Week 20

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Govt in major Victoria Falls hospital upgrade

WORK to upgrade Victoria Falls Hospital in Matabeleland North from a 40-bed hospital to a state-of-the art health facility with more than 250 beds, is expected to start soon. 

Victoria Falls, the country’s tourism capital, was conferred with city status in 2019, hence the Government’s decision to upgrade its hospital to meet international standards. 

Architectural works for the upgrading of the hospital are expected to be completed within three weeks after which civil works start. 


Mnangagwa: Zimbabwe Will Hold Free, Fair And Credible Elections This Year

Speaking at a high-level debt resolution forum in Harare today, Mnangagwa said the government is putting in place all the necessary measures to ensure that the elections are free. 

Former Mozambican leader Joachaim Chissano and African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina told Mnangagwa and other participants that transparent elections are a pathway to Zimbabwe’s arrears and debt clearance program.  

Zimbabwe is saddled with a US$17,3 billion external debt and US$6 billion in arrears after failing over the years to pay its dues to the International Monetary Fund, Paris Club, World Bank and other international finance institutions. 


Victoria Falls Big Tree: A silent tourist attraction

VICTORIA Falls is Zimbabwe’s tourism capital and its story as a destination is not complete without mentioning the Big Tree, a silent tourist attraction. The Big Tree is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Victoria Falls.

Located along Zambezi Drive, about two kilometres from the Zambezi River bank, the Big Tree is estimated to be more than 1  200 years old, according to scientists who used radiocarbon dating to confirm its age in 2021.


Government Hospitals Now Death Traps – Parliament Told – Nurses Say Low Wages, Poor Working Conditions Forcing Them Out of Zimbabwe

Hospitals across the country have become death traps due to government’s failure to fund them, Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) officials have told Parliament.

This was revealed during a meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health Wednesday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) representatives in Harare said concerns raised by public health nurses are ignored by the government and as a result most of them are leaving the country for greener pastures.

ZINA Harare province chairperson Lucas Sharara said their grievances include meagre remuneration and poor working conditions.

“Why do our leaders go to Borrowdale Trauma Centre for medical services leaving our hospitals such as Harare and Parirenyatwa respectively? The good thing is we all die in the end.


Sweden disburses US$6m for child protection The Herald (state owned)

The Government is committed to addressing all forms of violence against children and ensure a conducive environment for their growth.

Sweden has been a long-term funding and technical partner to the Child Protection sector in Zimbabwe spanning a period of over 15 years.

In a speech read on his behalf at a signing ceremony of the SIDA grant which will see Sweden releasing US$6 million through UNICEF’s child protection programme, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said Swedish support would see the strengthening of social and child protection systems.


US$3,5bn bid to pay off farmers on track

THE African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is working with the Government on designing innovative financial instruments to frontload the mobilisation of US$3,5 billion that Zimbabwe needs to pay off the debt to white former commercial farmers for improvements on farms acquired under the land reform programme.

Through the Global Compensation Deed (GCD), signed in 2020, the Government made a commitment to clear the debt to farmers for improvements on the farmlands acquired just over two decades ago.

The US$3,5 billion owed to white former commercial farmers is part of a large external debt, about US$14 billion, owed to multilateral, and bilateral partners that include the AfDB, World Bank, and the Paris Club.


Sinomine suspends Zimbabwe lithium ops over authorities’ concerns

China’s Sinomine Resource Group’s Zimbabwe lithium unit on Monday said it had halted operations for a week after unspecified administrative concerns raised by the authorities. 

Sinomine took over Bikita Minerals, which was at the time Zimbabwe’s sole lithium-producing mine and one of Africa’s oldest, in a $180-million deal last year. 

The southern African country hopes its large deposits of lithium will help position itself for an economic boost from the global drive towards battery-powered energy


Zimbabweans Fume at Bona Mugabe’s Wealth

Bona Mugabe, the only daughter of Zimbabwe’s late former president Robert Mugabe, is said to own enormous properties in plush residential neighbourhoods in Harare, 21 farms, a U.S.$8 million villa in Dubai, and a collection of luxury cars. The assets, which were disclosed during the current divorce procedures between Mugabe and her former airline pilot husband Simba Chikore, have triggered outrage in the southern African nation.

Mugabe, 33, and Chikore, 46, have been married for nine years. In early 2023, Mugabe filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Chikore, who is contesting the divorce, insists he is entitled to joint custody of the couple’s three children and part of the assets the pair acquired jointly. Meanwhile it is alleged that Bona Mugabe’s mother Grace Mugabe, has stashed over U.S.$5 billion in Europe.


Zimbabwe opens doors to foreign election observers | The Chronicle (state owned)

AHEAD of this year’s harmonised elections whose dates will be proclaimed soon, President Mnangagwa has invited foreign countries interested to come and observe the polls. 

President Mnangagwa, who is the Head of State and Government, told a High-Level Debt Resolution Forum on Zimbabwe Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution Process, which opened in Harare yesterday, that his Government has put everything in place to ensure the election is free and fair, without any blemishes. 


Extension officers get mobile devices

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has received a boost of 635 Android tablets to equip extension officers to assist them lead farmers in tapping into the digital era to enhance agricultural growth.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at the World Food Programme (WFP) offices in Harare yesterday Agriculture, Rural Development and Advisory Services(ADAS) chief director Professor Obert Jiri said the gadgets will go a long way in helping extension officers including those in the veterinary services amplify data capturing and research to enhance the growth of the agriculture sector.

“It is our endeavour to make sure that with the support we get from partners such as WFP, we will bridge the digital divide between the informal sector and the formal economy through data collection and sharing to benefit farmers.

We keep on appreciating the support that WFP has provided AGRITEX over the years through strengthening extension staff, farmers’ capacities improved mobility and household production levels under the Integrated Small Grain Project(ISGP) which also provided 36 Multi-Crop Threshers.

The aim being to reduce poor-harvest losses, especially on women who bear most of the threshing burden,” said Prof Jiri.


More power cuts loom as Hwange Unit 7 goes off grid

FURTHER daily power cuts loom following the temporary shutdown of a 300-megawatt (MW) unit at the country’s second largest power generation unit, Hwange Thermal Power Station.

On Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC)’s announced that the newly-installed Hwange Unit 7 was undergoing an evaluation before being fully commissioned. Already, consumers and businesses were facing daily power cuts of up to 12 hours, an improvement from the previous 18-hour power cuts.


Gold Mafia – Govt Vows to Stop Leakages, Gold Producers to Be Scrutinised in Aftermath of Jaw-Dropping Exposé

Mines Minister Winston Chitando has announced plans to plug massive gold leakages in the aftermath of jaw-dropping revelations by global broadcaster Al Jazeera in its Gold Mafia investigative report a month ago. According to Al Jazeera’s four-part series, gold worth hundreds of millions in US dollars is being smuggled out of Zimbabwe by well-knit criminals in collusion with state officials at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), government mint Fidelity Printers and Refinery (FPR) and airport employees.

Senior players in government and mining, chief among them President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Special Envoy Uebert Angel were secretly recorded willingly dishing out information on how they launder money and smuggle gold out of the already dry economy.


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