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 and more than the annual...
(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 accounts. After the bank failures we all witnessed in the last decade, you cannot blame them,” he said. Zimbabwe adopted a multiple currency regime in 2009 to escape hyperinflation. However, the country plunged into a foreign currency crisis last year...
(The Associated Press 08/10/17)
A minister says Zimbabwe's Cabinet has approved spending at least $1 billion to create a university in honor of President Robert Mugabe. The amount represents about a quarter of the country's $4.1 billion budget. Higher education minister Jonathan Moyo told reporters Wednesday that a foundation owned by the 93-year-old Mugabe and his wife will be in charge of the university. The project has been planned for years, but Moyo says the first lady has pushed for its completion. Mugabe has ruled the once-prosperous southern African nation since 1980 and is already campaigning for next year's elections, despite growing concerns about his health. Zimbabwe is currently deep in economic crisis. About $800 million will be spent on the university's construction and...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
Cash-strapped Zimbabwe announced Wednesday that it plans to build a $1 billion university to honour Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old president accused of brutal repression and bringing the country to economic ruin. The university joins other facilities named after Mugabe including the government's school of intelligence, a main street in the capital Harare and the highway to his rural home. "Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University," Jonathan Moyo, minister of tertiary education, told a news conference. "There can be no better recognition of President Mugabe's commitment to education and his exemplary leadership."
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Zimbabwe's first graduate school named after President Robert Mugabe is set to be established following government's approval of a 1 billion U.S. dollars grant for construction of the university, an official said Wednesday. Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Jonathan Moyo said the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University was to be established in honor of President Mugabe's commitment to education and exemplary leadership. He said the institution will be fully dedicated to the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), becoming the first STEM university in the country. One unique feature of the university will be the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Institute which will focus on research, historical collections, library and studies in transformative and revolutionary leadership, the...
(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 of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(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 to this return," noted the Auditor general's office. VAT is an indirect tax on consumption which is charged on the supply of taxable goods and services and is levied on transactions rather than directly on income or profit as well...
(The Herald Online 08/08/17)
Government and Sakunda will collectively invest $68 million towards installation of centre pivots to strengthen irrigation infrastructure in support of agricultural programmes for import-substitution, a senior Government official has said. The investment into developing irrigation infrastructure comes at a time when Government is targeting 300 000 hectares of land under irrigation in the next three years. Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister (responsible for crop production) Davison Marapira said Government was pushing for more irrigable land to deal with unpredictable weather patterns and enhance production. "As we speak a number of farmers across the country have received their share of 80 centre pivots worth over $6 million from Spain to aid irrigation under Command Agriculture Scheme. "Mashonaland Central Province...
(The Herald Online 08/08/17)
Zimbabwe and South Africa have lost over one million chickens to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), it has been learnt. The disease hit the two countries recently, threatening the livelihood and food security status of millions of families. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirmed the development in a statement after a SADC meeting on avian influenza in South Africa. FAO said if not tackled quickly, the HPAI outbreak would impede trade opportunities and reverse the gains made in enhancing food and nutrition security. SADC representative, Mr Bentry Chaura, said South Africa had so far culled over 800 000 birds. Zimbabwe culled around 215 000 birds. "This is likely to have a knock on effect on the availability of table...
(The Herald Online 08/08/17)
Police are looking for Freda Rebecca Mine chief finance officer Kwong Po Shum for allegedly defrauding the company of over $214 000. According to a statement from Bindura CID, Kwong misrepresented that the company had approved the purchase of sodium cyanide and activated granular carbons from China. "ZRP Bindura CID is looking for Kwong Po Shum, a Chinese national, Chinese passport number K1912530 aged 45 years," Bindura CID acting provincial community relations and liaison officer Detective Assistant Inspector Portia Chinho said in a state- ment. "The suspect is wanted in connection with a case of fraud involving $214 598 which occurred at Freda Rebecca Mine, Bindura. The suspect was the chief financial officer at the company. "On 9 April, he...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 08/06/17)
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai re-united with his former allies on Saturday to forge a coalition aimed at ending President Robert Mugabe's near four-decade hold on power in elections next year. Mugabe, in power since independence from British colonial rule in 1980, has been endorsed as his party's candidate for next year's vote despite his advanced age at 93 and signs of failing health. At a rally in the capital, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai told supporters he was joining forces with two former deputies to face down Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. "For everything else to happen we have to unite as opposition parties," Tsvangirai said. "We have travelled this journey together and we will complete...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
Zimbabwean security forces confirmed Friday that soldiers and police fought on the streets of Harare earlier this week, as nationwide tensions grow under 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. Witnesses told local media about a hundred uniformed soldiers wielding batons and whips charged into a bus terminus on Tuesday night and beat up police officers, leaving many prostrate on the ground. The violence, which underscores friction between the police and army, was reportedly triggered by police using spikes to deflate the tyres of a military vehicle after an alleged traffic offence.
(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 were issued for government programmes including drought-related expenditures, while the $568,3 million were issued for the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco) and $312 million TBs were issued to cover recurrent government expenditure. “It is evident from this utilisation analysis that...
(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” from the end of August. The central bank says the $300m boost, which will bring the total value of bond notes in circulation to $500m, is being funded with loans guaranteed by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), a Cairo-based lender. The...
(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 loan from Afreximbank to boost cash held in nostro accounts of commercial banks. Mangudya linked introduction of bond notes in November to a 5% bonus for exporters, and he said this had boosted foreign earnings by more than 14%. “Building...
(AfricaNews 08/04/17)
Zimbabwe has imposed a ban on foamed polystyrene, the packaging commonly used for take-out food in restaurants in the country, amid concern that the trays pose potential health risks. Businesses will now only be allowed to use the containers commonly referred to as Kaylites until October 17th after which they are expected to adopt safer and environmentally friendly packaging. The ban is part of measures by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to help curb health hazards and pollution linked to expanded polystyrene. “We had a report from UZ the University of Zimbabwe indicating that kaylite has a problem in terms of health. Because once you put hot food in it, it deteriorates forming a gas called styrene which is poisonous...
(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, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...

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