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Making the most of LOCKDOWN

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Talking with the Thabas

“This week every day think of that which you have to be grateful for!”

With the Corona spreading and wreaking havoc on the entire world – shutting down economies, forcing families into lock down, and killing thousands of innocent people –many are only looking at the negative.

It is hard to NOT do that when the world is coming crashing down in a way that has never been seen before in many of our lifetimes. However, they say every dark cloud has a silver lining.

I would like to encourage you… no actually let me challenge you. This week every day think of that which you have to be grateful for. Let me give a few examples to get it started.

I always feel I am so busy I don’t have time to get proper rest. I am grateful now that Botswana, the country I live in, is in total lock down I will finally catch up hopefully on YEARS of lack of sleep! I always feel like my schedule is too busy to spend quality time with God.

I absolutely love when I get a few hours to read my Bible and meditate on God’s word and listen to what He is saying to me and allow Him to refresh my soul, but in my busy schedule those times of solitude and reflection which strengthen my character and build my inner strength are not easy to come by. I am hoping now I will be able to discipline myself to have those times every day.

So many days my children ask me to do something with them such as: play a game, read a book, build a tower, let them paint my nails as they play salon, etc. My busy schedule doesn’t allow me to say yes as much as I want. Frequently, in the hustle and bustle, I make these self-goals saying “this weekend I am going to make sure I read a book with my daughter.” Then that weekend comes and some urgent thing comes up and the self-goal goes out the window. I am looking forward to being able to finally fulfill some of those goals and really connect with my children and build some beautiful memories.

Speaking of children, another goal I have is to be able to train them to be independent responsible adults, but let’s get real. It takes WORK to train kids and many times it is easier to do the job myself rather than get the kids to do it. I am excited to finally have the time to really sit there and train them to properly mop floors, wipe counters, water the garden without leaving holes where they blast the dirt with the hose pipe, cook a variety of meals, and wash the dishes without leaving traces of food all over.

Another thing we LOVE doing with our children is having “quiet times” with them. We set the timer for 30 minutes and each of my kids gets a devotional book of some sort or the Bible. We have a family “quiet time” where each child and Percy and I read our Bibles/ devotional book for 30 minutes. No one is allowed to talk. If they do, 5 minutes is added to the timer.

At the end of the 30 minutes, we all share what God taught us and what we learned during that time and end it all off praying God will help us apply what we learned. We LOVE doing these!

When I get her to be quiet, even my 7 year old likes these times! All 5 of us sitting in a room simultaneously reading and learning and then sharing fresh insights encouraging one another – DREAMY! Yet, you guessed it – we rarely have the time to do them! Again, silver lining to literally being on lock down – we should have the time to do these more often!

Lest you think it is all serious here, I am also looking forward to turning on music and dancing with the kids and Percy, staying up late playing family games and watching movies. I know this is a serious disease with awful consequences which have destroyed many lives.

I could focus on that fact only and probably be overwhelmed with stress right now and worry about if and when it will hit my family.

But, here’s the thing – me worrying about that won’t prevent that day from coming. It will just rob me of the day God has given me today to REST, enjoy my family, and finally do some of the things I have been wanting to do for a while anyway.

Let me confess that I am tempted to worry and stress, but God’s word is leading me in a different direction. Every time worry feels my mind, God gently whispers, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-27&33-34

Please watch this coming Sunday at 7:30pm. BTV as we will discuss how exactly to SEEK FIRST GOD’S Righteousness in MARRIAGE! ☺ You will learn practical tips on what it looks like to put God first in marriage AND you will get the joy of listening to Percy sing! You don’t want to miss it!

May you find joy in the trial and train your mind to focus on that which is good so that you can enjoy the beauty of today.

Ashley Thaba is a popular author, motivational speaker and media personality. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.

You can buy two of her books, Dive In and Conquering the Giants, on Amazon or Exclusive Books. You can email her at askthaba@gmail.com or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas

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Opinions

Reign of terror

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Reign of terror

Jaws dropped over the weekend as it emerged that an opposition Member of Parliament and two activists who had been reported missing were found badly beaten and tortured.

The three women went missing last Wednesday while in police custody. They had been arrested in Harare for partaking in what the police said was an illegal demonstration.

They were found a few kilometers outside Harare where they had been dumped after allegedly being subjected to two days of horrendous treatment.

It seems their rights were violated in the most despicable ways as they were sexually assaulted and reportedly made to drink each others urine and to eat their faeces.

According to doctors treating the trio, as of Tuesday they were still too traumatized to fully speak about their ordeal and understandable so judging from what they have apparently gone through.

It’s extremely unfortunate that our state security organs seem to believe in violence, terror, torture and abductions rather than dialogue or simply arresting people without having to beat or torture them.

Over the last couple of years, Zimbabwe has made international news for all the wrong reasons and violation of human rights.

In 2018, as election results were still being announced, the army was unleashed to deal with protesters. Six people were killed and dozens were seriously injured.

In January 2019, 17 people were killed following protests over fuel price hikes.

One could go on and on to list all the evil deeds of our regime, which excels at instilling fear in masses instead of dealing with matters at hand.

Many families in Zimbabwe are struggling to put food on the table and when they speak out, they are brutally dealt with.

As for the economy, it remains in free fall as the local currency continues to depreciate against major currencies. This was further worsened by the introduction of a new 10 Bond note on Tuesday. History has taught us that new notes in Zimbabwe mean higher inflation and we just have to brace ourselves for the worst as the new 20 Bond note is also set to be introduced next month.

If there is one thing our government never grasped from the past it is that printing new money does not solve our economic problems but instead makes the situation worse.

At the rate at which things are going, we will soon be poor millionaires again!

With regards to Covid-19, as of Tuesday, the country had 46 confirmed cases, including 18 recoveries and four deaths.

Meanwhile, President Mnangangwa extended the country’s lockdown indefinitely while the situation will be assessed at two weeks interval. This means that wearing a mask in public remains mandatory.

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Poverty stricken & striking cops

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Poverty stricken & striking cops

It is almost two months since the country went into Covid-19 enforced lockdown, yet our government is still to give handouts to the vulnerable as they promised.

This is amid reports that state coffers are literally empty.

On March 30, when the country began the lockdown, the government announced it would fork out US$4 (P40) to the poor every month to cushion them against the effects of the lockdown.

Though little, people at least expected to get the money. To date, not a single penny has been paid out!

On Tuesday, Social Welfare Minister, Prof Paul Mavima admitted no pay out had been made, also revealing that the money has since been increased to US$6 (P60) due to inflation.

At the current black market rate, US$6 is ZWL$246 and only enough to buy eight loaves of bread – still it’s certainly better than nothing!

As for when it would be paid out, the Minister could just not commit.

So the vulnerable should just continue waiting and for all we know, they could wait for the rest of their lives.

In other news, our police officers have been trending again, not for any good deed but as always, their brutality!

They sjamboked, kicked and punched two Bulawayo women in their 30s for violating lockdown rules. The duo had reportedly gone to buy food at their local store when they met the officers who descended heavily on them.

Pictures of the ladies’ badly battered and bruised bodies went viral on social media, sparking an outcry of the cruelty of the cops and a call for justice for the victims.

Police spokesperson has said the six accused cops will face internal disciplinary measures, which I am sure basically means they will be transferred to other stations far from Bulawayo while the victims will be expected to forgive and forget.

Quite unfair but sadly not surprising.

I know first-hand how excited our police officers can be as I almost became their victim a few weeks ago.

Had it not been for my press card, I am sure I would have gotten a few slaps or spent a night in the cells for simply taking a picture of them blocking a vehicle with firewood.

Our officers really need to be schooled in the art of dealing with people, especially the harmless and innocent. There surely is no need to brutalise people who pose no danger to anyone!

Meanwhile, as of Tuesday, Zimbabwe had 37 Covid-19 cases including 12 recoveries and four deaths.

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