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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

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... 

In dictators’ sights

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     29th January 2021 Voting in Uganda has come and gone, and Yoweri Museveni – the 76-year-old former rebel who shot his way to power in 1986 – remains ensconced in State House, amid opposition accusations that his victory came courtesy of massive rigging. Allegations of electoral fraud in the East African country... 

Trump: Good riddance!

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     22nd January 2021 So many labels can be pinned onto Donald Trump. But two recently acquired ones – ‘former President of the US’ and ‘erstwhile Twitter user’ – give me a hell of a lot of satisfaction. With his occupancy of the White House having been terminated on January 20, four years earlier than he would have... 

African lives matter

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     15th January 2021 Much stink was kicked up in May last year when American George Floyd died at the hands of a police officer in a clearly racist incident. The din of condemnation was universal and among the more strident voices were those of leaders of African nations and multilateral bodies. Among the first... 

A year like no other

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     11th December 2020 Queen Elizabeth II popularised the Latin phrase annus horribilis – which means ‘horrible year’ – when, back in 1992, she delivered a speech marking the fortieth anniversary of her ascension to the throne. Her exact words were: “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted... 

Reprieve for Nairobi fig tree

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     4th December 2020 Bad news abounds these days – ranging from dictators who are clinging on to power by hook or crook to death on a wide scale as a result of Covid-19 and sagging economies, with the attendant impact on livelihoods. Instead of touching on any of that, I have elected to go light-hearted this week,... 

Deteriorating governance

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     27th November 2020 The bad news keeps piling up. Just when we thought we would see no further depressing headlines than those related to the toll that the coronavirus pandemic continues to take on lives and livelihoods alike, in mid-November, Africans woke to reports that the way in which they are governed has... 

Donald Trump: Good riddance!

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     20th November 2020 Donald Trump is such a sore loser. But, despite his bizarre claims that he was cheated out of victory, he will have to make way for Joe Biden as the new White House occupant, come January 20. I’m sure the majority of Africans are not going to miss Trump, the US’s first one-term President since... 

Covid: US must learn from us

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     13th November 2020 The predictions were dire. Owing to Africa’s weak health systems – which the continent’s well-heeled elites are known to eschew in the same way one would stay clear of the plague – millions upon millions of its sons and daughters were expected to be consigned to an early grave by the grim reaper... 

Targeted sanctions don’t work

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     6th November 2020 One of the major talking points in Africa currently is the fatal shooting by the Nigerian military of 69 young men and women demonstrating against the excesses of a police unit set up to combat robbery in the West African nation. When the shootings occurred, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad had... 

Election season in Africa

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     30th October 2020 In a few days, Americans will cast their ballots in an election that will either extend Donald Trump’s rule by another four years or see him leave the While House as the first one-term President since George Bush Snr. But the world’s media has been so fixated on the November 3 election that there... 

Influential Africans

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     9th October 2020 US news weekly Time’s eagerly awaited 100-strong list of the world’s most influential people in various fields of endeavour was released late last month. Proving that our continent is coming into its own, a few sons and daughters of the African soil made the prestigious list. None of the names... 

Presidents for life

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     2nd October 2020 The past few years have witnessed the departure of a few African Big Men who had dominated the political landscape in their countries for decades. The most notable are Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who assumed the reins of power in Angola in 1979 and stepped down in 2017, and the late... 

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