Week 28

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Perennial power cuts choke health delivery system

“The worst was seeing a new-born baby dying, and I couldn’t do anything because we didn’t have any source of power,” David Masara, nurse-in-charge at Budiriro Polyclinic in Harare, said. 

His account is a tip of an iceberg on the impact of the country’s rolling power cuts on the health sector.  

The perennial electricity power shortages have seriously affected the health delivery system countrywide.  

Key service areas including surgical operations, life support systems, drug storages, scans, X-rays/ medical tests and examinations as well as in-patient and out- patient units have been affected.  

In some institutions, expecting women have been made to bring their own lighting before admission.  

However, the challenge is being averted by the recent Solar For Health initiative that has seen over 1 000 health facilities across the country being equipped with solar units as back-up in case of power cuts.  


COTRAD response mechanism to the rise of political violence in Masvingo Province

Masvingo province has become a hotspot for political violence as witnessed in the previous election. In Bikita, Gutu and Zaka districts, political violence has reached another level. There is an increase of politically motivated violence in Masvingo province. The tension between political parties has been triggered by the general election slated on 23 August 2023. The operating environment is characterized by simmering political tensions as a result of conflicts in political parties and worsening poverty in rural areas due to the deteriorating economic situation and crumbling social service delivery. 

COTRAD (Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development) has recorded 50 cases of politically motivated violence in the month of June 2023.


Kangani launches second book

TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD author Evermore Kangani launched her second book titled Beauty for Ashes on Saturday, July 8, 2023 at Batanai Gardens where guest of honour Lameck Phiri paid US$100 for a copy of the US$10 novel. 

Speaking to NewDay Life & Style, Kangani said she borrowed the novel’s title from the book of Isaiah (61:3) in the Old Testament which gives reference to Israelite’s promised recompense for their afflictions as a people. She added that she wrote the book from a very personal experience she emerged from to discover the beauty of life. 


Zero to Hero in a Mouthful – Cathy Buckle

Zimbabwe dollars, also known as Bond dollars, RTGS dollars or ZWL dollars have virtually disappeared from circulation in the past ten days. Obviously they are being held back to force the black market down, the US dollars out of our pockets and for electioneering purposes. Just the fact that there are so many names for a currency which was worth ZW$1 to US$1 in February 2019 and is now worth ZW$7,000 – 10,000 to US$1 should tell you everything you need to know about our absurd currency situation. 


Take courage! Stand up and let your voices be heard through the ballot: Catholic bishops’ impassioned plea to voters

The Catholic bishops, in a statement, urged voters to “Take courage! Stand up and let your voices be heard through the ballot”. Zimbabweans go to the polls on August 23 to elect new representatives and the clerics said by voting, the citizens:

“determine the nation that you want, you choose its leaders for the next five years. Your vote is your personal decision and an expression of your freedom. Do not be intimidated, coerced or manipulated to vote against your will. Refuse to be used in violent attacks against your fellow brothers and sisters. Any party or politician that incites violence or persuades you to join in violent attacks, is not worthy of your vote. Give your vote to those who deserve it,” the clerics said. 


EFF pledges buses to transport Zimbabweans back home to vote

One of South Africa’s opposition leaders, Julius Malema, has urged Zimbabweans in that country to return home and vote, pledging that his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party is ready to hire buses to transport them to Zimbabwe so they can vote for the government of their choice. 

Malema told the media on Thursday at the party’s 10th-anniversary celebration at Uncle Tom’s Community Centre in Soweto that it was time for Zimbabweans to take responsibility by voting, as the elections next month represent a significant opportunity for people to select leaders of their own choosing.   

“The EFF wishes the people of Zimbabwe well in the upcoming national elections which will happen on August 23, 2023. The elections mark a critical opportunity for the people of Zimbabwe to elect a government of their choice to uplift the nation of poverty that today defines what was once known as the breadbasket of Africa,” said the opposition leader. 


Gender groups rope in children in GBV fight

GENDER activists have roped in primary school children in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) to raise awareness on gender equality, especially in rural grassroots. 

The activists, known as gender champions, under the Spotlight Initiative programme, are educating children on the dangers of GBV under the Catch-Them-Young programme. 

Spotlight Initiative is a European Union (EU)-funded programme implemented by United Nations (UN) Women to eliminate violence against girls and women in communities through economic empowerment and training on GBV issues. 


Concerns surround Zimbabwe’s third cholera outbreak in 15 years

The word “cholera” doesn’t strike much fear in countries with vaccine access and clean water infrastructure. But in Zimbabwe, cholera outbreaks can get very serious very quickly, and the dehydrating disease can kill within hours. 

Zimbabwe is currently facing its third cholera outbreak in 15 years. The disease is typically transmitted through water or sometimes food containing cholera bacterium. So far, over 3,000 cases have been reported and 71 deaths suspected or confirmed. 


Women’s low participation in politics retrogressive: WILD

In a statement, Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) Executive Director Samukeliso Khumalo said despite notable progress made in recent years, women continue to be underrepresented in political leadership and decision-making processes. 

This was in reaction to the low numbers of women who were nominated to represent various political parties in the August 23 elections. 

There will be no woman candidate in the presidential election a drop from 4 women presidential candidates who participated in the 2008 elections, while only 11 percent of women candidates were nominated for National Assembly seats. 


Villagers make way for Zesa powerline

ABOUT 29 families in Mazwi village on the outskirts of Bulawayo will be relocated to pave way for a Zesa Holdings powerline from Hwange Power Station. 

Latest Bulawayo City Council minutes indicate that the villagers will be relocated from Stands 717 to 704 Mazwi village. 

The minutes state that the town planning department last month reported that council had resolved to relocate 29 families affected by an additional Zesa powerline. 

“The servitude was needed by Zesa to accommodate a 400kV overhead powerline that passes next to the village. Since the relocation is a Zesa initiative, it tasked its subsidiary, Zimbabwe Power Company, to carry out the construction of houses for the relocated families,” the minutes read. 


Failed Gwanda solar project angers residents

THE 100 megawatt Gwanda solar project awarded to controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo has turned into a white elephant after it was abandoned due to the long protracted legal dispute with residents expressing anger at its failure to take off. 

Chivayo was awarded the tender some 15 years ago, but a visit to the site of the project located at the northern side of Spitzkop revealed yet another unfulfilled promise. 

Cabinet sanctioned the tender awarded by the then State Procurement Board soon after the company beat five other bidders. The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), however, terminated the contract and the matter spilled into the courts. 

During a visit to the site, Sunday  Southern Eye established that there was nothing to show for the project but only a vast open land without any single development. 


Rights lobby groups condemn brutal attack on lawyer Obey Shava

Local and international human rights lobby groups have condemned the brutal attack on lawyer Obey Shava, who was on attacked and left for dead by unknown assailants Wednesday night. 

Shava sustained serious injuries and is currently admitted at a local hospital. According to reports, the prominent lawyer was lured to Belvedere, Harare, by an unidentified man under the guise that he was seeking legal services. When Shava arrived at the agreed meeting point, four men pounced on him, leaving him for dead. 


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