President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and First Lady Grace, greeting a rally of the ruling party ZANU-PF. Mugabe will stand for reelection on March 29, 2008.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
PRESIDENT Mugabe has declared March 29 a public holiday to enable workers to vote in the harmonised presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.
The notice, to be cited as the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Notice, 2008, was made through an Extraordinary Government Gazette published yesterday.
"It is hereby declared that Saturday the 29th March, 2008, shall be a public holiday," reads part of the notice.
The announcement was made in terms of section 2 (2) of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act (Chapter 10:21).
President Mugabe also promulgated the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Electoral Act) (No. 2) Regulations, 2008, which would now permit police officers to enter polling stations.
Before the amendments, the law required police officers to be at least 100 metres away from a polling station.
Section 59 of the Electoral Act has also been amended under the regulations and will allow two electoral officers or employees of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and a police officer on duty to assist illiterate voters.
The same applies to Section 60 of the Act under which two electoral officials and a police officer on duty would assist physically incapacitated voters.
Women hail land reform, mechanisation
WOMEN farmers have hailed the Government for economically empowering them through the land reform programme complemented by the Farm Mechanisation Programme.
Speaking during the International Women’s Day celebrations in Harare last week, Women Farmers’ Association president Ms Phides Mazhawidza said what women had received from the Government would go a long way in enhancing food production in the country.
"We have received 180 tractors for women, some animal-drawn implements, seed, fertilizers and other inputs under the third phase of the Farm Mechanisation Programme.’’
Ms Mazhawidza, however, said there was need to include women in irrigation development programmes so that they carried out their agricultural activities throughout the year.
"Currently, women farmers are only involved in summer crop production, but we want to go into irrigation schemes to enable us to grow other crop varieties throughout the year. While many are preparing to go into winter wheat, our farmers would like to complement the country’s grain reserves by planting maize during winter," she said.
Ms Mazhawidza said the irrigation facilities would enable women to venture into horticulture production and establishment of greenhouses.
She said women should also be empowered through science and technology development in order to produce organic fertilizers that would help farmers in the provinces.
Women who had benefited from the Government’s land reform programme, Ms Mazhawidza said, were fully utilising their land, with A1 farmers constituting about 28 percent of the beneficiaries, through maize groundnuts sorghum farming. Eighteen percent of women who benefited from the land redistribution exercise were engaged in cash crop production, cattle ranching and dairying.