Week 18

Wekelijkse selectie van nieuws uit Zimbabwe

Price spikes spook consumers

As of yesterday, the local currency was trading between $1 800 and $2 100 to the greenback on the black market against the official rate of $1 021. 

The majority of workers earn in local currency, which they have to sell on the black market to obtain the greenback to make purchases. 

The US dollar is hardly available on the official market. 

A snap survey by NewsDay yesterday revealed that prices of basic commodities have significantly shot up since the weekend, with retailers pegging their products at double the official exchange rate. 

A 2kg packet of brown sugar is now retailing for $4 264 (US$3, 28) from $3 280, while a standard loaf is now pegged at $1 430 (US$1,10) from $1 200 and a 2kg packet of rice is now costing $11 199 from $6 199. 


Ncube claims credit for Cowdray Park clinic

FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube has been exposed for hijacking a clinic in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park, claiming to have facilitated its construction as part of his election campaign. 

Ncube is eyeing the constituency on a Zanu PF ticket, the first time the technocrat is contesting an election in the country.  The Finance minister has promised various infrastructural projects in the sprawling constituency, including roads, clinics as well as free WiFi access. His campaign team has been offering free driving lessons to youths in the suburb. 

One of his campaign posters has a picture of a clinic which is being built through taxpayers’ money, it has emerged. 

The clinic is part of the five 60-bed district hospitals and 30 20-bed health centres being built by a United Kingdom-based firm NMS through a $210 million Zimbabwe Rural Healthcare Facilities Programme. “Great visit to a hospital the UK’s NMS is building in Bulawayo, before going to ZITF. Work on the Cowdray Park facility started in 2022, one of 35 hospitals and clinics being expertly built here by NMS. Proud of this shared investment in providing better healthcare to Zimbabweans,” British ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson posted on Twitter exposing Ncube’s lies. 


Chinese steel plant now 60% complete

THE US$1,5 billion steel plant being constructed in Mvuma, 200km south of Harare, by the Chinese giant, Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco), is now 60% complete, NewsDay Business heard yesterday.

Construction of the steel plant, which is touted as Africa’s biggest integrated steelworks, began last year. Project manager Wilfred Motsi told NewsDay Business in an interview that construction work was at an advanced stage way ahead of schedule.

“Construction works are at 60% towards completion of the plant and we are anticipating to kick-start production from October to November this year,” Motsi said.

At the completion of the first phase, the plant will produce 1 200 million tonnes of carbon steel.


Ncube takes Zim economic charm offensive on investment to London

IN a bid to pluck out Zimbabwe from international economic isolation and attendant regression, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube this week led a high-powered delegation of local business executives to a capital markets conference in London, one of the financial hubs of the world. Ncube told two related events at the London Stock Exchange and Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the British capital that Zimbabwe, which has been reeling under economic crisis for over two decades, is on course to fix the economy and reclaim its place in the progressive community of nations. 

 “Image building, international engagement, and re-engagement: The advent of the Second Republic ushered in a strategic opportunity to improve the country’s image and international relations,” he said. 


Pamper us some more, chief tells govt

ONE of the country’s traditional leaders has told government to give them more freebies for them to earn respect from their subjects. 

The new demands come hardly a month after President Emerson Mnangagwa promised to hand over top-of-the-range cars to the chiefs in a gesture he said was meant to make sure that they help Zanu PF win elections later this year. 

However, Chief Svosve of Hwedza said traditional leaders deserved more. 

“We have MPs (Members of Parliament) given cars to work with so why should we not be given cars, loans and seating allowances,” Svosve told NewsDay on the sidelines of an agriculture field day in Hwedza on Thursday. 


San community to get game meat: Govt

GOVERNMENT has finally heeded the call by the San community to give them game meat for relish in line with their culture. The San used to reside in the Hwange National Park area in the 1920s surviving on game meat, but were relocated by the colonial government. 

They have been begging government for rights to hunt. 

Christopher Dube, also known as Tsholotsho San Chief Goledema, said government accepted their request. “We are grateful to the government. We have been granted game meat as per our request for a long time. We used to hunt for game meat for cultural purposes, but due to the new set-up, we are no longer allowed to do so,” Chief Goledema said. 


Masvingo District Faces A Water Crisis

Serious water shortages have hit communities in Masvingo central wards 16 and 18. This has been necessitated by the breakdown of the few existing boreholes and the failure to repair the boreholes by the Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC). This has left the villagers without an option, but to resort to unsafe water sources. There is fear of an outbreak of waterborne diseases if this is not addressed urgently. This plight was brought to the attention of Ward Councillors Dhemba and Tandandi by Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) community members for the respective wards. The ward councillors promised to request the Masvingo RDC to prioritize the rehabilitation of the broken-down boreholes and to channel the 2023 devolution funds towards the drilling of more boreholes to alleviate the situation. Water is a basic human right provided for in section 77 of the constitution of Zimbabwe 


63rd Zimbabwe International Trade Fair gets underway in Bulawayo

Exhibition organisers announce reduced entry fees for public days Friday and Saturday.

BULAWAYO – The 63rd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) got underway at its traditional Bulawayo venue on Tuesday, with international and local exhibitors riding on the showcase to reach new markets. 

ZITF officials said 600 exhibitors have set up stall, including foreign embassies. 

The theme for the fair is “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness.” 


Malaria cases fall 67%: Govt

THE Health and Child Care ministry says malaria cases have been significantly declining since 2020.

“Zimbabwe celebrates a significant decline in malaria cases and deaths as malaria cases have declined by 68,6% from 447 381 cases in 2020 to 140 170 in 2022 and deaths declined by nearly 55,5% from 400… in 2020 to 178 in 2022,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Even though Zimbabwe recorded a decrease in malaria cases, now more than ever we need to double our efforts to reach out to all vulnerable populations in need of services to end malaria.”

Since the beginning of the year 59 people have succumbed to malaria, while 4 113 new cases have been recorded across the country.

Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world to celebrate World Malaria Day on Tuesday, 25 April. The commemorations were held under the theme: Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate and implement.


WFP disburses US$2,1m in cash transfers to needy

THE World Food Programme (WFP) says a total of US$2,1 million in cash-based transfers was disbursed to distressed people between July and December last year. 

Climate-related hazards, including droughts, prolonged mid-season dry spells, flash floods, cyclones, pests and diseases have negatively affected vulnerable people in Zimbabwe. 

In its recent annual country report, WFP said it continued to strengthen its partnerships with government and various players to advance Sustainable Development Goal policies. 

“US$2 096 821 in cash-based transfers were disbursed to distressed people. Of the 674 358 people assisted, 48% were men and 52% were women,” WFP said. 

The rural Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report co-ordinated by the Food and Nutrition Council indicated that 38% of the rural population would be cereal insecure during the peak lean season (January-March 2023). 


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