Week 24

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Unicef touching PWDs lives (People With Disabilities)

IT had to take a Damascene moment for Richard Mupuvira from Chivi in Masvingo province, to accept his disabled child after having neglected her for years. He had, for years, refused to facilitate that she gets a national identity (ID) document because of her disability. 

Mupuvira has since changed his mind following transformative education offered through Unicef. 

Mapuvira changed his attitude towards his daughter following interaction with the Chengaose Stimulation Centre, a non-governmental organisation which promotes the rights of people with disabilities (PWDs). 

He is now a lead campaigner for the rights of children with disabilities after the local headman donated land to the community for the Chengaose Tagamuchira PWDs garden. 


Parliament turns heat on Mthuli

LEGISLATORS have taken Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube to task over the galloping inflation and the crumbling local currency, which they say has eroded salaries of government workers. 

The parliamentarians’ anger comes as soldiers and police this month received salaries ranging from $25 000 to $68 000, hardly enough to buy a dozen loaves of bread. 

Members of the National Assembly have for the past few weeks been demanding a ministerial statement from Ncube, who is said to be focusing on his political campaigns in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park constituency, where he hopes to land a ticket to Parliament. 


All stakeholders’ approach key to tourism growth’ The Herald (state owned)

“In Zimbabwe we always say that our tourism sector is Government-led, private sector driven and community based. This ensures that tourism is for everyone,” he said. 

The Government has taken a keen interest in developing Community Based Tourism (CBTE) Projects as vehicles to alleviate poverty in rural and marginalised communities, in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 1), which talks about eliminating poverty. 

Zimbabwe is packaging communities through their history, tradition, daily life, arts and craft, flora and fauna, as unique selling points in communities, and CBTEs. 


Major boost for immunisation programme The Herald (state owned)

Zimbabwe’s Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) has received a major boost from the installation of solar systems in health centres across the country.  According to Matabeleland South provincial medical director Dr Andrew Muza, at least 107 out of the 145 health facilities in the province now had solar power.  

“We have vaccines that we give to our children but these need to be maintained at a certain temperature range. With the availability of backup solar power, we are now able to maintain our vaccines in the recommended temperature range even at the lowest level in our clinics, which may be far from the district hubs. ” 


Chipangura passionate about growing the literary industry

WRITER and publisher, Faith Mudiwa Chipangura is driven by a strong desire to promote the publishing industry as well as uplifting up-and-coming writers. 

She founded Phoenix Publishing as a result of her desire to grow the literary industry and has published 12 books in five years. 

Born in Plumtree, Matabeleland South province, Chipangura is determined to promote a reading and writing culture in various communities. 


ChiTown residents resort to bucket toilet system

In an interview, a resident, Rosejoy Gonye said the residents were in a difficult situation. 

“The life of excreting in buckets is not easy. Four families live here and there are at least three children. Right now, the toilet is full, we need to empty it and we are relieving ourselves in a bucket. At some houses, people dug pits to pour stool but here we put it in the manhole,” she said. 

“Due to the situation here, we had to send our sick 97-year-old grandpa to Zengeza because his condition would worsen. Sometimes stool overflows to his room which is near the toilet. We are living by the grace of God. We have been calling council each and every time, but they do not come to attend to the problems.” 


Amnesty urges Mnangagwa to reject Patriotic Bill as grave assault on human rights

Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa Flavia Mwangovya has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to reject the Patriotic Bill as a “grave assault on human rights”. 

The Patriotic Bill, a clause in the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill 2022 which criminalises “wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe”, sailed through Parliament last week and the Senate this week. It now awaits Presidential assent. 

Mwangovya urged Mnangagwa not to sign it citing that it adds to the existing plethora of offences punishable by death in Zimbabwe. 

The passing of the ‘Patriotic Bill’ by the Senate is deeply concerning and signals a disturbing crack down on Zimbabweans’ rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. 


Precious minerals smuggled through Zim porous borders

ZIMBABWE is losing precious minerals through porous borders, with security forces and border officials manning the entry points seriously incapacitated to plug illicit flows, a report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services has revealed. 

The country has been losing minerals, ranging from diamonds and gold through wellknit syndicates that involve security officials, foreigners and local smugglers who have been taking advantage of lack of knowledge by the officials manning borders. 


Chiefs receive 5% ZimPlats shares

ZIMPLATS and its parent company Implats have issued 5% shares to traditional leaders in Mhondoro-Ngezi district, who will hold them on behalf of their communities. 

ZimPlats’s expansion project is set to employ more than 2 000 people. 

ZimPlats is also part of community ownership schemes which include the Mine Support Solutions, which stipulates that 95% of its employees should be sourced from communities surrounding the mine. 

There is also the Turf Brick Moulding Company, which is operated by mostly women from the community, which produces 32 000 bricks in eight hours. 


[Zimplats is the leading mining company in Zimbabwe specializing in platinum group metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium & osmium; https://www.zimplats.com/]

Minister unpacks Bill on patriotism The Herald  (state owned)

New changes to the criminal code will not infringe the freedom of criticising the Government or President, but rather targets criminals who press for sanctions that result in injury of Zimbabwe, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi has said. 

The contents of the Bill do not target anyone. It targets criminals who undertake a behaviour that results in injury to Zimbabwe. If me and you are seated in a pub and discussing politics and commenting negatively about the President, it’s not criminal, it’s not criminalised in this bill. 


Zimbabwe’s Government Health Insurer Is Imploding. Civil Servants Are Paying the Price

The country’s civil servants have long had access to comprehensive health insurance, but a tangle of financial challenges has led the insurer to close facilities, leaving many patients without care — or with surprisingly high bills. 

PSMAS was formed in the 1930s to provide health insurance to government employees. In 2003, PSMAS formed Premier Service Medical Investments to provide affordable medical services. It opened more than 154 medical service centers across the country. The government offers PSMAS medical insurance to all civil servants as part of nonmonetary benefits. Although the government covers 80% of the premium for all civil servants, including retirees, under PSMAS, members are not fully benefiting from the scheme as they have in the past. 

The issue is twofold: Medical facilities are hesitant to accept PSMAS medical aid, as they are unsure when they will be reimbursed. There has also been widespread closure of the network of health facilities run independently by PSMI, the investment arm of PSMAS. This was due to lack of funds to keep them running. Patients are left having to pay significant unexpected shortfalls on their bills — or not getting adequate care. 


Joy as Zesa ramps up the power supply The Herald (state owned)

Zimbabweans have welcomed improved electricity supply across the country after Hwange Thermal Power Station started performing at its best in the last week, generating 740 megawatts as of yesterday, a 10-fold increase on the mere 74MW that was being generated late February. 

The increased power generation has brought joy to both domestic and industrial consumers who had been enduring long hours of loadshedding since the last quarter of 2022 


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