Week 24

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Zimbabwe: Gender-Based Violence Through the Eyes of a Legal Expert The Herald (state owned)

Currently, there is a national strategy to prevent and address GBV, it is a 2023-2030 strategy by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development. 

The ministry has put together a framework on identifying what some of the causes of GBV are. It also speaks to what the statistics are. 

Ms Mugova said GBV is more prominent against women and girls and it has risen to about 40 percent, 10 percent higher than globally statistics. 

A look at trends has revealed that there is a decline in moral values and societal values amongst other things that also add to an increase in violence against women and girls. 

GBV is a cancer that society has been trying to get rid of over the years, with legislation put in place to assist in finding a panacea to the pandemic. 


Billions in African gold smuggled to UAE yearly, SwissAid says

Billions of dollars of gold is smuggled out of Africa every year, with the vast majority exported to the United Arab Emirates for processing, according to a report by SwissAid.

Using data on declared and undeclared gold imports over a ten-year period ending in 2022, the Bern-based non-governmental organization estimates that the illicit trade amounts to between $23.7-billion and $35-billion annually based on current market prices. More than 435 tons of bullion was smuggled out of Africa in 2022 alone, it said.

The revenue fuels conflict, finances criminal and terrorist networks, undermines democracy and facilitates money laundering, according to the group. Smuggled gold originates from 12 African countries, with most of the informal trade coming from Mali, Ghana and Zimbabwe.


Zimbabwe close to joining BRICS

Zimbabwe is edging closer to joining the BRICs economic bloc and its good relations with members of the group will enhance its chances of being admitted into the emerging global financial order, President Mnangagwa has said.

Brazil, Russia, India, China founded BRICS in 2009 before South Africa joined a year later. Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to join BRICS. 

BRICS members are pushing for a new economic order with a break from the Western-aligned Bretton Woods financial order. 

The Head of State and Government said he also discussed Zimbabwe’s potential membership in BRICS with South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, emphasising that none of the BRICS nations hold anti-Zimbabwean sentiment.


New school expected to have positive impact on community The Chronicle (state owned)

A new era has begun for Shurugwi District in the Midlands province as the construction of a new primary school is set to commence following the donation of 20 000 bricks and 600 bags of cement by a Chinese company operating in the area. 

The donation demonstrates Ladville Investments’ commitment to community development.  

The new school is expected to have a positive impact on the community, providing a conducive learning environment for learners and contributing to the growth and development of Shurugwi District. 

Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Owen Ncube recently led the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the new school, Safago Primary School, at Safago Farm in Shurugwi. 


Drug abuse fuelling GBV cases

THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has blamed the increase in cases of gender-based violence (GBV) on drug and substance abuse, amid reports that the scourge is also threatening gender equality in the country. Speaking during an anti-drug and substance abuse campaign held in Bulawayo recently, ZGC Matabeleland regional co-ordinator Dalubuhle Sibanda said drug abuse had become a systemic barrier to gender equality. 

“We are complementing efforts done by stakeholders in trying to fight abuse because sometimes drug abuse could be an underlying effect that could also be fuelling GBV or it could be a result of GBV,” Sibanda said. 


MPs lobby for provision of sanitary wear at schools

Legislators in Bulawayo are pushing for provision of sanitary wear in schools for girls to end period poverty. 

The legislators Sichelesile Mahlangu (Pumula) and Discent Bajila (Emakhandeni-Luveve) made the call during Plan International’s commemoration of the Menstrual Hygiene Advocacy Day in Bulawayo last week. 

Speaking during a panel discussion on access and affordability of menstrual products, Bajila expressed concern over the unavailability of sanitary wear. 

“There is a need to focus on that most young people, school-going age, because of poverty in the country, are also affected by situations whereby somebody does not have the money for them to go through menstruation; the reality is that some care spaces are not easy, or freely available,” Bajila said. 


White farmers’ pay-outs bringing closure to compensation issues

The Zimbabwean Government has taken steps to address the contentious issue of compensating white commercial farmers for developments on farms compulsorily acquired for the land reform exercise.

Under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, the Second Republic struck an agreement with white farmers to compensate them under the Arrears Clearance, Debt Relief and Restructuring Strategy to facilitate the clearance of the country’s external payment and resolution of debt.

Prof Ncube said Government set aside US$20 million in the 2024 National Budget towards the compensation of white farmers.

The farmers were protected under the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (BIPPAs) and were affected by the Fast Track Land Reform Programme in 2000.
Government has started the first phase of compensating them.


2 000 boreholes drilled as scheme gains momentum The Herald (state owned)

More than 2 000 boreholes have so far been drilled countrywide out of the targeted 10 000 by November this year, with Government deploying more than 36 groups in provinces as the Second Republic steps up its Presidential Borehole Drilling programme. 

At least 429 village business units have been created, with 100 more expected in a week’s time as Government moves with its mantra of “leaving no one and no place behind” in its development thrust. 

This was said by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka, during a question and answer session in the National Assembly last week. 

“It is a Government programme that each village head should have a place where we will drill a borehole. We put up solar power and tanks and also have drip irrigation on a one hectare place.  

“We will also have two fish ponds. Thereafter, we get a company for that village. Every villager will be a shareholder in that company and after that it will be a business, going forward. 


580,000 young children in Zimbabwe are living in severe food poverty

Zimbabwe’s activities to improve children’s diet diversity and prevent malnutrition need more funding to be scaled-up

Around 181 million children worldwide under 5 years of age – one in four children – are experiencing severe child food poverty, making them up to 50 per cent more likely to experience wasting, a life-threatening form of malnutrition, a new global UNICEF report reveals today. Among these 580,000 are Zimbabwean children, a number that could rise with the current El Nino induced drought.

What and how children are fed in early childhood determines their survival and shapes their growth, development and learning for the rest of their lives. But hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean children – especially the youngest aged between six months and two years, the poorest and the most marginalized – do not have access to the minimum nutritious foods they need during the time in their lives when good nutrition matters most for their growth and development.


Lupane Gas Project to start in third quarter of 2024

The Lupane Gas Project in Matabeleland North is set to start during the third quarter of this year, the consultant of the project has said. CEWALE Discovery Investment Environmental Consultant Michael Montana told Southern Eye that the investors were likely to embark on the project after they receive a letter they are waiting for from the Mines and Mining Development ministry.

He said the investors got a mining licence but were still waiting for a letter from the ministry as it is part of the process.

“The investors want to authenticate the whole process hence the reason why the whole thing is on hold. It’s because they are waiting for the letter from the ministry.

“They now have the licence but since it took them long to attain it then it means that they will have to wait for the letter,” he said.

Montana said it might take the investors three months or so from now to start working on the project.

Kusile Rural District Council chief executive Sifiso Hadebe said there had been no movement in the area since the investors have been waiting for the licence.

“Nothing has happened since the last time. We are also waiting to see whether the investors will come in and start working,” Hadebe said.


Starlink sets roll out dates for Zimbabwe

American internet service provider, Starlink will begin operating in Zimbabwe in the next quarter with local internet and mobile service providers gearing up for a battle in the data market. 

Starlink offers fast internet speeds of between 200 and 250 megabytes per second at a monthly cost of about US$100 

While it costs between US$600 and US$700 initial setup costs, which may rise through a third-party service provider, Starlink’s monthly service charge of about US$100 or below for unlimited downloads will make it the cheapest residential offering locally. 

Starlink’s availability map of its services on Friday showed that it will formally enter the local market next month. 


Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa hails Russia’s Putin as ‘my dear friend’ and ally

Mnangagwa, speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, praised Putin for defending the independence and territorial integrity of Russia.

“Zimbabwe considers the Russian Federation as a consistent global ally,” Mnangagwa said on a stage shared by Putin in St Petersburg. “Strength lies in our unity, adaptability and innovation.”

“It is regrettable and unacceptable that the collective West continues to peruse hegemonic tendencies that blatantly violate the sovereign equality of nations, justice and fairness,” Mnangagwa told the forum.


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