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Zimbabwe: Sixteen people have died in past week
from a suspected cholera outbreak in Harare City

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- At least 16 people have died in the past week from a suspected cholera outbreak in Harare that has now spread to the Midlands province, state media reported Monday.

The outbreak happened in the city’s high-density suburbs of Glen View and Budiriro to the southwest, with five having died by Friday.

Harare City Council director of health services Clemence Duri told The Herald that authorities are monitoring the affected areas and have deployed response teams.

"The death toll has risen to 16 after more people died of suspected cholera today (Sunday).

"Although we are not yet sure of the cause of deaths, we are suspecting it is cholera because of the symptoms presented," he said.

Duri said 106 people were admitted at an infectious diseases hospital in the city.

He urged residents to consume treated water and confirmed that some boreholes have been decommissioned.

Four more cases linked to the Harare outbreak have since been reported in Gokwe North, Midlands Province.

Although cholera cases hit the country almost yearly, many families still bear the scars of a cholera outbreak between Aug. 2008 and June 2009, when 98,596 cases of cholera were reported, resulting in 4,369 deaths across the country.


Zimbabwe cabinet ministers sworn in by President Emmerson Mnangagwa

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday swore into office his new 20-member cabinet that will drive Zimbabwe’s economic revival in the next five years.

This comes after Mnangagwa named the leaner cabinet last Friday that is composed of new, old, experienced and youthful faces.

A cross section of the Zimbabwean society has welcomed the cabinet as a breath of fresh air, taking into account that it excludes most of Mugabe-era ministers.

The new finance minister Mthuli Ncube was the first to take the oath of office and he said his priorities are to stabilize the economy, clearing the country’s huge external debt, restoration of public confidence in the financial sector as well as addressing the current cash crisis.

He said addressing these issues would put Zimbabwe on a strong footing to eventually re-introduce its own currency dumped in 2009 in favor of multiple currencies after being rendered worthless by a decade of hyperinflation.

"The issue of currency reform will be underway.

"It is important that we do that but currency reform alone is not adequate.

"It needs a second leg which is fiscal policy to create stability, so that is what I will be focusing on," he said.

He said his ministry will look at other options beyond the surrogate bond notes introduced in 2016 to stem the cash crisis but have slowly lost their value to the green back on the black market.

"Ultimately I would want the Zimbabwe dollar to come back as a sovereign currency, legal tender and store of value," he said.

The former banker and financial expert said the country’s cash crisis was a reflection of the country’s "poor macro-economic" environment.

Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo who retained his position said Zimbabwe will continue with its engagement and re-engagement policy.

"All what we want is to ensure that we are friendly to all countries and above all our policy is Zimbabwe first in everything we do.

"But of course there are compromises because every nation has its own firsts," he said.

Zimbabwe’s most successful Olympian and surprise cabinet inclusion Kirsty Coventry said she would engage stakeholders to find ways of resolving challenges facing the sports sector.

Coventry is one of the five ministers picked by Mnangagwa from outside parliament for their professional skills and competence.

Mnangagwa also swore into office 13 deputy ministers and nine provincial ministers.

Zimbabwe new legislators sworn in after July polls

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s legislators were on Wednesday sworn in for five-year terms following their election in the July 30 polls.

The members of the ninth parliament took oath of office before Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda.

The swearing-in of the 350 law makers is expected to pave the way for appointment of a new cabinet by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was inaugurated on Aug. 26.

Zimbabwean law stipulates that cabinet ministers should be appointed from among legislators, but it also allows for up to five to be picked from outside parliament for their professional skills and competence.

Zimbabwe’s parliament is made up of 270 Members of the National Assembly and 80 Senators.

The ruling ZANU-PF party won a two-thirds majority after garnering 145 seats of the 210 contested seats in the National Assembly against opposition MDC Alliance’s 63.

Two other seats were won by an independent candidate and a member of the opposition National Patriotic Front.

In addition, ZANU-PF got 35 women quota seats, the MDC Alliance 24 while the splinter MDC-T party got one seat.

In the Senate, ZANU-PF has 36 seats, MDC alliance 23, MDC-T one while traditional chiefs and people living with disabilities have 18 and two seats respectively.

President Mnangagwa has set Sept. 11 as the date for the first sitting of parliament specifically for both houses to elect their respective presiding officers.

According to legal think-tank Veritas, both houses will then adjourn for about two weeks to allow time for induction of the large-number of first-time members who constitute approximately 60 percent of the total membership.

Zimbabwe and China seek to strengthen educational co-operation

by Gretinah Machingura HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe, which is targeting to become a middle-income economy by 2030, is seeking to boost educational cooperation with China in order to achieve its economic development goals.

In recent years, an increasing number of Zimbabwean students have been going to China to further their education at various universities in the Asian country.

While some are paying for their studies, a number of them are studying through scholarships granted by the Chinese government and firms.

In 2016, Chinese firm Hengshun Zhongsheng Group started awarding scholarships to academically gifted but poor Zimbabwean students to study in China.

The company has been sending 50 students each year to study in China under the Zimbabwean presidential scholarship program, and has to date awarded scholarships to 150 Zimbabwean students to study in various disciplines.

The 50 students for 2018 are set to leave for China soon, after a farewell ceremony was held for them by the Zimbabwe government and the Chinese Embassy on Friday.

In a farewell message, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged the students to go and harness their education potential in China for the benefit of the nation.

"Go and acquire knowledge and skills that we do need so much.

"Work hard, be disciplined and represent us well.

"We want you to come back home when you finish your studies and join us in the economic revolution which the new dispensation is unraveling," the president said in a message read on his behalf by a government minister.

Minister for national and presidential scholarships Christopher Mushowe said the main thrust of the new government was on specialization, skills and manpower development to enable the country to attain its 2030 economic vision.

"In the new government we will make sure that research and development, innovation and technology development are given priority.

"We have yawning skills gaps in the critical areas of science, technology and engineering and we want to fill those gaps with a deliberate focus on those areas," Mushowe said.

Director of political affairs at the Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe Guo Jing said the sending of yet again 50 students this year to study at various universities in China was one of the many good examples of the successful China-Zimbabwe educational cooperation.

"Our cooperation in educational exchange is a win-win job as this cooperation not only benefits the next generation of Zimbabwe and jump-starts the development of Zimbabwe, but also cultivates the young champions for China-Zimbabwe people-to-people and cultural exchanges," Guo said.

She said Zimbabwe was at the dawn of a new chapter of development which requires a huge pool of critical skills to enable the country to push forward with its development agenda.

"The knowledge acquired in China will serve as guidance for your work in Zimbabwe and toward the target of making Zimbabwe a middle income country by 2030," she said.

She also urged the students to be practitioners of Zimbabwe-China cooperation that delivers fruitful win-win outcomes for the two sides.

Hengshun Zhongsheng Group managing director Liu Baixue urged the students to work hard in their studies.

"Do your very best in your studies so that you serve your nation with the knowledge you have acquired," she said.

Nineteen-year-old Shalom Muguwe who will study a degree program in computer science and information technology at Ocean University of China said he was grateful to China for the study opportunity.

"I am very happy to have been awarded this scholarship.

"I want to acquire knowledge in China that will help in building a better Zimbabwe and advance our country in terms of technology and development," he said.

"I hope the Chinese government and other firms will increase the number of scholarships so that many bright but poor students benefit," he added.

To Kudakwashe Meki, a 26-year-old university graduate who will pursue a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science, said the study opportunity will help boost his chances to secure employment and contribute to the development of Zimbabwe.

"I am happy that I will acquire practical education from China and I hope to come back and use those skills to develop my country," said Meki.

The study opportunity came in handy for 19-year-old Heidrun Mvere whose dream of acquiring university education had been shattered following the death of her father and breadwinner last year.

"Thanks to this scholarship I am now able to fulfill my dream of getting university education.

"On her own, my mother would not have managed to send me to university," she said.

Twenty five-year-old Margeret Muskwe said she hoped not only to secure employment but to set up her company after completing her Master’s Degree in Genetics in China.

"I believe I should also do my own thing after university rather than simply look for a job.

"So I hope to improve the agriculture sector in Zimbabwe through animal and plant breeding," she said.

The exponential growth of Chinese universities as world class institutions has resulted in the Asian country emerging as a popular overseas study destination among many Zimbabwean students.

An official from Obepa Education and Scholarship Center said the dramatic increase in Zimbabweans seeking higher education in China can be explained in part by the Chinese government’s commitment to higher education and China’s technological advancements.

"Technology in China is far much advanced, and students prefer to go where technology is more dynamic.

"Engineering programs are the ones that attract most students," said Pamhidzai Matambanadzo from Obepa Center.

She said lower tuition fees and scholarships by Chinese universities also attract many students.

In a keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held on Sept. 3-4, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China will train 1,000 high-caliber Africans, provide Africa with 50,000 government scholarships, sponsor seminar and workshop opportunities for 50,000 Africans, and invite 2,000 African youths to visit China for exchanges over the next three years and beyond.

This is part of the eight major initiatives announced by Xi which China and African countries will implement in the next three years and beyond.

The initiatives also cover fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.



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