Week 21

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Government hires 4 600 teachers, eyes 2 400 more

A total of 4 600 teachers have been recruited since January this year and plans are underway to recruit an additional 2 400 during the third term, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Torerayi Moyo, has said.  

He said the recruitment is meant to address the shortage of teachers as Government strives to improve the teacher to pupil ratio in order to guarantee quality education. 

“Government has already recruited 4 600 teachers and plans to recruit an additional 2 400 during the  third term,” said Minister Moyo. 

He commended the Government for the milestones achieved over the last 44 years saying the country now boasts of 10 681 primary and secondary schools. 


Bubi-Lupane Irrigation beats El Nino

At a time when most rural communities across the country are appealing for food relief following the El Nino-induced drought, members of the Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme in Matabeleland North province are busy harvesting their bumper maize crop and are guaranteed food security. 

Indications are that the members will harvest more than their families’ food requirements and will therefore deliver the excess to the Grain Marketing Board.  

The families from Empofu Village who are the beneficiaries of this highly productive irrigation scheme, are fast weaning themselves off from aid dependency as they work to achieve food and nutrition self-sufficiency in line with the Second Republic’s V30 Accelerator Model launched by President Mnangagwa in 2021. 


United Nations inspects Victoria Falls ahead of gastronomy indaba

The United Nations Tourism (UN Tourism) has dispatched a technical delegation to inspect conference and accommodation facilities in Victoria Falls as well as assess the resort city’s readiness to host the first Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Forum for Africa set for July. 

UN Tourism technical co-ordinator for tourism market intelligence and competitiveness, Ms Maria Soledad Gaido and Regional Department for Africa programme officer Ms Zineb Remmal, landed in Victoria Falls yesterday for a two-day visit. 

They were welcomed by Tourism and Hospitality Industry permanent secretary, Dr Takaruza Munyanyiwa and were supposed to meet tourism stakeholders before touring hotels as well as sampling some leisure areas and nearby communities to check the state of village tourism. 


Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme spreads to Matebeleland South The Herald (state owned)

Prevail Group International (PGI), which has been contracted to drill approximately 10 000 boreholes countrywide, has spread to Matebelaland South with the team currently installing several boreholes in Thabani village, Tsholotsho. 

Apart from drilling boreholes, the company is also installing irrigation facilities under the Presidential Borehole Drilling initiative. 

PGI has already taken its borehole drilling initiative to Plumtree as it continues to provide potable water to rural communities. 

The programme, overseen by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), aims to address water challenges as well as transform the livelihoods of residents in rural areas. 

PGI chairperson, Dr Paul Tungwarara said they installed at least 100 boreholes in Buhera before Independence Day celebrations. 


Zim applies for ISO code for ZiG

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is in the process of applying for an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) code for the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) as it moves to make the unit a stand-alone currency, central bank deputy governor Innocent Matshe said yesterday. 

ISO currency codes, commonly used synonymously as country codes, are unique alphanumeric codes assigned to each currency used in international transactions. These codes were established by the ISO to improve the accuracy and efficiency of global payments. 

Examples include: USD, GBP and EUR. 


ILO engages govt over labour rights abuses

The International Labour Organisation is engaging the government over accusations of intimidating and harassing union leaders each time they demand better salaries and working conditions.

Early this month, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) filed a complaint at the ILO about abuse of union leaders.

The complaint was addressed to ILO chairperson — committee on Freedom and Association Evance Rabban Kaluta and Karen Curtis, director-general chief, Freedom of Association Branch International Labour Standards at the international labour body.

In its response dated May 16, ILO said it would approach government over the allegations before they were examined by ILO’s governing body’s committee.


ZiG faces new threat…as gold output plunges

Massive gold leakages have seen the country recording a 1,9% drop in output of the yellow metal in the first quarter of 2024, NewsDay has learned. 

With the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe banking on increased gold output to shore up the recently introduced gold-backed Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency, fears abound that the fall in output could seriously threaten the fragile currency born from the ashes of the defunct Zimdollar which was demonitised after being rendered worthless by inflation. 

In an effort to plug the rising mineral leakages, the Mines and Mining Development ministry has dispatched 15 teams to nine mining provinces to carry out this year’s first quarter gold mobilisation exercise. 


UN envoy visits Zimbabwe over road safety The Herald (state owned)

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr Jean Todt, has visited Zimbabwe as part of the Government’s continued efforts to put road safety on top of its agenda. 

The Government has always been committed to the adoption of international best practices and standards on road safety. 

Mr Todt is a former rally driver and ex-chief executive of Formula One team, Ferrari. 

Thereafter, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, where he has distinguished himself over the years. 

His delegation arrived in the country over the weekend and this morning he held a meeting with Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona at his offices in Harare where they discussed various issues pertaining to road safety. 


Chinese funded steel mill displaces locals in Zimbabwe

The Dinson steel mill is being constructed by China’s Dinson Iron and Steel Company close to the community of Mvuma south of the capital Harare. It is touted by Zimbabwe’s authorities as Africa’s biggest steel plant that will create a mini-city and be a gamechanger for the country’s grand ambitions to be Africa’s number one processed steel exporter. 

The promises and expectations of the government have however been met with doubt by locals who are already facing adverse effects due to the ongoing project. The biggest grievance has been the displacement of people off their traditional land.


Zimbabwe says 1,300 white farmers who lost land seek payouts

About 1,300 White Zimbabwean commercial farmers, whose land was seized in the early 2000s, have signed up to receive compensation and those who qualify will be paid in 10-year treasury bills, a government official said. 

“We now have to go through the process of vetting them and confirming the amounts that they are owed,” Andrew Bvumbe, head of debt management in the Ministry of Finance, said in an interview on Friday. 

“With these 1,300, we want to move as quickly as possible. Maybe by the end of the third quarter of this year we want to get this out of the way.” 

Under an accord signed in 2020, the government agreed to compensate 4,000 White farmers whose land was seized by state-backed militants, but it has repeatedly missed payment deadlines. It expects the compensation deal will cost it $3.5 billion over 10 years. 


ZPRA veterans pile pressure on govt

ZPRA veterans have submitted a list of their properties that were seized in the 80’s by the government to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to push for their return. 

Mnangagwa promised to ensure the properties are returned after meeting the ex-combatants at State House in Bulawayo in 2019. 

He later assigned Vice President Kembo Mohadi to lead the process. 

The Zanu PF government then led by late former president Robert Mugabe confiscated PF Zapu and Zipra properties at the height of the Gukurahundi killings in Matabeleland and Midlands.


Zimbabwe: A country divided by currency confusion

While the official currency is the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), which was recently introduced by the government, in practice, the rand dominates in Bulawayo, Gwanda and Beitbridge. 

Harare and Mashonaland provinces primarily use US dollars while Bulawayo and Matabeleland provinces rely heavily on the rand. 

Travelling between Bulawayo and Harare requires not just packing clothes, but also mentally converting between rand and US dollars. 

“Zimbabwe is a two in one country, in Mashonaland they use their own currency and in Bulawayo they use their own currency,” Ndlovu said. 

“I had to approach osphatheleni (Ndelele name for illegal money changers) to convert R500 to US$25 for me to be able to buy fuel and do other errands in Harare. 


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