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Govt commits to protecting property rights – NewsDay

Speaking at the launch of Platinum Properties in Harare on Wednesday, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary Vimbai Nyemba said: “The assurance of property rights grants individuals not only security and stability, but is also pivotal in drawing foreign investment and stimulating economic expansion.

GOVERNMENT has promised to create a more efficient and transparent real estate market, while protecting property rights.

Government hopes to implement stricter regulations and improve the availability of information to ensure fair competition for all stakeholders in the property market.

Speaking at the launch of Platinum Properties in Harare on Wednesday, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary Vimbai Nyemba said: “The assurance of property rights grants individuals not only security and stability, but is also pivotal in drawing foreign investment and stimulating economic expansion.

“We believe that protecting property rights is vital for a favourable business environment and citizen’s welfare. Such rights enable economic growth, social stability and wealth creation. We oppose any attempts to compromise these rights. They are the foundation of a prosperous economy and a thriving society.”

Nyemba said by safeguarding individual ownership and control of assets, government would promote economic progress and improve the quality of life.

“We are simplifying land title registration and raising public awareness about these rights. Fostering innovation and embracing modern technologies can further enhance the efficiency and transparency of real estate transactions,” Nyemba said, noting that “any attempts to obstruct this process” would face legal consequences.

“By protecting property rights, we are not merely safeguarding the assets of individuals and businesses, but also nurturing innovation and economic expansion in our nation.”

Platinum Properties managing director Anthony Mackintosh said the property firm was a new baby on the market, having started operating in June this year.

“I believe Platinum through time will prove itself to be one of the major players in the property market in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“We specialise in residential, commercial and industrial properties, including holiday resorts in destinations (areas) such as Nyanga, Kariba, Vic Falls. We also do townhouses and clusters, in terms of selling them on behalf of the property developers.”

Platinum Properties director (principal registered estate agent) Evelyn Mbundire said they envision to modernise their processes to create digitally enabled services and ensuring we make realty dreams a reality.

“Our mission is to be the leading, adaptive and evolving real estate company, consistently delivering superior service and returns to our clients through creative thinking, leadership, initiative, respect and passion,” she said.

“We have been working on critical projects to improve service delivery, to conquer the most human element (i.e, ‘stress’), in real estate transactions through the use of AI [artificial intelligence], enhance organisational capacity and foster real estate industry compliance.”

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Zimbabwe’s economy seen growing 5.5% in 2023 – finance minister –

HARARE (Reuters) -Zimbabwe’s economic growth is expected to fall to 3.5% in 2024 from 5.5% this year, mainly due to an anticipated drought caused by El Nino, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday.

El Nino, a natural climate phenomenon in which surface waters of the central and eastern Pacific become unusually warm, causing changes in global weather patterns, is expected to hit crop yields during the 2023/24 farming season.

Declining mineral commodities prices will also weigh on growth, Ncube said in a speech.

Zimbabwe’s budget deficit is expected to end the year at 1.2% of GDP, he said, while annual inflation is seen falling to 10%-20% in 2024 from 20% in 2023.

“Going into 2024… fiscal restraint and tight monetary policy, together with a healthy current account position, provide the necessary conditions for currency and price stability,” Ncube said.

To enhance revenue collection he proposed increasing toll fees for the country’s busiest road, adding a levy on sugary drinks and introducing a wealth tax.

He also said lithium miners should submit refinery plans by March 2024 to encourage value addition. Zimbabwe is the leading lithium producer in Africa.

(Reporting by Nyasha Chingono; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Alexander Winning and Christina Fincher)

By Nyasha Chingono

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Stakeholders meet to discuss climate change-related migration – The Herald

Stakeholders meet to discuss climate change-related migration

Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau

CLIMATE change which continues to pose a significant global threat with wide-ranging negative impacts on society and ecosystems has brought new trends in human migration.

Government and development partners led by the United Nation’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) held a stakeholders’ meeting in Kadoma to look into the threats with the view of proffering solutions.

Stakeholders from Mashonaland West and Harare including district development coordinators from the two provinces attended the stakeholders’ consultative engagement in Kadoma on Wednesday.

According to a concept note shared by IOM, the effects of climate change being felt worldwide have seen an influx in migration.

“Unsustainable human exploitation of natural resources is a primary driver of anthropogenic environmental changes and degradation on a global scale, resulting in significant alterations to ecosystem functioning.

“These unsustainable practices contribute to the occurrence of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, and heatwaves, which have detrimental effects on livelihoods, human health, the economy, and ecosystems leading to migration in search for better livelihoods,” it said.

IOM believes that environmental migration is happening as a result of multiple influencing factors, with a consensus that climate-induced factors contribute immensely to human mobility.

Of significance, IOM also noted that migration was also increasingly becoming an adaptation strategy in the context of climate change.

In Zimbabwe, documented cases of internal migration driven by climate change have been observed in regions such as the Eastern Highlands.

The devastating Cyclone Idai also triggered significant population movement in the Chimanimani area, as it caused widespread destruction of homes, infrastructure, and agricultural yields.

In Mashonaland West, thousands of people have continued to migrate to highly fertile lands since the rollout of the agrarian reform programme two decades ago.

Zimbabwe, with the help of the IOM, is implementing a project to mainstream migration into environmental policies and adaptation strategies.

The project aims to integrate migration considerations into climate change policies, strategies, and frameworks to enhance the government’s capacity to effectively respond to the adverse impacts of climate shocks.

Through countrywide stakeholder engagements, the overall goal is to assess the nexus of climate change and migration in different provinces.

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Mashonaland West head, Mr Rambwayi Mapako said there was a need to address behavioural traits that drive environmental migrations.

“We may then say that people are responding to the challenges of climate change yet in actual fact they are the drivers of climate change. So the demarcation between them responding and attributing in terms of behaviours such that we address behaviour traits to that may also induce climate change,” he said.

A district development coordinator from Harare province added that Civil Protection Units (CPUs) needed to incorporate climate change and migration in their planning mechanisms.

With research now underway to examine the extent to which migration is mainstreamed into climate change policies and strategies, the government and partners aim to identify gaps and opportunities for mainstreaming migration into climate change policies, strategies, and frameworks.

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Africa to speak with one voice at COP28 – The Herald

Kudzanai Sharara in Dubai, UAE

African countries will speak with one voice at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) which convenes from today to the 12th of  December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This is according to the Draft African Position paper for COP28 seen by this publication.

The Draft African position, which was prepared by the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) shows Africa has a common position for COP28.

The continent’s common position is informed by its unique circumstances, being the, lowest in terms of development index, highest in poverty levels and unable to achieve SDGs by 2030 as compared to other regions.

Further, Africa’s unique circumstances are characterised by resource and capacity constraints, climate vulnerabilities, historical and future greenhouse gas  (GHG emissions responsibility, immediate needs for adaptation and mitigation, and a long-term vision for sustainable development.

Despite contributing minimally to historical and current greenhouse gas emissions, Africa is disproportionately subjected to the far-reaching impacts of climate change.

This includes biodiversity loss, dwindling water supplies, diminished food production, loss of human lives, and constrained economic growth.

Recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their Sixth Assessment Reports revealed that developing countries will face an overwhelming burden of adaptation costs, reaching an annual figure of US$127 billion.

Specifically for Africa, the annual cost by 2030, is projected to be a staggering US$86.5 billion.

As a result, for Africa to be able to cope with this existential threat, there is a need for the continent to speak with one voice and call for urgent climate action.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife Professor Prosper Matondi said Africa needs a strong voice if its climate change concerns and what needs to be done are to be heard and acted upon.

Speaking to this publication on the first day of COP28 Prof Matondi said, “Climate change is a global issue and requires a collective voice and also requires agreement on what needs to be done”.

He said that agreement can only be done at part-to-part level.

“I know there are other stakeholders with an interest in this but we need to have Governments agreeing on the basic framing of issues of climate change that affect the ordinary society and also the large economies.

“And for that in Africa, we have a Group of Negotiators on Climate Change and we are trying to coordinate our efforts through the regional bodies we have, it might be SADC, ECOWAS, the East Africa Community or through the Africa Union,” said Prof Matondi.

According to the draft position paper, Africa’s approach to these multilateral climate negotiations is underpinned by principles of multilateralism, equity, sustainable development, and common but differentiated responsibilities.

“African countries will seek to prioritize Africa’s interests and speak with one voice while ensuring that their voices, concerns, and proposals are heard and acted upon,” reads the AGN position paper in part.

This year, African negotiators will be coordinated by Zambia as the Chair of the Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN), Ministers by Senegal as the Chair of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), and heads of state by Kenya as the Coordinator of the Committee of Africa heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), to effectively advance Africa’s common position on climate change.

There is already a set of guiding principles for the African common position which negotiators will use as a useful guide and source of information and reference in the UNFCCC committees, panels and other climate-related institutions.

One such principle is that of multilateralism. African countries are firmly committed to a multilateral approach to the global challenge of climate change, with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at its centre.

Full implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement is in the best interest of African countries particularly vulnerable to climate change and already adversely affected.

Africa’s negotiation position is also guided by the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, the principles of historical responsibility, and equity, in light of different national circumstances.

Africa is of the view that developed countries have clear commitments to take the lead on mitigation action and to provide support to developing countries.

At the same time, developing countries have a commitment to take action, determined by them and in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and supported by developed countries.

The continent also seeks justice and equity given its contribution to global GHG emissions remains low (about 3 percent from fossil fuels and industry and 4 percent from LULUCF) but suffers disproportionately from the impacts of climate.

“The African continent endures a disproportionately higher impact from climate change, manifesting in severe weather patterns, reduced agricultural productivity, increased water insecurity, and threatened biodiversity, among others.

“This harsh reality underscores the need for global climate response strategies that are centred on justice and equity, recognising Africa’s low GHG emissions and its heightened vulnerability.

“Consequently, this necessitates increased support for African nations in climate adaptation, resilience-building, and access to climate finance and climate-smart technologies to cope with these stark climate impacts,” reads the draft position paper in part.

In terms of priorities, African countries will prioritise adaptation and will make sure that imminent impacts should not be overlooked and must remain an essential element of any outcome on adaptation.

“Addressing loss and damage as a result of climate change impacts is a critical element of the multilateral response to climate change, both from a legal and from a moral standpoint; loss and damage associated with climate change impacts must be addressed multilaterally in affected countries and communities in a comprehensive manner; both during crises and after crises in rebuilding and rehabilitation.”

Africa will also push for a just transition and get its fair share of the opportunities associated with the transition to a low-carbon global economy.

“Negotiations should further seek to avoid negative impacts on African countries’ economies and national sovereignty; on the contrary, these must address Africa’s urgent sustainable development challenges, and ensure that African countries are at the heart of the low carbon global economy,” reads the draft position paper.

African countries are undertaking ambitious actions to tackle climate change both in adaptation and mitigation; these efforts should be recognised.

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