Week 22

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

350-kilowatt solar power for Mpilo, United Byo Hospitals

Government has installed 350-kilowatt solar power systems at Mpilo Central Hospital and the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) in a development that marks a significant advancement in improving healthcare delivery at these institutions.  

By leveraging renewable energy, the two hospitals are set to improve their operational efficiency, reduce costs, and contribute to environmental sustainability.  

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FULL TEXT: Nelson Chamisa’s Statement On August 2023 Election Dispute Resolution

Fellow citizens, as your presidential choice, you, in your millions, (nearly over TWO MILLION), gave a clear mandate, albeit in a disputed and contested election. That mandate cannot be abdicated, abandoned, or surrendered.  

Upon and with your mandate, on the 26th of September 2023, we wrote to our regional body, SADC, the guarantor of the values and principles of the aspirations of the “common agenda” and “common will” of the people of Southern Africa.  

On 23 October 2023 SADC responded to our request and advised that they were giving the matter due consideration.  

Meanwhile, we have noted the various meetings the leadership of SADC has held, including the latest Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika on the 23rd of March 2024 in Lusaka, Zambia. Therefore, we have advisedly been patiently waiting on our request.  

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Zimbabwe adopts Build Back Better strategy…food distribution begins in Matabeleland North

The Government has implemented the Build-Back Better (BBB) strategy in response to the devastating El Nino-induced drought, as the distribution of food aid to food-insecure households has begun in Matabeleland North province.  

The move is designed to cushion citizens from worsening hunger after receiving poor yields in the 2023/24 farming season due to drought-induced conditions.  

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development will be drilling 7 000 boreholes to improve water access, and individuals seeking food aid must also enrol in climate-proofing (Pfumvudza/Intwasa) farming exercise or risk not receiving aid.  

The Government has declared a state of disaster and expects to distribute relief grain once every three months to mitigate the impact of the drought, with plans to support up to 7,7 million people until next year. 

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Starlink’s licensing raises dust

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday announced that the postal and telecoms regulator had licensed Starlink to operate in Zimbabwe bringing to end the long wait by consumers for cheaper internet service. 

The licensing of Starlink, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite operator wholly owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, was largely expected after the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) recently said that it had received an application by Starlink to operate in Zimbabwe. 

While the licensing of Starlink could have drowned the nation in celebrating a milestone, attention has, however, been drawn to its local partner IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd which is linked to Zanu PF party’s new benefactor Wicknell Chivayo. 

A search on the internet showed that its website is currently under construction. This came after it was outed for allegedly stealing pictures on the internet and claiming to be its employees. 

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Zimbabwe committed to clearing its debt: President…Opens doors for the Diaspora

Since assuming office in 2017, President Mnangagwa has assured development partners and creditors that his Government is committed to the implementation of key reforms critical to resolving the country’s debts and arrears of nearly US$8,3 billion.  

Towards that end, the President has appointed a high-level debt resolution team led by AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who is the facilitator of the high-level dialogue, and former President of Mozambique, Mr Joaquim Chissano, who is also a facilitator of the process. 

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Public transport chaos! Violence, speeding putting lives in danger

The country’s public transport sector, particularly on over-subscribed inter-city routes, has become increasingly chaotic and conflict-ridden as bus operators and their crews frequently engage in fierce competition tactics to secure passengers, leading to violent clashes and harassment of commuters.  

Major inter-city routes such as Bulawayo to Harare, Masvingo, Beitbridge and Victoria Falls are highly popular and, recently have seen a high volume of bus operators stampeding for passengers along the highways.  

This over-saturation creates cutthroat competition as operators compete for the limited customer base, with reckless drivers being accused of speeding while touts violently grab passengers and force them to board buses. 

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PVOs Bill declared constitutional The Herald (state owned)

The Parliamentary Legal Committee has declared the redrafted Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill to be compliant with the Constitution, allowing the Bill to enter the Parliamentary processes of discussion and debate. 

While the original draft largely insisting on better financial accountability of private voluntary organisations was finally passed by Parliament and submitted to President Mnangagwa, the President was unhappy with some of the provisions and returned it to Parliament.  

It then lapsed when Parliament was dissolved just prior to the August 2023 election. 

The clean bill of health for the Bill by the committee now clears the way for it to proceed to the next stages, where its desirability, effectiveness, implications and support will be assessed, with the first step being the public hearings where members of the public are invited to give their views in line with Section 141 of the Constitution. 

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Battle for survival: Climate change takes a toll on Zim’s marginalised women and children

With a baby on her back Tutembaleza Dayidayi carries on her head a 20-litre plastic bucket of water, something she has become accustomed to in the past two decades. 

Dayidayi from Tshilikwa 4 village in Lubanda (ward 13) under Chief Dobola in Binga just like most women in her community wake up at dawn to fetch water from shallow wells dug along the riverbed, popularly known as mumusena amulonga in community lingo. 

Lubanda is among villages in Binga that suffer persistent water shortages, owing to dearth of water infrastructure and sporadic borehole breakdowns. 

“We always rely on the shallow wells that we dig along the river beds, especially during the dry season when water would have dried up from our local dam as a result of evaporation,” said Dayidayi. 

“We don’t have a borehole in the area so at times we go and fetch water from the other village, but the borehole has intermittent breakdowns forcing us to go to the nearby river.” 

Dayidayi said in most cases women and children carry the responsibility of digging these wells and fetching water. 

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Mnangagwa caught between words and wallet

This is not the first time Mnangagwa has doled out foreign currency at a public event, probably a sign of lack of confidence in the ZiG currency.  

IN a scene that appeared to have been ripped from a political cartoon, President Emmerson Mnangagwa found himself at the centre of a spinning irony storm at Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre in Uzumba, where he recently launched the rebranded Youth Service in Zimbabwe Programme. 

During his passionate speech urging youths to embrace the country’s newly introduced local currency, Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), Mnangagwa was seen digging into his black suit pockets and pulling out a thick wad of US$100 notes to hand Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka US$500. 

Masuka was wearing some khakhi farming clothes at the function. 

“Uchibva pano wonotenga suit chikomana (From here go and buy a suit),” Mnangagwa quipped as he handed him the crisp notes. 

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Govt, UN ink US$429,3m drought flash appeal The Herald (state owned)

The United Nations has signed a US$429,3 million drought flash appeal with the Government for humanitarian partners to assist more than three million people who are food insecure due to the El Nino-induced drought. 

 Speaking during the signing ceremony with the Minister of Local Government and Public Works Daniel Garwe in Harare yesterday, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe, Mr Edward Kallon, said the appeal is meant to mobilise humanitarian action to complement the Government’s own relief efforts. 

“To respond to this situation, this flash appeal requires US$429,3 million for humanitarian partners to assist close to 3,1 million people.  

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Chamisa spurns calls for protests…says Zim too beautiful to be destroyed

Chamisa has pinned hopes on the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)’s intervention to resolve the crisis, after the regional body discredited the August 2023 polls. 

But his critics are pessimistic over  Sadc’s intervention in the dispute saying after the regional body’s election observation, the ball was in the Zimbabweans’ court to resolve their issues. 

In the statement, Chamisa said he was in contact with Sadc over the electoral dispute. 

“Meanwhile, we have noted the various meetings the leadership of Sadc has held, including the latest Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika on the 23rd of March 2024 in Lusaka, Zambia. Therefore, we have advisedly been patiently waiting on our request,” he said. 

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Water crisis: Byo women’s increasingly tough balancing act

Bulawayo Ward 17 councillor Sikhululekile Moyo said women and the girl child were the worst affected by the city’s water crisis. For women, not having access to water makes menstrual hygiene difficult,” she said.  

When water access is limited, collecting it is only half the battle. 

As Bulawayo’s water crisis deepens, women are forced to leave their homes before sunrise, sometimes returning after lunch. 

And after getting home, they are faced with the impossible choice of how to use it. 

Women who spoke to Standard People said they were confronted with difficult choices to make with the 20 litres of water that they can bring home once a day. 

Do they choose to cook, or wash their children’s clothes? Do they give their family drinking water, knowing it’s dirty, or do they give for everyone to bathe? How will they clean the house? 

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