The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

RBZ in $450m gold row

http://www.timeslive.co.za

JAMA MAJOLA | 04 December, 2011 02:33

An explosive row has erupted between the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ),
Saudi Arabian mineral and jewellery dealer Sulaim Al Othaim and local tycoon
David Butau over a controversial $450-million deal designed to rescue
government from bankruptcy at the height of the economic meltdown.

The dispute over the 2006 deal has been running for five years but has now
exploded into the public domain as Al Othaim and Butau demand payment from
the RBZ, which is refusing to pay up, saying it was not implemented as
originally agreed.

There have also been allegations of fraud and betrayal.

In terms of the agreement, Al Othaim was supposed to buy gold from the RBZ
for its factories in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The company is involved in
wholesale distribution of jewellery, precious stones and watches. There was
also a plan to create a strategic partnership between Al Othaim, which also
owns shopping malls, retail outlets and colleges, and the RBZ's subsidiary
Aurex Jewellery.

Al Othaim was supposed to provide the RBZ with a multi-draw letter of credit
for the delivery of 200000 ounces of gold, a cash deposit for 315000 ounces
and a bank guarantee for $150-million. The Central Bank was supposed to
supply 515000 ounces of gold within nine to 12 months at London Metal
Exchange-fixed prices and at a 34% discount. In total, the deal was valued
at $450-million.

Butau was involved as facilitator through Dande Capital Holdings where he is
executive chairman. SA's Rand Merchant Bank was to provide structured
finance, including handling cash deposits and cash guarantees.

Local bank CBZ, together with its clients, Dande Capital, played a
facilitation role and was to be paid for that.

It was agreed that any disputes would be dealt with in accordance with the
laws of the UK, Switzerland and Netherlands, not Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia.
Some parties involved in the deal now claim it was "a scandal wholly
prejudicial to government". Documents show there are allegations of fraud
and siphoning-off of gold proceeds.

"The unfortunate thing about this deal is that in effect it amounted to
direct fraud through under-pricing of gold deliveries by the RBZ to Al
Othaim. The extent of prejudice was 34% of the gold parcel delivered. How
can a precious metal like gold be sold at 34% discount when we all know gold
is just as good as hard currency," says one of the documents seen by the
Sunday Times.

"Besides, there was an impression created that President Robert Mugabe had
authorised the deal when he had not. How would the president allow gold to
be sold at 34% discount? In the end total gold delivered amounted to
$5.072-million and applying the 34% discount, there was a total prejudice of
$1.6-million."

To exacerbate the situation, Butau has been demanding $1.5-million from the
RBZ in "facilitation fees".

In a letter dated February 16 to RBZ governor Gideon Gono, Butau demanded
$800000. The RBZ paid him $200 000.

However, in another letter dated November 2, Butau demanded his balance of
$1.3-million, threatening legal action to recover the money.

The RBZ is also in another dispute with Al Othaim over a $1.6-million debt.

But on Friday Gono's office hit back, saying those claiming fraud and
demanding payments were misrepresenting facts and had hidden agendas
"bordering on extortion and rent-seeking".

"The governor is aware that life without money is hard these days and times
are difficult. This is made worse by the fact that Christmas is around the
corner," Gono's spokesman Alson Mfiri said. "Unfortunately, the RBZ does not
play the role of Father Christmas as some of these demands suggest through
ridiculous claims.

"Several letters of demand have been written to the bank, laced with threats
and loaded with political overtones, but the governor will not entertain
such frivolous claims. All those aggrieved must approach the courts for
remedies," Mfiri said.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Gono aide sues paper for US$5mln

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

03/12/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

AN ADVISER to central bank chief, Gideon Gono is suing The Standard
newspaper for US$5 million after the weekly accused him of raping his
12-year-old niece.

In a report published last week The Standard claimed Dr Munyaradzi Kereke –
who has accused reporters at the publication of soliciting bribes from
him -- was trying to conceal the incident which allegedly took place at his
Harare home last year.
However, Kereke denies the allegations in papers now before the High Court.

Citing Standard Press, Munn Marketing, the paper’s editor, Nevanji Madanhire
and the writer of the article, Kereke said the allegations were defamatory
and inspired by malice.

“The said statements, publications and words in the context of the articles
are wrongful and defamatory in that they were intended and were understood
by the readers of the newspaper, nationally and internationally, to mean
that; the plaintiff is abusing his office and position in society to
suppress the alleged rape case and is, therefore, not a law-abiding citizen
and he can do anything to subvert the course of justice, including
influencing the police and the Attorney-General,” Kereke said.

“The plaintiff is a threat and danger to society and, pointedly, a dangerous
homicidal criminal who can use firearms to threaten and subdue any pressure
from his victims or victim’s allies.”

In its report, The Standard claimed that although the alleged assault was
reported at Highlands police station and witness statements recorded from
the victim in November last year, no progress had been made in bringing the
matter to court.

The girl’s lawyer was also said to have written to the Officer-in-Charge of
Borrowdale Police Station expressing concern over the apparent delays in
prosecuting the case.

“We note with concern that you do not seem to want to take any action in
this matter and we are by copy of this letter requesting the Attorney
General to advise us if nothing will be done so that we can apply for a
right to do private prosecution if the Attorney General declines to
prosecute the rape case,” Charles Warara said in the letter written in
January this year.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Anti-corruption team probes Zou

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Sunday, 04 December 2011 10:44

HARARE - The Anti-Corruption Commission has launched a full-scale
investigation into the operations of the Zimbabwe Open University (Zou)
following leads provided by a leaked document to the commission alleging
gross financial mismanagement and corruption.

Zou is a state-owned long distance learning centre with an enrolment of over
19 000 students drawn from every district of the country.

By numbers, it is the largest university in the country.

A report dated October 4 this year addressed to the anti-corruption
commission and copied to President Robert Mugabe’s office, the higher
education ministry and the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education, exposes
gross financial abuses and corruption at the institution.

Anti Corruption Commission chairman Stanford Chirindo confirmed receiving
the report which details corruption at the institution since 2006.

“I can confirm that I received the report, record No RR02/10/11 and
investigations are in progress,” Chirindo told the Daily News on Sunday.

According to the document, a copy of which is in the hands of the Daily News
on Sunday, Zou is alleged to have fleeced the Ministry of Higher Education
of over $700 000 which was meant to pay employees’ medical aid insurance.
According to a source, the university received $150 000 every month from
January to July this year to cover medical insurance.

However, about $50 000 was used every month for the medical insurance with
the $100 000 unaccounted for.

There were also claims that senior management at the institution signed huge
sums of money saying they were going for contact leave which they never
fulfilled.

The institution was prejudiced of thousands of dollars in the scam which
sucked in Vice Chancellor (VC) Primrose Kurasha.

“In January 2010, she (Kurasha) took $27 000 apparently for a contact leave,
notwithstanding the fact that there were many questions about her
entitlement to such a huge sum of money. The point is, 10 months down the
line she has not gone for a contact leave,” read the report.

Contact leave is a university to university academic exchange programme
designed to help staff share experiences and challenges in their profession.

The report further claims that the VC forced Zou staffers to pay $95 000 as
shortfall to a local medical aid insurer (name provided) for the airlifting
of her husband to get medical treatment in South Africa last year.

In 2010, the report stated that $38 000 went missing under some mysterious
circumstances.

“When external auditors came, in April 2011, in order to cover up the
missing amount, the finance director instructed some of her staff to use
dummy vouchers which cancelled voucher numbers of aborted trips. As a
result, the external auditors failed to pick out the missing money,” read
part of the report.

The financial director, Perpertual Masvikeni Ndekwere is alleged to have
fleeced Zou of $6 000 in false claims.

In August this year, Zou was allegedly fleeced when human resources director
Benjamin Mafunga allegedly ordered a new employer of an ex-Zou worker who
left the university’s employ without giving adequate notice, to pay a fine
of $3 150 in his personal account.

Another letter written to the ministry on November 15, also alleges the
financial director, together with the registrar at the institution, claimed
$1 700 each to go on contact leave to the University of South Africa (Unisa)
but they only went to South Africa for three days as a cover-up.

In 2009, the institution, on a 50-50 joint venture with a private company,
established Zou-Online, which also employed Zou officials as directors.

The officials ended up getting double pay as they were earning as much as $7
000 a month at the new venture
Students were required to pay $50 per semester for Zou Online and when it
was disbanded in 2010, $65 000 and three vehicles went missing, according to
an audit report.

Zou workers told the Daily News on Sunday that they were dismayed by the
manner in which the university’s affairs were being run.

“Several workers who have been dismissed have won their cases at the labour
court and Zou has kept on appealing against the judgements, some of them
already quantified.

“These workers are suffering right now. They have ‘unfairly’ lost their jobs
and they are not compensated. Imagine the situation?” said one disgruntled
worker.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Varsity loses $20 000 in 20 cent labour fight

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Sunday, 04 December 2011 08:51

HARARE - Zimbabwe Open University (Zou) which is battling corruption, has
lost $5 000 in legal battles with a worker who was dismissed over an
envelope worth 20 cents.

The costly matter in which an ex-Zou worker is fighting his dismissal over
an envelope has dragged on since 2006.

Zou has so far spend over $5 000 in legal fees trying to fight off a legal
case against its ex-employee who is arguing that his dismissal was
unprocedural.

In 2009 an arbitrator ordered that the institution to either compensate the
worker or reinstate him but Zou has appealed against the ruling.

The worker who was dismissed for an envelope is diabetic and is struggling
to survive, relying on hand-outs from former workmates at Zou.

In 2006, Zou hired retired High Court judge H. B Hwacha to conduct an
internal disciplinary hearing but after looking into the matter, Hwacha
refused to preside over it saying it was a trivial issue which did not
warrant such an elaborate process.

Zou later hired a prosecutor to preside over the matter which was later sent
to the labour court.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu PF conference gives Bulawayo buzz

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Pindai Dube
Sunday, 04 December 2011 11:45

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo Airport Road has been refurbished, night clubs, bottle
stores, restaurants, butcheries, fuel garages and street vendors have piled
their stocks in preparation for the big annual feast.

It’s a rare sight but a sure sign that something big is on its way to
Bulawayo.

President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is set to hold its annual conference
in the city this week and it has been getting a spruce-up.

For the next coming five days a boom in business is expected in Bulawayo
which is usually quiet, as more than 6 000 Zanu PF delegates from all
corners of the country will descend on the city.

An uncharacteristic buzz has already engulfed the city.

A musical gala has also been set for Saturday the last day of the meeting at
White City stadium in Pelandaba high density suburb. Some of the country’s
top musicians are expected to grace the occasion.

All hotels and lodges in and around Bulawayo are already fully booked for
the duration of the former ruling party’s meeting.

“We are fully booked my friend for the next six days, we have no single room
for you until after the Zanu PF conference, if you want accommodation check
with us next week,” a staff member at one of Bulawayo’s biggest hotel told
this reporter.

When the Daily News on Sunday visited Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
(ZITF) grounds on Friday afternoon workers were seen putting final touches
on Hall Four where the party’s conference will be held.

Security has also been tightened at all the entrances to the ZITF grounds
with party flags and President Robert Mugabe’s posters plastered at every
corner.

Back in the city centre, Sydney Mangena a manager at one of Bulawayo’s top
class restaurants was busy receiving his last stock from his suppliers in
preparation for the big event.

“We are expecting big business, this will be our time to make money. During
the MDC congress in April we had a boom in sales and we expect that to
happen again,” said Mangena.

Popular nightclubs in the city centre have also been renovated and were
putting their final touches on Friday.
Ladies of the night are also lining up for business.

“We can’t wait for the event, this is time for real business, our prices
will also be higher because of the big guys who don’t hesitate to splash
money will be in town,” said a commercial sex worker who identified herself
as Sinikiwe.

The lead up to the conference has also courted controversy.

Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo Amen Mpofu is said to have clashed with city Mayor
Patrick Thaba-Moyo over the decision to resurface roads that will be used by
President Mugabe when he rolls into town.

One such road is the Bulawayo Airport road.

Mpofu described as unfortunate a move by the local authority to prioritise
the refurbishment of roads to be used by Mugabe and other Zanu-PF delegates
during the party’s conference.

The Bulawayo City Council has been busy refurbishing Airport Road and Robert
Mugabe Way which leads to the ZITF.

It is the same route that Mugabe uses whenever he comes to the city on other
engagements such as the ZITF.

The local authority has also been fixing street lights, robots and road
markings on the respective roads.

The Daily News on Sunday could not establish whether the Zimbabwe National
Road Authority (Zinara) had financed the project.

Responding to inquiries by Daily News on Sunday on how much the local
authority had budgeted for the sprucing up of the road networks leading to
Zanu PF’s conference venue, the deputy Mayor said the money should have been
used to upgrade other city roads that don’t even have tar and are full of
pot holes.

“There is no need for the council to be doing that and prioritising only
that road when other roads that are used by residents on a daily basis are
in urgent need of attention.

“It is unfortunate that the council is doing so to please Zanu-PF people who
are coming here for a few days yet ignoring other roads that need urgent
attention. As a resident, it feels like city residents who foot the council’s
bills are not important compared to delegates attending the conference,”
Mpofu said in interview.

Bulawayo Mayor, Thaba-Moyo could not be reached for comment.

This is the second time in a year that council has been jerked into
refurbishing Airport Road and Mugabe Way to ensure potholed-free route for
the President, his large entourage and supporters.

In April prior to the annual ZITF, Zinara directed the Bulawayo City Council
to quickly resurface the road to be used by Mugabe when he visited the city
and released $300 000 for the project.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Pyrrhic victory for Mugabe - the unwanted presidential candidate

http://www.timeslive.co.za

ZOLI MANGENA | 04 December, 2011 02:33

Zanu-PF is stuck with President Robert Mugabe. The party is set to endorse
the ailing 87-year-old as its candidate in the elections next year or in
2013 against the will of most of its senior members.

The party's annual conference starts on Tuesday and runs until Saturday in
Bulawayo - the hotbed of opposition to Mugabe's repressive 31-year rule.

Zanu-PF's controversial succession issue - which is not on the official
agenda - is likely to dominate discussions on the sidelines of the event.

There is consensus among senior party officials that Mugabe must retire
before the next elections, but fear of the unknown has prevented them from
tackling the issue head-on.

Zanu-PF leaders had an opportunity to deal with the matter on Wednesday in
their decision-making politburo meeting - where important issues are
discussed and resolved - but no one dared to challenge Mugabe.

Mugabe emerged unscathed and will be given a ringing endorsement at the
conference as the party's presidential candidate.

However, senior party officials say Mugabe's triumph at the conference will
be a "pyrrhic" victory, as the same officials who endorse him will not
campaign for him as they did during the 2008 elections.

After Mugabe was endorsed in 2007, senior party officials, mainly from the
faction led by the late retired army commander, general Solomon Mujuru,
resorted to what is called bhora mudondo (literally kicking the ball into
the jungle to disrupt play).

"The reality is most people want the president to retire but no one has the
courage to break the ice on that issue," a senior politburo member said.

"So he is going to be endorsed at conference but then it doesn't help
because the same people will not go out after that to campaign for him. It
would be like the story of King Pyrrhus indeed, registering a victory which
is as costly as defeat."

After addressing his central committee on Thursday, the day following the
politburo meeting, Mugabe said the Bulawayo conference would be "critical"
as it would be the last gathering for Zanu-PF before the crucial elections.

Mugabe views the next elections as a do-or-die affair, because it will be
his last electoral battle given his age and ill-health. "It is a critical
meeting that we should prepare for adequately since it is the last
conference before we go for general elections," he said.

"The forthcoming conference more or less has the same status as our
five-year congress."

According to the Zanu-PF constitution, one of the powers and functions of
the conference is to declare the president of the party elected at congress
as the party's candidate.

In between regular congresses the change of a presidential candidate can
only be done at an extraordinary congress. Six weeks' notice is required to
convene such a congress.

Because Mugabe was duly elected at the party's 2009 congress, he remains
Zanu-PF's presidential candidate until the next scheduled congress in 2014,
unless an extraordinary congress is convened to remove him.

But for now senior party officials say they are stuck with Mugabe, whom they
fear will be a liability during the next elections.

The elevation of the Bulawayo conference to a near-congress status allows
Zanu-PF to tinker with its leadership issues.

Most senior officials wanted it to be changed to full a congress so that
they could push for leadership changes, but that bid was resisted by Mugabe
and his loyalists.

The politburo on Wednesday finalised the agenda for the conference which
include indigenisation and empowerment, land and the economy.

Mugabe is set to officially open the conference on Thursday and issues will
then be debated on Friday and Saturday. Parties from the region to be
represented at the conference include Frelimo from Mozambique, Angola's
MPLA, Namibia's Swapo, Zambia's almost defunct Unip, Chama Chamapinduzi of
Tanzania and the ANC from South Africa.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Sata snubs Mugabe invitation

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

by 18 hours 54 minutes ago

ZAMBIA President, Michael Sata will not attend Zanu PF’s national conference
starting in Bulawayo on Wednesday, it has emerged.

Sata, elected Zambia President in September, was expected to be the high
profile guest at the conference which will, among other things, endorse
President Robert Mugabe as Zanu PF’s candidate for polls due early next
year.

However, Sata confirmed he would not attend the conference during a meeting
held Saturday with Mugabe on the Zambia side of the Victoria Falls resort.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said Sata would now be
represented at the ‘highest level’.

“It was basically a bilateral exchange of views which also happened to be
the two leaders’ first meeting since Sata took over as President,”
Mumbengegwi said of Saturday’s meeting.
“It was a very good meeting where the leaders discussed a number of issues
of mutual interest but I cannot go into detail.”

Meanwhile, Zanu PF national commissar and information Minister, Webster
Shamu said the four-day event would confirm Mugabe as the party’s candidate
for next year’s elections.

“We are going to reaffirm the position of our last congress in Mutare where
President Mugabe was confirmed as the party’s sole candidate in any election
between the last congress and the next,” Shamu said.

“The provinces have since affirmed that position at their respective
inter-district meetings and we intend to focus our debate on other pressing
matters such as indigenisation.”

Party chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo said the conference would also launch
preparations for the elections demanded by Mugabe to replace the coalition
government.

“We will chart methods on how to move fast in mobilising everyone with
particular focus on young and female voters. This is a very key constituency
that should be given the utmost priority,” Moyo said.

“We are not only interested in their vote, but also to have them play a
significant part in the country’s economy through our programmes such as the
Land Reform Exercise and indigenisation.”
Some 6000 delegates are expected to attend the conference, party officials
said.

President Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart, Mr Michael Sata, on Saturday
held their first meeting since the latter was sworn into office in September
with the two leaders discussing various issues of mutual interest.

The two-hour meeting was held at the Royal Livingstone resort in the
southern border town but details on the deliberations were not immediately
available yesterday as the two leaders did not have a post-meeting media
briefing.

The meeting came a day after Mr Sata hosted a luncheon for former United
States president Mr George W. Bush and his wife who were in Lusaka to launch
a campaign to fight cancer.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who attended the meeting,
could not divulge details but said the engagement had been very congenial.
"It was basically a bilateral exchange of views which also happened to be
the two leaders' first meeting since Mr Sata took over as president.

"It was a very good meeting where the leaders discussed a number of issues
of mutual interest but I cannot go into detail," said Mumbengegwi.
He, however, revealed that Mr Sata had confirmed that he would be
represented at the highest level during the Zanu-PF Annual National People's
Conference which kicks off in Bulawayo this week.

Before meeting Mr Sata, Robert Mugabe had addressed delegates to the
Zimbabwe Local Government Association (Zilga) annual conference held across
the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls.

Zilga is the representative body of all the country's local authorities and
came into existence in February 2010 following the merger of the then Urban
Councils' Association of Zimbabwe (Ucaz) and the Association of Rural
District Councils (ARDC).

In his speech, Mugabe urged local government leaders in both urban and rural
areas to prioritise service delivery to the people who voted them into
office instead of expending their energy fighting for personal benefits and
allowances.

"I am not saying councillors should not get appropriate allowances; far from
it. They should, however, strive to ensure that they provide good service to
citizens," said Mugabe.

He bemoaned the poor service delivery in the country's urban centres,
particularly Harare and Chitungwiza, adding that despite limited resources,
Bulawayo appeared to be better managed than the capital city.

"Zvino kana tichiona mabin ane mirwi ne- mirwi yemarara tsvina yave kuita
makomo kumisika vekanzuru vanenge vakamirira kuti Hurumende iuye kuzotakura
marara? Zvinonyadzisa. (When we see mounds of garbage forming little
mountains at market places, will the local authorities be waiting for
central Government to collect the refuse? It is shameful.)

"We want clean cities. Bulawayo is much cleaner and better organised than
Harare. I recently visited Chitungwiza when some Chinese eye specialists
came in and there was garbage and potholes everywhere. This does not attract
tourists.
"Don't kill our cities, please. Don't kill our country," said Mugabe.

He urged city councils to draw lessons on good urban planning from places
such as Singapore, Malaysia and China, adding that there was a need to put
effort into beautifying the country's cities by upgrading infrastructure and
planting trees.

"I wonder if the local government people in Harare have ever thought of
planting trees to beautify the city. The trees we have, the jacarandas, were
planted by settlers. If you go east to places like Singapore, Malaysia and
China, there is careful urban planning," said Mugabe.

He said the Zilga conference always afforded him the opportunity to interact
with the local government fratenity, adding that it also provided a platform
for various partners, including Government ministries and departments, to
engage in healthy and lively interaction.
"Government therefore appreciates the key ‘enabler role' that the local
government sector plays in national development by providing trunk
infrastructure such as roads, health centres, water and sanitation
facilities.

"In addition to facilitating activities of other sectors, local authorities
are expected to assist Central Government translate the national vision into
concrete deliverables to our people.

"It is therefore critical that local authority programmes, as informed by
the Millennium Development Goals and guided by Central Government, should
always seek to address development challenges such as poverty, gender
inequality, hunger and disease," said Mugabe.
Mugabe said Zimbabwe had posted commendable achievements in various spheres
in the first two decades of independence particularly in education, health,
sanitation, food security and rural development.

These development gains had, however, been suddenly reversed following the
imposition of illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe by Western countries who
were protesting against the successful Land Reform Programme.

He said contrary to assertions in the Western and local private media that
the sanctions targeted only him and other senior Government officials, they
had actually brought untold suffering to the vulnerable segments of the
population.

"While the local government sector has not been spared of the crippling
impact of the sanctions, to our credit and to the annoyance of our
detractors, the sanctions have not broken our resolve and determination to
continue our thunderous and revolutionary march towards the realisation of
the cardinal goals of the liberation struggle."

Apart from land reforms, the other critical goal of the struggle was to
economically empower the majority black population which had been
marginalised in colonial days. Mugabe said the Government had embarked on a
robust indigenisation drive that was meant to empower people through the
Community Share Ownership Trusts scheme.

This would lead to communities deriving optimum benefits from the
exploitation of natural resources found within their respective areas.
Mugabe said the indigenisation drive was neither a joke nor an election
gimmick as claimed in some sections of the media.

"They think we are that idiotic. We have got the land in the hands of our
people and we now want the economy in the hands of our people. Hazvisi
zvemahumbwe izvi (This is not child's play)," said Mugabe.

He called on the country's citizens to unite behind the goal of developing
the nation and urged supporters of the different political parties to desist
from violence.
"Let us work, all of us, for a Zimbabwe which we all can enjoy from Plumtree
right up to Mutare and Chipinge. Let us be true owners of our country."

The Zilga conference was also attended by Cabinet ministers Ignatius Chombo,
Saviour Kasukuwere, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, provincial governors and guests
from Ghana, Togo and Botswana.

The Masvingo Mayor, Alderman Femias Chakabuda, presented Mugabe with a
gift - a wooden carved kudu - on behalf of Zilga.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe blasts money-grabbing councillors

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

04/12/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has told local authorities to concentrate on service
delivery instead of spending their time fighting for personal benefits and
allowances.

Mugabe told a meeting of the Zimbabwe Local Government Association (Zilga)
in Victoria Falls on Saturday that he was concerned about the deplorable
state of service delivery in the country’s towns and cities.

“I am not saying councillors should not get appropriate allowances; far from
it. They should, however, strive to ensure that they provide good service to
citizens,” Mugabe said.

Citing Harare and Chitungwiza, Mugabe said garbage was going uncollected in
most towns with little being done to improve other infrastructure such as
roads.

“We want clean cities. Bulawayo is much cleaner and better organised than
Harare. I recently visited Chitungwiza when some Chinese eye specialists
came in and there was garbage and potholes everywhere. This does not attract
tourists.
"Don't kill our cities, please. Don't kill our country," he said.

He challenged local authorities to do more to improve the country’s cities,
adding they could draw lessons on good urban planning from places such as
Singapore, Malaysia and China.

"I wonder if the local government people in Harare have ever thought of
planting trees to beautify the city. The trees we have, the jacarandas, were
planted by settlers. If you go east to places like Singapore, Malaysia and
China, there is careful urban planning," Mugabe said.

Harare also faces a water supply crisis with nearly 250 cases of typhoid
have been treated being treated in the city last month.

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace recently warned in a statement
that collapsed water and sanitation facilities would cause "more suffering
and deaths" as annual rains begin.
Nearly 250 cases of the waterborne disease typhoid have been treated in
Harare this month.

The commission urged the government declare the water shortages a national
disaster adding emergency funds were needed in areas where people take
contaminated water from drains and shallow, makeshift wells.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Beware Of The Chinese: Mutambara

http://www.radiovop.com

Harare, December 03, 2011—Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said last
Thursday government should no longer look at Chinese as comrades but
businesspeople who are interested in expanding their markets.

China has been embraced as all- weather friends after Zimbabwe looked East
in 2004 when the western world tightened its screws on Zimbabwe citing human
rights violations and governance deficiencies.

Addressing mining sector stakeholders, Mutambara said: “Chinese are no
longer comrades but coming as business people and sometimes more shrewder
than the Americans but let us not fight them,” Mutambara said.

Mutambara said Zimbabwe should embrace more foreign investors other than
looking only to the east adding “the more the merrier”.

He said government should be smarter in its dealngs with the Chinese.

China has been engaged in barter deals with Zimbabwe providing money in
exchange for commodities.

The Chinese are financing the building of a Defence College in return for
mining diamonds in Marange.

Mutambara said the fact that China has been bailing out countries shows that
it is a big player in the world which cannot be ignored.

China has adopted a governance neutral approach to investment and aid on the
continent at a time the west is preaching about governance and human rights
issue, Beijing has adopted a neutral approach thereby expanding its
footprint on the continent.

Statistics show that China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa has
increased yearly by an average of 46% over the last decade.

The stock stood at US$7, 80 billion in 2008 compared to US$ 56 million in
1996.

During the first three quarters of 2009, Chinese FDI flows into Africa
amounted to $875 million, posting an increase of almost 80% year-on-year.

This has made China a major trading partner for Africa and it now absorbs
about 10 % of the continent’s exports.
In 2008, the total bilateral trade amounted to US$114 billion of which US$52
billion consisted of exports by Africa to China and US$62 billion of imports
by Africa from China.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Desist From Personalities Politics: Tsvangirai Urges Ncube

http://www.radiovop.com

Charity Mukwambo, Plumtree, December 0 4, 2011-Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai on Saturday attacked the leader of the smaller faction of the
MDC, Welshman Ncube for pursuing personal vendettas against him.

Addressing thousands of his MDC-T supporters in the border town of Plumtree,
Tsvangirai said Ncube and his party should focus on bread and batter issues
rather than tongue lash him at their party’s rallies.

“Zvinobatsireiko kuramba uchingoti Tsvangirai, Tsvangirai every day. How can
you practice politics of personalities? We want politics of issues,” said
the Prime Minister referring to Ncube’s recent attacks on him.

The Prime Minister said his party is the only political party in the country
which takes people’s concerns seriously and has managed to unite all the
ethnic groups in the country.

“Look at what we have done in the inclusive government. When the inclusive
government was formed in 2009, our national budget was $US1 billion but the
budget has grown to $US4 billion. Our inflation now is the lowest in the
world. Next year we are also going to launch the Health Transition Fund
which will allow pregnant women and children to access health services free
of charge in government health institutions”.

Tsvangirai also revealed that all the three principals in the inclusive
government have agreed to find a mechanism which will allow Zimbabweans in
the Diaspora especially those in South Africa and Botswana to vote during
the next elections which the Prime Minister hinted might be held next year.

The Premier also castigated the indigenisation programme.

“Jobs are not created by taking over Paul’s firm and give it to Peter. We
have to increase the size of the cake. We need to have an enabling
environment which attracts investment from both inside and outside the
country. This is where we differ with Zanu-PF,” he said.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

CIO in dagger-fight

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Sunday, 04 December 2011 10:39

HARARE - In a spell-binding case, two suspended senior Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) operatives have dragged the dreaded spy agency to court,
demanding re-instatement on the basis that there is no law in Zimbabwe
governing the operations of the organisation.

The extremely rare case is likely to re-ignite national debate around the
security sector, as well as the desperate need for reforms in these shadowy
and much abused structures.

CIO chief administration officer David Nyabando and chief transport officer
Ricky Manwere were suspended in 1998 from the spy agency over a Z$17 million
fraud that they allegedly committed.

The CIO alleges that Nyabando and Manwere defrauded the state of cash that
was supposed to be used for building “safe houses”.

On their part, the two officers insist that they built the safe houses but
were pushed out of the spy agency in controversial circumstances.

Nyabando and Manwere were jointly charged with Lovemore Mukandi, the former
deputy director-general of the CIO — who was arrested at the airport in
September this year after his deportation from Canada.

Mukandi has since been freed by the courts.

Mukandi and his boss, Shadreck Chipanga, former Zanu PF MP for Makoni East,
were dismissed from the spy agency in 1999.

They were replaced by the current director-general Happyton Bonyongwe and
Retired Brigadier Elisha Muzonzini, respectively.

Bonyongwe is the first respondent in this case.

Following their suspension on October 6, 1998, the spy agency failed to call
the officers for a hearing.

The two officers approached the High Court in 2005 seeking a declaratory
order that their suspension from duty was unlawful, null and void and that
the inordinately long time it had taken authorities to hear their case
breached provisions of section 18(9) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which
states that: “Every person is entitled to be afforded a fair hearing within
a reasonable time.”

They also want to be re-instated to their posts and be paid all salaries and
benefits due to them with effect from the date of suspension.

The CIO served the two officers with a convening order on December 25, 2005
stating that a board of inquiry had been set up to look into their
allegations.

The two officers turned up with their lawyer Albert Nyikadzino of Musunga
and Associates.

But the hearing never took place.

The two officers’ lawyer subsequently wrote to the CIO bosses again on June
9, 2006 to seek clarity on the matter and was advised that the disciplinary
hearing would now take place on July 6, 2006.

At that hearing, Nyikadzino stated that it was unconstitutional for the two
to be charged for misconduct in terms of the Public Service (Disciplinary)
Regulations “because Section 14(e) of the Public Service Act, Chapter 16:04
specifically excludes members of the CIO from the Public Service,” the High
Court papers say.

The papers also state that Section 113 (10) of the Act clearly states that
members of the CIO are not part of the Public Service and cannot be
disciplined under any law in Zimbabwe.

The CIO board of inquiry, headed by the director of administration,
disagreed and postponed the hearing so that the two officers could make an
application to the Supreme Court to ascertain if that was the correct
position at law.
The Supreme Court, sitting as a constitutional court, concurred that the CIO
was not regulated by any Zimbabwean law.

“It is, therefore, clear beyond any doubt that the applicants, being members
of the CIO, were not part of the Public Service and were not governed by the
Act and the Regulations,” says the October 15, 2007 Supreme Court ruling.

“Accordingly, the disciplinary procedure set out in the regulations did not
apply to them. Consequently, the board set up by the CIO, purportedly in
terms of the regulations was not covered by the expression ‘other
adjudicating authority established by law’ in Section 18(9) of the
Constitution, as it was not set up in terms of any law governing the members
of the CIO.”

The officers’ lawyer then wrote to the Civil Division of the Attorney
General’s Office stating that the effect of the Supreme Court ruling was
that the operatives were still in the employ of the spy agency and were
supposed to be paid all their salaries and allowances from the date of the
suspension.

Despite the unequivocal position at law, the CIO again advised on January
12, 2009 that there was to be another disciplinary board of inquiry that had
been scheduled for Chaminuka Building on February 5, 2009.

The CIO officers’ lawyer wrote back stating it was practically impossible
for Nyabando and Manwere to be dragged before a disciplinary board of
inquiry which is illegally constituted.

The two CIO officers then simultaneously turned to the courts again seeking
to interdict the spy agency from convening the board of inquiry.

On October 26, 2010, the two officers approached the High Court seeking a
final draft order to be re-instated, saying their suspension was null and
void and that the CIO was not entitled to hold any inquiry into the alleged
acts of misconduct.

The CIO director-general, Bonyongwe, delegated his deputy Mernard Muzariri,
now late, to sign the opposing affidavit.

The officers’ lawyers then threatened in a letter to the Civil Division of
the AG’s Office that the CIO affidavit created a basis for filing criminal
charges against what they said was “forging or misrepresentation of the
affidavit”.

The AG’s office wrote to the CIO on 13 December, 2010, to pursue an out of
court settlement.

Instead of pursuing an out of court settlement as advised by the government
lawyers, the CIO filed a second set of opposing papers in the High Court,
this time the deponent being Muzariri.

But again the papers did not bear Muzariri’s signature.

The CIO was again advised on January 27 this year, that the papers they had
lodged had “forged signatures” as well.
The CIO waited until Muzariri died.

After Muzariri died, they filed an application to say they were seeking
condonation to allow them time to file a third set of opposing papers.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mushonga Fires Tirade At Deputy Speaker

http://www.radiovop.com

Nompumelelo Moyo, Bulawayo, December 04, 2011 - The Welshman Ncube led
Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) Priscilla Musihairabwi Mushonga last
Friday fired a barrage on deputy speaker of parliament Nomalanga Khumalo and
other MPs that support her.

On Friday Khumalo, two other MPs and two senators allegedly defected from
the MDC led by Ncube to join a splinter MDC led by Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara.

Mutambara’s formation announced that Tsholotsho South MP Maxwell Dube,
Gwanda North’s Zinti Mnkandla, Umzingwane senator Khembo Dube and Lupane
Senator Dalumuzi Khumalo have joined them.

On Thursday More than 20 MPs walked out of Parliament in protest over the
alleged expulsion of Khumalo from her party.

The MPs walked out while Ncube was moving a motion that the National Incomes
and Pricing Commission Bill be restored on the Order Paper after it could
not be debated in the previous session of Parliament.

The irate Zanu-PF and MDC-T MPs refused to listen to Ncube’s submissions
and interjected, calling him a “party-less president who had no members in
his party as he had fired several of them”.

Speaking at a public dialogue meeting organized by Bulawayo Agenda,
Musihairabwi Mushonga came out guns blazing and did not mince her words as
she insisted that party cadres must stick by the party’s value system at all
times.

“If we sit here and say you belong to a political party, then we must agree
that you have to do things according to the party’s value system. How do you
explain that a member of a political party, elected on that party’s ticket,
stands up and insults its (party) president?

“I don’t care if you are a woman, you are gay or you are transgender, the
point is that you have to stick with your party’s rules,” she said.

Condemning the walk out on Thursday, Musihairabwi Mushonga said she was
disappointed that most of those MPs that walked out of Ncube are from
Matabeleland.
“Today, because the (MDC -T) and Zanu- PF held hands and jeered, it is good.
Let us stick to that even tomorrow,” she said.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Canadian mining firm scoffs at indigenisation drive

http://www.herald.co.zw/

Saturday, 03 December 2011 00:00

Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
CALEDONIA Mining Corporation has scoffed at Government's economic
empowerment drive, branding indigenisation regulations a political gimmick
to lure votes for Zanu-PF.

The Canadian firm's remarks come at a time when President Mugabe has told
foreign companies that are not comfortable with the black empowerment drive
to leave the country.
The Toronto and London-listed gold mining company which owns Blanket Mine in
Gwanda was this week quoted by Mining Weekly as vowing not to cede 51
percent stake as prescribed by law.
Caledonia chief executive officer Mr Stefan Hayden said his company did not
intend to finalise a sale of its shares to locals until the run-up to
elections.
Mr Hayden said the policy was "a political football game at the moment".

"If Zanu-PF plays the indigenisation card now, then, come the elections,
there is nothing left to play," he was quoted as saying.
Mr Hayden said negotiations on his company's indigenisation plan "will
continue until before the elections".

Caledonia looks forward to producing at least 40 000 ounces of gold next
year.
Zanu-PF yesterday advised the firm to comply with the law, saying the
indigenisation programme was unstoppable.

"All companies are expected to comply with the indigenisation law. We are
not politicking.
"We are empowering our people and this has been demonstrated by the
Chegutu-Mhondoro-Ngezi-Zvimba and Unki Mine Community Share Ownership
Trusts," said Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu refused to comment on
thematter yesterday, referring all questions to Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Caledonia has always been on a collision course with Government.
Its mining licence was briefly cancelled mid this year after the company
failed to submit an acceptable indigenisation plan.

Mr Hayden flew into the country following the cancellation of the licence
and engaged Minister Kasukuwere.
Government lifted the cancellation after the firm pledged to provide a
revised economic empowerment plan compliant with the Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment Act.

Launching the Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust at Anglo-American
Corporation-owned Unki Mine recently, President Mugabe said of defiant
companies: "This (black economic empowerment) is our policy. We do not hide
it. We want empowerment for our people. Vanenge vasingade, we say go now, if
not yesterday."


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe plane seized over debt

http://www.timeslive.co.za

HENDRICKS CHIZHANJE | 03 December, 2011 17:05

Zimbabwe's debt-ridden national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, plunged deeper into
crisis after a South African company seized one of its planes over an
outstanding debt.

Air Zimbabwe's Boeing 737-500, one of the airline's short-haul planes, was
impounded at OR Tambo International Airport just after landing from Harare
on Friday.

The aircraft, the only operational aircraft for Air Zimbabwe after all of
its planes were grounded last week, was scheduled to return to Harare and
pick up passengers flying to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.

However, officials from Bid Air Services detained the plane and parked a
lorry behind the aircraft to block it.

Bid Air demanded payment of $500000 for ground-handling services, which Air
Zimbabwe had neglected to pay.

An Air Zimbabwe representative, based at the national airline's offices at
OR Tambo , and an engineer who had flown to Johannesburg transferred
passengers to the departure lounge and personally picked up baggage from the
plane after Bid Air Services declined to provide the service.

President Robert Mugabe was scheduled to fly to Victoria Falls yesterday to
open a conference organised by the Zimbabwe Local Government Association.

Officials at Air Zimbabwe were desperately trying to negotiate with Bid Air
Services for the release of the company's only operational plane, so as not
to embarrass Mugabe.

The airplane was later released and returned to Harare after Bid Air agreed
give Air Zimbabwe until Tuesday to pay.

Neither Air Zimbabwe acting CEO Innocent Mavhunga nor board chairman
Jonathan Kadzura were available for comment on Friday.

The Sunday Times heard on Friday that Air Zimbabwe again suspended
international flights as all of the airline's long-haul aircraft were
grounded, owing to shortages of spares for repairs.

The suspension of the flights resulted in the cancellation of the
Harare-China Friday night flight and the Harare-London flight scheduled for
today.

Last month Air Zimbabwe, which only resumed flights in September after a
strike, suspended its international flights due to a fuel shortage.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tsvangirai should ‘consider his position’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd December 2011

With the sun setting as early as 4 pm and our unusually warm autumn weather giving way to winter, we at the Vigil need everything we can get to cheer us up as we stand out in the cold. One of the posters in the Embassy window did the trick. Part of the ‘Wonders of Zimbabwe’ tourist promotion campaign, it read ‘Wonder what our cultural ceremonies are like?’ We couldn’t help but think of Tsvangirai’s on-off wedding.

But a canvass of opinion among Vigil supporters showed that the affair was more than a laughing matter. People were alarmed that Tsvangirai appears to have walked blindly into a Zanu PF trap and has become a laughing stock. There were nods of agreement when someone said ‘Angagotonga seyi nyika ari mumagumbeze?’ (How can he rule the country when he’s always in bed?)

Although there is respect for the Prime Minister’s heroic work leading the MDC for the past twelve years, it was felt that he should – as the saying goes – consider his position. Zanu PF has been paralysed by its inability to renew its leadership. The MDC should not make the same mistake. We believe there is no shortage of talent in the MDC and, with elections unlikely in the foreseeable future, there would be time for a new leader to make his mark.

But somehow we doubt Tsvangirai will make way. One of the Prime Minister’s characteristics was suggested in another poster in the Embassy’s advertising campaign: ‘Wonder what an elephant’s skin feels like?’ . . .

Other points

Thanks to Abdul Conteh from the Gambia who spent the afternoon (in the Embassy doorway) restringing and tuning our drums with great skill. The resultant sound was a revelation. It attracted a member of the anti-bankers protest group which has been camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral, who joined in the dancing and said she wished we could go drumming at St Paul’s.

The Vigil was joined by an activist from the DRC carrying a placard reading ‘Stop the rape in the DRC’. He said he supported us because Mugabe supported President Kabila. ‘He is a killer like Mugabe,’ he said.

Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani was interviewed this week on ‘Beyond Protest, by Tererai Karimakwenda of SW Radio Africa. To listen to the interview, check: http://www.swradioafrica.2bctnd.net/11_11/bp251111.mp3.

Representatives of the Vigil were invited to attend an event in London this week to launch a new book on Zimbabwe ‘Catastrophe – what went wrong in Zimbabwe?’ The author, Richard Bourne, is senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University. He said he followed our activities through reading the Vigil diary. As for the book, Professor Stephen Chan, an authority on Zimbabwe, said ‘there will not be a better account of Zimbabwe for some time to come’.

Vigil supporters were reminded of a special event at the Vigil on Saturday 10th December. We are to be joined by the Zimbabwe Europe Network to mark UN International Human Rights Day. Two speakers from Zimbabwe civil society will be coming: Gideon Shoko, Deputy Secretary General, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and Fadzai Muparutsa of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 64 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

Human Rights Day at the Zimbabwe Vigil. Saturday 10th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London. We will be joined by the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) who will be bringing two speakers from Zimbabwe civil society: Gideon Shoko, Deputy Secretary General, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and Fadzai Muparutsa of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.

ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 10th December (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road,Manchester M13 9UB. Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353.

ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 31st December from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe. To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to ngwenyasr@yahoo.co.uk and send a cheque for 10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

Back to the Top
Back to Index