Week 18

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

ZITF exhibitors increase by 35%

THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) recorded a 35% increase in exhibition uptake compared to the same period in the prior year due to increased interest in the fair.

Last week saw the hosting of the 64th edition of ZITF which ran from April 23 to 27 under the theme, Innovation: The Catalyst to Industrialisation and Trade.

In a statement yesterday, ZITF Company said the exhibition uptake for this year was impressive.

“The exhibition uptake was impressive, with a 35% increase in the number of exhibitors, totalling 766 (compared to 565 in 2023).

“The 766 exhibitors were 471 direct exhibitors and 295 indirect exhibitors (individual exhibitors who exhibit under the banner of a country pavilion, holding company or partner organisation,” ZITF said.

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Shops face closure over ZiG

VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga yesterday warned currency speculators and singled out the retail sector, threatening to shut down supermarkets if they are suspected of sabotaging the new Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency.

Officially opening the international business conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, Chiwenga said ZiG was here to stay.

“ZiG is there to stay forever,” Chiwenga said.

“The new currency will, therefore, not be subject to exchange rate volatility or manipulation by speculators.

“So, speculators somewhere [wherever you are] jumping around trying to play around in the supermarkets, we know [you]. Behave or you get shut down or we will lock you [up]. Two things.”

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Crocodiles, elephants and lions wreak havoc in Hwange

Wild animals, especially crocodiles, elephants and lions continue to cause havoc in Hwange district where they have killed cattle and destroyed property.

Chief Dingani Nelukoba of Mabale said two days ago a pride killed two cows behind his homesteads in broad daylight as a herd of cattle was being driven to drink water at a nearby dam.

Chief Wange said he lost two beasts to crocodiles at Deka River which is the only source of water for livestock in the wake of a dry season.

A village in Mabale also lost some cattle to the marauding big cats recently.

Many villagers have resorted to herding their cattle near homesteads in fear of losing them.

Two months ago villagers said about 50 cattle were killed in Mabale alone as lions have turned the community into a hunting ground.

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Fiscal discipline key for ZiG stability

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) says fiscal discipline and citizen participation are key factors in stabilising the recently introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) recently launched the ZiG and scrapped the Zimdollar after it had significantly depreciated over the past few months. In the first quarter of the year alone, the Zimdollar depreciated by more than 260%.

ZiG has already been received with scepticism by Zimbabweans with many believing its value will soon be decimated by the continued demand for the US dollar, now commonly used by citizens as a store of value to hedge against inflation.

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‘Dearth of opposition politics kills democratic discourse’

The death of the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) with the ruling Zanu PF party claiming all seats post-August 2023 harmonised elections is threatening the democratic discourse in Zimbabwe, analysts have said.

In various interviews, political commentators and actors this week bemoaned the country’s gravitation towards a one-party State.

Zanu PF is seemingly devouring the opposition parties since the general elections last year dominating by-elections held since December last year.

The Zimbabwean electorate has been left disillusioned by the political turmoil after self-imposed CCC interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu recalled more than 20 opposition legislators, virtually aiding Zanu PF towards a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

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Chiefs terrorising subjects: Report

A leading peace and reconciliation organisation has called for the alignment of the Traditional Leaders Act to the Constitution to whip chiefs into line after they were flagged for corruption and human rights violations, among other misdemeanours.

In its latest report titled Traditional Leaders in Zimbabwe Balancing Culture, Development and Democracy, Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) said chiefs were deviating from their mandate.

“Some traditional leaders have been accused of accepting bribes, abusing their power, violating the rights of their subjects and discriminating against women and youths in their roles and activities,” the report noted.

“For example, some traditional leaders have been reported to demand payment from villagers for accessing basic services, such as water, health and education. Some have also been implicated in cases of forced evictions, torture and murder of suspected opposition supporters or dissenters.

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Fish farming project transforms lives

Magaya Farming Group members in Gwanda District have started harvesting their first-ever batch of fish under a project that is set to transform their lives.

The farmers from Magaya Village in Ward 17 embarked on the fish farming project in October last year. They partnered with Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust which assisted the farmers with some resources to establish the project.

The farmers seeded 5 000 fingerlings in October. They mobilised resources to buy 3 500 fingerlings and the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust chipped in with 1 500. The members constructed a fish pond and engaged the trust which assisted them in pumping water into the fish pond. 

The farmers were also capacitated with knowledge on how to produce fish. The vice chairperson of the group, Mr Daniel Siziba said they have so far harvested about 600 fish from the pond.

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Legislators left fuming after RBZ boss dodges parliament

Central bank chief faces grilling over devaluing ZiG currency on the parallel market.

Legislators were left fuming on Monday after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mushayavanhu failed to appear before joint portfolio committees on budget and industry to explain the emerging rate decline in the new ZiG currency.

Mushayavanhu was summoned to appear before parliament alongside finance minister Mthuli Ncube.

But while Ncube could not make it to parliament because of delays in his travel arrangements from Washington, the governor also told the committees that he had other engagements.

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ED’s unfulfilled promises haunt civil servants

CIVIL servants are wallowing in poverty and financial despair, a result of unfulfilled promises by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, the NewsDay can report.

The government employees are struggling to survive on meagre  salaries that have been ravaged by inflation.

Their representatives painted a gloomy picture as Zimbabweans prepare to join the world in commemorating the Workers Day tomorrow. They lamented government’s unfulfilled promises including provision of solar systems and 500 000 housing units as part of their non-monetary benefits.

The government also pledged to pay the employees a living wage among other commitments.

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Women reflect on the empowerment opportunities

As the country celebrated 44 years of independence last week, women in leadership positions in Matabeleland South Province took time to reflect on the revolutionary gains which have brought them economic and social emancipation.

When the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe sacrificed their lives for the country’s independence, their blood ushered in an opportunity for women. Before Independence women were subjected to menial domestic jobs in kitchens and farms. 

Government under the Second Republic has introduced policies and programmes aimed at empowering women. Most of the women are now occupying key decision-making positions in Government, and the corporate sector such as mining, business, agriculture, manufacturing, education, health, and tourism among others.

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Zimbabwe’s ZiG wipes out 330% stocks rally

Zimbabwe’s new currency has wiped out a more than 330% gain on the stock market this year, leaving investors dealing with the fallout.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange All Share Index fell 99.95% since the introduction of ZiG, short for Zimbabwe Gold, on April 5.

The gold-backed ZiG succeeded the Zimbabwean dollar, which had lost 80% of its value this year.

The volume of trades and value of transactions have also plunged as share prices were converted from the old currency to the new.

Prior to the conversion, investors piled into stocks as they sought refuge from the local dollar’s collapse and surging inflation that in March stood at a seven-month high of 55.3%.

The bourse offers one of the few investment options in the southern African nation for investors to hedge against exchange-rate volatility and inflation.

However, a surge in stocks usually is a cause for concern and not jubilation, as it signals that the next currency crisis is around the corner.

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Zim exports uncompetitive: ZimTrade

Zimbabwe has a competitiveness gap, with exports into the region costing 15% to 30% more than those of its competitors, according to ZimTrade, the country’s trade development and export promotion organisation.

Speaking during a panel discussion on the second day of the Regional Conference on Factoring and Receivables Finance and Credit Insurance in Southern Africa yesterday, ZimTrade export development manager Tatenda Marume said exports into the region were not competitive.

The two-day conference was organised by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Netherlands-based factoring centre, FCI academy.

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