Week 3

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

50pc Harare boreholes unsafe | The Sunday Mail (state owned)

Half of the boreholes in Harare’s western and northern districts are contaminated with human waste and could be potentially unsafe sources of drinking water. 

Water samples from boreholes in these areas, heavily relied upon by residents due to erratic municipal water supply, showed traces of sewer and E. coli bacteria, capable of causing water-borne diseases like typhoid and cholera. 

The discovery comes at a time when Harare was grappling with a raging cholera outbreak directly linked to water shortages. 

Harare City Council is presently supplying around 300 megalitres of potable water a day to the city against a demand of 1 200 megalitres. 

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Zimbabwe currency turmoil returns as local dollar plunges 40% on black market

The mineral-rich nation gets 85% of its foreign exchange from mining. 

Zimbabwe has been struggling to stabilize its currency since its return into circulation in 2019. That’s led citizens to favor the US dollar over its local counterpart to pay for everything from food to medicines. 

The local unit on Monday was changing hands at Z$10,900 per US dollar, according to ZimPriceCheck a website that monitors official and unofficial exchange rates, significantly weaker than the official exchange rate of Z$6,467 per US dollar. 

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WHO Zimbabwe cholera outbreak update #3, 14 January 2024 – Zimbabwe | ReliefWeb

As cholera cases surge, there is need to redouble efforts and every citizen, organization and authority playing their part in turning this tide. Increased funding and unwavering collaboration are now the indispensable weapons in the fight against this preventable disease. Only through a unified effort, bolstered by adequate resources, can we curb the spread of cholera. 

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Zanu PF wades into Gaza conflict

THE ruling Zanu PF party has hailed the South African government for its application to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague seeking the declaration of Israel’s military assault on Gaza an act of genocide. 

Israel has called the allegations “baseless” and accused South Africa of “co-operating with a terrorist organisation”. 

South Africa’s application is asking the ICC to take interim measures to immediately suspend Israel’s military operations in Gaza to prevent genocide. 

The application, however, condemns Hamas’ killing of 1 200 Israelis and foreign citizens while taking hostage about 247 people in October last year. 

Nonetheless, South Africa also argues that the Hamas attacks cannot justify the killing of more than 22 000 Palestinians, including more than 7 000 children.   

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Govt prepares to feed 2,7m starving people

GOVERNMENT says it will commence food distribution to 2,7 million people who are food insecure starting with the most affected households. 

The programme will run till March. 

Speaking at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Social Welfare minister July Moyo said government was jointly working with the World Food Programme (WFP), with the Emmerson Mnangagwa-run administration covering 56 districts, while WFP will cover four districts of Buhera, Mangwe, Mwenezi and Chivi. 

“The most affected districts being Binga (62%), Kariba (60%), Mt Darwin (57%), Umguza (54%), Mbire (53%) and Mangwe (50%).” 

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Unicef hails changes in Zim age of consent law

UNICEF has commended Zimbabwe for having passed legislation raising the age of consent for sexual relations to 18 years, thereby criminalising sexual relations of adults with children.  

“This will contribute to a reduction of sexual abuse of children, which continues to be a concern in Zimbabwe,” said Unicef in a statement. 

Available data suggests that in Zimbabwe, over a third of girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18 years. For most of these girls, the perpetrators are intimate partners.  

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Ncube’s taxes push bread prices up

The price of a standard loaf of bread is now pegged at $1.20, a 20% increase from last month as new taxes introduced by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube in the 2024 budget begin to bite. 

Ncube has already been forced to revise some of the measures in his $58,2 trillion budget  that saw the introduction of a raft of new taxes. A survey by The Standard at some major supermarkets in Harare showed that bread now costs between $10 000 and $11 000. Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu attributed the increases to movements in the exchange rate. 

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Chamisa hints at new party name

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa, “plans” to adopt a new party name amid indications that he is losing grip on the opposition movement. 

Chamisa’s CCC was thrown into chaos after Sengezo Tshabangu claimed to be the interim secretary-general of the party and recalled its Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors. 

Tshabangu was stopped from recalling more CCC councillors and MPs by the High Court pending finalisation of cases involving the ownership of the opposition movement. 

By-elections will be held on February 3 to fill some of the vacant seats. 

In December, Zanu PF won seven of the nine contested seats in the first round of by-elections triggered by the recalls. 

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Zimbabwe as a Growth Hub for Southern Africa

The Integrated Country Strategy for Zimbabwe (ICS Zimbabwe) declares that “Zimbabwe’s strategic importance to the United States is as a potential growth hub.

The US Embassy in Harare has identified the potential for Zimbabwe to become a growth hub for Southern Africa. 

This is a curious conclusion to draw given the fact that Zimbabwe currently ranks near the bottom of the DHL Global Connectedness Index

The State Department’s Integrated Country Strategy for Zimbabwe neither conceptualizes what it means to be a growth hub for Southern Africa nor explains whether it would be in the US national security and foreign policy interests for Zimbabwe to become one. 

It is unclear what conditions and interventions would be required to transform Zimbabwe into a growth hub.  

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Zimbabwe makes us criminals again – Cathy Buckle

Zimbabwe started 2024 with the news that that we’ve got the highest inflation rate in the world. Johns Hopkins Economist Steve Hanke, said that on the 4th of January our annual inflation was 1024%, 38 times higher than the rate stated by the Zimbabwe government. So, what’s it like living in a country with inflation of over a thousand percent? It’s not new to us but we are having to relearn the lessons of how to survive it. The very first piece of information we go looking for every day is the exchange rate between Zimbabwe and US dollars and the second lesson is to only change small amounts of money at a time because the rate will have changed by tomorrow. As I write it’s hovering at around 11,500 Zimbabwe dollars for one US dollar, before Christmas it was at 8,000 to one.

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WHO sends Zambia first batch of cholera vaccines as cases rise

Zambia said Monday it had received a first batch of more than a million oral doses of cholera vaccines from the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight a dangerous outbreak.  

More than 374 Zambians have died, 12 of them in the past 24 hours, and 9,580 fallen sick with cholera, an acute form of diarrhea that can kill within hours. The WHO and the Gavi global vaccine alliance hope to reduce cases worldwide by 90 percent by 2030 through a campaign of vaccination and improved hygiene. Xinhua News Agency  

The southern African nation has been battling the spread of the deadly disease since October and has already been forced to delay the start of the new school year. 

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Bulawayo life expectancy at 63 years: ZimStat

THE Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has revealed that the life expectancy for Bulawayo province stood at 62,6 years compared to the national life expectancy of 64,7 years. 

ZimStat also revealed that women continued to outlive their male counterparts. 

ZimStat demography and social statistics director Aluwisio Mukavhi made the remarks during a Population and Housing Census (2022) workshop held in Bulawayo yesterday. 

Mukavhi also revealed that according to the April 2022 census, Bulawayo’s population size stood at 665 952, comprising 307 871 men and 358 081 women. 

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As parents seek opportunity abroad, children in Zimbabwe find abuse at home

Beitbridge, Zimbabwe — Prisca was 5 years old when her mother left their southern hometown of Beitbridge to cross into South Africa in search of work. She was left in her grandmother’s care, but the arrangement didn’t last long. After her grandmother fell ill and sought medical assistance in Johannesburg, South Africa, a chain of distant relatives, neighbors and community members took care of the little girl. 

Prisca, who’s now 12 and whom, like other minors in this article, Global Press Journal is not fully naming to protect their identities, spent years moving from home to home until 2022 when a distant cousin took her in. Instead of looking after her, he treated Prisca as a maid. He drank and demanded that she serve him food, often waking her up in the middle of the night to cook for him. 

One night, he raped her. 

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