Tuesday 26 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
Zimbabwean security forces confirmed Friday that soldiers and police fought on the streets of Harare earlier this week, as nationwide tensions grow under 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. Witnesses told local media about a hundred uniformed soldiers wielding batons and whips charged into a bus terminus on Tuesday night and beat up police officers, leaving many prostrate on the ground. The violence, which underscores friction between the police and army, was reportedly triggered by police using spikes to deflate the tyres of a military vehicle after an alleged traffic offence.
(News Day 08/04/17)
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said by the end of June, the stock of Treasury Bills (TBs) and bonds was $2,5 billion. Presenting the mid-year monetary policy review on Wednesday, RBZ governor, John Mangudya noted that $826,8 million TBs were issued for expunging the central bank’s legacy debt under the Reserve Bank Debt Assumption Act and $262,7 million were issued to capitalise institutions in which the government has an interest in. Mangudya revealed that $531,2 million Treasury Bills were issued for government programmes including drought-related expenditures, while the $568,3 million were issued for the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco) and $312 million TBs were issued to cover recurrent government expenditure. “It is evident from this utilisation analysis that...
(Financial Times 08/04/17)
Move raises fears notes are paving way for return of country’s dollar. Zimbabwe’s central bank said it would more than double the printing of “bond notes” as cash shortages worsen in the dollar-dependent southern African nation. John Mangudya, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said on Wednesday that the bond notes, a parallel currency launched last year that is officially equal to US dollars in value but trades at a discount, would be printed “on a drip-feed basis” from the end of August. The central bank says the $300m boost, which will bring the total value of bond notes in circulation to $500m, is being funded with loans guaranteed by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), a Cairo-based lender. The...
(Independent Online 08/04/17)
Zimbabwe will print a further $300 million (R4 billion) of its latest currency known as bond notes, according to central bank governor John Mangudya. He said this tranche of cash notes will be backed by Afreximbank, bringing Zimbabwe’s debt for cash to the Cairo-based bank to $550m. Zimbabwe is chronically short of cash and foreign currency for imports. Mangudya made this announcement in in a monetary policy statement on Wednesday. He also said Zimbabwe was looking for a further $600m loan from Afreximbank to boost cash held in nostro accounts of commercial banks. Mangudya linked introduction of bond notes in November to a 5% bonus for exporters, and he said this had boosted foreign earnings by more than 14%. “Building...
(AfricaNews 08/04/17)
Zimbabwe has imposed a ban on foamed polystyrene, the packaging commonly used for take-out food in restaurants in the country, amid concern that the trays pose potential health risks. Businesses will now only be allowed to use the containers commonly referred to as Kaylites until October 17th after which they are expected to adopt safer and environmentally friendly packaging. The ban is part of measures by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to help curb health hazards and pollution linked to expanded polystyrene. “We had a report from UZ the University of Zimbabwe indicating that kaylite has a problem in terms of health. Because once you put hot food in it, it deteriorates forming a gas called styrene which is poisonous...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(New Zimbabwe 08/02/17)
President Robert Mugabe has ordered the reinstatement of more than 2000 Zanu PF youths who were struck off the government payroll following an audit report which unearthed the existence of ghost workers. This was despite the fact that the government was struggling to pay its workers on time. The youths were part of the more than 75 000 ghost workers who were exposed by the payroll and skills audit carried out by Ernst and Young in 2011 as government tried to deal with a ballooning pay bill, which was taking almost 80 percent of its budget. Mugabe, speaking at a youth interface rally in Chinhoyi at the weekend, ordered that the youths, most of them graduates of the Border Gezi...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/02/17)
Zimbabwe has filed a court application to enforce a previous notice to seize more than half of platinum producer Zimplats' mining land, the company said on Wednesday. Zimplats, which is majority controlled by Impala Platinum in January said President Robert Mugabe's government had made a new attempt to compulsorily acquire 27,948 hectares of its mining ground, which the company opposed. The platinum miner said that following its official objection to the government's action, Harare authorities went ahead to file a court application on June 26 seeking confirmation of the previous acquisition order. "The operating subsidiary responded to the court application and the parties are currently engaged in discussions to find an amicable resolution of the matter," Zimplats said in a...
(New Zimbabwe 08/02/17)
The Swiss Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ruth Huber, says investment in will remain stagnant as long as the Harare fails to compensate whites whose farms were forcibly taken without proper dialogue. She was speaking during the Swiss National Day Tuesday. Huber told journalists that although investment from Switzerland has slightly increased in Zimbabwe, the difficulty has been to attract new investment in the current political and economic environment. The Swiss envoy described the political environment as polarized. She said potential investors in Switzerland inquire about previous investors and they hear about Swiss agricultural farmers that have lost their farms without any compensation until today. "As we all know the frame conditions are not very favourable for attracting new investment. Cases of...
(News24 08/02/17)
Former president Thabo Mbeki reportedly held "private talks" with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, after he flew to Harare on Monday. According to NewsDay, South Africa's ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mphakama Mbete, said Mbeki's visit was at Mugabe's invitation. "They were discussing experiences in South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as the issue of liberation movements, as indicated by President Mugabe last month," Mbete was quoted as saying. Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba also confirmed Mbeki's visit. "Yes, they met, it was strictly at his (Mbeki's) request and strictly private. We didn't even attend," Charamba was cited as saying. Mbeki's visit came at a time when the issue of succession was currently rocking the ruling Zanu-PF party, with Mugabe's wife Grace making...
(News24 08/02/17)
South Africa's exports to Zimbabwe have dropped by 10% on the back of a ban imposed on various South African products last year, a report says. The ban, which covered food, building materials, furniture, toiletries and other products sparked violent protests from cross-border traders in Beitbridge. Tight controls The state ZBC broadcaster said on Tuesday that figures seen by it at an ongoing SADC Industrialisation Week in Johannesburg "indicate that South Africa has incurred a 10% drop in exports to Zimbabwe on the back of the tight controls". Tens of thousands of unemployed Zimbabweans, who earn a living by travelling to South Africa to buy cheap products for resale back home, were the ones most affected by the ban. Cash...
(News24 08/02/17)
Zimbabwe government officials have held "tough negotiations" with managers at Eskom to prevent South Africa's power utility cutting off supplies over a $40 million debt. Cash-strapped Harare has been given another chance not to default on a repayment plan, which had seen Eskom threatening to cut off power on August 1. No further default "We had tough negotiations but finally they accepted our payment plan which they expect us not to default on. Any default means curtailment of power," Josh Chifamba, the chief executive of Zimbabwe's state ZESA power company said in comments carried by the official Chronicle newspaper. This was the second time since May that Zimbabwe has staved off a threat by Eskom to switch off the power...
(Voice of America 08/02/17)
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has called an emergency meeting this Wednesday in South Africa of all countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Aid workers are concerned what this could mean for food security in the region, where a fall armyworm invasion and drought have decimated crops in recent years. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says besides Zimbabwe, the other countries in the region hit by the avian influenza outbreak are the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. While officials haven’t released figures for the numbers of birds affected, the FAO said the outbreak is currently concentrated in one province of Zimbabwe and three in...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(New Zimbabwe 08/01/17)
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for an early deployment of Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other international monitors as political violence spikes across the country. In a recent statement, ZCTU Secretary General, Japhet Moyo, said they were concerned that national leaders were insincere on addressing with political violence, warning that this diminishing any hopes the country had for free and fair elections next year. "We call for the early deployment of elections observers from SADC and the international community to monitor the environment right from the voter registration process until after the announcement of the election results," Moyo said. He added; "Observers usually come at the last minute but we need them to be here...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Zimbabwe's 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, declaring "I am not dying," sought Saturday to brush aside growing concerns about his health after his wife urged him to name a successor. Mugabe's medical trips to Singapore have become frequent in recent years, fuelling questions about his health. His last visit was early this month for what was described as a "routine medical check-up". "There is the issue that the president is going. I am not going. That the president is dying. I am not dying," Mugabe told thousands of supporters at a rally in his home town of Chinhoyi. His remarks came after his wife Grace urged him to name a successor in a bid to end the factionalism threatening to tear...
(The Herald Online 07/31/17)
Government has received 80 centre pivots worth over $6 million from Spain to aid irrigation under Command Agriculture, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said. VP Mnangagwa said the centre pivots were coming at a time when Government was moving to adopt new technologies and strengthen infrastructural development in support of the successful import-substitution programme. In his address during the Midlands Show Society Exhibitors reception, which was also attended by the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping in Gweru on Friday, VP Mnangagwa said Government was targeting 300 000 hectares of land under irrigation. Recently, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said negotiations were under way for another facility worth $60 million for bigger equipment from the same...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/17)
A Zimbabwean poultry farm has reported a second outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu, two months after it first occurred, the state-owned Herald newspaper said on Monday. Lanark farm, a commercial poultry producer 25 km (15 miles) south of the capital Harare, was hit again by the flu virus last week after it was first reported on June 2. Josphat Nyika, acting principal director for veterinary services, said all the affected birds were destroyed and the farm would remain under quarantine for three months. Highly pathogenic among fowl, the strain poses little risk to human health. In June, Zimbabwe indefinitely banned poultry products from South Africa, which had announced an outbreak of avian flu. Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; editing...
(New Zimbabwe 07/31/17)
President Robert Mugabe's wife Saturday declared she could not be easily divorced by her 93-year-old husband should he ever entertain the thought some-day. Grace was speaking during the Zimbabwean leader's Mashonaland West youth interface rally attended by thousands of party supporters in Chinhoyi. The First Lady's target was embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is under fire for allegedly displaying unbridled ambition to succeed her husband. She told the VP to remember that, just like co-Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and herself as Zanu PF women's league secretary, they were mere appointees who were serving at the president's pleasure and could very easily be shown the door at a passing whip by their boss. But in attempts to place nemesis Mnangagwa...

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