Week 21

Wekelijkse selectie van nieuws uit Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Top Lawyer Coltart Humbled By Nomination for Prestigious Human Rights Award

Prominent Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Doug Coltart hopes his nomination for the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe’s (CCBE) 2023 Human Rights Award will help to put the spotlight on human rights abuses in the country. 

Coltart was on Thursday nominated for the award by the Law Society and the Bar of Ireland. 

The CCBE award is granted to a lawyer or lawyers’ organisation that has brought honour to the legal profession by upholding the highest values of professional and personal conduct in the field of human rights. 

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Zim’s pledge to implement key reforms under global spotlight

In a statement, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said President Emmerson Mnangagwa reassured development partners and creditors that his government was committed to implementing key reforms critical to resolving the country’s nearly US$8,3 billion of debt and arrears. The key reform pillars for Zimbabwe’s implementation programme include governance reforms, land tenure reforms, compensation of former farm owners and the resolution of bilateral investment protection agreements. 

On electoral reforms, Mnangagwa said the country had put in place the requisite mechanisms to guarantee peaceful, free, fair and credible elections scheduled for August this year. 

 “The people of Zimbabwe and the international community will be watching very closely,” Adesina said. 

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Lupane villagers set up community parliament

LUPANE villagers have established their own community parliament to debate their development agenda. The idea was borrowed from the Nkayi Community Parliament, which has been operational since 2021. 

“The other reason for the formation of Lupane Community Parliament (LCP) was to create awareness on policy and constitutional matters,” said LCP speaker Njabulo Sibanda. 

He said they were still trying to build the LCP, with their membership currently around 390. 

Sibanda said they would also hold their council and parliamentary representatives to account. “The overall goal of the LCPs to contribute to the economic, social, cultural, educational and general development and empowerment of the Lupane community”

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Top 5 Reasons Zimbabwe is a Burgeoning Global Lithium Hub

Boasting the sixth largest lithium reserves globally and representing one of Africa’s biggest producers of the commodity, Zimbabwe is poised to play a crucial role in advancing the global energy transition through the supply of lithium and related products. 

With untapped resources, a national agenda to develop the entire lithium value chain and new investment flowing inwards due to growing global demand, the country is well on its way to become a global lithium hub. 

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CSOs warn against resource-backed loans

Last year the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned least economically developed countries against taking resource-backed loans which it said could “backfire”.  

REGIONAL public finance watchdogs have raised a red flag over Zimbabwe’s continued mortgaging of natural resources to secure loans from abroad. 

This came out during the fifth edition of the Zimbabwe Debt Conference which was organised by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) and the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development. 

Since Zimbabwe attained its independence, the appetite for borrowing has been increasing. Failure to service the debts coupled with penalties has resulted in Zimbabwe plunging into a vicious cycle of debt.

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PVOs Bill a threat to life-saving NGOs: US

THE United States government has expressed concern over Zimbabwe’s Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) Amendment Bill saying it will affect the ability of faith-based organisations to provide essential services. 

The PVOs Bill, which seeks to regulate operations of civic groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), sailed through the Senate on February 1. 

It now awaits President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s assent. 

In a report titled: Zimbabwe 2022 international religious freedom report, the US government said the PVOs Amendment was gravely a threat to organisations providing life-saving services. “If passed, members of civil society stated, the amendments would require all trusts to register as PVOs, including faith-based organisations with no transitional provisions,” the report read. 

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Mr. President, the diaspora vote denial could be your undoing in the 2023 elections

In 2018, you addressed Zimbabweans in the United States of America on the sidelines of the United Nations General Conference and promised you would work towards achieving a Diaspora vote by 2023. Obviously, the Diaspora vote cannot happen in 2023 as it is too close to elections even if the Electoral Amendment Bill currently being debated will include the Diaspora vote.

In conclusion, let me warn you, Mr. President, that the diaspora vote denial may be the undoing for you and your party in the 2023 elections as the millions of Zimbabweans based in the diaspora can influence their families who they support to vote you out.

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Mpopoma councillor partners with churches to drill four boreholes

Ward 9 Councillor Donaldson Mabuto partnered with the Church of Latter Day Saints in Bulawayo to facilitate the drilling of three boreholes and provide water to Gampu Primary School, Matshobana and Congo residents in Bulawayo. 

A fourth borehole at Nkulumane Primary School was drilled with assistance of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) church. 

“I drafted the proposal and requested BCC to grant authority to drill. My office will continue to engage other partners to partner the Office of the Councillor to assist by drilling more boreholes,” Mabutho said. 

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The stakes will be high in Zimbabwe’s elections

The 80-year-old leader of Zanu-PF (which has ruled Zimbabwe uninterrupted since 1980), Mnangagwa – “The Crocodile” (his liberation war name) – will once again face off with the 45-year-old Nelson Chamisa, now the leader of a relatively new party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). 

The CCC will be contesting its first general election but it has much older antecedents. It broke off in 2022 from the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-A), itself a splinter of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), the party founded by the late Morgan Tsvangirai in 1999. 

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‘Land reform programme negatively affected livestock production’

NATIONAL Competitiveness Commission economist Elizabeth Magwaza says the land reform programme of the 2000s had a negative impact on the production of livestock in the country. 

Magwaza made the remarks yesterday during the launch of the Leather Value Chain Competitiveness report in Bulawayo. 

She said the country’s cattle herd dropped from 6,4 million in the 1990s to the current 5,5 million. 

“The supply of leather is a function of the slaughter rate and the total number of animals. The country’s number of cattle currently stands at an estimated 5,5 million compared to 6,4 million in the 1990s. The country’s land reform programme drastically altered livestock production and is now dominated by small-scale farmers in new resettlement areas and communal farms (85-95%), mainly producing for the domestic market,’’ Magwaza said. 

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Zimbabwe takes misery crown: Named most miserable country in the world | Business Insider Africa

In a recent announcement that sent shockwaves through global economic circles, Zimbabwe has emerged as the most miserable country on renowned economist Steve Hanke’s Annual Misery Index (HAMI). Surpassing war-torn nations like Ukraine, Syria, and Sudan, Zimbabwe’s distressing ranking has shed light on the country’s dire situation.  

Zimbabwe has been named the most miserable country on Steve Hanke’s Misery Index, surpassing war-torn nations like Ukraine and Syria. 

Hyperinflation, with an inflation rate of 243%, and high unemployment at 20% contribute to Zimbabwe’s distressing ranking. 

Economist Steve Hanke predicts a potential turnaround with the upcoming general elections and the possibility of a new leadership. 

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Rostec helicopter deal in crosshairs of US sanctions

ZIMBABWE, which is under United States sanctions, has received 18 helicopters from a sanctioned Russian state entity, Rostec, for air medical services, law enforcement, as well as search-and-rescue operations, but aviation experts immediately raised concern whether the country will be able to get service kits given that the hardware is powered by an engine made by one of America’s biggest defence companies. 

Rostec is also sanctioned by Canada, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

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