Ban on quail birds trade ill-advised

VUMBUNU - I have noted through recent media reports, where it is reported that government has banned trade in quail birds (Zvihuta) allegedly to authenticate whether the birds and the eggs have medicinal value.

While I appreciate the government’s concern and desire to protect citizens from conmen who as claimed could be taking them for a ride regarding the medicinal values, it may be prudent for the Zanu PF-led government to first of all apologise to Zimbabweans for taking them for a long and bumpy ride after lying to them that it will create 2,2 million jobs upon winning elections in 2013.

All the desperation that we are witnessing today, where almost every household in Zimbabwe is going “crazy” about quail birds is an indictment on President Robert Mugabe’s administration which has failed to create employment opportunities for Zimbabweans as promised during the run-up to the July 2013 general elections.

Surely, if the government had created employment opportunities or is working towards fulfilling that, no sane Zimbabwean would shun such for Zvihuta. I’m sure that even youths who make it a pastime to congregate on bridges all day sipping bronclyn syrup, we would be queuing up for potential employment.

So this is what happens when a people and its expectations are failed.

We turn to the next available opportunity which in this case is quail birds farming.

If doing such a “project” can ensure that Kumbirai, Grace Jimmy, Peter, Tamburayi, and Taneta earn some few dollars to secure the next meal, then let it be.

We should actually be emulating and appreciating such enterprise and resourcefulness for those engaged in this zvihuta enterprise have shunned temptations to

engage in some nefarious “projects” which for years have blighted our good Zimbabwean name.

The youths have turned their backs on being manipulated and used to commit crimes under the guise of kufambisa gwara romusangano (advancing party ideology). They have realised the costly consequences that come with such actions.

While I am not entitled and qualified to offer advice to this regime, which we call a government, as a brother who hails from the same province with you Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, it may be prudent that you seriously consider the consequences of implementing such directives especially if they could result in loss of income for those who have been deriving earnings from quail birds production.

There are several young men and women graduates who should have been condemned to be engaged in this newly-discovered “cash cow”.

Surely, those are the people whom the government should consider rescuing so that they don’t go to waste.

I can’t even remind the government of its overdue and failed obligation to rescue my brothers and sisters who are being made jobless on a daily basis and being condemned into informal sector trading while others are packing their belongings and tracing their roots.

I can’t even imagine how Sekuru Bopoto, Tete Kerina and Mbuya MaJairosi will pull through to the next season considering the poor crop harvest we encountered this year in Mahenye, Mabeye, Zongoro, Murinye, Plumtree, Tsholotsho, Chingwizi, Tamandayi and in Gokwe Mapfungautsi.

Those are the areas, Muchinguri-Kashiri, which you may need to consider channelling financial resources towards, which were secured from the export of elephants to wherever we condemned them to, so as to alleviate starvation and help keep children in schools.

It’s not too late to return to Cabinet or your principals and advise them in that Manyika tone yenyu iya which each time pemwunotaura some of us ana SaManyika, we are so proud of, that povo yaramba yati tangai mwatipa mabasa 2,2 miriyoni emwakatipuromisa ndokuti tirekere kupfuya zvihihuta. (Give us the 2.2 million jobs you promised first and we will stop quail birds farming).

It’s even advisable that you tell your principals and fellow Cabinet ministers that povo is actually saying Dokora ngaambomira zvekuitisa vana vechikoro National Pledge asi tangai nesu maministers so that we commit to a national pledge of not lying to the electorate and commit to a national pledge that never again shall we let $15 billion in potential diamond revenues disappear just like that from masango emwaChiadzwa.

After all, Muchinguri-Kashiri, protection of the environment is part of your ministerial portfolio mandate.

Still on that, you can also advise State Security minister Kembo Mohadi, Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and State security agents to commit to a national pledge, which they should recite twice a day on never to abduct and subject citizens to enforced disappearances just like what was done to Itai Dzamara, Jestina Mukoko, Nigel Mutemagawu, Andrison Manyere, Emmanuel Chinanzvavana, Concilia Chinanzvavana, Mapfumo Garutsa, Broderick Takawira, Fidelis Chiramba, Violet Mupfuranhewe, Collen Mutemagawu among others and not to assault and torture citizens as happened to Patson Dzamara, just for asking questions about his missing and loved brother.

*Mafunda is a Zimbabwean journalist, who writes from Vumbunu

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