Regional News

Africa urged to equip AU

AFRICAN COUNTRIES URGED TO EQUIP AU TO WITHSTAND EUROPEAN AGRRESSION
Harare April 25, 2012 (New Ziana) –African countries should adequately equip the African Union to enable it stand up to the aggression and intimidation of Western countries who threaten to destabilize the continent, President Robert Mugabe said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a banquet he hosted for visiting Zambian President Michael Sata at State House, President Mugabe said the sad developments in Libya served to illustrate the manner in which some foreign powers sought to undermine the authority of the AU on African matters.
“It is therefore crucial that we equip the AU with the requisite provisions to enable it to contend with the phenomena that threatens to destabilize the continent,” he said.
“I doing so we should be guided by the principle of generating African solutions to African challenges,” he added.
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe fully subscribed to the African position on the reform of the United Nations to eliminate the unilateralism that some Western countries have adopted as they abuse their disproportionate power to punish weaker nations.
He said Zimbabwe would continue to be guided by the principles of mutual respect and unbending regard for the sovereign will of independent nations.
“The regard we give to all nations is the regard we expect from the same world,” he said.
Turning to relations between the two countries, President Mugabe noted that these stretched from the old days when the people traded and shared the Zambezi River to the ill fated Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland which left large numbers of people on either side of the borders.
President Mugabe said the independence of Zambia in 1964 inspired Zimbabweans to intensify their struggle for independence.
He commended Zambia for not being content with attainment of her own independence as she got involved in the Zimbabwean liberation struggle through training, housing and feeding freedom fighters with the result that it suffered reprisals from the Smith regime.
On the economic front, President said the two countries should use the joint hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly next year to find new opportunities for cooperation instead of fruitless competition.
He noted with satisfaction that the two countries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly construct a 1 650 megawatt hydro-electric power station on the Batoka Gorge at an estimated US$4 billion.
In response, President Sata said relations between the two countries were based on strong traditional and cultural values which saw his country getting involved in the liberation struggle of its neighbor despite having attaining its own.
President Sata expressed confidence that his visit would provide an opportunity for the two countries interact and consolidate the existing excellent relations.
“Our two countries have forged ties based on mutual respect and benefit,” he said.
He said Zambia and Zimbabwe held common positions on a broad range of issues hinged on the wellbeing of their people such as HIV, global terrorism, food security and the environment.
Zambia also agreed with Zimbabwe on the need to reform the UN to make more representative as well as more effective and efficient in its growing and varying mandate, he said.
He said Zambia was committed to strengthening relations with Zimbabwe through increased political, economic and social co-operation.
President Sata, who is visiting the country for the first time since being elected last year, is expected to officially open the 53rd Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday.
New Ziana

President Sata arrives in Zimbabwe

PRESIDENT SATA ARRIVES IN HARARE
Harare April 25, 2012 (New Ziana) –Zambian President Michael Sata arrived in Harare on Wednesday afternoon for a three day state visit which will see him officially open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair on Friday.
President Robert Mugabe met him at the Harare International Airport, where he was treated to a 21 gun salute before inspecting guard of honour.
The Vice Presidents Joyce Mujuru and John Nkomo as well as Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo were also at the airport to receive President Sata.
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister Francis Nhema and Hospitality and Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi also welcomed President Sata at the airport.
A jovial President Sata took some time chatting and joking with the some of the Zimbabwean Ministers like Mnangagwa, Chinamasa and Sekeramayi who he should have recognized from the days when they stayed in his country while fighting for independence.
Diplomats from most African countries and from some Western countries also went to the airport to welcome President Sata.
Conspicuous by their absence were government Ministers and officials from the MDC who could have snubbed him in retaliation for disparaging remarks he made early this year about their leader.
President Sata attracted the wrath of the MDC in January this year when he dismissed its leader who is also Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a Western “stooge” and described his calls for security, electoral and constitutional reforms as “unnecessary”.
In an interview with the United States based Telegraph President Sata dismissed Tsvangirai saying, "We don't know the policies of Morgan - he has other people speaking for him rather than speaking for himself."
President Sata, who spent a long time as an opposition politician in Zambia, defeated former President Rupiah Banda last year and on assuming office, he was widely expected to sympathize with Tsvangirai.
Until his “stooge” comments, it had not been clear whose side President Sata was on the Zimbabwean political problems with his failure to attend the December 2011 Zanu PF conference viewed as a snub of President Mugabe.
President Sata also accused Tsvangirai of being used by Western countries “to cause trouble in Zimbabwe”.
From the airport President Sata was whisked to a local hotel where he will be staying.
A state banquet in his honor was expected to be held at State House later in the evening.
New Ziana

Africa urged to establish single postal territory

AFRICA URGED TO ESTABLISH SINGLE POSTAL TERRITORY
Harare April 11, 2012(New Ziana) –African countries should come up with a single postal territory which allows free movement of mail and other items, an official said Tuesday.
Trans-boarder mail can take more than 10 days to reach its destination on the continent, a development which is retarding economic and social development.
Addressing a three day workshop on Customer Focus and Quality Management which the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) organized, Universal Postal Union (UPU) regional project co-coordinator for southern Africa Gladys Mutyavaviri said all barriers hindering development of the postal sector should be eliminated.
“In Africa, political boundaries lead to disintegrated postal territory as opposed to the UPU’s single postal territory, which is the case in Europe.
“The issue of visas is stifling the movement of parcels across the boarders, which need to be addressed urgently to exploit the maximum contribution of the sector to economic development of Africa,” she said.
Mutyavaviri said some procedures at ports of entry were delaying the movement of goods and parcels.
“There is a lot of beaurocratic processes at our boarders. Even just in the Southern African Development Community one faces a lot of challenges at the boarders.
“The process should not be rigorous as it negatively affects the quality of business in the postal network in Africa,” Mutyavaviri said.
Established in 1874, the UPU is a specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for coordinating postal development activities worldwide, while PAPU, which was formed in 1980, is a specialized agency of the African Union to spearhead development of postal service on the continent.
Mutyavaviri urged African governments to put the postal sector on their work plan since it has the potential to contribute to Gross Domestic Product.
“If governments put the sector on their government work plan funding can be obtained from international financiers like the World Bank,” she said.
New Ziana

Mumbengegwi speaks on Mali ardeal

MUMBENGEGWI SPEAKS ON MALI ORDEAL
Harare March 27, 2012(New Ziana) -Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi arrived back home on Monday after being held up in Mali for three days following a coup in the West African country last week.
Mumbengegwi was attending the 314th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council along with 13 other Foreign Affairs ministers from the continent.
The meeting was meant to find ways of resolving challenges afflicting the Sahel region which includes countries like Mali, Sudan, Ethiopia, Senegal and Eritrea.
But the army led by Captain Amadou Sanogo overthrew President Amadou Toumani Toure whose whereabouts are still unknown on Wednesday last week in protest over what they termed as failure by the government to provide them adequate support to quell a northern Tuareg rebellion.
Mumbengegwi chronicled the events from their “detention” up to their eventual release to the press at his Munhumutapa offices on Tuesday.
He said he was denied exit at the airport together with Foreign Ministers from Kenya, Niger, Malawi and Tunisia.
Mumbengegwi said the day before civilians had told them that the army was going to stage a coup.
“The UN and AU put a lot of pressure on the Captain to ensure the Ministers’ safety was guaranteed and that they were provided safe passage to leave Bamako,” he said.
He said a UN plane landed in Bamako on Friday to evacuate UN staff and reserved two seats for him and his Kenyan counterpart only but they declined the offer, opting instead to exchange their seats for their officers who had accompanied them.
“On Saturday the soldiers came to our hotel and told us they were instructed to escort us to the airport.
“We were given a very large escort and were evacuated to Lagos on Saturday night were we took commercial flights to Kenya arriving home yesterday,” he said.
“I felt relived when I got home. Although we knew we were not targeted in such situations where there is no accountability anything is possible, he said.
Meanwhile, Mumbengegwi said the Zimbabwe government condemned the military coup.
He said such actions tainted the image of the continent and was especially unnecessary as Mali was due to hold elections in April.
“Just like the UN and AU we do not condone any unconstitutional changes of government in any country.
“The irony of it all was that we were there for the Peace and Security Council meeting but while we were there we see the insecurity. We were
worried about the rebels up north while a coup was brewing under our noses,” he said.
Mumbengegwi expressed optimism that the situation would be brought under control soon.
New Ziana

Cotton seed company to set up plant in Tanzania

SEED COMPANY TO SET UP US$1 MILLION PLANT IN TANZANIA
Harare, March 25, 2012 (New Ziana) - Cotton seed company Quton, a subsidiary of Seed Co Pvt ltd has acquired a state of the art acid delinting plant, which it plans to set up in Tanzania to meet the growing demand for cotton seed on the continent, an official said on Saturday.
Acid delinting plant uses acid to separate cotton seed and lint.
Seed Co acquired Quton, a cotton seed company from Cottco in 2006.
Quton is the only cotton seed company in Zimbabwe and its main role is breeding, processing and marketing the seed to largely smallholder sectors in the SADC region.
To date the company has made in roads in countries like Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania where it has been awarded a seven year exclusive multiplication agreement by Dar-esalam authorities.
The company is currently supplying between 2 000 and 3 000 tonnes of cotton seed into the region annually.
Quton managing director Edworks Mhandu said the plant would be shipped in from the suppliers in two weeks time.
“Work will be completed in three months from the time it lands in the country.
“The plant will have an installed capacity of 15 000 tonnes of cotton seed per annum and this will allow us to meet the ever growing demand of cotton seed,” he said.
Mhandu said the company was expanding at the invitation of the Tanzanian government.
“We were requested by the government of that country to multiply cotton seed there to guarantee the availability of the seed in Tanzania where production of the crop is increasing,” Mhandu said.
He said the company was in similar arrangements with other SADC countries.
Africa produces about one million tonnes of cotton annually out of the 26 million global output.
Over 27 million people are employed directly or indirectly in the cotton value chain.
New Ziana

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