Zim to assemble 300 Zupco buses

Source: Zim to assemble 300 Zupco buses | Sunday Mail (Top Stories) Debra Matabvu Preliminary work to assemble 300 Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) buses in partnership with Belarus has begun, with Government setting up a taskforce to superintend over the implementation of the project, expected to take off by mid-year. The taskforce — made […]

The post Zim to assemble 300 Zupco buses appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Zim to assemble 300 Zupco buses | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Debra Matabvu

Preliminary work to assemble 300 Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) buses in partnership with Belarus has begun, with Government setting up a taskforce to superintend over the implementation of the project, expected to take off by mid-year.

The taskforce — made up of the ministries of Local Government and Public Works; Finance and Economic Development; Zupco and AVM Africa — has already come up with a roadmap for the project.

Design specifications of the buses have since been sent to the Eastern European country to determine the cost of the knocked-down kits.

Also, a team of local engineers is set to begin training to ensure that they have the requisite skills to assemble the coaches.

Secretary for Local Government and Public Works Mr Zvinechimwe Churu said the project will begin in earnest once the team gets feedback from Belarus.

“The Government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, has engaged the key entities in Belarus and to that effect, specifications of the required buses have been submitted,” he said.

“The ministry now awaits the Belarus entities to come up with costing schedules to enable the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to kick-start works.

“In line with the workplan agreed between the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the Belarus entities, the assembling will commence by the third quarter of the year.

“Prior to that, training sessions will be conducted for Zimbabwean engineers to enable them to properly assemble the 300 buses that will be assembled locally.”

AVM Africa (Pvt) Ltd managing director Mr Jacob Kupa, who is also part of the taskforce, said there was a clear roadmap to consummate the project.

“As a taskforce, we have a roadmap for assembling the buses and we are working on that. At the moment that is all I can tell you,” he said.

The semi-finished buses are part the 500 coaches secured through a deal struck between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Belarusian counterpart, President Alexander Lukashenko, in January last year.

The decision to assemble the buses locally was informed by the need for fit-for-purpose vehicles capable of plying the local terrain, especially in rural areas where most of the roads are not tarred.

Commuters on the affected routes have had to contend with high transport fares charged by private operators.

However, in addition to creating employment, locally assembling the 300 buses is also expected to have a multiplier effect on the economy since about 40 percent of the materials used in manufacturing the coaches would also be sourced from the local market.

Zupco presently operates more than 272 buses, some of which are sourced from private sector players using its franchise.

A new fleet for the parastatal is progressively being procured from China, South Africa and Belarus.

Government’s targeted intervention through providing subsidised transport is meant to insulate commuters from extortionate fares charged by private transport operators.

Negotiations are also underway with Chinese manufacturers to set up bus assembling plants locally after Government recently procured buses from the Asian country.

 

The post Zim to assemble 300 Zupco buses appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

President Mnangagwa faces trouble, Nelson Chamisa tells Zimbabweans to be prepared for action

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says he has given up on dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa over disputed elections and the opposition party is changing tack in its efforts to force concessions from the ruling party. Chamisa has consistently refused t…

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says he has given up on dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa over disputed elections and the opposition party is changing tack in its efforts to force concessions from the ruling party. Chamisa has consistently refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s 2018 poll victory, accusing the Zanu PF leader of rigging the polls with […]

Govt injects $105m for student loans

Source: Govt injects $105m for student loans | Sunday Mail (Top Stories) Sunday Mail Reporter Government has mobilised $105 million to be accessed as loans by students in tertiary institutions. The loan scheme, which was recently reviewed by removing stringent conditions and introducing flexible repayment terms, is part of targeted measures to help reduce the […]

The post Govt injects $105m for student loans appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Govt injects $105m for student loans | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Sunday Mail Reporter

Government has mobilised $105 million to be accessed as loans by students in tertiary institutions.

The loan scheme, which was recently reviewed by removing stringent conditions and introducing flexible repayment terms, is part of targeted measures to help reduce the burden for students and improve the administration of tertiary institutions.

Last month, Government paid $15 million to settle part of the arrears owed to institutions through the cadetship scheme. Payments to the programme, which began in 2010 to cater for disadvantaged students, were last made in 2016.

An additional $60 million has also been extended to help meet operating expenses for colleges and universities.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira told The Sunday Mail that Government had decided to relax repayment terms to make it easier for students to access them.

“Not every student has access to a payslip, so we introduced this loan which can be accessed by students and has better repayment methods,” he said.

“One can pay per semester or upon completion of studies. We have mobilised the funds from the fiscus and the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF), and CBZ will match every dollar that we put into the scheme, which takes the money to $105 million.”

He said the new pool of funds would complement the already existing facilities that are presently being offered by private players such as Getbucks, CBZ, POSB and ZB Bank.

It is believed that more than 25 000 students have accessed loans from the financial institutions.

Commercial banks insist on the applicant’s guarantor’s current payslip, from which deductions are subsequently made every month.

However, Government-sponsored loans, which are being administered by CBZ, do not require a payslip to access them and repayment terms can be negotiated.

Prof Murwira said: “The facility with the private players is a private arrangement between the financial institution and the student upon providing required documentation.

“We have also paid $15 million cadetship arrears in all universities, polytechnics and teachers’ colleges this month, which had been last paid in 2016.

“Government is also disbursing between $6 million to $10 million in operational funds to all tertiary institutions to help with their operations.

“All these measures are meant to cushion the institutions so that they exert less pressure on students.”

Although Government had capped tuition fees in tertiary institutions, Minister Murwira added, universities and colleges had the prerogative to determine levies.

University students are paying between $3 500 and $5 000 per semester after the recent adjustment in fees, while at other tertiary colleges students are now forking out between $500 and $1 500 depending on the programme.

For example, medical students are required to pay $5 000 in tuition fees, while those studying sciences, engineering and technology have to part with $4 000.

Arts and humanities now attract $3 500 per semester.

Similarly, polytechnics, teachers’ colleges and industrial training colleges are now charging $500 to students studying towards National Foundation Certificate programmes, $1 050 for national certificates and $1 100 for a national diploma, including the Diploma in Education.

Students pursuing Higher National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology programmes will be required to pay $1 200 and $1 500 respectively.

Amenity fees payable in tertiary institutions have been set at $1 500.

However, the cost of ancillary fees, accommodation and meals varies depending on the learning institution.

Overall, colleges and universities have been directed not to charge over $5 000 in fees per semester, while polytechnics and teachers’ colleges are not expected to exceed $1 300 for certificate and diploma programmes.

 

The post Govt injects $105m for student loans appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Coronavirus: Don’t panic, says President

Source: Coronavirus: Don’t panic, says President | Sunday Mail (Top Stories) Kuda Bwititi Chief Reporter Zimbabweans do not need to panic as authorities are taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) into the country, while authorities in China have the situation under control, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. This comes as China’s […]

The post Coronavirus: Don’t panic, says President appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Coronavirus: Don’t panic, says President | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Kuda Bwititi
Chief Reporter

Zimbabweans do not need to panic as authorities are taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) into the country, while authorities in China have the situation under control, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

This comes as China’s chief envoy to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Guo Shaochun, made assurances that trade and economic trade between the two countries would only be temporarily affected by the virus, which has killed more than 1 000 people in mainland China.

To date, the virus has not been detected in Zimbabwe and no Zimbabweans living in China have contracted the disease.

Responding to The Sunday Mail at a press briefing after meeting with Ambassador Guo at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the country’s adherence to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines was likely to be complemented by travel restrictions imposed by China between Harare and Beijing.

“From the time of the breakout, there are conditions by the World Health Organisation, universal conditions which require that we take measures, and we have taken those measures and we have been able to acquire some of the necessary equipment to do the checking; and so far in Zimbabwe, we have not recorded any positive cases and we are happy that this is happening,” he said.

“Also the authorities in China have restricted the travel of people from China to Zimbabwe or Zimbabwe to China.

“So these things, again, have been implemented and they are contributing to the status which is there now, which is positive (for us) and we believe that we are in control of the situation.”

President Mnangagwa said it was encouraging that fatalities and new infections of the disease were declining.

“The current indications are that new cases are declining, as the facts now show. Earlier on, the deaths were rising, but now there is an indication of the deaths declining. Also, the volume of the number of people leaving the hospital after being cured is also increasing, which is indicative of the success the authorities in China are achieving to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“Then, of course, worldwide we have very few new cases that come up. The few that have been reported are not increasing.”

Authorities would remain vigilant to prevent the disease from spreading into the country, he said.

President Mnangagwa said Ambassador Guo was also “thankful” for the letter that he had sent to his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, to express solidarity and sympathy over COVID-19.

“The ambassador was thankful that I wrote to my counterpart, the President of the People of China, giving Zimbabwe’s support to the challenges arising from the outbreak of the virus.

“He was conveying to me that gratitude.

“When the coronavirus outbreak happened in China, we were extremely concerned about it and I, as President, sent a letter of support to my brother President Xi Jinping and to the people of China that the people of Zimbabwe sympathise with you and we expect that everything possible would be done and we are happy with what the leadership of China have done so far.”

The President was also apprised about global challenges that had arisen after the outbreak of the disease, including steps that were being taken by China to contain it as well as minimise casualties.

While there have been concerns that the disease outbreak might affect ongoing multibillion-dollar projects that are being implemented by China in Zimbabwe, Ambassador Guo told The Sunday Mail that the impact on trade and commerce would be minimal.

“Coronavirus has brought some temporary impact to China’s economy but we are very confident that we have enough ability and enough policies to manage the situation and minimise the impact,” he said.

“We are very confident that we will maintain the fundamentals for China’s long-term economic development.

“So the trade between China and Zimbabwe will continue to develop for the interests of the people of our two countries. I am very sure that the impact of coronavirus on people-to-people exchange and trade is very temporary and we will overcome it.”

Ambassador Guo also commended quarantine measures adopted by Zimbabwe.

He said: “It’s very science-based, rationale, reasonable and very effective. That is why so far there are no confirmed cases in Zimbabwe.

“You can see that in China we have adopted the most comprehensive measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and it works. Less than 1 percent of the confirmed cases have happened in China.

“So China is fighting against the battle not only for itself, but the rest of the world, we need understanding and cooperation from all countries.”

Zimbabwe and China enjoy strong ties after the two countries recently upgraded their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

 

The post Coronavirus: Don’t panic, says President appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Zimbabwe to repatriate anti-colonial heroes’ remains from Britain 

Source: Zimbabwe to repatriate anti-colonial heroes’ remains from Britain | AFP Zimbabwe on Thursday announced the imminent repatriation of the human remains of 27 people considered heroes of the country’s anti-colonial war after they were taken to Britain in the 1890s and kept in various museums. The country’s museums and monuments department had been talking […]

The post Zimbabwe to repatriate anti-colonial heroes’ remains from Britain  appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Zimbabwe to repatriate anti-colonial heroes’ remains from Britain | AFP

Zimbabwe on Thursday announced the imminent repatriation of the human remains of 27 people considered heroes of the country’s anti-colonial war after they were taken to Britain in the 1890s and kept in various museums.

The country’s museums and monuments department had been talking to museums in Britain which “have said we can come and collect the heads of the beheaded heroes,” said Gwasira Makoni, who is leading a special committee preparing for the repatriations.

“We expect that in the next two months some of the heads would have been brought home to be properly mourned and given decent burials”.

Among the heads to the brought back home are those of spirit mediums and cult heroes Mbuya Charwe Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi who were some of the early anti-colonial activists in the fight to drive back British colonialists.

“When the white colonialists came, they faced resistance from the locals,” said Makoni.

When they conquered the locals, “they beheaded the chiefs, the warriors who had shown bravery and spirit mediums who gave spiritual guidance and took their heads to Britain as a symbol of subjugation,” he said.

Chief Makoni bemoaned the delay in repatriating the remains, coming 40 years after independence from Britain.

Historian Ottoman Magaya formed the Handa Trust named after Nehanda to press for the repatriation of the heads and lobbied the government to approach British authorities.

Colonialists under the aegis of the British South Africa Company entered Zimbabwe from neighbouring South Africa in 1890 in search of gold and other precious minerals.

They faced resistance from locals whom they later defeated and named the country Rhodesia.

Colonial rule ended after a guerrilla war achieved black-majority rule in 1980 and the country was renamed Zimbabwe under the leadership of Robert Mugabe who died in September 2019.

The post Zimbabwe to repatriate anti-colonial heroes’ remains from Britain  appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

JUST IN: Musician Soul Jah Love involved in accident (PICTURES)

Talented but controversial Zimdancehall musician Soul Jah Love, real name Soul Musaka, is lucky to be alive after being involved in a nasty accident yesterday. Soul Jah Love cheated death when his vehicle, a Mini Cooper, overturned. The accident occurr…

Talented but controversial Zimdancehall musician Soul Jah Love, real name Soul Musaka, is lucky to be alive after being involved in a nasty accident yesterday. Soul Jah Love cheated death when his vehicle, a Mini Cooper, overturned. The accident occurred just after Martin Spur near Kadoma. Soul Jah Love was lucky to escape from the […]

Powerful Zanu PF bigwigs plot evil against Mnangagwa as mealie-meal shortage hits Zimbabwe

A Zanu PF faction is plotting to fuel food riots in the country in a bid to cause a State of Emergency and subsequent impeachment of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a Zanu PF Senior official has revealed. The Manicaland based Central Committee member who…

A Zanu PF faction is plotting to fuel food riots in the country in a bid to cause a State of Emergency and subsequent impeachment of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a Zanu PF Senior official has revealed. The Manicaland based Central Committee member who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity said, “There has a […]

I’m the one who buys you food: Evil father sends message to 19-year-old daughter demanding se_x

A MAN got the shock of his life after he stumbled on messages on his lover’s phone from her father asking for se_x from his daughter. Upon seeing the steamy love messages, the boyfriend, whose name has been withheld to protect the 19-year-old you…

A MAN got the shock of his life after he stumbled on messages on his lover’s phone from her father asking for se_x from his daughter. Upon seeing the steamy love messages, the boyfriend, whose name has been withheld to protect the 19-year-old young woman questioned her about the messages and she told him that […]