HIV infection goes up 15%,condom usage hits 100million – NAC

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THE country’s HIV prevalence rate has risen to 15 percent, a 0,74 percent increase from 14,26 percent recorded last year, statistics from the National Aids Council (NAC) reveal.

The statistics also show that despite the increase in the HIV prevalence, Zimbabwe is still one of the biggest condom users with more than 100 million distributed in 2012.

Speaking at a two-day comprehensive condom promotion workshop for Bulawayo councillors, Bulawayo provincial Aids coordinator Mrs Sinatra Nyathi, said early marriages, spousal separation and low risk perception were still the major challenges in eradicating HIV and Aids.

“Our prevalence rate is slightly up from the 14,26 percent recorded last year and this is an indicator that we still have barriers in our community,” said Mrs Nyathi.

“Matabeleland region still has the highest prevalence because we still have an increase in spousal separation since most people have moved to South Africa and Botswana to seek employment.”

She urged councillors to prioritise HIV and Aids awareness programmes in their wards.

“We need to work together in fighting HIV and Aids and I urge councillors to take a leading role and be at the forefront of pushing for zero new infections, zero HIV and Aids related deaths and zero stigmatisation in Bulawayo. We distributed a lot of condoms last year but it is still sad because there is still a low uptake of the female condom designed to complement the male condom,” said Mrs Nyathi.

Recent reports show that the uptake of anti-retroviral drugs is on the increase in Matabeleland provinces with revelations that scores of women are collecting the life prolonging drugs on behalf of their spouses working in South Africa and Botswana.

Matabeleland region, which includes Bulawayo, has the highest HIV and Aids prevalence rate compared to other provinces.

Matabeleland South and North have a 21 percent prevalence rate, Bulawayo 19 percent, Harare 13 percent while Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Masvingo have 14 percent each.

More than 1,2 million adults and children were last year said to be living with HIV and Aids while an estimated 657 000 were on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).

The country recorded 45 621 HIV related deaths in 2012.

Gift Amuli rocks Gokwe this weekend

GIFT-AMULI
Most sungura artistes have retreated to the outskirts of the capital as competition becomes stiff with the emergence of the Zimbabwe dancehall genre. Artistes such as First Farai, Kapfupi, Nicholas Zakaria, Gift Amuli and Shuga Shuga have all but become rare “commodities” in the Harare.

It is very rare to find their posters in the capital while dancehall artistes are enjoying a purple patch.
Is dancehall taking over?

Sungura musicians who were interviewed said Harare-based music promoters are shunning them.

Amuli, who is scheduled to perform in Gokwe, Karoi and Chirundu this weekend, said Harare promoters were difficult to come by.

“We do not have an option, if we find a promoter for shows outside Harare, they pay for our transport and we look around for other shows where we collect gate takings and venue owners sell beverages,” he said.

Recent developments suggest that First Farai is finding the going tough and has since abandoned urban shows.

“It is not economical to stage a show in urban areas; the competition is stiff, that is why I have decided to stage shows outside the main cities and towns,” said Farai.

The musician said promoters were shunning him hence his renewed flirtation with the rural folk.

“If I hold a show, let’s say in Mhangura, I know I would be alone and I will have maximum attendance unlike in Harare where the promoters only go for the ‘big boys’. If I had a promoter who is willing to pay me enough money, I won’t think twice, I will perform,” said Farai.

“Most of the time I would be on the road and I promote myself because at the end of the day I want to eat,” he said.

The musician was recently in the news for failing to pay the company that had provided transport to ferry his band members and music equipment to different provinces.

At one time, Kapfupi was so popular that he was even able to hold his own shows in nearly every high-density suburb in Harare and even faraway places like Gweru.

However, he could not maintain the momentum, forcing him to retreat to the outskirts of Harare, in anticipation of a come- back.
“I have limited shows in Harare. I play where I have a following,” said Kapfupi.

Recently, he was at Dotcom’s show at Mverechena Hotel, before going back to Shamva, Chirundu and Mukumbura to stage shows.

Shuga Shuga said he was now concentrating in staging shows in Mozambique where he has a huge following.

“I do not even know the last time I had a show in Harare. I usually tour Mozambique where my music is very popular,” he said.
Veteran music promoter Barbra Chikosi, popularly known as Mama Red Rose, said:

“The cost of hiring 25 dancehall artistes at once is almost equivalent to that of hiring three musicians of Alick Macheso’s calibre.”

Rapist Pastor back in court

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A POLYGAMOUS Harare pastor, Robert Martin Gumbura was yesterday back in court facing fresh allegations of raping two women from his church on different occasions. This brings to seven the number of female congregants that have reported rape cases against the founder of RMG End Time Message.

It appears that it never rains but pours for the man of cloth who was on Tuesday released on $500 bail by the High Court on allegations of raping three women from his church.

Gumbura appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe who advised him to apply for bail at the High Court before remanding him in custody to December 9.

According to the State, when the police raided his house, they recovered sexual enhancement drugs and adult videos. Police also recovered video recordings, in which Gumbura was cursing people who had reported him to the police and putting them in the hands of the devil so that they die.

Gumbura however made an application pleading with the court to order all the complainants to come forth and report once because it was being prejudicial to him.

“Your worship these allegations have something to do with the church. If it is possible for all those who have a case against me, let them come forth and report once because it seems that every time I get released on bail by the High Court, another church member will come up and report another rape case,” he said.

Mr Mahwe ruled that there was no statutory law that restricts complainants to report matters all at the same time adding that cases were dealt with as they are reported.

On the first count the complainant is a 17-year-old girl. Prosecutor Miss Sharon Mashavira alleges that sometime last year, the complainant’s sister who is a member of Gumbura’s church, left for Canada with her husband and left the complainant with another church member at their house.

A day after they had left, it is alleged Gumbura took the two to his house on the pretext that it was not safe for them to stay alone at the house.

It is alleged that in January this year, Gumbura took the complainant to one of the rooms where he attempted to rape her and failed after she screamed for help. He later raped her on a different occasion on the pretext he was testing her v*rginity.

The court heard that Gumbura went on to rape the girl twice on different occasions before threatening her with death spells. On the second count, Gumbura is said to have raped a 28-year-old woman before promising to marry her.

It is the State’s case that Gumbura would always enter the bathroom while she was bathing and took photographs of her undressed body.

The court heard that when Gumbura raped her, one of his wives who was in the next room ignored her screams and increased the volume of the television.

The pair later reported their cases to the police.

KFC is back in Zimbabwe

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YUM! Restaurants International continues to expand the footprint of its Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) brand on the African continent.

KFC will make a return to Zimbabwe with the opening of an outlet in Harare on 15 December after two local businessmen acquired the area monopoly the Source reported.

KFC is reported to be planning to open 10 outlets by the end of 2014 and comes after the franchise holders settled a row over chicken imports with local authorities.

Initially the franchise wanted to bring chickens from South Africa, but former indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere slammed Kevin James, the franchise holder for the fast-food giant for opting for South African imported chickens as he re-establishes KFC in Zimbabwe. Importation of chicken violates local statutes which ban such imports.

KFC closed shop in Zimbabwe over five years ago after the previous franchise holder failed to maintain the international standards demanded by the American-owned brand.

Kelvin James, a Zimbabwean-based in South Africa, teamed up with Takura Investments to acquire the franchise for the local market. James already owns and operates several KFC fast food outlets in South Africa, but Takura holds 51 percent shareholding in the local venture.

The two have invested $1.5 million in the venture, with a long-term plan to open 25 outlets in the next five years, sources said.

Court clears Pastor who promises to “climax” married woman sexually

057FOUNDER and leader of RMG End Time Message Pastor Robert Martin Gumbura, who was accused of offering sex lessons to a married female congregant and vowed to sexually satisfy her, has been acquitted.

Gumbura (57), a polygamist with nine wives, had denied criminal insult charges levelled against him when his trial opened before Harare magistrate Mr Musaione Shortgame.

Mr Shortgame cleared Pastor Gumbura of the charges at the close of the State’s case saying the evidence produced in court against the man of God was based on fabrications.

“The extent of the grudge between complainants and the accused, lies in the evidence adduced by the State to be manifestly unreliable that no reasonable court could safely act on it,” said Mr Shortgame.

“Even if the accused is put to his defence, the unreliability of this evidence will not be used.

“Accused would be burdened to explain his conduct which is premised on concoction, fabrications and lies.”

On that basis, the magistrate said there was no reason to place Pastor Gumbura on his defence.

Prosecutor Ms Molyn Mutamangira had alleged that on October 10 last year at around 5pm, Mrs Elizabeth Madzingira went to Pastor Gumbura’s residence to seek his assistance to secure a job for her husband.

It was alleged that Pastor Gumbura started proposing love to her and said he wanted to teach her how to make love until she climaxed, a feat he claimed her husband was incapable of.

It was further alleged that Pastor Gumbura told Mrs Madzingira that he would not offer jobs to men whose wives refused to be intimate with him.

Mrs Madzingira left Pastor Gumbura’s house and as she was leaving, he allegedly ordered her to keep their discussion under wraps, the court heard.

Mrs Madzingira narrated the ordeal to her husband before reporting the case to the police leading to Gumbura’s arrest.

Dont get twisted-Sex causes pregnancy

The highest rates of teen pregnancy in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa. A study done by Save the Children found that every year, 13 million children are born to women under the age of 20, worldwide.
Only 10% of these births occur in developed nations. Let that sink in for a moment.

The biggest factor, as I see it, affecting the teen pregnancy rate is a lack of ambition, in teenage girls -and the failing education system is a huge contributor to that. To put it another way, teenage girls get pregnant because they don’t have any reason not to. They don’t have real, achievable goals for themselves. Sound harsh? Think about it. I’ll wait.

If you don’t see a way out of your situation, nor the possibility of a better future, why should you give a second thought to anything but what you want now? What you want now is to be accepted, to fit in, to love and be loved, and sex ‘will’ give you all that. So sex might get you pregnant? Big deal.

It’s not like you were going to go to university or anything, and you can always get the child support grant, so why are these ‘N.G.O. people’ lying about how your life will be better, overall, the longer you delay your sexual debut? And really, do they even know any virgins over the age of 12?

If the Children’s Act says anybody over the age of 12 can get an abortion and/or be given contraceptives without parental consent, surely having sex isn’t a big deal? And, who cares about the Sexual Offences act, really? How about the Termination of Pregnancy Act? Anyone? Who cares about these things and how they affect young people from disadvantaged backgrounds?

The country is burning. The continent is burning. Something is going to give, and soon. My fear is that black people from disadvantaged communities will suffer the most when things come to a head – our governments are failing us. I used to be of the opinion that if academics got involved in advocacy and policy-making, backed up by real research documenting real issues, that we would see policies put in place that would lead to real change. Not so much. Academics research an issue like absent fathers in Johannesburg and their recommendations include things like abolishing lobola, abolishing gender roles and creating support groups for fathers. Is lobola the real problem here? Er, since when does exorbitant lobola cause pregnancy? How about we stop with the bullshit and start telling the truth as it is: sex is the leading cause of pregnancy. How about we start having honest conversations regarding the links between responsible enjoyment of sex, and children? How about we start teaching young people to value themselves enough to protect themselves, and to only enter into committed relationships with partners who are committed to them and their future children? How about we stop giving credence to the notion that having children with a man is a means to ‘keeping’ him?

This isn’t about policing women’s, or anyone’s, sexuality. One of the consequences of unprotected sex is pregnancy – so how about not having unprotected sex if you’re not interested in being a parent? It really is that simple. Except, not really. We’d have to delve deeper into why some populations have higher rates of unintended pregnancy than others, and I believe the reasons are well-documented. While that is beyond the scope of what I intended to do today, it is worth mentioning that poverty, economic disparities and an extremely incompetent education system are not doing us any favours. So how about we stop, just stop, with the bullshit studies and the subsequent bullshit recommendations and start addressing the actual problems? /end rant.