Njabulo Ncube Political Editor
Hardliners face exit as govt eyes election
IN an intriguing turn of events to the on-going blitz on prices, the
government plans to reconstitute the Cabinet Task Force on Prices by fusing
into its ranks moderates and sidelining hardliners such as Elliot Manyika,
the Minister without portfolio.
Highly placed sources revealed this week that the impending changes
signalled a gradual change in government's disastrous pricing policy adopted
last month to one that can swiftly avert company closures.
Manyika, who is the vice chairman of the Cabinet Task Force on Price
Monitoring and Stabilisation, yesterday held a marathon meeting with
business leaders where he allegedly read them the riot act, following the
government's concern that basic commodities were still not available in
supermarkets and shops.
He was not immediately available for comment last night.
Private sector representatives, who attended the meeting at the Industry and
International Trade Ministry offices, said Manyika listened to their
concerns over the impact of the price crackdown on their businesses, but was
livid that goods and services remained in short supply.
ZANU PF insiders insisted last night that while Manyika chaired yesterday's
meeting with business leaders in his capacity as vice chairman of the
taskforce, his tenure in the ad-hoc committee would soon be cut short
following recommendations from the Presidium, comprising President Robert
Mugabe, his two vice-presidents and ZANU PF national chairman, John Nkomo.
They cited his alleged "aggressive" approach in the implementation of the
government order on prices as part of the reasons that annoyed ruling party
bigwigs and other supporters who felt that Manyika's conduct could cost ZANU
PF dearly in next year's harmonised elections. Manyika would, ostensibly, be
released from the task force to concentrate on the party's 2008 election
campaign, which the ruling party desperately wants to win.
Manyika is the party's national political commissar.
Nicholas Goche, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,
is also said to have been sidelined, although The Financial Gazette could
not confirm this at the time of going to print.
While Obert Mpofu, the Minister of Industry and International Trade would be
retained as chairman of the taskforce by virtue of his portfolio in Cabinet,
part of his responsibilities could be offloaded to his deputy, Phineas
Chihota, who is tipped to take over from Manyika as taskforce deputy
Manyika had taken to the job enthusiastically, leaning on his position as
ZANU PF's national political commissar to aggressively drive the price
directive in the direction of the ruling Zanu PF party's ambitions.
New members of the task force will include Economic Development Minister
Sylvester Nguni and Webster Shamu, the Minister of Policy Implementation.
No one in government was keen on commenting on the latest development.
Chihota, who also attended yesterday's meeting with the business sector did
not return calls made by this newspaper earlier in the day.
Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said he could not comment as he was
still mourning his late son, Mandlenkosi Ephraim.
His deputy, Bright Matonga, said he was not privy to the latest issues
surrounding the taskforce as he had been out of the office.
"I am not in the picture as I have been out of the office but try the
Minister of Industry and International Trade (Mpofu), he will certainly
know," said Matonga.
Mpofu was unavailable yesterday as he was reportedly attending the Southern
African Development Community summit in Lusaka, Zambia, where he took part
in a SADC ministers' meeting.
In a bid to build bridges with the business community, which has been dealt
a body blow by the clampdown on prices, government has sought to sideline
ministers who have lost industry's trust, sources said.
Yet others said Manyika and Goche had been caught up in ZANU PF's blame-game
and political inferno ahead of next year's harmonised elections, in which
the ruling party faces a fractured Movement for Democratic Change.
In May this year, Manyika and Goche waltzed into the eye of the storm over
the handling of elections in Masvingo and Bulawayo where ZANU PF
heavyweights pulling the strings in the two provinces felt the duo wanted to
dilute their influence.
Provincial executive elections in Bulawayo had to be postponed after the
process degenerated into chaos, with the interim executive led by Macloud
Tshawe being accused of locking out some members allied to former war
veterans chairman Jabulani Sibanda, who was expelled from ZANU PF in 2004.
Red lights started flashing for Manyika when former finance minister Simba
Makoni was said to have embarrassed Manyika at a recent ZANU PF politburo
It is not clear why there are moves to remove Goche from the task force,
where he had been nominated by virtue of him being chair of the Tripartite
Negotiating Forum, a round-table of government, business and labour that has
for years tried to stabilise prices through dialogue.
The Cabinet - which established the Task Force on June 19 - has now mandated
Vice President Joice Mujuru to "work closely" with the taskforce, the
sources said. Mujuru and central bank governor Gideon Gono have generally
been viewed as supportive of a less radical approach to dealing with
Although government has remained boisterous in public about its policy, it
recently conceded some ground in the war, approving increases in the prices
of a range of goods, including bread, packaging materials, stock-feed and
The concession, while seen as insufficient by industry, showed government
now acknowledges the negative impact of its crackdown.
The exercise has been dogged by accusations that members of the government's
price monitoring teams, including senior officials and police officers, have
taken advantage of their positions to loot shops.
Since government's June 25 order to manufacturers and retailers to reduce
the prices of all goods and services by 50 percent, hoping to tame world
record inflation, massive shortages have hit the country, worsening an
already critical economic crisis.
Empty supermarket shelves and long queues across the country have provided
the clearest signs that the price slash has dismally failed, only
compounding the current economic crisis that has shattered the once robust
Rangarirai Mberi News Editor
More and more foreigners eye local assets
REMEMBER the old yarn about how, after the dust had settled and eyes had
been opened, the settler had the land and the native the Bible?
Watching a growing flock of vultures - in the form of cash-rich foreign
investors - that is circling Zimbabwe, waiting for the dust to settle before
they swoop for local assets on the cheap, you do sense history repeating
In recent weeks, South African fund BoE Private Clients has sent in a
delegation, hosting 65 of its clients at Victoria Falls. The company, a
NedBank subsidiary, currently manages R59 billion.
Since June, at least eight foreign investor groups have met Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange (ZSE) officials, scouting for assets. According to one account, one
of the groups is a New York
fund specialising in Romania and Croatia.
"We did the sums - they made 100 times their money in Romania," says BoE
stockbroker director Chris Cornell in a recent issue of The Financial Mail.
Earlier, Lonrho, the old capitalist herself, announced she had raised US$66
million for a new arm, LonZim, to invest in Zimbabwe.
There is also rumour that a group of Russian investors, represented by a
London outfit called Renaissance, is currently in Zimbabwe.
And Imara recently opened a fresh Zimbabwe fund, the size of which one
executive with a regional bank put to The Financial Gazette at US$60
million. The fund was closed just two weeks after it opened, oversubscribed.
Two recent Initial Public Offers, for ZimRe's ZimRe Property Investments and
First Mutual Limited's Pearl, both property stocks, drew stronger than
expected foreign interest, brokers report.
Already, Briton Nick van Hoogstraten has been playing hardball on the
property market, building for himself a huge portfolio of residential and
Locals have always come short on getting real value for their assets - ever
since Lobengula cheaply gave away those gold concessions back in 1888.
Now analysts say inflation has undervalued Zimbabwean assets over time. And
the price war has wiped away over 33 percent of the market's value in weeks,
leaving companies even riper for the picking.
Here is some of what an investor strolling into Zimbabwe today with US$2.6
billion in the wallet could chuck into the shopping basket: the country's
largest brewer and Coca-Cola bottler, a cellular operator with over 600 000
users, four property companies, eight banks, two supermarket chains and one
wholesaler, three hotel groups, two
tea estates, one of the world's largest seed producers, four miners, two
cement giants, two short term insurers, the two largest life companies, and
the franchise holders of Nando's and Chicken Inn.
One recent press report in South Africa valued Barclays' Botswana business
at US$1 billion, and Barclays
Kenya at US$1.2 billion. So Barclays Zimbabwe - the country's number two
retail lender with the potential to hold a much bigger book than the two -
looks a bargain at around US$150 million.
"Listed equities, particularly those with hard assets, have preserved wealth
in hard currency terms. Zimbabwe has good assets that are trading at huge
discounts to replacement value," BoE's Cornell says.
The key assumption made by those readying fresh capital for Zimbabwe is that
the economy will recover swiftly in the wake of change. The Zimbabwe dollar
would firm almost immediately, and those holding assets would be rolling in
"Future returns are likely to come out of a combination of a hardening local
currency and increasing asset values," says Thomas Chataika, portfolio
manager at BoE.
But the truth is that nobody knows what lies beyond "reform". Many define
reform as President Robert Mugabe's exit - a simplistic take on Zimbabwe's
complex politics. A Mugabe departure would still leave ZANU PF in power, and
the question is whether that lot is remotely capable of reform.
And, even if the opposition were to pull off some unlikely miracle win,
neither variation of the split party inspires the slightest confidence.
Skills shortages and derelict infrastructure would also hamper a speedy
But all this does not seem to be cooling foreign interest.
The Russians, for instance, have a deep pool of capital looking for new,
The South Africans would also have something to say. Of about ten South
African firms canvassed by Business Report as the price war peaked last
month, none were thinking about leaving. In fact, most plan capital
Absent, though, from the reported list of new money waiting to rush into
Zimbabwe is the country's own exiled capital, which suggests that once the
dust has settled, and eyes have been opened, the native would once again be
left holding the can.
Charles Rukuni Bureau Chief
Councillors question membership as associations war rages on
BULAWAYO - Some city councillors have questioned the usefulness of local
government associations, as they seem to have become political.
There are now three local government associations, the Urban Councils
Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ), the Rural District Councils Association of
Zimbabwe (RDCAZ) and the Zimbabwe Local Government Association (ZILGA).
UCAZ and RDCAZ were supposed to have merged last year to form ZILGA, but it
seems all three are operating as separate entities.
The Bulawayo City Council for example is only a member of UCAZ and has
refused to join ZILGA though one of its councillors, Stars Mathe, is an
executive member of ZILGA.
Mathe was elected to council on a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
ticket but crossed over to ZANU-PF.
UCAZ is said to be closely aligned to the MDC, which controls most of the
urban councils while ZILGA is closer to the ruling ZANU-PF as most of the
rural-district councils are controlled by the ruling party.
The standoff between the two associations was clearly evident when ZILGA had
to switch its annual general meeting from Bulawayo to Harare last month at
the last minute.
The Bulawayo City council does not pay any subscriptions to ZILGA but to
UCAZ where its executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube is an executive.
UCAZ increased its subscription fees from $3.7 million a quarter to $18.4
million with effect from the second quarter this year and the council had to
pay up before the end of June though the new fee had not been budgeted for.
Speaking during the debate on the subscription fees Alderman Charles Mpofu
asked whether the council and its residents were benefiting from their
membership of UCAZ. He said up to 1999 UCAZ was a very useful organisation
but it had since turned political.
"I don't see the difference between UCAZ and a political party," he said.
"But at the same time I would not want council to leave UCAZ because things
might change. I am lost. At the same time I believe there is nothing that we
will achieve under ZILGA because it has made things worse, so let's remain
in UCAZ," he said.
The mayor agreed with Mpofu that once an organisation became political it
lost its value but added that the council was benefiting from its membership
of UCAZ at a professional level. He said UCAZ was even helping the council
to lobby for its supplementary budget.
Mathe said that it was not UCAZ but ZILGA that was lobbying for
supplementary budgets for local authorities. A special committee had been
set up to lobby for the budgets.
Clr Thaba Moyo said his main concern was that the money that had been paid
to UCAZ had not been budgeted for. " Where is it benefiting us?" he asked.
BULAWAYO - Council is now owed $48 billion by residents and government
departments despite offering a 15 percent discount to those who settle their
debts in full and pay their bills three months in advance.
But it said receipts from water had almost doubled between April and May
this year after intensified water cuts.
Residents owed the council $41.6 billion at the end of April and this dipped
to $39.4 billion at the end of the following month.
Receipts from water, however, increased from $6.7 billion in April to $12.2
billion in May due to intensive water cuts.
Outstanding bills for water constituted the bulk of the money owed by
residents and stood at $27.3 billion in April and $26.1 billion at the end
Government departments, whose figures are one month behind, owed the council
$5.3 billion at the end of March and $8.8 billion at the end of April.
The council now offers a 15 percent discount to those who pay their
outstanding bills in full and pay for services three months in advance.
City treasurer Middleton Nyoni said between May 25 and June 18 some 22
residents had taken up the offer and had paid $9.7 billion. They had been
given discounts totalling $706 738.29.
In May alone 7 316 consumers had their water cut off and 6 476 were
reconnected. They owed the council $940.6 million and $787.2 million was
There was a major blitz in June, which saw a total of 5 695 consumers being
disconnected. They owed the council $1.7 billion but $6.1 billion was
The council said the amount recovered was higher than that owed because
consumers were asked to pay a reconnection fee of $17 450 for those in the
high-density suburbs and $61 065 for those in the low-density suburbs. They
were also required to pay a deposit of $87 000.
Nearly 12 000 consumers in the low-density suburbs have at one time been
disconnected since December but 9 416 were reconnected.
Some 24 015 consumers were disconnected in the high-density suburbs and 20
553 were reconnected.
Final demands were issued to 269 residents who owed the council $97.8
million in May while 209 were handed over to council lawyers. They owed the
council $54.7 million.
The council said consumers who lived close to council boreholes were slower
to clear their accounts because they had an alternative source of water even
after the water cuts.
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
TICHAONA Machingauta has lived in Kuwadzana since 1984 and recalls with
nostalgia his childhood in the high density suburb situated on the western
part of the capital.
Much of his youth was spent playing with a plastic ball on an open space
near his home. The "ground" has long been lost to urban farming, but the
final onslaught is now coming: houses taking shape on all available open
Since 2000, Tichaona has seen a rapid decline setting in, uncollected
garbage, blocked sewerage, potholes and the disappearance of trees, the
direct result of punishing electricity cuts.
This decay does not worry him much. He sees it as
temporary, reversible with time. What worries him is the permanence of the
new housing developments.
"That open space was the only playground for the kids. They are now building
houses all over the place. Soon the suburb will be overcrowded," he said.
A town planning expert said this week that the closure of open spaces in
high-density suburbs had adverse effects on residents.
Open spaces are left during initial planning, firstly, because the soils
could be poor, but also because of the need for future developments of
facilities such as crèches and schools.
Space with poor soils is usually left for recreational facilities such as
The expert said the main reason why homes are sprouting up on open spaces is
that it is cheaper to build over existing infrastructure, as opposed to
opening new areas to service for development.
Already, government is struggling to provide basic infrastructure at White
Cliff and Hopley, two farms outside Harare where some of the victims of 2005's
Operation Murambatsvina are settled.
Experts also say council no longer owns large swathes of land around Harare,
with much of it now in the hands of housing co-operatives backed by ZANU PF.
One effect of closing the open spaces, the expert said, is that it creates
"overloading of institutional facilities" such as schools and clinics, as
the initial planning would not have catered for more houses.
"Building houses in open spaces as is currently happening upsets the ratios
in terms of the support services," the expert said.
In Kuwadzana, this "overloading" has started to manifest itself in the form
of overflowing sewerage.
Tichaona says Kuwadzana residents were not consulted over the infill,
although council by-laws require that if an open space is to be closed,
there must be an application for change in land use that must be approved
after consultation with residents.
"Change in land use affects the value of properties in a particular area.
Imagine the noise after a beer hall or industrial site takes over an open
space," the planning expert said.
The Harare Commission has previously conceded that some houses have been
built on sites without proper analysis of the consequences of actions taken.
Every rainy season, houses in Kuwadzana Extension are flooded, as they are
located on low-lying and hollow areas where water collects easily.
In December 2006, then Harare Commission spokesperson Percy Toriro said the
developers had not taken note of flood lines before building the Kuwadzana
Constituency information for Kuwadzana on the Parliament of Zimbabwe website
points to an area
where facilities are already failing to cater for the current residents.
One of the recommendations says there is need "for various service delivery
systems to be improved, in fact an overhaul of the whole service delivery
system with regards to water supply, sewer system, refuse collection and
electricity supply is imperative."
Chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association, Mike Davies, said
they had objected to the land infill programme when it started in the late
"The land infill started with the (Solomon) Tawengwa (council). We objected
to it because green belts are important in cities," he said.
"(Infills) increase density. They have negative social and environmental
Davies alleged favouritism in the allocation of the stands.
Kumbirai Mafunda Senior Business Reporter
MOZAMBICAN authorities are withholding 36 000 tonnes of wheat destined for
Zimbabwe pending payment of US$15 million owed by the government for the
Government and milling industry sources have disclosed that the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB), the country's grain monopoly, was unable to pay for
the release of the wheat stocks, which docked at the Mozambican port city of
Beira two months ago.
A commodity company identified as Holbud sourced the wheat from Argentina, a
major grain supplier to Zimbabwe.
The Mozambicans are demanding cash upfront in foreign currency before the
wheat, which could ease the worsening bread shortages, can be released.
Millers said the delays in releasing the wheat would worsen the bread
crisis, which deteriorated sharply since government ordered bakers to slash
prices to June 18 levels.
Bakers say existing flour stocks have reached critical levels, and any
further delays in the arrival of fresh wheat supplies would result in more
Government has admitted that this year's wheat harvest could be the worst
since Independence in 1980.
Wheat output is projected to fall significantly below the 85 000 tonnes
harvested last year, far short of annual domestic consumption of 400 000
tonnes. Government blames the expected poor yield on power utility ZESA,
whose erratic power supplies have disrupted irrigation.
Millers say the projected harvest will be less than a quarter of the country's
"Unless urgent steps are taken to avail foreign currency to secure more
wheat, the country is heading for a huge food crisis, particularly so given
that most supermarket shelves have already been emptied of alternative
foodstuffs. This food crisis is expected to spill well into next year until
the next harvest," said one miller, asking not to be named.
GMB acting chief executive officer Samuel Muvuti could not be reached for
This is not the first time that the government has failed to pay for imports
at neighbouring ports. The government has previously failed to pay for
maize, wheat and fuel imports at Mozambican and South African ports.
Njabulo Ncube Political Editor
CIVIC society organisations and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
have alleged serious irregularities in the voter registration exercise
raising yet another prospect of disputed elections next year.
Both factions of the MDC were this week singing from the same hymn sheet,
claiming to have unearthed evidence discrediting the voter registration
exercise, which ends this weekend.
The MDC, which almost ended ZANU-PF's stranglehold on power in the 2000
general election, has turned to the courts, disputing outcomes of previous
elections citing the ruling party's tinkering with electoral processes.
In a statement to The Financial Gazette, the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN) said it has stumbled on irregularities in Hatcliffe in the
Harare North constituency where people were using letters from a housing
co-operative linked to the ruling ZANU PF as proof of residence.
What this means is that people are being registered in a constituency where
they do not belong simply because they have been allocated stands in that
"We observed that there were no people who reside at the stands as no
developments or construction is taking place at the stands yet people are
allegedly staying at these stands," said ZESN. "To make matters worse, those
who have been offered the stands and the 'proof of residence' by this
housing co-operative (Ernest Kadungure Housing Co-op) are ordered to provide
five witnesses who are subsequently also given 'proof of residence' against
the same stand number," added the ZESN.
Tobaiwa Mudede, the registrar general, could not immediately react to the
allegations when The Financial Gazette sought comment on the alleged
irregularities in the voter registration exercise.
There is, however, a general consensus that there is lack of interest in the
South African president Thabo Mbeki - thrust at the
centre of the Southern African Development Community mediation efforts - has
in the past
spoken of a free and fair election being pivotal to the resolution of
Zimbabwe's multifaceted economic and political crisis.
This week ZESN alleged that teachers who are resident in remote areas have
also been registered to vote in the Harare North constituency before they
have even started developing their stands in Hatcliffe.
"One wonders how many hundreds of people have been registered against these
stands. What is, however, clear is that for every stand, a minimum of six
people get registered in a constituency they do not reside," read part of
the ZESN's statement.
ZESN said it had also noted that there have not been any mobile registration
team for Masvingo urban.
The organisation said all the centres covered by the mobile teams were
outside the city with the closest being Chikarudzo Business centre, which is
more than 20 kilometres out of Masvingo.
ZESN has been inundated with calls from residents of Masvingo who felt
disadvantaged by the absence of the mobile registration facility.
"They allege that efforts to get assistance from the Registrar General's
office in the city have been futile as the officers at the RG's office
allegedly told them that the registration exercise currently taking place is
for rural areas."
Nelson Chamisa, the spokesman for the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the MDC,
said his political formation had noted discrepancies in the voter
registration he claimed was being conducted by state security agents.
"The whole thing is being done to give ZANU PF an edge over us before the
elections are held," said Chamisa. "Rigging is already going on. The whole
exercise is being done clandestinely. In the rural areas our supporters are
being denied the chance to register. We have reports from rural areas that
youths are being told that their chance to register will come later. Only
old people are being allowed into registration centres," said Chamisa.
Chiefs and headmen were allegedly assisting people to register in the rural
"There has not been much advertising of the whole process," said Chamisa.
Gabriel Chaibva, the spokesman for the Arthur Mutambara MDC faction, said
chiefs and landlords, especially in the rural areas, were reluctant to give
proof of residence
to suspected opposition supporters.
"We have cases where chiefs are refusing to give people letters to prove
that they reside in their areas," said Chaibva. "The whole exercise is in
shambles. There are also a lot of logistical problems where you find that
there is no stationery or officers report for duty late due to fuel
problems," he said.
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
GOVERNMENT ministries have resorted to unauthorised expenditure after
exhausting their allocations from the 2007 $4.6 trillion budget.
Information obtained from Parliament shows that funds had run out at a time
the legislature was in recess, delaying the presentation of a supplementary
budget. The revelations come a week after President Robert Mugabe signed
into law the Financial Adjustments Bill, which legalised all previous
unauthorised state spending. The supplementary budget is expected once
Parliament resumes seating on Monday next week. Parliament will rubber-stamp
all current spending in retrospect.
The military was the first government arm to run out of funds, followed by
key Home Affairs departments, in particular the police and the Registrar
When the 2007 budget was presented last year, the chairman of the transport
and communications committee, Leo Mugabe, told Parliament that the budget
was likely to run out by March.
Presenting his committee's report on the 2007 budget allocations to the
Ministry of Information and Publicity, Mugabe said: "The budget was
presented with figures excluding interest costs. This oversight puts the
country at the risk of exhausting the whole 2007 budget within the first
"The Honourable Minister of Finance indicated that the fiscus would now take
over quasi-fiscal operations from the Reserve Bank, but with the mismatch
between total bids of $24 trillion and proposed provisions at $4.5 trillion,
we risk grinding to a halt all Government operations by as early as March
Last May, Secretary for Defence Trust Maphosa told the Parliamentary
committee on Defence and Home Affairs that soldiers were running out of
funds for food and training. In May, Bright Matonga, the Deputy Information
Minister sought to deny a Financial Gazette report on Maphosa's testimony.
"He (Maphosa) did not say that the soldiers were starving but highlighted
the need for a quick response by Treasury on the issue," Matonga said.
"Treasury has responded very positively and the funds have been released."
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
THE government has handed back Stockdale farm in Chegutu to Senate president
Edna Madzongwe a month after the High court ordered her eviction.
Stockdale farm, which had been held by farmer Richard Etheridge, has been
gazetted in favour of Madzongwe in yet another sign of the discord within
the country's land policies. Last week, Madzongwe said she had found it
difficult to move onto the farm as Etheridge had threatened to take legal
Etheridge had claimed that Madzongwe forcibly occupied his farm in June
after Lands and Land Reform Minister Didymus Mutasa had served him with a
notice to vacate the property by August 30.
He successfully obtained an interim relief from the High Court, ordering
Madzongwe to vacate the property.
"(Madzongwe) and all other persons claiming occupation of the property
through her and any other person not being a representative, employee or
invitee of applicant (Etheridge), forthwith vacate the property," the order
In court, Madzongwe denied acting unlawfully, saying her actions were based
on an offer letter from the government.
She claimed to have occupied the property on the understanding that
Etheridge was committed to a smooth handover of the farm.
Last week Madzongwe said to the Sunday Mail: "I am moving up and down
carrying my papers to move onto the farm, but I am failing as the former
owner is refusing to move out threatening to take me to court. I do not know
what makes these farmers brave enough to defy the law. There is a law that
clearly states that these farmers can be arrested."
Last year, Mutasa ordered the eviction of a resettled farmer, Langton
Masunda, who is locked in a fierce ownership wrangle with Speaker of
Parliament John Nkomo over a lucrative hunting concession in Matabeleland,
barely a week after the Bulawayo High Court had ordered Nkomo not to
interfere with its operations.
Mutasa later reversed his decision.
Kumbirai Mafunda Senior Reporter
ZANU PF is set to purge several leaders from its powerful Youth League,
bringing fresh intrigue to its convoluted succession battles.
The ruling party - long derided for its rank of aged "youth wingers" - will
no longer allow members above 30 years of age to lead the youth wing, party
The sources said the plot to oust the over-aged youth leaders is targeted at
sidelining the influence of Saviour Kasukuwere, the party's deputy secretary
for youth and Mt Darwin Member of Parliament, who was appointed into the
ZANU PF politburo on his youth leadership position.
Kasukuwere confirmed the planned changes yesterday, but said this was only
part of aligning the Youth League to the party's constitution.
"We are rejuvenating the ranks of the party to filter through young cadres
of the party to learn the ropes. We need to create room for young people. We
are sticking to the spirit and letter of the party's constitution," said
But insiders said the purge is part of the succession battle within the
troubled party, which faces a divided opposition in next year's harmonised
presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.
The changes to the membership requirements of the Youth League are part of
far-reaching changes to be decided at the party's annual people's conference
The purge is said to be backed by a faction behind vice-president Joice
Mujuru, battling for influence against supporters of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
former ZANU PF secretary for administration seen as President Robert Mugabe's
Sources said the Mujuru camp was desperate to gain control of the Women's
League and the Youth League, two of the party's most influential organs.
Last year, Kasukuwere publicly criticised unnamed senior officials of his
party he said were jostling for positions in the Presidency when its members
still had the "energy" to continue.
"It is saddening to note that some people within the party are already
taking positions and rallying behind some individuals in the succession
debate. We are shooting ourselves in the foot because we are empowering the
opposition in the process. People are being harassed with some being
arrested over flimsy cases because of this succession issue. The Presidium
should remain as it is because it still has the mandate of the people. Our
leadership should ruthlessly deal with all those causing confusion in the
party because of this succession issue," Kasukuwere told the state media at
the end of a Youth League meeting in Mutare last September.
The restructuring, the sources say, could also be part of a plot by powerful
cliques in the party to sideline young turks while crippling the youth wing,
which has already backed President Mugabe's bid for re-election at next year's
The changes will disqualify Kasukuwere from leading the wing. He turns 37 in
October, according to a US sanctions list. However, party insiders said the
axe will spare Absolom Sikhosana, the secretary for youth, after he secured
backing from President Mugabe.
Despite a constitutional clause limiting leadership positions of the party's
youth wing only to people aged 30 and below, the ruling ZANU PF party has
over the years largely violated its own constitution, appointing and
electing leaders well above the age limit.
Nkululeko Sibanda Staff Reporter
SACKED Harare Commission chair person Sekesai Makwavarara has reportedly
been served with a notice evicting her from the Gunhill mayoral mansion.
Officials at Town House disclosed
this week that Makwavarara had been served with an eviction notice, just
days after she "resigned" from office.
But in an interview yesterday, Makwavarara laughed off the reported attempts
to evict her.
"I have been getting calls from people enquiring about that same issue and I
have told them that it is not true," said Makwavarara.
"I am still here until I get somewhere else to stay. I am still here. Ask
even the Minister (of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo). People should stop
wasting my time. I am a busy somebody."
Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Minister Ignatius
Chombo said last night: "The town clerk, Tendai Mahachi is the one who works
out such kind of details. But ordinarily, when one knows they are no longer
on the job, it follows that they need time to prepare for their exit from
such properties and I think one month is an appropriate time to prepare to
vacate the property."
Engineer Michael Mahachi, who replaced Makwavarara at the helm of the
Commission last week, said he was not keen on an
immediate move into the controversial mansion.
THIS week Zimbabweans celebrated Heroes' Day - a day set aside to remember
the sterling work done by the country's fallen heroes in fighting colonial
rule in what then gave birth to an independent Zimbabwe in 1980.
Whereas people would have turned up in their thousands to honour selfless
efforts made by the liberation war heroes who, after a seven-year-long
struggle, delivered a free Zimbabwe, the numbers have dwindled. The
enthusiasm of the 1980s has, somehow, been lost as evidenced by the low
level of attendance.
In fact, most of the people making up the numbers at these commemorations
are either rented crowds or entertainment-seekers wanting to break away from
the daily frustrations brought about by the worsening economic and political
crisis tearing apart what used to be one of Africa's brightest spots.
In other words, the celebrations have lost meaning, an indication that
something has gone terribly wrong. Expectations were quite high at
independence, as people genuinely believed that the new political
dispensation had something new and better to offer to everyone. And rightly
so, after the supreme sacrifices of the country's heroes, it was everyone's
hope that living conditions would improve for the majority. Apparently,
these were also the wishes of the liberation war fighters lying at the
various national shrines within Zimbabwe and in neighbouring countries.
What has followed, is however, worlds apart from these wishes. Twenty-seven
years on Zimbabweans are battling for survival, hunting for basic
commodities, which are now in short supply owing to government's ill-advised
crackdown on prices. Long winding queues have become the order of the day,
with commuters bearing the brunt of a transport crisis that has been caused
by acute fuel shortages that have crippled industrial operations.
The economy, which in the 1980s had been a star performer in the provision
of social services and in reconstruction and development, has been
devastated by chronic energy and food shortages. And indications are that
the economic woes, now in the eighth year, might worsen in coming months
owing to worsening food shortages and deepening foreign currency shortages.
Ironically, land, which was central to the liberation struggle, has
contributed the bulk of the country's troubles.
Poor handling of the land reform programme has seen agricultural production
decline with the country's single largest foreign currency earner, tobacco,
falling from over 200 million kgs in 2000 to about 55.5 million kgs last
season. The land reforms have been chaotic in character, benefiting senior
ZANU PF politicians, some of whom own multiple farms against the government
policy of one-man, one-farm.
Despite substantial investments made in the country's educational and health
sectors, the brain drain and foreign currency shortages have conspired to
reverse the celebrated post-independence advances in these areas.
Years of mismanagement have meant that 80 percent of the country's
population is unemployed. The bulk of the country's 13 million people are
also living below the breadline. Inflation, at 4 500 percent as of May, is
the highest in the world.
It is against this bleak background that all hope has dissipated. For most
people, the fallen heroes must be turning in their graves, as there is very
little to show for their sacrifices.
A defiant President Robert Mugabe this week said he would not change course
because of western opposition to his policies.
None of the policies pursued by his government has however, ever worked
because their application has tended to be half-hearted and piecemeal. Since
independence in 1980 President Mugabe has fully committed himself to one
economic policy on the advice of the late former finance minister, Dr
Bernard Chidzero - the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme - but
because the government ignored certain elements of the World Bank-inspired
economic rescue package, it never worked, hence its abandonment in the
Thereafter, the government has hopped from one economic blueprint to the
another with the latest project, the National Economic Development Priority
Programme (NEDPP), now on the backburner.
The current disarray in the Zimbabwean economy, fuelled primarily by the
price clampdown announced by the government in early July, and plans to
transfer the majority shareholding of companies to indigenous Zimbabweans,
will be hardly reversed by the Zimbabwe Economic Development Strategy
(ZEDS), being mulled by the government, as the successor programme to NEDPP.
Like so many previous economic revival programmes, ZEDS will join the wish
list of high-sounding economic programmes to emerge in the past two decades,
only to end up in the dustbin.
In his message this week, opposition leader Arthur Mutambara noted that,
"Our generational challenge is now to restore the economy and the moral
fabric of our nation. At the root of our national crisis are three
inter-related challenges: political legitimacy, poor country governance, and
the lack of both economic vision and strategy."
It, however, does not appear that the powers-that-be are ready to deal with
the country's multi-faceted economic challenges, which are beginning to
threaten stability in southern Africa.
It's becoming increasingly difficult to apply an intricate web of laws
THERE appears to be enough evidence to prove that one of the major reasons
why our economy continues to suffer negative growth is because of government's
over regulation of almost every sector of our economy.
A coterie of legal instruments, be they Acts of Parliament, Statutory
Instruments or ordinances have with little hesitation been passed, at times
on impulse, in the process creating an intricate web of laws that have left
authorities confused as to how to apply them.
Some of the laws have not been applied consistently.
Some have been applied selectively, while others have hardly been put to any
In fact our government's strong urge to regulate and misuse law to the
detriment of not only the economy at large, but most importantly the rights
of citizens is a subject of epic proportions that in itself may require
investigation through a doctorial thesis.
Attempting to ventilate this controversial, and at the same time interesting
subject in this column might not do justice to the case.
Be that as it may, I am compelled this week to critically look at one
example of government's confusion with regard to its laws that I think has,
to a large extend, helped in crippling our economy.
I am talking here about government's affirmative action policy vis-a-vis
decrees on the fuel and meat industries.
Again, these issues will have to be
looked at within the context of two key laws that government has made much
noise about and these are; the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill
together with the Competition Act No. 7 of 1996.
Over the years, government has openly advertised its intention to have key
economic sectors controlled by indigenous people as a means of empowering
them and ensuring an equitable distribution of wealth.
At the same time, and as an incentive to boost the economy through
competition, since the early 1990's, government introduced a policy to
dismantle monopolies to ensure that
new opportunities were created for previously disadvantaged groups.
To some extend, and under intense pressure from lobby groups like the
Affirmative Action Group, government caused some indigenous people to access
opportunities mainly in the financial, and later manufacturing sectors,
among a few others.
Pursuant to these policies, and particularly after the monopoly of the Cold
Storage Company had been abolished, government gave its tacit approval to
indigenous people to venture into and exploit the meat business.
Resultantly, and encouraged by government, hundreds of people set up private
abattoirs that are now dotted around the country.
Cattle farms were purchased, expensive infrastructure was set up, at times
through funds supplied by banks. Others expanded their businesses and
established a network of butcheries across the country as a means of getting
a direct link with consumers. Thousands of people were employed, and were
able to look after their families.
However, after decades of operation, the Minister of Industry and
International Trade, Obert Mpofu, came with a shocker.
Just in one day, he killed what had taken others years to build.
Through a not only a draconian but also purely emotional decision that was
devoid of any rationality, all private abattoirs had their licenses revoked.
There and then, the nation also witnessed the monopoly
of the Cold Storage Company - an organisation that had for many years not
only been in slumber but literally dead being restored.
The results have been devastating. Indigenous people were suddenly
emasculated and elbowed out of business.
Thousands of people employed by these private abattoirs suddenly lost
Their infrastructure was rendered useless with the other embarrassing result
that for the past two months many beef consumers have
been turned into vegetarians unwillingly due to a crippling shortage of beef
and other meats.
Those in the fuel sector suffered the same fate.
After the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) had dismally failed to
deliver a constant, sufficient supply of fuel, government allowed private
importers to access this sector.
This noble move was not only intended to empower citizens, but it was also
aimed at doing away with the monopoly of NOCZIM that in the past had caused
more harm that good to the nation's energy needs.
Since the advent of the new millennium, hundreds of indigenous people spend
billions of dollars setting up or improving infrastructure for the fuel
Some who accessed capital from banks are still saddled with loan repayments.
However, notwithstanding that there is a Minister responsible for energy,
Minister Mpofu, in his capacity as chairperson of the so-called
price-monitoring Task-force, saw it necessary to just in one day destroy
what had taken others years to build.
Today, all private service stations are a sad spectacle. They bear testimony
to one of our government's horrendous policy blunders. Infrastructure is
Business people have been dis-empowered and hundreds of their employees have
been deprived of an income.
One other sad result is that the country is experiencing a critical shortage
of fuel whose ripple effects are being felt all over except in the corridors
of power where cheap government fuel is always available.
That this happens after government had at one time acknowledged the
untenable monopoly of Noczim points to a typical case of confusion and
What one then notices is that
lately, government has to a large extend demonstrated appalling
inconsistency, hypocrisy and ignorance - factors that have hugely undermined
what in the beginning were good intentions in any nation building process.
In the face of such astounding lack of economic wisdom, one then wonders
whether authorities are serious with their "empowerment" and
In fact what comes out clear is that those in government have never had a
genuine bona fide belief in black-empowerment.
Theirs has only been a mission to create wealth for themselves, their
cronies, relatives, patronage-seeking political players, and a few other
hangers-on without them having any interest in a long term, all-encompassing
It is very ironic that when parliament is debating what others see as a
progressive law, and further when there already exists a law enacted to curb
the dominance of business monopolies, our government goes at tangent with
its policies to demolish that which they claim to have been building.
In light of such apparent policy incoherence no sober person should believe
it when government
officials rant and
rave about affirmative action and liberalisation of the economy.
Vote Muza is a legal practitioner with Gutu and Chikowero Legal
Practitioners. He can be contacted on email: email@example.com
Website: www.gutu law.co.zw
Lorna Kali Senior Tax Advisor - Tax Advisory Servi
THE recent price slashes have inevitably affected tax collections as ZIMRA's
revenue base has shrunk considerably.
This was inevitable because in taxation, a rate of tax, usually expressed as
a percentage, is applied to a taxable amount determined by a set of rules
based on the existing tax statutes. Should that taxable amount diminish, tax
collections will diminish as well. The following points relating to Value
Added Tax (VAT), Quarterly Payment Dates (QPD) payments and capital gains
tax are intended to help clarify this point.
Value Added Tax
With VAT there is a direct relationship between the prices charged by
VAT-registrants and the tax payable. A sudden price slash translates into a
sudden reduction in VAT collections.
Any businesses that purchased merchandise before or after June 18 at
uncontrolled prices, but have had to sell them at controlled prices are
likely to end up with VAT refunds. Such refunds result from input tax for a
tax period exceeding output tax for the same tax period.
Refunds are supposed to be processed and paid by Zimra to the taxpayer
within 40 days from the date of submission of the relevant return provided
such return is correct in every respect and Zimra have raised no issues
requiring clarification which are likely to cause delays.
Refunds also provide Zimra with an opportunity to look at the other tax
heads such as PAYE and income tax to see if the business is completely
up-to-date with tax payments. Should there be underpayments on one account,
then the VAT refund is transferred to that account.
Any operator who does not receive a refund within the stipulated time is
entitled to claim interest from Zimra at the market rate.
It is expected that the price slashes have already affected the following
lMay/June VAT returns for Category B operators which were due by 20th July
lJune/July VAT returns for Category A operators which is due by 20 August
lJune and July VAT returns for Category C operators due on 20 July 2007 and
20 August 2007 respectively.
Those businesses that had made credit sales at uncontrolled prices and
charged VAT (output tax) accordingly but can only recover an amount
equivalent to the controlled price. The customer, usually another business,
who has demanded a refund of the excess needs to be issued credit notes in
respect of the non-recoverable amounts. Cases have also been heard where
credit notes have had to be issued because cash buyers have gone back to
their suppliers to demand price adjustments in keeping with government's
directive. Any such credits should be reflected at the appropriate section
of the VAT return.
Income Tax 2007 - Quarterly Payment Dates
Quarterly Payment Dates are provisional payments of income tax based on
estimated annual taxable income payable on a quarterly basis as follows;
25 March-2007 10%
25 June-2007 25%
25 September-2007 30%
20 December-2007 35%
The price slashes must have affected the projected annual taxable incomes
and consequently the projected annual tax liabilities of most businesses.
QPD payments for the last two quarters of the 2007, due on 25 September and
20 December respectively may therefore be considerably reduced. In some case
businesses may find that they have already over-paid their tax for 2007 and
need not pay any more. Whatever the case may be businesses are expected to
submit returns (on forms ITF 12) for provisional tax by the appropriate
dates shown above.
Capital Gains Withholding Tax
Prices of marketable securities, particularly of those companies in the
retail and manufacturing industries were also affected by the price slash.
The drops in the prices caused a drop in the withholding tax revenue base as
well as the final 20% capital gain tax raised on assessments.
It is with the foregoing in mind that one may be excused to think that
though government may at times choose to forego tax revenue in order to
promote certain policy issues it is not clear if the impact of the price
slashes were foreseen at the planning stage.
Whatever the case may be, Zimra will understandably become more aggressive
in their audits as they seek to meet their collection targets from the
shrunken tax base. Compliance with tax legislation is therefore of paramount
importance to avoid penalties and interest.
Disclaimer: This publication contains information in summary form and is
therefore intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a
substitute for detailed research or the exercise of professional judgement.
Neither Ernst & Young Zimbabwe nor any other member of the global Ernst &
Young organisation can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any
person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this
publication. For further information or comments please e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or call Marketing on 750979
No need to worry about spy Act
EDITOR - The Communications Interception Act - Zimbabwe August 6, 2007
empowers the government to establish an Information Centre to eavesdrop on
telephone conversations, open mail and intercept faxes and e-mails.
I will discuss from a technical point of view as to what the Information
Centre can do and cannot do. To start with, the government has failed to set
up the so-called Command Centre. The key reason for this was lack of funds
So as a quick fix the government will force Internet Service Providers (ISP)
to install and maintain the equipment and train its own people at their own
What can be intercepted?
Postal mail - this is too obvious as all the government agents need to do is
wait at the post office serving your area to open your letter before you get
it. As a result sensitive communication should never be sent via the
Faxes - Faxes can be intercepted pretty easily by agents if of course they
know your fax number. The technology and software involved is expensive but
very possible considering the government owns TelOne, which runs the
telephone wires to the fax machines in Zimbabwe. In this instance the agents
have to physically tap directly into TelOne circuits. As a result use of fax
for sensitive information should be avoided unless of course you are using a
cellular fax number, which in turn mean agents will need GSM provider access
to intercept the cellular faxes. The best option here is using web-based
Internet faxes - These Internet faxes have an international number based in
say, the USA or UK. You send and receive your faxes from your computer. You
pay something like $9.99 per month.
Local e-mail - Interception of e-mail depends on two specific items: is your
e-mail a local Zimbabwe e-mail or not. If your mail ends with .co.zw,
.org.zw, .co.ac.zw it is a local email. International e-mails are those
services like Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail just to mention a few.
To intercept your local (Zimbabwe) e-mail the government agents will only
need to go to the ISP where the email services are being hosted, log into
the mail server and read your e-mails. Again the local e-mails are stored in
machines that reside in Harare, with Bulawayo servers being provided by the
likes of ZOL, Mweb, Telco internet etc.
lInternational e-mail - Any of the free international e-mails are the safest
to use. The command centre cannot intercept them. Traffic on the web travels
in different routes every time you send a message. Also most importantly,
the e-mail services are not hosted in Zimbabwe but in the US or UK or Japan
etc. All you do when you open your e-mail from Yahoo, for instance, is
sending a request to Yahoo with your username and password and Yahoo will
respond and push your messages onto your inbox. When you send your username
and password they are encrypted, meaning it would be pointless for any
person to try and intercept your login details.
Of course you must not have weak passwords like "father". Your passwords
must not make sense to anyone except you. A good password will contain a
variety of characters. The stronger your password, the harder for any person
to guess it.
In sumary, if you are a lawyer, journalist or someone who thinks the
government has reason to intercept your emails, use Yahoo.com or Gmail.com
or Hotmail.com. They are free and secure - unless of course you tell someone
Telephone calls - of course if you are using a TelOne phone tapping is
pretty easy here as the agents only need to put a wire from the CO (central
office) this is an exchange that switches your calls.
Cell phones - this can be done of course with the cooperation of GSM
providers who can listen to your conversation from the switches.
As you can see from above, the Act is only effective for those systems that
are operated in Zimbabwe like local e-mail and land line. And the Act has no
leverage to intercept what you post on the Internet and the e-mails/faxes
you send on the Internet. Yahoo and Gmail would be excited to hear that the
agency from Zimbabwe intercepted e-mails from and to their servers based in
Sunnyvale and Mountain View California!
EDITOR - Hwange Colliery Company is failing to supply coal while ZESA is
failing to supply electricity to farmers and industry. This has, no doubt
led to significant loss in revenue not only for the companies but the rest
What happened to Feruka refinery? What happened to the pipeline? Noczim
should be the cheapest and biggest supplier of combustible fuel in this
country. Hwange at one time was said to have the fifth largest coal deposits
in the world yet we are importing coal!
The excuse that we are under sanctions just doesn't cut it because we have
"friendly" countries that we can trade with or obtain lines of credit from.
Instead of shipping us second hand cars and clothes, China should be looking
at capitalising these companies (if they really are our friends). No
economic turnaround is thinkable until the mess at the parastatals is sorted
Byo folk would pay anything for this water
EDITOR - I am writing this letter in the hope that some responsible official
somewhere will do something about my urgent appeal.
In March this year during a visit to Mutare, I happened to use the main
public toilet at the Meikles Park just a few metres from the Publicity
Association building. Inside the toilet is a tap that was spewing water at
full blast. I asked the taxi drivers who park outside why the tap water was
left running this way and they could only say that it had been like that
I wrote a letter about this to the Manica Post but I don't know whether it
was published. As I write this, several months later on August 13 2007, the
water is still gushing out. It has created a long mini river outside the
toilet, and combi drivers use this water to wash their vehicles.
One wonders how much treated water has been lost this way. I'm sure the
people of Bulawayo would give anything for this kind of "free" water.
There are also two taps, which have water endlessly gushing out behind the
toilets at Sakubva Main Terminus.
In the city centre treated water is flowing from a water point in a delivery
lane outside Tradex Marketing just opposite the Holiday Inn. I shudder to
think how many more water points have water gushing out in Mutare alone. It
seems noone is in charge of water in the city any more.
What will it take for the "responsible" authorities to do something about
this sad state of affairs?
I'm sure the answer lies in the next elections!
We do have sacred cows
EDITOR - A golf club in Tiger Woods' hands is worth a million US dollars,
and a warehouse full of cooking oil at some factory in Coventry Road is
Can the price control inspectors explain this to the nation. They ran around
ransacking warehouses and telling the nation that businesses are hoarding.
Yet this particular warehouse in Coventry Road is full of cooking oil.
These faithfuls from the commission went there twice but have failed to come
up with the zeal they normally have when they pay others a visit because the
loot belongs to a certain big chef.
So much for a free, fair and overzealous lot. Unfortunately for people like
Pius Ncube, kugocha kunoda kwaamai.
Forget POSA, Zim media is gagging itself
EDITOR - Persistent and on-going in the local Zimbabwean media there are
wails about AIPPA and POSA legislation that are in actuality ill-founded.
The alleged legal gags on local reporting on sensitive Zimbabwean matters is
already subserviently or voluntarily in place - not less than by the now
alleged boot-licking or the durably cowed local free-press.
No special mention or 'tribute' is necessary for the already proven or
alleged deranged prostituted and mental paraplegic servants in the
employment of state media services.
The provable reality is that the intellectually and morally reduced local
Zimbabwe media has often failed to find, research, disclose and/or to
factually report on submitted or well-founded authenticated material, facts
or stories, particularly about alleged un-lawful or other illegal or unusual
conduct by certain allegiant ZANU PF comrades.
At times when they do publish a cursory report, the essence of their reports
are often distorted, devoid of detail, in denial, or in retention of the
real known facts.
The easily demonstrable folios evidence is that despite often being given
stimulating real fabric for research and reporting opportunities, most local
'free-media editors' have in effect elected to 'filter' and / or abstain
from reporting on the 'politically alienating or embarrassing' matters
exposed to their respective offices from victims (or well-acquainted others)
of Zanu PF's criminally disposed persons.
The natural conclusions may be, in part or whole, that the alleged local
free-press are either in part or all of:-
n Lazy, deficient, lacking of intellectual acuity, or are devoid of proper
moral or responsible journalist principles;
n Are now fellow-typical Zimbabwean cowards who have in fore-knowledge
willingly electing a future life in grass-huts and to eat rats and weeds
rather than making a moral or a civilized stand;
n Are nervous after having been infiltrated by despotic influences;
n Have a distorted understanding of real history and facts;
n They, or their owners / editors have been influenced by the 'on-going
retrospective' renaissance of Africa, historical mis-guided solidarity, or
out of anxious fear.
Another concept for consideration is that they have been promised
self-serving benefits by Zanu PF master controllers to be another group of
temporarily usable quiet stooges, and to tow the Zanu PF party line.
It is apparent that most local Zimbabwean media reporters apparently do not
understand fundamental values. If ever they had a prospect of gaining a
moral compass, they have never found it, or they have lost it.
Understandably, no one hears much more about international acclaim towards
Zimbabwean Journalists who were or are aware and adherent to the principles
of their profession.
As they now stand, many may conclude that they are collectively a bunch of
fellow Zanu PF bootlicking comrades hell-bent on survival and self-gain at
Above this, even gross human-rights abusers such as in China have failed to
curtail free-expression - even over Global Internet Services.