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Tue, 26 Sep 2017
Banyana Banyana mentor pays tribute to her charges after winning Cosafa Wom...

Banyana Banyana caretaker coach Desiree Ellis has paid tribute to her team’s gallant effort after they beat Zimbabwe 2-1 to win the Cosafa Women’s Championship crown on Sunday.

Thembi Kgatlana and Leandra Smeda scored in each half to help South Africa to their fourth Cosafa title at a packed Barbourfields Stadium.

“This is a special group of players‚” said Ellis‚ who also won the regional tournament as a player in 2002.

“Just when you think it’s finished they surprise you all the time.

“It’s unbelievable to now have achieved this as a coach 15 years later. “The technical (team) was also fantastic because we kept the players in one piece throughout the tournament.”

Ellis‚ 54‚ maintained that Banyana didn’t play their best game despite them finishing the competition unbeaten.

“I thought at times we could have played more football but we played in patches‚” she said. “We were in complete control in the first half but we started playing the long ball in the second half; this is not our strength and it allowed Zimbabwe to come back in the game.

“People didn’t see the best of us.” Almost overcome by emotion‚ Ellis also dedicated her achievement to her family.

“This is for my family because I’ve been away from home more often than I have been there. “My family have supported me tremendously and this is also for the team and the country.”

Kgatlana was voted Player of the Tournament. She and Smeda also finished as the team’s joint top scorers with four goals apiece


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Wed, 29 Mar 2017
Malaria kills 150 in Zimbabwe

At least 150 people have died of malaria in Zimbabwe over the past two months, with nearly 90,000 infections recorded, a government official said on Monday.

“We have seen increased cases of malaria due to the more rains received this year that increased the breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” Joseph Mberikunashe, malaria director in the ministry of health, told AFP.

Mberikunashe said 151 deaths and 89,261 malaria cases had been recorded in the past two months following heavy rains, which also caused deadly floods.

He said that while a rise in malaria cases was expected after the rains, some of the deaths may have been caused by delays in seeking medical care.

“The deaths are caused by lack of access to health facilities,” he said.

The most affected regions of the country are in the south where floods cut off access to health clinics.

Heavy rains battered the southern African country from December until the end of February, leaving 246 people dead and at least 2,000 people homeless across the country while homes and schools were damaged and several dams burst.

The government has issued an international appeal for aid.

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017
Zimbabwe: Vic Falls airport to boost tourism

The Zimbabwean government hopes to boost tourism to the Southern African country following the completion of $150m upgrade to Victoria Falls International Airport. The enhancements allow wide-body aircraft, such as Boeing 777 and Airbus A340 planes, to land.

The development of the airport – which included increasing the length of the runway from 2.2km to 4km, building a new terminal complete with a new control tower and improving the surrounding road network – was funded by the China Export-Import Bank. The upgrade now means the airport can handle 1.2m passengers annually, up from 500,000 passengers per year.

Some African airlines, including South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Rwanda’s RwandAir, have committed to routes to the improved airport. Meanwhile, non-African airlines, such as Dubai-headquartered Emirates and the UK’s British Airways, also have flights travelling to the new-look Victoria Falls airport.

The Tourism will grow in Zimbabwe because of the new Victoria Falls airport and the commitment of international airlines is an indication that the tourism sector will recover, Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe’s minister for tourism, told the BBC.

“In the past, we’ve suffered from accessibility [to Victoria Falls] problems where people are at sixes and sevens about how to reach a natural wonder like Victoria Falls,” he said. “Now they are able to land directly.”

Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has stagnated since the preceding events that led to the violent fast-track land reform in 2000, which saw 4,000 white farmers forced from their land which was given to around one million black farmers. Zimbabwe’s economy has since shrunk over the last two decades, falling from 10.4% growth in 1996 to 0.5% in 2015.

Tourists to the Southern African country have been put off by regular police roadblocks where drivers are forced to pay fines of up to $20 for a series of trivial infringements. The airport would allow tourists to bypass the roadblocks and land directly near one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The importance of the new airport bringing in visitors to Victoria Falls avoid travelling to Zimbabwe and the tourists travel to Zambia instead, denying Zimbabwe’s economy much-needed foreign currency. The issue was recently highlighted when American actor Will Smith’s bungee jump video off the Victoria Falls bridge went viral last week.

Media reports suggested that the Men in Black actor had traveled to Zimbabwe, however, Zambians on social media were quick to point out that Smith had actually traveled to their country.

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