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Mudede exposed as ‘ghost’ seeks passport

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:09

BY PATRICE MAKOVA

A Mutare man seeking to renew his passport was told at the Registrar-General
Office he was long dead and was shown a death certificate to prove it.

Elias Simbarashe Munanzwi got the shock of his life when last month he was
told by officials that he could not renew his passport because there was a
death certificate bearing his name, identity number, date of birth and
village of origin.

Records from the Registrar-General’s Office show that Munanzwi died in
Midlands town of Shurugwi on October 9 2009 and was buried at Mashababe
village in Zhombe. The cause of death was listed as multiple
injuries/assault and the death entry number is #SKW/10.

Munanzwi, who hails from Chirumhanzu but now works in Mutare, said he has
not been to Shurugwi for decades and has no relatives in Zhombe.
“I was shocked to learn that records from the RG’s Office show that I am
dead,” he said.

“Up to now, I fail to understand how a death certificate was created bearing
all my identity particulars.”

The case has raised eyebrows in civic and political circles, as it proves
once again that records at the RG’s office are in a shambles as living
people are listed as deceased, further casting doubt about the authenticity
of the voters’ roll and the possibility of holding credible elections in the
country.

Investigations by The Standard established that the births and deaths
registration process was fraught with errors and irregularities as some
officials were not properly capturing data of living and deceased people,
reflecting badly on the voters’ roll.

The Standard wrote to Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede seeking clarification
on the issue. A senior official in Mudede’s office, a K Bvumavaranda said
the matter was under investigation, but two weeks down the line, the probe
is yet to be completed.

“We are aware of your request. These issues take long to investigate. We
will inform you once we have completed the investigations,” said an official
who answered Mudede’s phone but refused to identify himself.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs were surprised that the RG’s Office
was taking long to investigate an issue which should otherwise be completed
in a matter of minutes or hours, as all the information was computerised and
centralised in Harare.

“The case of the man who is recorded as dead, but is alive is just a tip of
the iceberg,” said the source.

“We are aware of several errors which are being made in the registration
process and people have every reason to fear that the system can be open to
abuse, especially when it comes to the voters’ roll.”

The Standard travelled to Kwekwe and Zhombe to try to establish the true
identity of the person said to have died.
Investigations in Mashababe village in Chief Samambwa area, showed that the
person who died in Shurugwi was a gold panner, Mahara Munanzwi (not related
to Elias).

The Standard spoke to village head, Lameck Mashababe, and members of Mahara’s
family who were all oblivious to the fact that their son was still alive, at
least according to official records.

The village head and family were also not aware of a Pianos Mashababe, who
signed the death notification in Shurugwi. Mahara was born in Zhombe in
1981, while Elias Simbarashe was born in 1961.

Mahara’s younger brother, Tichaona and stepmother, Gogo Munanzwi, said it
was baffling to learn that the RG’s Office bungled in handling the death
certificate and suspected that this was done deliberately.

“I smell a rat here,” said Tichaona.

“Maybe someone is trying to steal my brother’s identity and use it for
political reasons.”

Political parties and civil society organisations said such gaffes by the RG’s
Office proved that the registration of births, deaths and voters was in a
shambles and far from being perfect, contrary to claims by Mudede.

The director of the Election Resource Centre, Tawanda Chimhini said the
system was flawed with the voters’ roll populated with deceased people,
children as young as three years and individuals aged over 100 years.

He said death registration was done using a person’s unique identification
number, which differed from individual to individual, even in the event of
people sharing names.

“How could they punch wrong information as they were in possession of the
person’s ID number?” asked Chimhini.

“This shows lack of capacity for the office, which has the mandate to
register voters and help in running elections. It’s a clear indication that
the documentation process is chaotic and that the system is not
†water-tight.”

He called for a comprehensive public audit of the deaths registration
process and the voters’ roll in order to allay fears that the electoral
process could be manipulated using dead people.

Chimhini said some of the thousands of people who died in rural areas were
not registered as dead since the process was costly for people living in
remote places.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) chairman, Tinoziva Bere, said the
Zhombe case proved that the voters’ roll was imperfect, which could
potentially disenfranchise the electorate.

“The registration process should not be cleaned in secret, as this will
produce errors,” he said.

“Errors such as wrong addresses are still prevalent. We also believe that
the registration process should be more accessible to the people to
eliminate some of these mistakes.”


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Soldiers accused of interfering in Zanu PF restructuring exercise

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:07

BY PATRICE MAKOVA AND NUNURAI JENA

A Central Committee member has appealed to Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)
commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, to remove soldiers in the Midlands
province who are meddling in Zanu PF politics.

Victor Matemadanda’s action has come at a time when confusion and chaos have
rocked the current Zanu PF restructuring exercise amid revelations that
soldiers are interfering in the process in order to prop certain candidates.

Zanu PF officials claim that soldiers have been deployed in different
provinces where they are engaged in factional politics, causing confusion to
an already chaotic process.

Sources told The Standard that Zanu PF bigwigs were eager to put their
loyalists in strategic positions during the District Coordinating Committee
elections in order to position themselves in the race to succeed President
Mugabe and to safeguard themselves, come primary elections.
“The old guard is running scared because of threats posed by the youthful
members of the party. They are using every trick in the book in a desperate
attempt to block their rivals,” said one youth leader.

In a letter addressed to Chiwenga, Matemadanda complained about the
deployment of several senior army and Air Force officers in Midlands
province, particularly Gokwe.

Matemadanda alleged that the senior officers (names withheld) were engaged
in factional politics despite concerted efforts to refrain such activities
which have “brewed a harbinger of discord, minefield of cracks and serious
discontent within the rank and file ahead of any forthcoming internal
assignments”.

Matemadanda, a known loyalist of the faction led by Defence minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa, called for the removal of the soldiers before they
caused further chaos.

Contacted for comment, Mate-madanda could neither deny nor confirm that he
was the author of the letter. “How did you get hold of the letter?” he said.
“I cannot speak to you over the phone.”

ZDF spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi could not be reached for comment as
he was said to be travelling to Bulawayo.

In Mashonaland West, John Mafa, who is party provincial chairman, as well as
head of the Joint Monitoring Committee (Jomic) also confirmed that there
were reports of soldiers being deployed in the area.

Mafa said complaints have been raised alleging that soldiers beat up
residents in Magunje and Norton.

“There are cases of violence involving soldiers although to some extent we
established that the cases were not politically motivated,” he said. Mafa
cited the case of a soldier who was given a hiding after urinating at the
vendors’ wares.

The soldier then ran away and came back with his colleagues who
indiscriminately beat up patrons and residents in Norton, he said.

In other parts of the country, there were similar reports of chaotic scenes.
In Manicaland province, DCC elections were nullified in Makoni district
where secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa was accused of imposing
candidates.

There was also chaos in Mutare yesterday as some party members were
breathing fire, accusing the provincial executive of trying to impose
candidates in Mutare and Zimunya Marange.

Sources in the province said there were attempts to block Harare-based
chicken farmer Jonathan Kadzura from contesting the Mutare West constituency
which is being eyed by Manicaland Governor, Chris Mushowe.

In Midlands there were reports that DCC election results were nullified in
Gweru and Zvishavane due to alleged imposition of candidates.
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said he had not
yet been briefed about the outcome of the restructuring exercise nor was he
aware of the deployment of soldiers.

“The Politburo will only be able to know the challenges and shortcomings in
the restructuring exercise once provinces have submitted their reports next
(this) week,” he said.


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Elections shameful without credible voters’ roll: Chamisa

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:14

MDC-T organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa said it was not possible to hold
credible elections without addressing fundamental issues around the voters’
roll.
He said the registration process was cumbersome and repulsive to people who
wanted to register as voters.
“We have tabled our concerns with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and
other relevant offices, but they are yet to respond to us,” he said.
Chamisa, who is also the minister of information and communication
technology, said there was need to adopt digital biometric voters’ roll
which included photos of those on the roll.

He said the registration process should also be moved to ZEC.

Last year, Zesn published findings which proved that 27% of the registered
names were of dead people and at least 3 000 were of people in the advanced
ages between 110 and 130 years old.

The report said about 52% of men were registered compared with 48% of women,
which was unusual considering that there were more females in the country.

Zanu PF wants to hold elections this year using the old voters’ roll and
before the implementation of agreed political reforms, including a new
constitution.


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Mudzingwa deserved hero status: MDC-T

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:13

MDC-T has said the late Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and
Infrastructural Development, Senator Tichaona Mudzingwa, who died last week,
must have been declared a national hero for his contribution during the
liberation struggle.

Mudzingwa, who suffered a cardiac arrest, will be laid to rest today at Glen
Forest cemetery in Harare.

Speaking at the funeral service yesterday, MDC-T secretary-general, Tendai
Biti, said it was unfortunate that Mudzingwa was not accorded national hero’s
status as he fought in the liberation struggle alongside the late army
commander Solomon Mujuru and Nikita Mangena.

“Mudzingwa was the chief of doctors during the liberation struggle, a hero
of heroes,” said Biti, who is also Finance minister.

“It is however, unfortunate that he was not accorded the status befitting a
hero who fought liberation struggles in his lifetime.”

Mudzingwa served in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) between 1980 and 1994,
rising to the position of colonel before retiring. He was born on December
23 1942 in Buhera and is survived by his son.
His wife died three years ago.


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MP questioned over revenge reports

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:06

MDC-T MP for Zaka West, Festus Dumbu was last week interrogated by police
over allegations that he was hunting for Zanu PF supporters who allegedly
abducted and assaulted an official of his party.

He was questioned for about 50 minutes at Triangle Police Station.

MDC-T alleges that Zanu PF leadership in the Wasara area of Chiredzi North
Resettlement made a police report claiming that during the Easter holiday,
Dumbu together with youths from Zaka West, were hunting for the assailants
of one of their members with the intention to revenge.

They said Dumbu wanted to avenge the abduction and assault of MDC-T Zaka
West secretary for defence and security, Rhinos Musareva, by suspected Zanu
PF supporters before being handed over to the police accused of stealing
from a fellow villager.

The Zanu PF officials told the police that they had fled their homes and
were now living in the surrounding hills for fear of attack by Dumbu and his
youths.
Efforts to get a comment from Dumbu were fruitless.

Masvingo police spokesperson Tineyi Matake had yesterday morning promised to
supply information regarding the issue but was not answering his phone when
repeated attempts to contact him were made later.

— By Our Staff


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Zanu PF disowns Chinhoyi terror group

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:04

BY NUNURAI JENA
CHINHOYI — Zanu PF has disowned its youths who are accused of spearheading
political violence against perceived opponents in Mashonaland West province.
Speaking at a Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) meeting
in Chinhoyi last week, Zanu PF Provincial Chairman, John Mafa, said the
youths causing mayhem in the town and other parts of Mashonaland West
province were “criminals and not party members”.

The group, known as “Top Six”, has been beating up and harassing residents
and villagers in the name of Zanu PF.

They became notorious during the 2008 violent elections, in which the MDC-T
claimed that 200 of its supporters were murdered by Zanu PF militia and
state security agents.

Mafa, who is the chairman of Mashonaland West Jomic liaison committee,
appealed to members of the public who were victimised to report all cases to
the police.

“I don’t know whether it’s top one, two or six. I’m appealing to members of
the public to report such cases to the police,” said Mafa.

When pressed by journalists, Mafa argued the group’s actions were not in
tandem with his party’s principles of “engaging the masses”.

Mafa added that political parties that engaged in violence would learn the
hard way come elections because “people will vote in their numbers against
such a party”.

He said the committee was investigating at least 11 cases of violence in
which teachers were targeted by the marauding youths in Hurungwe, Sanyati
and Makonde districts.

Another Jomic committee me-mber from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC
formation, Silas Matamisa, discouraged journalists from using inflammatory
language in their reporting to avoid whipping up emotions within the
communities.

The Jomic provincial liaison committee comprises representatives from the
three political parties in the inclusive government.

Jomic making progress in reducing political† violence: Ngwenya

Another Jomic member in Mashonaland West province, Tagwireyi Ngwenya of the
Welshman Ncube-led MDC, claimed that Jomic was making tremendous progress in
reducing violence in the provinces despite assertions by some that it was a
“toothless bulldog”.

Ngwenya said the committee would continue to go to the grassroots level to
preach the gospel of peace.

“As Jomic, we shall go to the districts and wards, even to cell level,
preaching the gospel of peace to all members of political parties,” said
Ngwenya.


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Mat province seeks to tackle education crisis

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:04

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO — A Bulawayo-based civic organisation this week hosts an education
conference in the city to tackle root causes of the poor performance of
schools in Matabeleland during last year’s Ordinary and Advanced Level
examinations.

The conference, organised by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
(BPRA), will bring together academics, Ministry of Education officials,
residents and other civic groups concerned with the poor performance of
schools in Matabeleland region.

According to rankings by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec)
for the November 2011 examinations, no school in Matabeleland region made it
into the top 10 in the ‘A’ Level category. Only five schools from three
provinces in Matabeleland made it into the top 50 in the ‘O’ Level category.
BPRA spokesperson, Zibusiso Dube, expressed disappointment at the
performance of schools in Matabeleland.

“It is unacceptable and a scandal for schools to be performing badly when
parents are spending scarce resources on school fees and subsidising
teachers’ salaries through incentives,” said Dube.

Zibusiso said the reasons for the poor performance must be known so that
remedial action can be taken to address the problem.

“It is in this light that we are hosting this conference bringing together
various concerned groups and education officials to bring a stop to this,”
he said.
“The poor performance by Matabeleland schools meant that children from the
region cannot compete for places at universities, as their counterparts from
other regions will be better qualified.”

He said it was a tragedy for the region, as it was likely to continue
lagging behind in terms of development since education is key to sustainable
development.

Pressure groups from the Matabeleland region have always complained about
their lack of development and marginalisation by central government,
prompting them to call for devolution.


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Special interest councillors dismissed

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:03

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO — A Bulawayo High Court Judge has ordered the immediate dismissal
of five Zanu PF losing candidates in the 2008 elections appointed by Local
Government, Urban and Rural Development minister, Ignatious Chombo, as
Matobo special interest councillors.
Justice Maphios Cheda last week granted an order to six Matobo villagers who
lodged an urgent High Court chamber application seeking the dismissal of
Chombo’s appointees.

In a hearing held last week, Chombo, through his representative Khonzani
Ncube who is Bulawayo provincial administrator, however, denied that he had
appointed the Zanu PF losing candidates as special interest councillors.

Chombo also professed ignorance about a letter he allegedly wrote to the
Matobo council directing it to install the councillors.
The said letter written in February directed the local authority to install
Never Khanye, Jane Phuthi, Pilate Dube, Sithembile Ndlovu and Sanders Siziba
as special interest councillors.

Khanye is an aspiring Zanu PF legislator for Matobo, Phuthi is a Zanu PF
central committee member and Dube is the party’s losing candidate in Ward 28
council elections in 2008. Ndlovu and Siziba also lost the 2008
parliamentary elections.

The letter in question came under focus during the hearing after Ncube kept
denying knowledge of it.

Justice Cheda granted an order reversing the appointments with immediate
effect.

The Matobo RDC was represented by its chief executive officer Ernest Ndlovu
and chairman Watchy Sibanda.

Six Matobo villagers, Garikai Dhliwayo, Henry Ncube, Themba Dube, Priscilla
Sibanda, Morinah Sibanda and Gladys Ncube had challenged the appointments at
the High Court after describing them as illegal and an attempt to disturb
council operations.

The six were represented by Job Sibanda of Job Sibanda and Associates.

The MDC formations have accused Chombo of using the provision on special
interest councillors to dilute MDC-led urban councils by appointing Zanu PF
functionaries.

According to the Urban Councils Act, appointed councillors are entitled to
participate in council business and perform the same functions as elected
councillors.

The act gives the minister a special dispensation to appoint special
interest councillors up to 25% of the democratically elected councillors.


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Residents threaten demos

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:01

BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
MUTARE residents and council workers here have threatened to stage
demonstrations this week, in protest against the acquisition of
state-of-the-art vehicles by senior managers, when service provision remains
pathetic due to lack of funds.

Sources said council bought three vehicles worth US$150 000 for senior
managers recently.

Town clerk Obert Muzawazi, received a Mercedes Benz ML worth US$60 000 while
the remainder was shared between the director of Housing and Community
Services, Sternard Mapurisa, and engineer, Donald Nyatoti, who got Toyata
Isuzu double cabs each.

Muzawazi confirmed receiving the vehicles.

Combined Mutare Residents and Ratepayers’ Association (Comrra) chairman,
Desmond Mwedzi, has slammed the move and threatened to spearhead
demonstrations.

“It comes as a surprise that the council can manage to buy these vehicles
for the top managers for that kind of money yet service delivery is going
down,” he said.

He said council employees were poorly paid and were not getting their
salaries on time.

The workers have not received their bonuses for last year “but the town
clerk and his senior managers find it prudent to buy luxury cars using the
ratepayers’ money. We will not rest until sanity prevails at council”.

Mwedzi said residents were aware that Mutare mayor, Brian James, was
suspended from council to block the auditing of council finances.
He said the association had been calling for the audit of council books and
other books including, Pungwe Breweries, where “we know that there is
rampant corruption going on there”.

A council employee in the workers’ committee who cannot be named to avoid
victimisation said:

“This is painful and at the same time, heartless. Council employees are
earning peanuts and we have not received last year’s bonuses.”
The worker also confirmed the imminent strike adding that the workers were
in the process of engaging their lawyers to assist them on all the
procedures.

“This time, it is going to be a massive strike that has never been seen at
the council offices before, because it will be a joint demonstration where
all concerned residents and stakeholders are going to join in,” he said.

But Muzawazi said the purchase of the vehicles was above board, as it was
done in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural
Development.

“We had consultations with the ministry and it is also under the Urban
Councils’ Act that councils can buy service delivery vehicles under the
capital account,” said Muzawazi.

“I know that those people making noise have got an agenda. We did not use
the ratepayers’ money, but it was from the capital account that enables
councils to buy assets to facilitate smooth service delivery.”

Muzawazi said the managers had been using their personal vehicles to carry
out council duties for a long time.

“For example, myself, I have been using a B1800 truck while Mr Mapurisa has
been using his personal truck (a Mazda B1600 truck) and Mr Nyatoti was using
a pool vehicle.

“Let me remind those who are making unnecessary noise that Mutare was the
only major city in the whole country that had no vehicles for its top
management,” said Muzawazi.

In other cities, he said, senior officials were driving Fortuners, classy
Mercedes Benzes and Prados.

bonus a privilege, not a right: Muzawazi

On the issue of salaries, Muzawazi said: “We have been able to pay our
workers monthly. Comparing with other councils, you can see that we have not
skipped a single month.”

He said the issue of bonus for workers was not a right but a privilege. “

“It is regrettable that some of our workers think that bonus is a right, it
is a privilege. Our employees are very privileged that we are giving them
bonuses.

“As of last week, the employees have started getting their bonuses and I do
not know what they mean if they say they did not get their bonuses.”


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Abolish two Parly chambers: Makoni

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 20:01

BY MOSES CHIBAYA
ZIMBABWE must abolish the two chambers of parliament, as the country is too
small and poor to afford such luxury, president of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn
(MKD), Simba Makoni said.

Speaking at a public debate on the new constitution, co-hosted by the Media
Centre and the Election Support Centre in Harare recently, Makoni said
Zimbabwe was too poor to afford a bicameral system.

“We should abolish the two chambers of parliament and go to one chamber. A
country as small and poor as ours, cannot afford the luxury of two
†chambers,” said Makoni.

“Even one chamber should be reduced to a moderate size of 150 people . . .
representing 14 million people is quite equitable.”

Parliament has 210 MPs and 93 senators who draw substantial amounts of
allowances and loans from government annually.

The former Finance minister said politicians in the coalition government had
failed dismally to serve the people. He said they were now concentrating on
consolidating their power instead of serving people who voted them into
office.

“From February 13 2009 to date, the people who assumed office to transit our
country from crisis and conflict to peace, reconciliation, harmony and
stability have not seen that as their principal mandate. instead, they have
made their principal mandate to contest for power.”

Makoni also said there was a crop of individuals who were contesting each
other to “acquire more power and more material resources for themselves”.
The MKD leader added that the new constitution must affirm limits of terms
of State office, including that of the Prime Minister and all State offices
“must have term limits”.

“Two terms are enough for a minister to serve for his people. two terms are
enough,” said Makoni.

Co-panelist, Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Advocate
Eric Matinenga, concurred with Makoni, saying he was going to lead by
example by serving only one term in office.

The inclusive government was formed in February 2009 after protracted
negotiations brokered by South Africa between Zanu-PF and the two MDC
formations.


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Zim still struggling 32 years on

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:59

BY PATRICE MAKOVA
ZIMBABWE marks 32 years of independence this week with the future of the
country still not clear as the major political parties in the country
continue to haggle over the implementation of political reforms while
blaming each other or foreigners for the current socio-economic problems.

The shaky coalition government has not agreed on the contents of a new
constitution and the implementation of political, electoral, security sector
and media reforms remains a pipe- dream.

Zanu PF wants elections this year with or without a new constitution, but
the two MDC formations insist on the implementation of the agreed reforms
and election roadmap.

The country’s partisan securocrats have indicated that they would not salute
anyone who did not have liberation war credentials, meaning that they would
not recognise Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC in the event that he
wins elections against President Robert Mugabe.

While the parties continue to quarrel, poverty, hunger, unemployment, high
food prices, and political violence threaten to wipe the gains of
independence.

Analysts said although the country has made some strides in improving the
lives of people, 32 years down the line, many are still to realise the
better life they were promised at independence in 1980.

Social rights activist, Hopewell Gumbo said the hard-won independence from
colonial rule has been “recklessly” squandered in the last two decades owing
to poor management of the economy and a reversal of the boom in social and
economic justice upliftment in the first decade.

“The boom has been overshadowed by a completely opposite way of running the
country for the benefit of the majority in favour of the few rich and
politically powerful,” he said.

Gumbo said only a small minority now presided over the State with far
greater privileges than many who looked to the struggle for independence
with hope.

He said as new generations come to realise the reality of a struggle that
lost its way, sooner or later a re-awakening was begging and ultimate
social, economic and political independence was on the horizon.

“The old and tired forces of domination are arguably on the other side of
the cliff,” said Gumbo.

“The poor and politically oppressed must start the long walk to freedom now
and organise for the restoration of the values for true independence whose
arrival saw many lose their lives and loved ones.”

Political commentator, Blessing Vava said significant gains have been made
in terms of access to resources for the black majority unlike in the past
when everything was in the hands of the colonialists.

However, he noted that the processes involved have been skewed to benefit a
particular group at the expense of broad-based empowerment.
“A majority of Zimbabweans are still landless and living in abject poverty,”
said Vava.

He said although the growth of Zimbabwe’s education system in the last 20
years was highly commendable, it was sad to note that authorities were now
turning a blind eye on the sector.

Vava said as long as Zanu PF has no clear succession plan, the foreseeable
future was not promising as the 88-year-old President Robert Mugabe is now
in his twilight.

“If Mugabe dies or is incapacitated, there is a high likelihood of chaos as
political heavyweights move to assume power from their different factions,”
said Vava.

He said there was need for the unconditional opening of democratic space by
doing away with the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and all other laws
that stifle enjoyment of the democratic space.

There is also need for policies that encourage wealth creation and not
wealth grabbing, while the police and army have to restore professionalism
and stop being partisan and respect the wishes of the people, said Vava.

“Above all, Zimbabwe needs a genuine, democratic, people- driven
constitution that will allow for the participation of citizens in national
democratic processes like elections,” he said.

But Zimbabwe National Liberation War collaborators Association (ZNLWCA)
chairman and Zanu PF activist, Pupurai Togarepi is of the view that
Zimbabweans are now enjoying the fruits of independence as they were now
free to form or join political parties of their choice and exercise their
right to vote.

“We have also reclaimed our resources such as the land and minerals, but
what the country needs to ensure is that these are accessible and enjoyed by
everyone which was the basis of the war of liberation,” he said.

Togarepi said the future of the country was positive; as Zimbabweans were
now able to sit together in order to resolve their political differences.

we should vote for capable people, not noise-makers, says Chihwayi

Kurauone Chihwayi, who is the deputy spokesperson for the Professor Welshman
Ncube-led MDC, said while his party joined the majority of Zimbabweans in
celebrating Independence, it was sad to note many people were still living a
miserable life.

He said the nation witnessed bizarre incidents such as Gukurahundi in
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early 1980’s which saw the
killing of thousands of people during an army crackdown.

Chihwayi said there has been serious abuse of office by the majority of Zanu
PF officials, selective application of the rule of law, state sponsored
violence, a partisan and haphazard land reform programme and the crafting of
anti-people laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (Aippa) and Posa.

“Zimbabweans are yet to enjoy total social, political and economic freedom,”
he said.

Chihwayi said the past 32 years have been characterised by anarchy, election
rigging, police and army brutalities and organised “looting” of private
properties.

“The only way out for Zimbabweans is not repeating the mistake we made in
1980 of replacing a white oppressor with a black oppressor,” he said. “We
should avoid voting for deadwood, we should vote for capable people, not
noise-makers.”


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Hard-up families rely on remittances from abroad

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:57

BY NQABA MATSHAZI
SIHLE Ndlovu, a mother of four, says her biggest worry is that her two sons
may be deported from neighbouring South Africa, as they have been her
lifeblood for the past six years.
Her sons send money regularly back home, but are undocumented and she fears
if they returned to Zimbabwe, her major source of income may be cut off.

“If it was not for them, I would have died in 2008,” she says. “They send
money for rentals, school fees for their siblings and groceries too.”
Ndlovu, a single mother, said she relied on cross-border transporters to
bring her money and groceries from her sons, although they were sometimes
erratic and unreliable.

“Sometimes the money delays or it never gets here, but I am grateful for the
times when I get it,” she said.
In recent years pirate commuter omnibuses, popularly known as omalayitsha,
have recorded brisk business ferrying goods and money between South Africa
and Zimbabwe, while some bus operators at Roadport Terminus in Harare
regularly tout themselves as the best “hand to hand carriers” of cash and
goods.

Despite the unreliability of informal remittance methods, a study by a South
African rights group revealed that Zimbabweans in South Africa were sending
home up to US$900 million dollars annually.

However, this money is largely sent through informal means, a report
launched last week by People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty
(Passop) revealed last week.

The study revealed that of an estimated three million Zimbabweans, 90% sent
money home regularly, sending an average of a third of their incomes.
“These findings are higher than those from most other remittance corridors
in various parts of the world, which underscores the depth of the current
dependence on remittances in Zimbabwe,” reads the report.

The report estimated that 40% of the remittances were repatriated back to
Zimbabwe.

“This accentuates not only the importance remittances currently have in
supporting livelihoods, but also their effect on the Zimbabwean economy,
being one of the most important sources of foreign currency inflows,”
continues the report, titled; Strangling the lifeline: An analysis of
remittance flows from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

The latest figures by Passop indicate a huge jump in the amounts being
remitted to Zimbabwe as in 2010 the World Bank had put the figure at between
US$360 and US$490 million.

Probably to reflect the variance between informal and formal remittances,
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in January 2011 said repatriations accounted
for US$263,3 million.

Latest figures were unavailable.

Remittances have for long been the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy,
observers have said, but since most of the repatriation was done informally,
it was difficult to tell how much was being sent back.

But for Ndlovu and millions others, they hope the cost of sending money back
home is reduced as that could mean more money for themselves and those who
are remitting it.

cost of sending money too high: Passop

The Passop report argues that the amount being sent back by Zimbabweans
could be much higher, save for the high costs of sending money from South
Africa. Remitting money costs between 10 and 15% of the value sent, while in
other more efficient countries the charge is between 3 and 5%.

“To charge exorbitant fees on the money sent back by immigrants and refugees
to their desperate families is to strangle their lifeline,” Braam Hanekom,
Passop director, said. “The excessive difficulty and high fees charged is
surely another factor prolonging the crisis in Zimbabwe and increasing
migration flows to South Africa. It is clear that South Africa is not doing
Zimbabwe or itself any favours here.”

The report argues that if the development gains for Zimbabwe are to be
maximised then the formalisation of remittance flows must be fostered
through the implementation of a number of key reforms.


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Suburbs go for weeks without water

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:37

BY JENNIFER DUBE
CHITUNGWIZA is facing a serious water crisis with some suburbs going for
over a week without running water, exposing residents to diseases.
The situation is most pronounced in suburbs such as Unit D, E, H, O, N and
St Mary’s, where residents fetch water from shallow wells and
sewage-polluted streams. This exposes residents to water-borne diseases such
as cholera and typhoid.

A visit by The Standard last week established that most suburbs only got
water for four days per week while others went up to a week or two without a
drop of the precious liquid.

This situation is compounded by the fact that Chitungwiza, commonly referred
to as a dormitory town about 25 kilometres south of Harare, only gets 30
megalitres of water per day from the capital city although it requires 43
megalitres daily.

Harare is also battling to meet water demands from its residents.

The few boreholes drilled by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in
Chitungwiza cannot adequately meet the residents’ needs.
For example, a single borehole in Zengeza 1, also serves residents of
Zengeza 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Those with cars are sometimes forced to drive to Harare to fetch water.

A team assembled by the Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural
Development, Ignatious Chombo, following the suspension of several senior
council officials on allegations of corruption to resuscitate the fortunes
of the town, has pledged to improve water supply.

The town recently got 1,9 million euros (US$2,9 million) from the African
Development Bank (AfDB) African Water Facility to upgrade its water pipeline
which stretches from Harare as part of interventions to alleviate the water
problems.

Chitungwiza acting clerk Fungai Mbetsa said the AfDB money had already been
channelled towards improving water and sewer infrastructure.
“With regards to water supply, the grant is being utilised to procure and
install 10 bulk meters and 10 automated pressure reducing valves along the
supply pipeline from Harare,” Mbetsa said.

“Automated pressure reducing valves will therefore ensure equitable
distribution of water to all sections of the municipal area of Chitungwiza.”

He said the grant also provided for drilling of 10 boreholes in Seke’s Unit
O and P, which are hardest hit by the water shortages.

Mbetsa said the council had also started engaging various stakeholders
including financial institutions and government with the hope of sourcing
US$550 million for the construction of Nyatsime and Muda dams, which are
expected to yield 110 megalitres per day.

For fear of contracting water-borne diseases, some residents have resorted
to boiling or using chemicals to purify water for drinking.


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Councils urged to ensure their bills are paid

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:37

Economic analyst John Robertson said urban councils should come up with ways
of ensuring that everyone pays their bills if they are to revamp service
delivery in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
“The majority of urban residents are not paying rates to their respective
town councils and most councils will continue to be overwhelmed by demand
because they cannot cater for the ever-increasing population. They are
operating on limited budgets,” he said.

Robertson said councils should adopt strategies that have been taken in
other countries such as Scotland, England and Wales, where the local
governments introduced community or poll tax.

“In other countries such as Scotland, Wales and England, this system of
taxation was introduced in the late 90’s which provided for a single
flat-rate per-capita tax on every adult, at a rate set by the local
authority,” he said.

Community or poll tax is a fixed tax charged per adult resident, for the
services provided by the local authority in a community.
The unemployed are usually taxed less than those who are formally employed.

But social commentator Kennedy Dapi said introducing a tax would
disadvantage residents as they were already burdened by huge bills against
the backdrop of poor service delivery and economic hardships.


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Chitungwiza residents lose faith in their council

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:36

BY SOFIA MAPURANGA
RESIDENTS of Chitungwiza have lost faith in the local authority which is
failing to attend to problems of sewage, water and general decadence of
facilities in the town.

They said reports to the council about burst sewer and water pipes were
never attended to in time.

Pedestrians have virtually replaced traffic on the once tarred roads as most
drivers opt for the side pathways because what has remained of the roads are
just thin patches of tar that damage the vehicle tyres.

Chenai Nyazema (32) of Zengeza 1 said reporting a blocked pipe or
overflowing sewage to council was a waste of time since officials always
referred residents to private plumbers. Most of these plumbers, she said,
were council employees who “moonlighted” during working hours using council
equipment.

“We spent almost a month with raw sewage flowing at the corner of the main
road from town and Rufaro Street such that we nicknamed the place pachimbuzi
(toilet place),” said Nyazema. “Council officials take forever to come and
rectify burst sewage and pipes.”

Nyazema said the raw sewage was a health hazard to Shingai Primary School
children who have to cross the road on a daily basis, some of them
bare-footed.

A grade six pupil at Shingai Primary School said younger pupils were
oblivious of the danger they exposed themselves to by walking through the
raw sewage.

“Grade one and two pupils play with the raw sewage sailing their toy boats
ignoring warnings from older pupils, ” she said.

She said sometimes pupils were splashed with the raw sewage by motorists
driving past sewage-filled potholes.

Another resident, Dorcas Nhira of Unit D said her neighborhood was now
associated with the stench of raw sewage which has been flowing
uninterrupted through the area over the years.

“Raw sewage flows on a daily basis near Seke 1 High School and this place is
not only a health hazard to students but also to people who reside in the
vicinity,” she said.

officials accused of greed

Some Chitungwiza residents say city council officials are more concerned
with lining their pockets than providing services to the people.
“Council is more concerned with giving huge salaries to top management while
residents are getting a raw deal in terms of service delivery,” said Diana
Dhero.

“When you go to make a report of a blocked sewer or burst pipe, you are
either ignored or referred to someone who is never within council premises.”
Acting town clerk for Chitungwiza, Fungai Mbetsa said council was in the
process of developing a maintenance schedule aimed at improving residents’
living standards.

“Sewer blockage in the municipal area has been reduced from 400 to below 200
cases reported weekly and council has secured operational vehicles for use
by council de-blocking teams to respond to residents’ needs,” said Mbetsa in
a statement recently.


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Creches under scrutiny

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:33

BY JENNIFER DUBE
HARARE city council has expressed concern over the proliferation of creches,
the majority of which do not meet the minimum hygienic standards recommended
by the local authority.

There are fears that poor hygienic conditions would expose the children to
communicable diseases, especially now that Harare is experiencing frequent
outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as typhoid, dysentery and cholera.

A council discussion on conditions of creches in Harare was sparked by the
rising number of applications for change of use of residential houses to
creches.
An environmental management committee of Harare City Council recently
indicated that several landlords in both high and low-density suburbs had
requested to be allowed to use their residential property as creches.

These included houses in Greencroft, Braeside, Kuwadzana, Avondale, and
Tynwald.

“I have visited some of these creches in my ward and what I saw is not
†good,” Councillor Joyce Kariwo said.

“At some of the creches, you find over 100 children crowded in a small room
called a classroom and when it is time for their afternoon nap, small
blankets are spread on the floor for them to sleep on.”

She said most of the staff at the creches did not possess the requisite
training on teaching, caring for and cooking for the children.

“In my ward, some of these creche owners have started tuckshops where they
sell the juice brought for the kids. If you taste the drink they give to the
children, you realise it is just tasteless coloured water,” said Kariwo.

Councillor Urayayi Mangwiro said people were taking advantage of the gap
left by the few early learning institutions offered by government.

Mangwiro said very few schools were offering Zero Grade classes, leaving
parents with no option but to look for alternative institutions for their
children.
Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said he had raised the issue with the Minister of
Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, David Coltart, who promised that his
ministry would evaluate the extent of the problem before taking steps to
resolve it.

‘Ablution facilities not suitable for kids’

many councillors said in most cases, ablution facilities are not suitable
for the young children.

They said, instead of buying smaller chambers, some creches stuck to the
standard ones, with children having to struggle to scale on the chambers,
sometimes without adult assistance.

Others expressed concern that there was no organisation that looked into
adherence to minimum health requirements of staff at creches.
In the absence of such a body, the councillors said, the children risked
contracting contagious diseases.


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MSU official dispels reports of rising prostitution

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:33

BY BLESSED MHLANGA
GWERU — A senior official at the Midlands State University (MSU) has
dismissed reports of rampant prostitution by desperate female students at
the institution.
There have been allegations that a number of female students at the
institution had gone into prostitution to survive the current harsh economic
environment.

Addressing a press conference recently, Dean of Students at the University,
Thandiwe Mkwananzi, dismissed the allegations as false.

“Our students are very responsible people who walk with their heads held
high and are in fact contributing to the fight against HIV and Aids in the
community,” said Mkwananzi. “If you see them wearing short dresses or tight
jeans, then you think they are up for grabs, tough luck because they are
not.”

Mkwananzi however, accused some members of the community and prostitutes of
tarnishing the name of the institution (which has now been rechristened More
Sex University) by masquerading as students in order to improve
marketability. “Even prostitutes want to be identified as MSU students. they
go around claiming to be part of this college but when you investigate, you
will realise that they have never been near our college,” she said.

However, other students who spoke to The Standard, confirmed that
prostitution was rife among students who were forced to seek accommodation
in Senga, Nehosho and surroundings suburbs where landlords demand high
rentals.

On average, students pay monthly rentals of US$80 per head in rooms where
they are forced to stay in groups. Landlords collect an average of US$320
per room from the desperate students.

The high rentals leave female students at the mercy of rich men.

“Most of our sisters here are in relationships with married man who spoil
them in return for sexual favours,” said one student who requested
anonymity. “I know some of the girls, if given a choice, they would not
prostitute for loaves of bread.”

Male students are in the same predicament. They do assignments for girls in
return for a share of the pickings while others benefit from being go
betweens.

“We organise girls for the big boys and in return we get cash,” said another
student. “We have now become pimps in order to survive.”


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Cops facing fraud charges remanded out of custody

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:32

BY Our CORRESPONDENT
MUTARE — Six police officers who allegedly smuggled bales of second-hand
clothes from Mozambique to Harare through Cashel Valley in Chimanimani, were
arraigned before Mutare magistrate Charles Murowe last week, facing abuse of
public office charges.
Cosmos Madzivanzira (39), Shadreck Hapaori (35), Godfrey Mazhonga (28),
Timothy Chatira (29), Alphious Zimhunhu (30) and Lenin Muvengwa (21), who
reside at ZRP Cashel Camp in Chimanimani, denied the allegations and were
remanded out of custody to April 16 on a US$50 bail each.

The court heard that on March 28, the six, acting on common purpose, with a
man only identified as Dzingayi, hired a lorry and three commuter omnibuses
from Harare to ferry bales of clothes from Cashel Valley.

Dzingayi allegedly assured the owners of the motor vehicles, who doubted the
success of the deal that prior arrangements had been made with police
officers at Cashel Valley. They met with Dzingayi at the Nyambeya turn-off,
en-route to Mozambique.

However, a Sergeant Mbewe of Marange Police Station, received information of
the illicit dealings and went to the border. On arrival, Mbewe impounded two
vehicles being loaded with 125 bales and took them to Cashel Valley Police
Station.

The other two vehicles which were still behind were later impounded near
Mutambara Mission by vigilant police officers who had set up a roadblock.

After being caught, the arrested officers resisted arrest and a scuffle
ensured. They were overpowered and detained at Cashel Valley Police Station.

Meanwhile, former Manicaland police spokesperson, Brian Makomeke and two
officers, only identified as Shariwa and Gwede, were last week arrested by
the anti-corruption unit on allegations of dishonestly discharging their
duties.

Allegations against the trio are that they failed to do their duties
transparently by forwarding to court a docket with half-baked facts.

“The docket was opened against an assault case which happened at a local
hotel in the city and these three (Makomeke, Shariwa and Gwede), for reasons
best known to them, deliberately decided to omit some information which
rendered the courts to throw out the case as there was no evidence,” said
Assistant Commissioner (Operations) David Mahoya.

He said while the three would be tried in the courts of the law, the force
would also ensure that they appeared before an internal disciplinary
hearing.
Mahoya emphasised on the need to restore public confidence in the police.


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Kasukuwere misinterpreting indigenisation law — Biti

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:28

BY KUDZAI CHIMHANGWA
FINANCE minister Tendai Biti has criticised the manner in which the
indigenisation law is being interpreted and applied in the country.
He implicitly dismissed the overtures being made by the Minister of Youth
Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, who
threatened to seize substantial shareholding of banks under the guise of the
law.
“This act has been misinterpreted. Section 3 of this act says it shall be
the endeavour of government to ensure that every company in Zimbabwe that is
foreign-owned is at least 51%-owned (locally),” said Biti.

“The word endeavour denotes aspiration, it denotes an intention. So the
provision is not worded in peremptory language.”
Peremptory language in legal terms relates to authoritative wording in a
piece of legislation that is definite and not entitled to delay or
reconsideration and therefore uses strong wording such as “shall”.

Said Biti, “The law does not say that every foreign-owned company shall be
51%-owned, the law says it is the intention to reach the destination of 51%
ownership, so it’s discretionary. A peremptory interpretation is therefore
wrong.”

But Kasukuwere recently published a notice saying that mining firms that
failed to meet last year’s September 25 deadline should note that 51% of
their shareholding would now be deemed to be owned by the State.

The banking sector has not been spared either as the minister vowed to take
a controlling stake in the country’s foreign-owned banks.
Out of the 23 banks operating in Zimbabwe, four — Barclays, Stanbic,
Standard Chartered and MBCA through Nedbank — are foreign-owned.
They have a combined market capitalisation of US$60 million.

The indigenisation and economic empowerment legislation has caused a great
deal of consternation among international investors seeking to explore new
and emerging markets, such as Zimbabwe.

Biti explained that both the law and the March 2010 regulations were very
clear, providing evidence of there being no nationalisation in Zimbabwe.
“When shares are to be taken, they have to be ceded for value, for open
market value and if there is contestation over the value of the shares,
there is a right of appeal by the shareholder to the Administrative Court,”
he said

“The Administrative Court is more or less on par with the High Court of
Zimbabwe”, he added.

“Again I see a misinterpretation of the law to equate ceding to
nationalisation or appropriation. This is very important in the banking
sector,” he said.

‘don't tamper with banking sector’

Biti warned against tampering with the banking sector arguing that capital
was very fluid and fungible (the quality of being capable of exchange or
interchange).

The Finance minister urged authorities to be cognisant of the important role
that banks have been playing to keep the economy functioning.
After dollarisation in February 2009, government did not buy back the
existing stock of currency with new currency.

“In a subverted way we nationalised people’s balance sheets without
compensation, as a result bank assets were found with US$350 million in
February 2009. Banks resultantly built an asset base on their own which they
have been able to lend to the market,” Biti said.


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Budget deficit looms

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:26

BY MOSES CHIBAYA
GOVERNMENT is set to incur a huge budget deficit this year as its revenue
base continues to shrink, Finance minister, Tendai Biti has said.
He was speaking at a joint press conference with Agriculture, Mechanisation
and Irrigation Development minister, Joseph Made, where they unveiled a
US$20 million finance facility for the 2012 winter wheat programme.

“Our revenue is under-performing, we are not collecting as much as we ought
to be collecting,” said Biti.

“Last time, we had a shortfall of US$58 million and as at the end of March
2012, we had a short fall of US$93 million.”

He added: “So it’s important that our resource mobilisation increases. It’s
important that our diamonds perform — they are not performing.”
Biti told journalists recently that diamond revenue for February was a
paltry US$5 million against a target of US$41,5 million.

In his monthly state of the economy address, Biti revealed cumulatively the
actual revenue collections for January and February 2012 amounted to
US$488,24 million, against a target of US$549,5 million.

This implies a cumulative deficit of US$61,24 million, largely emanating
from under-performance of diamond revenues during the period under review.

Biti said this had affected the performance of government as some projects
under the 2012 budget largely depended on diamond revenue.
Earlier this year, Biti met with President Robert Mugabe to discuss the
contentious issue of diamond revenues from Marange, which are still not
flowing consistently into state coffers amid fears of massive looting of the
precious gems by senior politicians.

Mugabe is said to have promised to address the issues of transparency and
accountability with regard to the diamond revenues.

The MDC-T alleges that Mugabe and Zanu PF are running parallel coffers for
the latter’s administration and political activities.

Diamond revenue is pivotal to the finance ministry’s budget, as
US$600-million is expected from the gem exports to cover part of this year’s
US$4 billion budget.

Last year, Zimbabwe exported 716 958 carats of diamonds with only US$103,9
million being realised at a time when diamond prices continued to firm on
the international market.

“We need to mobilise resources that will mitigate and liquidate domestic
indebtedness to our local suppliers,” said Biti. “So we want to break this
cycle of inter-indebtedness and intra-indebtedness in government.”

Biti said government owed at least US$20 million to power utility, Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa), US$20 million to Zimbabwe National
Water Authority (Zinwa), US$60 million to NetOne and about US$30 million to
TelOne.


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Govt to float tender for Agribank partner

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:25

BY OUR STAFF
THE government is set to float a tender for a strategic partner for Agribank
during the second quarter of this year, the bank’s chairman, Sij Biyam has
said.
He said the privatisation of the bank and search for a strategic partner
were at an advanced stage.
“The next step is for government to float a tender for the strategic partner
and this is envisaged for implementation during the second quarter of 2012,”
said Biyam.

Finance minister, Tendai Biti, last year announced that government, which
holds majority shareholding in the bank, would offload its shares in the
bank to make it more competitive.

This decision followed cabinet authorisation for the cash-strapped
institution to seek a new partner.

Government approved a privatisation plan for the bank where a strategic
partner would buy 49% equity with government retaining 51% of the same.
Biyam said that government floated a tender in mid-March for financial and
legal advisors as part of the bank’s privatisation.

The government has repeatedly sought a suitable partner for the bank as it
continually recorded losses over successive financial periods because it
loaned the bulk of its cash to the low performing agricultural sector.

The plan to privatise Agribank is part of the government’s† strategy to
create private-public sector partnerships that can help resuscitate and
recapitalise its loss-making parastatals.

The bank recorded a loss after tax of US$286 409 for the year ended December
31 2011 compared to a loss of US$8,1 million in 2010.

The reduction in loss was attributed to a growth in operating income, which
increased by 82% from US$10,6 million in 2010.

“The turnaround and strong performance also partly reflected the positive
impact of the Industrial Development Corporation SouthAfrica (IDCSA) line of
credit of US$30 million, which was disbursed in 2011,” said Biyam.

The facility was disbursed to local companies on the basis of a criteria
supporting increased local manufacturing capacity, creation of jobs and more
local goods on the market, and this consequently had a positive impact on
the bank’s profile.

The bank presently anticipates more new lines of credit this year.

Biyam said the bank was currently negotiating with IDCSA for a second
tranche worth US$30 million, which is expected to be disbursed during the
second quarter of 2012, focusing on increasing capacity utilisation and job
creation.

Companies in the agricultural, manufacturing and tourism sectors would be
the main beneficiaries.

The facility has a six-year tenor with concessional interest rates.


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Pitfalls of indigenising foreign banks

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:45

BY LANCE MAMBONDIANI

A year ago, David Brown — the head of Impala Platinum — believed Zimbabwe’s
indigenisation plans for foreign-owned mines “would not happen”. The policy,
which required all companies with a share capital above US$500 000 to
arrange for 51% of their shares or interests to be owned by indigenous
Zimbabweans, was taken as a bit of a joke† — a populist policy by the
government to win votes ahead of elections. It’s not so funny now.
Brown, to use former US President George W Bush’s words “mis-underestimated”
the government’s blind determination. When Zimplats — the world’s second
largest platinum producer — announced recently that it would transfer 51% of
its shares “at an appropriate value”, there could be no bigger scalp for
Saviour Kasukuwere, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Empowerment than that. After this, Brown announced his retirement from the
platinum group.

Together with Mimosa mine, Zimplats accounts for over 40% of the
London-listed Impala’s global platinum reserves, a priced asset by any
standard and a major victory for the government’s indigenisation crusade.
The kind of victory that makes you believe you can pump your car tyres into
a monster truck.
Buoyed by the Zimplats success, the minister has turned his attention to the
banking sector and a possible showdown with Barclays and Standard Chartered
now looms.

The banking sector may yet be a stern test for the indigenisation policy,
reflecting an ideological chasm between the “nationalists” and the “free
marketers”.

Legally, the Empowerment Act makes no sectoral distinction nor does it
exempt the banking sector, but should it? Indigenising the banking sector,
while possible, may not be as easy as the mining sector. Unfortunately for
the minister, banks are special and their interconnectedness makes a
systemic crisis contagious and very costly. A disruption at one bank could
have a knock-on effect not only on the entire banking sector but the entire
economy.

Banking is the business upon which all other businesses are based. Banks are
at the core of the payment system in the country and play a primary role in
the intermediation of savings and investments. Several empirical studies
support the view that countries with efficient and strong financial and
banking sectors experience higher rates of economic growth.

Indigenisation of banks would also reverse the core of Gono’s policies which
have forced banks into seeking international partnerships to meet capital
requirements which are seemingly disproportionate to the economy.

A coercive change in bank ownership structure would again lead to a weakened
banking sector. Indigenising banks in a highly illiquid sector seeking
foreign capital seems quite irrational, particularly where the 51% is ceded
“on credit”.

It appears there is an increasing trend towards indigenisation across
Africa. This is premised on the idea that to achieve its economic potential
within global capitalism, African governments will need to redress economic
imbalances created by colonialism through economic policies such as
indigenisation.

Several African countries have implemented indigenisation policies with less
controversy or combativeness. There is the complicated and non-prescriptive
BEE law in South Africa and the approach in Ghana which proposes that local
participation in the oil and gas sector be increased to 80% by 2020.

Other indigenisation approaches include the sectoral approach in Angola,
where locals must hold 51% of the share capital in mining and
telecommunication companies and 30% in insurance enterprises. In Kenya, the
law requires that at least 20% of company shareholding in the telecoms
sector must be taken up by Kenyans and in insurance, while listed companies
must reserve at least 25% for locals.

The different prescriptive, non-prescriptive and sectoral approaches to
indigenisation across the region can be analysed to inform best practice.
While indigenisation is imperative and by all accounts unstoppable, we don’t
always have to be combative where there are tested options.

Following challenges previously experienced with the land reform programme
and the concerns raised by the private sector, a critical appraisal of the
indigenisation policy and its effect on the economy will need to be
undertaken. Regional and international best practices will need to be
analysed. A consultative process between stakeholders will also be useful.

Technical assistance from international financial institutions will also be
important to inform a robust and effective indigenisation policy. The impact
of the policy on foreign direct investments would need analysing. Although
Zimbabwe’s economy is growing again, foreign investors are needed to ensure
sustained growth. The damage which can be caused by a combative policy
cannot be underestimated.

An alternative for the banking sector may require a less rigid,
sector-specific approach which factors in the intricacies of banks. Whilst
Kasukuwere may yet be victorious in a showdown with the international banks,
the risk may have a destabilising effect on an economy limping out of a
decade-long crisis. — New Zimbabwe.com

Dr Lance Mambondiani is an Investment Executive at Coronation Financial.


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Sunday View: Two similar cases expose the bias of the Judiciary

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:42

By Youth Forum

Six police officers who recently butchered a Shamva mine worker, Luxmore
Chivambo,† and fatally injured 11 others have been granted US$50 bail each.
Motion Jakopo (41), Simon Mafunda (32), Michael Makwalo (30), Lee Makope
(23), Benedict Tapfuma (22) and Blessing Saidi (26), led by one inspector
Aspias Shumba (48), the member in-charge at Shamva Police Station, descended
upon Ashley Mine Compound and rounded up residents in the wee hours of the
night ruthlessly kicking and punching the residents at the same time
severely hitting them with baton sticks and clenched fists all over their
bodies. The six are facing murder charges.

Aspias Shumba commandeered his troops to revenge the alleged theft of his
wife Judith’s purse which was believed to contain only US$1, according to
local press reports.

The Youth Forum is deeply unsettled by this development of granting a paltry
US$50 bail to the Shamva policemen who grisly murdered a Shamva man and
bread winner in cold blood on March 17 2012. This bail amount trivialises
the murder charges the policemen are facing and reduces public confidence in
court processes, especially those involving state security agents.

This development is in sharp contrast with the case of the 29 Glen View
residents accused of murdering Inspector Petros Mutedza following a scuffle
at Munyarari Beerhall in Glen View, who have been battling for bail since
May 2011. The 29 residents, including the leader of the MDC Youth Assembly
Solomon Madzore, have been behind bars since their arrest back then. The 29
residents are all said to be MDC supporters.

On May 31 2011, two days after the incident, Police Commissioner-General
Chihuri reacted to Inspector Mutedza’s death in a speech read on his behalf
at Inspector Mutedza’s funeral: “The Zimbabwe Republic Police shall not, and
I repeat, shall not sit on its laurels while innocent citizens of this
country, let alone police officers, are being decimated by uncouth
opposition political elements in a naÔve and imbecilic attempt to make our
country ungovernable. Those who wish to live by the sword must be prepared
to die by the sword.”

On March 29 2012, The Herald reported that Commissioner-General Chihuri had
this to say at a pass-out parade at Morris Depot in Harare following the
murder of Luxmore Chivambo; “This incident was uncalled for and discipline
was set aside and hooliganism prevailed. Such acts should not be repeated
and on behalf of the organisation I would like to console the Chivambo
family on the loss of Luxmore. Let us allow the law to take its course,” he
said

What shocks even street vegetable vendors throughout Zimbabwe is the fact
that the same courts managed to grant bail to the six policemen 25 days
after their crime while the 29 who went in last year are still languishing
behind bars although their charges are similar. This clearly shows that the
judiciary system in Zimbabwe is heavily compromised and plays to the whims
and caprices of Zanu PF.

The glaring case of the insincerity of our judicial system is worrying and
clearly shows the need for our judiciary to be rid of political
interference. It is of concern as to whether such an apparently partisan
justice delivery system can sustain a free and fair election, given the
obvious role of the police and Judiciary in electoral processes.

The Youth Forum is further concerned as to whether these same courts, which
are yet to finalise electoral fraud cases brought before them, some dating
back as far as 2002, can be able to guarantee a fair contribution to the
attainment of a free and fair election.


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Standard Comment: Proof of the chaos at Mudede’s office all

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

Concern has often been raised over the chaotic state of affairs at the
Registrar General’s office.
From missing birth and death records to the shambolic state of the voters’
roll, the RG’s office has attracted flak from many quarters. Public
perception of the office has also not been helped by the chaos witnessed at
Makombe Building where hundreds of people visit every day in search of
passports and other identity documents.

Faced with mounting criticism from MDC formations and civil society
organisations, Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has come out in defence of
his office, claiming everything “is perfect” at the central registry.

But his attempts to sanitise the department have been seriously undermined
by the results of a month-long investigation by The Standard carried in this
issue.

A probe into the case of† a Mutare man who, when seeking to renew his
passport, was instead told he was long dead and shown the death certificate
to boot, yet he is alive and well, confirms what has all along been feared;
that records are in a mess and urgently need to be cleaned up.
The implications of this single case are too ghastly to contemplate.

The case proves that details kept at RG’s office can easily be manipulated
to disastrous consequences.
False death certificates can allow criminals to illegally access pensions
and other benefits while from a political point of view, these entries can
deprive Zimbabweans their democratic right to vote.

There have been numerous complaints that supporters of opposition parties
have turned up at the polls only to realise that their names were not on the
roll, said to contain scores of dead people. Even more worrying is how many
victims of political violence have been disposed of under assumed
identities?
Mudede should stop defending his department and, instead, initiate a reform
agenda that should result in the compilation of proper records.

With politicians hinting on elections sometime this year or 2013, this is
the right time to work on the roll because a shambolic voter’s roll can only
result in a contested election outcome.


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Editor's Desk: Reflecting on decades of shattered dreams

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/

BY NEVANJI MADANHIRE

It’s Easter Monday. The weather is unseasonally chilly, for April is usually
warm in the tropics. An elderly couple is basking in the morning sun. They
have their chairs set against the white walls of their house.

Besides them a dog lies on a rug minding its own business. The woman has the
Bible on her lap.
As we arrive the dog rises and begins to bark at us. The woman silences it
by calling out its name. We all laugh for the dog is named Diaspora. We were
soon to find out why the bitch had such a curious name.

The man is 64 years old while the woman is in her late fifties. They tell us
the Easter holidays have been hollow for them, for no one visited. It was
just the two of them; no children, no grandchildren.

“They are all in the Diaspora,” the woman says wistfully. We look at the
dog. We giggle.

Their narrative is bittersweet. They are both retired civil servants. They
married just after independence and had three children. “All born free,”
they stress. The first was born in 1981 “during the euphoria of
†Independence” and the third “our Esap child” in 1990. “They are all gone,
to London,” the woman says. The man chuckles and says, “Not exactly to
London.”

We know, for Zimbabweans generally call the whole of the UK, London; every
Zimbabwean in the UK is in London!

“They are all married,” the woman continues referring to the children,
adding, “We’ve four grandchildren.”

There is no pride in her voice, only a certain kind longing. “We may never
see them.”

Later as we bid our farewells they heap our car with presents; farm fresh
groundnuts, peanuts, mealies and all they could harvest from their 10 acre
plot, which they say the children contributed and bought for them. They also
give us jars full of freshly-ground peanut butter, just like our own
grandparents used to do for us in the yesteryear.† We get into the car and
wave goodbye; Diaspora emits a friendly bark and wags is tail as we drive
off, feeling rather hurt inside.

The question innermost our hearts during our drive back to the city is:
“What have we done to our grandchildren?”

This week we celebrate 32 years of Independence: the euphoria of
the first few years, the disillusionment that followed in the 1990, the
despair that ensued when the dream faded and the exodus.† That’s all there
is!
In April 1980 all Zimbabweans hoped that after the removal of the colonial
yoke, they would come together and work to rebuild their war-battered
country and build a nation in which all would live happily ever after, in
peace and prosperity. Obviously some of the people’s wishes were utopian but
no one had the foggiest idea that everything would go so terribly wrong.

The majority of our people live in abject poverty which historians say is
worse than that experienced in the 1950s. Thousands bear wounds, not from
the 1970s liberation war but from post-independence conflicts that started
in the 1980s in the form of Gukurahundi and continued in the political
violence that has characterised each and every election held. The political
cynicism of the ruling elite was demonstrated most poignantly during the
destruction of people’s homes in 2005 in what was ironically called
Operation Murambatsvina.

Because of a leadership that failed to renew itself in the three-decades
that it has ruled, the economy was the first victim. It’s collapse had a
knock-on effect on virtually everything else beginning with the social
services. The education sector which had expanded phenomenally in the 1980s
began to suffer because of the inadequacy of resources. The health system
which was very bad because of its discriminatory nature during colonial days
became even worse as resources dwindled.

In the late 1990s the nation ran out of food and there were food riots which
were violently suppressed by the state machinery. The dream had evaporated;
people began to run away from it all. It is estimated that three million
people went into the Diaspora. This usually only happens when a country is
at war. Political violence and corruption became important cogs in the gears
that drove the nation.

Migration became the only way to remove oneself from the iron grip of a
self-serving, murderous regime; a regime that would stop at nothing to keep
itself in power.

But one of the most underestimated consequences of the demise of our nation
is the effect this mass migration would have on the family unit which should
be at the core of the national fabric. Not only did families break up as
husband and wife sought better lives in different places around the globe
but also thousands left the country never to return.

And the country has continued to be a pariah as other nations have distanced
themselves from a state that turned against its own people. Now Zimbabweans
are scattered all over† the world where they are looked down upon and
treated as some kind of scum because, despite that they are some of the most
academically advanced people in the world, they can only do menial work.

Those that remained in the country are not doing any better. Unemployment is
still high and remuneration awfully inadequate for those lucky enough to get
jobs. Huge numbers perish every year as they try to unlawfully jump borders
into neighbouring countries particularly South Africa.

But what are the country’s prospects as we go deeper into the fourth decade
of our independence? Unfortunately the future still looks bleak even when we
have got the potential to quickly turn around the economy on the back of our
abundant natural resources.

It is generally agreed that Zimbabwe’s Achilles heel is its politics. Clean
up the politics and all the ducks pile into a row. But this cannot be done
because of the individualism of the chief players in the game. It’s not only
President Robert Mugabe who wishes to die in office but those too he has
surrounded himself with in the past 32 years. They have formed an exclusive
cabal that has its tentacles in all the sectors of the economy; it is almost
impossible to disentangle its iron grip on the destiny of the country.

Because of it, our grandchildren will have nothing to inherit. We will
celebrate our Easters without our grandchildren for many years to come. Most
painfully, we may never see them as they become citizens of other countries;
countries we can’t visit because of our pariah status.

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