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Belligerence and Bitterness: The Robert Mugabe, Silvio Berlusconi connection

It’s still early days, but it appears former President Robert Mugabe has not readily accepted the reality of his departure from the presidency. After all, the man ruled Zimbabwe from 1980, and had become accustomed to all the trappings such a high profile brought. Never mind that the country was in morbid decline for the better part of his reign. It is manifestly clear that Robert Mugabe feels cheated and robbed, through his forced departure on November 21 2017. “There is no more democracy anymore in Zimbabwe…I`m saying this as Robert Mugabe and, of course, I am not afraid of anyone,” Robert Mugabe is reported to have said in February, while meeting Moussa Faki Mahamat, the African Union Commission`s chair. 


Clearly, this is a man who feels hard done and who by the looks of it would give almost anything to get back in power. In fact, in the heat of the November “military assisted transition”, Robert Mugabe is reported to have offered to send his wife Grace Mugabe into foreign exile in …
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The lie we keep telling ourselves: “Zimbabwe is open for business”

Zimbabwe has been mired in deep problems that have manifested themselves economically and politically, for so long that most people are desperate for a way out. Against all hope, people still long for a singular political hero, a cataclysmic, fortune-turning event, a decorated rescue party from the international community, or an accomplished, yet exiled businessman (read Strive Masiyiwa) to rescue the country from the clutches of longstanding economic and political morass. Just anything to change people`s lives for the better!
As if to make the wait for Zimbabwe`s “messiah” – whoever or whatever this will be – more bearable, we seem to have fallen into the habit of telling ourselves some situational untruths with joyful abandon. Not only that, but we seem all the more eager to actually believe these fallacies that have little or zero attachment to reality. Consider the following:
“Zimbabwe is open for business”




Having to repeatedly mention such phrases to all and sundry, is the first and…

Bitcoins, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain: A simple explainer of what all this means

WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY?

For much of 2017, you've likely heard some of the following terms if you've paid any passing attention to the world of finance: Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. But what do they mean? And why is cryptocurrency suddenly so hot? Before answering that, we need to explain the basics of blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin. As society becomes increasingly digital, financial services providers are looking to offer customers the same services to which they're accustomed, but in a more efficient, secure, and cost effective way. Enter blockchain technology.


The origins of blockchain are a bit nebulous. A person or group of people known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto invented and released the tech in 2009 as a way to digitally and anonymously send payments between two parties without needing a third party to verify the transaction. It was initially designed to facilitate, authorize, and log the transfer of …

Judging the man by his words: A look into Emmerson Mnangagwa`s presidency

That the man has a checkered past is undeniable! The manner in which President Mnangagwa got into power is rather curious, having been thrust into leadership through the now infamous military intervention, which was for all intents and purposes, a coup. His role during Gukurahundi, as President Mugabe`s security minister and head of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), is something that will haunt him for as long as he lives, try as he might, to project himself in a new light, as a humane individual.

Many of those people, especially in the Matabeleland region – then described by Mr Mnangagwa as “cockroaches,” for siding with dissidents – who bore the brunt of the Gukurahundi massacres will find it hard to forget President Mnangagwa`s words at a rally in 1983. “Blessed are they who follow the path of the government laws, for their days on earth shall be increased. But woe unto those who will choose the path of collaboration with dissidents, for we will certainly shorten their s…

Gold: Ever wondered what drives the price of Zimbabwe`s largest mineral export?

The ancient Egyptians performed the first smelting of gold circa 3,600 BC. A thousand years later, gold jewellery appeared as the goldsmiths of ancient Mesopotamia crafted a burial headdress made of lapis, carnelian beads and leaf-shaped gold pendants. Since these early days, mankind has been fascinated by gold, and the desire to own it has led to great gold rushes and to wars: King Ferdinand of Spain declared in 1511, "Get gold, humanely if you can, but at all hazards, get gold!"




Today, gold is sought after not only for investment purposes and a strong jewellery market, but it is also used in the manufacturing of certain electronic and medical devices. Gold (as of November, 2017) was around $1,280.39 per ounce and making record highs.

Gold is Zimbabwe`s single largest mineral export. But what factors drive the price of this precious metal?

Central Bank Reserves
Central banks hold paper currencies and gold in reserve. The World Gold Council has stated that central banks have rec…

The story behind the iconic Meikles Hotel and its founder Thomas Meikle

The 15th of November marks the 102nd anniversary of Meikles hotel, a hotel founded by Thomas Meikle, following on a vision he shared with his brother Stewart, of establishing a hotel on the influential site overlooking Cecil Square (now called Africa Unity Square, in the heart of then Rhodesia`s capital city, Salisbury. Meikles hotel was officially opened on November 15, 1915, on the site which now houses ZB Life Towers, along Jason Moyo avenue in Harare and currently has a capacity of over 535 bedrooms.
Meikles hotel holds the honour of being the first Zimbabwean hotel to attain the coveted 5-star rating, a feat it achieved in August 1983. Hotel grading was introduced in Zimbabwe in 1968, and the first results were announced in 1969. At the time, no local hotels received 4-stars, however the Ambassador Hotel, Jameson Hotel and Park Lane Hotel (now the GMB Headquarters) received 3 stars each. Interestingly, the Montclair Hotel in Nyanga got its four-star rating before the Meikles Hot…

Black Friday 1997: How the Zimbabwe dollar crashed and tipped the economy over the brink

14 November 1997 – dubbed “Black Friday”-  is a day that will forever be etched in Zimbabwe`s economic history as the cataclysmic point that triggered Zimbabwe`s economic free-fall. Below is a brief chronicle of the events leading up to this seminal day, and what ensued in the aftermaths of Black Friday.



In the second decade of its independence, the Zimbabwean government launched an economic reform programme essential in liberalizing the economy and dealing with the structural impediments to growth. However, fiscal policy was weak and monetary policy unsteady during the time period; and the country suffered from two serious droughts (in 1992 and 1995), which affected Zimbabwe’s agriculture, its primary economic industry. A land reform had been a highly contentious issue since independence, as the majority of prime agricultural land was owned by about 4,000 white commercial farmers; while the indigenous population continued to engage in subsistence farming.
In the first five years of ind…