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Some South Africans Call For Ban On Zimbabweans After Arrest Of … –

The arrest of a Zimbabwean man in South Africa for allegedly stealing copper cables has generated a heated online debate. Some individuals have called for a ban on all Zimbabweans from travelling or residing in South Africa as a result of this incident. However, others have come to the defence of Zimbabweans, arguing that it is unfair to judge an entire group of people based on the actions of a few individuals.

The debate emanated from a social media post by PSAFLIVE, an independent online news channel. The news outlet posted:

The Gauteng Crime Prevention Wardens from the Eastern Infrastructure Unit together with Gauteng Traffic Police have arrested an illegal Zimbabwean male whom they found in possession of suspected stolen City Power Cables at Primrose in Germiston. The suspect has been arrested and detained at Primrose SAPS.

Some people suggested that all Zimbabweans should be banned from entering South Africa and that those already there should be forced to leave. Said Lungs @Lungs_star:

At this point we must ban all the Zimbos from entering SA, and banish all those that are already here.

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Others have voiced concerns about Zimbabweans and other foreigners living in South Africa, claiming that their activities and livelihoods are unknown. Others called for a thorough clean-up of South Africa, emphasising the need for politicians to prioritise the country’s interests. Others said Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) should be made aware of these criminal activities. Malema supports a borderless Africa and argues that Zimbabweans too should be allowed in South Africa.

Those defending Zimbabweans have highlighted that every society has both good and bad people, and it is wrong to generalise and stigmatise an entire nationality because of the actions of a few. Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono emphasised the need to separate criminal behaviour from the broader Zimbabwean community. He responded to the post:

Every society has good and bad people. You can’t paint every Zimbabwean as a bad person because of a few bad Zimbabweans that have committed crimes in South Africa. There are Zimbabweans who have run banks, companies like MTN, have invested millions in South Africa and have contributed to South African sports. I own property in South Africa, I have invested there since 2008, I am not a criminal. So I don’t know why I should be only identified through the lenses of bad Zimbabweans and not the good ones. It is the duty of South African police to arrest everyone who commits a crime in South Africa, it is the duty of South African immigration to uphold the laws of your country. When both fail as you insinuate, deal with your government instead of insulting us online. I am not an illegal immigrant when I enter your borders, I enter through your airports because your laws allow me to do so. I have never used a penny of South African public money, instead my investments pay tax which funds your hospitals that I don’t use. So why should I be asked to account for the actions of a few bad Zimbabweans who have committed crimes when I have always been an upright global citizen each time I am in your country?

Chin’ono also highlights that as long as South Africa continues to support rigged elections in Zimbabwe and undermine alternative political players, the immigration issue will persist. He emphasises that defending a corrupt electoral system next door and then complaining about the consequences is hypocritical. The ANC, which is the ruling party in South Africa, has been known to support ZANU PF, the ruling political party in Zimbabwe. ZANU PF is accused of being corrupt and running the country’s economy into the ground. As a result, many Zimbabweans have been forced to leave their country and go abroad in search of better opportunities. 

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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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