Monday 24 July 2017
(Xinhuanet 05/18/17)
The United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF) on Wednesday handed over 1.6 million U.S. dollars to assist over 32,000 people who were affected by floods in Zimbabwe this year. The funding will assist the flood victims with life-saving shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene and protection in 20 districts in the country, said United Nations Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli at the handover ceremony. "The CERF fund is a critical resource that guarantees life-saving interventions in support of affected communities and I believe it will help meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable particularly those who are still living in temporary camps in the southern parts
(News24 05/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)is warning that excessive spending by President Robert Mugabe's government will worsen cash shortages and stoke inflation. The warning came as latest figures showed inflation rose to 0.48% in April up from 0.21% in March. "Excessive government spending, if continued, could exacerbate the cash scarcity, further jeopardise the health of the external and financial sectors, and, ultimately, fuel inflation," said Ana Lucia Coronel, who headed an IMF mission to the country this month. Hyper-inflation peaked in Zimbabwe in 2008. The government was forced to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar in early 2009. But high domestic borrowing and lack of financial inflows has seen foreign currency and the recently-introduced bond notes running short. In her statement issued late...
(The Herald Online 05/18/17)
Meikles Limited is set for an improved performance after reaching an agreement with Government over the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) debt issue which has been outstanding for two decades. Mr Moxon told the company's annual general meeting yesterday that a resolution to the long standing dispute over the debt recorded during the Zimbabwe dollar-era had since been agreed to by both the Government and the group. "An agreement with Government has been reached following high level meetings between its representatives, the RBZ and ourselves "The final figures now await the signature of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the information will be made public thereafter," he explained in a statement to media. The closure of the debt...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(New Zimbabwe 05/16/17)
The European Union (EU) head of delegation in Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme, says Harare should respect young Zimbabwe's aspirations and views even if they express "dissident opinions" while at the same time creating employment opportunities for them. This, he said, would save the lives of young Zimbabweans who routinely brave "crocodiles" crossing the Limpopo River into South Africa in search of jobs. "... . Let's avoid complacency and let's remain humble. Let's listen to citizens and respect their aspirations even when they express dissident and sometimes provocative opinions-that is why they are the youths," said Van Damme. Addressing diplomats gathered to commemorate the EU day last Friday, Van Damme said the Zimbabwean government has a responsibility to create jobs for...
(The Herald Online 05/16/17)
Chinhoyi — Government is working on a plan to establish a gold reserve set to anchor the introduction of a local currency when the right time comes for the return to the Zimdollar, it has been learnt. This comes at a time when the country is grappling with cash shortages and economists believe the issuance of a gold backed local currency would help stimulate economic activity. Modelled around the $200 million Afreximbank facility, which is backing the current bond notes in circulation, economists believe the local currency will ease liquidity challenges and stimulate aggregate demand. Plans to create a gold reserve involve investing in the efficient operations of Government's gold mining firms, including Sabi, Elvington and Jena gold mines. Sabi...
(The Herald Online 05/16/17)
The government has strengthened its surveillance on all entry points into the country after the Democratic Republic of Congo reported new cases of Ebola recently. Principal director responsible for preventive services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Gibson Mhlanga said although the risk of getting Ebola in Zimbabwe was low, it was important to remain on high alert. "We are aware of the cases in DRC and we have since strengthened our port health activities at all entry points, that is the airport and boarder points," he said. "People are being screened as they come in." Dr Mhlanga said they were also imparting health education to travellers on symptoms of Ebola, so that anyone suspected of having...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(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...

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