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Zimbabwe’s finance minister will present a national budget almost double that of the previous year on the back of rising inflation and a weakening local currency.

The economy which had been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic is recovering and expected to grow at about 6% this year.

The proposed allocations for 2022 are about a third of what ministries had requested.

Businesses will want to see how the minister proposes to deal with crippling power cuts and how he will prop up the faltering local currency. Many companies prefer to charge US dollars.

Civil servants are demanding wage rises of up to 100% to keep up with rising double-digit inflation.

Source: BBC

The World Bank has welcomed the decision by Tanzania to remove a nearly two-decade-long ban on pregnant students from attending school.

The organisation says the move will remove barriers to access of education.

"This important decision underscores the country’s commitment to support girls and young women and improve their chances at receiving a better education," a statement from the World Bank says.

The Swedish embassy in Tanzania has also praised the decision terming it is an "inspiration in the region for young mothers’ rights to education".

The ban was strongly enforced by former President John Magufuli who died in March this year.

The decision to remove the ban was announced on Wednesday by Education Minister Joyce Ndalichako.

Education and women rights campaigners have also welcomed the move but say the new directive needs to be enacted into law for it to be successfully implemented.

Statistics indicate that, more than 120,000 girls drop out of school every year in Tanzania, 6,500 of them due to pregnancies.

Source: BBC

The World Health Organization says only one in four health workers in Africa has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, leaving the bulk of the workforce on the front lines of the pandemic dangerously exposed.

It says in contrast a global study of high-income countries reported that over 80% of health and care workers were fully vaccinated.

The WHO's Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, called for countries to urgently speed up the rollout of vaccines to health workers.

She warned a new surge in cases was looming due to the end of year festive season.

All countries in Africa say they prioritised health workers in their vaccination plans.

The WHO says supply to Africa has increased and said some of the low coverage was down to vaccine hesitancy.

Source; BBC

The Bank of Zambia has raised the Monetary Policy rate to 9-percent from 8.5 to contain persistent inflationary pressures. BOZ Governor Denny Kalyalya said that the 50 basis point increase is also meant to steer inflation to single digits in 2022 and within the 6 to 8% target range by mid-2023.

Dr. Kalyalya said that the decision is also consistent with the central bank’s move towards the normalization of the monetary policy stance and has since called for effective implementation of fiscal reforms to complement the achievement of low and stable inflation.

Speaking during the quarterly briefing in Lusaka today, Dr. Kalyalya stated that the Monetary Policy Committee was also mindful of progress recorded by the economy which it doesn’t want to disturb and restoration of macro-economic stability which has been e
usive in the past.

He said the committee also considered various economic reforms announced by the new dawn government in next year’s national budget which would be able to get low and stable inflation if fiscal and monetary policies are well implemented.

And Dr. Kalyalya added that much as the global economy has made some recovery, it still remains vulnerable owing to uncertainties on the impact of Covid-19 as some countries have already taken some measures.

Dr. Kalyalya pointed at construction, wholesale and retail trade, education and ICT as major drivers of the economic growth with the latter being supported by Covid which saw many people work from home.

He further expressed concern on the low levels of Covid-19 vaccinations saying it is below 1 million against a 5 million adult population.

Source: Lusaka Times

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is still investigating the matter in which the Ministry of Finance is alleged to have bought ambulances at an overpriced cost of US$288, 000 per ambulance, ACC spokesperson, Queen Chibwe has said.

In an interview, Ms. Chibwe said that the investigations have not yet been concluded. She was responding to concerns over the delay to expedite the investigations into the matter.

She however stated that they would issue a statement on the matter in the 2021 fourth-quarter report.

“We are still investigating the matter and the general public and stakeholders must be patient. We will issue a statement on the matter in our 2021 fourth-quarter report,” she said.

The Ministry of Health through the Ministry of Finance is reported to have procured 50 ambulances at a cost of US$288, 000 each. The ambulances are said to have been procured through a contract awarded to Savenda Limited.

It is believed that the whole package cost the ministry of Health US$11.5 million because the ambulances had advanced equipment as they are purpose-built ambulances.

Source; Lusaka Times

The 13 pupils of True Vine Community School who sat for fake Grade Seven examinations last week have today started writing special Grade Seven examinations sanctioned by the Examination Council of Zambia.

The pupils, who were duped into writing fake examinations for two years, almost rioted last week when they discovered that a Pentecostal Pastor who runs the community school, had photocopied past papers which he forced them to write.

Police later arrested Reverend Moses Tembo who has been charged with obtaining money by false pretenses and he is expected to appear in the Kitwe Magistrates Court on Monday next week.

A check at True Vine Community School this morning by a ZNBC News crew found the pupils writing English and Integrated Science.

This follows the intervention of the Examinations Council of Zambia which has allowed the pupils to be allowed to write the examination.

Kitwe District Commissioner Lawrence Mwanza, who visited the school this morning, said he is happy that the pupils have been given a second chance to write the examinations.

Mr Mwanza says the illegality which was taking place at True Vine Community School will not be tolerated.

And Kitwe District Education Board Secretary Christopher Nyungila has promised that his office will be very vigilant to ensure that such a thing never repeats itself.

Mr Nyungila has warned that whoever will be found running illegal learning centers will be prosecuted.

Source: Lusaka Times

Earlier this month, tens of thousands turned out in Addis Ababa to back the government in the war against the Tigray People's Liberation Front

Ethiopia's prime minister has said he will himself go to the front line to face the rebels in the country's civil war, now more than a year old.

His statement, released on social media on Monday evening, came as there were reports of Tigrayan forces moving closer to the capital, Addis Ababa.

In stark language, using words like "sacrifice", Abiy Ahmed implied that the country's existence was at stake.

 

The civil war with rebels from the north has led to a humanitarian crisis.

Thousands have died, millions have been forced from their homes and hundreds of thousands are facing famine-like conditions in the Tigray region.

"Starting tomorrow, I will mobilise to the front to lead the defence forces," Mr Abiy said.

"Those who want to be among the Ethiopian children, who will be hailed by history, rise up for your country today. Let's meet at the front," he added.

 

The announcement came as Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) forces said they were advancing on at least four fronts, towards Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian government has denied this. The tone of the prime minister's speech carried both an air of defiance, and, to some, of desperation, reports the BBC's Africa correspondent Andrew Harding.

 

The TPLF has dismissed Mr Abiy's statement with its spokesperson, Getachew Reda, saying that "our forces won't relent on their inexorable advance towards bringing [Abiy's] chokehold on our people to an end".

 

At the root of the conflict is a disagreement between Prime Minister Abiy and the TPLF, which for almost 27 years dominated the whole country, not just Tigray.

Mr Abiy came to power in 2018 and in a whirlwind of reform, in which he liberalised politics and made peace with long-time foe Eritrea, the TPLF was sidelined.

The simmering dispute between the TPLF and Mr Abiy then erupted into war 12 months ago when Tigrayan forces were accused of attacking army bases to steal weapons and the federal government responded.

 

Source: BBC

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government is committed to ensuring parity between male and female sport.

He was speaking at Harare Sports Club where he officially opened the International Cricket Council Women’s World Cup qualifiers which kicked off this Sunday.

Nine countries, the United States of America, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and hosts Zimbabwe are vying for the three remaining slots at the International Cricket Council (ICC) women’s World Cup slated for New Zealand next year.

While officially welcoming all the teams to Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa emphasised the Second Republic’s thrust on sports.

“There hasn’t been enough support for women’s sport, under my leadership we are committed to raising the bar and making them at par with their males. The professionalisation of women’s sports and the closure of the gender gap on money gained is what we aim for and
equal pay for work of equal value,” said President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe Cricket is satisfied that cricket is playing its part in the country’s re-engagement drive.

” It is not every day that you have more than 200 international cricketers at one point, we should take the opportunity to not only market Zimbabwe but also use it to mend diplomatic relations, we had English County sides in Zimbabwe and we also went to Ireland and Scotland recently showing the pier of sport.”

The International Cricket Council is equally confident of Zimbabwe capability of hosting such a big tournament.

“The past few weeks in Zimbabwe have shown us how good the teams hosting capacity is like, we got help when we needed it and it’s no wonder it’s been chosen to host the 2027 world cup,” said Sally Higgins, International Cricket Council Events Manager.

The qualifiers which will run until the fifth of next month, are being played at four different venues in Harare, namely Harare Sports Club, Old Harteams, Takashinga and Sunrises Cricket clubs.

This is the first time Zimbabwe is hosting the women’s global qualifiers after hosting the African qualifiers in 2019.

The country is also poised to co-host the men’s fifty over the world cup with South Africa and Namibia in 2027.

Source: ZBC News

The New Congress Party has charged that the recent appointment of Permanent Secretaries by President Hakainde Hichilema is an indication that it is difficult to professionalize the civil service.

In an interview, party President Peter Chanda says the appointment of Permanent Secretaries and District Commissioners is contrary to what President Hichilema was saying when he was an opposition leader that he will professionalize the civil service once voted into power.

Pastor Chanda has since commended President Hichilema for upholding the principle of honoring people that have stood with him during the time he was in opposition.

“President Hakainde Hichilema’s appointment of even District Commissioners demonstrate the fact that he is one leader that stands by his people,” Pastor Chanda said.

“I want to put these facts on record which he stated before whilst PF was in government, contrary to what President Hakainde Hichilema was saying when he was in opposition. When he was in opposition he was saying he shall scrap off and professionalize the office of the district Commissioner which today he has done exactly what is supposed to be done rightly,” he added.

The New Congress Party leader further stated that a Permanent Secretary is supposed to be a person that is able to provide leadership in the ministry in making sure that public resources are properly accountable for and also ensure that government runs smoothly.

“Secondly, a District Commissioner is a civil servant who has political inclination at district level who is also there to provide leadership in addressing challenges that people are going through,” Pastor Chanda explained.

He noted that President Hichilema’s appointment of DCs and the subsequent appointment of Permanent Secretaries sends a strong signal to other senior government officials at directorate level that they should not sabotage government operations in an effort that they are also appointed as Permanent Secretaries.

Pastor Chanda has since appealed to government officials at directorate level to operate independently and professionally without any political inclination.

He has since commended President Hichilema for standing up for his people by appointing some of them as District Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries and for showing to the whole world that you cannot professionalize the civil service.

Source: Lusaka Times

Simumba Loses Seat

November 23, 2021

 

The Chinsali High Court has nullified the election of LUKA SIMUMBA, as Nakonde Member of Parliament.

The court has also dismissed the petition against the election of Isoka Member of Parliament, MARJORY NAKAPONDA.

In the Nakonde seat election nullification, the court has cited widespread electoral violence and malpractices as reasons.

And in an interview, Mr. SIMUMBA has said he is going to appeal against the court ruling.

 

Source: ZNBC

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