Nearly 100 Zacc aspirants chopped

NEARLY 100 individuals, who applied to sit on the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), have been […]

NEARLY 100 individuals, who applied to sit on the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), have been [...]

African co-operation benefits agric sector 

Source: African co-operation benefits agric sector | The Herald May 25, 2019 Elita Chikwati Zimbabwe joins the rest of the continent in commemorating Africa Day against a background of growing co-operation among member states in the field of agriculture, especially in finding ways of mitigating the harsh effects of climate change, crop and animal diseases, […]

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Source: African co-operation benefits agric sector | The Herald May 25, 2019

African co-operation benefits agric sector

Elita Chikwati
Zimbabwe joins the rest of the continent in commemorating Africa Day against a background of growing co-operation among member states in the field of agriculture, especially in finding ways of mitigating the harsh effects of climate change, crop and animal diseases, and confronting natural disasters in the mould of the recent Cyclone Idai.

The unity among African nations in the agriculture sector has promoted trade and helped in boosting household and national income, food and nutrition security and improving livelihoods of people. This comity has rescued many countries from facing food shortages.

Through trade, African countries have boosted their markets and income.
For instance, Zimbabwe is a major tobacco producer in Africa and is being supported by several counterparts within the region who import the golden leaf. According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board tobacco exports statistics, South Africa is one of the major buyers of the Zimbabwean produced tobacco.

Botswana and Malawi are also important markets for Zimbabwean flue cured tobacco.
Besides tobacco, African countries also trade among themselves in different agricultural produce such as (SADC), have united against crop and animal diseases and this helped in reducing the negative impact on the member states’ economies and also food security.

For instance, SADC climate exerts meet towards the rainy season for the Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum to come up with the rainfall forecast, advise their individual member states on the type of the rainfall season and warning different sectors on how they should prepare for the season.

This has resulted in early warning for droughts, floods, tropical cyclones and other weather related phenomena.
The fall armyworm, a trans-boundary pest that is difficult to manage and first reported in Southern Africa in late 2016, continues to cause damage to maize and other crops in the region.

The Sadc region is currently finding ways of dealing with the fall armyworm, a pest that is new to the region. Sadc agricultural experts have met on different fora to share experiences and come up with response action and plans to combat the pest.
With assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, representatives of member states, donors, academia, research organisations and development partners came together to identify policy issues to inform the response in the short, medium and long term.

Africa has on several times been affected by droughts that have resulted in animal deaths and food shortages and in all this the countries had come together to come up with solutions.

Sadc member states carried out multi-sector stakeholders meetings and workshops to mitigate the effects of the El-Nino induced drought during the last rainfall season to reduce food shortages and malnutrition.

Sadc member states developed a regional preparedness and response strategy to address the impact of El-Nino on agriculture, food and nutrition security in the region.

The participants acknowledged that climatic extremes would continue to recur and hence there was a need for the region to develop and implement both short, medium and long-term measures in a coordinated manner. 

The cooperation of the member states has been witnessed when one country is attacked by a certain disease. To avoid the spread of the disease from one country to another. African countries inform each other and also the measures they will be taking to control the disease.

This may result in temporary suspension of trade of certain products but will help in reducing the chances of the spread of the disease to other countries.

For instance when South Africa and Zimbabwe were hit by Avian Influenza, they had to notify other countries of the disease outbreak so they become alert, increase vigilance and tighten biosecurity and also and increase their monitoring and surveillance.

Besides fighting animal and diseases, African countries have also cooperated in technology used to boost agricultural production and productivity.

Member states share and learn from each other on latest farming technologies that include better farming methods, improved machinery seed varieties.

The countries have on several occasions converged when carrying out agricultural research on drought tolerant crops, high yielding crop varieties and disease resistance varieties.

The agriculture sector is of major social and economic importance in the SADC region, contributing in the different Member States between 4 percent and 27 percent of GDP and approximately 13 percent of overall export earnings.

About 70 percent of the region’s population depends on agriculture for food, income and employment. Hence the performance of this sector has a strong influence on food security, economic growth and social stability in the region.

Thus the co-operation within the region has enabled member states to thrive even under harsh conditions.

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Populist policies can only suffocate Zupco more

Source: Populist policies can only suffocate Zupco more – The Zimbabwe Independent May 24, 2019 Faith Zaba THE government this week slashed Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) bus fares to 50 cents and 75 cents from $1 and $1,50, at a time when fuel prices shot up to almost $5 from $3,38. Candid Comment,Faith Zaba […]

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Source: Populist policies can only suffocate Zupco more – The Zimbabwe Independent May 24, 2019

Faith Zaba

THE government this week slashed Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) bus fares to 50 cents and 75 cents from $1 and $1,50, at a time when fuel prices shot up to almost $5 from $3,38.

Candid Comment,Faith Zaba
fzaba@zimind.co.zw

While it is praiseworthy that government is trying to help poor people by providing cheap essential services — critical to their daily livelihoods, it makes no economic sense to halve the fares when fuel prices have gone up by 47%.

It might be understandable that government is pushing to cushion ordinary Zimbabweans struggling with hyperinflation and local currency devaluation eroding salaries and earnings, it defies logic to reduce the fares by such a whopping margin when Zupco is on the verge of collapse. It is alarming that the state has chosen a ruinous path for Zupco, which has barely been operational. Government has a proven track record of paralysing parastatals. Zimbabwe has about 78 state enterprises with a capacity to contribute 40% to the gross domestic product. The state-owned companies, which cover all sectors of the economy, used to propel economic growth, as well as provide employment. However, mismanagement, poor governance policies, corruption and crippling debts have bled them to ruins.

Most parastatals are either struggling to stay afloat or are insolvent and in some cases moribund like the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company. Zupco used to operate a reliable 30-minute business service, bringing order to cities in the 1980s and early 1990s, but has now gone to the dogs, like several other parastatals. While mismanagement, diversion of the bus services to the ruling party business and plunder by senior Zanu PF, as well as government officials, with impunity, played a part in the collapse of Zupco, the low bus fares also drove the bus company out of business.

Zupco collapsed as an efficient urban transport company, largely because its fares were set far below what was required to maintain and service a fleet. The parastatal also did not follow a proper replacement schedule for the buses, hence failed to expand its fleet to cope with the huge post-Independence rise in population. Instead of learning from mistakes, government has chosen to pursue the unsustainable populist path. How is Zupco expected to service its new buses, let alone expand its fleet, if it continues to charge 50 cents, only equivalent to US6 cents for trips around Harare?

The decision to charge low bus fares should not be mistaken for state generosity, but a lack of vision and a clear sign of ineptitude. What this means is that government will have to fork out large sums of taxpayers’ money to subsidise Zupco. Considering the prevailing state of affairs, Zupco lacks the financial muscle to sustain such low fares.

Government needs to rethink the firm’s recapitalisation business model. It has to revitalise the parastatal by adequately capacitating it with competent and experienced management and staff in order to create employment and decongest city centres, particularly Harare. While President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts to try and revamp the public transport systems are commendable, his administration needs to restructure and commercialise Zupco to ensure profitability, competency and professionalism.

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No more excuses in fighting graft: Hodzi

Source: No more excuses in fighting graft: Hodzi – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 25, 2019 BY KENNETH NYANGANI PROSECUTOR-GENERAL Kumbirai Hodzi yesterday said the public no longer tolerated excuses in the fight against the scourge of corruption which is contributing to the economic woes facing the country. Speaking at the official opening of an anti-corruption court […]

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Source: No more excuses in fighting graft: Hodzi – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 25, 2019

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

PROSECUTOR-GENERAL Kumbirai Hodzi yesterday said the public no longer tolerated excuses in the fight against the scourge of corruption which is contributing to the economic woes facing the country.

Speaking at the official opening of an anti-corruption court in Mutare, Hodzi said Zimbabweans were demanding answers as to why corruption had reached such alarming levels.

He said corruption in the energy sector needed to be addressed urgently, as it had caused acute fuel shortages.

“Corruption has reached alarming levels and it’s time to put an end to it. People no longer want an excuses. The public is no longer interested (in excuses),” Hodzi said

“The current fuel shortages are as a result of foreign currency manipulation and a systematic black market. This is an example of systematic corruption and we should fight in unison and say no to corruption.

“The Judiciary is also taking corruption very seriously. That is why there is yet another anti-corruption court being opened here (Mutare) today. I am also here as prosecutor-general to reassure you that the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPAZ) will not compromise on corruption.”

He said corruption was now a threat to people’s livelihoods.

“It chokes our hopes and aspirations as a nation to the extent that it undermines the peace and security of our people. Everyone is agreed that corruption in Zimbabwe has reached alarming levels and is affecting the service delivery, the economic turn around and social order,” Hodzi said.

“Everyone is agreed that corruption in Zimbabwe has reached alarming levels and affecting service delivery, foreign direct investment, the economic turn around and social order. The cost of corruption ultimately, is development denied to our citizens and youth robbed of a brighter future.”

He added that justice delivery actors needed capacitating and continuous retraining in order to combat corruption effectively.

Hodzi said the NPA was currently dialoguing with the Justice ministry, Treasury and Civil Service Commission to align the conditions of service and remuneration of the prosecutors and non-prosecutorial members of staff.

“This is because we are aware of the need to capacitate and ring-fence the prosecutors. Prosecutors, like all other relevant actors of the justice delivery sector, must be well-remunerated so that they are single-mindedly focused on the task at hand,” he said.

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Nespresso adds Zimbabwean coffee to their capsule selection

Source: ML Selects: Nespresso adds Zimbabwean coffee to their capsule selection – Daily Maverick Notes of berries and a tang of acidity define the new Tamuka mu Zimbabwe, the latest addition to the ‘Reviving Origins’ collection of coffee capsules. But it is the work done on the ground and the partnerships with local farmers that […]

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Source: ML Selects: Nespresso adds Zimbabwean coffee to their capsule selection – Daily Maverick

Notes of berries and a tang of acidity define the new Tamuka mu Zimbabwe, the latest addition to the ‘Reviving Origins’ collection of coffee capsules. But it is the work done on the ground and the partnerships with local farmers that make this blend stand out.

 According to the US Department of Agriculture, at its coffee-production peak in the late Eighties, Zimbabwe produced some 15,000 tons of coffee. While it was certainly not the largest producer of coffee, even among African countries, that amount made an economic difference to the country’s coffee farming industry.

The combination of political and economic instability, as well as climate factors, brought Zimbabwe’s coffee production almost to a complete halt.

Nespresso, the brand that is known for its wide range of coffee machines and even wider range of single-use coffee capsules, has been quietly working in collaboration with TechnoServe, a non-profit NGO, to revive Zimbabwe’s coffee production. The result? Tamuka mu Zimbabwe, a new addition to their line-up of coffee capsules, described by the brand as “bursting with complex fruitiness and zesty, bright acidity, with notes of cranberry to red berries and currant to grape”.

Tamuka mu Zimbabwe – Tamuka is both a greeting and the word “awake, arisen” and is quite an apt word to signify the resurrection of coffee farming in parts of Zimbabwe – forms part of “Reviving Origins”. The programme, launched in Zimbabwe in 2017, seeks to “breathe life back into regions where coffee communities once thrived until they faced some adversities”. Another blend is part of the collection: Esperanza de Colombia.

TechnoServe’s Coffee Programme Manager, Midway Bhunu, who works on the ground closely with farmers in Zimbabwe, emphasises the difference that this programme, which pays in US dollars, makes to the farmers: “It’s a big story, it’s no joke. The arrangement that we have with Nespresso through the Zimbabwe coffee mill means that the farmers are able to get their targeted prices.”

Does this arrangement mean that the farmers can only sell their production to Nespresso? “The farmers are completely free to sell their coffee to whoever they choose. Right now, Nespresso is offering them fantastic prices, and the relationship between the farmers and Nespresso is fantastic,” says Paul Stewart, Global Coffee Director at TechnoServe. As for what those fantastic prices are, neither Bhunu nor Stewart could confirm. But it’s in US dollars.

Zimbabwe’s ongoing troubles and the negative impact they had on the country’s infrastructure is a well-documented matter. And a project of this scale, which according to Bhunu, has helped the Zimbabwean farmers produce 400-tons of coffee so far, cannot work independently of local governments.

The brand’s investment spans from initial equipment and TechnoServe’s advice and training to the farmers, to committing to buy the farmers’ product, with the hope that in the future, the limited edition of coffee turns into a permanent blend. “It is a long-term relationship that the farmers and Nespresso want to continue for many years; as production increases in future years, we hope to see the production doubling and tripling over the next few years, it’s going to create an opportunity for other companies to come into Zimbabwe and start to purchase the coffee from the farmers.”

It hasn’t always gone smoothly and Bhunu speaks of some challenges they experienced: “Climate change. We know we have very, very long dry spells… And they are becoming even longer. So the farmers are challenged with access to irrigation; they have water, free flowing from the mountains. But now they need, you know, to administer the water and bring it closer to their fields and irrigate.”

Although the programme kicked-started two years ago in Zimbabwe, the idea of reviving coffee farming and production into regions where coffee communities faced adversities, was born in 2011. In South Sudan, Nespresso along with TechnoServe has helped from building basic infrastructure to enhancing proper production processes. “South Sudan is a great example of a country which had basically no infrastructure whatsoever when we started the programme in 2011,” says Stewart. “We really had to help the farmers to build everything from the ground up. So that meant we were helping the farmers to organise themselves into the first-ever coffee co-operatives in South Sudan. We helped them go through the process of getting registered, and we helped them to import the equipment that they would need, to get loans from banks to be able to build small processing factories. It’s very important that we focus on building long-term sustainable relationships between companies and the farmers. So that we’re able to leave businesses that are going to continue for many, many years to come.”

It is this very experience in South Sudan that led the company’s decision to launch the current programme, through which it plans to invest 10-million in Swiss Francs (R144-million) over the next five years to revive coffee industries in selected countries across the world.

For now, Tamuka mu Zimbabwe will be available for a limited period in 18 countries. “As the production grows, and as they’re able to release the coffee in more and more markets, our hope is that Zimbabwe will actually become part of the Nespresso’s permanent range of coffee,” says Stewart.  ML

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GOVT RECRUITS 1 350 TEACHERS

AT least 1 350 primary and secondary school teachers have
been recruited this term as Government seeks to improve the teacher to student
ratio and ensure quality education through the implementation of the new
curriculum.

The latest second round o…

AT least 1 350 primary and secondary school teachers have been recruited this term as Government seeks to improve the teacher to student ratio and ensure quality education through the implementation of the new curriculum. The latest second round of recruitment is part of an exercise to add 3 000 teachers to the education sector, where the teacher to student ratio is estimated to be at an

FREEZING TEMPERATURES TO HIT ZIMBABWE

Zimbabweans face an extremely   cold winter as weather experts are
predicting freezing point temperatures in some places in the country.

The Sunday Mail has gathered that areas such as Matobo in
Matabeleland South province have since recorded low…

Zimbabweans face an extremely   cold winter as weather experts are predicting freezing point temperatures in some places in the country. The Sunday Mail has gathered that areas such as Matobo in Matabeleland South province have since recorded low temperatures around 4 degrees Celsius. According to the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD), a cold front has started sweeping

10 ZACC JOBS : 35 SET FOR PUBLIC INTERVIEWS

NEARLY 100 individuals, who applied to sit on the Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), have been chopped from the nomination list
after failing to meet expected attributes, The Sunday Mail has established.

It has been gathered that Parliame…

NEARLY 100 individuals, who applied to sit on the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), have been chopped from the nomination list after failing to meet expected attributes, The Sunday Mail has established. It has been gathered that Parliament completed vetting the initial 133 applicants and has come up with a list of ‘about 35’ candidates who are set to undergo public interviews.