Government has launched the National Command Fisheries Programme at Tokwe Mukosi Dam in southern Masvingo, with a target to stock at least 1,5 million fingerlings (young fish) to boost fish production across the province.
Tokwe Mukosi Dam was stocked with an initial 200 000 fingerlings for breeding purposes, with harvested fish expected to be stocked in other smaller dams and water bodies across the province as part of efforts to meet surging demand for fish.
The National Command Fisheries programme is being spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and is in line with Government’s policy blueprint, Zim-Asset’s food security and nutrition cluster.
Speaking at the launch of the provincial Command Fisheries Programme at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam over the weekend, Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa, said the dam had potential to make the province a major fish producer.
Sen Mahofa said besides nutritional value, a vibrant fisheries industry would have many positive economic spin-offs for Masvingo through employment creation.
WORKERS at Turk Mine were joined by their wives yesterday to protest against non-payment of salaries and poor working conditions.
When The Chronicle visited the mine in Bubi district yesterday morning, scores of miners were camped outside its premises together with their wives who had joined the protest.
The mine’s employees were complaining that they had not been paid their salaries for the past three months yet they know the company is producing a lot of gold.
Some of the women who joined the protest said they were considering denying their husbands their conjugal rights to pressurise them to demand their dues from work.
Workers also said the mine was forcing them to buy groceries on credit from the mine’s shop which charges exorbitant prices. Another employee said the company was providing them with two litres of maheu before sending them to work.
OK Zimbabwe’s profit after tax grew by 800,9% to $6,1 million from $700 000 in 2016 due to improved customer service, product mix, efficiencies, margins and better management of cost.
Revenue grew by 8% to $472,4 million from $437,5 million in the prior year.
Speaking at the company’s analysts’ briefing in Harare on Tuesday, OK Zimbabwe Limited chief executive officer, Alex Siyavora, said manufacturing of local products improved the supply situation in the country against a background of shortages of foreign currency.
Siyavora said in spite of the introduction of Statutory Instrument 64, which banned imports of products with local equivalents, they had received adequate import permits issued for goods that were not available locally, as a result their stores were adequately stocked with a mix of local goods and imports from South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.
He said in support of initiatives to resuscitate local industry, the group continued to support the Buy Zimbabwe campaign.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi has resigned from his post with immediate effect, citing irretrievably broken down relations with his employer who last year suspended him over a slew of misconduct allegations. It is not clear whether Comm-Gen Pasi will still answer to over 40 counts of misconduct, including vehicle importation scams and other charges dating back to 2009.
Among other charges, Comm-Gen Pasi was facing allegations of signing a $14 million contract with a company called AVIC International for the supply of uniforms and tollgate equipment without following tender procedures.
He also stands accused of failure to investigate the alleged fraudulent importation of vehicles by Zimra executives, authorising his daughter to use the authority’s vehicle and approving salary increments without board approval.
Comm-Gen Pasi was also expected to answer to allegations of allocating himself excessive vehicle allowances to an extent of getting $374 451 between 2014 and May 2016.
THE retail price of top dressing fertiliser, otherwise known as ammonium nitrate (AN), will drop significantly after duty on ammonia gas — a key ingredient in the manufacture of fertilisers — was suspended with immediate effect.
This was in response to a request for duty exemption on the product by Sable Chemicals, the sole manufacturer of AN, which operates from Kwekwe. Ammonia gas is the raw material in the production of AN.
Sable applied for the suspension of duty on the basis that the country would be able to save scarce foreign currency by importing ammonia and converting it to AN as opposed to bringing into the country the finished product.
A survey of prices in most major retail outlets indicated a phenomenal rise for most products such as meat, toiletries, soaps and a range of non-basic products and stationary. Between March and April, prices have, for instance, risen by between 10 and 15 percent, according to figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTATS).
On Monday, ZIMSTAT said year-on-year inflation increased in April, gaining 0,27 percentage points to close the month at 0,48 percent. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month ending April 2017 stood at 97,07 compared 97,01 in March 2017 and 96,60 in April 2016.
Beef, which cost between US$4 and US$5 for most super grades before the introduction of bond notes, is now retailing at between US$7,50 to US$8,20 per kg in many supermarkets around Harare.
Some locally produced brands of cooking oil, which were selling for US$2,89 for a two litre bottle last month, are now trading at US$3,55 per two litre bottle. Super refined maize-meal, which cost US$6,80 for a 10kg bag in March, is now being sold for US$7,65. Detergent soaps have risen from US$0,89 to US$1,20 during the same period. Fuel prices went up last week,
STATUTORY Instrument 64 that was promulgated last year will now be scrapped as it has achieved its objectives and targets of boosting industrial capacity utilisation, stimulating retooling and investment into new technologies in industries, a Cabinet Minister has said.
The Statutory Instrument also ran into some challenges that can only be addressed through setting it aside, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said yesterday.
SI 64 restricted the importation of certain goods that were being produced locally, as a way of re-focusing attention on increasing production in local industries and helping create employment.
Minister Bimha said the Government would now move away from enforcing SI 64 and come up with other means to ensure industries continued to gain from the achievements it brought.
He said the strategy would now be to adopt “smart” measures like promotion of local content policy to ward off some of the challenges that were encountered during the implementation of SI 64 since July last year.
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will soon introduce shared point of sale machines (POS), which will see up to 10 operators sharing a single gadget, each with a personalised code.
The Deputy RBZ Governor, Dr Kupukile Mlambo, said this was one of the many strategies the apex bank was employing to mitigate foreign currency shortages caused by externalisation.
He called on all businesses in the country to open bank accounts so that cash can circulate locally and stressed the need to link the informal sector with the formal sector as well as monitoring business against a three-tier pricing system. Dr Mlambo said these measures should be complemented by increasing export-driven production and embracing use of plastic money.
"Let’s use plastic money because cash is a problem. We are planning to increase use of POS machines in the informal sector. We are going to have some being used by 10 users but all with different pin codes. We are looking into that. We have compelled a lot of companies that don’t have bank accounts to open one."
President Mugabe is expected to officially launch the $1 billion Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways dualisation project tomorrow, in a development likely to reduce carnage along one of Zimbabwe’s busiest roads.
The road will also boost trade on the continent, as well as unlock value for the country.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces will commission the official start of the dualisation project at a ground-breaking ceremony that will be held along the highway at Chaka business centre in Chirumhanzu.
Geiger International of Austria was contracted by Government to dualise the highway under a 25-year Build Operate and Transfer model.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo yesterday confirmed that President Mugabe would officially launch the dualisation project tomorrow.
Dr Gumbo said preliminary indications were that the project was going to be completed within three years, with work expected to resume once President Mugabe officially launched it.
More than $212 000 of the Youth Fund went down the drain after a piggery in Chikomba District embarked upon by the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment was plagued by viability challenges owing to poor management, legislators have heard.
The ministry, then headed by Cde Saviour Kasukuwere in 2012, withdrew $212 000 to carry out a piggery, ostensibly on behalf of youths, but the project collapsed without deriving any benefits, thus sinking all the seed money.
This came out during a tour by the parliamentary portfolio committee on Youth Development of the now defunct project in Chikomba on Saturday.
The committee chaired by Gokwe Nembudziya Member of the National Assembly Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena is carrying out a fact finding mission countrywide supported by the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust to have an appreciation of how the Youth Fund was utilised.
THE Reserve Bank has begun engaging financial institutions willing to partner the apex bank for the financing of the tuition loan scheme for higher and tertiary education students.
The central bank in the January 2017 Monetary Policy Statement announced that students in higher and tertiary education institutions will as from August start getting educational loans to assist parents and guardians who are struggling to pay fees.
In a statement yesterday, the RBZ called for proposals for the implementation and administration of the educational loan facility for higher and tertiary education programmes.
“In order to facilitate the envisaged student assistance, the Bank invites proposals from financial institutions registered in terms of the Banking Act (Chapter 24:20) and the Microfinance Act (Chapter 24:29) for the re-establishment of the Educational Support Facility and administration of loans or facilities or any financial accommodation extended in terms of the said facility,” reads the statement.
STANDARD Bank Group says it has finalised a $120 million debt package with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for the rehabilitation of existing power generation infrastructure at Kariba South Hydro and Hwange Thermal Power Stations.
The deal is set to help boost domestic generation capacity and avert power imports in the long term. Zimbabwe is presently grappling power shortages due to low domestic generation hovering around 1 000MW against average demand of 1 400MW and above.
Acute cash shortages in the economy have also seen the power utility failing to service import arrears forcing South Africa’s Eskom recently to give ZESA up to the end of May to clear its $43m debt or risk losing 300MW daily supplies. The country also imports electricity from Mozambique.
As lead arranger for the facility, Standard Bank said it has partnered the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (formerly PTA Bank) to deliver the financing.
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