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Zim Has ‘Immense Potential To Become Africa’s Breadbasket’, Says VP Chiwenga

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Namibia Follows SA With Land Reform Pledge

Zimbabwe has “immense potential to become Africa’s breadbasket”, the country’s vice president Constantine Chiwengwa has reportedly said.

Chiwengwa said this in a speech read on his behalf at the official opening of the Victoria Falls Agricultural Show, said the state-owned Sunday News.

Chiwenga said that if farmers embraced government policies such as the “Command Agriculture and maximise 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”.

A report by the Herald newspaper quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa in May this year as saying that Zimbabwe ended hunger after the introduction of the Command Agriculture programme.

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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.

Food security

“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 at the time.

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According to Africa Check, there was a commonly held view that Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa, although the specific timeframe in history was usually unclear.

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This vague narrative, Africa Check said, gave an impression that Zimbabwe lost its “breadbasket” status during former President Robert Mugabe’s tenure.

“While Mugabe’s land reform programme seemingly contributed to a decline in Zimbabwe’s agricultural output, there’s limited evidence to suggest that the country was a dominant player in Africa’s food production prior to
that period – at least from a staple food production perspective,” the report said.

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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