A SURVEY by a civil society organisation, the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd), has revealed the continued dilapidation of the country’s health facilities, with most district hospitals in a state of disrepair.
In a public resource management situation for April 2023 released this month, Zimcodd revealed that a paltry 4% of 57 districts surveyed have good healthcare facilities, with the majority (85%) reporting poor medical facilities.
The government has been urged to ensure production of sanitary pads at district level to sustain the schools sanitary pads programme.
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said capable companies should be identified and be supported to produce sanitary pads.
His remarks come at a time when the sanitary pads programme in schools has been marred by controversy.
“We have noted with concern that budgetary allocation for pads tend to disappear without reaching intended beneficiaries. In 2022, around US$12 was allocated per girl child per year. Unfortunately, most kids never received the sanitary pads.”
All outward payments from Zimbabwe to any foreign country for the next six months will attract a one percent charge up to a maximum of US$50 000 as part of measures gazetted by President Mnangagwa yesterday to stem the loss of value of the local currency seen in the past few months.
The one percent charge is paid by all banks and similar institutions, including mobile money transfer agencies paying someone outside the country.
A loaf of bread now costs 10,000 Zimdollar ($1.67). A week ago, it cost no more than 2,000 Zimdollar.
At some point in 2008, a 10-billion-dollar note was just enough to purchase three eggs.
Seven candidates headlined by incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and arch-rival Citizens Coalitions for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa’s return into the ring will be vying for presidency in harmonised elections due August 23 this year.
The five others are MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora, Independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere, NCA’s Lovemore Madhuku, Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development (ZCPD)’s Trust Chikohora and little-known Harry Peter Wilson of Bulawayo.
ABOUT 20 Chinese investors with cumulative turnover of nearly US$40 billion have shown keen interest to invest in the proposed US$13 billion mine-to-energy industrial park in Mapinga, Mashonaland West Province.
The development of the multi-billion dollar industrial park is firmly on course with the investors awaiting the Government to finalise some administrative processes, including the environmental impact assessment, before implementing the project.
In September last year, the Government and two Chinese investors, Eagle Canyon International Group Limited and Pacific Goal Investment, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, at an event presided over by President Mnangagwa, for the construction of the mine-to-energy industrial park.
Democracy levels in Zimbabwe are low, according to the most recent Democracy Index Report on the state of democracy throughout the world, which scored the southern African country 2.92 out of 10.
Compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the report methodology measures democracy by assessing 60 indicators across five key categories: Electoral process and pluralism; Political culture, Political participation, Functioning of government and Civil liberties.
Each category has a rank of zero to 10 based on how the indicators fared, and the overall democracy score is an average of each of the five categories.
Zimbabweans are resorting to comic relief in the face of a failing economy, as the local currency loses value by the day. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
This week, government workers’ salaries increased by 300%, with a health worker taking home ZW$1 000 000 (about R2 000). (AN: US$ 125)
To their shock, when some went shopping, they found a pack of four toilet rolls priced at ZW$137 000. Thus, a health worker could afford to buy about seven packs of tissues.
Following the exorbitant price hikes, Pick n Pay earned the moniker “Pick n Cry” in a cartoon published online on ZimDaily. Since January, the local dollar has lost 80% of its value.
“Once a millionaire, always a millionaire,” said Simba Zinyengere, referring to the 2008 economic meltdown and the current economic crisis.
ZIMNAT Asset Management says the Zimbabwe dollar, which has lost 99% of its value since it was reintroduced in 2019, will not collapse, but rather get relegated to low value transactions.
At the beginning of the week, the Zimbabwe dollar was trading at about $6 713 to the United States dollar on the official market.
On the parallel market, it was trading at around $10 000 to the greenback.
Speaking at the ninth annual convention held by the Actuarial Society of Zimbabwe (ASZ) in Harare recently, Zimnat Asset Management investments general manager Farai Gwaka said the local currency would not collapse.
Zimbabwe has taken a significant step in the world of social media with the development of its own application, TalkChart which has already attracted over 30 000 users.
The innovative application combines the features of popular messaging platform WhatsApp with a global financing system, allowing users to chat and send or receive money from the comfort of their homes.
According to Jonathan Muchengeti, the director of the company, TalkChart is a proudly Zimbabwean creation.
“Apart from providing a messaging platform, TalkChart also introduces a financing system that enables users to carry out transactions using the app. This includes the ability to pay bills such as Zesa and council fees at anytime,” he said.
TalkChart would be fully operational for transactions within the next few weeks.
Basic commodities have disappeared from shop shelves as most outlets are unable to secure foreign currency to replenish stocks, Business Times can report.
This comes as manufacturers are supplying goods to informal traders who pay in foreign currency as the economy battles currency volatility which has triggered a shortage of most locally manufactured basics.
A survey by this publication shows that products like cooking oil, soap, fresh milk and sugar, among others, were not on the shelves of most supermarkets in the capital.
However, the same products are available in tuckshops run by informal traders that sell in foreign currency. They are also available on the street supermarkets.
commitment to the implementation of the Spotlight Initiative high level political compact, a strategic initiative for an effective response towards elimination of gender-based violence, mostly that by men against women and girls.
Edward Kallon, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe told an event to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that the President’s launch and approval of the high level political compact on ending gender-based violence and harmful practices, demonstrated political will at the highest level.