Author Archives: ZimSitRep_M

BAT Zimbabwe reports drop in volumes

Source: BAT Zimbabwe reports drop in volumes – The Zimbabwe Independent July 26, 2016

BRITISH American Tobacco (BAT) Zimbabwe on Tuesday reported a 23% drop in revenue to $16.8m following a 21% decrease in sales volumes as economic fundamentals continue to wane.

Cigarette consumption is normally regarded as inelastic, but this has not been the case in Zimbabwe where disposable incomes are not enough to cover the necessities.

Analysts said the 21% drop in volumes points to a distressed consumer, something which was confirmed by managing director Clara Mlambo, who said the trading environment remained constrained during the period.

“The trading environment was characterised by weak consumer demand and an accelerated liquidity crunch, driven by the generally weak macro-economic performance,” said Mlambo.

BAT said overall cigarette volumes for the local market had also declined compared to the same period in 2015.

Going forward BAT said it will continue to invest in Zimbabwe, both through its commercial business and through purchases of a significant proportion of the national tobacco crop.

Mlambo said BAT Global purchases between 10% to 12% of Zimbabwe’s tobacco output, which reached 190 million kilogrammes in 2015 and has already reached 183 million kilogrammes in the current selling season.-Fin24

Viciousness and brutality have never defeated a people’s revolution

I had no plans of writing an article today, but what spurred me to do so was that I have just been watching Sarafina, a touching 1990s movie on the ordinary people’s fight against apartheid in South Africa – and was nearly driven to tears by stack similarities between the viciousness and brutality by which the apartheid regime treated the people of that country and how the ZANU PF government is treats the people of Zimbabwe.

Source: Viciousness and brutality have never defeated a people’s revolution – The Zimbabwean 26.07.2016

It is so scary!

In fact, the similarities are so glaringly vile that, at times, it would seem as if the movie was on Zimbabwe.

However, what inspired me – and should also inspire the people of Zimbabwe – is the unrelenting bravery of the people of South Africa, not matter what the apartheid regime threw their way – from arrests, beatings up, torturing of obscene proportions, abductions, and assassinations of all magnitudes.

The people suffered immensely, but they never gave up.

What even touched me the most was the fighting spirit of the school pupils, whose bravery in the face of untold atrocities – including police brutality and even shootings – stood firm in their beliefs for a better country for themselves and their future children.

This got me thinking as to whether this generation of school children could ever be replicated.

However, despite all this very bloody and deadly oppression by the apartheid regime, the people’s revolution could not be stopped – and, needless to say, they eventually won, amid all odds.

What stood out to me in the people’s revolution in SA was that, it was mainly peaceful, in spite of the gruesome brutality that they faced at the hands of the apartheid regime – meaning that, a peaceful revolution by the people can actually yield results, as long as they do not become subdued and crumble.

The people need to remain united, without any desire for personal glory – this is a people’s struggle not an individual and organisation’s struggle, as such, there is always need for a united front in everything.

Furthermore, the people’s suffering, in itself, should be enough to spur people into action onto the streets in peaceful protests, without waiting for anyone to organise them.

There is virtually no need for the suffering people of Zimbabwe to wait for another hashtag this or that to organise them into action – their suffering should be enough to get, for example, people standing in a long queue at a bank to just become so agitated and disenchanted that they simply start marching in the streets.

The ZANU PF government can no longer be treated with kids’ gloves anymore – as they will never treat the suffering people with the same kids’ gloves – the gloves are off.

The ZANU PF government is fully aware of the people’s suffering, and have no excuse not to, at least listen to the people’s cries.

However, what the people are getting is arrogance, arrogance, and more arrogance.

How do they honestly think the people will react?

Yet, they blame France, or some other Western power, when the inevitable happens.

Whether France is indeed paying one or two individuals – as this can be expected in global geo-politics, as every country has vested in interests – but that does not override the genuine suffering and anger of the people of Zimbabwe.

The people of Zimbabwe want their grievances addressed by their government, and if not, their anger will boil over.

What will that have to do with France?

Furthermore, the suffering people of Zimbabwe have had enough of lame excuses by the government.

Whether the suffering inflicted in them is the government’s fault or not, it does not matter – the people have suffered enough, they are angry, and they want a new government.

They do not need a foreign power to tell them that.

I am a father and husband, and everyone in my family expects me to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, send my son to school, and clothe them.

They know fully well that the economic situation in Zimbabwe is dire, yet that will never be acceptable to them as an excuse for my failure to provide what is expected of me – as that is my role.

To make matters worse, if they know that I do get some money, but I choose to spend it in revelry with friends and ‘small houses’, then any ounce of pity that they may have still had for me would instantly completely disappear and replaced by repulsion and downright anger.

If I fail to deliver, my family has every right to demand it, or else, they are completely justified in leaving me.

Resorting to beating them up will not force them to understand, but will only add fuel to an already raging inferno.

They expect me not to make excuses, but to make a plan – and if I fail, then I would have failed as a father and husband.

Furthermore, I can not turn around and blame my neighbour, if my family crumbles – it would have been entirely my fault.

If is so happens that there would be ‘vultures’ lingering about to take them, that is very unfortunate, but that does not take away the fact that it was entirely my fault that I failed to provide for them, and I can not blame the ‘vulture’.

In the same vein, the ZANU PF has no one else to blame for the misery and suffering of Zimbabweans.

Therefore, instead of making excuses and blaming others, the ZANU PF government is better advised to sit down and seriously discuss these matters with the people, instead of brutalising them – as that will only lead to further uncontrollable fury that will result in chaos in the country.

A government that oppresses its own people is as dishonourable and shameful – if not worse – than a man who abuses his own wife and children.

It is downright bullying – coming out with guns, whips, tear gas, water canons, and dogs against defenceless unarmed innocent people, who are merely expressing their dissatisfaction with their government.

Bullies are nothing more than cowards – and we all know what happens to cowards.

As with apartheid, the people’s power will always triumph, no matter what atrocities they have to endure, and it is a battle that the oppressor can never hope to win – as history is on the side of the oppressed.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist and commentator, writer, and journalist. He writes in his personal capacity, and welcomes any feedback. Please WhatsApp/call: +263782283975, or email: tendaiandtinta.mbofana@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter: @Tendai_Mbofana

Crushing dissent not the solution

Source: Crushing dissent not the solution – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 26, 2016

IN light of the seemingly unstoppable rise in dissenting voices in the country, it is clearly emerging that the State’s panacea to these “inconvenient” voices is to crush everything in its way, even if it means adopting an unconstitutional route.

GUEST COLUMNIST LEARNMORE ZUZE

This has been seen through the mass arrest of protesters in Beitbridge. This has been evident in the arrest and subsequent faltering of the supposed treason case against cleric, Evan Mawarire, who was initially charged with inciting violence and ultimately charged with attempting to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government. Even a first-year law student would have picked right away the unconstitutionality of altering charges in court.

However, blinded by rage or perhaps the need to silence the protest movements, the embarrassing legal miscarriage was rightly pointed out by the presiding magistrate. Earlier, before Mawarire’s arrest, pressure group leader, Promise Mkwananzi, had been arrested and charged at the same court.

Back in Bulawayo, the #Beatthepot campaign, fronted by MDC-T vice president, Thokozani Khupe, had to fight a late night legal battle in order to go ahead with the march after police had barred the planned protest. They were only cleared late in a protest that was aimed against hunger, worsening poverty, joblessness and general hardships.

It’s apparent the State would certainly have wanted to stifle the protest. Again, we saw how protesting vendors in Harare were brutalised by armed police at Town House. Currently, jobless graduates have also scheduled a protest march against unemployment. Palpably, the protest would be resisted at every turn.

These mounting protests are a serious indicator of something gone terribly wrong if only the government would have the horse sense to self-introspect. That we have thousands of widely dispersed people, all protesting against the same ills, should set the government thinking.

And the sooner the government sets its eyes on the things protested for, not the protesters, the better. It’s pretty much like we have a state of affairs where children in a home are complaining of the cold, inadequate blankets or poor sanitation to a father.

And, instead of the father directing efforts on the concerns, he resorts to spanking the children, threatening them and throwing them out of the house.

But well, suppose the parent succeeds in silencing the complaining children. Suppose he gleefully beats them into submission; does it take away the fact of the crisis in his home? Does it take away the self-evident truth of the distress in his home?

Sadly, this is our current reality. It’s as if to say Zimbabweans should hear-no-evil and see-no-evil yet all that Zimbabweans have known in the past decade-and-a-half is hunger and lack. Zimbabweans have braved hardships of the worst magnitude since 2000. Protesting against hunger or poverty, for the record, is not lack of patriotism.

In the same way that the government prides itself in having been given a governing mandate by the people, it should also take responsibility in addressing the people’s troubles.

Government should be tenaciously focusing on how to weed out corruption. It should be, so far, reviewing what positives have accrued from the heavy police presence on the roads that has, in essence, impacted negatively on tourism. It should be focusing on how to arrest the gigantic corporate malfeasance rampant in its institutions and cutting down on expensive air travel. But instead of our government expending energy on resolving these evils, it rather chooses to splurge on machinery bent on crushing dissent.

Even pronouncements by Zanu PF youths last week that they would ruthlessly deal with protesters are a fine indicator of how lawlessness has been tolerated in this country. We never heard any of their superiors cautioning them against taking the law into their hands.

Fine, they may crush the vendors, arrest all protest leaders and have them incarcerated, but the haunting question still remains: Does this revive the economy and improve the standard of living for the generality of Zimbabweans? What kind of government finds itself at ease governing by decree? Would a proper government be at peace deriding the very people from whence it draws its mandate to govern?

In the case of Mawarire, all that the man has demanded is the right to be well governed. Even the charges of inciting violence would have appeared frivolous and vexatious to any reasonable court. No one denies that the government has the mandate, but with the mandate should come responsibility. The government cannot claim to only want the mandate to rule while neglecting the responsibility for proper governance.

Instead of resolving the economic paralysis, all we hear is their favourite pastime of demonising honest citizens branding them agents of imperialism. There is nothing imperialistic in Zimbabweans seeking to be properly governed. We are all Zimbabweans and no one is more Zimbabwean than the other. No one should and can throw another out of this country for exercising a constitutional right.

The real fight ought to be on the dying economy and not on well-meaning individuals. Crushing dissent won’t mend this economy.

Learnmore Zuze writes in his own capacity. E-mail: lastawa77@gmail.com

Zim voices grow louder, but . . .

Source: Zim voices grow louder, but . . . – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 26, 2016

If there is one thing Zimbabweans are desperate for, it is for their government to take responsibility and to stop passing the buck each time an issue arises.

NEWSDAY COMMENT

The government has come up with the most disingenuous ways to dodge responsibility, first claiming that a third force was responsible for the protests in Beitbridge over the banning of certain imports.

When they saw that Zimbabweans were not buying that, they claimed that a mass stay-away was the work of French and United States ambassadors, now a statement by war veterans is being attributed to a fifth column.

There is no telling who or what will be blamed for the next protest or statement. But all this is bordering on absurdity and it is time the government had a long introspection.
It is as if authorities are saying Zimbabweans are an unthinking lot with no agency of their own and need an external hand to direct them.

The government seems content with meek Zimbabweans, who readily turn the other cheek no matter how heavy the first blow was.

However, Zanu PF should know that Zimbabweans are tired of their present circumstances and are desperate for a better life and no matter how much the government tries to deflect the simmering tensions, the people of this country have had enough and will continue to speak out.

Instead of always playing the blame game, the government must look at what is causing the wave of discontent and try to address it, without always trying to crush dissent.

It is high time the Zanu PF government stopped treating Zimbabweans with disdain and instead it should become responsive to people’s concerns.

President Robert Mugabe and his Cabinet ministers should dump all manner of aloofness and leave their ivory towers and be seen, for once, to be working for the people.

Even if it were a third force, fifth column, Western embassies or whatever fantasy they may dream up next, what is wrong with Zimbabweans demanding an end to corruption, widespread poverty and an improvement in their lives?

These are legitimate issues that people are bringing to the fore that have nothing to do with regime change or neo-colonialism – Zanu PF’s favourite red herrings.

Mugabe won an election on the back of improving the economy and employment creation and three years later he is yet to make good on his election pledges. And when Zimbabweans ask what happened to those promises, they are accused of plotting to unseat him and being traitorous.

No matter how much they pass the buck and deflect on issues, Mugabe and his government must know that Zimbabweans’ voices will only grow louder as long as their circumstances do not improve and it is high time the government took responsibility for its failures.

$500m maize scheme on cards

Source: $500m maize scheme on cards | The Herald July 26, 2016

Felex Share Senior Reporter
Government is working on a $500 million command agricultural programme to ensure maize self-sufficiency starting from the next summer cropping season.

The programme, which aims to produce two million tonnes of maize on 400 000 hectares of land, will see identified farmers being given inputs, irrigation and mechanised equipment.

The farmers, to work under strict supervision, will be required to commit five tonnes per hectare to Government as repayment for the inputs and agricultural equipment.

They will retain all surplus produced for personal use.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told journalists in Harare yesterday that Cabinet had, with immediate effect, tasked the Ministries of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and Environment, Water and Climate to identify farms, farmers and water bodies for the implementation of the command agriculture initiative.

“The specific implementation modalities will be worked out by the implementing Government ministries,” VP Mnangagwa said.

“This is meant to produce maize locally and reduce grain imports. Of the 400 000 hectares targeted, at least half of that will be irrigated land, meaning on that one, whether or not there is drought, the land will still produce. This is a national programme and as such the public, private sector and farmers must come together and cooperate in the funding. On the cost, we are negotiating lines of credit and we cannot disclose those we are negotiating with.”

VP Mnangagwa said the programme was being run from the Office of the President and Cabinet and was being implemented under the guidance of the Cabinet Committee on Food Security and Nutrition.

He chairs the Cabinet Committee.

“Every farmer coming into this programme should be a serious farmer,” he said.

“The farmers participating in this programme, whom we expect to be more than 2 000, should sign a performance contract for three consecutive growing seasons commencing with the 20016-17 summer season. All farmers near water bodies shall be considered. If a farmer is near water and does not want to go into the scheme, we will put him where there is no water. Only productive farmers will be spared. We are targeting those who are sleeping on the land.”

He added: “We are giving the identified farmers equipment to empower them to produce the maize and we are giving them inputs; meaning seeds, fertiliser and chemicals. We only demand five tonnes per hectare to be delivered to the Grain Marketing Board to cover the machinery and inputs.”

VP Mnangagwa said the decision to embark on command agriculture was arrived at after a realisation that national food insecurity had risen from about 12 percent in 2011 to 42 percent this year.

The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Report says four million people are in food aid this year because of an El-Nino-induced drought.

“Other Government programmes such as the Presidential Inputs Scheme will still be attended to,” VP Mnangagwa said

“Every farmer and every Zimbabwean is special to Government. The special programme on maize production has the advantage that funds will be used locally to buy inputs and it also ensures labour for locals. We are going to clamp down on corrupt elements through austere supervision.”

VP Mnangagwa said the country had enough grain in stock to cover the next five months with more imports expected soon.

“Local purchases are also expected to peak in the coming months of August and September,” he said.

“In the meantime, Government continues to honour its commitments in ensuring adequate food availability to the nation in the short-term through imports and the local purchases.”

Maize production has declined in the past few years due to successive drought spells and erratic rainfall patterns.

UN avails 20,6m euros for re-industrialisation

Source: UN avails 20,6m euros for re-industrialisation | The Herald July 26, 2016

Business Reporter

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has availed a 20,6 million euro three-year support facility towards Zimbabwe’s re-industralisation country programme. The country programme focuses on industrialisation through value addition and beneficiation as enablers of economic growth, which is in sync with the Zim-Asset economic blue-print.This also makes Zimbabwe the 11th country out of 54 African countries to be prioritised by the UNIDO’s country programmes.

The country programme focuses on six components which support delivery of Zim -Asset objectives among them support value addition, quality infrastructure and access

to competitive markets for selected value chains. The programme will also focus on upgrading small to medium enterprises and support institutions as well as pharmaceutical recovery and its competitiveness.

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said UNIDO and Government through his ministry have been working together since 2013 to revive the sector through developing a Pharmaceutical Sector Development Strategy.

The approval of the country programme, Minister Bimha said, was a timely intervention that would enhance industry competitiveness, at a time local industry has suffered capacity constraints and uncompetitiveness on both the domestic and regional market.

“Zimbabwe has not had a country programme for so many years leading to it lagging behind its neighbours in the region.

“The Government of Zimbabwe in its quest to industrialise is not only looking at support from its partners, but going to great lengths to make the investment environment more welcoming,” he said.

In line with this, Minister Bimha added Government would continue working towards providing an enabling environment conducive for business growth.

According to the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, Zimbabwe is ranked 155 out of 189 economies while the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index ranks the country at 125 out of 140 countries.

UNIDO director Africa programme division Mr Koffi Edme said inclusive and sustainable industrial development could only be achieved by building multi-stakeholder partnerships with governments, financial institutions, private sector and the academia.

He added the use of inclusive sustainable industrial development (ISID) approach was ideal in enhancing productivity, international competitiveness, creating jobs, incomes and supporting economic diversification.

“In essence, ISID promote structural transformation focused on unleashing development through innovation, efficient and sustainable use of resources,” he said.

Illegal immigrants abused in Botswana

Source: Illegal immigrants abused in Botswana | The Herald July 26, 2016

Bulawayo Bureau
Botswana police and chiefs are allegedly brutalising Zimbabweans who enter that country illegally before deporting them. Presenting a report of the thematic committee on Peace and Security on the State of the Country’s Borders in the Senate recently, the committee’s chairperson, Senator Damian Mumvuri said Botswana officials harass illegal immigrants and assault foreigners before forcing them to walk long distances.

Sen Mumvuri said the committee came face-to-face with problems faced by deportees during one of its fact-finding missions at Plumtree Border Post.

“The committee managed to witness a group of Zimbabweans at the no man’s land between Zimbabwe and Botswana who had been deported.

“They could hardly walk and had wounds all over their bodies. They submitted that they had been beaten up by both the Botswana police and the traditional chief courts,” said Sen Mumvuri.

He said Plumtree Border Post has witnessed a decrease in the number of deportees in the last three years.

“It was submitted to the committee that deportations from Botswana had declined in the past three years although year-on-year figures from 2014-2015 are on the increase and rose by 45 percent.

“Botswana has since intensified their inland system of removing illegal immigrants,” Sen Mumvuri said.

The senator said the Registrar-General’s Office should decentralise its offices to district levels as this will reduce the number of people travelling without passports.

“It was further submitted that the geographical location of the nearest passport office in the province (Gwanda and Bulawayo) lead to a lot of illegal migrations.

“There is need to consider district registries as possible passport application points.

“This, it was submitted, may help cut down the volume of illegal migrants due to unavailability of passports,” he said.

Sen Mumvuri said incomplete border posts such as the Maitengwe Border Post had become safe havens for smugglers.

“Smugglers now realise the potential of these unpoliced border crossings and therefore smuggle mostly fuel and electrical appliances through illegal crossing points along the border.

“Vehicles to patrol the border are also not adequate and most of the personnel will be patrolling on foot.

“There is also smuggling of goods through under-invoicing to pay less duty,” he said.

PG’s Office mum on Kereke legal costs

Source: PG’s Office mum on Kereke legal costs | The Herald July 26, 2016

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
The Prosecutor-General’s Office is still to respond to the application for legal costs incurred in the private prosecution of former Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke despite having been served with an order from the court directing them to do so last week.

Mr Charles Warara made the application last Tuesday in terms of Section 22 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and in his application, he wants the court to consider the costs either against the PG’s Office or Kereke.

Mr Warara urged the court to grant the costs on a higher scale.

According to the section, the court might consider ordering the costs against the accused person or the PG’s Office.

Kereke wants the PG’s Office to pay the costs on the basis that he was not responsible for the refusal by that office to publicly prosecute him.

After hearing submissions from both counsels, regional magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa said since there was a possibility that the PG’s Office would be ordered to pay the costs, there was need for a response from the PG’s Office.

He then remanded the matter to yesterday to allow the PG’s Office to respond.

However, by yesterday the PG’s Office had not responded.

Mr Mupeiwa gave them more time and further postponed the matter to next Monday, adding that if they did not file their response before that date, he would give his ruling.

Kereke’s case had to proceed through private prosecution after suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana refused to prosecute him, saying there was no evidence linking the former lawmaker to the offence.

His lawyer, Mr Marshal Hondo Chitsanga, said there was no reason why the PG should not be ordered to meet the costs.

He said his client was neither the one who barred his prosecution nor the one who runs the PG’s office.

“The prosecution should show good cause why the PG should not be burdened by such costs,” he said.

“The court, in its judgment, clearly stated that the convicted person did not act unlawfully when he was not publicly prosecuted. The decision to decline prosecution was made by the PG ,not our client. He could not have possibly attended trial after the PG, who has authority, had declined his prosecution,” he said.

Mr Chitsanga said there was no evidence which was led to show that Kereke influenced the PG’s decision not to prosecute him.

“Your Worship, in fact my client wanted the proceedings to come to finality,” he said.

In his application, Mr Warara said: “If the court was to order costs against the PG’s Office, the court must take into consideration the conduct of the PG. It was not a simple matter. It took years for the PG to react. It took a lot of time for the convicted person to be brought to book and a lot of effort for justice to finally take place. The PG’s conduct, which he displayed, left a lot to be desired.”

He added: “Kereke was the beneficiary of the misconduct by the PG to defy justice and if it was not for the apex court, he would be roaming freely in the streets. The court should order him or the PG’s Office to pay the costs and the costs must be punitive.”

Mr Mupeiwa sentenced Kereke to 14 years imprisonment for raping his then 11-year-old niece six years ago, but set aside four years for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence within that period.

Pastor Mawarire says to remain in SA

Source: Pastor Mawarire says to remain in SA – NewZimbabwe 25/07/2016

THE man who has become the face of the #ThisFlag campaign says he will remain in South Africa out of concern for his safety after President Robert Mugabe effectively declared him persona non grata.

Mugabe publicly denounced Pastor Evan Mawarire, who became a national hero by starting the #ThisFlag social media campaign to highlight the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans starving because of dire socioeconomic conditions.

Mawarire was arrested and then released when a Harare court threw out charges of trying to overthrow the government after which the cleric decamped to South Africa.

Addressing thousands of mourners at the funeral of Charles Utete, the country’s first black cabinet secretary, Mugabe lambasted Mawarire saying he was not a true preacher but a foreign sponsored agent bent on destabilising Zimbabwe.

Said the veteran leader: “The Mawarires, I don’t even know him, and those who believe in that way of living, well, are not part of us in thinking.

“If they don’t want to live with us, they should go to those countries sponsoring them. We will say no, forever.”

Speaking to City Press in South Africa at the weekend, Mawarire said he would not be returning to Harare for a while.

“It’s important that people understand that I am not running away from Zimbabwe. I travel to South Africa regularly for my own personal and church business. But because of my arrest, there has actually been a disturbance.

“I have to rethink my return to Zimbabwe because of the current situation,” he lamented.

“I was denounced by Zimbabwe’s government; yet, I am just one person who has raised his voice and spoken out.

“So, it is a tricky situation and something that I am still thinking about.”

Speaking out against injustices

Mawarire said he had not expected to be harassed by state security agents just for speaking out against injustices.

“We are allowed constitutionally to challenge our government and raise our voices.

“As a pastor, the word of God holds me to challenge these injustices, particularly for the poor, for the widows and for the downtrodden.”

He added: “The role that Zimbabwe’s citizens played [to get him released] made them the real heroes.

“I saw thousands of people waiting for me when I was released, and this just proved that this movement is here to stay,” he told City Press on Saturday.

Incidentally, the pastor attributes his political consciousness to a government leadership programme he was involved in when he was just 16 years old.

Child president

“The government runs a ‘children’s parliament’ that celebrates June 16 in memory of what happened in South Africa. The programme has everything, from a president to Cabinet ministers, and I was a part of it.

“In 1993, I was selected to be a child member for this parliamentary programme for my area, and I ended up becoming the president for that term.

“Even though it was a mock parliament, it raised awareness about relevant issues and was aimed at helping us to learn and recognise the rights of children.”

And so when he observed the suffering of his community a few months ago, Mawarire expressed his outrage via an online video that he posted on social media using the colours of Zimbabwe’s flag to argue his points.

The video has to date been viewed 170 531 times and forwarded to millions. Its popularity gave rise to the #ThisFlag movement.

Background

Born in 1977, Mawarire was raised in Glen Norah, a high-density township in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, where he grew up in a modest home with five siblings.

“My parents were civil servants who worked for the government their whole lives,” he said.

“My father enrolled me in a rural school after not performing well at the Prince Edward High School. This really woke me up to realities of life I wouldn’t have experienced.”

After completing his O levels, Mawarire studied a vehicle electrics course with the Harare Institute of Technology for about two years. He then moved on to become a youth trainer at a church.

“I ended up going to Bible school, where I did a leadership training course with Celebration College. I then became a youth councillor and eventually a pastor for a church in London for almost three years [2007 to 2010].”

#ThisFlag objectives achieved

He returned to Zimbabwe in 2010 where he and his wife looked after a Celebration Church congregation.

He said the #ThisFlag movement had garnered mass support and achieved its objective because it was meant to “register the citizens’ voice, the voice of discontent and the voice of holding government to account”.

“The citizens of Zimbabwe have shaken the government in terms of showing that we can see what is being done and we are demanding things to change,” he said.

“This movement is not housed in a building. It is an idea that is within Zimbabweans, and that is why people identify with it.

“For Zimbabweans, it’s personal and not about following an individual. This is about a better Zimbabwe that lives in the hearts of us all.”

 

Poll observers forced to sign ‘Official Secrets Act’ forms

Source: Poll observers forced to sign ‘Official Secrets Act’ forms – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 26, 2016

THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) has claimed its observers involved in the just-ended Mazowe North by-election, won by Zanu PF candidate Martin Dinha, were forced to sign “Official Secrets Act” forms and swear they would not publicly disclose any misdemeanours they observed in the polls.

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

In a statement yesterday, Zesn said: “Of concern, Zesn observers stationed at polling stations were made to sign the official secrecy declaration forms before voting started.
“According to Sections 86 and 87 of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] only electoral officers, candidates and political party agents are required to sign the forms. The provisions in the Electoral Act do not apply to observers.”

Contacted for comment, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson, Rita Makarau said: “All I have are the results. I haven’t received that information, but I will have to confirm.

“All I know is that the elections were free and fair and there was no violence. But if you wish, I could direct you to talk to our CEO, who may have the information.”
Zec chief executive officer, Constance Chigwamba also professed ignorance over the matter.

“I do not have that information right now. I will tell you when I see it,” she said.

Zesn said it had also observed that despite Zec’s adoption of a polling station-based voting system, voters were still walking long distances to cast their votes and expressed concern over an unnecessarily high number of assisted voters.

“We also observed isolated incidents of voters who were redirected to other polling stations despite their claims of having been registered at those polling stations during the registration exercise prior to the by-election. For instance, a number of voters at Pembichase Farm in Ward 26 were redirected to other polling stations such as the Mvurwi Country Club polling station,” Zesn said.

In the 2013 elections, opposition parties and independent observers claimed as much as 10 000 voters, including teachers, had been “assisted” in voting in one constituency.

The Mazowe North seat fell vacant in March following the death of Zanu PF’s Edgar Chidavaenzi. Dinha romped to victory garnering over 12 500 votes, to beat his rival, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe’s Elias Malukula, who polled just over 600 votes.

Kurotwi blasts govt for snubbing local companies

Source: Kurotwi blasts govt for snubbing local companies – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 26, 2016

ZIMBABWE Diamond College (ZDC) owner, Lovemore Kurotwi, is bitter over government’s decision to seek diamond cutting and polishing expertise from China, when his institution was offering the same services.

BY Everson Mushava

In a letter dated July 14 this year addressed to Mines secretary, Francis Gudyanga, Kurotwi questioned government’s sincerity in empowering indigenous businesses when it had the guts to ignore local entrepreneurs and seek similar services abroad.

“We feel you have turned a blind eye to the local industry and are behaving as if the local industry does not exist,” reads part of Kurotwi’s letter, copied to Mines minister Walter Chidakwa.

“Our Mines ministry had time to fly all the way to China to see the technology in Chinese factories, yet they cannot spare just a few minutes to visit local cutting and polishing companies, which the ministry itself has licensed.

“Our graduates, who have been absorbed by these local companies are now redundant due to lack of support from your ministry.

“We complain as a country of a serious liquidity crunch, yet our own government fails to promote the local industry.”

Kurotwi also blasted government for snubbing his request for 15 000 carats of diamonds to facilitate training programmes at his college.

He said he was concerned that government made a decision to allocate 10 000 carats of diamonds annually for three years to the Chinese company training 25 Zimbabweans in diamond cutting and polishing, when his diamond training college was struggling to access the precious stones.

President Robert Mugabe recently saw off a group of Zimbabweans to China to train in diamond cutting and polishing. In return, the country pledged to provide the Chinese company with diamonds for training purposes.

ZDC, formed five years ago, is the only licensed institution that offers diamond cutting and polishing training in the country.

Rapist Kereke deserves 20 years: Victim’s guardian

Source: Rapist Kereke deserves 20 years: Victim’s guardian – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 26, 2016

THE guardian of the minor raped by Munyaradzi Kereke six years ago yesterday filed an application for leave to appeal against sentence, saying the former Bikita West legislator should have received a minimum 20 years in jail because of the gravity of the offence.

by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Francis Maramwidze, through his lawyer, Charles Warara, said the presiding magistrate, Noel Mupeiwa had not considered the aggravating circumstances when he sentenced Kereke to an effective 10-year prison term.

“The court a quo erred at law in failing to take into consideration the relevant factors determining the sentence to be imposed on a person convicted of rape in terms of Section 65 (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23,” Warara wrote.

“The sentence was inadequate in light of the findings of fact made by the court a quo and the nature of the charge.”

Mupeiwa, in his judgment, noted as facts that the complainant was a minor when she was raped, the age of the respondent was taken into account by the court and that a gun was used in the commission of the rape.

The court also noted that Kereke was related to the victim and that sexual intercourse was unprotected.

Warara then said: “The sentence imposed be and must be set aside and substituted with the following; the convicted person be, and is hereby, sentenced to 20 years in prison. Four years are suspended on condition the convicted

person does not commit an offence of a similar nature within five years from the date of sentence.”

This application adds to the legal drama, as Kereke last week appealed to the High Court against both conviction and sentence. His lawyers argued that in the event that the conviction is upheld, then the sentence should be reduced to an effective eight months in prison.

Come clean on Chamisa, Mudzuri elevation: Youths

Source: Come clean on Chamisa, Mudzuri elevation: Youths – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 26, 2016

MDC-T youths have challenged senior party members to come out in the open and support party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s decision

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

to appoint Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as the party’s co-vice presidents together with Thokozani Khupe or publicly condemn it, instead of speaking in hushed tones.

Addressing journalists following an emergency meeting held at the party headquarters, Harvest House, yesterday, MDC-T national youth leader Happymore Chidziva said it was time party leaders stopped playing hide-and-seek games over the issue.

“We, therefore, urge comrades within the party, who have decided not to be clear and who have decided to hide under the banner of ‘no comment’, to immediately come clean on whether they subscribe to majority views or not,” he said.

Tsvangirai triggered an internal storm last week after he allegedly appointed Mudzuri and Chamisa as vice-presidents.

The decision has already been challenged by two party members, Patson Murimoga and George Rice, who last week filed a court challenge seeking to have the appointments reversed.
But Chidziva yesterday opined that Murimoga and Rice’s lawsuit was privately funded by top party officials opposed to Tsvangirai’s decision.

“These two men cannot afford to pay costs associated with this lawsuit, let alone comprehend a legal argument,” he said.

Zanu PF in crisis indaba

Source: Zanu PF in crisis indaba – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 26, 2016

ZANU PF provincial chairpersons drawn from the country’s 10 provinces yesterday held a crisis meet ing in Harare and plotted the ouster of all war veterans, who last week denounced President Robert Mugabe and vowed not to back his candidature in the 2018 presidential race.

by XOLISANI NCUBE/KENNETH NYANGANI

This came as relations between the former freedom fighters and the ruling party have hit an all-time low following a war veterans meeting held in Harare last Thursday where the ex-combatants denounced the Zanu PF leader as a dictator.

Addressing a Press briefing at the party headquarters yesterday, Midlands deputy provincial chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said the “errant” war veterans who turned their back on Mugabe should be summarily dismissed from the party, describing their actions as treasonous.

“We call upon the party to immediately take decisive action against those implicated in the authoring and distribution of the communiqué, including those who sponsored the gathering with financial and other resources,” he said after a closed-door meeting also attended by provincial commissars, national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, women’s league deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo and youth league deputy secretary Kudzanai Chipanga.

“We condemn in the strongest of terms the reckless statement including those who authored this treasonous document. Our concern is with the substance and form of the statement, which impugns the person and Office of the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and patron of the war veterans.”

But the war veterans insist they cannot be expelled from the party they formed and are resisting attempts to force them to elect another chairman in the wake of Christopher Mutsvangwa’s expulsion from Zanu PF.

At their Thursday meeting, the war veterans issued a damning communiqué, accusing Mugabe of dumping them and embracing party youths to drive his re-election campaign. They also accused the 92-year-old Zanu PF leader of digressing from the party’s founding principles and privatising it.

The meeting came as, Kasukuwere last Friday warned that Zanu PF would repossess all commercial farms allocated to war veterans linked to the meeting that denounced Mugabe’s dictatorial tendencies last week.

Addressing thousands of party supporters in Rusape, Kasukuwere said they would take farms of outspoken former freedom fighters and subdivide the land into residential stands for the benefit of “loyal youths”.

Already in Masvingo province, Zanu PF youths are targeting a sugarcane plot owned by war veterans’ political commissar Francis Nhando.

“There is no discussion over our President. He was elected by the people, we will never be intimidated by anyone and we never panic,” Kasukuwere said.

“There are people holding Press conferences against our President Robert Mugabe and next time we are going to do our Press conference at your farms.

“There are also civil servants who want to go on strike, but you want to go on strike while you know you have a farm.”

He said he had a list of farms they were targeting and would stop at nothing to repossess them.

Zanu PF Manicaland youth chairman Mubuso Chinguno accused the Ministry of Lands of not transferring land to the Local Government ministry for residential purposes.

“Minister (Kasukuwere), we are worried that the Ministry of Lands is failing to give land. We do not have adequate land here in Manicaland because they are failing to give you (Kasukuwere) the land,” he said.

Zanu PF is parcelling out residential stands to party youths ahead of the 2018 elections, a move critics have condemned as a vote buying gimmick.

LATEST: New SI for deposit on plastic bottles

Source: LATEST: New SI for deposit on plastic bottles | The Herald July 25, 2016

Brenda Ziga Herald Reporter

The Environmental Management Agency is working on a law that will see deposits or levies being charged on plastic beverage bottles, an official has revealed.

The new law, which is meant to protect the environment, will help reduce and clean up litter by recovering beverage containers for recycling. For example, consumers can pay deposit when purchasing a beverage container and receive a refund when returning the container to a store or redemption center.

Speaking during a Zanu-PF Provincial Secretaries for Environment and Tourism Induction Workshop held in Norton on Friday, EMA director general Mrs Dorothy Chasi said the agency had already come up with the statutory instrument draft meant to put levies or deposits on plastic beverage containers.

“It is a draft statutory instrument to put levies or deposits on plastic beverage containers and food containers so that people keep them and claim back their deposits or to put a levy, it is not yet clear but I think it is going to the deposit route.

“There is a draft so we are still consulting the industry itself, companies who produce the beverages, retailers, environmental organizations and also the public at large,” she said.

Currently, deposit is only being charged on glass bottles from Delta Beverages.

Renamo attacks health centre in Niassa province

Maputo (AIM) – Gunmen from Mozambique’s opposition party Renamo on Sunday morning attacked a health centre and a police station in the administrative post of Muapula in the northern province of Niassa.

Source: Renamo attacks health centre in Niassa province – The Zimbabwean 26.07.2016

According to Radio Mozambique, the armed men stole medicines and surgical equipment from the health centre.

Local nurse Catarina Maloa said that the gunmen fired several shots at the police station and the residence of the head of the administrative post. She added, “they took medicines, vaccines, batteries, and all the equipment from the maternity ward”.

This is the second theft by Renamo gunmen from a health centre this month. On 6 July, a Renamo gang attacked the health centre in the village of Banga in Tsangano district, in the western province of Tete.

Two truck drivers injured during Renamo ambush

Chimoio (Mozambique) (AIM) – Two truck drivers received minor injuries over the weekend when a convoy driving along the EN7 highway was ambushed by gunmen from the opposition party Renamo.

Source: Two truck drivers injured during Renamo ambush – The Zimbabwean 26.07.2016

The attack took place in the district of Barue, in the central Mozambican province of Manica, as a convoy under armed escort drove along a section between the small town of Vanduzi and the Luenha River on the border with Tete province. This is part of the EN7, which carries traffic from neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Malawi through Tete and Manica on to the port of Beira.

The victims were both drivers of commercial vehicles. Mozambican Sergio Florindo Macie was hit in his left leg, whilst Malawian Frederick Mutenbde Kalua was shot in the buttock.

According to the spokesperson for the Manica Provincial Police Command, Elsidia Filipe, both drivers received treatment at the rural hospital in Catandica. She added that the defence and security forces returned fire, driving the attackers back into the bush.

The police spokesperson added that over the weekend there were two serious traffic accidents. In the provincial capital, Chimoio, a crash badly damaged three vehicles. Meanwhile, in Barue an accident resulted in several deaths and serious injuries.

So far this year, over 80 people have died in traffic accidents in Manica province. The police state that the main causes of road accidents are excessive speed, careless pedestrians, drunk driving, mechanical defects, lack of signage and ignoring the rules of the road.

You know the party is over when the DJ joins the dance floor

A COLLEAGUE of mine always says you know the party is over when the DJ joins the dance floor. DJs drive the mood on the dance floor.

Source: You know the party is over when the DJ joins the dance floor – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

Tapiwa Gomo

They respond to the needs of those on the dance floor. In fact, they serve those on the dance floor. But when they decide to leave the deck and join the dance floor, it means the music is on auto cruise. No one is in charge anymore as the DJ has ceded or surrendered his role.

A similar situation is fast unfolding in our country. When citizens protest to raise issues to a democratically elected government, the governing party also responds by mobilising a protest. Since when has a protest become a response to another protest? It looks like we are running a contest of protests. Have those in government abrogated their responsibilities. What happened to basic engagement with the people? Surely, blocking citizens from expressing their frustrations will not solve anything but increase the problems.

The most embarrassing thing is that most of the voices are coming from youth — real youth against a system that should not have been in office today. Yes young people — very young people are challenging the old system and it is not looking good at all. The Acie Lumumba case is an example of how bad the system has stooped so low. The Evan Mawarire case also demonstrated that patriotism has shifted and is no longer about Zanu PF, but the country. Things have changed.

Yet even so, we still have some among us who feel that we must all be patriotic to a system that has let dreams of millions of people down. By patriotic, they mean allegiance to Zanu PF. It has eluded them that patriotism is the love for the country, the anger for the missing $15 billion under Zanu PF watch, and the desire to see a better life for young people and their children.

Few weeks back, I wrote about some of Ian Smith’s fears about the model to which he was under pressure to hand over power. But the truth is that we are living in a country that Ian Smith predicted in the late 1970s. We have become the unfortunate generation to live in a historical embarrassment where the words of a man — history recorded as representing an evil system and a person we claim to have defeated — have actually come to pass. We have made the devil a hero.

The current establishment has mastered the art of othering. Anything outside its mainstream is cast as evil, unpatriotic and western-funded. It has resembled some affinities with the colonial system. Remember the colonial system stupidly ignored Mbuya Nehanda’s words that: “My bones shall rise again”. They too could have made use of the wise words from Ian Smith that: “Pushing people forward simply because of their [allegiance], irrespective of merit, would be most unfortunate and would of course lead to disaster. It would mean that [Zimbabwe] would then develop into a kind of banana republic where the country would in no time be bankrupt.” Aren’t we in a disaster today?

Doesn’t it just defy logic that a country that is facing drought shuts its people from importing food and other goods as a means of survival and maintaining their household economies? And for an establishment that has mastered the art of evading responsibility, the effects of such bad policies will soon be apportioned to and blamed on the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for failing to act urgently to feed the hungry population when in fact there were some people who were capable of sustaining themselves. Once the situation improves, the same NGOs will be accused of advancing western regime change agendas as we near elections.

What is there, therefore, to be patriotic about? People cannot be productive without being hindered by the system. A kombi owner, driver, conductor and motorist now subsidise the failures of the system because the lady and the gentleman who are supposed to enforce road rules are hungry as they have not been paid. Those in the diaspora can no longer use their earnings for investment as they need to send cash back home. And those back home cannot access their cash, in addition there is little food on the market as importation is curtailed by the system. It’s a vicious cycle of bad policies which leave no room for patriotism.

Patriotism is not just a word, but an emotional attachment to a nation which we should recognise as our country. That feeling has to be reciprocal. We love our country, but our country needs to show its people love. It is not the case at the moment. Zimbabweans feel hated and short-changed by the system. Patriotism is not loving Zanu PF, but an attachment to our country. Patriotism should encompass and promote nationalism.

These ethos have not lost value but transferred into the hunger for change. Events of the past weeks were loud enough to send the message home. They told a story that is taboo to tell, that Zimbabwe is back into colonial hands with the only difference being the colour of the hands. Smith’s system served a few people based on race and today’s system serves a few people based on political affiliation. Our country has become a new colony that needs to be freed again. If people cannot access basic services, cannot get jobs, are not free to be productive, hindered from being who they are then we are back to the 1970s.

‘5 million tourist arrivals by 2020, pie in the sky’

ZIMBABWE’S bid to achieve 5 million tourist arrivals by 2020 could remain pie in the sky due to the government’s failure to support tourism promotion, an executive has said.

Source: ‘5 million tourist arrivals by 2020, pie in the sky’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is in charge of tourism promotion but remains underfunded.

The country targets to record $5 billion in export revenue by 2020.

The industry also wants to increase tourism receipts from $827 million to more than $3 billion, as well as increase tourism contribution to GDP from 11% in 2014 to 15% by 2020

But ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said the ambitious targets would not be met as Zimbabwe was not doing what it was supposed to do to achieve its set goals.

“We don’t seem to be doing the things that will give us such tourists by 2020. Right now we are at 2 million,” Kaseke said at a media briefing in Bulawayo on Friday.

He said the fact that there were still more police roadblocks in the country’s highways meant Zimbabwe should forget about achieving its targets.

Kaseke said ZTA was underfunded which constrained its operations.

“ZTA which is supposed to do the marketing is not funded. For example, the Sanganai/Hlanganani was not well-funded. We were only given half the money we required and as for now we haven’t been given the other half,” he said.

Kaseke said some regional countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Zambia were well-funded by their governments.

For instance, in 2014 South Africa tourism body received $130 million from the government while Zambia received $33 million.

He said in South Africa, each provincial tourism body was given $10 million.

“However, in Zimbabwe we are only given $470 000. How can you market a country with this kind of money? It’s like being given a car without a steering wheel,” Kaseke said.

He said due to this, the tourism industry was performing badly as evidenced by 52% (aggregate) hotel occupancy achieved last year.

Kaseke said pockets of protests and stay-aways experienced recently in the country were not good for tourism sector.

He also noted that the economic cost of sanctions and negative perceptions of Zimbabwe were significant on the tourism sector.

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) tourism vision 2020 projects the industry to grow at an average annual rate of 3,8% by 2020. It forecasts international tourist arrivals worldwide to reach nearly 1,4 billion by the same year, 2,5 times the arrivals recorded in the 1990s.

Of this global total, ZTA revealed that 1,2 billion would be intraregional and 378 million would be long-haul travel.

Fresh call for transitional govt

AMID building pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s government a group of technocrats have come together to demand the formation of a transitional authority to steer the country’s administration towards democratic reforms.

Source: Fresh call for transitional govt – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

The Platform of Concerned Citizens (PCC) “is a group of like-minded Zimbabweans” who on Saturday said they have been meeting since October last year.

Fronted by academic Ibbo Mandaza, Thoko Matshe and Tony Reeler, among others, the group issued a statement warning the country was on the verge of implosion.

“We assert that, without urgent action, the country faces a real threat of serious social unrest and the probable collapse of the State, and we believe that pre-emptive action is necessary,” the PCC said.

The emergence of the PCC came hard on the heels of growing unrest, intermittent protests by civic groups and the recent rejection of Mugabe’s leadership by veterans of the country’s liberation struggle, events that have turned Zimbabwe into a political pressure cooker.

According to the statement issued following a meeting in Harare on Saturday, the PCC said elections under the current environment would be a waste of time, while a coalition government by elected parties will not help matters either.

“We are of the opinion that no election in the current political climate, whether called early or in 2018, can resolve the deep structural deficits in the state; and, in any event, no election without considerable reform of the State and the creation of a level playing field, can possibly lead to a legitimate outcome,” the PCC said in a statement signed by 25 well-known personalities including media mogul Trevor Ncube, Trevor Maisiri and human rights campaigner Brian Kagoro.

“The lessons of the GPA (Global Political Agreement) and the inclusive government (between 2009-2013) are fresh in the minds of all, and the absences of any genuine will to reform, the State doomed that initiative. In particular, and in the polarised nation that is Zimbabwe, we believe that no substantial reform of State institutions will be possible when one party owns the allegiance of all State institutions.”

Two opposition parties, the People’s Democratic Party and the MDC-T have also called for a national transitional authority to map the country’s future.

The PCC said it noted the recent statement by former freedom fighters, “but succession merely changes the players within parties or the government”.

It added: “Thus, we are of the view that only a national transitional authority, underwritten by the citizenry, the churches, the civics and the political parties, will be able to lead us through a period of key reform and economic stabilisation to genuine elections, and finally a legitimate government”.

Will Ngwena outfox his opponents again?

IN the political realm, he is nicknamed “Ngwena” (a crocodile) for his astute political tact and unruffled “shrewdness and political mastery” that many have credited with Zanu PF success story, but Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has surprisingly developed a rather ill-reputation of ditching allies, who front his bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

Source: Will Ngwena outfox his opponents again? – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Many in the opposition spheres fear him, suspecting he is a ruthless politician, who is violent, but this has proved to be the opposite, when it comes to protecting those, who champion his succession cause.

In 2004, at least six provincial chairpersons were sacked from Zanu PF after they openly campaigned for Mnangagwa to take over, as one of the party’s VPs, replacing the late Simon Muzenda.

Mugabe fumed at the architects of the infamous Tsholotsho Declaration and, as expected, summarily plucked them off his political diary for some time.

Several ruling party heavyweights were demoted from their government posts with some reduced to ordinary card-carrying members.

One of the victims, Higher Education minister and Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo, aptly summed the after effects of being weaned off Mugabe’s feeding trough, when upon re-admission, he declared “it’s cold out there”.

Moyo recently said he had learnt his lesson from the 2004 debacle, insisting he will never support anyone, except the appointing authority.

“I’m not fighting anyone. I’m just making sure that I do not again put myself in a political situation that is in conflict with my President, as my appointing authority.

Mnangagwa’s ambitions did not die in the 2004 fiasco, as he nurtured the art of outfoxing his opponents — pushing for those who still supported him for top jobs, but whenever tables turned — he would dump and sacrifice them, acting as if he is not linked to them in order to protect his position, while nurturing his ambition to succeed Mugabe.

Fast-forward to 2012, Mnanaggwa had a strong support base in the district co-ordinating committees (DCC), which were the party’s heartbeat, but in his typical fashion, he watched legs akimbo, as a rival faction led by then Vice-President Joice Mujuru mutilated the organs, arguing they were causing divisions in the party.

DCC chairpersons were left licking their wounds and sweltering in the heat of anguish, as they were reduced to nothing, but cell members.

Ironically, the person they were vouching for maintained his position in the party, as secretary for legal affairs in the politburo, and government.

In 2013, Mnangagwa’s modus operandi came to the fore again during the provincial elections, where he left his protégés at the mercy of the Mujuru camp, which brutally shellacked them, winning almost all the 10 provinces.

As if that was not enough, he never backed the presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, who attempted in vain to push for the nullification of the election of Mashonaland Central chairpersn, Luke Mushore against Dickson Mafios.

Moving to 2014, in order to land the VP post, it took the intervention of First Lady Grace Mugabe to plunge head-on into politics, waging a war against Mujuru and subsequently hounding her out of Zanu PF.

While celebrating his long-sought dream, the VP was back to his perfidious ways, keeping golden silence, when his allies were purged one after another.

First to receive the proverbial boot was the former Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who was also Mashonaland West acting provincial chair, currently serving a three-year suspension for allegedly disrespecting the First Lady and promoting factionalism in Mugabe’s home province.

Next in the firing line were the seven provincial youth chairpersons, who were shown the exit door for backing Mnangagwa, ahead of the First Lady, to succeed Mugabe.

The expelled youth leaders refused to allow the expulsion to deter their indefatigable support for the VP and they appeared at a public function donning T-shirts inscribed Lacotse.

This incensed the G40 group, which demanded Mnangagwa to explain the T-Shirts in a politburo meeting and the VP allegedly left his colleagues in stitches, when he said the only Lacoste that he was aware of was a perfume-making company based in France.

More recently, more VP allies, who include inter alia the late women’s league secretary for administration, Esphinah Nhari, war veterans’ leader Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife, Monica have been either suspended or expelled without Mnangagwa coming to their defence.

However, this did not deter the war veterans, as they went on to declare that Mnangagwa is their preferred successor and should they not get their way there would be a bloodbath.

Under attack in the recent party’s central committee meeting over war veterans’ utterances, Mnangagwa left them in the cold, claiming he was not involved in their actions, although the former liberation war fighters insisted that they made the remarks to promote his political ambitions.

Commenting on Mnangagwa’s modus operandi, University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure said politics was all about self-interest, and the Midlands godfather’s approach was not unique in the politics.

“The larger picture is that self-interest looms large in politics,” he said, adding: “Politics in Zanu PF is very fluid at the moment. For Mnangagwa, it is a high stakes game. It is a dicey game, which needs to be handled with care. Purges will come the same way that happened to Mujuru’s faction.

“This could be a second phase, and there could be a third one, hence, Mnangagwa is moving cautiously.”

Masunununge said Mnangagwa’s silence could be a sign of political astuteness, as he could be interested in maintaining relations with Mugabe, so he remains relevant in the party at the expense of his followers.

“He has clearly opted for a more diplomatic approach, which to some of his allies and the public would seem, as if he has abandoned his supporters,” Masungure said.

“That is why (Jonathan) Moyo would never forgive him after being chucked out of the party and government in 2004. There were many casualties, but Ngwena survived. What is also abundantly clear, however, is that, he is more robust than Mujuru, who kept quiet, when she and her supporters were under attack.

“He (Mnangagwa) has come to understand that a tepid approach does not work. He is quiet, but obviously, mobilising war veterans and the military behind the scenes. His quiet diplomacy is different. We have already seen it, the war veterans are his constituency.”

Masunungure opined that not all of the VP’s allies appreciate his behind-the-scenes efforts to fight for political survival.

“His allies might want someone who might throw back the punches. That is why some of them may accuse him of abandoning his allies,” he said.

Another political analyst, Takura Zhangazha concurred with Masunungure, saying Mnangagwa’s silence could be well-calculated to ensure he maintains his cordial relationship with Mugabe and remains in the party so that he manoeuvres his way up.

“It is difficult for him to move his way up when he is out of Zanu PF,” Zhangazha said.

Academic and political commentator, Ibbo Mandaza said Mnangagwa has proved to be indispensable in the Zanu PF body politic, hence, Mugabe could sacrifice his allies, but not the VP.

“That is his nature, he wants to keep himself in good books with Mugabe and the old man can’t just throw him away like that. He is indispensable in the Zanu PF matrix,” he said.

Muchechetere trial date set

HARARE regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa has set Friday as the trial date for former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, who is charged with swindling his employer of $800 000 by inflating the purchase price of an OB van.

Source: Muchechetere trial date set – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

By Mary Taruvinga

The court set the trial date last Friday after quashing Muchechetere’s second attempt to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court.

“The court is making this ruling without reference to the State’s response for the reason that accused made a ConCourt application then withdrew the same application.

“There is no provision that once such an application is made and withdrawn as in this case the accused can make a second application,” Mupeiwa said, as he quashed a second bid by Muchechetere’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu to refer the matter to the ConCourt.

The State led by Michael Reza alleged that on January 18, 2013, Muchechetere — without going to tender — entered into a procurement deal with a Chinese company to purchase an audio OB van for $1 050 000.

On April 23, 2013, Muchechetere allegedly misrepresented to the ZBC’s executive committee that $495 000 donated by BancABC was enough to purchase an audio van, a cargo van, a crew bus and the committee approved the purchase of the items using the said money. Muchechetere, however, did not disclose to the committee that he had already entered a deal for only one item, the OB van. The court heard that Muchechetere flew to China and signed an agreement concerning inspection of the van, which was never carried out by other members of the executive committee.

The OB van was delivered in August 2013 after BancABC released $100 000 to the Chinese company.

The alleged crime was discovered following Muchechetere’s suspension in November last year when it was established that the OB van was only worth $350 000, contrary to the $1 050 000 he had stated.

Storm over Trump sons’ Zim safari hunt

WASHINGTON DC — UNITED States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised sons Donald Jr and Eric’s hunting talents as sick photos emerge of them showing off slain safari animals.

Source: Storm over Trump sons’ Zim safari hunt – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

Daily Mail

X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne posted a picture on Instagram of Donald Jnr (38) and Eric (32) proudly posing with a dead leopard after a hunting trip in Zimbabwe.

Sharon — who is a critic of the Republican US presidential candidate — added a message for her 2,4 million followers, saying: “Really? A great example of humanity, killing animals in Africa?! Disgusting.”

Other pictures emerged in 2012 of the Trump brothers standing next to animals they gunned down on two trips in 2010 and 2011 — including antelope, waterbuck, two buffalos, a great warthog and a civet cat.

Trump Snr defended his sons’ hobby of hunting on African kill safaris, saying: “My sons love to hunt. Eric is a hunter and I’d say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf. They’re great marksman, great shots and love it. I like golf. I don’t do that.”

The Trumps would have been charged a hefty fee for every kill. The price list quotes £46 000 to hunt an elephant, up to £27 000 to kill a big cat and £6 500 for a crocodile.

Donald Jnr said: “Hunting isn’t about killing. Hunting and fishing makes you fall in love with the natural world.”

Last night, naturalist Chris Packham said: “They should feel utterly ashamed. And they’re not doing their dad any favours as a man campaigning to become president of the US.”

Minister blasts ‘overzealous’ cops

WAR Veterans’ minister Tshinga Dube yesterday took a different route against his fellow Cabinet ministers by condemning police’s use of brute force in crushing the recent anti-government demonstrations, describing the police officers involved as “overzealous”.

Source: Minister blasts ‘overzealous’ cops – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Addressing the public at Stanley Square in Makokoba, Bulawayo, after donating some textbooks yesterday, Dube said the battering and and teargasing of demonstrators, among them children, during the recent nationwide job stay-away, was uncalled for.

“It’s very sad and unfortunate that some police officers become overzealous. I don’t understand when some police officers start ill-treating kids to the extent of taking them to a police station or locking them up,” he said.

“It’s very, very unfortunate. So what we can only do is to speak to their higher authorities. They (authorities) must look upon these issues very seriously. Kids are kids and you will find that anywhere in the world they are taken by storm, and if that happens, they want to be seen participating.”

Dube added: “And if you ask why they are participating, they will not give you a satisfactory answer, but be that the case, the police officers must have enough sense to see that these are young people who need help, not baton sticks to be used on them or teargas. It’s just unfortunate.”

Several people in most urban centres were reportedly injured when police ruthlessly crushed the protests, although Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo has defended the police action.

Dube’s remarks came as public anger against police was swelling with human rights activists, churches and opposition parties calling for the perpetrators to be brought to book.

Police have also been accused of firing teargas into Burombo Flats in Bulawayo, leaving at least 43 children hospitalised after inhaling the fumes.

A legislative watchdog, Veritas, recently urged Zimbabweans to report human rights violations by the police or army personnel to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.

Videos of police brutality have been circulating on social media networks, and despite police saying they will institute investigations, they cast doubt on their sincerity when they also argued that the videos were doctored.

The Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights has warned that police officers photographed beating protesters will be held personally accountable in the future.

Biti attends Clinton convention

OPPOSITION People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti is among delegates invited to attend a national convention organised by United States of America’s Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia this week.

Source: Biti attends Clinton convention – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

PDP secretary for international relations, Willias Madzimure, told party supporters in Mabvuku yesterday that Biti would be attending Clinton’s convention from today until Thursday.

The US presidential elections are scheduled for November 8 2016, with Clinton set to lock horns with Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Madzimure confirmed that the PDP was still committed to the principle of a grand coalition of opposition parties, adding Biti might not necessarily lead the proposed coalition.

“It is our resolution that the president (Biti) is not necessarily a presidential candidate, but we will support anyone who stands for our principle”, Madzimure said.

Meanwhile, MDC-T provincial executives in Masvingo and Mashonaland West have thrown their weight behind the recent appointment of Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as the party’s co-vice-presidents.

Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Ralph Tawanda Magunje hailed MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai for making the appointments and castigated party members who have filed a High Court application challenging the decision.

MDC-T Masvingo spokesperson Dusty Zivave also embraced the decision, saying the two would help the party reconnect with its grassroots structures ahead of the 2018 elections.

Tsvangirai has been under fire from a section of supporters and other senior party officials who view the decision as a ploy to side-line his long-time deputy, Thokozani Khupe.

Mugabe, war vets fight escalates

TOP officials in the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) have scoffed at government threats to silence and stop them from demanding President Robert Mugabe to step down, saying no amount of intimidation would cow them into submission.

Source: Mugabe, war vets fight escalates – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

TOP officials in the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) have scoffed at government threats to silence and stop them from demanding President Robert Mugabe to step down, saying no amount of intimidation would cow them into submission.

BY OBEY MANAYITI/TATENDA CHITAGU

War veterans’ leaders who declined to be named told NewsDay yesterday that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere had no locus standi to dictate what they should or should not say as their “welfare as stockholders of the ruling party was at stake”.

Mnangagwa, who all along was the war veterans’ Trojan Horse for the 2018 polls, yesterday said it was “highly irresponsible and disloyal” for the former fighters to challenge Mugabe to step down.

Kasukuwere weighed in saying: “That is unacceptable and we will have to flush out these elements. We will not allow this kind of indiscipline to take root in the party. We must allow the President to do his work. He was voted for to run the country and genuine war veterans know that.”

Secretary for War Veterans Walter Asher Tapfumaneyi also threatened to institute a witch-hunt to sniff out the brains behind the former freedom fighters’ damning Thursday communiqué which described Mugabe as a “dictator”.

The latest verbal showdown followed a ZNLWVA meeting held in Harare on Thursday where the ex-fighters denounced Mugabe for failing to address their welfare issues, failing economy, corruption and widespread poverty. The veterans of the country’s 1970s liberation war declared they would not campaign for Mugabe in the 2018 presidential race.

“It’s clear there are people who want to silence us from discussing about our welfare and relationship to the party (Zanu PF),” a senior ZNLWVA executive said. “On Thursday, we had gathered to talk about our welfare and the comrades raised a lot of issues such as neglect by the party and government. Those are genuine issues that have not been responded to and it’s sad that we are being attacked by people who don’t want us to speak openly.”

The official added: “We have been silent for a long time and yet we are denied opportunities in our own country that we liberated. We cannot listen to a person like Kasukuwere who doesn’t know poverty at all. We speak on behalf of masses and again it’s sad that the majority of us cannot afford a proper meal because of poverty.”

The war veterans, after their Thursday meeting, released a strongly-worded communiqué where they described Mugabe as a sly character and dictator responsible for the current wave of corruption and economic meltdown, among a litany of other misdemeanours. They also accused Mugabe, who is their patron, of backing a Zanu PF G40 faction fronted by his wife First Lady Grace. The call for Mugabe to step down has rattled Zanu PF with reports that State security machinery has already been dispatched to clamp down on war veterans suspected of producing the damning communiqué, but the latter has scoffed at the threats.

“We cannot be identified as aliens in Zanu PF or to be told that we are useless, no that will not happen. Of course, they might choose to silence us through arrests or death but it’s only the flesh that will die. Our children will continue speaking and our issues will not go just like that,” the official said.

Already, Zanu PF youths in Chiredzi have threatened to unleash violence on war veterans’ national political commissar, Francis Nhando and repossess his sugarcane plot in the Lowveld, describing him as a “dissident”.

Addressing a Zanu PF meeting in Triangle on Saturday, provincial youth chair, Nobert Ndaarombe declared a bare-knuckle fight with war veterans pushing for Mugabe’s ouster.

“We will not fold our hands and keep quiet if you insult the President. You have crossed the red line. It is now a bare knuckle fight. We will not back down,” he said.

Another youth leader identified as Lloyd Simango, said: “Everyone who goes against the President, we immediately, repossess what he has gained because of Zanu PF. Tomorrow we are going to invade his (Nhando’s) farm.”

Masvingo provincial chairperson Amasa Nenjana threatened unspecified disciplinary action against “errant war veterans”.

“It is not easy to fight Mugabe. They will all be quiet together with (war veterans chairman Christopher) Mutsvangwa, (secretary-general Victor) Matemadanda and others,” Nenjana said.

Provincial political commissar, Jeppy Jaboon incited youths to “deal with Nhando”, saying “as Masvingo, we no longer want to see him in the province”.

Mutsvangwa has already lost his Cabinet, Zanu PF and parliamentary posts over his alleged defiance, but war veterans have vowed to retain him as their leader. The latest purge on war veterans came as former Vice-President Joice Mujuru on Saturday threw her weight behind them and urged the ex-fighters to join forces in the campaign to dislodge Mugabe.

There is hope for Zimbabwe

For some strange reasons, I hardly get stopped at a road block. Today I was stopped and I was indeed on the wrong side of the law.

Source: There is hope for Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwean 25.07.2016

Something remarkable happened. As the police officer was taking my details his countenance changed. He stopped writing and looked at me intently. The conversation we then had ignited within me an unprecedented level of hope for Zimbabwe.

The police officer said, “So you are the Patson Dzamara I read about in the papers?” I thought I was in trouble.

“I am sorry about what happened to your brother, I have honestly prayed for you several times. Your courage inspires me and know that we are with you in your fight for a better Zimbabwe,” he said.

For an individual like me who has experienced police brutality first hand, my default posture towards them is one premised on detest. I have always stated that one of the tools Mr. Mugabe has relied on to entrench his misrule and to oppress Zimbabweans is the police force and it is imperative for us to demystify them on our way to a better Zimbabwe.

Just last week, it was confirmed that I suffered a permanent injury on my left wrist as a result of the torture I went through at the hands of the police. I have never viewed those people as my friends. I am sure most of you habour the same sentiment.

We spoke about a lot of things concerning Zimbabwe. The last question I asked the police officer was why he is still a part of a system he considers bad. His response got me thinking far and wide.

He said, “My brother, I am hopeful that one day things will change in Zimbabwe and for us to get there and when we get there you need people like me.”

He continued, “We know the system. We know what is bad and what is good. We know that most of you (activists) detest us and you have every reason to but there is a remnant from within this evil system. I am one of those and you need us.” I paid my fine and proceeded with my journey.

For over two hours, I have been ruminating over the conversation I had with that police officer and I am inspired. At times we are tempted to believe that our national situation is irretrievable but I realise that all hope is not lost.

Fellow Zimbabweans, there is hope for our nation. We will win against oppression. We will win against poverty. We will win against corruption. We will win against leadership failure.

The oppressor can, will and must fall.

Realign Parly rules with Constitution: Mudenda

Source: Realign Parly rules with Constitution: Mudenda | The Herald July 25, 2016

Bulawayo Bureau—
Members of Parliament yesterday concluded a two-day retreat in Bulawayo with the Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda saying there is a need to realign parliamentary rules with the national Constitution. Addressing Members of Parliament’s Liaison and Coordination Committee on Saturday at the retreat which was also attended by the President of the Senate Cde Edna Madzongwe, Adv Mudenda said the retreat was of critical and strategic importance as it sought to review the work done by parliamentary committees and to plan for the future.

He said public hearings for proposed laws catered for National Assembly committees, but there was no provision for Senate thematic committees. The Speaker said this should be corrected by re-aligning the rules with the Constitution.

He said in South Africa, a court there invalidated four pieces of legislation on account of the fact that one of the Houses of Parliament had not fulfilled its constitutional obligation to facilitate public consultations and that must not happen in Zimbabwe.

“Indeed, this must be immediately corrected and harmonised with Section 141 of the Constitution, which compels Parliament to involve the public in its legislative processes. The standing orders as currently configured do not provide for referral of Bills to thematic committees.

“Thematic committees, more often than not, have to reply on the good will of portfolio committees for them to be involved in the public consultations on Bills through joint inquiries and public hearings,” said Adv Mudenda.

He said if Parliament has an obligation to comply with its standing orders and lead by example so that it becomes easy to question other arms of Government on accountability.

“Strict adherence on its own rules will ensure that select committees remain focused and accountable. We must not compromise on the compelling need to convene such LCC retreats more regularly,” said Adv Mudenda.

He commended the select committees for the work that they have done in exposing unethical conduct in the public and private sectors.

“In spite of our observed shortfalls in general, credit must be given to select committees for the good work they have done. They have pursued with vigour, the corporate malpractices raised by the Auditor-General,” Adv Mudenda said.

The Speaker commended the Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri for being fearless in her audit reports, saying the findings should help committees.

In their recommendations, MPs resolved that there is a need for committee chairpersons to insist on ministries responding to recommendations tabled in Parliament.

They also resolved that the Parliamentary Legal Committee should continue to engage the executive on accelerating the process of realigning laws with the constitution.

The MPs also said there was a need to examine all statutory instruments that have expired and make a report to Parliament.

Govt slashes High Court fees

Source: Govt slashes High Court fees | The Herald July 25, 2016

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
Government has slashed some High Court fees to promote access to justice for all in line with the country’s thrust of improving the ease of doing business. Since the launch of the 10-point plan for economic growth by President Mugabe in his State of the Nation Address last year, Government has been making concerted efforts to implement the plan and set the ball rolling by launching a national programme dubbed “Ease of Doing Business in Zimbabwe”.

The “Ease of Doing Business in Zimbabwe” programme is premised on addressing challenges faced by entrepreneurs who are seeking to open and operate small to medium-sized businesses in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

With support from the World Bank, Government has already started implementing the “Ease of Doing Business in Zimbabwe”, to foster economic growth and come up with strategies to revitalise the economy.

Smaller companies in Zimbabwe could not access justice due to the exorbitant costs associated with filing civil claims but with the current legal reforms, including the recent reduction of the High Court taxation and photocopying fees, Government has gone a step ahead in making Zimbabwe a safe investment destination.

Previously, for any legal costs awarded to litigants in civil suits, the High Court would charge $20 on every $100 of the total cost, which translated into 20 percent of the total figure. If the costs awarded were $1 million, the court would charge $200 000 as its fees for assisting in coming up with the proper figure, a process known as taxation in legal circles.

Statutory Instrument 74 of 2016 amended the taxation fees to a fixed $60 for every work done by the court. This means if $1 million costs are awarded to a litigant, the court will only deduct a fixed $60 as taxation fees.

The same SI 74/2016 gazetted on July 15 this year reduced the cost of photocopying any filed court documents from $1 per page to 10 cents a page. Court records cannot go outside the building for security reasons and all the work is done by the court. Charging $1 per page was deemed prohibitive and those intending to make copies of the documents in preparation of the court cases would be scared away.

Typing of original documents at court was also $1 per page but it was slashed to 10 cents in terms of the recently gazetted piece of legislation. Under the Ease of Doing Business programme, plans are underway to establish a specialised commercial court, a division of the High Court to speedily resolve commercial disputes and to ensure quality justice to business.

Courts are essential for entrepreneurs because they interpret the rules of the market and protect economic rights. Efficient and transparent courts of law encourage new business relationships. The recent decentralisation of the small claims court through Statutory Instrument 34 of 2016 has also played a significant role in making the country conducive for business.

Such court can now be found at every magistrate’s court countrywide and its jurisdiction was upped from $250 to $1 000. Instead of forking out fares travelling to and from provincial towns for the small claims, upcoming business people can now walk to their nearest magistrates’ court for justice.

Statutory Instrument 49 of 2016 slashed the photocopying charges at the Supreme Court from $1 to 20 cents a copy. Several bills including the Unified Insolvency Bill, High Court Amendment Bill and the Estate Administrators Amendment Bill are now being reviewed with a view to promote a conducive business environment for Zimbabwe.

SA mall investor to assess bond notes impact

Source: SA mall investor to assess bond notes impact | The Herald July 25, 2016

Business Reporter
Augur Investments’ planned $100 million shopping mall in Harare north will only take off after the South African investor assesses the economic impact of bond notes. This comes after the Environmental Management Authority recently gave Augur Investments the green light to proceed to build the shopping mall in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb. There had been concerns that part of the area on which the mall will be built is a wetland, but there now seems to be consensus among all parties that adequate precaution has been taken to preserve the environment.

Augur investments chairman Ken Sharpe said last Friday while EMA had given the all clear for the project to proceed; after recommendation from Government, the developer now wants to assess the economic impact of bond notes.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has indicated that bond notes, which are an export incentive and part of measures monetary authorities are pursuing to resolve liquidity and cash shortages, will be introduced in October.

Mr Sharpe said McCormick Property Development of South Africa, developers and financiers of the project, had expressed worries about the economic situation Zimbabwe, more so, the planned introduction of bond notes.

The Mall of Zimbabwe project, to be completed at an estimated cost of $100 million, had also been approved by the City of Harare, which had issued it with a development permit after conducting its own EIA over a year ago.

Augur were given the land in a barter deal with the Government after financing, designing and construction of the Joshua Nkomo Express Highway connecting the Harare city centre to the Harare International Airport.

“We are waiting for confirmation from the investor, after the EMA application was approved; the investor said the economic situation was not clear. “The investor wants to assess the economic impact of bond notes. They want to know if they will be able to collect rentals in US dollars to recoup their money and if Government will not bring back the Zimdollar,” he said.

Further, he said there were concerns from the South African investor about the possibility that Government could bring back the local currency. This resulted in the South African company and its local partners holding a meeting to discuss its concerns with Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa, for a clear position on Government’s plans.

Mr Sharpe said Minister Chinamasa categorically indicated that there will be no immediate return to the local currency before macro-economic fundamentals are right, especially in the short to medium term.

“They were waiting to hear that from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. They came here with their advisors. The minister confirmed that Government will not bring back the Zimdollar and that bond notes were only extended to the basket of currencies,” Mr Sharpe said.

But the developers now want to first assess what the economic impact of the new bond notes export incentive, which forms part of measures such as cash withdrawal limits, increased use of plastic money, reduction of bank charges and pricing in rand, meant to address cash challenges. “Definitely there will be some economic impact when bond notes are introduced. The investor wants to see if that will be negative or positive,” Mr Sharpe said.

UNIDO to support Zim industrialisation

Source: UNIDO to support Zim industrialisation | The Herald July 25, 2016

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) will today launch a programme to support industrialisation in Zimbabwe for the period from 2016 to 2019. UNIDO is a specialised United Nations agency headquartered in Vienna, Austria, whose primary objective is to promote and accelerate industrial development in developing countries as well as those with economies in transition and the promotion of international industrial co-operation.

The country programme would be launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. “The Ministry of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with UNIDO will be hosting a breakfast meeting Monday July 25, 2016, for the launch of a country programme to support industrialisation in Zimbabwe for the period 2016 to 2019,” an invite to the launch said.

The manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe has failed to fully recover from the economic downturn of the last decade, characterised by hyperinflation, which forced the Government to ditch the local currency in favour of the multiple foreign currencies in 2009. In the past decade, many companies closed leading to job loses as they struggled to finance operations while battling competition from cheap imported goods.

According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries 2015 manufacturing sector survey, industry capacity utilisation dropped by 2,2 percent to 34,3 percent in 2015 from 36,5 percent in 2014.

In the survey, in which around 250 companies participated, the CZI said issues affecting the local manufacturing industry remained unchanged since 2009 when the country adopted the multi-currency regime. Major challenges besetting industry include low domestic demand, capital constraints, antiquated equipment and machine breakdowns as well as competition from imports.

Compounding the problems were infrastructure related challenges which include power cuts, poor road infrastructure, inefficient rail network and water shortages. Infrastructure has deteriorated as a result of years of neglect due to economic challenges fuelled by Western imposed sanctions that have seen the Government investing less in rehabilitation as well as new infrastructure. — New Ziana.

#FreeLyndaNow

Friday the 22nd of July was a new experience for me. I had never been to Mbare courts until then where I briefly attended Lynda Tsungie Masarira court case.

Source: #FreeLyndaNow – The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe  25.07.2016

I have had the opportunity of talking to Lynda earlier on this year as we both travelled from Bulawayo from a PDP function and I must say, she is truly a man and a half. Her role in #Occupy Africa Unity Square and during the #ShutDownZimbabwe campaign attests to this. I admire her courage.

Lynda is a free spirit, a brave soldier, a gallant activist and a truly empowered woman who accepts that she is personally responsible for fighting for our freedom.

She is audacious and is prepared to do whatever it takes to assert her rights as a human being. Meeting her has been a privilege, I am certainly the better of it. On meeting her one is bound to underrate her because she is a humble and a quiet storm packaged as a mother of five with no fake airs about her. She is a true leader and I like to call her “the General”.

Her only crime has been fighting for our freedom and taking personal responsibility and risk to do what she must, regardless of the consequences. As I attended her trial, I watched the body language of the state prosecutor dressed in a faded  navy-blue suit as he was trying to prove almost inaudibly that Linda is a criminal. It was a pitiful sad display of incompetence and lies designed to discourage her to be who she is and I know she rejects that.

I could not help but realise that the political system that ZANU (PF) has created in our country abhors empowered individuals who are prepared to claim their space. Instead, it feeds on cowards who are not allowed to challenge Mugabe’s paradigm or the status quo because doing so would result in being purged form the party. It is based on a monumental lie and a myth that only Mugabe knows and therefore his veracity must never be questioned. Nothing can be further from the truth!

I am certain though, that there are many within ZANU (PF) who want to see Mugabe go but are just too damn scared to make it happen. We must help them to help themselves.

If one thinks about, this is why our country has regressed both economically and socially. Our political environment is toxic and it is clear that if you are not ZANU (PF) or do not agree with their policies, you are not considered Zimbabwean and are therefore you are not entitled to any of your rights or benefits as a citizen. That is tyranny. It is unacceptable and we must fight that mentality. Zimbabwe belongs to all of us equally, that is all Lynda wants too.

We cannot expect our country to progress as long as we suppress constructive dissent nor can we expect our democracy to deepen if we cannot have freedom to speak as we think and to associate as we wish.

We must therefore continue the fight and it is people like Lynda who must inspire us. She is our living heroine and I certainly hope that on coming Tuesday 26th July, we shall be reunited with her so that we can continue the fight to emancipate ourselves and the millions of Zimbabweans out there who have unfortunately chosen to be eternal victims.

Let us all be there at Mbare courts on Tuesday 26th July at 0930hrs to demonstrate to the system that we want Lynda free as we offer her moral support as we did with Evan Mawarire. More important, we need to be there so that we may show the system that we are indeed united in our quest for change and no amount of lies or intimidation will change that.

Thank you Lynda, “the General”. See you sooner rather than later!

Another Zimbabwe is possible!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author. He is also the Secretary for Finance and Economic Affairs for PDP. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

Veneer peels – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd July 2016

Source: Veneer peels – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd July 2016

As the Zanu PF regime crumbles its veneer of constitutionalism is rapidly peeling off. Any opposition to Mugabe is now seen as treason.

Even the regime’s storm troops – the war veterans – have now been accused of being traitors for questioning Mugabe. The accusation came from the top civil servant in the veterans’ ministry, retired Brigadier-General Asher Tapfunaneyi.

He was responding to a statement by the War Veterans’ Association after a 7-hour leadership meeting. The statement accused Mugabe of entrenching dictatorial tendencies, egocentrism and misrule and said it would not support his re-election campaign (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-protests-idUSKCN1030GVZimbabwe threatens “traitorous” war veterans after Mugabe attack and http://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/war-veterans-dump-mugabe-back-zimbabwe-protesters/3429995.html\).

The war veterans criticised the oppressive attitude shown towards peaceful protesters. This highhanded unconstitutional behaviour is shown by its treatment of Linda Masarire of the Vigil’s sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe who was arrested on 6th July during the peaceful shutdown protest and has since been detained in Chikurubi prison.

Linda came to public attention as a member of the Occupy Africa Unity Square Protest when she memorably said ‘We are sick and tired of being sick and tired’.

She appeared in Mbare Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was remanded in custody until Tuesday 26th July although her lawyer pointed out that her constitutional rights had already been violated by the prosecution’s delay in bringing her to court. ROHR Zimbabwe has called on supporters to rally at the court on Tuesday.

Other points

  • A very big crowd at the start of the Vigil. Regulars were joined by people from a protest against injustice and brutality in Zimbabwe outside 10 Downing Street. It was organised by a group from the north of England. It was good to have with us once again the dedicated human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell
  • MDC UK protested outside the Embassy on Monday. They got into the Embassy and the police were called to evict them.
  • A big thank you to Patricia Masamba for bringing the Vigil paraphernalia (banners, posters, tables etc) to the Vigil. Her journey was not without incident. Unable to get out of the Strand to park her car outside the Embassy she contacted Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu who happened to be in a bus also in the Strand. He leapt out and ran down the middle of the road looking for her car. Fortunately they were united and safely arrived for the start of the Vigil.
  • A special thank you to Roseline Mukucha who took charge of the merchandise and the Vigil table. She brought a new supply of Zimbabwe flags which are in great demand. Thanks to Etines Kapiya for looking after the register and ensuring people signed. Thanks also the Phillip Mahlahla, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Michael Sirewu for putting up the banners. Many people were there at the start to help – too many to mention individually.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: over 100 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading branch summer national fundraiser. Saturday 30th July from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 6th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark seventeen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 6th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Vigil and ROHR Brighton to London Walk. Friday 12th August to Saturday 13th August. The theme of our fundraising walk is ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’. The walk will end around 3 pm at the Vigil. If you wish to participate or sponsor the walkers contact info@zimrohr.org. More information to be provided as plans develop.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 20th August 2016 from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 3rd September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is 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 September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It’s between a newsagent and a shop. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:

NRZ staggers salary payments

Source: NRZ staggers salary payments – Sunday News July 24, 2016

Roberta Katunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE troubled National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has been forced to revert to 50 percent salary payments owing to depleted revenue inflows, an official has said.

The parastatal is also channelling part of its workforce’s wages towards pension contributions.

In an interview with Sunday News Business, NRZ general manager Engineer Lewis Mukwada said due to a downturn in business, the parastatal had been forced to review salary allocations downwards from 70 percent for higher grades and from 85 percent for lower grades to 50 percent.

“There is a perception that the company cut salaries to 50 percent but the real issue is that from 2009 we have been paying salaries in a staggered manner. We realised that by the time we go through the cycle of paying a month’s salary, we would be owing workers two months arrears,” said Eng Mukwada.

He said the company had decided that the remaining portion of the staggered salary payments would go towards the workers’ pension which they are still liable to when they retire from the company.

Eng Mukwada said last year, the company had found it difficult to pay workers 70 percent of their salaries which led to arrears accumulating hence the strike in March.

“To pay people consistently every month, we decided to reduce the percentage payable. All the workers who left the company before July 2012 have received all their outstanding balances,” he said.

According to NRZ management, there is a possibility of the salary being reviewed depending on the operating environment with the company revealing that all the workers have returned to work and business is going on as usual after a labour court indictment.

Over 4 000 NRZ workers across the country went on strike for over two months, protesting non-payment of their salaries for the past 15 months. NRZ owes its workers more than $87 million in outstanding salaries and wages.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Dr Walter Mzembi said the rehabilitation of NRZ was important as underdeveloped infrastructure in the country was impacting negatively on the tourism sector. Dr Mzembi said going back to basics and rediscovering formula’s that worked would spur growth.

“When NRZ was vibrant, the manufacturing sector in Bulawayo was performing well. Tourism is a sector that is affected by the performance of other industries, that is why we need the NRZ to be restored to its former glory and this will also spur the revival of Bulawayo,” he said.

NRZ attracts more investors as Government casts net wider

Source: NRZ attracts more investors as Government casts net wider – Sunday News July 24, 2016

Dumisani Nsingo/Dickson Mangena
Business Reporters
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has attracted a number of potential investors across the globe to partner it in resuscitating its operations, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said the Government has cast its net wide in attracting a strategic partner for the country’s rail company.

The troubled parastatal is struggling to offset a legacy debt of about $144 million owed to various creditors and requires about $1,9 billion to fully recapitalise its operations.

“(The recapitalisation of) NRZ is a question of getting the right partner. We are talking to many companies. There are many countries that are interested but at this particular moment we have not zeroed in on anyone . . . ” said Dr Gumbo.

He said most companies in Europe and Asia had shown huge interest towards injecting capital into NRZ but the country’s narrow track gauge was a nagging factor to most of potential investors.

In rail transport, track gauge is the spacing of the rails on a railway track and is measured between the inner faces of the load-bearing rails.

All vehicles on a network must have running gear that is compatible with the track gauge, and in the earliest days of railways the selection of a proposed railway’s gauge was a key issue.

As the dominant parameter determining interoperability, it is still frequently used as a descriptor of a route or network.

“You must understand there is an issue of gauge. We are using the narrow gauge. Some countries, whom we are talking to like India have a wider gauge and that’s not what (Southern African Development Community) Sadc wants.

“So we are talking to many countries to come in. We have been talking to some Chinese companies, we have been talking to some Egyptian companies but it takes time to say now we are coming. They should also do their feasibility studies so that they can tell where they are going to get their money when they invest into the railway system,” said Dr Gumbo.

He said there was a need to revitalise most of the country’s railway system as it has been destroyed mostly due to acts of vandalism.

“We need more wagons and locomotives because the old ones are aged, they get worn out with age but we don’t have the money to buy new ones, our industry has collapsed so there is no work which NRZ is doing,” Dr Gumbo said.

Meanwhile, Dr Gumbo said his ministry was stepping up efforts to get into more Built Operate and Transfer and tender projects to fund road rehabilitation programmes.

As such he called on the private sector to come on board and help in road infrastructure development.

“We are embarking on two programmes, extensive (BOTs) and tender system, and an improved fund management. The Government is there to facilitate, if you come together, as a company or co-operative and we assess your capacity, there is nothing to stop you from participating,” he said.

Dr Gumbo said, because Treasury had no capacity to rehabilitate the roads, it was therefore venturing into partnerships with the private sector.

He said deals for the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo Road and Harare-Chirundu Road were now at an advanced stage and concrete announcements will be made soon.

Zimbabwe National Roads Administration board chairman Mr Albert Mugabe said an improved transport system will help in fulfilling projects in the country’s economic blue-print, Zim Asset.

“Transport is one of the nine key sectors of Zim Asset and we are also adopting section seven of the 10-point plan, which talks about joint ventures,” said Mr Mugabe.

Japanese firm in mining venture

Source: Japanese firm in mining venture – Sunday News July 24, 2016

Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
A JAPANESE firm Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) together with a number of other countries’ geological survey departments will assist the country’s imminent exploration company, Mineral Exploration Promotion Corporation (MEPC) to carry out its geological surveys.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said the formation of MEPC, as well as the formulation of an Exploration Policy to quantify the country’s mineral resource and govern its exploitation was likely to be enacted soon.

The Government is looking forward to transforming the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) into an exploration company, MEPC, which would be funded from part of the revenue generated from mineral sales.

“The first reading of the Bill was done in Parliament and we are now anticipating the second reading to take place in the next few weeks and if it does take place we then expect the third reading to take place and then we go to Senate. I don’t envisage any difficulties with it because there is general support for the amendments, which will result in the formation of a substantive mining exploration company,” said Minister Chidhakwa.

He said the exploration company would be assisted by JOGMEC and a number of geological survey departments from various countries. JOGMEC, a Japanese Institution was created in 2004 when the former Japan National Oil Corporation merged with the former Metal Mining Agency of Japan. In Africa, the company has worked in Botswana.

JOGMEC’s Geological Remote Satellite Sensing Centre in Lobatse, Botswana was created in partnership with the southern African nation’s Department of Geological Survey in July 2008. The Japan-Botswana partnership will work together in developing the exploration of minerals through methods such as remote sensing. JOGMEC manages rare metal stockpiles in conjunction with private companies.

“The company (MEPC) has the role of using all the technologies at their disposal to do their work or activities which include aeromagnetic, geophysical surveys, geochemical surveys, among other technologies. They will work with for instance JOGMEC which is an organisation that is working in the Southern African region that is a company owned by the Japanese government. We will also bring in other geological survey departments of other countries so that they can work with our company,” said Minister Chidhakwa.

He said the Government was looking forward to establishing junior mining companies.

A junior mining company is an exploration company that looks for new deposits of gold, silver, uranium or other precious minerals. These companies target properties that are believed to have significant potential for finding large mineral deposits.

“We are also trying to encourage the establishment of what are called junior mining companies, which do nothing but exploration but we don’t have privately owned junior mining companies. These are ordinarily set up by geologists, and then geologists will then do exploration across the country and would sell their finding.

So we will encourage this establishment of junior mining companies and if need be we will fund them from the resources of the mining exploration company, it will also mean we put a small fund to support establishment of junior mining companies,” Minister Chidhakwa said.

No substantive heads for Mat schools

Source: No substantive heads for Mat schools – Sunday News July 24, 2016

Vusumuzi Dube and Tinomuda Chakanyuka Sunday News Reporters
ALMOST half of primary schools in Matabeleland North and South provinces have been operating without substantive school heads for the past five years, against a background of the two provinces perennially posting the worst Grade Seven results countrywide.

It has also been established that the two provinces are facing a critical shortage of Maths and Science teachers. According to a circular from the Civil Service Commission Secretary Mrs Pretty Sunguro, out of the 620 primary schools in Matabeleland North, 359 have substantive school heads, which means 261 of the schools, are being run by unqualified personnel. This comes amid efforts by the CSC to recruit substantive heads to avert the crisis in the two provinces.

Last week it was reported that the CSC had started searching for 303 school heads to be deployed in Matabeleland North for both primary and secondary schools. It has since emerged that the recruitment is for all the three provinces in the Matabeleland region, with Matabeleland North and South the worst affected.

Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Professor Paul Mavhima acknowledged the shortage which he said was not exclusive to Matabeleland region but prevalent in most parts of the country.

“This is a countrywide problem which we are working on addressing as a matter of urgency. We are aware that for us to improve the national pass rate there is a need for us to recruit suitably qualified personnel. However, what has to be noted is that this is not an overnight process but certainly we are working with the Civil Service Commission to address the matter,” said the Deputy Minister.

Although the number of secondary schools without substantive heads in the province could not be established, there are 42 vacant posts. Lupane district is the hardest hit in the province with 84 schools without substantive heads, followed by Binga and Tsholotsho which both have 71, Nkayi 46, Hwange 27, Umguza nine and Bubi four.

Matabeleland North provincial education director Mrs Boithatelo Mnguni said the vacancy rate in the province was worrying, noting that any institution without leadership was a recipe for disaster.

“Naturally any school without substantive leadership can face a possible crisis because you would want a leader to lead the ship. I am happy that these appointments have finally come through, they were long overdue,” said Mrs Mnguni.

Matabeleland North Province is also hard hit by an acute shortage of teachers, with recent reports revealing that at least four schools in the province’s Hwange District might be forced to close while several others in other districts in Matabeleland North are being run by skeleton staff including village heads. The situation has been attributed to the ban on re-engagement of temporary teachers and the shunning of the schools by qualified teachers.

Matabeleland South provincial education director Mrs Tumisang Thabela also confirmed that the province had a high vacancy rate of schools heads.

“We have a number of vacant posts and right now we are in the process of recruiting to fill in the posts. We have since advertised the vacant posts. With regards to how many posts are vacant I don’t have the information off hand but I can confirm that in primary schools we have a vacancy rate of about 40 percent and 20 percent in secondary schools. It is affecting us in terms of management of these institutions because if you have people that are not really meant to be there you cannot expect optimum performance,” said Mrs Thabela.

The Matabeleland South provincial education director recently revealed that there was an 80 percent shortage of Early Childhood Development teachers and 40 percent shortage of Mathematics and Science teachers at secondary schools.

Bulawayo provincial education director Mr Dan Moyo said in his province the situation was far much better as he required just five substantive school heads for both primary and secondary schools.

“What happened is that just before the Government freeze we promoted as much as possible and fortunately we have not had many retirements or resignations hence our position is far much better as we need about five school heads at both primary and secondary level,” said Mr Moyo.

US$57m lost in dodgy American trade

Source: US$57m lost in dodgy American trade | The Sunday Mail July 24, 2016

ZIMBABWE was prejudiced of more than US$57,2 million through extortionately priced imports and underinvoiced exports to the United States between 2000 to 2005, a new study reveals.Much of the losses — US$29,4 million — were mainly through unreasonably high imports. The prejudice caused by undervalued exports was assessed at US$27,8 million.

There are fears that Zimbabwe, like many other African countries, could have lost huge sums through misinvoicing — a practice where importers charge prices that cannot be considered as reasonable when compared to world averages; and also when exports are suspiciously discounted — by trading partners.

Last year, the US, which bought Zimbabwean goods worth more than US$67,2 million, was the country’s seventh-largest export destination.

The study was done by American academics Ms Maria de Boyrie, Associate Professor of Finance at the New Mexico State University; Mr James Nelson, Associate Professor of Information Systems at the same instiution; and Mr Simon Pak, Associate Professor of Finance at Penn State University.

Through analysing the price of imports into Africa relative to the highest prices on world markets, including prices paid for imports from the continent relative to obtaining world prices, the study was able to conclude that the anomalies suggested something dodgy about the trade deals.

The report does not explain the reasons behind the inflated price of imports from the US, but asserts that this is often done to hide illegal commissions or fund transfers.

Conversely, underinvoicing imports is believed to be a deliberate strategy of reducing import duties and restrictions, dumping goods produced below market prices in order to drive out competition, and also smuggling goods into country without paying taxes and fees.

It is also agreed that both inflated imports and under-invoiced exports have driven most African countries, Zimbabwe included, into a debt trap, especially where the affected countries resort to external borrowings in order to compensate for the decline in foreign exchange earnings.

“Under and over-invoicing of imports and exports may occur for many reasons. However, one can ascertain that trade misinvoicing reduces foreign exchange reserves which may, in turn, increase the amount of external borrowing needed to finance development expenditures.

“In order to deal with this problem, countries may be faced with having to devalue their currency, which in turn may cause a reduction of domestic savings required for financing domestic investment and hence reducing future growth potential.

“In summary, trade misinvoicing represents a potential loss of economic growth and development, can account for persistent balance of payments deficits, and erodes the domestic tax base, affecting income redistribution as well,” says the report.

The research provides some of the pieces to the puzzle development economists have been trying to solve for a long time: why many resource-rich countries are poor. Much of the statistics used to draw conclusions of the dodgy trade figures were from the United States census bureau, which is considered to be relatively reliable.

Over the six-year period the study was undertaken, Zimbabwe exported goods worth more than US$533 million to the US. Imports were measured at US$267,5 million. Despite the positive trade balance of US$267, imports may have been inflated by more than US$29 million, while exports were undervalued by US$27,8 million.

In essence, the figures suggest Zimbabwe suffered illicit financial outflows of more than US$57 million.

As most of the goods that are often under-invoiced include precious stones, silver and platinum, chemicals and allied products, works of art, and mineral products, there is growing concern that Zimbabwe is not getting the maximum possible value from its resources.

“From this, we can infer that some exporters from countries such as Uganda, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Congo (Kinshasa), Tanzania and Senegal are more interested in using high priced imports to possibly conceal illegal commissions or to export capital through associates in the US,” adds the report.

Zimbabwe largely exports goods in raw and semi-raw form. For example, of the 400 million euro (US$440 million) worth of products shipped to Europe last year, the bulk — 187 million euro (US$205 million) — consisted foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco, followed by vegetables at 67 million euros (US$74 million). Base metals fetched 62 million euros (US$68,2 million).

As in Zimbabwe, the scale of the financial prejudice in questionable deals between African countries and the US is huge.

Capital flows from all African countries in the review period topped US$20 billion, with South Africa — the continent’s second-biggest economy — was the most affected at US$7 billion.

What mainly drove researchers to conclude that African countries were being deliberately fleeced were anomalies observed in South Africa between 1990 and 1994 when the government introduced the General Export Incentive Scheme to encourage exporters.

After the incentive was introduced, there was an increase in cases of over-invoicing exports, but immediately after the scheme was phased out, exports began to be under-invoiced.

Analysts say governments can better trace misinvoicing by using a price filter matrix, where the price of both exports and imports are compared to benchmark international prices.

Where prices are markedly above the highest prices on the international market and vise versa this, the researchers note, suggests misinvoicing.

There were curious cases of overinvoicing in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, in November 2005 where some golf clubs were imported for US$5 000 compared to the world median price of US$82. That same month, a power generator was imported at a cost of US$3 800 against a world median price of US$63.

It gets worse.

An electric hair dryer that was imported into Nigeria for US$3 800, while prices quoted elsewhere around the world did not exceed US$25. Overall, the revelations in the latest report leaves room for interpreting the scale of prejudice that African countries in general and Zimbabwe in particular realise in trading with its partners. Experts are now increasingly focusing on the damaging effects of illicit financial flows from and for African countries, and there are now heightened efforts to contain the abuses.

A recent study conducted by an independent expert and submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council noted that tax-related illicit financial flows, in particular tax evasion and avoidance by transnational corporations, deprives governments of resources to progressively realise human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights.

It is hoped that increased awareness surrounding dodgy deals and tax avasion and avoidance will help governments activate their systems and better monitor cross border financial transactions.

Diamond marketer plans exit

Source: Diamond marketer plans exit | The Sunday Mail July 24, 2016

Kuda Bwititi Chief Reporter
FIRST Element, the company that has been solely marketing Zimbabwe’s diamonds since 2014, says it will leave the country next year and hand over operations to locals following suspicions that it could be complicit in suspected undervaluing of Marange diamonds. The company has been under the spotlight and only last week, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) deputy general manager, Mr Richard Chingodza, told the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Mines and Energy that the firm was behind losses from diamond proceeds.

Recently, Finance and Economic Minister Patrick Chinamasa identified undervaluing as the major cause for losses in the diamond sector after he was questioned about the missing US$15 billion on the BBC Hard Talk television programme.

Sources said First Element’s monopoly in marketing diamonds, which has also rendered the MMCZ redundant after taking over international marketing of the precious stones, raised suspicion that it could be colluding with buyers to reduce prices.

Average diamond prices per carat have gone down since the beginning of the year, resulting in reduced returns to the fiscus.

Reports suggest that the company has “a shady past” after it was allegedly kicked out of Botswana — an allegation the company denies.

The company reportedly pockets one percent of sales from both buyers and diamond companies for marketing the stones.

Apart from marketing diamonds, First Element also cleans the precious stones before sale.

First Element’s relationship with Prof Gudyanga has also come under the spotlight with the permanent secretary accused of protecting the company.

Prof Gudyanga declined to discuss the matter.

“I can’t answer to such issues on the phone. Besides, some of the allegations were made in Parliament so that is the platform where I will respond to the allegations,” he said.

First Element country manager, Mr Tim Wikes said the company will hand over its operations to locals early next year.

“First Element won a competitive bidding process initiated by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and was awarded a one-year tripartite contract in July 2014 between the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and the then 6 operating diamond mining companies.

“Furthermore, with respect to our exit strategy, a senior Zimbabwean manager has been engaged at Fetch Minerals as the assistant country manager, and as an understudy to the incumbent country manager,” he said.

Mr Wikes denied allegations that they were undervaluing diamonds.

“Firstly, we do not value the goods nor do we accept the results. This is done by MMCZ and ZCDC. Secondly, our business model is very uncomplicated.

‘‘First Element gets a small percentage of the diamonds sold as a fee. If we do not sell or we attract low prices, then the fee is smaller.

If ZCDC does not sell, we do not get a fee. Thirdly, we do not value the diamonds.

‘‘We facilitate the sale and manage the tenders.

Our fee is derived from the gross sale and we are therefore extremely motivated to get the highest prices possible,” he said.

Mr Wikes said First Element’s modus operandi was transparent as tenders are held monthly.

He said MMCZ and ZCDC officials are involved in the tenders, with a heavy presence of police officers.

“In the last few months, we have had 25-30 companies attending daily and around 35-45 individual buyers attending. FE has done incredibly well with the number of companies that attend the tenders when compared to the attendance at sales before our arrival. The international buyers now come in their scores to buy diamonds in Harare,” said Mr Wikes.

“The dollar per carat is actually not that far down in recent months as the ZCDC is now the sole miner and has historically recorded higher prices than its competitors at Chiadzwa. The relative drop in ZCDC prices in the last three months is due to the retreatment of tailings dumps which by their nature normally have a lower dollar per carat as the ground has already been treated once.

“The dollar per carat is normally driven by the footprint of the deposit being mined.

In the case of retreating tailings, the percentage of industrial stones normally increases and the percentage of gem stones decreases.”

Zimbabwe started auctioning its diamonds locally in 2014 after having experimented with the Dubai and Antwerp markets.

The last auction held at Antwerp ended in disaster after the precious stones were temporarily seized by Amari platinum and 14 white former commercial farmers after their litigation against the Government.

Kombis pave way for new system

Source: Kombis pave way for new system | The Sunday Mail July 24, 2016

Debra Matabvu
Government is drawing up a modern urban mass transport system worth millions of dollars with expertise and funding from the World Bank. The coming dispensation eliminates commuter omnibuses, replacing them with high-volume vehicles and new road and, possibly, rail infrastructure. The system will likely take after Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa where the World Bank has helped de-congest urban roads.

Government officials will visit Tanzania and Ethiopia soon to assess their models. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital, has thirty-nine 150-seater buses and 101 others with 80-passenger capacities courtesy of World Bank support worth US$180 million. The city serves 300 000 commuters daily.

Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Engineer George Mlilo, told The Sunday Mail that high-volume buses would link central business districts to intra-city locations, while kombis would be restricted to inter-suburb routes until their decommissioning.

“A delegation leaves for Tanzania and Ethiopia (in early August 2016) to assess mass transport systems set up by the World Bank there. We will identify a suitable model and then engage the financier.

“Government is committed to resuscitating the reliable and affordable public transport system of the 1990s, and is, therefore, working to actualise this project. There are challenges with commuter omnibus crews that hike fares and switch routes willy nilly,” he said.

The ministry’s director of physical planning, Mrs Ethel Mlalazi, added: “Government has already engaged different players such as local authorities over the matter, and we have, through Zim-Asset, identified the system as a long-term initiative.

“The coming on board of institutions such as the World Bank will help accelerate the process as it has been on the cards for quite some time now.” University of Zimbabwe urban planning lecturer Mr Smart Dumba said it was important to get the system right as doing things wrong could literally be fatal.

“We are talking of moving large numbers of people at the same time. As such, technical feasibility studies provided by the World Bank will help determine feasibility before funds are poured into the project. Proper planning is required before investment in the project can be made. This will ensure the initiative does not fall into the same trap as Zupco.”

Traffic congestion in Zimbabwe’s major cities, especially Harare, has caused headaches to residents and authorities. The problem has been directly linked to expanding vehicle numbers, including commuter omnibuses that became the main mode of mass transport after the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company failed to cope with volumes in the 1990s.

Over 4 500 individuals are registered as kombi owners, according to the City of Harare Department of Urban Planning. However, it is understood that another 6 000 kombis operate illegally in Harare. It is estimated that over one million people use urban public transport across Zimbabwe daily.

ED tears into rogue war vets

Source: ED tears into rogue war vets | The Sunday Mail July 24, 2016

Sunday Mail Reporters
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described as “nonsensical” calls by some war veterans for President Mugabe to resign, as the State security aparatus knuckles down in its probe to find out who was behind the “traitorous” communique issued last week in the name of liberation fighters. In an interview with The Sunday Mail yesterday, the VP also made it clear he had nothing to do with the clique of rogue war veterans who are trying to push President Mugabe out of office and replace him with Cde Mnangagwa at both ruling party and Government level.

Last Thursday, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association commissar Cde Francis Nhando told journalists at the end of an executive meeting in Harare that they wanted President Mugabe to resign.

However, senior members of the association have dissociated themselves from the statement, as have other top commanders of the Second Chimurenga; while the Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Ministry has reaffirmed veterans’ loyalty to the President.

Zanu-PF has also made it clear that it will not tolerate such dissent. The ZNLWVA is an affiliate of the ruling party. And yesterday VP Mnangagwa weighed in saying all war veterans should remain loyal to their Commander-in-Chief, President Mugabe.

“I watched ZBCtv (on Friday and learnt) that they made a statement, but I haven’t read it. If they said the President must resign, then that is nonsensical. If they are true war veterans, the President is their Commander-in-Chief and they must be loyal and committed.

“I don’t think those who say such things are loyal or genuine war veterans. They must be loyal,” the VP said.

In recent months, some war veterans have claimed they are campaigning for VP Mnangagwa to assume the highest office in the land. VP Mnangagwa trashed such claims saying: “That’s nonsense, absolute nonsense.”

Information gathered by The Sunday Mail suggests the said communique was prepared before the Thursday meeting and had nothing to do with the welfare issues discussed on the day.

The country’s security agencies are now conducting investigations to determine the source of the document. Yesterday, ZNLWVA secretary for information Cde Douglas Mahiya told The Sunday Mail that the association was also carrying out its own investigations.

“As war veterans, we are also trying to find out the origins of that document. But (secretary-general) Victor Matemadanda will be in a better position to give you more information about that,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Cde Matemadanda told us to call him again after 30 minutes, but subsequent efforts to reach him were futile as his cellphone was no longer reachable. Sources said Cde Headman Moyo, who chaired the Thursday meeting, had distanced himself from the document.

“Most of those we have talked to so far say they had nothing to do with the communique. They are suggesting that the document was authored before the meeting and then presented there to try and legitimise it.

“What makes us angry is that if there are people who have taken positions on certain matters, they should at least have the spine to stand by those positions instead of hiding behind the association and tarnishing all war veterans in the process,” he said.

The Commander of Chimoio Camp during the Second Chimurenga, Cde Midson Gomba Mupasu alias Norman Bethune, said war veterans should be disciplined.

“I can’t have freedom of speech to attack my President; my commander. If a commander is angry about a mishap in a war, he/she should find better ways of solving the situation. A commander has to be tactful and quick in making decisions.”

Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere added: “The message has been very clear and investigations have been set in motion. We should distinguish what the general war veterans would want to see and the individuals who want to use the war veterans’ association as an umbrella body against the President.

“The party is solid. The party supports President Mugabe and we have said any future leader of the party will come from the people through proper channels. We respect the veterans who fought for the independence of the country, but not individuals who want to incite or who want to turn the body politic of the war veterans against the leadership of the party.

“That is unacceptable and we will have to flush out these elements. We will not allow this kind of indiscipline to take root in the party. We must allow the President to do his work. He was voted for to run the country and genuine war veterans know that.”

Cde Kasukuwere continued: “He is the man who is needed by the people of this country, not individuals simply saying ‘I think I must author a document surreptitiously to undermine the system’. No. We need to allow the President to focus on the economy. We want to get our farmers to succeed.

“The President has led us as a nation and as a people to greater heights and what is left is for us, who have been given the opportunity, land, to utilise it and to get the economy to work; local leadership to get service delivery to be achieved.

“If you look at the statement, it shows someone typed it. There is a computer that was used to type the statement and there is a certain type of wording that we know real war veterans would not use.”

The commissar also said, “We need to get to the bottom of this matter. It is a serious matter; it is not a jocking matter. We can’t accept this because we have always known that some individuals were trying to get to the President, but they should know that the President is not there because he wants to be there, but because he was elected by the people to be there.

“There is a Constitution in this country that recognises that there should be a President, and we reiterate what we have said before that any attempt to undermine the President will be met equally and we will not let it succeed.

“Rest assured that President Mugabe will succeed in his term and win the next election comfortably. We are going to see our economy turnaround with him at the helm. We are not going to allow anybody to divert the attention of our leader from ensuring the people of Zimbabwe attain the economic liberation that he fought for.”

He went on: “Real war veterans are within the party and we should not bunch them with some misguided elements who are running a parallel project pretending to be war veterans.

“I am very cautious in using the term ‘war veterans’. Those we are seeing are a rebellion and we cannot allow it to end up confusing genuine war veterans who are revered in this country, who are respected and whom we know sacrificed for this country to be where it is.”

Zanu-PF deputy secretary for youth Cde Kudzanai Chipanga said: “President Mugabe was voted for by an elective congress of the party first, and secondly, by the entire nation in 2013.

“There are some fringe elements who are intentionally hurting the credibility of the party and Government with irresponsible utterances that President Mugabe must go. Go where? Forget it. He is not going anywhere as he still has a Constitutional mandate to fulfill.

“These are statements uttered by comrades who have lost the path. They think their utterances have potential to induce hatred and stoke chaos. Zimbabweans are not foolish, they cannot be swayed by ill-advised utterances that border on gutter politics and lack of good sense.”

On Friday, Secretary for War Veterans Brigadier-General (Retired) Walter Tapfumaneyi said patriotic freedom fighters were loyal to the President, and those behind the communique were traitorous and treasonous.

He too said the war veterans leadership steering Thursday’s executive meeting had distanced themselves from the document. War Veterans Minister Colonel (Retired) Tshinga Dube said any liberation fighters with gripes should follow laid down procedure to seek redress.

Night of the Long Knives at ZCDC

Source: Night of the Long Knives at ZCDC | The Sunday Mail July 24, 2016

LISTENING to the individual accounts of the legion of disenchanted former Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company workers, some of whom were dismissed just two months into their new jobs, one is tempted to dismiss them as tall tales.But are they?

Theirs are intriguing tales, punctuated by John Grisham-like twists and turns.

Of course, the clincher is undoubtedly the account of the bitter dismissed driver who painfully recounts how he was not even given the opportunity to clean himself up and was sent home in his dirty worksuit.

It could be funny, were it not for the fact that these are people’s lives we are talking abotu. More tragic is that ZCDC carries the hopes of millions of Zimbabweans who are banking on improved fortunes from the Chiadzwa diamond fields after the State took over mining aoperations there early this year.

Last week, ZCDC ex-workers ratcheted up pressure on Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, Professor Francis Gudyanga, for firing top officials without regard to due process.

Top executives at ZCDC were dismissed barely two months into their jobs on allegations of failing polygraph tests.

A polygraph, commonly referred to as a lie detector test, measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions.

Last week, some of ZCDC’s former staffers told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy that the polygraph tests were conducted by an as yet unidentified “white gentleman” at the Ministry of Mines offices.

It is alleged some officials were dismissed without even being informed of their test results.

Mystery

ZCDC’s former minerals resources executive Mr Takawira Zhou last week told legislators that before the polygraph tests were conducted, he was summoned to Harare without being told what was happening.

At the Mines Ministry offices, Mr Zhou met fellow ZCDC bosses who were similarly unaware of the reasons for summons.

About 11 senior staffers were present.

After being called into the boardroom, where Prof Gudyanga and “the white gentleman” were seated, the permanent secretary explained why the officials were called to Harare — for polygraph tests.

It is understood two ZCDC board members — whose names were not disclosed — also attended the meeting.

According to Mr Zhou, the polygraph test was made of “just simple, marginal questions like, ‘do you operate a syndicate?’ Have you ever dealt in diamonds?’”

Immediately after the polygraph test, the workers were told to drive back to Chiadzwa to resume their duties. For some, the polygraph test results came almost a week later, while others never got theirs.

“(Some) never saw any results (but others) were called back later. Personally, I was never called; I had come to Harare on business and lucky for me, I bumped into this letter of dismissal and I just left,” said Mr Zhou.

Mr Zhou said he had a six-year contract with the company. He was shown the door two-and-a-half months into the job.

After being quizzed by Dr Daniel Shumba, the Mines and Energy Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairperson, why — as a professional — he simply accepted his fate, Mr Zhou said he had not been afforded a chance to a make representations.

When Mr Zhou was called to collect his dismissal letter, he happened to be in Harare on an errand assigned by ZCDC chief executive officer, Mr Mark Mabhundu.

Mr Mabhundu was also to be dismissed.

“I think around 6:30pm or so, I was called to the (ZCDC chairman Prof Gudyanga’s) office . . . I just got into the office, he was seated there and there was another gentleman — not the white man — by his side and there was a letter there and a pen.

“I didn’t know the person but I understood he was a Ministry of Mines official. So he showed me the letter and he pushed it to me, I just looked at it; I never read it, I just looked at the headline, ‘termination of employment’.

“I only asked one question; I just said ‘what have we done’? He never replied to that and I was asked to sign. I signed, then I was instructed to go and surrender all that was theirs to Reggy Nyashanu and I drove back to Mutare that night (and) the following morning I gave away everything, then I left,” said Mr Zhou.

Critically, Mr Zhou noted that the “process, even the business environment itself”, had become poisoned.

It is understood that management were no longer allowed to make key decisions and were just ordered to adopt everything foisted on them by Prof Gudyanga.

“We could see that things were not right, something was coming. And when we started to do these polygraphs and being called and given letters, it became very clear to me that these people were actually intent,” he added.

Mr Zhou walked away without nothing, not “even a pen that is written ZCDC”.

He will, however, not approach the courts for recourse.

There is a feeling among former employees that there was a sustained campaign to get rid of them.

The secretary’s tale

Ms Getrude Vambe, a former secretary at ZCDC, she is still trying to process what happened.

Interestingly, she got the job without being interviewed and the interview was supposed to occur within the first three months.

Ms Vambe was then fired exactly two weeks after inking a contract.

“I did not understand why I had been retrenched. I had been given a new contract in May which was stating that in the next three months I would have undergone an interview, medical tests, police clearance, and a polygraph test.

“Two weeks after signing that contract, that was when I was called into the (ZCDC) chairman’s office and that is when I was given a retrenchment letter.

“I had not gone through any of the processes. I did not go through the polygraph test. Before I was retrenched, a lot of executives had been sent home and on that particular day I was retrenched together with the CEO, the driver and the finance guy (Mr Stewart Musekiwa).

“They had gone through the polygraph tests but myself and the driver did not, not even an interview. Nothing!” said Ms Vambe.

After being fired, she was promised to be paid her dues “end of June but nothing has come through”. A fortnight ago, Ms Vambe got half the arrears.

As part of her termination of employment benefits, Ms Vambe was promised two months’ salary for every year served, while she would also be paid for three months up to August.

Driver driven away

An ex-driver claims he was part of the team that used to work for Marange Resources before Government stopped operations at Mbada Diamonds, Kusena, Jinan, Diamond Mining Company, Gye Nyame and Anjin to form a consolidated firm.

“I am not happy with the way I was fired. I have been with the company since the Marange time; I was collecting parts from suppliers and taking them to mines. In some cases I would work throughout the night, getting into concessions.

“I was pained because after leaving security guards at Gache Gache to guard the mining activities there, I just arrived and got a letter of retrenchment. I was given by the chairman, Professor Gudyanga.

“He was with the new finance executive called Mr Gambe. They gave me the letter and told me to sign it. They way it happened … I was very dirty and asked to clean myself, I was also tired but they never gave me that opportunity.

“They just said read the letter and sign and put your things. I was literally pushed out as if I had stolen at the company. Up to now, I am not happy with the way I was fired, I was not told the reasons for being fired,” he said.

Two hats

Last week, repeated efforts to get a comment from Prof Gudyanga were fruitless as he was not answering his cellphone.

However, from the accounts of fired workers, Prof Gudyanga was an overbearing boss who wanted to micro-manage the diamond company.

Mr Zhou alleges that though he was roped in on the strength of his proposed strategy, which had been accepted by the ZCDC board, he never got the opportunity to push through his plans as an equally determined Prof Gudyanga wanted to see his own designs implemented.

“We were asked to just concentrate on those operations that were actually existing, despite the fact that there was not much diamonds.

“It was the ministry (that blocked us). Not the minister but the permanent secretary as the chairperson of ZCDC. I don’t know whether he was talking as the chairman or permanent secretary there,” said Mr Zhou.

He said there was no “real basis” for increasing the production targets by 100 000 carats every month as proposed by the Ministry of Mines.

Mr Zhou said they were “just numbers from nowhere, and they are still just numbers”, not backed by what obtained on the ground.

The team says it had its own timelines for ramping up production.

Parly oversight

Though Parliamentary Portfolio Committee hearings seem to be inviting the right individuals to hearings and asking the right questions, some people are growing increasingly skeptical of the effectiveness of such processes as there seems to be no subsequent corrective action.

On Thursday, Mines and Energy Committee chair Dr Shumba told The Sunday Mail Business that portfolio committees sought to achieve “basically four things”, which include highlighting illegalities and failure to uphold a culture of good corporate governance so that responsible authorities, like the Zimbabwe Republic Police, can escalate the issues.

“One achievement is to highlight illegalities that may or would have taken place and these could be prejudicial to the State or the taxpayers and they are also at variance with the expected norms of corporate governance.

“Now, once those things are highlighted, if there are any illegalities, we expect the police, the anti-corruption to take up those cases. The police must go and investigate, the anti-corruption must go and investigate those cases. Parliament is not an arresting authority. That is in respect to illegalities.

“In respect to process, for instance, tender is being awarded illegally, and so on, the Parliament is as good as the comptroller and auditor general. We highlight these things and people can now go to court and use the Parliament documents to enforce their rights.

“Our judgment is as good as a court judgment. So we are indeed a force to reckon with but of course we can’t force the police to arrest, they are just supposed to do their duty but at least you can see that Parliament is doing its oversight work,” he said.

Zanu PF only serving its voters: Mugabe aide

Source: Zanu PF only serving its voters: Mugabe aide – The Standard July 24, 2016

CONTROVERSIAL State media columnist, Nathaniel Manheru, widely believed to be President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba, says people who did not vote for Zanu PF have no right to ask the government to deliver on its 2013 election promise to create 2, 2 million jobs.

BY OUR STAFF

Manheru, whose identity was revealed as Charamba by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo early this year, said Zanu PF was only obligated to serve the constituency which voted for the ruling party.

“One voice that keeps coming into my eardrums with irritating shrill is the demand by the hashtag generation for two million jobs promised by Zanu PF in 2013 polls,” Charamba ranted.

“Even the MDCs have joined in demanding those jobs as if Zanu PF owes them a living. You want two million jobs from a minus vote input? Who did you vote for? And why should a Zanu PF government govern to your benefit? Spare me that nonsense about national good. The good of a winning tenure is to multiply it a thousand fold, to augment it by doing good to those voters sitting on the fence.”

Charamba said Zanu PF was “single-minded” in serving its voters.

“And Zanu PF attracted more than two million voters whose unmet needs are its pre-occupation. Not MDC-T supporters, in their diminishing numbers,” he said.

“They don’t matter to Zanu PF calculus. They only matter to [Morgan] Tsvangirai and his MDC-T.”

Zimbabweans took to social media to express their anger over Charamba’s statements. Moyo suggested the author was not referring to a government position.

“I don’t know that the specific installment was authored by Charamba. Otherwise the author is expressing his opinion,” Moyo said in response to questions over the opinion piece on Twitter.

“Yes, this is official and true. The truth doesn’t disappear on account of the personal views of an anonymous columnist,” the minister added in response to a suggestion that it contradicted Mugabe’s 2013 inauguration speech pledging to serve all Zimbabweans, including those that did not vote for him.

Mid-term review should curb govt expenditure: Analysts

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa urgently needs to put in place measures to contain government expenditure and stabilise the economy, business leaders and analysts have said.

Source: Mid-term review should curb govt expenditure: Analysts – The Standard July 24, 2016

BY TARISAI MANDIZHA

Chinamasa is set to announce his mid-term fiscal policy review next month at a time when revenue inflows have dwindled to record levels.

According to latest statistics from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), collections in the second quarter were $861,83 million against a target of $892, 88 million.

Economist Kipson Gundani said Chinamasa had to send a bold statement stating how he intended to contain government expenditure.

The wage bill constitutes 66% of total revenue, with government promising to cut that to 50% by 2019.

“I think we need to appreciate the facts on the ground where we are increasingly seeing government revenue shrinking, our economic growth is static at around +/-1% and also there is little or no foreign direct budgetary support,” Gundani said.

“So Chinamasa’s budget is utilising only internally generated resources, but to hold everything constant, the ideal thing that he should do is to contain government expenditure.”

He said there was need to address the cost drivers in the economy and to reform underperforming public enterprises.

“There is need for parastatal reforms, to try and make them business entities,” he said.

He, however, said Chinamasa should also continue to push for the international re-engagement process to mobilise external resources.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries vice-president Sifelani Jabangwe said Chinamasa had to announce measures that stabilised the economy.

“[The] key issue is the stabilisation of the economy, because at the moment there is support for the business sector through the SI 64 of 2016 but there is need to address the issue of cost drivers to improve competitiveness,” Jabangwe said, adding that there was need to improve the level of formalisation of the economy and how the issues were affecting competitiveness.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Takunda Mugaga said Chinamasa should deal with the issue of primary cash balances, tax refunds, tax invasion and avoidance, corruption in parastatals and state enterprises and find ways of broadening the tax base.

“The first thing Chinamasa has to deal with are primary cash balances. He should address the issue of outstanding salaries and he should make sure it balances,” Mugaga said.

He said there was need to address tax invasion and tax avoidance and also that government should broaden and deepen the presumptive tax head.

“If the economy is informal, there are many people who are not taxed and the government should use presumptive tax in dealing with this,” he said.

Economist and former Economic Planning minister Tapiwa Mashakada said Zimbabwe was facing a fiscal policy crisis that had seen the accumulated budget deficit reaching $5 billion since 2013. He said fiscal revenues had shrunk so acutely below $4 billion while recurrent expenditure stood at around $4,8 billion per annum.

Mashakada said government was failing to pay civil servants on time and the economy was in deflation while re-engagement efforts were hanging by the thread due to a deteriorating political environment.

He said there was a nexus between fiscal policy and the financial crisis, hence the need to address the cash shortages.

“The other issue is the question of how to deal with imports without increasing import bans which have attracted public anger. In short, the economy needs stimulus measures to resuscitate production and kick in growth,” Mashakada said.

Fuel prices go up

Fuel prices in Zimbabwe have in the past few weeks gone up by at least 5 cents to $1,32 and $1,16 per litre for petrol and diesel respectively.

Source: Fuel prices go up – The Standard July 24, 2016

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

The increase has been attributed to changes in free on board (FOB) price — the price at which fuel is charged by local traders as determined by international market forces at the port of delivery.

The move has raised fears of general commodity price rises in an economy already weighed down by a crippling liquidity crunch.

Fuel dealers have raised prices as the international price of crude oil per barrel rose to $44,57 as of Thursday.

The price of crude oil had fallen during the early months of 2016, dropping in February to an average of between $33 and $38 per barrel, leading to a downward review of fuel prices, in Zimbabwe.

In February, the local price of fuel stood at $1,35 and $1,25 for petrol and diesel respectively. The price was further reduced to $1,27 and $1,02 for petrol and diesel respectively.

In an interview last week, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) CEO Gloria Magombo said fuel prices had gone up again due to corresponding rises on the international market, driven by the FOB price.

“We subscribe to a unit we call Platt, a market priced data base used to monitor fuel prices, especially the FOB prices. Fuel supply contracts are linked to Platts,” Magombo said.

S&P Global Platts is a leading independent provider of information and benchmarks prices for commodities on the energy markets for use, especially by regulatory bodies.

Under this platform, FOB prices can be followed easily and Zera is then able to capture market data each week to calculate the FOB price.

“When the FOB price starts going up, according to our taxing system, fuel prices will also go up. Currency differences regionally are the reason why we [Zimbabwe] are priced higher than the rest of the region. As long as we are a United States dollar economy, we cannot compete against regional fuel prices,” Magombo said.

She said the main reason for the recent surge in fuel prices was the increase in international prices since March.

A survey conducted by Standardbusiness on fuel dealers revealed that Total was charging $1,32 and $1,18, Engen ($1,30 and $1,14), Puma ($1,32 and $1,16), Redan Petroleum ($1,33 and $1,17), Zuva ($1,32 and $1,17) and Trek ($1,31 and $1,14) for petrol and diesel respectively.

Malawi fuel prices ranged at $1,09 and $1,06, Lesotho ($0,70 and $0,67) and Swaziland ($0,75 and $0,74) for petrol and diesel respectively. The reason for the lower prices in these countries was that they used weaker currencies than the US$ and the effect was that they appeared like they were subsidising the price, Magombo said.

Meanwhile, in South Africa fuel prices range at an average of $0,91 and $0,92, Namibia ($0,68 and $0,64), Angola ($0,95 and $0,80), Botswana ($0,69 and $0,65), Mozambique ($0,74 and $0,57) and Zambia ($1,02 and $0,89) for petrol and diesel respectively.

The low prices in these markets are influenced by the fact that some of these countries are close to the ports, while some have their fuel semi-subsidised.

Others like South Africa have refineries and therefore import crude oil at cheaper prices.

In Zimbabwe, fuel prices are determined by Statutory Instruments (SI) 80 of 2014, 20 of 2015 and 100 of 2015. Under these statutory instruments, the pricing structure for fuel is made out of a plethora of factors which then lead to a substantial rise in the price of the product.

These include FOB, freight, duty, Zinara road levy, carbon tax, debt redemption, strategic reserve levy and storage.

Other factors are handling, clearing agency fees, financing cost, inland bridging cost, storage and handling costs, and secondary transport costs.

After all these factors are taken into account, Zera further allows fuel operators to put a maximum of $0,06 profit margin, making the prices high and variable.

Of the factors affecting the price of fuel, the most influential are the FOB and duty.

According to the SI, the price of duty per litre is $0,45 and $0,40 for petrol and diesel while the FOB, which is dependent on market forces, is $0,474 and $0,472 respectively.

Diesel 50, emits more carbon gas and as such, the cost also stands higher at $0, 478.

Zuva Petroleum CEO Bothwell Gumbo confirmed prices in Zimbabwe were affected by FOB and duty.

Willard Manungo, treasury permanent secretary, said Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa was working on the mid-term fiscal policy and he could, therefore, not comment on the fuel prices as that risked pre-empting the minister.

“If you look as of February, our duty, Zinara levy, debt redemption, and all our taxes and levies take up $0,461 and $0,632 for diesel and petrol respectively,” he said.

“We are still at that level. So in terms of the prices, the duties have remained the same so we [government] are not taking any increasing share.”

Economist Tony Hawkins said government had few options and little scope to raise revenue and as such, government had no choice but to look for the money where demand was constant, such as fuel.

“Without knowing too much of the pricing structure itself, since the beginning of the year oil prices have turned quite a bit; you would expect that our prices would bounce back and start increasing again, assuming that the price structure remains the same,” he said.

“But, that does not explain why prices are higher here than elsewhere. One would assume it is because of higher taxes, which is the most likely explanation.

“It is the excise duty and the margins that you have to look for [in the pricing structure]. It [high prices of fuel] will certainly have a negative effect as it would increase the cost of doing business and it is certainly negative from an export viewpoint.”

With depleting sources of disposable income, motorists and individuals are bound to be the ones to cover the cost, according to Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce CEO Christopher Mugaga.

“One thing that we are not aware of which we need to know is the average cost of fuel in the production cost,” he said.

“The impact is damaging. I think you agree with me that petrol has been defining the whole cost side, so generally in terms of regional prices, Zimbabwean petrol prices are still very high but we cannot avoid that given the fiscal vulnerability of this economy,” Mugaga said, adding that some taxes were necessary to cater for budgetary constraints.

“Some of these include the salary outfit that needs to be paid by government and you do not okay them by limiting your fiscal space, so what you do is that you end up piling pressure on consumers by increasing petrol prices.”

He said if government was broke, higher fuel prices could not be avoided.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu said fuel price increases had a tendency to force prices upwards.

“However, the market is subdued at the moment as demand for goods and services has been low for a long time,” he said.

“That might see prices of goods remaining where they are and /or if at all they rise, it will be marginal.
“The fuel price increase will only act to erode retail margins as there is no space to raise prices at the moment.”

NetOne audit raises stink

Source: NetOne audit raises stink – The Standard July 24, 2016

A DRAFT document of the much-awaited NetOne forensic audit report which was expected to produce fireworks has been released, but most contentious issues that prompted the investigation appear watered down or inconclusive.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The draft has reportedly been handed over to the Auditor-General’s Office where some officials felt the real issues were not conclusively dealt with.

According to the report gleaned by The Standard, NetOne has a debtors’ book amounting to $54 million of which about $11,2 million was owed by Firstel Cellular, a company linked to the firm’s top management.

The report does not name the five top NetOne managers who owned Firstel Cellular and also glosses over circumstances surrounding the acquisition of shares by the executives.
It also does not say why the amount owed to NetOne ballooned from $8 million to $11 million when management took over Firstel Cellular.

“The whole idea was for NetOne, management to go and protect the interests of NetOne, but that debt continued to balloon from $8 million to over $11 million,” one official told The Standard.

“The management also repeatedly tried to persuade the NetOne board to write off the debt.”

The forensic audit was done after the NetOne board said the mobile company had lost millions of dollars owing to alleged corruption, flouting of State Procurement Board tender procedures, mismanagement and poor finance control systems.

The audit centred on reviewing internal control systems, the integrity of the payment system, the accounting system, reviewing airtime distribution processes, assessment of the process of paying salaries and allowances, reviewing the process of acquiring base station sites and the engagement of third parties in site acquisition, the process of selecting suppliers as well as to review banking procedures.

The forensic report is also silent on another former service provider, Zelco Cellular which owes NetOne $15,3 million and was shut down in 2011.

However, the audit revealed an alleged tax fraud involving a company known as Bopela owned by Zanu PF activist Agrippa Masiyakurima with the connivance of suspended managers.
Bopela and NetOne management amended the company’s contract to cede $2,6 million worth of work to construct base station towers to Macharawanda, a sub-contractor owned by Masiyakurima in order to avert a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority garnish order.

The report also revealed that Zimbabwe Tourism Authority boss Karikoga Kaseke owed NetOne ($10 375), Zanu PF Chegutu MP Dexter Nduna owed ($8 585) and one David Chivandire ($28 000).

It was also established that between January 2010 and December 2015, NetOne management gobbled a total of $274 418 in holiday allowances, contrary to provisions of the parastatal’s human resources policy.

On selection of supplies, the report revealed that some contractors including Sectional Poles, Bopela, Macharawanda, Afrosoft and Redan were appointed in contravention of the State Procurement Board regulations.

It also revealed that NetOne extended $80 000 to Bopela to fund the construction of a base station.

Masiyakurima also constructed base stations at his two properties and that of his brother without clear authorisation from NetOne and was later advanced two year rentals to cover a family emergency.

But officials who spoke to The Standard said transactions involving sim cards and airtime distribution were not conclusively investigated by the audit.

“The audit process did not interrogate why millions of dollars were lost on the One Wallet platform which never realised the intended benefits due to poor services,” said officials from the AG’s office.

“The system was supplied by a company called Gemalto and is reported to have at one time demanded payment of $500 000 when its service had only generated $904.”

The forensic audit did not interrogate the current NetOne billing system where leakages running into millions were being experienced as a result of shortcomings, said another source.

NetOne management was also allegedly negligent by not timeously attending to statutory obligations resulting in the company being levied fines by Zimra in excess of $5 million.

Another official said contracts signed by suspended chief executive officer Reward Kangai which resulted in the company being prejudiced of millions of dollars were also not interrogated, including one with the National Railways of Zimbabwe where NetOne owes the parastatal close to $1 million.

“The issue of several bank accounts which were being run by management without the knowledge of the finance department was also not investigated by the audit process,” said the official.

Zimbabweans poorer than in 2011: Experts

Source: Zimbabweans poorer than in 2011: Experts – The Standard July 24, 2016

Zimbabweans are now poorer than they were in 2011, as indicated by the fact that they now require more money to fill the basic needs basket than they did five years ago, economic experts say.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

In an interview, Poverty Reduction Trust Forum programme coordinator research and policy analyst Tafara Chiremba said the urban poverty basic needs basket research showed that income poverty incidences had significantly increased between 2010 and 2016.

This, he said, was due to a widened gap between people’s disposable income and the cost of the basic needs basket in urban areas.

“On average, households faced an average basic needs basket cost of $491,32, with an average household income of $415 in 2011,” he said.

“In 2016, the average cost of basic needs basket is now approximately $520 against an average income of $333,99 for the half year, indicating a widened income poverty gap of $279.”

This scenario, he said, reflected increased inability by people to pay for essentials such as food, education, health and transport.

Chiremba said increased income poverty was mainly due to de-industrialisation, job losses, and vulnerable employment in the informal sector and poor performance in the agricultural sector.

A recent report showed that the number of workers in informal employment grew to 94,5% in 2011 from 84,2% in 2010.

According to a 2014 labour survey, 5,9 million people were in informal employment out of the 6,3 million workforce.

The report by the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (Ledriz) and Solidarity Centre titled, Working without a pay: wage theft in Zimbabwe, showed that workers had been facing challenges due to non-payment of wages and salaries.

Some employees were walking long distances to work, while others were sending children to schools that were cheaper or dropping children off school altogether, the report said.

According to a 2014 survey by Ledriz, while the average minimum wage was $247 per month, the average CEO was paid approximately 75 times as much, with at least one senior executive receiving more than $500 000 per month.

Furthermore, the report showed that those in top management got their salaries on time.

The report showed Zimbabwean workers were facing challenges such as going to work without pay, shortening of work days due to economic challenges as well as being forced to go and compete in the overpopulated informal sector.

Zimbabweans have been facing challenges due to company closures while government has been failing to pay civil servants on time due to poor revenues coming to treasury — a reflection of a troubled economy.

Ledriz senior economist Prosper Chitambara said the weakening of economic trends and company closures had worsened poverty levels as more and more people were now in the informal sector.

He said the economy would not grow this year. The economy which recorded growths from 2009 to 2012 had contracted between 2013 and 2015.

“This is the worst year and the first time that the economy is not going to grow. It will record 0% growth rate since 2009. The country has recorded huge decline in output and there is a lot of uncertainty,” he said.
Chitambara said investors had adopted a wait and see attitude, affecting the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI).

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti said the crisis facing the country was worse than that from 1997 to 2008 as Zimbabwe had no control over its monetary policy. He said this was the first time government had failed to pay wages.

“The poverty levels are expected to get worse by year end,” Biti said.

Mugabe told to learn from fallen Gaddafi

History has proved that arrogance is men’s most dangerous failing.

Source: Mugabe told to learn from fallen Gaddafi – The Standard July 24, 2016

by Everson Mushava

For the millions of ardent readers of William Shakespeare’s fascinating works, the eponymous hero Julius Caesar disappears halfway through the play because of his unbridled pride.

“Beware of the Ides of March,” a soothsayer warns the majestic Caesar from the crowd as he strolls down the streets of Rome on Lupercalia, an ancient Roman religious holiday.

Despite fervent warnings from his wife, Calpurnia against wading his way into the streets of Rome because she had had a nightmare about his death, the naturally superstitious Caesar dismissed the soothsayer as a “day-dreamer” and marched on to meet his fate at the hands of the conspirators.

Caesar’s outward arrogance and lack of humility became his tragic flaw. His egotism blinded him from seeing the plot against him.
His tragic story has a striking resemblance to the arrogance being exhibited by Zanu PF in the wake of protests by citizens against the ever-deteriorating economic situation in the country.

It is an undeniable fact that Zimbabwe is in turmoil but Zanu PF insists it is business as usual.

For the past three weeks, a social media campaign led by Harare pastor Evan Mawarire through his #ThisFlag movement and #Tajamuka/ Sesijikile as well as Occupy Africa Unity Square groups have led to various protests against the government.

This has prompted many Zimbabweans to believe that the country is hurtling towards the failed State status.

After protests triggered by the ban of the importation of basic commodities rocked Beitbridge two weeks ago, most people had expected the recent Zanu PF politburo meeting to come up with a conciliatory approach to the crisis.

However, Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo’s utterances afterwards portrayed Zanu PF as uncaring and arrogant.

Chombo claimed a third force was behind the protests and described those taking to the streets as misguided and childish.

“Zanu PF is quite steadfast and is focused on what we need to do and we cannot be shaken by these activities, not at all,” Chombo retorted.

“State security organisations are working around the clock to put the situation under control and those found on the wrong side of the law will be severely dealt with. They are being seriously warned to desist from this unwanted behaviour.”

A Zanu PF MP, Psychology Maziwisa said President Robert Mugabe could not be “tweeted out of power,” in response to growing online movements against the 92-year-old leader’s rule.

Mugabe himself plunged into the debate days later, blaming sanctions and a foreign hand for the disturbances. He flatly refused to take responsibility for the economic decline that has been rocking Zimbabwe.

The Zanu PF government has struggled to open new lines of funding and is unable to pay its workers on time as the economy continues on a nose dive.

Zanu PF’s defiance in the face of a storm has triggered speculation that the social media-triggered protests could signal the beginning of the end for the ruling party.

Observers say Mugabe should learn from the fall of his long-time friend, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who described his people as rats and cockroaches, but eventually was the one to be caught like a rat, humiliated and shot.

Political analyst Alexander Rusero said Zanu PF’s arrogance was the genesis of its fall. He said Mugabe’s party had remained glued to the past, thinking that it was still the popular people’s party.

“Zanu PF’s arrogance could be a signal of its fall,” Rusero said.

“In the past, there used to be demonstrations by political parties and civic organisations, but the ball game has changed.

“It’s the citizens who now lead the protests and Zanu PF should swallow its pride and realise the danger confronting it. Pride will not pay.”

Rusero added: “The protests are just symptoms of more things to come. A real uprising is coming if Zanu PF continues to be that arrogant. The party has already squandered an opportunity to contain the situation.

“Using force alone will not be enough; the most critical [thing] is to address what is causing the people to be in the streets. Zanu PF has chosen to act like an ostrich that buries its head in the sand by blaming other forces, discounting the Zimbabweans’ ability to organise themselves.”

Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said there was a sense of denialism in Zanu PF akin to the downfall of Gaddafi yet everything on the ground was against the party.

“There is a reason to make-believe that this is a passing phase, but the reality is that Mugabe’s end is close and there will be no Zanu PF to talk of after him,” Mandaza said.

Another analyst Maxwell Saungweme said: “Everything is falling apart. His [Mugabe] arrogance is informed by misinformation and bad advice from hangers-on around him.”

He added: “Zimbabwe is sinking and his regime is edging to an end, sadly advanced age and bad advice are blocking him from seeing the reality. It’s sad. The seeming arrogance is actually ignorance.”

But another Zimbabwean analyst Miles Tendi had a different view, saying Mugabe would not be brought down through online campaigns.
“These predictions of Mugabe’s imminent downfall are wrong,” he wrote in an article, Why a Hashtag Isn’t Enough for a Revolution in Zimbabwe first published by the Foreign Policy magazine.

“The reason is quite simple: the angry urban social media activists and pro-democracy pundits have failed to absorb two key lessons of the Arab Spring,” he said.

“The first is that the role of the military in times of civil unrest is pivotal. The second is that social media activism can never substitute for organised political activity on the ground.”

He said the success of the Arab Spring that brought down regimes in Libya, Tunisia and Morocco was mainly because of the position the security forces adopted, which was not the situation in Zimbabwe.

He said there was no robust cooperation between the protestors and the opposition political parties.

“What Zimbabwe needs now, most of all, is a well-thought-out and pragmatic approach to the 2018 election — one that will unite civil society, the opposition parties, online activists, and urban and rural youth. That is the key to finding a new path ahead,” he wrote.

Mujuru backs war veterans

Source: Mujuru backs war veterans – The Standard July 24, 2016

Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru yesterday declared her support for the move taken by war veterans to withdraw their support for President Robert Mugabe, saying it was long overdue.

By Jairos Saunyama

Addressing a record crowd at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera, Mujuru said the former freedom fighters had seen the light and there was now need for unity in the fight against Mugabe and Zanu PF.

“I am happy with what the others did. The puppies do not open their eyes on the same day after birth,” she said.

“What is left is to do good. The people will forgive. We are the comrades, we are the war veterans and we are saying the old man is no longer fit to lead us.”

ZimPF elder Rugare Gumbo said social movements that were emerging in the country should be supported as people had suffered enough.

“I heard them saying there is a third force, yes it is there. The third force is hunger. The people are hungry. It is not about the Americans or the French. Are the people of Zimbabwe so dull not to know that? It is clear this is propaganda,” he said.

“What is wrong with regime change? Mugabe must go democratically. We need regime change like yesterday. To remove this, we need a united front. We need to support the likes of Sten Zvorwadza, #Tajamuka and #ThisFlag among others. Do not fear anything. These [social movements] happened in Chile and China and it worked.”

Notable people who attended the fully subscribed Mashonaland East rally included Margret Dongo, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Didymus Mutasa, Dzikamai Mavhaire and Luckmore Kandemiri, among others.

Mujuru was kicked out of Zanu PF by a faction that was linked to war veterans at the time.

Mugabe, war vets fallout gets nasty

Source: Mugabe, war vets fallout gets nasty – The Standard July 24, 2016

President Robert Mugabe’s loyalists on Friday demanded a special Zanu PF congress to deal with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a day after war veterans said they were withdrawing their support for the 92-year-old leader.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

The over 500 war veterans that met in Harare before issuing the scathing communique on Thursday, expressed unhappiness over moves by the Zanu PF G40 faction to scuttle Mnangagwa’s chances of succeeding Mugabe.

Mugabe was accused by the war veterans of creating G40 to counter his rivals in Zanu PF as the succession wars rocking the ruling party took a new dimension.

Reacting to the stance taken by the war veterans, Zanu PF leaders linked to G40 that include Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, attended a hastily arranged rally in Rusape where youth leaders openly denounced Mnangagwa.

Zanu PF Manicaland provincial youth leader Mubuso Chinguno told the rally that Mnangagwa should either come clean or be expelled.

“Some war veterans keep on endorsing Mnangagwa. we endorsed President Robert Mugabe as our candidate for the 2018 elections; if you endorse someone [else], it’s treasonous,” he said.

“Mnangagwa should come clean. If he is using the war veterans, he should be expelled from the party just like Mujuru and her cabal.”

Former vice-president Joice Mujuru was expelled from Zanu PF towards the end of 2014 on allegations that she was plotting to unseat the veteran ruler. She has denied the charges and has since formed her own party, Zimbabwe People First. Mujuru was immediately replaced by Mnangagwa who is now facing the same allegations of plotting to topple Mugabe.

Zanu PF deputy secretary for youth Kudzi Chipanga suggested that the party should organise a special congress to settle the succession debate.

“All members in the politburo were appointed by President Mugabe so why should we be bothered by people who were appointed?” he charged in a pointed attack on Mnangagwa.

“If it is difficult, we are calling for an extra-ordinary congress and we will see if those people who are leading factionalism in the party will retain their posts.”

The rally held at Vengere Stadium was also attended by Energy minister Samuel Undenge and Manicaland provincial affairs minister Mandi Chimene.

Kasukuwere parcelled out 500 hectares of land, claiming that 2 000 housing stands were immediately available in Rusape.

Chipanga also proposed an August 1 march in support of Mugabe. The ruling party’s youth league gathered in Harare in April for what was dubbed a million-man march before demonstrating again in the capital on Wednesday.

But at their Thursday meeting, war veterans scoffed at the protests, describing them as “bankrupt marches for a bankrupt leadership”.

“All people who have benefitted from our stands on August 1, let’s go to Harare and show support to our President Robert Mugabe: from here [Rusape] it will take just two hours, you will hear someone asking about transport,” Chipanga said.

“It costs just $5. If you don’t want, you can leave our stand and we see what we will do with it”.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) leaders yesterday said they stood by their Thursday communique despite claims by the government that they had disassociated themselves from it.

The former fighters said they feared a crackdown to cow them was being planned amid claims that a war veteran who was photographed chanting Zanu PF slogans at the meeting has been arrested.

“We know what they are up to. The communiqué is correct, but they want to do a witch-hunt to fire the perceived ring leaders like they have done on Mutsvangwa,” said a senior ZNLWVA official.

“We will not be intimidated. We also know they have arrested those police officers who are war veterans because they want to intimidate them so that they extract information on how the meeting was organised and victimise people.”
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba said the government would only comment after completing investigations on the war veterans communiqué .

“Government’s position is very clear that there is an investigation underway to determine the veracity of that statement,” he said.

“We will investigate it, and when we reach a stage where we know where the document emanated from, that is when we can comment on it.”

He also denied reports that Mugabe chickened out of a press conference on Friday night, which had been scheduled to address the war veterans’ communique.

“You seem to know who organised it, because I did not organise it and I do not know about it.  I am just coming from Buhera and that is how quiet my world is,” he said.

The relationship between Mugabe and the former liberation war fighters deteriorated following First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entry into politics in 2014.

Cornered Mugabe goes for broke

Source: Cornered Mugabe goes for broke – The Standard July 24, 2016

From the unbudgeted pensions for war veterans in 1997 to the controversial land reform programme at the turn of the millennium, President Robert Mugabe has become a master of patronage whenever his 36-year rule comes under threat.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

After enduring three weeks of protests, Mugabe sprung to action last week using his tried and tested power retention method, bussing thousands of Zanu PF youths to the streets of Harare.

As a bait, the 92-year-old ruler dangled hundreds of hectares of land for housing stands for the youths to defend him against the rising opposition characterised by unending protests all over the country.

On Wednesday, the youths gathered at the Zanu PF provincial offices in Harare’s central business district before they marched to the party headquarters.

According to a message circulated on WhatsApp inviting the youths to the march, the main agenda for that day was to register for the land, not to demonstrate against Mugabe’s opponents.

“Harare province is calling all youth to attend an extra-ordinary youth league inter-district meeting conference,” part of the invitation read.

“The main agenda is handover of three farms to the youths for stands.

“Officials from UDCorp (Urban Development Corporation) will be there. Stands forms to be filled on the day.”

However, according to a Zanu PF insider, when the youths arrived at the party offices they were handed placards denouncing pastor Evan Mawarire and before they were ordered to march to the headquarters. No stand forms were distributed.

Mawarire is the leader of #ThisFlag movement, which has been piling pressure on Mugabe to end corruption and address the economic problem facing the country.

Some of the youths refused to take part in the march, saying they were too hungry.

“We came to register so that we will also get stands. We didn’t have food, we cannot wait any longer because we have registered. We just hope the promise will be fulfilled,” said one youth from Epworth.

At the headquaters, Zanu PF deputy secretary for youth affairs Kudzanai Chipanga said Mugabe had given the party members land in Chishawasha (300ha), Harare South (500ha) and Norton (200ha).

He showed the youths part of the plan for the new settlements approved by the Local Government ministry.

Harare provincial chairman, Charles Tawengwa bragged that he was a “big man” after the event attracted a huge crowd.

“I am a big man and I know how to play my cards. Above all, they love their party and the president,” he said as he tried to downplay the allegations that Zanu PF was using State resources to buy supporters.

A local government expert said Zanu PF risked creating shanty towns by allocating stands in a haphazard manner to its members.

“The creation of unplanned settlements around cities and towns is a recipe for disaster,” he said.

“It is better for the government to transfer the land to local authorities to ensure that proper services are done before the youths are allocated the stands.”

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a political analyst said it was ironic that the majority of people who should be at work would have time to toyi-toyi in town praising Mugabe for bending the laws as he seeks to retain power.

“Fundamentally, when it comes to Mugabe’s retention of power, there is no law to talk about. Mugabe doesn’t respect the law when it comes to power,” Ruhanya said.

He said after getting stands, the youths were now expected to work towards defending Mugabe ahead of the 2018 elections.

“Mugabe will fundamentally use youths to campaign, intimidate, harass and harvest fear among the electorate,” he said.

Ruhanya said it was not proper to parcel out urban residential stands at rallies and accused Mugabe of manipulating those he has disempowered and oppressed.

He warned Zanu PF youths to take a cue from one Charles Ble Goude, a youth leader and close ally of Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, who was arrested in 2011.

Goude was taken to the International Criminal Court after mobilising regime supporters to attack opponents during the last days of Gbagbo’s regime

Harare-based political analyst Gladys Hlatywayo accused Mugabe of taking Zimbabwe as his personal property.

“The abuse of power in this country is nauseating,” she charged.

“The president has long used the system of patronage as a power retention strategy and it is so embarrassing.

“I am personally not surprised by the move to parcel out land to his foot soldiers, especially considering the impending election in 2018.”

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Zanu PF was deliberately ring-fencing all properly planned urban residential settlements by creating unserviced residential areas to dilute the MDC’s urban vote in the 2018 elections.

“The action is not only unconstitutional, it is also tantamount to a blatant violation of the provisions of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29: 15).

“All major cities, by the year 2018, will be ring-fenced by squatter camps that are being deliberately created by the Zanu PF regime,” he said.

“It is the primary responsibility of elected urban councils to identify and parcel out land to people on the housing waiting list in a holistic and properly administered manner.
“The Zanu PF regime is using the system of patronage in the illegal allocation of residential stands in and around urban areas.”

However, Local Government deputy minister Christopher Chingosho defended the project, saying proper procedures were being followed to acquire the land and anyone who was affected would be compensated.

He said the youth would be asked to pay for the stands within 25 years.

Asked to comment on allegations that the majority of the youths were not employed and might not be able to pay for servicing the stands or building houses, Chingosho said: “Not everybody is unable. Those who cannot afford will approach the ministry individually and we will see how we can assist them.”

Grace stampede raises eyebrows

Source: Grace stampede raises eyebrows – The Standard July 24, 2016

State-owned newspapers reflected the power struggle rocking Zanu PF yesterday with a highly unusual 12-page supplement congratulating First Lady Grace Mugabe on her 51st birthday.

War veterans have accused Grace of having too much influence over her 92-year-old husband.

As President Robert Mugabe shows signs of frailty, senior members of the ruling Zanu PF party are positioning themselves for the post-Mugabe era.

Two factions have emerged, one linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and one to Mugabe’s wife.

The newspaper supplements hailing Grace, which were the first in Zimbabwean State media for anyone’s birthday but the president’s, ran gushing messages of praise from government ministries, including defence, as well as loss-making State companies.

“Dr Grace Mugabe: A woman who conquered Africa,” read a headline in The Herald newspaper, reflecting the growing political influence of the First Lady since her appointment to the top leadership of Zanu PF in 2014.

“A loving mother, compassionate philanthropist, astute businesswoman, perceptive politician, remarkable patriot,” the State-owned daily wrote.

Even government departments and State-owned companies that have been failing to pay their workers splashed money on advertising space to congratulate Grace.

The political infighting in Zanu PF has been exacerbated by an economic crisis, widely blamed on mismanagement and, more recently, the effects of a scorching drought in the region.

Public anger over inflation, unemployment and other hardships has poured out into the streets in a nation-wide protest movement.

“[Mugabe’s] leadership has presided over unbridled corruption and downright mismanagement of the economy, leading to national economic ruin for which the effects are now felt throughout the land,” war veterans said in a statement last week as they withdrew their support for the 92-year-old leader,“The president and his cohorts… have slowly devoured the values of the liberation struggle.”

Mugabe has claimed Grace is not interested in taking over his position when he finally leaves the scene, but this has been contradicted by the First Lady’s public pronouncements and manoeuvering in Zanu PF.

—Reuters/Staff Reporter

Mphoko conduct under spotlight

Source: Mphoko conduct under spotlight – The Standard July 24, 2016

VICE-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s role in the recent release of arrested Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) executives facing charges of prejudicing the parastatal of $1,3 million has come under the spotlight in Parliament.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Mphoko caused a stir a fortnight ago when he reportedly forced Harare police to release Zinara acting CEO Moses Juma and non-executive director Davison Norupiri before they could be taken to court.

The VP reportedly drove to Avondale Police Station and freed the duo on the grounds that they were his “boys”.

During a question and answer session in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Mabvuku Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) asked Minister of State in Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office Clifford Sibanda to explain circumstance leading to Juma and Norupiri’s release from custody.

The duo was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

“Is it government’s policy that a vice-president who will be acting president would go to a police station and emotionally cause the release of an accused person because he works for him, and then his body guards severely assault the police officers?” Maridadi queried.

“He had his shirt removed and exposed an open fly. This happened in the open and it is an open secret nationwide that this is what happened.

“The VP removed his shirt and assaulted people. Is that government policy, and is it the position that an acting president removes his shirt and assaults police officers at a police station?”

Unfortunately for Maridadi, the question was brushed aside by the deputy speaker of the National Assembly Mabel Chinomona, who said he should put it in writing as Sibanda was not assigned to Mphoko’s office.

However, Maridadi told The Standard on Friday that he was going to pursue the matter in Parliament until he got answers.

“I have actually put the question for Mphoko in writing and have already submitted it to the clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda’s office,” he said.

“It is a question that should not take long to be responded to by Mphoko because he knew what he was doing when he ordered that people that were arrested for corruption be released.

“The VP must also realise that his indiscretions have become a public embarrassment and that if he is a man of common sense and logic, he must do the noble thing and resign on his own accord, and immediately.

“It appears honour is not one of the attributes in Mphoko and I do not think Zimbabwe deserves a VP of such calibre.”

Mphoko has been under fire for his two year stay at the Rainbow Towers in Harare at taxpayers’ expense.

Aids funding dwindle

Source: Aids funding dwindle | The Herald July 23, 2016

Paidamoyo Chipunza recently in Durban, South Africa
Countries must devise innovative ways of mobilising resources at domestic level to combat HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis amid revelations that 13 out of 14 funding partners have reduced their financial assistance towards Aids due to the world’s competing priorities.

Addressing journalists at a press conference for the official opening of the 21st International Aids Conference here on Monday, UNAIDS executive director Dr Michel Sidibe said the current state of affairs in the HIV sector was scary as there was a high risk of erosion of gains made so far.

“I am scared because I am back again here in South Africa, Durban in difficult times. The world is facing many other competing priorities such as terrorism, migration and so many issues.

“I am seeing for the first time the decline on financing from donors, 13 out of 14 donors have reduced their contributions to the response,” said Dr Sidibe.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa, who was leading the Zimbabwean delegation at the conference, said the country has not been spared by the current HIV financing crisis.

He said although the country had the Aids levy, it was still not enough as it accounts for only 25 percent of funding for all HIV programmes, with the remainder being funded by donors.

Dr Parirenyatwa said Zimbabwe would explore other options of raising local resources such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, the community share ownership schemes and the private sector.

“We will continue to woo the partners, but we are also going to emphasise on domestic financing including the issue of community ownership schemes.

“We are also going to push for the private sector, although very small in Zimbabwe, the employees must be catered for in terms of medical cover for HIV,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

Dr Sidibe said these characteristics required countries to increase domestic financing towards health in general and HIV, AIDS and TB in particular.

“If we continue with this trend (financial crisis), we will not be able to end AIDS by 2030. We will have a rebound in this epidemic.

“We will have resistance, we will lose our investments and we will have to pay more later,” said Dr Sidibe.

He likened the current scenario to the fight against malaria which he said had been put under control at some stage but is now becoming a huge problem for the world.

Dr Sidibe said there was need to also strengthen health systems to be able to reach out with interventions to where they are needed most.

Speaking at the same occasion, United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon underscored his commitment to promote innovative measures and increase access to medicines, vaccines and diagnosis of HIV and tuberculosis.

He said there was need to finish the fight against HIV by filling all the gaps which keep people from accessing treatment and Aids-related services.

Mr Ban said there was also need to protect and promote the rights of all people living with HIV including key populations.

“We have to expand resources, science and services and, we have to protect and promote the rights of people living with HIV, men who have sex with men, gay men, transgender, people who inject the drugs and when we do this, we end stigma and discrimination and save lives,” he said.

South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaposa said while enormous progress had been made in the fight against HIV, more still needed to be done.

He said too many people living with HIV still did not know their status, while some of those who knew their status did not have access to treatment and the rate of new infections was still high.

Therefore, there was need for the Aids 2016 conference to come up with solutions that address these challenges.

“We are optimistic that the deliberations here in Durban will yield commitments from the international community to invest more in research and developments that could lead to opportunities of a vaccine or a cure, we must work harder to achieve this,” he said.

An estimated 18 000 delegates from over 180 countries in the world are attending the five-day international conference, which is running under the theme: Access, Equity, Rights Now.

Land barons fleece city home-seekers

Source: Land barons fleece city home-seekers | The Herald July 23, 2016

Municipal Reporter
Hundreds of home-seekers are losing thousands of dollars to suspected fraudsters who are inviting them to contribute to a fictitious housing scheme in Kuwadzana.

Members are being asked to contribute $83 per month for 48 months and are also being asked to pay $16 registration fees on the pretext that they will be allocated residential stands measuring 350 square metres.

Harare City Council had distanced itself from the land allocations saying it does not engage third parties to sell land and urged victims to make police reports.

“It has come to the city’s attention that there is shadowy group fronted by one Mvurume inviting unsuspecting Harare residents to participate in a fictitious housing scheme in Kuwadzana. The group is using social media alleging that there are some council infill stands measuring 350 square metres in Kuwadzana.

“The group says beneficiaries will pay $83 per month for the next 48 months. They also want the prospective home owners to pay $16 registration fee. When contacted they refer callers to Remembrance Drive City of Harare offices,” said the council.

Recently, councillors complained over the re-emergence of land barons parcelling out stands to unsuspecting home seekers after the city decided to regularise some illegal settlements.

Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee chairperson Councillor Resias Masunda expressed concern over fresh land occupations in Harare.

“Examples were behind Kuwadzana 2 Primary School, Council Farm, as well as Chizhanje area in Mabvuku. It expressed the need for council to make enough publicity so that the public is well informed as well as timeous enforcement to ensure that no structures were constructed,” read the minutes.

Finance and Development Committee chairperson Clr Tranos Moyo said illegal stands were being pegged in Warren Park but there was no enforcement.

The Acting Town Clerk, Mrs Josephine Ncube, said council was alive to the new invasions and has since engaged the Zimbabwe Republic Police after members of its Development Control Unit were assaulted by members of the public after prohibiting them from developing land they were allocated by barons.

Government recently halted the demolition of thousands of illegal structures in Budiriro after reaching an agreement with Harare City Council to regularise the structures and collect intrinsic land value as well as rates from the residents.

Govt to plug Beitbridge border leakages

Source: Govt to plug Beitbridge border leakages | The Herald July 23, 2016

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
GOVERNMENT has secured $600 000 to curb leakages at Beitbridge Border Post and ensure maximum revenue collection, Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo has said.

Dr Chombo, who heads a Cabinet crack team set up to look into operations at the border, made the revelations during a tour of Beitbridge recently.

He was accompanied by Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa and Deputy Minister for Industry and Commerce Cde Chiratidzo Mabuwa.

He said the country was losing a lot of potential revenue through underhand activities at ports of entry.

Members of the inter-ministerial team include the ministers of Finance and Economic Development; Mines and Mining Development; Environment, Water and Climate; Industry and Commerce; and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

“Most of our funding is coming from the Ministry of Mines, and we have secured a total of $600 000 that we are using to upgrade operations to stop all intrusive leakages at Beitbridge. We have bought some motorbikes and vehicles for patrols along the boundary line.

“Lie detectors have also been acquired so that we curb corruption among border workers,” he said.

Dr Chombo said they also used the money to acquire CCTV cameras, which have already been installed at Beitbridge and were awaiting commissioning.

Dr Chombo said they were also working on setting up a new border perimeter fence to replace the one which was heavily vandalised by criminals.

“Mobile scanners and luggage scanners are now in use, and we will do everything in our power in order to increase the revenue collection capacity.

“It is sad that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is collecting $800 000 against a daily average of $1,2 million,” he said.

Dr Chombo said Government will soon introduce polygraph tests that will see workers at the border posts being subjected to lie detector tests, which is the norm internationally.

Cde Chidhakwa said the Government was worried about the smuggling of minerals including gold and diamonds.

Govt speaks on war vets . . . probes origins of communiqué’

Source: Govt speaks on war vets . . . probes origins of communiqué’ | The Herald July 23, 2016

Felex Share Senior Reporter
Government has dismissed a communiqué purportedly released by war veterans renouncing and castigating President Mugabe’s leadership, saying investigations were underway to establish its origins and authorship.

Secretary for Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Brigadier-General (Retired) Walter Tapfumaneyi yesterday said all patriotic freedom fighters were behind and loyal to President Mugabe and his Government.

He said all those who attended a meeting, purportedly organised by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association on Thursday, had distanced themselves from the “traitorous and treasonous” communiqué.

The war veterans’ association is led by Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa, who was recently expelled from Government and Zanu-PF for gross misconduct and disloyalty.

Rtd Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi said Government was investigating the matter with a view to punishing those behind the traitorous communiqué.

“Government, therefore, dismisses the said traitorous so-called communiqué which is treasonable in the constitutional democracy that Zimbabwe is, with utter disdain and all the contempt that it deserves,” he said.

“While multi-agency investigations are underway to establish its origins, authorship, ownership and purpose which will bring all associated with it to justice, the ministry urges all patriotic veterans of the liberation struggle to remain loyal to His Excellency the President and to the party, to remain disciplined and principled while at the same time being wary of the divisive machinations of Zimbabwe’s detractors.

“The ministry wishes to inform the nation that all those who attended the above meeting and had authority over its purpose and content have all categorically distanced themselves from the document in terms of its ownership, authorship, substance and purpose.”

Rtd Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi said following the indaba between President Mugabe and war veterans in April, Government was working on improving the welfare of the freedom fighters.

“We wish to reassure the nation that all issues relating to the welfare of veterans of the liberation struggle and their relationship with the ruling party were tabled comprehensively, responsibly and constructively in their inaugural historic meeting with their patron, President Mugabe.”

“Both the Politburo of Zanu-PF and Cabinet are now seized with the resolutions of this epic meeting, as contained in the report that was released by the Ministry on May 9, 2016, with a view to addressing as many of the issues raised as practically possible by April 2017 when the next in this series of now annual meetings is due to be held. It follows that any agitation or activism outside this very constructive process in the manner of this purported communiqué would therefore, be misguided, treacherous and outright counterproductive.”

The War Veterans Minister Colonel (Retired) Tshinga Dube weighed in saying war veterans should engage their patron President Mugabe for a redress of any grievances rather than taking a confrontational approach.

He said a militant approach being exhibited by some freedom fighters’ leaders was a disservice to the war veterans and their association.

It is widely believed that the statement was authored by Mr Mutsvangwa.

“I want to know what this means and I will engage the war veterans to reason together,” he said.

“As long as they say they are Zanu-PF, we say if they have any grievances they must come through the right channels.”

Asked on how his ministry was working with a deposed Mutsvangwa, Rtd Col Dube said: “As far as we are concerned we are working on the welfare of the war veterans. Even if he is expelled from the party as long as he is a war veteran it is his constitutional right that we should look after his welfare. It does not mean that if you have been expelled from the party now we cannot execute your welfare rights. We have not been given a right to stop looking at them as war veterans.”

He said it was up to the association not his ministry to call for a congress to elect a new leadership for the war veterans.

“You see, this is an association and it is up to them to see what has happened since their chairperson was expelled from the party,” Rtd Col Dube said.

“This is not the first time. Jabulani Sibanda was expelled and they decided that they call for a congress to choose another one. It is up to them and you cannot ask the ministry to do that for them.”

Observers believe that after the expulsion of Mr Mutsvangwa, the most logical thing for ZNLWVA to do was to go back to its membership and request for a renewed membership or reconfirmation of the executive.

Mugabe’s troubles mount

Source: Mugabe’s troubles mount – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2016

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF was left groping for answers after war veterans on Thursday dropped a bombshell and demanded that the veteran ruler leaves office for the good of the country.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Senior leaders in the former guerilla movement yesterday remained tight-lipped unsure of how to react to one of the most dramatic events since Mugabe assumed power 36 years ago, following the first all-race elections in March 1980.

With Mugabe having already been declared as the Zanu PF candidate in the 2018 elections, the ex-combatants also withdrew their support for Mugabe accusing him of dictatorship, running the economy aground and nepotism, among other misdemeanours.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo was not immediately available, while party political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere refused to comment what could turn out to be a political hot-potato for the ruling party.

“I have not heard anything about that issue. In any case, ask (Defence minister Sydney) Sekeramayi, he is the leader of war veterans,” Kasukuwere said, apparently treading carefully on an issue that even the State media steered clear of.

Sekeramayi, who is the secretary for war veterans in the Zanu PF politburo, was not available for comment.

Youth league deputy secretary Kudzai Chipanga also refused to comment and claimed he was yet to hear anything regarding the war veterans’ bombshell.

“I am yet to hear anything about that. Let me find out, then I will call you,” he said.

Chipanga has previously clashed with the former fighters daring them to a physical fight and apparently got support from Mugabe himself.

During celebrations to mark Mugabe’s 92nd birthday in Masvingo, the President praised Chipanga for his work in the party days after his foul-mouthed rant at the ex-fighters.

Secretary for the War Veterans ministry Walter Asher Tapfumaneyi could also not be drawn into commenting on the matter.

“My mandate is technical. I would rather you get in touch with the minister (Tshinga Dube). I cannot comment on political matters,” Tapfumaneyi said.

Dube was not available for comment with his mobile phone unreachable all day.

But, political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya described the declaration by the war veterans as a historical epoch for Zimbabwe.

“The war veterans are attempting a Second Mgagao,” Ruhanya said, referring to a wartime document that catapulted Mugabe to the helm of the then nationalist movement penned in Tanzania.

“However, Mugabe controls the coercive arms of the State and the military is now caught between. If they support the war veterans, it will be nothing short of a mutiny against Mugabe. The party-State conflation also favours Mugabe rather than the war veterans.”

Another political commentator, Austin Chakaodza, said the communiqué by the war veterans was further cementing that Mugabe’s power was ebbing away.

With Mugabe having early this year indicated he would resign if Zimbabweans asked him to, Chakaodza said it was time he listened, but was unlikely to do so.

“It was a telling indication of how sections of society, very large sections, are now fed up with Mugabe and ready to tell him to leave office. It is a milestone given the relationship Mugabe has had with war veterans and how they have helped him retain power over the years,” Chakaodza said.

“However, it is important to note that the security services are the ones that persuaded Mugabe to stay in power following his loss in 2008, heads of these groups could do the country a favour by telling him it’s time up.”

Chamisa takes MDC-T VP post full-time

Source: Chamisa takes MDC-T VP post full-time – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2016

NEWLY-appointed MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa will take the position on a full-time basis as the main opposition party moves to reposition itself ahead of the watershed 2018 elections.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Speaking for the first time after his appointment by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week, Chamisa told hundreds of opposition party members that he would hang his court gown and take his new post on a full-time basis.

“I humbly accept the trust put in me by my president. I will hang my job as a lawyer and go to the ground so that together we can work to bring the party back to its 1999 levels,” he said during a meeting with MDC-T Harare provincial structures on Thursday night.

Chamisa said the role of the three VPs, including Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri, was to ensure Tsvangirai wins the 2018 elections by mobilising the masses in the rural areas.

He urged party supporters to ignore the High Court application challenging the new appointments.

“It is a shame that there are people who have taken the party to court. What I can tell you as a legal expert is that courts don’t solve political issues. There are structures in the party that are capable of dealing with these issues, so as the grassroots worry not about that application,” Chamisa said.

“There is no power in the MDC-T. Power is with Zanu PF and our concern is to get that power so that we can effect positive change for the people of Zimbabwe, so don’t worry about positions within MDC-T, but the vision.”

Mudzuri also said he would not fail the trust Tsvangirai had shown by appointing him one of his deputies.

“Our president was clear that he is unwell. We are here to do his work and ensure the party wins elections in 2018,” he said.

Deputy party organising secretary Amos Chibaya said Khupe represented the “mothers”, Mudzuri the “daddies” and Chamisa the “children” in the party to complete the acronym of the party MDC-T.

Kereke appeals sentence

Source: Kereke appeals sentence – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2016

Former Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke (Zanu PF) has approached the High Court challenging his conviction and 14-year-jail term for raping his then 11-year-old niece.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

In challenging the conviction, Kereke’s lawyers, led by Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, proposed that if the application fails, the former MP should be sentenced to 24 months of which 16 months is suspended for four years on condition of good behaviour and eight months’ imprisonment without an option of a fine.

Hashiti argued the court only relied on the evidence and conclusions that the two-month delay in making a police report was justifiable and did not detract from the credibility of the complainant.

He further said the court did not consider the inconsistencies in the complainant’s testimony and that evidence could not be faltered on her since she was 11 years old.

Advocate Hashiti said presiding magistrate Noel Mupeiwa misdirected himself in convicting Kereke as the ex-MP did not have sexual intercourse with the complainant and no evidence to support such propositions beyond reasonable doubt was led.

He said the medical affidavit produced as evidence did not directly or indirectly suggest that Kereke had been involved in any way in the commission of the offence.

Hashiti argued that the magistrate erred in disregarding the direct evidence to the effect that the examining doctor was neither on duty nor available on the day in question
He further said Parirenyatwa Hospital failed to produce a duplicate or original of the medical affidavit or any other evidence proving the document was done at health institution.

Hashiti said the magistrate misdirected in sentencing Kereke to 14 years as such sentence was manifestly excessive on an allegation of a single count and a single occurrence of rape.

Hashiti proposed that Kereke, who was given a 10-year effective jail sentence, should be sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment of which 16 months is suspended for four years on condition of good behaviour and eight months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine.

According to the State, on August 22 in 2010, the young girl was asked to babysit by Kereke’s wife. She went to her aunt’s bedroom where the baby was and Kereke followed her.
When the baby fell asleep, the girl sat on the couch in the bedroom and Kereke allegedly started fondling her.

It was further said Kereke pulled a gun and threatened to shoot her if she did not comply with his orders.
He then raped her once.

Mugabe, go hang if you feel insulted: Lumumba

Source: Mugabe, go hang if you feel insulted: Lumumba – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2016

FORMER Zanu PF activist William Gerald Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba, yesterday shocked the court when he repeatedly dropped the “F” word while trying to demonstrate that he did not insult President Robert Mugabe using the term.

BY MARY TARUVINGA

He repeated the word before regional magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe as he was being led by his lawyer Ashiel Mugiya, while supporting the application for the referral of his case to the Constitutional Court.

Lumumba said he indeed uttered the “F” word at Mugabe, but only as an expression.

He said Mugabe should “go hang” if he felt insulted by the word.

“Yes, I said f*** you to the President. Mugabe is a leader of a political party and I’m also a political party leader. Automatically, we will exchange political differences and expressions as leaders. I think he understands it is political, he expresses himself, I do the same,” Lumumba said.

Mugiya further asked Lumumba what he meant when you said “F. . . you Mugabe”.

“That was an expression of how I feel. I can give you an example: I can say this court is fucking awesome, and it’s an expression. I can say I’m fucking tired, still it’s an expression. My utterance was an expression of displeasure over how Mugabe has handled this country for the past six years – his inability to create jobs, his inability to keep his promise of the manifesto – the economic blueprint, ZimAsset,” Lumumba said.

“If calling him out is an insult, I then believe the President has been fucking us for the past 36 years, so fuck you back, this is just an expression.”

He added: “The President also expresses himself. Recently at the National Heroes’ Acre, he expressed himself over political opponents and activists. He said those who were not happy should go where they were happy, and now that is an insult, not fuck you.”

Lumumba told the court that he had the right to tell Mugabe how he felt as he was also a political leader. He then challenged Mugabe to appear in court personally and complain if he felt insulted.

“I believe the case has no merit. Mugabe’s job is to be answerable to me, and now I’m being charged for challenging him to do his constitutional job,” he said. “If he feels that I insulted him, he should come and tell this court himself and not send other people.”

Lumumba, who is out on bail, was arrested nearly three weeks ago after he dropped the “F” word on Mugabe while announcing the formation of his political party, Viva Zimbabwe.
Prosecutor George Manokore and Lionella Chitanda will respond to his ConCourt application on Tuesday.

Zanu PF moves to disrupt Mujuru rally

Source: Zanu PF moves to disrupt Mujuru rally – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2016

SCORES of Zanu PF youths yesterday spent most of the day toyi-toying in Marondera before assembling close to Rudhaka Stadium, where Joice Mujuru’s ZimPF will be holding its star rally today.

ZimPF officials said the move by the youths was meant to intimidate people from attending the rally in a province she reportedly commands a huge following. The youths marched at a time ZimPF officials were settıng up the stage for the event.

ZımPF Mashonaland East ınterim spokesperson Setfree Mafukidze said the opposition party would not be intimidated despite the threats of violence by Zanu PF youths.

“Zanu PF youths came into Rudhaka Stadium where our logistics team was setting up for tomorrow’s (today) rally. They drove into the groundin an unmarked Isuzu truck, chanting Zanu-PF slogans and singing,” Mafukidze said.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

Zanu PF supporters clash over stands

Source: Zanu PF supporters clash over stands – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2016

BLOODY clashes have rocked Caledonia Farm after Zanu PF supporters allegedly invaded the informal settlement in an attempt to elbow out old settlers.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

The invasion came after Udcorp moved in to service the settlement.

Tongoville Housing Co-operative chairman Mike Jiri said the new settlers were not welcome to take over the stands that have been allocated to youths from the area.

“Our youths have resisted the coming-in of people from Harare ward 46 to take over their stands here in Goromonzi. We understand Udcorp, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Harare East MP Terrence Mukupe are encouraging the new invaders to come here,” Jiri alleged.

“The youths successfully repelled the invaders who had to retreat and sought refuge at Caledonia Police Post.”

When the NewsDay crew arrived at the scene, it saw several families at the police post with their belongings in heaps all over the place.

Mukupe confirmed that the people attacked were from his constituency.

“It’s true that they are from my constituency, but they were being lawfully resettled by officials from the Local Government ministry after I made an appeal to the minister (Kasukuwere) about the people who had been dumped on the roadside after eviction from Agriculture deputy minister Paddy Zhanda’s farm,” Mukupe said.

Kasukuwere was not immediately available for comment as he was said to be addressing a rally in Mabvuku.

The officer-in-charge at Caledonia refused to identify himself or comment about the violence that was rocking the settlement.

“You can get a comment from the Officer Commanding Suburban. I have briefed him about everything,” he said as he showed the news crew out of the office.

By the time NewsDay left the police post, the new settlers were being accompanied by armed riot police to occupy the stands under dispute.

Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was not aware of the violence and would be seeking information from the station concerned.

Finally, war vets have woken up

Source: Finally, war vets have woken up – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2016

That the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), for long the vanguard of President Robert Mugabe’s rule, have finally seen the light and decided to withdraw their support from the man they had hero-worshipped for decades is a rare feat which should spur like-minded Zimbabweans to coalesce to stop the country from gravitating towards the economic cesspit.

NEWSDAY WEEKENDER

The ZNLWVA’s bravery should be applauded as it is an historic feat in the history of independent Zimbabwe given the former freedom fighters have always been Mugabe’s power base.
What makes the ex-fighters’ declaration a most welcome development is the fact that this came when Mugabe regime’s response to the citizens’ legitimate concerns was dismissive. Yet, these concerns cannot be wished away like that, hence Mugabe must deal with them as a matter of urgency.

From a different perspective one gets the déjà vu feeling that the ex-fighters’ decision came rather too late, when extensive damage has already been done. If looked from another angle it could also be a case of sour grapes.

But, that the war veterans have for long been Mugabe’s foot soldiers should not be a factor here. It is better late than never, they say. Anything that can hasten the demise of the corruption-riddled Zanu PF regime or at the least reform it is most welcome. All this will, however, require a united opposition that is in touch with reality to take advantage and finish off this oppressive rule.

Yes, citizens will not forget easily that war veterans used to prop up Mugabe harassing and beating up people for simply making a political choice they did not agree with. Their folly was believing in their invincibility as war veterans and Mugabe knows they are now a spent force, hence has turned to party women and youths to entrench his grip on power at the next elections.

It is ironic how the war veterans on Thursday spoke of how Mugabe has abandoned the masses, but if the truth be told, all this happened over a long period of time before their very eyes and with their support because they still had access to the crumbs that fell from the high table.

They should have registered their concerns a long time ago when opposition party supporters were being bludgeoned left, right and centre. Yet they opted for silence because they were part of those perpetrating the evil deeds on the President’s behalf.

We knew that one day our ageing ex-fighters would come back to their senses. When ZNLWVA leader Chris Mutsvangwa pushed others out of Zanu PF, we also knew he was simply moving in circles and that the same party would hound him out. We believe Mutsvangwa and many of his colleagues in his league have now learnt their lessons, and the best they thought could do is to turn back to the masses for support.

So, war veterans cannot expect citizens to forget that so quickly, for they knew back then that Mugabe was a security risk driving away potential investment in Zimbabwe.
Is it not strange enough that today they are condemning the Kudzi Chipanga-led million-man march as “ideologically bankrupt [move] organised in honour of a bankrupt leadership” when they were the initiators of such crazy ideas?

Were they not the pioneers of the million-man-march organised by ex-leader Jabulani Sibanda a few years ago to keep the “dictatorial” Mugabe in power? Surely, they can’t call on Mugabe to resign now when they are the ones who were singing he should rule forever, only recently.

Nonetheless, their pronouncement is music to the ear. They have been implicated in dastardly acts supporting Mugabe before.

We however urge citizens to welcome and embrace the ex-fighters for turning against this narcissist who has treated Zimbabweans like foreigners. Pro-democracy movements should celebrate that a key pillar of Mugabe’s regime has dumped him. Zimbabweans have seen enough pain and suffering. The nation should turn a corner and regain its lost pride.

Arrested Zinara officials close to Mphoko, Grace

Source: Arrested Zinara officials close to Mphoko, Grace – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

THE Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) officials, acting chief executive officer Engineer Moses Juma and non-executive director Davison Norupiri, who were unprocedurally released from police custody last week by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko after being arrested for allegedly defrauding the parastatal of US$1,3 million are close associates of the vice-president and First Lady Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Elias Mambo/Herbert Moyo

Mphoko, who was acting President at the time, drove to Avondale Police Station in Harare on Wednesday evening and personally secured the release of the incarcerated duo on the grounds that they were his “boys”.

Government and police sources said Mphoko was so angry when he arrived at the police station that he took off his jacket and threatened to assault police officers after they refused to release the duo.

The Independent has gathered information that Juma and Norupira have been financing Grace and Mphoko’s political activities using Zinara funds.

Norupira, who is also Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) chairperson, is said to have played a key role in ensuring that Grace officiates at ZNCC’s national dinner and business awards in Victoria Falls three weeks ago.

Grace was the guest of honour at the event held under the theme Economic Transformation in a New Normal Economy, New Challenges, New Ideas.

Zinara and Juma in particular have been instrumental in sourcing goods, which the vice-president subsequently donated to various constituencies in Bulawayo and the Matabeleland provinces in a move aimed at propelling his political image.

Mphoko has been using donations reportedly in a quest to build his political profile and national social base after being appointed to the position almost out of the blue by President Robert Mugabe ahead of more experienced and well-known officials.

In May, Juma accompanied Mphoko and Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo to the vice-president’s former school Mzilikazi Primary School in Bulawayo where he donated computers sourced by Zinara.

“I went out and sourced the computers which I was given by Zinara. The acting chief executive officer, Moses Juma, is here today to witness that I don’t divert the gadgets,” Mphoko revealed.

Two weeks later, Grace and Mphoko teamed up to hand over 30 000 bricks and 300 bags of cement to Mpopoma High School, also in Bulawayo, for the construction of an Advanced Level classroom block.

The consignment was sourced by Zinara and at the handover ceremony, Mphoko openly commended the parastatal for assisting Grace with the donation.

“I want to thank the First Lady for taking note of the request by Mpopoma High School. I also want to thank Zinara for assisting the First Lady in fulfilling the wish of the school to commence their construction projects,” said Mphoko at the function tattended by several ministers, deputy ministers, senior government officials, legislators and senior Zinara executives.

Government officials also said Zinara has in the past provided large quantities of fuel to Grace and Mphoko for various meetings held countrywide.

Tomana seeks bail refund

Source: Tomana seeks bail refund – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016

SUSPENDED Prosecutor-General (PG), Johannes Tomana has approached the High Court seeking a refund of the bail money and the surety he surrendered at the Harare Magistrates’ Court after being remanded on five fresh counts of criminal abuse of office or alternatively defeating the course of justice.

BY CHARLES LAITON

The matter is set to be heard today by High Court judge, Justice Samuel Kudya.

Two weeks ago, provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe, ordered that the suspended PG deposit $2 000 bail, surrender $250 000 surety and his passport, coupled with stringent reporting conditions.

Tomana, through his lawyer Tazorora Musarurwa, challenged Mahwe’s decision, arguing he already was on bail on a similar charge and, therefore, could not have been ordered to deposit bail, which the State had not requested.

Tomana also urged the High Court to censure Mahwe, for allegedly adopting an irregular procedure “at such a time when all efforts are being made in improving the quality of justice in this country”.

Sometime in February, Tomana appeared at the same court facing similar charges and was released on $1 000 bail coupled with other stringent conditions.

“Applicant (Tomana) was, therefore, already on remand and his conditions of remand could not be changed by the fact that certain counts had been added. The State and the appellant’s legal practitioner were ad idem on this point,” Tazorora said.

“Appellant’s legal practitioner informed the court he had no submissions to make if the court was agreeable to the position of the State . . . after about 10 minutes, the magistrate returned and he announced that he did not agree with the concession made by the State. He immediately proceeded to place appellant on bail.”

Tomana said the magistrate erred in proceeding to make a ruling without the benefit of any submission from his council in clear violation of basic rules of natural justice, adding the manner with which the proceedings were conducted “were grossly irregular and demand that the entire proceedings be set aside”
.
“There is no other way this honourable court can remedy such gross irregularities other than setting aside the bail proceedings, returning the money paid and security lodged and cancelling all conditions. There is nothing wrong in censuring the magistrate, as such blatant irregularities cannot be allowed to exist at such a time when all efforts are being made in improving the quality of justice in this country,” the PG said.

The State had not filed its response yesterday.

Money alone is not enough

Source: Money alone is not enough – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

ZIMBABWE’S desperate attempts to settle US$1,8 billion to multilateral creditors — supposed to have been cleared by last month — to break its debt vicious cycle and secure US$2 billion in new funding to rescue a crumbling economy ravaged by company closures, job losses and a cash crisis must be commended.

Comment

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya have been frantically travelling around the World – from Lima to Lusaka, Paris, London and Kigali — trying to garner support for their plan. Since they presented their strategy to multilateral and bilateral creditors in Lima, Peru, on October 8 last year, the two have been pulling out all the stops to make it work.

Currently saddled with a debt overhang of US$10,8 billion, the country’s debt arrears amount to US$5,6 billion split between multilateral creditors (US$2,2 billion), the Paris Club (US$2,7 billion) and non-Paris Club creditors (US$700 million). It has arrears estimated at US$1,8 billion with its three preferred creditors, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB).

Under the repayment strategy, the country will secure US$819 million bridge finance from the Afreximbank to repay arrears to the AfDB (US$585 million); African Development Fund of the AfDB (US$16 million) and US$218 million to International Development Association, a World Bank fund for poor countries. To get new funding from the AfDB, Zimbabwe — classified as one of the vulnerable economies on the continent together with Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea — needs to clear its arrears first before the end of 2016 when the funds are still available. It will also need US$896 million to repay arrears to a World Bank associate, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and US$110 million to the IMF.

After paying off the US$1,8 billion to multilateral creditors, Zimbabwe will then approach the Paris Club — which it owes about US$6 billion — seeking either debt forgiveness or cancellation of penalties accrued on arrears.

Arrears contribute about US$1 billion. Arrears to non-Paris Club creditors amount to US$476 million.

Chinamasa has been going around with a begging bowl, declaring in Paris recently that “we have nothing”. He said in Kigali his plan is on course. This is encouraging.

However, it must be understood that even if Zimbabwe gets the money, its problems won’t go away. You can’t fix the current crisis by throwing money at it. It’s too deep and complex for that. The facts are clear. Zimbabwe’s economic difficulties are deepening. Production and trade are severely constrained by tight liquidity conditions resulting from limited external inflows and lower commodity prices on global markets. This is worsened by the El Nino-induced drought.

Inflation remains in negative territory as United States dollar — the country’s main currency — rallies. Massive company closures, job losses, poverty and suffering are worsening. Zimbabwe remains in debt distress and its international reserves are precariously low.

While money will help the situation, that alone is not enough. Unless the country bites the bullet of political and economic reform, the crisis will continue.

Pension funds abuse clients’ contributions

Source: Pension funds abuse clients’ contributions – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

Top executives at in-house pension funds for the local authorities, mining, motor, local authorities and catering industries have been abusing funds for the purchase of information technology (IT) systems meant to improve internal management, prejudicing thousands of pensioners in the process, Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Hazel Ndebele

Documents prepared by Comarton Consultants Pvt Ltd, a registered fund administrator with the Insurance and Pensions Commission of Zimbabwe, show that the Local Authorities Pension Fund (LAPF), which has been struggling to pay out pensions, appointed a South African vendor to provide the IT system without going to tender.

LAPF, according to its website, has 11 689 pensioners and 20 363 contributor members. It administers pension funds for municipalities, rural district councils and town councils.

“LAPF did not go to tender two-and-a-half years ago, but merely did casual enquiries to the local vendors and then went on to appoint a South African vendor who has failed to deliver and the fund is now threatening court action,” reads the document dated August 4 2015.

Comarton group managing director Richard Muirimi said in the document that LAPF is fleecing the country of the much-needed foreign currency that it does not have and yet boosting the South African trade balance.

“One of the more important problems is that of national security, all these SA systems are backed up in a cloud over the USA meaning that the country’s data and earnings in each of these industries is at real risk of being read,” reads the document.

“Whoever is appointed locally ensures we do not export the currency and that it circulates within. I am suggesting for the reason outlined that as far as possible local vendors be appointed to benefit the country, reduce cash outflow, reduce corruption, improve our security and improve local development capacity.”

According to the document, Heritage Insurance Company lost US$500 000 after paying for an Indian developed system which was never commissioned. The vendor was in the country for two months in a bid to implement the system and the insurance company catered for hotel bills during the stay which never materialised as the job was not done.

“The vendor requested to go back home (India) for some urgent matter and they cannot trace him but national resources have been taken out,” the document says.

One of the country’s worst performing funds according to Comarton, the Catering Industry Pension Fund, also did not go to tender for its IT system but appointed a South African based vendor, which has failed IT systems in the country.

The document states that the managers misuse funds for their self-enrichment.

“What we are seeing is that the catering industry management tends to be happy with these structures as they take money out and have their own individual accounts credited,” it says.

At the Mining Industry and Construction Industry Pension Funds, local vendors for IT systems are being systematically pushed aside to cater for foreign owned companies.

War vets dump ‘genocidal’ Mugabe

Source: War vets dump ‘genocidal’ Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016

War veterans yesterday broke ranks and said they were withdrawing their support for President Robert Mugabe, accusing the veteran leader of “declaring war” on them.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

In a hard-hitting and emotionally-charged communiqué at the end of a meeting laden with high drama, the ex-combatants described Mugabe as manipulative and the greatest beneficiary of the country’s war efforts against racial discrimination and segregation.

The war veterans said Mugabe, who promised 2,2 million jobs in the run-up to the 2013 general elections, had failed to use his mandate.

“We note with concern, shock and dismay the systematic entrenchment of dictatorial tendencies, personified by the President and his cohorts, which have slowly devoured the values of the liberation struggle in utter disregard of the Constitution, as demonstrated by (among other things) the deliberate neglect and abandonment by the party president of the masses, who are the foundation upon which the liberation war was fought and won,” the war veterans said.

They said they would not support Mugabe in 2018 and declared that their beleaguered chairman, Christopher Mutsvangwa, would remain their leader despite being fired from Cabinet, the ruling party and Parliament.

Addressing a meeting of the former freedom fighters, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association national political commissar Francis Nhando called on Mugabe to resign, describing him as a hard sell.

“We are saying this country will only go up when Mugabe steps aside because his management is no longer respected by anyone, including his own ministers,” Nhando said.

“If he announces his retirement date, the economy will improve because there is nobody who will invest his money where the future is uncertain. Nobody will lend money to a 92-year-old and if he does not step aside, 2018 will be the most difficult year to campaign for us as war veterans.

“How do you campaign for someone you do not like and who does not like you, either? The relationship between us as war veterans and the President has broken down, he and the party don’t like us anymore.”

The former fighters described the recent Zanu PF million-man march as “ideologically bankrupt [move] organised in honour of a bankrupt leadership” and scoffed at the continued internal purges in the former liberation movement.

“When Mr Robert Mugabe arrived in Mozambique, he walked in to join those of us who were already armed and prosecuting the war as political soldiers. He was not the president of the party, but we made him so, thinking he was one of us,” the statement read.

Click here to download the full war veterans’ statement

“This depicts the President’s lifetime character of always manipulating situations and alienating others from vantage positions for his personal interests.”

For the first time, the former freedom fighters openly accused Mugabe of eliminating his opponents during the bush war and creating factions for his own ends.

“The President’s systematic elimination of those in the struggle’s leadership and his continued outfoxing of colleagues in leadership after independence up to this day is unmistakable. The current situation, whereby the party is fragmented with formations and so-called factions, is clearly the President’s project again to outfox his peers in leadership,” the ex-fighters said.

Mugabe, the war veterans said, had “always survived on divide-and-rule tactics in order to protect his party presidential position each time he has felt threatened”.

They said the 92-year-old leader was behind the creation of the Gamatox faction that precipitated former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s demise along with other party stalwarts.

“Typical of the President, he has mobilised those of his Gamatox nemesis to boost his G40 project, rewarding them with all sorts of gifts, including ministerial posts, despite the charges originally made against them like treason,” the communiqué added.

They said Zanu PF should credit them for its rural strength “yet the President thinks we have no right to challenge his bigoted political views”.

“His persecution, decimation and expulsion of war veterans from the party under his watch is legendary. From the days of the liberation struggle, history records that his egocentric approach to party and national politics has led to the demise of many a party member on flimsy grounds. We say not anymore. Never shall we allow him such free rein,” the belligerent statement continued.

And the emotive Gukurahundi episode came for special mention.
“Labelling of peaceful war veterans as dissidents induces in us a sense of shock, dismay and revulsion in light of the history of the 1980s. It will be recalled that our fellow war veterans and masses in the western regions suffered brutal purges, which only the Unity Accord pacified,” the war veterans said.

“Particularly worrisome in this context is the fact that while the man has dismissed the sad period as a ‘moment of madness’, such language belies his insincerity in the Unity Accord.

“He (Mugabe) should be extending honestly remorseful regret over this foul deed, yet he appears to extol this as some macabre virtue. His continued resort to genocidal language should worry every right-thinking citizen as to his true nature. This is unacceptable to the memories of those who perished during this time.”

The former freedom fighters condemned Mugabe’s continued abuse of State power.

“We, therefore, abhor instances where instruments of State power have been used to brutalise private citizens who share our desire to exercise our constitutionally entrenched rights and freedoms.

“We categorically reject the notion that those expressing views different to those that we hold are agents of foreign powers and, therefore, enemies of the State,” the war veterans said, adding such thinking “contemptuously implies that Zimbabweans lack capacity to rationalise issues, think through their problems and take decisive action”.

The former freedom fighters said Mugabe should be reminded that “respect must not be equated to fear”.

“We do not subscribe to the unbridled exercise of power without consultation, where threats of genocidal magnitude are made against us. He should be reminded that he remains the major beneficiary of the national war effort at every stage, including the Unity Accord,” they said.

Mugabe, the war veterans said, had used his privilege of leadership to build a patronage system around himself, “which has turned into a personality cult”, adding the veteran Zanu PF leader was now bent on turning the current generation against former freedom fighters.

The war veterans listed a litany of scandals including those at Zesa, Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara), Ziscosteel, NetOne and Zupco among many that indicated the failure of Mugabe’s leadership.

“The above instances demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that the party leader has absolutely no clue as to the difference between public funds earned from taxation of the people and private individual income,” the statement concluded.

Click here to download the full war veterans’ statement

‘Force, intimidation won’t stop us’

Source: ‘Force, intimidation won’t stop us’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016

OPPOSITION parties and activists yesterday condemned threats of violence on pro-democracy demonstrators by Zanu PF youths and urged police to be impartial and arrest all those inciting violence.

BY OBEY MANAYITI/REJOICE CHINGWARU

Zanu PF youth league political commissar, Innocent Hamandishe on Wednesday said the next time pro-democracy activists hold anti-President Robert Mugabe and government protests, ruling party activists would ask police to step aside to enable them to ruthlessly crush demonstrators.

The thousands of Zanu PF youths, who marched in Harare in an apparent show of strength to intimidate their rivals, sought to instil fear into pro-democracy activists, among them #ThisFlag campaigner, Evan Mawarire.

Police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba declined to comment on the threats saying she was not there when they were made.

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said police should take action against Zanu PF youths, who have on numerous occasions been accused of forming militias to brutalise opposition members.

“Zanu PF youth should be brought to order. They should be advised, in no uncertain terms, that they are not a law unto themselves. In fact, these Zanu PF hooligans and hoodlums should be promptly rounded up and arrested for threatening violence. They are criminals. We don’t fear them and they should know that the time of reckoning is nigh,” he said.
Zapu spokesperson, Mjobisa Noko accused Zanu PF of being disdainful.

“Let’s not forget that these thugs thrive on violence and blood sucking such as Gukurahundi, the 2008 killings, abductions and non-observance of the rule of law. However, Zimbabweans have come of age and shall not be intimidated anymore,” he said.

MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said no one had a mandate to block people’s constitutional rights.

“Unleashing the jobless youths on angry protesters will obviously trigger an endless holy war. The people shall stand in defence of their motherland that has been badly damaged by the Mugabe regime,” he said.

NCA said issues raised by the protestors also affected Zanu PF youths and it was illogical to attack people who were simply demanding a better life from their government.

Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe demanded an immediate resignation of Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, adding the threats confirm what they have always been saying that Zanu PF is a violent party.

Elwell Moyo, a member of Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association, said police should arrest the Zanu PF leaders.

“I think the Zanu PF leaders inciting violence must be arrested. We really are tired of Zanu PF’s failure and we cannot take this nonsense anymore,” he said.

Activist, Patson Dzamara said: “Nothing and no one shall cause us to cower from our quest for a better Zimbabwe. There is no one more Zimbabwean than another. Zanu PF youths are not lawmakers neither are they the law.

“We will not be moved. We will continue with our protests so that we can redeem our country from this leadership failure and we are ready for anything.”

National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairperson, Stern Zvorwadza said he would not back down from the fight for better lives for the people.

“We will remain resolute in our efforts to call the government to address issues affecting the people. No amount of force or intimidation can stop our noble cause and what astonishes me is that the Zanu PF youths want to stop us, but we are protesting for their future,” he told a Press conference yesterday.

MDC-T members sue Tsvangirai

Source: MDC-T members sue Tsvangirai – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016

TWO ordinary MDC-T members have taken their party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to court challenging his recent appointment of Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as co-vice-presidents.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The two, Patson Murimoga and George Rice, through their lawyers from Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, approached the High Court yesterday and sued Tsvangirai, Chamisa, Mudzuri, national chairman Lovemore Moyo and the party under case number 7453/16, claiming the appointments contravened the party’s constitution.

In their draft order, the activists want the appointments declared null and void.

Tsvangirai last week appointed Chamisa and Mudzuri as his deputies alongside Thokozani Khupe, saying they would help him execute his duties. The MDC-T leader claimed he arrived at the decision following wide consultations with the party’s national executive committee and national council.

Murimoga, a known Tsvangirai praise singer who has composed jingles used during election campaigns, said due process was not followed.

The two insisted that the party constitution stipulates that a deputy president can only be elected directly at congress after having been nominated by the provinces.

They argued that both the national council and the national standing committee were not elective forums, hence Chamisa and Mudzuri’s appointments were illegal.

“For 1st respondent (Tsvangirai) to violate the constitution of 5th respondent (MDC) he should be protecting, smacks of double standards in that he preaches and teaches what he does not practice,” the application read.

“The position and decision of the 1st respondent (Tsvangirai) of violating the 5th respondent’s (MDC) constitution portrays him as a person who cannot be trusted in handling and protecting the National Constitution where he would be wielding much State power.

“If the 1st respondent (Tsvangirai) can abuse a political party constitution, one shudders to imagine the extent to which he can go to abuse National Constitution if he is elected President of Zimbabwe.”

Murimoga served as campaign manager for the party’s secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora at the MDC-T 2014 congress, where Chamisa lost by a wide margin.

Civil servants July salaries delayed

Source: Civil servants July salaries delayed – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016

THE cash-strapped government has again been forced to defer payment of the July salaries to the rest of its employees, including teachers, pensioners and grant-aided workers, to next month.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The July 2016 civil servants’ salary schedule released by Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday indicates that members of the Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe will be paid on July 25, health sector July 27, police and prison services July 29, education August 2, rest of civil servants August 6, pensioners August 12, while grant-aided institutions would be paid last on August 16.

“Let me emphasise that government is currently facing cash flow challenges, but it is committed to meeting its obligation of paying civil servants on time,” Mupfumira said in a letter addressed to Apex Council.

“I think you can agree with me that this time there is a significant improvement in pay dates from the previous month. It is our hope, as government, that as revenue collection improves, we will revert to our traditional pay dates where civil servants would receive their salaries within the month worked.”

Civil servants last month staged a one-day work stoppage following a salary delay.

Mupfumira warned punitive measures would be taken on those who decide to take such actions in future.

“Government will not apply the ‘no-work no-pay principle’, but I would like to warn you that in future such actions will not be tolerated and government will not hesitate to apply the laws. Cabinet has already approved this position,” she said.

13 more women arrive from Kuwait

Source: 13 more women arrive from Kuwait – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016

THIRTEEN more women who were trafficked to Kuwait arrived in Harare yesterday, bringing to 102 the number of victims so far rescued from slavery in the Gulf country.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairman Kindness Paradza confirmed the arrival of the women. He urged the government to immediately set up a committee to go and work with Kuwaiti officials on the repatriation of more women who were still stranded in that country.

“We have received 13 more women from Kuwait today (Thursday), but we are disturbed that they say more women are still in Kuwait and also in Saudi Arabia who need to come back home,” Paradza said.

The women were reportedly facing communication problems as they did not have phones or access to the Internet to get in touch with the embassy in Kuwait.

“What is important now is for the government to send a team there to work with Kuwait authorities to find all the outstanding women who need to come back. This should be done as soon as possible so that we conclude this matter,” Paradza said.

He said the committee would meet with all the rescued women on Tuesday next week to review their rehabilitation in partnership with non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies.

Over 200 women were reportedly trafficked to Kuwait after they were offered lucrative jobs only to end up as sex slaves.

Time to reclaim national symbols

One of the most tragic flaws of Zimbabwe’s opposition movement is that they have allowed Zanu PF to claim and solely own all national institutions and symbols right from the struggle for independence to the national anthem.

Source: Time to reclaim national symbols – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016

With that Zanu PF are allowed to posture as the only truly Zimbabwean political party, who can protect independence and the country from neo-colonialism, when the opposite is true.

While Zanu PF has had a monopoly on all such institutions, the opposition has inexplicably tried to disassociate itself from occasions like Heroes Day or Independence Day, giving sway to the ruling party’s claims that they are foreign-funded and do not associate themselves with the country’s heritage.

It is, thus, heart-warming to see cleric, Evan Mawarire using the national flag as the symbol for his campaign and for the first time, Zanu PF is clueless on how to deal with someone who is opposing them but remains fiercely patriotic.

Because of Mawarire’s campaign, Zanu PF suddenly has no idea how to craft its message and bizarrely banned legislators from draping the flag in Parliament on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe should be the first country in the world, where displaying the flag is met with scorn and can lead to legislators being dragged out of Parliament as happened on Wednesday.

With the same logic, it is only a matter of time before the national anthem is also banned from Parliament, because it carries the same weight as the flag.

Now is the time legislators and activists appropriated all national symbols and use them in the campaign against Zanu PF and its narrow and simplistic definition of patriotism.

Zanu PF should not have a monopoly over the struggle for independence and nationalism and they should not be allowed to define the parameters of nationalism.

King Lobengula, Sekuru Kaguvi and Mbuya Nehanda all fought against white settlers, but they were never part of Zanu PF, yet they are the symbols of early resistance against colonialism.

Therefore, what is stopping the opposition from appropriating these symbols and campaigning fiercely on these platforms?

The late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo — although he later belonged to Zanu PF — is on record lambasting the party for its excesses in the 1980s and there is certainly no harm, but more mileage for the opposition if they could use the statements in showing how bad governance in this country is.

It is now time for recuperation by the opposition, where they should adopt symbols that seemed to represent their Achilles heel and use them as a weapon.

Opposition parties have long argued that Zanu PF has abandoned the ideals of the liberation struggle and nothing can illustrate this by evoking the spirits of Lobengula, Nehanda, Kaguvi, Nkomo and Josiah Tongogara, among others.

If Wednesday’s ejection of legislators from the National Assembly is anything to go by, then Zanu PF has no clue how to deal with people that appropriate such symbols and that is their major weakness.

Opposition parties push for reforms

Source: Opposition parties push for reforms – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

ZIMBABWE’S opposition parties are discussing ways to ensure electoral reforms are introduced and that there is an even playing field ahead of the 2018 general elections by which time they hope to have formed a grand coalition to dislodge President Robert Mugabe from power, the Zimbabwe Independent has leant.

Wongai Zhangazha

Several officials in opposition politics said there were also plans to rope in civil society in its efforts to push for electoral reforms. They will also support and help to organise protests and stay-aways.

The coalition talks come at time Mugabe is struggling to control internal fights in Zanu PF. Mugabe’s cash-strapped government is also struggling to pay civil servants while desperately trying to contain rising protests sparked by the deteriorating economic conditions.

Parties in the talks include MDC-T, Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), Zapu and People Democratic Party (PDP).

Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa said the meetings were centred around ensuring that Zimbabwe has an environment conducive for holding free and fair elections.

He said coalition talks would be held at a later stage.

“What is important is to have a united front whose aim is to tackle a number of issues, for example electoral reforms. Tackling these issues needs the involvement of civil society and all stakeholders,” Dabengwa said.

“Once you do that you work together over a number of issues and at the end of the day you will be able to find each other. We are doing it to create a platform for free and fair elections. So you work towards those goals and when we draw towards the elections that is when we can discuss about a coalition. We have been meeting to discuss these issues and we have not yet reached a consensus but the meetings are ongoing.”

ZimPF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the meetings were focused around ensuring that the next elections are held in a conducive environment.

“Discussions with other political parties are taking place in the interest of Zimbabwe. We don’t believe in working in isolation, we believe that as opposition parties we must get together one way or the other without interfering with each party’s ideology, objectives, structures and programmes. No, we don’t want things that are controversial where people end up fighting for leadership,” he said. “All we want now is for political parties and civil society movements to come together and form a minimum platform with benchmarks. Come together to form a united front, where we support each other for example in stay-aways and demonstrations, fighting for our rights as people of Zimbabwe.”

Last month ZimPF leader Joice Mujuru, MDC proportional representation MP for Matabeleland South Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe and the party’s secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora met in South Africa to explore the possibility of forming a coalition.

First Element offers govt some sweetner

Source: First Element offers govt some sweetner – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

GOVERNMENT’S partner at the Zimbabwe Diamond Tender Facility (ZDTF), First Element Diamond Services (First Element), has offered to hand over for free its deep boiling plant to the ministry of mines free of charge amid growing scrutiny into the company’s operations in the country.

Taurai Mangudhla

Insider’s view the move to relinquish the facility, previously valued at US$1 million, as a desperate attempt by First Element to offer a sweetener and thaw relations with government while silencing criticism on the company’s alleged conflict of interest and other irregularities. The value of the facility has come down to US$500 000. First Element is also a major diamond buyer and is involved in cutting and polishing of the precious stones.

Documents seen by the businessdigest show First Element offered to sell the deep boiling plant, located at the ZDTF on the first floor of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), to the government minerals marketing aim for US$500 000 early 2015.

In a letter to Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa and his permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga, First Element said MMCZ failed to take the offer due to lack of funds, prompting First Element to review the terms to a build-own-transfer (BOT) deal.

Under the BOT deal, First Element would finance the whole project, commission the laboratory and transfer ownership to government upon full payment for the cleaning facility. This has failed to take off as government could not pay for the plant since it was commissioned in July 2015.

The offer was reviewed to a point where First Element settled for a minimum capital recoupment of US$365 596,82.

In March 2016, First Element’s only competitor in the diamond cleaning business in the country, Kenako Diamonds, offered to buy the facility for US$350 000, structured with a down payment of US$50 000 and thereafter the balance at US$50 000 per month for six months, but First Element valued the facility and its intellectual property at US$500 000.

First Element, according to the letters, suggested that Kenako look at a part payment structure in which US$250 000 would be paid in cash for 50% shares after which the balance would be paid under flexible terms.

Kenako is understood to have expressed reservations on the proposal, prompting negotiations with authorities which were held late May. These negotiations are yet to bear fruit.

Currently, First Element maintains it stands guided by Chidhakwa and his permanent secretary’s decision.

A source close to the developments said MMCZ deputy general manager Richard Chingodza was suspended twice by Gudyanga for not being amenable to a number of issues, including the purchase of First Element’s boiling plant. Chingodza earlier this week said First Element claims to have incurred a cost of US$400 000 to set up the plant, adding MMCZ incurred huge loses in the diamond tenders run by First Element.

First element country director Tim Wilkes said his company was instructed by the Mines ministry to build the Deep Boiling facility.
He said the facility had cost his company US$373 000 to set up.

“It is not possible to compare the cost of the two cleaning facilities at the MMCZ as they are worlds apart and incomparable. It is also not professionally correct to malign any of our competitors, but since you are asking why our facility cost more we would like to put on record what is in our facility and not in our competitors,” said Wilkes.

He said the comment around donating the facility to government was taken out of context and was a rebuttal to competitors offering “a very low almost insulting amount to purchase our facility, with us indicating that it would be like giving away the facility, so why not rather donate it. Our relationship with government remains professional, open and transparent.”

US$350m Mphoko deal still on

Source: US$350m Mphoko deal still on – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

DESPITE moves by President Robert Mugabe to block the costly US$350 million loan deal between the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) and Botswana’s Capital Management Africa (CMA) brokered by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, the equity firm has reportedly approached the Botswana Public Officer Pension Fund with a proposal seeking a recapitalisation loan on behalf of the local power utility, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Elias Mambo

Mphoko, whose son Siqokoqela is a CMA shareholder, wants the power company to access the US$350 million loan at a usurious 20% per annum interest rate. The power utility is in a serious financial crisis as it is owed close to US$1 billion. It is also struggling due to mismanagement and corruption.

Zesa will be required to export power to Botswana as part of the deal.

In January, China offered Zesa a loan of US$1,2 billion to refurbish the Hwange Thermal Power Station.
The Chinese loan, however, requires that government raises a substantial guarantee of at least 15% before accessing the facility, hence efforts to raise the US$350 million.

Reports from Botswana indicate that CMA is on the market looking for funding to finance Zesa.

CMA is an equity company which seeks and provides financial services to businesses that seek recapitalisation. It is one of the leading asset management companies in Botswana.

The company has approached the Botswana Public Officer Pension Fund to access funds.

Boitumelo Molefe, chief executive of Botswana Public Officer Pension Fund, told Botswana’s Business Weekly after the Independent’s exclusive story, that CMA had submitted a proposal asking the pension fund to finance the Zimbabwe credit and power purchase deal.

“We do not have a say as to where they (CMA) invest the money as long as we get our returns. They say they will be managing a power project and the proposal is currently under consideration,” she said.

In terms of an agreement signed in Harare last October, CMA would provide upfront funding of up to US$350 million to help Zimbabwe Power Company refurbish the Hwange Power Station.

The deal also involved a power supply agreement with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) importing up to 100 megawatts per month of the power generated from the revived station.

BPC spokesperson Dineo Seleke said CMA had approached them with a proposal to help with the importation of power from Zimbabwe but said no agreement had been signed.

Government officials last month told Independent that Mugabe expressed concern over the punitive interest rate and also questioned Mphoko’s role in the deal.

Despite Mugabe’s concern, it however appears the deal is still on the cards.

In April Zesa secured cabinet authority to send four people to Botswana to negotiate the deal.

Government sources said the loan payment was supposed to be done through Siqokoqela’s offshore account in Mauritius, which raised eyebrows in government.

Apart from holding a 5% stake in CMA, Siqokoqela also worked as the head of business development at the company from January 2008 to August 2013.

He started when his father was Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Botswana.

Questions are still been raised as to whether Mphoko abused his position as ambassador in Botswana between 2002 and 2005 moonlighting to cut deals for himself and his family as he emerged as a partner in that country’s biggest supermarket chain Choppies.

Mphoko, last month, dismissed the corruption reports, saying it was a mudslinging campaign by his detractors. He, however, failed to address substantative issues raised about him.

Aggreko engineers roll out controversial Dema project

Source: Aggreko engineers roll out controversial Dema project – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

DESPITE clear evidence of irregularities and corruption in their deal, Sakunda Holdings and partners, including British supplier of temporary power generation equipment Aggreko, are steaming ahead with the controversial US$83-million-a-year 200 megawatt Dema Diesel Power Project. The project will result in a spike in electricity tariffs while financially crippling the already struggling Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

Elias Mambo

The project, which was initially pegged at US$194-million-a-year, was awarded to Sakunda, owned by Zanu PF benefactor Kuda Tagwirei who partnered President Robert Mugabe’s in-law, Derrick Chikore, without the company going to tender. Derrick is brother to Simba who is married to the president’s daughter Bona.

The tender was initially won by American power company APR Energy Holdings before it was corruptly taken away and awarded to Sakunda for the benefit of individuals who are politically well-connected and their handlers in high offices and top circles.

This comes as information gathered this week shows that at a recent cabinet meeting Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere fiercely protested against the Dema project, much to Mugabe and other ministers’ shock, saying it was an expensive venture and a burden to the ordinary people who are already suffering due to the continued economic decline and high utility charges.

Further investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent this week showed that Aggreko, the company which supplied the diesel generators for the project, has dispatched a team of managers and technicians to Zimbabwe to kick-start the project.

The team of close to 50 people arrived in mid-April. The group, which includes managers and engineers from Dubai, where Aggreko’s international projects business operates from South Africa and other African countries, is booked at Crown Plaza, Oasis and Cresta Oasis hotels in Harare.

The team consists of project managers, operations managers, engineers, commissioning staff and other specialists.
Sources close to the development said the team has been in the country for this long without making much progress because Sakunda had problems with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), which refused to clear certain equipment urgently and allow operations to commence before relevant taxes were paid.

“Sakunda had problems with Zimra and the generators could not be cleared for more than a month,” said the source adding; “There were also problems to do with the supply of fuel.”

“About 50 000 litres of diesel was supplied last weekend and work has now started in earnest. There is also a team of experts from a South African company to perform high voltage or high potential tests — a dielectric withstand test — to assess the condition or adequacy of electrical insulation or insulation resistance.”

The project is now going on, but at a huge cost and the tariffs burden will be passed on to consumers who will pay more in terms of tariffs.

The Dema undertaking also comes at a time when the ZPC is about to be disconnected by Eskom of South Africa, which has been exporting 300MW since December last year.

Zesa sources said consumers will be forced to pay increased tariffs to accommodate Aggreko, Sakunda and other silent partners in the controversial deal.

The project, which is under the direct supervision of the Office of the President and Cabinet, is the latest in a string of scandals rocking state power utility company, Zesa Holdings.

Documents show ZPC will pay US$8 million in advance every month for the Dema project, which could run for three years, further escalating the cost. Comapnies and thus the economy will also suffer if power charges go up.

The documents seen by the Independent proved that Sakunda was corruptly awarded the 200 megawatt project despite not participating in the tender process.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has already approved a new tariff of 15,45 US cents/kWh for the power purchases agreement.

By comparison, electricity generated at Kariba costs 4,11c/kWh, while that from Hwange Thermal Station costs 6,97c/kWh, making expansion projects far cheaper. The Dema deal, documents show, will have serious cash-flow implications on ZPC, hence its recent application to increase the tariff by 49%. This means Zesa’s struggling customers, already battling with huge bills and poor service delivery, are now being asked to subsidise corrupt activities.

Zera has, however, rejected the application.

APR, which initially won the tender but was side-lined in favour of Sakunda, told the Independent recently that the diesel-powered reciprocating engines were “not the most practical or cost-effective option available to ZPC or its customers.”

APR said that Zesa could have saved approximately US$200 million over three years had it explored other alternatives such as the use of liquid petroleum gas instead of diesel powered generators.

Tomana’s reign marred by scandalous decisions

Source: Tomana’s reign marred by scandalous decisions – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

WHEN suspended Prosecutor-General (PG) Johannes Tomana (pictured) was appointed Attorney-General (AG) in December 2008 many in the legal fraternity saw this as a surprise move as he was neither a legal big hitter nor an eminent lawyer.

Bernard Mpofu

Unlike some of his predecessors who were highly respected and experienced top lawyers, Tomana was rather ordinary; an average or standard lawyer.

On appointment as AG, Tomana played the important prosecuting and government advisory roles. He assumed the prosecuting roles as PG in 2013 following the split in the functions of the AG’s office in line with the new constitution.

Many in the legal fraternity were therefore anxious to see if Tomana would discharge his duties and exercise his powers with integrity, independence, fairness and impartiality required by his office, given his calibre.
As it turned out his tenure has been uninspiring and scandal-ridden.

Early this month President Robert Mugabe suspended Tomana, who is now under investigation for abuse of office and corruption, practically bringing his tenure to an ignominious end.

A three-member tribunal chaired by retired judge Moses Chinhengo has been set up to investigate the allegations.

From the dubious handling of the Zupco corruption case more than a decade ago to the recent conviction of former advisor to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Munyaradzi Kereke, these are but some of the cases in which Tomana was criticised for his controversial approach bordering on negligence, incompetence and miscarriage of justice.

He has also made controversial remarks which drew the ire of the public.

Last year, he got engulfed in a storm of public outrage when he said girls as young as 12 can consent to sex. Yet probably his biggest blemish was his strenuous refusal to prosecute Kereke, who was sentenced to 14 years, but effectively jailed for 10 years two weeks ago after lawyer Charles Warara managed to get a certificate of private prosecution from the High Court, on allegations of raping a 11-year-old girl in 2010.

The conviction and jailing of Kereke for rape was not only celebrated as a victory for justice, but ushered in a new era of private prosecution in Zimbabwe. This pursuit of justice only came five years later when guardians of the minor whom Kereke raped had engaged Warara to use the route of private prosecution.

Warara made an application at the High Court in March 2012 seeking the AG’s Office to issue him a private prosecution certificate.

Tomana’s office opposed the application which was an indictment on his office.

In November 2012 the court ruled in Warara’s favour, but Tomana fought on even harder and appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court upheld the High Court decision in 2014, prompting the PG’s office to approach the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) — showing Tomana was dead set against Kereke’s prosecution.

In November 2015 the ConCourt ordered Tomana to issue a private prosecution certificate to Warara, paving way for the trial.

Kereke only stood trial after six years given that the rape case was reported in 2010.

In 2011, global watchdog Transparency International carried out a study chronicling a “trail of questionable decisions” made by Tomana during his reign.

In 2004, former information and publicity deputy minister Bright Matonga was charged with corruption after he allegedly purchased buses from Scania, a South African-based company without authority from the Zupco board. At the time Matonga was Zupco’s chief executive.

Charges against him were, however, inexplicably dropped.

Tomana was also in the eye of a storm in 2009 when his office threw out corruption charges laid against then acting Bindura Hospital medical superintendent Beauty Basile. The allegations against Basile were that on 219 occasions between January 2006 and June 2008 she abused a government fuel facility by causing the sale or free issuance of 6 980 litres of petrol and diesel to undeserving hospital staff.

The state which listed then health secretary Edward Mabhiza as the complainant further alleged that during the same period Basile abused the Ministry of Health facility by causing the sale of or free issuance of 4 345 litres of diesel and 3 092 litres of petrol to non-hospital staff.

Basile’s trial commenced with the testimony of Mabhiza and thereafter government called seven other witnesses to testify. In a dramatic twist of events, the trial was brought to a premature end when on November 24 2009 Chief Law Officer in the AG’s Office Michael Mugabe wrote an internal memo to the prosecutor-in-charge of Harare Magistrate Court instructing him to stop the trial. Citing Section 9 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, Mugabe indicated that it was not in the best interests of the state to continue with the trial without further elaborating, notwithstanding the seriousness of the charges laid on Basile.

Tomana’s office raised eyebrows when it invoked Section 9 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which states that “the Attorney–General may at any time before conviction, stop any prosecution commenced by him or by any person charged with the prosecution of criminal cases but, if the accused has already pleaded to the charge, he shall be entitled to a verdict of acquittal in respect of that charge”.

Legal experts and critics argued that the decision by the AG to stop the criminal proceedings against Basile undermined the efforts of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the police which collected evidence to weed out graft.

Owing to these cases and many others, there was sustained pressure from various quarters for Tomana to be removed for abuse of office until recently when he stepped on the toes of the powers that be on the Gushungo Dairy bombing affair, virtually sealing his fate.

Mugabe faces his Waterloo

Source: Mugabe faces his Waterloo – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

WAR veterans’ emotionally-charged attacks against President Robert Mugabe in which they bluntly accused him of being a manipulative, self-serving and failed leader consumed by hubris, personality cult and genocidal politics in the aftermath of their crucial meeting in Harare yesterday were as shocking as they were instructive.

Editor’s Memo, Dumisani Muleya

Premised on Mugabe’s betrayal of the ideals of the liberation struggle and misrule, the ex-combatants’ hard-hitting communiqué after the meeting, which had echoes of their 1975 Mgagao Declaration — the springboard of the veteran ruler’s turbulent ascendancy to the Zanu leadership after the ouster of founding party leader Ndabaningi Sithole — raised fundamental questions about Mugabe’s rule, consequences of his leadership, prospects and future of the country.

Framed like Leon Trotsky’s book The Revolution Betrayed — What is the Soviet Union and Where Is It Going?, the communiqué touched on a number of issues spanning Mugabe’s political history, how he ascended to power, led the struggle, became president and ruled the country. It also raised questions about his vision, competence, capacity, how he has managed the economy, the social and material conditions of the people, corruption and the future.

Mugabe’s running of the party and national affairs loomed large in the war veterans’ discourse and pronouncements.

Most importantly, the former freedom fighters’ attacks on Mugabe were in sync with what the majority of Zimbabweans have been saying for years criticising his corrupt and incompetent regime. Their discerning assessment of the national mood, reflected by the recent anti-government protests triggered by economic turmoil, particularly company closures, job losses, cash shortages, imports restrictions and failure to pay civil servants on time, was spot on.

Zimbabwe is currently characterised by rising social discontent and unrest largely due to economic failure, poverty and suffering. The recent protests are likely to flare up again and spread as the economic crisis deepens and popular anger grows. Pastor Evan Mawarire and his #ThisFlag social movement — guided by its civil disobedience philosophy — is likely to grow and become a national phenomenon.

Authoritarian regimes, which are fragmented and thus lack cohesion amid elite infighting and factionalism, hardly survive well-organised, co-ordinated and systematic civil resistance.

If the war veterans join forces with the national resistance movement driven by civic groups and backed by churches and opposition parties, Mugabe, already on the ropes and hanging onto power by fingernails, could soon face his Waterloo.

The war veterans’ historic stand against Mugabe could be Zimbabwe’s political augenblick — decisive moment. It might be a turning point of epoch-making proportions. More so because the war veterans demanded he should quit, saying economic recovery would not be possible under his leadership. Ominously, they said they would not support him during the watershed 2018 elections.

This cannot be taken lightly. The war veterans helped Mugabe to come to power, to radicalise the political dynamic in 2000 through land seizures, intimidation and violence when he was facing fierce opposition from the then newly-formed opposition MDC, which posed a threat to his survival.

They rescued Zanu PF from defeat in 2000 and Mugabe in 2002. In 2008, they also saved Mugabe from the jaws of defeat, although he lost the first round of the presidential election to his bitter rival, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Crucially, the war veterans, whom Mugabe recently described as “dissidents”, are backed by the military. So effectievly, battle lines are drawn between Mugabe and the army.

Mugabe is in a serious quandary: he has to rely on repression to prevent a popular uprising, but this creates a moral hazard, for the very resources his regime’s repressive agents use to suppress the opposition, also empower them to act against him. We have an interesting scenario here as popular opposition to Mugabe, both from within and outside, is surging creating conditions of brinkmanship bargaining. A complicated strategic calculus between Mugabe and war veterans, backed by the military, is clearly underway as he faces an endgame of tragic dimensions.

President cannot fool all the people all the time

Source: President cannot fool all the people all the time – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s speech on Tuesday at the National Heroes Acre was full of hot air and once again failed to address the real issues, which have not only been raised by #ThisFlag founder Pastor Evan Mawarire and #Tajamuka/Sesjikile, but also by groupings in his own party like the Zanu PF youths and war veterans.

Candid Comment, Faith Zaba

Mugabe’s speech at the burial of former chief secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Charles Utete at the National Heroes Acre concentrated on attacking the protest groups as if they are the cause of Zimbabwe’s myriad economic problems.

He focused on Mawarire because he could not offer any solutions to the current economic crisis engulfing the country. He ignored the real issues facing Zimbabweans such as growing poverty, rising unemployment, company closures, a debilitating cash crisis, rampant corruption and human rights abuses.

Unbelievably, Mugabe even sought to mislead the public, claiming that Mawarire is advocating for violence, when he has been on record calling for peaceful stay-aways in protest against government’s mismanagement of the economy.

“You can’t urge people to adopt violence, violent demonstrations as the way of life or a way of solving grievances, no. We say no, forever no,” Mugabe said on Tuesday

“The Mawarires, if they don’t like to live with us, let them go to those who are sponsoring them, to the countries that are sponsoring them.”

Who is the president trying to fool by blatantly lying to the nation on a well-documented issue?

In his videos, Mawarire has called for “peaceful protests to hold our government to account”. He has emphasised peaceful demonstrations so as not to provoke the repressive police, which is exactly the opposite of what Mugabe told his supporters at the national shrine.

Mugabe must remember that gone are the days when people relied solely on government propaganda outlets, the state media, for information.

What is telling about Mugabe’s comments is that he is not dealing with the cause of the crisis. He is just concentrating on peripheral issues, totally ignoring the pertinent ones like the multi-faceted economic problems bedevilling the country.

With the protests that have erupted around the country in the past three weeks, people expected his speech to at least touch on the issues ordinary Zimbabweans are raising. As long as Mugabe is still president, people expect him to do his job, which means dealing with issues affecting ordinary people.

As we have repeatedly said, if Mugabe cannot do his job he must just resign. He must stop pointing fingers. No one believes the tired mantra that sanctions or the West are behind the crisis the country faces. Zimbabweans do not need the West to tell them that they are unemployed, impoverished and cannot access their hard-earned cash from banks.

As a former United States president Abraham Lincoln said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

VP Mphoko: You are indeed Mboko

Source: VP Mphoko: You are indeed Mboko – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

‘THERE is one animal which we talk about very seriously — corruption. Please, please, the leaders of the workshop.
Khulumani ngayo (talk about it) lingesabi amagama (don’t be afraid of names). If I’m rotten, say it please.”

MUCKRAKER

These were the words of Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko at a ZimAsset meeting in Bulawayo in May this year. Last week Mphoko showed just how meaningless his rhetoric is when he, cowboy-style, stormed Avondale Police Station to demand the release of two arrested officials. The officials are Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) acting chief executive Moses Juma and non-executive director Davison Norupiri who were arrested last week by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on allegations of defrauding the parastatal of US$1,3 million.

After being rebuffed by police on his telephonic demand that the two officials be released, Mphoko drove to the station and pompously declared that he was the vice-president of the country and “not of a co-operative or burial society” before forcibly signing out of custody the two officials. A poor police officer at the station, who was trying to stop this criminal abuse of office by Mphoko, was beaten up by the vice-president’s security details for his resistance, we learnt.

What makes it even more deplorable was that he did this in his capacity as Acting President. We shudder to imagine what would happen if ever the arrogant and aggressive Mphoko takes over as president. It brings into question the relevance of Zacc if its authority is trampled upon with reckless abandon by those in power.

The toothless commission should be disbanded and not waste taxpayer’s money if it cannot enforce arrests of corrupt public officials. When people call Mphoko a “Mboko” (rescal), he protests but his actions show he is indeed a “Mboko”.

Comical Chombo

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf is a former Iraqi diplomat, politician and spin-doctor. He came to wide prominence around the world during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when he was the information minister under dictator Saddam Hussein. He acted as the spokesperson for the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party and Saddam’s regime. Al-Sahhaf is best known for his grandiose and grossly unrealistic propaganda broadcasts before and during the war, extolling the invincibility of the Iraqi army and the permanence of Saddam’s rule despite evidence to the contrary. This earned him the moniker “Comical Ali”.

Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo is now our own version of Comical Ali after he told state media that Zimbabweans were eagerly awaiting bond notes, which have triggered a national outcry.

Despite widespread public outrage the imminent introduction of bond notes, which some have described as “zombie money”, Chombo, without batting an eyelid, said Zimbabweans cannot wait for this “surrogate currency” as his boss called it. If anything, it is only Chombo and his Zanu PF colleagues who are looking forward to bond notes to further their looting enterprise. Chombo and his cronies are shameless kleptocrats plundering the country for self-aggrandisement. Mugabe’s regime is a kleptocracy — a government in which those in power expoit national resources and steal to line their pockets; rule by thieves. Crass ignorance

Deputy Labour minister Tapiwa Matangaidze is clearly a man under pressure. Quizzed in parliament on Wednesday about the government’s capacity to pay civil servants’ salaries, Matangaidze stunned parliamentarians when he accused MDC-T legislators of “crying more than the bereaved”.

In his desperation to play to the gallery, the deputy minister exposed just how shallow-minded he is. As was pointed to him, MPs have a duty to represent their constituents who include civil servants. The legislators were just doing their job, but Matangaidze, exhibiting crass ignorance in response to the queries that exposed government’s dismal failure to pay salaries on time as it recently promised, acted like a bull in a China shop. It was a performance Shakespeare would have described as a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Asked to apologise for his outburst by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mabel Chinomona, Matangaidze did not. Showing her ineffectiveness as speaker, Chinomona failed to reprimand him for defying her order to apologise. This particular episode has shown that parliament is poorer with the two-thirds Zanu PF majority.

Most of Zanu PF MPs are clueless and useless loafers.

Counter-protests

Zanu PF’s clueless leadership was once again brought to the fore this week with its response to protests by Zimbabweans over cash shortages, import restrictions, company closures and joblessness, among a plethora of problems. Instead of trying to find ways to address genuine grievances by citizens, Zanu PF sent its youths to protest against the protests by citizens. How does a ruling party protest against protests over company closures, unemployment, cash shortages and poverty?

The youths threatened to “crush” the protest movements and even had the temerity to ask the police to step aside to allow them to do so. It would be comical if it was not so tragic.

Wednesday’s lunacy by Zanu PF proves what we have said times without number that this is a party that has outlived its usefulness. It is a party that has no solution to the multi-faceted problems the country faces. It is only Zanu PF and its leaders who react to a national outcry over economic problems by marching in the streets.

After failing to keep its electoral promises, among them to create 2,2 million jobs, the party has resorted to its tired mantra of sanctions and blaming every protest on Western sponsors. The march by Zanu PF youths will not help in any way to ameliorate the problems facing the country and will not pacify the generality of the country’s restless populace who are tired of being treated as second-class citizens by a clueless and arrogant party. The sooner this registers with the authoritarian Mugabe and his party, the better. One reader aptly captured just how ridiculous the march was: “Never thought I would see the day you guys (Zanu PF) start playing catch-up. Next week you also do your own stay-away. ha ha ha!!!”

Desperation

The state media were clearly riled by the overwhelming support by the general public for #ThisFlag protest movement leader Pastor Evan Mawarire at the Harare Magistrates Court on Wednesday last week where he was being charged, firstly, for inciting public violence before it was changed to subverting a constitutional government.

The wild celebrations by the multitude of people at the court after candlelight vigils, songs and prayer when he was released must have shaken the establishment. ZBC chief reporter Reuben Barwe’s description of the crowd as that of bitter ex-Rhodesian whites was nothing short of the absurd and disgraceful. Interviewing the few whites that were there and ignoring the large number of black people smacks of desperation.

The sorry attempt to portray it as if Mawarire was supported by mainly bitter ex-Rhodesians shows how journalism has gone to the dogs at the state broadcaster. This is why it was a dark day for Zimbabweans on Wednesday when the Constitutional Court ruled that citizens have to pay licences for moronic propaganda disguised as news. By being obligated to pay for a licence, it feels as if viewers and listeners have been asked to throw their hard-earned cash down a bottomless pit.

Govt plays the blame game amid protests

Source: Govt plays the blame game amid protests – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

IF it was not tragic, Zimbabweans would have probably laughed at how President Robert Mugabe and his coterie of hangers-on fell back to their old ways of blaming the West, the opposition and everybody else other than themselves for the socio-economic problems afflicting the country.

Herbert Moyo

On July 1, violent protests rocked the border town of Beitbridge leaving property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars destroyed. This was after government issued a wholesale ban on the importation of several basic goods, thus destroying the livelihoods of many ordinary people who depend on buying and selling imports whom the state purported to be protecting through Statutory Instrument 64/2016. The statute is a drawback to the Rhodesian era where it was first used in 1964 by a minority regime under different material conditions.

On July 4 commuter omnibus crews from Epworth, Mabvuku and Tafara protested against the high police presence on the country’s roads resulting in running battles between the police and some touts.

Two days later Zimbabweans stayed away from work after Pastor Evan Mawarire who started the #ThisFlag movement called for a national shutdown to protest against the deteriorating economic conditions which has resulted in company closures, high unemployment levels and a severe liquidity crunch, including cash shortages. The stay-away resulted in running battles between the police and some residents of Mufakose in Harare and Makokoba in Bulawayo.

On Saturday last week, MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe led thousands of women in Bulawayo to demonstrate against Mugabe’s misrule which has impoverished Zimbabweans.

“These pots that we are beating are no longer cooking anything at home, this is why we brought them to say we no longer have anything to cook. We are starving,” she told the women who took part in the march dubbed the #beatthepot protest.

The protests, including last week’s related events, reflected the frustration of ordinary people in the face of the economic crisis.

But to Mugabe and his minions’ way of thinking, Zimbabweans are still in the childhood phase of humanity and therefore incapable of rational analysis and appreciation of their material conditions of existence. They cannot possibly stage any protests whether peaceful or violent against their government except with foreign instigation.
According to Frida Ghitis, a world affairs columnist and consultant, this kind of behaviour by Mugabe is typical of tyrants who “first refuge is to blame someone else for the messes they make”.

“The first chapter of the Dictators’ Handbook instructs practitioners to find an external enemy to help them preserve their rule,” Ghitis wrote in an article titled When all else fails, blame the US.

In their book titled Dictator’s Handbook: A Practical Manual for the Aspiring Tyrant, Randall Wood and Carmine DeLuca noted that dictators will always “attack the attackable”.

And true to the “dictators’ handbook”, Mugabe and his officials attacked the Americans, the French, South Africans, opposition political parties and practically everyone else but themselves for the socio-economic problems and the consequent protests.

First out of the blocks was State Security minister Kembo Mohadi, a native of Beitbridge, where the protests started, who claimed a “Third Force’’ was behind the protests.

His rants were amplified by Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo who claimed US ambassador Harry Thomas Jr and his French counterpart, Laurent Delahousse helped engineer protests in Harare and Bulawayo.

And Mugabe would not be left out of the blame game telling Zanu PF supporters last Friday in Bindura that civil servants “don’t understand” government is “yet to shake off some problems” of western sanctions, hence its failure to pay their salaries on time.

In the universal chorus of shifting blame, only Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa had a different narrative somehow last week when he told a gathering of local business people that import restrictions such as those that had triggered the Beitbridge protests were not sustainable. However, even this refreshing candour did not last long as Mnangagwa subsequently told the same gathering that South African business people sponsored the protests.

In shifting the blame, Mugabe and his regime simply travelled down the well-beaten path of fellow tyrants like Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler who rode to power in the 1930s by infamously claiming that Germany had not been defeated in the war nor was it responsible for the socio-economic crisis but “had been stabbed in the back by Jews and Communists”.

Suffice to say, the resultant wave of anti-Semitism sparked a genocide which reportedly resulted in the deaths of over six million Jews but did not solve the socio-economic problems of the Germans.

The Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin also blamed Western capitalists and their supposed local surrogates the Kulaks for the country’s food shortages in the 1930s and embarked on a sustained campaign which resulted in the liquidation of that class of hitherto thriving individual landowners.

Closer to home, the 1980s South African President PW Botha whipped up anti-communist sentiments to justify the existence of apartheid policies.

More recently, rulers like Russia’s Vladimir Putin labelled protesters as Western agents, while the late Venezuelan communist tyrant Hugo Chavez blamed foreign capitalist conspiracies for every problem caused by his populist policies. And as noted by Ghitis, “this foreign conspiracy narrative is not simply a denial of facts — it’s a deliberate political strategy with specific goals”.

“By blaming mysterious and powerful outsiders, rulers can shift their problems and distract the population from their legitimate grievances. And when it really works, the tactic can rally the people behind the leader as they passionately take up the cause against evil foreigners who would harm their country,” Ghitis added.

Political analyst and Zimbabwe Institute of Democracy director Pedzisayi Ruhanya said as an oppressive government, “Zanu PF will always look for scapegoats for their own failures to address citizens’ problems”.

 

2016 — Year of failed uprisings?

Source: 2016 — Year of failed uprisings? – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

Three weeks ago, Zimbabwe’s strongman, President Robert Mugabe, in a state of panic, was forced to convene an emergency meeting with members of his ruling Zanu PF’s highest decision-making body, the politburo. Scheduled to take place later that week, the monthly meeting was brought forward to discuss how the party and government was to respond to what had become known as #zimshutdown2016, a protest that brought the country to a standstill as citizens heeded calls to stay at home in protest against the nonagenarian.

Simukai Tinhu, Political Analyst

The ruling party rubbished #zimshutdown2016 as a failure. Such an evaluation was predictable. However, many outside government agree that since the 1990s, the stay-away is the most significant protest yet. The protest was also a rare moment of defiance. The Zanu PF government had urged the nation to ignore calls to stay away. But in a spirited act of defiance, what was supposed to be a localised demonstration by unpaid civil servants became a rallying point for a national outcry against the regime.

The shutdown, a series of demonstrations that immediately preceded it and those that came after it, have been depicted as spontaneous and rootless acts by a coterie of warriors leading angry citizens. They also have been seen as new and fresh and having been caused by a series of events such as the banning of the importation of essential household goods and increased corruption by the police.

However, in reality, importation ban through Statutory Instrument 64/2016 and the numerous police roadblocks were just triggers, not causes. In particular, #zimshutdown2016 was a paroxysm in what could be considered a third wave phenomenon in protest politics. In other words, the protests should be seen as part of the continuum of a new kind of politics that is increasingly taking centre-stage on the nation’s political landscape.

Indeed, today’s protests superseded the lone protests that took root two years ago. Ridiculed at the time, the bravery of the lone protests of activist and journalist, Itai Dzamara, could be regarded as the birth of contemporary demonstrations. His one-man demonstrations against Mugabe’s rule were brought to an abrupt end when he was allegedly abducted by state security agents. Instead of silencing Zimbabweans, the disappearance became a launch pad for other lone protests. The journalist’s sibling, Patson Dzamara, took over from where his brother left off and started protesting against his sibling’s abduction.

Emboldened by the actions of the Dzamaras, other individuals started to imitate the lone protests of the brothers.

For example, in March this year, in an unprecedented act, an elderly woman heckled Mugabe at the Harare International Airport. Taken by surprise, the visibly angry Mugabe just about managed to contain himself and told the “unknown” woman to put her demands in writing. Also, when the president announced to the nation that the government had lost US$15 billion, another lone protester demanded his share of US$1 000 in a demonstration at parliament building.

The second phase of the protests took the shape of the social media activism. At the end of 2015, a new group of tech-savvy youths started using the internet as a launch pad for attacks on Mugabe’s regime. The most successful social media protester has been that of the youthful Harare clergyman, Pastor Evan Mawarire who, through his hashtag #ThisFlag accelerated the recruitment of Zimbabweans into this new faith. The clergyman used Facebook and Twitter as decentralised peer networks to reach out to thousands of angry citizens, even earning sympathy for his cause from abroad.

Lately, with the successful #zimshutdown2016 protest and prior to that, street protests at the Beitbridge Border Post against the government’s banning of the importation of essential goods from South Africa, protests outside the Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare against Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s continued stay in a top hotel and commuter omnibus operators’ running battles with the police in protest against police corruption, the third phase, characterised by mass demonstrations on the streets seems to have arrived. This third wave has an aggressive element to it as it is characterised by calling protesters to come out on the streets.

The excitement generated by the success of contemporary protests has blinded many to the fact that this is not the first time that Zimbabweans have protested against the Mugabe regime en masse. The honour of holding successful demonstrations belongs to the labour unions. Indeed, in the late 1990s, the country’s main labour union movement, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), led successful mass protests against government’s austerity policies and these protests even went on to give birth to successful political careers such as that of former prime minister and leader of the largest opposition political party, Morgan Tsvangirai .

The fact that there have been successful protests before, brings us to an important question: If the 1990s’ successful protests could not make a dent on Mugabe’s authority, does the nonagenarian has any reasons to worry as a result of today’s growing protest movements? Not really. But this is not to say that the protests do not pose some kind of a threat to Mugabe if they adopt the right approaches and make strategic alliances. They do, but as they stand today, their threat is not enough to dislodge him from power. Nevertheless, they have a better chance than those in the 1990s.

To be sure, today’s protests are different from those of the 1990s in the sense that in terms of composition, they are far broader and diverse. Whereas in the 1990s, the leading participants were civil servants; today’s it is women, commuter omnibus transport operators, small-scale traders, youths, vendors and just fed up ordinary citizens. Also, rather than focusing on narrow interests such as austerity policies or demands for a new constitution, these protests are united by frustrations at Mugabe’s rule and their demands for him to step down.

Today’s protests are also taking place in a different socio-economic context that is characterised by an acute credit crunch, high unemployment and a broke government that cannot even pay its army.

But what makes today’s protest movement more potent than those of the last decade of the last millennium is that protest mentality has even penetrated the ruling party. Indeed much quieter, protests by various Zanu PF constituents are silently shredding the fabric of Zanu PF politics. The group that is at the forefront of protests against Mugabe is the war veterans association, a political tribe made up of war veterans of the liberation war against the British in the 1970s. This group, a political franchise that is rooting for Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over, has vowed war against anyone who stops Mnangagwa from taking over.

The other group that is silently protesting against the nonagenarian is the military, the most significant of security sector forces. Recently, the professional head of the army made it clear that Mnangagwa is their preferred candidate ahead of 2018 elections, forcing Mugabe to issue warnings on two occasions against the army’s meddling in succession politics.

The coalition of the military, Mnangagwa and war veterans is the infrastructure that has kept Mugabe in power by crushing dissent since the 1980s. The silent, and times open protests, by this triumvirate against the nonagenarian is not only slowly eating away at Mugabe’s legitimacy and authority, but without its backing, the vicious determination with which the regime has used to retain or recapture control from protesters is likely to be compromised.

What are the threats to the protest movements?

With the economy having imploded, unemployment at over 90%, the biting liquidity crunch and with no solution in sight, the state must learn to live with events that recently took place at Beitbridge, Rainbow Towers hotel and the national shutdown. The long and sterile tenure of Zanu PF and a dispossessed urban poor with high expectations nourished by education in expectation of good jobs that do not exist, is also part of the story that will see the protesters soon making a fresh encounter with the regime.

But these protests are unlikely to succeed at their ultimate mission of unseating the regime unless if they graduate into the fourth phase which should see them embrace or being embraced by the political class. The political class will give the political structure legitimacy and a platform to negotiate with the Zanu PF regime for concessions and international community for material support. For now, it appears that the protest movement is sceptical of politicians. This is based on the erroneous thinking that protests can bring about augenblick or decisive moment for political change.

This erroneous view is borne out of its leaders’ resistance to learn from history or a dangerous misreading of history by those of its leaders who do not qualify as non-readers. A quick standard of reading of what are considered the most successful revolutions of all time: the French Revolution of 1789; Russian revolution of 1917; the revolution that toppled the Shah in Iran 1979; Cuba’s 1959 revolution; and lately, closer to home and more relevant to Zimbabwe’s situation, the revolutions that toppled Tunisia and Egypt’s regimes were only successful because they managed to incorporate a significant chunk of the political class among its ranks or were altogether hijacked by the political class.
In other words, for a protest to bring about successful change in Zimbabwe, history commands that #ThisFlag, Tajamuka/Sesijikile and associated protest movements need not only the MDCs, ZimPF, Dawn/Mavambo/Kusile and PDP, among an array of opposition groups that exist today, but, though unpalatable, also needs the Zanu PF dissidents; that is Mnangagwa and his faction, war veterans and the military, otherwise they will be confronted with failure as in the case of Algerian protests of 1988.

The Algerian protest leaders scuttled politicians in the opposition and those in the establishment’s attempts to aid their revolution. In as much as the leaders of today’s infant revolution who have replaced prayers for realistic approaches, the Algerian revolution slid into the realm of fantasy when they claimed that they wanted to achieve pure and unadulterated revolution that had nothing to do with politicians. Its leaders wanted to make history, not only without the tools to do so, but by defying the clear pattern that history had set for any would-be successful future revolutionaries.

Indeed, Algeria’s history and political system offers excellent parallels to that of Zimbabwe. Not only is the North African country ruled by an entrenched liberation movement, National Liberation Front (NLF), but that liberation movement fought a brutal war that drove the French out of the country. The NLF, has been in power since independence in 1962. It also went on to experiment with post-independence nationalist politics, with disastrous consequences for the economy. Just like Zanu PF, Algeria’s ruling party has an unbridled sense of entitlement and is prepared to do anything to stay in power until eternity. In the 1990s, it waged a bloody war against the opposition and emerged triumphant.

In 1988, humiliated by high unemployment, bad economy and credit crunch, the “hittistes” — the youths as they were referred to (and who can be considered to be an equivalent of the youthful protests of #ThisFlag and Tajamuka/Sesijikila, the two leading lights in today’s protests) — ran riot against the government. The standoff with the police and military lasted not only for months, but was also brutal. Hundreds of hittistes were killed. Such was the resolve of these protesters that despite the deaths, they continued.

But, unbridled hubris, unrealistic expectations and a complete disregard for lessons of history, destroyed this promising protest movement. When politicians made overtures to combine forces with the protest movement, they were shunned and regarded as contaminated. Its leaders wanted a clean break from the past and a fresh start. Politicians were even accused of being opportunistic and trying to steal the movement from its leaders.

However, political realities of the time proved to be too much. On their own, the hittistes could not mount a coherent political challenge to NLF and the failure was spectacular. The protest leaders destroyed the only and best opportunity to topple the socialist state. Its leaders would soon be forgotten and the regime consolidated because they failed to transition the protest movement into the fourth and final phase — strategic alliance with the political class.

Misreading the Egyptian and relying on the romanticised account of the Eyptian revolution in the Economist or Time magazines and others alike, the youthful leaders in Zimbabwe are again erroneous in thinking that the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak belongs to street protestors.

On the contrary, the reality is that the revolution was a politicians’ affair, in particular the abhorrent Muslim Brotherhood, a political organisation with not only unparralled links to the Muslim world’s elite political class, including the Saudi royals, but also excellent organisational skills. Indeed, the consensus among the Muslim world experts is that the Egyptian revolution would not have been successful without the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, the alliance between the protesters and the Muslim Brotherhood had been sealed decades before the revolution. Their combined efforts at charitable causes earned them the support of the masses who were to be crucial during the revolution. The occupation of Tahrir Square by a group of students, youths and middle-class liberals only acted as a trigger of a protest that was inevitable.

In other words, the stark lesson of history is that the protest movement needs to make a choice: either flounder as the hittistes of Algeria or succeed as the pragmatic young liberals, who forged an alliance with the political class in Egypt.

The protest movement will not succeed without the political class.

Tinhu is a political analyst based in London.

Declining tax revenues reflect a toxic business environment

Source: Declining tax revenues reflect a toxic business environment – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

Indications by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Acting Commissioner-General Happias Kuzvinzwa that the tax collector missed its target for the first half of 2016 by 12% as well as the sharp decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows are indicators that the economy is continuously on a free-fall.

Kudzai Kuwaza

Figures released by Zimra for the first six months of this year show that government is persisting on a downward spiral, which has become the norm since 2013, crippling government financially.

“The gross collections were 3% below the target of US$892,88 million. This compares favourably with the first quarter revenue performance where gross collections were 9% below target,” Kuzvinzwa said last week.

In the first quarter to March, Zimra collected US$782 million against a target of US$861,83 million, missing the target by 9%. In the second quarter to June, Zimra collected US$866,96 million, a 3% variance from a target of US$892,88 million.

This shows that Zimra has so far collected only US$1,65 billion for the first half of 2016.

The revenue collection deficit is hardly surprising given that the economy is hard hit by a debilitating liquidity crunch evidenced by the acute cash shortage in the market, capacity utilisation of less than 35%, company closures and massive job losses.

According to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, at least 229 companies from various sectors that include the construction and clothing industry have closed in the first half of this year resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs. This adds to thousands of workers who were dismissed last year as a result of the July 17 2015 Supreme Court ruling that allowed employers to dismiss workers on three months’ notice without paying a retrenchment package.

The figures being bandied about of those affected by the court ruling range from 9 115 according to employers to around 30 000 according to trade unions.

Whatever the actual figure is, there is no doubt that the formal job market has been severely decimated contributing largely to the taxman’s failure to reach revenue targets. This has led to government’s failure to pay its 550 000-strong civil servants on time with Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa being forced to stagger the salaries.

That government is still paying last years’ bonuses seven months into 2016 speaks to the depth of the economic crisis.

The failure by government to meet revenue targets is likely to worsen relations with its workforce resulting in more work boycotts and in turn fuelling more protests which have rocked the country as the economic crisis worsens.

With civil servants continuing to gobble 80% of revenues as government shows no appetite to retrench its workforce, reduced revenues mean less money for other critical obligations such as capital projects.

The continued failure by government to meet revenue targets speaks to an economy in recession according to economist and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive Chris Mugaga.

“There might be those who are still in denial but we are technically in recession,” Mugaga said. “This makes it impossible for Zimra to meet its targets.”

He pointed out that Zimra targets are below what the country needs for an economic turnaround adding that there is an urgent need to arrest corruption and institutional inefficiencies in state entities if revenue collections are to improve.

“That Zimra cannot meet its target is seen by the informal sector which is growing by the day. We are in a corner,” Mugaga said.

The parlous state of the economy is further reflected by the plunge in FDI inflows from US$545 million in 2014 to US$421 million last year which represents a drop of nearly 23%. This pales in comparison to other countries in the region with Mozambique receiving 3,7 billion in FDI, Zambia(1,7 billion) and South Africa (1,8 billion) which is more than three times Zimbabwe’s paltry inflows.

The reduced FDI inflows mean that prospects of creating employment remain dim. According to a survey by the Vendors’ Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) conducted between February and April this year, at least 2 187 graduates in the country’s two largest cities are surviving on vending. The number of vendors is set to increase as the formal market remains constrained.

It is yet another reminder and evidence of a hostile business climate which requires government to speedily ensure structural and policy reforms. Even African billionaire Aliko Dangote has reportedly developed cold feet over his plans to invest in cement, power and coal projects.

Despite Mugabe’s efforts to clarify the toxic indigenisation policy earlier this year, eight years after he signed it into law, there are still concerns over the policy particularly on the 51/49 shareholding structure. Mugabe however dismissed these concerns last month as “nonsense” at the burial of former health minister Felix Muchemwa at the National Heroes Acre.

Economist and Buy Zimbabwe chairman Oswell Binha notes that both Zimra revenue collections and the county’s FDI inflows remain well below par.

“Both revenue collections and FDI inflows are not performing at optimum levels,” Binha said. “We are affected by issues of uncertainty. We need to ensure the predictability and bankability of our activities as a nation as a safeguard to attract investment. We need to act in a way that acknowledges that we need investment and not that investment needs us. We have the potential to treble our FDI inflows”

Binha said the failure by Zimra to meet revenue targets is a significant indicator of the extent to which “we have informalised the formal” adding that the taxman could not reach targets as organised businesses have failed to expand.

Economist John Robertson said the plunge in investment is as a result of the country’s unfavourable operating environment.

“It all points to the lack of understanding on how we have discouraged investment,” Robertson said, adding that the revenue deficit will have a dawn effect on the economy. He said with increasing unemployment due to dwindling investment levels, more and more people will turn to vending, depriving government of much needed revenue.

Robertson said although the government was working on the ease of doing business, its efforts were futile given the number of permits needed to operate in the country.

Randhawa duped RioZim shareholders on Murowa

Source: Randhawa duped RioZim shareholders on Murowa – The Zimbabwe Independent July 22, 2016

GLOBAL Emerging Markets (Gem) RioZim Investments, a 44% shareholder in RioZim Ltd, conflicted itself and misled authorities into believing RioZim Ltd had acquired a 78% equity stake of Murowa Diamonds (Pvt) Ltd without paying a cent for the equity ahead of other shareholders in the group.


Chris Muronzi

Investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent have unearthed a web of deceit, double-dealing and conflict of interest as well as lack of board independence in the Murowa diamond acquisition.

Gem appointees on the board of RioZim Ltd — Lovemore Chihota, Caleb Dengu, Saleem Beebeejaun, Iqba Sharma, Lovemore Chihota and Bekhi Nkomo — and an Old Mutual appointee, Kurai Matsheza, waived the rights of other shareholders to a cheap and gilt-edged opportunity to turn the company’s financial fortunes around under the pretext that the group did not have cash for Murowa.

But Gem founder Harpal Randhawa went on to negotiate and acquire the asset for himself after assuming a US$17 million inter-company loan to Rio Tinto Plc.

When the RioZim Ltd board waived pre-emptive rights of other shareholders to Murowa Diamonds, Gem RioZim Investments principal Harpal Randhawa had already commenced negotiations with Rio Tinto Plc to acquire the world class asset for himself through RZ Murowa Holdings, a British Virgin Island incorporated company. Against such a background, RioZim shareholders were prejudiced of a lucrative investment where the mining group would only have to repay an inter-company loan for equity.

A Rio Tinto Plc statement at the conclusion of the Murowa diamond disposal shows the mining giant could have been under the impression it had sold Murowa and Sengwa to RioZim through an investment vehicle called RZ Murowa Holdings Ltd.

“Rio Tinto has completed the sale of its 78% interest in Murowa Diamonds and 50% interest in Sengwa Colliery Ltd (Sengwa) to RZ Murowa Holdings Limited,” Rio Tinto Plc said in a statement last year.

“RioZim Limited, an independent Zimbabwean mining company listed on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange already holds a 22% in Murowa Diamonds and a 50% interest in Sengwa and will assume the overall management of both entities. Rio Tinto believes that the future of these assets can be best managed by entities with existing interests in Zimbabwe.”

RioTinto Plc did not disclose how much the company been sold to RZ Murowa.

Judging by Rio Tinto’s statement, Gem has through a devious scheme disposessed all other shareholders in RioZim Ltd of an asset that could also have benefited every shareholder.

This comes as it emerged this week that among some of its mandates as per the July 2012 management contract between RioZim Ltd and Gem RioZim Investments, the company was supposed to help the local mining group to increase its shareholding in Murowa.

Documents seen this week show a shocking level of double-dealing and conflict of interests in the manner RioZim Board of directors handled the Murowa Diamonds pre-emptive rights.

RioZim directors broke Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) rules by failing to call for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) for shareholders to vote on the take-up of their pre-emptive rights in Murowa Diamonds.

It has since emerged that a number of the directors have serious conflict of interest in exercising their fiduciary duties to RioZim shareholders. After the Independent’s report on the irregularities relating to the Murowa transaction, the RioZim board of directors announced it had waived the rights of shareholders to Murowa.

Contrary to assertions by RioZim that an AGM of August 28 2015 had rubberstamped the waiver of Murowa’s pre-emptive rights, minutes of the meeting show that the issue was only raised from the floor and was never part of the agenda.

According to the ZSE listing rules, related party transactions have to be approved by other shareholders in an EGM.

The Board of RioZim did not call for an EGM. Instead the Gem appointed board gave itself the power to decide on behalf of all other shareholders to waive their pre-emptive rights.

In a press statement, RioZim said: “On 10 June 2015, the Board of Directors of RioZim passed a resolution to irrevocably and unconditionally waive the company’s rights of pre-emption in connection with the transfer of the sale of shares to RZ Murowa Holdings.”
See A4

Zimbabwe’s Black Market Is Warning That Hyper-Inflation May Return

Source: Zimbabwe’s Black Market Is Warning That Hyper-Inflation May Return

The accepted rule by all those investing in Zimbabwe is that it is a fully dollarized economy and does not have a local currency. This myth has held the financial system together and prevented a national panic attack. However, today the imbalances are too wide for the private sector and investors to ignore the reality of a second currency.

Whilst dollarization did look like the long-term solution to hyperinflation in April 2009, it was actually not supposed to be about the sole use of the US dollar as a legal tender, but rather, about the adoption of a multi-currency regime. However, when the government made it clear that it would conduct all of its transactions in US dollars, the private sector quickly followed suit. As a consequence of this, Zimbabwe is now priced in US dollars, but effectively funded in South African rand (its main trading partner). This mismatch between pricing and funding has been the fundamental flaw in the dollarization process.

When Zimbabwe dollarized, all assets were re-valued in US dollars, but since then more US dollars have been exported out of Zimbabwe than have come in. This has significantly reduced US dollar liquidity in the country and forced the government to increase leverage. A vicious cycle of debt has been built around Zimbabwe. On best estimates, Zimbabwe has US$10 billion of debt compared with GDP that is expected to reach US$14.4 billion in 2016 (as per the IMF).

Rebirth of a local currency

Along with the myth that there is no local currency, another is that the Government of Zimbabwe cannot print money. To explain why these are myths, we have tracked the historical trend in ‘hard cash’ (i.e. cash that is immediately available to the banks in either notes and coins, or in their nostro accounts abroad) and compared this to system deposits.

The absolute level of ‘hard cash’ in Zimbabwe has fallen from US$582 million in 2009 to US$269 million at April 2016. Whilst the absolute fall in ‘hard cash’ over the years is concerning, what is really alarming is the trend in the ratio of ‘hard cash’ to deposits, which has fallen from 49% in 2009 to 6% at April 2016. This is because, while the level of ‘hard cash’ in the system has been declining, the total pool of deposits has been growing. Since 2009, total system deposits have increased from US$1,191 million to US$4,275 million.

Where have the deposits gone?

When you look at the trends in system liquidity, the first question you ask is, what happened to the deposits? The logical trend would have been for system cash balances to grow in line with deposits.

The reason why this did not happen, in our opinion, is because of the use of two types of US dollars in Zimbabwe. The first and most preferred US dollar in Zimbabwe is the physical paper dollar. This dollar is 1-for-1 with the US dollar anywhere in the world. The second US dollar in Zimbabwe is the one that sits on the RTGS, or real-time gross settlement. The RTGS is Zimbabwe’s national payment system. Settlement in “real time” means a payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period. The transactions are settled as soon as they are processed. “Gross settlement” means the transaction is settled on a one-to-one basis (between the banks) without bundling or netting with any other transaction. Once processed, payments are final and irrevocable. So, when we say the second US dollar is on the RTGS, we are effectively saying that it is floating in the banking system.

How much of the RTGS is cash funded?

How much of the local currency is backed by hard cash? The truth is no banker in Harare was able to tell us with any conviction. However, what all the bankers agreed on is that, for the banking system to run smoothly and all cash demands met, the total hard cash needed in the system was equivalent to 20% of deposits. On this basis, the total ‘hard cash’ in the system that Zimbabwe needs as of today is US$855 million.

Why hasn’t the system collapsed?

With such a large shortfall in ‘hard cash,’ the first question we asked is, “why hasn’t the banking system collapsed already?” The answer to this question is a rebuttal of the myth that the Government of Zimbabwe cannot print money.

The total value of government securities held by the banking system has increased from zero in 2009 to US$1,198 million in April 2016. As a percentage of deposits, government securities have increased from 0% in 2009 to 28% at April 2016. Notably, the banks first began putting these securities on their balance sheets in 2012, which was the same year the ratio of ‘hard cash’-to-deposits fell below 20% for the first time. This was therefore the first year the Government of Zimbabwe started printing money.

As the principal and interest payments on these government securities are settled on the RTGS, it is clear that the government has been using the issuance of this debt to effectively print money. This money printed and placed in the RTGS has helped keep the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe liquid in local US dollars. This has been done by looking at the trend in total bank balances with the RBZ. The total value of bank balances with the RBZ increased from US$197 million in 2009 to US$778 million in April 2016. The growth in bank balances with the RBZ has allowed for its ratio to total deposits to remain relatively flat over the past seven years.  The ratio of bank balances with the RBZ to deposits has actually increased slightly (from 17% in 2009 to 18% at April 2016). Compare this to the trend in the ratio of ‘hard cash’ to deposits over the same period.

Zimbabwean private sectors knows

Whilst we doubt that the private sector in Zimbabwe appreciates just how the government has been printing money, we do believe that it finally understands that there is a second currency in Zimbabwe. Whether one wants to call it the Zim dollar or RTGS does not matter. However, we firmly believe that the private sector knows that it is using a second currency and that it does not to have the same value as ‘hard cash’ in its paper form.

The reason for this is the cash limits. Whilst we were in Harare, the ATMs were generally down, and those that worked had cash withdrawal limits of between US$50 and US$500 per day. CBZ told us that they were the only ones still offering withdrawal limits of US$1,000 per day, but at their tellers.

Because of the scarcity of ‘hard cash’, we learned that if a bank customer wants to cash his/her RTGS and does not want to wait for their bank to pay, it can be done in the black market at a rate of 1.10x. In other words, the black market is telling Zimbabweans that their RTGS is worth 90% of its face value.

Notably, the 10% discount on the face value of the RTGS is 5ppt higher than the effective discount the government is putting on RTGS. We say this because, while in Zimbabwe we learned that the government has now decided to make all the banks release the foreign exchange earned by exporters to their nostro accounts outside of Zimbabwe. Once the funds are received, the government will wire the export proceeds plus a 5% export bonus to the beneficiaries’ local accounts in RTGS. In other words, US$100 of export proceeds is now worth US$105 in the RTGS.

With total debt of around US$10 billion, we understand that the Zimbabwean government has been actively trying to build its US dollar cash reserves. To do this, it recently announced that it would convert: (i) 100% of all gold and diamond exports into RTGS with an export bonus, while it would keep the hard cash proceeds; (ii) 50% of all other mining exports into RTGS with an export bonus, while the remaining 50% of cash receipts will be given to the exporter; and (iii) 80% of tobacco exports into RTGS with an export bonus, while the remaining 20% of cash receipts will be given to the exporter.

One banker estimated that if the government had adopted this approach in 2015, it would have cashed around US$2.7 billion of the US$3.6 billion in export proceeds. Clearly this approach will allow the government to raise a significant pool of cash while the exporters continue to export.

From the perspective of the exporters, we note that while the RTGS allocations do come with a 5% bonus, this is not very meaningfully when bank withdrawal limits are US$1,000 per day at the maximum and the street premium for ‘hard cash’ is 10%.

In our opinion, the big risk in Zimbabwe is that the government cannot keep the street premium for ‘hard cash’ at/or below 10% or even hold the spread between what it pays for ‘hard cash’ and what the street pays at 500bp. Failure to do so would be devastating for Zimbabwe and its banks. It could ultimately usher in a new era of hyperinflation.

Kato Mukuru is the global head of equity research at Exotix Partners

Zhuwao ordered out of Parly

Source: Zhuwao ordered out of Parly | The Herald July 22, 2016

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao was yesterday ordered out of Parliament after he failed to respond to enquiries about his role in the engagement of a private consultancy firm for his ministry without going to tender.

Minister Zhuwao was involved in a heated exchange with portfolio committee chairperson on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena.

This was after Minister Zhuwao accused the committee of embarking on a witch-hunt by enquiring about an issue which his permanent secretary, Mr George Magosvongwe, had clarified.

Legislators in turn accused Minister Zhuwao of being under the influence of some substance as he occasionally made hysterical laughter and declined to explain his relationship with Tripple Bottom Line Consultancy to spearhead the National Economic Empowerment Strategy.

“My name is Patrick Zhuwao and can you allow me to respond in a manner that Patrick Zhuwao responds,” said Minister Zhuwao, a statement that he constantly repeated.

“We know that your name is Patrick Zhuwao and we also have names that we love, but can you respond to the questions,” said Cde Wadyajena who is also Gokwe Nembudziya MP.

“Minister, it is within your rights that you can excuse yourself. If you are not ready you can come back whenever you are ready. We can’t spend the whole day on enquiring and investigating. You had the letter for the past month. You may laugh about it,” said Cde Wadyajena.

Minister Zhuwao said he did not have a prepared presentation because he was not sure what the committee wanted him to respond on. Other legislators said they were surprised by Minister Zhuwao’s conduct saying their previous interaction with him was characterised by his articulation of issues.

After a protracted exchange, the committee asked Minister Zhuwao to leave the chamber saying he would come back when he was “sober and when he understood the questions and issues involved”.

In his evidence last month, Mr Magosvongwe distanced himself from the appointment of 3BL saying it was Minister Zhuwao who had unilaterally hand-picked it.

Appearing before the committee, 3BL owner Ms Thandi Ngwenya conceded that she directly engaged the Minister because they had a personal relationship.

After more than 40 minutes of being questioned on whether Government allows the release of documents to friends or companies not registered with SPB without the custodian of the documents being involved, Minister Zhuwao said Ms Ngwenya was not his friend, but was providing a service to the ministry.

He said he made available Government documents to Ms Ngwenya since it was public information and as the minister, he did not seek the permission of the permanent secretary to try and get that information to the committee.

Minister Zhuwao said he was not aware of any invoice as there was no chargeable work hence he could not verify evidence given by his subordinates.

“As far as l know, 3BL did not have a contract with the ministry, but has offered to assist the ministry to be able to fulfil its mandate and I accepted that offer. I will continue to accept offers from any citizen that has interests of economic empowerment.”

Freelancer beaten by British envoy’s aides

Source: Freelancer beaten by British envoy’s aides | The Herald July 22, 2016

Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
British Ambassador Mrs Catriona Laing’s visit to Kariba ended abruptly on Wednesday morning after her aides allegedly assaulted a Kariba-based freelance journalist.

Mrs Laing arrived in Kariba on Tuesday and reportedly held a meeting with some non-governmental organisations representatives in the dead of the night.

The agenda of the meeting was not immediately confirmed, but sources said it was aimed at getting information on the needs of NGOs in the town and surrounding areas to effectively complement the efforts of anti-government protesters.

This is said to be part of an elaborate plan that will see NGOs in remote areas giving feedback on their limitations and possible assistance they need when protests occur.

The journalist, Edmore Mbonda got to the hotel where the ambassador and her entourage were booked and sought clearance from one of her aides who consented.

“I got to the hotel around 7am after picking information that the ambassador was in town. I wanted to ask her questions and therefore made an appointment with one of the aides. He told me that the ambassador was having tea so I waited near her room,” said Mr Mbonda.

However, two men reportedly came and ordered him to leave despite protestations that he had been cleared for an interview by one of the aides.

The men allegedly told Mbonda that the visit did not need media coverage before ordering him to leave. One of them manhandled him and pushed him away before the other one kicked him on his right leg causing him to fall.

“I immediately got up and started running for dear life after realising that they could inflict more harm,” said Mr Mbonda.

“I returned about an hour later, but was told that they had already checked out of the hotel.”

Mr Mbonda went to the clinic yesterday complaining of pain in his leg and arm.

The ambassador, according to sources in the NGO sector was scheduled to meet them later on Wednesday afternoon.

Said a source: “We were asked to present current challenges hampering active participation in any anti-government demonstration considering that small towns and outlying areas did not participate.”

Participants are said to have indicated that they needed communication technology such as internet access, laptops and vehicles among other things.

The move is aimed at ensuring that demonstrations are spontaneous thereby rendering the country ungovernable.

Kariba was found to have a disorganised NGO sector that dealt with “soft” issues and would not help the regime change agenda, said the source.

A report of the assault was made to the police who said consultations are underway to find the way forward.

Although confirming that Ambassador Laing was in Kariba on Tuesday and Wednesday, the British Embassy dismissed the allegations as fictitious arguing that the ambassador does not have aides or bodyguards.

“This is ridiculous, the ambassador does not have security details. This is a fabrication,” said embassy communications officer Ms Busi Ndlovu yesterday.

Mushandike under threat

Source: Mushandike under threat | The Herald July 22, 2016

George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Masvingo’s biggest irrigation scheme, Mushandike, faces collapse amid reports that some corrupt village heads and senior Government officials were illegally demarcating plots on land set aside for irrigation.

The scheme, which straddles nearly 1 000 hectares, was the food lifeline for villagers in the arid Chivi district and the nearby Masvingo city. Its collapse will exacerbate an already precarious food situation owing to drought.

Mushandike was initially created for about 200 plot-holders, but the viability of their farming operations is now under threat owing to the proliferation of illegal settlers.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development responsible for Cropping Davis Marapira yesterday said village and senior Government officials were raking tens of thousands of dollars by illegally selling plots at Mushandike.

He claimed that the corrupt officials were charging up to $800 per plot and called on Government to intervene and save Masvingo’s biggest irrigation scheme from collapse.

“There is a rampant illegal allocation of plots at Mushandike which is threatening the future of the irrigation scheme. The corruption chain involves village heads and some senior Government officials who are illegally pegging plots in other people’s irrigation plots,” he said.

“The corrupt cartel is charging up to $800 per plot from desperate land seekers and the situation has plunged the whole irrigation scheme into chaos.

“There is need for Government to act fast and save the irrigation scheme from collapse.’’

Deputy Minister Marapira said officials implicated in the illegal land sales should be arrested with the illegal settlers being evicted to save the scheme from collapsing.

“Mushandike was on a recovery path after funds were injected to rehabilitate canals that were causing widespread loss of water, making farming operations difficult. The scheme was on a steady path towards recovery but the problem of illegal settlers will bring it back to the ground,” he said.

Mushandike used to be the biggest producer of wheat in Masvingo but the scheme is now operating way below full capacity.

The irrigation scheme almost collapsed a few years ago after Mushandike Dam upstream dried up, leaving the plots without water for irrigation.

The dam’s capacity has been whittled down over the years by rampant siltation blamed on overpopulation in the catchment area while recurrent droughts were frustrating water inflows into the reservoir.

Government has been mulling developing a $10 million pipeline linking Mushandike Dam and Muzhwi in northern Chivi, but the dearth of funding has rendered the project a stillbirth.

Flag ban: Only institutions to own flag

Source: Flag ban: Only institutions to own flag – Zimbotoday 21 July 2016

Miffed by the pro-democracy activists who are mobilising citizens around the national flag, President Robert Mugabe’s government is hurried working on a law that would make it illegal for individual citizens to own or be found in possession of the country’s flag. Government sources told Zimbo Today.com that this law, which would come into effect as soon as August this year, would allow only institutions—both public and private to own a flag, but not private individuals. This would apply to all flags regardless of size and material it is made from.

“Once the ban comes into effect, all citizens would be given a deadline by which they should surrender all flags after which it would become a serious offence for anyone to be found in possession of the national flag,” an official in the ministry of Justice, where the draft law is been worked, told Zimbo Today.com. “This would include having flags on or in cars as well as those that citizens have, of late, been using to drape themselves,” she said, adding that offenders would be jailed for upto three years. The move has certainly been necessitated by Pastor Evan Mawarire and his #ThisFlag movement who have teamed up with another movement, #Tajamuka, to mobilise people against President Mugabe’s misrule. ZANU-PF has already started banning its members from using the social media as it tries its best to keep its followers in the dark.

 

Not to be reproduced without permission: editor(at)zimbotoday.com

Reflections on the day that Zimbabwe’s #ThisFlag initiator was tried in court

Reflections on the day that Zimbabwe’s #ThisFlag initiator, Pastor Evan Mawarire, was tried in court and released to a crowd of jubilant supporters and the media while a large contingent of baton-carrying police stood by

Source: Reflections on the day that Zimbabwe’s #ThisFlag initiator was tried in court – The Zimbabwean 21.07.2016

These photographs were taken by student photographer Jan-Dirk Visagie in Harare on July 13, 2016.  Words by a Zimbabwean correspondent.

It was the day of the second stay-away in Zimbabwe, Wednesday July 13, 2016 and we were all following events at the Rotten Row Magistates’ Court in Harare through WhatsApp messages from a lawyer friend who was inside the court.

Pastor Evan Mawarire, initiator of the social media campaign, #ThisFlag, which has taken the country by storm, had been arrested the previous day and charged with inciting public violence.   However, everyone knew that he had only called for peaceful protest in the face of the rapidly escalating economic crisis, widespread starvation, joblessness and the desperation of ordinary citizens.

As the day went on, Jan-Dirk and I felt we should travel to Harare to support the pastor, even if just to swell the number of his supporters.

Fortunately we only had to negotiate four roadblocks on our way in. As we drove to the court, passing an increasingly heavy police presence, we noticed the car next to us with a young driver shaking out a folded Zimbabwean flag to hang out of his window. We caught each other’s eyes and broke into huge grins.

Our mood was dampened considerably though as we drove into the small road leading to the magistrates’ court and found it lined with armed police vehicles and what looked like water cannon trucks. As we drove in slowly behind a prison van I wondered what we were getting ourselves into, there was no obvious way to get out fast if things turned ugly. We inched past the rows of armed riot police with their batons, helmets, shields and body armour, trying to find a parking among the hundreds of cars already there.

We shouldered our cameras, checked that we both had our cell phones and enough airtime, then realised our batteries weren’t fully charged.  Travelling to Harare hadn’t been on the day’s agenda!

We joined a small gathering of people on a mound with a view of the gate through which the prisoners enter and exit the court area. At that time everyone still seemed very nervous of the police and people were keeping their distance. We started taking photographs and went quite close. Our past experience with police personnel was to keep as far as possible from them and never point a camera in their direction. I kept cautioning Jan-Dirk and calling him back. My stomach was in a knot as he clicked away, finding the light of the setting sun on the visors of their helmets.

A vendor walked past with small packets of new flags he was selling for US$5. My first Zimbabwe flag!  Since it’s become a symbol of the regime, I never thought I would buy one, much less be proud to drape it over my shoulders. I would be glad of its added warmth later in the night.

A movement at the gate brought the crowd surging forward and the riot police responded by closing ranks into a solid wall, restricting vision and access. The crowd pushed closer, determined to see if the pastor was being transported. A number of prisoners filed out, looked bewilderedly at the huge mass of people around them and then climbed into the waiting grey van with its tiny, claustrophobic windows.

No-one had seen the pastor, but everyone mistrusted the movements and underhandedness of the authorities. Every movement at any of the entrances brought a shout – and a wave of people would surge in that direction. There was a constant ebb and flow of the crowd around the court building. No-one would go in or out unnoticed. Jan-Dirk’s camera battery died and I handed him my camera.

Groups knelt in prayer under the leadership of pastors who also kept the people quiet and calm. The atmosphere was one of quiet vigilance, it was rather uncanny. The initial fear of the police had evaporated as people walked among them and wandered back and forth through the ranks, taking pictures and videos on the many smart phones in evidence, even stopping to talk on occasions. This is unheard of in Zimbabwe.

Knowing that the charges had been changed after the midday break – from “inciting public violence” to the much more serious charge of “subverting a constitutional government” (i.e. treason) – we all were certain that the State had already decided the pastor’s fate and it was for them simply a matter of dealing with legalities or deferring judgement.

As darkness fell, the day watch changed guard for a new set of police. There was a murmur and surge among the crowd as the trucks departed and were replaced by others. No news had come yet and there was a strong feeling that they had snuck the pastor out with the previous guards. The fact that the Internet had been shut down for a few hours and the only communication was through mobile messaging increased the uneasiness and mistrust.

Our friends in the court room however messaged to say that Pastor Mawarire still had to appear for the final verdict of the magistrate, and both the magistrate and the pastor were still missing.

Well-wishers arrived with supplies of candles and blankets as the temperature fell and we waited in the unlighted surrounds of the court. Then the message came through to various phones that the crowd in the court was being led in a prayer as the magistrate still deliberated. The crowd outside on the steps also knelt again in prayer, one speaker followed another then a sporadic outbreak of song soared heavenwards in the candlelight.

There was speculation the authorities were hoping that, by keeping everyone in the cold and dark, the crowd would go home, but the general consensus was a dogged determination to see it out. We had waited this long, we weren’t going home now! My phone battery died and we now had no way of communicating with our friends inside. Jan-Dirk suggested I put his battery into my phone but we couldn’t be separated as we would have no way of finding each other again in the crowd.

The minutes and hours dragged on as everyone waited patiently and prayed. If the pastor was going to be incarcerated there would be a crowd of witnesses, no unexplained disappearance this time!

Suddenly the police gathered together, some piling into the trucks, others jogging in lines, circling the outer edges of the crowd. It seemed at first we were being surrounded but the rest of police then took off to the waiting trucks in the distance. Uncertain but unafraid, the crowd began to chant in Shona “Police, don’t go!”

Confused I asked a lady next to me what was happening and she said “they are going, we are telling them stay, don’t go”. What a strange night this was.

We were still milling about, wondering at the exit of the police when my phone, along with a number of others, beeped. There was a moment of stunned silence then an incredulous babble broke out. It wasn’t a shout, people couldn’t believe what they were hearing.  The case had been declared unconstitutional and was dismissed;  the pastor was free to go!

The crowd immediately surged to the court exit, I took shelter behind a tree as a mass stampeded past me, and Jan-Dirk disappeared along with them. At first he was ushered to the front as people saw him taking photos, but then he turned back and clambered up a tree, followed by several others eager for a better view.

Three shared his branch and from there he saw the lights of news crews focusing on a single moving nucleus as the crowd chanted, “Pastor, pastor!” Even from their vantage point it was difficult to see the pastor. It was jubilation, incredulity and grateful thanks to God for prayers answered beyond all expectation.

As Pastor Evan stood still to talk, the call went up, “Garai pasi, garai pasi” (Sit down everyone).  Those close by sat down and finally we could see him. The pastor looked bemused and almost overwhelmed as the crowd waited expectantly for him to say something. His talk was brief but the masses erupted in cheers at his closing words and he drove off to his freedom and his family.

People were hugging their neighbours, in many cases complete strangers, dancing and taking “selfies”. Flags were waving and horns were blaring as the entire area of the city around the court erupted in noise and celebration. Businessmen in suits were dancing on the roofs of their cars alongside jeans-clad youths.

The atmosphere surpassed that of a World Cup win, it was an exhausted, unbelievable jubilation. A friend compared it to the euphoria he had witnessed at the breaking down of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, just nine years after Robert Mugabe came to power.  At that point there was overwhelming hope for Zimbabwe’s future but he chose to turn on his people and destroy the country in his dogged quest for power and control.

As we celebrated together, we knew instinctively that this was a historic moment, more so for its unexpectedness.

A week later, we are a country on tenterhooks, unsure of what the future holds, and need to take courage from the passage of history.

In 1979, on the eve of Zimbabwe’s independence, renowned author and journalist Martin Meredith published a book entitled: The Past is Another Country: Rhodesia, 1890-1979.

Once again, the past is another country.  The day that Pastor Mawarire was freed, July 13, 2016, was a turning point for our battered and bruised citizens.  It was a victory for a brave pastor, a victory for overcoming fear, a victory for social media and most of all, a victory for the power of prayer.

One of the triggers for the collapse of the Berlin Wall – which also caught much of the world by surprise – was that the economic system of the Soviet Union was breaking down, leading to an implosion.  Our economy is also on the brink of implosion and our corrupt, wrangling and inept government has no solutions to offer.

Like Mugabe and ZANU PF, the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain seemed to be permanent fixtures.  But the peaceful revolution that rippled across the continent throughout 1989 generated a political, moral, and spiritual earthquake that changed the course of history.

On a crisp winter night on the streets of Harare, our people joined together in unprecedented numbers to light the spark that will change the course of history. The future is in our hands

LATEST: Supreme Court to hear Chivayo appeal

Source: LATEST: Supreme Court to hear Chivayo appeal | The Herald July 21, 2016

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter

The Supreme Court will now hear the conviction challenge by businessman Wicknell Chivayo after it emerged that the notes taken down by a judge during his money laundering trial have been found.

The four notebooks used by the judge in the trial will now be used to reconstruct the missing record to enable the Supreme Court to hear Chivayo’s appeal.

Chivayo has since served the prison term for the offence and he is now seeking to clear his name through an appeal.

Details to follow….

Zinara disburses $22m for road works

Source: Zinara disburses $22m for road works | The Herald July 21, 2016

Melody Mashaire Business Reporter

THE Zimbabwe National Roads Administration disbursed just over $22 million in the first half of this year, representing 46 percent of its targeted $48 million disbursement for road works this year. ZINARA acting chief executive officer Engineer Moses Juma indicated in a statistical statement of the disbursements that an amount of $25 943 301 is outstanding for the year out of the total annual allocation.

A total of $20 million was allocated to rural district councils but only $5 million has been disbursed so far. The national roads administration has also disbursed $3 million to urban councils out of an allocation of $10 million.

The Department of Roads was given $9 million out of the targeted total of $12 million while District Development Fund has been given $3 million out of a targeted disbursement of $6 million, the statement says.

There are four types of disbursements under Zinara. These are routine maintenance, periodic maintenance, emergency and special project fund. The disbursements and allocation of the funds may be based on any one or more of the following: Basic percentage split of the total money available among roads of different classes and a formulation that takes into account the classes of the road, its length, width, surface type and the traffic levels on the road.

Last year, Zinara increased allocation of money to local authorities by 312 percent to facilitate improved maintenance and rehabilitation of roads. The roads administration authority is a statutory body empowered to collect road fees through toll fees, fuel levy, vehicle licences, and transit, abnormal and overload fees.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Evan Mawarire ruling keeps hope alive

Source: EDITORIAL COMMENT: Evan Mawarire ruling keeps hope alive | The Financial Gazette July 21, 2016

IN the midst of what might appear to be a hopeless situation, Harare magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe’s ruling last week came as a breath of fresh air.
Ahead of the arrest of Evan Mawarire last week, ruling party apparatchiks had come out guns blazing, threatening to crush anyone who dared  challenge its authority.
Having successfully campaigned for the shutdown of all economic activity a week earlier to demonstrate citizens’ anger over the deteriorating socio-economic situation, Mawarire — a pastor who is making waves through his campaign running under #ThisFlag — became a marked man whose supposed crime could not just be wished away.
And indeed, the Executive did deploy its full might on him, with the police descending on the defenceless cleric like a tonne of bricks.
A day after his arrest, Mawarire was arraigned before the courts, facing charges of inciting violence. Somehow, the State could have felt that there was need to send a strong message to all those who might have wanted to follow in Mawarire’s footsteps. In its wisdom or lack of it, the charge was changed to attempting to overthrow a constitutionally elected government, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, if convicted.
Without taking anything away from the defence team, which did well by pointing out that the State had acted unconstitutionally by shifting goal posts, the Harare magistrate deserves a pat on the back for doing a through and professional job. Faced with an Executive, whose ego had been bruised and battered, it is not every time that you come across professionals like Chikwekwe who will stand on the side of the law. For fear of rubbing society’s mighty and powerful the wrong way, some could elect “to play it safe”.
Chikwekwe’s ruling therefore represents that bright spark that continues to flicker in darkness.
It gives hope, even under these depressing times, that even though the potent might throw their weight around, the weak can also count on the judiciary to deliver justice, irrespective of their race, tribe, political affiliation, gender or creed.
Coincidentally, the ruling was delivered during the same week Bikita West Member of Parliament, Munyaradzi Kereke, was sentenced to 14 years in jail for raping his niece, who was only 11 years at the time of the offence in 2010.
That Kereke was able to dodge the courts for over six years highlights everything that has gone horribly wrong with our society whereby the all-powerful find it easy to ride roughshod over the less privileged members of our civilisation. But with judicial officers such as Chikwekwe and many other unsung heroes on the bench, one can be rest assured that no matter how influential society’s wrongdoers could be, the long arm of the law would eventually catch up with them. We are under no illusion that our courts are perfect as the corrosive effects of corruption have crept into all facets of society, including the three arms of the State.
It is encouraging, however, to know that there are some good apples out there who are keeping alive our hope for a better future.

Motorists gang up against abusive police

Source: Motorists gang up against abusive police | The Financial Gazette July 21, 2016

ZIMBABWEAN motorists have started mobilising funds to launch a class action against the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other State bodies they accuse of violating their constitutional rights.
Lawyers and motorists this week launched the Road Users Association (RUA), an organisation that seeks to give relief to all road users in Zimbabwe who are being abused by the police.
“It is RUA’s belief that the police are acting unconstitutionally and illegally in their harassment of motorists, their imposition of unreasonable fines, their misinterpretation of the laws, and their use of ‘legislation’ that has not been promulgated. Furthermore, the number of roadblocks, sometimes within sight of one another, is excessive and unreasonable,” the association said in a statement.
“RUA considers that the actions of the ZRP are harming the economy, undermining public respect for the police, infringing the public’s constitutional rights, discouraging tourism, and placing undue hardships on motorists. Instead of the ‘spot checks’ achieving a ‘reduction in road carnage’, their stated objective, ZRP is often compromising road safety.”
To achieve its objectives, the association has started mobilising funds for use to institute legal proceedings against the police and other bodies that violate the constitutional rights of road users as well as to conduct programmes that seek to positively influence what RUA says is “unreasonable behaviour” of the ZRP officers manning the numerous check-points throughout the country.
A Bulawayo law firm, Webb, Low and Barry, is administering the fund.
There is generally a hostile relationship between motorists and the police, with the latter being accused of literally extorting money from road users.

Government introduces command agriculture

Source: Government introduces command agriculture | The Financial Gazette July 19, 2016

AT least 2 000 farmers are expected to benefit from a new agricultural scheme aimed at ensuring food self-sufficiency.

The new scheme, termed Targeted Command Agriculture, is expected to target farmers near water bodies who can put a minimum of 200 hectares under maize per person.

Addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) 2016 congress in Victoria Falls, Vice President EmmersonMnangagwa said government had come up with a command agriculture scheme involving 2 000 farmers and the mandate for each farmers was to at least produce 1 000 tonnes of maize.

“A distinct advantage of the project is that it is self-financing, with each participating farmer being required to commit five tonnes per hectare towards repayment of advanced loans in the form of irrigation equipment, inputs and chemicals, mechanised equipment, electricity and water charges,” Mnangagwa said.

The farmer retains all surplus produced for personal use.

To complement the food self-sufficiency thrust, government has also introduced the National Livestock Strategy aimed at resuming beef exports to the European Union, Middle East and other markets.

“As we implement the National Livestock Strategy, we remain alive to the need to guard against disease outbreaks like foot and mouth disease.

“Cognisant of the erratic rains in the semi-arid parts of the country like Matabeleland South and its effect on pastures, some 2 000 hectares is being cleared for irrigated grass at ARDA-Ngwizi, enough to feed 60 000 animals per annum,” he said.

Government rejects ZESA’s electricity tariff hike proposal

Source: Government rejects ZESA’s electricity tariff hike proposal | The Financial Gazette July 21, 2016

GOVERNMENT has rejected a hike in electricity tariff proposed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), the Financial Gazette can report.

ZETDC, a unit of ZESA Holdings, had last year proposed an upwards review of electricity tariff by 49 percent, a move which would have seen electricity consumers paying US$0,1469 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from an average US$0,0986 per kWh.

But the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA)’s board chairperson, Ester Khosa, yesterday said the proposed increment was unnecessary and disclosed that they have ordered ZETDC to maintain the current tariff of US$0,0986 per kWh.

“After duly considering the tariff application, the written and oral submissions from various consumers groups and stakeholders as well as facts and evidence provided by ZETDC, the ZERA board on June 14, 2016 made a determination that the current tariff of US$0,0986 per kWh be retained for 2016,” said Khosa.

Khosa said the decision was made due to poor performance of the economy, the need to support government in reducing the cost of doing business, the need for the power utility to improve efficiency levels as well as implementing cost cutting measures.

She added that her board also considered views and concerns from various stakeholders consulted during stakeholders meetings.

Khosa also disclosed that ZERA is immediately engaging an international consultant to look into the cost structures of the utilities.

“As a way forward, in terms of addressing the stakeholders’ concerns, ZERA will be engaging an international consultant to examine the underlying cost structures of the utilities and recommend potential areas of cost savings and efficiency improvement. This is key to ensuring sustainability given the increased cost of supply due to changes in the energy mix,” said Khosa while urging ZESA to reprioritise new projects, improve revenue collection given the high levels of debt and reduce losses.

ZESA has for the past four years been pressing government to approve a tariff increase, but its pleas have found no takers at Cabinet level.

The power utility is owed more than US$1 billion by electricity consumers and has been struggling to collect this debt.

The Financial Gazette last week reported that President Robert Mugabe’s administration had no appetite to approve the electricity tariff increase before the make or break 2018 elections fearing the ruling ZANU-PF party’s popularity ratings would plunge further ahead of the crucial elections.

Zanu-PF youths warn malcontents • . . . hail empowerment polices • President avails 1 000ha for stands

Source: Zanu-PF youths warn malcontents • . . . hail empowerment polices • President avails 1 000ha for stands | The Herald July 21, 2016

Tendai Mugabe and Felex Share
In a massive show of support for the ruling party, thousands of Zanu-PF youths yesterday brought Harare traffic to a standstill as they marched along Jason Moyo Avenue before converging at the party’s headquarters in support of Government’s empowerment policies.

The youths warned they would not sit idly by while malcontents threatened to destabilise the country.

Addressing the youths at an extraordinary Harare youth league inter-district conference at the party’s headquarters, Zanu-PF Youth League deputy secretary Cde Kudzanai Chipanga said Government had availed 1 000 hectares of land for residential stands in Harare following their appeal to President Mugabe.

He said the President received a number of requests from the youths during the recent One-Million Man March and these were at various stages of implementation.

“Youths highlighted a number of problems when we toured their various provinces,” said Cde Chipanga.

“I am happy to inform you that the requests were well-received by the President. One of the things that you raised was that senior members in the party benefitted from the land reform programme free of charge and as youths you also want to benefit through the provision of residential stands in towns. Our President accepted this and I am happy to inform you that he has given you 1 000 hectares of land in Harare for residential stands,” said Cde Chipanga.

“We want to make sure that when we go to vote for President Mugabe in 2018, all youths will be landlords. Zanu-PF is the ruling party and it cannot be a ruling party of tenants and lodgers.”

Cde Chipanga said the stands would be distributed in a transparent manner.

The youths were informed that Government had availed 1 000 hectares of land for residential stands in Harare as part of the 300 000 housing units outlined in Zim-Asset.

The land is in Shawasha B, Norton and Harare South and will be developed by the Urban Development Corporation.

The provision of residential stands to youths in Harare comes barely two weeks after more than 7 000 youths in Bulawayo benefited under a similar scheme.

More land will be made available in other urban areas.

A letter from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing signed by Ms Grace Moyo on behalf of the permanent secretary Engineer George Mlilo confirming the availability of the stands was read out to the youths.

Cde Chipanga said the beneficiaries would be asked to complete registration forms in the coming weeks, adding that the process would be transparent. On the request by youths to do mining without disturbances from the police, Cde Chipanga said that was work in progress.

“No youths should be denied to mine in Zimbabwe but you should make sure that your operations conform to the laws of the country,” he said.

“Modalities are being worked out with the responsible minister to ensure that youths get mining licences.”

He said other development projects were in the pipeline in the agriculture and transport sectors.

In the agricultural sector, he said youths had asked for an input credit scheme starting this year while others wanted to benefit through employment in the dualisation of the Beitbridge-Chirundu highway.

Cde Chipanga said youths from Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces were set to benefit from the land availed in Harare.

He said it was disturbing that while President Mugabe and his Government were making frantic efforts to empower people some rogue elements in the opposition ranks were seeking to destabilise the country.

“The duty of a pastor is to pray for peace and stability in the country,” he said in reference to Evan Mawarire who has been leading demonstrations calling in President to step down before his term is over.

“Those who are masquerading as pastors saying tajamuka should stop that. Isu takajamuka 1980 patakatora nyika, tikajamuka futi 2000 tichitora minda and now tajamuka futi tichipa vanhu pekugara.”

Cde Chipanga said Zanu PF youth would not hesitate to counter demonstrations that are meant to destabilise or bring down a constitutionally-elected Government.

Business came to a standstill in Harare as the youths who attended yesterday’s meeting marched from Fourth Street to the party headquarters mid-morning.

The whole Zanu-PF complex was filled to capacity while others followed proceedings from outside the perimeter wall.

The meeting was attended by several Zanu-PF legislators, Women’s League and party leadership from Harare province.

99-year leases for dairy farmers

Source: 99-year leases for dairy farmers | The Herald

Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Government will consider issuing out 99-year leases to dairy farmers to promote production, and ensure self-sufficiency.

This came out at the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers annual general meeting held in Harare yesterday.

Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Bertha Chikwama also assured dairy farmers of protection against acquisition of their farms as the sector was important to the economy.

She was responding to the ZADF chairman, Mr Emmanuel Zimbandu who complained that security of tenure was a major challenge affecting the sector.

Mr Zimbandu said the dairy business was not short term, and required confidence to enable investment in the sector.

Cde Chikwama said Government had come up with measures to ensure dairy farms were exempted from acquisition.

“Government came up with five-year leases for the dairy farmers, and may also consider issuing out 99-year leases.

“We have given some dairy farmers five-year leases on application. Some of the farmers have already collected their documents. We will also sit down as Government and consider issuing out 99-year leases.

“The 99-year leases, after some amendments are now bankable, and I hope they will assist the farmers to access funding,” she said. Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Cde Paddy Zhanda agreed that there was need to protect the dairy farms.

“Dairy farmers should be spared to boost production. Dairy farmers have been spared because of their commitment to Zimbabwe. We want the sector to grow. It is better for me to preside over a flourishing sector rather than a crumbling sector,” he said.

Cde Zhanda ruled out possibilities of title deeds for the farms.

He said Government had come up with 99-year leases and it was not the State’s policy to issue out title deeds for the land.

Cde Zhanda also applauded the dairy sector for registering a growth of eight percent.

He said the sector would also benefit from the recent Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 in which Government regulated importation of a number of finished products.

‘Govt has capacity to pay civil servants’

Source: ‘Govt has capacity to pay civil servants’ | The Herald July 21, 2016

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Government has the capacity to pay all civil servants their salaries and a payment method has since been struck between the employer and employees, Parliament heard yesterday.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Tapiwa Matangaidze said talks between Government and the Apex Council, representing all civil servants, were going on well and what remained was to release payment dates.

Deputy Minister Matangaidze was responding to a question from Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T), who had asked if Government still had the capacity to pay its workers considering the delay that had been experienced of late.

“Yes indeed, Government does have the capacity. It has put in place a payment method on a staggered basis owing to some challenges that it is going through which are temporary,” said Cde Matangaidze.

The response, however, triggered a protest from Ms Majome and some MDC-T MPs who accused the Deputy Minister of failing to uphold his Constitutional obligation to respond honestly and without prevaricating considering that civil servants were yet to get their July salaries.

Deputy Minister Matangaidze, however, rapped the MDC-T legislators for crying more than the bereaved saying both the employer and employees were on the same “wave length” as they were discussing the issue amicably.

Responding to another question, Cde Matangaidze said Government would consider a suggestion that civil servants rotated on who got their salaries first.

Musikavanhu MP Mr Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) had asked why Government preferred to pay members of the military service first.

Deputy Minister Matangaidze said it had been the tradition before the start of financial challenges affecting the Government that uniformed forces got paid first.

Responding to another question, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Paddy Zhanda said Zimbabwe had not imposed a ban on imports, but had exercised its right to regulate goods that come into the country.

He said Zimbabwe was a signatory of various regional and continental protocols that seek to promote trade, but was entitled to exercise its right to regulate certain products from coming into the country as what it did on Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 that restricts some goods.

He was responding to a question from Mutasa South MP Cde Irene Zindi (zanu-pf) on if his Ministry would also impose a ban on agricultural products that were produced locally.

“Even with that Statutory Instrument, we have a right to issue permits of goods that are necessary to come into this country. We have not been issuing permits for vegetables for example, because we want to promote the local industry,” said Cde Zhanda.

Kasukuwere warns churches

Source: Kasukuwere warns churches | The Herald July 21, 2016

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Churches must be the vanguard of peace and tranquillity and should never be used to incite public violence, the ruling Zanu-PF’s political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere has said.

Addressing thousands of delegates gathered in Mt Darwin for the Salvation Army’s 125 years of existence flag celebrations recently, Cde Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister, warned churches against being used by agents of regime change seeking to cause political turmoil in the country.

“The moment churches go into the political terrain, you will find us ready for that. The Bible does not speak about inciting violence, murder or blood. A holy place should remain a holy place, and if there are challenges which our people are facing, let us sit down and resolve them.

“Individuals should not hide behind churches when they want to burn the country. We have churches mushrooming everywhere, yet they are doing nothing for the country.

“They are looking for donors’ money, yet that money is not benefiting the community.

“Churches must never be in conflict with the people, but must unite the nation,” he said.

Cde Kasukuwere applauded the Salvation Army for assisting Government in developing the country by building schools, seven vocational training centres and 51 pre-schools, which he said signified its support to the ruling party.

The church also owns highly ranked academic institutions that include Bradley High, Howard High, and Usher High Schools, and Howard Mission Hospital.

Cde Kasukuwere lauded the Salvation Army and equated it to Zanu-PF, for having remained solid for 125 years.

His sentiments come after futile attempts by regime change malcontents masquerading as pastors to bring the country to a standstill.

He criticised the country’s detractors who destroyed property worth thousands of dollars in Beitbridge in protest over Statutory Instrument 64 yet the move is meant to boost the economy.

He said patriotic Zimbabweans should support the local industry.

Cde Kasukuwere also chastised foreigners who had turned the national flag into regalia they put on when engaging in illegal protests.

“Woona twusikana twechirungu twopfeka flag yeZimbabwe! Kuita madress flag yedu manje! Kwaakutamba muzeerere nenyika uku! Kwakuda kutidheerera. (You see some protesting white women donning our national flag as dresses. They are undermining our authority, and we will not tolerate that.”)

Come down hard on corruption, Govt urged

Source: Come down hard on corruption, Govt urged | The Herald July 21, 2016

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Senators have called upon Government to come up with laws that deal with perpetrators of corruption, saying it is a cancer that has destroyed the country’s economic fortunes.

Debating a motion moved by Matabeleland South Senator Bheki Sibanda, senators said political parties should not be partisan and must unite if the scourge is to be eliminated in the society. Manicaland Senator Shadreck Chipanga said corruption was a complex crime and perpetrators could not be convicted without solid evidence.

“I am suggesting that as legislators, we need to come up with a different set of legislation, which deals particularly and specifically with corruption.

“My view will be that, that law should get away from where the State is supposed to prove its case, but that the accused should prove his innocence. That has to be a separate set of legislation. As things stand now, I am sorry to say so, squeal, complain, shout and say the Executive is not doing enough, there is nothing that the Executive can do as long as we have this piece of legislation, which says every individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

President of the Chief’s Council Chief Fortune Charumbira said corruption was not a political issue and one should not be intimidated when debating it, as President Mugabe together with his Vice Presidents have spoken strongly against it. Bulawayo Metropolitan Senator Siphiwe Ncube said all the culprits must be brought to book if the economy is to remain sound.

Manicaland Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said there should not be any sacred cows when it comes to corruption as it has seriously affected revenue collection in the country.

Zim’s agricultural sector can turnaround the economy

Source: Zim’s agricultural sector can turnaround the economy | The Herald July 21, 2016

Victoria Ruzvidzo : Business Focus

Agriculture has been the economy’s forte for decades but robust and proactive measures need to be introduced promptly to augment production levels. The mining sector is fast claiming a bigger share of GDP but as of now, agriculture remains the main pillar on which the economy anchors. The need to get the sector up again is especially more compelling now, with the significant fall in commodity prices globally.Last week we had a very enlightening chat with the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr . . . who registered confidence in Zimbabwe’s economy despite the current dip. He said this country has so much potential and China is always ready to assist.

In our deliberations, he intimated that Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector alone could help turnaround the economy if more was produced for the export market. China, for instance, could easily absorb Zimbabwe’s entire produce, including grass for feeding cattle.

“China is a very big country and Zimbabwe’s entire production can only feed one province.”

He said: “We see many farmers burning grass and we say why are they burning money like this. Grass can earn this country quite some money.”

This revelation really got me thinking that the country needs to maximise on every opportunity to grow and sell its produce. A more aggressive marketing strategy for its commodities can obviously yield results.

Agriculture has the potential to create more employment, increase GDP, improve foreign currency earnings, supply industry with raw materials, increase the revenue base and guarantee self-sufficiency, among others.

The land reform programme, precipitated by blatant inequalities in the colonial era, was further underpinned by the desire to have access to the means of production. Hence the validity and sustainability of land reform cannot be negated by the current poor results shown by the sector.

The El Nino phenomenon has indeed adversely affected production in Zimbabwe and other countries in the region. However, strategies to counter this have to be devised and implemented.

We cannot fixate on environmental factors which we cannot control but we should rather find instruction from it by assessing alternatives.

Financing is crucial and banks have to up their game in this regard. Facilities can be tailor-made to ensure the sector is given enough support to allow for increased production for self-sustenance and for export.

In fact all needs to be done to ensure production improves considerably, whatever it takes. The central bank and the Ministry of Finance already have proposed strategies for this sector stored over the last few years. These need to be dusted off and implemented to revive the sector, even in face of drought.

Agriculture remains an important sector and, together with commensurate attention to other sectors of the economy such as mining, manufacturing, tourism, transport and social services, this economy can rebound.

We will continue to publish strategies by readers as we all seek to transform this economy. Herewith a submission by Fredrich Kandawasvika from Califonia, United Sates. He posits: “How are you Victoria and your invitation for strategies to revamp and revitalise the economy is a laudable one. The interactive approaches can get us moving in the right direction,if acted upon.

‘‘I suggest a multi-pronged approach as our afflictions are many. l will restrict my contribution to what l know as the major ones owing to space and time considerations. Corruption has to be decisively dealt with. It is so endemic that it is generally viewed as the new normal. Substantial amounts are lost through it.

“Quality of work is hugely compromised. Where tangible results are supposed to be evident, there is stagnation if not retrogression. Tender systems are shockingly flawed and manifestly biased in the main, the cost of doing business escalates, leakages are everywhere, self-aggrandisement and selfish interests are the overriding concerns for most. The culture is indescribably debilitating.

“The solution is to introduce transparent and accountable systems with strict monitoring mechanisms.

“Furthermore, those found on the wrong side of the law should be punished heavily. We need to come up with laws and instruments which robustly deal with this. More than that, it had to be consistently executed, not the mere rhetoric we hear. If we cannot be serious about this then we cannot be serious about our economic recovery and rejuvenation.

“A paragon of conduct in this regard has to be the Chinese and look where they are! Let’s replicate it here! Furthermore Government simply has to bite the bullet and address the SMEs sector. Issues such as funding training and alignment of laws and statutory instrument have to be pro-SMEs. The production levels are low and hence the trade deficit.

“We pull all stops to ensure there is increased productivity in practically every sector eg agriculture, manufacturing,service industry. Universally SMEs contribute between 55-75 percent to economies! Reduction of the wage bill has been talked about for quite some time. Why are we not decisively moving forward? How can 80 percent of a national budget go to recurrent expenditure, in this case the wage bill? How can that ever be sustainable? We need to be bold and decisive in this regard.

“Infrastructure development is key for any progressive economy. Funds should be directed towards this to stimulate economic growth,provide employment and augment the revenue base. The availability of power is of central value. One cannot increase production without adequate and reliable power supply.

“Policy consistency and clarity is lacking. How is it possible to have different ministers in the same Cabinet from the same party blatantly contradicting each other? What are Cabinet meetings for? How are we viewed by would be investors? We live in a global village which has spawned intense competition in every facet of business.

“Choices have been broadened and we simply need to be competitive. Perhaps more than anything else,my sister, we need to put an accent on strategic execution. You will agree that no substantive results can ever be attained without implementation. Where some agreed strategies have been implemented, it has been half-hearted and half baked.

“In business as in economics, phenomenal success is discernible only in institutions and entities which have vibrant execution of strategy. What are the methodologies, what are the tasks, are there distinct duties and responsibilities, what are the time frames? Are monitoring and evaluation techniques in place? Where are the performance indicators? Is there strategic realignment with realities on the ground? All these and more are imperative for delivery.

“Our reputation for being such good planners and nothing else is well earned, Victoria. So all these and more need to be addressed. I have detected in your articles over the years your optimistic disposition which really is what we need right now. We are Zimbabweans first and foremost and our destiny falls on our laps. None but ourselves. Commercialisation and privatisation of parastatals of other entities which incontestably encumber the fiscus is vital. This will improve service delivery and performance and invite private investors who have the right competence, experience and capital and technology.

“We seem to be doing things tentatively and nothing of substance will emanate from such lethargy.

“And by the way, hearty congratulations on your Megafest award! Keep it up my sister! Till next time. Bye for now!”

In God I Trust!

Email:[email protected] or [email protected]; Twitter:@VictoriaRuzvidzo;Whatsaap: +263 772 129 972

Tomana trial deferred

Source: Tomana trial deferred | The Herald July 21, 2016

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
The trial of suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana has been moved to August 29 to allow the prosecution to consolidate all the six charges of criminal abuse of office into a single case for purposes of trial.

The prosecution will also furnish the defence with the relevant papers to prepare its defence outline.

Two more prosecutors will be part of a prosecuting team assembled to represent the State.

Mr Jonathan Chingwinyiso and Mr Malvern Musarurwa joined Mr Gwinyai Shumba and Mr Timothy Makoni.

Tomana is represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Mr Alex Mambosasa and Tazorora Musarurwa of Mambosasa and Associates.

Tomana yesterday appeared before Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe, who remanded him to August 29.

Mr Chikwekwe recused himself from the case, but presided over it yesterday for the purposes of remand.

Tomana is facing trial for criminal abuse of office after he allegedly dropped charges against suspects accused of attempting to bomb Gushungo Dairy.

Allegations in the new cases are that in 2004, Bright Matonga, then chief executive of Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco), was charged with culpable homicide.

It is alleged that the charge arose from a road traffic accident that claimed the life of Chipo Chikowore.

Tomana allegedly called for the docket and instructed that the charges be dropped.

In 2006, Matonga was charged with contravening sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In December 2008, Tomana allegedly instructed Morgan Dube to drop charges after plea against Matonga.

The court heard that in 2006, Zupco board chairman Charles Nherera was charged with corruption.

Tomana testified as a defence witness and Nherera was sentenced to three years in prison.

After sentence, Nherera unsuccessfully applied for bail pending appeal and his appeal was dismissed at the High Court.

Nherera served his sentence and was released from prison in December 2008.

When Tomana was appointed AG, he declared that Nherera was innocent and wrongfully convicted.

The court heard that former Bindura Hospital acting medical superintendent Beauty Basile was charged with criminal abuse of duty.

She appeared before Harare Regional Magistrates Court and Tomana ordered the withdrawal of charges after plea on November 24, 2009.

The court heard that in October 2009, Patrick Mavros, a gold dealer, was charged with possession of gold without a licence.

Mavros admitted to the charges but Tomana directed that prosecution be declined.

Beitbridge 17 freed on bail

Source: Beitbridge 17 freed on bail | The Herald July 21, 2016

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The 17 suspects who were arrested for staging protests in Beitbridge a fortnight ago and were charged for public violence, have been granted $50 bail each by a Bulawayo High Court.

The group is part of a mob of 74 people that was arrested on similar charges while protesting the implementation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which removes listed products from the Open General Import Licence.

The demonstrations resulted in looting, vandalism of infrastructure and the burning of a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) warehouse and vehicles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Among those who were granted bail by Justice Maxwell Takuva are two men from Bulawayo – Nqobizitha Mazibeli (26) and Njabulo Ndlovu (30); and, Thomas Mweya of Masvingo.

Other members of the group are: Daniel Gumbochuma (26), Hendrick Phiri (26), Addington Matiya (28), Lovemore Mbedzi (27), Edzani Moyo (32), Tshiyoka Muleya (30), Justice Mangezi (32), Miriam Phiri (24), William Rupiya (24), Farai Nyamhuka (23), Nigel Kaseke (29), Raodoff Hurudza (28) and Nhlanhla Moyo (26) and Norest Hove, all of Beitbridge town.

The gang is expected to appear in court tomorrow for trial. They were also ordered to stay at their given addresses and to report once per fortnight at Beitbridge Police as part of the bail conditions.

Beitbridge resident magistrate Ms Gloria Takundwa had earlier on dismissed their bail application saying if released, the gang was likely to disturb public peace considering that the situation in the country was still volatile.

She also ruled that the suspects were likely to interfere with witnesses since investigations were yet to be completed.

Ms Takundwa said the group was a threat to public peace considering that events unfolding in the country arose from the Beitbridge incident.

Messrs Reason Mutimba, Patrick Tererai and Lizwe Jamela for the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are representing the group.

Beitbridge senior prosecutor Mr Jabulani Mberesi told the court that on July 1, the gang some of whom are cross- border traders, vendors and ordinary people gathered at Beitbridge Border Post main entrance to protest against the implementation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016.

He said they were addressed by the Police Officer Commanding Beitbridge, Chief Superintendent Patrick Majuta, to stop the demonstration, and that they should disperse since their gathering was unlawful.

He added that after the address, the gang turned violent, started singing, throwing stones and missiles towards the police.

They also marched, vandalising properties including traffic lights along the main highway and, barricading the roads using stones and other objects.

The court further heard that they marched in groups with other people who are still at large damaging shops and looting goods from shops before torching the Red Star whole- sale complex rented by ZIMRA.

to Red Star whole sale complex, which is now being rented for warehouse purposes by Zimra and set it on fire.

He said they also set on fire, four forfeited vehicles, which were parked outside the building and stoned 35 other vehicles within the same yard, extensively damaging them.

The suspects were later rounded up by police while targeting other properties.

Mubhawu in court again

Source: Mubhawu in court again | The Herald July 21, 2016

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
There appears to be no end to former MDC-T MP Timothy Mubhawu’s domestic violence case after he was yesterday brought to court for chasing his wife from their matrimonial home.

Mubhawu (55) appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta accused of breaching a protection order.

When asked to plead to the charges, Mubhawu applied to have Ms Sabarauta recuse herself citing that she dealt with his previous domestic violence case.

“I am not comfortable with having this matter handled in this court. I would appreciate if it is referred to another court such that I get a fair trial,” said Mubhawu.

“There will be a conflict of interest because everything has been shrouded in shenanigans. I was denied access to State papers, was not told of the offence and I was tipped off of this court date by a police officer.”

Mubhawu added that journalists were attracted to him.

“You see these journalists, they are attracted to me and I beg to be put in another court,” said Mubhawu.

“This is a legal ambush and I want legal representation. Why punish me?”

Prosecuting, Ms Patience Chimusaru insisted that the court did not deal with Mubhawu’s previous case.

“Accused alleges that every corner of the legal system is now biased against him,” she said.

Ms Sabarauta dismissed the application, saying she did not deal with Mubhawu’s case before postponing trial to July 22 to allow him to get legal representation.

Ms Chimusaru alleged that on May 24 this year, Mubhawu’s wife Molleen Elizabeth applied for a protection order. After two days, Mubhawu was served to attend court on June 21 but the couple did not show up.

It is alleged that on June 6, Molleen went back to the Civil Court and was given another court date, August 1.

The court heard that on July 11, Molleen went to Rhodesville Police Station and reported that Mubhawu had chased her from their matrimonial home. She is now staying with relatives.

On the same day, Mubhawu escorted their housemaid Mupangai Tsamwa Chamapiwa to report an assault charge against Molleen.

Mubhawu was given protection order papers to sign, but he refused.

Molleen appeared before the same magistrate yesterday accused of assaulting Chamapiwa with a stick all over her body.

It is alleged that Molleen was angered after returning home on July 11 to find the maid staying with her husband and children. The matter was remanded to July 26.

LATEST: Kereke expelled from Parly

Source: LATEST: Kereke expelled from Parly | The Herald July 21, 2016

Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke was today expelled from Parliament after he was sentenced to an effective 10 year jail term following his recent conviction for raping his 11 year old niece.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Cde Marble Chinomona made the announcement today.

Cde Chinomona said parliament would make necessary administrative measures to inform President Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the existence of the said vacancy. The announcement means there would be a by-election in Bikita West.

The reawakening of struggle in Zimbabwe

The national shutdown against the Mugabe dictatorship has revived one of Africa’s most militant and long-suffering working classes.

Source: The reawakening of struggle in Zimbabwe | SocialistWorker.org

Leo Zeilig, author of numerous books including Class Struggle and Resistance in Africa, explains the origins of the renewed mass protests that are shaking the foundations of Robert Mugabe’s decades-long dictatorship in Zimbabwe, in an article published at the revolutionary socialism in the 21st century website.

A NATIONAL shutdown or “stay away” in Zimbabwe earlier this month paralyzed the country. For the first time in years the country’s ruling party ZANU-PF and the tenure of 92-year-old president Robert Mugabe, were seriously rattled. Young people, workers and traders–who survive by hawking food, cheap imported goods in cities and towns– engaged in pitch battles with the police and army, in many cases outnumbering the security forces.

Although a lot has been made in the mainstream press of the role of the 39-year-old pastor Evan Mawarire and his ‪#‎ThisFlag‬ movement, the protests have much deeper roots. There is an explosive convergence of issues including food shortages, unpaid wages and corruption. Nurses, teachers, doctors and other civil servants have already been on strike, many have not been paid for June. On July 4, protesters assembled in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, ahead of the national strike in the civil service. Scores of people were arrested, in an attempt to break the resolution of the protest. However something significant happened–instead of intimidating people, the opposite occurred. Repression seemed to harden resistance.

Two days later, on July 6, a massive national shutdown, when people stay away from work and major conurbations, was held across the country. Most cities and towns were drawn into the protest. In the southern city of Bulawayo, almost all shops in the CBD (Central Business District) and large suburbs were closed. The local transport for the poor, Kombis, small VW vans, had parked their vehicles and joined the stay-away. In Harare, the capital, an activist reported:

a virtual standstill with Zimbabweans heeding a call by pro-democracy activists to stay-away in a bid to force President Robert Mugabe to find a solution to the country’s problems–or. better still, for him and his ZANU-PF government to resign en masse.

In the high-density neighborhoods, poor residential areas, residents built barricades and fought the police.

Further action is planned for this week. A pervasive fear seems to have been broken and the ruling party’s apparent invulnerability ruptured. The International Socialist Organization of Zimbabwe, active in the country for more than 20 years, issued a call for unity:

All sections of workers, vendors, youths, rural farmers, and their unions and movements must unite on class lines and across political lines…to lead the struggles and not surrender to politicians, NGOs, rich middles classes and other elites.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Back to the 1990s

To unpack what has been happening in Zimbabwe we have to look back to the 1990s. In 1999 a mass opposition organization was formed, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which swore to unseat the ruling party, initially founded as a pro-poor coalition with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) as the key element. Branches were set-up across the country by activists who had played a role in the mass struggles of the poor and working class from the mid-1990s.

One leading activist, later to become finance minister in the discredited Government of National Unity from 2008, Tendai Beti, described the period of revolt, “This was a momentous occasion in the history of this country because it brought confidence–you could smell working class power in the air.” This was not an exaggeration. Between 1996 and 1998, Zimbabwe’s Biennio Rosso (Two Red Years) saw national public sector strikes, a shutdown of the national university in the capital of Harare, and a student revolt across the country, which politicized war veterans, ex-fighters from the liberation war in the 1970s, who seized farmland, in a widening arch of protest that challenged the power of the ruling party.

What happened next is depressingly familiar. The opposition became increasingly cautious. It faced a crackdown by ZANU-PF, repression which claimed the lives of hundreds of activists, but it also, crucially, tacked right. As the party grew in influence it quickly attracted a markedly mixed crowd of supporters. Unreconstructed Rhodesians–remnants of the white settlers, who had kept their land and farms at independence in 1980–business owners, and the Zimbabwean 1 Percent, disillusioned by ZANU-PF who they had supported for years, now joined the new party. ZANU-PF saw its opportunity. The ruling party started to champion the war veterans, who were now encouraged in their occupation of white farms. For land-poor Zimbabweans ZANU-PF now became their champions. In circumstances that were simultaneously bizarre and disheartening, the MDC, under the influence of the white interests, business owners and the middle class, promised to distribute land back to the white landholders in the interest of ‘legality’.

The MDC was outflanked from the left, while ZANU-PF started to present itself as a party of a radical African renaissance. Zimbabwe, we were told, was undergoing its third Chimurenga. The first Chimurenga, or uprising, had occurred at the end of the 19th century against colonial conquest of what became contemporary Zimbabwe, and second was during the guerilla resistance to the Rhodesian state in the 1960s and 1970s. Across the continent, Mugabe presented himself as the champion of a renewed fight against the contemporary manifestations of neo-colonialism. He was often taken at his word–his redistribution of land, the promise to take over businesses and introduce price controls on basic food stuffs, seemed to testify to his sincerity. The reality was dramatically different. As the Zimbabwean socialist Tafadzwa Choto has recently commented:

For all of its black empowerment bombast, [ZANU has failed] to make any serious efforts at controlling the countries riches for itself. Zimbabwe is endowed with vast mineral wealth with only a minority, approximately 1 percent, enjoying access to enormous wealth in kickbacks from deals with multinational corporations. At the same time more than 90 percent of the population struggle to afford to send their children to school, while young girls are often forced into prostitution or early marriages and boys turn to petty stealing or drugs. The gap between the poor and the rich continues to widen. Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, has always been a city of extremes, but never more so than today. The mansions the rich build for themselves, match the opulence of Constantia in Cape Town, while holidaying all over the world, and sending their children to top universities in Europe and America.

Having briefly inspired the struggle against the ZANU-PF state, the high point of popular resistance across the continent, the opposition entered a protracted meltdown. Fracturing into different groupings, led by various politicians and NGOs, the opposition to dictatorship splintered, with foreign NGOs funneling activists into other directions. Ultimately the political opposition, now operating in NGOs or mobilized by contaminated political parties, disarmed a movement that had emerged from below and shifted the attention of people from the actual struggle into commodified arenas–paid workshops, foreign scholarships, political stunts. Activists described this period as the “commodification of resistance.” By the mid-2000s, Zimbabwean politics, was described by student activist John Bomba:

Those who remember 1997 to 2000 today feel like they are living in lost times. Every day activists ask what it will take to rebuild the confidence and idealism that drove us in the 1990s… One wishes for a return of the madness.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Open for Business

There is one story that appeared to characterize the general predicament. In Mugabe’s birthday interview in February 2016 he announced that the country had lost $15 billion revenue from the mining of diamonds mines in Marange diamond fields in Chiadzwa, in the east of the country. This was $15 billion that could have been directed at the broken economy, but instead the diamond revenue had been lost to corruption. This was a bold admission of incompetence, from the continent’s figurehead of decolonization. Yet instead of bringing the culprits before the justice system Mugabe stated pathetically that his government would simply tempt new foreign investors to the country’s diamond fields. The regimes true face was revealed in 2008, when the army was sent into the Chiadzwa diamond mines, to clear poor “artisanal” miners, trying to scrape a living. Zimbabwe socialist Raymond Sango describes what happened next:

Unemployed youths who…descended on Chiadzwa in 2008 to pan for diamonds were brutally massacred by the military and police as the government moved in to create a “formal looting format”…in response to the World Diamond Council which pressured the government to curb the smuggling of diamonds. Approximately four hundred miners were killed in 2008 through indiscriminate volleys of gunshots fired by mounted police accompanied by dogs and helicopter.

The message was clear: Zimbabwe was open for business.

Recently the government, once again, courted international financial institutions. Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya recently proclaimed, to much fanfare, that the IMF would loan Zimbabwe $984 million in the third quarter of 2016 after paying off foreign lenders, the first such loan in almost 20 years. It was IMF loans in 1991 and 1996, and the structural adjustment programs which were the “conditions” of these loans, that devastated local industry, and led to mass unemployment. IMF conditions, as we have seen around the world, including in the Global North, saw austerity for ordinary people across Zimbabwe. The much talked about “crisis” and economic collapse in the country, was the devastating consequences of such loans in the 1990s.

In this context, ruling party and opposition have divided into warring factions many times over. The inability to chart a resolute anti-austerity project, meant the opposition split, again and again. Using the brand of the MDC, opposition politicians have set-up redux versions of the party. MDC-N was led by Welchman Ncube, and the disbanded MDC-99 once led by Job Sikhala, a former student activist, who returned to the party fold in 2014. Tendai Biti, a founding member of the original organization, became the leader of MDC-Renewal, but quickly launched a distinct party, the People’s Democratic Party, in September 2015. The MDC is in total disarray and was marginal to the protests last week–a fact that is even more astonishing when you consider that many of the leading figures of the party were members of the radical left in the 1990s.

The ruling party is also in disarray. With the collapse of the South African rand and the slowdown of the Chinese economy, ZANU-PF’s system of patronage has begun to dry up. The party has been involved in political bloodletting. Former Vice-President, Joice Mujuru, expelled in 2014, joined others to form a political party, People First (PF)–which is committed to neoliberal policies, sharing much in common with the ruling party. While the G40 (Generation 40) faction, consisting principally of younger ZANU-PF members who did not fight in the liberation struggle, are advocating for Mugabe’s wife, Grace, to succeed her husband.

These are the circumstances in Zimbabwe today, which renewed revolt and protest promises to overturn. It has become a cliché to write about “the crisis” in Zimbabwe. What once seemed immutable, unchangeable facts of Zimbabwe’s long-standing predicament–the ongoing tenure of 92-year-old president Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF government, the paralysis of the once mighty opposition, the Movement of Democratic Change and the seeming impotence of the ZCTU, which once threatened the dictatorship–has been shattered. The possibilities of overturning the regime, not through elite negotiations but popular uprisings, are once more a possibility. For the people of Zimbabwe, who had suffered more than any other country on the continent, from years of repression, the mass exodus to the UK in the North and South Africa in the South, unemployment of staggering levels of 85 percent and the failure of a once great opposition movement, this is an opportunity for real change. Though once more they must ensure that their actions, mass protests and movements, are not hijacked and paralyzed by the country’s bankrupt political parties and elites.

First published at the rs21 website.

Zimbabwe protest pastor urges citizens to scale ‘wall of fear’

Source: Zimbabwe protest pastor urges citizens to scale ‘wall of fear’ – Yahoo July 19, 2016

Johannesburg (AFP) – Evan Mawarire, the pastor who has emerged as leader of Zimbabwe’s new protest movement, has called on citizens to “scale the wall of fear” and speak out over the country’s mounting crisis.

Talking to AFP by telephone in Johannesburg, he denied going into hiding in South Africa after he was released by a Harare court last week over charges of trying to topple President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Mawarire, who said he has no political ambitions, became the public face of a wave of protests in Zimbabwe as founder of the popular “ThisFlag” internet campaign and an organiser of a national strike.

The country’s long-standing economic troubles have deepened in recent months, with Mugabe — aged 92 and increasingly frail — now struggling to pay soldiers and civil servants.

“The biggest goal that we have (is) to get citizens to be awake again, to move away from apathy, to be patriotic and to feel responsible for their country,” Mawarire said in the interview on Monday evening.

“We have to get citizens to scale the wall of fear and to get a place where they are not afraid to speak, not afraid to stand up and be open.”

The pastor said his visit to neighbouring South Africa was a “pre-planned” business trip and that he would soon return to Zimbabwe.

“I know it gives rise to rumours about ‘him having having run away or gone to seek asylum’,” Mawarire said. “(But) as soon as I have exhausted my work, I will be heading back there.”

Mawarire, whose wife and daughters are still in Harare, has avoided criticising Mugabe directly, instead appealing for Zimbabweans to express their frustration peacefully over the chronic shortage of jobs.

– Strongman Mugabe –

Mugabe, who has crushed almost all signs of dissent in his decades in power since 1980, has vowed to stand again for re-election in 2018, while his wife Grace is tipped as a possible successor.

The pastor said he hoped to focus on voter awareness ahead of the election, and to tackle the pessimism bred by violence and vote-rigging during previous votes that have kept Mugabe in office.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Mawarire, who often wears the national flag tied around his neck.

“As a pastor it is natural for me to stand for justice and for righteousness and mercy and for me to demand integrity, and I feel I’m in my element doing that.

“I don’t at this point feel a calling to go into politics.”

He described the sudden surge of protests in Zimbabwe as something “nobody could have imagined”.

“There are things we didn’t necessarily plan, but we were just ready for opportunities,” he said.

Several hundred noisy young supporters rallied all day outside the court before Mawarire was released, in a rare display of public anti-government activism in Zimbabwe.

Mawarire at the weekend posted a video assuring his followers that he was safe after a truck of unidentified men showed up at his Harare office and house looking for him.

Fear runs deep among Zimbabwean activists.

Last year leading opposition activist Itai Damara was abducted by unknown men and his whereabouts are still unknown.

“The question of security is a very tough one to deal with,” Mawarire said.

“Even when I am there, I fear for my family.

“I am an ordinary citizen who cannot afford intricate security systems,” he said, adding he believed God protects him and his family.

Zimbabwe Olympics Team Overcomes Zika Virus Fears

HARARE — Zimbabwe says all its qualified athletes for the Rio Olympics will participate, after it convinced them using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Olympics Zika risk assessment report.

Source: Zimbabwe Olympics Team Overcomes Zika Virus Fears – VOA July 20, 2016

Dr. Austin Jeans, who heads the Zimbabwe medical team to the Rio Olympics, said some athletes from the southern African nation had raised concerns over the Zika virus, which has led to a number of athletes worldwide withdrawing from the games.

Women soccer team going

Zimbabwe is sending its biggest number of athletes ever to an Olympics, led by a woman’s soccer team that has qualified for the first time. Some members of the soccer team had threatened to quit over lack of information about the Zika virus.

But Jeans, a sports medicine expert and the “Zimbabwe Team Rio 2016” compiled what he termed the Information Bulletin – Zika Virus Outbreak.

“So, from the Zimbabwe Team we are pretty sure that we have this under control. And should we be successful in the awareness and implementation of these measures, I do not believe that the risk is significant at all,” Jeans said.

“And perhaps, I will make you aware that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is a worldwide health advisory and research body, published a report on 13th of July which only puts four countries at the risk of Zika transmission back to their countries and we are not one of those.”

Highest risk

That is a reference to Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea and Yemen, which according to the CDC report, have the highest risk of importing the virus that is carried by a particular type of mosquito.

Jeans said the CDC finding had been explained to Zimbabwean athletes, adding that it is winter in Brazil, which makes the mosquito population smaller.

The woman’s soccer team had threatened to quit over lack of information about the Zika virus. Wednesday, one member of the Zimbabwe women’s team told VOA the information from the CDC had calmed the athletes and they would now go to the Rio Games.

Golfers Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Adam Scott are some of the athletes that have pulled out of the Rio Games, citing fears of contracting the Zika virus.

Tables turn on ZANU-PF bigwigs

Source: Tables turn on ZANU-PF bigwigs | The Financial Gazette July 21, 2016

AT their prime — they had the world eating out of their hands.
No one dared oppose their word, which was almost sacred.
When they entered a room, scores jostled to be seen talking and shaking hands with them.
Some hangers on would even laugh out loudly to dry jokes they made — often not even funny.
This was the life of many of ZANU-PF’s high rollers who grabbed attention wherever they went to.
The list of persons who have fallen from grace to grass almost overnight since ZANU-PF’s infamous 2014 congress keeps on growing.
Munyaradzi Kereke and Chris Mutsvangwa are some of the most recent victims of a system that seems to have suddenly developed an upset stomach and is now vomiting out many of its own.
The list of people who have already fallen by the wayside includes the likes of Joice Mujuru, Jabulani Sibanda, Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo and Sylvester Nguni among many other big names.
In almost an instant, their lives were changed forever.
The high office they had become used to was taken away at the click of a finger.
The perks of high office included, but were not limited to five figure salaries, executive benefits, state security, luxury vehicles and homes in some of the wealthiest spots of real estate in the capital, Harare.
The guillotine has now swung in the direction of Johannes Tomana, the suspended Prosecutor-General (PG).
A tribunal, which is supposed to report its findings to President Robert Mugabe by September, will decide his fate.
Tomana’s position is already precarious given the sentencing of Kereke to 14 years in jail last week, after he had personally blocked the case by refusing to issue a private prosecution certificate.
That the courts have found Kereke guilty is likely to open a can of worms into the world of Tomana himself.
At the peak of his romance with ZANU-PF, Tomana in 2014 defended tooth and nail his support of the ruling party.
“…It is either you are ZANU-PF or MDC. Are you saying the fact that I declared publicly that I support ZANU-PF means that I should not occupy that office?” he once quipped.
“It is my constitutional right to choose a party I want to support, of my choice that persuades me with their policies and I chose ZANU-PF and there is nothing wrong with that. I am a registered voter, I have a right to choose a political party that I want and I did that and I see nothing wrong with that. The question that should be asked is whether I am competent or not.”
The same ZANU-PF he viciously defended has not come out with so much of a woof to show support and solidarity with him.
Do they know something which Tomana does not?
Some are of the opinion that Tomana may have sealed his fate when he seemed to back early child marriages mid last year in a debate, which, at the time, sucked in First Lady Grace Mugabe, who was shocked by the PG’s utterances.
Still, there is no straight line to what has contributed to the fall of so many of ZANU-PF’ former high flyers.
Observers point to many things working together at a time.
Some had with impunity thought they were above the law, others abused their offices and the most commonly peddled view is that the bulk had become entangled with the nasty cycle of the ruling party’s succession politics.
Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education who once spent time in the mid-2000s as an independent Member of Parliament outside of ZANU-PF recently admitted that “it was cold” outside of the ruling party, with many struggles faced by being out of the warmth and comfort of the revolutionary party.
Others who have been shown the exit door out of the ruling party have tried to put on a brave face.
Mutsvangwa said in the aftermath of his expulsion two weeks ago that his relationship with the ruling party had become “burdensome” and he was glad to be out.
“To be frank, the relationship had become burdensome to me, a real albatross in these times. In a way, I am just glad that the party divested me of it…,” said Mutsvangwa.
Political commentator, Vivid Gwede, said there was a recognisable trend in ZANU-PF impunity, with the politicians who fall out of favour being the most vulnerable.
“The law enforcement, as it pertains to ZANU-PF officials, is used as a system of blackmail, where those who are loyal literally remain above the law only until they cross the paths of their handlers,” said Gwede.
“Like a mafia system, the regime works on the basis of rewards and sanctions. For those who have skeletons in their cupboards the reward for loyalty is impunity and the sanction for disobedience is persecution.”
As the 2018 polls fast approach, the court of public opinion may do well to be wary of a party that turns a blind eye to impunity in its ranks, but will not blink in tearing down its own for the sake of expediency.

We are taking back our jobs, Zim tells SA

The government has scoffed at suggestions that its import ban has negatively impacted on South African businesses, particularly those in and around Beitbridge.

Source: We are taking back our jobs, Zim tells SA – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Industry minister Mike Bimha told NewsDay on the sidelines of the burial of the late former top bureaucrat, Charles Utete on Tuesday that the World Trade Organisation allows member countries to resort to protectionist policies.

“We have given notice to Sadc and we are open to discussions,” he said.

“Those that are crying over lost jobs must know that we are taking that which is ours. They have always been our jobs and we are just taking them back.”

The ruling Zanu PF promised 2,2 million jobs during the 2013 election campaign, but critics have argued it is yet to create any, but instead has presided over more haemorrhage.

In June, the government promulgated Statutory Instrument (S1) 64 of 2016, which restricted the importation of certain products in an ambitious drive to promote local industries.

The move was met with violent protests, while South Africa and Zambia have spoken out strongly about the controls, but Bimha indicated there is not going to be a rethink.

“We will not have a rethink of a good policy, our job is to communicate to those that do not understand and teach them to do so,” he said.

“We have not violated any regional or international protocol because the World Trade Organisation (WTO) allows member countries that, when they realise import challenges, to resort to safeguard measures.”

South Africa immediately sought audience with Zimbabwe over the ban, while Zambia’s Association of Manufacturers said the measures would negatively affect exports of over $20 million.

The association’s president, Rosetta Chabala described Zimbabwe’s move as a “threat to regional unity and international trade”.

Millions of Zimbabweans sought economic refuge in South Africa at the height of the country’s economic meltdown, while others have benefited from importing foodstuffs for resale across the country, as production levels plummeted.

But Bimha insisted the ban was for “a very small fraction of our import bill”.

“In the first place, our industry is not growing because it has been stifled by these imports. There is no way it can grow and most of our companies died because our markets have been swamped by imports and that has also caused low capacity utilisation by local businesses,” he said.

“We are not stopping here; we will now go into discussions with our local producers to have a relook at their product pricing models, as well as issues of quality. Our prices must be reasonable and the quality of the best standards.”

TIZ Iaunches community anti-corruption exercise

TRANSPARENCY Zimbabwe International (TIZ) has launched a community anti-corruption exercise, capacitating activists and journalists to identify and expose graft in their communities in a bid to nip the vice in the bud.

Source: TIZ Iaunches community anti-corruption exercise – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

By NQOBANI NDLOVU

TIZ executive director Mary-Jane Ncube said the programme, currently being piloted in Bulawayo, is adopting a “low-cost but high-impact” strategy to expose graft starting from the communities.

Ncube said this was necessary to inculcate a culture of zero tolerance to corruption from ordinary people in the communities up to top government officials.

“We believe in a low cost but high impact strategy where we use the little resources at our disposal to expose graft. For example, pastor Evans Mawarire used only a mobile phone but his messages posted on social networks resonates with the millions in Zimbabwe and abroad,” she said.

“Likewise, this programme is aimed at ensuring that you monitor graft practices and expose it. We must be able to name and shame corrupt people on social networks and set a precedence that we will not allow corruption again.”

Addressing stakeholders at the end of a two-day capacity-building workshop in Bulawayo yesterday, Ncube said the fight against corruption was a struggle that could take long, but required commitment to achieve it.

“The fight against corruption will not be easy but it is necessary to guarantee our freedom, prosperity, development of our country for our present and future generations.”

President Robert Mugabe has often lamented corruption in his government, but the opposition has accused him of failing to lead by example and bring the culprits to book.

In February, Mugabe revealed that nearly $15 billion in potential diamond revenues disappeared, but nothing has been done to recover the monies.

Recently, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission said it had placed several individuals and corporations under investigation for corruption.

People’s Democratic Party economic affairs secretary Vince Musewe said without principled leadership, the fight against graft would not be achieved

“As PDP, we believe that, first and foremost, ethical and principled leadership is critical in effectively dealing with corruption.

This leadership must start at State House where the President is expected to lead by example and protect national interests at all costs,” Musewe said recently.

The right to protest in Zimbabwe: A constitutional Chimurenga

Source: The right to protest in Zimbabwe: A constitutional Chimurenga – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

THE last few weeks have been a turning point for Zimbabwe with many protests erupting across the country as a sign of dissatisfaction with the actions of the Zimbabwean government over matters such as the banning of certain imports, unreasonable number of roadblocks, corruption and poverty. These protests led to a number of arrests, with the most notable of these being of Pastor Evan Mawarire and Promise Mkwananzi of #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka respectively.

Paul Kaseke

The response by the State to these protests remains deeply concerning in a constitutional democracy such as ours. From numerous engagements and interactions with different Zimbabweans, it would seem that this has created the misconception that protests are unlawful and this piece aims to clarify that position.

In order to understand the importance of the right to protest, a bit of background is necessary. Generally, the right to protest is a display of power by the citizenry in a domain they are usually excluded from. Ordinarily, government makes decisions on behalf of the electorate, but sometimes these decisions attract the scorn of the electorate and to voice disapproval, protests are used. Not only are protests used to express dissatisfaction, but they can be used to pressure government into changing its plans or policies. Protests are therefore a pressure vault that is turned on to influence change.

It is no hidden secret that part of the power of protests lies in the ability to destabilise the normal order of society and events in those societies. In essence, if a protest is to succeed it must in some way, cause the affected portion of society to stand still and reflect on the voices of the protest. At this stage I must make it clear that destabilisation is not the same as violence and should not be seen as such. Protests thrive on disruption. If there was no disruption, they would amount to nothing more than fashion statements and long walks with no effect. I have always taught it and referred to it as the power of inconvenience. If a protest inconveniences society, society is likely to pressurise government to act on the demands of the protesters. A good example of this is the 2015 #FeesMustFall protests that rocked South Africa. The power of the protests was not that everyone was protesting because that would be a lie. Some students who were not affected by the proposed fee hikes were disinterested in the protests, but varsities still came to a standstill warranting the intervention of the President himself. The power was in the fact that those who were protesting made it everyone else’s problem by inconveniencing them. To this end, cars were not allowed into campuses and libraries were blocked etc.

Nothing violent about that, but it was certainly a destabilising and inconveniencing factor. That’s how protests were designed to work and this is something shared by activist and author, Larry Kremer, who further notes that protests reflect the will of the people breathing life into the constitutional framework that was previously enjoyed exclusively by governments. In a sense, protests bring the citizenry to the same level of the government. Protests put the government on notice that the electorate is unhappy.

 In the Zimbabwean context, our legal framework is centred on the Constitution coupled with 2 Acts. Section 59 of the Constitution guarantees the right to protest to each and every person in the Republic. This right is further qualified by stating that the right must be exercised peacefully and by unarmed protesters.

 Mention must be made of bizarre and unconstitutional provisions that purport to deal with protests albeit inconsistently with the right to protest. The Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act contains two such provisions, namely sections 37 and 38. Section 37 creates an offence of disturbing the peace, security or order of the public or alternatively, invading the rights of others. We can dispense of the last offence rather quickly. The Act makes no mention of what it entails to “invade other people’s rights” but that clumsy formulation would be rendered unconstitutional in any event because potentially all human actions can be seen as invasive of other people’s rights but furthermore, protests as a vehicle of societal disruption, will always amount to the invasion of others’ rights. Disturbing the peace similarly will almost always happen with a protest whether it be through the singing of protesters, the noise made by their movements or their very presence. As I have mentioned before, the disruption need not be violent. It therefore runs contrary to the Constitution to further add layers of qualifications to a constitutional right which automatically renders those sections unconstitutional since the Constitution is supreme.

Another bizarre provision is the criminalisation of blocking roads or hindering traffic with a protest in s38. This offence carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Any protest is likely to interfere with traffic flow and to criminalise this is to criminalise protests themselves.

The biggest affront to the right to protest comes from the poorly and fatuously drafted Public Order and Security Act (POSA). POSA itself seems to be a reincarnation of all the oppressive laws used by both the apartheid South Africa and Rhodesian regimes. The Act criminalises public meetings that are not sanctioned. This offence was ironically used by oppressive regimes to prevent uprisings and mobilisation of masses and not surprisingly, remains a large way of preventing dissent 36 years after the end of Rhodesian minority rule. This clause violates not only the right to protest, but the right to freely assemble in section 58. To have a clause like this in a constitutional democracy is nothing short of shameful and disgraceful.

Section 23(8) then creates a defence to this prohibition by requiring groups that meet to provide, at the request of the police or regulatory authority, the names of people attending the meetings from time to time.

Section 25 stipulates different time frames by which notice must be given before a demonstration, protest or public meeting can take place. 7 days are required before a protest and 5 days before a public meeting, but the 5 days can be reduced to 3 during election time.

Failure to provide such notice attracts a 1-year jail sentence and or a fine.

Section 26(9) allows the police as the regulating authority, to prohibit a protest on the grounds that it is likely to cause the disruption of traffic and public disorder amongst other things. Clearly, the drafter(s) of this Act did not have the slightest understanding of a constitutional democracy and basic human freedoms. This absurd provision basically makes it impossible to have a protest in Zimbabwe. As stated above, protests will almost always disrupt traffic, but that is no reason to limit the right. These additional grounds for limiting a protest are unconstitutional, hence they have been overturned and ignored in judgments that allowed protests to take place after police had refused to grant permission.

The very idea of permission or approval being sought or granted by the police is another weird concept found in the Act. That certainly does not appear in the Constitution and indeed the only role police should play is to receive the notice of intention to march simply so they can provide the necessary security arrangements. The courts should be the only decision makers when it comes to prohibition of protests and not a partisan police force that still battles with basic constitutional interpretation. There are, of course, those who argue that such approval is necessary to prevent violent protests, but the reality is that protests only become violent because the State, through the riot police, assault protesters and throw teargas indiscriminately to disperse protests where no such need arises. To prevent violent protests, the riot police should undergo training on how to manage crowds in line with the Constitution and respect for human life. It is unacceptable that in this day and age, crowds are dispersed using dogs and baton sticks (sometimes spelt button sticks on charge sheets). Their policing strategies need to be revised to reflect a force that respects the citizenry it swore to protect and serve and not the interests of the government.

Section 27(1) creates another weird power in terms of which blanket bans on protests can be made for up to one month at a time if any of the trigger grounds mentioned above are present. This constitutes the most obscene violation of the right to protest and assemble with no constitutional basis to support it.

Lastly, Section 37 allows for the deployment of the Defence Forces to assist police to “suppress civil commotion or disturbance”. It is a well-established principle of civilian governance that the Defence Forces must rarely be used to intervene in domestic law and order matters unless these pose a national security risk. To prevent deployment from being abused, most jurisdictions allow deployment to take place only under the instruction by the President himself and with the consent of Parliament. South Africa is a good example of this constraint on the deployment powers, but in terms of POSA, the Commissioner-General of Police need only make a recommendation to the Minister who will then make the decision with zero parliamentary oversight. It, thus, means it is very easy for the government to make good VP Mphoko’s threats to unleash the army on protesters.

In the absence of a direct constitutional challenge to these provisions, I suspect the government will not be in any hurry to align these laws to the Constitution since the current statutory framework enables them to crush dissent “lawfully”, but certainly protests are a necessary ingredient to any vibrant democracy.

 Paul Kaseke is a legal adviser, commentator, analyst and sessional law lecturer with the Wits Law School. He writes in his personal capacity. You can give him feedback via email: paul@paulkasekesnr.com or follow him on twitter @paulkasekesnr

Unleashing brainwashed youths most dangerous

Yesterday, hordes of Zanu PF youths marched through the capital Harare’s streets blocking traffic and causing mayhem in protests meant to counter the rise in citizen-inspired demonstrations fronted by cleric Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag campaign and Promise Mkwananzi of Tajamuka/Sesijikile.

Source: Unleashing brainwashed youths most dangerous – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

NewsDay Comment

The Zanu PF youths threatened a series of protests to counter the pro-democracy activists’ campaign against increased poverty, corruption and economic collapse in the country. Yet the pro-democracy campaigns have been supported by Zimbabweans across the political divide locally and abroad due to their relevance and substance.

What boggles the mind is that, while #ThisFlag and Tajamuka/Sesijikile were supported by people, who willingly braved the chilly weather and picketed at the Harare Magistrates’ Court last week following Mawarire’s arrest, events yesterday pointed to the youths being coerced to partake in the demos on the promise that they would be allocated urban residential stands in Harare and towns.

Some youths came from Marondera, Murehwa, Bindura and elsewhere after being promised free residential stands in Harare. One wonders what else they were promised. It won’t be surprising to find that others participated for the prospect of getting a free meal. No doubt others didn’t even know why they were running on the streets.

Regrettably, such people will normally always constitute the majority in any autocratic country.

Mawarire’s campaign has been successfully using social media to galvanise Zimbabweans against Mugabe’s misrule. Is it not surprising that Zanu PF could forcibly gather poor unemployed youths from all over the country in a show of force to march in the capital in what they called support for Mugabe?

If Mugabe really won the 2013 election by 61% as they would want Zimbabweans to believe, why is there a need for youths to toyi-toyi in support of the 92-year-old who claims to be popular?

This really does not wash. No doubt, the Zanu PF youths are being used against their will to support a system that does not really care about them. Mawarire was supported not because he is a member of any political party, but his concerns resonate with the people — their daily struggles.

Whether the bussed Zanu PF youths denounced the citizen movement leaders or not, the truth is these are individuals who, like millions others, have borne the brunt of Mugabe’s destructive policies over the past three decades.

We wonder why Mugabe could take time to attack Mawarire, a poor cleric, whose only wish is to hold government accountable to citizens.

Is it not ironic that Zanu PF is against other people expressing themselves through demonstrations yet they have held many in support of Mugabe so far? Why should Mugabe feel threatened if he has citizens’ support? Why should he unleash Zanu PF youths on the citizens? It could be because Mugabe is aware that he no longer has support, and hence, the use of coercion.

We believe getting support from people, who just don’t have the scruples, tools or even willpower to reason and are so docile and easily brainwashed is the most dangerous thing to happen to any civilised society.

Also saddening is the fact that Zimbabwean youths in their numbers are the ones hardest hit economically by poverty, vice and poor governance.

Clearly, this goes to show how Zanu PF, as a party, is prepared to stoop so low all in the interest of maintaining a stranglehold on power, whose value has been eroded to nothing. It is Zimbabweans who should start rebuilding the country again.

ZAPU congress next month

Source: ZAPU congress next month | The Financial Gazette July 21, 2016

BULAWAYO — ZAPU may finally hold its second elective congress next month after postponing it twice last year due to financial constraints.
Patrick Ndlovu, the party’s deputy national spokesperson, said the congress will now be held from August 24 to 26 at Bulawayo’s Amphitheatre.
“Our cash situation is even worse than last year, but we will just have to convene the congress because failure to do so will have legal implications; people are sacrificing,” said Ndlovu.
ZAPU’s first elective congress, which gave Dumiso Dabengwa the mandate to lead the party for five years was held in August 2010 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds, soon after some former PF-ZAPU members had pulled out of the ruling ZANU-PF, which they had joined following the 1987 Unity Accord.
The party’s special indaba which was initially supposed to be held in August last year had to be postponed owing to financial constraints to December last year. Even then it failed to materialise as a result of inadequate funding.
ZAPU had targeted to raise US$200 000 to host the congress, but only raised US$80 000.
With a deficit of US$120 000, a decision was made to cancel the indaba.
The delay has also cost the party some members such as its deputy president, Emilia Mukaratirwa, who resigned from the party early this year saying she could not continue serving beyond her term limit.
A mini-conference was subsequently held to strategise on the elective congress, whose preparations began in January this year.
At least 1 500 delegates, according to the party’s constitution, have to be in attendance so that the indaba can constitute a congress.
Constitutionally, the term of office for the current ZAPU leadership ended last year.
Dabengwa, is largely tipped to retain control of the party after provinces in December endorsed him for the top post, ahead of many other aspiring candidates.
Three senior members, secretary general Strike Mkandla; Ralph Mguni and little known United Kingdom-based Thulani Nkala, had indicated their intention to contest for the party’s top job.

Nyanga woman dies while detained at roadblock

A 19-YEAR-OLD woman, Cecilia Mapako, died at a police roadblock in Nyanga on Monday, when the commuter omnibus ferrying her to hospital was allegedly detained for over an hour after the driver failed to pay a $15 spot fine.

Source: Nyanga woman dies while detained at roadblock – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

BY OBEY MANAYITI

According to Mapako’s husband, Lazarus Sakubende, who is employed as a commuter omnibus conductor, the deceased had a heart condition.
Mapako was referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital from Regina Coeli Mission Hospital.

“My wife was referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare from Regina Coeli Mission Hospital. We took her in a commuter omnibus to Nyanga, where she was supposed to be taken to Harare by her brother,” Sakubende said.

He said upon arriving at Troutbek turnoff, police stopped the commuter omnibus and told the driver to pay a $15 fine.

Sakubende said they were kept at the roadblock for about an hour, as they failed to pay the required money.

“We were at the roadblock for about an hour, as police insisted that we should pay a fine. It was during that period that my wife’s condition deteriorated before passing on at the roadblock,” he said.

Sakubende said after the death of his wife, police officers manning the roadblock informed their Nyanga office about the incident and they came with a metal coffin to take the body to a mortuary.

Sakubende said he was furious, as they had pleaded with the police officers to let them go so his wife could get urgent medication, but all was in vain.

Since Monday, NewsDay has been inundated with phone calls from Nyanga, with many people expressing their anger at the police behaviour.

Police in Nyanga refused to shed light on the incident, referring all questions to Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa. Kakohwa said he was not in office and promised to check on the circumstances as soon as he got back.

Residents and tourists have for long been complaining about the police conduct at roadblocks. The High Court has ruled that spot fines are not mandatory, but police insist on motorists paying them.

We’ll deal with protesters: Zanu PF

ZANU PF youths yesterday vowed to take matters into their own hands and ordered law enforcement agents to look aside and allow them to ruthlessly crush widening public protests against President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Source: We’ll deal with protesters: Zanu PF – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Business came to a standstill in Harare, as thousands of Zanu PF activists – bussed from several provinces – marched from the party’s provincial offices to their headquarters in an apparent show of strength to intimidate their rivals in the wake of the anti-Mugabe protests that have rocked the country over the past few weeks.

During the march, the youths vowed to take to the streets and violently crush the peaceful demonstrations, coordinated by several pressure groups among them cleric, Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag, Tajamuka/Sesijikele and opposition parties.

As if to entice the youths into action, the party doled out huge tracts of land to youths in Harare and Bulawayo so they “defend” the party.

Zanu PF national youth commissar, Innocent Hamandishe threatened to violently crush the protests, which he said were meant to embarrass and force Mugabe to step down.

“There are people trying to threaten our President. If you threaten our President, then you are also poking us,” he said. “Next time, if pastors want to be funny, we will ask police to stand aside and, as youths, we will deal with them ourselves.”

Police, who for long have been accused of sympathising with Zanu PF, two weeks ago descended heavily on the demonstrators.

Zimbabwe has seen a wave of protests in Beitbridge, Harare, Bulawayo and other parts of the country, with citizens expressing their disgruntlement at the Zanu PF-led government’s failed economic policies.

Hamandishe said youths were initially reluctant to confront Mawarire, but had now resolved to “deal with him in a political way” to curb his growing public influence.

Zanu PF deputy youth secretary, Kudzanai Chipanga, said they were even more prepared to “deal” with protesters.

“During this time, when the President is delivering on his promises to us youths, there are other people trying to sabotage us. There are other people going around, claiming we have rebelled (Tajamuka),” he said.

“Pastors, your mandate is to pray for peace in the nation. Pastors, your duty is to pray for the country and its leaders to govern well and there is nowhere stated that pastors have to rule a country.

“Us, in Zanu PF, are even more rebellious than any of you. You can’t be more rebellious than Zanu PF.”

The party’s women’s league deputy secretary, Eunice Sandi Moyo, had no kind words for protesters, claiming Tajamuka and #ThisFlag movement should know that Zanu PF was the only party that liberated the country.

She accused Tajamuka of causing protests in Beitbridge, where people, who were unhappy at government’s decision to ban imports, caused unrest at the border post.
Moyo said they would not allow their supporters to participate in any stay away to protest against the government.

She said the huge crowd that turned out for the march yesterday was a sign that the ruling party had more numbers than protesters.
Other speakers vowed they would fight for Mugabe to rule for life.

Zanu PF is parcelling out residential stands to youths so that they will vote for the party in the 2018 elections.

However, Chipanga said they would be on the lookout for unscrupulous senior party officials that had corruptly benefited from government programmes ahead of deserving people.

He said only Zanu PF-registered voters would benefit from the stands.

The Makoni West MP said they were looking into many other projects such as mining and agriculture, where only Zanu PF youths would benefit.

Meanwhile, the Harare Metropolitan Residents’ Forum expressed concern at the reportedly devious manner Zanu PF was parcelling out the stands.

“It has come to the residents’ forum’s attention that the ruling party has mobilised people within the suburbs of Harare and neighbouring provinces for their march against protesters, claiming that they are going to issue residential stands to them. This is uncalled for and unexpected in a democracy. This is manipulation of people’s desperation for shelter,” the forum said.

#This Flag cleric hits back at Mugabe

#ThisFlag frontman, Evan Mawarire has hit back at President Robert Mugabe’s call for him to leave Zimbabwe and stay with his alleged foreign sponsors, saying it only showed that his Zanu PF government was out of touch with reality.

Source: #This Flag cleric hits back at Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA

Mugabe on Tuesday blasted the evangelist, who has led a social media campaign to force his government to address the deteriorating economic situation in the country, labelling him a dog worshipper and advising him to stay out of the country with his “foreign sponsors”.

But Mawarire, who is in South Africa after his arrest last week on charges of inciting public violence, told a South African television station, eNCA, that Zimbabweans loved their country and Mugabe’s statement exhibited his ignorance of the realities citizens were facing.

“I have said this before and I am saying this again now, that the statement (Mugabe’s statement) is a sign that our own government is far removed from the reality of everyday citizens in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Nothing hurts me more than hearing a statement like that because nobody loves Zimbabwe more than a Zimbabwean and it has been proved over a couple of weeks by the millions across the world and in our own country, who have stood up to say we need a better Zimbabwe.

“I don’t need anyone from outside Zimbabwe to come and give me money or tell me in my ear that I am failing to raise funds to put my kids through school or that I can’t get access to health or that I am hungry. I know that it is a reality that I am living with.”

Mawarire said his #ThisFlag campaign was not a regime change agenda, but a call to the political leadership of the country to address the challenges the country was facing that include a dying economy, endemic corruption and poor service delivery, among others.

He, however, was quick to point out that he believed Zanu PF was no longer the party to solve those worsening crises, as they had proved their ineptitude beyond doubt.

“I think they (Zanu PF) have proved to us over the last couple of years that it will be a difficult task for them to deliver those things,” Mawarire said.

“And so, what I am advocating for as a young person, and am doing it so openly, is the fact that it is time for new ideas to enter the political fray. There is no doubt that we have recycled the same people with the same ideas and it is time for us to think differently.”

He said the current leadership in both Zanu PF and opposition political parties should be content with taking up advisory roles and realise that it was time for a new generation to build the Zimbabwe they dreamt of.

Mawarire said it was time for the citizens of Zimbabwe, particularly the youth, to peacefully take charge of their destiny and make political leaders account for their actions.

Most Zimbabweans that are working outside the country, Mawarire said, were tired of being humiliated and want to return to their motherland.

“What we are advocating for, more than anything else, is a government that respects the dignity of its citizens,” he said, adding that his campaign would never be hijacked by politicians because it belonged to the people.

Flag euphoria spreads to Parliament

DEBATE in the National Assembly was yesterday disrupted for nearly 45 minutes after Chitungwiza North MP, Godfrey Sithole (MDC-T) turned up during the question-and-answer session with a Zimbabwean flag hung on his shoulder.

Source: Flag euphoria spreads to Parliament – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Two other MDC-T MPs Trevor Saruwaka (Mutasa Central) and Unganai Tarusenga (St Mary’s) also had the national flags neatly tucked into their shirts as scarves.

Buhera West MP Oliver Mandipaka (Zanu PF) raised a point of order with Deputy Speaker Mabel Chinomona that the opposition MPs were clad in flags as if in support of #ThisFlag cleric, Evan Mawarire.

Chinomona then ordered the MPs to go outside and remove the flags, as Speaker Jacob Mudenda had last month made a ruling that no flags would be allowed in the House.

The three MPs refused to go out, resulting in chaos in the House, with finger-pointing and insults flying between members of the opposition and the ruling party.

National Assembly sergeant-at-arms, Nicholas Marufu tried to eject the flag-carrying MPs out of the House, but they resisted.
Defiant opposition MPs then started distributing flags on Parliament benches.

MDC-T chief whip, Innocent Gonese argued the MPs were showing their patriotism.

MDC-T Proportional Representation MP, Bacillia Majaya said even Zanu PF MPs with tiny flags pinned on lapels, must be ejected from the House.

As the chaos in the House continued, Chinomona threatened to expel the defiant MPs, who eventually relented and put the flags under their seats resulting in order being restored.

Churches warn Mugabe of civil unrest

President Robert Mugabe’s administration has been warned of impending civil unrest if he does not urgently address the current instability in the country.

Source: Churches warn Mugabe of civil unrest – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

In a scathing joint statement yesterday, several church organisations — the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Catholic Bishops Conference, Habakkuk Trust and Christian Alliance — lashed out at Mugabe’s brutal reaction to the #ThisFlag campaign led by cleric Evan Mawarire.

“These grievances must be viewed as the early warning signs, which indicate underlying and simmering tensions that will soon explode into civil unrest if not addressed. We call upon the government to immediately investigate and prosecute law enforcement agents that are alleged to have brutalised people. The government should also urgently act and address these genuine concerns of the citizens to avoid total collapse of the State,” the church groups said.

They further said Zimbabweans had lost confidence in Mugabe’s rule.

“Given all this, citizens have lost confidence and trust in our government. Therefore, there is urgent need for national dialogue between the government and different national stakeholders, towards finding a lasting solution than to ignore, politicise people’s genuine grievances and label them as opposition or demonise and harass the church and her leaders,” the statement said.

“We raise concern on growing harassment and arrests of religious leaders, such as the recent arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire, and also the intimidation of other pastors speaking on behalf of powerless people.”

Mugabe seemed to stoke anti-Mawarire sentiments while addressing mourners at the burial of national hero, Charles Utete on Tuesday and accused the #ThisFlag founder of being foreign-funded.

Govt should promote respect for human rights: Nango

THE National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) has called on government to show respect for human rights by repealing repressive legislation and directing police officers to exercise restraint on protesters, among others.

Source: Govt should promote respect for human rights: Nango – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is finalising the signing of a tripartite agreement with the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and printers ahead of the introduction of bond notes this October, deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo has said.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

RBZ wants to introduce bond notes under a $200 million facility guaranteed by Afreximbank in which exporters would get an additional 5% of their export proceeds in bond notes.

Addressing delegates at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe winter school in Victoria Falls on Saturday, Mlambo said it would not be possible for Zimbabwe to go beyond the stipulated amount, as it would dent the regional bank’s reputation.

“There is a tripartite agreement being finalised between RBZ, Afreximbank and printers. This is because they have a reputation to protect. So it won’t be prudent for us to go beyond that amount,” Mlambo said.

The introduction of bond notes has raised fears that government wants to retrieve the Zimbabwean dollar it retired last year.

Bank executives, depositors and business leaders have also condemned the introduction of bond notes.

Mlambo said even though the country secured a $50 million facility for bond coins, it has imported $30 million worth of bond coins.

He said the largest sources of liquidity included exports comprising of tobacco, gold, chrome, platinum and diamonds with some of them affected by low international prices.

“Zimbabwe is becoming less globalised. We are trading less with other economies. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been below potential due to lack of trust and uncertainty,” he said.

Last year the country recorded $435 million in FDI down from $545 million in 2014.

Trade imbalance at $3 billion, fiscal deficit, low external inflows and low confidence in the economy had exacerbated the cash crunch, according to Mlambo.

He said the central bank was not holding onto cash responding to theories that RBZ was doing so to promote the use of plastic money.

“If Never [Nyemudzo CBZ Holdings chief executive] and George [Guvamatanga Barclays Bank managing director] were here they would testify to that. The governor [John Mangudya] has been saying if I have taken your money come and take it,” he said.

As of May this year, Mlambo said, bank deposits stood at $5 billion.

Parties finalise agreement on bond notes

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is finalising the signing of a tripartite agreement with the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and printers ahead of the introduction of bond notes this October, deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo has said.

Source: Parties finalise agreement on bond notes – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is finalising the signing of a tripartite agreement with the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and printers ahead of the introduction of bond notes this October, deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo has said.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

RBZ wants to introduce bond notes under a $200 million facility guaranteed by Afreximbank in which exporters would get an additional 5% of their export proceeds in bond notes.

Addressing delegates at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe winter school in Victoria Falls on Saturday, Mlambo said it would not be possible for Zimbabwe to go beyond the stipulated amount, as it would dent the regional bank’s reputation.

“There is a tripartite agreement being finalised between RBZ, Afreximbank and printers. This is because they have a reputation to protect. So it won’t be prudent for us to go beyond that amount,” Mlambo said.

The introduction of bond notes has raised fears that government wants to retrieve the Zimbabwean dollar it retired last year.

Bank executives, depositors and business leaders have also condemned the introduction of bond notes.

Mlambo said even though the country secured a $50 million facility for bond coins, it has imported $30 million worth of bond coins.

He said the largest sources of liquidity included exports comprising of tobacco, gold, chrome, platinum and diamonds with some of them affected by low international prices.

“Zimbabwe is becoming less globalised. We are trading less with other economies. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been below potential due to lack of trust and uncertainty,” he said.

Last year the country recorded $435 million in FDI down from $545 million in 2014.

Trade imbalance at $3 billion, fiscal deficit, low external inflows and low confidence in the economy had exacerbated the cash crunch, according to Mlambo.

He said the central bank was not holding onto cash responding to theories that RBZ was doing so to promote the use of plastic money.

“If Never [Nyemudzo CBZ Holdings chief executive] and George [Guvamatanga Barclays Bank managing director] were here they would testify to that. The governor [John Mangudya] has been saying if I have taken your money come and take it,” he said.

As of May this year, Mlambo said, bank deposits stood at $5 billion.

Citizens should pay ZBC fees – ConCourt

The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has ruled that citizens should pay the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) licence fees.

Source: Citizens should pay ZBC fees – ConCourt – The Zimbabwean 21.07.2016

In its ruling the ConCourt said citizens were not  being asked to pay for services provided by the ZBC , but for possession of gadgets capable of receiving radio or television signals in terms of the law.

This followed an application by Bernard Wekare and Musangano Lodge challenging the compulsory payment of ZBC fees.  The applicants had argued that the fees in question were in violation of the constitution since citizens were being forced to pay for services they did not want to watch or listen to.

ZimPF in door-to-door Mash East mobilisation

Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) has embarked on a door-to-door exercise to mobilise people to attend its Mashonaland East star rally at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera on Saturday.

Source: ZimPF in door-to-door Mash East mobilisation – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

By Jairos Saunyama

NewsDay yesterday witnessed a group of ZimPF members moving around the high-density suburbs urging residents to attend the rally that will be addressed by party leader Joice Mujuru.

Mujuru’s rally is expected to draw thousands of people in a province largely viewed as a ZimPF stronghold and home of “Gamatox”, a former Zanu PF faction many of whose members were kicked out of the ruling party for allegedly fanning divisions and trying to topple President Robert Mugabe.

ZimPF interim provincial spokesperson Setfree Mafukidze yesterday confirmed the door-to-door campaign saying many people felt free to discuss political issues inside their homes.

“We need to effectively reach out to the people, hence the need to visit people, in their homes where they are much comfortable to discuss issues. ZimPF teams are on the ground mobilising for our rally at the weekend. We are doing this to give people an understanding of our party as well as recruitment of new members,” he said.

“Our mobilisation teams are being well received and the people are happy with our people-driven initiatives that our party rolled out including our economic blueprint Build (Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development).”

Mujuru’s outreach has reportedly shaken the Zanu PF provincial leadership after reports that businessman and former governor Ray Kaukonde was funding the mobilisation team.

Kaukonde, who is yet to appear at any of Mujuru rallies, also commands a huge following in his home area of Mudzi.

The prominent businessman and former Zanu PF provincial chairperson has also not yet publicly shown his support for ZimPF although First Lady Grace Mugabe has in the past lambasted him for allegedly supporting and mobilising for Mujuru’s party.

“Mujuru is a household name in Mashonaland East province. She commands a lot of grassroots support and all the districts are ready to converge at Rudhaka to meet their leader,” ZimPF Mashonaland East interim chairperson Taurayi Pasirayi said.

Mujuru has so far addressed rallies in Masvingo, Manicaland, Harare and Bulawayo.

HIV, Aids activist receives human rights award

Source: HIV, Aids activist receives human rights award – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

Zimbabwean HIV and Aids activist Martha Tholanah has been presented with the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award for her outstanding work in championing for the rights of people living with the disease.

By Phyllis Mbanje

The presentation was made at the opening session of the International Aids Conference in Durban, South Africa, on Monday.

Tholanah, who has become one of the most recognisable, effective, and influential advocates for human rights in Zimbabwe and all over Southern Africa, was handed the accolade by South African actress and Hollywood Oscar winner Charlize Theron, who is also a committed human rights activist and HIV advocate.

Trained as a family therapy counsellor, Tholanah has established and led health-related programmes for communities that have often been left behind or scorned by traditional health services.

A leading advocate for the informed involvement of people affected by HIV in ethical, patient-focused research and outreach, Tholanah is credited with ensuring that Zimbabwe’s National Aids Council now includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in their programming.

She has also led health-related programmes for organisations such as the Network of Zimbabwean Positive Women (NZPW+), Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), International Community of Women Living with HIV in Southern Africa, Women and Aids Support Network (WASN), Women’s Action Group (WAG), and many others.

Martha Tholanah’s work on behalf of women, people living with HIV and LGBT people has not been easy, nor has it come without personal cost.

For her efforts to protect human rights, and prevent injustices such as forced sterilisation, Tholanah has and continues to face incarceration and legal sanctions in Zimbabwe. But she has also inspired others to take up the fight, and in doing so she continues to leave her mark not only on Zimbabwe, but also on the entire world.

“Elizabeth Taylor was a bold example of what one person can achieve when they are willing to speak up for the rights of others,” Theron said.

“Today, Elizabeth’s grandchildren are carrying on her work in the global movement to end HIV through the #GenEndIt campaign. Anyone who is familiar with Elizabeth’s work as a tireless and daring advocate, fundraiser, and human rights champion, knows why this honour was named for her, and why Martha Tholanah is so worthy of this recognition.”

Zanu PF, Chipanga must look beyond their nose

News that Zanu PF plans counter protests against pro-democracy campaigns is probably the most laughable story at the moment, except it is not a laughing matter. Infact it shows how bereft of common sense that the Zanu PF leadership is.

Source: Zanu PF, Chipanga must look beyond their nose – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

NewsDay Comment

Instead of acknowledging that people have genuine grievances, Zanu PF chooses to see shadows and fails to address the concerns raised.

One of the issues raised by activists is the shocking levels of corruption, widespread poverty and economic collapse in the country thus Zanu PF youths would have used their time better if they campaigned against corruption, instead of against the very victims of that vice.

We would appreciate the youths’ gusto if they took to the streets to protests against the excesses of the likes of Energy minister Samuel Undenge, who seems to have spent most of his time at the helm of the ministry making the strangest decisions.

Yesterday’s NewsDay also makes startling disclosures about Mines permanent secretary, Francis Gudyanga, revealing that he is almost neck-deep in corruption, but Zanu PF youths fail to raise their heads and act like it’s business as usual.

Examples abound of how government ministers have paid lip service to anti-corruption and good governance tenets and this is what is angering Zimbabweans.

Forget this hogwash about a third force or Western nations cajoling Zimbabweans into protesting, the truth is that citizens are absolutely knackered by government’s excesses and would love to see some action being taken.

Maybe Kudzanai Chipanga, the Zanu PF deputy youth league boss, lives in a parallel universe, where he is unaffected by the rampant corruption in this country and is willing to lead a mindless demonstration against what affects the people.

Chipanga might be in awe of President Robert Mugabe and thinks he has to defend him at every turn, but it is time he and his boss put themselves in ordinary Zimbabweans’ shoes and tried to understand what afflicts them.

People are protesting not because they have nothing better to do, but because they are tired of watching their futures being washed down the drain of corruption, greed and avarice.

Zimbabweans read the newspapers every day and are shocked by the levels of corruption, but their shock is only matched by the government’s inaction on the matter.

If Chipanga and his merry band of followers were truly demonstrating in support of Mugabe, then they should first speak out against corruption, bad governance and the state of the economy, because anything else will not wash with ordinary Zimbabweans.

We hope Zimbabweans see beyond this empty protest and see it for what it is: A desperate attempt by Chipanga and his lot to earn favour and brownie points from Mugabe.

Foreign investors to dominate ZSE

Foreign investors will dominate trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in the last half of the year targeting mainly blue chip counters, a leading brokerage firm has said.

Source: Foreign investors to dominate ZSE – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

In a report Zimbabwe H1 2016 Equities Review, MMC Capital warned that economic headwinds would continue mounting in 2016 as there was no economic stimuli in sight which would likely improve the country’s economic fortunes in 2016.
It warned that the infighting in the ruling Zanu PF was anathema to attracting foreign direct investments to reboot the economy.

“On the back of the persistence of liquidity challenges locally, trades on the local bourse will mainly be propelled by foreigners and trading will be concentrated in blue chip counters which are dear to them,” MMC Capital said.

It said companies reported depressed earnings in 2015 warning the trend would continue.

“We therefore advocate for a defensive investment strategy in 2016 — holding mature, low debt and dividend paying stocks,” it said.

In its stocks pick, MMC Capital listed Delta, Econet, SeedCo, Simbisa, National Foods and Padenga with a buy tag.

In the first half of the year, foreign investors drove ZSE with trades by foreigners accounting for 63% of the total trades during the period. In the same period in 2015, foreign trades accounted for 51% of the trades.

The total value of trades was $89,29 million in the first half of the year down from $137,73 million recorded in the same period in 2015.

Duo in trouble for cutting firewood on Mugabe’s estate

TWO Harare men landed themselves in trouble after they were caught cutting trees for firewood on President Robert Mugabe’s Buckland Estates in Borrowdale.

Source: Duo in trouble for cutting firewood on Mugabe’s estate – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

BY MARY TARUVINGA

Godfrey Dhausi and Fortune Mutevedzi, both 26, appeared before magistrate Vongai Guuriro accused of cutting firewood worth $60.

They were ordered to pay a $100 fine each or face 30 days’ imprisonment for the offence.

They were charged with violating the Forest Act and pleaded not guilty.

The complainant in this case was the State represented by a police officer, Romaldo Zungunde.

According to the State, the incident occurred on June 28 around 5pm when an informant received information that there was a truck in the Estate.

The court heard he proceeded to the scene in the company of a security guard, Kingstone Tom, and located Dhausi and Mutevedzi’s truck.

The two had cut down a tree and were in the process of loading firewood into the truck.

They were then arrested.

Progress Maringamoyo appeared for the State.

 

Mawarire’s #ThisFlag rattles Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe yesterday used the burial of his former chief secretary, Charles Utete, to berate #ThisFlag movement leader, Evan Mawarire, and accuse him of receiving foreign funding to cause unrest in the country, a clear indicator the pastor’s campaigns have rattled him.

Source: Mawarire’s #ThisFlag rattles Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Mugabe said Mawarire — who has led peaceful protests against corruption, poverty and abuse of office by senior government officials — and those who chose to follow him should leave the country.

“The Mawarires, I don’t even know him, and those who believe in that way of living, well, are not part of us in thinking. They are not part of us as we try to live together,” the veteran leader said.

“If they don’t want to live with us, they should go to those countries sponsoring them. We will say no, forever.”
Mugabe questioned Mawarire’s authenticity as a man of the cloth.

“Find another environment if you are a pastor, I don’t know if he is a man of religion. A man of religion will speak the biblical truth. First Corinthians, what does it say? Love one another,” he said.

“So beware these men of God, not all of them are true preachers of the Bible. I don’t know whether they are serving God, well, we spell God, G-O-D, they spell God in reverse. You cannot urge people to resort to violence as a way of resolving issues.”

Mawarire was arrested and hauled before the courts last week after leading a complete shutdown of the country in the prior week, demanding Mugabe acts against errant ministers and finds solutions to the country’s deteriorating socio-economic and political environment.

However, provincial magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe dismissed the case, accusing the State of failing to put its house in order, freeing Mawarire on an emotive day that saw more than 5 000 people from all walks of life stage a vigil outside the courthouse.

On Monday, Mawarire, in an interview with CNBCA Africa, said Mugabe was to blame for the rot in government, defiantly calling for “peaceful protests to hold our government to account”.

“We have tried to follow procedure, but how long have we done that and getting zero results? Proper procedures themselves are corrupt. You have government ministers owning properties and businesses that cannot be explained in terms of value. The Head of State (Mugabe) has to take action,” he said.

Asked on his position regarding Mugabe and his seemingly soft approach in dealing with the veteran Zanu PF leader, Mawarire retorted: “This campaign is not an attack (on Mugabe). We are a legitimate voice of citizens that there is to tell our government that enough is enough. Our concern with government includes the Head of State and his appointments concerning these issues. He is as much responsible for what happens in government as anyone in the administration.”

Mawarire also moved to quell rumours that he was preparing for a political career.

“Zimbabweans have to realise that this flag is in their hearts, not in Mawarire. I think already we are in politics. I am not going to be a politician; I have to remain a citizen because this is where our power and our strength lie,” he said.

Meanwhile, a visibly tired Mugabe yawned through his speech during the burial of Utete at the national heroes’ acre.
Less than 24 hours after attending the African Union summit in Rwanda the previous day, Mugabe looked jaded as he walked up the long aisle at the National Heroes’ Acre amid whistling, ululating and chants of “Gushungo, Gushungo” from the crowd.

At one point a limping Mugabe, hands thrust firmly behind his back, struggled to drag his legs and one foot appeared to get stuck in the red carpet.

The civil service came to a standstill, as buses carrying government employees to work in the morning were reportedly commandeered to the national shrine over fears the crowd “would not be large enough for the President to address”.

Mbare Musika and its environs, including the popular Mupedzanhamo — usually a hive of activity and bustling market stalls — were also forced to shut down, as traders were ordered to attend Utete’s burial.

MDC-T VPs still to get mandates

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is still to issue specific mandates to the two new party vice-presidents, Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri, amid allegations he appointed them last week to dilute Thokozani Khupe’s powers.

Source: MDC-T VPs still to get mandates – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU/EVERSON MUSHAVA

In making the appointments, Tsvangirai did not assign specific roles to the two new VPs, creating a potential for the triumvirate of his deputies to step on each other’s toes.

Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, yesterday said that the mandates of the VPs would be announced soon.
“They are yet to be given mandates, but that will be done anytime soon after president Tsvangirai comes back from the hospital, where he is undergoing chemotherapy,” he said.

Tsvangirai last month revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the colon and doctors in South Africa have been attending to him.

After news of the elevation of Chamisa and Mudzuri last week, some party members expressed disgruntlement and there were fears that the move could cause a party split.

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and spokesperson Obert Gutu, who were both away in Hungary and Victoria Falls respectively, were reportedly among the many members miffed by the move.

Yet, other party members feared the move could have tribal implications and cost the MDC-T votes in Midlands, Matabeleland and Mashonaland provinces, as both Chamisa and Mudzuri hailed from Masvingo, while the former regions could be aggrieved by what they might see as a slight on Khupe.

But Tsvangirai yesterday defended his appointments, saying they were based on the two’s capabilities in executing party functions.

“It does not matter where the cats come from, as long as they catch mice,” Tamborinyoka, quoting former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, said in a statement yesterday.

“Some have raised valid issues concerning gender and tribe, but as president Tsvangirai pointed out last week, it was the nature of the job that needed to be done that determined the candidates that were appointed and not any other factor.”

He said Tsvangirai’s actions were within the parameters of the party’s constitution, which gave the national council powers to run the party between congresses.

Tsvangirai’s spokesman also took a pot shot at party members questioning the decision, saying party organs were bigger than individuals.

“The appointments of Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa were okayed by a superior organ of the party. Any two or individuals plotting under a tree can never be above the national council of the party, whatever their political station in the party hierarchy,” he said.

Tamborinyoka confirmed the decision to expand the party’s presidium was opposed by three of the party’s 12 provinces at last Thursday’s meeting.

’Pay dates to be released Friday’

Source: ’Pay dates to be released Friday’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday said dates for the payment of civil servants’ salaries for July would be released by Friday amid growing pressure for the government to pay its workers on time.

By Obey Manayiti

This came after Mupfumira’s meeting with the Apex Council where the minister sought to dispel speculative dates circulating on social media.

The cash-strapped government has been facing serious challenges in raising money to pay civil servants.

“We are waiting to get a date hopefully by the end of the week. At the moment we don’t have. I had a meeting with Apex this morning and they had their meeting too after the one I had with them,” Mupfumira said

“Our meeting was just to dispel rumours circulating on social media on the dates. My ministry and that of Finance don’t know about those dates on social media, but I hope by the end of the week we will have the dates.”

Mine Entra roars to life

Source: Mine Entra roars to life – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 20, 2016

THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) exhibition centre was a hive of activity yesterday with exhibitors making final preparations at their stands, while scores of people were seeking menial jobs.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

The Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) 2016 expo starts today and runs until Friday in Bulawayo under the theme “Unearthing Opportunities”.

Mine Entra is Zimbabwe’s biggest exhibition for the mining, engineering and transport sectors and their associated industries.

Activities kick off today with a one-day inaugural infrastructure development conference, which is set to attract top players in the infrastructure development value chain across the region. Some of the topics for discussion include unpacking bankable projects in Zimbabwe, funding options available for infrastructure development and the use of information and communications technologies to optimise scarce resources for road maintenance, among others.

Tomorrow, there will be Mine Entra 2016 conference set to address the immediate challenges facing the mining industry, that is, current cash crisis, the recently introduced monetary policy initiatives and their implications to the mining industry as well as incentives to support mining investment and exports.

Other key issues to be discussed include the evaluation of Zimbabwe’s beneficiation and value addition strategy for the mining sector, creating an enabling investor climate: Ease of doing business in Zimbabwe and Promoting local value chains through synergies between the manufacturing and mining sectors.

Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidakwa will be the guest of honour.

On Friday, Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation will host their own conference running under the theme: Unearthing opportunities for the artisanal and small scale mining sector in a sustainable manner.

The main objective of the conference is to ensure that mineral wealth supports sustainable economic and social development of communities and especially improve the living conditions of ASM and their dependents.

Yesterday, several exhibitors told NewsDay that they were ready for the annual expo.

“We are more than ready, as you can see we have set up our stands. We are looking forward to have a fruitful exhibition,” one local exhibitor said.

At the main exhibition entrance, scores of job seekers were milling around hoping to be hired.

According to the Mine Entra organisers, space bookings to date are 3 113m² from a total of 117 direct exhibitors.
Last year, total space booking was 4 612m² from 148 direct exhibitors.

In terms of local participation, 60% of the exhibitors are Harare-based, 35% come from Bulawayo, while the remaining 5% come from other cities within the country.

Of the 117 exhibitors registered so far, four are foreign exhibitors from China and South Africa.
The show will be officially opened by Chidakwa tomorrow, where he is expected to launch a $5 million facility for small-scale miners.

How truth, facts have lost meaning

Source: How truth, facts have lost meaning | The Herald

Bernard Bwoni Correspondent

It is very important that the Government makes a drastic shift from the rhetoric on corruption and introduce correctional measures to curb this damaging culture that has become embedded in the Zimbabwe psyche.

The Government has the responsibility and is accountable to the people of Zimbabwe. Their role is that of facilitating and putting into place policies, processes and systems for efficient service delivery, which are the safeguards against corruption.

They require nothing short of a committed and consistent follow-through. The people of Zimbabwe have repeatedly spoken out against corruption and urged the Government to tackle this economic dissipation.

The Government has not been deaf to the people’s cries about corruption, they have listened but the problem is that they have just listened and very little else. This is what has continued to agitate many and why Evan Mawarire’s message has been resonating with some.

It is very important that the Government makes a drastic shift from the rhetoric on corruption and introduce correctional measures to curb this damaging culture that has become embedded in the Zimbabwe psyche.

There is no value in merely talking about corruption because the culprits will simply carry on without care or attention even after being named and shamed. The people are agitated because they are not witnessing real consequences for those implicated or found guilty of corruption.

There is no point in empty threats that the Government is going to fight corruption when its architects are left to continue with the practice. The three arms of the State, Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary must work in a tight-knit format to tackle corruption more effectively.

If any arm of the State is compromised, then there is no point in even attempting to fight corruption. Each arm of the State must be razor-sharp in the fight against corruption and once blunted it affects the whole process. What Evan is selling to the people is nothing new but that does not make it any less important.

The issue of the many roadblocks and the constant soliciting of bribes by police officers has been recurrent and this has caused a lot of distress and inconvenience to the many motorists in Zimbabwe. On some roads there seem to be more roadblocks than street lights and it is shocking. The disproportionately high number of roadblocks is what is fuelling and sustaining corruption and frustrating motorists.

Those are the structural problems that need to be changed. Yes, there are instances where roadblocks or police presence is necessary, but some of it has just become a police get-together to extract some money out of the public.

Now one does not need to “shut down the whole country” to get his way. In any part of the world, as in Zimbabwe, there are appropriate channels to air grievances or to get an audience with the Government. Evan Mawarire has not exhausted or even started the engagement route.

He has gone directly for the kill with his threats and ultimatums. The Government of Zimbabwe has not closed any doors to engagement with the people who gave them the mandate with an overwhelming majority.

For Evan, it has never been about engaging the Government to air grievances, but something else. The movement has not engaged with the Government, but rather issued threats and ultimatums. All they have done is to urge people to stay away from work and force the Government to change certain policy decisions.

The speed at which everything is happening is mesmerising and one has to play catch-up all the time as events are moving at lightning speed. Evan posts a video on social media and the following day he expects the Government to make announcements that they are “withdrawing the introduction of bond notes and that they are withdrawing statutory instrument 64:2016”.

Now this is a private citizen in his own capacity who expects a whole Government with an electoral mandate to drop everything so as to fit in with his demands, some which have no sound basis at all.

There are issues of integrity that the flag movement has to address and these are pertinent issues. There have been shocking cases of manipulation and deliberate disinformation and lies to prop up the movement through deception.

On Monday July 11, 2016, social network sites were awash with reports of Evan having been “abducted by alleged State agents”. These reports provoked outrage and instant threats of “war against this Government” from some of his social media followers, unless Pastor Evan was released immediately by his “State abductors”.

It then turned out that the Pastor himself posted a video denying these claims of “abduction by State agents”. He confirmed that he was safe and sound and that he would be handing himself to the police on Tuesday morning.

Many of his friends were not convinced by the video he posted and some went to the extent of discrediting it as a fake video. They continued to share messages of solidarity demanding his release. It was only the following morning when images of him at Harare Central Police Station accompanied by his lawyers surfaced and this led many to abandon the narrative of the Pastor having been abducted by State agents. The outrage then shifted and they started asking why he was being questioned by the police for inciting violence through some of his utterances.

Pastor Evan’s misguided and devious call to shut down Zimbabwe flopped last week and the week before. The organisers and followers of this movement have been employing scare tactics and manipulative strategies to get people to heed their disorganised and self-serving calls to stay away from work.

There has been a proliferation of fake WhatsApp conversations being created and shared as genuine on social media for effect. There have been suspicious recordings of allegedly senior security and army officials claiming to be in support of the movement and that they are fed up with the Government.

Then there were fake letters claiming to be from companies such as Delta and Econet telling their employees not to go to work for the next two days of the planned stayaways. There were also fake Twitter accounts of celebrities from Beyoncé to Justin Bieber being created and claiming to be in support of the shutdown Zimbabwe campaign. Professor Jonathan Moyo had his Twitter profile cloned and a tweet created in his name claiming that he now had joined the movement and was “with the people”.

The lies, the deception and fraudulent methods being employed to propel public agitation against the State brings into serious doubt the sincerity and integrity of Evan and his followers.

The public is feeding off social media information whose authenticity and accuracy can never be guaranteed. Social media is about how instantly the message is relayed and the associated emotions and reactions.

Things are happening at a fast pace and the Government is having to play catch-up. It has now become virtually impossible to differentiate between fiction, falsehoods, fantasy and facts. The dividing line has become irrecoverably blurred.

Truth and facts have lost their meaning in this information jungle of regime change.

Ariston to seek investor approval of $4m into equity

Source: Ariston to seek investor approval of $4m into equity | The Herald July 20, 2016

AGRO-CONCERN Ariston Holdings will next month seek shareholder approval to convert $4 million debt owed to its majority shareholder — Origin Global Holdings into equity in a move expected to strengthen its balance sheet and enhance profitability. Converting debt to equity will free up Ariston’s balance sheet which will enable the company to raise further cheaper and long-term capital needed for its business operations and its successful growth prospects.The debt to equity conversion will increase Origin Global’s shareholding in the company to 72,13 percent from 67,64 percent.

Second largest shareholder, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) will subsequently have its shareholding reduced to 8,76 percent from 10,17 percent prior conversion.

The transaction will be done at a conversion ratio of 55,55 shares for every $1 of debt owed. This translates to 222,2 million Ariston shares at a price of 1,8 cents a share.

“It is envisaged that such a move should result in meaningful savings to the company by reducing its interest bill,” said Ariston in a circular to shareholders.

As at September 30, 2015, the total interest owing to Origin Global was $1,5 million, which has been waived, a move that will enhance Ariston’s continuing operational viability.

The shareholder debt to equity conversion will also result in a full and final settlement of the shareholder loans, outstanding as at September 30, 2015 which Ariston was failing to service.

“This will free the company’s cash flows and reduce interest burden for Ariston an in turn, enhance profitability of the company,” said Ariston.

After conversion, the debt to equity ratio of the company is expected to improve to 52 percent from 110 percent as at September 30 2015, inclusive of shareholders’ loans of $5,5 million.

In the six months to March 2016, Ariston reported 32 percent fall in revenue to $3,8 million on bad weather while loss from continuing operations amounted to $2 million compared to prior year’s profit of $0,1 million.

Ariston operates three divisions, Southdowns, Claremont and Kent estates involved in macadamia nuts, tea production, stone fruits, passion fruits, horticultural crops and poultry activities.

Govt engages civil servants on pay dates

Source: Govt engages civil servants on pay dates | The Herald July 20, 2016

Felex Share Senior Reporter
Civil servants will know their July pay dates on Friday and should not be misled by malcontents peddling falsehoods on social media, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said yesterday.

Speaking after meeting the Apex Council team leader Mrs Cecilia Alexander, Minister Mupfumira warned civil servants against embarking on illegal industrial action.

She said while Government workers had a constitutional right to strike, such actions should be undertaken procedurally.

“I, together with my Deputy Minister (Tapiwa Matangaidze) and my officers, met the Apex Council team leader and her team to update them on what is happening with regards to the July salaries,” she said.

“We are working with Treasury and the dates will be availed to them on Friday. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa was out of the country and we have appealed to have the dates improved from last time. Government promises that soon things will be back to normal after the bonus payments made us go off-rail.

“The civil servants should not be moved and must be assured that their salaries are coming, contrary to what they are getting from social media.”

Normally civil servants get paid beginning mid-month, but revenue challenges have seen tradition being broken.

The development saw teachers, nurses and the rest of the civil service getting their June salaries this month leading to the workers embarking on a three-day strike.

Minister Mupfumira said the strike was illegal as negotiation channels had not been exhausted.

“There were supposed to be four meetings ending in a deadlock and moreover they were supposed to give us notice of their intention to strike, but that was not the case,” she said.

“Most of the workers reported for duty, but I raised the issue to the workers today (yesterday) who apologised and said in future they would follow laid down procedures. The workers also told us that their strike was not politically-motivated and had nothing to do with the stayaway called by shadowy groups last week.”

She said her ministry was now planning for the workshops it intended to have with civil servants soon.

Mrs Alexander said: “I met the Minister to get a position on the pay dates against what is circulating on the social media. She is not aware who generated those dates, but pay dates will be availed to us on Friday.

“They told us that they are now seized with paying pensioners (yesterday) and grant aided institutions on Thursday. We have been assured there would be significant improvement and we await that.”

President Mugabe last week appealed to civil servants to be patient saying the country was faced with an array of challenges that included illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

Augur, Emory dispute settled

Source: Augur, Emory dispute settled | The Herald July 20, 2016

Court Reporter
A dispute over the controlling stake in Augur Investments pitting two business tycoons, Messers Kenneth Sharpe and Edward Elio Galante, has been laid to rest after the parties hammered a settlement and avoided the legal processes.

Mr Sharpe, owner of Augur Investments was embroiled in a shareholding dispute running into millions of dollars with Mr Galante’s Emory Discretionary Trust.

Emory had approached the High Court seeking an order to protect the interests of shareholders in Augur Investments, which he was accusing of disposing its immovable property and shares to the detriment of the shareholders and creditors.

Following successful negotiations between the parties in an out-of-court settlement, Mr Galante has withdrawn all claims against Mr Sharpe, his businesses and family.

He filed a notice of withdrawal in the High Court on the matter which was still to be heard.

“Be pleased to take notice that pursuant to an agreement of settlement arrived at between the parties, the applicants hereby withdraw the application in the matter on the agreed basis that the parties will each bear their own costs,” read part of the notice filed in the High Court on June 17.

The dispute between the two spilled into the High Court two years ago. The Jersey-based Emory is the second largest shareholder in Mauritius-registered company Augur Investments, which is doing business in Zimbabwe.

Emory went to High Court in March 2014, seeking to compel Mr Sharpe, through one of his companies, Hemisphere Africa Limited, to buy its purported shareholding in Augur, in terms of a purported negotiated agreement.

But Mr Sharpe denied ever signing an agreement to buy the shareholding of Emory in Augur Investments and challenged Emory to produce a share certificate and shareholders agreement signed by all the parties.

He argued that Emory’s court action was inspired by malice and designed not only to scandalise him, but also to scuttle Augur Investments’ business opportunities in Zimbabwe after he refused to sign a manipulated shareholders agreement drawn up by Emory represented by Mr Galante.

The trust wanted the court to grant it an interdict to protect the interests of creditors and shareholders, preventing all the 15 respondents from “dealing in immovable properties and shares owned or controlled by them, whether by way of a sale, lease or in any way encumbering these properties”.

According to the court papers, Harare transferred various pieces of land to Augur Investments’ 11 nominee companies for close to $15 million as payment for the construction of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Express Highway as at September 30, 2012.

List of mediators complete: Holy See appoints Nuncio and Bishop João Carlos Nunes, Blair sends Powell, Zuma names ambassador

The Holy See yesterday appointed the Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignor Edgar Pena Parra and the Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique, Bishop João Carlos Hatoa Nunes, as its representatives in Mozambique’s forthcoming peace dialogue.

Source: List of mediators complete: Holy See appoints Nuncio and Bishop João Carlos Nunes, Blair sends Powell, Zuma names ambassador – The Zimbabwean 20.07.2016

Monsignor José Luis Serrano, secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican embassy in Maputo), told Notícias that these names had been put forward in response to President Filipe Nyusi’s invitation to the Catholic Church for it to join the group of international facilitators in the political dialogue aimed at restoring peace.

The Holy See’s appointments complete the list of mediators sought from international organisations by the government and Renamo.

Former Botswanan head of state Quett Masire, representing the mediation body set up by former US Undersecretary of State for African Affairs, Chester Crocker, arrived in Maputo last weekend.

Jonathan Powell, representing the former British prime minister Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, was expected in Maputo yesterday.

Powell will shortly be joined by former president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikweti, who will have to interrupt his stay to attend a Chama Cha Mapinduzi party-political congress but will be represented in his absence by a senior official from his office.

The group proposed by the Mozambican government will join that suggested by Renamo which includes, besides the representatives of the Catholic church, Mario Raffaelli and Father Angelo Romano from the Community of Sant’Egidio, representing the European Union, and an ambassador representing South African president Jacob Zuma.

The Joint Commission tasked with preparing a meeting between President Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama will announce the terms of reference of the group of international mediators soon.

From then on, the mediators will take an active part in the work of the Joint Committee, which has already agreed the agenda points for the Nyusi-Dhlakama summit. These are: the government by Renamo of the six provinces where it claims to have won the general elections of 2014; the Defence and Security Forces; and the disarmament of the main opposition party and the integration of its armed men into the Defence and Security Forces.

The Joint Commission currently includes Jacinto Veloso, Benvinda Levi, Alves Muteque. António Hama Tai, Edmundo Galiza Matos Júnior and Alfredo Gamito (from the government’s side), and José Manteigas, Eduardo Namburete, André Magibire, Jeremias Pondeca, Maria Joaquina Inácio and Leovegildo Buanacasso (from Renamo’s side).

Source: Notícias

ZLHR petitions High Court over freedom bid for 30 residents languishing in prison

17 Beitbridge residents were released on $50 bail after human rights lawyers petitioned the High Court in Bulawayo seeking the release of 30 Beitbridge residents who are languishing in remand prison after they were arrested and charged with committing public violence early this month.

Source: ZLHR petitions High Court over freedom bid for 30 residents languishing in prison – The Zimbabwean 20.07.2016

Beitbridge Magistrate Gloria Takundwa denied bail to the 30, who are made up mainly of residents of the border town, when they appeared in court for initial remand early this month.
Magistrate Takundwa ruled that the 30 residents, who were arrested and charged with committing public violence in contravention of Section 36 (1 ) (a) of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23], were facing a serious offence which would influence them to abscond and that investigations were still pending among other reasons.
The denial of bail by Magistrate Takundwa led the Beitbridge residents’ lawyers Reason Mutimba, Patrick Tererai and Lizwe Jamela, all of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), to file an appeal in the High Court in Bulawayo. In their appeal, the human rights lawyers argued that the Beitbridge residents should not have been denied bail as the administration of justice would not be prejudiced by admitting them on bail.
Mutimba, Tererai and Jamela argued that Magistrate Takundwa erred and misdirected herself as the Beitbridge residents were only implicated in gang arrests and the prosecution had no evidence of what each of the appellants did to commit public violence.
The lawyers charged that Magistrate Takundwa erred and misdirected herself in refusing to grant bail to the Beitbridge residents when there was no evidence indicating the likelihood to commit further offences andthat none of the accused persons has a previous conviction or pending cases of public violence.

LATEST: Kereke guns for Tomana

Source: LATEST: Kereke guns for Tomana | The Herald July 19, 2016

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter

Munyaradzi Kereke wants the Prosecutor General’s Office to pay legal costs incurred in his private prosecution saying he didn’t refuse a public prosecution.

Kereke was recently convicted of rape in a private prosecution after suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana refused to prosecute him, saying there was no evidence linking the legislator to the offence.

Regional magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa sentenced Kereke to 14 years behind bars for raping his then 11-year-old niece six years ago. Four years of the sentence were set aside for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence within that period.

Through his lawyers, Kereke is refusing to pay legal costs sought by private prosecutor Mr Charles Warara saying he was not the one who barred his prosecution nor the one who runs the PG’s office.

Details to follow…..

Zim doctors’ plea on roadblocks – as hotel promises to pay guests’ fines

Source: Zim doctors’ plea on roadblocks – as hotel promises to pay guests’ fines – News24 2016-07-18

Harare – Imagine this: you or a family member is seriously ill in Zimbabwe and you call the doctor. But he or she is held up by a police roadblock.

The unthinkable potential consequences of such a situation (and it happens, doctors say) are what have driven a leading association of medical practitioners in Zimbabwe to plead with the authorities to let doctors go quickly through the roadblocks on their way to emergencies – and only return later with the cash to pay a fine.

The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) says in a letter to the head of the traffic police: “Some of our members have advised us that they sometimes fail to attend to emergencies at hospitals or their practices in time due to delays at police roadblocks in and around our various towns.”

The association complains that police at the checkpoints sometimes detain the doctors or impound their vehicles because they haven’t got the ready cash to pay a fine on the spot. Though lawyers say officers should allow you to pay up at a police station later, particularly given Zimbabwe’s current cash crunch, that rarely happens in practice.

Drivers are harassed by traffic officers who demand cash on the spot. The presence of these roadblocks – and the myriad tiny (and ever changing) infractions drivers can be made to pay for – are one of the things that has angered supporters of the #ThisFlag online protest movement, which staged two shutdowns this month. (Only one of them was successful).

Peaceful protests 

The medical association appealed to the police for a “special dispensation” to be given to doctors to allow them to proceed and pay fines for any offences later at police stations when they have attended to their patients.

President Robert Mugabe’s government appears to be unwilling to back down on the roadblock issue, with many Zimbabweans suspecting it is used as a fundraising initiative.

Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo told the privately-owned Standard on Sunday that police were manning what he called security roadblocks “to ensure that those planning to carry out further acts of violence are detected”. The authorities insist that #ThisFlag supporters and founders are violent, although the movement has called for only peaceful protests like shutdowns.

The checkpoints put off tourists and self-drive visitors.

In a move to counter this, a leading hotel in Zimbabwe’s eastern Vumba region has promised to reimburse the fines guests incur on their way to stay with them.

Leopard Rock Hotel said this weekend that it had been “losing business because of ZRP [Zimbabwe Republic Police] stopping people and fining them arbitrarily on their way to Leopard Rock”.

“If you get a ticket on your way to Leopard Rock (not last week’s ticket), give us your receipt and we will credit your stay,” the hotel added. With its vivid pink turrets and well-known golf course, Leopard Rock is one of the mountainous Vumba region’s best-known resorts. It is about 300 km from Harare.

First Lady hailed ahead of her 51st birthday

Source: First Lady hailed ahead of her 51st birthday | The Herald July 19, 2016

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
THE Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda yesterday wished First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe a happy birthday.

She turns 51 this Saturday (July 23).

In a statement, Dr Sibanda described Amai Mugabe as a selfless philanthropist.

“This occasion affords us an opportunity to celebrate the life of a selfless philanthropist who continues to champion the cause for the upliftment of the under-privileged, principally through her work at the Grace Mugabe Junior School and the Danhiko Centre for the Disabled,” he said.

Dr Sibanda said the First Lady has also established herself as an outstanding entrepreneur.

“Her Excellency Amai Grace Mugabe has carved herself a niche as an outstanding entrepreneur, having established a state-of-the-art dairy enterprise under Alpha and Omega Dairy, at what was formerly a pristine jungle.

“Inspired by a sense of self belief and innovativeness, she has over the years, transformed Alpha and Omega Dairy into a sprawling enterprise with firm footprints along the entire dairy value chain. As a fitting tribute to her outstanding business acumen, she was duly awarded the prestigious honour of the Outstanding Innovator for year 2016 by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce,” added Dr Sibanda.

“Over the years, the First Lady has also continued to be a bastion for the defence of good moral and family values, which are critical for social cohesion and national development. May the good Lord continue to grant her more years of good health and strength, and greater accomplishments!”

Diamond companies not certain about security of tenure

Source: Diamond companies not certain about security of tenure | The Herald July 19, 2016

Companies that were mining diamonds in the Chiadzwa area of Marange, Manicaland province were not certain about security of tenure for the land they were operating on and maximised by fully exhausting the richest parts of the concessions until the government eventually cancelled their licenses early this year, Parliament heard on Monday.The government estimates that it lost about $13 billion in underhand dealings in nearly 10 years that the firms had been mining the gems in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

All operations at the fields were subsequently shutdown with the government establishing one firm, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to ex