Week 8

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

Zimbabwe Announces Polio Outbreak

Sleiman Kwidini, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care has stated that although the presence of the virus in the sewage samples is concerning, a plan to roll out two rounds of vaccinations for children under 10 will begin on the 20th of February to combat the spread of the virus. 

According to Kwidini, the polio type detected in the samples likely came from the mutation of the weakened live virus administered in the oral polio vaccine, which then circulated the community. 

However, according to statistics from the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe was declared polio free in 2005 and has a “robust immunization program”, with much of the country vaccinated for the virus. 

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UNICEF Zimbabwe Cholera Outbreak Response Situation Report No. 3: 01-16 February 2024 – Zimbabwe | ReliefWeb

Highlights 

  • As of 14 February 2024, a total of 24, 525 cholera cases and 528 deaths, CFR 2.2% have been reported from 61 districts across all 10 provinces. 
  • Of the cumulative cases, approximately 31 per cent are children aged below 15 years, and 14 percent are children aged below 5 years of age. 
  • The country has received 97 per cent of the ICG approved 2.3 million OCV doses by 12 February 2024. The balance is expected to arrive on 17 February 2024. 
  • As of 14 February 2024, a total of 1,536,741 people (67 per cent of the target population) have received a OCV vaccine dose. 
  • UNICEF and partners have reached 265,826 people including 122,280 children with critical hygiene supplies. 
  • An estimated 5,5 million people have been reached with risk communication and community engagement activities.  

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54% Zimbos unemployed: ZimStat

ONLY 46,3% of Zimbabwe’s working age population are employed, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat)’s latest figures have revealed. 

In its 2023 fourth quarter labour force survey, ZimStat disclosed that the working age population was 8 639 522, of which 4 003 121 were in active employment. 

The labour force survey aims to establish employment levels, characteristics of employed persons, employment in the informal economy, income levels, labour migration and labour underutilisation. 

Bulawayo province had an employment-to-population ratio of 51,5% while Harare stood at 50,5%. 

“Employment to population ratio for persons in urban areas was 50,7%, while for rural areas the ratio was 28,2%,” the report read. 

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Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti, Karenyi-Kore Appointed CCC Interim Presidents Amid Leadership Crisis

The National Standing Committee of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) faction led by disputed interim Secretary General Sengezo Tshabangu, held a meeting in Bulawayo on Saturday to select an interim president for the party. 

During the meeting, it was decided that Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti, and Lynette Karenyi-Kore would serve as interim presidents on a rotational basis. Each leader will serve for 90 days or three months before passing the responsibilities to the next leader. Welshman Ncube, a lawyer and former Minister of Industry and Commerce, will be the first to assume the role. 

Jacob Mafume, a lawyer and the Mayor of Harare, was elected as the party’s national spokesperson, a position previously held by Promise Mkwananzi since August 2023, after taking over from Fadzayi Mahere. 

 

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Mass polio vaccination starts The Herald (state owned)

Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Sleiman Kwidini said two rounds of emergency national polio vaccination campaigns targeting all children below 10 years of age have been scheduled for this month and next month.   

THE mass polio vaccination campaign against a new variant that has not been vaccinated against since 2015 is set to start across the country today, targeting all children aged 10 years and below. 

Polio is a highly infectious disease that largely affects children under five years of age, causing permanent paralysis in around one in 200 infections or death in 2 to 10 percent of those paralysed. 

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Delta boosts water provision for Bikita villagers with US$10k solar borehole

Delta Corporation Limited has sunk a US$ 10 000 solar borehole in Nyahunda, Bikita in a bid to provide clean source of water and fight the spread of cholera in one of the disease’s epicentres. 

The beverage maker also refurbished facilities at the primary school at a cost of US$15 000. 

Bikita is among the districts battling a cholera outbreak, and the gesture by Delta will benefit over 5 000 people who reside in the area including 500 students of Tagona Secondary and Chitenderano Primary schools. 

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ED’s third term bid exposed

Ruling Zanu PF structures are reportedly engaged in covert political manoeuvres to push for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s third term in office, it has emerged. 

Mnangagwa (81) is currently serving his second term, and constitutionally his last in office, having been first elected in 2018. 

The Zimbabwean constitution only allows a President to serve a maximum of two terms. 

However, there is a possibility that this can be changed through a constitutional amendment which would require a two-thirds majority in both the House of Assembly and Senate. 

Zanu-PF currently holds a majority in the national assembly only. 

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Zimbabwe Authorities Detain Suspects Indefinitely, Despite Laws

One winter night in June 2022, Lynet Mhizha’s husband, Clever Kapange, failed to return home as usual. Around midnight, Mhizha got a call from her brother-in-law. Her husband was being held at a local police station on suspicion of stealing cash and a cellphone. 

“He started appearing in court beginning of July 2022. From then, he appeared before the magistrate every two weeks until December. In January [2023], he appeared in court every day until he was sentenced that month,” Mhizha says. 

Kapange was sentenced to 36 months in prison for theft; 10 months were set aside on condition of good behavior, while two months would be shaved off his sentence if he returned the stolen money. But the seven months he spent in a Harare remand prison were not counted toward his sentence. 

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Deadliest Cholera Outbreak in Past Decade Hits Southern Africa

Sandra Mwayera wailed as her older brother slouched next to her in the back seat of a car — he had died from cholera as he waited for treatment among dozens of others outside a hospital in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. 

“My brother! My brother! Why have you abandoned me?” she pleaded. “Come back, please. Come back!” 

The epidemic has spread over the past two years, infecting more than 220,000 and killing more than 4,000 people in seven countries. This is the deadliest regional outbreak in terms of cases and deaths to hit Africa in at least a decade, said Dr. Patrick Otim, who oversees the cholera response for the World Health Organization in Africa.

People typically are infected with cholera when they ingest water that has been contaminated by human waste. The surest way to prevent the disease is to keep water sources for drinking and washing separate from sewage, public health experts say. 

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Matabeleland demands truth on Gukurahundi

 President Emmerson Mnangagwa had oversight over both the army’s North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade and the Central Intelligence Organisation in his role as State Security minister and chairperson of Zimbabwe’s Joint High Command. 

 He reported directly to the late President Robert Mugabe. Thousands of people, up to 20 000, were massacred during the Gukurahundi genocide from 1982 to 1987. 

A repertoire of Gukurahundi research and literature now exists documenting the atrocities and video evidence recorded by AFP news agency show Mnangagwa holding a sceptre in one incident at a rally in Matabeleland, parading people labelled as dissidents who were never seen again. 

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Zim, Belarus consolidate ties The Herald (state owned)

The first session of the Zimbabwe-Belarus Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation began in Harare yesterday with the meeting of senior officials. 

The meeting was attended by senior Government officials from both countries, with the Zimbabwe delegation led by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Acting Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Rofina Chikava, while the Belarusian delegation made up of over 60 officials was headed by Mr Yuri Nikolaychik, the Head of Department of Africa and the Middle East in the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

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Rhinos Can’t Sweat, Making Them Vulnerable to Overheating – Global Warming Could Wipe Them Out in Southern Africa

Southern Africa is home to 22,137 of the world’s 23,432 white and black African rhinos. But they’re facing grave threats because of a warming planet. Now, the first study of how climate change affects rhinos in southern Africa has found that they will cease to exist in the region’s national parks by 2085 if the world takes the worst-case scenario climate change pathway. Timothy Randhir, who has been an ecological economist for 47 years, explains what governments and parks can do to prevent this from happening. 

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