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Corruption: Zim Govt Won’t Assist Resettled Farmers Anymore, Says Minister

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Zim Economic Crisis: Nationwide Protests Planned Against 'Illegal' 2% Tax

Zimbabwe’s minister of finance Mthuli Ncube has reportedly said that resettled farmers will no longer get assistance from government, as the programme was “riddled with corruption”.

According to Daily News, Ncube’s decision came after the dramatic failure of the Farm Mechanisation Scheme that was introduced by former president Robert Mugabe’s government in 2007.

The report said that more than $200 million that was pumped into the four-phase programme “did not produce any results”.

A number of unnamed political elites were said to have given themselves irrigation equipment, brand new tractors, combine harvesters and other farming materials.

The loans were never paid back, forcing lawmakers to recommend that they be written off.

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Ncube, who is driving an economic reform agenda said the government, did not want to continue supporting the farmers, adding that they should find alternative assistance.

“Movement towards a market-based supply and demand driven approach would be more efficient and sustainable, and also reducing the greater burden of reliance on the fiscus,” Ncube was quoted as saying.

Food security

This came a few weeks after Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said Zimbabwe had “immense potential to become Africa’s breadbasket”.

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Sunday News quoted Chiwenga as saying that if farmers embraced government policies, particularly the Command Agriculture “and maximise on the use of local resources”, Zimbabwe would regain its status as the continent’s breadbasket.

He challenged farmers to “produce for export and contribute towards the 2030 vision for an upper middle class economy”.

Chiwenga’s sentiments followed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s remarks in May where he expressed confidence that the country had ended hunger through the introduction of the Command Agriculture programme.

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“As the country continued to face persistent years of drought, we sat as government and said we are a blessed country tucked between Zambezi and Limpopo river so why droughts? We then thought of command agriculture and… the country is doing well in food security,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying by the Herald.

The main aim for the Command Agriculture programme was to ensure self-food sustenance after which exports would follow to help the country earn the much needed foreign currency.

African News

Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

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Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

Zimbabwe government and civil servants have finally agreed to a salary accord after the government increased its offer to four hundred million dollars, up by fifty million.

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This means government workers and civil servants will each receive an increment of a hundred twenty-nine dollars effective on April the first.

Negotiations for a further salary review, possibly in June, will continue with consideration of other non-monetary incentives.

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Apex council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander, says the welfare negotiations will continue until the welfare of civil servants improved.

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African News

Niger’s Top Court Outlaws ‘Fifth Wife’ Sex-Slave Maids

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Niger's Top Court Outlaws 'Fifth Wife' Sex-Slave Maids

Niger’s top court has outlawed the practice of keeping women as maids and sex slaves known as “fifth wives.”  This ends a decade-long legal battle by one victim that lawyers say could inspire others in the West African nation to seek justice.

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UK-based anti-slavery international, says the “fifth wife” custom, also known as “wahaya,” is when, in addition to the four wives permitted by Islam, rich men take on other, unofficial wives who live as domestic and sexual slaves.

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Thomson-Reuters Foundation says a Nigerien court had initially ruled in favor of the victim’s master, but she appealed the decision.  Last month, the Niger court of appeals ruled that her first marriage was never valid and that all “fifth wife” marriages are illegal.

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African News

Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

Gunmen have abducted twenty University of Buea male football team members in Cameroon’s southwest. A report says university Vice-Chancellor, Ngono Horace Manga, has confirmed the incident.

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The Vice-Chancellor is quoted as saying armed men stormed the university’s football ground and ordered the players who were training for an upcoming competition to leave with them.

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Manga also said the kidnappers contacted university authorities and demanded a ransom.  He did not disclose the amount for which they were asking.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

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