| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(Daily Maverick 02/21/17)
Zimbabwe’s education system was once the pride of Africa, and through decades of dictatorship has continued to produce generations of skilled graduates. But a raft of controversial new changes may bring the whole system crashing down, critics fear. To say Zimbabwe is in a mess would be a severe understatement. Think corruption, pothole-ridden roads, and a flailing economy that has pushed millions of people to live and work elsewhere. But despite all the gloom and doom, there’s one thing that Zimbabweans treasure and are fiercely proud of: our education system. With one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, and a radical education policy dating from the 1980s that guarantees free primary school education for all citizens, the country’s education...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/17)
Hundreds of patients endured long hours waiting in casualty units at Zimbabwe’s state hospitals Saturday due to a crippling strike by doctors seeker higher allowances and better work conditions. Zimbabwe had one of Africa's best healthcare systems but a brain drain following a plunge into economic crisis and hyper-inflation has wreaked all-round havoc, including on the medical sector. "There are practically no doctors at most hospitals," Edgar Munatsi, president of the Hospital Doctors' Association told AFP. "It’s a sad situation but unfortunately there has been little movement on the part of the government to try to address our grievances." The doctors are demanding that call allowances be raised to a minimum of $10 per hour up from the current $1.20,...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
The wife of 92-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Friday that he would be the voters' choice even after he dies, as she addressed supporters from the ruling ZANU-PF party. Grace Mugabe, who is seen as a possible successor to her ailing husband, ratcheted up her colourful rhetoric ahead of the general election due next year. "One day when God decides that Mugabe dies, we will have his corpse appear as a candidate on the ballot paper," Grace Mugabe told a party rally in Buhera, southeast of the capital Harare. "You will see people voting for Mugabe as a corpse. I am seriously telling you -- just to show people how people love their president." President Mugabe has vowed to...
(Xinhuanet 02/17/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace Mugabe on Friday warned those aspiring to take over from her husband that there was no vacancy before God ordains his retirement. At a rally in Buhera North, Manicaland Province, the first lady lashed out at perceived factionalists and successionists in the ruling Zanu-PF party who were bent on toppling her 93-year-old husband. Mugabe's tenure as party leader ends in 2019, but the party in 2014 had endorsed him as its presidential candidate for the 2018 elections. "Whoever is engaging in factionalism must stop forthwith, stop it," she bellowed to thousands of people that included school children. Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is seen as the face of "successionist" politics but he has since denied harboring...
(AfricaNews 02/17/17)
Zimbabwean doctors on Wednesday commenced a nationwide strike protesting low salaries and poor conditions of service. The main demand of the doctors is for an increase in their on-call allowance which has remained unchanged since 2014 – they want the government to honor a pledge to peg it at a minimum of $720 per month. They are asking for subventions to allow doctors to purchase their own vehicles and also insisting that the government employs a 120 trained doctors who will be out of work in the next two weeks. As doctors, we'll continue to work and have our patients at heart. But if we do not get posts for these doctors it means the patients will continue to suffer...
(Xinhuanet 02/17/17)
Kenya Airways said Friday that it would start a direct flight between Nairobi and iconic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on May 18. A statement from the airline said this would be the national carrier's 52nd destination and its second city in Zimbabwe after Harare where it operates 21 flights weekly. "This new route highlights our strategy to continue 'Winning in Africa' which is driven by opening up the region and ensuring our value proposition meets the demands for our customers," said Kenya Airways' MD Mbuvi Ngunze. Ngunze said the new route between Nairobi and Victoria Falls will operate three times a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The Victoria Falls operation will be linked to Cape Town, South Africa. This...
(News24 02/17/17)
Less than two weeks after President Robert Mugabe's government unexpectedly introduced 5 US "bond notes", a state-controlled newspaper says notes in denominations of 10 and 20 are likely to be introduced too. Said the Herald in a line buried in a news piece in the Crime and Courts section on Wednesday: "Government is... expected to gradually roll out the $10 and $20 notes." The bond notes were first introduced in denominations of 1 and 2 at the end of November, ostensibly to ease a cash shortage by stopping the externalisation of hard cash. The notes have no value outside the country - but they are also causing havoc within Zimbabwe, where it's quickly becoming clear they are not interchangeable with...
(AfricaNews 02/17/17)
Evan Mawarire, Zimbabwean pastor and activist has decried the deplorable conditions in the country’s jails after spending a week on remand at a maximum security facility. Mawarire disclosed in an interview with a privately owned Newsday portal that the overcrowding, lack of medical care and other unacceptable conditions in the jails reflected the true situation of the ordinary citizen. “I saw a picture of Zimbabwe in the manner how prisoners live at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. I am not a free man, I am not allowed to act or speak even though I claim to be free. I saw a picture of Zimbabwe in the manner how prisoners live at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. I am not a free man, I am...
(Nehanda radio 02/16/17)
Former vice-president and now opposition leader Joice Mujuru challenged Mugabe’s constitutional authority to issue the notes. “Our court case has been dismissed on a technicality, but we are not surprised, and we will let the world know of our next step in the next 24 hours,” Mujuru’s spokesman, Gift Nyadoro, said. This development came as Zimstats said that “prices, as measured by the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased at an average rate of 0.23 percent from December 2016 to January 2017”. The agency said the year-on-year inflation rate for January, as measured by the CPI, stood at minus 0.65 percent, gaining 0.28 percentage points on the December 2016 rate of negative 0.93 percent. John Mangudya, the governor of the...
(eNCA 02/16/17)
Zimbabwe's ailing health sector has been dealt another blow, after thousands of doctors across the country downed tools. They're protesting against what they call government’s unwillingness to implement "logical decisions". Severe drought and a failing economy hit Zimbabwe's hospitals hard last year and now the collapsing sector is facing the challenge of a national strike. Bulawayo doctor, Obert Sibanda said: "We've got very simple demands. What we are asking for is for an open practice licence upon completion of an internship.
(The Financial Gazette 02/16/17)
President Robert Mugabe has been vindicated. Having foretold the disintegration of former vice president Joice Mujuru's Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) during celebrations to mark his 92nd birthday at the Great Zimbabwe Monument in Masvingo last year, the ZANU-PF leader will undoubtedly have something to chuckle about while celebrating his 93rd birthday in Matabeleland South later on this month. By the time the celebrations take place on February 25, ZPF might have fizzled out into nothing after Mujuru wielded the axe on seven high ranking officials, who included the founding fathers, for supposedly supping with the ruling ZANU-PF party. Hours after that move, mass high profile resignations followed while Mujuru herself was, in circus fashion, disowned by the party's founding fathers...
(The Financial Gazette 02/16/17)
GOVERNMENT has completed the process to take over drug manufacturer, CAPS Pharmaceuticals and Health Care (Pvt) Limited, two entities which used to be part of CAPS Holdings Group, the Financial Gazette's Companies & Markets (C&M) has been established. Units under Health Care include QV Pharmacies and St Anne's Hospital. CAPS International Limited, whose mandate is to distribute drugs in the region, has not be acquired by government. Geddes Limited, which falls under CAPS International, is also not part of the acquisition. CAPS Holdings' majority shareholder, Fred Mtandah, declined to reveal the terms of the agreement but confirmed that the deal had gone through. Mtandah said: "Yes, the transaction has now been completed. Government put in writing something which I accepted...
(Eye Witness News 02/16/17)
State media say there are plans to release higher-denomination bond notes following the recent release of five dollar bond notes. State media in Zimbabwe say there are plans to release higher-denomination bond notes following the recent release of five dollar bond notes. Reports say the new notes were only meant to be in small denominations to prevent the kind of cash hoarding and black market activity that rendered the previous currency worthless. The bond notes were introduced by presidential decree and started to circulate in November. So far there’s a one-dollar bond coin and notes of two and five dollars and Zimbabweans thought the authorities would keep to that. But state media is reporting on Wednesday that 10 and 20-dollar...
(The Financial Gazette 02/16/17)
IN a ruling that serves to remind workers of the importance of keeping confidential information from outsiders, the Supreme Court has confirmed the dismissal of a Marange Resources Limited employee who warned one of the company's suppliers that he should be careful in his dealings with the diamond miner as its financial position had become precarious. Elson Gumbo, who was a shift foreman, was shown the exit after playing mole by communicating confidential company information with competition and other third parties to the possible detriment to the company. Gumbo was dismissed in November 2012 after he was charged with violating the company's code of employment that prohibited employees from sharing confidential information with outsiders. Marange Resources, partly owned by the...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(Nehanda radio 02/10/17)
South Africa has announced that Zimbabweans who acquired permits under special dispensation will have to follow the normal channel of applying for work and study visas when their permits expire in December. At least 200 000 Zimbabweans in South Africa face deportation when their special dispensation permits expire on December 31. They will then have to return home to apply for new permits. Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, in a statement on Tuesday, confirmed speculation in the mainstream and social media in recent weeks that Zimbabwe Special Permits holders (ZPS) wishing to extend their stay at the expiry of their permits will do so under the conventional immigration laws. “Accordingly, we have advised Zimbabwean nationals whose special permits are expiring,...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(Voice of America 02/09/17)
Zimbabwe’s highest court has dismissed a case filed by an activist who argued President Robert Mugabe violated the constitution and is therefore unfit for office. Robert Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, but the 92-year-old president has faced mounting calls to step down. Protests erupted last year over human rights abuses as the economy sank to new lows. Opposition activist Promise Mkwananzi filed a court petition alleging the president failed to uphold the constitution during the unrest. In his complaint, Mkwanazi cited cases where Mugabe threatened

Pages