Calabar High’s head coach, Michael Clarke, is promising a high-class performance at home when the school hosts the inaugural McKenley-Wint Invitational Track and Field meet tomorrow.”We are really excited about the meet tomorrow and the guys are upbeat after training on the new synthetic track last Tuesday. They really want to do something special,” said Clarke.Clarke, who has coached three high school teams to top Boys’ Championships, is very confident that with the new track, it will be even harder for any team to wrest the title from them this year.”Training on the school campus is a great plus for the team and the institution as the boys will not have to travel away from school, and also, it has cut down on transportation costs as this money can go somewhere else in the programme,” he said. “It will be a family affair as we expect many past students to be present,” he continued.Calabar is the first local high school to have its own synthetic running track. The opening and dedication of the new track will take place today at a ceremony starting at 1 p.m. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will be the main speaker at today’s function.
SHARJAH, UAE (CMC):West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, said his players will use warm-up matches against English County Warwickshire this weekend to ramp up their fielding arsenal in preparation for the T20 World Cup starting next week in India.West Indies start a two-match series against Warwickshire tomorrow at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, after thrashing Zimbabwe 2-0 in a similar series which ended here on Monday.”It’s a case of making sure that we get back to a standard where people are afraid of us in the field, and we have the players that can put that fear into other people in the field,” said Simmons.”I think we, as a unit, have to make sure everybody is doing their job and if we can get it to that stage by the 16th then people will be in for a shock.”The Caribbean side displayed solid batting in their confidence-boosting warm-up victories against Zimbabwe.However, Simmons expressed some reservations about their fielding, especially during their final match against the Zimbabweans where catches were dropped.”I think we need to make sure that we are in the field, that we are getting to the ball and we are hitting stumps and things like that,” he said.”We dropped a few catches today … but we got to make sure that we are doing everything right by the time we leave here.”UNBEATEN CENTURYThe former West Indies all-rounder says he was impressed with the unbeaten century stand for the first wicket between Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher, which led them to a 10-wicket victory against Zimbabwe on Monday.He says competition for Chris Gayle’s opening spot is healthy for the regional side.”This was a much better wicket than two days ago and they showed what they are capable of doing,” said Simmons.”They are both in a way fighting for a spot as Chris Gayle has to come in, so it’s good for them to show what they have and for us to know that if Chris is not there that we still have people who can do the job up top.”West Indies are also scheduled to play warm-up matches against India and Australia next week.
Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Denver fell to just a half-game ahead of Golden State for best record in the West.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe Suns took the lead for good late in the first quarter and were up by as many as 16 in the second and 18 in the third. Denver never got closer than seven points in the fourth quarter.Troy Daniels and Oubre sank 3s in a 10-0 Phoenix run late in the first quarter to put the Suns up for good 30-20. The run reached 19-6 when Elie Okobo’s two free throws made it 39-26 with 9:38 left in the half. Oubre’s 3-pointer with 3:55 lead left gave Phoenix its biggest lead of the half, 55-39, and the Suns led at the break 60-47. LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heat hang on late, top Grizzlies Phoenix took its biggest lead at 68-50 early in the third quarter before Denver rallied to get to single digits. Jokic made one of two free throws to cut it to 74-66 with 2:57 left in the third but Oubre banked in a 3 at the third-quarter buzzer to put the Suns up 81-69 entering the fourth.Okobo opened the final quarter with a 20-footer and T.J. Warren’s 3-pointer put the Suns ahead 91-76 with 7:13 to play.A 9-0 run, capped by Jamal Murray’s 3-pointer, cut the Phoenix lead to 93-86 with 4:24 left. But Richaun Holmes made a short jumper in the lane and De’Anthony Melton sank two from the foul line to boost it to 97-86 with 3:11 remaining. The Nuggets never got closer than eight after that.Denver shot 39 percent and committed 17 turnovers, resulting in 26 Suns points.TIP-INSADVERTISEMENT Nuggets: Will Barton, out since Oct. 20 after undergoing hip and core muscle surgery, played 16 minutes, scoring six points on 2-of-10 shooting. … Gary Harris missed a third straight game with left hamstring tightness. … Murray shot 4 of 17.Suns: Oubre scored 26 against Sacramento on Tuesday night. … Phoenix is 3-10 without Booker this season. … Jamal Crawford missed the game for personal reasons. … Ayton had his 26th double-double and 10th in the last 15 games.UP NEXTNuggets: host Portland on SundaySuns: at Indiana on Tuesday. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers MOST READ Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) dunks against the Denver Nuggets in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX — Kelly Oubre Jr. matched his career high with 26 points for the second time in three games and the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets 102-93 on Saturday night, a victory for the team with the worst record in the Western Conference over the team with the best.Deandre Ayton added 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who have won two of three with Devin Booker sidelined with back spasms. Oubre also tied his career best with 11 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets. Malik Beasley scored 20 points. View comments
A Criminal Court ‘B’ Judge at the Temple of Justice has acknowledged that the courts are flooded with unnecessary technicalities that are responsible for “negative perception” about the judicial system.Judge Nancy F. Sammy said if they want to regain public interest, then they need to rise-up to challenge and eradicate what she considered as “negative procedural mishaps.”“These actions that have the tendency to cast negative aspersions on the courts and the legal system must be minimized and possibly stopped,” Judge Sammy warned when she spoke recently at the official opening of the May 2014 Term of Criminal Courts, A, B, C, and D for Montserrado County.According to the Criminal Court Judge, there are also indications that daily operations of the Court are inundated with unnecessary technicalities, “sometimes leading to frustration on the part of party litigants and residual loss of confidence in the judicial,” she noted.She maintained that “these corrupt and ugly practices that sometimes spoiled the handling of matters and stall the expeditious handling of matters before us must be tackled within a collective framework, if we are to give credence to the quest for judicial reform.”She suggested, “We must therefore, braced ourselves to step-up to the plate by reducing unnecessary procedurals technicalities and place emphasizes on the substantive matters which border on the rights of persons before our courts.”Admonishing her colleagues, Judge Sammy said, “Let us be reminded that we have embarked on an arduous, but surmountable journey of dispensing justice without fear or favor being fully guided by our cannons that impose upon us a charge to be impartial, temperate and attentive at all times.” “We are obliged to conduct all proceedings within the ambit of the Constitution and Laws of the Republic of Liberia,” she emphasized.Judge Sammy continued, “We should remain resolute and robust to reject any forms of intimidation, our actions and conducts should always be dictated by our fear of God and respect for the fundamental principles of the rule of law.”“We should not relent to prove the critics wrong by upholding our cannons to the letter. We must not allow our decisions or actions to be influenced no matter who are involved to the social class a party may belong to.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has come in for heavy criticism over statements he made that Guyana Power and Light (GPL) will be providing street lights in several Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) areas at a cost of $300 each.Public Infrastructure Minster David PattersonHowever, when the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) met on Thursday, it was disclosed that the cost for the installation of street lights is higher, and that there were many other charges that are attached.When the issue was discussed at the July meeting, Councillor Devin Sookraj told the RDC that through Government, street lights were being installed at a cost of $300 each. He explained that it was the Minister who had made a public statement that NDCs and Municipalities will benefit from the offer.Sookraj further stated that the NDC could have one hundred street lights for $300,000, and according to him, that was part of the Government’s street lighting programme.While some councillors disagreed that was the case, Regional Chairman David Armogan said the RDC supports the street lighting initiative but challenged NDC’s to verify if the statement made by the Minister were true.“I am encouraging all the eighteen NDCs and the three Municipalities to go to GPL and take advantage of this,” Armogan said last month.However, Chairperson of the Canefield Enterprise NDC, Sherriann Beharry, said that she would have visited GPL’s office after the Minister made the disclosure on a local Alliance for Change (AFC) televised programme and found that the supply of electricity will be great.Yusif Hafeez, who heads the Kilcoy-Chesney NDC, expressed similar sentiments, while Ishwar Narinesammy, who heads the Johns-Port Mourant NDC provided a letter indicating that the Minister’s utterances were misleading.In fact, Narinesammy said officials of GPL told him that they will even have to pay for the electricity the NDC used after the installation of the lights.At the end of the meeting, Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Regional Supervisor, who is also one of the Councillors who was critical of the Ministers utterances told Guyana Times that the party has information that several NDC Chairpersons visited GPL in relation to the Minister’s statements.“When they went to GPL, they were told that nothing of that sort was directed to them from any Minister. They had gone in with written submissions to grab the opportunity of paying the $300 or $300,000 for a hundred street lights. They were written to by GPL and told that they have to pay a sum of $3,648 for every light to be installed in the NDC area”.He explained that GPL has also detailed that a fee will be charged for the usages of the electricity used by the lights. The RDC also questioned the disappearance of the street lights that were removed when the coalition took office.
McCALLIONThe death has taken place of Lizzie McCallion of 468 Killea, Donegal. Removal from Nazareth House, Fahan, today, Friday, at 3pm to her home. Removal on Sunday at 12.40pm to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Killea, for Funeral Mass at 1pm, followed by burial in Newtowncunningham Cemetery. Family flowers only, please. Donations in lieu, if desired, to the Nazareth House Patient’s Comfort Fund.McGINLEY The death has taken place of Gerry McGinley, Glencar Scotch, Letterkenny. Removal from the new Chapel of Rest, Letterkenny General Hospital, this Friday evening at 5pm to his late residence. Removal on Sunday at 12 noon to St Eunan’s Cathedral for Requiem Mass at 12.30pm. Burial afterwards in Conwal Cemetery. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu if desired to St Vincent De Paul. Family time, please, from 11pm to 10am, and on the morning of the funeral.McGRATHThe death has taken place of Mary McGrath, Ozsman House, Bundoran. Formerly Daly Park, Belleek, Co Fermanagh. Suddenly, Reposing at the Shiel Hospital Mortuary from 4pm on Saturday, with removal at 5.30pm to the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Bundoran, arriving at 6pm. Requiem Mass at 11am on Sunday. Burial afterwards in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Belleek. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu to Ozsman House. House private please.ROARTY The death has taken place of Anne Roarty (nee Gallagher) of London and Creeslough. Arriving at Belfast City Airport tomorrow, Saturday morning, at 8.30am, arriving at her home in Creeslough at 12 noon approximately. Requiem Mass on Sunday in St Michael’s Church, Creeslough, at 1pm. Burial afterwards in Doe Cemetery.McLAUGHLINThe sudden death has taken place at his home of John McLaughlin, St Oran’s Road, Buncrana. Remains are reposing at his home. Funeral from there tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.15am for 11am Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Church, Cockhill, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. Family time please from 11pm to 11am.DONEGAL DEATH NOTICES FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 was last modified: December 3rd, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2011DECEMBER 2DONEGAL DEATH NOTICES FOR FRIDAY
Beginning today, and over the course of the next few weeks, the look of your newspaper will change slightly. It will become easier to read — thanks to new fonts for stories and headlines — feature bigger pictures and alert you in advance to upcoming stories of interest. The impetus for this change is twofold. One, we are switching computer systems. That necessitated changing the typefaces and fonts we use. Two, we have been working on implementing a fresh design for your paper, one that would be more visually pleasing and help you find the stories you want to read more quickly and easily. We held off on unveiling our redesign until we were ready to begin our computer system switch. Today’s Opinion pages and the Our World section, which features the Business pages and the Weather page, are the first to undergo change. You will find our new story font to be more relaxed, making stories easier to read. Our new headline fonts also should be easier to read and will appear a bit more elegant than our current fonts. We have made changes in page design as well. We’ll be using larger pictures and have added what we call a footer box at the bottom of some section fronts. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The Opinion page now will provide, on a rotating basis, information on how to contact your state and federal lawmakers, as well as our editorial board. The easy-to-read format can be found at the bottom of the page. Because our computer system changeover will take several weeks to complete, we will implement other changes to your newspaper gradually as well. Each time another section goes live on the new computer system, we will inform you of the changes we are making. We appreciate your business and hope you enjoy the new look of your newspaper. — Steve Hunt, managing editor
The enchanting Drakensberg Mountains are deemed to have a spiritual impact on visitors. (Image: Wikimedia) The sacred Lake Fundudzi captured from a distance. (Image: South African Tourism) One of the many waterfalls in the Hogsback valley. (Image: Tusafiri)Khanyi Magubane The sacred Lake Fundudzi situated in the mountainous area of Tshiavha village, north of South Africa, will soon be declared a national heritage site.The Limpopo Department of Arts and Culture has confirmed that processes to declare the enigmatic freshwater lake are at an advanced stage.Spokesperson for the department says the South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA) is yet to decide on an official date for the declaration.SAHRA is a statutory organisation established under the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999, as the national administrative body responsible for the protection of South Africa’s cultural heritage.The great powers of Lake Fundudzi have been kept a closely guarded secret by the Vhavenda people, who have preserved it for generations.The lake is often associated with myth and legends of the Vhavenda people and is believed to be protected by a python god, who has to be pacified annually with gifts of traditionally brewed beer.As the legend goes, a Venda man, with a broken heart after losing a great love, in his sorrow walked into Lake Fundudzi and turned into a python.Outsiders are not permitted to visit the lake. Currently, only those granted special permission by the Netshiava royal family, can visit the lake.In Venda culture, the python is the god of fertility and maidens still perform the famous Domba-python dance in the sacred lake to honour this god.The young women form a line in which they hold on to the elbows of the maiden in front of them, and using their joint arms, make snake-like movements next to the lake to honour the god.Other myths around the lake include a story of mysterious “zombies” which live near at the lake and play the traditional Venda music known as Tshikona.The lake is surrounded by the Thathe Vondo forest, deemed to be so mystical and filled with spirits that few Venda people venture into it for fear of alleged hauntings and a lightning bird called “Ndadzi”.It’s believed that on the rare occasion that a visit to the lake is granted, visitors must turn their backs on the lake and view the water from between their legs.This ritual is called “Fundudzi” after which the lake is named.Visitors travelling to the Limpopo are able to get a glimpse of the lake, from above, when travelling along the surrounding mountains.The naming of Lake Fundudzi as a heritage site comes at a time when South Africa is celebrating heritage month, with 24 September marked as a public holiday to celebrate Heritage Day.Sacred South AfricaThere are a number of sites in South Africa that are considered to be sacred.The fertility caves in the eastern Free State, for instance, have served as a spiritual gathering place of prayer for over 800 years to various tribes and religions in and around southern Africa.Hogsback in the Eastern Cape is also regarded as a place of spiritual upliftment. Situated in the Amatola Mountains, it’s surrounded by large tracts of indigenous forest, and waterfalls with names such as Madonna and Child, and the Bridal Veil Cataract, Swallowtail and Kettlespout.In the Limpopo province, the forest of the rain queen, Modjadi, is highly regarded as a place of deep spirituality.The Modjadji Reserve is the birthplace of the famous lineage of Rain Queens of the Lobedu tribe, who are said to have mystical powers that can influence the rainfall.Mist usually surrounds the Modjadi village, and the Modjadi Cycad Reserve is said to be one of the most unique plant kingdoms in Africa.The Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is one of the official World Heritage sites in South Africa. Originally known as the “Dragon Mountains”, the site offers waterfalls, mountain peaks and rocks decorated with San rock art.Once home to the ancient shamans and medicine men; the Drakensberg is also known for pilgrimages taken to the area for those who want to meditate peacefully.The San and Bushman rock painting are also said to represent the ritual called, the Great Dance. In this dance, the dancer goes into a trance, through which the San say they can harness a form of spiritual power that is like electricity. They use this power for healing, hunting, and making rain.Safari with a purposeFor travellers looking for holidays with a deeper meaning, Spiritual Safaris, a Western Cape based tourism company now offers tourists with a unique travel package.According to the company, the trip is structured in way that gives the traveller an opportunity to have a deeper connection with nature than that which is usually offered by mainstream tourism packages.The five-day tour consists of a five-hour train journey from Cape Town to the Karoo. On the first night the tourists will partake in stargazing with a professional guide.On the second and third day, the tourists get the opportunity to explore the Swartberg mountains and enjoy a talk by palaeontologist, Dr Judy Maquire.In addition to studying fossils, Maquire has extensive experience in working with the Bushmen. She has closely studied their survival as well as their use of food plants.Early birds can also enjoy a 5:30am walk to the nearby show grounds to watch horses in training. After breakfast, the group is then taken to a hidden valley in the heart of the Swartberg mountain range, described as “Die Hel”.On the fourth day, the tour moves to the southern Cape area of Gamkaskloof valley. Here, tourists have the opportunity to meditate, listen to nature and take time for reflection.On the last day of the tour, visitors enjoy a laid back morning, before a trip on a private jet after lunch, where they are jetted back to Cape Town.Many travellers claim that the tour is spiritually rejuvenating. On its website, there are testimonials posted where happy customers share their experiences.One particular satisfied customer, Judyie Al-Bilali from the US, says this of the trip, “It was deeply relaxing and at the same time had a spiritual intensity and a magnificent opportunity to connect with the natural world.“I started dreaming intensely in the Karoo and the dreams have continued, bright, complex, colourful, clear. There is undoubtedly a rich Shamanic tradition connected to the land.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at email@example.com.Related articlesHolidays that save the worldSA Safari Disney style The adventure starts here South Africa’s national parks World heritage in South Africa Useful linksSpiritual SafarisModjadji historySouth African Heritage Resources AgencyThe Drakensberg
Zimbabwe’s official annual inflation rate reached 231 million percent in early October, from the July estimate of 11.2 million percent, and the deadlock in talks between the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition parties is likely to push the rate higher.How to understand such hyperinflation? And what to do about it? According to a new discussion document by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) entitled Comprehensive Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown has deep roots, exacerbated by the disastrous political and economic policies of the current regime. But with political change and some strong medicine, the hyperinflation could be halted in 12 years.Several attempts by President Robert Mugabe’s government to bring down inflation – including lopping off 10 zeroes from the currency, introducing a new currency, and price controls – have failed to put brakes on the multimillion-percent inflation rate.Independent economists have estimated the real inflation rate at billions of percent.Causes Zimbabwe’s financial malaise is not seen as a direct consequence of Mugabe’s 2000 fast-track land reform programme, in which more than 4 000 white-owned farms were redistributed to landless black people. It is rather a series of injudicious decisions overlaying structural economic weaknesses inherited from the former Rhodesia that are being amplified.At independence Mugabe’s government inherited a dual economy “characterised by a relatively developed and diversified formal economy sitting alongside a neglected and underdeveloped peasant-based subsistence rural economy,” according to the UNDP document.This dual economy has not been addressed by the ruling Zanu-PF during 28 years of power, and “with the collapse of the formal economy and the exponential growth of the informal economy both in urban and rural areas during the crisis period, the problem has deepened, with most economic transactions and units now operating outside formal systems,” the discussion document said.The trigger for the current hyperinflation environment “can be traced to the so-called ‘Black Friday’ crash of the Zimbabwe dollar on 14 November 1997, which was precipitated by the government’s unbudgeted payment of gratuities to veterans of the liberation war.“This was followed in 1998 by Zimbabwe’s participation in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which further contributed to the ballooning fiscal deficit,” the UNDP document noted.Inflation rose from 19% in 1997 to 56% by 2000, when the land reform programme was launched – spearhead by the war veterans – so that by 2006 inflation was running at more than 1 000% and reached hyperinflation levels by 2007.“Zimbabwe’s inflation is fundamentally caused by excess government expenditure, financed by the printing of money in an economy with a real gross domestic product (GDP) that has been declining for the last nine years. Money supply growth has been completely decoupled from economic growth, the inevitable result being continued and accelerating inflation,” the UNDP said.Between 1998 and 2006 Zimbabwe’s GDP contracted by 37%, and by 2000 per capita incomes were lower than those in 1960.The document was produced by Dale Doré, director of Shanduko, a Harare-based non-profit research institute on agrarian and environmental issues, Tony Hawkins, Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe, Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, Daniel Makina, professor of Finance and Banking at the University of South Africa in Pretoria and Daniel Ndlela, director of Zimconsult, a Harare economic consultancy firm.Full recoveryThe authors agree that the medicine to reverse the ravages of the economic mismanagement is likely to be as painful as hyperinflation’s symptoms, and that the precursor of a pro-poor recovery would be “sound macroeconomic management”.“Full recovery, defined simply in terms of a return to the peak real per capita incomes of 1991, would take 12 years, assuming a bottoming-out of the decline in the course of 2008, and uninterrupted growth of 5% annually from 2009 to 2020,” the discussion document noted.“And, given that Zimbabwe is susceptible to drought – on average every three years – and that with the decline of commercial agriculture this vulnerability has increased, even the 5% annual growth in per capita GDP may be beyond the upper bounds of probability.”There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for hyperinflation, but there is consensus that delinking the political manipulation of the exchange rate and monetary systems is a prerequisite.Drastic measuresProfessor Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University in the US believes measures used internationally to restore economic confidence and rein in hyperinflation require “punishingly high” interest rates, causing slow GDP growth, stagnation of living standards and the worsening of poverty during the “stabilisation period.”Hanke contends in the UNDP discussion document that, should there be a political settlement in Zimbabwe, the new government has three options to consider: dollarisation, free banking, or a currency board, all of which have their pros and cons.Dollarisation or randisation – the rand is the monetary unit of South Africa – would entail one of the foreign currencies being made legal tender instead of the Zimbabwe dollar, which would die a natural death.However, the new government would “no longer have an independent monetary policy and set their own interest rates, but must ‘import’ the monetary policy of the country whose currency is chosen,” Hanke said in the discussion document.A second consideration is “free banking”, used in colonial Southern Rhodesia until 1940, in which private commercial banks issued currency notes with ‘minimal regulation’.The third consideration is a currency board, which would mean holding “foreign reserves equal to 100% of the domestic money supply determined at a fixed exchange rate … as a result, money supply, and thereby interest rates, are determined ‘entirely by market forces’.”Handing over “monetary policy to outsiders or even to market forces would be a high-risk strategy for a fresh administration,” the UNDP discussion document said, especially in the light of Mugabe’s consistent accusations that Zimbabwe’s economic decline was a result of “former imperialists” trying to recolonise the country.“Furthermore, the suggestion that Zimbabwe should abolish its central bank when much smaller regional economies – Lesotho and Swaziland – find it necessary to operate a central-bank system, even though they are members of the Rand Monetary Area, is unrealistic,” said the UNDP document.PovertyMeanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe are beginning to starve. After a succession of dismal harvests, attributed to environmental factors and political disruptions, nearly half of Zimbabwe’s citizens will require food assistance in the first quarter of 2009, according to the UN.Poverty has accelerated, according to the 2003 Poverty Assessment Study Survey (Pass II), from 55% of Zimbabweans living below the Total Consumption Poverty Line to 72% of the population by 2003, or an increase of about a third in eight years.A rider to Zimbabwe’s economic deterioration is the effect of the HIV/Aids pandemic, which UNAids and the International Monetary Fund calculate may decrease GDP growth rates by between 1% and 2%.About 1.6 million Zimbabweans between the ages of 15 and 49 years old are living with HIV/Aids, although prevalence of the disease declined from 20.1% in 2005 to about 15.9% by 2007.A political solution A precursor to any economic reform would have to be a political solution in Zimbabwe. The effect of the country’s unstable politics on hyperinflation was illustrated in the wake of elections this year, when the opposition Movement for Democratic Change won a majority in parliament for the first time since independence in 1980, and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai narrowly missed winning the presidency.“There is a widely held perception that the Zimbabwe dollar is seriously undervalued in the parallel market,” said the UNDP document. “The sharp 65% appreciation of the Zimbabwe dollar on the parallel market in the immediate aftermath of the 29 March 2008 elections suggests that this is, in fact, the case.”Should there be some sort of political settlement, the creation of an independent central bank under a new constitution was likely to be part of the public debate.“Given Zimbabwe’s unhappy recent history with a politically driven central bank, the economic case for RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe] independence is very powerful,” the document noted.Whatever solutions are used to tackle Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation, its legacy will haunt the country for many years, and manifest itself in such areas as investor confidence – both local and international – and the rebuilding of “once strong” public institutions.Source: Irin News and MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterDo you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.Related articlesZimbabwe moves forwardA holiday – in Zimbabwe? Useful linksUnited NationsUN Development Programme
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