Week 22

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

100 000 get national identity cards

AT least 100 000 people had been issued with national identity cards  since the beginning of a government mobile registration blitz three weeks ago to allow them to participate in electoral processes. Registrar-General Henry Machiri revealed this yesterday when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services. 

Machiri said registration would continue even after the proclamation of an election date by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. 

“We have 187 mobile registration teams deployed countrywide in all districts. During the first three weeks of this blitz, 103 992 birth certificates, 96 491 IDs and 2 762 death certificates were issued. A total of 51 687 males were given birth certificates and 52 305 females, while 48 706 males received IDs and 47 785 females. Death certificates were issued to 1 106 males and 1 153 females,” he said. 


Borehole drilling commences in Binga

Government has started drilling boreholes in the semi-arid Binga district to alleviate water shortages that are bedevilling the area. Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Richard Moyo yesterday told Southern Eye that two rigs, which were deployed by government to the province had started drilling boreholes in the area. 

 “Government has only managed to disburse two drill rigs out of eight. Work to drill boreholes has already begun in Binga in areas that face water woes,” Moyo said. 

Recently, Moyo said government would provide eight rigs under a presidential project, adding that 80 rigs would be disbursed across the country in areas facing water shortages. 


Born in Zimbabwe to Zimbabwean parents but stateless for 19 years

“SHE was born in 2003 and only got a birth certificate at the age of 19 after a long battle.” 

Smangele Ndebele (50) a Child Care Worker (CCW) and foster mom in Tsholotsho’s Mvundlana village,  narrated a sad story of one girl who had been for long deprived of basic needs due to statelessness. 

Ndebele is one of the care workers who were identified and trained by the government in partnership with UNICEF to help mobilize stateless community members to acquire legal identification. 

She described how difficult it was to get what many Zimbabweans may take for granted: a birth certificate, for a vulnerable girl in her community. 

Without one, a child in Zimbabwe cannot access basic needs like health care, register for examinations, get donor aid and obtain education or funeral policy legally. 


Panic as voters find their names missing from the voter’s rolls

SCORES of Mzilikazi residents could not find their names at polling stations where they usually cast their ballots due to involuntary transfers, shifting of ward boundaries as per the latest delimitation exercise and other unexplained reasons. 

Ward 8 covers Mzilikazi, Nguboyenja and Thorngrove suburbs. The Ward falls under the newly created Mpopoma – Mzilikazi constituency.  

Previously it was under Makokoba constituency. 

According to ZEC’s delimitation report, two polling stations, Mzilikazi High School and Mpilo Central Hospital were shifted from Ward 8 to Ward 2. 

CITE visited Mzilikazi High, Sobukhazi High, Lobengula Primary schools, McDonald Hall, Mzilikazi Housing Office and Mzilikazi Clinic voters’ roll inspection centres and spoke to residents who expressed their frustrations for having to move from one voter inspection centre to the next in search of their names and polling stations. 


Zimbabwe Announces Additional Measures To Stabilize Economy And Currency

The Finance and Economic Development Minister of Zimbabwe, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has announced additional measures to stabilize the country’s economy and the depreciating Zimbabwe dollar.In a statement seen by Pindula News, Ncube said the additional measures include increasing the retention of domestic foreign currency sales to 100%, lifting all restrictions on the importation of basic goods, promoting the use of domestic currency, and introducing a system to manage the traceability of gold. 

Ncube added that the government will also assume all foreign currency debts from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, create a debt redemption fund, and tighten monetary policy to reduce bank lending and money creation. 


Africa: Could This Round of Debt Dialogue Push Zimbabwe to Reform?

Zimbabwe is once again trying to engage its creditors Bretton Woods institutions and the Paris Club, in negotiating a reprieve around its debt arrears and unblocking access to credit. As a condition for debt dialogue, lenders insist the government embarks on a process of reforms. 

The country owes around US$17 billion in public debt, the vast majority of which (US$14 billion) is external debt. Sixty percent of this external debt is arrears or interest incurred by non-payment. The country’s currency is in free fall, losing over 90% of its value on the parallel market, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction rate plays catch-up daily. Inflation is galloping at over 700% a year, and citizens are poor. 


Expand civic space, UN urges govt

THE United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk has implored the Zanu PF government to respect, protect and expand civic space to ensure that citizens are free to express themselves. 

Türk made the call in a statement highlighting offline and online violations of civic space for human rights defenders. This was part of the UN monthly spotlights for the 75th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

“We all want to help shape our futures, our communities and our countries, but it is not possible when we do not have space to speak (out) and debate different viewpoints safely,” Türk said. 

“Civic space is a human rights issue, it is a peace issue and it is a development issue. It is key for sustainable and resilient societies, yet it is under increasing pressure from undue restrictions and repressive laws.” 


We’ll Fix Up Zim Dollar Value- Mthuli

The local currency will continue to be used, and deliberate measures are being done to raise its value in order to restore consumer purchasing power and support the economic recovery’s momentum, according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube. 
The government has stated that it will not budge from its policy to mainstream the use of the local currency because it has had a favourable effect on the broader economy, despite the most recent wave of speculative parallel market-induced inflationary dynamics and lopsided preference for foreign currency transactions. 

According to Professor Mthuli Ncube, extra steps are being made to safeguard and preserve the Zimbabwean currency by getting rid of economic saboteurs. 

Some retail businesses have set their exchange rates at the unbelievable amount

of $1 US, or $5 500, which is far more than the official rate of $1 888. 


Nigerian, Zimbabwean healthcare workers top list of Africans getting special UK visas

A recently released report indicates that Nigeria and Zimbabwe are the top two African countries whose nationals are migrating to the United Kingdom under the skilled-worker and healthcare visa systems. 

There was a 562% increase from last year, with 14 791 new visas issued to Zimbabweans by March this year. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a red flag list of 55 countries from which developed nations have been asked not to hire healthcare workers, because those countries have fragile health sectors and need human resources. 

The African countries on the list includes Zimbabwe.


Micro-financiers struggle to raise US$5m regulatory requirement

ONLY two out of the seven operational deposit-taking microfinance institutions (DTMFIs) have complied with the US$5 million regulatory capital requirement set by the central bank, a new report reveals. 

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) set December 31, 2022 as the deadline for DTMFIs to comply with the new minimum capital requirement of Zimbabwe dollar equivalent to US$5 million.


Zimbabwe Opposition Parties, NGOs Fuming Over ZEC’s Failure to Provide Voters’ Roll at Inspection Centers

Felix Magalela Mafa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said ZEC is deliberately derailing the electoral process for the benefit of the ruling party. 

“There is a crisis in Bulawayo where ZEC is failing to provide the voters’ roll in some centers for people to check their names. Up to this time, certain centers haven’t received the voters’ roll to allow citizens to check their names and verify their particulars so they can vote in the forthcoming general elections.” 

He said his town has been monitoring the exercise in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city where hundreds of people have been turned away at inspection centers. They camped outside those centers until they gave up. 


The untold struggles and heroics of Community Childcare Workers (CCWs) in Tsholotsho

Tsholotsho is a district in Matabeleland North province that is in desperate need of Community Childcare Workers (CCWs) to augment government’s efforts to avail welfare and identity documents to children from vulnerable communities who are mostly victims of abuse, violence and neglect. 

CCWs play a vital role assisting vulnerable families with children facing welfare and identity documentation challenges. 

Despite the scarcity of CCWs, Simangele Ndebele has emerged as a volunteer childcare provider for dozens of vulnerable children who are victims of abuse, violence and neglect. 


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