Week 38

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Mnangagwa refuses to sign PVO bill, sends it back to parliament

Mnangagwa refuses to sign PVO bill, sends it back to parliament

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declined to sign the controversial Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill into law, and has sent it back to parliament for reconsideration. 

United Nations experts had urged Mnangagwa to reject enacting the bill that would severely restrict civic space and the right to freedom of association in the country. 

The Senate passed the bill on February 1, 2023, and it has been awaiting Mnangagwa’s signature since then. Legal watchdog Veritas, in an update on Wednesday, said Mnangagwa has kicked the bill back to parliament. 


Ramaphosa confirms SADC plans to hold summit over Zimbabwe poll report

SADC is preparing to convene a meeting with Zimbabwean authorities and representatives of the SADC election observer mission to discuss the contents of a critical report on Zimbabwe’s recent elections. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed this during an interview with SABC while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 


Chamisa accused of giving Zimbabweans false hope

Critics of Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), have accused him of nurturing false optimism among Zimbabweans. This critique comes in response to a series of Chamisa’s posts on X, in which he shares messages of hope along with a Bible verse and the hashtag #GodIsInIt

Linda Masarira, the President of Labour Economists and African Democrats, as well as other Zimbabweans on X, swiftly reacted to Chamisa’s posts, arguing that he was failing to instill confidence in the electorate that had voted for him. 


Let the good times roll, let’s enjoy: Mthuli

FINANCE and Investment Promotion minister Mthuli Ncube says Zimbabweans should enjoy the good times because the country’s economy is booming. 

Addressing delegates during the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) convention held in Bulawayo last week, Ncube, who was recently re-appointed to Cabinet for the second time under the same ministry by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, said the economy was registering a positive growth rate. National Consumer Rights Association spokesperson Effie Ncube has, however, shot back at Ncube’s bragging describing the touted economic progress as textbook growth far divorced from people’s lived realities. “Despite the promises of economic revival that the government has been making, millions of Zimbabweans are still languishing in worsening unemployment, poverty and hunger. 


Mayor Coltart unpacks his vision for Bulawayo

BULAWAYO’S newly-elected mayor, David Coltart, a veteran politician who once served as Education minister, has come up with a cocktail of measures to restore Zimbabwe’s second-largest city to its former glory. 

Refuse collection 
Bulawayo used to be one of the cleanest cities in Africa, but is now an eyesore. The city has been infested with street vendors and heaps of litter. 

Perennial water rationing has made life difficult for residents and business operators. This has been mainly because the city lies in a dry region, but Coltart says the city’s water supply should gradually improve. 

Closely related to the issue of water is that of water reticulation and sewage that has become a menace in communities. 

Sanitation and health 
Sewage bursts are not only an eyesore and heavy on the nose, they are breeding grounds for diseases. Coltart has also promised to capacitate the city with the needed ambulances, taking into consideration the financial constraints. 

Bulawayo, like many other local authorities, has been at the centre of corruption storms, but Coltart will not have that in his team. 


Traditional leaders roped into wildlife conservation The Herald (state owned)

THE International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is engaging traditional chiefs from southern and eastern Africa to redefine peaceful cohabitation with animals through the “Room to Roam” programme headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Visiting traditional chiefs from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia were amazed at how the Maasai people of Kenya peacefully co-exist with the roaming wildlife. 

Among the chiefs were Chief Alphius Msindazi Siphoso from Tsholotsho and Chief Felix Lukwa from Kasungu, central Malawi. 

“There is need to execute a Room-to-Roam campaign in Zimbabwe, establishing an area where people and animals can dwell peacefully. 


EU suspends US$5m Zec funding


The European Union (EU) has announced plans to suspend the US$5 million funding extended to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in November last year as the electoral management body becomes the first casualty of last month’s disputed elections. 

The EU last year handed over €6 million (US$5,9 million) to Zec to help in preparations for the general elections held last month. 

The funding package was announced at a signing ceremony for the EU’s €47 million package to support activities of the Health and Child Care ministry and Zec. 


Inside South Africa’s Operation Dudula: ‘Why we hate foreigners’

Operation Dudula was set-up in Soweto two years ago, the first group to formalise what had been sporadic waves of xenophobia-fuelled vigilante attacks in South Africa that date back to shortly after white-minority rule ended in 1994. It calls itself a civic movement, running on an anti-migrant platform, with the word “dudula” meaning “to force out” in Zulu. 


David Coltart rejects Bulawayo mayoral vehicles

Newly-elected Bulawayo mayor David Coltart says he will not accept any mayoral vehicles set to be allocated to him as part of his conditions of service, telling a group of civic leaders Tuesday he would rather see the funds used to acquire the cars rechanneled towards service delivery initiatives. 

The CCC politician was speaking during a Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) engagement meeting with city fathers in Bulawayo. 

He said the country’s second largest city was at a deficit of refuse compactors, fire engines and ambulances. 

“I had a meeting with the town clerk and he said that we only have six refuse compactors and the minimum needed is at least 11, five ambulances of which the city needs 30 and there are only four fire engines. 


35,000 arrested while sneaking into South Africa; Zimbabwe tops list

The recently established Border Management Authority (BMA) in South Africa has reported that 35,000 individuals have been arrested while attempting to enter the country illegally since April 1, with Zimbabweans being the largest group among them.  
According to BMA Commissioner Michael Masiapato, Beit Bridge Border Post, which connects South Africa and Zimbabwe, is the primary source of illegal migrants, although other ports of entry, including those into Lesotho and Mozambique, have also seen significant numbers of apprehensions. 

Masiapato expressed confidence that the BMA would effectively combat illegal border crossings, particularly along the 250km boundary with Zimbabwe. 


Govt threatens to take over councils

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has accused opposition councillors of running down councils. The Zanu PF government has in the past been in the habit of expelling mayors and deputy mayors in opposition-run urban councils.  

GOVERNMENT has threatened to reintroduce commissions to run local authorities which fail to deliver on their mandates. 

In remarks aimed at the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)-dominated urban councils, Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti, said government would not appoint an acting mayor in failed councils but replace them with commissions. 


Zimbabwe says likely to approve Starlink as it admits fibre limitations

“It’s not possible to have fibre-optic cables across the country. It’s a reality that we need satellite technology for communication purposes. What we want as the government is a situation where every citizen from Binga to Chiredzi is also connected. That’s what the government wants, to leave no-one behind.” 

Owned by United States billionaire Elon Musk, Starlink is the satellite internet venture of SpaceX. It has a fast-growing network of more than 4,000 satellites in low earth orbit. 

Zimbabwe has an average internet speed of just 30 megabits per second (Mbps). By comparison, Starlink satellites can deliver internet speeds of up to 200Mbps – six times faster. 


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