Author Archives: ZimSitRep_M

The crisis in education

Education is in many ways the very foundation of the world economic system today. More than ever, the workplace is dominated by knowledge based industries. The largest companies in the world are no longer the famous engines of growth in the past like steel, automobiles and general manufacturing. Today it is intellectual property that holds the key to prosperity and in no other sector is this more evident than in education.

Source: The crisis in education – The Zimbabwean 21.10.2016

Those countries which have an excellent education system are at the cutting edge of this revolution and the competition for the brightest and the best is fierce and global. My eldest grandchild is now 18 and she will graduate from her school with straight A’s in all subjects in internationally set examinations that will qualify her access to the best Universities in the World. Already we can see the competition for her presence from many countries.

The specter in the past two months of students in South African Universities destroying the institutions that will give them access to that new world and trying to stop students who want to write their exams, is a real tragedy. They are campaigning for free universal higher education – something that exists in very few countries. Education does not come cheap or easy; otherwise everyone would have access and be eligible to join the struggle for excellence.

In Zimbabwe we have a multi tiered system of education. At its pinnacle are a small number (less than 100) private schools that offer a world class education and excellent facilities that offer everything a smart student could want. It does not come easy or cheap and one of the top schools here has an annual budget of $60 million. Then we have a tier of excellent State controlled schools that are strongly supported by former students and parents. These offer a high quality of education and good, if perhaps run down facilities and are not that expensive, although beyond the budget of most.

A third tier is occupied by faith based schools – all excellent and low cost but dependent on some support from Church institutions and parents. The Catholics take the lead in this activity but all faith based organisations have schools and even a few Universities.

The last tier comprises the many thousands of State controlled schools fed by our majority poor communities. Most were built either before Independence in 1980 (about half) and the rest in the first heady days of Independence when we thought our bucket would always be full!

Since then, despite migration and declining life expectancies, the number of school going children has doubled and the school infrastructure is now totally inadequate. Recently this overcrowding and congestion has been massively exacerbated by the decision to force primary schools to take on preschool children for so called “Early Childhood Development”. This has brought perhaps another 600 000 children into schools that were already struggling with high class numbers and a shortage of staff and everything else.

Last Monday and Tuesday I toured the primary schools in my District, meeting Heads and the Chairpersons of the School Boards. I visited classes and saw ECD classes of 120 children per classroom – impossible numbers, the children sitting on the floor and jammed together. Average class numbers are over 50 per teacher in many schools. Teachers are poorly paid, and with little motivation to do more than supervise the children under their care for the day.

Perhaps a third of all children come to school without breakfast – so the Minister has again “instructed” schools to feed the children with a hot meal once a day. This is an impossible task in current circumstances. The feeling among staff and parents is one of despair and despondency. What might be possible would be to give each child a high protein drink once a day – when I was at school we were given a 300 ml pack of whole milk to drink and it made a difference to many.

I my view the one global indictor that matters is an assessment of just what happens when a 5 year old girl child starts school in a rural district anywhere in the world. Does she have to walk more than 5 kilometers to her new school, does it have a roof and walls, electricity, a telephone line or connectivity, a desk and a chair for her, decent toilets and clean water? Is her teacher properly trained, adequately remunerated and accepted as a “change maker” in this community? Is she supervised and motivated and does the girl student have access to a computer and the internet? If the answer is no, then that society, simply cannot expect either to compete globally or to offer that girl child an escape from poverty and a open door to opportunity.

In many societies it is even worse than that because the girl child faces many challenges that the boy child does not. Her parents may not see her education as a family priority, as she grows, if she has no alternative opportunities she might well become locked into a culture that tells her she is a minor all her life, that she has no choices of her own – her husband is chosen for her, she has little control over her own body and may in fact face slavery in one of the many forms that now prevail in the shadows of our Cities.

Zimbabwe has 4,2 million young people of school going age. Our State budget is perhaps $1,2 billion for the system that is charged with their education. That is just $24 a month or $1 a day for every working day for each student. But that tiny sum represents 35 per cent of total State resources, a much higher percentage than almost all other countries spend on education. So when you boil it down to the absolute basics, it is all about money.

Our Diaspora does its part in that we estimate that they put another $1,2 billion into our school system last year – about 40 per cent of all remittances. Even so that just doubles what we are able to spend on schooling. Perhaps our parents kick in another $500 million a year in all different forms. It still leaves a wide gap in funding that can only be covered by the generosity of others. If our little 5 year old girl is able to claw her way up through the system and finally emerges from high school with decent grades that enable her to gain entry to University – even once there she will face challenges that might well demand that she turn to sex work to cover her essential needs, even for the most basic things such as food and shelter.

Basic education is today accepted as a right and the international community has adopted goals that include making sure that my girl child has the opportunities that her country may not be able to provide for her. But in reality I see little signs of those commitments being translated into tangible policies and giving that might make that promise a reality. My challenge to everyone out there is to step up to the line and make a difference. Adopt a school and let’s build the basic facilities needed to provide every child a place with a desk and a chair. Adopt a girl child and make it possible for her to go to school until she matures. My sons Church has a programme that supervises just such a programme for hundreds of children in remote areas of the country.

I was born into a poor family – my mother was for many years the only bread winner with 4 children. I got a decent education because I was white, when I went to College I got a bursary from a farmers Association and every month my mother sent me $50 to help – at great sacrifice. I was the first in my family to get a degree and rise to the top in my vocation. I know that education is the key to the future, for all of us, everywhere. Help us make it happen and help us create a world in which that girl child will be able to break the constraints that will otherwise keep her in poverty all her life.

Budget Magic

In the next few weeks we are going to consider a budget for Zimbabwe. It is going to be impossible to balance our possible income against expenditure demands.

Source: Budget Magic – The Zimbabwean 21.10.2016

Just to remind everyone of what has transpired over the past 4 years I set out my personal estimates of the real income and expenditure of the State, all figure in USD billions:

Heading 2013 2014 2015 2016
Income 4.3 3.8 3.6 3.4
Expenditure 4.8 4.8 4.6 4.4
Deficit 0.5 1 1 1

In simple terms therefore I estimate that the total budget deficit since 2013 has been $3.5 billion. This has been funded by new domestic debt – mainly in the form of Treasury Bills but also an overdraft at the Reserve Bank – now approaching $1.0 billion. In addition to these massive amounts, the Government has taken over $1.7 billion in historical debt from the Reserve Bank and started to issue Treasury Bills in settlement. Add this to Parastatal debt to creditors, now assumed by the Ministry of Finance and unpaid bills of central Government and you can throw another $2 billion into the pot.

Whichever way you compute the figures you will not find it difficult to come to an overall estimate of domestic debt at $10 billion. Add to that our existing foreign debt of $7.5 billion and we enter the new fiscal year with a debt burden (without taking into account the debt owed to 4 500 commercial farmers which when it is finally computed, will not be less than another $10 billion), of $17.5 billion – a quick calculation of interest at 5 per cent overall, and you come up with a first charge on income of $875 million.

We have not serviced our debt for decades and I see no chance of us doing anything about this interest debt in 2017 and therefore, without any new borrowings our debt will rise by nearly a billion dollars in unpaid interest alone.

Then we have the burden of a bloated Civil Service on salaries that simply cannot be sustained. In 2016 I estimate the total cost of employment at $3.2 billion. This is made up of $2.6 billion in direct State salaries and allowances and $480 million in State pensions and salaries of State linked institutions whose salaries are paid by the State – like Universities. I fully understand that the Ministry of Finance is going to make some changes to the salary bill, but I cannot for the life of me see him saving more than about $280 million. This means that the next direct charge on income is going to be a staff costs bill of about $3 billion.

So now let’s have a look at possible revenues in 2017. Firstly we have to deal with the trends in GDP growth and inflation. I dispute all current estimates of GDP in Zimbabwe. Claims of growth – no matter how low, are pure fiction. Just ask any business manager what is happening to his local markets – they, without exception, will report falling sales and demand in the domestic economy. State revenues have tracked this decline in local economic activity and it is very difficult to avoid an estimate of a reduction of local GDP of 20 to 25 per cent since 2013. The actual decline in State revenues since 2013 has been just over 21 per cent. My estimate is that the final out turn of State revenue in 2016 will be -5.6 per cent. No way is this economy growing.

The Minister will announce that his own estimate is that in 2017 the economy will grow by 4.7 per cent. He bases this on strong growth in agriculture and mining. Both ambitions are totally baseless. Without basic reforms agriculture is going nowhere and even a better wet season this year will not result in higher crop or livestock output. “Command” farming is going to be yet another Zanu PF disaster and will fail miserably. As for mining – the key issue here is the outlook for commodity markets and precious metals and I see these as being flat. At the same time the operation to take away from exporters 70 per cent of their foreign earnings, replacing these earnings with RTGS “dollars” will be a massive disincentive to export growth and investment – the 5 per cent “incentive” will have no impact and will simply make the banks position  even less tenable.

The Rand is going to be weaker in 2017; the recent strengthening simply cannot be maintained and if they make the mistake of firing the Minister of Finance, the plunge in the Rand could be dramatic. All the fundamentals in SA call for a weaker Rand and this is going to also impact on Zimbabwean output. In addition, I cannot see any possibility that we will see us move out of the dangerous waters of deflation.

All this adds up to another gloomy outlook for the Zimbabwean economy in 2017. In the absence of any dramatic political developments and changes in national leadership I see another year of declining revenues to the State. This will be exacerbated by informalisation and smuggling through all borders.

This means that the slow but steady decline in State revenues is going to continue in 2017. Let’s say to $3.2 billion. This simply leaves nothing after salaries for any other State priorities. Total current foreign aid from all bilateral sources, is likely to remain at about $800 million a year and given the continued freeze in our foreign relations, nearly all of this money will be spent outside the budget framework – roughly $350 million for Health services, another $350 million on humanitarian aid in different forms and the rest on water and sanitation and other forms of support for critical areas.

Expenditure through the various “Statutory Funds” will total another $800 million – again none of it spent through the budget. This means that unless the State is able to repeat its “budget magic” by borrowing more from the local markets or international agencies, they simply will not be able to fund even the existing levels of expenditure. The consequences will be disastrous for all agencies of the State. This explains the increasing panic in the Government as it tries to secure new funding from any possible source.

The Ministry of Finances budget magic has involved stripping the private sector of all available cash. They have used various means – Treasury Bills have converted local hard currency sources into paper, then they raided private bank accounts using the RTGS system – leaving the bank system without the cash resources to meet their local operating needs. This has converted more hard cash into local paper dollars in the form of just an entry in a ledger in the Reserve Bank represented by an “overdraft”. Now they are taking $200 million a month from exporters accounts and replacing them with RTGS dollars that have no backing or real substance – only the flimsy (paper thin?) promise by our banks that they will pay them “real dollars” on demand.

As every Zimbabwean knows, the banks are at the end of their tethers on this issue. When anyone gets their salary through the RTGS system (the great majority) and then goes to the bank to get some cash, you face either severe restrictions or closed doors and empty ATM’s. That tells you where we are right now and no amount of Juju in the Ministry is going to change that. This is the end of the road.

Mliswa oozes with confidence

Norton independent candidate, Temba Mliswa has expressed confidence he will win tomorrow’s by-election, saying Zanu PF’s violence against his supporters will come back to haunt the ruling party.

Source: Mliswa oozes with confidence – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016


In an interview on the sidelines of a rally in Ngagori on Wednesday, Mliswa said he was facing a weak opponent, who had nothing to offer except violence against political rivals.

“The vote will go against Zanu PF because I don’t think there is anybody, who will want to be part of a system that uses violence to be in power. Definitely, Zanu PF has done us a favour by beating up people because these victims are innocent people, who are just trying to exercise their right in terms of voting,” he said.

“Zanu PF talks about being a democratic party and Zimbabwe being a democratic nation, but the party fails to deliver on the promises made at every election. What they now know best is violence, where they beat up people and force them to vote in a particular manner, but unfortunately people will speak out differently this time.”

There has been rising violence in the build-up to tomorrow’s by-election, but the former Hurungwe West legislator said he was not shaken.

Zanu PF has been doling out stands in Norton, with party youth leaders, however, threatening to repossess them if the ruling party loses to Mliswa.

Mliswa accused Zanu PF of trying to create another Murambatsvina by parcelling out unserviced stands.

“It happened before in Mbare when they wanted votes and they continue to do that. That land has already been sold to others and you cannot keep on giving out land that was sold to others,” he said.

“Government should produce houses and not stands. Why give out stands when there is no employment? How are people going to build the houses? We don’t want to create more land barons.”

Mliswa then cited the continued exposé of corrupt Zanu PF leaders, saying they should be nowhere in power, as they had shown the nation that they were irresponsible.

He also tore into the police for reportedly siding with Zanu PF on the violence.

“Unfortunately, the police have allowed this to happen and this only tells us that they are not for the people of Zimbabwe, but they must remember that Zanu PF will be out of power one day. How are they going to work with other leaders from the opposition parties?” he queried.

Analysts speak on Jonathan Moyo saga

Source: Analysts speak on Jonathan Moyo saga | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

THE Financial Gazette this week sought comments from a range of political and social commentators over the ensuing drama involving Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Jonathan Moyo’s alleged siphoning of resources from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF). The publication also sought to understand what they thought of government’s anti-corruption mantra.
“Jonathan Moyo’s future is largely dependent on how President Robert Mugabe still finds him useful and this goes for all in ZANU-PF. As long as President Mugabe sees him as a useful tool then he is very safe. We may be a constitutional democracy on paper, but that goes only as far as President Mugabe’s interests are not in conflict with that of the Constitution. So ZACC maybe a constitutional body, but its effectiveness is only visible as far as President Mugabe allows it to go…The whole Moyo saga and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s actions of releasing crime suspects demonstrates that the rule of law is piecemeal and only talked of or necessary to advance the interests of ZANU-PF and not the common good. Criminals are those outside and opposed to ZANU-PF. The ZACC’s effectiveness is judged on results and public trust and ZACC is in deficit on the two. ZACC is too politicised to be effective and Moyo and others are right to say it’s probably being used to fight political battles…those accusing it of lack of effectiveness are also those undermining ZAAC. — Rashweat Mukundu, Zimbabwe Democracy Institute chairperson.
“ZANU-PF cannot be imagined as an anti-corruption institution. It is a corrupt party and the recent looting of State monies for party and other uses is evidence of this….Whichever way we speak about factionalism, it’s possible that all factions are corrupt and they do so in serving the interests of this so called centre of all power. Moyo still has a future. He is like everyone else around. The badge of shame is now more visible and prominent. It’s no longer shame by association, but by deed. The only option is to be in good books with the centre of all power and keep Number One happy.” — Shepherd Mpofu, academic researcher.
“This is not necessarily the endgame for Moyo. It depends on what protection he can find for himself. While ZACC’s probe may well be coloured by factional dynamics and string pulling, evidently Moyo has some serious questions to answer. This wouldn’t be for the first time. His traditional belligerence and bluster accusing everyone of everything makes it look as though he is hiding something. But he is not known for caring much about such perceptions. His apparent efforts to point fingers at grander misuse of funds is a sad reflection of the ‘sandpit’ politics playing out and a cavalier attitude to the partisan misuse of State funds.” — Piers Pigou, International Crisis Group regional director.
“Is Jonathan Moyo being targeted because of prebendalism? The answer is a big no! Otherwise the next Cabinet and Politburo meetings will be held at Chikurubi maximum prison because prebendalists will constitute a quorum there. Again, it is not a naked witch-hunt stuck in pristine tribal politics. This is a power game at hand as those within the President’s proximity sent signals that President Robert Mugabe is in his twilight political zone. So Moyo is being targeted because he is seen as an intellectual missile containing political explosives meant to derail one faction’s calculated moves to eventually ride on the saddle of State power. It is all mired in a high voltage succession game, but I do not think that Moyo will be politically electrocuted. In ZANU-PF’s politics, when you aim you must not miss. If you miss you give your opponent another political life and tables can turn. On ZAAC, it is a constitutional body, hence it is sacrosanct, but only if it sticks within its constitutional mandate and executes its duties without fear or favour like all other commissions. The real danger is that the green signal being sent by ZANU-PF elites is that President Mugabe is literally done and without proper transitional mechanism might plunge the nation into chaos and give birth to a failed state reminiscent of Somalia and Sudan.”— Phillan Zamchiya, Oxford University-trained political scientist.
“I think that with the current dynamics that we are seeing — that when government officials’ corrupt tendencies are exposed — they seek refuge in their superiors. The zero tolerance to corruption mantra has become dead in the water. The tragic part is that many people did not believe there was enough political will in the fight against corruption, and unfortunately they have been vindicated. The anti-corruption blitzkrieg that was purportedly launched last year under the theme ACT is going nowhere.
It was merely hot air meant to sedate citizen in the belief that corruption will now be confronted when it was all empty grandstanding. The biggest problem facing the anti-corruption drive is the pervasive insincerity about fighting it, which reduces everything to mere slogans. This is because most of those who are supposed to drive the process might have dirty hands after all. However, factionalism has added to the spanners that have perennially already been thrown in the works by lack of political will.
This is because the allegations by those supposed to fight corruption and defences by those facing serious criminal accusations with regards to corruption are being made on the basis of factional allegiances rather than disinterested respect for law and order. It makes the whole thing a circus of sorts, yet there is a big monster in government that needs to be tackled in the form of corruption. It is not very helpful to politicise the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and expect it to get the confidence of the public or even get anything meaningful done. So the truth is that ZACC is not very effective and one had to see how it was barely mentioned or given a platform to lay out its own anti-graft plans during the launch of the ACT campaign in Harare last year. That showed where it belonged in the perking order, at the back benches, while politicians lead a proverbial witch-hunt in which the majority of them are the witches. ZACC has always been a white elephant to pacify the citizens’ need and genuine call of an anti-corruption body by giving them a paper tiger without actually having a real independent entity that bites when it sees corruption getting out of hand. You can see that ZACC is only visible when it is given political instructions. In its current form where it is like a puppet which only dances when the politicians pull the strings and stop when they stop, ZACC is a bad excuse for an anti-graft body.” — Vivid Gwede, rights activist and political analyst.
“I think ZANU-PF’s zero tolerance to corruption mantra is just that, mantra. The party is merely paying lip service, while in reality allowing corruption to go unchecked because it rules by politics of patronage, using control of key institutions and public resources as means to maintain its hold on power. ZACC is not an effective corruption watchdog because it effectively lacks autonomy and independence to deal with corruption.
The fact that it is now working under the President’s office shows that there is no real autonomy and it is bound to be influenced by ZANU-PF’s factionalism and patronage politics. For this reason, instances of corruption are allowed to go unchecked as long as it is implemented by ‘politically correct’ individuals. There is a need for Zimbabwe to have an autonomous and independent anti-corruption commission that will be able to operate with honesty and integrity. Even ZACC, in its current form, is not totally useless, but it’s a pity that it is controlled by senior politicians, who seek to protect their cronies and interests. Serious reforms to enable institutions such as ZACC to operate independently are needed.” — Zibusiso Dube, political commentator.
“ZANU-PF’s zero tolerance to corruption mantra is pure, undiluted nonsense to say the least. ZANU-PF has presided over massive corruption and only when it is politically or factionaly expedient is action taken. For example, is there any headway in bringing those who looted the US$15 billion diamond revenues? There is also the alleged corruption in allocation of stands, just to mention a few. ZACC is only as effective as it is allowed to be by government.
It is supposed to be an independent commission according to chapter 13 of the Constitution, but without proper budgetary support, political will from government and the intrigues of factional politics, it will struggle. It has tended to target small fish and Moyo could be the biggest fish it has targeted thus far. When it tried to investigate one of the top officials in ZANU-PF it hit a brickwall and the director of ZACC was hit with allegations of corruption himself. ZACC is a good entity stuck in a poisoned and toxic political environment.” — Dumisani Nkomo, political analyst.    

Mzembi backs rand use, blasts bond notes

TOURISM and Hospitality Industry minister, Walter Mzembi has expressed doubts over the effectiveness of bond notes, urging the government to instead adopt the South African rand.

Source: Mzembi backs rand use, blasts bond notes – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016


Mzembi, who was speaking on South African television news channel, ANN7, on Wednesday, said it would be sensible to turn to the rand, as South Africa was Zimbabwe’s major trading partner.

“I am following the debate on bond notes with a lot of interest. But notwithstanding the fact that I am a Cabinet member as Minister of Tourism and quite senior by any stretch of imagination,” he said, “I can understand what the government is trying to achieve in terms of inducing liquidity in the market, but the multiple currency basket already has nine currencies including the rand, which I have always submitted is part of the solution to the extent that 70% of our exports go into South Africa or via South Africa, 70% of our imports come from South Africa and 80% of our Diaspora, globally, are resident in South Africa and, therefore, they have an impact on the profile of remittances into Zimbabwe.

“So it just makes absolute sense that we align to a regional currency that favours us to that extent.”

Mzembi described the rand as the perfect currency for Zimbabwe under the circumstances, as long as it did not burden South Africans, forcing them to print for the country.

The Tourism minister said he had already expressed his views to President Robert Mugabe and RBZ governor John Mangudya concerning the adoption of the rand against the bond notes.

He said the rand would work well for his ministry against a strong US dollar.

“I have already spoken to President Robert Mugabe and the Reserve Bank governor to say that mine is an exclusive situation, special conditions apply because 70% of my source market is South Africa,” Mzembi said.

“They (South African tourists) need to be motivated to come and spend in this destination, but unfortunately they are finding Zimbabwe uncompetitive because of the bullish nature of the US dollar against the rand.”

The proposed introduction of bond notes to ease cash shortages is currently facing stiff resistance from a cross section of Zimbabweans, but most of Mzembi’s colleagues in government have vowed the decision will not be reversed.

The imminent introduction of the bond notes, likely next month, has triggered unrest, with opposition and social movement leaders organising demonstrations against the government, while others have mounted legal battles against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to compel it to drop the plan.

The move, equated to bringing the Zimdollar through the back door, has also sparked panic withdrawals of cash from banks, resulting in long queues, as people desperately try to take out their savings before the introduction of the bond notes.

Zimbabwe given two months notice

Source: Zimbabwe given two months notice | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

SOUTH Africa’s Eskom and Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) have given Zimbabwe up to December to clear its arrears.
Zimbabwe imports almost 30 percent of its national power requirements from the Southern African Power Pool members that include HCB and Eskom.
ZESA Holdings, the country’s power utility, owes two of these regional outfits a combined US$27 million.
Eskom is owed US$18 million, while the US$9 million balance is owed to HCB.
Having struggled to clear the arrears over the years, patience among the regional power utilities is wearing thin.
If South Africa and Mozambique decide to unplug Zimbabwe, the country would be gripped by a power crisis that could further dampen prospects for early economic recovery.
Following negotiations, HCB now wants the arrears to be cleared by the end of next month, while Eskom would want to go into the New Year without being bothered by the debt.
Julian Chinembiri, the managing director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a unit of ZESA, said while power suppliers have stabilised, arrears were mounting.
“They (Eskom and HCB) have understood our economic challenges and have given us a grace period to clear our arrears,” he told the Financial Gazette.
“Eskom gave us up to December 2016 while HCB gave us up to the end of November to clear the arrears.
“At the moment we are enjoying stable power supply and we would want to keep supplies as they are and ensure that load shedding does not occur
“As you are aware, we still have prepayment arrangements with Eskom and HCB. For Dema, the US$8 million is current. For the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), it’s long overdue but we are paying them a certain percentage of our revenue collection every month,” Chinembiri added.
Zimbabwe imports about 350 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Eskom and 50MW from   HCB.
The power utility is currently struggling to generate half of the country’s national demand, which is estimated at                   1 600(MW).
To bridge the deficit, the country has been importing from Eskom and HCB.
It has also been procuring 100MW from the controversial diesel generators at Dema Power Plant.
ZETDC owes about US$8 million to Dema Diesel Power Plant, whose establishment this year was a subject of contention between government and ZESA .
It has also failed to pay for power supplies from a sister firm, ZPC, which is owed US$754 million.
The country has, for, almost a year enjoyed steady supply of electricity after the power utility secured power imports to plug a generation gap in the country caused by low local generation capacity.
It has also been impacted negatively by failure by domestic consumers to pay for their electricity, with arrears now amounting to about US$1 billion.
Power supply bottlenecks are among the key factors undermining efforts to rebuild the failing economy, and government has been warned to make sure ZESA is recapitalised if the country is to reverse the decline.

Zimra to enforce more revenue collection strategies

Source: Zimra to enforce more revenue collection strategies | The Herald October 21, 2016

Business Reporter —
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has added nearly 4 000 tax players to the revenue collection system and will enforce more revenue collection strategies from January next year. Faced by declining revenue collection owing to a shrinking tax base, Zimra will also intensify anti-corruption campaigns and tax educationto simplify processes.

The new tax players were added to the tax net through the automation of the revenue collector’s systems. Zimra chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said the automation system has helped increase efficiency which has minimised corruption.

“One of the methods (to deal with tax threats) is to increase compliance and we do that by increasing efficiency, enforcements and this is done through automation. You get orders to supply to (for example) Zesa or big mines but the taxman does not know you.

“When we automate or connect with those companies your name will be flashed out. We have been able to net in about 4 000 tax players, who are real big players, who were outside our tax base,” said Mrs Bonyongwe.

Automation enhances, convenience, efficiency and accuracy. Without automation, under-declarations can be as high as 60 percent of what is brought before the taxman, according the Zimra chairperson. Tax avoidance and evasion have contributed to the contraction in revenue collections in the country as companies and individuals dodge the taxman.

Mrs Bonyongwe said there was a threat to the sustainability of the country’s tax system emanating from the challenging economic environment. Company closures, reduced capacity utilisation, liquidity constraints and deflationary pressures resulted in companies failing to meet their tax obligations. Yet tax revenue is one of the major sources of income for the country.

Mrs Bonyongwe said corruption and informality of the economy have also added to threats to tax base sustainability. Corruption, she said, was a cause for concern as it was threatening the entire economy. This is despite the fact there is still some economic activity particularly with the boom in the informal sector.

“There is recognition the tax base has shrunk, but it is still there because we see people driving expensive vehicles and developing mansions that are not on mortgages.

“There is a shift in the economy, which makes it difficult to see what is happening and what to collect. People are running businesses in their homes and making money,” she said.

To tackle threats to revenue collections, Zimra said it was intensifying anti-corruption campaigns, tax education to simplify processes as well as enforce fiscalisation beginning January next year.

In the six months to June 2016, Zimra missed revenue collection target by 6 percent, while collections for the period were 9 percent lower than same period last year. The revenue authority achieved $1,65 billion against a target of $1,75 billion on economic challenges. However, revenue collections for the quarter to September were $919 million, ahead of the target of $917 million

#HowTheyRobbedUs: Hashtag reveals the story of Zimbabwe’s pain over the last 15 years

Fed-up Zimbabweans have taken to Twitter to tweet their examples of #HowTheyRobbedUs.

Source: #HowTheyRobbedUs: Hashtag reveals the story of Zimbabwe’s pain over the last 15 years | MG Africa 19 Oct 2016

Having to send money back home to bury a sister you left behind when you left Zimbabwe. Having a bathtub you never fill with water.

Having a degree but no job.

As top officials from President Robert Mugabe’s government shrug off allegations of corruption, fed-up Zimbabweans have taken to Twitter to tweet their examples of #HowTheyRobbedUs.

In the meantime, Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe has taken off again, this time to Madagascar.

#HowTheyRobbedUs or how a  15-letter hashtag unlocked the story of more than 15 years of pain. If you read nothing else this week, feed this hashtag into your search bar. The tweets keep on rolling in.

Behind each one is a story. Two graduates, both with degrees, both with jobs (lucky them these days) – but no hope of ever owning a house.

Young professionals who know they’ll never own a new car. Well-educated graduates who, because there are few jobs in FDI-starved Zimbabwe, are still housed and fed by the parents who struggled to educate them.

Diasporans forced out of Zimbabwe to seek opportunities (and send money back home) who only hear the gurgles of their nephews and nieces on Whatsapp. Here’s just one example from @bond_gal: “Zimbabwe has made some of us feel like failures because we have nothing to our names cause of a rubbish and corrupt economy.”


There are dashed dreams here, hopes that have been trampled upon.

That birthday party is one example : Remember THE 92nd? In Masvingo? Grace Mugabe resplendent in a black and white dress next to her hubby and oodles of birthday cakes – and that widely-circulated pic of the woman trying to scoop up some leftovers?

That party was paid for at least in part by Zimdef, the fund that came under the control of  Mugabe’s ex-spin doctor Jonathan Moyo, according to the privately-owned Standard newspaper.

Taxpayer-funded Zimdef – which is supposed to be used solely to help students on attachment or doing an apprenticeship -handed over a cool $173 000 for wifi, computers and fuel to bring party youths to the bash in February.

Students have been complaining for some time that they haven’t been allocated Zimdef funds for their internships: this is why.

This is also why opposition calls for Moyo to be arrested will fall on deaf ears.

More hospital ops suspended : OK, so state media says operations at Bulawayo’s main UBH hospital are “expected to resume soon”.

But that doesn’t alter the fact that a shortage of pain-relieving pethidine led to the suspension of all non-emergency surgery from last Friday, according to the state-run Chronicle.

Ring any bells? Same thing happened at Harare Hospital last month. In that incident, even sodium bicarbonate was in short supply.

Back to a tweet from #HowTheyRobbedUs: “The president uses an equivalent to Parirenyatwa Hospital’s annual budget on one trip to Singapore for a health check up”, tweeted @philchavars65.

Mugabe’s not in Singapore now, though.. This week it’s Madagascar, where he’s just been elected COMESA vice-chair.

Dear ZRP just keeps growing: This is a Facebook group for all those who fear they might be getting robbed by Zimbabwe’s extremely-zealous traffic cops.

It’s a closed group (but administrators don’t seem to turn anyone away). For now, it has 9 000 members and the numbers go up by the day.

Zimbabwe cops – not all of them, but some – invent new ways to swipe your money from you, also by the day.

Some drivers already take great delight in paying their fines in bond coins. Will road blocks magically melt away when bond notes are introduced?

Zimbabwe’s pain. It does not go away. – News24

Time to change the game

“Those who caused yesterday’s pains do not have power over tomorrow’s potentials,” Mike Murdoch.

Source: Time to change the game – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016

Opinion: Vince Musewe

I am shocked and disappointed at the amount of despondency out there. It appears, to me, many Zimbabweans have resigned themselves to a continuation of the status quo.

I have asked many for solutions on how we can extricate ourselves out of this nightmare and all they can say is that we should wait for elections in 2018 and hopefully vote Zanu PF out of power. That is not going to happen.
Zimbabwe has had 12 elections since 1980 and these elections have failed to change the status quo, what then will be different in 2018? The recent violence assisted by the police in Norton clearly shows that our police force is there to protect Zanu PF interests. We need a new formula for 2018.

The momentum towards coalitions has been somewhat disturbed by the poaching of members from coalition partners. How can parties talk coalition while they are effectively sabotaging each other in the pretext of negotiations? Of course, Zimbabweans are free to join any political party they wish, there is no doubt about that.

However, where parties are in negotiations, one expects a modicum of respect and ethical behaviour, but it is clear that this does not exist in our political arena. It’s a dog eat dog approach. Can such people lead Zimbabwe and create the Zimbabwe we want? I sincerely doubt that.

We need to take a fresh approach to politics, where we have ethical leaders, who respect each other and unless this happens coalitions will not happen and once again, we will see a split vote in 2018, thus, inadvertently strengthening Zanu PF. Self-interest leads to disaster and I am not convinced that those political leaders, who grew up under Zanu PF value system are about to change their behaviours.

In my opinion we need a clean break from the past. We need an environment free from fear and intimidation. For this to happen citizens need to be economically empowered so that their wellbeing is not dependent on Zanu PF largesse. As long as that is the case, their vote will not be influenced by who can best lead Zimbabwe, but will be based in the fear of loss and violence.

We need also to address the economic meltdown now and not wait for 2018. There is nothing that Zanu PF can offer in 2018 that they cannot offer now. In other words, nothing will change post 2018 if Zanu PF remains in power. Things will get worse.

As I write this, there is no safe drinking water in many urban areas, no street lights at night, which now look so dark, cash has run out at the banks and unemployment is increasing with most skilled Zimbabweans having to do whatever they can to make ends meet.

At night, the streets in Harare have been reduced to a ragtag night market, with mothers sitting on dirty pavements selling vegetables, touts shouting to get people into their kombis and university graduates selling anything from air time to imported Chinese trinkets. It is the worst of times for most ordinary Zimbabweans, who deserve better.

We now have corrupt ministers justifying the abuse of funds by saying everyone else does worse things and even quoting the Constitution to protect their abuse of public office.

It is not revelation that public funds are diverted to meet Zanu PF political party programmes as the tax authority do their best to squeeze every last cent out of taxpayers and the police have established an extortion machinery to generate cash that is not even accounted for.

Our hospitals are a disaster and have run out of medicine and our infrastructure dilapidates each day into Zimbabwe ruins. In all this we have a President who travels the world as if all is well.

We have State enterprises, which are now the looting machine for a predatory cabal that is not even involved in any productive activity. The looting of our resources is increasing by the day as everyone seeks to make as much as they can today, not tomorrow.

All this is not about to change unless we break the pattern and in my opinion we need a National Transitional Authority (NTA) to take over and correct things before we can even think of free and fair elections. The scepticism arising over the NTA idea is not that is the wrong solution, but many doubt on how we can make it happen given the intransigence of Zanu PF to implement any reforms.

The solution is very simple. We, as citizens, must have consensus of the nature and form of the NTA, once we have done that, we must then do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

For me, this is our only chance to change the game and we should all use our creative brains on how we can force Zanu PF to concede first that they have failed and second that it cannot be politics as usual.

It will not be easy because we know their nature, but it is better we fight for substantive change that to wait for elections and hope that our numbers will win the day.

We also need to be very clear on who needs to be convinced with regard to the NTA.

In my view, we must convince regional and international partners first. We then must work together with social movements, organised civic bodies, labour, churches to agree on the nature of the NTA.

That is all. We do not need to convince every individual on the NTA, but work with those that have leverage in making it happen. The rest will follow.

If there is any time to significantly change the game and have any hope in creating the Zimbabwe we want, it is now. Everyone is invited!

Another Zimbabwe is possible!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author. He is also Secretary for Finance and Economic Affairs of PDP. You may contact him on

Politicians feel economic pinch

Harare East MP, Terrence Mukupe allegedly denied Amazon Real Estate Agents employees access to his Glen Lorne house that is supposed to go under the hammer, after he failed to settle an unspecified debt with FBC Bank.

Source: Politicians feel economic pinch – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016


The Zanu PF legislator has become the latest in a long list of politicians to hog the limelight for failing to settle their loans taken out when the country adopted multi-currency system in 2009.

Amazon, in a media advert, says they were denied access to the house to view the property.

“Access denied. however, we were advised that it is a brick-under-iron sheets, double storey building with four bedrooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen and staff quarters,” the company said.

The property sits on an 8 529m2 stand.

Mukupe was not answering his calls when NewsDay tried to get his comment yesterday.

Former deputy minister Bright Matonga is also set to lose some farming implements after he failed to repay a bank loan.

Matonga’s property at his Chegutu farm, including a tractor, trailers and irrigation pipes, will be auctioned after he failed to repay an Agribank loan.

The loans were not haunting only politicians, but also private companies that are failing to break even and are drowning in debt each day they continue to operate.

Musasiwa Bus Company is set to lose two properties in the capital after failing to settle African Banking Corporation (BancABC) debts.

The two properties are a 2 772m2 industrial stand in Ardbennie and a house in Hillside. The industrial stand has a main building with eight bays, inspection pit, four offices, a toilet and a borehole.

The Hillside property includes a single storey house with three bedrooms, main en suite, guest wing, garage, staff quarters and is walled and gated. The property sits on 2 537m2.

The properties will be sold by Amazon through a private treaty.

Former Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono’s businesses have also suffered the same fate with a number of his properties under threat of being auctioned to offset debts.

Zanu PF milks broke parastatals to fund indaba

Zanu PF, which is struggling to raise money for its 16th national conference to be held in Masvingo, has turned to struggling parastatals and the private sector to fund its December meeting.

Source: Zanu PF milks broke parastatals to fund indaba – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016


The party has invited corporates to dine with President Robert Mugabe and his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe aimed at fundraising for the annual event.

Zanu PF is offering corporates a whopping $100 000 for 10 people on a platinum table and has set five gold tables each going for $50 000.

Silver tables and bronze tables are going for $30 000 and $10 000 each, respectively, for the November 4 dinner, which will be held at a local hotel, as part of the conference fundraising activities, much to the chagrin of labour movements.

The party’s secretary for finance, Obert Mpofu, declined to disclose the fundraising target, but last year the event cost over $3 million.

Zanu PF is also selling exhibition stands for companies at its conference. The space has in the previous years been taken up by struggling parastatals, ministries and companies linked to Zanu PF.

Exhibitors are expected to part with $10 000 for a six-metre by three-metre exhibition stand and half the price for the space at the conference, where ministers are the major buyers.

A businessman, who declined to be named, said the dinner was too ambitious given the economic environment and as a result it was an insult to struggling companies.

“Paying $100 000 just for 10 people to have dinner is just ridiculous in this depressed economy, where just meeting the salary bill is a nightmare. Either Zanu PF is from another planet or they will just force parastatals to buy the tickets so that they impress Mugabe,” he said.

Last year, a similar dinner flopped and was largely subscribed to by loss-making parastatals after blue-chip companies shunned it.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general, Japhet Moyo said it was sad that companies would shell out $100 000 to pay for a dinner table because of the patronage system and not use that money to recapitalise.

“I can’t even believe that they are entities that can spare that kind of money to buy dinner instead of retooling.
If the money is used for patronage purposes, how many jobs will one save or create by eating dinner for $100 000 instead of buying machines?

“You will find that most of these companies are failing to pay salaries and, when such money is being used to fund political parties instead of the core business, we become worried as a labour movement,” he said.

Zanu PF must win Norton at ‘all costs’: VP

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday declared that the Norton seat was a “must-win” for Zanu PF, saying President Robert Mugabe had directed him to ensure the party is victorios in the by-election slated for tomorrow “at all costs”.

Source: Zanu PF must win Norton at ‘all costs’: VP – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016

BY Everson Mushava

Addressing a Zanu PF rally to drum up support for the ruling party’s candidate, Ronald Chindedza, Mnangagwa said the electorate should not waste their votes on a non-Zanu PF candidate, as that person would not access State resources to develop the constituency.

“You should vote for the rulers, not for the ruled. Vote to be part of the rulers, not the ruled,” he said.

“Even if you are asleep and you dream of Zimbabwe under another government, which is not Zanu PF, you should wake up, brew beer and ask your ancestors why they have forsaken you.”

Chindedza is contesting against independent candidate, Temba Mliswa and National Constitutional Assembly’s David Choga.

The seat fell vacant following the recall of expelled Zanu PF legislator, Christopher Mutsvangwa.

Mnangagwa said after doling out agricultural land, the Zanu PF government was now into provision of residential stands to economically empower its supporters.

The Vice-President said Zanu PF was firmly in control of the affairs of the country and threatened to deal decisively with white commercial farmers still opposed to the land reform programme.

“We produce our food, we have our wives and make children, so where does the white man come in?” he said.

“The white man should go back were he came from, we will keep our Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe will never be as colony again.
“If they dare challenge us, we will thrash them. But I am not saying people should go around taking land willy-nilly. There are procedures to follow, so that there is no chaos.”

Mnangagwa urged Zanu PF political commissar and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to weed out “corrupt” MDC-T councillors running local authorities across the country.

“We have a fearless boy (Kasukuwere), who, if you set him on someone, you go to bed peacefully because you know he will carry out the task. He will deal with those corrupt MDC-T councillors,” he said.

Zanu PF MP ordered to rephrase ‘offensive’ motion

NATIONAL Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, yesterday ordered Buhera West legislator, Oliver Mandipaka (Zanu PF) to rephrase his motion on violence against police officers, following complaints by opposition backbenchers that it contained offensive words.

Source: Zanu PF MP ordered to rephrase ‘offensive’ motion – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016


Kuwadzana East MP, Nelson Chamisa last week took offence after Mandipaka, in his motion, labelled opposition activists perpetrators of violence against police officers.

“Chamisa made reference to opposition parties as perpetrators of acts of violence and terror on innocent people and the opposition parties when no opposition party has been found guilty of the acts of violence and requests that the offensive words be dealt with in terms of Standing Order number 66,” Mudenda said.

“The chair is of the view that the notice of the motion does contain offensive words to the extent of where the motion makes reference to opposition parties, and the mover of the motion is directed by the chair to accordingly amend the motion in terms of Standing Order 66.”

In an unrelated matter, Harare West MP, Jessie Majome stopped acting Finance minister, Walter Mzembi from pursuing the approval of a $7,6 million loan agreement between the government and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development to support poverty alleviation. Mzembi had moved for approval of the deal, but Majome protested saying the loan agreement details had not been published in the Government Gazette as required by section 300(3) of the Constitution.

The statute stipulates that within 60 days of the conclusion of a loan agreement, the responsible minister must cause its terms to be published in the Government Gazette.

Mudenda deferred discussion of the loan, saying there was need to verify if the agreement was ever published.

In another unrelated matter, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi told Parliament that the landmines still haunting the country were planted 37 years ago by the colonial regime.

Sekeramayi said most of the mines were detonating now after being exposed by running water following removal of perimeter fences marking the minefield.

Treasury this year allocated a meagre $100 000 for demining activities compared to $500 000 in the previous years and Halo Trust and Norwegian People’s Aid have been assisting Zimbabwe in financing remaining activities.

Zanu PF bribing voters: Opposition

ENDURING pictures of Zanu PF supporters in Norton filling forms for residential stands at a rally addressed by party secretary for youth, Kudzai Chipanga, ahead of the constituency by-elections tomorrow have invoked sharp criticism of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), which has been accused of sleeping on the job.

Source: Zanu PF bribing voters: Opposition – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 20, 2016


National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) legal secretary, Douglas Mwonzora, accused Zanu PF of bribing people to vote for its candidate, Ronald Chindedza, while Zec just watched by the sidelines.

“It is a violation of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.Giving the electorate something in return for votes is bribery and, as such, an electoral malpractice, which Zec should have noted and stopped,” he said.

Nera, which has said it was using the Norton by-election as a test case on the willingness by Zec and government to implement electoral reforms and observe the Constitution, said it was disappointed with events unfolding ahead of the elections.

“There is no willingness on the part of government to initiate electoral reforms. Further, there is no intention by Zec to enforce the Electoral Act. Zec and (chairperson, Justice Rita) Makarau are accomplices in this gross violation of electoral rules,” Mwonzora said.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network director, Rindai Chipfunde-Vava, said they had noted with concern the vote-buying, intimidation and violence that was playing out in the constituency.

“Dishing out stands, as we have seen happening in Norton, is indeed in violation of the electoral laws and giving voters things ahead of elections amounts to vote-buying and it exerts undue influence on the electorate, thereby, creating an unlevel playing field,” she said.

Nera has, however, vowed to fight the alleged electoral injustice, promising to bring the heat to Makarau’s doorstep.

“We are under no illusion that the struggle for electoral reforms will come easy. As Nera, we are regrouping and we have a plan to force these electoral reforms. We will be rolling out the plans shortly because we are not taking these gross violations lying down,” Mwonzora said.

Grace warns thieving Zanu PF chefs

FIRST Lady, Grace Mugabe, has warned Zanu PF to guard against complacency, saying the ruling party could easily lose the 2018 elections if top officials continued lining their pockets instead of monitoring service delivery.

Source: Grace warns thieving Zanu PF chefs – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016


Addressing thousands of people at the official opening of Zivagwe Bridge in Chivhu, Mashonaland East province, yesterday, Grace said elected officials such as MPs and councillors could cost Zanu PF dearly if they do not work hard, but continue to loot public resources.

“It is, therefore, my fervent hope that political leaders, MPs in particular, pay attention to those matters that make life better for the communities they represent,” she said.

“While some are doing it better than others, there are some among us, who have consistently disappointed. Please, MPs, I implore you, your people need you. You are there to serve them.”

In the run-up to the 2013 elections, Zanu PF made several promises most of which are yet to be fulfilled.
The ruling party pledged to create 2,2 million jobs over five years by unlocking value from
idle assets worth at least $1,8 trillion of mineral claims or reserves.

But three years on, the country is in a state of paralysis, with thousands losing their jobs almost weekly.

The ruling party also promised it would build 1,25 million houses to clear the national housing backlog, while its indigenisation and economic empowerment programme appears to have suffered a stillbirth, amid allegations of massive looting of resources allocated to the community share ownership trusts by Zanu PF fat cats.

Grace said the Zanu PF government must be indefatigable in providing better roads, more schools, closer and clean water sources, food for everyone, health, education, and improved social welfare that takes care of the elderly, the orphaned and the socially disadvantaged.

“This indomitable spirit wins us votes, because we will have shown our determination to make Zimbabwe a better habitat,” she said. The First Lady blasted some Zanu PF leaders she claimed were in the habit of using their positions to loot public resources meant to benefit their communities.

“Councillors, you are not there to steal. Your duty is not about that. The duties are to monitor social service delivery for the people. You are not given positions to fill your pockets,” she said.

Grace also urged Zimbabweans to participate in nation-building and stop depending on government handouts.

“We are all aware of the economic hardships that our country faces right now. As such, Zimbabweans need to also participate in nation-building and not leave everything the to government,” she said.

“As the mother of the nation, I challenge those in leadership positions to set up development initiatives of this nature, if we are to bring smiles to the communities we superintend over.

“While the commissioning of this bridge and road can be erroneously viewed as a low-profile event, our presence today has naturally shifted our mindsets and accorded community development projects the reverence they deserve. I subscribe to the notion that government’s role is only facilitative and to avail a friendly working environment.”

Construction of the 40-metre-long bridge and a short stretch of tarred road on both sides of the bridge cost a combined $4 million.

The project, a brainchild of Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha, links Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces.

Tsvangirai mulls Msipa burial attendance

Opposition leaders, including MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, are likely to attend the burial of veteran nationalist, Cephas Msipa, tomorrow at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

Source: Tsvangirai mulls Msipa burial attendance – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 21, 2016


MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora said the party’s top leadership would attend.

“Some of our leaders will definitely attend the burial,” he said without giving specifics.

Asked if Tsvangirai would attend, Mwonzora said the veteran opposition leader would want to attend, but did not trust Mugabe.

“The president (Tsvangirai) is coming back tomorrow (today) from his routine treatment (in South Africa) and I am sure he would want to attend. However, we are aware that Mugabe might want to use the platform to humiliate him, but Tsvangirai would be very willing to be part of the proceedings,” he said.

Party spokesperson, Obert Gutu was more forthright.

“Plans are already in place for the president to attend the late national hero, Msipa’s burial. Our leader is currently out of the country, but he would certainly love to be one of the mourners at the national shrine, when the late Msipa will be laid to rest,” he said.

Msipa’s family was arm-twisted by President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party into agreeing to his burial at the national shrine against the late former Cabinet minister’s dying wish to be laid to rest next to his wife in Gweru.

Mugabe attended Msipa’s funeral wake on Wednesday and came face to face with former Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, now a leading figure in the opposition Zimbabwe People First led by ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Gumbo said he would attend Msipa’s burial. Regarding his brief encounter with Mugabe, he described the Zanu PF leader and his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe as “courteous”.

“I definitely will be attending. He (Mugabe) just paid his condolences. He and his wife were very courteous. They understand my relationship with the late Msipa. I do not think there is any need for us to hate each other because we have had differences in political opinion,” he said, adding he was not aware if Mujuru would attend.

Efforts to get a comment from Mujuru’s spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro proved fruitless.

Gumbo left Zanu PF unceremoniously, following an acrimonious fall-out that also led to Mujuru’s expulsion along with a host of other leaders on allegations the group was plotting against Mugabe.

Zapu leader, Dumiso Dabengwa said he would only be able to attend the church service in Gweru set for today.

“I have just been informed today (yesterday) that burial is now set for Harare. I would have attended if it was in Gweru because on Saturday I have to attend the burial ceremony for Apostle (Charles) Chiriseri (leader of His Presence Ministries, who died in a car crash last month). He was my son-in-law,” he said.

Former Finance minister and People’s Democratic Party leader, Tendai Biti said he would only pay his condolences at the Msipa home.

LATEST: Disaster looms in Lowveld

Source: LATEST: Disaster looms in Lowveld | The Herald October 20, 2016

From George Maponga  in Masvingo

Disaster looms in the Lowveld sugarcane industry with major dams that supply irrigation water to over 40 000 hectares of sugar cane in Chiredzi and Triangle reportedly left with less than two months’ supply of water.

Irrigation water supplies to cane plantations at Triangle and Hippo Valley will be disconnected on December 15 by Zinwa unless supply dams in the Mutirikwe/Tokwe river system get reasonable inflows.

Dams in the Mutirikwe/Tokwe river system, namely Lake Mutirikwi, Bangala and Muzhwi supply water to irrigate over 70 percent of the entire area under sugar cane in the Lowveld.

The three dams supply irrigation water to Hippo Valley,Triangle and Mupapa estates which straddle over 40 000 hectares.

Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett owns cane fields that cover nearly 30 000 hectares at Triangle and Hippo, with out-growers, mainly beneficiaries of the Government’s land reform programme, owning plantations that extend over 15 000 hectares.

Poor rains caused by the El-Nino phenomenon last rainy season saw dams in the Mutirikwe/Tokwe river systems recording insignificant inflows into the reservoirs.

Water level in Lake Mutirikwi, Zimbabwe’s largest inland dam, now stands at 8,6 percent while Bangala is 12,6 percent full with Muzhwi at 10,1 percent.

Zinwa is now giving farmers 63 percent of required quantities to make sure the dams do not dry up early.

Details to follow….

Mugabe to pay Tsvangirai’s debt

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has pledged to pay off MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s $81 247 debt incurred in car hire services when the latter was still Prime Minister in the Government of National of Unity.

Source: Mugabe to pay Tsvangirai’s debt – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 20, 2016


This emerged at the High Court yesterday after a Harare car hire and rental company, Joel Travel and Tours, had sued the Office of the President over the long-standing debt incurred in 2013.

The firm’s lawyer, Brenda Hatinahama, sought the removal of the matter from the High Court roll, saying Mugabe’s aides were now negotiating for an out-of-court settlement.

Justice Lavender Makoni granted the application.

“My lady, may the matter be removed from the roll, the reason being that the parties are negotiating a settlement with a view to have the matter settled,” Hatinahama said.

Mugabe’s Office was this year taken to court after the tour
operator realised the government was reluctant to pay for the vehicles that Tsvangirai hired during his tenure as Prime Minister.

In an acknowledgement of the debt document dated December 12, 2013, signed by the Prime Minister’s Office, Tsvangirai acknowledged owing the tour operator the claimed amount.

“The Prime Minister’s Office, hereby, acknowledges that it owes Joel Travel and Tours a total of $81 247,08,” the acknowledgement letter read.

“Joel Travel and Tours is a car hire company. Between the period of February and August 2013, the Office of the Prime Minister hired vehicles from Joel Travel and Tours.

“The total bill for this period was $108 331,68, of that amount $27 084,60 has been paid.”

In a different but related matter, the High Court last week ruled in favour of the same travel and tour operator in a case where it had sued the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Paradzai Zimondi, over a $13 501 debt.

In its declaration, attached to the summons, the firm claimed sometime between October and December last year, Zimondi hired several vehicles for use at an agreed rate, but failed to pay for the services, prompting the firm to approach the court.

A nation that banned its own flag

Source: A nation that banned its own flag | The Financial Gazette October 19, 2016

By Farai Mabeza
IN any other country in the world, displaying one’s national flag would be seen as a show of patriotism, a symbol of the bond between citizen and country.
But in Zimbabwe it can land you in jail.
This crude fact classifies the country as one of the most extraordinary nations on this planet where the ruling party has all, but privatised patriotism, nationalism and all things associated with them.
The country’s rulers had to stoop this low having failed to stop a raging wave of nationals draping the national flag  in solidarity with a political protest started by the now-exiled Evan Mawarire.
Government had to craft Statutory Instrument (SI) 184 of 1987 to ban the commercial production, sale or “any abuse” of the national flag, effectively throwing a thriving industry out of business.
“The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, as the administrative authority in charge of the national flag, is concerned with the increasing incidents whereby members of the public have been using the national flag in a manner that is prohibited by the Constitution and the relevant Act of Parliament and regulations,” read a statement from Justice permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza.
A breach of the ban can attract a fine of US$200 (a fortune for most Zimbabweans and thus a huge deterrent) or a jail term not exceeding one year or both.
The banning of the flag is just one of a long list of curious developments that make the nation called Zimbabwe a perpetual candidate for the Guineas Book of Records.
While attempts have been made to ban social media it has been a bad day at the office for the ZANU-PF government apparatchiks.
But, of course, they will die trying.
Currently, they are working on a Bill that many fear will result in either some form of ban or strict regulation of use of the social media.
The Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services has said that the proposed legislation is neither a ban nor a control mechanism; but wary Zimbabweans are not taking their word for it.
All these developments are taking place at a time when law enforcement agencies have said that demonstrations in the central business district of Harare have been banned. The ban had to be reissued after falling foul of the law after the High Court ruled that proper procedures had not been followed in banning the protests.
The maze of government regulations and policies does not end there.
To appeal to Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to help rescue the broke government by directing more of their cash back home, a whole policy had to be crafted.
In hindsight, this Diaspora constituency is the same bloc that the government has so far successfully fought to deny the right to vote.
Now they want their money.
If this is not pushing one’s luck too far, then the State’s desperate situation has driven it crazy.
Hit hard by cash shortages and failure to pay its workers on time, government is also seized with the hugely unpopular issue of bond notes, an idea which has been met by ridicule and trepidation.
Zimbabweans fear a return to the dark days of rampant inflation, which resulted in the Zimbabwe dollar losing its value in 2009. This is not to say the economy as a whole is not already under a very dark cloud.
Political analyst, Ernest Mudzengi, believes that these policy measures and regulatory interventions are acts of desperation by a clueless regime.
“Remember the former governor of the Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono, once described the country’s economy as a casino economy.
“When you talk of the casino you talk of gambling and I think what the government is doing is simply gambling,” said Mudzengi.
The gambling is out of this world, to say the least.
Nearly 100 percent of government expenditure is going into salaries for civil servants. It took months to pay 2015 bonuses.
This year Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, just like he did last year, said there would be no bonuses and again in a repetition of 2015 the President and Cabinet said no, bonuses shall be paid. Where the money will come from, is the least of their worries.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesman, Douglas Mahiya says the former liberation movement, ZANU-PF, has been an unmitigated disaster since it came to power in April 1980.
“The policies that have been pursued by the government since independence have never been for the people.
“They have never been for the workers, but for a few individuals who are corrupt and have led the country into the economic problems we are currently having,”  he said.
Sour grapes? Maybe. Maybe not.
 But it’s impossible to make an honest argument against his conclusion.

New voters’ roll: Too early to celebrate

Source: New voters’ roll: Too early to celebrate | The Financial Gazette October 19, 2016

By Nyasha Chingono
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is expected to begin voter registration under a new electronic system in June 2017, but observers warn that it may be too early  to start celebrating.
An estimated US$50 million is required to roll out the biometric voter registration system, which is quite a fortune for a country battling a severe liquidity crisis.
But given Zimbabwe’s long history of disputed polls, with most of the disputes stemming from manual voting system, opposition parties believe that ZEC should be prepared to pay anything to ensure democracy and free and fair elections.
The European Union, through the United Nations Development Programme, is happy to fund the whole project with the Zimbabwe government providing US$17 million in allowances for staff.
ZEC is now in the process of procuring the equipment and the kit so that by the time the country goes to the polls in 2018, it will be all systems go.
It will take about six months to capture an estimated 5,8 million eligible voters on the new roll.
Biometric voter registration systems are based on biometrics: A science that uses human biological features for purposes of identifying or authenticating the identity of an individual.
Biometric systems are intended to ensure a clean voters’ roll by eliminating ghost voters and multiple voting so as to deliver a credible election. Lack of political will to run free and fair elections has, however, always been cited as a stumbling block in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe needs over US$30 million for 3 000 biometric units to be set up across the country in order to successfully conduct a voter registration.
The new biometric voter registration will be polling station-based in the hope of eliminating double voting and ghost voters that have in the past characterised elections.
The system will, however, come with its own challenges.
While an estimated 1 500 registered voters are able to cast their ballots at each polling station, the figure might strain the system.
The fingerprint is the most common biometric feature.
With examples of failed biometric systems from across the continent abound, Zimbabweans must be cautious as they embrace the new technology.
Nigeria’s biometric system failed to recognise faces during the continent’s most populous nation’s 2015 general elections, causing serious delays in the voting process.
There were numerous general malfunctions on the system that could be traced to vote rigging, common in many African countries.
In Ghana, biometric kits failed to function during the 2012 elections, leading to the extension of voting by another day.
In Kenya, the electronic tallying of results was marred by technical glitches, a situation that was also linked to suspected rigging.
Now for Zimbabwe, given the fact that the country has failed to complete simple projects on time, it beggars belief how it could successfully implement a sophisticated system such as this one.
Zimbabwe People First spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire, was doubtful if a biometric voters’ roll would completely deal with rigging since it does not stop traditional chiefs from commandeering people to vote for a particular political party.
“This will not stop soldiers from intimidating people to vote (for a particular party),” said Mawarire.
Vote rigging in Zimbabwe takes many forms, which ZANU-PF has successfully exploited to its advantage in past elections.
In rural areas, food distribution is commonly used by ZANU-PF officials to sway the vote. Most villagers would rather trade their vote for a bag of maize than starve to death.
Mawarire said opposition political parties should continue fighting for the demilitarisation of ZEC, which the commission’s chairperson, Rita Makarau, said was not possible.
“The parties are arguing that members of ZEC, who were formerly military personnel, should be fired; but they have contracts of employment. We need valid reasons why we should terminate their contracts because we are a country that abides by the rule of law,” argues Makarau.
Movement for Democratic Change secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora this week said there would never be free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, if ZEC has military influence.
“Their argument does not hold water since the people we are talking about received a command not to support anyone with no war credentials in 2002. So as long as they are there they will continue to carry out (President Robert) Mugabe’s mandate,” said Mwonzora.
He said the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) would monitor the purchasing of the biometric kits and registration, among the processes that lead to elections.
NERA is demanding the removal of ZEC officials who have military background as part of the electoral reforms that would necessitate a free and fair election, but analysts say ZANU-PF will not reform itself out of power, hence such demands will not be granted.
Analysts this week said Zimbabweans should not be fooled into believing that the new system would ensure free and fair elections.
They said polling station based voting can be used to intimidate people into voting for the ruling party given the limited people allowed per polling station.
Zimbabwe Elections Support Network national director, Rindai Chipfunde, said polling-based intimidation was likely to increase due to the new system.
“ZEC needs to assure the public and put in place mechanisms to ensure that the past challenges of intimidation are dealt with because this could create serious problems,” Chipfunde said.
“Biometric voter registration is not a silver bullet and there is need to address issues affecting ZEC’s independence, which could earn it trust from stakeholders in conducting electoral processes. The process alone is insufficient to address the shortcomings such as the lack of transparency,  inaccessible voters’ roll and results management,” added Chipfunde.
Political commentator, Vince Musewe, said Zimbabweans should not rely entirely on the technology, but other monitoring mechanisms to ensure a free and fair election.
“We must not overestimate this technology because it can also be flawed. We must have a new value system of how elections are run in this country.
“We know that the rural folk are heavily misinformed and this technology may be used to intimidate them so we need to have checks and balances when we talk about this technology,” said Musewe.
“The institutional architecture mainly used to rig elections is the one which needs change. Technology will not ensure a free and fair election. A new value system is more important than the process itself,” Musewe added.

WATCH: New film explores complexities of Zimbabwe’s land seizures

How do you make a film about Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme without getting mired in years of frustration and anger – and stereotypes?

Source: WATCH: New film explores complexities of Zimbabwe’s land seizures | News24 2016-10-20

Harare – A young white farmer takes his gun and creeps round the outside of a homestead in the dark at the peak of President Robert Mugabe’s land seizures. A black Zimbabwean knows that freedom fighters spilled their blood for the land he only wants to live freely in.

How do you make a film about Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme without getting mired in years of frustration and anger – and stereotypes?

Los Angeles-based Brickyard Films has taken on this challenge with “The Zim”. The film’s writer-director Alexander Bedria says he hopes the project will bring healing to those on both sides of the racial divide.

Until now Western narratives of Zimbabwe’s land reform programme – which was launched in 2000 to international concern – have focused almost entirely on the dispossessed white farmers. There are around 4 000 of them, along with a black farm workforce that runs into tens of thousands, if not more.

But what of the black Zimbabwean families and communities, dispossessed decades earlier by the colonial government? This is a pain that is ever present, and one The Zim seeks also to address.

Well-known Zimbabwe actor Tongayi Chirisa has played a huge part in shaping the 25-minute long film, both as a lead actor and as a producer and technical advisor, says Bedria.

He said: “[Chirisa’s] insights and experiences as a native Zimbabwean have been crucial in balancing the complex themes in our story as well as creating an overall sense of verisimilitude.”

“Our goal was to find balance between our characters’ viewpoints, to have the audience empathise with them even if they disagreed with them,” he added.

The teaser – which has already gone viral – shows young white Zimbabwean farmer Daniel Silva and his pregnant wife battling to hang onto their farm. Like so many Zimbabwean farmers (some of whom bought their farms after independence), Silva struggles with what he feels is the injustice of what’s happening: Must he pay for the sins of the colonial land-grabbers? But there’s also another couple: black, articulate, also young. As he and his wife sit in the farmer’s kitchen Chirisa’s character (who is Silva’s friend and right-hand man in the film), offers a message of support saying he and his wife are “not going anywhere.”

Watch the teaser by Brickyard Films here

Three years in the making, the film is now at the post-production stage, says Bedria. The company is fundraising on Kickstarter.

The story told here isn’t a dramatisation of a single family’s plight, says Bedria. Instead, it has elements of lots of different lived experiences and accounts: a kaleidoscope that so many Zimbabweans will recognise their own bits of.

Said Bedria: “I understand that the subject matter of our film is a deeply personal one to a great number of people. This is a responsibility that no one on our team takes lightly.”

UPDATE: Zimbabwe’s privately-owned Daily News has reported that ruling party youth leader Kudzai Chipanga has called for the seizure of all remaining white-owned farms.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Time running out for ZEC

Source: EDITORIAL COMMENT: Time running out for ZEC | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

ZIMBABWE is expected to hold general elections in 18 months’ time yet indications are that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has done very little to prepare for this crucial plebiscite.
During its meeting with opposition parties last week, ZEC revealed that it had no resources to carry out its constitutional obligations as the country approaches the 2018 polls.
ZEC informed opposition political parties operating under the National Electoral Reform Agenda banner that it had no resources to facilitate the diaspora vote.
The elections management body also indicated that it was currently not in a position to register voters despite the fact that the voter registration exercise is constitutionally supposed to be an on-going process.
The electoral commission is yet to make arrangements for the acquisition of the bio-metric voting system ever since its announcement in May that it required US$50 million to implement the new polling system.
Moreover, ZEC also declared that it has no money for voter education, a critical obligation, which is necessary to ensure free and fair elections.
To make matters worse, ZEC has also declared it would not demilitarise, arguing that the military personnel within its ranks had signed binding employment contracts with the commission.
In our view, these declarations by the commission are unfortunate as they suggest a failure by ZEC to acknowledge the centrality of the role it plays in ensuring that the 2018 elections are free and fair.
ZEC carries the onerous responsibility of ensuring that the next elections are not disputed and produce a legitimate leadership.
It is critical for ZEC to bear in mind that the current socio-economic crisis in the country is largely attributed to a flawed election outcome spawned by a disputed electoral process.
There is no doubt therefore that the course of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis will be determined by the manner in which ZEC will conduct the next general elections.
A shambolic and disputed electoral process will only worsen the current crisis while a free and fair election which produces a legitimate leadership will help rescue the country from this deteriorating economic quagmire.
In this regard, ZEC’s continued declaration of its inability to timeously and satisfactorily carry out its constitutional duties is extremely disturbing.
Constitutionally, ZEC has a vital obligation to deliver free and fair elections, which will ensure social, political and economic stability in the country.
However, ZEC mistakenly believes that a mere declaration that it cannot afford to carry out its mandatory duties, as required under the law, is acceptable.
Our electoral laws are very elaborate on the central role that ZEC should play in ensuring free and fair elections in the country.
Yet ZEC continues to demonstrate that it has no urgent intention of delivering on its constitutional mandate.
Time is clearly running out for ZEC to attend to the legitimate and specific electoral concerns raised by opposition parties as well as delivering free and fair elections in 2018.
Zimbabwe cannot afford another disputed election outcome.

‘Trust our intention’: Mnangagwa

Source: ‘Trust our intention’: Mnangagwa | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said it was high time Zimbabweans started trusting government’s intention regarding the introduction of bond notes. This comes as negative sentiments over the imminent introduction of the Afreximbank-backed currency are waning investor confidence.
The bond notes are set to be introduced at the beginning of November as an export incentive. However, the cash situation at banks has deteriorated with some of the banks now failing to meet individuals’ daily withdrawal needs.

Cash is now trading at between 10-30 percent while there are concerns that the country could start experiencing fuel shortages.
The cash shortages and the subsequent panic has triggered a mini-stock rally with the Industrials Index gaining 2,7 percent to close at 108,05 on the back of increased trading activity across the board. Turnover was US$1 337 092.74 with foreign buys at US$4 667,97 against foreign sales of US$599 078,14.  The bulk of the money currently getting into the market is from private clients, who are now moving into assets as business is stalling due to the failure to import. Increased activity has also been seen in the property market.
While giving the keynote address at the launch of the Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report, Mnangagwa said, while the bond note issue was topical currently, this would not be viewed as a way of bringing back the Zim dollar.
“As Zimbabweans, it is now time that we should start trusting each other’s intentions. We want to assure business and the general populace that bond notes are not going to replace the multi-currencies basket. In fact, the notes are coming in as an incentive to our exporters who play the critical role of bringing the US dollar into the economy. The bond notes are backed by a US$200 million Afreximbank facility and should not be seen as trying to sneak back the Zim dollar before the necessary conditions for de-dollarisation are fulfilled,” he said.
There have been calls for government to reassess the bond note project, which has created loss of confidence in the economy and instead negotiate for the US$200 million facility to be used to increase liquidity of the South African rand to the economy.
However at the same launch the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has said that Zimbabwe would not going to adopt the rand to ease liquidity challenges as it has its own challenges, chief among them being a likely increase in regional inflation.
“The US dollar is giving us a headache in terms of liquidity, if we adopted another currency except the dollar it is better to pick another currency, but certainly not the rand as it has its own challenges too,” Mnangagwa said.
While some economists suggested that Zimbabwe could become a member of the Common Monetary Union (CMA), RBZ deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo said the country could not do that as it does not have its own currency (a pre-requisite of joining) and that South Africa could not afford to print its currency for the region because it will become inflationary. Although the rand is legal tender in all the CMA states, the other members issue their own currencies. However, these are exchanged at par with the rand and there is no immediate prospect of change. FinX

Q3 revenue collections above target – ZIMRA

Source: Q3 revenue collections above target – ZIMRA | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

ZIMBABWE’S tax agency says gross revenue collections in the quarter to September at US$919 million surpassed the target of US$917 million on the back of enhanced enforcement.

Taxes fund the southern African country’s entire budget after multilateral funders like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said they would only resume lending if Harare clears debts to global lenders.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) on Friday reported that the collections were up six percent compared to US$866,96 million collected in the second quarter.

Net collections amounted to US$854 million after deductions of VAT and Customs refunds.

Individual Tax and Excise duty were the major contributors of revenue at 23 percent and 19 percent respectively. VAT on local sales contributed 18 percent, while VAT on imports contributed 10,51 percent.

Mining royalties only contributed two percent to total revenue during the quarter.

“The improved performance of VAT on local sales is attributable to automation, more enforcement and compliance checks and is expected to improve as compliance levels increase,” said ZIMRA chairperson, Willia Bonyongwe in a statement.

Bonyongwe added that automation of the agency’s systems had “unearthed significant irregularities relating to those who under-declared their revenues, and those who were not even registered. Consequently 3 232 new taxpayers were registered and 106 cases were referred to audits”.

The tax debt remained flat at US$2,6 billion with private business accounting for 77 percent of the amount owed. Councils and parastatals take up nine percent and 14 percent of the debt respectively.

“Vigorous debt follow-ups resulted in debt reduction in Individual Tax by six percent and Corporate Tax by five percent,” she noted.

President Mugabe scouts for new planes

Source: President Mugabe scouts for new planes | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

THE country’s beleaguered airline, Air Zimbabwe (AirZim), is scouting for modern passenger aircraft and has initiated negotiations for the lease of Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes from a Malaysian airline, the Financial Gazette has learnt.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an American long-haul, mid-size wide body, twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The current search, which comes hard on the heels of top-level appointments at the national airline, will include a determination of lucrative routes to ensure the viability of any new plane acquisitions.
But there were indications the airline would avoid European capitals due to outstanding aviation debts that once resulted in the seizure of an AirZim plane in London, forcing the parastatal to terminate flights to the country’s former colonial master, Britain.
President Robert Mugabe visited Malaysia, the south-east Asian country, a fortnight ago and was accompanied by the Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development, Joram Gumbo, ministry officials, a team of aviation experts and AirZim’s top management.
Gumbo confirmed this week that he had accompanied President Mugabe to Malaysia to explore aviation opportunities.
He told the Financial Gazette that government, which wholly owns the national flag carrier, was looking for long haul planes.
The airline has already started talks with “technical partners”, whom Gumbo declined to name, although he disclosed that they were currently exploring routes to determine those that were likely to be lucrative to fly the new planes.
“After the discussions that we are having with technical partners, we will have long haul planes. It does not help us to receive planes and keep them at the Harare International Airport without routes. I am trying to scout for routes for Air Zimbabwe. That is why I went to Malaysia. I went to see Air Malaysia to see how they operate. I will also be visiting China and Singapore to see if Air Zimbabwe can connect through these routes to China. I also want to go to Nigeria to see if we can have direct flights to West Africa,” said Gumbo.
The frantic efforts to secure new planes and routes come a month after the airline appointed Ripton Muzenda, son of the late vice president Simon Muzenda, as chief executive officer (CEO), while President Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simbarashe Chikore, was appointed chief operating officer.
The two are understood to have been asked to turnaround the loss-making airline and are reportedly at the centre of ongoing moves to secure planes.
AirZim, which has gone through turbulent times since dollarisation in 2009, is struggling to match competition from established airlines due to the old aircraft within its fleet.
Passenger numbers have plummeted to about 230 000 per annum in the past few years, from a peak of one million in 1996, as travellers opt for other airlines on the four domestic destinations it services.
The airline, currently flying into South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania, has been planning to re-launch the cash-spinning Harare-London flights, but airline executives have warned that without modern jetliners, it would be a waste of time because it would most certainly face passenger resistance.
AirZim’s aged fleet comprises two Boeing 767s, three 737s, three MA60s and two Airbus A320s.
Out of these planes, only four are flying – one airbus, one Boeing 767, one 737 and an MA60.
Airline executives have been pushing for the acquisition or lease of a Dreamliner for its long haul flights, whose network will include China, Malaysia, and possibly Singapore.
The airline came close to liquidation when it stopped flights in 2011 before its sole shareholder took the decision to resume operation in November 2012.
Last month, Gumbo held informal discussions with Ethiopian Airways (ET) executives in Addis Ababa with the hope of entering into a technical partnership.
At the ET discussions, Gumbo travelled with most of his senior officials including permanent secretary, Munesu Munodawafa, director of legal affairs, Angela Karonga, his personal assistant, an official from the Ministry of Finance, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe general manager, David Chaota, AirZim deputy chairman, Pathias Chironga and Muzenda.
The Zimbabwean delegation was, however, said to have been unhappy after a low level team led by the ET CEO was assigned to talk to them.
In terms of protocol, Gumbo was supposed to meet a ministerial team.
Government officials aware of the talks said after some of ET’s proposals turned out to be unfavourable, authorities were no longer keen to pursue the deal.
“They (ET) had their conditions,” Gumbo told the Financial Gazette.
“Some of them may have been favourable, some of them were not. I am yet to discuss with them officially because I have not been given the authority. There is a vetting process that is going on,” the Minister added.
Sources, however, said the unfavourable conditions in Ethiopia may have caused the President to shift to Asia.
“The objective was to look at some of the available aircraft, but it would appear they were snubbed in Ethiopia. It was clear that our team was desperate to clinch the deal and the Ethiopians may have wanted to take advantage.
“In my own opinion President Mugabe is too proud to play second fiddle to another African nation.
“Hence the option being considered now for which a team travelled to Malaysia,” said the well-placed government source.
“AirZim needs a Dreamliner. It is cheaper to operate and technologically advanced. Both Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways are already operating the equipment. We need it for London for us to be able to compete with the likes of Emirates. Regionally and domestically, we need an aircraft like Embraer (70-100) or Bombardier,” the official said.
The 60-seater Embraer, manufactured in Brazil, was briefly operated by AirZim on domestic and regional flights under a lease agreement three years ago.
The Financial Gazette understands that during the recent trip to Malaysia, Gumbo and his team discussed several options with Malaysian government officials and the private sector to find how AirZim could be revived.
This week, Muzenda said government would be in a better position to comment on the negotiations taking place.
“If there are any discussions, they will be taking place at government level. (Government) will be in a better position to tell you. We are just working flat out to sort out the airline, that’s all,” said Muzenda.
Government has not been keen to enter a deal in which it ends up relinquishing majority control in the national flag carrier.
In 2013, British multi-millionaire, Nicholas van Hoogstraten, proposed a transaction which would have seen him availing an undisclosed sum to the flag carrier for aircraft acquisitions and repayment of debts in Europe.
The move was meant to facilitate the re-launch of flights on the Harare-London route.
The property magnate, a significant shareholder alongside government in Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Hwange Colliery Company Limited and listed-hotel chain, Rainbow Tourism Group, had agreed to a proposal by the AirZim board, but had made several conditions, which the board turned down.
If the board, and consequently government, had agreed to the deal with van Hoogstraten, the British tycoon would immediately have injected up to US$15 million in working capital for the resumption of the Harare-London flights.
AirZim was expected to deploy the cash to settle an overdraft facility estimated at about US$2,5 million then and channel at least US$3 million towards unpaid landing debts in London.
Van Hoogstraten had agreed to purchase two new Boeing 777 aircraft for the Harare-London flights and proposed that AirZim reconfigures the route to include Johannesburg.
But the AirZim board, then led by Ozias Bvute, was supposed to agree to conditions proposed by van Hoogstraten, which included the formation of a new company in London, fully controlled by the British businessman that would manage the flights.  The transaction was turned down.
 — Additional reporting by Idah Mhetu

Zimbabwe: How to rob a country

Source: Zimbabwe: How to rob a country | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

By Eddie Cross 
TRANSPARENCY International issued a briefing this week claiming that corruption is costing Zimbabwe US$1 billion a year. I have no doubt that they are right.
The question that needs answering is how, where and who is involved. This is not an easy question to answer. Corrupt activities are very difficult to tie down in any sort of legal sense and most anti-corruption activists advise that we go after the money and do not try to secure the prosecution of the culprits.
I can sympathise with that view. In 1983/85 I discovered a US$6 million theft from the company I managed and I spent three years trying to get justice and to recover the money. Eventually all we recovered was the cost of the exercise and the satisfaction of knowing how they did it and who was involved. Bank secrecy was a problem, the protective shield that many countries have erected around funds held by banks and other financial institutions and extended to the perpetrators were all obstacles.
In the same period the company I led concluded a contract to supply products to the Angolan government. The contract was worth millions of dollars and when I tried to close the deal with letters of credit, a demand was made to me, by an official, to pay 15 percent into a Swiss Bank account. I objected and was instructed by the Reserve Bank in Harare to “negotiate”. I did so and got the deal down to five percent and it went ahead without any further problems.
In 2012, I did an exposé on the Marange diamond fields and disclosed that raw diamond production had exceeded 35 million carats in one year worth over US$4 billion.
The President has subsequently admitted that US$15 billion has “disappeared”. Transparency International estimate that African states lose perhaps US$60 billion a year to corrupt practices and this might actually be an underestimate.
In Angola, about a third of the total gross earnings of the oil industry is skimmed off by the regime in power. Angola supplies about eight percent of global crude oil needs and this involves many billions of dollars in revenue every year. The daughter of the President of Angola is reputed to be the richest women in the world. She has her own executive jet and owns major assets all over the world. Nigerian corruption is massive and also involves the oil industry. Many major western companies are complicit.
So how does the Zimbabwe regime and its acolytes steal  US$1 billion a year from a bankrupt State and economy, which cannot provide Aspirin to patients in hospitals?
When it comes to stealing,  leaders are sophisticated and clever. If you follow the trail of money from the Marange diamond fields, you end up in Hong Kong and other financial centres in the Middle East. Front companies, shadowy boards of directors with strange names and the odd glimpse of a Zimbabwean shirt tail disappearing around the corner. Suddenly Zimbabweans are found to own luxury homes, private jets, office blocks in rich urban centres with no visible source of funds from legitimate activity.
It is a dangerous game and I can identify at least two prominent Zimbabweans who were assassinated as a result of their threat to the theft of Marange diamond revenues. Following my own disclosures in the House of Assembly in 2012, I was threatened with death by State agents and subsequently had at least two attempts on my life. I provided the police with names, ID numbers and force numbers as well as sworn affidavits regarding the threats and the incidents — with absolutely no results; clearly showing State involvement.
But what are they doing right now to steal funds from the country? The following list of different schemes and an estimate of the funds involved is purely my own list. I am sure others might identify additional scams and provide more detail, but the list above shows what might be going on at present and who the main beneficiaries might be.
The fuel operation is mainly conducted in Singapore where the great majority of payments for bulk fuel supplies are routed. This is shown in the trade statistics for 2014 and 2015 when the deal was put in place using the monopoly of the pipeline from Beira to Harare. Maybe it is being boosted by other scams involving substandard fuel, fuel imports by rail and road from South Africa on a duty free basis or imports for fuel under false documentation. The impact is seen at the pump where prices are substantially above other countries in the region.
Border post corruption is both organised and sophisticated as well as simply mass smuggling by individuals and companies. With US$6 billion in imports annually only US$380 million is collected.
On vehicles alone border duties should be US$600 million. This is illustrated by the incident involving the commissioner of taxes — who was caught driving a new luxury vehicle imported as a second-hand small Toyota sedan. The recent introduction of controls on trade have not impacted the volume one iota — but have provided many new opportunity for corruption.
The Marange diamond fields are still yielding diamonds, but at a much lower level. I hear that new deposits have been discovered and the consolidation of all diamond mining companies has been achieved using a mixture of intimidation and force.
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) corruption is massive and is centred on import permits and the ability of GMB to inflate prices and skim off surplus funds from imports, which today average 1,7 million tonnes a year. Maize, wheat and soya prices at the GMB are all substantially above import parities.
The corruption at road blocks, I estimate doubles the revenues from fines at road blocks — these average US$3 million a month. The fines revenue goes into financing the needs of the police force, while the corrupt activities of some in the police goes into buying cars and mini buses as well as other luxury items and even homes. I know of a real estate agent who recently dealt with a policeman who wanted to pay for his purchase in small notes collected at road blocks.
The rest is in all other forms of corruption —tenders, inflated values for services to State owned companies like Air Zimbabwe (insurance contracts). But even this short list shows what is involved – when you compare this total to the budget for education (US$1,1 billion) and health (US$330 million) you can appreciate the cost to the country – especially at a time like this.
Eddie Cross is MDC MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his website

More companies collapse

Source: More companies collapse | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

WITH the economic crisis showing no signs of abating, more and more companies are twisting in the wind, making it doubly difficult for the ruling ZANU-PF party to achieve its 2013 election promises.
There are projections that the second half of the year would be difficult for industry, overwhelmed by severe economic pressures.
The biggest drawback for business has been the erosion of disposable incomes owing to the decline in the stock of cash circulating in the economy.
Banks have been unable to dispense cash to their customers because of a liquidity crisis, whose genesis has been the country’s inability to export and thereby generate foreign currency.
While the monetary authorities are doing everything in their powers to promote the use of plastic money, a larger section of the Zimbabwean population is still unbanked — 36 years after independence — and therefore relies heavily on the use of physical cash, which is being depleted on the domestic market.
As athe cash crisis worsens and depositors queue for long hours to get cash from the banks, corporates are also finding it difficult to deal with the long queues of creditors demanding their dues in the face of declining demand for their products.
Liquidation notices continue to dominate newspaper columns as well as the Government Gazette.
Once again, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will lose one of its assets.
The Zimbabwe Copper Industries (ZCI), a subsidiary of IDC, will go under the hammer tomorrow after it failed to ride the economic tide.
ZCI was one of the leading producers of copper profiles and brass products.
At its peak, it had capacity to produce 2 000 metric tonnes of copper and brass profiles per annum.
ZCI exported more than 80 percent of its output to South Africa.
After closing in 2010, a bid to resume operations in 2012 failed. Since then, its liquidator has been scouting for buyers without success.
This month, Pelhams Limited, which not many years ago used to be a top performer on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), was placed under provisional liquidation.
The Pelhams group, in which businessman, Tawanda Nyambirai, had a controlling interest, was suspended from the ZSE in May after applying for voluntary suspension in November last year.
In its last published financial results for the year ended March 31, 2015, losses increased to US$3,3 million, from US$1,7 million the previous year, after weakening consumer demand crippled operations.
Sales were, meanwhile, plummeting.
“Take notice that on the 18th day of November 2015…the High Court at Harare issued an order for the provisional liquidation of Pelhams Limited. Any interested person who wishes to oppose the liquidation of the company shall file a notice of opposition with the Registrar of the High Court,” reads the Government Gazette notice.
Two weeks ago, Altfin Life Assurance, another former high flier, was placed under liquidation after regulator, the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC), cancelled its operating licence last year.
Altfin had failed to meet the prescribed minimum capital requirement of US$1,5 million at the end of 2013.
In April 2014, IPEC gave notice of its intention to cancel the short-term insurer’s licence and ordered it to stop disposing of its assets after failing to settle total gross outstanding claims worth US$3 million as at December 31, 2013.
ZCI, Pelhams and Altfin are not the only companies that have found the going tough.
Several others are quietly disintegrating, leaving their dejected workers to join a swelling job market.
According to High Court records, six companies were placed under judicial management, while 13 were liquidated during the first quarter of 2016, compared to 11 and 17, respectively during the same period last year.
Businesses are having to contend with antiquated equipment, punitive licence fees and high utility bills that are making the revival of local industries impossible in the short-term.
Many of the struggling companies are stampeding the High Court in search of refuge from marauding creditors.
Even court-appointed administrators are finding it difficult to revive the distressed companies, with creditors, particularly banks and employees, losing their money in failed institutions.
This week, analysts said the situation may deteriorate even further, with more companies throwing in the towel.
Economic commentator, Evonia Muzondo, noted  that some companies were surviving on bringing into the country finished goods for resale. Now that they can no longer import or import less due to the introduction of Statutory Instrument (SI 64) of 2016, this will eat into their revenue and profitability.
SI 64 bans the importation of a wide range of products as a way of protecting local industries.
“Some companies will, however, benefit from the import restrictions especially those that produce locally. Yes, more company closures will be witnessed this year as there is no catalyst in the short-term to reverse the current trend. Companies are in serious need of recapitalisation and they are failing to generate the cash or access cheap loans for working capital,” said Muzondo.

Zimbabwe’s litany of scandals

Source: Zimbabwe’s litany of scandals | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

THE country has had a string of corruption scandals that have made headlines since the attainment of majority rule in 1980. Below are some of the scandals that received wide publicity, but were swept under the carpet:
Willowgate scandal
The Willowgate scandal broke out in 1988. It involved high-profile politicians who acquired brand new vehicles from Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries (WMMI) at concessionary prices and resold them at inflated prices at a time when there was a long waiting list for the vehicles at WMMI.
The law, back then, allowed ministers and legislators to jump the queue on grounds that they needed cars for official business. Instead of keeping these cars for their own use, the government officials resold them at huge mark-ups in one of the earliest examples of corruptions and greed by the ZANU-PF elite. The embarrassing scandal netted many prominent names and resulted in one Cabinet minister committing suicide. The late former High Court Judge, Wilson Sandura, led a commission of inquiry into Willowgate.
Paweni scandal
Two years into the country’s independence, a drought that struck the nation in 1982 created an opportunity for businessman, Samson Bernard Paweni to bribe his way into winning a tender to transport drought relief food across the country. An estimated US$6 million was lost to Paweni because of the underhand deal which involved top government officials who were not even prosecuted. Paweni was jailed for 15 years and had the term reduced to 10 years after an appeal.
War Victims Compensation Fund
Set up in 1994 by government with the intention of compensating those who were injured during the country’s bitter and protracted 1970s liberation war, the War Victims Compensation Fund was hijacked by political elites, who exaggerated their injuries so as to inflate claims from the fund.
Disability percentages varied from 20 to 100 percent for able-bodied political bigwigs, who pocketed handsome amounts of cash in yet another scandal that hardly benefitted the intended beneficiaries. The then leader of the war veterans association, Chenjerai Hunzvi, was at the centre of the corruption. Despite the vast amounts of money that the State lost as confirmed by a commission of inquiry, led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, no one was ever prosecuted.
Harare Airport scandal
In 1995, a tender was floated for a new airport terminal in Harare. Air Harbour Technologies, a company that had been rated number four by the State’s tender board was awarded the tender, not by the tender board, but by Cabinet.
Hani Yamani, a Saudi national, was to later complain bitterly to President Robert Mugabe after being asked to pay excessive kickbacks.
ZiscoSteel scandal
A report on Ziscosteel by the National Economic Conduct Inspectorate in 2006 blamed a number of high-ranking government and ZANU-PF officials for looting at the company.
Obert Mpofu, the former industry and international trade minister admitted before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that government officials had looted the parastatal, but later backtracked after his claims had stirred a hornets nest.
Chiadzwa diamonds scandal
Obert Mpofu, as mines and mining development minister, was to also play a central role in the Chiadzwa diamonds saga. A diamond mining executive, Lovemore Kurotwi of Canadile Miners was to accuse Mpofu during a trial in 2013 of seeking a kickback of US$10 million in exchange for a licence to mine at the diamond rich area.  The country’s diamond dealings were shrouded in so much opaqueness that Treasury, under former finance minister Tendai Biti, admitted that it did not know what was happening at the diamond mines. President Mugabe was later to reveal that the State could not account for revenues of up to US$15 billion generated from the diamond mines. Commitments to launch an inquiry into the missing US$15 billion are yet to take off.
Dema Diesel scandal
Energy Minister Samuel Undenge in 2016 ignored technical and expert advice that the US$194 million-a-year Dema Diesel Power Plant deal would leave Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), already financially struggling, in deeper dire straits.
The Dema Diesel Power Plant project, a public-private partnership deal between government and Sakunda Holdings, proceeded to take off despite advice from experts flagging it down as too expensive and unsustainable. ZPC would be obliged to pay US$16,1 million upfront every month for electricity generated at Dema. The 200-megawatt project did not go through the tender process.
CMED fuel scandal
In April this year, CMED managing director, Davison Mhaka, was dragged to the courts over his alleged involvement in a fuel scandal which prejudiced the State-owned company of US$3 million. Mhaka acted fraudulently when he authorised a deal with a company called First Oil in February 2013 after a tender was issued for the supply of five million litres of fuel. Prosecutors say Mhaka authorised a tender award to First Oil at a time the company did not have a valid import licence and was also not listed on the State Procurement Board’s list of bulk fuel suppliers. CMED subsequently transferred US$2,6 million to First Oil’s ZB Bank account. The courts were later told that US$100 000 was also paid into the same account, but no fuel was ever delivered to CMED.
ZINARA scandal
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) in July 2015 was embroiled in a US$54 million procurement scandal after it awarded a deal to buy a vehicle licensing software system to a local company without going to tender. According to the 2014 Auditor-General’s report, the State-owned road authority handpicked Univern (Pvt) Ltd to supply vehicle-licensing software. The same company was in 2013 also awarded a contract to supply road graders without going to tender. ZINARA was in 2012 appointed the collector of vehicle licence fees after government ruled that local authorities were failing to put to good use funds they collected.
Parastatals’ salary-gate scandal
In 2014, it was revealed that parastatal executives were taking home excessive amounts of money in salaries, in connivance with their boards. Executives at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation i.e Happison Muchechetere and Cuthbert Dube at the Premier Service Medical Aid Society, among many others, were to later hog the headlines for earning obscene salaries.

Webster Shamu humiliated in Norton

Source: Webster Shamu humiliated in Norton | The Financial Gazette October 20, 2016

By Tendai Makaripe
IT never rains but pours for former Politburo and Cabinet minister, Webster Shamu, as his determined attempts to make a dramatic comeback keep failing.
Last Thursday, at a ZANU-PF rally at Kent in Norton where Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko had gone to drum up support for ZANU-PF’s Norton by-election candidate, Ronnie Chindedza, Shamu was left licking his wounds.
Shamu and his wife’s attempts to join in the proceedings in the briefing room where the party’s leadership, led by Mphoko, were having a working lunch, hit a snag after they were ordered out.
In shame, they walked back to their car where they had their own packed lunch.
To add to their mounting woes, youths operating the public address system disconnected the microphone as the former minister was about to chant the party slogan after he had sneaked to the podium.
A man famed for his excessive bootlicking during his days in government, Shamu must be feeling the proverbial “cold weather” that mercilessly hits those outside the ruling party.
Some years back, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Jonathan Moyo retorted: “It’s cold out there.”
This was upon his readmission into the ruling ZANU-PF party at its congress in December 2009 following years as an opposition politician.
He had fallen out of favour for his involvement in what became known as the Tsholotsho declaration, a 2004 internal political deal between some ZANU-PF cadres to prop up Emmerson Mnangagwa to land the party’s vice presidency fallowing the death of vice president Simon Muzenda in 2003.
The deal went awry, leading to many suspensions after it was declared an attempted coup on President Robert Mugabe.
Ten years later, in December 2014, the same debacle was to revisit the party when it went through one of its darkest chapters when a relentless purge of party cadres accused of supping with former vice president Joice Mujuru, led the party to lose a significant portion of its top-ranking officials.
Among them was Shamu, a man who always had a truckload of superlatives for his former boss, President Mugabe.
At one point he likened President Mugabe to Cremora, a coffee and tea creamer.
But, he unfortunately fell foul of the ZANU-PF system for allegedly working in cahoots with Mujuru’s cabal to plot against President Mugabe.
Shamu was handed a five year suspension from the party.
Some of the ousted comrades like Mujuru went on to form their own party, the Zimbabwe People First, and became actively involved in opposition politics.
But Shamu has refused to throw in the towel.
Last year, security agents ordered him and his wife who is also serving suspension from the party off the VIP tent they had sat inside at the Heroes’ Day commemorations and had to occupy empty seats in the sun, just outside the tent reserved for chefs from where they followed proceedings.
The ruling party, which controls national resources due to its control of the State, has often been the bridge between party members and their livelihoods through a patronage system that favours party loyalists.
“ZANU-PF is a feeding pan for most politicians. As long as you are connected, you get tenders. You siphon money from parastatals and cars are bought for you. When you are outside you have to make it on your own,” opined University of Johannesburg research associate, Admire Mare.
Some believe that Shamu might have a burning desire to remain relevant and stay in good books with the party’s leadership which has a reputation of ruthlessly dealing with its “wayward” children.
Party apparatchiks are known to expose former cadres’ shenanigans while they were still in the party as well as rewriting history in a bid to label them.
Analyst, Rashweat Mukundu, said Shamu may appear foolish, but he knows what he is doing.
“Shamu is allowing himself to be humiliated because he understands that most of what he owns was acquired through the party’s patronage system and he is now protecting his wealth by continuously pledging his allegiance to the party,” said Mukundu.
“It shows that many of these leaders cannot forge their own existence outside the ruling party and can allow themselves to be humiliated in a bid to protect what they have,” he added.

Allow us to use Arda, army idle farms: Millers

Source: Allow us to use Arda, army idle farms: Millers | The Herald October 20, 2016

Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter

GRAIN processors have approached Government with an ambitious plan to exploit farms owned by the prison services, army and the Agricultural Rural Development Authority under contract farming which will include infrastructure development and irrigation development.The idea is influenced by the positive gains arising from the current contract farming arrangements which have increased production.

Buoyed by this, the chairman of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe Tafadzwa Musarara told Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was on tour of wheat farms in Chinhoyi on Tuesday, that the millers want to utilise idle land owned by State institutions under contract farming arrangements.

“Under our corporate farming plan, we request your assistance for us to have access to farms owned by prisons, ARDA and army. Investors are there and waiting in the wings,” said Mr Musarara.

Already the millers have entered into contract farming arrangements with some farmers. The projects are being run under GMAZ’s corporate farming programme.

“We would want access to all the arable land with water bodies so that we can utilise that land. We are prepared to support every wheat farmer structured in a five-year contract including the development of infrastructure, roads and irrigation equipment,” said Mr Musarara.

He said close to $3 million has been invested on two farms in the Lions Den area in Chinhoyi, on the back of the support from the milling industry in partnership with the grain traders and fertiliser producers. More investment would be put in depending on the availability of arable land.

The millers were also buoyant that Statutory Instrument 64 introduced in July this year has brought back business to the sector.

Mr Musarara said that since the introduction of SI64 all flour making companies are now running 24 hours.

“We are very grateful for Statutory 64. Since it was introduced as an industry we are now very busy,” said Mr Musarara.

“All the 11 companies that make flour are working 24 hours currently and we feel duty bound to defend the Government policy. By next week we should be in a position to quantify labour levels since the introduction of SI64.”

The millers with more land they can produce enough to feed the country.

“The country is consuming one million loaves of bread every day and self-raising flour. This means that per month we are consuming about 28 000 tonnes of flour per month most of which is being imported. The highest we have grown in this country was 200 000 tonnes against a demand of 420 000 tonnes,” he said.

“This is not a Zimbabwean challenge only. All countries in the region are not able to produce enough wheat for themselves. But we believe that we should grow as much as possible to reduce the import bill.”

Other leading milling companies supported the measures with a representative from Bahkresa, the new owners of Blue Ribbon Foods saying that the company is now operating at about 50 percent in wheat processing and about 100 percent in maize processing.

“Blue Ribbon is now running and as we talk today with all the support from your Government we are able to run at 50 percent capacity installed and we are running the maize mill at almost 100 percent capacity,” said Blue Ribbon Foods chief operating officer Muze Kamal.

National Foods Flour also gave its support to the measures saying the company has enough milling capacity to feed the nation.

“At the moment we have seen our capacity utilisation in our industry and we look forward to the total ban of finished goods so that we could preserve our precious foreign currency,” said National Foods Flour Milling managing executive Mutali Chawanda.

GMAZ members have also committed to take up to 800 000 tonnes of maize from the Command Agriculture programme.

ZimAlloys in talks with Govt over export licence

Source: ZimAlloys in talks with Govt over export licence | The Herald October 20, 2016

Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter

Ferrochrome Miner, ZimAlloys is finalising agreements with Government which will see it cede part of its mining claims as it seeks to secure an export licence aimed at boosting the company’s prospects for revival.Government last year ordered Zimasco and ZimAlloys to cede some of their chrome claims to pave way for new investors.

“We are in talks with Government over the land issue and it has been going on well. We are hopeful that a conclusion will be reached anytime soon and ZimAllows will secure an export licence,” said judicial manager Reggie Saruchera of Grant Thornton of Camelsa.

Zimasco has already ceded 50 percent of its claims to Government.

ZimAlloys ceased operations in 2008 is currently in negotiations with a potential investor to inject fresh capital for the revival of its operations. At the same time, the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation has already agreed to take over ZimAlloys’ $21 million worth of non-performing loans sitting with a number of local financial institutions as management works towards cleaning the balance sheet.

ZimAlloys was placed under provisional judicial management on July 24, 2014 and was then put under final judicial management in November the same year after the ferrochrome producer’s debt has risen to alarming levels. The ferrochrome company currently has a debt estimated at $60 million, a situation which has proven to be a stumbling block for the company to attract an investor. Zimbabwe has the second-largest chrome ore reserves worldwide and the largest reserves of high-grade ore, estimated at 540Mt.

It has been claimed that if major projects were undertaken within the sector, Zimbabwe could have potential to supply 10-20 percent of world ferrochrome demand. However, the chromium sector has suffered from limited investment compared with the platinum and gold industries and since 2011, the industry has struggled with sharp increases in electricity and mining costs, financial restraints and competition from lower-cost producers.

Abuse of procurement laws to end

Source: Abuse of procurement laws to end | The Herald October 20, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo in KARIBA

Permanent secretaries or heads of Government departments will not comply with directives from ministers or their deputies who give them instructions to breach procurement regulations, the proposed Public Procurement Bill states.This came up during a Zimbabwe Procurement and Open Contracting Workshop training programme for journalists organised by the Office of the President and Cabinet in partnership with the World Bank in Kariba on Tuesday.

The Bill that seeks to replace the Procurement Act states that in the event that ministers and their deputies or board members, insist that the accounting officers breach the procurement regulations, they must immediately report them to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and other authorities.

One of the provisions of the Bill on duties of accounting officers and other persons to comply with the Act states that if an accounting officer is directed by a minister or deputy minister or any other person with authority over the accounting officer, to breach the procurement regulations, “he or she shall not comply with the direction, but instead, shall forthwith submit in writing to the minister, deputy minister or other person in authority as the case may be, his or her objections and the reasons for the objection.

“If after receiving an accounting officer’s objections and reasons under subsection (1), the minister, deputy minister or other person instructs the accounting officer in writing, to comply with the direction concerned, the accounting officer shall comply with the instruction and shall immediately submit a written report thereon; to the minister responsible for administering this Act (Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs); to the Auditor-General and where he or she is the accounting officer of a ministry or department of Government, to the Accountant-General and where the instruction was given by a minister or deputy minister, to the Secretary to Cabinet.

“Provided that, if the minister, deputy minister or other person fails or refuses to put the instruction in writing, the accounting officer shall not comply with it and notwithstanding any term or condition of his or her employment, shall not be liable to any penalty for such non-compliance.”

In his keynote address at the workshop, Senior Principal Director in Public Sector Modernisation and Performance Management, a unit in the OPC, Mr Solomon Mhlanga said public procurement reforms were in fulfilment of a Constitutional provision that required the promulgation of an Act of Parliament to address procurement of public goods, services and works in a transparent, fair, honest, cost-effective and competitive manner.

“This was given impetus by the pronouncements made by His Excellency, the President Cde R.G Mugabe during the official opening of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament in October 2014, and the State of the Nation Address in August 2015, that the Procurement Act shall be amended to render public procurement process more efficient, transparent and in consonance with other policy initiatives and developments in the technological front,” said Mr Mhlanga.

“Reforming and modernisation of the State Procurement Board is one of the key elements of ensuring that ministries, parastatals and State Enterprises become more transparent and accountable in discharging their mandates, hence improving service delivery to the citizenry in line with the requirements of our socio-economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).”

Senior Procurement Executive in the unit, Mr Nyasha Chizu, said the Bill sought to close loopholes that procurement entities manipulated in pursuing self-interests.

He urged the media and civil society organisations to follow procurement processes from pre-tender, during and post-tender to ensure there was no corruption.

“Corruption happens at pre-tender stage where specifications are designed. The current Act does not regulate pre-tender, so you can get some people telling their proxies well in advance of the tender that they will flight while others will only get 30 days for huge construction projects,” he said.

Govt short-lists investors for CAPS

Source: Govt short-lists investors for CAPS | The Herald October 20, 2016

Business Reporters

Government has short-listed three investors for the takeover of the country’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, Caps Holdings. Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said that Government had identified three potential investors, two of whom had already presented their expressions of interest.

This comes after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had managed to settle outstanding debts with banks (mainly FBC Holdings and CBZ Holdings) through the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company and other individual creditors. The RBZ had also settled and bought out previous shareholder Fred Mtandah through an undisclosed amount.

“We have identified three potential investors. Two of them have already presented their expressions of interest while we have requested the third one to also submit the same,” said Minister Bimha adding: “We left RBZ to settle and clear all outstanding issues while we have also appointed an interim board to lead the process.”

The Herald Business understands that the two investors are from India and China. The pharmaceutical manufacturer shut down its operations four years ago due to under-capitalisation, massive debts and allegations of management malfeasance.

“We are concerned that CAPS Holdings is not functioning the way we would want it to. But there are so many enquiries from investors, both local and foreign, who would want to get into the company,” said Minister Bimha.

CAPS Holdings used to be one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in sub-Saharan Africa before it plunged into financial crisis. Units under the group include QV Pharmacies, Caps Pharmaceuticals and Geddes Limited.

At its peak, CAPS Holdings used to manufacture 75 percent of essential drugs in the country and was once listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Bitter grapes from South Africa

The new Danish documentary, Bitter Grapes, reveals apartheid-like conditions in the South African wine industry.

Source: Bitter grapes from South Africa – The Zimbabwean 20.10.2016

Vineyards in the beautiful Western Cape. Delicious looking red wine poured into a glass. Happy consumers shopping for wine in supermarkets. Then the image changes to the conditions of the farm workers and the contrast is immense.

The images are from Bitter Grapes, a new documentary by award-winning Danish journalist and documentarist Tom Heinemann that was broadcast on Danish national television Thursday [October 20.]

Below the minimum wage
Bitter Grapes documents how farm workers work 12 hour shifts for which they are paid as little as 100 rand ($7), which is below the South African minimum wage. Migrant workers from countries such as Lesotho and Zimbabwe are paid significantly less, because they are desperate for work, which helps keep wages low.

The film also portrays an industry where workers fall ill from the toxic pesticides that are used in the vineyards. The workers in the film have had no training in the use of the pesticides and do not use masks or other protective gear, other than a facial cream that they apply at home.

According to the workers themselves, they have no freedom of expression and risk being fired if they are members of a union or complain to their superiors.

The workers also blame the Wine and Agricultural Trading Association (Wieta), an organization that oversees the industry’s fair labour practice certification, for turning a blind eye to the conditions they work and live under.

Worse than under apartheid
“My dream is like everyone’s dream. To have a car and a proper home with a wife and everything. To have a proper job that can pay you a living salary, so you know that at the end of your life your family will benefit,” Siyabuela, a young farm worker, says in the film.

Unfortunately, such dreams do not often come true for farm workers like Siyabuela. In the film, we are shown how many live in shacks with corrugated iron roofs with no toilets or electricity.

“The situation from 1994 has got worse. After apartheid it’s worse. They don’t want you to see the lies but you will see people that look like slaves,” says Secretary General of the farm workers union CSAAWU, Trevor Christians.

Director Tom Heinemann agrees. Some farmers and vineyard owners treat their workers as their private property, he tells me, quoting from an e-mail that was sent by the vice chairman of Wieta and obtained by Heinemann.

“If they complain about filthy drinking water or ask for their overtime pay, as two workers told me, they are sacked. South Africa might formerly have laws that protect them from evictions, illegal layoffs and underpayments but it seems that they are not acted upon,” he adds.

The gates are closed
The conditions shown in Heinemanns film paints a picture of the South African wine industry that the wine producers do not want the public to see.

So when he tries to uncover alleged breaches of ethical standards at Leeuwenkuil Vineyard, his requests for interviews are rejected and he is told he will be sued if he perseveres.

The film crew therefore uses small, discreet cameras when documenting conditions at Leeuwenkuil unannounced. The farm workers show pay slips that document salaries of 100 rand ($7) a day for 12 hour work shifts, which is well below the minimum wage and therefore illegal.

The lack of dialogue with the owners of vineyards such as Leeuwenkuil is only too familiar for Karel Swart from CSAAWU. That the workers are supposed to have freedom of speech at the vineyard, as Leeuwenkuil’s director suggests in a letter to Tom Heinemann, is a “total lie” Swart says.

“What we normally see when we will enter the farm, he closes down the gates and he threatens us.”

‘A disgusting piece of rubbish’
Tom Heinemann and his crew experience a similar “warm welcome” at Robertson Winery. Here farm workers have been on strike for two months, demanding a living wage and decent working conditions.

Several Danish supermarkets have recently removed wine from Robertson Winery from their shelves pending an investigation into the working conditions of the farm workers, something that the Swedish government-owned chain of off-license stores, Systembolaget, are also looking into.

Tom Heinemann arranged an interview at Robertson Winery through Wieta, to ask about the working conditions of the farm workers. But when he arrives at Robertson, cellar master Bowen Botha and export director Geoff Harvey refuse to be interviewed.

And when Heinemann repeats the offer of an interview, where Robertson Winery can explain their side of the story, by extending his hand to Botha and Harvey, one of them is caught on tape telling him:

“I don’t want to shake your filthy hand. You are a disgusting piece of rubbish.”

Consumers must act
Tom Heinemann believes it is important to focus on the plight of the farm workers, who ensure that we can buy cheap South African wine, as well as the attitude of wine producers such as Robertson Winery, he tells me.

“I think it is important to show the consumer how some of the wine is produced, and as far as I know this is the first documentary to do so,” says Heinemann, who hopes that his film can help bring about changes in the South African wine industry.

“The supermarkets promise the consumer that the conditions of the farm workers have certain standards, that they are not exposed to dangerous pesticides without proper protection. That such promises of Corporate Social Responsibility and being responsible for one’s contractor and sub-contractor can be critically investigated is self-evident to me.”

But what can wine-drinking consumers do to make sure that the wine they drink is produced under tolerable conditions? In Bitter Grapes, the interviewees argue that it is important to think and act ethically when buying South African wine.

“I think you, as a consumer of South African wine, have to help change those conditions by beginning to say that you will only drink wine that comes from farms and distillers that take into account these conditions and are willing to make changes in the lives of the farm workers, and that they treat farm workers with human dignity and don’t deny them their rights,” as Mercia Andrews from South African NGO TCOE puts it at the end of the film, before we are shown clouds engulfing Table Mountain and the narrator telling us that legend has it that this symbolizes a battle between good and evil.

Zim sets year-end target for procurement reform law

ZIMBABWE will have a new law by year-end, which will decentralise purchasing to procurement management units in government departments, parastatals, State-owned enterprises and local authorities in far reaching reforms meant to ensure efficiency and quality service delivery.

Source: Zim sets year-end target for procurement reform law – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Solomon Mhlanga, senior principal director in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), told journalists attending a procurement and contracting out workshop in Kariba yesterday the reforms would transform the State Procurement Board (SPB) into an authority responsible for setting standards and guidelines, as well as performing a monitoring and evaluation role over procurement.

“We expect the Bill to be gazetted and presented to Parliament by next week. We expect the Bill to be assented to by President (Robert Mugabe) before the end of the year,” he said.

Mhlanga, who is in charge of public sector modernisation, performance management and State enterprises, said parastatals and State-owned enterprises would become more accountable, hence, improving service delivery.

Senior procurement executive in the OPC, Nyasha Chizu said the review of the Procurement Act was in line with section 315 of the Constitution, which decentralises procurement. He said the SPB will no longer review tenders, as there would be an executive review before the awarding of the tender by a team involving the Accountant General, Auditor General, Attorney General and a representative from Public Works.

“In the case that the units fail, the licence is withdrawn. There is also licensing of procurement personnel. Under the current legislation, a procurement person is fired from one organisation and gets a higher job in another organisation,” he said.

The wheels have been moving slowly in public procurement reforms despite the existence of a country procurement assessment report. The report culminated from an integrated fiduciary assessment project undertaken by government in 2010 with the support from the World Bank.

Reforms will be done in two phases: legislative review and capacity building and e-procurement in line with the e-government agenda, Mhlanga said.

Zanu PF threatens youths with dispossession of stands

ZANU PF yesterday unveiled 5 000 residential stands for youths in Norton ahead of Saturday’s by-election, where party secretary for youths, Kudzai Chipanga threatened to immediately repossess them if they ditch the ruling party.

Source: Zanu PF threatens youths with dispossession of stands – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Chipanga was addressing thousands of party supporters, mainly youths, as campaigning for the Norton by-election, pitting Zanu PF candidate Ronald Chindedza and firebrand independent candidate, Temba Mliswa reached a climax.

“Let me tell you that we are giving you the stands, but if you ditch the party, you will return to where you came from,” he threatened.

Chipanga, however, said Zanu PF was not dishing out stands because of the by-election.

“Some people think that we are giving stands when we have a by election. It has always been President (Robert) Mugabe’s plan that everyone gets a residential stand. With or without a by-election, we were still going to give you the stands,” he claimed.

Chipanga said the land was not enough and called supporters to request more from Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is set to address a rally in Norton today.

Youth minister, Patrick Zhuwao implored Norton residents to vote for Zanu PF.

Violence once more rocked Norton, as both Zanu PF and Mliswa held rallies ahead of the by-election.

While Zanu PF was addressing a rally, its supporters were engaged in running battles with Mliswa’s supporters at Dudley Hall.

Zanu PF claimed its supporters were attacked by Mliswa supporters with stones while they were on their way to attend the rally.

“Mliswa’s supporters came and attacked us with stones, as we were coming here (venue of the rally),” a Zanu PF supporter, Munyaradzi Zindoga, told Chipanga at the rally.

Mliswa, however, said his supporters were just sat waiting for transport to their rally venue, 15km outside Norton, when Zanu PF supporters pounced on them.

“They were seated outside Dudley Hall when they were attacked by the Zanu PF supporters, who came in six vehicles,” he said.

Rattled Biti trudges on

FORMER Finance minister Tendai Biti’s opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will soon convene an elective policy conference to fill posts left vacant following a spate of defections by senior leaders.

Source: Rattled Biti trudges on – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


In an internal memorandum to the PDP national council and all party structures on Tuesday, seen by NewsDay, Biti seemed to begrudgingly taking the recent events in his stride.

“I write to you fellow comrades at a time when the party is facing challenges. This is possibly one of the biggest trials that the party has gone through since its formation on September 11, 2015,” he wrote.

“When we successfully celebrated our first year anniversary on September 11, 2016, we thought we shared the same spirit of love and understanding, as we built the People’s Democratic Party (our beloved party). Unbeknown to us, some among us had a different agenda. The past two weeks have made this agenda known. Now that the agenda is in the open, we are grateful for it being revealed sooner rather than later.”

Biti said the “party has indeed suffered a setback” at national and provincial level with Matabeleland North being the hardest hit. But the former treasury chief seemed to be digging in rather than capitulating.

“As the president, I am convinced we will emerge stronger than ever before. Among the many things that have led to this aforementioned conviction is that the party remains intact in the affected provinces and the rest of the country as particularly demonstrated by the weekend activities in Bulawayo province,” he said.

“I derive this conviction from the knowledge that the strongest political parties in history were or are victims of splits and defections. All political parties that stand strong today have gone through periods of losing members, much as they have gone through periods of gaining members.”

Biti said he would be visiting all provinces including external ones as part of a “healing process”, with Bulawayo and Harare already covered.

“Leaders in the management committee will visit Matabeleland North on October 29, 2016. The office of the chairperson and organising secretary will roll out a schedule for the other provinces in due course,” he said.

The conference, Biti told his party, would see the launch of the call “for the National Transitional Authority (NTA) plan, a document that will display to the people of Zimbabwe why the NTA is the answer to the people’s woes”.
“The policy conference will also have an elective element to enable the replacement of the vacant posts at national level, as we build a stronger party in preparation for a general election, in the unfortunate event that an NTA is not established,” he said.

With reports of a fall-out between Biti and opposition Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru over membership “poaching”, the former Finance minister said his commitment to a coalition remained unshaken.

Patson Dzamara in one-man demo at Parly

ACTIVIST, Patson Dzamara (pictured) yesterday staged a one-man demonstration at the entrance of the Parliament building, vowing he would not be silenced until the whereabouts of his missing brother Itai are known.

Source: Patson Dzamara in one-man demo at Parly – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Itai was abducted in March last year by suspected State security agents.

Dzamara’s demonstration, which coincided with the sitting of the National Assembly for the weekly question time, was brief, as he was quickly apprehended and whisked away by parliamentary security staff.

The activist, clad in black trousers, green helmet and a jacket in national flag colours, had a placard inscribed: “I will never be silent until Itai Dzamara is accounted for. I will never be silent until Zimbabwe is fixed.”
Armed security officials led him to Parliament’s police substation.

This is not the first time Dzamara has staged a one-man demonstration.

He also caused panic among the security and intelligence agents when he stood before President Robert Mugabe with a banner inscribed, “Where is Itai Dzamara?” during Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in April.

Dzamara was whisked away from the stadium and allegedly assaulted by security agents before they released him.

Police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba was not answering her phone when a comment was sought. At the time of going to print, it was not clear what charges the police would prefer against Dzamara.

False start to Moyo ‘arrest’ court case

HIGHER Education minister, Jonathan Moyo yesterday requested for time to file his opposing papers to a High Court application filed by a Harare vendor seeking an order compelling the police to arrest him.

Source: False start to Moyo ‘arrest’ court case – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Moyo argued there had been late service of both the application and the notice of set-down to him.

Hardlife Mudzingwa approached the High Court seeking an order to compel the police to arrest Moyo over the alleged abuse of over $400 000 from coffers of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.

In the same application, Mudzingwa said he was also seeking an order for the Executive to distance itself from Moyo’s prosecution. He cited Moyo, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) as respondents.

Moyo’s lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri, however, declined to shed more light on the matter, but confirmed he appeared before Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo in chambers and the matter was deferred.

“I can confirm we appeared in chambers before Justice Matanda-Moyo and the matter was postponed to October 25 for hearing. That is all I can say for now. I have no further comment,” he said.

However, sources close to the development of the matter said Uriri protested the late service of both the application and the notice of set-down to his client, saying he had only received the court papers around 10am when the hearing was set down for 12:30pm.

According to the source, Mudzingwa also sought an amendment of his draft provisional order and was now seeking to compel both the police and Zacc to act on arresting Moyo.

Moyo has been hitting the headlines since his foiled “arrest” at the last Zanu PF politburo meeting in Harare last week on allegations of abusing public funds.

In his court papers, Mudzingwa said it was his constitutional right, as a Zimbabwean citizen, to have Moyo “brought before equity”.

Opposition plans demos after expiry of police ban

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) ban on demonstrations in Harare has expired and opposition political parties are now regrouping to launch fresh protests against President Robert Mugabe, accusing his government of fuelling corruption and causing untold suffering on people.

Source: Opposition plans demos after expiry of police ban – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Government, through Notice Number 239A of 2016 by ZRP Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama, issued a month-long demonstration ban in Harare which expired on October 15.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said following the expiry of the controversial ban, his party was mooting one of the biggest demonstrations to force Mugabe out of office.

“Demonstrations will continue unabated throughout the length and breadth of the country. There is neither retreat nor surrender. The Zanu PF regime is collapsing and I can bet my bottom bond coin that the regime will be history even before 2018,” he said.

People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said there were plans underway to turn up the heat on Zanu PF.

“We plan to converge with all parties on the National Transitional Authority platform and any other platforms and reignite citizens to take to the streets and protest. The demonstrations will take place in the next few days. The planning meetings are underway as we speak,” he said.

MDC-T national youth assembly leader, Happymore Chidziva claimed the police had issued the ban to restock their teargas supplies, which had run out, and also the dye for the water cannon trucks.

“While they have been restocking, we have been regrouping and preparing to face any threat to our civil liberties head-on. It was a well-deserved break for us and we are ready to re-engage so that we liberate our nation. With people looting government coffers to fund party and personal interests, democratic resistance can never be more ripe than now,” he said.

Norton violence foreboding of worse things to come

The violence that has engulfed Norton ahead of this weekend’s by-election is a stark reminder how, as a country, we are not very far from resorting to force to make our points heard, particularly during elections.

Source: Norton violence foreboding of worse things to come – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016

Comment: NewsDay Editor

The Norton by-election is important in this context because this is the first one where Zanu PF has seriously been challenged and true to form, the political players have resorted to their default position, violence.

We do not seek to apportion blame on either candidates, as history has proved that such occasions are marked by accusations and counter-accusations, and pointing out who to blame is an exercise in futility.

However, Zanu PF, as the ruling party, has a moral duty to ensure that peace prevails throughout the election process.

Any form of violence is an indicator of Zanu PF’s failure to promote and uphold peace, thus, morally their blameworthiness is higher than the opposing candidates’.

With the number of by-elections, we can only shudder to think how much violence would have been witnessed had Zanu PF been challenged over the past two years.

The 2018 elections are likely to be fiercely contested and the prospect and the scale of the violence send a chill down the spine if we were to use Norton to foretell what the future holds for the country.

However, since the elections are at least 18 months away, the Norton by-election gives more than enough warning and time for authorities to fix what is broken immediately.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has a duty to ensure that elections are peaceful and it cannot pretend to be an innocent by-stander when the situation deteriorates.

Zec has to be seen to be doing something, even if it takes drastic measures of disqualifying a party or candidate accused of fanning violence or hate speech.

The country cannot afford to pussyfoot around the issue of violence during elections and Zec must be seen to be proactive.

The police are another institution that needs to be engaged to see what can be done to promote peace.

It is worrying that the police, sworn to promote and preserve peace, are routinely accused of engaging in violence.

This is not something that we can afford to discuss in passing, but it needs concerted and continuous efforts and engagement from all interested parties.

The electoral violence of 2008, 2002 and even of 1990 and 1985 is still fresh in the minds of many and we cannot continue on this destructive path.

Surely, 36 years after independence, the country has matured and cannot afford to continue with this barbaric behaviour.

Peace is a vital ingredient for the country’s development and growth and it is time we put the country ahead of narrow political interests.

Govt must commercialise GMB: CZI

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) has urged the government to commercialise the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), while ensuring that the vulnerable population is fed through subsidised grain.

Source: Govt must commercialise GMB: CZI – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Appearing before the budget and finance committee to speak on 2017 National Budget, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) vice-president Sifelani Jabangwe said GMB’s prices were sub economic, thereby distorting market prices and introducing an uneven playing field.

He said GMB could feed vulnerable groups through a targeted system such as issuing coupons.

“Commercial activities of maize milling by the GMB (should also be introduced) in which market forces determine pricing levels through demand and supply,” Jabangwe said.

He said there was need to revitalise the maize value chain and eliminate market inefficiencies.

In his 2016 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review, Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa said GMB was buying maize from farmers at $390 per tonne, while private players were paying prices of between $240 and $350.

Chinamasa said this practice was creating arbitrage opportunities, perpetuating inefficiencies, and unnecessarily burdening the fiscus.

GMB is in the business of commodity trading in cereals and oil seeds, the provision of logistic services to the agricultural industry as well as processing of products.

Its main objective is to ensure national food security through production, procurement and management of strategic grain reserves.

ATMs dispenses rands despite market hesitation

BANK withdrawal limits continue to shrink amid reports that some financial institutions have started giving out the South African rand to ease serious cash shortages.

Source: ATMs dispenses rands despite market hesitation – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


As the cash shortages worsen, bank withdrawals dropped in recent weeks to as low as $20 from a usual average of between $100 and $200.

An FBC Bank client told NewsDay that the amount of cash being given varied depending on the branch.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe head of corporate affairs and customer service, Emily Nemapare, told NewsDay they were operating within the multi-currency system, which has eight other acceptable currencies.

“In line with this, we are providing customers with the South African rand through our ATM channel, as well as in branch as per the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe maximum cash withdrawal limits. This is aligned to efforts by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to promote the use of multi-currencies through various initiatives that make it easy for customers to access the different currencies,” she said.

Customers withdrawing the rand are able to exceed the daily maximum withdrawals at banks dispensing the South African currency.

Foreign currency dealers said more people now sought to change the rand to the dollar.

But they said the demand was still lower than those seeking the currency to do business in South Africa.

A Steward Bank client, only identified as Marcus, said a branch in Bulawayo gave him rand notes, but he rejected them due to an “unfair rate”.

Steward Bank CEO, Lance Mambondiani said, despite the United States dollar shortage, they were still managing to assist clients, while also meeting the requirements of those who request the rand as an alternative.

“Steward Bank operates within the monetary policy framework regulated by the central bank, which, at the moment, requires us to deal in all currencies within the multi-currency basket,” he said.

Financial expert, Persistence Gwanyanya noted that banks were giving clients the rand, but a majority of them were still hesitant to accept the currency.

“I understand some banks are offering their customers the rand, but there is still a lot of hesitancy to accept it, ostensibly because it is less attractive on the market at the moment,” he said.

“This has partly contributed to the cash crisis that we face as a country. However, with the introduction of bond notes, we are likely to see increased demand for the rand, as some clients see them as a better option than bond notes because the rand is a real currency, which can transact beyond the borders of Zimbabwe.”

The financial expert said given a choice, some clients would prefer to withdraw the rand, rather than bond notes.

“We are currently seeing a situation where the market is warming up to the rand, as a number of banks are doing rand withdrawals. I am sure the major retail shops are accepting the rand and it would be better if a number of market players start accepting the rand so as to ease the demand for the US dollar,” Gwanyanya said.

“This will go a long way in alleviating cash shortages by reducing the inordinate demand for the US dollar currently characterising our economy.”

In a survey recently conducted by NewsDay, depositors have shown full support in using the South African currency, but insisted this should be at a favourable rate.

Top CIO officer takes charge at Potraz

THE government has appointed top intelligence operative, Gift Machengete as director-general of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), a move seen as the authority moving to tighten its noose around social media over alleged abuse by opposition activists ahead of the 2018 elections.

Source: Top CIO officer takes charge at Potraz – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Prior to his appointment, Machengete was director of finance and administration in the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

The Potraz board confirmed Machengete’s appointment yesterday.

“Potraz would like to announce the appointment of Gift Kallisto Machengete as the director-general. Machengete has over 32 years’ experience in leadership and management, most of which were spent in government as an economist, a senior diplomat in China and Malaysia, part-time lecturer at Bindura University and as director of finance and administration for the President’s department,” a public notice by the communications regulatory authority said yesterday.

His elevation could be part of President Robert Mugabe’s ploy to consolidate government control of social media and snoop into people’s private telecommunication messages.

At the height of the anti-government protests in July, Potraz threatened to clamp down heavily on people found using social media to communicate alleged “abusive, threatening, subversive or offensive telecommunication messages”.

Zimbabwe is currently in the process of crafting a Cyber Bill to regulate online communication. However, there have been reports that government plagiarised parts of the proposed law from Lesotho.

Analysts have argued the draft Bill, which aims “to criminalise offences against computers and network-related crime”, is at best clumsy and murky given it fails to provide clear answers as to its real intentions.

While both Lesotho and Zimbabwe produced draft Cybercrime Bills in 2013, Lesotho’s version contains repressive additions, which have been sneaked into the Zimbabwean draft.

Critics point out that an obvious flaw in the draft and model law is that “there is blatant intrusion on the privacy of citizens by authorising interception of data communication without sufficient oversight and checks and balances to prevent abuse which is, of course, contrary to the Constitution”.

Tomana prosecutor quits, slams boss

MUTARE provincial prosecutor, Jonathan Chingwinyiso has stood down from the trial of suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana, accusing his superior, acting Prosecutor-General Ray Goba, of speaking with a “forked tongue” on how to proceed with the matter.

Source: Tomana prosecutor quits, slams boss – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Chingwinyiso had been roped in by Goba to prosecute Tomana on charges of criminal abuse of office. Tomana is expected to be indicted to the High Court for trial on November 16.

Chingwinyiso informed Goba of his decision to withdraw from the case in a memorandum dated October 6.

“I, hereby, withdraw myself from taking any further part in this matter. I do not wish to add further confusion and uncertainty in the matter,” he wrote.

“I, as a subordinate, work under specific or general instruction. The matter in issue relates to the issue of instructions. It is from the above that I no longer feel comfortable to deal with the matter as the instructions from your office appear not to be consistent.

“With due respect, it would not augur well with me to be part and parcel of a legal process that appears to be a subterfuge and done with a forked tongue. This is a sensitive matter in which one of the complainants is not an ordinary person. With due respect, if you had made a decision per your memo to me, I personally see no reason not to own it up with the Press.”

Goba was not available for comment, as his mobile phone went unanswered yesterday.

Chingwinyiso claimed that recent statements made by Goba in the media created the impression that he was working independently from his bosses, but facts on the ground were to the contrary.

Tomana’s abuse of office charges arose from his decision to release two military intelligence officers linked to an alleged plot to bomb President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo Dairy processing plant in Mazowe in January this year.

Minister grilled over partisan distribution of food

PUBLIC Service minister Prisca Mupfumira was yesterday grilled by opposition MPs over continued partisan distribution of food by the Zanu PF government, accusing it of using the current food crisis to garner support.

Source: Minister grilled over partisan distribution of food – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


But Mupfumira accused opposition members of peddling falsehoods, insisting that food was being distributed to all deserving people. She challenged the MPs to invite her to their constituencies to distribute food to the vulnerable.

“I want to make it clear that the MP (Simon Chidhakwa — MDC-T, Zengeza West) has brought to this House a false accusation because we (her ministry) are responsible for the welfare of all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation,” she said.

“I never ever said food should be given along political lines, and these are mischievous reports because food is available to everyone.”

Mupfumira said her ministry had extended the food mitigation registration programme and urged MPs to participate to ensure their constituencies got food hand-outs.

Mutasa Central MP, Trevor Saruwaka (MDC-T) then challenged Mupfumira to explain why a report and letter from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) stated that there was partisan food distribution.

“I am surprised by that letter, which is supposed to be written to me confidentially by ZHRC is being referred to by MPs. The letter singled out six isolated incidents — two in Mazowe, two in Bikita and two in Buhera — out of 600 000 households, we deal with every day.

“We sat down with ZHRC, because initially, we were not involved, we said we would investigate the issue and if there was anybody found on the wrong side of the law, they would be disciplined,” Mupfumira said.

Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T) asked Mupfumira to explain how government would cater for the gap in figures of food-vulnerable people.

“We need to update the register. Currently, we have adequate food stocks of about 320 000 tonnes of maize, and have received 19 000 tonnes of rice, which is going to be integrated into the food assistance programme,” Mupfumira said.

Magwegwe MP, Anele Ndebele (MDC-T) urged Mupfumira to issue a ministerial statement about food assistance in the House, as the issue was an emotive human rights matter, with the international community watching Zimbabwe.

Govt kicks out Beitbridge farmer

GOVERNMENT has finally kicked out embattled Beitbridge farmer, George Watson, from his 2 000-hectare banana-producing Double O Ranch, although it is still unclear, who the property has been allocated to.

Source: Govt kicks out Beitbridge farmer – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


The distraught Watson confirmed the farm takeover yesterday, saying a provincial lands officer, only identified as Dodzi, had personally delivered the eviction notice.

“It’s the sad reality, I am confused, but I will not resist, I can’t fight the government. I have until February to wind up,” he said.

“I am a born-free, I have not known any other home besides this farm and sadly I have to leave.”

Watson said he felt betrayed that he was being evicted when he was instead expecting an offer letter.

“I was promised an offer letter, but now this is what I get,” he said.

Dodzi referred all questions to his ministry’s head office in Harare.

“I have told you before to ask my head office in Harare, I cannot speak with the media,” he said.

It is not clear who the ranch is earmarked for, but Beitbridge Senator Tambudzani Mohadi, once carried an inventory of all assets at the farm including furniture, clothes and cutlery, claiming she owned the property.

Watson, who lives with his wife, children and 70-year-old mother, returned to the farm barely two weeks ago after fighting an earlier occupation by Mohadi, Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairperson, Rabelani Choeni, the councillor for Majini ward, Amon Ndou and a few villagers.

A High Court interdict removed Mohadi, Choeni and the villagers, but crops were badly affected during the tussle for the farm.

“We have lost 750 tonnes of tomatoes and a large section of the perimeter fence was stolen during the period we were driven off the farm,” Watson said.

His family was initially driven off the farm during the initial land grabs at the turn of the millennium, but was invited back to develop the ranch through a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe loan in 2003.

Until he developed the farm no one had shown interest and Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, in 2014, instructed that the farm be spared because of its productivity.

Watson said he was contemplating relocating to a neighbouring country, where his services would be appreciated.

Meanwhile, the wrangle over ownership of Benfer Citrus Farm in Beitbridge has taken yet another twist with the arrest of the farm owner’s driver for allegedly stealing equipment from the property.

One of the invaders, an army official, Darlington Muleya accused a driver, only identified as Mapopo, of stealing a ridger last week, which has led to him being summoned.

The farm owner, Ian Ferguson said the ridger actually belonged to them and not the invaders.

Ferguson said his lawyer, Winston Tshakalisa, had gone to represent Mapopo, who had been taken in for questioning, initially on Tuesday, where the case was dismissed.

But Mapopo has since been summoned to appear in court tomorrow.

On Friday, the driver, with Tshakalisa, had fingerprints taken before he was sent to the public prosecutor, who was not happy with the way the docket was presented and the driver was released.

“We have been to the police twice this week along with the farm manager and this disrupts commitments on the farm,” Tshakalisa said.

Muleya remains on the 1 400-hectare citrus farm despite having being served with eviction orders.

The damage caused by the invasions has forced Ferguson to abandon the export of citrus fruit.

LATEST: 350 years in jail for Zim man accused of murder, rape, robbery . . .

Source: LATEST: 350 years in jail for Zim man accused of murder, rape, robbery . . . | The Herald October 19, 2016

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A 36 year old Zimbabwean cross-border transporter believed to be the ring leader of a syndicate terrorizing fellow countrymen in South Africa was on Tuesday sentenced to 350 years in prison after he was convicted on  62 charges on crimes that include murder, rape, robbery, extortion and assault among others.Charles Cecil Brewer, alias Boss of Nketa 7 in Bulawayo was convicted on his own plea of guilty in the neighbouring country, when his trial opened at the South Gauteng High Court.

Brewer is the alleged leader of a gang which included his South African wife Madida Petition Sicelo (30) alias Sister, Jaheni aka ‘Satan’ Luphahla (28) of Old Lobengula in  Bulawayo and Phathumuzi ‘KK’ Sibanda (27) of  Emakhandeni in Bulawayo.

Luphahla reportedly earned himself the name ‘Satan’ for being ruthless and working hard to outclass the devil. (More details to follow)

Police speak on Moyo’s arrest

Source: Police speak on Moyo’s arrest | The Herald October 19, 2016

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter

POLICE have not arrested Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo because no report has been made to that effect, Acting Police Commissioner-General, Senior Assistant Commissioner Josephine Shambare, said yesterday.Prof Moyo is accused of abusing $450 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).

Snr Asst Comm Shambare said this in response to Harare vendor Mr Hardlife Mudzingwa’s application seeking to compel the police to arrest the minister and cause his prosecution.The matter has been set for hearing today at the High Court.

Snr Asst Comm Shambare said the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07) sets out the parameters within which police perform their duties.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), she said, was empowered by the Constitution to direct police to investigate cases of suspected corruption or to require assistance from the police service.

“The applicant (Mr Mudzingwa) has not alleged nor proved that I was so directed to investigate first respondent (Prof Moyo) and refused, failed or neglected to do so,” said Snr Asst Comm Shambare in her papers filed in the High Court on Monday.

In his application, Mr Mudzingwa averred that Zacc had completed investigations into the case.In that case, Snr Asst Comm Shambare said the anti-corruption body could at law refer matters to the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution.

Mr Mudzingwa, she said, has failed to prove that police refused to perform its duty and that there was no other sufficient legal remedy.She would urge the court to throw out Mr Mudzingwa’s case.“It is clear that this application was manifestly ill-conceived and is nothing but an abuse of court process,” said Snr Asst Comm Shambare

In his application, Mr Mudzingwa also seeks an order for the Executive to distance itself from Minister Moyo’s prosecution.He said it was his constitutional right as a Zimbabwean citizen to have Minister Moyo “brought before equity”.“I make that plea as a citizen and a subject of the State for whose benefit the Constitution was enacted,” said Mr Mudzingwa.

Minister Moyo, he said, should be given the chance to prove that he is a true Robin Hood and that the law allows him to abuse public funds arguing he cannot plead his cause, before Cabinet, the Politburo or on Twitter.Mr Mudzingwa attacked Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s statement that Minister Moyo cannot be arrested without President Mugabe’s consent as wrong and unacceptable at law.

The VP’s conduct, he said, gave the impression that the constitutional ideals underpinning the establishment of Zacc were not high on the State’s agenda.To back his case, Mr Mudzingwa cited various sections of the Constitution.

Asia dominates Zim tourism sector

Source: Asia dominates Zim tourism sector | The Herald October 19, 2016

Zimbabwe’s tourism sector saw a 48 percent jump in tourist arrivals from Asia in the first half of this year, with Japan dominating the Asia region as its key source market, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) figures show.According to the stats, between January and June this year, the country received a total of 22 195 tourist arrivals from Asia, up from 14 999 in the same period last year.Asia’s performance was buoyed by strong growth in arrivals by South Korea (179 percent), Japan (79 percent) and China (32 percent), the traditionally dominant source markets in that region.

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Engineer Walter Mzembi recently said the Government is targeting to take advantage of an expected increase in the number of Chinese outbound tourists which is set to balloon from an initial projection of 240 million by 2020 to 600 million.

“China is revising its authorised outbound travel from 240 million to 600 million by 2020 and we are all grappling with how to get ready for that kind of incursion.“Currently we are down to almost 5 000 Chinese tourists and if we are to take advantage of that situation we must begin to plant assets and ensure that our tourist attractions are Chinese friendly,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ZTA is set to lead delegation to participate at this year’s International Tourism Bourse Asia which is Asia’s biggest travel and tourism fair.

ITB Asia is scheduled to take place at Marina BaySands in Singapore between October 19 and 21.ZTA chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke said Zimbabwe’s participation at ITB Asia demonstrates the strategic importance attached to the show in destination promotion and access to source markets within the region

This year’s participation at ITB Asia cements Zimbabwe’s serious approach in the Asia and Pacific region which comes after the signing of an MOU with the single largest tourism promotion organisation in the Asia and Pacific region, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

“As Zimbabwe’s tourism sector, exhibiting at prestigious travel shows like ITB Asia is a part of the continued destination promotion efforts and strategies that we are implementing to attract more tourists from Asia and Pacific markets,” he said.“Africa as a whole received under two million visitors from China’s 120 million outbound tourists in 2015 with Zimbabwe at the bottom of the log in the SADC region with about 6 000 arrivals.

“South Africa led the pack with 133 000 tourists recorded last year followed by Zambia with 65 000. Based on these statics there is need for more aggressive destination promotion strategies to increase travel from Asia to Zimbabwe.”The fair sets aside 5 000 minutes of conferences, on-floor seminars and ITB Asia clinics featuring the latest industry trends.

And over 800 key decision-making buyers with power and appetite for travel products connect with 10 300 delegates from over 108 countries and 760 exhibitors. — BH24

Sheriff ‘abducted’ as farm wrangle turns ugly

Source: Sheriff ‘abducted’ as farm wrangle turns ugly | The Herald October 19, 2016

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter

Soldiers resisting eviction from a farm in Goromonzi last week manhandled, before detaining the Sheriff Mr Macduff Madega who intended to serve them a High Court order to leave the farm.Mr Madega had gone to Sussexdale Farm in the company of farm owner Ms Cynthia Maadza and her lawyer, Advocate Taona Sibanda, to serve the soldiers with an eviction order.Ms Maadza is a security officer at the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

A Colonel Nyamangora allegedly refused to accept service of the order, saying he did not take orders from the court but from higher offices.Adv Sibanda said matters got to a head as they were leaving the farm.

“We returned to our cars and as we were about to leave, I had my client in my car and the Sheriff’s car was behind,” Adv Sibanda narrated their ordeal.

Three soldiers, he said, ran to his car window and ordered him to get out of the car because they wanted to search him and the car and access his phones to make sure that he had not taken any pictures of their activities.He said he refused to give them access to his personal gadgets, which contained confidential information between him and his client.

“That is when one of the soldiers threatened to kill me saying “tokugura musoro” (we will behead you) as he tried to open the car door,” he said.The lawyer said they left the Sheriff’s car surrounded by soldiers who harassed, intimidated and detained him for a long time saying they suspected that the trio was taking pictures of their “unlawful loot”.

“This is a serious disregard of our judiciary and a violation of the rule of law, which poses a threat to the security of innocent citizens,” said Adv Sibanda. “No one is above the law and no one has authority to defy a court order. If lawyers can be wantonly threatened with death and harm in the execution of their duties, if judges’ decisions are recklessly disobeyed and if the Sheriff’s esteemed office is so belittled, then who is safe?”

Adv Sibanda, who failed to get assistance from Chinamhora Police Station, has since reported the matter to the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights where he is a member. Judicial Service Commission (JSC) deputy secretary Mr Walter Chikwana confirmed receiving a verbal report from the Sheriff on the incident.

“We have requested the Sheriff to submit a report of the incident,” said Mr Chikwana. “We are waiting for the report before we take an appropriate action.”

Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore professed ignorance of the incident adding he was not in a position to comment.

On Wednesday last week, the High Court granted Ms Maadza an eviction order against Commander of the Artillery Brigade Cantonment at Alphidas Barracks, Brigadier-General Stanley Mangena from Sussexdale Farm, in Domboshava.The artillery commander had allegedly led soldiers under his command in the invasion of the farm, where they reportedly took an assortment of farming equipment in a land wrangle.

Brig-Gen Mangena was cited as respondent in the matter along with ZNA Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda, Ms Purity Chikangaise of the Attorney General’s Office, Ministry of Lands and Attorney-General Advocate Prince Machaya.

A Mr Chingwere of the Attorney General’s Office appeared and acted for the army. His arguments were dismissed by Justice Hungwe.

Mr Chingwere initially attempted to argue that he had not taken instruction from his clients, but Justice Hungwe ordered him to address the judge on the law – whether or not it was right for anyone to resort to self-help and to put the law into their own hands.

Mr Chingwere reluctantly conceded that such actions were unlawful and had to be immediately stopped.

In her application, Ms Maadza accused Brig-Gen Mangena of conniving with the former owner of the farm, Markham Paul McKinnon to intimidate and force her out of the farm.

She stated in her papers that on Tuesday last week, three army officers clad in their camouflage uniform descended on her farm demanding access to the warehouses where farm equipment is kept.

The soldiers, she said, threatened violence and said they had authority from Brig-Gen Mangena and the army commander to take over and remove the farm equipment and all materials in the warehouses.

White rhino tranquilized to remove car tire from snout in Zimbabwe

Veterinarians in Zimbabwe came to the rescue of a white rhino known as Mark at Lake Chivero Recreational Park when he got a stray tire wedged on his snout.

Source: White rhino tranquilized to remove car tire from snout in Zimbabwe – Oct. 17, 2016

LAKE CHIVERO RECREATIONAL PARK, Zimbabwe, Oct. 17 (UPI) — Veterinarians in Zimbabwe came to the rescue of a white rhino known as Mark at Lake Chivero Recreational Park when he got a stray tire wedged on his snout.

Wildlife group AWARE Trust Zimbabwe said in a Facebook post that rangers at the park contacted the group’s veterinarians when it became clear that the tire “was firmly stuck behind [Mark’s] front horn stub.”

The tire was preventing the dominant bull rhino from eating and drinking, the veterinarians said.

“The muscles that open your mouth are much weaker than the muscles which close your mouth, since they usually have the help of gravity, so no amount of straining was going to enlarge the tire’s central hole,” the group said.

The veterinarians tranquilized Mark and were able to pull the tire away from his face without cutting it.

“Eleven minutes later he was antidoted and grazing again as if nothing had happened,” AWARE said.

Government, Salini agree on Tokwe-Mukosi

Source: Government, Salini agree on Tokwe-Mukosi | The Herald October 19, 2016

Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter

SALINI Impreglio JV, the Italian company contracted to build Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Masvingo Province has agreed to be paid the outstanding amount in US dollars, paving way for the completion of the country’s largest inland dam, sources have said.Salini is owed about 12 million euros, but the Government had not been able to raise the funds in euros due to foreign currency shortages. Officials at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development confirmed the Italian firm has now agreed to be paid in US dollars.

“In terms of the contract, Salini was supposed to be paid in euros but due to foreign currency shortages, the Government could not raise the money,” said one official.“Following discussions, Salini has now agreed that the arrears be settled in US dollars.”

Salini had threatened to leave the site by the end of this month over the arrears.In August, the company wrote to the Government giving notice of its intention to immediately stop construction works over outstanding payment. The dam is 96 percent complete and remaining works include roads, valve and steel works, grouting and dry works. Failure to mobilise requisite funding would have resulted in Salini leaving the site and moving their equipment to other project sites. This would have resulted in huge site remobilisation costs in the event the project resumes at a later stage.

In addition downstream economic activities and benefits of the expanded irrigation programmes and the power generation plant would have been deferred, to the detriment of Government and beneficiaries of the vital investment in the water resource.The construction of the dam commenced in April 1998 and was suspended a year later due to funding constraints. The project then went through a stop-start process from 2001 to 2005.

Construction works resumed in May 2011 with initial plans to complete the project in November 2013. Impoundment was to start in November 2013 with the first supply of irrigation water targeted for 2014.

The contractor was granted an extension to complete the project by August 2014 mainly because there were additional excavations on the foundations as well as financial constraints.The Government has been funding the construction of the Tokwe-Mukosi from its own resources. These resources have been through the Public Sector Investment Programme, being allocations from the National Budget.

Since 2001, the Government has spent $262 million on the dam with an additional $13 million having been set aside in the 2015 National Budget. Irrigation will be the main economic value to be realised from the dam. At a yield of 364 000 megalitres per annum, the dam will have sufficient water to irrigate up to 25 000 hectares.

Economic value will also be realised from the mini hydro project into which the Government has already made significant investment through providing funding for civil works.

Jonathan Moyo saga rage on

THE Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has reportedly deployed an investigation team to Tsholotsho district to find out if Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo (pictured) had used all the money generated from the sale of elephants to develop a soccer stadium in his constituency.

Source: Jonathan Moyo saga rage on – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


The team was also tasked with investigating a boundary dispute between Mathuphula Hunters and Lodzi Hunters.

Tsholotsho Rural District Council (RDC) chief executive officer, Themba Moyo, confirmed the probe, but said the team was mostly interested in resolving a boundary dispute between Mathuphula Hunters and Lodzi Hunters.

“Yes, the team from ZimParks was here and they were resolving a demarcation issue. Mathuphula Hunters were complaining that Lodzi Hunters had encroached into their concession and shot some elephants in their area. So the team came here to solve that issue. They asked about the elephants donated towards the construction of the stadium, but it was not a big issue because that is administered by the local authority and not the minister,” Themba Moyo said.

Sources said in 2013, Environment, Water and Climate Change ministry, then under Saviour Kasukuwere, donated 60 elephants, following the cyanide case, which claimed over 40 beasts in the area.

Insiders said of the 60 donated, only 10 were sold at $18 000, each grossing $180 000 and the money was handed over to the rural district council headed by Themba Moyo.

“When Kasukuwere was redeployed, Oppah Muchinguri came and cancelled the deal. Only 10 elephants were sold and the proceeds are what the ZimParks team is investigating,” a senior government said.

Another senior staffer at Tsholotsho RDC responsible for natural resources, Simelisizwe Sibanda, confirmed the visit and its intention, saying they were more concerned with illegal hunters, as well as demarcations for the hunting concessions.

The move had raised eyebrows and speculation that the authority was probing Moyo, who is currently under fire for allegedly abusing over $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).

The Tsholotsho North MP last week escaped arrest after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) swooped on him over the alleged abuse in which his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, and other ministry officials have also been implicated.

The minister accuses the anti-graft body of being used by a faction in Zanu PF to victimise him. At the weekend, more allegations emerged against the minister, with investigators now looking at some “questionable transactions” involving more than $1,5 million.

But a senior staffer within the ministry raised a red flag and alleged that some of the documents flying in the media were stolen, when their offices were broken into early August.

Although Moyo did not respond to a question sent to him over the new alleged investigation, he used Twitter to suggest that the information being used to state that he could have abused over $2 million was stolen.

A senior staff said: “The stuff that has just been realised in the media was never taken by Zacc investigators, but we suspect it was taken when the ministry offices were broken into. A certain staffer, who was within the ministry, we suspect could be behind the issue.”

Govt, family feud over Msipa burial

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday reportedly told the family of the late national hero, Cephas Msipa, to reverse his deathbed wish to be laid to rest next to his wife, Charlotte, at the Midlands Provincial Heroes Acre and instead agree that he be interred at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on Saturday.

Source: Govt, family feud over Msipa burial – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016

BY Everson Mushava

Msipa’s eldest son, Douglas, yesterday said he was devastated that Zanu PF was insistent that he be buried at the national shrine, against the former Midlands governor’s wishes.

He said the decision was taken at a meeting attended by officials from the Home Affairs ministry and three of Msipa’s sons based in Harare – Cephas Jnr, Chris and Elijah.

“I am devastated by the decision. The family and the people of Midlands will also be devastated,” Douglas said.
“It is not what we had expected as a family, as most people are aware of his wish.”

The late former Zanu PF politburo member and Midlands governor succumbed to pneumonia at a private hospital in Harare on Monday at the age of 85.

Addressing mourners in Harare on Monday, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Mugabe had directed that the late Msipa be declared national hero, but did not disclose where he would be buried.

The family accepted the hero status, but resolved to have him buried next to his wife, Charlotte, who was laid to rest at the Midlands Provincial Acre in 2013.

Cephas Jnr yesterday said: “What has been agreed is that our father will be taken to Zvishavane on Thursday (tomorrow), Gweru on Friday and a decision on where he will be buried is still to be made.”

He said the family told Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, of their father’s wish on Monday, but they failed to reach a definitive position with the Home Affairs ministry and a ministerial taskforce they met yesterday.

“They simply told us the conditions of burying him in Gweru, such that the Provincial Affairs minister will preside over the burial and that the President will only preside over the burial at the national shrine,” Cephas Jnr said.

“They told us of the logistical nightmares of burying him in Gweru and we are still to consult other family members.

“There is no confusion at all, we are still consulting each other as a family.”

Earlier in the day, Douglas had said his father had made his wishes of being buried next to his wife known in the presence of Zanu PF Midlands acting provincial chairman, Joram Gumbo, and the whole family was keen to honour his wishes.

“He (the late Msipa) will be buried in Gweru on Saturday. Before he died, he told us that he wanted to be buried next to his wife, who is buried at the Gweru Provincial Heroes’ Acre, and we are trying to pursue his wishes,” Douglas said.

“He made that decision in the presence of Joram Gumbo and we are sure Zanu PF is already aware of our father’s wish.”

Contacted for comment, Gumbo said: “What Douglas told you is true. He (the late Msipa) told me, as a cousin, in the presence of the whole family. He called me on this year’s National Heroes’ Day commemorations and said to me: ‘Do you know why we left this space? This is the grave that I want to be buried in, next to my dear wife’. He was so much in love with his wife. That is why he requested that.”

Gumbo, a Zanu PF politburo member, said it was important for people to know that when a person was declared a district, provincial or national hero, the party would still be guided the deceased’s family on where to bury their relative.

“As a party, we will consult the family and will respect its wishes,” he said.

“We shall make an announcement at party level when we release an itinerary detailing what will be happening from Thursday until the burial on Saturday.”

Snake jumps into moving Zimbabwe van (so driver jumps out)

You’re driving along and a snake suddenly jumps through your window and lands on your dashboard. What do you do?

Source: Snake jumps into moving Zimbabwe van (so driver jumps out) | News24 2016-10-17

Mutare – You’re driving along and a snake suddenly jumps through your window and lands on your dashboard. What do you do?

That was the dilemma facing a Zimbabwean driver in the eastern city of Mutare last week and he did not think twice: he jumped out of his moving vehicle, according to the Manica Post newspaper.

Julius Hozheri’s driverless delivery van rammed into a shopping centre in central Mutare, the paper says in its latest edition.

Fortunately no-one was hurt but part of a financial institution was damaged.

Hozheri himself escaped unscathed – most likely because his van was slowing down to reach a junction.

The Manica Post said he had trouble convincing passersby that a snake had “jumped” into his car – until they saw it with their own eyes in the (now battered) delivery van.

Dangerous snakes 

Police and bystanders confirmed the incident.

Hozheri told the paper the snake was getting ready to strike him, adding: “Some said I was hallucinating while others said I was trying to cover up negligent driving by attributing the accident to wild assertions.”

“People started to believe me when they found the snake in the damaged car.”

“What I knew was that I was alive and had escaped from the jaws of death.”

The paper said the snake might be an Eastern brown snake but that seems unlikely since Zimbabwe is not a known habitat of this snake. There are a number of highly dangerous snakes found in this part of Zimbabwe, including black mambas, spitting cobras and gaboon vipers. There are also a number of harmless snakes in the area.

Last year a black mamba interfered with Mutare’s water supply by chasing away electricians and technicians trying to work on a water tank there, the Manica Post reported.

PM – “Samora was murdered”

Mbuzini (South Africa) (AIM) – Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Monday declared that the government remains convinced that the country’s first President, Samora Machel, was “murdered by the enemy of self-determination” –a clear reference to the now defunct apartheid regime.

Source: PM – “Samora was murdered” – The Zimbabwean 19.10.2019

Rosario, representing President Filipe Nyusi, was speaking at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of Machel’s death, held at Mbuzini, in the South African province of Mpumulanga, where the plane carrying Machel back from a summit in the Zambian town of Mbala crashed on 19 October 1986.

Accompanied by South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, by Machel’s widow Graca and their children, by some of the nine survivors of the crash, and by relatives of the 34 others who died, Rosario laid a wreath at the monument built on the crash site.

The monument consists of 35 steel tubes, one for each of the victims of the crash. They are reddish, symbolising the blood shed at Mbuzini, and the wind blowing through the tubes creates a mournful sound. Parts of the wreckage of the plane, a Soviet manufactured Tupolev 134, have been incorporated into the monument.

The plane was off course when it crashed, and it is widely believed that the apartheid military used a decoy navigational beacon, broadcasting on the same frequency as the Maputo airport beacon, to lure the plane away from its correct flight path.

The evidence is not conclusive, because the apartheid regime shut down the inquiry into the cause of the disaster, rather than investigate the source of the beacon followed by the plane.

At the time, tensions in the region were high, and the apartheid Defence Minister, Magnus Malan, had personally threatened Machel in the days leading up to the crash. The apartheid government set up its own inquiry, headed by judge Cecil Margo. That inquiry predictably blamed the aircraft’s Soviet crew, but its conclusions lack all credibility.

“It is our conviction that Samora Machel was murdered by the enemy of self-determination, of peace, of equality between men, of concord and of peaceful coexistence in Mozambique and in the southern African region”, declared Rosario.

“We Mozambicans express our belief that the truth about the barbaric assassination of Samora Machel will one day be known”, he added. “For Mozambique the outcome of the dossier on the death of Samora Machel remains a national priority and a patriotic imperative”.

Shortly after the disaster the Mozambican government set up its own Commission of Inquiry, chaired by the then Transport Minister, Armando Guebuza, who was later to become President. The work of that commission is unfinished, and it has never been wound up.

Rosario thanked the South African government for its efforts to discover the causes of the crash, and reiterated that Mozambique will continue to work “so that the circumstances of the disaster which claimed the lives of our President and of his delegation may be explained”.

He also thanked his South African hosts for the construction of the Mbuzini monument and for declaring it part of South Africa’s national heritage, as a reminder “of the sacrifice and of the blood spilled by Mozambican and South African nationalists for independence, peace and equality”.

Rosario stressed “the spirit of solidarity and internationalism” enshrined by Machel, who believed that Mozambican independence “would only be complete, if other peoples in the region and the world were also free and independent”.   Hence his support, not only for the ANC in South Africa, or ZANU in Zimbabwe, but also for FRETILIN in East Timor, then under Indonesian occupation.

“Liberation from colonial domination and from apartheid, peace and the progress of our countries are the ideals for which Samora Machel fought, and for which he lost his life”, Rosario continued. The pain of losing him remained fresh, but it was encouraging “to know that the life and work of Samora lives in each of us and in every citizen who loves peace, harmony, prosperity and development. It is up to each of us to keep the flame of this great leader alive”.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Graca Machel recalled that successive South African and Mozambican governments had promised to bring the investigations into the Mbuzini crash to a successful conclusion, but so far these promises had not been kept. “I will only believe it, when there is a result”, she said.

ZETDC in $780m debt

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) says it owes over $780 million to different power supplying companies locally and regionally and is currently in the process of repaying the debt.

Source: ZETDC in $780m debt – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Speaking at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, ZETDC managing director, Julian Chinemberi said the power utility was repaying the debt on a weekly basis depending on funds raised from clients.

“We have payment plans with the companies and they understand our situation,” he said.

Chinembiri said ZETDC owes its sister company, Zimbabwe Power Company, $754 million. The Zesa subsidiary owes South Africa’s Eskom $18 million, Hydro Cahora Bassa (Mozambique) $9 million and $8 million to the Dema power project.
He said there was a 20% increase in the company’s revenue last month.

“So far, we have installed 576 118 prepaid meters as of October 14 and our target is to instal at least 650 000 before the year ends. We might conclude the phase we had targeted by the end of the first quarter next year,” Chinembiri said.

“So far, we have received about 2 000 meters, which are with us and, as we speak, we have 5 000 meters in bonded warehouses and 1 500 meters at the border. We are working closely with Zimra to have those meters in time.”
He also warned about faults that might occur during the coming rainy season.

“As we approach the rainy season, we are likely going to experience a lot of faults due to our ageing equipment. We want our customers to report these incidents for it may not necessarily be load-shedding,” Chinembiri said.

Zanu PF Senator sued over debt

LOCAL seed company, Seed Co Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd has taken Zanu PF Midlands Senator Flora Buka to court for breach of contract after she allegedly failed to deliver maize seed worth over $37 000.

Source: Zanu PF Senator sued over debt – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


According to the summons issued under case number HC8971/16, Buka who owns Riverbend Farm in Kwekwe, allegedly entered into an agreement with the seed manufacturing company for the production of the hybrid seed maize on her farm.

The parties signed the deal sometime in December 2014.

Under the agreement, Seed Co supplied Buka with agricultural inputs, including seed, chemicals and fertiliser after the Senator had agreed to grow the seed on the firm’s behalf.

“In terms of the agreement, defendant (Buka) undertook to pay for the value of all inputs issued by delivery of her seed crop to the plaintiff at an agreed value on or before October 30, so as to offset the cost of the inputs supplied,” Seed Co said in its declaration.

The firm also said it was further agreed that in the event that Buka fails, for whatever reasons, to deliver the seed in terms of the agreement by the due date, the Senator would be liable for payment of the amount of the inputs advanced to her with interest.

“Pursuant to the agreement, plaintiff supplied and delivered the inputs to the defendant in the cumulative sum of $37 020,06 … suffice to say, defendant failed and/or neglected to deliver to plaintiff the seed crop equivalent to the sum above,” Seed Co said.

The company said Buka had acknowledged liability in writing and tendered a payment proposal in settlement, a proposal she had allegedly failed to adhere to prompting the firm to approach the court for recourse.

“In breach of his undertaking, defendant has despite demand failed and/or neglected to deliver the certified hybrid seed maize as agreed. The value of the advanced inputs, which defendant is now obliged to pay remain in terms of the agreement is in the sum of $37 020,16 together with interest.”

The Senator has since entered an appearance to defend notice.

Dzamara, Masarira trial date set

The Prosecutor-General’s Office has set November 14 this year as the trial date for activist, Patson Dzamara, who is being charged alongside his four accomplices with disorderly conduct.

Source: Dzamara, Masarira trial date set – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Dzamara (30) was arrested last Friday together with Linda Masarira (34), Makomborero Haruziviishe (24), Rangarirai Mhende (19) and Leverage Masvondo (33) and were granted $100 bail each.

The trial date was announced by Harare magistrate, Bianca Makwande yesterday.

Allegations against the suspects are that on October 14 this year, they acted in connivance with others, who are still at large, and gathered at the Harare Gardens for unknown reasons, while wearing T-shirts inscribed The End Game, A New Zimbabwe is Possible.

The State alleges, when police officers approached them to enquire the reason for the gathering, some of the suspects fled from the scene, but Dzamara, Masarira, Haruziviishe, Mhende and Masvondo remained behind.

It is alleged at that point, the suspects became abusive and insulted the police officers in vernacular languages, while labelling them puppets.

The suspects were then arrested and charged for the offence.

Francesca Mukumbiri appeared for the State.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation bosses, who are facing criminal abuse of office charges, yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, where their bail conditions were relaxed.

Acting chief executive officer, Patrick Mavhura and head of finance and administration, Benania Shumba were given their passports back and ordered to report to the police once every month.

They were remanded out of custody on $1 000 bail each when they initially appeared in court early this year and were ordered to report twice a week.

According to the State’s allegations, Mavhura and Shumba bought 35 vehicles from Croco Motors without following laid-down procedures, thereby, prejudicing the government of $20 000 and potentially prejudicing their employer of over $738 000.

Voter education critical to BVR: Zesn

VOTER education and registration remain a core issue if the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is to deliver a credible poll in 2018, an election lobby group has said.

Source: Voter education critical to BVR: Zesn – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), in a statement this week, called for timeous registration of civil society partners to ensure prospective voters get the requisite information ahead of the elections.

“In view of the challenges experienced during the 2013 voter registration exercise, where thousands of potential voters were not registered due to insufficient information on voter registration procedures and requirements, inadequate funding, lack of adequate personnel and the slow processing of registration queues, Zesn, therefore, calls for proper planning on the part of Zec and urges the government to provide adequate financial and technical support to enable Zec to discharge the new voter registration model in an effective manner,” Zesn said.

The advocacy group has been critical of the poll management body’s capacity and willingness to engage local independent observers to ensure the credibility of elections. The group added that the envisaged biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise requires a transparent process.

“Zesn believes that while the polling station-based BVR system alone is not the panacea for credible, free and fair elections, there is need for transparency and accountability in the implementation of this process. In addition, the process should be accompanied by other electoral reforms such as the alignment of electoral laws to the Constitution, and the independence of Zec in its operations without any executive interference, amongst others.
Zesn, therefore, reiterates that Zec should continuously engage with electoral stakeholders on all electoral processes to build trust and confidence,” the statement said.

The group raised a red flag regarding voting thresholds at polling stations.

“Of concern is the proposed threshold of voters per polling station, which is pegged at 800 to 1 500. Zesn believes that 1 500 is too high and may congest polling stations particularly in highly populated areas. The network, therefore, proposes that the maximum threshold be reduced to 1 000 drawing lessons from the recently-held Zambian elections, where the threshold was 900,” Zesn said.

Zec says, voter registration, under the new system, is to begin in May next year, but Zesn seemed unhappy with the time.

“Zesn calls upon Zec to ensure that this crucial exercise is awarded adequate time to guarantee that the process is inclusive and comprehensive so as to safeguard against the disenfranchisement of any potential voters.

“Furthermore, for the BVR process to succeed, it should allow ample time for intensive voter education so as to allay any fears and misconceptions about the use of information communication technologies in the registration process. The implementation of the polling station-based biometric voter registration system in the current political environment might result in targeted violence and intimidation, hence, the need for the creation of a conducive political environment,” the group said. “Moreover, Zec should timeously accredit civic society organisations to conduct voter education and publicity on the new voter registration model to ensure comprehensive information is delivered and geographically covers all areas of the country adequately.”

Zesn also called for a solution to the contentious Diaspora vote.

Grand coalition inevitable: Mujuru

Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, yesterday said a grand coalition to challenge President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 elections was inevitable, adding various opposition parties were now tying loose ends before signing the proposed coalition pact

Source: Grand coalition inevitable: Mujuru – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016

By Tatenda Chitagu

Speaking at the burial of ZimPF Masvingo provincial spokesperson, Kudzai Mbudzi, yesterday in Marisa village under Chief Charumbira, Mujuru said leaders of opposition parties were now closer to finding each other.

“As political parties, we will discover each other. We are fighting for the same cause. There are only a few issues that we agreed that need to be ironed out first,” she said.

Mujuru said leaders of opposition parties needed to do away with their inflated egos to save the people of Zimbabwe, who were suffering under Mugabe’s 36 years of misrule that had triggered an unending economic crisis.

“As political leaders, we need to deflate our egos and unite for the benefit of the people. They (Zimbabweans) have suffered enough and all they want is change. Zimbabweans want to live well, whether they belong to MDC-T or ZimPF,” she said.

“We should fulfil the wishes of Zimbabweans, yet some of us need recognition. That is useless. You should accept if you cannot do some of these things. Zimbabweans are suffering. Some of us have egos that they want to be massaged all the time.

“We should sit down and agree where we do wrong or right. Some are lying about leaders, something hurting the country.’’

Mujuru blasted ZimPF members involved in factional fights.

“ZimPF, why are we fighting? What are we telling Zanu PF? What are they learning from us? Egos should end … we are working for the people,” she said.

Mbudzi succumbed to an undisclosed illness at a private hospital in Harare on Sunday.

Armed men invade premier resort centre

ARMED men have allegedly invaded Mapare Resort Centre close to Birchenough Bridge in the lucrative Save Conservancy, which has most of the big five game, it has emerged. BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Source: Armed men invade premier resort centre – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), in a news alert, alleges that the armed men, who were accompanied by a Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) official, invaded the popular resort last Thursday claiming to be the new lawful occupiers.

“The invaders, accompanied by one who identified himself as Mudendi allegedly from ZimParks, approached the resort owners and gave them two hours to evacuate the premises,” ZPP said.

The resort centre, which has conference facilities, is owned by Edmore Marima.

Marima was unreachable on his mobile phone yesterday.

Marima’s wife, who was at the premises, said the men, despite claiming occupation, had no government documentation to prove their claims.

“The six had no eviction notices nor letters from the government, nor did they bring any form of documentation from the Provincial Affairs minister to substantiate their claims,” Marima’s wife told ZPP.

ZPP said the family was still in distress when it called on Monday and was informed that the matter had not been reported to the police because the law enforcers had in the past allegedly not attended to reports.

ZimParks public relations manager, Caroline Washaya-Moyo yesterday could not comment on the matter, saying she was in a meeting.

“I am in a meeting at the ministry (Environment, Climate and Water Resources) and can you kindly email me the questions so that I may attend to them?” she said.

Save Conservancy lies adjacent to Gonarezhou National Park and, at its peak, was a premier wildlife resort that attracted tourists from Europe and the United States of America.

Since the chaotic land reform programme of early 2000, conservancies have witnessed an upsurge in the number of poaching, especially of elephants and rhinos. The tusks and horns are traded on the black market and most exported to China and other Asian markets, where they are popular for their supposed aphrodisiac qualities.

Chombo’s woes mount

HOME Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo has once again been sued in his personal capacity by a Mutare businessman, Tendai Mangwiro, who is seeking an order to compel him to return his seized $1,5 million.

Source: Chombo’s woes mount – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Mangwiro’s cash was seized by the police in 2012 and he approached the court seeking its return. Several court orders were granted in his favour, but Chombo allegedly persistently refused to budge.

In an application for a mandamus (superior court) order filed at the High Court yesterday, Mangwiro said he was further seeking costs of the suit on a higher scale, accusing Chombo of deliberately being contemptuous of court orders.

“The respondent, Minister of Home Affairs (Chombo), is cited in his personal capacity because I obtained an order against him in case number HC4766/13 in his official capacity, which he failed to comply with,” Mangwiro said in his founding affidavit. “These proceedings seek to compel the minister, personally, to take steps necessary to have the payments made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. His failure to do so will obviously be contemptuous of the order of this honourable court and may/or will result in him being personally lodged in prison, which could not happen if he is sued in his official capacity,” the businessmen said.

“I have sought costs on a higher scale because the respondent’s conduct is reprehensible, for lack of a better word … I am not seeking relief against the government or the State, but to compel the respondent, who is a government official, to do what he is supposed to do in order to satisfy the above-mentioned order.”

Centre no longer holds in govt: MP

MDC legislator, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga yesterday castigated President Robert Mugabe for not resolving the Zanu PF succession issue, claiming it had resulted in some people wishing for his death.

Source: Centre no longer holds in govt: MP – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 19, 2016


Contributing to debate in the National Assembly on a motion in reply to the Presidential speech, Misihairabwi-Mushonga also spoke of divisions in Cabinet, while expressing dismay at the failure by the Zanu PF government to declare the late former Speaker of Parliament Cyril Ndebele a national hero

“Issues of succession have become a cancer and everyone is saying: When is Mugabe going to die? There are also people who want to get rid of him in his party, and the President must address the issue and close it so that the country works again,” she said.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga blasted State media columnist, Nathaniel Manheru, outed as being Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, for denigrating former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who now leads the opposition ZimPF.

“For the first time, we have a divided nation because we have never had a time when the history of this country was distorted to the extent some people, who participated in the struggle, have their participation being contested to the extent some of us now wonder if there was a Second Chimurenga,” she said.

“We hear so-and-so was a prostitute, so-and-so was sending people to the front, that Vice-President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa was not in the group of five, and that former Minister of War Veterans Christopher Mutsvangwa used to steal women’s underwear, and that Mujuru did not participate in the struggle.

“You cannot have a person writing about someone who has been a VP for 20 years in a State paper, saying the way that the woman sits is the way that prostitutes sit — and that is something written by a civil servant. Are you telling me that all the time that person was briefing the VP in her office, he was looking at the way she sits?”

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the serious divisions in Cabinet were being shown even in the State media.

“It is the first time that we have had The Herald talking of one of its own. I am not saying it is wrong, but what I am saying is that it is showing that the centre is not holding,” she said.

Zanu PF legislator calls for govt to reduce taxes

A ZANU PF legislator has called on the government to reduce taxes and other burdening statutory obligations for small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) to allow them to realise growth while urging them to capitalise on the closure of big corporates to dominate the market.

Source: Zanu PF legislator calls for govt to reduce taxes – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016

by Everson Mushava

Harare South MP, Shadreck Mashayamombe, who is a member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Small-and-Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development, said small companies were failing to realise their full potential because of heavy taxation.

He was speaking at the 2016 global SMEs Expo in Harare last Friday.

The expo was held under the theme Stimulating Economic Growth Through Value Addition and Beneficiation Partnership with Global Entrepreneurs.

Mashayamombe said the government should come up with favourable laws that would stimulate the growth of SMEs that had continued to play a critical role in the economy, but were experiencing stunted growth due to overbearing statutory obligations and repressive laws.

“There is need for the government to come up with laws that will promote the growth of the sector,” he said.

“The laws should include the reduction of taxes for SMEs to allow them to capitalise their business and graduate into corporates. I also urge the SMEs to capitalise on the closure of big corporates and fill up the gap left.”

Zimbabwe has been experiencing company closures since the Zanu PF government won the 2013 general elections, leaving the economy in the hands of struggling SMEs.

Mashayamombe also implored the SMEs to copy proper business ethics and register their companies into corporates rather than remain sole traders that often die with the death of the owner.

“We should change the way we do business. We should move away from the concept of operating companies as tuckshops or sole traders to ensure that the business survives beyond the founder. There should be continuity in business,” he said.

The legislator also encouraged SME owners to travel to other countries and copy how others do business, particularly on the use of cost-effective equipment.

“Travelling is very important. People should learn new skills through travel and research.”

Mugabe declares critic Msipa hero

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday bucked the trend of not declaring his critics national heroes, after he conferred the status on former Midlands governor, Cephas Msipa, who died in the early hours of yesterday.

Source: Mugabe declares critic Msipa hero – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016


Mugabe, who left for Madagascar before the announcement was made, has previously refused to confer hero’s status on those who would have crossed his path, with former Speaker of Parliament Cyril Ndebele, who was buried last week, being the latest victim.

Many expected Msipa (85) to be declared a hero, but did not trust that Mugabe would confer the status so soon.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who announced the hero’s status at the late nationalist’s funeral wake, said Mugabe had directed that Msipa be declared a national hero.

“We had a chat with the President, and what we have resolved will stand. When we are talking as the presidium, the likes of (Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour) Kasukuwere will step aside. Yes, the procedure is to have the province recommend, but what we have resolved will not change,” he said.

Chronicling his history with Msipa, Mnangagwa said the late national hero expressed himself freely.

Earlier, Kasukuwere had outlined Zanu PF procedures for declaring one a hero.

“The province will make recommendations to the party and the party will deliberate on it. We hope this will be what is going to happen,” he said.

“He was a fearless fighter, teacher, respected and principled man, who would speak his mind without fear. We had been visiting him while he was in hospital and reflecting on our past with him, explaining hope and desire that Zimbabwe would always be a great nation. We have indeed lost a great man.”

In seeking that Msipa be declared a national hero, the Zanu PF Midlands provincial executive had written to the politburo chronicling his achievements.

“After consultations with the senior party leadership in the province, we, as Midlands province, are of the firm view that Msipa should be accorded the national hero status due to the selfless service he rendered to the nation before, during and after the liberation struggle for the country,” Zanu PF Midlands provincial spokesperson, Cornelius Mupereri, said in a statement.

“We are submitting the paper to the national leadership requesting for the status in which we have detailed Msipa’s professional, political and civic leadership history over the years.”

He chronicled Msipa’s history and how he rose through the ranks of both Zapu and Zanu PF.

“Msipa was elected into the central committee of Zanu PF soon after the Unity Accord, rising to the politburo until his retirement,” Mupeperi said.

“Msipa held various posts in government since independence. Starting as deputy minister of Sport and Recreation, he later became minister of Water.

“He was governor for the Midlands province from 2001 to 2008, when he retired from government, but he remained active in politics. Msipa was a philanthropist. He also served on various boards for private companies and parastatals. Msipa played various roles in a variety of civic activities,” Mupereri said.

“As a province, we have lost a great leader, a guide and a fountain of knowledge.”

Zapu leader, Dumiso Dabengwa, who worked closely with Msipa during the liberation struggle and in government, had earlier said he was sceptical Mugabe would accord Msipa hero’s status, although he conceded that the two were close.

“Msipa seemed to have a close relationship with the old man [Mugabe],” he said.

In an earlier interview, Dabengwa said former Zapu members were left holding the short end of the stick when it came to hero’s status.

“We have given up on wishing anyone of our current or former Zapu members being accorded hero status,” he lamented.

Dabengwa had said Msipa’s hero’s status, while expected, had been made difficult by his Zapu roots and that he seemed to be hobnobbing with axed Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First party.

The Zapu leader described Msipa as a hardworking and honest Zapu member, “whose contribution to the struggle for independence and in government was immense”.

Msipa, a former PF-Zapu secretary-general, succumbed to chest infections at a private Harare hospital yesterday morning, triggering an outpouring of messages of condolences from across the political divide — with the majority describing him as a suitable candidate for the National Heroes’ Acre.

ZimPF top official and former Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo described Msipa as a hero.

MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora said his party would attend the ceremony if Msipa was accorded national hero status.

“We are saddened by the death of this true nationalist and patriot. He was a lone voice of reason in Zanu PF, who stood up to Mugabe,” he said.

“We, in the MDC-T and the whole nation, will miss his wise counsel.”

People’s Democratic Party leader, Tendai Biti, said: “The departure of Cephas Msipa will create a hole that will never be filled. He was a principled man, who lived a consistent life. Go well, Tata.”

Msipa’s son and family spokesperson, Cephas Jnr, said his father started feeling unwell two weeks ago in Gweru, before he was moved to Harare for treatment.

“He developed lung and abdominal infection. When he came to Harare, it was discovered that the lung infection had been pronounced,” he explained.

“The right lung developed pneumonia and he was put on antibiotics to try to control the infection. On Saturday, it became apparent that, while the infection was clearing, there was also an element of side effects. He started deteriorating before he passed on early this morning (yesterday).”

Msipa’s wife, Charlotte Sithabile, died in April 2013 and was buried at the Midlands Provincial Heroes’ Acre.

Mourners are gathered at number 77 Carrick Creagh, Borrowdale, Harare.

President arrives in Madagascar

Source: President arrives in Madagascar | The Herald October 18, 2016

Morris Mkwate in Antananarivo, Madagascar

President Mugabe arrived here last night to attend the 19th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Heads of State and Government Summit that begins today.He was welcomed at Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo by Madagascar President Mr Hery Rajaonarimampianina and Zimbabwean Government officials who were part of the advance team.

The President travelled with senior Government officials and then linked up with Ministers Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Foreign Affairs) and Mike Bimha (Industry and Commerce), who were attending preparatory meetings here since last week.

He was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabinet Ministers, senior civil servants and service chiefs.

Meanwhile VP Mnangagwa is Acting President.

Minister Bimha told The Herald; “The Summit will mainly look at inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.

“The industrialisation agenda is now the major focus in Africa; even regional integration is revolving around the same subject.

“It is the way to go, and Africa is saying, ‘Let’s utilise our people and resources towards value-addition and beneficiation’. If we industrialise and export, our economies will grow.

“This trajectory runs through the entire regional thrust and across Africa. And when we say inclusive, we are involving everyone: governments, women, businesses; etcetera.”

Themed “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialisation”, the Summit will discuss regional peace and security, customs and trade, homing in on the comesa, Tripartite and Continental free trade areas.

It will also consider the Medium Term Strategic Plan (2016-2020) adopted by the comesa Council of Ministers on October 15, 2016 with a view to spurring structural economic transformation via trade, investment and infrastructure development.

The comesa FTA provides duty and quota — free market access to Member States on products originating in the region.

Criteria known as Rules of Origin ensure processed goods or those wholly manufactured within the 19-member grouping get preferential tariffs across borders.

Zimbabwe and 14 other Member States are participating in the FTA whose benefits and impediments will soon be assessed and published annually.

That assessment will cover trade in goods and services, logistics and trade facilitation, industrialisation and infrastructure development.

A recent study by the comesa secretariat established that the region trades more externally than internally.

It determined that the trade potential value that could enhance intra-comesa product trade was US$82,3 billion, and that trade within the region would increase by $41,15 billion if 50 percent of external business were channelled inwards.

The Tripartite FTA operates along similar lines, integrating three of Africa’s regional blocs — comesa, sadc and the East African Community — and a continental FTA has been proposed to accommodate all 54 African Union states.

At the inter-government committee meeting here last week, Madagascar’s Trade and Consumption Minister Armand Tazafy said industrialisation was key to integrated trade.

“Without sustainable industrialisation, our region cannot adequately respond to the ever-increasing needs of high value products with the rising middle class in our continent, which has been forced to source elsewhere.”

Activists seek Zim ban from UN peace missions

OPPOSITION parties and pro-democracy groups have petitioned the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and Security Council to force the withdrawal of Zimbabwean security personnel on various peacekeeping missions across the globe.

Source: Activists seek Zim ban from UN peace missions – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016


The petition, signed by MDC-T, Zimbabwe People First, People’s Democratic Party, National Vendors’ Union (Navuz), #ThisFlag, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, student groups and residents’ associations, among others, said President Robert Mugabe’s government stood accused of violating a litany of international instruments.

“We, the petitioners, thus, call for the UN General Assembly and Security Council to immediately issue a resolution condemning the actions and activities of Zimbabwe. Consider such appropriate penalties, as defined in international law against the Republic of Zimbabwe,” the petition, handed over to the UN representative in Harare yesterday, reads.

“Order the immediate withdrawal of all forces and individuals deployed by Zimbabwe on various peacekeeping missions and call on Zimbabwe to immediately stop and abate the omissions and commissions against international law and its own institutions and restore immediately the rule of law and constitutionalism.”

Led by Navuz frontman, Standrick Zvorwadza, the petitioners said the deployment of peacekeepers assumed that those contributing forces were compliant with international statutes.

“Whereas the deployment of troops to the UN presupposes that the contributing member State is in itself in a fit and proper condition for such deployment. Further, whereas such deployment presupposes that the member State is in full compliance with the UN Charter and with other international instruments that pertain to the rule of law, constitutionalism and human rights.

“Whereas it is patently clear that Zimbabwe is in breach of the UN Charter, in particular the rights protected under Article 13, 9, 8, 18, 19 and 20, being the rights, among other things, to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, freedom to hold opinion and freedom of movement. Whereas Zimbabwe has breached Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which makes it clear that no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” the petition read.

“In addition to the above and contrary to international instruments, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has proscribed the rights of individuals to protest through, for instance, the issuance of bans and other proscriptions through use of the Public Order and Security Act, which is a direct violation of citizenry rights.”

AG urges businessman to apply for Chombo’s arrest

ATTORNEY-GENERAL (AG), Prince Machaya, has urged Mutare businessman, Tendai Blessing Mangwiro, to seek Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo’s arrest for defying a court order by refusing to reimburse his $78 000 seized by the police in 2012.

Source: AG urges businessman to apply for Chombo’s arrest – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016

ATTORNEY-GENERAL (AG), Prince Machaya, has urged Mutare businessman, Tendai Blessing Mangwiro, to seek Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo’s arrest for defying a court order by refusing to reimburse his $78 000 seized by the police in 2012.


Machaya’s counsel comes after Mangwiro’s efforts to attach government property hit a snag following the invocation of the State Liabilities Act.

In a joint heads of argument filed on Wednesday last week, Machaya said Mangwiro could pursue other alternatives of recovering his cash as opposed to seeking attachment of government property.

“The application is opposed and these heads of argument are, therefore, prepared in support of the respondent’s position that section 5(2) of the State Liabilities Act … which gives State property immunity from execution to satisfy government debts is constitutional,” the AG’s Office said.

“Since the applicant (Mangwiro) has now obtained a mandamus (court order), he can proceed with contempt of court proceedings. He cannot insist on attachment of government’s property, when there are other ways of satisfying the debt. The Constitutional Court has already stressed this point that, where the matter can be resolved without resorting to a constitutional application, those other remedies should be pursued.”

In August this year, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa echoed similar sentiments, saying attachment of government property would not only lead to chaos, but paralysis of State functions.

Mnangagwa was responding to Mangwiro’s application to attach State property to recover his money.

The VP, who is also in charge of the Justice ministry, said the immunity from execution granted to State property was constitutional.

“It is submitted, with due respect, that the applicant (Mangwiro) still has other remedies to pursue to enforce the court order such as contempt of court proceedings … Further, it is my view that the immunity granted to State property in terms of section 5 of the aforesaid Act does not prevent the execution of such judgment, since it can be executed like any other judgment not sounding in money, especially the applicant who is armed with a mandamus, which compels second respondent (Chombo) to pay the said debt,” the VP said.

In the application, Mnangagwa, Chombo and Machaya are cited as respondents.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

‘Rebel’ war veterans’ leaders’ trial date set

THE trial of five war veterans’ leaders, accused of undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority after they allegedly authored a communiqué calling on the Zanu PF leader to step down, is set to run between November 22 and 30 this year.

Source: ‘Rebel’ war veterans’ leaders’ trial date set – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016


The trial date was announced yesterday, when the suspects appeared before Harare magistrate, Bianca Makwande for routine remand.

The suspects, who are all executive members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, were implicated as the brains behind the damning communiqué released on July 21, which eventually led to their expulsion from Zanu PF.

They are war veterans’ secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya, vice-chairman, Headman Moyo, political commissar, Francis Nhando, and Harare executive member, Hoyini Samuel Bhila.

They are represented by Harrison Nkomo and Beatrice Mtetwa.

Soon after the announcement of the trial dates, the former fighters’ supporters broke into song and dance, chanting: The truth is about to come out.

Audrey Chogumaira appeared for the State

Time to make MPs accountable

Recent revelations that some legislators have become virtual aliens to Parliament business make for sad reading, sad because these are people bestowed with a mandate to represent the hapless electorate, yet they go cruising in Ford Rangers forgetting they are doing so at the expense of those who elected them.

Source: Time to make MPs accountable – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016

guest column: LEARNMORE ZUZE

It is like a messenger, who decides to go Awol, while squandering company funds.

Also, it is apparent that the ignorance of the electorate has aided the uncouth behaviour by these elected representatives.

A legislator is a messenger of the people, so to speak. But how does the people’s word reach Parliament, when the messenger chooses a prodigal and profligate life, when the people they should represent are suffering?

It is irresponsibility of the worst order, which should be condemned in the strongest terms.

There is an old and true maxim that states that you cannot control, let alone ascertain, the effectiveness of something that you cannot measure.

This statement rings true for how our legislators, councillors and ministers have been doing business.

These people, who should be serving, are now self-serving.

Otherwise, how does one explain the fact that an elected member turns up for Parliament once in two months? Once elected into office, these people have not had their performances measured. We have a people who do not understand their role for their constituencies.

Most got into office, but there are no key areas to measure them and this has become overwhelmingly urgent to address.

The mentality of the MP or minister, as a chef, zooming past an emaciated electorate, should now go with the wind.

And this requires a social revolution. MPs ought to be accessible and it is sad that some MPs seem to derive importance from being “special” and absent. Such people are indeed dangerous to the nation; they are sitting on the people’s afflictions. They have not been the reflective light that they should be to the detriment of the poor.

Surely, it is a kick in the face of the electorate when one they voted for fails to represent their interests.

Growing up, most of us were treated to the idea of the local MP being some “super human”, who deserved utmost respect every time. S/he would not be questioned much.

Everybody tried to sycophantically please them. It was actually considered a cardinal sin for anyone to view a legislator as the people’s servant they should be.

An MP was the chef, who could not be taken to task. Now, it is unfortunate that this mentality has continued unabated, at times not because of the lawmakers themselves, but because the electorate has accepted this as normal.

The electorate sees nothing wrong with an MP zooming past potholed roads in a sleek Mercedes Benz, while their constituencies lack basic infrastructure.

It is this way of thinking that must now be resisted. Constituency awareness has to be increased.

It has become imperative for such groups as residents’ trusts to keep their representatives’ record of attendance in Parliament.

The electorate, through systematic ways, must now seek proper feedback from their representatives.

They must see to it that their genuine concerns have been taken to Parliament. It is quite regrettable that some supposed law-makers are even known for quietness in Parliament.

Surely, how can someone toil in political campaigns, mobilising resources and addressing rallies only to go and sleep in Parliament?

This must end. We need legislators who will kick the House out of its slumber. Development needs to be seen, not merely talked about.

Apparently, there has been nothing measurable against legislators. It has been a case of electing them into Parliament and waiting for the next election again.

A case in point is the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that was cruelly looted by supposed representatives.

It is painful to walk into some constituencies to note that practically nothing has changed since 1980, yet there were Members of Parliament, who received $50 000 towards development of those areas.

It points to a clear case of electing criminals into office.

There should, at least be some notable growth, but I guess the pressure group was not wrong when it campaigned for the suspension of CDF disbursements.

What is the point of depositing thousands of dollars that will fall prey to looters?

Government certainly needs to enact a stringent law, which outlines the scope of use of these funds and the consequences to those who abuse.

Furthermore, it defies right-thinking that CDF allocations were placed into individual MPs’ accounts. Surely, what should we expect? Do we really expect such funds to be transparently used? Do we really expect such funds to reach the respective constituencies?

The government needs to get real. This culture of looting has stalled development since 1980. It is time a new way of doing business was found.

The electorate must now do away with voting for political parties, but for development.

It’s a paradigm shift. Yes, the people must vote for people based on merit, not because the candidate belongs to a certain party.

Of course, the economy is in the intensive care unit and the environment is disinclined to development, but legislators must justify the confidence bestowed upon them by the electorate.

Beitbridge cops redeployed for failing lie detector tests

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police has redeployed more than 100 of the estimated 500 officers, who were recently transferred to Beitbridge Border Post, after they allegedly failed lie detector tests.

Source: Beitbridge cops redeployed for failing lie detector tests – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016


According to a leaked police radio signal, RDO JC 422/16DD07/10/16 from “ComPol”, a code for Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, the officers had failed lie detector tests.

“They were transferred soon after failing the polygraph tests,” a source said.

Those transferred scored below 50%, with reports that some scored as low as 15%.

The officers were not returned to their original stations, but moved to new locations.

The officers, barely a month in the border town, were part of a new team that had been deployed following the mass transfer of the entire police establishment at Beitbridge in July this year.

The transfers were linked to the police officers’ failure to properly handle the violent demonstrations that rocked the town in July, as residents and cross-border traders protested against the introduction of Statutory Instrument 64/2016, which prohibits importation of certain consumer products.

Meanwhile, scores of policemen are still housed at their charge office quarters because the police residential camp is still occupied by families of officers transferred in July.

“I cannot afford to pay rent here and back where I was and where my family is, so I have to stay at the (police) station,” one of the officers said.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not be reached for comment.

NetOne boss fights suspension

SUSPENDED NetOne chief executive officer, Reward Kangai, has approached the High Court seeking to bar the firm from dragging him to a disciplinary hearing, claiming the telecommunication service provider’s board members were biased.

Source: NetOne boss fights suspension – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016


Kangai was suspended without pay and benefits on October 3 this year, after being sent on forced leave, as the mobile operator set in motion investigations pertaining to his alleged abuse of the company’s $11 million.

However, through his lawyer, Tendai Biti, Kangai said he would not be subjected to a disciplinary hearing comprised of members that had already made a decision to suspend him.

“The respondent’s (NetOne) board did not have the power and authority to suspend applicant (Kangai) without pay and benefits, as it did on October 3, 2016.The respondent’s suspension without pay and benefits is, therefore, unlawful,” Biti said in the draft order.

“The respondent (NetOne) is barred from instituting proceedings against the applicant (Kangai) on the basis of their bias. Or, alternatively, the parties must agree on an independent arbitrator, who shall determine any charges to be brought by respondent against the applicant and whose decision shall be final.”

According to Kangai, his employer had already prejudged him when a decision was made to have him suspended and, as such, inviting him for a disciplinary hearing would not accord him a fair hearing.

“The respondent’s chair, for instance, even before the forensic report, has been giving numerous interviews alleging that my colleagues and I siphoned $11 million from the respondent through a company called Firstel,” he said.

“Besides and in any event, it is clear from the Sunday Mail article of September 18, 2016 that the respondent has already terminated my contract of employment.

“I, therefore, seek a declaratur (declaration) to the effect that the respondent’s board is barred, on the basis of bias, from procedurally dealing with my matter.”

The NetOne boss also claimed the board had no authority to suspend him without pay and benefits.

“The respondent (NetOne), for instance, will have a problem in appointing a disciplinary committee from the respondent’s workplace. In addition, any other person appointed by a very biased board would not be in a position to adjudicate this matter impartially, more so, in view of the horrible publicity that has surrounded this matter,” he said.

Kangai said the only logical way to proceed would have been for NetOne and him to negotiate an arbitration process through an agreed arbitrator, whose decision would be final.

“However, given the fact that I have worked for over 35 years for this organisation and built this organisation, justice would demand that the respondent and I negotiate a package and we part amicably,” he said.

Zapu officially joins Code

THE Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu has officially joined the Coalition of Democrats (Code), a grouping of opposition parties formed in May to challenge President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.

Source: Zapu officially joins Code – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016


Zapu, in May, said it needed time to consult with its members before joining Code that consists of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, Welshman Ncube’s MDC, Elton Mangoma’s Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment and Zimbabweans United for Democracy.

Zapu officials said the party’s national executive council met on Saturday in Gweru and resolved to join Code.
Zapu deputy spokesperson, Iphuthile Maphosa confirmed the development yesterday.

“The national executive council was mandated by congress to determine and lead the processes of coalescing with other parties and organisations. All along, Zapu was playing an observing role, as the party awaited a decision, as to whether or not to join from the national executive council,” he said.

“On Saturday, the council ratified and formalised the party’s membership to Code.”

Maphosa said Zapu was committed to a united front against Zanu PF.

“Officialising our membership status means that Zapu is committed to working with like-minded democratic forces to find a solution to the current democracy and legitimacy problems facing the country,” he said.

“We are committed to ending the Zanu PF regime through a democratic and legally constitutional way — that is through the ballot.

“We, however, are alive to the fact that no single party can dislodge Zanu PF, hence, our drive to bring all opposition parties together and fight from the same corner.”

Zimbabwe People First, led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and the People’s Democratic Party led by Tendai Biti, are yet to join Code, also saying they needed time to consult.

Maphosa also indicated the party’s national executive council had also thrown its weight behind the National Transitional Authority (NTA) initiative being championed by the Concerned Citizens of Zimbabwe.

The NTA seeks to provide a soft landing for the country in a post-Mugabe era.

ZB to double agric funding

ZB Financial Holdings says it is planning to double its agricultural funding this year and float $10 million worth of agro bills for the 2017 agricultural season.

Source: ZB to double agric funding – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 18, 2016

BY Victoria MTOMBA

The bank’s head of corporate services, Shadowsight Chiganze, told NewsDay yesterday that the support was meant to boost crop and livestock production.

“We are planning to raise $10 million through the agro bill floatation. We are unable to supply the split right now,” he said.

Chiganze said the financial institution is currently refining its customers’ funding requirements for the 2016/2017 agricultural season.

Agricultural funding has remained a challenge, as most farmers do not have collateral to enable them to borrow money from banks, while financial institutions are also reeling under bad debts.

Meanwhile, ZB Financial Holdings says it has not increased the amount of loans in the special purpose vehicle.

“We are yet to secure investors for the SPV, as we are in the final stages of valuation of the loans that are being sold under the SPV,” Chiganze said.

The group created an internal SPV to house $14 million of the group’s bad debts that failed to qualify for an uptake by the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco).

The SPV is autonomous and will have an independent board, administration structure and a lot of support will be rendered by the group so that no costs will be incurred.

Chiganze said as at December 2014, the group’s NPL’s stood at $49 million, in June 2015 they received $13 million from Zamco, and they wrote off $11 million and remains with balance of $24 million. For the first six months of this year, the group received $4,6 million from Zamco.

Zamco is a SPV created by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 2014 to clear the balance sheets of banks, NPLs and enable them to lend again to sectors of the economy. So far, over $450 million has been taken over by Zamco.

BREAKING: Cephas Msipa dies

Source: BREAKING: Cephas Msipa dies | The Herald

Tendai Mugabe, Senior Reporter

Former Midlands governor and Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Cephas Msipa has died. He was 85. 

His son Douglas confirmed the death. Douglas said Cde Msipa died this morning at Westend hospital in Harare after succumbing to chest pains that had degenerated into pneumonia.

“He died around 4:am and his body has been taken to Nyaradzo Funeral Parlor,” said Douglas.


ZERA to audit Zesa

Source: ZERA to audit Zesa | The Herald October 17, 2016

Business Reporter—
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority will institute an independent audit of the cost structure and operations of Zesa to determine whether the utility is passing the cost of its inefficiencies to consumers. ZERA acting chief executive Engineer Misheck Siyakatshana said the regulator had already started reviewing submissions by international consultants for the tender to carry out the cost and operations audit of Zesa.

“The results of the review will be presented to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development who will decide on the course of action as the shareholder,” he said. Over the past five years, Government and ZERA have only allowed marginal increase in power tariff to avoid crippling businesses.

The audit comes after ZERA rejected a proposal by Zesa, in July this year, to hike power tariffs by 49 percent to increase revenue inflow to fund operations, finance maintenance works and bankroll capital intensive projects.

Zesa, owed over $1 billion in arrears by consumers, would have hiked tariffs from an average 9,83c/kWh to 14,69c/kWh if the request had been granted. It was feared hiking tariffs would lead to a wave of price increases.

Available research findings show that electricity is a major cost to production in virtually all sectors of the economy accounting for 20 percent of production cost in farming and agriculture, 16 percent in institutions, 15 percent in industry and 11 percent in commercial activities.

Mr Siyakatshana said that there was concern from various quarters, including Government, that possible inefficiencies within Zesa could be the reason for high cost of power and sustained demands to raise tariffs.

“The review was commissioned (by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory authority) following concerns from various stakeholders; Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Chamber of Mines, consumer groups and most importantly Government itself that there could be inefficiencies in both the structure and operations of ZESA Holdings and its subsidiaries,” he said.

“The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority is currently procuring independent international consultants to examine and review the cost structure and operations of ZESA with a view to identify areas of cost saving and efficiency improvement,” Mr Siyakatshana said on Friday last week.

Zesa’s power tariffs are considered a major cost driver to businesses in Zimbabwe. Cost of power is one of many factors cited in studies meant to improve the country’s ease of doing business conditions with a view to raising the competitiveness of local industry and companies to global standards.

“Government is concerned there could be inefficiencies in Zesa and wanted an independent consultant to go through the cost structure operations of Zesa. Government, as shareholder, will decide what to do,” he said.

While a study by National Economic Consultative Forum found out that the average cost of producing electricity from the power utility’s hydro and thermal power stations is higher compared to other regional countries, due to the ageing equipment, inefficiencies were also cited as a factor. Official statistics show that Zesa’s average cost of producing electricity between 2009 and 2016 has ranged between 9,65c per kilowatt hour and 14,62c/kWh while the tariff ranged from 7,53c/kWh and 9,86c/kWh.

Partners procure 98pc drugs in hospitals

Source: Partners procure 98pc drugs in hospitals | The Herald October 17, 2016

Takudzwa Matambura Herald Reporter
DEVELOPMENT partners have taken over the procurement of medicines for public hospitals amid revelations that they are funding 98 percent of drugs used there. The country is experiencing economic challenges that have made it difficult for Treasury to fully fund public hospitals. Speaking at an all stakeholders meeting at NatPharm in Harare last week, Principal Director-Preventive Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Gibson Mhlanga said Government remained committed to funding the health sector.

“As Government we know that development partners are contributing about 98 percent of our available medicines in all our public health institutions. “To the development partners, here present, I wish to state that the Government appreciates your assistance. We thank you very much for that,” he said.

Dr Mhlanga said the provision of healthcare remained a top priority for Government. He said healthcare was critical for sustained economic development and growth. “This, you will agree with me, that healthcare and especially the supply of medicines is high on the Government agenda. While there are resource constraints, the will and commitment is there.

“Because of the challenges we have raised as your ministry, Government has responded favourably by allocating funds, though not adequate, to the Ministry and Zim-Assett has listed Health as one of the must do ‘quick wins’ within the social service and poverty reduction cluster,” said Dr Mhlanga.

Kasukuwere springs to Moyo’s defence

Source: Kasukuwere springs to Moyo’s defence | The Herald October 17, 2016

Herald Reporter—
ZANU-PF Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere has claimed that further exposés about under fire Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo are ill-conceived and damaging the ruling party. Prof Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa are accused of swindling the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) of close to half a million dollars to fund party and personal programmes.

Ironically, Prof Moyo is on record saying all leaders accused of corruption should carry their crosses and not claim that allegations against them damage the party.

In April 2014, in apparent reference to then Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa who had claimed that media exposés on the “extortionate” demands he made to businessman Mr Conrad “Billy” Rautenbach were politically-motivated, Prof Moyo said: “This is the ultimate corrupt act to say you abuse public funds, you are caught with your hands in the till, it is published and then you say it is destroying the party.

“That is the worst expression of corruption. “You want us to keep quiet under the pretext that what you did that is unlawful was for your party and that if it comes out — just because you belong to that political party — you will go down with the political party. That doesn’t make sense.

“That is a primitive understanding of things. It is you and you alone, carry your cross. It has nothing to do with the party.” He went on: “What you are doing is not in the constitution of the party, not in the regulations of the party, not in the policies of the party. It is actually against the party. You were stealing alone.

“If we keep quiet about it and then the public discovers outside the media, they will say this guy was stealing for the party. They will say this party is corrupt and all they are talking about is some guy.”

In the Zimdef case, Prof Moyo has admitted to using his discretion to divert Zimdef funds meant to benefit students and colleges towards party programmes and to buy bicycles for traditional leaders in his Tsholotsho constituency in Matabeleland North.

Addressing journalists at a Press conference to mark International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction in Harare last week, Cde Kasukuwere — who is himself embroiled in a residential stands scandal — said further exposure of Minister Moyo could damage Zanu-PF, which he said was already dealing with the matter internally.

Prof Moyo has likened his actions to those of Robin Hood. Robin Hood is a legendary outlaw in British folklore who stole from the rich to give to the poor.

Said Cde Kasukuwere last week; “If one has to chase a rat and ends up burning a house, we then start wondering what is the objective? Issues to do with the party must be handled with the utmost discipline, respect that is expected of all of us and I think our leader the President has given us direction.

“He set up a committee to look into various matters, to look into the operations of some of these institutions that are mentioned, in particular the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. We expect that team to do its work.” He said there appeared to be an agenda against Prof Moyo.

“What concerns us is that it appears there is a bigger agenda than dealing with the issue (of corruption). What we are not going to accept is anything that ultimately damages the party. The party is a sacred institution with all of us in it.”

Prof Moyo tweeted recently that those accusing him of fraud were pushing a factional agenda in the party and that they were tribalists trying to keep Matabeleland marginalised. Cde Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister, said the fraud allegations against Prof Moyo were damaging Zanu-PF.

He accused Zacc of working against the party. “We as the party are seized with the matter. We want it to be handled in that manner,” he said. Prof Moyo and Gandawa are accused of abusing almost $400 000 of Zimdef money to fund programmes of their choice without authority.

Zacc is treating this as an act of fraud and has instituted an investigation of the two. Both Moyo and Gandawa deny any wrongdoing. Zacc investigations committee chair Commissioner Goodson Nguni last week told a media briefing in Harare that there was nothing personal against Prof Moyo.

Cde Kasukuwere was also quoted telling a rally in Norton last Thursday that Prof Moyo acted in the interest of the party, the President and the nation. He said those investigating him for corruption were sell-outs.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Wednesday said no one was above the law or immune to prosecution for criminal conduct. He said everyone, including Cabinet ministers and Vice Presidents, could be prosecuted if there were reasonable grounds to suspect they had committed a crime.

He said in terms of the Constitution, only the President was immune to criminal prosecution and that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission was a State arm mandated with investigating and dealing with cases of corruption.

VP Mnangagwa said this in the National Assembly while responding to questions from Members of Parliament who quizzed him on why then Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko was defending Prof Moyo, and wanted to know whether Cabinet ministers were immune from prosecution.

$35m bailout to avert power crisis

Source: $35m bailout to avert power crisis | The Herald October 17, 2016

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Government has averted a potential electricity crisis by issuing a R500 million ($35 million) guarantee to South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, to back up power imports from the neighbouring country. Eskom, which supplies Zesa Holdings with 300 megawatts, recently wrote to the power utility threatening to cut supplies over a $12 million debt. Erratic power supplies have a negative impact on industry and the agriculture sector.

Following the provision of the guarantee, the onus is now on Zesa to ensure it meets its obligations on time. Sources yesterday said the guarantee to Eskom was issued last week. “A looming disaster has been averted, but that does not mean Zesa has to relax because still the debt has to cleared,” said a source.

“In the event that Zesa fails to pay, Eskom will simply call up the guarantee and Government will have to pay the money. This is a burden if Zesa does not pay up. Because in the National Budget, that guarantee is not factored in, it means something budgeted for will have to suffer. Legally, Government is saying I am standing behind Zesa.”

The source said Zesa management must be rigorous and innovative to recoup $1,1 billion owed by consumers. This, said the source, was the only way the power utility could service its debts. “The guarantee will only be used as a last recourse in the event that Zesa fails to settle its bills,” he said.

“What Zesa needs to do is to ensure it settles its bills and for that to happen, it needs the support of everybody, including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Customers also have to respond positively as it is also in their interests.” Zesa also owes Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa $10 million.

Zesa chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba yesterday declined to comment on the guarantee, referring questions to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. He, however, said the power utility was putting in place measures “to avoid load- shedding at all costs”. “We are working hard to ensure there won’t be any load-shedding. We are going to be talking this coming week with our customers who are into exports with a view to see if they can give us part of their allocation such that we have foreign currency and are able to pay for power imports,” Eng Chifamba said.

“Load-shedding is something we should avoid at all costs. It has a negative impact not only on our operations but also on the actual functioning of the economy. In times like this, customers earning forex should come and assist. In the process of helping us, they will be helping themselves because without reliable and secure (power) supply their business will be undermined.”

He added: “Previously we have had this kind of dispensation with customers and it’s the same model we are trying to replicate. We have been successful with platinum customers and we are also making a plea to others to come on board. If we lose these supplies the effects are calamitous. What is a power crisis might turn out to be a serious financial crisis.”

Since the beginning of the year, Zimbabwe’s power situation has significantly improved due to a number of initiatives put in place by Zesa Holdings, including imports. During the last quarter of last year, the power cuts had been so severe that many residents experienced up to 18-hour outages. The power cuts also affected businesses, particularly mining companies and the manufacturing sector.

Lifestyle audits for Zimra staffers

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is set to embark on a lifestyle audit of its staffers, amid revelations that the government was losing millions of dollars through corruption. BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Source: Lifestyle audits for Zimra staffers – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 17, 2016

This comes as a forensic audit confirmed the existence of endemic corruption in Zimra, with the board now more resolved to eradicate it.

In a statement accompanying Zimra’s third quarter report for 2016, board chairperson, Willia Bonyongwe said corruption by the authority’s workers was costing the government money and lifestyle audits would be carried out to flush out corrupt staffers.

“The authority embarked on extensive lifestyle audits on selected individuals in an effort to evaluate their compliance. Debt follow-ups are being vigorously pursued. During the next quarter, lifestyle audits will be focused on Zimra officers. Corruption by Zimra officers is costing government a lot of money and it is expected that regular staff audits and other measures to combat corruption will see this revenue head and others improving, other things remaining equal,” she said.

“But it takes two to tango and the public is also expected not to entice officers into corrupt activities. Many, who have cut deals with Zimra officers, have had to pay the authority what they were supposed to pay then, plus penalties and interest.”

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s mid-term fiscal policy review said revenue leakages at the country’s border posts remained a major challenge, depriving the country of the much needed revenue.

Coincidentally, Zimra missed many targets on customs duty.

In its third quarter report, Zimra collected $157,98 million from a target of $192,33m from excise duty.

For gross customs duty, Zimra collected $64,31m from a target of $94m.

On net customs duty, $64,1m was realised from a target of $94m.

Bonyongwe said while the economy was considered resilient, it could no longer withstand the current levels of corruption.

“The board has an absolute zero tolerance on corruption and this message has been relayed to all officers,” she said.

According to the mid-term fiscal review, some of the methods being deployed in corruption include fake documents, tampering with scanners by some security personnel in order to facilitate false declarations, and connivance between Zimra officials and touts.

The connivance is to allow entry of goods without payment of the requisite duty levels and false declaration of cargo as being in transit to other countries, but ending up being sold in Zimbabwe.

Zimra said the country was losing $1 billion to smuggled goods, which could be potential revenue channelled through the formal system.

It said its anti-corruption hotline had unearthed several cases of corruption that yielded potential revenue of more than $23m.

The Corruption Perceptions Index has ranked Zimbabwe number 150 out of 168 countries.

Makarau needs to meet Nera halfway

Following recent meetings between the National Elections Reform Agenda (Nera) and the Zimbabwe Elections Commission (Zec), the electoral body’s boss, Rita Makarau came across as a dishonest broker with very little interest in reforming the body.

Source: Makarau needs to meet Nera halfway – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 17, 2016


Makarau conceded that there were military personnel in Zec and she was unable to remove them, as they had binding contracts, a valid reason on face value, but nevertheless disingenuous in the Zimbabwean context.

Unless Makarau has been living under a rock for the past year, then she should know that tens of thousands of Zimbabweans lost their jobs despite having binding contracts from their companies, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last year.

If she was sincere at listening to the electoral reform agenda and was willing to do something about their concerns, then the contracts of military personnel at Zec should not be an issue, as these can be cancelled at three months’ notice.

Makarau knows what is broken at Zec and is either unwilling or unable to fix it, making her meetings with Nera nothing but an exercise in futility.

On the Diaspora vote, Makarau conveniently hides behind the issue of lack of funds for registration of prospective voters.

There is no sign that she is willing to consult the Diaspora to see whether they can come up with modalities to fund their own registration process or what other mechanisms they can come up with.

By blaming lack of finances, as the stumbling block, Makarau hopes the issue of the Diaspora vote will be dead in the water and will not be raised again.

This is the same self-serving argument used against continuous voter registration; that the electoral body is unable to carry out the exercise because it does not have the funds for it.

It is time for Makarau to take advantage of the low hanging fruit by demilitarising Zec and the funds saved by terminating contracts for military personnel could be used for funding other programmes that have run aground due to the lack of money.

This will be the first step in showing she is an honest broker and is willing to meet Nera halfway.

Without any meaningful concessions from her, then her meetings with Nera are nothing, but an elaborate talk shop, where both sides will stick to their chosen positions and will be unwilling to budge.

We hope in future meetings there shall be movement regarding continuous voter registration, the Diaspora vote and the presence of military personnel within the body.
Failure to which, tensions will continue to rise, positions will harden and this is not helpful in the run up to elections that will certainly define the country’s future.

The politics of reform in Zimbabwe

Last month two major reports came out on economic and political reform in Zimbabwe. The first from Chatham House, looking at economic reform and the question of re-engagement by international actors, and the second, from the Institute for Security Studies, looking at similar themes, but focusing more on the political challenges.

Source: The politics of reform in Zimbabwe | zimbabweland October 17, 2016

They come to rather different conclusions. The Chatham House report argues strongly for re-engagement by the West and the International Finance Institutions. The ISS report is more sceptical, arguing that Zimbabwe’s reforms could be seen more of an exercise in pretence, and may help prop up the regime.

We have heard these arguments before. The pragmatists, arguing for engagement with the inevitable response that this is appeasement and those arguing for a major overhaul, but without any clear plan for how. Neither of these reports fall firmly into these stereotypes. These are both written by commentators with deep knowledge of the situation.

However, I found the Chatham House report definitely the most convincing. The authors are sanguine about the challenges, but realistic about what needs to be done. Their headline message is that “International and regional governmental engagement does not guarantee the success of long-term reform, but continued isolation will almost certainly lead to the failure of reforms to take hold”.

They point to the very real shifts that have occurred in the last year or two, often not accounted for in commentary on Zimbabwe. In part this is a response to the desperate economic situation, but also a sense of greater realism amongst elements of the ZANU-PF elite. The Chatham House report highlights the words of Patrick Chinamasa (pictured above), who has been leading the negotiations with the IFIs, among others. In a London speech in July he said:

“We are doing everything in our power to improve the operating environment in Zimbabwe to attract foreign direct investment. What the country needs right now is capital – new money. The debts and liabilities are there, and we need a strategy that can make the economy grow. And for the economy to grow we need foreign direct investments, which is why we are involved in a strategy to change the operating environment and we’ve moved mountains in this regard.”

The economic situation is certainly dire. The appreciation of the US dollar has made Zimbabwe’s exports less competitive. Manufacturing has declined yet further, along with the tax base, and so government revenues. This means paying civil servants (83% of public expenditure) is more and more difficult. Attempts to improve liquidity through creating treasury bills, bond notes and the rest have met with protest. Banks have gone bust, cash is in short supply, and hard currency is leaving the country in large amounts as the country becomes the region’s ‘bureau de change’.

Continued restrictions by the US government under ZDERA (the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001) means currency negotiations with the US Federal Reserve are prevented, and the economy must rely on exports, remittances, foreign investment and credit lines, all of which are under pressure. Confidence is at a low ebb, as political turmoil persists, and this in turn puts off investors, who fear yet more disruption around the next elections, and as a result of any succession battle for the presidency. The Chatham House report lays out the details, with some stark facts and figures (although as ever misrepresenting the data on food security – see recent blogs on this).

From liberation to liberalism: what prospects for reform?

This is the context that is forcing change. Chinamasa represents what the Chatham House report authors call a “transition from hard-line ‘patriotic liberationism’ to a more pragmatic economic liberalism”. The ISS report agrees that Zimbabwe has “the technical competencies to deliver” but points to the political challenges. The report observes: ”political support has been partial, inconsistent and largely tepid, underscoring a dawning reality that the imperatives of retaining ZANU-PF hegemony, the inevitability of Mugabe leaving office and the related factionalism around succession fundamentally stifle prospects for reform and, by extension, narrow options for engagement”. It goes on: “engagement is selective, policy statements often incoherent and serious questions remain about government’s commitment to deliver”. It concludes pessimistically: “the course appears set for continued economic decline, internecine political machinations and growing potential for violence, resistance and repression”.

There are good grounds for such pessimism, but a more rounded examination, as contained in the Chatham House report, shows that there is more going on than many give credit for, and that the political struggles over what reform means are more complex. To date, the government has certainly made important strides towards IFI compliance, under extremely constrained circumstances. This has been focused on the public finances, including reforms of the banking sector, attempts at public wage restraint, parastatal reform and privatization, efforts to inject greater transparency and accountability into the mining sector, and implementation of Constitutional provisions around land compensation and audit. Not all of these interventions have been successful, and there have been popular and political backlashes. Many – rightly – remain cynical. But there has been a surprising energy and commitment. This is about economic, and crucially, political survival.

However, as the Chatham House report notes, such reforms are only the beginning. Many international players want to see more. For example, “A deep wage cut across the board, clarity and consistency on indigenization, and the finalization of 99-year leases” will be required, plus “measurable democratic reforms, including the alignment of legislation to the 2013 constitution, abidance to the rule of law and adherence to human rights norms”. This may all be a tall order, particularly in the febrile political atmosphere in the run up to the 2018 elections, meaning many in the international community and the wider opposition will remain unconvinced.

Currently Zimbabwe is in a bind. The constraints on both international public and also private investment are stifling any prospect of economic recovery. Many investors suspect that reforms will be affected by party political dynamics. As the Chatham House report observes: “Attempts to attract investors are hampered by the lack of apparent planning for Zimbabwe’s post-Mugabe political leadership, and a prolonged succession battle could be extremely risky, not just for the party, but also for the country”.

Despite these qualifications, the Chatham House report is upbeat. It notes: “even in a context of severe economic constraints – and despite some overlaps between party and government issues – the government continues to function, and is supported by a professional, albeit eroded, civil service. There is still an operational distinction between party and government, and the divisions in the party have not fully replicated themselves across the state. Zimbabwe’s institutional capacity is fairly robust. Parliament remains an important nexus for bipartisan debate and scrutiny of elected officials”. These are important observations, and often forgotten (see an earlier blog on persistent bureaucratic professionalism).

Political alliances for reform

If technocratic and institutional capacity is not lacking, political incentives for reform often are. Here the Chatham House report again offers a nuanced analysis. It points to two opposing forces, cutting across party lines. First, there are those who have incentives to support reform. This includes many in ZANU-PF and the military who have strong business interests. They are driving the reform agenda, and include many in the upper echelons of the party, as well as new opposition groups (most notably Joice Mujuru and People First). The military-business elite is crucial here, as they may be the ultimate arbiters in the succession battle. With revenues from the Marange diamonds drying up due to new regulations and reforms, and other patronage networks in decline, as the Chatham House report notes, they are likely to be vested heavily in improving the business environment, and so ally strongly with reformers in the party, notably Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa.

Others are implacably opposed to reforms, seeing these as an imperialist imposition. There are those in the G40 group within ZANU-PF who make this nationalist-populist argument. According to Chatham House, they are: “sceptical of economic liberalization and re-engagement, particularly with the Bretton Woods institutions, as they fear this will mean the end of ZANU PF’s historical ideological objective to create a de facto one-party socialist state with a ‘captive’ or ‘token’ opposition”. While anyone with a memory of ESAP has a right to be cautious, the need to revive the economy is also apparent to anyone.

There are those in the opposition parties, supported especially by diaspora groups, who argue strongly against re-engagement too. But for different reasons. They are relaxed about a liberalisation stance at the centre of reforms and advocate free market approaches, but feel that the international community is letting the regime off the hook. More chaos, more decline, they believe will make the transfer of power easier, at or before the 2018 elections. If the opposition had a vision and an organisational base, such a stance might be credible. But accepting continued suffering for unlikely political gain, is in my view highly  irresponsible.

The Chatham House report therefore calls for re-engagement, and a phased approach to reforms, recognising the limits of alternatives, and the dangers of not doing anything:

“The interests of the ruling party, of the citizens of Zimbabwe and of international stakeholders are not mutually exclusive. There is little doubt that one of the main incentives behind the current government’s apparent commitment to the reform agenda is party survival. But if this means measures to achieve a stronger economy and better livelihoods, there should be tangible improvements in social and economic rights – and maybe, in time, more space for promoting civil and political liberties. Other options have not worked. The opposition, for its part, is in a fractured state, and it is not clear whether any strong alliance will be forged before the next elections”.

Failing to engage, and persisting with outdated sanctions measures (the report in particular fingers the US’s ZDERA restrictions and Canada’s stance), could be disastrous, not only for Zimbabwe but for the region as a whole. The report argues “Avoiding renewed economic collapse in Zimbabwe is important for Southern Africa, especially at a time when economic resilience is weakening elsewhere in the region.”

I agree, which is why a pragmatic if politically-challenging way forward must be found. The Chatham House report certainly offers valuable pointers, if not solutions, and is well worth reading.

This post was written by Ian Scoones and appeared on Zimbabweland

Mujuru juggernaut invades Beitbridge

OPPOSITION Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, takes her campaign trail to Beitbridge this weekend after rounding up her international diplomatic offensive, which saw her address rallies in South Africa and the United Kingdom. BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

Source: Mujuru juggernaut invades Beitbridge – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 17, 2016

The rally will be held at Dulivhadzimu Stadium on Saturday.

Mujuru is likely to use the event to vent her anger against implementation of Statutory Instrument 64/2016, which effectively banned importation of certain basic commodities, which had become a source of livelihood for the majority of Beitbridge residents, who survived on vending.

At her Masvingo rally in July, Mujuru cited Beitbridge as one of the places where people had expressed concern about bad policies.

“The riots in Beitbridge were because government did not consult the people before coming up with such a policy. You do not start by throwing a policy to the people. There was need to explain to the people. People are now clever. They think and analyse. Let us not lie to people,” she said.

“How can you limit importation of basic foodstuffs yet some people have extended families and may need more quantities than what you allow in the country? Now they are asking where the industries are that you want to protect.”

On July 1 this year, residents went berserk and destroyed government property at Beitbridge Border Post, as they protested against implementation of the statutory instrument.

A Zimbabwe Revenue Authority warehouse, council vehicles and traffic lights were destroyed, while some shops were looted in the demonstrations that later spread throughout the country.

Mujuru has since challenged the introduction of SI64/2016 and the matter still pending in court.

5 arrested as Norton violence escalates

INTERPARTY violence escalated in Norton yesterday, with an independent parliamentary candidate, Temba Mliswa sympathiser allegedly brutally assaulted by Zanu PF youths for allegedly making an offensive remark during a campaign rally addressed by the party’s national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere.

Source: 5 arrested as Norton violence escalates – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 17, 2016


The attack occurred as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has deployed its investigators to probe alleged cases of kidnappings and harassment of opposition activists in the sleepy town ahead of a by-election slated for Friday.

Zanu PF youths claimed the victim had uttered provocative words against the party’s candidate — Ronald Chindedza.

“We know him, he is saying rubbish things against Chindedza and he should not be here,” shouted one of the ruling party youths during the melee.

On Saturday, supporters of both candidates fought running battles, with police after they clashed over use of Ngoni Stadium, resulting in the arrest of five of Mliswa’s supporters. Mliswa is enjoying the backing of opposition MDC-T and a group of disgruntled war veterans, who recently severed ties with the ruling party, accusing President Robert Mugabe of dictatorship.

Kasukuwere told the rally that Mliswa had triggered the Saturday violence, which left five of his supporters arrested.

“Mliswa is a problem child, he is a nobody, and he is a trouble causer,” Kasukuwere said.

“In Norton, you have never tasted a teargas attack until Mliswa came in. This place is largely known for peace, but now, because of Mliswa, there is violence. It is very unfortunate. We must not allow that small bull to win here, he is a lone bull without a kraal, and how can you vote for such a man?”

Mliswa yesterday accused police of taking sides with Zanu PF and blocking his campaign rally in defiance of a High Court he was armed with.

“The issue is that Zanu PF is running scared and they fear being outnumbered. Our rally had more than 3 000 people and they were less than 200. They should stop abusing the police and State institutions,” he said.

The Norton seat fell vacant when former Zanu PF MP Christopher Mutsvangwa was expelled from the party and recalled from Parliament.

War vets call for ministry disbandment

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe should disband the War Veterans’ ministry because it has failed to serve the interests of its constituents and society in general, the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has said.

Source: War vets call for ministry disbandment – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 17, 2016


The call by Mutsvangwa’s executive, which has run afoul of Mugabe’s government, comes in the wake of reports that War Veterans’ minister, Tshinga Dube has crossed swords with a faction of former freedom fighters led by Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene.

On Wednesday and Friday last week, the two parties met to try and resolve their differences, but failed to break the impasse. War veterans permanent secretary, Walter Tapfumaneyi confirmed the meetings, but declined to disclose the agenda.

“I can confirm that two high-level meetings took place on Wednesday and on Friday. However, at this moment I cannot say anything concerning the meetings,” Tapfumanei said.

A source privy to the meetings said: “Nothing came of the meetings and instead Dube and his ministry are now groping in the dark for a new face to represent the interests of Zanu PF after realising the Chimene project has found no takers and would not sell.”

ZNLWVA spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya accused Dube of failing dismally to run the ministry.

“The ministry is not necessary, as it has neither spoken in defence of its constituency. The ZNLWVA and its membership condemn in no uncertain terms the evil in the ministry’s efforts to undermine a legitimate leadership of liberators of this country. It’s shameless and hypocritical behaviour that after a published letter in which the minister denied any involvement in the affairs of the association still commits itself to ignore the provisions of the Zimbabwe Constitution and that of the war veterans’ association,” he said.

ZNLWVA secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda also claimed that the ministry was manned by people, who were ignorant of their mandate.

“That ministry should just be disbanded. They have failed on their duties. For example, we still have war collaborators, who are supposed to be vetted, but instead of concentrating on that they worried about plundering the few dollars the ministry has on accumulating hotel bills and paying allowances for a few,” he said.

“Before the ministry, we were under the army and during that time, our welfare was better compared to now. They should just disband it and revert to placing war veterans under the army.”

Dube has admitted his ministry has failed in its bid to conduct a vetting exercise for war collaborators. He however, also queried the figures of living veterans of the liberation struggle arguing it has been “static despite deaths”.


Zanu PF cannot investigate Zacc: Mudenda

ZANU PF politburo member and National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, has said his party cannot investigate the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) investigators’ alleged misconduct in trying to arrest Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo on graft allegations two weeks ago. BY BLESSED MHLANGA/RICHARD CHIDZA

Source: Zanu PF cannot investigate Zacc: Mudenda – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 17, 2016

Mudenda’s admission comes shortly after President Robert Mugabe appointed him to lead investigations into Zacc’s conduct.

“We are not going to investigate Zacc and our terms of reference do not, in any way, make reference to the commission,” he said.

“I am aware and everyone is aware that we cannot investigate Zacc. It would be unconstitutional and we have neither mandate nor authority to do that.

“The committee is going to look at internal issues. It is an internal matter that is confined to our party (Zanu PF).”

Moyo, who faces charges of illegally syphoning $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), has claimed the allegations were part of a political plot to persecute him along tribal and factional lines.

Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire said Mugabe’s actions were patently illegal and unconstitutional, warranting his impeachment for failing to live by his oath.

“What Mugabe is doing is patently illegal and an affront on the Constitution of the country. Zacc is guided by the provisions of Chapter 12 section 235, which among other things, states that no person may interfere with the functioning of independent commissions,” he said.

“Mugabe’s attempt to subjugate the operations of the Zacc through the Zanu PF politburo is not only unconstitutional, but serious abuse of office enough to warrant his impeachment.”

Political analyst, Eldred Masunungure said: “Zacc is a creation of the Constitution and it will be inappropriate for the President to set up a party organ to investigate that body, I am not aware of any Act that allows such a set-up, if Zacc has violated the law, surely they should be subjected to constitutional processes.”

Masunungure said the politburo committee was an impulsive move by Mugabe “probably for desk research and not necessarily to bring Zacc commissioners to book”.

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said Mugabe’s move exposed his lack of respect for the Constitution and unwillingness to fight corruption.

“The Zacc is a constitutional body that cannot be investigated by a committee of any political party, it is illegal to place a body created under the Constitution to the authority of a political party and this should be condemned in the strongest terms,” he said.

People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume accused Zanu PF of pushing Mugabe into making an illegal decision.

Nothing allowed – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th October 2016

Source: Nothing allowed – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th October 2016

On the eve of a visit to London, the human rights activist Patson Dzamara was arrested for – as he put it – ‘sitting in a public park’. Patson – brother of abducted Itai Dzamara – was chatting in Harare Gardens with a few others wearing the Endgame tshirts. One of the others was Linda Masarira of ROHR, mother of five, only recently released from jail for taking part in protests.

They were all bundled into a truck by police officers. When they demanded to know the charge, the police were apparently clueless saying only that it was an ‘instruction from above’. Patson messaged later: ‘For sitting in a public park we have been charged with disorderly conduct and are spending the night in cells. We are not going to cower until we get our country back.’ Latest word was that the group of six were released on bail on Saturday to stand trial on Monday. Prosecutors accused them of abusing and insulting some law enforcement agents by likening them to dogs and puppets.

Vigil supporters in the UK who have received invitations to attend a meeting in the UK Parliament on Wednesday to be addressed by Patson wonder whether this is a clumsy effort to stop him travelling to London. Or is it just routine intimidation? The Mugabe regime is now so paranoid that it has given up any pretence of observing the constitution. Waving the flag or even wearing clothes in the national colours is an offence.

But when it comes to brazen corruption by the elite the police are suddenly powerless. An attempt to arrest higher education minister Jonathan Moyo for stealing public funds was halted by Mugabe himself. So much for the fight against corruption . . .

In the UK we are disappointed by the refusal of the government here to recognise how bad things are in Zimbabwe. The UK government seems to be determined to send home several of our supporters who are failed asylum seekers. Latest news is that Humphrey Dube was only saved because the plane had problems and couldn’t take off.

The ‘country guidance’ for Zimbabwe used by the Home Office is based on the last years of the government of national unity. The situation has now worsened and the Vigil supports the following petition: ‘The country guidance for Zimbabwe last updated in 2013 currently being used by Home Office to determine asylum cases is outdated. The case law that states that Zimbabwe is a safe destination for failed asylum seekers needs to be revisited as recent atrocities tell a different story.’ To sign the petition, visit:

Other points

  • Vigil supporters brought two magnificent cakes to mark the fourteenth anniversary of the Vigil. Thanks to Chipo Parirenyatwa, Deborah Harry and Cephas Maswoswa for the cakes and to Rashiwe Bayisayi for her banana bread. We put all the goodies on the front table and everyone gathered round holding posters reading: ‘Zimbabwe Vigil Fourteenth Anniversary’, ‘Fourteen years campaigning for human rights in Zimbabwe’ and ‘Fourteen years campaigning for democracy in Zimbabwe’.
  • Twenty or so members from our sister organisation ROHR walked 11.5 miles from East Croydon to the Vigil to raise funds. Highlights were singing outside Brixton market and the Odeon cinema at Streatham Common.
  • We ended the Vigil in pouring rain and were approached by the Who is Hussain? Muslim charity which runs, in the space outside the Embassy, a weekly food handout for the homeless immediately the Vigil ends. They asked if we could leave our tarpaulin up for them to which we agreed. They returned the tarpaulin and supporting rope to the home of the Vigil co-ordinator later in the evening. We are glad to have come to an arrangement that will help them on wet evenings.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Isaac Chawasarira, Benjamin Chigamba, Deborah Harry, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Prosper Karuru, Emmanuel Magarira, Marian Mangani, Shailet Manyange, Sharon Moyo, Tracy Mupeti, Douglas Tavengwa, Maureen Tavengwa and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to Sharon, Josephine, Roseline Mukucha and Cathrine Musa for looking after the front table, to Benjamin, Isaac, Prosper, Deborah, Maureen, Douglas, Tracey and Shailet for putting up the banners and to Phillip Mahlahla and Alfredy Mukuvare for putting up the tarpaulin later in the afternoon, to Isaac, Leslyn Kamba and Marian for handing out flyers, to Chipo Parirenyatwa for selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Elector for providing teabags, milk and sugar for tea to go with the cake.

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page:

FOR THE RECORD: 57 signed the register.


  • Zimbabwe’s New Citizen Activism: Where from here? Wednesday 19th October from 1 – 2.30 pm. Venue Committee Room 14, House of Commons, Westminster, SW1A 0AA. It is chaired by Lord Oates and speakers include Evan Mawarire and hopefully Patson Dzamara. To book:
  • Evan Mawarire: The Significance of Social Media for Public Protest in Zimbabwe. Wednesday 19th October from 5 – 6 pm. Venue: Chatham House, 10 St James Square, London SW1Y 4LE. To register to attend the event visit:
  • Mike Campbell Foundation Fifth anniversary: Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship – Restoring Justice, Restoring People.  Wednesday 26th October at 6.30 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. For tickets:
  • Special Prayer Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th November from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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 Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 5th November from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It’s between a newsagent and a shop. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 12th November. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark twenty months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:


Itai Dzamara’s ‘Abductors’ Named

Source: Itai Dzamara’s ‘Abductors’ Named | ZimEye 16th October 2016

Human rights defenders and social movements have released names of five people who are suspected to have abducted activist Itai Dzamara in March last year.

Prominent human rights lawyer Kennedy Masiye in his Facebook post released the names of the people who allegedly seized the former journalist at a barbershop in Harare.

He also added the registration number of the vehicle used by the abductors.

The names are also being circulated on other social media platforms, including WhatsApp and micro blogging site Twitter by groups such as Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag movement.

The High Court last year issued an order compelling police to act on the matter, but there has been no progress in terms of investigations.

Recently, Dzamara’s brother Patson petitioned Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, demanding the law enforcers to take Itai’s case seriously and investigate it with the urgency it deserved.

Patson yesterday said they had received many leads on his missing brother.

“The long and short of it is this: I received a text message from a certain number last year in August. The message contained details of what the sender said is what happened to Itai when and after he was abducted,” he said.
“The details contained those names. We escalated the matter to the police, CID department and they helped us through the investigations.

“The bottom line is that we could not make headway due to the fact that every single lead led to a dead end.”
Dzamara added: “It could have been a decoy but we are still working on it and I can’t reveal more details seeing that it’s still a matter we are dealing with.”

At one point Patson released grainy pictures of an image he claimed to have obtained from the secret services showing a person said to be Itai in captivity sitting on the floor with hands tied behind his back, while his head was draped in a bandage-like white cloth.

He claimed the military intelligence was responsible for his brother’s disappearance.thestandard

Govt seeks $12m for methane gas exploration

Source: Govt seeks $12m for methane gas exploration – Sunday News Oct 16, 2016

Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Government needs about $12 million to carry out an extensive coal bed methane gas exploration in Lupane District, Matabeleland North Province before commencement of extraction of the resource, an official has said.

Mines and Mining Development Permanent Secretary Professor Francis Gudyanga said the Government was seeking funding to embark on a comprehensive exploration of the coal bed methane gas reserves in Lupane. He said the Government had since set up an inter-ministerial committee that includes technical and fund raising sub-committees that would look at all aspects leading to the exploitation of the gas.

“The main reason (why we are still to extract the gas) is that, to do a bankable study we need something like $12 million. Once that is achieved it then opens the industry of exploitation. It is estimated that Zimbabwe has the largest coal bed methane reserves in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, estimated at about 44 trillion cubic metres,” Prof Gudyanga said.

He said extraction of the coal bed methane gas would facilitate the establishment of a number of downstream industries.

“It (coal bed methane gas) can be a source of many things such as fertiliser and obviously fuels like diesel, petrol and the jet one and also it’s the beginning of plastic industry. So it really opens up a whole of sub-industries, we can have tar and other chemicals . . . ,” said Prof Gudyanga.

Discovery Investments managing director Mr Lloyd Thabani Hove said his company had sought an investor to partner to start coal bed methane gas extraction at its

100 000 hectare concession but the financier was dragging feet after the Government indicated that it would have a stake in all renewable energy exploited in the country. The company’s Special Grant is situated at Mzola and Dandanda communal areas.

“We long found an investor to partner us but the Government insists on having a stake on our project and as a result of that our financier is now sceptical. For us this is frustrating because the Government has more gas fields than us. In actual fact it’s (Government) fields are six times bigger than ours. By now we would have started extracting the gas and perhaps playing our part in ensuring adequate power in the country,” said Mr Hove.

Late last year the Government indicated that Russian energy giant, Gazprom, had expressed an interest in the extraction of gas in Lupane.

Methane is a colourless, odourless gas with a wide distribution in nature. It is the principal component of natural gas, a mixture containing about 75 percent methane, 15 percent ethane, and five percent other hydrocarbons, such as propane and butane.

Makomo gets licence for power station . . . international investors to fund project

Source: Makomo gets licence for power station . . . international investors to fund project – Sunday News Oct 16, 2016

Roberta Katunga in Hwange
COAL mining concern Makomo Resources has secured a licence to develop a 660 megawatt power station amid revelations that at least $3 billion is needed to fund the project.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Makomo sixth year anniversary celebrations at the mine on Friday, general manager Mr Samson Mabvira revealed that the company had been given the go ahead by the Government to proceed with the power project.

Mr Mabvira said the company would proceed with implementing the project that would be spearheaded by Southern Energy, a company with links to Makomo Resources.

“We got the licence two weeks ago and at the time that we were waiting for Government approval, we have been moving around looking for off takers that we have managed to secure,” he said.

He said the project that is estimated to cost between $2 to $3 billion would produce about 660 megawatts of electricity as two 330 MW plants are being constructed as part of the project.

Mr Mabvira estimated that once the investors release the finance, the project would take about two years to complete.

“We have set a timeline of a maximum of three years once funding is released by the international investors that we have on board. Southern Energy will be in charge of the project as we are responsible for the production of the raw material that is coal,” he said.

The power station is meant to ease power shortages that are being faced in the country as Zesa struggles to provide sufficient electricity amid fears of being cut off by regional suppliers from South Africa and Mozambique due to unsettled debts for power imports.

Zesa has also allegedly threatened to resort to load shedding as it is unsustainable for the company to prepay electricity from other countries.

Meanwhile, Mr Mabvira said the Zimbabwe Power Company owes Makomo about $25 million for the supply of coal. He said their main production supplies were to ZPC, last month having delivered 163 000 tonnes to the power company. Mr Mabvira said Makomo was targeting to produce 200 000 tonnes a month of coal by the end of the year.

“When we started off operations in 2010, our mandate was to stabilise coal supply in the country. We reached our peak production in 2013 but in 2014 and 2014 production was low because we reduced delivery to ZPC. However, from this year, our numbers have started increasing and we want to surpass our 2013 production which was the highest at 186 000 tonnes per month. Our aim is to go beyond 200 000 tonnes by end of the year,” he said.

He said the company was also supplying power stations in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare as well as exporting to countries like Zambia. Mr Mabvira that the company has managed to stay afloat due to adaption to changing business models and protecting themselves as individuals.

“If you leave your fate in the hands of others you will not succeed. Our strategy is that if you work at Makomo and do not perform, you are not fit to be in the matrix as we need people who are diligent. Time is moving and there are always changes,” he said.

According to the mine, the company has a non retirement clause which states that a worker has two options; perform or leave.

Workers Committee member Mr Amos Gutu said the workers were prepared to lift the company flag and uphold its integrity.

“We as the workers want to make Makomo the largest coal producer not only in Zimbabwe but beyond,” he said.

The Makomo  celebrations which are an annual event on the company calendar were officiated by Victoria Falls Mayor Sifiso Mpofu as the guest of honour and delegates were treated to live performances by various artistes that included Jah Prayzah, Alick Macheso, Peter Moyo, Sulumani Chimbetu as well as Baba na Mai Charamba.

Zimdef: An ugly history of abuse

Source: Zimdef: An ugly history of abuse – Sunday News Oct 16, 2016

Harare Bureau
PUBLIC officials have for years regarded the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) as a kitty to fund lives of luxury.

Documents in Our Harare Bureau’s possession point to a history of abuse by Zimdef officials and those from the Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Ministry. Money from Zimdef has been used to fund luxury vehicles, eyebrow-raising fuel allowances, Christmas parties and farm workers’ allowances and salaries.

An audit instituted by former Higher Education Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri tried to end that behaviour at Zimdef, but if allegations against incumbent portfolio head Professor Jonathan Moyo are anything to go by, not much has been done to consolidate her attempt at a clean-up.

According to the probe by the National Manpower Advisory Council audit committee for the period covering 1 January 2011 to 28 February, 2015, Zimdef is a piggy bank for public officials. In that time, US$2 107 573 was used to buy luxury vehicles and US$702 718 was spent on their maintenance costs.

That audit said Higher Education Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa approved a policy that gave the Zimdef trustee — who is the minister — to get a 4×4 vehicle and an office at Zimdef’s head office.

“Vehicles bought by Zimdef directly for use by the ministry include a Toyota double-cab for Mr Karimanzira — professional assistant to the trustee/minister, Madza BT50 double cab for Mrs Mapfumo — personal assistant to the minister, Mazda BT50 for the minister and a Peugot 406 for Mrs Mutendwa,” said the audit.

Former Higher Education Permanent Secretary Dr Washington Mbizvo, the audit said, used Zimdef money to pay his workers at Woodlands Farm; while other funds were spurged on Christmas parties, dinner dances and personal assistants’ annual conferences in South Africa when similar training programmes were available in Zimbabwe.

Dr Mbizvo was paid per diem, travelling and subsistence allowances by Zimdef when he also received the same from his ministry. The audit says he also made donations using Zimdef money.

“It appears that the Perm Sec (Dr Mbizvo) abused the authority of his position by instructing Zimdef to pay for expenditure that is outside its mandate, and without the necessary supporting documents,” reads part of the audit.

Zimdef CEO Mr Frederick Mandizvidza, according to the audit, accessed a questionable US$35 000 loan to renovate his Alexander Park house on 29 November, 2013. He also got a US$21 654 educational loan over and above the free education allowance paid by Zimdef for his four children.

The CEO accessed four concurrent loans amounting to US$66 735 instead of three as per organisational policy, and instead of paying back in three years required, requested that he do so over four-and-a-half years.

Mr Mandizvidza and Zimdef principal director (finance) Mr Nicholas Mapute used six and four vehicles each, and gobbled over 10 000 litres of fuel in one year, according to the audit.

Former Higher Education Minister Dr Stan Mudenge received 10 500 litres of fuel between 26 May 2011 and 12 September, 2012; while another ex-office holder Dr Olivia Muchena received 6 000 litres of fuel in just four months. Dr Gandawa received 4 000 litres of fuel in four months while Dr Mbizvo got 1 000 within two months.

Auditors noted that fuel allocation to the minister and ministerial staff was “too high given that they have other allocations from the ministry”.

“Zimdef funds are solely contributed by industry and commerce and are aimed at funding ‘the development of skilled manpower in Zimbabwe’. It seems the provisions of the Manpower Planning and Development Act, Chapter 28:02 (1996) were over-stretched by the (Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development) to fit whatever expenditures that could not be justified under the Government’s fiscal budget allocation to the ministry.

“Zimdef became a soft cash cow to fund Christmas parties, dinners, lunches, meetings, farm workers and secretaries’ celebrations,” reads part of the audit.

The auditors noted, “In terms of its mandate, Zimdef funded the training needs of apprentices at vocational technical, polytechnics and colleges. The disturbing development noticed in this audit period was the proliferation of transactions in nature and in number, that were outside the Zimdef mandate, which the Permanent Secretary (Dr Mbizvo) directly or through his officers and ministry departments, requested and instructed Zimdef to fund from its cash resources.”

Mr Mandizvidza was not immediately available for comment while Dr Gandawa declined to discuss the matter.

1 500 voters per polling station in 2018

Source: 1 500 voters per polling station in 2018 – Sunday News Oct 16, 2016

Harare Bureau
ONLY 1 500 voters will be allowed per polling station during the 2018 harmonised elections, while a new voters’ roll will have photographs of registered electorate members, it has been established.

An indelible ink marker will be used, with biometric technology capturing polling data and deregistering voters with physical profiles that feature at more than one polling station. These and other innovations feed into Zimbabwe’s overarching plan to align electoral processes with international best practices.

The reforms will cost roughly US$30 million, and will be funded by donors and Government. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chair Justice Rita Makarau told our Harare Bureau, “To manage the queues and to be voter-centric, we have decided to go polling station-specific. This means we will allocate each voter to a particular polling station. Our thresholds will not exceed 1 500 (voters) per polling station. (We have come up with 1 500) because we believe this is the maximum number any polling station, given the number of polling officers we deploy, should be able to process from 7am to 7pm.

“Anything above that will actually stretch our polling officers and compromise accuracy and the integrity of the entire process.

So we have decided to put the threshold at not less than 800 and not more than 1 500 voters per polling station.”

Polling station-based voting is provided for by Section 22A of the amended Electoral Act. Previous elections in Zimbabwe have used ward-based voting, resulting in long queues as one could vote at any polling station in their ward. However, the latest innovation engenders greater transparency as witnessed during trials in recent by-elections. Justice Makarau said Zec will soon invite bids for supply of biometric voter registration technology.

“Just to clarify, biometric voter registration is not an Election Day technology; it is simply a technology for voter registration before the election. Our voting is not going to be electronic because we have a biometric voter registration system. The system means that in addition to your details like date of birth, names, and ID number, we are also going to capture some of your biometrics. We will capture your face and fingerprints digitally. That will give us a new voters’ roll with more integrity. The presiding officer will be able to check if you are the bonafide voter. So, the picture is going to be an additional feature to our voters’ roll.”

Botswana shoots, burns 400+ Zim stray cattle

Source: Botswana shoots, burns 400+ Zim stray cattle – Sunday News Oct 16, 2016

Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Reporter
IN a case that has attracted the ire of farmers, the Botswana government has killed and burnt more than 400 cattle that strayed into that country from Zimbabwe in just over a month.

The Botswana government, which is seeking to protect its quota of beef export to the European Union engaged Zimbabwe early this year and vowed that they will shoot any cattle that will stray into the country to guard against the spread of the Foot and Mouth disease.

Authorities from the neighbouring country started shooting cattle that strayed into their territory on the first week of September. According to information obtained from the Department of Livestock Production and Development (DLPD), more than 400 cattle have been shot and had their carcasses burnt by the Botswana authorities.

The data showed that Beitbridge District has been the most affected as farmers in the area have lost 396 beasts that strayed into Botswana. In Mangwe, 11 cattle were shot and burnt. The figure could be higher as the department indicated that it was still collating figures in Gwanda and Bulilima districts.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister responsible for livestock Cde Paddy Zhanda said while the development was not good to farmers and the country, it was upon the farmers and communities that live close to the Botswana border to ensure they look after their livestock.

“It (the shooting) is not nice, people should look after their cattle to avoid losses. We might need to visit the affected areas soon to sensitise them,” he said.

DLPD Matabeleland South provincial livestock specialist Mrs Simangaliphi Ngwabi urged farmers to adhere to proper livestock management techniques through ensuring that their cattle do not encroach onto the Botswana side.

“Botswana officials informed us that they would shoot cattle that strayed into their border and the Deputy Minister (Zhanda) went on a campaign sensitising farmers at all border areas to desist from letting their animals stray into the neighbouring country. We can’t put the blame on Botswana for shooting our cattle because they issued a three months warning before starting the shooting.

“They can’t risk losing their EU export licence because our farmers have let their cattle cross into their borders. Their economy is largely driven by trading in beef, business is business and as such we shouldn’t play a part in them losing their EU quota. We therefore advise our farmers to adhere to proper livestock management which entails checking the movement of their animals from time to time,” Mrs Ngwabi said.

Another livestock specialist, Mr Mhlupheki Dube reiterated Mrs Ngwabi’s sentiments saying there was nothing sinister about the shooting of cattle that would have crossed into Botswana as the neighbouring country was making efforts to protect its niche market.

“They are protecting their market which has set standards to meet. It’s our farmers’ responsibility to look after their cattle, it’s not Botswana’s. Although it is painful for our farmers to lose their livestock they have to acknowledge that Botswana is protecting their business interests and by trespassing our animals will be tampering with their bio-security systems,” said Mr Dube.

Prof Moyo, Dr Gandawa’s woes deepen

Source: Prof Moyo, Dr Gandawa’s woes deepen – Sunday News Oct 16, 2016

Harare Bureau
INVESTIGATORS probing how a Cabinet minister and his deputy allegedly abused US$430 000 belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) say they are also looking into other “questionable transactions” involving more than US$1,5 million.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) was already investigating allegations that Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy, Dr Godfrey Gandawa, siphoned US$430 000 from Zimdef through shelf companies Wisebone Trading and Fuzzy Technologies. Dr Gandawa owns Fuzzy Technologies.

The fresh probe means ZACC is investigating potential prejudice to Zimdef of over US$2 million. Prof Moyo has, via social media, tacitly admitted that he diverted money from the Fund but claims the probe is political and tribal in nature — statements that large sections of the public have derided.

Contacted for comment on the earlier probe involving US$430 000 and the new one concerning US$1,5 million, Dr Gandawa disconnected his cellphone without answering any questions. On the latest allegations, investigators are interested in several Zimdef transactions authorised by Prof Moyo and/or Dr Gandawa.

Of particular interest is that on 24 April 2015, Zimdef spent US$22 745 for the Higher Education Ministry’s participation at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair but the figure jumped to US$947 463,94 for ZITF 2016.

Information availed to our Harare Bureau shows that ZITF pavilions are let out through five-year leases with exhibitors paying a yearly rate of at least US$4 000.

Investigators say the ministry broke down its use of nearly US$1 million from Zimdef for this year’s ZITF thus: stand renovations — US$127 006; main activities, paid to AB Communications and Troika Design — US$113 850; preparations, paid to Fuzzy Technologies — US$185 840; preparations, paid to AB Communications — US$10 100; spaces for ZITF — US$28 876; and ZITF works for the stand — US$32 583,95.

According to information given to ZACC, AB Communications — owned by Information Communication Technology and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira — was paid a total of US$482 149,78.

However, AB Communications says it only received US$12 000 for advertising. Further, Zimdef bought vehicles for the Higher Education Ministry valued at US$200 000 on 7 September, 2015. This was despite auditors’ recommendation against such expenditure. On 9 June, 2016, Zimdef forked out US$80 284,47 to buy a vehicle for Dr Gandawa.

Other questionable transactions are the payment of US$440 047,46 for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) adverts. Documents show some of the advertising payments went to named media houses. But investigators are concerned with payments whose destination is not stated in any document availed to ZACC.

These include a US$181 633,42 payment on 4 June, 2016 which is only referred to as “Stem initiative adverts”, US$121 153,61 for “Stem multimedia campaign” and US$38 485,10 for “Stem video”. Investigators want to know who those payments were made to and where the adverts appeared.

Another interesting transaction is one listed as Prof Moyo’s meeting with Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko on 4 July 2016 which cost Zimdef US$2 985. Zimdef also paid US$3 230 for the funeral of the minister’s daughter on 5 November 2015. This was despite Prof Moyo having already unprocedurally accessing a US$24 000 loan from Zimdef for the same purpose. Prof Moyo paid back the loan, but the action was allegedly in breach of Chapter 28:02 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act which makes no provision for extension of personal loans to the minister from Zimdef funds.

Before taking interest in the above transactions, ZACC had prepared a docket against Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa on five charges of fraud as defined in Section 136 of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23), and three charges under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act (Chapter 9:24).

ZACC is also investigating a separate case in which Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa allegedly directed Zimdef to buy 100 000 litres of diesel worth US$118 500, fuel which investigators suspect was then sold on the black market.

Zimdef was established in terms of Section 23 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act 36 of 1984, now revised Manpower Planning and Development Act (Chapter 28:02) of 1996, to finance development of critical and highly skilled manpower through a one percent Training Levy paid by companies registered in Zimbabwe.

About 70 percent of revenue is supposed to be dedicated towards the fund’s main mandate, while 20 percent goes to administration and 10 percent to capital projects.

The fund pays wages to apprentices; tuition, accommodation and food for apprentices at tertiary institutions; and purchase of training equipment, training consumables and library books. The fund also has provision for development of infrastructure like libraries and workshops.

The alleged abuse of funds comes even as Zimdef, as reported by our sister publication The Herald, plans to retrench 60 of its 200 workers due to “lack of financial resources”. Zimdef reportedly collects about US$3,6 million per month and its wage bill is less than US$200 000.

Analysts Urge ‘Soft Landing’ to Post-Mugabe Transition in Zimbabwe

Currency and food shortages, unemployment, and alleged government corruption plague nation; Zimbabeans are divided about what’s needed in post-Mugabe era

Source: Analysts Urge ‘Soft Landing’ to Post-Mugabe Transition in Zimbabwe – VOA  October 15, 2016

Zimbabwe is in flux. There are regular protests, especially in the capital, over currency and food shortages, unemployment, and alleged government corruption and mismanagement.

Observers say an effective political solution may not be soon in coming.

President Robert Mugabe, 92, and his ruling ZANU-PF party have been in power for 36 years. But the party is breaking into factions, and at least one former member, onetime Vice President Joyce Mujuru, has formed her own party, Zimbabwe People First. The longtime opposition Movement for Democratic Change has new competitors, including more than a dozen new parties and youth-driven protest movements inspired by social media. All are preparing for national elections in 2018.

Participants in a recent symposium at the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace looked at some of the challenges facing Zimbabwe, and they agreed that its citizens and the international community alike would favor a “soft landing” in a post-Mugabe future.

Military is ‘really central’

Symposium participant Alex Vines, head of the Africa Program at the London-based policy institute Chatham House, said the West has become complacent and has lost contact with the military and with different factions within the ruling party.

“If we get into a really uncertain and unpredictable security situation in Zimbabwe,” he said, “it will be the military that will have a role in managing that process. … I believe the military will play a key role … in whatever happens, as a kingmaker in whatever coalition or inclusive political entity that might come up [between] the opposition and parts that have split from ZANU-PF. The military is really central here.”

Symposium delegates also urged the U.S. and its allies to revisit sanctions on Zimbabwe targeting more than 80 people and 50 groups linked to human rights violations, corruption and mismanagement. They said the sanctions list was outdated and included government critics like Mujuru.

Vines said many Zimbabweans blame the sanctions for their suffering, rather than the government.

“I do believe that … ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe won the propaganda battle about sanctions, and I’m surprised at how many well-educated Zimbabweans from civil society and others blame sanctions partly for economic woes and not economic policies,” he said. “It has been used as a fig leaf to hide financial mismanagement and other problems. That was one of the drivers for the European Union and Australia to significantly reduce their targeted measures on Zimbabwe to Mugabe, the first lady and Zimbabwe Defense Industries, and I do believe the U.S. and Canada … need to [revise their outdated sanctions] lists very carefully.”

Role of sanctions

Also taking part in the seminar was Johnnie Carson, former U.S. assistant for secretary of state for African affairs under the Obama administration. He said the U.S. government had considered lifting sanctions in order to encourage democratic reforms. But he suggested that the U.S. maintain them as a way to encourage democratization and good governance in Zimbabwe although those efforts have not succeeded so far.

“In 2010 and 2011,” he said, “we worked very closely with the South Africans looking for solutions … and said … that we, and I, would have been willing to do everything possible to pull down the sanctions if the Zimbabweans were willing to do one or two significant things in the runup to [the 2013] elections, [such as] invite the Carter Center, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and the Commonwealth to be monitors for the elections. … We must continue to probe and look for opportunities, but recognize there are times we don’t have partners, and times when the environment does not permit.”

Carson said U.S. ambassadors to Africa should continue to reach out to Zimbabwe’s business community — an idea also backed by Whitney Schneidman, former deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs and current senior associate at the Washington-based law firm of Covington and Berling. He noted the efforts of former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton to strengthen ties with the country’s private sector last year.

The Corporate Council on Africa was invited to send a trade mission to Zimbabwe and a reverse trade mission from Zimbabwe came to the U.S.,” Schneidman said. “This activity should be continued. A delegation from the President’s Advisory Committee on Doing Business in Africa could conduct a fact-finding visit to the country.”

Strive for more stability

Schneidman said the Mugabe government should take action to enhance stability in the runup to elections and a new administration. He said the government had proposed a land compensation fund for both black and white farmers who have been displaced as owners by administration supporters. It is also considering long-term leases that would allow farmers to invest in fallow land.

Schneidman also urged continued efforts by Harare to improve relations with the World Bank and other international financial institutions.

Participants in the Washington panel said Zimbabwe had lost the interest of some policymakers in the West. But they said the country remained an important player in southern Africa politics and trade, and that state collapse and a worsening refugee crisis could destabilize the whole region.

How Zimbabwe Made Zimbabwe’s Flag Illegal

Trevor Saruwaka, a member of the Zimbabwean parliament, got some good news this week: A court has just cleared him of “gathering with intent to promote public violence, a breach of the peace, or bigotry.” The serious-sounding charges stemmed from his participation in a September demonstration that was violently broken up by the government.

Source: How Zimbabwe Made Zimbabwe’s Flag Illegal – FP  October 14, 2016

Just last week, Saruwaka was courting an entirely different sort of controversy, when security guards barred him from entering the parliament building to attend the body’s opening session. The cited reason will probably come across as absurd to anyone living outside our country: The lawmaker was wearing a jacket in the green, gold, red and black colors of the national flag. “I am shocked because I didn’t know it’s a criminal offense to be patriotic,” Saruwaka said.

Zimbabwe’s flag has become a symbol of protest since pastor Evan Mawarire accidentally founded the #ThisFlag movement earlier this year when a video of himself draped in the flag and lamenting the state of the country’s governance went viral on Facebook. In response, thousands of Zimbabweans have been inspired to speak up against the government by posting pictures of themselves with the flag. Mawarire’s intent was straightforward. He wanted to remind the government that Zimbabwe belongs to its people, and not to a particular political party.

Mugabe and the other members of his ruling ZANU-PF party were not amused. As the protests have continued, the regime has resorted to a rather desperate stratagem — they’ve essentially banned their own country’s flag. On September 20, Justice Ministry official Virginia Mabhiza warned citizens that using the flag without the government’s permission is punishable by a fine of $200 (in a country where the average citizen lives on just over $3 per day), a jail term of up to one year, or both. Mabhiza cited an obscure law that makes it illegal to “burn, mutilate or otherwise insult the national flag … in circumstances which are calculated or likely to show disrespect … or to bring [it] into disrepute.”

Needless to say, the law says nothing at all about how the government defines “disrespect” or “disrepute,” leaving vast leeway to the powers-that-be to interpret these criteria as they see fit.

In Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, the mere act of wrapping oneself in the national flag is now deemed an act of subversion. The Herald, a state-controlled newspaper, accused protesters of “using the flag to whip up political emotions against the constitutionally elected government.”

Pastor Mawarire was briefly arrested, but walked free after the government failed to make treason charges stick. He left Zimbabwe for South Africa, and now lives in the United States. The #ThisFlag movement has lost momentum since his departure — but other civic groups such as the Tajamuka Movement, which has been using social media to galvanize protests, have moved into the spotlight. The group’s leader, Promise Mkwananzi, told Reuters that the group has no intention of obeying the government’s restrictions. “It is total insanity that government should ban citizens from using their own flag,” he said.

“We are going to continue to make use of our flag. It is our identity.”

Critics have dismissed the government’s ban as baseless. Fadzayi Mahere, a Harare-based lawyer, says that the regulations cited by the government don’t require citizens to seek its permission to “wear or possess the flag,” and that wearing, using, or possessing the national flag doesn’t constitute a criminal offense. “And even where sale and manufacture of the flag are concerned, no law bans these activities,” he added.

As I see it, the flag ban is attempt by Mugabe’s government to reclaim the upper hand in an environment where protests seem to have become the norm. What better way to slow down popular uprisings than to take away the symbol that unites the protestors?

Banning the flag may also make it easier for security forces to single out, arrest, and convict protesters. The government had been finding it hard to find justifiable reasons to imprison protesters, as the Zimbabwean constitution explicitly gives citizens the right to protest.

When Mugabe became the country’s first post-independence leader, one of his first responsibilities was to sign off on the design of the new national flag. It seems possible that that same flag will signal the end of the Mugabe era.

A simple plan for Zimbabwe

As a regular visitor to Zimbabwe, and as a local and international business owner, together with my love of this country and its people, I feel compelled to bring my views, suggestions and experience to the general public and political powers of the Country.

Source: A simple plan for Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwean 16.10.2016

I have over 40 years of Business and Finance experience, in the Accountancy, Retail and Resources Industries, and have developed a deep caring and empathy for Zimbabwe and its people, in the 5 years that I have been visiting.

I and have been in Zimbabwe for up to a total of 6 months each year in three to six week periods, 4-6 times pa.

I have travelled all over the Country and have met hundreds of wonderful and resilient Zimbabweans during this time.

I have a simple question for the RBZ/Govt on the Proposed introduction of the “Bond Notes aka, New Zimbabwe Dollar” which no one seems to want or accept, and as a consequence, it is further fanning the cash notes crisis, and creating ongoing hoarding of USD$ cash notes by everyone in Zimbabwe.

The Question for the RBZ and Government is?

“If the purpose of introducing these new Bond Notes is to ease the Liquidity Crisis, and as these Bond Notes are supposed to be backed on a 1:1 basis by USD$ Funds, then why bring in these Bond Notes at all, when for the same money, the RBZ can bring in fresh USD$ Notes, which everyone will accept?”

From a number of articles that I have read over the last few months, it appears the original Afrexim Bank facility of USD$200M (if it ever actually existed), has been fully used over the last 6 months to bring in actual USD$ cash notes into Zimbabwe, and as a consequence, there is no more of this Facility available, and the RBZ is unable to provide the 1:1 USD$ backing demanded by the Bond Note printers in Germany, and thus the reason for the ongoing delay in introduction.

This in turn will force the RBZ to print these within Zimbabwe.

Possibly, these Bond Notes will eventually be printed by Fidelity Printers, with ZERO USD$ backing, just as they did the Zimbabwe$ in 2008/9, which will render such Notes/Currency, worthless once again!

Regrettably, it also appears that the RBZ/Government now owes the Zimbabwe Banks in excess of USD$2 Billion in borrowings that the RBZ has forced on the Banks, and who are also complicit in this massive fraud on current Bank depositors (the bank’s customers). They have now spent this money, which has all been generated via Export proceeds into RBZ controlled Nostro and RTGS accounts. This real money, that the Bank’s used to own and control, has now been replaced with IOU’s called Treasury Bills, which the RBZ and Government have no ability or capacity to repay, unless they issue these infamous Bond Notes Currency as repayment.

This will then “Force” the Banks to exchange their Depositors Funds, which are currently in USD$, to Bond Note currency, and one wonders why Zimbabweans are hoarding their valuable USD$ notes, and they should be concerned, as they may lose their money all over again.

This is the real reason that the RBZ is unable to promptly process foreign payments for imported goods, and why all Banks in Zimbabwe are now either Bankrupt or insolvent, as the majority of their former assets ( cash and other liquid assets to cover Depositors funds), have now been converted to worthless Govt Treasury Bills/IOU’s.

The majority of the USD$ that all Zimbabweans think they have in their Bank accounts, is no longer there, with such funds having been conveniently mis-appropriated by the RBZ/Govt, to pay for their own expenses and shortfalls, hence the real reason for the future introduction of Bond Notes!


How can Zimbabwe rejuvenate itself, create greater export inflows, and create the proper Empowerment for the Zimbabwe people, that they so desperately seek.

This is just a simple plan, and yes I am WHITE, but really, what does the colour of our skin have to do with anything?

“A 6-month Plan to a Better Future Life for all Zimbabweans”

1          Exclude the color of your skin as a reason for ANYTHING. We are all part of humanity and must have absolute compassion and understanding for all races and religions, but everyone must abide by the local laws of proper justice, and everyone must have compassion and empathy for those less fortunate than ourselves. Racial attitudes and divisions have no place in today’s world.

2          Abide by the Constitution of Zimbabwe at all times, and ensure that there is an immediate separation of powers between the Judiciary, the Government and the Church. This is not the case today, and the intertwining of these crucial areas, is a Country destroyer.

3          Immediately repeal the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, as there is no Empowerment here, just ongoing theft and corruption via this Legislation. The real empowerment for Zimbabweans is to have a job, receive regular and uninterrupted cash flow from employment, contribute to Government revenue with taxes, assist their families to have a roof over their heads, food on the table and educate and bring up their children to become future employees, business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders in both Community and Government.

Handing out shareholdings in Companies that are struggling, or successful Companies built by individual and collective hard work and Capital, and then rely on future dividend payments for cash flow, is not Empowering, it is constricting development of the individual, the Company and the Country.

4          Encourage high level Foreign Investment to facilitate agricultural, mining and industrial growth with tax incentives, asset protection and the ability to repatriate initially 100% of any investment with a reasonable rate of return, with no restrictions, then dividend and profits repatriation, subject to the payment of local taxes. Zimbabwe is blessed with these assets, many of which are grossly under-utilized and under-developed, for lack of available Capital.

5          Maintain the current USD$ based currency, until the Country has sufficient reserves to support its own currency again, and introduce strict rules and regulations for the RBZ, that will ensure that the hyper Inflation era cannot happen again.

6          Educate your sons and daughters to renounce violence, and on the evil of corruption, lies and poor ethics and moral judgements, so that they can become the true and strong leaders of the future that you know they can be.

This can only be achieved with hard work and with a total renunciation of the “Entitlement Culture” that has developed, and encourage all small business owners, whether they be Major corporates, small miners, vendors, retailers or service providers, with easier regulations.

7          The repeal of the above Act and the provision of investment incentives for the Agriculture and Mining Sectors initially, will lead to a resurgence in Foreign Investment virtually overnight, and the improvement in local manufacturing capacity, as generally every $1 spent on these crucial areas, results in up to an additional $5-$8 spent on services and supplies required by those industries. A resurgence in Agriculture and Mining and Manufacturing will increase jobs and critical Government revenues virtually overnight. $1Billion of foreign investment, will create a further $5 Billion to $8 Billion of additional stimulus to the economy. This has happened in my country, Australia.

8          Advertise globally and locally, from within Zimbabwe and any Country and any race of people that have the willingness and expertise, to secure the best 10-20 Government bureaucrats and invite them to come to Zimbabwe for a two-year period to completely review and refine all current Government Legislation and policy settings in Zimbabwe, and to create the required Fiscal and Policy environment that will attract, not discourage, investors from around the globe.

This must include full electronic data and information provision within all areas of Government and business interaction, with global best practice web sites and financial reporting, and asset protection technology software and systems. These are available NOW; you just simply have to pick the best country systems available today. I am certain every developed Country would provide these with set up assistance and commissioning, gladly free of charge!

9          Set up a proper and powerful Anti-Corruption Group, with external assistance from global experts, which would have wide ranging powers to seize corruptly obtained assets and monies from any individual, without the hindrance of political interference, to stamp out this scourge, which has brought the Country to its knees, both morally, ethically and has destroyed the “soul” of Zimbabwe and its people.

10        Undertake an election for all seats in Parliament within the next 90-120 days, with such election being conducted with agreed International monitors with full and proper disclosure of Electoral rolls, so that a fair and proper result is achieved.

Regrettably, the ruling ZANU PF Party and the current Government will NEVER LOSE AN ELECTION, under the current un-reformed Electoral Guidelines, so more of the same, FOREVER.

11        Last but not least, pray every day to whatever God you believe in, that the current Ruling elite can develop the courage and intellectual and moral fortitude to do the above, however there must be no recriminations for the financial sins of the past, however there must be accountability for such in the future, and accountability and prosecution for the human rights sins of that past, which I suppose is the main reason why the current Ruling Elite MUST cling to power. Forgiveness however, is a very powerful and persuasive tool.

12        Encourage at all costs, locally based and managed NGO’s to continue their great work in food, water, agriculture, education etc., and give them the ability to do all this amazing work directly and in consultation with each other, and without major Government interference.

13        The Finance Minister’s mid-term review must be implemented and supported, with a significant reduction in the Public Service work force, and the majority of good and honest Public Servants whom are retrenched over time, will always find good jobs with probably better and more reliable pay in the revitalized Private Sector.

Those not so good, and not so honest, must be the first to go!

14        Maintain personal Individual Sanctions, and with the Full Implementation of the above Simple Plan, any other existing sanctions will be quickly removed, as will a large amount of Debt Forgiveness be offered, which level of accumulated debt and interest is currently further strangling the Economy. Additionally, new finance and grant facilities for Upgrading Country and Government Infrastructure will also become readily available.

15        Provide incentives and encouragement for the large Diaspora to return to their country and assist with the Plan.

If the above are implemented in the next 180 days, I believe that Foreign investment, GDP Growth, Export Revenues, Tax Revenues, Jobs and Quality of Life will grow exponentially over the next 24 months with a possible End of Plan GDP in Zimbabwe exceeding $15 Billion annually and growing!

Currently less than $5 Billion and shrinking.

Only direct capital investment in agriculture, resources, manufacturing and education and training can drive an economy and create jobs, not hand outs and corruption.

Begging for hand-outs and loans from the IMF, World Bank etc., without any ability to repay, is a recipe for Bankruptcy, and NO COUNTRY should ever go there, although Zimbabwe is very close to that precipice.

It is also most embarrassing that both the Finance Minister and the Reserve Bank Governor continue with this “begging bowl” approach across the Globe, and incur further extensive costs of doing so, without any chance of success. They are on a hiding to nowhere and it must stop, however the luxury travel and accommodations at the tax payers expense, is a very hard thing to stop, particularly if there is no accountability at the end of the day.

Just another wasted and expensive overseas trip, which has regrettably become the exclusive preserve of the Ruling Elite, from top to bottom.

There are many very smart and clever Zimbabweans both in Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora that could easily implement this Plan, it just requires the Political and Human will to do so, and I am prepared to do my part even as a non Zimbabwean, if asked.

Zimbabweans, the future is in your hands, so grab it with all you have and all you know, and your beautiful country will be an even better paradise for all.




ZEC should be honest and candid

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has got the very important and demanding constitutional mandate to run elections that are free, fair and credible. The MDC,together with several other opposition political parties under the national electoral reform agenda (NERA), has been at the forefront of vigorously pushing for the adoption of electoral reforms that are meant to vaccinate the Zimbabwean political and electoral environment against the toxic virus of poll rigging.

Source: ZEC should be honest and candid – The Zimbabwean 16.10.2016 by Obert Gutu

The rigging of elections can be both overt and covert. There are more obvious forms of poll rigging such as the staffing of ballot boxes, multiple voting etc. There are other more subtle and highly sophisticated forms of electoral rigging such as the manipulation of the voters roll, both manual and electronic, as well as the use of ballot papers that are chemically designed to project a particular result at any given polling station.

A lot has been said and written about how the Zanu PF regime,working in cahoots with the Israeli company, Nikuv, employed a highly sophisticated method to rig the harmonized elections that were held on July 31,2013. This was a very smart and cutting edge approach to the ‘art’ of electoral rigging. To this very day,very few people, even within the top echelons of the Zanu PF regime, are aware of how, exactly, the July 31, 2013 elections were rigged. Be that as it may, it doesn’t need a rocket scientist to know that the result of the plebiscite that was held in Zimbabwe on July 31,2013 didn’t reflect the wishes of the majority of the voters.Put bluntly,the election was stolen.

Election 2018 is less than 24 months away and this is the time for ZEC to put all the necessary systems in place to ensure that the elections will produce a result that is credible and legitimate ; a result that is beyond contestation thus underlying the need for the holding of free and fair elections. ZEC has announced that a new voters’ roll will be produced for Election 2018.They have also announced that only 1500 voters will be allowed per polling station and that the new voters’ roll will have photographs of all registered voters. This is the time that ZEC should collaborate and liase with all legitimate political parties and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that as far as is practically possible, the next elections will be free and fair.
The situation on the ground,however,is pointing to the fact that ZEC is terribly ill – prepared and ill – equipped to conduct a free and fair election in Zimbabwe. ZEC chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, was recently quoted in the public domain announcing that the electoral reforms will cost about US$30 million and that both the government and donors will fund this program. We all know that the government of Zimbabwe is nearly bankrupt and that it will most likely be unable to make any significant financial contribution to meeting the said cost. Thus, it is incumbent upon ZEC to make a full public disclosure of the names of the donors who will be funding this process.As the MDC, we are extremely concerned about the lack of transparency pertaining to the manner in which ZEC generally conducts its affairs. There is a very disturbing and worrisome veneer of secrecy surrounding such issues as where and who prints ballot papers,who supplies the indelible ink that is used at polling stations etc.We robustly demand and declare that all these essential matters pertaining to the running of free and fair elections should be fully and adequately disclosed and discussed with all political parties that are participating in the electoral process. More importantly, ZEC should immediately proceed to terminate the contracts of employment of all CIO and other State security agents who are presently running the ZEC secretariat. The ZEC secretariat has been the engine room of the electoral rigging process in Zimbabwe. Previous experience has taught us that certain key figures within the ZEC secretariat do not report to the Commissioners. They actually report directly to their political masters at Munhumutapa and Chaminuka buildings.
ZEC is also disturbingly powerless when it comes to dealing with the rampant vote buying gimmicks of Zanu PF. Just a few days ago whilst addressing a Zanu PF campaign rally for the Norton by – election, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko boasted that Zanu PF Cabinet Ministers and other top ruling party politicians will continue to ‘take’ financial and other resources from State corporations and dish out this loot to Zanu PF supporters and other ruling party operatives ; particularly during election campaigns. Surpringly, ZEC did not come up with any public denunciation of this patently unlawful and unconstitutional utterance by Vice President Mphoko. The impression that is,therefore,created amongst ordinary Zimbabweans is that ZEC is just a toothless and powerless election management body that is effectively under the control and command of the Zanu PF regime. This is contrary to the provisions of Section 232 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that lists ZEC amongst five of the country’s independent constitutional commissions.
There is still a very long way to go for ZEC to gain the confidence and trust of the majority of Zimbabweans. For now, ZEC is coming across as a lame duck and weak organization that is routinely bullied around by the Zanu PF regime. The MDC would like to call upon Justice Rita Makarau and all her other commissioners in ZEC to immediately wake up and smell the coffee !

‘Nothing personal against Prof Moyo’

Source: ‘Nothing personal against Prof Moyo’ | The Herald October 15, 2016

The Interview Tichaona Zindoga

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa are in the eye of a storm following allegations that they may have misappropriated close to half a million dollars from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF). They both fervently deny the allegations and have in turn raised issues around the politics of the ruling party ZANU-PF and the credibility of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and in particular Commissioner Goodson Nguni (GN), the chairman of the investigating arm. Our Political Editor Tichaona Zindoga (TZ) takes him to task and also seeks to know just how ZACC conducts itself in this critical area.

TZ: First of all, Commissioner Nguni, from what we have heard from the newspapers lately following what has been said to be an attempted arrest of Professor Moyo on allegations of fraud, there seems to be a political hand driving you in particular and the commission in general. Can you just shed light on how you operate as ZACC and your office as investigations chairperson?

GN: First of all, can I make it very clear that there is no personal battle between me and Minister Moyo, there is no grudge. Before I became a member of the commission, I was also a member of Zanu-PF. Of course now I am not a member anymore because the Constitution does not allow me.

What happens here is that there is a direct attempt by people that have been caught on the wrong side of the law to politicise this matter as a strategy to get away from facing justice.

The truth of the matter is that no commissioner has the authority to order an investigation to begin. No commissioner has the authority to stop an investigation. No commissioner has the individual authority to determine what should happen in the commission. In terms of the Constitution and the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, all decisions taken by the commission must be by majority decision taken at a vote for it to become a resolution.

So, this is how we work, if someone brings a story making allegations of corruption, the secretary of the commission takes the matter to the full commission meeting and tells us that we have received an allegation of this nature. The commission sees if there is merit in the case, then they mandate the investigations subcommittee to investigate the matter.

The investigations subcommittee has got a lot of investigators employed by ZACC, the managers will then decide on who are the investigators to work on the case. What happens is that when they finish their investigation, the investigation subcommittee is given the report from the investigations and they must report to the main committee. Then, a decision is proposed, seconded and taken about taking a way forward.

I as chairman of the investigations committee do not have the individual authority to order an investigation. In this Jonathan Moyo case, I want to state very clearly that a whistle-blower, who took part in the fraud approached the commission and told the commission that, “I may have committed an offence and I want to report myself”. Then he explained to us the fraud, that is how we got to know the story. It is not personal at all.

TZ: Connected to that, please clarify to us about this particular factional political cause that you are being accused of championing?

GN: In the past I was aligned to the political cause of Zanu-PF, I was a member and an activist who supported Zanu-PF policies. I still support Zanu-PF policies and I think that Zanu-PF is doing a good job with this country but I am not an active member anymore. It is my democratic right to support them.

I don’t support any faction in Zanu-Pf and I support the Government of Zimbabwe and the President of that Government is Robert Mugabe and I am loyal to the State and the Government under Robert Mugabe.

TZ: There have been expressed worries about your suitability for your current office as you are being labelled a convicted fraudster. Can you be clear around this issue — whether you are a convicted fraudster and thus unfit to be leading investigations at ZACC?

GN: Thank you very much. Let me tell you something, for you to be convicted you have to be arrested by the police and then you are taken to a court of law, the charges put to you, evidence is laid against you and then the judge finds you guilty and sentences you to something. I have never been arrested by the police anywhere in the world, not in South Africa, not in Zimbabwe.

I have never appeared in any court in South Africa or in a court in Zimbabwe. In short, I have never been convicted in any court of law on this earth. Those people who are calling me a fraudster do not have an understanding of what a conviction means.

For example, there were allegations against Professor Moyo by Ford Foundation, there were allegations of a dishonest nature in Kenya when he was employed there. Does that mean he was convicted? The answer is no, because he never went to court.

So, I am not a convicted fraudster, I had decided to do nothing about it but next week summons are flying, they will be fast and furious. All those people who have been saying that I am a convicted fraudster, I am going to sue them next week.

TZ: Just going back to ZACC, does ZACC have the capacity to prosecute corruption in this country? Many people have felt it is just a toothless bulldog and one prone to manipulation.

GN: ZACC has the capacity, among the commissioners are very seasoned investigators, there are senior former commissioners of the police, highly qualified public accountants who held very senior positions in Government and in the public sector. There are very highly qualified and seasoned administrators like the chairman Job Wabira.

There are highly skilled persons there holding first, second and third degrees. All those people bring knowledge, expertise and experience to ZACC. We are also privileged to have an acting secretary of ZACC who is highly qualified, holding a master’s degree, a highly qualified police officer and we work very well with the police.

Whenever there is a matter going on, we work with the police and then when we have decided that there is a prima facie case, we recommend to the police to arrest them.

It is the police that has been arresting people, not ourselves as ZACC.

The police will only arrest somebody when there is a prima facie case of an offence, that’s when they agree. We don’t take matters to the court, we must take the dockets with the evidence that we have to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and they must decide whether someone goes to court or not, not ZACC.

There is misconception by a lot of people that ZACC arrests people, that ZACC takes people to court. No we don’t do that. We work well with the police. People must not forget that ZRP is the premier policing organisation in Zimbabwe. We all play a supplementary role to their activities.

TZ: How about these allegations that you have been curtailed by Zanu-PF, lately, trying to “arrest” Professor Moyo? Does that not make you a lame organisation as it were?

GN: First of all, it is false to say Zanu-PF told us not to interview Minister Moyo, of course he has been running away from us and we have not been able to get hold of him. I am not aware of any communication coming from Zanu-PF to tell us not to arrest Moyo.

This is something that is playing out in the media, I haven`t been told officially by anybody because Zanu-PF hasn’t got the legal standing to tell ZACC who to investigate or not.

This story of Zanu-PF interfering I read it in the paper, but nobody from Zanu-PF has told us not to arrest Moyo.

I hear Zanu-PF saying this and saying that, but nobody has communicated anything to us. We are looking for Minister Moyo to come and explain to us his role and to explain to us if the investigations we have contain wrong information which does not appear to be committing of an offence. We want him to come and explain that to us, he has been running away from talking to us.

We called him, asking him to come to our offices, he promised to come on a Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, he ran away saying he has been called to some higher office he couldn’t come. When we called him, he said he was busy and would see us on Wednesday and since that time he has been running away.

I want to clarify this matter once and for all, when we went to Zanu-PF, we had not made a decision to arrest him, we had gone there to meet with him and tell him that we would like him to come to our offices.

This story that he is saying that he was about to be arrested, I don’t know where this is coming from, we never made that resolution in the commission.

TZ: But I am sure somewhere we read that he vowed never to interface with you and would even go to the Constitutional Court. How would that play out?

GN: It is his democratic right to go to the Constitutional Court, we can’t stop him. But I must also tell him that there is evidence which we have that is solid evidence. It says to us the beneficiaries of money that was given by Zimdef, in relation to the charges we are laying were Professor Moyo, Gandawa and Honzeri, the professional assistant to Professor. And that the person who facilitated them was Mandizvidza and a guy called Maputo, who is the financial director.

That evidence we have is solid and nobody can deny that the evidence that we have which was legally obtained, tells us very clearly that no money on the charges that were put to him was ever given to any political party. Not even Zanu-PF got hold of that money.

It is a lie that the money that we are accusing him of having committed fraud was used to fund the Million-Man March because some of these payments were done in 2015 and we know who was paid. The bicycles, the tricycles, the rent for Fuzzy Technology, the loan repayments by Gandawa and monies that were given to NGOs, given to for example, Mduduzi Mathuthu.

So we know where all that money went and we have accounted for it. Nowhere is Zanu-PF mentioned.

TZ: There is the issue that in Zimbabwe there are a lot of corrupt activities going on and now there is a feeling that there are selective prosecutions which some people would call persecutions. How would you answer to that?

GN: First of all, we arrested the Mayor of Harare, he is a member of the MDC-T. We want to question Jonathan Moyo, he is a member of Zanu-PF. We have arrested a lot of people from zinara, from ZBC, this is not selective. How can you call it selective?

Jonathan Moyo is from Zanu-PF, Gandawa is from Zanu-PF. We are investigating other organisations that have nothing to do with the opposition. It is not selective.

TZ: How much trust can the people of Zimbabwe invest in ZACC as an independent Chapter 12 organisation or commission? Is it not prone to any manipulation or what are the safeguards around that issue to ensure impartiality?

GN: We have a Constitution. If we do not do our work, citizens can approach the courts. We have a Constitution, if we don’t do our work properly, the appointing authority, the Executive branch of Government can take action against us.

Nobody is manipulating us. The Executive, right now the President is very supportive against corruption. Totally against corruption the President is. Other people below him are the ones who are fighting against ZACC because they are fighting to protect corrupt activities by some of their friends and colleagues. But not the President. The President is very clear about his stance on corruption.

Just like people want to malign him and link President Mugabe to anything that is happening right now at ZACC, he is not involved, I can tell you this because he told us when he appointed us that you must work without fear or without favour.

Don’t dig, Comrade, you are in a hole!

Source: Don’t dig, Comrade, you are in a hole! | The Herald October 15, 2016


Let’s not be too circumspect about it: someone is in trouble. That person is Professor Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development .He is in trouble along, principally, with his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa over funds they may have misappropriated, which evidence seems to strongly suggest.

A few other individuals may be caught in the crossfire as they may have been involved in acts of commission and omission.The coming days will be interesting. That is to concede that for the past week or so we have been treated to some riveting drama, mainly playing out in the media.Prof Moyo is being accused of inappropriately using the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) to cover personal concerns or what is seen as investing in social relations in his parliamentary constituency by buying bicycles and tricycles for village heads and chiefs.

He has been allegedly using the agency of his lieutenant to do the dirty work of handling, stashing and dispensing the dirty cash.And, oh, we hear that the same lieutenant has been using a third person who has now turned whistleblower because of grief arising from sharing of the loot and, much sinister, something associated with carnal passions.

That is still to be revealed to us the ordinary people, but when it does, maybe in a court of law, it can be as sensational and headline-grabbing as anything we have ever read.

Let’s wait and see.

Robin Hood returns

But Prof Moyo has not disappointed us.

He has defended himself so lively and with the diligent spirit that we associate with him. He is someone who cannot take anything lying down and his chosen medium of communicating his defence has been his favoured Twitter micro-blogging account, which is very rich in entertainment value and as a source of news — and the new generation of journalist is all too happy to sit behind the computer just watching the good Prof tweeting the day away in news.

Technology, you beauty!

And Prof Moyo is so inimitable.

As he defended himself, as we believe he is doing right this moment as you read, he likened himself to Robin Hood.

According to one account — and this is for the benefit of our young readers not schooled in British traditions — Robin Hood is a legendary outlaw hero of a series of English ballads, some of which date from at least as early as the 14th century.

Explain authorities: “Robin Hood was a rebel and many of the most striking episodes in the tales about him show him and his companions robbing and killing representatives of authority and giving the gains to the poor.

“Their most frequent enemy was the Sheriff of Nottingham, a local agent of the central government (though internal evidence from the early ballads makes it clear that the action took place chiefly in south Yorkshire, not in Nottinghamshire). Other enemies included wealthy ecclesiastical landowners.”

So our Professor stated that it was better to be such a Robin Hood than be a tribalist and genocidaire, thus bringing to focus political, that is factional, politics characterizing the ruling party Zanu-PF.

So he said on Twitter “You can say what you want but I would rather be a Robin Hood than a cruel tribalist, murderer and UN identified cross-border diamond thief.”

That immediately drew derision and disgust than deference and deigning.

One student leader said: “We are saying, if there is anyone who is the poorest member of society, it is the student because most of us cannot raise money needed by colleges and universities. Unlike Robin Hood, Prof Moyo is doing the opposite, stealing from the poor who are students and covering areas where he has vested interests.”

Another said: “By likening himself to Robin Hood, Prof Moyo is giving the impression that Government, where the funds are coming from, is rich. He is trying to portray Government as a fat cat where he is taking public funds to please people in his constituency yet it is common knowledge that Government has been struggling to raise salaries for civil servants. Prof Moyo needs orientation on that one because, as we speak, there are students whose fees are paid by Zimdef but they can’t access their results for last semester because nothing has been paid out. Then, across town, someone is diverting their funds donating freebies in his constituency. We can’t continue having this.”

And these were very civil comments.

There were cruder and unprintable retorts.

And they were justified.

The ever-thoughtful Innocent Mpofu, our cartoonist and by miles the best in the business and favourite of this column made as a beauty of a caricature of “Robbing Hood” reminding us that the said Robbing Hood was referred also as “The prince of thieves”, an apparent reference to a 1991 film depicting the folklore hero.

———Everything I do, I do it for me!———–

The above sentiments are clear that nobody believes that Prof Moyo is a Robin Hood of any kind.

He is just a self centred guy who diverted funds to use for personal gain and that of his subordinates and for political investment in his constituency.

There can be no amount sophistic, self-serving argument to mask that.

Which contrasts with the very theme song of the film, “Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves”.

In this song by Brian Adams, a persona expresses unselfish love to a lover saying:

“Everything I do, I do it for you…I would give it all, I would sacrifice. Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for/ I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more/You know it’s true: Everything I do, I do it for you…”

Prof Moyo like all politicians, yes, is a self centred animal.

He can’t pretend he is a Robin Hood and he is altruistic when he is donating to his constituency and when there is evidence that he may have benefitted personally and materially from diverted funds which were being siphoned from a public fund, using proxies some of whom have become whistleblowers because the Robbing Hood loot has not been shared equally.

Who asks for honour among thieves?

And the more the good Prof tries to justify himself, using the beautifully ugly Twitter and some such self-serving platforms, the more he exposes himself.

Now at Madziva Teachers’ College he was trying to tell us about corporate social responsibility by a fund that is and of itself a corporate social responsibility initiative!

It gets so tangled.

It is always wise to stop digging when you are already in a hole.

That’s our word.

Revenue collection increases, hits $1bn in Q3

Source: Revenue collection increases, hits $1bn in Q3 | The Herald October 15, 2016

Business Reporter—
Measures being implemented by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to increase revenue collection have begun bearing fruit with revenue collected during the third quarter of the year increasing six percent to $919,91 million from $866,96 million collected in the last quarter.

The $919,91 million was also 0,22 percent above the target for the quarter of $917,33 million.The revenue authority had a particularly good performance in September where it collected $364,08 million, which is 4,73 percent above the gross target.The net collection for September was $351,99 million, which was 1,26 percent above the target, a feat which has not been achieved in a long time.

Since the beginning of the year, Zimra has been seized with improving operational efficiency and effectiveness through automation, eradicating corruption and increasing the level of compliance amongst the taxpayers.Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said the initiatives helped to unmask truant and unregistered taxpayers.

“The above initiatives, i.e. automation and enforcement, unearthed significant irregularities relating to those who under-declared their revenues, and those who were not even registered.“Consequently 3 232 new taxpayers were registered and 106 cases were referred to audits. But more importantly, non-compliant taxpayers are increasingly coming to the Authority to normalise their relationship and this is commendable,” she said.

Mrs Bonyongwe said revenue collection was also aided by the enactment of Statutory Instrument 64.

“The SI64 has in effect stimulated local manufacturing production which improved capacity utilisation by the companies whose products are protected by the SI.“This had a positive outcome on their profitability and a marked improvement in their contribution to the fiscus during the quarter.

“SI64 should, other things remaining equal, also have a multiplier effect on the economy in the medium term with rising employment levels and increasing aggregate demand,” she said.

The increase in gross collections did not, however, translate in an increase in net collection, which at $854,17 million, were 6,89 percent shy of the quarter’s target of $917,33 million, but 2,17 percent above last quarter’s net collection of $825,33 million.

Individual tax continued to contribute the most at 23,89 percent followed by excise duty at 18,50 percent, VAT on local sales 18,43 percent and VAT on imports 10,51 percent. The remaining tax heads contributed the remaining 28,67 percent.Individual Tax’s contribution at $204,03 million was 0,91 percent above the quarterly target of $202,20 million due to previous debt repayment and set offs.

Excise duty’s contribution came in at $157,98 million which was 17,86 percent below the target of $192,33 million largely due to low disposable incomes as reflected in the financial statements of the companies providing such goods and lower consumption of fuel due to increasing levels of transit fraud and direct smuggling especially through Forbes Border Post, and the illegal crossing points at Marymount in Mutare and Imbeza in Penhalonga.

“Transit fraud will be effectively curbed by the Cargo Tracking System.“Although the revenue authority failed to develop an interim cargo tracking system as reported in the last quarterly review, the good news is that the company which won the tender for the more comprehensive system, Techno Brain (T) Ltd of Tanzania has already started installation.

“They indicated that they will complete by the end of October 2016 and their progress to date indicates they are likely to meet their target.“The aim is to integrate the cargo tracking system with other operational systems in ZIMRA and the systems of related stakeholders to tighten the system and make life difficult for smugglers in Zimbabwe,” Mrs Bonyongwe said.

VAT on local sales collection were 3,52 percent above target at $157,45 million to automation, more enforcement and compliance checks and VAT on import collected $89,79 million against a target of $86,90 million resulting in a positive variance of 3,33 percent.

Meanwhile, Mrs Bonyongwe said the money that Zimra is owed rose by a marginal 0,60 percent from $2,63 billion at the beginning of the quarter to $2,65 billion with business accounting for the bulk of the debt at 76,90 percent, followed by parastatals 14,35 percent and councils 8,75 percent.

“Although there was a marginal increase in debt, vigorous debt follow-ups resulted in debt reduction in individual tax by 3,91 percent and corporate tax by 4,81 percent.“The expectation is that the newly announced measures to withhold VAT by specified companies will help to curb the growth of the debt and improve Government’s cash flows,” she said.

Diamond mine workers sue Chinese employer over ‘abuse’

THE Zimbabwe Diamond Miners Workers’ Union (ZDMWU) has dragged the Chinese-owned Detroop Mine near Chinhoyi to the National Employment Council (NEC) over its alleged abuse of employees.

Source: Diamond mine workers sue Chinese employer over ‘abuse’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 15, 2016

By Nhau Mangirazi

The labour case has been set for hearing on November 10, with ZDMWU principal officer, Sam Makonde, to represent the aggrieved workers.

‘‘ZDMWU has registered the Detroop workers’ case with Mines National Employers’ Council for a fair hearing among our concerns on behalf of the workers. We have raised issues of unfair labour practices, non-payment of overtime, no grading system, assault of employees, underpayment of wages and no safety clothing among other issues,” labour documents in our possession read.

“Conciliation will take place at NEC Mining facilitated by Tahwa on November 10, 2016 at 2:30pm and headed by Sam Makonde on behalf of the workers.”

The notification of litigation process was served to the mine on October 13.

An investigation by our sister paper, The Standard, recently exposed exploitation of workers and violation of labour and environmental laws at the Mashonaland West project.

Senior managers at the mine were allegedly abusing workers by demanding $50 from each of them every month as protection fees.

Detroop, situated about 170km north-west of Harare under Chief Magonde in Makonde district, along Angwa River, is run by China’s Jiangxi Risheng Mining Company.

“We are happy at strides made so far by mine workers’ union. They have come to our rescue although some of us are being victimised by senior management for exposing them. We will soldier on besides these threats as our rights are being violated,” a workers’ representative said, preferring anonymity.

A number of Chinese companies in the country have been accused of abusing workers, including paying low salaries and physically assaulting empoyees.

Reform or die: EU tells Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government will have to convince the international community that it is committed to reform, with tangible proof before any budgetary support can begin to flow in, the European (EU) ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe van Damme has said.

Source: Reform or die: EU tells Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 15, 2016


Van Damme was addressing participants in a discussion hosted by social media news platform 263Chat in Harare yesterday, where he denied government claims that the EU supported “regime change” agents in Zimbabwe.

“The government has put on the table the Lima Plan. It is an ambitious and homegrown plan that, if implemented, will help this country. But we were not involved in crafting it. However, it is important that the plan is implemented,” he said.

“If they can provide a detailed reform agenda and we have not seen that, then we can begin to mobilise resources.
Without that, we have never said we will help the government with a bailout. But we will help with expertise in constitutional reform.

“We are also insisting on not only economic reform, but also the political side. I would love to see things moving a lot quicker in terms of reforms and constitutional alignment. We were faced with suspicion on trying to deal with mending relations with Zimbabwe, but it’s more relaxed now.”

Van Damme said as long as corruption was not credibly tackled, the EU would not inject any money.

“[It] would be waste we can’t justify. There is nothing worse than impunity, say; recent exposés have not led to any action like prosecution! The reason why we insist on reforms is to help the government to grow out of its problems,” he said.

“Poor regulations, lack of rule of law and contempt of court are fuelling corruption in Zimbabwe. Address that and we are willing to help the government in implementing reforms in Zimbabwe.”

Opposition parties have accused the international community of double-standards and cutting deals with Mugabe’s government, especially following the conclusion of the 2013 general elections, questionably won by Zanu PF.

But Van Damme yesterday said the EU had not changed the way it deals with Zimbabwe’s government, despite the wholesale removal of top Mugabe aides from its sanctions list, leaving the 92-year-old leader and his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe.

“We have not changed our implementation modalities. The money we bring still goes through development partners.
There is no ambiguity around that. The partial lifting of the targeted measures was to create space for dialogue. At first, there was a lot of suspicion, a lack of trust. There has been dialogue, especially with the line ministers at Justice (VP Emmerson Mnangagwa), Finance (Patrick Chinamasa) and Agriculture (Joseph Made),” the EU envoy said.

Responding to allegations that the EU, along with other Western countries, supported activities aimed at forcing Mugabe out of power, Van Damme said: “We are surprised that the accusations are that we are propping up the government and supporting activities that are meant to remove it. The truth is the EU has never funded any form of regime change activity and we challenge those who are accusing us to come forward with the evidence.”

Not govt policy to give land to political parties: Mnangagwa

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said government has no policy allowing parcelling out of land to any political party.

Source: Not govt policy to give land to political parties: Mnangagwa – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 15, 2016


Mnangagwa was responding to questions in the National Assembly from Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T) on Wednesday, who wanted clarity on the decision by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to parcel land to Zanu PF supporters and youths ahead of 2018 elections.

“Each municipal area has its residential area and it can only be allocated upon application to land developers or to the government arm which is Udcorp,” he said.

“That is government policy, and so if that was the issue, which the honourable MP was seeking to find out — whether it is government policy that political parties can apply as political parties to acquire land, no, we do not have that.”

Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora was also at pains to explain the same issue to MPs, preferring to say his ministry parcelled out agricultural and not residential land.

“First and foremost, my ministry is responsible for agricultural land. When it comes to urban land, which is residential, it is the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing which is responsible for urban planning, demarcating and allocating for residential purposes,” he said.

“However, it is my ministry which is responsible for handing over any land required for urban expansion to the Ministry of Local Government. We do that when that land has been requested for. So, we only give a whole farm to the Ministry of Local Government, but how they distribute it, is actually that ministry’s responsibility.

“We do not get involved. So, I am unable to answer the latter part of the question to say, is it distributed only to one particular party or not?”

MDC-T chief whip, Innocent Gonese then demanded that Mombeshora bring a list of every farm that he has handed over to the Local Government ministry in order for MPs to know how the land was being parcelled out.

Majome claimed that Zanu PF youths and even some bigwigs were currently being issued land in Shawasha Hills.

We’ll continue poaching members: ZimPF

THE Joice Mujuru-led Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) yesterday said it would continue “poaching” members from other political parties, while urging the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to stop “wailing like a child” after suffering massive defections.

Source: We’ll continue poaching members: ZimPF – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 15, 2016


PDP deputy president Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, provincial, district and ordinary members officially quit Biti’s party on Thursday to join ZimPF.

They were welcomed by ZimPF’s top officials, such as Dzikamai Mavhaire, at a function held in Bulawayo.

The defections have angered the PDP, which accused ZimPF of refusing to let go of “dirty Zanu PF politics of dangling a carrot to poach its members, and negotiating in bad faith”.

The PDP said the developments also dimmed any prospects of unity between the two parties ahead of the elections.
But ZimPF interim national chairperson for information and publicity Methuseli Moyo accused the PDP of being childish.

“They are wailing like a child who has been burnt by fire. Politics will always be politics. The sooner they know that, the better. We can never stop people from joining our party simply because they come from parties that believe in eternal negotiations and boardroom politics,” he said yesterday.

“We are an authentic party and [we] will do what all real parties do: recruit members. Our political activities will not stop simply because someone wants to negotiate with us. We are sorry, but that is the reality of real politics.”

PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume had accused ZimPF of being insincere about forming a coalition with other parties.

He said they had gathered Sipepa Nkomo and others crossed the floor after being promised positions.

Sipepa Nkomo will reportedly deputise Mujuru, a charge he denied on Thursday.

Sipepa Nkomo told journalists on Thursday that: “What becomes imperative is ascertaining that one positions himself in an environment that is conducive to embark on vigorous strides to dismantle the incumbent tyrannical system of governance.

“To me, I see People First as a sincere and genuine party, which can bring change in Zimbabwe. Mujuru does not have positions. We all know that those people who want positions are subjected to elections.”

‘Zanu PF centralisation of power stifling service delivery’

Source: ‘Zanu PF centralisation of power stifling service delivery’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 15, 2016

MDC-T co-vice president Elias Mudzuri has urged Zimbabweans to adhere to standards and international best practice of providing basic resources to people and blamed Zanu PF government’s centralisation of local governance for the serious service delivery challenges facing the country.

By Albert Masaka

In a document titled Service Delivery Challenges in Zimbabwe: Central Government Interference In Local Authorities, Mudzuri said principles such as client focus, professionalism, transparency, accountability, among others, had seen some of the best success stories in the world in service delivery.

“Zanu PF government policies, laws and service delivery interventions are crafted at the centre, with no participation and non-involvement of the people/clients.

“There is absence of a grievance channelling/communication mechanism through which citizens can contribute towards their own development,” he said, citing the introduction of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which sparked countrywide riots recently, the document read.

Mudzuri also blasted politicisation of services such as the populist, selective and partisan allocation of housing stands by successive local government ministers.

“Kasukuwere is parcelling out unserviced stands on undesignated land and without council plans to Zanu PF youths,” he said.

Mudzuri said service delivery can effectively be done by local authorities and this can only be achieved by decentralisation through the constitutional provision on devolution.

“However, despite this, central government has shown an unwillingness to decentralise and instead has moved towards recentralisation of power and functions after the 1980s experiment,” he said.

The legal framework, which Zanu PF refuses to align with the Constitution, forces local authorities to operate according to a strict ultra vires doctrine, which points towards the ‘omnipresence’ of central government in the actual operational discharge of local authority service delivery functions.”

Mudzuri said Zanu PF government’s departure from the decentralisation of the 1980’s to recentralisation came as a way to neutralise control of urban councils falling under opposition MDC after 2000.

“Without any shame, successive Ministers of Local Government have removed and suspended MDC elected officials,” he said.

Mudzuri also said the recently passed Local Government Laws Amendment number 8 of 2016 was crafted by Kasukuwere “specifically to enable Zanu PF to arbitrarily remove MDC-T Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and Bulawayo councillors — disrupts and adversely affects service delivery”.

Zanu PF, Mudzuri said, instead has preferred to appoint Provincial and Metropolitan Affairs ministers to spearhead development in contravention of the Constitution, which seeks to establish Provincial Councils consisting of elected officials.

The latter arrangement is more responsive and accountable to the people while the former is accountable to the appointing office, he said.

Mudzuri also said social safety nets such as food aid, agriculture input schemes and the Beam scheme were allocated in a partisan manner in favour of Zanu PF members as way to punish MDC-T supporters.

Groups threaten Moyo with citizen’s arrest

SOCIAL movements leaders yesterday gave law enforcers up to Monday to take action against Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, failure of which they have threatened to effect a citizen’s arrest for allegedly abusing over $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).

Source: Groups threaten Moyo with citizen’s arrest – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


President Robert Mugabe last week reportedly blocked the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) from arresting Moyo over the allegations.

Moyo has since denounced Zacc’s investigation, accusing the anti-graft body of pursuing a Zanu PF factional agenda.
However, Tajamuka spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi said if nothing was done against Moyo by Monday, they would take the law into their own hands.

“We have waited for the law to take its course on Moyo, who has admitted to abusing public funds. If there is no arrest by Monday, then we are going to effect a citizen’s arrest on him and surrender him to the nearest police station,” he said. “On that note, we also want to warn Vice-President Phekezela Mphoko that he should not try to interfere with the law. This is the second time this year alone, after he released two suspects from Avondale Police Station. If he continues with that behaviour, he will only have himself to blame.”

Another activist, Patson Dzamara, of the Occupy Africa Unity Square movement, said Zanu PF and government officials were exhibiting retrogressive behaviour, which called for action by citizens.

“He (Moyo) is part an arrogant and thieving elite, who views the national purse as his private property. Moyo’s conduct summarises the failure, corruption, dishonesty and mendacity, which has been the hallmark of Zanu PF’s rule over the last 36 years,” he said.

“It, however, gives credence to the fact that Zanu PF and Mugabe must go because they have failed absolutely.”

How can tackling corruption destroy Zanu-PF?

Source: How can tackling corruption destroy Zanu-PF? | The Herald October 14, 2016

Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor

For many people, recollection of childhood is not complete without remembering the multifarious array of myths that shaped and controlled behaviour or even religious belief.Usually, these myths — underpinned by superstition — were of a scary nature; about how man-eating monsters could devour some little soul for disobeying this or that rule; going against the norm, or saying wrong things at the wrong places.And myths do not exist in African culture only.

In fact, literature appears to suggest that mythology characterised ancient civilisations such as Greece and China.The New World Encyclopedia says mythology “refers to a body of stories that attempt to explain the origins and fundamental values of a given culture and the nature of the universe and humanity”.

“Ancient myths are generally founded by imagination and intuition rather than objective evidence,” it explains, adding that the truths inherent in myths thus are not reducible to their historical veracity (but) present abstract, often archetypical insights into human experience.

Critically, and for the purposes of this piece, “In modern usage, myth is often used pejoratively to dismiss a belief or opinion as false or unsupported by any evidence.”Many times over the years, it has been suggested and even remarked, that tackling corruption in Zimbabwe can lead to the destruction of the ruling Zanu-PF.

The most recent utterances that come to mind include the infamous statement in 2014 by former vice President Joice Mujuru, now leader of an outfit called Zimbabwe People First.At a time when corruption was being unearthed at State owned enterprises she told a women’s conference that: “You must be careful that this exposure of corrupt activities at parastatals is a way of destroying this country.

“Those behind the drive know what is sustaining this country. They want to move from ZBC, to Zesa, and Zinwa. Do not say those behind the shenanigans are not Zanu-PF, they are. It is said if you can’t beat them, join them and destroy from within. So for now we are saying the matter is being handled by the President.”

The statement was both as laughable in its disingenuity as it was tragic.At the time, it will be recalled, there had been an interesting trend as malfeasance was being exposed and the general populace was very positive that at last something was being done about corrupt “bigwigs”.

As such, Mujuru’s statement later became a heavy political cross.Two years on, at a time when the independent constitutional body called Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has been roused into action seeking to swoop in on Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo and his alleged accomplices to possible fraud involving $400 000, concern has been raised as to the health of the ruling party.

Nowhere is this more illustrated than a story in one of the local dailies stating that: “The probe by authorities into alleged corruption by Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo has heightened fears within President Robert Mugabe’s brawling Zanu-PF that the ruling party is on the verge of imploding.”

The question then becomes, can tackling corruption by the ruling party unleash some monster that will devour Zanu-PF and perhaps the whole country?This suggestion, by all means, sounds like a myth in the pejorative sense alluded above.If it is not a myth, then it has to present itself as a challenge to the ruling party.

First of all, this assumes that Zanu-PF is an irrevocably corrupt organisation that has diseased the whole country.Secondly and tied to the above, this assumes that Zanu-PF’s raison d’etre is to loot national resources.Thirdly, if it is assumed that Zanu-PF cannot tackle corruption and is irrevocably corrupt, the derivative assumption is that the populace has grown used to or have become powerless in the face of corruption.

Fourth, and connected to these points, the assumption is that Zanu-PF as the ruling party does not care about the extent to which corruption can go and corrode society.

It will be critical for the ruling party and Government to prove these assumptions wrong.

We hope they soon will.

The fact that there have been numerous scandals, since the 1980s and 1990s, that have gone unpunished — at least in the eyes of the public — has led to cynicism.

It is only common cause that some of the scandals over the years are much smellier than Prof Moyo’s “Bicyclegate” which fact appears even to embolden him judging from his impassioned defence of what is seen as a scandal.

He has called himself Robin Hood.

Herein lies the challenge.

Zanu-PF, the party of Government, must demonstrate that it can, and is willing to tackle corruption which knows no colour, or tribe or religion or faction.

The bottom line is that theft is theft and cause must be shown to arrest it, especially without deferring to, or be seen to defer to superficial boxes.

There are three compelling grounds for this.

First, Zanu-PF must prove that it is not in its DNA to be corrupt.

One hankers after the 1984 Leadership Code, which the party designed as its ethical Bible with the full extent of knowledge that it was — and would be — the ruling party.

Regarding corruption the Code (designed with socialism in mind and today sounding a bit anachronistic) declares that, “ZANU-PF regards corruption as an evil disease destructive of society.”

The provisions and injunctions of the leadership code (which cannot be reproduced here for want of space), were designed with socialism in mind but it is clear that as a moral guideline, which should simply have been updated, they shape a good and accountable party and Government, not least that the guidelines were to be read with discipline.

Zanu-PF has no excuse of not identifying with these lofty ideas.

The second compelling reason why Zanu-PF must pursue anti-corruption is that as the governing party, it sets a high bar for society from itself and its cadres and officers to the private sector.

The private sector and even opposition parties are also corrupt in Zimbabwe, sometimes alarmingly so. With Zanu-PF setting a high bar an upright society is conceivable.

Lastly, Zanu-PF will not lose votes by dealing with corruption — that is a few bad apples and oligarchs.

Actually, it gains the goodwill and trust (read votes) of the people.It can be suggested here and today that no other message and action are more welcome to Zimbabwe than acting on corruption which is bleeding the country and demoralising the nation.

RBZ rules out adoption of rand

Source: RBZ rules out adoption of rand | The Herald October 14, 2016

Business Reporters

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy governor Dr Khupukile Mlambo said the country will not adopt the South African rand as its currency although the United States dollar has not been the ideal option. Dr Mlambo admitted the greenback has given authorities “headaches” owing to liquidity challenges caused by leakages.

However, joining the common monetary area using the rand would not be an option because Zimbabwe does not have its own currency.The Zimbabwe dollar ceased circulating in 2009 when the country adopted a multi-currency system.“We need to understand the South African rand has its own challenges, it is volatile,” said Dr Mlambo at a National Economic Consultative Forum workshop held in the capital yesterday.

There have been calls from business and the general public for Zimbabwe to join the rand monetary union to enhance its competitiveness.The union comprises of Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa itself.“Other countries in the union like Namibia have their own currencies which they use together with the rand. South Africa prints the rand for its market not the region because there is a risk that the money will flow back into the country and become deflationary.

“Personally, I would have been happier if we adopted any other currency than the USD. It has created headaches of liquidity and it would have been better to use another currency,” said Dr Mlambo.The strengthening of the USD against regional currencies weakened the competitiveness of Zimbabwean products on the regional market, which adversely affected the local industry.The USD has appreciated by 45 percent, which means local industry and products also became 45 percent uncompetitive.

According to the International Monetary Fund, South Africa last month regained its position as the region’s biggest economy after the rand gained more than 16 percent against the USD year to August, after over a year of weakness. But projections are that it will weaken in the long term as the US Federal Reserve is likely to keep tightening interest rates.

Dr Mlambo, however, reinforced the monetary authorities’ view that a currency cannot be imposed on citizens and that monetary decisions were also based on past experiences.“We have lessons learnt from 2008. You cannot force a currency on people. In 2008, we realised people were already transacting in foreign currency, Zimbabweans made that choice,” he said.Economists have added their voice to the currency debate arguing that Zimbabwe needs to scale-up production and exports to improve the economy.

Change in currencies alone, be it the rand, pula, kwacha or yuan will not turn around the economy if production remains low. The turnaround will have to be earned through vibrant economic activity.

Zacc raps Moyo, reveals bank details •Money not used for party programmes •Public bombarded with lies

Source: Zacc raps Moyo, reveals bank details •Money not used for party programmes •Public bombarded with lies | The Herald October 14, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter—
Not a single cent of money allegedly siphoned from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his Deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa went to Zanu-PF.

Investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) showed that the money went to personal business.

Commissioner Goodson Nguni, who chairs the ZACC investigations Committee, yesterday dismissed claims by Prof Moyo that the money had been used to fund Zanu-PF activities such as the OneMillion-Man March, Women and Youth League meetings.

Speaking tongue-in-cheek as he addressed the media at ZACC offices in Harare in the wake of allegations levelled against him by Prof Moyo, Comm Nguni said investigations revealed that all the money that was siphoned from Zimdef had been used for personal purposes by Prof Moyo, Dr Gandawa, Zimdef chief executive Mr Fredrick Mandizvidza and Prof Moyo’s personal assistant, Mr Shephard Honzeri.

“The public has been bombarded with lies, half-truths and complete fabrication by persons who may face charges of fraud, abuse of office, money laundering arising out of violating the National Manpower Development Act,” said Commissioner Nguni.

“Zimdef finances, in terms of the Act, must only be used for manpower development. The trustee, who is the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, is the only one entrusted with the funds generated and paid into Zimdef,” he said.

“But he must do so on the advice of the National Management Council. In this case, the National Management Council has not been aware of any financial expenditures by Zimdef.

“That means, we know what Zimdef was paid for, we know who asked for it and we know all the money that was paid out of that expenditure. We followed all the papers that were used to pay various people and we have the information.”

Comm Nguni said investigations revealed that all the money from Zimdef was used to offset personal loans, buy personal furniture and was also deposited into the accounts of journalists.

Comm Nguni said the paper trail showed that money would be deposited into a Fuzzy Technologies bank account before being used to pay for various things, including journalists.

He produced a bank statement which indicated that former Chronicle Editor Mduduzi Mathuthu received $2 500, while $50 000 was paid to a private media journalists-owned non-governmental organisation in Bulawayo.

Comm Nguni declined to name a journalist from the private media who allegedly got $9 000.

“We have all the statements from Zimdef, from Fuzzy Technologies, a company owned by Dr Gandawa. No money from Zimdef benefited any political party. It is a lie. All monies that have been paid out have been traced to the personal benefit of Prof Moyo, Dr Gandawa, Mr Honzeri and Mr Mapute. No money was paid to any political party or to the benefit of any political party. The beneficiaries of all these monies that we would want to charge people for, are those people that I have mentioned,” he said.

“The money from Zimdef was used to buy personal furniture, bicycles, tricycles but the documentation was forged to say that the money was for a computerisation programme.

“The money from Zimdef was used to offset loans obtained in personal capacity by Dr Gandawa. And he paid $70 000 to a loan in an account with Barclays. We have an RTGS that he wrote in his handwriting and signed,” said Comm Nguni.

He added: “Thousands of dollars were used to purchase goods for personal companies of Dr Gandawa and some business connections related to Dr Gandawa.

“We had sight of a bank statement of Dr Gandawa, we obtained them legally through a court order. They show that the only business transactions that are in Fuzzy Technologies account — Dr Gandawa’s account — are deposits from Zimdef, Great Zimbabwe University and Zimbabwe Open University. No other business deposits are there.

“We followed the purchases and drawdowns from that Fuzzy Technologies account, no political party benefited in any way.

“You people in the media have been writing that the Zimdef funds were used to fund the Million-Man March. I want to confirm today that we have followed all the payments, for which we are charging them, there is no money that was used to finance the Million-Man March in this transaction where we seek to charge these people. For example, some of these payments happened in 2015. The Million-Man March was 26 May 2016.”

He said some of the transactions took place before the Women and Youth League meetings.Comm Nguni said the Act only allowed the minister to direct Zimdef payment, yet Dr Gandawa illegally performed the same responsibilities.“The deputy minister has no authority whatsoever in terms of the Act to approve any payments by Zimdef. Yet we have instances where he was ordering Zimdef to buy a car for the minister and his PA. These are all payments that are irregular and not authorised by the Act.

“We also went into Gandawa’s personal account. In his personal account, that is where we discovered Zimdef money was put into Fuzzy Technologies and then they transferred $120 000 to Gandawa’s personal account. He then paid $70 000 towards a loan that he owed.

“These are people who are claiming that they used the money to fund Zanu-PF activities. It is a lie. They used it to fund themselves. Fuzzy Technologies is a company owned by Gandawa. I know who they paid and didn’t pay. There is no proof that money from Zimdef was used to fund any Zanu-PF activities,” said Commissioner Nguni.

He dismissed claims that officials from ZACC went to Zanu-PF Headquarters during a Politburo meeting last week with the intention of arresting Prof Moyo.He said they only wanted to interview him since he had been refusing to appear before them to answer to the allegations raised.

Comm Nguni dismissed claims that some commissioners had been bribed to block investigations into institutions such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and AB Communications.

He said there was no way a commissioner could have been bribed when they were not investigating the two entities.Comm Nguni also dismissed claims by Prof Moyo that he was behind the probe, saying investigations were only approved by the full commission.He refuted claims that he was a convicted fraudster in South Africa, saying if it were true, he would not have qualified to be a commissioner of ZACC.

High Court approached for minister’s arrest

Source: High Court approached for minister’s arrest | The Herald October 14, 2016

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter—
PRESSURE to have Higher and Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo prosecuted over corruption allegations intensified yesterday after a Harare vendor approached the High Court seeking an order compelling police to arrest the minister.

Prof Moyo has been in the news since his foiled “arrest” at the last Politburo meeting in Harare last week on allegations of abusing public funds.The minister is accused of abusing $450 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).In an application filed in the High Court yesterday evening under a certificate of urgency, the vendor, Mr Hardlife Mudzingwa also seeks an order for the Executive to distance itself from Minister Moyo’s prosecution.

He listed Prof Moyo, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Commissioner-General of Police Dr Augustine Chihuri and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZAAC) as respondents.“Pending the confirmation or discharge of the provisional order, an interim relief is hereby granted on the following terms—that third respondent (Dr Chihuri) be and is hereby ordered and directed to bring first respondent (Minister Moyo) before a court of law on the various publicised criminal allegations that he is facing and shall, to the extent that it is necessary, effect his arrest,” read part of the draft of the interim order sought.

In his papers, Mr Mudzingwa said it was his constitutional right as a Zimbabwean citizen to have Minister Moyo “brought before equity”.“I make that plea as a citizen and a subject of the State for whose benefit the constitution was enacted,” said Mr Mudzingwa.“I demand a law that applies equally to everyone regardless of political persuasion or position in the Government or in a political faction, real or perceived.”

Mr Mudzingwa said the court should grant him an order forcing Comm-Gen Chihuri to set in motion the wheels of criminal justice, without the hindrance of VP Mphoko, any Minister, or any authority.“I have no other remedy,” he said adding, “Justice dictates that the law be followed. Jonathan Moyo must be brought before a court of law by any means necessary. He must be arrested if he cannot co-operate with the police.”

Mr Mudzingwa further stated that people who are committing crimes “today are being arrested today”.“That is what must happen with first respondent, otherwise there will be chaos and the constitutional centre will fail to hold,” he said.“The breach of the Constitution involved, particularly by an acting president makes the matter irrevocably urgent.

He must be given the opportunity to prove that he is a true Robin Hood and that the law allows him to be such.“He must be afforded the chance to do so by all means necessary,” said Mr Mudzingwa.“That means he must appear before a court of law. He cannot plead his cause before Cabinet, the Politburo or on Twitter.”

Mr Mudzingwa, who had been arrested before for street vending said, whenever the police took the view that he had committed criminal misconduct, he had been arrested.

He said no one ever tried to protect him each time he was arrested except the law.“Whenever I have felt that I was innocent, I have had to protest my innocence in terms of and I have been vindicated by the law,” he said.

“There are times when I have committed crimes thinking that I was benefitting the public. That has not stopped my arrest notwithstanding that my actions have been of benefit to people from all constituencies in the country and not the constituency from which I hail. I have at all times been required to answer to the law.”

Mr Mudzingwa added that judges, members of the police force and recently the Prosecutor General Mr Johannes Tomana had been arrested.“In Zimbabwe people are arrested and brought before equity whenever it is felt that they have committed criminal misconduct.”Mr Mudzingwa also said after the allegations against Minister Moyo spilled into the public domain, the Minister seemingly admitted to the allegations and called himself Robin Hood.

“I understand that Robin Hood is famed for stealing from the rich and distributing the proceeds to the poor,” said Mudzingwa.“He (Minister Moyo) also seems to suggest that he is not the only one involved in this kind of misconduct. He sees a tribal hand in the fact that the allegations have been made. This is unfortunate. The upshot of his response is to confirm the fact that a prima facie case against him exists.”

Mr Mudzingwa said VP Mphoko’s statement that Minister Moyo could cannot be arrested without President Mugabe’s consent was wrong and unacceptable at law.

“I submit that it is corrupt for the second respondent to shield first respondent from arrest on the inane basis that the President has not authorised his arrest,” he said.“This is blatantly unconstitutional and is with respect criminal misconduct. I submit that such conduct gives the impression that the constitutional ideals underpinning the establishment of the fourth respondent are not high on the State’s agenda. This is sad.”

Mr Mudzingwa said what VP Mphoko said made him feel like a second grade citizen.“Whenever it is felt that I have committed crimes (while vending), I have been arrested. Why must first respondent occupy this privileged position? This implicates, in my view, a breach of the equality before the law guarantee and robs me as a beneficiary of lawful conduct, of the protection of the law,” he said.

To back his case, Mudzingwa cited Section 56(1) of the Constitution which provides for the equal and fair treatment of each and every person of Zimbabwe.

Furthermore, section 56(3) that states that every person has the right not to be discriminated unfairly on such grounds as their class, political affiliation, economic or social status. He also relied on section 51 of the Constitution that provides for the inherent dignity of every person and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.

In this case, Mr Mudzingwa said he felt that his dignity would be undermined if the Minister Moyo were to evade such allegations without reason.Section 106(2)(b) and (c) of the Constitution specifically states that Ministers during their tenure of office should not act in any way that is inconsistent with their office or expose themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and private interests, or use their position or any information entrusted to them to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person.

Media hailed for exposing corruption

Source: Media hailed for exposing corruption | The Herald October 14, 2016

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has hailed the media for exposing corruption saying the scourge must never be rewarded with “impunity, while righteousness is punished with hostile editorials.”Speaking at the National Journalism and Media Awards in Harare yesterday night, VP Mnangagwa said it was the responsibility of every Zimbabwean to expose corruption.

“There (exposing corruption) I congratulate you. This is an area where we agree. We all have a responsibility to fight and expose corruption in all sectors of our society in whatever form or fashion it presents itself.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the media, you have an obligation to inform and to educate the reading public while sound, balanced, professional and ethical journalism must be uttermost in your practice. Corruption must never be rewarded with impunity, while righteousness is punished with hostile editorials.

“The era where well-meaning citizens are unduly demonised, simply because they have refused to back up their rectitude by pushing the brown envelop must surely come to an end,” he said.

VP Mnangagwa said the treatment of political stories in the country put the media industry in a bigger dilemma.

He said; “One daily got a sense of “my party, my politician, right or wrong” editorial stance saying it may be that in the eyes of some media practitioners and newsrooms that some parties and politicians never do anything right or the converse.”

He said either way the expectant public suffered, challenging journalists not to abuse their rights which were enshrined in the country’s constitution.

He said Government stood ready and prepared to support the media industry and there were many fiscal concessions, which could be granted to the industry to ensure both ease of doing business and greater viability.

“Duty on media related accessories could be revised downwards, provided you make a case to the relevant ministry. I am aware that many of your members do not have homes of their own. In fact there are instances where some of you get to retirement age without homes of your own.

“Much worse, it makes you vulnerable in your profession. Surely a case must be made to responsible Government Ministry on behalf of your sector,” he said.

VP Mnangagwa implored media practitioners to strive to articulate national policies and aspirations at any given time as enunciated in Zim Asset.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists president Michael Chideme, said the union was unhappy with the harassment of journalists during assignments by the police.

“Our members are beaten up, have their cameras confiscated and sometimes are unnecessarily detained. Cde Vice President, Zimbabwe is in the process of addressing its image. Journalists are part of that campaign because they churn out information.

“In short we want Government to guarantee our safety as we do our work. An injury to one is an injury to all of us. We work in solidarity,” he said.

VP Mnangagwa said it was not Government policy to harass or beat up journalists saying such police officers should be brought to book.

PDP accuses ZimPF of poaching its members

THE Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) of poaching its members in the aftermath of its vice-president Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and a host of other party members in Bulawayo and Matabeleland North defecting

Source: PDP accuses ZimPF of poaching its members – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


Sipepa Nkomo resigned from the year-old political party that split from the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T through a letter he wrote to the national executive.

PDP spokesman, Jacob Mafume confirmed Nkomo’s resignation, saying the party was not amused by the defection.

“It’s true that he left. He wrote a letter in which he was complaining about resources for campaigning,” Mafume said.
The defections come at a time PDP is in coalition negotiations with the ZimPF, as the opposition takes positions to fight Zanu PF in the 2018 general elections.

Mafume said the defections were induced by the promise of positions.

“We understand that Sipepa Nkomo was promised the vice-presidency by ZimPF before he defected. It was treachery on his part, as he was also PDP’s chief negotiator in the coalition talks,” he said.

The PDP spokesman further said the resignations were a self-cleansing process that any organisation goes through.

“Trees shed leaves when a new summer comes. Zimbabwe has been recycling politicians for too long out of politeness and common decency. This has to come to an end and we now need new faces,” Mafume said.

However, ZimPF denied the allegation it had poached Sipepa Nkomo and the other former PDP executives.

ZimPF spokesman, Jealousy Mawarire said people were joining the party on their own volition.

“No one is offered any position in ZimPF. People will be elected into positions. The mere fact that we will hold an elective convention means every party position is up for grabs, including that of the vice-president,” he said.

“They should introspect why people are leaving them. We don’t poach people from anywhere. People join because they are attracted to us.”

Zim slips 17 places on competitiveness ranking

ZIMBABWE’S overall ranking on the macroeconomic environment slipped 17 places to 104 in the 2015/2016 period due to low national savings, which cannot support investment, a new report has shown.

Source: Zim slips 17 places on competitiveness ranking – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


According to the Zimbabwe National Competiveness Report 2016 released at the National Economic Consultative Forum that ended yesterday in Harare, national savings could not support investment activity as it was in a precarious state.

“The poor credit ranking is mainly a result of accumulation of international payments arrears by government. The current re-engagement with International financial institutions is expected to improve the country’s ranking on government debt,” the report said.

The report comes as Zimbabwe’s overall ranking on the Global Competiveness Index (GCI) dropped by one place to 126 for the 2016/2017.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said government sought to make sure the country was competitive, thereby, improving on the ease of doing business.

“It is only through dialogue that we will be able to deliver. There is need for dialogue between the private and public sectors,” he said.

Zimbabwe registered a notable improvement of seven ranks in the overall GCI ranking between 2013 to 2015, from 131 in 2013/2014 to 124 in 2014/2015.

However, in the 2015/2016 index, the country slipped by one rank to 125, with the recently released GCI showing the current position of 126 for the 2016/17.

Reasons for the decline were largely attributed to political instability, policy inconsistency and perceived risk as the main reasons.

“As long as we are uncompetitive, we will not succeed in getting our companies to produce. I want to ensure that this government has the commitment to work with the private sector and are waiting for to say let us work together,” Mines minister Walter Chidakwa said.

The report found that Zimbabwe was lagging behind other countries in all the GCI pillars.

Zimbabwe, especially, ranked poorly in terms of good market efficiency, labour market efficiency, infrastructure, business sophistication and innovation.

Zimra incapacitated to stop smuggling — Industry

INDUSTRY has raised concern over the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s (Zimra) capacity to stamp out smuggling at ports of entry, amid claims its officials were incapacitated to deal with of duty and rules of origin issues.

Source: Zimra incapacitated to stop smuggling — Industry – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


This came out at a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) roundtable briefing on business and economic matters in Bulawayo on Wednesday.

First to raise the issue was the Zimbabwe Textile Manufacturers’ Association vice-president, Freedom Dube, who said smugglers were declaring blankets as woven fabric to avoid paying duty, something Zimra officials were failing to detect.

Dube said they had tried several times to engage Zimra over the issue, but with no luck.

“We tried to second some of our people to the borders to assist in identifying those products, to no avail,” he said.

Chinese businesspersons are reportedly repackaging and selling blankets, which they claim to have been manufactured locally, when in fact they come into the country as finished products.

The blankets are being fraudulently declared as woven long pile fabric, which attracts a duty of only 10%.

Through Statutory Instrument 19 of 2016, government prohibited the importation of blankets, second-hand clothes and shoes without import licences.

However, smugglers are declaring the blankets as woven fabric to avoid paying duty, while maximising on profits.
Blankets attract a duty of 40% and an additional $2,50 per kg.

CZI president, Busisa Moyo said they were seized with the issue and he would write to the Zimra commissioner-general articulating industry’s concerns.

“I will be writing to the Zimra commissioner-general on the issue of smuggling,” he said, adding they want to engage the army and police also.

Zimra was also grilled for failing to administer the rules of origin, which are laws, regulations and administrative rulings applied by the government to determine the origin or source of imported goods.

This, industry said, has resulted in the abuse of Sadc and Comesa trading certificates by countries outside the region.

Zimra is supposed assess whether a shipment qualifies for a tariff preference or falls within a quota limitation as defined in regional trade arrangements.

But due to its incapacity, both institutionally and resourcefully, Zimra has been found wanting, as goods such as cooking oil and clothes, among others find their way into the country.

Imports are blamed for suffocating local manufacturers forcing the government to place restrictions on imports.
Experts say the restrictions kill the competition from imports, which would ultimately lead to low prices.

Dismantle corrupt political machine churning out Moyo types

ZANU PF’s well-oiled corrupt political machine was exposed again in full throttle last week hurtling into this week.

Source: Dismantle corrupt political machine churning out Moyo types – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016

But we have not seen and heard from Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo — being in the eye of the storm — the usual embarrassment, shame and contrition we associate with someone — especially high up — caught in sordid, criminal activities.


There was not the slightest pricking of conscience, as Moyo — apparently emboldened by President’s Robert Mugabe stopping the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) from taking him in on charges of helping himself to Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) financial resources after his tearful melodramatic performance in a Zanu PF politburo meeting, where he blamed his imminent arrest on his political foes, as if they had forced Zimdef funds into his hands — reverted to type. He returned to his usual cocky style after recovering from the arrest scare, posturing as a modern-day Robin Hood robbing the rich to feed the poor.

“You can say what you want, but I would rather be a Robin Hood than a cruel tribalist, murderer and UN-identified cross-border diamond thief,” Moyo bragged.

Was it a coincidence that soon after Moyo said that, we had this headline in a State-run newspaper: Zimdef fails to pay staff? Any starker perversion and inversion of the heroic outlaw in English folklore, because Robin Hood did not rob the poor to feed the rich or steal from struggling students — the designated beneficiaries of Zimdef? No wonder the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union said: “We cannot even call minister Moyo’s defence childish for fear of insulting children.” Could there be intellectual burnout at play? I digress.

What’s at play is abuse of office to satisfy greed, not need. So, deflecting attention to some “cruel tribalist, murderer and UN-identified cross-border diamond thief” does not exonerate Moyo from the glaring theft and corruption. Whether it’s coming from Goodson Nguni or anyone similarly tainted or not, the fact of the matter is that a gross crime has been committed and there is abundant evidence to prove that. And belonging to a faction real or perceived to be anti-Mugabe does not lessen the provability or nullify the validity of such evidence. The dirty or unclean hands doctrine — the rule of law that a person coming to court with a lawsuit or petition for a court order must be free from unfair conduct — doesn’t apply here. You do not have to be uncorrupted yourself to point out corruption in other people. Many — if not most — of police informants are criminals themselves. You set a thief to catch a thief. The best persons to catch thieves are other thieves because they know how thieves think and operate. So, it’s neither here nor there that Moyo’s accusers could be his political foes out to settle scores.

Lectured Moyo: “The state of underdevelopment in Tsholotsho is such that bicycles are a necessity just like matches! It is criminal to claim that a decision by the Zimdef trustee, me, to fund computers and bicycles requested by Tsholotsho RDC (Rural District Council) is corruption!”

This is not only insulting, but pathetic. Moyo’s roles as Higher Education minister and Tsholotsho North MP cannot be mixed; the two are separate. But, despite being a professor, he conflates them in his desperation to wriggle out of the deep trouble he has mired himself in. To jog the professor’s memory, there is what is called the Constituency Development Fund from which allocations are made specifically for buying bicycles and other vote-buying trinkets.

And has the learned professor not heard of virement — the administrative transfer of funds from one part of a budget to another — after all these years as a government minister? In view of that, it is criminal for Moyo to unilaterally and unprocedurally transfer money from Zimdef to Tsholotsho RDC bypassing the Local Government ministry, under which the RDC falls.

But it’s baffling that some people are giving Moyo too much credit for having somehow engineered this latest corruption saga in his mission to destroy Zanu PF from within, whereas Moyo has a predilection for dishonesty out of greed as seen in the scandals he was embroiled in at Ford Foundation in Kenya and Wits University (South Africa) in the 1990s, where he was accused of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for academic research.

The current allegations against him are consistent with his record. Like at Ford and Wits, Moyo has been caught with his hand in the till. People are creatures of habit. They return to the same patterns of behaviour. This makes Moyo a repeat offender. At Zimdef there was no elaborate political scheme, but a pecuniary interest: To make as much money as possible using his position as minister on the Zanu PF gravy train. It is about money and nothing else than money. That is all there is to it. So, Moyo, more so now that he is really running scared, will — including tears and all that weepy stuff — tell Mugabe what he wants to hear: That the ultimate target of the “plotters” fingering him (Moyo) for his corrupt deeds is Mugabe himself — and protection from arrest is guaranteed for the professor.

All in all, one can deduce that Moyo is speaking from a position of power and privilege. This means he is likely to underestimate and even brush off the gravity of his situation — as he is already doing — because the system will not hold him personally accountable, but protect him all the way because the whole bang shoot of them are equally tainted. It will only become a crime if he breaks ranks with the system. That’s how cronyism works.

Thus, Moyo’s statement against reform of electoral laws to level the political playing field that: “We can’t reform ourselves out of power” begins to make sense. He really meant it. He is essentially saying they are mighty scared to lose their privileges in the same way the French nobility were against the 1789 Revolution because they did not want to lose their inherited privileges.

What we are contending with is a whole political machine — one that has become corrupt to the core. A political machine is a political organisation in which an authoritarian boss — like Mugabe — controls its activities and commands the backing of a corps of supporters (like Moyo and the Zanu PF youth league) and businesses (including State-owned firms and cash-rich levy-collecting parastatals like Zimdef and Zinara) whose bosses receive rewards for their efforts and protection (ditto Moyo, Zanu youth league leaders). Why would a whole Vice-President go to a police station and order the immediate release of Zinara bosses fingered in a corruption scam running into millions of dollars? Political machines also often accept payments from criminal enterprises and elements in exchange for protection from police or Zacc investigation of their activities. These enterprises become their steady sources of income.

But at what point are people — including those long-abused stalwarts of the liberation struggle still in Zanu PF who are being insulted by Moyo-type upstarts — going to say: “Enough is enough!” and demand solutions that address real problems such as corruption? We need people that are prepared to break ranks and join the rest of the nation against this “rulers’ justice” where big fish get away with not even a slap on the hand for corruption, while ordinary people, who have committed much, much less crimes, face the full wrath of the law. It’s time to move away from pliant talk and take action — concrete action — by people not allowing themselves to be swamped anymore by parroting of slogans resulting in cover-ups seen at Zanu PF gatherings and forums.

People should ask themselves whether their loyalty is to the person or party — or nation. They should come to a decision about what is in the best interest of the nation — which is, getting the government back on track.

And to do that, we have to dismantle the corrupt political machine that is churning out the likes of Moyo.
It’s difficult, but not impossible.

Conway Nkumbuzo Tutani is a Harare-based columnist. Email:

Mugabe set precedence for nepotism, corruption

President Robert Mugabe has publicly condemned nepotism yet gave powerful and rewarding positions to members of his family. When nepotism is executed by the highest office, then it will definitely be practised in the lower offices with little or no consequences. Opinion: Zanda Shumba

Source: Mugabe set precedence for nepotism, corruption – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016

In the same manner, Mugabe speaks against corruption but never lifts a finger to curb it. When he is accused of stealing elections, he sets an unhealthy precedent to ministers, all government workers as well as those in parastatals.

Mugabe has shown that he is not interested in fair play by not permitting transparent and free elections to enable Zimbabweans to choose a desired leader. He continues to forcibly impose himself on Zimbabweans for his personal glory and benefit, and such benefits include the unfettered latitude he has in appointing people he desires to certain key positions of government. This unrestricted leeway gives him immense power and many literally worship him in a bid to curry favour.

Recently, Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore was appointed to the post of chief operations officer (COO) at Air Zimbabwe. The announcement was made by Transport minister Jorum Gumbo. This position is an inch away from the post of airline boss. This is a lucrative post and will definitely guarantee a steady income for the family of his daughter, Bona. Chikore benefits immensely during this period of high unemployment in country, a situation created by Mugabe himself through recklessly policies. With high unemployment rates, social media is awash with ridicule on how insensitive and self-centred this action is. Mugabe has always behaved selfishly. He has also neglected the health delivery system, which has deteriorated to its lowest levels in the country, while he flies out to get world class treatment in Malaysia. Giving Chikore a top job smacks of nepotism.

Through Mugabe’s influence, Grace Mugabe managed to elbow out Oppah Muchinguri from the top women’s league job.

Leading the Zanu PF women’s wing came soon after she had “graduated” with a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe after studying towards it for just less than three months. Mugabe is the Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe.

Leo Mugabe, the president’s nephew was at the helm of the Zimbabwe Football Association, Zimbabwe’s soccer governing body for more than two decades, buoyed by his uncle to such a position. Secret service agents, presence at the body’s elections always cowed other candidates and manipulated the process in favour of his continued stay at the soccer body. His prolonged tenure is attributed to the current soccer standards in the country, having been corruptly mismanaged for long just like the uncle has mismanaged the economy. Now another distant nephew runs the soccer body and players get paltry remuneration.

Patrick Zhuwao was appointed body chairperson to the forestry commission for close to a decade. His tenure at the commission witnessed rapid deterioration of our timber reserves in the Eastern Highlands. His tenure coincides, not accidentally, with the period of rapid and unchecked lumbering in the history of Forestry Commission in Zimbabwe.

Very little replanting of teak trees was being done, so we may be forced to importing timber in the near future as the trees take on average 25 years to mature. There were many Chinese firms logging during his tenure and even now, with sophisticated machinery to cut down trees and process the timber on site. The situation is so bad that in May 2016 a Parliamentary committee was appointed to check on the rapid dilapidation of timber in the Eastern Highlands. Zhuwao has vowed that his uncle will rule until 2023 though many see this as nothing more than a pathetic wish for someone who stands to benefit from Mugabe’s continued stay in power.

Vice-president Emmerson Mnangangwa also arm-twisted the Zibagwe constituency electorate, terrifying them with unspecified actions to vote for his wife Auxillia, to fill a parliamentary seat he had vacated.

Such is the pattern resulting from the influence and power that keeps Mugabe going even when he can now hardly walk.

It is unimaginable for him to relinquish so much authority. But Zimbabweans are in a protest mode and it may not be long before the protests to oust the present government become nationwide. Zimbabweans have at last learnt from Mugabe’s excesses that there cannot be rights without social responsibility. They have realised, though a little late, that most of their freedom lies in reining Mugabe or limiting the executive powers in general. However, the constitution of Zimbabwe gives immense power to the executive so that reining the executive will be achieved through trimming executive appointing powers to make the incumbent accountable to his boss, the people of Zimbabwe.

Leave me alone: Jonathan Moyo

HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday challenged politicians accusing him of abusing over $400 000 drawn from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) to sponsor his personal and Zanu PF programmes to leave him alone.

Source: Leave me alone: Jonathan Moyo – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


Moyo and his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, have since last week been under the public spotlight with some of their critics calling for their arrest and expulsion from government.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at Madziwa Teachers’ College in Mashonaland Central province, Moyo declared that he would not back off, adding there was nothing wrong in him using public resources to bankroll ruling party activities and community projects in his Tsholotsho North constituency.

“I wish to place on record that I do not consider public programmes such as the 21st February Movement, Zimbabwe Youth Council, million-man march in solidarity with President (Robert) Mugabe as Head of State and Government or veterans of the liberation war as partisan or political in the narrow sense of the term,” he said.

“These are initiatives that define and give content or substance to our nationhood. Being able to enable the support for such public programmes, as part of Zimdef’s corporate social responsibility is, for me, a matter of national pride. Ndinodada nazvo (I’m proud of it). Ongafuniyo kayekele. It is my considered judgment that dynamic, effective and sustainable human capital development is possible only if it is anchored in public programmes like these I mentioned.”

Moyo’s remarks came a week after members of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission were reportedly blocked from arresting him by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who went on to defend him at a public meeting in Bulawayo on Monday.

In his tirade against his political detractors, Moyo added: “History will record as extraordinary that some desperate political interests have sought to treat as unusual, illegal and corrupt the public programmes that I have supported, as an expression of my policy mandate and legal discretion in my capacity as Zimdef trustee.

“It’s one thing for people to disagree with or not like my choices, but quite another for them to label the choices unusual, illegal or corrupt, simply because my choices do not accord with their political agenda.

“I object to that in the strongest possible terms and I will fight to the bitter end to be left alone to fully discharge my responsibilities as given to me by my appointing authority. Please, leave me alone!

“The idea that some powerful people want to capture some institutions and to use those institutions to derail and tarnish good work will be resisted without let or hindrance.”

He disputed public perception that Zimdef was a student or scholarship fund, saying the misconception was being peddled by people, who were “not only mischievous”, but a “threat to national security in so far as they are bent on using students to incite instability in higher and tertiary education”.

On allegations that he had used part of the money to fund community projects in his constituency, Moyo said: “The culture and practice of singling out individuals or communities for stigmatisation or demonisation or treating a norm as an alteration is totally unacceptable.

“That culture and practice belongs to a dark period in our history, whose wounds and chapter we must close. In 2004, some politicians created very dangerous fiction about Dinyane High School in Tsholotsho and alleged that it was used to plot a coup.

“It took a High Court decision to correct that very cruel lie. Now yet again, some other people are trying to stigmatise and demonise traditional leaders in Tsholotsho over computers and bicycles that were properly given to them.

“No! No! No! Why Tsholotsho again in 2016, as if what happened in 2004 did not teach us lifetime lessons? Why are some people always eager to particularise Tsholotsho?”

This was in apparent reference to a Zanu PF provincial chairpersons’ meeting held in Tsholotsho in 2004 ostensibly to endorse Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s candidature ahead of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Several provincial chairpersons were relieved of their posts after their meeting was perceived as plotting a palace coup, with Moyo, as their host, being the biggest victim.

Moyo yesterday also lashed out at top government officials for allegedly abusing the State media to vilify him through use of “cheap propaganda” as part of a sinister plot to derail his ministry’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) programme.

“I have no doubt that well-meaning and discerning Zimbabweans will understand and appreciate the historic and pivotal role that Zimdef has played in the launch of the Stem initiative. Zimdef has, since its inception, supported various public programmes, which some see as political programmes, not only as part of its core mandate, but also as an expression of its corporate social responsibility,” he said.

“The choice of what to support in this regard has always been at the discretion of the incumbent Zimdef trustee.
What is indubitable is that each Zimdef trustee, that is to say, each and all of my predecessors, exercised their legal discretion and policy mandate to support one sort of public programme or another.”

‘Mphoko, Mumbengegwi biggest Parly bunkers’

VICE-President Phelekezela Mphoko and Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi are some of the biggest Parliament bunkers, the National Assembly heard on Wednesday.

Source: ‘Mphoko, Mumbengegwi biggest Parly bunkers’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) read names of ministers, who continuously absented themselves from the National Assembly’s question-and-answer sessions.

“We know Mphoko only comes to the House during official opening of Parliament and the National Budget, and that Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi is the number one truant minister to the extent he is now even foreign to this Parliament,” Chamisa said.

“Youth minister Patrick Zhuwao is another truant minister and he is even going to the extent of harassing our Parliamentary Portfolio Committees and he must be dealt with because his behaviour is untoward.”

Other ministers named include Simon Khaya Moyo (Policy Co-ordination), Kembo Mohadi (State Security), Ignatius Chombo (Home Affairs), David Parirenyatwa (Health and Child Care), Jonathan Moyo (Higher Education), Samuel Undenge (Energy), Douglas Mombeshora (Lands), Nyasha Chikwinya (Women Affairs), Obert Mpofu (Macro-Economic Planning) and Saviour Kasukuwere (Local Government).

Most deputy ministers were also reportedly bunking Parliament.

Chamisa told Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mabel Chinomona, that all the truant ministers must be charged with contempt of Parliament.

“On a specific date and day, which is a Wednesday, ministers choose to go away without official leave (Awol) and we have to read the riot act invoking the statutes of our Parliament. This is nothing vindictive or personal. It is in the national interest to make sure the monies that are paid by taxpayers are accounted for,” he said.

MDC-T chief whip, Innocent Gonese said the Speaker of the National Assembly must inform the House every Wednesday of ministers who would have sought leave of absence and those who bunked.

“We want those letters produced before us so that we know which ministers have complied with the provisions of Standing Orders,” he said.

Parliament Standing Order number 63 stipulates no Vice-President, minister or deputy minister can absent themselves without the leave of the Speaker.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to study the matter and deal with the truant ministers, saying it was a very serious issue.

‘Jonathan Moyo docket ready’

ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) member in charge of investigations, Goodson Nguni, yesterday dug in, claiming there was enough evidence to nail Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo on corruption and abuse of funds charges, as the case took a new twist.

Source: ‘Jonathan Moyo docket ready’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


“The public has been bombarded with lies, half-truths and complete fabrication by persons, who may face charges of fraud, abuse of office and money-laundering arising out of violating the National Manpower Development Act,” he said at a Press conference yesterday.

“We have all the statements, from Zimdef [Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund] and Fuzzy Technologies, a company owned by [Higher Education] deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa. No monies from Zimdef benefited any political party. It is a lie. All the money paid out has been traced to the personal benefit of Jonathan Moyo, Gandawa, Hozheri, his (Moyo’s) personal assistant, and Mapute (Zimdef principal director finance).

“The money from Zimdef was used to buy personal furniture, bicycles and tricycles, but the documentation was forged to show that the money had been used for a computerisation programme.”

Nguni said Zacc had collectively sanctioned the investigation into Moyo and Zimdef and this was not due to a personal vendetta.

“No commissioner, including myself, has authority to order an investigation. The full commission authorises the investigation and in the case of Zimdef, Zacc, as a full commission, made the decision to investigate,” he said.

NewsDay reported early this week that communication between Moyo and Gandawa showed that Zimdef money used to fund Zanu PF’s million-man march had been receipted as if it had gone towards the government’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) initiative.

Nguni initially said he was speaking in his personal capacity, but on being quizzed by journalists, he retorted: “I am the chairperson of Zacc’s investigations committee, whether that means I am speaking here in my official capacity or not is up to you. The documents I have are the property of Zacc and can be found in the dockets.”

Nguni said Zimdef finances, in terms of the Act, “must only be used for manpower development” at the direction of the minister, but in consultation with the National Manpower Advisory Council (Namaco).

“In this case, Namaco has not been aware of any financial expenditure by Zimdef. The deputy minister has no authority whatsoever in terms of the Act to approve any payments by Zimdef and yet we have instances where he was ordering Zimdef to buy a car for the minister and his assistant,” he continued.

“The chief executive officer of Zimdef, Frederick Mandizvidza, is on bail charged with fraud and in statements he has given us, all the fraudulent payments he made were at Moyo and Gandawa’s orders.”

Nguni said the “investigations have obtained legally all source documents relating to the release of Zimdef funds”.
“That means we know what Zimdef money was paid and for what purpose, we know who asked for it and we have followed all the payments made using that money,” he said.

“There was money from Zimdef used to offset a loan of $70 000 using Gandawa’s account at Barclays Bank.

“No money went to any political party. Thousands of dollars were used to finance personal businesses owned by Gandawa and his business associates.

“The only business accounts in Fuzzy Technologies are related with funds deposited by Zimdef and Great Zimbabwe University.

“There have been reports that Zimdef funds were used to finance the million-man march, but I want to confirm that no money was used for that purpose and some of this money was taken in 2015, while the march took place in May this year. Some of the payments were made well before the [Zanu PF] women’s league meetings.”

Nguni also indicated that documents in Zacc’s possession also showed payments made to journalists.

“There are various ladies who had rent paid for them by the company (Fuzzy Technologies). It also says here $50 000 was paid to an organisation for journalists in Bulawayo. Some journalists in Harare were also paid $9 000,” he said.

The Zacc commissioner also refuted reports Zacc wanted to arrest Moyo during a Zanu PF politburo meeting last week.

Govt to blame for cash shortages: World Bank

BANKS’ purchase of Treasury Bills and public sector borrowing may have triggered liquidity shortages prevailing in the market, a World Bank report has said.

Source: Govt to blame for cash shortages: World Bank – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016


Government has been borrowing on the domestic market to plug the fiscal deficit and repay the central bank and State-owned entities’ arrears. In the first six months of the year, the fiscal deficit was $623 million, with Treasury warning that the hole would surpass $1 billion by year-end if expenditure was left unchecked.

The wage bill for the civil services accounted for 96,7% of the total revenue generated in the first half of the year.

In a latest report entitled, Macro Poverty Outlook for Zimbabwe, the World Bank said from March 2015 to June 2016, government borrowing from the banking sector increased by $1,4 billion or about 10%. It said the borrowing was financed by TBs, which were purchased by commercial banks at a discount.

“Banks’ purchases of TBs and other public sector borrowing may have contributed to liquidity shortages and crowded out bank lending to the private sector. Faced with cash shortages, banks were unable to honour demand deposits.
Quantitative limits on cash withdrawals,” the bank said.

It warned that the economic situation was projected to continue deteriorating in the absence of a strong adjustment programme. The World Bank said fiscal adjustment in the form of a reduction in the public sector wage bill was needed to prevent further accumulation of government borrowing from the banking system.

“Without a fiscal adjustment and/or access to external credit through arrears clearance, government will have to borrow from banks. This is likely to result in an accumulation of public debt, diminishing investor confidence and limiting Zimbabwe’s growth prospects,” it said.

In his mid-term fiscal policy review statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa proposed a salary cut for the civil service and forgoing of bonus payments for 2016 and 2017, as part of measures to cut runaway expenditure in the wake of dwindling revenue flows. The measures were thrown out by government, signalling Harare’s unwillingness to undergo ambitious reforms in line with prescriptions from the Bretton-Woods institutions.

The World Bank said greater transparency in the management of the conversion of interbank and cash dollars was a key challenge to ensure the unification of prices, which is vital for private and public transactions.

“Similarly, the recently introduced trade restrictions risk limiting competition, encouraging rent seeking, and discouraging efficient and competitive production, while also raising the cost of exports,” the bank said.

In July, government promulgated Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 which restricts the importation of products that have local equivalent in a bid to boost local industries.

Zim ivory tusks valueless: Muchinguri

ENVIRONMENT minister Oppah Muchinguri yesterday claimed other African countries such as Kenya, Botswana and Chad were scuttling efforts by Zimbabwe to sell its huge ivory stockpile insisting that it must be burnt.

Source: Zim ivory tusks valueless: Muchinguri – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 13, 2016

ENVIRONMENT minister Oppah Muchinguri yesterday claimed other African countries such as Kenya, Botswana and Chad were scuttling efforts by Zimbabwe to sell its huge ivory stockpile insisting that it must be burnt.


Muchinguri said this in the National Assembly, while responding to a question by Shamva South MP, Joseph Mapiki (Zanu PF), who had asked her to explain when Zimbabwe would benefit from its ivory stockpile.

“The problem is that other countries like Botswana, Kenya and Chad are pushing other countries to ensure Zimbabwe does not sell its ivory,” she said.

“When we went to Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) they wanted us to burn our ivory, but we refused because the value of our tusks is very high, and we will wait until we have a chance to sell them.”
Muchinguri said all that the country could do now was to manufacture artefacts such as earrings and bangles from ivory, but it had also proved difficult to sell them to tourists.

“Those tourists are required to get permits so that their countries allow them to bring the earrings made out of elephant tusks. The process is almost a ban on Zimbabwe’s ivory, but we will keep fighting to ensure our tusks are sold,” she said.

Mapiki also asked if Zimbabwe could use its tusks as collateral to get loans from countries like China and Muchinguri said: “China closed their domestic market, saying they do not want to deal in ivory, and as it stands our ivory has no value at international level. It is considered valueless.”

‘Give committee looking into ZACC a chance’

Source: ‘Give committee looking into ZACC a chance’ | The Herald October 13, 2016

Walter Nyamukondiwa in NORTON

The Zanu-PF party leadership should allow a committee set up by President Mugabe to look into the dealings of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to execute its mandate, national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere has said.Cde Kasukuwere warned party members against interfering with the work of the commission saying the party did not need instability at this stage.

The ruling party’s national commissar said leaders should refrain from discussing in the public domain issues that had to do with the operations of ZACC, which is investigating Higher Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa and officials from the ministry and the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund official for alleged fraud.

“In the party, we must not allow this unnecessary distraction that we are slowly sliding into,” said Cde Kasukuwere. “Party leaders must refrain from talking too much. We have a committee appointed by his Excellency President Mugabe to investigate issues to do with ZACC and let’s give that committee its time.”

He said the committee would report on its findings soon.

The committee was set up at last week’s Politburo meeting.

The anti-graft body has reportedly carried out extensive investigations into Prof Moyo’s dealings with the Zimdef.

Prof Moyo together with his deputy Dr Gandawa and several officials in his ministry, face allegations of misappropriating close to $500 000.

Turning to the media, Cde Kasukuwere said it should guard against damaging the image of the party.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a ground-breaking ceremony for a vocational training centre in Norton, which is expected to absorb school leavers in the dormitory town.On the Norton parliamentary by-election slated for October 22, the national PC said the party was raring to go and would soon ramp up campaigns.

Our structures are strong, and as a party, we are ready to give our opponent Temba Mliswa a run for his money, he said.Cde Kasukuwere condemned violence saying independent candidate Mr Mliswa was fomenting disturbances in the constituency.The Norton Vocational Training Centre will move from its makeshift premises to the new location after completion of construction work at the new site.

Youths and students from the centre are expected to take part in the construction of the centre.The ground-breaking ceremony was also attended by Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Cde Patrick Zhuwao, his deputy Cde Mathias Tongofa and Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Cde Christopher Chingosho, among others.

Kariba plunge pool rehab to begin

Source: Kariba plunge pool rehab to begin | The Herald October 13, 2016

Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter

CONTRACTORS engaged by the Zambezi River Authority to remedy the erosion of the plunge pool on the Kariba Dam wall are expected to be on site within the next three weeks to commence the rehabilitation works.A plunge pool is defined as a deep basin excavated at the foot of a waterfall by the action of the falling water. ZRA shortlisted six companies from Asia and Europe to carry out the repair works on the plunge pool on the Kariba Dam wall from the 23 expressions of interest submitted in 2013.

“The procurement process of identifying a contractor getting the European Commission, African Development Bank, World bank and Swedish Government, you know there are four financiers, getting them to agree was always going to somewhat slow,” said ZRA chairman and secretary for Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Partson Mbiriri.

“We are not dealing with just one institution but four.“So we are kind of running behind on the projects but nonetheless come November we should have the contractor on site attending to the plunge pool.”Mr Mbiriri, however, could not divulge the identity of the contractors who have been finally appointed to carry out the rehabilitation works.

Rehabilitating the pool is estimated to cost $125 million and to be completed in about three years.The rehabilitation will also see work carried out on the dam’s floodgates one at a time.

Mr Mbiriri said the plunge pool may have been growing over time because at times ZRA would open all the six gates all the times but now is opening alternate gates when need be or just one gate so as to minimise the impact on the plunge pool.

“What has been happening is that instead of the plunge pool developing going downstream it has been developing coming towards the wall. That is where the risk has been,” said Mr Mbiriri.

The contractors are expected to drill and blast the lower part of the plunge pool to create a slope that forces the water to go down and not to swell within the plunge pool.

Putin ally tells Americans: vote Trump or face nuclear war

Moscow: Americans should vote for Donald Trump as president next month or risk being dragged into a nuclear war, according to a Russian ultra-nationalist ally of President Vladimir Putin who likes to compare himself to the US Republican candidate.

Source: Putin ally tells Americans: vote Trump or face nuclear war – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 13, 2016

Gulf News

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an interview that Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington.

By contrast, Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton could spark World War Three, said Zhirinovsky, who received a top state award from Putin after his pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) came third in Russia’s parliamentary election last month.

Many Russians regard Zhirinovsky as a clownish figure who makes outspoken statements to grab attention but he is also widely viewed as a faithful servant of Kremlin policy, sometimes used to float radical opinions to test public reaction.

“Relations between Russia and the United States can’t get any worse. The only way they can get worse is if a war starts,” said Zhirinovsky, speaking in his huge office on the 10th floor of Russia’s State Duma, or lower house of parliament.

“Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”

Zhirinovsky’s comments coincide with deep disagreements between Washington and Moscow over Syria and Ukraine and after the White House last week accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations.

Even as WikiLeaks released another trove of internal documents from Clinton’s campaign on Wednesday, Putin insisted his country was not involved in an effort to influence the US presidential election.

Zhirinovsky likes to shock liberal public opinion and he has frequently heaped scorn on the West, which he and other Russian nationalists regard as decadent, hypocritical and corrupted by political correctness.

His combative style, reminiscent of Trump’s, ensures him plenty of television air time and millions of votes in Russian elections, often from the kind of blue-collar workers who are the bedrock of the US Republican candidate’s support.

Zhirinovsky once proposed blocking off mostly Muslim southern Russia with a barbed wire fence, echoing Trump’s call for a wall along the US border with Mexico.

Zhirinovsky, who said he met Trump in New York in 2002, revels in his similarities with the American businessman — they are the same age, favor coarse, sometimes misogynistic language and boast about putting their own country first.

Related to Trump?

Zhirinovsky has even said he wants a DNA test to see if he is related to Trump.

But unlike Trump, a billionaire real estate developer who casts himself as the anti-establishment candidate in the US presidential race with no past political experience, Zhirinovsky is a consummate political insider who has sat in the Duma for more than two decades.

Putin has also praised Trump as “very talented”, while the Republican candidate has said the Kremlin boss is a better leader than US President Barack Obama.

Clinton has accused Trump of being too cozy with Putin and questioned his business interests in Russia.

In other comments that have delighted Moscow, Trump has questioned the value of Nato for Washington, has spoken ambiguously about Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and suggested that the United States under his leadership would adopt a more isolationist foreign policy.

“He (Trump) won’t care about Syria, Libya and Iraq and why an earth should America interfere in these countries? And Ukraine. Who needs Ukraine?,” said Zhirinovsky, who once counted himself a friend of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and whose deaths he still laments.

‘Brilliant chance’

“Trump will have a brilliant chance to make relations more peaceful … He’s the only one who can do this,” he said, adding that Trump could even win a Nobel peace prize.

Clinton “craves power”

In contrast, Zhirinovsky described Clinton as “an evil mother-in-law” and said her record as secretary of state under Obama in 2009-2013 showed she was unfit to lead her country.

“She craves power. Her view is that Hillary is the most important person on the planet, that America is an exceptional country, as Barack Obama said,” said Zhirinovsky. “That’s dangerous. She could start a nuclear war.”

In typically chauvinistic remarks, Zhirinovsky said Clinton’s gender should also bar her from the presidency.

“Most Americans should choose Trump because men have been leading for millions of year. You can’t take the risk of having one of the richest, most powerful countries led by a woman president,” he said.

Asked about lewd comments Trump made about women in 2005 that have harmed his campaign, Zhirinovsky defended the Republican: “Men all round the world sometimes say such things that are just for their comrades. We must only consider his business (and political) qualities.”

Though Putin and Trump have never met, Zhirinovsky said he believed they could establish a close working relationship, adding: “Victory for Trump would be a gift to humanity. But if Hillary Clinton wins it will be the last US president ever.”

Zpra ex-combatants embark on mobilisation exercise of members

THE Zpra Ex-combatants’ Association has embarked on a nationwide mobilisation and registration exercise of its members including those still in Zanu PF.

Source: Zpra ex-combatants embark on mobilisation exercise of members – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 13, 2016


The association’s national co-ordinator, Tiisang Nare Dale said the mobilisation exercise was also targeting former Zapu cadres still in Zanu PF, whom he said could be scared of leaving the ruling party.

“Some of our cadres are still in Zanu PF; they are scared of leaving the ruling party after committing human rights violations against Zimbabweans. Our message to them is that they should quit Zanu PF, confess their sins, ask for forgiveness and join the Zpra association,” he said.

“We have no reason not to accept their apology. We want all Zpra cadres to be united so that we successfully advance our cause, especially welfare issues of our members, who are suffering.”

Dale said their aim was to unite all Zpra cadres to fight for their properties and also to document their war history, which they allege has been distorted by the ruling party.

The Zanu PF government seized several former PF-Zapu properties such as farms and several buildings in Bulawayo and Harare at the height of the Gukurahundi massacres, as then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe accused the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo of using the properties for nefarious reasons including keeping arms caches.

Mugabe and Nkomo later ended their hostilities, now commonly referred to as Gukurahundi, with the signing of the 1987 Unity Accord.

But, ex-Zapu members have kept demanding the return of their seized properties.

Former Zpra fighters severed ties with the Zanu PF-aligned Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) in April this year, accusing the ruling party of undermining the role played by other liberation movements during the armed struggle.

Chinamasa clumsy on policies: ZIA

THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has accused Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa of being “clumsy” in policy implementation, which has contributed to a huge gap between signed investment projects and their implementation.

Source: Chinamasa clumsy on policies: ZIA – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 13, 2016


Speaking at the National Economic Consultative Forum symposium at a hotel in the capital yesterday, ZIA chairman, Nigel Chanakira said the ministry seemed not to know the gap between signed investments proposals to actual investment.

“What would local and foreign investors look for? They would look for a cohesive social fabric and value system (corporate governance), political stability, and policy consistency. We cannot, for crying out loud, have the Finance minister make an announcement one week and the following week, supposedly, reverse those same decisions, we cannot be that clumsy. The Bible says ‘selah’, which is ‘pause and think’, so we cannot be that clumsy. Something somewhere has gone wrong in terms of our system,” he said.

“We have no fiscal space, so we are crowding out the private sector. In reality, 40% of every dollar that has been saved, or 40 cents on a dollar, has been channelled and found its way back to government — classic crowding out.
Clearly, there is an uncomfortably huge gap between projects approved and the actual realised projects.

“The number of projects that have been approved did not see the light of day due to various reasons, including bureaucracy, corruption, and the perceived political risk.”

Chanakira said 2015 saw a record amount of foreign delegations, but in terms of implementations, nothing was done to date.

This comes as ZIA says projects worth $12,59 billion were approved between 2011 and 2015, but only $2,15bn has actually been realised in foreign direct investment.

The call for policy consistency comes as the country is ranked 125 on the competiveness index, making other regional countries more attractive.

The country is ranked 155th on the World Bank ease of doing business ranking.

Government’s reversal of measures to contain the wage bill — which is accounting for 97% of revenue — and impending bond notes have left many local and foreign investors hesitant in releasing money for projects.

A few months back, after an investment-seeking tour of Europe, Chinamasa noted investors were hesitant, expressing interest only on counters listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Between January and June this year, foreigners acquired shares worth $40 million compared to $71m during the same period last year.

“Investment is not coming here, not because of political risk; our problem is inconsistencies in economic policy.
If we have good economic policies, we will attract investment. As an economist, I must be very frank, there are certain areas, where there are good economic policies to achieve the same objectives, but we choose other economic policies,” economist, Ashok Chakravarti said.

He said Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 was one such policy, where an alternative to promote local production could have been found by introducing subsidies.

Cut flowers exports decline by 95%

ZIMBABWE’S exports of cut flowers declined by 95% to $3,1 million in 2015 due to stringent export requirements needed by the government, ZimTrade has said.

Source: Cut flowers exports decline by 95% – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 13, 2016


In 2002, Zimbabwe was the second largest exporter of cut flowers in Africa, after Kenya, exporting flowers worth $60m globally, according to the country’s export promotion body.

In his mid-term fiscal policy review, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa proposed to eliminate export permits in the horticultural sector to provide an opportunity for cut flower growers to tap into the export market.

Of this, ZimTrade said, the removal of export permits was expected to improve the export competitiveness of local flower produce through reduction of costs, associated with regulation documents, long waiting periods of processing licences and approvals, as well as exhaustive processing of export documentation.

“To convert the opportunity into real business, there is need for immediate implementation of the measures to complement the export development and promotion initiatives being spearheaded by ZimTrade,” it said.

Zimbabwe generally has the ideal natural conditions for the growing of cut flowers.

Historically, about 70% of Zimbabwe’s flower exports came from Banket, Concession, Glendale, Bindura, Harare, Goromonzi, Trelawney, and Kwekwe, mostly growing roses.

Other flowers included proteas, asters and chrysanthemums.

The Netherlands is Zimbabwe’s largest export destination for cut flowers, importing an average of 69% of the country’s flowers in the last 15 years.

ZimTrade said there was need for local flower growers to keep abreast with state-of-the-art production practices, as well as marketing techniques.

“In this regard, ZimTrade encourages them to interact with the Zimbabwe Trade Information Portal (smart tools and trade map) in order to obtain information on the latest trends,” it said.

Zimbabwe is struggling to boost its exports due to low production, stringent exports requirements among others.

Data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency indicates that Zimbabwe imported goods worth $444m in August against exports of $203m.

Overnight bank queues resurface

OVERNIGHT bank queues have resurfaced in Masvingo, with depositors, particularly from rural areas, being forced to sleep in queues in an effort to withdraw their money, as the cash crunch worsens.

Source: Overnight bank queues resurface – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 13, 2016


Hordes of depositors, comprising of pensioners and rural-based civil servants, yesterday slept outside the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) banking hall in Masvingo so they could be served first the following day.

Some of the depositors said they had withdrawn the maximum daily cash limit of $100 but could not go back to their workstations before they had emptied their accounts, since it would be more expensive to come back to town again.

“I am based in the rural areas and today I only managed to get $100. I want to withdraw all my cash so that I do not come back here. It will cost me a lot in terms of bus fare and so it is better I take all my cash at once and then come back the next pay day, as I have debts to people and I cannot make transfers to their bank accounts. Some of the amounts I owe range from $10 to $20,” one of the ‘vigil depositors’, who did not want to be identified said.

The development came as some banks reduced the daily withdrawal limits to between $100 and $50.

Another depositor said they were losing significant amounts of money due to bank charges, since they could not withdraw all their cash at once.

“Bank charges are now chewing a lot of our money because we are making several transactions in-order to get all our cash from our accounts,” he said.

The depositors said they cannot access the cashback facility at retail stores that demand purchase of goods worth more than $15 for one to get $100, or sometimes say they do not have cash.

The cashback facility allows customers to withdraw their money from till operators, depending on how much they would have spent at the retailer.

However, the facility has been greatly compromised, as retail stores have experienced a huge decline on the back of decreasing cash transactions to only 20%, due to a surge in plastic money use.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president, Denford Mutashu told NewsDay on Tuesday that the cashback facility was also facing similar challenges.

“What a shop gives out as the cashback facility is dependent on what has come through cash transactions. And the fact that customers are now more and more transacting via point-of-sale (POS) machines diminishes cash availability.

“The demand for cash is related to pay days for government employees. The usage of plastic money has significantly gone up. This is quite encouraging. On average, more than 80% of a shop’s transactions are attributable to POS machines,” he said.

The central bank is currently making efforts, together with Zimswitch, financial institutions and mobile banking providers, to ensure a stable infrastructure is in place to support the electronic payment system.

Zimbabwe’s total number of POS machines increased to 20 000 at the end of March this year from 17 069.

No one above the law — ED

Source: No one above the law — ED | The Herald October 13, 2016

Zvamaida Murwira: Senior Reporter

• Only President immune to criminal prosecution

• Everyone else is fair game, says Vice President

EVERYONE, including Cabinet ministers and Vice Presidents, can be prosecuted if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the commission of crime as they are not above the law, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.He said in terms of the Constitution, only the President was immune to criminal prosecution and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) was a State arm mandated with investigating and dealing with cases of corruption.

VP Mnangagwa said this in the National Assembly yesterday while responding to questions from Members of Parliament who quizzed him why Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko had defended Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa, saying their arrest would destabilise the Government.

The two ministers face allegations of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from Zimdef. Musikavanhu MP Mr Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) had asked if the law was still relevant given that this was not the first time Acting President Mphoko had allegedly frustrated ZACC operations after he once directed the release of two Zinara bosses charged with fraud.

Said Mr Mutseyami; “Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question Hon. Vice President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is that you have said that there are ways to deal with corruption such as (Zimbabwe) Anti-Corruption Commission. As Vice President who is the leader of this House, we have observed that there is endemic corruption (reports) in the newspapers, especially concerning Zimdef where there was a misappropriation of funds.

“The (Zimbabwe) Anti-Corruption Commission wanted to arrest ministers implicated in this case, Hon. Minister Jonathan Moyo and Deputy Minister Dr (Godfrey) Gandawa. The (Zimbabwe) Anti-Corruption Commission was barred from arresting the minister and his deputy.

They were barred from arresting these individuals by the Hon. Vice President Mphoko. Once people are given a phone call direct in the (Zimbabwe) Anti-Corruption Commission not to arrest a certain individuals — will the commission work, will that become effective?

“Thereafter, he went on the national television threatening this country that no minister will be arrested because I have said so, if you arrest the minister, you will distabilise the Government. Are we therefore going to allow ministers to steal with impunity? Who is causing or promoting corruption here? The person who is protecting those who are corrupt! May you please clarify Hon. Vice President?”

Responded VP Mnangagwa: “I thank the Hon. Member for his supplementary question. What the Hon. Member should bear in mind is that in this country, this House and in his own understanding is that no one has immunity except the President. Everyone else in this country is fair game. They are not above the law — [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] — There is no one above the law. If the Hon. Member is aware that someone did not follow the law, they should go to the powers that carry out this work and then they will be able to conduct their duty.”

Binga North MP Mr Prince Sibanda (MDC-T) also asked if there were any prospects that ZACC would effectively discharge its work following reports that they were continuously being frustrated.

He asked: “Thank you Madam Speaker. I wish I could also speak in Ndau or in Shona but none the less, let me put my supplementary question in English. Hon. Vice President, you have properly put it that everyone is subject to the law including the Hon. Vice President, yourself and your colleague. However, it is on record Hon. Leader of the House that Hon. Mphoko, your co-Vice President has been interfering with processes of trying to address where there is suspicion of a crime having been committed.

There is an issue of Avondale Police Station where he physically and personally went and had to order the release of suspects that were under police custody. Is there any prospect that under those circumstances, law enforcement agencies will play their role properly when they know that the Executive hierarchy, including that of the Vice President can simply go and stop the actions that they would have taken? Thank you.”

Responding to the question, VP Mnangagwa said; “Hon. Speaker, I would want to reiterate and share the knowledge for the benefit of this august House. He said it is on record but he did not mention which record but we believe that there is record. However, if he could have further stated which record it could have been better for us. The current position is that two things could be done. You as an individual Member, are entitled to go to the law enforcement agency and say the law has been broken. If the police have seen that there is a law that was broken, the law enforcement agency will take its course.”

Proportionate Representative, Ms Ronia Bunjira, asked if it was Government policy for Prof Moyo to use Zimdef funds to fund youth activities from political parties or the Zimbabwe Youth Council as what had emerged from media reports that the minister had written a letter to Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda saying 100 000 litres had funded the One Million Men March.

VP Mnangagwa said there was no such policy for Prof Moyo to divert Zimdef funds to fund political activities for any political party.

“That is not Government policy. But my problem is that I have not yet seen the said letter for me to comment competently,” said VP Mnangagwa.

He said legislators were free to push for the improvement of the laws if they were of the view that legal provisions dealing with corruption were not adequate.

“We have ZACC that we have agreed in this House to deal with issues of corruption. Outside that law, we have several other laws like fraud, murder, if MPs finds any gaps they are free to come forward,” said VP Mnangagwa.

Responding to another question, VP Mnangagwa said preparations of the 2018 harmonised elections were going on well.

“It is true that we intend to go the biometric way because that is what was agreed between political parties. That programme is well advanced in terms of its implementation and funding,” said VP Mnangagwa.

VP Mnangagwa said judicial officers and litigants were free to use languages that they were comfortable with.

Buhera South MP Cde Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu-PF) had asked why Judges and magistrates did not use vernacular languages in circumstances when the accused person was using it. Cde Chinotimba gave an example of Parliament where presiding officers or Cabinet Ministers responded using the same language that a backbencher would have used in raising a question. On another matter, VP Mnangagwa said he would continue encouraging Cabinet Ministers to attend question time at Parliament.

He was responding to complaints raised by Kuwadzana East MP Mr Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) who had moved that Ministers who were failing to attend Parliament without seeking leave should be charged with contempt.

Government in multi-million dollar tollgates project

Source: Government in multi-million dollar tollgates project | The Financial Gazette October 13, 2016

GOVERNMENT is set to spend millions of dollars in constructing state-of-the-art tollgate plazas to replace the makeshift structures that are currently being used at some tolling points around the country.
The State Procurement Board has since published tenders for the construction of five of the tollgates.
According to the Government Gazette of September 19, contractors are being invited to bid for the various construction works whose scope include the construction of civil works, the construction of structural steel canopy, the construction of administration building, the erection and installation of toll booths, the erection and installation of diesel and water tanks as well as electrical works.
The five toll gates, whose construction the government is inviting private contractors, include the one on the 261-km peg along the Mutare-Masvingo highway; the one on the 112-km peg along Harare-Bindura-Mt Darwin road; another one on the 155-km peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road; one on the 71-km peg along the Ngundu Tanganda road; as well as the one to be set up on the 17-km peg along the Chivhu-Nyazura road.

Judges unhappy as well

Source: Judges unhappy as well | The Financial Gazette October 13, 2016

IT  looks like it is no longer teachers, nurses, policemen, diplomats and other low-level civil servants in Zimbabwe alone who are unhappy with their conditions of service, but even some members of the judiciary as well.
This emerged recently when the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) panel interviewed prospective judges for the Supreme Court where interviewees inadvertently gave the public a peek into their private lives.
It is not all rosy on the bench.
When Justice Priscilla Chigumba was cornered by the chairman of the JSC, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, who queried her sense of propriety as to include him and the Judge President, Justice George Chiweshe, in her curriculum vitae (CV) as her referees when it was very clear that they two would appear prominently on the panel that would be interviewing her, she made it clear that she has been hunting for jobs in the region, a sign of dissatisfaction.
Justice Chigumba’s response was that it had been an oversight on her part, as she did not update the CV that has been accompanying her applications for jobs mainly within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
“It was an oversight on my part; I did not prepare it (CV) specifically for the purpose of this interview, but it was for other purposes… I have been applying for positions in  SADC,” Chigumba explained.
Newly-appointed head of the High Court in Masvingo, Justice Joseph Mafusire, who also included Judge President Chiweshe as a referee on his CV, was also taken to task over it.
He, however, went on to reveal that he is languishing in debt and the irregular pay dates do not make his precarious situation any better when his creditors call on him, with one case involving a bank loan having been picked by the press.
Last year, while opening the 2015 legal year, Chidyausiku accused a majority of the High Court judges of being lazy, cold criticism that elicited an angry response from those judges that felt the uncharitable remarks were targeted at them.
Of these, 21 signed a strongly-worded letter of protest in which they accused the Chief Justice of misleading the nation.
“With all due respect, the Honourable Chief Justice’s speech was highly misleading,” said the judges. “In some respects it contained inaccurate and damaging analyses, impressions and conclusions, particularly with regards to the performance of the High Court in general and that of the individual judges, both named and unnamed.
“The judges are feeling humiliated, dejected and despondent.
“They feel they have lost their dignity in the eyes of the public. The morale is very low, especially given that the depressing issue of unfulfilled conditions of service was practically a footnote in the Chief Justice’s speech,” the judges complained.
In the past, some judges have quietly left the bench to go and sit on other courts in the region.
These include Justice Moses Chinhengo, who went on to sit on the High Court of Botswana bench and Justice Maphios Cheda, who is currently sitting on the Namibian High Court bench.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission throws Temba Mliswa into quandary

Source: Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission throws Temba Mliswa into quandary | The Financial Gazette October 13, 2016

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has declined to become part of a committee whose mandate would have been to investigate alleged cases of violence ahead of the Norton by-election, saying this would compromise its independence.
This has thrown into quandary independent candidate for the October 22 by-election, Temba Mliswa, whose supporters are being hounded by ruling ZANU-PF party supporters.
Mliswa is pushing for the establishment of the special liaison committee, saying he may pull out of the by-election if his demands are not met.
He alleges that cases of politically-motivated violence have risen to alarming levels in Norton ahead of the poll.
“The liaison committee’s absence is glaring and is creating a huge gap in cases of reported incidences,” said Mliswa.
With political violence rearing its ugly head in Norton, Mliswa is agitating for the disqualification of ZANU-PF candidate, Ronald Chindeza, on grounds of perpetrating violence.
Chindeza allegedly abducted a girl only identified as Natasha who was reportedly detained for three hours at an obscure ZANU-PF base.
The girl, whose mother defected from ZANU-PF to Mliswa, was allegedly assaulted and forced to put on a ZANU-PF t-shirt.
Two other victims of violence were allegedly attacked by unknown assailants and the matter was reported to the police.
A number of Mliswa’s supporters have also received threats of losing land or having their homes burnt.
The special liaison committee, responsible for the expeditious investigation of causes of politically-motivated violence or intimidation, is supposed to comprise of representatives from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), political party representatives and ZHRC.
Speaking to the Financial Gazette ZHRC chairperson, Elasto Mugwadi said: “That committee does not exist, not for this by-election. There are several issues which we need to deal with that include the lack of capacity and conflict of laws. The committee is comprised of the commission, ZRP and political parties. This also compromises the independence of the commission because one of the political parties being investigated may also be the culprit — how do you deal with that,” said Mugwadi.
ZHRC is empowered by the Electoral Act to direct the commissioner-general of the ZRP to set up a committee to investigate cases of suspected violations during an election.
Mugwadi said Section 234, 1 (h) of the Electoral Act that provides for the setting up of the committee of inquiry should be revisited to retain the independence of the commission whose powers have often been usurped by the State.
“If we receive any reports, we will deal with them as a commission without interference from the committee. We are looking at the legal implications vis-vis what is written in the Constitution,” said Mugwadi.
Lawyers and human rights advocates have blasted ZHRC for snubbing the committee.
Douglas Mwonzora, the secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change said the commission was abdicating its responsibility to investigate allegations of human rights abuses.
“Failing to investigate the cases means they are behaving in an irresponsible manner. Their failure to investigate shows the extent of the seed that (President Robert) Mugabe has put in the commission; it is politically motivated,” said Mwonzora.

Import ban triggers price hikes, shortages

Source: Import ban triggers price hikes, shortages | The Financial Gazette October 13, 2016

THE decision by government to ban a number of imported products has triggered price increases and moderate shortages of mostly basic commodities.
Effected in June this year through Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 (SI 64), the ban has effectively curtailed competition from foreign players, inadvertently increased the cost of living.
Statistics released by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) indicate that the cost of living went up by 0,09 percent to US$567,91 by the end July 2016.
This suggests that there has been a general increase in prices of food items that constitute the consumer basket.
The cost of living is determined by assessing an average low income urban earner’s monthly basket for a family of six.
“As CCZ, we assume that the slight increase (in prices) is due to the import ban, which was imposed by the government,” said the consumer watchdog.
“The competition in the country has been reduced, hence retailers tend to increase prices,” CCZ added.
Increases in prices were recorded in tea leaves which went up by US$0,04 to US$1,79; mealie meal by US$0,40 to US$10,80 per 20kg bag; salt by US$0,03 to US$0,23 per kg; washing powder by US$0,20 to US$1,45, and laundry bars by US$0,06 to US$1,05. The price of detergents increased by 6,8 percent to US$11,31 from US$10,59 recorded in June.
Prices of other basic commodities, which include sugar, bread, milk, flour and meat remained relatively unchanged.
A decrease in prices was recorded in margarine by US$0,04 to US$0,85; cooking oil by US$0,05 down to US$1,35 per 750ml; rice lost US$0,06 to US$1,59 per 2kg; tomatoes fell by US$0,15 to US$0,65; onions tumbled by US$0,05 to US$1,20 a bundle; cabbages by US$0,05 to US$0,65 a head; and bath soap by US$0,03 to US$0,69.
Of major concern to consumers is that a number of basic goods are disappearing from supermarket shelves as the effects of the import restrictions begin to manifest.
Brand choices of commodities are running thin for crisps, cooking oil, tissues, tinned foods, drinks, pampers for children, sanitary wear and rice.
In most shops retailers have only one variety or two for consumers to choose from.
It is feared that the shortages could spark panic buying.
With the manufacturing industry struggling to access capital to retool and import raw materials due to the liquidity crunch which has resulted in delayed transfers to suppliers, the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Denford Mutashu, confirmed that there were certain products that were not being found on shelves but assured the public not to panic as efforts were being made to get the foreign manufacturers of such goods to set up production plants in the country.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Busisa Moyo, said some products could be missing from the shelves because many companies were currently busy retooling, increasing production and looking at how they could satisfy local demand.
He said some sectors have seen orders going up by 50 percent after government restricted the importation of certain products to boost local industries.
“It’s a positive impact. In general, for those companies on SI 64, we understand that orders are up 30 percent to 50 percent as result of that. So all we encourage is that those companies that are supported under SI 64 must be prioritised in terms of payment because foreign payments can constrain production. So we need assistance in that regard,” he said.
In defending the introduction of the statutory instrument, Industry Minister Mike Bimha said it was vital for government to protect struggling industries that were operating at an average 35 percent of capacity.
He said the import ban was temporary, adding that its purpose was to support retooling and capitalisation of local firms but with time local companies would have to face competition in the global market.
The SI has been condemned by mainly cross-border traders, while South Africa has also retaliated by requesting for a revision of numerous tariffs of goods Zimbabwe exports to that country.
Manufacturers in Zambia also called on their government to consider increasing taxes on imports from Zimbabwe in order to create a “level playing field” following the neighbouring country’s decision to restrict imports.
The Zambia Association of Manufacturers said it was not happy with Zimbabwe’s decision to impose import restrictions as it was being unfair to other countries.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Jackals guarding chickens

Source: EDITORIAL COMMENT: Jackals guarding chickens | The Financial Gazette October 13, 2016

REPORTS on the goings-on at the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) bring to the fore the overbearing nature of our politicians in the running of State enterprises. According to media reports, Zimdef has been abused by officials at the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to bankroll ZANU-PF activities, including those of its functionaries.
Thanks to the infighting in the ruling party, the closet doors have been broken, leaving skeletons scattered everywhere.
It is, however, not just Zimdef which has been skyjacked by the political elite for purposes of oiling the ZANU-PF machinery as well as funding their personal projects. All State enterprises are teetering on the brink of closure because they have been made to depart from their mandates to become poodles that are at the beck and call of those who wield political power.
None of them are doing well. Nearly all of them are shameless perennial loss makers. Some of them have gone on to accumulate heavy debts that could end up being passed onto the struggling taxpayer. But regardless of their precarious financial situations, they are never short of resources to fund ZANU-PF’s extravagant functions and self-serving projects of their political masters.
Only last week, it was revealed by Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo, who is currently clutching at the straws for survival in the wake of the Zimdef scandal, that one of the parastatals spent a fortune through the construction of a tarred road to a farm owned by one of ZANU-PF’s apparatchiks. This is at a time when the country’s major roads are in a deplorable state, with government pleading bankruptcy.
To keep their jobs, executives at State-owned enterprises now know that what guarantees their next pay cheque is no longer performance but their proximity to politicians, and unquestioning loyalty to them. This now extends to local authorities where town clerks would rather please the Minister of Local Government in order to retain their jobs than being accountable to ratepayers.
The inaction we are seeing at the top in the face of stinking cases of corruption involving State-run entities suggests that we now have very few saints in government. But can we continue to entrust the jackals with guarding our chickens?
The saints must stand up and be counted. Breaking this chain requires citizens to revisit the existing reporting structures to enable State enterprises to operate autonomously and begin to contribute to Zimbabwe’s developmental agenda.
We must put in place robust legislation that places these national assets beyond the reach of predatory politicians. Currently, they are operating under Acts of Parliament which makes them vulnerable to the intrusive nature of the political elite. Instead, they must be brought under the Companies’ Act.
The recruitment processes for their boards and top executives must also be transparent and highly competitive so as to bring on board professional men and women who are able to rescue them from the dungeons.
Once all the building blocks have been put in place, the taxpayer must demand their pound of flesh with those found wanting being made to face the music.

Goverment in multi-million dollar tollgates project

Source: Goverment in multi-million dollar tollgates project | The Financial Gazette October 13, 2016

GOVERNMENT is set to spend millions of dollars in constructing state-of-the-art tollgate plazas to replace the makeshift structures that are currently being used at some tolling points around the country.
The State Procurement Board has since published tenders for the construction of five of the tollgates.
According to the Government Gazette of September 19, contractors are being invited to bid for the various construction works whose scope include the construction of civil works, the construction of structural steel canopy, the construction of administration building, the erection and installation of toll booths, the erection and installation of diesel and water tanks as well as electrical works.
The five toll gates, whose construction the government is inviting private contractors, include the one on the 261-km peg along the Mutare-Masvingo highway; the one on the 112-km peg along Harare-Bindura-Mt Darwin road; another one on the 155-km peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road; one on the 71-km peg along the Ngundu Tanganda road; as well as the one to be set up on the 17-km peg along the Chivhu-Nyazura road.

NRZ pins hope on DBSA deal

Source: NRZ pins hope on DBSA deal | The Financial Gazette October 11, 2016
THE beleaguered National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has once again dusted off the shelves its on-off negotiations for lines of credit with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and South Africa’s Transnet.

The struggling railway giant, which is stewing in debt, is hopeful that a deal would be sealed by the end of this year.
Talks on the DBSA loan had almost ground to a halt following a shake-up at the railway operator last year, which claimed the scalp of Alvord Mabhena, NRZ’s then chairman, under unclear circumstances.
Mabhena had been more like a lone figure in talking up the DBSA loan and when he left, no one really wanted to pursue the negotiations for fear of ruffling feathers in the political corridors.
It had been disclosed then that the ruling ZANU-PF apparatchiks were unhappy with Mabhena’s insistence on closing a deal with DBSA and Transnet, which would have seen the neighbouring country’s locomotive giant come in and supply railway infrastructure, as opposed to the parastatal receiving hard cash.
Some in government are said to have then orchestrated Mabhena’s ouster to pursue their own preferred arrangement, which was to engage investors from the Far East, in particular from China, which enjoys cordial relations with Zimbabwe.
Nearly a year following Mabhena’s exit, the former NRZ chairman’s tormentors seem to have come to the end of their tether.
Having scurried the financial markets for options, there seem to be consensus among them that the DBSA model was the most appropriate for NRZ.
Speaking to the Financial Gazette this week, Lewis Mukwada, the NRZ general manager, confirmed that talks were presently underway with the DBSA and Transnet.
“We are still discussing with DBSA and Transnet and they are trying to understand our exact requirements and our term sheet,” he said.
The NRZ is saddled with a US$70 million debt in salary arrears; while it also has other debts amounting to US$144 million.
Its aged railway equipment, locomotives, wagons and railway signs are in dire need of replacement.
According to Mukwada, the locomotive giant is looking for a credit facility of up to US$600 million.
“We are looking at anything between US$400 million to US$600 million from DBSA. It could be released in phases, but before end of year we could have a firm proposal in place,” he said.
It is also understood that NRZ is courting other potential suitors to step in, should the talks with DBSA and Transnet fail to yield the expected results.
Mukwada said the parastatal had been getting offers from “others as well”, but refused to share the identity of the other potential suitors.
“We have been getting unstructured proposals here and there. Our terms of reference are the same, it is for the supply of locomotives, wagons and railway infrastructure,” he added.
Meanwhile, the much-awaited forensic audit into the affairs of NRZ is expected to be complete at the end of this month.
The findings of the auditors, Ernst & Young, are set to be closely monitored and would be used by naysayers to press government to consider the privatisation of the railway giant, which for years has been in the doldrums.
A forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of either a firm’s or individual’s financial information for use as evidence in court.
It can be conducted in order to prosecute a party for fraud, embezzlement or other financial claims.
NRZ’s forensic audit, to cover the past five years since 2011, would, among other things, look into NRZ’s procurement system, revenue collection mechanisms at its properties and estates and the current staff levels with the view of weeding out ghost workers.
A 2014 auditor-general’s report pointed to some possible sleaze at the rail transporter after establishing that the parastatal was generating annual revenue of US$91,2 million, but incurring costs of US$103 million.
The passenger transport unit had annual revenues of US$3,2 million, with costs at over three times at US$10,9 million.
Mukwada said the forensic audit process was on course and would be completed at the end of this month.
“The audit is underway, but it is the chairman (Larry Mavima) who will be able to articulate in detail because it came about as a recommendation of the board. The audit is supposed to be completed on 31 October, unless if a postponement has been sought for some reason,” said Mukwada.
Mavima has since said the forensic audit would result in a staff reshuffle at the parastatal and if corruption was unearthed heads would certainly roll.

Negligence, political inertia fuel graft

Source: Negligence, political inertia fuel graft | The Financial Gazette October 11, 2016

By Nyasha Chingono
GROSS negligence and lack of political will to combat institutional corruption are fuelling graft, which is costing Zimbabwe more than US$1 billion every year.
Corruption watchdog, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ)’s release last week of a report implicating politicians and the police as major actors involved in rampant corruption in Zimbabwe has come as a rude awakening to the powers-that-be.
“It would be surprising if the value of corruption were less than US$1 billion annually. ZIMRA (the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) was quoted as estimating that corruption losses amounted to about US$2 billion in 2012 alone,” reads the TIZ report.
Corruption has rose to become one of the key impediments to Zimbabwe’s economic development, and has now been imbedded in the way of doing business in the country.
The TIZ report states that police’s demand and acceptance of bribes from the public and business contributes 79,1 percent to corruption in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is ranked among some of southern Africa’s most corrupt countries with a low Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score of 21 out of 100, compared to an average of 44 in four other Southern African Development Community states.
Transparency International ranks countries by their perceived levels of corruption, defined as the misuse of public power for private benefit, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
TIZ’s latest study further dampens the country’s prospects of getting international financial aid, analysts have pointed out.
“The resulting institutionalisation and systematisation of corruption in Zimbabwean political and economic sphere has been extensive,” TIZ stated.
Coalition Against Corruption executive director, Terry Mutsvanga, said Zimbabwe cannot afford to continue to lose large sums of money to vice and government needed to be more serious in combating corruption.
“We have a long way to go and as long as we don’t have the political will to curb corruption; we will not go anywhere as a country,” Mutsvanga added.
TIZ cited high levels of impunity as one of the factors driving corruption in the country because suspected “culprits” were connected to “untouchable” political figures.
“In most of the grand corruption scandal cases, the alleged actors are rarely prosecuted and the Anti Corruption Commission has proved too weak to go after some high cases of grand corruption,” reads TIZ 2016 report on the country’s state of corruption.
Analysts have also argued that the lack of urgency in dealing with the Auditor General’s report that exposed corruption in most parastatals proves that most corrupt officials wield immense political power.
“The majority of perpetrators of grand corruption in Zimbabwe are political actors with political backing and influence. The dominant scandals that Zimbabwe has witnessed since the 1980s show trends of perpetrators wielding political power,” said TIZ.
Mutsvanga argues that high levels of impunity in dealing with corruption cases were shielding corrupt political leaders.
“Failure to deal with corruption means those in authority are also corrupt because they should be able to deal with such,” he said.
Many believe that the lack of political will to deal with corruption stems from the growing political corruption that involves bigwigs.
Political commentator, Jacob Mafume, said the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission that was mandated to deal with corruption was not independent, hence was not qualified to deal with issues of corruption in the country.
“It is under the President’s Office and is more of a political tool rather than a prosecuting authority. It has no power and independence,” said Mafume.
Mafume said Zimbabwe needed to urgently deal with corruption that has robbed the country of US$15 billion stolen from illicit diamond deals, defrauding the nation of four years worth of fiscal support.
“We have to deal with corruption if we are to get anywhere as a country. It is a killer and must be stopped because it is as bad as the epidemics that plague Africa. This will not be achieved through lip service,” said Mafume, adding that the US$1 billion corruptly siphoned out of the fiscus every year reflects poverty levels in Zimbabwe.
The TIZ 2016 report indicated that the State Procurement Board, ZIMRA and the Harare’s city health department were among the most corrupt institutions in Zimbabwe constituting 81, 64 and 48 percent respectively.
Although Zimbabwe ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 2007, among other agreements, corruption has continued to soar as the country infamously contributes a tenth to global corruption estimated at US$1 trillion annually.
And for a country with an annual budget of US$4,1 billion, much should be done to stop revenue leakages in a cash-strapped economy, Mutsvanga said.
Swedish Embassy, country director development cooperation, Maria Selin bemoaned the alarming state of corruption in the country.
“It is disheartening to note that corruption is now a part of everyday life in Zimbabwe. Corruption is a cost everyone calculates,” she said.
“If we are serious about development, we will fight corruption and make sure it does not pay,” Selin added.
A joint report by the African Development Bank and the Global Financial Report of May 2013 revealed that between 1980 and 2009, Zimbabwe cumulatively lost US$11,8 billion due to illicit resource transfers, a process that has culminated in the current economic situation.

G40 in tight corner

Source: G40 in tight corner | The Financial Gazette October 11, 2016

ZANU-PF’S vicious factional fights have degenerated into an unprecedented crisis that now threatens to create fresh headaches for President Robert Mugabe after looting allegations against Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo triggered a public storm, the Financial Gazette can report.
President Mugabe is now torn between two warring factions, both battling to anoint a successor in the event that he relinquishes power. One faction, called Team Lacoste, is backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed the ZANU-PF leader, while the other camp, known as Generation 40 (G40), is trying to thwart Mnangagwa’s bid for power.
G40, which had hitherto succeeded in putting its rivals on the ropes, has not yet settled on a candidate to succeed the 92-year old leader, who has been in power since independence from colonial rule in 1980.
Indications are that tables have spectacularly turned against the G40 faction, which had an upper hand since a 2014 party congress that sacked former vice president Joice Mujuru from the party to make way for Mnangagwa.
The faction is now on the back foot, with its key members now targets of a spirited onslaught from Team Lacoste’s operatives who are determined to purge their rivals through an anti-corruption crusade.
Mnangagwa, who also doubles up as the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, is leading the campaign against corruption in government and has oversight over the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), which has been trying to arrest Moyo, thought to be the brains behind G40, over looting of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) to fund ZANU-PF and his own personal political projects.
Zimdef was established by section 23 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act, 1984 (now revised Manpower Planning and Development Act Chapter 28:02 of 1996) with the objective of financing the development of critical and highly skilled manpower in Zimbabwe.
 It is largely funded by a one percent training levy on the gross wage bill collected from employers.
The funds are entrusted in the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development as a Trustee. The chief executive officer  of ZIMDEF administers the day-to-day operations of the fund.
The funds can be used for payment of tuition, boarding fees and wages of apprentices; payment of industrial attachment allowances to polytechnic students; and infrastructural development in tertiary institutions approved by the Ministry.
The offensive on Moyo, foiled after the intervention of Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, followed public censure of Saviour Kasukuwere, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, by President Mugabe over alleged corruption in the allocation of residential land meant for youths to his ruling party allies and cronies.
Kasukuwere, also the ruling party’s national political commissar and believed to be a key member of G40. He was instrumental in the purge of Mnangagwa’s allies from the party over allegations of indiscipline and plotting against President Mugabe.
Among the casualties were ZANU-PF youth leaders from across the country, Women’s League executives and war veterans’ leaders, one of whom was Christopher Mutsvangwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).
As a result, ZNLWVA, which was an associate organ of ZANU-PF, has broken ranks with the party, causing more headaches for President Mugabe.
ZNLWVA’s members have been an integral part of President Mugabe’s election campaign machinery since the emergence of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai nearly two decades ago.
Kasukuwere admitted this week that he and his allies were now targets of a ferocious attack from Team Lacoste.
“I’m sure you can see for yourself the pattern (of victimisation against us),” he said when asked if indeed he felt targeted along with his allies.
He said he did not need “to explain anything”.
Moyo escaped arrest last week after ZACC investigators sought to take him into custody during a ZANU-PF Politburo meeting chaired by President Mugabe on Wednesday last week.
Reports suggest that President Mugabe, who immediately left for a working visit in the Far East soon after the Politburo meeting, intervened to stop the arrest.
Moyo is alleged to have illegally taken money from Zimdef to fund rallies held by the First Lady, Grace Mugabe, and the ZANU-PF Youth League’s million-man march.
He is also accused of abusing the fund to finance projects in his Tsholotsho North constituency.
While Moyo appears to have acknowledged use of Zimdef funds for political purposes, he has suggested that those targeting him were guilty of the worst acts of corruption.
In a veiled attack on Mnangagwa, Moyo said on his twitter account: “You can say what you want, but I would rather be a Robin Hood than a cruel tribalist, murderer and UN identified cross border diamond thief!
“The state of underdevelopment in Tsholotsho is such that bicycles are a necessity just like matches! It is criminal to claim that a decision by the Zimdef Trustee, me, to fund computers and bicycles requested by Tsholotsho RDC (rural district council) is corruption!”
Mnangagwa was named in a United Nations report on the plunder of diamonds in the Democratic Republic of Congo during Zimbabwe’s intervention in the central African country to save the late Laurent Desire Kabila’s government from an insurgency.
Apparently, there have been growing calls for the arrest of Moyo over the Zimdef issue, but analysts said this was unlikely to happen, as President Mugabe was likely to protect him.
Rashweat Mukundu, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said Moyo’s future would largely dependent on President Mugabe perception of his usefulness in the party.
“This goes for all in ZANU-PF. As long as President Mugabe sees him as a useful tool, then he is very safe,” said Mukundu.
Shepherd Mpofu, an academic at a South African university, said: “Moyo still has a future (in ZANU-PF). He is like everyone else around.”
Piers Pigou, a director with the International Crisis Group, Southern Africa, said: “This is not necessarily the endgame for Moyo. It depends on what protection he can find for himself. But he appears more vulnerable than before.”

Zimbabwe to dispatch delegation to Portugal to drum up FDI

Source: Zimbabwe to dispatch delegation to Portugal to drum up FDI | The Financial Gazette October 11, 2016

A DELEGATION of government and private sector representatives would be travelling to Portugal this month to take part in an investment promotion forum in an effort to improve foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.

The Zimbabwean embassy in Portugal recently wrote to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) asking it to c0-ordinate and take part in the programme dubbed “Zimbabwe day”.

“The embassy is planning to hold a Zimbabwe day in Portugal in October. This will be a day dedicated to trade and investment promotion of the country’s priority sectors. The idea is to have a government minister lead the delegation and explain government policies on trade and investment. The outcome of the visit could be a cooperation agreement between the two countries’ chambers of commerce. The Portuguese Industrial Association-Chamber of Commerce and Industry is keen on ensuring the fruition of this initiative and to organise a Portugal Day in in Zimbabwe in future,” he embassy said in a letter to ZIA.

Preparations to attend the event have already started.

There is very low trade between Zimbabwe and Portugal, which is also in favour of the European country.

Zimbabwe used to export flue cured tobacco, cotton, flowers, wooden furniture and black granite to Portugal.

FDI, which dropped 23 percent to US$421 million in 2015, is seen further declining this year, according to the central bank and this is expected to pile pressure on the economy.

The country had recently been looking up to remittances from Zimbabweans in the diaspora but this has also been declining.

In the six months to June this year, diaspora remittances amounted to US$397 million, 13 percent lower than in the same period last year and the government wants the estimated five million Zimbabwean citizens resident outside the country to contribute more, to offset gaps in FDI.

In the past month, the country has been increasing its road shows in advanced countries to drum up both FDI and remittances.