Wednesday 18 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
One of Zimbabwe's vice presidents on Wednesday accused the other of "using lies" over an allegation of poisoning, fuelling political tensions ahead of next year's elections. Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko said his counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa had undermined President Robert Mugabe when Mnangagwa claimed to have been poisoned at a rally in August. Mugabe, 93, has maintained strict discipline over his government for decades, but the public dispute comes amid growing in-fighting over who will eventually succeed him. Mugabe has said that Mnangagwa was not poisoned, apparently to dispel rumours of an assassination attempt. Mphoko accused Mnangagwa of making...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) - Zimbabwean police have allegedly barred the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) from holding a voter mobilisation rally that was billed to be addressed by the party’s vice president Nelson Chamisa at the weekend. In a letter to the MDC, the police said it was impossible for the party to proceed with the rally that was scheduled for Hurungwe, about 140km northwest of the capital Harare on Saturday but they did not give the reasons. The MDC criticised the ban, saying the police had been notified of the rally by the party’s local leadership in Hurungwe. In terms of Zimbabwe’s strict public security law, anyone wishing to hold a political meeting or any gathering involving several...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(BBC 10/04/17)
Zimbabwe’s Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko has launched an unprecedented attack on the country’s other Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of undermining President Robert Mugabe by alleging he was poisoned at a political rally in August. Mr Mnangagwa's claim was a "calculated" challenge to Mr Mugabe's "public account that Mnangagwa’s medical doctor ruled out poisoning" as the cause of his "traumatising vomiting and diarrhoea" experience at the 12 August rally, Mr Mphoko said. "There’s now little doubt, if there ever was any, that there appears to be an agenda to undermine the authority of President Mugabe and to destabilise the country by using lies to fan ethnic tensions for political purposes," Mr Mphoko said. "This must stop and do so sooner rather...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been discharged from a South African hospital were he had been receiving medical treatment, his spokesman said Tuesday. "He was discharged last week (on) Monday. He is now fine, he is out of danger," Luke Tamborinyoka told AFP. Tamborinyoka declined to reveal when the former prime minister would return to Zimbabwe, saying only, "he will be back home soon." Tsvangirai, 65, was airlifted to South Africa two weeks ago after falling ill. The local New Day newspaper reported he had been given oxygen and a drip and had been vomiting heavily. His party said he was undergoing a routine medical check. The veteran opposition leader announced last year that he had been diagnosed...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned to South Africa on Tuesday for the first time since his wife claimed diplomatic immunity over allegedly assaulting a model in a Johannesburg hotel room. Mugabe, 93, was not accompanied by his wife Grace as he met President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria, six weeks after the alleged attack sparked diplomatic tension between the two neighbours. Mugabe used his opening remarks at the talks to stress the close relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa, but did not mention the incident. "Had we had a say in the choice of a neighbour, we would have chosen you," he said, to laughter from ministers on both sides.
(AFP (eng) 10/01/17)
Driving to work last week, Dennis Zhemi found his usually busy neighbourhood garage in the Zimbabwean capital Harare deserted and a forecourt attendant signalling "no fuel". For Zhemi, it was a worrying sign that Zimbabwe's chronic economic collapse could be heading for another vicious downwards spiral of basic shortages, hyperinflation and social chaos. Zhemi's heart sank as he drove on, hoping to refuel at the next station, but at least 40 other cars were queueing on the side of the road towards the petrol pumps. "Immediately, I was reminded of 2008 when we slept in fuel queues and I prayed silently that we don't return to those days," the 43-year-old human resources consultant told AFP. He left his car at...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Zimbabwean police in the capital Harare on Friday fired teargas to break up protests against the country's worsening economic crisis as rising prices fuel opposition to President Robert Mugabe's regime. Demonstrators led by the anti-government pressure group Tajamuka (We Are Agitated) demanded the resignation of central bank chief John Mangudya over severe cash shortages. Shops in the city centre pulled down their shutters and currency traders fled their pavement stalls as dozens of anti-riot police patrolled the streets, AFP witnessed. "We demonstrated against the worsening economic and fiscal crisis in the country," Promise Mkwananzi, spokesman for Tajamuka, told AFP by telephone.
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
The Zimbabwe government has enacted legislation to curb selling of cash by unlicensed dealers, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in a statement to the parliament on Thursday. The illegal practice has become rampant in the past few months as cash shortages in banks continue in the country. Chinamasa said President Robert Mugabe enacted the Exchange Control Regulations on Thursday. "These regulations will empower the police to arrest anyone trading in currency without a license as it is an offence," Chinamasa said. Because the banks have no sufficient cash for depositors, U.S. dollar notes and bond notes are available on the parallel market but the U.S. dollar is trading at a higher value than bond
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Voice of America 09/28/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is lashing out against businesses that he believes are defying his orders to reverse price hikes for basic commodities. Mugabe is accusing those who defy his order of being "saboteurs" against his government, some of whom he said were from within his own ruling Zanu PF party. He promised to take corrective measures but some analysts are calling for the government to stabilize the economy, rather than blame businesses. The past two weeks have seen a wave of panic buying as Zimbabweans react to reports on social media that shortages similar to those of 2008 are returning. The reports of price hikes prompted a strong response from Mugabe on his return this week from the U.N...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday accused unnamed officials of his own party of trying to push him into retiring and likened them to the biblical betrayer Judas. The 93-year-old Mugabe, one of the world’s oldest leaders, has been in power since Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia, gained independence from Britain in 1980. He intends to seek another five-year term at elections due next year. In public, his party, ZANU-PF, has rallied behind its aging leader. But in private its members are deeply divided over his continued leadership and who will eventually take over from him. Mugabe, who has repeatedly said his party will choose his successor when the time comes, said he was going nowhere and accused some party officials...
(AfricaNews 09/28/17)
 
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As Zimbabwe’s economy continues its downward spiral, fashion designers also feel the negative effects. Tungamira Mavi, who has dressed well-known musicians and celebrities in the country, had to close his store in Harare for work at home because of low incomes, high rental costs and rigorous competition for cheap second-hand clothes.
(The Herald Online 09/28/17)
It's not an opinion that Zimbabwe is facing economic challenges characterised by foreign currency shortages to retool and modernise industries, unemployment and general increase in the cost of basic commodities. Simple economics implies that no country can generate enough foreign currency, let alone have reserves if the manufacturing sector does not produce goods to satisfy local consumption and then for the export market. Therefore the responsibility to generate foreign currency should not be saddled on a few corporates, but everyone should play ball if the country is to prosper and Zimbabweans be counted as game changers in the continent and beyond. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya and indeed,...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/17)
A Zimbabwean court on Tuesday ordered the release of an activist pastor and government critic who was detained over a video on social media lamenting the country's worsening economic crisis. A Harare magistrate ruled that Evan Mawarire be freed immediately after the prosecution delayed taking him to court. Elisha Singano said the prosecution "were in breach of the 48 hours mandatory time that an accused person must be brought to court" and ordered the cleric's release without conditions. Mawarire faced a second charge of incitement to public violence but that has been dropped after the magistrate freed him. The pastor is already on trial in the High Court where he pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of trying to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/27/17)
A Zimbabwean court on Tuesday freed activist pastor Evan Mawarire, a critic of President Robert Mugabe, following his weekend arrest on new charges of attempting to subvert the government. It was the second time he has been detained for a similar offense. Mawarire went on trial on Monday on separate subversion charges stemming from protests last year against Mugabe’s handling of the economy. The magistrates court said the rights of Mawarire, who appeared in khaki prison uniform, had been violated after police failed to bring him to court within 48 hours following his arrest on Sunday morning, as stipulated by the law. Mawarire had earlier attended trial at the High Court but the judge postponed the case to Thursday. The...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(APA 09/26/17)
Global mine clearance charity HALO Trust said Tuesday that it has cleared more than 14,000 landmines in northeastern Zimbabwe in a development expected to open a world of possibilities for communities along the borders with Mozambique and Zambia who have lived in fear of the mines. HALO programme manager for Zimbabwe, Tom Dibb said a total of 14,742 landmines were cleared over a 29-kilometre-long stretch in Mount Darwin district in Mashonaland Central province by HALO over a three-year period. “This is a remarkable achievement in an area which has some of the densest barrier minefields in the world,” Dibb said. The landmines were laid by Rhodesian forces to seal the country’s borders with Zambia and Mozambique during Zimbabwe’s 1970s war...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.

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