Thursday 19 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is “out of danger” in hospital in South Africa after being airlifted from Harare at the weekend following the sudden onset of severe vomiting, a party source said on Tuesday. Tsvangirai, who is due to challenge President Robert Mugabe in elections next year, was recovering well but had been told by doctors to avoid stress and strain until at least the weekend, the source said. The 65-year-old’s symptoms came on suddenly at a meeting of his opposition coalition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on Thursday evening in Kadoma, a city around 160 km (100 miles) southwest of the Zimbabwe capital.
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
Voter registration for Zimbabwe's 2018 harmonized elections begins Monday. This will be the first time since independence in 1980 that the voters' roll will be administered outside the Registrar-General's Office following the adoption of a new constitution which transferred the responsibility to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau was quoted in Monday's Herald saying that continuous registration would begin Monday while a registration blitz would be conducted in October. "For the voter registration blitz, we needed 15 million (U.S.) dollars and Treasury has since supported us to that tune. "The money is there and that is why we are saying we are ready. All we need is for the people to come and register now. We urge...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai suffered severe vomiting after a party meeting and was airlifted to a Johannesburg hospital, a senior party source said on Saturday. Tsvangirai - who is due to challenge President Robert Mugabe in elections next year - was stable, the source said, dismissing reports in the media that he was dangerously sick. The 65-year-old’s symptoms came on suddenly at a meeting of his opposition coalition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on Thursday evening in Kadoma, a city around 160 km (100 miles) southwest of the capital Harare, the source said. Two other Zimbabwean political sources confirmed the details of his sudden illness and airlift on Friday to South Africa. But the MDC said in an...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader and former prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been hospitalised in South Africa after his health deteriorated, a senior party official told AFP Saturday. "He is in South Africa on account of a medical cause. He is being attended to," a senior official from Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We are monitoring the situation. He will be fine, it's only that he was overwhelmed with work and his health deteriorated." The MDC spokesman could not be reached for comment. Tsvangirai, 65, announced last year that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon and that he had begun chemotherapy. The News Day, an independent daily, said Tsvangirai was...
(Xinhuanet 09/15/17)
Government ministries have been instructed to come up with strategies to resuscitate ailing state enterprises and parastatals (SEPs) under their purview and to recommend the dissolution of those that are inefficient, a senior government official has said. Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda told an engagement workshop between the public and private sectors on the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill on Thursday that Cabinet had directed him to ensure that SEPs were restructured and operated viably, the Herald reported Friday. He said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development would work with various government agencies to help the ministries come up with turnaround strategies for the state entities under their control. Zimbabwe has 107 SEPs whose majority...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(AFP (eng) 09/14/17)
Zimbabwe's longserving President Robert Mugabe unveiled a new biometric voter registration programme Thursday ahead of next year's elections, drawing criticism from opponents who claim the system could be manipulated. Registration will open nationwide on Monday and continue until January 15 for the polls in which 93-year-old Mugabe will seek to extend his 37-year-long stranglehold on power. But opposition parties have warned that registration authorities are not ready for the process, creating a risk of errors on the voter roll that could leave the ballot open to rigging. The main opposition MDC party has gone to the Harare High Court to argue that that the electoral commission has not procured enough equipment to register voters and that the registration process itself...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
An international carnival aimed at boosting Zimbabwe's tourism industry has ended in the economically troubled country. Some saw the festivities that featured artists from Brazil, Cuba, Egypt and elsewhere as a relief from the struggle to get by in the southern African nation. Others called the carnival a waste of money in a country struggling to pay civil servants' salaries and battling acute currency problems. Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi defended the carnival as necessary to promote tourism, saying private sponsors paid for most of it. The 10-day carnival has been held annually since 2013 with the exception of last year, when funding problems forced its cancellation. A law banning the consumption of alcohol in public was suspended for the duration...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
Representatives of Zimbabwe's first lady say a young woman who accused her of assault was the actual aggressor, allegedly attacking Grace Mugabe with a knife while drunk, according to a court document filed in South Africa. The court papers denying any wrongdoing by Mugabe were submitted Aug. 17 by Zimbabwean diplomats on behalf of Mugabe, who was granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa despite calls for her prosecution in the alleged attack on the woman in a Johannesburg hotel on Aug. 13. She returned to Zimbabwe a week after the alleged assault with President Robert Mugabe, who had attended a summit of southern African leaders in Pretoria. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the court document on Tuesday from...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Walking through rows of macadamia trees on her farm in eastern Zimbabwe, Shalet Mutasa proudly displays a set of soil-quality results showing the fields’ conditions are improving. This will be her third harvest of the creamy white nuts after switching from less-profitable corn. Mutasa, who is in her mid-50s and was allocated the previously white-owned land by the government, is targeting 20 metric tons of production. That’s nearly double last year’s crop and a big jump from the half a ton she managed the first year. “It will be third-time lucky,’’ she said. “We initially grew maize but later realized the crop wasn’t rewarding financially,” she said, using another name for corn. The expansion of niche and export-oriented crops like...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(AFP (eng) 09/12/17)
Zimbabwe produced enough food to feed its people for the first time since adopting a controversial policy to strip land from white farmers, President Robert Mugabe told parliament on Tuesday. From the year 2000, hundreds of white farmers were evicted from their farms, often violently, and land was handed to allies of the ruling ZANU-PF party and in many cases became neglected and unproductive. Zimbabwe had previously been known as the "breadbasket" of Africa. "The country has this year succeeded in regaining its food self-sufficiency status on the back of the good rainy season and the introduction of command agriculture," Mugabe said as he opened parliament. "Government is now working to consolidate agriculture through, among other things, investing more resources...
(ZimEye 09/12/17)
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has promoted senior Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) officers to substantive ranks of brigadier general, colonels and lieutenant colonels. Colonel Stephen Gwekwerere has been promoted to the rank of a Brigadier General, while 10 senior officers were conferred with ranks of colonels and 18 others elevated from ranks of being majors to lieutenant colonels by the President Mugabe. Addressing the new senior officers at the conferment of Brigadier General Gwekwerere and 10 other colonels, Chief of Staff Administration Staff, Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba said professionalism, discipline and dedication to duty are some of the principles that have been shown by the newly promoted senior members before and after independence. In his acceptance speech and on behalf of...
(ZimEye 09/12/17)
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will in the next fortnight release US$300 million under the Export Incentive Facility to stimulate production and ease cash shortages. RBZ Governor Dr Mangudya said the US$300 million facility will be released as soon as the present US$200 million bond note-linked regime expires. This will bring the bond notes in circulation to US$500 million, all supported by Afrexim Bank. He said: “The new export incentive will be a continuation as there shall be no gap to say we wait for days to release the new bonus incentives.” Dr Mangudya explained that there was a difference between cash and foreign currency shortages arguing that there was about US$2 billion in the banking system. The RBZ chief...
(The Guardian 09/12/17)
Zimbabwe first lady denies assault on Gabriella Engels, saying she was protecting herself after being attacked with knife. Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, has denied assaulting a South African model in a hotel suite in Johannesburg last month, saying she acted in self-defence after being attacked with a knife. In a previously unreported deposition from 17 August, Mugabe countered the version of the incident given by Gabriella Engels to police and media. According to Mugabe, she was protecting herself after intervening on behalf of her adult sons, Chatunga and Robert Jr, who were “in trouble with a drunken young woman”. The statement said Mugabe, 52, was considering seeking attempted murder charges. Engels alleges an irate Mugabe burst into the room...
(News Day 09/12/17)
In response to Mugabe to blame for parastatal mess: ZCTU: Your report that the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) blames President Robert Mugabe for the collapse of State-owned companies is spot-on. Mugabe has been the chief executive officer (CEO) of the country for the past 37 years during which time the rot has sunk in. But the ZCTU should not entirely escape blame. They have been quiet on corporate governance issues at the workplaces, including State enterprises, to this day. I hope the unions are going over the Corporate Governance Bill before it is passed into law. They should insist on 12-person boards of directors of which three non-executive directors are appointed by workers, one of whom should be...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(AFP (eng) 09/11/17)
Zimbabwe's ruling elite has diverted the country's vast diamond riches to help fund repression by dodging sanctions and raising money for security forces, an anti-corruption campaign group alleged Monday. In a report, Global Witness accused top security and political leaders of secretly profiting from the trade in the country's diamond reserves while depriving the impoverished nation of much-needed revenue. The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) spy agency is alleged to have held a concealed stake in a company active in the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe, according to secret documents...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
Zimbabwe’s government is using money earned from diamond exports to fund its Central Intelligence Organisation, blamed for a raft of human-rights abuses as it’s helped to keep President Robert Mugabe in power since 1980, Global Witness said. Diamonds dug from the Marange fields in eastern Zimbabwe are channeled through Dubai, India, the Netherlands and South Africa by a complicated web of cross-owned companies based in places as diverse as Mauritius, Hong Kong and Johannesburg, the London-based group said in a report released on Monday. The companies have one thing in common: partnerships with businesses owned by the Zimbabwe government or its military. The earnings, says Global Witness, are funneled back to the CIO and army “off budget.” Zimbabwe’s army and...

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