ZOLI MANGENA | 22 April, 2012 00:17
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is expected in Zimbabwe next
month to assess the country's economic situation amid growing concerns about
the ballooning debt - now more than $9-billion - and the chronic liquidity
The delegation will be in Harare for its Article IV consultations at a time
when the economy, which experienced a major rebound in 2009 following
dollarisation and exchange rate stabilisation, is slowing down and choking
from a debt overhang.
Zimbabwe's economy is also dogged by political uncertainty, and policy
contradictions and inconsistencies, which have seen massive capital flight
of late due to the controversial indigenisation programme targeting
Only last month, South Africa's Implats, the world's second-largest platinum
producer, was forced to surrender 51% of its shareholding to a state entity
and communities by President Robert Mugabe and his cronies.
Finance ministers and central bankers from around the world are in
Washington this week for the semi-annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon
Gono are attending.
The IMF was last in Harare on June 1 last year. It issued a favourable
report afterwards, saying stronger policies and a favourable external
environment supported a nascent economic recovery during the 2009-10 period.
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth accelerated from 6% in 2009 to 9%
in 2010 before settling at 7.5% last year. Inflation dramatically fell from
multiple billion percentage points to the current 4% level.
However, economic growth started from a low base and was concentrated on
primary commodity sectors in mining and agriculture, both of which are
sensitive to exogenous shocks.
Structural impediments weighed heavily on manufacturing and utilities, which
used to be the drivers of growth and employment creation.
The humanitarian situation improved. Burgeoning economic recovery, good
harvests, donor off-budget support and increased provision of government
services halted the deterioration of human development indicators.
But the IMF expressed grave concerns about some economic indicators,
including the current account deficit, which was 23% of GDP in 2010, and was
financed in part by short-term capital flows, and the country's usable
international reserves, which amounted to 0.4 months of imports.
It also raised alarm over Zimbabwe's debt, with a large and unsustainable
external debt stock (118% of GDP at end-2010), the bulk of which is in
arrears (80% of GDP). The debt has since worsened and now stands at
$9-billion, 103% of GDP.
The IMF was also concerned about financial sector vulnerabilities and the
current liquidity crisis, the unsustainably high wage bill, ghost workers,
indigenisation and an inefficient composition of expenditure, intensifying
vulnerabilities in the financial system.
While Zimbabwe expects a 9% growth this year, the IMF said this week growth
would be 4.7%.
In its World Economic Outlook, (WEO) the IMF also anticipated increased GDP
growth for 2013 to 6.3%, before a slowdown in 2017 to 3.6%.
In January, the IMF had initially forecast 3.5% growth for 2012.
The IMF said the economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa would be driven by
high commodity prices, while South Africa will continue to stumble due to
its strong ties to Europe.
Growth in the region, according to the WEO, will pick up by 5.4% this year,
thanks to new mineral and oil production and the growth of export markets
South Africa, the continent's biggest economy, will grow by a modest 2.7%
this year as it struggles with weaker terms of trade and a decrease in
HARARE CORRESPONDENT | 22 April, 2012 00:17
Zanu-PF refuses to endorse the new draft constitution as it contains clauses
that could disfavour the party, including the issue of presidential term
The party, said to be prepared to launch a no-vote campaign against the
draft, is also unhappy with the scrapping of the posts of two
vice-presidents, the appointment of service chiefs by an independent body
and the devolution of powers.
Sources at the Committee of Parliament on the New Constitution (Copac) said
late last week that it was taking too long for a decision to be made on
The committee comprises negotiators from Zanu-PF and both formations of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The draft constitution seeks to bar anyone who has been president for more
than 10 years.
Mugabe has been at the helm for 32.
Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said his party would not agree to a
constitution, which barred Mugabe from standing in the elections.
Gumbo also revealed that Zanu-PF would reject the draft if it contained a
clause scrapping the posts of two vice-presidents.
"We have said that there is no way devolution will come into play. We have a
central government and it must remain as such. Our position on the
vice-presidents' posts is that we maintain the two VPs. Appointment of the
security chiefs is done by the president," said Gumbo.
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said that it was too late to tinker with
the draft constitution, adding that the new constitution had already been
done, with minor issues to be concluded by the management committee.
"We have written the draft. Only four issues are left. These will be decided
by the management committee," said Mwonzora.
He cited these issues as citizenship, devolution, the death penalty and
"The issue of the two VPs is minor and can be settled by giving discretion
to the sitting president. But the MDC will appoint only one VP," said
Mwonzora said Zimbabweans had been very clear about what they wanted and
political parties should respect the wishes of the people.
He said people had indicated during outreach programmes that they were in
favour of the devolution of powers.
"Negotiators should concentrate on the structure of government. On the death
penalty, we should be guided by international trends. The problem is that
there are some people in Zanu-PF who do not want to make changes, which will
displease Mugabe, even if they believe in them," he said.
Mwonzora said bringing SADC facilitators into the process would be the
height of failure.
by Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he is pushing for national elections
to be held in March 2013, setting the stage for what could be a bitter
showdown with President Robert Mugabe.
The MDC-T leader told a local weekly newspaper that although the process of
writing a new constitution is still under way, elections will be possible
less than a year from now.
"It's just not possible to hold elections this year, there is no
constitution and no referendum has been held," he said.
"Elections will be held at the outer limit; that is in March 2013 when the
current term of the lawmakers would have constitutionally expired."
However, President Robert Mugabe called for "violence-free" elections before
the year is out.
Although Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party passed a resolution in December
calling for elections to be held in 2012, Tsvangirai stressed the country is
not ready yet.
He however, said the constitution is coming along, telling the newspaper,
"There is still a lot of work to be done and we need to flatten the
political space that at present is dominated by Zanu PF."
JAMA MAJOLA | 22 April, 2012 00:17
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are set to
collide over the funding of the next elections .
Mugabe is going for broke to ensure elections are held this year, with or
without a new constitution, while he is still relatively fit to campaign.
His bid for another five-year term of office is becoming increasingly
precarious due to a combination of growing infirmity, old age and
intensifying factionalism in Zanu-PF, fuelled by succession battles.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a key figure in Tsvangirai's MDC-T, said late
this week that he was not going to fund the elections because there was no
The minister said if anyone forced him to do impractical things in his job,
he would rather quit and go back to his law firm than comply.
Biti, who this week said Mugabe belonged to an "old people's home or in a
wheelchair", is a lawyer by profession.
The combative minister has been a thorn in the side of Mugabe for years, but
his remarks this week could create an explosive situation.
"We didn't budget for elections, so there is no money for them.
"We can't even pay our civil servants," Biti told a meeting organised by
Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council on Thursday.
Tsvangirai is arguing with Mugabe, saying that while elections should be
held as soon as possible they should only come after full implementation of
the Global Political Agreement (GPA), the basis of the unity government, and
an agreed elections roadmap.
The prime minister said this week that elections should be peaceful and
"As we brace for the next election, there must be peace in the land. We
should all stand united against violence.
"The youth must refuse to be manipulated and bribed for political gain.
"There must be security of the person, security of the vote and security of
the people's will.
"This is the true freedom our liberators fought for," he said on Wednesday.
Biti warned in Washington that if the current opportunity for successful
elections was wasted, Zimbabwe would slide back to political violence and
instability, as well as economic chaos.
He said the international community must not allow Mugabe to call for
Mugabe is demanding elections this year at all costs.
He has ordered the constitution-making process to be fast-tracked to meet
his election agenda.
The veteran leader has threatened that if the constitution-making exercise
dragged on he would call for elections unilaterally under the current
That move would lead to a showdown, not only with Tsvangirai and his party,
but also with the Southern African Development Community and the African
Union, guarantors of the GPA.
Responding to Mugabe's now near-hysterical demand for early elections, Biti
had harsh words for the leader now plagued by infirmity and old age.
"If you have a party that is placing its hopes on somebody who is 88 years
old, I think there is something wrong with that.
"If you are 88 years, you belong to an [old] people's home, you belong in a
wheelchair," the finance minister said.
"To place the fate of a country to an 88-year-old, with great respect, is an
insult to present generations. We need renewal in Zimbabwe," Biti said.
Biti's remarks and refusal to fund elections are likely to fuel ongoing
power struggles between Mugabe and Tsvangirai over elections and other
Written by Gift Phiri, Chief Writer
Sunday, 22 April 2012 11:08
HARARE - Zimbabwe is heading into a “highly competitive and polarised”
election period amid continuing doubts about President Mugabe’s health and
an increasingly bitter fight to succeed the veteran ruler as party and state
Both front-runners in the in- ternal Zanu PF race to succeed Mugabe have
over the past week gone into a tactical retreat, making public denials that
they have inten- tions of challenging the 88-year- old as long as he is
But several sources in Zanu PF say the internecine warfare has ac- tually
reached fever pitch.
Both Joice Mujuru and Emm- erson Mnangagwa chose to issue the denials in the
heartland of their support bases, Mnangagwa in the Midlands city of Gweru
and Mu- juru in Mt Darwin.
“Handimbochichemera chigaro chavo kana varipo. Tinozviziva kuti kune vakuru,
kuti kune order. Hatife takapanduka isu vamwe nekuti takabikwa tikaibva (I
will never challenge for the position as long as he is around),” Mujuru, a
former girl-guerilla fighter, told villagers at Mt Darwin Secondary School
on Friday at an event also attended by Mugabe.
Meanwhile, her arch-rival in the Zanu PF race, Mnangagwa also headed off
claims by the Brit- ish Telegraph that the 88-year-old leader is expected
“to hand over power” to the Midlands political guru or “godfather”.
Under the said plan, denied by Mnangagwa, Mugabe would stand as a Zanu PF
candidate in elections likely this year or in 2013 before giving Mnangagwa —
his trusted lieutenant — a run for power.
Mugabe has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980 and has not
groomed a successor, leaving party members to tear each other apart.
A new faction dubbed Genera- tion 40, comprising Young Turks has come out
guns blazing, dis- missing other faction leaders as “riff-raff”.
And that faction includes poli- ticians, senior civil servants and generals,
and was said to be setting up parallel structures and pushing for fresh
polls this year.
A Zanu PF central commit- tee member said the forthcoming election will tell
whether the key features of Mugabe’s 32 years in power, “persist and even
deepen or begin to reverse”.
“There is the emerging Genera- tion 40 comprising ambitious ele- ments such
as Jonathan (Moyo) and Tyson (Saviour Kasukuwere) which is really coalescing
around the old man and is seriously con- cerned over the emerging alliance
between the Mujuru faction and the MDC,” the central committee member said.
“This is a dangerous faction which has the backing of the army and is trying
to micromanage the President.”
The “paranoid” cabal was said to be even “managing” speeches for the
President at Defence House. Recently, in Bulawayo, Mugabe fumed over a
speech which he al- leged was shoddily written.
Sources, however note that the hardliners were edgy over Mu- juru’s close
connection with the MDC.
Saviour Kasukuwere is part of Generation 40, which comprises Young Turks and
is dismissing other faction leaders.
Another top Zanu PF official questioned Mujuru’s take-over de- nial and its
He said she was trying to assure Mugabe of her loyalty despite the rumours
of machinations on her part to cut a post-Mugabe deal with the MDC.
A politburo member said Mu- juru’s statement was actually “a declaration of
her own power and position within the party”, against her real competitors
and knew that Mugabe will run for the presidency in 2013 and her best bet to
stand any significant chance in the post- Mugabe era is to remain in the up-
per echelons of the party.
“For her to do that, she is des- perate for the President’s confi- dence. As
we speak, Simba Makoni’s Mavambo project is being used as cannon fodder to
discredit her,” said the politburo member. Like others spoken to, he
declined to be named.
He said the VP knows her major adversary has been slowly working his way up,
apparently, regaining President Mugabe’s confidence.
Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said: “It is legally wrong, but
politically pos- sible (for Mnangagwa to take over in the event of Mugabe
leaving the scene) because in the current situ- ation it is Parliament,
which has the power to choose a replacement when a president resigns.
“So Mugabe can just campaign for Mnangagwa by telling the MPs to vote for
him, but he can’t just hand over power (to him).”
Another source said there was “solidification of the dominance of the
hard-line faction” of the gener- als who believe in the continued ongoing
militarisation of Zimbabwean politics. This cabal is said to be led by the
Joint Operations Command and reportedly wants Mugabe to firmly entrench more
“insular liberation war cadres” of decision makers at the political system’s
In the meantime, the Mujuru faction prefers a more reforming Zanu PF.
An increasingly ailing Mugabe has now come to increasingly rely on his
hard-line allies to preserve the status quo.
As reports of the secret power deal come through, Mnangagwa has also lurched
into another po- litical storm — from both Zanu PF and the MDC’s — for using
air- force helicopters on frivolous trips.
About three weeks ago, he flew to Chivi for a Watungwa Village graduation
party of his close ally Josiah Hungwe’s daughter.
Although Mnangagwa consid- ers himself a frontrunner, others see
considerable hurdles, given Mujuru’s respect among Zanu PF supporters and
other neutrals. To- gether with her late husband Solo- mon, the “modest” VP
is viewed as a “moderate.”
Analysts not only view Mnangagwa’s use of state resourc- es as a symbolic
show of anointing and proximity to power, but that he is a top contender for
the job of Zimbabwean president.
John Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer who has de- clared
intentions to run on an MDC ticket, said even though Mnangag- wa was to be
given the baton, the man was so unpopular — even within Zanu PF — for him to
shore up Zanu PF’s flagging fortunes.
“It is actually unwise for Mugabe... because he cannot pull Zanu PF from the
current abyss. Mujuru (Joice) can do a better job, in fact, she can give
Tsvangirai a better run for his money,” he said.
“Mnangagwa is a shadow figure in his party just like Kasukuwere (Saviour)
who is not publicly at- tractive and has no national ap- peal,” Makumbe
Harare, April 22, 2012 - Air Zimbabwe has so far failed to pay its workers
close to $ 40 million in salaries arrears.
The struggling airline owes its workers a staggering $35, 415, 731.80at the
end of last year.
The figure is rising fast and might now be around $40 million when the 2012
dues are factored into the picture. The workers have gone for four months
Air Zimbabwe has about 1000 employees on its books.
A summary of January 2009-December 2011 salary arrears lodged before the
High Court by the workers as part of their application to have the
struggling airline put under judicial management shows that Air Zimbabwe owe
all of its workers varying amounts of money.
According to the summary of worker’s debts - pilots are owed $3, 043,
406.28, engineers $7,266, 293.28, general staff $ 5,161,559.10, executives $
448, 029.40, workers pension contributions $ 4,361, 668.12, NSSA
contributions $ 403, 184.78, PAYE $14, 180,411.66, ZIMDEF contributions $
Air Zimbabwe also owes its workers most of whom are no longer going to work
approximately $ 60 000 in union dues and subscriptions. This is the money
that the airline deducted from worker’s salaries but failed to forward the
money to the union in terms of a standing collective bargaining agreement.
In addition the respondents have failed to pay all their statutory
obligations to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).
The workers allege that Air Zimbabwe lacks a proper governance structure
saying the company’s board of directors is “moribund and a mere stooge.”
“This is regardless of the fact that things have not been well at the
company, workers are not being paid. Apparently the employer is not keen to
run his business. The respondents’ board of directors has abdicated all
sense of responsibility in running the affairs of the company and the
respondents’ bankruptcy has hit rock bottom,” the workers said in their
application to the High Court.
In addition the workers said," the company directors are mere window
dressing figures of the sinking titanic who have woefully failed to avert
the crisis haunting the respondents. How can a company run without active
and functional directors who meet regularly to find ways to enhance their
“There has been no meaningful works council meetings convened since January
2009. As such the workers do not know whether the respondents books of
accounts have been audited or not. To make matters worse, the respondents
have literally paralysed the national employment council for the air
transport industry by cannibalising some of its members and demonstrating
utter disdain of its structures,” the workers said.
While arguing that the company should be put under judicial management, the
workers said the company has become so cash strapped that management seem to
have given up.
“The companies have many other non –employee creditors such that credit
worthiness has been damaged and all their business partners demand cash up
front. Recently one of the respondents’ aeroplanes was attached at an
overseas airport as a result of an unpaid debt,” the workers said.
“Failure to pay salaries and union subscriptions is manifest evidence of
mismanagement. If they were prudently run, the respondents could generate a
lot of income from both domestic and international flights.”
The workers say unless the respondents are placed under provisional judicial
management they will remain financially hamstrung.
“Given their asset base and the fact that the market is still available, it
is submitted that if placed under provisional judicial management they will
be able to pay their debts,” the workers concluded.
Hendricks Chizhanje | 22 April, 2012 00:17
Air Zimbabwe is to explore the viability of leasing aircraft from Brazilian
manufacturer, Embraer, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the
The engagement follows a recent report in the Sunday Times disclosing that
Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas
Goche and Finance Minister Tendai Biti recently visited Brazil to consider
purchasing or leasing aircraft from Embraer.
Insiders at the troubled national airline told the Sunday Times that
officials from Goche's ministry had requested Air Zimbabwe management to
validate the leasing of Embraer ERJ 145 or ERJ 190 jets from the company.
"Management was asked to prepare a paper to justify the leasing of the
Embraer jets following the Brazilian trip by the ministers of transport and
finance," said one insider.
Goche is leading efforts to revive the fortunes of Air Zimbabwe, which
suspended domestic, regional and international flights in January and is
eying a comeback in May.
Bulawayo, April 22, 2012---Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Seiso Moyo said
some corrupt Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officials have become a stumbling
block in the distribution of maize grain to starving villagers countrywide
under the Grain Loan- Scheme.
Speaking to Radio VOP in Bulawayo on Saturday, Moyo who also an MDC-T member
admitted that GMB has been rocked by corruption and that has been derailing
the distribution of maize grain to areas face deficits this year.
“There have been some reports of some corrupt officials with the GMB
diverting maize grain meant for people facing starvation. We are
investigating it as the Ministry. But what I want to say to those people
failing to access grain from GMB under the grain loan scheme is that, they
should report this to their local councillors , Members of Parliament or
members of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) who
will help them,” said Moyo
Moyo added: “We want everybody who failed to get a good harvest this year
to receive maize grain under this government programme. The maize should not
also be distributed according to political party lines.”
Last month the government announced that it has extended the grain loan
scheme to March next year to cushion villagers whose crops were wiped off by
a dry spell during this cropping season. Under the scheme, all several
households facing food deficits will get maize from state owned GMB.
Provinces that are facing food shortages include parts of Manicaland,
Masvingo, Matabeleland South and North and some parts of Midlands.
According to the final crop assessment by the government, this past farming
season 1 600 000hectares of the maize crop was planted but because of lack
of rain, 500 000hectares is a write off.
This leaves the country with only 1 100 000 million hectares of the planted
maize crop against the national grain requirement stands at two million
tonnes of maize per annum.
The World Food Program (WFP) indicated that more than one million
Zimbabweans are said to be in need of food aid between now and March 2012
following the continuous dry spell that has been affecting the national
Written by Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:04
HARARE - Teachers’ representative unions have blasted government schools for
the unilateral increase in school fees saying the increments are not
Many government schools have increased tuition fees for the coming term
which begins on May 8.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond
Majongwe said his organisation does not support the latest fees hike as it
will bring an unnecessary burden on parents.
“We do not support the process that will continue to cause more confusion as
the children go back to school.
The problem is that salaries of the parents have not improved and the basic
commodities like clothes, food have remained stable,” said Majongwe.
“There is nobody who should be allowed to increase the fees. Cabinet and
the ministry of education and the parents should put their feet on the
ground and not allow this madness to continue whereby every term, the school
fees are increased,” said Majongwe.
Government has not yet announced the new increase in the fees.
The schools are however increasing the fees without the approval of
Some government schools like Borrowdale Primary School raised their fees
from $200 per term to $250 while Marondera High School increased fees from
$460 to $570.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu
said any increase in school fees should be done with the approval of
“If there is no agreement between government and schools the increments
should be stopped. We have professional headmasters and they should not
increase these fees and we do not want to have a situation where we wake up
and just learn that the fees have been increased; this will cause confusion
in the education sector," said Ndlovu.
Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture David Coltart was not
available to comment yesterday as he was said to be out of the country.
Written by Sharon Muguwu, Staff Writer
Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:06
HARARE - Facing a ban from a regime that loves wielding the axe, one of
South Africa’s biggest media houses has decided to take Zimbabwe strongman
President Robert Mugabe, head on.
Avusa Media, whose title, The Sunday Times circulates widely in Zimbabwe and
has a local edition says it will not register with the regulatory authority
here as demanded by government.
Officials from the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) have demanded that all
foreign newspapers whose coverage has a major focus on Zimbabwe register to
be allowed to circulate.
Editor of The Sunday Times’ Zimbabwean edition, Susan Smuts said the demand
for the paper to register with ZMC was impractical.
“We sat down, discussed this and decided not to register,” she told
Zimbabwean reporters visiting South Africa on a United States sponsored
mentorship programme for female journalists.
“We do not have an office there (Zimbabwe) and we are a foreign publication
like Fair lady and any other publication that gets imported into Zimbabwe,”
Smuts questioned ZMC’s motives, suggesting that the authorities wanted to
use the registration requirement to fish out the newspaper’s Zimbabwean
“We do not have any permanent staff or structure in Zimbabwe and in order to
register we have to set up an office there.
And it is not something that is really practical for us. I think it is the
wrong financial climate."
“At the moment we do not have an office hence no intention to register
there. We are a distributor and we pay what we are supposed to pay according
to the law. What the authorities are trying to do to is to find out who our
freelancers are,” she said.
It is a big risk the newspaper is taking, given Zimbabwe’s known hostility
towards foreign media.
Godfrey Majonga, the ZMC chairperson, has previously said the regulatory
body will use police to stop the distribution of foreign newspapers that
refuse to comply with the registration requirement.
But Smuts said Avusa had already notified ZMC of its intention to defy the
“We did seek legal advice from attorneys in Harare and they have written to
the commission explaining that we are not sure that we have to register and
we have heard nothing from them. We wrote to them again, telling them again
that this is our response but they have not said anything yet."
“When they reply I think we will take it from there. It is a legal battle
not anything else. It is not very clear what is happening there but we would
not want to be in a position where we are caught in the middle of
something,” she said.
Smuts said The Sunday Times, Zimbabwean edition was established to plug an
information void in the country.
At least half a dozen newspapers, including the Daily News and the Daily
News on Sunday, were forced to shut down under the harsh Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).
“Zimbabweans seem to occupy a bigger part in South Africa more than our
other neighbours. I think they are part of the big market. And also when we
started the Daily News had not re-launched so we felt that there was a gap
in the market. It also increased our readership market and also makes
commercial sense,” said Smuts.
ZMC says titles such as The Sunday Times should register for accountability
Written by Farayi Machamire, Sports Writer
Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:10
HARARE - One person died and 28 others were left injured when a bus carrying
47 passengers was hit by a train at a railway crossing in Kadoma.
This comes a day after a fatal crash in Dzivarasekwa, Harare and five days
after 21 people perished in a horrific accident near Ngundu along the
Both accidents involved buses. In Kadoma yesterday, the bus belonging to
Eagle Liner Bus Services was hit by the train between Kadoma Hotel and
Conference Centre and the Dairiboard complex.
It was on its way to Bulawayo.
Traffic evaluators were still battling to establish the cause of the
accident yesterday but Inspector Blessmore Chisaka, officer-in- charge of
Press and Public Relations confirmed that they would have a full statement
“The driver stopped in accordance with the laws of the road but he took off
before the train had passed,” Chisaka told the Daily News on Sunday
yesterday. Whether the train had hooted or the driver was somehow distracted
and unexpectedly crossed in the hope of beating the train is yet to be
established,” Chisaka added.
“We are yet to establish the cause of the accident because the train hit the
rear part of the bus and the result was the injury of 28 people whilst one
person died on the way to Kadoma General Hospital.”
“We will only have a full statement tomorrow (today) after the traffic
valuators find out what the cause of the problem was.”
Tinashe Sama who was on board but somehow survived unharmed narrated to the
Daily News on Sunday what he witnessed.
“There was confusion in the bus as people were arguing about the songs that
were being played on the radio, yes we stopped at the crossing but that’s
the only thing I remember.”
Smart Chimutali, who said he witnessed the fatal accident as he was walking
close by said the driver showed negligence by trying to beat the train.
“You can’t beat a train at a railway crossing,” Chimutali said. “The train
hooted to warn the bus to stop and the driver complied by stopping,” he
added. “But somehow I just saw the bus taking off suddenly before the train
had passed and that resulted in the train smashing into the bus.”
On Monday last week, a Beitbridge-bound MegaLink bus veered off the road and
rammed into a tree at the 92-kilometre peg along the Masvingo–Beitbridge
highway, instantly killing 20 people on the spot, including the driver and
conductor, while one died on admission at Neshuro Hospital.
Police said 45 were injured, 17 of them seriously.
The bus was travelling from Harare to Beitbridge when the driver failed to
negotiate a curve just after Ngundu Growth Point and veered off the road
It had 66 passengers on-board.
MARK SCOFIELD | 22 April, 2012 00:17
Saviour Kasukuwere, the country's firebrand Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister, has vowed to intensify the
He also said the programme was giving President Robert Mugabe's beleaguered
Zanu-PF party much-needed political mileage in the looming election.
In an interview with the Sunday Times at his Mukwati office in Harare,
Kasukuwere said it would be foolhardy for Zanu-PF not to use the
indigenisation programme to win votes. "We have changed the country forever
with the indigenisation programme. Which political party wouldn't harness
such a programme to push for votes? I am not ashamed of that, because
indigenisation is the view of my party and it will be a determining force in
the next election.
"How is it possible that the people would reject [come election time] a
party that empowers them?"
A raft of statements made by Kasukuwere in the past two weeks has had the
effect of stoking more fear among already jittery foreign investors in the
country. First, Kasukuwere announced that the government had unilaterally
taken over a 51% controlling stake in all foreign-owned mines that had not
fulfilled the requirements of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
The announcement was followed this week with media reports quoting
Kasukuwere saying he was "pretty certain" to wrap up empowerment
transactions entered into with Zimplats and Anglo Platinum by the end of
this month. In March, SA's Implats, which owns 87% of Zimplats, was caught
up in a bitter wrangle to cede a 51% stake to locals.
He has, however, maintained that he would not pay anything for the Zimplats
stake, which economists value at about $600-million.
His overbearing stance, political observers say, has been emboldened by his
rising political star, which is fuelled by the indigenisation programme.
What of rumours that he is a contender to succeed Mugabe? At 41,Kasukuwere
is the youngest Zanu-PF minister. He ruled out any succession ambitions and
said his focus was to work with young people. He said that was what excited
him and caused him to have sleepless nights.
WikiLeaks disclosures in 2010 placed Kasukuwere as a frontrunner of the
"Young Turks" and "Generation 40" - a cabal of young leaders in Zanu-PF.
"All this succession talk is nonsense, the focus must be to work with
people," he said.
"I have been given a mandate by President Mugabe to empower the people. I
won't waste my energy and time being caught up in succession chatter. It's
all just crazy."
Earlier this week, he told a Reuters Africa Investment Conference in
Johannesburg that he was quite happy to serve in his capacity as a minister
and "I do not have an ambition to go beyond my call of duty right now".
Kasukuwere has not only clashed with foreign-owned mines, which he has
repeatedly accused of dragging their feet to avoid adhering to the
indigenisation laws, but sharp rhetoric and clashes have also been exchanged
with Tendai Biti, the finance minister and Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor - over hi s next target for indigenisation - the banking
Kasukuwere insisted this week that his recent public spats with Biti and
Gono stemmed from the "misinterpretation" of the law by his peers in
"The problem is that people are personalising issues. This is not about
personal ego and ambition and must never be allowed to be. It's not about
what Kasukuwere wants, but about respecting the country's laws and doing
what is right.
"Barclays and Standard Chartered Bank have already submitted themselves to
the indigenisation programme. How would they have done so if they [Barclays
and Standard Chartered] felt they were exempt from the process, as some
certain quarters have claimed?" he said.
activists in the Zimbabwean diaspora are pursuing a year-long worldwide protest
movement demanding reforms that have already been agreed to, but have yet to be
implemented. Saturday's demonstration came just a few days after Zimbabwe
celebrated 32 years of independence with President Robert Mugabe in power the
Protesters sang opposition songs and beat drums outside the South African embassy in Washington on a warm spring day.
They called for the full implementation of a power-sharing deal reached in 2008. The so-called Global Political Agreement, or GPA, did help set up a national unity government, but has yet to bring about promised changes in many areas, including media, security, political and election reforms.
Protest organizer Den Moyo, from the Movement for Democratic Change-USA, had a direct message for South African President Jacob Zuma, the main mediator. "We are saying Mr. Zuma, we do not have time. You have asked us to be patient but it has been four years since the GPA has been signed. Let me remind you Mr. Zuma it has been 32 years that our people have been suffering, have been tormented, have been killed, have been murdered, have been maimed, and we are saying we have run out of patience. Patience is no longer with us," he said.
This week, a spokeswoman for Mr. Zuma promised that Mr. Zuma would go to Zimbabwe's capital Harare soon.
Protesters also called for the estimated five million Zimbabweans living outside the country the right to vote in upcoming elections, even though they said they doubted they would get this opportunity.
A Zimbabwean living in the southern U.S. state of Florida, Chris Kwangwari, said that would make it impossible for President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party to win elections. "Most of the youngsters here they understand what freedom means. They understand what choice is and the people back home are not very open to new ideas and change so the diaspora is definitely a threat to them," he said.
Many of the protesters travelled from across the United States to celebrate Zimbabwe's independence together.
But for Maggie Bonda, who came from Dallas, Texas, celebrations are bittersweet. "I am in solidarity with my brothers and sisters to demonstrate against what we see as an endless road to nothing. We need independence, real independence in Zimbabwe," she said.
Zimbabwean protesters in major capitals around the world have been holding demonstrations every 21st of every month this year, hoping these will help make the yet to be scheduled upcoming elections free and fair. While many of the protesters said they wanted to return to Zimbabwe one day, they said if they held similar protests in their home country they could be beaten, jailed or even killed.
Mr. Mugabe says he needs to stay in power to continue correcting the wrongs that still need to be overcome from the time of what was then white minority rule in Rhodesia. Previous elections have been marred by violence, fraud, intimidation and opposition boycotts.
1. Khuluza and Emma Mlotshwa on their wedding day 2. Outside South Africa House
3. The Vigil Petition 4. Outside 10 Downing Street
The Vigil joined with the MDC Diaspora to mark Independence Day by calling on South Africa to pressure Mugabe to honour the GPA and to appeal to the United Nations to supervise the coming elections.
The day began auspiciously with the arrival at the Vigil of an historic red double-decker ‘Routemaster’ bus carrying Vigil supporter Khuluza Mlotshwa and his bride Emma, together with the bridal party. Khuluza had promised he would join us even on his big day. The bus had a banner on the front: ‘Zimbabwe colonised by Britain, Destroyed by Mugabe.’
After gathering forces at the Vigil about 200 people moved on to the nearby South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square to continue the MDC Diaspora’s campaign to get President Zuma to call Mugabe to account. A sample of the posters: Mugabe must go now, Zuma stop Mugabe B4 it’s too late, Zuma wake-up call, MDC wants free and fair elections, Stop looting Marange diamonds, Follow SADC road map to democracy, and No more violent elections.
People then moved on to Whitehall to present the Vigil’s petition to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, at his official residence. The petition reads ‘We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’
Five delegates from the Vigil were allowed into Downing Street to hand over the petition to an official. They were: Louisa Musaerenge, Mary Muteyerwa, Kelvin Kamupira, Wellington Muringai and Rose Benton.
The Vigil is grateful to Jonathan Kariwoh, Sue Toft, Margaret Dlamini (from the Swazi Vigil) and others who remained behind to maintain the Vigil while all the exciting things were happening elsewhere.
· A Zimbabwean Darryl Smith visited us and paid respect to the memory of a former colleague who had worked with him at ZESA Kariba, who was listed among the victims on our ‘Mugabe wanted for Murder’ poster.
· It was also good to have with us the respected rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
· We are sorry to report that, despite our campaign for him, David Moyo has been sent back to Zimbabwe. His mother Angela will keep us informed of what happens to him. There is better news on Nancy Makawa. She is no longer facing immediate deportation and her solicitor is applying for her to be released from detention.
· The Vigil notices that Tendai Biti has been in Washington looking for Western financial aid and complaining of sanctions. We wonder whether he has ever thought of an alternative: how about indigenising the diamond mines? Or asking for a loan from Mines Minister Mpofu?
· The Chickenshed Theatre is putting on a second run of ‘The Rain that Washes’. A group from the Vigil went last year and found it excellent. It is a one-man show based on a true story. “Following the dream of majority rule, one man sees Ian Smith's Rhodesia become Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. From refugee camps in Botswana to air strikes in Zambia via Marxism in Bulgaria, he returns to Zimbabwe, only to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . .” See ‘Events and Notices’ for further details.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 148 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR Leicester Meeting. Saturday 28th April from 1.30 – 4 pm. Venue: ‘The Homemade Hamburger’, Highcross, Leicester. This is near the Showcase Cinema. This meeting will be attended by members of the National Executive.· Taking Transitional Justice to the Diaspora. Monday 30th April from 5 – 6 pm. Venue: Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4LE. Participants: Moses Mzila Ndlovu, Co-Chair of the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, and Primrose Matambanadzo, Chair of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (http://www.chathamhouse.org/events/view/182736).
· ‘The Rain that Washes’ – Zimbabwean theatre production. From 2nd – 19th May at 7.30 pm – matinees 10th May at 1 pm and 19th May at 3.30 pm. Venue: Studio Theatre, Chickenshed Theatre, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. Running time: 60 minutes. Tickets £8 (£6). To book, call 020 8292 9222, email firstname.lastname@example.org or book online at www.chickenshed.org.uk. Chickenshed is between Oakwood and Cockfosters tube stations, and on bus routes 298, 299, 307 and N91. Free parking is also available.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 5th May from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 5th May from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
· Two Gentlemen of Verona Shona Production at the Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT. Dates / Times: Wednesday 9 May, 2.30pm. Thursday 10 May, 7.30pm. Tickets available from 020 7401 9919 and www.shakespearesglobe.com. A two-man Zimbabwean riot of love, friendship and betrayal. From Verona to Milan, via Harare and Bulawayo, two great friends, Valentine and Proteus, vie for the love of the same woman. In a triumphantly energetic ‘township’ style, Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyevu slip into all of the play’s fifteen characters – from amorous suitors to sullen daughters, depressed servants and even a dog – in this new, specially commissioned translation.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
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://www.zimvigil.co.uk
by Sports Reporter
THE Justice Ahmed Ibrahim independent committee has cleared 30 players
alleged to have been involved in match fixing during exhibition with the
national side after failing to find evidence against them.
The committee would not reveal the names of the players during a press
conference Sunday before reporting to the Zimbabwe Football Association by
Ibrahim said their investigations had failed to gather any evidence against
the players and resolved to exonerate them.
"We have exonerated at least 30 players from the match fixing scandal
because we could not gather evidence against them. We will be presenting the
names of these players to ZIFA by Wednesday,” he said.
The committee chair however, said their investigations into the scandal were
still far from being completed adding it was also a very expensive exercise
which needed a lot of time.
"It's a costly exercise that requires a lot of time. We have experienced
members in this committee but this exercise can not be completed over
night,” he said.
The probe is also being pegged back by players not responding to calls to
come for interviews, particularly those playing in South Africa.
Justice Ibrahim said they were still to speak to at least 15 players who are
in South Africa adding the committee had resolved to interview them after
their football season ends.
Over 100 players and officials were suspended from national duty by Zifa
including following a long-standing investigation into match-fixing.
Notable senior national team players who have been banned until further
notice include Method Mwanjali, Daniel Vheremu, Benjamin Marere, Thomas
Sweswe, Nyasha Mushekwi, Khama Billiat, and Ovidy Karuru
SIMPLICIUS CHIRINDA | 22 April, 2012 00:17
For Talent Mabika, collecting trash is part of his life. At first he was so
ashamed of this job that he always left home under the cover of darkness and
returned after sunset, with bags of plastic bottles.
Mabika describes himself as a wanderer: "I just walk around town picking up
empty plastic bottles. Now I am no longer ashamed because it's giving me
enough money to look after my family."
Mabika, a father of three, is one of a multitude of Zimbabweans who have
emerged as unlikely climate change ambassadors.
"We were just doing this for the money when we started, and were wondering
why people were interested in buying plastic bottles and cardboard boxes
until we were told what happens once the plastic is bought from us."
The plastic is recycled and used in the packaging of juices, peanut butter,
cooking oil, vehicle oil and engine cleaners.
Mabika and his colleagues started by collecting plastic bottles and
companies started paying more for their plastic.
The companies reduced packaging costs by recycling the plastic.
Mabika is now teaching households in parts of Harare about environmental
awareness. The more people embrace his idea, the easier his job becomes and
the more money he earns.
"I ask them to separate plastic bottles from the waste that they put in
their rubbish bins. At first they were hostile to the idea but with time
when they got familiar with me and understood why I was asking them to do
it, it became easy," said Mabika who targets flats in Harare's city centre
and nearby Eastlea.
He has since befriendedhousemaids who help him collect the plastic bottles.
Caretakers are also helping to spread the word.
"They help me a lot and that makes my job easy," said Mabika as he pointed
to a notice encouraging residents to separate plastic from the rest of their
He said it was not always easy to explain things, but he was slowly building
a network of environmentally conscious households.
He tells them that while they are helping him to feed his family the
benefits are mutual as they help preserve the environment as well.
At St Tropez Flats in Eastlea, housemaids Idah Ndadziyira and Tatenda
Munjoma are now reliable friends in this business.
"I have heard about climate change but did not know what it was about. In
fact I thought it can only happen in other countries and not in Zimbabwe -
until the plastic collectors educated me about it," said Ndadziyira.
"I now understand that things like cutting down trees can cause climate
change and affect the rainfall patterns, so I am sharing the information
with other people."
Munjoma said: "They collect two- and five-litre plastic bottles and they ask
us to separate the plastic waste and other waste. Sometimes they rummage
through the bins in search of the plastics ."
Zvaremwa Nyamasoka, the St Tropez Flats caretaker, said he put up the
notices to spread environment messages.
Many Zimbabweans are not aware of climate change issues because the country
has no policy on it. The country is in the process of formulating one with
the Climate Change Development Knowledge Network, which brings together
Ministry of Environment officials and climate change experts.
Washington Zhakata, the national climate change coordinator in the ministry,
recently told the local media that the country needed to do more to educate
locals about climate change issues at household level.
"People need to be trained on climate change issues, starting with simple
issues, such as recycling at home," Zhakata said.
The rubbish collectors take their loot to the Mbare Musika trash market for
sale. A kilogram of plastic trash collected earns anything between $7 and
Apart from making money for the trash collectors, the market is growing into
an industry which is helping to change lives.
April 22 2012 at 01:41pm
By MATTHEW SAVIDES
It might not belong to Robert Mugabe, but the controversial
multimillion-rand property on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast could very well
belong to one of his allies – a diamond-dealing Zimbabwean who shares the
same first name.
It is believed the property may belong to Robert Mhlanga, a former Air
Vice-Marshal and apparently once Mugabe’s personal pilot. Mhlanga was a
prosecution witness in the 2003 treason trial of MDC leader Morgan
Rumours that it was Mugabe’s house resurfaced last week.
A nearby property owner, who asked not to be named, confirmed that the owner
was Zimbabwean. He said the man was “pleasant” but “very private”.
He knew that “Dr Mhlanga” made his money through dealing in commodities. He
had lived there for about eight months. This tallied with information
provided by others in Ballito.
It appears Mhlanga has the money to fund the massive development, estimated
to be worth R200 million to R300m. He is chairman of Mbada Diamonds, a
Zimbabwe-based company that was awarded mining rights at Chiadzwa by Mugabe’s
government. It has been reported that first lady Grace Mugabe had a
substantial interest in Mbada and had met Mhlanga several times.
Mhlanga has interests in an SA firm, Liparm Construction, whose website
indicates it is involved in commodities including diamonds.
It has been previously reported that a study released by British watchdog
NGO Global Witness raised concerns about diamond mining in Zimbabwe. It
named Mbada Diamonds as one of the companies it was concerned about.
The grounds of the house are bordered to the south by the luxury Zimbali
Estate and to the north by the old Pottery Gallery and Hilltop Estate. The
property starts just 100m from the M4, but security is tight. A large fence
circles the entire piece of land, and the entrance is guarded around the
clock. A thick barrier of trees makes it impossible to see inside.
Aerial pictures show a main house that fronts on to a swimming pool and a
man-made lake, with views of a second man-made lake and the sea. There is
construction on the first lake, but it’s unclear what it might be. Towards
the sea, at the second lake, another big building is going up, smaller than
the main house.
Sister newspaper the Sunday Tribune contacted former owner Martin Sherwood,
the main contractor on the developments, sub-contractors and property agents
in the area. All would not speak or didn’t know who the owner was.
Sherwood said: “I can’t disclose who the owners are. One of the conditions
of sale was that I sign a confidentiality agreement.”
He said he could not confirm or deny the rumours about ownership of the
Stefannuti Stocks, the main contractor on the project, would not comment.
Director Graham Carver said: “I am not at liberty to divulge any information
at all. I don’t want to discuss the project.”
He said a confidentiality agreement had been signed and that the company won
the work on a private tender. At first he said he would provide the name of
the developer, but later said he was not allowed to do so.
A realtor said: “Nobody knows who it is. There is a huge amount of
It was also rumoured that Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had
made the property one of their homes. - Sunday Argus