Week 11

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

If you empower a woman, you develop a nation


As the saying goes, if you empower a woman, you develop a nation.  In the words of Kofi Annan, “the empowerment of women is the most effective tool for development.” When their earnings increase, women are more likely to take care of their families, they are more likely to use the income in a way that makes sense and send their children to school. 


Generate own revenue, RDCs urged

 Local Government and Public Works minister Winston Chitando made the call while addressing chief executive officers and chairpersons from 60 RDCs in Zimbabwe during an annual general meeting held in Bulawayo last week.  

THE government has urged rural district councils (RDCs) to find more ways of increasing revenue generation to improve service delivery instead of solely relying on rates. 


Zimbabwe: US condemns deportation of aid workers – BBC News

The US has accused Zimbabwe of harassing, detaining, and deporting several of its nationals who were in the country as aid workers. 

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said government officials and contractors had been “verbally and physically” intimidated. 

They were there to “support civic participation, democratic institutions and human rights”, the agency added. 

But Zimbabwe’s commitment to democratic reform was “hollow”, it said. 

The Zimbabwean government has not yet commented on USAID’s allegations. 


Zimparks, IFAW pour US$450k into community development | The Sunday News (state owned)

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has mobilised US$450  000 for different community engagement programmes aimed at promoting awareness and empowerment to break the cycle of poverty-induced poaching by communities close to animal sanctuaries. 

The money has been channeled towards different community engagement projects while 10 schools from Hwange and Tsholotsho districts were gifted with 100 bicycles and 500 textbooks on Thursday. The bicycles and textbooks donation is aimed at meeting the needs of children who are future conservation champions.  


Forex retention: Farmers sing blues

The farming town of Karoi, Mashonaland West province, will soon be a hive of activity as the tobacco selling season kick-starts. 

The Zimbabwe Tobacco Growers Association (ZiToGA) in a statement highlighted the need for action to help struggling farmers so that the industry remains viable. 

‘‘The issue of forex retention which was pegged at 75% forex and 25% local currency will negatively affect the profitability of the farming business to the ordinary growers as most if not all production costs are in United States dollars,” read part of the statement.  


Govt intervenes in Bulawayo water crisis

Government has pledged to assist Bulawayo City Council (BCC) ease the city’s unrelenting acute water shortages. Late last month, government gave BCC ZWL$7 billion to push such water projects as the Glass Block Dam and Nyamandlovu aquifer, some of the sources of raw water for the city. 

Addressing journalists in Bulawayo this week, Local Government minister Winston Chitando said government was fully committed to addressing Bulawayo’s water crisis. 

“The short-term measure to address the water situation in Bulawayo, firstly is the security arrangements at Nyamandlovu that will be implemented. There is need to source for the US$14m required and BCC has a number of partners to participate in funding the project-we will assist the city to get foreign currency to address the water situation in the short-term period,” said Chitando. 

Bulawayo Mayor David Coltart confirmed that the local authority received the money but is facing challenges in securing foreign currency. 


Devex Newswire: ‘Grave’ accusations fly between USAID and Zimbabwe | Devex

A war of words — including charges of forced deportations and election interference — has erupted between USAID and Zimbabwe. 

On Friday, USAID Administrator Samantha Power issued a scathing statement blasting Zimbabwe for allegedly intimidating, harassing, and expelling USAID staffers and contractors, calling it a “grave” development. She accused Zimbabwean authorities of “subjecting some of them to overnight detention, transportation in unsafe conditions, prolonged interrogation, seizure of and intrusion into personal electronic equipment, and forced deportation.” 

But Zimbabwe’s ambassador lobbed plenty of his own accusations, claiming the agency was interfering in his country’s democracy and calling USAID’s human rights and governance work a “gross violation” of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.


New UK visa rules hit hard The Herald (state owned)

The United Kingdom’s Home Office has implemented new visa rules that ban overseas care workers and most overseas students from bringing dependant family members to the country. 

The measures were put in place on Monday, with the UK Home Office saying there was a “disproportionate” situation where 120 000 dependants accompanied 100 000 workers on the care visa route last year. 

These measures are set to affect Zimbabweans who are already in the UK and those who are planning on going with their families. 


Matabeleland villagers appeal for govt intervention

Villagers in Matabeleland region are appealing to the government to immediately intervene and save them from starvation as the food crisis reaches alarming levels. 

Several villagers have already lost livestock due to the  El Niño-induced drought. 

About three million people in Zimbabwe are in dire need of food assistance. 


Unilateral sanctions are NOT illegal

The same right applies to the US. If they do not want Mnangagwa and his wife to set foot on their soil or to do any business with them, then they are free to do so. 

No one who understands international law will ever classify that as ‘illegal’. 

There is nowhere in international law where these measures are mandated as only coming from the UN Security Council.  

Again, I repeat, every sovereign nation under the sun has the right to choose with whom they want or do not want to have relations.  


The Myth of Zimbabwe’s Sovereignty

Zimbabwe, a once-promising nation held high on a pedestal of African independence, now finds itself trapped in the clutches of foreign powers. As the government boasts of its sovereignty to the West, it conveniently overlooks its subservient relationship with China and Russia. 

These nations, no different from their Western counterparts in the pursuit of their own interests, have exploited Zimbabwe’s desperate need for economic and political support, compromising its autonomy and development. Here’s the government’s hypocrisy and the consequences of its partnership with these foreign powers. 


Call for women affected by Gukurahundi to speak out The Herald (state owned)

Women affected by the Gukurahundi conflict have been encouraged by Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube to come out in the open and use the forthcoming public hearings to tell their stories to find closure and aid the national healing process. 

President Mnangagwa is expected to launch the public hearings soon. The public hearings, which will be led by chiefs in their communities, are aimed at addressing the legacy concerns of the early 1980s conflict that affected the Matabeleland region and parts of the Midlands Province.


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