Week 43

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Diarrhoea, malaria claim 400 lives

DIARRHOEA and malaria are wreaking havoc in Zimbabwe, with more than 400 people dying from the diseases in the past few months, government figures show. 

The outbreak of diarrhoea has been attributed to poor sanitation and inadequate access to clean water, while failure to disinfect water sources and people failing to seek medical treatment early have been blamed for increasing malaria cases. 

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s weekly disease surveillance report released last week, 208 people have died from diarrhoea and 8 873 new cases have been recorded. 

The Health ministry also recorded six suspected cases of typhoid in Harare and Sanyati in Mashonaland West province. 

The cumulative figure for suspected typhoid cases now stands at 619 and five deaths. 


Zimbabwe’s export receipts fall to 3.6 bln USD

Zimbabwe’s export receipts fell to 3.6 billion U.S. dollars from January to September this year from 4.5 billion dollars a year ago, the country’s central bank said Tuesday. 

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) attributed the poor export performance to falling global mineral prices. Zimbabwe’s exports are mainly dominated by mineral and agricultural commodities. 

“Due to the negative developments in the global economy, prices for most mineral commodities including platinum, nickel and lithium have been declining, negatively affecting export receipts in the economy,” RBZ Governor John Mangudya said in a statement issued Tuesday, following a meeting of the RBZ Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Monday. 


Byo’s empty coffers hold up Coltart

BULAWAYO mayor David Coltart has expressed concern over the US$20 million debt owed by the residents and ratepayers. 

Today marks 45 days since Coltart was voted Bulawayo mayor. 

The ex-Primary and Secondary Education minister said he had focused on trying to understand the range of challenges that the city is facing since assuming office. 

In an interview with Southern Eye yesterday, Coltart said progress during his term in office has been slowed down by challenges to do with the city’s empty coffers. 

“So it has been a time of learning for me to try and prioritise what needs to be done and to understand … the various issues,” he said. 

“It’s been very slow because, in essence, one of the major problems is that the council is lacking money. It’s owed US$20 million by ratepayers and it has a limited ability to borrow money, making it difficult to get the necessary funding that we need to start on the various projects.” 


‘We’ve 20 000 teaching vacancies’

GOVERNMENT says it plans to train more teachers to address a shortage of nearly 20 000 educators. 

Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Amon Murwira, said this in Parliament while responding to questions from legislators on Wednesday. 

“What we know according to our training schedules is that Zimbabwe still has a shortage of trained teachers,” Murwira admitted. 

“The issue which is there is the issue of posts that are released in the Primary and Secondary Education ministry that are funded by Treasury. 

Murwira also said Zimbabwe has a shortage of about 3 000 to 4 000 schools. 

According to the Education ministry, Zimbabwe has an establishment of 136 000 teachers. 


Cholera: President reassures nation | The Sunday Mail (state owned)

REPEATED and increased frequency in cholera outbreaks, which are mainly caused by poorly run local authorities, are a “cause for grave concern”, and Government will not hesitate to intervene to protect lives as part of broad, strategic interventions to end the public health menace, President Mnangagwa has said. 

In his weekly column in The Sunday Mail, the President said the lasting solution to chronic cholera outbreaks lies more in service delivery, especially through provision of modern amenities and infrastructure that delivers clean, safe drinking water, as well as ensuring modern, efficient reticulation and waste management technologies and systems. 

“While water bodies can be provided to potentially meet clean water requirements for our cities, it has become apparent that such a goal remains a pie in the sky until our local authorities are properly and efficiently run,” said President Mnangagwa. 

“Water supply crises in most of our urban settlements are not explained by the absence of water bodies; rather, they are explained by water conveyancing systems which are either non-existent, inadequate, inefficient, obsolete and decrepit. The same also goes for uncollected garbage and broken sewer systems. In the absence of a drastic renovation of all our local authorities in the country, Zimbabwe will continue to suffer periodic outbreaks of preventable diseases, in spite of her many unused water bodies.” 


Government takes multi-pronged approach to Bulawayo’s power, water challenges | The Sunday News (state owned)

THE Government continues to make concerted efforts to ensure power and water challenges will be a thing of the past in the country and this will ensure Bulawayo’s industrialisation drive succeeds, a senior Government official has said.  

The Second Republic has facilitated the implementation of various initiatives and programmes aimed at accelerating industrialisation countrywide, with the drive also targeting Bulawayo as it moves towards regaining its status as the country’s industrial hub. 

Bulawayo province has scored big in terms of development in the last five years after completing 163 signature projects out of 230 as of December 2022 with the Second Republic committing to further accelerate the modernisation of the city. 


Govt admits failure to contain brain drain

GOVERNMENT has unwittingly admitted failure to contain the brain drain mostly in the public sector. 

The brain drain has been high, particularly in the health and education sectors where professionals are earning paltry salaries of less than US$300 plus a local currency component. 

Speaking in Parliament, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Aaron Murwira on Wednesday struggled to answer questions on how government plans to resolve the brain drain. Murwira said what Zimbabwe is facing is no longer a brain drain but rather brain circulation 

Murwira admitted that most graduates were also leaving the country or roaming the streets without jobs. 

A recent Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency third quarter labour force survey report released this week showed that unemployment had increased to 21%, with national unemployment now standing at 47,8%. 

Teacher unions estimates that the country has a shortage of at least 50 000 teachers. 


Cowdray Park runs dry…as 1 000 face health time bomb

A LARGE section of Cowdray Park in Bulawayo has gone dry for more than two weeks, exposing over 1 000 residents to waterborne diseases. 

Zimbabwe is currently battling a cholera outbreak that has claimed more than 100 lives, which has left many residents worried as authorities blame a technical fault for the taps drying up in the area. 

 In an interview, a residents’ representative Etmas Mthombeni told Southern Eye that they were resorting to unsafe water sources. “We have gone for two weeks now without water and we have started to fetch water from open wells.” 

Ward 6 councillor, Nkosinathi Hove Mpofu said the ward has several  issues which need urgent attention, with the water crisis a priority


ZWL$60bn debt chokes Health ministry

THE Health and Child Care ministry is saddled with a ZWL$60 billion debt amid delayed disbursements from Treasury for its daily operations, a situation which is threatening to derail service delivery. 

Health ministry secretary, Aspect Maunganidze, revealed this before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care while submitting the ministry’s 2024 national budget bid. 

“The ministry continues to provide services even under difficult circumstances where our patients have been failing to pay for health services, hence ever increasing debtors,” Maunganidze said. 

“The ministry’s budget remains static and has left the ministry with a domestic debt of more than ZWL$60 billion to local critical and utility service providers. We are faced with a low supply of medicines in hospitals, and a high import bill as most health commodities are imported.” 


200 priority projects for 3rd cycle The Herald (state owned)

The Second Republic is rolling out 200 priority citizen-centric projects for the third 100-Day Cycle of 2023, as President Mnangagwa’s administration makes good on its mantra of leaving no one and no place behind in Zimbabwe’s development agenda. 

Harare Metropolitan Province has 32, Matabeleland North 23, Mashonaland West 22, Manicaland 25, Midlands 14, Mashonaland Central 13, Masvingo 25, Mashonaland East 16, Matabeleland South 22 and Bulawayo Metropolitan 8.  

Government continues to roll out cross-cutting projects for the benefit of citizens, with the Lake Gwayi-Shangani construction, Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway rehabilitation and the modernisation of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport being the signature projects.


Amanda Nkomo: Model to represent country at Miss Globe | The Sunday News (state owned)

Amanda Ngcono Nkomo, a 25-year-old Zimbabwe-born model, is set to represent the country at the Miss Globe pageant in Albania on November 17.  

Born in Bulawayo on 6 April 1998, Amanda moved to England at the age of four although she frequently visits her hometown.  She went to Trinity High School in England and recently graduated from Wolverhampton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Studies. Amanda’s decision to represent Zimbabwe at Miss Globe was motivated by her desire to showcase her country’s beauty and culture on a global stage.   

“If I was to be crowned The Miss Globe, I would use the title to have a lasting impact in society by doing more advocacy work linked to women and girls, to create more open opportunities for women and girls, and to carry on fighting period poverty. I would make sure to use this title in a positive  way to inspire others and to help communities.” 


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