BVTA condemns actions of BCC police in injuring a vending minor and victimisation of the mother in Bulawayo Issued by


Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA)

BVTA strongly condemns actions and the heavy handedness of the Bulawayo Municipal Police that led to a 15 year old minor suffering a broken arm during their violent raids on vendors whose only crime was selling eggs to raise funds for schools fees on Friday 19 August 2016 and subsequent seemingly counter accusation of the mother for assaulting a female municipal two weeks after.

We categorically state that this kind of behaviour is a violation of people rights and inhumane treatment that has no place in the modern society.

BVTA would like to unequivocally remind the Bulawayo City Council authorities of Section 53 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that says; no person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the same vein to remind them of the rights of arrested persons.   BVTA further posits that the actions of the municipal police are in violation of Section 19 subsection (2c) of the Constitution that states that the child must be protected from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse.

BVTA also notes that BCC municipal police violated the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.  When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. It also further violated Article 19 that says that children have a right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.

BVTA calls upon the Bulawayo City Council to investigate the violent conduct of their municipal police officers and prosecute all those who have taken law unto themselves to injure and maim vendors who are involved in genuine means to earn a living.

We are also aggrieved by unwarranted seizure and confiscation of vendors and informal traders’ goods and generic brutalizing and harassment of informal traders and vendors especially defenseless women and girls.

We also abhor the subsequent arrest of the mother in spurious charges of assaulting a BCC female police detail two weeks after the injury meted on her daughter.

BVTA believes that dialogue between BCC and vendors and informal traders is a sure way to find alternative means to address the problems faced by vendors in the city.

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA), is a membership organisation that represents the vendors and informal traders by engaging in policy research and advocacy to ensure that the rights and interests of vendors and informal traders are promoted and facilitated.

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) can be contacted on:

Office 406 Fidelity Life Building,

Fife Street & 11th Avenue


Mobile Phone : +2638644210108

Email: bulawayovendors



Global Platform Ghana youths call for Activista Ghana

It’s a cool night in Tamale, Ghana on Wednesday 29 October 2015 and the time is 21:30hrs,  loud cheers are heard rumbling from the Global Platform Ghana, as youths scream “ We Need it! We need it” The noise increases every second and its now mixed with clapping of hands “Activista – We need it! Activista – We need it!”  as inaugural Campaign course 2015 participants drawn from West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal) and Burundi in East Africa demand the establishment of Activista Ghana after listening to motivating presentations made by Nigeria, Senegal on fantastic work in fighting poverty and inequalities and also background information on the role of Global Platforms playing the hub for all Activistas in ActionAid Federation family.

Margaret Osei  a member of Young Urban Women project with ActionAid Ghana and also a Campaign course participant  and was joyful   to express her desire to have in  Activista in  Ghana  she exclaimed “ It is a very noble idea, as it will help us to join hands and fight oppressive norms  in communities and encourage more young women to be active in civic engagement” she continued “ I really want Activista Ghana because it will invigorate youths to be engaged in decision making, it will  provide us with a space to organize, share ideas on how to campaign and change people`s lives “

Abdulai Mohammed Shani  a Training of Trainers graduate with the Global Platform Ghana added “ Activista will be very important to us, since we do not have a vibrant and more visible  youth network in all parts of Ghana, it will make our voices  heard and make positive change in communities”

Zakaria Hasfa Yurizaa a Young Urban Women based in Tamale weighed in by saying “ We need Activista because we also want to contribute in having a  functioning young women and young men`s  movement like other countries represented here in the course and also so that my fellow youths in Ghana can create networks and participate in other regional and international programmes organized by Activista and learn new things that can help develop my country”

According to media reports, speaking at the Young Professional and Youth Coalitions (YPYC) on Friday 23 October 2015 , the Vice President of Ghana, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said the government of Ghana has instituted structures, schemes and interventions not only to transform but also to empower youths for nation building.  Conversely the call for setting of Activista Ghana resonates well with the vice president statement as the network will augument government efforts to empower the youth and prepare them to contribute positively towards nation building.

This was a night set aside from the Campaign Course 2015 for course participants to get learn from experiences sharing by Activista members present in the training. The night was dubbed “Activista night” and was also meant to unpack what Activista is and to entice those who are interested in joining it to do so. It was explicitly explained that Activista is a global youth network involving more than 250 ActionAid partners seeking to challenge power holders, combat inequalities and end poverty within communities.  It is comprised of ActionAid country programmes, local and national youth organizations, movements and partners. It involves all youths regardless of their economic status who are keen to bring and promote social change. It targets youths from Action Aid Federation Local Rights Programmes and has mobilized thousands of volunteers in more than 25 countries.

The evening was set ablaze by exciting presentations that demonstrated the individual and collective effort of young people who have done amazing work that has brought about significant changes within communities.

First to take to the podium was Activista Senegal. Saliou Balde  from Senegal gave an inspirational testimony when he shared how he managed to stage a protest  by blocking the main road that passes by the community to demand construction of a school after he realized that children were walking over 5 kilometers  to access a nearby school.  “ After I realized that the children were suffering by walking a long distance of over 5 kilometers  to get to a nearest school, I decided to organize children and went and blocked the main road that services haulage trucks across West Africa as a way to show our pain and  suffering and also to make the government act on children`s suffering . We stopped traffic flow and caused chaos. The blockade resulted the government constructing one classroom block and now as we speak children are attending school in their school”  he narrated.

The Nigerian Activista also made mouthwatering presentation; one of their members gave an account on how they contributed in the demand of release of Chibok girls that were captured by Boko Haram militants. The representative said they have established many cell groups of Activistas in various communities in Nigeria, and are involved in tax justice campaign, and also organized inspirational workshops for youths. John Osiroko Atta a Cell Coordinator for Activista in  Benue State, Nigeria who is also a Campaign Course participant emphasized the need for Activista Ghana and said  “ Youths in Ghana must urgently  establish Activista as it will help us in West Africa to connect, build alliances around local, regional and global issues affecting  us youths”

A total of fourteen ( 14 ) young people currently taking part in the Campaign Course 2015 have signed up to  join Activista. The ActionAid Ghana family is still making in-house consultations to develop a youth network that will be a vehicle to face challenges of youth living in poverty. ActionAid Ghana´s Mission Objective 3 in the Country Strategy Paper V partly seeks to Enhance Capacity of Young People to Drive Their Development Priorities. The Key Result Area  in the objective  targets   “To mobilize and support 22 000 youth to take purposeful and sustained action as leaders in their own right to shape a more democratic nation that protects, respects, and fulfills the rights of the people living in poverty”.

By Michael Ndiweni

Twitter: @mdladlaspeaks

For feedback email:

Girls can also grab influential Senior Prefects’ positions in Northern Ghana

Women nowadays are becoming more influential in global politics, business and in various leadership positions; however such strides are still low in Northern Ghana.  Part of the reason why women are still few in decision making processes in the region is a result of lack of understanding of what leadership is and its importance in advancing their issues. Leadership is described by the Canvas manual as the process of influencing, motivating, and enabling individuals and groups to achieve goals.  The US Air Force defines leadership as the art of influencing and directing people in such a way that we will win their obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation in achieving common objectives.

These exciting definitions have a different meaning in Northern Ghana, seemingly they mean that only men and boys have the ability to influence and motivate people. This is due to prejudices and stereotypes attached to women and girls. Conversely this has been translated into an unwritten policy to deliberately exclude women and girls. For example there is a popular belief amongst both boys and girls that Senior High School Senior Prefect position is a preserve for boys, whilst there is no government policy that buttresses such a narrative. In addition no empirical evidence available has proved that men and boys can lead better than women and girls.

As a response to these affront on women and girls rights to participate that have continued to perpetuate negative notions and beliefs, ActionAid Ghana and its partner NORSAAC have started a series of leadership and public speaking capacity building trainings targeting over 700 girls under their flagship Young Female Parliament (YFP) project in 18 senior high schools and two tertiary institutions in Northern Ghana. This initiative is a stimulant for girls to organize and confront power structures that have oppressed women and girls and violated their rights.

Explaining  the scope of  the trainings, Nancy Yeri a project officer with NORSAAC  said  “ We underscore the need  for  girls to take up Senior prefects (SP)  positions  to end the stereotype  that a Senior Prefect position  is solely for boys and proving a point that  girls can equally lead in key leadership positions at all levels”  she continued  “The trainings have increased confidence of  girls and  is bringing out their leadership potential and at the same making them deal with their fears in speaking in public”

The leadership trainings are empowering girls with leadership qualities such as making them able to shape their vision for the future, assertive, changing negative attitudes and beliefs, inspiring them to be self-motivated, encouraging them to have integrity and to be honest in their dealings. The trainings also make girls critical and creative thinkers and enhancing fairness in the way they relate with other people. The trainings also equip girls with leadership skills which are important tools that girls can use to successful win support, motivate and lead others as one Chinese say that “A leader without followers is just takin a walk”

Public speaking acquaints girls with techniques important for canvassing and winning support in the public. It introduces them to ethics in public speaking which include being dignified in conduct, integrity with the subject matter, types of public speaking that include persuasive, entertaining speaking and key elements such as developing and good messages. The public speaking coaching is anchored on the effect and intent of the speech. Girls are trained to master techniques such as avoiding disruptive gestures, making good eye contact and projecting their voices loud when speaking in public.

The series put icing on the cake by imparting girls with knowledge on how to develop winning election Manifestos to encourage them to contest elections within the schools and promote their participation in decision making processes.

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Twitter: @mdladlaspeaks



Young women demand spaces in local government in Northern Ghana

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Women in general play a key role in development and imparting them with relevant knowledge, skills and positive attitude increases their participation in local governance. This is very crucial especially in the Northern region of Ghana where women still constitute low numbers in contesting for positions decision making bodies. For example only 4% were who filed to contest for local government elections in March 2015 and only 5,7%  women filed for Unit Committees from a total of 4156 seats.  Studies have also revealed that women are the largest part of the population but their voices are not yet heard in critical decision making bodies but are sidelined to focus on unpaid care work that is burdening them than their male counterparts.

The ActionAid Ghana Global Platform has introduced Women in Governance course that seeks to improve women participation at district, regional and national levels at the same time empower and inspire  especially young women to actively participate in local decision processes, demand accountability and more gender sensitive policies, and further campaign and challenge themselves to seek elective positions.

As part of efforts to help young women demand accountability and understand local governance a local government official was invited to talk about local government in Ghana. The most exciting part of the presentation was the fact that Ghana has a decentralized system of governance that created 216 districts under the Local Government Act of 1993. The presentation also pointed that this system encourages local participation and young women can utilize opportunities provided to push for policies that address their needs and other issues that affect them. The system also transfers functions, functionaries and funds for local governments to champion the development agenda. The course challenged young women to utilize the system since it is nonpartisan and also lobby to have their interests represented in 30% seats allocated for special interests groups. The presentation also pointed the importance of understanding local government as it gives people power to demand accountability, influence the allocation of resources and understand their roles and responsibilities as citizens.

Young women participants expressed dismay that they felt allocation of resources to district assemblies was often politicized and deserving districts were not given a priority due to vested political interests by political leaders. The young women demanded fairness in the allocation of resources so that district assemblies address the need for social amenities pertinent women and girls who walk distance to access services such as healthcare.  They also challenge the local government to create more spaces and engage with women as there are most affected by poor decisions. They also demanded concrete strategies that will increase the voice of women in decision making processes and make them safe cities for women and girls.

Other challenges of the decentralized system of governance is that sometimes there is delay in disbursement of developmental funds from the central government level, poor or weak district structures to demand accountability and also influence budget allocation.

Young Female Parliament – Unique to ActionAid, Beneficial to Every Young Woman

After observing the nature of humanity and the evil that pervades our world, Mahatma Gandhi left this in the sands of time: “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex.” Jostein Gaarder, a renowned intellectual and author also affirms that “A state that does not educate and train women is like a man who only trains his right arm.” The scholar had resolved that development cannot be achieved if women are discriminated in socio-economic and political activities.

These two philosophies epitomize the work of Northern Sector on Awareness and Action Center (NORSAAC), a Local Non-Governmental Organization based in the Northern region of Ghana and supported by ActionAid Ghana. The two organisations have programmes to groom and inspire young women to be part of the political and development discourse within their schools and beyond. Advocacy on issues affecting women and girls resulted in the creation of the Young Female Parliament (YFP), a unique innovation that is turning around the lives of young women in the Northern region.

The making of YFP
The initiative was propounded in 2009 by NORSAAC and ActionAid Ghana (AAG), having discovered the glaring disparities between young women and young men in their participation in local decision making processes, which are caused by the profound patriarchal cultural practices, beliefs and systems in the Region. The two partners have a mandate to build the capacity of the marginalised to access their needs on a sustainable basis and enjoy equal rights.

Over 700 girls are part of the leadership development initiative. NORSAAC and ActionAid Northern Region Programme have successfully developed and rolled out YFP in Nineteen (19) Senior High and Tertiary schools in fifteen (15) Districts in the region. This is a stimulant for girls in schools to challenge power structures that have historically oppressed females and violated their rights. The model has already achieved milestones by recording its first Senior Prefect at Chereponi Senior High School. The Zabzugu Senior High school has its first female assistant senior prefect in the school’s history.

A tool for practical coaching
The inventiveness ensures that young girls are acquainted with leadership skills and coached to contest for school and district level decision-making and leadership positions. The concept affords girls the knowledge to develop convincing and implementable school election manifestos and equips them with public speaking skills. It inspires girls to aspire to lead and change negative attitudes, beliefs, norms and perceptions towards women and girls. It motivates girls to be game changers within communities. It is a safe platform for girls to support, open up, share and support each other, to play active roles in decision making.

The YFP innovation is anchored mainly on four core pillars: leadership, human rights, social activism and women’s’ health. These tools empower girls to confront the society with a positive attitude and prove that they are not objects, but subjects.

Barriers to participation of women and girl

An assessment on women`s participation in local governance by Abubakar and Ayuune (2014) revealed that women lack confidence and have inferiority complex compared to men, and this undermines their status. The survey revealed that this is due to the patriarchal nature of the society.To overcome these barriers, a proven model like the YFP has been found to be effective. It restores confidence and promotes respect of human rights while giving women and girls a voice to speak out. It responds to such beliefs and battles allegations that the people of the Northern region have for a long time been subjecting their girls and women to harmful cultural practices.

An analysis by the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) asserts that the Northern region has the highest number of under representation of women at all levels of decision making processes. It argues that this is exacerbated by low literacy levels, food insecurity and poverty that increase the vulnerability of women and girls.

Statistics have also given credibility to NORSAAC`s work and proven that women in the Northern region still play second fiddle to their male counterparts due to deeply entrenched cultural practices that malign women and girls. A glimpse on participation in elections illustrates that out of a total of 137 females who contested in the District Assembly Elections in 2010, only 19 of them were elected. In that same year, while only one was elected to the Tamale Metro Assembly compared to 64 males, no woman was elected in nine other Districts in the region. Overall, only 6 women in the entire region won the elections to become Assembly Members out of a total of 43 women who contested. These disturbing disparities demonstrate the negative views, perceptions and status of women and girls in the society.

The Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA)
This work fits into ActionAid’s Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) that advances women’s rights, promotes rights-based and sustainable alternatives, partnership and alliance building and working with young people. It analyses obligations, inequalities and vulnerabilities in order to address discriminatory practices and unjust distribution of power that impedes progress and diminishes human rights. The HRBA was the motivation of the partnership between the ActionAid and NORSAAC.

Extolling the virtues of the YFP, NORSAAC Project Officer, Wasila Abdul Rahaman, explains that the initiative depicts parliament and serves as a lobby group and launch pad for young girls with low self-esteem to build their confidence, gather skills, competencies and knowledge on human rights. This would enable them to effectively participate in decision making in their schools, communities and in the society.

The project officer said the innovation has challenged the conventional thinking of some head teachers who still believe that females cannot lead. She noted that some girls are still trapped in cultural beliefs and predispositions that they are weaker and cannot be heard by boys in schools to campaign and win positions.

An innovation worthy of emulation
The YFP innovative provides a practical approach to mobilize and promote the empowerment of girls to claim their space and voices in decision making and leadership. It involves, recognizes, and nurtures the strengths, interests, and abilities of young women through the provision of real opportunities to become change makers and impact their generation.

YFP resonates with theories of participation proffered by Hart (1997) that argues that youth participation is at different levels. It starts from the lowest stage of participation to the highest stage of active involvement of young people, where decision making is shared and initiated by both young people and adults. The YFP is a model that is worthy to be emulated in other regions in the country.

By Michael Ndiweni and Alia Mumuni
Northern Region Programme
ActionAid Ghana
Twitter: @mdladlaspeaks

It is a lie that resources are scarce.

A lie is a lie no matter repeated a million times it will remain such.  People have been fed with lies that resources are scarce.  Many instances I find myself into heated debates on this subject and I still insist that resources are not scarce. These experiences have motivated me to express my views and look at what scholars have argued and put across on this subject. It will attempt to further investigate the correlation of mainstream economics and the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others. I strongly believe and will demonstrate that the dominant economic ideology on scarcity of resources is not true.

Let me look at the definition of mainstream economics first. It is defined by Davies et al. (1996) as a study of ways in which people make the best use of scarce resources. Robbins (1932) defined economics as the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. In my understanding it means making priorities on limited resources to achieve the best results. I do not agree that resources are scarce because this economic system was born out of capitalism which is based on accumulation of wealth. This free market economy leads to few people to control means of production and as result have a skewed distribution of resources. Smith (1776) sees the unregulated market as an impractical ideal that puts the concepts of freedom and anti-protectionism at the service of vested wealthy interests, allowing the rich to attack labor laws and other protections of the working classes.

I agree with the above postulation because if the market is left to regulate itself it creates artificial shortages (speculative tendencies) in order to maximize on demand of commodities. Wages will be diminishing or stagnant whilst profits are increasing for the owners which create class divisions, those with power over and wealth  and the powerless who are in need. Galbraith (1970) raises an interesting argument that firms continue to expand the system of needs by telling consumers to expand bundle of goods to be happy through advertising created by the owners. This leads to high consumption of commodities and promoting artificial scarcity. This system to me makes it very difficult to have an egalitarian society which in my view is an aspiration of the masses. Karl Marx points out that people today in a capitalist society are enslaved by the very things capitalism produces (like toys and entertainment), which keeps them from seeing that capitalists take all the money. This means that this ideology occupies the mind of the people through persuasion by ideological structures i.e. media and societal norms.

In contrast to the above postulations neoclassical economists argue that human beings have infinite needs, where nature provides them with finite quality of resources one day they will diminish.  It is further augmented by submissions that scarcity is part of human conditions rather than a product of today`s wealth society.  However on the contrary there is no enough empirical evidence for me to agree with this, besides assumptions and assertions on natural resources depletion i.e. that the next World War will be on water for example journalist Solomon (n.d.) argues that water is surpassing oil as the world’s scarcest critical resource. In order to give credence on scarcity of  resources neoclassical economists have created a notion that the market has “an invisible hand “that allocates scarce resources  among compelling ends by adjusting prices so that supply and demand are balanced. This means that market forces regulate themselves to minimize competition for scarce resources. Let me point out that there is nowhere in the book where Adam Smith spoke about the invisible hand of the market. It is a creation of neoliberal and neoclassical economists to support uneven scale of resource allocation (capitalism), the invisible hand is not there at all (Stilgitz, 2002) and (Smith, 1776).

A historical glimpse of this economic system gives hindsight and credence to the fact that resources are not scarce but are in the hands of a few. This modern capitalist system originated in the 14th century due to conflicts between the land-owners, agricultural producers and the serfs after the collapse of slavery. It is premised on the accumulation of wealth by owning means of production which are land which gives rent, capital for profits, labor for wages and entrepreneurship for profits. The accumulation of wealth led to high production of goods and services which resulted in massive economic growth. This system gave rise to new innovation to introduce new ways of calculating and tabulating economic growth i.e. GDP and GNP.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is defined by Brezina (2012) as the monetary value of goods and services produced in a nation during a given time period, usually within a year. Gross National Product (GNP) as the market value of all products and services produced in one year including remittances or business establishments beyond the borders. To me these are myopic and flawed indicators of development because they pay attention to work done in exchange of monetary value ignoring reproductive work done by a marginalized class of people for example women in the society. This means it deems the services provided free by family and community. It ignores informal economy, corruption, rule of law, and the natural environment as of no value because they are un-priced and lie outside the mainstream market economy.

This system has manifested itself as capitalism ideology. The free market economy is a market where the price of a good or service is determined by supply and demand, rather than by governmental regulation, has led to hegemony of classes in the society by owners of the means of production. The society has three classes (high income – owners, middle income – managers and low income- peasants and workers). This is a result of cliché of industrial owners who influence decision making at political and ideological structures. These mighty institutions as indicated by Gramsci`s Dynamic model, a tool that shows how overtime structures of society operate and interact, is created by political structures to force the powerless and peasants to accept the whims of the powerful. It is a conception of hegemony that is an ever-evolving set of political, economic, ideological, and cultural processes by which the dominant social sectors elicit consent from the popular sectors (Hope and Timmel, 1984) and (Hall et al., 1986).

These summations conclude that these are forces that use persuasion and force to make peasants and marginalized groups to cow to the capitalistic economic ideology. Gramsci (n.d.) supports this summation by postulating that man is not ruled by force alone, but also by ideas, as observed by Marx who says the ruling ideas of age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. This means that gate keepers or leaders are controlled by owners who have money to influence these economic ideas that create an unequal distribution of wealth.  The model also shows us  that owners of corporations are not usually present in countries where they have investment interests.

These dynamics in decision making on reproduction, production, consumption and distribution are reflects political economy which explains how political institutions and the economic system—capitalist, socialist or mixed influence each other as well as income distribution. Simple put the study of the relationship between mainstream economics and existing political structures. It helps us to understand policies and forces that influence income distribution in an economy to ascertain whether it improves the wellbeing of the people or not. It helps us to understand the influence of power in resource allocation to community and country. In contrast to mainstream economics which focuses on quantitative indicators of economic growth whilst political economy considers qualitative indicators of human development in relation to policies promulgated by political structures.

Countries must adopt alternatives to measure economic development and social indicators. These help in policy planning and making of decisions for example Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is concerned with resource depletion, pollution, long term environmental management, damage, housework and non market transactions” (Cavanagh et al, 2002, p203).  The quality of life indicator looks at health, family life, community life, political freedom and gender equity. This help us to understand whether decisions made by the powerful ruling elites benefit the poor and understanding the impact of artificial scarcity.

It is my humble conclusion that resources are not scarce but the scarcity is a result of a dominant free market ideology, which is perpetuated by dominant political structures and ideological structures.

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Twitter: mdladlaspeaks


A case of spilling beans about Gukurahundi and planting snares

An analysis of the narrative by VP Mphoko on Gukurahundi is very revealing and it puts a final nail on the coffin, he is actually spilling the beans than doing any good to ZANU PF. It is like planting snares in otherwise a smooth path.  In my VIEW the damage is so severe and has far reaching implications.  In other words is saying that ZANU was in complicit and conspired with the West and recruited North Korea to train the 5 Brigade and annihilate PF ZAPU supporters. Simple put he is admitting that ZANU was puppet of the West that allowed the conspiracy to be executed. Consequently he is saying  ZANU must be held to account for conspiring with the West to maim, kill, destroy property, holding people incommunicado, to make people disappear, arbitrary arrests and detention, rape, ripping pregnant wombs open, throwing people in mine shafts and other heinous crimes the list is endless.

To give credence to his narrative, it is well documented that the then prime minister used inflammatory statements that ZAPU must be crushed, so VP  Mphoko confirms that the prime minister was singing from the West hymn book.  Also based on VP sentiments one concludes that ZANU was a willing tool driven by the hate of people from the Southern part of Zimbabwe who were the majority followers of the late VP Nkomo . He is further tainting the image of ZANU as a puppet party that could not make its own decisions. Scribes and other book makers must have screaming headlines like “ VP spills the beans.” VP Mphoko exposes ZANU PF”

You can go further and ask who funded the North Koreans? Where did the money come from?, with so much aid coming from the West a few years after independence.  A guess will be suffice that  part of the money used pay the North Koreans perhaps came from the West and with their full knowledge passed on to the North Koreans, to me that is the conspiracy. This in my view was part of a grand plan strategy by the West to use a ripe puppets like ZANU and others  to fight the Soviet Union and diffuse its influence in Southern Africa which supported  PF  ZAPU. And indeed a well-orchestrated plan to use willing tools like ZANU PF who were desperate for relevance and to impose themselves as key players in regional politics. Unless if he explains what he means by the conspiracy. And whether ZANU conspired with the West or the West conspired with ZANU it does not absolve them from Gukurahundi. They  are guilty as charged.