political parties

EU Officials to Visit Zimbabwe

A top European Union (EU) team will travel to Zimbabwe to work on normalising ties, the first such visit since the EU sanctioned Zimbabwe's hard-line leaders in 2002.

Swedish International Development Cooperation Minister, Gunilla Carlsson, and EU Aid Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, will travel there after an EU-South Africa summit.

Carlsson and de Gucht will be meeting President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, other ministers, officials and representative of NGOs during their visit.

Zambia to Issue NGO Guidelines

Community Development and Social Services Minister, Michael Kaingu, says he will soon announce the guidelines on the implementation of the recently assented to NGO Act.

Kaingu says that the Act will soon be implemented and urged NGOs which were against it to accept it because it is now law.

He says NGOs should not demonstrate against policies already passed by Parliament and assented to by President Rupiah Banda.

The Equality Courts as a Tool for Gender Transformation

In March 2009, Sonke Gender Justice Network filed a complaint at the Equality court in Johannesburg against the ANC Youth League Leader, Julius Malema. The complaint was lodged in response to remarks he made to university students concerning Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser claiming that she likely enjoyed herself during the incident. Sonke’s Equality Court case alleges hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment of women, and is only the second high profile gender equality case to be taken to the Equality Courts since their inception in 2003 (1).

IMF US$500m Bail-out for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has received more than US$500 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after 10 years of financial restrictions from the institution, following the injection of US$283 billion into the global economy to boost member countries’ dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

The money, most of which has already been deposited with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, will offer only temporary respite for an economy facing a severe liquidity crunch.

Overspending Affects Service Delivery

A report commissioned by the government says overspending in the Free State will lead to cuts in services this financial year unless radical measures are taken.

Blaming overspending on the cash-based reporting system, the report says unfunded mandates, such as the occupation-specific dispensation for public servants’ pay, are contributing to overspending in the Free State.

Punitive Measures for Rwanda’s Unregistered NGOs

Rwanda’s Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration has reminded unregistered NGOs operating in that country that their failure to register could result in punitive measures.

The Directorate started the registration exercise in January this year which was supposed to end in April, but four months after the deadline, a good number of these NGOs continue to operate illegally.

Welfare Bodies to March Against Low State Subsidies

Social welfare bodies helping abused women, children, the disabled and the elderly will march to protest against low state subsidies and the gap in salaries between staff in the government and those in NGOs.

Against the background of the government’s insistence that it is focusing on poverty reduction, NGOs in Gauteng say subsidies have not increased since 2004, adding that there is a 37 percent gap in salaries between government social workers and those employed by NGOs.

Call for the Inclusion of CSOs in Ward Committees

One approach to get more assistance to ward councilors, who have borne the brunt of the frustrations, is to offer them stipends and reshape ward committees to include civil society groups and sectors such as churches, local business and sports bodies.

This is according to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister, Yunus Carrim.

Carrim, delivering a public lecture hosted by the Wits Graduate School of Public and Development Management and The Weekender, conceded there is a growing disconnect between government and people.

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