Wednesday 20 September 2017
(News Day 07/20/17)
The government is in the process of releasing one million hectares of land for gold mining purposes in all the country’s provinces to boost the mineral’s production. Addressing delegates at the Women in Mining breakfast meeting in Bulawayo yesterday at the on-going Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) Expo, Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation president, Aplonia Munzverengwi said the government was in the process of releasing one million hectares of land for gold mining purposes. “We want to have more women miners in all our regions,” she said. “I am urging women to go in because there are opportunities right now in chrome and gold mining. “So because of the release of the one million hectares of land, let’s go for it...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Zimbabwe’s capital city plans to raise a $100 million bond this year to finance the building of new homes and end a decades-long housing shortage, its mayor said. The capital, Harare, has “outgrown itself and the population has grown beyond the city’s initial designs,” mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said Tuesday in an interview. An original plan to obtain $150 million through the central government became “entangled in politics,” he said, without elaborating. “Now we’re looking at raising $100 million through a bond, which will definitely happen this year.” Harare is home to about 1.6 million people within its city limits, and some 2.8 million in the greater metropolitan area -- a figure that’s slightly less than a quarter of the southern...
(APA 07/19/17)
The Zimbabwean government on Wednesday banned all maize imports and suspended the issuance or renewal of import licences for maize with immediate effect following a bumper harvest during the 2016/17 farming season. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that cabinet has directed his ministry to stop all maize imports and shelve the issuance or renewal of import licences forthwith. He said the decision to suspend the imports was arrived at after a review of the state of maize deliveries at Grain Marketing Board depots countrywide. Zimbabwe is expecting a bumper harvest of the staple maize. No official estimates have been given so far. The bumper harvest comes a year after the country faced serious problems...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said Tuesday it requires 274 million U.S. dollars to conduct national elections set for mid 2018. The electoral body has begun preparations for next year's polls with voter registration expected to start soon and end in December. "A consolidated budget requirement has since been submitted to Treasury for funding in the sum of 274 million dollars," ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau told a parliamentary committee. Makarau said the funding will enable ZEC to procure all election materials necessary and to pay all allowances necessary to ensure a successful voter registration exercise as well as free and fair election. She urged political parties and civic organizations to start voter education
(New Zimbabwe 07/18/17)
Informal food vendors and small restaurants in the capital continue to use Expanded Polystyrene or kaylites for food packaging in spite of a government ban announced last week. A snap survey conducted by this publication in down-town Harare revealed that while large retail shops such as OK Zimbabwe, TM and Food World had come up with replacements, the it was business as usual for informal food vendors and small takeaways, which continued to use the banned kaylites. "I could not think of any immediate replacement and there was no way I could have stopped preparing food because that is my only source of livelihood. "Besides, I had bought the kaylites in bulk and I can't just throw them away," said...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
Zimbabwe's electoral body said Tuesday it is well prepared to hold elections set for mid 2018 and voter education is due to start soon. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau told a parliamentary committee that it will soon start countrywide voter education which will pave way for biometric voter registration exercise to be completed by December. "We must complete voter registration by December 2017 for us to be able to hold elections on any date in 2018. It is the prerogative of the president to call for an election date but we stand ready to hold the elections," Makarau said. She appealed to political parties that will contest in next year's polls as well as civil society organizations to...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
In-form Zimbabwe surrendered a nine-year unbeaten record in African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying when losing 1-0 to rusty Namibia in Windhoek Sunday. Since debuting in qualifiers for the biennial competition, Zimbabwe had won 11 matches and drawn five with their first victims being Namibia. But the four-time competitors in the finals now face a fight for survival at the National Sports Stadium in Harare next Sunday against rivals who have never played at the 16-nation tournament. Hendrik Somaeb scored the only goal early in the second half at a stadium named afer Sam Nujoma, a former revolutionary and the first ruler of the southern African state. It was a remarkable achievement by the "Brave Warriors" given that there has been...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned home on Saturday after medical treatment in Singapore, the state broadcaster said, putting to rest speculation over the 93-year-old's whereabouts. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Mugabe, who left for Singapore last Saturday, "had eye surgery in the Asian country a few years ago" and had returned for a "routine medical check-up". This week's trip there is Mugabe's third there this year. Public hospitals in Zimbabwe often suffer from chronic shortages of drugs and staff as the economy has struggled to rebound following years of mismanagement. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party was forced to postpone a rally on Friday at which he was due to address supporters
(Voice of America 07/15/17)
Zimbabwe’s Environment Management Agency has ordered the food industry to stop using containers made of expanded polystyrene and replace them with recyclable or biodegradable ones. The agency recommends restaurants use paper packaging or encourage patrons to partake of their food on site. The ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) went into effect immediately, upsetting business owners left with unused stocks. “I think this is quite unfair,” said Denford Mutashu, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers.
(AFP (eng) 07/15/17)
Upul Tharanga hit a brisk half-century to lead a strong Sri Lankan reply to Zimbabwe's first innings 356 on the second day of the one-off Test on Saturday. Sri Lanka were 77-0 at lunch with Tharanga on 53 and Dimuth Karunaratne on 23. The hosts still trail Zimbabwe by 279 runs. Tharanga, who registered his seventh Test fifty, smashed seven fours and a six. Earlier Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath claimed his fifth wicket as the visitors lasted just 4.4 overs of the morning session. Overnight centurion Craig Ervine was the last man out for 160. Zimbabwe resumed on 344-8 with the Ervine and Donald Tiripano battling on. Herath ended a stubborn 74-run stand for the ninth wicket with Tiripano...
(The Financial Gazette 07/14/17)
Government's introduction of bond notes last year to address a relentless cash crisis fuelled a currency black market, which had been subdued due to a multiple currency regime, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated. Bond notes, described by government and the central bank as a surrogate of the United States (US) dollar and backed by a $200 million facility from the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank), have largely been viewed as a return of the Zimbabwe dollar, abandoned in 2009 after being decimated by hyperinflation. Introduced in November last year, bond notes -- one of several government interventions meant to inject liquidity into the cash-starved economy -- have already seen the return of inflationary pressure in the economy...
(New Zimbabwe 07/14/17)
Harare lawyer and opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Tendai Biti, has confirmed that a Constitutional Court challenge is underway against the refusal by electoral authorities to allow diaspora voting. The former finance minister said they would also challenge the proof of residence requirement during voter registration which has been imposed by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau this week stated that exiled Zimbabweans would not be able to vote in the countries where they are based. She said those keen to vote in next year's elections must travel to Zimbabwe twice; first to register and then return to cast their ballots when the election is called. The proof of residence requirement has also been condemned with opposition...
(The Financial Gazette 07/14/17)
Zimbabwe now seeks to use gold proceeds to secure a loan to clear debt arrears with multilateral lenders, as its $1,8 billion debt clearance plan appears to lose momentum. Initially, in terms of the October 2015 debt plan, endorsed in Lima, Peru, by international creditors, Zimbabwe sought to secure close to $900 million from Algeria. This plan has fallen through and Harare is pursuing a gold-backed loan from various potential sources, including commodity firm Trafigura. Trafigura has interests in Zimbabwe's petroleum sector and its associate, Sakunda Holdings, funded a $190 million government maize production scheme in 2016. This year, Sakunda is leading a $487 million effort to fund grain production in the 2016/17 farming season. Government has not published details...
(New Zimbabwe 07/14/17)
Harare — Earning a monthly wage of $250, 38-year-old Shylet Rukweza has always wanted all her money at once as her landlord demands a cash payment of 150 dollars for her monthly accommodation rent. Despite the cash shortages, Rukweza's predicament is weighing down on this southern African nation, where banks limit weekly withdrawal of cash to as little as $50 amid the country's deepening liquidity crisis. But she (Rukweza), a single mother of one, has been quick to find a solution with the country's rising illegal currency traders dotting street pavements across towns and cities. The currency dealers with direct links to officials in the banks, where they easily withdraw hard cash through underhand dealings, charge her 15 percent interest...
(Lusaka Times 07/14/17)
Visiting Zimbabwean Minister for Mashonaland, Martin Dihna says he has not seen any sign of breakdown in the governance of Zambia. Dr. Dihna says measures put in place by the Zambian government to enhance peace in the country should be upheld. The Zimbabwean Minister said this in Lusaka today when he met with Lusaka Province Minister, Japhen Mwakalombe at his office. The two Ministers met for bilateral discussions on the twinning of Lusaka and Mashonaland Central Provinces. And Mr. Mwakalombe said Zambia remains stable and that its citizens are going on with their normal businesses. He also said the visit by the Zimbabwean delegation is an indication that there is peace in Zambia. The establishment of a twinning relationship between...
(Voice of America 07/13/17)
Zimbabwean police Wednesday clashed with hundreds of opposition protesters calling for electoral reforms before next year's polls. Zimbabwe’s capital city came to a standstill for about four hours Wednesday as opposition protesters conducted running battles with police. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators, who were lobbing stones and even pieces of fruit they grabbed from street vendors. VOA saw police kick or beat at least 20 protesters with batons before arresting them. Police said the protest had not been sanctioned, as required by law.

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