Week 8

Wekelijkse selectie van nieuws uit Zimbabwe

UN urges peaceful elections in Zimbabwe

The UN has urged Zimbabwe’s political parties and other stakeholders to ensure general elections to be held later this year are peaceful. 

Edward Kallon, the UN resident coordinator in Zimbabwe, made the remarks on Monday at the signing ceremony of $1.4 million from development partners to strengthen the capacity of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to hold the elections, Xinhua news agency reported. 

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Zimbabwe creditors meet over arrears clearance, says finance minister

Zimbabwe’s creditors will meet on Thursday as the country takes steps towards clearing more than US$6 billion of arrears on its foreign debt, finance minister Mthuli Ncube said. 

About 17 countries from the Paris Club of creditor nations will attend, as well as the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and European Investment Bank, to discuss progress on economic and governance reforms, including compensation to white former farmers, Ncube told Reuters. 

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Government stresses over abandoned road projects | The Sunday News (state owned)

THE Government has expressed concern over some contractors that have abandoned road work projects in various local authorities countrywide citing delays in payment for their work and has urged councils to adopt a new approach including shared procurement. 

“Hwange Local Board has a myriad of challenges with contractors. The local authority needs to be more serious, there’s general lack of commitment to work and use of money given to them. “Victoria Falls Council is doing good work and we are convinced that if they get more money they will do more and we are impressed.

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‘UBH maternity wing in sorry state’

Facilities at the United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) have deteriorated to alarming levels with pregnant women reportedly sleeping on cracked floors due to shortage of beds and overcrowding. 

This was revealed in the National Assembly by Bulawayo East legislator Ilos Nyoni (CCC), who raised it as a matter of national interest and urged the Health and Child Care ministry to urgently intervene. 

 “My point of national interest is on the state of the maternity wings of most hospitals in Zimbabwe, and I will zero in on the United Bulawayo Hospitals,” Nyoni said. 

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Diasporans up the ante on voting right

As the country prepares to hold harmonised elections in August this year the diasporans are hoping that the Electoral Amendment Bill currently being crafted will incorporate their right to universal suffrage. Government has been accused of being only interested in remittances from the diaspora community to shore up the economy, while ignoring the latter’s voting rights. 

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‘Shrinking civic space’: Mnangagwa to sign law effectively banning NGOs in Zimbabwe

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is to enact a law effectively banning NGOs in his country. Almost 300 NGOs were deregistered in Zimbabwe in January. 

UN experts say the new law will restrict “civic space”, a violation of international law. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he will, without delay, sign into law the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Bill that will restrict civic space. 

The law will result in the closure of almost 100 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), most of which are engaged in humanitarian, peace, and democratic accountability work. 

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Kidney patients suffer in silence

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe records 1000 cases of kidney failure every year with only 700 accessing dialysis as a number cannot afford the lifesaving services. 

“Kidney disease is also a silent killer, which affects the quality of life,” the ministry said. About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage hence it is important to keep control of blood sugar level.” 

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World Bank reveals Zimbabwe’s food inflation rate

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

Last year, Zimbabwe was ranked second to Lebanon, but it has since overtaken the Middle East country. In the latest WB report, Venezuela is ranked second at 158% followed by Lebanon at 143%. 

“The Zimbabwe year-on-year inflation rate for the month of January 2023, as measured by the all items consumer price index (CPI) stood at 229,8% compared to 243,8% in December 2022,” Zimstat said. 

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. 

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New project to benefit Mbire, Muzarabani communities

Local communities in Mbire and Muzarabani districts in the Mid-Zambezi Valley, north of the country, are set to benefit from a new US$5,5 million programme that aims to improve to livelihoods through sustainable management and use of natural resources. 

This comes after the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) Zimbabwe signed a new 4.79 million euro (US$5,5 million) Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) funded UTARIRI Project grant to strengthen conditions for sustainable management and use of natural resources, including protection, conservation, and restoration of biodiversity in these districts. 

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Japan gives ZEC US$1,44m to build polls capacity | The Herald (state owned)

The United Nations yesterday expressed confidence in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s ability to successfully conduct the harmonised elections to be held later this year, with Japan giving US$1,44 million to the United Nations Development Programme for the next phase of building capacity in ZEC. 

UN country pepresentative Mr Edward Kallon gave Zimbabwe the thumbs up at a signing ceremony of the agreement between the Japanese government and the UNDP for the ZEC capacity building project phase two being implemented by the world body at the request of ZEC to help ensure that practical steps are in place for voter registration and education, and to make it easier for women, youths and those living with disabilities to exercise their right to vote. 

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Zim, India seek fresh diamonds deal

ZIMBABWE and India have opened discussions that could end up with diamonds from Harare being traded in special zones in the Asian economic powerhouse, diplomatic sources told Standardbusiness on Friday. 

India is the world’s biggest importer of rough diamonds, followed by Belgium and Hong Kong. 

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