Thursday 23 November 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - A Belgian-based businessman on Friday challenged Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe’s accusation that he duped her of a $1.35 million diamond ring and asked her to provide the court with evidence to back her lawsuit. President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace this week sued Jamal Hamed in a Harare High Court, accusing him of failing to deliver the 100 carat jewel she said she had ordered from him for her wedding anniversary last year. Grace, 52, who is seen as a possible successor to her 93-year-old husband, said Hamed had instead provided an inferior ring worth $30,000 and when she had complained had refunded only $120,000. But Hamed filed his own court application disputing the claim and demanded...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
The wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has sued a Lebanese businessman for failing to deliver a $1.35-million diamond ring she ordered for her wedding anniversary, state media reported Wednesday. "First lady Dr Grace Mugabe is suing fugitive businessman Mr Jamal Joseph Ahmed for $1.23 million (1.05 million euros) over a diamond ring deal that went sour last year," The Herald newspaper said. "In breach of the agreement, Mr Ahmed failed to deliver the ring, triggering a legal wrangle." In 2015, Grace Mugabe placed an order for a 100-carat diamond ring worth $1.35 million to mark the anniversary of her wedding to the 93-year-old leader. "The plaintiff wanted to purchase a unique diamond ring for her wedding anniversary celebrations," said...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Zimbabwe has banned the importation of fruit and vegetables to save scarce foreign currency in the face of a worsening economic crisis, state media reported Tuesday. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told The Herald that President Robert Mugabe had directed that the importation of horticultural products be stopped "as they waste much-needed foreign currency". "This means that the importation of fruit and vegetables will be stopped immediately." "The foreign currency being wasted on the importation of carrots and grapes will now be utilised towards the purchase of more fertilisers and pesticides," he said. Zimbabwe in 2009 abandoned its own currency in favour of the US dollar due to hyperinflation. But it started running out of those dollars and last year it...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
At least 50 people want to become Zimbabwe's hangman, a job that fell vacant over a decade ago, officials said Tuesday, stressing that applicants were "very interested" in the role. The country, which has an unemployment rate of more than 90 percent by some measures, last executed a prisoner in 2005, after which the serving hangman retired. "The response has been overwhelming and the applications have been from both men and women," justice ministry secretary Virginia Mabhiza told the NewsDay newspaper. "We have received over 50 applications in the past few months. People are very interested." After a long search, a new hangman was reported to have been appointed in 2012 but the chosen candidate was never confirmed. Rights groups...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace is set to become the country's second female vice president after the ruling Zanu-PF party's 10 provinces agreed to have an extra-ordinary congress to amend the constitution. Provincial leaders who spoke to The Herald over the weekend said apart from reaffirming Mugabe's position as the party's sole presidential candidate in the 2018 elections, they also wanted to have the constitution amended to set aside a vice presidential slot to women. Spokesperson for Harare province Abicia Ushewokunze said the provincial executive committee had resolved to amend the 2014 party constitution to accommodate "issues to do with youth and women's leagues" and to establish a female vice presidency. "We resolved that the constitution be amended as...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
NYANYADZI, Zimbabwe (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In this drought-prone region of eastern Zimbabwe, relying on rain to grow crops no longer makes sense. That’s one reason Joseph Zviuya, a small-scale farmer in the Nyanyadzi area, looks with satisfaction at the canal near his fields that is now overflowing with irrigation water. “This water is our lifeline; without this irrigation scheme we are hopeless,” the farmer in Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. As climate change has brought worsening droughts over the last decade, Zimbabwe is looking to rebuild parts of its damaged or abandoned irrigation network as a bulwark against hunger. Zviuya, a former district councillor, is one of more than 850 small-scale farmers who now depend on...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Data released by the national statistics agency Zimstat on Monday showed that Zimbabwe recorded a sharp rise in annual inflation for the month of September to 0.78 percent from 0.14 percent a month earlier following arbitrary price increases of most basic commodities during the month. The jump in prices, one of the highest since the country came out of deflation in March, was fueled by false social media messages that alleged impending shortages of basic commodities, leading to panic buying by consumers and a hike in exchange rates on foreign currency parallel market, according to the agency. Zimbabweans engaged in panic buying of most basic food items last month after social media alleged that the goods will be in short...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) - Zimbabwe’s governing ZANU PF is set to hold an extraordinary congress in Harare in December in a development likely to pave the way for First Lady Grace Mugabe to be ascend to the country’s vice presidency, APA learnt here on Monday. According to the state media, all the 10 ZANU PF provincial structures endorsed at the weekend a decision to convene a special congress that “will put the succession issue to rest”. The congress replaces a party congress initially scheduled for Gwanda in south-western Zimbabwe. According to provincial officials quoted by the government-owned Herald daily, the special congress is expected to affirm President Robert Mugabe’s candidature for presidential elections set for 2018 as well as to amend...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(APA 10/13/17)
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) - Zimbabwe’s integrated beverage company Delta Corporation is close to finalising a deal in which it will acquire a majority stake in Zambia’s National Breweries Plc, the company announced on Friday. Delta Corporation company secretary Alex Makamure said in a notice to shareholders that the equity was being acquired from Heinrich’s Syndicate, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev). “Delta Corporation is finalising a transaction to acquire a controlling stake in National Breweries Plc (Natbrew), the Zambian sorghum beer company with a listing on the Lusaka Stock Exchange,” he said. The transaction is subject to various regulatory approvals, according to Makamure. He said the Delta board was optimistic that “the company will leverage on its over 60...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) - Riot police on Thursday launched an operation to restore order on the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare where illegal vendors and rowdy pirate taxi operators have become the order of the day. According to eyewitnesses and rights groups, the police moved ordered the vendors and pirate taxis to leave Harare’s central business district under a campaign codenamed “Operation Restore Order”. The Zimbabwe Human Right NGO Forum said the riot police, working with municipal police from the Harare City Council, cleared the capital’s central business district of the vendors. However, some of the vendors immediately returned to their spots as soon as the police trucks moved away. The vendors and pirate taxi operators operate from undesignated zones...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
A Zimbabwean activist has been arrested after calling 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe "a dead man walking", lawyers said Wednesday, in the latest case of authorities cracking down on dissent. Sten Zvorwadza, the leader of a street vendor's union, was charged with insulting or undermining the president in a press interview where he was also quoted as saying that Mugabe was "old" and "day-dreaming". Zvorwadza is a prominent anti-Mugabe campaigner who has led several demonstrations calling on the veteran leader to step down. Zimbabwe's worsening economy has seen many people resorting to informal street vending due to massive unemployment. Zvorwadza is yet to appear in court, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's cabinet reshuffle quashed opposition within his government, state media said Tuesday, as the 93-year-old leader prepares to stand again in elections next year. Mugabe stripped Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa of his role as justice minister, reassigned the finance minister and created a new cyber-security ministry in the major reshuffle late Monday. Mnangagwa is one of the top candidates likely to succeed Mugabe, but has recently been accused by undermining the president over claims that Mnangagwa was poisoned at a party rally. The state-run Herald -- seen as the government's official voice -- on Tuesday hailed the reshuffle as "a welcome move that would...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe moved Patrick Chinamasa from the finance ministry on Monday to lead a new cyber security ministry that will focus on crimes on social media and other websites ahead of an election due next year. Chinamasa will be replaced at the treasury by Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo in a cabinet reshuffle that also diminished the role of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, seen as a potential successor to Mugabe. Chombo’s move, announced in a government statement, comes against the backdrop of a severe hard currency shortage that has dealt a fresh blow to confidence and investment in the southern African economy, which uses the U.S dollar. Chinamasa was appointed finance minister after Mugabe’s re-election...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Monday stripped one of the top candidates to succeed him of a cabinet post, as the battle to replace the long-ruling leader intensifies. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who also doubled as minister of justice, was replaced by ruling ZANU-PF party loyalist Happyton Bonyongwe. Mnangagwa will stay on as one of Mugabe's two vice presidents. Mugabe, 93, has tried to enforce strict discipline in his ruling ZANU-PF party for decades and avoided naming a successor even as concerns have grown over his advanced age and failing health. But the shake-up comes as infighting deepens in the ZANU-PF over who will take over from Mugabe, including allegations from Mnangagwa he was poisoned.
(The Associated Press 10/10/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has sworn in new ministers, a day after a Cabinet reshuffle in which he stripped the justice ministry from a vice president accused of harboring presidential ambitions. The eight new ministers who took office on Tuesday include Happyton Bonyongwe, the former intelligence chief who is now justice minister. He replaced Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was once viewed a front-runner to succeed 93-year-old Mugabe but has been harshly criticized recently by the president and his wife for allegedly leading a faction angling for power. Mnangagwa, a close ally of Mugabe since the 1970s war for independence from white minority rule, became vice president in 2014. He had held the justice portfolio since 2013. Mugabe also appointed...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...

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