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A satellite at the expense of terrestrial problems, only in Zimbabwe…

Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA)

Yesterday the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency’s (ZINGSA) Science Park 1 was unvieled at the University of Zimbabwe. If you remember back in 2018, the government announced the launch of Zimbabwe’s space authority as it sought to “foster research in geospatial science and earth observation, space science, space engineering, communications, navigation and space physics

This project came with the promise of Zimbabwe launching a satellite into orbit. Now at the time this raised a lot of eyebrows because there were and are far more pressing needs than for Zimbabwe than joining the 21st century space race.

However that did not deter the government and yesterday we got news that ZINGASA would indeed be launching a satellite in February next year.

The satellite will be used for the following reasons according to a thread posting by Information Secretary Nick Mangwana on Twitter:

  • Support creation of an environment conducive for industrial development in Space Technology.
  • Advance scientific, engineering and technology capabilities in Space Science and Technology
  • Foster research in geospatial science and earth observation, space science, space engineering, communications, navigation and space physics.
  • Foster international cooperation in space related activities

Living far beyond the nation’s means…

For a government that bemoans foreign currency shortages and many other things, anyone would be more than forgiven for saying that there are misplaced priorities here. Now, I am not saying that having a satellite is a bad idea. There are some very interesting use cases for them beyond telecommunications and the likes.

Mineral exploration, for example, is a fascinating field. The convenience of being able to use satellites to asses vast swathes of land to see where precious metals and resources may be hidden, certainly beats sending a team of people out there.

However, for a government that is struggling to meet public transport demand and resorts to decades old trains and 50 buses as a stop gap, this isn’t it. Last week teachers were being told to borrow money to attend classes. And reports this week there were that Civil Servants are being paid according to attendance.

And all of this is excluding the effects of the pandemic, the exchange rate which (according to some reports in now nearing ZWL$170), a generation of young Zimbabaweans who have lost out on at least a year of education, defunct infrastructure and much more.

If I go on, I would be rehashing what my colleague said in 2019. I strongly suggest you read his piece about the cost of ZINGSA and the govt’s space adventure.

Zim Wants To Launch A Satellite: What’s The Cost & What Can The Money Be Used For Instead?


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22 thoughts on “A satellite at the expense of terrestrial problems, only in Zimbabwe…

  1. We can look forward to satellite tracking all the ZUPCO buses… 😜 amongst other surveillance activities 🤔

    1. Good analysis bro…..I see where this is all going, (though I was labelled a conspiracy theorist with some harsh words days back). the handwriting is the wall; “mandatory vaccinations” → 5G projects → now surveillance systems getting ready. Hope people won’t realise this when its too late. You hurl insult as you wish now, but what’s as sure as sunrise is that it will happen

      1. Sorry you’re definitely without single shred of doubt a conspiracy theorist. Linking together buzz words that have nothing to do with each other and professing to have found some sort conspiracy is a sign of Let me put it this way….
        Commonsense is a flower that doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden. 😔

  2. why are we even focusing on these moonshot projects rather than investing in basic infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, broadband etc, how about safe drinking water & reliable power to drive our industries?

  3. ‘Mineral Exploration’…there, you said it. That is why we need that satellite..OK!! Do you even know how much minerals this country is sitting on? Well our former colonisers do know. And it’s up Zimbabweans to set up that exploration mission on motion. None but ourselves can emancipate ourselves economically. Starting with a fair interrogation of plans being put in place instead of this constant criticism and negativity even on real issues that need real solutions, not these social media rants that yield Zilch.

    1. Valentine Muhamba mind is limited to the possibility of use, he should have looked more in detail rather starting to show the limits of his mind by putting a, “However”

      shallow shallow no need of the “However”

    2. As much as there are a lot of minerals in Zim we are not yet at a point that we need satellites to look for them, it’s just another way to loot money. We have seen money disappearing and not even one of those culprits have been found. How can money of that amount jst disappear…

  4. As much as there are a lot of minerals in Zim we are not yet at a point that we need satellites to look for them, it’s just another way to loot money. We have seen money disappearing and not even one of those culprits have been found. How can money of that amount jst disappear…

  5. Knock knock here.
    What you guys are missing is this:
    The path Zim gvt is taking is not theirs to determine its shoved to them by the chinese gvt. Dont forget who put these Ediots in power.
    Urban transport monopolisation its for total control on ur movements and life. Why? Because China did the same when they were establishing their one party state.
    The killing of opposition parties!!🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️ obvious borrowed from her majesty China.
    Survailance on citizens is now going a step higher. The satelites are Chinese mandated to forster their control on Zim and allow the implementation of further repressive laws. So u try to organise anything they know before you know that they know it. Ignoring pressing matters its their specialty. They derive power from oppression so they dont need sound development plans to attain or maintain power.
    Who noticed we have checkpoints in and out of most surbubs? I dont know where u are but most residentials have them. Who put them there? No one knows. They are sneaked for future use this I bet.
    CHINA IS COLONISING ZIMBABWE !!!!!!!
    The enabler is none other than ZANU PF.
    Check a lot of our economy is china influenced now. We are sinking in their debt. We continue to borrow and we are given. We no there isnt free lunch in this world. Soon we are doomed. SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Lets not fall into the trap of bad mouthing projects for the sake of it. Both your articles in 5G and ZIMSAT1 are regressive. Rather we must encourage these progressive futuristic hugely beneficial projects.

  7. I’m surprised that everyone in this government believes 1 satellite will be useful, it won’t. For satellites to be useful one needs at least 4 of them using a process called triangulation to calculate a reasonably accurate position fix. Read about it if you care to know. In the vehicle satellite industry, up to 12 satellite inputs are required to accurately calculate longitude, latitude and altitude and in the better systems, input from less than 5 satellites is filtered out as inaccurate. I am keen to see how this new “diesel from the rocks of Chinhoyi” will work and benefit the nation. Zanu is in power but completely lacks competent, skilled and knowledgeable people. My guess is very few professionals want to be associated with fraudsters, scroundrels and gangsters or people of that ilk.

    1. Mkoma there are different satellites,, the one you are referring to is GPS satellite, there are others for communication, weather, earth observations, etc

  8. @Kambiri speak for yourself. This is not the first white elephant from the dinosaur rulers in Zimbabwe. Many half-baked, puerile, naive and downright stupid “projects” have been touted over the past 4 decades. One of them was the “diesel from the rocks” in Chinhoyi showing how low the average IQ of the people in Zanu pf have. If we can’t collect terrestial rubbish how then can we be able to later on clean satellite debris? Engineering is not for zanu pf clearly.

  9. Zim lags behind in research and development, thats a good initiative zviri nani kurembera pane kudonha, knowledge and experience from using the right thing is better than theory.

  10. Akatiroya Akange arimbavha akafa asina kutendeuka dai vakafa vainezvavano gona kuita dai vatihwira ngoni. Shuwa toita vatorwa nhapwa munyika edu.

    Satellite chidhori chavanofungidzorwa kuti ndivo mbuya nehanda, zvese izvi hazvina chazviri kubatsira.

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