Zimbabwe seeks 30 pct local mine ownership in 10
yrs Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:02 PM GMT
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe
will soon present a bill to parliament seeking to compel foreign mining
firms to sell 30 percent of their shareholding to local partners within 10
years, state media reported on Thursday.
The Country's Chamber of Mines
had previously proposed to the government that foreign mining firms sell 25
percent of their shares within the same period.
Mugabe's government is preparing new mining legislation it says is aimed at
boosting local participation in a mining industry now dominated by large
foreign firms. The bill is in the draft stages and has not yet been made
"Companies shall achieve a 30 percent ownership of the industry's
assets in ten years of which 20 percent shall be achieved in two years, 25
percent in seven years and 30 percent in 10 years," the official Herald
newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying, describing the draft
"It (government) is working on modalities to create an indigenous
empowerment vehicle that will assist new players to tap into mining ventures
and to acquire stakes in existing operations."
There was no immediate
comment from government on Thursday.
The mining industry had proposed
that local empowerment groups take up 15 percent shareholding in foreign
owned mines as a starting point, which would rise to 25 percent in 10
Mugabe last year sent jitters through the mining industry after he
was quoted by state media saying the government would take 50 percent of
foreign owned mines.
Anglo American Platinum Corp, South Africa's
Impala Platinum Holding Ltd, the world's biggest and second biggest platinum
producers and the world's second largest diversified mining company Rio
Tinto Plc are all foreign firms with mining investments in
Zimbabwe is mineral-rich, with reserves including gold,
platinum, nickel, chrome, copper and coal.
Government ask for more certificates before releasing South African food
By Violet Gonda 25 August 2005
Zimbabwe government is unashamedly still using stalling tactics to delay
humanitarian aid to victims of Operation Murambatsvina from the South
African Council of Churches (SACC). 37 tonnes of food aid is on two trucks
near Beitbridge and the blankets are reported to be in storage in a bonded
warehouse in Harare.
First, it was certificates to show
that the maize was not genetically modified. The SACC provided this and now
the authorities are asking for certificates for soya beans. The blankets are
also still not available because the Zimbabwe authorities are demanding that
they pay a surcharge in order to release them.
Steele of the Rhema Church in South Africa who has been working closely with
the aid mission says the value of the new blankets which were purchased in
South Africa was 200 000 rand, but the Zimbabwe government is asking for an
amount which is more than they are worth. "The figure has not been specified
but at one stage it was 700 000 rand, but they then changed to slightly less
than that," he said.
The SACC donation is supposed to feed
about 4 000 victims of operation Murambatsvina for at least a month but the
shipment is being deliberately stalled by red tape. The Zimbabwe government
simply has to provide a rubber stamp on a piece of paper to clear the
consignment which has been held up for almost a month.
the beginning, the delay has been seen as a continued form of punishment for
the displaced people whose homes were destroyed because they voted for the
opposition. While the displaced families go hungry and sleep in the cold, 37
tonnes of white maize, soya beans, cooking oil and blankets have spent
almost a month in limbo, waiting for an unnamed authority to sign
of Transmedia, Zimbabwe's only signal carrier, says the country's radio and
television transmitters are so antiquated that it is a miracle that any
services are broadcast at all, writes Gugulethu Ziyaphapha.
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), the state broadcaster, reaches only
30% of the country. Mandere said the analogue transmission equipment
and network has outlived its lifespan and efforts to repair, replace or
refurbish some of the 30-year-old equipment have been dealt a heavy blow by
foreign currency shortages.
Nearly all our equipment is now
beyond its useful life and we are even surprised that the people
(broadcasters) are still on air because the situation is bad," said
Mandere also told the parliamentary portfolio committee on
Transport and Communications that Transmedia's financial position is
worsened by the fact that it is unable to charge ZBH commercial rates for
In order to generate revenue to sustain Transmedia,
the signal carrier has now resorted to providing services like web casting
to other organizations.
Mandere said a Chinese company is about
to loan Transmedia US$40 million (Z$2 trillion) in exchange for mining
concessions in Zimbabwe.
launched investigations into allegations that several nurses in Harare are
masquerading as medical doctors and operating illegal clinics.
Commanding Harare CID Drug Squad Chief Superintendent Andrew Kadungure said
police suspect that some of the nurses were left running surgeries by
doctors who went abroad.
He said in some of the surgeries, the nurses
were administering expired drugs to their patients and police were
investigating the source of the drugs.
This comes after police
arrested three more nurses who were allegedly masquerading as doctors and
running illegal clinics in and around the city, resulting in the recovery of
drugs and equipment worth over $500 million dollars.
This brings to
five, the number of nurses arrested this month in separate incidents on
allegations of masquerading as doctors and running illegal clinics in the
city and Chitungwiza.
Chief Spt Kadungure said police believe that there
could be more nurses who were running the illegal clinics. He said police
detectives received information that there was one woman operating an
illegal clinic in Mbare.
They went to the house where they found two
nurses and two secretaries at the premises.
One of the nurses was
quizzed and she revealed that the clinic belonged to another woman who was
not at the premises when police raided.
"Investigations revealed that the
clinic was operating without a doctor. Various medical and patient record
cards were recovered," said Chief Supt Kadungure.
investigations revealed that the same woman was operating two other clinics
in Glen View and Budiriro.
"Police went to the two clinics and located
the two accused who were nurses and were dispensing medicines to patients
without a medical doctor," said Chief Supt Kadungure.
He said they
recovered various drugs at the two premises. The clinics were using a
medical aid number belonging to a doctor who did not attend to the
"Investigations are still being carried out to establish
the doctor's association with the accused (suspects)," he
However, a follow-up which was made during the night, led to the
arrest of the alleged owner of the clinics at her home and she will appear
in court facing charges of contravening the Medicines and Allied Substances
Control Act and fraud.
The other two women will appear in court as
soon as police complete investigations.
He said the clinic owner was
facing 168 counts of fraud over the use of the doctor's
Police were investigating where the medical drugs were coming
from and were checking with manufacturers. Chief Supt Kadungure said some of
the drugs recovered had expired but the suspects were continuing to give
them to their patients.
Early this month, two Harare nurses who were
masquerading as medical doctors were arrested for running illegal clinics in
Chitungwiza, resulting in the recovery of drugs and equipment worth millions
ZIMBABWE REFUGEE STILL WAITING AS FAMILY IS
ALLOWED TO STAY IN UK
15:00 - 25 August 2005 A
Disabled woman who escaped Zimbabwe after her family farm was seized by the
government has been left in limbo as Home Office officials delay a decision
over her status.
Briony Beattie, 30 who lives in Badgers Close,
East Grinstead, with her mother and father, fled Zimbabwe in May 2000 to
join her family in the UK.
Four years later, she and her eldest
brother, Sport, applied for indefinite leave to remain and more than a year
on she is still waiting for a decision.
Briony, who works at IQ
Project Solutions in Charlwoods Road, said: "We applied for leave to remain
through an ancestral visa. My grandparents were born in Scotland and this
allows my father to apply for a British passport.
was given indefinite leave to remain in March, but I am still waiting 14,
almost 15, months later."
And it is not just her brother whose
situation has been resolved - her brother Stuart, sister Hope Yeoman,
brother-in-law Gary Yeoman and mother and father Bernadine and Fred have all
been granted British Citizenship or indefinite leave to remain.
"I am so despondent, there is no reason why I should not get it. When I
applied I met all the requirements," Briony said.
"I have not come
here looking for any special treatment. I came here, found a job almost
straight away and have been working for about five years.
my home now, I am never going back to Zimbabwe."
Briony, who is
confined to a wheelchair and has the use of only one arm, has had
correspondence with a number of organisations and people in a bid to find
out what has delayed the decision.
"Everyone keeps saying they will
pass on my information, they just keep passing the buck. I have contacted
Liberty, the Immigration Advisory Board and I have sent all my
correspondence to Mr Blair - he sent a letter back saying it was not part of
his department and he would pass it on.
"Nicholas Soames is the
only one that has been a help."
Mr Soames told the East Grinstead
Courier he had just received a letter from Tony McNulty, a Home Office
Minister who deals with immigration matters, saying the department could not
predict how long it would take to process the application.
Soames said: "The government has been less than helpful on this. I have made
the strongest possible representations to try and speed this up, but I am
afraid the government is just digging its heels in."
the Home Office told her if she wasn't happy with the way they have handled
her application she could withdraw it.
"If I do that, I can't apply
for indefinite leave to remain," she said. "I can't travel and my family
can't travel because they have to stay and look after me.
has taken so long, I am stressed and it is affecting my job and my
Briony's boss Jacquie Russel, director of IQ Project
Solutions, is so concerned about her situation that she herself has started
writing to people for help.
She told the East Grinstead
Courier: "Briony has been told that her application is valid but the Home
Office can't process it at the moment as it has to go for further analysis.
This has been going on for over a year now.
"She is a model
immigrant, she is hard working but can't enjoy the rights of a British
"I think Briony is being discriminated against, but there
is no reason. She is being shoved from pillar to post.
the situation is absolutely disgraceful when there are so many others who
flout the system."
Mr Soames said: "She should be perfectly
entitled to stay here and I think it is a great shame that it is taking so
long to reach a conclusion. My view is that the government is being
The Home Office refused to comment on individual
[ This report does not necessarily
reflect the views of the United Nations]
HARARE, 25 Aug 2005 (IRIN) -
Grubby-faced children play on a patch of ground beside a towering plastic
water container marked "UNICEF", one of the few humanitarian organisations
helping hundreds of displaced families at Hopely Farm as they wait for the
government to deliver on promised plots of land.
Each gust of wind whisks
up the fine dust, which gets into mouths and eyes. The 967 families here
have lived in the open for more than a month, with little to protect
themselves against the elements. Some have built knee-high shelters, others
have tried to lash plastic sheeting together to build flimsy
"Government appears to have forgotten us. Without UNICEF [UN
Children's Fund] assistance we don't know how we could have coped," said
Moses Misheck, who tries to make a little money by mending shoes.
displaced at Hopely are among the poorest of Zimbabweans. They had occupied
illegal shanties around the capital, Harare, which were torn down by the
authorities in a campaign of urban renewal, begun on 19 May, that left more
than 700,000 people homeless.
Most of those at Hopely came from the
settlement of Porta Farm or the transit centre at Caledonia Farm, created to
cope with displaced people who failed to move back to their rural areas when
the government launched its much-criticised cleanup campaign, known as
Operation Murambatsvina ('Drive out Dirt').
They arrived in Hopely
with next to nothing: UNICEF provides water and sanitation and the
International Office for Migration distributes rations from the World Food
On the other side of the farm, earth-moving equipment lies
idle after carving out service roads for the proposed housing scheme, of
which 600 plots are ready for allocation. It is not clear how the recipients
will be selected, whether the plots will be distributed under a rent-to-buy
arrangement or not, and how much the plots will cost the unemployed
Despite toilets and water provided by UNICEF, conditions at
Hopely are primitive.
"We fear for the spread of disease at this
place," said Virginia Tsauro, a 39-year-old pregnant woman with four other
children. "What crime have we committed that we are treated like this? We
were assured of being allocated proper housing when government evicted us
from Porta Farm."
Her children last went to school while at Porta Farm;
there are no education facilities at Hopely.
Luke Anderson says he
hopes the government will keep its housing promise, but is concerned. "We
hear those who are not formally employed will have to make way for soldiers
and policemen, but that has not been officially communicated to
He was worried that other evictees, who have yet to be allocated
stands, might spoil things for the rest.
"There are people here
clamouring for stands - but what they are doing is inviting their relatives,
who had relocated to their rural homes, and accommodating them here so that
they are allocated stands," he said.
Winfrida Svosve insisted that
households not yet allocated plots have vowed to stay put. "If they say we
should go back where we came from, then we will have to go back to Porta
Farm where life was more bearable."
She said the government had warned
residents not on an official list to vacate the camp before the end of the
week. "Government officials notified us that police and soldiers will beat
us up if we do not move. We do not fear anything, we even want them to kill
Zimbabwe adopts controversial amendments as MDC pulls out
counter proposals Fri 26 August 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe 's
Parliament yesterday adopted controversial constitutional amendments, a
stage preceding a vote for the changes to become law while the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party withdrew its counter-amendments
after the ruling ZANU PF party threatened to shoot down the
Parliament adopted 26 clauses of the Constitutional
Amendment Bill with minor changes despite protests from the MDC MPs who were
The Bill will now be put to the vote next Tuesday and
ZANU PF requires a two-thirds majority out of the 150-member parliament for
the amendments to become part of Zimbabwe 's supreme law.
PF won 78 seats in the disputed March 31 parliamentary election. But
President Robert Mugabe's party is assured of support from 20 unelected
Members of Parliament directly and indirectly appointed to the House by the
President and the 10 traditional chiefs, who were elected to Parliament by
their peers and have always voted with the ruling
The Bill seeks among other things to ban
individuals from challenging the seizure of their land in court, the setting
up of a senate, and allowing authorities to withdraw passports from
individuals suspected of travelling outside the country to conduct
MDC spokesman on legal affairs David
Coltart presented the opposition's version of amendments on Thursday but
immediately withdrew the 121 page document after indications from Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa that the ruling party would shoot down the
The MDC's alternative constitutional amendment document
sought to counter the government Bill on the emotional land issue by
proposing that fair compensation should be paid for seized farms as well as
securing the rights of individuals from eviction from their properties by
"Everyone has the right not to be evicted from
their home and not to have their home demolished, unless an order of court,
made after consideration of all the relevant circumstances, has authorised
the eviction or demolition," the MDC said in its document.
opposition also said every Zimbabwean should have "immunity from expulsion
from Zimbabwe " and that every citizen had the "right to move freely in the
According to the opposition document, the senate would
comprise 60 people, of whom 50 would be voted into the upper chamber while
the remainder would be elected from the Chiefs Council.
government has proposed a senate with 66 members, 50 who will be voted for
while President Robert Mugabe will appoint six and the remainder elected by
the Chiefs Council.
The six appointed senators would bring to 26
the total number of legislators directly or indirectly handpicked by Mugabe,
a situation opposition and human rights activists have said would further
undermine democracy in the country. - ZimOnline
Judge trying pro-Mugabe bishop quits Fri 26 August
HARARE - A Malawian Supreme Court Judge presiding over an
ecclesiastical court trying pro-President Robert Mugabe Anglican bishop
Nolbert Kunonga quit on Thursday because of bickering between prosecutors
and the defence over procedure.
Justice James Kalaile, hearing
the trial of Kunonga on a variety of charges including incitement to murder
and preaching of a doctrine contrary to the church's teachings, stepped down
after about one and half hours of heated wrangling between church
prosecutors and the bishop's lawyers.
"I have no intention to
continue with the case," said Kalaile, who was appointed to hear the case by
leader of Anglicans in central Africa , Archbishop Bernard Malanga. "The
archbishop will have to appoint another judge because I have never
encountered these problems in all cases I have presided over so I withdraw,"
the Malawian judge said before adjourning proceedings.
court got bogged down in heated argument after Kunonga's lawyer, James
Mutizwa, demanded that further evidence on 16 of the charges against his
client be submitted separately as is the rule in circular courts.
But church prosecutor, Jeremy Lewis, insisted he wanted to present evidence
on the various charges as one combined submission, sparking off a heated
argument with the defence and leaving the judge stranded.
not possible to immediately reach Malanga to establish how the church would
now proceed against Kunonga, who has quarrelled with parishioners and
courted controversy ever since becoming Anglican Archbishop of Harare four
Some of the charges levelled against Kunonga are that he
allegedly intimidated and improperly fired priests, ignoring church
Kunonga, who was rewarded by Mugabe's government with a farm
seized from its white owner after he used the pulpit to garner support for
chaotic and violent government t land reforms, is also accused of bringing
the "the diocese into contempt."
The Harare bishop is also
accused of inciting members of Zimbabwe 's feared spy Central Intelligence
Organisation and "war veterans" militia to murder 10 of his critics in the
local Anglican community. Kunonga denies the charges. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe begins moving clean-up victims 'living like animals'
to rural homes Fri 26 August 2005
VICTORIA FALLS - Police in the
resort town of Victoria Falls on Thursday began moving to their rural homes
hundreds of victims of a controversial government clean-up exercise who were
said to be 'living like animals' in the bush after their homes were
The majority of the evicted residents who were from the
sprawling Baghdad and Kinshasa informal settlements were said to be living
dangerously at the mercy of wild animals such as lions and elephants which
roam on the periphery of the resort town since the demolition of their
The police said they were moving the people, some of
whom had sought shelter in the bush as well as in churches and industrial
buildings in the town, to their rural homes.
A pastor who was
caring for the displaced families in the town, Stanford Thembo Ndlovu said:
"Most of them have lived like wild animals since the demolitions of their
houses and we as the church are glad to see them going home.
"We are working with the police to transport those who are willing and as
they leave, we give then a package of relief aid that will cover them for
the first two months when they arrive in their respective
Matabeleland North Police spokesperson Mavis Marufu said
the repatriation exercise would continue in the next week.
Zimbabwe government two months ago demolished thousands of houses and shanty
homes in a campaign President Robert Mugabe said was meant to restore the
beauty of cities and towns.
But the United Nations in a
hard-hitting report compiled by special envoy Anna Tibaijuka strongly
chastised the Zimbabwe government over the demolitions calling the exercise
an "assault on the rights of the poor."
The UN said at least 700
000 people had been rendered homeless through the exercise which also
closely affected another 2.4 million people throughout the
Mugabe's government has since rejected the UN report
alleging bias on the part of the world body's envoy. -
THE police on
Wednesday evicted about 500 squatters from MacDonald (Dhonoro) Farm in
Epworth, south east of Harare under unclear circumstances. National police
spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said he was not in a
position to comment on the ejections until he verifies facts. However, some
of the squatters cried foul claiming they were chucked off the farm to make
room for its ex-owner whom they could not immediately identify by name,
while others were adamant the eviction was a reassertion of Operation
Murambatsvina/Restore Order. Vice-President Joice Mujuru recently said the
clean-up was now over and called on the international community to assist
the government whose focus had now shifted to the successor mass
reconstruction programme Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle. When The Daily
Mirror news crew visited the farm, the police were relocating the squatters
in a T-35 vehicle. The squatters were dumped at a place identified as Muza,
which is on the outskirts of Epworth along Ruwa road. Scores of people
interviewed by this newspaper said they had nowhere to go following the
evictions. "They came on Tuesday and ordered that we vacate this farm. No
reasons were given. Today (Wednesday) they pounced on us and ordered
everyone off the farm. Some people were forcibly taken to a valley next to a
township known as Muza where they are languishing in the open while some
were dumped next to a cemetery," said an elderly woman who only identified
herself as Mbuya vaEriza. The granny said she would soon be relocating to
Concession in Mashonaland Central. According to her, the evictees
comprised settlers who resisted the clean-up crackdown and returnees from
Caledonia Farm. "Mwanangu (my child) we are confused and afraid as some
people in the community are moving around saying (Operation) Murambatsvina
has been revived," Mbuya vaEriza, lamented. Scores of Dhonoro Farm
ejectees "dumped" at Muza said some of their goods were destroyed during
the first phase of the clean-up leaving them without access to basic needs
such as shelter, clean water and food. "I have lost a lot of valuable goods
in the past two months due to this continuous movement. We were removed from
this farm in June and relocated to Caledonia Farm and then we were ordered
to return where we had come from. They are now removing us again and I don't
even know where to go," said John Kapita, who said he is originally from
Mozambique. Another victim, who only identified himself as Noah, claimed the
people were being evicted from the farm to pave way for a white commercial
farmer. "The police are evicting us from this farm to pave way for a white
commercial farmer, whom they say has been given back the farm by the
courts," Noah said. He implored the government to protect them saying
the settlers have nowhere else to go. Health personnel from various Non
Governmental Organisations (NGOs) were seen rendering assistance to the
squatters at the farm while others were ferrying their goods in pushcarts to
different destinations. Yesterday Bvudzijena said: "I have no comment until I
get feedback from the police station which is carrying out the
evictions." Zimbabwe's clean-up was widely condemned by the West which
prompted UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to dispatch a special envoy on
human settlements Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka. In her report, Tibaijuka
claimed that at least 700 000 people were dislodged during the blitz -
assertions that the government has vehemently denied. Harare argues that the
clean-up was noble and long overdue saying the exercise was meant to
eradicate illegal structures, businesses and vice.
UN programme to benefit children affected by
The Daily Mirror Reporter issue date
THE United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) in conjunction
with the Ministry of Education Sport and Culture will soon launch a 'Back to
School campaign' aimed at absorbing pupils affected by Operation
Murambatsvina/Restore Order back to school. The re-enrolment campaign,
set to start in two weeks time, would also be a blessing in disguise and an
opportunity for orphans and other vulnerable children not in school prior to
the crackdown, to be enrolled also. An estimated 300 000 pupils reportedly
affected by the blitz which the government says was noble and meant to renew
cities of filth and crime. Despite the harsh economic environment in the
country due to record hyper-inflation, rising joblessness, HIV and Aids
pandemic and the Murambatsvina/Restore Order-induced displacements, Unicef,
has, however, commended Zimbabweans for keeping their children in
schools. The UN charity body says 90 percent of school going age children in
Zimbabwe were in school. "There is no doubt this is the strongest piece
of good news coming out of Zimbabwe. The story is encouraging but at the
same time we must strive to ensure that quality teaching is nurtured while
we continue to aim for 100 percent primary school enrolment," Unicef country
representative Festo Kavishe said. According to Unicef, national primary
school enrolment rates have risen from 92 percent to 96 percent between 2000
to 2004 while nearly four out of five orphans and other vulnerable children
(OVC) continue to go to primary schools (77 percent). Against the
background of a general perception that OVCs have no access to education,
Unicef noted a significant difference in primary school enrolment of orphans
and non-orphans. Generally, there was gender parity in enrolment at primary
schools, Unicef said. In an endeavour to continue uplifting the standards of
education in Zimbabwe, Unicef has since called for international support to
enable Zimbabweans ensure this positive culture doesn't disappear in the
face of grinding economic realities. "Zimbabweans are making many
sacrifices so that their children can continue going to school," said
Kavishe. "General enrolment is up while families who have been greatly
stretched by absorbing this country's 1.3 million orphans are somehow
finding it difficult to keep orphans in school. Recent surveys have shown
signs of strain in families' ability to send their children to school,
Kavishe said. He said: "I can think of no clearer reason (besides tough
experiences Zimbabweans have been going through) why Zimbabweans deserve the
full support of the international community."
OPERATION Murambatsvina, Zimbabwe's
clean- up operation that whipped up an international outcry recently, also
had a negative impact on the performance of Celsys Limited's payphone
division. "Operation Murambatsvina had an impact on our payphone operation
which saw some dealers without units to operate as a result of confiscations
or having nowhere to trade from," the firm said yesterday. However, the
company was able to assist dealers in finding solutions to the problem after
consultations with authorities, which led to the dealers being allowed back
into operation. Only last month, the company's CEO Alistair Johnston had
complained about the effects of the clean-up exercise. He revealed that most
payphone dealers were now without units to operate due to confiscations or
had nowhere to trade from due to their operations being
demolished. "Celsys are however, monitoring the situation very closely
and are proactively assisting the dealers in finding solutions. We are
working very closely with the local authorities to see what can be done in
order to get the payphones back into operation and the dealers earning an
income," Johnston said. One such initiative was to get its dealers
operating in rural areas. "This is key to our growth, and plans are at an
advanced stage to provide a support network for this new development. We aim
to provide complete back up and support to dealers in these remote areas
allowing them to trade efficiently as they have in the past." The company
was also badly hit by the recent double hike in interest rates in the last
month as the central bank swiftly moved to remain ahead of inflation and to
control speculative and unproductive spending. They have since surged to 270
percent this month from 160 percent at the beginning of July. "These
factors, in conjunction with the networks not releasing lines and Operation
Murambatsvina, have had a negative impact on turnover and earnings during
the period under review," Celsys said. Turnover for the technology company
was $84 billion this year compared to $128 billion in 2004. Celsys
recorded a net loss of $19,6 billion compared to a net profit of $52 billion
in the prior year. The company runs a number of operations that cover pay
phones, the sale of Nokia handsets, a security card printing operation and
operates supplies automated teller machines (ATMs) Operation
Murambatsvina mostly affected the payphone division, known as c-phone that
said unit sales of payphone had been depressed in the period though it
continued to reap recurring revenues from existing payphones. Celsys' ATM
division witnessed a 15 percent increase in the number of ATMs and this
contributed to the significant revenue raised and higher transaction
volumes. Celsys reduced its borrowings by $7 billion in the last six months,
a decision it took at the expense of growth in business. Though the
beginning of the 2006 financial year promises to be a challenging year, the
significant debt reduction is expected to put the technology company on a
much stronger footing to move forward.
THE Ministry of Health and
Child Welfare has deployed a Cuban doctor to operate at Victoria Falls
Hospital after the resort town's government-run institution had gone for
over a year without a practitioner. Hwange East legislator, Thembinkosi
Sibindi yesterday told this newspaper that the Cuban doctor was posted to
the area last week following his request to the health ministry. The
hospital functioned without a doctor since June last year. "We now have a
Cuban doctor who started working at the hospital last week. My appeal to the
ministry of health for the deployment of a doctor has been accepted,"
Sibindi said. Health minister David Parirenyatwa last week visited the
hospital to assess its needs and immediately recommended that a doctor be
posted to Victoria Falls. Prior to the engagement of the doctor,
critically ill patients sought assistance from private doctors whose charges
were exorbitant and beyond the reach of many. Apart from private doctors,
some of the patients travelled to Bulawayo - 435 kilometres from Victoria
Falls - seeking medication. Sibindi said the hospital was hard hit by
massive staff exodus in recent years. "The situation in Victoria Falls
was so distressing. People were dying because there was no doctor at the
only hospital in the constituency," said Sibindi.
editor of Gweru's weekly, The Sun, Willie Mponda, has been convicted for
publishing a falsehood, thereby becoming the first journalist to be
convicted under Zimbabwe's controversial Public Order and Security Act
(Posa), writes Gugulethu Ziyaphapha.
Mponda was convicted for
publishing a story claiming a woman had committed suicide after the police
demolished her public phone shops during the government's widely condemned
"Operation Cleanup". The act makes it a criminal offence for a
journalist to publish a falsehood that may cause alarm and despondency or
demean the security forces or undermine the security of the country. The
offence is punishable by a five-year prison term or a fine of up to Z$100
thousand (R40) Although he published a retraction, the court convicted
and fined Mponda on the grounds that the retraction was an admission of
The state said the story was false because no phone shops
were destroyed in Gweru during the operation and that the woman had
committed suicide because of personal problems, as indicated by the suicide
note she left behind.
Mponda said he will appeal against both
conviction and sentence as soon as secures funding. The law was
enacted three years ago alongside its controversial twin media law, the
Access to Information and the Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). Since then,
more than a hundred journalists have been arrested but Mponda is the first
to have been convicted in terms of Posa.
THE ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT'S GREED HAS NO
The MDC is deeply disturbed by news reports
alleging that the Zimbabwe Government is demanding that custom duties be
paid for 6,000 blankets and essential food items donated by the South
African Council of Churches.
If true, then the Zimbabwe Government stands
accused of attempting to make a profit out of the human misery that its
policy blunders have precipitated. Such morally reprehensible behaviour must
be widely condemned.
Rather than taking steps to ensure that humanitarian
aid is delivered expeditiously, Mugabe and Zanu PF appear to be pulling out
all the stops to block aid getting through to those most in need.
trucks carrying the aid mobilised by the SACC have been impounded for over
Given Zimbabwe's humanitarian needs, the absence of any sense
of urgency by the government to mobilise and distribute resources is beyond
The MDC urges the South African Government to intervene
and engage its counterparts in Harare to secure the swift removal of the
obstacles preventing the SACC from carrying out its relief
Paul Themba Nyathi Secretary for Information and
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:22 AM Subject: Lobengula causes stir in
Daily Mirror Lobengula causes stir in
Parliament Farirai Machivenyika issue date :2005-Aug-25
A ZANU PF
legislator stirred a hornet’s nest on Tuesday when he dragged into Parliament
the name of Ndebele king Lobengula – whom he said sold the country to the
British over a century ago. The statement, which some MDC legislators’ felt
had damning ethnic connotations, immediately courted their ire. The
opposition MPs then threatened to walk out of the august House during debate
on the Constitutional Amendment Bill (No.17) if the government backbencher
did not withdraw her statement. While contributing to debate on the proposed
appointment of six chiefs to the Senate, Zaka West MP Marble Mawere said:
“The white colonialists stole our land from the time King Lobengula sold our
country…” MDC legislators then viciously objected to the assertions arguing
that the Zanu PF parliamentarian’s statement smacked of tribalism before
threatening to march out of the House unless Mawere revoked her
innuendo. MDC Hwange East MP Thembinkosi Sibindi said: “Madam Speaker, that
is a misrepresentation of facts and an insult to Ndebeles and the
honourable member should withdraw her statement.” Zanu PF Gwanda South MP
Abednico Ncube also disputed Mawere’s claims and said the opposition
legislators would not continue with deliberations until Mawere retracted her
comments. He said such careless statements were responsible for the
ethnic disturbances that rocked Matabeleland region soon after
independence. However, Mawere refused to withdraw her comments, saying that
was what people were taught by the colonialists. Glen Norah MP (MDC)
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga also urged Mawere to retract her statement
saying: “As female MPs, we have agreed that we would not respond to what a
colleague says but I hope that the honourable MP will withdraw her statement.
We want to build unity and not say anything that will insult other
tribes.” To Page 2 From Page 1 The topic for
debate, “the position of traditional chiefs in Zimbabwean politics”, was
introduced by the deputy Speaker of Parliament Edna Madzongwe after which the
leader of the House Patrick Chinamasa was expected to respond to the concerns
raised on Tuesday. The debate was raised after MDC’s Welshman Ncube accused
Zanu PF of abusing chiefs in Parliament when voting on pieces of
legislation. “Chiefs should not see themselves as extensions of Zanu PF. They
are used as voting fodder by Zanu PF,” Ncube said. “Shifting chiefs from one
House to another will not add any value to our political system.”
Currently, Parliament has 10 chiefs selected by the chiefs council and then
appointed by the President. Lobengula, of the Khumalo clan, had dominion
over most of present day Zimbabwe when British imperialists colonised the
country in 1890 which subsequently triggered uprisings in Matabeleland and
Mashonaland culminating in the First Chimurenga of 1896-97. Lobengula,
whose whereabouts still remain a mystery after his warriors were wiped out at
the Battle of Shangani, is believed to have died in the Zambezi Valley while
fleeing capture and his remains interred at Pupu, Lupane in Matabeleland
North. He was the last Ndebele king after succeeding his father, the State’s
founder King Mzilikazi kaMatshobana who trooped north after rebelling against
fiery Zulu King Chaka.