In a statement on Friday, Moyo said hopes of finding survivors
are fading following heavy rains that pounded the area during
Rescuers successfully pumped out water from two
interlinked tunnels, and work to retrieve the bodies is expected
to start Saturday, Moyo said.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the incident
a State of Disaster on Friday.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister Mary
Mliswa-Chikoka said the tragedy was a big wake-up call for
mining authorities and the miners on the need to adhere to
At least 23 illegal miners
die in Zimbabwe mine flood
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
At least 23 illegal miners died in Zimbabwe on
Tuesday evening when shafts and tunnels at two mines were
flooded by water, state media reported Thursday.
Interlinked shafts and tunnels at two mines in Battlefields,
Mashonaland West Province, were flooded after the collapse of a
dam wall due to heavy rains received in the area, said the
The dam wall reportedly collapsed around 11 p.m. on Tuesday
night, flooding shafts at leading gold producer RioZim’s Cricket
Mine and another one owned by an individual known as Baxter.
While the number of the dead miners was given as 23, there
were fears that more miners could have perished in the disaster.
Mashonaland West provincial administrator Cecilia Chitiyo
said the local Civil Protection Unit (CPU) had been activated to
"We are waiting for more information from the people on the
ground and the local CPU is on standby to offer assistance as
soon as the disaster is confirmed," she said.
"We urgently need to mobilize more pumps. As many as we can
because the water levels are continuously rising from beneath
and we are not sure if the miners had reached an aquifer below,"
Mhondoro-Ngezi district administrator Fortunate Muzulu, who
visited the two mines Wednesday, said chances of rescuing any
survivors were very slim since the shafts were flooded to the
"The names of people believed to have been trapped has
reached 23, with 19 reportedly trapped at the RioZim-owned mine
with another four from the other mine," she said.
Muzulu said more artisanal miners could have been trapped
The illegal miners, she said, entered the shafts and tunnels
under the cover of darkness without the knowledge of mine owners
and disappeared early in the morning.
RioZim spokesperson Wilson Gwatiringa, who also visited the
site Wednesday, confirmed that efforts were underway to drain
the water from the shafts.
"I am not sure how many people are trapped but estimates from
their colleagues say above 20," he said.
"The operations are led by Ministry of Mines and Mining
Development and we are playing a supporting role."
continues to soar
HARARE (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s annual rate of inflation for January
2019 rose to 56.90 percent, up from 42.09 percent in December
last year, driven mainly by increases in prices of basic goods.
Statistics released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics
Agency on Friday showed monthly inflation for January climbing
up to 10.75 percent, up from 9.03 percent of the previous month.
The continued rise is against the background of fuel price
hikes by more than 100 percent last month.
The country’s inflation for 2018 closed at 42.09 percent,
against an initial target of 25 percent, an indication of
deteriorating economic conditions.
Zimbabwe cancels premier
arts festival, citing economic challenges
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The 2019 edition of Zimbabwe’s biggest,
annual arts and culture festival, the Harare International
Festival of the Arts (HIFA), will not take place due to economic
challenges facing the country, organizers said on Friday.
HIFA said in a statement that it will, instead, use the break
to work on projects to broaden and deepen its contribution to
arts and culture, particularly in schools, as well as to prepare
for next year’s major anniversary festival.
"Zimbabwe is dealing with many important issues, both social
In this context, the festival cannot responsibly commit to
presenting a viable event of the same quality and impact that
HIFA is known for this year," said HIFA executive director Maria
This is not the first time that HIFA has suspended the event.
It also took a break in 2016 due to economic challenges.
The six-day arts and culture celebration usually takes place
in the second quarter of the year. HIFA began in 1999 and has
grown to be known as one of the most prominent and prestigious
arts and culture events not only in Zimbabwe but also across
Media watchdog urges
speedy licensing of community radio stations in Zimbabwe
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Independent media watchdog Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Zimbabwe on Wednesday urged the Zimbabwe government to urgently
license community radio stations to foster freedom of expression
and development in the country.
According to the watchdog, Zimbabwe does not have any
community radio stations.
The organization contends that the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe (BAZ) has only licensed national and commercial radio
Its view is supported by the Zimbabwe Association of
Community Radio Stations that also argues that the radio
stations licensed by BAZ in 2015 are not community but
commercial radio stations.
Some of the licensed stations include Ya FM in Zvishavane,
Nyaminyami FM in Kariba, Breeze FM in Victoria Falls, Capitalk
100.4FM in Harare and Diamond FM in Mutare.
"Community radio stations are still to be licensed and
legally recognized in Zimbabwe, 18 years after enactment of the
Broadcasting Services Act in 2001," MISA Zimbabwe said in a
statement commemorating the 2019 World Radio Day.
MISA Zimbabwe argued that by their nature, commercial and
national radio stations offer generic one-size fits all content
and that their programming is usually not relevant to specific
community needs and issues.
"This gap can easily be filled by community radio stations.
As Zimbabwe commemorates this day, MISA Zimbabwe reiterates its
calls for the speedy licensing of local community radio
stations," the organization said.
It added that licensing of genuine community radio stations
would go a long way in giving marginalized communities their
voice in national affairs that seek to promote dialogue and
tolerance in the country.
The 2019 World Radio Day ran under the theme: "Dialogue,
Tolerance and Peace".
MISA said this year’s theme acknowledges the role played by
radio in facilitating dialogue and building tolerance through
respectful sharing of divergent views, thus fostering peace
within communities and nations.
The theme, it added, was timely for Zimbabwe as it coincides
with the repeated calls for meaningful national dialogue to
address the country’s deteriorating socio-economic and political
"It is in that regard that radio can play a fundamental role
in facilitating national dialogue in Zimbabwe. Radio serves as a
convenient information-sharing platform that is more popular and
easily accessible than television because of its wide reach,"
However, the organization lamented that in Zimbabwe, access
to radio is still concentrated mostly in urban and peri-urban
communities, leaving communities in outlying, rural areas,
especially those along Zimbabwe’s national borders, to rely on
radio broadcasts from Zimbabwe’s neighboring countries.
"These marginalized communities are thus effectively excluded
from participating in national conversations that take place on
national publicly owned radio stations. This makes a strong case
for the licensing of community radio stations as provided for in
terms of the Broadcasting Services Act".
The Act provides for the three-tier broadcasting system
comprising, public, commercial, and community broadcasting in
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity
and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana said the Zimbabwe
government was committed to licensing community radio stations.
"Radio shall not be a source of conflict in communities, but
will be a bridge," he said.
Zimbabwe parliament wants
new anti-graft commissioners
following resignation of previous team
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwean Parliament has started
hunting for people to serve in the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption
Commission (ZACC) following the mass resignation of previous
commissioners before the expiry of their term in office.
The chairman of ZACC Job Whabira and all the other
commissioners resigned with effect from Jan. 31.
Parliament on Thursday called for public nominations for
people to serve on the commission.
Among other responsibilities, the commission’s mandate is to
investigate and expose cases of corruption in the public and
"Members of the ZACC must be chosen for their integrity and
their knowledge of and experience in administration or the
prosecution or investigation of crime or for their general
suitability for appointment," a notice from the parliament said.
According to the law, the president appoints a chairperson of
the commission in consultation with Parliament’s Committee on
Standing Rules and Orders.
He also appoints eight other members from a list of no fewer
than 12 nominees submitted by the same committee following
Leading Zimbabwe gold
operations after negotiations with central bank
HARARE (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s leading gold producer RioZim, which
had in early February suspended operations at its three mines
following a failure to access its foreign currency from the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), announced Friday that it was now
This follows successful negotiations between the mining
concern and the central bank, the company said in a statement to
"This development follows the fruitful discussions held with
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which facilitated the clearance of
all arrear payments thus allowing the company to resume its
normal operations," corporate affairs executive Wilson
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed miner had initially
stopped operations at the mines last October but resumed
operations a month later after getting a commitment from the
central bank that it would get enough foreign currency to meets
its operational requirements.
Gold producers in Zimbabwe sell their gold only to Fidelity
Printers and Refiners, a subsidiary of the RBZ, with the central
bank supposed to allow them to keep a percent of their earnings
in their nostro accounts.
As part of the commitments made to gold producers in November
2018 to support their operations, the RBZ undertook to allow all
gold producers to maintain 55 percent of their export earnings
in their foreign currency nostro accounts and to increase export
incentives on all minerals.
However, notwithstanding these commitments, the central bank
has been failing to meet them, resulting in RioZim experiencing
significant and persistent delays in payment of its foreign
currency allocation for deliveries made to Fidelity.
Zimbabwe is reeling from foreign currency shortages and the
central bank is trying to spread the available funds across
various sectors of the economy, disadvantaging most of the
foreign currency earners in the process.
South Africa calls for
lifting of sactions against Zimbabwe
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa supports the lifting of sanctions
against Zimbabwe in order to allow for economic development,
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu
said on Thursday.
"We would like to express our strong support for the lifting
of sanctions against Zimbabwe in order to allow for economic
development in the country," Sisulu said during a debate in
Parliament on the State of Nation Address (SONA) delivered by
President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this month.
Zimbabwe has been under sanctions imposed by the United
States and the European Union (EU) for years.
The EU lifted most of its sanctions in 2014, but has
maintained those against former president Robert Mugabe and his
After Mnangagwa took over Mugabe as president in August last
year, the U.S. government said it will not lift sanctions
against Zimbabwe until the new government demonstrates that it
is "changing its ways."
Sisulu said Zimbabwe has been going through a challenging
socio-economic situation, which has inadvertently had an impact
on South Africa.
"We have engaged the government of Zimbabwe and have a
clearer idea of the problem," she said.
As such, South Africa stands ready to assist the country in
addressing these challenges, said Sisulu.
Zimbabwe teachers union exhort government and call off