Sunday 20 August 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/11/17)
The Zimbabwe government has clashed with the World Bank over its inaugural command maize agriculture scheme which it has hailed for boosting production of the staple maize grain in the 2016/17 farming season. However, the World Bank recently expressed its reservations over the scheme, saying the initiative stretches the country's budget deficit and was politically motivated. Under the government sponsored scheme, selected farmers were given inputs such as seed, fertilizer and chemicals as well as irrigation and mechanized equipment to grow maize. The farmers would repay the cost of the inputs. The government has hailed the program for contributing significantly to maize production, which topped 2.1 million tonnes this year from 512,000 tonnes in 2016...
(The Financial Gazette 08/11/17)
Government has awarded the tender for the $400 million recapitalisation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to South Africa’s Transnet, which is partnering a consortium of non-resident Zimbabweans in the project, The Financial Gazette can exclusively reveal. NRZ board chairman, Larry Mavhima, yesterday told The Financial Gazette that the Transnet-DIDG consortium had won the tender. “I can confirm that we have received correspondence from SPB (State Procurement Board) that the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group, in partnership with Transnet, has won the tender to recapitalise NRZ,” Mavhima said. “DIDG’s bid price was $400 million, the amount which we were looking for. We have worked very hard for this since I came in as board chairman and now we have been...
(The Financial Gazette 08/11/17)
Minister of Information, Communication and Technology and Courier Services, Supa Mandiwanzira, says Zimbabweans have lost trust in banks because of bank failures and cash shortages in the economy. Speaking at the Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference last Thursday, Mandiwanzira said the country did not have a cash crisis, but a confidence problem. “There is no confidence in a cashless society. This just means people do not trust banks and withdraw their money as soon as it reflects in their...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(The Herald Online 08/08/17)
Zimbabwe could have lost hundreds of millions to tax fraud in 2016, according to details in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority's 2016 annual report. Value added tax (VAT) was among the key matters arising in the audited report on grounds there was a presumed risk of VAT refunds to false input tax claims by clients. "During the period under review, VAT on goods and services refunds amounting to $211 599 592 was processed by the authority and this amount was significant...
(News Day 08/04/17)
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said by the end of June, the stock of Treasury Bills (TBs) and bonds was $2,5 billion. Presenting the mid-year monetary policy review on Wednesday, RBZ governor, John Mangudya noted that $826,8 million TBs were issued for expunging the central bank’s legacy debt under the Reserve Bank Debt Assumption Act and $262,7 million were issued to capitalise institutions in which the government has an interest in. Mangudya revealed that $531,2 million Treasury Bills...
(Financial Times 08/04/17)
Move raises fears notes are paving way for return of country’s dollar. Zimbabwe’s central bank said it would more than double the printing of “bond notes” as cash shortages worsen in the dollar-dependent southern African nation. John Mangudya, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said on Wednesday that the bond notes, a parallel currency launched last year that is officially equal to US dollars in value but trades at a discount, would be printed “on a drip-feed basis”...
(Independent Online 08/04/17)
Zimbabwe will print a further $300 million (R4 billion) of its latest currency known as bond notes, according to central bank governor John Mangudya. He said this tranche of cash notes will be backed by Afreximbank, bringing Zimbabwe’s debt for cash to the Cairo-based bank to $550m. Zimbabwe is chronically short of cash and foreign currency for imports. Mangudya made this announcement in in a monetary policy statement on Wednesday. He also said Zimbabwe was looking for a further $600m...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/02/17)
Zimbabwe has filed a court application to enforce a previous notice to seize more than half of platinum producer Zimplats' mining land, the company said on Wednesday. Zimplats, which is majority controlled by Impala Platinum in January said President Robert Mugabe's government had made a new attempt to compulsorily acquire 27,948 hectares of its mining ground, which the company opposed. The platinum miner said that following its official objection to the government's action, Harare authorities went ahead to file a...
(New Zimbabwe 08/02/17)
The Swiss Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ruth Huber, says investment in will remain stagnant as long as the Harare fails to compensate whites whose farms were forcibly taken without proper dialogue. She was speaking during the Swiss National Day Tuesday. Huber told journalists that although investment from Switzerland has slightly increased in Zimbabwe, the difficulty has been to attract new investment in the current political and economic environment. The Swiss envoy described the political environment as polarized. She said potential investors...
(News24 08/02/17)
South Africa's exports to Zimbabwe have dropped by 10% on the back of a ban imposed on various South African products last year, a report says. The ban, which covered food, building materials, furniture, toiletries and other products sparked violent protests from cross-border traders in Beitbridge. Tight controls The state ZBC broadcaster said on Tuesday that figures seen by it at an ongoing SADC Industrialisation Week in Johannesburg "indicate that South Africa has incurred a 10% drop in exports to...
(News24 08/02/17)
Zimbabwe government officials have held "tough negotiations" with managers at Eskom to prevent South Africa's power utility cutting off supplies over a $40 million debt. Cash-strapped Harare has been given another chance not to default on a repayment plan, which had seen Eskom threatening to cut off power on August 1. No further default "We had tough negotiations but finally they accepted our payment plan which they expect us not to default on. Any default means curtailment of power," Josh...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/17)
A Zimbabwean poultry farm has reported a second outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu, two months after it first occurred, the state-owned Herald newspaper said on Monday. Lanark farm, a commercial poultry producer 25 km (15 miles) south of the capital Harare, was hit again by the flu virus last week after it was first reported on June 2. Josphat Nyika, acting principal director for veterinary services, said all the affected birds were destroyed and the farm would remain...
(Bloomberg 07/28/17)
Zimbabwean companies including Delta Corp Ltd. and BAT Zimbabwe Ltd. have seen their fortunes turn as cash-strapped consumers start to embrace electronic payments for goods and services. Delta, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV’s brewing operations in the southern African country, reported a 12 percent rise in lager volumes in the three months through June, the first increase since September 2015, while British American Tobacco Plc’s Zimbabwe unit posted an 8 percent profit gain in the half year through June. Delta, also Zimbabwe’s...
(Bloomberg 07/28/17)
Zimbabwe’s ruling party is considering calling elections early next year out of concern that President Robert Mugabe’s health is worsening and disputes among his supporters could galvanize opposition efforts to form an alliance, three officials familiar with the government’s plans said. While general elections must be held constitutionally by Aug. 21 in 2018, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s chances of maintaining its more than three-decade grip on power will improve the earlier it can hold the vote, said the...
(The Herald Online 07/28/17)
Government is building diamond and gold reserves to back the local currency upon its re-introduction in future, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. VP Mnangagwa refused to disclose when the local currency would be re-introduced, but said it would only come back when mineral reserves reached desired levels. He was speaking during an advocacy meeting on the new Constitution that was organised by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in Chiredzi. VP Mnangagwa oversees the Justice Ministry. Responding to...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...

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