the Speaker of Parliament and secretary for administration in the ruling
Zanu PF was yesterday moved to a lesser important portfolio of legal affairs
in the new-look politburo announced by President Robert
Didymus Mutasa, the secretary for external affairs
becomes the new secretary for administration, a position he held before
Also left out was firebrand
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and leader of the House
Unelected junior Minister of Information and
Publicity Jonathan Moyo, who had been in the politburo for the past four
years as deputy secretary for information and publicity was also left
Moyo's nightmare in the high echelons of Zanu PF began
after he convened an unsanctioned meeting in Tsholotstho at which six now
suspended Zanu PF chairmen attended.
provincial governor and resident minister Ephraim Masawi took over Moyo's
Women's league boss Thenjiwe Lesabe was
replaced by former Manicaland governor Oppah Muchinguri.
Other appointments included the retaining of Elliot Manyika as political
commissar, Nathan Shamuyarira as information and publicity secretary,
Nicholas Goche as security among other senior Zanu PF
Former Zipra commander Dumiso Dabengwa
returned to the politburo while Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu
entered for the first time.
Panicky withdrawals as one more bank faces collapse Sat 18
December 2004 HARARE - Another Zimbabwean commercial bank, CFX Bank Ltd,
could collapse under a heavy run on deposits by panicking clients following
revelations of massive fraud at the bank.
CFX branches were
offering maximum withdrawals of $1 million as the run on deposits threatened
the bank's liquidity position.
The bank recorded an astronomical
$115 billion loss as of October this year and was this week negotiating with
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for authority to recall its statutory reserve
funds to cover the yawning capital gap.
The proposals would see
the RBZ refunding CFX's current $10 billion statutory reserve obligations
and exempting the stuttering bank from capital adequacy subscriptions for a
CFX officials were locked in meetings with central bank
officials to access the statutory reserves.
CFX, whose merger
with Century Bank was sealed in mid-May, published profit warning statements
this week saying profitability of the commercial bank will be significantly
It did not elaborate on the reasons but
attempted to reassure the market that corrective measures were being taken.
The cautionary statement said other group associates would perform
Long queues of irate depositors wishing to withdraw
their savings could be seen at the bank's premises in Harare's central
Several banks, most of them locally owned have
collapsed in the last 12 months due to mismanagement and in some cases to
downright theft of depositors' funds by top managers. Some bank executives
have been arrested while others have fled out of the country.
CFX bank management could not be reached last night for comment on the
troubles bedevilling the bank. - ZimOnline
FEATURE: Put on wrong outfit in Bulawayo, and you are off to
the cells Sat 18 December 2004 BULAWAYO - A keen sense of fashion is
fast becoming a necessary survival skill for women shoppers in Zimbabwe's
second largest city here.
These days, venturing into downtown
Bulawayo wearing the "wrong outfit" in the eyes of the police can easily
land women shoppers in cells.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police,
desperate to clear the streets of illegal foreign currency dealers has
deployed plain clothes and uniformed officers to arrest
But the police must first catch culprits physically
exchanging money before they can arrest them - an almost impossible scenario
given the deep secrecy with which illegal money changers carry out their
But an equally easy solution as far as the police here
For easy identification by their clients, illicit
money changers, most of them women, prefer to wear certain trendy outfits.
For example, the attire in vogue these days among women illegal forex
traders in Bulawayo are tailored denim skirts worn with multi-coloured tops
with or without a lacy white head scarf.
And that is what the
police simply look for before pouncing on and arresting their victims.
Because the Foreign Currency Exchange Control Act requires that only
suspects caught in the act changing money illegally can be charged, police
simply resort to the archaic Miscellaneous Offences Act to make their
Under section 3 (g) of the colonial Act, Zimbabweans
can be fined for blocking pavements and that is the section under which
suspected money changers are charged.
But in the process of
rounding up the money changers, innocent shoppers have been caught and
harassed by the police simply because they wore the wrong dress to
As Sinini Moyo narrated to ZimOnline: "I was walking from a
movie house when a police officer stopped me and said I was a money changer.
He said I dressed like them (foreign currency dealers.) But he later changed
and accused me of blocking the pavement."
Suspects are fined
Z$25 000 for blocking pavements. Sources at Bulawayo Central Police Station
where the shoppers are detained told Zimonline the force was collecting an
average of Z$3.5 million a day from the pavement blockers.
men have also fallen foul of the police's new and certainly legally
questionable tactic of ridding Bulawayo of illegal money changers.
For example, Mandlenkosi Sibanda, who is an accountant with one of the
country's biggest accounting firms, says he was picked up for blocking the
pavement while talking to a friend outside a supermarket. Suspects who fail
to pay the fines are detained in overcrowded cells until they pay
And another, who would only identify himself as Msipha said: "I
spent four days in detention for allegedly blocking the pavement. I was
arrested when I was about to enter a supermarket to buy some
But occasionally, the officers are on target and pick
up the foreign currency dealers. Lungile Moyo admits she changes money
downtown. Moyo has been arrested several times but vows she will never
abandon the World Bank as Bulawayo's foreign currency black-market is known
in local parlance.
She said: "It is not easy to pay a bribe or pay
a fine everyday. But I have an ill husband who needs about $56 000 for
tablets every month. And I have children to look after. I have no option but
to stick to money changing which I know." - ZimOnline
December 17, 2004 Posted to the web December 17,
FIFTY-THREE inmates jailed at Chikurubi and Khami
Maximum prisons have been freed on medical grounds.
This was after
President Mugabe assented to the 53 prisoners' release due to their ill
According to a statement released by the Zimbabwe Prison Service
yesterday, the prisoners were serving sentences ranging from four to 18
years for various offences.
These ranged from rape, armed robbery,
murder, stock theft, robbery, housebreaking and theft of motor
The release of the inmates comes barely two months after two of
the 67 mercenaries jailed at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison were released
on October 22 this year on medical grounds.
One of the prisoners was
said to have had diarrhoea "for some time and was weak" while the other had
a persistently swollen knee.
The two convicted men - Lenutu Eselumu (46)
and Pius Hausiku Kanjowa (45) - were part of a group of mercenaries who were
arrested at Harare International Airport in March while enroute to
Equatorial Guinea to overthrow the government of President Teodoro Obiang
The two mercenaries were serving 12-month prison terms for
contravening sections of the Immigration Act and Civil Aviation Act. They
were due for release on September 19, 2005.
They would, however, have
been released as early as May 17, 2005 on good behaviour.
Zimbabweans serving various sentences at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison
for different crimes were also released on medical grounds on the same
This was after President assented to the nine prisoners' release due
to their ill health. The local inmates were admitted to Harare Central
Hospital and Parirenyatwa Hospital for further treatment. Prison authorities
had earlier in the same week released apartheid spy Reon Schutte who was
serving a 26-year prison term at the maximum-security prison.
(43) was freed after the Government acceded to a request for clemency from
South African President Thabo Mbeki.
He was jailed in 1989 for carrying
out acts of espionage against the African National Congress of South Africa
when he was arrested in Zimbabwe.
Schutte immediately flew to South
Africa after his release.
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the
views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 17 Dec 2004 (IRIN) -
Zimbabwean civil society groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) have dismissed amendments to the electoral bill passed by
parliament this week as too little, too late.
The groups said the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill did not represent the opening up of
democratic space in the country, while opposition spokesman Paul
Themba-Nyathi said the party was not satisfied with the amendments, which
now await President Robert Mugabe's signature to become law.
still feels strongly that the amendments are simply not enough - we have
called for a complete overhaul of the electoral act in line with SADC
[Southern African Development Community] guidelines. What we have in
Zimbabwe now is a piece of legislation that can only benefit [the ruling]
ZANU-PF," said Nyathi.
He added that the MDC had not given up on
pressuring the government into further electoral amendments, and there was
still time for governments to fully implement the SADC electoral
"Although we are far from satisfied, we believe other SADC
countries will increase the pressure for reform on ZANU-PF. Passing the
amendments is one thing, but implementing them is quite another. The MDC
will meet soon to review these developments," he said.
The MDC has
threatened to boycott all elections, but Nyathi declined to say whether the
MDC would review its decision and participate in the March 2005
Daniel Molokela, coordinator of the
Johannesburg-based Zimbabwe Peace and Democracy Project, said the amendments
to the electoral laws would only boost the position of ZANU-PF.
damage has already been done - there are only three months before the
elections," he said. "We have always demanded a complete overhaul of the
electoral system, and that will not happen before the elections. These are
cosmetic, window dressing measures designed to ensure that SADC will somehow
endorse a ZANU-PF victory next year."
He added that the proposed
independent electoral commission would not have any effect on the overall
electoral process because Mugabe would still appoint its leadership. The
commission approves all civic organisations wishing to engage in voter
education - a situation Molokela said would seriously weaken civil society's
role in the upcoming poll.
Preparations for the March election are well
underway. Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament this week that
the Delimitation Commission set up to demarcate parliamentary constituency
boundaries had finished its work and had presented a report to
The Electoral Supervisory Commission, which will be succeeded by
the proposed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said it had already started
voter education campaigns in preparation for by-elections taking place
before the March poll.
Zimbabwe Opposition Undecided on March Election By Peta
Thornycroft Harare 17 December 2004
from Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change meet
this weekend to debate whether to take part in parliamentary elections next
March. Some MDC leaders are opposed to taking part in the election, but
grassroots supporters say they want to fight the election.
believes it was robbed of victory in two national elections it fought
previously -- the general election in 2000, when it obtained nearly half the
parliamentary seats, and the presidential poll two years later which
President Robert Mugabe won with a 15 percent majority.
observers in those elections found evidence of fraud and concluded the
ballots were neither free nor fair.
Zimbabwe's parliament, dominanted by
the ruling Zanu-PF party, recently adopted new legislation amending the
electoral laws, which the party claims now comply with regional principles
of fairness. but civil society activists and independent analysts say the
changes are cosmetic and will not allow for free and fair elections in
Lovemore Madhuku, is a veteran civil rights campaigner, whose
organization has led the campaign for a new, more democratic
Like most civil rights activists, he says MDC should not
take part in the upcoming poll.
"The only reason why they would
participate is if they have no plan as to what to do outside parliament , if
they have no idea, of what to do, they become like any other opposition
political party to remain a party with one or two three seats in
parliament," he said. "The MDC must not participate in the elections, they
must make clear there is no point of participating. Then get out of the
elections, regroup with the rest of civic society, make clear the demands
and then outside of parliamentary process we fight the regime in the
streets, in every fora.
And we are crying for the kind of things we
want, a constitution, we want a fair electoral playing field, we want a free
media," he added, "the things we keep talking about, we demand those things
up front, When we have established them..an election can only happen in that
Mr. Madhuku, who is a law professor at the University of
Zimbabwe, says MDC's grass roots supporters want to take part in elections
for many reasons.
"Grassroots people have not been fully exposed to
what it means not to participate in elections," Mr. Madhuku noted. "So if
they see life of a political party as being running for parliamentary seats,
campaigning for the MP [Members of Parliament], getting some allowances and
so forth for doing that, it's party life, party activity doing a.b.c.d. If
we don't do that what else will we be doing? That's where there is a
division, at grassroots level. It means a lot to be participating in
elections. But the other intellectuals, not at grassroots, perhaps looking
at a proper picture, saying, well, what is the point?"
party's leadership has not made its position public yet, and may not do so
until it holds its general meeting next January, 10 weeks ahead of the
While some party leaders are believed to be opposed to taking part
in the March elections unless the political climate is normalized and
electoral laws revamped, others say that the MDC could become irrelevant if
it doesn not take part in the national poll.
Meanwhile, several times
this week, police have refused to grant permission for the MDC to hold
Zimbabwe says UK deportees 'mercenaries of regime
By Staff Reporter Last updated: 12/18/2004 01:53:55 FRESH
fears for the safety of Zimbabweans deported from Britain were raised Friday
after a top government minister said they could be undercover mercenaries
sent to cause mayhem ahead of key parliamentary elections next
Controversial Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said Britain
could be sending "trained and bribed malcontents" to disrupt
The UK has resumed the repatriation of Zimbabweans who were
refused political asylum.
Refugee groups say anyone deported to
Zimbabwe could face persecution and this week, Zimbabwean lawyers in the UK
filed papers to secure an injuction stopping the deportations following
complaints that several deportees had been harassed or were missing after
they were deported.
Moyo's comments will harden the growing
anti-deportation coalition and apply pressure on UK authorities to once
again suspend the deportations.
"We have a right to ask whether these
would be deportees or Blair's mercenaries of regime change or plain
law-abiding Zimbabweans returning home after having been abused and
dehumanised in Britain.
"Their treatment will depend on which is which,"
Moyo told the state-run Herald newspaper.
Earlier this week, Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said those sent back from the UK would be
The UK authorities said they were lifting a two-year
moratorium on deportations because of the numerous abuses of the asylum
system by people claiming to have been persecuted by the government of
President Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwean refugees who protested at Downing
Street on Wednesday say that anyone sent back home from Britain faces
reprisals from security forces.
"Britain knows the problems in Zimbabwe.
They know it's not safe for those who oppose Mugabe and the government,"
Edward Molife, one of the organizers, told the BBC.
Returning asylum seekers must not be harassed, rights group
[ This report
does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
JOHANNESBURG, 17 Dec 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean asylum seekers
being repatriated from Britain should not be harassed or subjected to
discrimination, a rights NGO has urged.
According to the official
Herald newspaper, 10,000 Zimbabweans who failed to gain political refuge in
Britain are to be forcibly repatriated in the coming months.
a British Home Office spokeswoman, Helen Bower, could not confirm the
figures quoted in the Herald. She told IRIN that on 16 November the UK had
announced its decision to end a blanket ban on the deportation of Zimbabwean
asylum seekers, introduced in 2002, as it had been abused.
She could not
provide details on a timeframe for the deportations.
In response to a
question in parliament, the Herald quoted justice minister Patrick Chinamasa
as saying, "We accept all our citizens, they are still Zimbabweans," adding
that the returning asylum seekers would be welcomed.
director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, told IRIN that "it would
be unfortunate if some of those deported will be those with a well-founded
fear of persecution, should they return home".
When he announced the
British government's decision to end the ban on deportation of Zimbabwean
asylum seekers, the British minister for citizenship and immigration, Des
Browne, stressed that although "there has not been any improvement in
conditions in Zimbabwe", removing the suspension on deportation was
necessary, due to abuse of the system.
Munyaradzi pointed out that many
people seeking asylum in Britain had been "subjected to unfair treatment and
harassment" before leaving Zimbabwe. "Their security must be guaranteed -
political ideology should not dictate the handling of these people when they
come back home."
European Parliament demands release of
The European Parliament will today adopt a
tough resolution against the Mugabe regime demanding the immediate release
of Roy Bennett, an opposition MP sentenced to 12 months hard labour in
Zimbabwe after conviction on spurious charges.
Van Orden MEP, the Conservative Spokesman who has led the Parliament's
actions against the Mugabe regime, said:
imprisonment is an appalling example of the Mugabe regime's brutal
oppression of its own people. Mr Bennett must be released immediately and
all violence and intimidation against his family must
Elections in Zimbabwe are just months away. The
Parliament is calling upon the EU and Zimbabwe's African neighbours to do
all that they can to make sure that those elections are free and fair. That
means harassment of opposition politicians has to stop.
month ago I personally called on South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki to
help bring about change in Zimbabwe. The actions of governments in southern
Africa are key. But more has to be done by the wider international
The British Government has been limp-wristed over
Zimbabwe and it is time it took more effective action on both the diplomatic
and political fronts."
Chief Reporter issue date :2004-Dec-17
METROPOLITAN Bank company
secretary Tendai Matambanadzo has disappeared, amid reports that four
unidentified men abducted him from his Chisipite home in the capital on
Monday night. Matambanadzo's lawyer, Selby Hwacha of Dube, Manikai and
Hwacha, law firm told The Daily Mirror yesterday that the banker and lawyer
had disappeared and was now reportedly in State custody. "We and the
(Matambanadzo) family had been anxious as to his whereabouts since Monday,
but are now consoled by information, which frankly is yet to be confirmed,
that he is in the hands of the State. We expect that the team of lawyers
engaged to represent him will be granted access to him shortly," Hwacha
said. But police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka yesterday professed ignorance
over the matter. He said: "I have not heard about that case." However,
information at hand reveals that four unidentified men went to
Matambanadzo's home demanding to see his brother (name supplied). Upon
realising that Matambanadzo was not at home, they allegedly interrogated the
gardener and threatened to harm him if he revealed that they had visited his
home and said they would be back. They then allegedly parked not far away
from the house, awaiting Matambanadzo. Sources said the gardener told
Matambandzo's wife what had transpired. She allegedly drove off in search of
her husband who was said to be attending business at a local hotel. The
two, however, missed each, the sources said. Matambanadzo allegedly drove
home and it was at his gate that the men confronted him and bundled him into
their vehicle. The family, the sources said, made an initial report (IR
number 12-484) over the counter at Harare Central Police Station. When
they followed up, claims are that they were given a second case number
1231/04. The reports are said to be handled by police officers in room
African apartheid era spies jailed in 1989 for bombing an African National
Congress (ANC) house in Zimbabwe have been transferred from Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison to Harare Central Remand Prison.
said the transfers were above board. The pair, Kevin Woods and Phillip
Conjwayo, have been languishing in the maximum prison for the past 16
years. They were sentenced to life in prison for the bombing of the NCA house
in Bulawayo, then occupied by South African exiles. Zimbabwe Prison
Services (ZPS) spokesperson, Elizabeth Banda, confirmed the
transfers. "Kevin Woods and Philip Conjwayo have been transferred from
Chikurubi Maximum Prison to Harare Central Prison," Banda said. "They have
been at Chikurubi Maximum Prison for 16 years. Their transfer is a normal
transfer like any other convicted prisoner." The two spies have
repeatedly pleaded for pardon from the Zimbabwean government since the end
of the apartheid era in South Africa in 1994, but the pleas have been turned
down. Woods and Conjwayo's transfer comes in the wake of the recent release
of another South African, Reo Schuttee, on medical grounds. Schuttee was
also incarcerated in 1989 for car theft and possession of dangerous
weapons. President Robert Mugabe pardoned Schuttee after his South African
counterpart President Thabo Mbeki's request for his release. Recently,
David Coltart, a lawyer and the MDC shadow minister of justice said the
government had the discretion to transfer prisoners when it deems it
fit. Coltart was commenting on last month's transfer of the MDC Chimanimani
legislator, Roy Bennett from Harare Central Prison to a Prison in
Mutoko. Bennet is serving a year in prison after assaulting Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa in Parliament early this year.
PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social
Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana on Monday left a packed press conference in
Harare astonished when he announced that the rate of unemployment in
Zimbabwe had declined to 9 percent. Other government officials have always
publicly said that unemployment in Zimbabwe is now pegged at about 70
percent, while labour officials in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) have in recent months been arguing that the rate of unemployment had
surged to a record 80 percent. However, responding to questions from the
press this week, Mangwana said the actual position was that Zimbabwe had a
lot of job opportunities, especially in the transforming agricultural sector
and it risked turning to foreign labour to meet its
requirements. "Unemployment in Zimbabwe is pegged at 9 percent, these are the
figures that were supplied to me by the Central Statistical Officer (CSO)
and they are the same figures that I use. "It is an overstatement to say
that unemployment in Zimbabwe is 70 percent. If that was the case then there
could be no Zimbabwe to talk about. All the people would be dead because the
30 percent that is said to be employed cannot support the remaining 70
percent," Mangwana said. He added that the definition that is used when
calculating unemployment only took into account those people who are
formerly employed. He said Zimbabwe was now awash with self employed business
people who would adjust the statistics downwards if they were taken into
account. "In fact, a survey that is currently underway is revealing that
there are employment opportunities in farming and do we need to go back to
Malawi to look for migrant labour?" the minister confidently asked. The
Central Statistical Office had for the past 4 years kept quiet when the 70
percent unemployment figure started doing the rounds and officials at the
organisation were surprised that the minister had made such utterances at a
time when evidence was clear that companies were winding up
operations. Industrial output plummeted to 30 percent this year with the
key-manufacturing sector being projected to decline by 8.5 percent by the
end of the year as a result of the closure of more that 900 companies since
the year 2000. Mangwana said basing on the number of contributions to the
National Social Security Authority (NSSA), about 1.8 million people are
formally employed in Zimbabwe.
MDC Member of Parliament for Glen
View, Paul Madzore, and nine suspected party members yesterday appeared at
the Harare Magistrates' Courts on allegations of perpetrating violence and
destroying property worth $58 million. Madzore, John Kamushinga, Edmund
Boriwondo, Frederick Chihona, Tapiwa Dube, Chamunorwa Mashungu, Fanny
Mudomera, Wilbert Makope, Michael Banda (all from Glen View) and Tapiwa
Chikosha of Budiriro, were not asked to plead to charges of contravening the
Public Order and Security Act (POSA) when they appeared before magistrate
John Koto. They were all remanded on bail to December 31. Madzore was
ordered to pay $1 million bail and his alleged accomplices $300 000
each. The legislator was picked up by police outside the opposition party's
headquarters, Harvest House, on Tuesday. Prosecutor Tambudzai Gonese told
the court that on Sunday Madzore addressed a party meeting in his
constituency. Later on that afternoon, he allegedly teamed up with about 20
party members and proceeded to Chemhanza Car Park, which also houses a Zanu
PF youth project. Madzore and gang allegedly shattered windows of six
vehicles and broke windowpanes at a Zanu PF office and stole a Zimbabwe
flag. Eddie Machuwaire represented them.
THE government owes cash
strapped local authorities nearly $50 billion, a Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee has said. However, the report reviewing the 2005 budget by the
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing presented in Parliament on Tuesday, did not give a
breakdown of the dues to each council. Acting city of Harare Treasurer
this week said the government owed them $7,9billon. "Local authorities
are owed huge debts by different government departments. The $15 billion
allocated for amortisation of central government debt is inadequate, as
local authorities are owed $49 billion by different government departments,"
said the committee report chaired by Gabriel Chaibva, MDC legislator for
Harare South. The local government ministry was allocated $771,76 billion for
next year's budget, although it had submitted a bid for $27,5
trillion. Ministry officials who attended meetings called by the committee
after the announcement of the 2005 budget said the amounts they were
allocated fell far short of their needs. "More worrying is the fact that
by February 2005, the amount allocated for the ministry's core business will
have been exhausted. Expenses carried over from 2004 are going to consume
35percent of the 2005 budget. The ministry's priority of turning around
local authorities will therefore not be met," added the report. As part
of hedging against inadequate resources from the government, the committee
called upon local authorities to pursue prudent commercial practices, it
said councils have failed to undertake. As an example of the failures, the
committee cited Mutoko Rural District Council, which has not come up with
royalties for granite extracted from areas within its jurisdiction.
December 17, 2004 Posted to the web December 17,
THE launch yesterday of a multi-million-dollar joint
venture project that will see the construction of an independent petroleum
storage terminal in Beira, Mozambique, is likely to end the erratic fuel
supplies that have dogged the country for the past four years.
new terminal, which would be tied to the Beira-Feruka pipeline, road and
rail networks linking the two countries, would help the country to overcome
its logistical problems in the movement of fuel from Beira, a situation that
has contributed to the erratic supply of fuel in the country in the
The project, which was also launched in Mozambique last week, is
being undertaken by Inpetro S.A.R.L, a joint venture company formed in
The shareholders of the joint venture include the National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) with a 30 percent stake, Petroleos de
Mocambique (Petromoc) (40 percent) and the Independence Petroleum Group
(IPG) of Kuwait (30 percent).
The construction of the new
state-of-the-art terminal consisting of nine storage tanks with a combined
capacity of 95 000 cubic metres would begin early next year.
Pipeline Engineering Corporation would construct the new terminal, which is
expected to come on stream in the second quarter of 2006. The three
shareholders have already paid the contract price of US$23,5 million, with
Petromoc also contributing the land on which the tanks would be
Speaking at yesterday's launch in Harare, the Minister of Energy
and Power Development, Cde July Moyo, said the project was crucial to
Zimbabwe in terms of guaranteeing the supply of petroleum products,
especially when taking into account Zimbabwe's landlocked
He said it was also important for the country to move away from
the current situation where Zimbabwe was paying for fuel on a cash basis to
one where it secures it through lines of credit.
"We want to return
to a system where we have lines of credit for at least a year, which allows
us to choose suppliers of fuel through an open tender system," he
The minister said they had since made headway in this regard when
they introduced three-month contracts in June this year.
Cde Moyo said, was coming at a time when the ministry and stakeholders in
the petroleum industry were making concerted efforts to ensure the maximum
utilisation of the Beira-Feruka pipeline, which makes fuel importation
cheaper and also improves distribution networks of the fuel within the
Cde Moyo said since the inception of the Special Purpose Vehicle
a few months ago the amount of fuel being transported through the pipeline
had increased from nine million litres in August to 78 million litres in
He said Noczim was assisting the SPV to ensure that
petroleum products are delivered during the shortest possible time. As a new
entity, the SPV was bound to encounter teething problems and Noczim "is
there to help solve those problems", he said.
In this regard, he said
Noczim had already availed its depots in Harare, Kwekwe, Gweru, Masvingo and
Bulawayo for use in the distribution of fuel to different parts of the
country. Cde Moyo said the availing of the facilities was also meant to
ensure that fuel is available throughout the Christmas and New Year
"We are looking at the supply situation everyday and Noczim is
there to backstop any shortcomings of the SPV," he said.
the benefits that the country was going to derive from the project, the
minister said the project had also demonstrated that the Government's policy
on Government-private sector partnership was viable.
He paid tribute to
Mozambique for the assistance it was rendering to Zimbabwe in the shipment
of goods and IPG for the support it had given to Zimbabwe throughout the
difficult period that the country has been going through for the past four
years in terms of fuel procurement.
The minister also thanked the Chinese
government for their continued support to African countries and to Zimbabwe
The IPG's manager for legal and commercial affairs, Mr
Nabeel Al-Adsani, said his company's involvement in the project was a sign
of the long-term vision they had on the development of the Sadc
He said it was also part of his company's efforts to build a
strong relationship with Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Petromog's head of
legal affairs and advisor to the chief executive officer, Mrs Dalva Verela,
said apart from the obvious benefits such as increasing storage capacity, it
was also going to overcome some challenges.
These, she said, included
demurrage charges (financial penalties) at the Beira port which are a result
of vessel berthing delays and backlogs due to commercial and operational
constraints placed on existing storage facilities in the area.
said the project would also spur economic development in the region.
Beira port serves as the entry port for an estimated 1,325 million cubic
metres of fuel destined for region per year.
The president of the
China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, under which CPEC falls, Mr Sushi Feng,made
a commitment that his company's subsidiary would meet the target for the
completion of the project. The country has been battling to normalise its
fuel supply situation, which had been affected by shortages of foreign
currency and procurement bottlenecks.
refused to air a party political advert for the MDC, in contravention of
SADC principles governing the conduct of elections in member countries. The
MDC submitted the advert to the state broadcaster for transmission on
national radio in early December, together with a guarantee of payment, but
ZBC refused to air it. "We submitted this advert with the view to having it
broadcast by ZBC radio," said MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi. "ZBC radio
refused to flight it on the basis that it has some offensive reference to
Zanu PF. We don't believe that it was turned down because of its content. We
believe that the problem was simply that Jonathan Moyo and Zanu PF simply
refuse to adhere to the SADC Mauritius protocol." One of the electoral
principles contained in the SADC protocol provides for "equal opportunity
for all political parties to access the state media". The Zimbabwe
government undertook to abide by the protocol at the SADC summit in
Mauritius in August this year. ZBC officials at the state broadcaster's
commercial offices in Mbare took less than half an hour to take the decision
to refuse to transmit the advert, saying that MDC adverts should not
criticise the government, or make any reference to Zanu PF, which in effect
prevents any campaigning on national radio by opposition parties as they are
unable to challenge the ruling party's record. The advert was broadcast on
SW Radio Africa, which broadcasts to Zimbabwe, and South Africa's Radio 702