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Source: Re-engagement policy reaches a milestone | The Herald November 12, 2019 Ambassador Manzou Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement policy reaches a milestone next week when the second session of the Zimbabwe and European Union (EU) formal political dialogue is elevated to ministerial level. The meeting will take place in Harare, coming after […]
Source: Re-engagement policy reaches a milestone | The Herald November 12, 2019
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement policy reaches a milestone next week when the second session of the Zimbabwe and European Union (EU) formal political dialogue is elevated to ministerial level. The meeting will take place in Harare, coming after the first formal meeting between the two sides in about 17 years was held on June 5 this year at the level of officials.
The June 5 meeting was co-chaired by Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador James Manzou and EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Timo Olkkonen.
But next week, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo will take over from Ambassador Manzou and co-chair the meeting with Ambassador Olkkonen.
The meeting will focus on areas of cooperation between the two parties.
The dialogue is in line with Government’s re-engagement policy, which aims at re-establishing relations with all countries that had stopped formal dialogue with Harare in the last decade.
In a statement yesterday, Ambassador Manzou said: “Following the successful launch on 5 June 2019 of the formal political dialogue between Zimbabwe and the EU under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the second session of the dialogue will be held in Harare on 21 November 2019.
“The meeting will include the participation of the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Zimbabwean side and the Heads of Mission of EU member states accredited to Zimbabwe on the EU side.”
Ambassador Manzou said a number of cooperation areas and objectives would be discussed.
“Discussion will focus on priorities, shared objectives and areas of cooperation between the two parties in the areas of economic development, trade and investment, human rights, democratisation, rule of law and good governance, development cooperation, humanitarian impact and climate change and global and regional partnership,” he said.
“The escalation of the second session of the formal political dialogue to ministerial level demonstrates progress in the Government’s engagement and re-engagement agenda, as well as commitment to strengthening cooperation between Zimbabwe and the EU.”
Zimbabwe and the EU have endured strained relations in the past two decades and the dialogue process is expected to boost the country’s efforts to revive the economy through cooperation in various fields.
In his remarks at the June 5 meeting, Ambassador Manzou said re-engagement with the EU was one of President Mnangagwa’s top foreign policy priorities. He said Government was making significant strides in implementing various political and economic reforms, which are critical in the attainment of Vision 2030 of an upper middle income economy.
Ambassador Olkkonen said then that the discussions offered a platform for a frank exchange of views and building of a relationship as partners.
He said the dialogue would be an integral part of the relationship between the two parties in future.
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Source: Africa must take the lead on animal rights | Herald (Opinion) Animals in the vast Hwange National Park are struggling for survival due to the shortage of water and food Emmanuel Koro Correspondent One of the United States’ most outspoken ivory experts has suggested a new approach for Africa to topple Western animal rights […]
Emmanuel Koro Correspondent
One of the United States’ most outspoken ivory experts has suggested a new approach for Africa to topple Western animal rights groups from their harmful global leadership positions in wildlife management.
“Given the overall dismal experience of the sustainable use of forces at CoP18 in Geneva, Switzerland, it’s time to consider doing something different now or forever risking being forlorn victims that complain endlessly about the failing policies of the victors (Western animal rights groups),” said Godfrey Harris, managing director of the Los Angeles-based Ivory Education Institute.
“To wrench the leadership of true wildlife conservation away from the animal rights groups requires a pivot to something outside of our past as well as our current comfort zone. In short, I am urging sustainable use advocates to move forward through alliances with those actively involved in opposing environmental degradation through climate change.”
Mr Harris’ call to put the impact of climate change high on the agenda of wildlife management comes at a time when the world’s wildlife management specialists, including those from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, European Commission and the CITES Secretariat are attending the Africa Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from yesterday to Friday, to discuss African-wide sustainable use on wildlife issues.
The forum, sponsored by the US-based Safari Club International Foundation, will also focus on the outcomes of the May 2018 Kasane Elephant Summit and the June 2019 Victoria Falls African Wildlife Economy Summit along with the August 2019 Geneva UN Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
It was at COP18 that SADC countries suffered their heaviest losses in proposals to trade in wildlife and its products.
The losses arose from a rigged voting system that remains contested.
In a protest move last month in Tanzania, SADC countries agreed by a two-thirds majority vote, to submit protest documents that will allow them to legally trade in elephants, rhinos and giraffes, without CITES control.
These positions, known as “reservations”, will be made known to CITES before the 26th of this month.
Until now, the threat to wildlife survival from climate change has yet to be identified as a major risk to conservation efforts in Africa.
Yet the ravages of climate change have the potential to destroy wildlife far more completely than poachers.
Currently, climate change-related drought has already started killing many elephants in elephant over-populated Southern Africa. Zimbabwe lost 115 elephants to drought in the past two months and Botswana has lost 100 during the same period.
These appalling numbers are far worse than anything any poaching gangs have ever inflicted on elephant populations in a two-month span.
Irritatingly, one of the world’s biggest animal rights groups, the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) chooses to talk about elephant resilience and not hunting or harvesting to help reduce population numbers to ensure that many of the species don’t die needless, slow and painful deaths caused by climate change.
The WWF only says, “Identifying which traits contribute to a species resilience and vulnerability will allow us to develop more robust conservation action plans in the face of a changing climate.” Nothing, in other words, should alter the public’s perception — and WWF’s proven fundraising model — that has poaching gangs representing the greatest threat to elephants.
In sharp contrast, Mr John Rance, the president of the South Africa-based True Green Alliance, disagrees with WWF’s go-slow approach.
Clearly, severe droughts linked to climate change are already killing African elephants and other wildlife, including those at Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.
To solve the problem, Mr Rance argues for “limiting (reducing) the populations to that which can be sustained by the available habitat in drought times.”
“It is even sadder to contemplate that when these animals die, probably in the thousands from a lack of food and water, their products will not be able to be recovered and sold due to the attitude of Western animal rights groups who insist that a trade ban saves elephants,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Harris believes that Western animal rights groups “are purposely ignoring” the obvious problems caused by climate change in African elephant range states.
“Deaths from a lack of food and water is an act of God, allegedly nothing can be done about that. But collecting money to wage war on poachers is something that the animal rights groups have been doing for years,” he said. If nothing is done to save wildlife from the effects of climate change, the world faces a needless and painful collapse of elephants that over-populate southern African countries.
Ecologists, park managers and their governments have recommended that large elephant populations be culled to levels that meet the ability of their habitats to sustain them.
“We need to start now to work with others, particularly young people, to show what it will take to save elephants and other species in the current changing climate conditions of Africa,” said Mr Harris.
“When they become our allies in the forthcoming political debates, they bring to the table the power of their numbers, their energy, and their idealism.”
He observes that the leadership of the animal rights movement, led by dedicated vegans (people who don’t eat or use animal products), argue that humans have no inherent right to interfere, profit or otherwise benefit from other animals on the planet.
The fact that man has risen to the top of the food chain seems to embarrass them.
“But if the world allows Western animal rights groups to continue controlling how wildlife is treated, wildlife over-population within geographically limited habitats will do more harm to kill off each species than any gang of poachers ever could,” said Mr Harris.
Changes are afoot, notes Mr Harris, that leave people wondering who will control our environment in future.
Vegans in California now not only refuse to eat anything other than food derived from plants, but they dress in clothing and furnish their homes without the use of leather, wool, mohair, or silk. California is about to ban all fur sales in the state and New York City has just voted to ban all sales of the liver of a specially fattened goose or duck (foie gras) prepared as food.
“These developments illustrate that human beings are voluntarily quitting their leadership position over the animal kingdom and may soon make real what was only mythical in the film, ‘Planet of the Apes’,” said Harris in his appeal to African countries to dethrone the Western animal rights groups from their misleading and harmful global leadership position in wildlife management.
Emmanuel Koro is a Johannesburg-based international award-winning environmental journalist who has written extensively on environment and development issues in Africa.
Source: Who is polluting our water? | The Herald November 12, 2019 Pollution in Lake Chivero has reached alarming levels, an issue that needs to be dealt with urgently as the lake is Harare’s main water source. — Picture: Innocent Makawa Blessings Chidakwa Herald Correspondent Zimbabwe’s cities are the biggest polluters, poisoning rivers and dams […]
Source: Who is polluting our water? | The Herald November 12, 2019
Blessings Chidakwa Herald Correspondent
Zimbabwe’s cities are the biggest polluters, poisoning rivers and dams with germ-laden sewage, with industrialists cheating over their waste and small-scale miners dumping the worst poison — mercury — coming up fast behind.
The cities have overloaded, undersized and poorly maintained sewage plants, with Harare in the worst position since its main water reservoirs are downstream of its sewage works.
Industrialists are supposed to follow national and municipal rules and regulations. Some do: some don’t. And the ones who don’t can dump some dangerous chemicals.
Small-scale miners release 80 tonnes of mercury a year into the environment according to University of Zimbabwe consultants, plus other poisons, and large-scale miners can be careless with the low levels of enforcement.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), the body that manages the country’s water resources says nationwide, council water sources are the most polluted, with its parent ministry, Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Settlements defining water pollution as “the introduction of substances that are dangerous to human health, harmful to living organisms and ecosystems”.
Zinwa public relations manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said among the most polluted water bodies are Lake Chivero south-west of Harare, Khami and Umguza dams outside Bulawayo, Odzi and Dora Rivers in Mutare, and Darwendale and Biri dams to the west of greater Harare.
In Harare, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) recently sampled 24 points located along streams and rivers, including four that drain Harare city and its satellites: the Manyame, Mukuvisi, Marimba and Ruwa.
Water in all four ends up in Lake Chivero, although for Ruwa, the water passes through two smaller dams.
EMA Harare provincial environmental education and publicity officer Ms Batsirai Sibanda attributed the Lake Chivero pollution to discharge from sewage treatment facilities and industrial discharge .
“The major polluter of Lake Chivero is City of Harare, caused by the local authority’s sewage treatment plants.
“These plants are partially functional, failing to meet requirements.
“Due to urbanisation and lack of new treatment plants being constructed, they are receiving raw effluent higher than the stipulated capacity. Some of the challenges being faced by these plants include power shortages and maintenance for their machines,” she said.
Ironically, Harare is shooting itself in the foot as it draws its water from Lake Chivero, requiring US$2,5 million of chemicals monthly instead of using less than US$1 million to get drinking water.
City of Harare and Ruwa Local Board have since been taken to court for raw sewage discharge into the environment.
Kariba Municipality was also fined $2 000 for discharging raw effluent into streams and the environment after EMA took the council to court for contravening Section 57 of the Environmental Management Act; illegally discharging raw sewage into the environment.
According to information from EMA, an inspection was carried out in Nyamhunga on April 27, 2018, where it was observed that the municipality was discharging raw sewage into a Kariba Dam tributary.
Ms Sibanda said the other possible source of pollution in water bodies were sewer bursts that are very rampant, especially in Harare and Chitungwiza due to dilapidated sewer infrastructure and overloading above design capacity.
“Industry also contributes to the pollution of Lake Chivero.
“There are reported incidents where industry does not comply with municipal regulations of discharging their pre-treated effluent into municipal sewer lines, but they discharge directly into streams and rivers that feed into the lake,” she said.
Community Water Alliance Programmes Manager Hardlife Mudzingwa said studies have shown that in five years, people consuming fish from the polluted Lakes like Chivero risk having cancer.
“EMA should introduce hefty fines to councils and industrialists discharging raw effluent sewage as the current charges are way too low such that organisations may see it more cost effective to pay the fine than to treat their emissions,” he said.
He also wished Harare could draw water from upstream of the city, but even the largest proposed new dam, Kunzvi, is only a third the size of Lake Chviero and so will not make a lot of difference to the total raw water supplies.
The only solution will be to enforce laws so that Chivero water is clean.
EMA does regular checks of the quality of water along Marimba and Mukuvisi rivers.
It monitors through the collection of water samples from these rivers once every month, and the samples are analysed at a laboratory.
If there is any pollution taking place along rivers, the agency identifies the sources of pollution and orders them to rectify the situation within 24 hours.
Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association recently raised a red flag over the pollution of the Save and Odzi River by diamond mining companies operating in Marange area in Manicaland, which has continued to affect and destroy sources of livelihoods for poor and vulnerable households and villagers that live near and rely on the two rivers in Chimanimani, Chipinge, Marange and Buhera.
The alleged principal offenders were Diamond Mining Company, Marange Resources and Anjin Investments.
A lot of villagers have lost livestock which died after drinking mine effluent.
Gardening and irrigation schemes have also been affected, while the ecosystem has been significantly compromised.
The small-scale gold mining activities were rampant in Mazowe, Bindura, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Shurugwi, Chinhoyi and Mutoko where river banks were being polluted at unprecedented levels.
The report did not, however, disclose the actual extent of the level of pollution, but it is beyond doubt that the levels are bad.
WHO considers mercury as one of the top 10 chemicals of major public health concern.
It affects aquatic life because it pollutes water and stays in it for a long time, affecting fish, which when consumed can affect the whole food chain.
Small-scale miners use mercury to refine gold, separating gold from ore, and it is a highly-poisonous element which can affect the brain, nervous and reproductive systems if inhaled as vapour.
While Government is yet to find a replacement for mercury, which is finding its way into water bodies, EMA, through holding awareness campaigns and workshops with small-scale miners, has since stepped up efforts to reduce the use of mercury, with a long-term plan of eliminating, as well as substituting the substance.
Source: Curb inflation and money supply | The Herald November 12, 2019 Dr Gift Mugano Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube should come up with fiscal policies that curb inflation and stimulate production when he presents his 2020 National Budget proposals on Thursday, economic analysts have said. They urged […]
Source: Curb inflation and money supply | The Herald November 12, 2019
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube should come up with fiscal policies that curb inflation and stimulate production when he presents his 2020 National Budget proposals on Thursday, economic analysts have said.
They urged Treasury to come up with realistic projections so that the Budget is not premised on wrong assumptions as that could impede the desire to meet targets.
Economist Dr Gift Mugano said in a Capitalk FM radio programme yesterday that there was need to come up with realistic projections so that the country was not found wanting in meeting economic targets.
However, he said, some of the impediments to meeting targets were natural causes like drought and cyclones.
“The performance has not been good, but of course there are other factors like drought and Cyclone (Idai) which affected from a planning point of view.
“There is also an issue of growth of money supply which ought to be dealt with,” he said.
He said Government should direct more resources towards power generation as part of deliberate efforts to revive industry.
Another economic analyst Mr Langton Mabanga said there was need to direct resources towards agriculture.
He bemoaned the late planting by farmers which he said was the result of high input cost.
“Farmers are not going back to the field, there is limited planting that is going on, you go to mining . . . We knew we would miss the target.
“We are losing on the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and curbing inflation. We need to manage and really focus on appropriate energy where it matters. Let us do what is practical to Zimbabwe. Let us optimise our land and our minerals,” said Mr Mabanga.
Economic analyst Mr Brains Muchemwa said there was need to guard against broad money supply.
“The most important intervention should be around safeguarding fiscal solvency in order to reduce the destabilisation effects of excessive broad money supply,” said Mr Muchemwa.
Prof Ncube is on Thursday expected to present a Budget that speaks to economic growth through increased production as the country moves out of austerity.
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