Zimbabwe – Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review

Zimbabwe – Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review
Zimbabwe - Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented the 2014 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement in Parliament on Thursday, September 11. The Review considers the performance of the economy during the six months to June as well as the outlook to year-end. For a copy of the full statement, please call up the Ministry’s website, www.zimtreasury.gov.zw from which you can download the entire presentation. At 140 pages, it is even heavier reading than the summary below.

In the first sections the Minister offers details of the assistance offered to Zimbabwe by various countries and development agencies, together with up-dates on contracts for work on power stations, dams and roads.

In the Minister’s assessments of achievements in the first half of the year, he makes frequent references to the evidence of mounting stress in the economy, some of the consequences of which were disappointing revenue collection figures and increased levels of expenditure.

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Zimbabwe - Observations on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review

Zimbabwean Finance Minister

He also reviews production, trade and the budget figures for the first half of the year, all of which lay the foundation for his observations on the macro economic framework. From these, the Minister derives indicators upon which he then tries to build performance forecasts for the rest of the year.

Of concern from this point – which is reached on Page 80 – is that claims of economic growth appear to be out of line with the evidence that emerges from his preliminary observations. In summary, mining output values are down, imports are down, exports are down, corporate tax revenues are down, VAT revenue is down, which means that retail spending is down, the public debt is increasing and to provide for higher government recurrent expenditure, cuts were made to planned capital spending.

Despite these harsh trends, the Minister expects Gross Domestic Product to increase from $13,49 billion in 2013 to $14,01 billion this year. The forecast appears to be based on the improved tobacco and maize output, but the value of those improvements do not compensate for the shrinkages seen in commerce and mining, together with the undisclosed falls in manufacturing and formal employment, all of which were reflected in falling tax revenues.

With rising budget commitments – additional spending requirements of $951 300 000 are identified – the Minister announces Revenue Enhancing Measures. These are dependent on expected revenue flows from taxes on fringe benefits, higher rents from government housing, a new tax on mobile phone use and higher excise duties on fuel, as well as higher import duties and surtaxes on meat, dairy products, vegetables, prepared foods, beverages, cosmetics, cleaning materials, furniture and motor vehicles.

No information is offered on the amounts that the Minister expects to raise from these different sources, but as the full amount will impact directly on the disposable incomes of consumers, their total purchases of household requirements will be reduced by about the same total. Accordingly, the increases in tax revenues achieved from the targeted areas will be closely matched by falls in tax revenues from other sources, these being mainly VAT, company profits taxes and import duties.  If these falls are significant, further job losses and reduced PAYE contributions will also undermine tax receipts.

These possible cuts appear not to be worthy of the Minister’s attention because he argues that the higher import duties will persuade consumers to more actively support local producers of the affected products. By enhancing industry capacity utilisation, says the Minister, government will be able to resolve some of the challenges relating to the competitiveness of local products and the unsustainable current account deficit. He also claims that the measures to get industry working will resolve the liquidity crunch, the growing unemployment and, using the phrase “as well as fiscal space”, improve tax revenue flows as well.

Unfortunately, actually resolving such challenges would depend upon restoring capacity. But it no longer exists. With the disappearance of efficient farmers, it is the falling production volumes that were soon causing the evaporation of investor confidence upon which each of the value-adding manufacturing business depended. The final nails in their coffins were driven home by price controls, but it was Land Reform that did the initial damage.

Food product imports are a specific target for the Minister, but for the food processing companies who are supposed to be put back on their feet by higher import duties, the capacity they once had depended upon substantial investments that were once fully justified by the steady, dependable supplies of the needed inputs from dependable, well-capitalised farmers. It is these farmers who are now missing from the picture. That is where the start should have been made, but government remains determined to prevent the restoration of large-scale commercial farming.

Taken together with the destruction of corporate savings, the indigenisation demands and the dissipation of industrial skills, these are the factors that have to be included in the sequence of events that brought about the deindustrialisation suffered by Zimbabwe. This whole sequence has yet to be unravelled, but further distortions have since been imposed. While price controls have not been a handicap since dollarization, Zimbabwe has instead become burdened by self-inflicted cost factors that are serious enough to prevent local factories from becoming competitive.

Among these are wage levels that cannot be supported, given the inefficient production methods in use, and further inefficiencies are caused by erratic electricity and water supplies. Excessive trades union influence, supported by Ministry of Labour regulations, has led to job protection measures that prevent the rationalisation that might have given business owners reasonable prospects of becoming successful. While those in place are struggling to survive, the continued existence of regulations hostile to employers will hold down the country’s prospects of attracting new investors.

Revisions to retrenchment laws are needed as much in the public sector as in the private sector. Zimbabwe’s public sector employment costs are the highest in Africa and the Minister announces in his statement that another $209 million will be needed by year-end. This will take government’s employment costs to $3,2 billion, which will be 77% of total expenditure, or 83,1% of expected revenue. Government’s inability to retrench thousands of superfluous public sector employees has placed these individuals in a privileged position that even if the country’s economy were enjoying strong growth, would be beyond its means. This job protection is not deserved.

The needed growth will not materialise until investors, local as well as foreign, begin to find the investment environment acceptable. In this regard, the Minister claims that the country’s Indigenisation laws have been misinterpreted and misrepresented.

He then makes the claim that compliance with the indigenisation policy framework can be achieved by obtaining a listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. This is interesting news, specially for all the companies that were already listed on ZSE when the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act was passed. Their directors have since faced repeated and often threatening reminders of the penalties they will face if a majority of the shares in issue are not transferred to indigenous individuals, or to government entities such as the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

Investors are invited to await the publication of a Government Gazette Notice that will clarify the regulations to the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act. These are expected to revise the terms for Joint Ventures, and for investments that will empower local communities, serve needy sectors of the economy, take the form of contract farming or land use agreements, or involve the investors in Build-Own-Operate-Transfer projects.

Despite the Minister’s claim that the earlier Statutory Instruments on indigenisation have been simply misunderstood, these reinterpretations amount to significant changes that will bring with them the need to amend the original Act. Before they can take these claims seriously, investors will be keen to see revisions in the regulations reflected in amendments to this Act.


In his Fiscal Policy Statement, the Minister certainly recognises many of the economy’s shortcomings and he makes a point of the need to improve upon the efficiency and accountability of the various arms of government, the parastatals and local government.

However, the Minister’s policy measures are almost entirely directed at raising more revenue from whatever is left of the country’s productive capacity. The few exceptions that will be of benefit to producers include a reduced royalty level for gold mines, but the deeper issues adversely affecting business and investment levels either receive no attention, or have attracted cursory glances that will make no difference to economic performance.

More direct Ministry of Finance intervention would be helpful in ensuring that the official charges, levies, fees and taxes, which presently add to the costs of doing business in Zimbabwe, should not be allowed to remain the reason why locally produced goods cannot compete with imports. Directly under the Minister’s control are the recently introduced border charges, surtaxes and fines. When taken together with inordinate delays at customs posts, these have contributed to the production costs that have made many companies uncompetitive.

Also within the Minister’s sphere of influence is the fact that a US dollar does not go as far in Zimbabwe as it does in other countries. Blatant price distortions have emerged and the Minister should use his authority to prevent the imposition of exaggerated US dollar prices, costs and wages, as these are also partly responsible for making Zimbabwean producers uncompetitive.

Public sector salaries in Zimbabwe, relative to GDP, are the highest in Africa partly because the value of a US dollar is assessed at too low a figure. This thinking has been carried through into an official price for maize of $390 a tonne, which is almost twice the current world price. The Minister of Finance should have over-ruled the Ministry of Agriculture’s attempt to devalue the currency on which Zimbabwe has become dependent. If this price is allowed to stand, there will be nothing to stop, say, the Minister of Mines declaring that gold will now sell for, say, $3000 an ounce.

In the business sector, distortions on the same scale have forced US dollar wages to be twice as high as their equivalents in the Far East.  The Ministry of Labour, in support of the activities of trades unions, has sustained these distortions in the valuation of the US dollar. The resulting pay scales have reduced the viability of companies that would have paid higher taxes if they had not been rendered unprofitable. Many have been forced to close, so the jobs and PAYE contributions have been destroyed as well.

Tax revenues are generated when economic activity, which requires investment, brings about value additions and profits. As the old investments struggle to remain competitive and the US dollar’s real value is high enough to permit access to imports at prices that are lower than their local equivalents, the Minister’s taxable territory is shrinking. For the affected goods, the country receives only the VAT. The rest of the taxes are paid somewhere else.

Zimbabwe has seen its formal employee levels fall to the figure that was recorded in 1970.  In 44 years, the population has more than doubled, so today our formal sector employees should total about two million, not the 850 000 who presently have a job. If two million employees were holding down formal sector jobs in Zimbabwe, they would have become a far bigger source of tax revenue than three times that number now struggling in the informal sector and being targeted for new taxes and fees.

In 1980, one person in every ten formal sector workers had a job in government. Today, one person in every three formal sector workers has a government job. These figures exclude parastatal workers. To get back to an affordable public sector, the taxable private sector needs to be built up to at least three times its current size.

That requires investors, and investors need an investor-friendly environment. Right now, Zimbabwe’s business environment ranks as one of the unfriendliest in the world. The Minister of Finance does express a wish to address some of the shortcomings through legal, regulatory or administrative reforms, and he also recognizes the need to re-establish good working relationships with the international financial institutions, from whom long-term loans are essential.

The Minister does report on the efforts made to meet payments obligations to the IMF, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, to which it will make “token” payments to “demonstrate Zimbabwe’s commitment towards resolution of its external debt challenges”. According to the Minister, the payments are considered important; they will assist Zimbabwe to negotiate for debt relief.

Houseboat incident involving lions

Houseboat incident involving lions

Rae Kokes, the principal researcher for LionAlert who was on the scene during the recent incident involving lions attacking a houseboat deckhand after he disembarked to secure the mooring lines on a houseboat. As usual, rumours tend to get out of hand so below is the official story from Rae.

Houseboat incident involving lions

September 7 2014

On the 4th of September ALERT’s Principle Researcher for the Matusadona Lion Project was tracking lionesses from the Eastern Pride in the Mucheni area. A visual was obtained at 5pm and they were followed as they headed South West to the other side of the peninsula they were on.

After losing visual the researcher anticipated their movements and waited at a look out point some distance way. At this time a houseboat was arriving into the nearby bay.

At 6:30pm shouting was heard from the houseboat and our researcher arrived at the scene within 10 mins to find an employee had been attacked by the lions.

Using the research vehicle the lions were driven off the victim but first aid unfortunately could not be given as the lions remained within too close proximity. The man sadly passed away at the scene.

Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority scouts arrived shortly after, and with their help, as well as that of a paramedic on the houseboat, the victim’s body was safely retrieved.

Two lionesses, known within the Matusadona Lion Project study as F106, “Gogo”, and F114, “Ngoda”, were destroyed by Park’s staff following this incident.

There was no evidence to suggest either of these lions was injured or ill that would cause them to attack a person. It is believed because the victim was moving alone at night in the bushes he approached the lions unknowingly.

This has been a huge blow for the Park, the lion population and the study, however the real tragedy is in the loss of the victim. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with his family left behind.

A sincere thank you is to be made to National Parks staff and the Zimbabwean Police for their professionalism and assistance. A thank you also to Mike Blignaut and Pierre Hundermark from Bulembi Safaris for their assistance.

two lions

two lions

The link to the article on the LionAlert website is http://www.lionalert.org/article/Matusadona_Lion_Project_Update


Eagle photo

Eagle photo


Awesome Eagle Photo

Eagles are large, powerful and strong birds of prey, with a heavy head and beak and fearsome talons. Even the smallest eagles have relatively longer and more evenly broad wings than other birds of prey. They have a more direct, faster flight – despite the reduced size of aerodynamic feathers.

Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from larger species of vultures. The smallest species of eagle is the South Nicobar Serpent Eagle (Spilornis klossi)

Eagles have very large hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons for grabbing and holding on to their prey. The eagle’s beak is generally heavier than that of most other birds of prey.

Eagles’ eyes are extremely powerful, having up to three and a half times human acuity for the martial eagle, which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance.

This keen eyesight is primarily attributed to their extremely large pupils which ensure minimal diffraction (scattering) of the incoming light. The female of all known species of eagle is larger than the male.

Giraffes in the moonlight

Giraffes in the moonlight

Giraffes in the moonlight

Giraffes in the moonlight

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal. The Giraffe is the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. The species name actually refers to its camel-like appearance and the patches of color on its fur.

However, it’s most distinguishing feature is its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. The nine subspecies are distinguished by their coat patterns.

9 things to know about the Ebola virus

Ebola began as a handful of cases in Guinea in March but quickly spread to neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Here are 9 things to know about what the WHO calls “one of the world’s most virulent diseases.”

Why does Ebola generate such fear? Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) describes Ebola as “one of the world’s most deadly diseases.” “It is a highly infectious virus that can kill up to 90% of the people who catch it, causing terror among infected communities,” it says.

There is also no vaccination against it.

There are five subtypes of Ebola, the Zaire strain and the first to be identified is considered the most deadly.

Preliminary tests by the WHO suggested that was was the strain of the Ebola virus identified in Guinea in March but this has yet to be confirmed.

What is Ebola?

The Ebola virus causes viral haemorrhagic fever which is the name given to a group of viruses that affect multiple organs in the body, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These viruses can also cause internal bleeding.

The virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), which was where one of the first outbreaks occurred back in 1976. In the same year there was another outbreak recorded in Sudan.

The five different strains of the Ebola viruses are named after the areas they originated in. Three of these have been associated with large outbreaks of haemorrhagic fever in Africa.


These are the Bundibugyo, which is an area of Uganda where the virus was discovered in 2007. There are two Sudan and Zaire sub-types.

There has been a solitary case of Ivory Coast Ebola. Interestingly, this subtype was discovered when a researcher studying wild chimpanzees became ill in 1994 after an autopsy on one of the chips.

Reston Ebola is the final and fifth strain and gets it’s name from Reston in the U.S. state of Virginia, where this strain of the Ebola virus was identified in monkeys imported from the Philippines. While humans have been infected with this strain, the CDC says there have been no cases of human death from this sub-type.

How do you know if you have Ebola? 

Early symptoms of the Ebola virus include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. These symptoms can appear two to 21 days after infection.

The problem with the symptoms says the WHO is that these are non specific and can be mistaken for signs of diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, meningitis or simply flu.

Some patients may also develop a rash, red eyes, hiccups, chest pains and difficulty breathing and swallowing. The early symptoms progress to vomiting, diarrhoea, impaired kidney and liver function and sometimes internal and external bleeding.

Ebola can only be definitively confirmed by five different laboratory tests.

How is it treated?

While there are lots of research and experiments going on there are no specific treatments for Ebola. Patients are isolated and then supported by health care workers.

Health workers Treat patient by hydrating them, maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure and treating them for any complicating infections
There have been cases of numerous health care workers contracting the virus from patients, and the WHO has issued guidance for dealing with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus.

Caregivers are advised to wear impermeable gowns and gloves and to wear facial protection such as goggles or a medical mask to prevent splashes to the nose, mouth and eyes.

The 2012 outbreak in Uganda was controlled by placing a control area around its treatment centre. An outbreak is considered over once 42 days — double the incubation period of the disease — have passed without any new cases.

What drugs exist to combat the disease?

2 American missionary workers infected with Ebola were given an experimental drug called ZMapp, which seems to have saved their lives. The drug, developed by a San Diego firm, had never been tried before on humans, but it showed promise in small experiments on monkeys infected with the disease.

However, rolling out an untested drug during a massive outbreak would probably cause even more problems. Experimental drugs are typically not mass-produced, and it is difficult to track the success of such a drug.

ZMapp’s maker says it has very few doses ready for patient use. Other experimental drugs like Tekmira, produced by a Vancouver-based company that has a $140 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an Ebola drug. Phase 1 trials began with its drug in January. But the FDA recently halted the trial, asking for more information.

According to Thomas Geisbert, (a leading researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch) at least one potential Ebola vaccine has been tested in healthy human volunteers. The NIH announced that a safety trial of another Ebola vaccine will start as early as September.

Only back in March, the U.S. National Institute of Health awarded a five-year, $28 million grant to establish a collaboration between researchers from 15 institutions who were working to fight Ebola.

Grant also said that “a whole menu of antibodies have been identified as potentially therapeutic, and researchers are eager to figure out which combinations are most effective and why”

How does Ebola virus spread?

The World Health Organisation says it is believed that fruit bats may be the natural host of the Ebola virus in Africa, passing on the virus to other animals.

Humans contract Ebola through contact with the bodily fluids of infected animals or the bodily fluids of infected human beings.

MSF says that while the virus is believed to be able to survive for some days in liquid outside an infected organism, various methods will kill it including chlorine disinfection, heat, direct sunlight, soaps and detergents.

MSF epidemiologist Kamiliny Kalahne said outbreaks usually spread in areas where hospitals have poor infection control and limited access to resources such as running water.

“People who become sick with it almost always know how they got sick: because they looked after someone in their family who was very sick — who had diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding — or because they were health staff who had a lot of contact with a sick patient,” she said.

Bats spread the Ebola Virus

Bats spread the Ebola Virus

Can plane passengers become infected?

While the CDC acknowledges it’s possible a person infected with Ebola in West Africa could get on a plane and arrive in another country, the chances of the virus spreading during the journey are low.

“It’s very unlikely that they would be able to spread the disease to fellow passengers,” said Stephen Monroe, deputy director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases.

“The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with the blood, secretions, or other body fluids of ill people, and indirect contact — for example with needles and other things that may be contaminated with these fluids.”
He added that most people who have become infected with Ebola lived with or cared for an ill patient.

“This is not an airborne transmission,” said Dr. Marty Cetron, director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. “There needs to be direct contact frequently with body fluids or blood.”

Travelers should take precautions by avoiding areas experiencing outbreaks and avoid contact with Ebola patients.
“It is highly unlikely that someone suffering such symptoms would feel well enough to travel,” IATA said in a statement.

“In the rare event that a person infected with the Ebola virus was unknowingly transported by air, WHO advises that the risks to other passengers are low. Nonetheless, WHO does advise public health authorities to carry out contact tracing in such instances.”

This means determining who had contact with the affected person.

What should flight crew do if Ebola infection is suspected?

The CDC has issued guidance for airline crews on Ebola virus infections.
“As with many other global infectious disease outbreaks, airline carriers, crew members, airports can be very important partners in that front line,” said Cetron. “Being educated, knowing the symptoms, recognizing what to do, having a response protocol, knowing who to call, those are really, really important parts of the global containment strategy to deal with threats like this.”

The CDC advises that when flight crew members encounter a passenger with symptoms that they suspect could be Ebola, such as fever and bleeding, that they keep the sick person away from other passengers. They’ve been instructed to wear disposable gloves and to provide the sickened person with a surgical mask to prevent fluids from spreading through talking, sneezing or coughing.

The airline cleaning crew are also instructed to wear disposable gloves, wipe down surfaces including armrests, seat backs, trays and light switches. The CDC says that packages and cargo should not pose a risk, unless the items have been soiled with blood or bodily fluids.

When someone becomes ill on a flight, the captain is required by aviation regulations to report the suspected case to air traffic control, according to IATA.
What is the risk of catching Ebola on a plane?
How many cases have there been?

The CDC estimates there have been more than 3,000 cases of Ebola and more than 2,000 deaths since 1976.

The last recorded outbreaks before the current one in Guinea were in 2012 — in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ebola Disease Outbreak

Ebola Disease Outbreak

The Uganda outbreak involved a total of 24 probable and confirmed cases, and 17 deaths, according to the WHO, which declared it had ended in October 2012.
MSF said the Uganda outbreak had been the Sudan strain, while the virus found in DRC was the Bundibugyo sub-type.

Before 2014, the most deadly outbreak was the 1976 outbreak in then Zaire, when 280 of 318 infected people died, according to the CDC. In 2000, there were 425 cases of Ebola Sudan in Uganda, which resulted in 224 fatalities.

Leopard climbing tree

Leopard climbing tree


Leopard climbing tree

Elephant Photo

A tribute to the beautiful African Elephant.

African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), while the Asian elephant is classed as endangered. One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is the ivory trade, as the animals are still poached for their ivory tusks despite strict laws against it’s trade. That said, other threats to wild elephants include habitat destruction and conflicts with local people especially when they stray onto small farms.

Elephants are herbivorous (don’t eat meat) and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts and marshes. They prefer to stay near water. They are considered to be keystone species due to their impact on their environments.

Naturally, unless about to keel over from hunger, most other animals will tend to keep their distance, especially predators such as lionstigershyenas and wild dogs.

However, they may target calves but these are normally heavily protected by the heard. Females generally live in family groups, which can consist of one female with her calves or several related females (aunts and sisters) with their own offspring.

There is usually a Bull not far aware as the protector.

award winning elephant photo

award winning elephant photo

THE 10 FINALISTS HAVE BEEN SELECTED IN THE WORLD ELEPHANT DAY PHOTO COMPETITION. Here is the ninth by Pieter Jacobus Ras,Raisinphoto. Like and share if you enjoy this image. Keep an eye out for the final image to be shared tomorrow. The most popular image will win the audience prize. All winners will be announced on World Elephant Day, 12 August. With thanks to Conservation Action Trust and Wilderness Safaris.

Elephants on a mission

Photo: Half in half out! Crystal clear!

Half in half out! Crystal clear!

Surfacing Elephant

Photo: A marching band... with trumpets and all! Photo taken in Phinda Game Reserve by Andrew Schoeman Photography.

A marching band… with trumpets and all! Photo taken in Phinda Game Reserve by Andrew Schoeman Photography.

Photo: Elephants at sunset on Matusadona shoreline, Lake Kariba - from The Middle Zambezi  - http://zambezitraveller.com/kariba-middle-zambezi/world-heritage/middle-zambezi

Elephants at sunset on Matusadona shoreline, Lake Kariba (Photo Steve Edwards)

elephant family

What the hell are you looking at?

Trumpeting Elephant

Trumpeting Elephant

African elephant

Awesome Elephants

Awesome Elephants


How cool is this?

If you’re ready to take your living room on a luxury jungle safari, Maximo Riera has the sofa for you. This imposing animal playfully dubbed the African Water Horse. Measuring 55″x 297″ and textured to closely match a black hippo, the aptly named Hippopotamus Chair may be the perfect accessory to any household floating along the River Nile. Just like a safari, however, it won’t come cheap.

The Hippopotamus is a semiaquatic herbivore mammal, peculiar for its barrel-shaped torso, and is one of the most aggressive and unpredictable creatures in the world. For this design, its tremendous size and volume has been preserved, evading any sections or partitions along its body, in order to accomplish an entire life-size piece


The Hippopotamus is a semiaquatic herbivore mammal, peculiar for its barrel-shaped torso, and is one of the most aggressive and unpredictable creatures in the world. For this design, its tremendous size and volume has been preserved, evading any sections or partitions along its body, in order to accomplish an entire life-size piece.

The skin pattern has been carefully replicated and reproduced to acquire the corrugation and surface imperfections, distinctive of their shape.

This captivating animal has been overshadowed many times by other notorious mammals in the savanna, but its intrepidity and tenacity is well know in their environment. The Zulu warriors preferred to be as brave as an hippopotamus, since even lions were not consider to match their courage.











The Rhino Chair is considered more like a throne than a regular chair.  It contains an inner frame along its body to support the weight and reinforce its balance. There is not a better animal than the Rhino to reflect the nature’s capacity and mightiness.

The artist has been careful to maintain proportions especially as not many have had the opportunity or experience to stand next to such a magnificent beast.

The Artist wants to bring them closer to us, the spectators, creating a virtual interaction. The Rhino chair is built in a superior scale to generate an authoritative force that respects its surroundings, qualities present on the animal itself.









Rabies Alert

Rabies Alert

Rabies Alert


Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ) is deeply concerned with the increasing number of confirmed Rabies cases throughout Zimbabwe. Recently a dog from Arcturus was tested positive, as well as a feral cat from Sussex Road (Avondale West).

Tragically a young boy in Chegutu has died from the disease, two months after being bitten by his neighbour’s dog. We cannot stress enough the importance of having ALL your pets vaccinated annually against this deadly disease.

Should you come into contact with an unknown animal, particularly one displaying unusual behaviour, please seek medical advice immediately. Children must be warned not to interact with strange animals.

RABIES IS 100% FATAL, DON’T TAKE A CHANCE! Please report sightings of suspect animals to VAWZ (0778431528 / 0775722449) or your nearest veterinary surgery.

Rabies (“madness”) is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however it can vary from less than one week to more than one year.

The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system. Early symptoms may include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. This is then followed by either violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, and fear of water or an inability to move parts of the body and confusion followed by loss of consciousness. In both cases once symptoms appear it nearly always results in death.

Ebola Kills Liberian Doctor and infects 2 Americans

(MONROVIA, Liberia) — A high profile doctor in Liberia, Dr. Samuel Brisbane has died of the deadly Ebola disease while an American physician was being treated for virus. This brings to the forefront the risks facing health workers trying to fight a deadly outbreak that has killed more than 680 people in West Africa — the largest ever recorded.

Ebola by the Numbers:

ebola by the numbers

ebola by the numbers

Dr. Kent Brantly, left, cares for Ebola patients at the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia Samaritan's Purse—Reuters

Dr. Kent Brantly, left, cares for Ebola patients at the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia
Samaritan’s Purse—Reuters

Another American, a missionary working in the Liberian capital, has also contracted the virus and is currently being treated, said the sponsor of her work, a pastor of a North Carolina church.

While treating Ebola patients at the country’s largest hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia, Dr. Samuel Brisbane contracted the virus and died on Saturday reported Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister. A Ugandan doctor had already died earlier this month.

33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly, an American physician, was helping to treat patients when he also fell ill with the deadly virus. Currently in a stable condition, he is receiving intensive medical care in a Monrovia hospital.

Early treatment improves a patient’s chances of survival, and Dr Brantly recognized his own symptoms and began receiving care immediately so while he is stable it is not clear if he will fully recover yet.

The American missionary, Nancy Writebol, is dangerously ill and in isolation in a Monrovia hospital, her husband, David Writebol, told a church elder via Skype, according to the Rev. John Munro, pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C.

Despite the deadly Ebola threat, Munro said the couple, who had been in Liberia for about a year, insisted on staying. “These are real heroes — people who do things quietly behind the scenes, people with a very strong vocation and very strong faith,”

Ebola is one of the deadliest viruses in the world and is also highly contagious with no known cure. At least 1,200 people have been infected in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the World Health Organization, and 675 have died. Besides the Liberian fatalities, 321 people have died in Guinea and 226 in Sierra Leone.

Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease caused by ebola viruses. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, throat and muscle pains, and headaches. There is then nausea, vomiting and diarrhea along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. At this point some people begin to have problems with bleeding.

Ebola is first acquired when a person comes into contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal such as a monkey or fruit bat. Fruit bats are believed to carry and spread the disease without being affected by it. Once infection occurs, the disease rapidly spreads from one person to another. Men who survive may be able to transmit the disease sexually for nearly two months

Nigerian authorities have reported that a Liberian man died of Ebola after flying from Monrovia to Lagos via Lome, Togo. The incident showed how difficult it is containing the disease and preventing Ebola victims from travelling considering the symptoms resemble of a fever and sore throat resemble many of illnesses.

Health workers working with patients are among those at greatest risk of contracting the disease, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids.

Photos of Dr Brantly show him swathed head-to-toe in white protective coveralls, gloves and a head-and-face mask that he wore for hours a day while treating Ebola patients.

Ironically, earlier this year, Dr Brantly was quoted in a posting about the dangers facing health workers trying to contain the disease. “In past Ebola outbreaks, many of the casualties have been health care workers who contracted the disease through their work caring for infected individuals,” he said.

The WHO says the disease is not contagious until a person begins to show symptoms. Brantly’s wife and children who had been living with him in Liberia had luckily flown home only the week before he showed any signs of the illness.

In addition to Dr Kent Brantly, a doctor in Liberia’s central Bong County has also fallen ill.

The situation “is getting more and more scary,” said Nyenswah, the country’s assistant health minister.

The fact that a sick Liberian could board a flight to Nigeria raised new fears that other passengers could take the disease beyond Africa.

Nigeria’s international airports, ports and land borders are now on high alert and screening passengers arriving from foreign countries. Togo’s government also said it was on high alert to stop the spread of the disease.

Security analysts were skeptical about the effectiveness of these measures.

“In Nigeria’s case, the security set-up is currently poor, so I doubt it will help or have the minimum effectiveness they are hoping for,” said Yan St. Pierre, CEO of the Berlin-based security consulting firm MOSECON.

An outbreak in Lagos, a megacity where many lived in cramped conditions, could be a potential major public health disaster.

The West Africa outbreak is believed to have begun as far back as January 2014 in southeast Guinea, however the first cases weren’t confirmed until March.

Since then, officials have tried to contain the disease by isolating victims and educating populations on how to avoid transmission, however, weak border control and widespread distrust of health workers has made the Ebola outbreak difficult to bring under control.

News of the Liberian Doctor’s (Brisbane) death first began circulating on Saturday, which was also a national holiday marking Liberia’s independence in 1847.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf used her Independence Day address to discuss a new taskforce to combat Ebola. Information Minister Lewis Brown said the taskforce would go “from community to community, from village to village, from town to town” to try to increase awareness.

Saudata Koroma, a hair dresser in Sierra Leone fell ill in the Capital, Freetown is said to be the first case in the area. She was forcibly removed from a government hospital by her family, sparking a frantic search that ended on Friday. The chief medical officer, Kargbo, said that Koroma had died while being transported to a treatment centre in the east of the country.

ebola virus breakdown

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