Zimbabwe: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:17 am
Hyperinflation in 2008 had Zimbabweans paying 50 billion Zimbabwean dollars for an egg and 100 trillion dollars for a weekly bus ticket. The U.S. dollar has been Zimbabwe’s main currency since 2009 but those are in short supply. Now it’s deja vu all over again as the Zimbabwe government forces bond notes into circulation, a move many feel is a ploy to bring back the Zimbabwean dollar. The central bank promised to keep a lid on issuing bond notes, insisting they are not an official currency and will have no value outside of Zimbabwe. The first test will be in the informal foreign exchange markets on the streets.
Dana Sanchez, 10:31 am
Bond notes will not be forced on consumers, the Zimbabwe government has said. This is not about re-introducing the Zimbabwean dollar, which became worthless in 2008 due to hyperinflation. The public has been warned not to adopt a negative attitude towards bond notes because they’ll ease the country’s cash shortage. Zimbabweans fear bond notes will trigger a repeat of 2008 hyperinflation. Adopting the U.S. dollar as the official currency in 2009 helped stop the bleeding. For Zimbabweans, cash isn’t the only thing running low. There’s a shortage of trust.
Dana Sanchez, 10:07 am
Until now, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has insisted he will die in office. Over the weekend the 92-year-old leader announced for the first time that he plans to retire. He told veterans that the war is over, colonizers have been defeated, and regime change has entered a critical period. The country is so broke that it has run out of cash — it uses U.S. dollars. Later this week, a new currency called bond notes will start showing up in some exporters’ bank accounts. The ruling Zanu PF party insists Mugabe will be elected president again in the 2018 elections.
Staff, 7:10 am
scrutiny continues to mount on the various factors that led to his taking the vote. One of the more poignant factors was the role women played, spurning Hillary Clinton. This, despite allegations of Trump’s sexual misconduct and that, by electing him, women’s and minority’s rights were under threat. Let me start with the minority voters. A much shared YouTube video shows Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, dismantling apologist arguments
Dana Sanchez, 1:52 pm
In Johannesburg, the poorest residents spend more than 20 percent of their income getting to and from work. So it seems bizarre that recent efforts to beef up the city’s bike lanes got knocked down. The new mayor vowed in his inauguration speech to stop the construction of bike lanes. Cycling in South Africa has been stigmatized. It’s seen either as an elitist sport for whites or mode of transport for those too poor to afford a car. A bike-share program in Marrakech could become a pilot for future projects in other African cities.
Becca Blond, 7:00 am
Walking through the breezy, thatched-roof boma lobby at Ivory Lodge in Hwange National Park, I find myself skidding to a stop. My jaw drops in shock and words rush out of my mouth: “Oh my God do you guys see that? Right over there?” I’m pointing furiously at a spot the length of a football field away, separated from the hotel by a fire pit and a green manicured lawn, where dozens of dusty elephants are frolicking in a muddy water hole. Hwange is home to the presidential herd, 40,000 strong, and one of the largest elephant herds anywhere in Africa.
Kevin Mwanza, 3:32 am
Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe issued a presidential decree to amend the Reserve Bank Act of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Act, paving way for the use of bond notes in efforts to ease a cash shortage that has hit the struggling African economy since March. The presidential decree passed on Monday did not however set timelines for the introduction of the bond notes, which will be used as legal tender.
Kevin Mwanza, 9:08 am
China is fast becoming the preferred partner for economic development by many African governments that have however, been accused of prioritizing economic development over civil rights and freedoms. The Asian superpower rivals the U.S. and has outmatched it especially in Southern, Central and North Africa, according to a survey by Afrobarometer, a research project in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 12:11 pm
Oil-importing African countries are showing an improved business environment as the continent endures its slowest growth in more than two decades. In contrast, countries that export commodities are under economic pressure due to low oil prices including three of Africa’s largest economies. Some countries that are doing better are predicted to grow at more than 6 percent. IMF predicts average growth will fall to 1.4 percent in 2016, less than half of 2015 growth.
Staff, 12:01 am
Facebook’s record of collaborating with governments should make us wary of Free Basics. The app is only worth the gamble if one believes that governments where it’s been rolled out have the best interests of their citizens at heart — a presumption that is unwarranted in much of Africa. In just the last year, in Gabon, Ethiopia, Uganda, Chad, Zimbabwe, and many other countries, online actions of pro-democracy protestors prompted the state to shut down the internet for the entire country. Free Basics gives them a version of the internet that totally control.
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