Week 7

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Zim records world’s highest food inflation

ZIMBABWE now has the highest food inflation rate globally which now stands at 285%, according to the latest World Bank (WB) report. 

The development comes after prices of basic foodstuffs and other commodities have soared in the country, while some food items are being charged in United States dollars at a time when most workers’ earnings are in the local currency. 

 Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Rosemary Mpofu recently told NewsDay that the drop in inflation would not be felt by the citizens as long as prices continue to skyrocket. 


Red Mud and Gold Bars – Cathy Buckle

The Honda Fit, a fast, economical little car which can weave in out of traffic, along verges, on pavements, paths and kerbs and runs on the smell of an oil rag, has become the all-purpose people carrier in Zimbabwe. The Honda Fit which can carry a driver and three passengers has defied all manufacturers’ specifications and Zimbabweans have perfected the art of carrying up to a dozen people at a time. 


Construction of Deka water pipeline 85pc complete | The Herald (state owned)

THE construction of a second 42km water pipeline to connect the Deka High Lift Pump Station to the Hwange Thermal Power Plant is 85 percent complete and on schedule to meet the final completion deadline by the end of next month. The pipeline project is critical to enhance operationalisation of the Hwange Thermal Power Station which is being boosted with 600MW capacity through the addition of Units 7 and 8 under a US$1,4 billion investment. The Deka project commenced in October 2021 under a US$48,1 million line of credit extended by India to Zimbabwe. 


Crops, livestock in good condition | The Herald (state owned)

The good rains received so far this season have kept crops and livestock in good condition. Farmers are now more hopeful of a really good harvest and livestock farmers are seeing continued improvement in their cattle, although need to take precautions against diseases. 

“Government has done so well in curbing tick-borne diseases. We lost thousands of cattle in the past years. We have seen a reduction of cattle mortalities. So far so good, our livestock is in good condition.”  


5.4 percent of Zim Households received Govt COVID-19 social assistance: Survey

Approximately 5.4 percent of Zimbabwean households received Government social protection assistance in the form of COVID-19 cash transfers, 3.3 percent got food and grain assistance, as well as the Government public works programme between 2020 and 2022 the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) said in a survey report. Zimstat conducted a Rapid PICES Monitoring Telephone Survey is based on Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Surveys (PICES) from July 2020 to August 2022. “The proportion of households in urban areas who received COVID-19 cash transfers was 6.3 percent compared to 0.3 percent for rural households. In contrast, share of rural households who received food aid was 4.9 percent,” read the report. 


Let’s all register to vote: ED

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday made a rallying call for people to register to vote ahead of the harmonised elections slated for later this year. 

Mnangagwa made the remarks yesterday at the National Heroes Acre during the burial of the late national hero Retired Brigadier-General Walter Kanhanga who died last week at his rural home in Guruve. 

Addressing multitudes of Zanu PF supporters, Mnangagwa said: “As the 2023 harmonised general elections draw closer, I call upon all our citizens to register to defend, consolidate and advance the gains of our independence. Let us continue to say no to violence, while remaining vigilant against the machinations of our detractors.” 


UK avails £15 million to recruit care workers; jittery Zimbos relieved as head hunt period is extended

THE United Kingdom (UK) administration has availed £15 million to facilitate the recruitment of health and social care workers from across the world, including Zimbabwe. Afflicted by the unabating economic crisis back home, Zimbabweans have resorted to undertaking nurse aide courses to make them eligible for recruitment as adult social care workers in the UK and other European countries. 

There was apprehension among locals amid rumours UK would this March, terminate head-hunting for nurse aides to fill the gaps wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, through a recent communication, the British government said it had extended recruitment of health and social care employees to 2024. 

The great trek to the UK has also attracted expert health professionals, with latest data confirming more than 4,000 nurses and doctors have left Zimbabwe since February 2021. 


Livestock populations decimated by ‘January disease’ in Zimbabwe: diverse local responses

In the last few years, Zimbabwe has lost around half a million cattle to the tick-borne disease, theileriosis, better known as January disease, or in our study areas as ‘cattle covid’. This loss has had a huge impact on people’s livelihoods and their ability to farm. The severe draft power shortages across our study sites are as a result of animals having died or being sick and weak. The government has announced a ‘war on January disease’ for 2023. 


Canada and Commonwealth face difficult dilemma over Zimbabwe membership bid

The timing would be awkward. As he prepares for an election this year, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has become even more repressive than his notorious predecessor, Robert Mugabe, crushing opposition meetings and imprisoning activists. But after other autocrats were permitted to join, the Commonwealth might now find it difficult to draw the line at Zimbabwe. 


UN experts urge President of Zimbabwe to reject bill restricting civic space | OHCHR

UN experts today urged Zimbabwe’s President to reject enacting a bill that would severely restrict civic space and the right to freedom of association in the country. The experts expressed deep concern that the oversight regime in the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill for civil society organisations provides for disproportionate and discretionary powers to the newly established Office of the Registrar of PVOs, without independence from the executive branch. The Registrar’s Office powers will include the ability to consider, grant or reject the registration of PVOs, with little to no judicial recourse against such decisions. “The bill’s requirements would also immediately render existing organisations, operating lawfully as trusts and associations, illegal,” the experts said. 


Poor performance of Mat schools, a national concern

The country achieved a 28 percent,  a 2.62 percent pass rate increase from a 26.34 percent pass rate achieved in 2021. “On education, when looking at the 28 pass rate, this is not ideal and people are deceiving themselves.  On the list of 100 best-performing schools, there are only three schools which excelled in Matabeleland.  What are we doing? We were supposed to set targets for our education,” he said while discussing the president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday. 


Over 200 Top-of-the-range Vehicles Imported For Zanu PF Party Chefs

The ruling party has been accused of splashing funds on party cars and regalia at a time the majority of the citizens are wallowing in poverty. Zanu PF had only 45 motor vehicles and three buses when Mnangagwa assumed power in 2017, according to the party’s central committee report released last year. 

The ruling party acquired an additional 438 new motor vehicles in 2018 alone, bringing the fleet size to 486. 

The party also bought more vehicles in 2020 while Mnangagwa also donated 30 double cab vehicles last year, bringing the fleet size to 531. 


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