of my voice in the Radio France Internationale interview, give this a listen and tell me what you think.

And remember, the silly little book is available from AmazonBarnes & NobleApple iBooksRakuten Kobo and more.

“A lovely little collection of stories. Ruzvidzo sets aside the grand social and political themes common in certain African writing. Instead, he captures those understated moments of everyday life. The stories are compelling in their warmth and humor. Even where they explore tragic moments, the humor, drama, and suspense are there to lighten the impact on the reader. Keeps his writing grounded in a way that readers will find relatable.” – Ainehi Edoro, Brittle Paper 

It’s a measly $2.99 for the electronic version, $8.99 for paperback and $14.99 for the hardback.

Have at it, if you dare.

Update – The first distributor of the audiobook is live. I’ll add the links as they go up, but first is audiobooks.com!

Radio France Internationale interview

Last week, I was on Radio France Internationale (RFI) being interviewed about my book, ‘Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories’.

In this month’s Africa: Stories in the 55, Zimbabwean author Joe Ruzvidzo explores coming-of-age in the years after the Liberation War, in his short story collection, Behind Enemy Lines.

Ruzvidzo writes on the cutting edge– his characters pawns or kings, depending on the readers’ perception.  In “The Order”, set in 2023, Ruzvidzo’s story of a military takeover of the country reveals some interesting parallels to Zimbabwe’s own recent history and new president. His characters live through bullying, love, even deception by a parent, packing a seven-story punch with a bonus ending poem.

This was a huge deal for me, because RFI is a French public radio service that broadcasts in Paris and all over the world. With 35.6 million listeners in 2008, it is one of the most listened to international radio stations in the world, along with BBC World Service, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle.

Listen here:

Why We Kill Our Gods, Or Whatever

I have had a long running spiritual conversation with myself, for over a decade. A massive debate, to be honest.

Some time ago, I decided that gods cannot possibly exist, and even if they did, they couldn’t afford to reveal themselves.

Have you passed a beggar on the street, or at the traffic lights, and done nothing? Doing nothing is a choice swollen with omnipotence. It is, in fact, godly.

And this, you should realise, is the reason why your gods do nothing. Proof of their omniscience.

After all, to act is to announce awful limitations, for it reveals that chance acted first, that accidents are just that — events beyond the will of the gods — and all they can do in answer is to attempt to remedy the consequences, to alter natural ends.

To act, then, is an admission of fallibility. And nobody, not even a god, likes to admit that things are out of their control!

But maybe, just maybe, atheism is also a form of mental self-care. Killing off our gods for the sake of our own sanity, if you will.

By thirty, we have made some of our biggest mistakes. Whether we’re on the road to redemption is something else altogether, but surely we make our biggest mistakes in our twenties.

That’s why atheism becomes easier when you’re over thirty. By then all our biggest sins are committed and behind us.
 
The concern becomes redemption where possible, or retribution where warranted. Either it is time we make up for our sins, or are punished for them.
 
In seeking to either assuage our guilt, or ignore it altogether, It becomes necessary to question the actual existence of God himself.
 
To avoid debilitating fear and paralysis, to prevent ourselves becoming so immersed in worrying about what’s to come (that being the righteous vengeance of a vengeful god), sometimes we have to kill said god entirely.
 
By wiping him, her or it out of our consciousness, and thus concern, we are able to continue living our dreary little lives as best as we can, with no worries.
 
See, sometimes the actual loss of our faith is the only way we can survive the day to day.
 
Because if god does exist, and we have to pay for our sins and reap what we have sowed, then we will have no peace, either in this life or the next.
 
So maybe it’s better to believe that there is no god because if he does exist, and he’s out there waiting?
 
We’re all fucked.