| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 01/26/17)
Zimbabwe authorities offered residential land to government employees in lieu of annual bonuses, unions said on Thursday, rejecting a proposal that suggests the cash squeeze gripping the country is unlikely to ease this year. The southern African nation's economy stagnated last year, fanning anti-government protests and compounding President Robert Mugabe's problems ahead of national elections due in 2018. Public sector workers are paid an annual bonus equivalent to a month's salary every November and December, but the government - which spends more than
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(Voice of America 01/25/17)
Opportunistic relatives in Zimbabwe routinely trample the property and inheritance rights of widows, and the government lets it happen, according to a new Human Rights Watch report. The title of the 52-page report by HRW says it all, “You Will Get Nothing.” HRW researcher Bethany Brown says widows are routinely evicted from their homes and land, and their property is stolen by in-laws when their husbands die. “I spoke with widows across the country who spoke about myriad ways in which this happened. Some were insulted, intimidated, threatened physically," said Brown. "In practice, protections right now for widows are only available in registered marriages. The most marriages in Zimbabwe are customary unions. Our recommendations are that the government needs to...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
As Maliyaziwa Malunga mourns her dead husband, she also battles against his relatives who plot to seize her house in a custom that affects thousands of women in Zimbabwe each year. A Human Rights Watch report released on Tuesday details how in-laws in the country routinely expect to take property and money from bereaved widows soon after their husbands die. When Malunga's husband died in 2013, his relatives locked her in her home, forced her to open her cash box, and stole $4,000 and the title documents to her property. "I lock my doors always fearing some of those in-laws will come and harass me," Malunga, who is still in a legal tussle to fight off the relatives, told AFP...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/23/17)
A new party founded by Zimbabwe's former vice president Joice Mujuru suffered a crushing defeat in its first ever election contest again President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF, showing the task she faces in her bid to challenge her ally-turned-adversary. ZANU-PF retained the rural Bikita West parliamentary constituency in Saturday's by-election after its candidate polled 13,156 votes against 2,453 votes for Mujuru's Zimbabwe People First, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said on Sunday. Mujuru, Mugabe's deputy for 10 years, was seen as the most likely successor to the 92-year-old leader until she was purged from the ruling party in 2014 after charges she was plotting against Africa's oldest leader. Mujuru denies the charges. Mugabe has ruled the former British colony since independence...
(Bloomberg 01/20/17)
Zimbabwe is reaching the end of construction on its $300 million Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, a project first proposed about five decades ago, which will supply water to sugar growers in the south of the country. Construction of the dam, which will have capacity of 1.8 billion cubic meters (475 billion gallons) of water, started in the 1990s, but progress stalled repeatedly on funding shortages. “It’s 99.9 percent finished, just finishing touches to be done,” resident engineer Paul Dengu said on Wednesday at the project site, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of Harare, the capital. Civil-engineering work will be completed by the end of the month, and final studies are under way for a hydropower plant linked to the dam, he...
(The Herald Online 01/20/17)
South Africa is reviewing the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) to decide the fate of about 200 000 Zimbabwean immigrants whose permits expire in December. In an interview yesterday, South Africa's Home Affairs Department spokesperson Mr Mayihlome Tshwete said Minister Malusi Gigaba was applying his mind to the issue. "The Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba is applying his mind on the matter and has two options whether to renew or not. When he finally makes up his mind, he will announce the final verdict and we will communicate with everyone," said Mr Tshwete. South Africa introduced the new Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit in 2014, and permits for about 185 075 people were approved. A South African website quoted Minister Gigaba...
(The Associated Press 01/20/17)
Senegal sailed into the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Zimbabwe. Goals from Sadio Mané and Henri Saivet ensured the 2002 finalists progressed from Group B with their final match against Algeria to spare, but the margin of victory should have been much larger. “The goal today was to qualify, now it’s done,” said the head coach, Aliou Cissé, after early goals settled the game. “In the first game, even when we played badly, we got to win. Today, we played well and won, and we qualified. I’m very proud of the guys, we have to keep going like that.” Senegal, who defeated Tunisia in their opening Group B match, started brightly and...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
For opponents of Zimbabwe's veteran President Robert Mugabe, internet data charges have become a key battlefront in their campaign against a regime that often cracks down violently on dissent. Last week, the state's telecommunications authority approved a sharp increase in mobile data prices -- triggering a furious public response that forced a surprise U-turn. Under the proposed tariffs, the minimum cost for internet data would have tripled from two US cents per three megabytes to two cents per megabyte. "The proposals highlighted government's determination to stifle the free flow of information," Promise Mkwananzi, a leading activist and spokesman of the Tajamuka protest movement, told AFP. "Mobile tariff increases show intolerance on the part of government in its attempt to slow...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
Lightning killed six people at a funeral wake in Zimbabwe as they sheltered under a tree to escape torrential rain, police said Wednesday. Heavy rains have deluged Zimbabwe in recent days, causing floods and killing people who attempted to cross rivers that had burst their banks. The lightning struck the mourners Sunday in Binga in northwest Zimbabwe, near the border with Zambia. "The victims were part of the gathering attending a funeral wake when heavy rains pounded the area," said police spokeswoman Charity Charamba. "They sought shelter under a tree and were struck by a bolt of lightning, killing them instantly." Several others were injured and taken to hospital, Charamba said. "Members of the public should also install lightning conductors...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(New Zimbabwe 01/17/17)
Kariba based pastor Patrick Mugadza who last week predicted the death of President Robert Mugabe by claiming 93-year-old would breathe his last on October 17 was arrested this Monday at the Harare Magistrates Courts. In a message sent to the media via WhatsApp, Mugadza said police were still holding him without any charge but claimed to have overheard them saying he would be charged with undermining the authority of the President. "Police arrested me right at the door when I was coming out of the Court. Right now, I am at (Harare) central police station for the prophecy I gave that the President will die in October. "They say I have undermined the authority of the President though they have...
(AL Jazeera 01/17/17)
A look at how media outlets in Zimbabwe have been silenced and manipulated in the wake of inevitable change. President Robert Mugabe still rules Zimbabwe at age 92, making him the world's oldest sitting president. And while his party, the Zanu-PF, is in strife over who will come after him, the state media's dilemma is how to report the succession battles - with talking about Mugabe's succession being an editorial red line. State-owned news outlets such as The Herald newspaper and the Zimbabwean Broadcasting Corporation remain loyal to Mugabe, but even they are backing one faction in the Zanu-PF - albeit indirectly - by attacking the other. Mugabe's message is clear: the media has no place in Zimbabwe's political future...
(Zimbabwe Independent 01/17/17)
CHINA this week urged the Zimbabwean government to respect property rights, address concerns over policy inconsistency and clarify its indigenisation policy to attract much-needed investment into the country. In an interview in Harare on Monday, the day President Robert Mugabe met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing, China's acting ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhao Baogang said although relations between the two countries are "very strong", China had concerns over the government's policy inconsistencies "particularly in the mining sector". He added that the Chinese have been engaging the Zimbabwean government over the issue for some time. Despite Zimbabwe and China signing a number of mega deals including the Kariba South Power Extension project, relations between the two countries took a dip...
(New Zimbabwe 01/17/17)
Retiring Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku says he is of the view that whether land should be repossessed or not from white farmers was a "political" issue which had "nothing" to do with the Judiciary. The role of the judiciary however, Chidyausiku said Monday as he opened the 2017 legal year, was to ensure that "repossession and redistribution" was carried out in accordance with the country's laws. The country's controversial land reforms were a chaotic and violent State sponsored affair which resulted in the death of some ten white farmers. The programme is blamed for the country's economic problems which have lasted more than a decade. Even so, Chidyausiku said he leaves office believing that he did his best to protect...
(The Herald Online 01/17/17)
Lloyd Gumbo — Mbada Diamonds could have prejudiced the State of millions of dollars by under-declaring its diamond sales over the years after it emerged that its average price per carat was about three times lower than that of other firms extracting gems from Chiadzwa. Seven mining companies, including Mbada, started mining diamonds at Chiadzwa from 2007 to March last year when Government ordered them to cease operations. Mbada was among firms that resisted a forensic audit of Chiadzwa diamond mining operations initiated by Government, forcing the State to invoke the Auditor-General's powers to proceed. The underpricing scandal emerged during a tour of Marange diamond fields by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy chaired by Zanu-PF MP for...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...

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