Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe announces Mugabe funeral amid row over burial site

Zimbabwe announces Mugabe funeral amid row over burial siteZimbabwe’s government has announced a date for Robert Mugabe’s funeral amid a row over where the former president will be buried.  A government memo declared the funeral will be at Harare National Sports stadium on Saturday, September 14th but gave no location for the burial to follow the next day.  Members of Mr Mugabe’s family are battling with the ruling Zanu PF party over its plan to bury Zimbabwe’s liberator-turned-despot in a cemetery for heroes of the liberation war in the capital.  The deceased dictator has a grave ready next to his first wife Sally in Heroes Acre, a North-Korea designed graveyard also home to prestigious Zanu PF supporters.  However, elements of Mr Mugabe’s family want him interred in their rural village in Zvimba district, about 50 miles northwest of Harare.  “We want him buried here. Heroes, for what?” Mr Mugabe’s cousin, Josephine Jorincha, told AFP in the village of Kutama.    Josephine Jaricha, 72, in Kutama Credit: AFP Mr Mugabe’s nephew, Leo, who is the family’s head of burial preparations, told the Telegraph that he was negotiating with village chiefs over the final site.   He said that Mr Mugabe’s toppling in a 2017 coup by his former right-hand man Emerson Mnangagwa had rendered the 95-year-old ambivalent about being buried in the Zanu PF shrine.   However, Leo said that he believed Mr Mugabe would eventually be buried in Heroes’ Acre.  “I am sure he will be buried at Heroes’ Acre,” he said, but “we are with the chiefs, we have to consult.” There is some surprise at the village chiefs’ importance in the burial negotiations as Mr Mugabe’s father was from Malawi, and deserted his family, meaning his son had no role within traditional Shona society. Jealousy Mawarire, a senior Mugabe loyalist said that although he believed Heroes’ Acre would be the burial place, there were “disturbances” within the family because of Mr Mugabe’s wishes to be buried “at home.” A report appeared in a privately-owned Zimbabwe weekly recently which claimed Mr Mugabe told family members he wanted to be buried next to his mother in Kutama. The former president led an uprising against white minority rule in the 1970s but left the economy in tatters over an increasingly despotic 37-year reign characterised by corruption and repression.



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Zimbabwe police beat protesters defying regime 'worse than Mugabe'

Zimbabwe police beat protesters defying regime 'worse than Mugabe'Riot police in Zimbabwe on Friday fired teargas and beat demonstrators who defied a protest ban, as the opposition accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of surpassing Robert Mugabe’s regime in brutality. Scores of people gathered in a square in the capital Harare to demonstrate against the country’s worsening economy, despite massive police deployment and a ban upheld by a court the same morning. Police cornered one group of protesters and beat them with batons, an AFP reporter saw.



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Zimbabwe Reaches ‘Tipping Point’ as Inflation Blacked Out

Zimbabwe Reaches ‘Tipping Point’ as Inflation Blacked Out(Bloomberg) — Zimbabwe’s finance minister responded to the country’s worsening economic crisis last week by blacking out inflation statistics for the next six months, boosting the price of the little power that’s available five-fold and admitting what the International Monetary Fund told him in April: the economy will contract for the first time since 2008.At the same time he spoke of fiscal surpluses and a relaxation in local ownership requirements for the key platinum industry. This all happened in a country with daily power cuts of up to 18 hours and shortages of everything from bread to motor fuel. People are receiving food aid in cities for the first time and a drought has necessitated the import of hundreds of thousands of tons of corn.When Robert Mugabe was ousted after four decades in power in late 2017 his replacement, Emmerson Mnangagwa, promised economic regeneration and declared that Zimbabwe is “open for business.” Instead things have gone from bad to worse with the effects of rapidly expanding money supply through the sale of Treasury bills under Mugabe’s rule coming home to roost and this year’s outlawing of the U.S. dollar in favor of a local quasi currency that can’t be traded outside the country causing panic.“Zimbabwe is at a tipping point and if it falls over the edge it’s going to be quite a long way in coming back,” said Derek Matyszak, a Zimbabwe-based research consultant for South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies. “The wheels are falling off. There is no way out of a Ponzi scheme other than a massive infusion of cash to pay off your creditors.”The country with the world’s highest inflation rate after Venezuela also suspended annual consumer-price data for the next six months. The authorities need to collect comparable data since the introduction of the new currency in February. That marked a return to 2009, when the country abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in favor of the U.S. dollar and other currencies after inflation surged to an estimated 500 billion percent.If the more commonly used black-market exchange rate is used, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation is currently 558%, about three times the official rate, while Venezuela’s is 35,004%, according to Steve H. Hanke, a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.Scrapping the official annual rate is “no real loss from an analytical perspective,” said Jee-A van der Linde, an economist at NKC African Economics in Paarl, South Africa. “These elevated inflation readings did little more than create panic and damage what little confidence was left.”Still, the decision evokes other countries in crisis. Venezuela halted publication of inflation data and while it periodically releases figures, it isn’t operating on a regular schedule. In 2013, Argentina was censured by the IMF for tampering with its data.A de-linking of the country’s quasi-currencies from parity with the U.S. dollar in February and the re-imposition of the Zimbabwe dollar overnight in June has fueled depreciation with the currency officially trading at 9.28 to the dollar on Aug. 2. The black-market rate was 10.8, according to Marketwatch.co.zw, a website run by analysts. While the government has argued that in the face of foreign-currency shortages it has no choice but to reintroduce its own currency, Hanke disagrees.“The Achilles heel is the introduction of the new currency to the exclusion of the dollar,” he said. “They have decided to go in the completely opposite direction and claimed it’s the best thing since sliced bread and it’s going to be an absolute disaster.”While the cost of basic services has climbed 400% this year, pay rises have been around 10%, said Japhet Moyo, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which has 130,000 members.Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube tried to highlight the country’s first positive current-account balance in a decade as a sign of progress. Since his appointment last year, the government has sold only marginal amounts of Treasury bills. And earlier this year, the Cambridge University-trained economics professor forecast that month-on-month inflation, which surged to 39.3% in June, would be close to zero by year-end.The fundamental problem is that the government has failed to attract significant investment and hasn’t substantially changed the policies of the Mugabe era, said John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare, the capital.“People are very angry” and even though a quarter of the population has already emigrated, more may follow, said Matyszak.“The Zimbabwe I once loved has become a cemetery for my son’s future” said Ashley Randen, an unemployed single mother of a 12-year-old boy in Harare.\–With assistance from Daniel Cancel and Carolina Millan.To contact the reporters on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net;Prinesha Naidoo in Johannesburg at pnaidoo7@bloomberg.net;Ray Ndlovu in Johannesburg at rndlovu1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rene Vollgraaff at rvollgraaff@bloomberg.net, Antony SguazzinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Trump Gets His Wall at Last, But It’s in Zimbabwe

Trump Gets His Wall at Last, But It’s in Zimbabwe(Bloomberg) — Frustrated by Democrats from fulfilling a campaign pledge to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, Donald Trump is getting his way regardless. The only downside for the president is that this wall is in southern Africa.The U.S. is putting up $ 475,000 to help restore the stone walls at Great Zimbabwe, a fortress that dates back to the 11th century and which gave the country its name. Much of the funding will go toward keeping out an unwanted intruder from the West Indies known as the lantana camara weed that’s threatening the structure. The walls are some 11 meters (36 feet) in height.The project will involve restoration of the stone walls, monitoring of their movement and combating the invasive weed, said Lovemore Nyandima, a regional director for the Great Zimbabwe Museum. A system to detect any shifts in the walls will be put in place in August or September and an expert in the control of lantana camara will make an assessment, he said.“All this is funded under the fund from the U.S. ambassador,” he said. The project falls under the U.S. Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation. The U.S. embassy in Harare had no immediate comment beyond a release announcing the grant.Great Zimbabwe was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which ruled over ancestors of the modern day Shona ethnic group, and is the biggest of about 100 stone ruins known as MadZimbabwe that are found in the country as part of wide trading area. Zimbabwe means house of stone.(Adds trade in last paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net;Godfrey Marawanyika in Harare at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net, ;John McCorry at jmccorry@bloomberg.net, Karl MaierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Zimbabwe teachers' unions suspend national strike

Zimbabwe teachers' unions suspend national strikeZimbabwean teachers have suspended a national strike seeking better pay, unions said on Sunday, but warned that they could walk out from their jobs again if the government did not meet their demands. Teachers went on strike on Feb. 5 after negotiations between the government and public-sector workers broke down, heightening political tension after last month’s violent protests that were met by a security crackdown. Teachers’ unions met Education Minister Paul Mavima in Harare and agreed to return to work on Monday.



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Zimbabwe Teachers Call Off Strike, to Return to Work Monday

Zimbabwe Teachers Call Off Strike, to Return to Work MondayThe strike, which follows a stay away by state doctors and fuel price protests last month that left 12 dead, was marred by intimidation from military officials and politicians, the unions have previously said. “The employer is thus advised to take advantage of this detente to introspect and come up with a well thought out meaningful and long lasting solution on the salary grievances,” the Zimbabwe Teachers Association and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said in a jont statement.



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The Latest: Zimbabwe president returns to address crisis

The Latest: Zimbabwe president returns to address crisisHARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The Latest on Zimbabwe's ongoing protests and turmoil. (all times local):



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Zimbabwe Says Tweet About Palace Coup Talk Was Fake

Zimbabwe Says Tweet About Palace Coup Talk Was FakeBloomberg erroneously reported earlier that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman, George Charamba, dismissed rumors of a palace coup, citing a tweet from the account. Charamba does not have a Twitter account, Regis Chikowore, principal director at the information ministry, said by phone.



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'Total internet shutdown' in Zimbabwe: provider

'Total internet shutdown' in Zimbabwe: providerZimbabwe imposed a “total shutdown” of the internet on Friday, a major provider told customers, after protests early this week triggered a ruthless security crackdown. The internet had been partially restored after a first shutdown started on Tuesday. “We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet, the country’s biggest provider, said in a text message on Friday.



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Zimbabwe: the year since Mugabe's ousting

Zimbabwe: the year since Mugabe's oustingHere is a summary of key developments since Robert Mugabe was ousted as president of Zimbabwe a year ago after 37 years in charge of the southern African country. Military generals had seized power days earlier after he fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, amid concern Mugabe was positioning his wife Grace to succeed him. Mnangagwa returns to Zimbabwe from South Africa the following day, having fled after his dismissal two weeks earlier.



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