Local News

EU sets conditions for emoving sanctions

EU MAINTAINS SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABW
Harare July 23, 2012 (New Ziana) – The European Union (EU said on Monday it will only remove the illegal sanctions it slapped on Zimbabwe on condition the country holds a 'peaceful and credible' referendum on the draft new Constitution.
The EU, along with the United States, imposed the embargo on the country over a decade ago, a blockade which has been blamed for Zimbabwe's economic turmoil.
After its meeting on Monday, the EU Council said in a statement the referendum represented an important milestone for the holding of democratic elections.
“As indicated in February this year and consistent with its incremental approach, the EU will further adjust its policy to recognize progress as it is made by the Zimbabwean parties along the SADC roadmap,” the EU said.
“The EU agrees that a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum
would represent an important milestone in the preparation of democratic elections that would justify a suspension of the majority of all EU targeted restrictive measures against individuals and entities.”
Zimbabwe last week concluded the first draft of the new constitution which is due to go through various processes including Parliament and a referendum expected in the last quarter of the year.
The EU Council said it was encouraged by progress which was being made in the implementing the Global Political Agreement, the pact which led to establishment of the inclusive government in early 2009.
Siding with the British in its political battle with Zimbabwe after the Southern African country embarked on a land reform programme which sought to redress colonial land imbalances, the EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001.
The embargo has however been partially lifted on certain individuals and companies after the establishment of the inclusive government.
New Ziana

Local seed house misses target to install plant in Tanzania

LOCAL SEED FIRM MISSES TARGET TO INSTALL TANZANIAN PLANT
Harare July 23, 2012 (New Ziana) –Delays by the contractor who was carrying out the civil works has prevented Cotton seed company, Quton from installing a state-of-the-art acid de-linting plant in Tanzania which was slated for June.
The plant uses acid to separate cotton seed and lint.
Quton acquired the plant early this year as it sought to meet the ever growing demand for seed cotton in the Southern African region.
The only cotton seed company in Zimbabwe, Quton breeds, processes and markets to largely smallholder sectors in the region.
Tanzania invited the company to multiply seed in that country.
Quton managing director Edworks Mhandu said the plant was already in Tanzania.
“Things did not go the way we thought they would but work is just about to be completed.
“The machine is on site in containers and apart from the delay everything is running on quite smoothly,” he said.
Mhandu said technicians from China were expected in two weeks time to start fitting.
“Installation of the pant will be completed within four weeks,” he said.
The plant would have an installed capacity of 15 000 tonnes of cotton seed per annum.
To date, the company has made inroads in countries like Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, where it has been awarded a seven-year exclusive multiplication agreement.
Quton is currently pumping between 2 000 and 3 000 tonnes of cotton seed in the region annually.
Africa produces about one million tonnes of cotton annually out of the 26 million tonnes global output.
Over 27 million people are employed directly or indirectly in the cotton value chain on the continent.
New Ziana

Zim to establish older persons fund

OLDER PERSONS FUND ON THE CARDS
Harare July 23, 2012 (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government will soon establish a fund to assist elderly people to live independent lives, a cabinet Minister said on Monday.
The fund would be established through the Older Persons Bill, which recently passed through Parliament and now awaits the assent of President Robert Mugabe to become law.
It would assist older persons through maintenance allowances, skills development activities and income generating projects.
Labour and Social Services Minister Paurina Mpariwa told a press conference that her Ministry would administer the fund.
“The fund will be appropriated to it by Parliament and any other source,” she said.
Mpariwa said the fund would empower older persons and enable them to live a meaningful life that ensures non-discrimination, independence and respect.
“That will also include easy access to premises, services and prohibition of any denial of fundamental rights and freedoms,” she said.
She said the bill would also see the establishment of a board that would be tasked with furthering the rights, interests and welfare of older persons.
The board will be appointed by the Minister to whom to would reports and be accountable to who in turn tables its report in Parliament.
Mpariwa said through the Bill older persons would enjoy benefits which include access to services that would enhance their autonomy, protection and care.
Other benefits include access to schemes, projects or income generating opportunities and provision and development of skills to enhance their independence.
The Bill would also see those aged above 60 years being exempted from paying utility bills as well as receiving free health care.
Zimbabwe joins other countries in the region which have such laws and are currently providing older people with income security.
The country was the first in Africa to draft the Bill in 2002 following the Madrid International Plan of Action on ageing, which recommended that African states should develop policy and legislation to improve the living standards of older persons.
New Ziana

Poachers kill over 200 wild animals

POACHERS KILL 227 WILDLIFE ANIMALS 
Harare July 21, 2012 (New Ziana) –Poachers have killed at least 227 wild animals during the first half of this year in game parks around the country, an official said Saturday.
Last year the country lost more than US$5 million in potential revenue to poaching activities.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director general Vitallis Chadenga said elephants were the most illegally harvested animals.
“Since the beginning of this year poachers killed 96 elephants, 45 impalas and 22 kudus countrywide,” he said.
“Highest poaching activities were recorded in game parks that are in the southern parts of the country where at least 79 animals were killed.”
Chadenga said other big animals that were killed included lions, rhinos and buffaloes.
“One lion and the endangered three white rhinos and two black rhinos were killed in the western parts,” he said.
“Some of the animals that were killed include elands, zebras, crocodiles, nyalas, warthogs and water bucks.”
Wildlife is one of the major tourist attractions in the country and poaching worries conservationists and tourism operators as some species are nearing extinction.
Commercial poachers mainly target elephants and rhinos for their tusks horns which have a ready market in Asian countries where they believed to have medicinal qualities.
The poachers, who are usually armed with assault rifles and hi-tech communication and reconnoicence euipmentt, also target giraffe and zebra for their skins.
Local poachers, who do it to subsist, use wire snares as well as hunt with dogs to capture game for meat.
New Ziana

Draft Zim Constitution proposes reserving 60 seats for women

DRAFT CONSTITUION PROPOSESE SIXTY MORE WOMEN MP’s
Harare July 20 2012 (New Ziana) The draft Constitution which the parties in the inclusive government have produced proposes that 60 House of Assembly seats be reserved for women.

These will be in addition to the existing 210 seats, bringing to 270 the number House of Assembly seats.

The existing Constitution does not provide such quotas.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said a special provision had been made to enhance women participation in both Houses of Parliament.

The draft Constitution has since been submitted to the principals of the three parties in the inclusive government for final determination from where it would be taken to the public for further scrutiny, after which it would be taken to referendum and from there to Parliament for ratification.

“The draft promotes women to enjoy full and equal dignity of the person with men and this includes equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities.
“Sixty more seats have been created specifically for women in the House of Assembly and women top any party list in the proportional representation in the Senate,” he said. 

Despite Zimbabwe having prioritized gender mainstreaming, the political arena remained a preserve for men who dominated both Houses of Parliament.
The move to reserve seats for women is in line with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development whose one key target is to have 50 percent women in all areas of decision-making by 2015.
The Protocol enjoins member states to endeavor by 2015 to enshrine gender equality and equity in their Constitutions and ensure that these rights are not compromised by any provisions, laws and practices.
Despite most countries not having reached the initial target of 30 percent representation of women decision-making in the 1997 SADC Declaration on Gender and Development, Heads of State upped the target to 50 percent in the more binding 2008 Protocol.
Over the past ten years the proportion of women in politics in SADC has increased by a mere six percent from eighteen percent in 2000 to twenty four percent, an increase of two percent since the Protocol was signed in 2008.
While the region is five percent above the global average of nineteen percent, it is still far from the fifty percent with performance of members a combination of best and worst.
Three countries namely South Africa, Mozambique and Angola fall into the top ten countries globally in terms of women representation in Parliament while Botswana and the DRC are at the other of the spectrum occupying positions 110 and 114 respectively.
At national level, only four countries namely Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania have reached or surpassed the original 30 percent target while countries, namely Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles and Swaziland are between 20 and 30 percent with Botswana and DRC below 10 percent.
South Africa and Mozambique have shown consistent improvement over the decade ensuring their places globally at number three and nine respectively.
Zimbabwe has in the past instituted several polices to curb gender disparities with the latest being the Broad Based Women’s Empowerment framework which President Mugabe launched last week.

New Ziana

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