March 2024

Local, Top Stories

Dry weekend for Harare

By Talent Hwari The Harare City Council says it is carrying out repair works at its Warren Control Pump station to Alexandra Park reservoirs over the weekend which will lead to a dry weekend for residents in the affected areas. In a statement the council’s Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango implored residents to use available water sparingly. He said areas that will be affected by the maintenance works include Belvedere, Milton Park, Central Bussiness Centre, Avenues, Parirenyatwa Hospitals, Dzivarasekwa, Tynwald, Mabereign, Malborough, Westlea and all Northern suburbs. He added that all other suburbs will access water as per current water demand management schedule.

Business, Local

Call for value addition in tobacco production

By Tanyaradzwa Kutaura Vice President Dr Constatino Chiwenga has urged stakeholders in the tobacco industry to devise mechanisms aimed at promoting value addition of the golden leaf as the country seeks to retain more value lost through raw exports. Addressing farmers during the official opening of the 2024 tobacco selling season in Harare this Wednesday, Dr Chiwenga said the country has set sights towards promoting value addition. “Government is concerned that we still export ninety-eight percent of our tobacco in raw form, in the process exporting jobs value. “In tandem with our value addition and beneficiation thrust, the Second Republic has laid down a comprehensive plan in the tobacco value chain. “I am pleased with current investments in tobacco processing plants in the country to give impetus to value addition from the current two percent of tobacco produced to over 30 percent. “As government we are creating an enabling environment for entities interested in value addition and beneficiation of Zimbabwean tobacco in the broader framework of a private sector led economy,” he said. The country has over the past few years improved tobacco production with farmers producing at least 211 million kilograms of the golden leaf in 2021, 212 million kilograms in 2022. Meanwhile Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board Patrick Devenish bemoaned the effects of climate change on the country saying the tobacco industry has not been spared from such. “The just ended production season was one such year which the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe predicted a strong El Niño event occurring between October 2023 and March 2024,” he said. “The tobacco production sector was not spared as a total of 113 101 ha was planted in comparison to 117 645 ha planted at the same time last year. The negative four percentage variance was because of delayed rains that were received which affected the delayed timing for planting for the dryland crop. “The late rains caused a delayed establishment of crops for small-scale farmers who contribute over 70% of the national yield. Consequently, there was a decline in volume produced per hectare. “For this marketing season, the number of registered growers is 115,114 compared to 148,300 in the prior year. The due diligence undertaken by the Board to ensure compliance with the registration process led to the decline. “For this season, the Board has licensed two auction floors, and these are, Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF) and Premier Tobacco Auction Floor (PTAF),” he said.


Zim safe from Tropical Cyclone Filipo – MSD

By Talent Hwari The Meteorological Services Department (MSD)  says an anticipated tropical storm Filipo which originated from Mozambique will slightly affect Zimbabwe. In an interview with Zimpapers Radio News MSD Head of Forecasting James Ngoma urged members of the public to stop spreading fake reports which may cause unnecessary panic to the nation He added that said some parts of the country in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces will however receive localized heavy rainfalls this week. This follows reports that the moderate tropical storm Filipo is tracking west-southwestward in the Mozambique channel and also expected to make a landfall in neighbouring Mozambique on Tuesday. A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and squalls


Pepfar DREAMS digital campaign launched

By Tanyaradzwa Kutaura United States Chargé d’Affaires Elaine French says Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (Dreams) digital campaign launch will positively contribute towards empowering young girls on sexual reproductive health issues. In her speech during the dreams digital campaign launch in Harare on Thursday, French said the digital space will reduce the knowledge gap amongst young girls on sexual reproductive health issues. “As we launch the dreams digital campaign this international women’s month, let us remind ourselves that adolescent girls and young women are up to three times more likely to become HIV infected than their male counterparts. “Throug our PEPFAR supported Dreams initiatives, we continue to equip these girls and young women with appropriate tools and services to prevent them HIV infection. “Communities, parents and guardians must embrace and support the Dreams digital campaign for these girls and young women to remain free from AIDS,” she said. Over the years the dreams project which started in 2015 in only six districts has continued to grow owing to several initiatives and now covers 22 districts around the country. The United States government has invested more than 1.7 billion dollars over the past 20 years through Pepfar to support the country’s HIV response.


Zimbabwe exhibits at global travel show ITB Berlin

By Lastword Musekiwa Zimbabwe is part of this year’s edition of the ITB Berlin in Germany, as authorities continue to promote the country to be a must-visit destination in Africa. The global travel three-day event with over 5,000 exhibitors from about 170 countries opened its doors to trade visitors and buyers from the international travel industry on 5 March and Zimbabwe’s delegation is being led by Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi. During the official opening, issues on sustainable aircraft fuel to ensure climate proofing for tourism and global peace for tourism to prosper, topped discussions. Meanwhile, Minister Rwodzwi has met with Namibian Environment and Tourism Deputy Minister Heather Sibungo to discuss areas of cooperation between Harare and Windhoek. The two discussed key issues including the development and marketing of the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) region, with a special focus on the KAZA visa. Deputy Minister Sibungo said her country is inspired by the work of the First Lady of Zimbabwe Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa in the Gastronony Tourism Sector and Namibia has started implementing the idea. The Deputy Minister extended the invitation to Minister Rwodzwi and the team that leading the Gastronomy Tourism initiative in Zimbabwe to the Namibia Cookouts Competitions slated for June this year. Zimbabwe and Namibia agreed to implement the cooperation framework through the existing Memorandum of Understanding where Zimbabwe pledged support for Namibia’s fair while Namibia also committed to attend the Zimbabwe Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.  


More millions injected in Zim’s renewable energy agenda

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Edward Kallon says a renewable energy fund, with an initial 45 million US dollar injection has been established for Zimbabwe and designed to mobilize resources as well as facilitate investments in the energy sector. Speaking during an official opening of the 5th International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo in Victoria Falls recently Kallon said the flagship project was jointly developed by government and four United Nations development aid agencies. Speaking at the same event , Old Mutual Zimbabwe chief finance officer Takunda Mudekunye said his company has mobilized 10 million US dollars for the renewable energy fund. Zimbabwe is exploring various energy solutions including licencing independent power producers to boost the country’s electricity generation.

Entertainment, Regional

Nollywood actor Mr Ibu dies

Nollywood Actor, John Okafor, Known As Mr Ibu, Dies At 62 Okafor who had been ill since October 2023 was said to have died of cardiac arrest on Saturday, March 2, in Evercare hospital in Lekki, after being moved to the intensive care unit a few days ago. The President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, also confirmed his death. The 62 years old actor had suffered health challenges that led to amputation of his leg last year.-

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