Week 25

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

Only 1 in 5 African countries funding elementary education

THE United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has raised concern over how African countries, Zimbabwe included, are still lagging behind in meeting the recommended budget allocation required to provide quality education.

Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent on Sunday commemorated the Day of the African Child running under the theme Education for All Children in Africa: The Time is Now!

Unicef said most African countries were not fulfilling their commitment to allocate 20% of their national budgets to education, as recommended in the Sustainable Development Goals framework for action for education.

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Education for All Children in Africa: The Time is Now

On the 16th June 1976, South African high-school students protested for better education but were met with lethal force.  What began as a peaceful demonstration became a day of mourning as authorities opened fire on children.  That day is now memorialised by the African Union as the International Day of the African Child.  Today, 48 years since the so-called Soweto Uprising, we take time to raise awareness of the challenges faced by African children. 

This year’s theme is: 

“Education for All Children in Africa : The time is now” 

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REA electrifies over 70pc of rural schools The Herald (state owned)

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has electrified over 70 percent of primary and secondary schools across the country, marking a major milestone in the country’s quest for universal access to sustainable energy and quality education. 

This comes as the Second Republic accelerates the expansion of the national electricity grid to rural areas, enhancing economic development in formerly neglected areas, in line with the envisaged Vision 2030 along with setting up independent solar arrays to power essential needs away from the grid. 

Speaking during a question and answer session in the Senate last Thursday, Minister of Energy and Power Development Edgar Moyo said REA was working tirelessly to electrify all registered schools. 

“Combined, secondary and primary schools have an electrification rate of around 70 percent in the country,” Minister Moyo said. 

“This means we have 30 percent to go. I know that we continue to develop these projects so that our schools can be fully covered, and e-learning can take place.  

“We also have another programme, coordinated by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, with development partners like UNICEF and others, installing solar projects in schools.” 

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ZiG a game changer for economy’ The Herald (state owned)

Anchoring the Zimbabwe Gold currency (ZiG) with gold is a solid and elaborate strategy for restoring currency stability, which lays a strong foundation for Zimbabwe’s economic growth, President Mnangagwa has said. 

As such the business sector and ordinary Zimbabweans should take pride in the currency and put it to maximum use. 

Speaking during a plenary session at the recent 10th CEO Africa Roundtable conference in Victoria Falls, President Mnangagwa expressed confidence in the currency and called on executives to provide the Government with ideas for maintaining currency stability. 

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Dutch NGO steps in to ease Byo water woes

Netherlands-based humanitarian organisation, WaterWorx has stepped in to ease Bulawayo’s water woes after it provided US$336 000 for the drilling of additional boreholes and fixing leakages to ensure the city receives sustainable water supplies. 

WaterWorx is a joint venture project run by 10 Dutch water companies to provide 80 million people across the world with sustainable  access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation. 

In an interview yesterday, Bulawayo City Council’s water and sanitation director Skhumbuzo Ncube told Southern Eye that the project would focus on the exploration of groundwater, drilling of boreholes and reticulation of water due to centralised storage. 

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Corruption undermining justice system: CiZC

In a statement yesterday, CiZC spokesperson Marvellous Kumalo said the level of corruption in Zimbabwe has reached a point where good people can no longer remain quiet.  The August 2023 election had a budget of US$188 million. It did not have proper costing and worse, no transparent procurement process,” he said. 

“Shockingly, evidence has emerged that a server, which typically costs US$4 700, was purchased for US$1,2 million. This raises questions about the philosophy of mass ‘gutsa ruzhinji’ when a select few are looting State resources to buy cars.” 

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Seventy-five Cents and a Zimbabwean Dinosaur – Cathy Buckle

Dear Family and Friends, 

An icy cold moved into Zimbabwe this week with night time temperatures dropping to three degrees Celsius in my home town sending us running to the markets looking for warm clothing. ‘Only US$10 Ma’am,’ the vendor said at the market as she looked through her racks of second-hand warm jackets for one to my liking. We joked and laughed as I suggested she call her jackets ‘pre-loved’ as opposed to second-hand and she liked that idea a lot. We slapped hands and the search went on for the perfect jacket. A little poppet was sitting behind her Mum on a thick blanket, wrapped up and toasty warm. I bent down to the little girl and she was shy but giggly as I asked her name and after checking with her Mum I offered the little girl a few jelly- tot sweeties. We also slapped hands, her tiny fingers warm and sticky on my palm. Shopping like this warms your heart, regardless of the temperature, you know you are helping someone to survive with every purchase you make and it’s such a small thing to do to add a few dollars more for their lunch too.

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A political economic analysis of local authorities in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the local governance sector operates amidst a dynamic political and economic landscape, where corruption poses a persistent challenge. Commissioned under the Strengthening Institutions and Youth Agency in Zimbabwe (SIYA) project, this Political Economy Analysis (PEA) seeks to untangle the intricacies shaping corruption patterns within local authorities. The analysis, essential for the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST) and its collaborators—ZIMCODD, YETT, and Transparency International Zimbabwe—aims to provide nuanced insights into power structures, patronage networks, electoral cycles, economic disparities, and socio-economic vulnerabilities.

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400 Corpses Cross Into Zimbabwe

The task of importing deceased bodies into Zimbabwe is fraught with legal and logistical challenges, as evidenced by the grim statistics reported by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) at Beit Bridge Border Post. Port Health Officer Silibaziso Nkala revealed, “On average we record plus or minus 100 per week so on average we process 100 deceased people passing through here into the country, locally and we have very few who will be in transit. The causes of deaths vary with some dying from chronic illnesses, accidents, stab wounds and gunshots.” This high volume of deceased individuals crossing the border underscores the pressing need for a robust legal framework and efficient administrative processes to manage these transfers.

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Long live land reform! Reflections on Michael Lipton’s classic book

The goals of land reform: reducing poverty and inequality 

The core of Michael’s argument is that small-scale farms are the most effective route to reducing poverty in most of the world, and that redistributive land reform is a vital policy when land is unequally distributed, which is nearly everywhere. The success of land reform in poverty reduction is in turn influenced not only by boosts in production, but by the effects on wider employment and non-farm activity. Across 456 pages, the case for land reform is made. As he says, news of land reform’s death is definitely premature.

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Who else profits from remittances

Zimbabwe is one of the largest African country receivers of remittances from citizens abroad. Per year, migrants transfer more than $ 1 billion into the country, according to the Institute of Development Studie based at the University of Sussex, UK. These earnings have surpassed traditional revenues of the Zimbabwean economy such as tobacco export. 

Majority of Zimbabweans migrate to Europe, USA and South Africa to find jobs. Many must do multiple jobs to meet their needs and save some money to support their family back home. They are frustrated that the billions they are wiring home are benefiting the country’s tiny but very rich ruling elite.  

Cecilia Moyo, a nurse from Zimbabwe who works as a caregiver in London, tells this writer via WhatsApp: “There are now thousands of us.” She says that highly trained nurses from Zimbabwe are taking up nursing homecare work at a salary vastly below their skill set. Moyo earns a net salary of 2000 British pounds which supports her and five family members in Zimbabwe. 

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Zanu PF businesspeople reject ZiG

Zanu PF political commissar Munyaradzi Machacha says businesspeople linked to the party who are rejecting the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) must be arrested.

The government introduced the ZiG in April this year to replace the local currency, which had been battered by inflation.

Some service providers are, however, refusing to accept the ZiG for some certain products.

A supermarket owned by one top Zanu PF official in Bulawayo is not accepting ZiG for some products, a survey revealed.

“For Zanu PF businesspeople, businessmen, I would say lead by example,” Machacha said in an interview.

“If we are truly Zanu PF, we should work for the success of the ZIG and the success of government policies.”

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