Day: May 26, 2017

Tobacco farmers call for decentralisation of auction floors

Although the 2017 tobacco farming season has been largely successful, farmers have bemoaned a number of challenges which need urgent attention chief among them, the unavailability of cash and a call for the decentralisation of the auction floors system. Coming to Harare from as far afield as Hurungwe, Mutorashanga, Chegutu, Centenary and Chivhu among other tobacco farming areas and spending weeks at the auction floors owing to congestion, unavailability of cash and contending with robbers are some of the concerns communal farmers are grappling with at this time of the season. Their pleas to the concerned authorities include the call to decentralise the auction floors system to other districts. As the 2018 season beckons with the 300 percent increase in seedlings uptake, expectations are high that the volumes will increase and congestion at the floors will likely shoot up if decentralisation is not done soonest.  ...

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Mapeza upbeat ahead of Highlanders clash

FC Platinum coach, Norman Mapeza says he hopes to capitalise on a demoralised Highlanders who lost to Chicken Inn yesterday and get the maximum three points. The two sides clash on Sunday in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane. Riding on a streak of fine performances, Mapeza is upbeat that the good times at Mandava Stadium will continue rolling. The FC Platinum coach said he is hopeful that Sunday’s clash with Bosso has already been won on psychological turf after the Bulawayo giants were beaten 1-0 by Chicken Inn in a midweek PSL encounter. The platinum miners currently lie third on the log table after nine games played having collected 19 points so far. In their last match, the Zvishavane based side thrashed Yadah FC 2-0 to cement their winning streak which has seen them go for nine games unbeaten since the commencement of the 2017...

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ZIBAWU raises red flag on Barclays Bank takeover

Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) has raised a red flag over the impending takeover of 68 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe by First Merchant Bank (FMB) of Malawi. The ZIBAWU has added its voice regarding plans by FMB of Malawi to takeover operations of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe as concerns have been raised over one of the directors. One of the directors, Rasik Kantaria is at odds with authorities in Uganda over irregular banking practices which media reports suggest could pose a systemic risk to that country’s banking sector. The integrity of FMB directors appear to scuttle the Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe takeover bid amid reports suggesting authorities in Zimbabwe are now nervous following events in Uganda. ZIBAWU secretary general, Mr Peter Mutasa said the transaction must be done in such as a way that there will be no bank closures anytime soon hence the integrity of directors is critical. Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe has been looking to sell its stake as part of a broader exit from Africa to focus on a transatlantic strategy in the United States and Britain. Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe is one of the two banks together with the Barclays Bank of Egypt that do not form part of the lender’s South Africa based Barclays Africa Group which is also up for sale. Under Zimbabwe’s banking amendment act, a director or...

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Mbare holds culture week celebrations

The culture week celebrations that were launched in Mashonaland Central Province on the 20th of this month have now cascaded to other provinces with Mbare holding the commemorations this Friday (today) in Harare. The culture week celebrations in Mbare were attended by various art groups, school children and Mbare residents who took time to perform and appreciate artistic talents in their diversity. Acting provincial arts manager for the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Oliver Chauke said it is important for Zimbabweans to celebrate various facets of Zimbabwean culture. This year’s culture week is running under the theme, “Consolidating Cultural Identity and Heritage”. The celebrations are held every year in May following the declaration by the United Nations that the 21st of May be the world day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development.              ...

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Malawi seeks to strengthen bilateral ties with Zim

Malawi is considering ways to further strengthen close relations between the two sides which were brought together even in the colonial era. This was said by Malawian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Annie Kumwenda when she met with Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare today. Ambassador Kumwenda said Malawi is on a mission to scout for Zimbabwean experts in the higher education sector, industry and agriculture. She explained that the two countries are both agro based but Malawi seeks to market some of the produce which is abundant in her country, and on high demand in Zimbabwe, which include rice and legumes. Ambassador Kumwenda also spoke about the export of skills to neighbouring countries and beyond by Zimbabwe saying Malawi would want to tap from Zimbabwe’s progress in this sector. Zimbabwe and Malawi share common membership in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, G77 and other third world...

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SODA old people’s home appeal for assistance

Life at the Society of the Destitute and Aged (SODA) in Highfield has become dire as the senior citizens staying at the old people’s home lack basic services that include food and medical care. Old people often have limited abilities and are more susceptible to diseases, syndromes and sickness than younger adults hence they require more attention and society assistance. According to the country’s cultural values, old people ought to be taken care of by the younger members of the family but a visit to the SODA in Highfield saw the senior citizens appealing for assistance from the society in order to access basic needs that include food and medical care. SODA chairperson, Mr Savious Mujere said lack of sponsorship has affected his organisation’s capacity to effectively take care of the 24 elderly people at the old people’s home. Mr Mujere who is a Rotarian said his institution is welcome to enter into public private partnerships to improve its operations. The old people’s home has a clinic that is not operating as there is no medication and health personnel to run the facility. The SODA is in possession of land close to five hectares where a number of projects to raise money to sustain its operations can be...

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Tobacco production poised for a big leap

Tobacco sales have raked in about US$400 million in forex since the opening of the auction floors with expectations to hit the US$700 million target this season still high. Of major interests is the tobacco seeds uptake which have already hit a record high of 300 percent increase compared to last year in a move expected to boost tobacco volumes by a huge margin next year. With latest statistics by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) indicating that tobacco worth about US$400 million has so far gone under the hammer at both auction and contract floors, expectations to achieve the initial target of US$700 million are still high considering the rate at which farmers are delivering the golden leaf. Of major interest this season is the massive seed uptake which has hit 300 percent so far. This is expected to see a big leap in tobacco production and foreign currency earnings for the country next year, says TIMB spokesperson Isheunesu Moyo. Tobacco seed sales as at 19 May this year was 263 173 grammes compared to 65 040 grammes sold during the same period last year. The seedlings for this year can cover about 43 862 hectares as compared to 10 840 covered last year during the same...

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Be grateful to Africa’s founding fathers: youths told

Defence Minister, Dr Sydney Sekeramayi says the current generation of Africans owe a debt of gratitude to Africa’s founding fathers for the sacrifices they made to liberate the continent. Dr Sekeramayi said the only way that the young generations can repay them is by keeping the flame of freedom and unity alive. He was addressing hundreds of guests who attended a dinner to celebrate 54 years of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which is now the African Union (AU). The African drum dances and poetry filled the air at the venue of the Africa Day celebrations 2017, reflecting the true spirit of Africa. As heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Zimbabwe, legislators and some representatives of the business community came together for the night of celebrating their African identity, unity and freedom, they reminisced on the spirit and motivation of the founding fathers like Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah with their famous expressions like, “Africa is not free  until the whole of Africa is liberated”, “Africa is one continent and one people and we are not African because we are born in Africa but because Africa was born in us”. Dr Sekeramayi went on to explain the new task before the continental body saying Africa’s new vision for political and economic emancipation, agenda 2063, Africa is on the rise as the programme holds the...

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Vic Falls special economic zone: Govt overwhelmed by enquiries

Government says it is overwhelmed with enquires from investors keen to participate under the planned Victoria Falls special economic zone initiative. Recognised for its spectacular natural wonders and rare beauty, with the majestic Victoria Falls famed as the adventure capital of Africa, Zimbabwe is seeking to attract investments in the tourism focused special economic zone. The enactment of the special economic zones act has seen a surge in enquires from investors who are willing to invest under the Victoria Falls special economic zone according to the relevant ministry. Macro-economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister, Dr Obert Mpofu said the high level of enquiries is encouraging and is confident the roll out of the concept will further enhance the attractiveness of the Victoria Falls as a tourist destination. Tour operators in the resort town of Victoria Falls say they are ready to participate under the special economic zone initiative and expressed confidence the arrangement will unlock the potential of the tourists’ destination. Meanwhile, government says it has prioritised the setting up of relevant structures to oversee the implementation of the special economic zones with the board of directors expected to be announced...

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ZSE ends week on a higher note

Trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) ended the week on a high note on the back of gains by most industrial listed counters. The industrial index advanced by 1.99 points to close at 160.30 points, while the mining index was flat at 69.21 points. Econet led the movers with a 2.25 cents gain to close at 30.00 cents, Innscor gained 0.83 cents to 53.58 cents while Meikles went up by 0.50 cents to trade at 19.70 cents. Powerspeed increased by 0.47 cents to end at 2.82 cents while OK Zimbabwe and Old Mutual were each 0.25 cents higher at 7.00 cents and 376.25 cents. Seed manufacturer Seedco was the only lame duck as it lost 1.80 cents to settle at 98.20 cents. Week-on-week industrial index put on 6.97 points on the mining counters. Bindura, Falgold, Hwange  and RioZim remained unchanged at previous trading levels. Week-on-week mining index came off 1.77...

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