A HEALTH disaster looms in the country’s urban areas due to persistent water shortages, residents’ associations warned yesterday. This comes after most suburbs and industrial sites in Harare have gone for weeks without running water, while others have dirty water coming out of their taps. In Bulawayo, a 72-hour water rationing schedule has already been introduced, resulting in residents clocking more than four days without water.
Interview with outgoing European Union (EU) Mission to Zimbabwe head of delegation, Timo Olkonnen (TO): One issue is about the human rights aspect — the respect for people’s political and civic rights in Zimbabwe. On that topic, we have had discussions with government and we are concerned about the civic space, the Private Voluntary Organisations Bill, which has been a topical issue and its consequences.
When you talk to investors, they have a number of concerns around transparency, a level playing field, repatriation of profits, the issue of currency and corruption.
FOREIGN Affairs minister Frederick Shava has said something very interesting regarding our relatives currently domiciled far and wide in all corners of the globe, but more specifically with regards to those closer to home in South Africa where many of them are staring deportation. In an apparent attempt to appeal to the South African government to spare from deportation some 1 780 000 Zimbabweans whose exemption permits expire end of this year, Shava says: “migration has become one of the main pillars of our people’s survival.”
It is a pity that the minister fell short of admitting that the Zimbabwean economy is partly surviving on diaspora remittances support now amounting to over US$2 billion annually, despite government perennially acknowledging this massive contribution to the national fiscus in the national budget. While Shava says there are some behind-the-scenes happenings between South Africa and Zimbabwe regarding the fate of the exemption permit holders, we believe government should go a step further and grant the diasporans the right to vote in appreciation of the huge contribution they are making in propping up the troubled Zimbabwean economy and its people.
Mnangagwa has been on an accelerated infrastructure development trajectory — dams, roads, schools and hospitals, among others. He has been using the printing press to finance these projects, which he hopes will put him in a best position to be re-elected despite the worsening macro-economic conditions where the majority of workers cannot afford basic needs. The cost of running the printing machine is felt by all and sundry through the skyrocketing inflation, now topping 500%, and the devaluation of the local currency which is now $800 to the greenback.
A GROUP of Zimbabweans in the United States are plotting to protest over lack of electoral reforms and abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe during next month’s United Nations General Assembly. Human rights abuses and democracy issues have resulted in Zimbabwe being placed under targeted sanctions by the US and European Union.
LEGISLATORS have accused the Executive of systematically stripping the country of its valuable assets and selling them through opaque deals, which observers say smells of deep-rooted corruption and plunder. In a heated question-and-answer-session in Parliament last Thursday, it emerged that government has been clandestinely disposing of strategic entities such as mines and petroleum outlets without seeking parliamentary approval, in flagrant breach of the country’s Constitution.
TRADE between Zimbabwe and China grew by 57 percent to US$973 million in the first six months of the year driven by intensive efforts of the two governments and the private sector. China, which is the largest economy in Asia and only second after the US in the world, enjoys cordial relations with Zimbabwe and trade between the two nations has in recent years been growing tremendously.
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has called for United Nations-supervised elections in 2023 to avoid the possibility of a contested outcome. Zimbabwe has a history of contested elections since the turn of the millennium, and Chamisa refused to concede defeat in the 2018 elections to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom he accused of stealing the vote with the aid of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).