Week 9

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

Food aid distribution to vulnerable communities begins The Herald (state owned)

The Government has begun the distribution of food aid to vulnerable communities countrywide to counter the adverse effects of the El Niño-induced drought. 

Due to the El Niño weather conditions, the country has received inadequate rains this season and farmers across the country have watched their crops wilt due to extended dry periods. 

But Government is on top of the situation, having put in place a cocktail of measures to mitigate the situation. 

“For the vulnerable households, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is assisting them. The ministry is accessing about 21 000 tonnes monthly for distribution to vulnerable households. 


Zim welcomes WTO investment agreement The Herald (state owned)

Zimbabwe has welcomed the finalisation of the Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement that will enhance the capacity for developing and least developed countries to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) through streamlined processes and administrative procedures among other benefits. 

The Agreement was reached by Ministers of Trade representing 123 countries at the ongoing 13th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi. 


Radiotherapy machine expected to run soon

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora, has said work to repair radiotherapy machine used in cancer treatment at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo is underway with the machine expected to be running soon. 

He said the Government injected US$2, 3 million last October to fix the cancer machines, whose perennial malfunctioning has left cancer patients desperate without any access. 

The other machine is housed at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare and these two machines are the only ones available in public health institutions.


Bulawayo water crisis worsens

Bulawayo is sitting on a health time bomb as the city’s water woes continue to mount with most suburbs going for weeks without running tap water, forcing residents to resort to unhygienic water sources.  

The city is on a 120-hour shedding schedule as Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is struggling to pump enough raw water into its reservoirs due to depleted water levels in the city’s supply dams including a fault at the Ncema Pump Station.  


Africa’s debt crisis needs a bold new approach: expert outlines a way forward

It hasn’t been easy for African states to finance their developmental and environmental policy objectives over the past few years. 

Recent events suggest that the situation may be improving. For the first time in two years, three African states have been able to access international financial markets, albeit at high interest rates. Kenya, for example, is now paying over 10% compared to about 7% in 2014.  

Many African countries continue to face challenging sovereign debt situations. 


Massive roads rehabilitation underway The Herald (state owned)

Construction of the eight-lane 7km boulevard stretching from Bindura Road straight to the New Parliament Building in Mount Hampden is now underway with reputable firm Bitumen World under contract and carrying out the major works with four lanes in each direction. 

Road construction falls under the infrastructure clusters and roads are regarded as key economic enablers in the attainment of Vision 2030, that of achieving an upper middle-income society.


Zim-Russia relations strengthen The Herald (state owned)

Speaking after touring the Aspindale depot of the Grain Marketing Board, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos said another batch of the donation was expected in the country any time soon. 

Apart from wheat, Russia also donated 4 000 tonnes of potash as Zimbabwe has started receiving a consignment of 16 000 tonnes of fertiliser donated by the Russian Government. The total donation collectively consists of over 26 000 tonnes of fertilisers and 50 000 tonnes of grain. 

The fertilisers will be distributed to the most vulnerable households to support the successful Presidential Inputs Programme.


Council revamps CBD roads The Chronicle (state owned)

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has embarked on a road rehabilitation exercise targeting major roads in the city centre. 

The roads rehabilitation is part of a number of key projects the local authority is pushing aimed at sprucing up the image of the city and restoring order. 

This comes at a time when major roads are in a deplorable state amid an outcry by motorists who experience potholes even in the city centre. 

Bulawayo town clerk Mr Christopher Dube has said the road works include reconstruction, resurfacing, reinstating of carriageway markings, and general maintenance. 


Government compiles list of households exposed to hunger The Chronicle (state owned)

Government has put mitigatory measures in place to avert starvation in the wake of the looming drought by ensuring food security at household level for vulnerable families across the country until the next harvest.  

The food deficit mitigation programme under which the Government provides vulnerable households with grain, will require about 24 000 tonnes per month. 

The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is compiling a list of those exposed to hunger as the Government wants to ensure that no one dies of hunger.  

Those who did not harvest enough grain in the previous season, mostly from drought prone areas, will be the first to be allocated grain.


Health expert hails Zim polio surveillance

A health expert has hailed Zimbabwe for its robust surveillance system which has helped the country to detect the presence of the polio virus. 

Addressing journalists in Harare on Friday, Global Polio Eradication Initiative co-ordinator Sadiq Umar, said Zimbabwe had one of the best environmental surveillance systems in Africa. 

“We are talking about samples that were taken from the sewage system, let me be frank with you, this is one of the countries that have the best canalisation or system of sewage,” Umar said.


Four-fold surge in cholera cases puts tens of thousands of children at risk

Save the Children analysed data from the World Health Organisation and national governments, which showed that cholera cases surged more than four-fold in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique between 2022 and 2023. 

 The number of cases jumped to about 95,300 from about 26,250 including over 1,600 deaths in the three countries, making it one of their worst cholera outbreaks in decades. 

Already 2024 is threatening to be another devastating year for cholera in the region as warmer weather and unusually heavy rains and storms in southern Africa have fuelled the disease’s spread.


Whither the Manifesto in the face of recalls

If Zimbabwe is a democratic State, how then do we have political parties  with powers to undo the will of  the people by simply writing  a letter to that effect without any strong justification.  And what does this mean to the People’s Human Rights Manifesto that was signed by representatives of the political parties? Is the commitment made by different political parties before the elections in April 2023 to  uphold the 10 key asks outlined in the People Human Rights Manifesto still  valid?  Were they sincere in the first place or they just signed commitments to get people to vote for them? Does it really matter to have elections in Zimbabwe? 


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