| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
A coalition of Zimbabwean opposition parties on Wednesday staged a protest ahead of next year's polls, demanding the disbanding of the state-appointed electoral commission they accuse of hindering free-and-fair elections. A group of around 200 protesters gathered at an open space outside the central business district after police banned a planned street march to the electoral commission head office. "Having failed the fundamental test of impartiality and independence required of an election management board, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must forthwith be disbanded and dismantled," the parties said in a petition Riot police armed with truncheons and water cannons patrolled the central business district to prevent the protest march that had been organised by a loose...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country's electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission's request to President Robert Mugabe's government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe's 2018 elections.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
After two consecutive seasons of drought, heavy rains finally promise a good harvest in most parts of Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province. But farmers now face a new challenge: washed-out roads that will make it difficult to get their crops to market. As harvesting time for tobacco, maize and other crops approaches, fears abound that roads made impassable by rain will not be repaired in time. Some farmers, particularly those growing fruit, already find themselves stuck with produce ready for market but...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
A coalition of Zimbabwean opposition parties on Wednesday staged a protest ahead of next year's polls, demanding the disbanding of the state-appointed electoral commission they accuse of hindering free-and-fair elections. A group of around 200 protesters gathered at an open space outside the central business district after police banned a planned street march to the electoral commission head office. "Having failed the fundamental test of impartiality and independence required of an election management board, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must forthwith be disbanded and dismantled,"
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Zimbabwean police deployed water cannon and anti-riot officers on the streets of the capital on Wednesday ahead of a planned demonstration by opposition parties against changes to the voter registration process. Anti-government protests in August descended into some of the worst violence seen in the southern African nation for two decades as anger over economic hardship boiled over. Opposition parties united under a National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) banner are campaigning against a government decision to take over the purchase...
(News24 03/21/17)
Zimbabwe's opposition parties are demanding United Nations involvement in next year's presidential election after a preparatory meeting fell apart amid an argument with election officials. Zimbabwe Elections Commission chairperson Rita Makarau walked out Tuesday after accusing the opposition of unfairly targeting her. The opposition parties have demanded her resignation, saying she is trying to help 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe win another five-year term. They say the UN should handle the 2018 vote. A coalition of 13 opposition parties is planning a protest rally in the capital, Harare, on Wednesday over what it considers actions aimed at rigging next year's vote. Mugabe has been in power since 1980.
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
The Zimbabwean government on Monday made an international appeal for $200 million to help its citizens who have been affected by widespread floods. Officials said since December, 271 people had died due to floods. The United Nations said it was important to quickly come into the country with medical aid and control infectious diseases that are spreading. Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko made a passionate plea to diplomats and United Nations agencies in the southern African country to help people who...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
The Zimbabwean government on Monday appealed for 200 million U.S. dollars to rebuild infrastructure and assist people affected by recent floods that wrecked havoc in southern parts of the country. Launching the appeal, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko said at least 271 people had died since December as a result of the floods, while thousands had their homes destroyed. "It is against this background that an appeal for humanitarian assistance is being made by the government of Zimbabwe to both the...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
After plenty of rain, Isaac Siziba’s maize fields looked set for a bumper harvest this season, similar to the one he gathered in 2014, before Zimbabwe suffered a long and punishing drought. But last month army worms invaded Siziba’s 4-hectare farm in Gwanda District and munched through his maize. Now he expects just a fifth of the harvest he had counted on. “We were happy with the good rains this year, which means a bumper crop, but I am not...
(The Herald Online 03/20/17)
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board members are reportedly throwing spanners into the works on the implementation of major power projects identified under Zim-Asset ahead of next year's harmonised elections, it has emerged. Sustainable and adequate power supply has been identified as one of the key economic enablers. It, however, emerged that the ZPC board, appointed during the tenure of former Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, was refusing to authorise payments to contractors who would have done work on...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years,...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says foreign companies that comply with his indigenization law are guaranteed security. His comment is a deviation from his earlier promise that he would revise the policy, which analysts repeatedly have said scares away investors. At the official launch Thursday of an $82-million cement manufacturing plant by a South African company, PPC Zimbabwe, a frail looking 93-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said he was happy the company had not resisted the indigenization law, as other foreign companies have done. "By so doing, PPC Zimbabwe has demonstrated what so many companies are struggling to put in place," said Mugabe. "
(News Day 03/17/17)
The recent mission by Tanzanian buyers in Zimbabwe is expected to generate export business worth $1,5 million in the next six months and there is a huge potential for more business, an official has said. Trade promotion body ZimTrade recently hosted an eight-member Tanzanian business delegation, which sought to make orders from local companies. The buyers were drawn from pharmaceuticals, agricultural implements and inputs sector companies. ZimTrade’s public relations officer, Dillon Kamutenga, told NewsDay that the recent mission by Tanzanian...
(New Zimbabwe 03/17/17)
Zimbabwe owes South Africa's power utility ESKOM more than $12 million and is struggling to clear the debt, it has emerged. Harare does not generate enough electricity to meet its needs and relies on imports from the region to plug the supply gap. However, with its economy in the tank and government struggling with its finances, supplies from the region often come under threat due to unpaid bills. The country's supply deal with Eskom is nearing its end and energy...
(The Herald Online 03/17/17)
President Mugabe leaves for Ezulwini, Swaziland, today to attend an Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government that opens at Lozitha Royal Palace tomorrow. He will join other Heads of State and Government for the special indaba on Industrialisation and Regional Integration. The meeting is in fulfilment of the decision made by regional leaders last year to hold annual special summits for the purpose of reviewing industrialisation and integration of SADC economies. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap...
(Zimbabwe Independent 03/17/17)
The country's largest financial services group by deposits and assets, CBZ Bank, is exposed to the cash-strapped government through Treasury Bills (TBs) to the tune of US$760 million. CBZ Although TBs are one of the safest investment instruments and government always pays on maturity of its short-term securities, the risk of defaulting is growing due to its deepening fiscal crisis. According to CBZ's full-year financial results to December 31 2015 (FY15), the bank's exposure to government paper rose from US$471...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...

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