Week 4

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

AMNESTY International (AI) has described the arrest of 26 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists as a chilling warning of a deadly election ahead, saying the Zimbabwean government will not hesitate to go after anyone who opposes them. Zimbabwe is expecting to hold its harmonised elections in a few months.

Zimbabwe has the largest lithium reserves in Africa and the fifth-largest deposits worldwide with several projects in the exSomlimo Primary School pupils hide from bad weather in toilets. THE state of affairs at Somlimo Primary School in ward 10, Nkayi, Matabeleland North province, is a cause for concern for the community amid reports that pupils have to take shelter in the toilets when it rains due to the poor state of infrastructure. 

The school reportedly has an enrolment of 450 pupils with eight teachers, and 12 classrooms. As a result, learners end up sheltering in toilets during bad weather. The NCP (Nkayi Community Parliament) members said the school has a classroom block which has not been completed in the past 18 years, much to their chagrin. Construction of the incomplete classroom block is said to have started around 2004. Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro dismissed the claims of dilapidated school infrastructure in Nkayi, saying the pictures posted on social media platforms were framed.ploration phase expected to begin production this year. 

“Yet the surprising thing is Zimbabweans are still wallowing in a sea of persistent poverty with all these opportunities and many new ones arising”, said Masimba John Manyanya, a development economist, in a recent interview.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube expects to raise revenue of Z$3.9 trillion (18% of GDP) in 2023. Government spending is less than half of what its departments had asked for – about Z$8.7 trillion – showing the gap between what ministries want, and what Ncube is ready to give back. He expects the economy to grow by 3.8% next year. 

What about the power crisis? Ncube says low water levels at Kariba, breakdowns at thermal power stations and vandalism are behind the power shortages.
He will give priority to the completion of the Hwange 7 & 8 projects, which will add 600MW to the grid by next year. In 2023, US$472 million from the China Exim Bank loan facility will be released for the project. ZESA will spend ZWL$20.1 billion for local works while government will pay another ZWL$3 billion to meet its obligations for the project.

In its Economic Outlook report for 2023, Morgan &Co gave a chilling warning of a confluence of the previous year economic headwinds converging with rising political tensions as likely to derail economic stability this year. 

“2023 is an election year for Zimbabwe and it will be characterized by volatility. The stakes are high and politics will have a strong impact on the economic direction of the country,” said the research firm. “Zimbabwe has gone through episodes of economic recessions and the political environment has not changed given that international isolation, uncompetitiveness, corruption and a colossal debt overhang remain.”

GOVERNMENT has admitted failure to fund education, exposing its earlier free education pledge as a fallacy. This was revealed in Harare yesterday by Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu and her secretary Tumisang Thabela as they appealed for financial assistance from donors and well-wishers to resolve the crisis bedevilling the education sector.

Het rapport ‘Breaking the Silence’ van ontwikkelingsorganisatie CARE, brengt jaarlijks in kaart welke humanitaire crises buiten het zicht van de media bleven. Opmerkelijk dit jaar, is dat alle tien vergeten crises zich afspelen in Afrika.

Rapport: Zimbabwe – 7 miljoen mensen hebben humanitaire hulp nodig.

In August 2022, acclaimed Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga published her first book of non-fiction, simply titled Black and Female. Black and Female offers one of the most searing analyses of colonialism, racism, and their intersectionality that I have ever read. It felt to me like a companion to I Write What I Like, developing themes that Steve Biko had aired in his writings on black consciousness, but representing them 50 years later through the personal experiences and observations of a black woman, Dangarembga.

Starlink service will be available in Zimbabwe in 2023 with Zimbabwean neighbors Zambia and Mozambique getting it by the end of Q2 2023. Starlink is another satellite-based internet service provider just like Zodsat, Utande, and Telco. The only difference is that all VSAT providers in Zimbabwe are using a 3rd party satellite provider, predominantly Eutelsat and Avanti. Starlink on the other hand is actually launching its own satellites into space which in essence means they are involved in the process end to end. Of course and some point the Starlink satellites will need to connect to a ground station to efficiently route the data, something regular VSAT also does.

SCORES of desperate Zimbabweans, particularly civil servants, are reportedly entering into fake marriages to expedite the processing of spousal visas to enable them to travel to developed countries such as the United Kingdom for employment. Zimbabwe has in the past years recorded a mass exodus of skilled workers who have opted for menial foreign jobs owing to poor remuneration back home.

Zimbabwean teachers have not been eligible to apply for a qualified teacher status (QTS) in the UK, but information from the British government shows that a change of regulations will see Zimbabwean teachers qualifying for QTS starting next month. This has resulted in a growing number of teachers considering to resign from the civil service to get employment abroad.

RESIDENTS of Ngumija and Raylton suburbs in Hwange which are home to National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) employees have been without electricity since 2021 as efforts by the rail transporter to connect them to power continues to hit a snag. The two suburbs were switched off from the Zesa grid in December 2021 as NRZ was working on its own electricity reticulation project for the two suburbs. NRZ had defended its move after its debt accumulated to over $20 million which they blamed on the bulk metering system. However, the situation has been compounded further as some of the houses in those suburbs have gone for 15 years without water.

Relations between Zimbabwe and China are set to be further deepened this year for the mutual benefit of the people of both countries, President Mnangagwa has said.
China celebrates its New Year, dubbed the Lunar New Year, today. It is based on cycles of the moon and falls on a different day each year — usually between late January and the middle of February.

The Zimbabwean minister Sekai Nzenza stressed that her country is ready to cooperate with Iran in the field of renewable energy, automobile production, agriculture, tobacco production, and other industrial and mineral fields.

Saying that her country is willing to use Iran’s experiences regarding the field of combating sanctions, Sekai Nzenza stressed, “The president of Zimbabwe has announced that we should re-establish our relations in the field of international issues, and especially regarding Iran, we are ready for a new alliance and strengthening of trade relations.”

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