HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
-- Zimbabwe has been invited to the
Commonwealth Heads of State Summit that begins in London Monday and
ends next Sunday, marking the latest sign of thawing of relations
between Harare and London, state media reported Sunday.
However, the country will only have observer status and will not
participate in deliberations to take place.
Former President Robert Mugabe withdrew Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth in 2003 following differences over governance issues.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Secretary for Foreign
Affairs and International Trade Joey Bimha said the Commonwealth
invitation was an indication of reciprocity to Zimbabwe’s
He said foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo would attend the summit.
"The minister has been invited by his British counterpart for a
"He is going to attend the meeting, but he will not participate,"
"We are not privy to the agenda of the summit since we are not
"But this shows that our re-engagement exercise is working," he
Prior to the summit, Moyo will make an official call on the
United States to meet American government authorities, the paper
After London, Moyo will travel to Brussels, Belgium, to meet
European Union head of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica
Bimha said Zimbabwe’s re-engagement missions had been going well.
"The President has been on record as saying we should make
overtures to woo the West again following a long period of
"I think the exercise is going on well.
"We have been to Japan, UK, Portugal, China and Spain," he said.
"To signal the level of reciprocity Zimbabwe has been enjoying
from the West, delegations have visited the country from the
European Union, the UK, the U.S. and other countries," he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first foreign visitor following
his inauguration last November was then British Minister for Africa
UK minister for Africa in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and
Department for International Development Harriet Bladwin also
visited him in February.
Zimbabwe government to
privatize some state-owned firms
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwe government on Friday announced plans to
privatize some of its under-performing state firms as part of a
comprehensive reform aimed at improving performance of the
state-owned entities that have become a drain on the national fiscus.
At their peak in the 1990s, the entities used to contribute 40
percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told a press conference that
the reform program would result in some entities being merged,
privatized, liquidated or absorbed as ministerial departments.
The government, he said, was still carrying out discussions on
the appropriate decision to take on state airline Air Zimbabwe.
He said four companies will be privatized including insurance
firm Allied Insurance and grain bag manufacturer Zimbabwe Grain Bag.
Among the entities targeted for partial privatization are oil
company Petrotrade, postal firm Zimpost, Post Office Savings Bank,
Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, mobile phone companies
Net One and Telecel and fixed phone operator Tel-One.
Struggling mines run by the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation will also be partially privatized, as well
as car manufacturer Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries, fertilizer
manufacturer Chemplex Corporation and road transport firm ZUPCO.
Zimbabwe capital seeks deal
with American firm to introduce electric buses
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s capital Harare is seeking a deal with an
American company to introduce intra-city electric buses to provide
efficient and cost-effective public transport to residents.
The firm, Concept Media Group, plans to introduce the
electricity-powered buses for intra-city commuting on a pilot basis,
the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Thursday.
"The introduction of such a transport system would pave way for a
cleaner, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and easily
manageable intra-city passenger transportation that echoes the
Harare City Council’s motto as a clean and beautiful sunshine city
by 2025," said the Council.
The E-buses, according to council, will replace "mushika-shika"
as the preferred, safe and affordable mode of transport for
The city has been facing a big challenge in removing the "mushika-shika",
the unregistered taxis that ply the city and often drive
dangerously, causing chaos in the central business district.
The E-buses will have a carrying capacity of 20-30 passengers per
ride, and have a maximum speed of 60 km per hour.
They will have designated pick-up and drop-off points within a
10-30 km radius of the city center, the council said.
"E-buses have advantages over competition because they are
cheaper in terms of maintenance and operation, they are
significantly smaller and lighter and they will be pre-installed
with fleet management system," the council said.
Harare lacks an efficient public transportation system and the
council has over the years battled the challenge of chaotic and
dangerous driving by commuter omnibuses and unregistered taxis which
puts the lives of commuters at risk.