Author Archives: ZimSitRep_M

College manager nabbed for insulting Mugabe

Source: College manager nabbed for insulting Mugabe – DailyNews Live

Jeffrey Muvundusi      21 April 2017

BULAWAYO – Falcon College (Falcon)’s estate manager, Murray Ross Osborne,
has been dragged to court for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe.

While the insult allegations arose last December, the case was only
brought before the courts yesterday as the State was still waiting for
Attorney-General’s authority to prosecute in terms of  Section 34 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Osborne, 47, appeared before magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa facing charges of
undermining the authority or insulting the president, who remanded him to
May 10, for commencement of trial.  He was released on $100 bail.

According to State papers, on December 14, the complainant Bigboy Moyo was
tasked by the accused to dig out a sewage pipe.

The court heard that Moyo, however, failed to locate the pipe and this did
not go down well with Osborne who then allegedly said “you are stupid like
President Gabriel Mugabe . . .”

Moyo proceeded to file a police report, leading to Osborne’s apprehension.

Mugabes own Arnold Farm

Source: Mugabes own Arnold Farm – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      21 April 2017

HARARE – A court case in which a Mazowe couple is accused of criminal
trespass and assaulting a cop has confirmed that President Robert Mugabe
and his family have interests in Arnold Farm, and are behind the
villagers’ eviction from the property.

For over a year, speculation has been rife that the Mugabes were behind
the torment the villagers have been subjected to, but the case against
Tapiwa Dhaisi, 39, and Sinikiwe Mazivei, 32, has eventually confirmed it.

According to court papers, the complainant in the first count of criminal
trespass is James Teta, who resides at Zimbabwe Republic Police, Chikurubi
depot.

“On the 7th day of April 2017, the accused persons unlawfully refused a
lawful excuse to leave the land when called upon to do so by a lawful
occupier at Arnold Farm, which is owned by the first family,” reads part
of the court papers.

The State claims that the two acted unlawfully.

It is alleged that the criminal trespass emanate from an order that was
given by the police officers for the pair to leave their homestead at
Arnold Farm.

When Teta and his workmate only identified as constable Tongovona arrived
at Dhaisi and Mazivei’s home, they found the two in the company of their
children.

The court heard that Dhaisi later attacked the police officers using
stones, in facts forming the second count.

“One of the stone hit assistant inspector Teta on the forehead and the
other one on the back. Sinikiwe Mazivei joined his husband Tapiwa Dhaisi
to resist by throwing stones to assistant inspector Teta and constable
Tongovona,” the court heard.

The two, who appeared before a Bindura magistrate yesterday, are
represented by Moses Donsa Nkomo from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR).

The residents in the area have since won a High Court order barring the
police from evicting them, after detailing how they have been ruthlessly
treated.

The residents claimed the police forced them into their trucks and dumped
them some 35-40 kilometres in the bush along the Mvurwi road.

“The villagers are just dumped in the open, without food, water or
shelter. Our crops and livestock is left at Arnold Farm, our children are
still at the schools they were attending since 2000 when we resettled at
the farm and now their education is being disrupted,” the villagers told
the court then.

According to the residents, they have been staying at the farm over the
past 17 years, before heavily armed police officers and officials from the
Lands ministry began demolishing their homes recently without a court
order.

The villagers argued that the arbitrary eviction contravened their rights
provided for in the Constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy,
administrative justice and the right to property.

Zec sets tough terms for BVR trial observers

Source: Zec sets tough terms for BVR trial observers – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      21 April 2017

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday laid out strict
conditions for those accredited to observe the Biometric Voter
Registration (BVR) kits site validation tests.

Briefing the media in Harare, the Commission’s chairperson Rita Makarau
said the observers – political parties and civil society organisations –
were not allowed to ask any questions or interview bidders and assessors.

Two companies will make presentations and test their kits in laboratories
and in the field, during the five-day process.

The bidders are Chinese firm Laxton Group limited and Dermalog
Identification Systems from Germany.

Another shortlisted bidder, ZETES from Belgium, withdrew for unknown
reasons.

“Our invitation to you to observe this important stage is part of Zec’s
initiative to ensure stakeholder participation in its activities and to
enhance transparency in all its electoral processes,” Makarau said.

“You will therefore be able to . . . observe the site validation tests of
their (bidders) respective kits to assess whether they are fit for
purpose,” she said.

“You are, however, not to interfere with any of the processes . . . no
questions or interviews are to be made with those assigned to carry out
specific tasks during these tests.”

Makarau added: “As observers, you will be expected to make written
recommendations to Zec after the tests. Your recommendations will assist
Zec in making a decision on the award of the tender.”

According to Makarau, the tests must conform with supplied specifications
which include having a laptop, webcam, light source, photo background
material, fingerprint scanner, thermal printer and solar power kit among
others will be under scrutiny.

The field tests will be conducted on April 24 at Mabvuku High School in
Harare and Murape Secondary School in Seke on April 25.

The field tests will see 150 pupils from each school below 18 participate
in a mock BVR exercise. Shock and waterproof tests will also be conducted

Zec chief elections officer Constance Chigwamba said: “Everyone involved
in the process including the technical assessors need to remain neutral
and not either promote or discredit the bidder, solution or make any
public statements about the site validation tests.

Cash crisis a nightmare

Source: Cash crisis a nightmare — Zimra – DailyNews Live

Ndakaziva Majaka      21 April 2017

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) on Wednesday said the
current cash crisis is now a nightmare that is affecting the country’s
economic growth.

Zimra chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said there was need for all
stakeholders to come up with a solution to end the debilitating cash
crisis that has resulted in people queuing for days on end to withdraw
money from banks.

“Unfortunately, the liquidity situation worsened again during the first
quarter of 2017,” she said in a revenue performance update.

“Procurement of imported raw materials and capital equipment has become a
nightmare, and there are long foreign payment queues at the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe eating into the gains of SI 64 of 2016,” she added.

Bonyongwe further indicated that regional currencies continue to weaken
against a stronger United States dollar thus worsening Zimbabwe’s export
competitiveness.

“The responsibility to address the liquidity crisis does not lie with the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe alone. It is the duty of everyone to act
responsibly and in the national interest in how cash is handled for the
country to restore stability in this area,” she said.

This comes as the national tax collecting agency said local consumption of
petroleum products is tumbling with petrol and diesel imports going down.

“Petrol imports declined from 113,86 million litres in the first quarter
2016 to 99,72 million litres in the 2017 first quarter while diesel
imports declined from 190,14 million litres in first quarter 2016 to
180,93 million litres in first quarter 2017,” Bonyongwe said.

The Zimra boss also noted that the decline followed another slump in the
last quarter of 2016, after acute fuel shortages which rocked the country
during the festive season.

“The decline is partly due to the economic performance but also captures
significant smuggling and transit fraud,” she said.

Bonyongwe said the tax agency had made inroads in curbing transit fraud
through its Electronic Cargo Tracking System, which is currently still
being rolled out.

“However, smuggling through undesignated entry points is more problematic
and actually beyond Zimra’s capacity to curb on its own. It requires a
more concerted national effort and political will to eliminate that king
of smuggling,” she said.

Zimbabwe is presently battling fuel shortages due to erratic supply with
most pumps at local service stations dry while fuel companies are failing
to pay for the commodity.

Energy ministry secretary, Partson Mbiriri, recently said the country did
not have fuel availability problems, “but rather payment problems,” with
all suppliers demanding cash for fuel delivered, despite cash shortages
presently being experienced in Zimbabwe.

“I have explained the reasons for the shortage at the pump; you have the
product in our storage tanks right throughout the country.

“But in order to redeem that product, you need to pay for it. It is here
under bonded conditions…

“The product is in the country and we continue to import it, we continue
to have arrangements by some fuel companies bringing in the product and
allowing for that product to be sold using local currency, local
resources, local transfers…,” Mbiriri said.

Mugabe awards thug hero status

Source: Mugabe awards thug hero status – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba and Tendai Kamhungira      21 April 2017

HARARE – Zimbabweans reacted with both shock and anger yesterday to the
controversial decision by President Robert Mugabe’s warring ruling Zanu PF
to declare the late party bigwig, Kizito Chivamba, a provincial hero.

This is despite the fact that Chivamba was in 1991 sentenced to seven
years in prison for attempted murder, together with the late Central
Intelligence Organisation deputy director Elias Kanengoni – after the duo
pumped six bullets into the groin of the late prominent businessman and
opposition activist, Patrick Kombayi, leaving him for dead.

In one of his many contentious decisions in his 37 years in power, Mugabe
subsequently pardoned the two hitmen, which meant that they never needed
to serve jail time and could get on with their lives – with Chivamba later
becoming an “honourable” Member of Parliament.

And to add salt to injury – and despite the fact that Kombayi was
initially maimed for life and later died from the wounds of that sickening
attack – the much-reviled Kanengoni was declared a national hero when he
died in 2013.

To the disbelief of the Kombayi family and the nation at large, Chivamba
has now been declared a provincial hero – even though Zanu PF’s Midlands
province wanted him to be conferred with the status of national hero.

Kombayi’s anguished son, Hamutendi, told the Daily News yesterday that the
decision by Zanu PF bigwigs to “even consider” Chivamba as a hero was “a
callous slap in the face” for the family.

“How can they declare such a person a hero? Do they ever consider what we
as a family are going through?

“How can they say someone who killed our father is a hero? Is he a hero
because he shot my father?

“I was also removed from my post as the mayor of Gweru unconstitutionally,
but here is a murderer being rewarded. This is pure madness,” the enraged
Hamutendi said.

Mugabe and Zanu PF have consistently been accused by opposition parties of
monopolising the National Heroes Acre, where some of the most notorious
politicians to have ever walked on this land, like Kanengoni, are
interred.

However, the nonagenarian has refused to countenance the criticism,
telling the opposition to construct their own heroes acre if they feel
aggrieved by Zanu PF’s dubious selection criteria for national heroes.

Meanwhile, all the politicians and analysts who spoke to the Daily News
yesterday also said Chivamba was not a hero, adding that he did not  “even
merit being buried at a village heroes acre”.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the only thing “consistent about Zanu PF
is its loathsome habit of doing the improbable”.

“This is yet another unashamed bastardisation of the noble idea of
national heroes. How can Chivamba be a hero for nearly killing and maiming
the late Patrick Kombayi?

“The honour of being a hero should be reserved for deserving patriots who
have shown unparalleled dedication to Zimbabwe and who were committed and
law-abiding individuals who distinguished themselves in serving the
country.

“The reality is that the late Kizito Chivamba was a convicted criminal who
nearly killed Patrick Kombayi in a senseless and brutal act of
politically-motivated violence. He doesn’t deserve to be declared a hero,”
Gutu said.

Gutu’s counterpart in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Jacob Mafume,
also derided the decision to declare Chivamba a provincial hero.

“The definition of hero in Zimbabwe has been twisted and confused, to the
extent that you need a Zanu PF dictionary to make sense of it.

“They celebrate people who would be villains even in a Batman movie. We
live in a Gotham-like state where thieves and murderers give themselves
medals of peace and morality.

“It’s an evil Alice in Wonderland kind of setup where words mean the
opposite of what is being said. Some of these people (interred at the
national Heroes Acre) are perfect candidates for maximum prison … It
would appear it’s now the gateway to hell,” Mafume fumed.

Academic and researcher Pedzisai Ruhanya said Zimbabweans should never
expect Zanu PF to do the reasonable thing because “there is a difference
between a Zanu PF hero and a national hero”.

“A Zanu PF hero is partisan and a national hero is a man or woman who
serves the country on non-partisan grounds … just like Joshua Nkomo and
Josiah Tongogara did.

“Chivamba is the anti-thesis of a hero. Heroes do not engage in acts of
violence. Chivamba and his friend Kanengoni were only freed after being
pardoned by Mugabe.

“In actual fact, they were supposed to be on the death roll for shooting
Kombayi … which is why this soils the good work done by real heroes like
Tongogara, Nkomo and others,” Ruhanya said.

Apart from the Kombayi horror attack, Chivamba was also involved in a
number of other controversial issues.

Last year, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko was apoplectic with anger
after the late Chiwundura legislator called the VP “Mboko” at a rally in
Masvingo.

Three years ago, a Gweru woman levelled sensational claims against him,
accusing him of having seduced her when she was a minor – before dumping
her with his child.

‘Kasukuwere fate up to Mugabe’s mercy’

Source: ‘Kasukuwere fate up to Mugabe’s mercy’ – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      21 April 2017

HARARE – Under-fire Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour
Kasukuwere’s fate is now up to President Robert Mugabe’s mercy, analysts
said yesterday.

This comes as the chorus for his ouster is getting louder, as seven
provinces have so far demanded his ejection from the ruling party, with
the Mashonaland East provincial executive council on Wednesday becoming
the latest.

Manicaland, Matabeleland North and Matabelaland South are the only
provinces yet to pass their resolution on the combative Local Government
minister – popularly known as Tyson.

Mugabe has apparently ordered all Zanu PF structures to stop the current
push to pull the trigger the politician, and his brother Dickson Mafios –
the party’s Mashonaland Central chairperson.

The nonagenarian was apparently concerned about both the impact of the bid
to oust Kasukuwere from his powerful position in the troubled ruling party
– particularly with the watershed 2018 elections around the corner – as
well as the inability or unwillingness of those at the forefront of the
push to follow due process.

Until now, Kasukuwere and Mafios’ political careers had hung by a thread
after their party nemesis hit them with a slew of damaging charges,
including claims that they were plotting to topple 93-year-old Mugabe from
power and were fanning factionalism in the warring former liberation
movement.

This saw several anti-Kasukuwere demonstrations – which are kisses of
death in the faction-riddled ruling party – being mounted in Mashonaland
Central, Midlands and Masvingo, amid swirling speculation that Mugabe
wanted the Local Government minister out.

The no-confidence votes signal Kasukuwere’s fall from grace, insiders say,
and marks one of the most stunning upsets in the ruling party’s
54-year-old political history.

It is perhaps the most significant jolt to the establishment since the
start of a crusade allegedly spearheaded by his rival party faction
rallying behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential
aspirations. Kasukuwere fronts Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF foes, which goes by the
moniker Generation 40 (G40) and are rabidly opposed to him succeeding
Mugabe.

Professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies
at the University of London, Stephen Chan, said: “I would view him as a
first major casualty within the Zanu PF struggles, particularly within
what was the G40. It means there is no coherence in terms of personality
or programme with which to confront the faction spearheaded by Mnangagwa.

“The lack of a personality – a standard-bearer – and a programme is one
thing. Hanging your dirty washing out on such public view only indicates
the depth of division.”

Political Analyst Phillip Pasirayi said Kasukuwere’s prospects looked
“very bleak” unless Mugabe changes his mind.

“Kasukuwere’s blunder for which he is now paying a price was to show
ambition. I think he will be removed from his party position but still
keep his position in government.

“This is in a bid to `contain’ him and ensure that he does not continue to
manipulate party structures to suit his political agenda. It is clear now
that the President is clearing the ground for his wife to take over when
he steps down. Kasukuwere’s ouster is part of the re-alignment of forces
within Zanu and more people will be shown the exit until this goal is
achieved,” he said.

This comes as Mugabe’s wife, Grace, is rising to Zanu PF’s top ranks, amid
suspicion that the leader could be grooming her to eventually succeed him.

Kasukuwere was touted as a potential successor within the party, analysts
see the crusade against him as meant to neutralise him as a threat.

Piers Pigou, senior consultant at the International Crisis Group said in
response to the public demonstrations against Kasukuwere, Mugabe pointed
to Zanu PF having its own internal processes to address allegations of
wrongdoing.

“This afforded Kasukuwere a measure of protection, and certainly
highlighted his dependency on the president for his protection, at least
from a procedural point of view,” Pigou told the Daily News.

“What follows in terms of statements from provincial executives several of
whose own configuration is questionable, as well as the Youth league,
appears to be a part of choreographed efforts, some argue that is driven
from within the presidency, to re-calibrate internal factional dynamics
and reinforce loyalties.

“It is unclear at this juncture whether Kasukuwere will meet Mujuru’s
fate, and or whether his position as commissar will be put on hold pending
a long winding disciplinary process,” he said referring to Mugabe firing
his deputy, Joice Mujuru, in 2014 in a power struggle over the choice of
his successor.

“Will Kasukuwere fight his corner or submit in the hope of fighting
another day? After all, Mnangagwa made it back from the ministry of Rural
Sanitation to VP in 10 years.”

Pigou said Zanu PF needs an unencumbered political commissariat in place
to work with and mobilize party structures ahead of the crunch 2018
elections.

“Given Kasukuwere is increasingly seen as divisive, it seems unlikely that
it is in Zanu PF’s interest to retain him in this position,” he said.

Tsvangirai works with Ncube again

Source: Tsvangirai works with Ncube again – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      21 April 2017

HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his former
secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, yesterday ended their long stand-off
when they signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together in
the watershed 2018 national elections.

This comes after Tsvangirai signed a similar deal with former Vice
President Joice Mujuru on Wednesday, as the opposition edges closer to
finalising the long mooted grand coalition in their bid to end President
Robert Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s rule next year.

Yesterday’s pact ended 12 years of frosty relations between Tsvangirai and
Ncube, in a move which analysts said was a clear indication that the
opposition was now coming of age.

“It would also be equally dishonest not to recognise that in our journey
with Ncube we both made our own mistakes.

“We split our party in 2005. The cost of that vote splitting, in addition
to the blatant manipulation of results, delayed change for the people of
Zimbabwe in 2008.

“Ladies and gentleman, it takes humble leadership to accept one’s mistakes
and it also takes bold leadership to correct those mistakes,” Tsvangirai
told journalists in Harare yesterday.

“It is in this respect that I am both relieved and pleased to have signed
a memorandum of understanding with Ncube, as a first step towards undoing
the damage we caused ourselves.

“Today, Ncube and I will open a new chapter and craft a political
agreement that should see us harness and combine our known electoral
strengths to face our common opponent as a united front,” he added.

Singing from the same hymn sheet, a beaming Ncube said he also regretted
the split of a decade ago, and was confident that their newly-found
alliance would finally consign Mugabe and Zanu PF to a decisive electoral
defeat next year.

“Let me repeat what president Tsvangirai said, I also take personal
responsibility for the mistakes that we made in the past.

“We accepted that we divided our people, we divided the membership of the
party, which we should not have done.

“I too take responsibility for those mistakes. But what is more important
today is for us to not just accept those mistakes but begin to take steps
that are necessary for us to be accountable to the people of Zimbabwe.

“The people of Zimbabwe, wherever we go, tell us that we must unite. We
must come together to confront the regime that has caused so much misery
and so much chaos in this beautiful country.

“In 2018 we must not fail. The objective now should be bringing together
the democratic forces that have some value to add to the struggle and I
want to congratulate president Tsvangirai and his team for the work that
has been done,” Ncube said.

“If anyone in this country expects us to contest the next elections
separately as we did in 2008 and 2013 … it will not only be a third
moment of real madness, but the highest form of insanity and none of us is
insane,” Tsvangirai chipped in.

The former prime minister in the government of national unity has for the
past few months been working feverishly behind the scenes with Mujuru and
other smaller opposition leaders to finalise the grand coalition.

Optimism has been high ever since Tsvangirai and Mujuru publicly flaunted
their readiness to join forces against the ruling party, when they
appeared together in Gweru last August.

Analysts have also repeatedly said Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom
de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose husband Solomon was the
first black post-independence army commander, could provide the
much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the
smooth transfer of power if they win elections again.

However, they have also warned that without a broad coalition involving
all the major opposition players, Zanu PF would use “its usual thuggish
and foul methods” to retain power in 2018.

Dhlakama promises “effective peace”

Chimoio (Mozambique), (AIM) – Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Mozambican rebel movement Renamo, on Wednesday assured reporters that the war between his forces and the government is nearing its end, and “an effective peace” will soon be re-established.

Source: Dhlakama promises “effective peace” – The Zimbabwean 24.04.2017

Dhlakama was speaking at a press conference given by telephone to journalists in Chimoio, capital of the central province of Manica, at which he expressed satisfaction at his talks, also by phone, with President Filipe Nyusi.

“I have held contacts with my brother Filipe Nyusi to see if we can find a way to effective peace because we don’t want to see more bloodshed in Mozambique”, he said. “The people should circulate freely, and undertake their activities without fear of dying or losing their property. The war is at an end. We shall once again embrace our families, circulate on the roads, visit our relatives and work to produce. That is what we want”.

Currently a truce is in effect. After phone calls with Nyusi, Dhlakama declared a truce which began on 27 December. Initially it was only for a week, but it has been renewed twice, and now expires on 5 May. The truce has held, and there have been no reports of further Renamo ambushes on the roads, or of clashes between Renamo gunman and the defence and security forces.

Dhlakama said that, if it depended on him, and if the government complies with decisions taken at the negotiating table, then the truce could be extended indefinitely.

“I am studying how to extend the truce with no time limits”, he said. “But it all depends on whether Frelimo obeys what we agree in the negotiations. If it is complied with, I will order a truce without limits”.

He gave no details of his recent talks with Nyusi, but guaranteed that telephone contacts are continuing “in search of reconciliation among Mozambicans”.

“Many people think that secret agreements are being reached between me and my brother Filipe Nyusi, but it’s nothing like that”, he added. “Mozambicans will soon know the forms of this negotiation. Everything will be divulged so that the people know”.

Asked about Renamo’s participation in the 2018 municipal elections and the 2019 general elections, Dhlakama said that he and his party will compete and intend to win.

“We shall compete and we promise to win because the people are with us”, he said. “We want to govern this country democratically. That is our main goal, We don’t harbour rancours against anyone. We don’t even feel vengeful towards Frelimo, since this is a moment for reconciliation”.

Dhlakama is still living in a Renamo military base in Gorongosa district. He has not been seen in public for about 18 months. He said resumption of public political activities depends on the negotiations and on guarantees of security for himself and for other Renamo members.

“If they guarantee my security, then even today I can live and engage in public politics”, he declared. “Otherwise I shall stay here in the bush of Gorongosa, where I took refuge and feel fine”.

Not yet Uhuru, Tsvangirai says

Source: Not yet Uhuru, Tsvangirai says – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      19 April 2017

HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has challenged President
Robert Mugabe to stop his warring ruling Zanu PF’s mindless bloodletting
and instead focus on giving long-suffering Zimbabweans “real freedom” and
a better life.

In addition, Tsvangirai also reiterated in his independence message
yesterday his recent assurance to the nonagenarian and fearful security
chiefs that he would not seek retribution against them if the MDC sweeps
next year’s eagerly-anticipated national polls.

At the same time, former vice president and now National People’s Party
(NPP) leader, Joice Mujuru, has described the country’s nearly four
decades of independence under Mugabe and Zanu PF as “37 years of slavery
and misery to Zimbabweans”.

“As we brace for next year’s watershed election, I urge Zimbabweans to
unite and put the country first.

“I urge Zimbabweans of all shades and political affiliation to prioritise
Zimbabwe and to put the collective national interest above everything
else.

“Whether Zanu PF or MDC, or any other political party for that matter,
every Zimbabwean must ask themselves whether we really deserve this
suffering in a country for which so many paid the ultimate sacrifice,”
Tsvangirai said in his message.

“Let us put aside all our differences, harness our diversity and vote for
the man or woman who will shepherd this country to the greatness it
deserves, a leader who values our nationhood and collective dignity more
than the colour of our party cards.

“We have seen how those in the seat of government have taught us to hate
and kill each other and not to harness our differences for the greater
national good,” he added.

“Fellow Zimbabweans, let us use the opportunity next year to poise our
country for growth, inclusion, unity and development. There has been so
much hatred in the past, needless hatred that in 2008 cost us a glorious
opportunity to move forward.

“Indeed, and as I have said before, none of us have any reason to fear the
change that is now imminent upon this our beloved country in 2018.

“That change will be good for everyone. The benefits of that change will
not be selective. That positive change will seek no retribution against
anyone but will only spur us to live in harmony as Zimbabweans regardless
of our ethnic and political diversity,” Tsvangirai said.

This comes as Zanu PF has been accused of stalling the implementation of a
raft of much-needed electoral reforms ahead of next year’s polls.

This has seen opposition parties coalescing under the banner of the
National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) agitating for sweeping reforms
that include the disbandment of the current Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(Zec) secretariat which they accuse of being a Zanu PF appendage.

Nera parties are also at odds with the government over its hijacking of
the acquisition of biometric voter registration (BVR) kits, which they say
could lead to a manipulated election next year.

Tsvangirai beat Mugabe hands down in the 2008 presidential election, which
saw results being withheld for a suspiciously long six weeks, amid
widespread allegations of ballot fiddling and manipulation.

When the widely discredited results of that poll were eventually
announced, Tsvangirai was forced into a presidential run-off which he
pulled out of following deadly violence against his supporters, hundreds
of whom were murdered in cold blood.

Mugabe would go on to stand in a widely condemned one-man race in which he
declared himself the winner.

However, Sadc and the rest of the international community would not accept
the poll, forcing the nonagenarian to share power with Tsvangirai for five
years, to prevent the country from imploding completely.

Former State Security minister and one of the founders of the Zimbabwe
People First (ZPF), Didymus Mutasa – who was for decades a close
confidante of Mugabe – later lifted the lid on that election’s rot,
following his sacking from Zanu PF.

He revealed that the nonagenarian had only managed to remain in power at
the time through chicanery and brute force.

Yesterday Tsvangirai, who said he was looking to the future with optimism,
also paid tribute to disaffected war veterans, who have been feuding with
Mugabe since mid last year.

“True independence should translate into abundant opportunities and real
freedom for the people, so that the day gains its true worth to the
country’s citizenry.

“I want to take advantage of this day to salute all war veterans, dead or
alive, and say I and the party I lead will forever cherish what they did
for this country.

“I want to promise that the new government we will create in 2018 will
accord our war veterans their due respect and meet their deserved welfare
requirements as we said they should get in the Constitution that we made
ourselves as a people,” the dogged former labour union leader said.

“Let us not allow the privatisation of this great day in a manner that
diminishes its true worth. Let us not allow the stripping of our dignity
by this uncaring Zanu PF regime and the abandonment of the cause for which
so many died.

“Indeed, we must always cherish the heroism of the people of this land and
the brutal struggle we waged to reclaim our rights, particularly the right
to vote,” he added.

On her part, Mujuru said the mooted grand opposition coalition was the
only way of extricating the country from its economic problems.

“As NPP, we believe that what ought to be 37 years of independence has
been turned into 37 years of slavery and misery to Zimbabweans.

“We believe we have capacity as Zimbabweans to extricate ourselves out of
the social, economic and political mess we find ourselves in as a result
of Zanu PF’s failed government.

“It is time that all progressive forces within the rank and file of
opposition parties put their differences aside and face the failed Zanu PF
government as a united front by every constitutional means necessary come
2018.

“Our people never went to war so that the destiny of our country can be
turned into political dynasties.

“Zimbabweans deserve to be free and that freedom has to be exercised now.
To that end, as NPP we urge all the progressive forces within the rank and
file of the opposition parties of this country to go back to the basics of
the revolutionary ideals of oneness.

“It is our belief as NPP that what divides us as opposition political
parties are smaller than what binds us as a country. Our motto should
therefore be united we stand, divided we fall,” she said.

Tsvangirai and Mujuru have been working with other opposition parties
behind the scenes to finalise the mooted grand opposition coalition.

At the same time, analysts have said that a united opposition, fighting
with one purpose, can finally bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule,
especially at a time that the nonagenarian is fighting to keep together
his warring Zanu PF.

They have also consistently said Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom de
guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose late husband Solomon was
the first black post-independence army commander, could provide the
much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the
smooth transfer of power if they win the 2018 elections like they did in
2008.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Police must direct resources to save lives

Source: EDITORIAL COMMENT: Police must direct resources to save lives | The Herald April 20, 2017

Over the Easter and Independence holidays, 23 people were killed in road accidents. Causes of these fatal accidents and hundreds of other reported accidents were given by a police spokesperson as: speeding, unsafe overtaking, driver inattention, failure to stop at red lights and Stop signs, and failure to give way when legally required to do so. To this list can almost certainly be added, in at least a significant fraction of accidents, drivers who have excessive blood levels of alcohol, although since the units investigating accidents regrettably are not equipped with the modern and sensitive equipment to detect alcohol levels, the spokesperson could not give this as a contributing factor.

The reasons for the tragedies are those that other traffic safety experts usually list in every country as the cause of all, but a tiny handful of accidents, fatal or otherwise.

At the same time there has been extensive debate in Zimbabwe over police roadblocks, with many complaining that these seemed to be geared towards finding minor infractions of regulations than in trying to reduce death tolls.

We tend to agree. It is unlikely that missing a jack handle or having a number plate light that does not work in daylight will cause an accident, let alone kill anyone. So an extensive mobilisation of resources for such trivial breaches seems misplaced. And it also creates a lot of ill-feeling among the public.

On the other hand there are a minority of police teams who are actively cutting accident rates. These are those ensuring drivers stop at red lights and Stop signs and those who have one of the very few speed measuring radar sets.

Even when these teams are deployed on just one or two random days each week at the selected point, the word gets around and decent safe driving becomes very common. And even those caught committing driving offences might be angry, but they also tend to agree that they were asking for it.

At least in daylight.

There is very little police preventative work at night. As a result speeding is common, especially now that so much work has been done on repairing the main roads. Few drivers stop at red lights or Stop signs and some refuse to even slow down as they enter an intersection against the lights.

And it is highly likely from watching the way some accelerate away from bar car parks, that there are a fair number of night drivers with alcohol levels way above the limit. And there are still too many cars without functioning headlights.

The result is predictable, a high number of serious accidents that lead to serious injuries and death rather than the far less severe rear-end shunts so common in daylight. It has got to the stage that the careful drivers anxious to live now have to stop at all traffic lights, regardless of whether they are green or red, since there is a distinct possibility that a vehicle coming from the side road will simply proceed against the red light at speed.

Far more deployment of traffic units to night work could cut death rates, and if fine income is a factor then anyone watching a main Harare road at say 10pm can easily see that a majority of drivers are committing fineable offences.

All it would take would be a modest redeployment of available manpower and resources.

The result would be a low accident rate and a far more pleasant relationship between the public and police.

Zambia and Zimbabwe: Why fair elections are essential for Africa’s development

Source: Zambia and Zimbabwe: Why fair elections are essential for Africa’s development | Daily Maverick

Zimbabwe is used as a case study of a broken society; a country in which those in power concern themselves only with maintaining power and amassing wealth. Zimbabwe is also often cited as an exceptional case. However, while it’s situation undoubtedly has its own peculiarities, Zimbabwe has not followed a path that is impassable for others. It is dangerous to think otherwise.

By TENDAI BITI.

Despite the popularity of the “Africa rising” narrative that has sounded over the past decade regarding the pace of Africa’s economic growth and the prospects for development, the continent continues to face significant challenges in unlocking the benefits for the majority of its citizens.

While there is no singular reason for this, the one with the greatest explanatory power is the mindset of self-enrichment at the cost of social development among the elite. There is little doubt in my mind that the solution to turning this around also lies in the hands of leadership and the choices they make. And getting the right leadership in place, to make the right choices, is a question of democracy.

As a former minister of finance in Zimbabwe, the proposals that came on to my desk for government financing of projects that would make a significant impact on our country were countless. Yet there was – and continues to be – absolutely no money made available by the government for any of these projects. It was often a difficult pill to swallow when all around the country malnourished families were starving while the lavish lives of those in the president’s inner-circle were there for all to see.

Zimbabwe is used as a case study of a broken society; a country in which those in power concern themselves only with maintaining power and amassing wealth. Zimbabwe is also often cited as an exceptional case. However, while it’s situation undoubtedly has its own peculiarities, Zimbabwe has not followed a path that is impassable for others. It is dangerous to think otherwise.

People often ask me how it is possible that we have been able to get ourselves into this position as a country where everything is so fundamentally broken. You cannot break things overnight, I answer, but you can slowly chip away at the fundamentals and if no one does anything to stop you then quite quickly all expectations of a democratic society are abolished.

The increase in the number of elections taking place in Africa since 1990 has frequently been read as a positive indicator for the continent’s future development prospects. Elections are only a necessary but not a sufficient component of democracy. Yet this is undermined if the international community adopts the convenient fallacy that at least by going through the motion of holding elections a country will get it right eventually, and so the extent to which they can become a smokescreen has largely been overlooked.

The frequency of elections is much easier to observe and tick off a checklist than adherence to the rule of law. However, it is the rule of law that determines a country’s ability to function properly. When the law is undermined and eroded, countries can follow a downward spiral that leads to total collapse and from which it is almost impossible to recover without outside support.

The rule of law in Zimbabwe has long been considered broken. The same can now be said of our neighbour north of the Zambezi, Zambia.

Zambia’s leadership seems intent on destroying the 50 years of work post-independence to build democracy by replicating actions we have routinely seen in Zimbabwe, notably the systematic harassment and intimidation of press, civil society and the opposition. While in the past Zambians have looked to the rule of law to protect their rights when under threat, today they find there is little prospect for protection or redress.

Zambia’s major independent newspaper has been closed, with its editor on the run; reports of intimidation and bribery of legal and electoral officials have become widespread; and, now, as of a week ago, popular opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been incarcerated and charged with treason.

Shocking as this bold attempt to charge the opposition leader with an offence that in theory could carry the death penalty appears, as well as the violent and shocking manner in which the arrest was conducted, if you look at the pattern of activity by the authorities in recent months and years it is less surprising.

Over time Zambia’s leadership has become more and more confident that they can sit above the law. While cases in which people have spoken ill of the president or alleged corruption in public institutions result in arrests and court charges, justice is slow and often elusive for those outside the ruling elite.

The manner in which last year’s contested election was handled by the Zambian authorities is a landmark case in this history. It’s a story of the cost of electoral authoritarianism. Today, with Hichilema behind bars, it is also testament of how the region and the international community missed a critical opportunity to stem a tide of poor governance by speaking out against an electoral sham.

When Hichilema’s party, the United Party for National Development, challenged the 2016 election result on several grounds he was advised to call on his supporters to remain peaceful and petition the outcome in the courts, as is his constitutional right. The petition was never heard, however, on the basis of a technicality that his party continues to challenge through various appeals and court submissions to this date.

This stands in stark contrast to how events played out in Ghana following the 2012 elections. Then the opposition challenge of the outcome led to a lengthy court case. While the outcome was ultimately upheld by the court, the case revealed several failings in the process for addressing ahead of future elections, and it enabled the opposition a chance to present their evidence. The process upheld the rule of law, and sent a clear signal to elites and citizens alike that they can expect to be held accountable to the law. This helped to pave the way for the peaceful transfer of power to the opposition subsequently in January 2017.

The consequences of the soft approach of observers and the international community following last year’s contested elections in Zambia appears to be coming back to haunt them, however. Their cautious approach and hesitancy to challenge leadership has been taken as a near enough blank check for the elite to step by step deconstruct the rule of law.

While national sovereignty must be respected we must not forget that if the government in question is itself undermining the rule of law and the rights and safety of its own citizens then it has already undermined the grounds for sovereignty in a democratic nation. Moreover, the more states that are allowed to continue down this path unchallenged, the fewer voices there are left to speak out against such infractions and the more leaders elsewhere that will be motivated to preserve their stay in power through illicit means. DM

Mashayamombe quizzed over party clashes

Source: Mashayamombe quizzed over party clashes | The Herald April 21, 2017

Herald Reporter
Zanu-pf Harare provincial political commissar and Harare South legislator Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe was yesterday reportedly questioned by the police following violent clashes between zanu-pf supporters on Saturday in the city. The clashes at the party’s provincial headquarters left some party supporters and innocent city residents being injured at Simon Vengai Muzenda Bus Terminus.

The developments come after Tuesday’s reports that police in Harare questioned and released Cde Mashayamombe over his alleged role in the intra-party clashes.

According to reports, Cde Mashayamombe was briefly interrogated, while attending Independence celebrations at the National Sports Stadium and was asked to report at Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order Section before the end of this week.

Sources close to the investigations yesterday confirmed that Cde Mashayamombe reported to the police yesterday morning, where he was questioned and released, as investigations on the case continued.

They said Cde Mashayamombe went to the police station alone and could not divulge any other details concerning the case.

Cde Mashayamombe dismissed the reports as baseless.

“I spent the whole day busy addressing issues in the constituency (Harare South),” he said.

“I never went to the police.”

On Saturday, three people sustained varying degrees of injuries following violent clashes between zanu-pf supporters sympathetic to Cde Mashayamombe and provincial secretary for Administration George Mashavave.

Skirmishes started when Cde Mashayamombe reportedly got wind that Cde Mashavave and other provincial executive committee members wanted to pass a vote of no confidence on him and national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere at the party’s provincial offices.

Reports said Cde Mashayamombe then bused his sympathisers to offices, resulting in the skirmishes.

Police had to be called in to quell the disturbances.

Police confirmed the incident, saying a report was made at Harare Central Police Station alleging that two groups clashed at the zanu-pf Harare provincial offices.

Narrating their ordeal during an interview with ZBC News recently, some of the victims said they were bused to the provincial party offices without being aware of divisions that existed within the local party leadership.

IMF bullish on Zim growth

Source: IMF bullish on Zim growth | The Herald April 21, 2017

Business Reporter—
THE International Monetary Fund has reviewed upwards its economic projection for Zimbabwe to 2 percent from its earlier forecast of minus 2,5 percent made late last year. The latest growth forecast by the Bretton Woods institution, however, falls conservatively short of the more upbeat revised economic growth forecast by Zimbabwe for the year. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa revised his 2017 growth forecast to 3,7 percent last month citing an anticipated bumper harvest on the back of a good rainy and farming season. The initial growth projection was 1,7 percent.

Minister Chinamasa said the good harvest for 2017, anchored on Command Agriculture where Government invested just under $200 million, would spur economic growth.

Minister Chinamasa told military officers at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare last month, that agriculture would spur economic growth, with grain deliveries expected at 3 million tonnes, the highest production for Zimbabwe in decades.

“I anticipate after the revision, our growth to be around 3,7 percent from 1,7 percent or so that we had anticipated in the 2017 national budget,” the minister said.

And in its latest report titled “Global Economic Outlook for 2017” released this month, the IMF projected that the domestic economic would this year expand by 2 percent.

The IMF is also bullish about the 2017 global growth and has reviewed world output projections upwards from the 3,1 percent announced in its October 2016 outlook to 3,5 percent.

The global lender forecast that world economy growth will be anchored by buoyant financial markets, long awaited cyclical recovery in manufacturing and trade.

“Conditions in commodity exporters experiencing macroeconomic strains are gradually expected to improve, supported by the partial recovery in commodity prices, while growth is projected to remain strong in China and many other commodity importers” IMF said.

The outlook says metal prices have been firming, supported by higher real estate investment, capacity reduction efforts in China and anticipated fiscal policy easing in the US.

Asa Resources sacks CEO, FD over missing US$4,3 million

Source: Asa Resources sacks CEO, FD over missing US$4,3 million | The Financial Gazette April 20, 2017

ASA Resources says US$4,3 million is missing from its Freda Rebecca Mine, with an audit showing that chief executive Yat Hoi Ning and finance director Yim Kwan had irregularly transferred money to two Hong Kong registered companies.

The two officials have since been removed, the company said in a filing on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), where the firm is listed.

The miner said it had replaced the two with chief operating officer Toi Muganyi and Carla Mackay, who take over as CEO and finance director, respectively, in the interim.  Batirai Manhando, the Bindura Nickel Corporation managing director, was named as an interim executive director.

On Wednesday, the resource group said of the missing money, US$1,6 million had been traced to two of the group’s companies in Hong Kong but could not ascertain if the money remained in its accounts.

“The Board is satisfied that it has established that the total amount of Asa Resource funds that are unaccounted for is US$4,3 million. Of this amount US$2,7 million relates to the year ended 31st March 2016 and US$1,6 million relates to the year ended 31st March 2017,” the company said in the regulatory filing.

“The sum of US$1,6 million in 2017 has been traced to two Group companies administered from Hong Kong but the Board has yet to confirm whether any part of this sum remains within the two companies. The Board has not relied on these amounts and any recoveries will improve the expected cash position.”

Asa assured shareholders on Wednesday that it still has adequate funding for the normal working capital requirements at Freda Rebecca — where it holds a controlling 85 percent stake — as well as its Bindura Nickel Corporation subsidiary.

Asa’s share price on AIM market dropped 45.78 percent to 1,129 pence on Tuesday’s announcement but recovered to 1,28 pence in Wednesday’s early trades.

Hoi Ning led a boardroom coup that kicked out the funder of Asa Resources forerunner, Mwana Africa, Kalaa Mpinga in 2015 and is the chairman of China International Mining Group Corporation (CIMGC) the major shareholder in Asa with a 16,29 percent stake. Hoi Ning holds  6,2 percent of Asa’s shareholding in his personal capacity.

Hoi Ning, who succeeded Mpinga as Asa executive chairman, assumed the role of CEO in September last year as the company appointed former BNC managing director David Murangari as non-executive chairman.

The board said it would meet with relevant government ministries and authorities in Harare this week, on the matter.

A number of appointments made by Hoi Ning of Chinese managers and department heads are also being reviewed.

Early this month, workers at Freda Rebecca tussled with management over ‘excessive shareholder interference’ and gave notice to go on strike.

The miner confirmed receiving “certain anonymous allegations relating to the

operations at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine” and “certain aspects of the financial management” at the mine.

An April 4 statement by the company initially dismissed the charges offhand, saying the board believed the allegations to be “completely mischievous,” adding it “strongly suspects that certain disgruntled former employees” to be at the root of some of the allegations. – The Source

Yahoo bows out as public company

Source: Yahoo bows out as public company | The Herald April 21, 2017

SUNNYVALE, California. — Yahoo is bowing out as a public company with its revenue still declining, a chronic problem that culminated in its sale to Verizon Communications. Despite the revenue downturn, Yahoo fared better during the first three months of the year than analysts had anticipated — a low bar that was another sign of how far the internet pioneer has fallen during the past decade.

The results released Tuesday will mark the final quarterly report of Yahoo’s 21-year history as a publicly traded company unless the Verizon deal unexpectedly falls apart. Yahoo expects the $4,5 billion sale to close in June before the end of the second quarter.

The deal’s final price reflects a $350 million markdown that Yahoo gave Verizon to compensate for the damage caused by two different security breaches that resulted in personal information being stolen from more than 1 billion Yahoo user accounts.

After Verizon takes over, Yahoo’s $8 billion in cash and valuable stakes in two Asian internet companies — Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan — will be turned over to a newly created company called Altaba.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won’t be part of Altaba, and she isn’t expected to join Verizon to oversee the Yahoo email and other digital services being sold.

If she doesn’t have a job, Mayer will receive a $23 million severance package.

Mayer, a former Google executive who has been Yahoo’s CEO for nearly five years, defended her track record in a statement accompanying the first-quarter numbers.

“I’ve never been more proud of the improvements we’ve made to the business and the value we’ve delivered to our shareholders,” Mayer said.

Yahoo’s stock has tripled during Mayer’s reign, but the run-up was driven by the company’s stake in Alibaba, which is China’s e-commerce leader and boasts a market value of $278 billion.

The Sunnyvale, California, company invested in Alibaba before Mayer’s arrival.

Mayer had hoped to turn around Yahoo, but instead oversaw further erosion even while investing heavily in mobile applications and video. She couldn’t solve a problem that dogged Yahoo for most of the past decade — how to get a larger piece of the digital advertising sales that increasingly have been flowing toward Google and Facebook, a pair of companies that once were smaller than Yahoo.

After subtracting ad commissions, Yahoo’s revenue totalled $834 million in the first quarter, a 3 percent decrease from last year. In the first full quarter of Mayer’s tenure, Yahoo’s revenue after ad commissions stood at $1,1 billion.

Yahoo earned $100 million, or 10 cents per share, in the first quarter, rebounding from a loss of $99 million, or 10 cents per share, last year.

If not for certain accounting items unrelated to its ongoing business, Yahoo said it would have earned 18 cents per share, topping the average estimate of 16 cents per share among six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. – AP.

Mugabe living in Cloud cuckoo land

Source: Mugabe living in Cloud cuckoo land – DailyNews Live

20 April 2017

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday wasted a golden opportunity to
pronounce key solutions to economic challenges affecting the masses such
as a debilitating cash crunch that is threatening to break the country
apart.

To say Zimbabwe is a pale shadow of its former self would be an
understatement. The country is literally on its knees with unemployment
hovering over 90 percent, massive company closures, hunger and poverty
stalking the majority of its citizens.

A myriad of bad economic decisions in the last 37 years have made sure
that Zimbabwe is a laughing stock not only in the Sadc region, but
internationally as well.

Foreign investors are constantly skirting the country in favour of
regional neighbours such as Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa and
Zambia, thanks to Mugabe and his Zanu PF-led government’s chaotic land
reform programme and the controversial indigenisation policies.

Delivering his Independence Day speech at the National Sports Stadium,
Mugabe proved our assertion right that his government might have rigged
its way into power in 2013, but they have failed to rig and revive the
economy.

The ageing leader failed to address pressing national issues such as the
high unemployment rate, water shortages, liquidity crisis, lack of
medicines in hospitals, declining education standards and deteriorating
production in the country.

Not even once, did our dear leader address concerns of at least 13,5
million people who are hopeless about the future due to his government’s
populist policies that have decimated Zimbabwe’s famed agricultural
sector.

The situation at public schools is appalling to say the least. For the
first time since independence in 1980, Zimbabwe is witnessing a huge
number of school children dropping out since their parents have failed to
pay for their fees due to lack of disposable incomes while teachers have
since stopped taking classes seriously due to low remuneration and poor
working conditions.

By proving to be increasingly out of sync with reality, we think that the
time has come for Mugabe to self-introspect and think of the legacy he
wants to leave behind.

After 37 years at the helm, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict
that it’s now time that he passes on the baton to the next leader – with
new strategies that will make Zimbabwe an economic giant again.

At the moment, Zimbabwe’s economic situation is made worse by political
uncertainty and in particular, the general vagueness, apparent confusion
and intra-party fighting over the future leadership of the country.

Zanu PF MP Chivamba dies

Source: Zanu PF MP Chivamba dies – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      20 April 2017

HARARE – Kizito Chivamba, the Midlands Zanu PF provincial deputy
chairperson and better known for his 90s shooting of Patrick Kombayi, has
died.

According to regional party spokesperson Cornelius Muperi, the Chiwundura
member of Parliament died at Gweru Hospital “after a short illness” and
mourners are gathered at his Indiva Farm while a State-assisted burial is
being pursued.

“Chivamba was a dedicated cadre who worked with… the late Vice President
Simon Muzenda and… Emmerson Mnangagwa. As an MP, he initiated a lot of
empowerment projects for the youth and women,” he said.

“The province has recommended (that) he be conferred with a hero’s status,
which fits his service stretching from the 70s as an activist,” Muperi
said, adding they were waiting “for a response from the national
leadership”.

Having joined Zanu PF in 1972 and trained as a collaborator in 1977 in
Bikita, Chivamba was a Mutapa youth chairperson in 1982 and is survived by
his wife Siromina, six children and five grandchildren.

Together with another late party cadre Elias Kanengoni, the ex-ruling
party legislator shot Gweru mayor  Kombayi – at point blank range – in the
run up to the 1990 elections and were both convicted, and sentenced for
attempted murder.

However, they were later pardoned by President Robert Mugabe and released.

About eight years ago, Chivamba also served as Zanu PF provincial
secretary for health and welfare.

Zanu PF renegades cheer Tyson’s troubles

Source: Zanu PF renegades cheer Tyson’s troubles – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      20 April 2017

HARARE – Expelled Zanu PF members are rubbing their hands with glee over
moves to oust national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, pictured,
who they contend is getting “a taste of his own medicine”.

This comes as six provinces have so far passed votes of no confidence in
the embattled politician – also called Tyson because of his combative
politics – over charges  of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.

Former Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said on
his Facebook page: “I am extremely happy when bootlickers get their turn
in Zanu PF. Just call a spade a spade, not say it’s a shovel. The
professor is next after Tyson.”

Kasukuwere and several other Zanu PF bigwigs are under the cosh in the
troubled former liberation movement, following the recent mega
demonstrations against them – in developments which analysts have said
bear similar echoes to the political Tsunami of three years ago which
buried former vice president Joice Mujuru and other party heavyweights.

Former politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire said there was life after Zanu
PF for Kasukuwere.

“He (Kasukuwere) is still very young he can join other political parties.
He never went to war, so there is no problem for him to join other
parties.

“Kasukuwere must know that when a leopard is hungry and wants something to
eat, it will tell its offspring that you smell like a goat,” Mavhaire told
the Daily News yesterday.

Former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central youth chairperson Godfrey Tsenengamu
said, “Anotamba nebanga anofa nebanga. Magumo emukwiri kudonha (Those who
live by the sword, will die by the sword),” Tsenengamu said.

Early this month, Tsenengamu also said Mugabe was using “the same methods”
to deal with Kasukuwere that he allegedly employed to hound his former
deputy Mujuru out of Zanu PF during the deadly purges of 2014.

Tsenengamu, who has consistently claimed that he was among the youth
leaders who were used by Mugabe to orchestrate Mujuru’s downfall, said he
had no doubt in his mind that Kasukuwere’s Zanu PF political career was
“hanging by a thread”.

“It is clear that the president is behind Kasukuwere’s woes, and whether
he (Kasukuwere) survives or not is entirely dependent on Mugabe.”

The outspoken former Zanu PF leading light added that Mugabe had allegedly
“perfected the art of playing the party’s factions” in his own interest.

Kuwaza death: Questions arise

Source: Kuwaza death: Questions arise – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      20 April 2017

HARARE – Family members and friends of former top civil servant and
chairperson of the State Procurement Board (SPB), Charles Kuwaza – who
died on Tuesday after falling nine floors from a high-rise Harare building
– are raising doubts about claims that he may have committed suicide.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, they said it was “inconceivable”
that Kuwaza, 63 – who was known as “a hard man” – could have decided to
end his life as is suspected.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti, who worked closely with Kuwaza during
the era of the government of national unity, was also among the people who
said it was unfathomable that he could have committed suicide.

“A fine chess player with a strong mind. He can’t possibly commit
suicide,” Biti wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter upon learning of
Kuwaza’s death.

While some family members were expressing some disquiet behind the scenes,
they said they would allow police to conclude their investigations before
they commented officially about the circumstances surrounding Kuwaza’s
death.

“The feeling among the family is that let the police conclude their
investigations before we can make our statements,” one family member told
the Daily News yesterday.

However, another grief-stricken relative raised concerns about Kuwaza’s
missing mobile phone.

He apparently had his cellphone when he went to his office before he
plunged to his death, and the phone allegedly continued to ring when they
called his number soon after he perished.

Relatives also said yesterday that Kuwaza’s funeral arrangements were yet
to be made, with family members and friends gathered at his Borrowdale
residence.

Kuwaza plunged to his death on Tuesday after falling nine floors from a
high-rise building – in a tragic case suspected at the time to have been
suicide.

He had been on bail in a fraud case involving at least $1 million.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to the Daily News on Tuesday said Kuwaza had been
in the company of a woman, believed to be his wife when he died.

He had apparently left the woman in the parking lot at Club Chambers,
while he went into the building to collect some documents to help with his
defence in the fraud case.

One of the people who spoke to the Daily News and who works at a building
close to Club Chambers said he had heard a “sickening thud” before he
rushed there to see what was happening.

Upon getting there, he discovered the lifeless body of Kuwaza lying next
to his car.

Kuwaza, also a former Zimbabwe Chess Federation president, was freed on $2
000 bail in absentia late last month after he fell ill, forcing the
ensuing court proceedings to be conducted at a local clinic where he was
receiving medical assistance.

He was facing one count of theft, two counts of fraud and two counts of
criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

Prosecutors alleged that during his time at the SPB, Kuwaza had engaged in
several criminal activities which had prejudiced the State.

He had previously served as the permanent secretary for the ministries of
Finance and Defence between 1994 and 2000.

In 2001, he was appointed as the chairperson of the SPB and operated from
the President’s Office until he was sacked in October 2015.

Kuwaza was a renowned chess player who not only distinguished himself
nationally but also internationally, winning several awards.

Mugadza seeks Con-Court referral

Source: Mugadza seeks Con-Court referral – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      20 April 2017

HARARE – Kariba pastor Phillip Mugadza, who allegedly prophesied that
President Robert Mugabe will die on October 17 this year, has advised the
magistrates’ court that he wants his case to be referred to the
Constitutional Court (Con-Court), claiming his trial is an infringement of
his constitutional rights.

His lawyer Obey Shava yesterday told Harare magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta
that on the next remand date on May 4, he will make a full application
demanding his client’s matter to be referred to the Con-Court.

Shava argued that his client’s rights to freedom of conscience among other
rights had been infringed upon.

The State accused Mugadza of causing an offence and insulting the
Christian religion and the African tradition by predicting someone’s
death, arguing it is taboo to do so.
In making his controversial “prophecy”, Mugadza had also said that the
nonagenarian could escape death by praying fervently, fasting and publicly
announcing that he did not wish to die.

Coal miner Hwange signs 25-year deals

Source: Coal miner Hwange signs 25-year deals – DailyNews Live

BUSINESS WRITER      20 April 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s largest coal miner, Hwange Colliery Company Limited
(Hwange), has signed two 25-year coal supply agreements with two local
companies.

The initiatives will see the company supplying more than 400 000 tonnes of
coal per month to State-owned Zimbabwe Power Company and independent
electricity producer Lusulu power.

Hwange managing director Thomas Makore yesterday said the new deals were
part of the company’s turnaround strategy.

“We have already entered into a 25-year coal supply agreement with the two
companies and we are in the process of finalising contracts,” he said.

In 2015, the government granted the company three new concessions in
Western area, Lubimbi East and West following concerns that Hwange’s
present concessions were running out.

The listed coal producer’s medium-term strategic plans also include the
replacement of its coke oven battery which will also supply coke oven gas
as fuel substitute for diesel to Hwange Power Station as well as supply of
tar and benzole products to Zimchem.

Zamco mops $0,5bn bad loans from banks

Source: Zamco mops $0,5bn bad loans from banks – DailyNews Live

Ndakaziva Majaka      20 April 2017

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (Zamco) has mopped up
over $500 million bad loans from the country’s banks in an effort to make
them attractive to foreign investors.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said since the Special Purpose Vehicle
began operations in 2015, it has relieved local banks allowing them to
clean their balance sheets.

He said as part of efforts to strengthen the banking sector, government
had advanced Treasury Bills (TBs) to all financial institutions whose bad
debts were assumed.

A TB is a short-term debt obligation backed by a government with a given
maturity, in most countries the promissory notes are issued with a
maturity of less than one year.

“Through Zamco we have also given banks an opportunity to release
resources that had been tied up in NPLs so  that they continue to support
economic activities throughout the country

“We have also helped borrowers to restructure their facilities so that
they would continue to service their loans at affordable interest rates
over a relatively longer period,” Chinamasa said, pointing out that the
average NPL ratio in the banking sector had also gone down with banks now
aiming for the regional prudential benchmark of five percent.

According to central bank governor John Mangudya, Zamco has also started
acquiring bad loans secured by mortgage bonds, after assuming total NPLs
worth $812,5 million in 2016.

Some of the banks holding on to TBs after surrendering their NPLs to Zamco
include FBC Bank, which at the end of 2016, held $7,3 million in TBs
categorised under acquisition of NPLs by Zamco.

ZB Bank as at December 31, 2016 recorded a $20,4 million contribution from
Zamco TBs, up from the $13,7 million recorded prior comparable period,
with group chief executive Ron Mutandagayi saying Zamco had provided
credit relief to the group with TBs worth $3,7 million in 2016 alone.

Zamco also helped revive the fortunes of local bank, Metbank, after it
assumed about $14 million of Metbank’s debts to regional lenders, as the
bank moved to clean its balance sheet.

At close of 2016, Zamco had a portfolio of acquired NPLs amounting to
$812,5 million comprising a proprietary portfolio worth $548,6 million and
a managed portfolio of $263,8 million.

Further, another financial services institution, NMB Zimbabwe, surrendered
to the Zamco loans amounting to $11,6 million in the first half of 2016.

In addition, Zamco is also being used to assume bad debts from
government-owned firms, like the recently-acquired pharmaceuticals group,
CAPS Holdings.

OPC calls for joint action in industrialisation

Source: OPC calls for joint action in industrialisation | The Herald

Business Reporter
THE Office of the President and Cabinet says a co-ordinated approach by all arms of Government is critical for the success of industrial development and its value chains. The OPC said achieving the desired outcomes required joint action where public institutions worked in a co-ordinated and collaborative manner across all boundaries. As such, the OPC’s objective is to demonstrate the importance of co-ordinated approach to industrial development when it participates at the 58th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair exhibitions in Bulawayo from April 25 to April 29, 2017.

Principal Director in the Department of Public Affairs and knowledge Management Ambassador Mary Mubi said unified Government approach is associated with the desire to ensure horizontal and vertical co-ordination of its activities.

Ambassador Mubi said this was critical to improve policy coherence, better use of resources, promote and capitalise on synergies and innovation from a multi-stakeholder perspective, and provide seamless service delivery to citizens and businesses.

“It requires Government bodies, regardless of type or level, to work across portfolio boundaries to achieve shared goals and to provide integrated Government responses to all policy issues.

“The approach provides ease of access and better understanding of the linkages and relationships,” ambassador Mubi noted.

The OPC will seek to provide a strategic overview of the importance of “a whole” of Government approach in industrial development activities, including a foresight function aimed at identifying stakeholders and building anticipatory capacity.

This exhibition will also aim to increase coordination and coherence by ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are involved at the appropriate stages of industrial development and communicate Government successes and actions towards the achievement of industry related goals under the economic blueprint, Zim-Asset 2014 /18.

POTRAZ gets it right for a change

Source: POTRAZ gets it right for a change | The Financial Gazette April 21, 2017

By Robert Ndlovu

LAST week, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) launched stakeholder consultations on licensing of Virtual Network Operators (VNOs).
The consultations close at the end of this month.

In basic terms, the regulator is reaching out to stakeholders so that they can craft regulations and provisions on how the licensing will be effected. It is the regulator’s constitutional mandate to encourage competition, ensure a level playing field and maintain a technology neutral stance and to make significant contributions to the success story of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Zimbabwe. This is what the authority was formed to do. The consultations on VNOs are a positive step.
A VNO is a reseller of network services from other telecommunications suppliers and does not own the telecommunication infrastructure; the most popular one being a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). In this set up the MVNO does not own any infrastructure, but rides on existing capacities from existing operators. This adds weight to the infrastructure sharing concept. The existing wireless cannot access some markets for different reasons. Use of MVNOs builds quick capacity to access these niche markets. The good thing is that the MVNO does not have to worry about availability of switches, routers, base stations, billing servers, backup power because these are already owned by licensed Mobile network operators.

MVNOs come in different shapes and models and POTRAZ is proposing four licensing regimes: Namely a full MVNO, light MVNO, a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler and a branded reseller. These basically vary in their extent of service packaging, pricing, and billing systems and value-added services. The type of MVNO is determined by how “thick” or “thin” their technological layer is over its access to its host MNO’s network. This goes without saying that for any MVNO to succeed anywhere they must establish a good working relationship with the parent network.

This is a positive development if implemented properly. One does not need millions of dollars to setup a network for his favourite football team. In South Africa one leading church is already launching an MVNO for its followers. This is where the unlocking of value comes in. Assuming the church has 500 000 members and the church manages to sign up 100 000 members to the “Khuleka Mobile”, this literally translates to 100 000 like-minded people who will have access to services on the same network at very competitive rates. And add to that, the in network calling feature can literally be free. What I mean is, if one church member based in Victoria Falls wants to call one of the pastors based in Mutare, he/she can dial in and request a prayer and be on the phone for as long as the phone battery life allows.

But how is the money made?

The MVNO can offer its services in two packages. Basic, which comes with 100 voice minutes, 2 gig (G) data, 200 text messages and an advanced one which comes with 500 voice minutes, 5G data, 500 text messages.

The basic and advanced packages can be pegged at flat prices of US$20 and US$50 respectively. This translates to about 100 000xUS$35 = US$3,5 million per month. This is an example to explain how the revenue is generated. This is good for the MVNO, the network owner, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, POTRAZ and the church members. No rocket science.

The above example shows how a strong brand can be monetised using the MVNO model. Other models follow branding of SIM cards and top up cards. These are more customer facing issues and have low start up costs as long as you have done thorough research about the market that you want to mobilise. Any strong brand can become a light MVNO — literally.

The document requesting contributions is available from the regulator website www.potraz.gov.zw. In that document the regulator solicits feedback on different aspects of the proposed MVNO licensing schemes. I have browsed through it and it looks pretty standard. The prices for licences look reasonable ranging from US$500 up to US$50 000. I however, have a few questions and comments directed to the authority based on the stated information in that document. I will try to summarise them here.

Section five says: “There is also a need to open the market for new partnerships, including wholesale and retail arrangements.”

Comment: If that indeed is the case, then it should be possible to licence international traffic carriers since the authority claims that it wants to make the sector more competitive. The area of wholesale voice termination has been heavily monopolised and semi-militarised to a point where terminating calls from outside Zimbabwe attracts a jail term. We expect that the MVNO will be allowed to carry wholesale voice traffic otherwise this would be a big farce.

Section 7.1.2 talks of Light MVNOs.

Comment: Do we really need these? I mean at one point the authority granted 14 internet access providers licenses to local operators and what happened to them? Zimbabwe’s population is no more than 15 million and we do not expect it to double in the next 10 years to warrant so many players in the field. Hopefully the total number of full MVNOs and Light MVNOs makes statistical sense, unless you are fundraising by issuing many licenses.

Section 7.2 Tier 2 network providers – Village

Comment – On Tier 2 network providers licenses are broken down as national, provincial, metropolitan, district and village level. POTRAZ, let us be a bit serious here. You want to have village licenses? There are two possibilities to this. You might claim that you are opening the market to everyone which is good, but the district level should take care of the village? I stand to be corrected. How many small operators do you want to have in the end? 10 000? If that is the case then bingo you are in business as you will smile all the way to the bank and at the same time keep yourselves employed. I mean monitoring 10 000 village operators is not a joke.

The other flip side of this is a bit disturbing. My researched opinion and little public knowledge about the regulator compels me to air my fears with reference to the village operator.

A typical village has less than 5 000 people. Some people in the human rights arena think that this is the first step towards setting up a mechanism to monitor voice and data from individuals. Their concerns are pretty reasonable. Monitoring and intercepting voice and data to and from end users is not exciting business. This always invokes the security versus privacy debate. I will not delve deeper into that. It is self explanatory.

Send the village operator concept to the recycle folder or else the next thing you will be saying you are now licensing internet cafes and WiFi hot spots! We do not need a village operator. I doubt if we even need a district one.

You must realise that the regulator has been dealing with issues that are counter-productive for the ICT industry. The blame game on data pricing, the several clashes with mobile operators, the introduction of floor pricing and the public announcements on media that “we will not tolerate predatory pricing,” among other things do not echo the regulator’s responsibility in creating a level playing field. If anything at all, some observers believe that these few blemishes are making the regulator look like more of a disabler than an enabler.

People must understand that the days of legacy infrastructure are gone. We are now talking about zero Capex operators. Telco is in a box. Get up and go kind of business. The days of a few operators forcing their way into our pockets because of lack of options for alternative services are gone. The MVNO initiative is a good starting point to get abreast with the fast changing ICT contour.
In summary, the concept and idea to push for MVNOs is noble and above board.

Wider consultations are, however, needed so as to safeguard this otherwise ingenious effort. For a change POTRAZ has remembered what it was set up to do and thumbs up for that. I urge you to download the document from the regulators website and make your own contribution. Or you can app me to get a soft copy.

Robert Ndlovu is contactable on WhatsApp +263776002605 or e-mail ndlovu@Ymail.com or on Twitter handle @robertndlovu.

Zimra exceeds 1st quarter target

Source: Zimra exceeds 1st quarter target | The Herald April 21, 2017

Walter Muchinguri Assistant Business Editor
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has exceeded its target for the first quarter this year by 6,09 percent as it continues to benefit from the new revenue enhancement measures it has been implementing. These include automation, greater enforcement and the fight against corruption. Zimra said gross collections for the period under review were $862,47 million against a target of $812,94 million. Net collections for the period were up 1,68 percent above target to $826,63 million after the deduction of refunds amounting to $35,84 million.

The bulk of the revenues in Q1 (2017) were from Value Added Tax on Local Sales (22,42 percent), Individual Tax (20,05 percent) and Excise Duty (18,17 percent), Company Tax contributed 11,20 percent, while the rest of the revenue heads contributed 28,16 percent.

Value Added Tax on Local Sales contributed 185,36 million against a target of 163,90 million while Individual Tax totalled $165,83 million against a target of 185,20 million and Excise Duty netted $150,28 million against a target of $162,64 million. Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said they were looking at building on the positive performance in Value Added Tax on Local Sales.

“This positive performance should form the nucleus of a new incremental trend in revenue collection in response to the Authority’s measures to enforce compliance and improve efficiency. This is in addition to the moves to plug all the tax leakages in the economy in the short to medium term. Zimra has been flushing out a number of fraudulent claims. In the long run, the economy has to be fixed sustainably in order to keep increasing revenue collections,” she said.

Gross and net collections for the period under review compare favourably with those of the same period last year.

Gross collection for the period were up 10,29 percent from $781,99 million collected last year while net collection were up 14,04 percent from $724,89 million collected during the same period last year. She attributed the upward trend in collections for the quarter to a battery of revenue enhancement measures implemented by the Authority, which include automation, greater enforcement and the fight against corruption.

“It is encouraging to note that quite a number of tax heads exceeded their targets unlike before when only VAT on Local Sales would meet the target. During the quarter under review, in addition to VAT on Local Sales, other tax heads such as VAT on Imports, Company Tax, Mining Royalties and other Indirect Taxes exceeded their Q1 (2017) targets.

“The improved performance of VAT on Local Sales and Company Tax is attributable to the thrust in automation, audits and compliance checks. Automation has enabled Zimra to bring in more taxpayers into the net. It has also enabled Zimra to notice under-declarations. This process is on-going and the trend is, therefore, expected to continue throughout the year, other things remaining equal,” she said.

 

Bulawayo recommends Ncube for Sandi Moyo post

Source: Bulawayo recommends Ncube for Sandi Moyo post | The Herald April 21, 2017

Nduduzo Tshuma Bulawayo Bureau
Zanu-PF Bulawayo Provincial Women’s League has recommended Central Committee member Cde Judith Ncube to fill in the vacant position of party deputy secretary for Women’s League once occupied by Cde Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo. Cde Moyo and former Women’s League secretary for finance Cde Sarah Mahoka recently resigned from the organ over allegations of undermining First Lady and Secretary for the organ Dr Grace Mugabe, corruption, insubordination and fanning factionalism.

The Bulawayo Women’s League also met last week where they called for the recall of Cde Moyo from Parliament following her resignation from the Politburo.

The wing’s provincial chairperson, Cde Eva Bitu, yesterday said a report had been sent to the First Lady and contained a recommendation for Cde Ncube to replace Cde Moyo.

“After the meeting on Wednesday, we compiled our resolutions and sent them to our boss the First Lady,” she said.

“We recommended that since Cde Ncube was the second most senior person after Cde Moyo before her resignation, she is now the most senior in the province and therefore qualifies to fill the position of deputy secretary.

“What we do in the Women’s League is that the number one, who is the most senior leader in the province, becomes part of the top 10 in the national executive and the second most senior heads a department, that is why Cde Ncube was secretary for Lands and Resettlement as she was second after Cde Moyo.”

Cde Bitu said part of the report included a recommendation for Cde Moyo to be recalled from Parliament and Zanu-PF National Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere to be relieved of his duties.

“We also raised it with the First Lady that since Cde Moyo resigned from the Politburo and Central Committee, she is now an ordinary member of the party and must be recalled from the proportional representation seat in Parliament because she got it on the basis of being a member of the Women’s League,” she said.

“We reported to our mother that we also want Cde Kasukuwere to be removed from his position for causing confusion in the party and setting parallel structures as was highlighted by the women in the meeting last week.”

Mashonaland East on Wednesday became the seventh province to call for the expulsion of Cde Kasukuwere.

Matabeleland South and Manicaland provinces said they will meet today to decide on Cde Kasukuwere, while Matabeleland North said his actions had not affected the running of the province.

Zanu-PF laughs off MoUs

Source: Zanu-PF laughs off MoUs | The Herald April 21, 2017

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF has rubbished the Memoranda of Understanding signed between MDC-T and two other opposition parties, saying it was a desperate attempt by the parties to solicit for funding from the West. MDC-T signed an MoU with the Joice Mujuru-led National People’s Party on Wednesday and yesterday inked another one with Professor Welshman Ncube’s MDC.

Speaking in an interview, Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the revolutionary party was unmoved by the latest developments.

“To me it is like as one writer said, “building a nightclub in a cemetery”. These parties know they cannot win elections and as President Mugabe has said, zero multiplied by zero is zero,” he said.

“They can sign as many MoUs as they wish, but these MoUs don’t vote. We know very well that it is a desperate move by the parties to get funding from our erstwhile enemies who have tried every trick in the book to have regime change without success.”

Cde Khaya Moyo said Zanu-PF could not be defeated in any elections because of its strong policies.

“Zanu-PF is undefeatable because of its sound policies and programmes which appeal to the people of Zimbabwe as a whole,” he said. “We also have got a history as a party which liberated the country.

“I have never heard of a coalition in the history of the country. Zanu-PF is a focused party and our mission is to speed up the economic emancipation of our people. This is evident when you look at the Zim-Asset blueprint and the 10-Point Plan announced by the President not long ago.”

Cde Khaya Moyo said the good rains received last season would spur the country’s economic growth as a bumper harvest was expected and appealed for Zimbabweans to rally behind President Mugabe.

“We also have to recognise the outstanding leadership of President Mugabe who is also Zanu-PF’s First Secretary and we continue to appeal to our people to promote unity, peace and development,” he added.

Political analyst Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said it was clear that the opposition was coming together to access donor funds.

“If you follow events in the recent past you will realise that Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru have been to Chatham House, which is a British think tank owned by the Royal Institute of International Affairs,” he said.

“It is at Chatham House that on 24 January 1999 at a meeting chaired by Richard Dowden that resolutions on how to remove President Mugabe from power were passed.”

Mr Mureriwa said among the resolutions was the creation of an opposition party to challenge Zanu-PF and President Mugabe, which resulted in the birth of MDC.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Professor Charity Manyeruke said the signing of the MoU to establish a coalition was a clear admission of failure by the opposition parties.

“This is a clear admission by the opposition parties of their inherent weaknesses to try to be in Government,” she said.

“When you have opposition parties in a political system, they are supposed to be forces which people can believe in, even in their small way.

“But when they are failing and try to form coalitions it means they are accepting that they have failed. Now they are trying to come together thinking that in their weakness they would become strong. But that cannot be the case because combining a weakness and another weakness will create something even weaker.”

Prof Manyeruke said given the history of opposition parties in Zimbabwe it won’t be long before they split.

SA hunter killed by crocodile in Zim

Source: SA hunter killed by crocodile in Zim | The Herald April 21, 2017

DNA tests on the carcass of a crocodile shot in Zimbabwe have confirmed that it contains the remains of a missing South African hunter, an investigator has told the BBC. Scott Van Zyl (44) was killed last week on the banks of the Limpopo River, said Sakkie Louwrens, director of a South-African crime-fighting NGO. He said Mr Van Zyl disappeared during a hunting safari last week.

His death is the latest in a series of fatal crocodile attacks in Zimbabwe. Mr Louwrens told the BBC that Mr Van Zyl had gone on a hunting trip on the Zimbabwe-South Africa border with a local tracker and a pack of dogs.

He said the pair left their vehicle and went in different directions in search of crocodiles. A search and rescue operation was launched after Mr Van Zyl’s dogs returned to their camp without him.

The hunter’s footprints were traced to river bank alongside his discarded rucksack.

He was married, had two children and took foreign clients on hunting trips.

Mr Louwrens said staff from the Heritage Protection Group — an organisation which he heads and helps police fight crime in South Africa — informally helped the Zimbabwean authorities conduct the search.

“Permission was given for three Nile crocodiles in the area to be shot, and one of them contained Mr Van Zyl’s remains,” he said. “Subsequent DNA tests have proved the remains to be those of Mr Van Zyl.”

At least four fatal attacks by crocodiles have been reported in Zimbabwe this year.

One conservation group meanwhile, has condemned the circumstances of his “senseless” death.

“He shouldn’t have been hunting in the first place. Animals in the wild are wild! They are living, thinking beings with instincts for survival,” a statement by One Green Planet said.

Brave villagers from Jotsholo, Matabeleland North recently tracked down a crocodile that had devoured an 11-year-old boy, killed it with machetes before skinning it and recovering some of the boy’s body parts that it had swallowed.

They had already recovered other parts in Kana River following the attack last Sunday.

The crocodile attacked Mphathi Ndlovu while he was swimming with a friend, Promoter Ndlovu (14), police confirmed.

The bizarre incident occurred at Kana 6 Village 1 under Chief Mabhikwa.

The chief said villagers should heed warnings to keep away from rivers as they risked drowning or being attacked by crocodiles.

Villagers told the police that the crocodile killed Mphathi as he swam across the river and went deep down into the water as it feasted on him, but later resurfaced with the remaining body parts.

Four villagers have been killed by crocodiles in the area this month alone. — BBC/Crime Reporter.

Masvingo appeals for flood victims’ shelter

Source: Masvingo appeals for flood victims’ shelter | The Herald April 21, 2017

From George Maponga in Masvingo
The Masvingo provincial leadership has appealed to the national Civil Protection Unit for funding to build permanent homes for hundreds of families left homeless after incessant rains induced by cyclones left a trail of destruction across the province last month. This comes as most of the flood victims, especially in Chivi District, are still living in tents as they are struggling to rebuild permanent homes owing to shortage of funds.

Masvingo provincial administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa, who is the chairman of the provincial Civil Protection Unit Committee, yesterday revealed that most victims of Cyclone Dineo-induced floods in most parts of Masvingo were still living in tents.

He said they were waiting for the CPU national directorate to release money to build permanent structures for the flood victims.

“We made a request to the national CPU for funding to build permanent homes for families affected by Cyclone Dineo, especially in Chivi District, which was the worst affected, with victims still living in tents up to now,’’ said Mr Mbetsa.

He said the flood victims had received tents and monthly food rations from Government to mitigate their plight.

Mr Mbetsa singled out Red Cross and Plan International for taking the lead in assisting families affected by the rampaging floods.

“We have not yet been appraised on the size of the fund created by Plan to mitigate effects of natural disasters in Mwenezi and Chiredzi, but part of the money is bankrolling an ongoing assessment programme to determine the magnitude of damage visited by the floods and funding required for reconstruction,’’ he said.

Scores of homesteads were destroyed in Chivi after Shashe River burst its banks following the spilling of Muzhwi Dam.

In Mwenezi, the rains damaged small bridges and swept through dormitories at Lundi High School.

Government has made an appeal for $200 million to rebuild infrastructure damaged by the cyclone-induced rains.

President to meet youths countrywide

Source: President to meet youths countrywide | The Herald April 21, 2017

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter—
Zanu-PF First Secretary and party leader President Mugabe is set to visit provinces next month to have an appreciation of the challenges facing youths, as he seeks to interface with young people across the country. The first meeting has been earmarked for Mashonaland East Province. The engagements are expected to run until October this year as the revolutionary party’s youth wing heightens preparations for the 2018 harmonised elections.

Zanu-PF Youth League Secretary and Politburo member Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga confirmed the meetings, saying preparations were at an advanced stage.

“The objective of the meetings is in line with our party’s constitution where we have a responsibility to mobilise youths to participate in the political, social and economic activities of the country,” said Cde Chipanga, who is also Makoni West legislator.

He said socially, the Youth League would be promoting young artists, while economically, they were advocating young people to have access to land, access to agricultural inputs and participate in mining activities.

“Politically, that is where this programme falls, where we are saying one cannot talk of politics without the President and Zanu-PF,” said Cde Chipanga.

“Zanu-PF is the game in town. We want our youths to interface with the President, the only centre of power as in line with the 2014 party congress resolution.

“He is our candidate for 2018 general elections and as the Youth League, we have been clear and consistent that we want him to be Life President.”

Cde Chipanga said the meetings came after a realisation that most youths failed to meet with President Mugabe during the One Million Men March organised by the Youth League owing to the long distance as the event was held in the capital.

“So, we are creating a political platform where our youths are able to meet with their icon,” said Cde Chipanga.

As a forerunner to the meetings by the President, said Cde Chipanga, the Youth League’s national political commissar, Cde Innocent Hamandishe, had been visiting provinces to inform their structures of the pending visit.

“He has visited several provinces and he is left with a few,” said Cde Chipanga. “After that I will be going around as well, starting with Mashonaland East where we will have inter-district meetings and I will be announcing the dates on which the President would be visiting the province.”

Tsvangirai, Ncube bemoan 2005 split

Source: Tsvangirai, Ncube bemoan 2005 split | The Herald

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
The split of 2005, not alleged vote-rigging that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC president Professor Welshman Ncube have been peddling for over a decade, has contributed to the opposition’s dismal performance in successive elections, the two leaders said yesterday. Mr Tsvangirai has been losing elections to President Mugabe since the formation of his party in 1999 and has contested the poll outcomes as manipulated.

Speaking yesterday at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Prof Ncube’s MDC for a proposed coalition of opposition parties ahead of next year’s harmonised elections at his Highlands home, Mr Tsvangirai said they shot themselves in the foot by splitting. He was flanked by his deputy, Mr Nelson Chamisa, and Senator Morgan Komichi.

Mr Tsvangirai admitted it would be folly for anyone to think they could defeat President Mugabe contesting as splinter parties.

The original MDC split on October 12 2005 after a faction led by Mr Tsvangirai insisted the party should not take part in senatorial polls that year while Prof Ncube and his backers wanted to participate.

Said Mr Tsvangirai: “It would also be equally dishonest not to recognise that in our journey with Professor Ncube we both made our own mistakes. We split our party in 2005. The cost of that vote splitting in addition to the blatant manipulation of results delayed change for the people of Zimbabwe in 2008. Ladies and gentleman, it takes humble leadership to accept one’s mistakes but it takes bold leadership to correct those mistakes.

“It is in this respect that I am both relieved and pleased to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Professor Ncube as a first step towards undoing the damage we caused ourselves. Today, Professor Ncube and I will open a new chapter and craft a political agreement that should see us harness and combine our known electoral strengths to face our common opponent as a united front.

“If anyone in this country expects us to contest the next elections separately as we did in 2008 and 2013 and expect a different result, it will not only be a third moment of real madness, but the highest form of insanity, and none of us is insane.”

Prof Ncube weighed in: “I too take responsibility for the mistakes we have made in the past. The decisions that we made, which were clearly not always in the national interest in particular in relation to the splitting of the MDC. We accept that we divided our people, we divided the membership of the party which we should not have done,” he said.

“Let me associate myself with everything that he (Mr Tsvangirai) has said to you this afternoon both in terms of the vision, the economic and other policy interventions that we intend collectively to make post-2018 and his description of the nature of the political crisis that faces us as a people, which have caused us to be here today.”

He said what was important was not just to accept the mistakes but to begin to take the requisite steps to be accountable to the people of Zimbabwe.

BVR kits: Validation tests begin

Source: BVR kits: Validation tests begin | The Herald April 21, 2017

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter—
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will from today start site validation tests for two companies bidding to supply Biometric Voter Registration kits ahead of next year’s harmonised elections. Laxton Group Limited from China and Dermalog Identification Systems from Germany were among three firms whose bids were successful from the initial 12 that tendered for the supply of the kits.

The other successful company, ZETES from Belgium, withdrew.

“The bidders were evaluated by a joint team of ZEC and UNDP representatives and three of them emerged as the best contenders,” said ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau in a briefing to observers yesterday.

“The selection criteria were based on technical compliance of the gadgets to required specifications based on technical compliance of the gadgets to required specifications and pricing.”

Justice Makarau said at the close of the tender on January 17, 51 companies had shown interest, although only 12 submitted their bids.

“This is the stage at which we are now and the process is still under way,” she said.

“Our invitation to you to observe this important stage is part of ZEC’s initiative to ensure stakeholder participation in its activities and to enhance transparency in all its electoral processes.

“You will, therefore, be able to witness presentations by the two bidders who have come forward and observe the site validation tests of their respective kits to assess whether or not they are fit for the purpose.

“The actual site validation process starts tomorrow, (today) 21 April 2017 and ends on 26 April.”

Justice Makarau said the observers would be expected to make written recommendations to ZEC after the tests to assist it in making a decision on the award of the tender.

“Each bidder has three kits,” she said. “This ensures that there is adequate back-up in case the other two suffer malfunction. “The tests shall be in two forms, namely laboratory and field tests.

“During the laboratory tests, conformity to supplied specifications, which include those of the laptop, webcam, light source, photo background material, fingerprint scanner, thermal printer and solar power kit, among others, will be under scrutiny.

“The field tests will inter alia involve testing the durability of the equipment, resistance to weather elements, processing speed, battery performance, efficiency of the webcam, lighting and fingerprint scanner.”

Justice Makarau said the field tests would be conducted at Mabvuku High School on Monday next week and at Murape Secondary School in Seke the following day.

The two schools will provide 150 students each for a mock BVR exercise, while shock and water proof tests would be conducted at ZEC headquarters in Harare on Wednesday next week.

Government provided the $17 million required for the procurement of the BVR kits.

ZEC gags observers, BVR kits bidders

Source: ZEC gags observers, BVR kits bidders | The Financial Gazette April 20, 2017

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has set stringent rules for observers witnessing the selection of a Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits supplier by barring them from asking questions or addressing the press during the BVR kits site validation test process, which started yesterday and ends on April 26.

The observers are not allowed to ask questions to the two shortlisted bidders – Laxton Group Limited of China and Dermalong Identification Systems of Germany – during the process which will include mock voter registrations at Mabvuku High School in Harare and Murape Secondary School in Seke.

The bidders have also been asked not to say anything about the process.

Addressing observers who included political party representatives, members of the civil society and religious groups among others in Harare yesterday, ZEC chairperson, Rita Makarau said observers were only allowed to confidentially submit their written observations and recommendations to ZEC.

“Please note that no questions or interviews are to be made with those assigned to carry out specific tasks during these tests,” said Makarau.

“As observers, you will be expected to make written recommendations to ZEC after the tests. Your recommendations will assist ZEC in making a decision on the award of the tender,” she said.

Each bidder has three kits, which ensures there is adequate backup in case of a malfunction.

Makarau said the tests shall be in two forms, namely laboratory and field tests.

“During the lab tests, conformity to supplied specifications, which include those of the laptop, webcam, light source, photo background material among others will be under scrutiny,” she said.

On Saturday, the kits will be retrieved for lab tests before being taken out for training purposes on Sunday at Harare Polytechnic.

Field tests will take place between April 24-26, with Mabvuku and Murape secondary schools having already availed a combined 300 pupils of below the constitutional voting age of 18 for the mock BVR exercise.

Tsvangirai, Mujuru finally seal poll pact

Source: Tsvangirai, Mujuru finally seal poll pact – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      20 April 2017

HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice President
Joice Mujuru yesterday fired warning shots at President Robert Mugabe and
his warring ruling Zanu PF – signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
in Harare ahead of the finalisation of the planned grand coalition as the
make-or-break 2018 elections approach.

This comes as the mindless bloodletting that is devouring Zanu PF has
escalated in the past few weeks, resulting even in the party’s national
political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, coming under serious pressure to
resign from his post over a slew of charges – including bizarre claims of
plotting to oust Mugabe from power.

Describing yesterday’s developments as historic, a buoyant Tsvangirai said
the two opposition leading lights had decided to join hands after
realising that Mugabe and Zanu PF had “no clue” about how to end the
myriad challenges afflicting Zimbabwe.

“We have chosen to give hope to the people of Zimbabwe … that indeed
there is a bright light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

“We have taken the first step to bring all Zimbabweans under one roof so
that we can work together to remove the unmitigated repression and
misgovernance that pervades our lives.

“I am pleased to inform the nation that today we have signed a memorandum
with Mai Mujuru of the National People’s Party (NPP) … to establish a
pre-election alliance en route to the establishment of a coalition
government which shall drive a comprehensive democratisation and
transformation agenda.

“This is just the beginning of the building blocks towards establishing a
broad alliance to confront Zanu PF between now and 2018,” Tsvangirai said.

The indefatigable former labour union leader emphasised that the door had
not been slammed on other smaller parties being part of the pact, with
“similar arrangements” to be decided with them soon.

“While political parties have their role in nation-building, it must be
understood that they are not the only key stakeholders.

“We are in this together with other key stakeholders such as traditional
leaders, the Church, labour, vendors, war veterans, civic society,
business and the generality of Zimbabweans.

“This is our collective struggle and I call upon the people of Zimbabwe to
join hands with us and play their part as well so that we can reclaim our
country, our freedom and our dignity,” Tsvangirai added.

“Even at the ripe old age of 93, president Mugabe knows that the country’s
crisis is unsustainable. Every Zimbabwean from every station of life knows
it too.

“So, we should all stand together in unison and say enough is enough. As
president Mugabe enters the sunset of his life, it is incumbent upon all
of us to pick the pieces and rebuild our country together.

“I hope the understanding we reached today, and which we will reach with
many others, will culminate in a solid political co-operation agreement
that should usher in a new governance culture in our country,” he said
further.

On her part, Mujuru promised “greater things” for long-suffering
Zimbabweans.

“We were being asked by people wherever we would go about when we would
form the coalition. It took about six months to discuss the coalition.

“We know your expectations are very high … what we want to see is a
greater Zimbabwe again … We are going to deliver a new Zimbabwe,” she
said.

According to the two opposition leaders, the MoU would act as a roadmap
towards forming the planned grand coalition which is expected to be in
place before next year’s eagerly-anticipated national elections.

Optimism has been high ever since Tsvangirai and Mujuru publicly flaunted
their readiness to join forces against the ruling party, when they
appeared together in Gweru last August.

In a move that political analysts described as “very significant”, Mujuru
held hands and also joined Tsvangirai then during a massive demonstration
in Gweru that was organised by the former prime minister in the government
of national unity’s MDC.

Analysts have also repeatedly said Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom
de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose husband Solomon was the
first black post-independence army commander, could provide the
much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the
smooth transfer of power if they win elections again.

However, they have also warned that without a broad coalition involving
all the major opposition players, Zanu PF would use “its usual thuggish
and foul methods” to retain power in 2018.

In 2008, her late husband Rex was accused by Mugabe and other Zanu PF
bigwigs of having engineered the 93-year-old’s stunning electoral defeat
to Tsvangirai in that year’s hotly disputed polls.

Last week, a bullish Tsvangirai vowed to finish off Mugabe and his
deeply-divided Zanu PF – adding that he stood ready to lead the planned
grand coalition.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News then, Tsvangirai said he had
“no doubt whatsoever” that the MDC – working together with other
opposition parties – would, like it did in 2008, once again defeat Zanu PF
in 2018 and bring to an end Mugabe’s long but tumultuous rule.

“I stand ready to heed the calls by Zimbabweans that I lead … Indeed,
when I moved across the country, the people said I should lead.

“So, if that is what people want, then I am ready to lead the coalition.
But this should not be about individuals but about Zimbabwe.

“Indeed, the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe is not between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, but between long-suffering Zimbabweans and a heartless,
looting Zanu PF,” Tsvangirai said.

“The commitment towards forming a grand coalition is there … But we must
exercise due diligence in regard to our partners.

“Imagine at the end, just before elections you have people who will say `I
was not part of the talks’ … so due diligence is very important,” added
the dogged former labour union leader, as he explained why it was taking
long to conclude the mooted coalition talks.

Soon after, Mujuru signalled her readiness to join Tsvangirai in the
planned electoral pact when she said the mooted grand opposition coalition
was the only way of extricating the country from its economic problems.

“As NPP, we believe that what ought to be 37 years of independence has
been turned into 37 years of slavery and misery to Zimbabweans.

“We believe we have capacity as Zimbabweans to extricate ourselves out of
the social, economic and political mess we find ourselves in as a result
of Zanu PF’s failed government.

“It is time that all progressive forces within the rank and file of
opposition parties put their differences aside and face the failed Zanu PF
government as a united front by every constitutional means necessary come
2018.

“Our people never went to war so that the destiny of our country can be
turned into political dynasties.

“Zimbabweans deserve to be free and that freedom has to be exercised now.
To that end, as NPP we urge all the progressive forces within the rank and
file of the opposition parties of this country to go back to the basics of
the revolutionary ideals of oneness.

“It is our belief as NPP that what divides us as opposition political
parties is smaller than what binds us as a country. Our motto should
therefore be united we stand, divided we fall,” she said.

Kuwaza death: Questions arise

Source: Kuwaza death: Questions arise – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      20 April 2017

HARARE – Family members and friends of former top civil servant and
chairperson of the State Procurement Board (SPB), Charles Kuwaza – who
died on Tuesday after falling nine floors from a high-rise Harare building
– are raising doubts about claims that he may have committed suicide.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, they said it was “inconceivable”
that Kuwaza, 63 – who was known as “a hard man” – could have decided to
end his life as is suspected.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti, who worked closely with Kuwaza during
the era of the government of national unity, was also among the people who
said it was unfathomable that he could have committed suicide.

“A fine chess player with a strong mind. He can’t possibly commit
suicide,” Biti wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter upon learning of
Kuwaza’s death.

While some family members were expressing some disquiet behind the scenes,
they said they would allow police to conclude their investigations before
they commented officially about the circumstances surrounding Kuwaza’s
death.

“The feeling among the family is that let the police conclude their
investigations before we can make our statements,” one family member told
the Daily News yesterday.

However, another grief-stricken relative raised concerns about Kuwaza’s
missing mobile phone.

He apparently had his cellphone when he went to his office before he
plunged to his death, and the phone allegedly continued to ring when they
called his number soon after he perished.

Relatives also said yesterday that Kuwaza’s funeral arrangements were yet
to be made, with family members and friends gathered at his Borrowdale
residence.

Kuwaza plunged to his death on Tuesday after falling nine floors from a
high-rise building – in a tragic case suspected at the time to have been
suicide.

He had been on bail in a fraud case involving at least $1 million.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to the Daily News on Tuesday said Kuwaza had been
in the company of a woman, believed to be his wife when he died.

He had apparently left the woman in the parking lot at Club Chambers,
while he went into the building to collect some documents to help with his
defence in the fraud case.

One of the people who spoke to the Daily News and who works at a building
close to Club Chambers said he had heard a “sickening thud” before he
rushed there to see what was happening.

Upon getting there, he discovered the lifeless body of Kuwaza lying next
to his car.

Kuwaza, also a former Zimbabwe Chess Federation president, was freed on $2
000 bail in absentia late last month after he fell ill, forcing the
ensuing court proceedings to be conducted at a local clinic where he was
receiving medical assistance.

He was facing one count of theft, two counts of fraud and two counts of
criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

Prosecutors alleged that during his time at the SPB, Kuwaza had engaged in
several criminal activities which had prejudiced the State.

He had previously served as the permanent secretary for the ministries of
Finance and Defence between 1994 and 2000.

In 2001, he was appointed as the chairperson of the SPB and operated from
the President’s Office until he was sacked in October 2015.

Kuwaza was a renowned chess player who not only distinguished himself
nationally but also internationally, winning several awards.

HCC cancels French firm’s water deal

Source: HCC cancels French firm’s water deal – DailyNews Live

Helen Kadirire      20 April 2017

HARARE – The Harare City Council (HCC) has rescinded a multi-million
dollar water deal with French firm Veolia Africa (Veolia) after an alert
alleging the company has a dodgy track record of bad service and inflated
prices.

In 2016, the local authority and Veolia entered into negotiations pending
the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement to restructure and rehabilitate
Harare’s water and waste installations and networks.

According to HCC’s environmental committee minutes, the deal would also
entail acquisition of new assets, management and operations for the
rehabilitation that was meant to reduce physical leakages.

“A letter was received from the Office of the President and Cabinet
through the ministry of Local Government wherein Zimbabwe’s ambassador to
France Rudo Chitiga had alerted government on negative sentiments in the
world over Veolia Africa’s capacity and inefficiency in managing water in
Paris, resulting in the company’s contract being withdrawn for
inefficiency and overcharging. In other countries it had led to riots,”
acting chamber secretary Charles Kandemiri said.

Veolia expressed interest in investing in Harare’s water last year after
noticing the congestion that the city’s system was facing due to an
increased population and obsolete infrastructure.

The company’s business development director met up with mayor Bernard
Manyenyeni to evaluate the current system and draw up proposals that could
ease the water problems.

According to international human rights organisation, Global Exchange, it
noted that Veolia is the largest private water service company in the
world, providing 95 million people with drinking water and 68 million
people with sewer service but has a track record of bad service, high
prices, privatising water while also conducting operations in Israel.

“Veolia operates bus lines through the occupied West Bank, thus connecting
illegal settlements to Israel. The buses do not make stops in any
Palestinian towns and use Israeli occupied roads which have taken land
from Palestinian towns and villages and have restricted passage for
Palestinians between their communities.

“A 2008 investigation by the French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir found
Veolia overcharged Syndicat des Eaux d’Ile de France (SEDIF) 80 to 90
million euros. Based on these overcharged costs, many municipalities in
the US have not renewed their contracts with Veolia in order to improve
service at a better deal. Many cities, including Burley, Idaho, have spent
thousands of dollars repairing Veolia’s poorly constructed treatment
plants. Even in its founding city, Paris, Veolia lost its water management
deal at the end of 2009,” Global Exchange said.

Zanu PF renegades cheer Tyson’s troubles

Source: Zanu PF renegades cheer Tyson’s troubles – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya   20 April 2017

HARARE – Expelled Zanu PF members are rubbing their hands with glee over
moves to oust national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, pictured,
who they contend is getting “a taste of his own medicine”.

This comes as six provinces have so far passed votes of no confidence in
the embattled politician – also called Tyson because of his combative
politics – over charges  of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.

Former Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said on
his Facebook page: “I am extremely happy when bootlickers get their turn
in Zanu PF. Just call a spade a spade, not say it’s a shovel. The
professor is next after Tyson.”

Kasukuwere and several other Zanu PF bigwigs are under the cosh in the
troubled former liberation movement, following the recent mega
demonstrations against them – in developments which analysts have said
bear similar echoes to the political Tsunami of three years ago which
buried former vice president Joice Mujuru and other party heavyweights.

Former politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire said there was life after Zanu
PF for Kasukuwere.

“He (Kasukuwere) is still very young he can join other political parties.
He never went to war, so there is no problem for him to join other
parties.

“Kasukuwere must know that when a leopard is hungry and wants something to
eat, it will tell its offspring that you smell like a goat,” Mavhaire told
the Daily News yesterday.

Former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central youth chairperson Godfrey Tsenengamu
said, “Anotamba nebanga anofa nebanga. Magumo emukwiri kudonha (Those who
live by the sword, will die by the sword),” Tsenengamu said.

Early this month, Tsenengamu also said Mugabe was using “the same methods”
to deal with Kasukuwere that he allegedly employed to hound his former
deputy Mujuru out of Zanu PF during the deadly purges of 2014.

Tsenengamu, who has consistently claimed that he was among the youth
leaders who were used by Mugabe to orchestrate Mujuru’s downfall, said he
had no doubt in his mind that Kasukuwere’s Zanu PF political career was
“hanging by a thread”.

“It is clear that the president is behind Kasukuwere’s woes, and whether
he (Kasukuwere) survives or not is entirely dependent on Mugabe.”

The outspoken former Zanu PF leading light added that Mugabe had allegedly
“perfected the art of playing the party’s factions” in his own interest.

Opposition youths threaten protests

Source: Opposition youths threaten protests – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 20, 2017

YOUTHS from various opposition parties yesterday vowed to take to the streets soon to register their displeasure at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for allegedly frustrating the implementation of electoral reforms.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Addressing journalists in the capital yesterday under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), the youths said it was time to disobey the government and take to the streets to demand desired reforms.

“We strongly warn Zanu PF to stop forthwith its intentions of stealing the 2018 elections by interfering with [biometric voter registration] BVR [kits] procurement and deployment. You have stolen elections before, but not now, not ever. We challenge Zec and [Zec chairperson] Rita Makarau to urgently implement electoral reforms,” Tawanda Kalonga, who was leading the youths, said.

Kalonga, from Transform Zimbabwe, said they would escalate the fight until their demands are met.

He said they were prepared to explore both legal and constitutional means to ensure the 2018 elections are held in a free, fair, peaceful and credible environment.

Denford Ngadziore (MDC-T) said even if the police block them, they will go ahead and push for their demands through protests.

“Independence in 1980 serves to remind us that it is possible for youths to fight dictatorship and win, so with that background we have a duty and obligation to liberate ourselves,” he said.

“As youths of Zimbabwe, we will not allow a situation where a 93-year-old person [President Robert Mugabe] continues to lead us. We will announce very soon the Nera youth demonstration, which is not going to be dictated by the police. The youths will be in charge and we will go there [to protest].”

Elvis Mugari, from PDP, said they would be adopting more radical measures of peaceful resistance.

“We believe in civil disobedience and massive resistance. Let’s flood the streets. What happened in Egypt, Tunisia and others? Let’s do that as young people in Zimbabwe. It is our responsibility as the young people of Zimbabwe to do so. If we remain silent, we will be doing a disservice to the next generation and we will not remain silent in the face of injustice. We want to pile pressure on Mugabe so that he resigns even before the elections,” he said.

Nera and other civic society organisations have been involved in running battles with the riot police since last year over the implementation of electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 elections.

Only 14% of youths on voters’ roll

Source: Only 14% of youths on voters’ roll – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 20, 2017

ZIMBABWE’S electoral democracy is in danger, as most youths are excluded from elections either through disenfranchisement or failure to contest for public office despite being the majority population, the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) has said.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

In a report titled Framing the debate: Youth voter registration in Zimbabwe in preparation for 2018 elections released on the eve of Independence Day, RAU said there was need to move away from “electoralism” and the focus must be on the meaningfulness of the elections.

“The youth make up about 41% of the eligible voters, but only constitute 14% of the registered voters in Zimbabwe. Thus, the youth are largely excluded from democratic governance processes. They vote in less numbers than older age groups and fewer young people stand as candidates in local and national elections,” RAU said.

“Zimbabwe also has a very large demographic youth bulge, with over 75% of the population under 35 years, which this has ramifications for policy and welfare of the young.”

The think-tank noted that a voters’ roll that excludes such huge numbers of disenfranchised Zimbabweans was an inaccurate record of the eligible voters and inevitably, elections conducted using such a voters’ roll were an invalid claim of the Zimbabweans choice of leaders.

“The Zimbabweans that are allowed to register and vote should be concerned about the exclusion of eligible voters, who are being improperly excluded from the eligibility criteria,” RAU pointed out.

“Too much focus on mere voting in elections and not on the benefits of participating in those elections leads to disillusionment in the process. For many young people the questions that need to be answered are: Is there a youth agenda that needs to be heard? Which contestants in the elections are focusing on government effectiveness and do the youth know about those contestants’ ideologies?”

Cops quiz Mashayamombe

Source: Cops quiz Mashayamombe – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 20, 2017

POLICE in Harare on Tuesday reportedly quizzed Zanu PF Harare provincial political commissar, Shadreck Mashayamombe, over his alleged role in the intra-party clashes that rocked the capital last week.

— Staff Reporter

The violence involved rival Zanu PF youth groups sympathetic to Mashayamombe and the party’s provincialadministration secretary, George Mashavave.

But, the Harare South legislator yesterday denied the reports, saying: “Nothing of that sort happened. If I had been arrested, you would have seen me at the courts.”

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said he was unaware of the incident.

Party sources said Mashayamombe was briefly interrogated while attending Independence celebrations at the National Sports Stadium and asked to report at Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order Section before the end of this week.

Chaos rocks BVR test accreditation

Source: Chaos rocks BVR test accreditation – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 20, 2017

CHAOS yesterday rocked the accreditation of political parties seeking to be part of the site validation test of the biometric voter registration (BVR) process that is scheduled to start today at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Some of the political parties said they were not informed about the validation test, but felt they could not be left out of the important process, hence they had come to accredit like others.

On the other hand, political parties working under one group said they wanted additional people to be co-opted into the team, but Zec was still to respond to them by yesterday evening.

Drama nearly unfolded when party representatives, patiently waiting to be addressed by Zec officials, were given marching orders by the police.

However, the stand-off with the police did not last long as the law enforcers seemed to have heeded the explanation by the political parties.

MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora told the police that political parties could not be chased away like criminals when Zec had formally invited them for accreditation.

“This development shows Zec is conflated with the oppressive State apparatus. It called us for accreditation, but it has not done the accreditation. There is no transparency at all and the police are threatening to arrest people who are peaceful, who are not riotous at all,” he said.

“This also shows that this process is not going to be transparent. We should condemn that.”

Mwonzora said the bone of contention was on them bringing their technical experts.

“We have written a letter to [Zec chairperson, Rita] Makarau today (yesterday) that besides the political parties observing the validation process, we are insisting that the political parties must bring their own technical experts to examine the machines and appreciate the technical process that is taking place. We have those technical experts, who can help us ask the correct questions and to appreciate this process much better.”

MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said they were demanding transparency on the process.

“We are simply demanding our space. Zec is now using divide-and-rule tactics by handpicking some political parties, while leaving out others. We are demanding a satisfactory explanation over the privatisation of the BVR site validation test. We are not expecting Zec to redefine democracy or privately run the election preparatory process,” he said.

Zec said the validation test is part of the procurement process aimed at testing conformity of the kits to specifications, durability and suitability.

Today there will be a briefing followed by presentation by bidders tomorrow, laboratory test (April 22), training of voter registration operators (April 23), and field test from (April 24 to 26).

Zanu PF dragging Zim to Stone Age

Source: Zanu PF dragging Zim to Stone Age – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 20, 2017

The recent statement by Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora that parents in rural areas can use goats to pay for school fees is quite laughable and other countries are looking at Zimbabwe scornfully.

NewsDay Comment

Dokora was quoted by State media over the weekend saying parents can offer livestock in lieu of payment of fees or provide labour at school.

While this, at face value, may be seen as empowering rural communities, where cash has always been scarce, the implementation could be nightmarish for schools and there are several unanswered questions.

For example, where would a school keep the goats or cattle after parents have paid the school fees? This would mean the school expending more resources to tend to the animals.

Schools would also be forced to deviate from their core business as they tend to the livestock and there are questions on accountability and transparency.

What can stop a head teacher from saying a goat has gone missing, yet that person would have diverted it to his kraal?

These are the questions authorities have to provide answers for before plunging headlong with this plan, which has been retrieved from the Stone Age.

Barter has long been seen as an inconvenient way to trade, as it depends on the double coincidence of wants, meaning you have to find someone who wants your goods or services and has the goods or services you also want.

Parents in rural areas have in the past sold their livestock to raise school fees, so why this new proposition?

Schools require money to operate and buy essentials like textbooks in the absence of government support due to dwindling inflows to Treasury.

If all parents were to offer their labour in lieu of fees, how are the same schools supposed to finance their day-to-day operations?

We hope this proposal has nothing to do with next year’s elections.

Zanu PF has failed to deliver on its promises made in 2013 and this new proposal seems like an attempt to curry favour with the rural electorate.

Zanu PF has a history of bending the rules whenever it suits them.

The economic crisis is the elephant in the room and the promise of 2,2 million jobs has remained a mirage.

Faced with a situation of having nothing to offer, the goats as fees seems to be its new selling point.

The current crop of leaders are capable of anything as long as it guarantees their access to the feeding trough.

Tsvangirai, Mujuru join hands

Source: Tsvangirai, Mujuru join hands | The Herald April 20, 2017

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru and her National People’s Party leadership were yesterday summoned by MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to his residence in Harare to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for a proposed coalition of opposition parties ahead of next year’s national elections. Dr Mujuru and her top brass comprising Ambassador John Mvundura and Mr Dzikamai Mavhaire in tow gladly obliged, effectively marking their absorption as a political outfit by MDC-T.

The MoU confirmed a long held view that the two were under pressure from their Western backers to form a coalition to enhance their power bid against President Mugabe. Dr Mujuru is also fighting for political relevance following her unceremonious expulsion from the Zimbabwe People First by its founding “elders” Messrs Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo recently.

She had to hastily form her own outfit, the NPP, to prove her worth, but the party is still yet to gain traction and establish substantive structures.

To confirm her underdog tag in the proposed coalition of opposition parties ahead of next year’s elections, Dr Mujuru and senior officials of her party wernt to Mr Tsvangirai’s residence to append their signatures to the MoU.

Last year, a Government source privy to the goings on in opposition circles said Dr Mujuru had become a political concubine of MDC-T after she was captured on camera with an open palm in the company of Mr Tsvangirai in Gweru.

Speaking to journalists after signing the MoU, Mr Tsvangirai said: “This is a Memorandum of Understating. It outlines our desire to work together, to pursue clear objectives, which is having an alliance leading to fighting elections and creating a government that is going to pursue a democratisation and a transformative agenda.

“It’s an understanding – there will of course be substantive negotiations later. This is just an outline of our commitment to work together.”

Dr Mujuru said: “From us the leadership of National People’s Party and the rest of National People’s Party members, supporters and sympathisers, I would like to say our happiness is immeasurable because a lot of people in Zimbabwe have been asking us questions.

“How are you going to do it? How are you going to make the way forward? When are you going to be meeting with your colleagues of the opposition parties?

“And I have been telling them not everyone in the opposition party is going to our signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. We have taken more than six months of consulting, discussing, making ourselves understand as to what expectations our people have or should be given from the two of us and I am happy to say today is the day.”

Dr Mujuru was quick to extend the begging bowl to donors saying: “I am sure the Zimbabwean populace and the world at large will really be coming forward to also assist in many ways which we are going to put across and also giving us their ideas of how things should be done because we know your expectations are very high.”

ZACC cites threats, meddling in ops • Officials living in fear • Ministers, high-profile figures fingered

Source: ZACC cites threats, meddling in ops • Officials living in fear • Ministers, high-profile figures fingered | The Herald April 20, 2017

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has said it is receiving threats from Cabinet ministers and political interference from high-profile individuals, which have hampered its investigation of cases of corruption in line with its constitutional mandate.

ZACC said — in its 2016 Annual Report — that it now feared for the lives of its officers.

The report was recently tabled in Parliament by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his capacity as overseer of the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

“In the period under review, ZACC investigated a number of corruption cases, large and complex, involving high-profile figures, including Cabinet ministers as a result of public reports, information and inquiries among other sources,” said ZACC.

“There were incidences of political interference, including threats by ministers against ZACC officers.

“This compromises investigations and puts the life of officers in real danger.”

ZACC did not mention specific cases in which it was threatened due to political interference.

But one of the high-profile cases it handed involved Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his Deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa, who were up for alleged abuse of office and misappropriation of over $400 000 Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) funds.

Zimdef chief executive Mr Frederick Mandizvidza and Zimdef principal director (finance) Mr Nicholas Mapute, were also arrested over similar allegations and their case is pending before the courts.

Last year, ZACC issued warrants of arrest to Permanent Secretaries Grace Mutandiri (Lands and Resettlement), Munesu Munodawafa (Transport and Infrastructure Development), George Mlilo (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing), Willard Manungo (Finance and Economic Development), Evelyn Ndlovu (Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development) and Sam Kundishora (Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services).

Others who got the same warrants included Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke, Zimbabwe National Roads Administration acting chief executive Engineer Moses Juma and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation acting chief executive Mr Patrick Mavhura.

NetOne acting managing director Mr Brian Mutandiro, Premier Service Medical Aid Society managing director Mr Tendai Kapumha and his Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe counterpart, Mr David Chawota, are also being investigated.

ZACC’s probes have sucked in companies owned by prominent businesspeople Messrs Wicknell Chivayo (Intratrek), Phillip Chiyangwa (Pinnacle Holdings), Farai Jere (Helcraw Electrical), Moses Chingwena (Croco Motors), Agrippa Masiyakurima (Bopela), Paddy Zhanda (Veracity Private Limited) and Shadreck Mashayamombe (Solomon Mujuru Housing Trust).

ZESA Holdings bosses are in trouble with ZACC over the awarding of Mutare Power Peak project to Helcraw Electrical Private Limited owned by businessman Mr Jere.

It is alleged that the State Procurement Board awarded the tender to the company that had failed to meet technical specifications stated by the Zimbabwe Power Company.

Allegations are that the SPB unilaterally awarded the tender to technically non-compliant Helcraw Electrical (Pvt) Ltd because it was the lowest bidder at $92 million against a recommendation by ZPC to award the tender to technically-compliant Pito Investments that had charged $120 million for the emergency diesel power plant.

Also under spotlight is Zesa’s deal with Intratrek owned by businessman Mr Wicknell Chivhayo, whose company clinched a $202 million tender to construct a 100-megawatt solar power plant in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province.

The law enforcement agents suspect that tender procedures could have been flouted.

Zesa is also under probe for engaging Fruitful Communications owned by Highfield MP Mr Pyschology Maziwisa (Zanu-PF) and journalist Mr Oscar Pambuka over how the company was meant to do public relations when the power utility has a full-fledged public relations department headed by Mr Fullard Gwasira.

Reports say several Government ministers and other high profile figures have criminal cases that are at different levels of investigations.

Prof Moyo has been denigrating ZACC, claiming that it was improperly constituted and was not supposed to handle his case.

ZACC also noted in its report that financial challenges were also affecting its ability to fulfil its constitutional mandate.

The commission was allocated $1,6 million in 2016, although some of the money has not been disbursed.

Meanwhile, ZACC owes the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority $5 million in tax arrears accrued due to abuse of a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe vehicle facility.

“ZACC has been indebted to Zimra to the tune of $5 million in tax arrears mainly due to corrupt practices,” the commission said in its report. “The commission established that the largest chunk of these arrears had accrued from vehicles bought by RBZ, which were converted to personal issue as retention vehicles for individual staff members who did not qualify at all for such vehicles, which were supposed to be ZACC pool vehicles.

“These vehicles were registered in their own personal names and sold in violation of standing policy, rules and procedures.”

Apart from the tax arrears, the commission also owed various creditors $473 105 as of February 2016.

The commission also suspended four managers namely Christopher Chisango, Edwin Mubataripi, Gibson Mangwiro and Sukai Tongogara, after they corruptly acquired ZACC’s office building in Mt Pleasant.

Ms Tongogara has since been cleared, while the remaining three were fired, the other three are still fighting their case in the courts.

Redcliff seeks investors

Source: Redcliff seeks investors | The Herald April 20, 2017

Amanda Chikari Midlands Reporter
Redcliff Town Council is seeking investors to partner with to establish a water treatment plant. Redcliff’s mayor Councillor Fred Kapuya said the municipality is not a water authority and had been getting water from Kwekwe town. “It is our desire to establish our own water treatment works to supply water to residents and other stakeholders,” he said. “We seek a joint venture with interested partners.

“We are looking for registered companies, non-governmental organisations, international and local donor agencies and any other organisation with an interest in the water sector.

“The partner will be required to identify an alternative source of raw water, construction of water treatment works and the installation of prepaid water meters.”

Interested partners should submit their proposals to the Town Clerk, said Cllr Kapuya.

“Interested parties are invited to obtain Terms of Reference from either the Town Clerk or at the Redcliff Municipal offices,” he said.

Mashonaland East joins Kasukuwere ouster call

Source: Mashonaland East joins Kasukuwere ouster call | The Herald April 20, 2017

Tendai Mugabe in Harare and Walter Nyamukondiwa in Chinhoyi
MASHONALAND East yesterday became the seventh Zanu-PF province to call for the expulsion of Cde Saviour Kasukuwere as the revolutionary party’s national political commissar on a litany of charges that include plotting to topple President Mugabe and fanning factionalism.

The Mashonaland East Provincial Executive Council (PEC) met in Marondera yesterday and overwhelmingly endorsed Cde Kasukuwere’s ouster and the Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) is expected to ratify the decision tomorrow.

Only three provinces (Manicaland, Matabeleland North and Matabelaland South) are yet to pronounce their positions.

Speaking to the media after the PEC meeting yesterday, Zanu-PF Central Committee member and Minister of State for Mashonaland East Retired Brigadier-General Ambrose Mutinhiri said: “Zanu-PF as a party is bigger than individuals.”

Provincial spokesperson Cde Kenneth Mutiwekuziva said: “Factionalism, parallel structures and corruption had also spread in this province. So as the highest decision making organ in the province, we are saying Cde Kasukuwere should be removed from the position of national political commissar of Zanu-PF.”

In Mashonaland West, the Provincial Coordinating Committee yesterday ratified the PEC decision reached last week to have Cde Kasukuwere fired ahead of next year’s elections.

The province also questioned whether Cde Kasukuwere has a party membership card, indicating his lack of willingness to build the party.

Further, Cde Kasukuwere was accused of lacking orientation and had done nothing to build the party which is preparing for the crunch elections next year.

In an address to the Mashonaland West PCC meeting, Central Committee member Dr Philip Chiyangwa said Cde Kasukuwere had failed and it was in the interest of the party that he be relieved of his duties.

This was after all the 50 members of the PCC appended their signatures to a petition calling for Cde Kasukuwere’s ouster.

“We would like to thank the decision made by the PCC to endorse the decision of the provincial executive council so that Government and the party know that we no longer want to have anything to do with Cde Kasukuwere,” said Dr Chiyangwa.

“As a province, we have done well to unite with other provinces to say that as a party we are headed for elections and if someone has failed dismally like what (Cde) Kasukuwere has done, they should move out of the way.”

The provincial secretary for administration Cde Simba Ziyambi was tasked to write a letter stating the province’s position that was to be taken to the national headquarters yesterday.

This brings to seven the number of provinces to call for Cde Kasukuwere’s ouster, citing corruption in the handling of urban land and complicity in the usurping of First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe’s powers in the Women’s League by former treasurer Cde Sarah Mahoka and deputy secretary Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo.

He also faces allegations of angling to topple President Mugabe through manipulation of party structures.

Cde Kasukuwere also faces allegations of imposing Cde Ronald Chindedza in Norton, who went on to lose to independent candidate Mr Temba Mliswa in a by-election late last year.

Members of the Mashonaland West PCC ululated and cheered as Cde Ziyambi read out the resolution to have Cde Kasukuwere relieved of his duties.

Some shouted “ngaaende ngaaende”, meaning he should be booted out of the party and Government.

“The national political commissar has no orientation and is power hungry, which is compounded by serious corrupt tendencies,” said Mhondoro-Ngezi National Assembly member Cde Mike Gava.

Central Committee member Cde Phiness Makumbe said Cde Kasukuwere was running the party “like a tuck shop” by setting some parallel structures.

Asked to comment on allegations that he was not a card carrying party member, Cde Kasukuwere said: “These people are mad. Go on the Internet and type Kasukuwere, I will come out holding a party card, check on the number and see if it does not correspond with my name.”

The Mashonaland West PCC meeting also resolved to deal with disciplinary cases that had not been taken to the National Disciplinary Committee at provincial level.

This saw several members, including Makonde MP Cde Kindness Paradza and Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi (Zvimba West) being cleared of any wrong doing.

Chegutu East legislator and Central Committee member Cde Webster Shamu said failure to implement the party electronic card resolution was an indictment on Cde Kasukuwere.

Cde Ziyambi also read out a letter from the secretary for administration Dr Ignatius Chombo to ousted Women’s League treasurer Cde Mahoka.

The letter stated that the Politburo had accepted her resignation from her position in the wing.

It also said if she did not want any criminal proceedings instituted against her, she had to reimburse money, fuel and anything she used in the name of the party.

Cde Mahoka, the letter stated, reverted to being an ordinary card carrying member with rights and privileges accorded in the party constitution.

Council building goes under the hammer

Source: Council building goes under the hammer | The Herald April 20, 2017

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
The High Court has given green light to a retrenched Rufaro Marketing Private Limited bar manager to auction Harare City Council’s building that housed the now defunct liquor firm to recover his outstanding salaries and benefits.

Mr Richard Chitambo, who was employed as a bar manager, won his labour case and was awarded damages to the tune of $21 000.

Harare City Council, which was a major shareholder in the company, unsuccessfully resisted execution on the basis that the building belonged to the local authority and not Rufaro Marketing, which was liquidated years back.

High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore last week declared that the property that is situated along Remembrance Drive in Mbare could safely be auctioned to recover the debt.

If the building is sold, the balance may be used to pay outstanding salaries and benefits to several other retrenchees, who are also in possession of writs of execution against the liquor firm. Harare lawyer Mr Joel Mambara of J Mambara and Partners confirmed that several other retrenched Rufaro Marketing bar workers were owed in excess of $300 000.

Ruled Justice Mushore; “The claimant’s claim to immovable property known as certain piece of land situated in the district of Salisbury, being Stand Number 414 Midlands Township 5 of Uplands of subdivision A of Waterfalls, measuring 4 916 square feet held under Deed of Transfer 7485/87 placed under attachment in execution of judgement HC479/14 is hereby dismissed.

“The above mentioned immovable property as set out in the notice of attachment of movable and immovable property dated 18th August 2014 issued by applicant is declared executable.”

Justice Mushore ordered City of Harare to pay costs of the suit.

Mr Chitambo, apart from being a bar manager, was also an executive member of Rufaro Marketing Workers’ Union responsible for legal affairs.

The liquor firm went for months without paying salaries to its workers and an arbitral award was issued compelling it to pay the workers a total of $346 687.

The company failed to pay the debt until 2012 when the workers successfully applied for registration of the award at the High Court.

The attachment of the property dragged until flyers were sent to all workers to gather at the company’s headquarters to push the Deputy Sheriff to execute the order.

When the company learnt of the flyers, it charged Mr Chitambo for acting inconsistent with his contract of employment.

He was also charged with fraud or theft for which he was convicted and dismissed. An arbitrator ordered his reinstatement after finding the dismissal to be unfair.

Failure to reinstate him, the company was ordered to pay him damages and benefits to the tune of $21 000.

Minister in contempt of court over land

Source: Minister in contempt of court over land | The Herald April 20, 2017

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has been taken to court for contempt together with the Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp) after they sub-divided a contested piece of land in Pomona into residential stands which they sold.

Augur Investments wants Minister Kasukuwere and Udcorp chief executive officer Mr Bright Mudzvova to be held in contempt of a High Court order after they were interdicted from sub-dividing and selling Stand 654 of Pomona Township, Harare, measuring 250 hectares.

In the court interdict, Augur Investments cited the respondents as Minister Kasukuwere (first), Harare City Council (second), Udcorp (third) and XGMA (fifth).

High Court judge Justice Clement Phiri last December ordered that Chinese company XGMA, the Local Government Ministry and Udcorp stop sub-dividing and selling the land which Augur lawfully received from Harare City Council as part of the payment for construction of Joshua Nkomo Expressway (Airport Road) and other various projects it carried out for the local authority under a written agreement.

Minister Kasukuwere was once quoted in the media claiming that the deals, which were concluded during his predecessor Dr Ignatius Chombo’s era, were irregularly done and would launch an investigation.

Lawyers representing Augur Investments, Chinawa Law Chambers, yesterday filed court papers to have Mr Mudzvova held to be in contempt of court for continuing to interfere with its possession of the property as it had continued to sell land to unsuspecting residents.

“Despite the clear, unequivocal and unambiguous terms of the order granted, the respondents exhibited blatant disregard and contempt of this Honourable Court in that they have continued to carry out the very same acts complained of and ordered against by this Honourable Court,” reads the papers filed by Augur Investments director, Mr Mike Van Blerk.

Mr Blerk said Udcorp attempted to sell land to Mr Mandla Ndebele where he was called on April 6 2017 to come to their offices to discuss sale transaction.

Mr Ndebele, according to court papers, paid $25 as an administration fee and was taken by Udcorp officials on April 10, 2017 to view the stand before he was advised by security at the site that the property belonged to Augur Investments.

“The respondents have demonstrated a brazen indifference to the authority of this Honourable Court by disregarding the order of this Court,” reads the court papers.

“I am advised that the crime of contempt of court is committed intentionally and in relation to administration of justice in the courts. The object of proceedings for contempt is to punish disobedience, so as to enforce an order of court and in particular, orders to do so or abstain from doing a particular act, like the present order.”

Augur Investments said failure by Udcorp to comply with the order would render it without remedy.

“It is, therefore, clear that the respondents, unless the Court descends heavily upon them, will continue to undermine the authority of this Honourable Court by disclaiming and disregarding its orders, thereby jeorpadising the integrity of this court in the eyes of the litigating public,” said Mr Blerk.

The Ministry is appealing the decision in the Supreme Court on the grounds that Augur did not complete Airport Road project.

In an opposing affidavit, the ministry’s permanent secretary Engineer George Mlilo, said Government had repossessed the land because Augur Investments did not finish one of the jobs, a road construction project eventually taken over by the Zimbawe National Roads Administration.

VP Mnangagwa raps MDC-T legislators

Source: VP Mnangagwa raps MDC-T legislators | The Herald April 20, 2017

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Vice-President Emerson Mnangagwa has rapped MDC-T legislators for continuously demanding that all Cabinet ministers attend Parliament despite there being deputy ministers and some ministers in the Chamber at all times.

In an interview last week, VP Mnangagwa said the public posturing by the opposition legislators was meant to please their handlers.

Question time in Parliament on Wednesdays has often been disrupted by MDC-T lawmakers, who launch protests over the number of ministers in the House.

But VP Mnangagwa said there was no justification for MDC-T MPs to raise those complaints or make such demands.

“Ministers are Honourable Members of Parliament and in my view are responsible persons,” he said. “Most ministers have deputies. I have no doubt that the deputies understand the policy of the ministry for which they are deputies. So, the question time is an issue of policy and not of statistics.

“Question time is about what is the policy, the direction, the vision (of a ministry). How would you have a deputy who does not know what his ministry is doing and where it intends to go? In many cases, the ministers would be engaged elsewhere, but their deputies would be there.

“But in most cases at least six or eight ministers would be in the Chamber and above all, I come. I cover (as Leader of Government Business) all ministries, it does not matter which one, in terms of policy; I would be able to answer.”

VP Mnangagwa said the tendency to blame Government ministers was in most cases unfair.

“It is the opposition (which does that) but that is their duty; I do not blame them, that is their duty to criticise,” he said. “If there are no ministers, they can make the noise and it passes, because their constituency must know that they are talking, so they must talk, but there have been no questions that have gone unanswered.”

On his part, VP Mnangagwa said he reminded ministers during Cabinet meetings every Tuesday of the need to attend Parliament the following day.

“Every Tuesday I remind my colleagues in Cabinet that the next day, Wednesday, there will be question time, so most minsters who are able to come will do so, but those who are committed elsewhere will make sure that their deputies are there,” he said.

“But you find that members of the opposition may not want deputy ministers to answer, they want the particular minister to answer. This is democracy, they are allowed to make noise.”

Mugabe fails to address cash shortages

Source: Mugabe fails to address cash shortages – DailyNews Live

Helen Kadirire      19 April 2017

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe yesterday skirted addressing the
shortages of cash and policy inconsistencies within his government when he
delivered a dour independence speech to spark fierce criticism from
opposition parties who say he is now acting like “a lost soul”.

Addressing thousands of long-suffering Zimbabweans at the giant National
Sports Stadium, Mugabe dwelt on improved electricity supplies and housing
delivery which he said had been met under the much-touted by failed
government-backed economic blueprint -ZimAsset.

“We all should be pleased that since January 2016, the country achieved a
15-month period without load-shedding. To further increase and stabilise
electricity generation, several other projects are being pursued in the
short to medium term.

“In pursuit of providing decent housing for all, government has fully
serviced 52 000 stands and also completed housing units thereby surpassing
the ZimAsset target of delivering 25 000 stands or completed housing
units,” Mugabe said.

This year’s independence celebrations were held under the theme: creating
the ease of doing business, but curiously, Mugabe did not address
corporate governance issues, corruption and policy inconsistencies
especially on the indigenisation law, all which are blamed for keeping
away international investors from Zimbabwe.

Mugabe also spoke as Zimbabwe is currently deep in the throes of a
ginormous economic crisis which has seen tens of thousands of desperate
ordinary citizens besieging banks on a daily basis seeking to withdraw
their money.

The shortages of cash have since forced the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
to set the maximum limit for cash-back facilities by retailers and
wholesalers at $20, as authorities desperately try to mitigate the
worsening crisis.

At the same time, economists have told the Daily News that poverty levels
in the country are skyrocketing, with average incomes now at their lowest
levels in more than 60 years – and with more than 76 percent of the
country’s families now having to make do with pitiful incomes that are
well below the poverty datum line of more than $500.

Mugabe’s uninspiring speech drew criticism from opposition parties who
said the nonagenarian was now out of touch with issues affecting the
country.

Former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said Mugabe had nothing more
to tell suffering masses as he should have retired long ago.

“This is typical of Mugabe. He is never really focused on pertinent issues
that affect the majority of the people of Zimbabwe. He knows that there is
a grinding cash shortage in the country but his Independence Day speech
was conveniently silent on such a topical issue.

“The old man is completely clueless, he is out of sorts. He is living in
yesterday’s world. Zimbabwe is in trouble as long as Mugabe remains in
charge as president. We need a brand new government that is
people-centred, resolute, focused and competent,’ said MDC spokesperson
Obert Gutu.

“We need to stop as a nation pretending that a 93-year-old is running this
nation. We have surrendered our independence to fear and oppression. He
(Mugabe) clearly does not understand that the nation is bigger than the
efficiency of his motorcade,” weighed in opposition People’s Democratic
Party (PDP), spokesperson, Jacob Mafume.

The Welshman Ncube-led MDC said Mugabe’s failure to address critical
issues was indicative of the rot his Zanu PF government had caused.

“This is adequate evidence to explain his lack of capacity to arrest the
Zanu PF-created crisis. The Zanu PF leader has lost control of his party
and the country. We have a person who is detached from reality and
surrounded by architects of his political demise.

“Robert Mugabe must step down. The evasion of critical issues points to
dismal failure and loss of control.

“The man is now an executive prisoner being used by his colleagues as a
political shield. This has endorsed our uncontrollable crisis created by
the party in turmoil,” said MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi.

Cyber Bill to be enacted before elections

Source: Cyber Bill to be enacted before elections – DailyNews Live

ASSISTANT EDITOR      19 April 2017

HARARE – Government will enact the Computers and Cyber Crime Bill, which
will empower it to snoop into people’s phones, before the country holds
the eagerly anticipated 2018 elections.

Information Communication Technology minister (ICT) Supa Mandiwanzira said
enactment of the Bill into law should not coincide with the crucial polls.

Mandiwanzira made these remarks while officially opening a Southern Africa
media stakeholders’ conference that was recently convened by the Media
Alliance of Zimbabwe (Maz) under the theme, “Promoting Internet freedom
and free expression in southern Africa”.

“Consultations around the Cyber Bills are at an advanced stage and the ICT
ministry will soon be tabling them before Cabinet,” said Mandiwanzira.

“We do not want this process to be viewed as an attempt to curtail
people’s freedoms during the elections period and as such we will seek to
conclude the process as soon as possible.”

Although the Bill, which critics say grants government access into
citizens’ lives, is viewed with suspicion by many, Mandiwanzira said
people are free to make their contributions before it is taken to Cabinet
and eventually Parliament where it will be passed into law.

“We have an open door policy at the ministry and continue to urge any
citizen with submissions on the Bill to bring them forward so that we can
address the concerns.

“At the end of the day we want laws that strike a balance between
promoting citizens freedoms while protecting them.”

The former deputy minister of Media and Information also revealed that
government is working with other countries in the Southern Africa
Development Community (Sadc) in promoting Internet access, with an 80
percent Internet penetration target by 2020.

“As Zimbabwe we are aiming to supersede the regional target and we are
aiming to reach 100 percent Internet penetration by 2020.  We also want to
be trendsetters in so far as implementing progressive cyber legislation in
line with Sadc model law.”

He said that the uptake and use of ICTs in Zimbabwe has greatly increased
in recent years and that government continues to invest in ICTs
infrastructure development and education.

“Zimbabwe currently has an active mobile penetration reach of 94,8 percent
and Internet penetration rate of 50 percent as of 31 December 2016.

“The government has developed information kiosks and community information
centres for the less privileged members of society to have access to
development information.”

He added that the ICT ministry was also committed to addressing the issue
on the cost of accessing the Internet as evidenced by government’s
intervention in scraping the hikes to mobile data tariffs so that citizens
are not priced off their right to speak and interact.

“The contribution of civil society in the ongoing consultations is greatly
appreciated as it complements the capacity building exercises and
awareness campaigns being carried out by Sadc and its member states,” he
said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Maz programmes manager Nigel Nyamutumbu
said there is need for southern Africa to collectively address common
challenges curtailing the enjoyment of media freedom in the region.

“Southern Africa is faced with common media challenges particularly as it
relates to the legal and policy framework, the safety and security of
journalists, Internet freedom and even media professionalism,” said
Nyamutumbu.

The conference was attended by various media stakeholders in the region
including editors, journalists, government officials, online activists,
media managers and civil society organisations among others.

‘Poor planning impairs agriculture’

Source: ‘Poor planning impairs agriculture’ – DailyNews Live

Bernard Chiketo      19 April 2017

MUTARE – Poor planning and lack of market linkages are responsible for the
huge post harvest loses local farmers routinely suffer, a senior
government official has said.

Agritex director, Bernard Mache told the Daily News on the sidelines of a
Multi-sectoral Community Based Approach Stunting (MCBAS) meeting that
farmers needed to secure markets and monitor each other’s work to avoid
flooding the market with the same produce.

“What we are saying to farmers is that before they grow any horticultural
crop that is perishable, they should monitor the market.

“The other problem is that farmers are producing one commodity all at the
same time flooding the market and suffering huge loses,” Mache said.

He said there is also need to strengthen value addition initiatives to
help curb loses.

“Value addition and food processing will help and in fact we are hoping
the private sector will also come in to help. It’s government policy that
the private sector has a role to play.

“If you check you will see that Arda (Agricultural and Rural Development
Authority) has a food processing company in Norton for value addition,”
Mache said.

He, however, acknowledged that it was currently a difficult initiative
unless the market is properly organised by both government and the private
sector.

Meanwhile, Mache said the country has to wean itself from heavy reliance
on donor aid if ever local communities are going to be self reliant.

“Once we involve the community it means the food and nutrition programmes
we are encouraging will be sustainable.

“The communities are not going to wait for donations. This is killing
them. They will be able to produce for themselves,” Mache said.

‘Only Grace can save Kasukuwere’

Source: ‘Only Grace can save Kasukuwere’ – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      19 April 2017

HARARE – Former Zanu PF Mashonaland West and Norton MP Temba Mliswa says
only powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe can save the drowning ruling party’s
national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

Mliswa, who was expelled from Zanu PF in 2014 and thus is familiar with
the bloodletting Zanu PF tribal and succession wars, said the influential
Grace could be the beleaguered Kasukuwere’s salvation.

This comes after Grace recently flexed her muscles in the build up to the
party’s last politburo meeting and jettisoned her perceived top allies in
the G40 faction – former women’s league treasurer Sarah Mahoka and former
deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo.

“I think it goes without saying that any home recognises the role of the
mother and it will be folly and naive for people to think that the
president makes decisions on his own. Whether you like it or not Sally
Mugabe (President Robert Mugabe’s late wife) was equally powerful.

“People also used to go and lobby for positions in Cabinet, in government
through her, but she was equally strategic that she would not expose
herself but she would still maintain that power. You have got to
understand that she used to facilitate meetings for the late (Maurice)
Nyagumbo, (Ian) Nkala, Didymus Mutasa to come and play tennis with the
president…,” Mliswa said.

This comes after six provinces have endorsed the calls for a vote of no
confidence to be passed against Kasukuwere, who is facing the boot
together with his brother Dickson Mafios and their presumed allies –
outspoken Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene and youth
league boss Kudzanai Chipanga – on allegations of attempting to topple
Mugabe.

With Mugabe now increasingly frail due to old age, many inside and outside
Zanu PF believe that Grace, who once boasted of being in charge, is
pulling the strings and has influence over party issues.

Speaking to the Daily News, Mliswa said Grace is the power behind the
throne especially when Mugabe is showing signs of old age and struggling
to keep up with his punishing workload.

However, Mliswa noted that the same tactic that was used to haunt him and
other former party bigwigs including ex-vice president Joice Mujuru,
Rugare Gumbo, Mutasa and Jabulani Sibanda out of Zanu PF, was also being
used against Kasukuwere.

Meanwhile, Energy Mutodi, a prominent supporter of Vice President Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who is facing disciplinary charges that were raised by those in
the G40 camp, to which Kasukuwere is an alleged kingpin, said the ruling
party’s political commissar is having a “taste of his own medicine”.

“Before the dust settled, it is now her (Grace) closest ally…Kasukuwere
and his brother Mafios who are now facing the chop on the deadly
allegation of wanting to overthrow Mugabe, that they have been using to
decapitate their political foes,” Mutodi said, adding that the ouster
might work good for Mugabe and bring back the support of war veterans, who
do not see eye-to-eye with Kasukuwere.

‘Voters’ roll must be accessed free of charge’

Source: ‘Voters’ roll must be accessed free of charge’ – DailyNews Live

Staff Writer      19 April 2017

HARARE – Limiting access to the voters’ roll by attaching exorbitant costs
to it suggests an attempt to conceal it from stakeholders, an election
watchdog has said.

Zimbabwe Election Commission (Zec) charges $100 000 to political parties
who want to have access to a copy of the voters’ roll.

Election Resource Centre, ERC director Tawanda Chimhi said: “If ZEC is
sincere about making future elections transparent and being accountable to
stakeholders, consideration should be given to making voters’ roll
accessible free of charge to stakeholders. It’s a cost that is necessary
if the credibility of our elections is at stake.

“Making the cost prohibitive limits access to the roll and ultimately
mitigates against the capacity of election stakeholders to hold election
authorities accountable. The principle must be able to make it as
accessible as is possible.”

Meanwhile, Chimhini said the electoral regulations as drafted and shared
by Zec for feedback by stakeholders is a welcome development coming as it
does on the backdrop of limited stakeholder engagement on the rules and
procedures laid down for elections in the past.

“That being said the draft regulations generally indicate a departure from
the past in some cases while glaring gaps have been noted in others.

“The ERC contends that regulations for voter registration must, among
other things, provide clarity on how voter registration will be
administered, limit discretionary powers to registration officials which
could be subject to bias, and make voter registration as accessible as
possible to all Zimbabweans eligible to vote.

“As we consider the drafted regulations and engage Zec on improving the
proposals, we note that regulations alone may not be adequate in enhancing
the conduct of our elections in the future.”

The ERC director said on one hand, the regulations must be informed by an
Electoral Act that fully complies with the Constitution while on the hand
they should be supported by comprehensive procedures which clearly define
the operational issues.

“Additionally, the regulations must be implemented by a transparently
recruited voter registration personnel who must be adequately trained and
have the capacity to discharge their duties professionally. Furthermore,
the regulations must be complemented by an electoral environment that is
conducive for the free participation of Zimbabweans in the voter
registration process.

“Contrary to assertions that Zec does not hold a brief on enforcing a free
environment for electoral processes, the Constitution suggests otherwise.”

Goats for school fees draws ‘laughter’

Source: Goats for school fees draws ‘laughter’ – DailyNews Live

Ndakaziva Majaka      19 April 2017

HARARE – Government’s plan to introduce a law which allows parents to pay
school fees with livestock and labour has become a butt of bad jokes on
social media which has since gone viral as long suffering citizens make
their views known in ways that provide comical relief.

The Movable Property Security Interests Bill which floats the idea of
using movable assets like goats, cattle, sheep and cars as collateral for
bank loans – is seen as taking the country backwards.

Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora told the State
media last week that some schools had already entered into arrangements
with parents who were failing to pay fees to provide either labour or
livestock.

“Our schools have to be flexible and ensure those who do not have money to
pay fees can work.

“For example, if there is a builder in the community, he/she must be given
that opportunity to work as a form of payment of tuition fees.

“On the issue of livestock, the community has to arrange a market where
everyone participates; from the school authorities, local leadership and
parents themselves to avoid parents being duped,” said Dokora.

But the move has almost broken the Internet with unimpressed Zimbabweans
using memes and butts of bad jokes to express their anger and disbelief.

Outspoken activist lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere took to micro-blogging site,
Twitter to share her thoughts.

“Cows and goats to secure bank loans. Cows and goats to pay school fees.
Very soon we shall need a Reserve Kraal of Zimbabwe,” tweeted Mahere.

Another user, Prophet Cynic, tweeted a meme of a prominent charismatic
preacher with the caption, “When your followers bring goats to pay as
tithes and offerings…”

Social influencer and businesswoman, Nomathemba Primrose Ndebele, also
took to her Facebook wall in jest and wrote, “How are you paying? Swipe,
Ecocash, Cash or Goat?”

Renowned writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga also tweeted, “If we had
been told in 1970 `We are fighting to introduce cattle and goats as
currency. Please help & die for this” what would we have said?”

A joke circulating on WhatsApp has a picture of a goat and the words:
“BREAKING NEWS: Zimbabwe introduces a new currency.”

Zimbabwe is in the throes of a huge economic crisis which has seen
government failing to pay its civil servants on time on the back of
dwindling revenue stemming from company closures and job losses.

Mugabe – the only leader that Zimbabweans have ever known since the
country got its independence from Britain in 1980 – stands accused of
ruining the once-vibrant economy through bad policies.

Zimbabwe marks 37 years of independence amid economic crisis

Source: Zimbabwe marks 37 years of independence amid economic crisis – The Washington Post April, 18, 2017

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has marked the country’s 37th anniversary of independence with a call for tranquility even as the economy has collapsed to the point where livestock is being accepted in place of cash.The 93-year-old Mugabe broke his tradition of walking the 100 meters to the podium and instead was driven in his official car before soldiers helped him into place.

Mugabe has been in power since the end of British colonial rule.

This once-prosperous country now faces a cash crisis and high unemployment. A bill presented to parliament last week would have banks accept livestock as collateral for loans. And an education official has said livestock can be accepted as school fees.

World leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin sent congratulatory messages to mark the independence anniversary.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Chinese firm eyes HCC roads

Source: Chinese firm eyes HCC roads – DailyNews Live

Helen Kadirire      19 April 2017

HARARE – Harare’s potholed roads could be rehabilitated if Harare City
Council (HCC) signs an agreement with a Chinese firm Sinohydro Corporation
Limited.

HCC’s director of works Phillip Pfukwa told the environmental management
committee that Sinohydro had already submitted their expression of
interest in the rehabilitation of the city’s roads as well as treatment of
water at Lake Chivero.

This comes as roads in the capital city were declared a national disaster
due to their sorry state exacerbated by heavy rains.

“Sinohydro Corporation Limited had approached Harare City Council with a
proposal for the rehabilitation and dualisation of Harare roads. Sinohydro
is one of the largest State-owned companies in Beijing, China which has
undertaken major construction works internationally including Zimbabwe,”
he said.

Pfukwa added that once a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between
Sinohydro and the town’s acting town clerk Josephine Ncube, feasibility
studies would be conducted as to whether the project can be undertaken and
also at what cost.

Pfukwa also disclosed that Sinohydro had also approached council with a
proposal to also conduct a feasibility study on environmental management
of Lake Chivero.

According to Pfukwa, the project would also include a water treatment
exercise of the highly contaminated lake.

“They (Sinohydro) also came in with a proposal for the Lake Chivero Water
Environmental Management and Treatment project,” he said.

This year Zinara allocated $1,2 million to HCC for road maintenance,
however, council argued that the money was not adequate for the repair of
the city’s 7 000 kilometres stretch of roads.

In environmental management committee minutes, councillors argued that
Harare roads had not had any meaningful routine maintenance in the last 15
years and the recent heavy rains had left the roads in a bad state.

“Harare City Council expected no less than $15 million for the 2017
allocation, considering the state of the roads, this was the minimum
council would expect from Zinara,” the minutes read.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said the city could not ascertain how
much was owed as Zinara dictates their disbursements to the local
authority.

“We do not have any say on how much we receive because Zinara only tells
us what they will give. However the city needs $800 million to fix the
road network,” Chideme said.

Citizens wail over Zim’s stolen dream

Source: Citizens wail over Zim’s stolen dream – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      19 April 2017

HARARE – Zimbabweans from all walks of life yesterday bemoaned the
wretched life that they continue to endure under President Robert Mugabe
and his warring Zanu PF’s misrule of the past 37 years of the country’s
independence from Britain.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s economy continues to die – as manifested by
rising poverty levels and joblessness, as well as the worsening cash
crisis which has heightened fears that the country could soon hit the
disastrous lows of 2008.

Many of the people who spoke to the Daily News said the prevailing
economic situation in the country was making it difficult for them to
appreciate the country’s independence.

“The political independence we got has to a large extent been derailed
because it is only a few people who are benefitting from it in terms of
employment. Everything went wrong after independence.

“After 1980, the wealth of the country was not shared equitably, with
those in power sharing everything with their cronies.

“There is general economic paralysis while service delivery is very poor.
That is the reason why people are not happy. Things are just not working
at all,” former Cabinet minister and liberation struggle stalwart, Rugare
Gumbo, said.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC also accused Mugabe and Zanu PF
of “completely ruining” a once prosperous economy through corruption and
their destructive policies.

“Although we achieved political independence, we have dismally failed to
build a united nation. On the economic front, it has been a disastrous 37
years because we have seen Zimbabwe degenerating from being the bread
basket of southern Africa into a basket case, where more than 75 percent
of the population is living in abject poverty.

“We have also allowed corruption to take root in all the facets of our
lives. Going forward, we should strive to unite the people by seeking to
build strong institutions as opposed to building strong personalities,”
MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu told the Daily News.

Zimbabwe is currently deep in the throes of a ginormous economic crisis
which has seen tens of thousands of desperate ordinary citizens besieging
banks on a daily basis seeking to withdraw their money.

The shortages of cash have since forced the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
to set the maximum limit for cash-back facilities by retailers and
wholesalers at $20, as authorities desperately try to mitigate the
worsening crisis.

At the same time, economists have told the Daily News that poverty levels
in the country are skyrocketing, with average incomes now at their lowest
levels in more than 60 years – and with more than 76 percent of the
country’s families now having to make do with pitiful incomes that are
well below the poverty datum line of more than $500.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) political
commissar, Francis Nhando, said yesterday that “the tragedy of Zimbabwe”
was that when Mugabe was elected the country’s leader in 1980, he had
allegedly continued to use Rhodesian policies.

“People misinterpreted what (the late Rhodesian prime minister Ian) Smith
meant when he said not in a 1 000 years.

“What he actually meant is that the interests of black people would not be
achieved in a thousand years and that the interests of white people would
continue to reign.

“As things stand, we have a perpetuation of the … Smith rule. This is
why you will never see white people in bank queues or in kombis (commuter
omnibuses), or in high density suburbs … which all means that we are
still living in the Smith era,” Nhando said.

Mugabe – the only leader that Zimbabweans have ever known since the
country got its independence from Britain in 1980 – stands accused of
ruining the once-vibrant economy through bad policies.

Kasukuwere is in deep trouble

Source: Kasukuwere is in deep trouble – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      19 April 2017

HARARE – Hyenas continue to prowl at the door of embattled Zanu PF
national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, with his party enemies
vowing yesterday that it is “just a matter of time” before he faces the
firing squad in the warring former liberation movement.

This comes as it emerged yesterday that Manicaland is now also planning to
pass a vote of no confidence on the under-fire Local Government minister,
together with his presumed allies – outspoken Provincial Affairs minister
Mandiitawepi Chimene and youth league boss Kudzanai Chipanga.

Mashonaland Central regional minister, Martin Dinha – who two weeks ago
claimed that he had received death threats in the aftermath of
demonstrations against Kasukuwere and his brother Dickson Mafios – told
the Daily News yesterday that the combative minister was now facing
“superior forces” in the wake of the slew of damaging allegations that he
is facing, including claims of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe
from power.

Analysts also said it was clear that what had started as a seemingly
hopeless campaign against Kasukuwere had snowballed into “a huge crisis”
for him – as six party provinces, including Mugabe’s home region of
Mashonaland West, had now endorsed the push to have him jettisoned from
his powerful party post.

This is despite Kasukuwere appearing to have been given a stay of
execution by Mugabe over the past few days, including at the recent
politburo meeting in Harare, following the wily nonagenarian’s warning to
his followers not to use demonstrations to air party grievances.

But Dinha, who is said to be close to the first family, made it clear
yesterday that Kasukuwere and Mafios, were in deep trouble.

“This is not a small matter because zvinevanhu vakuru izvi (superior
forces) who are involved. He (Kasukuwere) should do what I have said
before.

“He should just resign and maybe then manage to live to fight another day.
After all, the president is a very forgiving man,” he told the Daily News.

Last week, Dinha had also piled further pressure on Kasukuwere, when he
asked him to resign then.

“I advise the comrades (Kasukuwere and Mafios – who is acting party
chairperson in Mash Central), in the interests of the party, to
voluntarily step aside.

“… (Eunice) Sandi Moyo and … Sarah Mahoka were brave enough to see
reality and made wise choices to resign. It is not personal or subjective.

“The necessary organs of the party must act to address the grievances
raised by the people of Mashonaland Central and Zimbabwe at large. I think
the writing is on the wall for my fellow comrades and friends (Kasukuwere
and Mafios),” Dinha said then.

“Put figuratively, a salesman or woman must be able to sell the product
for his company. When he or she can no longer do so, or clients have lost
faith in the sales team, the shareholders or management must find another
sales team to increase sales and profits, to win market share.

“Zanu PF must act fairly but decisively on this matter,” Dinha said
further.

Meanwhile, Manicaland province said yesterday it was ready to follow the
script travelled by other provinces, by passing its own vote of no
confidence on Kasukuwere, as well as against Chimene and Chipanga.

The province’s party deputy chairperson, Joseph Mujati, confirmed to the
Daily News that they would soon pass the dreaded vote of no confidence
against Kasukuwere – a kiss of death in the troubled former liberation
movement.

“I haven’t seen the petition … but we will pass it,” Mujati said.

This comes as deadly intra-party violence erupted in Harare on Saturday,
when supporters from opposing camps turned on each other and against
police over Kasukuwere.

This occurred despite Mugabe ordering all Zanu PF structures to stop the
current push to give Kasukuwere the bullet from the party.

Insiders said this was ostensibly meant to give party bigwigs the space to
determine the fate of the under-fire national political commissar.

Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party
enemies are “systematically working for his demise” – in the same manner
former Vice President Joice Mujuru was chased out of the warring former
liberation movement in 2014.

This is why these foes attempted to ratchet up the pressure on him by
organising a press conference in Harare at the weekend at the party’s
provincial offices, to announce their support for his ouster – resulting
in the deadly violence which was witnessed after they were stopped from
doing so by the Mount Darwin South legislator’s party sympathisers.

The Daily News was also told yesterday how suspected intelligence
operatives had allegedly led irate Zanu PF members in Mugabe’s home
province of Mash West into passing a vote of no confidence against
Kasukuwere.

“They are forcing people to sign the petition in provinces like
Mashonaland West where they used security agents to coerce people to sign
the petition against Kasukuwere.

“In Manicaland, they are also ambushing people to sign the same petition,”
a source sympathetic to Kasukuwere said – adding that many signatures had
also allegedly been forged in Harare.

Zanu PF Harare provincial youth chairperson Edson Takataka confirmed the
reports saying, “I heard those reports. We also know that people are being
forced to sign the petitions”.

Mafios has also alleged that the petitions were being distributed by
“questionable characters who have no positions in the party”.

But analysts have said that given Mugabe’s unchallenged position in Zanu
PF, it was “unfathomable” that the nonagenarian did not have a hand in
Kasukuwere’s problems, even as he also publicly appeared to back his
minister.

“It’s difficult to run away from the conclusion that Mugabe is the chief
architect of the goings-on in Zanu PF. After all, the same tactics that
were used on Mujuru are now again being deployed against Kasukuwere.

“He (Mugabe) has a tendency to deceive his lieutenants, pamper them with
praises and even promise to bail them out when in fact he would be
plotting their downfall,” political analyst Gladys Hlatywayo told the
Daily News.

Observers have also previously said Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu PF’s
thorny succession riddle is fuelling the ruling party’s deadly infighting,
which is worsening by the day.

The 93-year-old has studiously refused to name a successor, insisting that
the party’s congress has that mandate: to choose a person of their own
choice.

Holiday accidents death toll rises to 23

Source: Holiday accidents death toll rises to 23 | The Herald April 19, 2017

Crime Reporter —
TWENTY-THREE people were killed, while 109 others were injured in 217 road traffic accidents that were recorded countrywide during the Easter and Independence Day holidays, as police express concern over an increase in the number of deaths compared to last year.

According to police statistics, between April 14 and 17, of the 217 road accidents recorded, 14 of them were fatal.

In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said police impounded 199 unroadworthy vehicles and arrested 27 544 motorists for violating various traffic regulations.

He said during the same period last year, 16 people were killed while 86 others were injured in 232 road traffic accidents recorded countrywide.

Of the 232 accidents, 15 of them were fatal while 410 vehicles were impounded and police arrested 27 630 motorists.

“The major causes of accidents (this year) were speeding, inattention, misjudgement, overtaking errors and failure to give way.

“While the total number of accidents recorded was reduced by six percent as compared to 2016, it is disheartening to note that motorists are not heeding our calls to exercise caution on the roads and this is contributing to the death toll which is being recorded.

“Let us all play our part in taming the road carnage. Police will continue to take action on errant drivers who fail to abide by road rules and regulations,” he said.

Last week, chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, appealed to motorists to value human lives and drive safely during the holiday.

Cambria upbeat about investment in Zim

Source: Cambria upbeat about investment in Zim | The Herald April 19, 2017

Business Reporter —
AIM-listed Cambria Africa has said Zimbabwe provides the best regional investment opportunities in the short to medium term, group chief executive officer Samir Shasha has said.

This comes after the Zimbabwe focused investment firm, quoted on London’s Alternative Investment Market, posted a 15-fold upturn in earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation in the interim to February 2017.

“The board will continue its search for appropriate value-creating acquisition opportunities primarily through the use of equity subscriptions.

“We believe Zimbabwe provides the best regional opportunity for successful investment and growth in the short- to medium-term,” Mr Shasha said recently.

Cambria’s operations are comprised of Payserv Africa, provider of electronic data intelligence switching services, “pay slip” processing and payroll based micro-finance loan processing and Millchem; a value-added chemicals distributor.

Cambria’s long term objective is focused on capital appreciation through investment in Zimbabwe, countries surrounding Zimbabwe, as well as the remainder of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a bias towards Southern and Eastern Africa.

Cambria says it does not have a particular sectoral focus, but its key objective is building a portfolio of companies well-positioned to benefit from Zimbabwe’s economic growth, formalisation and modernisation of the domestic economy.

Moreover, Cambria says it seeks investments that have current sector leadership in Zimbabwe or, in its view; will be able to achieve this. Cambria’s latest interim financial results reflect an upturn in its fortunes despite the difficult conditions.

The economy is set to turn around from the slowdown mode to modest growth led by key sectors of mining and agriculture, benefiting from normal to above normal rainfall. It is forecast to grow by 1,7 percent in 2017 from 0,6 percent in 2016. Cambria’s largest subsidiary by revenue and profit, Payserv Africa, more than doubled profit after tax to $807 000, reflecting a 126 percent upturn in the unit’s profit on prior year. Payserv Africa’s Consolidated EBITDA increased 55 percent to $1,2 million from $775 000.

Millchem pared its EBITDA loss by 10 percent to $138 000 from $152 000 in the prior year. Excluding legal expenses of $402 000, Cambria increased its consolidated profit by $502 000 to $359 000 from a loss of $143 000. Including legal expenses, Cambria nearly achieved break even, erasing its consolidated loss by 93 percent to $43 000.

Economy on growth path: President

Source: Economy on growth path: President | The Herald April 19, 2017

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter —
Government has registered remarkable development in various sectors of the economy and is implementing several policies to consolidate the gains of independence, President Mugabe said yesterday.

The policy interventions cut across all sectors are aimed at stimulating the economy, which is already on a robust recovery path buoyed by a successful agricultural season.

In his speech addressing a capacity crowd to mark the country’s 37th Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday, President Mugabe outlined several measures that Government was undertaking to revive the economy.

He said the liberation struggle was not in vain as it brought about independence.

“But the assignment is not yet complete. It’s still incumbent upon us all to translate into true meaning that freedom, sovereignty and independence,” said President Mugabe.

“As Government, we should continue to pursue development programmes and socio-economic policies that consolidate our true Independence. Thus, Government has since Independence, put in place a number of programmes that are targeted at the transformation, sustenance and revitalisation of our country’s economy. Through the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset), our country’s economic blueprint since 2013, we aspire to achieve self-determination and economic growth.

“The agricultural intervention programme we embarked upon in 2016 is another case in point. It is a broad-based programme that seeks to transform our economy. It is two-tiered: Command Agriculture, which targets farmers who have irrigation facilities and the Presidential Input Support Programme, which subsidises inputs for our small-scale and peasant farmers, so they could speedily recover from the 2015-2016 drought which had crippled them.

“So the agriculture sector is now going to grow by the projected figure of 12 percent.”

President Mugabe, however, bemoaned the destruction that was caused by the heavy rains in some parts of the country where some lost their lives.

With regards to manufacturing and mining, the President said Government was working on a number of measures to ensure that those sectors contributed significantly to the national economy.

“The mining sector remains crucial to the Zimbabwe economy, with the sector contributing more than 50 percent of exports and 16 percent to the country’s 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” said President Mugabe.

“There is a lot of work which is going on in that sector, not least the reorganisation whose completion we impatiently await. Going forward, much is expected from this important sector. It must play its part towards this overall development vision we have.

“I am happy our small-scale producers are working hard, and selling their output lawfully, through designated national channels.

“With respect to the manufacturing sector, Government continues to implement specific policy measures such as the management of imports, investment approvals, fiscal incentives and the Buy Zimbabwe Campaign Initiative, with a view to spur industrial development, and refocus the productive sectors of the economy towards value addition and export orientation. These efforts have resulted in an increase in the manufacturing sector capacity utilisation from 34, 3 percent recorded in 2015 to 47, 4 per cent in 2016.”

Further, President Mugabe said tourism and small and medium enterprises were also playing a key role in the revival of the economy.

In tourism, President Mugabe said, Government’s new thrust was to have direct community participation managing and development of diverse products and services they hosted and produce in their localities.

Said the President: “We all should be pleased that since January 2016, the country achieved a 15-month period without load shedding. Power supplies, which as we all know, have a strong bearing on the performance of industry, have recently become stable due to a number of factors. These include the improved generation from local power plants and imports from ESKOM of South Africa and Hydro Cahora Basa (HCB) of Mozambique.

“To further increase and stabilise electricity generation, several other projects are being pursued in the short to medium term. Among them are the Kariba South Expansion Project, now at 78 percent complete, and is set to have units commissioned in December 2017.

“In the health sector, Government has made great strides in improving the health of the nation. Recently, the Ministry (Health and Child Care) procured new medical equipment which should see our hospitals offering better services that are much closer to the people.

“The special equipment ranges from dialysis machines, Computerised Tomography (CT) scan machines and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines for both Central and Provincial Hospitals.

“The Mpilo Radiotherapy Centre for cancer will soon be operational and this will help relieve the pressure on Parirenyatwa Hospital.”

President Mugabe said the dualisation of Beitbridge-Harare highway, which links several countries in the Sadc region was also set to start soon and would create numerous employment opportunities for locals.

In the education sector, the President said Government was implementing the new curriculum with a skills and competence-driven menu from which learners could identify their areas of strength.

As the country marked 37 years of self rule, President Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to remain united as the enemy was on the prowl looking for an opportunity to cause instability.

The celebrations were also attended by the country’s two Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabinet Ministers, diplomats, service chiefs and scores of people from different walks of life.

This year’s Uhuru was themed; “Zimbabwe @37: Embracing Ease of Doing Business for Socio-Economic Development.

Govt pumps $200m into ailing parastatals

Source: Govt pumps $200m into ailing parastatals – DailyNews Live

BUSINESS EDITOR      18 April 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government has pumped nearly $200
million into the country’s struggling parastatals.

This comes as calls have been getting louder for the cash-strapped country
to restructure its loss-making parastatals to make them attractive for
foreign investment and recapitalisation.

Market experts said the opportunity cost of missing revenue from
government enterprises was being felt across the country following the
neglect of essential capital projects.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, however, believes public institutions
are essential vehicles through which government influences economic
activities.

“However, low capitalisation of such institutions has been negatively
affecting the operations of some of these critical institutions. In view
of this, government has extended a total of $196,878 million towards
recapitalisation of public institutions,” he said.

Zimbabwe has 78 parastatals, which at full capacity can contribute 40
percent towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the
majority of them are bleeding the Treasury by drawing salaries and
recapitalisation funds.

But despite sustained pressure from various stakeholders to privatise or
dispose of the loss-making parastatals government has over the years
continued to protect water and electricity provision arguing that they are
strategic sectors.

Critics say most of Zimbabwe’s parastatals have been ruined by poorly
qualified managers, many aligned to Zanu PF, who were put in charge of the
government-controlled firms because of their political connections rather
than technical expertise.

Since the early 1990’s, parastatals have continued to be dogged by
challenges that include undercapitalisation, obsolete infrastructure, low
capacity utilisation, lack of working capital caused by low debt
collection, outstanding long-term loans, non-compliance, lack of good
corporate governance and the existence of substantial inter-parastatal
debts.

Recent reports by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri indicate that State-owned
enterprises and government departments operate in the red, continuously
bleeding the fiscus and in most instances failing to adequately provide
the service for which they were set up for.

Government once came up with strategies to restructure and dispose
shareholding in some State-owned enterprises, but has failed to implement
these measures over the years.

Once, several entities were earmarked for restructuring or privatisation
and these included the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Zesa Holdings, Air
Zimbabwe, Agriculture Development Bank of Zimbabwe, the Grain Marketing
Board, Zimbabwe Grain Bag, NetOne and TelOne.

African Development Bank (AfDB) director general, Tonia Kandiero, said
there was need for parastatals reform before foreign investors can inject
their hard-earned cash.

Kandiero added that no profound change can take place in the absence of
effective institutions with good corporate structure, accountability,
culture and mechanisms to track performance.

“State-owned enterprises are key to delivering services and enabling
citizens and private capital to realise their potentials,” she said.

Wily Mugabe fools factions

Source: Wily Mugabe fools factions – DailyNews Live

MUGOVE TAFIRENYIKA      18 April 2017

HARARE – Brawling Zanu PF factions are said to be “thoroughly confused” by
President Robert Mugabe’s directive that all Mashonaland Central
structures stop holding demonstrations and divisive  counter meetings
against each other.

Insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said Mugabe’s directive –
ostensibly meant to give party bigwigs the space to determine the fate of
under-fire national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere – had left many
people unsure about how the cunning Zanu PF leader wanted to proceed on
the matter.

Kasukuwere and his brother Dickson Mafios – who is Zanu PF’s acting
chairperson for Mashonaland Central – stand accused of plotting to oust
Mugabe from power and fanning the warring ruling party’s deadly
factionalism, among a litany of other allegations.

“Many people are now thoroughly confused about what is really going on in
the party on this (Kasukuwere) matter, as Gushungo (Mugabe) has been
indicating left and right at the same time.

“The safest thing for everyone to do right now is to wait and see where he
(Mugabe) is really going with this thing,” one bigwig lamented to the
Daily News.

This comes as the Zanu PF youth league in Harare says it is fully behind
Kasukuwere – adding that as far as youths in the capital are concerned,
the Local Government minister has not done anything wrong to warrant his
dismissal from his party post.

Until Mugabe’s recent intervention, Kasukuwere’s Zanu PF career had hung
in the balance as his party enemies bayed for his blood and systematically
worked for his demise – in the same manner former Vice President Joice
Mujuru was chased out of the troubled former liberation movement in 2014.

This had resulted in several anti-Kasukuwere demonstrations being mounted
in provinces such as Mashonaland Central, Masvingo and Midlands.

And evidently buoyed by the events of the past few weeks, Kasukuwere’s
Zanu PF enemies attempted to ratchet up the pressure on him by organising
a press conference in Harare at the weekend at the party’s provincial
offices, to announce their support for his ouster.

This resulted in deadly violence in the capital after they were stopped
from doing so by the Mount Darwin South legislator’s party sympathisers,
who mainly comprised party youths.

Speaking to the Daily News after the intra-party violence had been broken
by police, Harare provincial youth chairperson, Edson Takataka, declared
his executive’s support for Kasukuwere, describing him as “an extremely
capable leader”.

“He is our PC (political commissar) who was appointed by our beloved
president. So, we have great respect for him and they (his enemies) should
leave him in peace.

“He has done a lot of good work which explains why party programmes in the
province are running smoothly and for that we love him and have a duty to
protect him from some rowdy elements hired from outside the party by
elements that have a sinister agenda to destabilise us,” Takataka said.

He also accused former party officials who are now allegedly aligned to
the party faction rallying behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s
mooted presidential aspirations – among them Godfrey Gomwe – of
masterminding the weekend fracas.

“Gomwe is not a member of Zanu PF and we are puzzled as to what he is up
to, because he hired individuals who are also not members of the party to
cause the chaos at our offices.

“We are at a loss as to what they wanted to achieve by coming to the
provincial office when Kasukuwere is a national executive member. What
business does the province have to do with that?

“As Harare, we have no issue with the PC. If anything, he is an extremely
capable leader and the results are there for all to see if one considers
how we moblise for party and national functions.

“Just wait and see on Tuesday (tomorrow) how we have moblised for
Independence Day celebrations.

“We are on high alert as youths for any attempt to cause trouble in the
province. But we don’t want violence and so we will work with the police
to ensure attempts similar to those they made at the weekend are not
repeated,” he added.

This also comes after Mugabe directed Zanu PF’s Mashonaland Central
structures at the weekend to stop holding the divisive meetings.

Mafios welcomed Mugabe’s directive yesterday, adding that it was also
wrong for his and Kasukuwere’s party foes to have announced a new,
parallel leadership in Mashonaland Central when the duo’s case had not yet
been mediated and concluded.

“The president’s intervention is healthy for the party because this had
created chaos not only here but also countrywide where overzealous people
were rushing things before their petitions have been dealt with by the
politburo.

“And to have gone a step further and announce a new provincial leadership
as if to suggest that they have already won was very wrong.

“The party has rules which must be respected and that is what the
president as the only centre of power has now rightly directed,” Mafios
said.

‘Disband Zec for failing to run by-elections smoothly’

Source: ‘Disband Zec for failing to run by-elections smoothly’ – DailyNews Live

BERNARD CHIKETO      18 April 2017

HARARE – National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) has demanded that
President Robert Mugabe disbands the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)
after it failed to censure his ruling Zanu PF over electoral violations in
recent by-elections.

The lobby group’s head of legal affairs, Douglas Mwonzora, told the Daily
News recently that Zec failed the basic test of being an independent
electoral management body in its administration of recent by-elections and
ought to be disbanded.

Mwonzora said they would also back the legal process with mass protests
and a diplomatic offensive to have the United Nations run the elections if
Mugabe does not give in to their demands.

“We dispatched a letter to Mugabe on Thursday asking him to dissolve Zec,
pointing out those things that Zec have done wrong. For example, the
by-elections that it has handled were characterised by violence, voter
fraud, intimidation, vote-buying, bribery, food being abused for political
gain and in some instances stands were offered.

“Zec should have censured Zanu PF for doing that but instead Zec just kept
quite. So, it has failed in the basic test as an independent electoral
management body and we of course know what Mugabe’s answer is. He is going
to deny, he is going to refuse, he is going to be stubborn, but we are
then going to escalate it at the political and diplomatic scale,” Mwonzora
said.

He said the parties were ready to trigger their three fall back options –
a legal suit, political challenge and a diplomatic offensive.

“There are three potent things that we can do. The first is the legal
route, if a constitutional body begins to act unconstitutionally, then it
ceases to have legitimacy and it must disband. So, we can kick-start the
legal process for the dissolution of Zec.

“Number two, we will go to the streets, the political solution. We are
going to flood the streets of Harare, Bulawayo, and Mutare demanding that
Zec must disband. Then number three, we are going to the diplomatic front.
We are going to ask Sadc, AU (African Union) and United Nations to run the
elections for Zimbabwe,” Mwonzora said.

The move by Nera – a grouping of 18-plus opposition political parties –
comes barely a week after 93-year-old Mugabe defended Zec saying it was
doing its work properly.

“Unable to face our mighty party, they have now turned their guns on the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission; they are fighting a commission that has no
fault,” Mugabe said while addressing Zanu PF’s central committee meeting a
fortnight ago.

“Itself a constitutional body mandated to run elections in our country,
afflicted by madness as it were, which knows no bounds they even seek to
interfere with the mandate of government tendering process, hoping for
some optimistic fissures and little chances that might give them a little
respectability.”

Mwonzora said they have set up subcommittees headed by political party
leaders.

On Thursday, we sat as political parties who are fighting for electoral
reforms. We agreed that the political parties will fight on three fronts –
the legal front, the political front as well as the diplomatic front and
we therefore created sub committees of the political parties and put the
various political party leaders to head those three.

“The diplomatic subcommittee will be led by Morgan Tsvangirai, political
subcommittee will be led by Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru and the legal
subcommittee will be headed by Tendai Biti. This is a very, very good
development indeed,” Mwonzora said.

He however, said on a positive note, Zec had written to them inviting
political parties to send their representatives to witness a validation
test of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.

“We also received a letter from Zec on Thursday calling upon the political
parties to send their representatives for accreditation to go and do the
validation test for the BVR kits.

“The three suppliers will be on parade. We are going to send our technical
experts to look at those machines.

“We are very excited that the people who were finally chosen are people
who were chosen by the United Nations and we are very, very excited,” he
said.

Zanu PF violence cause for concern

Source: Zanu PF violence cause for concern – DailyNews Live

18 April 2017

HARARE – Despite President Robert Mugabe’s calls for calm in Zanu PF in
response to the several demonstrations held countrywide against embattled
party national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, deadly violence
erupted in Harare on Saturday as supporters from opposing camps turned on
each other and against police.

As opposed to the past, this time around, it was intra-party violence that
rocked the capital.

It only shows that violence is an integral part of Zanu PF’s DNA.

Whenever there is a person or group with different views on anything,
violence has always been the ruling party’s way of getting issues solved.

All this is happening in a country deep in the throes of trying economic
times requiring urgent interventions, ruling party heavyweights are busy
planning demonstrations, counter-demonstrations as well as violent
confrontations.

Instead of drawing up solutions for Zimbabwe’s current challenges, stones,
bricks and other harmful ammunition are being thrown at others to stifle
their views. Although several intra-party skirmishes have been reported in
the past but in the majority of the cases of political violence, we have
known Zanu PF to target supporters of other political groups.

In 2008, especially in the run-up to the June 27 presidential run-off MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the polls after over 200 of his
supporters had been killed in politically-motivated violence around the
country.

Hundreds of others were either maimed or left homeless in
well-choreographed campaigns by suspected State agents.

It appears Zanu PF thrives on instilling fear in opponents, a trait which
smacks heavily of intolerance.

Only last year, retired brigadier general Agrippa Mutambara, who recently
dumped the Zimbabwe People First, was among party members who were
savagely attacked by axe-wielding Zanu PF youths at Dunaventy Farm in
Guruve.

Again last year, in the run-up to the Norton constituency by-election,
ruling party members ran amok, breaking a rally meant to be addressed by
eventual winner of the poll Temba Mliswa. Perhaps it would be least
surprising to those who have always known Zanu PF for what it is – a party
that thrives on fomenting violence, chaos and disorder like what happened
with land reform in the year 2000.

As Zimbabwe hurtles towards the eagerly-anticipated 2018 harmonised polls,
there are fears that Zanu PF may want to push its violence a gear up as a
way of suffocating opposing views.

The party’s leadership must be implored to ensure their members do not
play the violence card in the run-up to the crucial elections.

The police must also do their job and arrest all perpetrators of political
violence regardless of their political affiliation.

Zim’s parastatal rot: When looting becomes second nature

Source: Zim’s parastatal rot: When looting becomes second nature – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

Ever wondered why the Zimbabwean government and its ministers find parastatals attractive despite them costing the taxpayer billions of dollars? Our previous article asked questions on the wisdom of the government taking over Telecel mobile network. This article explores the reasons and why the Telecel conundrum and indeed government ownership of parastatals is attractive to politicians, but costly to the taxpayer.

BY David Mutori/Benjamin Paradza

Zimbabwe is known to have generated Rolls-Royce parastatal-related millionaires overnight without any explanation on how they made their money. In most cases Zimbabwe’s miraculous millionaires do not have any businesses; they simply become millionaires through their relationship with government officials or parastatals.

We will explore why ministers are very keen to be appointed into ministries that are responsible for parastatals by scrutinising the money trail and hypothesise on why the government would want to own Telecel despite the fact that they already own NetOne.

Parastatals are companies that are owned by the public/tax paying citizens. Traditionally, they are organisations that are considered of significant strategic importance to the country or critical to the public, but too unprofitable for a private company to invest in. In recent times, questions have been asked about why the Zimbabwean government wants to hold on to parastatals when they are neither of strategic importance nor profitable. Some examples that come to mind are mobile phone networks as questioned in our last article, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) and the Cold Storage Commission (CSC).

Our quest starts with a look at the governance of parastatals. The parastatal board (senior management team) is appointed by the responsible minister. Decisions on how to spend money (including on tenders) are made by the parastatal board. The boards are not necessarily performance-managed in terms of how much they improve shareholder value, they are considered “good” if they are loyal and play ball. Directors, who come up with innovative ideas and strategies that represent the best interests of the taxpayer, are sidelined because their ideas put the looter’s opportunities in jeopardy. That explains why ministers are very keen to “reshuffle” the boards of parastatals soon after their appointments; they want to put “their people” into the board — people who will do the minister’s bidding — people, who do what the minister wants instead of what the public deserves.

Zimbabwe’s parastatals cost the taxpayer a fortune and have contributed immensely to the national debt. They are unprofitable and do not represent value for money. In fact, taxpayers’ money keeps pouring in as debt, and comes out on the other side in individual pockets. That is the reason why parastatals are the most heavily-geared companies in the country — their debt outweighs equity.

The question then is: How are parastatals looted? If one follows the money, one can have a feel of where the money leaks out of these institutions. Two main looting opportunities are salaries and perks of the “boards” and procurement/tenders. Salaries and perks are where executives are paid exorbitant salaries that are not commensurate with their responsibilities and performance. Salary scandals were explored extensively when the “Ca$hbert” Dube PSMAS scandal was unearthed. Only a feeble mind would believe that everything that Cuthbert Dube earned ended up in his personal pocket.

Procurement and tendering are other vehicles of looting. A minister running a ministry that oversees a parastatal and appoints the board of the parastatal has a lot of say on how that parastatal awards tenders. Looting from tenders is generally done in three main ways; awarding tenders to cronies, inflating tender value in order to cream off the extra value or kickbacks or a combination of cronyism and inflated values. In all cases, the objectives are the same; steal from the citizens and benefit personally.

The cronies have also perfected the art of looting; they make sure that they keep the minister and the ruling party happy. They donate to the cause. Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s admission that he diverted Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund money to party programmes is just a tip of the iceberg. President Robert Mugabe has been alerted to scandals many times and he chooses to look away.
Readers may recall Energy minister Samuel Undenge admitting that a high-profile tender had been awarded un-procedurally, but nothing was done to him. That emboldens the looters and the vicious cycle goes on and the taxpayer continues to pay.

The Zimbabwean government is even known to shun “foreign” strategic investors because they are considered to stand in the way of the looting spree. We are not surprised to learn that MTN (Africa’s biggest mobile network operator) was turned away from acquiring a 49% stake in NetOne. If the strategic partnership had been approved as proposed way back in 2012, the state of mobile communications in Zimbabwe would be at par with world standards.

A forensic audit of all material tenders that have been awarded by parastatals would be interesting. Who was awarded the tenders, did the tenders represent value for money for the taxpayer, whom are tender winners related to?

Not long ago, we heard one Wicknell Chivayo boasting that he made his money from tenders when he was asked what business he was involved in. As hard to swallow as his answer might seem, Chivayo actually described what happens in the real world of tendering in Zimbabwe. An audit of those awarded tenders would even be more interesting as it gives insights into how they spend the money.

The looting process is as follows:

1. Citizens’ money is poured into parastatals;
2. Parastatals award inflated tenders to cronies through a crony board appointed by the minister;
3. Cronies give kickbacks to public officials and donate to “the party”;
4. Ministers look away and parastatals run out of cash;
5. Ministers go back to the citizens to ask for more cash and the cycle goes on.

There is a fundamental corporate governance flaw in giving one person (the minister) sole power of appointing boards of directors of parastatals. For transparency and accountability, such authority should lie with the parliamentary committee, which would thoroughly scrutinise any deals.

Zimbabweans United for Democracy strongly believes that at the centre of rebuilding Zimbabwe is good governance. There is no way good governance can prevail if a minister, who knows very little about the ministry they run, is given excessive powers to do as they please for as long as they keep the master happy through looting of public assets.

Also, acquisition of a private mobile operator by the government is contrary to the global trend, where governments are moving out of mobile communications business. The money wasted in this business could be put to better use if it was spent on health, education, infrastructure and other social services.

The collapse of many parastatals that used to perform very well at independence was not accidental. It was a product of many years of systematic and state-sanctioned looting, which continues to this day. There must be an end to this madness and the only way of achieving this is through electing a proper and responsible government.

When looting becomes second nature to Zanu PF, we must not accept it as normal.

David Mutori is a UK-based economist and pro-democracy activist. He can be contacted on mutorid@gmail.com. Benjamin Paradza is an exiled judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe and president of Zunde. He can be contacted on contact@zunde.org; wwwzunde.org; @zundezim

Rhino horns seized at Maputo airport

Maputo (AIM) – The Mozambican police and customs authorities on Saturday seized 10.5 kilos of rhinoceros horns at Maputo International Airport.

Source: Rhino horns seized at Maputo airport – The Zimbabwean 18.04.2017

Announcing the seizure to reporters on Monday, the spokesperson for the Maputo City Police command, Orlando Mudumane, said the horns were hidden in an aluminium case, but were discovered during check-in.

The police have not yet been able to identify the owner of the case. “The individual fled, when he realized the police had seized the case”, said Mudumane. “Investigations are under way to discover who owns the case”.

Mudumane did not say which plane the case would have been loaded onto, or what its final destination was.

This seizure comes a week after the Malaysian authorities at Kuala Lumpur airport seized 18 rhino horns, weighing 51.4 kilos, which had come from Mozambique via Doha, on flights of Qatar Airways. These horns were packed in a crate listed as containing “works of art”, and destined for an address in Malaysia which turned out to be false.

This seizure was highly embarrassing for the Mozambican authorities since all items loaded onto flights departing from Maputo airport are supposed to pass through electronic scanners, which should have picked up the presence of 18 rhino horns. That the crate was loaded is a clear indication of collusion by corrupt airport staff with the traffickers.

Since both species of African rhinoceros, the black and the white, are believed to be extinct in southern Mozambique, the 18 horns seized in Kuala Lumpur, and the 10.5 kilos seized kin Maputo on Saturday, most likely came from rhinos poached across the border in South Africa. The seizures are further proof that traffickers in rhino horn are using Mozambique as a transit route to the lucrative Asian market.

The main destination for rhino horn is Vietnam, where rich and credulous individuals believe that powdered rhino horn will cure all kinds of ailments, from hangovers to cancer.

Zanu PF factionalism excites Mnangagwa

Source: Zanu PF factionalism excites Mnangagwa – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has all but admitted he revels in Zanu PF’s factional fights, saying he would get worried if there were no squabbles in the ruling party.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Long viewed as President Robert Mugabe’s heir apparent, Mnangagwa, who is currently on the receiving end of the ruling party’s G40 faction, told State television at the weekend that the internal contradictions were healthy and strengthened Zanu PF.

“I have been in the party since 1962, I can’t remember a year when there were no squabbles since 1962, but we are still going. The squabbles make us stronger and more sharpened to deal with issues,” he said.

“If everything dies and there are no squabbles, and there is nothing. I would be very worried. When these things happen, you know what people are thinking and you know what to do to resolve the misthinking (sic).”

Zanu was formed in 1963 and Mnangagwa’s 1962 reference could have been made to mean before the party split from Zapu.

But, academic and political analyst Ibbo Mandaza accused Mnangagwa of trying to gloss over a situation that could actually lead to the death of the party.

“Zanu PF and all political formations in our system are not parties in the truest sense of the word. Parties are a western democratic phenomenon,” he explained.

“What we have are loose movements of people coalescing from different sectors of society with the objective of taking power.

“The State becomes a feeding trough or a vehicle for aggrandisement and nothing more. Zanu PF lacks the discipline associated with political parties and Mnangagwa is trying to justify the mayhem gripping the party.

“The chaos in Zanu PF does not serve any of the factions except the one with the power.”

Mnangagwa survived a 2004 purge when he was accused of being the main beneficiary of what is commonly referred to as the Tsholotsho Declaration and had to take a backseat as former Vice-President Joice Mujuru was elevated in his stead, before his 2014 success.

Another analyst, Pedzisai Ruhanya concurred with Mnangagwa arguing, society by nature is characterised by conflict.

“Zanu PF uses these factions to test its strength and its internal contradictions,” he said.

“Not all internal conflicts are bad, if you look at the liberation struggle, it was a conflict that was meant to install a new and desirable order.

“Conflict is necessary even in a democracy as long as it can be controlled and not allowed to turn terminal.

“Zanu PF can control its internal contradictions because it is in control of the coercive apparatus of the State.

“They can unleash the army, intelligence and other apparatus as and when required. That is why you find Mugabe at the centre of every conflict situation in Zanu PF because he has capacity to end it. He uses it to find solutions to problems in the party and elsewhere.”

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, last year, in a stinging communique, accused Mugabe of manipulating internal contradictions within Zanu PF to stay in power.

The former fighters also claimed Mugabe is the godfather of a faction of the ruling party known as G40 that has been pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed the veteran ruler.

Interestingly though, Mugabe and his wife have been at the centre of the current intra-factional storm engulfing the G40 faction that has seen the resignation of senior women’s league leaders, Sarah Mahoka and Eunice Sandi Moyo, while national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere is battling for his political life.

Governor asks Dhlakama’s father to help secure peace

Maputo (AIM) – The governor of the central Mozambican province of Sofala, Helena Taipo, on Friday called on regulo (chief) Mangunde, who is the father of Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the rebel movement Renamo, and asked him to help persuade his son to transform the current truce into a definitive peace.

Source: Governor asks Dhlakama’s father to help secure peace – The Zimbabwean 18.04.2017

Taipo was making an official trip to Chibabava district, and took the opportunity to visit Mangunde, some 20 kilometres from Chibabava town, where Dhlakama’s father, Macacho Marceta Dhlakama, is the chief.

According to Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, members of Taipo’s delegation were visibly worried about the visit. Nonetheless, after a journey along steep, sandy and in places near impassable roads, the delegation reached Mangunde, where the chief, dressed in traditional regalia, was waiting to receive Taipo.

Taipo, chief Mangunde and the Chibabava district administrator then met under a tree for 20 minutes, with nobody else within earshot.

Later, at a meeting with members of the Dhlakama extended family and their neighbours, the governor and the chief declared that peace is a precious commodity and the basic condition for development. Taipo said she had come to Mangunde to ask the chief to influence his son to convert the current truce into a lasting peace.

Dhlakama, who is still living in a Renamo military base in Gorongosa district, agreed the truce in telephone conversations with President Filipe Nyusi. The truce took effect on 27 December, and was initially only for a week. But it has been repeatedly extended, and now does not expire until early May. The truce has been holding: no further Renamo ambushes on the roads have been reported, or any clashes between Renamo gunmen and units of the government defence and security forces.

Taipo assured chief Mangunde that “I am here as the governor and as your daughter. I have come to seek advice, because our goal is to see Sofala on the path to development, improving the life of the people”.

She hoped the chief would inform his son of her sincere message, “from the bottom of my heart”, that peace should be a definitive reality for the development of the country”.

Chief Mangunde said he could scarcely believe what was happening: he had never imagined to see the governor in his own home, at a time when he had only just returned from the bush, where he had taken refuge at the height of last year’s hostilities.

He said he was honoured by Taipo’s visit, and that, if the governor had not visited Chibabava, he would not have believed that Mozambicans were again reconciled. He added that he was optimistic about the prospects for peace, and the understanding between his son and Nyusi.

War vets call for regime change

Source: War vets call for regime change – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

WAR veterans secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda has called for government leadership renewal, saying the current “corrupt” Zanu PF regime had proved beyond doubt that it was not committed to improving the welfare of the liberation war fighters.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

“We can’t talk of our welfare with people who don’t know how to run a country. We have to ensure that this corrupt system is removed before we talk of our welfare,” he said.

Matemadanda made the remarks yesterday following reports that government owed $37 million in unpaid school fees for war veterans’ children and was struggling to raise former fighters’ monthly pension payouts.

War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube confirmed the reports, saying the financial squeeze was not peculiar to his ministry, as it had crippled all line ministries.

“We are a welfare ministry, which is supposed to take care of the welfare needs of war veterans in line with constitutional provisions, but we are struggling to pay school fees for the children of war veterans,” he said.

Dube said some of the divisions rocking the war veterans’ body were being fuelled by lack of welfare support from the government.

“We see all these things coming to an end once our war veterans are well taken care of. They are hungry and angry after spending time in the bushy fighting for independence, they want to enjoy the fruits. We went to a war veterans conference in South Africa and they had R2 million, which they had not spent and were returning to government.

“I believe our government is committed to taking care of the war veterans, but the resources are not there, once the economy turns around they will be taken care off,” he said.

Qualified teachers shun Binga

Source: Qualified teachers shun Binga – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government has disclosed that qualified teachers, mostly from other regions, were shunning teaching in Binga district due to lack of accommodation and poor infrastructure at the over 80 satellite schools in the area.

by VENERANDA LANGA

The Irene Zindi-led committee made the disclosure in its recent report on service delivery by local authorities.

“Binga Rural District Council has a total of 123 primary and 39 secondary schools, and out of these 63 are satellite primary schools and 25 are satellite secondary schools,” read the committee report.

“The satellite schools do not have proper infrastructure in terms of classrooms and teachers’ accommodation, and this was said to be a challenge to the district as qualified teachers are not willing to take up posts in Hwange.”

The report also said most of the secondary schools lacked science laboratories, making it difficult for teachers to conduct science lessons.

“The committee was informed that Binga Rural District Council lacked resources for pegging of schools and, therefore, most schools remained unpegged and, therefore, unregistered as examination centres.”

This comes amid reports that some parents in Binga were opposed to the deployment of non-Tonga speaking teachers, citing language barriers. The parents also argued that non-Tonga teachers contributed to the low pass rate recorded in the region because of their low understanding of the local languages.

The committee also noted that the district had inadequate health facilities and qualified health personnel.

“Siabuwa and Kariangwe Mission Hospitals need resident doctors because the distance travelled to access health services at the government district hospital is too long. Binga’s health institutions in rural areas were not manned by State-registered nurses, which poses risk to patients because they are treated by people, who do not hold requisite qualifications.”

The committee said Binga Rural District Council had one ambulance to service the whole district.

ID voter system, rigging and the law

Source: ID voter system, rigging and the law – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

There are growing fears and, apparently, a lot of apprehension as the nation edges towards the 2018 presidential election. And the year 2018, seen by many as probably the last opportunity left to save the country from ultimate ruin and, more importantly, bring back decency and pride to the vanquished people of Zimbabwe, is quite crucial.

guest column: LEARNMORE ZUZE

The voters’ roll, used for decades in elections, has always been associated with all manner of fraud and chicanery that calls to replace it with the identity documentation system (IDs) are increasing. No election, since 2000, has steered clear of strong rigging claims against the ultimate presidential winner. It has not always been the opposition citing rigging against Zanu PF, but some will remember how Zanu PF itself cried foul and alleged rigging in 2008 when the opposition strode to a stunning victory. But, perhaps of all elections and rigging contentions, none takes the cake like the 2013 election. The victory came so fast and left everyone with a dropped jaw. Despite all the hype of the trail of destruction ascribed to Zanu PF, the old party romped to an earth-shattering victory. It was as if lightning had struck on a clear sky day. No one had the slightest idea what had happened. There were immediate rigging claims. Former legislator, Tendai Biti, was among the first of the opposition officials to assert “certain” rigging. Many were to follow stating that the election in which President Robert Mugabe won the vote against MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai was a sham. A lot of controversy still surrounds the 2013 election to date, with Tsvangirai still to accept the outcome.

Now, a lot is at stake as we approach 2018. A number of theories have been thrown forward to ensure that rigging is kept at bay and chief among the suggested remedies is the “impregnable” ID voting system seen as a panacea to the voting fraud. Under this system, it is sought that persons should be able to vote from anywhere in the country so long they can provide their national identity documentation (ID card). This idea sounds impervious to election fraud, but on closer analysis, use of the ID card system on election day could have the opposite effect. It makes it readily easier for the rigging machinery. True indeed, if used in good faith, the ID system would be most ideal, as it ensures everyone gets to vote and does not disenfranchise voters living far away from their constituencies. It would preferably lead to the desired end, where every person, assuming they have one identity document, only gets to vote once.

However, as aforementioned, the ID voter system may easily prove to be a conduit for the feared rigging machinery. The abandonment of the voters’ roll in favour of the ID cards for verification naturally presents serious challenges. To begin with, from a purely legal standpoint, it is not possible to abandon the voters’ roll at present; section 239(d) of the Constitution gives the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission the mandate to compile the voters’ roll. Among its key functions, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is tasked with compiling the voters’ roll and registers. It is also mandated with ensuring the proper custody and maintenance of the registers. The implication of this constitutional provision is that, in order to hold elections without a voters’ roll, a constitutional amendment becomes necessary before next year’s elections. The country will have to effect yet another amendment to a Constitution barely four years old.
Also the other implication is that the independence of the commission (Zec) would be compromised since it is not the custodian of the civil registry. In other terms, use of the ID as a verification tool would all, but make the bulk of the commission’s work of little or no effect. The major 12 functions of the commission are of no practical value, as they are centred on the voters’ roll.

The most concerning challenge likely to hit the ID voter system, apart from the law, is that there is a significant number of Zimbabweans that have neither birth certificates nor identification cards. This simply translates to lost votes. As it stands, a considerable number of people face serious difficulties in obtaining the identity documents, with some being labelled alien and naturally, they will be disenfranchised in their thousands.

Further, the office of the Registrar-General tasked with issuing these cards has always been viewed as politically partisan and manipulative. The Registrar-General has been at the centre of controversy in the handling of elections. Given that his office has the task of issuing out these ID cards, the system becomes heavily compromised. The essence of voting is well understood by that voting should be a private affair, hence, talk of the secret ballot. However, where people have to have their ID card numbers recorded, it acts against the spirit and letter of the secret ballot concept. The rural folk, especially, may easily be intimidated into believing that their vote would be known under the ID card system.

A whole host of accompanying problems also follow in that the number of ballot papers to be printed becomes a subject of debate. It breeds confusion; just how many ballot papers should be printed under this system? Under Zimbabwean law, only a person who is registered is allowed to vote. While those who argue in favour of the ID voter system insist that ballot papers equivalent to the population in the country should be printed, the real trouble is that the extra ballot papers could actually be misused for ballot fraud. In fact, that would provide for electoral fraud. Due care has to be exercised to ensure the printed papers average well in comparison with the voting population. Even more, it becomes very difficult to properly allocate polling stations around the country. How can polling stations be allocated when no one knows the number of people likely to vote at a particular polling station? The auditing of the whole electoral process becomes difficult if ID cards were sorely used for verification.

It must be acknowledged that there will never be a watertight electoral administrative system, but irregularities can be minimised. The point is to adopt an electoral system that does not compromise the process. In my view, the biometric system may have its own troubles, but far from the ID voter system, it would minimise a lot of problems stemming from the ID system. It definitely protects against the rampant double registration and glaring inaccuracies typical of the previous system.

Learnmore Zuze is a law officer and writes in his own capacity. E-mail: lastawa77@gmail.com

Embracing entrepreneurship to unleash Africa’s economic growth

Source: Embracing entrepreneurship to unleash Africa’s economic growth – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

Africa’s population is estimated at 1,2 billion living in 54 different countries. Africa is described as a resource-rich continent with major key economic drivers such as trade, agriculture, mining, energy and manufacturing. Africa’s economy remains the lowest compared to other continents regardless of abundant mineral deposits and vast arable land. The continent remains at the helm of complex challenges such as shortages of energy, infrastructure and the manufacturing sector still needs to be revamped. The rates of unemployment and poverty levels are at their climax. The big question one can ask is, what could be the key to Africa’s economic turnaround?

BY PATSON CHAPEYAMA

In this age, entrepreneurship development has emerged as the key to Africa’s economic revitalisation process. Pathway breaking offerings by entrepreneurs, in the form of goods and services has a great result in intensifying job creation, which can produce a cascading effect of increased employment and higher earnings, contributing immensely to better national income in the form of tax revenue. Entrepreneurs play a pivotal role by investing in community projects and financial support to local charity organisations, enabling further development beyond their ventures.

What is entrepreneurship? My definition of entrepreneurship is a mindset that seeks out for opportunities through a business idea or expanding an existing one and managing the risk associated with it. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers, who are able to translate the challenges we are facing to earn a commercial value.

All business models are centred on a common principle of identifying a need in the society. The beginning of entrepreneurship is when one identifies a need in the society and provides solutions. As the continent is facing many challenges, it is calling out for problem solvers, who will identify a need and provide home-grown solutions.

One astounding discovery I learned in business is that great entrepreneurs of our time have one thing in common. They dared to start. It is not enough to identify a need or to come up with a business idea, you have to implement it. One thing is clear, whether a small dry cleaner or small IT shop down the street, entrepreneurship drives the economy.

Launching your own business is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things to do, says Richard Branson, Virgin Airways founder. Napoleon Hill in his sought after book Think and Grow Rich, remarked that: “We who are in this race for riches, should be encouraged to know that this changed world in which we live is demanding new ideas, new ways of doing things, new leaders, new inventions, new methods of teaching, new methods of marketing, new books, new literature, new features for the radio, new ideas for moving pictures.”

Most African entrepreneurs are, to a greater extent, contributing to national gross domestic product and economic growth. Nigeria’s population is estimated to be above 163 million people and, according to Al-Jazeera, in every household in Nigeria you will find a Dangote product, which ranges from sugar, salt, flour just to name a few. Aliko Dangote Group of companies creates employment for more than 10 000 people.

Patson Chapeyama is a cutting edge entrepreneur, author and business start-ups consultant based in Harare. He scooped a gold trophy for being the youngest entrepreneur SMES International Expo 2015. Can be reached on +263733551626 or patchapeyama@gmail.com

Zim @37: Independence deferred

Source: Zim @37: Independence deferred – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

ZIMBABWEANS today gather at different venues to commemorate the country’s 37th independence anniversary as they reflect on the selfless sacrifices made by a cross section of the country’s citizens to lay down their lives for the country’s freedom.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

But behind all the Zanu PF stage-managed pomp and fanfare lies the harsh reality that the country and its economy have been thrown into a comatose state by the same people leading today’s festivities.

Even the least politically sophisticated person would agree that President Robert Mugabe has grounded the country.

The easiest point of reference is not only lack of a national currency, but the biting liquidity crunch, which has seen banks run out of even bond notes – introduced late last year as a stop-gap measure for the foreign currency shortage.

Many an individual cannot carry out simple day-to-day transactions, even if they have their funds because these are locked up in banks.
Zimbabweans have to go through excruciating processes to access their money.

Lives have been lost and daily social activities disrupted to no end by a government that has a penchant for resuscitating stone-age polices.

The smokeless chimneys in the country’s industrial sectors lay bare the sorry state of our beloved nation.

The state of the industry on the other hand cannot be compared to the bloated size of Mugabe’s successive Cabinet teams since 1980 and his continued globe-trotting that has brought nothing but misery to our country.

As the economy chokes because of corruption, mismanagement, nepotism and cronyism, the government’s wage bill has been ballooning and now claims at least 92 cents for every dollar raised in revenue.

Once the envy of many in the developing world, our health delivery system has collapsed with many of the state-of-the-art hospitals now white elephants with no doctors, nurses and more importantly no medicines in the dispensaries.

The same situation is obtaining in the education system that has now become a conveyor belt of half-baked students, who are of no use to the entrepreneur or industry.

However, this is half the story. Many parents are failing to send their children to schools as the “socialist” Mugabe government has privatised education and taken it out of the reach of its majority poor, and taking with it the dreams of moving out of vicious cycles of poverty since 1890 when the colonialists first arrived.

Instead, Mugabe’s government wants Zimbabweans to pay school fees using cattle and goats!

The road network and communication infrastructure have collapsed.

While the economy continues to deteriorate, Mugabe and his coterie of hangers on, or to use his own language, his cabal of quislings, seem to have reached a dead end, there is no solution in sight.

Would we be wrong to ask whether Mugabe and his government are not square pegs in round holes?

It is our considered view that the biggest question of our time is leadership renewal.

The “we freed you” rhetoric will not sell in the 21st century.

Indeed, no 93-year-old can find solutions to problems of the 21st century.

The same mentality that created problems cannot be expected to find solutions.

Instead of celebrating, Zimbabweans must mourn an independence deferred.

Zinwa cuts off water supplies to Kwekwe

Source: Zinwa cuts off water supplies to Kwekwe – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has defied a High Court order and cut off water supplies to Kwekwe City Council over a $1,5 million debt.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Kwekwe mayor, Matenda Madzoke confirmed the development yesterday, saying the Midlands city has been without running water since Friday, forcing the over 200 000 residents to resort to unprotected water sources.

“They closed the taps, and strapped chains on the taps leaving the city without water since Friday. This is despite a High Court order, which we have that they can’t do that,” he said.

“We fear an outbreak (of diseases) if this problem is not addressed soon. The problem with parastatals is that they see local authorities as (cash) cows that need to be milked, the moment they run out of money, they want to squeeze us, but we are facing the same financial challenges,” he said.

The move comes after Gwanda has gone for two weeks without water after its supplies were also cut off by Zinwa. Redcliff has also been without water for nearly a month following an alleged pump failure at the Kwekwe City Council-run Sebakwe Waterworks.

Kwekwe City treasurer, Rejoice Maweni, told a recent finance committee meeting that the city was not pumping water to Redcliff owing to the pump failure. This happened amid reports that Redcliff municipality owed $2 million in unpaid water bills to Kwekwe City Council.

“Redcliff municipality managed to pay $5 000 to be channelled towards the repairs but this was not adequate for the $17 000 required for the repairs to be done,” she said.

Tourist arrivals to reach 2,2 million by year end

Source: Tourist arrivals to reach 2,2 million by year end – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

TOURIST arrivals in Zimbabwe are estimated to reach over 2,2 million by the close of 2017, a development in line with global trends projecting tourism to be the fastest growing economic sector internationally, an executive has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

In emailed responses to NewsDay, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke, said the local tourism industry was expected to continue growing despite numerous challenges besetting it.

“The tourism industry in Zimbabwe is expected to continue growing in line with global trends, which project that tourism will continue to be the fastest growing economic sector internationally. Arrivals in Zimbabwe are estimated to reach over 2,2 million by the close of 2017 and over 2,5 million by 2020, assuming the current conditions will continue to obtain,” he said.

“However, it should be noted that history has shown that the tourism sector tends to be affected negatively by the election
year. As such, it is our hope that prospects for 2018 will remain positive despite it being an election year.”

Zimbabwe will hold general elections next year.

Kaseke said although the tourism sector has faced a number of challenges in recent years, the sector has been resilient.

For instance, in 2016, the country received 2 167 686 tourist arrivals, 5% up from 2 056 588 received in 2015, he said.

He said the sector also generated an estimated $819 million in revenue in 2016 and is estimated to contribute 10,9% to the gross domestic product.

Kaseke lamented that numerous police check points and roadblocks have for a long time tarnished the country’s image, as they project a negative security situation.

“These roadblocks have also resulted in highly prejudicing and inconveniencing the tourists. These have also been raised under Ease of Doing Business reform initiatives in tourism,” he said.

Kaseke said Zimbabwe was largely a driving destination and, as such, good roads were necessary. Apart from the Plumtree-Mutare Highway, Kaseke said other roads — particularly Beitbridge-Harare — need to be rebuilt.

“Because of the bad state of this road, Zimbabwe lost a huge market of self-drive tourists from South Africa who are now preferring Botswana and Namibia. The high levels of carnage on our roads now termed “death traps” inhibit travel by both domestic and international tourists,” he said.

Kasukuwere slammed over Caledonia saga

Source: Kasukuwere slammed over Caledonia saga | The Herald April 18, 2017

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Representatives of housing cooperatives at Caledonia have accused Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere of using his office to allocate stands at the settlement to his cronies, pocketing thousands of dollars in the process.

Caledonia was placed under the management of the Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp), a parastatal that falls under the Local Government ministry, as part of measures to regularise the settlement.

Chairman of the Eastview Union Mr Livingstone Chikanga yesterday said Minister Kasukuwere used the Government’s decision to allocate land to his friends and questioned how the money collected by Udcorp to develop the area had been used.

“Following the decision to handover management to Udcorp, he started allocating land to his people and that is when the problem of double allocation of land that we have now started,” he said.

“Even land that we had earmarked for schools and clinics was subdivided for stands, while some was sold to developers that want to set up private schools.

“There are over 38 000 households here, but we do not have schools for our children because all the land was sold.”

Mr Chikanga said despite the findings of the Percy Toriro-led commission into the affairs at the settlement that it was overcrowded, more people continued to be brought in, even when management was under Udcorp.

“Udcorp has been collecting $50 monthly from every household purportedly for development of infrastructure in the area, but all they have done is construct 1,8 kilometre of road from the targeted 4,2 km and that 1,8 km was poorly done that less than a year after its construction its already littered with potholes,” he said.

Mr Chikanga urged Government to carry out an audit of how the money collected by Udcorp was used.

“Even the clinic that is operational here was built by an NGO, MSF. So, we would really want to know how that money has been used all along.”

Mr Simon Kamhoti, the vice chairman of the union, said Minister Kasukuwere, who is also the Zanu-PF National Political Commissar, had also banned party activities in the area.

“He came in 2014 and banned party gatherings and slogans and even told us not to organise any party structures in the area,” he said. “As we speak, we do not have proper structures in the area, yet elections are around the corner.”

Mr Kamhoti said it was time that Minister Kasukuwere was removed from both his Government and party posts if any progress at Caledonia and growth of the party were to be achieved.

Minister Kasukuwere yesterday said he was not in charge of affairs at Caledonia.

“Those people could just be land barons who were used to abusing people’s money,” he said.

“Besides that, I am also not responsible for day to day running of affairs at Caledonia. That is the responsibility of the management committee.”

Caledonia started as an informal settlement with 126 cooperatives and is now home to an estimated 100 000 people.

Universities challenged to embrace industry

Source: Universities challenged to embrace industry | The Herald April 18, 2017

Auxilia Katongomara in DAEJEON, South Korea
ZIMBABWE’S universities should transform into industrial hubs rather than specialise in being graduate producing and certificate awarding institutions, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has said.

Prof Moyo who is leading a delegation comprising of Vice Chancellors and legal experts on a three-week business tour to industry incubating universities in Asia and South America, said universities should be at the forefront of the industrialisation drive.

Briefing the delegation soon after arrival here yesterday, Prof Moyo said the tour was for the Vice Chancellors to learn how other institutions were incubating industries.

“We need radical transformation from our institutions of higher learning. They must move from being certificate giving universities, but to industry creating hubs because universities must be drivers of the economy. It’s time to rethink our universities and change their role,” Prof Moyo said.

Universities, he said, play key roles in economic development particularly in promoting industry.

Minister Moyo cited the University of Zimbabwe’s School of Medicine which has been recognised as one of the best medical schools, but was still only producing medical practitioners than transforming into an industry-incubating medical institution.

“We want the university to have a medical industry that benefits Zimbabwe and many other sectors such as energy and engineering. So the purpose of this trip is for you to see how our universities can be used as incubating centres,” he said.

Prof Moyo challenged the Vice Chancellors to take notes from the tour to assist in formulating the ministry’s Act which is under draft.

He said Cabinet last week approved principles of the new Act which is proposing an all-encompassing Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Bill for institutions of higher learning.

“The principles of the new Act approved by Cabinet last week will repeal all Acts of Universities and the Manpower Development Act. It will also affect private universities.

“We will come up with a new law by end of July and we have also come up with a strategy document for the next 10 years,” Prof Moyo said.

The delegation was welcomed by Chungnam University vice president of International Affairs Lee Jun Heon at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport.

Yesterday, Minister Moyo and his delegation were scheduled to meet Chungnam University president and tour the institution’s Research Centre and Software Engineering as well as other industries incubated by the university.

The delegation was scheduled to leave for Singapore for a tour of the National University of Singapore.

Holiday death toll hits 21

Source: Holiday death toll hits 21 | The Herald April 18, 2017

Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
At least four more people were killed in road traffic accidents countrywide recorded between Sunday and yesterday morning, bringing the Easter and Independence holiday death toll to 21.

According to police statistics, 91 people were injured in 171 road traffic accidents recorded during the holiday.

Of the 171 road accidents recorded, 12 of them were fatal.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said they impounded 92 vehicles for being unroadworthy and for various defects.

He said police arrested 17 595 motorists for violating various traffic offences.

During the same period last year, 10 people were killed while 55 others were injured in 181 road traffic accidents that were recorded.

Of the 181 accidents, nine of them were fatal, while a total of 20 528 motorists were arrested for various traffic offences.

A total of 298 vehicles were also impounded during the same period last year.

“The major cause of accidents so far has been observed to be speeding, inattention, misjudgement, overtaking errors and failure to give way,” said Chief supt Nyathi.

“Police are urging motorists to be observant, cautious and ensure they do not speed, overtake in dangerous situations and above all safeguard lives on the road.

“Let’s all drive to arrive alive and contribute towards safety on the roads. Drivers should not be reckless and where possible avoid travelling at night.”

Police have released the names of nine people who died in two separate road accidents that occurred in Chinhoyi and Chipinge between Saturday and Sunday.

Six of the victims died in a fatal road accident that occurred at the 111km peg along the Harare-Chirundu Road near Chinhoyi on Sunday.

The six have been identified as Portia Maluke (7), Collin Mucherwa (47), Talent Mabvumise (1), Naniso Basitore (45) and Tadiwa Maluke (25) all of Marowa Village under Chief Dandawa in Karoi and Emmanuel Chidenye (43) of Shanguru Farm Compound in Chinhoyi.

“The ZRP has also managed to identify 19 out of 20 of those who were injured. They are still admitted at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital. ZRP wishes them a speedy recovery,” Chief Supt Nyathi said.

He said those who died in a fatal road accident which occurred on Saturday at the 60 km peg along Birchenough Bridge-Mt Selinda Road in Chipinge were Sharon Zivanai (17), Tafadzwa Makaza (23) and Ronzai Hlatshwayo (11) all of Hunganyi Village under Chief Mutema in Chipinge.

3 injured in party clashes

Source: 3 injured in party clashes | The Herald April 18, 2017

Herald Reporter
THREE people on Saturday sustained varying degrees of injuries following violent clashes between Zanu-PF supporters sympathetic to Harare provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe and secretary for Administration George Mashavave, respectively.

Skirmishes started when Cde Mashayamombe reportedly got wind that Cde Mashavave and other provincial executive committee members wanted to pass a vote of no confidence on him and national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere at the party’s provincial offices.

Reports say Cde Mashayamombe then bused his sympathisers to the party headquarters, resulting in skirmishes that also hurt innocent passengers who use Simon Vengai Muzenda (formerly Fourth Street) bus terminus.

Police had to be called in to quell the disturbances.

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident, saying a report was made at Harare Central Police Station alleging that two groups clashed at the Harare provincial Zanu-PF offices.

Chief Supt Nyathi said investigations were underway.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm that a report was made at Harare Central Police yesterday (Saturday) where it is alleged that two groups, one allegedly for Cde Mashayamombe and one for Cde Mashavave all from Harare Province, clashed at the Harare provincial Zanu-PF offices and so far investigations are in progress,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.

Narrating their ordeal during an interview with ZBC News, some of the victims said they were bused to the provincial party offices without being aware of divisions that existed within the party leadership.

“I did not know that there were divisions in the leadership with some people showing their allegiance to certain individuals. So when we arrived, some of our colleagues from our neighbourhood who had arrived earlier approached us questioning why we had also come to the provincial headquarters. They said a lot of stuff including obscenities before they started throwing stones at us,” said one of the victims whose hand was injured in the skirmishes, Ms Rumbidzai Chibaya (34).

Another victim, Ms Tambudzai Marungira whose child was also injured in the clashes, said they had come to attend the meeting just like anyone else in good faith before they were attacked.

“We had come for a meeting as women with our babies on our backs and we did not know that there are divisions at this meeting. So when we approached them, they quickly shouted that we were not part of them and they started attacking us,” said Ms Murungira.

Another supporter only identified as David who suffered a head injury, said he was only made aware of the attack by fellow supporters who alerted him of a stone thrown directly at him.

He said by the time he looked back, it was already too late as the stone hit him on the head.

Zimra moves to curb transit fraud

Source: Zimra moves to curb transit fraud | The Herald April 18, 2017

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has started acquiring electric seals for transit break bulk cargo, mostly being carried in flat bed trailers in a move set to reduce incidents of transit fraud, an official has said.

Zimra board secretary and director of Legal and Corporate Services Ms Florence Jambwa confirmed the developments yesterday.

She said transit fraud resulted in situations where importers declared that goods were in transit (removal in transit — RIT) to neighbouring countries, yet they would be offloaded in Zimbabwe.

Ms Jambwa said as a result of such activities, the country was losing a lot of potential revenue to criminals.

Under the customs laws, specified goods attract excise duty during importation into the country.

Said Mrs Jambwa: “The Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) was rolled out early this year to curb transit fraud and to safeguard revenue in line with our mandate.

“Processes are under way to enhance the system through several means, which include procurement of gadgets to monitor break bulk cargo as you have alluded to in your questions. These enhancements are ongoing processes.

“We introduced the ECTS to combat fraudulent activities associated with the movement of transit cargo, particularly situations where importers declare that goods are in transit to neighbouring countries, yet the cargo is offloaded in Zimbabwe”.

Ms Jambwa said the system involved the tracking of transiting cargo in real time throughout the entire route from point of entry to point of exit.

She said the ECT system was one of the best under the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

The ECT, she said, gave instant alarms on any violations and this triggered the intervention of the dedicated reaction teams.

In most cases, commercial goods are transported in tankers, containers and flat bed trailers covered with tents (break bulk).

At the moment, Zimra has seals for tankers and containers and this has seen criminals preferring to transport goods as break bulk to evade the seals.

Most of the controlled goods which are finding their way to the local market through transit fraud include cooking oil, washing powder, assorted groceries, genetically modified goods and banned medicines.

Ms Jambwa said Beitbridge Border Post handled an average of 200 transit vehicles per day destined for countries north of the Zambezi River, including Zambia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is reported that ZIMRA collects 30 percent of Government revenue and out of that, 70 percent of it is collected at Beitbridge.

During a visit to Beitbridge late last year, Home Affairs Minister, Dr Ignatius Chombo, said Zimra was netting $800 000 per day against a potential of $2 million.

He said the parastatal could not collect enough due to increased rampant smuggling of controlled goods.

Recently, Zimra intercepted four tankers at Chirundu which were carrying 140 000 litres of water purported to be diesel that was in transit to DRC.

The state lost close to $55 000 after the fuel which entered the country through Forbes Border Post under the RIT facility was emptied in Chitungwiza and replaced with water.

No to ambush of cadres: Chombo

Source: No to ambush of cadres: Chombo | The Herald April 17, 2017

Zvamaida murwira Herald Reporter
ZANU-PF organs should not ambush individual cadres they feel should be subjected to disciplinary procedures, but should openly call a properly constituted meeting to discuss their grievances, a senior party official said yesterday.

The party’s secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said due process should be conducted where a person accused of misconduct should be advised of the pending charges and summoned to attend to make representations to the charge.

Cde Chombo’s remarks come in the wake of a decision by some Harare provincial members to pass a vote of no confidence on national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, and Harare provincial political commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe at the weekend.

The incident resulted in some skirmishes at the provincial offices.

zanu-pf Harare provincial secretary for administration Cde George Mashavave announced the decision where he accused Cde Mashayamombe of working with the embattled Kasukuwere.

In an interview yesterday, Cde Chombo said he was still to get a full briefing regarding what transpired in Harare, but explained procedures to be followed for a vote of no confidence, which dovetailed with what President Mugabe, who is also First Secretary of the party said a fortnight ago.

“I have just heard about it, but I have not yet seen anything from that province. The issue is how many people attended the meeting. If it is the province it has 120 or thereabout.

“The province includes all organs, the youth wing, women and the main body,” said Cde Chombo.

He said another issue that should be followed was the need for reasonable notice given to provincial members including the person to whom the vote of no confidence is intended.

“Some provincial members can argue that why did you call for such a meeting on Easter Holiday when we were at church. Why not convene it openly.

“Others would say why convening such a meeting when we were preparing for Independence celebrations.

“The President said meetings should be openly called for to say we want to call a meeting on such and such a day in respect of complaints we have against our treasury, for instance. The person concerned should be notified,” said Cde Chombo.

He said charges against the person ought to be read to him in that meeting, which should have a quorum.

“Charges against that person should be read to him and (he) responds. You then assess his response. If it is not satisfactory, you then proceed to pass a vote of no confidence. The people who should attend that meeting should be provincial members and not their friends who would have been bussed and given beer. After that you pass on to the organ above you,” said Cde Chombo.

zanu-pf acting Harare provincial chair Cde Charles Tavengwa said, they would investigate the circumstances surrounding the skirmishes.

He said the meeting to pass a vote of no confidence was not duly constituted and those who called it defied the President’s directive to halt all demonstrations.

“I was not aware of that meeting and even if they had approached me, I would not have sanctioned it because the President made a directive not to hold demonstrations,” said Cde Tavengwa who is also a Politburo member.

zanu-pf secretary for Information and Publicity for Harare Province Cde Abisha Ushehwekunze, echoed the same sentiments saying they would convene a meeting this week.

Cde Mashavave declined to comment yesterday and referred questions to Cde Tawengwa.

Irrigation capacity doubles

Source: Irrigation capacity doubles | The Herald

Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
THE irrigation capacity of Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s dams has almost doubled as a result of the heavy rains received this summer season.

Last year, dams had an estimated irrigation capacity of 78 204 hectares and if the additional capacity of 69 320 is fully utilised, the parastatal’s water sources will have a capacity of 147 524ha.

Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga on Thursday, urged farmers to take advantage of the available water to irrigate.

She said farmers should pay for the water.

“One of the major purposes of the dams around the country is irrigation,’’ said Mrs Munyonga. “Agriculture remains one of the major water users, moreso with the introduction of Command Agriculture.

“Zinwa expects a surge in demand for irrigation water in the coming water year which commenced on April 1, 2017. The advent of climate change has also seen a rise in irrigation agriculture.

“To this end, Zinwa appeals to all raw water users and prospective users to start putting together their water budgets and approach their respective catchment offices to obtain water abstraction agreements.”

Mrs Munyonga said it was a legal requirement that every person or organisation that uses water from Zinwa managed dams does so in terms of a water abstraction agreement.

She said farmers applying for new agreements or renewing lapsed ones should bring proof of land ownership (offer letter or lease agreement), agricultural report (from agricultural extension officer), amount of water needed, crop to be grown and the hectarage expected to be irrigated.

“With an anticipated rise in the demand for raw water, especially irrigation water, Zinwa will, during the course of the water year, put in place robust monitoring mechanisms to rid the dams and other water bodies of illegal users, Mrs Munyonga said.

“This will be done in conjunction with other stakeholders and law enforcement agencies such as the police. Any illegal use detected will result in disconnections and prosecution in terms of the Water Act.

Zimbabwe received above average rainfall in the 2016/7 season, which resulted in extensive flooding in most parts of the country.

Most dams are now full and spilling.

Dams that had not filled for years such as Mazowe, Upper and Lower Ncema have spilled this year, bringing hope to local communities and farmers.

Six provinces reject Kasukuwere

Source: Six provinces reject Kasukuwere | The Herald April 17, 2017

Paida Chipunza Senior Reporter
Six out of 10 ruling Zanu-PF’s provinces have unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the party’s national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, calling for his ouster from both party and Government positions.

He is accused of, among other things, plotting to oust President Mugabe by creating parallel structures and corruption.

Mashonaland West Province became the latest province to pass a vote of no confidence on Cde Kasukuwere yesterday, joining five other provinces; Harare, Midlands, Mashonaland Central, Masvingo and Bulawayo.

“Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial executive council unanimously endorses the ouster of Cde Saviour Kasukuwere from all party and Government activities,” reads a document prepared soon after the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting.

According to a petition signed by 38 out of 50 PEC members after a meeting held in Chinhoyi, Cde Kasukuwere is accused of plotting to depose President Mugabe, who is the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, by tampering with party structures throughout the country for his personal gain.

Cde Kasukuwere who is also Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, is also accused of corruption at both party and Government levels by demanding bribes in exchange for land allocations.

He also stands accused of imposing a candidate for the National Assembly seat in Norton resulting in Zanu-PF losing the by-election to an Independent candidate.

In Mashonaland Central, the party also wants Cde Kasukuwere’’s half-brother and provincial chairman Cde Dickson Mafios kicked out.

Cde Kasukuwere is also accused of abetting former treasurer of the Women’s League Sarah Mahoka and former deputy secretary Eunice Sandi Moyo to undermine the First Lady and secretary for Women Affairs, as well as destabilising the League’s structures in Mashonaland West Province.

The province also alleges that Cde Kasukuwere distributed land in the province to his cronies such as Cde Mahoka, aborting prior commitments to youths programmes.

“Now, therefore, we the undersigned members of the provincial executive council willingly and voluntarily appended our signatures in support of the above mentioned ouster of Cde Saviour Kasukuwere,” reads part of the petition.

In a letter addressed to the party’s national secretary for administration Cde Ignatius Chombo, the province said it was supposed to hold its Provincial Coordinating Committee soon to endorse the decision.

However, since the party had already received overwhelming support of 38 out of 50 executive committee members supporting the ouster of Cde Kasukuwere, the PCC meeting would just be an academic exercise.

The Zanu-PF Harare provincial executive council on Saturday also passed a no-confidence vote on Cde Kasukuwere and Harare provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe in a day of high drama that witnessed skirmishes at the ruling party’s provincial headquarters.

Three people sustained head injuries and broken arms as party supporters sympathetic to Cdes Mashayamombe and, Cde George Mashavave (provincial secretary for administration) ran amok in the city.

Cde Mashavave was among the provincial leaders who called for the ouster of Cdes Kasukuwere and Mashayamombe, respectively.

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the skirmishes.

Our sister paper, The Sunday Mail reports that police briefly detained Cde Mashayamombe for allegedly instigating the disturbances.

On the same day, 28 Harare provincial executive members appended their signatures to a petition calling for the dismissal of Cdes Kasukuwere and Mashayamombe over a raft of allegations, including plotting to topple President Mugabe and insulting First Lady and Women’s League Secretary Amai Grace Mugabe. The Zanu-PF constitution says a motion of no-confidence can be passed by a simple majority of an organ’s members. The PEC has 50 members.

The Harare and Mashonaland West provinces’ petition will be submitted to the Zanu-PF national leadership in keeping with the party’s disciplinary code.

Announcing the no-confidence vote, provincial secretary for administration Cde Mashavave said the petition was in accordance with Article 29 (section 251) of Zanu-PF’s constitution.

Inflation up

Source: Inflation up | The Herald April 17, 2017

Business Reporter
The year-on-year inflation rate – annual percentage change – for the month of March 2017 as measured by the All Items Consumer Price Index stood at 0,21 percent, gaining 0,15 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 0,06 percent, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.

This means that prices as measured by the All Items CPI increased by an average of 0,21 percentage points between March 2016 and March 2017.

ZimStats said the year-on-year inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the same month in the previous year. The year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation, which is prone to transitory shocks, stood at 1,21 percent whilst the non-food inflation rate was -0,25 percent.

The month-on-month inflation rate in March 2017 was 0,03 percent, shedding 0,58 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 0,61 percent. This means that prices as measured by the All Items CPI increased at an average rate of 0,03 percent from February 2017 to March 2017.

The month-on-month inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the previous month in the current year.

The month-on-month food and non- alcoholic beverages inflation rate stood at -0,21 percent in March 2017, shedding 1,78 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 1,56 percent. The month-on- month non-food inflation rate stood at 0,15 percent, shedding 0,02 percentage points on the February 2017 rate of 0,17 percent.

Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate broke into positive territory for the first time in 29 months last month after gaining 0,71 percentage points on the January 2017 rate of -0,7 percent to 0,6 percent in February.

Zimbabwe first entered deflation in February 2014 when the annual rate of inflation shed 0,9 percentage points to 0,49 percent, as prices continued to fall in relation to a strong US dollar.

Since October 2014, the country’s headline inflation has remained largely negative as the strong dollar and weak aggregate demand eliminated any latitude for traders to sustain price increases.

London protest at Zanu PF misrule – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th April 2017

The Vigil is to mark the 37th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence by a demonstration outside the Embassy in London next Saturday in protest at Zanu PF’s misrule.

Source: London protest at Zanu PF misrule – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th April 2017

At the same time, Zanu PF in the UK has invited people to join anniversary celebrations they are holding in the small town of Aylesbury some 50 miles from London. They seem to have plenty of money as they are offering ‘free entry, free food, free parking, free entertainment’. Noticeably, they describe themselves as ‘UK based Zimbabweans’; it is only hidden away in small print that the hosts are Zanu PF UK.

Zanu PF have become increasingly emboldened in the UK by the recognition they have been given by the British government, which has allowed blood-stained Zanu PF leaders from Zimbabwe to visit Britain while turning away opposition activists. The reason it gives is that activists don’t have much money and might not return home. Zanu PF ministers, on the other hand, can travel with the resources of the state behind them.

The Vigil is hoping to be joined by South Africans in London, who last week held a big protest against President Zuma outside their Embassy, around the corner from the Vigil.

South Africans are increasingly finding themselves in the same position as Zimbabweans – victims of rapacious and corrupt political elites subverting democracy. We often get South Africans dropping by at the Vigil and look forward to working together with them to deal with our common problems.

It gives us no satisfaction to point out that the Vigil has spent years warning South Africa that if they did not help resolve the Zimbabwean crisis, the problem would increasingly affect them too. If they wish to see their future they need only look to Zimbabwe.

Other points

  • Our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) wants to make it clear that it is not involved with a UK group calling itself Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation which has hijacked the ROHR name and says it is to demonstrate outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on 18th April. The real ROHR will be joining the Vigil on Saturday.
  • ROHR in Zimbabwe is taking a leading role in a new initiative, a ‘peace bandwagon’, to prevent violence and make space for democracy – the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). The initiative has moved on considerably since it was started in December last year. ZimPAP will be launched in Mashonaland East province on 17th April with a peace soccer tournament and registration of volunteer civilian friends for peace. Here in the UK, ROHR has been actively fundraising for ZimPAP, notably ROHR Reading and ROHR Central London branches.
  • One of the comments we received about last week’s diary was from a Muslim in Zimbabwe who shared our scepticism about plans for Muslim schools announced by Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora. The message said: ‘My friends among the small Muslim community here in Mbare must be  bemused  by Dokora’s antics. The first time I joined them for the prayers at the opening of Ramadan, I arrived early and found myself in a waiting room with a few young men watching TV until they were ready for prayers. One of them worked for the Nigerian embassy and was collecting funds to help victims of Boko Haram. Another Muslim friend, untrained imam of a small community in Hurungwe / Tengwe, has been trying for years to raise funds to build a mosque. When he was invited to meet Saudi donors in Chinhoyi, he called on me as soon as he got back to say they’d offered him the money. I started congratulating him; he replied “but I refused it. I didn’t like the abusive way they spoke about other believers.” Dokora’s agenda is, of course, his attempt to prop up Mugabe and Mnangagwa. Fundamentalist Islam is even less hospitable to critical thinking than are the profit ministries. One of our local zany leaders claims to be the biggest local drug supplier; the more intelligent of his colleagues are developing a market for “Broncho for the spirit” which Marx called “opium of the people” and Lenin “a cheap kind of spiritual vodka”.’
  • We were interested to see a story on the Zimeye website about the plight of Zimbabweans in the diaspora trying to satisfy the demands made on them by people at home. Much of the story is nonsense but we can confirm from London that many exiled Zimbabweans are feeling this pressure. It has resulted in marriage breakups and even suicides as people try to show they have ‘made it’ here and are asked to provide not only basic needs but even luxuries. The Vigil thinks that Zimbabweans are developing a culture of dependency which stops them trying to solve themselves the problems they are facing.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Mavis Chisvo, Zondiwe Gumede, Fungayi Mabhunu, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Barnie Mandimika, Nyarai Masvosva, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Virginia Mutyambizi, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Rumbidzayi Sambana and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline, Mavis and Daizy Fabian for looking after the front table, to Abigail and Nyarai for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Mduduzi, Alfredy, Barnie, Heather and Chido. for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Abigail for bringing cakes and Lucia Mudzimu for bringing snacks.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 28 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 22nd April rom 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: 4th floor, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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 http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Protest at Zanu PF misrule. Saturday 22nd April outside the Zimbabwe Embassy London from 2 – 6 pm.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th May from 11 am. Venue:  The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
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EU injects $2,49m extra humanitarian aid

Source: EU injects $2,49m extra humanitarian aid – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

THE European Union (EU) has ploughed an additional $2,49 million as humanitarian aid support to government in response to the El Nino-induced drought in Zimbabwe.

By NQOBANI NDLOVU

The funding came barely five months after the EU allocated $8 million from the reserve of the 11th European Development Fund to address the impact of drought in Zimbabwe.

The funding is delivered through EU’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), the EU said in a press release on Friday.

With the latest funding, the EU has mobilised $27.57 million for measures to alleviate the El Niño-induced drought, such as cash-based responses and emergency livestock initiatives. Out of that amount, the total contribution from ECHO will reach $19,61 million.

“The EU has shown continuous solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in the face of successive hazards and consequent humanitarian challenges. The worst has been avoided and we now have to prepare for the future, building more resilient communities against future climate shocks and other hazards,” said Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, EU Head of Delegation in Harare.

Through cash transfers initiatives we have contributed to prevent most vulnerable people to fall into chronic destitution while maintaining functioning markets; it is now important to strengthen capacities and coping mechanisms of these communities, improving, among others, their livelihood base systems, farming productivity and market linkages as well as better prepare them in case of new future disasters.”

The additional financial support brings to a total contribution by the EU and its Member States to combat the El Nino-induced crises in Zimbabwe to $114 million “to help in assisting some of the most vulnerable among the 4,1 million people that have become food insecure during the peak of the lean season and therefore, in need of humanitarian assistance”.

The EU said the latest funding will ensure EU’s implementing partners, including the UN World Food Programme and Save the Children, continue and increase the geographical reach of actions started in 2016 until the end of the lean season.

The EU Member States, of which 11 are represented in Harare and have since 2015 provided a total of $86 million for humanitarian relief programmes; in particular contributions from the United Kingdom/DFID, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Italy across a number of key sectors such as food assistance, water and sanitation, nutrition and overall support to livelihood systems.

Biometric kits testing to start

Source: Biometric kits testing to start – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says it plans to conduct site validation tests for Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits for the first shortlisted companies from April 20 to 26 before government purchases the most suitable equipment.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Zec in a letter dated April 11 this year, invited all stakeholders including political parties and civil society, to observe the process.

“The validation test is part of the procurement process aimed at testing conformity of the kit to specifications, durability and suitability. In view of the important role stakeholders play in the entire electoral process, the commission is inviting you to be part of this process as an observer,” part of the letter read.

Opposition parties affiliated to the National Elections Reform Agenda (Nera) said they had hired international experts to observe the equipment and the process to ensure they were in conformity with international best practices.

“We expected these short notices from ZEC, therefore technical experts were ready. We now have to fight to make sure they are accredited by the 19th of April 2017 and can attend. Let’s keep the fight going, victory is certain as long as we keep fighting,” Nera said in a statement.

Nera members have accused the Zanu PF government of hijacking the procurement of BVR kits in order to manipulate the voter registration process and election results.
United Nations agencies had initially offered to procure the kits on behalf of the government before the Zanu PF regime made a U-turn and snubbed the offer under unclear circumstances.

Government is now expected to raise at least $17 million for the BVR kits.

‘Grace probe suffers still birth’

Source: ‘Grace probe suffers still birth’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

A ZIMBABWE Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) probe into the brutal removal of villagers from Arnold Farm in Mazowe to allow for the expansion of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s business empire, could suffer a still-birth, NewsDay has learnt.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

The ZHRC last week sent two investigators after reports of police brutality in the forced removal of hundreds of villagers from the farm by baton wielding and gun-toting police officers.

ZHRC chairperson Elasto Mugwadi confirmed his investigators had failed to meet Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha, the officer-in charge at Mazowe Police Station and the provincial chief lands officer.

“After the reports by the NewsDay, Mugwadi seemed to have developed cold feet.

Initially he was willing to have a go at the First Lady’s excesses but someone seemed to have ‘whispered’ some not-so-nice message into his ear,” said a source close to the investigations.

“Although Mugwadi did not expressly withdraw the investigation, at least officially, his body language had changed and indicated he wanted the ‘dust to settle’ before commencing. There is a danger it could actually be called off.”

Contacted for comment on Friday, Mugwadi curtly said: “I am in a conference”, before he hung up.

Dinha also denied reports he had refused to cooperate with the ZHRC investigating team.

“I would be willing to meet the investigating team. I have not snubbed anyone. It’s just that I have been travelling a lot. In fact, I did not even know they wanted to meet me over the issue. I was in Dubai last week before travelling to Zambia. I am actually at Lusaka International Airport as we speak and would actually want to talk to Commissioner Mugwadi now,” Dinha said before asking for the ZHRC boss’s mobile numbers.

But the villagers’ lawyer, Moses Donsa Nkomo said he had written to Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri raising displeasure at the continued violation of a High Court order by the police.

In his letter to Chombo, dated April 10, Donsa Nkomo said: “Our clients advise that boom gates have been erected at all entry points into Arnold Farm and that armed police officers are manning the gates.

We are further in possession of evidence indicating that a police base manned by Support Unity personnel has been established at Arnold Farm, including one Assistant Inspector James Teta Force Number 045940J and Sergeant Zvinoitavamwe Tongovona, Force Number 0460405, and a team of about 16 other officers,” the letter read in part.

“The officers are actively participating in unlawful eviction of Arnold Farm residents in defiance of two High Court orders.”

Nkomo wants the police officers withdrawn from the farm and ordered to stop the eviction of the villagers.

Has Mugabe lost control?

Source: Has Mugabe lost control? – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

IT could be poetic truth that indeed the centre can no longer hold.

NEWSDAY COMMENT

With the events happening in Zanu PF, has President Robert Mugabe lost control of the governing party?

That Zanu PF apparatchiks have taken to openly attacking each other violently and now need his intervention even at the lowest level is symptomatic of a political system that has lost its hold on the levers of power.

Opposition parties have persistently accused Zanu PF of fanning inter-party violence that continues to blight our country’s electoral processes in particular.

Yet, the President, has denied these as the wailings of a tactless and spineless opposition.

Now the chickens have come home to roost. Last week, we reported that violence had broken out in Mashonaland East’s Mahusekwa district over Marondera West constituency.

Now it has come to Harare, a few hundred metres from the government seat of power.

Many activists were left with gapping wounds and their pictures have gone viral on social media but nobody has been arrested. If the Zanu PF thugs had been involved in a confrontation with opposition party members then it would have been easy to arrest members of the other side.

Now the police have been left powerless.

Who do they arrest in this situation of a violent intra-party altercation that is threatening to engulf the whole country? On the other hand Mashonaland Central is reaching boiling point and needed a presidential decree of some sort to stop the warring factions.

Are these the final bolts and nuts on Mugabe’s legacy that he has decided to bestow upon this country? We are sure this is not how the Zanu PF leader dreamt the final chapter in his over half a century of political activity.

Cde President, no doubt you are a master of your own legacy. You could reproduce the script into a fairy-tale of unmatched proportions by just the stroke of a pen or a word.

In the year or so that is left before the coming general elections, Mugabe could create the necessary political, legal and moral structures to ensure a peaceful country and elections.

He is not brain dead as some would think, and his intelligence is unquestionable. But has Mugabe become so blinded by power that he does not realise the importance of a peaceful transition that he can preside over.

It is open to all that the fights within the Zanu PF party are succession-induced, and he has shut his eyes and ears to all this and continues as if it is business as usual.

Is there need for loss of human life so the President can have another stab at power?
No doubt, Mugabe can take a look in the mirror and his age.

We call on the President to make the right call and repose on our country a peaceful future.
The ball is in his court.

No lobola, no inheritance! . . . ruling brings closure to surviving spouse debate

Source: No lobola, no inheritance! . . . ruling brings closure to surviving spouse debate | The Herald April 17, 2017

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
CO-HABITING for decades without any payment of lobola does not upgrade a relationship to a legitimate marriage for purposes of inheritance, the High Court has ruled.

A perception had filtered the country that if a woman stays with a man for years, the lengthy period of stay with the man would qualify her as the surviving spouse in the event of death.

Some lower courts were even swayed into upgrading girlfriends to the status of surviving spouses in estate cases, but High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou, dispelled the claims.

Justice Zhou stripped the surviving spouse’s status off a Harare woman Ms Easter Dzwowa in the estate of the late former Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi after evidence of payment of lobola was not produced before the Master of High Court or a magistrate who had dealt with the case.

Ms Dzwowa was staying with Sekeramayi at the time of his death at his Chisipite house, but no proof of lobola payment was produced.

However, Sekeramayi’s legitimate wife Faith and her children engaged the services of Harare lawyer Mr Norman Tsarwe of Tadiwa and Associates in the legal battle.

The family contested the decision and the matter spilled into the High Court.

Justice Zhou set aside the Master of High Court’s decision recognising Ms Dzwowa as a surviving spouse.

The Court also reversed the decision of allocating Ms Dzwowa the Chisipite house in the distribution of the estate of the late Lovemore Sekeramayi.

“It is ordered that the decision of first respondent (Master) declaring that the third respondent (Ms Dzwowa) was a surviving spouse of the deceased Lovemore Chipunza Sekeramayi be and is hereby set aside.

“The allocation of the immovable property located at Number 31 Hindhead Avenue, Chisipite, Harare to the third respondent be and is hereby set aside . . .”

Justice Zhou ordered the Master of High Court to reconvene and call evidence from witnesses regarding the status of the relationship between Ms Dzwowa and the late Sekeramayi.

The judge held that the mere fact that lovers are living together was not proof of a legitimate marriage.

“Living together is not the same as being married . . . the conclusion by the first respondent that the deceased had two wives is therefore not based on any evidence which was placed before him.

“To disinherit a woman who is legally married to the deceased on the basis that she did not live in the house without considering where she would live, is in my view, grossly irregular,” ruled Justice Zhou.

Mr Sekeramayi died of suspected heart failure in his hotel room in Lesotho in 2014.

He was attending a meeting of chief elections officers for electoral management bodies from the SADC region.

Simplify informal tax collection: IMF

Source: Simplify informal tax collection: IMF | The Herald April 17, 2017

As Zimbabwe seeks to optimise revenue collection from the informal sector, a new research study from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has tipped that lower compliance costs and stronger enforcement can reduce the unfair cost advantages informal firms enjoy, to make room for more productive and tax compliant firms to increase their market share.

The paper says a number of measures can be employed to redress the anomaly. “Measures include reducing compliance costs and promoting compliance by ensuring that taxpayers are registered; that they are knowledgeable regarding their tax obligations and that reporting is accurate,” said the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor analytical chapter released today.

The report also said the productivity of firms in low-income developing countries has been declining since 2005, as measured by total factor productivity, due to resource misallocation and poor use of labour and capital.

The report says the resource misallocation manifests itself in a wide dispersion in productivity levels across firms, even within narrowly defined industries.

“This dispersion reveals that some businesses in each country have managed to achieve high levels of efficiency, possibly close to those of the world frontier in their particular industry, which in turn implies that existing conditions within the country can be compatible with higher levels of productivity,” says the report.

It further argues that countries can reap more total factor productivity gains from reducing resource misallocation and allowing other firms to catch up with the high productivity firms in their own economies.

The report further postulated that upgrading the design of tax systems can help countries chip away at resource misallocation by ensuring that firms’ decisions are made for business and not tax reasons.

In Zimbabwe, there have been a number of scenarios whereby taxes were imposed with an apparent intention of just mobilising more revenue for the fiscus without considering the impact on business performance and viability.

In February, for instance, Government imposed Value Added Tax (VAT) on some basic commodities in a move which saw prices going up sharply, resulting in the tax being reversed after a few weeks.

Last week, the taxman also had to reverse the tax it had imposed on tobacco farmers without tax clearances after farmers complained that the size of the tax was just about equal to their margins.

“Government can eliminate distortions that they themselves have created. Government should seek to minimise differentiated tax treatments across assets and financing.

“This approach would help tilt firms’ investment decisions toward assets that are more productive, rather than more tax-favoured,” said the report.

“In emerging and low-income developing countries, stronger tax administration could help reduce the unfair cost advantage enjoyed by informal firms that underreport their sales to tax authorities,” it added. – Wires.

The report also opined that audit plays a key role in promoting accurate reporting, including by encouraging higher declarations from firms that are not audited.

“However, audit is more effective when it is risk based and when auditors are well trained,”,it added. – Wires

Consider returning SMM to Mawere, Govt urged

Source: Consider returning SMM to Mawere, Govt urged | The Herald

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government should seek investors for Shabani Mashaba Mines or return its ownership to Mr Mutumwa Mawere as part of measures to resume operations, parliamentarians in the National Assembly said on Thursday.

The legislators said this while contributing to a motion moved by Zvishavane — Ngezi representative Cde John Holder on the plight of the former workers of the mine.

Buhera South representative Cde Joseph Chinotimba, said Government should consider giving the mine back to Mr Mawere.

“We should return the assets so that he can resuscitate the mine. We should forgive him for whatever he did because as a nation we are a forgiving nation that is why we forgave Ian Smith despite his killing of thousands of Zimbabweans.

“I hope the Vice President (Emmerson Mnangagwa), who is here should take the matter up with Cabinet,” Cde Chinotimba said.

Cde Holder said the mine had collapsed despite Government’s intentions to resuscitate it.

“An indigenous Zimbabwean had purchased this mine now it’s dead, the infrastructure and houses are going down and the workers have not been paid,” Cde Holder said.

“Government gave the mine to the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, but it has no capacity to run that mine. Government should look for serious investors because when it was taken over it (SMM) had debts but they were running and were able to pay off some these debts and contribute to the GDP.

“Since it was put under reconstruction together with its 26 subsidiaries and all of them have been stripped and sold.”

He added resuscitating the mine would not only benefit the residents of Mashava but Zimbabwe as a whole.

“Mutumwa Mawere was born in Gutu and there was no talk of the indigenisation (policy) there.

“We need to resuscitate SMM so that it not only benefits people from Zvishavane and Mashava but Zimbabwe as a whole,” Cde Holder said.

Southerton representative Mr Gift Chimanikire, said the closure of the mine had resulted in an increase in social decadence.

“What is happening at SMM and Mashaba Mine is a tragedy. The social decadence is tragic. The issues of child marriages are common as parents had to marry off their daughters to subsist,” Mr Chimanikire said.

He added that the ZMDC could not run the mine.

“ZMDC has a number of mines but none of them are running profitably,” he said. “What is important is the social welfare of the residents of SMM and Government should review its decision to pack SMM and Mashaba under ZMDC.”

Uzumba legislator Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, said it was necessary to recall former workers and managers to resuscitate operations of the mines.

Government put SMM under reconstruction after it accumulated huge debt but the company has failed to resume operations and has been put under the ZMDC.

Mnangagwa speaks on party squabbles • . . . It’s a reflection of internal democracy

Source: Mnangagwa speaks on party squabbles • . . . It’s a reflection of internal democracy • . . . differences to make party stronger | The Herald April 17, 2017

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Current ZANU-PF squabbles will not weaken the revolutionary party, but will only make it stronger as it has experienced and survived much bigger challenges since inception, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

In a wide-ranging interview aired by ZBCTv last night, Vice President Mnangagwa said internal differences help the party leadership to have an appreciation of what members think and is a reflection of thriving intra-party democracy.

“I have been in the party since 1962, I can’t remember a year when there were no squabbles since 1962, but we are still going,” he said.

“The squabbles make us stronger and more sharpened to deal with issues.

“If everything dies and there are no squabbles, and there is nothing, I would be very worried.

“When these things happen, you now know what people are thinking and you know what to do to resolve the misthinking.”

VP Mnangagwa’s comments come in the wake of countrywide demonstrations by party organs against former Women’s League deputy secretary Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo and secretary for Finance Cde Sarah Mahoka over a litany of allegations.

The two resigned from their posts ahead of imminent sacking and the Politburo has since ordered them to return all the funds they allegedly looted.

Six of the party’s 10 provinces have also called for and endorsed the ouster of national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere for attempting to topple President Mugabe through parallel structures.

Turning to biometric voter registration, VP Mnangagwa said Government could not surrender the running of such processes to foreign agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) when Zimbabwe is a sovereign nation.

“Zimbabwe is a Republic,” he said. “The UNDP is found in Botswana, Malawi Tanzania, Haiti, Bangladesh, it is found everywhere. But these are sovereign countries and governments.

“It is not UNDP that decided we want biometric voter registration, it is us Zimbabweans. We may go to UNDP to ask for resources to support our programmes and not for UNDP to run us. Ah taramba.

“We have agreed as the Executive that we will have biometric voter registration. Yes, initially, we had difficulties of resources, but the President insisted that we must find resources and at the end of the day (Finance Minister Patrick) Chinamasa found resources, so we gave it to ZEC to look for the equipment.”

Opposition parties under the National Election Reform Agenda staged demonstrations alleging that Government, ZEC in particular, deviated from an all inclusive meeting where it was agreed that UNDP would assist in providing funds and procurement of the kits.

VP Mnangagwa denied that Government had deviated from any agreement and challenged opposition parties to approach the courts if they were aggrieved on any Government decision regarding the procurement of biometric voter registration kits.

Turning to complaints on the prevalence of road blocks, VP Mnangagwa said the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry had been asked to engage the Home Affairs Ministry to find how they could be rationalised and avoid unnecessary prevalence of such police road blocks.

He said tourism players and citizens alike had complained about the prevalence of roadblocks.

“I believe the intention of these roadblocks is to save lives, to make sure the motor vehicles on the highway are fit to be on the road,” said VP Mnangagwa. “And also there are many things that are done at roadblocks, criminal, smugglers, there must be some way to deal with those things.”

Prof Moyo, team take STEM initiative to global varsities

Source: Prof Moyo, team take STEM initiative to global varsities | The Herald

Auxilia Katongomara Bulawayo Bureau
HIGHER and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo leads a 19-member delegation on a tour of various leading universities across the globe to learn how to incubate industries in line with STEM objectives.

The process involves growing an industry through scientific innovation.

The delegation, which comprises 10 Vice Chancellors from State Universities and officials from the Higher Education Ministry, left Zimbabwe on Friday on a three-week working trip to universities in South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Cuba.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa said the tour to science universities in Asia and South America is meant to enable the minister and Vice Chancellors to tour industries that are incubated by universities.

Dr Gandawa said the Ministry had rolled out a reform process to re-align current mandates structure, institutional governance and legislative frameworks, programmes, projects and research plans for industrialisation and modernisation through STEM revolution.

“These reforms are aimed at strengthening the capacity of universities to produce quality research, teaching and learning environment where universities incubate industries.

“Incubation of these industries will stimulate economic growth for the nation, facilitate hands-on research, design and technology, industrial attachment and increase revenue streams,” said Dr Gandawa.

He said the ministry was in the process of formulating and drafting a single Act for all sectors.

“Furthermore, and most importantly, the delegation will learn best practices and experiences in industrialised economies. Experiences and lessons to be learnt on industry and incubation resonate with Zimbabwe’s Industrialisation and Modernisation Strategy (ZIMIMROST) and the Zim-Asset goal of socio- economic transformation through value-addition and beneficiation,” said Dr Gandawa.

He said local universities are set to benefit through interaction and collaborations with institutions like the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), All Medical Institutes from India and University of Havana, RWTH Aachen University.

Other universities identified as areas of collaboration include the University Tecknologi Petronas in Malaysia, which specialises in Petro chemicals and National University of Singapore.

Dr Gandawa said collaborations between industry and universities are key in the transformation of the country’s economy.

“As a country we need to pay serious attention to the effectiveness of our national innovation systems, especially the collaborations between universities and industry which have an opportunity to turn around the fortunes of our economy on many fronts,” he said.

The delegation will make its first stop at Chungnam National University in South Korea before proceeding to Singapore.

The Ministry last year introduced the STEM initiative in high schools to encourage the uptake of science learning as the country’s universities were facing a challenge of a shortage in their science and engineering faculties.

Prof Moyo has in the past expressed concern over the high enrolment of students who would have majored in commercial subjects at advanced level into science and technology universities.

He has queried why science universities in the country were neglecting their mandate of science, technology and engineering and majoring in social sciences and commercial faculties.

“Why are we having more students doing commercial subjects at a science and technology institution? Every university you go, there are more commercial students.

‘‘Those in science and technology driven programmes should be the wealth creators and those doing commercial subjects will come in to manage the wealth,” said Prof Moyo.

“Science and technology driven institutions should show that they are knowledge institutions through Patents and Intellectual Property born out of researches that bring solutions to society’s needs”.

17 dead in Easter accidents

Source: 17 dead in Easter accidents | The Herald April 17, 2017

Takudzwa Matambura Herald Reporter
At least 17 people were killed, while 78 others were injured in 120 separate road traffic accidents recorded countrywide during the Easter Holiday at the time of going to print, making it one of the bloodiest holidays.

Police said during the same period last year, nine people were killed and 43 were injured in 140 traffic accidents.

About 33 unroadworthy vehicles were impounded this year, compared to 221 last year. Although this year’s Easter Holiday was one of the bloodiest, the number of arrests declined from 13 932 last year, to 12 503 this year.

Eight fatal accidents were recorded both last year and this year.

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi, said in a statement yesterday that the major causes of accidents so far recorded were speeding, inattention, misjudgement, overtaking errors and failure to give way.

He said the high death toll was triggered by the Chinhoyi accident that claimed six passengers.

“The (high) death toll has been contributed by the Chinhoyi accident which killed six people, then Chipinge accident where three people perished, the Masvingo accident where two people died as well as Rusape tragedy where two people also died,” he said.

Chief Sup Nyathi urged all motorists and road users to observe road rules.

“Police are urging motorists to be observant, cautious and ensure they do not speed, overtake in dangerous situations and above all safeguard lives on the road.”

“Let us all drive to arrive alive and contribute towards safety on the roads. Drivers should not be reckless and where possible avoid travelling at night,” he said.

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe said 220 deaths were recorded during Easter Holidays in the last six years.

Biti lays into Mnangagwa

Source: Biti lays into Mnangagwa – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the international community from being hoodwinked by Zanu PF into endorsing Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a moderate who would likely guarantee economic and political stability in the post-President Robert Mugabe era.

BY STAFF REPPORTER

The PDP in a statement yesterday said endorsing Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s successor was tantamount to “accepting mediocrity”.

“PDP is opposed to the notion that Zimbabweans are supposed to accept mediocrity just to buy stability. We recently saw some statements by a gullible section of the international community who suggest that only stability in the post-Mugabe era is important,” part of the statement read.

Western countries and China have been warming up to suggestions that Mnangagwa should take over from Mugabe, arguing that opposition parties have failed to unite against Zanu PF.

“It is important to note that the current crisis in Zimbabwe is not only a crisis of instability but largely a making of incompetence, corruption, evil governance strategies, policy inconsistence and lack of care by the Zimbabwean government,” PDP said.

“We take exception of the sentiments by (top United Kingdom academic) Stephen Chan, his views are consistent with those of Chatham House and other British institutions.
“If you ask the Chinese what is the one big thing that should happen in Zimbabwe, they will say they need stability. Anyone who brings stability, whether it is Mnangagwa or someone else, and has the support to ensure that there is stability going forward, that person will be welcomed by both the West and the East,” PDP said.

Mnangagwa is also facing strong resistance from within Zanu PF, particularly from the members of the youthful G40 faction fronted by under-fire party political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

The Zanu PF Midlands godfather, however, reportedly enjoys massive support from the war veterans and sections of the security sector.

War vets, Grace join hands

Source: War vets, Grace join hands – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

WAR veterans have temporarily shelved their bitterness with President Robert Mugabe and offered to back his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe in her bid to wrestle the Harare South parliamentary seat from the incumbent, Shadreck Mashayamombe.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Zimbabwe National War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa told NewsDay yesterday he had received calls from his members to consult on the possibility of supporting Grace’s bid to take over the Harare South seat.

“It is true, ZNLWVA is busy consulting. They would want Harare South seat reserved for the First Lady.

They are keen to go in full force to campaign for her,” he said, adding they were prepared to forgive Grace and forge an alliance with her to frustrate the G40 faction.

“We are receiving calls from the membership offended by (Local Government minister Saviour) Kasukuwere’s sinjonjo dance at Chiweshe rally last year. Ndiani asina tsika anotamba sinjonjo nemukadzi wasabhuku (who is that without manners who engages in indecent dance with the village head’s wife),” Mutsvangwa said.

War veterans fell out with Mugabe in July last year after they released a damning communique, where they described the 93-year-old Zanu PF leader as “genocidal and dictatorial”.

After months of frosty relations with Mugabe and his family, the former fighters said they now believed their enemy was not the Zanu PF leader, but leading figures in the G40, among them Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo.

In a sudden turn of events, G40 senior figures have found themselves under attack from their matriarch, in what analysts believed could be a political re-alignment in the ongoing fight to succeed Mugabe.

Kasukuwere has seen his political fortunes wane over accusations he has established parallel structures with a view to toppling Mugabe, while his erstwhile storm-troopers in the powerful women’s league Sarah Mahoka and Eunice Sandi-Moyo have since lost their positions as treasurer and deputy politburo secretary respectively.

Reports have indicated that Grace has set her eyes on Harare South and “told Mashayamombe to find another constituency”.

Mashayamombe, whose youths were reportedly involved in intra-party violent clashes at the weekend could not be reached for comment yesterday as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Mutsvangwa said Grace could benefit from the mayhem within the G40 faction that has reportedly been pushing for her to take over from the ailing Mugabe.

“As the popular anger of rank and file of cadres forces the President and the politburo to act, First Lady may harvest a hitherto unimagined political windfall. A revolving door could see war veterans marshal their tried and tested political credentials, pedigree and acumen all to her benefit should she decide as mooted to go for the Harare South party primaries against the troubled Mashayamombe, who is now precariously hanging on the precipice,” Mutsvangwa said.

The war veterans’ leader indicated that the former fighters were willing to labour to ensure a Grace-win.

“Indeed the choice is now entirely hers to make, after all it is now a no brainer to judge the flow of political winds and expeditiously dump the G40. She is still young and her political mis-steps are viewed as merely venal as opposed to cardinal by the war veterans. The latter have G40 firmly and squarely in their bull’s eye. She is viewed as having an upside potential that can still be a positive force. Give it to her; she is not in the clutches of the unrepentant enemies of the nation Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere and (Patrick) Zhuwao,” the ex-Cabinet minister said.

Mugabe has also consistently called the former fighters to order and in his latest rant that solicited an angry rebuke from the war veterans, the Zanu PF leader last week told mourners at the burial of national hero Retired Brigadier-General James Murozvi that the fact that they fought in the liberation struggle gave them no right to dictate the country’s leadership structure.

Biti to address SA law society on Zim situation

Source: Biti to address SA law society on Zim situation – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti has been invited to address the South African Law Society’s annual general meeting on April 21, where he is expected to highlight the political and economic crisis back home.

BY SILAS NKALA

The meeting, scheduled to take place at the International Convention Centre in South Africa, is running under the theme The State of the Profession-Looking Forward.

The PDP confirmed the development in a statement yesterday.

“Biti will speak to the challenges lawyers face practicing in a constitutional democracy. He will draw parallels of the environment in South Africa with that in Zimbabwe where political interference is high even in the Judiciary,” the statement read.

“The Law Society of South Africa will bring together its six constituent members – The Black Lawyers Association, the Cape Law Society, the Kwazulu Natal Law Society, the Law Society of Northern Provinces and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers.”

“Biti has been recognised for his efforts in using constitutional law as a tool for social change and his consistent human rights work. He recently attended a conference in South Africa on the rights of prisoners where he made a presentation on the issue of those imprisoned for life’s right to parole and the efforts to ascertain progressive clauses of the Constitution,” the statement added.

The PDP said it was proud to have its leader recognised globally.

The former Finance minister is currently working with a number of Zimbabweans based in the Diaspora to file a class application on the right to vote for the people who live abroad.

ZimPF muddle over endorsing Tsvangirai

Source: ZimPF muddle over endorsing Tsvangirai – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017

CONFUSION within the rank and file of Zimbabwe’s opposition reigns with the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party co-led by former Cabinet ministers Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa now saying it is yet to make a decision on who will lead a proposed coalition.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Mutasa last month told a National Elections Reform Agenda (Nera) gathering in Harare that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was a natural choice to lead the coalition.

“For me, Tsvangirai is the natural leader of the coalition because of who he is … What Nera is today stands for what Tsvangirai and the MDC built. The rest of us are latecomers in this game,” Mutasa told the rally.

However, ZimPF co-chairperson and former Zanu PF spokesperson Gumbo said Mutasa was quoted out of context.

“It unfortunate and wrong to say ZimPF endorsed Tsvangirai as the leader of the coalition, what he said was that it would appear that Tsvangirai has the upper hand at the moment and given the support on the ground to be the leader of the coalition.
There is no clear leader of the coalition at the moment, there are a number of variables that need to be considered before we arrive at the leader of the coalition and this is an important decision which we don’t want to take a chance with,” Gumbo told NewsDay.

National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru last week, announced at a rally in Masvingo that she had inked a deal with Tsvangirai on the proposed coalition, but was forced into withdrawing the statements after the MDC-T leader denied a deal had been struck.

Gumbo said his party was working on a strategy and plans to be made public once completed. With his party still struggling to find a political figurehead to lead it since the acrimonious fall-out with Mujuru, Gumbo said his party would take its time.

“We will not be forced into coming up with a leader, we will announce the leader at the appropriate time,” he said.

However, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Tsvangirai was unfazed by the latest statements from ZimPF.

“President Tsvangirai is not bothered at all. He is a people person and doesn’t have to be endorsed by any particular person to be leader of the coalition.

“Everyone in Zimbabwe knows that Tsvangirai is the most popular politician in the country. The MDC remains focused and we continue to strenuously and vigorously fight for the adoption of electoral reforms. Reforms are key in ensuring that next year’s plebiscite is free and fair,” Gutu said.

Tsvangirai has put in place a litany of demands that would-be coalition partners have to abide by.

President Robert Mugabe recently scoffed at the envisaged coalition describing it as a conglomeration of losers.

The State of the Opposition in Zimbabwe

When Zimbabwe gained its Independence in 1980, over 80 per cent of the Country voted for Zanu PF led by Robert Mugabe. 17 per cent voted for Zapu led by Joshua Nkomo and 3 per cent for the former Prime Minister, Abel Muzorewa. In the south west, virtually every seat went to Zapu while in the rest of the country, Zanu swept the board.

Source: The State of the Opposition in Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwean 17.04.2017  by Eddie Cross

Mr Mugabe wanted a one Party State from day one and resented the strangle hold that Zapu held over the constituencies in the south western Districts. In 1983 when a low level insurgency led by rogue elements of Zapu – perhaps funded and encouraged by South Africa, was launched, Mr Mugabe took the opportunity to mount a massive and sustained attack on Zapu. This was spearheaded by the Fifth Brigade, an army unit selected and trained by the North Koreans. In addition the operation called “Ghukurahundi” (the storm that washes clean) involved many other arms of the State and included genocidal activity and mass deprivation of food and other essentials.

By 1987, after tens of thousands of deaths and the forced displacement of perhaps 1,2 million people, the leader of Zapu, Joshua Nkomo, caved in and conceded defeat, allowing his Party to be incorporated into Zanu PF and the Party, the oldest nationalist liberation movement in the country, virtually disappeared. This gave Mr Mugabe the one Party State that he had sought from the beginning of his rule.

Between 1987 and 1999, a number of small opposition Parties came into being. Rising up and then dying, one by one under the persistent and relentless pressure of State Agencies. Even the first Chief Justice, who formed a Party in an effort to restore a semblance of democracy to the country, was hounded into bankruptcy and collapse. Attempts by the Center Party, the Forum and Edgar Tekere came to naught.

Then in 1994, a well known individual, Morgan Tsvangirai, Secretary General of the Trade Union movement in Zimbabwe, began to argue that the country needed a new Constitution to take some power away from the center and to allow more democracy. This led to the formation of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) in 1995 and eventually the decision to hold a referendum in 2000 on a proposed new draft Constitution.

The Government, fearful of any movement towards a more open and democratic society, manipulated the draft to retain the one Party State and the monopoly control of Mr Mugabe and Tsvangirai decided that enough was enough and that the Trade Unions had to challenge Zanu PF politically. The result in 1999 was the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change and within six months the MDC had to take on the monolith of Zanu PF in the national referendum.

Zanu was totally dismissive of the MDC challenge and went into the referendum with supreme confidence, when they lost the referendum even after rigging the vote by an estimated 15 per cent, it was a real shakeup. The country went into an election a few months later and Zanu PF survived by a tiny margin of three seats and they then knew that the MDC could no longer be ignored.

At this stage the MDC was virtually alone in the opposition field. Everyone knew that opposition politics in Zimbabwe was a dangerous game. In 2002 in the Presidential elections, Mr Tsvangirai clearly won against Mr Mugabe who survived because the vote was heavily manipulated and South Africa intervened to make sure the MDC was not victorious. After this the MDC was subjected to a version of the German Blitzkrieg or the South African “total onslaught” and the regime threw everything they had in their considerable arsenal of weapons and tactics and in 2005 the MDC was heavily defeated and then split into two – with external and internal support and resources.

Now there were two significant opposition Parties to Zanu PF. This did not strengthen the opposition and in 2008, in the first ‘harmonised” elections, the other MDC fielded a Presidential candidate in the form of Simba Makone, formerly Secretary to the SADC and Minister of Finance. The result was that Mr Tsvangirai won the ballot with 54 per cent of the vote, Mr Mugabe took 27 per cent and Mr Makone, 18 per cent. The Military refused to accept the defeat and with the approval of South Africa, falsified the ballot to force a run off.

The run off was so badly managed that not even the African Union would accept Mr Mugabe’s claim that he had been elected with 84 per cent of the vote and Zimbabwe was forced into a Government of National Unity in 2009.

Four candidates contested the 2008 elections – the fourth gaining less than 1 per cent of the vote. It really was a two horse race and had the other MDC not fielded a candidate, Mr Tsvangirai would almost certainly have been declared the winner and his election could not have been challenged.

When the GNU was terminated in 2013 without fulfilling its reform agenda, the opportunity to deal with the Opposition was taken by Zanu PF who then just rolled over the MDC and others using its overwhelming financial and State resources and control.

However critics and observers failed to recognise one major development that had taken place – the MDC was no longer the sole opponent of the Zanu PF and the electoral playing field had opened up considerably – in 2000 there had been no private media, now there were several newspapers and some radio media that were not State controlled. MDC had succeeded where all its predecessors had failed; they had restored a semblance of democracy to the country after 30 years of monopoly control.

In 2013 some 14 Parties contested the election and there were a number of Presidential candidates. In my Constituency in 2013, 7 opposition Parties put up candidates compared to 1 in 2000, 3 in 2005 and 4 in 2008.

Now we approach the next elections, scheduled for 2018 and already the field is crowded. At my last count we had some 50 Parties in the field and 14 potential Presidential candidates. Observers and analysts are saying that the opposition must form a coalition to win the 2018 elections.

The MDC under Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership started the journey to the 2018 elections with the suggestion that all opposition forces should form a coalition to force reform and to commit themselves to not fighting the elections until the playing field was more level for all players. This led to the formation of NERA, a loose alliance of some 18 Parties to negotiate reforms. This is now a quite effective grouping and substantial pressure is being put on the regime to implement electoral and media reforms.

In a way the formation of NERA has encouraged the discussion of an electoral alliance to fight the elections and increasingly Mr Tsvangirai is seen as the only candidate with the capacity to defeat the Zanu PF candidate. However the debate has a long way to go before a decision is reached and it is by no means clear just who will contest the elections on behalf of Zanu PF or the Opposition. But one thing is for sure, Zimbabwe is no longer a one Party State!

New twist to Zanu PF war

Source: New twist to Zanu PF war – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      16 April 2017

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe has apparently ordered all Zanu PF
structures to stop the current push to give the bullet to the party’s
under-fire national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, and his
brother Dickson Mafios – who is the party’s chairperson in Mashonaland
Central.

Well-placed Zanu PF sources told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that
Mugabe was concerned about both the impact of the bid to oust Kasukuwere
from his powerful position on the troubled ruling party – particularly
with the watershed 2018 elections around the corner – as well as the
inability or unwillingness of those at the forefront of the push to follow
due process.

Until now, Kasukuwere and Mafios’ political careers had hung by a thread
after their party enemies hit them with a slew of damaging charges,
including claims that they were plotting to topple Mugabe from power and
were fanning factionalism in the warring former liberation movement.

This saw several anti-Kasukuwere demonstrations – which are kisses of
death in the faction-riddled ruling party – being mounted in Mashonaland
Central, Midlands and Masvingo, amid swirling speculation that Mugabe
wanted the Local Government minister out.

But in a surprise turn of events yesterday, Zanu PF’s deputy chairperson
for Mashonaland Central Kazembe Kazembe – who has been opposing Kasukuwere
– confirmed to the Daily News on Sunday that his camp was abandoning its
anti-Kasukuwere push after Mugabe, through Provincial Affairs minister
Martin Dinha, directed them to stop their mission to pave way for “due
process”.

“We had addressed inter-district meetings in Bindura on Thursday and
Shamva on Friday when we got the message from the governor (Dinha) that
the president had said we must stop … and we have since complied with
this directive unconditionally,” Kazembe said.

“We were scheduled to address another meeting in Mazoe today (yesterday),
but like I said, we are law-abiding cadres and we respect orders from the
party president.

“We have no option but to inform district chairpersons that we have
cancelled the programme in line with the directive from the top,” he
added.

Mugabe’s order also comes as there are whispers that Kasukuwere’s party
foes are pushing for Zanu PF’s national disciplinary committee to “seal
his fate” (fire him) as soon as possible and allegedly without referring
his case to the party’s politburo.

Mugabe also recently ordered Zanu PF members to desist from engaging in
demonstrations against one another as the anti-Kasukuwere demonstrations
raged, saying the party had internal forums and mechanisms to deal with
errant cadres.

This comes as former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central youth leader, Godfrey
Tsenengamu, had sensationally claimed last week that Mugabe wanted
Kasukuwere out of the warring ruling party.

Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News,
Tsenengamu also said Mugabe was using “the same methods” to deal with
Kasukuwere that he had allegedly employed to hound his former deputy,
Joice Mujuru, out of Zanu PF during the deadly purges of 2014.

Tsenengamu, who has consistently claimed that he was among the youth
leaders who were used by Mugabe to orchestrate Mujuru’s downfall, said he
had no doubt in his mind that Kasukuwere’s Zanu PF political career was
“hanging by a thread”.

“It is clear that the president is behind Kasukuwere’s woes, and whether
he (Kasukuwere) survives or not is entirely dependent on Mugabe.

“What is also very clear is that Mugabe is playing people against each
other, as he has done on so many previous occasions.

“I remember very well that Mujuru faced similar charges of trying to
topple the president through a coup and those are the same charges that
Kasukuwere is now facing,” Tsenengamu reasoned.

The outspoken former Zanu PF leading light added that Mugabe had allegedly
“perfected the art of playing the party’s factions” in his own interest.

It was also in this light, Tsenengamu said, that the nonagenarian’s recent
“pleas” in which he appeared to sympathise with Kasukuwere, needed to be
taken with a pinch of salt.

“During the night he (Mugabe) sends people to attack others, and during
the day he extends an olive branch to the victims.

“He supplies political bullets and guns to A, so that A can shoot B. Then
he goes on to supply bulletproof vests to B, so that B is protected from
being shot by A. Those are his typical double standards,” Tsenengamu said.

He also claimed that he had been approached by ruling party bigwigs to
participate in the recent demonstrations against Kasukuwere and Mafios.

Curiously, Tsenengamu said he had refused “to gain a measure of revenge”
against Kasukuwere – whom he accuses of having engineered his expulsion
from Zanu PF in 2015 – by participating in the marches.

“He who rented his powers to Tyson (Kasukuwere) must take back his power
by himself. Zvekushandisana nekusvibisana kwete. Ndakaramba kuberekeswa
kamwana kakafa (I don’t want to be used, and this is why I refused to
participate in Kasukuwere’s battering). Never again … 2014 was enough.

“Yes, I learnt my lessons from 2014. The reality is that we were used.
Suits were bought for us and for some time we were even treated like
royalty as the powers-that-be coached us to smear Mujuru’s name.

“When people who were organising these demonstrations (against Kasukuwere)
approached me, I said no … because I felt that I would be used again by
Mugabe in the same way he used us in 2014,” Tsenengamu said.

Meanwhile, Tsenengamu has also warned that the turmoil in the women’s
league could also claim Zanu PF’s scalp in next year’s eagerly-anticipated
national polls.

“People were expelled in 2004, 2014, 2015 … and now (Eunice) Sandi Moyo
and Sarah Mahoka are the targets. As we go towards the 2018 elections, the
current divisions are not good for the party.

“Towards the 2008 election, we had differences but not of this kind. This
is too much. Do these fights have something to do with the party and
people, or are there certain individuals who want to benefit from them?

“We know that after they expel Sandi and Mahoka there are others who are
also going to face the chop.

“My question now is, are we being used to fight for the party or we are
fighting to protect certain family interests or the interests of certain
individuals?” he asked rhetorically.

Tsenengamu, who was hounded out of Zanu PF together with six other
provincial youth leaders in 2015, is currently on bail after he savaged
Mugabe for appearing to crush Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential ambitions
during the nonagenarian’s 93rd birthday interview with the ZBC.

When the super-rich divorce, gloves come off

Source: When the super-rich divorce, gloves come off – DailyNews Live

John Kachembere and Tarisai Machakaire      16 April 2017

HARARE – The divorce industry in Zimbabwe is worth millions a year and
mega-bucks settlements abound.

And when stay-at-home mum Sibusisiwe Melody Marapira recently demanded
custody of her three children with deputy Agriculture minister Davis
Marapira, a monthly maintenance of $500 per child, school fees and 65
hectares of arable land at Lamonte Farm, nine cows and household property
at 15 Reylands Court, Pomona in Harare, there was genuine fear that the
Zanu PF minister could be left with nothing.

The wife feels it’s especially unfair that he hobnobs with other female
partners and demands that there should be some Victorian penalty for his
bad behaviour.

“The defendant has been having numerous affairs with other women. Parties
want to lead separate lives. The defendant has been abusive to plaintiff
physically and mentally,” Sibusisiwe says in her divorce declaration.

Court papers actually reveal that the couple has myriad of immovable
property and own 200 cattle, 1 000 sheep and 65 hectares of arable land
under centre pivot irrigation all year round.

But this is small fry compared to other high-profile cases such as Home
Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo’s breakup with ex-wife Marian, Defence
Forces commander Constantino Chiwenga’s nasty separation with Joycelyn and
businessman Simon Rudland’s highly-publicised divorce with former wife
Leigh-Ann.

Family of God Church leader Andrew Wutawunashe and retired High Court
judge Moses Chinhengo have also been caught up in this divorce storm.

For the former, revelations of the man of God’s separation from his wife
Rutendo, came unwittingly through a letter written to the church’s elders
that he would soon remarry.

And it would seem some of these people would have been married for a
lifetime such as Chinhengo’s 20-year union with marketing, and public
relations practitioner Josephine.

In all these matters, there is or also seems to be a running theme that
“the relationships have irretrievably broken down that there are no
reasonable grounds for restoration”, allegations of physical and emotional
abuse as well as charges, and counter-accusations of infidelity.

In the Rudlands’ case, for instance, Leigh-Ann has even gone to the extent
of accusing her former husband Simon –  who owns a majority stake in Zimre
Holdings and another diversified conglomerate CFI Holdings – of deserting
their matrimonial home.

And for divorce lawyers working on this legal spectrum, such cases are big
business, with the highest fliers reportedly commanding seven-figure
salaries – as they typically charge upwards of $1 000 an hour – and
allowing them to live almost as luxuriously as their clients.

They are also privy to fascinating details and insights about the lives of
these high-rollers, and powerful politicians.

This includes allegations of how these super-rich individuals have
concealed wealth and assets – behind a veneer of sophisticated trusts,
crooked lawyers and financial advisors – from their spouses and under an
increasing or widespread social phenomenon worldwide.

As such, this may explain the (application for) “media gags” around the
Chombo, Chiwenga and other elites’ divorce cases.

However, some titbits or morsels about these estranged couples’ acquired
real estate, cash holdings, assortment of vehicles and other material
possessions showing the extent of these people’s fabulous riches always
emerge – one way or another.

Marriage counsellor Agnes Moyo believes that while many couples in the
spotlight are faced with more temptation, opportunity, and a hectic,
jet-setting lifestyle than most, many of the issues these couples face are
not all that different from the challenges regular Zimbabwean couples must
overcome together – they’re just amplified.

“In every marriage there is a phenomenon of `two-facedness,’ and when our
internal voices and what we express out loud are at odds with each other,
the discrepancy begins to erode the relationship,” Moyo explained.

“There becomes this desire to look good, get approval, look like you’re
doing it right, and this creates a tension in yourself and in the
relationship,” she said, adding that this leads to the breakdown of the
relationship because there is no way to improve the relationship when
nobody’s telling the truth about what’s not working.

When you’re in the spotlight, she said, that need to look good is
amplified “a thousand times because everyone’s watching you.”

“It’s that much harder to be present in the truth because you’re so busy
keeping up appearances.”

To prevent unspoken issues from eroding a relationship, Moyo said couples
need to confront their issues head-on, however uncomfortable that may
seem, and then maintain this level of honesty by checking in frequently.

Wallace Matema, a preacher with a local church, said successful people
tend to put other things ahead of their marriages.

“For any couple, but for sure with couples in the spotlight or who have
high-powered jobs and are ushering big visions into the world, if there
isn’t an equally big vision for the marriage, that’s a really big
problem,” he said.

The man-of-cloth pointed out that the amount of vision and drive it takes
to attain or retain success in one’s career often requires that vision be
senior to other visions.

But in marriage, the relationship has to be most important.

“What oftentimes happens with high-powered couples is the career is senior
or the kids become senior, and the kids actually substitute that emotional
connection.

“When the kids replace the emotional connection between partners, they
have sold out on making sure their relationship stays healthy and this is
why most people get divorced,” he said.

“To avoid this, it’s important to align your visions for the relationship,
as well as for your career, kids, family, location, and habits,” Matema
added.

Clinical psychologist Sue Roberts said high-flying couples stop doing the
little things that matter in life.

“The things you do in the beginning of a relationship – you go out on
dates, you spend time together, you plan special occasions, you plan
special gifts, you really listen when they talk, you remember things, you
care about their parents, you try to impress their friends – all those
things you did when you were courting, you actually have to keep doing,”
she said.

Successful people in particular have a hard time doing this because there
are so many more things competing for their attention. All of it takes
time, which is a scarce commodity.

“If you’re famous and you’re trying to keep a marriage together, you have
to be doing that on purpose, not if you get lucky or you try hard it will
turn out,” Roberts said.

One thing couples can be more deliberate about is the time they spend
together. Dedicated alone time, she said, should not be spent in front of
screens.

The veteran psychologist, who has worked with various successful couples
to reduce the distress and improve their psychological wellbeing,
indicated that divorce is not as scary when you are successful.

“I think successful people are more likely to think that they’ll be OK if
they divorce. People who need each other for financial support may be less
likely to split whereas successful people have more ability to support
themselves financially during and after divorce,” Roberts added.

Do Zimbabweans deserve all this?

Source: Do Zimbabweans deserve all this? – DailyNews Live

16 April 2017

HARARE – The cash shortages affecting Zimbabwe today are nothing new; this
is familiar territory people trudged during the tumultuous years of
2008-9.

We warned before that the signs were ominous when government introduced
bond notes last year, ostensibly as an export incentive which would also
ease the obtaining cash shortages.

On Thursday last week, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) issued a
statement to say the maximum cash back amount the public could get from
wholesalers and retailers going forward was $20, regardless of the
purchase one had made.

The RBZ believes this will be a panacea to the hoarding of cash which they
claim caused the current shortages.

However, the confidence the banking sector was beginning to get on the
back of the stabilising years of the Government of National Unity between
2009-13 has wholly dissipated through ruinous Zanu PF policies.

Previously, the RBZ has said bond notes are not Zimbabwe dollars for they
are not a currency but financial instruments, issued at par with the US
dollar, but there are renewed worries that the central bank plans to
circulate more bond notes to ease dollar shortages in a move that could
open the door to rampant printing of cash as happened in 2008 when
inflation hit 500 billion percent, wiping out savings and pensions.

This is confirmed by recent RBZ overtures – aired out through central bank
director Economic Research Simon Nyarota during a public lecture at the
National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo two weeks ago –
that the country should adopt bond notes as a primary currency to
alleviate cash shortages and solve economic challenges and this obviously
shows that there has been little sincerity in earlier statements by the
apex bank.

RBZ said calls for the formal adoption of the South African rand as an
anchor currency were not going to solve the country’s biting cash
shortages.

Zimbabwe’s economy is agro-based. It defies logic how government expects
to spur the agricultural sector when tobacco farmers are spending weeks at
auction floors with banks struggling to provide cash as the liquidity
crunch intensifies amid surging demand for cash.

The government directive instructing tobacco farmers to open bank
accounts, doing away with spot payments at the auction floors, has proved
to be a disaster as banks are unable to meet the stipulated $1 000 for the
initial sale.

This comes as the new electronic marketing platform has faced critical
operational challenges that have riled tobacco farmers.

Crucially, this inevitably dampens expectations of improved foreign
exchange earnings consistent with tobacco marketing seasons, thereby
dealing the economy as a whole a fatal blow.

Zimdollar return imminent

Source: Zimdollar return imminent – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      16 April 2017

HARARE – If visibility and predictability are two foundations upon which
stable financial markets are built, comments from the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) last week on the adoption of bond notes as a primary
currency to alleviate cash shortages suggest Zimbabweans should brace for
increased currency volatility.

While the RBZ has said bond notes are not Zimbabwe dollars for they are
not a currency but financial instruments, ostensibly issued at par with
the US dollar, there are renewed worries that the central bank plans to
circulate more bond notes to ease dollar shortages in a move that could
open the door to rampant printing of cash as happened in 2008 when
inflation hit 500 billion percent, wiping out savings and pensions.

RBZ director Economic Research Simon Nyarota waded into the debate over
the bond notes and the need to buttress the multi-currency regime with the
surrogate currency, drawing rebuffs from economists and casting doubt over
the continuity of the current multi-currency foreign exchange policy.

On the one hand, this should come as little surprise. A key pillar of the
RBZ’s campaign was to address the chronic cash shortages and supplement
the dwindling US dollars that have been in circulation for the past eight
years that were being externalised.

The RBZ Economic Research director told a public lecture at the National
University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo last week that bond notes
must be adopted as legal tender, instead of the rand

“The country needs to buttress the multi-currency regime with bond notes
towards a full currency board arrangement as part of a de-dollarisation
agenda,” he said.

“To migrate to a full currency board, the country needs to cover 100
percent of base money which currently stands at around $1,1 billion with
foreign currency reserves.”

Zimbabwe started circulating a $5 bond note in February, as President
Robert Mugabe’s government struggles with a deepening liquidity squeeze
that has forced people to spend hours at banks queuing for money.

The RBZ first introduced a $2 note and $1 coin last November to ease the
cash shortages.

A bond note unit – limited for domestic commerce – has been fixed by the
RBZ to trade at par with one US dollar.  But retailers have low confidence
in the surrogate currency and place different price tags on goods
dependent on the currency used to pay for the item.

Firms’ prices reflect that one US dollar in hard cash is equivalent to
$1,30 in bond notes, meaning that the surrogate currency has already lost
30 percent of its value. Zimbabwean firms resorting to the black market to
get US dollars pay a premium of up to 25 percent.

For policymakers, the verbal volleys from economists sharpen the focus on
the central bank’s commitment to address “the prevailing harsh trading
patterns.”

But for investors and economists, increased volatility looks on the cards.

MDC shadow Finance minister Tapiwa Mashakada said partial de-dollarisation
was attempted in Latin America by countries that had, like Zimbabwe,
previously dollarised.

Zimbabwe abandoned its own hyperinflation-hit currency in 2009 in favour
of the US dollar, but a widening trade deficit, lack of foreign investment
and a decline in remittances by Zimbabweans abroad have helped to fuel
foreign currency shortages.

“Examples are Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Chile. The moment they
started partial de-dolarisation, imports fell and this was followed by
price distortions and capital flight,” Mashakada warned.

“In our case, partial de-dolarisation will lead to unintended consequences
such as shortages of basic commodities and hyperinflation.”

Economist Kipson Gundani said tinkering with money won’t resolve the
fundamental challenges in the economy.

“Until we address the cash shortages through increased production,
increased exports and significant cut on imports, the cash situation will
continue to deteriorate,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.

“In my view, bond notes are contributing to the confusion in the market.
This country is a net importer at the moment, and because bond notes are
not functional beyond the borders of Zimbabwe that has led to serious
internal market misbehaviour of ratings cash hoarding, price distortions
etc.

“There is absolutely no merit on why we have not made the rand our primary
currency, despite research and economic indicators suggesting that.

“We are in a crisis that has no visible ending.”

In a ministerial statement on cash shortages to the National Assembly last
week, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said non-banking of cash by
traders was the major cause of cash shortages and queues for cash at
banks.

“This indiscipline is counterproductive and cannot continue to be
tolerated,” he said.

“Money is like blood, it needs to circulate for the economy to survive.
Money should be circulating in order to deal with queues at banks.

“To date, three traders have been hauled before the courts for not banking
their sales proceeds in line with the laws of the country from as far back
as June 2016. They have all pleaded guilty to the offence and they now
await their sentences after the Easter Holidays.”

Chinamasa also said government funds its employees’ salary accounts
through electronic transfers over the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
platform – a system for large-value interbank funds transfers.

“On the contrary, employees would want to obtain physical cash from banks.
This misalignment is the greatest cause of queues at banks for cash as
both the Reserve Bank and banks would be required to withdraw foreign
exchange from their Nostro accounts (used to facilitate settlement of
foreign exchange and trade transactions) to meet local cash demand,” he
said.

The RBZ said on Friday it has been guided by the realities of the
prevailing harsh trading patterns to impose new cash-back limits to curb
cash hoarding.

“Any cash-back facility made available by retailers and wholesalers shall
not exceed an amount of $20,00,” the RBZ said in a statement.

“The Reserve Bank shall collaborate with wholesalers, retailers and their
associations to ensure the adequate provision of Point of Sale (POS)
machines in order to enhance the use of plastic money for transactions.”

The Reserve Bank is advocating for the use of plastic money in order to
ameliorate the mismatch or gap between electronic salary transfers and the
demand for cash from banks.

“Embracing plastic money preserves foreign exchange in the Nostro Accounts
for use for foreign payments whilst at the same time mitigating against
non-banking of cash by traders,” Chinamasa said.

Government is also considering removing the 5c tax on plastic money in
order to reduce the cost of transacting.

Retailers and dealers fuelling the three-tier pricing that has emerged as
market forces are overpowering the forced parity of bond notes face
imprisonment of up to seven years. RBZ deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo has
said he was aware that some of the retailers have a three-tier pricing
system; for bond notes, swiping and US dollar, “that is illegal; the law
doesn’t allow it.”

This comes after President Robert Mugabe last month signed into law the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Act, 2017 (No. 1 of 2017) which
outlines that those who devalue or deface bond notes are liable “to
imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years.”

The non-banking of cash by traders that authorities claim has spawned cash
shortages is currently being attended to by the Reserve Bank and the
police under the Bank Use Promotion Act (Chapter 24:24) which compels
traders to bank their surplus cash on a daily basis when banks are open
for business.

Mugabe unwittingly confirmed during his annual birthday interview with the
ZBC in February that even he kept money at home fearing bank failures.

“They (ordinary Zimbabweans) carry those earnings into their pillows and
briefcases back home and hold funds back home and become reluctant to
release them. Then the banks will not have any resource and will continue
to talk of illiquid banks in the system.

“That is what has happened. Dzimba idzi dzizere nemari (Many homes are
full of cash). Tikati kumapurisa nemasoja (If we instruct the police and
soldiers to) go house by house and dig for the funds that are being hidden
there . . . You will be guilty and I will be guilty.

“I don’t know who will not be guilty here … Dzimwe nguva ukaona tumari
twako wotya kuti aah ndikanoisa uko kuti ndizonoitora mangwana hapana (If
you have savings you will be afraid of depositing them in the bank because
tomorrow you may not get that money).

“So you tend to keep it. It’s not your fault . . . It’s the fault of a
system that has not yielded enough cash. Mind you, the (American) dollar
is not our currency,” Mugabe said.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive Chris Mugaga said
cash hoarding was done by people who are “lazy.”

He said de-dollarisation proposals by the central bank exposed “lack of
policy credibility at the RBZ.”

“What message are they sending?” he asked rhetorically, adding the fiat
currency was issued as an incentive to exporters of goods and services.

“Credibility of policy is everything in economics. The RBZ must wait for
business to say it. They are not well positioned to say we must
de-dolarise, it becomes a contentious issue.”

He said bond notes derive their value from the $200 million Afrexim Bank
facility, which caps the amount of bond notes to be issued at the facility
amount.

“De-dollarisation musty not be imposed by the RBZ, it must be a gradual
process. The market has lost confidence in the local unit.

“It takes long time to de-dollarise, 20-25years, it takes time to rebuild
confidence in a local unit after it has been decommissioned,” he said,
highlight public’s fear, anxiety and scepticism surrounding bond notes
which have dented trust and confidence within the economy

He said the RBZ must be addressed the structural issues, the fundamentals
to support the currency, address the trade and fiscal deficit.

Retention funds cost Zim millions

Source: Retention funds cost Zim millions – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      16 April 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe could be losing millions of dollars through misuse of
retained funds by various government departments who are withholding 100
percent of the cash they are collecting from the public in a side pocket.

This comes after Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) retained
the highest amount of $204,6 million it collected last year, followed by
the Home Affairs ministry – which oversees the police – retaining $59,3
million,  according to the Parliament Budget Office’s analysis of
statutory and retention funds tabled in the National Assembly on April 5.

Home Affairs permanent secretary Melusi Matshiya told the parliamentary
portfolio committee on Home Affairs probing the 2017 National Budget, that
the various departments under his ministry, including the police,
Registrar-General’s Office and Immigration, had properly accounted for the
retention funds.

The Registrar-General’s Office retained $27 million last year, while the
Immigration department retained $1,2 million.

“Treasury gave us the authority to retain funds, they get our audit
reports and they have confidence in us,” he said.

“Those police officers found on the wrong side of the law have been
prosecuted and some even committed suicide after they were found to have
abused funds, but the fees collected are audited to the extent that last
year but one we got a clean audit report.”

He said the Home Affairs ministry was battling to raise $87 million from
fees and fines in order to shore up the ministry’s “meagre” 2017 budget
allocation of $384 million.

The Auditor-General Mildred Chiri has already raised a red flag over lack
of transparency and accountability with regards to most of these statutory
and retention funds.

This comes amid calls for the country to revert back to the old system
where all revenues were deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Fund
(CRF), and all allocations and disbursements were made from these subject
to the permission of Parliament through the budget process.

Most of the retention funds in Zimbabwe were created as a survival tactic
during the peak of government fiscal challenges caused by the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe printing so much of the local currency in 2007-8 that
inflation hit an annual rate of almost 500 billion percent.

This was to allow government departments to retain part of their revenue
to fund critical operations during the hyperinflationary era where a
slightest lag in releasing funds from the CRF would significantly
compromise government operations and service delivery due to the rapid
loss of value for money.

Treasury authorised, albeit without legal backing, certain departments to
retain all collected funds to finance critical areas such as
capitalisation.

But the proliferation of these funds and reports of lack of transparency
in the use of the funds is now a matter of concern, according to
Parliament’s Budget Office.

It reported that the combined revenues collected by government
institutions or departments outside the budget could have well reached
over $1 billion in 2016, had they been properly and accurately accounted
for.

“This includes revenues from fines and user charges collected by the
Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zinara, Environmental Management Agency,
Judicial Services Commission and the Registrar General’s Office, among
many other government agencies,” the analysis said.

This comes at a time when Zimbabwe’s budget has remained static at $4
billion annually as fiscal revenues continue to dwindle, at a time the
budget deficit is exploding.

“This situation has eroded the stimulus power of the budget to propel the
economy and move the country to middle income status,” the office said.

“The increase in cases of abuse of public funds justifies calls for
Treasury to be the only department entrusted with the responsibility to
manage public resources.

“It has also been noted that a lot of money is spent on nonessential goods
and services at the expense of critical issues. This is the highest level
of disservice to the citizens and taxpayers when privileged departments
splash on luxuries like cars whilst critical service provision like health
delivery are underfunded to the extent of failing to provide basic
painkillers.

“It defeats the whole purpose and is illogical for the same institutions
with retention funds to then look up to treasury for financial support
especially for salaries. Universities are a clear case in point.”

Parliament’s Budget Office called on the Finance minister Patrick
Chinamasa to revoke the retention authority and enforce the constitutional
requirement that all funds must be remitted to the CRF and where
appropriate, the concerned departments can be allowed to retain a small
percentage, just like what Zimra does to meet fund administration
expenses.

Treasury directed all government departments who collect statutory funds
or retain other funds to open accounts with the central bank with effect
from January 31, 2016 to enhance transparency and accountability, failure
of which they threatened to revoke the retention authority. All the
concerned departments have complied with this directive.

“However, it should be noted that this has not addressed the issue of
abuse of funds and the constitutional requirements provided for in Section
302,” the Budget Office noted.

Deadly violence shakes Zanu PF

Source: Deadly violence shakes Zanu PF – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      16 April 2017

HARARE – Zanu PF’s ugly tribal, factional and succession tussles boiled
over into deadly violence in Harare yesterday when party supporters from
opposing camps turned on each other and against police over embattled
national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

The clashes occurred despite President Robert Mugabe’s reported calls for
all party structures to end the current push to fire the Local Government
minister and his brother Dickson Mafios, among other targeted officials.

Witnesses said the confrontations took place at the party’s provincial
offices in the capital, as a group that was planning a media conference to
press for Kasukuwere’s ouster ran into the under fire Zanu PF national
commissar’s sympathisers.

Party provincial commissar, Shadreck Mashayamombe, confirmed the clashes
to the Daily News on Sunday and fingered former youth leader Godwin Gomwe
in the violence.

“What I heard was that party youths got word that there were messages that
were circulating from Gomwe who was planning demonstrations, and the
youths decided to confront that group, since the president (Mugabe) has
said there should no longer be any demonstrations,” he said.

“I was told that Gomwe’s team arrived in kombis, but were blocked by the
youths who are the guardians of the party, as they wanted the president’s
message to be followed. I also heard that these people were also targeting
me. How can Gomwe plan demonstrations when he was expelled from the
party?” Mashayamombe said.

“These people are not only defying the president, they are also no longer
in the party. They are in effect targeting the president and are not happy
that we have endorsed him (Mugabe) to be our presidential candidate for
2018,” the Zanu PF member of parliament and Kasukuwere’s ally said.

But the rival group claimed violence had started when the boisterous Mount
Darwin South legislator’s supporters stormed the party’s Harare provincial
headquarters, and press conference venue “demanding to know the other
group’s handlers”.

In the aftermath of the violence, stones and bricks littered the area
around the party’s provincial offices yesterday.

On the other hand, party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said yesterday he
was “not aware of that (violent clashes) at all (as) nobody came to me
with that”.

In the meantime, Mashayamombe’s claims that yesterday’s foiled
demonstration comprised “rented crowds from other districts or places” and
which resonates with Mafios’ statement that recent demonstrations against
him, and his equally embattled brother in Bindura had been staged by some
Zanu PF dissidents, if not elements expelled from the fractured party, and
linked to the ex-gamatox faction.

As Zanu PF’s succession wars continue to rage, Mashonaland Central
regional minister, Martin Dinha, revealed recently that he had received
death threats from his party enemies.

The alleged threats came days after the trained lawyer had publicly
endorsed Kasukuwere and Mafios’ expulsion.

“First they (his Zanu PF enemies) manufactured a statement purporting that
it was mine . . . and now they are sending threats to kill me on my
roaming lines,” Dinha said.

“A female and a male called me and said usada kufira mahara (don’t die for
nothing) using private numbers. They said `you have a family, be careful
what you say’,” he claimed further.

Although once linked to ousted former vice president and now leader of the
opposition National People’s Party (NPP), Joice Mujuru, Dinha is now said
to be very close to the first family – a development that his associates
claim has displeased some party bigwigs.

In 2015, the Mashonaland Central provincial affairs minister also received
an AK47 bullet and a threatening message telling him to step down or risk
suffering the same fatal fate that befell the late Zanu PF political
commissar, Elliot Manyika – who died in a suspicious car accident in 2008.

Well-placed Zanu PF sources told the Daily News on Sunday at the time that
“the parcel” with the bullet and threatening message was delivered to the
minister’s office just after midnight – forcing the
lawyer-turned-politician, a lightweight in Zanu PF, to go into hiding”.

Dinha has also previously survived several other attempts to oust him from
his ministerial post.

Worryingly for warring Zanu PF bigwigs, this was not the first time that a
minister had received death threats.

Last year, two Cabinet ministers had also received death threats as the
former liberation movement’s seemingly unstoppable ructions become more
intractable.

First, Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane found a bullet in his hotel
room in Harare. The bullet had been placed on a headboard in the room.

Then Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao – who is Mugabe’s nephew –
also received death threats related to his public criticism of Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his supporters in the run-up to Zanu PF’s
annual conference which was held in Masvingo late last year.

HCCL saves $5m from short working hours

Source: HCCL saves $5m from short working hours – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
COAL-MINING giant Hwange Colliery Company Limited says it has saved nearly $5 million in salary payments in six months after it introduced a short working programme last year.

Speaking at a Press briefing on Wednesday, HCCL managing director Engineer Thomas Makore said as part of the company’s cost reduction initiatives it had to cut the number of its management staff by 30 percent saving about $300 000 in the process per month, as well as introducing a short working programme where employees work two weeks per month in all departments, effectively slashing their earnings by half.

“Aligned to the negative gross profit . . . we also had to look at our core structure. We started last year with reduction in the size of management and we had to cut our management staff by 30 percent in April last year and in addition to that in October last year up to early April (this month) we went on a two weeks in two weeks out programme for the entire mine just to contain our costs so that we align them to our current activities . . . We were doing the two weeks in two weeks out programme so our salaries were basically 50 percent so we were paying that in full. It saved us about $800 000 per month and you multiply that by six,” said Eng Makore.

He added that the turnaround of the company was anchored on a Creditors’ Scheme of Arrangement.

“The Scheme of Arrangement is critical because it allows us to have an operating space in which we can implement our turnaround plans. I think you may be well aware that we were facing a lot of litigations in the early part of 2016 and the major part of 2015.

“These are litigations that emanated from creditors whom we owed a lot of money and we were behind in terms of our payment plans with those creditors. So the scheme of arrangement will help us to enter into a payment plan with the creditors.”

He said a creditors meeting will be held on 26 April and an approval by the creditors would see the Scheme of Arrangement being registered with the High Court.

“Through the Scheme of Arrangement we will also be able to unlock working capital from the banks. A lot of the financial institutions had stated to us that we needed to fix our balance sheet because our liabilities are currently within one year so we needed to convert those liabilities into long-term liabilities. We have already been supported by the major shareholder through the issuance of Treasury Bills and those Treasury Bills are essentially to support the Scheme of Arrangement,” said Eng Makore.

The Scheme of Arrangement, which is a payment plan to service creditor obligations, has been dogged with implementation delays due to various reasons, that include a court challenge by workers who sought judicial management as well as efforts by the major shareholder to balance the needs of all ailing companies.

He also said the company has reviewed its human resources policy in line with other mining players in the country.

“We had to look at the cost of our employment. We also had to look at the human resources policy, the benefits that our staff enjoys and compared them with other mining players in Zimbabwe and also benchmark to see whether our benefits, our costs of employment are comparable with other companies and when we did that, we saw that we had much more benefits and therefore our costs of employment is much higher than other companies. So we have reviewed those human resources policies so that they are in line with other mining companies and that process will result in a cost saving for the company and therefore allow us to operate with a cost of tonne which is competitive,” said Eng Makore.

The coalminer has also set sights at increasing its production from 40 000 tonnes to 100 000 tonnes by June.

“We are intervening in terms of ensuring the equipment is reliable and it’s available for operation. So that work is ongoing as we are speaking so that by middle of the year we increase our production to 100 000 tonnes per month added to that our contract miner, Mota-Engil has resumed mining and they will also be reaching about 200 000 tonnes per month by the middle of the year,” said Eng Makore.

The Portuguese-owned mining contractor which was producing around 200 000 tonnes per month from HCCL’s Chaba opencast concession, had suspended production after HCCL failed to clear its arrears, estimated at more than $50 million.

“We also have a thrust as part of our turnaround plan to increase export volumes, export of coking coal especially from underground operations and export of industrial coal to Zambia and then later on exports of coke to Zambia, South Africa and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).”

Independence for black Zimbabweans

Harare – If we look deeper and further we shall be shocked that to this day the black Zimbabwean remains poor, hopeless and oppressed in his own country.

Source: Independence for black Zimbabweans – The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe

On the social front the quality of life remains sub standard in general. On the political front he remains disenfranchised and disillusioned.

On the economic front the average black Zimbabwean still struggles to make a decent living. He faces exploitation and disrespect from his own government and it’s institutions. He faces racism from the Chinese and the Indians who may employ him in his own country.  He faces disrespect from some but not all White folk here.

In the totality of his life the black Zimbabwean is neither free nor happy in his own country. He is a wretched soul of lost dreams and hopes. Challenges on all fronts of his life still face him as if nothing happened in 1980.

Finland is named the world’s safest country – but the UK and US rank BELOW Zimbabwe

Source: Finland is named the world’s safest country – but the UK and US rank BELOW Zimbabwe

FINLAND has been named the safety country in the world – 77 places ahead of Britain which is considered more dangerous than ZIMBABWE.

The northern European country saw off the United Arab Emirates, Iceland and Oman, which finished second, third and fourth respectively.

Incredibly, Britain could only manage to claim 78th place – behind Zimbabwe, The Gambia and Jordan.

The ranking system was created as part of the World Economic Forum’s Travel Tourism Competitiveness report.

In last place was the South American nation of Colombia, which has for years been plagued by an extraordinarily high crime and murder rate.

Wooden spoon runner up was war-torn Yemen, where a brutal conflict dubbed the “forgotten war” has raged since 2015.

These two countries are preceded by El Salvador, Pakistan and Nigeria respectively.

El Salvador has one of the worst crime rates on the planet and multiple people are killed in the tiny central American country every day.

Pakistan, on the other hand, is home to Islamist militants, including wings of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

And Nigeria is home to Boko Haram, the Islamist movement currently waging war on both its government and the civilian population.

HAVENS AND HOTSPOTS

Top 10

1. Finland
2. United Arab Emirates
3. Iceland
4. Oman
5. Hong Kong
6. Singapore
7. Norway
8. Switzerland
9. Rwanda
10. Qatar

Bottom 10

127. Ukraine
128. Honduras
129. Kenya
130. Egypt
131. Venezula
132. Nigeria
133. Pakistan
134. El Salvador
135. Yemen
136. Colombia


Govt to assess Zimasco chrome claims

Source: Govt to assess Zimasco chrome claims – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development will soon send a team of surveyors to assess the chrome claims that were ceded to Government by Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) amid reports that 80 percent of the claims have been exploited while some are exhausted.

Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya said 80 percent of chrome claims ceded to Government by the chrome smelting company in the province were either exhausted, exploited or inaccessible while they kept those that are rich and unexploited.

Minister Machaya said the chrome mining giant sent a team of experts to survey their claims before ceding those that had been used and inaccessible, keeping those that are rich.

He said the province would return the exhausted claims back to the Mines and Mining Development Ministry.

“We sent a team of surveyors on the ground to assess the 305 claims that were allocated to Midlands by the Mines and Mining Development Ministry after Zimasco ceded 50 percent of its claims to Government. We discovered that 80 percent of the claims were inaccessible, worked on or exhausted. We are returning the claims back to the responsible miinistry so that they engage Zimasco at that level,” he said.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said the Ministry was going to send a team of surveyors to assess the claims before engaging Zimasco on the matter.

“We are going to investigate the matter and see the state of the claims,” he said.

Minister Chidhakwa said Zimbabwe Alloys (ZimAlloys), who together with Zimasco jointly controlled about 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s chrome ore claims, mostly found along the Great Dyke, were still to cede the claims despite Government ordering them to do so.

“Zim Alloys are yet to cede their claims as per Government directive. However, we are discussing with them,” he said.

ZimAlloys judicial manager Mr Reggie Saruchera once told Sunday Business that the ferrochrome producer had fully complied with the Government directive and had ceded 60 percent of its claims to the ministry.

“We have ceded 60 percent of our mining claims to Government as advised. I do not have the actual figure in terms of the number of claims but we have ceded the claims to Government,” said Mr Saruchera.

ZMF engages local mining suppliers to boost gold output

Source: ZMF engages local mining suppliers to boost gold output – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has entered into agreements with two local mining equipment manufacturers and suppliers for the provision of machinery to its affiliates as it moves to improve gold production.

ZMF first vice-president Mr Ishmael Kaguru said the organisation has entered into an agreement with Small Scale Mining Supplies, a company with has agreed to parcel out an assortment of mining components worth  $200 000 on loan to small-scale miners.

The small-scale mining body has also entered into an agreement with Midlands Metal Engineering, a company which manufactures hammer mills and it has agreed in principle to empower small-scale miners through a hire purchase agreement.

“As ZMF we endeavour for the empowerment of small-scale miners and as such we have entered into an agreement with a company called Small Scale Mining Supplies. The company has agreed to parcel out an assortment of mining components worth $200 000 on loan to small-scale miners registered with us. The loan is payable after three years and has a grace period of three months and there is no collateral needed.

“The company will provide its own technical personnel, which will be monitoring mining activities at beneficiaries’ mines and we have recommended that only those that have the capacity to produce three grammes per tonne qualify under this scheme since they are likely to be able to service the loan. We think that it will go a long way in improving production by small-scale miners,” said Mr Kaguru.

One of Small Scale Mining Supplies’ senior executive Mr Laurence Cleminson confirmed that the company had entered into an agreement with ZMF for the supply of a complete mining plant and mining experts to small-scale miners across the country’s mining districts.

The company has been working on the project since 2009.

“Obviously as a manufacturer we have to look for a reputable organisation to deal with and we agreed on ZMF, the reason being ZMF are the people’s voice in mining and there is no point of reinventing the wheel . . . the problem we got in the small-scale mining sector is that people don’t have complete mining plants and we are putting in a balanced and complete plant what can be best termed as the 10 key project.

“It’s the starting point of a huge marriage between ZMF, Zimbabwe School of Mines, Environment Management Agency and Mineral Agencies because everyone is interested in ensuring that the gold goes through the right channel for the benefit of the country . . . We are looking at installing four plants per month,” said Mr Cleminson.

The company’s technical team is headed by one of the country’s renowned mining geologists, Mr Tension Hlathini.

Small Scale Mining Supplies is also looking forward to start manufacturing of chrome Washing Plants.

Mr Kaguru also said ZMF was in talks with a number of mining equipment manufacturers and suppliers to facilitate flexible packages for small-scale miners in need of machinery.

“We have also entered into a deal with Midlands Metal Engineering, a company which manufactures hammer mills and it has agreed in principle to empower small-scale miners through a hire purchase agreement. Under the agreement the miners will be supplied with hammer mills at zero deposit and pay after a stipulated period.

“However, the miner’s viability and contribution of deposits at Fidelity Printers will be considered. Atlas Copco is also working on a package it wants to unveil to small-scale miners and we have also approached quite a number of companies that are into manufacturing and supplying of mining equipment to offer flexibly packages for small-scale miners,” said Mr Kaguru.

ZMF chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha said that there has been little financial support for small-scale miners over the years

“Mining is capital intensive and without equipment production is very low. There has not been any finance to incentivise artisanal small-scale miners operations. Commercial banks and other micro-finance houses don’t understand operations of small-scale miners as they are sceptic about it.

“It is only now that Government through the RBZ has seen the importance and full potential of the artisanal small-scale mining sector by availing $40 million to the sector. The draw down now is currently at $12 million and the Ministry of Mines (and Mining Development) is availing $5 million under the Mining Industry Loan Fund,” Mr Takavarasha said.

Over the years artisanal and small-scale miners have reeled under high utilisation of rudimentary mining equipment, a situation, which has impacted negatively to their production.

“Over the years lack of mining equipment has really affected artisanal and small-scale miners. We have a number of mining equipment manufacturers in the country but the major setback has been failure by the miners to access funding but this $40 million funding has manage to close that void to a certain extent.

“Financial institutions were shunning small-scale miners and it’s only now that the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) has realised their potential after having produced about 9, 8 tonnes of the 23 tonnes of gold achieved by gold miners last year. We are looking at producing 12 tonnes this year, which is the target which we have set for ourselves as small-scale miners,” said Mr Kaguru.

Late last year the Gov­ern­ment through RBZ availed a $20 mil­lion gold de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tive fa­cil­ity for small-scale min­ers.

The fund which is being administered by Fidelity Printers and Refiners is meant to support small-scale and artisanal miners with bankable projects in order to increase gold production in the country.

The ini­tia­tive al­so en­tails the for­mal­i­sa­tion process of small-scale gold pro­duc­ers in line with re­spon­si­ble gold min­ing stan­dards.

The funding facility has since been increased to $40 million as the Government moves to capacitate small-scale miners who are fast becoming a major contributor to mining earnings.

Mr Kaguru said the potential by artisanal and small-scale miners to contribute immensely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product has not only been recognised by the Government but by various stakeholders in the mining sector.

“The potential by small-scale miners has even attracted equipment manufacturers. It’s not good to keep on importing. We have to support our own industry, which has the capacity. If we support our own companies, it will lead to employment creation both in the manufacturing and mining industry through improved production,” he said.

Apart from lack of mining equipment small-scale miners across all sectors are reeling from lack of basic infrastructure, lack of geological information of the ore bodies, unskilled labour force, scarce financial support, lack of collateral, engagement of child labour and compliance to legislative issues.

 

Zim/SA cross-border migration to be made easy

Source: Zim/SA cross-border migration to be made easy – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE establishment of the cross-border migration management forum between Zimbabwean and South African officials will go a long way in addressing challenges relating to deportation and immigration issues between the two countries, a senior Government has said.

Stakeholders including including immigration officials, social services, the police and other line ministries from both countries met last week in Beitbridge to iron out a number of issues affecting the movement of people between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In an interview after the meeting, Zimbabwe Consul-General to South Africa, Mr Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro, said the forum was set to improve border efficiency.

“This is a crucial forum in terms of bringing together the stakeholders from both South Africa and Zimbabwe, especially those who are concerned with deportations and issues to do with border efficiency management.

“The idea is to enhance and improve efficiency and cooperation in activities, so that systems from both countries are harmonised.

“It is more important for us to start working together with a common goal and purpose as we move towards the implementation of the envisaged one-stop border post concept at Beitbridge.

“This is the busiest port in the north to south corridor and hence we have agreed to move together in confronting challenges as a team,” he said.

Mr Mukonoweshuro said some of the issues which featured prominently during the meeting included the harmonisation of deportation statistics register at national level.

Home Affairs officials and those from the department of social services which operates the reception centre in Beitbridge, he said, had agreed in principle to tally the register at the end of each month, comparing notes.

This, he said, was meant to address issues of discrepancies in statistics.

“In addition the two immigration authorities have agreed to carry out joint operations on monthly basis aimed at curbing irregular migration.

“Further, national joint operations will be held twice per year. You will also note immigration officials have agreed to meet on 20 April and come up with a joint position paper. The idea is to have harmonised training workshops on efficient border management.”

He said following numerous complaints received at the reception centre in Beitbridge from deportees, officials had agreed to visit Lindela holding centre in Johannesburg to familiarise with the facility’s operations.

He added that there were reports that some personal belongings were being confiscated and never returned by officials.
Mr Mukonoweshuro said they had also discussed issues relating to improving the management and clearing of traffic during major holidays.

Easter holiday claims 9 in road mishaps

Source: Easter holiday claims 9 in road mishaps – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Amanda Ncube, Sunday News Reporter
NINE people have died, while 20 others have been injured in road traffic accidents since the Easter Holiday started on Friday, police said yesterday.

National police spokesman Chief Superintended Paul Nyathi said six people died in one accident while the other three died in another separate accident as of yesterday.

The holiday ends on Tuesday when the country celebrates Independence Day. “The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm the death of six people in a fatal road traffic accident which occurred at the 111 km peg along Harare-Chirundu Road near Chinhoyi on 15 April at 3.30am,” he said.

Chief Supt Nyathi said a Honda Fit car was travelling due east towards Banket with no passenger on board when it collided head on with a Nissan Caravan which was travelling in the opposite direction. He said the Nissan Caravan had 24 passengers on board.

“Investigations indicate that the driver of the Honda Fit encroached into the lane of oncoming traffic resulting in a head on collision. The Nissan Caravan overturned, killing four passengers on the spot and another one died on admission at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital. The driver of the Honda Fit also perished in the accident,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.

He said 20 people were injured in the accident and were referred to Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital for treatment. The bodies of the deceased are at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital Mortuary awaiting post-mortem. He said another accident happened at the 60km peg along Birchenough-Mt Selinda Road in Chipinge on Friday at 1.30pm where three people were crashed to death by an unlicenced driver.

“The driver of a Mercededs Benz overtook a vehicle in front of oncoming traffic and in a bid to avoid a head on collision he quickly returned to his lane and lost control of the vehicle and hit three pedestrians who were walking on the edge of the road,” he said.

One person died on the spot, said Chief Supt Nyathi while the other two died on admission to Chipinge District Hospital.

He said it was worrying that people were not taking repeated calls not to travel at night. Last year during the Easter holiday 10 people died in road traffic accidents.

Zec to test Biometric Voter Registration kits

Source: Zec to test Biometric Voter Registration kits – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Harare Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will this week test Biometric Voter Registration kits at polling stations that will be used in the 2018 harmonised elections.

The week-long site validation tests begin on Thursday, with representatives from political parties and observers free to participate. Three Chinese, Belgian and German firms are vying to supply the equipment, and this week’s exercise will help determine the winner.

In an interview with our Harare Bureau last week, Zec Chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said, “We have made progress on the procurement of Biometric Voter Registration kits in that we have now invited three bidders to come for a site validation test, which is going to start on the 20th of April, ending on the 28th.

“We have had confirmations from two of the companies, and one of the companies has actually sent in its itinerary. Its representatives will arrive in the country on 19 April. We are going to involve stakeholders: Political parties, observers, media and civic society organisations. It has got to be a thorough process; that is why we welcome comments from stakeholders and that will hopefully lead us to an informed decision of who to go with.”

Justice Makarau said the rigorous tests will assess the kits’ reliability under the worst possible conditions.

“The site validation tests will also include what we are calling ‘a lab test’. The tests will also include assessing whether the equipment is shockproof. If it drops from the roof of a car, for instance, in rural areas — the car hits a pothole and all the equipment falls out — will they be able to withstand that shock? After that, we will then want the providers of the kits to register the controlled number of voters in a given day. We are going to go to two schools; one in an urban setting and another school in a rural setting.”

Justice Makarau said Zec processes were transparent and effective contrary to opposition claims following Government’s decision to purchase the BVR system without the United Nations Development Programme’s contribution.

“We have not diverted from that process we started with the UNDP. So, the integrity that was there at first is being maintained right up to the end. We made that deliberate decision that we will not go outside the process that we had agreed with UNDP.

“We will also invite the UNDP to participate in the site validation tests, although they are now coming in as observers. If they have any comments, they are free to make those comments.

“The mapping exercise for demarcating polling areas was completed successfully by 14 April. We shall print the maps and we will inform the public of when they can come and inspect the maps and make comments. Completion of these maps means we are now mapping polling areas. Each polling station will have a catchment area and will serve people from that catchment area.

“So, basically, everyone will know where they are supposed to go and vote, and we are encouraging them to go and register so that they familiarise themselves with the polling station. We are still within our timeline (for holding the elections). We are supposed to close voter registration by November 2017 to allow the electorate enough time to inspect the voters’ roll adequately.”

President cracks whip on ‘Tyson’ case

Source: President cracks whip on ‘Tyson’ case – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mugabe has directed all Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central structures to stop holding divisive meetings, and allow the party’s top leadership to determine the fate of National Political Commissar Cde Saviour “Tyson” Kasukuwere.

Cde Kasukuwere is accused of trying to unseat President Mugabe, allegedly creating parallel party structures to support his machinations at an Extraordinary Congress of the ruling party. The past two weeks have seen Zanu-PF officials in Mashonaland Central hold a series of meetings to either push Cde Kasukuwere out, or to support him and instead shut out his accusers.

Cde Kasukuwere is alleged to be working with his half-brother Cde Dickson Mafios — the party’s provincial chairman.

Last week, 14 Zanu-PF National Assembly representatives from Mashonaland Central attended a meeting to “reaffirm” their call for Cde Kasukuwere and his henchmen to be booted out of office. Some of the MPs said Cdes Kasukuwere and Mafios threatened to expel them.

Our Harare Bureau established that deputy provincial chair Cde Kazembe Kazembe presided over the anti-Kasukuwere meeting; while Cde Mafios held a pro-Kasukuwere one. The frenzied manoeuvring yesterday saw Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Minister, Advocate Martin Dinha, advising that President Mugabe wanted the meetings stopped immediately, and that law enforcement agencies would deal with any breaches of the order according to law. Adv Dinha also said intimidation and victimisation of party members would not be tolerated.

“I, as directed by His Excellency, the President, Cde R G Mugabe, hereby, in the interest of law and order, public order and preservation of the party discipline and protocol, while we await due process on matters referred to relevant authorities and in conformity to the Principal’s position aforementioned, direct that:

“Until the matters referred to the President and First Secretary, Politburo and National Disciplinary Committee are disposed of and until these organs make a pronouncement on the outcome or resolution of the referred to grievances or petitions, none of the above provincial authorities, that is Cde Mafios and his provincial executive, comprising youth, women and main wings of Zanu-PF, and Kazembe Kazembe’s provincial executive of the same composition shall call or convene or cause to be called or convened any provincial executive council or provincial council or provincial co-ordinating committee or inter-district meetings in Mashonaland Central forthwith. Further, the province, in particular, and our office will not tolerate any victimisation or intimidation of party members.”

Yesterday, Cde Kazembe said: “We have complied with the directive which was issued by the Minister of State, and in that regard, we have actually cancelled the meeting that we had planned to have (yesterday) in Mazowe. We respect the party leadership and will wait to be directed accordingly by our superiors.

“The rationale of the meetings that we have been having was to brief the structures on party developments, mainly that the province has petitioned President Mugabe to remove Cdes Kasukuwere and Mafios, and also that there was a provincial prohibition order against these two. The people are the ones who gave us the petitions, so we felt it was important for us to give them feedback on the progress made regarding the issues they had raised.”

Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central spokesperson Cde Fredrick Nhaka said Cde Mafios had threatened to “expel Members of Parliament who side with Cde Kazembe”. “About 14 of the 18 Members of Parliament in Mashonaland Central made it clear that they were not in support of Cde Kasukuwere and Cde Mafios. These MPs I am talking about have been attending meetings led by Cde Kazembe while Cde Mafios’ meetings have been attended by Cde Wonder Mashange and a few others.

Cde Mafios has been intimidating those rooting for disciplinary action against him, also threatening to expel MPs and other office-bearers.”

Muzarabani North National Assembly representative Cde Alfred Mafunga added: “Cde Mafios held a meeting in Guruve and together with Cde (Wonder) Mashange. They threatened to expel a number of MPs, including myself, from the party. Our position as MPs is: We are not saying that Cde Mafios and Cde Kasukuwere should be immediately expelled from the party, but should just step aside while due process unfolds as their matter is resolved by higher authorities. We cannot work with them in the province when there are pending issues against them.”

Yesterday, Cde Mafios said, “We were first given a directive by (Cde Kasukuwere) on Thursday to stop holding meetings until after Easter. We then heard of the directive from Minister Dinha on Friday. We are going to comply with both directives.”

Asked about his alleged threats, Cde Mafios said: “It’s based on rumours. People are saying anything, they want to soil my name.”

Cde Kasukuwere is also accused of trying to block Zanu-PF Women’s League demonstrations against former deputy secretary Cde Eunice Nomthandzao Moyo and ex-finance secretary Cde Sarah Mahoka, who resigned after being variedly accused of undermining First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Presidential Spokesperson Mr George Charamba; and swindling party funds.

Meanwhile, the Zanu-PF Harare Provincial Executive Council yesterday passed a vote of no-confidence on Cde Kasukuwere and provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe in a day of high drama that witnessed skirmishes at the ruling party’s provincial headquarters. Our Harare Bureau understands police briefly detained Cde Mashayamombe for allegedly instigating the disturbances.

Yesterday, 28 Harare PEC members appended their signatures to a petition calling for the dismissal of the pair over a raft of allegations. Zanu-PF’s Constitution says a motion of no-confidence can be passed by a simple majority of an organ’s members.

The PEC has 50 members. The Harare petition will be transmitted to Zanu-PF’s national leadership in keeping with the party’s disciplinary code. Harare becomes the fifth province to call for Cde Kasukuwere’s sacking, joining Mashonaland Central, Bulawayo, Midlands and Masvingo.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Student Unions has also asked Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo to transmit to President Mugabe their own petition calling for Cde Kasukuwere’s ouster for meddling in their affairs at institutions of higher learning.

US$1bn power deal on track

Source: US$1bn power deal on track – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Harare Bureau
The US$1 billion expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station will begin this year, with ground-breaking scheduled for July.

The project is part of the mega deals Zimbabwe and China signed during President Mugabe’s visit to the global power in 2014, and involves constructing two units that will feed 600MW into the national power grid.

The power station presently has six units with installed capacity of 920MW, but ageing equipment means only 600MW are being generated. In an interview last week, Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said, “Ground-breaking is expected to be held soon, and we are quite confident that we are on course with the implementation of the project.”

Secretary for Energy Mr Patson Mbiriri weighed in: “Most of the on-lending agreements have been done, and these include the implementation agreement and creation of the ex-crue account. We have also met most of the conditions for the project to start.

“We are going to procure at least 20 percent of the equipment locally. We now have the capacity to do that.

For example, our cement manufacturing industry is on the rebound, and I am sure we have the capacity to satisfy demand.

“This is different from what happened during the construction of Victoria Falls Airport where we were failing to supply enough cement. Some of the equipment that will be left over in the Kariba South Hydro project will also be used in the Hwange expansion project. We are excited about this work which is going to have a massive impact on our economy.”

A Zimbabwe Power Company official added: “Kariba South expansion alone employed 1 400 people.

Considering that hydro is less labour-intensive, we are looking at a bigger number at Hwange because thermal is labour-intensive.”

Zimbabwe is generating 1 200MW against peak demand of 2 200MW and has been relying on imports from South Africa and Mozambique to cover the deficit. Last December, Parliament approved the US$1 billion Hwange Power Station expansion loan facility after which authorities published the deal in the Government Gazette.

Sino-Hydro Corporation of China is the contractor. Zimbabwe will be able to export electricity once work on Kariba South; Hwange 7 and 8; the Batoka Gorge Hydro Scheme; and power stations in Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati is complete.

Minimum speed limits, licence points docking on course

Source: Minimum speed limits, licence points docking on course – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
THE Government is working on a law that will see traffic offenders accumulating demerit points that will result in their drivers’ licences being revoked as part of measures to curb reckless driving that has contributed to road accidents.

In addition, new traffic signs stipulating minimum speed limits will also be erected on certain stretches of highways after it was discovered that some accidents were caused by slow drivers. Those caught driving below the minimum speed limit will be fined. At the moment regulations to do with speed was focusing on maximum speed only. Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe spokesperson Mr Ernest Muchena told Sunday News that the envisaged new traffic law would introduce a driving offence penalty points system. The driving offence penalty points system is one in which authorities issue points to drivers which will be docked on conviction for road traffic offences.

If a driver repeatedly contravenes traffic laws and exhausts their allocated points they may be disqualified from driving for a time, or their driving licence may be revoked. Mr Muchena said the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Jorum Gumbo, has put in place an all stakeholders committee, led by the TSCZ to start the process of crafting the new law.

He said the committee will hold wide consultations with other stakeholders as it comes up with an outline of traffic offences that will be covered under the points system.

“According to the Road Traffic Act chapter 13:11 the minister is allowed to craft a statutory instrument which puts into effect a penalty points system. For example the system may start with each driver at 15 points and when someone transgresses the law, say drinking under the influence of alcohol, three points will be deducted and they are left with 12 points. If you continue transgressing the law more points will be deducted and if one gets to zero, their licence is taken away,” he said. Mr Muchena said after consultations, the committee will come up with a proposal that will be sent to the minister to craft the relevant statutory instrument. He said under the envisaged system only serious traffic offences and not all transgressions will warrant docking of points.

“The minister has tasked the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe to lead the process of coming up with content outlining which offences to include in penalties system. The system may not cover every offence. It’s an all stakeholders committee that has been set led by TSCZ to conduct consultations and come up with a proposal that will be presented to the minister and crafted into the Statutory Instrument which will effect the penalty system,” he said.

Mr Muchena said the new system is expected to complement existing measures in deterring drivers from habitually contravening road traffic laws. He was however, non-committal on when the new law is expected to come into effect. On the minimum speed limits which come with the upgraded Highway Code, Mr Muchena said the provision was, in the same vain as the maximum speed limit, meant to help reduce road traffic accidents.

“The upgraded Highway Code also has minimum speed signs. We were used to regulatory signs but we now have prohibitive and command signs. The minimum speed sign is white with a blue background and tells the driver to travel for example at 50 km/hr or above. If you are caught driving bellow 50km/hr that will be an offence,” he said. Added Mr Muchena, “You will not find that sort of sign in Bulawayo urban but maybe on the road from Bulawayo to Nkayi where there may be a continuous stretch. When you are traveling at 100km/hr on such a stretch then you come across someone driving at 30km/hr, such scenarios may contribute to accidents, especially when you are coming from behind.”

He said some of the new signs in the upgraded Highway Code include the box junction which has already been introduced at some intersections in Harare’s Central Business District and will be introduced in Bulawayo soon.

“The upgrade Highway Code has incorporated Sadc signs which are uniform in the region. There are new signs which are equivalent to the old signs and the onus is now on the driver to get a copy of the upgraded Highway Code and familiarise themselves with the new signs. The upgraded Highway Code has a chart that has both old signs and new signs which share the same meaning but are different. For example the new give way sign does not have the words give way but an inverted triangle or yield sign which means the same as give way,” said Mr Muchena.

Neighbourhood Watch Committee members to join police force

Source: Neighbourhood Watch Committee members to join police force – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
MEMBERS of the Neighbourhood Watch Committees who have the required age and qualifications will now be automatically recruited to join the police as part of empowering them to deal with crimes, an official has said.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Obedingwa Mguni told the National Assembly last week that already some of the members of the committees have been incorporated into the force.

“We started a new programme in Kariba called ‘Police is the community and community is the police’. The programme involves the police working with the community in their areas. It is important that there are people who come from the communities who should be involved in police activities and identify what needs to be done and the challenges that are there,” he said.

He further said: “We have seen that these people are very helpful, some of them have the requisite age and qualifications and we incentivise them. We have recruited them to join the police. Some are old and do not have the requisite qualifications. We sat down with them and highlighted this.”

Cde Mguni said those who did not meet the grade to join the police service were not being left out as they are being given uniforms and shoes to wear during their voluntary operations. The NWC was introduced in Zimbabwe in 1984. It is an effort by the police to involve the public in policing issues. It targets property owners who join and assist to conduct night patrols in their respective areas.

It also involved residents becoming more responsive to the risk of crime and taking action to protect their own and neighbours’ property. Such actions may include marking of property and reporting suspicious activity, patrolling neighbourhoods and improving home security which reduces opportunity for crime and increase chances of detection.

This scheme according to the police, is one of the major community oriented programmes introduced after the police constabulary and is meant to contain crime in residential areas. It, however, does not offer full time employment to all those who join. It is joined on a voluntary basis and is open to medically fit male and female adults. The officer-in-charge at the nearest police station will be in charge of the NWC in his area of command.

‘Moyo keen to divide Mugabe, Mnangagwa’

Source: ‘Moyo keen to divide Mugabe, Mnangagwa’ – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      15 January 2017

HARARE – Maverick businessman-cum-politician Energy Mutodi is refusing to
hold back his withering criticism of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF
and here he speaks to The Daily News On Sunday Deputy Chief Writer, Tendai
Kamhungira, about his views on the rumbling succession issue and the storm
caused by images of him with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa holding a
coffee mug in what has become known as the “Cupgate”; below are the
excerpts of the interview.

Q: There has been a lot of noise about your presence at a party organised
by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his rural home, can you clarify
how and why you attended the event?

A: What I know is that like any other government official, the VP has
always been having such meetings, not meetings per se but gatherings with
his friends for the New Year and Christmas. The VP did not personally
invite me to the event, I happened to be there, one may say I was invited
or not, I don’t think anyone who was there got any written invitation to
confirm whether they had been invited or they had not been invited. But,
look, the bottom line is that there is nothing to go to town about
attending a Christmas event, a New Year’s Eve celebration at a house that
belongs to a public official because he is my vice president, he is your
vice president, so there is nothing unusual. Even if an opposition member
was there, the MDC or whichever party, vice president Mnangagwa is the
vice president of the nation.

Q: You were involved in the so-called Cupgate saga, was this a planned
thing?

A: The explanation I got is that VP Mnangagwa got that coffee mug as a
present from his workers and honestly if someone in his own house gets a
present from his workers, he doesn’t even know which closed present has
what item, he honestly opened and he saw that cup. It’s just a mere cup.

Q: And were the pictures part of any plan to send a particular message?

A: Someone just took those pictures of me with the vice president without
any intention to express any statement or any message. It was just an
ordinary picture. That’s not the only high profile picture that has been
taken between a citizen and a high profile figure. President Mugabe has
had pictures with (Wicknell) Chivayo, who has said a thing about that?
Because it is now Mnangagwa pictured with Mutodi, where is the enmity
coming from, where is the hate coming from? Am I not a citizen of
Zimbabwe? Is Mnangagwa not my vice president? Why should it matter to
someone if I am pictured with him? So you can only see that the concern is
coming from shallow-minded people who just want to create a storm in a tea
cup (literally).

Q: Now, other people went to town about the issue including Higher and
Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, what do you think could be the
reason why this coffee mug created so much noise?

A: Moyo is in the habit of creating divisions in the party and he is keen
to see a war between Mnangagwa and Mugabe. I have always reminded him,
quite often I always help him in discussions because we are in the same
Law School class, that there is nowhere he can go with factionalism, there
is nowhere he can go with trying to divide the nation. He is on record
claiming that he wanted to destroy Zanu PF from within and any normal
person will tell you that he is actually doing that mission, starting with
the expulsion of (former Vice President Joice) Mujuru and 41 party
members, among them 16 or so ministers. That was not a joke. That issue
could have been solved within the party amicably and people could not have
been expelled in such large numbers but he is in the habit of divisive
politics and he has actually said it before that he wanted to see to it
that Zanu PF was destroyed from within. Right now, Mugabe has been
alienated from the people who liberated the country. He has been alienated
from the war veterans and when you look at it Mugabe has always been
saying good things about war veterans, respecting them about the good that
they did in delivering independence to this country.Now for you to be
alienated from the war veterans at such an old age, it means there is
someone who is working flat out to make sure that the party is divided and
will eventually lose at the elections.

Q: Are you claiming in a way that Jonathan Moyo wants Zanu PF to lose
elections?

A: Jonathan Moyo is the enemy of Zanu PF. The Bible says the one who you
eat with in the same plate is your biggest enemy and that is Jonathan for
you. He is the Judas of Zanu PF; he doesn’t want that party to succeed
because he has got grievances against the party that date back to the
1980s.

He is not happy that the party continues to win elections, he has been in
and out of the party and for Mugabe to trust such a person, I am sure that
is the biggest blunder that the president has ever done.

Q: You are seen as a straight-talker when it comes to the Zanu PF
succession issue, as a party member how do you feel about the whole
situation?

A: I want to categorically state that the views that I project in the
media are my personal views and I believe being a Zanu PF member does not
take away my own personal opinion. I am a citizen of Zimbabwe, I have got
a right to pass any comment about public officials, be it the president,
be it the vice president, be it a minister, I have got that right. There
are decisions that are made by the party at congress, at conferences and
so on. I am not above those decisions but like I said it doesn’t take away
my freedom to express my views. I am a frank person. If I like you, I like
you, if I don’t like what you are doing I also tell you. I have written
“lavish” articles about Mugabe, I have written good articles about Zanu
PF but where I feel things are not right, I also express my views. So the
precedence I am just setting is that as citizens we must be guardians of
our own future. The fact that we have a president today does not mean we
are gonna (going to) have that president forever. We need to shape the
future through the views that we pass today, that’s exactly what I am
doing.

Q: Do you support the war veterans’ call for Mugabe to retire?

A: In the succession (issue) you will find that Mugabe and the whole
leadership must thank people who are talking about succession because
those people who are talking, have their views known but I can assure you
that 99 percent of Zanu PF members are of the view that Mugabe now needs
to rest. It won’t be nice for Mugabe to be defeated in elections because
99 percent of his members in Zanu PF think that he is no longer suitable
to remain at the helm of the party. People really think that he needs to
retire and allow for a successor to come. Now the war veterans are some of
the people who are talking about succession I thank them for that, for
being candid, realistic and for being honest.

Q: You openly support VP Mnangagwa, why do you think he is the heir
apparent?

A: I have offered my support for …Mnangagwa to be Mugabe’s successor
because of so many reasons that include the fact that we need a smooth
transfer of power from the incumbent to the next leader and only Mnangagwa
can provide that smooth transition because he has been in the trenches
with the president, he knows the strengths and the weaknesses of the
system, he knows our enemies, he knows our friends, he has got a strategy
to take this country forward, because he already knows the past. For you
to take a country forward, you must know its history, so that’s why I have
favoured him to be the next president.The other reason is that VP
Mnangagwa is a lawyer by profession; he will implement the rule of law if
he is elected the president. This country is now on its knees because of
corruption, because of economic mismanagement and incompetence of public
officials and as an experienced government official, a lawyer by
profession, he will be able to really turn around the fortunes of the
country for the better.The other reason why I say … Mnangagwa is a
better candidate is because we all know him. He has not been the
president, some people may want to accuse him of this and that,
Gukurahundi…and so on, he has never been the president of Zimbabwe. We
all know that it is only the president who has got the power over the army
and over the activities of Cabinet and whatever government arm, so why
should we say then Mnangagwa is responsible for the past of this country?
He is also a calm character, quiet, patient, loyal, as he has shown
loyalty to Mugabe for the past 50 years, so what more do you want, what
kind of a person are we expecting?

Q: Do you think the VP is now ripe for presidency?

A: He has not yet done enough, what he now needs to do is to make sure
that some of those people who are around him, who are closing him in and
saying you are our man; he must perhaps do away with those people to
create room for new people to come in to help him with his ambition, if
ever he has the ambition to be president. The VP can even work with First
Lady Grace Mugabe, and discuss the future with her. There is nothing wrong
with that, he can even discuss with (Saviour) Kasukuwere. The VP now needs
to go for his perceived enemies. There are so many people around the VP,
some of them are not even educated, they are possessive of him, they want
to create an impression that he is where he is because of them, he must
kick those people away from him.

Q: Why do you think a member from the G40 must not take over from
Mugabe?

A: To be honest any takeover by Grace Mugabe will not be accepted by
Zimbabweans, not even a single Zimbabwean will accept that because it will
be taken as a continuation of Mugabe’s government. You cannot transfer
power from yourself to another member of your family, that will be
regarded as a monarchy and it will be a disgrace to the democracy of this
country, and Mugabe has categorically said he will not transfer power to
his wife. Mugabe is not a naive person; he will not stoop so low to that
extent of transferring power to his wife, so that one is already out. Then
coming to Kasukuwere, Kasukuwere in his post as commissar, he has presided
over the disintegration of the party, what more if you give him a higher
responsibility, what is he going to do? Already as a political commissar
you have seen more than 300 cadres dismissed from the party. It means you
are a failure. You cannot get a higher post when you cannot perform at a
lower post. So definitely the so-called G40 has no candidate to take over
from Mugabe, there is no candidate whatsoever. We need a candidate who is
gonna guarantee our sovereignty, who is gonna guarantee our prosperity,
who is gonna guarantee our unity, that is not there in the G40.

Q: Are you not afraid of openly stating your views pertaining to the
succession issue?

A: I am not afraid of anything, I am not a coward.  I am prepared to die
for my views. I am not afraid of anyone, I know some people will be
afraid, saying he is going too far, but no, that’s not going too far,
that’s being frank and candid. I should not be afraid.

Remains found in crocodiles might be those of missing hunter

Polokwane – Teams searching in Zimbabwe for missing SA hunter Scott van Zyl, 44, have found what is possibly human remains in two crocodiles they shot.

Source: Remains found in crocodiles might be those of missing hunter | News24 2017-04-14

Ex-Colonel Sakkie Louwrens of the Heritage Protection Group (HPG), who is among those trying to find Van Zyl, said on Thursday that they had seen two crocodiles near the banks of the Limpopo River where Van Zyl went missing last Friday, Netwerk24 reported.

He said that in conjunction with Zimbabwe’s police and nature conservation services, a decision had been taken to shoot the crocodiles.

“We found what could possibly be human remains in them.”

The remains will be sent for DNA testing to see if it’s Van Zyl’s. “Until we have the results, we can confirm nothing.”

Meanwhile, his family are still hoping and praying that he is alive.

Pamphlets with a photo of Van Zyl and contact numbers were dropped from choppers in Zimbabwe on Wednesday and Thursday near the vast and bushy area where Van Zyl went missing.

Those searching on land even gave some to people fishing along the banks of the Limpopo.

A reward of $5 000 has been offered for information that can help the search teams track down Van Zyl.

HPG, the SA Hunters’ Association, and the SANDF have joined forces in trying to find Van Zyl.

Police divers even took to the water of the Limpopo River, but to no avail.

According to information from people searching on foot, it seemed as if Van Zyl, the owner of SS Pro Safaris, had gone hunting with a tracker and his dogs in Zimbabwe on Friday, using the Chikwaraka camp as his base. It seems, they say, as if he and the tracker left their bakkie behind and went into the veld on foot. Van Zyl’s gun and personal items were in the bakkie. The men apparently went in separate directions.

Van Zyl’s dogs returned to the camp later in the day, but there was no sign of him. The unnamed tracker raised the alarm, informing authorities that Van Zyl was missing.

Helicopter search teams spotted Van Zyl’s backpack on the banks of the Limpopo River, where his tracks ended.

Messages of support – some from people as far as the US – have been posted on his wife, Suré van Zyl’s Facebook page.

They have two children, Sanél, 11, and SH, 7.

Tsvangirai stalks Mugabe, Zanu PF

Source: Tsvangirai stalks Mugabe, Zanu PF – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      15 April 2017

HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will soon pick his preferred
coalition partners, as he bids to end President Robert Mugabe’s and Zanu
PF’s 37 years in power, it has emerged.

This comes as opposition parties have come under increasing pressure from
long-suffering Zimbabweans to come up with a united front to end Zanu PF’s
misrule.

However, with almost 50 opposition parties hoping to be part of the mooted
coalition, senior officials within the MDC are worried that attempting to
accommodate all of these outfits could be “an exercise in futility”.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, also told the Daily News
yesterday that coalition negotiations would “not be multilateral”.

“It is not going to be a multilateral thing, but rather bilateral . . .
where the party (MDC) chooses who it wants to work with and negotiate with
. . . because we cannot afford to have about 54 opposition parties coming
together for a coalition,” he said.

Tamborinyoka added that Tsvangirai would also be approaching other parties
on the basis of “what value they bring to the coalition”.

Tsvangirai has been working behind the scenes with former vice president
Joice Mujuru and other leaders of smaller parties towards the formation of
the mooted opposition alliance, which has been on the cards for a while.

Earlier this week, the former prime minister in the government of national
unity vowed to finish off Mugabe and his warring ruling Zanu PF in next
year’s make-or-break national elections – adding that he stood ready to
lead the planned grand coalition.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News, the fit-again Tsvangirai
said he had “no doubt whatsoever” that the MDC – working together with
other opposition parties – would, like it did in 2008, once again defeat
Zanu PF in 2018 and bring to an end Mugabe’s long but tumultuous rule.

“I stand ready to heed the calls by Zimbabweans that I lead … Indeed,
when I moved across the country, the people said I should lead.

“So, if that is what people want, then I am ready to lead the coalition.
But this should not be about individuals but about Zimbabwe.

“Indeed, the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe is not between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, but between long-suffering Zimbabweans and a heartless,
looting Zanu PF,” Tsvangirai said.

“The commitment towards forming a grand coalition is there … But we must
exercise due diligence in regard to our partners.

“Imagine at the end, just before elections you have people who will say `I
was not part of the talks’ … so due diligence is very important,” added
the dogged former labour union leader, as he explained why it was taking
long to conclude the mooted coalition talks.

“Forming a coalition should not be a thumb-sucking exercise … and
therefore we have to determine the basis of what we are all bringing to
the coalition,” he added.

Analysts have said that a united opposition, fighting with one purpose,
can finally bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at a time that
the nonagenarian is fighting to keep together his warring Zanu PF.

However, they also warn that without a broad coalition involving all the
major opposition players, Zanu PF would use “its usual thuggish and foul
methods” to retain power.

Tsvangirai has also emerged in the last few months as the preferred
candidate to lead the planned electoral alliance, after getting wringing
endorsements from virtually all of the country’s serious opposition
players.

Last week, Mujuru – who now leads the National People’s Party (NPP) –
moved decisively to dispel doubts about who should lead the coalition when
she also endorsed the former prime minister in the stability-inducing
government of national unity.

A large cross-section of Zimbabweans, including civil society, has also
been making loud calls for Tsvangirai to be the face of the proposed
electoral alliance – with former senior Cabinet minister Didymus Mutasa
among the first to root for the MDC president.

Apart from Mutasa, former Finance minister and leader of
Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, Simba Makoni, has also thrown his weight behind the
MDC leader.

Govt panics as wheels come off

Source: Govt panics as wheels come off – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      15 April 2017

HARARE – With Zimbabwe’s economy continuing to die – as manifested by
rising poverty levels, worsening job losses and severe cash shortages –
the government is showing signs of panic, amid fresh warnings by experts
that the country is headed for an economic disaster akin to the meltdown
of 2008.

This comes as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has set the maximum limit
for cash back facilities by retailers and wholesalers at $20, as
authorities desperately try to mitigate the country’s worsening cash
crisis which is forcing long-suffering Zimbabweans to spend hours at banks
queuing for their money.

“Any cash-back facility made available by retailers and wholesalers shall
not exceed an amount of $20.

“The Reserve Bank shall collaborate with wholesalers, retailers and their
associations to ensure the adequate provision of Point of Sale (POS)
machines in order to enhance the use of plastic money for transactions,”
the under-pressure central bank said on Thursday.

But a government source who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the
country’s bigwigs were “panicking” over the ever-deteriorating state of
the economy.

“I won’t lie to you, we are all panicking. While it’s clear that the
Reserve Bank is doing its best, unfortunately our problems are deeper than
the central bank’s mandate, which is why they appear to be treating the
symptoms and not the causes of the problems,” the senior official said.

An executive with a retail chain, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
also criticised what he called “panicky, knee-jerk” policy pronouncements
by the government that he felt would not mitigate the dire situation
obtaining on the ground.

“We have now reached a situation where we do not know whether to laugh or
cry. I mean, what kind of policies are these where we are compelled to
bank our money but can’t get this cash back when we need it?

“Our biggest fear is that this is more and more looking like the nightmare
of 2008 . . . and while I’m not one of (People’s Democractic Party leader
Tendai) Biti’s admirers, I think he was correct when he described our
economy as a Ponzi scheme (a fraudulent investment operation),” he said.

On its part, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) said the RBZ should “simply own up and declare that the
prevailing cash crisis is beyond its control”.

“The wheels have totally come off,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu told the
Daily News yesterday.

“The bond notes experiment has been a spectacular flop. The chickens are
coming home to roost.

“What Zimbabwe needs and needs very urgently, is a lasting solution to its
long standing political and socio-economic crisis.

“These stop-gap measures like limiting cash backs to be paid by retailers
simply won’t do. We need to cure the cause of the disease, not just
rushing to suppress the symptoms,” he said.

PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume alleged that senior government officials
were “the biggest hoarders of cash” in the country and not ordinary
Zimbabweans who were targeted by the new monetary measures.

He also said the RBZ was “criminalising what is ordinary economic activity
in other countries”.

Economist Kipson Gundani said the new cash back limits showed that
Zimbabwe had entered “an era of cash rationing” – adding that he did not
expect the measures to end the country’s severe cash shortages.

Mfundo Mlilo, a governance and public policy expert, also said the cash
back limits reflected the fact that the country’s cash crisis was
worsening.

“The money supply situation is worsening and this will negatively affect
aggregate national demand . . . It’s an ungodly act at Easter,” Mlilo
said.

Other economists warned that the cash crunch would pull down Zimbabwe’s
gross domestic product (GDP) growth and spawn a recession, with companies
and traders relying on cash set to be worst affected.

Economist Prosper Chitambara said the new regulations were a desperate
measure to curb the country’s worst financial crisis in eight years, but
would not succeed.

“Definitely, this won’t address the problem . . . this is a confidence
issue, as there are uncertainties in the market. People have no confidence
in using the formal system,” he said.

In the meantime, Zimbabwe’s worsening cash crisis has forced banks to
reduce further their daily withdrawal limits – in addition to suspending
dispensing money through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

This prompted analysts who spoke to the Daily News recently to say that
this confirmed that the local economy was dying and “hurtling towards
total collapse”.

It also comes as most banks are now disbursing a maximum of $30 dollars a
day, down from their usual $100 – while those that had capped the maximum
withdrawal limit at $500 a week have pulled this back to $200.

The cash shortages are also continuing to worsen despite the recent
opening of the tobacco marketing season.

Economic advisor to President Robert Mugabe, Ashok Chakravarti, told the
Daily News last week that the escalating cash crisis was a result of
“long-term problems” that came after the country opted to have one of the
world’s strongest currencies, the US dollar, as its anchor currency.

“We have close to $6,5 billion in deposits and at the end of January we
had a little over $300 million in cash circulating.

“Under such circumstances, it only makes sense that we have shortages. Do
not blame the banks, it is not their fault, they are only looking for a
coping mechanism,” Chakravarti said.

He recommended that the government should adopt the South African rand and
ditch the dollar.

“I have said this before, we need a weaker currency. The weaker, the
better for us. As South Africa has just been downgraded, this is an
opportune time. What we just need is a weaker currency,” he added.

Veteran economist John Robertson said the cash problems were going to
persist until the government urgently fixed the country’s economic
fundamentals.

“This has been going on for the past year and in my view, the situation is
not likely to improve in the near future because economic fundamentals
remain the same.

“Government’s wage bill still makes up the majority of deposits and as
soon as those deposits are recorded, civil servants want to withdraw the
money. But there is essentially no money in the system . . . Not even
tobacco earnings will save us this time” Robertson said.

The cash shortages come as there are growing fears that the country’s
economy may soon hit the disastrous lows of 2008 – as bond notes continue
to lose their value against the United States dollar, with the coveted
greenback now almost completely unavailable on the open market.

At the same time, economists have also told the Daily News that poverty
levels in the country are skyrocketing, with average incomes now at their
lowest levels in more than 60 years – and with more than 76 percent of the
country’s families now having to make do with pitiful incomes that are
well below the poverty datum line of more than $500.

Economists have also warned of a fresh round of sharp rises in the prices
of basic goods, including foodstuffs – as the US dollar continues to
vanish from the market, leading political analysts to worry about renewed
civil unrest in the country.

Biti, who is the country’s former Former Finance minister has also said
that Zimbabwe is heading for an economic calamity which would see the
government formally reintroducing the Zimbabwe dollar which has been
decommissioned.

“They are already printing what we call Zollars, an amphibious creature
which is half Zimdollar and half US dollar that is reflected in treasury
bills and bond notes which have no cover.

“This is reflected in unfinanced RTGS (real-time gross settlement) and
debit card transactions. We have created hot air, and as a result broad
money supply, M3, must be frightening. It must be close to 60 percent of
GDP. We are heading straight to hyperinflation.

“Zimbabweans must prepare for a long winter of despair. It’s in Zanu PF’s
DNA to print money and just spend it as if there is no tomorrow. The flood
gates are open and will drown us. It’s just a question of time now,” Biti
said.

Midlands want summary expulsion of Kasukuwere

Source: Midlands want summary expulsion of Kasukuwere – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      15 April 2017

HARARE – Midlands bigwigs in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF want the
party’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) to seal national political
commissar Saviour Kasukuwere’s fate without referring his case to the
politburo.

This emerged after the provincial coordinating committee recommended at
its Thursday meeting that the Patrick Chinamasa-led NDC should immediately
demote the Mount Darwin South legislator from his post before the
politburo deliberates on it, against the dictates of the party’s
constitution.

After the Midlands meeting held in Gweru, provincial spokesperson
Cornelius Mupereri told State media that they had indeed recommended that
Kasukuwere be relieved of his duties.

“We had an issue of national PC . . . Kasukuwere. It has been proven that
the PC is involved in the province in the running of parallel structures.
There are people that are not in the party structures that he is giving
instructions to create parallel structures,” Mupereri said.

Sources who attended the meeting told the Daily News yesterday that
Kasukuwere rivals’ desire to bypass the politburo is emanating from their
fear that First Lady Grace Mugabe – believed to be close to the Local
Government minister – would use her influence to block his ouster.

Contacted for comment on the feasibility of the move, Chinamasa said he
will only be able to comment on the matter after the Easter holiday.

“I am in church now, don’t you realise it’s Easter? Don’t you Daily News
guys go to church as well? I will only talk to you on Monday, so good bye
for now,” Chinamasa said yesterday before switching off his phone.

According to the Zanu PF constitution, the NDC is supposed to hand over
its recommendations to the politburo for the final decision.

But regional sources said provinces dominated by vice president Emmerson
Mnangagwa’s allies in the Zanu PF battle to succeed Mugabe, including
Masvingo and Bulawayo  that have since drawn up petitions recommending the
ouster of Kasukuwere whom they see as blocking the Midlands godfather’s
mooted presidential ambitions, hope to “finish him off” at the NDC level.

“Chinamasa is Lacoste, so they want him to personally deal with Tyson
because if the matter is taken to the politburo it becomes anybody’s game
because that organ is a mixed bag.

“The first lady could influence things and the moment she sides with
Tyson, it will be difficult for those opposed to him. It can easily be
misconstrued for a challenge on her,” a Midlands provincial member aligned
to the Generation 40 (G40) faction that Kasukuwere is associated with,
said.

The Team Lacoste plan, the insider said, also faces another hurdle in its
bid to have Kasukuwere demoted “because even if they succeed in having
Chinamasa seal his fate, he will still have an opportunity to appeal
through the party’s  Appeals Committee chaired by Vice President
Phelekezela Mphoko who sympathises with him”.

Kasukuwere is under the cosh from his political rivals over a slew of
allegations, including allegedly seeking to topple Mugabe, fanning
factionalism, setting up parallel structures, and insulting and
disrespecting the party’s leadership. There have been calls by his foes
for all Zanu PF’s 10 provinces to write petitions to the national
leadership seeking his ouster.

However, other provinces including Mashonaland East, West and Manicaland,
have refused to back the ouster bid.

Closure of diamond firms triggered cash shortages

Source: Closure of diamond firms triggered cash shortages – DailyNews Live

BUSINESS WRITER      15 April 2017

HARARE – The closure of diamond mining companies early last year has been
cited as one of the reasons for the current cash shortages, investigations
by the Daily News have revealed.

Confidential documents seen by the Daily News, which are also set to be
tabled before key government institutions, reveal that the formation of
the controversial Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in February
last year coincided with the beginning of cash shortages.

Since ZCDC took over operations in the Chiadzwa diamond fields, chaos has
reigned supreme and production has dropped to catastrophic levels.

“Before the closure of mines, diamond firms were producing an average of
500 000 carats trading at an average of $50 per carat,” said people
familiar with diamond mining operations.

“This means that the country was earning at least $25 million – in cash –
every month, money which was helping to oil the economy. At the moment,
there is nothing the country is getting from diamond mining and indeed
from any other sector. Diamond mines used bring in cash, now look at this?

“It does not make sense to close the diamond firms which were bringing in
cash. How do you explain this, diamond firms were forcibly shut down in
February last year and within weeks, the country started experiencing an
acute cash shortage resulting in the introduction of bond notes late last
year,” said the source.

Information gathered by the paper indicates that before the disbandment of
seven mining firms – Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin Investments,
Diamond Mining Company, Jinan and Kusena – in Chiadzwa in February 2016,
the country was holding diamond auctions at least twice a month.

Zimbabwe, led by President Robert Mugabe since 1980, was forced to
introduce bond notes in November last year to ease a cash crunch after the
country had run out of United States dollars.

The debilitating cash shortage has also forced government to delay paying
salaries each month to civil servants and the military.

Another top government official who preferred anonymity told the Daily
News yesterday that Mines minister Walter Chidakwa should have dealt
cautiously with diamond mining firms.

“While everyone agrees that there were some leakages at Chiadzwa, the
minister should have consulted further and come up with a workable
solution instead of chucking out all the miners. This has had negative
repercussions on the country’s standing with foreign investors.

“The miners were supposed to be treated as individuals while they
continued to bring in cash. All he needed was to audit each and every firm
without necessarily disturbing production,” the official said.

Chidakwa is alleged to have refused to rope in globally-acclaimed audit
and advisory firms such as Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers which
have a presence in Zimbabwe to draw a professional and water-tight model
that would take into consideration all the parties’ interests.

Chidakwa’s brain child, ZCDC was expected to be the game changer in
Chiadzwa after government did not renew licences of former miners on the
basis that they were producing way below projections.

Last year, ZCDC produced a paltry 924 388 carats of diamonds, 62 percent
lower than the 3,2 million carats produced the previous year by the
Chiadzwa miners.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently conceded that the government’s
decision to consolidate diamond mining effectively killed the sector.

“As of now, the diamond sector is dead. I used to visit Mutare during the
hype of diamond mining and one could feel the diamond money. We need to
come back to that situation again

“The issue that got the sector to collapse is essential that we felt this
sector was not contributing and we decided to consolidate it . . .,” he
said at a business meeting in Mutare.

Chinamasa also revealed that the government was trying to negotiate with
the Chinese companies who had been kicked out of the Chiadzwa area, in an
effort to make out of court settlements. The companies initiated legal
action against the government after they were kicked out.

Economic analyst Francis Mukora said while the genesis of the country’s
cash shortages were multifaceted – ranging from widening trade deficit to
declining metal prices and bad policies – the closure of diamond mines
significantly impacted on the economy.

“The controversial exit of foreign mining companies from Chiadzwa dented
the country’s chances of attracting foreign investments. Capital is a
coward and this is why Jinan relocated its mining equipment to the
Democratic Republic of Congo where investors are welcome,” he said.

Mukora indicated that Zimbabwe’s failure to build up a store of savings,
even during 2009-2012, when the economy doubled in dollar terms to $12
billion also contributed to the current liquidity crunch.

“So Zimbabwe has entered the low commodity price era, with inadequate wage
flexibility and virtually no government savings.

“As wages have remained too high, imports too have remained too high. As a
consequence, Zimbabwe keeps running a current account deficit and the
supply of physical dollars in the economy has continued to shrink,” he
added.

Cash crisis hits NPA

Source: Cash crisis hits NPA – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      15 April 2017

HARARE – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is struggling to get
enough cash to bankroll its operations, acting Prosecutor General (PG) Ray
Goba has said.

The NPA – responsible for instituting and undertaking criminal
prosecutions on behalf of the State and discharging any functions that are
necessary or incidental to such prosecutions – is a constitutional body
ushered in with the advent of the new charter adopted in 2013.

It came into being in July 2014 after President Robert Mugabe signed the
NPA Act into law, paving way for the operationalisation of the prosecuting
authority which used to be part of the Attorney-General (AG)’s Office.

Goba said the agency had inherited the troubles of the AG’s criminal
division, which used to be responsible for public prosecution before the
establishment of the authority.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa admitted that government was well aware
that the NPA was facing a critical funding shortfall.

Speaking at the launch of the NPA strategic plan on Thursday, Goba said
the authority needed to have its own building.

“Being a new institution, the NPA has inherited some of the disadvantages
that the criminal division had, including, inadequate office space and
facilities, lack of transport at all stations countrywide, insufficient
office equipment and stationery and most importantly human resources,” he
said.

“Currently, the NPA is dreadfully in arrears in terms of office rentals
for its head office. I shall not disclose the figure in this forum.
However, there is urgent need to clear those arrears, as the likely
consequences are too ghastly to contemplate.”

Goba said the criminal division under the AG office was not an independent
institution, but the establishment of the NPA ushered in a new era.

“Fundamentally, the NPA is an independent institution with exclusive
responsibility of instituting and undertaking all public prosecutions on
behalf of the state,” Goba said.

Mnangagwa – who is also the Justice minister – said they were hoping that
development partners continue to support the authority’s programme to see
the implementation of the five-year strategic plan.

“We as the executive acknowledge the difficult operating environment in
which the NPA was weaned into. The NPA need financial resources to realise
the goals set in this strategic plan.

“However, the NPA has endeavoured to set its foundation and fulfil its
constitutional mandate despite the myriad of financial challenges it is
facing,” Mnangagwa said.

“The government acknowledges with gratitude, the financial material and
moral support that our development partners, notably, the European Union
and the International Commission of Jurists have rendered in the
development of the strategic plan and hope that they continue to support
its implementation through concrete programmes.”

He also stressed the importance of the independence of the NPA.

“The NPA as established under section 258 of the Constitution as separate,
independent and accountable institution responsible for instituting and
undertaking criminal prosecutions on behalf of the State, promoting a just
fair system for all persons approaching the courts and protecting the
rights of the arrested and detained as provide for by the Constitution.

“It is therefore very important to underscore the importance and
independence of this office, as it is not subject to the direction or
control of anyone, hence the prosecutor general must exercise his or her
functions impartially, without fear, favour, prejudice or bias.

“No one should influence this office and the office must not allow itself
to be influenced by anyone in as far as their core business is concerned,
that is, criminal prosecutions,” Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabwe@37: Zimbos ensure a nightmare of despair

Source: Zimbabwe@37: Zimbos ensure a nightmare of despair | The Financial Gazette April 13, 2017

“SURELY this is now the time to beat our swords into ploughshares, so we can attend to the problems of developing our economy and our society. My party recognises the fundamental principle that in constituting a government, it is necessary to be guided by the national interest, rather than by strictly party considerations. Whatever government I succeed in creating, we will certainly adhere to the letter and spirit of our Constitution, since that government will itself have been the product of such Constitution.
“Only a government that subjects itself to the rule of law has any moral right to demand of its citizens obedience to the rule of law. Our Constitution equally circumscribes the powers of the government by declaring certain civil rights and freedoms as fundamental. We intend to uphold these fundamental rights and freedoms to the full. We also do not intend to interfere unconstitutionally with the property rights of individuals.
“I urge you, whether you are black or white, to join me in a new pledge to forget our grim past, forgive others and forget. Join hands in a new amity and together as Zimbabweans trample upon racialism, tribalism and regionalism, and work hard to reconstruct and rehabilitate our society as we reinvigorate our economic machinery.”
These are excerpts from the famous speech delivered by the then Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe, shortly after his ZANU-PF party had resoundingly won the 1980 elections that brought Zimbabwe’s independence.
Coming as they were from a former no-nonsense guerrilla leader, who bad built a reputation of talking tough, the calming words took many by surprise, but what the Prime Minister was promising to do was exactly what the liberation war forces had been promising the masses throughout the brutal seven-year bush war that sought to liberate the country from a white minority rule.
A short 37-years later (according to African-American social reformer and writer, Frederick Douglass (1818-95) three score years and 10 is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands) the country marks its independence with the same swashbuckling heroes of the liberation war accusing the same leadership — who as fate would have it, is still in power — of not delivering on these war-time promises that they risked limb and life for.
In an acerbic communiqué issued in July last year, the war veterans expressed their unhappiness with their colleagues in government.
The war veterans, until now President Mugabe’s tried and trusted battle-axes, highlighted problems that the generality of Zimbabweans have been complaining for many decades.
Whereas in the memorable “ploughshares” speech, the PM promised that national interests would take precedence over ruling party interests, the exact opposite went on to become the reality in Zimbabwe.
This has resulted in the country pursuing some policies that have worked to the detriment of the economy and other facets of life as the ruling ZANU-PF government sought to perpetuate its stranglehold on power.

Where there were promises to “adhere to the letter and spirit of our Constitution”, whenever this “ceasefire document” appear to be a stumbling block, ZANU-PF has been quick to altered the same to bring it into line with what it wants.
This resulted in the Lancaster House Constitution being amended a record 19 times before it was eventually abandoned altogether when the country adopted a new Constitution in 2013.
It is proving very difficult for ZANU-PF to “adhere to the letter and spirit of our Constitution”, as vast swathes of the new document that cause discomfort have been ignored out of existence, while work has already started to amend it to bring it into line with the interests of the ruling party.
Right from its apprentice days in power, government has been accused of being law unto itself, resulting in it quickly squandering the goodwill it had in the first few years.
This was despite the fact that the former guerrilla fighters believed that only a government that subjects itself to the rule of law has any moral right to demand of its citizenry obedience to the rule of law.
The promise to uphold fundamental rights was not spared either… it was also trampled upon, the major highlight being the violent seizure of white-owned farms which violated universally respected property rights.
Instead of re-invigorating the economy, the past three and a half decades have seen Zimbabwe going through several cycles of severe economic crises as one economic policy failure was followed by another.
Whereas the object of the liberation struggle was to free Zimbabwe and make its people prosperous, what has emerged is a situation whereby economic failure, coupled with limited political freedom have forced an estimated third of the country’s 14 million population to emigrate to other countries in a desperate search of a better life.
What could have gone wrong with the Zimbabwean dream?
When asked what the country’s independence mean to her, veteran activist Judith Todd, whose family sacrificed all to fight white minority rule — only for her together with her late father, Garfield Todd (the former liberal Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia) to be stripped of their citizenship by the new black government — referred the Financial Gazette to the 1968 novel, The Beautyful Ones Not Yet Born, by Ghanaian writer, Ayi Kwei Armah, which she said summed up everything about this country.
In the book, everything that should never happen to a country happened in Ghana, the first African country to gain independence.
In the novel, the unnamed protagonist, referred to as “the man”, works at a railway station and is approached with a bribe; when he refuses, his wife is furious and he cannot help feeling guilty despite his innocence.
The novel expresses the frustration many citizens of the newly independent States in Africa felt after attaining political independence.
Many African States like Ghana followed similar paths in which corruption and the greed of African elites became rampant.
Corruption in turn filtered down to the rest of society.
Social justice activist, Farai Maguwu, who for years has been engaged in running battles with government to stop the abuse of the country’s resources, said the majority of Zimbabweans will be asking: “Independence from what and to what?”
One of those who were disillusioned by the state of affairs right from independence in 1980 was former ZANU-PF secretary general, the late Edgar Tekere.
Writing in his memoirs: A Lifetime of Struggle, the nationalist said the tragedy of Zimbabwe was that it had followed into the same trap in which many a liberated African country had fallen.
Wrote Tekere: “Against this background, the nation-state-in-the-making is lacking in the strength and self-confidence with which to promote democratic discourse and tolerance, not least when the leadership now accepts the State itself as its own, as the only means to defend itself against internal and external enemies. As such, the leadership becomes increasingly paranoid, and remote from the people; and, with the passage of time, relies almost directly on a combination of costly patronage, crude ethnic balancing, and even brute force, in order to keep things together.
“It is in such circumstances that the African nationalist dream and vision of an (economic) meritocracy and (political) democracy has become a nightmare of despair for the majority of the people,”
A nightmare of despair indeed!

Kasukuwere could survive ouster

Source: Kasukuwere could survive ouster – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      14 April 2017

HARARE – Zanu PF structures are sharply divided over calls for the
expulsion of the party’s national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

Following recent demonstrations in Mashonaland Central, Masvingo and
Midlands provinces against Kasukuwere and his half-brother Dickson Mafios
over a slew of charges, including seeking to topple President Robert
Mugabe, fanning factionalism, setting up parallel structures, and
insulting and disrespecting the party’s leadership; Mashonaland East, West
and Manicaland have refused to join the push for the political commissar’s
ouster.

Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Bernard Makokove told the Daily
News yesterday that his executive is not considering writing an
anti-Kasukuwere petition.

“The province is not doing anything close to that because we are not sure
what it is all about. We have not even called a Provincial Coordinating
Committee (PCC) meeting to deliberate on that although we will most likely
meet after the Easter Holiday for our routine indaba but not necessarily
to discuss that,” Makokove said.

While Manicaland chairperson Samuel Undenge was not immediately available
for a comment, sources in the provincial executive told the Daily News
that allies of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa had made an unsuccessful
attempt to fund an anti-Kasukuwere demonstration on Monday.

“About $5 000 had been mobilised by (name withheld) and handed to (a
central committee member) for a demonstration against Tyson but they could
not gather enough people so the plan was abandoned prematurely.

“Team Lacoste is behind all this and they hope to succeed the same way the
women’s league dealt with (Eunice) Sandi Moyo and (Sarah) Mahoka but their
success largely depends on whether they can convince the president,” the
source said.

Kasukuwere’s situation, the sources added, is being complicated by the
fact that the call for his ouster is louder in his Mashonaland Central
home province than anywhere else.

“If he can manage to silence his province, then his chances of survival
are bright but with the current chaos that has seen parallel structures
emerging, the going could get even tougher for him. What is clear is that
at the moment, his province does not like him and they will not likely
relent”.

Zanu PF Muzarabani South MP Christopher Chitindi told the Daily News
yesterday that the province has since written and submitted its petition
to the national leadership.

“The party constitution is very clear that when people demonstrate against
a leader, it’s a vote of no confidence. This is not the first time this
has happened because it did happen to me and others and we obliged, so why
can’t they (Kasukuwere and Mafios) do the same?

“Today, (yesterday) we are having an inter-district meeting to inform the
structures about the situation, but they have created their own parallel
structures and that is not good. They must listen to the people if they
are genuine Zanu PF members,” Chitindi said.

Chitindi along with  Nicholas Goche (Shamva North), Remegio Matangira
(Bindura South), Joseph Mapiki (Shamva South), Douglas Karoro (Mbire),
Walter Kanhanga (Guruve North), Kazembe Kazembe (Mazowe West), Kenneth
Musanhi (Bindura South), Monica Mavhunga (Senator Bindura/Shamva) and
Fortune Chasi (Mazowe South) attended the anti-Kasukuwere demonstration
that was held in Bindura last month.

Sanganai to be held in September

Source: Sanganai to be held in September – DailyNews Live

BUSINESS WRITER      14 April 2017

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) yesterday said it has
started preparations for this year’s edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani World
Tourism Expo to be held in September after getting funding from
government.

ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke told a media briefing in the capital
that government had committed to fund the premier tourism event and also
pay all the debts that were accrued during the previous edition of the
event.

“. . . officials from the ministry of Finance did not only commit to fund
Sanganai 2017 but they have already disbursed funds for us to pay all the
service providers who supplied goods and services to Sanganai last year
but were still owed by the ZTA”, he said.

Kaseke pointed out that the shifting of dates to September was
necessitated by the need for adequate preparations.

“More than one third of the exhibition space has already been taken by
both local and international exhibitors, a good sign that the business
world continue to see value in the fair. A number of foreign exhibitors
have already registered, notably those representing South Africa, Malawi,
Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique,” he said.

This comes as the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) president Tich
Hwingwiri said the expo was an essential component of the country’s
overall marketing strategy and the possibility of its cancellation had
been a major concern for all travel and tourism operators in the country.

“Over the years, the entire sector has rallied behind the Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority (ZTA) at this event and it is essential for this year’s expo to
take place as scheduled, and for maximum effort to be made to bring in
valuable and worthwhile tourism buyers from across the world,” he said.

“Operators from across the entire sector will support through
participation and through assisting in making the expo as representative
and informative as possible for the buyers and also for members of the
public who visit on the open days,” Hwingwiri added.

This was after Tourism minister Walter Mzembi on Monday said the country
will be hosting the annual Sanganai/Hlanganani Travel Expo as initially
planned, despite an earlier announcement by the ZTA that the premier event
had been cancelled due to a serious funding crisis.

“The government is very aware that Sanganai/Hlanganani travel expo has
grown to become the second most popular tourism fair on the continent,
after Indaba Travel Expo in South Africa and that the expo has transformed
into the biggest national tourism fair since 1980, becoming the greatest
and most effective marketing and promotional tool for the tourism and
travel related industry,” Mzembi said.

Launched in 1982, the fair is the successor of Shanyai/Vakatshani, the
Zimbabwe International Travel Expo that was held annually at the Harare
International Conference Centre.

Angry war vets savage Mugabe

Source: Angry war vets savage Mugabe – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      14 April 2017

HARARE – Disgruntled war veterans yesterday lashed President Robert Mugabe
for living in “la-la land” – adding ominously that they had now had enough
of his “abuse” and would start returning “fire with fire” whenever he
provoked them.

Speaking in an interviews with the Daily News yesterday, the leadership of
the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) also
pooh-poohed Mugabe’s continuing assertions that they had a subordinate
role in the warring ruling Zanu PF.

This comes as Mugabe has re-ignited his feud with the disaffected former
freedom fighters who he dismissed as not being special while delivering a
eulogy during the burial of the late Brigadier General James Murozvi at
the National Heroes Acre in Harare on Wednesday.

Forthright ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda – who, it has
emerged, was inexplicably chased away from Murozvi’s burial – strongly
warned Mugabe to desist from using funerals to attack war veterans.

“We are unhappy as war veterans that the president seeks to use the Heroes
Acre to divide people. Is that what one says at a funeral?

“He should not attack us when we are silent … does he enjoy attacking
war veterans? The president should talk about other issues.

“Why doesn’t he give us a break. As an old person, he should respect the
people or the people will not respect him,” he said.

“Why does he continue insulting us? Now people are starting to think that
war veterans are divided.  Hatina kuenda ikoko kunotukwa (we did not go to
the burial to be attacked).

“The whole family, including his wife Grace, want to insult us. That is
why you see people like Sarah Mahoka and Mandi Chimene attacking Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“It is because all these people know that is what the president wants,”
the fuming Matemadanda told the Daily News.

On his part, war veterans’ spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said Mugabe was
“lost” by continuing to view politics as leading the gun, and not
realising that politics had evolved.

“Politics is not static and things change. The gun is no longer listening
to politics because of the economic and social situation that we have in
the country.

“We have needs that are not being met, and that is why we speak out . . .
We have remained steadfast in our demands and we will continue to be
steadfast. We love each other as war veterans but he (Mugabe) does not
love us.

“Mugabe does not also know who played which role and who did not. The only
war veteran that Mugabe knows is (the late) Solomon Mujuru.

“That is the reason why we are being treated the way we were treated by
(Rhodesian Prime Minister) Ian Smith,” the outspoken Mahiya said.

Addressing mourners gathered at Murozvi’s burial at the National Heroes
Acre on Wednesday, Mugabe told the ex-combatants that they had no right to
dictate to him how he was supposed to run Zanu PF.

The 93-year-old’s statement was at odds with the effusive praise that
commander of the defence forces, General Constantino Chiwenga, had given
the war veterans during a military parade for Murozvi at One Commando
barracks on Tuesday.

Mugabe has been having a tough time with war veterans ever since they
issued a scathing statement on him in mid July last year.

Until that happened, the fed-up ex-combatants had served as Mugabe’s and
Zanu PF’s pillars, waging particularly brutal campaigns against opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC, especially in the bloody elections
of 2000 and 2008.

Their stunning fallout with Mugabe and Zanu PF later saw their chairman,
Christopher Mutsvangwa, being fired from both the Cabinet and the ruling
party last year, while many of their other top leaders were also banished
from the imploding former liberation movement, in addition to being hauled
before the courts.

Clean-shaven Mugabe sets social media ablaze

Source: Clean-shaven Mugabe sets social media ablaze – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      14 April 2017

HARARE – Just like he did when he recently received a “special massage
chair” from his Cabinet lieutenants, President Robert Mugabe has sent
social media into a frenzy over his shaven head.

This comes after the nonagenarian’s striking chiskop also caught mourners
at Wednesday’s burial in Harare of the late Brigadier General James
Murozvi at the National Heroes Acre by surprise.

Mugabe’s bald head is not only a major dinner talking point, it has gone
viral on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and
WhatsApp.

For long famous for his conservative dressing sense, including expensive
designer suits and smart short hair, the nonagenarian has recently been
embracing an atypical dress style – culminating in his shaved head
“hairstyle” on Wednesday.

“Seeing him with his chiskop hit us like a bolt from the blue, and for a
moment some of us were even confused whether it was him or not on
Wednesday,” a surprised Zanu PF politburo member told the Daily News
yesterday.

But Information minister Chris Mushohwe was among the many other bigwigs
who saw nothing “unusual” about Mugabe’s new hairstyle.

“They want to tell the president how to cut his hair? What kind of society
is this? That’s absolutely nonsensical . . . they are mad,” he said.

Still, Mugabe’s new hairstyle almost broke the Internet, drawing all kinds
of responses and speculation.

Some people said light-heartedly that the bald head gives Mugabe “a
sophisticated look” which made him look much younger.

But others were not so charitable, wondering why he had decided to ditch
his traditional short hair and even speculating that this suggested that
he was not well.

One Twitter user, Discent Collins Bajila, cheerfully predicted booming
business for barbers, saying Mugabe’s shaven head was likely to trigger a
new national craze for bald heads.

“If you have a barbershop, please prepare yourself for a stampede of Zanu
PF people coming for chizkop, thank me later,” he tweeted.

Australia-based Zanu PF supporter, Reason Wafawarova, also posted Mugabe’s
picture and captioned it: “Unconquerable”.

A prominent businessman who also gave Mugabe’s new hairstyle the thumbs up
pointed to research that suggested that men who shave their  heads “often
appear tougher and more powerful than others”.

“A shaved head indicates dominance, authority and being in control. Even
some of Hollywood’s leading stars such as Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson and
Vin Diesel like shaving their heads and come across as tough guys in their
movies,” he said.

Two weeks ago, Zimbabwe was also abuzz after Mugabe was given a “special
massage chair” by his ministers, as part of gifts to mark his 93rd
birthday celebrations.

The gift immediately raised eyebrows – sparking both mirth and frenzied
debate, especially on social media, about its “meaning” and symbolism in
the light of Mugabe’s advanced age, declining health and his wife Grace’s
recent controversial statement that he could rule from a wheel chair.

At the brief chair presentation ceremony in Harare, which was exclusively
covered by State media, Mugabe was also given a 9-carat gold watch and pen
by his lieutenants.

But it was the chair which set tongues wagging after the gaffe-prone State
broadcaster, the ZBC, described the chair in its initial online reports as
a “special mobile chair” – giving the erroneous impression that this was a
wheelchair.

The much-derided broadcaster later changed this to reflect that this was
“a massage chair”, although by then the damage had been done.

The only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its
independence from Britain in April 1980, Mugabe – who is also the world’s
oldest elected leader – has in recent months appeared very tired and
jaded.

This much became more evident during the nonagenarian’s 93rd birthday
celebrations that were held in Matobo, Matabeleland South, in February.

While still very sharp mentally, especially given his age, Mugabe also
struggled with his speech during his earlier annual birthday interview
with the ZBC, in which he frequently paused for breath in between his
answers.

Mugabe’s health has over the past 10 years or so become a major topic of
discussion both at home and abroad.

This has been more so as the nonagenarian has in recent years been making
regular visits to Singapore for medical checkups – amid wild speculation
about his real state of health in the absence of official information.

In February this year, Mugabe once again visited his doctors in the Far
East in what his office said then was a scheduled trip, even as this came
on the back of another visit during the festive season for what was also
described at the time as a routine checkup trip.

The nonagenarian has suffered a number of public mishaps in recent years,
including his widely-reported tumble at Harare International Airport in
February 2015, as he walked off a podium.

This happened after he had just finished addressing his supporters after
returning from Ethiopia where he had gone to take over the rotating
chairmanship of the African Union.

Although he appeared unhurt after the fall, the incident – which occurred
in the full view of gathered bigwigs, Zanu PF rank and file members and
journalists – triggered panic among senior government officials and
security chiefs, who all scrambled to help him get on his feet, and to
ensure that he was alright.

Mugabe also later stumbled in New Delhi, at an India-Africa summit, and
had to use a wheelchair at the 60th Asian-African Conference Commemoration
that was held in Indonesia.

Offensively, the nonagenarian has also had to endure sickening jokes and
false reports about his alleged death – prompting him to put down these
sadists by saying that he had “died” many times more than Jesus Christ.

“I have died many times. That’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died
once and resurrected once. I am as fit as a fiddle. At this age, I can
still go some distance, can’t I?

“There are things one must do for oneself. Don’t drink at all, don’t
smoke, you must exercise and eat vegetables and fruit,” he said an
interview with the ZBC, ahead of his 88th birthday in 2012.

Despite his advanced age and deteriorating health, as well as the growing
pressure within his ruling Zanu PF for him to step down, Mugabe has thus
far not dropped any hint of his retirement plans – moving recently to
effectively shut the door on his lieutenants in his fractured party who
are angling to succeed him.

Mnangagwa reprimands Moyo on Command Agriculture

Source: Mnangagwa reprimands Moyo on Command Agriculture | The Herald April 14, 2017

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa reprimanded Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo for his public posturing denigrating the Command Agriculture Programme on social media, despite him being a member of Cabinet where the programme is always discussed.

In an interview yesterday, VP Mnangagwa said he challenged Prof Moyo why he was attacking Command Agriculture when he was a beneficiary of the scheme under which he received farming support.

Prof Moyo has on several occasions posted a string of messages on social media denouncing the programme adopted by Government last year.

Command Agriculture is expected to run for the next two years as part of efforts to boost the country’s food production levels.

VP Mnangagwa said he expressed his reservations on why Prof Moyo was taking the issue on social media when he had the Cabinet meeting platform.

“The major attack of Command Agriculture came from my colleague Professor Moyo, so I met him,” he said.

“He is a beneficiary of Command Agriculture. He has 80 hectares, very good crop in Mashonaland Central, so when I met him I said my brother, but you criticise Command Agriculture when you are benefiting so much and we are supporting you.

“He said no my brother, Vice President, I am not attacking Command Agriculture, l have been attacking information that is coming out about the $500 million fund. It is not explained to the public, people will think there is some mismanagement of some sort.

“I said no! but you understand you are in Cabinet, we always explain these things in Cabinet, and we discuss these things in Cabinet. This is why each time I have an opportunity to discuss these things, I mention what actual funds have come to the programme, that is what has happened.”

VP Mnangagwa said he would, however, not be deterred by the criticism of the scheme, but was determined to find ways to improve it.

“When I see people criticising Command Agriculture, I do not have time to look at the criticism,” he said. “I continuously want to improve on what is there.

“In fact, those who criticise will have eaten. They do not criticise when they are hungry, so we must make sure we produce more food for them to eat and criticise.”

VP Mnangagwa said Command Agriculture had been very successful despite some challenges which Government had derived lessons for improvement in future.

“We introduced Command Agric, which many people have criticised because of the word ‘command.’” he said. “But I would want anybody to bring anyone who had been commanded to join Command Agriculture. There is nobody.”

VP Mnangagwa said Government had not even exhausted the $190 million availed by several stakeholders for the programme, with $30 million not utilised.

In one of the messages on March 6 following a story published by The Herald, Prof Moyo wrote on his Twitter handle: “Report by @Herald Zimbabwe that ‘Command Agric exceeds target’ is at best premature & at worst needlessly false!”

He went on to post on March 10 that “1/2: Maize is on 1,3m ha: 1,1m is Presidential Input Scheme; 153,102.60ha is Command Agriculture & the rest private!”

Prof Moyo on the same date added “2/2: Command Agriculture targeted 400 000ha but contracted 247,035ha of which 191,124ha (77 percent) were tilled & 153,102.60ha (61 percent) were planted on!”

On March 11, he also wrote that, “Command is a tried & tested military concept. It is also a great in programming. But in civil matters command is an oxymoron & non starter!”

He added on his Twitter handle: “After merchants of Command Agriculture poured $500m to plant maize on 153,102.60ha, they now want a Command Economy!”

In another tweet Prof Moyo wrote: “Better listen to agro-economists on how $500m was commandeered to plant maize on just 153,102.60ha when the $500m was meant for 400,000ha!”

Contrary to Prof Moyo’s assertions that $500m was used, Government has since indicated that only $191m went into Command Agriculture.

Flood victims to be relocated by next week

Source: Flood victims to be relocated by next week | The Herald April 14, 2017

Pamela Shumba Bulawayo Bureau
Tsholotsho flood victims will be relocated to their new stands by Independence Day next week, the Government has said.

The construction of toilets at the new sites, which has been holding the relocation, is expected to be complete before Tuesday next week.

National chairperson of the Civil Protection Unit (CPU), who is also the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere visited the Tshino area on Wednesday, accompanied by Tsholotsho North MP Professor Jonathan Moyo, who is also the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development and the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Patrick Zhuwawo.

Minister Kasukuwere said the Government was aware of the plight of the flood victims in Tsholotsho and other areas around the country.

“Our plan is to move the flood victims from the transit camp to their new stands in the coming week,” he said. Minister Kasukuwere commended the Youth Ministry for mobilising youths to assist in the construction of toilets, adding that all the building material required would be made available.

Prof Moyo commended the national CPU for its involvement in the relocation process, saying it made a difference in clearing stands and accelerating progress.

Chief Mathuphula commended the ministers for their enthusiasm and called for well wishers to continue supporting the flood victims.

Govt must come clean on Air Zim fiasco

Source: Govt must come clean on Air Zim fiasco – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 14, 2017

The situation at Air Zimbabwe, where pilots and other professionals are working without contracts, is clearly abnormal and it beggars belief why the mandarins at the national carrier and the government let such an unnatural situation fester.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

This is a clear sign of poor management and indecisiveness on the part of the bosses and there is need for this situation to be cleared up.

Air Zimbabwe is in the doldrums not by some act of God or freak accident, but because of failure by the management to address issues as simple as workers’ contracts and this has been responsible for a brain drain, whose full effects are yet to be felt.

There is simply no way Air Zimbabwe can hope to hold on to its most talented staff when it cannot do the basics right and it comes as no surprise that there is low morale among the parastatal’s workers.

The company and the government are clearly not doing enough to keep the airline going and this borders on subtle sabotage.

A recent Parliamentary Portfolio Committee report illustrates the breakdown between workers and management, with staff accusing their bosses of not being responsive when it comes to issues of their welfare.

The workers also said there was lack of engagement from their bosses and this led to the failure of policy implementation because of this apparent divide.

Any student of leadership and management will tell you about the need for consultation and engagement between managers and staff so that workers take ownership of the policy decisions and implement them because they understand the organisation’s vision and have appropriated it as their own.

Top-down decision-making is archaic and not implementable, as there is bound to be resistance at every turn.

It should not be surprising that there is such a situation at Air Zimbabwe and the selection of the company bosses will inadvertently come to the fore.

President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, was appointed as the chief operations officer in contentious circumstances and questions will be asked whether he is the right person for the job or he is there simply because of his connections.

Once workers ask such questions, then they will have little confidence in their managers, whom they will suspect are led by someone who is not the best qualified for the job.

Whether right or wrong, such questions fuel suspicion and lead to a breakdown in the relationship, emphasising the need to always appoint the best person for the job.

Thus, it is imperative that the managers try to mend the relationship with the staff because if such toxic relations are allowed to persist, it will not be long before dirges are sung for Air Zimbabwe.

ELECTORAL REFORMS – 2018 ELECTION BEDROCK

Source: ELECTORAL REFORMS – 2018 ELECTION BEDROCK – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 14, 2017

A free and fair election is a plebiscite that produces a result that is acceptable to both the victor and the defeated –a result that is legitimate and beyond contestation.

Opinion: By Obert Gutu

A free and fair election is a plebiscite that produces a result that is acceptable to both the victor and the defeated –a result that is legitimate and beyond contestation.

Since the year 2000, Zimbabwe has been under the spotlight for holding highly contestable and controversial elections in which the result has almost invariably been challenged and contested. This state of affairs has marred our electoral history and left our political architecture bruised and battered.

As we approach the harmonised elections to be held in 2018, we should always bear in mind that Zimbabwe’s political stability and socio – economic development hinges upon the holding of a plebiscite that will be free and fair; a plebiscite that will easily pass the test of legitimacy.

In the unfortunate event that the 2018 elections are neither free nor fair, what it essentially means is that the Zimbabwean political and socio – economic crisis will escalate. Thus, it is imperative for the country to make sure that next year’s elections are, at the very least, free and fair.

The current situation is depressing and unfortunately, it doesn’t bode well for the holding of free and fair elections in 2018.Contrary to the constitutional requirement, the State – controlled print and electronic media is virtually a no – go area for most, if not all, opposition political parties. The Zanu PF government maintains a vice like grip on ZBC TV and Radio as well as Zimpapers. Listening to ZBC TV newshour every day is just like listening to a Zanu PF election manifesto being read out. There is a near total black out on the activities of opposition political parties unless, for some reason, there is something apparently negative to report concerning the political opposition.

The saddening thing is that it doesn’t appear like any meaningful media reforms will take place before the holding of next year’s elections. Even the two national so – called private radio stations appear to be in competition with ZBC when it comes to churning out Zanu PF propaganda; particularly in their news bulletins.

The situation in rural areas is even more depressing. Chiefs and other traditional leaders have now been incorporated into the Zanu PF commissariat department and they are effectively operating as political party activists in their respective areas of jurisdiction. The recent by – election in Mwenezi clearly proved that traditional leaders are now de facto operatives of the ruling party’s structures.
This, of course, will severely militate against the holding of a free and fair election next year.

Villagers are being ring – fenced and commandeered by their traditional leaders to ensure that they vote in a particular manner during any election. Opposition political parties’ activities in rural areas have been severely curtailed because villagers are routinely intimidated from attending any opposition political party functions.

Part of the electoral reforms that are being legitimately demanded by the opposition will ensure that chiefs and other traditional leaders do not operate as political activists in their areas of jurisdiction. Put differently, traditional leaders should be totally and wholly apolitical. Another bond of contention is the issue of vote buying and the use of food aid as an electioneering tool. Most villagers are poverty stricken and as such, they are desperate for support from both government and non – governmental organisations. It is not uncommon for ruling party politicians to use food aid as a campaign gimmick; particularly in impoverished rural areas.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should wake up and smell the coffee. Right now, there is hullabaloo about the acquisition of biometric voter registration kits but we witness that ZEC continues to duck and dive. They don’t seem to be in control of the process.

Indeed, it appears that some shadowy forces behind the scenes at Munhumutapa and Chaminuka buildings have virtually taken over the process of acquiring these Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) kits. ZEC is coming across as just a weak, severely compromised and lame duck electoral management body. Can ZEC really be trusted to run a free and fair election in 2018?

Zimbabwe is at the crossroads and surely, we can ill – afford another contested and controversial electoral process in 2018.It’s high time that Zimbabwe turns the corner. The people have suffered and endured many years of political instability and unprecedented economic stagnation and retrogression.

· Obert Gutu is the MDC – T national spokesperson and he is also a Harare lawyer. He writes this opinion piece in his personal capacity.

The cry of the believer

Source: The cry of the believer – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 14, 2017

We’re living in times of unprecedented levels of corruption both in the government and private establishments. Our sphere is characterized by underhand dealings. Both Christians and nonChristians have fallen into the trap. The alibi these days is that everyone is doing it. Let me be quick to advise that in life, there is always a remnant that will not indulge in evil for the sake of conforming to the general trend. In the divine scheme of things, God always spares those who commit to discipline. In the times of the flood when everyone went astray, Noah remained upright. There’s therefore no need to excuse yourself misguidedly assuming that everyone is doing it. Not every married man is cheating on his wife. Teenagers, please know this; not everyone is indulging in premarital sex.

Opinion: Pastor Makarimayi

If you’re not clear on your objectives in life, the world puts you on a competition pedestal. You will always be measuring your success based on other people and not on your mission and purpose. Please always remember that you’re unique and you have a distinct calling. If you’re not careful you will fall into lustful passions and eventually into evil methods to quench evil passions. God has enough resources for your assignment without you having to be bitter. There’s no need for you to be envious. The Christian faith requires us to maintain our values irrespective of what happens around us. We always confess and declare that we’re the light and salt of the world. This is in line with Matthew 5:13-14. It reads, “[13] Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. [14] Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” You’re salt and you have not lost your savour and you’re light and not darkness. Don’t be manipulated and changed by the evil but positively influence your sphere.

A believer lives in a challenging world always shrugging off the temptation of accepting unbiblical means to gain wealth. Sometimes the unsaved materially advance and believers become bitter with God. You may view “prosperity” appearing to favour nonbelievers. Biblical prosperity comes from God and evil isn’t part of its ingredients. With worldly success seemingly gravitating towards those outside the church, believers are crying for justice. Psalm 37:7 (New English Translation) restraints us, “Wait patiently for the Lord! Wait confidently for him! Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, a man who carries out wicked schemes!” Previously in this column I asked us to make a decision and examine ourselves whether we were after God’s heart or only His creation apart from Him.

The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the wealth and riches of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the sincerity of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. Psalm 73:13-15 (New English Translation) record, “[13] I concluded, “Surely in vain I have kept my motives pure and maintained a pure lifestyle. [14] I suffer all day long, and am punished every morning.” [15] If I had publicized these thoughts, I would have betrayed your loyal followers. Believers are oftentimes discouraged that they’re living responsibly with no apparent reward from God. Many have complaints against God. In verse 15, the psalmist cries that he had not made known his thoughts to the general public lest many would depart from the faith. This is the inner cry of many believers; pastors included.

The Gospel of Christ, i.e. the Grace of God, is the only answer to the cry of believers who see God as being unjust. God is just. The cry of the believer should be for the unsaved to seek salvation. I ask you to read the whole of Psalm 73. Please also read Psalm 37. The conclusion of the matter is that ungodly riches are not good. The call is for the rich who are not born again to turn to Jesus. This doesn’t mean the unsaved poor are better off. So all of us should take up the call to eternal life in Christ Jesus. In that way we will be safe here and in the world to come. If you have been using evil schemes to gather material wealth, please answer the call of salvation. Romans 2:4 invites us, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” His love has kept us; beloved let’s embrace it. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge. You’re going somewhere.

All Bible quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

Feedback: pastor@newgatechapel.org

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Volume of travellers increases at Beitbridge Border Post

Source: Volume of travellers increases at Beitbridge Border Post | The Herald

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The volume of travellers accessing Zimbabwe and South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post is increasing, with authorities anticipating a peak between Thursday and Friday nights.

The assistant regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge Mr Notius Tarisai said they were already implementing a raft of measures to deal with an anticipated increase in traffic during the Easter holidays.

He said they had agreed in principle with their counterparts on the other side of the border to harmonise operations between April 7 and 19.

He added that they were anticipating more relief staff.

South Africa has deployed 60 more Immigration officers to Beitbridge, while customs authorities are also expected to boost their staff between today and Friday.

Said Mr Tarisai: “At the moment the volume of human and vehicular traffic is still manageable.

“However, I cannot give you the figure at the moment. We are still compiling. You will note that traffic has been separated into buses, returning residents, visitors, transit, motorists and commercial.

“Further, we will open up more service points outside the main immigration hall when the traffic increases”.

He said they were using most of the strategies they applied during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

He said through the Border Post Efficiency Management Committee, they had come up with a Consolidated Plan to ensure that traffic is cleared efficiently.

Mr Tarisai added that travellers were being directed accordingly to the various service points as they enter the border post.

He said they had suspended all off and leave days for their staff so to ensure that they operate at full strength throughout the Easter holidays.

Statistics from the department show that during off peak period they clear 15 000 travellers daily and 30 000 during peak periods.

The figures include both arrivals and departures.

Midlands endorses Kasukuwere ouster

Source: Midlands endorses Kasukuwere ouster | The Herald April 14, 2017

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Zanu-PF Midlands Province has joined Mashonaland Central, Masvingo and Bulawayo provinces in the call for the sacking of national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.

The province accused Cde Kasukuwere of, among other issues, fanning factionalism and plotting to topple President Mugabe by creating parallel structures.

Speaking after a Zanu-PF Midlands Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting in Gweru yesterday, provincial spokesperson Cde Cornelius Mpereri, said the province had resolved that the national disciplinary committee relieves Cde Kasukuwere of his duties immediately before the Politburo deliberates on his fate.

Cde Mpereri said it was a general sentiment among party members in the province that Cde Kasukuwere be relieved of his duties as a matter of urgency.

The motion was moved by Retired Major Max Zvidzai from Chirumhanzu and was unanimously seconded.

Cde Mpereri said Cde Kasukuwere was fanning divisions in the party and suspending party members who refused tow his line.

“On our agenda we discussed a report back on the Central Committee meeting held in Harare during which a lot of issues arose,” he said. There are emerging parallel structures in our province.

“We had an issue of National PC, Cde Kasukuwere. It has been proven that the PC is involved in the province in the running of parallel structures. There are people that are not in the party structures some of whom have been suspended that he is giving instructions to create parallel structures.”

During the PCC meeting, members of the party accused Cde Kasukuwere of being responsible for the shunning of the solidarity rally held for President Mugabe following the expiry of his tenure as AU Chairperson, which subsequently led to the suspension of the erstwhile chairperson Cde Kizito Chivamba.

The members said Cde Kasukuwere did not communicate the message on transport ferrying people to the rally through party structures, which in turn resulted in the low turnout of people.

Cde Mpereri said the province had lost confidence in Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Cde Jason Machaya, whom they accused of grossly abusing his office.

“We also discussed Midlands Minister for Provincial Affairs, Cde Jason Machaya, whom we are accusing of grossly abusing his office to pursue a factional agenda,” he said. “He is doing so in the acquisition of land. As a province, we have lost confidence in Cde Machaya.”

Said Cde Mpereri: “One of the people who were implicated for distabilising the province is Gweru businesswoman Mrs Smelly Dube. We have discovered that she is financing parallel structures throughout the province.

“She is accused of acquiring state land in an unclear way and unjustly enriching herself. She is also funding (Dr Joice) Mujuru’s activities, which are proven by the fact that most of the people she was having in her company are active in Mujuru’s party.

“The province has resolved that Smelly Dube should be investigated and prosecuted if need be.”

Minister Machaya said his hands were clean, urging all members of the party in the province to approach him for engagement if they had issues with him.

Cde Kasukuwere could not be reached for comment.

Govt warns against anthrax outbreak

Source: Govt warns against anthrax outbreak | The Herald April 14, 2017

Elita Chikwati and Paidamoyo Chipunza
Government has warned the public against eating meat from animals that die from unknown causes as they risk contracting diseases.

This follows a revelation that the 16 hippos that died in Binga close to the Zambezi River recently were killed by anthrax.

Anthrax is a life threatening infectious disease caused by bacteria that normally affects animals, especially ruminants.

The Department of Veterinary Services under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, confirmed that tests were indicating anthrax as the cause of death of the animals.

DVS director Dr Josphat Nyika yesterday said initial laboratory results indicated anthrax as the cause for the hippos’ death.

He said the area was an anthrax hot spot and this was not the first time that hippos had died from the disease.

Dr Nyika said the department’s teams were on the ground doing participatory epidemiology.

“From the symptoms and microscopy, it is highly suspected that hippos are dying from anthrax,” he said. “We had an anthrax outbreak two years ago in the same area and anthrax spores can contaminate the environment for over 40 years.”

Dr Nyika said the animals could have been contaminated through contact with soil, mud or pastures as the river flows.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said it was important that veterinary surgeons and livestock officers across the country discourage people from eating such meat.

He said people may eat the meat and not fall sick instantly, but this did not mean the practice was safe.

“Sometimes the effect goes to the skin and lungs,” said Dr Made. “I am pleading that people should stop consuming the meat from any animal that dies on its own even if it was in good condition.

“Veterinary surgeons should be on high alert.”

Anthrax was introduced by the Rhodesian forces during the liberation struggle and the spores are difficult to eradicate.

The country experiences more anthrax outbreaks during the rainy season because the top soil will have been washed away, exposing spores.

Signs of anthrax include sudden death of livestock, rapid decomposition of the bloated carcasses and tarry blood coming out of all natural openings.

Anthrax can also affect humans is they come into contact with the blood of an infected animal.

RBZ sets cash back limit

Source: RBZ sets cash back limit | The Herald April 14, 2017

Walter Muchinguri Assistant Business Editor
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) yesterday set the maximum limit for any cash back facility by retailers and wholesalers at $20 as it evoked the Bank Use Promotion Act (Chapter 24:24) to deal with illegal activities in the retail sector, such as cash hoarding.

The central bank said, in a statement, that henceforth, manufacturers and suppliers of goods — including those in the fuel sector — should not demand cash for any goods supplied to retailers and wholesalers.

Retailers and wholesalers, the RBZ said, were compelled to charge the same price for any particular product irrespective of the mode of payment and desist from multiple pricing of goods on account of mode of payment.

In drawing up the framework, the RBZ said it had been guided by the realities of prevailing trading patterns, whereby retailers and wholesalers are an integral stakeholder in the overall circulation of currency in light of their interface and linkages with manufacturers (suppliers) and the general public (consumers) through the distribution of various commodities.

“To ensure the smooth circulation of currency in the economy and ease of transacting, it is imperative that all retailers and wholesalers adhere to the relevant guidelines and regulations governing their operations,” the RBZ said.

“Retailers and wholesalers shall be enjoined, in compliance with the provisions of the Bank Use Promotion Act [Chapter 24:24], to bank the cash generated from their businesses and maintain records of all transactions (including purchases, sales, discounts and banking).

 “Any cash-back facility made available by retailers and wholesalers shall not exceed an amount of $20.00.”

In addition, retailers and wholesalers will be required to bank all excess cash collections within 24 hours.

The RBZ said it will also collaborate with wholesalers, retailers and their associations to ensure the adequate provision of Point of Sale (POS) machines in order to enhance the use of plastic money for transactions.

“In line with the need to promote financial transparency, banking and the use of plastic money, manufacturers and suppliers of goods, including fuel, should not demand cash for any goods supplied to retailers and wholesalers,” said the central bank.

“In this regard, any dispensation and matching arrangements previously granted to certain sectors are hereby revoked.

“Retailers and wholesalers shall sell any particular product for the same price irrespective of the mode of payment and desist from multiple pricing of goods on account of mode of payment (cash, Real Times Gross Settlement (RTGS) and Point of Sale or a combination of any two or more of them).

“For the avoidance of doubt, retailers and wholesalers shall not charge any premium for the sale and purchase of their wares on the basis of mode of payment. Similarly, any cash or quantity discount shall, in accordance with best practice, be granted in the normal course of business and not on the basis of the multiple pricing system.”

The RBZ said retailers and wholesalers should remain committed to ensuring convenience to the public and an improved and transparent trading environment, which is free of money laundering and tax evasion.

The measures come a few days after Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa disclosed that three traders had been arrested and appeared before the courts where they pleaded guilty and were awaiting sentencing for not banking proceeds from their daily cash sales.

Minister Chinamasa, who was speaking in Parliament, said there were instances where retailers and wholesalers were receiving $1,5 million daily, but only banking $35 000, while bond notes were being hoarded to buy foreign currency on the black market.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), through its Financial Intelligence Unit, has been positioning people at traders to find out cash sales of that day and how much was banked,” he said. “We are going to intensify those efforts and it will not stop us from passing a law that any businessperson who does not bank money will have his licence withdrawn.”

Minister Chinamasa warned that businesses engaging in illegal dealings risked having their licences cancelled.

Zim’s parastatal rot – when looting becomes second nature

Source: Zim’s parastatal rot – when looting becomes second nature – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Ever wondered why the Zimbabwe Government and its ministers find parastatals attractive despite them costing the taxpayer billions of dollars? Our previous article asked questions on the wisdom of the government taking over Telecel mobile network. This article explores the reasons and why the Telecel conundrum and indeed government ownership of parastatals are attractive to politicians but costly to the taxpayer.

By David Mutori and Benjamin Paradza

Zimbabwe is known to have generated Rolls Royce parastatal related millionaires overnight without any explanation on how they made their money. In most cases Zimbabwe’s miraculous millionaires do not have any business; they simply become millionaires through their relationship with government officials or parastatals.

We will explore why ministers are very keen to be appointed into ministries that are responsible for parastatals by scrutinising the money trail and hypothesise on why the government would want to own Telecel despite the fact that they already own NetOne.

Parastatals are companies that are owned by the public/tax paying citizens. Traditionally, they are organisations that are considered of significant strategic importance to the country or critical to the public but too unprofitable for a private company to invest in. In recent times, questions have been asked about why the Zimbabwean government wants to hold on to parastatals when they are neither of strategic importance nor profitable. Some examples that come to mind are mobile phone networks as questioned in our last article, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) and the Cold Storage Commission (CSC).

Our quest starts with a look at the governance of parastatals. The parastatal board (senior management team) is appointed by the responsible minister. Decisions on how to spend money (including on tenders) is made by the parastatal board. The boards are not necessarily performance managed in terms of how much they improve shareholder value, they are considered ‘good’ if they are loyal and play ball. Directors who come up with innovative ideas and strategies that represent the best interests of the taxpayer are sidelined because their ideas put the looter’s opportunities in jeopardy. That explains why ministers are very keen to ‘reshuffle’ the boards of parastatals soon after their appointments; they want to put ‘their people’ into the board – people who will do the minister’s bidding – people who do what the minister wants instead of what the public deserves.

Zimbabwe’s parastatals are costing the taxpayer a fortune and have contributed immensely to the national debt. They are unprofitable and do not represent value for money. In fact, taxpayer’s money keeps pouring in as debt, and comes out on the other side in individual pockets. That is the reason why parastatals are the most heavily geared companies in the country – their debt outweighs equity.

The question then is: How are parastatals looted? If one follows the money, one can have a feel of where the money leaks out of these institutions. Two main looting opportunities are salaries and perks of the ‘boards’ and procurement/tenders. Salaries and perks are where executives are paid exorbitant salaries that are n