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Martin Zhuwakinyu

Martin Zhuwakinyu

Martin Zhuwakinyu is Senior Deputy Editor for Engineering News and Mining Weekly.

He studied at Harare Polytechnic, the University of South Africa and Tshwane University of Technology.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Promises, promises . . .

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     15th October 2021 Someone once remarked that football matches are the most heated contests in much of Africa. But in today’s environment, where most countries are doing their best to at least be seen to be abiding by democratic precepts, that distinction, I dare say, belongs to elections to public office. As I... 

Tribute to Hammarskjöld

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     8th October 2021 Just over six decades ago, former United Nations (UN) secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold died in mysterious circumstances in what is now Zambia. Some cried assassination, with more than a couple of accusing fingers pointed at the South African government of the time. As I read a piece about the... 

Shining in the world

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     1st October 2021 Africa’s got talent! For the latest evidence of this, one need not look further than US news magazine Time’s 2021 list of the most influential 100  individuals on Planet Earth in various spheres of human endeavour. The African game changers – and those with roots on the continent – who made the... 

A forlorn continent

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     24th September 2021 We Africans are an unhappy lot. I am not joking – scientifically derived statistics are available to back this up, and it appears the advent of Covid-19 has exacerbated our collective melancholy. The latest evidence of our poor showing in the happiness stakes is contained in the 2021 World... 

Coup d’état comeback?

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     17th September 2021 I remember, as a freshman in journalism school, a lecturer telling us that some Western newspapers and other media organisations had settled on a stock headline to use each time an African government was deposed in a military coup – and it was ‘They have done it again!’ I cannot vouch for the... 

Joblessness scourge

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     10th September 2021 While the joblessness numbers released by Statistics South Africa recently make for sad reading, bringing the country’s unemployment scourge into sharp focus, the key takeaway is that it is young people who are bearing the brunt. The situation is quite scary: a whopping  46.3% of those aged... 

Costly blackouts

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     3rd September 2021 Africa’s despots – and they are numerous – are increasingly developing a worrying penchant for switching off social media networks to prevent citizens from sharing information they dislike or when they feel such exchanges may threaten their hold on power. The latest to resort to this trick was... 

Dear ex-Prez Lungu

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     27th August 2021 I guess you are busy moving house, following your electoral defeat, which spelled the end to your tenancy at State House in Lusaka. When things are less hectic, please spare a few moments to read this missive – it’s not that long. I feared for the worst when, in the midst of vote counting, you... 

Biased reporting is not okay

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     20th August 2021 When Covid hit African shores in early 2020, many predicted the death toll would be much higher than in other regions, given the parlous state of the healthcare system in many countries on the continent. But that didn’t happen, and sceptics – including journos from Western countries, where Covid... 

What a disappointment!

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     13th August 2021 Zweli Mkhize has always come across as a conscientious fellow, which is why it came as a shock when allegations that he used his influence as Health Minister to have a contract awarded to a long-time associate of his were levelled against him. At the time of writing, the allegations had morphed... 

Misplaced intervention?

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     6th August 2021 Late last month, Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations started deploying troops to northern Mozambique to help quell an Islamist insurgency that is threatening the development of gas deposits in that part of the country, which many see as a lifeline that will lift scores of... 

South Africa’s ‘single story’

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     30th July 2021 That the rest of Africa sets great store by this country is a no-brainer. After all, Mzansi’s is the most developed economy on the continent and, until the Nigerians tweaked the numbers in a process economists call rebasing and Egypt later also overtook us, we were number one in the gross... 

Warmongering peace laureate

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     23rd July 2021 The Nobel Peace Prize, the world’s most prestigious award, with pickings of about $1.15-million in 2020, has been soiled by one of its more recent laureates, who happens to be a son of the African soil. And that is Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister. When he shot to international prominence... 

Finally, SA finds its voice

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     16th July 2021 At the time of writing, eSwatini was burning – literally and figuratively. The country, which has the dubious distinction of being Africa’s sole absolute monarchy, was engulfed in protests by citizens who are gatvol with an anachronistic system that allows one man and his mother to rule an entire... 

Rogue journalism

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     9th July 2021 It’s Journalism 101 time this week – well, mostly – and I will cut to the chase: what is the difference between reporting and journalism? The two are not perfect synonyms. Reporting, or simply the passing on of news, is as old as the hills, as every society that has ever existed has had a... 

Remembering Kenneth Kaunda

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     2nd July 2021 At the time of writing, Africa was in mourning, following the breaking of the news that Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s President from 1964 to 1991, had breathed his last in a Lusaka military hospital. Note: on African soil, unlike the Robert Mugabes of this world, who die thousands of kilometres away... 

Gweezy’s smallanyana flaw

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     25th June 2021 Gwede Mantashe is a jolly good fellow. And a reasonable one too. But events of the past couple of weeks betray a smallanyana (read ‘smallish’) flaw on his part: an inability to read his boss’s lips.   Let’s dip into the past first and dredge up some memories. The date is February 11, 2021, and... 

Worthless talk shop

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     18th June 2021 Fathers of pan-Africanism such as the late Kwame Nkrumah, who wished for the day when Africa would be truly united, must have been pleased as they witnessed from the Great Unknown the coming into being of the Pan-African Parliament back in 2004. But they must be turning in their graves, following... 

Moneyed and insensitive

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     11th June 2021 American political scientist Bernard Cecil Cohen famously wrote in 1963 that “the press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about”. I cannot agree more. Recent evidence of this includes the... 

At the mercy of insurgents?

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     4th June 2021 It has been about eight years since Islamic extremists stormed an upscale shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, killing 62 civilians and five soldiers before they were subdued. But images of that drama, witnessed by millions worldwide thanks to the wizardry that is modern... 

STEM the way to go

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     28th May 2021 Conventional wisdom has it that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. But a Ghanaian youngster has proven also that one man’s trash can be another man’s means of mobility – literally. Nineteen-year-old Kelvin Odartei Cruickshank, a resident of Accra, the capital city, developed a passion for... 

Kenneth who?

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     21st May 2021 In a few days, we will be celebrating a day that is dear to those who cherish our great continent. Well, for us in Mzansi, ‘celebrate’ is not quite the word: we the wafanyakazi will be at the office or on the factory floor, and the day will pass by sans the fanfare associated with May 25 in... 

Crooks’ Covid bonanza

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     14th May 2021 Former Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku was a rising star in the ruling African National Congress. That was until a major scandal around the procurement of personal protective equipment for public servants on the frontline in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic in the province broke out. It... 

Call me Professor Z

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     7th May 2021 Bonginkosi Madikizela’s claim to fame is that he is the leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape and the MEC for Transport and Public Works in that province. But he is currently suspended from both positions, following his outing as an academic fraudster who passed himself off as the... 

Africa’s weed race

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     30th April 2021 Lesotho became the first African country to legalise the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes in 2017. Now – four short years later – a few other countries have followed in its footsteps. And from the look of things, the weed could be commonplace on the continent in the years ahead,... 

No more blind lending

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     23rd April 2021 African countries have been beneficiaries of deep-pocketed China’s ‘generosity’ for yonks. Even South Africa, the most developed country on the continent, has been a beneficiary, having received a $2.5-billion loan to complete the Kusile coal-fired power station, in Mpumalanga. I use quotation... 

Don’t touch me on my studio

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     16th April 2021 Remember Chris Maroleng? He is pretty much out of the limelight these days, and the only time he gets to grace our telly screens is when a journalist wants soundbites to embellish a story about Maroleng’s new passion – governance issues. And that is once in a blue moon. In years gone by, he was... 

Turkish power delight

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     9th April 2021 Gwede Mantashe is a South African politician who served as the national chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC). He is also a former chairperson of the South African Communist Party and a former secretary-general of the ANC. And he is the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. If I... 

A weighty crisis

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     9th April 2021 An epidemic of gigantic proportions is sweeping through Africa, and some experts say it is more devastating than HIV/Aids. It is good old obesity, and that it is shaping up as a major crisis is rather counterintuitive, given Africa’s frequent portrayal by the world’s media as a hungry and... 

Covid denialist of note

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     2nd April 2021 At the time of writing, Africa was in mourning. News of the passing of Tanzania’s 61-year-old leader, John Magufuli, had just broken. His robust crusade against corruption in high places from early on in his Presidency had endeared him to many, both at home and abroad. So too had his equally... 

New sheriff in town

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     26th March 2021 So, Patrice Motsepe is the new czar of the beautiful game on this continent, having assumed the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) a fortnight back. Although he mounted a formidable campaign, in the end, this position came on a silver platter, as the other pretenders to the... 

An exemplary leader

19th March 2021 Mahamadou Issoufou is not a household name on these shores. But he is definitely a remarkable fellow, if the bestowal on him of the 2020 Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership is anything to go by.   Launched in 2007 and sponsored by Sudanese-born telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim, the accolade is... 

Worrying scepticism

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     12th March 2021 As a Covid-19 survivor, it breaks my heart to realise that there is so much superstition and scepticism around vaccines designed to combat this disease, which has had such a horrific impact on both lives and livelihoods right across the globe. And it is not only those who have not had the benefit... 

Dirty energy

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     5th March 2021 ‘Clean energy’ has become a buzzword across the globe, including in our sub-Saharan Africa neck of the woods, where the International Renewable Energy Agency is projecting renewables will comprise 67% of the energy mix by 2030 – if correct policies and legislation are put in place and those with... 

Breath of fresh air

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     26th February 2021 Air pollution levels tend to rise in lockstep with a country’s economic development, which is often accompanied by an increase in the number of emissions-belching industrial enterprises. But a new study, the results of which were released earlier this month, appears to have turned this... 

Our dangerous cities

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     19th February 2021 Initiatives such as government’s push against gender-based violence – which culminated in the launch, about a fortnight ago, of a fund to tackle this scourge – are clearly indicative of the overall state of safety and security in our country’s towns and cities, which are home to 66.86% of the... 

Grand hostilities

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     12th February 2021 Before the madness in Tigray started playing out last year, most of the news coming out of Ethiopia was such that all of us would be proud to be African. A case in point was Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed being named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for ending decades-old hostilities... 

Dangerous demagoguery

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     5th February 2021 Kenyans are due to elect a new Parliament and a new President only in August 2022, but the frenetic itinerary of Deputy President William Ruto – who has made no bones about his intention to take a stab at the top job – would fool observers who are not familiar with the country’s electoral... 

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