Monday, July 31, 2017

Sellouts: We Would Shoot to Kill
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
JULY 30, 2017

LAST week, Cde John Munodawafa Gwitira whose Chimurenga name was Cde Kenneth Gwindingwi (KG) narrated how he grew up in Nyanyadzi and later joined the liberation struggle in 1970. He narrated how he became the first provincial commander for Chaminuka Sector.

In this interview with our team comprising Munyaradzi Huni and Tendai Manzvanzvike, Cde Gwindingwi narrates his first battle, his war strategies and beliefs. Without mincing his words, he talks about the sellouts in Mutoko and Murehwa and how they dealt with such people. “We would shoot to kill,” he says. Read on …

SM: Cde KG, let’s talk a bit about the early days of the liberation struggle. What was your strategy as the commander?

Cde Gwindingwi: The first strategy was to make sure that we travelled in small groups of about three to five except when we were going to take weapons. We would also make sure that taifamba during the night from Mukumbura to Chesa, to Madziva and other areas. Before going to any area, we would first send comrades for reconnaissance. These comrades would go appearing like ordinary villagers but hiding weapons, especially pistols under their clothes. These comrades knew who our contacts were in all the villagers and they would go there to source for information. They would be assisted by people like Cde Chinodakufa vatakanga tapihwa nemasvikiro.

SM: You have spoken about Cde Chinodakufa quite a number of times. When I interviewed him, he said he was in Zapu not Zanu during these days. So how did you work with him as you were Zanla and not Zipra?

Cde Gwindingwi: Yes, he was Zapu but they had discovered that Zapu kwaingova kutaura basi. Too much politics. I told you earlier on that Zanu was more militant than Zapu. This was felt even on the ground and when the people saw us with guns, it was easy for them to work with us. They discovered that we were not all about talking only. We really wanted to fight the war. These people were not loyal to Zapu. They were loyal to the war and to the people of Zimbabwe.

Our other immediate task was to politicise the people. We were telling that tauya kuzotora nyika. You know at one time Chief Chiweshe and others told us that “yes, we hear what you are saying that you want to fight the war, but pfuti dzenyu tudiki pane dzemabhunu. So vanhu varikutya kuti munozogona here to fight these heavy armed Rhodesian forces.”

These people told us that the Rhodesian forces had big guns, had vehicles and helicopters. You know we had to demonstrate that we could fight the Rhodesian soldiers by shooting mombe dzavo. We wanted to show them kuti pfuti inesimba. Takarova mombe dzavo dzikabova vakati, hiiii, hiii mirai mirai chiregai kudaro munotipedzera mombe. Tikati ndiro simba repfuti iri. Murungu haamiri. The povho started believing in us. Also, the spirit mediums in the areas were very powerful and they told the people that we were going to fight and win the war. That is when many chiefs told their people kuti chiendai kuhondo. That’s when we got quite a number of recruits.

SM: What would you say were some of the challenges you faced during these early days?

Cde Gwindingwi: The normal challenges of guerilla warfare. Sometimes there was no food and sometimes the Rhodesian forces were in full force and all over the place. The Rhodesian forces would deploy their people at all the points that they knew we could go to, to look for food. So we had to make sure we liberated these points using the bullet otherwise taifa nenzara. Make the Rhodesian forces run away and kill them. Take your food and go back kwamunogara. We also had problems kutsvaga mbatya but we soon discovered that at each farm shop, there were clothes that the white farmers sold to their black workers. We would break into these shops and povho would help us to carry clothes and food kuenda musango. Sometimes once we got the food, we would set the shop on fire. The white farmer would hear some of his workers screaming for help isu tarova pasi kare. Sometimes we would set the shop on fire and wait for the whiteman to come out of his house. During these days, some of the white farmers vaifunga tiri kutamba not knowing taitopfura to kill. When they discovered that we were shooting to kill, they were now not coming out of their houses even if they could hear their workers screaming.

SM: These were early days of the struggle. Didn’t you face challenges of sellouts because many people still thought the white man was superior?

Cde Gwindingwi: There were many sellouts but we were assisted nepovho. But we had to verify the accusations because there were people with grudges in these villages and they would want to settle their scores using us. Vanhu vainyengerana vakadzi and so on and they would then lie to us that so and so is a sellout.

SM: Did you verify always?

Cde Gwindingwi: Yes, we did but I can comfortably say as the war went on throughout the country, sometimes there was no verification. Some people died for nothing. Ndiyo inotaurwa iya kuti collateral damage. There was nothing we could do. That’s why war is an evil thing. I see vanhu vachitukana and so on but hondo siyanai nazvo. Hondo chinhu chakashata. It’s evil.

SM: Why do you say that?

Cde Gwindingwi: War is evil because it kills innocent people. I hear some people saying endai munosungirira nyika kwamakaisunungura tonoisunungura, I just say, oohhh, these people, shame stereki. Shavi rehurombo chairo. Do these people know what they would be saying? I don’t think so.

SM: You obviously fought in many battles, but tell us one battle that you vividly remember?

Cde Gwindingwi: I remember one of the first battles. We were seated paMupfubve. The spirit mediums had warned us that mabhunu awuya akawungana in this area. We were told that pane munhu akanga abatwa kwataitora chikafu. Akanga ari mupositori. Mupositori uya then came nemabhunu. I discovered that mabbhunu ari kuuya ndikaridza yainge pito kumutsa vanhu. Some people actually said muri kutimutsirei husiku huno. I said comrades lets wake up and leave this place. Some of the comrades said they were tired of moving from one place to the other. They said handiti tine pfuti here, kana vakasvika pano tinorwa navo. As we were talking as commanders, it was myself, Josiah Tungamirai, Thomas Nhari and Badza. Teddy who was on guard was listening to music using earphones. I remember he was listening to the song which something like this; “Have you ever seen the rain coming down…” Mabhunu arikuuya. At one point he just stopped listening to the music because he had realised that mabhunu akanga ava kutosvika. He just threw away his earphones and ran towards us. The Rhodesian soldiers quickly took cover. Teddy akasvika patiri achifemereka. “Comrade, mabhunu!” Ndikati varipi zvikanzi avo vahwanda apo. That’s when people realised we were in trouble. I tell you there was pandemonium.

Pfuti dzakabva dzatanga kurira. We took positions firing back and in no time helicopters came with search lights. The helicopters were also dropping more ground force. This was a fierce battle.

SM: As the commander when the fighting started, what did you tell your comrades?

Cde Gwindingwi: There was no need to tell anyone anything. There was no time for all that. Everybody knew we had to fight or we were going to die. That is why it was called guerilla warfare. You don’t wait for orders dzekuti “fire!” No. Kutamba kuya kudedzera. Uri kuti chiiko iwe comrade? Ndezve mumafilm zviya zvekuti “fire!” Iwewe kana zvatodaro, I told you your gun is your God. Wotoridza kwawawona enemy ikoko. You fire and retreat. Bullets will be flying all over the place. You don’t have to be told to fight. Unofa wakamirira instruction. Fire the bloody gun. So the helicopters were our big problem. Fortunately I had an LMG, Light Machine Gun inomira nemakumbo. We had been trained how to hit an aircraft using the LMG. I lied down kwakusimudza pfuti iya yakatarisa mudenga. You know helicopter inomira mudenga. I could see the gun man in the helicopter from my position. He was firing at me but missing. I fired back ndichibva ndamurova. Dambu ndamurova achibva arembera muhelicopter. Pilot akaona kuti gunman arohwa and he flew away. That’s when we got time to retreat. We lost one comrades during this battle, Cde Mapudege. We never saw him again. Whenever we were attacked, we knew our gathering point where we would meet after the battle.

SM: How would you choose these gathering points?

Cde Gwindingwi: We would choose a place a bit far away from the battle ground. A place that we thought would be safe. Sometimes we would have two gathering points. We would survey these areas first. We always made sure that we surveyed our surroundings so that we could map escape routes and so on. Mukasadaro maibatwa sehwiza. After this battle we then moved to Mutoko area and hey, there were many sellouts in that area. Even kwaMurehwa, many sellouts.

SM: What would you do to this sellouts?

Cde Gwindingwi: There were some people that we realised were determined to hand us over to the Rhodesian forces for their own benefit. These people tairidzira pfuti. Shoot him. There were some people who were convinced that munhu mutema haakundi murunguba. There were such people. Even today variko such people. We would shoot and kill such people. Sometimes we would shoot such people right in front of all the villagers to demonstrate to people that we were not joking. After this some of the sellouts vaitiza kutomboenda kutawindi. There were many sellouts and like I told you, this battle where we lost Cde Mapudenge, we were sold out. After this battle, the Rhodesian forces realised that we were serious about fighting the war and povho in that area was tormented. I remember that is when Jack Madungwe was killed. Cuthbert Marufu had to run away. When the Rhodesia soldiers discovered that there were many comrades around Mutoko and Murehwa, they dispatched many sellouts. They would give these sellouts money to inform them about our whereabouts. You know sometimes I say vanhu vatema tiri mapenzi. Some of these sellouts we killed, ainge asina kana pfuti. Just kabanga and nothing else. Kufira mahara.

SM: After such a battle when you were resting at your bases, what would you talk about?

Cde Gwindingwi: All the time, we would be talking about war. Giving each other encouragement to continue fighting. We would also talk about our strategies. Sometimes we would argue among ourselves. Debating over issues until we agreed on one position. Of course sometimes we would talk about zvekumusha and laugh about it. Kunyepera kufara.

SM: As the commander, didn’t you sometimes send your comrades kunokutsvagirai vasikana?

Cde Gwindingwi: You would die. I can tell you, you would die. Hondo ikauya, yainanga pauri.

SM: How and why?

Cde Gwindingwi: Hapeno, but you would die. Maybe mudzimu. But later when the war was all over the country, yes, people were now womanising. I also can tell you that many vakaita zvevasikana died. Many causalities. During these early years, you could not womanise if you wanted to live. People died.

SM: Can you briefly tell us some of the war strategies that you believed in?

Cde Gwindingwi: I used to say, whenever someone fired at you, you were supposed to quickly fire back otherwise you would develop cold blood. Also, I believed that we were supposed on most of occasions supposed to be the attackers and not the other way around. Draw the first blood even if you were not sure of hitting someone. Fire first so that the enemy knows that usauye kuno kune zvikara.

You know after four months at the war front, when the other comrades later joined us, we were getting tired. You can ask Cde Bethune, he will tell you what I am talking about. When the reinforcements came, we were so, so happy. Takanga taneta.

These comrades who joined us were really dying for some action. I remember there was Jeff Ridzano, Sam Chawanda and so on. After seeing us alive they realized that they could also fight and hit mabhunu. When they arrived, there were so high on morale that they would sometimes dance and sing as if they had come to a party. This also boosted our morale. That is when we realised the value of numbers. The other reinforcement came after about nine months. I think by this time, trained comrades we were now around 400. You know after a year of combat as Zanla we declared victory. We could feel that we were going to win the war.

SM: How did you know that?

Cde Gwindingwi: We could see kuti yasvika panyuturu. Hondo kusvika paya pekuti mava kuzivana neenemy. By this time, the Rhodesian forces knew that we were serious and they would not just wander around. We also knew kuti tikadai uku kune mabhunu. Takanga tisisa hwandirane. We were now sizing each other. We were now waiting for each other to make mistakes. The Rhodesian forces knew kuti umm, group riri uku mukangoendako vamwe venyu havadzoki. You know we got to a point where the Rhodesia forces knew that there was comrade KG. They even dropped pamphlets from helicopters with our pictures. Mabhunu akanga asingaite zvekutamba. They went all the way to Nyanyadzi to get my pictures. They would put our pictures and a prize. So much money for the capture of KG. I think the highest prize was put on the capture of James Bond. He was a top marksman. Look ndairidza pfuti but Bond akanga ari pamberi pedu. James Bond was my junior but munhu wese aingoti eehh, eehh, iwe mupfana. Even inini commander wako, he would say mupfana. Ndaingodaira. Munhu wese akanga ari mupfana wake. Sometimes kana kusina hondo he would put on a very nice suit yakatorwa kuvarungu. Very smart right in the middle of the bush. Kwanzi ndizvo zvandinoda kuita ndava Harare.

Unfortunately he later died. I think we made a mistake of exposing Bond to the war for too long. He was at the war front for too long. We should have sent him back to the rear kuti ambozorora.

SM: These white Rhodesian soldiers you were fighting against, were they courageous soldiers?

Cde Gwindingwi: Some of them were very courageous. But the Portuguese soldiers in Mozambique were more courageous. Sometimes they would fight vakadhakwa but you would feel their presence. Even after ambushing them, sometimes you would end up retreating. You know at one time we ambushed them and killed quite a number of them kukasara about seven of them. Those guys put up a strong fight. You could see them spinning around taking cover. They fought until we realised that we were now losing some of our comrades. We had to retreat.

Next week, Cde KG continues narrating his fascinating story. As the commander he got involved in many battles at the war front. Make sure you get your copy of The Sunday Mail to hear how Cde KG terrorized Rhodesian forces.
When Nyadzonia River Flowed Blood
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
JULY 30, 2017

Her demure conceals the suffering she has endured for years. As she sits on bare ground, the scars on her arms stand out.

After a little probing, she also talks of the scars on her face. She speaks of her many years without hair. It is only in the past decade or so that she regained the pleasure of braiding hair, just like other women.

As she stares at the ground, lost in thought, one senses something troubling her soul. Years have passed — four decades.

The only reason why she is not shedding a tear is that — as they say — time heals.

She raises her head and relates her story.

Almost 80 years old, Mbuya Everina Raice Nhabuia has not known peace for much of her life time.

“Nothing compares to the Nyadzonia Massacre. I have never seen anything like that all my life,” she says, opening up on the wounds that have been troubling her soul since that 1976 morning.

“I have seen war all my life. First, Frelimo fighting the Portuguese, then Mugabe’s army fighting Smith, and when we thought everything was settled, then came Frelimo versus Renamo.

“This last one has been with us for a long time and we are now tired of the conflict.

“No one seems to be winning, so it is best they sit down and agree.”

But it is the Nyadzonia Massacre that always has her stomach in knots.

“It was an ordinary day, just like any other and everyone was doing their usual chores. No one imagined that the day would end like that for us; that we would lose many souls, innocent souls.

“Some were gardening; others doing laundry, bathing or preparing breakfast. Suddenly, the whistle blew. It was routine for everyone to gather at the assembly point once the whistle was blown.”

Married to a Frelimo soldier assigned to help Zanla forces in Mozambique, Mbuya Nhabuia often skipped assembly as the gatherings were mainly to update Zimbabwean refugees.

At times, the assemblies prepared cadres for training.

So, on this particular morning, Mbuya Nhabuia found no inclination to join others at the assembly point.

In any case, she reasoned that she was just a soldier’s wife living in harmony with her friends from Zimbabwe.

She continued with her chores, chatting to her “sisters from across the mountains”, Cdes Gloria and Veronica, who had also decided to skip assembly.

That decision was a Godsend.

“After the comrades had assembled and chanted slogans, we were shocked to hear gunshots break the silence. What followed turned out to be one of the worst atrocities I have ever seen. Wailing and screaming accompanied gunshots. Confusion reigned.

“We don’t know why, but ‘my sisters’ and I decided to remain in our hut. There was a fourth person, a man whose name I have forgotten.

“We knew we were under attack. What didn’t make sense, though, was that the whistle had been blown just like on the other days. We just kept quiet, hoping; just hoping.”

With the help of the sun, Mbuya Nhabuia points skywards, indicating that the attack could have started between 7am and 8am, lasting for three to four hours.

“People scampered in many directions. Some wanted to cross the river. Others were caught in the garden. Then there was Cde Masiye, who had spent the previous night imbibing beer across the river.

“When he heard the gunshots, he came to see what was happening. Fortunately, he had his gun. We heard him fighting from across the river. He was, nevertheless, overpowered and killed.”

Mr John Bhera was 13 years old when the massacre occurred.

His family lived a few miles from the base. Though not an eye-witness, he recollects the aftermath.

“When we arrived at the base, we helped bury the dead. The sight was ghastly. The place reeked of death and that scent stayed with us for weeks. That was a brutal way for one to die.

“One comrade had been stabbed in the stomach and was holding his intestines in his hands. Everyone tried to help him by tying his stomach with pieces of cloth. Eventually, we lost him.”

With Pungwe Bridge blown away and telephone lines down, help was at Catandica, which, predictably, was overwhelmed.

By the time help arrived from Chimoio, all those who could have survived had died.

Mbuya Nhabuia says, “We spent three days burying people. The bodies of those who had died in the river were washed away. We don’t even know where their bodies ended up. Nyadzonia River was flowing blood.

“The ground at the base was thick with blood. The smell of blood engulfed the place. Death lingered. I have never seen anything like it.”

So, how did she survive?

“After the Rhodesians had killed everyone in sight, they moved around burning huts. As our hut was lit, we remained inside. We could hear gunshots just outside. But the roof caved in, so we bolted out and made good our escape. The Rhodesian soldier who was standing near our hut stabbed one of the comrades in the buttocks and the other in the breast. It appears he had run out of bullets.

“I was the last to get out; that’s how I lost my hair. It only started re-growing recently. That is also how my arms were burnt. Anyway, I ran to the river and hid behind a bush.

“And from where I was hiding, I could see trucks running over comrades. Remember, comrades had been taught to take cover; that is to lie on the ground during an attack. The Rhodesians knew this and reasoned that some people could be feigning death. That’s why they drove over the bodies, dead or alive.”

Then as the sun hit midday, the attack subsided.

But Mbuya Nhabuia kept hiding.

“I wasn’t sure if they had gone or not. So, I kept hiding. At sunset, the base was quiet. I crawled out. The sight was horrific.”

Nyadzonia was a refugee camp that doubled as a military base for Zanla forces.

Morrison Nyathi, one of the high-ranking leaders at the camp, turned sell-out and brought Ian Smith’s army to slaughter everyone at the camp.

According to Mr Bhera, Nyathi had lied to other base commanders that he was bringing leaders of the Zanla High Command to announce the end of war, and as such, the base was to be ready for inspection.

And readying included cleaning the cadres’ guns. Nyathi suddenly showed up with Smith’s goons.

Mbuya Nhabuia wished for more out of life. That was not to be, though

After surviving the Nyadzonia Massacre, the Renamo insurgence, an on-and-off affair for the past four decades, has kept her wary of war.

That unfortunate streak with war has somewhat rubbed onto her love life.

The apple of her eye, the Frelimo soldier she risked life and limb for during the massacre, left her for another woman.

Could he have run away from her Nyadzonia scars?

“Men! I don’t know what he saw in that little woman that I don’t have. But I am happy that I am alive to tell you today about what I saw at Nyadzonia.

“Whether he decides to leave Beira and come back home to be with his family, I don’t care. In any case, at this age, what do I need a man for? Let me live my last days in peace.”
Musings on Zimbabwe Liberation War That Started in Highfield
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
JULY 23, 2017

Just over a year short of celebrating a century on Earth, Sekuru Michael Sinisirayi Nyamayaro continues to defy Father Time.

Though his eyesight has somewhat given in, his voice projection, hearing and memory make a mockery of the fact that he turns 100-years-old in November 2018.

With the help of a walking aid, he wobbles into the decently furnished lounge of his home in Old Highfield, Harare.

He sits and turns to The Sunday Mail crew that has visited him, exclaiming: “You have disturbed what I was doing outside; how can I help you?”

More of a demand than a welcome remark without much regard to the need to exchange pleasantries.

Born on November 4 1918, Sekuru Nyamayaro says he arrived in Harare — Highfield, more specifically — in 1943, and literally witnessed the growth of the capital.

And years later, he was among the “boys” who sacrificed a lot during Zimbabwe’s liberation war when Highfield became the hotbed of nationalist politics.

“Oh, you want to hear about what went on during the war?” he enquires, the wary smile indicating he does not exactly trust us — likely a hold-over from the war years when inquisitive strangers could be agents of your death.

“How do I know your intentions are well-meant?”

Though not really at the forefront of the growth of nationalism back in the day, Sekuru Nyamayaro remembers vividly, and with a sense of nostalgia, the late ‘40s, ‘50s and early ‘60s, the formative years of rising dissent against white supremacy in the then Rhodesia.

“It all started with (Godfrey) Huggins’ Federation. He insisted on combining us (Southern Rhodesia), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi) into one country.

“If he had not insisted on his Federation idea, maybe we could have had our independence a bit earlier without going through what we went through,” he proffers, rather resignedly.

Sekuru Nyamayaro says he was there when nationalist leaders such as Cdes Joshua Nkomo, Morris Nyagumbo, George Nyandoro and Robert Mugabe held meetings at Highfield’s Cyril Jennings Hall, popularly known as kuCJ.

He was one of the “boys” who went around mobilising support.

“It was an effort not without its dangers. I was employed in government, working at Andrew Fleming Hospital (now Parirenyatwa Hospital). Being involved in mobilising political support was a great risk because once word got out that you were sympathetic to nationalism, that was the end of your job. Plus, there was further humiliation for you and your family. Those whites were ruthless.”

Among the many injustices that blacks suffered at the hands of whites, Sekuru Nyamayaro says, was that Standard Six signalled the end of a black man’s education.

“Remember, blacks were not allowed into university, so whether you passed or failed your Standard Six, that was the end of your education.

“And imagine even walking in the streets; blacks were not allowed to use the sidewalk. There were restrictions regarding where black people could walk. The colour bar was just too much. Blacks were also not allowed to drink clear beer, and when we went shopping, we bought items through a window.

“Those injustices drove most of us to be conscious that something was wrong with the system. So, when these nationalists came with their message of wanting to free the black people, we easily identified with their message because it was something that we saw and experienced everyday.”

The rising sense of nationalism in Highfield saw the colonial establishment erect an electric fence around the suburb, recounts Sekuru Nyamayaro.

“There was only one entry and exit point into Highfield, which was by the probation centre. On exiting, either going to work or visiting, say Mbare, one would have an ‘X’ marked on their palm, a mark which they had to show on returning.

“If you didn’t have that mark, you were not allowed into Highfield. That is how insecure the white regime had become because of the growing resentment towards its system.”

But the more repressive the regime became, the more determined Sekuru Nyamayaro and his compatriots became.

“I remember engaging Samson Dinhidza, who owned a Zodiac vehicle to drive nationalists when they came to Highfield for meetings. He used to drive Nkomo around a lot.

“And to make sure he did not get into trouble, we told him if he was to be caught by the police and questioned, he would just say he had been hired and didn’t know the identities of the people who had hired him. But fortunately, we never encountered any problems.”

Besides mobilising the masses to attend meetings, most of them held at CJ, Sekuru Nyamayaro says financial support was also critical to winning the liberation war.

“Every month-end, we would make collections and remit these at either Mushandirapamwe Hotel or Mwayera’s store. They are the ones who knew how the money got to the people who needed it. All we did was make collections.”

And then the colonialists jammed radio stations.

“There came a time when the white government did not want us to know what was happening around us, so every time you tuned in to the radio all you could hear were bells. So, for news on what was happening at the war front and in our country, we had to tune into Radio Tanzania or Radio Moscow, sometimes as late as midnight.”

The resistance movement in Highfield came up with codes such as “mwana wevhu” (son/daughter of the soil).

“When you heard someone saying ndiri mwana wevhu (I am a son/daughter of the soil), you instinctively knew something was up. Either that was a call to go and block certain roads leading into town using bricks and stones, or it was a call to get into beerhalls and spill those beer mugs so that people could attend meetings. We just spilled beer; we never beat up people. That way, we encouraged people to attend meetings.”

It is striking that Sekuru Nyamayaro is good with his dates and incidents.

He narrates his story, rather stories (they became intertwined as the conversation warmed up) without confusing one incident for another.

As the discussion slowly drifts from the colonial era to life in general, Sekuru Nyamayaro says he is looking forward to his centenary celebrations.

And on November 5, he starts his journey into the 100th year, fully aware that he was one of the “boys” who helped liberate Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe: A Staple Lesson for the Nation
JULY 23, 2017
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
Peter Gambara

A lot has been said regarding farmers’ failure to deliver maize to the Grain Marketing Board as the moisture level of their grain was higher than the prescribed 12,5 percent.

In this article, I discuss lessons farmers and policy-makers need to consider.

When Government launched the Special Maize Production and Import Substitution Programme (Command Agriculture) in 2016, the minimum target yield was five tonnes per hectare.

Most farmers reasoned that it would be easier to achieve this minimum target if they grew long season varieties.

Seed-Co supplied seed for this programme, and the long season varieties included SC719 and SC727. These varieties have the potential of up to 14 and 16 tonnes per hectare respectively.

However, they require between 158 and 162 days to reach physiological maturity, and farmers should best grow them with irrigation facilities.

If grown between October 15 and 31, they will reach physiological maturity between March 7 and 22. The maize will require another two months to dry and reach the 12,5 percent moisture level the GMB desires. The earliest these varieties can be harvested is any time after May 7.

However, it is also true that very few farmers are able to establish their maize crop by October 1 so that it can be harvested by end of April, in time for the establishment of winter wheat.

The three medium maturity maize seed varieties that Seed-Co distributed were the SC627, SC633 and SC637.

These take between 140 and 148 days to maturity. If planted at the same time as long season varieties, they can be harvested any time after April 22.

The big lesson here is that if a farmer wants to plant maize on the same land that they want to grow wheat next winter, they should avoid growing long season maize varieties.

They will not be able to harvest in time for winter wheat planting on May 1. They should, instead, consider planting shorter maturing varieties.

Secondly, they should irrigate the maize in early October so that it reaches maturity on time and be removed in time for winter wheat.

Farmers who want to grow long season maize varieties should compromise between high yield levels and being able to use the same piece of land for growing winter wheat.

They cannot have it both ways.

If you plant these varieties on any piece of land, then simply rule that land out for winter wheat.


Last season, farmers could only be contracted to grow maize under Command Agriculture.

Government has also indicated it will contract farmers to grow 60 000 hectares of soyabeans next season.

Farmers eager to double-crop by establishing a second crop in winter should consider growing soyabeans instead of maize.

Soyabeans can be planted much later than maize, but still reach maturity earlier than maize.

A soyabean crop that is established between December 1 and 15 will be ready for harvesting by April 30 and, hence, will enable a farmer to establish winter wheat.

Last season, many farmers also faced the fall armyworm menace.

This pest is easily spread if a farmer grows one cereal after another; like wheat after maize and then more maize.

Farmers should, therefore, consider introducing a legume crop in their rotations to reduce the easy multiplication of the fall armyworm.

The big lesson here is that farmers who want to grow winter wheat should consider a soyabean-wheat rotation instead of a maize-wheat rotation as the former is easier to manage.

Soyabean can be planted late, harvested earlier than maize and will be a big advantage both in summer and winter.

Such rotation also has other benefits of controlling potential fall armyworm attack.


Once maize has reached physiological maturity, a farmer can always consider further drying it using artificial means.

There are a few driers in the country that farmers can use for this purpose, and this means farmers who intend to use them should book in advance.

It costs about US$20 per tonne to artificially dry maize, and a farmer wishing to quickly remove maize to establish wheat can economically justify that extra cost.

This year, many farmers failed to meet the wheat-planting deadline because they could not remove their maize early enough.

It still had high moisture levels.

Such farmers could have easily used artificial driers to dry their maize and move on to plant the wheat.

There are two big lessons here; firstly, farmers who wish to remove their maize crop in time for wheat should consider using artificial driers.

However, they should book the combine harvesters and driers on time.

Government should also consider investing in grain driers at all GMB depots that handle bulk deliveries.

There are indications that Government has already identified 12 depots where these driers will be installed before harvesting next year.

That’s positive.

Right seed, right time

As highlighted above, Seed-Co long season varieties are best grown under irrigated conditions if the farmer intends to remove the crop early.

They can also be grown under dry land conditions in high rainfall areas or where supplementary irrigation is available.

It should be remembered that the 2016/17 summer cropping season was exceptional in as far as the amount of rainfall received is concerned.

The last time we received such rainfall was some 36 years ago.

Therefore, farmers should be warned that they should not get into the habit of growing long season varieties late as their crops risk not reaching maturity.

And also farmers got these long season varieties well into the season.

The question that arises is why Government decided to use one seed house in a country with over 10 seed houses.

Surely, all the seed houses can get a slice of the cake and provide their best seed.

Let them compete to supply the best-performing seed.

Moisture testers

Farmers rush to deliver maize with high moisture levels to the GMB partly because they do not have the means to determine moisture levels.

While the GMB provides free moisture-testing, it should be accepted that it is indeed cumbersome for farmers to travel long distances to have their maize tested.

Besides, sometimes they have to do so several times.

It would, therefore, make sense for Government to provide mobile moisture-testing equipment to extension staff to make them readily available to farmers.

There have been complaints that the GMB is rejecting some maize from farmers only to accept that same grain after dealers buy it from the distraught farmers and deliver it.

The type of moisture-testers the GMB is using are mobile and can show some variability, giving different readings when the same sample is tested more than once.

There is, therefore, nothing unusual about a previously-tested sample giving a different reading an hour later. GMB staff should test a sample thrice and then average the readings.

Besides, the condensation that occurs when a cold sample is taken from a plastic container (usually used by most farmers) on a warm, humid day can result in inaccurately high readings.

This all points to providing proper training to those tasked to do these tests.

Unfortunately, the GMB has a history of using temporary staff to reduce its wage and accessory bills. Farmers should also be trained on how to take samples and handle them.

They should be told to avoid using plastic containers to move samples and, instead, use paper (khaki envelopes).

In addition, the GMB should check the accuracy of its meters regularly by comparing the readings from their testers with laboratory-obtained readings.

If they are consistently different, then there is need to have them checked for accuracy. Low batteries can cause inaccurate readings, especially where testers are left unused for long periods.

Therefore, the GMB could do itself a favour by making sure those tasked with farmers’ samples know what they are doing and have their meters re-checked for accuracy. There are cases of farmers who have taken samples to private testing facilities and have been told they meet the 12,5 percent threshold only to be rebuffed at GMB depots.


Among other reasons, farmers rush to deliver maize to the GMB while moisture levels are still high because the grain procurer had developed an uncanny habit of failing to pay on time.

While Government provided US$60 million and then another US$200 million later for maize purchased by the GMB, farmers could have taken this to mean that the available funds were inadequate and, therefore, needed to deliver their grain early in order to be paid early.

Government needs to continuously re-assure farmers that there is enough money to purchase all the maize on offer and that the payment period will be, at most, just a week, etcetera.

One way is to set aside the money when the National Budget is presented in Parliament. That will provide the necessary assurances to farmers that they do not need to rush to deliver their maize.

Last year was the first time for Command Agriculture and the Presidential Well-Wishers Agricultural Inputs Support Scheme to be implemented simultaneously.

There is always room for improvement, and both farmers and policy-makers should learn from their mistakes as we move into 2017/18 summer cropping.

The target areas this time around are much higher, and that calls for better preparedness.

 Mr Peter Gambara is an agricultural economist and consultant based in Harare. He wrote this article for The Sunday Mail.
Banquet Given to Celebrate Second Successful ICBM Test-fire in DPRK
The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea hosted a grand banquet at the Mokran House on July 30 in celebration of the second successful test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14.

Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was present at the banquet.

Invited there were contributors to the test-fire.

Ri Man Gon, Ri Pyong Chol, Kim Rak Gyom, Kim Jong Sik, Jong Sung Il, Jang Chang Ha and Jon Il Ho were on hand.

When Kim Jong Un arrived at the banquet hall together with Ri Sol Ju, the participants in the banquet warmly welcomed him.

Ri Man Gon, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee, made a congratulatory speech.

He said that the second successful ICBM test-fire only 20 days after its first test-fire was a world-startling event that eloquently proved the speed of development of the Juche-oriented rocket industry making a remarkable leaping forward and inexhaustible potentiality and invincible spirit of heroic Korea in the great era of Kim Jong Un.

The great success in the second test-fire of Hwasong-14 is giving great joy and courage to the service personnel and people of the DPRK as it hit hard the empire of evils, the chieftain of aggression again over its head before the world is relieved of the shock from the first test-fire of Hwasong-14, and has established a new world political structure with socialist Korea as its axis, he noted, adding:

The great success in the second test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14 was another thrilling victory in the history of the nation brought about entirely by the gifted wisdom, strong guts and prominent leadership of Kim Jong Un.

The speaker underlined the need to ceaselessly produce new-type ballistic rockets with high mobility and striking power in the sky-high spirit of having brought about a miraculous victory of July 28 through the "March 18 Revolution" and the "July 4 Revolution" under the guidance of Kim Jong Un and to make a series of successes in the field of defence scientific research capable of overtaking the world in the air, on seas and under waters.


Art Performance Highlights Second Successful ICBM Test-fire

A joint art performance was given by the Moranbong Band and the State Merited Chorus at the People's Theatre on July 30 to celebrate the second successful test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14.

Among the audience were Ri Man Gon, Ri Pyong Chol, officials of the Party and armed forces organs, contributors to the successful test-fire of Hwasong-14 and officials, teachers and researchers in the field of defence science.

The performance started with the prelude "Glory to General Kim Jong Un". Put on the stage were colourful numbers such as light music "Pyongyang Is Best" and orchestral music and male chorus "We'll Travel One Road Forever."

In light music "March of the Rocketeers of the Republic", the performers sang in high praises of the exploits of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il who laid the foundation for self-supporting defence industry from scratch and brought about a strong springboard for developing the Juche-based rocket industry under the uplifted banner of simultaneously developing the two fronts.

In light music "At a Go" and female chorus "Song of Hwasong Gun" they truthfully represented the indomitable spirit of the soldiers in the field of defence science who wrought a world-startling miracle by making a perfect ICBM with improved capacity in a matter of 20 days.

The performance ended with epilogue "We Cannot Live without You" and "Glory to General Kim Jong Un".

It was applauded by the audience.


Dancing Parties Held to Celebrate Second Successful ICBM Test-fire

Dancing parties of working people and youth and students took place on July 30 to celebrate the successful second test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14.

Kim Il Sung Square and other parts of Pyongyang were crowded with working people and youth and students to celebrate another great event, special and auspicious jubilee which rocked the world.
Dancing parties began amid the playing of song "Our Leader Beloved of People".

The participants danced in boundless reverence for Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, who is firmly defending the sovereignty and dignity of the country with the powerful strategic nuclear force of the Workers' Party of Korea.

The mood of the dancing parties revved up with the playing of "The Country of the People", "The General Star beyond the Clouds" and other songs.


US Warned to Wake Up From Foolish Dream of Doing Any Harm to DPRK
A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry made public a statement on July 30. It said:

The resounding success in the second test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14 conducted on July 28 is a great victory of the DPRK that demonstrated once again the independent prestige and dignity of Juche nuclear power, the world-level rocket power.

The test-fire confirmed the DPRK's capability of making surprise launch of ICBM in any place and location any time, and clearly proved that the entire US mainland is in the firing range of the DPRK's missiles.

The maximum range simulation test-fire of ICBM conducted by the DPRK this time is meant to send a stern warning to the US making senseless remarks, being lost to reason in the frantic sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK.

The policy-makers of the US who must have closely observed the successful second ICBM test-fire would now properly understand that the US, an aggression-minded state, would not go scot-free if it ever dared provoke the DPRK.

The US trumpeting about war and threat to impose extreme sanctions on the DPRK only emboldens the latter and provides further justification for its access to nukes.

To the Korean people who experienced disastrous disturbances of war on this land by the US imperialist brutes, the powerful war deterrence for defending the state is an inevitable strategic option and it is a precious strategic asset that cannot be discarded or bartered for anything.

If the Yankees, who have imposed pain and misfortune upon the Korean people for over half a century through their bloody war of aggression and heinous hostile policy against the DPRK, dares brandish the nuclear stick on this land again despite the DPRK's repeated warnings, the DPRK will clearly teach them manners with the nuclear strategic force which it had so far shown the US one after another.

The US should clearly understand the strategic position of the DPRK which has become a world nuclear power and a rocket power and the resolve of its army and people for retaliation, and wake up from the foolish dream of doing any harm to the DPRK.

In case the US fails to come to its own senses and continues to resort to military adventure and "tough sanctions", the DPRK will respond with its resolute act of justice as already declared.

US Is Destined to Ruin Says DPRK Engineer
Our country has already declared that it would reduce the US mainland to ashes by means of its powerful nuclear strikes if the latter resorts to a reckless move to dare provoke us. Our country succeeded in the 2nd test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14 which simulated the maximum range. This clearly proved once again that our declaration is not an empty talk.

No force on earth can be a match to our country which is fully possessed of the most powerful,
precise and diversified strategic weapons, the Juche weapons capable of striking any region around the world.

Justice is in store for our country, and the US is destined to destruction by the form of warfare we choose and at the time we set. The only way for the US to escape from its inevitable doom is to give up its nuclear threat and hostile policy towards our country.
Mun Hak Chol,

Chief engineer of Pyongyang Thermal Power Complex

DPRK People Rejoice Over Another Successful ICBM Test-fire
People of the DPRK are rejoicing over the successful second test-fire of intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14.

Through the successful second test-fire of the ICBM Hwasong-14, the DPRK demonstrated once again the prestige of Juche nuclear power, the world-level rocket power upholding an illustrious commander born of Heaven, all over the world.

Kim Yu Chol, a researcher of the State Academy of Sciences, told KCNA:

The successful ICBM test-fire is another great victory which dealt a heavy blow to the US imperialists and its vassal forces keen on obliterating the DPRK's dignity and its right to existence.

I want to pay highest tribute to great leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un who developed the country into a power that no formidable enemy dare provoke.

Jo Son Hyang, a resident in Rangnang District, said with confidence that the future of the country is bright and the happiness of our children will be forever as it has a powerful sword for keeping peace.

Sonu Kuk Chol, a student of Pyongyang Medical College of Kim Il Sung University, said:

After the Fatherland Liberation War in 1950s, even a trigger-happy American general confessed it was as clear as noonday that the US suffered a defeat in the war and there is no army in the world strong enough to defeat the Korean People's Army. Since then, the US has run amuck relying on its corpulent strength, but it has been forced to kneel down before the DPRK.

If the US swishes its nuclear stick against the DPRK again, oblivious of the lesson of the history, it will meet only bitter punishment to be meted out by the latter's nuclear strategic force.


Guidance to Second Test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14
The second test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14 was successfully carried out on the night of July 28, Juche 106 (2017) under the supervision of Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army.

Kim Jong Un guided the test-fire on the spot.

He, who is always bringing about ceaseless miracles and victories, baffling the imagination of the world people with his rare military wisdom, great guts and stratagem, set forth a militant task for the rocket research field to conduct another test-fire simulating the maximum range of Hwasong-14 at an early date to prove once again the reliability of the whole rocket-system.

The scientists and technicians in the field of defence industry, loyalists of the Party sharing the intention, breath and step with the leader with an absolute trust in it, rounded off earlier than scheduled the preparations for the second test-fire of Hwasong-14 through a decisive campaign with confidence and will to fully demonstrate the powerful might of the strategic nuclear force of the WPK.

During the preparation period, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un received reports about the preparations and gave detailed instructions every day. On the night of July 28, he visited the rocket-launching site to guide the test-fire on the spot.

The test-launch was aimed at finally confirming the overall technological specifications of the weapon system of Hwasong-14 capable of carrying a large-sized heavy nuclear warhead, including its maximum range.

By order of the Supreme Leader, the intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14 loaded with the tremendous might of heroic Korea roared into space, leaving a column of flames behind.

The rocket that blasted off from the northwestern part of the DPRK reached an altitude of 3 724.9 km and flew 998 km for 47 minutes and 12 seconds before landing in the target waters in the open sea.
The test-fire was carried out at the maximum angle launch system mocking the maximum range, and had no adverse effect on the security of neighbouring countries.

The test-fire reconfirmed the specific features of the rocket system such as the rocket's separation from its launching pad, stage-separation, structural system, etc. which were confirmed at the first test-fire, and confirmed the performing features of motors whose number has increased to guarantee the maximum range in the active-flight stage as well as the accuracy and reliability of the improved guidance and stability system.

The attitude control features of heavy warhead in the middle flight stage after the separation of warhead were reconfirmed, and the accurate guidance and attitude control of warhead was ensured at the atmospheric re-entry at the angle launch system harsher than the actual maximum-range flying conditions. The structural stability of warhead was maintained and the warhead explosion control device showed normal operation even at thousands of degrees of Centigrade.

Expressing great satisfaction over the results of the ICBM test-fire which proved to be a perfect and big success without an inch of error, Kim Jong Un highly praised the scientists, technicians and officials in the field of rocket research and gave them special thanks in the name of the Party Central Committee.

The test-fire reconfirmed the reliability of the ICBM system, demonstrated the capability of making surprise launch of ICBM in any region and place any time, and clearly proved that the whole US mainland is in the firing range of the DPRK missiles, he said with pride.

The maximum range simulation test-fire of ICBM conducted by the DPRK today is meant to send a grave warning to the US making senseless remarks, being lost to reason, he said, adding this would make the policy-makers of the US properly understand that the US, an aggression-minded state, would not go scot-free if it dares provoke the DPRK.

The US trumpeting about war and extreme sanctions and threat against the DPRK only emboldens the latter and offers a better excuse for its access to nukes, he said, stressing: To the Korean people who experienced disastrous disturbances of war on this land by the beast-like US imperialists, the powerful war deterrence for defending the state is an inevitable strategic option and it is a precious strategic asset that cannot be bartered for anything.

If the Yankees brandish the nuclear stick on this land again despite our repeated warnings, we will clearly teach them manners with the nuclear strategic force which we has shown them one by one, he emphasized.

He warmly congratulated the scientists and technicians in the field of rocket research who demonstrated once again the independent prestige and dignity of Juche nuclear power, the world-level rocket power, by succeeding in the second test-launch of ICBM Hwasong-14. He, taking them in his arms, had a photo session with them which will go down in history.

The DPRK, advancing along the new line of the great Workers' Party of Korea on simultaneously building up the economy and defence, will develop much more the most powerful strategic weapons, Juche weapons, which will display the invincible might of Juche Korea and its inexhaustible potentiality of development to the world until the US and its vassal forces trying to undermine the
DPRK's dignity and its right to existence are eliminated, and will achieve the final victory in the showdown with the imperialists and the US without fail.

Accompanying him were Ri Pyong Chol, Kim Rak Gyom, Kim Jong Sik, Jang Chang Ha, Jon Il Ho, Yu Jin and Jo Yong Won.

NPCK Spokesman Slams S. Korean Regime's Move to Gloss Over THAAD Issue
A spokesman for the National Peace Committee of Korea released a statement on July 29 accusing the south Korean regime of trying to gloss over the issue of THAAD deployment, yielding to the pressure from the US.

Recently, the south Korean authorities decided not to open to the public the documents containing the truth behind the THAAD deployment for the reason that it might cause problems in sensitive diplomacy and security although they were found among the documents of the former Park Geun Hye regime at the Blue House, the statement said, and went on:

This is because of the regime's concern that the publication of the documents may reveal the truth behind the deployment of THAAD enforced by the US, add fuel to the public struggle against the deployment and thus incur disfavor of the US.

During the past "presidential" election the present chief executive of south Korea promised not to push ahead with the deployment unilaterally, considering the mindset of the public opposed to the deployment.

But the present regime of south Korea has now broken the promise and made it an established fact to deploy THAAD. This is just a mockery and frontal challenge to the south Korean people.

It seemed in the past that the rulers of south Korea would tell the US what they should tell over the issue of the THAAD deployment. But now it has been fully disclosed that it was just a cheap farce to calm down angry China and Russia. South Korea has nothing to say when it is faced with shower of strikes from the neighboring countries, not mere economic retaliation.

If the regime persists in kowtowing to the US, failing to realize that its move to deploy THAAD, pursuant to the US policy, is so foolish and reckless, it will never escape miserable fate like the Park Geun Hye group of traitors.

The south Korean regime should come to its senses, though belatedly, and open to the public all the documents related to the truth behind the deployment of THAAD enforced by the Park regime under the manipulation of the US.

It should stop the humiliating THAAD deployment, as demanded by the south Koreans, other Koreans in the north and abroad and the world peace-loving people.


Koreans in US Stage Demonstration for Peace against War
Koreans in the US staged a demonstration outside the south Korean puppet consulate general in Los Angels on July 27, demanding the withdrawal of the THAAD deployment in south Korea and the conclusion of a peace treaty between the DPRK and the US.

They handed a statement and a letter to the puppet consulate general.

Sixty-four years have passed since the armistice agreement, the keynote of which is to terminate the Korean war and stop hostile acts, was signed, but the people in the Korean peninsula and Asian countries are suffering from war threat owing to the US persistent military moves, they noted.

Meanwhile, the Koreans in New York distributed among citizens literature stressing the need to conclude a peace treaty between the DPRK and the US, chanting such slogans as "Withdrawal of US forces from south Korea", "No war" and "Conclusion of peace treaty."


US Moves for Unchallenged Edge of Its Strategic Force Blasted
The US is now keen on arms and equipment modernization while crying out for tough counteraction against the "threat" from the DPRK.

US Congressmen are trumpeting about arms and equipment modernization while suggesting the resumption of the "Star Wars Program" against the DPRK, and the US Defence secretary instructed to examine in an all-round way the missile defence strategy.

The Washington Times on its internet homepage on July 12 put it that Pentagon plans to invest billions of US dollars in updating missile defence system, to divert 1.5 billion US dollars out of 7.9 billion originally planned for ground-to-air missile defence system and Aegis ballistic missile defence system for updating 36 ground-to-air missile defence system built across the US and to stage long-term missile defence exercises on a regular basis to cope with "missile threat" from north Korea.

The US Defence Department instructed the US munitions monopolies to submit within two weeks the design for new air-to-air interceptor missile five times faster than the existing interceptor missiles, and ordered them to step it up so that they can be deployed for an actual war after going through manufacturing and test processes at an earliest possible date.

Australian lawyer James commented the key purpose that the US repeats the excuse of "threat from north Korea" is to justify the presence of the US forces in East Asia and contain and lay a siege to China, biggest threat to its hegemonic strategy.

The reason why the US is talking about the resumption of the "Star Wars Program" and getting keen on modernization of arms and equipment is never because of the DPRK but to serve its crafty intention to ensure an unchallenged edge of its strategic force over China.

It is not a secret that the "Star Wars Program" was a space war scenario that the Reagan administration worked out with an aim at stamping out the Soviet system under the pretext of "military threat from the Soviet Union" far back in the 1980s.

The program, a tricky scenario to create the atmosphere of horror within the then Soviet Union and undermine its economy, has been raised by the US again. The aim sought by it now is to hold a strategic edge over regional big powers including China.

The US remains unchanged in its ambition for world domination.

The US reactionary strategy for world domination aims at pressurizing and containing its rivals and challengers by force, and holding a hegemonic position.

The contradiction between China and the US over THAAD deployment clearly proves that any development on the Korean peninsula and in the region would be enough to stir up the interests of big powers as big powers stand in acute confrontation in their strategic interests.

The moves for the expansion of military influence in Asia and the concurrent movement to contain it have escalated military tension between China and the US and further accelerated arms race.

We will never remain an on-looker to the situation in which conflict caused by the US may reach the dignified DPRK.

New Stamps Issued in DPRK
The DPRK State Stamp Bureau issued new stamps (two sheets and three individuals) showing the Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station, a monumental edifice built by young people, and Tricholoma matsutake, a speciality of Korea, growing in Mt Chilbo.

A sheet carries pictures of the dam of the Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station No. 1 and monument to the feats of heroic youth, while the other showing various sizes of Tricholoma matsutake against famous Mt Chilbo.

Printed on individual stamps are Tricholoma matsutake growing in pine forests.

Tricholoma matsutake in Mt Chilbo is well known from long ago for its flavor and high nutritive value.

Women Doctors in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Recently, I heard that women doctors have been on the increase at Kim Hyong Jik University of Education. So I decided to meet them.

Life without Regret

It is nearly 40 years since Dr. Pak Jong Hwa, an associate professor of the faculty of history, began to work as a teacher. It was after a branch school in her native mountain village greeted its first teacher that Jong Hwa cherished the desire to become an educator. To her the teacher was not merely a teacher who passed on knowledge to them. Whenever the brook rose her teacher carried her on her back across the stream to go to school. And when she was absent from school because of illness the teacher visited her at home to teach her the lessons until late at night. So she felt as if the teacher had been her mother. Now she decided to become an educator just like the teacher, and applied to attend a college of education.

Even when the situation of the country was driven to the brink of war owing to the Panmunjom incident caused by the US imperialists’ brigandish provocation and all young people of the country volunteered to go to the front line the government saw to it that the students of colleges of education kept studying. At that time Jong Hwa fully realized the importance of the work of educating young people, the future of the country, and firmly made up her mind to dedicate her whole life to education of the younger generations. This is why the woman became a teacher.

While working as a teacher she always missed her old teacher and tried to make the same career. She unhesitatingly gave what she chose as seed for her doctoral thesis to her students to help them write their own. One day, about 30 years after she became a teacher, her daughter asked her why she did not try to get an academic degree. Then she replied with good grace, “I think you can understand my mind as you are also a mother and educator. My happiness lies in dedication.”

In recognition of her lifelong efforts to raise lots of educators and able persons the State made sure that she was present at national meetings and commemorative functions and awarded high decorations.

When she obtained a doctor’s degree, an official of the university said, “Medals of doctorate are shining on the breasts of her many disciples. Her medal of doctorate can be said to be one of the many beads of sweat she has shed for the sake of the country’s future.”

Wife of Hero

In 2011 Kim Chun Mi, a teacher of the faculty of life science, was very happy. Her husband had been awarded the title of Labour Hero in honour of his distinguished services in a construction project.

Lots of her acquaintances who learned the news through TV and radio congratulated her. According to them, her husband owed his feat not a little to her efforts.

As a matter of fact Chun Mi had been busy supporting her husband who had been always away from home and attending to all affairs of her big family while working as a teacher. But she had never complained.

Amid the congratulations, she found herself feeling worried.

The country is putting forward women, too, as masters of society turning one of the two wheels of revolution, she thought. Now she began to write a thesis for a doctorate. This made her life much busier. Then her husband and all other members of her family helped her with her effort to
fulfil her duty as one of masters of society.

In 2015 she completed her thesis and obtained her doctorate in life science. As the one dealing with the world history of development of biology, the thesis caused a great sensation in the academic circle for it was the first in the country to pioneer a new field of interdisciplinary science that combines biology with historical science.

When I admired her, calling her hero’s wife and doctor, she showed a pink flush and said in a quiet tone, “In fact the two titles are the same in significance, I think. That’s why we women
are called flower of family and flower of the country. I only tried to fulfil what I have to.”

Our Father

Dr. Choe Nam Sun, a department head of the faculty of linguistics, is an eminent poet in her thirties as well as teacher. Over her short career as a poet she has written and presented over 100 lyrics in several publications. The collection of her poetry I Turn on the Light turned out to be a hit. And Our Father, an epic she wrote not long ago, created a great sensation in the public as soon as it was published.

I asked her what had been the inspiration for the epic. She then told me that she had decided to write an epic when she was moved to hear the story of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s fatherly care for the children of the Pyongyang Primary School for Orphans during her visit to the school for field instruction. The Supreme Leader, with a broad smile, said he was blessed with many children and earnestly asked the administrators and teachers of the school to take good care of the orphans without forgetting his concern for them so that the children could grow up as upright, bright and happy people free from sorrow, saying that they had nowhere but the Party to turn to and rely on.

Her impression from the story soon inspired her to write excellent verses. She wrote and wrote, shedding tears of emotion. At last, what she had seen and heard all turned into an epic, a fine materialization of all people’s thoughts and feelings. Whoever read the epic was filled with happiness of living in a world of boundless affection.

“We were at a loss to know how to express what we all felt, and now you’ve relieved us of our anxiety by writing Our Father.” This is what those she had been acquainted with in trolley buses on the way to and from work said in unison.

She said to me in a thoughtful tone, “A writer said in an article that poet is the singer of the times.

The story of the school made me think that I should become the very singer because I knew the words children and woman represent all sorts of happiness in our society. With my pen I’ll more strongly sing of the great fatherly embrace which puts forward children as king of the country and women as flower of the country.”

Ri Kum Chol
Life Devoted for Cause of Women’s Emancipation
Eighty-five years have passed since Kang Pan Sok, mother of President Kim Il Sung and an outstanding leader of the women’s movement in Korea, passed away.

On the occasion of this day, the Korean people look back with deep emotion upon her brilliant life.
From her early years she grew up experiencing the sorrow of the Korean people who were deprived of their country by the Japanese imperialists as well as all sorts of hardships of life, so she had strong spirit of insubordination to outdated feudal conventions of treating women as inferior to men and the exploiter society. She was convinced that arousing the broad sections of women, who accounted for half of the population, to the anti-Japanese struggle and freeing them from all forms of social inequality and subordination was an important requirement for realizing the cause of national liberation. Under the active guidance and assistance of Kim Il Sung she formed the Anti-Japanese Women’s Association, the first women’s revolutionary mass organization in Korea, in Fusong, China, on December 26, Juche 15 (1926).

The association set it as its fighting goal to build socialism and communism in Korea and, for the present, to overthrow Japanese imperialism and achieve Korea’s liberation and social emancipation of women.

Its formation constituted a historic event which ushered in the start of the women’s movement in Korea.

In accordance with the unanimous will of its members, she was elected first chairwoman of the association. She educated the broad sections of women in a revolutionary way and awakened them to class consciousness so as to rally them behind the association.

She ensured that night schools were set up to teach them the Korean alphabets and revolutionary songs, explaining to them that they could win back the country and retake their freedom and rights only by defeating the Japanese imperialists.

As a result, the Korean women who had been subjected to oppression and maltreatment for many years, regarding it as their fate, were gradually brought to revolutionary awareness. Bearing in mind the truth of struggle that they can defeat any enemy when they fight in close unity, even though an individual has not enough strength, they were enrolled in the association and turned out in the struggle for national liberation and women’s social emancipation.

In the days when Kim Il Sung was making preparations for an armed struggle against the Japanese imperialists she led the members of the association to make uniforms and provisions to be supplied to the soldiers of the Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army, the first revolutionary armed force of the Korean people.

Thanks to her devoted activities, the association was expanded to Kalun, Guyushu, Wujiaji and other areas in northeastern region of China and the areas around the guerrilla bases along the Tuman River of Korea, with Fusong as its centre, and waged active struggles against the Japanese imperialists on the basis of a well-knit organizational structure. Despite the enemy’s surveillance and suppression, the members of the association positively conducted the scouting of the enemy’s movements, carried out liaison tasks and rendered assistance to the guerrilla army. A large number of women grew up to be ardent patriots and revolutionaries, turning out in the sacred struggle for national liberation with arms in hand.

Kang Pan Sok, who was giving energetic guidance to the work of the association with an indomitable spirit in spite of her severe illness, passed away in July Juche 21 (1932).

True to his mother’s will, Kim Il Sung proclaimed the Law on Sex Equality on July 30, 1946 after Korea’s liberation (August 1945) in order to bring about the social emancipation of women and provide them with equal rights with men. He also took every possible measure to free them from the heavy burdens of household chores.

The women’s movement in Korea was brilliantly carried forward by Chairman Kim Jong Il who regarded women as a powerful force that turns one of the two wheels of the revolution and bestowed great trust in and paternal affection for them.

Today it is developing onto a new, higher stage under the guidance of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
The immortal exploits of Kang Pan Sok who devoted herself to accomplishing the cause of women’s emancipation will remain etched for all ages in the minds of the Korean people.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sugar Producer Tongaat Hulett to Build Refinery in Mozambique

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Tongaat Hulett said on Monday it will build a refinery at its Mozambican sugar mill to process brown sugar into white sugar, in a country which has a shortage of refined white sugar.

The sugar producer said it will build the 500 million rand ($39 million) refinery at its Xinavane Mill, north of Maputo, with the first production expected in September 2018.

Mozambique is a net importer of sugar, although consumption is lower than in neighbor Zimbabwe, the company said.

"Production from the Xinavane Refinery will replace imports and the refinery design will provide for efficient future expansion to match growth in the local market and in export opportunities," said the company in a statement.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Tongaat, which has operations in South Africa and Zimbabwe, has a production capacity of 250,000 tonnes of brown sugar at the Xinavane mill.

Tongaat said it aims to increase domestic sugar sales in Mozambique by expanding the distribution network and reviewing package sizes to match affordability.

($1 = 12.9786 rand)
Is Zambia to Follow?
July 26, 2017

Mozambique may have a way out of its billion dollar secret debt—but it probably won’t use it

The initial shock of Mozambique’s debt crisis may have worn off, but the fallout is just beginning.
Last April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended aid to Mozambique after revelations that the country has been hiding a debt of $1.16 billion. State-owned companies had borrowed the money in 2013 from Swiss multinational financial services firm Credit Suisse, and the Russian VTB bank. The loans, guaranteed by the Mozambican government, were supposed to be invested into the fishing industry. Instead, they were diverted to purchase arms.

The Mozambican government has since come clean and hired an IMF veteran as its central bank governor in a bid to restore its reputation. But it still has to figure out how to repay a debt that could be as much as 80% of the country’s GDP. Some analysts believe the Mozambican government could query the debt’s legitimacy if it shifted focus to whether the banks were acting responsibly in making the loans in the first place. But with a party election coming up in September, Mozambique’s political elite are unlikely to take this advice, for fear of political fallout.

Development researcher Joseph Hanlon, a fellow at the London School of Economics and Open University with a focus on Mozambique, believes Credit Suisse and VTB could potentially be held accountable for the debt, if they were shown to have “made the loan illegitimate by not either doing due diligence or ignoring the due diligence.” Hanlon was speaking on an online panel hosted by the Africa Research Institute and Mozambique-based news site Zitamar on Jan. 25.

The banks should have noticed three things, according to Hanlon: that the loan’s guarantee was unconstitutional and illegal, because the decision was made unilaterally by the then-finance minister, violating Mozambique’s budgetary laws; that the feasibility studies conducted by the companies seeking the loans were “totally ridiculous;” and that the debt was always going to be unsustainable.
“What the Mozambican government simply needs to do, is that they do not honor, and do not acknowledge, the loan guarantee,” Hanlon argued. That would take the matter to UK courts, as the loans were arranged under British law. Neither bank, he believes, would have the appetite for a battle in open court.

The two loans structured as syndicated bonds, that is, held by a group of lenders, may be simpler to get out of, Hanlon said. But the sovereign loan, held as public debt, would require the government to prove that it acted on questionable information, based on the bonds sold by VTB and Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse declined to comment. VTB referred Quartz to the statement the bank has previously released on the matter. The Russian bank shared most of its debt with the state-owned Mozambique Asset Management last year and said in that statement that Mozambique’s finance ministry found that VTB’s prospectus disclosed all the relevant information to bondholders.

A court case would also open the government up to even more scrutiny. Apart from a parliamentary committee that has resulted in little accountability for the politicians involved, there has been little effort to really investigate the use of the loans, said panelist Anne Frühauf of Teneo, a global advisory firm in Bogota.

The issue has been made more complicated by the fact that the current president, Filipe Nyusi, was the defense minister in former president Armando Guebuza’s administration, under whose watch the loans were made. Nyusi will likely stand for re-election in September.

“Will they accept a very heavy debt burden primarily because of the political dynamics at play in the former administration of Guebuza, and under Nyusi now?” Frühauf asked.

Kroll, an international auditing firm, is currently investigating the scandal at the request of Mozambique’s attorney general, the government of Sweden and the IMF.

Jorge Matine, a public finance researcher at Maputo’s Center for Public Integrity, told Quartz that the people most affected by the debt have been informal Mozambican traders who have seen prices rise on goods imported from neighboring countries.

“The debt is just an example of a larger problem in Mozambique,” he added. “The police take bribes, teachers will sell exams, and people going to hospital have to pay clerks and nurses” to secure appointments and basic medical supplies.

“The culture of impunity filters down.”
Alternative to Africa Coal
Jayanta Roy Chowdhury
Telegraph India
New Delhi, July 30

India is looking to gasify coal from ICVL's mines in Mozambique and bring it back to the country.

ICVL had bought a mine in Mozambique three years back, but shipping the coal back to India was found to be expensive.

An alternative plan was to set up a power plant to produce electricity in Mozambique. However, the proposal could not make much headway in the absence of a grid to distribute power.

"We are now evaluating a proposal by Niti Aayog to gasify the coal and turn it into methanol to be shipped back and used in gas-fired power plants in India," steel minister Chaudhury Birender Singh told The Telegraph.

India has 25,329MW of gas-based power plants, of which 14,305MW are either fully or partly non-functional because of the lack of gas. These plants are estimated to have cost Rs 1.24 lakh crore.

However, analysts said though gasification was an alternative and new technologies could help to produce cheaper coal-based gas, "the problem is that the bottom of the natural gas market has been knocked off by shale gas prices".

Last month, Goldman Sachs had lowered the projections for oil and gas prices over the next quarter on the back of a spurt in shale drilling not only in the US but also in other geographies.

Goldman Sachs had earlier forecast $55 a barrel, but in June revised the price to a three-month average of $47.50 per barrel.

Analysts said oil prices would have to fall to about $30 a barrel before US shale producers could be asked to cut output.

"The gasification idea is new... we will study its cost economics. The Niti Aayog is sure it can work. Once the government as a whole is convinced, we will go ahead," said Singh.

International Coal Ventures Pvt Ltd (ICVL), a five-way joint venture among SAIL, CIL, RINL, NMDC and NTPC, had acquired Benga, an operating coal mine, and other untapped reserves in Mozambique from Rio Tinto for $50 million in 2014.

Track record

ICVL, set up in 2009 to acquire coal assets for Indian steel units abroad, has been unsuccessful in buying mines abroad. The Benga mine has thermal coal used to generate electricity. The mine is located strategically in the coal-bearing region of the Moatize basin, stated to be the second-largest coal basin in the world after Bowen in Australia.

However, the acquisition has proven to be a failure till now because though the coal from the mine is of high quality, it is of little use as the cost of bringing it back is huge. The mine has also faced other problems, forcing it to be shut down at some stage.

The operating coal mine comes with a wash plant and surface infrastructure with a potential to expand raw coal production from 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 12mtpa. ICVL officials said, "There is significant potential for tapping coal-bed methane from the acquired coal resources."
Navy Chief Sunil Lanba Begins Tour of Mozambique and Tanzania
Admiral Lanba, who also heads the powerful Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), will be in Mozambique till July 25.

Navy chief Sunil Lanba begins tour of Mozambique and Tanzania

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba today began an eight-day-long two-nation tour of Mozambique and Tanzania with an aim of exploring new avenues of bilateral defence cooperation.

Admiral Lanba, who also heads the powerful Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), will be in Mozambique till July 25.

There, he will hold extensive talks with national defence minister Atanásio Salvador M'tumuke, Chief of General Staff General Graça Tomás Chongo besides chiefs of the army, navy and air force of the African nation.

How India Became The Fifth-Largest Military Spender In The World

"The visit aims to consolidate bilateral defence relations with Mozambique and Tanzania, as also to explore new avenues for defence cooperation," the defence ministry said in a statement.

Admiral Lanba will begin his five-day-long visit to Tanzania on July 26.

He is scheduled to meet President of Tanzania John Magufuli, Defence Minister Hussein Mwinyi, Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga and Chief of Defence Forces General Venance S Mabeyo among others, the defence ministry said.

Indian Armed Forces cooperate with the armed forces of Mozambique and Tanzanian on many fronts, which include training and hydrography, besides participating in each other's defence events.

India and Mozambique have a Joint Defence Working Group (JDWG) for defence and security cooperation.