Wednesday 20 September 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
Zimbabwe's parliament on Tuesday changed the constitution to give back to President Robert Mugabe sole power to appoint the country's top three judges, a move the main opposition said could undermine the independence of the judiciary. Zimbabwe voted for a new charter in 2013, which reduced the president's authority to name the chief justice, his deputy and the judge president of the High Court. Under that provision, the Judicial Services Commission, a panel of mostly senior judges and lawyers, held interviews for each post. Mugabe would then pick final candidates from the names submitted by the commission. But on Tuesday, Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party used its two-thirds majority in parliament to ram through a bill to change the law, allowing...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/17)
An elephant that gave tourist rides in the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls trampled his professional handler to death, the local tour operators' association said Tuesday. Enock Kufandanda, 50, was killed on Saturday by a bull elephant called "Mbanje" ("marijuana" in the local Shona language). Parks and wildlife authority rangers shot and killed the elephant, reported to be about 30 years old, soon after it charged and killed Kufandanda. "We confirm the sad incident, the third in the last 10 years," Clement Mukwasi, of the Employers' Association of Tourism and Safari Operators, told AFP.
(Agence Ecofin 07/25/17)
Last year, the government of Zimbabwe has paid $134 million as compensation to white farmers affected by its Fast Track Land Reform Programme. This was told Reuters by Patrick Chinamasa, the country’s minister of finance who added that the payment widened the State’s budget deficit. According to the same source, the government complied with one of the conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide new funding to Zimbabwe. Launched in 2000, the government’s land reform led to the expropriation of white farmers from their lands which were then given out to black nationals. This, World Bank estimates, pushed the nation’s agricultural output down 30%. Espoir Olodo
(News Day 07/25/17)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the government on the command agriculture programme, saying excessive public spending, if continued, could exacerbate cash scarcity, further jeopardise the financial sector and ultimately fuel inflation. Speaking at a media briefing last week, IMF deputy director of strategy, policy and review, Alfred Kammer, responded to a question on what funding model could return Zimbabwe to being the breadbasket of the region. “In terms of the funding model that you asked about and the breadbasket concept, we focus on the fiscal implications of the agriculture programme in Zimbabwe,” he said. “Our analysis suggests that the current design of the programme creates significant fiscal risks and overall effectiveness could be improved by ensuring that the...
(News Day 07/25/17)
Mines minister Walter Chidakwa has called on platinum producers to invest in refining facilities, to enable the country to draw maximum benefit from its mineral resources. In a speech read on his behalf by Industry minister Mike Bimha, at the Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) 2017 conference in Bulawayo last week, Chidakwa bemoaned low investment in the platinum mining sub-sector. “The platinum group metals (PGM) sub-sector has emerged a critical mineral for the country, and has remained resilient despite softening in prices on the international market,” he said. “Government is, however, concerned that value chain development in the sub-sector remains low as only concentrates and matte are produced in the country and exported in that form. “May I, therefore,...
(New Zimbabwe 07/25/17)
At least on person has been killed and three others seriously injured when Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company Private Limited security guards fired at hundreds of illegal diamond panners who broke into the firm's premises in Chiadzwa. Two illegal diamond miners sustained serious injuries after they were shot by Zimbabwe Consolidation Diamond Company (ZCDC) guards, it has emerged.. ZCDC, which is wholly owned by the government, took over diamond mining at Chiadzwa in Marange after private companies were forced out of the controversial fields by the Zanu PF-led Harare administration. Police confirmed the incident saying the panners are currently admitted at Mutare Provincial Hospital (MPH) for treatment under guard Deputy ZRP provincial spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Luxon Chananda, said the incident occurred...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
Presidential candidate Dr. Nkosana Moyo says the government of Zimbabwe is currently being run by Zanu PF like a party entity with politicians seriously dividing people on the basis of their tribe for political purposes. In an exclusive interview with VOA Studio 7, Dr. Moyo said he launched the Alliance for the People’s Agenda (APA) in order to ensure that citizens are capable of running their own government. He said at the moment Zanu PF is running the nation like some party property. “When you run a country you must run it for everybody, so we attempted to find a word (APA) that would imply or communicate to Zimbabweans that all of them are welcome to belong to this umbrella...
(The Herald Online 07/25/17)
Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed Ecsponent Limited's controlling shareholder and Brainworks Capital founder George Manyere has unveiled a $200 million investment fund targeting key infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe. The funds will be housed under his newly formed MHMK Infratech company. "Our vision is to be the leading private sector player in infrastructure development & financing and a partner of choice to all key stakeholders in Zimbabwe. "This move we have made and the successful raising of $200 million in our first round of financing reflects our positive views around the ambitious infrastructure initiatives being undertaken by our Government in Zimbabwe in line with its economic blueprint, Zim-Asset," said Mr Manyere, who is the chief executive of the company. MHMK Infratech will...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe lavished his sister-in-law with $60,000 on her birthday, state-owned media reported Monday, at a time when the country is running critically short of cash. The Herald newspaper said Mugabe, 93, and his wife Grace gave Junior Gumbochuma the money at her birthday celebrations, while the couple's children gave her $10,000. "The gift was to thank Mrs Gumbochuma, a pastor, for the pivotal role she played in raising the First Family's children," the newspaper said. Gumbochuma, who is Grace Mugabe's elder sister, celebrated her 60th birthday on Sunday as Grace celebrated her 52nd at one of the Mugabes' farms in Shamva, northeast of Harare. Zimbabwe's economy has been on a downturn for over a decade with many...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Zimbabwe were bundled out of the African Nations Championship Sunday by rusty Namibia, just two weeks after being hailed as national heroes for becoming regional champions. Many of the players who beat Zambia to win the COSAFA Cup southern Africa title were in the team that beat Namibia 1-0 in Harare, but lost 5-4 on penalties. The shootout was triggered by an aggregate deadlock after Namibia won the first leg of the second round qualifier 1-0 in Windhoek last weekend. Namibia converted all five spot-kicks, but Zimbabwe goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo had his saved to cost the "Warriors" the tie. Prince Dube scored the only goal on 39 minutes at the National Sports Stadium, cancelling the first-leg advantage Namibia gained through...
(Voice of America 07/22/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lashed out Friday against factions in his party angling to take over from him, saying they have no backing. The 93-year-old spoke at a rally in Lupane, about 600 kilometers southwest of Harare - as part of his effort to recruit young people to support him in next year's elections. It was the first time Mugabe spoke in public since returning from Singapore, where he went earlier this month to seek medical treatment for the third time this year. Mugabe did not mention his health in his speech. Instead, he attacked the opposition, accusing it of having nothing to offer Zimbabweans, and vowed he would win next year’s election. He then turned to his own Zanu...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
A trophy hunter in Zimbabwe has shot dead a cub of Cecil the lion whose death in 2015 caused worldwide outrage, researchers tracking the pride confirmed Friday. Xanda, a six-year-old lion fitted with a radio collar, was killed on July 7 in northwest Zimbabwe, close to where US dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil with a high-powered bow and arrow two years ago. "Xanda was shot by a trophy hunter on a legally sanctioned hunt in a hunting area outside Hwange National Park," Andrew Loveridge from Oxford University's zoology department told AFP. "As researchers we are saddened to lose a well-known study animal we have monitored since birth." In 2015, Cecil's killing triggered fierce controversy as he was a popular attraction...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/21/17)
A Zimbabwean farmers' union leader warned white South African farmers they should agree a deal to share land with the black majority before they suffer the same fate as neighbors in Zimbabwe who were violently removed from their properties. Land redistribution is a burning political issue in South Africa and has divided the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of a December conference where President Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader will be chosen. Many Zuma supporters are demanding land expropriation from whites without compensation, while the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), an increasingly popular four-year-old party, has told South Africans to occupy unused land illegally. Although Zuma has said any land reform will be done sensibly and within the...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
Zimbabwe's economy will grow by 3.7 percent in 2017, the finance minister said on Thursday, despite a public sector wage bill devouring much of the government's expenditure. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said that growth would be boosted by the farming sector, which is forecast to grow by 21.3 percent this year, along with mining which will grow by 5.1 percent. He said tax revenues are expected to total $3.7 billion (3.2 billion euros) for the year -- but warned that the soaring public sector jobs bill left little for capital expenditure. "The overall employment costs for 2016 remained unsustainably high at $3.21 billion accounting for 91.7 percent of total revenue," he said. "The level of the wage bill continues to...
(News Day 07/20/17)
President Robert Mugabe has ordered the ruling Zanu PF to start preparing for next year’s harmonised elections now, an indication the party could be plotting going for early elections. Party secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo told journalists after a politburo meeting last night that Mugabe urged the party to unite and start working now. “The President said preparations for next year’s harmonised election should start now in earnest with party unity and organising people to register to vote,” he said. Chombo said Mugabe urged party leaders to start educating supporters on biometric voter registration and polling station based voting. He said the party’s political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere reported on the Chiwundura by-election victory and an Afrobarometer report that Zanu PF...
(News Day 07/20/17)
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has now injected $175 million worth of bond notes in the market, as cash shortages are pushing the central bank to draw on the Afreximbank-backed surrogate currency. This amount reflects a $15 million increase in the bond notes injected into the market from $160 million that was reported at the end of June. RBZ governor, John Mangudya told journalists on the sidelines of the official opening of the Grant Thornton headquarters in Harare on Tuesday evening that according to their books, there should be sufficient amounts of cash in the economy. “We have $175 million of bond notes and, as to our estimates, we have about $600 million of currency under the multicurrency, which...
(News Day 07/20/17)
President Robert Mugabe’s political dynasty seems to be growing with each passing day, amid claims that his son-in-law, Simba Chikore, is eyeing a parliamentary seat in Makoni North constituency, Manicaland province. Chikore is married to Mugabe’s only daughter, Bona, and was early this year appointed as Air Zimbabwe chief operating officer. “There is a lot of activity especially in and around his home area of Chikore,” a source who spoke on condition of anonymity said. “Earthmoving equipment moved in two weeks ago and rehabilitated roads. “Chikore has also sunk boreholes in the area, as he prepares for his campaign.” Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairman, Samuel Undenge, was unavailable for comment yesterday, but the party’s provincial administration, Kenneth Saruchera dismissed Chikore’s...
(BBC News Africa 07/20/17)
Two years after Cecil the lion was killed by a trophy-hunter in Zimbabwe, prompting global outrage, his son has met a similar sad end. Xanda, a six-year-old lion with several young cubs, was reportedly shot on a trophy hunt. He died just outside the Hwange National Park in north-west Zimbabwe. News of the lion's death emerged because he had been fitted with an electronic tracking collar by researchers.

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