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To Boost Revenues Zimbabwe Hikes Traffic Fines

The government says it is embarking on a program to create four-lane roads as the current infrastructure has become dangerous after years of neglect.

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Zimbabwe, traffic
Zimbabwe’s roads have become chaotic after years of neglect as motorists try to look for smoother venues for their vehicles, in Harare, Dec. 31, 2018. VOA

Motorists in Zimbabwe are ringing in the new year by toasting — or cursing — increased traffic fines which are expected to raise needed revenue by the cash-strapped government and reduce car accidents.

Come Jan. 1, if motorists break a traffic law, they will pay as much as $700 for offenses such as speeding, drinking and driving, overloading their vehicle, or driving without a license. The previous maximum penalty was just $30.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government says the move, besides raising revenue, will reduce fatalities on the roads. But Stanford Chigwedere, a public transport driver, says he is against the idea because casualties on Zimbabwe’s roads are not caused by bad driving alone.

“Roads in Zimbabwe are now useless. They want to fine us; we pay tax but they are doing nothing,” Chigwedere said. “Now they are increasing fines to as much as $700, where will that money go to? All roads are full of potholes. We are giving them lots of money. We are not causing deaths or accidents on the roads; it is the police chasing motorists that cause accidents because we will be on these bad roads.”

Critics say the move is a desperate measure to squeeze money from an already overburdened citizenry.

Clever Mundau says he is for the new traffic fines being introduced by the government.

“I think the responsible authority have views, maybe they want the roads to be OK.” Mundau said. “So they are going to make sure that the roads are OK. So let’s just give them time.”

Zimbabwe, traffic
Obio Chinyere, managing director of the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, says major causes of road accidents include speeding and lack of discipline. VOA

According to the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, major causes of road accidents include speeding and lack of discipline. Obio Chinyere, the head of the government agency, says fines by themselves will not work.

“It is not only the fines when you look at the road safety, there are other instruments we can actually use, yes, the fines, but you also have to bring in education, road worthy vehicles,” Chinyere said. “We are saying; yes you can make an error as you drive, if you move out of the road, it shouldn’t be a death sentence, the road should be able to forgive you. Once you leave that road, you are gone.”

Also Read: Zimbabwe Government Aid in The Cholera Outbreak By Pledging Money

Narrow roads have also been an issue, causing some motorists to swerve and get into accidents.

The government says it is embarking on a program to create four-lane roads as the current infrastructure has become dangerous after years of neglect. (VOA)

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Commercial Cloud Helps Microsoft Log $32.5 bn in Revenue

LinkedIn revenue increased 29 per cent while Dynamics products and Cloud services revenue increased 17 per cent, driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 51 per cent

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Microsoft, Taiwan AI
A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

Riding on stupendous growth in its commercial Cloud services, Microsoft logged a revenue of $32.5 billion — up 12 per cent from a year ago — and a net income of $8.4 billion for the quarter ending on December 31.

The commercial Cloud business registered $9 billion in sales for the quarter, for a $36 billion annual run rate.

“Our strong commercial Cloud results reflect our deep and growing partnerships with leading companies in every industry including retail, financial services, and healthcare,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

“We are delivering differentiated value across the cloud and edge as we work to earn customer trust every day.”

The revenue from Surface laptops increased 39 per cent. The company released Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 during the quarter, along with Surface Studio 2 and Surface Headphones.

Revenue in personal computing was $13 billion and Surface is now almost a $2 billion business for Microsoft.

Microsoft
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers the keynote address at Build, the company’s annual conference for software developers. VOA

“Our solid execution delivered another strong quarter, with commercial cloud revenue growing 48 per cent year-over-year to $9 billion,” said Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft.

The revenue in productivity and business Processes was $10.1 billion and increased 13 per cent.

“Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 11 per cent, driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 34 per cent,” said the company.

Also Read- Here’s Why Tim Cook is Not Able to Sell ‘Super Premium’ iPhones in India

Office 365 consumer subscriber base has now hit 33.3 million.

Gaming revenue increased 8 per cent, with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 31 per cent.

LinkedIn revenue increased 29 per cent while Dynamics products and Cloud services revenue increased 17 per cent, driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 51 per cent. (IANS)