Black Market – Z$25.00
Interbank – Z$17.10⬆
Annual Inflation – 591%⬇
Doctors’ Strike – 129 Days

NINE-HUNDRED-AND-SEVEN illegal miners were arrested on the first day of a major police operation, while 18 vehicles were impounded on Tuesday in Mashonaland Central Province. Most of the arrests took place at Jumbo Mine, as pressure to crush machete gangs intensifies. – The Herald

ZIMBABWE’S implied annualised inflation rate closed 2019 at 521%, defying authorities’ target to reduce it to at least 10-15%. – NewsDay

THE restrictive measures imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States will remain in place until President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration implements the necessary political and economic reforms key to restoring the troubled country’s democracy and prosperity, the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe said Wednesday. – NewZimbabwe

VICE President Constantino Chiwenga has presidential ambitions and surrounds himself with people who are abusing his office while supporting his political dreams. This is revealed by the former army general’s estranged wife, Marry, in her papers challenging the dissolution of their customary law union. In her papers filed with the High Court through her lawyers, Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners where she is challenging an application by the Vice President to dissolve their marriage, the ex-model states that Chiwenga was restless with the idea of being the next Zimbabwe’s leader. – The Achor

STATE universities must set their full fees, including tuition and accommodation at $5 000 (US$200) and below per semester, for both full-time conventional students and those on bloc release, the Government has said. The universities were also banned from diverting any fees to pay lecturers extra money because salaries are paid by the Government. Polytechnics and teachers’ colleges have been directed to charge fees below $1 300 a semester for certificate and diploma programmes, while higher national diplomas and degrees will attract slightly higher fees. – The Herald

GOVERNMENT directives on tuition fees have a negative effect on schools development and delivery of quality education, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has said. PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said public education standards had plummeted because of government interference, resulting in private schools taking advantage. – NewsDay

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has vowed to defy the police after they blocked him from making an address to Zimbabweans in Mbare on Wednesday. Chamisa planned to deliver a State of the Nation Address at Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare, but the MDC says police informed the party that the event could not proceed. The police cited “flimsy excuses that the event cannot proceed because they are busy with the schools that are opening this week, as if the police have anything to do with the opening of schools,” deputy party spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said. Chamisa took to microblogging service Twitter to announce he would defy the police if they attempted to block the rescheduled service: “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We’ve exhausted all channels. We can’t continue to be victims of the unjust application of the law. Rights are for all. On Tuesday 21st Jan we will deliver the people’s Agenda 2020 to the nation come what may.” – Kukurigo & ZimLive

EDITORIAL: The authorities are likely to allow Nelson Chamisa’s rescheduled event to proceed. He has issued an unequivocal statement that leaves him with no option but to make good on his threat. A scuffle with Chamisa in Mbare could easily escalate out of control, embarrassing the government while leaving Chamisa with no legal liability. – Kukurigo

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed one of Jestina Mukoko’s 2008 abductors, Brigadier-General (Retired) Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi as the Deputy Director in the Central Intelligence Organisation, alongside Gatsha Mazithulela. – NewZimbabwe

A HARARE family lost US$11,500 to a machete-wielding gang, which attacked their home in Emerald Hill on Tuesday. Reports say the gang was using two white unregistered vehicles when it committed the crime. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident. “We confirm that the complainant and his security guards were attacked by a machete-wielding gang at their house and the robbers went away with US$11 500. The gang was using a Toyota Wish and a VW Golf during the attack,” he said. (audio above) – The Herald