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MUCKRAKER: When you see shadows at every corner — learn to make bombs! – Zimbabwe Independent

THE week got off to a successful start as millions of Zimbabwean workers did the revolutionary thing and ignored calls to stay at home and starve.

There was much instigation by obviously Western-sponsored people with too much internet and embassy money on their hands, trying to fan protests against useless things like transport and inflation. The plot failed.

The Herald, a paper known for publishing only the truth and nothing else, revealed that the whole campaign had been driven by whites “seeking to turn Zimbabweans against their Zimbabwean brothers, the hopeless dream being to install a puppet regime in the country again”.

That is right. We cannot have these dirty white Westerners coming here to tell us what to do with our country and to try and control our leaders. We leave that to the People’s Republic of China.

Seeing shadows
According to the Herald, there is much crying and moaning in some Western embassies, some of them located in Westgate, after the failure of the stayaway this week.

“There are so many shadowy organisations, so many non-governmental organisations and indeed so many individuals who have their hands in Uncle Sam cookie jar, licking their hands weekly to Western embassies and feeding fat on lies to their masters that one day, they will achieve the impossible, that of unconstitutionally removing a constitutionally elected government,” the paper said.

You have to celebrate when the country’s biggest newspaper publishes such diatribes.

It is good to see that student teachers are either being given space to practice big English in the paper’s pages, or certain idle officers in the Office of the President are doubling up as reporters by day.

Scapegoatism
Just when economic saboteurs were getting comfortable, having started to believe claims that the country was now committed to policy consistency, they were running scared this week after the country’s owner once again showed strong leadership.

After printing money with reckless abandon, the government decided that it was time to come up with a solution to the crisis it created: blame it on someone else.

Flanked by his two economic geniuses, Mthuli Ncube and John Mangudya, our alleged leader, who looked like he had been dragged unwillingly from some time alone in bed with a glass of whiskey, announced that banks will no longer be allowed to give people money. They should stop being banks and find something else.

“That’s what central banks do,” Mangudya said on ZBC a few days later.

This will surprise many central bankers around the world. Clearly, they have been doing their jobs the wrong way all along. They should have been stopping banks from lending money to people. They should learn from Africa’s worst central bank governor.

All hail the experts
Naturally, after measures were announced purportedly to stabilise the currency, our state media were in full patriotic mode.

There was a “hailing” here and a “hailing” there. Economists of rather dodgy credibility were put into a long queue outside Pockets Hill, being called in to take turns to “hail” this latest show of economic genius.

Of course, in matters economic, who better to call on for expert opinion than Chris Mutsvangwa, who is known to be the country’s leading authority on the financial markets.

According to Mutsvangwa, the measures “will reward those who work hard instead of speculators”. That’s quite a surprise. Who knew that hard work is rewarded in this country? Since when?

Every forex dealer on Harare’s streets would be wondering if this message has reached certain members of Mutsvangwa’s own family.

Empty youth leader
Young people around the country were in festive mood after the election of a new leader of Zanu PF youth league, John Paradza.

There are some who already doubt his qualification for the job, having heard how vacuous he sounds when he speaks. But being empty is just the first of his many qualifications for such a top spot.

The second qualification is in a profile published by a pro-Zanu PF website. It said: “Hon Cde Paradza is a businessman who owns a fleet of kombis which ply the Gutu-Harare route. He is also into gold mining like many youths of his age who have taken advantage of the youth inclusive policies by the Government of Zimbabwe.”

Being a member of the gold dealing riffraff is his second qualification.

Then there is his third one. Many will remember how Paradza once insulted women in parliament, calling opposition MPs Lynette Karenyi-Kore a “fourth wife” and Joanna Mamombe a “prostitute”.

An intellectually empty gold dealer who heckles women? What more could one ask for in a Zanu PF leader?

Borehole success
The country continues to record roaring success in delivering services to its people.

It was gleefully reported this week that, 42 years after alleged Independence, two rural schools in Midlands are to get running water.

“Gumbure Primary School in Chiwundura operated with insufficient water for years, affecting children’s learning environment,” state media told us. The nearest water source was 13 kilometres away, and the school has almost 600 pupils. Another nearby school, Mavuzhe, has 150 pupils and six teachers.

However, thanks to the “philanthropic work of Gweru Zanu PF district coordinating committee chairperson Brown Ndlovu”, the two schools now have a borehole.

And people say there is no infrastructure development taking place in the country?

Learn to make bombs
Muckraker was delighted after our alleged leader told a group of school kids that he wants them to grow up, get an education and learn how to make bombs, military jets and guns for the country.

Predictably, a lot of Western surrogates frothed at the mouth, saying it showed that he was a violent man. The man is soft as wool, and simply has been reading the news.

Next door, South Africa’s Denel makes revenue of almost R3 billion (US$186,9 million) a year. Every year, companies that make guns are raking in billions. America is host to five of the world’s biggest arms manufacturers. And you want us to miss out on all this money simply because some people think building hospitals, schools and other civilian industries is some sort of priority?

We also want to make billions from making and exporting killing machines, like we used to do. Besides, America needs competition in this area of prioritising military spending over poor people’s needs.

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money markets

RBZ mops up ZW$31,6 billion in four months – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Alois Vinga


THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) managed to mop up excess liquidity amounting to ZW$31,6 billion in the last four months of 2021 as the monetary authority upped the gear towards preserving the local currency’s stability.

Excess liquidity/cash position is when the balance exceeds the actual working capital cash needed, thereby becoming excess cash, or cash that is not necessary to the firm’s financial operations unless it is reinvested for other purposes.

The monetary authorities believe that if such balances are not mopped, several companies may be tempted to invade the parallel market and destabilise exchange rates for speculative purposes.

The RBZ has been implementing the excess cash mop up exercise through the issuance of Open Market Operations (OMO) securities through Non-Negotiable-Certificates of Deposits and Savings, which offers banks the opportunity to deposit excess cash with the central bank.

“During the quarter, OMO securities issued by the RBZ rose from ZW$41, 19 billion in the third quarter to ZW$72, 82 billion in December 2021, thus mopping up excess liquidity amounting to ZW$31,63 billion from the market during the quarter under review,” latest RBZ statistics said.

The period also saw reserve money stock stood at ZW$25,5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to the target of ZW$28,9 billion, which translated to a quarterly growth of -1.14%, against a targeted growth of 10%.

“The reserve money quarter- on quarter growth target was reduced from 20% to 10%, in the fourth quarter of 2021.The quarterly growth in reserve money was contained within target during the fourth quarter of 2021,” said RBZ.

The lower reserve money stock, in part, reflected liquidity mopping by the Central Bank through open market operations.

“Mopping was largely through issuance of securities (non-negotiable certificates of deposits and savings bonds), supported by the liquidity withdrawing impact of net Government revenue collections and net foreign exchange selling by the Reserve Bank,” the central bank said.

Economic analyst, Prosper Chitambara, said the sustained trend is a step in the right direction, but hinted that deeper reforms are still required if long term benefits are to be achieved.

“The quantum of mopped up excess cash reflects the Monetary Policy stance which the RBZ is pursuing. This will obviously reign in the parallel market exchange rate volatility.

“However, more still needs to be done as far as maintaining money supply growth at sustainable levels if long term economic stability is to be achieved,” he said.

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President to headline AfCFTA talk at Davos – The Herald

The Herald

Kudzanai Sharara in DAVOS, Switzerland

President Mnangagwa, in Davos attending the World Economic Forum, is today expected to contribute to and co-chair a breakfast discussion around Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The President will co-chair the session alongside with Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Namibia President Hage Geingob, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Nigeria Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. 

Running under the theme “Friends of the African Continental Free Trade Area”, the breakfast meeting will explore how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of AfCFTA.

AfCFTA is comprised of 55 countries with a population of 1,3 billion and combined GDP of about US$3,4 trillion, making it the largest free trade area in the world, both by area and by the number of countries.

The World Bank estimates that, if implemented properly, by 2035 AfCFTA is set to lift 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty and 68 million from moderate poverty.

The same World Bank study finds that the AfCFTA has the potential to increase intra-African trade by 81 percent by 2035. Currently, 54 of the 55 African countries have signed the agreement, and 41 countries have ratified it.

Zimbabwe is finalising its tariff offer under AfCFTA and hopes to reap huge trade benefits under the agreement, according to Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, in a speech last month.

President Mnangagwa interacts with Zimbabweans living in Switzerland on arrival in Zurich for the World Economic Forum (WEF) yesterday.

Mr Borge Brende, the President of the World Economic Forum, will moderate the session while closing remarks will be delivered by Ms Vera Songwe, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Later in the day, President Mnangagwa is expected to deliver opening remarks at a workshop themed “Unlocking New Investment and Services Markets”.

The workshop comes as vast sums of money are available for productive investments in emerging markets, but due to regulatory bottlenecks “this capital is not flowing to where it is most needed”.

The workshop will thus explore how public-private collaboration can accelerate the scale and impact of investment in emerging markets. 

Another event where President Mnangagwa will participate is a roundtable on Restoring Peace and Order amid intensifying geopolitical fractures undoing progress on key global goals.

Mid-morning, the President will attend another informal gathering of world economic leaders roundtable discussion on “Resilience for Sustainable Growth”.

The discussion, to be attended by political and economic leaders alone, without the media, will focus on the conflict in Ukraine, the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change on the “brittle nature of food systems, global supply chains and energy networks”.

Participants are expected to come up with steps necessary to build greater resilience at both the global and national levels.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s packed programme, Stuart Comberbach, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, Switzerland, said the WEF is a very important forum for Zimbabwe and the fact that Zimbabwe was invited means it is being recognised among the international community of nations.

He said the WEF is not for speeches, “which are actually actively discouraged”, but interactive discussions that proffer strategies and solutions.

The whole idea is to allow participants to be very open and honest on the challenges being faced globally and what can be done to address them, according to Ambassador Comberbach.

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money markets

No climate transition without securing land rights – NewsDay

Letters to the editor

THE 2019 landmark land tenure decision by parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) offers a blueprint for upcoming climate negotiations in Sharm El Sheikh in November.

The recent UNCCD COP15 conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, took necessary next steps to guide countries on how to embed land rights within national implementation
processes.

As the first of the three Rio Conventions (addressing climate, biodiversity and desertification respectively) to explicitly refer to land tenure as a critical enabler for the transition to more sustainable pathways, results of the meeting could advance the landmark land tenure decision by proposing guidelines to safeguard legitimate land rights.

According to UNCCD’s recently published Global Land Outlook, roughly US$44 trillion of economic output is moderately or highly reliant on natural capital.

Yet this natural resource base is under intense pressure from changing land use patterns and the accelerated impacts of climate change.

This already has huge consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable communities, who depend on natural resources for their survival, and even more, people will be affected as natural capital dwindles.

Current land restoration efforts, such as the global goal of restoring one billion hectares of degraded land or achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030, are seen as offering new opportunities to tackle the impacts of climate change while addressing food security needs, creating livelihood opportunities, especially in rural areas, and countering growing land-based conflicts and migration.

But such initiatives need to account for all existing legitimate tenure rights for Indigenous people, smallholder farmers and pastoralists, women and youth, and other vulnerable groups.

Otherwise, restoration efforts and especially large-scale investments will lead to new conflicts, violating the rights of people and risking the success of the planned measure.

The UNCCD is the first of three Rio Conventions to explicitly recognise the importance of safeguarding all forms of legitimate land tenure — especially for women, youth, Indigenous communities and smallholder farmers and pastoralists — as a prerequisite for the sustainable management of land and other natural resources.

But with land governance enacted at the national and sub-national levels, how can this progressive decision at the global level translate into a governance environment that promotes good land stewardship by strengthening the land rights of vulnerable groups at the local level?Alexander Müller

Workplace 50/50 — Advancing workplace equality

THE Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Africa Trust (SAT) is an innovative youth serving organisation that works to empower young people to claim and exercise their right to health. Key to this is gender equality.

Of particular interest is gender equality in the workplace.

Women’s leadership has gained tremendous strides over the years and a growing body of evidence demonstrates a correlation between gender diversity at the executive level and an organisation’s overall performance.

Despite the evidence demonstrating women’s value in the workplace, women continue to encounter structural barriers and experience sexual harassment.

Workplace 50/50 is a programme that seeks to contribute to increased gender equality and increased women’s empowerment in the workplace, thereby contributing to overall organisational strength.

SAT calls for organisations to register and sign up to the Workplace 50/50.

This is a platform that encourages commitment and active planning and implementation of gender equal representation on the board and management as well as matters of
remuneration.

COVID-19 has disrupted workplaces and women’s livelihoods have been disproportionately impacted.

SAT encourages organisations to review policies to embrace inclusion and in the context of crises, tackle power and privilege imbalances by committing to Workplace 50/50.

Commitments:

The Workplace 50/50 has the following commitments:

  • Commitment 1 — Making public declarations on commitment to gender equality and equity.
  • Commitment 2 — Creating equitable governance, management, staffing and remuneration decisions.
  • Commitment 3 — Making visible your commitment to gender equality in the external representation of your organisation.
  • Commitment 4 — Preventing and responding to sexual abuse, sexual violence and sexual harassment ensuring a survivor-centred approach through organisational policies and codes of conduct.
  • Commitment 5 — Addressing gender issues in employee health and wellness.
  • Commitment 6 — Supporting gender-responsive and transformative programming, and
  • Commitment 7 — Conducting regular gender equality audits and reports on progress.

Signing up to this is a commitment to the organisation’s commitment to gender equality and an affirmation of Sustainable Development Goal 5.SAT

Child labour requires urgent action

THE Global Estimate on Child Labour believes that 160 million children are child labourers worldwide — an increase of 8,4 million children in the last four years — with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19.

A report, jointly released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Unicef in 2021, warned that in sub-Saharan Africa, population growth, recurrent crises, extreme poverty and inadequate social protection measures have led to an additional 16,6 million children into child labour over the past four years.

One of the key findings in the report included the state of the agriculture sector, which accounts for 70% of children in child labour (112 million), followed by 20% in services (31,4 million) and 10% in industry (16,5 million).

The prevalence of child labour in rural areas (14%) is close to three times higher than in urban areas (5%).

Child labour in Africa alone is more than the rest of the world combined. While the majority are in agriculture, other areas are equally very important.

We have a big challenge at hand and Africa needs a lot of strategies to tackle it right away.

Addressing child labour is not a benevolent issue, it is the right of the people in rural communities to have their children in school.

Child labour free zones have provided solutions. For example, the government of Ghana has adopted this method — a child labour free zone and child labour free community and friendly villages.

However, this concept needs more investment to continue making improved participation of communities and structures to address the issue of child labour in the country.

The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index report shows that the 15 Sadc member States lost about US$80 billion in 2020 due to lower-than-expected growth, which is equivalent to around US$220 for every Sadc citizen.

The analysis estimates that this economic crisis could take more than a decade to reverse, erasing all hope of countries meeting their national development plan targets to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030.

The report says many Sadc member governments are still showing considerable commitment to fighting inequality — but still, nowhere near enough to offset the huge inequality produced by the market and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the key messages in the African Economic Outlook 2021 report is that an estimated 51 million people on the continent could fall into poverty.

Today’s non-poor households, maybe tomorrow’s poor households, 50,2% of the people in Africa most vulnerable to staying in poverty live in East Africa.

There is something that we are not doing well, if the number of child labourers is so high, we must change our ways.

By working together, we have begun to see some way forward, but what we have seen is that in the allocation of resources, either not being sent to the right places or when they are not enough, that still remains a big challenge.

We are calling for huge, massive investments in the national plans of the country. We are also calling for a community-based approach — by working with Global March, agricultural unions and their grassroots organisations.

It is important to note that it is not just about the investment, but also about the allocation of the resources, enough money has been invested into fighting child labour, but where does that money go? How is it spent? These are important questions.

More money needs to go into strategies that are working and looking into community development. We have been able to develop systems and strategies. We have been able to chart and map friendly villages and labour free zone, which shows what happens when proper investment is done, it creates the potential for child labour free communities and living.Sania Farooqui

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