Week 27

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

WFP aids food insecure families in Bulawayo

THE World Food Programme (WFP) and partners have come to the rescue of at least 15 000 food insecure people in Bulawayo including children from 2 007 households. 

WFP officials and its partners yesterday visited various households benefiting from its urban food insecure aid programme in the second biggest city’s suburbs. 

They were assessing the situation following the monetary assistance families have been getting since the start of the programme in September 2022. 

The programme is set to end this month end. 

The programme is being implemented in partnership with the government and other donor agencies that chipped in with funding. 

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Visible Scars of Torture – Cathy Buckle

Utterly heartbreaking scenes were shown in a short video clip last week of former Senator and Cabinet Minister, Jameson Timba, and 77 youngsters disembarking from a police bus which was taking them to the Harare Magistrates Court. It was almost too painful to watch as they hobbled, limped and staggered towards the Court watched by police in riot gear, wearing helmets and holding rubber truncheons. Many of those arrested were young women. One young woman had her leg bandaged and wrapped in blue plastic from her knee to her toes; she had been beaten so badly by police that her leg was broken. She screamed in pain and another young woman wearing a red jacket bent down and lifted her onto her back, piggy backing her to the Court. Journalists described ‘visible scars of torture’ on some of those arrested and lawyers said several needed medical treatment. 

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Zimbabwe Police Arrest 7 Political Activists Distributing Monthly Food Handouts to Poor Residents

Five members of the National Democratic Working Group (NDWG) led by Job Sikhala have been arrested in Harare in what appears to be a national crackdown on the opposition amid claims that they are attempting to cause instability in Zimbabwe.  

But the opposition claims that the government is attempting to cover up massive corruption linked to the ruling elite, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his inner circle. 

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We’re targeting 1 million housing units by 2025 | The Sunday Mail (state owned)

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 advocates access to improved housing with adequate basic services for all by the year 2030. 

The goal is to make cities and other human settlements vibrant, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and as the Government, we subscribe to this global convention. 

Congruent with the SDGs deadline and aspirations, the Second Republic introduced Vision 2030 to buttress the global sustainable development plan. 

Vision 2030’s agenda aims to achieve a prosperous and empowered upper-middle-income society by 2030 through a sequential and systematic methodology that leaves no one and no place behind in terms of, among other national development priorities, housing delivery in the country. 

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‘Insurance not priority for most Zimbabweans’

SATIB Insurance Brokers general manager Taurai Pambwe says insurance is not a priority for most Zimbabweans as shown by the market penetration of less than 2%. And unfortunately, for the past 20 or so years in Zimbabwe, the insurance market was on the receiving end simply because insurance, just like the begging sector, is only as good as your economic activity. 

 So if the market fundamentals or the economy is oiled and running like your advanced economies, you realise that also insurance picks up simply because there is disposable income. 

 People can plan around their money. 

People are also, I would say, they have assets to insure. 

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Zim diplomatic missions swim in poverty

Government is struggling to meet its financial obligations, including salaries and operational costs, for its diplomatic missions due to foreign currency shortage, a government official has revealed. 

Foreign Affairs deputy minister Sheila Chikomo told Senators this while giving an update on the status of Zimbabwe’s diplomatic missions regarding salaries for mission staff, contributions and subscriptions to international organisations, state of State residences and chancelleries, among other issues. 

She said the ministry faced challenges due to foreign currency shortages amid the opening of five new missions without a corresponding increase in budget. 

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Zimbabwe ZiGs As Currency Zags | God’s World News

The Zimbabwean dollar is in trouble. It has lost most of its value. So Zimbabwe unveiled a new currency . . . for the sixth time. Will the newest bill halt the currency crisis?

Zimbabwe has one of the world’s worst performing currencies. In April, officials announced a new currency called ZiG—for Zimbabwe Gold—to replace the previous one. They insist the ZiG will succeed because it’s backed by two-and-a-half tons of gold and $100 million in cold, hard cash.

But many citizens aren’t accepting the new money. Some lost their life savings in 2009 when the inflation rate reached over five billion percent! At that time, most of the country dropped the Zimbabwean dollar and started using U.S. dollars instead.

At one point, the country issued a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar banknote. Eventually, the government had to briefly scrap its failing currency and allow the U.S. dollar to be used as legal tender.

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Tshabangu takes ZEC toilet scandal to Senate

Opposition senator Sengezo Tshabangu has demanded answers from the Finance Ministry on why Treasury went ahead to disburse US$9 million towards the procurement of portable toilets and vests from a South African firm long after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had tried to source for them for use in the 2023 elections. 

Tshabangu, who is CCC Matabeleland North province senator, was speaking in the upper house this past week during the ministers’ question time. 

ZimLive revealed recently that ZEC ordered 2,000 non-flushable toilets on the eve of the August 2023 elections at a cost of US$7.6 million. 

The toilets, priced at an astronomical US$3,800 per unit when they retail for about US$300 in South Africa, were only delivered in April this year – eight months after the election. 

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Dawn sees increased ZiG usage in real estate

Dawn Property Consultancy Private Limited managing director John Ndere says they are noticing increased Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) transactions in real estate sector despite the industry being forex-driven. 

For months, the real estate sector has been negatively affected by declining mortgage opportunities and increased rental voids as prices rose in tandem with inflation. 

Ndere told NewsDay Business the introduction of ZiG has brought stability and  confidence in the property sector. 

“The introduction of the ZiG currency in April 2024 has brought some much-needed stability to the real estate industry, which requires investors with a long-term view,” he said. 

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Zim remains in energy poverty: Minister

ZIMBABWE expects a power supply deficit of up to 2 800 megawatts (MW) from the current 500MW by the end of 2025 due to rising demand from mining and smelting companies, Energy minister Edgar Moyo has said. 

Addressing investors yesterday at a plenary theatre in Barcelona, Spain, Moyo also said only 23,4% of rural households were connected to the national electricity grid. 

Moyo said Zimbabwe was looking for investors in energy generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, and capacity building programmes. 

“Various solar mini-grid programmes are being implemented, especially for public institutions like schools and clinics with gardening, welding and other projects as productive use schemes for the systems. 

“This is all thanks to our developmental partners and the private sector.

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Flu bug: Time to mask up? | The Sunday Mail (state owned)

Following widespread fears of the resurfacing of Covid-19, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has reassured the public that the illnesses are not related to the coronavirus or other new viruses. 

Ministry of Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Sleiman Timios Kwidini said the outbreak is under control and urged the public not to panic. 

“So far, we have no casualties. Research has shown that this is just an ordinary flu, which is responding to treatments. There is no need for people to panic,” he said. 

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War Veterans Call On Government To Take Action Rather Than Issue Threats To Citizens

Responding to questions at the Bulawayo Media Centre on Friday, ZNLWVA chairperson Andreas Ethan Mathibela said the government must stop making “idle threats” against its people but instead, address the issues that are causing citizens to voice their discontent.  

Mathibela’s remarks came after the Ministry of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, who was the acting Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, on Friday threatened people engaging in “subversive activities” that “their days are numbered.” 

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