PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe remains an independent and sovereign nation and will resist Western pressure to take sides in international conflicts, preferring instead to encourage their solution through dialogue.
Addressing a Presidential interface meeting with small to medium scale miners in Gweru yesterday, the President said there were machinations by the United States to try and persuade Harare to pick a side in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
He said Russia and Zimbabwe were both victims of American sanctions and if Harare was to pick a side, it would speak with a fellow victim.
THE European Union (EU) Ambassador to Zimbabwe Jobst Von Kirchmann has accepted an invitation by the government to observe this year’s elections.
In a statement on Twitter Monday, Kirchmann appreciated the invitation saying this would strengthen relations between Zimbabwe and the EU.
“The EU warmly welcomes the invitation from the government of Zimbabwe to observe the harmonised elections of 2023 in Zimbabwe. This invitation clearly demonstrates the trust, cooperation, and partnership between Zimbabwe and the EU,” Kirchmann said.
There is an unrecognised but vast ‘hidden middle’ of private sector businesses operating in Africa between agricultural producers and food consumers. This is made up of a range of private actors providing transport, trading, brokerage, finance, storage, warehousing, processing and so on. This is neither ‘traditional’ (small, village based) nor ‘modern’ (organised, large-scale). These players facilitate medium-length value chains across a range of commodities that are in demand by (mostly) urban consumers, both in relation to inputs and marketed outputs of farm production. Studies show that this sector is under-recognised, but large and vibrant, and increasingly transforming agricultural value chains, generating value and employment across Africa.
“The African food system is constrained…but we’ve found a quiet revolution at the grassroots level in African supply chains…. That is, in the segments that are closest to the farmer, made up of agro-dealers, truckers, processors, wholesalers and street vendors, among others. And it’s here, in the hidden middle, that rapid advancements are being made, with huge potential for growth.”
A female legislator has expressed fears undemocratic laws such as the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Bill may affect civic society organisations that have been at the forefront in championing women’s rights.
Mashonaland East Proportional Representation (PR) MP Brightness Mangora also said the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, also known as the Patriot Bill, may stifle female voices and frustrate women’s political participation in political processes.
China yesterday donated 1 050 tonnes of rice and 1 050 tonnes of flour to the Government of Zimbabwe which will go towards the welfare of the vulnerable communities as the two nations continue to enjoy cordial relations.
The donation, which was received by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima will primarily benefit the elderly, the chronically ill, people with disabilities, child headed families, victims of disasters, registered institutions housing vulnerable children and other vulnerable groups.
It was all smiles when some of the registered charitable organizations, including Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home, Chinyaradzo Children’s Home, and Society of Destitute Aged, received one ton each of rice and flour as part of their share.
Government has given Chinese firm, Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco), which is developing the US$1,5 billion steel plant in Manhize near Mvuma, an iron ore mining lease with an open-ended tenure.
The mining lease entitles Disco, a unit of China’s biggest stainless steel producer, Tsingshan Holdings Group Limited, to 12 270 hectares on which the steel plant is being established.
Tsingshan operates two other local subsidiaries in Zimbabwe namely Dinson Colliery in Hwange, Matabeleland North Province and Afrochine Smelting (Pvt) Limited in Selous, Mashonaland West Province.
Zimbabwe, like many of its regional peers, is grappling with both energy shortages and the impacts of climate change. In response, its government has begun to put investment in new power generation capacity at the centre of its development programme.
In 2021, the government also announced it will cut the country’s carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2050, indicating a shift away from coal – which currently accounts for over a third of electricity generation – towards clean sources.
Zimbabwe’s natural features provide huge potential for renewables. But the rollout of clean energy has so far been slow and problematic.
A former school teacher who spent a year working in Zimbabwe is returning as the United Kingdom’s new ambassador in September.
Peter Vowles will replace Melanie Robinson who has been the UK’s top diplomat in Harare since 2019.
“Mr Peter Vowles has been appointed to be His Majesty’s ambassador to Zimbabwe in succession to Ms Melanie Robinson CMG. Mr Vowles will take up his appointment in September 2023,” the UK foreign office said in a statement Thursday. Vowles is currently the transformation director for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate raced to triple digits for the first time in five months after multiple devaluations of the local currency led prices to surge.
The blended consumer price index, which the southern African nation adopted as its inflation benchmark in February, rose 175.8% in June from 86.5% the previous month, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency said at a briefing. Prices climbed 74.5% in the month, compared with 15.7% in May.
The new gauge was selected as the agency said it better reflects the nation’s economic reality because it tracks prices in both US and Zimbabwean dollars, unlike the previous benchmark that only assessed costs in local-currency terms. The greenback accounts for 75% of all transactions in the economy. It is widely used to pay for food, fuel and services and is preferred as a better store of value than the volatile Zimbabwean dollar.
INCREASED food security, employment, education opportunities and infrastructure development are just some of the fruits reaped by Binga in Matabeleland North province over the last five years, as what was once a forgotten and maligned district has taken centre stage since ascent of President Mnangagwa to power, thereby living up to the Second Republic’s mantra of living no one and no place behind.
Fishing rigs for chiefs, youth and women, community boreholes, a polytechnic, improved health services and better roads are just some of the developments that have been brought by government to Binga, transforming what some might have thought to be distant rural backwater into a thriving district that is now on the cusp of realising its full potential.
Since coming to power in 2017, President Mnangagwa has been at the forefront in terms of driving economic growth and development in Matabeleland and has been particularly concerned with areas that have previously lagged behind in development, like Binga.
Many in Zimbabwe have found themselves caught in a wave of high inflation, unable to afford the basics. Now, add several other social issues – including crime to the mix – and you have a recipe for deep-seated voter dissatisfaction. The two main candidates are expected to be, 80-year-old incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa, from the governing Zanu-PF party. And, his younger rival – Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, from the Citizen’s Coalition for Change. So, will they deliver on the promises they are making to voters? And what challenges will they face?
A pensioner in Zimbabwe, getting a NSSA/ state pension gets around Z$60,000 a month, that’s the equivalent on the street today of US$8. The ‘forex portion’ of a NSSA pension that State media are bragging about is around US$30 a month which has just been introduced by government. Many banks have a ‘transaction charge’ of US$5 so you actually only get US$25 of your pension in your hand. You probably need to use about US$5 of that just to get to the bank to withdraw it so you’re left with a total of US$28 a month, US 93 cents a day. Can you live on that is the question our government should be asking, if they dare, if they care; can you even buy your monthly medicines for US$28 a month?