Local News

President Mugabe slams local banks

PRESIDENT MUGABE SLAMS LOCAL BANKS
Harare, July 19, 2012 (New Ziana) –President Mugabe on Thursday slammed local banks for adopting a hawkish culture which is discouraging the public from depositing their money.
The banks are charging high interest rates on loans while deposits are not attracting any meaningful interest.
“I think the people are scared also to have their money in banks for too long,” he said.
“Some banks have not managed their resources honestly and have gambled with people's monies.”
President Mugabe who was officiating at the launch of the Broad Based Women's Economic Empowerment Framework (BBWEEF) said the recent economic meltdown, which was characterized by hyperinflation, had also added to the distrust in financial institutions.
Meanwhile, President Mugabe expressed doubts that sanctions imposed on the country might be lifted soon while bemoaning the effects that the embargo is having on the economy.
Recent reports from the United Kingdom, which engineered the imposition of sanctions on the country by the European Union (EU) and the United States, seemed to suggest that the EU was considering lifting the embargo slapped on the country over a decade ago.
President Mugabe said although the political environment in the country had stabilized but sanctions remained in place.
“The environment is affected by sanctions. The political environment is good because the inclusive government has improved it. But we still have sanctions and I do not see the sanctions going away soon,” he told delegates at the launch.
President Mugabe said government's ability to fund and capacitate women to fully participate in the economy was therefore limited as a result of the poor performing economy.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced a reduction of the $4 billion 2012 National Budget by $600 million on Wednesday as government coffers run dry on the back of high demand for financial support.
In spite of the challenges being faced, President Mugabe said the government would try to create a conducive political environment for business to flourish.
President Mugabe last week told African leaders at the African Union summit that he would want the sanctions removed before Zimbabwe holds its general elections soon.
The sanctions fuelled Zimbabwe's economic meltdown in the last decade which saw the country experiencing hyperinflation, wiping away the value of the local currency leading to adoption of the use of multi-currencies in 2009.
A date is yet to be set for polls, which are largely expected to be held after completion of the on-going constitution making exercise.
The BBWEEF looks at how women can be empowered in line with the country's indigenisation and economic empowerment law which aims to give control of the economy to locals.
New Ziana

ZNFPC to revamp studios

ZNFPC COURTS PARTNERS TO REVAMP STUDIO
Harare July 19, 2012 (New Ziana) -The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council on Thursday said it is seeking partners to assist in revamping its recording studios to produce health information.
In the past health related programmes have been produced at the unit contributing immensely to the national health delivery system.
Close to US60 000 is required to resuscitate the council’s Audio Visual Unit which has not been operational for over a decade.
ZNFPC director technical services Dr Edmore Munongo said the council was developing a business proposal to approach organizations for funding.
“Currently, business community and independent producers are being approached to go into partnership with the ZNFPC to operate the facility on a commercial basis,” he said.
“We intend to document best practices and disease outbreaks for the national health delivery system,” he said.
Munongo said on resuscitation the unit is intended to become a one-stop centre for health information as some diseases that were simple to prevent, treat and manage were claiming lives due to limited knowledge by the general public.
“Cancers of the reproductive system are easily preventable but are claiming lives which could have been spared if necessary information is packaged and disseminated.”
By 1990, one year after its completion in 1989, Zimbabwe had the largest rate of contraceptive use in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of ZNFPC activities.
There however has not been any meaningful investment to revamp the equipment since its commissioning in 1989.
Zimbabwe’s contraceptive prevalence rate currently stands at around sixty percent.
New Ziana

Zim has adequate maize seed stocks

ZIM HAS ADEQUATE MAIZE SEED STOCKS
Harare July 19, 2012 (New Ziana)-Zimbabwe has sufficient stocks of maize seed for the 2012/2013 cropping season, a cabinet Minister has said.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said this on Wednesday while presenting the Mid-Term Budget.
Prior to the adoption of multiple foreign currencies, Zimbabwe was failing to meet national demand for maize seed relying on imports.
“The country has adequate stocks of seed in preparation for the 2012/13 agriculture season. About 63 582 tones of seed are available for the 2012/2013 season against total requirements of about 35 780 tones.
“The current stocks comprise of 36 406 tones carried over from the previous season and this year’s production of 27 176 tones,” he said.
In 2008 the country produced only 11 000 tones of the crop, importing 10 000 to close the gap.
However, since 2009 local seed production has been on the upward trend reaching 27 176 tones in 2012 from 22 250 tones in 2009.
Responding to the surge in seed maize production, the government last year lifted the ban on seed maize exports following clear indications that seed producers could meet local demand.
The government had suspended maize seed exports six years ago after high demand for the product resulted in shortages.
Some seed houses have since started exporting to such countries as Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania.
New Ziana

Telecel still to indigenize

TELECEL YET TO INDEGENIZE
Harare July 19, 2012 (New Ziana)-Mobile operator, Telecel Zimbabwe has not yet complied with the indigenization regulations which compel foreign owned firms to sell 51 percent equity to locals, Parliament heard on Wednesday.
Egyptian telecoms giant Orascom owns 60 percent of Telecel, with a local consortium owning the remainder.
Telecel chief executive officer Francis Mawindi told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media Information and Communication Technology that the company was still to comply with the regulations.
“We are still in discussions with the Youth Development Indigenization and Economic Empowerment ministry and our parent ministry to regularize our indigenization,” he said.
Mawindi said once Telecel regularized its shareholding structure, it would consider listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
“That is an issue which will only be addressed once the shareholding issues have been addressed.”
The government early this month issued a notice extending the indigenization program to all other sectors of the economy covering finance, tourism, arts and entertainment, engineering and construction, telecommunications and motor industry.
Meanwhile, Mawindi said the company was forging ahead with its expansion program.
Mawindi said at present the company had 320 second generation base stations countrywide which would be increased by an additional 284 by year end.
He said they were also aiming to increase the number of third generation base stations by an additional 151 by year end.
Mawindi however bemoaned the continued disruptions in power supplies.
“Power has been an issue and continues to be an issue which has a knock on effect on our costs,” he said.
He said Telecel had 40 sites which were not on the Zesa grid which were running on generators.
New Ziana

Three envoys call on on VP Mujuru

THREE ENVOYS CALL ON VP MUJURU
Harare July 19 2012(New Ziana)-Three envoys accredited to Zimbabwe on Thursday paid courtesy calls on Vice President Joyce Mujuru at her Munhumutapa offices.
First to meet VP Mujuru was Nigerian ambassador to Zimbabwe Mamman Nuhu.
Nuhu said told journalists soon after the meeting that he had briefed VP Mujuru on the security situation in his country.
The Nigerian government is facing two extremist situations in the country, the Boko Haram terrorists in the North and the rebels in the oil rich southern Delta area.
Nuhu said he had also impressed on VP Mujuru the need for the two countries to further strengthen bilateral and economic ties.
Outgoing American ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray was the second to meet VP Mujuru during which he once again denounced sanctions his country and the EU bloc are maintaining on Harare.
“Those are policies that affect certain areas that I have no control over but I am not a fan of measures that are not flexible,” he said.
Ray said it was time his country and Zimbabwe forgot the past and strove to move forward.
He said he was optimistic that Zimbabwe would be assimilated back into the international community soon.
“I am optimistic that once you hold elections your image will be more appealing to the global world,” he said.
Last to meet VP Mujuru was Zambian ambassador to Zimbabwe Ndiyoi Mutiti who was meeting her for the first time.
“I wanted to introduce myself and also highlight that there was a lot of co-operation between Zimbabwe and Zambia and reiterate that I will do more to enhance them,” she said.
Mutiti said she also used the meeting to reiterate her country’s commitment to successfully co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in August next year.
New Ziana

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