Week 17

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Staggering 33 000 students drop out of school in Kwekwe District

The lead planner for the Zibagwe Rural District Council’s master plan, Johnson Mikuku has revealed concerning statistics about education in Kwekwe District, highlighting a drastic 46% dropout rate from primary to secondary education in 2022.

During a recent survey conducted by the town planners, Mikuku noted that although 44,000 students were enrolled in primary schools, in 2022 only 11,000 continued to secondary education.

“The question we need to ask is, where did the 33,000 go? They dropped out along the way,” Mikuku said, emphasizing the severity of the situation.


INDEPENDENCE DAY 18th April 2024

At a meeting in the early 1960s, it is said that nationalist Michael Mawema suggested the name Zimbabwe for the country.

He had also suggested other names such as Munhumutapa and Matopos, but Zimbabwe prevailed. Although Rhodesia did not become Zimbabwe for years to come, the renaming of the country, even just internally, was an important ingredient to reclaiming the land.

On the 18th of April 1980, Southern Rhodesia was formerly renamed Zimbabwe.

Today, we celebrate 44 years of independence from colonial rule.

Zim@44 : Unity, Peace and Development Towards Vision 2030


No place for Chamisa in our politics: Chiwenga

Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga has described popular opposition leader Nelson Chamisa as an immature and self-centred man who should be a goat herder.

Chamisa, who is followed by millions, threw the opposition into disarray when he left the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in a huff early this year which he formed two years ago.

In a 13-page statement, the 46-year-old lawyer and clergyman listed a litany of reasons why he was abandoning the party he had helped to form in 2022.

His main gripe was what he called “infiltration” of the CCC by the ruling Zanu PF party.


Matabeleland concerned over army recruitment

Several stakeholders in the Matabeleland region have expressed concern over the frequency of recruitment of soldiers when the nation is not at war.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared that Zimbabwe is at peace, but the Zimbabwe National Army recruited soldiers in various parts of the region.

In Mangwe the ZNA recruitment was conducted at St Francis High School on April 3 and 4, while  in Matobo it was done at Shashane High School on April 5 and 6.

Political analyst Effie Ncube said government should prioritise education, health, roads, job creation, water and sanitation and food security in its budgets.


“Maybe They Didn’t Advise Us Properly”, Mushayavanhu Blames World Bank For ZiG Shortcomings

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mushayavanhu has conceded that Zimbabwean authorities did not know much about structured currency and engaged a World Bank consultant before the launch of ZiG.

During a recent address to business executives, Mushayavanhu said he was not to blame for ZiG’s shortcomings as most of the input came from the World Bank official. He said:

 We didn’t know much about a structured currency. We got a consultant from the World Bank. A lot of the things you’re seeing about the structured currency actually came from the World Bank.

So, if you’re going to blame me, you’re actually blaming the World Bank. Maybe they didn’t advise us properly. And if they did not advise us properly, it’s fine. Let’s refine it.


Zim’s digital competence can match developed countries

Teachers’ digital literacy level and use of ICT in the learning process in Zimbabwe’s high schools has been rated as intermediate and comparable to some developed countries, a new study shows.

This comes as President Mnangagwa, in his address at the 44th Independence Day celebrations in Murambinda, said the rollout of science, technology and innovation, as drivers of the country’s modernisation and industrialisation under the Heritage Based Education 5.0 model, is yielding notable results.

The President said the training of teachers in digital skills, as part of the broader focus on re-skilling and up-skilling is being accelerated, with the country on course to ensure that all primary and secondary school learners throughout the country acquire technology and ICT-driven literacy by 2030.


‘There won’t be shortage of goods in shops’

Manufacturers and mainstream retail outlets have assured the nation that they are adequately stocked with goods and the currency switchover has not affected the production of foodstuffs and related products.

Both the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) said they are geared to provide the market with the required goods and they have so far not encountered any challenges.

The assurance comes in the wake of claims from some quarters that there has been panic buying arising from the currency switchover that might result in goods disappearing from shelves.


Vendors battle for space at ZITF grounds

ZITF officially opens for trading tomorrow with local entrepreneurs finding themselves facing an uphill battle against outsider dominance.  

Bulawayo businesspeople and vendors have bemoaned the dominance of businesses from outside the region at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF). 

ZITF officially opens for trading tomorrow with local entrepreneurs finding themselves facing an uphill battle against outsider dominance. 

In an interview with Southern Eye, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions western region chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said: “As the fair’s bookings overflow with names from beyond the region, the steep fees for bookings are a barrier to entry for home-grown ventures.” 

Sibindi, however, called on entrepreneurs to unite to voice their concerns. 


Zimbabwe Expects IMF Program in Third Quarter After Currency Changes

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Friday that a staff-monitored program with the International Monetary Fund would be delayed until the third quarter of 2024 after the country introduced a new currency, Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG).

An IMF program would be part of the southern African country’s efforts to re-engage with the international financial community by demonstrating a track record of sound economic policies.

Zimbabwe had said last year that it hoped to have a program agreed by April 2024, but that was delayed due to the introduction of the ZiG this month.


‘ZITF a beacon of Zim’s innovations’

Zimbabwe continues to promote and integrate technological advancements in various facets of commerce and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) stands out as a beacon of the country’s innovations and international cooperation, a senior official said.

This comes as the annual trade showcase roars into life today in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city Bulawayo, and runs until Saturday. The first three days will be business days while April 26 and 27, 2024 will be public days.

ZITF serves as a platform for showcasing products and technological innovations that can drive industrial and economic growth while allowing businesses and investors to meet and create profitable relationships.


Byo welcomes road rehabilitation projects

Bulawayo residents have hailed the local authority for embarking on an extensive road rehabilitation programme targeting major roads in the city centre.

Bulawayo’s major roads are in a sorry state prompting protests from residents.

The road rehabilitation programme consists of reconstruction, resurfacing, reinstating of carriageway marks and general maintenance.

In an interview yesterday, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association secretary for administration Thembelani Dube welcomed the road rehabilitation project.


Zimbabwe: Further information: Civil society under attack with new draft law

On 1 March, Zimbabwe’s government gazetted the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Amendment Bill 2024 to allegedly ‘curb money-laundering and financing of terrorism and to ensure that Non-Governmental Organisations do not undertake political lobbying.’ Following the President’s refusal to sign the PVO Amendment Bill 2021 and the subsequent lapse of the original Bill in August 2023, there was hope that the President had considered the submissions made by Civil Society Organisations in 2023. However, the new bill reflects that most of the issues raised were not addressed and it still contains provisions which will negatively impact civic space and threaten the continued existence and operations of Civil Society Organisations.


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