Week 41

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

Warning of cholera disaster in Zim

 Cholera, which is becoming endemic, re-emerged from Buhera in recent weeks and has spread across the country with daily average cases nearing 100.  

A top Harare City Council official has warned that the ongoing cholera outbreak will turn into a disaster if adequate measures are not taken to stop the spread of the disease. 

Prosper Chonzi, the City of Harare director health services, urged residents to exercise hygiene. 

“It is already an outbreak and we are worried that if people continue being careless it will turn into a disaster very soon,” Chonzi said. 

 “People should avoid big gatherings, eating food from random places, and bad hygiene practices.” 

As of Friday, the country had recorded 4 672 suspected cholera cases, 30 laboratory confirmed deaths and 100 suspected cholera deaths since last month.


Government works with Redcliff Municipality to end water woes The Chronicle (state owned)

GOVERNMENT is working closely with the Redcliff Municipality in finding a lasting solution to the town’s perennial water challenges, Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Cde Owen Ncube has said. 

He was speaking during the recent official commissioning of road equipment and service vehicles purchased by the local authority to improve service delivery. 

Redcliff Municipality has been facing water shortages for close to a decade following the closure of the once giant steel producer, Ziscosteel, which used to treat and distribute water. 

The municipality has been receiving water from Kwekwe City and has since accrued a bill hovering around $240 million. 


Misery as family basket shoots to ZWL$2,6m

THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) says the family basket has shot to ZWL$2,6 million due to rising prices of basic commodities, spelling disaster for thousands of families countrywide. 

CCZ said the local currency was depreciating against the greenback, which resulted in some commodity prices going up by over 20% during September with mealie-meal, utility bills and education costs being the major drivers of the increase in the family basket costs. 

“The cost of living measured  in the local currency as measured by the CCZ’s low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased by 6,24% from ZWL$2 539 494,10 to $2 697 554,08,” CCZ spokesperson Philemon Chereni said. 

“The increase is mainly attributed to the increase in fuel price along with the depreciation of the local currency. Approximately fuel rose by 0,06%, while the supermarket rate depreciated by 2,7% and this affected the prices of all the products in the family basket.” 

Chereni said during the month of September, education costs rose by 52,6%. 


Mnangagwa’s govt urged to review teachers’ salaries, benefits

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) has called on the government to consistently reevaluate the compensation and incentives for educators to retain skilled personnel and counteract the emigration of talent. 

In a statement marking World Teachers Day last week, Mr. Goodwill Taderera, the acting secretary-general of Zimta, highlighted the challenges confronting the education sector. These include an overcrowded curriculum and a high teacher-to-student ratio of 1:33, placing significant strain on the education system. 

Zimta pointed out that while Zimbabwe boasts a high net enrollment ratio in primary schools, with nine out of ten children of primary school age attending, sustaining this level of enrollment presents challenges. Achieving universal enrollment in primary education, as mandated by the Constitution and the Education Amendment Act of 2020, faces significant obstacles.


Cholera under control: Minister | The Sunday Mail (state owned

THE setting up of cholera treatment camps, suspension of social gatherings and increased surveillance have seen a decline in the number of confirmed cholera cases, a Cabinet minister has said. 

Cholera cases have been mainly concentrated in Buhera district, Manicaland province. Previously, the country was experiencing an average of 50 suspected cases of cholera per day, but now the daily average is 20. In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora said although Buhera remains the epicentre of the outbreak, the national situation is generally under control. 


CCC disengages from parliament and council

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has announced that its elected members will boycott Parliament and Council business until the legitimacy crisis is resolved.
This announcement comes after the recent recall of 15 parliamentarians from Parliament by Sengezo Tshabangu, claiming to be the CCC interim secretary general while the opposition party has always contested the legitimacy of the August 23 election.
The party has also called on the international community and ZANU-PF members to be involved in the resolution of the crisis.
When CCC protested the “unfair” recall in Parliament on Tuesday, armed police were called in to eject them out from the August House, an act which left some opposition lawmakers with injuries and others with torn clothes.
“We disengage from Parliament and from Council until this issue is resolved and when I say disengaged, we have not said that they have withdrawn. They are disengaged meaning that no business shall be transacted until a remedy and justice is done,” said party leader Nelson Chamisa on Wednesday.


EU drops bombshell

THE European Union (EU) has dropped a bombshell saying it might withdraw its support for Zimbabwe’s Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution process following the country’s disputed polls. 

The bloc recently withdrew the US$5,8 million it had given to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to oil the election process. 

In February, African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina, who headlined the crucial debt meeting with former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, said free and fair elections would be important in helping Zimbabwe navigate a debt overhang which has been compounded by protracted defaults and penalties. 

During the engagements, Western diplomats expressed interest in helping Zimbabwe deal with its ballooning total consolidated debt of US$17,5 billion as part of re-engagement efforts on condition the country holds free and fair elections. 

Speaking to NewsDay, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jobst von Kirchmann yesterday said the government has taken a course different from the one they agreed in the arrears clearing negotiations. 


Hunger stalks Plumtree villagers

WARD 5 villagers in Goba Bulilima district, Plumtree, have run out of food after the little stocks they harvested last season dried up. 

Most parts of Matabeleland South province have received low rainfall during the 2022-23 summer season. Villagers, who are the most affected by hunger are the elderly, who are failing to travel to Moza irrigation scheme where others are ekeing out a living. 

Ward 5 Goba councillor Mbuso Moyo said livestock in the area were also dying of thirst and hunger. 

“We are appealing to well-wishers to donate food to us, most villagers did not harvest anything from their fields due to poor rainfall. Our source of income used to be our livestock, but they have started succumbing to drought. One beast used to cost R5 000, but due to their poor condition at the moment, buyers are no longer interested in them. This has worsened our plight,” Moyo said. 


Bulawayo City Council unveils $264 million budget for 2024

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has unveiled a proposed budget of US$264 million for 2024, with improved service delivery as the main priority. 

The 2023 budget was US$244 056 873 with a slight adjustment for the 2024 budget which is set at US$264 064 416. 

The revenue budget is projected at US$ 167 462 100 while the capital budget is $96 602 316. 

Presenting the proposed budget at a consultative meeting on Tuesday, BCC finance manager accounting services Isaac Matare said they into consideration the economic hardships faced by residents.


Parly declares 15 CCC seats vacant

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda has declared the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s 15 parliamentary seats in Matabeleland as vacant following the legislators’ recall by one Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the interim party’s secretary-general. 

Tshabangu recalled the 15 CCC legislators and 17 councillors from Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland North and South provinces, claiming they had ceased to be members of the party. 

Both Mudenda and Silaigwana were not reachable  for comment last night. 

But CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said the recalls were illegal. 

“The recalls are illegal. They are unlawful and show Zanu PF’s determination to undermine and subvert the will of the people of Zimbabwe. They are raising the stakes and we will not allow them to take this route again. The stakes are already high, they are raising them to another level.” 

The latest recalls will trigger by-elections, which Zanu PF, according to analysts, is determined to win at all cost to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament so that it has leeway to change laws willy-nilly.


Chin’ono Says The Zimbabwean Debt Clearance Process Could Collapse

Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, says there is a potential risk of the Zimbabwean debt clearance process collapsing due to the anger of European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels. He attributed this anger to the continuous attacks against the EU in Zimbabwe’s state media. The strained relationship between Zimbabwe and the EU began after the August 23, 2023, harmonized elections, when ZANU PF launched unwarranted attacks on the EU for criticizing the election process as chaotic.  

Zimbabwe has significant debt owed to various international creditors. The debt clearance process is overseen by former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano and the African Development Bank president, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina. Chin’ono said:  

My media contacts in Brussels said that this coming week is crucial for Zimbabwe as the EU is more likely to move and end the attempts to reengage with Zimbabwe unless President Mnangagwa moves to save the process. The European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jobst von Kirchmann, who has been more than helpful to the Zimbabwean Government has been left with an upset headquarters in Brussels and an unhelpful ally in Zimbabwe. 


ZimStat inflation numbers hiding true cost of living, warns ZIMCODD

The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) says the use of blended inflation statistics by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) will largely mask the actual inflation tax experienced by local currency earners while further eroding market trust in the government and its institutions.  

ZIMCODD, a socioeconomic justice watchdog made this observation after ZimStat issued September 2023 inflation statistics, which reveal that prices climbed by 18.4 percent year on year from September 2022 to September 2023, a significant decrease from 77.8 percent seen in the preceding period of August 2022 to August 2023.  “ In its latest consumer spending survey, the statistics agency found that 80 percent of transactions in the economy occur in USD whilst the remainder (20 percent ) is in ZWLs.” “The USD is a stable currency thus it exerts a stabilising effect on the overall weighted average (blended inflation) thereby masking the actual cost of living incurred particularly by households earning in ZWLs,” said ZIMCODD.


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