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RUSAPE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on Nov. 8, 2018 shows the scene of a bus accident in Rusape, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe. President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday sent a message of condolences following the death of 47 people in a bus accident along the Harare-Mutare highway on Wednesday. XINHUA PHOTOS - SHAUN JUSA

Close to 50 dead as Zimbabwe mourning bus accident victims

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday sent a message of condolences following the death of 47 people in a bus accident along the Harare-Mutare highway on Wednesday.

The president said in view of the magnitude of the loss of human life in one of the worst road accidents in recent months, he had instructed the responsible ministry to take necessary steps to declare the accident a national disaster.

He said the death of such a high number of people in a single traffic incident raises serious questions about the behavior on the country’s roads.

"The use of vehicles that are not roadworthy, or drivers who do not seem to care for passenger safety, amount to a criminal breach of trust between bus operators and the paying commuters who expect and deserve safe transit," the president said.

The accident, which also left 70 others injured, occurred when two long-distance buses collided on the busy highway.

Road accidents, especially involving public passenger buses and commuter omnibuses, are a common feature in Zimbabwe’s dilapidated roads with police attributing most of the accidents to speeding.



Zimbabwe and Guinea ties will lead to greater economic co-operation

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Visiting Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday expressed confidence in Conakry that blossoming relations between Zimbabwe and Guinea would translate into greater economic cooperation.

"I am confident that the friendship and fraternal relations will translate into strong economic ties through our bilateral relations as well as the various frameworks within the African Union and United Nations," he said at a dinner held in his honor by his counterpart Alpha Conde, the state-run news agency New Ziana reported.

During Mnangagwa’s visit to Guinea, the two countries signed four memoranda of agreements aimed at creating a framework for diplomatic cooperation.

These include the framework agreement of cooperation, agreement on the establishment of a joint commission, agreement on reciprocal exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports and memorandum of understanding for the establishment of political and diplomatic consultation between the two ministries in charge of foreign affairs.

Mnangagwa said the agreements mark the framework for furthering and deepening cooperation.

Speaking through an interpreter, Conde commended the first visit from his Zimbabwean counterpart.

In a communique released at the end of the two-day visit, the two countries also agreed to exchange experts in agriculture and to explore opportunities in mining, technical cooperation and tourism.

The two leaders also welcomed the principle of speaking with one voice on all regional and international forums.

Mnangagwa extended an invitation to Conde to visit Zimbabwe, which he accepted.


Zimbabwe targeting record gold output in 2018

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is expecting a new record gold output of 34 tonnes in 2018 as the authorities institute measures to curb leakage of the precious metal.

The country’s peak gold output was in 1999, when 27 tons were produced.

Over the years, production dropped sharply due to economic challenges facing the nation, but output has since started to rise again, and stood at 28 tonnes in September this year.

The country produced 24 tonnes of gold in 2017.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando was quoted by The Herald newspaper on Wednesday as saying that a special task force set up by the government to curb gold leakages would contribute significantly to deliveries to the state-owned Fidelity Printers, the country’s sole gold buyer.

The national gold mobilization task force is mandated with making sure that all the gold produced in the country goes through formal channels.

It comprises of officials from the ministry of mines, Zimbabwe Defense Forces and the police.

"Gold deliveries, to date, are actually at a record because we are at 28 tonnes and the projection is that we could actually hit 34 tonnes which will be a record in the history of this country," Chitando said.

Gold is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign exchange earners.

For the country to achieve the government’s target of becoming an upper-middle-income economy by 2030, gold output should jump to 100 tonnes per year, the minister said.


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