Author Archives: ZimSitRep_T

Death of a hero: Zimbabwe’s sickness

ben freethDeath of a Hero: Zimbabwe’s sickness; Zimbabwe’s prison 9 July 2014

Before flags around the country went down to honour the death of Nathan Shamuyarira, a former Zimbabwean nationalist, journalist and academic, I heard the news. I knew that the flags would all be at half-mast for days as soon as the headlines came out.  It was a foregone conclusion that he would be a “National Hero”, buried in Heroes’ Acre.

He had to be a hero.  He was a ZANU founder member, a senior Cabinet Minister for the first 15 years of Independence, a senior member of the politburo, the spokesman of the Party and Mugabe’s official biographer.

Like so many of the Mugabe elite, Mr Shamuyarira joined the land grab.  He was already in his late 70s and, with no farming experience, he set his sights on taking over Mount Carmel farm [see endnote].

In his prolonged and ruthless takeover he destroyed my father-in-law’s home, as well as ours, with everything in them.  He also destroyed some of our workers’ homes with their entire contents.

He stole all the crops and tractors, generators, pumps and other equipment.  He had many of our workers beaten so viciously that their bones were broken and they had to be hospitalised.  My elderly father-in-law was so badly beaten during our abduction and torture that he subsequently died.

It therefore irked me to see all the flags flying dutifully at half-mast as I went past government buildings, businesses, clubs, schools and, of course at Heroes’ Acre on the outskirts of Harare.

It was a sign of the malaise.  Were all the businessmen, club chairmen and school headmasters really so respectful of this man and what he stood for?  Did they truly believe he was a hero? Were all the glowing obituaries really being so very truthful?  Was this not all part of the sickness that we in Zimbabwe are stricken with?

It was sad though.  Here was a man who had it all going for him.  He was an academic, had travelled internationally and was the first editor of the Daily News.  He was close to the President and he had every opportunity to be a man who would be a driving force for good in building Zimbabwe.

He made a different choice though.  A journalist I spoke to who was trying to expose the Gukurahundi massacres [when more than 20,000 civilians were murdered by government forces in the early 1980s and Mr Shamuyarira was Minister of Information], told me: “The press knew him as someone far, far worse than Jonathan Moyo [the current Information Minister] ever was.”

As Minister, Mr Shaumyarira instituted monthly work permits for all foreign correspondents and eengineered a total news blackout of the thousands of murders that were taking place.  As in the time of Hitler’s Goebbels, the stories of the women who had their stomachs ripped open and their babies torn out by Mr Mugabe’s 5th Brigade were not allowed to be covered by the media.

The example that was made of those shockingly “torn-open” women is part of the sickness that lingers over the land.   Mr Shamuyarira knew the sickness so well because he was one of those who created it.  He was a master at it: the Satanic science of instilling fear into people.  This is the curse that is part of his legacy.  Later, he praised the Gukurahundi and said he had no regrets.

Never have I personally known so much fear as during the prolonged farm invasions when his men were using his “tactics” to create terror around our home: the midnight raids; the guns pointed at our windows; the gun shots; the beating of our workers; the death threats…

And then there was the arson; the fires on the lawn; the breaking down of doors and the bringing of burning tires through our home; the slaughter of livestock; the jambanja drums through the night; the beating of plough discs with metal bars outside our bedroom windows; the stealing of crops and tractors; the bloodthirsty threat hurled into the night: “We will eat your children”…

I remember well my legs shaking uncontrollably when his men surrounded our home at night.  It was pure unadulterated terror at the hands of those who, before they came to power, were called terrorists.  It was a fear that has been deliberately spread throughout the entire nation through so many years.

Yes, the sickness has taken a firm hold on us all.  The fear remains strong.  It peers through the gloom at our every turn.  It lurks in the shadows threateningly.  It lingers long into the night and beats its persistent drum to echo far into the hinterland.  It makes heroes out of its own – to be buried in a ground that is modeled on the ultimate tool of terror, the harbinger of death in the hands of a terrorist – the AK47.

Everyone in Zimbabwe is afraid.  That is our sickness.  That is our jail.  Many do not admit it, but why is it then that the flags fly at half-mast throughout the land at the death of someone who has caused or supported so much terror in the nation?

The flags and the obituaries said it all.  People in Zimbabwe have become too cowardly to speak out boldly with the truth about the acts of terror in our land; and sadly, so long as the cowardliness remains in the hearts of so many, fear will continue to hold Zimbabwe to ransom.

The day that we have the courage to not count the cost of doing what is right and speaking truth to terror will be the day Zimbabweans will break out from their prison of fear into freedom.  That day is yet to dawn; but I am convinced that it will come.

Headline news 23 June, 2014

Mugabe’s EU Cheerleader

Mugabe’s EU Cheerleader – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st June 2014

The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF), meeting after the Saturday Vigil, condemned pro-Mugabe comments by the EU’s Ambassador to Harare Aldo Dell’Ariccia. The loud-mouthed diplomat openly showed his colours when he addressed a meeting in Harare. ‘Luckily we don’t have a leadership crisis in this country’, he said, sounding for all the world like Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba.

Dell’Ariccia went on to rebuke NGOs for being confrontational and unconstructive and added ‘I have the impression that you are a little bit anchored in the past where instead of seeing NGOs one perceives AGOs – anti-government organisations’. The empty-headed envoy went on to condemn civil society for being critical of Zanu PF’s electioneering Zim-Asset plan, which shows no signs of delivering on any of its promises.

The ZAF meeting voted to send the following letter to Dell’Ariccia’s boss Catherine Ashton to complain about his outrageous intervention in Zimbabwe’s domestic affairs:

To the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton

Zimbabweans driven into exile are horrified to see that the EU’s Ambassador in Harare has come out openly in support of the illegitimate Mugabe regime.

It appears to us that the EU is bending over backwards to embrace Mugabe despite his refusal to hold free and fair elections or make any reforms to correct the abuses which prompted the EU to adopt its targeted measures against him and his cronies,

 We know that the hundred or so diplomats from the EU make up the mainstay of the cocktail circuit in Harare but we cannot believe that they are too busy to inform you of the desperate situation in which our families and friends find themselves.

 Unlike your Ambassador to Harare, we do not believe that this situation is being perpetuated by NGOs (or anti-government organisations, as he calls them), or civil society as a whole, let alone the besieged political opposition.

We suggest that you recall Mr Dell’Ariccia for re-education in diplomacy rather than allow him to spend his time cosying up to a tyrant.

 Supporters of the Zimbabwe Vigil particularly asked that you should be reminded that, a year on since the rigged elections, the voters’ roll has still not been made available, that there is no rule of law, human rights violations are continuing, the national infrastructure has largely collapsed, including the education and health services, there is rampant corruption and unemployment is at more than 80%.

 We draw your attention to a recent report that women, with babies on their backs, are walking 18 kilometres to a rubbish dump to collect gleanings (fat from cooking pots). Returning home they have been attacked and raped by knife-wielding criminals.

 Other points

  • ZAF convenor Ephraim Tapa told the meeting that it was clear that the European Union was trying to promote the idea that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe. The meeting was presented with some of the ideas emerging from the ZAF working group. In a general discussion the following points were raised: Activating the diaspora was an important part of the work of the ZAF team. It would be sensible to work through ROHR which already has branches around the UK. It would also be important to connect with the diaspora elsewhere, especially in South Africa. It was suggested we engage the SA diaspora by dealing with their immediate problems such as getting papers. Other ideas included that we needed to work out what relationship ZAF, the Vigil, ROHR and ZWC would have with the new political dispensation in Zimbabwe and the need to reach out to the people on the ground in Zimbabwe, education on constitutional rights being a priority.
  • Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu and Tendai Chadehumbe for arriving early to help set up the Vigil.


For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.


FOR THE RECORD: 31 signed the register.


  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting. Saturday 28th June from 2 pm – 5 pm. Venue: RISC, 35-39 London St, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Erick Eluwasi, the Information and Publicity Officer on 07532021348
  • ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 28th June from 1 pm – 3.30 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chairperson on 07708116625, Nkosikona Tshabangu Vice Chairperson 07887398247, Sharon Zimuto Secretary 07988165394, Fungisai Mupandira 077988958803, Iline Manhunzi Treasurer 07824886092 and Tichaona Mafokosho Information and Publicity 07939696521.
  • ROHR Middlesbrough general meeting. Saturday 28th June from 2 pm – 5 pm. Please contact Masimba Musodza(Chairman) 07581887359, Xoliso Sithole (Treasurer) 07449005447, Helen Sibanda (Secretary) 07799574994, Ndumiso Ncube (Organising Secretary) 0744852232.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 5th July 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 Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 5th July from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
  • ROHR Central London general meeting. Saturday 19th July from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 26th July at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy
  • For the Zimbabwean Diary check:
  • Facebook pages:

–         Vigil:

–         ZAF:

–         ROHR:


Vigil co-ordinators

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

Mugabe’s Borrowdale Brooke neighbour speaks out

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Mugabe’s Borrowdale Brooke neighbour speaks out 22 June 2014

A Harare man who is expected to appear in court tomorrow after his dogs killed a buck at President Robert Mugabe’s mansion in Borrowdale Brooke last year is proud to be the First Family’s neighbour.

Michael Pazarangu is facing charges of allowing to “be at large any unmuzzled ferocious dog” as defined in Section 46 (2)(r) of the Third Schedule of the Criminal Law and Codification Act Chapter 9:23.

The Standard yesterday managed to track down Pazarangu for an interview in Harare. Pazarangu said he had “no problem with my neighbour”, adding that he was not interested in politics.

“I am not a politician. You don’t find me in Zanu-PF and MDCs because I am not interested in it [politics],” he said.

Pazarangu had a terse “no comment” response when asked whether he had been invited to Bona Mugabe’s wedding to Simba Chikore early this year.

The mega wedding was held at the First’s Family’s residence opposite Pazarangu’s house.

The State alleges that on May 22 and 23 last year, Pazarangu’s dogs strayed into President Mugabe’s residence where they killed a buck. When an officer on duty saw the dogs devouring the animal, they ran away into Pazarangu’s homestead. Officials from the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority later identified the dogs as the ones they had shot at the previous year.

When he was summoned to appear in court last week, Pazarangu kept it a secret to his family which only knew about the case when it was splashed in newspapers.

“I didn’t want my family to be traumatised. Also, I didn’t want the story to come out because it embarrasses the President,” he said.

Pazarangu said when he moved into Borrowdale Brooke, tyres on his three cars were stolen one night. When he replaced the tyres and parked his cars closer to the house, thieves pounced again and stole the tyres.

“It was at that point that I started keeping the dogs,” said the man born in Pazarangu Street in Mbare.

The street was named after his father, Patrick Michael Pazarangu, the former post master during the federation of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).

Patrick Michael was awarded the Member of the order of the British Empire given to an individual for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community.

Chinese investors dupe Zanu-PF bigwigs

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Chinese investors dupe Zanu-PF bigwigs 22 June 2014 by Brian Chitemba

Top Government and Zanu-PF officials were duped by a group of dubious Chinese investors whose licence has since been cancelled for flouting immigration, exchange control and tax regulations, it has been learnt.

The Chinese, who were operating under Mezzotin Investments (Pvt) Ltd, were accused of accessing fake employment permits and importing top-of-the-range vehicles without paying tax.

The vehicles were then resold before the regulated period of two years which is provided for all immigrants.
They were also fingered in duping unsuspecting top Zanu-PF and Government officials (names provided) by enticing them to invest in failed and non-existent mining projects.

The investors involved in the scandal are Huan Qu, whose passport number is G37290944, Deng Binwu (G35266031), Ke Li (G47088399), Hongjun Qu (G41928200), Zhe Cai (G42391648) and Fang Lianhua (E01808349). Their licence has since been cancelled by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA).

The group allegedly connived with officials in different Government departments to flout regulations.
It also merged that Mezzotin Investments is 90 percent owned by ADSANI company, a subsidiary of Zoolander Investments, which is listed on the Canadian stock exchange. According to a ZIA letter in possession of The Sunday Mail dated April 28, 2014 signed by the authority’s acting chief executive officer, Mr Godfrey Mandivheyi, Mezzotin Investments was accused of misrepresenting information to obtain an investment licence.

The letter was addressed to Mezzotin Investments director Mr Lawrence Hood and was copied to the Immigration Department’s Principal Director, Mr Clemence Masango, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Exchange Control Division Senior Division Chief Mr Morris Bekezela Mpofu and Zimra Commissioner-General Mr Geshom Pasi. “Reference is made to our correspondence dated 01 April 2014 in which the authority notified you of its intention to cancel your investment licence No. 001803 issued on 7 May 2013 for engaging in the mining and refining of tantalite and columbite ores in Dorowa. Reference is also made to your subsequent response which was received on 11 April 2014 accepting cancellation of the investment licence.

“Through this letter, I therefore advise you that your investment licence No. 001803 has been cancelled owing to misrepresentation of information in accordance with Section 22 (1) (a) of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act Chapter 14:30.

“Be advised that this cancellation shall also be communicated to other Government departments including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Immigration Control Department which will result in the cancellation of all other benefits you may have been entitled to as an investor,” reads part of the letter.
It is understood that the cancellation of the Chinese investors’ licence was an indication that several other businessmen from the Far East could be engaged in clandestine deals.

As of end of April, ZIA approved investment projects worth US$134 million, of which 75 percent of these valued at US$100 million were from China.

Investigations by The Sunday Mail showed that the Chinese nationals were smuggling cars, some of which have already been impounded by Zimra.

Information obtained revealed a Toyota Prado (registration number ACY 5560) and a Toyota double cab (ACU 4301) were impounded on May 7, 2014 at Number 15 Harare Drive, which is owned by Mezzotin Investments.

Zimra chief corporate communications officer Mr Taungana Ndoro could not comment.

“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority derives its administrative powers from the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11]. Its officers are precluded by specific provisions within this law from providing specific information concerning its clients to third parties.

“This is obviously the case in order to protect the integrity of the fiscus. Should any officer of the authority violate the provisions of this law, dire consequences will follow. For that reason, I am, therefore, unable to comment or provide the requested information because of the reasons stated above,” he said in a written response.

The Chinese nationals are also at the centre of a syndicate involved in illegally regularising their stay in the country by working with corrupt immigration officials who date-stamped their passports at the entry and exit points of the Harare International Airport.

This resulted in the arrest of an immigration official, Tafadzwa Gotore of Tynwald South in Harare, who has since appeared in court for fraudulently date-stamping Wang Teng’s passport.

In a letter dated December 14, 2012, Mezzotin Investments’ representative Mr Edison Kadzombe wrote to the Department of Immigration applying for temporary permits in which he admitted that one of the company’s employee, Maxine Beatrice Mapara, was arrested for obtaining fake temporary work permits.

Mapara was employed by Real Gain Investments (Pvt) Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Mezzotin Investments.

Although the company distanced itself from the Mapara shady deals, the development confirmed a syndicate of corrupt officials conniving with foreigners to issue fake work permits.

Approached for comment on Friday, Mezzotin Investments officials refused to answer questions.

“We have no comment on those issues,” said a Mezzotin Investments representative.

‘Jonathan Moyo not targeted in Baba Jukwa investigations’

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘Jonathan Moyo not targeted in Baba Jukwa investigations’ 22 June 2014

Police have dismissed reports that top government officials are under investigation in connection with the recent arrest of The Sunday Mail Editor Edmund Kudzayi over publications of posts on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page. This is contrary to reports in some sections of the media that the investigations are targeted at Prof Jonathan Moyo.Chief Police spokesperson, senior assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said instead cabinet ministers such as Saviour Kasukuwere (Environment, Water and Climate) were the victims of Baba Jukwa.

“The police wishes to inform the public that there are no ministers targeted in the investigations. In fact, ministers were targeted by Baba Jukwa and the most targeted Minister was in fact Kasukuwere, his wife and family,” Charamba said.

She said the mentioning of top government officials and the members of the ruling party Zanu-PF as being targeted in the investigations was intended to throw confusion into Kudzayi’s criminal matter.

“Such publications which insinuate that certain ministers and parliamentarians are targeted, are intended to throw confusion into the whole matter and solicit ministers and Zanu-PF sympathy, in the process diluting the gravity of Kudzayi’s case,” Charamba said.

Meanwhile, Mxolisi Ncube, one of the journalists initially linked to Baba Jukwa by the Sunday Mail and Herald, has asked whether people still believed he was behind the shadowy character.

“So, do you still believe that I am the real Baba Jukwa?” quipped Ncube on his Facebook page.


“Having been demonised and called names, with my pictures splashed everywhere for nothing I ever did, I cannot celebrate what my Zimpapers counterparts are going through right now.

“Had I been in Zimbabwe when those allegations were made, I would have faced a similar or even worse situation. An injury to one is an injury to all. Journalists of Zimbabwe Arise!” – See more at:

Police have dismissed reports that top government officials are under investigation in connection with the recent arrest of The Sunday Mail Editor Edmund Kudzayi over publications of posts on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page. This is contrary to reports in some sections of the media that the investigations are targeted at Prof Jonathan Moyo.

Chief Police spokesperson, senior assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said instead cabinet ministers such as Saviour Kasukuwere (Environment, Water and Climate) were the victims of Baba Jukwa.

“The police wishes to inform the public that there are no ministers targeted in the investigations. In fact, ministers were targeted by Baba Jukwa and the most targeted Minister was in fact Kasukuwere, his wife and family,” Charamba said.

She said the mentioning of top government officials and the members of the ruling party Zanu-PF as being targeted in the investigations was intended to throw confusion into Kudzayi’s criminal matter.

“Such publications which insinuate that certain ministers and parliamentarians are targeted, are intended to throw confusion into the whole matter and solicit ministers and Zanu-PF sympathy, in the process diluting the gravity of Kudzayi’s case,” Charamba said.

Meanwhile, Mxolisi Ncube, one of the journalists initially linked to Baba Jukwa by the Sunday Mail and Herald, has asked whether people still believed he was behind the shadowy character.

“So, do you still believe that I am the real Baba Jukwa?” quipped Ncube on his Facebook page.

“Having been demonised and called names, with my pictures splashed everywhere for nothing I ever did, I cannot celebrate what my Zimpapers counterparts are going through right now.

“Had I been in Zimbabwe when those allegations were made, I would have faced a similar or even worse situation. An injury to one is an injury to all. Journalists of Zimbabwe Arise!”

Spirits angry at govt over diamonds says Chief

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Spirits angry at govt over diamonds says Chief 22 June 2014

MUTARE – President of the Chiefs’ Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira has said diamond mining operations in Chiadzwa are facing numerous problems because the spirits are angry at government and mining companies for snubbing traditional leaders and local cultures.Addressing stakeholders at Manicaland province alternative mining indaba organised by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) last week, Charumbira accused the government and mining companies of disrespecting cultural values of communities they were operating in.

“You know, some of these things are spiritual. It is unfortunate that the government did not consult traditional leaders on how to extract the diamonds. The diamonds are on our traditional land. There are supposed to be rituals done first in order to appease the spirits,” he said.

“The land belongs to us and the diamonds are ours. We are the ancestors of this land where diamonds lie on, but, the government decided to go it alone. Look now there are so many problems in Chiadzwa.”

Charumbira said traditional leaders were of the view that mining companies were violating cultural rites in their operations.

“They come into communities, displace the villagers and pollute their environment. Villagers are suffering,” he said.

“There are violations of cultural rites. Our ancestors are not happy because of the disrespect of their rights since they stay in a rich land, but are not benefitting from their ancestral land resources.”

Other traditional leaders also accused foreign companies of looting the country’s minerals with little benefit to the local communities.

“We have the diamonds in our midst but we are the poorest. We demand that chiefs sit on the boards of mining firms in areas under their jurisdiction to ensure they bring development to their communities,” said Chief Gilbert Marange.

He said it was a mockery that the recent Antwerp diamond sales in Belgium, saw government receiving a paltry US$11,5 million out of the US$80,5 million realised from the sale of 1239.654 million carats.

Villagers living around the Chiadzwa diamond mining area accused police officials at the Diamond Base in Marange of ill-treating them.

They threatened to sue the police officers alleging that their rights were being violated as they were now living like captives.

A villager, Maruva Jena accused police of indiscriminately assaulting locals, especially youths, who were often mistaken for illegal diamond panners.

“Last week more than 40 people were rounded up by police at Hot Springs while watching soccer at the business centre. They were accused of being diamond panners or keeping panners at their homesteads,” said Jena.

“I followed them to the police base because my relatives were arrested too. What I saw is very disheartening. The amount of torture cannot even be equated to that of the Smith regime.”

She said the names of some of the police officers involved were known to the villagers.

“As a community, we mobilised money together with the tortured victims to enable them to be examined medically to assess the extent of their injuries,” said Jena.

“Soon we will be mounting a legal battle against them. It is not our problem that diamonds were found in our area. As women, we are also going to protest at the police base. We are not foreigners and we are going to show them that we are equal as humans.”

Others said police action against the locals had reached alarming levels and urged human rights organisations and government to intervene.

The chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on environment, water, tourism and hospitality industry, Anastancia Ndlovu urged the locals to always carry their identity cards.

She said the ministries of Mines and Local government should visit the area to assess the levels of pollution in the area due to mining operations.
The mining indaba was aimed at providing alternative space for stakeholders to discuss challenges in the country’s mining sector.

Source: The Standdard – See more at:

MUTARE – President of the Chiefs’ Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira has said diamond mining operations in Chiadzwa are facing numerous problems because the spirits are angry at government and mining companies for snubbing traditional leaders and local cultures.

Addressing stakeholders at Manicaland province alternative mining indaba organised by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) last week, Charumbira accused the government and mining companies of disrespecting cultural values of communities they were operating in.

“You know, some of these things are spiritual. It is unfortunate that the government did not consult traditional leaders on how to extract the diamonds. The diamonds are on our traditional land. There are supposed to be rituals done first in order to appease the spirits,” he said.

“The land belongs to us and the diamonds are ours. We are the ancestors of this land where diamonds lie on, but, the government decided to go it alone. Look now there are so many problems in Chiadzwa.”

Charumbira said traditional leaders were of the view that mining companies were violating cultural rites in their operations.

“They come into communities, displace the villagers and pollute their environment. Villagers are suffering,” he said.

“There are violations of cultural rites. Our ancestors are not happy because of the disrespect of their rights since they stay in a rich land, but are not benefitting from their ancestral land resources.”

Other traditional leaders also accused foreign companies of looting the country’s minerals with little benefit to the local communities.

“We have the diamonds in our midst but we are the poorest. We demand that chiefs sit on the boards of mining firms in areas under their jurisdiction to ensure they bring development to their communities,” said Chief Gilbert Marange.

He said it was a mockery that the recent Antwerp diamond sales in Belgium, saw government receiving a paltry US$11,5 million out of the US$80,5 million realised from the sale of 1239.654 million carats.

Villagers living around the Chiadzwa diamond mining area accused police officials at the Diamond Base in Marange of ill-treating them.

They threatened to sue the police officers alleging that their rights were being violated as they were now living like captives.

A villager, Maruva Jena accused police of indiscriminately assaulting locals, especially youths, who were often mistaken for illegal diamond panners.

“Last week more than 40 people were rounded up by police at Hot Springs while watching soccer at the business centre. They were accused of being diamond panners or keeping panners at their homesteads,” said Jena.

“I followed them to the police base because my relatives were arrested too. What I saw is very disheartening. The amount of torture cannot even be equated to that of the Smith regime.”

She said the names of some of the police officers involved were known to the villagers.

“As a community, we mobilised money together with the tortured victims to enable them to be examined medically to assess the extent of their injuries,” said Jena.

“Soon we will be mounting a legal battle against them. It is not our problem that diamonds were found in our area. As women, we are also going to protest at the police base. We are not foreigners and we are going to show them that we are equal as humans.”

Others said police action against the locals had reached alarming levels and urged human rights organisations and government to intervene.

The chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on environment, water, tourism and hospitality industry, Anastancia Ndlovu urged the locals to always carry their identity cards.

She said the ministries of Mines and Local government should visit the area to assess the levels of pollution in the area due to mining operations.
The mining indaba was aimed at providing alternative space for stakeholders to discuss challenges in the country’s mining sector.

Source: The Standard

State exposes Sunday Mail editor’s lies

via State exposes Sunday Mail editor’s lies | The Zimbabwean 22 June 2014

A State prosecutor, Tawanda Zvekare, has exposed the embattled Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi, as a liar whose publication in May claimed that two Zimbabwean journalists based in South Africa were behind the viral Baba Jukwa Facebook page.

The Sunday Mail, on May 11, ran a screaming front page story, “Hackers unmask Baba Jukwa”, that named Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio, both based in South Africa, as the faces behind the controversial page.

The two journalists refuted the allegation and engaged Obert Gutu, a local lawyer, to represent them.

The story, which was picked by the Herald, the Sunday Mail’s sister paper, and other publications, also claimed that Ncube and Chimoio had duped the editor of The Zimbabwean, Wilf Mbanga, by demanding money from him in order to market the publication.

The Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Jonathan Moyo, seen as the one who plucked the 28-year-old Kudzayi from abroad and appointing him Sunday Mail editor early this, also weighed in, calling on security agents to arrest the two journalists.

However, police investigations and a subsequent charge sheet produced in court following Kudzayi’s arrest late last Thursday indicate that Kudzayi was Baba Jukwa, an online character that revealed sensitive information about Zanu (PF) and President Robert Mugabe ahead of last year’s general elections.

Kudzayi appeared in court yesterday and was charged for plotting to subvert a constitutional government, attempted insurgency, banditry and terrorism.

Leading the State case on Saturday when the Sunday Mail editor appeared in court for the first time, Zvekare said Kudzayi was Baba Jukwa—a shady personality that national security agents put a $300,000 bounty on.

He said the editor authored and published articles that were false and designed to incite, urge or suggest the establishment of a movement whose purpose was to overthrow President Robert Mugabe illegally.

The prosecutor said Kudzayi connived with his brother, Phillip Tawanda, in creating the Baba Jukwa page through an account, babajukwa2013, that used an Econet mobile number–771 446 541—registerd in the latter’s name but was being used by the editor.

The State alleged that Kudzayi was part of a militant group calling itself Gunda Nleya Brigade and another they referred to as Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army that planned to overthrow Mugabe ahead if he rigged the 2013 general elections.

Zvekare said, contrary to his claim that the Sunday Mail obtained information from yet unnamed hackers, the Baba Jukwa account was never hacked.

The State is also accusing Kudzayi of writing an article in the Zimbabwe Mail, an online publication, accusing Mugabe of being a dictator who “commits gross human rights abuses” and had “stolen the 2008 elections”, in addition to presiding over the “economic collapse” of the country.

“He further called the President a tyrant and accused him of taking the land from white farmers and giving it to his cronies and not the people of Zimbabwe,” read the charge sheet that was produced in court yesterday.

Kudzayi, who will appear in court tomorrow for a bail application, is further accused of failing to secure ammunition.

It is not yet clear why Kudzayi, as the editor of the Sunday Mail, reportedly planted information nailing Ncube and Chimoio as the ones behind Baba Jukwa, but critics speculate that he, together with some Zanu (PF) politicians, wanted to preempt focus on them as the ones behind the page.

Several weeks ago, The Zimbabwean broke the story of a “Sunday Mail senior staffer”, two cabinet ministers and a Zanu (PF) legislator as being under probe by the police and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

While the police have issued a statement denying investigating cabinet ministers, The Zimbabwean is reliably informed that they were initially targeted by the joint probe but have been left out for political expediency.

Intelligence sources insist that Kudzayi frequented one of the ministers’ private business offices where he was hired for IT projects whose details remain hazy.

The minister is said to have financed his colleague in cabinet, paying his rentals at a house in Borrowdale, when he was out of government and had fallen on hard times.

The two are alleged to be spearheading a campaign to remove Mugabe from power and have him replaced by a member of the younger Zanu (PF) generation.

Top Cop nabbed for extortion

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Top Cop nabbed for extortion 21 June 2014

A senior cop in Bulawayo’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) frauds section has been arrested for extortion and fraud.Police sources say Detective Chief Inspector Machinga was arrested in the city on Friday after soliciting and receiving a bribe from a suspect.

Details of the detective’s crime are still sketchy but sources said he was arrested after a trap was set for him following numerous complaints of extortion by suspects under investigation.

“He is being held at Donnington Police Station and is set to face a commission of enquiry soon. The force has become a hotplate for corrupt people. Cops are really being arrested,” said the source.

Comment could not immediately be obtained from national CID spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chino.

Hundreds of police officers, especially from the traffic section have been dismissed in the last two years fro corruption.

DCI Machinga was arrested after receiving a $300 bribe from a suspect in a trap. – See more at:

A senior cop in Bulawayo’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) frauds section has been arrested for extortion and fraud.

Police sources say Detective Chief Inspector Machinga was arrested in the city on Friday after soliciting and receiving a bribe from a suspect.

Details of the detective’s crime are still sketchy but sources said he was arrested after a trap was set for him following numerous complaints of extortion by suspects under investigation.

“He is being held at Donnington Police Station and is set to face a commission of enquiry soon. The force has become a hotplate for corrupt people. Cops are really being arrested,” said the source.

Comment could not immediately be obtained from national CID spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chino.

Hundreds of police officers, especially from the traffic section have been dismissed in the last two years fro corruption.

DCI Machinga was arrested after receiving a $300 bribe from a suspect in a trap.

Baba Jukwa seeks prayer

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Baba Jukwa seeks prayer 22 June 2014

A day after a Harare court was told that the incarcerated Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudakwashe Kudzayi was the person behind the faceless Zanu-PF mole, Baba Jukwa, the Facebook character has taken to the giant social network seeking a prayer from his/her followers.

Baba Jukwa on Sunday morning posted on Facebook:
“Good morning Zimbabwe. Please say a short simple prayer to God in your own mother tongue, so our nation can be blessed, and there can be more exposures of evils and all hidden treacheries, we are now almost there now, just one small step left!!!!!”

According to court documents which were made public yesterday, the Facebook page ‘Baba Jukwa’ which at the time of this writing has “408.2K total page likes” was created by Kudzayi in April 2013.

“Sometime in April 2013, the accused connived with his elder brother  Phillip Tawanda Kudzayi and others who are still at large and hatched  a plan to overthrow the Government of Zimbabwe by unconstitutional means in the run up to the 31s July 2013 Zimbabwe General Elections.  Accused created a gmail account called using an econet line 0771446541 registered to Philip Tawanda Kudzayi which line is being used by him. Thee said gmail account was used to create a Facebook account called Baba Jukwa.”

Child sexual abuse needs to be eradicated says Mugabe

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Child sexual abuse needs to be eradicated says Mugabe 22 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

President Robert Mugabe has called on youths to desist from engaging in early sexual activities, while also taking a dig at older people who are abusing children.

Speaking during the official opening of the 22nd session of the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said government was concerned about the increasing cases of child abuse including the rape of minors.

“Something has gone wrong with the social and moral fibre of our society. The problems of child sexual abuse, child neglect and even infanticide now need to be addressed at all levels of the society,” he said.

“The government is going to intensify the necessary social and policing interventions in order to eradicate what is turning into an epidemic.”

Mugabe also opened up about his boyhood saying children must not rush into early sexual activities. The Zanu PF leader said when he was young, even his late mother Bona, was worried that he could not court girls because of his love for books which made him what he is today.

“I was very bookish and did not want girls to interfere with me that my mother would ask vana Sekuru kuti asi mwana wangu arikuda kuita fata, hamumutsvagirewo here? Vaifunga kuti handigone kunyenga, aiwa ndaigona kunyenga,” he said. [she asked my uncles whether I was considering being a priest and asked them to find a girl for me, she thought I could not chat up a girl. I could.]

Mugabe claimed there were people bent on ensuring that his government collapsed.

“When the elections came in July last year, we had a sweeping win pushing aside those who concentrated on women,” he said.

Mugabe said the failure to pay professionals, including teachers, contributed to the slowdown of the economy as qualified personnel were leaving for countries such as Botswana and South Africa.

“The future of a nation lies in the youths, so education must give them knowledge and skills which they can use to prosper their lives and the nation,” he said.

“It is you the young whom we have faith in and we depend upon you to pass on that entity we call Zimbabwe so we continue to live.”

Meanwhile, child president Nhlanhla Moyo said the government must remember the commitments made when the country ratified the United Nations Convection on the Rights and Welfare of the Children in 1990.

“We seek to pursue the rights of every child in Zimbabwe and we wish to bring to the attention of our government the condition we are growing up to,” said Moyo.
“As the child parliament of Zimbabwe, we do not seek to create a world far away from our reality. We seek to be heard and not just to be seen.

President Robert Mugabe has called on youths to desist from engaging in early sexual activities, while also taking a dig at older people who are abusing children.Speaking during the official opening of the 22nd session of the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said government was concerned about the increasing cases of child abuse including the rape of minors.

“Something has gone wrong with the social and moral fibre of our society. The problems of child sexual abuse, child neglect and even infanticide now need to be addressed at all levels of the society,” he said.

“The government is going to intensify the necessary social and policing interventions in order to eradicate what is turning into an epidemic.”

Mugabe also opened up about his boyhood saying children must not rush into early sexual activities. The Zanu PF leader said when he was young, even his late mother Bona, was worried that he could not court girls because of his love for books which made him what he is today.

“I was very bookish and did not want girls to interfere with me that my mother would ask vana Sekuru kuti asi mwana wangu arikuda kuita fata, hamumutsvagirewo here? Vaifunga kuti handigone kunyenga, aiwa ndaigona kunyenga,” he said. [she asked my uncles whether I was considering being a priest and asked them to find a girl for me, she thought I could not chat up a girl. I could.]

Mugabe claimed there were people bent on ensuring that his government collapsed.

“When the elections came in July last year, we had a sweeping win pushing aside those who concentrated on women,” he said.

Mugabe said the failure to pay professionals, including teachers, contributed to the slowdown of the economy as qualified personnel were leaving for countries such as Botswana and South Africa.

“The future of a nation lies in the youths, so education must give them knowledge and skills which they can use to prosper their lives and the nation,” he said.

“It is you the young whom we have faith in and we depend upon you to pass on that entity we call Zimbabwe so we continue to live.”

President Robert Mugabe has called on youths to desist from engaging in early sexual activities, while also taking a dig at older people who are abusing children.

Speaking during the official opening of the 22nd session of the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said government was concerned about the increasing cases of child abuse including the rape of minors.

“Something has gone wrong with the social and moral fibre of our society. The problems of child sexual abuse, child neglect and even infanticide now need to be addressed at all levels of the society,” he said.

“The government is going to intensify the necessary social and policing interventions in order to eradicate what is turning into an epidemic.”

Mugabe also opened up about his boyhood saying children must not rush into early sexual activities. The Zanu PF leader said when he was young, even his late mother Bona, was worried that he could not court girls because of his love for books which made him what he is today.

“I was very bookish and did not want girls to interfere with me that my mother would ask vana Sekuru kuti asi mwana wangu arikuda kuita fata, hamumutsvagirewo here? Vaifunga kuti handigone kunyenga, aiwa ndaigona kunyenga,” he said. [she asked my uncles whether I was considering being a priest and asked them to find a girl for me, she thought I could not chat up a girl. I could.]

Mugabe claimed there were people bent on ensuring that his government collapsed.

“When the elections came in July last year, we had a sweeping win pushing aside those who concentrated on women,” he said.

Mugabe said the failure to pay professionals, including teachers, contributed to the slowdown of the economy as qualified personnel were leaving for countries such as Botswana and South Africa.

“The future of a nation lies in the youths, so education must give them knowledge and skills which they can use to prosper their lives and the nation,” he said.

“It is you the young whom we have faith in and we depend upon you to pass on that entity we call Zimbabwe so we continue to live.”

Meanwhile, child president Nhlanhla Moyo said the government must remember the commitments made when the country ratified the United Nations Convection on the Rights and Welfare of the Children in 1990.

“We seek to pursue the rights of every child in Zimbabwe and we wish to bring to the attention of our government the condition we are growing up to,” said Moyo.

“As the child parliament of Zimbabwe, we do not seek to create a world far away from our reality. We seek to be heard and not just to be seen.

SA permits: Zim seeks Pretoria meeting

via SA permits: Zim seeks Pretoria meeting 21 June 2014 by South Africa Correspondent

THE Zimbabwean government is keen to meet the South African authorities to discuss the possible renewal of permits introduced on foreigners in 2010 by President Jacob Zuma’s administration.

Zimbabwe’s acting ambassador to South Africa, Samuel Mhango, confirmed a meeting was pending between South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Zimbabwe’s Kembo Mohadi on a date yet to be scheduled.

”We requested a meeting with the South African government and they are processing that and will come back to us with a date,” Mhango confirmed to

“I cannot tell you our position as the Zimbabwean government because we do not discuss such matters in the press.

“We will discuss critical issues involving permits, new regulations and issues affecting Zimbabweans. We want to come out with a solution which is best for Zimbabwe and South Africa.”

South Africa is home to over a million Zimbabweans, the majority of them economic refugees. Of the population, a modest 250 000 Zimbabweans queued up to obtain the permits 2010.

But anxiety is mounting among Zimbabweans living across the Limpopo who are keen to see the documents revalidated.

Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, Ngqabutho Mabhena told they have since met Mhango to vent their concerns.

“We met the acting ambassador and presented out position. We proposed that the South African government renew the Zimbabwean permits for one or two more years,” he said.

“We also proposed that we renew the permits while in South Africa instead of Zimbabwe to protect our jobs.”

Mabhena this month also met tripartite partners in the South African government to push for the renewal of the permits.

These include the ruling African National Congress, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and South African Communist Party (SACP).

Mabhena said the tripartite partners are now consulting with their organisations about their proposals.

Sunday Mail editor faces life in the can

via Sunday Mail editor faces life in the can 21/06/2014

SUNDAY Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi, faces life in prison if convicted on the shock charges laid against him when he appeared before a Harare magistrate on Saturday.

Kudzayi was arrested on Thursday and has been charged with “attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism” and “subverting the constitutional government”.
All the charges carry a life sentence upon conviction.
In addition, he also faces the lesser charges of failing to secure firearms, insulting the president and publishing falsehoods.

On Saturday Kudzayi was not asked to plead and his lawyer, Joseph Mandizha of Mandizha and Company, told reporters his client would return to court Monday for a bail hearing.

Police will claim Kudzayi was behind the controversial Facebook character Baba Jukwa which angered President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party with scandalous and damaging exposes in the lead-up to last year’s elections.

Kudzayi was appointed Mail editor in April this year. He returned home from the Diaspora well ahead of the July 31 elections and is understood to have helped the party campaign for the vote.
He is also believed to have been behind the pro-Mugabe and Zanu PF supporting Facebook character and blogger Mai Jukwa.
A party official told “Whatever they are charging him with is crazy for these reasons; Kudzayi defended the party as Mai Jukwa, produced Zanu PF campaign videos ahead of the election.

“He was accepted by the Zanu PF information department at party headquarters and was active in coming up with the election manifesto, campaign billboards and ZimAsset.”

Kudzayi’s arrest came as a surprise because state media journalists are ordinarily never bothered on politically related charges, with the “honour” an exclusive preserve of those working for prickly privately-owned newspapers.

But control of the government’s vast media interests has become crucial as factional fights in Zanu PF over the succession of President Robert Mugabe reach fever pitch.

The veteran leader, in power since independence back in 1980, won another five-year mandate last year and has indicated he would serve out the new term in full.

But that has not stopped increasingly impatient lieutenants from plotting behind the scenes for a takeover as leader of the party and, possibly, the country. They are aware Mugabe is 90 years old and dogged by failing health and other issues that come with old age.

Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa have long been considered the main contenders to replace the ageing leader.

Both deny any interest in the job but even Mugabe is not fooled. The president was recently moved to tell both it was not down to the two of them alone.

Meanwhile, the Mujuru faction accuses Information Minister Jonathan Moyo of using his control of the State media to vilify its members.

The faction believes recent corruption exposes by the Zimpapers stable deliberately targeted its members even though the rival group rallying behind Mnangagwa is widely believed to be just as shady, if not worse.

Mugabe appeared to back Mujuru when he publicly attacked Moyo, accusing him of appointing opposition activists as editors, kicking out journalists loyal to Zanu PF and its government.

In addition, the Zanu PF leader accused Moyo of using control of the media to set leaders against each other as well as working to destroy Zanu PF from within.

Moyo, who later met Mugabe to discuss their differences, suggested there was no connection between Kudzayi’s arrest and the president’s angry rant.
“Nothing special is happening here, depending on how one looks at it,” Moyo said in Bulawayo Friday.
Moyo also appeared to suggest that the arrest would give Kudzayi (and the minister too, possibly) an opportunity to clear the clouds of suspicion around him.

“It’s very good to know people have an opportunity to resolve an issue through the legal process in terms of our law, in terms of our constitution,” said Moyo.

“That’s always far better than seeking to resolve an issue through other means. That is the essence of constitutional democracy, that a matter, however important, is ultimately resolved in terms of the law.

“I think all rational, fair minded people would say or understand that when police take action or when law enforcement agents take action, it should be to give us, from a legal, constitutional view, some relief that at least the rule of law or the course of justice is taking place.”

Come down hard on rapists

via Come down hard on rapists – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 21 June 2014 Editorial


Zimbabwe Republic Police statistics show that cases of rape of minors, especially girls, are on the increase with 1 494 girls being raped between the months of January and May this year, compared to 1 384 girls raped during the same time last year.

NewsDay Editorial

In 2013, a total of 3 297 girls were raped compared to 3 168 in 2012, translating to a 4% increase. Some 1 567 adult women were also said to have been raped in 2013.

But, all these figures might have been understated as many rapes go unreported for the simple reason that they are perpetrated by men of the cloth, relatives and even neighbours. And the victims are scared to report such close people.

These high statistics of rape cases show that Zimbabwean society is now full of “very sick minds” and that it is time for serious action against rape.

Would it then be fair for Zimbabwe — which is largely a Christian nation — to introduce severe punishment for rapists like the most recent suggestions by First Lady Grace Mugabe that they should be beheaded?

Some may argue that First Lady Grace was not being considerate since people may be falsely accused of rape, and if they were guillotined, it would be impossible to bring back their lives if they were later proved innocent.

Indeed, such suggestion might be archaic and indeed some men are in jail for rape crimes they did not commit. The bottom line is that rape can be totally avoided if we all behave.

Why should sex, an act of love, continue to be used as a weapon of violence, instilling pain and suffering for girls and women? This abuse is not only directed at the girl child, but even some boys who are being sodomised.

Some babies and toddlers who have been raped had their uteruses ruptured, while others died during the forced sexual acts and one would not be forgiven to say that rape is tantamount to murder.

Rape crimes are also being perpetrated by influential people in society — the rich and politicians — and what abhors society most is that these people with authority can afford to bribe their way out of prisons even if they committed heinous acts.

Homes and churches are supposed to be sanctuaries of safety and love, but that is where the abominable crime of rape is taking place.

According to Police Superintendent Francis Mutema, the victims were severely affected and suffered from trauma, stress, unwanted pregnancies, and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/Aids and broken families as some rape crimes are committed by relatives, and even death and high maternal mortality rates as underage girls gave birth to children.

It is, therefore, imperative for Zimbabweans to come together to stop the barbaric acts of rape of minors, statutory rape, early child marriages, sodomy, and other unholy cultural practices of incest and giving out of young brides to appease spirits (ngozi).

It is high time very deterrent sentences were imposed on rapists.

The country applauds Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development minister Oppah Muchinguri for their stern stance against rapists and look forward to amendment of laws to curb rape.

Statistics on sexual abuse are shocking and symptomatic of serious moral decay in the Zimbabwean society.


Child sexual abuse victims locked in psychological prisons

via Child sexual abuse victims locked up in psychological prisons – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 21 June 2014 by Alois Vinga


LINDA is about to celebrate her 21st birthday. Although everyone around her is wishing her well, a vivid memory haunts her and brings tears to her eyes even on happy occasions.


It is a secret of the day she was sexually abused as a child and could not tell anyone because her parents died when she was just five and her guardians at the time did not take her seriously.

Now, as she celebrates her “coming of age”, she is reminded that she is indeed a prisoner of her childhood nightmares.

Child abuse is a broad term that refers to all acts that infringe on the rights of a child. It constitutes all forms of physical and emotional abuse and any other careless commercial or exploitative conduct that results in actual or potential harm to child’s physical and psychological health, survival, development and dignity.

The side effects of abuse against children frequently result in mental problems, social exclusion, anger, self-blame, low self-esteem, intellectual paralysis and numerous other psychological disorders. And violence and sexual abuse add their own traumatising effects on young minds, not to mention sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early, unplanned pregnancies.

Despite numerous laws protecting children’s rights, including the new Constitution, and the presence of child protection and welfare organisations established by the government and civil society, incidents of child abuse have become so prevalent that it has become a cause for serious concern in Zimbabwean society.

According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police national statistics obtained through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, at least 5 000 children are abused annually with most of these being cases of sexual violence.

Sharp increase in sexual abuse cases

From January to March of this year, a total 1 354 rape cases were reported with 946 of this total being girl child rape. An analysis of the 2013 statistics reveal that most offenders of child abuse are neighbours, uncles, cousins, fathers and stepfathers, and friends. Strangers figure to a much lesser extent than those who are already known to the child.

Statistical records obtained from the child welfare civic watchdog, Childline, confirm there has been a 14% increase in sexual abuse cases, a 30% increase in physical abuse, and a 31% increase in neglect cases in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.

So what has caused this shocking set of statistics to blight our society — and what is being done to stop this alarming decline in moral values?

There are many theories, including traditional practices, unacceptable religious attitudes and economic decline, leading to situations where family values are abandoned. Maybe all have contributed in some way.

For example, it is well-known that some traditional healers prescribe having sexual intercourse with a child as a means to enhance wealth, or even curative to HIV and Aids and other STIs.

Other beliefs, such as appeasement, where a girl is given away to appease a spirit, as well as acts, such as chiramu usually practiced in Shona culture between brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law through touching, kissing and fondling increase the risk of sexual abuse.

Religious beliefs reinforced by some men of cloth are compounding these unacceptable practices exploiting the innocence of children.
For example, 26-year-old Thelma Sibanda of the Johanne Marange apostolic sect told this writer:

“Men in our church receive their brides from the Holy Spirit through dreams.

“They then inform the church elders who will formalise the marriage. The practice does not normally take age into account and even a 14-year-old can be married off to a man far older than her.

Although of late the government and other key stakeholders have engaged church elders advising them to stop the practice, it remains commonplace, especially in the more remote areas of the country.”


This observation is not typical of the apostolic sects alone; it is also a common occurrence in rural communities, and the recent case in which Robert Gumbura, founder of the RMG Independent End Time Message Church, who was convicted on several counts of rape and sentenced to 40 years in jail, bear clear testimony that some religious sects are fuelling abuse.

Trust abuse rocks society

Economically, rising poverty levels have exacerbated the situation. Many families cannot afford rentals, creating a situation whereby adults share a single room with children.

Many parents migrating to foreign countries for better job opportunities also leave young children behind in the custody of maids and relatives, further exposing minors to abuse.

Such situations are “a case of trust abuse that has rocked the society”, argues Sibilile Mpofu, the national co-ordinator for the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children at the National Aids Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ). “Society is injuring itself. Those who were traditionally the gatekeepers of our culture, like relatives and neighbours are now in the forefront of abusing children.”

He says so many orphans left behind when parents die as a result of Aids are left under the care of relatives and even with no direct supervision, and are often stigmatised as also suffering from the disease that has decimated communities. As a result, the children are treated as

second-class citizens and are forced to drop out of school to fend for themselves. Says Mpofu, “Most of the abuse goes unnoticed because they rarely benefit from awareness programmes that usually target schools.’’

Medeline Dube, the NACZ communications director, notes that the breakdown in family moral values has contributed to the rising tide of child neglect and abuse.

“The nation is fast departing from the values of collectivism where in the past an individual’s problems were treated as the community’s. Nowadays the trend is about focussing on your own problems.

“The existence of several child-headed families against such a social trend further exposes the children to vulnerability, hence offenders take advantage of such social weaknesses and abuse children in all ways,” Dube said.

Childline officer Patience Chiyangwa observes: “Gender-based violence is a key contributor to child abuse, with abuse happening in the home, a place where children are meant to be safe. And in most cases this is being done by a person known to the child, further complicating the situation.”

‘Legal system too lenient on offenders’

Other sections of society believe the courts are to blame for imposing sentences against offenders that do not serve as a sufficient deterrent to others not to commit such crimes.

As explained by the mother of one rape victim from Chiriseri communal lands in Bindura: “I broke into a neighbour’s home one day after I became suspicious and got the shock of my life to see a married man bedding my 15-year-old daughter.

“I reported the case to the police and it went for trial at Bindura Magistrates’ Court in March this year. But the magistrate just sentenced the perpetrator to three months’ imprisonment with the option to pay a fine of $300. In mitigation, the magistrate cited that the victim was only four months away from reaching the age of 16 (the age of consent).

“I felt hopeless after this experience, since my daughter was not protected enough by the law. Every day imagine the plight of guardians and minors out there whose cases are treated like my daughter’s. Who then will represent our children if they are lured by abusers?’’

Responding to accusations that the judiciary are being too lenient on child abuse offenders, the National Prosecuting Authority’s Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana explained: “The prosecution services in Zimbabwe take matters of abuse very seriously and deals with such issues effectively and efficiently in line with the parameters of the laws of the land.

However, the determination of sentences is largely dependent on the nature of evidence presented. There is a need for parents and guardians to deal with direct causes. For instance, (they should be) protecting their children from abuse perpetrators, since the law does not entirely eradicate abuse, but is simply a reactive mechanism.”

Assessing the country’s child abuse problems from a traditional perspective, the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association acting president George Kandiero, said: “We distance ourselves from anti-traditional practices of prescribing harmful remedies that involve children in abusive acts. We also urge the public to report any acts of that sort to our association for punitive measures to be effected.

There is, however, need for relevant stakeholders to partner us in campaigns to eradicate child abuse effectively as this will give us the opportunity to send a clear message.

The major stakeholders in such important issues do not often involve us in their programmes; hence some of our licensed members take advantage of this influx and perpetuate child abuse.”

‘Raise awareness on child abuse’

Caroline Matizha, Offender-Based Violence director in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, notes that “various programmes have been established by the ministry to address gender-based violence, among them psycho-social support, legal and medical services, to increase awareness on violence and reflect the importance of the family. In terms of solutions, four key areas of intervention, including prevention, service provision, research and monitoring and evaluation through co-ordination are being implemented to curb vices such as child abuse”.

However, Chiyangwa says: “Early marriages must be stopped because a girl is never a bride.”

There is also need to review data collection methods relating to child abuse, according to the National Baseline Survey on Life Experiences of Adolescents conducted by Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency in 2011. This report suggests that figures should not be solely based on reported cases, which is the current practice.

Only 30% of children who experienced sexual violence know where to get professional help, says the report, while less than three percent actually do get help.

Such statistics provide a good indication that much more still needs to be done to save Zimbabwe’s vulnerable children. As Merit Runema, the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers’ Association, information officer. explains: “For a start, the government should tighten the screws on the activities of religious sects by acting against all those religious communities that permit the abuse of their children.

“But any efforts to reduce the prevalence of child abuse will be futile if stakeholders in society fail to raise awareness of this issue at the ward and district level to encourage the re-establishment of traditional cultural protective values by involving traditionalists and faith-based institutions while providing support to parents and guardians to strengthen their parenting skills and educate them about the problem of violence against children.

“Children must enjoy their time playing in the sun and listening to songs sung by their guardians and bedtime stories before going to bed. They are the future leaders who will take Zimbabwe to the next levels of development. Their safety must urgently become the nation’s priority. Let us stop locking them up in psychological prisons.”


Forestry firms urged to co-exist with villagers

via Forestry firms urged to co-exist with villagers – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 21 June 2014 by Obey Manayiti


PLAYERS in the forestry sector have been urged to co-exist with surrounding villagers and stop accusing them of invading and burning their plantations without addressing their grievances.


Every year, there are reports of veld fires destroying hundreds of timber plantations in Manicaland, while on the other hand illegal gold panners have besieged forestry plantations in parts of Chimanimani.

Some villagers in Chimanimani are also running endless battles with Allied Timbers as the timber producing company accuses them of illegally settling on its land.

Addressing stakeholders during a meeting on Forests Sustainably Managed for Communities, Environment and Shocked Resilience (Forest Forces) , Manicaland provincial administrator Fungai Mbetsa said it was important for players in the forestry sector to be responsive to the community needs to avoid conflict.

“We cannot talk of harmony when you have not addressed the community’s concerns. We will continue having these projects without success if you fail to live well with the people surrounding you,” Mbetsa said.

“Every year, there are court cases against your neighbours on invasion, but that is not the solution. This is why I am asking whether the Forest Forces programme has anything to do with this conflict. Before we call them illegal settlers or gold panners, there is need for engagement so that you here their side as well.”

He said surrounding communities might not be happy of not directly benefiting from the plantations and urged forestry players to establish ways in which the community might benefit through programmes such as Campfire.

Chimanimani district administrator Wilson Bore weighed in saying: “Our policies are running parallel in the case of the land reform and the Forestry Act. They should be harmonised and make the companies and the communities appreciate each other. The issue of engagement is very important to stop these problems.”

Others participants called on forestry companies to set up a community share ownership trust so that villagers can directly and indirectly benefit from the sector.

Plantation forests are approximately 168 000 hectares comprising pines, eucalyptus and wattle.

Bore said the area planted under exotic timber in Zimbabwe had been declining since 10 years ago due to reduced planting, fire outbreaks, illegal conversion of forest land among other adverse factors.

Abedinigo Mafuri, from Forestry Commission, said the Forest Forces was being implemented in eight districts in Zimbabwe and targeted to improve food security of vulnerable rural communities through participatory sustainable management.

He lamented the low priority accorded to forestry sector as well as the inadequate funding to the sector.


Sunday Mail editor charged with terrorism

via Sunday Mail editor charged with terrorism – DailyNews Live. 21 June 2014 by Staff Writer


HARARE – Edmund Kudzayi, the Sunday Mail editor has been remanded in custody to Monday pending his bail application.

He is being charged with subverting a constitutional government by attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage and terrorism.











CHARGED: Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi leaves the Rotten Row Magistrates Court after his initial appearance on Saturday morning. Picture: Idah Mhetu

The 28-year-old is also being charged with undermining the authority of the president by publishing false statements prejudicial to the state as well as failing to secure ammunition.

Kudzayi was arrested on Thursday after police raided the Herald House, the headquarters of the state-controlled Zimpapers stable.

Kudzayi was not in the office at the time of the raid but he was later arrested at his lawyer’s offices.

He was appointed to head the Sunday Mail in April much to the chagrin of some Zanu PF heavyweights and seasoned scribes at Zimpapers.

Following his appointment in April, the State media described Kudzayi as “a media consultant with a strong technical background in software development and digital media.”

Kudzayi was linked to the online news website The African Aristocrat which in 2010 published stories about the first family’s personal lives. Kudzayi is also linked to the Facebook page Baba Jukwa.

More to follow…


Zim courts US over hunting ban

via Zim courts US over sport hunting ban – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 21 June 2014


ENVIRONMENT, Water and Climate Change minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday revealed that Zimbabwe is in delicate discussions with the United States government over a trophy and sport haunting ban imposed last year.

Senior Reporter

Kasukuwere said the country would sent a Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) delegation to Capitol Hill in Washington to meet a congressional panel over the matter next month.

“The negotiations are being done with the United States Congress. ZimParks director-general [Edson Chidziya] will lead a team to Washington to meet a congressional panel next month about the ban on trophy and sport hunting,” he said. The visit will come as Zimbabwe tries to increase its tourism revenue receipts from US hunters who are the majority of visitors during the hunting season.”

The minister made the remarks on the sidelines of announcing a new ZimParks board.

The new eight-member board will be chaired by Alvin Ncube, a former general manager at the Forestry Commission.

Other board members are Gilbert Pwitia, a scientist, lawyer, Nellie Janyika, Wilson Mutinhima, a former deputy director at Campfire.

The other members are Tichaona Mundangepfupfu, a former permanent secretary in the Environment ministry, Retired Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, the Zanu PF director of the commissariat, ZimParks director-general Chidziya and a yet-to-be named director in the ministry.

Kasukuwere said he expected the board, among other things, to see to the transition of the ownership of the Save Valley Conservancy which was recently turned into a national park by the government.

“You have come at a time when the Save Valley Conservancy is now under Parks and Wildlife Management Puthority and as such, my expectation is to see smooth integration of this area into mainstream Parks Estates,” he said.Kasukuwere said the board should lobby the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to allow the country to resume trading in its huge stockpile of ivory.

“Zimbabwe has around 70 tonnes of ivory and five tonnes of rhino horn which we cannot trade because of our international obligations to CITES. This is one area where I expect the board to lobby the world so that we could get some revenue from these stocks and be able to support our conservation efforts,” he said.

National parks cover at least 14% of the country’s land area. They have acted as the main attraction to tourists who usually visit to watch or hunt the big five — elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard — which are common in the country’s parks.


Police harrass Church



CONTACT:       Sungai Mazando, Communications Secretary or or +263 773 425 250



Bishop Nerwande of Holy Cross church in Mangongondoza township together with his associate pastors Mr and Mrs Makawamadze were detained by police in Nyanga yesterday, after attending a prayer meeting organised by Transform Zimbabwe. The men of cloth were detained for more than 4 hours during which they were subjected to unwarranted interrogation. Their alleged involvement and any involvement of their church members in Transform Zimbabwe affairs and structures were thoroughly quizzed. The necessary condition for the establishment of a democracy involves securing an equal distribution of political power and voice among all citizens. Transform Zimbabwe seeks to awaken the hitherto inconspicuous but game changing voice of the church in Zimbabwean politics through enlightening the church of its role in the political discourse, as the party was founded from a prayer organisation.

Police and CIOs also nicodemously abducted a member of Transform Zimbabwe, Mrs Pauline Mutasa, form her house on the 20th of June at 2200hrs in Nyanga. The member had been active in spearheading a well-attended meeting which was held in Nyanga on the 19th of June 2014. Her whereabouts were only confirmed this morning. The abduction had left her 9yr old child alone, traumatised, confused and vulnerable in the cold of the winter night as she is the sole guardian. Sgt Rushwaya, head of peace department at Nyanga Police station could not immediately reveal the reasons for detaining Mrs Mutasa. Mrs Mutasa, a teacher at a local school, expressed shock and dismay at the abduction and denies any wrong-doing. Transform Zimbabwe members in Nyanga are currently living in fear of further reprisals after the successful hosting of TZ meetings in the area.

It has been a hectic past couple of weeks for Transform Zimbabwe characterised by successful grassroots efforts ironically rewarded by abductions, harassment and interrogation in areas like Binga, Nyanyadzi, Chimanimani and most recently in Nyanga. Transform Zimbabwe has beenPolice and CIOs also nicodemously abducted a member of Transform Zimbabwe, Mrs Pauline Mutasa, form her house on the 20th of June at 2200hrs in Nyanga. The member had been active in spearheading a well-attended meeting which was held in Nyanga on the 19th of June 2014. Her whereabouts were only confirmed this morning. The abduction had left her 9yr old child alone, traumatised, confused and vulnerable in the cold of the winter night as she is the sole guardian. Sgt Rushwaya, head of peace department at Nyanga Police station could not immediately reveal the reasons for detaining Mrs Mutasa. Mrs Mutasa, a teacher at a local school, expressed shock and dismay at the abduction and denies any wrong-doing. Transform Zimbabwe members in Nyanga are currently living in fear of further reprisals after the successful hosting of TZ meetings in the area.

 It has been a hectic past couple of weeks for Transform Zimbabwe characterised by successful grassroots efforts ironically rewarded by abductions, harassment and interrogation in areas like Binga, Nyanyadzi, Chimanimani and most recently in Nyanga. Transform Zimbabwe has been   blazing the campaign trail in the eastern districts of Zimbabwe covering from small towns to the remotest and neglected regions of the country with meetings held in Rusitu, Checheche, Nhedziwa, Chibuwe, Buhera, Nyanyadzi, Bocha, Mutasa, Nyanga, Mutare urban and Rusape amongst the many other areas covered.

Transform Zimbabwe unequivocally condemns the persistent harassment by state security agents on those working peacefully towards national renewal and recovery based on tolerance, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. Transform Zimbabwe is once again challenging the police to conduct themselves in a non-partisan and professional manner, and live up to their Constitutional duty to protect all citizens irrespective of their gender, ethnic origin, or political affiliation.

Handei Vanoenda, Asmbeni Abahambayo



Headline news 21 June, 2014


ZANU PF prioritizes own businesses ahead of government challenges

via ZANU PF prioritizes own businesses ahead of government challenges | SW Radio Africa. 20 June 2014 by Mthulisi Mathuthu


At a time when the ZANU PF government is failing to service the domestic debt and to pay civil servants it has emerged that the ruling party is instead on a fund raising drive to revive its own businesses, ahead of addressing the serious challenges facing the country.

Secretary for information and publicity Rugare Gumbo told the state media that a politburo meeting Thursday ‘spent most of the time looking at mobilization of resources for the party.’ The politburo is the party’s supreme decision making body and is said to be more powerful than cabinet.
Gumbo’s comments came as reports said the party has already embarked on an elaborate door to door membership recruitment exercise in preparation for the 2018 election, something which observers say confirms ZANU PF’s ‘misplaced priorities.’

Rugare said the politburo looked at subscriptions of members and a ‘dedicated system’ of fund raising and how the party companies could assist in that regard. He said business secretary Sithembiso Nyoni was tasked to look into how the party could prop up its businesses like Tregers Holdings and Jongwe Printing.

The politburo also discussed a proposal by the land ministry that government should start charging rentals from farmers who were allocated land during the farm grabs. Also discussed was the situation at the Chingwizi Transit Camp which is the temporary residence of the Tokwe Mukosi flood victims.
Commentators and community leaders said by prioritising its own businesses ahead of anything else ZANU PF was showing its true colors as an organisation of selfish people.

Chitungwiza Residents Trust spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo said the country was faced with ‘more pressing issues’ such as poor service delivery, power cuts and homelessness and ZANU PF as the ruling party had better prioritise such challenges.

He said: ‘We are worried and we are tempted to think that the government is not in place to serve the people but to pursue their own selfish interests which is misplaced and is being done at the wrong time and through the abuse of national resources.’

Khumalo added: ‘If a government is pro people it has to address issues of corruption, lack of clean and affordable water, education, creation of job and resuscitation of health facilities.’
These developments come at a time when most government departments are failing to perform their core functions and when private and public firms are closing down daily, leaving thousands of people unemployed.


Silence on 3 missing Chimanimani girls

via Silence over three missing Chimanimani girls | SW Radio Africa. 20 June 2014 by Mthulisi Mathuthu

At a time when local NGOs are vocal on the Nigerian girls who were abducted by a terrorist group, silence has greeted the fate of three Chimanimani girls who have been missing for almost a month with the police said to be refusing to investigate the matter.

Aged between 13 and 16 the three siblings were initially abducted by Amon Jekiseni from the Machongwe Business Center where Jekiseni runs a tuck-shop. A search party traced the girls to Jekiseni’s house the following day where it was alleged that one of the girls had been sexually abused. The community searched for the girls and found them in the house.

The parents reported the case and left the girls in police custody and made a request for a medical exam at Mutambara Hospital. But the following day the police phoned to say they had released the girls. When they did not reach home the police refused to investigate the disappearance, threatening to arrest the parents themselves.

The details of the case are contained in a Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) May newsletter. A ZPP spokesman confirmed that the girls were still missing and that no media alerts were made prior to the publication of the newsletter. He referred SW Radio Africa to the Marwirana family for further details but their number was unreachable.

Several other NGOs also said they had not heard of the story. Grace Chirenje from the Zimbabwe Young Women’s Network for Peace Building said she had not heard of the development until SW Radio Africa contacted her.

Chirenje said the silence over the disappearence of the three girls was indicative of the situation in the country where many women rights violations such as rape go either ‘unreported or underreported.’

She said: ‘This should be an issue in Zimbabwe especially at a time when there is a lot of terrorism in Africa. We have been passionate and at the forefront about Boko Haram so I agree that there is a problem if those girls are still missing and nothing has been done about it.’

A week before the Chimanimani girls disappeared about 100 Zimbabwean women gathered at the Nigerian Embassy in Harare in solidarity with the Nigerian girls who were abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram.

Calling themselves the Zimbabwe Young Women, the demonstrators represented various groups fighting for gender justice in Zimbabwe. However they were later criticised for not being as vocal on behalf of Zimbabwean girls and young women who continue to silently suffer serious abuses.



Moyo speaks on Sunday Mail editor’s arrest

via Moyo speaks on Sunday Mail editor’s arrest – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 20 June 2014 by Nduduzo Tshuma


Information Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo on Friday said the arrest of Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi was an indication that there is rule of law in Zimbabwe.


Speaking at a graduation ceremony for a Bulawayo based journalism school, Moyo said judging from the way Kudzayi was arrested on Thursday the journalist could be facing a serious offence.

However, the minister said this did not mean that there was anything ‘special’ happening at Zimpapers, the publishers of The Sunday Mail.

Armed police officers on Thursday morning raided Kudzayi’s office after visiting his home.

The detectives reportedly confiscated his computer, iPad and mobile phone among other things.

Kudzayi, who replaced Brezhnev Malaba as editor of the paper early this year under controversial circumstances, reportedly handed himself over to the police.

Moyo said the arrest should not alarm people but serve to assure them that there is rule of law in Zimbabwe.

“There is nothing special to say about what is happening, to address members of the practicing fraternity, except to say what is happening is very serious indeed from whatever perspective one may look at it and this is with respect to the situation at Zimpapers and the arrest of the Sunday Mail editor,” the minister said.

“I think all rational fair minded people will understand that when police take action or when law enforcement agents take action, it should give us from a legal constitutional point of view some relief that at least the rule of law or the course of justice is taking place.

“It’s much easier for everyone concerned especially when we take into account the fact that there is no individual and indeed no institution that is above the law.”

Moyo said it was good that legal processes were being respected in dealing with Kudzayi’s case.

“That is always far better than sitting to resolve an issue through other means,” he said.

“That is the essence of a constitutional democracy that a matter, however, important is ultimately resolved in terms of the law and in this connection I am very pleased that Zimpapers have made it very clear that they are a law abiding institution and that they are going to fully cooperate with the law enforcement authorities in terms of the law.”

Kudzayi’s arrest has been linked to President Robert Mugabe’s outburst a fortnight ago where he labeled Moyo a devil incarnate for allegedly employing editors who had links with the opposition.

On Thursday police also visited Zimbabwe Independent offices searching for the paper’s editor Dumisani Muleya.

In an incident that police say was not linked to Kudzayi’s arrest burglars broke into Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu’s house in Bulawayo the same morning.

The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists has called on the police to halt the harassment of the journalists.


Activist gets amputees back on their feet

via Chegutu activist gets amputees back on their feet | SW Radio Africa. 19 June 2014 by Nomalanga Moyo


An ex-Chegutu council worker who lost his left leg in an earth digger accident 14 years ago is glad to be back on his feet following a gift from an American doctor.

Family man Leornard Kawara suffered career-ending injuries in 2000 when the earth-moving machine he was driving for Chegutu Town Council crushed his leg.

The severity of the injuries meant that Kawara’s left leg had to be amputated just above the knee.

“The accident also cost me my job as a driver as I could no longer make use of both of my legs,” Kawara told SW Radio Africa’s Big Picture Programme.

Kawara says although the National Social Security Authority paid his hospital bills, the whole process was so tortuous that he felt it was pointless to approach the authority with a request for an artificial leg.

For 14 years Kawara struggled with what had been simple tasks, let alone doing some gardening tasks for the subsistence of his family.

So when human rights activist Gift Konjana, who also lives in Chegutu, approached Kawara to discuss sourcing a prosthetic leg for him, the former driver could not believe his luck.

Kawara’s new leg was fitted this week by American physical therapist Dr Doug Brown, who has worked with many disadvantaged communities across Africa.

“The new leg means that I can now carry out light chores around the homestead and be able to walk around without the aid of crutches.

“Of course I may not be able to do heavy digging and things like that but right now my main aim is to get used to the leg and then see what I can and cannot do with it,” Kawara said Thursday.

Konjana says he is confident that the prosthetic leg will soon become second nature to Kawara, just as other beneficiaries have discovered.

“Since we started the programme three years ago, we have assisted five amputees with prosthetic legs and they all say the legs have changed their lives for the better,” Konjana said.

Beneficiaries so far include Mrs Muchokoto from Marondera, Mrs Mukosana from Norton, and Mr Sumani who now works at a supermarket in Ruwa and also runs a farm.

Chegutu resident Friday Antonio lost his leg when ZANU PF activists forced him and others onto a tractor to make sure they attended a ZANU PF rally. It was night and the tractor had no lights and was involved in an accident in which Antonia was badly injured. But he is now back at work driving with the help of an artificial leg.

Konjana, himself a victim of President Robert Mugabe’s sustained violence campaign, says the plight and neglect of victims of political violence pushed him to seek Dr Brown’s help.

“I got to know about Dr Brown following a documentary that I saw on South African television, and I decided to make contact three years ago.

“After that he visited Zimbabwe and as you can see, the rest is history. We have now opened up the project to include other individuals who need these legs, and not just victims of political violence.”

The artificial legs cost at least $7,000 and the American public funds the procurement of the prosthetics.


Man Arrested for Attempting to Set MDC-T’s Harvest House on Fire

Man Arrested for Attempting to Set MDC-T’s Harvest House on Fire 20 June 2014 by Thomas Chiripasi

— An activist, who used to be in the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai, was Thursday arrested for allegedly attempting to set the opposition party’s headquarters on fire sometime last month.

Police arrested Leonard Dendera, who is backing calls for party leader Tsvangirai to resign, on allegations that he attempted to torch the opposition party’s Harvest House.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said Dendera was taken in for questioning following allegations by the opposition party’s security department that he attempted to fire-bomb the MDC headquarters last month.

Dendera was the first to make a police report claiming that he was assaulted by party spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, but the MDC-T lawmaker was absolved by the police in Masvingo, who said he was in the ancient town when Dendera was reportedly assaulted during the night at Harvest House.

This resulted in the police calling in some members of the party’s security department, who alleged that Dendera was about to set their headquarters ablaze when they chased him only for Dendera to dash to the police claiming that he had been assaulted by Mwonzora.

Charamba said investigations into the matter are still ongoing and could not shed light as to when Dendera would appear in court.

Tensions in the MDC-T have been rising after some of Tsvangirai’s lieutenants called for leadership renewal but those backing the opposition leader say he may only be removed at a congress.

Meanwhile, the MDCT’s youth wing on Thursday renewed its calls for mass protests saying they will embark on demonstrations soon.

The wing’s secretary for information, Clifford Hlatshwayo, said the Zanu PF government has failed to deliver on its election promises.

Hlatswayo said his party is worried that the majority of Zimbabweans are out of work.

He added that his party is also concerned by the government’s failure to provide free basic education in line with the new constitution.

Studio 7 failed to get a comment from Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora.

Government neglecting the elderly

via Government neglecting the elderly | SW Radio Africa. 19 June 2014 by Mthulisi Mathuthu


Former minister of social welfare, Paurina Mpariwa, has accused the government of neglecting the elderly, saying it has yet to implement the provisions of the Older Persons Act two years after it was signed into law.

Mpariwa said this after dozens of elderly people commemorated the UN Elder Persons Day with a protest march through the streets of Harare on Wednesday. The protesters demanded protection from all forms of abuse, including physical and psychological harassment and social neglect.

Among other things, the protesters called on the government to set up a fund to cater for the elderly since most of their pensions and savings have been wiped away due to the economic meltdown in the country. Most of the protesters, including those who were gainfully employed during their productive years, said they were unable to look after themselves as their children are also unemployed.

In an interview with SW Radio Africa, Mpariwa agreed with the protesters saying most elderly people were homeless and those who had accommodation were unable to pay their utility bills. Mpariwa said those who were receiving assistance from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) were getting very little had to travel long and costly distances to get their dues. They are also often looking after the grandchildren who are AIDS orphans, with no additional assistance.

The MDC-T shadow minister for social security accused the government of making things worse by not making funds available. She said as minister of social welfare she introduced the Older Persons Bill in parliament but up to this date its provisions have not been implemented and the last budget omitted any mention of the elderly people.

She added: ‘The Act says there should be a fund and a board to look into the needs of the elderly people and that there should be decentralization of the management of the fund to allow easy disbursement of benefits. My ministry did its best but up to this date there has not been any allocation from the treasury. Not even a cent.’

According to the Constitution the government has an obligation to look after vulnerable people, including the elderly, but this is not happening with officials from the social services ministry telling parliament this year that there was no money.


Mail editor could face terrorism charges

via Mail editor could face terrorism charges 19 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

SUNDAY Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi spent Thursday night as the unwilling guest of the State in notoriously filthy police holding cells which were recently condemned by the Supreme Court.

The detention would have given him the opportunity to see whether the ZRP is implementing the court’s order to ensure that “holding cells have clean and salubrious flushing toilets with toilet paper and a washing bowl” and that “every person detained (is given) a clean mattress and adequate blankets.”

But the condition of the cells is the least of his concerns, with the authorities understood to be preparing to throw the whole book at him.

Sources said Kudzayi faces a raft of allegations including undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority, terrorism, espionage, attempting to overturn a constitutional order – and pretty much whatever else the authorities can think of.

He was arrested Thursday afternoon, in an incredible turn of events for a man who left the safety of his UK base more than a year ago to return home and help Zanu PF campaign for the July 31 elections.

Kudzayi is understood to have worked with the party’s information department at its Harare headquarters, using his expertise in information technology to help develop audio visual campaign material.

The party rewarded him well after winning the vote, handing him the editorship of the country’s best-selling newspaper, The Sunday Mail in a development that however, rankled with many in Zanu PF’s top echelons.

But with the election safely won and the troublesome matter of Mugabe’s succession again the cause célèbre, some in Zanu PF have decided it is time to revisit supposed previouses with the Mail’s new editor.

Police visited Kudzayi’s home early Thursday morning but found him gone to work already. They followed there, found he had slipped out, and then ransacked his office.

Items seized during the raid include a laptop Mac Book Pro, IMAQ laptop, Kia cellphone, white charger adapters, a power bank, a flash stick, a computer CPU and an “MDC-T debate disc” for April 29, 2014.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba confirmed his arrest but would not clarify the charges.

“They (police) found him at his lawyers (offices) a few moments ago and arrested him,” she said.

In a statement, the Zimpapers group which owns the Sunday Mail said: “(We) wish to advise stakeholders that there are investigations by the Zimbabwe law enforcement agencies involving the Sunday Mail Editor, Edmund Kudzayi.

“In furtherance to the above the agencies visited his home and office early yesterday morning, June 19, 2014 during his absence.

“The agencies carried a number of electronic gadgets including iPads from his office and did not state the reason for such. Kudzayi was also summoned to the police in absentia and did not report for duty.

“Kudzayi was arrested later in the day. By late (Thursday) night Zimpapers had not yet ascertained the exact details of the charges.’’

Although Charamba would not clarify the exact nature of the charges, the hint was in her suggestion that “(they) are to do with the publications that he did” before returning home to work with Zanu PF.

Kudzayi is thought to have been involved with an online publication which first published the 2010 allegations that Bona Mugabe had been raped in Malaysia, claims that infuriated the First Family.

Grace Mugabe later publicly addressed the allegations when commenting about Bona’s prospective nuptials in October last year. The First Lady denied her daughter was raped, proudly adding that she would marry a chaste maiden.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary general Forster Dongozi said the union was “absolutely baffled by the fact that the government has cracked down on journalists in the state-controlled media”.

But Kudzayi’s predicament is not much of a surprise after Mugabe’s recent attack on information minister Jonathan Moyo for allegedly employing as editors individuals previously critical of his party and government.

Mugabe also claimed that Moyo was using his control of the State media to fan factionalism by setting leaders against each other.

A faction rallying behind vice president Joice Mujuru claims Moyo uses the State media to attack its members and thereby shore up a rival group headed by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa and Mujuru have long been considered the leading contenders for Mugabe’s job. The veteran leader turned 90 this year.

Mugabe and Didymus Mutasa, an ally of Mujuru, said Moyo and other “weevils” accused of destroying Zanu PF from within must be forced out of the party.

Whether Kudzayi’s arrest represents the start of that cull or “gamatoxing” as Mutasa chose to put it remains to be seen.

Muchinguri backs beheading of rapists

via Muchinguri backs beheading of rapists 19 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

PEOPLE who rape should be beheaded, Women Affairs minister, Oppah Muchinguri has said, joining First Lady Grace Mugabe who made a similar call weekend.

Muchinguri, addressing a rape awareness campaign in Harare, said sentences currently being passed by the courts were relaxed hence the need to be tougher and execute those who abuse women.

“Rapists should face lifetime imprisonment, in fact I support what Amai Grace Mugabe has called for, even having their heads cut is very essential,” she said.

“We have people like Robert Gumbura (Jailed rapist) and they should not die in jail. This is time for action, no theorising but action,” she said.

Grace Mugabe told a World Blood donor day celebration in Chinhoyi over the weekend that rapists should be beheaded as a way of ending the vice and to deter potential offenders.

“What has become of our society when a two month old baby is raped by her father; when a five year old baby raptures a uterus after being raped by an uncle, when a 104 year old grandmother is raped by a 22 year old man?” Muchinguri asked.

“What has happened to our churches when Satanism seems to be in control, with certain men of the cloth preying on their flock and when traditional healers prescribe raping of minors by their fathers as a way of getting rich or curing HIV and Aids?”

From statistics released by authorities from 2012 up until the first quarter of this year, 3 571 adult women were raped while 7 411 children were abused.

When Grace Mugabe made the statement regarding the beheading of rapists, it sparked an uproar from the general public with some pointing out that the practice was from the dark ages and primitive.

But Muchinguri said it was the only way to reduce the vice which is now a threat especially to the future of school going girls.

Zimbabweans press Mohadi on permits

via Zimbabweans press Mohadi on permits – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 20 June 2014

ZIMBABWEANS living in South Africa are due to engage Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi in a consultative forum over the new stringent visa regime introduced by the neighbouring country.


The meeting has been tentatively set for the South African capital Pretoria next Thursday.

Chairperson of the newly-formed Zimbabwe Community in South Africa Ngqabutho Mabhena yesterday said his group wanted to compare notes with Mohadi before he engages his South African counterpart Malusi Gigaba today.

“We had a meeting on Wednesday with the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa to compare notes on the current new visa regime,” Mabhena said.

“During that engagement, we presented our proposals to embassy staff which we want to also share with Mohadi. We proposed that the South African government should consider issuing a one or two-year migrant worker permit which could be renewed.

“We also proposed that when the permits are renewed, Zimbabweans should not be forced to apply for them while in Zimbabwe, but here in South Africa. This is to ensure that they safeguard their jobs,” said Mabhena in a telephone interview from Johannesburg.

Last month, Mabhena held informal discussions with the ruling tripartite alliance, African National Congress’s international relations department and the Congress of South African Trade Unions and South African Communist Party over the controversial new permit regime.

The new stringent immigration regulations would see Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals who overstay being banned from entering South Africa as it tightens immigration regulations.

All along, those who overstayed were allowed to re-enter South Africa and apply for permits and visas after being made to pay fines. From now those who overstay their allocated time would be banned for a period ranging from one to five years.

The South African government has also released a list of critical skills that country needs wherein foreigners are qualified to apply for work visas, but the challenge is that most Zimbabweans living in that country have no special skills.

This means that they would be left at the mercy of immigration authorities and may face deportation.

Of the Zimbabweans living in South Africa, 250 000 who benefited from the Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans programme are not necessarily in possession of any critical skills, meaning that they could be left out in the 35 000 critical job list released by the neighbouring country’s government.



Mutare City Council in tax evasion scam

via Mutare City Council implicated in tax evasion scam | The Source. 20 June 2014

MUTARE, June 19 (The Source) – Mutare City Council is spending about $2,4 million in allowances designed to hide earnings from the taxman since 2012, an audit has shown.

The audit was conducted by the Urban Development Corporation (UDCorp) and presented to councillors on last month. The report, seen by The Source on Thursday, showed that 11 managers pocketed over 200,000, in non-taxed monthly allowances, which amounted to $2,4 million in 2012.

Town clerk Obert Muzawazi reportedly receives $32,252 in non-taxed monthly allowances, while the human resources manager Aaron Chemvura and acting health officer Simon Mashavave are reportedly pocketing $22,867 and $19,480, respectively.

“Audit examination revealed that the following benefits were not disclosed on payroll for tax purposes; holiday allowances, rentals, school fees, electricity allowance and housing benefits,” said UDCorp in the report.

“Council is violating a statutory requirement and this is a tax evasion. Prejudicing the tax authority results in the accrual of a tax liability that will negativity affect the council’s cash resources as the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) can garnish the organisation to recover the debt accrued in the form of unremitted on tax fringe benefits.”

UDCorp said the council was violating the Chapter (23:06) section 8 of the Income Tax Act that binds the employer to disclose all the fringe benefits accruing to the employees, noting that Zimra had carried out an audit on the council last year and made a similar observation.

Mayor Tatenda Nhamarare said the council has yet to discuss the report.

“I cannot comment on the report until it has been discussed by the full council meeting. It was presented to the council’s committee meeting which is still deliberating on it,” he told The Source.

Last year, the council recorded a budget overrun of 63 percent, spending nearly $30 million against the projected $19 million while missing its revenue collection target, which Nhamarare blamed on overstaffing and debts.



Resistant TB smokes out husband’s devotion to his wife

via Resistant TB smokes out husband’s devotion to his wife – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 18, 2014 by Feluna Nleya

When couples are joined in matrimony, they take vows to demonstrate their unending commitment to the love relationship — assuring themselves and the world that their relationship will not be shaken by any change of circumstances. But one tends to ask: Why does one have to take the vows? Do the couples taking these vows know what they are really saying, and what they are bound to go through during the tenure of their marital life? For richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, is what part of the vows say. Often when it is for richer, people tend to be getting along well, and when it comes to the poorer, many couples face challenges. It has been realised that couples tend to stick together when it is in health, while women can cope with both in sickness and in health. This is evidenced by the numerous stories about men who would have left their first wife of many years and only to come back home to be taken care of when they are now sick, with the wife accepting them back. Is it so for men as well? Some men when they have a sick wife who is bedridden tend to neglect and send her away so that she can be taken care of by her family. However, it was not so for a Buhera couple which was put to the test of its vows when they got married. In 2012, 46-year-old Isaac Makaripe’s wife Lorraine Zemba (pictured right) (32) was diagnosed with drug resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). At that time, she was bedridden and could not do anything at all.

MSF introduces new TB technology

A new technology to intensify diagnosis of TB and diagnose DR-TB (GeneXpert) was introduced by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in two hospitals in Buhera district in 2011. This platform has become the first line test for any TB suspect in the district instead of the traditional sputum smear microscopy. Patients diagnosed with confirmed DR-TB were attended through a model offering care and treatment in nearby clinics or at home with the help of mobile teams. By the end of 2013, 36 patients had cumulatively been diagnosed with DR-TB since 2011, and put on treatment. While eight have been declared cured, 15 remained on treatment until the end of the year. MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation. It was created in 1971 to provide emergency medical aid to populations affected by armed conflict, epidemics, exclusion from health care and natural disasters.

New testing machine gives results in two hours

A specific focus in Epworth, a south-eastern suburb of Harare, has been on TB diagnosis and care. A new testing machine has enabled staff to obtain more reliable results, more quickly. The machine gives results — including for resistance to the drug rifampicin — in less than two hours. A total of 2 798 samples were tested in 2012. Of these samples, traditional microscopy had identified 15% of results as positive, whereas the machine found 22%, thus indicating significantly improved diagnosis. Additionally, nine new patients were enrolled in the multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) programme. Treatment for MDR-TB takes up to two years and can cause severe side effects. At the end of the year, 40 more patients were under MDR-TB treatment in MSF programmes in the country. When does DR-TB occur? DR-TB can occur when the drugs used to treat TB are misused or mismanaged like when people do not complete the full course of treatment, when health care providers prescribe the wrong treatment, the wrong dose, or wrong length of time for taking the drugs and when the supply of drugs is not always available or when the drugs are of poor quality.

Stigmatisation remains a huge challenge

Makaripe (left) says when he was told his wife was suffering from DR-TB, all he thought of was to leave her and start all over again. “At first when they told me that my wife was suffering from DR-TB, I was worried and it got me thinking about the situation,” Makaripe said. “I said to myself, something which is resistant cannot be cured and asked myself what I am still doing with her. I thought to myself that it was better for me to take her back to her home and for me to find another woman to be with and not stay with someone who was sick.” Makaripe said had it not been for the counselling he underwent during that time, he would have left his wife. “MSF counsellors came here and engaged me,” he said. “That is when I accepted my wife’s situation and started supporting her. I was also helped by my mother-in-law who came over this side to help me look after my wife.” Makaripe had to take care of their two-year-old baby during the time his wife was sick as she had to be alone for about two months. “Relatives would tell me to leave her, but I thought to myself that this is my wife and all I can do is to be with her through and through. She could not walk, talk or do anything. She was bed-ridden at times I would ask myself if I would wake up the following morning and still find her alive. But by God’s grace, she is still alive (and) she managed to go through the two-year treatment.” Makaripe says because he had to be at home most of the times, they had to rely on donors for the supply of food for the family. Zemba told NewsDay she was first diagnosed with TB in 2008, and underwent complete treatment. However, she was later diagnosed with DR-TB. “I became sick in 2012 and that is when I saw MSF people coming after I had been screened again for TB,” she said.“I was told that I had DR-TB and I had to be treated. Treatment this time was intense. I did not know what it was, but I accepted. During the course of the treatment, I was injected every day for at least eight months while at the same time drinking tablets.” MSF used to go to Zemba’s place every day for 20 months so as to provide her with medication. “It was on 20 months of treatment and I am grateful that I have been healed,” Zemba said. “At the moment, I am still recovering although I was told it had been treated. I am now trying to regain my strength. I could not do any household chores or anything, but I can now do some house chores. Neighbours stigmatised me. I felt pity for my baby as I could not hold him. All I wanted was to be treated so that I could be able to hold my baby in the future.”

Dipping Day: then and now

Dear Family and Friends,

Every week in summer and every fortnight in winter we used to round up the cattle and herd them over the road to a neighbouring farm. This was dipping day: hot, dusty, dirty work as over a hundred breeding cows and their calves, along with two temperamental bulls, forced their way into the fenced dip paddock. Pushing, shoving and head butting was the order of the day accompanied by cows bellowing for their calves when they got separated in the melee. One by one the beasts were herded along the ever narrowing race lined with strong poles; soon they had no choice but to be in single file and could only go forwards. As they stepped onto the cement and then into the foot bath a couple of metres from the dip, you knew that they knew: one last, futile attempt to turn back, wide eyes and then splash. A short swim to the other side and they clambered out.  Standing in the sun on the sloped concrete drying slab, the fear was gone for the cattle as they dripped dry, the excess chemical-laden water running down the cement drains and back into the dip tank. It was all over in less than two hours: hair skimmed off the top of the dip tank, manure shoveled up, concrete hosed down, gates closed and home in time for tea. In exchange for the use of his facility, along with lots of advice and laughs, our neighbouring farmer charged a box of dipping chemicals a month.

I didn’t realise how we took that well organized, routine operation for granted until I heard this week how it is now for the people who seized our farm and our neighbour’s farm fourteen years ago. When they need to dip their cattle now it involves a six kilometre walk to the nearest functional facility. At the end of the long walk there and back, they question if there’s enough chemical in the dip because the ticks are still alive and clinging to the necks of the cattle, in their ears and under their tails.

How sad it was to learn that the dip on my neighbours farm that saw hundreds of animals treated every week has now been completely destroyed. The fence around the dip paddock has gone; the poles along the race have gone; the concrete foot bath has been smashed out of the ground; the sloped, concrete drying slab no longer exists: broken up, dug out and carried away in jagged squares. The dip tank itself is still there but unusable: dry, cracked and silted up with sand. Broken water pipes and pump, no money to replace looted fencing, no interest in erecting new poles, no agreement by livestock owners on both sides of the road, or in the neighbouring village, to contribute money to lay new concrete and renovate the dip on the seized farm to benefit all.

This sad little picture of before and after comes at a time when little snippets of information are revealed about what’s really been going on during Zimbabwe’s land seizures. Recently the he Minister of Lands whet our appetite for the truth with news that even 10 year old children had been allocated plots on seized farms . The Minister said people acquired farms on behalf of their children, lying about their dates of birth to do so. He said farms and plots fraudulently acquired would be taken back by the government.  Apparently a full land audit of acquired farms is set to take place next year at a staggering cost of 35 million US dollars.

What many of us wouldn’t do to be a fly on that wall as those farms are visited and the real truths uncovered. How eager the nation is to know who got what, how they’ve treated the farms they were given and what they’ve been doing out there all these years that’s left us importing 80% of our food.  Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy. 20th June 2014.  Copyright © Cathy Buckle.

LATEST: Macheso is the father!

via LATEST: Macheso is the father! | The Herald June 19, 2014 by Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter

It’s official. Alick Macheso is the biological father of Fortunate “Tafadzwa” Mapako’s two children.

Results of the DNA tests were availed by the National Blood Transfusion Services of Zimbabwe putting to rest suspicions by Macheso that Maneesha and Alick Junior might not be his children.

Tafadzwa’s lawyer David Ngwerume of Hamunakwadi, Nyandoro and Nyambuya Legal Chambers  confirmed the positive results.
“Vana ndevake 100 percent. Both are his children,” he said.
“Tafadzwa is happy with the results because she was being accused of things she didn’t do.”

Asked what action they would take now that the issue of paternity has been resolved, Ngwerume said they were still to decide on the way forward.
“At the moment we have to sit down and talk before we can do anything,” he said.

Macheso’s laywer Norman Mugiya could not be reached for comment as his mobile went unanswered. However, in an earlier interview with H-Metro, Mugiya confirmed the results were out but could not give details.

“I can confirm that the results are out, we have been informed by the NBTSZ to collect the results. I have not yet seen them,” he said.

The sungura ace took the two children for DNA tests after he queried their paternity following his nasty fallout and divorce with his second wife Tafadzwa since last November.

Macheso who is the humanitarian ambassador for Zimbabwe Red Cross Society insisted on the paternity tests although initially he had said he was willing to look after the children regardless.

Recently, Macheso successfully appealed  to the Civil Court for downwards variation from the US$1050 he was paying as maintenance for the upkeep of Tafadzwa and the children to about US$750, after securing an affidavit which confirmed their divorce.

At law, the results will give Tafadzwa an edge to also approach the same courts for an upwards variation on the monthly maintenance.

Time to target the big-time poachers

via Time to target the big-time poachers | The Zimbabwean 18 June 2014 by Laiton Mkandawire

One of our greatest responsibilities and obligations to future generations is the conservation of our heritage. We should not allow the greedy affluent to rob us of these precious resources, writes Laiton Mkandawire.

Lake Kariba is a prime example where organised groups involving suspected high-ranking government officials sponsor people to buy kapenta from struggling formal operators at night.

Before the release of the Born Free USA and CHADS report entitled “Ivory’s Curse: The Militarisation and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa”, the common man in many African countries knew who exactly the real poachers were. But making this known to the authorities became a matter of reporting criminals to themselves.

On Zimbabwe this is what the report had to say: “Partly what’s happening with poaching is a result of the political situation, where you have a regime that’s been in place for so long we feel it is complicit in the ivory trade – giving impunity to the actors involved. It’s very hard to get a handle on what’s happening. In 1997, when the international ban on trade in elephant ivory was first undermined, one of the countries behind that was Zimbabwe. And the international meeting where that happened was held in Harare.”

We all now know that the highest demand for ivory in the world is in Asia. We have been welcoming Asians here in droves on a daily basis without checking how they conduct themselves once on the ground. This is particularly true for Zimbabwe and the Hwange National Park elephant cyanide poisoning pointed in this direction. Those arrested and convicted could not have been the real masterminds behind the heinous poaching act – mere villagers with no capacity to organise such a gigantic operation – possibly mere carriers.

Fast-dwindling stocks

Of more concern in places like Kariba, which is well-endowed with wildlife resources, is the fact that even though the conservation infrastructure is quite good, there is a seemingly deliberate under-deployment of resources by government. The private sector and communities affected have had to jump in to protect themselves from both the inaction of those governing them and the marauding poachers.

Lake Kariba is a prime example where organised groups involving suspected high-ranking government officials are sponsoring people to buy kapenta from struggling formal operators at night. Very little action has been taken until recently when it has become abundantly clear that action is needed due to fast-dwindling stocks.

The increase in privately-run anti-poaching units in and around Kariba should have alerted the government to a very serious problem. But alas, no-one cared. The Gache Gache Wilderness Area WEPU anti-Poaching Unit was formed when the community realised that a tipping point was being reached – this is when the rate of death in wildlife stock overtakes the rate of birth. They have been successful, stocks have recovered and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has rendered support.

The enemy

The same happened in Kariba town where the Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust (KAWFT) had to be set up by private individuals concerned with the declining protection offered to our wildlife and other natural resources. The same happened with the Tashinga Initiative Foundation (TIF) and the Matusadona Anti-Poaching Project (MAPP).

There could be others that I have not mentioned here who are doing tremendous work, but it should suffice to say private individuals have had to take up initiative after realising that the enemy was not only the poacher but also some of those entrusted with the mandate of protecting our wildlife resources, through acts of commission or omission.

There are major difficulties in policing the protection of wildlife and they are not being addressed because they serve certain individuals within the system well. Even these private initiatives need overseeing as not all people involved are well-intentioned. The government must be forced to play its rightful role, not to be allowed to abdicate responsibilities.

They’re greedy

I was moved by Johan Jooste’s remarks quoted by the Sunday Times of April 20, 2014 regarding the anti-poaching effort in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. He reportedly said “This war is not going to be won in the bush. We can only win in the courts and in the boardrooms.” He added that “these are not people poaching because they’re poor and hungry – they’re greedy.” Exactly our situation!

Due to the fact that high-ranking government officials or their families are involved, insider help is rendered. Some have been fingered in the Hwange National Park elephant debacle but little has been done. There are plausible claims that professional hunters, game rangers, trackers and the police have been involved in poaching and/or get intelligence to the poachers about impending operations.

Fishermen’s accounts will tell you that some fishing companies in the Chawara area of Kariba are “allowed” to fish in breeding areas without repercussions because their operators grease the palms of rangers and patrol unit leaders.

Under these circumstances, the people who eventually get caught and get penalised are the poor Zimbabweans who battle poverty and socioeconomic injustices. We are not arresting the real big-time culprits and, therefore, the problem persists unabated. The poor and marginalised must be protected, just like the wildlife. They must make an income from conservation efforts in order for them not to be lured into poaching. We need to show them how.

One of our greatest responsibilities and obligations to future generations is the conservation of our heritage. We should not allow the greedy affluent, be they Asian, European, American or local Africans, to corrupt the poor, use them, abuse them and then refuse them in the end. Let the dragnet drag in all involved regardless of class.

Govt boots out 600 orphans

via Govt boots out 600 orphans – DailyNews Live 19 June 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba

HARARE – Government has dumped orphaned and disadvantaged children after seizing a farm from a non-governmental organisation (NGO) looking after the children and allocated it to Bindura University.

Save Our Souls (SOS) Zimbabwe has lost one of its farms, Glen Avilin Farm 3 in Bindura, after the ministry of Lands gave the university an offer letter for the farm.

The NGO was utilising the 534-hectare farm to produce food for more than 600 orphans to sustain itself.

Gary Birditt, director of SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe, told the Daily News yesterday that the ministry of Lands took over the farm without consulting them.

“It was handed over to the Bindura State University on June 12,” Birditt said.

“There was no consultation prior to the takeover.  On the day of handover of the farm, June 12, an offer letter in favour of the Bindura State University was produced by the Bindura State University senior staff.”

Birditt said his organisation used part of the farm to cultivate soya beans and seed maize, while the ministry of Agriculture was leasing some land.

“The farm was recently under seed maize and soya; both crops have just been harvested,” he said.

“Full time training of agricultural and engineering students had ceased, apart from training being conducted by the ministry of Agriculture who are leasing some land, hostel accommodation and training room facilities from SOS Children’s Village,” he said.

The Daily News crew paid a visit to the farm on Tuesday and it was deserted.

Offices were locked and the SOS supermarket was closed.

The NGO is now left with one farm at Maizelands in Bindura and aso a number of schools in the town.

Martin Dinha, the minister of state for Mashonaland Central, yesterday declined to comment on the seizure.

“Who told you about this? I want names so that I can be able to assist you. Without giving me names I will not be able to comment,” Dinha said.

Douglas Mombeshora, the Lands and Rural Resettlement minister, was unreachable for comment.

SOS runs a number of schools and children’s villages in Bindura.

The aid agency came to Zimbabwe soon after independence.
SOS Children’s Village Bindura comprises 15 family houses with a capacity to take in up to 180 children, an administration building, a multi-purpose hall, a sports field and a house for the village director.

The adjoining SOS kindergarten consists of three group rooms and a playground and can accommodate up to 90 children.

The SOS vocational training centre at Maizelands farm has been operational since 1983.

It comprises three branches namely agricultural training, farming, and car mechanics. It has a capacity to take in up to 130 youths.

On 1 400 hectares of farmland, millet, cotton, peppers, sun flowers, soybeans and citrus fruit are cultivated.

The farm provides the SOS Children’s Village with agricultural products and contributes towards its maintenance through the sale of its products.

It also runs two SOS Hermann Gmeiner primary schools, one for up to 990 pupils on the premises of the SOS Children’s Village and a second one for up to 1,080 pupils on the site of the Maizelands farm.

The aid agency also runs the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Secondary School.

Call for policies that attract FDI

via Call for policies that attract FDI | The Herald June 20, 2014

ZIMBABWE’s economy has never had significant Foreign Direct Investment inflows even during both the “successful” years  and the colonial era, industry captains  said.
As such there has been a negative correlation between gross domestic product growth and FDI.Barclays managing director Mr George Guvamatanga said Zimbabwe has made significant progress over the last five years in creating a favourable economic environment to attract FDI and the Government seems to be more engaged and willing  to meet potential investors than ever  before.

The former Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president was speaking at a breakfast seminar with business leaders in Harare yesterday.

Zimbabwe last had significant FDI in 1998 following huge investment by Zimplats in Ngezi.

Presently, Zimbabwe is attracting less than one percent of FDI’s to Africa which topped $65 billion in 2012 despite the country possessing vast natural resources.

Global FDI reached $1,3 trillion in 2012 with Africa receiving five percent of that. Asia received 13 percent, said Mr Ritesh Anand, chief executive and founder of Invictus Capital.

Mr Anand said Zimbabwe needs an economic task force to advise the Government on policies that help attract capital. Presenting a paper on the key to success in attracting FDI inflows to Zimbabwe, Mr Anand said issues relating to labour costs and laws, regulatory bottlenecks, illegal sanctions, and corruption required “serious” attention.

Mr Guvamatanga said the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West continue to play a significant role in deterring potential investors especially the European Union and US investors. Hence the removal of embargo was critical for the country to move forward.

Mr Anand said the Government’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation also required fine tuning and urgent financing.

“The question now is on how we develop this policy document, Zim-Asset into real strategy,” said Mr Anand.

He said Zimbabwe’s “Look-East” policy has had limited success in attracting significant long-term investment, adding that a broader policy to attract investments from all regions was essential for the long-term development of the country.

Some of the issues he cited as deterring FDI inflows include the gap between perception and reality in Zimbabwe, the size of the country’s market and the economic environment which include policies and regulations relating to doing business in the country, lack of transparency, consistency and accountability. He also noted the cost of capital was also hampering business growth.

“If the inflation rate is around one percent and yet interest rates are around 20 percent, this makes business very expensive,” said Mr Anand.

Business leaders at the meeting expressed concern at high interest rates being charged by local banks.

Dairiboard Holdings Ltd chief executive officer Mr Antony Mandiwanza said: “Zimbabwe has moved from a hyper-inflationary mentality and we should calibrate our cost structures to the present day reality. We want to encourage investment savings. Interest rates around 20 percent are not acceptable in this current economy hence a rate around 12 percent would be good for the economy to move forward.”

He said the issue of attracting FDIs should be scaled up to bilateral levels if Zimbabwe was to attract significant inflows. “Zimbabwe needs to seriously start interrogating how other countries are handling their economies,” said Mr Mandiwanza.

“In negotiations for investment deals, it should be scaled up from company to company basis to national levels because no investor would want to go to a country deemed unfriendly to his or her country of origin.

Industrialist and Allied Holdings chief executive Dr Joseph Kanyekanye said bank rates were “killing the economy.” “Bank rates are killing the economy. They are getting loans from the National Social Security Authority at low rates and also access deposits at next to nothing and yet  charge business more than 20 percent,” he said.

Rape examination machine for Pari

via Rape examination machine for Pari | The Herald June 20, 2014 by Ruth Butaumocho Gender Editor

Zimbabwe will soon have a Colposcopy machine, used for examinations of victims of rape and sexual violence to ease congestion at medical centres as the country grapples with an upsurge of sexual assault cases. The first of its kind, the machine is expected to expedite help rendered to rape victims so that they can get medical assistance within the stipulated time once examinations have been carried out.

The equipment from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that would be installed at the Adult Rape Clinic at Parirenyatwa Central Hospital, comes against a back drop of increased rape cases, with 10 000 women having been raped in the last two years.

Speaking at the launch of the national action plan on rape and sexual violence in Harare yesterday, UNFPA country representative, Dr Basile Tambashe said the decision to equip the Rape Clinic was part of its efforts to triple Zimbabwe’s vigilant efforts in eradicating sexual crimes currently gripping the nation.

“The machine will be used to examine survivors of rape and sexual violence as well as training of care caregivers to care for the would-be survivors,” he said.
The machine would complement existing structures such as one-stop centres and shelters for survivors of gender based violence, which are some of the facilities that offer counselling and psycho support to rape victims.

“In our years of working with victims of abuse, it has come to our attention that one of the main barriers preventing survivors of gender based violence is access.
“Access is hindered by lack of knowledge of available services, lack of money for transport to travel to various service providers and lack of time to visit such centres,” he said.

UNFPA is working with the Government, particularly through the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community and Development to achieve gender equality to eradicate all forms of gender based violence.

Zanu PF chefs risk losing land

via Zanu PF bigwigs risk losing land – The Zimbabwe Independent. 20 June 2014


SENIOR Zanu PF and government officials whose farms are lying idle risk losing the large tracts of land they got under the chaotic land reform programme as the state prepares for a land audit scheduled for next year.

Staff Writer

In an interview, Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora said government will either downsize or take back land being underutilised.

He said government will appoint independent auditors to carry out the land audit which will involve visits to each and every farm.

The audit, if conducted as transparently as planned, is expected to flash out senior Zanu PF and government officials who are multiple farm owners in violation of government’s one-person-one-farm policy.

Mombeshora said: “The proper land audit which has not started will mean farm-to-farm visits. There will be verification to see the real owner. Some people were given farms but abandoned them.
“People will go to these farms and we want to see whoever is there and take their details. We will record which plot is occupied, which one is not. What are you planting, the number of crops, animals? We want to see production. If you are not farming we want to understand why. We want to establish those using the farms properly and those not.”

The minister also said he had the power to withdraw offer letters given to people underutilising the farms.

“Already I have downsized some farms. If you are doing nothing, we will take it (land) and if you are subletting we will also take it. We have already done that in Makonde, Zvimba and we are planning to do that in Mashonaland Central,’ said Mombeshora.

In January, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development deputy minister Responsible for Crops and Mechanisation, Davis Marapira was quoted by the state media as saying about 20 Arda farms are lying idle with only Chisumbanje viable.

Kintyre Estates, a leading dairy producer which used to supply up to 100 000 litres of milk per month, is another example of a farm now lying idle after a failed ambitious project to turn the farm into commercial and housing plots.

In addition to the money being provided by the European Union, United Nations Development Programme and World Bank, Mombeshora said the rest of the money would be raised internally from the farmers.


Police accused of using ‘non-existent law’

via Police accused of using ‘non-existent law’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 20, 2014 by Blessing Mhlanga

THE lawyer representing Kwekwe’s community radio initiative Radio Kwelaz, Valentine Mutatu, has accused the police of using a non-existent law to halt operations and confiscate studio equipment following a raid at the media house’s offices on Tuesday.

In a letter delivered to Kwekwe police officer-in-charge (Law and Order Section) on Wednesday, Mutatu accused the police of quoting a law that does not exist in seizing Radio Kwelaz’s property.

“In your search and seizure you produced a defective search warrant . . . purportedly issued in terms of Section 54(1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07),” Mutatu said.

“We must hasten to state that the said chapter does not exist in the said Act. We, therefore, suspect you are using an Act belonging to another jurisdiction.”

Mutatu said although he protested the “illegal” search warrant, he was not able to physically stop the eight-member police team who stormed the radio initiative’s offices in the company of three Central Intelligence Organisation operatives.

Police raided Radio Kwelaz offices on June 17 on suspicion that the community radio initiative was broadcasting illegally and had subversive material in its possession.

They seized laptops and compact discs and blocked Radio Kwelaz staff from accessing the studio until the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) had ascertained if the studio equipment was being used for broadcasting.

A three-member team comprising technicians from Potraz and BAZ visited the studio yesterday morning to conduct investigations and later allowed Radio Kwelaz staff to resume work after realising that the initiative was not carrying out any broadcasting activities.

“They have allowed us to go ahead and use our facilities after correctly observing that there is no broadcasting going on. In short, this was an exercise in futility and aimed at intimidating our clients,” Mutatu said.

Mugabe must stop grandstanding

via Mugabe must stop grandstanding – The Zimbabwe Independent. 20 June 2014 by Stewart Chabwinja

AT 90 President Robert Mugabe has lost none of his zest for foreign travel despite rumoured and confirmed health issues, with the latest outing being the two-day 50th anniversary Commemorative Summit of the G77+China held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Editor’s Memo with Stewart Chabwinja

In just two months, Mugabe has been to Singapore, South Africa, Dubai and Bolivia, a potentially punishing schedule for one his age. He has, of course, defended the frequent, costly trips in the past, saying there was a risk Zimbabwe’s voice would be unheard and its interests compromised if he failed to attend.

The summit was another opportunity for Mugabe to strut the world stage which he was never going to pass up. Interestingly, the leaders or their representatives discussed issues such as unemployment, poverty, climate change and food security, under the summit’s theme “A New World Order for Living Well”.

Living well is certainly what most Zimbabweans are not doing, but have been dreaming of for well over a decade despite constant promises from their rulers that better days are on the horizon.

Current socio-economic indicators suggest Zimbabweans will live worse before they start “living well”. Viewed from that perspective, Mugabe’s pronouncements at the summit rang eerily hollow.

Poverty eradication should be central to national and international development policies, Mugabe was quoted as saying, and countries must strive to attain sustainable production and consumption patterns for the good of all humanity.

Back home, Mugabe’s commitment to the well-being of his people was being questioned, with our sister paper, the Standard, carrying a story titled Mugabe flies out as Zim melts. If only Mugabe could project the same oomph at home as he does on his foreign junkets, Zimbabweans would at least be re-assured all government hands are on deck tackling their concerns.

A case in point is when he provoked widespread disbelief after remarking on the poor state of the country’s roads, leaving many to wonder where he had just come from for the roads have been in such state for well over a decade. Mugabe, who revels in being a man of the people, should instead be resolute on corruption, water and electricity problems, illiquidity in the economy and company closures, among a host of debilitating economic challenges.

Reform remains Mugabe’s hobbyhorse, apparently as long as he does not have to institute it. He has robustly advocated UN reform, and called for the Group of 77+China to be at the forefront of creating a global order representing the interests and aspirations of downtrodden people and oppose Western domination.

The irony lost on him is that he has assiduously resisted reforms at home in the security sector, media and on the electoral front aimed at promoting freedoms and increasing the democratic space and ensuring a level electoral playing field.

Having left the country on autopilot last Thursday, after Zesa ominously warned of massive power cuts, Mugabe returned to news that 2 065 workers had lost jobs from January to date, with industry operating at around 30% of capacity.

Meanwhile, the country is busy organising the Sadc summit scheduled for August in the scenic resort of Victoria Falls. It will be another chance for Mugabe to grandstand and give the impression all is well despite a few niggling problems hardly unique to Zimbabwe.



Headline news 20 June, 2014

Tsvangirai unfazed by ‘renewal’ attacks

via Tsvangirai unfazed by ‘renewal’ attacks | SW Radio Africa. 19 June 2014   by Tichaona Sibanda

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has in the last two months been the target of a concerted attack by the renewal team, is reportedly unfazed by the blitz against him.

Since January, Tsvangirai has weathered the verbal attacks, but recently the renewal team, led by former MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti has unleashed a new offensive, this time concentrating on his love life.

In the last two weeks, social media platforms and newspapers sympathetic to the renewal agenda have churned out editorials questioning Tsvangirai’s leadership style and his relationships with women.

But a trusted source close to Tsvangirai told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the former Premier in the unity government is ‘unfazed’ by the attacks.

‘I met mudhara (Tsvangirai) this week and he was laughing about the media blitz against him. He said they are wasting their time and even described the disciplinary tribunal against him by the Biti camp as rubbish.

‘People in the party, family and friends worry of the scale of the onslaught that he is facing and the potential damage that it can do. But his apparent lack of panic makes the renewal team members panic more and think of others plots,’ said the source.

Charlton Hwende, a Tsvangirai loyalist and senior party member, said the media campaign against their leader is hypocrisy.

‘The attacks on Tsvangirai’s relations with women are hypocritical because those from the renewal team are not angels themselves. They are super-womanizers and I know it.

‘Recently I wrote on my Facebook wall threatening to spill the beans on members of the renewal team about their affairs and my inbox nearly burst with private messages from the same people begging me not to do it. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones,’ Hwende said.

SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that a popular UK based online newspaper has had to shelve a story, for now, on one of the top members of the renewal team after appeals that the article would ‘wreck’ his marriage and political career.


Money speaking louder than the law

via Money speaking louder than the law | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News 19 Jun 2014

IT is not obvious that someone who has committed a crime will go to prison. Particularly if the perpetrator is oiled enough financially; is well connected, a public figure, or all of the above.  The worst that could happen is for one to be booked for a few days, and once bail is granted, they go out and stay out.  If they have their day in court, at all, the process could be so dragged out that before you know it court documents go missing; witnesses disappear; and in no time the culprit is let off the hook on grounds of not enough evidence against them.  That is usually the easiest route.

In a system where money is speaking louder than the statutes on the law books, the road to justice has been paved with bribes, and the concept of “just” a very distant possibility. In a nation where the levers of power are generally skewed towards the ruling ZANU-PF,the other currency besides money that takes precedence above the rule of law is partisanship.  While party bigwigs have often appeared above the law, outcomes of most cases where the culprits are known opposition party supporters have been predictable.  Sometimes uncharacteristic haste has been demonstrated where the outcome is negative to that opposition supporter or where it should be positive, justice has been delayed indefinitely. And as the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied.

As such over the years the justice delivery landscape has been littered with reports of bribed prosecutors and other officials along the legal chain; disappearance of files and other court records; partisan bias; and selective application of the law. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has broken the silence and spoken publicly on the matter.  Officially opening the judicial year last year, Chidyausiku referred to the rampant corruption and attributed it to the lack of adequate funding for the justice delivery system.

The admission rang alarm bells across the country with some wondering the extent to which corruption in the judicial service is affecting the ordinary citizens. If corruption in the justice delivery system can be confirmed at the top of the chain, how far rampant could it be at the bottom? Could it be that innocent people are being sent to prison while the guilty ones roam free? Once bribes have exchanged hands at whatever level of the greasy pole of corruption, the most feasible thing to do is to eliminate records so as to handicap the case and erase any account of it.

Former Plumtree resident magistrate, Stephen Mavuna is currently being tried at the Bulawayo Regional Court for allegedly causing the disappearance of over 200 court records. Allegations are that he presided over criminal matters and passed sentences which required such records of proceedings to be forwarded to the regional magistrate for scrutiny while some were supposed to be forwarded to the High Court for review. But the records were never forwarded.

The magistrate allegedly received records of appeal for processing, but did not send them to the High Court. Further investigations resulted in the discovery of empty record covers. However, in his defense, Mavuna is accusing clerks of court of hiding the documents and entering false information in registers working in tandem with the prosecutors.  In another interesting case of court documents disappearing, High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe failed to sentence murder convict Jonathan Mutsinze after the disappearance of court documents.

Resultantly, Mutsinze, who has been in remand prison for 11 years since his conviction in 2003, was found guilty of murdering a police officer and a security guard during a robbery but has not yet been sentenced because the court records disappeared. Mutsinze, through his lawyer, Tazorora Musarurwa, last year approached the Constitutional Court saying he should be freed because of the delay in sentencing and disappearance of the court record.

In an affidavit for that case, Hungwe alleges corruption by judiciary and prison officers in the disappearance of the court records relating to Mutsinze.
He argued that Mutsinze allegedly connived with the judiciary and prison officers to ensure the disappearance of his record of proceedings and erasure of tapes as a way of evading sentencing.

Hungwe said there is strong evidence of how the documents vanished. “There is credible evidence at hand which indicate accused person’s hand in the disappearance of this record from criminal registry as well as the erasure prematurely of the tape recording of the proceedings leading to his conviction on two counts of murder committed during a robbery.

“That evidence indicates collusion with officers at the High Court as well as prison officials around that time,” said Hungwe giving his side of the story when he appeared before a commission set up to inquire his alleged misconduct in February this year.

Testifying in the same case, the transcription department indicated that recorded information on cassette tapes relating to this case could no longer be located with all the 22 tapes used on the case vanishing along with 530 pages of the judge’s handwritten notes. In 2009, documents in the corruption prosecution of the then deputy information minister Bright Matonga and former Zimbabwe United Passenger Company board chairman, Charles Nherera, disappeared resulting in the acquittal of Matonga and the erroneous jailing of Nherera.  Nherera went on to serve a two-year jail sentence but was declared not guilty by the Supreme Court almost a year after being released.

Harare lawyer, Dumisani Mthombeni, told the Financial Gazette that the majority of cases in which court documents vanish would be because of corruption.
“I would with utmost certainty say 99,9 percent of such cases are because of corruption. People connive to steal and destroy those documents in the hope that, that would kill the criminal case against them,” he said.

Mthombeni also said poor remuneration among magistrates, prosecutors, police officers and other court officials was fuelling corruption in the courts. “I have myself worked in government as a regional public prosecutor previously and know how tempting it is to be offered a few hundreds of dollars simply to destroy documents you ordinarily have access to. If you are a magistrate you have access to court records, if you are a prosecutor you have access to court dockets and state outlines. So there is a high possibility of corruption being at the centre of the whole issue,” he said.

“This issue of corruption at our courts has been with us for a long time now, the Chief Justice, the Chief Magistrate, the Minister of Justice and even the director of public prosecutions, Johannes Tomana, have all previously admitted that  this is rampant at our courts,” he added.

“The issue is that we now have civil servants not motivated by the desire to serve but by money. We need those with the desire to serve, if you want to earn money, just leave government and go elsewhere.” Mthombeni also called for a thorough investigation into the matter saying it would be extremely useful in curbing corruption.

Another Lawyer who declined to be named said in most cases where court documents disappear they will be of high profile criminal nature or political trials. These, he said, were most likely to disappear through fraudulent means as criminals capitalise on corruption tendencies among court officials to try and escape conviction and subsequent sentencing. “Court documents just do not go missing without an interested party desiring so. Of all missing documents, most go missing through underhand tactics of people avoiding the law,” he said.

“Literally, criminals buy the documents to be destroyed, thereby getting rid of evidence,” he added.

According to legal experts, prosecutors are the biggest culprits as far as corruption at the courts is concerned but it also involves clerks of court, police officers and other court officials.  There are similar problems in quasi-judicial bodies such as labour dispute resolution mechanism, local authorities, mining commissioner’s office, government licensing authorities and all public offices that make quasi judicial decisions.

Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Fortune Chasi, said cognizant of the corruption the bar has been raised within the legal system. “The bar has been raised to a very high level that is why you see instances where some legal officers have been prosecuted. We have no tolerance on corruption,” Chasi said, adding that members of the public should come forward with any information they have on corruption within the justice system.

“Members of the public should available any information they have on corruption,” Chasi said. “Also the public should not be complicit. Corruption is something we need to deal with holistically. For corruption to occur it means some people (members of the public) would have requested or participated in some way. So we urge anyone in the legal system as well as members of the public to desist from corruption.”

Made botches US$100m deal

via Made botches US$100m deal | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News Phillimon Mhlanga 12 Jun 2014

CHINESE telecommunications company, ZTE Corporation, has been awarded a US$100 million contract to supply mechanisation and irrigation equipment without going to tender, the Financial Gazette can reveal. The development has courted the ire of several potential bidders and is likely to anger a restive population whose government had pledged to clampdown on corruption and take the country out of its current economic quagmire.

Documents seen by this newspaper show that the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development headed by Joseph Made, appointed ZTE Corporation, which is at the centre of at least two controversial deals with the country’s power utility, to supply equipment worth US$82,442 million, provide services for the project and training at a cost  of US$16,623 million and US$934 200 respectively, without the involvement of government’s designated procurement agency, the State Procurement Board (SPB).

This is against the country’s procurement laws which stipulate that any contract worth US$300 000 or more entered into by any government linked entity and other parties should be authorised by the SPB. Government insiders are heaping the blame on Made, saying he should have ensured that proper procedures were followed. Made could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print.

While Made did not append his signature on the deal himself, his permanent secretary, Ringson Chitsiko; Reston Muzamhindo, the principal director and the director in charge of finance and administration Kudakwashe Zata, signed along with the Chinese company’s representatives. Under this multi-million dollar deal signed on November 15, 2013 but yet to be executed as government is still battling to access funding, the Chinese firm is to supply hydraulic excavators, tractors, dozers, motor graders, dump trucks, trailers, concrete mixers, generator sets, air compressors, pneumatic tools and survey equipment.

What makes it strange is that ZTE Corporation, a Chinese government-backed company which is listed on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock markets, is well-known as a telecommunication product vendor. Market watchers have therefore raised concerns on the ability of the company to deliver. Interestingly also is the fact that equipment to be supplied under this contract is for construction instead of agriculture.

The Financial Gazette understands that the equipment would only be delivered after the cash-strapped government has paid 15 percent of the total value of the contract into ZTE Corporation’s account held by the Export-Import Bank of China, ShenZhen branch. Part of the contract says “the total contract shall be US$100 000 000 (one hundred million United States Dollars only) as specified in the agreed priced BOQ”.

The contract further states: “The prices do not include any kind of customs duties charges to be levied outside of the People’s Republic of China. The supplier (ZTE) shall start to make shipment of the equipment after 120 days of the date of receipt of the advance payment….”

“The title to all imported equipment under this contract shall be transferred to the purchaser (Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development) against the full payment of this contract and if the purchaser fails to pay the full contract price or fails to perform other obligations under the terms and conditions of this contract, the title or ownership to contracted equipment shall belong to the supplier.”

“The supplier shall be entitled to subcontract all or any part of this contract to competent sub-contractor(s) provided that the supplier guarantees the purchaser that the sub-contractor(s) will perform its obligations in a manner as the supplier will do in accordance with this contract. However, the supplier shall be responsible for the satisfactory performance of the whole contract.”

However, without revealing much detail, Chitsiko said when contacted for comment that the deal was on hold due to lack of funding. “It’s on hold,” said Chitsiko.

“We are looking for money from the Export-Import Bank of China (EIM) but that money comes with a Chinese company and this is why we chose ZTE.”

It has, however, emerged that on April 30, 2014, Willard Manungo, the permanent secretary in the Ministry Finance and Economic Development, wrote to the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Zimbabwe-Lin Lin, in support of the project. “As you are aware, government under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset), identified development of irrigation infrastructure as critical in increasing agricultural production and productivity.

“Your excellence, I want to reiterate that the Solar Pumping System Project to support irrigation development in the eight provinces of Zimbabwe being spearheaded by ZTE is one of our priority projects under Zim-Asset.

“If implemented, this project will go a long way in improving household food and nutrition security, and improve agricultural output in Zimbabwe. Please, Your Excellency, accept the assurances of my highest consideration,” said Manungo in the letter.

Procurement experts say government should have invited other Chinese vendors to go for a public tender. Last year, a tender to install a 100 megawatt (MW) solar power station to alleviate the crippling power supply shortage crippling the economy was floated. China Jiangxi Corporation was the winner but through political interference ZTE, which had lost the bid, was controversially awarded the tender without having to re-advertise as required by the procurement laws of the country.

The company was also involved in the supply of prepaid meters to power utility ZESA but the contract was cancelled after it was found to be unreliable by supplying poor quality prepaid meters. Last year, the Zambian government terminated a multi-million deal with ZTE following allegations of corruption. The deal involved the scandalous supply of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) equipment to the Zambian government at an inflated price of US$210 million instead of US$13 million.

The CCTV project was initiated to assist with crime prevention, traffic management and general monitoring of streets of the capital, Lusaka. In 2007, the Philippine President cancelled a controversial US$330 million deal that would have seen ZTE Corporation supply equipment to the government’s planned broadband network. The Chinese company was reported to have paid a bribe of about US$4,42 million to Philippine  government officials for it to land the deal.

The telecoms company was also banned from tendering for state contracts in Algeria for two years after it was involved in a bribery scandal between 2003 and 2006; it had allegedly bribed executives at the State-owned telecoms network, Algerie Telecoms.

Illegal settlers search for water

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Illegal settlers invade the eastern highlands in search of water. 19 June 2014 by Andrew Mambondiyani

Rural community meetings, such as one held recently in Mpudzi Resettlement scheme, south of Mutare in Manicaland province, are usually placid affairs dealing with mundane matters. Not anymore.

In the province, known for its highlands, good rains and rich soils, the meetings have increasingly taken on a belligerent edge, due to the influx of land invaders settling upstream and clogging water sources – the consequence of climate-change induced migration as new settlers leave their low-lying dry regions for better rains and prospects for agriculture.

The Mpudzi meeting almost degenerated into a mass brawl, as villagers accused local traditional leaders of illegally settling newcomers in undesignated areas and threatening the livelihoods of the original settlers.

Some of the illegal settlers have been irregularly resettled or allocated themselves land on areas set aside for grazing.

“We no longer have pastures for our livestock and most of the rivers around here are now drying up halfway through the dry season. These rivers used to be perennial and these people are choking them with silt,” one visibly angry village elder, Nekias Mkwindidza said.

But Hamudi Munyama, a former assistant to Village Head Gwaku in Mpudzi Resettlement Scheme, who was fingered in the illegal land deals, defended himself saying that as traditional leaders they had the authority to resettle people in the area.

“What we did was above board, we were given the authority to resettle some of these people,” he said, but stopped short of saying who granted the authority, only choosing to cite ‘top people’. It did emerge that some of these illegal allocations of land happened just before the 2013 general elections with the blessings of local political leaders. Munyama has since been relieved of his duties as a representative of the village head.

The conflict in Mpudzi Resettlement scheme is symptomatic of an emerging, climate change- induced problem, according to a 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report which identifies environmental degradation and climate change as major drivers in both forced and voluntary migration.

Climate change threatens to cause one of the biggest refugee crises of all time, though various figures have been bandied about, climate change experts have warned that up to 200 million people would be forced to abandon their homes over the course of the century the world over.

And in an interview with this reporter recently, renowned USA-based climate change expert and author, Ross Gelbspan weighed in, warning that: “As we experience more crop failures, water shortages and uncontrolled migrations by people whose lands become less able to support them, that governments will become more totalitarian in their efforts to keep order in the face chaos. So it’s really the political and economic aspects that I’ve been thinking about.”

Owning a piece of land where there is perennial water supply, rich soils and reliable rainfall is every farmer’s dream. As such, Lloyd Gweshe (30), a settler at Ndorwe area in the eastern highlands of Manicaland province, has every right to blow his own trumpet. His piece of land is every farmer’s dream. It has perennial water supply from various streams and rivers which originate from the area and the soils are good.

The Eastern Highlands, which stretch from Nyanga in the north through Vumba down to Chimanimani in the south, prides itself for having some of the best weather conditions in the country. The highlands have high rainfall, low level cloud and heavy mists and dew as moisture moves inland from the Indian Ocean. Many streams and rivers begin from these mountains, which form the watershed between the Zambezi and the Save River systems.

But as the climate is changing, the area has become a melting pot for thousands of illegal settlers from lower and hotter areas as the highlands still receive good rains to sustain rain-fed agriculture. The mass movement of people has brewed conflict as the illegal and legal settlers fight over pastures, water and other resources. Timber plantations and national parks have not been spared either.

“I now own a rich piece of land, a wife and a bouncing baby,” Gweshe crows to anyone who cares to listen to him, mostly at traditional beer drinking spots. But what he seldom reveals is that he is one of the many people who have of late invaded the eastern highlands in search of water and good soils. The local people call these new comers ‘squatters’, a disparaging term which the new settlers detest.

“I am not a squatter,” Gweshe defends himself when the subject of illegal settlers in the area is raised. “How can I be a squatter in my country of birth?” he asks sarcastically, much to the chagrin of the people who were legally resettled in the area by the government during the land reform programme. “And I will not leave this place,” he vows.

Many of the illegal settlers have invaded Nyamakari and Nyamataka river sources, wetlands and banks of Chitora, Mushaamhuru and Murare  rivers, threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people living downstream who depend on the rivers for irrigation. And the future of the rich banana farming belt in Burma Valley looks bleak as water sources are diminishing, particularly during the dry season as Manyera, Zonwe and Musapa dams have been heavily silted. There are growing fears that the new wave of mass movement of people from lower dry areas to the rich highlands might trigger serious clashes between the illegal settlers and legal settlers.

A banana farmer in Burma Valley who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the illegal settlers said the ‘squatters’ were threatening the viability of agricultural activities in the rich farming area.

“These illegal settlers have invaded sources of water for the banana plantations, and our future as farmers is under threat. Water is no longer available for us to sustain a good banana crop. Despite efforts by the government to remove them they have remained defiant. They have been evicted about four times and they have returned in bigger numbers,” the farmer revealed.

However, even with the conflict, the illegal settlers have vowed to stay as they argue that they have nowhere else to go, with some claiming that it was their ancestral land from which they were evicted back in the 1940s by the colonial administration. They say the low-lying areas in Manicaland, such as Marange and Buhera, have been receiving erratic rainfall since the 1992 devastating drought. Crop yields have been poor, farmers have lost their livestock and water sources have dried up, hence the new wave of migration in search of greener pastures.

An official from Mutare district administrator’s office, Brighton Mangoma, told journalists during a tour of the affected areas recently that the illegal settlers in Burma Valley had been evicted four times in the past, but have returned in even bigger numbers each time.

He said the illegal settlers were “mischievous and greedy people” because they were given alternative land for farming but for some reason had abandoned that land.

While the consequences of mass migration are not de facto negative, its main impacts overwhelmingly are and these include escalating humanitarian crises resulting illegal settlements have stalled development.


Letter to African Union heads of state

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Open letter to African Union heads of state – ‘Its time to focus on people’. 19 June 2014  by Kanayo F. Nwanze

 Kanayo F. Nwanze is the President of the United Nations rural development agency the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Nwanze, a Nigerian national, has been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security since 2010, and formerly chaired the group.

Judging from the daily outpouring of commentary, opinions and reports, you would think that there were two African continents. One of them is the new land of opportunity, with seven of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies, offering limitless possibilities to investors. There is, however, this other image: a starving and hopeless continent, hungry and poor, corrupt and prey to foreign exploiters.

As Africans, we are tired of caricatures. But we are also tired of waiting. Waiting to be led toward the one Africa we all want: the Africa that can and should be. We know the real Africa, filled with possibilities, dignity and opportunities, able to face its challenges and solve them from within. Never has the time been more right for us to finally realize our full potential. It is within our grasp.

As a scientist, I am always interested in facts. Africa is a land rich in resources, which has enjoyed some of the highest economic growth rates on the planet. It is home to 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24. And it has seen foreign direct investment triple over the past decade.

As the head of an institution whose business is investing in rural people, I know that you also need vision and imagination. At the International Fund for Agricultural Development we have banked on the poorest, most marginalized people in the world, and over and over again these investments have paid off. For people, for communities, for societies. And more than half of the people we invest in are Africans.

More than 10 years have passed since the Maputo Declaration, in which you, as African leaders, committed to allocating at least 10 per cent of national budgets to agriculture and rural development – key sectors in the drive to cut poverty, build inclusive growth and strengthen food security and nutrition.

Today, just seven countries have fulfilled the Maputo commitment consistently, while some others have made steps in the right direction. Ten years is a long time to wait. In less time I have seen projects turn desert into farmland.

In just a few days in Malabo at the 23rd African Union Summit, I will join those of you, African leaders, who will gather to discuss this year’s focus of agriculture and food security. This is my call: Don’t just promise development, deliver it, make it happen now. Make real, concrete progress toward investment that reaches all Africans. Investments that prioritize rural people.

Our biggest resource is our people. To squander this is worse than wasteful. If we don’t act now, by 2030 Africa will account for 80 per cent of the world’s poor. Is this the legacy that we want to leave for future generations?

The AU declared 2014 as the year of Agriculture and Food Security. And this is the year we look beyond the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals to a post-2015 world with new goals and targets to reach. I hope that this means that we will be dedicating ourselves fully to making agriculture a priority. GDP growth due to agriculture has been estimated to be five times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in any other sector, and in sub-Saharan Africa, up to 11 times. Ironically, it is countries that lack lucrative extractive industries and that have had to invest in agriculture who have found out what is now an open secret: agriculture not only improves food security but creates wealth. Small family farmers in some parts of our continent contribute as much as 80 per cent of food production. Investing in poor rural people is both good economics and good ethics.

A full 60 per cent of our people depend wholly or partly on agriculture for their livelihoods, and the vast majority of them live below the poverty line. It’s not pity and handouts that they need. It’s access to markets and finance, land tenure security, knowledge and technology, and policies that favour small farms and make it easier for them to do business. A thriving small farm sector helps rural areas retain the young people who would otherwise be driven to migrate to overcrowded cities where they face an uncertain future. Investing in agriculture reinforces not only food security, but security in general.

In an Africa where 20 states are classified as fragile and 28 countries need food assistance, the need for a real rural transformation backed by investment and not just words is critical – I have often said that declarations don’t feed people.

Investments must be focused on smallholder family farms. Small farms make up 80 per cent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa. And contrary to conventional wisdom, small farms are often more productive than large farms. For example, China’s 200 million small farms cover only 10 percent of the world’s agricultural land but produce 20 percent of the world’s food. The average African farm, however, is performing at only about 40 per cent of its potential. Simple technologies – such as improved seeds, irrigation and fertilizer – could triple productivity, triggering transformational growth in the agricultural sector. It is estimated that irrigation alone could increase output by up to 50 per cent in Africa.  Rural areas also need the right investments in infrastructure – roads, energy, storage facilities, social and financial services – and enabling policies backed by appropriate governance structures that ensure inclusiveness.

If we look at the countries that have met the Maputo commitment, we see that investing in agriculture works. Given that agriculture has become lucrative for private investors, and about 60 per cent of the planet’s available uncultivated agricultural land is in Africa, there is no mystery why we hear about so-called ‘land grabs’. Opportunity draws foreign investors. There is nothing wrong with foreign investment. But it has to be managed, to the benefit of all.

What is a mystery is why, with such a vast potential and a young population just waiting for a reason to seize it, our African leaders do not announce that they will redouble their efforts to drive an inclusive rural transformation, with concrete commitments, that will make Maputo a reality. I hope that after the Malabo meeting, that will be a mystery no longer.

African economies have grown impressively. But it is time to stop focussing on GDP figures and instead focus on people. The majority of our people are engaged in agriculture, and the neglect of that sector must stop if we really want to realize the healthy, peaceful and food secure Africa that we know can be. It is not a dream; it is a responsibility.



Tsvangirai, Biti fight goes on

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Tsvangirai, Biti fight goes on. 19 June 2014 by Staff reporter

THE quest for legitimacy in MDC factions led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and Mr Tendai Biti has gone a gear up with the two factions set to hold separate congresses that will confirm their spilt.

Mr Tsvangirai’s faction is set to hold an elective congress in October while Mr Biti’s camp says it is not under pressure to go for congress. Sources said the camp will go for congress in March next year.

“We are going to have our congress in October and those other ones (Biti’s camp) are no factors anymore,” said MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora.

“They have formed their party which they are yet to find a name for.”

But yesterday spokesperson for the Biti faction, Mr Jacob Mafume, said they would not recognise the Tsvangirai camp congress.

“We dispute any of the processes on the other side because it is in violation of the Constitution. The only legitimate congress is the one that we will hold.

“Those ones are only going to have a meeting to endorse Tsvangirai while those who are against him will be purged. For that reason we dispute that it can be called a congress because doing so would be stretching the meaning of congress too far because that is just going to be a praise and worship session,” said Mr Mafume.

He said Mr Tsvangirai’s faction was desperate to hold a congress to fill the gaps created by senior officials aligned to Mr Biti.

Mr Mafume said Mr Tsvangirai and some of the officials had been suspended making their October congress illegitimate.

Senior party officials have of late been dumping Mr Tsvangirai for Mr Biti.




Sunday Mail Editor Arrested

via Zimbabwe: Sunday Mail Editor Arrested, More Threatened. 19 June 2014


POLICE this morning seized Edmund Kudzayi, the editor of the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper, following raids on his home and his workplace, colleagues said.

Police were also searching for Dumisani Muleya, the editor of the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, after several visits to his office.

Meanwhile, in the second city of Bulawayo, Mduduzi Mathuthu, the editor of the state-run Chronicle newspaper, had his house burgled early this morning.

Police were not commenting on the events which appeared linked to recent attacks on Information Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo by President Robert Mugabe, and subsequently the Minister of State in the President’s Office, Didymus Mutasa, who appeared to suggest Moyo and editors seen as loyal to him should be “gamatoxed” – reference to a banned rat killer, Gamatox.

Kudzayi had left for work early Thursday when armed men broke down a gate at his home, finding his parents. They claimed to be cops when confronted.

Kudzayi slipped out of his office after being warned of the armed visitors and went into hiding.

New understands his office at Herald House in Harare was then burgled, and his computer stolen. Within minutes, armed police came looking for him but he was gone.

Kudzai was later apprehended in Harare – but his alleged crime was not immediately clear.

Meanwhile, Muleya, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, said police had visited his office early Thursday and asked for his address – but the company refused to release his personal information.

Muleya told New by telephone from Harare: “I understand from colleagues at work that the police officers, when asked why they wanted to see me, said ‘it’s business’. I’ve no business with the police, and until they state specifically why they want me, I will not be turning myself in.”

In Bulawayo, Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu’s home was burgled in the early hours of the morning, he said on Twitter.

Mathuthu said the motive appeared to be robbery as various items – including a TV set – were stolen. But the developments in Harare added to the intrigue.

Meanwhile, Moyo – described by Mugabe as a “weevil” and “counter revolutionary” for appointing “unpatriotic” editors – was attending a politburo meeting in Harare, which began shortly before 10AM local time. Mugabe was chairing the meeting.

Moyo met Mugabe after the unprecedented public attacks and kept his job after their tense meeting, also attended by Mutasa and Central Intelligence Organisation chief, Happyton Bonyongwe.


Zimbabwe’s currency crisis

via Zimbabwe’s currency crisis – Lexology. 17 June 2014 ENSafrica by Celia Becker


Members of the Zimbabwe ruling party’s decision making body told Bloomberg in April 2014 that Zimbabwe is considering the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar as it struggles to meet its monthly wage bill.

In May Zimbabwe’s Treasury postponed the pay dates for its 230 000 public workers the second time in two consecutive months, after having awarded civil servants a 23% increase in April to honour a 2013 election promise made by President Robert Mugabe and the Zanu PF.  The rise resulted in an increase in the wage bill from USD100 million to USD150 million, while government wages have already been consuming 75% of State Revenue in 2013 as compared to an IMF recommended average of 40%.

MDC-T shadow minister of finance Tendai Biti predicted earlier this year that “the return of the Zimbabwe dollar is not a question of if, but when” as the government may be forced to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar in a desperate attempt to expunge growing domestic debt and manage its wage bill.  He said the Zanu PF government will have to print money to monetize the deficit they have been creating, but warned that the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar will result in economic stagnation for 15 years.  The economy is already suffering from huge capital and current account deficits and deindustrialisation.

Certain of the Zanu PF’s politburo members, however, seems to be concerned that, while the revival of the Zimbabwe dollar would allow the government to print money to meet its needs, it would damage the popularity of the president and the party.

Zimbabwe abolished its national currency in 2009 after, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, inflation surged to 500 billion percent in 2008 and the Zanu PF lost its parliamentary majority.  The country is currently operating a multiple currency system, with the USD being the predominant currency.  Although it does not have an official agreement with the United States Federal Reserve to use its currency, the Government conducts all its business using the USD.

Rumours of the reintroduction of the Zim Dollar have surfaced on a number of occasions over the last five years.  In each instance some investors with funds in financial institutions immediately withdrew their funds, fearing that funds held in foreign currency would be expropriated and compensated in Zimbabwean dollars.  The currency rumours and potential economic instability and uncertainty have also been deterring foreign investors.

It is generally agreed that the multi-currency system used in Zimbabwe has served an important transitional role to reverse run-away inflation and help resurrect the country’s short term credit market.  However, dollarization is not the optimal long-term solution for Zimbabwe as both ZANU-PF and MDC-T agree that, from a nationalistic perspective, Zimbabwe should eventually return to its own currency.  However, given the lack of the Reserve Bank’s lack of credibility, simply bringing back the Zimbabwe dollar may not be the way to go.

If Zimbabwe wishes to revert to its own currency, the central bank would order all US dollar bank accounts to be converted to the new Zimbabwean currency and require citizens to swop their US dollar banknotes for new Zimbabwean notes at a chosen exchange rate.

Professor Gavin Keeton of the Rhodes University Economics Department warns that, if Zimbabweans do not trust the new currency – which is highly likely – they will probably hold on to whatever US dollars they possess and attempt to convert all their US dollar bank deposits to cash ahead of the switch to the new currency.  This would be physically impossible, as Zimbabwean banks do not hold nearly enough US dollar banknotes to match the US dollar deposits in the banking system.

To move to a new currency without the people’s faith in its medium-term value would require freezing all bank accounts to prevent depositors trying to switch into US dollar notes.  This would precipitate a panic buying of dollar notes, causing the value of the new currency to collapse at the very moment it is introduced.

All of this has reopened the debate started in 2009 regarding whether it would not be preferable for Zimbabwe to incorporate itself into a credible, fiscally sound framework, such as the Common Monetary Area (CMA).  The CMA presently includes South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) working paper “Recovery of the Financial Sector and Building Financial Inclusiveness” published in 2009, it would be beneficial for Zimbabwe to join the CMA, as it would provide the country with access to the South African capital and money markets, the right to enter into bilateral agreements with South Africa and the ability to avail itself of temporary central banking facilities of the South African Reserve Bank.

Integrating the Zimbabwean economy with those of South Africa, would also facilitate cash transfers from Zimbabweans living in South Africa.

Should Zimbabwe join the CMA, it will have to subscribe to the tenets of the Multilateral Monetary Agreement (MMA), which requires members to scrap restrictions on the transfer of funds for current and capital transactions between members in the area.  It would also require conducting its monetary policy within the framework of the MMA, amending exchange control provisions to be substantially aligned with those of South Africa and managing its gold and foreign exchange reserves according to the policies adopted by the CMA.

The question remains whether the Zimbabwe government would even consider sacrificing the independence of its monetary system, irrespective of the potentially catastrophic impact of the alternative on the economy.  It may after all just be easier for them to start firing up the Zimbabwe dollar printing presses.

Who looked after Mugabe in Bolivia?

via Not so graceful | The Zimbabwean. 20 June 2014 By Jera

Mugabe attended the G77 Summit in Bolivia last week. Absent from the large entourage was the first lady whose love for trips abroad is well documented.

One wonders why the woman who sulked over the EU’s refusal to allow her entry into Belgium has suddenly turned down the opportunity to add another stamp in her passport.

Perhaps Grace Googled Bolivia, found no glitzy shopping malls in the South American country and decided she would give it a miss. Presidential spokesman, George Charamba is on record for saying Grace travels with her (fit-as-a-fiddle) husband because she is his caregiver. Which gives rise to the question: with Grace at home, who then is doing for Mugabe whatever it is that caregivers do?

While Mugabe was in Bolivia the first lady kept herself busy by encouraging Zimbabwean men to make use of prostitutes. “Is it not Baba (President Mugabe) has told you that if you are starved of sex, you must look for prostitutes” she said.


China commits to funding Zim-Asset

via China commits to funding Zim-Asset | The Herald | Zimbabwe Situation. 19 June 2014

China has reiterated its commitment to assist financially within the purview of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation. In a meeting with Vice President Joice Mujuru in Harare yesterday, China’s Vice President Dr Li Yuanchao said Beijing wanted to see Zimbabwe prosper.

Dr Li met VP Mujuru during a stopover at the Harare International Airport en-route to Zambia for a four-day State visit.
At the airport he met VP Mujuru, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Minister of State for Harare Province Miriam Chikukwa and Minister of State in the VP’s Office Sylvester Nguni.

An initial funding commitment for Zim-Asset was made by China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Lin Lin last month when he said discussions for a financial package were underway.

“We are very proud to see your achievements and we will do our best for you to realise this feat,” said Dr Li.
“Our two countries enjoy very good relations, especially in terms of economic co-operation.”

Dr Li, who is also a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, informed VP Mujuru that Beijing was preparing for President Mugabe’s visit to China later this year.

He described Zimbabwe as one of China’s best friends, adding that the CPC and Zanu-PF had a long-standing relationship dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.

Dr Li, who is leading a 21-member delegation including senior Chinese government CPC officials, said Zimbabwe was making strides on the economic front and Beijing was ready to assist in the area of training.

VP Mujuru said Zimbabwe was ready to work with China in implementing Zim-Asset.
“There is a lot that we feel China can also try to look at and work with us so that this blueprint becomes a reality because it is a programme that the generality of this country is looking forward to,” she said.

“For years since independence, we have been failing to deliver fully . . . yes we got the land, but the land has not given the full results which the Head of State and our party and his people are waiting to see.”

VP Mujuru said Zimbabwe appreciated China’s support during and after the liberation struggle.
After a brief closed session with her Chinese counterpart, VP Mujuru said Dr Li told him that a senior official would visit Zimbabwe in July.

She said detailed discussions would be held with the official pertaining to Zim-Asset funding, among other issues.

Anomalies blight land reform

via Land anomalies blight reform | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014

EDITOR — The revelations that some 10-year olds were also allocated farms during the land reform programme leaves a sour taste in the mouth. However, Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister, Douglas Mombeshora deserves a pat on the back for admitting that there were such anomalies in the land reform programme. Such acknowledgement is the first step towards addressing these irregularities.

Mombeshora must expeditiously take action to escape the traditional accusation that government always come up with brilliant reports, inquiries and commissions whose recommendations are left to gather dust. These revelations are not completely new as the Presidential Land Review of 2003 led by Dr Charles Utete hinted on these irregularities.  The Utete Commission’s recommendations were never followed up and this gave credence to the vociferous accusations that the land audit was dumped to cover up some senior politicians who were allegedly at fault on the anomalies identified.

There have been accusations that some senior ZANU-PF politicians and government officials are owners of more than one farm. It is high time that Mombeshora put this issue to rest. Those who will be caught up in the farmgate will have themselves to blame, more so after 14 years of clinging onto fraudulently acquired land. The government cannot fold its hands while greedy people own several farms especially when there are plenty of deserving citizens without even an acre. It’s just unfair and this will be a new source of another Chimurenga in the future.

 I travelled along skyline road on Sunday with a local enterprising farmer who only owns six hectares of land on Ganvillia farm. He showed me tracts of A2 farms that have not been farmed for the past five years. I was told that most of the farms were owned by women whose husbands had since died. The farmer also said these cellphone farmers rarely come to the farms. While I am not saying the government must seize the farms, at least they must surrender some hectarage and remain with the size they can manage.

There is serious under-utilisation of land in this country. Remedying the irregularities does not need the US$35 million that Mombeshora is demanding unless he wants to buy SUVs for his officials. This should be done in the normal course of duty. The district lands committees know who owns each and every piece of land in their respective districts. That task can be done in a matter of a month.

The government must make a final call for those who fraudulently acquired land or have more than one farm to come forward and surrender them. Those who will fall in the audit net must be arrested and lose all the farms. We cannot afford to waste tax payers’ money on that exercise.

John Sigauke



Zimbabwe banking crisis worsens

via Banking crisis worsens | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014

THE performance of local banks appears to be under pressure due to a weakening economy, with key indicators like the return on equity (ROE) and return on assets (ROA) failing to gain traction at a time overheads and non-performing loans are charging, analysts have said. The banking sector’s combined core capital, at US$800 million, is now behind that of Capitec Bank, South Africa’s fifth largest bank, which has US$900 million in core capital.

Among regional peers, the country’s banking system is among the worst performers, new data shows. ROE, which measures how much profit a company generates from funds invested by shareholders, at 13 percent in Zimbabwe, has been trailing regional averages that have been hovering around 21 percent, researchers at advisory firm, IH Securities, indicated in their latest analysis of the sector.

The IH report said ROE climbed to 21 percent in 2011, before retreating to 18 percent in 2012, and to 13 percent last year. This partly explains why investors have avoided banking stocks on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The banking sector has been dealt a blow by a liquidity crunch, waning confidence and the absence of a lender of last resort. But, apparently, indications are that the year ahead will be more difficult.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) deputy governor, Kupukile Mlambo, said while the sector remained profitable after generating aggregate after tax income of US$20,5 million during the first quarter of this year, five banks plunged to losses during the period. After outperforming regional peers in terms of ROA in 2011, banks’ profitability has been sliding. “The return levels in Zimbabwe have been declining since 2011,” said IH.

“Sector ROAs have been on a downward trend since (2011), while regional ROAs have increased by close to one percent. ROAs have averaged 2,17 percent for Zimbabwean banks, compared to 2,98 percent for the region over the last five years,” said IH.

Total income shed US$2 million last year, from US$400 million in 2012, while net interest margins (NIM) came down to 10 percent in 2013, from 11,7 percent in 2010. NIM could have been higher had banks not been forced to keep high levels of non-interest earning funds in their vaults due to the transitory nature of deposits. The ratio of non-interest expenses to net revenue stood at 73 percent in Zimbabwe last year, compared to about 50 percent in Ghana and 43 percent in Mauritius, meaning Zimbabwe has some of the most expensive banks to run in the region, the researchers noted.

Local banks have been charging exorbitant interest rates of over 30 percent. But following an outcry last year, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the RBZ where they undertook to reduce interest rates, scrape high charges and pay interest on deposits. However, at least US$48 million was lost in the sector after profitability slumped in response to the interest rate deal.

While the sector outperformed the region in ROA, an indicator of how profitable a company is relative to its total assets, the ratio has been tracking a downward trend since 2011.
Zimbabwe’s banks have also been troubled by high operational costs in relation to their incomes. The ratio of non-interest expenses to net revenue stood at 73 percent in 2013, compared to about 50 percent in Ghana and 43 percent in Mauritius, said IH.

When the banking sector slid into a crisis in 2004, many assumed the industry would not take long to recover from the turbulent period. But it is now in its 10th year, with very little prospects of a correction.

We need dialogue, technocrats says ex-mayor

via We need dialogue, technocrats says ex-mayor | The Zimbabwean. 19 June 2014

Former Mutare Mayor and MDC-T Manicaland treasurer Brian James believes that Zimbabwe needs a technocrat as president to break the economic collapse that is destroying the country.

In a wide ranging interview James said Zimbabwe no longer needed a political leader but a technocrat, as the country was on the economic edge. He also called urgently for all-encompassing dialogue.

“The only way for us to move forward is to have dialogue among all sectors – the business community, church leaders, civil society, trade unions, NGOs and the international community. The politicians only think of themselves. They only want to fill their pockets through corruption. Politicians need to be guided by technocrats,” he said.

A technocratic government is one in which the ministers are not career politicians but are chosen on the basis of their technical experience, knowledge and skills for the offices they hold. In some cases they may not even be members of political parties at all.

“I know that we have the technocrats necessary to take Zimbabwe out of its misery,” said James. “There is no way any country can be led by politicians only.”

He urged the MDC-T and MDC Renewal group to reconcile and go back to the party’s founding principles. He is confident that if they do this they have a good chance of successfully challenging Zanu (PF) in 2018.

“It is time to move away from traditional politics. The two parties should reconcile and value the founding principles of the party during its formative stages. There is great need to respect the democratic processes,” he said.

James said he was not aligned to the MDC-T or the Renewal Team but would support a party that would bring together all stakeholders and map the way forward in bringing in a new leader to take the country forward.

James last week resigned from the MDC-T in protest against the conduct of party members in Manicaland, with support from the National Standing Committee, that he said was contrary to the founding principles.

“It has become increasingly difficult for me to defend the party at private and public forums while witnessing violence, corruption and criminal activity – coupled with the inaction of the national leadership in making any effort to contain this activity,” he said.

“These concerns date back to my suspension as mayor of Mutare, the party’s primary elections and the distribution of party regalia and the general conduct of the election campaign in 2013,” he explained.

“I have given 10 years of my time to further the founding principles of the Movement for Democratic Change and have witnessed the sacrifices of many loyal supporters over these years – only to see their efforts being betrayed by the careless and unnecessary actions of some members,” he added.


Ambulance used to ferry inmates

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Ambulance used to ferry inmates. 19 June 2014

BUSINESS at the Gweru courts has been at a standstill since Tuesday after the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services failed to transport prisoners from Wha Wha prison due to lack of fuel.

The dire situation emerged on Tuesday when prisoners on remand who were brought to court in the morning had to be ferried back to Wha Wha Prison in an ambulance. ZPS allegedly failed to provide fuel for the truck that normally transports prisoners.

Court processes have also being affected as convicted persons cannot be sent to prison while remand prisoners who were due for sentencing are still languishing in remand prison.

This has forced court officials to remand indefinitely new and old cases until the situation is rectified.

Witnesses and complainants were not spared either as most were turned away after their cases failed to kick-off.

ZPS spokesperson Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Banda acknowledged the fuel challenges affecting her organisation.

She said they were working flat out to fix the problem.

“The reason why normal transportation has been disrupted is because of the shortage of fuel. Fuel supplies from the treasury are at times erratic and even when that fuel comes its far less than the fuel required to sustain our operations,” she said.

Jonathan Moyo dribbles past Mugabe

via The Zimbabwean | Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014

The silver-tongued Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has managed to convince President Robert Mugabe that he is innocent of plotting to destroy the party from within.

At a recent meeting with the president, also attended by Minister of State Didymus Mutasa and Happyton Bonyongwe, the head of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Moyo successfully talked his way out of trouble, according to sources in the know.

At the recent funeral of Nathan Shamuyarira, a former Zanu (PF) stalwart, Mugabe threatened to kick Moyo out of the party, describing him as a “weevil” and the “devil incarnate” for reportedly undermining Zanu (PF) by using the public media to attack his internal rivals.

This was Mugabe’s second public attack on Moyo. In March he accused him of orchestrating a media black-out of former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono. Moyo hit back, saying Gono must use his own publication, the Financial Gazette, if he wanted media coverage.

Sources told The Zimbabwean that Moyo outwitted both Mutasa and Bonyongwe during the meeting with Mugabe and managed to convince them that he was a victim of factional fights within the party.

Moyo is said to be gunning for Mugabe’s post when he finally leaves after more than three decades at the helm.

“He went to the meeting with volumes of evidence that he used to dazzle Mugabe”.

“Mutasa and Bonyongwe were no match for him. He denied ever fighting to destroy the party from within, saying what Mugabe was told was the work of people who were afraid of corruption exposes and feared he could too close to him (Mugabe),” said one source who was briefed on the meeting.

Moyo, since being re-appointed Information minister, has used the official media to expose corruption in public bodies such as parastatals. Mugabe has commended his efforts, but observers say Moyo is using the corruption exposes to endear himself to the electorate.

George Charamba, permanent secretary for Information and Mugabe’s spokesperson, last week confirmed that Moyo and Mutasa had a meeting with the president together with a representative of the CIO that he declined to name.

Contacted for comment, Mutasa first denied attending the meeting and later stormed: “Go and ask Charamba if he saw me having a meeting with those people. When you meet him, tell him that issue is not for discussion with the media. Does he think I am stupid? How can I tell the press about a matter of that nature?” said one source who was briefed on the meeting.

Recently, he was named as the brains behind an online initiative, 263preez team, campaigning for him as the future president ahead of a Zanu (PF) elective congress later this year.

He has not publicly denied the allegation, but our sources say he dismissed the initiative as the work of his political rivals during. They said Mugabe listened attentively during the meeting that lasted several hours and advised Mutasa, as the party’s Secretary for Administration, to liaise with chairman Simon Khaya Moyo to arrest factional fights, which he said were destroying the formation. Mutasa, Bonyongwe and Khaya Moyo are all linked to the Mujuru faction.

Mutasa is alleged to have led the preparation of a dossier that made numerous accusations against Moyo, working closely with Mujuru and other loyalists in her faction.

“Mutasa used his position in the Office of the President and engaged the CIO to unearth details that they then forwarded to Mugabe, hence his public attack on Moyo. The dossier accused Moyo, among other things, of making tribal and partisan appointments at Zimpapers, hiring journalists with shady and controversial pasts, victimising journalists and preparing a hit list of party rivals that he ordered to be tarnished in the media,” said the second source.

During his rant against Moyo, Mugabe revealed his annoyance at Moyo’s appointment of journalists who had worked for MDC-T, apparently referring to Conrad Mwanawashe, who headed the opposition party’s publications department but left after the 2013 elections.

Moyo’s rivals also alleged that he had also hired, under unclear circumstances, several journalists along tribal lines. But he is said to have successfully argued that media appointments knew no tribal boundaries and dismissed the allegation as an attempt to whip up ethnic emotions.

He reportedly denied making any appointments and challenged his foes to provide evidence that he was directly involved in hiring journalists at the public media houses and manipulating editorial content.

It is believed that Moyo remains under investigation by the police and CIO for alleged involvement in the Baba Jukwa project set up ahead of last year’s elections to expose sinister developments within Zanu (PF).

Our sources said disgruntled workers at Zimpapers had aided CIO investigations with testimonies against the minister.

“After the meeting, Moyo seems stronger than ever and this has sent shivers down the spines of several senior staffers at Zimpapers and ZBC who had participated in exposing him. He could wield the axe on them,” said one of the sources.

Moyo is alleged to have prepared a dossier exposing some senior employees at Zimpapers who he wants fired. The dossier is reported to be based mainly on a car deal that took place several years ago, from which some top employees benefited. The minister reportedly gave the dossier to The Herald to report on, but nothing has come out of it because journalists are afraid of exposing their colleagues. Moyo recently challenged media houses to expose corruption within their own organisations.

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri is reported to have turned down Moyo’s overtures to have the Zimpapers employees investigated.


Are local banks safe?

via Are local banks safe? | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014 by Paul Nyakazeya

BANKS promise depositors that they can withdraw their money on demand, but truth is a few are struggling to raise the cash to pay out for withdrawals. Bank failures in Zimbabwe over the past 10 years have affected people’s confidence in the banking sector, a situation which is detrimental to the sustained development of the country.

Economist, John Roberston, said the fragility of the banking sector had affected domestic savings over the years, and hence it was important for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to come up with new measures to stimulate savings in the country and protect depositors. “It is critical for the monetary authorities to reassure the market that the banking sector is safe and sound,” said Robertson.

The market wants reassurance that appropriate measures would be put in place to ensure that banks that do not meet the new capital requirements by 2020 will have a safe exit from the sector and that depositors’ funds will be protected if a bank shuts down. Recently the RBZ cancelled the licence of Capital Bank Corporation at the bank’s request after the major shareholder, National Social Security Authority, indicated that it was no longer able to inject additional capital into the institution. Capital had become severely undercapitalised.

In December last year, the RBZ cancelled the banking licence for Trust Banking Corporation over allegations of abuse of depositors’ funds and violation of the Banking Act. The closure marked the second time in eight years that Trust Bank lost its banking licence. The closure of Trust Bank followed the closure of Interfin Banking Corporation, currently still under curatorship, and several others including Genesis Baking Corporation.

According to a survey by Industrial Psychology Consultants (IPC), Zimbabweans prefer to keep their money with  foreign-owned financial institutions managing their funds over local banks due to perceptions over stability among indigenously-owned banks. The survey by IPC, which sought to establish banking sector customer engagement, ranked Standard Chartered Bank as the most customer-friendly financial institution in the country.

“Findings reveal that more customers want to move to other banks today than they did in 2012. Eight in every 10 bank customers said they want to move away from their current bank,” IPC said.

The most preferred international banks were Stanbic, Standard Chartered and Barclays. The preferred alternative local banks were FBC Bank and NMBZ Bank. The central bank says the banking sector is sound. This is despite seven banking institutions being currently monitored under the Troubled and Insolvent Bank Policy.  Since the beginning of the year, Allied Bank and MetBank have been facing liquidity challenges.

Banking institutions worst affected by increasing non performing loans (NPLs), such as the closed Capital Bank, AfrAsia Bank, Allied Bank and Tetrad, have instituted various measures to manage the high NPLs. These measures include curtailing lending activities and focusing on recovery efforts as well as bringing in new shareholders. In fact, Allied, AfrAsia and Tatrad have been bailed out by foreign shareholders.

The majority of locally-owned banks recorded marginal profits or losses, while all foreign-owned banks posted profits. Generally, banks that recorded losses lacked critical mass to generate sufficient revenue to cover operating costs. In a report recently, MMC Capital said banking sector earnings are expected to fall this year on the back of sluggish economic growth.

Total profit after tax for banks listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange slowed to US$83,8 million in 2013 compared to US$131,86 million in the prior year, weighed down by a RBZ directive capping interest rates and service charges.  NPLs stood at 15,92 percent as companies and individuals defaulted as the economy slowed down after averaging a 9,3 growth between 2009 and 2012.

“Worsening non-performing loans position continues to be an albatross around the banking sector’s neck and the result has been reduced lending to the economy which has further worsened the NPLs situation,” MMC Capital said.

“As the local economic activity slides further, our view is that industry NPL ratio will continue to rise as borrowers fail to repay. Reduced lending is disastrous to an economy as key productive sectors will starve from working capital,” said MMC Capital

The report was based on earnings from 13 commercial banks, three building societies and one savings bank, with a focus on key performance measures of profitability, deposits, loans and advances and total assets. To remain sound local banks say they want autonomy on interest rates, and say a new directive which gives the Reserve Bank final call on the matter was inhibiting competition. The new order followed the expiry of a year-long cap on rates and fees imposed by the Reserve Bank last year following a public outcry over bank charges.



Gorden is ours

via ‘Gorden is ours’ | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014 by Staff Reporte


THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Team, a breakaway faction of the main opposition MDC-T, has claimed that former Bulawayo provincial party chairman, Gorden Moyo, belongs to their camp despite the fact that the Makokoba Member of Parliament did not declare allegiance to any of the two camps. The MDC-Team is fronted by expelled secretary general, Tendai Biti.

When he resigned, the former civic society activist left a lot of questions unanswered by not declaring his factional allegiance. He copied his resignation letter to secretaries general of both camps saying he was not sure which of the two factions had legitimacy of the party. “I cannot pretend that there is one MDC and for the avoidance of doubt, I wrote to both of them,” he said.

The Biti faction has nevertheless immediately declared that Moyo is their man. “We welcome this democrat who has moved to join fellow democrats. Moyo said he was disassociating himself from undemocratic company and wants to see democracy prevail. He is our man,” said Jacob Mafume, spokesperson for  the MDC-Team.

“It is that sentiment by Moyo that we welcome. We are on the same path. He said in his statement that he has the desire to renew the Zimbabwean promise and here we are offering ourselves as the midwives to a renewed Zimbabwean promise,” said Mafume.

“We know Gorden Moyo is a principled man who has worked consistently and persistently to better the lives of Zimbabweans in whatever role he has assumed. We therefore gladly welcome him into the democratic family,” he added.

MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, scoffed at Mafume’s claims saying they did not care where Moyo belonged to. “We do not know where he belongs to, neither do we care about it. He is free to go wherever he wants,” said Mwonzora. “What we know is that Moyo told the whole world that he remains an MDC person, so whatever Mafume is claiming is best known to him and his colleagues, it does not interest us at all,” he said.

MDC-T spokesperson for Harare, Obert Gutu, called Moyo a coward for not going all the way with his resignation. “He is a coward. By its very nature politics, the world over, is rough and tough.  He should have resigned from the party and also from his Parliamentary seat if he is really convinced that the MDC-T is no longer fit for purpose.  He cannot blow hot and cold.  It’s either you are in the MDC-T or you are not,” Gutu said, adding, “I am unimpressed by people who are cowardly and indecisive.”

Problems in the MDC-T surfaced after the party suffered heavy defeat in last year’s general elections. A split became inevitable when some agitated for leadership renewal, while others favoured the status quo.


Sibanda to take over from Moyo?

via Sibanda to take over from Moyo? | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014 by Ray Ndlovu


DORCAS Sibanda, the acting Bulawayo chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, is likely to take over from Gorden Moyo, who resigned from the post. Moyo suddenly resigned as chairperson of Bulawayo province, citing differences over the direction the MDC-T had taken. Sibanda had been deputising Moyo since the elective congress held in 2011, which elevated the latter to the top job in one of the MDC-T’s strongholds.

In her favour, Sibanda enjoys the backing of Thokozani Khupe, the MDC-T’s vice-president. But she is unlikely to have it easy though. The Veterans Association — a wing of the MDC-T’s founding members — resolved on Sunday “to put forward one of their own” in the running for the vacant post, a clear sign that Sibanda does not have the overall endorsement from party members in the province.

Dark horses also seen as likely to resist Sibanda’s elevation include Matson Hlalo, the Mzilikazi Senator who lost out to Moyo under heavily contested circumstances in 2011.
Moyo garnered 183 votes against Hlalo’s 172 votes, in a vote marred by violence. Sibanda, confirmed this week that she will throw her hat into the ring for the vacant chairperson post. She, however, said she was unfazed by the opponents who lurked in the shadows.

“People have a right to choose their own candidate and, as a woman, I will stand and be a representative of other women in the province. As women we have never failed and my performance in the chairperson post is an indication that women can also hold influential positions, are the best organisers, managers and are administration builders. I have already been the deputy chairperson in Bulawayo for long and I would have let down my fellow women supporters by not standing for the position,” said Sibanda.

She said the filling of Moyo’s position would follow deliberations by the party’s highest decision-making body, the MDC-T’s national council. Moyo was a member of the national council. “His resignation was also addressed to the national council…so the green-light for the filling in of that position will come from the national structures. It cannot be determined at a provincial level,” said Sibanda.

“Moyo’s resignation has not stopped anything at the moment in the MDC-T in Bulawayo from taking place. I have been chairing since congress time and time again and there is nothing that can stop me from taking up the position on a substantive basis.”

While the MDC-T leadership has downplayed the impact of Moyo’s departure on the party’s fortunes, his resignation has already sparked internecine infighting, as different interest groups angle for the vacant position.


Banking crisis worsens

via Banking crisis worsens | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014 by Shame Makoshori

THE performance of local banks appears to be under pressure due to a weakening economy, with key indicators like the return on equity (ROE) and return on assets (ROA) failing to gain traction at a time overheads and non-performing loans are charging, analysts have said. The banking sector’s combined core capital, at US$800 million, is now behind that of Capitec Bank, South Africa’s fifth largest bank, which has US$900 million in core capital.

Among regional peers, the country’s banking system is among the worst performers, new data shows. ROE, which measures how much profit a company generates from funds invested by shareholders, at 13 percent in Zimbabwe, has been trailing regional averages that have been hovering around 21 percent, researchers at advisory firm, IH Securities, indicated in their latest analysis of the sector.

The IH report said ROE climbed to 21 percent in 2011, before retreating to 18 percent in 2012, and to 13 percent last year. This partly explains why investors have avoided banking stocks on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The banking sector has been dealt a blow by a liquidity crunch, waning confidence and the absence of a lender of last resort. But, apparently, indications are that the year ahead will be more difficult.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) deputy governor, Kupukile Mlambo, said while the sector remained profitable after generating aggregate after tax income of US$20,5 million during the first quarter of this year, five banks plunged to losses during the period. After outperforming regional peers in terms of ROA in 2011, banks’ profitability has been sliding. “The return levels in Zimbabwe have been declining since 2011,” said IH.

“Sector ROAs have been on a downward trend since (2011), while regional ROAs have increased by close to one percent. ROAs have averaged 2,17 percent for Zimbabwean banks, compared to 2,98 percent for the region over the last five years,” said IH.

Total income shed US$2 million last year, from US$400 million in 2012, while net interest margins (NIM) came down to 10 percent in 2013, from 11,7 percent in 2010. NIM could have been higher had banks not been forced to keep high levels of non-interest earning funds in their vaults due to the transitory nature of deposits. The ratio of non-interest expenses to net revenue stood at 73 percent in Zimbabwe last year, compared to about 50 percent in Ghana and 43 percent in Mauritius, meaning Zimbabwe has some of the most expensive banks to run in the region, the researchers noted.

Local banks have been charging exorbitant interest rates of over 30 percent. But following an outcry last year, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the RBZ where they undertook to reduce interest rates, scrape high charges and pay interest on deposits. However, at least US$48 million was lost in the sector after profitability slumped in response to the interest rate deal.

While the sector outperformed the region in ROA, an indicator of how profitable a company is relative to its total assets, the ratio has been tracking a downward trend since 2011.
Zimbabwe’s banks have also been troubled by high operational costs in relation to their incomes. The ratio of non-interest expenses to net revenue stood at 73 percent in 2013, compared to about 50 percent in Ghana and 43 percent in Mauritius, said IH.

When the banking sector slid into a crisis in 2004, many assumed the industry would not take long to recover from the turbulent period. But it is now in its 10th year, with very little prospects of a correction.



Ten firms close monthly

via Ten firms close monthly | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014 by Shame Makoshori

AT least 10 firms have been closing down every month since the beginning of the year, a senior official from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) disclosed. This means at least 60 companies have closed shop since the beginning of the year, and that the count could get to 120 companies by year-end if the situation remains dire. This appears to indicate an acceleration of the economic crisis in the country characterised by a liquidity crunch that has seen domestic companies failing to recapitalise to deal with competition from cheap imports.

Plummeting disposable incomes and failure by the fragile banking sector to support industries has worsened the situation. The NSSA official indicated that their official data only reflected companies that had officially ceased monthly pension contributions because of closure. Many businesses have not been remitting workers’ contributions to NSSA, although this is a crime in terms of the law. “About 10 companies are closing per month,” the source told the Financial Gazette.

“NSSA’s revenues, in terms of subscriptions are declining. Even after NSSA increased contributions, the impact on revenues has been very minimal because of company closures,” said the source. The official could, however, not reveal how many jobs had been lost as a result of the company closures. Reports indicate that at least 1 000 companies collapsed last year, throwing 9 500 workers on the streets.

Official data shows that over 120 firms applied to the Retrenchment Board last year for permission to retrench, while more applications were lodged with the board by troubled firms that were planning to lay off over 1 500 workers by the first quarter of this year. “NSSA’s revenues, in terms of subscriptions, are declining. Even after NSSA increased contributions, the impact on revenues has been very minimal because of company closures,” said the source.

NSSA declined to give an official confirmation of the statistics. Speaking on behalf of NSSA, public relations consultant, Mike Hamilton, said: “Unfortunately NSSA does not provide this sort of information. It is suggested you try one of the government ministries or departments that deal with this sort of information, such as ZIMSTATS, Ministry of Industry and Commerce or the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.”

A survey by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has indicated from the 1,3 million workers who were formally employed in 2012, only 1,2 million were in employment last year, highlighting the extent of the industrial crisis gripping the country’s strife-torn economy. Another source from NSSA said the authority had registered subdued revenue inflows in the first half, even after hiking rates last year.

Zimbabwe’s economy is expected to continue contracting in 2015, spelling doom for undercapitalised industries and worsened by deflationary pressures that have forced companies to report a slump in earnings. Agricultural, for long the backbone of the economy, has declined, while mineral prices lost significant ground in 2012 and 2013, piling pressure on the economy. Economic analysts predict that the situation could persist in 2015.

“Given the prevailing sub-optimal economic environment, we further forecast a further decline in capacity utilisation in 2014, as manufacturing companies remain under pressure from tight liquidity and competition from low-priced imports,” said banking group, ZB Financial Holdings Limited.

“The level of company closures is at an alarming rate and it has generally come against a backdrop of declining industrial capacity utilisation, which worsened to an average of 39,6 percent in 2013 from 44,9 percent in 2012,” ZB said.

“The much-needed foreign investment inflows remain thin…given the slowdown in economic activity across all sectors of the economy, the anticipated 6,1 percent real growth in Gross Domestic Product appears overly optimistic.”

The ongoing crisis in industries shows that predictions by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) four years ago that there would be no growth in Zimbabwe’s economy until 2020. Real economic growth will only be achieved in 2020 when Zimbabwe’s industries are projected to start surpassing crisis period production levels, the CZI said in 2010. “Full recovery-a return to the peak real per capita income levels achieved in 1991-would take about 12 years, assuming uninterrupted growth of five percent annually, from 2009 to 2020,” said CZI.



World crumbles around Tsvangirai

via World crumbles around Tsvangirai | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. 19 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

EMBATTLED Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, risks becoming irrelevant, politically, unless something dramatic happens to salvage his credibility, which is currently on the line, the Financial Gazette can report. Despite giving in to pressure to hold an early congress in 2015, instead of 2016, Tsvangirai’s approval ratings have sunk to their lowest, even among his fellow comrades.

Following the MDC-T’s heavy loss to ZANU-PF in July 2013, Tsvangirai has been under pressure to resign. To stay put, he has surrounded himself with praise singers although his desperation to remain in charge of the MDC-T has been betrayed by the use of violence to crush dissent. With his credentials coming under scrutiny once again due to his unending sex scandals and disillusionment among key allies, there are telltale signs that the MDC-T leader could be fighting a losing battle.

There is a strong sense, even among those who have remained loyal to him that Tsvangirai has run out of ideas to save the MDC-T from collapse, especially after its combative secretary-general, Tendai Biti, and his renewal team claimed leadership of the party in April. Earnest Mudzengi, a political analyst, postulated this week that Tsvangirai’s survival in politics now hinges on his ability to find solutions to a myriad of challenges before him.

“There is also some mudslinging at him but he needs to deal with all that from a political level,” said Mudzengi. Despite its heavy drubbing at the last polls, the MDC-T had maintained its stranglehold on Harare and Bulawayo metropolitan provinces. But it is in these urban strongholds where ugly infighting within the party has broken out, presenting a lifeline to ZANU-PF which has been struggling to penetrate these areas since 1999, when the MDC was formed.

Gorden Moyo, the provincial chairman for Bulawayo, threw in the towel, saying he has had enough of the problems in the MDC-T. Although he remains a card-carrying member of the party, his departure is indicative of wider disillusionment within the civic society, where he came from, over Tsvangirai’s leadership. Another reflection of the disenchantment among its allies in the civic society was a vote of no confidence passed in the MDC-T by a loose coalition of university students.

The Zimbabwe National Student Union, previously a strategic ally of the MDC-T, recently said it was transferring its allegiance to Biti’s faction. As if that was not enough, the party’s Manicaland provincial youth assembly announced last week that its members were defecting to the Biti-led faction. In a statement, the assembly members, led by Dennis Simango, said they were parting ways with Tsvangirai because of his “dictatorial tendencies”.

Tsvangirai’s rivals, both in his party and from ZANU-PF are also having a field day on the latest revelations that he had abandoned a child he sired with 23-year-old, Loretta Nyathi, four years ago. Questions are also being raised regarding the status of Tsvangirai’s marriage to Elizabeth Macheka, amid reports that they are still living apart despite claims by the    MDC-T leader’s publicist to the contrary.

Macheka walked out of their Highlands home last year; stayed apart for several weeks before reports indicated they had talked the storm over. The MDC-T leader is, however, adamant that he is still far from being finished. His spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, told the Financial Gazette that the MDC-T leader will no doubt shrug off the current troubles and emerge a stronger brand.

“Anyone with an honest analysis of the MDC and its president will tell you that the ground on which Tsvangirai stands remains politically solid and unshaken,” said Tamborinyoka.
But political analyst, Charity Manyeruke, who is sympathetic to ZANU-PF is convinced that the end is nigh for Tsvangirai.

“As a leader of a political party and presidential aspirant, this is the end of the road for Morgan Tsvangirai because we are witnessing mass desertions by very influential members of his party. The problems he is facing both in the party and in his private life are likely to increase and the party continues to disintegrate, so I do not see him pulling through,” she said.

“The donors are also deserting him en masse. That is his problem. They have over relied on donor money which should not be the case. His personal problems are also mounting to his detriment. In terms of his personal profile, he doesn’t have the integrity at all as a leader. If a man goes around sleeping with and impregnating women, some of whom are well younger than his daughters, it shows that he cannot observe the very basic rule of protection,” she added.

While the former Prime Minister managed to shake off attempt to depose him from the helm of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party in 2005 when former secretary general Welshman Ncube challenged his leadership shortly after the party lost that year’s parliamentary elections, the current scenario playing out in the MDC-T is very different from what it was then. Analysts say while Tsvangirai used the tribal scapegoat to discredit Ncube, he cannot do the same today now that the man at the forefront for his ouster, Biti, has no roots in Matabeleland region.

Also, in 2005 Tsvangirai’s private life had not been dogged by endless sex woes, which have gifted his nemeses with a very unclean lifestyle to feast on. While he might have demystified and faced up to ZANU-PF for more than a decade, his four years in power left many asking whether he was the right man for the country’s top job. It is during his tenure as Prime Minister that the MDC-T leader was linked to a string of women and immediately adopted a luxurious lifestyle, thereby tarnishing his image both at home and abroad. The pandemonium in the MDC-T has taken its toll on Tsvangirai’s health as well.

Last month, the MDC-T leader was admitted at the Trauma Centre and Hospital amid fears of a mental and nervous breakdown as the political and personal problems weighed down on him. He had previously been holding marathon rallies nationwide in a bid to outwit those lobbying for his ouster from the main opposition party. Due to ill-health, he could not attend the last two rallies, which had to be put on hold. In addition to this, party coffers have dried up as donors are said to have deserted him.

Political commentator, Alexander Rusero, believes that Tsvangirai’s tainted private life will not hinder his political career. “I don’t think Tsvangirai will sink at all. If you look at the calibre of people he has dribbled past previously, people like Welshman Ncube, Gibson Sibanda, Paul Themba Nyathi and others, you will realise that he will definitely come out of this smart,” he said.

“It is wrong to measure him on his capability, or lack of it, to unseat President (Robert) Mugabe; you have to look at how he has won and still command significant crowds. As a country, we are not yet ready for the politics of ideas or constitutionalism. That is the issue which even Mugabe has understood very well but the Biti faction has not read,” he added. – Andrew Kunambura


China commits to funding Zim-Asset | The Herald

via China commits to funding Zim-Asset | The Herald. 19 June 2014 by  Tendai Mugabe

President Joice Mujuru flanked by Chinese Vice President Dr Li Yuanchao and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi after her meeting with the Chinese VP at Harare International Airport yesterday. (Picture)

China has reiterated its commitment to assist financially within the purview of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation. In a meeting with Vice President Joice Mujuru in Harare yesterday, China’s Vice President Dr Li Yuanchao said Beijing wanted to see Zimbabwe prosper.

Dr Li met VP Mujuru during a stopover at the Harare International Airport en-route to Zambia for a four-day State visit.
At the airport he met VP Mujuru, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Minister of State for Harare Province Miriam Chikukwa and Minister of State in the VP’s Office Sylvester Nguni.

An initial funding commitment for Zim-Asset was made by China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Lin Lin last month when he said discussions for a financial package were underway.

“We are very proud to see your achievements and we will do our best for you to realise this feat,” said Dr Li.
“Our two countries enjoy very good relations, especially in terms of economic co-operation.”

Dr Li, who is also a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, informed VP Mujuru that Beijing was preparing for President Mugabe’s visit to China later this year.

He described Zimbabwe as one of China’s best friends, adding that the CPC and Zanu-PF had a long-standing relationship dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.

Dr Li, who is leading a 21-member delegation including senior Chinese government CPC officials, said Zimbabwe was making strides on the economic front and Beijing was ready to assist in the area of training.

VP Mujuru said Zimbabwe was ready to work with China in implementing Zim-Asset.
“There is a lot that we feel China can also try to look at and work with us so that this blueprint becomes a reality because it is a programme that the generality of this country is looking forward to,” she said.

“For years since independence, we have been failing to deliver fully . . . yes we got the land, but the land has not given the full results which the Head of State and our party and his people are waiting to see.”

VP Mujuru said Zimbabwe appreciated China’s support during and after the liberation struggle.
After a brief closed session with her Chinese counterpart, VP Mujuru said Dr Li told him that a senior official would visit Zimbabwe in July.

She said detailed discussions would be held with the official pertaining to Zim-Asset funding, among other issues.

Mutodi withdrew money, personal use

via ‘Mutodi habitually withdrew money for personal use’. NEWSDAY 18 June 2014 by Phillip Chidaenzi

FORMER National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) projects manager Chandafira Pasipamire told the magistrates’ court yesterday that his boss, businessman-cum-musician Energy Mutodi, once collected $10 000 from the trust’s coffers in the presence of two police officers claiming that he had been involved in an accident where four people had died, and the money was never recovered.


Pasipamire was testifying in a case where Mutodi and fellow NHDT trustee Boniface Chikono are being charged of swindling homeseekers of $588 787 in failed housing development schemes.

He told presiding magistrate Hosea Mujaya that Mutodi was in the habit of collecting cash from the trust’s offices which would have been paid as subscription fees by members of the trust and converting it to his personal use.

“He was involved in an accident that killed four members of the same family while he was driving his Hummer vehicle,” Pasipamire said.

“He came to the office looking shaken in the company of two police officers from Gutu and asked the cashier if he had any money. When the cashier said he had
$12 000, he requested $10 000. I asked him what he wanted to do with the cash and he just said he wanted to do certain things.”

Pasipamire said the incident happened in 2011, but no further details about the accident were heard after that.

He was speaking during cross–examination by Mutodi’s lawyer Witness Chinyama, who had asked him if the accused ever took any money from the trust’s coffers.

It also emerged during trial that Mutodi was the sole signatory to the trust’s bank accounts from which he would withdraw cash and allegedly convert it to personal use.

Mutodi is said to have lured over 16 000 civil servants to join and contribute to the housing trust. Deduction orders were given to the Salary Service Bureau to deduct certain amounts of money on a monthly basis from civil servants who had joined the trust. It is alleged that sometime in 2007, Mutodi changed the account signing arrangement, and made himself the sole signatory.

At least $588 787 was paid in by the complainants and, contrary to his promises, he allegedly withdrew all the money and converted it to his own use.

Address investor jitters

via ‘Address investors jitters’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 19 June 2014

Business, General Business

POLICYMAKERS should address investors’ jitters relating to policy inconsistency and clarity, a leading research firm has said as foreign direct investment (FDI)continues giving Zimbabwe a wide berth.


In a latest research note, MMC Capital said the allocation to Zimbabwe of sub-Saharan Africa FDI remained very low.

According latest data from the World Bank, of the $ 31,9 billion FDI that came to sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe’s share was a paltry 1,5%.

“Our view is that there is an urgent need for policymakers to address investors’ jitters relating to policy inconsistency and clarity in a bid to attract FDI,” MMC said.

“Treasury recently hinted that it is in the process of reviewing the regulative legislation such as the Securities Act, as well as synchronising investor policies in a move to restore investor confidence in Zimbabwe.”

MMC said FDI not only added to investable resources and capital formation, but was also a means of transferring production technology, skills, innovative capacity, organisational and managerial practices between locations, as well as of accessing international marketing networks.

MMC said Zimbabwe had to turn to FDI as organic growth was proving to be a mammoth task considering the low rate of savings.
It said FDI has become an important source of private external finance for developing countries as compared to portfolio investments.

“It is different from other major types of external private capital flows in that it is motivated largely by the investors’ long-term prospects for making profits in production activities that they directly control,” MMC said.

Zimbabwe is in desperate need of FDI to help rebuild the economy devastated by a decade of contraction.

Estimates say the country needs in excess of $16 billion for infrastructure. The money is not available locally as revenue from taxes is around $4 billion. The country cannot access lines of credit from multilateral financial institutions beset by the over$6 billion external debt.

Security agents raid Radio Kwelaz

via Security agents raid Radio Kwelaz officies – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 18 June 2014 by Blessed Mhlanga

June 18, 2014 in News

STATE security agents yesterday raided offices of a Kwekwe-based community radio initiative, Radio Kwelaz, accusing its staff of illegally broadcasting in contravention of the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).


Human rights lawyer Valentine Mutatu, who was present during the raid, said the security agents comprised of eight police officers and three members of the Central Intelligence Organisation, said they were searching for “subversive material”.

“They were here with this vague search warrant and they can’t even tell us the offence which my clients have committed. They have simply said they are calling experts from Harare to see if any offence has been committed,” Mutatu said.

He said the police officers later confiscated compact discs (CD), personal laptops and computers, adding that they were still compiling an inventory list of the seized property.

Journalist Irene Kalulu told NewsDay that her personal laptop had been confiscated during the raid.

Radio Kwelaz has been recording civic awareness CDs and distributing them to its members for the past three years.

In the run-up to last year’s harmonised elections, police arrested staff at Radio Kwelaz on allegations of broadcasting without a licence, but the matter was later withdrawn before plea after the State to produce evidence that they were broadcasting.

2 000 lose jobs

via 2 000 lose jobs in six months – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 19 June 2014 by Victoria Mtomba , Tarisai Tahungai

June 19, 2014 in Business, Companies

A TOTAL of 2 065 people lost jobs from January to date, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said, as the economic slowdown threatens the existence of local companies.


ZCTU national co-ordinator Elijah Mutemeri yesterday said the retrenchments mirror the state of the economy.

“Our economy is so bad and industry is operating at around 30% of its capacity which makes it difficult for companies to be competitive. Since January to mid-June this year, a total of 2 065 people were retrenched by various companies in the economy,” he said.

Mutemeri said 9 000 people did not return to work in January from the annual shutdown as employers failed to reopen.

He said some of the workers had gone for more than five months without being paid.

Last year, the country recorded 9 617 job losses and 75 company closures.

Companies have lined up retrenchment programmes as they try to align their operations in the wake of depressed demand for products.

First Mutual Holdings Limited said on Tuesday it would shed 50 jobs, more than a 10th, of its 400 staff complement.

“We have 50 retrenchment posts out of the current 400 posts and the exercise will be concluded by the end of this month,” group chief executive officer Douglas Hoto said.

Hospitality concern Rainbow Tourism Group and Hwange Colliery Company Limited have also said they would shed some jobs.

Mutemeri said discord especially on the indigenisation policy was scaring away investors. In May Information minister Jonathan Moyo and Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema were quoted in the media expressing conflicting views on how the policy would be implemented.

Moyo said the law would be amended with Nhema insisting that there would be no changes.

Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe economist Prosper Chitambara said the retrenchments were caused by the high cost of doing business in the country and liquidity constraints which makes local companies uncompetitive.

“We need to address issues of lines of credit and also to invest in enablers such as infrastructure. There is a long lag period and it is not something that can be achieved in a short period of time,” he said.

Chitambara said there was need to reduce taxes as the country had a high taxation regime.

The World Bank recently gave a gloomy outlook revising growth projections to 2% from the 3% it had earlier projected.

Other than liquidity constraints, local companies have to grapple with erratic power supplies which have seen a number of companies resorting to alternatives such as generators. This pushes up the cost of production making local products uncompetitive.

The influx of cheap imported products has decimated chances of local industry’s revival.

Companies also have to grapple with depressed demand.

Despite the escalating retrenchments, the country has not revised its unemployment rate which stand at 11%, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.

Zanu PF stalling on councils

via Zanu PF accused of stalling swearing-in of provincial councils. NEWSDAY 19 June 2014 by Paidamoyo Muzulu

OPPOSITION parties and civil society have accused the Zanu PF government of deliberately delaying the swearing-in of provincial councils to perpetuate its centralised government system although the new Constitution recognises devolution of power.

Paidamoyo Muzulu
Senior Reporter
For the past year the government has been dragging its feet to enact enabling legislation to operationalise devolution as enshrined in section 273 of the Constitution.

The section reads: “An Act of Parliament must make provision, consistent with this chapter, for the establishment and functions of provincial and metropolitan councils.”

The issue of devolution generated a lot of controversy and almost derailed the constitution-making process last year as Zanu PF officials sought to block it.

“Zanu PF does not want that prospect of the MDC-T leading the two metropolitan provinces that are pillars to the State’s economy,” MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said.

The opposition MDC-T overwhelmingly won Harare and Bulawayo metropolitan provinces in the harmonised elections held last July and is automatically entitled to appoint chairpersons for the provincial councils.

Section 270 of the Constitution states that “a provincial or metropolitan council is responsible for the social and economic development of its province.”
MDC deputy spokesperson Sibongile Mgijima said that Zanu PF did not want devolution because it was afraid of transparency and accountability to citizens in the provinces.

“Devolution brings with it transparency and accountability especially now that the leadership will be resident in a particular province,” Mgijima said.

The opposition parties said the appointment of Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs by President Robert Mugabe confirmed the ruling party’s dislike of devolution.

Social commentator and former National Constitutional Assembly spokesman Blessing Vava said: “There was no seriousness in how devolution was incorporated in the Constitution, it was heavily diluted as the coalition partners compromised.”

Forgery – Harare divided

via Mahachi ‘birth records forgery’ saga: Harare divided. NEWSDAY 19 June 2014

National, News

HARARE City Council is divided over the way to handle town clerk Tendai Mahachi’s alleged forgery of documents amid reports that there is intense jostling for the top post ahead of the expiry of the council boss’ one-year performance-based contract early next year.


Acting mayor Thomas Muzuva said if the allegations of the forgery of birth records were proved true, it would be tricky to terminate Mahachi’s contract as he was still serving a one-year performance-based contract. He said council would only decide what to do when the contract expires.

But impeccable Town House sources said that other councillors were baying for Mahachi’s head basing on the exposé by NewsDay yesterday that he allegedly tinkered with his date of birth possibly to escape the staff rationalisation process currently underway at Town House targeting those above the age of 60.

Council records show that Mahachi is 58, having been born in November 1956, while a copy of his passport seen by NewsDay revealed that he would turn 64 in November this year as he was born in November 1950.

“The mayor signed a contract that stated he was born in 1956 and he was 57 years old. We are relying on what was written on his contract and copies of the ID signed by the mayor,” Muzuva said.

Quizzed whether he had seen the copies of the ID himself, Muzuva said: “It is the mayor who signed the contract and I think he is the best person to talk to on that one.

“I think the people who are bringing this out are people who are offended and are saying since we left because we are over 60, he should also go.”

He said council was likely to wait until Mahachi’s contract expired before deciding on his future at Town House.

Sources at Town House said there was no unanimity regarding the way forward on the Mahachi issue with others saying he must go as he had lied about his age.
But the deputy mayor, believed to be fighting in the town clerk’s corner, accused others of wanting to replace Mahachi with their “proxies”.

“We have a policy that says all above the age of 60 must go, so why keep someone who is above 60? He must go, but the deputy mayor seems to be fighting on his side,” a source said.

Ratepayers have rights

via Ratepayers have the right to exercise options. NEWSDAY 19 June 2014 Editorial

SERVICE delivery remains a pressing issue throughout Zimbabwe. In fact, in Harare the situation appears to have deteriorated.

Even highbrow areas have little access to public services.

NewsDay Editorial

Harare has become a self-service city in which little is expected from the city council and many social and everyday services are obtained through unstructured local and private negotiations and sourcing within the private community.

Deficiencies in water and sanitation provision continue to provide some of the most striking manifestations of the city’s worsening infrastructure crisis.

Very few residential areas have piped water connections. For those lucky enough to have piped connections, the bane of their daily lives is the frequent water shortages and power outages. The majority depends on unprotected wells, boreholes, water tankers, illegal connections and street vendors.

This state of affairs is not idiosyncratic to Harare, as public services enterprises across the country still face importunate financial and organisational problems including gross inconsistency in access, ineffective collection of rates and limited investment in new facilities.

Regrettably, council has failed to provide reliable water supply and sanitation services prompting the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) to threaten to mobilise residents to boycott paying rates over lack of service delivery for the next three months in protest over lack of transparency and mismanagement of funds by top council officials.

HRT is also protesting the abuse of the $144 million Chinese water project fund, which the executive partly used to buy top-of-the-range vehicles without approval by city fathers.

The residents argue that an investigation must be undertaken to stop the rot at Town House.

It can be understood why city spokesperson Leslie Gwindi condemned the HRT move. It is compelling that council’s monopoly in service provision has resulted in lack of accountability and community ownership in the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects, poor management and sustainability, low quality and limited options.

It is high time that government considered the commercialisation of public services through privatisation to lead expansion schemes.

There is some evidence that asymmetric information plays an important role in public service delivery as it has been found that countries with better media coverage could have more efficient public service provision.

It appears another contributory factor to bad governance at Town House is lack of political will or political pull among the public. Because most citizens have never experienced functional public services, the impetus for political mobilisation to effect change is hardly existent. Hence, the HRT threats are justified in the circumstances if residents are to be taken seriously by politicians and bureaucrats alike.

It is true that this long-standing state of woeful service delivery in Harare cannot be allowed to go on.

It has given rise to a local mafia class that provides water and other services and regrettably these lords protect their market and high profits by sabotaging new government-sponsored infrastructure. Zimbabweans do not want to think that some top officials and politicians at Ivory Towers are involved.

Gwindi is very much aware that the status quo is not an option.

Harare must start thinking more broadly about working with external partners.

Headline news 19 June, 2014

Marange diamond region hit by panic

via Marange diamond region hit by ‘panic and uncertainty’ | SW Radio Africa. 18 June 2014   by Alex Bell

The government’s plan to consolidate control of the Marange diamond region is said to have created a ‘panic’ situation, with mining investors, employers and workers uncertain about the future.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa in March this year announced plans to reduce the current number of mining firms in Chiadzwa to just one. This was followed by a threat by Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa, to shut down all operations at the diamonds fields, where millions of dollars in ‘missing’ diamond revenue remains unaccounted for. He said that the government was losing diamond revenue through “cartels,” and that shutting down all mining at the alluvial fields was better than this continued revenue loss.

No further action has been taken since these threats which, according to a local research group, have left people ‘panicking’.

James Mupfumi, the acting director of the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the government’s plans have created ‘uncertainty’. He said a direct result of this was the “arbitrary slashing of salaries” by the Mbada Diamonds firm, which has cut the pay of its workforce by 50%. The company has cited ‘low production’ as the reason for the salary cut.

Mbada is the latest of the seven firms operational at Chiadzwa to make changes with a direct impact on its workers. Recently, the Anjin diamond mine sent part of its workforce on forced leave, while workers at other mines have reported not getting paid for months.

“Because of that quietness and darkness over what is happening, we are hearing of companies downsizing, companies sending workers home without salaries. There is panic, there is uncertainty and nobody knows what is happening,” Mupfumi said

He added: “We are also hearing that some investors and shareholders are pulling out the mining equipment at night and taking it to Mozambique, while people from the military are coming into the mining fields, also under cover of darkness.”

Mupfumi explained that the local community has been bearing the brunt of the confusion, with an increase in illicit activity being reported at the mines.

“The fact that the mining firms haven’t been paying the workers means there are more organised syndicates bringing in more illegal panners. And the response has been brutal. We’ve met with people who have been victimised and beaten after being accused of being panners by the security. So it has worsened the lives of already poverty stricken people who have not benefited from the diamonds ever,” Mupfumi said.

The speculation meanwhile about the true intentions of the government’s Chiadzwa consolidation plan has been rife, amid reports that steps are being taken to hand over control to the Mugabe family-linked Mbada firm.

According to a recent report by Africa Confidential, Mbada is set to be the “last miner standing” and would ultimately be a joint venture with the ZANU PF government.

“But we hear that the biggest private share may already be in the process of transferring to President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe,” Africa Confidential reported.

Africa Confidential said that “Grace and her three children, rather than the President, are the beneficiaries of a 50% stake in Mbada,” according to two independent sources from the financial sector and an airline official who has worked with the President’s new son-in-law, Simba Chikore.

Minister Chidhakwa, allegedly a nephew of Robert Mugabe’s, is also reportedly leading the plans to put Mbada in control, after being placed in the Ministry “to secure the [Mugabe] family’s interests.”

The CRD’s Mupfumi meanwhile said that the ZANU PF “patronage system” has been at play in the diamond fields ever since the gems were discovered, and nothing will improve until there is a strong outcry from the public and civil society.

“I don’t think the government is sincere is stamping out corruption, because it boils down to political will to change things. For years the shareholding of the mines have been parceled out to senior members of ZANU PF and the army, and we haven’t seen any positive impact of diamond mining on the communities. And that is not going to change while the patronage system is working,” Mupfumi said.

To contact this reporter email

EU ambassador criticized for comments on Zimbabwe

via EU ambassador criticized for comments on Zimbabwe | SW Radio Africa. 18 June 2014   by Mthulisi Mathuthu

The EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, has provoked anger by his statements that there is no leadership crisis in the country and that civil society should be less confrontational when dealing with government.

Dell’Ariccia made these comments on Tuesday during a conference organized by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. The EU envoy said: ‘If we had a leadership crisis there would be chaos. We still have a leader who manages to keep at bay under control these forces that are very much contradictory.’ The ambassador also accused civil society of being ‘anchored in the past,’ saying: “The civil society has a role to play but I have the impression that you are a little bit anchored to the past where instead of seeing NGOs one perceives AGOs, Anti-Government Organisations.”

But activists and commentators reacted strongly to the EU envoy’s comments, saying he has got the wrong end of the stick.

Zimbabwe Social Democrats Secretary General Wilbert Mukori said that Dell’Ariccia’s comments were ‘tragic’ because there is a ‘serious’ leadership crisis in Zimbabwe. He added: ‘What more chaos do you want when a government cannot pay civil servants and when basic services like water and electricity are not being provided; when 90 percent of the people are not employed what do you call that?’

Mukori said Mugabe has been able to maintain a ‘semblance of order’ through a combination of cunning methods of control and repression. He said Mugabe uses the so-called black empowerment policies to reward his cronies in exchange for loyalty while he uses the state machinery to crush dissent. Mukori added that Dell’Ariccia should not wait for bloodshed for him to accept that there was chaos already.

Policy analyst Charles Mangongera, who was present at the Tuesday conference, said the EU diplomat was wrong in saying civil society was anti-government. He said the NGOs were right in identifying the government with the Zimbabwean Crisis and it was ‘well within their mandate to do so.’ He said: ‘Sometimes people want to be hard on the civil society but the NGOs are the pulse of the community and they know what the issues are. Sometimes as ambassadors and as analysts we tend to speak from the comfort of air conditioned hotels without understanding the situation.’

Mangongera added: ‘To castigate the civil society and say they shouldn’t do this or that I don’t think that is the responsibility of an ambassador; that’s for the Zimbabweans to decide for themselves.’ Mangongera said Mugabe’s poor leadership was also evident in his failure to keep his ZANU PF party united and in failing to groom a successor, to the extent that he is still at the helm at the age of 90 years of age.

Dell’Ariccia’s comments came at a time when the EU is in the process of ‘re-engaging’ with Harare after more than a decade of a frosty relationship due to ZANU PF’s state terrorism which has claimed thousands of lives and left many opposition figures both homeless and disfigured.

This week the MDC-T’s EU press officer, Makusha Magube, told a TV discussion that nothing has changed in Zimbabwe.

Activists feel that the EU is erring in re-engaging the ZANU PF government which is evidently in a celebratory mood, pushing the impression that it was the victor in what it says was a war between itself and Brussels.

EU Ambassador Del’Arricia denounced

Zimbabwe Social Democrats denounce EU Ambassador Del’Arricia denial of leadership crisis and chaos in Zimbabwe.

Press Release Wednesday 18 June 2014.

On a panel discussion in Zimbabwe the EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Del’Arricia said there was no leadership crisis or chaos in Zimbabwe.

“If we had a leadership crisis there would be chaos. We still have a leadership, we still have a leader who manages to keep at bay and under control these forces that are very much contradictory,” said Ambassador Aldo Del’Arricia.

The Zimbabwe Social Democrats (ZSD) denounce the Ambassador’s statement as a denial of the truth to justify the EU’s continued re-engagement agenda with the Mu- gabe regime and promised reward from the regime of EU access to the country’s di- amonds.

These are some of contradictory forces Mugabe has faced and failed “to keep at bay and under control”:

a) The one thing that has keep Mugabe and Zanu PF united and in power is the political patronage system that has allowed Mugabe to reward party loyalists with jobs and looted wealth. This has been the greatest force that has driven Mugabe throughout his 34 years in government. But the downside of political patronage, the contradictory force, is that it has resulted in mismanagement and corruption and criminal waste of human and material resources.

Zimbabwe is in this economic mess precisely because Mugabe has failed to move with the times and accept that his stay in power should depend, not on political patronage, but his ability to deliver what the nation want and the free democratic will of the electorate. His reliance of patronage has allowed mis- management and corruption to grow and spread like cancer and now the na- tional economic is dying because of them.

The nation will never ever recover until these cancerous tumours now the siz- es of tennis-balls are removed!

b) Zimbabwe has held elections for the last 34 years in fulfilment of the constitu- tional requirement that the nation should hold regular elections. Mugabe has always wanted Zimbabwe to be a one-party state like China or North Korea but has failed to get the constitution changed. He has instead created a de facto one party state in which multi-party elections are held but the only re- sult allowed is a Zanu PF victory. Elections about electing either to stay with the same leaders/ government or to have they replaced. To therefore have elections in which change is not an option is an oxymoron!

 By denying democratic evolutional change Mugabe has per se chosen revolu- tionary and chaotic change because change is nature and no dictator can re- sist change for long.

c)  Mugabe needs his indigenisation policy now more than ever because his cro- nies, who were given the former white farms have failed to earn a living from the farms and they are back demanding more loot. But as long as the policy remains no foreign investor will set foot on Zimbabwe soil – not whilst the threat of being forced to take on a local partner – a parasitic tick the size of a monkey – remains.

d) ZimAsset has failed to raise the necessary funds not even the Chinese Muga- be was cock-sure would contribute have contributed a dollar for reasons a), b) and c) above.

“Zim-Asset is just a blueprint,” Ambassador Aldo argues. “It’s work in pro- gress and I think that the Government and particularly the Minister of Finance knows very well that the work is not completed and they are calling on the African Development Bank in particular, in order to provide technical assis- tance.”

Who is the Ambassador kidding? The regime has had a year already and the begging bowl still remains mockingly empty. This is supposed to be a five- year plan and Vice President Mujuru has already admitted the plan will achieve nothing in five years and that the nation will have to wait “30 or 40 years”!

Of course there is a very serious leadership crisis in Zimbabwe in that Mugabe has faced these opposing forces – all his own making – all these years and instead of the right thing has been kicking the can down the road. His bad decisions are the root causes all the nation’s problems. He is not offering a way out of the mess but will not give up power because it is not in the DNA of tyrants to give up power.

This nation is facing a simple choice, since Mugabe is incapable of change he must go. He is the one who has dragged this nation to the very gates of this hell-on-earth, it would folly to let him take the nation any further.

It is all very well for economist Dr Moses Chundu to say the regime change agenda was “an old, tired script overtaken by time and events”. The truth is the change that Mugabe has resisted and thought he would never ever have to face has caught up with him finally. The only matter to be settled now is whether it is peaceful change or chaotic change triggered by an outbreak of disease or by street rioting or worse!

It seem people like Ambassador Aldo Del’Arricia will only accept there is a crisis in

Zimbabwe when hundreds of thousands of people are dying of diarrhoea or cholera or some such diseases; the fact that every major city and town has had no running clean water for decades now is not enough to constitute a crisis of leadership. They would want to see rioting and fighting like in Egypt and Syria first to say there is crisis in Zimbabwe; the 85% unemployment rates and all the other negative economic measures are not enough.

Zimbabwe is subject to the same laws of thermodynamic and basic economic as every other nation. It is therefore nonsense that the Zimbabwe economy can somehow defy all the economic laws and common sense and recovery and even thrive regardless of the mismanagement, corruption, etc.

The sheer hypocrisy of the EU is really intolerable! The EU is forcing Greece to implement economic reforms necessary to get that country’s economy back on track and yet the EU’s policy on Zimbabwe is to encourage the mismanagement and corruption that has destroyed this nation to continue! The EU has its eyes on Zimbabwe’s diamonds and is glossing over everything the Mugabe government has done and is doing as long as it gets the diamonds.

The people of Zimbabwe have suffering the consequence of this Zanu PF dictatorship for 34 years; they cannot endure no more. No nation or regional grouping, regardless of its economic and technological prowess and dominance, has the right to belittle other people’s suffering much less to deny them the chance to end their suffering for selfish gain.


Mugabe has managed to stay in power for 34 years because he used the nation’s resources using political patronage to reward his Zanu PF cronies who helped him stay in power. The system has worked in that he has stayed in power for 34 years but the down side of it was that resulted in mismanagement and corruption the cancerous tumours now threatening to destroy the national economy. It is clear Mugabe does not want to end his patronage

system and lose power but it is equally clear the system must go and the cancerous tumour removed to save the national economy and the nation.


The nation has allowed Mugabe to have his way for the last 34 years now it is time for him to go! We at the ZSD are advocating for peaceful change but the window of such change will close soon. The EU’s re-engagement overtures are not helping because it is only encouraging Mugabe to drag his feet thinking he can somehow still avoid regime change.

It is time for Mugabe to go; he can go peacefully or pushed – but go he must and will!

Signed. Wilbert Mukori

Secretary General
Zimbabwe Social Democrats

Bulawayo woman arrested for smuggling explosives into SA

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Bulawayo woman arrested for smuggling explosives into SA. 28 June 2014

SOUTH African police have arrested a 41-year-old Bulawayo woman for allegedly smuggling a consignment of 80 detonators into that country through the Beitbridge Border Post.

Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said at the weekend that Sibonginkosi Mhlakanipiswa was arrested by police officers on patrol at around 2PM on Thursday.

He said Mhlakanipiswa is facing charges of unauthorised importation, supply and or possession of an explosive.

Brig Mulaudzi said the Mhlakanipiswa was taken to Musina magistrate court on Friday where she was remanded in custody to July 18 for trial.

“The suspect who was travelling on foot was spotted by one of the alert police officers at the border post while carrying a suspicious white plastic bag. She was then stopped and taken to the community service centre within the border post where a search was conducted leading to the discovery of 40 detonators, which were wrapped in a red dress,” he said.

The police chief said further body searches led to the discovery of 40 more detonators which were wrapped around her body. Brig Mulaudzi said the suspect was subsequently arrested.

“We are worried about the recurrence of such cases where people try to smuggle these explosives into the republic. We suspect these are used for illegal mining activities and ATM bombings,” he said.

Brig Mulaudzi said police had intensified patrols and searches on travellers in light of an increase in cases of smuggling.

The incident comes a few months after a 23-year-old Zimbabwean woman Elita Sibanda was jailed for eight years by a Musina magistrate after she was found with 26 plastic cartridges and 100 detonators.

Ban porn-promoting H-Metro says Sibanda

via Ban porn promoting H-Metro: Sibanda. 18 June 2014

WAR veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda has demanded that the government bans H-Metro and B-Metro, accusing the tabloids of promoting pornography and immorality.

Sibanda threatened to lead war veterans into taking matters into their own hands and deal with the problem if the government does heed their calls.

The controversial war veterans’ boss was speaking at the Habakkuk Apostolic Faith Mission church service in Guruve, where he showed the other side to his life, preaching fervently to the masses.

“We are saying this to authorities here, we will act if you don’t deal with those papers that are promoting pornography.

“How do you justify a paper publishing picture ye munhu ari mubhurungwa sure? Kana hurumende ikasaita act, we are going to act,” he said.

H-Metro and B-Metro were launched by Zimpapers in 2009 to serve the lower end of the market in Harare and Bulawayo respectively.
If government does not act against scandalous tabloids, we will … Jabulani Sibanda

Meanwhile, Sibanda  also blasted political parties and groups pressing for the recognition of homosexuality in the country, describing them as Satanists who needed “God’s hand” to transform their lives”.

In his sermon, which lasted for two hours, Sibanda quoted from Zephaniah and Jeremiah to show his mastery with spiritual matters saying those who support homosexuality are Satanists and will not go to heaven.

“I have heard some people supporting ngochani; I don’t know if that is what the bible says. But from what I have read, those who support same sex marriages are Satanist,” he said.

Isu muno, hatidi zvakadaro. Hatidi church inosupporter chingochana. Vanhu vakadaro vanosupporter Satan, vanhu vaSatan,” he said much to the applause of the congregation.

Sibanda also read from Zephaniah 3 to prove “God’s love for Africa”.

“For God said beyond the rivers of Ethiopia lie my people. He never said beyond Mississippi in America there lay my people, no. He never said beyond the great rivers of Germany, France, Iran, Iraqi or England there lay my people, no.

Jonathan Moyo suspense as Zanu PF Politburo meets

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Jonathan Moyo suspense as Zanu PF Politburo meets. 18 June 2014

There is a reported suspense among Zanu PF senior officials as the politburo meets tomorrow with many keen on knowing about the extent of damage between President Robert Mugabe and Information Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo.

In the last stormy politburo meeting, members reportedly aligned to Vice President Joyce Mujuru attacked Moyo accusing him among other things of dividing the party.

He was also accused of hiring journalists from the private media who were before the July 31 elections, calling for regime change.

The politburo clashes resulted in Mugabe publicly attacking Moyo at two public events calling the Zanu PF spin doctor a “weevil” and “devil incarnate.”

Mugabe and Moyo met last Monday at the request of the minister to iron out differences. The meeting was also attended by Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and Central Intelligence Organisation boss Happyton Bonyongwe.

Moyo at the meeting reportedly clashed with both Mutasa and Bonyongwe as Mugabe was forced to become mediator.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo declined to share the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting.

“Call me tomorrow after the meeting,” he said.

However, senior officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were keen to know of Moyo’s fate.

“Everyone is interested in knowing what really took place in that meeting and we are hoping that the President would give us a heads up,” said the senior official. – See more at:

Fight elite wealth plunder: top economist

via Fight elite wealth plunder: top economist. 18 June 2014

RENOWNED economist Godfrey Kanyenze has called on civil society groups to use their influence to fight the continued plunder of the country’s resources by top Zanu PF loyalists and the military.

Kanyenze is a director with the think-tank Labour and Economic Development Research and Economist, which has offered scientific solutions to the country’s economy.

He was addressing an economic think tank and sanctions review meeting organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in Harare, Tuesday.

Kanyenze bemoaned what he said was the absence of a vibrant civic society that has the courage to call government to account.

“All the programmes meant for empowering the nation, you see these few individuals, talk of diamonds in Marange; no one here is even aware of what is happening there save for these few elites,” said Kanyenze.

“The land reform programme, you see these same individuals. Even the Utete Land Commission highlighted this issue. This is what has failed the nation, which was once the bread basket of the region.

“Zimbabwe was a country which used to have a diversified economy, and provided world class training, a country which used to feed the regions. Now we are regressing instead of progressing.”

Kanyenze lamented what he said was a country that has turned dumping ground for poor quality food products from outside.

“We are exporting jobs instead of investing and yet we are not manufacturing; we are even importing manzondora (chicken legs).

“We are highly dependent on imports, and that is a problem. We need to rebuild the value chains which were destroyed during the fast track land programme and this is what we should be focusing on.”

Kanyenze described the current Zanu PF led government as just a bunch of book keepers.

“The country’s ministry of finance is just a bookkeeping office which chases for money, the reason why we have too many taxes,” said Kanyenze.

Mugabe says ready to re-engage West

via Mugabe says ready to re-engage West. New Ziana. 18 June 2014

ZIMBABWE is prepared to restore normal relations with Western countries which have maintained sanctions against Harare since 2000 when the government expropriated prime agricultural land from White settlers, President Robert Mugabe has said.

The United States and the European Union (EU) broke economic ties with Harare in 2000, raising concerns over rights abuses and vote fraud although Harare said it was being punished for land reforms aimed at correcting historical injustices.

Addressing the 50th anniversary summit of the Group of 77+China in Bolivia Sunday, Mugabe said endorsement of Zimbabwe’s July 2013 elections by regional and international observers should encourage the West to re-engage Zimbabwe.

Election observers, including those from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern Southern Africa (Comesa) and the Africa Carribean and Pacific (ACP) countries, endorsed the elections won by the president’s Zanu PF party as free, fair and credible.

“Despite this positive verdict, our detractors have remained trapped in their negative posture,” Mugabe said. “We call on them to review their position and join us in re-establishing constructive relations.”

Mugabe said Zimbabwe was ready to partner both developing and developed countries to ensure successful implementation of its economic policies.

“We are particularly ready to co-operate with partners from both developed and developing countries to implement our own home grown blue-print — the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation,” he said.

The veteran leader said developing countries should also continue to strengthen their resolve to fight imperialism.

“Developing countries still face unfavourable conditions in the global marketplace. The more powerful countries not only set the rules but also adjudicate them.

“Rules that govern international economic relations appear to apply only to those of us who are gathered here.

“We should be resolute in our demands for a more transparent, inclusive representative and democratic governance,” he added.



Mahachi in forgery storm

via Mahachi in forgery storm – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 18 June 2014 by Moses Matenga

HARARE town clerk Tendai Mahachi is embroiled in a forgery storm after the council boss allegedly tinkered with his date of birth possibly to extend his tenure of office and escape the ongoing job cuts targeting those above the age of 60.


More senior council executives were also suspected to have falsified their birth records at Town House as they have reached retirement age.

Documents at hand reveal that Mahachi was born on November 15 1956, and would be turning 58 in November this year and therefore was not eligible for early retirement.

But a copy of the town clerk’s passport — number CN851406 — shown to NewsDay yesterday indicates that Mahachi was actually born on November 15 1950, hence he will be turning 64 in November this year.

The passport, which was issued on June 12 2012, expires on June 11 2022.

NewsDay investigations also showed that staff at Town House celebrated Mahachi’s 62nd birthday two years ago.

Informed sources said Mahachi had reportedly fiddled with Town House employee birth records to circumvent early retirement.
Mahachi yesterday declined to comment on the matter, saying he was not at work and was not feeling well.

Mahachi’s profile shown on the council’s website does not give the town clerk’s age, but only provides details of his academic and professional qualifications and marital status.

Mahachi’s stay at Town House has not been rosy, fighting ex-mayor Muchadeyi Masunda on staff rationalisation, a possible indication that he was against the move in 2011.

Council sources said Mahachi could have deliberately amended his date of birth to avoid the ongoing staff downsizing exercise.

“What we have said is all those above 60 should go. All we can do now is to check with the Registrar-General’s Office and compare with what he gave us, then we will see how to proceed with the matter, if there is anything at all,” a senior council official, who declined to be named, said.

“There are people who have done that before to appear younger and most of them were caught in the process.”

Another official said a few other council executives had also falsified their birth records at Town House. He said records showed that one of the council bosses was born in the 1960s yet his educational certificates at Town House showed that he went to university in the late 1960s up to the early 70s.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, who is responsible for the signing of the town clerk’s contract, was not immediately available for comment as he was said to be out of the country.

Harare has so far sent more than 10 directors on early retirement and retrenchment from the initial 18 as part of a staff rationalisation exercise collapsing several departments to save meagre financial resources.

According to council’s employee birthdays report, some of the top officials who have left the municipality were treasurer Misheck Mubvumbi (60), business development manager Cosmas Zvikaramba (age not given), housing and community services director Justine Chivavaya (48), urban planning services director Psychology Chiwanga (55) and amenities director Dombo Chibanda (61).

Mahachi is no stranger to controversy as he was recently hauled before Parliament for declining to disclose the council executive’s salaries following an outcry over reports that they were being paid huge salaries while service delivery was suffering.

He has also been fingered as having authorised the recent acquisition of 25 luxury vehicles for top officials worth an estimated $2 million without council approval and using part of the money borrowed from Afreximbank of China for rehabilitation of the city’s obsolete water reticulation system.

In 2011, the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) said Mahachi had become more of a policymaker at Town House than implementer of policies made by councillors.

HRT said then: “The Town Clerk insists there is no need to retrench workers, instead 3 500 more would need to be recruited, expanding the workforce from the current 9 850 people. On the other hand, the mayor is arguing that the ‘deadwood’ at Town House should be ‘chopped off’.”

Zimbabwe Military vs. Democracy

via The Military vs. Democracy | The Zimbabwean. 18 June 2014

Christopher Walker spoke to human rights researcher Charles Mangongera about the militarisation of Zimbabwe’s politics, state institutions, and economy.

Walker: Given the wide range of challenges that Zimbabwe faces on governance, why is it that you’ve decided to focus on the military’s special role in blocking improvements to governance in the country?

Mangongera: Well, as I reflected on the challenges that we have in the country and in particular, on what has happened over the last four to five years when we had a power-sharing government—which was supposed to bring in the reform of state institutions and create conditions for open and free political competition—what we saw was that process was kind of supplanted and Zimbabwe’s transition became complicated.

And as I reflected on that, I realized that the military has taken a much more prominent role in determining the course of events to make sure that Mr. Mugabe’s party retains political power.

The military has taken over most of the strategic institutions. If you look at the economy, they have taken over most of the strategic industries, ensuring that they have used those resources that have accrued from their control to maintain the totalitarian grip of power by Mr. Mugabe.

Walker: In what ways has ZANU (PF)’s militarisation caused the militarisation of wider Zimbabwean society?

Mangongera: Well, That’s an interesting questions because what we have seen in Zimbabwe, I think, is a conflation of the state and the party. So in some ways, you fail to distinguish the state from the party, the party becomes the state, and the military has become infused in all of this.

If you look at the 2013 election for instance—which we just came out of—you had people coming from the military and going to ZANU (PF) to design the electoral campaign and to design the voter registration process, so they basically control everything.

But beyond that, if you look at the key institutions that are critical for power—if you go to the judiciary for instance, you will find some of the judges come from the military. If you go to the public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, the person who is heading that institution has been given a farm in one of the prime areas. If you go the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), you will find that the person heading the ZEC and the people who are manning the secretariat are people from the military, and they have been given some of these patronage benefits.

If you look at society and the economy, most of the key industries—mining for instance, in Chiadzou where we are mining diamonds—you will realize that Chinese companies have gone into a joint venture with companies headed by people who come from a military tradition or who come from the military. So, the whole society has been militarised, and in my view, that has complicated the kind of transition we would want to see because they want to maintain total control of the state for the purposes of accumulating personal and functional benefits.

Walker: You’ve described very eloquently the opportunities that are available to the senior ranks of Zimbabwe’s military, but is it your sense that there is a distinction between the upper ranks of the military and the more junior ranks which may have a different vision and view of how Zimbabwe should be governed?

Mangongera: Well, I often say to democracy actors in Zimbabwe who are thinking about possible positive actions that can be taken in the future in terms of security sector reform, I think that there’s a professional cadre which is below or in the lower ranks of the military command which just wants to do its job and is committed to professional work. I think that’s the professional cadre that we ought to be thinking about going forward.

Walker: Finally, Robert Mugabe has recently celebrated his 90th birthday and while the precise time of a political transition isn’t known, what in your view would be the most important steps for political opposition and reform minded people to take in order to encourage better democratic outcomes in the future of Zimbabwe?

Mangongera: Well, I think that the biggest challenge going forward for democracy actors in Zimbabwe is going to be the reform of state institutions that have become so compromised because the regime has really bastardised most of these institutions. To create a professional ethic within those institutions so that they act in an impartial and non-partisan way is going to be one of the biggest challenges.

More importantly, for me, even a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, the challenge we are going to have is, “How do you untangle these tentacles of the military all over the place?” In industry, mining, business, and everything, you have all these people having control. It’s really like a mafia system.

How do you untangle that to ensure that you have a professional business sector? How do you ensure that you really have a thriving private sector which is run by people with innovation and ideas who are not just benefitting from state patronage.

I think that’s going to be the next biggest challenge for democratic actors in Zimbabwe. – International Forum for Democratic Studies Interview Series


We must review the role of the state

via We must review the role of the state | The Zimbabwean. 18 June 2014

If we are to make progress we have got to review the role of the state in our society and economy. If we do so we can turn what is perhaps our biggest liability into a real asset of which we can all be proud, write EDDIE CROSS

When the people of the United States revolted against English domination it was over a small tax on tea. In India it was Gandhi’s objections to a tax on salt that gave rise to his long walk through India to the coast where he symbolically made some salt from sea water. This simple act that became the turning point in the Indian struggle for Independence.

Today it is impossible to think of a country without a huge state infrastructure that commands much of our daily lives, for better or worse. In Zimbabwe we have a state that collects about 25 % of our national income in taxes – but that does not fully describe the role of the state in our daily lives.

If you are formally employed you pay about 25 to 30 % of your salary in direct taxes. You pay another 20 % in levies and social service charges to government-sponsored institutions like the National Social Security Authority, the Standards Association, the Aids Council and your National Employment Council – and perhaps a Trade Union. You also contribute to an Education Fund that is supposed to fund post-school institutions.

Duties, levies, tolls

In addition you will pay 15 % Value Added Tax, import duties on most of what you consume, levies and taxes on liquid fuels, taxes on tobacco and alcohol drinks, tolls on roads and bridges and license fees to all sorts of state-controlled organisations as well as fines to fund things like the Environmental Agency. The list is endless and when it is all tallied up we are paying the great majority of whatever we earn to the state in one form or another.

Nothing wrong with this – even the bible urges us to pay our taxes. But on the other side of the coin, the size of the state in a modern economy is a key element in economic activity of all kinds. If you add all the revenue flowing towards state-controlled institutions, it is not difficult to come up with numbers that suggest that half the GDP is directed and controlled by the state. Add to that all the state-controlled institutions in the business sector (railways, airlines, ports, power utilities etc) and the numbers become even more significant. What everyone has to understand however, is that all this money is the product of a small sector of the economy known as the “productive sector”. That is not to suggest that all state-controlled institutions are “unproductive”. But the reality is that almost all their activities could probably be carried out at lower cost and more effectively by a private system, where initiative and competition forced performance and minimised costs.

$4,000 million to NSSA

Since it was formed 24 years ago, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has collected about $4,000 million from a million people in Zimbabwe. In 2012 only $700 million of this remained – or just over 17 %. This means that 83 % of what has been contributed by working people to NSSA had been lost or squandered. In 2012 only 17 % of the total revenue of the Authority was spent on pension benefits.

The general public gets little or nothing back from this vast network and when you add to the cost of such “overheads” the cost of state corruption, which up to 2009 amounted to a third of our GDP, you get some idea of how massive this burden is for any country. It’s like being a porter climbing a mountain and carrying twice your weight in your back pack.

Then there is the role of the state as a facilitator rather than a player who must be paid for what they do. In this case we have to ask ourselves how does the state turn “red tape into a red carpet”. The crucial test of the state in this role is whether or not we view its role in our daily lives as being of assistance or an obstacle to our individual progress? In Zimbabwe I think we fail on all counts.

Much more difficult

Most business persons would say that the state made their lives much more difficult and were a major impediment to business and development. They get very little back for their tax dollars. Virtually every Zimbabwean would make the same judgment – we get very little back for our tax dollars.

Even the absolute poor can argue that they get very little from the state in terms of any real benefits, a few dollars for education assistance, some help from the Police perhaps, a small subsidy on very poor quality health services.

If we are to make progress we have got to review the role of the state in our society and economy. If we do so we can turn what is perhaps our biggest liability into a real asset of which we can all be proud. Until then, the state is just another burden we have to lug around in our daily lives unless we can operate in the economic underworld that is the informal sector. Most Zimbabweans survive by doing just that.


MDC fight – The real story

via MDC fight – The real story – DailyNews Live. 8 June 20141

HARARE – A 25-page dossier  penned by the “Renewal Team” details a plan to overthrow MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai by destroying his “brand strength” and financial “resource base.”

Power point slides obtained by the Daily News yesterday, show that a group of rebels held a strategic meeting early this year where they came up with plans to boot out Tsvangirai.

Shockingly, the dossier does not once mention how they plan to fight Zanu PF.

The dossier emerges amid an intense media campaign to splash salacious details and allegations of Tsvangirai’s personal indiscretions across newspaper front pages for weeks, a move that has drawn the ire of MDC faithfuls.

Though no stranger to leadership challenge, this is the first revelation of serious inside action against the one-time premier and former trade union leader to impugn his personal standing, rather than his political dealings.

The dossier raises questions about Tsvangirai’s ability to govern the MDC effectively under mounting pressure, and comes at a time when he has been weakened by a fight between him and his ex-ally Tendai Biti, whose breakaway faction is going by the moniker “MDC Renewal Team”.

A spokesperson for Biti’s faction, Jacob Mafume, yesterday denied that the group had authored the document.

“We never authored that, it’s a fabrication,” Mafume told the Daily News.

“We are not strangers to this kind of thing. Remember TB (Tendai Biti) was arrested on a strength of fake documents authored by Zanu PF (in 2008). We see this as a continuation of that malicious agenda.”

However, observers said yesterday that plot did not come as a major surprise, as there was plenty of speculation about backroom dealing, supported by an unprecedented campaign to topple Tsvangirai in the wake of his failure last year to dislodge Zimbabwe’s 90-year-old leader, Robert Mugabe, from power.

The dossier also shows that Tsvangirai was presiding over a rancorous, unstable party and increasingly distracted by internal scheming against him ahead of last year’s poll.

Tsvangirai’s ouster was mooted in the dossier under four scenario narratives. There is the “Bvunurwa/MT Resurgence Scenario”, anchored on a strong brand and strong financial resource base, which was described as “highly undesirable” and “highly unlikely”.

The “Gonye/Slow Death Scenario”, is anchored on strong financial resource base and weak brand which was described as “likely but undesirable”;

Then there is the “Chimimba Mutekwe/Paralysis Scenario”, anchored on a strong brand and weak financial resource base which was described as “likely but undesirable”;

Then there was the preferred “Chaos/Marengenya Scenario”, anchored on Tsvangirai’s weak financial resource base and weak brand which was described as “likely and highly desirable.”

Elton Mangoma, a key member of the Renewal team, is credited as the first renewal leader to come out openly with the move to topple Tsvangirai, alleging that the MDC leader was now a hard-sell candidate who could not win elections because of his sexual indiscretions and alleged indecisiveness.

Insiders claim that this was the genesis of the “Marengenya Scenario,” an allegation strenuously denied by Mafume.

Mangoma penned an open letter to Tsvangirai in January, about the same time the “Renewal Team” dossier was authored, in which he asked Tsvangirai to resign, arguing that he had failed to push through reforms while in a four-year power-sharing government with Mugabe.

Mangoma was subsequently suspended in February, a move he challenged in court — and has continued criticising Tsvangirai in the media and at parallel party meetings.

Tsvangirai has long said there was a smear campaign based on groundless allegations against him which he has described as shameful and disgusting, with a subversive aim.

The dossier in the possession of the Daily News gives credence to the claim that the “Renewal Team” is at the centre of a secret plan to replace Tsvangirai, a move that began months before the leadership challenge.

It is not immediately clear who was running the plan, but slides of a PowerPoint presentation by the “Renewal Team” gave the green light in January to roll out the “Chaos/Marengenya scanario”.

The confidential 25-page document contains stunning proposals for wide-ranging shock therapy for the MDC.

The dossier details an “MT (Morgan Tsvangirai) brand depletion strategy.”

It notes that Tsvangirai had played “the victim card”, and that his “marital issues have been messy”.

“He is scandal-ridden, farm ownership, finances, properties,” the dossier adds, wondering further about the: “Key question, how do we leverage on this?

“At the moment the brand is not sufficiently eroded. How do we sufficiently erode brand MT?,” it says.

Other mooted strategies were:

*Financial squeeze
*Isolation of key political and technical pillars of support.
*Block possible sources of support and involve him in engaging them.
* Limit access and engagement with grassroots.
* Intensify social media campaign.
* Empower structures for advocacy.
* Compile and publicise dossier.
* Truth telling campaign.
* Grand coalition strategy — reaching out to other critical political players.”

The dossier also singles Nelson Chamisa as “the strongest pillar of support for MT” and his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, both of whom needed to be targeted.

The dossier proposes using Chamisa “to create a divided opinion and divided social base.”

“NC (Nelson Chamisa) character heavily dented in 2013-primary elections,” the dossier says.

It details a plot by the Renewal Team to “manipulate” key media houses, notably the Daily News, NewsDay, Studio 7 and Nehanda Radio.

The dossier identifies “key people” in the media in their campaign as Daily News Group Editor Stanley Gama,  the paper’s News Editor Gift Phiri, Nehanda Radio managing editor Lance Guma, and a NewsDaystaff writer.  These journalists, claim the Renewal Team, were a threat to their agenda claiming they were close to Tsvangirai.

The Renewal Team saw “an opportunity” to use a weekly “friendly” newspaper  to spearhead its campaign given what was described as the paper’s revulsion against Tsvangirai.
The team was mooting “a robust media strategy.”

“He (Tamborinyoka) is not a strategic thinker — no telescopic mind,” the dossier says.

“Enjoys tactics and not strategies. Currently, he is enjoying the space and scope for hand-holding MT. Enjoys a collaborative relationship with MT. Needs to be isolated at all levels (financially, socially and politically).”

The dossier also speaks to the Renewal Team’s attempted alliance with civil society, which it, however noted was “currently in limbo, plagued by funding challenges”.

“This presents us an opportunity to leverage our support,” the dossier says.

“NCA project might fail to take off — divisions between Takura Zhangazha and Madhuku. No clear or viable think-tanks at the moment — IdaZim is dead.

“Need for a non-divisive re-engagement strategy with key civil society actors. We need to identify key pillars of MT support in civil society and engage them.”

The dossier says “the key variables that will determine MT survival are brand strength and resource base.”

The dossier exclusively focuses its energies on Tsvangirai, and not Zanu PF and yet the movement professes to be democratic — and that includes being strangely mute against the ruling party.

Efforts to Relocate 50 000 Illegal Settlers Underway

via Zimbabwe: Efforts to Relocate 50 000 Illegal Settlers Underway. 18 June 2014

The Forestry Commission says it is working with Government to resettle 50 000 illegal settlers that continue to threaten the viability of the timber industry

In an interview, Forestry Commission deputy general manager, Mr Abednigo Marufu said the two parties have already begun identifying alternative land for the settlers.”Illegal settlers have become a major challenge in our sector. We are working with politicians and the Government in an effort to relocate the illegal settlers.

“There are 40 000 individuals that are residing in gazetted indigenous forests while an estimated 10 000 reside in privately owned estates. The settlers are a threat to the timber industry as they cause de-forestation, veld fires, poaching, and engage in illegal mining activities. They also cause siltation of rivers and destroy the natural habitats for animals, thereby compromising the tourism sector. At the end of the day, the quality and quantity of timber produced is low. We are working to speedily address this challenge as the number keeps growing every day,” he said.

Mr Marufu said the industry is operating at 30 percent of its capacity due to a myriad of challenges that are bedevilling the sector, which including liquidity constraints.

Forest and woodland resources combined are estimated to cover approximately 45 percent of the total land area in Zimbabwe.

A total of 23 State gazetted forests covering approximately one million hectares is under the management of Forestry Commission.

Zimbabwe’s plantation forest sector is run by a number of plantation owners, growing and managing exotic tree plantations, covering approximately 168 000 hectares. The plantations comprise of pines, eucalyptus and wattle.

Commercial entities and small growers privately own 60 percent of the plantations while 40 percent is publicly owned through Allied Timber Holdings.

In 2000, the sector employed 15 000 people, this has, however, drastically come down to just 4000 employees.

The sector contributes about 4 percent to gross domestic product.



SA and Zim toll deal – Limpopo

via SA and Zimbabwe seal deal on Limpopo Bridge tolling | Transport & Tourism | BDlive. 18 June 2014 by Ray Ndlovu,

HARARE — South Africa and Zimbabwe are to split revenue from traffic through the Limpopo Bridge, whose administration was handed over to the Zimbabwean government on Tuesday.

The handover followed the expiry of the 20-year long build, operate and transfer agreement signed with New Limpopo Bridge, the company that built the bridge in 1994.

Traffic coming into Zimbabwe will pay fees to the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara). It remains unclear which agency will handle South Africa’s revenue collection.

The cash-strapped Zimbabwean government is set to pocket $1.6m monthly through toll fees — significant inflows that the country’s Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Obert Mpofu said would have “an impact” on the state’s tight revenue. “Revenue collection will be administered by Zinara and while it will go to Treasury, it will also be used for the (infrastructure) development needs of the Beitbridge border town .”

“All revenue from traffic coming into Zimbabwe will be handled by Zinara, while traffic into South Africa will remit toll fees which will be handled by their own management system.”

South Africa was still working on a framework and regulatory body that would be in charge of revenue collection on its side of the border, Mr Mpofu said. But since Zimbabwe already had a system that was fully functional it was going ahead with the revenue collection.

Spokesman for the South African Revenue Service Adrian Lackay directed questions to the Department of Home Affairs, which he said was better placed to know which agency would collect revenue on behalf of South Africa.

Mr Mpofu said officials from South Africa’s transport ministry were unhappy with the “low fees” Zimbabwe charged. At the rate that Zimbabwe was progressing, it would never be able to build new roads.

Zinara collected about $40m from toll fees nationwide each month. “This is not enough for constructing even 30km of road,” Mr Mpofu said.

“We decided with our South Africa counterparts that this was the best arrangement (split revenue at Beitbridge), instead of sharing total revenue collected as there was disagreement over the best way to do this.”


Tsvangirai: GNU is now history

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Tsvangirai: GNU is now history. 17 June 2014 by John Mukumbo

The embattled MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has become a daydreamer by claiming that he holds solutions to the economic situation in the country. Tsvangirai, who has failed to solve his personal problems and that of his once popular party, would have us believe that the economic problems which the country is experiencing can only be solved by his intervention and the formation of another government of national unity (GNU). He claims that without his involvement into the ZANU PF led government; the economy will remain in doldrums.

The MDC-T leader chose to tell those who still hold hope in him that he holds keys to the economic revival of the country but failed to tell the same why he is unable to solve the problems which the MDC-T is currently facing. He failed to explain to the nation why he has failed to acknowledge that there is a crisis in the MDC-T, which needs urgent attention as the party is facing imminent political oblivision. Tsvangirai also failed to explain to the public why he is unable to embrace leadership renewal that has now left the MDC-T on the precipice of extinction. He further failed to explain to the people why he is against leadership renewal in his party yet the majority in MDC-T is calling for it?

Tsvangirai keeps on saying that he holds keys to the economic revival of the country and that another GNU is needed yet he failed to make the economy grow when he was the Prime Minister of this country during the Government of National Unit (GNU). During that time when he was in the GNU, Tsvangirai travelled extensively outside the country with his various girlfriends. He enjoyed a lot of his stay in the GNU as he was pictured in various beaches across the globe with a host of girl friends as he abused tax payers` money when back home civil servants were crying to get their salaries adjusted.

The problem with Tsvangirai is that his political personality is now waning fast and he wants to remain relevant in front of his supporters by claiming that he holds keys to the economic survival of this country. Tsvangirai is now suffering from monetary problems and knows that once he is in government, he would solve his monetary problems like what he was doing during the inclusive government era. People should not be fooled into taking his words seriously as Tsvangirai has not been saying the truth all along. He is good at dramatizing people`s sufferings and problems for his political gains.

People should recall that Tsvangirai, who always brags that he holds keys to the economic revival of this country, once told the expectant gathering at the City Sport Centre in 2009, soon after he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, that he was going to make sure civil servants are handsomely paid. Despite that vivid promise from the Prime Minister but some civil servants had to wait for the entire life of the inclusive government era with no increment only to get it when ZANU PF romped to power.

As if that City Sports statement, which he misled civil servants was not enough, Tsvangirai followed later with another statement saying that his mission in government was to make sure that salaries of civil servants were  quarterly awarded to them so that they are paid well but all such announcements by Tsvangirai were never fulfilled. So one wonders how Tsvangirai would revive the economic situations of this country when he is someone who does not support what he says or turn out his statements into action.

Tsvangirai`s call for another GNU is a move by him to replenish his dwindling personal coffers as he is quite aware that once in government his fortunes will return full time. While in the inclusive government, Tsvangirai made sure that with money in his pocket, his policy was to always change girlfriends the way he used to change his clothing, resulting in him becoming an open-zip policy strategist. So the call for another GNU by him is not sincere but it is the way by him to fatten his pockets.

With Tsvangirai being the Prime Minister in the discredited GNU, money was not a problem to him and he showed that by renovating state of the art mansion in Highlands, which chewed about $1,5million in taxpayers` money at a time when civil servants were wallowing in poverty. Tsvangirai, who failed to come up with strategies to revive the economy when he was in the GNU, thinks that hoodwinking the people into believing him on what he says, would revive his political career. He knows quite well that his political career is dwindling so fast as the leadership renewal team is not going back in their fight to make sure that there is a new leader in the opposition party. Tsvangirai is quite aware that what he always brags about cannot materialise but he is trying to revive his political career which was tattered by the heavy defeat by ZANU PF which he received in the July 31, 2013 harmonized elections.

Tsvangirai, who has no leadership qualities that can make him a leader of this country, cannot claim that he holds keys to economic revival of this country. He knows quite well that he failed to make sure civil servants are handsomely paid despite being the Prime Minister and leading the country with both the Finance and Public Service Ministries being led by the MDC-T ministers. A lot of people, especially civil servants, had hopes that the MDC-T, which superintended over the two important ministries, were going to use those ministries in favour of the workers but alas, their expectations were shuttered by Tsvangirai`s maladministration and lack of seriousness in running government affairs.

Surprisingly, Tsvangirai, who failed to make sure that government programs were run effectively during the time when he was the Prime Minster, is now saying that he holds keys to the economic revival of the country and that another panacea to economic revival is the formation of another GNU. Tsvangirai spent the entire years of the inclusive government doing nothing economically but only managed to have a chain of girlfriends, thereby spending his time flying to very expensive hotels around the world enjoying a lot with them. So what makes him think that his second coming in government would bring change for the betterment of the economy?

Tsvangirai enjoyed a lot as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe forgetting that he was not going to be there for the whole of his life. In stead of instructing his western friends to remove sanctions in Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai brags about of having keys to the economic revival of Zimbabwe. He forgets to tell the nation that Zimbabwe is suffering because of the sanctions which he asked for from the western countries to be imposed on Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai knows quite well that without the suffering of the people his political career may be dumped into the political dustbin so his silence on sanctions speaks volumes.

Now that he is not in government, Tsvangirai wants the people to believe him that he holds keys to the economic revival of our country. He failed to make sure that Zimbabwe has an economic boost when he was in government and what makes him believe that his second coming in government would do wonders for the country. Those who are still remembering how Tsvangirai failed to make civil servants get handsomely paid despite promising them that should dismiss him with the contempt he deserves.

While the MDC-T and Tsvangirai is failing to acknowledge and see that the ZANU PF train has already started to move but those with eyes are now seeing that there could be light at the end of the tunnel, only time would tell. When it took the IG four years failing to award civil servants salary adjustment but it only took ZANU PF less than a year to do that. Whilst the MDC-T is calling for the formation of another GNU, ZANU PF is busy trying to stamp out corruption which has turned out to be a cancer in the country.

As such people should let ZANU PF run the country without disturbances. The fact that the July 31,2013, harmonized elections gave ZANU PF the mandate to rule for the coming five years let that be the case and the MDC-T should just accept the fact that they are no longer in government. In actual fact if they feel that they have something to contribute on how the country could be run, the MDC-T should use the parliamentary forum to air out their views as it has some parliamentarians in that august house.



50,000 children denied HIV drugs | The Chronicle

via 50,000 children denied HIV drugs | The Chronicle. 18 June 2014 by Patrick Chitumba

Patrick Chitumba Senior Reporter

OVER 50,000 children below the age of 14 are failing to access life-saving HIV drugs, according to shock new statistics by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
The ministry estimates that 104,000 children are HIV positive in Zimbabwe – but only half have been tested and put on Anti-retroviral treatment. Dr Angela Mushavi, the National Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and Paediatrics co-ordinator in the Ministry of Health and Child Care said it was a “societal challenge” to ensure the children are tested and get treatment, which is free.

“We’re not reaching out to all the affected children as we should be doing,” she said. “There’re a number of challenges that we are dealing with. Part of the reason is that children are less likely to get tested for HIV because children don’t visit health centres on their own like adults.

“We’re losing children unnecessarily because we’re not taking them for testing and treatment, even if we know that their parents died of HIV/Aids.
“Society should work with health workers so that the children are tested, and if need be access treatment soon.”
She also blamed health workers whom she said were reluctant to put children on treatment.

“Other areas have got no facilities to treat children living with the virus. For example, Mpilo Central Hospital might have facilities for the children but other clinics in the city might not have.
“That will act as a barrier for access to medication,” said Dr Mushavi.

“There is, therefore, a need to increase paediatric coverage in the country as we work towards putting at least 85 percent of the children on treatment.”
Last year, about 11,000 children aged between one and 14 died due to HIV related causes.

National Aids Council (Nac) communications manager, Madeline Dube, said inadequate treatment was a result of funding constraints.
“We receive Aids levy and we set aside 55 percent towards treatment. For example, we receive an estimate of about $36 million per year and of that $19 million goes towards treatment,” said Dube.

“So our parent ministry is the one that has programmes which we follow.”
She, however, said the diagnosis for children was different from that of adults hence the challenges in reaching out to minors.
“We don’t have to lose these children, not at all, and it’s a cause for concern. The other problem is that the country was late in the training of health workers in the initiation programme of positive children on the drugs,” said Dube.

At least 1,4 million adults are living with HIV countrywide, of which 955,000 are on ART.
Latest reports indicate that 49,605 adults succumbed to HIV-related diseases last year, down from 50,230 in 2012.
The national prevalence rate is around 14 percent.


EU chides Zim NGOs, critics | The Herald

EU chides Zim NGOs, critics | The Herald. 18 June 2014 by Innocent Ruwende and Nyemudzai Kakore

European Union ambassador Mr Aldo Dell’Ariccia, political analyst Dr Ibbo Mandaza and MDC-T member Engineer Elias Mudzuri at a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition seminar in Harare yesterday

Innocent Ruwende and Nyemudzai Kakore
THE European Union yesterday dismissed claims by opposition activists and NGOs that there was a leadership crisis in Zimbabwe, saying Government was strong and able to steer the country forward through the implementation of poverty reduction strategies such as the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation. Responding to regime change lobbyists at a forum organised by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition at a Harare hotel to discuss the economy and economic sanctions, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Aldo Del’Arricia chided the civil society leaders and opposition politicians for their adversarial approach to Government.

“On the matter of supposed leadership crisis in this country, let me tell you this, luckily we don’t have a leadership crisis in this country because we have the same people we have in the party and Government.

“If we had a leadership crisis there would be chaos. We still have a leadership, we still have a leader  who manages to keep at bay and under control these forces that are very much contradictory.”
Mr Del’Arricia advised opposition parties and civic society to be constructive in attitude and less confrontational when dealing with Government.
The EU envoy schooled the civic society activists who had denounced Zim-Asset, for alleged lack of a funding strategy, saying Zim-Asset was an economic blueprint that was very much work in progress.

“You are talking about Zim-Asset, but l have the impression that you are bashing Zim-Asset or ridiculing Zim-Asset as if it was  a development policy or a poverty reduction strategy,” he said.

Mr Del’Arricia said Government, and in particular the Ministry of Finance, understood the need to operationalise Zim-Asset, hence they were calling on the African Development Bank to provide assistance which would transform Zim-Asset from a blueprint to a development strategy document.

“Zim-Asset is just a blueprint, it’s work in progress and I think that the Government and particularly the Minister of Finance knows very well that the work is not completed and they are calling on the African Development Bank in particular, in order to provide technical assistance. It will commit it to go from a blueprint to a development strategic document which means to take into consideration the resources which are necessary, and to take into consideration the risks which are there and how to handle these risk, a chronology,’’ Mr Del Arricia said.

He rebuked the NGOs for “living in the past”.
“The civil society has a role to play but I have the impression that you are a little bit anchored to the past where instead of seeing NGOs one perceives AGOs, Anti-Government Organisations. And if you start catching the flair of the time, the trend, there is an opening to be worked upon.

“But we had four ministers (Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa, Patrick Chinamasa, Jonathan Moyo and Joseph Made)  sitting with more than 150 representatives of civil society, Churches, trade unions, Parliament to discuss about the national indicative programme of the European Union. We did not conclude it, it was Minister Chinamasa who did it,’’ he said.

Turning to proposed amendments to the Electoral Act, Mr Del’Arricia said Government’s commitment was evident in the willingness of Justice Minister Mnangagwa to engage.

“We had all the discussions about the electoral law, and we know what happened. The message of the Minister of Justice was not that ‘Okay thank you very much for your opinion, I am not bound to take into consideration, let’s forget it’. He said, ‘let’s go step by step, we remain open and there would be further amendments before the end of the year and your opinion will be taken into consideration.’ So catch this trend, have a constructive role, maybe less confrontational but I think his comments, at this meeting here, are very important,’’ Mr Del’Ariccia said.

He said things were going in the right direction between Zimbabwe and the EU.
Mr Del’Arricia said the EU and Government had been engaging since 2009 when the inclusive Government was formed and since then, the bloc had been coherent and constant in its response.

During the discussions, former legislator Cde Patrick Zhuwao hailed the statements by Mr Del Arricia.
“I think the EU ambassador is coming to terms with reality on the ground and I think this needs to be understood from the context of the fact that we have a Constitution we developed as Zimbabweans that was widely accepted and that formed the basis of an election and that has been accepted and we have a Government that is in power,” he said.
“The reality of the situation is that civil society needs to move from being anti-government to developmental organisations, that is basically what the Ambassador is saying.”

Mr Del’Ariccia was responding to some participants, among them political scientist Dr Ibbo Mandaza, MDC-T’s Engineer Elias Mudzuri and economist and director of the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) Dr Godfrey Kanyenze, who had called for a change in leadership as a way of solving the country’s problems.

Dr Kanyenze said Government had so many plans, but very few developmental goals.
“Zimbabwe is an example of a state in capture,” he said. “The assets are now a political bag of the elite.

“Experience suggests that Government has been long on planning and short on implementation, with regular changes to the programme, policy incoherence and inconsistency and even reversals.”

Dr Mandaza accused the country’s crop of politicians of failure.
“The problem we have is that of leadership, we need to change the Government,” he said.

But economist Dr Moses Chundu said the regime change agenda was “an old, tired script overtaken by time and events” urging the civic society to lobby for the reform of laws to back up good policies.

“Between now and 2018 we have a Zanu-PF Government and so what the Ambassador is saying diplomatically is where there is an opening, co-operate with this Government and do not be trapped in the regime change agenda as a tired mantra,” he said.

An economist with one of the NGOs, who spoke to The Herald on condition of anonymity, said he had earlier on advised his colleagues against criticising Zim-Asset for the alleged lack of a funding strategy saying what they were calling for could only be found in a development plan.

“You can’t have a funding strategy in a blueprint, that detail is put in a development plan. More so a country under sanctions would be foolish to publicise its funding strategy as that will enable the sanctions-imposing countries to sabotage that strategy. In fact, Zim-Asset, recognises funding as a sub-cluster,’’ the economist said.

Govt completes drafting 450 laws for alignment | The Herald

Govt completes drafting 450 laws for alignment | The Herald. 18 june 2014 by Tendai Mugabe

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Government has completed the first draft of 450 laws that need to be aligned with the new Constitution as part of efforts to avert a constitutional crisis arising from the use of the old legislation. The laws are expected to be brought before Parliament when it resumes sitting at the end of this month if internal consultations that need to be done by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs are completed on time.

Deputy Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Fortune Chasi yesterday said the drafters were now working on the second stage which deals with “consequential amendments” focusing on the actual wording of the legislation.

“We have completed the first stage on all the laws and consequential amendments on about 216 laws,” he said.
“On consequential amendments, we are looking at the actual wording of the laws to ensure that it is the same with the wording in the Constitution.”

The next stage, said Cde Chasi, would focus on the substantive amendments which relate to those laws that required complete changing of the content.

He said Government was making frantic efforts to ensure that the process was completed expeditiously.
“The drafted laws have to go through our internal system before going to Parliament,” he said.

“Depending on when the internal consultations are completed, the laws may go to Parliament next month when it resumes sitting.”
Although Cde Chasi promised to give The Herald a detailed list of the drafted laws today, it is understood that priority was on laws like the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Harare lawyer Mr Terrance Hussein said the Government should quickly synchronise the laws with the new Constitution as it risks being forced to do so by the courts.

“Failure to comply with the provisions of the new Constitution will open up the State to lawsuits,” he said.
“I think it is neater for Government to drive the process rather than to be forced to do so by the courts.”

As he opened the First Session of the Eighth Parliament last year, President Mugabe said among legislation expected to come to the House was the Land Commission Bill, to give legal underpinning to the establishment of the Zimbabwe Land Commission.

President Mugabe also highlighted the need to amend the Co-operatives Societies Act, bring forward a new Mines and Minerals Bill, realign labour laws, and introduce a National Prosecution Authority Bill to establish an independent body to take over the functions previously performed by the Criminal Division of the Attorney-General’s Office.

The Electoral Amendment Bill has already been passed by the National Assembly, while the National Prosecution Authority is still before the House.

Pressure groups are determined to press for the alignment of laws that affect their constituencies, while the Constitutional Court is already dealing with applications from those affected by the old laws.

Government must reduce child death rate

Government should reduce child death rate – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 18 June 2014 Editorial

Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Africa that are not on target for the attainment of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number 4 despite improvements in child mortality rates as shown by successive national surveys.

NewsDay Editorial

No doubt the country needs to reduce the under-five mortality rate if the MDG 4 is to be achieved by 2015. Many health systems and essential service delivery challenges are known to counter efforts towards the control and management of common childhood illnesses.

But, many children in the country continue to die unnecessarily due to poor access to recommended treatments.

This is particularly the case for diarrhoea, typhoid and pneumonia. According to a recent Health and Child Care ministry disease surveillance, 42 people succumbed to diarrhoea last week bringing the total of diarrhoea-induced deaths to 409 since the beginning of the year. Regrettably, 23 of the deaths were of children below the age of five years.

It is important that government understands that service delivery is not complete without availability of drugs and supplies required to offer treatment. Drugs used in health facilities have to be the right ones recommended to treat children; they have to be available in the right quantities to ensure demand is met and they have to be delivered as and when needed.

Government should therefore accelerate the control and management of childhood diarrhoea and other diseases thus contributing to the attainment of MDG 4 by reducing significantly mortality attributed to diarrhoea among other diseases.

With less than a year to the MDG deadline, Zimbabwe and other countries remain far from achieving the targets set.

It is important for the country to substantially invest in managing childhood illnesses both at the community and facility levels.

The new vaccines will make important progress against these killers, but both conditions will remain among the largest causes of mortality even once the vaccines are fully rolled out.

The government recently launched a rota-virus vaccination programme to curb the spread of diarrhoea among children, but interventions leave a lot to be desired given the fact that the mortality seems to be on the rise nonetheless.

So Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa must make some explanations to the nation on what interventions are being put in place to contain the illnesses. Parirenyatwa must strengthen the commodity management of essential medicines and ensure security of the commodities used in diarrhoea and other childhood illnesses in the public sector.

It appears that the ministry currently lacks a child health commodities and supplies co-ordinating arm or function to support national commodity security. It is therefore important for government to become more involved in commodity management as this directly impacts on service delivery and subsequent uptake of recommended treatments.

It is imperative that the ministry also strengthens procurement of diarrhoea medicines and advocate for increased allocation of resources from government and donors to procure adequate commodities to match the need for diarrhoea management.

Besides, availing services at facility and community levels without investing in demand creation will lead to underutilised services. Hence, advocacy, communication and social mobilisation are core in ensuring that the public is educated on all aspects of health promotion, disease prevention and home-based case management of main child killers.

The country cannot allow more deaths as if it is normal for children to die in such numbers. This is not a war zone.

MDC-T dismisses Zanu PF monitors

via MDC-T dismisses Zanu PF monitors. NEWSDAY 18 June 2014 by Nqobani Ndlovu

National, News, Politics

ZANU PF’s decision to deploy its senior party members to monitor the performance of MDC-T legislators in Matabeleland North is a waste of time, the opposition party has said.


The Zanu PF Matabeleland North leadership resolved to monitor the implementation of government programmes in MDC-T-led constituencies citing fears of sabotage after a two-day induction workshop held in Bulawayo.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema was deployed to Binga North where the MDC-T’s Prince Dubeko Sibanda is MP, Mail Nkomo to Binga South (Joel Gabbuza), former governor and senator Thokozile Mathuthu to Hwange Central (Brian Tshuma), Molly Mkandla to Hwange East (Tose Sansole) Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu, wife of Transport minister Obert Mpofu, to Tsholotsho North (Roselyn Nkomo) while Senator Madeline Bhebhe was deployed to Nkayi South (Abednico Bhebhe).

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday described the move as futile noting that the party’s legislators had no business worrying about implementing “dead Zanu PF programmes”.

“The MDC-T MPs are not there to implement Zanu PF programmes, but implement MDC-T programmes.

“For that reason, Zanu PF must never expect our MPs to agree with their dead programmes,” said Mwonzora.

“Further, we know that Zanu PF wants to disturb the MDC-T MPs, but we are happy that they will never succeed in Matabeleland. What they are planning to do is just, but a wild goose chase and a waste of time and resources.”

Zanu PF Matabeleland North chairperson Richard Moyo defended the exercise as necessary to ensure government programmes such as Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) were implemented to the “letter and spirit”.

Moyo said the party’s provincial leadership took the initiative on realising that the MDC-T legislators would not be able to clarify government programmes like
ZimAsset to their constituencies, which might cause Zanu PF to lose votes in upcoming elections over lack of clarity.

“What we are simply saying is that we are deploying our members to those areas to ensure that party programmes are implemented. Zanu PF is the government and government programmes have to be implemented to their letter and spirit without distortions,” said Moyo.

“We want to ensure that constituencies know about ZimAsset and so forth and its implementation. The MDC-T MPs may not understand our programmes and may therefore mislead the people and confuse them, hence we need to be on the ground. And we also want our members to go there and build the brand of Zanu PF for future elections,” Moyo said.

Tobacco production edges to 200 mln kg

via Zim tobacco production edges towards 200 million kg. NEWSDAY 18 June 2014

AT least 193 million kg of tobacco had gone under the hammer by Monday as tobacco production edges towards the 200 million kg mark, according to latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).


If it reaches that mark, it would be the first time in 14 years as the rebound in output continues driven by small-scale farmers.

Statistics from TIMB showed that 193 102 862kg had been sold at the country’s three auction floors — Tobacco Sales Floor, Boka Tobacco Floors and Premier Tobacco Floor — and the contract system by Monday (day 80).

The output was 32% up from the same period last year when 145 965 403kg were sold. The value of the tobacco sold was $613 998 297, up 14% from last year’s $539 727 578.

The tobacco selling season normally runs up to day 125. With daily sales reaching about 1 million kg, there are indications that output would be around 130 million kg, short of the 1998 peak of 260 million kg.

Output as of Monday was the ninth highest since 1980.

But the figures don’t look good for the auction floors as they moved a quarter of the output with the remainder going via the contract system.

This will pile more pressure on the auction floors that recently raised alarm that the contract system was pushing them out of business.

Boka chief executive officer Rudo Boka told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Mechanisation last month that contract marketing in the tobacco industry had become too dominant to the extent that 62% to 70% of business was contracted.

“We also notice in the next five years we will have monopolistic buyers and currently, contractors offer a price of $5,80 while at auction floors the price is reduced at $4,99 and the current pricing system will see contract marketing dominating at 60% to 70%, while our auction floors are operating at 40% capacity because we also have to compete with decentralised auction floors,” said Boka.

“Currently there are 17 floors marketing a tobacco crop size of 166 million kilogrammes and we are concerned that current systems are not user friendly to indigenous players like Premier and Boka as we invested a lot of money on infrastructure and are told to put up adequate ablution facilities, accommodation, and others and yet contract floors are not given the same terms for operation.”

Contract marketing has been increasing due to the inability of local banks to finance tobacco farming after the fast-track land reform programme left them exposed. Banks were left holding the title deeds as government proceeded with allocating land to locals.

Mpofu pleads with Gorden Moyo

via Amen Mpofu pleads with Gorden Moyo to return to MDC-T. NEWSDAY 18 June 2014 by Nduduzo Tshuma

FORMER Bulawayo deputy mayor Amen Mpofu has pleaded with Gorden Moyo to reconsider his decision to quit as MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairperson.


Moyo announced his resignation last Friday citing “violence, hate language, mudslinging and the pursuit of parochial and personal interests” in the main opposition party.

Mpofu said Moyo was important to the MDC-T and even party leader Morgan Tsvangirai needed people like him.

“A good leader constantly looks at ways of bringing people together and brings happiness to the people — that was Gorden Moyo,” Mpofu said.

“When Moyo joined, he was used and failed to protect the province from those who thought they were powerful. Later, he refused to be owned. He was a good leader who was very humble and a good listener.

“I would like to appeal to him (Moyo) to reconsider his decision. Tsvangirai still needs people like Gorden.

“I advise him to rethink his position because he is good for the party,” said Mpofu.

There are reports that MDC-T officials from his Makokoba constituency are now baying for his blood demanding that he gives up his parliamentary seat.

However, Moyo was defiant saying the MDC-T structures had no capacity to recall him from the National Assembly because they constituted a minority of people who voted for him last year.

Moyo steered clear of the infighting by taking a sabbatical from MDC-T activities.

However, his decision to take a back seat sparked intense speculation that he was in “axed” secretary-general Tendai Biti’s camp which is pushing for Tsvangirai’s ouster.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora on Monday claimed Moyo’s departure would not affect the party, saying it was functioning well during his absence.

He described the former Bulawayo Agenda director as a newcomer who did not understand dynamics in the party.

MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson chamisa also had no kind words for Moyo, in a development that could already have driven a wedge between the Makokoba MP and the party’s leadership.


Sunday Mail faces $2 million lawsuit

via Sunday Mail faces $2 million lawsuit. NEWSDAY 18 June 2014 by Everson Mushava

June 18, 2014 in Courts, National, News

ZIMPAPERS’ weekly Sunday Mail has been slapped with a $2 million lawsuit over a story it published in May alleging that Alpha Detail owner and former Rural Electrification Agency chief executive officer Engineer Emmanuel Midzi had been implicated in a $2,7 million fraud case.


Through his lawyer, Mashal Chitsanga of Mangwana and Partners, Midzi said the story was wrong and sought to portray him as a corrupt person.

“The said article was wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiffs in that it was intended and was understood by the readers of the newspaper and its Internet page that the plaintiffs are dishonesty, corrupt fraudsters, unworthy conspirators and defaulters,” Chatsanga wrote in his summons to the Sunday Mail dated June 12.
Journalist Brian Chitemba, who authored the story, is cited as the first respondent, while the Sunday Mail is the second respondent.

The story titled, REA US$2,7 million tender scandal unearthed, claimed that Midzi failed to implement 28 electrification projects whose tender they won under unclear circumstances.

According to the story, Midzi used his internal links with REA officials to understate figures and disadvantage other competitors to get the tender and then later inflated the figures after winning the tender. The story also alleged that Midzi failed to implement the projects awarded to him.

Midzi said the Sunday Mail story reached a lot of readers, including those who accessed its website locally and internationally, and the story had caused irreparable damages to his reputation.

“As a result of the defamation, plaintiffs have been damaged in their reputation and have suffered damages in the sum of $2 million,” he said.

The Sunday Mail has up to June 26 to file its defence papers.

Mudzuri tackles Tsvangirai

via Mudzuri tackles Tsvangirai – DailyNews Live. 18 June 2014 by Mugove Tafirenyika

HARARE – Former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri is reportedly in the running for the MDC presidency, although he acknowledges wrestling with whether to run or not given the “political challenges” he might face for attempting to dethrone party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

While MDC officials say Mudzuri was already doing the groundwork for his challenge, the former organising secretary could neither deny nor confirm if he will run for the party’s presidency.

But insiders insisted to the Daily News yesterday that he was preparing to stand for the party presidency and was already laying the ground.

In meetings and public statements ahead of the congress, Mudzuri has presented a united front with Tsvangirai, highlighting their transition from rivals to confidantes.

Yet in the weeks before the congress, insiders have detailed instances of substantive disagreements between the two including the handling of the fall-out between Tsvangirai and expelled secretary general Tendai Biti and his co-conspirators.

Mudzuri’s relationship with Tsvangirai presents a delicate challenge for the former Harare mayor as he rolls out his presidential campaign.

He does not want to appear disloyal to his boss but could use some separation given his anaemic poll numbers.

He would have to have MDC supporters enthusiastically on board a presidential campaign, while fending off attempts to depict him as a rebel.

Mudzuri’s allies dismiss as simplistic the prism through which he is seen as either with Tsvangirai or against him, but insiders are already seizing on any ray of daylight between them, which further complicates his challenge.

Mudzuri described himself as “a politician who is not driven by greed” but the desire to serve the people.

He said instead of thinking about wrestling power from Tsvangirai, he was concentrating more on re-uniting with the Biti faction, now going by the moniker ‘MDC Renewal Team.’

The former Harare mayor said he wanted the party to emerge from the congress with a “winning team” modelled around “people with a national appeal.”

Mudzuri has been snubbing Tsvangirai’s recent campaign rallies.
“I have not been attending these rallies because I feel now is the time to be going underground and work for the benefit of the people,” Mudzuri said.

“I do not want to talk about that (succession) now because people have gone factional and I don’t understand why they have chosen to abandon the national objective.

“For now, Tsvangirai is the leader of the party and we must all respect that leadership. Anyone who thinks otherwise is lost but there are some people who are greedy who want power for the sake of it. I have been trying to bring people together. I am worried, I am pained, probably the most, and I wish we could just go to congress united and not pursue our selfish interests”.

Mudzuri said the call for an early congress had caught him off-guard, suggesting that the party holds its congress in 2016 as previously planned.

That would give him ample time to launch a credible challenge, insiders say.

“I have never been opposed to a congress in 2016 because it gives us time to interrogate ourselves so that we hold a congress that comes out with a national team,” he said.

“We do not want to go to congress and come up with a group that will be labelled to be factional. We want to go there and come up with a national team, modelled around people with a national appeal, having engaged everyone including our rural supporters and national opinion leaders.”

He said divergent opinions were necessary for internal democracy, saying he disagreed with Tsvangirai on several instances but they still co-existed in the party.

“We agree and disagree with the president,” he said. “I offer advice and he takes some and leaves some. That is how it should be. I even suggested to him that he should have left Mangoma and his opinions to burn out under the big tent and meet him at congress. Even Mugabe has his factions but he keeps them around.”

Top sources in the party said Mudzuri has already hit the ground running, coordinating meetings in Harare and other provinces to drum up support for his ascendancy to the top post.

Tsvangirai has invited any challenge to his post, saying congress was the only legal way to claim power.

Luke Tamborinyoka, the MDC leader’s spokesperson, said Tsvangirai and Mudzuri enjoyed a cordial working relationship regardless of reports that the Warren Park legislator was gunning for his throne.

“The president has always made it clear that it is not criminal to aspire for higher office in the party and that includes the presidency,” Tamborinyoka said.

“That is why even after the media reports that Mudzuri wants to be president, the two have gone on to play golf together. It is all because there is nothing criminal about it.”

Tamborinyoka said what was wrong was usurping power by staging palace coups and what he called “confidential letters and memo detats.”

Despite gunning for the top job, observers say Mudzuri lacks a critical mass to mount a serious campaign against the charismatic MDC leader.

With the October congress approaching, jostling for positions in the party has already reached fever-pitch as other potential candidates  are already canvassing for support.

At the last MDC congress in 2011, party organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, who sources say is angling to replace Biti as secretary general, handed Mudzuri a humiliating defeat.

MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora is tipped to battle it out with national executive member Murisi Zwizwai for the post of organising secretary, while Women’s Assembly boss Theresa Makone is reportedly gunning to replace Roy Bennett as treasurer-general.

Thokozani Khupe is set to retain the vice presidency.
The acting secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada has also set his eyes on the treasurer-general’s portfolio, meaning he could square off with Makone.

Chamisa’s deputy Abednico Bhebhe and Thamsanqa Manhlangu, are reportedly eyeing the deputy national chairman post and deputy national organising secretary posts respectively, while former speaker and national chairman Lovemore Moyo will likely retain his post.

Shakespear Mukoyi, Harare provincial youth chairman, reportedly wants to become national youth president to replace Solomon Madzore.

MDC returnees Job Sikhala, Joubert Mudzumwe and Edward Mkhosi will also contest for top positions.



Headline news 18 June, 2014

ZANU PF seeking legitimacy

via ZANU PF ‘seeking legitimacy’ through sanctions case | SW Radio Africa. 17 June 2014 by Alex Bell


ZANU PF has stepped up its efforts in seeking international legitimacy, by trying to secure a court ruling that declares the European Union (EU) targeted restrictive measures as ‘illegal’.

The party’s case against the EU, which it filed in 2012, is finally underway despite the Brussels based leadership bloc already removing the majority of its restrictions against the ZANU PF regime.

Robert Mugabe and his wife are the only two members of the regime who remain targeted with travel and financial restrictions, after the EU removed the bulk of the measures earlier this year. This is in spite of the flawed elections in Zimbabwe last July, as well as a lack of reforms that the EU had previously stipulated were needed before its ‘sanctions’ policy would be reviewed.

ZANU PF’s court case, which got underway at the General Court of the European Union last Tuesday in Luxembourg, now seeks to have the measures declared illegal, with the party arguing that the ‘sanctions’ were imposed without any legal basis. The party’s lawyers are arguing that it was only the UN Security Council that had the power to impose ‘sanctions’ on a member country.

Oral hearing of the case is set to continue for the next two weeks before a decision is handed down later in the year.

Observers say ZANU PF is trying to absolve itself of the financial ruin Zimbabwe is facing, with the party maintaining that international ‘sanctions’ are to blame for the dire state of the economy.

The measures, and those which still remain imposed by Australia and the US, have been repeatedly blamed for Zimbabwe’s current economic crisis despite the fact that it was only individuals and individual entities that were specifically targeted.

Wilbert Mukori, the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Social Democrats group, said the court case has “no merit.” But he told SW Radio Africa that the EU itself has helped ZANU PF in this legitimacy drive, by actively seeking re-engagement.

“This re-engagement undermines the position of other countries who say that since the rigged elections last year, sanctions should remain,” Mukori said.

He also expressed concern that there is no attempt to hold the ZANU PF regime to account for past atrocities that led to the targeted sanctions being imposed. He said that the selfish interests of some EU member states meant that Mugabe and his “dictatorship” were being allowed to “carry on as normal.”

“The EU is giving the Mugabe regime the encouragement on carry on with human rights abuses and corruption. We have reached a point where corruption is rampant and looting has reached shocking levels. And that is the root cause of the economic collapse,” Mukori said.

Meanwhile, civil society members debated the ‘sanctions’ issue during a think tank discussion on the state of the Zimbabwe’s economy on Tuesday, with some civil leaders saying the targeted measures were “counter productive.”

James Muzondidya from the Zimbabwe Institute argued that the economy cannot be revived if targeted sanctions remain, saying the presence of the measures maintains a view of “instability.” He argued that because the sanctions have been “ineffective in effecting change,” they are “pointless in maintaining.”

The EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Arricia also gave his opinion on the matter, insisting it was the country’s massive international debt, not ‘sanctions’, that was stopping the government from receiving new loans. He also insisted that the targeted measures imposed by the EU were legal.


MDC-T restructure

via MDC-T to embark on restructuring ahead of congress | SW Radio Africa. 17 June 2014 by Tichaona Sibanda


The MDC-T will this week role out a program that will see the party embarking on a massive restructuring exercise leading up to the congress in October.

Nelson Chamisa, the party’s national organising secretary, told SW Radio Africa the program will be launched on Wednesday. The exercise will involve the auditing of its structures countrywide, coming soon after the renewal team split from the MDC-T.

Chamisa said all the details will be spelled out on Wednesday. It is believed the restructuring exercise will involve elections of new office bearers from cell, branch, district, provincial and national level.

Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said preparations for the congress are at an advanced stage and accused former secretary-general Tendai Biti of running scared to participate in the elections, opting for an easy way out by forming his party.

‘At this congress we want the people to choose the leaders they want. We are not worried about the so-called renewal people who are just a bunch of undemocrattic and opportunistic individuals.

‘They wanted to take power through undemocratic means. The MDC has a constitution in terms of which people assume office but (Elton) Mangoma and Biti want to assume power through the back door,’ Mwonzora said.

Political commentator Mutsa Murenje said the party will rejuvenate itself: ‘The party should never impose candidates on the people. People should be allowed to vote for their preferred candidates and if the MDC-T is to revive its misfortunes, they have to be democratic in their restructuring exercise’.

Meanwhile, the renewal team is set to have its disciplinary hearing on Wednesday against MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The renewal team recently charged Tsvangirai with 17 counts of misconduct.

They accuse him of failing to provide ‘competent leadership’ and acting in a manner detrimental to party objectives. However, Mwonzora laughed at the suggestion the renewal team will go ahead with the hearing when Tsvangirai is not a member of their party.

‘They made it clear they are now orange in colour and not red and they will be coming up with a new name for their party soon. One wonders if our President has joined their party because as far as we know he’s still the MDC-T leader and is not part and parcel of the renewal team,’ explained Mwonzora.


Zim govt sued over deforestation

via Zim govt sued over deforestation | SW Radio Africa. 17 June 2014  by Alex Bell

A Zimbabwean farmer has taken the ZANU PF government to the High Court because of rampant deforestation around prime tobacco growing areas.

Never Gasho, a farmer in Karoi, is seeking to compel the government to stop the deforestation of indigenous trees.

He has argued in a court application that the alarming rate of deforestation in tobacco farming areas had prompted him to sue the government.

In his application filed on Tuesday last week, Gasho listed Parliament, the Ministers for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Environment, Water and Climate, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Environment Management Agency and the Chiefs Council of Zimbabwe as respondents.

“We are all racing against time as people are cutting trees every minute indiscriminately in preparation for the next tobacco growing season,” he said.

Gasho said the respondent have a constitutional mandate to protect indigenous trees, and that policies must be formulated to prevent tobacco farmers from using indigenous trees during tobacco curing.

“The indiscriminate cutting down of trees has a serious effect on our weather pattern. The depletion of trees…reduces the value of our land as it slowly turns into a desert. Once the land turns into a desert we cannot give back the value of our indigenous trees,” he said.

Tobacco farming has witnessed a partial recovery in Zimbabwe since the land grab campaign that saw the agricultural sector face total collapse. More and more small scale farmers have been turning to tobacco because it is a ready ‘cash crop’, and this has seen an escalation in the numbers of producers.

The rest of the agricultural sector, including the production of critically needed food, remains stagnant.



‘Thought leaders’ meet on economy

via ‘Thought leaders’ meet over economy | SW Radio Africa. 17 June 2014 by Nomalanga Moyo

Thought leaders met in Harare on Tuesday to discuss the economic crisis currently gripping the country.

Civil society group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition organised the meeting which was attended by academics, students, politicians, economists, diplomats and civil society activists among others.

Discussions focused on the economy post-2013 elections, and on the targeted sanctions and Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the international community

Crisis in Zim Coalition director Joy Mabenge said it was important for them to debate “these issues to enable us as civil society to formulate and adopt a position that will inform our future responses” on the economy, restrictive measures and re-engagement.

“Our responsibility as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has always been to create platforms for dialogue and to bring together stakeholders to debate critical matters. This helps us to adopt informed positions on these issues.”

According to Mabenge, participants at the meeting all agreed that the economy is in “freefall and that the ordinary person in the country is struggling to survive”.

“It is clear to everyone that the economy is the new sight of struggle and as civil society we want to be in a position to offer alternative policy options to take the country forward,” Mabenge added.

The ruling ZANU PF party blames the restrictive measures imposed by the West on the Mugabe regime for its failure to provide jobs for Zimbabweans or to access capital to kick-start the economy. Only Mugabe and his wife remain targeted under the EU restrictive measures.

Speaking at the meeting the EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’ Ariccia however said the obstacle to borrowing for Zimbabwe is its debt to international lenders, and not targeted sanctions.

The diplomat also dismissed Zimbabwe’s claims that the restrictive measures were illegal, saying these were based on the Cotonou agreement which Zimbabwe signed with the EU.

He said only the President and his wife Grace remain on the targeted measures list because only he can effect the reforms needed in Zimbabwe.

Academic and head of policy think-tank the Zimbabwe Institute James Muzondidya said that, “it is hardly possible to revive the economy if the restrictive measures are maintained”.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze blamed the government for getting its “priorities wrong” and then blaming it all on (targeted) sanctions.”

While the civil society groups met, Mugabe was in Bolivia where he told the world that “the sanctions imposed by the West – by his reckoning the sole cause of the country’s economic problems – had been defeated,” according to an online news agency.

Confidence in the economy continues to fade amid reports that the country has registered deflation for the fourth month in a row with retailers recording reduced sales as people spend less and less.



Zimbabwe A tour of Pakistan postponed

via Zimbabwe A tour of Pakistan postponed | The Zimbabwean. 17 June 2014

The Zimbabwe A cricket team’s tour of Pakistan for two four-day games and three one-day games scheduled for later this month has been postponed to September with fears that the tour might not even take place after all.

Bangladesh Cricket Board’s acting Chief Executive Officer Nizamuddin Choudhury revealed Tuesday that the tour has been rescheduled but they have not yet come up with a date as to when the tour will now take centre stage. “The tour is being rescheduled. We haven’t come to a definite date yet but it is being worked out,” said Choudhury.

Zimbabwe Cricket communications manager Lovemore Banda confirmed the tour was off but added that the Zimbabwean team was unlikely to break camp as there are other commitments close by.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board had suggested that the tour be held in July and August but Zimbabwe Cricket refused the offer as they will be hosting South Africa and Australia in a money spinning tournament during the same time.

Zimbabwe are scheduled to play South Africa in a one-off Test before Tri-Series involving South Africa and Australia which have a span of seven matches.

In fact, information filtering through from Zimbabwe Cricket was that the whole purpose of going to Bangladesh was to have a look at the players for the South African and Australian matches and the postponed leaves the tour as of no purpose.

Zimbabwe Cricket had already named a strong 15 member squad for both the two four dayers and the three one-day matches . The teams had gone into camp with the intention of touring Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe have not had much competitive action as their last Tests matches came way back in September when they hosted Bangladesh. This was followed by the Twenty 20 World Cup in Bangladesh in March where Zimbabwe was eliminated before the real competition started.

Since then, Zimbabwe has not had any competitive international matches.


Zimplats raps political interference in community projects

via Zimplats raps political interference in community projects | The Zimbabwean. 17 June 2014

Leading platinum mining company Zimplats has decried excessive interference by politicians in its corporate social responsibility projects.

Speaking at an indaba organized by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) which ran under the theme “Creating space for community voices on mining” Zimplats head of corporate affairs, Busi Chindove, said a survey conducted by the mine indicated that the community was fed up with interference by the government.

“If Zimplats wants to carry out a project in the community it operates in say construct a dam, it has to go through an MP, a councillor and senior politicians. The process is so difficult. The easiest way would be to directly engage the community themselves but this is not what the politicians expect from us,” she said.

“We carried out a baseline survey to ascertain how the people in the community want to work with us on developmental initiatives. They feel there is no need to go through the political structures,” said Chindove.

Last year the company, owned by Implats of South Africa, clashed with the then Indigenisation Minister, Savior Kasukuwere, on corporate social development projects. The minister threatened to cancel their operating license, accusing the mine of refusing to release seed money for the controversial Zanu (PF) community share ownership scheme.

When Zimplats paid the money over, there were reports that the fund was abused by the trustees of the scheme, most of them party supporters. Chindove said Zimplats prioritised education, health and income generating projects. “In order to show its seriousness on the matter, the company has already spent $220 million in the projects,” she said.

Zimplats is the leading platinum mining firm in the country followed by Mimosa in Zvishavane and Shurugwi-based Unki Mine. Geologists say the mine is sitting on an estimated $4 billion worth of platinum and posts an annual average profit of $200 million.


CSOs set criteria for peace commission

via CSOs set criteria for peace commission | The Zimbabwean. 17 June 2014

Human rights defenders have called for the recruitment of neutral and untainted people as commissioners for the National Peace and Recreation Commission (NPRC), whose mandate is to ensure peaceful co-existence among Zimbabweans.

The call follows a recent invitation by Parliament for the public to make nominations for persons to serve on the NPRC and other commissions. The CSOs said it was important that there be clear criteria for the commissioners.

Okay Machisa, National Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (Zimrights), said the selection process should be all-inclusive.

“Given the importance of the commission to the country, the recruitment process should be inclusive and transparent,” he said, suggesting that government should CSOs and churches to be part of the selection process.

Candidates could include victims and perpetrators of violence, provided they were people of integrity in whom citizens could put their trust, he said.

Alec Muchadehama, a human rights lawyer, said victims and not perpetrators should be considered. “If one is not a victim then s/he was never involved in the fight for either human rights or democracy,” he added.

Thabani Nyoni, former spokesperson with Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said the country was not short of qualified and suitable candidates for the commission, it the selection process was transparent and inclusive.

According to Section 251 (4) of the constitution, members of the NPRC must qualify based on integrity, knowledge and experience in mediation, conciliation, conflict prevention and management, post-conflict and reconciliation or peace building capabilities.

Pressure is mounting from CSOs and pro-democracy groups for Parliament to speed up the setting up of all independent commissions as provided for in the constitution. Organisations such as Bulawayo Agenda, Women of Zimbabwe Arise, Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender (ZACRO), Women’s Coalition, Transparency International, Advocacy Unit, Students Solidarity Trust and Research and Veritas among others have added their weight to the call for a credible and transparent selection process.


World Bank gloomy on Zim economic growth

via The Zimbabwean | Zimbabwe News. 17June 2014

World Bank gloomy on Zim economic growth

Government is losing the war to revive the economy, whose growth the World Bank (WB) says will slow down even further this year.

The WB, in its latest Global Economic Prospects report, revised Zimbabwe’s economic growth for 2014 downwards from close to 4 percent to 2 percent, forecasting a further slide to 1 percent in 2015.

The international financial institution projected that economic growth would subsequently sink to 0.6 percent, warning of the possible danger of the growth rate turning negative in 2017 if no meaningful reforms are carried out to attract general investment.

While the economy shifted from hyperinflation to relative stability following the establishment of a Government of National Unity (GNU) in early 2009 and the adoption of a multi-currency regime, it deteriorated at the expiry of the coalition and last year’s general elections, won controversially by Zanu (PF).

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has admitted that he does not have a clue how to fix the economy, adding that he does not know why it deteriorated in the post-election period.

Companies are closing down in their hundreds and unemployment is rising, crippling government efforts to raise revenue.

Government, in recent months, has had to shift pay dates for civil servants because of a liquidity crunch and is failing to fund critical public programmes.

It recently toned down on its indigenisation policy which forced foreign companies to surrender majority shareholding to black Zimbabweans, now preferring to adopt a sector specific approach.

However, investors have assumed a wait-and-see attitude, showing no eagerness to plough their capital into the ailing economy as yet.

Further, the country has moved from hyperinflation to deflation—a trend whereby there are too many goods and little money to purchase them with, thereby reflecting a slowdown in economic activity.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), the economic is into its fourth month of deflation, since February.

The agency put the year-on-year inflation for May 2014 at -0.19 percent, as reflected by the Consumer Price Index.

Businesses have suffered because of the deflation as their sales have generally gone down.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is saddled with huge international loans that it is failing to service.

It owes hundreds of millions to such institutions as the WB, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

During a recent visit, EIB’s division chief for southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region, Deiderick Zambon, said Zimbabwe would not receive preferential treatment from the bank.

“We are a commercial bank and we don’t have a prerogative to forgive debts like our colleagues at the World Bank (WB) or the African Development Bank,” he said.


Zimbabwean whizkid unravels day of the African child

via Whiz kid unravels day of the African child | The Zimbabwean. 17 June 2014

For 15-year-old Maud Chifamba, the youngest university student in Africa, yesterday was a significant day on the continent.

“It is a day that reminds us that the key to our continent’s sustainable future will happen through a new set of eyes, eyes with a transformed view of the African child. To quote a wise one: it is better and easier to build children than repair them. Thus today is a significant day on the continent,” so she says.

Indeed yesterday was that day of the year that brings the fifty-four nations of Africa, from Cape to Cairo, together to celebrate the Day of the African Child. The Day aims at raising awareness for the situation of children in Africa and on the need for continuing improvement in education. It also encourages people’s spirit of abundance to share something with a child of Africa. This year, the Day is being celebrated under the theme: “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa.”

“To the children of Zimbabwe I would like to say we have a lot of work to do, a lot of dreams to fulfill and must be even more determined to conquer challenges before us, including the stereotype that the world has of Africa. We must strive to make both our country and thereby our continent better everyday in every way possible,” says Chifamba, who scooped the Panel Choice Award at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards, a couple of days ago.

Chifamba has been using her story to inspire different people around the world. “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say: because of you, I didn’t quit.”

The Day of the African Child, in Zimbabwe, also comes at a time when we are experiencing shocking incidences of child abuse. Recently the First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe, called for those who sexually abuse children to be punished severely or be hanged, citing an incident where a five year old girl from Gokwe had to be removed her uterus by doctors after being sexually abused by an uncle.

Section 19 of the constitution says tat the state must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to children, the best interests of the children concerned are paramount. It also calls for the protection of children from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse and to ensure that they have access to appropriate education and training.



Zimbabwe Asylum woes: relief after 7yr limbo

via Asylum woe: Valerie’s relief after 7yr limbo. 17 June 2014

In 2003 Valerie Makanza fled the violence in her home country of Zimbabwe for a new life in the UK. Eleven years later she is finally getting her life back on track thanks to an “inspiring” FE college. Here, she shares her story as part of Refugee Week 2014:

It’s when the land grabs started in Zimbabwe that I decided I had to leave and come to England. The violence was really bad. I came here alone in 2003 when I was 17. I was so young. When I arrived here, I applied for asylum.

My mum was already here, but she has a different surname from me so I couldn’t trace her – or even prove to the authorities that she existed – so I had to go through the process on my own.

I was held in detention centres in different places for about six months altogether. You have to fend for yourself in those places. It’s terrible there, to see young kids and mums being held. I understood what suicidal thoughts were, staring at four walls, being scared. It’s very tough on the children, and you see your friends being deported. It’s not a pretty sight.

Eventually I was released and given a room in a house in Bristol. It wasn’t fit to be lived in, but I had no choice. I had no money, but was allowed a weekly voucher for food.

For the next seven years I was in limbo, waiting for my case to go through the system. It’s such a long period of time. My solicitor helped me, but it was so tough.

During that time, I decided to leave Bristol and I came to London. But when I went to the job centre to try to get work, all the employers wanted me to have work experience. And there was a gap on my CV for the time I had been in England, so they wouldn’t take me on.

I wanted to get on with my education. I tried to enrol at college but no one would fund me because they didn’t know if I would be deported back home before the end of the course. They didn’t want to waste their money on me. So that door was closed to me, too.

I tried everything. It was a very tough time for me.

Eventually I got refugee status and a British passport. You can imagine how relieved I was. I was very keen to get on with my education, and I became a student at Croydon College.

First I did an English course and now I’m training to be a nursery nurse. I’m doing a level 2 BTEch in Health and Social Care.

I support myself through my studies with two jobs. I work at the local gym in the evenings during the week and at weekends I work at the hospital.

Everyone at college is so nice. At last I’m settled. I can make friends and look to the future. I know what my future holds.

The college has inspired me. It makes me strong. The staff make me feel I can do everything. They’re encouraging even when I’m down.

I feel so sad for the younger generation still in Zimbabwe. They have no future, no job prospects.

I wish someone would help them as I’ve been helped.

Government grabs another disputed property

via Government grabs disputed property. NEWSDAY 17 June 2014

BULAWAYO — The land ownership wrangle between Mahlaba Housing Programme (MHP) and Gamange (Private) Limited has taken a new twist after government compulsorily took over the disputed property.


Secretary for Lands and Rural Resettlement Sophia Tsvakwi wrote to the Registrar of Bulawayo High Court recently advising that government had compulsorily acquired the whole of subdivision L of Helenvale Block in Bulawayo measuring 1 237 hectares.

“We wish to advise that this ministry has received instructions to compulsorily acquire the whole of subdivision L of Helenvale Block measuring 1 237, 2 717 hectares from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for the purpose of urban development,” Tsvakwi wrote.

“The notice to gazette the piece of land shall appear in the Government Gazette and local newspapers in due course.”

Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva last Friday also granted a provisional order in an urgent chamber application filed by Gamange (Private) Ltd.

The ruling meant that MHP subsidiary, River Valley Properties (Private) Ltd, a property developer which had been developing the stands on the land in question for the benefit of thousands of civil servants, would immediately cease operations.

But River Valley Properties, through its lawyer Nelson Mashizha, has since appealed at the Supreme Court against Justice Takuva’s ruling, thereby superseding the initial provisional order issued by the High Court.

Part of the appeal read: “The court a quo erred at law in granting the provisional order sought by Gamange (Private) Ltd when the matter was not urgent and when it is clear that the certificate of urgency was invalid such that there was no urgent chamber application before the court.

“The court a quo erred at law by granting the order when it was clear that the relief sought by Gamange (Private) Ltd was the same both in the interim order
and in the final order sought. The court a quo erred grossly at law and on facts in holding that Gamange (Private) Ltd had established a prima facie right to the land in question in view of the latest development to the effect that the land in question had already been gazetted for compulsory acquisition by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement in the Government Gazette and published in the Chronicle Newspaper.”

Johnson Sibanda, through his property company Gamange (Private) Ltd, filed an urgent chamber application last week seeking to interdict the owner of MHP, Gweru businesswoman Smelly Dube, her business partner Limukani Sibanda, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Bulawayo Eunice Moyo and the Surveyor-General from further developing the disputed area.

Mine workers bitter over 5% salary increase

via Mine workers bitter over 5% salary increase. NEWSDAY, 17 June 2014 by Blessed Mhlanga

June 17, 2014 in News

THE National Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (NMWUZ) has shot down a 5% salary increase awarded to its members under this year’s collective bargaining process, describing the increment as a pittance.


The National Employment Council salary deal was endorsed by the NMWUZ’s rival union the Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ) and the Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe (COMZ) on April 25.

Under the new salary deal, the lowest paid workers will now get $238,41, up from $227,06, while the highest gets $552,96 from the previous salary scale of $526,63.

“This is totally an insult and it reflects that those who were involved (AMWUZ) did not consult adequately with the workers in the mining industry. What is 5% of $227 nothing to say the least?” NMWUZ said in a statement.

NMWUZ president Tinashe Mugwira said his union wanted to have the lowest paid worker getting at least $400 per month, a few dollars slightly above the minimum wage pegged by government which stands at $375.

“The government which is non-productive has pegged its minimum wage at $375, yet workers at the nerve centre of the economy, those who have traceable records of production are left to hang in the arms of poverty earning a paltry $238 a month,” Mugwira said.

Part of the NEC agreement letter served to all unions and employers read: “This notice serves that the following rates for grades 1 -13 were agreed upon by AMWUZ and COMZ and will be subsequently sent to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare for registration and publication.”

Most mines, especially those in gold production and ferro-chrome mining, have closed shop over the past few months due to depressed metal prices on the world market.


We’ve defeated sanctions: Mugabe

via We’ve defeated sanctions: Mugabe. 17 June 2014

STRUGGLING Zimbabweans may now expect their decade-long anguish to abate after President Robert Mugabe triumphantly declared that sanctions imposed by the West – by his reckoning the sole cause of the country’s economic problems – had been defeated.

The 90 year-old leader delivered his version of George W Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” boast in far-away Bolivia during the G-77+China summit held last weekend.

Mugabe has told a nation battered to near resignation by economic turmoil that their grief had nothing to do with the incompetence of his administration (as claimed by opponents) but evil sanctions imposed by the West at the behest of the hated former coloniser Britain.

However, speaking in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the Zanu PF leader told Iranian Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, that he had managed to “ward off pressures” brought by the sanctions.

“The sanctions are getting defeated domestically and to the extent that our allies are supporting us internationally,” he said.

At home, Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have long spun a different narrative, blaming the sanctions for all ills buffeting the country.

In March this year, Mugabe was blaming the same sanctions for his government’s failure to honour salary promises made to civil servants while he was campaigning for re-election last July.

“We are currently going through a difficult patch as a result of the sanctions that were imposed on us,” Mugabe told guests to one of three parties organised to celebrate his birthday.

“This has resulted in a delay in the fulfilment of the promises of a salary increment that we made last year.”

The sanctions were imposed by the West due to violations of human rights and electoral fraud, allegations which Mugabe denies, insisting he was punished for his land reforms.

However, US envoy Bruce Wharton said Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems were self-made and not related to the sanctions.

Speaking in February, he reminded Harare that the country was not under sanctions in 1997 when the Zim Dollar crashed, losing 71,5%  of its value, after Mugabe’s government made unbudgeted payments to war veterans.

Wharton also pointed out that economic gains registered under the coalition government were achieved with the sanctions still in place.

MDC-T to hold primaries for rebel MPs

via MDC-T to hold primaries for rebel MPs. 17 June 2014

THE MDC-T faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai plans to hold primary elections to choose new candidates in constituencies held by legislators backing the renewal team, party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora has revealed.

Mwonzora told Chronicle Monday the opposition was stepping up efforts to get rid of legislators belonging to the faction led by the party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti.

An attempt by to have the legislators recalled from Parliament failed after the Speaker refused to be involved, telling the warring factions to take their fight to the courts.

“As far as we’re concerned the legislators who joined the so-called renewal team do not belong to the MDC-T.  We are therefore planning to hold primary elections to elect new candidates that belong to the party,” said Mwonzora.

“These would not be shadow MPs but real MPs representing the MDC-T. We have already started preparing for the elections and we would soon be having new MPs that belong to the party.”

However, the renewal team’s national chairperson Samuel Sipepa Nkomo dismissed the Tsvangirai group’s threat as a non-event.

“As MPs, we’re accountable to the people in our constituencies, including those that did not vote for us, not party members only. We’ll therefore continue with our work,” said the Lobengula legislator.

“Obviously the split has created groups in Parliament. We’re no longer discussing together, which is natural considering what has transpired in the past months. But this does not affect our work.”

Some of the targeted MPs said they would not pay any attention to Mwonzora’s claims.

Luveve MP, Reggy Moyo, they are no longer working with the MDC-T group, even in Parliament.

“We’re no longer caucusing together and we never meet for discussions but this does not affect our work at Parliament.  The fact that we differ in principles and values should not affect our work,” he said.

Mpopoma-Pelandaba legislator Bekithemba Nyathi added: “This is just a political game they’re playing. The fact that I have crossed floor doesn’t mean that I have to be stopped from representing the people that voted for me.

“This shows the level of intolerance that is within the party but it will not deter us from being committed to our work.”

MDC-T youths defy police, give Mugabe ultimatum

via Video : MDC-T youths defy police, give Mugabe ultimatum. NEWSDAY 17 June 2014 by Moses Matenga

AT LEAST 150 MDC-T youths yesterday defied a police directive barring them from holding a procession from Town House to Harare Gardens as part of commemorations to mark the Day of the African Child.


The militant youths gathered at Town House yesterday morning and resisted an order by more than 20 anti-riot police details to desist from the march as they threatened to retaliate if police continued to block their “democratic right”.

MDC-T youths confront police officers at Town House in Harare before marching to Africa Unity Square to commemorate the Day of the African Child today.

The MDC-T youths embarked on their march despite the heavy police presence and arrest of their leader Denford Ngadziore for resisting a police directive to call off the demonstrations.

Unperturbed by Ngadziore’s arrest, the youths chanted the opposition party’s slogans and continued with their march which was largely peaceful. The march ended at Harare Gardens where speaker after speaker hailed Zimbabwean youths and urged them to “prepare to fight and die for their rights”.

Some 60 heavily-armed anti-riot police details in three trucks kept a watchful eye on the demonstrators monitoring the proceedings from a distance after failing to stop the march.

The youths said this year’s theme — Demanding Accessible, Affordable, Quality Education, Jobs and Equal Opportunities For All — was conceived to pressure the Zanu PF government to create employment opportunities.

MDC-T Harare youth secretary Denford Ngadziore stands in a police truck after he was arrested (pictured).

They gave President Robert Mugabe until July 31 this year to deliver jobs or risk civil unrest.

The youths held placards, demanding the Mugabe government to give them jobs as per their election promise while singing and chanting party slogans.

At Harare Gardens, the youths openly attacked Mugabe and the failure by Zanu PF government to deliver election promises.

MDC-T deputy youth organising secretary Happymore Chidziva in his address said: “From July, we will use all means necessary for us to get our jobs. Youths are angry and for 15 years we have been patient with him (Mugabe), but now he must go.

“The month of July is the month of action. On July 31, we would have taken action to make sure he is gone. By all means necessary, Zimbabwe will be free.”

Provincial youth chairman Shakespeare Mukoyi added: “There is nothing we can demand from this dictator and get because he has nothing to offer except killings, rape and corruption. The only thing we can demand from Mugabe and make sure we get to improve our livelihoods is to make sure we push him and Zanu PF out of office.


“If you take it as a joke, I tell you, we cannot move Mugabe an inch from office.”

Youth national spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo challenged Zimbabwean youths to emulate their South African counterparts who on June 16 1976 staged demonstrations which culminated in the Soweto Uprising demanding their rights.

“They were young just like us, they were poor just like us, they were jobless just like us, they were unarmed just like us, they only carried their banners demanding their rights saying they were not happy with the way their country was being run,” Hlatywayo said.

The apartheid South African police quelled the demonstrations by firing teargas and live bullets on the students, killing several of them.

Commemorations of the Day of the African Child originated from that incident.

Hlatywayo added: “We have problems with getting jobs, we must take action. If Mugabe is our problem, we must take action. If the police trouble us, the solution is action.”

MDC-T national youth secretary for security and defence James Chidhakwa said: “We have lost a lot of cadres along the way. We lost Tonderai Ndira, Joshua Bakacheza, Godfrey Kauzani and many others at the hands of Zanu PF. They died demanding their rights to be respected. This day we continue to demand our jobs.

You made promises, we demand those promised 2,2 million jobs. Too much fear brings misery to our land. Let us be bold and demand what is rightfully ours.”

But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday described the MDC-T youths as a “bunch of paid-up gangsters” and warned that the ruling party would deal with them if they decided to engage in violent activities.

“They are just paid-up gangsters that are demonstrating to get money. We have enough security to deal with that nonsense and for them to suggest that the Zanu PF government has failed within a year is nonsensical. We are implementing our policies and as far as we are concerned, we have enough security to deal with them,” Gumbo said.

Mugabe and the police have often warned that they will take stern action against unsanctioned demonstrations.

Similar commemorations were held in Bulawayo and Chitungwiza provinces over the weekend.


Arrests for kidnapping, torturing, robbing border jumpers

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | 12 arrested for kidnapping, torturing, robbing border jumpers. 17 June 2014 by Marvelous Moyo

POLICE have arrested 12 suspects who allegedly kidnapped, tortured and robbed 30 people who intended to cross into South Africa illegally.

Sunboy Ngwenya, 39, Thabani Ngwenya, 46, Alfos Mpofu, 40, Nhlaloyabo Dlamini, 24, Alfred Tshuma, 20, Loveless Ncube, 34, Jeffrey Moyo, 36, Thifulufheni Ndou, 40, Mbusilizwe Sibanda, 36, Bernard Makwelo, 48, Lungisani Moyo, 34, and Lemson Ncube, 50, are expected to appear before Gwanda regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza on Friday.

Their trial started in Beitbridge recently, before being transferred to Gwanda regional court yesterday, but was postponed to Friday.

Regional prosecutor Johannes Tlou sought postponement of the matter citing fuel challenges in transporting five of the accused persons from Beitbridge.

“Your Worship, we cannot proceed with the trial today because the other five accused persons failed to come to court, they are still in Beitbridge. I phoned Prisons Regional Office in Bulawayo and was informed that they had no fuel. They promised to source fuel as soon as possible,” said Tlou.

Mabeza  then postponed the case to Friday.

According to the State outline, during the period extending from February 1 to February 3 this year, the 12 entered into a contract to assist 30 people who did not have passports to cross into South Africa illegally for a fee ranging from R200 to R1, 000 per person.

On departure day, they are alleged to have found Limpopo River flooded and decided to take the 30 to Ndou’s homestead where they held them captive.

They tortured them, before robbing them R25, 500 rands.

“The agreement was that the accused persons were to assist the complainants to cross through the official crossing point namely Beitbridge Border Post. The accused persons instead transported the complainants to Phephu village under Chief Matibe in Beitbridge using three motor vehicles intending to assist the complainants to leave the country through an undesignated exit point,” reads the State outline.

The complainants were threatened, assaulted and denied free movement by the accused persons using knives, firearm and metal objects.
The accused persons further confiscated complainants’ cellphones to deny them communication and also robbed them of R25, 500, the state further alleges.

0ne of their victims, Ebeneza Nyoni escaped from captivity and reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the 12 are all represented by Thompson Mabhikwa.

Another victim Luckson Nyikadzino suffered severe injuries due to the torture and was admitted to Beitbridge District Hospital.



Tsvangirai’s MDC to hold primaries

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Tsvangirai’s MDC to hold primary elections. 17 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T has said it will soon hold primary elections to elect new candidates in constituencies held by lawmakers who are members of the breakaway renewal team as fighting between the two factions escalates, Chronicle reported.

The party’s spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said the party had started preparations for the polls as it seeks to get rid of legislators belonging to the faction led by the party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti.

“As far as we’re concerned the legislators who joined the so-called renewal team do not belong to the MDC-T. We are therefore planning to hold primary elections to elect new candidates that belong to the party. These would not be shadow MPs but real MPs representing the MDC-T,” said Mwonzora.

“We have already started preparing for the elections and we would soon be having new MPs that belong to the party.”

Party members from Tsvangirai’s faction have been putting pressure on the legislators aligned to Biti to resign. Initially, the MDC-T had intended to recall nine MPs, but the list of those alleged to be working with Biti is growing.

The renewal team’s national chairperson who is also Lobengula legislator Dr Samuel Sipepa Nkomo yesterday dismissed Tsvangirai faction’s latest threat as a non-event.

“As MPs we’re accountable to the people in our constituencies, including those that did not vote for us, not party members only. We’ll therefore continue with our work.

“Obviously the split has created groups in Parliament. We’re no longer discussing together, which is natural considering what has transpired in the past months,” said Dr Sipepa Nkomo.

Reggy Moyo, Luveve MP said people that want them to be recalled, including Mwonzora cannot take action against anyone as they were suspended.

He said they were no longer working with the MDC-T group, even in Parliament.

Mpopoma-Pelandaba legislator Bekithemba Nyathi said he would not be answerable to a few individuals who are only concerned about their own interests.

Last month, the Speaker of the National Assembly Cde Jacob Mudenda said the fight between the two factions could only be settled in court.

Mwonzora however said the Speaker’s ruling does not stop them from recalling the MPs as provided for in the Constitution.



D-day for ‘suspended’ Tsvangirai

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | D-day for ‘suspended’ Morgan Tsvangirai. 17 June 2014 by Clemence Manyukwe

THE MDC renewal team has set tomorrow as the date on which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is set to appear before a tribunal consisting of three lawyers, two from Bulawayo to answer various charges that include violating the party’s constitution.

The party’s renewal team’s national council that is led by secretary general Tendai Biti suspended Tsvangirai two months ago, pending a hearing following sharp differences that followed calls for the opposition leader to step down in squabbles triggered by the MDC-T’s heavy losses in last year’s polls.

Tsvangirai is being charged with 17 counts that include violating the party’s constitution, unilaterally joining the inclusive government in 2009 and allegedly abusing $1,5 million from the government meant for the construction of his Highlands residence following negotiations that the party was not aware of.

The MDC renewal team spokesperson Jacob Mafume confirmed the latest development too.

“The hearing is on June 18. He is aware of the charges, but he has not responded,” he said.

Mafume could not immediately reveal the panel that would try Tsvangirai, but sources said three lawyers have been identified, one from Harare and two others from Bulawayo.

Contacted for comment, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said Tsvangirai would not attend the hearing initiated by Biti’s faction.

“President Tsvangirai cannot appear at a hearing of another party. These people have formed their own political party and there would be no hearing that he would attend,” said Mwonzora.

Tsvangirai and his former lieutenants’ now appear to have irreconcilable differences, with Biti at the weekend saying President Mugabe was a better leader than Tsvangirai.

The former Finance Minister said the MDC-T’s kitchen cabinet was useless as it had people who failed to deliver during the opposition party’s time in the inclusive government.

Tsvangirai has been losing a number of former key allies, with recent revelations showing that the party’s treasurer general Roy Bennett has since stopped fundraising for the group, amid suspicions from the former Prime Minister’s loyalists that he could be one of the main financiers’ of the renewal group.



Farm workers ‘steal’ from Mnangagwa

via Farm workers ‘steal’ from Mnangagwa. NEWSDAY 17 June 2014 by Blessed Mhlanga

The suspects — Isaiah Mugavazi (43), Peter Goredema (26) and Tinashe Dube (27) — allegedly stole the grain worth $2 800 during harvesting between April and May this year.

The three last Thursday appeared before Kwekwe magistrate Taurai Manwere facing theft charges and were remanded in custody to June 24 after they failed to raise the $100 bail which the court had granted them.

Mnangagwa’s younger brother, Patrick Mnangagwa, who is the farm manager, was cited as the complainant in the matter.

It is the State’s case that Goredema, who was employed as a tractor driver, teamed up with his supervisor Mugavazi and loaded the maize into a trailer before driving to a nearby bush.

“They offloaded the maize in the bush and packed the 10 tonnes in sacks which had been provided by Dube. The maize was sold to an unknown buyer who was driving a white pick-up — registration unknown — and nothing was recovered,” part of the State outline read.

Mugavazi is alleged to have been the chief architect after having linked up with the unknown buyer at Muwandi Shopping Centre some two kilometres from Mnangagwa’s farm.

Their lawyer Charles Chigomere confirmed that his clients were still in custody as they were failing to raise the bail money.



Chombo, Gushungo feud escalates

via Chombo, Gushungo clan feud escalates – DailyNews Live. 16 June 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – The row between President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo clan and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo is escalating, with the chiefs demanding that the minister’s wings be clipped, after he insisted on the imposition of an unpopular chief.

While the minister was unreachable for comment yesterday, he is accused of trying to impose Matheas Matare as chief of the Beperere clan.

As an acting chief, Mutare stirred a hornet’s nest when he fired all headmen appointed by Chief Zvimba, replacing them with his cronies.

The influential Gushungo clan is reportedly incensed by Chombo’s meddling in internal family affairs, in particular the imposition of chiefs and also the parcelling out of land in the area unfairly.

Chombo, who is one of Mugabe’s right hand men, courted the wrath of the Gushungo clan when he rejected their preferred chief, Harare provincial administrator Alfred Tome, who is backed by Chief Zvimba and his kinsmen.

The chieftainship battle has sucked into its vortex Mugabe, his nephews and some Cabinet ministers.

“Upon the death of Sabina Mugabe, Walter Chidakwa, (minister of Mines and Mining Development) was handpicked by Chombo as the new MP,” said a family member.

With Chombo apparently keen on handpicking his “loyal” chief,  Gushungo clan family members told the Daily News that the Local Government minister could be eyeing a berth in the presidium, through the backing of chiefs, who are key in marshalling support for Zanu PF.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Chief Zvimba said the Gushungos, not Chombo, were the custodians of their clan’s chieftainship.

“The issue is not ending because the minister is imposing his will on the people. We are a clan and we know who we want and humambo hunobva kuvanhu huchienda kuministry (chieftainship comes from the people going to the ministry) not the other way round,” Chief Zvimba said.

Chombo wants to impose Matare, who has been the acting chief for the past 15 years in a substantive capacity, a move that the Gushungos, say is designed to perpetuate Chombo’s reign-in Zvimba through proxies.

Chief Zvimba yesterday said “ushe madzoro (chieftainship rotates)” and should not reside in only one person or family.

“He (Matare) has been the acting chief for 15 years and thus he has overstayed his mandate,” Chief Zvimba said.

“He has been there for 15 years and it should be noted that Zvimba has three families and it should rotate among the three. Our customs are very clear that when it is time up, you should leave.”

The role of Chombo in Zvimba forced the Gushungo family, led by flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa, to organise a crisis meeting on how best to deal with the influential minister.

Sources who attended the meeting said Chiyangwa proposed that Chombo be given the mandate to act for and on behalf of the Gushungo clan in matters concerning Zvimba.

Chiyangwa reasoned that if Chidakwa and Chombo were working together, it was important to have their support so as to benefit from platinum mines in the area. He said Chombo could be dealt with later.

But the Gushungos shot down the proposal fearing it was a ploy by Chiyangwa to get more land.

“We are going to come up with our new date on when we are going to install the chief,” said a defiant Chief Zvimba.

“For now, we are waiting to hear from the ministry what they are going to do about our proposal. Chombo is our minister. We have every reason to agree to disagree with him. He is a presidential appointee but he should not impose his views on us. We cannot have a perpetual conflict. This is not about domination. We are the custodians of this chieftain.”



Online payments made easy as Paypal comes to Zimbabwe

via Online payments made easy as Paypal comes to Zimbabwe. NEWSDAY 16 June 2014

Business, News

LONDON- PayPal is entering 10 new countries this week, including Zimbabwe, providing online payment alternatives for consumers via mobile phones or PCs in markets often blighted by financial fraud.

Rupert Keeley, the executive in charge of the EMEA region of PayPal, the payments unit of eBay Inc, said in an interview on Monday the expansion would bring the number of countries it serves to 203.

Starting on Tuesday, consumers in Nigeria, which has 60 million users and has Africa’s largest population, along with nine other markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America will be able to make payments through PayPal.

“PayPal has been going through a period of reinvention, refreshing many of its services to make them easier to use on mobile (phones), allowing us to expand into fast-developing markets,” Keeley said.

Once the services go live, customers in the 10 countries with access to the Web and a bank card authorized for Internet transactions will be able to register for a PayPal account and make payments to millions of sites worldwide.

Initially, PayPal is only offering “send money” services for consumers to pay for goods and services at PayPal-enabled merchant sites while safeguarding their financial details. This is free to consumers and covered by fees it charges merchants.

“We think we can give our sellers selling into this market a great deal of reassurance,” said Keeley, a former regional banking executive with Standard Chartered Plc and senior executive with payment card company Visa Inc.

PayPal does not yet cover peer-to-peer transactions, which allow consumers to send money to other consumers. It has not yet enabled local merchants in the new markets to receive payments, nor is it offering other forms of banking services, he said.

A 2013 survey of 200 UK ecommerce sites by Visa’s CyberSource unit estimated that 1.26 percent of online orders are fraudulent and that 85 percent of merchants expected fraud to increase or remain static last year.

CyberSource also estimated that suspicion of fraudulent transactions result in 8.2 percent of online orders in Latin America being rejected by merchants, compared with 5.5 percent in Europe and 2.7 percent in the United States and Canada.

Such fraud can include ID theft, social engineering, phishing and automated harvesting of customer financial data via botnets, or networks of computers controlled by hackers.

A total of 80 million Internet users stand to gain access to PayPal global services this week, including those in five European markets – Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco and Montenegro, four in the African nations of Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Zimbabwe, as well as Paraguay. Internet usage figures are based on research by Euromonitor International.

PayPal counts 148 million active accounts worldwide.

Last week, MasterCard Inc, the world’s second-largest debit and credit card company, and a PayPal rival in payment processing, said it was working with the Nigerian government on a pilot to overlay payment technology on a new national identity card.

PayPal has operated in 190 markets since 2007 and added three countries – Egypt, Georgia and Serbia last year. Roughly a quarter of the $52 billion in payment volumes PayPal reported in the first quarter of 2014 were for cross-border transactions. PayPal reported $1.8 billion in revenue during the period.

Reuters/ Online Reporter


Zimbabwe in contact with Swiss govt

via Zimbabwe establishes direct contact with Swiss govt. NEWSDAY 17 June 2014 by Tarisai Mandizha

June 17, 2014 in Business

GOVERNMENT has established direct contact with the Swiss government through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring development assistance to Zimbabwe, a government official has said.

Tarisai Mandizha
Business Reporter

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said: “The idea of this negotiation is to conclude a MOU basically to commit ourselves to direct contact and provision of development assistance and they are committed to travel that path.

“As you know, our aid co-ordination architecture also entails development assistance being provided through a vote of credit and this is to ensure that aid goes to the purpose of which it is provided and that there is transparency in the use of that aid and also to satisfy the taxpayers from whose pocket that development assistance is coming from. This is also to ensure and enhance accountability and avoid any duplication of efforts in terms of projects or development assistance.”

He said the Swiss government was currently providing development assistance in the areas of health and agriculture and last year a Swiss delegation was in Zimbabwe to visit some of their development projects.

“We hope to conclude the MoU on the basis of the Paris Declaration with the essential elements to encourage direct contact between a development partner and a recipient country such as we are, as well as support the building of institutional capacity to handle any development assistance that may be provided to us.
Basically, it encourages transparency, accountability and minimises duplication of aid efforts,” he said.


Diarrhoea claims 42 lives

via Diarrhoea claims 42 lives. Newsday 17 June 2014 by Feluna Nleya

June 17, 2014 in Health, National, News

FORTY-TWO people succumbed to diarrhoea last week, bringing the total of diarrhoea-induced deaths to 409 since the beginning of the year.

Feluna Nleya
Staff Reporter

According to the recent Health and Child Care ministry disease surveillance, 23 of the deaths were of children below the age of five years.

“The total diarrhoea cases reported this week are 12 438 cases and 42 deaths,” the report read.

“Of the reported cases, 8 245 and 23 deaths were from the under five years of age.”

Chiredzi district in Masvingo province recorded the highest number of deaths with 11, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals (six), Chitungwiza Hospital and Gweru district recorded five deaths each while Harare Central Hospital had four deaths.

Sanyati and Bindura districts both recorded three deaths apiece, while Masvingo, Gokwe South, Shurugwi and Umguza districts recorded one death each.

The cumulative figure for diarrhoea cases since the beginning of the year now stands at 236 999 and 409 deaths. The ministry last week recorded 14 diarrhoea-
related deaths countrywide with children being the most affected.

The government recently launched a rota-virus vaccination programme to curb the spread of diarrhoea among children.

Meanwhile, the ministry said it had recorded four confirmed and two suspected typhoid cases in Harare, Nyanga and Chitungwiza.

The report also recorded 20 malaria deaths.

“A total of 14 087 malaria cases and 20 deaths were reported this week,” the report added.

“Of the cases reported, 2 345 and 11 deaths were under the age of five years.”

The cumulative figure for malaria was 425 444 cases and 515 deaths.


Zimbabwe deflation fourth month in a row

via Zimbabwe registers deflation for fourth month in a row. NEWSDAY 17 June 2014 by Victoria Mtomba


ZIMBABWE has registered deflation for the fourth month in a row since February this year, reflecting a slowdown in economic activity.


Figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency show that the year-on-year inflation rate for the month of May 2014 as measured by the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at -0,19%, gained 0,07 percentage points on the April rate of 0,26%. Deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services.

This means that prices as measured by the all-items CPI decreased by an average of 0,19 percentage points between May 2013 and May 2014.

The year-on-year inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the same month in the previous year.

A local analyst said this showed that the economy had been slowing down due to liquidity problems in the economy. The figures also support World Bank growth prospects for Zimbabwe which they project at 2% from 3% previously.

“The economy is now literally under care and maintenance due to lack of capital to stimulate growth. Failure to attract capital flows may see this trend persisting as aggregate demand continues to weaken. The weakening of the rand is not helping Zimbabwe as most goods being imported are invoiced in United States dollar terms,” the analyst said.

Retailers have recorded reduced sales as people do not have disposable income with others closing shop due to viability challenges in the first five months of this year.

The year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation prone to transitory shocks stood at -3,75% while the non-food inflation rate was 1,62%.

The month-on-month inflation rate in May 2014 was -0,13% shedding 0,71 percentage points on the April 2014 rate of 0,58%.

This means that prices as measured by the all-items CPI decreased at an average rate of 0,13% from April 2014 to May 2014.

The month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation stood at -0,30% in May 2014, gaining 0,16 percentage points on the April 2014 rate of -0,46%. The month on-month non-food inflation stood at -0,05%, shedding -1,14 percentage points on the April 2014 rate of 1,09%.

In February this year the country recorded a deflation figure of -0,49% and in March it stood at -0,91%.

Headline news 17 June, 2014

MDC-T youths arrested during June 16 march

via MDC-T youths arrested during June 16 march | SW Radio Africa. 16 June 2014 by Mthulisi Mathuthu


At least two MDC T- activists were arrested Monday in Harare as they marched through the streets in commemoration of the 1976 Soweto student uprisings also known as June 16.

June 16 is a public holiday in South Africa in remembrance of the uprisings which were started by students in protest against the introduction of Afrikaans as the language of instruction in schools. The MDC-T also commemorates the annual event as they equate the fate of the then South African students with the oppression faced by Zimbabwean youths under ZANU PF rule.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said hundreds of youths were gathered at the Harare Town House footbridge on Monday when the police pitched up trying to disperse the crowds. When the youths refused to oblige the police arrested the youth secretary for Harare Province Denford Ngadziore.

Muchemwa said after the incident the youths marched to the Harare Gardens where they were addressed by their leaders at the Pavilion Square. Skirmishes with the police ensued again an hour later as the youths gathered outside the party headquarters at the Harvest House. The riot police were called in, leading to the arrest of another party member.

According to Muchemwa, MDC-T national youth spokesman Clifford Hlatshwayo said the youths demanded jobs and an end to oppression and poverty.



Mugabe legitimises fiscal indiscipline

via Mugabe legitimises ‘fiscal indiscipline’ | SW Radio Africa. 16 June 2014  by Nomalanga Moyo


President Robert Mugabe has signed into law the Financial Adjustments Bill thereby transferring unauthorised expenditure from 2013 to the current budget.

According to the Daily News, the government overran the 2013 budget by $400 million with the biggest spender, the Justice Ministry, accounting for at least $143 million of this amount.

The Agriculture Ministry over-ran its allocation by $82 million, the Home Affairs Ministry spent an extra $80 million, while Mugabe’s office gobbled up an extra $31 million.

Harare-based economist Vince Musewe castigated the government for legitimising fiscal indiscipline and for being a liability on Zimbabwean taxpayers.

“A government overspends because those authorised to spend money are doing so outside the parameters of the previous year’s budget. This really ridicules the whole point of budgeting in the first place,” Musewe said.

The move also means Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who has been saying Treasury is skint, has to accommodate this unauthorised spending in the current budget.

“This again makes this year’s budget meaningless and to add insult to injury as Zimbabweans are never told what the money was spent on.

“What we know for sure however is that the funds were not spent on either paying civil servants’ salaries, or on school fees for vulnerable children, or reviving the economy. All this has been offloaded on to western donors.

“This is a reflection of the culture of incompetence and unaccountability of this government which can’t even stick to the budget approved by its parliament,” Musewe added.

In the current budget Mugabe’s office received $200 million which many Zimbabweans feel the President spends on his numerous travels abroad while the country collapses.

“This is a huge allocation for an office that is not delivering either on effective political leadership or in terms of ensuring that people have jobs,” Musewe told SW Radio Africa on the Zim We Want programme.


More bad news for the MDC-T | SW Radio Africa

via More bad news for the MDC-T | SW Radio Africa. 16 June 2014 by Tererai Karimakwenda

The serious infighting that led to a split in the MDC-T has continued to take its toll, as a senior official resigned his position in the Tsvangirai camp and others joined the so-called Renewal Team, led by Tendai Biti.

The Member of Parliament for Makokoba and Bulawayo Province chairperson, Gorden Moyo, submitted a letter of resignation from his position in the party on Friday, citing factionalism and violence among other issues.

The Southern Eye news site said Moyo is currently not taking sides and has refused to give up his seat in parliament, insisting this would give ZANU PF control of Bulawayo. He also said the MDC-T in its current weak state would lose a by-election to ZANU PF.

The move was immediately dismissed as a “non-event” by the MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, who referred to Moyo as a “newcomer” in that province and insisted the former Bulawayo Agenda director had not shown any leadership qualities.

This was followed by the news that the MP for Kuwadzana and former Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga, had not only resigned but had joined the Renewal Team, fronted by the former secretary general Tendai Biti.

More resignations were announced at a press conference in Manicaland on Friday, where the Manicaland provincial youth executive said they had made the “painful decision” to separate from Tsvangirai.

The Renewal spokesperson in Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, confirmed that the youths, led by chairman Dennis Simango, had joined their camp along with district chairpersons and national executive members from around the province. Muchauraya accused Tsvangirai of being “an enemy of democracy”.

“There are so many reasons but some are the failure by Tsvangirai to stick to the founding values of the party and the continued violation of the party constitution. The youths felt that he could therefore not be trusted with the national constitution and has become a liability,” Muchauraya explained.

He added: “He is so compromised he cannot face ZANU PF. He is staying at a ZANU PF house but at the same time trying to cheat people that he is fighting ZANU PF. So the youths felt that he is actually cheating the people.”

The former MDC-T spokesperson for Manicaland went further to accuse Tsvangirai of campaigning for another political party in the last election, saying he endorsed Simba Makoni for the seat in Makoni South, instead of the candidate that had been chosen by the party members.

But the MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, dismissed the Manicaland resignations as a “publicity stunt”, saying the youths had already left the party as far back as January this year and were only announcing it now to get publicity.

Biti himself was suspended by the MDC-T following calls to replace Morgan Tsvangirai as party president. The situation was further complicated when both sides claimed they now held parliamentary seats under the same party name.

This created a conflict in parliament that the ZANU PF speaker of the house handed over to the courts to resolve. The courts are also staffed with ZANU PF appointees, who now have to decide the fate of their opposition, as always.



Calls for inquiry into Sabi mine closure

via MDC-T calls for inquiry into Sabi Gold mine closure | SW Radio Africa. 16 June 2014 by Mthulisi Mathuthu

The MDC-T is calling for a ‘full inquiry’ into the circumstances which led to the closure of the state-owned Sabi Gold Mine, which has left 500 workers jobless with the company still owing them six month salaries.

A statement from the party said the inquiry should investigate how a ‘productive’ mine, which was producing $2 million worth of gold per month, had sunk. The party attributed the development to corruption and poor management adding that with no verifiable records of remittances to the treasury and with the workers having gone for such a long time without being paid it was ‘only logical to conclude that the money was looted.’

The MDC-T called on the government to ‘immediately reopen’ the mine under a new independent authority to run all state enterprises along professional lines while ensuring that parastatals start benefitting all Zimbabweans and not a few ZANU PF ‘loyalists and hangers on.’ The statement said the workers and creditors should be also paid what they are owed.

The Zvishavane-based mine closed early June after creditors attached the company’s properties. Last week workers reported that they were paid only $15 as wages. A workers committee member said the money was paid at the site as the management feared that it would be used up by bank charges if it had been dispatched through the bank.

The MDC-T senator for the Midlands province, Lillian Timveos, said the situation was desperate and ‘families are stranded.’ The senator said she has taken in some mine workers and all of them are reporting mismanagement and corruption. She added: ‘I actually went to the site some time ago and it was clear to me that people were not happy. Now with this latest development Zvishavane will be severely affected because even Shabanie Mine has also gone through the same situation.’

Last week Timveos blasted management at the Shabani Mine for evicting former workers from the company homes before paying them their exit packages and outstanding salaries. The management stopped paying workers in 2009 owing to financial and operational problems.


Call on EUIB to cancel loans to Mugabe

Zimbabwe Social Democrats call on European Investment Bank to cancel indirect loans to Mugabe regime

Press Released Sunday 15 June 2014.

According to recent reports, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is considering extending loans to Zimbabwe’s private sector but not to the Zimbabwe government. Whilst this is would be welcome news under normal circumstance this is not so in Zimbabwe’s present situation.
Zimbabwe’s private sector, like the public sector and the nation at large, is suffering greatly because of the serious economic meltdown brought on following decades of economic mismanagement and corruption. The Mugabe regime has stubbornly refused to implement meaningful political and economic reforms necessary for economic recovery.

The EIB loans to the private sector will help them paid they ballooning electricity bills, for example. This will not encourage the power utility company, ZESA, and the regime controlling and running it to address the underlying causes of the soaring cost of energy – mismanagement and corruption. In other words the loans will ultimately go to subsidise the mismanagement and corruption.

It is not just European Union that has stopped giving the Zimbabwe regime any form of financial assistance, other nations have stopped too. The decision was born out of the need to pressure the regime to accept the necessary reform to stop the criminal waste of resources. EIB’s indirect loan to the regime will encourage it to believe it can continue to rule without implementing the reforms.
Whilst the European Union has put its foot down in getting some of its own member countries like Greece and Spain to implement economic reforms considered necessary for economic growth; it is disappointing to note that the EU should be undermining calls for similarly reforms in Zimbabwe.

Although the EIB funds will be given to Zimbabwe’s private sector and not the Mugabe regime; the funds will be indirect subsidies to the regime and easy pressure on it to end the mismanagement, corruption and to implement the reforms necessary to attract donors and foreign investors. Zimbabwe needs the regime to implement the reforms as a matter of great urgency; no among of foreign aid can save the private sector in the long run without first implementing the reforms!

Signed. Wilbert Mukori
Secretary General
Zimbabwe Social Democrats

Umguza pollution, 11 000 households affected

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Umguza water pollution becomes national crisis, 11 000 households affected. 16 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

Umguza water pollution has earned a national crisis status where the inter-ministerial evaluation Cabinet committee on Water Pollution sits for two days every week in Harare to deliberate on the issue and engage polluters as government intervenes to provide Umguza residents with clean and safe water.

11 000 households are affected.

Water sources along Umguza river basin were condoned off after it was discovered the water has high contents of arsenic, chromium, sodium chloride, organic solids, dyes and paints, some toxic substance that reportedly leads to physical deformities, dullness and death in humans and livestock while agricultural products are alsocontaminated.

Bulawayo City Council and companies such as United Refineries, Ingwebu, Delta Corporation, tanneries and funeral parlours have been fingered in polluting Umguza water as they discharge sewer and industrial chemicals into streams that are Umguza River’s tributaries.

On the World Environment Day commemoration held at Umguza this month, the minister of Water and Environment, Saviour Kasukuwere, promised residents that government is making interventions to alleviate the plight of the villagers.

Umguza CEO Collen Moyo yesterday said that Umguza water pollution issue is a “national crisis” and is now  receiving highest level of attention from government.

“Umguza water pollution has now become a national crisis. There has been a series of meetings for the past two weeks in Harare where BCC, Umguza and permanent secretaries have been meeting regarding Umguza water pollution,” Moyo said.

“Government is engaging the polluters to come up with ways of providing Umguza villagers with potable water.”

In a telephone interview with The Zimbabwe Mail, Dlamini confirmed that Umguza water has become a national crisis, saying government has since sent quotations for borehole drilling and community education about the water on nine affected wards in the district.

“It is true, it’s now a national crisis and we meet two times a week with permanent secretaries and relevant government heads to come up with ways to help Umguza residents,” she said.

“In collaboration with Ema, we have been drilling boreholes and testing for pollution in the nine wards. We will be drilling five boreholes per ward and what we are saying is that because of the monies involved, government cannot do it alone,” she said.

Kasukuwere last week told Emato refurbish BCC’s collapsed sewer system and bill the local authority so as to stop raw sewer from being discharged into Umguza river.



We want Jobs: Youths demand

via We want Jobs: Youths demand. MDC-T Newsletter 16 June 2014

Hundreds of MDC youth in Harare today gathered in the Harare Gardens to commemorate the Day of the African Child under the theme “Demanding Accessible, Affordable, Quality Education, Jobs and Equal opportunities for all.”

The arrest of Harare province youth assembly executive member, Denford Ngadziore,  and the heavy police presence did not deter the youths, who marched peacefully from Town House to the Harare  Gardens. Charges against Ngadziore are still unclear; the MDC youths remained unfazed by the blatant attempt by the police to intimidate them.

The youths marched quietly with their placards held high and spoke about the need for the Zanu PF government to provide them with jobs as it promised the youth during the election campaign.

Speaking at the commemorations, the National Youth Assembly Spokesperson, Clifford Hlatywayo, highlighted the need for the illegitimate government to step down as it had failed to deliver. “Those youngsters who were massacred in Saouth Africa where young like us. They  rose to show they wanted their rights to be respected. So today, we are rising as youth to demand our jobs, to demand our rights. We are doing this for posterity. We are fighting this struggle for economic justice, for jobs, for the respect of the people’s rights and for the benefit of next generation to benefit,” said Hlatwyayo.

He added that the solution to the current national crisis  was for the people to take action. “We have problems with getting jobs, we must take action. If Mugabe is our problem, we must take action. If the police trouble us, the solution is action,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, the MDC Shadow Minister for Labour, Hon Paurina Mpariwa, bemoaned the failure by Zanu PF to honour its constitutional obligation of providing jobs to the people. “A Job is a right. As parents, as leaders, it pains us to see so much unemployment in the nation especially for the youth. Our industries are down, people are losing jobs everyday. This kind of situation can not be allowed to go on, especially when certain people claim to be at the helm. Zimbabwe is ready for change. The youth ashould get the  jobs, “ she said.

Adding to the cries for jobs, Youth Assembly national Secretary for Security and Defence, James Chidhakwa said the Day of the African Child is significant to Zimbabwean Youth as it is a demonstration of courage. He said the youth had a role to take the destiny of Zimbabwe to another level.

“We have lost a lot of cadres along the way. We lost Tonderai Ndira, Joshua Bakacheza, Kauzani and many others at the hands of Zanu PF. They died demanding their rights to be respected. This day we continue to demand our jobs. You made promises, we demand those promised 2,2 million jobs.

“Too much fear brings misery to our land. Let us be bold and demand what is rightfully ours, “ said Chidhakwa.

The Harare Province Youth Chairperson, Shakespeare Mukoyi weighed in saying the youth of Harare were no longer afraid of the brutality of Zanu PF. He said the youth were prepared to die for their jobs and their rights to be honoured.

“This illegitimate government cannot and will not silence us. They must go because they were not mandated by the people. They promised 2.2 million jobs during their campaign, but they have ensured the same number of people have lost their jobs since they stole the election. They should have written 2.2 million job losses in their manifesto,” he said.

The Harare Provincial Women’s chairperson, Ronia Bunjira said mothers where pained to see their children, university graduates,  suffering and selling juice cards for a living. “The reason as mothers we came out to commemorate this day with you is because you are suffering and struggling to get jobs. This hurts the women more. We work hard to get you to school and it pains us to watch you sell DVDs and airtime vouchers. We demand that this government steps down and allow those who can govern to take over, “ she said.

The Harare Province Chairperson, Hon.  Eric Murai said it is painful that there are no jobs in the nation. “It is improper for an elderly person to refuse to step down from a job because they will be denying the next generation an opportunity to work as well. “

Similar commemorations were held in Bulawayo and Chitungwiza provinces  over the weekend.


De Jonge out of top 10

via De Jonge out of top 10 | The Zimbabwean. 16 June 2014

Zimbabwe’s Brendon De Jonge finished out of the top 10 at the US Open after ending on tied 28th on the last day of play.

The Zimbabwean had started off well with a second place finish on the opening day of play before slipping to 10th on the second day and 21st on the third day before moving to 28th overally.

After starting off with an impressive two under par 68, De Jonge disappointed on the last day after hitting 79 which saw him end up with a total score of 287 tied with former world number one Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Daniel Berger, Kenny Perry, Chris Kirk, and Victor Dubuisson.

In four days, De Jonge hit 68, 70, 73, and 76. Germany’s Martin Keymar won US Open and becomes the first player in tournament’s history to lead from the first day until the last day of competition. This was Keymar’s first US Open title and his second major championship in his career.

Keymar finished on nine undar-par 271 to win the title by eight strokes over Eric Compton and place Rick Fowler who could manage a total score of 279 on the last day of the four day US Open. Keymar opened up with a superb 65, before following up with another 65, 72, and 69.

Defending champion Justine Rose was tied for 12th place with a total score of 283. Focus now shifts to the Travellers Championship which runs from Thursday this week.


Mugabe, Moyo Hammer Out Amicable Solution

via RadioVop Zimbabwe – Mugabe, Moyo Hammer Out Amicable Solution. 16 June 2014

Harare, June 13, 2014-Information,Media and Broadcasting minister Jonathan Moyo has reportedly apologised to President Robert Mugabe after accusations he was causing divisions in Cabinet and Zanu PF, The Zimbabwe Mail has learnt.

Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, last night confirmed the meeting between the president and Moyo at State House on Monday evening, but declined to give details of what transpired.

“Yes, they met – the president, minister of State in the President’s Office Didymus Mutasa, Professor Moyo and the fourth person whom I cannot name because he is a member of the intelligence,” Charamba said.

“But I don’t know what they discussed. Even if I knew I would not, never, ever reveal to you as the three named people are my principals.”

But impeccable sources said Mugabe and Moyo hammered out an amicable solution, with a number of changes expected to be made soon, both in the minister’s conduct and at the state-controlled newspapers where heads are expected to roll.

A solution was reached after Mugabe made a number of accusations against Moyo, among them that he was literally running the state-controlled media. The meeting saved Moyo from the chop which was reportedly being pushed for by hardliners in Zanu PF. Efforts to get a comment from Moyo were in vain at the time of going to print late Thursday as he was not answering his mobile phone.

But the sources insisted Moyo had apologised to Mugabe for his “misdemeanours”.

“During the meeting, a number of issues where raised by His Excellency, which include the appointment of anti-Mugabe journalists, abuse of the state media to attack Moyo’s political rivals and the manner in which he was running the show there,” one of the sources said.

Although attempts to get a comment from the minister were fruitless as he was not picking up his mobile phone, while his secretary said he left the office early, the sources said Moyo asked for forgiveness from the president and pledged to work for the party and government in a better way.

“The president was not pleased with how some journalists were appointed to the state media, especially editors. Some of them previously attacked the president by publishing false information,” the source added.

“In most of these appointments, there were no security checks done, hence some wrong heads were appointed to lead the papers.”

During the funeral wake of former Zanu PF minister and politburo member, Nathan Shamuyarira last Friday, Mugabe let loose his attack on Moyo, accusing him of sowing seeds of divisions within the party and hiring anti-state journalists to lead the government-controlled media.

“The president was not happy with how Moyo handled the Gono-Kereke (Gideon Gono and Munyaradzi Kereke) fight. He took sides and as you remember, there was a story which was written by The Herald when Gono hired Tendai Biti to represent him in the Constitutional Court, an unnamed military source was quoted in that story, but from the intelligence report, no one from the military spoke on the issue. It was fabrication . . . The story did not please the president and Moyo was advised about the issue. Instead, the public was fooled through a dubious suspension of the editor. It was a smokescreen and the president was very aware of the mischief,” the source said.

The source added: “Furthermore the president was not pleased with how the Zanu PF provincial elections where handled in the state media and the involvement of the minister in party issues. If you recall, the Mashonaland Central provincial elections had some challenges, but the minister jumped the ship and acted as if he was the party spokesperson when he is a government minister.

“A comment was penned in The Herald attacking a certain senior minister describing him as a ‘short man in huge robes’ and from intelligence reports, the comment was not written by the said editors, but from the ministry.”

The sources said during the meeting with Mugabe, Moyo tried in vain to explain himself just as he did during the politburo meeting last week.

The minister, the sources said, was left with no option except to apologise to the president.

“The other issue which has been of concern to other ministers and the president himself is that Moyo is meeting ambassadors at his offices and has met more ambassadors than those met by the ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the source said.

“And in those meetings, there were no intelligence officials.”

According to sources, Moyo wanted to reshuffle the entire editorial team at The Sunday Mail.

At Shamuyarira’s funeral, Mugabe accused Moyo of working to divide Zanu PF from within and using his intellect to set party leaders against each other. Allegations against Moyo were first raised during the party’s politburo meeting last week.

Sustainable intensification: a new buzzword to feed the world?

via Sustainable intensification: a new buzzword to feed the world? | The Zimbabwean. 16 June 2014


The term ‘sustainable intensification’ (SI) has entered academic and policy discourse in recent years, including in debates about what to do about agriculture in Zimbabwe.

 I have been intrigued for some while to find out what it actually means. Is this yet another contradictory hyphenation of two words for political ends, or does it have some substance? Who is driving this debate, and what does it mean for Africa.

A flurry of publications have been produced in the past year or two that use the term, and they provide a good route to finding out a bit more. A high profile article in Science from 2013 offered a definition of SI: “to increase food production from existing farmland in ways that place far less pressure on the environment and that do not undermine our capacity to continue producing food in the future”.

The major Montpellier Panel report offer a similar one, defining SI as “producing more outputs with more efficient use of all inputs on a durable basis, while reducing environmental damage and building resilience, natural capital and the flow of environmental services”. Other similar formulations appear in a recent Royal Society collection of papers. No one could disagree with these it seems. Is SI then just what we used to call sustainable agriculture, or is there something more to it?

To answer this, we have to probe a bit further and ask what analytical frameworks underpin the concept and its definition, and what policy narratives flow from it? The Science article, and the Oxford Martin School report which preceded it, situate the challenge in terms of the familiar argument about resource scarcity – of land, water, and resources – in relation to a growing population of 9 billion needing to be fed. This justifies a ‘crisis narrative’ argument that pushes towards a productivist response: more food is needed on less land with less water, requiring new technologies to deliver it.

The challenge is often couched in the well-used metaphor of the ‘perfect storm’, memorably used by the former Chief Scientist in the UK to argue for a global response to impending food shortages, in the build up to the oft-cited 2011 UK Foresight report. In recent years a new version of this narrative, with a new word, has emerged. This is now portrayed as the challenge of ‘the nexus’, where multiple resource constraints come together requiring a particular style of (usually) technical, top-down response.

While no one would argue against improving resource use efficiency and boosting production in sustainable ways, it is the link between this technical challenge and the wider framing of the problem and solution where issues arise. These have been outlined in a recent paper on land issues that I co-authored, but the same arguments could be applied to other resources, and the challenges of agriculture in Africa more generally.

• First, we must be careful when proclaiming generic resource scarcity as the driving force for action. My scarcity may be someone else’s surplus: scarcities are always relative, and resource access and distribution is a crucial issue that is not addressed by this narrative.

• Second, because scarcities are constructed in policy arenas, there is a political dimension that must be acknowledged. So-called ‘global’ scarcities are very often the consequence of high unequal power relations, skewed consumption patterns and poor resource governance.

• Third, a solely technical response through increasing production or efficiency in ways that conserve the environment – often laden with yet more jargon such as ‘climate-smart agriculture’ or ‘conservation agriculture’ – ignores the social and political choices around technology and its direction. A crisis narrative that forces a particular trajectory may restrict debate about alternative choices, and debates about pros, cons, risks and rewards. A good case in point is the promotion of GM crops by certain large corporations in terms of ‘sustainable intensification’ (see last week’s blog).

The advocates of SI are quick to point out that their approach does not promote any particular technology over another. Various declarations reiterate this, and a recent Royal Society publication offers a huge array of different technological solutions under the SI banner. The Montpellier Panel, a group of well-known agriculture experts, are even more explicit. They point out the potential for capture of the term and its politicisation:

“the term “Sustainable Intensification” –– has come to take on a highly charged and politicised meaning, becoming synonymous with big, industrial agriculture. As we strive to feed a population expected to reach nine billion by 2050 sustainably, the risk is that we may lose sight of the term’s scientific value and its potential relevance to all types of agricultural systems, including for smallholder farmers in Africa”

Equally, the Oxford report argues for the need to “deepen and extend understanding of systems interactions”, to “consider and define what specific goals societies wish agricultural production to achieve” and to “develop metrics that will enable societies to measure progress in achieving them”. All good stuff, resonant with long running debates about sustainable agriculture, and discussions on the politics and direction of innovation outlined in the STEPS New Manifesto on innovation, sustainability and development.

Yet in all this warm-sounding rhetoric there is an absence of social and political analysis that undermines the approach. In the late 1980s I joined the recently formed ‘Sustainable Agriculture Group’ at the International Institute of Environment and Development, together with Gordon Conway and Jules Pretty. Our approach to agricultural sustainability was in many ways strikingly similar to the current debate about SI. But with one important difference: people and their livelihoods were central. Our work evolved in concert with debates about ‘sustainable livelihoods’ and participatory approaches to development, and had as a result a very different flavour.

Looking at the long lists of authors of papers and reports on SI there are, beyond a scattering of economists, vanishingly few social scientists involved. This is telling, and reflective of the sometimes naïve perspectives portrayed, about the political and social contexts of these debates. Frequently, a techno-economic determinism dominates, driven of course by a passion and commitment to addressing major challenges, but without the necessary social and policy analysis to make it happen, and avoid it being captured.

Take the diagrammatic representations of the approach by the Montpellier Panel. Here ‘farmers’ and ‘communities’ are put at the centre, but all the action happens around them, seemingly disconnected. Agrodealers represent the market, but the process of sustainable intensification seems to be driven by a technical process. It is all well and good arguing that societal goals are defined, as the Oxford report does, but how can this happen, through what political process? In the terms of the New Manifesto, how are innovation directions set, how are the diversity of options defined, and how are the costs and benefits distributed? These are issues that seem not to be on the table, or at least not in ways that are central.

If SI is to have any meaning beyond a seemingly uncontroversial, hyphenated buzzword, then these are the questions that must be put centre stage. For SI to be anything more than a rather odd collection of technical solutions, then questions of socio-technical choice and direction must be put at the forefront. This means having a political debate, and bringing in people more centrally, something that may jar with the rather bland techno-economic prescriptions offered to date.


Biti rallies young generation to action

via Biti rallies young generation to action. 16 June 2014

OPPOSITION leader Tendai Biti has rallied the young generation to rise to the challenge of rescuing the country saying President Robert Mugabe and his political nemesis Morgan Tsvangirai were two sides of the same coin and abysmal failures.

The MDC-T secretary general told a meeting of his Renewal Team’s Midlands South structures in Gweru at the weekend that Zimbabwe needed a generational paradigm shift.

“Zimbabwe requires new thinking, a new conversation and a new discourse,” he said.

“President Robert Mugabe represents the failure of the liberation movement that is Zanu PF while Tsvangirai is the face of the failure of the democratic struggle.

“The two are a reflection of each other, a direct reflection of everything that is wrong with this country, politically, economically, socially and morally.”

The former finance minister said the young generation needs to take up the fight to rescue the country.

“We cannot therefore just fold our hands and wait for things to move on their own; we cannot be doing the same things over and over again,” he said.

“It is the height of insanity but, as a people, none but ourselves will rescue this nation. It is a generational calling that we must take up without reservation if we are to rescue this nation.

“Zimbabwe is crying for rethinking because the pre and post-independence politicians have failed the nation.”

Biti has emerged as de-facto leader of a group of opposition MDC-T hawks who have, so far, unsuccessfully pressed Tsvangirai’s exit from office, in a development that has effectively split the party into two.

Tsvangirai stands accused of inept leadership and failing to dislodge Mugabe after three presidential poll loses.

The dispute has, for the second time in less than 10 years, split the country’s biggest opposition party.
Backing leadership change … Some of the supporters who attended Biti meeting in Gweru

Biti is now on a whirlwind tour of the country’s provinces building structures for his movement with indications that a congress for the new political formation eminent.

He said the recreation of the Zimbabwean state needs to happen as a matter of urgency to alleviate the ordinary people’s suffering.

“Zimbabweans are suffering and groaning under the weight of a political, social, moral and economic crisis and nobody seems to care,” he lamented.

“The government is trying to sell a dead economic blue-print in the form of the ZimAsset document while Tsvangirai, instead of proffering an alternative, is busy sloganeering.

“It is a sad indictment on this generation if we are to leave these two mean to keep this country in perpetual electoral mode to cover their shortcomings.”

Tsvangirai has also resorted to holding rallies across the country in a bid to shore-up his support and crush the revolt against his leadership.

The former premier has led the MDC-T since formation 15 years ago and got a feel of life in government while sharing power with Mugabe and Zanu PF between 2009 and last year’s elections.

But after the MDC-T’s disastrous showing in that vote, previously trusted lieutenants among them Roy Bennett, Biti, deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma on the veteran trade unionist, openly telling him to leave office.

Will UN climate talks help or hinder?

via Will UN climate talks help or hinder?. NEWSDAY 16 June 2014 by Wisdom Mdzungairi

Despite powerful evidence that climate change threatens our economies, our health and our safety, most countries remain slow to act on environmental protection.

Why don’t we want to hear about climate change and what is behind global citizens’ collective inaction?


At the conclusion of the two-week United Nations talks at the weekend observers warned that broken promises on climate action by rich industrialised countries was hampering progress toward a new agreement. It appeared that although the meeting kick-started on a high note the cupboard remained bare.

It is compelling to note that all countries agreed in 2012 that 2014 was the year that developed countries’ targets would be revisited and increased.

But, civil society groups warned that the new climate rules could threaten even greater hunger in Africa, if they weren’t carefully crafted to protect the rights of small-scale farmers – the majority of whom earn a living through farming.

According to a communiqué, negotiations on a new climate deal struggled due to trust issues – but Africa vowed not to be hoodwinked by technical or procedural tricks.

This was in reference to problems at the talks over the chairing and a renewed focus on how to account for emissions from land-use.

A rule of international diplomacy dictates that negotiations can’t work when promises are broken. It is a fact that Africa was promised a legal second commitment period of Kyoto, but still its not there. The continent was also promised that emission cuts would be strengthened this year (but) they haven’t.

So, this round of talks focusing on increasing climate actions in the near-term and on creating a new climate agreement for 2015 – to come in to effect in 2020 could have been reduced to just like any other failed negotiations.

Africa strongly differed that she cannot have a situation where because of UN rules “we count emissions from farming as if it were industrial emissions.

It would open the door to trading in the soil of African farmers by the bankers in Europe. Comparing apples and oranges like that puts the whole fruit-cart at risk.

“We are concerned about counting emissions from the land-sector in Africa a new deal but we don’t want to see farming left out completely — in fact it has to be there for adaptation. There must be sharing of finance and technology to allow the farmers in Africa who are hit by climate change they have not caused to be able to respond.”

Why should African countries including Zimbabwe focus more on climate change issues? Precisely, some 70% of our citizens earn a living through agriculture.
Forest loss and land use change play a significant role in climate change, contributing around one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

In climate discussions this far, the role of forests in mitigation has been developed first through land use, land use change and forestry for developed countries, and then through reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (Redd+) for developing countries.

There is also a limited role for Lulucf activities for developing countries in the clean development mechanism. Regrettably, discussions on the role of agriculture in mitigation have been limited, with food security concerns prominent.

In the Zimbabwean context, the land sector is unique in climate mitigation as it is the only sector where both emissions and removals occur. Emissions and removals of terrestrial carbon occur on different time scales than fossil carbon sequestration.

This speaks to the need for the ministries of Environment, Water and Climate; Lands and Rural Resettlement and Agriculture to complement each other in dealing with climate issues and crafting position papers that impact on the welfare of the citizenry.

This means that terrestrial carbon and carbon from fossil fuel use are not the same – because of the time scales involved, emissions from fossil carbon can be considered permanent, while sequestration of emissions in the land sector (forests and soils) is only temporary.

The central role played by the land sector in providing for the food and livelihood security of peoples, communities, and countries means that Zimbabwe’s mitigation policies must ensure food security and sovereignty measures, biodiversity protection including wetlands, and ensure rights and other social and environmental standards and safeguards.

So, any mitigation measures for the country’s land sector must not be used as an excuse to derail or delay the implementation of agrarian reform.

Hence, mitigation activities in the land use sector must be conducted in a way of not impacting biodiversity in order to make sure that the global climate talks do not jeopardise the objectives of other Rio Conventions whose targets – biodiversity conservation and combatting desertification – must be strengthened by climate mitigation activities.

However, addressing all of these unique attributes of the land sector requires a comprehensive approach to land-use planning, which is not focused solely on mitigation action, but on establishing a broad framework for the development and support of policies and measures to enhance and protect land-sector resources and the wealth of benefits derived from those resources.

Perhaps it is the role of the Agriculture or Lands ministries that might be a missing link to Zimbabwe’s climate mitigation efforts –and that needs redressing as a matter of urgency.

Notably, the new round of talks the past fortnight turned their attention to land-use rules for the first time. This was important to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe and pastoralists in other developing countries, (but) the wrong set of rules will set up a raft of risks including the buying up of soil due to its carbon-mitigation potential except in Zimbabwe for reasons already known to the world.

It is imperative perhaps that when the talks resume in Peru in October, Zimbabwe should have a comprehensive policy position with input from the Ministries of Lands and Agriculture on global warming.

Zimbabwe must make sure the talks on agriculture and land at the next climate talks don’t start off wrong-footed. Zimbabwe needs to focus on how to support farmers to deal with the impacts of a changed climate, not on hair-brained soil carbon accounting tricks.

Zim vigilante fined $11,000 in Canada

via Zim vigilante fined $11,000 in Canada. 16 June 2014

A ZIMBABWEAN university student in Canada has been ordered to pay $1,000 in fines for striking a man with a baseball bat and $10,000 for the dental work of another victim who was punched so hard that his teeth were knocked out.

Kudzai Mujuru, who is studying at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, pleaded guilty to assault charges in connection with the bat incident in November 2012, and the punching incident in April 2013.

“In many ways, you’re a guest in this country,” provincial court Judge Len Marchand said in his ruling. “It’s important to respect the laws we have. Violence is not something we condone in Canada.”

Prosecutor Neil Flanagan said that, at first glance, the penalties may seem lenient. But he noted the $10,000 restitution order and the fact that Mujuru pleaded guilty instead of opting for what would have been a lengthy set of trials.

In addition to the fine and restitution order, Mujuru must serve a one-year probation order and is prohibited from attending bars and nightclubs.

Flanagan said the impetus for the first attack on November 3, 2012, may have been to help a woman who appeared in distress, but it moved into the realm of vigilante justice and over-reaction.

Mujuru was behind a downtown nightclub with his girlfriend when they heard a woman cry out.

A man and woman “appeared to be engaged in a sexual act,” Flanagan said.

When Mujuru and his girlfriend approached, the man and woman ran off in opposite directions.

The court heard that Mujuru confronted the man and argued with him. The victim pushed Mujuru.

The student then went to his car and got a baseball bat. The two argued again and Mujuru hit the man in the head so hard that a nearby security guard heard a “loud, popping noise,” Flanagan said.

Mujuru told police he felt the bat attack was justified.

Police investigated a possible sexual assault, but no charges were recommended.

The court also heard that in April 2013, inside the same nightclub, and while on bail with conditions, Mujuru punched another guest in the face after the two bumped into each other near the dance floor.

The man attempted to brush off Mujuru to avoid a conflict. That’s when the student threw the only punch in a one-way fight.

Defence lawyer Richard Begin said that, despite the convictions, his client hopes to become a Canadian citizen after he graduates.

Mujuru won an award from a student group as a manager of the year and that his father is a doctor in Zimbabwe.


Respect property rights first

via Editor | The Zimbabwean | Zimbabwe News. 16 June 2014


The Zanu (PF) government is talking loudly about how it plans to make the indigenisation policy more attractive to investors by making shareholding demands sector specific rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.

It is clear that this abandonment of the hard-core stance that had become synonymous with indigenisation is meant as a desperate, last-ditch, piece-meal strategy to convince investors to start pouring money into the country to rescue the moribund economy.

However, if it is investor confidence that Mugabe and his government are looking for, they are obviously not doing enough. They seem to have forgotten that one of the main reasons why they got into trouble with both local and international investors in the first place was that they showed a stubborn disrespect for property rights. So if they genuinely want to see economic recovery they must adopt a positive and holistic way of restoring and respecting property rights. There are no short cuts.

Widespread reports of the invasion of conservancies, farms and other properties have hit the headlines once again. Army officers, politicians and selfish individuals masquerading as war veterans are once again grabbing properties willy-nilly.

What is particularly disturbing about this is that the government does not seem to have the capacity to deal with the invaders, who seem to have developed a thick skin and now refuse to listen even to their senior leaders. No investors would want to risk their shareholders’ money investing in a country so obviously full of lawlessness. They do not want to risk their properties being seized at the drop of a hat.

The government, starting with the Head of State, must urgently address the problem of property rights. They have to deal with past offenders and put in place an effective mechanism to compensate those who have lost their properties in the past.

Even if they completely ditched the indigenisation policy, investors would still shun this country if there continued to be no guarantee that property rights would be respected in the future. The trouble is – nobody believes what they say any more. If they want people to take them seriously they have to ACT.


Mugabe gags Jonathan Moyo

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Mugabe ‘gags’ Jonathan Moyo. 16 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has reportedly gagged Information minister Jonathan Moyo from making disparaging public comments against his Zanu PF counterparts and government officials over the next four years as part of efforts to contain him, NewsDay has learnt.

The alleged order was made at a private meeting at State House last Monday between Mugabe and Moyo following the veteran leader’s successive vitriolic attacks on his Information minister last week describing him as “a weevil” and a divisive element bent on destroying the party from within.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa also attended the meeting.

“It is in that meeting that Mugabe admonished Moyo to stop making comments against other party members until the next elections in 2018,” a source close to the developments told NewsDay.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba confirmed that Mutasa was part of the meeting, but declined to give further details.

Although Mutasa could not be reached for comment yesterday, he last week told a party meeting in Mutare to shun Moyo and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, describing them as “weevils” and divisive elements.

Sources told NewsDay  the sharp-tongued Moyo’s political career was now hanging by a thread after Mugabe ordered him to zip up his mouth for the next four years  or lose his ministerial position.

According to sources, a section in the military opposed to Moyo is believed to have approached Mugabe demanding an explanation on why Moyo had been pardoned.

Mugabe is said to have defended his decision by saying he would not fire Moyo because he was not the only divisive element.

Moyo had on several occasions clashed with top Zanu PF officials, among them Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Temba Mliswa, over his anti-corruption drive which was viewed as targeting officials linked  to Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s camp.

Moyo has ruffled feathers with Indigenization minister Francis Nhema over the interpretation of the country’s indigenisation laws, former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri over the ban on a proposed march to commemorate World Media Freedom Day.

Addressing mourners at the late national hero Nathan Shamuyarira’s burial two weeks ago, Mugabe accused Moyo of using the public media to divide the party.



Biti calls for rethink on Zimbabwe State

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Tendai Biti calls for rethink on Zimbabwe State. 16 June 2014 by Staff reporter

Zimbabwe’s pre and post-independence politicians have failed the nation and the current generation needs to stand up and recreate the “nation state that should be Zimbabwe” former Finance minister Tendai Biti has said.

Biti told his renewal group’s provincial consultative meeting in Gweru at the weekend that President Robert Mugabe and veteran opposition strongman Morgan Tsvangirai were a direct reflection of each other.

“We need to create a new narrative, a new paradigm and new conversation. Only a mad man does the same thing over and over again. The liberation movement in the form of Zanu PF has failed disastrously and 34 years after Independence Zimbabwe is a real ruin literally and metaphorically,” said Biti.

The MDC-T secretary-general now fronting a section of the opposition party called “MDC Renewal” agitating for the removal of long-time leader Tsvangirai said the economy is in ruins.

“Look at the state of the economy, the infrastructure and industry. The liberation movement is therefore tired and the very fact that the average age of the Zanu PF politburo members is 67 is testimony of the tiredness. Equally the post-liberation movement in the form of the MDC has failed dismally. Like Zanu PF, the post-liberation movement is tired and exhausted. Given the failures of the two the country needs generational, institutional, operational, psychological, moral and mind-set-renewal,” said the former treasury chief.”The past generations have failed and Mugabe and Tsvangirai are a mirror reflection of each other and national failure.”

Biti superintended over Zimbabwe’s economy during the subsistence of the coalition government at the height of the country’s economic and political crisis. He is credited with stabilising the economy and his mantra “we eat what we kill” resonated with the donor community and multilateral institutions.

He said the recreation of the Zimbabwean state needs to happen as a matter of urgency to alleviate the ordinary people’s suffering.

“The rethink on the Zimbabwean state must happen sooner rather than later because ordinary Zimbabweans are suffering. Our standard of living of the average citizen has fallen to that of 1957. There is no service delivery, the health delivery system has collapsed and our lives have turned into a dog’s breakfast that my pet Gwenhamo would not touch,” said Biti.

The MDC-T secretary-general took pot-shots at the country’s latest economic blue-print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Scio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), saying it is no different from the “senseless rallies by Tsvangirai”.

“It is all sloganeering that does not put bread on the table. One wonders what kind of mileage Zimbabweans are supposed to draw from the rallies being held by Tsvangirai. Likewise, the ZimAsset document is the worst blueprint this country has ever produced and will not provide any impetus to our suffering people,” he said.

Biti called for the securitisation of the country’s minerals to fund economic revival and for the country’s leaders to begin “to talk to everyone without exception” for the good of Zimbabwe.


Khama blames Zimbabwe

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Botswana president blames Zim. 16 June 2014  by Staff Reporter

BOTSWANA President Ian Khama has blamed the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in his country on Zimbabwe saying Harare has failed to meet its part of the bargain in compensating affected farmers.

Botswana’s Daily News online reported that Khama made the remarks while addressing a meeting at Robelela in the Mmadinare constituency on Thursday last week.

Khama said his government was doing everything in its power to assist affected farmers.

He, however, said not all dead cattle would be replaced as investigations would be carried out to decide which ones to replace.

Khama said cattle in the area were killed to control the spread of FMD while others just died because they had not adapted to the new environment.Khama said his government was spending a lot of money in trying to control FMD and blamed Zimbabwe for not servicing its part of the bargain.

“Although most of the viruses came from Zimbabwe, the two countries had agreed to share the costs. However, at the moment Zimbabwe does not have money to pay their share and this has ben a problem to Botswana,” he said.

Botswana is reportedly struggling to recover P1 million from Zimbabwe’s Cold Storage Company (CSC) for the supply of cattle under a 2011 agreement.

Botswana and Zimbabwe signed a memorandum of understanding in July 2011 under which close to 30 000 cattle from the neighbouring country’s FMD-infested zones were to be imported for direct slaughter at CSC abattoirs in Bulawayo.



Foreboding anxiety fills Zimbabweans

via Foreboding anxiety fills Zimbabweans. 16 June 2014 NEWSDAY  Editorial

ZIMBABWE’s economic outlook is spiraling downward in a deflationary vicious circle that is wrecking any chance of resurgence.


Despite a vociferously proclaimed by President Robert Mugabe’s government, primary surplus, the economic outlook remains subdued and gloomy with the World Bank lowering Zimbabwe’s growth projections to 2% this year from 3% it had forecasted in April.

With unemployment hitting new highs, government has signaled a strong possibility of it failing to pay its 230 000-strong workforce timeously until December as the effects of a failing economy continues to bite. Regrettably, Zanu PF is majoring on trivial over who will succeed 90-year-old Mugabe.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s engagements with multi-lateral lenders have yielded nothing much putting Zimbabwe further into the economic quagmire as deflation and rising expenditures are cutting at what little available income is left.

Besides, Mugabe continues to gallivant on trips that do not necessarily benefit Zimbabwe. Although, Mugabe recently denied the growing unemployment rate it is clear that life is getting more and more expensive, as prices of consumables keep rising, and incomes keep shrinking. The situation belies the shrinking of gross domestic product and the inability of the economy to shirk off the crisis and rebound, in the near future.

It is imperative that Mugabe widen out for the benefit of citizens. He should understand the fact that incomes are dropping, while the level of personal debt remains at the same level means that homes and firms are unable to meet payments, causing shut downs and further unemployment, fueling an endless vicious circle. Last year, Zanu PF promised it would create value of $7,3 billion from the indigenisation of 1 138 companies across 14 key sectors of the economy.

The party aimed to generate over $1,8 trillion created from the idle value of empowerment assets unlocked from parastatals, local authorities and mineral rights.

It said its various initiatives would create 2 265 million jobs across all economic sectors and “contribute to export earnings, food security and to the fiscus among many other benefits including urban housing, and construction on peri-urban farms acquired during the land reform exercise”. But 10 months later nothing seems to be moving leaving many unanswered questions. Growing political anxiety fills Zimbabwe with foreboding.

It is frightful that government appears clueless as evidenced by contradicting policy statements, especially on indigenisation –the prize of factional fighting in Zanu PF that has spilled into government.

It is compelling that Zanu PF must recognise (though belatedly) the scale of the economic crisis and an attempt at fiscal stimulus to finance infrastructure investment. It is pertinent to note the policy can take malevolent as well as benevolent forms.

There is no doubt that politicians, advised by deranged and culpable economists, will hasten, and intensify destructive economic policies to satisfy their egos. Suffice to say, it is those policies that will prolong and deepen the economic crisis.

Unless and until Mugabe gets real, and face reality economic prospects will remain bleak. It is therefore time for Zanu PF to stop blaming the victims – citizens or private sector for financial crisis authored by Mugabe’s party.

It’s time now to address the solution subordination of the economy to the interests of the citizenry and policies for employment creation. Only jobs can generate the income needed to revive the economy, to pay down private debts.

So if Mugabe wants to sleep at night he should do so by investing in the jobs needed to restore prosperity and stability as the private sector cannot. Only then will Zimbabwe be able to look forward, hopefully. Mugabe must not choose to be wrongheaded about causes of the economic meltdown, and therefore solutions.

Residents call for boycott

via Residents call for boycott of council bills – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 16 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

June 16, 2014 in News

The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) has threatened to mobilise its members to boycott paying council rates for the next three months in protest over lack of transparency and alleged mismanagement of funds at Town House.

HRT executive director Precious Shumba in a statement at the weekend said the residents were particularly angered by top council officials’ decision to divert part of the $144 million loan for the rehabilitation of water infrastructure towards the purchase of 25 luxury vehicles without councillors’ approval.

The HRT’s threats came at a time the local authority has taken 6 432 residents to court for failing to settle their water bills.
The city has engaged the Messenger of Court and private lawyers to recover more than $254 million owed by ratepayers.

Shumba said: “Under the loan agreement, the City of Harare was required to purchase only eight project vehicles to be used by project staff. Instead, they bought 25 luxury vehicles worth between $50 000 and $250 000 each which was allocated to senior council officials who have already benefited from another loan scheme covering employees in grades 1-4. The Chinese loan must be repaid by you, the ratepayer, with interest through your rates.”

Shumba added: “To stop this arrogant and unaccountable
behaviour at the Harare Town House, you are being (asked) to seriously consider stopping payments for all services by the City of Harare from end of June 2014 to August 2014.

“This forces them to be accountable and transparent in the utilisation of our funds — loans, rates and grants. Your co-operation in this regard will help in create a world-class city that we all want and can live happily in.”

But, council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said: “We are issuing summons to defaulting residents. The Messenger of Court is going to deal with the matter on our behalf. We have referred some of the cases to our external lawyers.” Gwindi said those issued with summons should immediately make payment arrangements or risk their property being attached.

Residents owe the city $105 million, government $16 million, industry and commerce $130 million. Chitungwiza, Norton, Ruwa and Epworth owe a combined $3,4 million. The bulk of the debt amounting to $92 million was for water. The city collects an average of $11 million instead of a potential $24 million every month.


Doom as Zanu PF, MDC-T lose focus

via Doom looms as Zanu PF, MDC-T lose focus – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 16 June 2014 by Moses Matenga

June 16, 2014 in National, News, Transport

ZIMBABWEANS should brace for tougher times and worsening economic turbulence between now and December as the country’s two main parties Zanu PF and MDC-T have shifted focus to succession politics, analysts said yesterday.

The parties are also preparing for their respective elective congresses between October and December.

Both the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition MDC-T are embroiled in nasty internal power struggles within their structures while the economy continues to glide towards deflation.

The MDC-T is expected to hold its elective congress in October while Zanu PF will have their congress in December.

Zanu PF is deeply divided along factional lines and the race towards the upcoming elective congress has overshadowed its pre-election promises to rejuvenate the economy using its widely discredited economic recovery blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

Zanu PF requires $27 billion to fund the programme.

The MDC-T, on the other hand, has not yet recovered from the July 31 2013 poll defeat followed by post-election defections, divisions and smear campaigns such that it has abandoned its oversight role as it fights to keep its head above water.

MDC-T Harare provincial spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday said: “Zanu PF is on virtual autopilot and I don’t see any serious policy articulation and formulation coming from that faction-ridden party between now and their congress in December.”

Gutu added: “As for the MDC-T, the dust is settling and the rebel tsunami has been effectively contained. However, I foresee a situation where serious policy formulation will only start taking shape after the elective congress that has been slated for October.”

But, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “There is nothing like that. We are focusing on ZimAsset and how it can be implemented. Who is saying that?”

Political analyst Alexander Rusero said the economy was “between a rock and a hard surface” given the infighting, policy discord and jostling for positions within Zanu PF and MDC-T.

He said the recent discordant policy pronouncements made by Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema and Information minister Jonathan Moyo demonstrated how internal party fights had stalled national programmes.

“From now, it will be continuation in a policy vacuum because of discord caused by open clashes between ministers in government. We have Nhema and Moyo coming up with differing positions on indigenisation and Vice-President Joice Mujuru saying it needed 40 years for ZimAsset to work,” Rusero said.

“Politicians are prioritising politics ahead of economic issues and solutions. The economy from now until December will be the biggest loser. Jobless youths and rural people are wondering where ZimAsset went to because the promises given are not being fulfilled. Instead of focusing on implementing it, they are saying they are now focusing attention to another election campaign in 2018. How can you talk of Project 2018 only one year after an electoral victory?”

To date, Moyo has had run-ins with several Cabinet ministers and was early this month publicly chastised by President Robert Mugabe for being “divisive” and a “weevil bent on destroying the party from within”.

Another analyst, Ernest Mudzengi, said there would be nothing progressive from government as Zanu PF ministers were fighting for top posts ahead of congress.

“I don’t see anything progressive policywise from both parties as they continue to fight for personal political turf,” Mudzengi said.

“When the politicians continue to tussle over personal political gain, then the country bleeds policywise.”

Analyst Takura Zhangazha added: “The internal fights have compromised government performance, especially within the ruling Zanu PF party which is focusing on factions and their congress.

It diverts attention from national economic programmes.

“Within the opposition, they are fighting also and that has led to the lack of democratic oversight or review of government policy and this eventually stops focusing on real issues, but focusing on retention of power at the expense of dealing with the economic challenges.”

The opposition MDC-T was recently rocked by turmoil after its “axed” secretary-general Tendai Biti, former deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and a sizeable number of MPs — commonly referred to as the MDC-Renewal Team — pulled out citing irreconcilable policy differences with party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The Biti-fronted MDC-Team accused Tsvangirai of spurning leadership renewal calls and using violence to crush dissent, which Tsvangirai has strongly denied.

Still figuring how Zanu-PF won – Biti

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘We are still failing to figure out how Zanu-PF won,’ says Biti.  15 June 2014 by Staff reporter

Former Minister of Public Service and MDC-T Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana, Ms Lucia Matibenga has joined the renewal team.

Mr Biti also told his supporters that MDC- T was left disoriented after being outsmarted by Zanu-PF in last year’s harmonised elections in which the revolutionary party won resoundingly.

He said the party lost focus while prioritising trivial issues while Zanu-PF was busy strategising.

He said MDC-T had a lot to learn from Zanu-PF.” (Mr) Tsvangirai forgot what he was assigned to do in the inclusive Government.

We wanted reforms but instead he started drinking tea with President Mugabe and chasing after women.

We lost track and focus tikarohwa nezveusiku (we were outsmarted) in last year’s harmonised elections.

We are still failing to figure out how Zanu-PF did it because we thought they would use violence and we were prepared for that but the elections were conducted peacefully and we were left with egg on the face.

We are still failing to figure out how Zanu-PF won.

We have set up a team to start strategising for the next elections,” he said.

Mr Biti said Mr Tsvangirai was now totally finished and clueless. He said Mr Tsvangirai had tarnished his own image by chasing after women.

Mr Biti reiterated that the MDC-T’s latest split was a replica of the 2005 one which gave birth to a faction led by Professor Welshman Ncube.”We have heard that MDC-T want to force Government to hold elections in April next year. That is a dream.

If I were Zanu-PF I would grant them their wish and finish them for good.

(Mr) Tsvangirai is now finished. He has a self-destructing machine.

Initially he caused the split in 2005 when Mr Gibson Sibanda left the party and Professor Welshman Ncube formed his own party. Now that the party has split again, it clearly shows that he is the problem in the party.

(Mr) Tsvangirai is 65 years and most people of his age are freedom fighters. My question is if he was a true leader and fighting for the cause of the people why didn’t he join the liberation struggle to show his true love for the country,” he said.



Zimbabwe loses $770m diamond money

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Zimbabwe loses $770m diamond money. 15 June 2014

Zimbabwe lost about $770 million in potential revenue between 2008 and 2012 through undervaluation and transfer pricing of its gems from the Marange diamond fields.

A report by Partnership Africa Canada on illicit financial flows in the diamonds industry said the gems were being exported to the United Arab Emirates mostly Dubai.

The report was on the agenda of the just-ended Kimberly Process Scheme Intersessional meeting in Shangai, China.

The three day meeting ended yesterday.

The UAE allegedly imported Zimbabwean diamonds cheaply but exported them at much higher prices.

Meanwhile, the alleged $3 million diamond scam involving a Mutare-based businessman, Mudassar Khan, has taken a new twist with police forensic experts ruling that a document at the centre of the scandal which was previously dismissed as fake is in fact genuine.

In  March this year two prominent Mutare lawyers, Chris Ndlovu and Rangarirai Mubata, were detained at Mutare Central Police Station for allegedly forging an affidavit in which one Albie Marima wrote that some people in Mutare were extorting money from Khan under the name of senior Zanu-PF officials and government officials.

After writing his affidavit, Marima went on to distance himself from his document which alleged that another Mutare businessman, Tino Machakaire, had extorted money purportedly to give it to Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Central Intelligence Organisation boss Happyton Bonyongwe.