Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has confirmed the appointment of Englishman Steve Kirby as the Zimbabwe senior men’s new Bowling Coach.
He is expected to join the national team ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 that starts in Australia next month.
Kirby, a former first-class cricketer, has until his latest appointment been serving as bowling coach at Somerset, one of the sides that he played for during his long and successful county career in England.
The 44-year-old also worked together with current Zimbabwe Head Coach Dave Houghton at Derbyshire.
Commenting on the appointment of Kirby, ZC Director of Cricket Hamilton Masakadza said: “We are delighted to confirm Steve as our Bowling Coach for the senior men’s team.
“He has done incredibly well as a player and coach in county cricket over the years and, as we seek to continue strengthening all facets of our game and improving our performances at the highest level, we count ourselves privileged and fortunate to have him as part of our technical set-up.”
Kirby said when the opportunity to join Zimbabwe came along, he felt it was one that was too good to ignore.
“I’ve got aspirations to be the very best coach that I can be, and international cricket is something that I really want to be involved with,” he said.
“I’ve worked really well with Dave Houghton previously when we were at Derbyshire and when this position presented itself, I felt that I couldn’t turn it down.
“The scale of the role is hugely exciting because I won’t just be working with the national XI, but I’ll also be involved with the whole pathway structure across the country.”
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WATCH: Sanctions not fit for purpose: African presidents – Chronicle
Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
ILLEGAL sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe violate the country’s sovereignty and are a barrier to national development and crime against humanity.
African leaders said this as they called for the immediate removal of the illegal embargo imposed on Zimbabwe by the West after the country embarked on the land reform programme to correct colonial imbalances.
Presidents from the African continent said the illegal sanctions have caused untold suffering.
The United States promulgated the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) claiming that Zimbabwe is a threat to its foreign policy.
Since then the country has experienced serious economic challenges, affecting industry and commerce resulting in people losing their source of livelihoods leading to forced migration.
While Government has reaffirmed that the land reform programme is irreversible, the West has retained its coercive measures in a bid to cow Zimbabwe into submission.
Pressure is mounting for the removal of the sanctions, with African leaders who attended the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last week condemning the embargo which suffocates Zimbabwe.
The continent was led by the African Union (AU) chairperson and Senegalese president Macky Sall, in calling for the removal of the illegal sanctions.
“The AU once again calls for the lifting of foreign sanctions against Zimbabwe. These harsh measures continue to fuel a sense of injustice against an entire people and to aggravate their suffering in these times of deep crisis,” said President Sall.
His sentiment was echoed by Sadc chairperson and Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi, who said the United Nations should make an effort to ensure the embargo imposed on Zimbabwe is removed unconditionally.
President Tshisekedi said the sanctions are an injustice and constitute a crime against Zimbabweans.
“In the name of international solidarity and justice, we do have questions over the maintenance of sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe.
These sanctions which, what’s more, date back to the era of the late President Mugabe. Why is our organisation so silent and so indifferent to this injustice, almost a crime against innocent people? As a current chair of Sadc, I firmly call upon the United Nations to do everything possible to achieve the immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe,” said President Tshisekedi.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said while Zimbabweans are resilient, sanctions have become a hindrance in the country realising its full potential.
“While we are confident of the resilience and resolve of Zimbabwe as well as its economic transformation prospects, we are concerned that such measures are not advancing the cause of livelihoods of innocent Zimbabweans nor the calls for our Sustainable Development Goals,” said President Masisi.
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob said President Mnangagwa’s Second Republic has made laudable reforms hence the illegal sanctions are not fit for purpose. He said Zimbabwe can do better without sanctions imposed on the country.
“Equally, we call for the lifting of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe. Why are sanctions in place for a country which is making progress at all levels? President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the people of Zimbabwe have made laudable progress and reforms and should be given a chance to succeed without the weight of sanctions,” he said.
South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, reiterated the calls for the removal of sanctions saying they had a ripple effect on the Sadc region.
Her calls came just a week after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told American President Joe Biden that sanctions were forcing Zimbabweans to leave their country to seek economic refuge in regional countries.
Dr Pandor said Zimbabwe was in the same situation as Cuba, whose development is constrained by the illegal sanctions. “South Africa calls for an end to the embargo against Cuba, which continues to impede the right to development of her people.
In the same vein, we call for an end to unilateral coercive measures against Zimbabwe, which have compounded the problems experienced by the people of Zimbabwe and have the detrimental effect on the broader Sadc region,” said Dr Pandor.
Newly elected Kenyan President William Ruto also used his address to call for the unconditional removal of sanctions.
He said the ordinary suffer more as a result of sanctions.
“There might never be a more opportune time to revisit the practice of unilateral coercive actions, which often violate fundamental tenets of a rule-based international order such as those imposed on Zimbabwe and Cuba.
“Apart from undermining the sovereign equality of nations, they also indiscriminately punish the general citizenry, reserving their bitterest sting for innocent hustlers and the vulnerable. This compounds injustice and worsens suffering,” said President Ruto.
Addressing the same platform, President Mnangagwa welcomed the anti-sanctions solidarity by Africa and other progressive nations describing Zimbabwe as a peace-loving country which wants a fair chance to deliver on its peoples’ aspirations.
“We remain indebted to the Sadc region and the AU well as other progressive members in the community of nations for the unwavering support and calls for the removal of these unwarranted and unjustified sanctions. We once again call for their immediate and unconditional removal,” said President Mnangagwa.
He welcomed the findings of the United National Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of the Unilateral Coercive Measures on the enjoyment of human rights who visited Zimbabwe in 2021.
Professor Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur visited Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission in October last year and presented her findings on the impact of sanctions to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland earlier this month, where she revealed that sanctions were impeding the enjoyment of human rights by Zimbabweans. – @nqotshili
Entire Zimbabwe goes dark – Bulawayo24 News
ZESA says entire country went dark at 10.26AM today after “an abrupt system disturbance on the Alaska-Warren high voltage transmission powerlines linking Kariba and Harare.”
While this now resolved, ZESA warns of further outages in days ahead due to “depressed generation”
“Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) would like to apologize to its valued customers for an unplanned nationwide power outage that happened at 1026HRS. This was due to an abrupt system disturbance on the Alaska-Warren high voltage transmission powerlines (Linking Kariba and Harare). This has since been resolved by our Engineers.
“Further to our communication on the 24th of September 2022, customers are encouraged to use electricity sparingly as the national grid is still experiencing depressed generation.”
Zim Integrated Stock: Is Deal With Shell Beneficial For Investors? – Seeking Alpha
My investment rating for ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.’s (NYSE:ZIM) stock is a Buy. I wrote about ZIM in an earlier article published on June 17, 2022 focusing on the stock’s appeal as a dividend play.
The sell-side analysts have cut their bottom line forecasts for ZIM in an aggressive manner recently, as their views on the outlook for freight rates have turned negative. But long-term oriented investors should watch ZIM’s recent agreement with Shell plc (SHEL) (OTCPK:RYDAF) instead, which is supportive of the company’s LNG transition plans and beneficial for its investors. In the long run, ZIM should benefit from a stronger competitive position and a more optimal cost structure, as it grows the number of LNG-powered vessels in its fleet over time. In conclusion, I retain my Buy rating for ZIM in view of the company’s pivot towards LNG-fueled vessels.
What is ZIM Integrated’s Business Outlook Now?
In the past one month, the spotlight was on ZIM’s poor stock price performance with its shares dropping by -41.2%. ZIM’s recent share price weakness is attributable to the fact that the market has a dimmer view of the company’s business outlook now.
Notably, the sell-side analysts from Citigroup (C) have called the “end of freight rate upcycle” as highlighted in a late-August Seeking Alpha News article. The other Wall Street analysts are also likely to be bearish about the growth prospects for the shipping industry and ZIM as well. The fiscal 2023 and 2024 consensus normalized earnings per share or EPS projections for ZIM have been slashed by -10.4% and -27.9%, respectively in the last month.
However, there was a piece of news with greater significance for ZIM’s long-term outlook which didn’t get as much attention as its share price drop and the change in its business outlook. I am referring to ZIM Integrated Shipping Services’ deal with Shell plc that is the subject of my latest update for the company.
What Is ZIM Integrated’s Deal With Shell?
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services announced at the end of last month that it entered into “a ten-year marine liquefied natural gas (‘LNG’) sales and purchase agreement” to “supply ten (15,000 TEU) LNG-fueled vessels” which “will be transporting goods from China and South Korea to US East Coast and the Caribbean (referred to as the ‘Asia to USEC trade’)” in the 2023-2024 period.
In the next section, I will touch on the positives relating to ZIM’s deal with Shell and its focus on LNG-powered vessels.
Is This Deal Beneficial For ZIM Investors?
This deal with Shell is beneficial for ZIM Integrated Shipping Services and its investors, as this allows ZIM to increase the proportion of ZIM’s future capacity that is powered by LNG. As indicated in the company’s announcement, ZIM can “secure LNG at competitive terms” and “ensure our fuel sourcing is well planned” thanks to the partnership with Shell.
One key thing to note is that LNG is energy efficient, so the change in ZIM’s capacity mix with a tilt towards LNG should lead to a reduction in fuel-related expenses and an improvement in the company’s profitability in the future.
At Bank of America’s (BAC) Transportation, Airlines & Industrials Conference on May 19, 2022, ZIM highlighted that “there are some costs that went up, not to mention the cost of fuel, for example, which went up quite significantly since 2019.” It is noteworthy that the company specifically mentioned about fuel expenses when it was trying to make a point about cost pressures. This is a clear indication that fuel costs have a substantial impact on the profitability of ZIM and its shipping peers. As such, the recent deal with Shell which is part of the company’s transition to LNG vessels is a major move.
As an illustration of the positive effects of LNG-powered vessels on fuel efficiency and costs, research by DNV Group, a consulting firm focused on the shipping industry, suggests that “LNG-fueled vessels can reduce their EEDI rating by 20%.” On the International Maritime Organization‘s website, it is noted that “the smaller the EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index)” is, “the more energy efficient” a ship is.
Another key factor to watch is that the shift in its capacity mix towards LNG vessels makes ZIM Integrated Shipping Services more competitive.
An increasing number of companies, which include ZIM’s current and potential clients, are under immense pressure from various stakeholder to become “greener” and comply with the best-in-class ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) practices.
In the company’s May 2022 investor presentation, ZIM stated that its goal is to be “among the lowest carbon intensity operators” and “assist customers in reducing carbon footprint.” ZIM’s recent agreement with Shell will help the company take a step towards achieving its target.
More significantly, ZIM is in a better position to make the transition to LNG-fueled vessels as compared to its competitors. While the majority of ZIM’s rivals own their fleet, the bulk of ZIM’s fleet is chartered. In other words, ZIM doesn’t have the burden of tackling the issue of legacy fleet unlike its peers.
I discuss ZIM’s pivot to LNG-powered vessels in quantitative terms in the subsequent section.
ZIM Stock Key Metrics
Going back to the company’s end-August 2022 announcement on the Shell agreement, ZIM revealed a number of key metrics that are worth highlighting.
One key metric is that ZIM Integrated Shipping Services cited a research study by ESG consulting firm Sphera which shows that LNG boasts “20% less GHG emissions when compared to conventional marine fuels. This suggests that companies which have set ambitious carbon reduction targets will be very much inclined towards utilizing LNG-fueled vessels, and this means that it is critical for ZIM and its peers to optimize their respective capacity mix with a greater focus on LNG.
Another key metric is that ZIM will have the distinction of running the “first LNG fueled vessels in Asia to USEC trade” as highlighted in its August 31, 2022 announcement, which gives ZIM a clear first-mover advantage. Earlier, ZIM also mentioned in its May 2022 investor presentation that the company expects a third of its fleet in operations to be powered by LNG in 2024. All of the above implies that ZIM should boast a competitive edge over rivals and peers by virtue of being ahead in the LNG transition race.
Is ZIM Stock A Buy, Sell, or Hold?
ZIM’s stock remains as a Buy. Investors are worried that freight rates have already peaked, and this has put the share price of ZIM under immense pressure. Looking beyond short-term headwinds, ZIM is progressing well in terms of LNG transition, and the company is most probably going to be more competitive and cost-efficient in the intermediate to long term. This makes ZIM a Buy-rated name in my opinion.
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