Week 16

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Zimbabwe launches new gold-backed currency – ZiG

Zimbabwe has introduced a new gold-backed currency called ZiG – the name stands for “Zimbabwe Gold”.

It is the latest attempt to stabilise an economy that has lurched from crisis to crisis for the past 25 years.

Unveiling the new notes, central bank governor John Mushayavanhu said the ZiG would be structured and set at a market-determined exchange rate.

The ZiG replaces a Zimbabwean dollar, the RTGS, that had lost three-quarters of its value so far this year.

Annual inflation in March reached 55% – a seven-month high.

Zimbabweans have 21 days to exchange old, inflation-hit notes for the new currency.

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Govt, teachers square off over holiday lessons…No law criminalises the act, teachers argue

Teachers across  Zimbabwe have defied a government threat against educators conducting holiday lessons insisting that the practice is above board as there is no law prohibiting such.

This comes as some schools, including one run by the police, are conducting holiday lessons for examination classes.

Government recently banned schools from conducting lessons during the holiday in a circular dated March 25, 2024 saying pupils required a break because learning during the first term was uninterrupted.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro told NewsDay that 0,001% of schools were in defiance of government’s directive not to conduct holiday lessons.

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Zimbabwe’s potential charms European countries

Zimbabwe has vast potential in tourism, diamond production and beneficiation, with critical infrastructure to support investment, envoys from European countries that presented their credentials to President Mnangagwa yesterday have said.

Ambassadors from Belgium, Bulgaria and Cyprus said they would use their time in Zimbabwe to advance economic and political cooperation with Harare.

In separate interviews after their closed-door meetings with the President at State house, the ambassadors pledged to increase cooperation with Zimbabwe in various areas, including education and mining.

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Q&A: What you need to know about structured currency

What exactly is a “structured currency”? How will it be different from the current Zimbabwean dollar? What commodity will the structured currency be linked to? How will this link be established and maintained?

How will the structured currency be rolled out? What does this mean for the ordinary consumer and businesses?

Will the structured currency be used alongside the other legal tenders in Zimbabwe? How will the central bank manage the co-circulation of the new structured currency with the US dollar in the dual currency regime?

How will the people in the rural areas be made aware of the structured currency?

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Parched Hwange finds hope in rainwater tanks

Most rural Zimbabweans are facing acute water shortages for both domestic use and agriculture.

The unrelenting sun beats down on sixty-five-year-old Constance Ndaba as she casts a hopeful glance towards a large white jar tank brimming with water.

Normally, March wouldn’t feel like a scorching October, but heatwaves are gripping the country, sucking the moisture from the earth.

Previously, a two-kilometre trek awaited her to the nearest borehole after the one near her home dried up.

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Cowdray Park residents face health risks from overflowing blair toilets

Residents in Ward 6 of Cowdray Park have raised health concerns over overflowing blair toilets.

These concerns come amidst a nationwide battle to contain a cholera outbreak.

CITE spoke to Kholwani Mtuliki, a member of the Ward Development Committee, who expressed his worry about the residents’ health and well-being due to the poor sewage system.

“We’ve been living here since around 2013 without sewer connections in our homes,” Mtuliki explained. “We’ve been relying on Blair toilets, which are now full. We’ve contacted the city council on multiple occasions to request that their machinery come and empty them, but to no avail.”

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Local currency to anchor economic stability, growth

Sustainable economic development can only be achieved through the use of a local currency which will stimulate growth and guarantee stability, President Mnangagwa has said.

This follows last week’s introduction of the gold and other precious minerals-backed ZiG currency by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

Addressing the 374th session of the Politburo at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa, who is also the ruling party’s First Secretary, said Zimbabweans must embrace and defend the new currency, safeguarding it against machinations of the country’s detractors.

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Mnangagwa insists Zim has enough food

Mnangagwa early this month declared the drought  a national disaster and revealed that the country needed about US$2 billion to avert starvation.

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says his government will ensure that there is enough grain in the country to avert starvation due to the drought.

Up to five million Zimbabweans are said to be food insecure, according to food monitoring agencies.

Addressing delegates during the 122nd ordinary session of the central committee meeting at Zanu PF headquarters in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa ordered ruling party officials to take part in identifying hungry citizens.

“As I stated in my recent declaration of a nationwide state of disaster due to the drought last week, our Zanu PF government will not let anyone starve,” Mnangagwa said.

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NPRC report: Lawmakers poke holes

However, MPs have torn into the report, saying it did little to resolve long-standing political conflict, while failing to mend the country’s polarised environment.

“The commission ought to have interrogated much more deeply the issue of negative peace and positive peace to ascertain whether the 2023 elections were peaceful or not. On page nine, the report applauds traditional leaders for promoting peace and [the report] fails to acknowledge the fact that traditional leaders were often abused and reduced to political commissars of the ruling party,” said CCC proportional representation MP for Harare, Gladys Hlatywayo.

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