Sunday 28 May 2017
(Voice of America 04/19/17)
Zimbabwe marked 37 years of independence Tuesday. However, the country's persistent economic problems cast a shadow over the celebration, despite President Robert Mugabe's promise of better times ahead. In a speech to the more than 50,000 people gathered at a stadium in the capital, the president was hopeful that Zimbabwe's moribund agriculture-based economy will pick up thanks to above-average rainfall in the 2016-'17 growing season. The U.N. says about four million people in Zimbabwe remain dependent on food aid after a drought during the previous two growing seasons. But Mugabe said Zimbabwe would have a "bumper harvest" this year. "Comrades and friends," he told the crowd, "as we today celebrate our hard-earned
(New Zimbabwe 04/19/17)
The opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) has trashed alleged attempts by the West to impose Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a compromise successor to President Robert Mugabe. The party has further scorned recent comments by author and academic Stephen Chan suggesting that both the West and the East favoured a stable post-Mugabe era which was best guaranteed by Mnangagwa's political stature. Chan said, during a policy dialogue forum, that any politician who enjoyed significant grassroots support and demonstrated potential to bring Zanu PF's opposition forces together would enjoy the support of both the West and the East. But the statements have infuriated ex-finance minister Tendai Biti's party which insists that crisis-weary Zimbabweans can do better with political leaders who were...
(News24 04/19/17)
What was there to be glad about on Independence Day in Zimbabwe? On Thursday President Robert Mugabe, 93, said Zimbabweans should be happy that there haven't been any power cuts for the last 15 months. "We all should be pleased that since January 2016 the country achieved a 15-month period without load shedding," said the long-time leader speaking at the 37th Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium. Load shedding was particularly severe at the height of Zimbabwe's hyper-inflationary crisis around 2007 when the country experienced regular blackouts and electricity was at times supplied only for a few hours in the middle of the night. Power cuts persisted during the years of the 2009-13 coalition government, annoying watchers of...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/18/17)
Thousands of unemployed Zimbabweans have turned to illegal gold panning in a bid to survive the country's deteriorating economy, leaving a trail of destruction that has alarmed farmers, timber plantation owners and the country's environmental authorities. Peasant miners have set up makeshift mines on farmland and timber plantations in the country's eastern provinces, which border Mozambique where gold fetches a higher price. Deep tunnels have been dug beneath roads, railways and buildings in the Kwekwe area of the Midlands province. In some parts of Manicaland province, waterways have been diverted and roads destroyed.
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
As Zimbabwe celebrates Independence Day on April 18, China remains the country's all-weather friend and continues to give a helping hand during difficult times. The Chinese embassy in Harare is as old as Zimbabwe's independence, having opened on the same day the Union Jack was put down to symbolize the end of British rule and give way to black majority rule nearly 37 years ago. Today, relations between the two countries continue to grow on the political, economic and cultural fronts. China was one of the first countries to rally behind Zimbabwe when it issued a distress call in March for assistance following floods that left hundreds of families homeless and in need of food by donating 1 million U.S...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(Xinhuanet 04/14/17)
The European Union has given 2.49 million U.S. dollars to Zimbabwe to help families facing hunger due to the El Nino-induced drought last year. The drought left a quarter of the country's population in need of food aid, with the lean season peaking from January to March 2017. The EU said in a statement Thursday that the additional financial support is being delivered through the EU's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). The aid came barely five months after the EU allocated another 8 million dollars from the reserve of the 11th European Development Fund to address the impact of the crises through various resilience-building initiatives. This latest allocation brings the total contribution by the EU to...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
Zimbabwean entrepreneurs could soon use movable assets -- including livestock and vehicles -- to secure loans from banks, according to a bill brought before the country's Parliament this week. The southern African country's economy is now dominated by informal business following the formal sector's contraction by as much as 50 percent between 2000 and 2008, according to government data, after President Robert Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms decimated the key agriculture sector. The Movable Property Security Interest Bill, brought before lawmakers by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Tuesday, seeks to make it easier for Zimbabwe's burgeoning informal sector to access funding from banks. A copy of the bill seen by Reuters on Wednesday defines movable property as "any tangible or...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Xinhuanet 04/06/17)
At least 17 people have died after a South Africa-bound bus collided head-on with a haulage truck -- with both vehicles catching fire -- about 220 km from Harare on the Masvingo Road on Wednesday night. Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told Xinhua on Thursday that 17 bodies had been retrieved from the scene while 43 injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals. "The bus driver is in hospital but we cannot locate the driver of the haulage truck. The vehicles are still burning and there are charred bodies inside. It is a very sad situation," she said. Charamba said the police were still investigating the cause of the accident and urged people to travel during the day because of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/06/17)
President Jacob Zuma's pledge to expropriate South African land is unlikely to lead to violent seizures of farms like those that impoverished neighboring Zimbabwe, but could still hurt the economy by scaring off investors worried about property rights. Zuma is fighting to retain control of South Africa against opponents within the ruling African National Congress who want him to resign the party leadership. The confrontation came to a head last week when Zuma sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was often at odds with the president but widely respected by financial markets and whose dismissal triggered a credit downgrade. Faced with opposition mainly from urban constituencies within the ANC, the president has doubled down on appeals to the rural poor,...
(Xinhuanet 04/06/17)
At least 17 people have died after a South Africa-bound bus collided head-on with a haulage truck -- with both vehicles catching fire -- about 220 km from Harare on the Masvingo Road on Wednesday night. Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told Xinhua on Thursday that 17 bodies had been retrieved from the scene while 43 injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals. "The bus driver is in hospital but we cannot locate the driver of the haulage truck. The vehicles are still burning and there are charred bodies inside. It is a very sad situation," she said. Charamba said the police were still investigating the cause of the accident and urged people to travel during the day because of the...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck the southern African nation of Botswana on Monday, US seismologists said, with the tremor felt in several neighbouring countries. The epicentre of the quake, which hit at 7:40 pm (1740 GMT), was in a sparsely populated area 238 kilometres (about 150 miles) northwest of Botswana's capital Gaborone, the US Geological Survey said. It struck at a depth of 29 kilometres, and rumbled throughout the capital for about 30 seconds, an AFP correspondent said. In a statement published on social media late Monday, the government of Botswana said no deaths had been reported.
(APA 04/04/17)
Several parts of Zimbabwe were on Monday night shaken by a mild earthquake that also hit other southern African countries. The tremor hit parts of the Zimbabwean capital Harare just before 8pm on Monday (1800 GMT) but the effects were felt more in the western part of the country where areas such as the second city Bulawayo and Hwange experienced stronger shaking. The government said there were no casualties or damage to property. The earthquake was stronger in central Botswana where it measured 6.5 on the Richter scale. It was also felt in South Africa.
(Xinhuanet 04/04/17)
At least 38 people have died from snake bites in Zimbabwe since January this year, while more than 5,000 others have survived the bites, an official said Tuesday. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Gerald Gwinji said cases of snake bites had risen following the growth of foliage due to heavy rains received in the country this year. "Since the beginning of the year, 5,605 cases of snake bites and 38 deaths have been reported throughout the country," Gwinji was quoted as saying by state-run news agency New Ziana. Some of the deaths could have been avoided had victims not feared to use the anti-serum administered to people bitten by snakes, Gwinji said. He said some...

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