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Zimbabwe turn towards black market as inflation rises

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Zimbabweans are feeling the wrath of high inflation. The rate of inflation in the southern African country now stands at 131.7 percent in the month of May.

Locals are now helpless as they are now forced to search for cheaper products as a way to survive the overpriced goods at major supermarkets.

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In these shops they call trucks, lie the solution to their demise as they can buy cheaper products compared top large supermarkets.

“We buy at the truck shop because they are cheap, their price is not even expensive because there, in the big shops these days, they are expensive. Even their rate is less (than in supermarkets, ed.), at the truck shop they give us the good rates, that’s why we prefer to buy at the truck shop because they are cheap,” a customer said.

Zimbabwe has endure years of fluctuating value of currencies worsened by adoption of US dollar. Many Zimbabweans are now shunning away from major stores that experience frequent fluctuating currency rates when converting to the local Zim Dollar.

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“Its cheaper for customers to buy from out here, for instance for a dollar they can get two drinks, instead of one from a supermarket. It’s also because our exchange rate is better than the official rate,” said one vendor.

The black market is also taking a toll on the local Zim Dollar with economists warning of a further deterioration of the local currency if not regulated.

“What we have witnessed over the past weeks is a massive increase in pricing, Zim dollar pricing. This has largely been caused by the very significant depreciation of the local currency that we have seen on the black market or on the parallel market,” said Prosper Chitambara, an economist.

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Zimbabwe’s economy is inching toward “full dollarization,” with the local currency facing collapse, local investment firm Inter-Horizon Securities said. It slumped by 34% in April alone-Source: Africa News.

 

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Gastronomy takes center stage as Victoria Falls hosts UN tourism forum

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BY BAYANDA NKATHA

Victoria Falls is set to host the inaugural United Nations Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy for Africa this week, a first for the continent.

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The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry expects around 10 000 attendees, particularly on the first day, which will feature an official opening ceremony presided over by President Mnangagwa on Friday.

The conference, taking place at Elephant Hills Golf Course, will then proceed with delegates from around the world.

Zimbabwe was chosen to host the forum in recognition of first lady Auxilia Mnangagwa’s efforts to promote gastronomy tourism through her cookout competition and humanitarian work with the Angel of Hope Foundation.

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This event offers Victoria Falls the opportunity to showcase its capacity for hosting large events, as it has done in the past, and allows locals to benefit from the tourism value chain.

A UN Tourism technical delegation visited Victoria Falls two months ago and was impressed by the city’s readiness.

Tourism Minister Barbara Rwodzi confirmed that preparations are almost complete, saying, “We are ready, with preparations at 98%, and look forward to hosting the event.”

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The forum aims to empower local communities to participate in the tourism sector and benefit from the value chain.

Notably, Victoria Falls co-hosted the UN World Tourism Organisation Summit with Zambia’s Livingstone City in 2013.

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Health ministry grapples with malaria, diarrhea, and dog bite cases

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BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI 

According to the latest Disease Surveillance Report released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe, the country is facing a significant burden of three major health issues: malaria, common diarrhea, and dog bites.

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Malaria cases on the rise

In the week ending July 7, 2024, Zimbabwe reported 476 new malaria cases and two deaths. The majority of the cases (79) were children under the age of five. Mashonaland Central and Manicaland provinces were the hardest hit, with 205 and 118 cases, respectively. Cumulatively, the country has recorded 31,757 malaria cases and 57 deaths.

Diarrhea cases continue to soar

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The report also indicates that 6,520 common diarrhea cases and two deaths were reported in the same week. The deaths occurred in Harare Province and Mbire District in Mashonaland Central Province. Children under five accounted for 2,930 of the reported cases. Mashonaland West and Mashonaland East provinces reported the highest number of cases, with 933 and 930 cases, respectively. Cumulatively, Zimbabwe has recorded 175,551 diarrhea cases and 60 deaths.

Dog bites on the increase

Furthermore, 486 dog bite cases were reported, with no fatalities. Notably, 104 of the cases involved bites from vaccinated dogs, while 115 involved unvaccinated dogs, and 266 involved dogs of unknown status. Masvingo Province and Mashonaland East Province reported the highest number of dog bite cases, with 82 and 81 cases, respectively. Cumulatively, the country has recorded 14,093 dog bite cases.

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The Ministry of Health and Child Care urges citizens to take preventive measures to mitigate the spread of these diseases.

For malaria, this includes using insecticide-treated bed nets, wearing protective clothing, and eliminating breeding sites for mosquitoes.

To prevent diarrhea, the ministry recommends practicing good hygiene, drinking clean water, and seeking medical attention if symptoms persist.

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Regarding dog bites, the ministry advises people to avoid stray dogs, ensure their pets are vaccinated, and seek medical attention immediately if bitten.

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Parliamentary committee tours NRZ properties to assess infrastructure and identify solutions

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NRZ officials and MPs prepare to tour the Victoria Falls Bridge

BY STAFF REPORTER

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development, chaired by Knowledge Kaitano, has rounded a tour of National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) properties across the country.

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The committee aimed to assess the state of infrastructure and identify areas for improvement.

NRZ, a state-owned parastatal, owns several properties beyond its railway business, including some that are leased to private entities.

The tour began in Bulawayo and proceeded to Dete, Hwange, and Victoria Falls on Friday, where the committee visited the Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls Bridge, NRZ station, and Landela Complex and rounded it off on Saturday.

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Kaitano emphasized the importance of the tour, stating, “In the past two days, we’ve seen things we don’t just want to highlight, but we want to walk with you to close the gaps,” he said.

“NRZ is not just a management or board issue; it’s everybody’s issue. We’ve seen the assets you have, and we’ve already established areas of deliberation.”

Mike Madiro, NRZ board chair, highlighted the entity’s critical role in logistics as the government implements the National Development Strategy 1 towards achieving an Upper Middle Income Society by 2030. “We have challenges, no doubt about that.We need to provide logistics solutions to the country’s agenda. Logistics is key to the government’s agenda, and NRZ is important to achieving that agenda.”

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