Thursday 25 May 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
One is a female former teenage guerrilla fighter who became President Robert Mugabe's closest ally, the other is a battle-hardened opposition leader often dismissed as a busted flush. But, despite their differences, Joice Mujuru and Morgan Tsvangirai are in talks to lead a united opposition alliance to try to unseat Mugabe in Zimbabwe's much-anticipated election next year. The president, 93 and increasingly frail, has vowed to stand again to extend his rule, which began in 1980 and has been dominated by economic collapse and political repression. His ZANU-PF party has a stranglehold on government, the civil service and military, and has a record of election interference and voter intimidation that presents a formidable obstacle for any challenger. "For us, it...
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, is not asleep when he closes his eyes for long periods in public events but is resting his eyes from bright lights, his spokesman said Thursday. Mugabe has regularly had his eyes closed at recent appearances, including when he appeared on a discussion panel at last week's World Economic Forum meeting in South Africa. "I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences, no," his spokesman George Charamba was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper. "At 93, there is something that happens to the eyes and the President cannot suffer bright lights. If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting." Charamba...
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
Delta Corp Ltd., Zimbabwe’s biggest company by market value, said full-year revenue fell 10 percent as consumers struggling for cash turned to cheaper brands of beer and sparkling wine. Sales declined to $483 million in the year through March, while net income slumped 13 percent to $69.9 million, the Harare-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. Volumes of lager and sparkling wine fell 7 percent and 11 percent respectively, while sorghum beer declined 3 percent after heavy rains limited Delta’s ability to get the plant-based drink into bars and shops. “The company experienced significant challenges during the year,” including drinkers’ limited access to cash and changes to payment platforms, Delta said. “The country received heavy rains, which limited market...
(Financial Times 05/11/17)
Tourism minister tells South Africa that Marxism has had ‘dire consequences’. A Zimbabwean cabinet minister has warned South Africa against copying Harare’s disastrous land reform agenda. Zimbabwe collapsed into economic chaos after President Robert Mugabe implemented a land reform programme in 2000 that led to the seizure of white-owned commercial farms and the eviction of 5,000 mostly white farmers and 150,000 black farm labourers. This year President Jacob Zuma called for radical land reform in South Africa, abandoning “willing buyer, willing seller” policies and suggesting the country’s constitution be changed to allow land to be expropriated without full compensation. Julius Malema, the populist leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, who broke away from South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, often...
(Eye Witness News 05/11/17)
Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba says President Robert Mugabe’s eyes need advanced detection that isn’t available at home. President Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for medical treatment, once more raising questions about his health and prompting criticism over his decision to get treated abroad. Mugabe’s spokesman says he’s only getting specialised treatment for his eyes that isn’t available in Zimbabwe. Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba says the president is attended to by a black Zimbabwean physician in Zimbabwe for everything but his eyes. He says Mugabe’s eyes need advanced detection that isn’t available at home. There is regular criticism from Zimbabweans over Mugabe’s fairly frequent trips to Singapore for medical check-ups. Mugabe left for Singapore on Monday, his second trip for medical...
(AfricaNews 05/11/17)
The Swedish government has warned Zimbabwe against diversion of funds after it offered a $1.35 million dollar grant to boost its Culture Fund. Sweden’s head of development cooperation in Zimbabwe, Maria Selin said on Tuesday that they want to track their money wherever it goes. “We do want to see the results and we want to be able to track our investment and we need to know where the money is going,” she was quoted by local media New Zimbabwe. “We do not accept that our money that comes from the tax payer way back in Sweden is diverted to anywhere, where it is not supposed to be,” she told Zimbabwean authorities. We do not accept that our money that...
(Xinhuanet 05/10/17)
More than 100 of the 300 cattle donated to the African Union (AU) by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe in 2016 have been sold through an auction as the continental body looks at various avenues to become self-sufficient. During his tenure as AU chairperson in 2015, Mugabe pledged the cattle which he hoped would help the continental body extricate itself from the clutches of foreign funders who stand accused of using their financial muscle to compromise the sovereignty of African states. Although the exact amount raised at the Tuesday auction was not disclosed, it is understood that the beasts sold at around 800 U.S. dollars each, according to state media. Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said Mugabe's donation was a...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
Zimbabwe's 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe has flown to Singapore for a "routine medical check-up", state media reported Tuesday. "President Mugabe yesterday (Monday) left Zimbabwe for Singapore for his routine medical check-up," The Herald newspaper reported. "He is expected back in Zimbabwe at the weekend." The leader who has been in power since 1980 regularly travels to the city state for health check-ups and private holidays and his last medical trip was in March. The leader who now walks with difficulty and sometimes dozes off during meetings made his last public appearance at the World Economic Forum on Africa last week. At the meeting in South Africa's port city of Durban, he addressed delegates in a slurred tone while slumped in...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/09/17)
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has left the country for medical checks in Singapore, the government said in a statement, about two months after his previous such trip to the south Asian nation. Aged 93, Mugabe is the only leader the southern African country has known since independence in 1980, and his health is a hot topic ahead of a presidential election scheduled for next year that he is due to contest. He flew to Singapore late on Monday. The Ministry of Information said he was expected to return home at the weekend. Mugabe now struggles to walk, with security aides forming a human shield around him in public, often making it difficult for reporters to film or take pictures of...
(Bloomberg 05/09/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party is discussing using a press clampdown and intimidation in rural areas to thwart a newly united opposition’s challenge to its three-decade rule in elections next year, according to three senior officials with knowledge of the matter. Officials of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front are increasingly concerned the health of Mugabe, 93, may undermine his campaign and alternative candidates would struggle to beat a coalition of parties united behind opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, according to the members of the party’s politburo who asked not to be identified because the discussions haven’t been made public. Among the methods being discussed are police clampdowns on opposition rallies and using state-controlled media to...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Young, fashion-conscious and eager for change, thousands of Zimbabweans spent this week partying at music concerts and open-air bars during a six-day festival hosted in the capital against all the odds. The Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), founded in 1999, was abandoned last year as Zimbabwe's economy crumbled and left desperate locals unable to withdraw money from banks. Despite many sponsors pulling out, festival organisers have revived an event widely seen as an expression of defiance against the country's woes under 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. "Cash is everyone's major problem," Chidochemoyo Nemhara, 29, a festival-goer who works for a women's business group, told AFP.
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe insisted on Thursday that his country is not a failed state and accused the US of being fragile because of its economic dependence on China. Mugabe pointed to Zimbabwe's 90-percent literacy rate to support his claim that the southern African country, which has battled economic chaos in recent years, is one of the best resourced on the continent. "We are not a poor country and we can't be a fragile country, I can call America fragile, they went on their knees to China," he said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban. "Zimbabwe is the most highly developed country in Africa after South Africa." Long-time leader Mugabe has ruled through...
(The Associated Press 05/04/17)
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is denying his country is in a fragile state and insists it is one of Africa’s most developed despite its plunging economy. The 93-year-old was speaking Thursday at the Africa leg of the World Economic Forum. Mugabe, whose health has been weakening, declared that the country he has ruled since 1980 is the most developed on the continent after South Africa. The once-prosperous Zimbabwe now has a cash crunch so severe that livestock in some cases is being accepted instead of currency. “Yes, we have problems. But we have resources,” Mugabe said. Zimbabwe’s economy grew just 0.7 percent last year, and the government has struggled to pay salaries for civil servants. Mugabe is running again in...
(Independent Online 05/04/17)
Zimbabwe has secured a massive loan to repay the World Bank and African Development Bank. The loan to pay off the debts was co-ordinated by Cairo-based Afreximbank. Last week Zimbabwe weekly, The Zimbabwe Independent said the loan was secured by Geneva-based fuel and commodity trader, Trafigura. Trafigura has denied this as has Zimbabwe's central bank governor, John Mangudya. He said he can't supply names of the lenders, but said they were "co ordinated" by Afreximbank. Harare business site, The Source speculated several international banks were involved in the R22 bn loan, Lazard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. The repayment of loans to World Bank and AFdB will the allow Zimbabwe to fully utilise the International Monetary Fund. Zimbabwe paid off...
(Independent Online 05/04/17)
Zimbabwe's former chief justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, 70, died in a South African hospital on Wednesday. Mr Chidyausiku retired from his post two months ago. He was appointed chief justice after his predecessor was physically threatened while on the bench because he, Anthony Gubbay, opposed the 2000 land invasion saga. Chidyausiky was seen by a wide range of legal seniors in Zimbabwe as pliant when faced with decisions which might be unpopular with Zanu PF, but some also say he tried, after the 2013 constitution was approved, to imbue the bench with more independence. Mr Chidyausiku ecame ill in Harare and went to the local main private hospital and was then transferred to South Africa where he died suddenly after organ failure.
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...

Pages