Author Archives: ZimSitRep_M

Manufacturing sector in dire need of support

Source: Manufacturing sector in dire need of support – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

Local manufacturing companies are under capacitated to supply mining consumables, due to capital constraints, obsolete equipment and high cost structures, mining executives have said.

By Fidelity Mhlanga

Alex Mhembere, Zimplats chief executive officer and chairman of the joint suppliers and producers (JSP) committee, said while mining can provide business opportunities, the manufacturing sector was facing a plethora of challenges, making it impossible to supply mining companies.

“The subsector is not sufficiently capacitated (capacity utilisation 30%), and is largely uncompetitive due to ageing equipment, low uptake of products, capital constraints, high cost structure and unreliable power supply among other challenges,” he told delegates at a Chamber of Mines meeting recently.

Subsectors that were identified include engineering, iron and steel, belting, chemicals and protective clothing.

The JSP committee, which comprises the Chamber of Mines and a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries committee, was established to improve the availability of local products in mining, with an exclusive mandate to develop linkages between the mining industry and the upstream sector.

“While the mining industry can provide opportunities to local producers, the sector has little capacity to meet the local producers’ financial requirements for working capital and retooling,” Mhembere said.

The committee, Mhembere said, has already identified key manufacturing subsectors with strong linkages in the mining sector with a view to assessing their current capacities and requirements to adequately service the mining industry.

“Where products are available, they remain highly uncompetitive in prices, quality, reliability of supply and poor back up services,” he said.

“The study, however, reveals that the mining sector offers an immediate market for local producers of mining sector input requirements.”

Mhembere said findings of the assessment programme point to the need for adequate support programmes for the local manufacturing sector through various initiatives.

He said the mining industry, despite its current challenges, is committed to supporting government policies by pursuing the beneficiation agenda through building more beneficiation plants.

“Thus, there is need for all stakeholders (government, mining sector, local producers and bankers) to agree on strategies to implement the current local content development initiatives,” Mhembere said.

“In the long term, there is need for medium to long term financing frameworks to support retooling and replacement of ageing and obsolete equipment with a view to improving efficiencies and competitiveness, through engaging the financial sector to participate in the development of linkages.”

‘Boycotting 2018 elections akin to endorsing Zanu PF’

Source: ‘Boycotting 2018 elections akin to endorsing Zanu PF’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

OPPOSITION parties have urged their supporters, particularly youths, to actively participate in next year’s general elections, saying boycotting the plebiscite would be an indirect endorsement of the Zanu PF misrule.

BY SILAS NKALA/VENERANDA LANGA

The calls came as opposition leaders are planning to enter into a coalition deal that would see them sponsor a single candidate to challenge Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe in next year’s presidential race.

People’s Democratic Party chairperson, Lucia Matibenga, told party supporters during Africa Day commemorations in Bulawayo last week that opposition parties could not risk boycotting the upcoming elections, as that would inadvertently extend Zanu PF rule.

“Everyone in Zimbabwe has a reason to be angry with Mugabe and his Zanu PF. If you are not angry with Zanu PF it means you are not alive or you are not normal,” Matibenga said.

“When your children are struggling to go to school because you have no money, when you have no job to get paid and struggle to get cash, you have a reason to be angry. You must come out in numbers to vote against Zanu PF.

“At the moment all of us in Zimbabwe are not registered to vote. When the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission comes out to register voters we must all go and register as voters. This is the opportunity given to all of us to change government. Do not tell us that you did not vote. Some are saying they do not support Zanu PF, but do not go to vote. You must simply tell us that you have voted for Zanu PF, because by not voting it means you are saying the status quo must prevail.”

While addressing a different forum in Harare last week, Mabvuku/Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) also decried the apathetic behaviour of youths during election time.

“The issue that pains me is that people are saying the youths are the game-changers in our country, but when elections and voting day comes the youths will be playing a game of pool,” he said.

“Then after elections they say we want jobs, but where would those jobs come from if youths do not participate in choosing leaders?”

Maridadi warned youths against being used as tools to perpetrate political violence during elections.

“You must stop begging for money for beer from political leaders, or engage in political violence,” he said.

Mujuru’s proposal on coalition leader shot down

Source: Mujuru’s proposal on coalition leader shot down – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

POLITICAL analysts have shot down former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s call for primary elections to select a single opposition candidate to stand against President Robert Mugabe in next year’s general elections, describing the proposal as untenable.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The analysts said the proposal was complicated and unlikely to succeed, given the high levels of mistrust among opposition leaders already involved in coalition talks.

Mujuru, who heads the National People’s Party, made the proposal during a campaign rally in Chitungwiza last week.
Political analyst, Llyod Sachikonye described the idea as too complicated.

“It looks too complicated. I understand they may want to be seen to satisfy two levels of democracy which are internal democracy and competition but I think this is too complicated,” he said.

“One possible approach is to decide and agree where a particular party is stronger and then field one candidate.

The challenge is how to judge how a certain party is stronger in a particular constituency. The formula looks messy and complicated although the democratic intention is good because they will be looking for a popular candidate,” he said, adding there was high likelihood of misunderstandings.

Another analyst, Eldred Masunungure, said: “They want to demonstrate that they are a force to be reckoned with and that they have enough candidates for all those constituencies. It’s a bargaining tool and if they stick to their own candidates it will defeat the spirit and the practice of a coalition.

“That will not be sustainable and it will be the death of that coalition. What she said is clearly not in the spirit of a coalition. It appears as if the negotiations that lie ahead have failed and it might be read by critics in her party and other coalition partners as a statement that they have abandoned the coalition talks.”

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said: “She doesn’t understand how coalitions work. Primaries destroy confidence in individuals who have capacity but with no grassroots influence. I prefer meritocracy to populism.”

Activist, Farai Maguwu, said creating winners and losers in a coalition might be problematic in creating a conducive environment to working together.

“As I see it the coalition roadmap is fraught with many pitfalls and danger warning signs. It’s a mix of oil and water. If such primaries are going to happen how are they going to create the electoral register? This will no doubt create winners and losers that will lead to serious divisions.

“But what is more interesting to me is how this coalition talk can be manipulated by the ruling party by keeping the opposition extremely busy with the impossible till election day,” Maguwu said.

But MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said they will not be drawn into discussing the alliance in public.

“The MDC has a standing national council resolution whereby all coalition deliberations are headed by president Morgan Tsvangirai. This helps us to ensure and maintain consistency and message discipline. For the record, we don’t negotiate in public.

MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi, said his party had not yet endorsed the decision to hold primary elections.

“Going to primary elections or not will come from negotiations that are currently taking place. I don’t know where she got it because we did not sign a memorandum of understanding with the party you are talking about. I cannot predict the outcome of something that is being cooked. We are still talking and everything will be contained in the agreement.”

Govt urged to deal with statelessness, rights and welfare of children

Source: Govt urged to deal with statelessness, rights and welfare of children – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

GOVERNMENT has been urged to accede to the 1954 United Nations Conventions relating to the status of stateless persons and the 1961 UN convention on the reduction of statelessness, as well as to expedite the implementation of Article 6 (4) of the African Charter on the rights and welfare of the child.

by VENERANDA LANGA

The issues came out in a report presented in Senate last week by Midlands senator Lillian Timveous (MDC-T).

“Failure to ratify the 1961 Convention to reduction of statelessness reflects negatively on the government of Zimbabwe’s failure to fulfil citizen’s social, economic, civil and political rights,” Timveous said.

“In my research I was shocked to find out that we have over 10 500 refugees at Tongogara Camp east of Harare from the Democratic Republic of Congo (8 100), Burundi (over 700), Rwanda (700) and over 700 from Mozambique and the camp is overcrowded.”

Timveous said the school at the camp was ill-equipped and had poor infrastructure.

“There is a lot happening there such as malnutrition, and believe me, there are so many children at this camp. The issue of birth certificates and identification cards is really an issue.”

She said Zimbabwe must ensure that everyone has a right to nationality in order to meet the requirements of sustainable development goal 16 which says everyone must have a legal right to identity, including birth registration.

The Constitution also provides for fundamental human rights and freedoms incorporating the rights of children to a name and provision of identity documents.

Timveous said there is need to maintain comprehensive birth registration and civil registration systems within Zimbabwe with a view to prevent statelessness.

Manicaland senator David Chimhini said statelessness remained an emotive issue with about 10 million people who were stateless in the world.

“Individuals, women and children are particularly exposed to risks of statelessness and that is why the Gukurahundi issue has remained emotive. We need to be sober whenever we are discussing this post-independence unfortunate period.

“The office of the Registrar-General must be flexible and make it easy for people to obtain identity documents and remove unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy which makes it difficult to obtain identity documents,” Chimhini said.

Parly committees chairpersons threatened by ministers: Mudenda

Source: Parly committees chairpersons threatened by ministers: Mudenda – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, has disclosed that some parliamentary committee chairpersons are living in fear after receiving various threats mostly from Cabinet ministers angered by their oversight duties.

by VENERANDA LANGA

Speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust (Sapst) in Harare last Friday, Mudenda hailed Sapst for helping capacitate the committees to carry out their duties without fear or favour.

“We shall continue to protect the Constitution which stipulates that all institutions and agencies of government at every level are accountable to Parliament. This places an onerous responsibility on MPs,” Mudenda said.

“Some of my chairmen of committees have been threatened by ministers who say to the chairman you want to take over my ministerial responsibilities — why is your committee so inquisitive? My answer is that it is not the committee that is inquisitive — it is the Constitution that is inquisitive and says all State institutions and agencies must be accountable to Parliament, and if you do not like that then let us amend the Constitution.”

Mudenda said he gets disgusted by some ministers that do not have the humility to accept recommendations by parliamentary committees.

“Some ministers do not have the humility to accept recommendations of parliamentary committees. We are now at the crest and members of the Executive are beginning to gel in now and are working very closely with Parliament.

“Last Monday, I got a letter from the Ministry of Justice saying it is indeed the responsibility of Parliament to uphold the Constitution. They said they admit that there has been a slow process of alignment of laws and even suggested that their ministry’s committee on alignment of laws meets with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice so as to speed up the process of alignment,” Mudenda said.

Sapst executive director, John Makamure, announced that they will soon introduce a certificate in legislative studies.

“In the next 10 years, Sapst will be an established key institution in Southern Africa and will diversify its funding base. We have formed an endowment fund for the organisation to be self-financing so that we do not continue to rely on donors. Sapst will introduce a certificate in legislative studies,” Makamure said.

Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Chokuda, said Sapst is currently looking at strengthening the Public Finance Management Act, and has been providing MPs with budget guidelines, as well as assisting in taking Parliament to the people through supporting public hearings on Bills.

Govt, grain millers head for clash

Source: Govt, grain millers head for clash – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

The government and the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) are heading for a clash as the former has refused to postpone the mandatory Food Fortification Programme after an urgent appeal by the latter.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

On May 11, GMAZ wrote to Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa asking for the government to delay the implementation of the Fortification Programme on the back of currency challenges.

But, Parirenyatwa told NewsDay yesterday that there was no going back on implementation of the proposed food fortification programme where food packagers were expected to add certain trace elements to foodstuffs starting on June 1.

“We want nutrients and the issue of currency is something else, but from a health point of view we want those fortifications done,” Parirenyatwa said.

The mandatory food fortification programme was promulgated by Statutory Instrument 120 of 2016, which goes into effect on June 1.

Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients (essential trace elements and vitamins) to food. The World Health Organisation and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations define food fortification as the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient.

The concern of GMAZ was that the nutrients cannot be locally made and needed to be imported. As such, with the challenges in remitting foreign currency outside the country it would be challenging for millers to import the nutrients.

Sources say the millers have had some engagements with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, but that the central bank was not adequately helping them, describing the assistance as “meagre”.

In the letter from GMAZ in possession of NewsDay, GMAZ said they had reached the conclusion to request an indefinite delay on the programme after conducting nationwide consultations with grain millers.

“The prevalent nostro currency liquidity challenges are severely affecting the timeous remittances of imported wheat and maize. Consequently, we have been unable to meet import payments for the acquisition of fortification equipment and the fortificants,” GMAZ said

“The government and the development partners have not done massive and extensive consumer awareness campaign to sensitise the public about these additives.”

NewsDay reached Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Rosemary Siyachitema yesterday who declined to comment on the matter.

Importing maize and wheat comes as a result of low yields locally on the back of the chaotic fast-track land redistribution programme.

Mudzvova honoured in Norway

Source: Mudzvova honoured in Norway – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

THEATRE artist and activist, Silvanos “Banditi” Mudzvova was last week honoured with an Oslo Freedom Forum International Vacluv Havel Creative Dissent award in Norway for his theatre productions advocating for democracy.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

The gong is awarded to three artists whose artistic products are critical for developmental issues.

The other winners were a creative satire group from Venezuela and a female poet from Bahrain.

The three each received a 15kg bronze and gold award and will share the prize money.

Speaking to NewsDay from Norway on Friday, Mudzvova who is founder of Vhitori Entertainment, said the award came courtesy of three of his performances staged at the Parliament Building in Harare and was in recognition for his bravery and creativity in delivering his messages.

“The first play they picked was Missing Diamonds, I Need My Share, where I was arrested together with three journalists from the private media who were covering the play. The award committee said it was also impressed by The Prison Uniform and The Mud,” he said.

“For this award, I want to thank the media for covering my three plays extensively as the jurors for the award picked them from online publications, the activists from all social movements, mainly Tajamuka, who gave me the backing and security during my performances and all Zimbabweans who want to see a better Zimbabwe who shared the videos via social media.”

Mudzvova, who is currently in the United Kingdom, where he was also selected for a year-long Artist Protection Fund Fellowship programme at the University of Manchester, said he will continue contributing towards a better Zimbabwe using his artistic talent.

Several media platforms have been awash with congratulatory messages for Mudzvova with pro-democracy activist and #ThisFlag founder, Evan Mawarire being among the people who took to Facebook to congratulate him.

“Congratulations to Silvanos “Bhanditi” Mudzvova on being awarded the Vaclav Havel international prize for creative dissent here at the Oslo Freedom Forum today. This is the new face of a courageous generation in Zimbabwe,” he wrote.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said: “That which pursues you determines your speed, the more vicious and ominous, the greater your speed.”

Zanu PF youths, war vets square off

Source: Zanu PF youths, war vets square off – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2017

WAR veterans have scoffed at President Robert Mugabe’s upcoming provincial campaign rallies organised by Zanu PF youths, NewsDay has established.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The ex-freedom fighters described the sojourns starting this weekend as a wild goose chase which would not revive the veteran politician’s waning support base ahead of the 2018 general elections.

Mugabe is, starting this Saturday, expected to embark on a whirlwind tour of the provinces to mend gaping cracks within his faction-ridden ruling party and drum up support as he faces a massive challenge from a likely coalesced opposition party grouping.

Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya yesterday said the planned rallies would not achieve much in mobilising the electorate to vote for Zanu PF as the majority of the ruling party’s youths were still politically immature, serve for the likes of youth secretary Kudzanai Chipanga and a few others.

But, Zanu PF youth spokesperson, Evelyn Mpofu yesterday brushed aside Mahiya’s claims, saying the rallies would succeed with or without the war veterans’ support.

Said Mahiya: “It is not the number of people that gather or the number of rallies that they will have, but it is about revising the process of the revolution that requires political orientation to produce a generation that is politically conscious.”

He added: “The meetings are necessary to Chipanga because he wants to show the President that he can mobilise huge numbers. Even though they are saying that everyone is welcome to attend, probably there will be more youths who will attend.

“Chipanga is trying to convince the President that he has the capacity to bring more people together and war veterans will be rendered useless and in the process they will be attacking war veterans.”

The war veterans’ spokesperson equated the rallies to the infamous Zanu PF million-man march held in May last year, which he said lacked political significance after most ex-fighters boycotted the event. Mahiya warned residents in areas targeted for the rallies to brace for intimidation and being frog-marched to the rallies to boost the numbers.

“In some instances, there will be rowdy youths that will be forcing people to attend. If they are to mobilise people they should do it peacefully. We urge communities to organise and protect themselves from being forced to attend those rallies and those structures should also resist violence,” he urged, adding that the $5 billion demanded by Zanu PF youths under the guise of economic empowerment projects was a ploy to loot State resources to sponsor the party’s campaign programme.

Zanu PF national youth commissar, Innocent Hamandishe said despite all the critism, the rallies will go ahead.

“The rallies are so necessary,” Hamandishe said, adding that the war veterans might not see the value of the rallies now, but they will certainly work in Zanu PF’s favour.

He said by holding the rallies, the youths were not seeking conflict with anyone including war veterans.

“Youths alone will not be able to make Zanu PF win. We need women and war veterans. It’s team work,” he said.

Concerning the $5 billion reportedly demanded by youths for various projects, Hamandishe said they were seeking real empowerment and not the little money they have been given in past.

“If you look at the money that was previously given an individual, something like $2 000-$3 000, it is like a salary to others and there is no meaningful project that we can do. We are demanding that an individual be given something like $20 000,” he said.

In 2012, government through the National Youth Fund mobilised $40 million from various banks and disbursed it as loans for various Zanu PF youth projects, but the majority of the beneficiaries failed to repay the loans after squandering the funds.

Zanu PF plots provincial shutdown

Source: Zanu PF plots provincial shutdown – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 27, 2017

ZANU PF is plotting a shutdown of Mashonaland East and is reportedly forcing schools in the province to release their buses and trucks to carry supporters to President Robert Mugabe’s rally slated for next Saturday at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera.

By Jairos Saunyama

The ruling party, which is often accused of using force and intimidation to get support, has allegedly ordered school authorities in the province to provide buses so that youths and other people can be ferried to the rally.

Although Zanu PF provincial youth league chairman, Kevin Mutsvairo could not state the source of the 58 buses so far secured for the rally, sources told NewsDay Weekender that schools had been marshalled to provide the transport for the rally, where the 93-year-old leader will interact with the youth.

“We are at an advanced stage as far as mobilisation of people and resources ahead of the big day is concerned,” Mutsvairo said.

“So far, we have secured 58 buses and 69 lorries. Everything is in place and we are still mobilising for more transport resources because we are expecting thousands of youth.”

The rally kickstarts a series of countrywide gatherings, which will see Mugabe addressing the youth in the country’s 10 provinces.

The Zanu PF youth league said close to 100 000 youths are expected at Rudhaka Stadium to listen to Mugabe, who is on a nationwide tour to meet the youth and mobilise support ahead of 2018 general elections.

Although the stadium cannot hold such a multitude of people, Zanu PF claims it will ensure the small soccer ground and its terraces accommodate all the people from the province’s 23 constituencies.

Zanu PF secretary for youth, Kudzi Chipanga told delegates, who attended a preparatory meeting recently that each of the 23 constituencies in the province would provide 4 300 youths, with MPs instructed to mobilise people to attend or risk political office.

In preparation for Mugabe’s visit, Marondera Town Council, with help from the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority, on Thursday embarked on a massive rehabilitation of the road that links Harare-Mutare Highway and Rudhaka Stadium.

NewsDay Weekender witnessed workers with heavy vehicles and machinery busy patching potholes and widening the road.

The move has angered residents, who accused the council of hypocrisy and only being concerned about service delivery when Mugabe visits.

Efforts to get a comment from town clerk, Josiah Musuwo were fruitless yesterday.

The Importance of Leadership

In the late 60’s and early 70’s of the last century, my wife and I led a numbers of Camps for Scripture Union in the Vumba Mountains and each camp involved about 60 boys in forms 1 and 2. The site was magnificent – a grassy knoll above a deep valley that was covered in jungle and had a beautiful clean stream at the bottom. We had many happy camps on the site and I am sure they were life changing experiences for the boys.

Source: The Importance of Leadership – The Zimbabwean 28.05.2017

On one such camp, we followed our usual routine – divide the boys into teams and then get the teams to play games against each other on a roster. After two days it was clear, we had one team which had by error been made up of all the smaller boys and as a consequence they were being hammered at every game and were totally dispirited.

At the Officers meeting that night, I took an outstanding young student officer aside and told him to take this team in hand, the alternative was to break them up and reform the teams. Angus was tall, athletic and good looking and in addition he was an exceptional leader and communicator. He took those kids in hand and by the end of camp 5 days later, they were beating everyone. The motivation was stunning to watch. Leadership.

Many years later, I watched the Republican Party Convention in the States on TV in a hotel room in Europe. George Bush Senior was the candidate and when it came for him to make his acceptance speech; he brought his whole family onto the stage in front of thousands of supporters. As I watched I suddenly realized that the small boy standing next the President to be, was a mongoloid child and he held his Grandfathers hand and participated in that huge event with no sense that he was different. He waved to the crowd as if he was the next candidate of the Party.

I have worked with children with severe problems and I know what it takes to bring up a child like that with that sort of self worth and dignity, it’s not easy. Right there, I said to myself, if I was an American, I would vote for George Bush just on the strength of watching that special relationship between the man who was going to become the most powerful leader in the World and a small child with a handicap he did not know he had. In a family, that’s leadership.

My own Grandfather was a personal friend of Jan Smuts in South Africa and went right through the Second World War with him. When they were beaten in the elections in 1948 and the Nationalists came to power, he told me that one day the Afrikaners would wake up to what they were doing, realize that it was wrong and then put it right.

In the 70’s I was  selected to represent the Churches in what was then known as Rhodesia, at a meeting of the Christian leadership of Africa in Nairobi. We travelled with the South African delegation and on arrival in Nairobi we were smuggled into the country without our passports being stamped as the Government did not want to acknowledge our presence.

The leader of the South African Church delegation was an elderly white Afrikaner who was a Professor at the University of Stellenbosch. When the Pan African Christian Leadership Assembly was nearing its conclusion, he was given the podium in front of some 5000 delegates. It was a moment when time stood still for me and my thousands of brothers from all over Africa. Here, in front of us, was a true representative of the Afrikaners who had given Apartheid to South Africa. He began speaking and said he had come to ask forgiveness for what his people had done to South Africa. While he spoke the tears rolled down his face and he wept. I can tell you he was not alone.

I now appreciate that that was the start of the South African miracle – years later, the President of South Africa, another Afrikaner, unbanned the ANC and Nelson Mandela began his walk to freedom. Unbelievably in 1994, a new Constitution was passed and Mandela – once one of the most feared ANC Leaders became President without a shot being fired. Most do not know that the process started in the Church when a Reformed Church Pastor unburdened himself in from of Africa and said sorry. That’s the kind of leadership that changes the world.

Being the CEO of a major business organisation is a fantastic experience especially when it is at a time of transition and crisis. Two years before our Independence, I was walking back from a meeting with the CEO of the Group I was working for – the largest business Group in this country and he asked me as I walked through the Foyer of our building, “would you be prepared to take over the Dairibord?”. This was one of the four main business units in the Group and was quite a large organisation with 3 500 employees and a turnover of many millions of dollars. I was 38 years old and had no hesitation – who would?

The civil war was raging, all white men were required to serve in the armed forces except in special circumstances and we were under international UN sponsored sanctions (real sanctions). It was a tough assignment. All white management, political change was coming and we all knew it. I not only had to maintain morale, keep the team together but to run the business and prepare for the dramatic political changes that were coming.

I called my team together and told them that we had one main assignment and that was to keep the organisation going and to maintain stability in the midst of change. I said “I want you to rattle the milk bottles outside every house, every morning, without fail”. At the time we ran an extraordinary system for a third world country in that we delivered fresh milk to every home in the urban areas every day throughout the year.

That team responded and we went to work and during the last years of the Civil War when oil depots were burning and military deaths were being reported every day (my Chief Engineer lost both his sons), we kept the Dairibord running profitably, we delivered milk every day, every morning, without fail and in doing so I hope we made a small contribution to giving ordinary people a sense that the world was sane.

On one occasion a large Bridge over the River Save was attacked by Zanla Guerilla’s and the small unit protecting the bridge had quite a rough time. They were still in their trenches at six in the morning, when they heard a Dairibord vendor ring his bell for attention and down the road came the vendor on his bicycle offering fresh dairy products. The young soldiers could not believe their eyes. A business is run by a team, it’s never a solo game and today I still relish the chance I had to lead such a team into the daily battle of business and win. At the heart of every successful business is a small team of leaders, working together every day to stay in business, it is not about race, sex, appearances, education or strength, it’s just leadership.

When leaders fail, we all suffer and that is the case for my poor, broken land, Zimbabwe. I wish it were not so but it is the reality and the human suffering that has resulted breaks my heart. But all it takes, in a fantastic little country like this, is a change at the top and this is inevitable, thanks to time. When it does, we will show the world how it is done and perhaps in Africa, show how leadership, real leadership can transform a country and allow it to prosper again.

Commercial agriculture in Africa: winners and losers

Source: Commercial agriculture in Africa: winners and losers | zimbabweland

The findings of the Land and Agricultural Commercialisation in Africa project, funded by DFID and ESRC, have just been published in the Journal of Peasant Studies in a series of four papers – an introduction (open access) and country cases from Ghana, Kenya and Zambia.

In this work we asked what difference did the ‘model’ of commercial farming make, contrasting large-scale plantations/estates, medium-scale farms in commercial farming areas and contract farming arrangements linked to core estates (see background paper here). This is a theme being picked up by a new initiative – the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa project of the Future Agricultures Consortium – which includes new work in Zimbabwe, starting this year.

A blog on The Conversation – The pros and cons of commercial farming models in Africa (Ruth Hall, University of the Western Cape; Dzodzi Tsikata, University of Ghana, and Ian Scoones, University of Sussex) – discusses the findings. In the debate about what approaches to revitalising commercial agriculture, at what scale (including medium-scale farms), with what relationships between smallholders and large-scale agribusiness, this research from across Africa is highly relevant to ongoing debates in Zimbabwe.
The pros and cons of commercial farming models in Africa

Colonialism brought large-scale farming to Africa, promising modernisation and jobs – but often dispossessing people and exploiting workers. Now, after several decades of independence, and with investor interest growing, African governments are once again promoting large plantations and estates. But the new corporate interest in African agriculture has been criticised as a “land grab”. The Conversation

Small-scale farmers, on family land, are still the mainstay of African farming, producing 90% of its food. Their future is increasingly uncertain as the large-scale colonial model returns.

To make way for big farms, local people have lost their land. Promises of jobs and other benefits have been slow to materialise, if at all.

The search is on for alternatives to big plantations and estates that can bring in private investment without dispossessing local people – and preferably also support people’s livelihoods by creating jobs and strengthening local economies.

Two possible models stand out.

Contract farming is often touted as an “inclusive business model” that links smallholders into commercial value chains. In these arrangements, smallholder farmers produce cash crops on their own land, as ‘outgrowers’, on contract to agroprocessing companies.

Then there is growth in a new class of “middle farmers”. These are often educated business people and civil servants who are investing money earned elsewhere into medium-scale commercial farms which they own and operate themselves.

So what are the real choices and trade-offs between large plantations or estates; contract farming by outgrowers; or individual medium-scale commercial farmers?

These different models formed the focus of our three-year study in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. Evidence suggests that each model has different strengths. For policy makers, deciding which kind of farming to promote depends on what they want to achieve.

Plantations are ‘enclaves’

Our cases confirm the characterisation of large plantations as being “enclaves” with few linkages into local economies. They buy farming inputs from far afield, usually from overseas, and in turn send their produce into global markets, bypassing local intermediaries.

Plantations are large, self-contained agribusinesses that rely on hired labour and are vertically-integrated into processing chains (often with on-farm processing). They’re usually associated with one major crop. In Africa, these started with colonial concessions, especially in major cash crops such as coffee, tea, rubber, cotton and sugarcane. Some of these later became state farms after independence while others were dismantled and land returned to local farmers.

Many plantations do create jobs, especially if they have on-site processing. Plantations may also support local farmers if they process crops that local smallholders are already growing. For example, we found an oil palm plantation in Ghana that buys from local smallholders, giving them access to processing facilities and international value chains they would otherwise not reach.

But, typically, plantations have limited connections into the local economy beyond the wages they pay. Where production is mechanised, they create few jobs, as we found in Zambia: the Zambeef grain estate employs few people, and most of these are migrants whose wages don’t go into the local economy. And the jobs that are created are invariably of poor quality.

The main story is that plantations take up land and yet often don’t give back to the local economy. In the cases we researched, all the plantations led to local people losing their land. For instance, the establishment and later expansion of the 10,000-hectare Zambeef estate led to forced removals of people from their cropping fields and grazing lands.

There are some benefits from plantations and estates. But, given more than a century of bad experience, it may be time to concede they seldom – if ever – live up to their promises.

Contract farming brings benefits for some

Contract farming has a long history in Africa, dating back to colonial times. As with plantations, these arrangements were largely for the major cash crops, including cocoa, cotton, tobacco and sugarcane.

Contract farmers are smallholders who enter into contracts with companies that buy and process their crops. Sometimes members of outgrowers’ households might also get jobs on larger “nucleus” estates run by the companies. Whether or not they benefit, or get mired in debt and dependence, depends entirely on the terms of these contracts. Our study looked at contract farming in Ghana’s tropical fruit export sector, in French bean production in Kenya and in sugarcane farming in Zambia.

Contract farming has been hailed by some as the “win-win” solution, enabling commercial investment for global markets without dispossessing local farmers. Farmers farm on their own land, using their own family labour, while also accessing commercial value chains – rather than being displaced by large farms. But we found that this is not necessarily the case. Crucially, there are different kinds of arrangements that determine who benefits.

In Kenya, contract farmers are poorer than most farmers around them. For them, farming on contract provides a crucial livelihood, especially for poor women, who cultivate French beans for the European market and combine this with seasonal jobs on big farms.

In one Zambian block scheme all outgrowers gave up their land to Illovo, a South African company that grows sugarcane. The company pays them dividends. Here, the landowners, typically the old patriarchs, benefit from cash incomes. Young people lose out: they neither inherit the land nor control the cash incomes.

Contract farming clearly provides one effective avenue for smallholders to commercialise. It means, though, that smallholders take on both the risks and the benefits of connecting to commercial value chains.

Medium-scale farming: a promising option

Between the large plantations and the small contract farmers is another model: medium-scale commercial farms owned by individuals or small companies. We studied areas where medium-scale farms were dominating: mango farmers in Ghana, coffee farmers in Kenya and grains farmers in Zambia. While this kind of medium-scale farming also has colonial origins, the past two decades have seen massive growth in new “middle farmers”. Many of them are male, wealthy, middle-aged or retired, often from professional positions.

The medium -scale commercial farming model has a lot to offer. We found that they create more jobs and stimulate rural economies more than either big plantations or smallholder contract farmers. Yet cumulatively, such farms may threaten to dispossess smallholders, just as the big colonial and more recent plantations and estates have done.

The push behind the explosion of the “middle farmers” in the countries we studied has been investment by the educated and (relatively) wealthy. In Ghana in particular, we found, their expansion has displaced smallholders. Cumulatively, even modest-sized farms have led to substantial dispossession and reduced access to land.

Their informal employment patterns mean poor working conditions and few permanent jobs. But, unlike the plantations, these farms are well connected with the local economy. Building on social networks, these “middle farmers” often buy inputs and services from local businesses. At least some of their produce is sold into local markets.

Winners and losers

While policy choices are of course political, they can and should be informed by research about the implications of these different pathways of agricultural commercialisation. What is clear from our research is that different kinds of commercial farming will have different effects on the economy. It’s not just about efficiency. Ultimately, it’s about who wins and who loses.

Ruth Hall, Associate Professor, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape; Dzodzi Tsikata, Associate Professor, University of Ghana, and Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Nepotism in Zimbabwe Remains the Norm as Unemployment Bites

As millions of Zimbabweans struggle with unemployment, their 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe is busy rewarding his family members and protégés with big government jobs, where they end up looting colossal amounts of money.

Source: Nepotism in Zimbabwe Remains the Norm as Unemployment Bites – Face2face Africa May 28, 2017

Last week, the country woke up to the news that the veteran president had appointed his own daughter, Bona Chikore Mugabe, to the country’s media censorship board.

Although the Minister of Home Affairs, Ignatius Chombo, insists that he was the one who proposed the appointment, pundits have argued that President Mugabe put his daughter in the board to ensure more restriction of negative press.

According to Zimbabwe’s Censorship and Entertainment Act, the censorship board is mandated to regulate and review any article, picture, painting, publication, video, or audio that is likely to undermine morality, nudity, decency, among others.

So, with the ongoing anti-Mugabe revolt by a section of Zimbabweans, who are calling for his resignation, it appears that the now frail president wants to use her daughter’s influence at the board to clamp down on the media, which has of late been very critical of him and his family.

It is also being reported that President Mugabe has become wary of his close friends, including fellow colonial veterans and members of his party Zanu-PF, which is currently suffering from internal squabbles as leaders outdo each other with the hope of succeeding Mugabe.

Corruption and Embezzlement

Many experts have often blamed the increasing cases of mega corruption and embezzlement of public funds in Zimbabwe on the blatant nepotism and patronage by the elderly president.

Mugabe’s protégés in government have continually been accused of looting and corruptly distributing public resources, including food donations meant for the starving families in the country.

In June last year, well-placed Zanu-PF sources revealed to the media shocking details of how government officials were looting drought relief rice that had been donated by China. They said some of the rice was being dished out to Zanu-PF supporters at political rallies across the country as a reward for being loyal.

In 2015, the Zimbabwean Minister of Health David Parirenyatwa was accused of illegally withdrawing $100,000 from the country’s troubled Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), the national health insurer, for his medical treatment.

But in his response to the calls to sack Mr. Parirenyatwa, President Mugabe said he would be jumping the gun if he budged into private affairs between PSMAS and its membership. Sadly, Parirenyatwa is still the minister of health.

The looting is so rampant that even Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, has been adversely mentioned in a corruption scandal, where he is accused of withdrawing tens of thousands of dollars from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) as a board member.

No action has been taken against him even after he confessed to the crime.

Some of Mugabe’s critics now refer to him as the godfather of Zimbabwe’s looting mafia.

Ironically, this runaway corruption is happening at a time when Zimbabwe’s economy is on its knees, with the government being forced to replace the valueless local currency with bond notes.

The “looting mafia” has left the public coffers empty, making it hard for the government to finance its operations. What’s worse, Mugabe has refused to retire despite his advanced age.

He even claims that he will continue to rule the country from the grave.

At this point, it is not clear what can be done to save Zimbabwe from total collapse, especially with Mugabe at the helm.

Rotten to the core – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Figures are important, particularly for Zimbabwe where they simply don’t add up. Let’s start with Mugabe’s trip to the Mexican resort of Cancun less than a week after he returned from seeing his doctors in Singapore.

Source: Rotten to the core – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th May 2017

Mugabe travelled by chartered airliner with an entourage of three dozen people.  All of them received a daily allowance of at least $1,000. Some would have got considerably more, among them three cabinet ministers who would be obliged by the dignity of their office to stay in the best suites in the most expensive hotels. That will prove to Mugabe’s opponents that Zimbabwe is doing alright, won’t it?

Why were they in Mexico? One wonders if it was just for the expenses. The routine UN meeting on ‘disaster risk reduction’ was attended by only the odd head of state like Mugabe who, this time, was apparently denied his usual grand-standing opportunity. Mugabe is said to have left Mexico ‘not too pleased’ before the conference ended. His entourage was presumably ‘not too pleased’ at losing some per diems out of the millions of dollars in cash that Mugabe takes with him every time he moves (or is this cache only for his own expenses?).

Some more figures: last year Mugabe made more than 20 trips abroad, spending $36 million in ten months according to the finance ministry. This year has seen no slowdown.

Herald scribe Mabasa Sasa, who was one of the $1,000 a day fellow travellers, came up with a scoop: President Mugabe told the media on arrival home that ‘natural and manmade disasters that Zimbabwe has experienced in recent years have made Government wiser to the need to prepare for such exigencies’ – such as not building homes in waterways. He went on to report: ‘President Mugabe was welcomed at Harare International Airport by Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabinet ministers and other senior Government officials, and service chiefs.’ (See: http://www.herald.co.zw/zim-ups-disaster-mitigation-drive/.)

Vice-President Mnangagwa will no doubt have given Mugabe the happy news that the government had exceeded Zanu PF’s election promise of creating 2.2 million jobs. This is indeed news to the 90%+ of the population who are looking for work.

MDC T legislator Eddie Cross, in an article on corruption in Zimbabwe, says ‘I can think of 4 Ministers in Government whom I am prepared to say are honest and not involved in any material corruption – but the rest, 30 of them, are rotten to the core and do not miss an opportunity to make a margin on anything over which they have control.’

He continues: ‘The evidence of corruption on a massive and pervasive scale is everywhere – estates of homes that would look good on a Hollywood Boulevard. Ministers, earning a few thousand dollars a month, accumulating tens of millions of dollars of property, luxury cars with wives and girl friends swimming in luxuries of every kind. Even Mr Mugabe, who earns a very modest salary, has luxury homes in Harare, Zvimba, South Africa, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The Head of a Medical Aid Society that provides medical cover to the Civil Service; steals US$35 million in three years, is fired and no further action is taken.’

Perhaps it’s time Mr Mugabe gave up his travels and paid some attention to what is going on at home.

Other points

  • The Vigil did not forget Africa Day. We remembered by ending the Vigil by singing ‘Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica’ with special fervour.
  • We were joined by members of the MDC who asked us to publicise a protest about the diaspora vote on Wednesday 14th June. More details of this later.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Vimbayi Chambara, Joseph Chivayo, Daizy Fabian, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Theodora Mandishaya, Roseline Mukucha, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Charles Mupawose, Sipho Ndlovu, Tsitsi Ndoro, Casper Nyamakura, Emilia Nyamhandu, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Pearl Shambare and Rufaro Zondesa, Thanks to Roseline, Tsitsi and Pearl for looking after the front table, to Esther, Cephas, Faith Ndhlovu and Flemming Diza for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Charles, Daizy, Margaret, Vimbayi and Isabell for putting up the banners. A special thank you to Nyarai Masvosva who brought sadza and stew to sell to raise funds for ROHR’s ZimPAP project and to Daizy and Margaret for selling and serving the food. Thanks also to Bev Mutandiro for bringing savoury snacks, bananas and fruit juice for us to share.  

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: 38 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 3rd June from 11 am. Venue:  The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 3rd June from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 10th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • MDC demonstration on the Diaspora Vote. Wednesday 14th June outside the Zimbabwe Embassy London. Further details when we have them.
  • 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.
  • Facebook pages:
IDC seeks $20m loan facility

Source: IDC seeks $20m loan facility | The Herald May 28, 2017

Tinashe Makichi and Walter Muchinguri
The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe will engage its namesake, IDC South Africa for a $20 million loan facility aimed at kick-starting its role as a development finance entity.

IDC Zimbabwe public relations advisor Dereck Sibanda confirmed the plans on Friday. “We engaged the IDC South Africa for a $20 million facility which is aimed at kick-starting IDC Zimbabwe’s plans to start providing development finance to the industry. “This follows a Cabinet resolution which stated that IDC should start playing its role as a development finance provider. IDC South Africa said we should engage them after July this year as they are still undergoing some internal restructuring,” said Mr Sibanda.

Government as the shareholder is also expected to avail some seed capital into the institution. IDC Zim is mandated to establish and conduct any industrial undertaking, to facilitate, promote, guide and assist the financing of new industrial undertaking (including small and medium-scale), schemes for the expansion, better organisation and modernisation of and more efficient carrying out of operations in existing industries and industrial undertakings. “The removal of the corporation from the (OFAC) sanctions has played a big part in our prospects of offering development funding. Now we can engage different DFI’s considering that we are no longer on the sanctions list,” said Mr Sibanda.

Meanwhile, which IDC has vast investments covering vehicle assembling, cement and chemical manufacturing, real estate, fertiliser production, edible oils manufacturing, mining, industrial engineering, has applied for exemption from paying duty on semi knocked down (SKD) kits that it is using to assemble vehicles at Willowvale Motor Industries in order to boost production and meet demand.

Under the proposal WMI, whose order book is now at 70 percent, wants Government to waiver duty on SKDs and instead impose the duty on completely built units.

Mr Sibanda said the waiver was critical to facilitate production. “At the moment we have to pay duty to Zimra for the release of SKD kits from the bonded warehouse, which is slowing down production because we do not have ready cash. “However, if we are to be allowed to have the kits without paying duty and Zimra holds on to the finished units until duty is paid, production will increase. “We have customers that do not want to place an order and wait for 3 to 5 days for them to receive their vehicle they just want to pay and collect their vehicle,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said they were happy with the response from the market so far. “There has been a good response from the market especially Government institutions, which have been making inquiries while others have already placed their orders and are waiting for Treasury to release funds.

WMI reopened at the end of March after five years following the establishment of a joint venture company, Beiqi Zimbabwe by China’s fifth largest car manufacturer, the Beijing Automobile International Corporation (BAIC), WMI and Astol Motors for the assembly and sale of the BAIC Grand Tiger pickups and other models in Zimbabwe.

Pricing pressure mounts on telecommunications operators

Source: Pricing pressure mounts on telecommunications operators | The Herald May 28, 2017

Michael Tome Business Reporter
PRESSURE is mounting on telecommunication service providers to reduce prices, as operators battle for customers, fixed telecoms company TelOne has said.

TelOne managing director Mrs Chipo Mutasa said the scramble for customers may lead to significant price cuts from operators as part of efforts to maintain or increase their market share. “The pricing pressure is bound to continue as consumers are now demanding more for less; this is the reality telecommunications operators in Zimbabwe are already experiencing as they compete for customers. “This puts operators under pressure to reduce prices in order to maintain and increase market share,” Mrs Mutasa said.

Mrs Mutasa noted that growing competition in the sector had kept TelOne on its feet to stay abreast of demands of the highly innovative and dynamic industry. “TelOne is therefore continuously seeking for cheaper ways to bring in bandwidth into the country; we have an innovation department which has been set up to ensure the company’s agility and responsiveness to changing trends. “The Bulawayo-Beitbridge optic fibre backbone, which we expect to commission by the third quarter of 2017 will enhance capacity to offer faster speeds at even lower prices to our customers,” said Mrs Mutasa.

The TelOne managing director pointed out that customers needed convenience, favourable prices, top end product quality and easily accessible services. “Customers now require convenience, lower prices, top end product quality and reduced effort in accessing services and to respond to these realities and expectations TelOne has over the past two years enhanced the quality of service and increased the number of its customer service centres. “This has included introducing mobile kiosks in new areas to ensure convenience for our customers, a 24-hour Client Experience Centre,” Mrs Mutasa noted .

TelOne has embraced e-commerce after setting up on-line payment platforms through partnerships with all banks, mobile money service providers and a robust mobile application which supports customer transactions. The fixed telecoms operator says the innovation will grow it market share.

Speaker warns ‘errant’ ministers

Source: Speaker warns ‘errant’ ministers | The Herald May 28, 2017

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Parliament will not succumb to threats on legislators by some Cabinet ministers for discharging their constitutional mandate of playing an oversight role, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda has said.

Parliament was finalising a legal framework to rope in the Prosecutor-General to charge errant Cabinet ministers and would summon the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission if it failed to act on corruption allegations levelled against members of the Executive.

Advocate Mudenda said this last Friday while addressing civil society and legislators during celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust, an organisation that had been supporting activities of the Legislature.

He said the Constitution empowered Parliament to hold any State entity and its agencies to account, and if the legislative assembly failed to safeguard the supreme law, members of the public were free to take it to the Constitutional Court.

“Some of my (portfolio committee) chairpersons have been threatened. Does this chairman want to take over my ministerial position? Why is his committee so inquisitive? My answer to that is: it is not the committee that is being inquisitive, it is the Constitution.

“Because all of them — the institution of Government and their agencies – must account to Parliament. If you do not want that let us amend the Constitution. (But) I am not sure if people will agree,” said Adv Mudenda.

“If Parliament fails to uphold the Constitution you still have access to the same Constitution, Section 167 (2), where you are called upon as civil society to take Parliament to the Constitutional Court for failing to uphold the provisions of the Constitution. It is there in black and white.”

He said the Committee of the Standing Rules and Orders met last week and resolved that the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act be revised to allow it to invoke the law and rope in the Prosecutor-General to charge members of the Executive who did not respond to recommendations.

“Some people have been saying Parliament has no teeth. It depends on how you are inspecting our teeth.

“If you want to see our teeth, ask us to open our mouth, you will see our teeth that they are sharp and they will bite,” said Adv Mudenda.

He said Parliament would soon write to ZACC to carry out investigations in cases where portfolio committees have concluded that corruption is rife.

“For example, where committees have come to a conclusion that there is corruption by so and so and if no action is taken, we shall write to ZACC and say do your work and if they do not they shall be summoned by Parliament because they are not independent to the extent that they are not accountable to Parliament.

“And obviously they would not want to appear before Parliament for dereliction of duty.

“So we are tightening up the screws and we believe that in so doing we shall enhance the political will to act accordingly,” said Adv Mudenda.

He hailed the partnership between Parliament and development partners like SAPST saying they had ensured that Parliament did not become a rubber-stamping arm of the State.

“Just to prove my point. On two occasions, the Budget could not be debated because the concerned portfolio committee realised that there was no disaggregation of the budgetary allocation, particularly to the Office of the Auditor-General, the commissions, the Council of Chiefs and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Patrick Chinamasa) agreed to stop debate.

“That is the power of your Parliament now through the support of SAPST. We cannot compromise on what ought to be done procedurally,” said Adv Mudenda.

He said they would beef up security during public hearings to nip hooliganism in the bud.

Speaking at the same occasion, SAPST chairperson Mr Innocent Matshe said they would continue to support legislative assemblies in the region through various activities such as capacity building for lawmakers.

He said they would also take Parliament to the people to enhance transparency and accountability consistent with reforms that Parliament had set out to achieve over the years.

SAPST executive director Mr John Makamure commended the improvement that had been registered on the Parliament committee system.

He said Parliament’s oversight role had been enhanced through the committees.

Kasukuwere probe report now complete

Source: Kasukuwere probe report now complete | The Herald May 28, 2017

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Embattled Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere will soon know his fate after a probe team set to investigate allegations being levelled against him completed its report now likely to be presented to President Mugabe this week.

Cde Kasukuwere is facing a litany of allegations that include failing to run the party’s commissariat department and plotting to topple President Mugabe.

To give credence to his alleged questionable leadership, last week Cde Kasukuwere brewed a shocker after he made a unilateral decision to disqualify Cde Pearson Meeting Mbalekwa from contesting in the party’s primaries for the Chiwundura by-election via a text message.

Leader of the Kasukuwere probe team, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, told The Herald yesterday that they had completed the report and it would soon be presented to the President.

 “We have finalised the (Kasukuwere) report and what is left is for us to present it to His Excellency, President Mugabe,” he said.

Asked when the report would be tabled to the President and Politburo, Adv Mudenda said: “That I cannot tell.”

Sources close to the matter said the report might be presented to the President this week because it was long overdue.

“I am sure that the report will be presented to the President this week because this matter has dragged for too long,” said the source. “The issue is now creating problems in the party and should be brought to finality.”

Among other things, Cde Kasukuwere is accused of presiding over factionalism in Zanu-PF, through setting up parallel structures with a view to deposing President Mugabe at an envisaged special Congress.

It is alleged that Cde Kasukuwere bulldozed a number of individuals — including high-ranking officials — to influential positions across various structures of the ruling party.

Mashonaland Central was the first to blow the whistle on Cde Kasukuwere for trying to engineer President Mugabe’s ouster via parallel structures primed for an Extraordinary Congress of the party.

Other provincial executives then turned up the heat, signing petitions calling for the removal of the national commissar.

This saw Zanu-PF’s President and First Secretary, Cde Mugabe, assigning the case to a high-level probe team led by Adv Mudenda.

Zanu-PF organs and affiliate organisations last week said Cde Kasukuwere’s case needed closure as it risked affecting preparations for next year’s harmonised elections.

They said Cde Kasukuwere, who was rejected by nine of the party’s 10 provinces, continued to sow seeds of division in the revolutionary party by making unilateral decisions yet he should have recused himself from commissariat business until his case was dealt with by the Politburo.

Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators (ZILIWACO) vice chairperson Cde Josephine Gandiya said Cde Kasukuwere was no longer fit for public office.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairman Mr Chris Mutsvangwa rebuked Cde Kasukuwere’s abuse of power.

Vingirai, Govt deal on ZB under threat

Source: Vingirai, Govt deal on ZB under threat | The Herald

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Veteran banker Mr Nicholas Vingirayi has threatened to pull out of his agreement with Government relating to his shareholding in ZB Financial Holdings — citing NSSA’s move to block its full implementation.

Government, two years ago brokered a deal, which resulted in the financial guru’s Transitional Holdings Limited being given a 20 percent stake in ZB Financial Holdings to bring finality to a long standing dispute.

Mr Vingirai lost his Intermarket Holdings assets when they were collated into ZBFH in 2006 after he was alleged to have fled the country at the height of former RBZ governor Dr Gideon Gono’s crusade against what he termed “errant bankers”.

This was after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had “bailed out” Intermarket and converted the debt into equity under a High Court scheme of arrangement.

His battle to reclaim the shares intensified after externalisation charges against him were lifted in 2012 with Dr Gono giving the go-ahead for IHL to recover its assets which included a farm.

However, recently NSSA blocked Mr Vingirayi’s board appointments which he was entitled to following the agreement with Government, prompting the former banker to engage over the way forward with a view of coming up with an agreement which will separate Intermarket and ZB Holdings assets.

Well placed sources told The Herald Business that Mr Vingirayi is engaging Government, advising that NSSA categorically refused to recognise the agreement signed between Transnational Holdings Limited and itself and that they had actively blocked its full implementation.

“It is the banker’s view that since this was a bilateral agreement, he did not understand why NSSA, an arm of Government would choose to contest an agreement brokered by Government.”

According to the source, Mr Vingirayi viewed such conduct as nothing short of sabotage.

Another source close to the saga confirmed the latest development saying that THL has since communicated to the Office of the President and Cabinet their decision to quit the Government brokered deal.

“We have written to authorities indicating that this arrangement has not worked because NSSA has refused to honour an agreement structured by Government,” he said.

“We have actually trashed it. We are saying we do not know who we are working with. If NSSA does not recognise something that is well documented, the way forward that which should really have been, is to get back THL assets.”

The source said while people may think its difficult to reclaim our assets because the institutions were merged, they are not.

According to the sources, it would appear that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was not able to call NSSA to order judging by NSSA’s determination to follow its own policy.

Electoral Act faces class action

Source: Electoral Act faces class action – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      28 May 2017

HARARE – The battle for the much anticipated next year’s election is
gathering steam with a local social movement, #IAMZIMBABWE, becoming the
latest group to crank the heat on President Robert Mugabe and his
government to pave way for the holding of free and fair elections.

The social movement has begun collecting signatures for a class action
lawsuit on behalf of Zimbabweans seeking the alignment of the Electoral
Act to the new Constitution.

This comes as the country’s opposition parties are ratcheting up pressure
on government to ensure an even electoral playing field in next year’s
watershed poll by making sweeping electoral reforms which include the
disbandment of the current Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)
secretariat.

#IAMZIMBABWE social movement is seeking at least 100 applicants by June 2
to be able to file a High Court application for the certification of the
class-action lawsuit.

Harare lawyer Fadzayi Mahere, who is spearheading the class action, said
after garnering the required number of litigants, a meeting to discuss
necessary steps – including details of the litigation strategy and the
relief sought – will be convened.

“The idea is to demand that the right to vote be given its fullest
expression including through a simplified voter registration and voting
process.

“The law, for example, requires that voter registration be a continuous
process. It is also key to ensure that the Electoral Act is aligned to the
Constitution,” said the feisty Mahere.

According to the Class Actions Act, the authority of the High Court is
required to grant leave for the institution of a class action on behalf of
any class of persons after considering whether the action is appropriate,
and a prima facie cause of action exists.

The social movement accuses government of flagrantly violating provisions
of a new Constitution by delaying the alignment of the laws.

Section 155(2) of the Constitution provides that the State “must take all
appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that every
citizen who is eligible to vote has an opportunity to cast a vote and must
facilitate voting by persons with disabilities or special needs.”

The General Laws Amendment Bill (GLA Bill), passed by Parliament last
year, was supposed to align the Electoral Act to the Constitution but
alignment issues were ignored by the GLA Bill.

Under section 67(3) of the Constitution, every adult citizen has the right
to vote in all elections.  But the GLA Bill did nothing to change the
provisions of the present Electoral Act which deny the vote to citizens in
the Diaspora, prisoners and hospital patients.

Legal experts say Zec cannot be left to handle these problems
administratively, without amendments to the Electoral Act. The Act also
gives Zec a virtual monopoly over the provision of voter education and
imposes several additional restrictions on its provision by other people.

Also, Zec’s constitutional independence, guaranteed by section 235 of the
Constitution, is infringed by the present wording of section 12 of the
Electoral Act, which requires Zec to get approval from the Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs minister before accepting any donation.

MDC youth stabbed in Chiwundura as poll violence rages on

Source: MDC youth stabbed in Chiwundura as poll violence rages on – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      28 May 2017

HARARE – Suspected Zanu PF youths stabbed and critically injured an MDC
supporter in Chiwundura last week, a faith-based rights group said,
continuing a wave of attacks in the run-up to the July 15 by-election.

The National Assembly seat fell vacant following the death of Kizito
Chivamba last month.

The by-election has seen the worst spell of political violence for years,
stirred in part by intra-party Zanu PF violence in a primary election that
saw 21 candidates contesting.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said Zanu PF primary elections were held
amid serious factional skirmishes as well as political intolerance
spearheaded by ruling party youths.

“It is alleged that a day prior to the primary elections a number of
youths, who had been paid to carry out campaigns on behalf of candidates
clashed near the Sino-Zimbabwe cement company in Chiwundura constituency.

“It is reported an MDC youth, Ashley Mdutshwa, was met in the crossfire
and left seriously injured after he was attacked by the same Zanu PF
youths.

“Mdutshwa is reported to have been stabbed by the Zanu PF youths at
Gambiza Business Centre on May 21, for reasons that are still unclear but
believed to have been political,” ZPP said in an alert, adding the
incident that saw Mdutshwa being stabbed was reported to the police but no
arrests have been made to date.

Twenty one candidates contested the primary elections ahead of Friday’s
Nomination Court sitting.

Mbalekwa was declared winner after amassing 1 511 votes, with Brown Ndlovu
coming in second with 1 196 while Celton Charamba got 1 161 and Bigboy
Mzila got 660.

Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere declared that Zanu PF will
not recognise Mbalekwa and the party has since settled for the second
runner-up to represent it.

Mbalekwa was reported to have “voluntarily withdrawn,” saying his child
who is abroad was not feeling well and felt his attention will be divided
and won’t cope with the immense pressure of elections.

The Nomination Court sat at the Gweru Magistrates’ Courts on Friday in
line with Sub-section 17 (c) of Section 46 of the Electoral Act (Chapter
2:13) to receive nominations of candidates to contest in the by-election.

Four candidates successfully filed their papers: Ndlovu of Zanu PF,
Takudzwa Guzete of NCA, Brighton Mudzviti of FreeZim Congress and Webster
Zulu of PDZ.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) – the largest independent
observer group in the country – condemned the violence.

“Zesn calls upon the nominated candidates and political parties in the
by-election to observe peace and tolerate divergent views.

“Zesn also calls upon Zec to liberalise voter education in order to reach
out to as many eligible voters as possible within the constituency,” it
said in a statement.

‘Sadc must give Zim poll reforms ultimatum’

Source: ‘Sadc must give Zim poll reforms ultimatum’ – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      28 May 2017

HARARE – Southern African leaders must keep an eye on Zimbabwe as it draws
up a road-map for general elections in 2018, amid high tension and
possible chaos over President Robert Mugabe’s likely successor amid
stalled electoral reforms, analysts have warned.

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community (Sadc) must put
Zimbabwe on the front burner as it convenes its 37th ordinary summit in
August 2017 in the South African capital to avert democratic regression
and prevent the forthcoming presidential, parliamentary and municipal
election from becoming a farce whose outcome will again be disputed.

Regional leaders must force Mugabe’s hand to enact electoral reforms as
agreed in a deal brokered by Sadc after violent and disputed elections in
2008.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) spokesperson Dumisani Nkomo said the
greatest fear was that unless key reforms are delivered, the 2018
elections will be a replica of the 2013 disputed election.

“We fear that unless these reforms are implemented, the elections will be
a mere farce with the script and actor being the same as the 2013 one
whose plot will be distinctly familiar and the outcomes being a dejavous
moment,” he said.

CiZC – a conglomeration of Zimbabwean civic groups – urged government to
speed up Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) to ensure a credible election.

“BVR should be speeded up and the process should be spread out over a year
to give people a chance to understand the process and to check whether the
system works,” said the spokesperson of the coalition, which groups
various rights organisations.

This comes as MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu has said they were preparing for
the worst-case scenario in which the BVR process will be abandoned by
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) mid-stream and we have the elections
in 2018 being conducted using the old, manipulated and crooked national
voters’ roll.

“It is not too late for us to start strategising and computing a viable
and effective Plan B. The Zanu PF regime is essentially renegade,
insipidly corrupt and incorrigibly dishonest.

“Zec is emasculated and virtually powerless in the scheme of things,
particularly regarding the running of a free, fair and credible election
that can easily pass the test of legitimacy,” Gutu said.

Nkomo said space must be opened for civil society organisations and Zec to
carry out civic education to ensure that people have all the necessary
information to participate in elections.

Local, regional and international observers must be accredited on time to
monitor both the BVR process and the actual election process as enunciated
in the tenets of the Sadc Principles and Guidelines on the Conduct of
Democratic Elections.

“The public media space should also be opened up to allow for a diversity
of voices,” Nkomo said.

Human rights activist Mmeli Dube, said civil society needs to reposition
itself in giving direction to the current transition by providing thought
leadership and lending its weight in support of key democratic processes
that are currently underway in Zimbabwe.

“The regional and international supporters of democracy and human rights
should render timely support – financial, technical, solidarity and
otherwise – to the Zimbabwean civil society, help the country deliver a
democratic dispensation and counter further democratic regression and
possible chaos,” he said.

Analysts also said the issue of succession to Mugabe, the only ruler
Zimbabwe has known since independence in 1980, has divided the ruling Zanu
PF party into two camps, with one supporting Vice President Emmerson
Mnangagwa (Team Lacoste) and the other Mugabe’s wife, Grace, (Generation
40) and this must concern Sadc.

Legal expert and analyst Alex Magaisa urged Sadc to keep an eye on the
military as it poses a constant threat to the constitutional order. He
called for security sector reforms.

The military has repeatedly stated that they would not support MDC’s
Morgan Tsvangirai or any other person without liberation war credentials.

Were Mugabe to be incapacitated, resign, removed from office or die, the
new Constitution states that until 2023, the vice president who last acted
as president assumes office as president for the next 90 days until the
party nominates a replacement for consideration by Parliament.

“Whatever faction the military supports in Zanu PF is likely to have an
advantage over others,” Magaisa said.

“In this regard, the Lacoste faction backing Mnangagwa seems to be
well-placed, given its proximity to key sections of the military and the
broad support from the war veterans.

“It cannot be overemphasised here though that the military needs to stay
away from civilian affairs,” the former advisor to former Prime Minister
of Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai and leader of the MDC, said.

“It is thus, important for Sadc to keep a watchful eye over Zimbabwe, just
in case there are attempts to subvert the constitutional process, in the
event of a succession battle.

“Ecowas showed the way in the case of the Gambia a few months ago when its
former leader threatened to subvert the constitution,” he said, referring
to Gambia’s former authoritarian leader Yahya Jammeh, who was forced into
exile in Equatorial Guinea after he stepped down in the face of pressure
from regional bloc Ecowas to recognize his election defeat.

“Sadc can draw lessons from that experience. The Zimbabwe political
process remains fragile and precarious and consequences of chaos could
threaten regional peace and stability, hence the need for Sadc to remain
vigilant.”

Opposition wary of CIO infiltration

Source: Opposition wary of CIO infiltration – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      28 May 2017

HARARE – Ahead of next year elections, Zimbabwe’s opposition finds itself
worried sick that the country’s feared secret police have infiltrated
their ranks.

This follows stunning developments earlier last week when former security
advisor to then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office during the
stability-inducing GNU, Pearson Mbalekwa, won Zanu PF primary elections
for the Chiwundura constituency.

The 64-year-old former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officer
joined the MDC in 2007 as a special advisor to Tsvangirai and then zoomed
up to the post of national security advisor after Martin Rupiya
unceremoniously quit.

Mbalekwa served in the CIO for 12 years.

Mbalekwa, a former Zanu PF MP and central committee member, resigned from
Tsvangirai’s office after the MDC leader’s defeat in the disputed 2013
presidential vote.

In quitting, Mbalekwa said he was protesting warped policies by
Tsvangirai, indiscipline and lack of trust by the party’s top brass who
doubted his loyalty because of his intelligence background.

He was to return to Zanu PF, where he was duly rehabilitated and
readmitted, resulting in last week’s primary elections in which he emerged
victor after beating 20 contenders.

The expose of Mbalekwa’s true colours has raised alarm among MDC
supporters, civil society and ordinary Zimbabweans who questioned the
extent to which the CIO has infiltrated popular mass movements.

With questions now being asked over the bonafides of the opposition’s key
officials and their connections to Zanu PF, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu
said there is need for the opposition to be extra careful.

“The MDC is a mammoth organisation and thousands, if not millions of
Zimbabweans, would like to be associated with us since we are arguably the
largest and most popular political party in the country.

“We are acutely aware that Zanu PF spies and other political spooks are
always trying to infiltrate our party and to cause havoc, mayhem and
confusion…as they say in the Shona language, `hapana musha unodyiwa
chikafu pakashaya bete, nhunzi kana, gozho’…we know that the CIO will
always try to infiltrate our organisation.

“In fact, there is a whole CIO desk at Chaminuka Building in Harare that
works 24 hours everyday on the MDC. The Zanu PF regime knows that the MDC
is the biggest and most potent threat to their hold on power and as such,
they will do whatever it takes to try to infiltrate us and cause splits
and divisions,” Gutu said.

With the country hurtling towards next year crunch elections, opposition
parties are still pushing for security sector reforms, raising concerns
over the so-called conflation of the State and key institutions such as
the intelligence.

On her part, National People’s Party (NPP) president Joice Mujuru said the
intelligence and military are working flat out to derail the formation of
a grand coalition, even going to the extent of considering killing
opposition activists.

Mujuru, who reportedly has links with security apparatus, told a rally in
Chitungwiza on Saturday last week that money is being used to try and
wreck the coalition, which analysts and observers say could end President
Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

“That we have agreed as the MDC and NPP has caused panic in Zanu PF, there
is no peace in Zanu PF as we speak. They tried everything possible to
scuttle the coalition…you know the only industry left is the police,
army and CIO, varikuedza kuti piringisha,(they are trying to derail us)
but we are saying to them let us free you, we want to liberate you.

“This is not the time to abduct people, why are you doing that to people
who want to liberate you?You are being sent to kill. Just remember it is
you who will be haunted by the spirit of the dead,”  Mujuru, who still has
intimate knowledge of the goings on in government structures, said.

Although Mugabe has publicly pooh-poohed opposition party efforts to forge
an alliance ahead of next year’s crunch elections – behind the scenes, the
ruling party is working flat out to ensure that the coalition suffers a
still birth.

Mugabe has described the opposition parties as “a confused lot.”

“We look with glee, we look with joy as they daily turn on each other,
while pretending to chase a mirage they have termed grand coalition,
apparently unaware of the grand defeat that stares them in the face,”
Mugabe told his Central Committee last month.

Recently, Mujuru parted ways with her long-time allies Didymus Mutasa and
Rugare Gumbo alleging that the duo was working with the dreaded secret
police to torpedo the formation of a grand coalition.

And there is also acknowledgement within both Mujuru’s NPP and
Tsvangirai’s MDC that the two parties have been infiltrated.

However, Mujuru has said Zanu PF – that is split along two antagonistic
factions – is not as strong as it once was as it has been deserted by war
veterans, for long the dynamos and foot soldiers of the ruling party.

Zim increases petrol blending to 10 percent

Source: Zim increases petrol blending to 10 percent – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      28 May 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe has increased mandatory petrol blending from five
percent to 10 percent due to increasing supplies of ethanol.

This comes after government in March reduced to five percent from 15
percent the mandatory amount of local ethanol to be blended with petrol as
President Robert Mugabe’s cash-squeezed government sought to reduce its
fuel import bill.

Energy minister Samuel Undenge had slashed the blending levels pending
improvement of the situation.

Undenge on Friday increased the threshold as national ethanol supplies
improve.

“It is hereby notified that, the minister of Energy….in terms of section
4 of the petroleum regulations published in Statutory Instrument 81 of
2014, approved the increase of mandatory blending to 10 per cent,” he said
in a Government Gazette published on Friday.

“The consequence of this approval is that all licensed operators shall,
from the date of publication, be mandated to sell unleaded petrol blended
at E10.”

Zimbabwe obtains ethanol from a $600 million sugar plant in the southeast
of the country which is jointly owned by a State company and private
investors which has capacity to produce 250 000 litres of ethanol a day;
and from Triangle, wholly-owned by South Africa’s Tongaat Hullett, which
also has a 50,3 percent stake in Hippo Valley. The Triangle plant has the
capacity to produce 3,6 million litres of ethanol, made out of sugarcane
by-product.

Between December and April, sugar cane harvesting is halted to enable
plant maintenance, leading to a moratorium in the production of ethanol.

The off-crop season is now over, and sugar milling has resumed, resulting
in a boost in ethanol supplies.

Official figures show the southern African country spends some $45 million
each month to import fuel.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s fuel prices have remained very high compared to
other countries in the sub-region despite government’s unilateral decision
to enforce mandatory blending of petroleum products almost four years ago,
claiming it would bring down prices and reduce the country’s import bill.

The E10 blend, which should be cheaper than unleaded fuel, is going for
between $1,35 and $1,39 per litre at service stations in Zimbabwe, which
is far more expensive than several countries in the region using unleaded
fuel.

The country’s neighbours Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania and
Swaziland all have cheaper petrol costing $1,06, $1,19, $1,08, $1,29 and
$1,14 per litre respectively.

In Zambia, a landlocked country like Zimbabwe, unleaded fuel is currently
selling for $1,10 per litre, while in Tanzania the commodity is selling
for $1,05 per litre.

The average pump price for unleaded fuel in South Africa is $1,09 per
litre while in Namibia petrol costs about $1 per litre.

Mugabe must look beyond Pan-African rhetoric

Source: Mugabe must look beyond Pan-African rhetoric – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      28 May 2017

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe must match his Pan African rhetoric by
providing food, jobs, schools, housing and healthcare that are still so
sorely lacking in his country, academics and the opposition have said.

Pan-Africanism, including even a “United States of Africa”, has been a
rallying cry since the continent started to shake off its colonial
shackles in the 1950s and 1960s.

But in messages to commemorate Africa Day on Thursday, a cross section of
Zimbabweans said African governments in general and Mugabe’s
administration in particular have failed miserably to improve the lot for
their people, hence the need for citizens to “fight against black
liberation struggle elites to stop their pervasive plunder of our
resources under the pretext of the emancipating the masses.”

University of Zimbabwe Sociology lecturer Rudo Gaidzanwa said bodies such
as the Sadc and the African Union (AU) have become platforms for
solidarity with dictators.

Gaidzanwa dismissed calls by African leaders to quit the International
Criminal Court (ICC) and establish an independent African Court saying
African states unhappy with the ICC should work to reform it from within
rather than pulling out.

Almost a third of the ICC’s 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a
large number of them would cripple a court that has yet to fulfil hopes
that it would ensure perpetrators of war crimes and genocide never go
unpunished.

Fifteen years old this year, the ICC has only ever charged Africans,
including the presidents of Kenya and Sudan, although it has procedures
open at earlier stages dealing with crimes in Eastern Europe, the Middle
East and South America.

Gaidzanwa said African leaders only pronounce Pan-Africanism in the belief
that it can help them withstand foreign criticism against their
dictatorships, life presidencies, corruption, negative ethnicity,
violations of human rights and perpetration of civil wars and genocides.

“However, when I went through the Zimbabwean experience I said to myself
`what is there to celebrate about not having water, electricity, food and
access to health?’,” Gaidzanwa said.

“When I talk to my students, they don’t believe when I tell them the life
we lived under colonialism, that I lived in an African township like they
called it but it had drainage, there was electricity and the postman
brought letters to our home.

“I actually walked to school and at my school, I learnt French, did
Technical Drawing, played tennis and my teacher was gay, although we
didn’t know what it means. I tell them that at the University of Rhodesia,
we used to have bacon and egg, fruits and everything.

“They (students) ask me how this could have been in an African township
because they come from places where there are no roads, no water and
sometimes they have to take a bath at the campus, so it’s been an invasion
of reality.

“They grow up in conditions of terrible deprivation without water and
potholes everywhere, so when you bring about the  discourse of liberation
and freedom and our heroes, there is a disconnect and I can see the
contempt they (students)  have for it because sometimes they take turns to
come for lectures and take notes on behalf of each other.”

Opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said in his Africa Day message
that given the continent’s vast mineral wealth and its wide base of
natural resources, it is without any rationality and justification that
Africans must continue to have such poverty.

Tsvangirai said while Mugabe is a national and continental hero who played
a huge part in the development of the country and the continent, he has
since turned into a villain on account of his policies as well as
ambitions to die in office despite his advanced age.

Willias Madzimure, PDP secretary for international relations, said
liberation movements who did the excellent work to liberate the continent
from colonial rule failed to transform themselves from military wings to
proper modern civilian governments capable of driving the economic
transformation agenda on the African continent.

Cocaine presents fresh challenge to Zim folk

Source: Cocaine presents fresh challenge to Zim folk – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      28 May 2017

HARARE – An alarming picture has emerged of an escalating cocaine problem
in Zimbabwe and the government’s inadequate response to the situation.

There is a distinct lack of treatment services available across the board
and there are not enough specialists specifically assigned to battle the
emerging crisis.

Police have busted at least two cocaine smugglers at Harare International
Airport over the past month, the latest sign that drug cartels are
increasingly plying their trade in Zimbabwe.

It is not clear whether Zimbabwe was the final destination for the
cocaine, worth more than $300 000, or whether it was a transit point for
other markets in the sub region.

But one thing is clear – big drug busts are becoming more common.

Over the past weeks, two female drug mules were arrested at the airport
just after disembarking from Emirates – a Dubai airline.

Both seizures point to Brazil’s role as a possible transhipment hub, as
highly organised gangs look to hide their tracks to US and European
markets by taking advantage of soft security at African ports.

Though the number of people seeking help for cocaine addiction continues
to rise, there is a small group of experts helping recovering addicts stay
on a treatment programme.

First Step addictions counsellor, Ndabezinhle Hove, told the Daily News on
Sunday that most Zimbabweans are hooked on the cheaper version of cocaine,
crack cocaine.

First Step rehabilitation centre opened its doors in Greystone Park in
Harare this January to cater for the growing need for rehabilitation of
addicts in the country.

The rehab reports a sharp increase in cocaine abuse.

“On the rise in Zimbabwe of late has been cocaine, not your pure cocaine,
but crack cocaine, it’s quite prevalent. So, pure cocaine is more
expensive because it’s in powder form and crack cocaine (crack) is a
mixture with bicarb (bicarbonate) to make a bigger supply.

“And also there’s a difference with the way it’s used. With pure cocaine,
they sniff it and with crack they use a crack pipe to smoke it,” Hove told
the Daily News on Sunday.

Cocaine use, while still low, is on the rise among newly wealthy
party-goers in Harare and other major cities in the country.

“Because it’s expensive, it’s linked to the affluent and those who can
afford. So, people would want to be associated with that kind of status,
not knowing that behind that, is the addiction,” Hove warned.

“Many a times, people who take it, do it with alcohol, which is a
depressant. People call it a downer and cocaine is an upper. So people get
their drinks and when they feel like they are getting drunk, they sniff
cocaine to take them up again, then they are awake and are out to party.

“When people take drugs, it’s recreational, but then behind the scenes is
the addiction. Nobody starts it so that they get addicted, but because
they want to have fun and get addicted in the process.

“And it’s dangerous because there is a high risk of overdose.”

On the Zimbabwe market, crack cocaine is going for $30 a packet while the
pure one is going for $80 to $100.

The most affected ages, according to Hove, are between 18 to 54 years.

Since January, when the rehabilitation centre opened in Harare’s Greystone
Park suburb, it has dealt with over 15 cases of drug abuse. It has also
held several workshops on drug abuse.

“We have had quite a lot of inquiries and in January, when we opened to
now, we have dealt with more than 15 clients coming in for treatment. We
have also been running workshops that on average will have 15 people
coming for a workshop, there has been quite an outreach.

“At times we get parents phoning in and saying my child needs help after
noticing negative behaviour change, and then sometimes someone just picks
a phone and says `I’m abusing alcohol or I’m abusing a substance.’

“So they come in, we do an assessment and after the assessment, we come up
with a treatment plan that is based on their addiction, we don’t use
umbrella treatment.

“We look at the issues peculiar to that person; we look at mental state,
emotional state, physical state as well as spiritual state. And then from
there, the care plan is formulated.

“In June, we will be having a family programme to educate families on
substance abuse especially the affected ones, to say how you deal with a
family member who abuses substances. What are the dos and don’ts?  In
substance abuse cases, manipulation is one of the issues,” Hove said.

The “addicts” go through sessions including exercise, meditation, as well
as individual and group counselling

Apart from cocaine, a lot of people in Zimbabwe are also addicted to
alcohol, marijuana (mbanje) and what is commonly known as broncleer or
bronco as well as prescription medicine.

Zanu PF costs Zimbos dearly

Source: Zanu PF costs Zimbos dearly – DailyNews Live

Ndakaziva Majaka      28 May 2017

HARARE – Analysts say with the make-or-break 2018 national elections
around the corner – coupled with the warring ruling Zanu PF continuing
with its destructive policies of the past 37 years – there is little
prospect that the dying local economy will turn around anytime soon.

At the same time, concerned Zanu PF insiders told the Daily News on Sunday
yesterday that the ruling party’s deepening tribal, factional and
succession wars were set to intensify further as next year’s watershed
polls loomed, and as President Robert Mugabe got frailer due to his
advanced age and attendant poor health.

This comes as Zimbabwe is battling worsening shortages of both bond notes
and the much-coveted United States dollars – amid real fears that the
dying local economy is fast hurtling towards the debilitating lows of 2008
when all Zimbabweans became overnight, but pitifully poor
“multi-billionaires”.

It also comes as economists have recently told the Daily News on Sunday –
on the back of the country’s deepening economic crisis – that Zimbabwe’s
average income levels are now at their lowest in more than 60 years, with
more than 76 percent of the country’s populace having to make do with
wretched incomes that are well below the poverty datum line.

As a result, the country’s international standing and sovereign ratings
have also plummeted to shocking levels, which has seen Zimbabwe being
classified recently as the poorest country in Africa – amid horrendous
company closures and equally numbing levels of unemployment where many
university graduates end up as street vendors.

“The economy needs lots of attention right now, but it is not getting any.
Urgent issues are not being given enough effort because the party (Zanu
PF) is concerned with mending itself, purely for self-preservation.

“Of course, there are a few individuals who are trying (to effect positive
change). However, the state of the economy at the moment needs a
collective effort and many politicians are putting themselves at the top,
with the needs of the entire country neglected due to the culture of
survival for a few people,” veteran economist John Robertson said
yesterday.

Another economic expert, Ashok Chakravarti, also warned that as long as
Mugabe did not call his warring lieutenants to order as a matter of
urgency, the country’s stressed economy would continue on its downward
spiral.

“There is need for a collective effort to address and resuscitate the
economy. However, this will not happen if effort is being spent on
infighting,” he said.

On its part, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said it had now
become abundantly clear to all Zimbabweans that Zanu PF was not interested
in improving the dying economy as its focus was on its leaders’ worsening
succession fights.

“As a result, the Zanu PF regime is running a totally discordant and
unco-ordinated administration in which the left hand never knows or cares
about what the right hand is doing.

“Factionalism has become so deeply entrenched within Zanu PF that the
centre can no longer hold.

“Instead of focusing on turning around the comatose economy, the feuding
factions within the collapsing regime are tearing each other apart amidst
a violent and nonsensical cataclysm of intolerance, physical violence and
thuggery, as we recently witnessed in Bulawayo,” MDC spokesperson Obert
Gutu said.

“The cold, hard fact is that Mugabe and Zanu PF are no longer fit for
purpose. They cannot and will not successfully turn around the economic
fortunes of Zimbabwe. That’s the bottom line,” he added.

Mugabe and his warring ruling Zanu PF, in power since Zimbabwe’s
independence from Britain in 1980, stand accused of turning the once
thriving local economy, which at one time was regarded as the bread basket
of Africa, into a basket case.

His government has lurched from one crisis to another over the past four
decades, culminating in a girnomous economic crisis in 2008, as well as
the current debilitating cash shortages.

So bad is the current economic crisis that the government is also
scrambling to avert the country plunging into darkness after South African
power utility, Eskom, threatened to switch its electricity supplies to Zim
over arrears running into tens of millions of dollars.

Analysts said yesterday that with little investment coming in, the country
was continuing to bleed as evidenced by the problems afflicting the
health, education and public infrastructure sectors.

The rot in education became even more manifest last week when the Primary
and Secondary Education ministry ill-advisedly announced that it planned
to close 40 schools in Matabeleland South, over poor enrolments.

“Zanu PF appears to have consistently and persistently pursued policies
that are parorchial and self-serving to meet the narrow interests of its
leadership, with little or no regard to the interests of ordinary
Zimbabweans,” political analyst Dewa Mavhinga told the Daily News on
Sunday.

“I am not persuaded that when Zanu PF promised to create more than 2
million jobs they had any intention whatsoever of doing that. It was just
a crass promise necessary to their goals, ahead of the 2013 elections.

“Everyone knows that to turn around Zimbabwe’s economy, the government
should decisively deal with corruption, respect the rule of law, practise
good governance and bring about political stability.

“The current Zanu PF top crop does not seem to have any appetite for any
of that and therefore our economy, unsurprisingly, remains comatose,” he
added.

Zanu PF is currently divided in the middle, with the camp which is rabidly
opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, the
Generation 40 (G40) faction, involved in a life-and-death tussle with the
VP’s backers, Team Lacoste.

Observers have consistently 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.

Suspended Women’s League chair vows to stay put

Source: Suspended Women’s League chair vows to stay put – Sunday News May 28, 2017

Vincent Gono, Features Editor
BULAWAYO Province Zanu-PF Women’s League boss Cde Eva Bitu has vowed to stay put even after her alleged suspension saying the move was clearly the work of “factional fighting” within the party.

In an interview with Sunday News yesterday, Cde Bitu said her suspension was not procedural as the motion was moved by Cde Butho Ngwenya and seconded by a member of the Youth League. Cde Ngwenya is a member of the Central Committee.

She said she remained the Women’s League chairperson in the province until such a time when her bosses in the Women’s League recalled her.

“They think and say they have suspended me but they are playing. They have no power whatsoever to suspend me on frivolous and fictitious allegations that I convened a Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (meeting). Those are just part of the factional fights that the main wing is seized with. It is common knowledge that the chairman is a Sandi (Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo) person so my crime is that they say I was instrumental in removing Sandi but that is a blue lie because for the record Sandi was not fired by me or anyone. She resigned and I still have a copy of her resignation letter. Why are they fighting me on behalf of Sandi I do not know. She resigned because she had misused funds among other allegations,” she said.

Cde Bitu said those who were targeting her were even consulting traditional healers to cause her death.

“They are fighting me and they are serious. They are even consulting traditional healers. I think they want the car that I was given by the party. These fights can only end when the party realises the need to hold elections to choose the people’s chairman which the clique is clearly afraid of,” she said.

Cde Bitu added that she hadn’t been given an official letter of her suspension almost a week after the alleged verbal suspension.

“These guys are simply chasing the interests of their handlers. They are not themselves. They operate with a template from (Cdes) Sandi, Killian Sibanda, Malaba (Godfrey), Violet Ncube and Rose Phiri. I will only listen to my bosses and not these guys who are being handled. I really feel for Cde Dennis Ndlovu (provincial chairman). Munhu waMwari anenge achitambudzika zvake (He is just a troubled soul). He knows what is right but he has no power. He is told what to say and do and that is unfortunate,” she said.

Cde Bitu said the other problem with the current executive was that they were dividing the party along tribal lines. Provincial party chairman Cde Ndlovu was not committal on the issue of suspension saying that was done by the vice-chairman.

“Off hand I cannot tell you the charges. It was handled by the vice-chairman and I do not even know if he had since served her with the letter. I normally do not want to talk about things I am not very sure of,” he said.

He said the correct procedure was supposed to be taken, adding that she could remain chairperson for as long as she had not been served with the official suspension letter. Cde Ndlovu refuted allegations that he was operating with a template from either Cdes Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo or under fire Political National Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.

Six provincial women’s league members were suspended for allegedly taking orders from the organ’s former national Deputy Secretary, Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo.

The six are Cdes Margaret Moyo Zvipore (commissar), Tariro Zhou (security), Rose Stinta (gender and culture), Sibonginkosi Maphosa (administration), Junior Ndlovu (education) and Revai Kawusiyo (deputy information secretary) were suspended following the executive’s meeting of 6 May 2017. Cde Eva Bitu was suspended last Sunday together with secretary for transport in the province Cde Nokuthula Sibanda bringing to eight the number of Women’s League executive members on suspension.

NSSA pensions increase in September

Source: NSSA pensions increase in September – Sunday News May 28, 2017

Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
THE Government is working on ensuring that pensioners start receiving revised monthly pension payouts from the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) by the end of September this year, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Initially the Government had promised to increase the pensions by end of March. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Cde Prisca Mupfumira told Sunday News that the Government was carrying out an actuarial valuation to determine how much pensioners would receive.

“Nssa pension payouts should be increased. Right now we are in the process of conducting what we call an actuarial valuation to see how much exactly we should pay pensioners. We are looking forward to have increased the payout by the end of September this year” she said.

The Government directed Nssa to increase pension payouts to $100 and gradually raise the figure to $150 by the end of the year. Presently Nssa is paying out $60 per month, which pensioners feel is inadequate. Nssa has started migrating pensioners to mobile payment platforms as it seeks to improve convenience, reducing costs and leveraging technology. Cde Mupfumira said the Government was committed to improving the welfare of pensioners and would continue looking for more ways to cater for their well-being.

She said, to that end, Nssa had, from last month, started providing a $500 funeral enhancement benefit to pensioners as part of measures to deliver value to those who would have left work. The funeral enhancement benefit will be given in addition to the existing funeral grant of $300, making a total of $800 funeral assistance payout.

“Death is a reality and we recognise that some families struggle to accord decent burials to their loved ones when they pass on.

So as Nssa we said starting April, we will provide funeral assistance to a member, contributor or pensioner to the value of $500 for those who have their own funeral policy. For those who don’t have, Nssa will provide a decent coffin, transport and all other things necessary for a decent burial. This has already started,” she said.

In a bid to turnaround its fortunes Nssa has embarked on a number of structural changes to get a return on investment.

The processes that were embarked on for the past 20 months appear to have yielded results as the authority’s ship has steadied in recent times.

National Parks in destocking exercise

Source: National Parks in destocking exercise – Sunday News May 28, 2017

Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) said its destocking exercise will continue despite improved pastures and water resources in most wildlife protected areas in the country.

Last year Zimparks announced that it was destocking its wildlife population to avert drought-induced animal deaths.
Zimparks acting spokesperson Mr Simukai Nyasha said the drought situation in wildlife protected areas had improved following a good 2016-2017 rainfall season.

He said the authority would, however, continue destocking as a population management tool in some wildlife protected areas that were overpopulated.

“Zimparks does not just promote destocking of wildlife areas during drought periods. Destocking and restocking of wildlife areas in Zimbabwe are done primarily for conservation purposes. In Zimbabwe, there are certain areas that have localised wildlife overpopulations and these are usually prioritised for destocking,” said Mr Nyasha.

He cited the Hwange-Matetsi Complex as one of the areas that have an over-abundance of elephant populations of over 54 000, which is well above the ecological carrying capacity. The elephant remains one of Zimbabwe’s flagship species whose population continues to grow over years. The total elephant population in Zimbabwe is well above 83 000.

Mr Nyasha said the buffalo, leopard and lion populations were also stable in most parts of the country. He also noted a steady increase in rhino population over years, from about 600 in 2010 to slightly above 800 this year.

“There are areas where there is also local overabundance of lions and this manifests in increased human and lion conflict mostly in adjacent communal areas,” he said.

Mr Nyasha said Zimparks had employed non-lethal options of destocking such as capturing and translocating live animals to approved destinations in and outside the country, in line with national and international regulations.

“These options include capturing and translocating live animals to approved, appropriate and acceptable destinations within and outside Zimbabwe in terms of national and international regulations,” he said.

Mr Nyasha said destocking was being carried out in Parks Estate, gazetted forest areas, communal areas as well as private lands as a population management strategy and is being monitored by Zimparks.

“Currently we have a number of wildlife farmers undertaking wildlife translocation exercises within various wildlife farms.

“Zimbabwe has diverse wildlife species and most of these are found within the Parks Estate while other significant populations of wildlife are found in Gazetted Forest areas, communal areas as well as private lands,” he said.

Mr Nyasha said the water and vegetation situation at Hwange National Park, which usually requires intervention for game water supply, had significantly improved. He said Zimparks would thus focus more on fire management this year, and work on pre-suppression fire management, education and awareness campaigns had started.

“Zimparks has managed to secure essential equipment for fire management with financial resources being mobilized through our conservation partners,” he said.

Hwange Sanyati Biological Corridor project being funded by Global Environment Facility through the World Bank and implemented by WWF Zimbabwe financed the drilling of six deep level boreholes at strategic water points in Hwange National Park. The new boreholes were fitted with solar-powered submersible pumps to reduce recurrent costs associated with diesel pumping, increasing the number of solar-powered sites to 30 and ensure continuous pumping of water throughout the year.

Call for tougher action on factionalism

Source: Call for tougher action on factionalism – Sunday News May 28, 2017

Harare Bureau
FORMER liberation movements in Southern Africa have identified factionalism as their biggest enemy and are proposing that they should all establish radio stations and newspapers that will inculcate a revolutionary ideology among the populace.

The liberation movements are also proposing tough disciplinary actions against those perpetrating factionalism. In addition, the liberation movements are proposing robust ideological schooling for their members and fully exploiting new technologies to engender social cohesion and responsible information sharing. These proposals were adopted by secretaries-generals of former liberation movements at their annual indaba in Angola last week, and now await ratification.

The meeting identified factionalism as “the Number One threat” to revolutionary parties, and resolved to counteract the scourge with stringent disciplinary action and ideological schooling. The ruling former liberation movements in Southern Africa include Zanu-PF, the African National Congress (South Africa), Frelimo (Mozambique), Swapo (Namibia), MPLA (Angola) and Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Tanzania). Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo who was part of the interface told our Harare Bureau that the secretaries-generals would table the proposals before their superiors. He said,

“The secretaries-general made the following recommendations:

‘1. That former liberation movements institute tough disciplinary measures along with strong ideological grounding under the auspices of political party ideological schools and national youth service. 2. That former liberation movements should apply innovative media and information strategies which make full use of available technological advancements. 3. That former liberation movements should institute measures to eliminate the use of money or other material enticements in influencing outcomes of internal electoral processes. 4. That former liberation movements carry out focused political orientation programmes targeting youths — both members and non-members — to inculcate correct ideologies and a sense of belonging.

5. That former liberation movements create ways and mechanisms to share ideas with each other.’”

The meeting also recommended: “6. That former liberation movements establish daily newspapers, radio stations and establish a meaningful presence on the Internet. 7. That former liberation movements should study new weather patterns in order to align with agricultural seasons. 8. That former liberation movements should institute joint and individual measures to eliminate corruption. 9. That former liberation movements should hold workshops to share experiences, strategies on sustainable economic growth and improve our countries.”

Dr Chombo said the proposals were informed by similar workshops held in Mozambique in November 2015 and Victoria Falls in May 2016. The Victoria Falls gathering resolved to address factionalism, lack of patriotism, foreign-backed organisations that work with opposition parties, external interference in electoral processes and “foreign interference using hard and soft power for regime change”.

Dr Chombo said, “We met in Victoria Falls in order to deliberate, and Zanu-PF presided over proceedings. The workshop agreed that regime change is primarily the most urgent and common threat governing former liberation movements face for now and the foreseeable future. The Victoria Falls report captured the salient points of the deliberations and recommendations of the meeting. The workshop also agreed with the Russian and Chinese characterisation of regime change as the tool of choice for overthrowing legitimate political authority by provoking internal instability and conflict against governments that are considered inconvenient to their interests, replacing them with pliant puppets regimes that then pander to their interests.

“According to research and intelligence analysis that informed presentations of former liberation movements, Western interests in Southern Africa seek to establish military domination, including military bases within the region as an option for rapid escalation to hard power where soft power would have failed in pursuit of regime change.”

He went on: “The West want unfettered access and control to Southern Africa’s 200 million-strong population, 10 million square-metre land, strategic east-west route, vastly diverse and unique mineral resources and vast natural resource endowment, agricultural potential that is second to none in the world, high quality human capital and unparalleled friendly climatic and weather conditions. This puts them at variance and on a collision course with the resource nationalisation being pursued by Zanu-PF through the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme; the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Progamme and other social models that are being pursued by other former liberation movements.”

Govt withdraws student funding: Grants financial institutions to be named: Tertiary institutions owed over $27m

Source: Govt withdraws student funding: Grants financial institutions to be named: Tertiary institutions owed over $27m – Sunday News May 28, 2017

Vincent Gono, Features Editor
THE Government has phased out the student cadetship programme at tertiary institutions in anticipation of the re-introduction of the student loan facility later this year, officials have said.

The development comes as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which will administer the new student loan has indicated that it will this week carry out an adjudicating process on the proposals that were submitted by financial institutions who will provide the funding.

In a telephone interview on Friday, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa said all tertiary institutions in the country were no longer taking students for cadetship as the Government was expediting the adoption of student loans as a sustainable alternative to the phased out era where Government would assume the parental duty of paying fees.

“We have since phased out the cadetship programme in anticipation of the student loan facility where students will access loans from the banks. All tertiary institutions in the country are no longer accepting applications for cadetship. Those that are on cadetship were recruited under the programme in previous years and they are most likely in their final year,” said Dr Gandawa.

He confirmed that the Government owed tertiary institutions a substantial amount of over $27 million which he said they were working hard to clear. The revelations come in the wake of complaints by tertiary institutions that the varying amounts of money they are owed by Government are stalling various development projects at the country’s institutions of higher learning.

“We currently owe our tertiary institutions a figure of $27 024 723 for students who were on cadetship. In 2014 we received 294 000 applications from students who wanted to be considered for cadetship. Not all of them were successful. We had to go through a rigorous screening exercise from where 43 914 were considered, meaning 250 086 were unsuccessful. In that same year the amount we owed tertiary institutions initially stood at $61 030 345 and we paid $34 005 622 in January this year,” said Dr Gandawa.

He said the good thing was that the figure was no longer accruing since there were no more students on cadetship after the Government announced the return of student loans which the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Central Bank were working to put in place.

Institutions of higher learning such as National University of Science and Technology (Nust), University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Midlands State University (MSU), Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) and many other universities and colleges have been complaining over the Government’s failure to meet its assumed parental obligation of paying for the students on cadetship.

Some of the institutions at one time threatened to defy the Government directive not to exclude from lectures students that were on the cadetship facility saying sending them home was the only way of making sure Government would pay.

Their argument was that failure by Government to pay the fees was burdening them and stalling progress at campuses as well as making them fail to meet other financial obligations such as paying for equipment and for other staff that was not paid by Government.

Dr Gandawa, however, said they were engaging the Treasury with a view to clear the debt owed to tertiary institutions and start on the loan facility.

“You may be aware that under the cadetship we would bond the student for three years. But since 2013 we have allowed students to buy out their bonding period and be given their certificates after the realisation that we were failing to give them employment as Government had frozen recruitment.

“We hope the loan facility will be more flexible and give students the latitude to exercise some financial freedom that they did not have under cadetship. The scheme will be taken care of by the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank that will give the money to various financial institutions for disbursement to the students,” said Dr Gandawa.

He said one of the banks to be used for the loan facility was CBZ while other financial institutions would be announced as the programme was rolled out as and when the requisite amount was available.

RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya said they have received submissions after their call for proposals from financial institutions for the implementation and administration of the educational loan facility and they would be adjudicating them this week.

“We shall be adjudicating the submissions to the calls for proposals whose deadline was 19 May this week,” he said.

The adjudication process is expected to see the RBZ naming the financial institutions that would be tasked with implementing and administering the student loan facility.

VP Mphoko to meet Putin

Source: VP Mphoko to meet Putin – Sunday News May 28, 2017

Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mugabe has dispatched Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko to Russia to engage President Vladimir Putin on further economic co-operation between Harare and Moscow.

VP Mphoko will meet the Russian leader on the sidelines of the 21st St Petersburg International Economic Forum which is running from 1 to 3 June. Possible areas of discussion are mining, commerce, agriculture, health and others which Presidents Mugabe and Putin explored in Moscow in 2015. Apart from the high-level engagement, the VP is expected to make a global pitch for Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities in his keynote speech at the Forum.

He is travelling with Ministers Patrick Chinamasa (Finance and Economic Development), Dr Mike Bimha (Industry and Commerce) and Walter Chidhakwa (Mines and Mining Development). Minister of State (Office of the Vice-President) Cde Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga told our Harare Bureau: “The 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum will give Zimbabwe the chance to hold mutually-beneficial dialogue with the international community on key issues on the global agenda concerning the economy and finances. The conference will give us an opportunity to establish relations with participating companies/organisations. We are looking at opportunities in mining, agriculture, health, industry and commerce, with the aforementioned ministers expected to extend co-operation with our Russian counterparts.”

She continued: “Minister Chinamasa will be there given that every deal has to do with finance. We will be strengthening the economic and investment ties between Zimbabwe and Russia, and we want to show our level of commitment and hope to come back with tangible deals. VP Mphoko will attend a plenary session with President Putin, and the Vice-President will talk about issues to do with investment opportunities in Zimbabwe and strengthening bilateral ties between our two countries.

The outcome will certainly strengthen relations between our two governments.”

Minister Bimha added: “We are going to look for funding for capitalisation, retooling and value-addition machinery. We need to create linkages between big corporations in Russia and our small and medium enterprises. We also want to link our private sector with Russia’s own private sector. We are going to look at possibilities of high value-addition in tobacco; we would like to change our raw tobacco into a high chemical (element) which can be used in many areas like pharmaceuticals.

“In addition, we are going to engage potential investors on a number of fertiliser projects under the Industrial Development Corporation which falls under my ministry. We will engage cotton-spinning processors, multi-fruit processors and glass processors.”

In 2014, Zimbabwe and Russia signed a US$3 billion mining deal which will create 8 000-plus jobs and increase the African nation’s platinum output. The Darwendale project is scheduled to be complete in 2024, and involves mining 10 million tonnes of platinum ore to produce

800 000 ounces per year. In 2015, President Mugabe visited Russia for the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany at President Putin’s invitation in his capacity as then African Union Chair.

No coalition leader yet, says Biti

Source: No coalition leader yet, says Biti | The Herald May 27, 2017

Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
Opposition parties which are part of coalition talks have not yet endorsed MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as their presidential candidate for next year’s polls, People’s Democratic Party’s president Mr Tendai Biti has said. Addressing the Bulawayo Press Club on Thursday evening, Mr Biti said there were about 15 “serious” opposition parties in the country and their leaders have the capacity to lead the coalition.

Mr Biti’s claims are in contrast with reports that Mr Tsvangirai has been endorsed to lead opposition parties in the 2018 elections.

Mr Tsvangirai seems to be convinced that he will lead the coalition and earlier this month he boldly declared that he will not accept electoral defeat, but if Mr Biti’s remarks are any indication, the MDC-T leader seems to be putting the cart before the horse.

Mr Biti said he was happy with the way negotiations were progressing and the coalition leader’s post is still up for grabs.

“I’m very hopeful and I think when every leader goes into that room, they should accept that the next leader can be the leader,” he said. “Any candidate in the coalition is a saleable candidate.

“Morgan Tsvangirai is a saleable candidate, Joice Mujuru is a saleable candidate, Welshman Ncube (MDC) is a saleable candidate, Tendai Biti is a saleable candidate and can lead the coalition.

“We are going to choose, we are going to have discussions around leadership and I don’t think that the leadership is going to bog us down.” Mr Biti admitted that opposition parties were very weak to defeat Zanu-PF as individual parties.

“What is critical is that are we able to work together, do we have the same common objectives?” he said.

“People are finding each other. There is sincerity in the discussions that have been taking place.

“Everyone understands that none of us can defeat Zanu-PF on our own, we have to create a team.” Mr Biti said instead of riding on personalities, it was critical for the opposition to sell ideas that addressed the problems affecting the country.

Government working on plans to set up disaster fund

Source: Government working on plans to set up disaster fund | The Herald

Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe needs a policy and legislative framework to support a fund that goes towards reducing the risk posed by disasters, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said. Minister Kasukuwere’s brief oversees the Civil Protection Unit, which is mandated with coming up with preventive and responsive measures in the event of disasters.

He made these remarks yesterday on returning from the past week’s Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in Cancun, Mexico.

The Zimbabwe delegation to the United Nations level meeting was led by President Mugabe, and also included Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, among other senior Government officials.

Speaking to journalists at Harare International Airport yesterday, Minister Kasukuwere said President Mugabe had told fellow leaders during deliberations in Mexico that after Zimbabwe recorded some 18 000 injuries and more than 1 000 deaths in man-made and natural disasters last year, Government had set up a fund directed at such challenges.

“So His Excellency presented the Zimbabwean situation, how we now have to set aside funding to mitigate these challenges and to rehabilitate our infrastructure. In terms of going forward, he put across what the country has been doing in terms of new infrastructure …

“In terms of upscaling our own response mechanisms as a country, we have set aside a fund and this should be supported by policy and legislation . . . to help our country to recover when we have had disasters. We need to have a contingency fund. As it stands right now, we end up eating into the National Budget.

“Money that should go to healthcare or social services ends up going to fix infrastructure that is destroyed by natural disasters and this is not a good way of doing things,” Minister Kasukuwere said.

Water and Climate Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Cancun meeting had been vital in that it facilitated sharing of information in a manner that builds international co-operation when it comes to mitigating the impact of natural disasters, and reducing the occurrence of man-made ones.

“When there is a cyclone coming from Mozambique, are we adequately prepared to advise Government on what actions to take or we fall short?” she asked.

She said the Southern Africa region was progressing in the arena of information sharing, but more investment was needed in technologies like early warning systems.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said it was imperative for countries to invest in such areas because their primary concern should be on people’s safety and livelihoods.

Govt averts load-shedding threat

Source: Govt averts load-shedding threat | The Herald May 27, 2017

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
GOVERNMENT says it will pay Eskom of South Africa a substantial amount of money next week to ward off the imminent threat of load-shedding after the firm threatened to cut off supplies to Zimbabwe by Thursday over a $43 million debt. Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge yesterday said load-shedding, last experienced 16 months ago, would not return.

Zesa Holdings and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) officials will meet on Monday to agree on the amount to be paid for now towards servicing the arrears to avoid being switched off.

Dr Undenge said Zesa officials will also visit South Africa next week for discussions with Eskom.

“The nation should be rest assured that there will be no load-shedding as we are taking internal and external measures,” he said.

“We are working with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and they will be meeting with Zesa. We will also dispatch a team to South Africa to engage the Eskom side. We will pay Eskom a substantial amount and we are confident that the power situation will remain stable as is the case. There is no need for industry and the generality of Zimbabweans to panic. The situation is now under control.”

Zesa has an outstanding import bill of $43 million and the irregular payments have seen Eskom threatening to cut supplies to Zimbabwe beginning next Thursday.

Zimbabwe gets 300 megawatts from Eskom and 50 megawatts from Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique.

Zesa chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba said: “We will be meeting with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to work on the modalities before we engage the South Africans.

“We now have a clear picture and by Monday we will give you concrete details.”

Zimbabwe consumes about 1 400MW daily against a generating capacity of around 980MW.

A further reduction by 300 megawatts would have a damaging effect on industry and winter wheat cropping season, which is under way.

Zesa overally owes Eskom $80 million and HCB of Mozambique $40 million, but the $43 million is emanating from a payment plan the power utility failed to honour due to foreign currency shortages.

To back up power imports from South Africa, Government recently issued a R500 million ($35 million) guarantee to Eskom and it is that surety that the South African power utility is threatening to call up.

Earlier this year, Zesa made payment plans with regional power utilities and should have paid $89 million between January and April.

The power utility managed to pay only $46 million under the payment plan which included last year’s arrears.
The steady power supplies Zimbabwe has been enjoying since December 2015 are a result of various initiatives, including imports.

Officials from HCB of Mozambique were in the country this week and are said to “have had an understanding with Zesa.”

The country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, identifies energy as a key enabler under infrastructure and utilities, as well as the value addition and beneficiation initiatives.

The cluster needs massive support and its failure spells doom for the country.
Industrialists and miners this week implored monetary authorities to prioritise power provision, saying any cuts on supplies would impact negatively on the recovering economy.

MDC MP’s flag jacket case deferred

Source: MDC MP’s flag jacket case deferred – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      26 May 2017

HARARE – The court hearing of Mutasa Central MDC legislator Trevor
Saruwaka’s legal challenge to his ejection from the National Assembly last
October for wearing a jacket with the country’s flag colours has been
deferred to June 22.

In the application, Saruwaka cited speaker of the National Assembly Jacob
Mudenda and the chief security officer of Parliament as respondents.

High Court judge Lavender Makoni postponed the matter yesterday “to look
at certain issues” surrounding the case.

In his court application, Saruwaka argued that Mudenda has no right to
determine the colour of clothes he wears while in the National Assembly.

Saruwaka, who approached the High Court after he was thrown out from the
National Assembly, said his ejection for wearing the flag-coloured jacket
was unlawful and an infringement on his right to freedom of conscience and
religion.

He further argued there is no provision in the Standing Rules and Orders
of Parliament that bars him from wearing such colours.

Saruwaka, who is represented by Kudzai Kadzere from Kadzere, Hungwe &
Mandevere Legal Practitioners, said he is an avowed follower of the
Rastafari religion, adding that the colours on his jacket were synonymous
with his religion.

“…it is respectfully submitted that, applicant (Saruwaka) being of the
Rastafari religion has a right to freedom of conscience and religion in
terms of Section 60 of the Constitution which right includes the right to
propagate his religious beliefs whether in private or in public within the
confines of the law.

“By arbitrarily denying applicant (Saruwaka) access to the National
Assembly, respondents have elevated themselves above the Constitution
without lawful cause. There is no legal basis upon which applicant can be
barred from entering the National Assembly,” he argued.

He said he is entitled to the protection of the law.

“It is further submitted that, respondents do not have the power to
determine the colour of the jacket applicant wears. The respondents are
therefore acting outside the scope of their powers by ejecting applicant
from National Assembly sessions on account of wearing the jacket in
question,” he said.

He further said that according to the provisions of Standing Order 76 (7),
only jeans, T-shirts and sleeveless outfits, are prohibited from the
National Assembly.

“Nowhere is it mentioned that jackets such as the one worn by the
applicant are prohibited,” he said, adding that his jacket does not in any
way offend the national flag.

Saruwaka’s National Assembly “drama” took place after Mudenda ruled in
June last year that the national flag would not be allowed in the House
following a plethora of protests against President Robert Mugabe’s rule
under the #ThisFlag campaign.

Several MDC parliamentarians, including Saruwaka, had entered the house
with national flags draped on their necks.

The national flag became a protest symbol after it was popularised by
cleric Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement.

The pressure group demanded Mugabe’s resignation, citing government’s
failure to deal with corruption, nepotism and a serious economic meltdown.

Govt robbing us blind — Zimbos

Source: Govt robbing us blind — Zimbos – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      27 May 2017

HARARE – Proposals by the government to introduce a new fuel levy have
been met with disbelief and anger by long-suffering Zimbabweans, who are
reeling from a raft of other recent taxes which were introduced by
President Robert Mugabe’s cash-strapped administration.

The controversial plan, which was announced on Thursday, calls for a fuel
levy to bankroll the Road Accident Fund (Raf), which will provide
insurance cover to people involved in motor vehicle accidents, as well as
their families.

The president of the Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (Paz), Tafadzwa
George Goliati, said yesterday that while the fund was welcome, it should
not be bankrolled through a fuel levy.

“People are already overtaxed. There are other avenues of raising money
towards the Raf, as we already have a raft of other taxes on fuel.

“While we advocated for this (Raf insurance), they have now excluded us on
this noble cause. We proposed the idea to them, but we did not want the
fund to get money from a fuel levy,” Goliati told the Daily News.

When the new tax becomes effective, it will also mean that Zimbabwe’s
petroleum industry, which is reeling from myriad taxes and levies, will
rival Malawi in the country with the highest fuel taxes in the region.

Former Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister, Tapiwa
Mashakada, said the government was creating “another slush fund” which it
could abuse.

“There is no justification whatsoever for such a fund. At the present
moment, accidents and insurance is covered by the Road Traffic Act. That’s
why motorists have to buy third party or comprehensive cover insurance.

“Hospitals are not equipped to handle accident injuries and that’s where
the problem is. It has nothing to do with medical insurance cover. This is
another looting avenue by the State,” Mashakada said.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson, Jacob Mafume, said the
country needed “less taxes and more growth”.

“I tell you, they will soon tax us an oxygen levy for breathing,” Mafume
said, tongue-in-cheek.

“We continue to milk a bleeding cow. Which part of `there is no money in
the country’ do these people not understand?

“As it is, our fuel remains high in spite of the fact that oil prices are
the lowest they have ever been. This is a vampire State gone wild,” he
said.

Meanwhile, the Daily News understands that Transport minister Joram Gumbo
has already submitted the proposal to Cabinet and that the concept paper
is being worked on by a multi-stakeholder committee.

Soon after, the completed documents are expected to be brought before
Parliament for interrogation and possible legislation of the fund.

The government’s proposal comes as the State is struggling to raise
revenue to fund many of its everyday functions.

In a bid to shore up its heavily depleted coffers, the government early
this year slapped suffering small businesses with a raft of taxes, as well
as hiking traffic fines by nearly 100 percent.

Mugabe and his warring ruling Zanu PF, in power since Zimbabwe’s
independence from Britain in 1980, stand accused of turning the once
thriving local economy, which at one time was regarded as the bread basket
of Africa, into a basket case.

Ex-minister slammed over presidential ambitions

Source: Ex-minister slammed over presidential ambitions – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      27 May 2017

HARARE – Former Industry minister Nkosana Moyo has been slammed over his
presidential ambition by Higher and Tertiary education minister Jonathan
Moyo, who argued he has no chance at all against President Robert Mugabe
in an election.

This comes as Nkosana recently said he was considering challenging Mugabe
in the 2018 elections, as an independent candidate.

The Higher Education minister, who has had his fair share of contesting
elections as an independent candidate, said Nkosana was not like France’s
newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron – an investment banker turned politician – emerged as a surprise
candidate in France’s recent election and gathered more popular support
than his rivals.

“…he (Nkosana) thinks he can win the presidency as an independent
candidate but unlike Macron he has no political base,” Jonathan slammed
Nkosana – a former World Bank official – on Twitter this week.

He had earlier posted a picture of Nkosana, rubbishing its contents which
said “Nkosana 4 (sic) president” adding “the man we have been waiting
for.”

Jonathan commented: “Tell Macron–oops, I mean Nkosana & his backers that
they cannot use the Zimbabwe Bird (a national symbol) as an election
campaign symbol!”

France’s 39-year-old Macron is said to have brought some freshness to the
country’s political landscape, despite criticism.

He went on to win the hearts of the French electorate and stunned his
rivals by winning the election.

As for Nkosana, he has no political party and he recently turned down an
offer by the Zimbabwe People First ( ZimPF) to lead the beleaguered
political party.

The former banker – famed for publicly speaking out against attacks on
businesses and factories by war veterans and later uncharacteristically
resigning from Mugabe’s Cabinet about a year after his appointment – said
there was need for a paradigm shift in the country’s politics.

He has snubbed an offer to lead Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu.

“When you look at the facts on the ground and beyond just Zimbabwe like
sub-Saharan Africa, you notice there is one thing common in all our
countries, the government of the day runs the country for the party and
not for the citizens,” Nkosana told journalists recently on the side-lines
of National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) public debate.

“The government of the day runs the country for the benefit of party
members as opposed to the benefit of all citizens,” he said.

“My view is that if I get involved in politics, I am going to run as an
independent because when you think about it, what type of a president do
you want? You want a president who has got responsibility and accepts
responsibility for all citizens and not for some citizens.

“A president is a president of a country not of a party. He or she should
be capable of being a president even for those who did not vote for him or
her. We don’t seem to have that maturity,” Nkosana said.

He addeed that “my own view and conclusion is that for the time being, we
need to try the idea of citizens being persuaded to vote for somebody who
does not belong to a party”.

Let’s unite against Zanu PF: Code

Source: Let’s unite against Zanu PF: Code – DailyNews Live

Jeffrey Muvundusi      27 May 2017

BULAWAYO – Political parties coalescing under the Coalition of Democrats
(Code) have called on all opposition forces to come together as part of
the broader initiative to put an end to President Robert Mugabe’s
hegemony.

This comes as the Code leadership is set to meet today here to discuss the
electoral road map ahead of the 2018 polls, among other pressing issues.

The grouping is currently chaired by Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa.

Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa told the Daily News yesterday that
leadership from all political parties under Code will be meeting for the
first time.

“We all are in agreement that the greatest weakness opposition has is its
fragmentation,” Maphosa said, adding that “the leadership will be meeting
its structures explaining what Code is all about”.

Maphosa, however, said the meeting was important as it showed unity among
opposition parties.

“As Code, we are saying with or without electoral reforms, this
dictatorship may not be defeated unless every opposition vote is pooled in
one basket against Zanu PF,” he said.

As a result, he said the meeting was also going to focus on poll
preparations as well as cement the call by Zimbabweans for opposition
parties to come together.

“Our meeting is confirmation of our conviction and commitment to a united
opposition front in the coming elections.”

Speakers lined up for the event include political party leaders Welshman
Ncube,  Simba Makoni, Tendai Biti, Dabengwa, Gilbert Dzikiti, Farai Mbira,
Barbra Nyagomo and Maxwell Shumba of ZimFirst.

The Bulawayo meeting follows the one held in Harare last week, which
kicked off the launch of Code in the 10 provinces.

Zim must just adopt rand

Source: Zim must just adopt rand – DailyNews Live

NDAKAZIVA MAJAKA      26 February 2017

HARARE – Since adoption of the multi-currency regime in 2009, following a
multi-billion percent inflationary meltdown caused by rampant
money-printing, spawning critical cash shortages –  debate has been raging
on whether to adopt the rand or not.

Discussions on this will certainly gain renewed currency after President
Robert Mugabe last week hinted that Zimbabwe should adopt the rand to
mitigate the country’s severe liquidity and cash challenges, despite
fierce resistance by Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya and Finance
minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Debate on whether or not to “randify” is apparently intensifying behind
the scenes at high levels in government as the worsening currency crisis
is now a cause of grave concern to monetary and fiscal authorities.

Mugabe says he has repeatedly proposed introducing the South African rand
as the common legal tender.

“Well, I don’t know why the ministry of Finance together with the Reserve
Bank have not wanted to use other currencies. I have asked actually again
and again kuti why not have euros, why not have yuan, why not have rand
alongside with the (US) dollar?

“Ah tichazviita, tichazviita (Ah, we will do it, we will do it),” Mugabe
said in his traditional televised 93rd birthday interview.

This has all been sparked by the worsening liquidity crunch and cash
shortages.

An unsustainable trade or current account deficit, poor
balance-of-payments position as well as massive revenue leakages and an
uneven distribution of liquidity in the market have worsened the cash
crisis.

Veteran economist John Robertson told the Daily News on Sunday that Mugabe
was shifting blame to his chiefs.

“The strange thing about these pronouncements is that the president has
executive powers.

“The same way he stopped Chinamasa from cutting civil servant salaries and
foregoing bonuses is the same way he would have simply asked them to
introduce the rand,” Robertson said, referring to the September 2016
fracas when the Finance minister got a slap down from Mugabe after
announcing a raft of measures to slash government spending, which included
a suspension of civil servants’ bonuses, wage cuts, job cuts, and a range
of other austerity measures.

Chinamasa’s austerity measures also imposed tax on civil servants’
allowances, coupled with a promise to axe 25 000 workers, citing budgetary
limitations.

“Why is Zimbabwe not using the rand?” Robertson asked rhetorically.

“That is the question you should be asking, because clearly, someone in
this matrix is not telling the truth.”

Just last year, reports emerged that the Zimbabwean and South African
governments were nearing closure on the formal adoption of the rand by
Harare, during a continental summit in Ethiopia.

While the agreement never saw light of day, economics guru and adviser to
the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ashock Chakravarti, insists the
short-term answer to Zimbabwe’s cash shortages is rand adoption.

“There have been discussions with the South Africans. They are willing to
get paid for their exports in rand.

“They are willing to accommodate us in the financial sector, so there is
no issue. All it needs is a law or statutory instrument re-denominating US
dollar balances into rand and say the rand is the currency in circulation.

“Countries monetise or demonetise all the time and they change their
currency, so I do not see any issue here.

“I know the country has been told that we need to join the Common Rand
Monetary Union (CRMU) to use the rand, but this is simply not true,”
Chakravati told delegates at a recent Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI) round table.

The University of Zimbabwe professor said adoption of the rand would
benefit Zimbabwe immensely and rescue its imploding economy.

After numerous calls from all quarters to adopt South Africa’s currency,
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has ruled out the adoption of the
currency or joining the sub-regional CRMU, citing the volatility of the
currency.

South African stocks kicked off 2017 in positive territory as a platinum
rally spurred producers of the precious metal, while dollar strength
knocked the volatile rand into the red.

Addressing a National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) meeting in the
capital Harare recently, RBZ deputy governor Khupukile Mlambo said while
the US dollar was not an ideal currency on account of the numerous
“headaches” that came with it, adopting the rand carried more risks.

“We need to understand that the .. rand has its own challenges: it is
volatile… There is also the issue of joining the Rand Monetary Union and
we cannot do that without our own currency,” Mlambo said.

But Chakravarti said: “We do not have to join the CRMU to adopt the rand.
This is a long term issue which we can consider and decide whether it is
to our benefit or not, but the adoption of the rand can be done overnight.
It can be done tomorrow.”

CZI president Busisa Moyo has said manufacturers believe that adopting the
rand was the way to go.

“Individual members of CZI have come out strong on randisation and I think
we need to have some sort of action towards this.

“I do know that companies are already starting to do this and opening rand
accounts.

“We also need to move the RTGS (Real-time gross settlement) system so that
it allows for transfers in rand without having to convert to US dollars.

“So our banking and economics and CZI chief economist need to work on some
sort of mock or draft statutory instrument on randisation, what it means,
and we start pushing that forward,” Moyo said.

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s major trading partner, with almost 40 percent
of imports from that country.

According to Chakravarti, rand adoption will allow for an increase in
financial inflows from South Africa.

Shane Helberg, area manager of Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique at
leading independent international financial consultancy deVere Group –
which has around $10 billion under advice from 80 000 mainly expatriate
clients globally – has also backed adoption of the rand by Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe’s adoption of the rand as the main trading currency within the
country’s multi-currency system should be championed.

“Whilst the rand perhaps is not as weighty as the US dollar for
international trade as it is more volatile against major currencies, it
must be noted that the dollar has not been effective in arresting the
free-falling economy in recent times,” Helberg said.

His remarks came after the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (Baz) stated
that adoption of the rand would be one of the measures required to address
the cash shortages facing the country.

And, investment-parched Zimbabwe could also use it to boost investment.

Zimbabwe’s currency basket has over the years become dominated by the
greenback due to its global appeal and demand.

As a result, externalisation has been rife, with independent estimates
pointing out the country needs close to $1 billion in cash to plug its
dollar deficit and return to liquid normalcy.

Zimbabwe needs $900 million in order for normal cash-to-deposit ratio to
be achieved.  But, currently, the country has real cash of only $304
million.

According to Chakravarti, the ideal cash-to-deposit ratio is 15 percent to
prevent liquidity problems, but Zimbabwe’s current ratio is a measly four
percent.

At the moment, Zimbabwe has $232 million US dollars in circulation, with a
shortfall of almost $650-700 million.

And while the country introduced a parallel currency in the form of bond
notes last year, Chakravarti said even with full issuance of the surrogate
currency, the cash-to-deposits ratio remains pathetic.

“Even a full bond note issue of $200 million will not make a difference.
If ratio of bond notes to US dollar is increased beyond current
proportion, then it will no longer be a multi-currency situation and
premiums will start emerging on US dollars versus bond notes.

“As the cash shortage deepens, this premium will rise and can be viewed as
representing the depreciation rate of the new currency in the form of RTGS
balances.

“The value of all deposits will decline in terms of real US dollars,” the
economist said, adding bond notes could ease the liquidity situation a
little bit, so long as there was an adequate supply of US dollars.

When Zimbabwe adopted the multi-currency system, total deposits in the
banking system were $1,6 billion.

Hard cash circulation has since slumped 53 percent to $304 million
currently from $642 million in 2013.

In spite of this, bank deposits have increased from $4,7 billion in 2013
to $6,2 billion in 2016.

“So, you see, given all the cash statistics, Zimbabwe needs to adopt the
rand. South Africa is already a major trading partner so importing the
rand will not be a challenge and there are also remittances from
Zimbabweans based that side.

“When the multi-currency system was adopted, I told them the rand was the
way to go and I will still say it.

“The situation would not have gotten so out of hand. Rand externalisation
is a better situation over US dollar externalisation any day,” Chakravarti
said.

Economists said to address the liquidity crunch gripping the economy,
authorities must swallow their pride and take decisive action by just
adopting the rand.

‘Police should be probed over Arnold farm conduct’

Source: ‘Police should be probed over Arnold farm conduct’ – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      26 May 2017

HARARE – The government must urgently investigate State police conduct at
Anorld farm in Mazowe, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

This comes after riot police harassed, beat up and illegally removed 200
families off the farm in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central province, in a farm
seizure believed to be linked to President Robert Mugabe’s family.

The police have also been alleged to be illegally tearing down homes at
Arnold Farm, leaving hundreds of people homeless and destitute in heavy
rains and cold weather.

Residents have occupied the farm for 17 years, and HRW Southern Africa
director Dewa Mavhinga said any process to evict them should respect their
rights and follow due process.  “The government should urgently intervene
in the Arnold Farm case to stop the on-going violation of court orders and
abuses,” Mavhinga said.

About 100 riot police began demolishing homes at Arnold Farm on March 17
this year, forcing residents onto trucks and dumping them by the roadside
40 kilometres away.

The rights group said they made efforts to contact lawyers who represent
the Mugabes, as well as provincial affairs and police officials, but did
not receive any reply to questions regarding the ownership of Arnold Farm
and the conduct of the police.

“The police affirmed in a court filing that the Arnold Farm …which the
families have occupied since 2000, is owned by the president’s family,”
the HRW report said.

“The farm residents obtained a High Court order to stop the evictions, and
barred the police from harassing them by demolishing their homes or
attempting to evict them without a valid court order. The police told
lawyers representing the farm residents they were acting on the orders of
their `superiors’ but did not have a High Court order approving the
eviction, as required by the law.

“Many families have lost their crops and livestock during the demolitions
and now live and sleep in the open with no protection from the rain and
cold. Police harassment has prevented the families from harvesting their
corn, sugar beans, and groundnuts crops.”

When a Human Rights Watch team visited Arnold Farm on May 9, they
witnessed four uniformed and armed riot police and six people in civilian
clothes demolish homes and destroy property belonging to farm residents.

HRW said it interviewed five men whom the police had beaten on the soles
of their feet that day for refusing to leave the farm.

The Arnold farm villagers were also arrested for refusing to move from the
farm for trespassing.

According to the HRW, police cordoned off the area and  set up entry and
exit checkpoints as well as patrols on the farm.

Health crisis looms as nurses strike

Source: Health crisis looms as nurses strike – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      26 May 2017

HARARE – Another crisis is looming at State hospitals, after fed up nurses
gave notice to the government that they would soon embark on a crippling
strike – as they press for improved working conditions and the dismissal
of the Health Services Board (HSB) secretariat, which they accuse of
failing to act on their grievances.

This comes as chaos continues to ravage public hospitals which have been
hit by shortages of drugs and key personnel, as well as new outbreaks of
communicable diseases such as cholera, malaria and typhoid.

“We feel the HSB does not understand us and how we operate. We have been
raising our grievances since 2010 and up to now, 11 years later, they have
not yet addressed those issues.

“The purpose of the HSB is to address the conditions of service for health
workers, but this is not happening,” Zimbabwe Nurses Association secretary
general, Enock Dongo, told the Daily News yesterday.

He said all nurses, regardless of qualifications and experience, were
being classified under the lowest grade.

“Even when you have been working as a nurse for 10 years, and when you
should be considered to be a senior, you get the lowest salary of about
$285. It’s all because your grade doesn’t change. You remain grade D1,
instead of maybe D3.

“Someone can also have three or four diplomas on top of a nursing degree
and still be in that low grade. We have specialities in midwifery,
intensive care and physiotherapy, but all that is not being recognised.

“We want the HSB secretariat to be removed … and we will not stop
demonstrating until they are removed. They are non-medical people and they
don’t even know how we operate as health workers,” Dongo said.

“When we discuss our issues with the board, they appear to understand, but
the problem comes with implementation … that’s where the problem is. We
cannot have the lives and professions of over 35 000 people in disarray
because of a few people, and we are saying we are fed up,” he added.

Public hospitals are struggling under the weight of a myriad other
problems, including the shortage of drugs and continued under-funding by
the government.

Despite the humongous problems bedevilling the public health sector, the
misfiring Zanu PF government has continued to overlook its urgent needs,
as demonstrated by the allocation of a measly budget to hospitals this
year.

In his budget presentation in December, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa
reduced the vote for health from $331 million to a disappointing $282
million – a figure that falls way short of meeting the big demands of the
public health sector.

This has seen Zimbabwe’s public health sector lurching from one crisis to
the other over the past two decades, as the country’s stone-broke
government struggles to pay workers and stock hospitals.

Early this year, health services across the country were crippled when
doctors and nurses staged a national strike, pressing for improved working
conditions.

In 2016, major referral hospitals also had to suspend many services as a
result of the shortage of drugs, including painkillers – exposing how much
things have fallen apart in the country since the early 2000s.

United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and Harare Central Hospital were among the
major health facilities that had to suspend normal services as a result of
drug shortages, including pethidine – a synthetic compound used as a
painkiller, especially for women in labour and during caesarean
operations.

‘Time to cut Tyson loose’

Source: ‘Time to cut Tyson loose’ – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      26 May 2017

HARARE – As the unrelenting pressure being exerted on under-fire Zanu PF
national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere (pictured) continues to
mount, angry war veterans say it is time he is “cut loose” to save the
ruling party from imploding.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, voluble war veterans leader and
former Cabinet minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, said it was high time
that Zanu PF acted “decisively” against Kasukuwere before “irreparable
damage” was done to the deeply-divided ruling party.

Mutsvangwa’s call came following Kasukuwere’s announcement earlier this
week of the hotly-debated decision to bar an ex-intelligence operative,
Pearson Mbalekwa, from participating in the impending Chiwundura
by-election – and as the former liberation movement’s ugly tribal,
factional and succession wars continue to escalate.

Mutsvangwa said the Mbalekwa decision had been taken in an unprocedural
manner, adding that Kasukuwere was “now behaving like the owner of Zanu
PF”.

“That is (Mbalekwa decision) an abuse of power and personalisation of Zanu
PF by a clueless and disorderly G40 (Generation 40),” Mutsvangwa said,
referring to the Zanu PF faction which is rabidly opposed to Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.

“Why does Tyson (Kasukuwere’s nickname) also issue a statement from a
foreign country (he is in Mexico with Mugabe)?  There ought to be an
acting PC (political commissar).

“Kufa kwemujoni company haivharwi (Work does not stop because the boss is
not there or has died).

“Even the president does not do that. He leaves behind an acting president
when he travels. For security and protocol, pronouncements of State have
to be issued from the seat of power. What if Kasukuwere is kidnapped in a
foreign land and is under duress?

“Crass ignorance and compulsive dictatorial proclivity to the abuse of
State power is the hallmark of G40,” added the garrulous Mutsvangwa.

Mutsvangwa also attacked Kasukuwere earlier this week – claiming that the
G40 was nearing its end, following the ongoing and relentless assault on
its leaders by Mnangagwa’s backers, Team Lacoste.

“The end is definitely nigh for the G40 cabal and its diabolic power grab
pretences. The inescapable reality is that the G40 is facing its waterloo.
Its organisational paucity has been exposed glaringly.

“And the people of Zimbabwe are poised to mete out terrible punishment to
these would-be power grabbers for their crimes that delivered an economic
meltdown unprecedented for a peacetime nation,” he said then.

Mutsvangwa also said the current onslaught on Kasukuwere – who insiders
claim is one of the G40 kingpins – was “a sign” that the faction was
nearing its end.

“The drowning Kasukuwere … has long been the bete noire of the war
veterans association … This political charade has finally run out of its
course.

“It has been a torrid season (for the G40), with the (Jacob) Mudenda
inquiry, the vote of no confidence by 10 party provinces and the thorough
drubbing of the G40 pretender by chairman (Ezra) Chadzamira in the
Masvingo party provincial elections,” he said.

Kasukuwere has been fighting to save his political career over the past
few weeks, with his Zanu PF enemies pushing for his ouster from both his
party and government positions, over a raft of charges which include
allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe from power.

Also under fire has been his brother Dickson Mafios, who is the acting
Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland Central.

Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last week’s postponed politburo
meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate allegations
against him had completed its work.

Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party
rivals 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.

Nicknamed Tyson for his combative style of politics, Kasukuwere on Tuesday
ordered Zanu PF’s Midlands Province to overlook Mbalekwa for the
forthcoming Chiwundura by-election – which became vacant last month
following the death of Kizito Chivamba.

“The party received names from the contestants who were prepared to stand
in the Midlands Province. Out of the 21 candidates, 20 were approved by
the party and … Mbalekwa’s application was turned down for various
reasons.

“That is the position of the party. So, whoever emerged at the top,
outside the candidature of Mbalekwa  will stand for the party,”
Kasukuwere, who is attending the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk
Reduction Conference with Mugabe in Mexico, said.

Mbalekwa who was sacked from Zanu PF after the so-called Tsholotsho
Declaration in 2004, in which Mnangagwa was then accused of organising a
palace coup against Mugabe, had triumphed in the party’s primaries.

A former intelligence operative, Mbalekwa joined opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai’s MDC, before being elected MP for Zvishavane in 2008.

His closest rival, Brown Ndlovu, has now been chosen to represent Zanu PF
in the impending mini-poll, following the withdrawal of Mbalekwa.

Mbalekwa told the Daily News yesterday that he had withdrawn after the
“sudden illness” of his daughter, which allegedly happened after he had
won the party’s primary elections.

“I only received the news of my child’s illness at midday on Tuesday, well
after the election. So, I had no choice but to withdraw because I realised
I could not cope under the circumstances,” he said.

Midlands is one of the nine provinces that have passed a vote of no
confidence in Kasukuwere, and is said to be a Team Lacoste stronghold.

Meanwhile, Midlands Province has accused Kasukuwere of trying to settle
political scores, as Mbalekwa had been cleared and re-admitted into the
party in 2013.

“Mbalekwa re-joined the party and was rehabilitated. Charges from
Tsholotsho do not stick because if we were to use that as a yard stick
then Jonathan Moyo should not be a minister and member of the politburo.

“Similarly, Daniel Shumba would not be an MP and chairman of a
parliamentary portfolio committee, and July Moyo would not be deputy
secretary for administration, and Mark Madiro would not have been a member
of the central committee.

“All these people were once expelled for their alleged involvement in the
Tsholotsho meeting. But after serving their suspensions, they were
re-admitted into the party and were rehabilitated,” a senior official told
the Daily News in the aftermath of Kasukuwere’s directive.

Air Zim struggles to secure partner

Source: Air Zim struggles to secure partner – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      27 May 2017

HARARE – Air Zimbabwe (Air Zim) is struggling to secure a partner, with
the national airline now bearing the brunt of jokes as it suffers several
mishaps.

This comes as the airline’s fleet is almost grounded, while it recently
issued hand-written boarding passes due to challenges.

It was recently blacklisted by the European Union over safety concerns.

Transport minister Joram Gumbo told the Daily News in a telephone
interview on Monday that “there is no partner yet”, despite years of
searching.

Early this year, Air Zim chief executive Ripton Muzenda told Parliament’s
Transport portfolio committee that the airline was in talks with two
strategic partners to help resuscitate it by clearing its ballooning $300
million debt. The flag carrier is, however, now reportedly seeking
partnerships with other international airlines instead of a partner to pay
off its debt.

Muzenda also revealed that the flag carrier was working towards gaining
International Air Transport Association (Iata) readmission by May 31 this
year.

Currently, the airline is operating at 40 percent, with a load factor of
42 percent, according to the board and management.

Passengers flying from Victoria Falls to Harare recently clashed with the
crew after they were told to leave their bags behind as they would be too
heavy, according for the flight in a video shared on micro-blogging site
Twitter.  Delays have also become part of the airline’s culture with
various flights being cancelled and delayed.

This has infuriated passengers, who now prefer other foreign airlines.

“Flying Air Zimbabwe is such a bad idea. We were supposed to leave
Victoria Falls at 4pm. Was told it’s been moved to 7pm. It’s now 7pm
haven’t boarded,” Gilbert Makore said on Twitter.

Manfred Chaniwa also wrote on Facebook: “So our beloved Air Zimbabwe was
supposed to leave Jo’burg at 19:00hrs now delayed to past midnight, that’s
if the plane comes!”

Another Twitter user, Serendipity@shimmerella, joked: “They should make it
clear when you purchase an Air Zimbabwe ticket that you are actually
entering a raffle and travel is not guaranteed.”

Marakia Bomani posted on Twitter:  “You book Air Zimbabwe because you are
seriously having suicidal thoughts. As simple as that.”

Bigwigs fret as Mugabe returns

Source: Bigwigs fret as Mugabe returns – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      27 May 2017

HARARE – All eyes are on President Robert Mugabe on his return from
Mexico, as the wily nonagenarian bids to douse, once and for all, the
raging and worsening tribal, factional and succession wars consuming his
ruling Zanu PF.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that “the desperation
and stress” among many party heavyweights had reached unsustainable levels
that “something has to give soon”.

“It’s panic stations all round in many quarters and unfortunately only one
man, Gushungo (Mugabe), can take away the chefs’ (senior party officials’)
pain.

“If you have been following social media closely over the past few days,
particularly accounts linked to some officials and their lackeys who are
active on Twitter and WhatsApp for example, the panic and desperation will
not have escaped you,” one of the sources said.

This comes after Zanu PF’s mindless bloodletting witnessed an
unprecedented orgy of intra-party violence in Bulawayo earlier this week.

Mugabe – who spent a week in Mexico attending an obscure conference on
climate together with the ruling party’s under-fire national political
commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere – returned home yesterday amid the former
liberation movement’s worsening infighting which analysts say is reaching
a tipping point.

Another insider told the Daily News yesterday that Zanu PF was likely to
have its delayed politburo meeting this coming week, where Mugabe was
expected to try and deal decisively with the ruling party’s deepening
ructions – including the chaos in the influential women’s league, the
disputed Masvingo leadership election, the Bulawayo violence and the
Kasukuwere affair.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure,
said there was no doubt that Mugabe was now under tremendous pressure to
“crack the whip” in the burning former liberation movement.

“The number one issue he has to deal with now is that of his national
political commissar. And it is possible that their trip together to Mexico
may have given Kasukuwere a chance to talk to Mugabe one on one, and thus
give him a chance to clear his name.

“But whether or not that happened, Mugabe still has to solve the issue
formally, as there has been a lot of restlessness and there is therefore
that need for a decisive voice from him.

“The violence that rocked Bulawayo is an extension of the same Kasukuwere
issue … amid the context that nine out of 10 provinces have endorsed a
vote of no confidence against him. So, Mugabe will need to deal with all
this,” Masunugure told the Daily News.

Another political analyst, Maxwell Saungweme, also said Mugabe would need
to deal with the Kasukuwere issue as soon as possible, to avoid a complete
implosion of the ruling party.

“He needs to deal decisively with the Kasukuwere issue to avoid another
split of Zanu PF.  The issue has been causing Zanu PF to implode, and it
needs his attention,” Saungweme said.

Kasukuwere has been fighting to save his political career over the past
few weeks, with angry Zanu PF supporters pushing for his ouster from both
his party and government positions, over a raft of charges which include
allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe from power.

A probe team tasked to investigate the allegations against Kasukuwere has
since submitted its findings to Mugabe.

Kasukuwere also stands accused by his party enemies of stoking tension in
the deeply-divided ruling party, after he barred an ex-intelligence
operative, Pearson Mbalekwa, from participating in the impending
Chiwundura by-election.

The move has seen his rivals calling for decisive action to be taken
against him, with voluble war veterans’ leader and former Cabinet
minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, accusing Kasukuwere of “personalising”
Zanu PF.

Mutsvangwa said the Mbalekwa decision had been taken in an unprocedural
manner, adding that Kasukuwere was “now behaving like the owner of Zanu
PF”.

“That is (Mbalekwa decision) an abuse of power and personalisation of Zanu
PF by a clueless and disorderly G40 (Generation 40),” Mutsvangwa said
referring to the Zanu PF faction which is rabidly opposed to Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.

“Why does Tyson (Kasukuwere’s nickname) also issue a statement from a
foreign country (he is in Mexico with Mugabe)?  There ought to be an
acting PC (political commissar).

“Kufa kwemujoni company haivharwi (Work does not stop because the boss is
not there or has died).

“Even the president does not do that. He leaves behind an acting president
when he travels. For security and protocol, pronouncements of State have
to be issued from the seat of power. What if Kasukuwere is kidnapped in a
foreign land and is under duress?

“Crass ignorance and compulsive dictatorial proclivity to the abuse of
State power is the hallmark of G40,” added the garrulous Mutsvangwa.

Apart from having to deal with Kasukuwere’s saga, Mugabe is expected to
deal with the unprecedented intra-party violence which rocked Bulawayo
last weekend, where rival factions engaged in bloody skirmishes which led
to the cancellation of a provincial coordinating committee (PCC) meeting
at Davies Hall.

Mugabe is also expected to deal with the contested results of the Masvingo
provincial chairmanship election, which was comprehensively won by an
alleged Team Lacoste candidate, Ezra Chadzamira – who walloped Mutero
Masanganise who had pulled out from the mini internal plebiscite days
before polling, citing a number of alleged irregularities.

Masanganise – who is linked to the G40 faction- pulled out of the Masvingo
poll re-run arguing that it was illegal.

Mugabe and the politburo had nullified the results from the initial
regional poll, which was won by Chadzamira – amid similar claims of
irregularities, including people not voting in some districts.

Chadzamira, who is the former regional chairperson and an alleged
Mnangagwa backer, crushed Masanganise then – polling 12 393 votes against
his opponent’s 4 888, amid allegations of rigging and failure by people in
Mwenezi and some parts of Chiredzi to vote.

Observers have also consistently 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.

Mugabe king of dictators: Biti

Source: Mugabe king of dictators: Biti – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      27 May 2017

HARARE – Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti has
slammed President Robert Mugabe, labelling the 93-year-old as the “king”
and “Pope of all African dictators who just but created a crisis that
needs dynamic leadership to deal with”.

The former Finance minister told his supporters in Bulawayo at an Africa
Day commemoration event on Thursday that Mugabe – seen as a hero by some
on the continent for fighting to end British rule in Zimbabwe in 1980 and
repossessing land from the colonialists – had presided over an economic
meltdown marked by cash shortages, corruption and the breakdown of the
rule of law.

Biti said Mugabe was the king of a coterie of Africa’s longest-serving
dictators, including Gnassingbe Ayadema who presided over Togo for 38
years, Omar Bongo of Gabon who oppressed his people for decades only to
throne his son Ali Bongo Ondimba as his successor, Mobutu Seseko who had
to be chased away only to die in exile and Idi Amin who maimed and killed
his kith.

He said Mugabe was the king of this bunch of “little-big men,” adding that
the nonagenarian’s “balance sheet reflects mediocrity, recklessness and
ruthlessness.”

“All these little-big men were evil but Mugabe is the headmaster, he is
their vice chancellor, Mugabe is the Pope of all African dictators who
just but created a crisis that needs dynamic leadership to deal with,”
Biti said.

He added that there was no alternative to coalescing and confronting
“Mugabe’s dictatorship” as a united force.

Biti spoke as Mugabe’s rivals are moving to deny the veteran ruler another
term in office.

Mugabe, one of the last of the generation of African nationalists that
sought the overthrow of white colonialists, has run Zimbabwe since 1980.

He was first prime minister then, and became president in 1987.

The opposition has said it fears that Mugabe’s officials will rig the 2018
poll to extend his 37-year rule, as they have been accused of doing in
past elections.

In December, Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party confirmed him as its candidate
for the next presidential election expected in mid-2018, when he will be
94.

His long-rival Morgan Tsvangirai, 65, who was Zimbabwe’s prime minister in
an uneasy coalition government with Mugabe from 2009 until 2013, has said
he and Joice Mujuru, who was Mugabe’s deputy for a decade until she was
fired in 2014, together with other opposition leaders, would seek to form
a coalition government to bring political change.

“A coalition will give Zimbabweans a fighting chance, we must learn from
what the Kenyans did, we must also learn from what the Gambians did,” Biti
said.

He said the next election battle must be focused on issues affecting the
long-suffering masses, because Mugabe is no longer a factor.

“The election agenda must be to create a transformational democratic
developmental State which can lift the masses from poverty, this economy
can grow at seven percent per annum, which means a $100 billion economy in
about 10 years is possible,” Biti said.

Apart from dealing with the economic woes, he said a new democratic
leadership needed to combat corruption, which has placed a premium on the
economy, ensure growth is even and inclusive by implementing devolution of
power as enshrined in the Constitution, rebuild the social contract,
complete the unfinished business of the Constitution by repealing the
imperial powers of the president.

Biti said the new leadership must also ensure there is rule of law, put an
end to the land question by conducting an ownership audit and giving title
to farm occupants to ensure they can borrow and be productive, ensure
national healing by putting in place the National Peace and Reconciliation
Commission and end Zimbabwe’s isolation by proper engagement.

Health crisis looms as nurses strike

Source: Health crisis looms as nurses strike – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      26 May 2017

HARARE – Another crisis is looming at State hospitals, after fed up nurses
gave notice to the government that they would soon embark on a crippling
strike – as they press for improved working conditions and the dismissal
of the Health Services Board (HSB) secretariat, which they accuse of
failing to act on their grievances.

This comes as chaos continues to ravage public hospitals which have been
hit by shortages of drugs and key personnel, as well as new outbreaks of
communicable diseases such as cholera, malaria and typhoid.

“We feel the HSB does not understand us and how we operate. We have been
raising our grievances since 2010 and up to now, 11 years later, they have
not yet addressed those issues.

“The purpose of the HSB is to address the conditions of service for health
workers, but this is not happening,” Zimbabwe Nurses Association secretary
general, Enock Dongo, told the Daily News yesterday.

He said all nurses, regardless of qualifications and experience, were
being classified under the lowest grade.

“Even when you have been working as a nurse for 10 years, and when you
should be considered to be a senior, you get the lowest salary of about
$285. It’s all because your grade doesn’t change. You remain grade D1,
instead of maybe D3.

“Someone can also have three or four diplomas on top of a nursing degree
and still be in that low grade. We have specialities in midwifery,
intensive care and physiotherapy, but all that is not being recognised.

“We want the HSB secretariat to be removed … and we will not stop
demonstrating until they are removed. They are non-medical people and they
don’t even know how we operate as health workers,” Dongo said.

“When we discuss our issues with the board, they appear to understand, but
the problem comes with implementation … that’s where the problem is. We
cannot have the lives and professions of over 35 000 people in disarray
because of a few people, and we are saying we are fed up,” he added.

Public hospitals are struggling under the weight of a myriad other
problems, including the shortage of drugs and continued under-funding by
the government.

Despite the humongous problems bedevilling the public health sector, the
misfiring Zanu PF government has continued to overlook its urgent needs,
as demonstrated by the allocation of a measly budget to hospitals this
year.

In his budget presentation in December, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa
reduced the vote for health from $331 million to a disappointing $282
million – a figure that falls way short of meeting the big demands of the
public health sector.

This has seen Zimbabwe’s public health sector lurching from one crisis to
the other over the past two decades, as the country’s stone-broke
government struggles to pay workers and stock hospitals.

Early this year, health services across the country were crippled when
doctors and nurses staged a national strike, pressing for improved working
conditions.

In 2016, major referral hospitals also had to suspend many services as a
result of the shortage of drugs, including painkillers – exposing how much
things have fallen apart in the country since the early 2000s.

United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and Harare Central Hospital were among the
major health facilities that had to suspend normal services as a result of
drug shortages, including pethidine – a synthetic compound used as a
painkiller, especially for women in labour and during caesarean
operations.

‘Police should be probed over Arnold farm conduct’

Source: ‘Police should be probed over Arnold farm conduct’ – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      26 May 2017

HARARE – The government must urgently investigate State police conduct at
Anorld farm in Mazowe, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

This comes after riot police harassed, beat up and illegally removed 200
families off the farm in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central province, in a farm
seizure believed to be linked to President Robert Mugabe’s family.

The police have also been alleged to be illegally tearing down homes at
Arnold Farm, leaving hundreds of people homeless and destitute in heavy
rains and cold weather.

Residents have occupied the farm for 17 years, and HRW Southern Africa
director Dewa Mavhinga said any process to evict them should respect their
rights and follow due process.  “The government should urgently intervene
in the Arnold Farm case to stop the on-going violation of court orders and
abuses,” Mavhinga said.

About 100 riot police began demolishing homes at Arnold Farm on March 17
this year, forcing residents onto trucks and dumping them by the roadside
40 kilometres away.

The rights group said they made efforts to contact lawyers who represent
the Mugabes, as well as provincial affairs and police officials, but did
not receive any reply to questions regarding the ownership of Arnold Farm
and the conduct of the police.

“The police affirmed in a court filing that the Arnold Farm …which the
families have occupied since 2000, is owned by the president’s family,”
the HRW report said.

“The farm residents obtained a High Court order to stop the evictions, and
barred the police from harassing them by demolishing their homes or
attempting to evict them without a valid court order. The police told
lawyers representing the farm residents they were acting on the orders of
their `superiors’ but did not have a High Court order approving the
eviction, as required by the law.

“Many families have lost their crops and livestock during the demolitions
and now live and sleep in the open with no protection from the rain and
cold. Police harassment has prevented the families from harvesting their
corn, sugar beans, and groundnuts crops.”

When a Human Rights Watch team visited Arnold Farm on May 9, they
witnessed four uniformed and armed riot police and six people in civilian
clothes demolish homes and destroy property belonging to farm residents.

HRW said it interviewed five men whom the police had beaten on the soles
of their feet that day for refusing to leave the farm.

The Arnold farm villagers were also arrested for refusing to move from the
farm for trespassing.

According to the HRW, police cordoned off the area and  set up entry and
exit checkpoints as well as patrols on the farm.

Land reform cost 1,5m jobs: Chinamasa

Source: Land reform cost 1,5m jobs: Chinamasa – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      26 May 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s controversial programme to redistribute land taken
from white farmers cost 1,5 million jobs, Finance minister Patrick
Chinamasa has said.

“Right now our economy is highly informalised. I always give the
statistics that in 1999 or thereabout, there were two million workers in
the formal sector, by the time we reached 2005, because of the revolution
in the land reform programme, the formal sector collapsed and the two
million formal workers dwindled to half a million and could be just about
less,” Chinamasa told the Senate last week.

“It is our responsibility to now move that economy from the informal and
back to the formal again. That is the transition which we are now
travelling. I am very happy with the progress that we are making so far.
It is a process and not an event, it cannot happen overnight.”

Critics say the country’s once strong agricultural base has been damaged
by the chaotic land redistribution programme.

President Robert Mugabe introduced land reforms in 1999 aimed at
addressing colonial imbalances whereby a few white farmers own most of the
best agricultural land in Zimbabwe.

More than 4 000 farmers were forcibly evicted from their land in often
violent struggles. The violence – and allegations of rigged elections and
rights abuses – led western donors to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“… in the agricultural sector…we were talking about 4 000 (white)
farmers. There is no way an economy can grow and expand when a vital
productive asset like land is held by one or two people.

“So, it is important that we realise that because we moved from that
ownership of land and now we have the A1 farmers. We distributed that land
to about 350 000 households, you can also multiply the number of people
who are dependent on that piece of land. Now, that change caused
disruption in our productive system. So, initially there was a fall of
production, everyone was laughing at us.”

“I cannot see how we could have gone from that skilled land ownership to
the current one where it is now owned by the majority of our people,
without a transition.

“There has to be a transition and what we are talking about here Madam
president is how to manage that transition from yesterday to today and
tomorrow,” he said.

Harare clinic delivers test tube baby

Source: Harare clinic delivers test tube baby – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      26 May 2017

HARARE – The Avenues Clinic has become the first hospital in the country
to deliver a test tube baby in almost two decades after re-introducing In
Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) programme last year.

IVF is a process in which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body
and the fertilised egg is later implanted into a woman’s uterus.

The baby boy was born at 29 weeks on April 2, weighing just over a
kilogramme.

The woman who benefitted from IVF expressed her joy over becoming a
mother.

The baby is, however, still in hospital as it needs to gain 20 more
grammes, which he will likely have gained in the coming week.

IVF was stopped at the hospital in 2000 after its pioneer in the country
Tony Robertson left the country.

“My husband and I had been trying to have a baby since we got married in
2012 without success,” the mother who preferred to remain anonymous said.

“I had tried everything, including herbal medicines, to get pregnant.
However, I had ovarian cysts and blocked Fallopian tubes. It seemed IVF
was the only answer.

“I phoned the Avenues Clinic to enquire about this and was given Dr
(Tinovimba) Mhlanga’s phone number. After saving bit by bit for the
procedure, I was put on the IVF programme.

“I had to inject myself to stimulate the ovaries, which was tough, but it
worked out well. A scan showed there were six follicles. I went to the
Avenues Clinic for the egg retrieval.

“After a few days, I was told all my eggs had fertilised in the IVF
Laboratory at the Avenues Clinic. The doctors transferred three embryos
into my womb. The other three were frozen.

“After 10 days, I had a blood test and it came out positive. I was so
excited. I had tried so many things – both traditional and modern – but
none of them had worked.

“I was also receiving pressure from my family to conceive so you can
imagine how I felt when my pregnancy test came back positive. I was hoping
for three babies from the three embryos.”

Mhlanga a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist praised his team for
the work which he said required good coordination.

“Sister Florence Marechera is the backbone of the programme. She organises
everything. The counsellors do an excellent job in counselling patients,
which is an important role as undergoing IVF can be traumatic,” Mhlanga
said.

Before its disruption, the programme had helped conceive 52 people who are
now adults.

The IVF team is made up of Mhlanga and Robertson, both of whom are
specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists; medical laboratory scientists
Tinei Makurumure and Robertson’s wife, who are the embryologists, and
Marechera, a nursing sister who is the programme’s counsellor and
coordinator.

‘Time to cut Tyson loose’

Source: ‘Time to cut Tyson loose’ – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      26 May 2017

HARARE – As the unrelenting pressure being exerted on under-fire Zanu PF
national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere continues to
mount, angry war veterans say it is time he is “cut loose” to save the
ruling party from imploding.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, voluble war veterans leader and
former Cabinet minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, said it was high time
that Zanu PF acted “decisively” against Kasukuwere before “irreparable
damage” was done to the deeply-divided ruling party.

Mutsvangwa’s call came following Kasukuwere’s announcement earlier this
week of the hotly-debated decision to bar an ex-intelligence operative,
Pearson Mbalekwa, from participating in the impending Chiwundura
by-election – and as the former liberation movement’s ugly tribal,
factional and succession wars continue to escalate.

Mutsvangwa said the Mbalekwa decision had been taken in an unprocedural
manner, adding that Kasukuwere was “now behaving like the owner of Zanu
PF”.

“That is (Mbalekwa decision) an abuse of power and personalisation of Zanu
PF by a clueless and disorderly G40 (Generation 40),” Mutsvangwa said,
referring to the Zanu PF faction which is rabidly opposed to Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.

“Why does Tyson (Kasukuwere’s nickname) also issue a statement from a
foreign country (he is in Mexico with Mugabe)?  There ought to be an
acting PC (political commissar).

“Kufa kwemujoni company haivharwi (Work does not stop because the boss is
not there or has died).

“Even the president does not do that. He leaves behind an acting president
when he travels. For security and protocol, pronouncements of State have
to be issued from the seat of power. What if Kasukuwere is kidnapped in a
foreign land and is under duress?

“Crass ignorance and compulsive dictatorial proclivity to the abuse of
State power is the hallmark of G40,” added the garrulous Mutsvangwa.

Mutsvangwa also attacked Kasukuwere earlier this week – claiming that the
G40 was nearing its end, following the ongoing and relentless assault on
its leaders by Mnangagwa’s backers, Team Lacoste.

“The end is definitely nigh for the G40 cabal and its diabolic power grab
pretences. The inescapable reality is that the G40 is facing its waterloo.
Its organisational paucity has been exposed glaringly.

“And the people of Zimbabwe are poised to mete out terrible punishment to
these would-be power grabbers for their crimes that delivered an economic
meltdown unprecedented for a peacetime nation,” he said then.

Mutsvangwa also said the current onslaught on Kasukuwere – who insiders
claim is one of the G40 kingpins – was “a sign” that the faction was
nearing its end.

“The drowning Kasukuwere … has long been the bete noire of the war
veterans association … This political charade has finally run out of its
course.

“It has been a torrid season (for the G40), with the (Jacob) Mudenda
inquiry, the vote of no confidence by 10 party provinces and the thorough
drubbing of the G40 pretender by chairman (Ezra) Chadzamira in the
Masvingo party provincial elections,” he said.

Kasukuwere has been fighting to save his political career over the past
few weeks, with his Zanu PF enemies pushing for his ouster from both his
party and government positions, over a raft of charges which include
allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe from power.

Also under fire has been his brother Dickson Mafios, who is the acting
Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland Central.

Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last week’s postponed politburo
meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate allegations
against him had completed its work.

Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party
rivals 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.

Nicknamed Tyson for his combative style of politics, Kasukuwere on Tuesday
ordered Zanu PF’s Midlands Province to overlook Mbalekwa for the
forthcoming Chiwundura by-election – which became vacant last month
following the death of Kizito Chivamba.

“The party received names from the contestants who were prepared to stand
in the Midlands Province. Out of the 21 candidates, 20 were approved by
the party and … Mbalekwa’s application was turned down for various
reasons.

“That is the position of the party. So, whoever emerged at the top,
outside the candidature of Mbalekwa  will stand for the party,”
Kasukuwere, who is attending the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk
Reduction Conference with Mugabe in Mexico, said.

Mbalekwa who was sacked from Zanu PF after the so-called Tsholotsho
Declaration in 2004, in which Mnangagwa was then accused of organising a
palace coup against Mugabe, had triumphed in the party’s primaries.

A former intelligence operative, Mbalekwa joined opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai’s MDC, before being elected MP for Zvishavane in 2008.

His closest rival, Brown Ndlovu, has now been chosen to represent Zanu PF
in the impending mini-poll, following the withdrawal of Mbalekwa.

Mbalekwa told the Daily News yesterday that he had withdrawn after the
“sudden illness” of his daughter, which allegedly happened after he had
won the party’s primary elections.

“I only received the news of my child’s illness at midday on Tuesday, well
after the election. So, I had no choice but to withdraw because I realised
I could not cope under the circumstances,” he said.

Midlands is one of the nine provinces that have passed a vote of no
confidence in Kasukuwere, and is said to be a Team Lacoste stronghold.

Meanwhile, Midlands Province has accused Kasukuwere of trying to settle
political scores, as Mbalekwa had been cleared and re-admitted into the
party in 2013.

“Mbalekwa re-joined the party and was rehabilitated. Charges from
Tsholotsho do not stick because if we were to use that as a yard stick
then Jonathan Moyo should not be a minister and member of the politburo.

“Similarly, Daniel Shumba would not be an MP and chairman of a
parliamentary portfolio committee, and July Moyo would not be deputy
secretary for administration, and Mark Madiro would not have been a member
of the central committee.

“All these people were once expelled for their alleged involvement in the
Tsholotsho meeting. But after serving their suspensions, they were
re-admitted into the party and were rehabilitated,” a senior official told
the Daily News in the aftermath of Kasukuwere’s directive.

Dairibord optimistic in spite of headwinds

Source: Dairibord optimistic in spite of headwinds – The Zimbabwe Independent May 26, 2017

Listed milk and dairy products producer Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL) sees improved profitability in the first half of its financial year compared to the corresponding period last year, helped by strong margins and stable selling prices on its products.

By Taurai Mangudhla

Significant headwinds are expected going forward principally on account of weak economic performance, low disposable income obtaining on the market, slowing aggregate demand and growing completion both from local players and imports, DZL CE Anthony Mandiwanza told an annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Although revenue is expected to end the first half of the year at 2% below prior year, Mandiwanza expects a better performance this year due to stable selling prices, improved margins and cost containment.

“We have remodelled the business to align costs with revenue,” Mandiwanza said.
“The selling price and market share remains stable (and) profit margins improved while operating costs are trending lower.

“The first half of 2017, I believe will be better than 2016 underpinned by the benefits of SI64 (Statutory Instrument 64), a good agricultural season and improved supply of cartonised milk.”

SI64 is a statutory instrument banning the importation of numerous goods without prior clearance in order to protect local industry, which came into effect in 2016.

DZL said its food products have benefited immensely from the import ban.

Mandiwanza said the improved performance in the first half is also on account of enhanced product quality, coupled with a rationalisation exercise that reduced overhead costs to below prior year levels.

“Manning levels have been reduced by 10% from December 2016,” Mandiwanza added as he presented benefits of the rationalisation.

He said the rationalisation exercise, budgeted at US$1 million, had so far cost the group US$866 000 and expected to fall within budget.

In the first four months of the year to April, Mandiwanza said, raw milk intake for the group declined due to incessant rains in January and February that reduced national milk output per cow, coupled with growing completion for milk intake as the industry grows.

“New players also reduced our supplies,” Mandiwanza said although he maintained that adequate volumes will be available from the group’s traditional suppliers throughout the year.

He said the company had not been spurred by foreign currency shortages that have seen industry unable to import raw materials and retool while a cash crisis that is threatening the economy grows.

“As a company, we are feeling the challenges arising from foreign currency accessibility and availability despite good performance in agriculture and mining,” Mandiwanza said.

In its latest annual results for the year ended December 2016, DZL reported an after tax loss of S$5,4 million compared to a US$2,3 million profit the prior year due to declining revenues which were 10% below prior year, coupled with a 9% decline in price per litre.

The reduced revenues, combined with high overhead costs and significant once-off costs, resulted in an operating loss of US$3,8 million.

DZl said demand for its products had weakened while inconsistent supply of inputs due to foreign currency shortages hampered efficiency.

Zimra boss pleads for immunity

Source: Zimra boss pleads for immunity – The Zimbabwe Independent May 26, 2017

Former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner-general Gershem Pasi, who resigned this week amid 45 charges of misconduct, sought an exit package and immunity from prosecution before quitting.

Wongai Zhangazha

Zimra officials, however, declined to grant him an exit package, while also dismissing his plea for immunity from prosecution.

Documents seen by this newspaper this week indicate that Zimra bosses have told Pasi they will not drop charges as they are concerned about issues raised in an audit carried out by HLB Chartered Accountants.

The Zimra board sanctioned the probe in July last year after a whistle-blower’s report on irregularities in the importation of executive cars.

As first reported by the Zimbabwe Independent last year, the audit, released in September, exposed massive corruption, fraud, poor corporate governance and tax evasion scandals within the tax authority with revelations that the revenue collector was prejudiced of more than US$20 million.
Pasi was expected to answer to several charges of misconduct, which include the signing of a US$14 million contract with a company called AVIC International for the supply of uniforms and tollgate equipment, allegedly without following tender procedures.

He was also accused of allocating himself excessive vehicle allowances amounting to US$374 451 between 2014 and May 2016 without the approval of the board, among other charges.

The Zimra board dragged Pasi to a hearing, which began in November last year, with former High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo acting as the disciplinary hearing officer. Pasi was represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu acting on instructions from Mambosasa Legal Practioners. Zimra was represented by Kantor and Immerman Legal Practitioners.

According to documents detailing the proceedings during the closed door hearing, Pasi on November 24 presented a proposal for settlement to the Zimra board and was awaiting a response.

On January 16, Mpofu advised during the hearing that he would put forward another proposal for settlement. However, no proposal was put forward and Pasi was served with a defence outline.

On March 6, Pasi tabled a proposal offering to resign in return for an exit package and immunity from prosecution by Zimra or the state.

“The employee presented a proposal which took the parties the whole day to deal with. The employee offered to resign in return to an exit package and immunity from prosecution by Zimra or the State,” reads one document.

“After lengthy discussions there was no agreement, as the employer was unwilling to pay an exit package, save for statutory benefits and also was unwilling to give him the immunity from prosecution that he wanted.”

On March 13, Pasi filed an application for review in the Labour Court, which was opposed by Zimra on March 16.

Hearing resumed on March 20 with Chinhengo directing that parties enter into a statement of agreed facts, a process that took two days to complete. The hearing was postponed to April 12 and on May 22 Pasi resigned.

Chinhengo, in a note written on May 22 to formally record the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding, said after Pasi tendered his resignation, “parties” rendered it unnecessary for the disciplinary proceedings to continue.

“The substantive hearing commenced on March 21 with the chairperson of Zimra Mrs Bonyongwe giving evidence for the employer. Before she finished testifying in chief, the parties agreed to prepare a statement of agreed facts with a view to expediting the proceedings,” reads Chinhengo’s note.

“They engaged in that exercise for almost two days at my offices after which they agreed that the matter be further postponed to give them an opportunity to finalise the statement of agreed facts.

Before the postponement, the parties advised me that the employer had dropped two charges and four of the charges had been collapsed into one charge. I postponed the hearing to April 12 2017 after an agreement that the agreed statement of facts would be filed with me by March 31 2017.”

Chinhengo said on April 12, the hearing was again postponed to May 22 because Pasi’s legal representative was ill and could not conduct the case on that day.

“On May 22 2017, the hearing convened and the parties advised that Mr Pasi would tender his resignation by midday on that day and that the employer was prepared to have the disciplinary proceedings terminated upon receipt of the letter of resignation,” Chinhengo wrote.

In his resignation letter, Pasi said: “My employer has without just or lawful cause preferred unfounded charges against me. The charges ring hollow, being based as they are, upon an incompetent audit report prepared by auditors who abdicated their most basic functions and responsibilities. I wish to reiterate and make it abundantly clear that I have committed no misconduct, either of the nature alleged or at all.”

However, in response to Pasi’s resignation letter, Bonyongwe said while the board accepted his decision, it did not agree with some of the issues he raised.

“In passing, we confirm that the High Court per the judgement of honourable Makoni J in (HC10821/16, Judgment No HH 759-16), not only approved the disciplinary proceedings, but also expressed a view that a prima facie case existed. Accordingly, the board does not accept the sentiments expressed on page one of your letter,” reads Bonyongwe’s letter.

In her judgement in December last year, Justice Lavender Makoni found Pasi’s suspension and charges levelled against him as lawful.

“I therefore find that the suspension and charges levelled against the applicant (Pasi) are lawful. In that event, the applicant is not about to be subjected, by the respondents (Zimra), to a patently unlawful process as he avers,” reads Makoni’s judgment.

 

Zanu PF-affiliated space barons wreak havoc in Mbare

Source: Zanu PF-affiliated space barons wreak havoc in Mbare – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 26, 2017

THE Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has said space barons are wreaking havoc in Mbare, taking over trading areas and employing Zanu PF youths to use violent methods to collect fees from stall owners.

BY STAFF WRITER

Mbare’s Opaque Economy: Privatisation of the Public Infrastructure, Thriving of Terror Gangs and Breeding Ground for Political Violence, ZPP said as the space barons instilled a reign of terror in Mbare, the Harare City Council, which is the custodian of the properties, had lost control.

“To date, ZPP has responded to and verified four cases of violence against traders at Mbare Musika, and all of them were politically-motivated,” the report read. “Zanu PF youths often collect rentals on behalf of leaseholders of council property within the marketplace, and Harare City Council (HCC) leases properties and space to some people who then sublet to informal traders at inflated rentals.”

This, they said, happened despite HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme having said council does not allow subletting of its properties and would evict anyone found sub-letting.

“Party youths are engaged because they are feared and are able to intimidate, harass and violate the rights of traders with a degree of impunity as police do not act against them. Traders have to pay protection fees to these youths for the authorities to turn a blind eye on the illegal use of commercial space.”

ZPP said the gangs of space barons in Mbare thrive on the impunity and reluctance of law enforcement agents to act against them.

Some Zanu PF members fingered as space barons in Mbare include a party member from District 3, only identified as Chidziva, who collects $1 from every bus that enters Mbare bus terminus.

One “Dread Kumbie”, a suspected Zanu PF youth member, is said to be renting space for $100 per trader a month yet the property he is leasing belongs to HCC.

Another space baron, identified as Amai Mahoka, is said to be leasing several tables at Mupedzanhamo and using party youths to harass those that default in payment.

“Each tenant renting space from a space baron pays between $150 to $200 a month, yet the leaseholders pay as little as $60 per month to council. There are at least three ruling party offices within Mbare Musika used as party bases. There is no other political party that has an office in the area except the ruling Zanu PF.”

ZPP said HCC must intervene to stop illegal subletting of its properties by the space barons.

“The politicisation of commerce at Mbare has resulted in human rights violations and cases of political violence which could see an upward spiral as the 2018 elections approach,” they said.

Mutsvangwa lays into Kasukuwere

Source: Mutsvangwa lays into Kasukuwere – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 26, 2017

FORMER War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa has laid into under-fire Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, accusing him of destroying the ruling party as well as exposing it and the country to serious security threats.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Mutsvangwa claimed Kasukuwere breached protocol when he delivered news of Zanu PF politburo decisions from a foreign land.

“Abuse and personalisation of Zanu PF by clueless and disorderly G40. Why does Tyson (Kasukuwere) issue a statement from a foreign country? There ought to be an acting political commissar in his absence,” he said.

Mutsvangwa pointed out that decisions that involve the Zanu PF politburo have to be delivered from the “seat of power” because they could affect issues of national security.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairman, who has openly clashed with Kasukuwere, said transmitting Press statements from outside the country posed serious internal security risks.

“Even His Excellency (President Robert Mugabe) does not do that. He has an Acting President. This is for security and protocol pronouncements of State and ruling party have to be issued from the seat of power. What if Kasukuwere has been kidnapped in a foreign land and is under duress?” he said.

The Zanu PF political commissar issued a statement from Mexico directly to Midlands province blocking Pearson Mbalekwa from representing the ruling party in the Chiwundura constituency by-election.

Mutsvangwa and his team have renewed their romance with Zanu PF and Mugabe, saying their fight is only targeted at G40, a faction, which is allegedly fronted by Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo.

Attempts to get comment from Kasukuwere drew blanks, as he blocked his WhatsApp platform after reading the questions.

Dokora scoffs at critics

Source: Dokora scoffs at critics – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 26, 2017

PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Lazurus Dokora has scoffed at critics of his new education curriculum and vowed to soldier on with the programme.

BY Stephen Chadenga

Dokora made the remarks during the commissioning of a classroom block at Sarah Bata Senior School in Gweru on Wednesday.

“Some people have been attacking us on social media, asking why (the new curriculum) has been introduced,” he said.

“Even some of our students, who are always on social media, were saying we don’t want the curriculum. But we stay in a country and not on social media platforms and so we are not perturbed, but would carry on with the task.”

Dokora said the curriculum was a product of countrywide consultations with a view to align the education system with international trends, particularly the need to link theory and practical skills.

“Our emphasis should on the acquisition of lifelong and work-related competencies with the learner taking centre stage of the teaching and learning processes. We must offer learning outcomes that are performance-oriented that reflect competencies required for improved prospects for life, work and leisure in a changing environment.”

The minister has been under fire from stakeholders, who argue that the updated curriculum would cause damage to the education sector.

Dokora is no stranger to controversy. In his first year as Education minister in 2013, he caused an uproar countrywide when he banned teachers’ incentives before he introduced the contentious national pledge, followed by the new curriculum and the goats-for-school fees mantra.

Grace tipped for Cabinet post

Source: Grace tipped for Cabinet post – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 26, 2017

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe could soon be elevated to Cabinet as part of Zanu PF plans to prepare her to succeed her ageing husband, President Robert Mugabe, and be in a position to defend the First Family’s business interests, as the sun sets on her 93-year-old husband’s career.

By Staff Reporter

Institute for Security Studies consultant, Derek Matyszak, told a seminar in Pretoria, South Africa, on Tuesday that Grace was concerned about her family’s security in the post-Mugabe era.

“She once expressed the fear that when Mugabe dies, she might be dragged along the tarmac behind a truck. So there are these fears and dynamics behind the scenes,” he said.

This comes shortly after Mugabe reshuffled permanent secretaries at several ministries, amid reports of a looming Cabinet reshuffle.

Matyszak, a constitutional law expert and political analyst, said Grace’s appointment to Cabinet would give her some political clout to protect her interests in the event her husband quits active party politics.

“This would be to improve her political capital so that she has some kind of political strength,” he said.

There has been speculation that there could have been a deal struck between the Mugabes and Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year to protect Grace, but Matyszak said this alone was not sufficient.

“Even if a deal with Mnangagwa was struck, what guarantee does she have that he will adhere to such an arrangement?” Matyszak asked rhetorically.

The analyst said most people thought Grace derived her political capital entirely from her marriage to Mugabe, but her getting a doctorate three years ago and becoming Zanu PF women’s league secretary have given her political weight in her own right.

Given Mugabe’s age, Matyszak said, it was difficult to tell who was actually running the government in Zimbabwe, and to what extent the President still exercised power.

“Mugabe appears so frail that it doesn’t look like he can juggle between intricate manoeuvres needed to keep things in keel,” he said.

Highly-placed sources in government yesterday corroborated speculative reports that Mugabe was planning to appoint Grace to Cabinet at a time members of the First Family were grabbing strategic positions in key public entities.

On Monday, Mugabe’s daughter Bona Mugabe-Chikore was appointed to the Censorship Board.

Her husband is the chief operating officer at Air Zimbabwe.

“The rumours are that she [Grace] might be soon sitting in Cabinet because her husband has lost touch,” a source claimed.

Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Christopher Mushohwe was unreachable for comment, as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Mphoko accuses police of taking sides in Zanu PF wars

A TOP Zanu PF official in Bulawayo has disclosed that Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko on Monday quizzed top officers at Bulawayo Central Police Station for allegedly taking sides and arresting members of one faction of the ruling party, following violent clashes at the party’s provincial offices on Sunday.

Source: Mphoko accuses police of taking sides in Zanu PF wars – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 26, 2017

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Bulawayo provincial secretary for security, George Mlala told NewsDay yesterday that Mphoko’s mission at the police station was to register his displeasure over the police’s alleged bias towards a particular faction of the ruling party.

“From what we see, the police have taken sides in these factional wars in the party. They are not being professional, unless they have an explanation, which makes sense that is what we believe,” he said.

“I was with him (Mphoko) when he went to the police station. He did not demand to have anyone released, but only called for fair treatment of everyone because there was another side, which was now (seemingly) getting favours.

“How could they arrest people, who were in the meeting, accusing them of throwing stones, and letting those who had come to disrupt the meeting go scot-free? How does someone in a hall throw stones, getting them from where? This is what the Acting President wanted addressed.”

Efforts to contact police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba for comment were fruitless, as her mobile phone went unanswered.

Mlala, an executive member of the Mandiitawepi Chimene-led faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, said Zanu PF had decided to conduct its own investigations into the cause of the weekend clashes with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.

Opposition parties have in the past also accused police of being partisan in the conduct of their duties, particularly showing bias towards Zanu PF.

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu yesterday said Mlala’s claims confirmed their concerns.

“We have seen this bias where our supporters after being beaten by Zanu PF thugs, are then arrested upon reporting the violence against them. This should stop,” Gutu said.

Govt crafts measures to tackle smuggling

Source: Govt crafts measures to tackle smuggling | The Herald

Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT is working on measures aimed at curtailing the rampant smuggling of goods into the country.

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha told The Herald Business that Government was cognisant of the threat smuggling has on the economy. In line with this, an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the Ministry of Home Affairs was established and is working on recommendations to tackle smuggling. “I am happy that we have come up with a blueprint on how we are going to address smuggling,” said Dr Bimha in an interview. “Smuggling has a lot of dimensions to it, hence the need to have a broad spectrum of ministries and agencies to look into this issue.

“I think it is too early for me to divulge much, but we have identified the loopholes and we have also come up with recommendations addressing issues like use of technology, drones, CCTV and issues to do with the human factor,” he said adding that corrupt officials were also a menace in the fight against smuggling and recommendations in the blueprint would address that too.

He, however, made a call to all stakeholders to fight smuggling, as this did not affect Government only. “Smuggling is the biggest challenge which we want to address. But it is not only for Government alone to address, it also requires participation of wholesalers, supermarkets and retailers; we need to do this together,” said Dr Bimha.

Capacity use for the manufacturing sector spiralled downwards in the past decade as industry battled lack of funding for retooling and unfair competition from imports, some of them smuggled into the country. Recovery, however started last year after Government promulgated Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 which removed some products that can be locally manufactured from the general open import licence.

Since its introduction, local manufacturers have started registering improvement in production volumes, job creation, market share as well as enhanced competitiveness.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries manufacturing sector survey reports shows capacity utilisation rose to 47 percent in 2016 from 34 percent recorded in 2015. However, Dr Bimha acknowledged the smuggling in of goods could reverse SI64 gains and therefore needed to be addressed with haste. “Normally, when you come up with measures to control the formal sector, people resort to the informal sector to counter that. There were people who were benefiting from importation, all of sudden there was an instrument to stop it and so they resorted to smuggling.”

ZPC re-powering projects in limbo

Source: ZPC re-powering projects in limbo | The Herald May 26, 2017

Business Reporter
INDIAN firm, Jaguar Overseas, is still battling to secure $70 million funding required to rehabilitate Harare Power Station three years after the company won the multi-million dollar tender.

The outdated plant, with the latest generators commissioned in 1942, has been producing power intermittently since being decommissioned in 1970. Re-powering entails replacing old boiler with new technologies that increase the power generated.

Jaguar Overseas initially hoped to secure funding for Harare from State-owned India Eximbank, but its proposal was rejected amid indications that the company was not in good books with the bank.

Jaguar Overseas and its local partner, Intratrek Zimbabwe fronted by businessman Wicknell Chivhayo, landed another multi-million dollar contract for the re-powering of Munyati, which has been dogged by irregularities relating to the way the tender was awarded.

Jaguar Overseas and Intratrek were awarded the rehabilitation tender at an EPC price of $113 million excluding taxes. The alleged irregularities stem from concerns raised by the ZPC accounting officer who expressed reservations about Jaguar Overseas’ ability to fund the re-powering of Munyati when it was struggling to secure funding for Harare.

In a development that casts aspersions on the Indian firm’s suitability to undertake the local re-powering projects, ZPC has already secured funding from India Eximbank, the same institution that spurned Jaguar Overseas’ application.

India Eximbank last year agreed to finance the $87 million re-powering project for another ZPC thermal power plant, in Bulawayo Power Station, to upgrade the station and restore its capacity to 120MW.

Tendering for the EPC contract is already underway in India. After it was spurned by India Eximbank, Jaguar Overseas turned its focus on Afreximbank, but has not been able to secure the requisite funding with ZPC indicating that it was awaiting feedback on whether there was progress. “India Eximbank turned down the request for funding by Jaguar Overseas to re-power Harare Power Station. Jaguar have since pursued other options and we are yet to receive feedback from them,” ZPC said in response to enquiries.

The re-powering of Harare Power Station is part of ZPC, a generation unit of State-owned utility Zesa Holdings. Zesa has a grand plan to raise power production by refurbishing three small thermals to close deficit with output at 1 000MW against peak demand of 1 400MW.

Other bigger projects entail expanding Kariba South by 300MW and 920MW capacity Hwange Power Station, which though currently average 480MW, by a further 600MW through units 7 and 8. “The tender for Munyati re-powering was awarded to Jaguar by the State Procurement Board. A due diligence exercise was later done in 2016 which raised a few issues of concern. We are in the process of resolving them and looking forward to a positive outcome soon.”

Local communities must benefit from wildlife sanctuaries: Minister

Source: Local communities must benefit from wildlife sanctuaries: Minister | The Herald May 26, 2017

From Tawanda Mangoma in CHIREDZI
Government is concerned with challenges faced by communities surrounding wildlife sanctuaries countrywide, whose livelihoods are being disrupted by wild animals as human-wildlife conflicts escalate. In a speech read on her behalf by Acting Director in the Department of Environment in the Ministry ofEnvironment, Water and Climate Mr Wilfred Motsa at a conference here on Wednesday, Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said communities that were living within wildlife areas should earn a living from revenue generated by such projects.

She said with more villagers losing their livestock and crops to stray wild animals, communities continued to lobby Government to design a compensation scheme.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri, who was officially opening the Second Research Platform “Production and Conservation in Partnership”, acknowledged the bureaucratic structure of Government data capturing.

She said this had seen community voices failing to be captured in policy formulation.

“The nature of our geographical set-up in this region and administrative structures is that the community voice does not always reach the desired targets, be they decision makers and policy makers,” she said.

“As a result, most community stakeholders pay a huge price of co-existing with wildlife resources, but when benefits are shared, the communities would be the last to receive the benefits and dividends from the wildlife resources.”

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri challenged researchers to help Government find lasting solutions to the pressing effects of climate change and human wildlife conflicts.

“We are pleased to note that most of the participants here are academics and researchers, these are the appropriate and suitable players to identify weaknesses, gaps, strategies and opportunities in the human-wildlife conflict and rural development matrix in general,” she said.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri added: “With the ever-increasing menace of Climate Change and other associated environmental challenges, human population pressure, growing elephant populations, competition for land, food production losses and biodiversity losses, the human wildlife conflict remains.”

Deputy French Ambassador Mr Lionel Canny said his government was prepared to continue cooperating with Zimbabwe in research and scientific cooperation.

He said France used to face cases of human-wildlife conflict, but researchers helped in mapping the way forward.

“In France, we had a similar difficulty when wolfs appeared in areas around 20 years ago, we had to deal with the problem of coexistence between wildlife and human beings,” said Mr Canny.

He said scientific research could play a key role in addressing human-wildlife conflict.

“Therefore, our common objective is not only to preserve on a proper management of nature protection, that can be an additional source of livelihood for the local population,” he said.

“To achieve that goal, the scientific research can play a key role.”

The conference is running under the theme, “Co-existing within Trans Frontier Conservation Areas: Local Perspectives”.

SA embassy staff in bribery storm

Source: SA embassy staff in bribery storm | The Herald May 26, 2017

Herald Reporter
Zimbabweans seeking work or study permits in South Africa have called for the censure of two South African embassy officials, whom they accuse of demanding bribes to process their permits. The two were identified as Mrs Grace Segkole and a Mr Malebogo. Some of the victims of the alleged corruption, who spoke to The Herald said the two officials should either be reassigned or relieved of their duties.

“I got a job in South Africa, but my employers said I should first obtain a permit from the South African embassy here in Zimbabwe,” said the a source who refused to be named for fear of reprisals.

“I then applied for a permit here and my papers were not processed on time. It was after my interaction with Ms Segkole that I was advised that I should pay something to them for my papers to be processed.

“I paid my money and within a week my papers were processed. I later on discovered that I was not alone in this situation, but other Zimbabweans, whom I met in South Africa testified that they also paid bribes for their papers to be processed.

“I thought I should highlight this so that corrective measures are taken.”

Another affected person said she failed to raise the money that was asked for as a kick-back to have her papers processed.

“I got a vacant to study at a university in Johannesburg, but I missed that opportunity after failing to raise the money that was being demanded by two of the embassy staff,” she said.

“I submitted all the required paperwork at the embassy, but nothing was processed until I was told that I should pay a token to the people who were supposed to process my papers.

“This is clear corruption and I fear if I mention my name they may blacklist me and when I want to apply for another permit they will deny my application. I urge the responsible authorities to investigate this matter.”

South African embassy’s Counsellor (Political) Mr Linda Masso said in an interview that they would investigate the matter if people brought forward evidence of the alleged corruption.

“We want evidence that can enable us to take action,” he said. “We have not heard of that, but if you do not have names of people attesting that they have been asked to pay bribes it will be difficult for us to investigate.

“As an embassy we cannot be part to that story when there is no evidence.”

Mr Masso said there was a local employee, who was fired on account of corruption and it was important to do through investigations on the matter.

Govt moots fuel levy •Proposed road accident fund cited •Payouts, medical cover for crash victims

Source: Govt moots fuel levy •Proposed road accident fund cited •Payouts, medical cover for crash victims | The Herald May 26, 2017

Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau—
Government intends to introduce a fuel levy to finance a new Road Accident Fund to ensure compulsory compensation of road traffic accident victims. The fund will also cover disbursements of funds to victims on compassionate and medical grounds. Various options on the structure and operations of the fund are still under consideration, with focus on the South African, Namibian and Botswana models.

The South African model entails 11 cents per litre in local currency levied on motorists that goes towards the fund.

It raises about $2 billion annually and covers loss of a relative in an accident, medical costs in the event of injury, post-hospital costs and loss of future earning, depending on one’s capacity before the accident.

The South African model has been saddled with structural and operational challenges that have seen it being described as the “lawyers and doctors’ business”, as most payouts cover legal and medical claims.

Due to payout for loss of future earnings, rich claimants take up significant chunks of the money, it was also established.

Addressing stakeholders at a meeting in Karoi recently, the director responsible for transport in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development Mr Allowance Sango said Government was proposing the fund for compulsory compensation.

“We are proposing compulsory compensation, which ensures that people get health services when they need them soon after an accident. “The fund will also address the state of preparedness in the event of an accident, as most people lose their lives because they don’t get specialised medical care in time.”

Experts say most people’s lives could be saved if they get specialised care within the first hour known as the “Golden Hour” of an accident occurring.

Mr Sango said the setting up of the road accident fund would address Pillar 5 of the Moscow Declaration, which deals with post-crash management.

The fund is expected to bolster paramedic visibility on the country’s roads and institutions.

In most cases, ambulance services have been hesitant to attend to people injured at accident scenes because of uncertainty over payment.

“Paramedic services will not worry about being paid because there is an established fund, which will cater for that,” said Mr Sango.

The establishment of the fund, he said, would provide an opportunity for Private-Public-Partnerships for procurement of helicopters and other specialised vehicles.

Stakeholders at the consultative meeting said the fund should be domiciled under the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ).

“What we do not want is for another board, executive and other premises which will chew more money, but a lean and efficient structure that really serves the interests of the people,” said a participant.

The Namibian and Botswana schemes are hybrids, borrowing the framework of the South African model, but with some adjustments.

TSCZ director for finance and administration Mr Clifford Gobo said the South African model required the use of lawyers to process claims, while the Namibian one had defined benefits and payout thresholds.

“The Namibian fund has partnered government to build a rehabilitation centre for accident victims,” said Mr Gobo. “The Botswana fund is mainly funded from the fuel levy, with 90 percent of the money coming from investments the fund has made.”

The Namibian and Botswana funds are running at a surplus, while the South African fund is running into challenges.

Of the R33 billion reportedly generated by the South African fund last year, R6,6bn went to lawyers, while R120 million went to medical expenses.

It dealt with R424 million fraudulent claims, with provisions to claim for loss of future earning drawing R126 million.

Participants at the workshop, although welcoming the introduction of the fund, called for stringent mechanisms to deal with corruption and unequal access to the funds and services between the rich and the poor.

“There should be a cap on how much someone can claim, so that we don’t have a situation where the rich get richer while the poor get poorer,” said Mr Tendai Katepa.

Several people gave testimonies of how they were involved in an accident, but did not get any compensation.

It emerged that most people were being injured in unregistered and uninsured vehicles known variously as Mushikashika and Tsviriyo.

Zimbabwe has an estimated vehicle population of about 1,2 million, which is growing at a rate of between five and 10 percent per year.

Kasukuwere saga needs closure: Affiliates

Source: Kasukuwere saga needs closure: Affiliates | The Herald May 26, 2017

Felex Share Herald Reporter—
zanu-pf organs and affiliate organisations yesterday said the case of embattled national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere demands closure as it risks affecting preparations for next year’s harmonised elections. They said Cde Kasukuwere, who was rejected by nine of the party’s 10 provinces, continued to sow seeds of division in the revolutionary party by making unilateral decisions yet he should have recused himself from commissariat business until his case is dealt with by the Politburo.

This comes after Cde Kasukuwere this week trashed the party’s communication channels and procedures by unilaterally disqualifying Cde Pearson Mbalekwa from contesting the July 15 Chiwundura by-election on the revolutionary party’s ticket.

Cde Kasukuwere disqualified Cde Mbalekwa via a text message from Mexico where he was attending the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Mbalekwa case raised the spectre of Norton where Cde Kasukuwere imposed one Ronald Chindedza who ended up losing the by-election to independent candidate Mr Temba Mliswa.

Cde Kasukuwere is accused of creating parallel structures in a bid to topple President Mugabe, fanning factionalism, corruption and shutting out youths and women from Kitsiyatota Gold Mine in Bindura for his benefit.

Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators (ZILIWACO) vice chairperson Cde Josephine Gandiya said Cde Kasukuwere was no longer fit for public office.

“The people have spoken and we want party programmes to go ahead as we have elections around the corner,” she said.

“The Politburo knows that the party is for the people and we expect it to hear the people’s wishes.

“They should listen to what the people want and we move forward.”

In the Midlands saga, Cde Kasukuwere chose to by-pass his deputy Cde Omega Hungwe who was the returning officer in the primary elections.

He instead sent a text message to one of the directors in the Commissariat Department who was only identified as Cde Gwazemba announcing that Cde Mbalekwa was not eligible to stand for primaries.

Cde Mbalekwa ,who later recused himself from the by-election, had won the primaries with 1 551 votes against his closest rival Cde Brown Ndlovu who got 1 196.

He contested the primaries after his name, together with 20 others, were approved by the Provincial Elections Directorate and submitted to the National Elections Directorate that did not contest his candidature.

Procedurally, if the National Elections Directorate had misgivings with any of the candidates submitted to it, it was supposed to write back to the Provincial Elections Directorate through the secretary for administration.

An official from the Women’s League said: “Uyu (Cde Kasukuwere) musungwa uyu and should not do anything in the party until he has been cleared. He should stop meddling in the provincial affairs because this is what made us lose the Norton by-election when he imposed Cde Ronald Chidedza against the wishes of the people. We thought when President Mugabe lashed out at him over that he would listen but now he is in Midlands doing what he knows best, sowing seeds of division. That is why everyone is saying his case should be dealt with once and for all.”

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairman Cde Chris Mutsvangwa rebuked Cde Kasukuwere’s abuse of power.

“That is abuse and personalisation of zanu-pf by clueless and disorderly G40. Why does Tyson issue a statement from a foreign country? There ought to be an acting political commissar. Kufa kwemujoni kamba haivharwe.

“Even His Excellency the President does not do that. He has an Acting President. For security and protocol, pronouncements of State have to be issued from the seat of power. What if Kasukuwere has been kidnapped in a foreign land and is under duress. Crass ignorance is the hallmark of G40 and compulsive dictatorial proclivity to the abuse of State power.”

Zimbabwe Ex-political Prisoners Detainees Restrictees Association (Zipedra) chairman Cde Victor Kuretu, said the party’s leadership should make a determination on Cde Kasukuwere for the sake of progress.

“We are all being held by this but we wait for direction from the Politburo. Whatever the Politburo says is what we are going to follow,” he said.

A Youth League national executive member who declined to be named said by issuing the directive to Midlands, Cde Kasukuwere was testing waters.

“He was testing his power but unfortunately he did that using the wrong party procedure,” said the official.

“He wants to kick out Cde Mbalekwa out of the party not forgetting that his allies (Prof Jonathan Moyo among them) once wrote damming pieces about the President and Zanu-PF but today they are in the party and some are Members of Parliament while some are Ministers. The party cannot afford to have such a commissar at a time we are going for elections.”

Zanu-PF Politburo member and a senior official from Midlands province Cde Joram Gumbo, on Wednesday said communication must be done through the relevant party channels.

He said although Cde Mbalekwa was once suspended from the party in 2004 and contested elections on an MDC-T ticket, some of those suspended together with him were now sitting Members of Parliament while others had risen to the Politburo and Central Committee.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo added: “There are laid down rules that should be followed when disqualifying a candidate. You cannot make an independent decision. You go by the rules.”

The affiliates said they would wait for direction from the Politburo.

ZANU-PF chefs scramble for assets

Source: ZANU-PF chefs scramble for assets | The Financial Gazette May 25, 2017

  • Properties around Tokwe-Mukosi Dam targeted

ZANU-PF bigwigs are rubbing their hands in glee, ready to pounce on prime commercial land around Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Masvingo in what could turn out to be yet another scandal benefiting the nouveau-riche in the governing party.

The Financial Gazette can reveal that heavyweights in ZANU-PF and business people sympathetic to the ruling party are hustling to lay their hands on enormous opportunities presented by the completion of the massive inland lake, constructed in Chivi District at a cost of US$300 million.

Conceptualised almost 90 years ago, the 1,8 billion mega-litre Tokwe Mukosi Dam is seen changing the face of the drought-prone Chivi District by opening new business frontiers that would uplift surrounding communities.

Earmarked to support the dam, whose construction started in 1998, are irrigation schemes, tourism enterprises such as hotels, lodges, restaurant and recreational activities such as boating rowing, fishing and canoeing, not to mention other upstream and downstream ventures that depend on these enterprises.

Scores of fresh jobs are expected to be created, as a result, generating new sources of revenue for the cash-starved fiscus, currently living from hand to mouth.
Highly-placed sources said the huge capital outlays involved in bringing some of these enterprises to fruition has led some of the politicians to consider looking beyond Zimbabwe’s borders for resourced partners whose investment thresholds in the greenfield projects would be restricted to less than 49 percent in line with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, although its provisions could be waived.

The dam has also attracted the attention of Angolan President, Eduardo dos Santos’ billionaire daughter, Isabel, whose interests span across oil, telecommunications, mining and tourism.
Ranked by Forbes Magazine as the richest woman in Africa with a net worth of US$3,5 billion, dos Santos has made contact with President Robert Mugabe’s administration through Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister, Shuvai Mahofa, amid indications that powerful ZANU-PF politicians were angling to become her local empowerment partners.

A coterie of other investors, including those from South Korea, ranked the 11th largest in the world and the fourth largest in Asia have also made enquiries.
Investors are mostly interested in an island located in the middle of the vast lake, said to be free from swamping even if the dam fills to capacity.

The island has potential to be a prime tourist attraction where a hotel could be built.
Contacted for comment, Mahofa confirmed meeting investors from all “over the world”, including the daughter of dos Santos, Isabel and South Koreans.

She, however, dismissed reports that ZANU-PF chefs were in the running for the projects.
“Yes, it is true. We have met her (Isabel) and the Koreans. We have said to them they should wait for us to finish our planning and once we are done, they will be free to come and negotiate with us,” said Mahofa.

“We meet so many investors on a daily basis. Some call us, some come here physically. We have told them that we would come back to them when we have finished our planning. It’s good that they are coming and we are actually appealing to the media to help us market the dam”.

Interestingly, a development committee, made up to high-ranking ZANU-PF officials has been established to determine the kind of investors to be accommodated in the non-farming businesses around Tokwe-Mukosi Dam.
The committee is chaired by the ruling party’s Gutu Central legislator and Politburo member, Lovemore Matuke, who is deputised by ZANU-PF Masvingo provincial chairman, Ezra Chadzamira.

Representatives from Masvingo’s administrative districts, seconded by party districts, complete the committee. Mahofa confirmed the existence of the committee, saying it will work closely with the provincial lands committee in identifying and allocating projects.

Ideally, this should be the role of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA), born out of the merger of the Export Processing Zones Authority and the Zimbabwe Investment Centre to create a one-stop-shop for quicker and easier investment. ZIA’s mandate is to promote and facilitate both foreign direct investment and local investment.

This week, Matuke thumbed his nose at ZIA saying his committee would only work with people who would have been approved by the ZANU-PF leadership.
“Our committee doesn’t operate on its own; we have leaders at the top who recommend people we can work with. We are a bit on the technical side,” he said.

Reports also suggest that government could move thousands of people from their villages in Chivi and Mwenezi District to pave way for the establishment of a 25 000-hectare irrigation scheme for which the dam was primarily built.

Villagers within the vicinity of the dam are therefore seething with anger amid fears that they could completely miss out on the planned projects.
Among the irate villagers are 20 000 people who were removed from the dam site during construction who were temporarily settled at Chingwizi Camp.

Talk has it that the settlers at Chingwizi Camp have been forgotten, as ZANU-PF heavyweights are now prioritising their own interests at their expense.
Mahofa claimed this week that the villagers would be the first beneficiaries of the irrigation scheme.
She said: “I am actually coming from a meeting in which I emphasised that these people will be the first to benefit from the irrigation scheme. So they should be rest assured because they will be first to benefit.”

Observers said politics of patronage should have no place in Zimbabwe.
If Tokwe-Mukosi is to be a success story, the investment rule book needs to be followed to the letter.
Economist, John Robertson, said the setting up of a committee of politicians to lead the process was an affront on investment.

“That’s the sort of thing that prevents investment. The last thing real investors would want is someone trying to use their political privilege to make money saying people who want to invest should come to me. Once we do that, we make it very difficult for investors and they will say we are better staying away,” said Robertson.

“I would advise government to start making an investment plan. Investors are attracted by good planning. That area needs a good business plan and once we have that plan, we can sit back and let investors compete on their own. Projects of that nature need planners who are able to imagine what could happen in the near future and plan projects around the dam, which will attract investors who are willing to stay,” he added.

Economist, Kingston Kanyile, said priority should be given to locals, followed by partnerships with external investors.

“We will never realise the full value of that dam if local people are left out,” he said. “Let us give locals the right of first refusal and balance that out with the aspirations of foreign investors.”
Kanyile said if the local political leadership were to be involved, it should be through ZIA, for transparency purposes. newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

Stockfeed shortage looms

Source: Stockfeed shortage looms | The Financial Gazette May 25, 2017

ZIMBABWE is destined for a serious shortage of stockfeed and edible oil after only 20 000 tonnes of soyabean were produced during the just-ended rainfall season, way outside the country’s annual national requirement of 134 000 tonnes.

The 2016/17 season’s harvest is just enough to manufacture two months’ supply of stockfeed and edible oil.

With only 15 percent of the country’s yearly requirement available on the domestic market, a flood of buyers will be forced to chase a small crop, leading to price escalations.
In simple economics, price increases occur where too much money chases too few goods.
In this case, livestock breeders would have to pay through the nose to purchase stockfeed to ensure that the quality of their livestock is not negatively impacted on, otherwise they would end up fetching very little income from their animals.

To bridge the 114 000 soyabean deficit, government will be forced to import, compounding the liquidity pressures that the central bank is currently grappling with.
As of yesterday, soyabean was fetching a price of US$412 per tonne on the South African Futures Exchange.
This translates to a landing price of US$606 per tonne in Zimbabwe, inclusive of a premium on foreign currency on the domestic market.

Going by the least-cost landing price of US$512 per tonne, the country will have to part with at least US$58 million in scarce foreign currency to bridge the 114 000 tonnes deficit.
Experts said the deficit worsened after farmers reduced the hectarage for the crop during the just-ended summer rainfall season.

Soyabean production has been on a steady decline over the past few years.
Last year, farmers produced 47 700 tonnes of soyabean, down from 57 900 tonnes in 2015.
Unlike other crops such as maize and cotton that received substantial financial support from Treasury under Command Agriculture, soyabean production hardly received any.
As a result, farmers had to abandon the crop in favour of those where the availability of inputs such as fertilisers, seed and chemicals were funded by government.

Yields for soyabean have, therefore, remained below the commercial production benchmark, with a national yield of 1,5 tonnes per hectare and 0,5 tonnes per hectare for small growers, whereas yields of up to 4,5 tonnes per hectare are encouraged.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union president, Abdul Nyathi, said the soyabean sub-sector had been grossly underfunded.

What is not helping matters is that the producer price is too low to encourage farmers to produce enough to satisfy demand in the livestock and oil industry.
“With the prevailing cost of production, soyabeans lost value on the market; it became uncompetitive to produce soyabeans. This year, it was lucrative for farmers to produce maize than soyabeans because soyabean is a cash crop that requires high cost maintenance unlike maize,” said Nyathi.
“Maize pricing right now is profitable for the farmers unlike soyabeans considering the fact that for the last five years the prices were very low and in some instances the prices were at par with the maize price of US$390 per tonne,” he added.

Soybean is processed for its oil and protein for the animal feed industry.
A smaller percentage of it is processed for human consumption and made into products including soy milk, soy flour, soy protein, tofu and many retail food products.
Soyabean is also used in many non-food industrial products.

For livestock breeders, a viable alternative would have been to substitute soyacake with sunflower cake.
There is, however, a serious shortage of sunflower seed on the domestic market, which means that imports become untenable.

In South Africa, sunflower cake is readily available and can land in Harare at anything between US$420 and US$470 per tonne.
Bulawayo South legislator and economist, Eddie Cross, is convinced that the long-term solution to the sub-sector’s challenges lies in finalising the contentious issue of security of tenure, the availability of credit, inputs and developing a market for the product.

According to the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) Update Report for March 2017, Zimbabwe imported 78 900 tonnes of soyameal last year, valued at US$47,3 million.
“The average landed price of soyameal in 2016 was US$599 per tonne. As the scarcity of foreign currency intensified at the end of 2016, local soyameal prices surged to US$680 per tonne in December,” the report said.

“The acute shortage of foreign currency payment facilities, tight liquidity conditions and cash shortages continue to dominate the economic narrative of (the) industry,” it added.
Owing to the controversial land reforms of 2000, Zimbabwe has witnessed a huge slump in the production of key crops.

The agrarian reforms disrupted farming activities as land was expropriated from the minority whites and distributed to the majority poorly funded blacks, who also had little knowledge of farming.
The ZANU-PF government has justified the programme as meant to address past historical imbalances.
The haphazard nature that characterised the exercise resulted in Zimbabwe losing its breadbasket status in the region, assuming the status of a basket-case.

Zambia, which used to import from Zimbabwe, absorbed some of the dispossessed white farmers and is now emerging as a major powerhouse in agriculture.

Zimbabwe’s northwest neighbours are expecting to harvest 300 000 tonnes of soyabeans this year and have carryover stocks from 2016 of 100 000 tonnes against their domestic requirements of 120 000 tonnes.
Soyabean is trading at between US$425 to US$480 per tonnes in Zambia while soya-meal is at US$450 per tonnes with exports potentially landing in Harare at US$510 per tonne or US$637, inclusive of a premium on foreign currency.

At these prices, Zambia could pocket a cool US$54,7 million if Zimbabwe is to import the 114 000 tonnes of soyabean from Lusaka.
Importing from South Africa, with a landing price of US$606 per tonne, would chew US$69,1 million in scarce foreign currency resources. newsdesk@fingaz.co.zw

NSSA rejects Cold Storage Company board

Source: NSSA rejects Cold Storage Company board | The Financial Gazette May 25, 2017

THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has thrown down the gauntlet by refusing to inject new money into the troubled Cold Storage Company (CSC) until a 12-member board appointed by government last month has been dissolved.

NSSA intends to inject US$18 million of pensioners’ money into the parastatal to pull it back from the brink of collapse.

CSC has been reduced to a shell through years of unchecked mismanagement and asset stripping and hence requires nothing short of a competent board and management team to revive it.
It also requires a huge bailout to set it on a recovery path and retire expensive debt.
But that capital injection might hit a snag because the pay-as-you-go NSSA pension scheme does not have the confidence in the newly-appointed CSC board.

NSSA board chairman, Robin Vela, said the authority would only pump in new money into CSC once the current board has been dissolved and a new, inspiring line-up put in its place. The authority is not convinced that the newly-appointed board has what it takes to turnaround the parastatal, in which government is the sole shareholder.

“We want a board of proven competent people. This is pensioners’ money and should be injected into an entity and board that exhibits signs of being business-minded,” said Vela, an investment banker.
“It is only fair to invest in a company that has potential and right people to make profits”.
The board, appointed by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Joseph Made, has Sylvia Khumalo-Jiyane as chairperson.

Khumalo-Jiyane is deputised by Nemrod Chiminya.
To complete the cast up are board members Emily Mumbengegwi; Anxious Masuka; Rufaro Mazunze; Khodholo Setaboli; the chief executive officer of CSC, Ngoni Chinogaramombe; Peter Nyoni; Cecilia Paradza; Bhekhithemba Nkomo and two Ministry of Agriculture representatives, Unesu Ushewokunze-Obatolu and Reston Muzamhindo.

Nyoni, Paradza and Nkomo represent NSSA to the board.
The CSC board has set tongues wagging following revelations that a quarter of the appointees were related, in one way or the other, to bigwigs in President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet.
For example, Chiminya is brother to Home Affairs Minister, Ignatius Chombo, who also happens to be the ZANU-PF secretary for administration – placing him fourth in the ruling party’s hierarchy.
Mumbengegwi is the wife of Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
Nyoni, although he came through NSSA, is husband to Sithembiso Nyoni, the Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development.

There are also questions around the independence of the CSC board considering that Ushewokunze-Obatolu and Muzamindo are from its parent ministry, where they serve as principal director for livestock and principal director in charge of farm mechanisation, respectively.
NSSA has since communicated to the CSC management and its parent ministry that it will have nothing to do with the parastatal until a new board comprising a maximum of nine members with a proven track record of having the potential to revive the company has been appointed.

On Monday, Vela met with Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister, Paddington Zhanda, to discuss the matter, among other issues.

“Our vision is to create a company whose board and management has what it takes to revive the company so that it can be able to export to lucrative markets, earning the much-needed foreign currency (while) at the same time satisfying the local market,” Vela said.
While NSSA may have made its reservations known to the appointing authority, government is not known for listening to dissenting voices.

It is therefore highly unlikely that NSSA would prevail, chiefly because it can barely claim to have the autonomy to flex its muscles since it falls under the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare who can easily whip Vela and his team into line.
The newly-appointed NSSA board also went through a lengthy process of vetting by the Office of the President and Cabinet before receiving the thumbs up at that top level. That alone means that President Mugabe had a hand in the board’s appointment and may not want to be seen to have failed in scrutinising the nominees before appointing them.

By challenging CSC and Made, the NSSA board has inadvertently challenged the President which, while it is the appropriate thing to do for any shrewd investor, is unprecedented Zimbabwe.
If President Mugabe and Made were to give in, they would have given NSSA the teeth to bite and be effective, which has been lacking in the past.

It would also come as a welcome development in the investor community, where the ruling ZANU-PF government stands accused of advancing political considerations at the expense of economic pragmatism.
Future appointments to parastatals could only get better should this happen. Of late, NSSA has been vocal about its investments in listed companies, becoming unpopular with some executives.
This year, NSSA has been up in arms with CBZ Holdings and ZB Financial Holdings over the companies’ corporate governance shortcomings.

NSSA believes there is room for improvement in the performance of many of its investee companies to the extent of declaring a healthy dividend.

A right structure in all its investments that maximises efficiencies and ultimately profitability and growth would result in the State pensioner’s returns increasing.

This would allow it to pursue long-term projects of strategic national importance and review upwards its pension payouts.

Zhanda declined to comment about his discussions with Vela, referring all questions to his boss, Made, who was not immediately available for comment.
“It is only fair for you to talk to the Minister on that issue,” he said.
At one time, CSC was the largest meat processor in southern Africa, processing 150 000 tonnes of beef and associated by-products annually.

Some of that meat was exported to European Union markets, where CSC had an annual quota of 9 100 tonnes, earning the country at least US$45 million worth of foreign currency annually.
CSC is currently operating at less than 10 percent capacity.

It owns abattoirs in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Chinhoyi and Kadoma and several ranches across the country although the majority of them are currently derelict, with only the Bulawayo unit functional.
The parastatal’s farms have a carrying capacity of 8 533 animals, but currently have a herd of about 700. The parastatal is saddled with a US$25 million debt, which it has been battling to service.

ZCTU swallows pride

Source: ZCTU swallows pride | The Financial Gazette May 25, 2017

PARTNERS within the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) have finally broken the impasse that was threatening to derail the country’s labour law reform process.
This follows a major climb down by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which was putting spanners into the works.

The union had condemned the work of a consultant, Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners, appointed to craft the Zero Draft Labour Bill, alleging that their appointment was unilateral.

ZCTU had also threatened to abandon the reform process under the pretext that the Bill contradicted most of the agreements arrived at by the social partners — labour, government and employers.
But in a major voltae-face, the main labour union said it will now participate in the labour law reform process under the TNF.

“The impasse was broken after the authorities agreed to have our views incorporated,” said ZCTU’s secretary general, Japhet Moyo.

The legal adviser for the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Precious Sibiya and Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe president, Josephat Kahwema, also confirmed the development, which is key in finalising the labour law reform process.

“We shall be working together and we will not allow principles that were never discussed and agreed on to be smuggled into the Labour Bill,” said Kahwema.

Despite the latest twist, suspicions remain rife among the social partners.
ZCTU is suspicious that government may have agreed to incorporate suggestions from the ZCTU to hoodwink the International Labour Organisation (ILO) ahead of its conference next month.
“This development could be meant to pacify the ILO and soon after that the focus would be on the 2018 election preparations,” said Moyo.

It’s not the first time that major concessions have been made ahead of key ILO events. On May 18, 2015, the social partners met after half a decade and pledged to work towards amending the Labour Act and other pieces of legislation compromising workers’ rights.

That meeting was held almost a fortnight before that year’s ILO conference.
Almost two months after the 2015 ILO conference, the Supreme Court passed the infamous July 17 ruling that saw thousands of workers losing their jobs.

Last year, the social partners met again a few weeks before the ILO conference and agreed on 13 principles that were to become the basis of the Labour Act amendment.
However, soon after the conference, the partners began to sing a different tune, hence the production of the contentious Zero Draft Labour Bill.

The ILO has recommended that there was need to urgently review the impact of the July 17 Supreme Court judgment and the Zero Draft Labour Bill.

It also urged government to reform the Public Service Act to allow civil servants to enjoy collective bargaining rights just like their counterparts in the private sector.
The ILO said the Public Order and Security Act should be amended such that it does not stifle workers rights to demonstrate.

Will new Highway Code tame traffic jungle?

Source: Will new Highway Code tame traffic jungle? | The Financial Gazette May 25, 2017

A PIRATE taxi makes an abrupt stop at an undesignated pick-up point in the middle of Harare’s Leopold Takawira Street.

A woman dashes into the crammed car which speeds off before the door is shut as police officers tried to throw spikes to deflate the vehicle’s tyres.

In the ensuing commotion, pedestrians scurried for safety in all directions.
Just a stone’s throw away, another chase is on as a commuter omnibus driver sped against traffic along the one-way Jason Moyo Avenue, with a police car in hot pursuit.

For a moment, vendors and pedestrians are distracted as they take time to watch the movie-style chase.
Suddenly, the commuter omnibus branched off into a sanitary lane and vanished.
It was yet another futile effort for the police as heavy traffic rendered any further chase dangerous.
These scenes are a mere snippet of the traffic jungle that the country’s roads, especially in the capital, have become.

Last year, the roads recorded 38 620 accidents, with 1 720 people losing their lives, while 11 379 were injured, according to the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
Statistics from the Central Vehicle Registry indicate that Zimbabwe has an estimated 1,2 million vehicles plying its dilapidated road network, that has become a real nightmare to navigate.
A spike in lawlessness on the country’s roads has reached endemic levels.

Central business districts have become the most dangerous places for shoppers and road users themselves.
Government’s recent attempts to, among other things, tame the traffic jungle by launching a new Highway Code to replace the old one, which had been in existence since 1972 when the vehicle population on the country’s roads was estimated to be less than 300 000, is therefore commendable.

Zimbabwe has adopted Southern African Development Community (SADC) road signs and signals, with motorists, cyclists and pedestrians expected to acquaint themselves with the new Highway Code.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Joram Gumbo, believes the new Highway Code will tame the traffic jungle.
He said the upgraded version of the Highway Code was a must-have for all road users.

“It has specific rules for categories of road users. I would like to appeal to all road authorities, all urban councils and rural district councils to ensure that they erect the new signs and signals and other devices as required by Statutory Instrument 41 of 2016 and the SADC design manual,” he said.
The new signs, which prohibit jaywalking and hitch-hiking, are expected to improve the flow of traffic.
The new Highway Code also has new signs and signals for passengers, pedestrians and animal-drawn carts that must also have reflectors.

According to the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ), the new road signs are currently being implemented with the newly-refurbished Plumtree-Mutare Highway pioneering the project.
Cities such as Harare, Mutare and Bulawayo have also started erecting the road signs, while some of the rural district councils may not be affected because they have no areas within their jurisdictions where such signage could be erected.

But many road users are still not aware of the new road signs, with some motorists professing ignorance about the use of the yellow box junctions that have so far been drawn at robot-controlled intersections along Harare’s Samora Machel Avenue and other roads.
A motorist, Admire Garwe, said he just saw the yellow box insignia, but no one has explained to him its function.

“I personally feel that the authorities should do awareness campaigns and road shows to conscientise road users about the new regulations,” said Garwe.
His views were corroborated by surveys done by the Passengers’ Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ).
PAZ president, Tafadzwa Goliati, said surveys carried out in Harare showed that some drivers, including driving school instructors, were not yet aware of the new rules.

…An estimated 1,2 million vehicles ply Zimbabwe roads

…Over 38 000 road traffic accidents recorded last year

“The main challenge now, as shown by our surveys, is that most drivers and instructors do not know anything about the new signs and regulations, so the new regulations may not have the desired effects,” said Goliati.

“For example, the box junction requires that no vehicle must enter the box when there is another car in the box. It was designed to avoid congestion, but it is not serving its purpose because people do not know its purpose,” he added.

A visit to some of the driving schools in the capital showed that the instructors were still struggling to teach prospective drivers about the new Highway Code and the situation has been exacerbated by unscrupulous traders who are still selling the phased out Highway Code on the streets.
An instructor with a driving school in Harare, Enock Mutimusakwa, said a lot more needed to be done to teach licenced drivers and prospective drivers about the new road regulations.

Although the new code is already in use, Vehicle Inspection Department chief inspector, Joseph Pedzapasi, said they have no immediate plans to review the learner’s licence test and the driver’s test since the new traffic infrastructure and road signs are yet to be put up.

“We have not yet started implementing the new regulations because the road signs are still very few. If you look around Harare and other towns, you will realise that there are no or few signs erected,” said Pedzapasi.

“It is a process, a very long process and we are only required to complete its full implementation by 2025, although our aim is to do it in the shortest possible period. We may start at town level going up depending on who would have made progress and we will take it from there.”
TSCZ managing director, Obio Chinyere, said they were seized with teaching members of the public about the new Highway Code.

“Recently, we were at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair teaching the public about the new Highway Code. We are also planning towards the global road safety week, where we will do roadshows,” he said. The Global Road Safety week was scheduled for this month from May 8 to 14

TSCZ spokesperson, Ernest Muchena, noted that the main objective of adopting SADC road signage was to assist drivers within the region to correctly interpret road rules to avoid accidents.

“Zimbabwe is a SADC member country and all other SADC member countries agreed that they should have uniform signage in the region after having realised that the movement of traffic within the region at times entails the driver to drive from a Portuguese-speaking country maybe into an English-speaking country, and sometimes (they come across) signage that maybe in a foreign language that they do not understand,” Muchena noted.

Tokwe-Mukosi: Game changer or another dummy?

Source: Tokwe-Mukosi: Game changer or another dummy? | The Financial Gazette May 25, 2017

IT is almost impossible to dispassionately describe the panorama. But elementary geography informs that some inestimable years ago, igneous rock lava inruded into this part of the world, resulting in the formation of the present day rolling hills that show bald granite outcrops visible from a great distance.

Deep valleys blend perfectly with the hills, revealing a rare gem in the otherwise dry and perennially thirsty scrubland called Chivi in Masvingo province.
Snaking through the intertwined valleys are two rivers — Tokwe and Mukosi — which confluence just above one of the valleys.

At the confluence, the rivers plunge through a beautiful gorge that mesmerised ancient dwellers who named it Gororo after being awed by the deafening roar produced by the mass of water as it made its way through the gorge.
Gororo is local lingo for robber.

Today’s Chivi elders strongly believe that the gorge earned its name from “robbing” people of their kindred and livestock by sweeping them away downstream.
The gorge would in the process assume a sacred role in the hearts and minds of the local people, who believed it to be a sanctuary for ancestral spirits.

And never in their lives did they imagine that modern machinery such as caterpillars and front-end loaders would one day ravage and tame the power of the two rivers.
But it had to take 86 years for Tokwe and Mukosi rivers to be tamed into what is now Zimbabwe’s biggest inland lake.

Last week, the Financial Gazette, joined thousands of villagers drawn from all over Masvingo province to witness the commissioning of Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam — first planned almost a century ago in 1931.
The feat of taming the Tokwe and Mukosi rivers did not only attract the villagers, but political bigwigs, who raced to the area in monster vehicles that tossed dust onto cone-shaped huts as they rolled over the thirsty earth.

In essence, the entire Masvingo province converged last week at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam to witness its official opening.

For once, the event was full of encouraging promise that the lives of Chivi villagers would now change forever.

But by the end of the official opening ceremony, the villagers still had no answers to their many lingering questions. Built at a cost of US$300 million, the dam holds back 1,8 billion cubic metres of water, creating a mammoth lake which has since become the biggest inside Zimbabwe.

Plans are that it shall irrigate at least 25 000 hectares of yet to be demarcated land downstream.
As President Robert Mugabe pointed out in his unusually short keynote address, soon after commissioning the dam, it is indeed not an exaggeration that Tokwe-Mukosi is a potential game-changer for not only Chivi, but also arid districts of Mwenezi and Chiredzi, which stand to benefit when irrigation projects start.

But judging by the stern faces of the majority of villagers at the venue, and the subtle messages they relayed through school children, no one is being fooled.
This is one community which has been at the receiving end of government’s mishandling of things after part of the then uncompleted dam wall collapsed in January 2014, sending down large volumes of water which flooded homes and fields, banishing about 20 000 people to the Chingwizi camp where they continue to languish.

They have not forgotten compensation promises that government is yet to fulfil.
With President Mugabe presiding over two key projects — the commissioning of Tokwe-Mukorsi and the Beitbridge-Chirundu highway — he was delayed to reach the former and this gave those who had started gathering there ample time to send their messages to authorities, never minding the brooding security details who were monitoring proceedings.

And the messages came out loud and clear that they are now too familiar with government’s many deceptions.

The task of relaying the messages was left to pupils from the nearby Gororo Primary School, who performed a poem pregnant with satirical meaning, yet unmistakably driving the point home.
A lanky boy suddenly sped to the microphone and, mimicking an old man with a hunched back, he bellowed: “Handisati ndamboona zvakadai,(I have not seen anything like this before),” repeating the phrase several times until he was joined by another boy, also mimicking an old man.

The new comer started by asking his friend what he was referring to, but the lad ignored the enquiries and kept saying: “Handisati ndamboona zvakadai.” 
The new comer then appeared to have suddenly realised what his mate was referring to and took it upon himself to unpack the phrase.

“NdiPresident here vandiri kuona ava? Maministers here andiri kuona ese aya asvikawo kwedu kuno kugwenga kwaChivi? Neniwo handisati ndamboona zvakadai. (Is this the President I am seeing? Are these all our ministers who have visited this barren land of ours? I too, have not seen anything like this).”

He then steps aside and joins his friend in repeatedly chanting: “Handisati ndamboona zvakadai.”
Other pupils, all mimicking elders of the village, joined one by one, having a go at political leaders starting with councillors, legislators and picking Cabinet ministers by name, all ending with the line, Handisati ndamboona zvakadai.

Urikuti mukuru wedzidzo aripano here, vaDokora here shuwa, handisati ndamboona zvakadai,” shouted one of the kids in reference to the presence of Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora before embarking on a mock recital of the controversial national pledge.

Then at last, with one accord, they threw the sucker punch: “Idhamu irori ravaunza kuno kwedu kwaChivi kugwenga (they all came here because of this dam).”

They took to their miniature feet exiting the stage as if fleeing from some lurking danger, and then the drama and the meaning thereof was completed, much to the fascination of the crowd.
To any discerning mind, these children represented a disgruntled community which knows very well that despite promises of a better future brought about by the new dam, they stand very little chance, if any, of benefitting from the dam.

The trend has been that political bigwigs and their cronies would line up lucrative projects for themselves, leaving out the ordinary folk.

From security briefings, President Mugabe was probably aware of the emotions that lay in the heavy hearts of the people as exhibited by the tension that engulfed the area as the villagers followed his speech which was hardly audible.

But Provincial Affairs Minister, Shuvai Mahofa, almost touched a raw nerve when she said Chingwizi people must be brought back to benefit from the dam.

That was the only time that the swelling crowds showed any emotion during all the officials’ speeches when they erupted into wild cheers and whistles. But, perhaps sensing something, Mahofa immediately ended the subject.

Strangely, there were no ululations throughout President Mugabe’s speech. Normally, his addresses are met with wild jubilations.

President Mugabe carefully avoided delving into or making reference to emotive subjects, concentrating on thanking the Italian contractor, Salini Impregio, which constructed the dam, and advising villagers not to silt the dam when fishing.

A small crowd was seen departing the venue at the point when President Mugabe suggested that Mahofa and other leaders would do the rest of the job.

At the end of the event, one old man was heard mumbling to himself:“Isu chedu kuuya kuzoimbira vanhu nekupfumburirwa guruva; chedu hapana apa. (Our duty is just to come and sing for them and have dust tossed on us; otherwise we have nothing to benefit from this dam).”

This was clearly the mood at the venue, which school children perfectly read out.
Unfortunately, President Mugabe had not arrived when the Gororo Primary School masterpiece was delivered, but that should not be a problem if he has competent informers.

History of chefs’ looting

Source: History of chefs’ looting | The Financial Gazette May 25, 2017

INCIDENTS whereby ZANU-PF chefs have helped themselves to opportunities that should benefit the marginalised are beginning to sound like a broken record.
The jostling for opportunities around Tokwe-Mukosi Dam rekindles memories of how Masvingo Province became the epicentre of another property grab not so long ago.

At the turn of the millennium, ruling party chefs grabbed hunting concessions at the lucrative Save Valley Conservancy at the expense of the majority of ordinary people in the region.
While government claims to have cancelled the hunting permits awarded to the mighty and powerful within ZANU-PF and government, nothing on the ground seems to suggest this was the case.
In the meantime, the pillaging of the wildlife conservancy continues unabated.

In 2015, the Who is Who in Masvingo also descended on the Lowveld’s sugar estates and grabbed much of the 4 000 hectares availed by Tongaat Hulett for new players in the sugarcane industry.
The list of government programmes that have ended up solely benefiting political bigwigs at the expense of ordinary citizens reads like a housewife’s shopping list.

It includes a blocks of flats along Harare’s Willowvale Road in Highfield that benefited senior ZANU-PF and government officials who already owned more than one property each.

The 1997 war victims compensation fund also raised a lot of dust after it was abused by top government officials who feigned war-time injuries to access money which was being paid to those injured during the liberation war struggle, depending on the degree of their disability.

Zimbabwe also missed an opportunity to ride out of its enduring economic crisis after politicians looted gems from the Chiadzwa diamond fields whose estimated value was put by President Robert Mugabe at US$15 billion.

Last year, the lion’s share of resources availed under the Command Agriculture, funded to the tune of US$515 million, was reportedly monopolised by senior government officials and the elite in ZANU-PF.
And more recently, the Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund, under the Ministry of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment was discovered by Parliament to have been abused by ZANU-PF youths, who diverted loans towards consumption.

Reports that ruling party bigwigs are preparing to grab chunks of land at the recently commissioned Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, just serve to prove that history, indeed, repeats itself.

ZERA says ready to launch fuel marking programme

Source: ZERA says ready to launch fuel marking programme | The Financial Gazette May 23, 2017

THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) says regulations to guide the introduction of mandatory fuel marking to curb illegal fuel sales and increase fuel tax revenue, is now complete and awaits review.

According to an industry research last year, huge volumes of fuel imported was sold outside formal channels as reflected by average fuel consumption levels per vehicle annually.

Zimbabwe’s vehicle to fuel ratio was nearly five-fold below that of neighbouring countries.

The research shows that an individual vehicle uses an average of 801 litres per year while neighbouring countries like Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and Botswana have consumptions levels of 4,660 litres, 4,832 litres , 3,537 litres, 3,519 litres and 3,537 litres per vehicle respectively.

The fuel marking programme, which was expected start in January, has been delayed pending approval of the required statutory instrument.

“The programme will be launched this year subject to completion of the necessary processes, including among others, promulgation of the relevant regulations and procurement of the fuel marking company through a tender process,” said Zera acting chief executive Edington Mazambani in an emailed response to The Source.

The programme is expected to promote accountability of all the fuel that is imported into the country and curb illegal dealings.

Chairperson of the country’s tax agency, Willia Bonyongwe told a local weekly at the weekend that there was rampant smuggling of fuel — which often goes undetected — potentially costing the country about US$1 billion annually.

Zera has previously acknowledged that fuel smuggling is rampant, but said it was not possible to establish the actual volumes of illegally imported fuel.

The research also noted that the high cost of fuel had fueled a thriving parallel market.

In 2016, diesel cost an average of US$1,20 per litre compared to an average of US$0,71 in the region, while petrol cost an average of US$1,36 in Zimbabwe and average of US$0,83 in neighbouring countries.

Zimbabwe consumes 58,2 million litres of diesel 500 per month, 3,5 million litres of diesel 50ppm, 34,9 million litres petrol, 7,1 million litres of paraffin and 4,3 million litres of jet A1. – The Source

Dhlakama complains of “Slowness” in negotiations

Maputo (AIM) – Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Mozambican rebel movement Renamo, on Wednesday complained at the slow pace of negotiations for a definitive peace between his militia and the Mozambican defence and security forces, but urged his followers to be patient.

Source: Dhlakama complains of “Slowness” in negotiations – The Zimbabwean 26.05.2017

In another of his telephone press conferences, this time between his bush headquarters in the central district of Gorongosa, and a room full of journalists and Renamo supporters in the southern city of Matola, Dhlakama said “it’s going slowly, and that’s not what I expected”.

Dhlakama declared a truce in late December, and at the beginning of May he extended the truce for an indefinite period. Since the truce took effect, on 27 December, there have been no further Renamo ambushes on the country’s roads, and no clashes between Renamo gunman and government forces.

In phone calls between Dhlakama and President Filipe Nyusi, it was agreed to set up two working groups, one on decentralization and one on military matters. The two groups have been working under a shroud of secrecy, and journalists have not been informed of their meetings, or whether they are making any progress.

Dhlakama told the Matola gathering that he had expected the group on decentralization to complete its work in time to submit proposals to the first sitting this year of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. But the sitting ended on 11 May with no sign of any proposals for the amendments of the constitution and new legislation that will be needed to meet Dhlakama’s concerns over decentralization.

Initially Dhlakama had demanded that Renamo be granted the right to rule the six northern and central provinces where he claimed that Renamo had won the 2014 general elections. Indeed, he threatened repeatedly that if no agreement was forthcoming, he would simply appoint new governors for these provinces and take control of them.

Those threats proved empty, and Dhlakama has now scaled back his demands to changing the system whereby provincial governors are appointed. Currently the President of the Republic appoints the governors, but Dhlakama wants them to be elected. This would require an amendment to the constitution.

Dhlakama did not seem very disappointed by the delay. “I understand, It’s normal”, he said. “Renamo is demanding that the laws be changed, but on the other side there is naturally resistance”.

Renamo also wants a new law passed on provincial finances, which would ensure that most of the tax revenue collected in a particular province would be spent in that province. “The other part of the taxes would go to the central government, which would redistribute them to the poorest provinces”, he said.

Dhlakama also claimed that, despite promises by Nyusi, government forces are still occupying positions in rural Gorongosa. “We agreed that, first they would leave certain positions and then, bit by bit, they would leave the other positions by the end of June. But so far nothing has happened”.

But again he said he “understood” the government’s position, and was confident that by 30 June there would be no government forces near the Gorongosa mountain range (and hence near the Renamo base where Dhlakama is currently living).

Dhlakama told his audience that he is continuing to speak regularly by phone with Nyusi, and that their latest contact was at 08.30 that very morning. He stressed that he did not want to attack or “do away with” the ruling Frelimo Party.

“My friends, we shall forget what Frelimo has done”, he said. “For me, the war ended in 1992. What has happened in recent years are provocations by the Frelimo government. But we have to be patient. The country is ours and we have to do everything to push Frelimo to accept democracy”.

But he also boasted that he was essential to the survival of the country. “In Mozambique, there had to exist a man called Dhlakama”, he claimed. “Without Dhlakama, Mozambique would have finished”.

HCB denies threatening to cut off power to Zimbabwe

Maputo (AIM) – Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam in the western Mozambican province of Tete, has denied press reports in Zimbabwe that HCB is about to cut off power to Zimbabwe because of unpaid debts.

Source: HCB denies threatening to cut off power to Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwean 26.05.2017

The Harare daily “Herald” on Tuesday cited Josh Chifamba, the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), as saying that, because of foreign currency shortages, ZESA has been unable to pay debts owed to HCB and to the South African electricity company, Eskom.

The “Herald” article claimed that HCB and Eskom had both given ZESA an ultimatum – pay up by 31 May, or the power to Zimbabwe will be switched off.

But a senior source in the HCB management, contacted by AIM on Thursday, categorically denied that there was any such ultimatum. He said that, while he could not speak for Eskom, HCB has continued to negotiate with ZESA and there is no question of turning the power off at the end of May.

The “Herald” had claimed that the debt to HCB was 40 million US dollars, but the HCB source said the true figure is around a quarter of that, about 10 million dollars. This, he said, was “a historic debt”, and the last time ZESA had paid anything on it was ten months ago.

But the debt is not getting any larger, he added, because nowadays ZESA is regularly paying the monthly invoices it receives from HCB.

The source added that the debt had been discussed at a meeting in Harare earlier this week, and it was agreed that ZESA would pay off the arrears by August.

Currently HCB supplies 50 megawatts to ZESA, but the line from Cahora Bassa to Zimbabwe could carry much more, if ZESA was willing and able to pay for it.

ZESA’s problems with Eskom seem much more serious, since Eskom supplies Zimbabwe with 300 megawatts.

The “Herald” put Zimbabwe’s electricity requirements at 1,400 megawatts, but the ageing equipment in Zimbabwe’s own power stations can only produce 980 megawatts. The supplies from Eskom and HCB are thus crucial to avoid large scale blackouts.

ZESA is hoping that a Chinese company, Sinohydro, will come to its rescue by expanding the Kariba South power station by 300 megawatts. The first 150 megawatts from this plan should come on stream by December, and the rest in the first quarter of 2018. The cost of the Kariba South expansion project is 533 million dollars.

Mukupe slams Mugabe for retaining graft-accused perm secs

Source: Mukupe slams Mugabe for retaining graft-accused perm secs – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      25 May 2017

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s move to retain graft-accused permanent
secretaries in his latest reshuffle makes a mockery of government’s
anti-corruption claims, Zanu PF Harare East legislator Terrence Mukupe has
said.

Mukupe led a large cross-section of Zimbabweans in condemning his boss’
re-deployment of Mines ministry permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga to
the Higher and Tertiary Education portfolio, in a move that flies in the
face of calls by the Daniel Shumba-led Parliament committee to sack the
scandal-ridden bureaucrat.

On the other hand, ex-Transport ministry secretary Munesushe Munodawafa –
who has been on remand for over a year after he was arrested for illegally
ordering Air Zimbabwe (Air Zim) to pay Navistar Insurance Brokers $305 000
– succeeded Gudyanga.

Munodawafa is facing two counts of criminal abuse of office.

On one of the counts, he was accused of directing the national airline to
lease a plane from South Africa without going to tender and ordering Air
Zim to pay an associate of his a finder’s fee of $10 200 per month.

He leaves behind an Air Zim currently saddled with a $300 million-plus
debt.

Mukupe posted on his Facebook page: “I for one do believe that if we are
to progress as a country we need to set up term limits for the perm secs
(permanent secretaries)…. We need new faces with energy and new
progressive ideas”.

“I must say Munodawafa, with all the scandals that have followed him, is
one very lucky guy… And the jury is still out there for Prof Gudyanga,”
he said.

“As for…Sibanda (Desire Sibanda who replaced George Magosvongwe as the
permanent secretary of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment ministry), one of the greatest minds I’ve ever interacted
with… It’s really a waste to put him in the Youth ministry,” Mukupe
concluded.

MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa weighed in saying Zimbabwe’s rot did not
need a rocket scientist or witch doctor to decipher, adding any ordinary
Zimbabwean can see that bad governance has driven the country to the verge
of collapse.

“Things are difficult in Zimbabwe not because of bad luck but bad
governance,” he said.

People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume wondered why
individuals were not being replaced with those with clean records.

“It’s like rearranging furniture on the sinking titanic or like changing
drivers on a bus without wheels,” he said.

War vets in court over Byo violence

Source: War vets in court over Byo violence – DailyNews Live

Jeffrey Muvundusi      25 May 2017

BULAWAYO – Two ex-liberation fighters who allegedly assaulted war
veterans’ leader George Mlala during the Zanu PF chaos last Sunday have
been dragged to court.

The duo – Abigail Nyamunda and Edward Ndlovu – appeared before magistrate
Tinashe Tashaya yesterday facing assault charges.

They were not asked to plead and were remanded out of custody to June 2
for trial.

It is the State’s case that at around 9am on May 21, the accused went to
Davies Hall, the Zanu PF provincial headquarters, intending to attend a
scheduled provincial coordinating committee (PCC) meeting.

The complainant, Mlala, by virtue of his position in the party, indicated
that he was to accredit party members using the register so that only
eligible members – who compose the provincial executive committee – were
allowed entry into the hall.

The court heard that before Mlala could begin the accreditation process,
some party members confronted him and expressed their disgruntlement.

Ndlovu allegedly accused the complainant of favouring one faction which he
intended to smuggle into the meeting.

His co-accused Nyamunda reportedly grabbed Mlala by the trousers belt,
while the former attacked the complainant with clenched fists on the left
cheek.

Ndlovu then took a walking stick and used it to assault Mlala on his back.

The two reportedly stopped after police intervention.

The court heard that the assault, which resulted in Mlala sustaining a
swollen face, took place in the full glare of fellow party members.

Tsvangirai meets with top church leaders

Source: Tsvangirai meets with top church leaders – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      25 May 2017

HARARE – MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai met with top leaders of the World
Council of Churches (WCC) to discuss justice and peace ahead of the key
2018 elections.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed to the Daily News
that the MDC leader met on Tuesday with top leaders from the Geneva-based
WCC.

“I will not give much details save to confirm to you that indeed, the
bishops met…Tsvangirai at their request. It speaks to the wide national
engagement that is taking place to ensure the country is back on the
rails,” Tamborinyoka said.

MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa also confirmed the meeting with leaders
of the WCC, representing about a quarter of the world’s 2,2 billion
Christians.

“We had a meeting with different churches. The delegation was from the
WCC,” Chamisa said.

A high powered delegation of the WCC led by the body’s secretary general
secretary, Reverend Olav Fykse Tveit, and including local church leaders
and clergy from Europe, North America and across Africa has been on a
two-day trip to lend support to long-suffering Zimbabweans who are
groaning under President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

In a statement posted on WCC website, Tveit said their mission was to
fight for justice.

“We make this solidarity visit to Zimbabwe to express our commitment to
work with the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), including our member
churches and all peace-seeking people of Zimbabwe, and to support their
tireless efforts on the ground to secure justice and peace in the
country,” Tveit said.

Member churches of ZCC include the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Methodist
Episcopal Church, African Independent Church, African Reformed Church,
Anglican Church, United Methodist and the Salvation Army, among others.

Anger over plan to close schools

Source: Anger over plan to close schools – DailyNews Live

Jeffrey Muvundusi and Mugove Tafirenyika      25 May 2017

HARARE – Ill-conceived plans by the government to close 40 schools in
Matabeleland South, on account of dwindling enrolments, have triggered
outrage among ordinary Zimbabweans and civil society groups alike.

This comes as teachers have also called for a re-think on the government’s
moves to introduce a new curriculum, which has apparently resulted in some
parents in Matabeleland withdrawing their children from local schools,
preferring the South African and Botswana education systems.

In the shocking move on Monday, the ministry of Primary and Secondary
Education announced that it was planning to close 40 schools in
Matabeleland South, citing low enrolments and a lack of teachers.

Rather ill-advisedly, the government also claimed that it was
“uneconomical” to continue running the schools targeted for closure.

As expected, the move has not gone down well with both local residents and
civil society groups accusing the government of being insensitive to the
plight of the poor, and the people of Matabeleland in particular, who have
long felt marginalised by the State.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson, Dumisani Nkomo, said the move
would be challenged vigorously.

“This move smacks of further alienation, discrimination and
marginalisation of an already exploited region.

“We reiterate our position that we are vehemently opposed to the closing
of schools to the already historical disadvantaged regions of
Matabeleland.

“We will not stand by idly as the rights of children are violated. We call
upon our members to resist this insane move.

“It is frivolous and vexatious for the government to claim that these
schools are not viable when the government is presiding over more than 50
loss-making parastatals and yet these loss-making entities are still dear
to government,” Nkomo said.

He also said the government’s decision was a flagrant violation of section
75 of the Constitution, which ensured the right to education, as well as
section 81 which upheld children’s rights.

The Community Development Trust (CDT) also described the decision to close
the schools as “totally unacceptable as it violates the children’s right
to education”.

“This is based on a flawed, outdated and ill-conceived policy of one
teacher to 40 students, which is a `one-size-fits-all’ policy that does
not consider differences in settlement patterns and population sizes of
various communities of Zimbabwe and in Matabeleland.

“In this policy directive, the ministry … did not consider the best
interests of the children but its own administrative interests, which is
wrong,” CDT director Nkululeko Tshuma said.

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) director, Jenni Williams, who has had
several run-ins with the government, also had no kind words for
authorities.

“It is clear that government is taking Gukurahundi to the education sector
now. As someone from this region, we have long faced marginalisation and
some of us believe de-industrialisation was an evolved form of
Gukurahundi.

“Note the manner in which it (Gukurahundi) has come in another format to
the education sector, where firstly they send teachers who cannot teach in
the mother tongue, thereby reducing the ability of kids to learn and
secondly under-deploying teachers to schools in this region,” the
outspoken Williams told the Daily News.

The Abammeli Lawyers for Human Rights also described the move as
unconstitutional.

“The government cannot close schools just like that. They have to follow
administrative rules. This is a violation of the Constitution

“There must be consideration of transparency, accountability and
reasonability. They have to consult the people first because honestly you
can make a kid walk for about 20 kilometres and that alone makes the
decision to be unreasonable,” its coordinator, Tineyi Mukwewa, said.

Meanwhile, teachers have said the low enrolment in some parts of
Matabeleland was a consequence of the new school curriculum which had seen
parents withdrawing their children from schools and taking them to
neighbouring South Africa and Botswana in protest.

‘New Censorship Board unconstitutional’

Source: ‘New Censorship Board unconstitutional’ – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      25 May 2017

HARARE – The new Censorship Board installed by Home Affairs minister
Ignatius Chombo is not provided for in the new Constitution, legal experts
said yesterday.

The new Board of Censors will be led by former Cabinet minister,
educationist and historian Aeneas Chigwedere, who will be deputised by
Konzani Ncube and would serve for five years instead of the previous
three.

Other members are President Robert Mugabe’s daughter Bona Mugabe-Chikore,
police senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba, Runyararo
Magadzire, Chief Nyamukoho, Samson Katsande, Regis Chikowore, Shingai
Rukwata Ndoro, Chenjerai Daitai, Tungamirai Muganhiri and Catholic priest
Father Fidelis Mukonori.

While Chombo claimed the appointment was in terms of the Censorship and
Entertainment Control Act Chapter 10: 4, legal experts said the Censorship
Board was not recognised in the new Constitution adopted in a 2013
referendum.

Co-chair in the constitution making body Copac, Douglas Mwonzora, said the
appointment of the board was meant to stifle freedom of expression.

“The Constitution does not provide for that,” Mwonzora told the Daily
News.

“This is a body that has been in existence for a long time and reflects on
the closed democratic space we have. Having looked at the partisan
appointment of the board, it shows how the government wants to close in on
freedom of expression.”

University of Kent law professor Alex Magaisa said in a Facebook post:
“There is no Censorship Board in the Constitution.”

According to section 61 of the Constitution:  “Every person has the right
to freedom of expression, which includes… freedom to seek, receive and
communicate ideas and other information; freedom of artistic expression
and scientific research and creativity;  and  …academic freedom.”

But Chombo told a news conference after announcing the board that its
mandate is the prohibition of public entertainment which may have the
potential to undermine morality, public order and peace. It will also deal
with nudity and indelicate sexual situation.

“It is a well-known fact that the Constitution of Zimbabwe has a provision
for freedom of artistic expression, cultural beliefs and association,” he
said.

“However, the same Constitution through the Act of Parliament empowers the
Board of Censors to ensure that these freedoms are reasonably limited so
that they do not infringe on other people’s rights.

“In today’s environment where there is heightened scrutiny by members of
the public, Internet and social media use, you are going to be faced by
many challenges in administering the Act.”

Magaisa said the Censorship Board is one of the enduring symbols of
repression, rooted deep in colonial history.

“The Censorship Board was established in the wake of Ian Douglas Smith’s
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) for the sole purpose of
censoring and restricting free speech,” Magaisa said.

“I’m told that the Rhodesian Herald used to publish copies with empty
spaces, reflecting stories that the Censorship Board would have censored.

“When Zimbabwe got independence in 1980, the new Prime Minister, Robert
Mugabe inherited Smith’s entire machinery of repression, including the
Censorship Board. He has used it to great effect over the years, for
personal benefit.

“It is therefore ironic that the first public job that Mugabe has given to
his daughter, Bona…, is to be a board member of the Censorship Board. It
is a false step for one so young, joining an enduring symbol of
repression. One might just about imagine old Smithy turning in his grave,
with a mischievous smirk on his face.”

AirZim rot sparks Mugabe concerns

Source: AirZim rot sparks Mugabe concerns – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      25 May 2017

HARARE – The deepening rot at struggling flag carrier, Air Zimbabwe, is
said to have triggered serious safety concerns among security chiefs and
brawling Zanu PF bigwigs – who are worried about the safety and security
of the hired planes that President Robert Mugabe now regularly uses for
his official travels.

This comes as the debt-ridden national airline is barely managing to stay
afloat, and to keep operating its creaky aircraft – a development which
has lately forced, Mugabe, its single biggest customer, to hire private
jets from overseas.

It also comes as Air Zimbabwe has been banned from flying into Europe over
safety concerns – further complicating Mugabe’s frequent travel plans to
international destinations which are not covered by the current travel
restrictions on him.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that security chiefs
were becoming increasingly concerned with Air Zimbabwe’s worsening
problems – which they feared could see the airline’s long-range planes
remaining grounded, and necessitating the continued leasing of allegedly
“risky” overseas planes for the nonagenarian’s use.

Brawling Zanu PF factions were similarly said to be rattled by the rot at
Air Zim, with party insiders saying both Generation 40 (G40) and Team
Lacoste kingpins were concerned that Mugabe was being “exposed to either
harm or intelligence stings” by travelling on hired private jets.

The former liberation movement is currently being devoured by its deadly
tribal, factional and succession wars which have seen the ruling party
splitting into two distinct camps – with the G40 camp fiercely opposed to
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa  succeeding Mugabe.

“Many chefs are worried that there seems to be no real appetite to fix the
problems at Air Zimbabwe, yet the president is dependent on its planes for
his travels.

“It is in that light that people are worried by the growing reliance on
foreign private planes which the president is now using, because all the
crew in such cases is also foreign.

“Even if planes and crews were vetted, one can’t still tell what a person
is thinking, especially with the acts of terror and espionage that we
witness today. Foreign crew has no allegiance or loyalty to us, so this is
a huge problem,” one of the sources told the Daily News yesterday.

But Transport minister Joram Gumbo said there should be no worries over
Mugabe’s use of private planes, as his ministry was sure that the jets
were hired from credible people.

“As far as we are concerned they (private planes) are fine … when we
look for the planes, we know there is a potential danger and we make the
necessary assessments to ensure that the ones we use are fine,” Gumbo
said.

He added that government was working on a plan to change the fortunes of
the cash-strapped national airline, although he also conceded that this
would be a herculean task.

“It is not an easy thing to turn around the airline. I tasked the board
with putting a turnaround programme together and they now have a strategic
2017 to 2020 plan.

“Beginning this month, government assumed the Air Zimbabwe debt to make it
attractive to investors. What is now left is the implementation of the
plan, and we have approached different airlines in this regard.

“But until we resolve that we will continue to work as we are doing now.
Everything is on course, but it is not any easy thing,” Gumbo told the
Daily News.

The badly mismanaged Air Zimbabwe has been battling myriad problems over
the years, including failing to service its ginormous debt.

The flag carrier is also said to be losing up to $3 million a month, in
addition to being saddled with a $300 million declared debt.

The extent of the rot devouring Air Zimbabwe was first exposed to the
public in March when it was revealed that Mugabe was resorting to hiring
private jets for his overseas travels, after it emerged that the
poorly-performing national carrier had failed to service its planes.

As a result, Mugabe had to lease a private jet from Bahrain, which he used
to travel to Singapore and Ghana then.

Mugabe used the same plane during his trip to Singapore last week and on
his latest trip to Mexico where he is attending a climate conference.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said yesterday that the problems
at Air Zimbabwe were “beyond” the Zanu PF government’s capabilities.

“The spectacular collapse of Air Zimbabwe, together with the demise of
several other State-owned enterprises, bears stark testimony to the
incompetence, inefficiency and corruption that has become the hallmark of
the Zanu PF regime.

“After inheriting 14 or so fairly new aircraft at independence in 1980,
the Zanu PF regime over the decades has trashed and ransacked all
parastatals, including Air Zimbabwe, which hardly has any air-worthy
aircraft left at the moment,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

“Mugabe should be ashamed of chartering a private plane for his numerous
and purposeless foreign escapades, simply because the national airline,
Air Zimbabwe, is now broke and insolvent.

“It is beyond the capacity of the Zanu PF regime to resuscitate Air
Zimbabwe or any other State-owned corporation for that matter,” Gutu
added.

Last week, Air Zimbabwe, plumbed to new lows after it was banned from
flying into Europe over safety concerns.

“Today, the European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, the list
of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards,
and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions
within the European Union.

“Following today’s update, a total of 181 airlines are banned from EU
skies: 174 airlines certified in 16 states, due to a lack of safety
oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.

“The airlines Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the
Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were
detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for
a third country operator authorisation,” the EU announced then.

Immediately after the ban was announced, Britain followed through with a
warning to its citizens, urging them not to use Air Zimbabwe.

“Air Zimbabwe has been refused permission to operate flights to the EU
because the airline has been unable to demonstrate that it complies with
international air safety standards.

“British government employees travelling to and within Zimbabwe have been
advised to use carriers that aren’t subject to the EU operating ban,” the
British Embassy said in a travel alert.

Air Zim’s fleet comprises two Boeing 767s, three 737s, three MA60s and two
Airbus A320s. However, only four of those are flying: one airbus, one
Boeing 767, one 737 and an MA60.

The national carrier has over the past three decades struggled to
shake-off claims of corruption and ineptitude, which has led to the
dismissals of several of its boards and senior managers.

Last month, the beleaguered airline was a subject of bad jokes after it
was involved in an embarrassing ticketing fiasco which saw it issuing
handwritten boarding tickets on its international and domestic routes.

This was despite the global aviation industry moving to electronic
ticketing, in line with latest standards approved by the International Air
Transport Association (IATA), whose policy is to ensure airline safety,
security and efficiency.

Africa Day has lost meaning

Source: Africa Day has lost meaning – DailyNews Live

25 May 2017

HARARE – Today was supposed to be a significant day for Zimbabwe and
indeed for Africa as a whole in celebrating the continent’s uniqueness and
dreams of its founding fathers, but that has not been the case.

Most African governments have nothing to celebrate or be proud of on
Africa Day as the continent’s political leadership has failed to take
advantage of the liberalisation of the political system and the growth of
democracy on the continent to come up with a strong Pan-Africanist body.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was established in 1963 due to
rising Pan Africanism shortly after the Second World War, and was created
to promote unity and solidarity among African States as well as to rid the
continent of colonisation and apartheid.

Critics believe that the establishment of the OAU was such an important
point in the continent’s history that the date of its creation is
celebrated as Africa Day.

However, celebrating the Day has become meaningless over time, as
democracy has remained a pipe dream as those in power have gravitated
towards self-aggrandisement at the expense of the majority.

The African Union, which replaced the OAU in 2001, has failed to stop the
continent from bleeding, as wars and epidemics continue to ravage our
beloved countries while those entrusted to lead turn a blind eye.

In most countries across the continent, former freedom fighters have
turned into selfish tyrants – interested only in the primitive
accumulation of wealth and retaining power at all costs.

Like most progressive Africans, we advocate for a new system that requires
African people to control their governments and that issues of financial
planning and budgeting are discussed in the villages, townships and cities
across the continent.

What is required is a departure from the current retrogressive politics in
most African States where the leadership has taken – to cultural
proportions – the tendency to turn their backs on the people as soon as
they take office.

There is now an urgent need to create new democratic institutions to
strengthen popular participation and representation.

Parliamentary democracy on its own is not enough – it must be supplemented
with and strengthened by other popular institutions and associations like
the local governments, civic movements, independent workers, women,
student and youth organisations, assemblies or organisations for the
environmental concerns and for minority rights, and so forth.

A new leadership must ensure this is the dominant political culture, with
enough flexibility to allow for changes when they are needed to strengthen
and further consolidate that culture.

Zim on high Ebola alert

Source: Zim on high Ebola alert – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      25 May 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe has ratcheted up its safeguards against Ebola, with the
country requiring travellers mainly passing through the Mozambique border
and other frontiers to undergo enhanced screening for the deadly virus.

This comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed new cases
of Ebola infections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Zimbabwe’s Health ministry yesterday announced restrictions on passengers
whose trips originated in DRC with immediate effect.

In a memo to stakeholders yesterday, the Manicaland provincial medical
directorate said all immigrants will be screened and frisked as they get
into Zimbabwe.

“You are therefore urged to be alert; there is need for a combined effort
at this point of entry in order to safeguard public health. Notify any
suspected cases to health officials.

“Ebola is a highly infectious and fatal viral disease which is easily
spread through contact with blood and body secretions of the infected
people and animals,” said the directorate.

The directorate said it had received an alert through WHO, which announced
that nine suspected cases and three deaths of persons with Ebola virus
disease were reported in the Likati health zone, north of the DRC.

It was not immediately clear at the time of going to print how many people
enter Zimbabwe on a daily basis at Forbes Border Post.

It is, however, not the first time Zimbabwe has had to prepare for the
deadly virus.

This is the eighth Ebola outbreak in the DRC since 1976.

The last outbreak occurred in 2014, with 66 cases and 49 deaths.

Mugabe a huge embarrasment for Africa

As we commemorate Africa Day today, we reflect on whether the continent has made any strides in extracating itself from its notority of being a haven of war and dictators to being a proud land of milk and honey.

Source: Mugabe a huge embarrasment for Africa – The Zimbabwean 25.05.2017

Indeed, Africa has millenia of history that we can not go into detail, but it has come a long way to become what it is today.

From a history of great civilisations, such as Great Zimbabwe, Egypt, Timbaktu, and others, to colonisation, and independence.

Great Zimbabwe, for instance, was a vibrant kingdom where everyone lived in prosperity as they all benefitted from its vast mineral resources, and trade with nations all over the known world.

It is widely believed that in the kingdom, everyone was regarded as equal, and as such, they were all awarded the respect they deserved and benefitted equally in the kingdom’s wealth.

Despite it being a kingdom, it was never as unequal and oppressive as the ‘off with his head’ European kingdoms of the middle ages.

African kingdoms were the epitome of what a modern and civilised society was meant to look like – that is why the greatest and most advanced civilisations of that time were found in Africa.

However, this did not last long, as slavery and colonialism set in – thereby, destroying any semblance of that great continent.

Eventually, the continent was liberated, and we now have mostly democratically elected governments.

Zimbabwe, having attained her independence in 1980, had Robert Mugabe as its leader.

Fast forward to today, any resemblance between Great Zimbabwe and the modern day independent Zimbabwe is gone.

Mugabe had proven to be a worse leader than the kings of Great Zimbabwe.

The country has had the misfortune – if not curse – to be ruled by a self-absorbed paraniod megalomaniac, who actually believes God appointed him to lead the country.

What a misfortune!

What this psychopathic mindset has resulted in, is a leader who not only brutally suppressed and dissent against him, but also believes all the country’s resources belongs to him and his family – and whonsoever he personally chooses.

He has become a reincarnate of the middle ages ‘off with his head’ kings of Europe  – a far cry from the Great Zimbabwe kings who viewed their people with dignity and respect, and made sure they shared in the kingdom’s vast wealth.

Mugabe has instead chosen to copy the King Henry VIII’s of this world – as in those days, wealth was just confined to the king’s palace and his noblemen, whilst everyone else lived in abject poverty.

Mugabe has plundered all the country’s vast resources for himself and his family, as well as for his ‘noblemen and women’.

The vast majority of the people of Zimbabwe are living in.abject povert, whilst he lives in opulence.

An average Zimbabwean can not even afford a decent meal, as Mugabe has all but destroyed the economy with his psychopathic policies.

Industry and commerce is comatose in Zimbabwe, and workers are hardly paid, and are being retrenched daily, whilst school and college graduates are unemployable.

Schools have no books, which is leading to a whole new generation of the uneducated.

Similarly, hospitals have no medication, leading to unprecedented levels of the most preventable deaths.

Most cities and towns have been reduced to rural areas, as residents do not have access to clean and save potable water, as well as electricity.

City and town dwellers have to fetch water from boreholes, and unprotected wells, whilst trees are by felled eveywhere for cooking firewood.

To add insult to injury, Zimbabwe not only does not have a currency of its own, but also fails to even have sufficient stocks of other nations’ currencies, leaving the citizens without any money for their day to day needs.

Indeed, Mugabe has taken the country to the depths of uncivilisation, and yet he has the audacity to boast that Zimbabwe is the second wealthiest country in Africa.

Is that not proof enough that the man has long lost his marbles?

If this is how the second wealthiest country in Africa is like, then how would the poorest country in Africa be like?

The fact of the matter is that even war ravaged countries in Africa are faring better than Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Let no visitor to Zimbabwe be fooled by the beautiful buildings, which were mostly built during the colonial era.

Zimbabweans in those buildings are hungry and poor.

Mugabe has proven himself a complete failure and an embarrasment to the African continent as a whole.

The continent is now in another age of revival, yet he is taking Zimbabwe backwards.

Yet, when the citizens of the country express their dissatisfaction, he has them threatened, beaten up, tortured, arrested, abudcted, and even killed.

What type of a modern day leader does that to his own people?

Bashir al-Assad?

I am sure if Mugabe had access to chemical weapons, he would have killed most of the citizens.

Africa now needs progressive leaders who will take the continent to the next level – it does not need outdated people like Mugabe.

Mugabe should now be disposed off to the annuls of history, as a failed deranged leader who turned a once prosperous ‘jewel of Africa’ into a basket case.

What type of a leader has a wife who can buy a US$1.3 million dollar ring, whilst the country’s people are starving?

Is that not insanity?

Therefore, the people of Zimbabwe has a splendid opportinity next year to finally rid themselves of this menace.

The age of the Idi Amins, and the Mobuto Sese Sekos has long passed, and so Mugabe should follow suit, so as to finally competely rid this great continent of any retrogressive dictatorships.

If only Zimbabwe had been ruled by someone who had the ambition of restoring the prosperity, equality, power, and dignity of Great Zimbabwe, this country would today be truly great again.

° Kudakwashe Sheddy Marangwanda is a UK based political analyst.

A case for reforms ahead of the 2018 watershed elections

The political settlement in Zimbabwe cast victory in democratic elections as the principal rite de passage before power was to be transferred from the old regime to the new. The rules of the game have since changed since independence. The thrust of the liberation struggle was that popular elections were required not merely to elect a new black government but to confirm popular acceptance of the new constitutional order.

Source: A case for reforms ahead of the 2018 watershed elections – The Zimbabwean 25.05.2017

Indeed, Africa has millenia of history that we can not go into detail, but it has come a long way to become what it is today.

From a history of great civilisations, such as Great Zimbabwe, Egypt, Timbaktu, and others, to colonisation, and independence.

Great Zimbabwe, for instance, was a vibrant kingdom where everyone lived in prosperity as they all benefitted from its vast mineral resources, and trade with nations all over the known world.

It is widely believed that in the kingdom, everyone was regarded as equal, and as such, they were all awarded the respect they deserved and benefitted equally in the kingdom’s wealth.

Despite it being a kingdom, it was never as unequal and oppressive as the ‘off with his head’ European kingdoms of the middle ages.

African kingdoms were the epitome of what a modern and civilised society was meant to look like – that is why the greatest and most advanced civilisations of that time were found in Africa.

However, this did not last long, as slavery and colonialism set in – thereby, destroying any semblance of that great continent.

Eventually, the continent was liberated, and we now have mostly democratically elected governments.

Zimbabwe, having attained her independence in 1980, had Robert Mugabe as its leader.

Fast forward to today, any resemblance between Great Zimbabwe and the modern day independent Zimbabwe is gone.

Mugabe had proven to be a worse leader than the kings of Great Zimbabwe.

The country has had the misfortune – if not curse – to be ruled by a self-absorbed paraniod megalomaniac, who actually believes God appointed him to lead the country.

What a misfortune!

What this psychopathic mindset has resulted in, is a leader who not only brutally suppressed and dissent against him, but also believes all the country’s resources belongs to him and his family – and whonsoever he personally chooses.

He has become a reincarnate of the middle ages ‘off with his head’ kings of Europe  – a far cry from the Great Zimbabwe kings who viewed their people with dignity and respect, and made sure they shared in the kingdom’s vast wealth.

Mugabe has instead chosen to copy the King Henry VIII’s of this world – as in those days, wealth was just confined to the king’s palace and his noblemen, whilst everyone else lived in abject poverty.

Mugabe has plundered all the country’s vast resources for himself and his family, as well as for his ‘noblemen and women’.

The vast majority of the people of Zimbabwe are living in.abject povert, whilst he lives in opulence.

An average Zimbabwean can not even afford a decent meal, as Mugabe has all but destroyed the economy with his psychopathic policies.

Industry and commerce is comatose in Zimbabwe, and workers are hardly paid, and are being retrenched daily, whilst school and college graduates are unemployable.

Schools have no books, which is leading to a whole new generation of the uneducated.

Similarly, hospitals have no medication, leading to unprecedented levels of the most preventable deaths.

Most cities and towns have been reduced to rural areas, as residents do not have access to clean and save potable water, as well as electricity.

City and town dwellers have to fetch water from boreholes, and unprotected wells, whilst trees are by felled eveywhere for cooking firewood.

To add insult to injury, Zimbabwe not only does not have a currency of its own, but also fails to even have sufficient stocks of other nations’ currencies, leaving the citizens without any money for their day to day needs.

Indeed, Mugabe has taken the country to the depths of uncivilisation, and yet he has the audacity to boast that Zimbabwe is the second wealthiest country in Africa.

Is that not proof enough that the man has long lost his marbles?

If this is how the second wealthiest country in Africa is like, then how would the poorest country in Africa be like?

The fact of the matter is that even war ravaged countries in Africa are faring better than Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Let no visitor to Zimbabwe be fooled by the beautiful buildings, which were mostly built during the colonial era.

Zimbabweans in those buildings are hungry and poor.

Mugabe has proven himself a complete failure and an embarrasment to the African continent as a whole.

The continent is now in another age of revival, yet he is taking Zimbabwe backwards.

Yet, when the citizens of the country express their dissatisfaction, he has them threatened, beaten up, tortured, arrested, abudcted, and even killed.

What type of a modern day leader does that to his own people?

Bashir al-Assad?

I am sure if Mugabe had access to chemical weapons, he would have killed most of the citizens.

Africa now needs progressive leaders who will take the continent to the next level – it does not need outdated people like Mugabe.

Mugabe should now be disposed off to the annuls of history, as a failed deranged leader who turned a once prosperous ‘jewel of Africa’ into a basket case.

What type of a leader has a wife who can buy a US$1.3 million dollar ring, whilst the country’s people are starving?

Is that not insanity?

Therefore, the people of Zimbabwe has a splendid opportinity next year to finally rid themselves of this menace.

The age of the Idi Amins, and the Mobuto Sese Sekos has long passed, and so Mugabe should follow suit, so as to finally competely rid this great continent of any retrogressive dictatorships.

If only Zimbabwe had been ruled by someone who had the ambition of restoring the prosperity, equality, power, and dignity of Great Zimbabwe, this country would today be truly great again.

° Kudakwashe Sheddy Marangwanda is a UK based political analyst.

Partisan conduct of police will fuel violence ahead of elections

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls on law enforcement agents to arrest perpetrators of violence as a way of ensuring peace and tolerance of divergent views ahead of the forthcoming plebiscite. CiZC notes with concern escalating cases of politically motivated violence and intimidation including intra party violence within the Zanu PF, which we fear come election time will be diverted to target supporters of op-position political parties.

Source: Partisan conduct of police will fuel violence ahead of elections – The Zimbabwean 25.05.2017

Last week, at a residents meeting organised by the Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) slated for Nyamutamba hotel in Chitungwiza, a suspected MDC- T supporter was assaulted by more than 60 alleged Zanu Pf youths, who identified him and beat him up before stealing his mobile phone and cash.

According to witnesses at the aborted dialogue meeting which was set to host speakers from both MDC-T and Zanu PF among others, ZANU PF youths chanted slogans and challenged the organisers of the meeting that their gathering was not going to be held since the issue that they wanted to discuss was not within their jurisdiction.  It was alleged that the visibly drunk Zanu PF youths had been sent by one former councillor, Charamba Mlambo, who was implicated in the Chitngwiza Town Council graft and suspended together with Chitungwiza mayor and the rest of the councillors by the local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere last month. Victims of the violence reported their case at St Mary’ s police station.

However, it could not be established whether the culprits were apprehended despite that they are well known Zanu Pf stalwarts who are in the habit of terrorising opposition political party members in Chi-tungwiza.   In a related development, barely a week later, MDC-T youths also clashed with their rival Zanu PF counter-parts in Epworth where the latter’s chairperson was as-saulted.   Over the weekend, bloody clashes erupted at Davies Hall in Bulawayo ahead of a Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting.

According to reports, district youth chairperson, Magura Charumbira, was allegedly stabbed by youths from a rival faction who claimed that he was supporting an anti Kasukuwere campaign. Of the three violent skirmishes, it is disheartening to note that only MDC T members who clashed with Zanu Pf have appeared before the courts. Such precedence sets a bad example especially as we head towards elections. Those who engage in acts of vio-lence should be arrested and charged accordingly regardless of their political affiliation. Exhibiting a culture of impunity and bias towards Zanu PF stalwarts is not just morally wrong but is a violation of the constitution as it relates to the conduct of the police.   Regardless of one’s political affiliation, we call on the government to ensure that those who are involved in acts of violence are brought to book.

We therefore implore government through the relevant arms to ensure transparency and professionalism in the conduct of police and execute their core mandate with-out bias or favour. We have in the past emphasised the importance of elec-toral reforms as the basis of a credible, free and fair poll.  Ensuring a police force which is not partisan is of utmost importance if the country is to hold elections whose out-come will not be disputed and reflective of the true will of the people.

Civil society resolves to coordinate on elections

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have re-solved to coordinate and come up with com-prehensive citizen and policy based program-ming aimed at ensuring a credible, free and fair poll ahead of Zimbabwe’s 2018 general elections.

Source: Civil society resolves to coordinate on elections – The Zimbabwean 25.05.2017

There was general consensus among stake-holders gathered at a workshop in Harare co-hosted by the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) and the Election Resource Centre (ERC) on the need for a co-ordinated effort by CSOs to timeously address the hard-ware issues affecting the conduct of elections in Zimbabwe for the country to have a credi-ble poll whose outcome will not be disputed.

Representatives of CSOs drawn from the country’s ten provinces agreed that failure by civil society organisations in the country to collaborate would see them making ‘popcorn interventions’, a development which would see them fail to execute their core mandate including holding accountable the govern-ment towards ensuring a credible free and fair election.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) was urged to take the leading role in confronting government ‘pound by pound’ and ensuring that government adheres to Constitutional provisions which stipulated and guaranteed the holding of a credible free and fair election.

Pedzisayi Ruhanya, Director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) said, “CSOs should feed into Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, which in turn should go roburst, pound by pound and address the hardware issues of the forth-coming elections.”

Ruhanya said such efforts will only be suc-cessful if stakeholders including other civil society organisations in the country worked together and fed into CiZC.

ERC Director, Tawanda Chimhini emphasised the need for CSOs to ensure that their efforts are inclusive of the engagement of international and regional CSOs and bodies.

“Our efforts should be well coordinated because there is no one organisation which can successfully work on elections without the support and input of other organisations,” he said.

“It is important for CSOs to make the necessary linkages so that we have a defined space not only now, but even in the post 2018 era,” he said. ZESN Director, Rindai Chipfunde Vava emphasised the importance of linking previous work with the current prevailing environment adding that failure to embrace each other’s work would see haphazard interventions by COSs, a development which had the potential to see them fail in their watchdog role. “We do not want a scenario where we are labelled as we do not have a strategy. Citizens’ engagement, the mobilisation of citizens’ especially young people towards participating in governance issues should be prioritised as we heard towards the watershed election,” she added. Participants at the workshop came up a draft election strategy. However, CSOs were encouraged to contribute their action plans so that CSOs can come up with a comprehensive document, which is set to guide the conduct of CSOs in the pre-election, election and post-election era.

Did a shot ‘Presidential’ elephant fall on hunter Theunis Botha in Hwange?

We speak to Sharon Pincott.

Source: Did a shot ‘Presidential’ elephant fall on hunter Theunis Botha in Hwange? – The Zimbabwean 25.05.2017

Hwange’s hunting sagas go on and on, seemingly endlessly. We speak to Sharon Pincott about Hwange’s latest one, this time involving a family of elephants and their young:

Sharon, we understand that the South African sport-hunter, Theunis Botha, who was recently killed when an elephant was shot and fell on him near Hwange National Park, was with his hunting party on Good Luck farm. Can you tell us more about the location of this hunting farm?

Pincott:  Good Luck is a legal sport-hunting concession. However it is one of those right next to one of the key areas where the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe are widely known to roam. In fact I wrote, in a chapter of my latest book Elephant Dawn, about four disturbing incidents that occurred back in 2007, while I was first preparing to leave Zimbabwe to work with elephants in South Africa. These incidents all happened within just a few weeks of each other, and actually convinced me to stay on in Zimbabwe (which I then did, with the Presidential Elephants, for another 7 years). One of these incidents was an illegal sport-hunt of an elephant, which actually started on Good Luck farm, but which ended on photographic Presidential Elephant land. So we had a dead elephant bull on photographic land, which National Parks had not been informed about, until vultures alerted me to the remains of the kill.

Is it possible that the female elephant shot in this latest sport-hunting incident was a ‘protected’ Presidential Elephant known to you?

Pincott: It is certainly possible, and indeed likely in this particular hunting area, that the elephant shot was a Presidential female; from one of the 17 extended family groups who make up the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe. As I’ve said previously – in response to comments from just a couple of (uninformed) operators in Hwange, who quite recently were basically saying that nothing has been negatively affecting the Presidential Elephants – these elephants do not roam just within the boundaries of a relatively small photographic land area. Naturally, they roam further afield, in this larger unfenced Hwange environment. And Good Luck farm adjoins these photographic areas. If somebody could show me a decent photograph of the dead elephant on the ground, with her one ear and tusks visible, I may be able to identify who they killed – although identifying elephants lying on the ground from just a photograph, with one ear obscured, is never easy.

Just like after past poisoning episodes, and the ongoing elephant calf captures, my mind reels wondering which elephants well known to me (and well known to others too, through my books, social media, and the international documentary) may have been involved, and which one/s are now dead or missing.

What does it mean when a female elephant is shot?

Pincott:  Killing a female elephant has many catastrophic repercussions. Depending on the age of the female killed, there will likely be at least two, and possibly three, young elephants who were dependant on that mother for their very survival. If it’s the matriarch (that is, the leader of that family group) who was shot, then the disintegration of that entire family unit is a very real possibility. As I know personally, mothers, sisters, aunties and offspring are always deeply affected and will be mourning this death.

I have to wonder too if only one elephant was shot? I’m not sure that we’ve yet heard the entire story; it sounds incomplete to me. It is most unlikely that the youngest of this dead female elephant’s offspring will simply have raced off, staying away from its mother. Did they capture her youngest offspring? Were they shot too? I imagine the chances are fairly high that more than one elephant was shot dead, or perhaps injured or captured, in the chaos and heat of the moment and the aftermath of this incident. Perhaps the hunting party, and National Parks trackers (from the elephant spoor in the immediate area of this incident, when ZimParks presumably investigated onsite), could clarify this fully? Although I also know personally that oftentimes the whole truth doesn’t ever come out.

How does this incident leave you feeling?

Pincott:  Mr Botha was a person with family and friends. I’m genuinely sorry for their loss. Fatalities are always awful. Sport-hunters in general however, especially sport-hunters of a species as intelligent and family-orientated as an elephant, are not typically people that I have much affinity with.

This is yet another opportunity for the Zimbabwean government to reflect on just what their flagship clan of elephants – that is, the one that President Robert Mugabe chose to put his title to in 1990 (and chose to reaffirm in 2011) – really means to them. Why are sport-hunters allowed in areas so close to where this so-called ‘specially protected’ flagship clan of elephants are widely known to roam? It remains a ridiculous and worrying situation, as it was for all of the 13 years (2001-2014) that I worked with these elephants – regardless of whether or not it was a Presidential Elephant that was killed in this recent incident.

Last year, the CEO of Africa Geographic called the Presidential Decree “a paper tiger”, and that’s exactly what it is. Realistically, these elephants continue to face the exact same problems as does every elephant in Africa, and then some, in this Hwange environment – despite my repeated attempts over more than a decade to give real meaning to these elephants and to the Presidential Decree, even moreso after President Mugabe reaffirmed it, in writing, in 2011. But these attempts only infuriated the new, well-connected, sport-hunting land owners (and other ‘new land owners’) in this Hwange area.

Despite my numerous past pleas, there are typically always some female elephants (often supposedly tuskless ones) on approved Hwange hunting quotas, in addition to bulls. This particular shooting of a female elephant was apparently not planned, but it raises numerous questions regardless, all over again.

There seems to be negative wildlife incident, after incident, in Hwange. Does this surprise you?

Pincott:  Nothing surprises me in Hwange anymore! Far too often during my 13 years, there were Presidential Elephants racing away from the sound of gunfire, sometimes unsuccessfully. Clearly, this is still happening.

It’s always been one of my fears, when guided walks/people on foot get far too close to these elephants, accidently or not. Someone like this was always going to get killed sooner or later. And now the elephants in this area will, once again, be rattled and acting out of character, as I saw them doing too often during my dedicated full days in the field, monitoring them every day, for many years.

What do you suggest can be done right now?

Pincott:  There is nobody in Zimbabwe now who can determine if the dead elephant(s) was a Presidential Elephant from a specific Presidential family. That, by the way, is how I’m certain the unethical, corrupt, and the resentful, like it to be.

This time it wasn’t just the elephants who paid the ultimate price. But as always, the innocent elephants suffer unnecessarily.

If I was still in Hwange right now and hadn’t seen and identified the body of this elephant(s), I would be surveying each Presidential family group to see who is missing. And I’d also be searching tirelessly for young elephants wandering alone or with only each other. But I’m no longer there and positive identification isn’t possible. Game-drives and others in Hwange need to be on the look-out for injured elephants – regardless of whether they’re ‘Presidential’ or not – and also for young ones wandering alone and losing condition, who can be taken in and cared for by the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery if deemed necessary. Game-drives are only out and about for a few hours a day and are typically focused on other things, but their intermittent eyes are better than nothing. Otherwise, depending on their age, young elephant deaths could potentially now occur, without anybody even noticing (since – as I also know only too well in this Hwange environment – elephant bodies are often not found).

You can read a referenced summary of Pincott’s years of work with the Presidential Elephants in Hwange at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharon_Pincott

Mnangagwa’s Command Agriculture: A ploy for the 2018 elections

ZANU PF has been successful in exploiting and suppressing Zimbabweans for nearly four decades because the nation has always been blindsided by the ruling party’s divide and rule tactics.

Source: Mnangagwa’s Command Agriculture: A ploy for the 2018 elections – The Zimbabwean 25.05.2017

Inorder for Zimbabwe to get rid of exploitation and suppression:

The nation needs to ponder its existence?

What does the nation have?

Where is the nation heading?

What kind of leadership does Zimbabwe have?

What kind of leadership does the nation want?

What can the nation do to change and get what it deserves?

Remember, direction determines the nation’s destiny; the journey starts now, for tomorrow is not unpredictable. And most importantly, Zimbabwe needs to remember that it cannot change what it refuses to confront.

The proposed Grand Coalition for the 2018 elections can be the greatest undoing for opposition politics in Zimbabwe. The major fear is a defeat to the opposition’s Grand Coalition in 2018 will put a final nail to the coffin of ailing opposition in Zimbabwe.

Instead of a Grand Coalition, opposition needs a grand strategy that takes into cognizance the past mistakes and come up with an anti-elitist strategy that resonates with masses, especially those in the rural areas.

Whilst opposition political parties are in a season of signing Memorandum of Understandings and bickering for positions within the anticipated coalition, Zanu PF is on the ground “convincing” the electorate.

Mnangagwa’s command agriculture is more of an election tool than a programme aimed at turning around the fortunes in the agricultural sector. The more the opposition political parties bicker about positions in an envisaged coalition the clearer the chances of losing in 2018.

Command agriculture will turn into a command election. The fact that Mnangagwa himself is leading the programme and process of command agriculture should speak volumes to opposition political parties. According to the information obtaining from the government, the programme is very well funded with the programme now expanding to the livestock sector.

Whilst the so-called success of the programme in the last season can be questionable, what cannot be questionable is the fact that beneficiaries like before will be determined along party lines. Command agriculture will justify why soldiers will be on the ground in 2018 because during the day soldiers will be on the ground promoting agriculture and during the night terrorizing villagers for political ends.

Therefore, the opposition needs to come up with a strategy that will counter Zanu PF propaganda using agriculture. Over 70% of Zimbabweans rely on agriculture for livelihoods and Zanu PF has taken advantage of that and has since time immemorial used agriculture and land as a tool for winning elections.

The opposition needs to capitalize on the weaknesses of Zanu PF in terms of land and agriculture to win the hearts and minds of the rural electorate who constitute the bulk of people who vote.

One strategy will be to promise farmers title deeds when the opposition is in power as well as to continue support the farmers through inputs and expertise on farming. The opposition needs to challenge Zanu PF on all fronts.

It is commendable the gesture taken by the MDC-T of challenging Zanu PF over the acquisition of campaign vehicles without paying tax to Zimra. This is what the opposition should always be doing than quarrelling over positions within the yet to be established Grand Coalition.

Tsvangirai’s Africa day message

Today is Africa Day, that significant day when the sons and daughters of Africa celebrate the unparalleled gallantry that as citizens of Africa we continue to exhibit in surmounting the huge challenges that fate continues to throw on our path.

Source: Tsvangirai’s Africa day message – The Zimbabwean 25.05.2017

Africa Day is a day to celebrate this continent of heroes and heroines who successfully fought colonialism and foreign domination; a continent  that continues to fight repression wherever it manifests, even among ourselves.

Today, we must reflect on the vision of the founding fathers who gathered to form the Organization of African Unity in 1963, which we transformed into the African Union and has scored some successes and met with challenges in other areas. Indeed, we have had an odd mixture of both proud and sorry moments but today is a day to celebrate our achievements and the numerous challenges we have surmounted to become the continent of hope that we are today.

As we celebrate  this day, it is also a moment for sober reflection.

Firstly, given the continent’s vast mineral wealth and its wide base of natural resources, it is without any rationality and justification that we must continue to have such poverty among ourselves. Notwithstanding the great strides we are making as a continent, it is true that our ruling elites have pillaged national resources while many in our communities, especially women and children, continue to live in abject poverty, surviving on less than US$1 a day. This is unforgivable especially given the vast wealth our great continent enjoys.

Africa’s wealth must benefit the simple and the ordinary who continue to be hewers of wood and drawers of water while the ruling elite enjoy the fruits, nay the tree, of our vast wealth.

Indeed, the values of empathy and solidarity with which we supported each other during our various national struggles for independence must continue to flow amongst  us as African nations.

It is in that spirit of African solidarity that it behoves upon me on this great day to appeal to the people and the leaders of Africa to keep Zimbabwe in their prayers and to feel obliged to continue to redirect us towards stability, inclusivity, growth and democracy.
As Zimbabwe braces for a watershed election next year, Africa must be in solidarity with the Zimbabwean people and not necessarily with the Zimbabwean leadership. Given our history of violence and disputed elections, we pray for once that the rest of Africa will support all efforts for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in the run-up to 2018. Africa has done it before and we trust that they will be with us again next year to ensure that the people’s will is freely expressed, respected and guaranteed.

We have a leader in the sunset of his life; a national and continental hero who played a huge part in the development of this country and the continent but who has now turned into a villain through his misdirected leadership that has since started eroding his own legacy. By dint of his age and his long stay in office, his leadership is now on an alarming stretch of diminishing returns, with the country now hanging precariously on the precipice of almost being a failed State.

My plea today is to plead with Africa to support a democratic transition in Zimbabwe for the sake of its people, particularly the young generation that faces a bleak and doomed future if we don’t start on an even keel next year.  The leadership and the people of Africa must support our domestic efforts for a truly free, fair, genuine and credible election so that the millions of our sons and daughters who have fled the country can come back home and serve their country.

Yes, Africa needs to support Zimbabwe’s quest for free and fair elections. Only free, fair and credible elections will yield a credible leadership with uncontested legitimacy that can begin to transact the business of the people.

I am heartened by the fact that the theme for this year’s Africa Day celebrations is ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth’.

Given the youth bulge on the continent, including in Zimbabwe where even university graduates are on the street pavements eking out a living as vendors, we urgently need to invest in the future of our young people. We certainly need to create opportunities for them so that they make a positive contribution to the country and the continent.

The youth are the future but that future can only be ensured by our conscious decisions today to put in place policies and mechanisms that guarantee their active participation both in the politics and the economies of their countries.

That is why in our country, I and the party I lead are urging the young people, who constitute 60 percent of the population to register to vote so that they can determine their own future through their direct participation in next year’s election.

The youth need our support and the continent certainly needs to harness that demographic dividend for growth and prosperity.

Happy Africa Day!

Parliament to hold inaugural Open Day

Source: Parliament to hold inaugural Open Day | The Herald May 25, 2017

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Parliament will next month hold its inaugural Open Day to facilitate the involvement of the public in legislative processes as required by the Constitution. The Open Day will be held under the theme, “Parliament Open Day: Celebrating 37 years of independence and parliamentary democracy.” The Open Day will run over two days from June 8 to 9.

“Parliament of Zimbabwe will be hosting its inaugural Open Day on Thursday 8th June and Friday 9th June, 2017 in fulfilment of its constitutional mandate of facilitating public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its Committees,” read part of a statement released by Parliament.

“The two day expo will afford the members of the public a unique opportunity to intimately interact with MPs, gain an in-depth understanding of Parliament and the role played by their elected representatives in advancing the hopes and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.”

Some of the activities that would be held include displays by various Parliament’s departments and cooperating partners, outlining roles and functions of Parliament and opportunities for the public to interact with parliamentarians during sessions of National Assembly and Senate.

“In addition, the National Art Gallery will mount an exhibition on the history of Parliament at the National Art Gallery in Harare from June 2 to 7,” said Parliament.

The Parliament of Zimbabwe embarked on reforms in 1996 with the assistance of development partners to make the legislature more accessible to the public, strengthen the legislative processes and oversight role of Parliament, among other objectives.

The adoption of reforms resulted in the creation of Portfolio and Thematic Committees to carry out an oversight role over Government ministries and departments.

Mutumanje withdraws Concourt application

Source: Mutumanje withdraws Concourt application | The Herald May 25, 2017

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Former Zanu-PF activist William Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba, who is accused of insulting President Mugabe yesterday withdrew his constitutional application after the prosecution advised the court that it was withdrawing charges. Mutumanje, who allegedly used the F-word to insult President Mugabe, had brought his application to the Constitutional Court, arguing that his utterances did not constitute an offence.

He also argued that his constitutional rights as enshrined in the Constitution were being infringed.

At the hearing yesterday before a full bench of the Concourt, Mutumanje’s lawyer Advocate Zvikomborero Chadambuka instructed by Mr David Hofisi, advised the court that his client was no longer pursuing the matter.

He indicated that the State had agreed to withdraw the criminal charges against his client, which gave rise to the application.

Law officer Mr Edmore Nyazamba from the Prosecutor-General’s Office confirmed the development to the court, saying the State intended to withdraw the charges.

This comes in the wake of a previous Constitutional Court ruling in a case in which MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora likened President Mugabe to a goblin.

The court ruled that the utterances did not constitute an offence.

Mwonzora was said to have insulted the President during a rally held in Nyanga in 2009.

Mutumanje will be back at the magistrate’s court on June 12 when the State is expected to withdraw charges against him.

He is being charged with undermining the authority of, or insulting the President as defined in Section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

It is the State’s case that on June 30, last year, Mutumanje, who was addressing people during the launch of his political party, said: “Mr President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, f*** you.

“I am drawing the red line, our kids are in trouble, so it is a red line I know and my name is Lumumba, Lumumba Lumumba . . . ”

Zimra chief Pasi resigns

Source: Zimra chief Pasi resigns | The Herald May 25, 2017

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi has resigned from his post with immediate effect, citing irretrievably broken down relations with his employer who last year suspended him over a slew of misconduct allegations. It is not clear whether Comm-Gen Pasi will still answer to over 40 counts of misconduct, including vehicle importation scams and other charges dating back to 2009.

Among other charges, Comm-Gen Pasi was facing allegations of signing a $14 million contract with a company called AVIC International for the supply of uniforms and tollgate equipment without following tender procedures.

He also stands accused of failure to investigate the alleged fraudulent importation of vehicles by Zimra executives, authorising his daughter to use the authority’s vehicle and approving salary increments without board approval.

Comm-Gen Pasi was also expected to answer to allegations of allocating himself excessive vehicle allowances to an extent of getting $374 451 between 2014 and May 2016.

He is also accused of allocating himself excessive holiday allowances and withdrew $205 000 from the authority between 2014 and May 2016.

He also allegedly received “unexplained” allowances to the tune of $121 926 in a year.

In March this year, the revenue collector sent Comm-Gen Pasi and five other managers on forced leave over an alleged vehicle importation scam.

He is being charged in terms of the Zimra code of conduct.

Zimra was also investigating three senior officials — Mr Robert Mangwiro, Mr Shadreck Dimingo and Mrs Truenia Dimingo — who were also suspended after being implicated in an audit report.

Zimra chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe confirmed the development, saying the Zimra board had accepted Comm-Gen Pasi’s resignation. In his resignation letter, Comm-Gen Pasi asked for timeous payment of “certain emoluments” due to him.

“My employer has without just or lawful cause preferred unfounded charges against me. The charges ring hollow being based as they are upon an incompetent audit report prepared by auditors who abdicated their most basic functions and responsibilities,” reads the letter.

“I wish to reiterate and make it abundantly clear that I have committed no misconduct either of the nature alleged or at all. I have served the authority with much grace, poise and integrity and competence.”

He said the fact that the allegations were preferred against him, meant that there has been a “complete breakdown” in his relationship with Zimra.

Comm-Gen Pasi said even if he is acquitted, he did not believe he would want to continue to be of “service to the country” under such circumstances.

“For the foregoing reasons, I cannot in good conscience subject myself to the instituted disciplinary process. I refuse to chlorinate that process. It is in the national interest, the authority’s interest and my own interest that I terminate my employment with the authority.

“I terminate the relationship the very same way it was consummated, with peace, tranquillity and restraint. I clothe myself in dignity as I put off my title and call time on the long and gratifying association that I have had with the authority. I have decided to walk. I do so with effect from today May, 22, 2017.

“I am aware that this triggers the payment of certain emoluments that are due to me. I have all the confidence, madam chair, that you will facilitate timeous payment of those.

“I further implore you to consider the selfless and dedicated service that I have put in my work for a period in excess of three decades,” Mr Pasi wrote.

He thanked President Mugabe for bestowing trust and confidence in him.

Said Mrs Bonyongwe: “All stakeholders are aware, the commissioner-general has been on suspension and undergoing disciplinary hearings. He has, however, opted to resign with immediate effect prior to the conclusion of the hearings. The board has accepted his resignation.

“The Zimra board, together with senior management and staff, would like to acknowledge the service that Commissioner-General Pasi rendered to the organisation and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Midlands saga: Kasukuwere under fire

Source: Midlands saga: Kasukuwere under fire | The Herald May 25, 2017

Herald Reporter—
EMBATTLED zanu-pf national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, has come under fire for trashing the party’s communication channels and procedures after he unilaterally disqualified Cde Pearson Meeting Mbalekwa from contesting the Chiwundura by-elections slated for July 15. Cde Kasukuwere disqualified Cde Mbalekwa via a text message from Mexico where he is accompanying President Mugabe who is attending the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

The disqualification of Cde Mbalekwa, who prevailed in party primaries, has intensified calls by some party insiders that Cde Kasukuwere should recuse himself from commissariat duties till his case is finalised.

The commissar, party members said, had do locus standi having been rejected by nine of the party’s 10 provinces.

zanu-pf Politburo member and senior official from the Midlands Province Cde Joram Gumbo said he was not aware where the directive to disqualify Cde Mbalekwa came from because the Politburo never sat to discuss the matter.

Cde Omega Hungwe (zanu-pf deputy national commissar) who was the returning officer in the elections, yesterday said Cde Kasukuwere never communicated with her, but chose to send a text message to one of the directors in the Commissariat Department identified as Cde Gwazemba announcing that Cde Mbalekwa was no longer eligible to stand for primaries.

Cde Mbalekwa, who later recused himself from the elections, had won the primaries with 1 551 votes against his closest rival Cde Brown Ndlovu who got 1 196.

He contested the primaries after his name, together with 20 others, were approved by the Provincial Elections Directorate which submitted his name to the National Elections Directorate which did not contest his candidature.

Procedurally, if the National Elections Directorate had misgivings with any of the candidates submitted to it, it was supposed to write back to the Provincial Elections Directorate through the secretary for Administration.

However, out of the blue, Cde Kasukuwere texted his directive to a junior officer in the commissariat department for onward submission to Cde Hungwe.

Cde Gumbo yesterday dismissed Cde Kasukuwere’s text message saying: “I don’t subscribe to instructions given through the media. I think communication must be done through the relevant party channels. The correct procedure was to write to the Provincial Elections Directorate if there were concerns about a particular candidate. As far as I know, the Politburo never met because I represent Midlands in the Politburo as its leader.

“It was important to contact us as Midlands leadership and get our opinion rather than to use the media. It shows that there is some disorder in our house. I am happy that the Provincial Elections Directorate without me as its leader and for the sake of the party and unity Cde Mbalekwa voluntarily recused himself. There is no individual winner here but the ultimate winner is Zanu-PF.

“However, the communication channel that was used is not correct. It’s like we are fighting and that kind of communication was unfortunate. We remain resolute to win the elections under the wise leadership of President Mugabe.”

He said although Cde Mbalekwa was once suspended from Zanu-PF in 2004 and contested elections on an MDC-T ticket, some of those suspended together with him were now sitting Members of Parliament while others had risen to the Politburo and Central Committee.

Speaking to the Herald Cde Hungwe said Cde Kasukuwere’s directive on the Cde MbAlekwa issue came while she was already deploying people to supervise the elections in various stations.

“I was already deploying people when one of the directors in the commissariat department Cde Gwazemba said she had received a text message from the national political commissar saying Cde Mbalekwa should not stand. He did not talk to me and I was the only Politburo member there.

“I then called the provincial chairman (Cde Mackenzie Ncube) to inform him. The chairman said you are the boss and senior member here and we then conclude that the Provincial Coordinating Committee, which is the highest decision making organ in the province had approved all the candidates so they should all contest. Cde Mbalekwa emerged as the winner but I was told yesterday that he had decided to withdraw his candidature.”

Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said: “There are laid down rules that should be followed when disqualifying a candidate. You cannot make an independent decision. You go by the rules.”

A provincial member from Midlands who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “When we realised that the NPC was heavily involved in the process, we resolved that Cde Mbalekwa should recuse himself because we didn’t want to cause unnecessary controversy. We strongly believe that it was his (Cde Kasukuwere’s) personal decision because it was not formally communicated. When a decision is being communicated it should be communicated to an organ and not to an individual like what we saw on Monday.”

Cde Kasukuwere was rejected by the party’s provinces on a litany of allegations.

He is awaiting his fate once the Politburo meets.

This followed a report that was prepared by a probe team set by President Mugabe to investigate charges being levelled against him.

Efforts to get comment from Cde Kasukuwere were fruitless.

Hypertension cases increase

Source: Hypertension cases increase | The Herald May 25, 2017

Health Reporter
The number of people suffering from high blood pressure continues to rise from an estimated 53 people in every 1 000 in 2012 to 70 people in the same population over the past five years, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has said. In 2014, an estimated 67 people in every 1 000 population were estimated to be hypertensive.

The number of new patients diagnosed of hypertension also continued to increase from 671 931 reported cases in 2012 to 718 648 people in 2016.

In an interview with The Herald yesterday, epidemiology and disease control director Dr Portia Manangazira said Zimbabwe was concerned with the continued increase of hypertension, considering that recorded figures were only for people who present to health institutions.

“We think this is just a tip of an iceberg since these people are only checked for hypertension when they visit our health facilities presenting with other illnesses,” said Dr Manangazira.

She said Government was seeking funding to conduct a national survey on the actual prevalence of hypertension to enable the designing of an appropriate programme.

“The last survey on hypertension was conducted in 2005 and what we have now are just institutional based statistics, which do not necessarily reflect the actual burden of the condition,” said Dr Manangazira.

“We are, therefore, looking for partners who can avail funding towards conducting the survey. Knowing the magnitude of the problem will help us design programmes that are in tandem with the needs of the population.”

Hypertension, also known as the silent killer disease, because it does not usually show any symptoms, is one of the major causes of death in Zimbabwe.

High blood pressure which is not managed can lead to impaired vision, severe headache, chest pain and difficulty breathing.

These problems can complicate to heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, rupture of blood vessels followed by paralysis and death.

These complications are preventable through early detection of high blood pressure and manageable once detected.

Rogue cops demand bribes in Ngundu

Source: Rogue cops demand bribes in Ngundu | The Herald May 25, 2017

Herald Reporter—
At least five police officers based at Ngundu are accused of demanding between $200 and $300 bribes per day from bus operators to allow free passage of their buses along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway. The officers normally target buses that ply the Harare-Beitbridge route and most of the operators are accused of being involved in smuggling syndicates.

Over 23 buses ply the route on a daily basis.

Police sources said the five officers were from different sections in the force, but when they hold roadblocks they claim to be from the Border Control Unit.

“Most of these buses don’t cross the border into South Africa, but they ply the Harare-Beitbridge route and they are being targeted on a daily basis by some of our colleagues,” said a police source.

“The bus crew will have to fork out amounts ranging between $200 and $300 on a daily basis.

“If they don’t pay up, then life becomes difficult for them.”

Some of the operators who preferred anonymity for fear of being victimised confirmed that they were losing cash to the officers.

“We would want to urge their commanders to look into such issues and bring some of these culprits to book,” said one of the operators.

The operators alleged that other buses would also fork out amounts ranging between $20 and $30 at different spots between Ngundu and Beitbridge where roadblocks are manned by traffic police officers.

In August 2016, Government redeployed close to 500 police officers who were at different stations in Beitbridge District to other stations countrywide, amid allegations of failure to deliver their duties.

Sources in the border town said only officers from the Police Protection Unit were spared from the massive redeployment.

In January 2014, 33 traffic police officers at Avondale Police Station in Harare, including the officer-in-charge, were transferred to other bases allegedly because of intolerable corruption levels.

In 2010, about 78 officers at the police station were transferred after their bosses got fed up with their conduct.

ZCDC takes delivery of new equipment

Source: ZCDC takes delivery of new equipment | The Herald May 25, 2017

Abel Zhakata Mutare Bureau
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company has received heavy duty plant equipment procured from Belarus under a $32 million Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe financing facility granted last year. The first batch of the equipment, which comprised seven dump trucks, arrived at Forbes Border Post in Mutare on Tuesday and was cleared by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials en-route to the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

ZCDC will receive a total of 21 dump trucks and five dozers, which it procured from the eastern European country. The company’s chief executive officer, Dr Morris Mpofu, said all the equipment would be in the country in three months.

“This is part of the recapitalisation process we are undertaking at ZCDC in order to increase our operations at the mines,” he said.

“We are going to receive 21 dump trucks and five dozers that were procured from Belarus using the $32 million we got from the RBZ last year.

“In the next three months, we would have taken delivery of all the equipment. We have since set up an assembling platform at Chiadzwa, where we are going to put the machinery components together since we are receiving them in pieces.”

Dr Mpofu said by procuring the machinery, ZCDC would sustain itself and do away with contract mining which was costly.

“When we have our own machinery, we will do everything on our own,” he said. “What it means is that we will declare more dividends to Government by minimising costs related to contract mining.

“The new mining equipment will also help us expand our operations and thereby increase production. All portals in Chiadzwa and Chimanimani will have enough equipment to operate at full capacity.

“We have started to engage the contract miners on the new developments. What is more important is that with the new equipment we will be able to do conglomerate mining which will increase our yield both qualitatively and quantitatively.

“It means that we will get more refined gems that fetch higher prices unlike the industrial diamonds which were being mined through alluvial processes.”

Child smuggling on Zim-SA border surges

Source: Child smuggling on Zim-SA border surges | The Herald May 25, 2017

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A total of 150 children were this year intercepted while being smuggled into either South Africa or Zimbabwe, while 79 local minors are being held at care centres in Limpopo province, an action committee has revealed. A quarterly meeting of the Zimbabwe-South Africa Cross-Border Coordination Committee for Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children raised concern over the rampant smuggling of minors between the two countries’ borders.

The committee is made up of officials from the two nations’ social service departments, immigration, police, non-governmental organisations and human rights lawyers.

Speaking during the meeting held in Beitbridge on Tuesday, the committee’s co-chairperson, Mr Craig Nkomo, said they had roped in a number of border stakeholders to deal with issues of child smuggling.

He said cases of irregular migration of minors were rife during school holidays.

Last year, 120 children were intercepted in December alone.

Mr Nkomo said a total of 150 children were this year intercepted at Beitbridge Border Post and around Limpopo province while being transported to either country.

“It is sad that we continue to have parents or guardians who expose their children to illegal migration,” he said. “Most of the intercepted children are from Bulawayo and Chiredzi and their destination in South Africa is mainly Johannesburg in Gauteng Province.

“In general, the largest number was intercepted in the month of January, while the movement was significantly lower in April.”

Mr Nkomo said investigations by the social services department revealed that most of the children were visiting their parents in South Africa.

He said that Zimbabwean authorities had adopted a zero tolerance to the smuggling of children and other illegal immigrants.

Mr Nkomo said authorities were impounding vehicles of those facilitating irregular migration.

“Besides having the vehicles impounded, the culprits are being sent to court for prosecution,” he said. “It has also become apparent that in some cases, irregular migration among these children is a result of peer pressure,” he said.

He said they had scaled up awareness campaigns in the high migrant areas, with the view of reducing incidents of child smuggling.

Mr Nkomo said their target was to reduce the number of children being smuggled between the two countries to less than 30 per year.

“We need to redouble our efforts as stakeholders in addressing the root causes to this trend,” he said. “It is pleasing that since we created this forum around 2015, cases of children being deported from South Africa together with adults have stopped.”

The committee’s South African co-chair, Mr Robert Mukwevho, said they had 79 unaccompanied minors who were being kept at child and youth care centres dotted around Limpopo Province.

He said the majority were Zimbabweans, adding that they were working on reuniting the children with their parents.

“We are working on getting court orders for us to keep the children for three months while we trace their parents,” said Mr Mukwevho.

“In case we don’t find them in that period we apply to keep them for two years while we exhaust all avenues to trace the relatives.”

Mr Mukwevho said in some instances, they had to enrol those of school-going age in learning institutions, though they still had challenges in securing places in the absence of documentation.

Mat chiefs seek broadcasting licences

Source: Mat chiefs seek broadcasting licences | The Herald May 25, 2017

Felex Share Senior Reporter
Traditional leaders from Matabeleland want Government to give them national IsiNdebele broadcasting licences for radio and television to advance the Ndebele language and culture. The five chiefs, led by Chief Ndiweni and MDC legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, yesterday met Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to air their grievances.

Speaking after the meeting, Chief Ndiweni said they wanted to benefit from broadcasting licences coming with the digitisation programme.
Government has indicated that six of the 12 radio stations to be opened after completion of digitisation would be open to anyone.

Said Chief Ndiweni: “We came to the Vice President to ask for assistance so that we can be let into the media arena, that is television and radio.
“We need at least one licence, a national one, which will cover the whole country and will be speaking in Ndebele for that whole community to express itself.

“We have a lot of youngsters who are already in South Africa and Botswana doing music, art, drama and they are doing well and we want them to come back and assist other young people. We felt that the digitisation programme would assist them and give them an outlet for their views and opinions.

Chief Ndiweni said awarding the Matabeleland region a national broadcasting licence would unite the people.

“I say that strongly because history tells us that you need to allow the people to have self-expression,” Chief Ndiweni said. “If you deny a particular group that, you will be sitting on a pressure cooker.”

Zim poultry producers burdened by VAT on inputs, capital investment

Source: Zim poultry producers burdened by VAT on inputs, capital investment | The Financial Gazette May 23, 2017

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has instructed chicken abattoirs to pay 15 percent value-added-tax (VAT) on all inputs, including capital investments used in broiler production, post statutory instrument (SI) 26A of 2017.

On February 1 2017, government imposed 15 percent VAT on all meat products and cereals under Statutory Instrument 20 of 2017, triggering an immediate increase in the prices of most basic foodstuffs, as retailers passed the cost on to consumers.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa did suspend the tax following an outcry, but poultry industry players say Zimra has come back for another pound of flesh.

Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairperson Solomon Zawe revealed in an industry update that demand for broiler meat was negatively affected by the introduction of VAT of 15 percent on meats during February.

“Prior to this, broiler meat was zero rated for VAT purposes. Although this was later changed to VAT exempt through SI 26A of 2017, the industry remains under strain as VAT exemption implies poultry abattoirs cannot reclaim VAT charged on inputs, maintaining upward pressure on cost of production,” Zawe said.

“In addition, ZIMRA has instructed chicken abattoirs to pay VAT on all inputs, including capital investments, used in broiler production post SI 26A,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zawe said cash shortages continue to curtail demand especially in the informal live markets where cash sales were the norm.

He revealed that reports of illegal imports of chicken offals – gizzards, heads, feet – continue to be received despite government imposing a duty of $1,50 per kilogramme on imported chicken in 2012 in a bid to protect local producers.

As such, ZPA and its sister organisations under the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council were in the process of setting up an anonymous tip-off initiative to try to curb proliferation of illegal imports, he said. The Source

Cabinet assesses Beitbridge tenders

Source: Cabinet assesses Beitbridge tenders | The Herald May 25, 2017

Business Reporters
CABINET is evaluating the three tenders from companies Government short-listed for final selection to upgrade and modernise Beitbridge Border Post in a move which will improve efficiency and ease congestion.

“The tenders have been submitted to Cabinet and are being evaluated. It may take some bit of time since it is a big project but the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, as Government financial advisor, looked into the contracts and made recommendations,” said a source close to developments.

This comes after Government short-listed three companies last year for final selection to undertake the upgrade and modernisation project under a build operate and transfer arrangement.

Beitbridge Border Post handles most of the traffic to and from South Africa, which is Zimbabwe’s single biggest trading partner. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa is on record saying that Government requires an estimated $100 million to upgrade the border post to international standards.

Minister Chinamasa said that Beitbridge, being the busiest entry point in Southern Africa, continued to be a major bottleneck to smooth flow of traffic, both goods and people due to inadequate facilities.

A research by Mr Watson Munyanyi says in recent years, Southern Africa has witnessed an increase in the volume of commercial and private cross-border traffic. This has put pressure on inland ports of entry as well as sea ports with the Beitbridge Border Post handling the largest volume of traffic in Southern Africa.

“However, there has been no significant infrastructure development in the past decade. Incidences of smuggling and other illegal activities have increased. The existing infrastructure fails to contain the volume of traffic, enabling travellers to evade duty payment.”

The upgrade and expansion of Beitbridge Border Post will encompass an upgrade of the road network to and from the border post, perimeter fencing and gate control infrastructure, parking areas, commercial centre, staff accommodation, weigh-bridge, upgrading of communication, security and lighting systems, computerisation and construction of a new bridge among others.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni said in an interview last year that the upgrading of the Beitbridge Border Post would expedite processes ahead of implementation of the one-stop border post concept between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“At the moment, we are looking at proposals made by three companies over the border upgrading programme. We are attending to the matter with the urgency it deserves. You must also note that the take-off of the project might take a while because we need to be thorough in choosing the final developer, considering that this is a build-operate and transfer set up,” he said.

Govt expands ease of doing business reforms

Source: Govt expands ease of doing business reforms | The Herald May 25, 2017

Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter
BUOYED by the achievements coming out of the initial phases of the Ease of Doing Business Reforms, Government has widened the scope of the reforms to cover various sectors such as tourism and enablers like local authorities, road freight and passenger transport and the export sectors.

Furthermore, in pursuit of the Sectoral Approach strategy, Government has expanded the reforms to cover the manufacturing, mining, agriculture and investment sectors.

“Reforming these areas will bring a lot of socio-economic benefits as the country’s comparative and competitive advantages are anchored by these sectors,” Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula said.

Dr Ndhlukula was making a presentation on Ease of Doing Business Reforms: Progress and Way Forward with a Special Focus on the Mining Sector at the Chamber of Mines’ 78th Annual General Meeting and Conference in Victoria Falls last week.

It is now one year and eight months since the Ease of Doing Business Reforms commenced and remarkable progress has been made on both the legislative and administrative front for the first phase of the reforms.

Dr Ndhlukula said eight pieces of legislation were forwarded to Parliament during the 20 months of the reforms under the legislative milestones. The remaining pieces of legislation are at various stages of Parliamentary consideration and it is hoped that by the end of this month these would also have been passed by Parliament.

Furthermore, thirteen statutory instruments were also identified for amendment, of these 11 have been amended and gazetted, only two are still outstanding, according to Dr Ndhlukula.

On administrative milestones, Dr Ndhlukula said a lot of administrative procedures, timelines and costs have been reviewed and streamlined to facilitate the Ease of Doing Business.

Some of the achievements include dealing with construction permits and registering property. “Zimbabwe made dealing with construction permits faster by streamlining the building plan approval process. The One-Stop- Shop for plan approval is now operational at the City of Harare; on Construction Permits the days have been reduced from 448 days to 120 days within the City of Harare; property registration now takes 14 days from the previous 36 days; and these reforms will be decentralised to other local authorities,” said Dr Ndhlukula.

A research on the manufacturing sector’s regulatory environment revealed that some regulations were out-dated and non-functional in the current environment, for instance, the Export Credit Reinsurance Act of 1965.

Some regulations were no longer necessary because the institutions under which they fell are no longer functional such as the Rhodesian Iron and Steel Commission of 1942, 1983 and the Zimbabwe Development Corporation whose functions have been taken over by Industrial Development Corporation andurban councils

Too many regulators for the same type of service, for instance, licences for professionals such as pharmacists, dentists and nurses which are issued by the same authority.

Dr Ndhlukula said evidence had shown that the agricultural sector is one of the highly regulated sectors that needed to be subjected to the Ease of Doing Business reforms if it is to fully realise optimum productivity levels as the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy.

“The justification for reforms in this sector is based on the following information: some laws are too old, some dating back as far as 1914, 1921, 1955, 1963.

“The reforms will determine whether the laws are still necessary and relevant to the current situation. “There are lots of duplications and therefore streamlining and standardisation of laws and regulations is necessary within the agricultural value chain. “There is also a lot of overlapping of laws in other Ministries and Agencies; some charges are prohibitive and others are no longer relevant.

The sector is over-regulated; and there is also need for harmonisation of levies and regulations,” said Dr Ndhlukula. Under the investment area said however, the investment environment is not very conducive to attraction of investment as the sector is fragmented with various Government Investment related Departments/Agencies’ systems, procedures, legislation and operations not being harmonised.

This will no doubt frustrate prospective investors considering that other countries such as Rwanda have “One Stop Shop” for Investors and these can be registered within a day.

“This is in addition to the collaborative efforts being done by the Government and World Bank to strengthen the process of crafting a National Investment Policy and coming up with a broad National Investment Road Map,” he said.

Commenting on the mining sector Dr Ndhlukula said it was critical that the sector had a regulatory environment which ensures that it contributes maximum value to the country and communities.

Currently the mining sector is governed by an antiquated Mines and Minerals Act dating back to 1961. Efforts to come up with a new regulatory environment have been going on since 2007, however, the success of these reforms should be heavily underpinned by the successful review of the Mines & Minerals Act (1961), according to the Deputy Chief Secretary.

The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill has provisions which are in synch with Government’s thrust of improving productivity, value addition and beneficiation in the mining sector such as: “Use it or Lose it” principle to prevent hoarding of mining claims and establishment of mining cadastre to ensure full information of claims is available for both operations and planning purposes.

“It also includes emphasis of value-addition and beneficiation of minerals. “Value addition and beneficiation will allow the country to gain from the export of its minerals as well as industrialisation and more job creation in the mining sector,” said Dr Ndhlukula.

“It is Government’s belief that the reforms will also curb resource leakages and corruption which is also rampant in the private sector including mining.”

Voters’ roll concerns escalate

Source: Voters’ roll concerns escalate – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      24 May 2017

HARARE – The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC says it is preparing for the
worst-case scenario, amid concerns the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)
is delaying implementing the biometric voter registration (BVR) process.

This comes as civil society organisations have expressed worry over the
possibility of Zec reverting to the old voters’ roll due to the limited
time left to implement the BVR technology ahead of the 2018 election.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday said there is a possibility that Zec
will fail to implement BVR and will likely revert to the old voter
register.

“As the country’s largest and most popular political party, the MDC should
start preparing for the worst-case scenario, that is a scenario in which
the BVR process will be abandoned by Zec mid-stream and we have the
elections in 2018 being conducted using the old, manipulated and crooked
national voters’ roll,” he told the Daily News.

“It is not too late for us to start strategising and computing a viable
and effective Plan B. The Zanu PF regime is essentially renegade,
insipidly corrupt and incorrigibly dishonest. Zec is emasculated and
virtually powerless in the scheme of things, particularly regarding the
running of a free, fair and credible election that can easily pass the
test of legitimacy.

“Election 2018 is just around the corner but Zec is still ducking and
diving. An election is a process, not an event; a marathon and not a
sprint.”

Gutu said the BVR process must be implemented expeditiously to enable all
stakeholders to be fully on board in time for next year’s election.

“We have to open our eyes and see what exactly is happening around the BVR
process. The people of Zimbabwe have reposed so much hope and trust in us
to deliver them from the yoke of Zanu PF slavery and servitude,” he said.

“If we disappoint the people of this mighty and wonderful country, history
will, indeed, judge us very harshly,” he said, adding “the danger with a
hurried process is that it will be grossly imperfect and thus,
inefficient.”

“People need to be fully conversant with what exactly BVR entails. It
takes no less than 12 months to fully and adequately prepare for a
credible plebiscite.

“There is need for massive and countrywide voter education because BVR is
a new concept in Zimbabwe. Time is fast running out and Zec should wake up
and smell the coffee.

“It is just too ghastly to contemplate what another disputed election will
mean for the majority of Zimbabweans in 2018,” he said.

Recently, opposition parties said they had gathered “overwhelming
information” that the commission wants to disenfranchise voters in their
urban strongholds by increasing voter registration points in the rural
areas.

Harare braces for more water cuts

Source: Harare braces for more water cuts – DailyNews Live

Helen Kadirire      24 May 2017

HARARE – Harare residents must brace for more water cuts, as council moves
to repair countless burst pipes across the city.

This comes as water supplies are expected to resume, after most suburbs
went for days without the precious commodity following the shutdown of
Warren Control Pump Station last weekend.

Suburbs affected include the Avenues, Msasa, Hatfield, Greendale,
Workington, Graniteside, Mabvuku and Tafara.

In an interview with the Daily News, Harare City Council (HCC)
spokesperson Michael Chideme said there are many burst water pipes, which
needed urgent attention.

“Over the past month, we have received numerous reports of burst pipes.
However, we have not been attending to them because it would translate
into dry days for the city. But recently, we noticed that if we continue
ignoring the matter, more water would be lost, which is why the control
station had to be shut down to make way for repairs,” he said.

He added that the burst pipes around the city were mainly caused by water
pressure, although there has been concern that the infrastructure is
antiquated.

The continued water cuts come as refurbishment of Morton Jaffray (MJ)
Waterworks has been postponed to December.

HCC director of water Hosea Chisango said the city had anticipated
completion by March, but there were some delays in the disbursement of
funds.

The water treatment works is undergoing refurbishment after the China Exim
Bank extended a $144 million loan to the local authority.

Once completed, it is set to increase supply coverage to 72 000
households, reduce non-revenue water by 25 percent and increase revenue by
about $21,6 million annually.

“Though the work left is small, we have given the contractor until
December this year to complete the whole refurbishment. What we want is
for MJ to be completed then we can look at other treatment works such as
Warren Control,” Chisango said.

“The delays were because there was a time when the contractor stopped
working due to disbursement delays. The money has not yet been released
but we are going ahead with work.

“We, however, expect output to be completed by August or September and
those works that were done manually should be automated by then also,” he
said.

Currently, HCC can only provide 450 mega-litres of water per day, against
a daily demand of 900 mega-litres.

 

Life goes on in Masvingo: Chadzamira

Source: Life goes on in Masvingo: Chadzamira – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      24 May 2017

HARARE – Newly-elected Zanu PF Masvingo chairperson Ezra Chadzamira said
he has since moved on and is now working on strengthening the party ahead
of the 2018 poll, despite calls by rivals to have his election victory
nullified.

The province’s chairmanship election was comprehensively won by Chadzamira
– an alleged Team Lacoste candidate – after he walloped Mutero
Masanganise, who had pulled out days before polling, citing a number of
irregularities.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Chadzamira said the election issue
was now water under the bridge and those who are still disputing it were
“dreaming”.

“We are now focusing on the 2018 general elections . . . (and)
developmental projects like the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam. We have shifted our
focus. The issue of elections is now a closed chapter,” he said, adding
that “we need to unite as a party and move forward, there is no benefit in
quarrelling”.

“Munhu anenge ane shungu about elections, dzinozopera nekufamba kwenguva
zvinongopera hazvo (the anger about these elections will soon come to an
end with the passage of time). The president sent senior members of the
party and they did their job very well and the elections were concluded,
what is now left is to build our party.”

Efforts to get comment from Masanganise were fruitless as his mobile phone
was not reachable.

However, last week, he told the Daily News that he was hopeful the
politburo would “deal with” the burning Masvingo issue decisively.

“I am waiting for the politburo to deliberate on the issue. For me, there
was no election done to choose the Masvingo chairperson,” he said then.

Masanganise – linked to the embattled Generation 40 (G40) faction, which
in turn is opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding
President Robert Mugabe – pulled out of the Masvingo poll re-run arguing
it was illegal.

Mugabe and the politburo had nullified results from the initial regional
poll, which was again won by Chadzamira, amid claims of irregularities,
including people not voting in some districts.

Chadzamira, who is the former regional chairperson and an alleged
Mnangagwa backer, crushed Masanganise then – polling 12 393 votes against
his opponent’s 4 888, amid allegations of rigging and failure by people in
Mwenezi and some parts of Chiredzi to vote.

The G40 has for some time now been described as being “at sixes and
sevens”, following the pressure that has been brought to bear on its
leading national figures, as well as the suspension of its alleged
provincial kingpins who were ousted from the regional executive last
month.

Ex-Harare council bosses in $32m scam

Source: Ex-Harare council bosses in $32m scam – DailyNews Live

Tarisai Machakaire      24 May 2017

HARARE – Former Harare City Council (HCC) treasurer Wilton Janjazi and
four other ex-procurement board members were dragged to court yesterday on
allegations of abuse of office relating to $32 million worth of tenders
that were reportedly awarded to unregistered companies.

The five – Misheck Mubvumbi, 64, Urayayi Mangwiro, 42, Masiye Kapare, 48,
Paula Macharangwanda, 51, and Janjazi, 47 – appeared before Harare
magistrate Barbra Chimboza facing two counts of criminal abuse of duty as
public officers.

Each of the accused persons was ordered to pay $400 bail and remanded to
June 22.

Mubvumbi is a lawyer at J Mambara and Partners while Mangwiro, Kapare and
Macharangwanda are former HCC procurement board members.

Sometime in 2010, the council embarked on a programme to rehabilitate its
sewerage plants at Firle and Crowbrough.

Mubvumbi was responsible for ensuring availability of funds.

Janjazi, Mangwiro, Kapare and Macharangwanda were responsible for
procurement of goods before recommending approval by full council.

At that time, Harare was governed by the Urban Councils Act which provided
for the establishment of tender sub-committees composed of respective
officials before recommending to the procurement board for award of
contracts.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in 2010, Mubvumbi and
his accomplices allegedly breached procedures and smuggled in an
unregistered company for the award of a contract.

The contract was awarded to Energy Resources Africa Consortium and the
accused persons reportedly came up with a bill of quantities that was not
priced and corruptly neglected to request bidders to submit CR 14 forms,
certificate of incorporation, tax clearance certificates and audited
financial statements.

It was alleged that the Tender Formulation Team should have met to
discuss, define and formulate the tender specifications for the
rehabilitation of Firle Sewage Works.

The court heard that former town clerk Tendai Mahachi, Simon Takawira
Muserere and Christopher Zvobgo connived with the accused persons and
allegedly handpicked companies that had no capacity to bid for the
rehabilitation.

On the tender opening day, it is alleged that Mubvumbi and his accomplices
should have realised that Energy Resources Africa Consortium did not meet
the prerequisite requirements and disqualified it on that basis.

In a bid to conceal the offence, the court heard that Mubvumbi and his
accomplices referred to Energy Resources Africa Consortium as a registered
company trading as Portriver.

An amount of $13 816 117,10 was deposited into the company’s account
although no sewerage rehabilitation work was performed.

It was further alleged that using the same modus operandi, another tender
was awarded to Sidal Engineering (Pvt) Ltd worth $18 121 125, 10 for the
same sewerage rehabilitation project.

Chingwizi villagers seek to quash jail term

Source: Chingwizi villagers seek to quash jail term – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      24 May 2017

HARARE – Four Chingwizi villagers who were jailed five years each for
burning police cars during a 2015 protest have approached the High Court
seeking to have the jail term quashed.

The quartet – Mike Mudyanembwa, Patrick Chinounda Changwesha, Samuel
Mubaiwa and Nyengeterai Tagwirei – argue that the magistrate erred in
finding them guilty.

They were convicted by Chiredzi magistrate Honest Musiiwa in January 2015.

Their lawyer Sharon Hofisi from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
yesterday told the Daily News that the case has been postponed to June 6
to allow them to avail enough records for the prosecution of the appeal.

High Court judges Charles Hungwe and Edith Mushore are handling the
appeal.

The four, who were residents at Chingwizi Transit Camp in Mwenezi, were
convicted on public violence charges.

They were jointly charged with 26 others who were acquitted at the close
of the State case due to lack of incriminating evidence.

The lawyers are now seeking the High Court to set aside their conviction
and sentence.

The villagers were accused of masterminding the assault of police officers
and the burning of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) motor vehicles and
rifles. According to court papers, the villagers were arrested after they
protested against the forced relocation of a clinic from Chingwizi Transit
Camp to Nuanetsi Ranch, where thousands of flood victims had been forcibly
moved to.

In their appeal, the Chingwizi villagers argued that the magistrate did
not consider other forms of punishment applicable in the circumstances,
adding that he was clearly under the belief that he was compelled to
impose the maximum sentence of a jail term.

During their initial remand, the villagers claimed they were tortured and
subjected to cruelty, degrading and inhuman treatment at the hands of
Zimbabwe Republic Police members while in custody, in a move that
attracted local, regional and international condemnation.

Zimbos fear for the worst

Source: Zimbos fear for the worst – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      24 May 2017

HARARE – There are growing fears among long-suffering Zimbabweans that the
country is on the verge of a complete implosion – after it was confirmed
earlier this week that the country is failing to pay its external
electricity suppliers.

This comes as stressed banks have also warned that the bond notes
introduced last year to mitigate the severe shortages of cash were being
siphoned from the domestic market and exported to neighbouring countries,
where there was a thriving black market.

Zimbabwe imports electricity mainly from South Africa’s State-run power
utility, Eskom, as well as from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa – to augment its
dwindling power generation capacity occasioned by the government’s dismal
failure to plan and invest in new infrastructure to improve local
electricity supplies.

The government, through Zesa Holdings, owes Eskom and Cahora Bassa a
combined $83 million in payment arrears – which has prompted Pretoria to
give Zimbabwe a one-week ultimatum to settle an overdue $43 million, or
face being switched off.

Opposition parties slammed President Robert Mugabe and his government
yesterday for failing to address the country’s worsening cash shortages
and their failure to prioritise essential services when allocating foreign
exchange.

“No rocket science is needed to appreciate that Zimbabwe is sitting on a
political and socio-economic precipice. The economy of this country has
been to hell and back. We are in a major crisis.

“Mugabe doesn’t seem to fully appreciate and comprehend the economic
disaster that is engulfing the nation. He is living in his own world of
make believe.

“He needs help. The MDC reiterates that Zimbabwe is doomed for as long as
Mugabe and his Zanu PF gangsters remain in power,” thundered MDC
spokesperson Obert Gutu.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of a worsening economic crisis which has also
witnessed a severe shortage of cash, including the recently introduced
bond notes.

The disappearance of the country’s surrogate currency from the market has
also often forced banks to give clients their cash in sackfuls of coins.

It has also seen banks limiting the amount of money both individuals and
companies can withdraw, sometimes to as low as $20.

Last Friday, bankers finally broke their silence on the matter and
confirmed that Zimbabwe was facing a huge financial crisis which required
urgent attention by the government.

Addressing delegates at the Financial Markets Indaba held in Harare,
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe managing director George Guvamatanga said bond
notes had vanished from the local market and were now big business in
neighbouring countries.

“It’s not yet established, but there could be more bond notes at Park
Station in South Africa, and in Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique than we
have here in Zimbabwe.

“Someone realised there is an opportunity to sell the bond notes to
Zimbabweans living outside the country, who then don’t have to come here
and queue to withdraw their money from banks.

“At the moment, it’s easier for us at Barclays to give United States
dollars than to give bond notes,” Guvamatanga told transfixed delegates.

Kasukuwere feels the heat

Source: Kasukuwere feels the heat – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika and Fungi Kwaramba      24 May 2017

HARARE – It appears as if it does not rain but pours at the moment for
under-fire Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere – with
the Local Government minister now facing fresh damaging charges by his
party foes, as the ugly war to succeed President Robert Mugabe continues
to escalate.

This comes as Zanu PF bigwigs, stung by the level of animosity among its
various rival camps, have vowed to punish severely perpetrators of
Sunday’s horrendous violence in Bulawayo – which exposed to the world the
ruling party’s deepening tribal, factional and succession wars.

In the latest instalment of the myriad charges being levelled against
Kasukuwere, he is standing accused of stoking intra-party tensions
further, by ordering Midlands to disregard the weekend winner of party
primary elections in the province for the forthcoming Chiwundura
by-election – which became vacant last month following the death of Kizito
Chivamba.

At the same time, rival Zanu PF youths are said to have engaged in running
battles in Harare South on Monday, a constituency that is represented by
provincial political commissar and close Kasukuwere ally, Shadreck
Mashayamombe.

Zanu PF is currently deeply divided, with the camp which is rabidly
opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, the
Generation 40 (G40) faction, involved in a life-and-death tussle with the
VP’s backers, Team Lacoste.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Zanu PF insiders claimed that
Kasukuwere had further stoked tensions in the warring party after he
ordered Midlands province not to accept Pearson Mbalekwa as the winner of
last weekend’s primary elections which were held to choose Chivamba’s
replacement.

Mbalekwa was sacked from Zanu PF after the so-called Tsholotsho
Declaration in 2004, in which Mnangagwa was then accused of organising a
palace coup against Mugabe.

A former intelligence operative, Mbalekwa later joined opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, before being elected MP for Zvishavane in 2008.

In Sunday’s primary elections, Mbalekwa polled 1 511 votes ahead of Brown
Ndlovu (1 196), Celton Charamba (1 161) and Bigboy Mzila (660).

“The party received names from the contestants who were prepared to stand
in the Midlands province. Out of the 21 candidates, 20 were approved by
the party and … Mbalekwa’s application was turned down for various
reasons.

“That is the position of the party. So, whoever emerged at the top,
outside the candidature of Mbalekwa  will stand for the party,”
Kasukuwere, who is attending the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk
Reduction Conference with Mugabe in Mexico, said in his defence yesterday.

“We advised the province of Midlands this morning (yesterday), and so we
will not entertain the defiance to party decisions and directives given to
the province.

“The province wrote to the party and was given appropriate response after
thoroughly analysing all the candidates. I personally also advised …
Omega Hungwe (deputy national political commissar), who was leading the
party process in Midlands that Mbalekwa was disqualified,” Kasukuwere
added.

Midlands is one of the nine provinces that have passed a vote of no
confidence in Kasukuwere, and is said to be a Team Lacoste stronghold.

But a Team Lacoste-linked official was adamant that Mbalekwa was the
province’s “official candidate” for the forthcoming by-election, and that
the region was ready to take Kasukuwere head-on.

“Mbalekwa re-joined the party and was rehabilitated. Charges from
Tsholotsho do not stick because if we were to use that as a yard stick,
then Jonathan Moyo should not be a minister and member of the politburo.

“Similarly, Daniel Shumba would not be an MP and chairperson of a
parliamentary portfolio committee, and July Moyo would not be deputy
secretary for administration, and Mark Madiro would not have been a member
of the central committee.

“All these people were once expelled for their alleged involvement in the
Tsholotsho meeting. But after serving their suspensions, they were
re-admitted into the party and were rehabilitated.

“We say bring it on, Kasukuwere. We will resist his move to destabilise
our province like he tried to do in 2015,” the official told the Daily
News.

The Harare South clashes on Monday occurred when youths resisted orders to
vacate the land they had occupied illegally, claiming that they had been
given the green light to do so by Mashayamombe.

The land belongs to a private company which bought it from Harare
businessman and Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa.

The youths are said to have subsequently directed their anger at
Mashayamombe.

However, Mashayamombe claimed there was never any fracas in his
constituency, blaming his party enemies yesterday for circulating false
images of the alleged upheavals on social media.

Mashayamombe has come under increasing pressure lately to leave his post
by his rivals, who last month issued him with a prohibition order barring
him from conducting any Zanu PF business before this was overturned at the
last minute.

His rivals accuse him of being “a willing tool of Kasukuwere” and thus
also want him ousted from his position.

On the other hand, Kasukuwere is sweating over his future in the warring
former liberation movement, after the party’s provinces passed votes of no
confidence in him over a slew of untested allegations which include
creating parallel structures and planning to topple Mugabe from power.

Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last week’s postponed politburo
meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate the
allegations against him had completed its work.

Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party
rivals 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.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo claimed yesterday that
the ruling party was not being wracked by worsening infighting.

“What has been happening nationwide was not violence but peaceful
demonstrations which are permissible under the Zanu PF constitution.

“We are a revolutionary party that prides itself in promoting democratic
values where we agree to disagree and agree to differ.

“While it should be appreciated that Zanu PF is a massive organisation
that breeds a diversity of opinions, we condemn violence of any nature and
those behind the Bulawayo violence will face the full wrath of the law.

“The party has organs that deal with such wayward cadres and they will
certainly be brought to book. But it would be an exaggeration to take that
isolated incident and make it a national issue,” Khaya Moyo told the Daily
News.

Army dispels recruitment rumours

Source: Army dispels recruitment rumours – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      24 May 2017

HARARE – The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has  dispelled social media
reports that it is recruiting.

Director of army public relations lieutenant colonel Alphios  Makotore
said the ZNA has noted with concern the continued abuse of social media
platforms by some criminal elements who are posting false army recruitment
notices.

“These false notifications, which are currently in circulation on
WhatsApp, are to the effect that there will be a recruitment exercise by
the ZNA throughout the country’s provinces during the months of May and
June 2017,” he said in a statement.

The false notifications are directing all prospective applicants to report
to the nearest military institutions in Midlands, Manicaland, Masvingo,
Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North provinces.

“The army wishes to categorically make it clear that there is no such
recruitment taking place.

“The criminal elements masquerading as recruitment agents are not
representing the ZNA or any of its members in any way,” Makotore said.

” . . . these notices are fake and false hence they must be dismissed with
the contempt they deserve,” he said, adding that “ZNA . . . does not
recruit through agents and social media”.

“The origins of these fake messages are being investigated and the
criminal elements, once apprehended, will be prosecuted,” Makotore warned.

He said all ZNA recruitment programmes are advertised in the mainstream
print and electronic media.

Prospective applicants then respond through written applications, after
which selections are carried out at designated military camps throughout
the country’s provinces, he clarified.

Water crisis exposes Harare’s deadly failure

Source: Water crisis exposes Harare’s deadly failure – DailyNews Live

Gift Phiri      24 May 2017

HARARE – For Harare residents, the burden of the ongoing water crisis can
be measured in the weight of buckets.

Few outside of Harare can tell you how much a 25-litre bucket of water
weighs. But in Harare, they can recite it from memory.

For years now, many Harare residents have been making the daily journey to
boreholes to load up on buckets of water for virtually every basic chore:
cooking, bathing, brushing teeth and making dinner.

Residents have just endured another weekend without water supplies amid
reports the crisis is set to continue for much longer, after the MDC-run
council missed the deadline for the refurbishment of its biggest water
treatment plant, Morton Jaffray, which has now been extended by nine more
months due to a funding shortfall!

Most of Harare’s municipal water supplies being pumped into the city’s
aging pipes to flow into residents’ taps remain unsafe to drink without a
filter – this despite securing a $144 million facility from the Chinese in
January 2015 to rehabilitate Morton Jaffray water plant.

The rehabilitation was meant to replace the plant’s old equipment with
more modern power efficient equipment. But there are halting signs of
progress. Why? Because council splurged $8 million of the $144m loan
granted by the China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export
Corporation on 25 luxury vehicles, without even going to tender!

Ex-town clerk Tendai Mahachi got a Range Rover Evoque while engineers
Christopher Zvobgo and Phillip Pfukwa took delivery of Land Rover
Discovery SUVs from the water loan. Other officials got Ford Rangers,
Isuzu and Toyota twin cabs, depending on their personal preference.

Rehabilitation of the plant was expected to improve the city’s water
production capacity to 650 million litres per day from the current 450
million litres. Harare needs at least 900 mega litres of water daily.

Zimbabwe’s capital has been battling water challenges due to antiquated
equipment, lack of financial resources to purchase chemicals, with most
suburbs going for years without tap water.

While health services director Prosper Chonzi claims the city’s water is
no less safe than other sources around the nation – for those lucky to be
receiving it – many residents question those claims given that heavy
metals such as lead, mercury, toxic levels of iron and phosphates have
been found in the waste water that eventually flows to Morton Jaffray
Waterworks for purification.

Some residents say they break out in rashes if they use Harare water.
Since January, two children are reported to have lost their lives to
typhoid with total suspected cases of 604, and the outbreak spreading
beyond Mbare – the disease’s epicentre – to adjacent suburbs such as
Budiriro and Glen View, where many have been sickened by contaminated
water and food.

Residents are daily subjected to unsafe drinking water, burst sewer pipes
and uncollected garbage.

Another risk is cholera, a bacterial disease. A cholera outbreak that
started in August 2008 killed over 4 000 people and left nearly 100 000
ill.

As central government tries to enforce accountability for the crisis, the
city has revived its drive to replace its old pipes. At least 60 percent
of treated water is lost through leakages.

Harare City Council has just secured $20 million from the African
Development Bank (AfDB) to bankroll the rehabilitation of water
distribution services in Harare.

This will involve digging up and replacing old lead pipes.

The $20m will not be enough to overhaul them all given that it seeks to
replace only 50km, or just five suburbs by replacing water pipes,
rehabilitating water pump stations as well purchasing bulk meters.

It feels like we are right back at the beginning.

It’s a shame that it’s taken this long. The bottom line is that we need
and deserve new pipes and also boost supplies so that more residents get
the precious liquid. Council expects a fully-refurbished Morton Jaffray to
reduce physical water losses by 72 million litres per day and increase the
city’s supply coverage to 72 000 households.

But even with the new infrastructure, the real challenge in Harare may be
restoring public confidence in tap water in the face of immeasurable
distrust.

Clobbered Zanu PF youth leader vows revenge

Source: Clobbered Zanu PF youth leader vows revenge – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 24, 2017

ZANU PF’s intraparty violence in Bulawayo showed no signs of abetting, after a youth member, who was allegedly stabbed in skirmishes at the weekend vowed to fight back and gain “total revenge”, warning he had real bouncers.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Magura Charumbira, who has been discharged from Mpilo Hospital following the alleged stabbing on his head and face, said he was not letting up in his campaign to have Zanu PF’s political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere and the party’s provincial chairperson, Dennis Ndlovu kicked out of their positions.

“The way forward is that they (provincial executive) must step down. If they don’t, we will finish their political careers,” he said.
“We want total revenge. They do not have the people compared to us. They wanted to kill me but failed.

“I will make sure that they do not ever step foot a Davis Hall again. They had their bouncers on Sunday and I will also bring my own bouncers and we see who wins the fight if they dare visit Davis Hall.”

In the weekend clashes, Bulawayo youth league chairperson, Anna Mokgohloa was also allegedly assaulted by war veterans.

Opposition parties have warned that Zanu PF has set the stage for a violent 2018 election campaign period with its intraparty clashes.

Bulawayo is the only province not to pass a vote of no confidence against Kasukuwere, with Ndlovu saying he will not be railroaded into doing so without reasonable cause.

“I have refused to work with those bogus people. I have also refused to have any negotiations with them unless it’s about discussing when Bulawayo is going to pass a vote of no confidence against Kasukuwere like other provinces,” Charumbira said.

On Monday, Ndlovu described Charumbira and his followers as “drunken mafias” bent on causing chaos, saying he will not be intimidated by them.

Mphoko storms police station

Source: Mphoko storms police station – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 24, 2017

ACTING President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday caused a storm after he reportedly barged into Bulawayo Central Police Station, and expressed anger over the arrest of several Zanu PF activists in connection with the intra-party violence that occurred at the party’s provincial offices at Davis Hall on Sunday.

By NQOBANI NDLOVU/SILAS NKALA

Mphoko and his aides allegedly drove into Bulawayo Central Police Station’s courtyard yesterday and interrogated the officer-in-charge, only identified as Chief Inspector Mpofu, and the Law and Order boss, whose name could not be immediately established, for nearly 20 minutes and left.

Insiders claimed Mphoko expressed his displeasure at the arrest of Zanu PF youths aligned to the G40 faction, who were allegedly implicated in the violence that rocked the party in Bulawayo at the weekend.

Repeated efforts to contact Mphoko and the Minister of State in his office, Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga were fruitless.

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango was said to be out of the office, while national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi was said to be in a meeting.

This is not the first time that Mphoko has been accused of storming into a police station.

In July last year, he reportedly descended on Avondale Police Station in Harare at night and ordered the release of top Zimbabwe National Road Administration officials, who had been arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on graft allegations involving over $1 million.

Magura Charumbira, a Zanu PF Bulawayo city centre district youth chairperson, was allegedly stabbed on the head and face during the skirmishes, which also saw provincial youth leader Anna Mokgohloa sustaining injuries.

Charumbira and others wanted to stop a provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC) meeting from proceeding, resulting in running battles.

They also wanted provincial chairperson Dennis Ndlovu ousted for allegedly frustrating the passing of a vote of no-confidence against the ruling party’s political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere.

Ndlovu claimed the meeting had been cleared by Mphoko, who did not turn up, owing to the disturbances.

Yesterday, three Zanu PF youth members and six war veterans linked to the violent clashes appeared yesterday before magistrate Tinashe Tashaya facing various charges, ranging from malicious damage to property, assault, criminal insult to indecent assault.

The three youths, who include Charumbira (32), who was stabbed during the melee, Mabutho Moyo (32) and Davis Muhambi (35), were represented by lawyer Tanaka Muganyi instructed by Christopher Dube-Banda.

The complainant in the matter, George Mlala, claimed the suspects physically attacked him when he denied them permission to attend the PCC meeting.

He claimed the trio turned rowdy and stoned the party offices, in the process breaking two window panes and a door.

Mlala claimed he saw Muhambi holding a canister spray.

Another Zanu PF activist, Abigail Nyamunga (53), appeared before the same magistrate charged with assault, while her alleged accomplice, Edward Ndlovu, did not attend court.

They were alleged to have accused Mlala of favouring one faction when he was screening delegates to the PCC meeting.

Nyamunga allegedly grabbed Mlala by the belt of his pair of trousers, while Ndlovu attacked him with fists in full view of other party members and he sustained a swollen face.

War veterans Cephas Ncube (59), Juliet Sibanda (55) and Luke Mpofu (64) were charged for assaulting provincial youth leader Makgohloa (34), accusing her of being sympathetic to Kasukuwere.

They allegedly dragged her to the fence, where Ncube slapped her and assaulted her with fists all over the body and allegedly fondled her breasts while searching for a knife, which had been used to stab Charumbira.

Sibanda and Mpofu allegedly joined in and assaulted her.

The magistrate remanded all the matters to June 2 for trial, amid reports that a group of other Zanu PF activists, accused of assaulting Charumbira, would appear in court today.

 

Zimbabwe runs short of potatoes

Source: Zimbabwe runs short of potatoes – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 24, 2017

Zimbabwe has run out of potatoes for making potato crisps, prompting a company in Southerton industrial area to approach government seeking an urgent import permit to buy potatoes from South Africa, as heavy rainfall affected local supply.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Hanawa Super Foods, a potato chips company, made the appeal to the Industry and Commerce ministry on Monday, as it seeks to step up efforts to fill in gaps created by Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of June 2016, which banned foreign made potato crisps.

The company’s managing director, Simbarashe Zhou, told NewsDay after a tour of their facilities on Monday in Harare that they invested about $3 million into their business and as such desperately needed to import potatoes to get returns.

“At 80%, which is a realistic achievement, we are looking at producing about 500kgs an hour, which is 9 600 and 10 000kgs of finished product per day because we are supposed to be doing two shifts of 10 hours each. But, due to shortages of raw materials, we are only just running a day shift,” he said.

“Due to the above normal rainfall that we had, our potato farming shifted people to start planting potatoes beginning of March, so what was in the country was completely exhausted. There are no potatoes currently in the country.”

Zhou said they needed assistance in the facilitation of nostro fund allocation from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to enable them to get foreign currency to import potatoes.

Zimbabwe has three planting seasons — summer (November to before the end of the rainy season), first winter crop (February to April), and the second winter crop (July to early August).

The summer crops bring in the most yields, but the heavy rainfall affected crops by having increased sprouting.

Hanawa Super Foods is seeking to import 1 200 tonnes of potatoes from May to September 2017.

Industry and Commerce minister, Mike Bimha told Hanawa Super Foods that they would look into their requests.

“The last meeting I had, which was the meeting between the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and a number of representations from the private sector. There are measures that he (central bank governor, John Mangudya) was going to take,” Bimha said.

“Unfortunately, we have been so busy, so I have not gone back to him to find out exactly how far he had gone.”

Zhou said they also needed a working capital facility of $790 000 to fund the raw material requirements for 45 days of continuous production, which translated to an output of 2 500 tonnes of finished product per annum.

Following SI64 of 2016, the Cold Chain group, who enjoyed the lion’s share of the potato chip market as distributors of Lays and Simba chips, recorded decreased business.

Currently, Cairns Foods’ flagship potato crisps product, Chompkins, is dominating that space.

Potato crisps have an estimated local demand of 250 tonnes per month.

Govt urged to export transformers to raise forex

Source: Govt urged to export transformers to raise forex – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 24, 2017

THE Zimbabwe Energy Council says government must channel foreign currency to Zesa Holdings unit, Zent Enterprises, to export transformers, as it has the potential to earn the country $10 million a month.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

In a statement yesterday, energy council secretary-general, Panganayi Sithole said Zent required attention from monetary authorities, as it could help generate foreign currency.

“In addition, they are very expensive to import, ranging around $100 000 for each component depending on the size,” he said.

“Zimbabwe is fortunate to have Zent that manufactures transformers and this saves the country a huge and unsustainable import bill.

“In addition, Zent has the potential to earn over $10 million monthly on exports of transformers to Zesco of Zambia, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi and South Sudan.”

Sithole said this will remain a pipedream as long as Zent was not on the priority list of foreign currency allocation.

“The impact of shortage of forex has been immense, ranging from loss of potential forex, loss of potential income to Zesa Holdings, which is reeling under a debt of $1 billion, poor and intermittent loss of power and loss of potential to generate new jobs,” he said.

This came as Zesa Holdings is failing to pay $43 million to South African power company, Eskom, which has threatened to cut off electricity, which could result in serious load shedding across the country.

Sithole said, while everyone was talking of Eskom’s outstanding payments, there was no conversation on how to raise foreign currency within Zesa itself.

“You hardly hear discussions on the issue of support infrastructure. It is a well-known fact that our transmission system is now obsolete,” he said.

“This is the reason why we are having some areas/locations going for months without power being connected.

“Imagine a scenario that we spend close to $7 million importing power on a weekly basis, but only part of that power gets to the end user because a certain portion would be lost due to old and antiquated equipment in transmission and distribution.

“Directly connected to that is the procurement of prepaid meters. Pre-paid meters have proved to all that they have increased the income for the utility.”

Anglican quartet dumps Kunonga

Source: Anglican quartet dumps Kunonga | The Herald May 24, 2017

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Ex-communicated Bishop Dr Nolbert Kunonga’s alliance with his four henchmen has gone up in smoke after the quartet dumped the embattled cleric, accusing him of maliciously involving them in his Anglican Church pillaging orgy. Alfred Tome, Beaven Michael Ngundu, Justin Nyazika and Winter Shamuyarira were appointed as Diocesan trustees of Harare Diocese at the height of Dr Kunonga’s reign.

The break-up comes in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling last month ordering Dr Kunonga and the four to pay the Anglican Church $427 000 as compensation for shares he sold after he led the church into schism in 2007.

In an attempt to extricate themselves from the matter, the quartet is now seeking to rescind a High Court decision, which ordered them and their ex-boss to compensate the Anglican Church for all they took.

Through their lawyer Ms Rumbidzayi Zvimba of Zvimba and Madzima Law Chambers, the four want the judgment of the High Court rescinded and be given the opportunity to defend themselves.

When the case spilled into the superior courts, the four remained silent, only to come out of their shell when the matter was concluded, professing ignorance of the suit.

In their papers, the quartet claim that they only became aware of the default judgment through a newspaper article on March 18 this year.

The four, who had been represented by Messrs Venturas and Samukange, say their lawyer last month wrote to Mr Jonathan Samukange, asking who had instructed him to act for them and later renounce urgency before the trial.

“We never instructed Mr Samukange to represent us or even Dr Nolbert Kunonga,” said Tome in his affidavit. “It is clear that our default was not wilful in any way.

“There was just no way would we have known about summons, set down dates and that Dr Kunonga had instructed Messrs Venturas and Samukange to represent us since he had no authority to act on our behalf.”

The four further contend that they never acted jointly with Dr Kunonga to obtain possession of the share certificates from Imara Asset Management without the Church for the Province of Central Africa’s authority.

Tome said they were not Dr Kunonga’s “adherences” and he knew that “we were never involved in any way in selling of the shares, that is the reason why he did not even advise about case number 2539 /14.”

The quartet further stated that there was no proof to show that they acted jointly and resolved to sell the shares as trustees.

Dr Kunonga is the former Anglican bishop and head of the Diocese of Harare CPCA.

The Supreme Court upheld the High Court decision last month ordering the cleric and his allies to pay $427 892, plus interest and court costs to the Diocese of Harare.

The shares were owned by the CPCA in various firms and by command of the law, the decision of the Supreme Court is final and binding on all subordinate courts.

In 2013, the Supreme Court resolved the dispute in the Anglican Church pitting the CPCA and diocesan trustees, Harare province under case number SC48.12.

Dr Kunonga withdrew the diocese from the CPCA to form the Anglican Church of Zimbabwe after the province began ecclesiastical proceedings to investigate the controversial bishop on charges of fraud, heresy and attempted murder.

When he formed his church, Dr Kunonga clung on to the Anglican property for five years, while denying church members access to the properties, it was revealed.

At the height of the property wrangle, Dr Kunonga and his followers, including the four, decided to dispose of the church’s property in the form of shares it owned in various companies.

The unilateral sale of property and shares prejudiced the church members of $427 892.

 

Acting President Mphoko speaks on party violence

Source: Acting President Mphoko speaks on party violence | The Herald

Pamela Shumba Bulawayo Bureau—
There is a hidden agenda behind acts of violence at Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial headquarters, Davies Hall, at the weekend, Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko said yesterday. The Acting President said this in an interview with our Bulawayo Bureau yesterday following clashes by rival groups of Zanu-PF members during a provincial coordinating committee (PCC) meeting on Sunday.

Anti-riot police were called to the party’s offices to control some youths, who were trying to stop the PCC meeting, accusing the provincial leadership of supporting national commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.

Some party members were injured, while others were arrested following the violence.
Acting President Mphoko said perpetrators of violence were wasting their time as they would not be elected into power through violence.

“This kind of behaviour is embarrassing and uncalled for,” he said. “It’s caused by people who are so desperate for power. People with no power, have no support and they want to use violence to force people to follow them.

“This country is being ruled by President Mugabe who has been appointed by God and the people of Zimbabwe. We all have to work under the appointed leadership and those who’re not willing to do that can leave the party.”

Acting President Mphoko said violence exhibited by party members was also a sign that some people were trying to hide their mischief through kicking out other people from the party.

“People who are power hungry will always create problems and raise petty issues because they want to force themselves into power,” he said. “Anyone who tries to operate outside the rules and regulations of the party and President Mugabe I can assure you they’re wasting their time.”

On Cde Kasukuwere’s issue, Acting President Mphoko said it was clear that those calling for his ouster simply wanted to replace the national commissar, yet he had no case to answer.

“We’ve had a number of senior party members holding this post,” he said. “These include the late Cdes Moven Mahachi, Border Gezi and Elliot Manyika. They all had no training except for Cde Webster Shamu, who also was once the party’s national commissar.

“Nobody complained. Now, there is Cde Kasukuwere and some people complain and raise issues of training. This shows that their protests are not genuine. They have hidden agendas.

“It’s clear that there’s someone whom they want to force into that position. If that’s the case they should ask President Mugabe to appoint a new commissar rather than embarrass the President and the party leadership.”

Acting President Mphoko said the party would not allow irresponsible and violent people to destroy the party.

“You can’t say you want to rule a country, yet you poison the young people and allow them to embarrass the leadership,” he said. “We want people to respect their leadership, work together and solve their differences through dialogue.

“It’s unacceptable for people to fight one another, yet they belong to one party. It’s unacceptable.”
The party’s national spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo on Monday said the disciplinary committee would deal with those found on the wrong side of the party’s code of conduct.

Secretary for youth affairs Cde Kudzanai Chipanga said he had tasked members of his executive in Bulawayo to investigate the cause of the violence.

Informer pleads with Chombo

Source: Informer pleads with Chombo | The Herald May 24, 2017

Herald Reporter
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) informer Delish Nguwaya, who is jointly charged with three others on allegations of extorting about $20 000 from a Chinese national, has written to Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo to intervene in a complaint against the police which he recently filed. Nguwaya wants the minister to set up a team to investigate Chief Superintendent Nyaradzai Majachani and Superintendent Shepherd Tachiona, so that they can be prosecuted for alleged corruption.

“I have approached your esteemed office for assistance in respect of a report I made to the police which to date the police are showing reluctance in attending to,” he wrote.

“My rights as enshrined in the Constitution of this land are being violated since I am entitled to the protection of the law.”

Nguwaya accused senior police officers at Police General Headquarters of harassing him when he made the complaint and of protecting each other, saying they considered themselves to be above the law.

Nguwaya, through his lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange, has since submitted a report to Dr Chombo detailing what transpired and revealing some shady deals involving the senior officers.

“The reason why I have approached your esteemed office for assistance is that I was abused at the highest level of the police and only hope that you will be of assistance as the Constitution says we are all equal before the law,” he said.

On Thursday last week, the intelligence organisation and police clashed over corruption investigations after CIO deputy director Kizito Gweshe said police were protecting the rot in their system.

Mr Gweshe said this while testifying in Nguwaya’s application for referral of his case to the Constitutional Court.

Nguwaya is jointly charged with three others on allegations of extorting about $20 000 from Baoning Guo, a Chinese national.

Addressing the court, Mr Gweshe said Nguwaya approached him offering information on corruption involving members of the CIO and top police officers.

Mr Gweshe was then instructed to arrange a task force comprising the CIO and police meant to cleanse the security forces of corrupt activities, after interviewing Nguwaya.

He said in his statement, Nguwaya implicated Chief Superintendent Majachani and Superintendent Tachiona.

Nguwaya is jointly charged with Zano Vengayi (33), Clever Gadzikwa (36) and Mbereki Mbizo Nyathi, who is a former member of the CIO.

Nguwaya has also alleged that the police planted cocaine in his vehicle as a way of “fixing” him for exposing them.

Drunk cop to face the music

Source: Drunk cop to face the music | The Herald May 24, 2017

Takudzwa Matambura Herald Reporter
Police have identified a rogue police officer whose exploits while in a drunken stupor have gone viral on social media. The officer, clad in police fatigues, was captured rolling on the ground and failing to stand on his feet after having one too many. In the video circulating on social media, the cop is holding his police cap, visibly drunk with a bruised and dusty face.

The policeman is seen lying and rolling on the ground, with residents taking turns to mock him.

Police chief national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the police officer had violated the Police Act and was in “deep trouble”.

“We have identified the police officer and disciplinary action is going to be taken against him,” she said.

“As I speak, he is in deep trouble.

“It is an offence under the Police Act for a police officer to get drunk to the extent where he cannot be capable of controlling himself.”

Snr Asst Comm Charamba refused to disclose the station the officer is based at.

Zimbabwe: Evictions, Beatings at Mugabe-Linked Farm

Source: Zimbabwe: Evictions, Beatings at Mugabe-Linked Farm | Human Rights Watch May 23, 2017

(Johannesburg) – Anti-riot police have harassed, beaten, and ordered some 200 families off a farm linked to President Robert Mugabe’s family, Human Rights Watch said today. The police affirmed in a court filing that the Arnolds Farm in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central province, Zimbabwe, which the families have occupied since 2000, is owned by the president’s family. Human Rights Watch could not independently verify the farm ownership.

On March 17, 2017, about 100 anti-riot police began demolishing homes at Arnolds Farm, forcing residents onto trucks and dumping them by the roadside 40 kilometers away. On March 24, the farm residents obtained a High Court order to stop the evictions, and barred the police from harassing them by demolishing their homes or attempting to evict them without a valid court order. The police told lawyers representing the farm residents they were acting on the orders of their “superiors,” but did not have a High Court order approving the eviction, as required by the law. A January 14, 2015, High Court order similarly prohibited the police from interfering with farming activities at Arnolds Farm and from demolishing the residents’ homes and other property.

“The police are illegally tearing down homes at Arnolds Farm, leaving hundreds of people homeless and destitute in heavy rains and cold weather,” said Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Residents have occupied the farm for 17 years, and any process to evict them should respect their rights and follow due process.”

Witnesses at Arnolds Farm told Human Rights Watch that anti-riot police, who claimed to be acting on behalf of First Lady Grace Mugabe, on several occasions ordered residents to leave the farm, demolished homes, destroyed property, and beat up those who resisted. The police would put a rope around each house, tie it to a truck, and then drive the truck to pull the house down. They then cordoned off the area, set up entry and exit checkpoints, stationed 18 police officers to patrol the farm, and told the residents that anyone found on the farm would be trespassing.

Two residents have since been arrested and charged with criminal trespassing because, according to police statements in court, they allegedly, “illegally entered into Arnolds Farm, which is owned by the First Family.” Lawyers provided to the two residents by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, a local group, witnessed the police assaulting their clients during the arrest. The magistrates’ court later freed the two.

The police have now demolished most of the homes on the farm, as well as makeshift shelters subsequently built by residents. Many families have lost their crops and livestock during the demolitions and now live and sleep in the open with no protection from the rain and cold. Police harassment has prevented the families from harvesting their corn, sugar beans, and groundnuts crops. When a Human Rights Watch team visited Arnolds Farm on May 9, they witnessed four uniformed and armed anti-riot police and six people in civilian clothes demolish homes and destroy property belonging to farm residents. Human Rights Watch interviewed five men whom the police had beaten on the soles of their feet that day for refusing to leave the farm.

The Arnolds Farm families have refused to move despite continuing police harassment because the government has not provided them with suitable alternative land. Since 2015, the government has resettled just five families from the farm, but offered no compensation. The families, through the Arnolds Farm Residents Association, are demanding an immediate end to police harassment and appropriate compensation before they move.

The government should ensure that the Arnolds Farm residents are not denied their rights under international law and Zimbabwe’s constitution, including the rights to shelter, food, health, and the prohibition of torture, Human Rights Watch said. The African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, which Zimbabwe ratified, requires in article 3(1)(a) that states parties “refrain from, prohibit and prevent arbitrary displacement of populations.”

Human Rights Watch made efforts to contact lawyers who represent the Mugabes, as well as provincial affairs and police officials, but did not receive any reply to questions regarding the ownership of Arnolds Farm and the conduct of the police.

“The government should urgently intervene in the Arnolds Farm case to stop the ongoing violation of court orders and abuses,” Mavhinga said. “The government should also investigate police conduct and punish any who are found responsible for the abuses.”

Mujuru’s NPP readies for congress

Source: Mujuru’s NPP readies for congress – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      23 May 2017

HARARE – Joice Mujuru’s opposition National People’s Party (NPP) is set to
hold its elective convention in Harare next month.

While her spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro, could not reveal the exact date of
the fledgling party’s inaugural congress “for strategic and security
reasons”, he told the Daily News that the rallies NPP is currently holding
were “in preparation for the big event”.

“All is in place for the convention…where the party’s substantive
leadership will be elected as we prepare not only for the grand coalition
to finally become a reality, but also as we prepare for the watershed
polls next year where we will teach (President Robert) Mugabe a few
electoral lessons,” he said.

“I cannot disclose the…venue of the convention but suffice to say that
it’s all systems go now,” Nyandoro said, adding that “NPP structures are
ready”.

With opposition parties under mounting pressure from supporters to form an
electoral alliance against Mugabe and his Zanu PF, there have been
concerns that NPP’s leadership is interim.

Mujuru left the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party to form NPP following
irreconcilable differences with the former’s founding elders – Didymus
Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo – early this year.

The move towards a convention has been interpreted by observers as meant
to consolidate power in her new party after she recently put together a
10-member committee to organise the elective congress.

Addressing the NPP interim national executive members last month, Mujuru
said the committees should coordinate and supervise preparations for the
convention through regular meetings, updates and follow ups.

“We want a successful convention which will be a big step towards the
Zimbabwe people want. We are in the final leg. Let us pull together. Our
competitors want to believe that we are a joke. They are in for a shock,”
she said.

“Your task is to consolidate the party and lead us to a successful
elective convention. So far we have excelled.

“Our provincial elective conferences were a resounding success, with no
resources to talk about. Other parties got huge sums of money but they
have failed to deliver. We are on the road and have defied odds. That is
the hallmark of a people’s party. I am very proud of what we have done so
far,” she said.

Mujuru – who is personally shepherding the coalition talks with Tsvangirai
– has since assigned “technocrats”, her two deputies Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo
and John Mvundura, along with NPP national chairperson Dzikamai Mavhaire
to handle negotiations with other opposition parties, including Tendai
Biti’s PDP.

Don’t bar students over fees: Govt

Source: Don’t bar students over fees: Govt – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      23 May 2017

HARARE – Students with outstanding fees can write their examinations, but
will have their results withheld, Higher and Tertiary Education ministry
secretary Machivenyika Mapuranga has said.

This comes as several learning institutions are barring students from
attending class over unpaid fees.

Recently, scores of students from the Department of Teacher Education at
Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo College, who are in fees arrears, were turned away.

Dozens of students at Madziva Teacher’s College in Mashonaland Central
were also last week barred from accessing halls of residence, lectures and
entering the dining room over outstanding tuition.

Other institutions have given their students ultimatums to pay up or risk
being forced to defer their studies.

“The ministry is directing all institutions to allow students to write
their examinations, but withhold results until all outstanding fees are
paid,” Mapuranga said in a statement.

He reiterated that students are expected to pay tuition fees at
registration or before writing end-of-semester examinations.

He, however, said between registration and the writing of examinations,
parents and guardians can make payment plans “which they must honour to
avoid inconveniences and ensure that they will get diplomas and degrees”.

Mapuranga also clarified on government’s policy regarding the barring of
students from school for lack of paid up fees.

“In State polytechnics and teacher’s colleges, payment of fees is governed
by Statutory Instrument 81 of 1999, which stipulates that payment of such
fees should be made before opening of each term or within seven days after
opening school,” Mapuranga said.

“Government has since instructed that students are not turned away from
colleges and polytechnics for late payment of tuition fees.

“However, it is mandatory that boarding fees be paid within seven days of
opening of each term, at the latest. Where necessary, at the discretion of
the institution, the owing student, parent or guardian and the institution
can enter into mutually agreed payment plans.”

Nera, Code unite

Source: Nera, Code unite – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      23 May 2017

HARARE – A grand coalition of opposition parties expected to challenge
President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 elections has received a major boost
after the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and Coalition of
Democrats (Code) joined forces.

The two political groupings are now going under the banner Zimbabwe
National Electoral Reform Agenda (Zinera), according to the organisation’s
chairperson Farai Mbira.

He told the Daily News yesterday that Zinera comprises 22 opposition
political parties that are working towards forming the grand coalition.

“What has been agreed is that we must work together and work towards
forming a coalition and we have now split into committees,” he said.

Mbira said National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru will chair
the political committee, while MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai will head the
diplomatic one.

Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa will lead the crisis committee while People’s
Democratic Party (PDP) president Tendai Biti will head the legal
committee.

The committees, Mbira said, will engage the relevant sectors to deal with
different issues that will ensure a free and fair election ahead of next
year’s elections.

“It’s a bigger development and the hope is that all other people trying to
find solutions to the country’s problems come together,” he said, adding
that in the near future, they will be coming up with proposals of the
Zimbabwe that people want and come up with a common ground.

He also said the organisation will engage other stakeholders, including
churches and students, to come up with viable proposals.

Although there has been general agreement that the leader of the coalition
will be chosen through a voting process, Tsvangirai has been tipped to be
the leader owing to his party’s size.

This also comes after former Finance minister Simba Makoni, who is now
leading his own political outfit Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD), also endorsed
Tsvangirai as the right person to lead the coalition.

The MKD leader’s sentiments resonate with those of a large cross-section
of Zimbabweans, including other leading politicians, analysts and civic
groups, who all say that Tsvangirai is the only opposition leader capable
of giving Mugabe and the warring Zanu PF a run for their money.

Recently, former Cabinet minister Didymus Mutasa praised the former labour
union leader, saying he had persevered against all odds in his push for a
more democratic Zimbabwe, including taking on Mugabe and a Zanu PF that
often behaved thuggishly when challenged.

Biti has also passionately appealed to Tsvangirai to move decisively on
the mooted grand alliance.

Govt’s policy confusion continues

Source: Govt’s policy confusion continues – DailyNews Live

Ndakaziva Majaka      23 May 2017

HARARE – The fatal policy inconsistencies of President Robert Mugabe’s
ever-blundering government – which have left the Zimbabwean economy on its
knees – have once again been cruelly exposed.

This comes after Industry and Commerce minister Mika Bimha said yesterday
that the ban on the importation of basic consumer goods into the country
would stay – hardly 48 hours after State media had been made to believe
that the contentious embargo had been lifted.

The government introduced the controversial ban in June last year, after
it invoked Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 – as it bid to curb ballooning
imports, and to protect struggling local industries.

But Bimha told journalists yesterday that SI 64 was “here to stay” despite
the earlier indications that it was being phased out.

“As of now, SI 64 remains in place and what we are doing is to buttress SI
64 by other measures, including the local content policy.

“The whole idea behind SI 64 was to allow industry to re-tool and
re-equip, and we cannot possibly say this was achieved over one year.

“Apart from this, we would still need a report from the SI 64 evaluation
and monitoring committee on the effectiveness of the instrument, before we
can scrap it, and as you may be aware, this report is yet to be compiled,”
Bimha said on the side-lines of an industrial tour in Harare.

“I have always told manufacturers not to relax, because the SI will not
last forever. And we are not just going to implement a blanket approach to
scraping it. We will apply this sector by sector, examining those who will
have recorded successes and then lifting the protection.

“When SI 64 came into being, there were threats of retaliation from our
trading partners. At that time there were threats from South Africa, our
major trading partner, followed by Zambia.

“We were proactive and engaged them . . . demonstrating why we had come up
with the measure and where Zimbabwe was going, and that was well received
and the government of South Africa understood and even promised to give us
the support to make sure we succeed.

“But they did mention that they were also facing pressure from their
private sector for obvious reasons because they were now losing the
revenue that they were used to . . . However, all these issues were
resolved,” he added.

The government imposed a ban on the importation of a number of basic
consumer goods last year, saying this was an endeavour to not only reduce
imports in the wake of worsening cash shortages, but also to stimulate
local industry.

But the decision backfired spectacularly when deadly riots paralysed
operations at Beitbridge Border Post just weeks after this was introduced,
with protesters burning a Zimra warehouse in the process.

Among the products whose importation was banned were coffee creamers,
Camphor creams, white petroleum jellies, body creams, baked beans, potato
crisps, cereals, bottled water, mayonnaise, salad cream, peanut butter,
jam, maheu, canned fruits and vegetables, pizza bases, yoghurts, flavoured
milk, dairy juice blends, ice-creams, cultured milk and cheese.

Zimbabwe is currently in the middle of a severe economic crisis which has
seen local production plummeting to frightening levels due to low capacity
utilisation and depressed investor confidence.

Mugabe’s Zanu PF brawls: Wheels come off

Source: Mugabe’s Zanu PF brawls: Wheels come off – DailyNews Live

Jeffrey Muvundusi and Tendai Kamhungira      23 May 2017

HARARE – Terror-stricken supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s warring
ruling Zanu PF say the former liberation movement’s mindless bloodletting
is fast reaching “a tipping point” – after its followers in Bulawayo
engaged in an unprecedented orgy of intra-party violence at the weekend.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, a shaken senior party official in
Bulawayo said he had never imagined that “comrades would one day fight
each other so viciously over factionalism and succession to this point of
literally wanting to kill each other”.

“I cannot tell you how concerned I’m about what we witnessed on Sunday and
on other occasions before that.

“For a long time, I thought that you guys in the media were exaggerating
the party’s infighting, but it is now clear to me that in fact you have
been underplaying the extent of the divisions, and that some comrades are
prepared to kill to advance their interests,” the traumatised bigwig said.

This comes as authorities say they have arrested a number of people linked
to the Bulawayo mayhem, as Zanu PF’S ugly tribal, factional and succession
wars continue to escalate – with the camp rabidly opposed to Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, the Generation 40 (G40)
faction, involved in a life-and-death tussle with the VP’s backers, Team
Lacoste.

Insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the weekend
bloodletting had apparently been sparked by the current party push to oust
embattled national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere from both his
party and government positions – resulting in those sympathetic to him
allegedly stabbing a Team Lacoste member.

Worryingly for Zanu PF and the country, as Mugabe gets ever more frail due
to old age, and as Zimbabwe approaches the eagerly-anticipated 2018
national elections, Team Lacoste members were breathing fire yesterday –
promising “a mega fight back” against alleged G40 kingpins and Bulawayo
provincial chairperson Dennis Ndlovu and his executive.

At the same time, Zanu PF insiders also said the party’s influential
women’s league was facing a fresh crisis following the expulsion of six
officials from the wing’s Bulawayo executive at the weekend – as the
fallout over ousted bigwigs Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sarah Mahoka, continues
to haunt the key organ.

Eyewitnesses said Sunday’s Bulawayo chaos occurred after angry youths
stormed the provincial co-ordinating committee meeting (PCC) which was
being held at Davies Hall – whereupon they demanded that Ndlovu and youth
league chairperson, Anna Mokgohloa, recuse themselves on account of their
alleged support for Kasukuwere.

But the defiant Ndlovu told the Daily News yesterday that he was still
chairperson of the province – accusing Team Lacoste of causing Sunday’s
mayhem.

“They are saying I must not step foot at Davies Hall . . . They are just
drunk mafia gangs pushing dirty politics, but as an executive we will not
be intimidated and we will not be pushed out through dubious means.

“It’s politics and it will soon pass . . . Sometimes people kill each
other over such power struggles, but we are glad it has not come to that
yet.

“What we have noticed though is that these are the very same people who
are given money and beer to come and cause chaos. It’s terrible,” Ndlovu
said ruefully.

One of the alleged Team Lacoste members, Magura Charumbira – who was
stabbed during Sunday’s bloody clashes – told the Daily News that they
were “preparing for a mega fight-back” that would drive Ndlovu and his
allies out of the province’s party executive.

“I know they stabbed me and beat me up using sjamboks, but these
Kasukuwere thugs should be warned that the war is far from over.

“They think they are done with me, but let Dennis Ndlovu and his cabal be
warned that I will call a big meeting at Davies Hall this week, where we
will seal his fate and that of his cabal once and for all,” Charumbira
said from his hospital bed.

Zanu PF’s deadly infighting has escalated over the past few months, and
ever since Kasukuwere was put on notice by the ruling party’s 10 provinces
– weeks after Sandi Moyo and Mahoka were forced to resign from their
women’s league positions.

Mahoka, who is famed for having publicly dressed down Mnangagwa in front
of Mugabe last year, was the women’s league’s treasurer, while Sandi Moyo
was First Lady Grace Mugabe’s deputy.

Kasukuwere’s fate was set to be decided at last week’s postponed politburo
meeting, after a probe team appointed by Mugabe to investigate allegations
against him had completed its work.

Insiders have also previously told the Daily News that Kasukuwere’s party
rivals 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.

Political analysts also warned yesterday that the Bulawayo bloodletting
was likely “to mark the beginning of more violent clashes” among Zanu PF’s
warring factions.

“It is becoming more and more significant until the mother of all issues,
which is Mugabe’s succession, is brought to finality, and we are likely to
see more of these fights.

“It (violence) only represents the escalation of the internal squabbles
which have gone a gear up. I don’t think the fights have reached a
crescendo yet, but the struggles are going to take a more violent turn as
opposed to the propaganda that we see in State media,” University of
Zimbabwe politics expert Eldred Masunungure said.

Another political analyst, Dewa Mavhinga, also warned that Sunday’s
horrific violence was likely to see more clashes in future, as Zanu PF was
used to “resorting to violence as a tool of expressing itself in sticky
situations”.

“In the past, Zanu PF violence predominantly targeted opponents outside
the party. But as the end-game approaches, the machinery of violence
appears to have been turned inwards, to target factional opponents inside.

“With a highly partisan and extremely politicised leadership of the
police, it will also be difficult for the police to stamp out this
lawlessness in Zanu PF and maintain law and order.

“Things are falling apart, and the primary source of the violence and
tensions is the unresolved question of Mugabe’s succession. That is the
elephant in the room,” Mavhinga told the Daily News.

Other observers have also previously said Mugabe’s failure to resolve Zanu
PF’s succession riddle is fuelling the party’s deadly infighting.

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.

MPs fume over ZCTU Nssa board seat

Source: MPs fume over ZCTU Nssa board seat – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      23 May 2017

HARARE – Opposition legislators have blasted Public Service minister
Prisca Mupfumira over the expulsion of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa from the National Social Security Authority
(Nssa) board.

Mutasa was fired for allegedly failing to uphold confidentiality of the
board’s discussions.

MDC House of Assembly representative for Bulawayo Central Dorcas Sibanda
grilled Mupfumira in Parliament last week, questioning her why Nssa board
members were being fired without good reason.

“Is it government policy or is it in the ministry’s policies that board
members are removed from the board because they belong to certain
organisations? The reason why I am asking this question is because of the
ZCTU president who is being removed from the Nssa board. Why is he being
removed from the Nssa board?” she queried.

However, Mupfumira argued that she reserved the right to appoint or fire
board members.

“It is government policy that boards are appointed and removed by a
minister. It is also in the Nssa Act that the board is tripartite;
workers, employers and government.  It is also a normal board requirement
that confidentiality is kept within a board,” she said.

“In terms of the Act, if a member carries acts of misconduct, the minister
can remove the member. It is not our policy to discriminate against any
trade union. If we remove any member, we will request that particular
organisation to give us new names, which is the normal procedure and that
is what we will do,” Mupfumira said.

Relations between government and ZCTU were strained after the union,
together with 40 other civil society groups, spearheaded the formation of
MDC in 1999.

The opposition party’s top leadership came from the labour movement.

MDC legislator for Kuwadzana East Nelson Chamisa alleged Mupfumira
violated International Labour Organisation (ILO) statutes by removing the
ZCTU president from the Nssa board.

“My supplementary question has to do with the rights that are in the
Constitution, particularly Section 65 (2), that trade union leaders are
supposed to be protected,” the MDC vice president said.

“This is not just a constitutional right but it is also a right that flows
from ILO statutes that we are part to as member countries. Are we not
violating the rights of a trade union leader who is legitimately
exercising his responsibilities in terms of the law?” he questioned.

But Mupfumira argued there are certain regulations imposed on any board
member.

“If a board member carries acts of misconduct, if he does not work well
within the board, the minister is at liberty to remove the board member.

“It is not employment. ILO – we are talking about employment.  Boards are
at the pleasure of whoever the appointing authorities are,” she said.

MDC launches #valangebhetshu voter drive

Source: MDC launches #valangebhetshu voter drive – DailyNews Live

Jeffrey Muvundusi      23 May 2017

BULAWAYO – The Welshman Ncube-led MDC has unfurled a door-to-door voter
registration campaign in Matabeleland dubbed #valangebhetshu.

Party spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said the campaign – which is being
carried out by party members from all the structures – has so far covered
areas such as Makokoba, Pumula, Luveve  suburbs and the city centre.

Chihwayi said they had to adopt a hash tag so as to motivate their target
audience.

“The essence of the hash tag being that people should refuse to be
intimidated and must fight for their right to vote with all that they have
as it is the only weapon that can fight against all the ills created by
Zanu PF,” he said.

He also said the registration campaign has been on-going countrywide since
the beginning of 2017 but they saw the need to intensify it now as time
was fast running out before the next elections.

“This campaign includes door-to-door visits, public meetings and
engagement with various stakeholders in the communities.

“The campaign will continue right up to the time Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) announces the voter registration cut off dates.”

Chihwayi said the campaign is part of the broader MDC mission to ensure
that citizens are “kept informed and educated about the voter registration
process, in particular about how biometric voter registration works and
also to advise them to be on the alert for rigging tricks by Zanu PF.”

The MDC spokesperson said their major goal was to ensure that come voting
day, citizens of voting age are empowered with the power to make the right
decisions.

“All we are simply saying is if you do not register to vote, you will have
to endure Zanu PF for another five years, because that is what they are
counting on.”

IDBZ raises $110m for students accommodation

Source: IDBZ raises $110m for students accommodation – DailyNews Live

BUSINESS WRITER      23 May 2017

HARARE – The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has raised
nearly $110 million earmarked for constructing residence for university
students and employees.

The bank yesterday said $75 million will go towards construction of
superstructures for student halls of residence at five State-owned
universities while over $32 million will go towards the construction of
houses in Kariba, Hwange and Sumben.

This comes as the infrastructure development institution recently
indicated that it was going to structure deals valued at over $3 billion
this year earmarked for various sectors of the economy.

IDBZ finance director Cassius Gambinga said the organisation, which was
appointed the lead financial advisor on the $2,7 billion
Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road upgrading and dualisation project, is
looking for strategic investors who understand the long-term nature of
infrastructure business.

“Foreign development finance institutions (DFIs) will also be targeted for
equity or debt,” he said at the bank’s analysts briefing in the capital.

IDBZ is also expected to play a key role in the $271 million modernisation
exercise of the Beitbridge Border Post as well as the $7,2 million
construction of Chipinda Bridge on Runde River and Link Road.

Gambinga pointed out that the infrastructure development institution was
also at advanced stages of energy projects such as Solgas (2,5 megawatts
MW) and Osborne Dam – mini hydro (2,5MW) at a total cost of $14 million.

“We have already identified a preferred investor for Tokwe-Mukorsi mini
hydro and civil works for Power house are currently underway,” he said.

Gambinga, however, noted that project implementation agreements for the
$35 million scheme were still to be finalised.

Meanwhile, IDBZ has registered a 10 percent increase on its revenues to
$7,43 million in 2016  driven by increased money market activity and
growth in long-term infrastructure business.

Gambinga said the bank’s total expenses declined by 25 percent to $7,61 in
the full year to December 2016.

“Expenses were higher in 2015 as a result of $2,3 million retrenchment
costs. However, the bank is now reaping the benefits of the
rationalisation,” he added.

In the period under review, the bank’s total assets grew to $160 million
due to treasury bills received as capital injection from the government
valued at $23 million and the takeover of $1,8 million non-performing
loans by Zamco.

RBZ takes over diamond operations

Source: RBZ takes over diamond operations – DailyNews Live

BUSINESS WRITER      23 May 2017

HARARE – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has taken over the production
of diamonds in the country in an effort to promote transparency in the
sector.

This comes as the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which was
formed last year after government expelled all diamond miners in Marange,
has failed to deliver.

Official government data shows that ZCDC is only producing 95 000 to 100
000 carats a month against a target of approximately of between 300 000 to
350 000 carats.

All else being equal, the country should be getting about $30 million per
month from diamonds but this is not the case.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the State-owned diamond firm is
now compelled to remit all proceedings to fiscus.

“We have capitalised ZCDC to the tune of $80 million and we are getting
weekly reports of production and it has new management.

“We have also agreed on a new arrangement, we have told them, ZCDC, that
since we are now capitalising you, the diamonds are ours,” he told
delegates at the Chamber of Mines conference in Victoria Falls last week.

“So the new arrangement is that every output of diamond will come to the
fiscus through the Reserve Bank and this will ensure that we get maximum
benefit from the proceeds of the diamonds,” Chinamasa added.

This was after the central bank seconded its former exchange control
director, Morris Mpofu, to lead ZCDC.

According to Mpofu, who began his tenure as ZCDC chief executive in March
2017, the mining company is also receiving technical assistance from the
apex bank.

“Since last year when ZCDC was formed, we have been selling diamonds on
rushed basis to raise working capital, but this was stopped in March 2017
but RBZ has provided us with a working capital facility which allows us to
continue producing diamonds

“ZCDC has also adopted a stock accumulation policy from RBZ and government
which allows us to build and accumulate diamond stocks which we will
tender at the right time, to the right bidder and the right price,” Mpofu
said recently.

Diamond revenue has remained a national  headache with very little being
realised from the auction of Zimbabwe’s gems. President Robert Mugabe last
year claimed the country had lost an estimated $15 billion to leakages in
the sector.

Mugabe must condemn Zanu PF violence

Source: Mugabe must condemn Zanu PF violence – DailyNews Live

23 May 2017

HARARE – The violent behaviour displayed by the ruling party’s youth
league at Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial headquarters – Davies Hall – on
Sunday is both stunning and disappointing.

Provincial youth league chairperson Anna Mokgohloa was mercilessly
clobbered, allegedly by war veterans, while Bulawayo Central district
chairperson Magura Charumbira was reportedly stabbed in the head for
allegedly backing under-fire national political commissar Saviour
Kasukuwere.

While political violence has come through evolving phases in Zanu PF, it
is mainly the war veterans who have been in the forefront of driving it
since 2000.

Political violence has been infused into the ruling party. In the run-up
to the 2008 presidential run-off, the party’s youth wings and its ordinary
rural and urban structures were sucked into the vortex as the party
institutionalised violence – driven from a centralised command structure!

Zanu PF is supposed to be the custodian of the country’s Constitution,
which guarantees freedom of association.

It seems this culture of political intolerance is spreading, from the
demos calling for Kasukuwere’s ouster to this latest unfortunate incident.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to ensure that everyone behaves is to
simply police all Zanu PF political gatherings properly.

The riot police need kudos for stepping in to stop the violence in
Bulawayo.

If every Zanu PF event is safe from disruption, much of this would end
quickly.

If some people insist on being personal and insulting, let them, it
doesn’t do the other members any good to get down and dirty with them.

A more dignified response would probably be far more effective anyway.

Whenever an event is disrupted, the leadership must condemn it properly
and unequivocally.

But there is silence of the grave from Zanu PF over the Bulawayo mayhem.

And then there must be consequences. People like Zanu PF central committee
member Butholezwe Ngwenya and party youths Cosmas Ncube and Maqhawe
Sibanda – arrested over Charumbira’s brutal attack – should not be
accommodated in a party that claims to have the ideals of tolerance of
divergent views.

Mokgohloa alleged war veterans chairman Cephas Ncube called her
“Kasukuwere’s prostitute” before fondling her boobs!  The physical
violence and misogynistic abuse highlights a bigger problem – the safety
of women in political spaces.

All youths who threw pepper spray into the Davies Hall meeting must face
the music.

But while these simple moves can be implemented fairly quickly and
effectively, the fact remains that dirty politics is almost as old as
politics itself.

The re-establishment of calm in its Bulawayo office is almost entirely
dependent on the actions of Zanu PF.

Only its leaders have enough influence to ensure there are consequences
for people who engage in acts of political violence.

Zanu PF needs to deal with the issue decisively. With violence of horrific
proportions and the real possibility of even more violence to come if the
perpetrators are not punished, we face a crisis, a moment of truth, that
could even be worse than 2008.

President Robert Mugabe must make a strong public statement condemning the
actions of his party’s youth league, and to make it absolutely clear that
illegal actions have no place in the politics of a constitutional
democracy.

And while the Zanu PF youth league, like any other organisation, has a
constitutional right to protest; all spheres of government are obliged to
protect law-abiding citizens against any illegal protests that are
orchestrated to harm others and damage both public and private property.

But Zanu PF knows too well how such nefarious actions can turn into
powerful tools for the retention of power if the 2008 run-off violence is
anything to go by.

For that reason, and that reason alone, it would be silly for Zanu PF to
renounce violence.

Mudede should respect Constitution

Source: Mudede should respect Constitution – DailyNews Live

Maxwell Sibanda      23 May 2017

HARARE – Proposed ban of dual citizenship by Registrar General Tobaiwa
Mudede is part of a plan by the ruling Zanu PF government to rig the 2018
general elections, social and political analysts’ content.

Their comments follow Mudede’s presentation on the Constitution and dual
citizenship at a Zanu PF party parliamentary caucus where he urged
amendment of the Constitution to ban dual citizenship in a move that would
adversely impact millions of Zimbabwe’s now living abroad. Zanu PF
legislators were said to be supportive of the proposal.

Mudede said the government will not seek to re-align the Citizenship Act
with the new Constitution, but will instead move for the amendment of the
supreme law to abolish provisions allowing dual citizenship. “As the
Ministry of Home Affairs, we have decided that we are not going for
realignment (of the Citizenship Act to the Constitution), but for
amendment,” he said. He added that Sections 36, 37 and 43 of the
Constitution had to be amended.

Zimbabwe’s four-year-old Constitution allows for one to hold dual
citizenship which Mudede said posed a number of security challenges to the
country as it fuels crimes like human trafficking and tax evasion.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in a statement after Mudede’s proposal said
the Registrar General should respect the country’s constitution and that
his proposal was not just an attack on the constitution but also a ploy by
Zanu PF to rig the 2018 polls.

“We view the utterances by Mudede as part of a bigger ploy to
disenfranchise Zimbabweans living in the diaspora as we head towards the
watershed 2018 elections.

“We are appalled by such undemocratic and discriminatory tendencies by
government considering that the new Constitution is a new document which
was an outcome of extensive input of the majority including Zimbabweans
living in the diaspora.

“It is imperative for the government to note that the majority of its
citizens are residing globally in countries such as South Africa, Namibia,
Botswana Australia, USA and the United Kingdom, among others, and they are
now holders of dual citizenship.

“However, these nationals have remained Zimbabweans remitting close to
US$2 billion annually.”

ZESN national director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said: “This not consistent
with the constitution and it must be condemned. Mudede is subject to the
supreme law of the land and these moves will disenfranchisement the vote.”

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said: “Mudede is yesterday’s man. He is a
die-hard fascist and Stalinist. Mudede is dangerous to Zimbabwe’s
democratization agenda. This is why, at the ripe old age of 80 or there
abouts, he is still a civil servant who is periodically used by the Zanu
PF regime to manipulate the voters’ roll as well as to rig elections.

“Mudede is a vital cog in the Zanu PF regime election rigging machinery.
What Mudede should know is that Chapter 3 of the supreme law of the land
allows dual citizenship.

“And he should also know, as he claims to be a lawyer, that the
Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

“We know that Zanu PF is desperate to prevent Zimbabweans based in the
diaspora from voting in next year’s elections. This is the main reason why
ZEC is always ducking and diving each time that the issue of the diaspora
vote is raised.”

Analyst Rashweat Mukundu said: “This is another case of contempt for the
Constitution which the people voted for in a referendum. Essentially we
are seeing the constitution being shred into pieces, page by page.

“Mudede’s views are archaic as concepts on citizenship have changed and
Zimbabweans out of Zimbabwe are playing a key role in national issues,
more so millions in remittances.”

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) said it is worried by the
apparent politicisation of citizenship by the government and that Mudede’s
remarks were a reflection of the government attitude towards human rights
and the rule of law.

“Mudede’s revelations plainly expose why the government has delayed, four
years down the line after the adoption of the Constitution, implementing
the constitutional provisions to do with dual citizenship, in particular,
and the Constitution itself, in general.

“It appears that the government of the day has deliberately chosen to
ignore constitutional provisions that it is not comfortable with, while
awaiting an opportunity to bring in amendments to the Constitution in a
way that brings the entire reluctant approach to the alignment of laws
into question.

“The continued opposition to dual citizenship by the government is a
violation of constitutionally-guaranteed human rights and insensitive to
the context of Zimbabwe and its big Diaspora population,” ZimRights said.

ZimRights added that millions of Zimbabweans forced into exile by a
debilitating economic social and political crisis would want to maintain
their status as citizens.

“That the Registrar-General already talks of amending Sections 36, 37 and
43 of the Constitution before even any alignment of the Citizenship Act is
to treat the supreme law of the country with high-handed and unmistakable
contempt.”

Media practitioner Nigel Nyamutumbu said: “The appetite by the ruling
party to either deliberately ignore rights guaranteed in the Constitution
or to attempt to amend the supreme law to suit the interests of one
section of the population over the other is deplorable.

“In the case of dual citizenship, government is actually exposing its
double standards by one hand encouraging diasopora remittances while on
the other denying the same citizens of their right to vote.”

Social commentator rejoice Ngwenya said: “First of all, Mudede is a
lawyer, so he should know better. The constitution protects the rights of
Zimbabwean citizens wherever they are, so the fact that he is an extension
of Zanu PF delusion doesn’t make us take him seriously. “The obsession
with depriving Diaspora of voting rights is now a cancerous tumour in the
Zanu PF body politic. The Constitutional Court must be approached to
prevent further madness.”

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme could only say: “It’s a ploy to crowd
out voters in diaspora. It’s politically motivated.”

Mining activist Farai Muguwu said: “It’s back to the early 2000s when they
disenfranchised millions of Zimbabweans through banning dual citizenship
and classified some as ‘aliens’. “Sad reality is the opposition is like
sheep being led to the slaughter. Why do they allow Zanu PF to trash the
constitution like that while they are busy campaigning for an election
whose result is already being created by Mudede. This is why we say the
2018 election without reforms is a sham!”

…as time runs out for BVR

Meanwhile, analysts contend that time is fast running out for the
successful adoption, implementation and exhaustive review of biometric
voter registration ahead of the 2018 elections.

Election Resource Centre director Tawanda Chimhini said a number of issues
remain outstanding before we can be convinced that we will have a credible
voters’ roll for the next election and that it will be a biometric one.

“Firstly the Electoral Act, on the basis on which the Regulations and
Procedures are supposed crafted, is not fully aligned with the
Constitution. As such rushing to adopt BVR with a weak Electoral Act is
dangerous for the credibility of the next elections.

“Secondly, there must be clear provisions to depart from the contested
2013 voters’ roll which must be nowhere near the 2018 elections. Such
clarity is yet to be established legislatively.

“There is a real fear that the keeping of such vagueness in the rules for
elections could be deliberate to not only allow a contested voters’ roll
back through the back door which exposes the next election result to
disputes on numerous fronts,” said Chimhini.

Political activist Tabani Moyo said: “This is a clear show of power
dynamics at play. The incumbency will use the methodology that it sees as
most beneficial to its power consolidation politics.

“The opposition should be clear on its demands and escalate political
campaigns that ensure that the ruling party does not go all the way with
unchecked powers.

“If the opposition is not careful it will face the same predicament of
getting into an election without access to the voter’s roll.”

Legislator Kessie Majome said: “I fear that the BVR process roll out may
not meet the election time frame to allow universal franchise.

“ZeC should have been funded years ago for it to be ready for the 2018
elections. Using the 2013 roll would be as catastrophic as it would be
unconstitutional, as well as the resultant vote. It would be better for
ZEC to resort to a simple system based on IDs instead.”

Mukundu said: “All indications are that Zimbabwe may as well use the
manual voters roll. There is nothing in the Zec election guidelines that
compels Zec to adopt BVR. Instead BVR is at the discretion of Zec in
whatever format Zecdecides.

“With the slow pace of this process it makes sense to say BVR may not be
attainable by 2018.”

Ngwenya said: “My take is that the whole electoral participation spectrum
from an opposition viewpoint depends on the BVR adoption. So if it is
delayed, the elections will be pushed forward.

“The 2013 voter register will completely delegitimise the election and if
adopted, that will be a damn good reason for non-participation.”

Maguwu said: “The BVR process was introduced very late and even if
government proceeds to use it in 2018 the results would be disastrous. It
would have been better if the BVR had been tested in the several
bi-elections held since 2013.

“It’s clear they won’t be ready to use BVR in the next poll but I think
someone has a ‘big idea’ about how this BVR will benefit them and they
won’t yield to reason.”

Youths’ vote can sway 2018 election

Source: Youths’ vote can sway 2018 election – DailyNews Live

Blessing Kasiyamhuru      23 May 2017

HARARE – As the 2018 general election fast approaches, Zimbabwe
Partnership for Prosperity (ZIPP) challenges the youths in Zimbabwe to
rise up and vote in numbers as this crucial vote will help shape their
future.

The first step is for them to register to vote and show up to vote on
Election Day.

While young voters in the past have been comfortable in apathy neglecting
the importance of voting, they should realise that  their voice is an
important one because democracy doesn’t work without citizen
participation. Their vote does matter, so much so because history has
shown that a collective youth vote could actually sway an election.

Voting gives the youths the power to make important choices as they decide
what they like, don’t like, and their voices are heard. If they fail to
vote they are yielding the ultimate power to adults to make decisions
about the leaders and laws that will shape and lead society for decades.

It is always essential that young Zimbabweans take advantage of their
right to vote, creating a future that aligns with their fundamental
beliefs and setting a precedent for future generations.

Regrettably, ZIPP has noticed that in the past the youth in Zimbabwe have
not used their huge numbers at the ballot box to shape political and
socio-economic decisions. Interestingly, the youths are known to complain
about issues that affect them yet squander opportunities to influence the
election of people who share their aspirations.

The majority of the youths today are walloping in poverty as the country
witnesses high unemployment levels believed to be hovering over 90 percent
which if unchecked, will be a disaster in waiting for the government. They
also still face a host of other challenges, including limited access to
entrepreneurship opportunities and credit for setting up businesses.

It is not a secret that high unemployment levels in Zimbabwe are quite
undesirable especially after President Robert Mugabe’s 2013 election
promise to deliver more than two million jobs by 2018 that has not come to
pass.

While every year Zimbabwe produces an estimated 300 000 graduates from its
16 universities plus others coming out of polytechnic colleges, nursing
schools, teacher colleges and apprenticeships, the country’s floundering
economy that is starved of investment and job creation can scarcely absorb
a fraction of them.

This paints a grim picture of many young people with no source of income
and no future to look forward to.

It is against this background that ZIPP urges all the unemployed youths to
take time out and exercise their only hope for a better future, which is
to vote for a government that will address their employment needs.

Young voters who want to inspire change need to show their support for the
candidates whom they feel best represent their needs because no one else
is going to vote in the interest of young people except young people.

In particular, the youths not only should they practice their right to
vote but the right to be voted for into office themselves. Zipp,
therefore, offers this opportunity as a youthful party to all youths that
aspire to be leaders and policy makers of the future government of
Zimbabwe  in 2018.

Voting and being voted for or supporting the candidates that includes
youths of their choice is effective youth participation in politics.

ZIPP urges government, Zimbabwe Election Commission, NGOs, political
parties, churches and learning institutions to create enough awareness
among the youth as to why they should vote.

It is only in Zimbabwe that we have an organisation like Zimbabwe
Coalition of Unemployed Graduates formed by jobless but highly qualified
youths. The coalition has since presented a petition to the Parliament of
Zimbabwe highlighting their dissatisfaction with the state of the economy.

We also challenge Zimbabwe Coalition of Unemployed Graduates to mobilise
its wide membership to register and vote.

Zanu PF government is struggling to deal with a worsening unemployment
crisis as companies collapse, hence our call for youths to use the only
weapon still in their possession – the vote.

Local companies have resorted to retrenchment for business sustainability
and survival while others have been forced to restructure and downsize as
a direct response to low capacity utilisation and product demand.

Over time, the increase in retrenchments has seen unemployment figures
rising.

For the few companies still operating, foreign currency to buy new
equipment has been a challenge and as a result companies are forced to use
obsolete machinery susceptible to frequent breakdowns.

As a government in waiting ZIPP has the advantage of a pool of known
professional human resource base; graduates that are jobless – be they
teachers, nurses, engineers  that we shall absorb into employment through
facilitating an environment conducive for creating the necessary jobs.

*Kasiyamhuru is President ZIPP.

Zim faces massive load-shedding •$43m power import arrears cited •Eskom threatens action in 8 days

Source: Zim faces massive load-shedding •$43m power import arrears cited •Eskom threatens action in 8 days | The Herald May 23, 2017

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe might experience massive load-shedding starting next week if Zesa Holdings fails to settle an outstanding power import bill of $43 million owed to Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique. Eskom supplies Zimbabwe with 300 megawatts, while HCB chips in with 50 megawatts.

The South African power utility has threatened to switch off Zimbabwe if Zesa fails to pay the arrears in eight days.

Zimbabwe consumes about 1 400MW daily against a generating capacity of around 980MW.
Zesa owes the two power giants over $100 million, but the $43 million is emanating from a payment plan it has failed to honour due to foreign currency shortages.

Earlier this year, Zesa made payment plans with regional power utilities and should have paid $89 million between January and April, but it managed to pay only $46 million.

The payment plan included last year’s arrears.

The firms gave Zesa up to May 31 to clear the arrears, but with only eight days to go, the power utility has not paid anything.

Zesa chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba yesterday confirmed they were still to settle the arrears.
“We are yet to service the debt, but we are making frantic efforts to pay and revert to the original payment plan,” he said.

“We have been having meetings with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to find ways of coming out of this (problem). Hopefully, this week something will come up because everyone knows the effects of failing to pay.”

Zimbabwe has been enjoying steady power supplies for the past 16 months owing to various initiatives, which included imports.

Major creditors are Eskom, which is overally owed $80 million and Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique ($40 million).

It is understood that HCB officials will be in the country tomorrow “to see how far Zimbabwe has gone towards raising the money it owes them”.

Eskom interim group chief executive Mr Matshela Koko recently wrote to Eng Chifamba indicating that supplies would be cut with effect from June 1.

“The balance as at end of March 2017 according to the plan, should have been R484 721 980, but the actual balance was R603 176 479, leaving a shortfall of approximately R118 454 499,” Mr Koko said.

“I refer to your finance director’s request to our Mr Segomoco Scheppers requesting further accommodation by Eskom by allowing Eskom’s remedial action as provided for to be delayed to end May 2017.

“Eskom do hereby confirms acceptance of this request and requires that; the current outstanding debt should not increase and Zesa shall take all steps necessary to ensure the outstanding balance as at 14 April, 2017 is maintained or preferably reduced, Zesa will restore the repayment plan by ensuring that as at end May 2017, the outstanding balance, including all subsequent invoices will be R491 416 426 or less.

“Kindly confirm Zesa’s acceptance of this accommodation being offered by Eskom. Kindly note that no further lenience or accommodation will be made in this regard and Eskom will draw down on the guarantee, raise the appropriate interest charges and curtail supply immediately should the balance not align with this proposal as at 31 May 2017.”

To back up power imports, Government recently issued an R500 million ($35 million) guarantee to Eskom and it is that surety that the latter is threatening to call up.

Industrialists and miners yesterday implored monetary authorities to prioritise power provision, saying any cut on supplies would affect industry and winter wheat cropping.

Chamber of Mines president Mr Issac Kwesu said: “Once they cut off it will be insufficient to meet national demand. If more than 300 megawatts is cut off or reduced, it means the authorities have to re-prioritise so that the productive sectors are given importance considering our role in the economy. From the mining industry we are saying whatever situation, give us what is available so that we keep on carrying the economy in terms of adequate foreign exchange. The economy has been improving and it means the monetary authorities should give Zesa a priority the same way Zesa has been prioritising us.”

An official from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) added: “Respective authorities have to move with speed to ensure the money is availed otherwise we don’t want to move one step forward and two steps backwards.

“We have policies put in place to turn around the economy and without power we will be shooting ourselves in the foot. We should not undermine our efforts and reduce the business confidence, which is on the high.”

The country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, identifies energy as a key enabler under infrastructure and utilities, as well as the value addition and beneficiation initiatives.

This cluster needs massive support and its failure spells doom for the country.

Zanu-PF raps Byo violence

Source: Zanu-PF raps Byo violence | The Herald May 23, 2017

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF has condemned in strongest terms the violence that rocked its Bulawayo provincial offices on Sunday, saying disciplinary measures will be taken against the perpetrators. The party’s secretary for information and publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the revolutionary party did not condone violence in whatever form.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Cde Khaya Moyo said: “I want to express my dismay at the reports of violence that took place at Davies Hall, which is our party headquarters in Bulawayo.

“For whatever reason, the party does not condone any form of violence from whomsoever. I understand police arrested some people there and the law should take its course.

“As a party, we have our own internal rules and disciplinary processes against members and I hope that the Bulawayo leadership will give us their report that will assist us so that we deal with the nonsense once and for all.”

In cases of differences, Cde Khaya Moyo said, party members should dialogue to find common ground.

“People must discuss issues and agree to disagree or agree to agree,” he said. “That is what democracy is all about. The idea of solving differences through violence is barbaric and primitive.”

During the skirmishes, Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial youth league chairperson Cde Anna Mokgohloa was assaulted by some war veterans.

Bulawayo Central District chairperson Cde Magura Charumbira was stabbed in the head and face during the ugly scenes that engulfed the Davies Hall offices.

Angry youths and war veterans besieged the party offices for close to six-hours, baying for the blood of some Central Committee members, Politburo members, provincial members and legislators who were having a meeting inside the hall.

After noting that the situation was spiralling out of hand, anti-riot police was called in to control the protesting youths who wanted to stop the provincial executive meeting that was being chaired by provincial acting chair Cde Dennis Ndlovu.

They accused Cde Ndlovu of siding with the under fire national commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, who was rejected by all the party’s 10 provinces.

Cde Kasukuwere is facing numerous charges stemming from a petition that was submitted to President Mugabe by his home province of Mashonaland Central.

Among other charges, Cde Kasukuwere is being accused of plotting to topple President Mugabe by tampering with the party structures where he is firing people willy-nilly and replacing them with his stooges.

Central Committee member Cde Butholezwe Ngwenya and party youths Cdes Cosmas Ncube and Maqhawe Sibanda were arrested following the attack on Cde Charumbira and Cde Mokgohloa.

Stage set for violent 2018 campaign

Source: Stage set for violent 2018 campaign – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 23, 2017

OPPOSITION parties yesterday predicted a bloody run-up to the 2018 election judging by the high levels of violence and intolerance already exhibited by rival Zanu PF camps since the beginning of this year, with the latest incident recorded in Bulawayo at the weekend.

BY OBEY MANAYITI/XOLISANI NCUBE/NQOBANI NDLOVU

Similar bloody clashes occurred at the ruling party’s provincial headquarters in Harare last month, leaving several activists injured in the melee.

In separate interviews with NewsDay following Sunday’s skirmishes — which saw two Zanu PF youths seriously injured in
intra-party clashes in Bulawayo — opposition officials accused the ruling party of setting the stage for a bloody campaign and in the process poisoning the electoral environment ahead of next year’s general elections.

“Zanu PF is and has always been a violent political party. We are not at all surprised by the intra-party violence that took place amongst Zanu PF supporters in Bulawayo at the weekend. Violence is part and parcel of the Zanu PF political DNA,” MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

“If they are this savagely violent amongst themselves, then you can just imagine how violent they are towards members of other competing political parties.

“Already, these Zanu PF political thugs and hoodlums are setting the stage for an extremely violent election campaign in 2018. There will be blood on the floor. This is one of the major reasons why, as the MDC, we have always been advocating for a non-violent and peaceful political discourse in this country.”

MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said: “(President Robert) Mugabe is now being mauled by the violence that he brewed many years ago.

Violence is now a permanent feature in Zanu PF. Violence is usually found in political institutions that are in a high state of decomposition like Zanu PF. The hungry crocodiles are now eating each other.”

Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume said: “Mugabe and Zanu PF have always been violent. The latest developments show that they are setting the tone for violence in the upcoming watershed elections.

“Zimbabweans need to rise up now and resist this kind of behaviour. It’s unacceptable and we must stand up to this.”

Activist Farai Maguwu said the country was now in a transitional phase starting in Zanu PF.

“Since formation, Zanu PF has always settled its internal squabbles through violence or expulsion. The Bulawayo skirmishes are only the beginning and a season of long knives is fast approaching as it becomes clear a new leader has to be found given Mugabe’s ripe old age,” he said.

“Next year is likely going to be marred by both intra-party and inter-party violence.”

The Bulawayo violence was allegedly triggered by a faction campaigning for the ouster of Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

Violence broke out when the anti-Kasukuwere activists attempted to disrupt a provincial co-ordinating committee meeting, claiming the gathering was illegal.

The group targeted provincial chairperson Dennis Ndlovu, whom they labelled as Kasukuwere’s proxy, saying he had blocked attempts to join other provinces in passing a vote of no-confidence against the under-fire party commissar.

But Ndlovu remained defiant yesterday, saying he would not be pushed out of the party by “drunk mafias”.

“It’s politics. It will soon pass, I mean these power struggles,” he said.

“Sometimes people kill each other over such power struggles, but we are glad it has not come to that. We will talk to the aggrieved and hear their concerns.

“What we have noticed though is that these are the very same people who are given money and beer to come and cause chaos. It’s terrible.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo condemned the clashes and said a detailed report of the skirmishes would be tabled at the politburo’s next meeting to ensure the perpetrators were brought to book.

“We will come hard on those people responsible for that (violence). We don’t care who is involved in that,” he said.

“We have asked for a report, which will be tabled in the politburo. People should not use party processes to settle their own scores.

“The President does not support anyone who is violent, surely we will deal with that. Even if the person involved is from up there, the party has mechanisms to deal with violence.

“It tarnishes the image of the party. People should learn to discuss issues and not resort to violence. Yes, we can disagree, but not use violence. They will face the full wrath of the law.”

But, war veterans’ leader Chris Mutsvangwa claimed the clashes were the dirty works of the G40 faction.

“G40 is the problem. Putchist G40 has been nefariously seeking a Nazi-type power grab and the rank and file membership isn’t buying that,” he said.

‘We bypassed SPB procedures for road repairs’

Source: ‘We bypassed SPB procedures for road repairs’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 23, 2017

TRANSPORT minister Joram Gumbo has disclosed that the State Procurement Board (SPB) gave his ministry permission to bypass State tender procedures in order to repair damaged roads after the country experienced incessant rains.

By Veneranda Langa

Gumbo said this in the National Assembly recently during a question-and-answer session, when he was asked by Nomvula Mguni (Proportional Representation MP MDC-T) to tell to the House which roads had been repaired to date, using the money set aside for that purpose.

“When we called for an emergency on the state of our roads, we worked with the minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere, and we requested His Excellency President Robert Mugabe to declare it as a disaster,” he said.

“We also requested, from the SPB, to bypass the tender procedure, so that we use available companies to repair the roads [throughout] the whole country.”

The government set aside $14,5 million, which was disbursed to the Department of Roads for the State Roads Emergency Rehabilitation Programme, which commenced on March 13.

Procurement Regulations (section 8) stipulate that all procurements above $500 000 (section 30 of the SPB Act) are the responsibility of the SPB.

Most of the country’s roads and bridges were severely damaged by Cyclone Dineo — later downgraded to a tropical storm — which hit several parts of Zimbabwe during the rainy season.

Gumbo said some roads, though, in Harare in particular, were not properly repaired.

“I realise that Chiremba Road in Harare was not properly repaired. Those that are not repairing the roads properly are the City of Harare. They are doing a shoddy job, but other companies that are repairing roads are doing it well. I have talked to Zinara [Zimbabwe National Roads Administration] so that they engage City of Harare to ensure the roads are repaired well.”

Gumbo said in order for his ministry to avoid having problems with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts and the Auditor-General’s Office for bypassing SPB procedures, the road infrastructure had to be declared a state of emergency, which was done.

In phase one of the repairs, Gumbo said they had completed two roads in Manicaland, Mashonaland Central (2), Mashonaland East (2), Mashonaland West has three roads, more than half complete, Masvingo four complete, Matabeleland North (1), Matabeleland South (2), Midlands (3), City of Harare (6), City of Bulawayo (4).

He said phase two of rehabilitation of roads would soon commence.

Mugabe reassigns permanent secretaries

Source: Mugabe reassigns permanent secretaries – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 23, 2017

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has reshuffled some permanent secretaries, with under-fire Mines and Mining Development secretary Francis Gudyanga reassigned to the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry.

BY STAFF REPORTER

In a statement yesterday, the Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, said the reassignments were with immediate effect.

Gudyanga, who has been accused of running down the Mines ministry and been linked to several shady mining deals, replaces Machivenyika Mapuranga, who was moved to the Transport ministry.

Transport secretary Munesu Munodawafa, who has also been linked to shady deals at Air Zimbabwe, has been redeployed to the Mines ministry, while Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment secretary George Magosvongwe was reassigned to the Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage ministry.

Magosvongwe takes over from Thokozile Chitepo, who was reassigned to the Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry, where she would replace Florence Nhekairo, who retired from the public service.

Desire Sibanda was moved from the Macro-Economic Planning and Promotion ministry to replace Magosvongwe in the Youth ministry.

Sibanda was replaced by Judith Kateera, who was secretary in the Finance ministry (non-accounting).

Mugabe appointed Sibusisiwe Zembe as secretary for Women Affairs, taking over from Perpetua Gumbo, who has been moved to the Public Service Commission alongside Sport secretary Godfrey Chipare.

Chipare will also double as a lecturer at the National Defence University.

Before her appointment, Zembe was principal director for the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation.

The last time Mugabe reshuffled his permanent secretaries was in September 2014, a year after he was sworn in for his current term of office.

Chimene claims verbal abuse at Mutambanengwe burial

Source: Chimene claims verbal abuse at Mutambanengwe burial – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 23, 2017

MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has claimed that she was on Saturday verbally abused by relatives of the late former High Court judge, Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe, who were protesting government’s failure to accord him a national hero’s status.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

Chimene said tempers flared during Mutambanengwe’s burial at Dambakurimwa village near Mutare after she insinuated that the late top jurist could have been denied national hero’s status because he was inconsistent.

“Yesterday (Saturday), I went to bury someone, who was not declared a national hero. I told mourners that there might be something he did wrong, I was verbally assaulted for that,” she said, as she addressed a Zanu PF interdistrict youth meeting at Mary Mount Teachers’ College in Mutare on Sunday.

“I am urging you not to do that. You should always strive to be consistent.”

According to party officials who attended Mutambanengwe’s burial, family members and friends openly expressed their anger over the government’s decision not to accord him a hero’s status for the role he played during the liberation war.

Mutambanengwe succumbed to renal failure in Namibia almost two weeks ago.

The Namibian government took care of the parlour expenses and flew the judge’s body from Windhoek to Zimbabwe, amid reports that the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executive had approached the politburo recommending that Mutambanengwe be declared a national hero.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF Manicaland youth leader, Mubuso Chinguno told party supporters on Sunday that President Robert Mugabe “would clock 365 years, describing the veteran politician as the Biblical Abraham”, who outlived most people of his generation.

Mugabe, who turns 94 next year, has already been endorsed as the ruling party’s presidential candidate for the polls in 2018.

“We will continue supporting him regardless of his age because we agree with what President Robert Mugabe stands for and what he believes in,” Chinguno said.

But according to the Bible book of Genesis 25:7, Abraham died in 1843 BCE at the good old age of 175 years and was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah, while his wife Sarah died at the age of 127.

Zanu PF national youth leader, Kudzanai Chipanga told party supporters that Mugabe would address his 2018 maiden campaign rally at Sakubva Stadium on June 16, with Manicaland province expected to host his 94th birthday celebrations in February next year.

Opposition scoffs at Mnangagwa jobs claim

Source: Opposition scoffs at Mnangagwa jobs claim – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 23, 2017

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s claims that the government had created more than 2,2 million jobs are an insult to millions of unemployed people roaming the country’s streets, opposition parties have said.

BY STAFF REPORTER

MDC-T youth leader, Happymore Chidziva said unless the government had reduced itself to counting vending as formal jobs, then Mnangagwa could be right.

“Just walk the streets of Harare, in First Street, the levels of unemployment will look you straight in the eye,” he said.

“Vending is not employment, it is the height of unemployment.”

Chidziva said Mnangagwa’s statements showed why the party should be booted out of office in the 2018 general elections.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said Mnangagwa’s statement could have been a slip of the tongue.

“He must have wanted to say we lost more than 2,2 million jobs because, knowing him as a sober lawyer, he would not intentionally lie to the people of Zimbabwe,” PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general, Japhet Moyo dismissed the claims, saying only 6% of Zimbabweans had jobs.

“We have seen people losing jobs and most companies have now resorted to putting workers on fixed contracts. The VP cannot be right by any stretch of imagination, unless he thinks vending is a job,” he said.

ZCTU said industry has been slowly dying, as the economy continued to contract and jobs were being lost daily.

Mnangagwa said the government had surpassed the 2,2 million job creation target, which was the main campaign promise by Zanu PF as it won the 2013 elections.