Black Market – Z$25.00
Interbank – Z$17.12⬆
Annual Inflation – 591%
Doctors’ Strike – 130 Days

DEBT-RIDDEN Zimbabwe is clocking up US$10 million in accrued interest on a monthly basis, as it struggles to service its US$700 million debt to the African Development Bank (AfDB). AfDB country manager Damoni Kitabire told the Independent that in the short term there are no indications that Zimbabwe will come up with a debt settlement plan. – The Independent

THREE armed Zimbabwe National Army soldiers in Mwenezi, Masvingo have been arrested for the murder of two brothers who they allegedly shot with military issue AK47 assault rifles during a beer brawl. Prosecutor say Crispen Maphosa, 28, Tapiwaishe Basopo, 35, and Collen Ncube, all attached to the HQ1 Brigade in Bulawayo and on duty at Mujingwe Conservancy in Mwenezi, were on 26 December 2019 approached by one Olman Nyunyani to intervene and rescue his brother who was being assaulted by the brothers, Hosia and Sifelani Matarise. The court heard that when they arrived at the business centre, Maphosa, Basopo and Ncube confronted the Matarise brothers and a dispute ensued before using their AK47 service rifles to shoot the now deceased before threatening withnesses with death if they reported the matter to the police. – NewZimbabwe

SUBSIDISED roller meal is being diverted to the black market by buyers who grab consignments as they reach the shop shelves. The buyers then offload the roller meal to informal traders who repackage it into smaller bags, with these two sets of middlemen more than doubling the $50 price of the original 10kg bag. – The Herald

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s desperate attempts to secure a financial rescue package from China were once again flatly rebuffed after Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi emphasised during his visit this week that Beijing was not going to give budgetary support to Harare. – Independent

EXILED former Cabinet minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of systematically grabbing his property and others owned by G40 apparatchiks as punishment for refusing to recognise his administration. Moyo made the claim in his court application yesterday, where he is challenging his eviction from his Mazowe farm by Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri. He alleged that government grabbed his farm to “fix” him after he recently published a “hard-hitting” book, Excelgate, chronicling how Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF party rigged the July 30, 2018 general elections. – NewsDay

FORMER cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira’s trial failed to start Thursday morning after the State failed to provide documents requested for by the defendant’s defence team. – The Anchor

THE European Union (EU) has mobilised US$18,7 million for emergency food support for vulnerable people in Zimbabwe to improve nutrition, access to basic health care and provision of potable water. – The Herald

CORRUPTION and mismanagement of the agricultural sector are the major drivers of food shortages in Zimbabwe, where over 7,7 million people urgently require food, a top European Union (EU) diplomat has said. Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday following the release of an additional US$18,7 million kitty to help alleviate hunger in Zimbabwe, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Timo Olkkonen (pictured) said this would not have been necessary if the government had properly managed its business. – NewsDay

THE High Court has ruled that the acting Chamber Secretary for Chitungwiza Municipality, Mary Mukonyora, is unfit for the post. Mukonyora had filed an urgent chamber application seeking to be appointed as the substantive Chamber Secretary on grounds that she held the same post for a while in an acting capacity. “In the current case, it is a common cause that the applicant is not a holder of a law degree and consequently she is not qualified to be a chamber secretary,” Justice Owen Tagu said. – ZimLive

THE country’s third largest mobile network operator, Telecel Zimbabwe, is on the verge of collapse. Sources said the network is failing to replace sim cards while facing network connectivity challenges. – NewZimbabwe

THE backlog on passports will be cleared within the next three months following measures put in place by Government, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe has said. – Chronicle