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US opens $300m embassy in Zimbabwe

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US EMBASSY ZIMBABWE

The United States of America opened its US$292 million embassy compound in Harare, a structural behemoth believed to be one its largest embassies in Africa and beyond.

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols said the new embassy symbolised the United States’ ongoing and durable commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.

The US has, for the past two decades, maintained illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe that are responsible for massive de-industrialisation and increased investor risks since the global superpower also sanctions countries and businesses, including banks, that deal with Zimbabwe.

The US administration has not been equal to embrace President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement policy, despite Zimbabwe opening doors to dialogue and engagement.

In March, US President Donald Trump extended by another year an executive order that gives effect to the punitive regime, that is seen as an instrument to bludgeon the poor and effect change of Government in Harare.

A group of protesters has been picketing the new embassy demanding the removal of sanctions.

But Ambassador Nichols struck a conciliatory note yesterday, commending progress being made by Government to align the country’s laws to the Constitution and pledged to strengthen its partnership with Zimbabwe through trade and investment.

He said the US would build relations.

“In addition to structures, we built relationships across a network of service providers,” he said. “We look forward to deepening those relationships.

The United States aspires to strengthen its partnership with Zimbabwe and to expand trade and investment between our countries. Embracing political and economic reform is the key to achieving these goals.

“We are pleased the Government is moving toward repealing legislation that fails to align with Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution. The right of Zimbabweans to express their views peacefully, to collectively bargain, and to choose their leaders via free and fair elections should never be infringed,” he said.

Ambassador Nichols called for a national dialogue on political, social and economic reforms to build confidence in a new Zimbabwe.

He said the new embassy was inspired by the architecture used in the construction of Great Zimbabwe.

“Senior great architecture enriches the people and society around it. The proud people of this land knew this truth a millennia ago when they laid the foundations of Great Zimbabwe, the land of kings, nearly 300 kilometres from here. And Great Zimbabwe served as the inspiration for this beautiful building.

“Our campus evokes Zimbabwe’s geography. The country’s wide open rural plains, known as the “veld” are distinguished by their gently sloping terrain, vast grasslands and tree cover. The canopy over the main entrance that draws its inspiration from the mbira dzavadzimu, or “voice of the ancestors,” a musical instrument that the people of Zimbabwe have played for thousands of years,” he said.

An American artist Yael Kanarek created the hanging art with the words ‘Night’ and ‘Day’ in 19 languages spoken in Zimbabwe.

Ambassador Nichols expressed his appreciation to Government and the City of Harare for their support and co-operation during the construction of the structure.

Ambassador Mathema congratulated US President Donald Trump and the people of America and said the construction of the new complex in Zimbabwe was a sign of a beautiful future between the two countries.

“The construction of this building shows what good relations we have and what beautiful thoughts we have about each other.

“We hope for the best all the time. It is a good sign and shows the US is going to be here forever,” he said.

United States director, Bureau of overseas buildings operations, Mr Tad Davis said he was proud of this new embassy’s eco-friendly features which pursue resiliency, energy savings and sustainability goals, that aim to reduce the overall environmental impact, while optimizing building performance, to enhance the self-sufficiency of the campus.

“This embassy not only demonstrates our long term commitment to partnership with the people of Zimbabwe but enables us to advance prosperity, security and stability as mutual goals in line with our Africa Strategy. May this occasion serve as a platform to further enhance and strengthen the co-operation between the United States of America and Zimbabwe,” he said. The Herald

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NEWS

Fortune Chasi replaces Gumbo as Energy Minister

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Fortune Chasi

President Mnangagwa has appointed Transport and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Fortune Chasi as the new minister of Energy and Power Development while Minister Gumbo has been appointed Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring.

The President also appointed Engineer Mackenzie Ncube as the new chairman of the National Oil Infrastructure Company board.

In a statement last night, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda said the appointments were with immediate effect.

“His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-In-Chief of the Defence Forces, Cde ED Mnangagwa has made the following senior appointments and re-assignments:

“Hon Minister Joram MacDonald Gumbo has been appointed Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring.

“Hon Fortune Chasi, current Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development has been appointed Minister of Energy and Power Development,” read the statement.

Engineer Ncube replaced Mr Jemias Madzingira who was retired.

President Mnangagwa appointed Minister Gumbo as Cabinet Minister and Cde Fortune Chasi as deputy minister last year after winning the 2018 harmonised elections.

Prior to his appointment last year, Minister Gumbo had served as Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister in the previous Cabinet.

Engineer Ncube is a former Member of Parliament. The Chronicle

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BUSINESS

Zimbabwe set to rebase economy after adopting a new currency

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Zimbabwe Economy

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister announced the rebasing of the economy on Wednesday, following the adoption of a new currency earlier this year, and said growth would be slowed this year by a drought and a cyclone that hit eastern regions.

The Zimbabwe economy grew higher than expected in 2018, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told parliament.

The central bank scrapped the peg between its quasi-currency bond note and electronic dollars against the U.S dollar in February and merged them into a single transitional currency called the RTGS dollar.

Rebasing the Zimbabwe economy broadly means changing the reference points used to calculate the country’s gross domestic product.

The southern African nation rebased its economy last October boosting it by 40% to $25.8 billion and Ncube said the adoption of the RTGS$ required another rebasing exercise, which put the economy at RTGS$70.1 billion or $21 billion at the official exchange rate.

Ncube said the Zimbabwe economy had grown by 6.2 per cent in 2018 compared to an initial forecast of 3.1 per cent but he saw growth being throttled this year by “severe economic shocks”, including a drought that has wilted crops and a cyclone that hit western parts of Zimbabwe in March.

He said Zimbabwe had 876 000 tonnes of maize in strategic grain reserves, enough to feed the country for seven months.

Ncube said the national treasury’s austerity measures had meant a budget surplus of RTGS$443 million was recorded in the first quarter and added that the target of a budget deficit of 5% of GDP would be achieved this year. Reuters

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NEWS

Early camp for Zimbabwe Warriors

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Zimbabwe Warriors 2019

Zimbabwe Warriors will go in camp early as they prepare for their AFCON opening match against the hosts Egypt on June 21.

Sunday Chidzambwa is to split the 34-man squad if there are to reach the COSAFA finals.

Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare says the team will flight straight from Nigeria to Egypt after their friendly game on the 8th.

“We are going to COSAFA and we are taking 34 players, we are going to play two games and then the other 18 players will then go to Nigeria to play on the 8th.

“18 players will leave for Nigeria on the 5th and play on the 8th, the other five players will then follow to make up the 23 players for the AFCON tournament.,” he said.

Mpandare says that the final 23 will be selected on merit.

“Selection will be based on the performance during the COSAFA tournament and the coaches will then select the final 23 from there.

“To us the COSAFA tournament is more like training games for us, so we actually going to camp in Durban and then the two games that we will be playing, will be like training games to us.

“Which I think will add value. We have played with the so-called inferior teams and it helps us in a certain way. But the big game is coming on the 8th, we might even have another friendly which a team still yet to confirm,” he said.

Zimbabwe won last year’s COSAFA and Mpandare says it’s a platform for them to assess and prepare for AFCON.

“But at the end of the day, we need those games because even the last time in 2018 when we were preparing for the AFCON qualifiers, it helps us in a big way.

“We won the COSAFA tournament with the same players that then participated in the AFCON qualifiers. So I think in as much as most teams are sending weak teams it will give us the competitive edge that we think we need,” he said.

Goalkeepers
George Chigova (Polokwane City), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank United), Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu)

Defenders
Dennis Dauda (Lusaka Dynamos), Lawrence Mhlanga (FC Platinum), Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos), Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest)

Midfielders
Danny Phiri(Golden Arrows), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge), Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates), Tafadzwa Rusike (Zanaco), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Talent Chawapihwa (Amazulu), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah), Knowledge Musona (RSC Anderlecht), Thabani Kamusoko (Young Africans SC), Rodwell Chinyengetere (Baroka FC)

Strikers
Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Evans Rusike (Supersport United), Walter Musona (Polokwane City), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City)H-Metro

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