Zimbawe

MUCKRAKER: Selfish rulers, another Rotina and unfolding tragedy along Limpopo

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 18:14

MUCKRAKER: Selfish rulers, another Rotina and unfolding tragedy along Limpopo

The post MUCKRAKER: Selfish rulers, another Rotina and unfolding tragedy along Limpopo appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Ceteris Paribus: Inflation stats: Bearing on 2022 fiscal year

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 18:02

Ceteris Paribus: Inflation stats: Bearing on 2022 fiscal year

The post Ceteris Paribus: Inflation stats: Bearing on 2022 fiscal year appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Teachers escalate USD salary fight

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 18:00

He said teachers were earning around ZW$18 000 (about US$165), and with the fluctuating foreign currency exchange rates and unstable prices, the teachers can no longer afford to take care of their families.

The post Teachers escalate USD salary fight appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Rogues wreak havoc on forex auction: RBZ

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 18:00

Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president Ralph Watungwa said banks were in compliance with the central bank regulations.

The post Rogues wreak havoc on forex auction: RBZ appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Firm fined Z$40m for illegal cotton

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 17:49

AMA chief executive Clever Isaya confirmed the development.

The post Firm fined Z$40m for illegal cotton appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Furore over civil servants USD allowances

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 17:40

The USD allowance follows a recent request for a salary increase by public service workers and pensioners, some of whom – such as teachers — have even threatened to down tools in protest of poor remuneration.

The post Furore over civil servants USD allowances appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

BCC smart city project on

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 17:22

This strategy, which was boosted by the visit of BCC officials to Dubai towards the end of last year, entails implementation of various development projects across various economic sectors.

The post BCC smart city project on appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Women bear brunt of climate change

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 17:06

Mangwiro (36), a single mother of four, is lamenting the hot spell that has caused a serious impact on her crop.

The post Women bear brunt of climate change appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Govt moves to avert power shortages

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 16:59

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, Magombo said the planned rollout will culminate in the development of various solar projects across the country with a cumulative capacity of 500 megawatts

The post Govt moves to avert power shortages appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Candid Comment : Migration crisis: Time to restore our dignity

The Zimbabwe Independent - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 16:50

Candid Comment : Migration crisis: Time to restore our dignity

The post Candid Comment : Migration crisis: Time to restore our dignity appeared first on The Zimbabwe Independent.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Kazembe In Climbdown Over CBZ Passport Deal

New Zimbabwe - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 13:37

By James Muonwa

 

HOME Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe has come off his high horse, repelling an earlier Statutory Instrument empowering CBZ Bank to unilaterally receive US$20 passport application fees.

He also made amendments to an earlier ministerial directive outlawing current analogical passports in favour of newly introduced electronic passports.

In a notice in the supplementary Zimbabwe Government Gazette Friday, Kazembe fixed the fees for electronically readable passports without mentioning the phasing out of current passports which he had earlier stated would expire by December 31, 2023.

Unlike a notice issued last year, Kazembe was silent on CBZ Bank being the sole processor of US$20 application fees for each travel document.

“It is hereby notified that the minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage has, in terms of Section 22 of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 4:01), made the following regulations; the Minister has fixed passport fees as specified in the schedule. The fees for obtaining one’s passport shall be (a). passport issued on non-emergency basis US$100 (b). emergency passport US$200,” the notice reads.

“The Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations 2021, published in Statutory Instrument (SI) 273 of 2021, are repealed,” it reads.

Last month, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) took aim at Kazembe for allegedly overstepping his mandate over the introduction of the new electronic passport (e-passport), pegging of fees for its issuance, and the phasing out of the current version of travel document.

ZLHR) wrote to Kazembe demanding explanations over his untoward conduct, which they described as ultra vires the constitutional powers bestowed on him.

The terse letter dated December 16, 2021, states Statutory lnstrument (SI) 273 of 2021, the Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations was crafted by government to stop the issuance of the current type of passports and replace them with the e-passports.

The SI gave the current passports version up to December 31, 2023, upon which date they cease to be valid, and need replacement with e-passports upon payment of a US$20 application fees payable at CBZ Bank.

ZLHR queried why Kazembe had cherry-picked CBZ Bank, owned 30% by controversial mogul Kuda Tagwireyi with links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, to receive the forex denominated passport application fees.

The post Kazembe In Climbdown Over CBZ Passport Deal appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Blade Nzimande Warns ANC Could Be A Rural Party Like Zanu PF After Losses In Municipal Poll

New Zimbabwe - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 13:24

By IOL News

SOUTH Africa’s Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande has warned the ANC that it risks becoming a rural party like Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF.

Nzimande was addressing the commemoration of the 27th anniversary of the death of the late SACP general secretary and national chairperson, Joe Slovo, at the Avalon Cemetery in Soweto on Thursday.

“We are going to be a rural movement that does not have a base in urban areas like the Zanu-PF. It (the ANC) will be a rural party. We can’t lose the metros and the major urban municipalities,” he said.

In its written statement marking Slovo’s death, the SACP asked: “Is the ANC increasingly becoming a rural party, like Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe, and is it losing some important sections of society in urban areas, like the working-class, the middle strata and professionals?”

Nzimande cited the example of the SACP’s national office bearers meeting a delegation from the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc), which had asked to meet party officials a few months ago.

SACP proud of leadership in establishing non-racialism in SA – Blaze Nzimande

ANC gears up for its 110th anniversary on January 8 with an array of activities in Limpopo.

“It’s our organisation but we are beginning to lose hope, confidence in it,” Nzimande recalled the Nafcoc delegation complaining.

He said they informed the SACP that some ANC leaders were in business and were now competing with them.

Nafcoc protested that these ANC leaders were not only competing with them but also outbidding them as they controlled municipalities run by the party as they were in charge in its local structures.

“We are going to begin to lose the support of the urban working class, professionals and small businesses,” Nzimande further warned.

He admitted that the ANC since it took power in 1994 has made terrible mistakes and that it needed to reflect upon the fact that we did not control a single metropolitan municipality in Gauteng after the local government elections in November last year.

Nzimande asked: “Is there tension between the ANC and the urban working class?”

He said some in the ANC were refusing to hear the voice of the people that this is no longer the ANC they know.

According to Nzimande, the ANC got 40% of all registered voters in the 2000 municipal polls but only 14,5% in 2021.

The post Blade Nzimande Warns ANC Could Be A Rural Party Like Zanu PF After Losses In Municipal Poll appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Ex-ZCDC Boss Morris Mpofu Fired From Zimra After Just 48hrs

New Zimbabwe - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 13:23

By Staff Reporter

FORMER Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Corporation chief executive officer Morris Mpofu has been disconcertingly axed as Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner general within 48 hours of his appointment after it emerged he had secured the top job despite having failed security vetting.

He was appointed acting Zimra commissioner general following the sudden resignation of Rameck Masaire.

The announcement of his appointment triggered a huge public outcry as watchers noted he was previously fired from ZCD over allegations of corruption.

It also emerged the ZIMRA board has resolved that Masaire, who was set to retire at the end of the month, will continue as acting commissioner general.

“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) board wishes to inform stakeholders that the assumption of duty od Dr Morris Mpofu as acting commissioner general of the authority has been suspended. Accordingly Mr Rameck Masaire will continue to serve as acting commissioner general of the authority,” Zimra said in a statement.

The ZCDC board said at the material time, they had to relieve seven executives including Mpofu “to rebuild public and market confidence following reports of rampant corruption and abuse of office”.

Mpofu was however later cleared of the corruption charges.

The post Ex-ZCDC Boss Morris Mpofu Fired From Zimra After Just 48hrs appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.

Categorie: Zimbawe

TIMB strives to decarbonise leaf production

The Financial Gazette - Ven, 07/01/2022 - 09:34

THE Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) says it is working towards decarbonising tobacco production in line with Environment, Social and Governance investing (ESG).
This comes as international pressure for carbon-neutral treatment of the ‘golden leaf’ has been rising. ESG is a set of standards that govern how companies and funds ensure that they are responsible in the way that they make profits. It is a variation of the stakeholder model that businesses are increasingly adopting, which is founded on the stakeholder theory.

In the case of green investing, these other considerations revolve around stakeholders that are affected by a company’s carbon footprint, adherence to labour laws and support towards SDGs, as well as remuneration and corporate governance.
“An industry working group is developing minimum standards for sustainable tobacco production,” TIMB chief executive Meanwell Gudu told The Financial Gazette this week.

“TIMB will coordinate the enforcement of minimum standards with non-compliant players being penalised,” he said.
The decarbonisation plan for the industry looks urgent, given the government’s plan together with stakeholders in the industry to increase annual production to 300 million kilograms largely from smallholder farmers by 2025.

The Forestry Commission estimates that Zimbabwe loses 300 000 hectares of woodlands annually and that 15 percent of this deforestation rate is as a result of tobacco curing.

Weighing in on the decarbonisation plan for the industry, Tobacco Farmers Association president, Believe Tevera said TIMB has to come up with smart tobacco production models that promote sustainable production, tailor-made models that are implementable in the local communities and can be accepted by smallholder farmers.

“For now, the Zimbabwean smallholder farmers are more concerned about profits not the negative impacts of tobacco production to the environment and climate change. “As farmers we want smart tobacco production models to be implemented. We want to move away from the old tobacco curing methods that demand large quantities of firewood. We want to use solar and electric barns, but it appears we are still a long way away because farmers cannot afford that.”

As of now, Tevera said there is massive deforestation as a result of tobacco production, and the sector needs to respond with the appropriate action.
“A farmer with one hectare of tobacco needs two ten trucks of firewood or more to cure their tobacco. There is a need for more action to replenish the forests, or to shift to other curing methods to give the forests time to rejuvenate.”

According to The Sustainable Afforestation Association (SAA), a non-profit organisation founded in 2013, and subsequently funded by concerned tobacco merchants, the current efforts to reverse deforestation were not effective enough, and that a different approach was needed.
“SAA focuses on the establishment and management of fuelwood plantations, and preferentially contracts nurseries, land-clearing, establishment and protection activities to farmer partners, local communities, and commercial companies.

“We inject over three million dollars annually into farming and rural communities through sponsoring these activities. With its focus on the planting of trees, and a business model which results in the majority of all services being contracted.”
SAA plans to plant about 5 000 hectares annually. Even this ambitious target will not be enough to cure the 200 million kgs of tobacco that are produced annually, so additional solutions are urgently needed.

“Coal is available, but it is not sustainable, and unless furnaces have electrically powered fans to assist the combustion, it is expensive and inefficient. SAA has, therefore, started work to evaluate the use of biogas, ethanol, and solar energy in curing, and will be looking for ways to manage existing commercial and indigenous woodlands sustainably to supply the balance,” SAA further said.

Last year, Zimbabwe sold 187 million kgs of leaf tobacco valued at US$516 million up from US$452 million in 2020 to register a 16.8 percent increase in volume and 31 percent in value over the 2020 sales.

The TIMB noted that contract farming was the dominant supplier of tobacco, accounting for 93,4 percent of total sales compared to 6.6 percent for sales on auction floors. Average leaf prices ranged between $2,47 and $2,82 per kg.
Despite being a late-season, Gudu said TIMB expects a bigger yield this year.
newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

The post TIMB strives to decarbonise leaf production appeared first on The Financial Gazette.

Categorie: Zimbawe

2022: Intriguing golf year …as Tiger Woods returns

The Financial Gazette - Gio, 06/01/2022 - 00:50

ANOTHER intriguing year for golf is promised in 2022, a year expected to mark another comeback from Tiger Woods, a landmark Open Championship and the appointment of two new Ryder Cup captains.

There is much to anticipate, including the emergence of potential new superstars, the women’s game breaking new ground and political power-plays to fend off disrupters who want to smash the status quo.

Here’s what we can expect in 2022, including my predictions for the majors.

Tiger Woods

Return of the Tiger

Apart from his hit and giggle appearance with son Charlie at the PNC Championship in Florida last month, 2021 was a barren year for Tiger Woods, who recently turned 46.

Woods spent most of it recovering from a February car crash which almost resulted in the loss of his right leg. His Orlando return surprised many and while young Charlie stole the show, the outing proved the 15-time major champion can still play.

Realistically, though, it may be a while before we see him compete again at the highest level. Woods would love to play the tournament he promotes, The Genesis Invitational at Riviera in February, but that may prove too soon.

Likewise for another favourite stop at Bay Hill in March and would undulating Augusta prove too physically demanding in April?

I would be most tempted to back his return at The Open at St Andrews in July. The Old Course terrain should be forgiving enough and where better to come back than the home of golf where Woods has won two of his three Open titles?

Landmark Opens

Regardless, that week will be exceptional as golf celebrates the 150th Open. The oldest and most historic of the majors has come a long way since eight men first teed off in Prestwick and Willie Park won the Challenge Belt back in 1860.

The Open is one of the world’s biggest sporting events and there will be an air of celebration when Collin Morikawa embarks on the defence of the title he won on his Open debut last summer.

There is likely to be a mini champions challenge event on the eve of the main competition. At the very least we can expect to see Woods appear in that.

A couple of weeks later, the AIG Women’s Open will be played at Muirfield for the first time. Many a female golfer will tell you the sport still has a long way to go on the path of equality.

In 2017, Muirfield needed to change its male-only membership policy and staging the biggest women’s golf event in the UK there could be another significant step. Expect plenty of focus on Anna Nordqvist’s title defence come August.

Europe’s captaincy dilemma

There is no Ryder Cup this year but both Europe and the United States will be keen to appoint captains sooner rather than later.

With favourite Lee Westwood having taken himself out of the running to lead Europe in next year’s match in Italy, one of his former partners, Luke Donald, is the most likely candidate to succeed Padraig Harrington.

Others in the frame include 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson and another Swede, Robert Karlsson. He is highly regarded for his analytical skills and has been a vice-captain in the past two matches.

Francesco Molinari has strong credentials for an Italian job while Graeme McDowell is another future captain but more likely for Adare Manor in 2027.

Is it too soon for Ian Poulter? Observers also wonder whether Europe might break with recent convention and offer the job to a successful former skipper such as Thomas Bjorn, who led the continent to success in Paris in 2018.

After the USA’s record 19-9 win at Whistling Straits, Zach Johnson is favourite to succeed Steve Stricker to lead their quest for a first away win this century, but a certain Mr Woods may also be interested.

Europe could make their choice as early as this month at the tour stop in Abu Dhabi. Regardless, the Middle East will prove increasingly important ground in golfing geo-politics.

Money, money, money

Much attention surrounds Greg Norman’s bid to revolutionise the professional game, aided by a back pocket wad of Saudi Arabian cash to shake the status quo.

Permissions have already been grudgingly granted by the PGA Tour to allow some of their biggest stars to compete without sanction in February’s Saudi International, which is now an Asian Tour event.

But the spectre of a Saudi funded rebel super league still remains and we can expect the established circuits on both sides of the Atlantic to try to find more imaginative ways to keep top players happy.

Announcing a lucrative post FedEx Cup series with guaranteed millions and potentially a team element is not beyond the realms of possibility.

The PGA and DP World (formerly European) Tours have already acted with this July’s rebranded Genesis Scottish Open counting on both circuits. Expect plenty of big name US stars to be part of the field at Renaissance Club the week before The Open.

The distance debate

Golf will continue to wrestle with this issue with the R&A and USGA courting top tours and manufacturers to find agreement on how to restrict the lengths that golf balls travel.

Potentially, local rules will be approved more frequently for elite golf. Some will see it as bifurcation by stealth to ensure ancient links such as the Old Course at St Andrews remain relevant for decades to come.

Ones to watch

I’m expecting American Sam Burns to become a household name in 2022. Only Jon Rahm, Morikawa and Viktor Hovland picked up more world ranking points than the largely unheralded Burns last year.

Hovland looks ready to challenge for a first major, while a resurgent Thomas Pieters, Irishman Seamus Power (up 357 places to 72 in the world) and Denmark’s Hojgaard twins, Nicolai and Rasmus, are on track for big seasons this year.

After her major breakthrough in 2021, I’m interested to see whether the exciting Patty Tavatanakit can maintain the progress that has taken the Thai to the fringes of the women’s top 10.

Nelly Korda and Jin Young Ko are formidable pacesetters, while Irish Solheim Cup hero Leona Maguire has climbed from 177 to a career high 40th in the past 12 months. She has attributes to put herself among the very best in the world this year.

Major predictions

Finally it is neck on the block time. In wishing you a happy new year, here are my major predictions for 2022 – apologies to all those selected but please do let me know your picks in the comments section.

31 March – 3 April: Chevron Championship, Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage Ca: Lydia Ko

7-10 April: The Masters, Augusta, Georgia: Jordan Spieth

19-22 May: US PGA Championship, Southern Hills Tulsa, Oklahoma: Viktor Hovland

2-5 June: US Women’s Open Southern Pines, North Carolina: Patty Tavatanakit

16-19 June: US Open, The Country Club, Brookline, Boston, Massachusetts: Justin Thomas

23-26 June: KPMG Women’s PGA, Congressional, Bethesda, Maryland: Jin Young Ko

14-17 July: The Open, St Andrews, Scotland: Rory McIlroy

21-24 July: Evian Championship, Evian-les-Baines: Danielle Kang

4-7 August: AIG Women’s Open, Muirfield, Scotland: Nelly Korda

–       bbc.com

Golf fiesta in 2022 …as Tiger Woods returns

 

ANOTHER intriguing year for golf is promised in 2022, a year expected to mark another comeback from Tiger Woods, a landmark Open Championship and the appointment of two new Ryder Cup captains.

There is much to anticipate, including the emergence of potential new superstars, the women’s game breaking new ground and political power-plays to fend off disrupters who want to smash the status quo.

Here’s what we can expect in 2022, including my predictions for the majors…

Return of the Tiger

Apart from his hit and giggle appearance with son Charlie at the PNC Championship in Florida last month, 2021 was a barren year for Tiger Woods, who recently turned 46.

Woods spent most of it recovering from a February car crash which almost resulted in the loss of his right leg. His Orlando return surprised many and while young Charlie stole the show, the outing proved the 15-time major champion can still play.

Realistically, though, it may be a while before we see him compete again at the highest level. Woods would love to play the tournament he promotes, The Genesis Invitational at Riviera in February, but that may prove too soon.

Likewise for another favourite stop at Bay Hill in March and would undulating Augusta prove too physically demanding in April?

I would be most tempted to back his return at The Open at St Andrews in July. The Old Course terrain should be forgiving enough and where better to come back than the home of golf where Woods has won two of his three Open titles?

Landmark Opens

Regardless, that week will be exceptional as golf celebrates the 150th Open. The oldest and most historic of the majors has come a long way since eight men first teed off in Prestwick and Willie Park won the Challenge Belt back in 1860.

The Open is one of the world’s biggest sporting events and there will be an air of celebration when Collin Morikawa embarks on the defence of the title he won on his Open debut last summer.

There is likely to be a mini champions challenge event on the eve of the main competition. At the very least we can expect to see Woods appear in that.

A couple of weeks later, the AIG Women’s Open will be played at Muirfield for the first time. Many a female golfer will tell you the sport still has a long way to go on the path of equality.

In 2017, Muirfield needed to change its male-only membership policy and staging the biggest women’s golf event in the UK there could be another significant step. Expect plenty of focus on Anna Nordqvist’s title defence come August.

Europe’s captaincy dilemma

There is no Ryder Cup this year but both Europe and the United States will be keen to appoint captains sooner rather than later.

With favourite Lee Westwood having taken himself out of the running to lead Europe in next year’s match in Italy, one of his former partners, Luke Donald, is the most likely candidate to succeed Padraig Harrington.

Others in the frame include 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson and another Swede, Robert Karlsson. He is highly regarded for his analytical skills and has been a vice-captain in the past two matches.

Francesco Molinari has strong credentials for an Italian job while Graeme McDowell is another future captain but more likely for Adare Manor in 2027.

Is it too soon for Ian Poulter? Observers also wonder whether Europe might break with recent convention and offer the job to a successful former skipper such as Thomas Bjorn, who led the continent to success in Paris in 2018.

After the USA’s record 19-9 win at Whistling Straits, Zach Johnson is favourite to succeed Steve Stricker to lead their quest for a first away win this century, but a certain Mr Woods may also be interested.

Europe could make their choice as early as this month at the tour stop in Abu Dhabi. Regardless, the Middle East will prove increasingly important ground in golfing geo-politics.

Money, money, money

Much attention surrounds Greg Norman’s bid to revolutionise the professional game, aided by a back pocket wad of Saudi Arabian cash to shake the status quo.

Permissions have already been grudgingly granted by the PGA Tour to allow some of their biggest stars to compete without sanction in February’s Saudi International, which is now an Asian Tour event.

But the spectre of a Saudi funded rebel super league still remains and we can expect the established circuits on both sides of the Atlantic to try to find more imaginative ways to keep top players happy.

Announcing a lucrative post FedEx Cup series with guaranteed millions and potentially a team element is not beyond the realms of possibility.

The PGA and DP World (formerly European) Tours have already acted with this July’s rebranded Genesis Scottish Open counting on both circuits. Expect plenty of big name US stars to be part of the field at Renaissance Club the week before The Open.

The distance debate

Golf will continue to wrestle with this issue with the R&A and USGA courting top tours and manufacturers to find agreement on how to restrict the lengths that golf balls travel.

Potentially, local rules will be approved more frequently for elite golf. Some will see it as bifurcation by stealth to ensure ancient links such as the Old Course at St Andrews remain relevant for decades to come.

Ones to watch

I’m expecting American Sam Burns to become a household name in 2022. Only Jon Rahm, Morikawa and Viktor Hovland picked up more world ranking points than the largely unheralded Burns last year.

Hovland looks ready to challenge for a first major, while a resurgent Thomas Pieters, Irishman Seamus Power (up 357 places to 72 in the world) and Denmark’s Hojgaard twins, Nicolai and Rasmus, are on track for big seasons this year.

After her major breakthrough in 2021, I’m interested to see whether the exciting Patty Tavatanakit can maintain the progress that has taken the Thai to the fringes of the women’s top 10.

Nelly Korda and Jin Young Ko are formidable pacesetters, while Irish Solheim Cup hero Leona Maguire has climbed from 177 to a career high 40th in the past 12 months. She has attributes to put herself among the very best in the world this year.

Major predictions

Finally it is neck on the block time. In wishing you a happy new year, here are my major predictions for 2022 – apologies to all those selected but please do let me know your picks in the comments section.

31 March – 3 April: Chevron Championship, Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage Ca: Lydia Ko

7-10 April: The Masters, Augusta, Georgia: Jordan Spieth

19-22 May: US PGA Championship, Southern Hills Tulsa, Oklahoma: Viktor Hovland

2-5 June: US Women’s Open Southern Pines, North Carolina: Patty Tavatanakit

16-19 June: US Open, The Country Club, Brookline, Boston, Massachusetts: Justin Thomas

23-26 June: KPMG Women’s PGA, Congressional, Bethesda, Maryland: Jin Young Ko

14-17 July: The Open, St Andrews, Scotland: Rory McIlroy

21-24 July: Evian Championship, Evian-les-Baines: Danielle Kang

4-7 August: AIG Women’s Open, Muirfield, Scotland: Nelly Korda

–       bbc.com

The post 2022: Intriguing golf year …as Tiger Woods returns appeared first on The Financial Gazette.

Categorie: Zimbawe

FAO seeks to unlock, boost farmers’ access to markets

The Financial Gazette - Gio, 06/01/2022 - 00:44

THE United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says a regional agricultural policy it is implementing with SADC countries will boost livestock and crop producers’ access to markets through improvements in pest and animal disease management.
The project, called Support Towards the Operationalisation of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy, is being implemented in the 16 SADC member states, including Zimbabwe.

“The objectives of the project are to enhance timely access to quality agricultural information for evidence-based decision-making and to improve access to markets through the sustainable management of trans-boundary plant pests and animal diseases that have the potential to impact food and nutrition security in southern Africa,” FAO’s manager for the project, Elma Zanamwe, said in a statement this week.

Although the SADC region has the potential to be food secure, its agriculture sector faces many challenges.

The project, which is now in its fourth year of implementation and will be ending in August this year, will result in the establishment of a SADC Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS).

AIMS will see the standardisation and harmonisation of agricultural data to ensure policymakers and agricultural value-chain actors have ready access to reliable information.

“It is hoped the platform will stimulate agricultural intensification, improve food and nutrition security, and promote regional integration, trade liberalisation and equitable economic growth,” Zanamwe said.

“The other components involve strengthening the management of trans-boundary pests and diseases to facilitate access to markets and the creation of trade opportunities for plant and animal commodities and products.

“This requires effective management of sanitary risks, accompanied by credible inspection and certification processes compliant with international standards, as well as competitiveness in quality, price and regularity of supply.”

The plant health component of the project is focusing on three insect plant pests ― the fall armyworm, oriental fruit fly and tomato leafminer ― and two plant diseases, maize lethal necrosis disease and banana fusarium wilt TR4.

The animal health component focuses on three high-impact trans-boundary animal diseases ― foot and mouth, peste des petits ruminants and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

“While these priority pests and diseases remain important, the incursion of new threats such as outbreaks of African swine fever and the African migratory and red locusts have seen the priorities of some member states change with time,” Zanamwe said.

Although the SADC region has the potential to be food secure, its agriculture sector faces many challenges.
These range from inefficient production, productivity and competitiveness of agricultural products, limited access to reliable agricultural data and lack of appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks, some of which undermine compliance with sanitary requirements.

Member countries also have underdeveloped livestock value chains and related infrastructure, and continue to face changing agro-ecological conditions resulting in the emergence, spread and endemic presence of trade-sensitive pests and diseases.

“Managing high-impact trans-boundary plant pests and animal diseases is complex and can rapidly exhaust the capacities of individual member states for containment and eradication. Joint efforts by neighbouring member states are therefore necessary to effectively control the spread of pests and diseases along common borders and ports of entry.

“It is because of these challenges and opportunities that FAO, the SADC secretariat, and other development partners are committed to strengthening collaboration and the overall performance of the region’s agricultural sector,” Zanamwe said.

Zanamwe emphasised that the sustainability of the project will depend on the commitment and allocation of national resources by SADC governments, which will be crucial if accrued benefits are to continue being realised after the project ends.

This project is funded by the European Union.

newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

The post FAO seeks to unlock, boost farmers’ access to markets appeared first on The Financial Gazette.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Year in tech: The stories making headlines in 2021

The Financial Gazette - Gio, 06/01/2022 - 00:33

2021 introduced us to tech terms including Metaverse and NFT (non-fungible token).

Facebook took a dramatic new direction, heading off into virtual reality.

The internet, which had held up remarkably well over a series of lockdowns, experienced a few wobbles.

And we learned that those chips in all our devices, which we take for granted, weren’t infinite.

Here’s our rundown of some of the biggest stories on the BBC Technology site over the past year. January: Winter of disconnect

On the 7 January, he was briefly locked out of his Twitter account after posting false claims of voter fraud. Just 12 hours later, he was allowed to tweet again. but a few days later was permanently suspended.

The tweet that led to the ban was seen as particularly inflammatory given the storming of the Capitol building just the day before.

The events acted as a wake-up call to social media networks which had previously allowed politicians to have, more or less, free rein posting online.

Facebook also chose to ban the former US president; six months on, in June, it was decided that Trump would remain barred from Facebook for two years.

During the course of the year both Facebook and Twitter adopted new rules on how to deal with the high-profile accounts of world leaders and politicians.

Of course it was not the last we heard from Mr Trump – but more on that later. February: What’s up with WhatsApp?

WhatsApp’s plans to change its privacy policies to make it easier for people to message businesses, faced a backlash as millions downloaded apps from its competitors, worried that the plan meant large amounts of information on the messaging platform would be shared with Facebook.

Facebook insisted the changes did not mark a dramatic shift, but admitted that communication had been poor.

Privacy advocates said it merely highlighted that WhatsApp was already harvesting huge amounts of data for its parent firm.

A few days after the backlash was reported in the media, WhatsApp revealed that those who did not accept its updated terms and conditions would be unable to receive or send messages after the 15 May deadline.

Later in the year, WhatsApp was forced to rewrite its privacy policy following a £190m fine imposed by the Irish data protection authority. It subsequently had to provide much more information about what exactly it does with user information. March: McAfee charged John McAfee

In Spring, anti-virus creator John McAfee, who has always been a controversial figure, was charged with fraud – accused of promoting crypto-currencies on Twitter in order to inflate the price.

At the time, he was already being detained in Spain on separate charges relating to tax evasion.

A few months later, a Spanish court agreed to extradite him to the US. But just a few hours later he was found dead in his cell – believed to have taken his own life. April: Hold the chips Employees work on the production line of silicon wafer at a factory of GalaxyCore Inc. on May 25, 2021 in Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province of ChinaIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGESImage caption, Computer chips plants are working flat out

It has been a year dominated by chip shortages – the result of a combination of factors, including the pandemic and the sharp increase in demand for certain goods as everyone adapted to working, learning and socialising at home.

In April, Cisco became one of the first to warn that the computer chip shortage was a problem, although its suggestion that it might last for six months proved to be rather optimistic.

Later in the year, the boss of chip firm Arm suggested that the problem could run until next Christmas. May: return of Trump?

Trump was back in the headlines in May with news that he had launched his own communications platform which would publish content “straight from the desk” of the former US president.

Some pointed out that it seemed to be little more than a glorified 1990-style blog – and just a month later it was shut down.

Later in the year, he unveiled a slightly more sophisticated effort to exert his influence on social media, with plans to launch an app called Truth Social in 2022.

It has raised $1bn to date, but has also courted controversy and is facing an investigation from the SEC. June: the internet under strain

In June, a major internet outage affected a number of high-profile websites including Amazon, Reddit, Twitch, the Guardian and the New York Times.

Cloud computing provider Fastly admitted responsibility. It runs what is known as an edge cloud, which is designed to speed up loading times from websites. Later it emerged that one customer changing their settings had triggered the bug.

Similar problems plagued Amazon Web Services, Akamai and Cloudflare during the year, prompting some to question the reliance on a handful of companies to keep the internet working. July: goodbye to Jeff Jeff Bezos

One of Silicon Valley’s original innovators, Jeff Bezos, stepped down from Amazon, exactly 27 years after he founded the online retail giant. For many he was a business visionary, and the company he started bears this out – worth $1.8trn at the time of his departure.

But like all tech giants, Amazon is facing increased scrutiny, over how it treats its warehouse workers, for example, as well as questions over whether it monopolises online retail.

Mr Bezos isn’t planning to walk out of the limelight however. His latest obsession is Space – in October he and Star Trek’s original Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner, blasted into sub-orbit in his rocket, Blue Origin. August: how to make money in the school holidays Benyamin AhmedIMAGE SOURCE,BENYAMIN AHMED

This year we learned that NFT stood for Non-Fungible Token. Less understood was what it meant – essentially a digital token that can be used as a way of paying for digital collectibles.

But for those who got it, it was a great way to make a quick buck – like 12-year-old Benyamin Ahmed, who made £290,000 from some pixelated artworks called Weird Whales that he had made during his school holidays.

Elsewhere, an NFT of an animated cat GIF sold for more than £365,000, while Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet hit £2.5m and Tim Berners-Lee web source code NFT went for a cool $5.4m.

But the NFT craze was not without its critics: author David Gerard describes NFTS as the “new form of worthless magic bean”.

Either way, it was hard to ignore, and NFT made it into Collins dictionary of new words for 2021 – along with Metaverse. September: Bad vibrations

Every so often a strange tale hits tech – and none was stranger than the warning that iPhone owners should be wary that powerful motorbikes could damage their camera systems.

The document, published by Apple and spotted by MacRumours, suggested that engine vibrations could harm the phones’ optical-image stabilisation or closed-loop autofocus systems.

The BBC’s retelling of the story got millions of hits. October: the firm formerly known as Facebook Meta logoIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGESImage caption, A rebrand for Facebook attracted less attention than a few hours outage of its services

In October, there were two major Facebook stories – one of which broke all records for tech index readership. But strangely that accolade went not to the radical company rebrand to Meta, but to a story about Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram being inaccessible for a few hours.

It was also the month that Facebook announced its new focus on the metaverse – a concept that has rapidly become one of the most hyped words of 2021, and one which Mark Zuckerberg seems to have endless enthusiasm for.

Essentially, it is a virtual reality version of the internet in which Meta, along with some other big names in tech, believes we will live, play and work at some point in the future.

Of course, the more cynical wondered if the newfound enthusiasm for the metaverse – which came with not just a company rebrand, but a plan to hire 10,000 people in the EU to build it – was a distraction from Facebook’s ongoing issues with real-world content. November: the hunt for hackers Maksim Yakubets' weddingIMAGE SOURCE,NATIONAL CRIME AGENCYImage caption, Rumours suggest alleged Evil Corp hacker Maksim Yakubets’ wedding may have cost more than half a million dollars

Its been quite a year for cyber crime, with record numbers of ransomware attacks and some serious bugs uncovered. In November our cyber reporter, Joe Tidy, set off to find some of the most wanted hackers from the notorious network Evil Corp – many of whom are based in Russia.

It took him to a golf course and a shiny skyscraper in Moscow. He didn’t find the hackers, but he did learn that they were making a huge amount of money – alongside driving the requisite Lamborghinis, hosting plush weddings and keeping exotic pets.

Any direct links to the Russian state are denied by the Kremlin, but experts believe that hackers are allowed to flourish in the country provided they don’t target Russian nationals. While US law enforcement claims they are also enlisted for state hacking. December: radioactive necklace Quantum pendant in a boxIMAGE SOURCE,RIVM

This year there has been a renewed surge of disinformation around vaccinations, Covid and politics.

Technology has not been immune to conspiracy theories either, with attacks on 5G transmitters from those who believe they omit dangerous radio waves.

Despite no evidence the transmitters cause any harm, the theory has spawned a range of products which claim to protect people against them.

The BBC has previously reported on the issue, from anti-radiation stickers for sale on Amazon, to a USB stick which UK Trading Standards described as a “scam”.

Then, as the year ended – in an ironic twist – an anti-5G necklace was found to be radioactive by the Dutch authority for nuclear safety and radiation protections. – bbc.com

The post Year in tech: The stories making headlines in 2021 appeared first on The Financial Gazette.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Covid: Travel firms call for removal of testing rules

The Financial Gazette - Gio, 06/01/2022 - 00:20

Ministers are finalising changes to the travel Covid testing requirements after industry groups called for remaining restrictions and tests to be removed.

The BBC understands the government could scrap the need for people to test two days before arriving in the UK.

With data last week suggesting one in 25 people in the UK currently had the virus, airlines have said passenger testing is having no real impact.

They said compulsory testing has held back the sector’s recovery.

It comes as the prime minister is to meet his cabinet and urge them to back his decision not to impose any further Covid restrictions in England.

The BBC understands alongside changes to travel test, the government is discussing the removal of advice that people who test positive on a lateral flow device should seek a confirmatory PCR test.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson said he hoped the country could “ride out” the current wave, although he acknowledged parts of the NHS would feel temporarily overwhelmed.

The government has said it continued to “keep all measures under review”. line What are the current travel rules?

Currently, all travellers to the UK aged 12 and over have to show proof of a negative test, which can be a PCR or a lateral flow test, and must be taken up to two days before departure for the UK.

They then have to take another test – which this time must be a PCR test – within the first two days after their arrival in the UK.

But at the time that rule was brought in a month ago, the number of new cases reported in the UK each day was running between 40,000 and 50,000 – and was only rising relatively slowly because it was almost entirely made up of the Delta variant of Covid.

But now, the UK has announced more than 200,000 new cases in a day for the first time in the entire pandemic and Omicron is the dominant variant – so airlines can argue that there is no longer any hope of relying on testing to “keep out Omicron”.

The only other countries in the world that have topped 200,000 positive tests in a single day this week have been the US and France. line

The trade body Airlines UK has argued that continuing the current measures would be financially disastrous for the industry. Travel and tourism businesses added that the current limits have depressed demand and dented consumer confidence.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has sent the government research it commissioned, which it claims shows that pre-departure testing has had little or no impact on the spread of Omicron.

It said that passenger numbers at MAG’s airports fell by more than 30% after Omicron measures were introduced.

Tim Hawkins, chief of staff at MAG, told the BBC’s Today programme the research showed there was a “basis for taking out all tests” related to international travel, due to the high number of Covid cases in the UK.

“We are beyond the point where international travel restrictions can play a role in managing that peak and if there is no benefit to it then we shouldn’t be doing it and we should take those measures out,” he added.

Asked on BBC Breakfast if she would support the removal of pre-departure tests for people travelling back to the UK, Gillian Keegan, Care Minister at the Department of Health, said against the backdrop of the high case numbers, “you look at what makes sense in terms of travelling and travel arrangements”.

Last month, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that “very soon”, if Omicron became the dominant variant, there would be “less need to have any kind of travel restrictions at all”.

Travellers currently must pay for private tests rather than using free NHS tests.

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish and Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said the government should press ahead with the “immediate removal” of travel testing requirements which come at “huge cost” to the industry.

As well as travel restrictions, ministers are also considering future plans for domestic testing.

The system has come under pressure in recent weeks as cases have surged, with appointment slots and home test kits periodically being temporarily unavailable.

On Tuesday, Mr Johnson announced plans for 100,000 critical workers to take daily tests.

The government has not commented on speculation that confirmatory PCR tests could be scrapped, but has pointed to the guidance from the UK Health Security Agency which maintains that people should take a follow-up PCR test if they receive a positive lateral flow result.

“We continue to review PCR availability and continue to make more PCR booking slots available every day,” the agency said. Graph showing Covid cases since March 2020

A government spokesperson said that they keep all measures “under review” and added that the temporary testing requirements were introduced to “prevent additional Omicron cases from entering the UK, stopping people from passing it on to others if they are infected”.

Separately, European airline and tour operator stocks rose on Tuesday amid a rise in investor confidence in the sector.

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter told Reuters: “With so many people in the short-term being forced to isolate at home, it’s likely many people will be spending the next few weeks browsing travel blogs for inspiration, given there is so much desperation for a holiday.”

A recent report by aviation analytics firm Cirium found that the Covid pandemic triggered a 71% drop in international flights in and out of the UK in 2021. – bbc.com

The post Covid: Travel firms call for removal of testing rules appeared first on The Financial Gazette.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Novak Djokovic will compete at Australian Open with medical exemption

The Financial Gazette - Gio, 06/01/2022 - 00:03

World number one Novak Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title later this month after receiving a medical exemption from having a Covid-19 vaccination.

All players and staff at the tournament must be vaccinated or have an exemption granted by an expert independent panel.

Serb Djokovic, 34, has not spoken publicly about his vaccination status.

Novak Djokovic

But Australian Open chief Craig Tiley said “no special favour” had been given to the nine-time champion.

Speaking to Channel Nine’s The Today Show, Tiley added: “We made it extra difficult for anyone applying for an application to ensure it was the right process and to make sure the medical experts deal with it independently. There were 26 athletes that made applications and a handful have been granted.

“There has been no special favour or special opportunity granted to Novak Djokovic or any tennis player. There’s been a process that goes above and beyond the normal process for everyone.”

The tournament begins in Melbourne on 17 January and Djokovic said on Instagram on Tuesday: “I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading down under with an exemption permission.

“Let’s go 2022. I am ready to live and breathe tennis in the next few weeks of competition.”

The news was confirmed by tournament organisers Tennis Australia, who said: “Novak Djokovic will compete at the Australian Open and is on his way to Australia.”

Earlier this week, Tiley said some unvaccinated players had been granted exemptions to play in the year’s first Grand Slam.

On Wednesday, he added: “For tennis players it was a process that goes above and beyond what anyone coming to Australia would experience simply because we had an extra panel of experts who, through a blind review, granted exemptions where appropriate.”

Applications for medical exemptions were assessed anonymously by two separate panels, with inflammatory cardiac illness or another acute condition listed as valid reasons.

It is also possible Djokovic has recently tested positive for the virus, which would allow him to defer taking the vaccine.

Tennis Australia said Djokovic was granted an exemption after a “a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts”.

“Fair and independent protocols were established for assessing medical exemption applications that will enable us to ensure Australian Open 2022 is safe and enjoyable for everyone,” said Tiley in a statement on Tuesday.

“Central to this process was that the decisions were made by independent medical experts and that every applicant was given due consideration.”

Djokovic had pulled out of the Serbia team for the ATP Cup in Sydney, which had raised doubts over his participation at Melbourne Park.

BBC tennis commentator Andrew Castle said, while he was “not surprised” by the reaction to the exemption, the decision was “not unfair”.

“We don’t know what Djokovic’s medical exemption is and we’ll never know because it’s private,” Castle told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“But he must have one. We knew this would happen when exemptions were announced. I’m not surprised [by the reaction] but what I will say is, it’s not unfair because he satisfied two independent panels.

“Is he giving the world of tennis the correct lead? It’s arguable. It doesn’t look like he’s broken any rules, he’s satisfied the independent panels so we’re once again left arguing over another Covid-related matter.

“I can understand the Australian public being furious. They’ve been to hell and back and if the crowd boo him – which I think they will – he will put it aside and become the favourite to win. No-one is arguing about his tennis, the concern here is leadership and the example he is setting, but it’s not mandatory to have the vaccination.”

Djokovic has won the past three Australian Opens and is in a three-way tie on 20 majors with Roger Federer, who misses the tournament through injury, and Rafael Nadal in the all-time list.

“He has a chance to break this record,” added Castle. “The tournament would be worse off without him from a tennis point of view, of course. But he’s never been quite as loved as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and this won’t do anything to endear him to this part of the world.

“It’s another big Covid argument and I want this whole thing to go away.” – bbc.com

The post Novak Djokovic will compete at Australian Open with medical exemption appeared first on The Financial Gazette.

Categorie: Zimbawe

Elon Musk: Tesla criticised after opening Xinjiang showroom

The Financial Gazette - Gio, 06/01/2022 - 00:01

Electric car maker Tesla has been criticised in the US after opening a showroom in China’s controversial Xinjiang region.

The company, headed by billionaire Elon Musk, opened the showroom in the city of Urumqi on New Year’s Eve.

However, the move has been welcomed by some in China.

China has been accused of slavery and genocide against the Uyghur minority group in the resource-rich western region of the country.

Republican senator Marco Rubio, who sponsored a bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in December that requires firms to prove that goods imported from Xinjiang were not produced with forced labour, spoke out about Tesla’s decision.

Mr Rubio tweeted: “Nationless corporations are helping the Chinese Communist Party cover up genocide and slave labour in the region.”

Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance of American Manufacturing industry body, said: “I’ll be blunt: Any company doing business in Xinjiang is complicit in the cultural genocide taking place there. But Tesla’s actions are especially despicable.”

Tesla did not immediately reply to a request for comment from the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

However, the opening of the new Tesla showroom was widely welcomed by users of China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform.

One user posted: “Thank you for expanding in Xinjiang, happy new year!”. Another said: “You see, Tesla supports the development and construction of Xinjiang, unlike some companies.” Opening ceremony of Tesla showroom in Xinjiang, China.IMAGE SOURCE,TESLA/WEIBO The opening ceremony featured a Chinese lion dance

Late last year, US microchip giant Intel apologised after a backlash over a letter it sent urging suppliers not to source products or labour from Xinjiang.

The company’s letter sparked criticism in China, with calls for a boycott.

Intel was not the first company to come under pressure over aims to comply with sanctions related to Xinjiang while continuing to operate in China.

Retail giants Nike and H&M also faced a backlash last year after they expressed concern about the alleged use of Uyghur forced labour in cotton production.

The Xinjiang region of China is home to many of country’s Muslim Uyghur population and there have been allegations of forced labour and possibly genocide.

In December 2020, the BBC published an investigation based on new research showing China was forcing hundreds of thousands of minorities, including Uyghurs, into manual labour in Xinjiang’s cotton fields.

Beijing has repeatedly denied the claims. – bbc.com

The post Elon Musk: Tesla criticised after opening Xinjiang showroom appeared first on The Financial Gazette.

Categorie: Zimbawe