This is a continuation of my Interview with the Professor,which starts from Part 1, of my previous blog posting.
Gift: Good afternoon Professor.
Makumbe: Good afternoon Mwonzora. How are you?
Gift: I am pretty fine. Firstly, I would like to thank you for agreeing to be my interviewee. It’s a great relief to me.
Makumbe: You are just on time. Don’t mention. I am at your service (chuckles)
(Phone rings) Sorry I have to attend to this.
Gift: No problem Prof.
Makumbe (Hello, I’m fine, Can you call me after 20 minutes, I am in another interview)
Makumbe: We can continue. By the way, you said you are studying in which country?
Gift: In the Netherlands at ISS.
Makumbe: How is life at ISS?
Gift: Not bad, actually it’s quite an experience, new environment and I like the academic standards.
Makumbe: So how best can I assist in your research?
Gift: I am researching on the diamond rush and the relocation of the Chiadzwa community. So I would like to hear your opinions/insights on the role and intervention by NGO actors in seeking to address or assist the affected population in the Chiadzwa community.
(In what I had anticipated as a question and answer session, it ended up as a lecture. Of which I liked it.It was so helpful)
Makumbe: Not much was done by the civil society actors in assisting the affected population.
There was no formation of class action. This is so because, generally the civil society in Zimbabwe is weak and seriously intimidated. The very important role of civil society was not done properly.
However, the project affected people in Chiadzwa should not lose heart. If the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is going to be functional, the affected community can approach this commission in the de jure sense. However, in the de facto sense there is no where they can appeal to, since they have exhausted all the available judicial remedies as evidenced in the failure of their court case appeals.
I hope the courts should have insisted for a reasonable and just and adequate compensation. I believe if there was class action, the courts would have found so much in their favour, since they are being relocated for the purposes of economic benefits for the state.
I hope NGOs working around this issue will help you. But, take care as you progress with your study!
Makumbe: Mwonzora, you need to look at these seemingly small things, but they are rights.
Look at the disaggregation of rights violations across the victims,that is gender (men and women, young children, People living with HIV/AIDS etc)
Look at deprivation of education to the affected children,which is a major human rights violation.
On whether the mining will benefit the individual or state, that’s a new investigation all together (breaks into laughter)
Gift: Thanks so much Prof Makumbe.
Makumbe: My Pleasure. By the way, are you able to download articles on Social Science Research
from your Institution. We have limited access to some journal articles here.
Gift: I will definitely do that for you.
Makumbe: Take my email
Gift: Thanks for your time Prof.
Makumbe: Don’t mention.
Many were touched by the untimely death of such an academic icon, a man who was so humble and down to earth. He was a man who inspired many. A man who always spoke his mind at a critical hour when others chose to be silent over issues that matter.I am touched,if you are not touched,will you ever be touched!
This was the First and last interview i had with the Prof, by the time he passed away he was marking my PhD proposal entitled Role of the MDC in the democratisation process in Zimbabwe. 2000-13.Two months down the line, I got admitted for a PhD Study. I wish he was around, I would have dedicated the PhD project to him, and it would have come out as a labour of love.
‘Some say you are too painful to remember, I say you are too precious to forget’ R.I.P