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Mugabe in SA for second Bi-National Commission
2 October 2017, 10:21 PM

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is in South Africa on an official visit. Mugabe is set to meet President Jacob Zuma, as the two countries convene the second Bi-National Commission session

Mugabe jetted off to South Africa on Monday and visibly absent was the first lady Grace Mugabe. This could be seen as an attempt to avoid antagonism, amid attempts to have her tried for allegedly assaulting a South African model.

The focus of this visit is the Bi-National Commission which marks its first anniversary and since its inauguration a year ago.

Harare believes the results are already tangible.

The visit comes amid speculation that Mugabe could propose that Zimbabwe adopt the South African Rand. The neighbouring country is currently using the US dollar as a currency of exchange.

Monday 2 October 2017 22:21

All the economic indicators are in the right direction, they are pointing upwards

The Zimbabwean cabinet believes that the country has turned the economic tide, following fuel and food shortages.

“All the economic indicators are in the right direction. They are pointing upwards. Agriculture is up and because of its contribution we are now projecting a growth of 3,7% at the end of this year. Tobacco farmers alone this year have earned around 600 million that is an indicator that the economy is growing. We are also coming out of deflation,” says Zimbabwe Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Pretoria hopes that this session will move beyond trade agreements particularly on the backdrop of the United Nations General Council while some countries including the United States are pulling out on some treaties.

As the two heads of state meet, the question is – Will the non-governing body find resonance during formal or even informal deliberations from the first lady’s assault case to the public spats, between Zanu-PF and the ANC?

This is no surprise and the history between the two parties dates back to the struggle years.

Furthermore, efforts to ease tensions over the negative impact of the influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa will come under scrutiny during the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-national Commission which will take place in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Currently, there are about 1,5 million Zimbabweans living in South Africa who have fled their homeland mainly due to economic hardships.

Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has welcomed South African cabinet’s decision to allow migrant Zimbabwean nationals living in the country be given another opportunity to apply for work permits to extend their stay.

“Co-chair, I wish to express appreciation of the government of Zimbabwe for the decision taken by your government for availing Zimbabweans with exemption permits for their exclusive benefits. This decision will benefit not only individuals concerned but also our two countries.”

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Aldrin Sampear

‘Internet compromises role of public broadcasters’
28 September 2017, 10:15 PM

The role of public broadcasters is at a risk of being compromised by the internet, mobile phones and social media networks.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) broadcasters gathering in Namibia for the Southern African Broadcasting Association’s Africa and Digitalisation Conference heard that some social media platforms have more users compared to public broadcaster audiences.

Public broadcasters find themselves between a rock and a hard place, losing viewers and listeners at alarming rates.

New technologies are stiff competition.

Public broadcasting representatives says sophisticated media consumer demands, the understanding of audiences and media markets are key to sustaining public broadcasters across Southern Africa.

In other parts of the continent, social media entrepreneurs are attracting more followers than local public broadcasters.

Other broadcasters complained that their international counterparts who operate in the continent are shrinking their market. The proposal is that broadcasters coming to the continent should be regulated.

“We will have to find resources wherever they are. That means you must be fearless. When they say we are going to train your people, it is on your terms,” says Former NBC Director General Albertus Aochamub.

Delegates will try and convince policy makers and regulators to come on board and help save regional public broadcasters.

Thursday 28 September 2017 22:15

Manelisi Dubase

Al Bashir extends helping hand to South Sudan
28 September 2017, 9:35 PM

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has extended a helping hand to South Sudan saying his government will pull out all the stops to ensure that there is a lasting peace and stability in their neighbouring state.

Al Bashir gave the keynote address at the opening of the Intelligence and Security Services Conference underway in the capital Khartoum.

He says Sudan’s national security will not be complete unless there is stability in South Sudan. Intelligence, security officials and experts from across the continent are trying to find lasting solutions to threats facing Africa.

They have been looking into how they could combat terrorism, human trafficking and other forms of organised crime. The conference was opened by Sudanese President, Omar Al Bashir.

“I would like to affirm through this conference that we will spare no efforts in giving all the assistance possible for our refugees from our neighbouring country South Sudan, despite the absence of the assistance coming from the international community,” says Bashir.

Thursday 28 September 2017 21:35

“We have to maintain the relationship because we are one country”

The security situation in South Sudan featured prominently in his speech.

“It’s our conviction that our national security will not be complete unless we have security and stability in all our neighbours, especially South Sudan and we are hopeful that will get calm, stability and peace in a very short time.”

The announcement has been welcomed by South Sudan intelligence officials.

“We have to maintain the relationship because we are one country, with the same culture, relationship and we have a common border. We are sharing so many things,” says South Sudan General Intelligence Bureau Dut Chagai.

However, asked why the former Deputy President Riek Machar was in South Africa as a guest of the South African government, Chagai had this to say:

“That one ran away from the country, because he knows what he did. He is now in SA and he had been invited to attend the national dialogue and he declined. What can we do for him?”

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Meanwhile, it has also emerged that members of the US intelligence services, the CIA are also attending, a move that has been seen as a softening of diplomatic relations between Sudan and the US since Obama’s announcement on the easing of some sanctions against Sudan in January.

President Omar al Bashir extended a hand of friendship to South Sudan saying that the crisis in that country should be resolved urgently and that his country would do everything possible to ensure that there is lasting peace and stability in South Sudan.

Njanji Chauke

Conference warns SADC broadcasters of losing integrity
27 September 2017, 7:05 PM

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) public broadcasters have been warned against damaging their brands and reputations by broadcasting fake news and state propaganda.

The globally-acclaimed Public Media Alliance told Southern African Broadcasting Association members in Windhoek that damaged media brands are almost impossible to resuscitate.

Public broadcasters are pondering strategies to stay financially afloat and attract viewers. They have also been warned to adapt and stay relevant to their particular environments and audiences if they want to survive.

“There isn’t one size fit all. The clear consensus at our Caribbean summit was that broadcasters are like plants. You plant it at another environment it dies. You must respond to your particular, relevant circumstances,” said CEO of Public Media Alliance, Sally-Ann Wilson.

The financial plight of SADC broadcasters has been blamed on lack of creativity and innovation.

“You don’t want to create your own content. You go to Europe to copy from people who studied with you. You’re hiring consultants instead of doing the job yourself; it doesn’t make sense,” said Namibia’s Tjekero Tweya.

Concerns have also been raised about broadcasters not reaching out to rural audiences and communities.

Wednesday 27 September 2017 19:05

Manelisi Dubase

Kenya’s IEC meets political parties ahead of Oct 26 elections
27 September 2017, 6:24 PM

Kenya’s Electoral Commission has met representatives from President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s Jubilee Party and from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga‘s Opposition NASA coalition to iron out outstanding issues ahead of the fresh presidential election in October.

The meeting comes just a day after NASA held street protests in major cities across the country, demanding the removal of electoral commission officials whom it accuses of bungling the August 8th election.

This is the first time the commission is meeting the political parties since the Supreme Court nullified the August Presidential election results citing irregularities and ordered fresh polls within 60 days.

Wafula Chebukati, IEBC Chairman says: “We want to engage the parties and see if they are any bottlenecks. We want to iron them out as a commission, we are committed to having elections on the 26th of October.”

Raila Odinga’s opposition the NASA coalition has a draft of demands it says must be met before it can participate in the election.
It wants officials, who may have bungled the last election, removed from office.

It also needs a new company to print ballot papers and handle the transmission of election results.

Kenyatta’s party however says polls must be held as planned under current arrangements.

Raphael Tuju, Secretary general of the Jubilee Party says: “Well our expectations are that people will be reasonable so that we can cool the temperatures, so that Kenyans can go to the polls and we can resume normalcy in this country.”

The meeting did not however reach a conclusion as some of the political party representatives asked for leave to attend a parliamentary debate on the amendment of electoral laws ahead of the October polls.

Wednesday 27 September 2017 18:24

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Sarah Kimani

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