31 December 2012
The Zimbabwe government will halve mining levies next year after companies,
including Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP), complained that increases
instituted in 2012 harmed development, according to Deputy Mines Minister
"We have proposed to the Ministry of Finance that the mining fees be reduced
by 50 percent," he said in an interview with Bloomberg News. "We're now
waiting for the Ministry of Finance to approve the new fee structure, which
will happen in the new year."
"Preference will be given to small-scale miners since they are the ones who
extensively lobbied government compared to established miners, although
their considerations are also being looked at," Chimanikire adds.
Zimbabwe, which has the biggest platinum and chrome reserves after South
Africa, in February increased diamond-mining licenses five-fold to US$5
million from US$1 million.
Meanwhile, applications for a platinum-mining license soared to US$500,000
from US$200, according to the Government Gazette, Bloomberg reports. The
government justified the revised fees by explaining that they were meant to
prevent speculative holdings of mineral claims. The government said in April
that would review the level duties as a result of the complaints.
Increasing the mining license fees has hit the mining industry's outlook
said Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines earlier this month.
The chamber's members include Impala's Zimplats unit, Rio Tinto Group,
China's Sinosteel Corp. and Metallon Corp Ltd. Rio mines diamonds at Murowa
in Zimbabwe, while Sinosteel produces chrome, and Metallon is a gold miner.
Zimbabwe earned US$1.6 billion from mineral production from January to
October, the chamber said in a December 11 statement.
Posted on Monday, 31 December 2012 14:10
Speculation on when Zimbabwe will hold its elections continues to grow, with
analysts saying it was highly unlikely that the polls will be held in March.
President Robert Mugabe, 89 in February, favours elections in March, but he
has just taken a month long holiday, with some saying upon his return there
would be little time to plan for the polls.
Political analysts and civil society say his absence all but confirms that
Mugabe is actually planning for an election much later in 2013, possibly
well after June.
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party resolved that elections should be held no later
In a statement, his spokesperson George Charamba downplayed Mugabe's
"The president goes on annual leave regularly. It is timed to coincide with
that time when there is general slowdown in business and that does not take
away Zanu PF's resolution (to have elections in March)," Charamba said in a
Mugabe left for his Far East holiday as an impasse over the drafting of a
new constitution, which he is supposed to help break, continues.
A new constitution is one of the key reforms to holding credible polls in
the southern African nation.
"When he comes back, there should be progress, but if the document is not
ready, that means there will be something that still needs discussion with
the (inclusive government) principals," Charamba said.
Pedzisai Ruhanya, the Director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, a local
research think tank, accused Mugabe of standing "against the return to
political sanity in this country".
He said if Mugabe was a true nationalist, he should have suspended his
holiday and addressed the constitutional draft impasse that his party has
largely caused through unreasonable and undemocratic demands.
Douglas Mwonzora, MDC-T spokesperson said Mugabe has been posturing
"The public stance taken by President Mugabe is political posturing. He knew
that given the obstacles put by his party to the constitution, it was going
to be impossible to complete the new constitution before Christmas," he
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC), an umbrella body representing different
civil society groups claimed Mugabe's absence will slow down the pace of
reforms expected before elections next year.
"We urge the president to cut short his vacation and help resolve the crisis
at home so that Zimbabwe can make democratic progress before the next
elections," CZC said in a statement.
CZC cited US President Barack Obama who was forced to abandon his family
holiday last Thursday to deal with the so-called "fiscal cliff" that will
trigger tax increases for all Americans if Republicans and Democrats do not
strike a deal.
Mugabe, who traditionally takes a vacation in January, left the country last
week for Asia where he will spend between three and four weeks with his
Monday, 31 December 2012 00:00
Sydney Kawadza Assistant News Editor
Zimbabwe should hold its elections as scheduled so that it prepares for the
successful co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation
General Assembly, a Cabinet minister has said.
In an interview recently, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter
Mzembi dismissed fears that the forthcoming elections would disrupt
preparations for the general assembly.
Zimbabwe and Zambia will in August next year host the 20th Session of the
UNWTO General Assembly in Victoria Falls.
Stakeholders in the industry had expressed concern over suspected
disruptions of preparations.
The industry also indicated that tourists had cancelled bookings made for
March when Zimbabwe is expected to hold national elections.
“There are growing concerns and conflicting positions on the impact of
elections on the sector.
“Although officials and industry are entitled to their opinions in a
democracy such as ours, the official position is that the sooner we have
elections the better for the sector.
“The traditional month of March, without usurping presidential prerogatives
on the matter, is the most ideal,” he said.
Minister Mzembi said holding early elections would allow Zimbabwe sufficient
time for healing and repositioning ahead of the general assembly.
“It will be a unique branding opportunity for a post-election Government.
“President Mugabe has said as much, that we needed to keep our 2013 calendar
clear of elections when he was calling for them last year and in 2012.”
Minister Mzembi said there were other challenges facing the industry.
“The sector’s pricing of products leaves them out of reach of the domestic
market and pricing is a national emergency problem which needs a holistic
“A dollar in Zimbabwe carries the purchasing weight or parity of a rand in
South Africa, and this can’t be allowed to go on unchecked.”
Minister Mzembi urged authorities to deal with challenges faced at Zimbabwe’s
ports of entry.
“Our visa regime is not friendly to travel. Let’s fix our Sadc uni-visa
“Statistics already show that 89 percent of our arrivals are intra-Africa.
So why not make that even easier for ourselves?
“Business tourism is being frustrated by our visa regime, which is too
bureaucratic, lengthy and expensive and literally discourages travel into
Zimbabwe,” said Minister Mzembi.
He called for a lasting solution to issues affecting Air Zimbabwe.
“Market accessibility cannot be overemphasised,” he said.
Minister Mzembi said only elections could solve the policy gridlock that has
characterised this Government.
“Fiscal prioritisation of other sectors like tourism, which has clearly been
lacking in the current Government, would then be clarified by having
elections,” he said.
Minister Mzembi said Zimbabwe would receive a projected three million
visitors in 2013.
Monday, 31 December 2012 00:00
Wenceslaus Murape Labour Reporter
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has completed crafting modalities
for exporting thousands of jobless nurses to other countries across the
world. Health and Child Welfare Deputy Minister Dr Douglas
Mombeshora last week said the document had already been submitted to the
Attorney General’s office.
“When the AG’s office finishes scrutinising and approves the document, we
will then submit it to Cabinet for final approval,” he said.
Deputy Minister Mombeshora said the idea was mooted for Government to
re-coup funds used in training the nurses.
“Cuba is benefiting financially from exporting doctors to Zimbabwe, hence we
should also benefit by exporting our jobless nurses,” he said.
Deputy Minister Mombeshora gave Government’s assurance that the welfare of
the nurses would be its priority.
“We will ensure that the nurses are not exploited in any way when recruited
abroad,” he said. “Government will retain all their certificates and
countries employing them will be required to remit their pensions to
Zimbabwean nurses were in demand all over the world including Europe,
Australia and the Sadc region.
Government has frozen recruitment of nurses in its hospitals due to a
strained fiscus. Labour experts have said Government’s failure to employ
bonded nurses was illegal.
Earlier this year, the number of jobless nurses bonded to the State was put
at 1 800 by the Zimbabwe Nurses Association. Experts have cited
contravention of labour laws — particularly the Manpower Development Act —
by the Government in failing to employ the nurses, or release their
A prominent Harare lawyer recently said Government was also in contravention
of ILO Conventions 29 and 105 that deal with bonded labour.
“If Government can’t provide employment for the nurses, it should release
their certificates and allow them to work elsewhere,” he said.
“What is happening is not being applied to other sectors where Government
Section 15 of the MDA provides that the nurses can work for other employers
and Government would recover money used to train them through the employers.
Many aggrieved nurses have for long been contemplating suing the Government
for breach of contract, and failing to provide promised jobs.
Monday, 31 December 2012 00:00
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority last week launched a solar system power
supply at Nyamapanda Border Post to alleviate power shortages that delay
It is the first solar system power supply of its kind to be installed in the
country. The system consists of 125 solar panels and an inverter with a
capacity to produce 20KW.
Through the installation of the power system, the border post would generate
50KW per hour of energy everyday if the weather conditions are favourable.
This enables the system to sustain 31 computers, 22 connected to the
commercial office and nine to the motor traffic section.
Speaking during the ceremony Zimra Commissioner General Mr Gershem Pasi said
they had decided to launch the solar system power alternative at Nyamapanda
because it was the most affected by power outages.
“The climate is favourable here in Nyamapanda where on average we enjoy
eight hours of sunshine a day. Plans are underway for the Plumtree border to
“We realised that plans to install the solar system at Beitbridge were
moving slowly and we decided to split the equipment between Nyamapanda and
Plumtree borders,” said Comm Gen Pasi.
He said the solar system would provide energy for lighting, computers,
printers and essential services including perimeter lighting at the
“Zimra is honoured to harness what the environment can provide for us and we
want to mark this day as the day Zimra goes green,” he said.
Comm Gen Pasi said the system would take over the fall back plan from
“In September 2009, we commissioned a powerful generator as a back up, but
it consumed 200 litres of fuel everyday which means US$100 000 per year goes
to the fuel without mentioning maintenance.
“Now with the increased environmental consciousness and congested cross
borders we decided to make use of nature to curb the erratic power supplies
here in Nyamapanda,” he said.
He said the installation of solar system would spread to all other Zimra
He added that the system would enable them to quicken clearance procedures.
“As a revenue administrator and a member of the World Customs Organisation
we continue to be guided by the WCO theme which states ‘Borders divide;
“We are making sure that we stay online, improve facilitation of trade and
ensure that ultimately we stay connected,” he said.
He said Zimra was in the process of digitalising border posts to improve the
“single window” system of managing all operations under one roof.
Monday, 31 December 2012 00:00
On my birthday on April 18, 1980, I did not cry like other newly borns, I
smiled. I smiled because I had everything, anything that would make a great
nation. I was even referred to as the Breadbasket of Africa.
The farms, industries, banking sector and in fact, all sectors were in full
swing. My natural resources which were being fully utilised are still there
because I have so much; even envied by everyone around me and even abroad.
Not many are as blessed as I am in terms of resources.
At 32 years I should be among the best but am not, neither do I match the so
called better ones. My health is deteriorating; I am becoming thinner and
weaker everyday. Why should I become an eyesore as if I do not have children
of my own?
Where are my children, why are they not rescuing me by producing and
manufacturing? Why are they not utilising the resources that I have? What is
Is it that I gave birth to less talented children? I get confused as I hear
my neighbours boasting of how they are benefiting from the expertise of you
In 1980 I only had one university (University of Zimbabwe), today I have
plenty. I thought the more literate children I have the better for me. Is it
that my children are studying for degrees which are not relevant at home but
good enough for my neighbours? You will all tell me that the money here is
not good for you.
The economy needs indigenous takers to rejuvenate it, have the courage and
determination to build your own economy. Yes, you can do it. When the
industries, farms and mines were producing at their best, it was you my
children who provided the labour. Even my neighbours tell me you are hard
working and it’s true you are hard working.
When most of you were retrenched under Esap, as a parent I was very saddened
but I started smiling when you ventured into small business, I said Esap was
a blessing in disguise.
I saw a ray of hope and smiled. At 32 my smile has turned into sorrow. I
thought you will grow your small business and turn back the hands of time.
When economic saboteurs started abandoning industries and different business
sectors I thought you would take over and continue just as good as them or
Again I am disappointed, most of you cry capital but you have been given
loans by financial institutions and failed to pay back. Most of you have
bought luxury cars with money borrowed for inputs and raw materials.
Some of you have even married second and third wives with money borrowed to
grow business activities. Some of you have even moved around streets
showering people with money borrowed for business purposes. Some of you have
bought designer suits and shoes others became “pleasure managers” overnight.
As a result financial institutions have lost faith in you. Instead of your
companies being entities to partner with, they are now regarded as business
risks. No financial institution can give you money without asking for
Your behaviour my children has affected everyone. Even your innocent
brothers and sisters with genuine business proposals and want to correctly
use the loans but without security have been caught in cross fire. In the
few schemes where they do not want security it’s mostly small amounts, good
enough for dog food not a serious business project.
Even when my other children took over farms in the name of correcting land
imbalances, I did not see anything wrong with it.
I even smiled when your leaders started supporting you by giving you
different capital inputs. You were given free fuel, what did you do with it,
did you use it for farming? Some of you sold it and used the money on non
farming related activities.
You were given fertiliser and seeds some of you sold everything to satisfy
your other egos without even thinking of farming.
Some were even lucky enough to receive tractors and others used those
tractors as means of transport to different drinking spots and what happened
They were involved in accidents due to intoxication. Others used the
tractors to ferry firewood from the trees cut down from the newly acquired
farms and concentrated on doing rounds selling firewood and channelled the
money to other non farming activities. Others took over farms with all the
farming equipment and infrastructure in place, and what did they do?
They sold most of the expensive machinery and vandalised the infrastructure
to make a quick buck not knowing farming is a long-term project, capital
intensive and needs a lot of patience.
Today you still cry for the same inputs and machinery which you abused long
As a result, I now have to import maize and all the other farm produce which
I used to export. Do not tell me most of you stopped maize farming because
tobacco is paying more? Then how do you expect me to retain my position as
the breadbasket of Africa.
They might all disown you my children but as a parent, I will not. I love
you all my children and now I want you to listen and listen very carefully.
I am crying for producers and manufacturers. It’s the solution to my poor
health and lost weight.
Get serious with your producing and manufacturing. It’s time you start
producing and manufacturing with a target to sustain the whole nation. How
do I feel when 70 percent of the products in all the major retail outlets
are imported? I no longer have many products to identify my self with.
There is a very small difference now between someone doing his/her shopping
in Johannesburg or Harare, all their shopping trolleys are filled by the
same products, manufactured by the same manufacturer.
The only difference is that the Harare shopper is paying more because of the
landing cost and the retailers’ mark-up. If my memory serves me right I had
a whole lot of products with my identity. If one of my children brought
groceries from outside you could notice the difference because the shelves
here were filled with Zimbabwean products with my identity.
Today if one does his or her shopping along First Street and go to Roadport
and call his/her people to come and help carry no one will doubt that they
did the shopping in South Africa.
Producers and manufacturers should start competing with their foreign
Some of you will want to tell me that the foreign producers and
manufacturers are financially stronger. I do not agree to that because no
one is as stronger as all of you put together. Identify yourselves as one
family first, then in the different sectors come together for a unity of
Have you ever realised how much you will save if you pool your resources
together and make a bulk order for your raw materials, instead of 50 of you
travelling to buy the same raw materials in small quantities you can make
one bulk payment through the net.
The advantage is you will get discounts associated with bulk orders,
transport costs will be cheaper as you will share, your business operations
will not be disturbed.
In business, time is money and you will have saved a lot of it and you can
arrange with your freight agent to deliver right to your doorstep. Others
will say the same manufacturers and producers who were here are the ones
doing it from outside with their products finding their way back here, which
maybe true but this is where my producers and manufacturers should come in.
You are to blame for the influx of so many imported products. Some of you
especially SMEs, your products are of very bad quality.
You need to work with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe to improve the
quality of your products. Please stop rushing semi- finished products to the
Try to involve skilled personnel in areas you are not well versed with. My
children, I have noticed with interest that some of your products branding
is not quite appealing, it’s very dull. Sometimes the branding is okay but
the product tells a different story. Today it’s good, tomorrow it’s
something else and you easily fail to maintain quality standards.
I give you an example, one of your brothers bought a 750ml bottle of engine
cleaner and it was very effective, he even recommended it to his employer
but when the employer ordered he was very disappointed as the engine cleaner
was of very poor quality.
The manufacturer deliberately put poor quality products on the market
because he or she wanted to maximise on profit forgetting the negative
effects it will have on the brand. Our customers have lost faith in your
products preferring imported brands. Stop this habit as you are stabbing
yourselves in the back. How do your fellow brothers and sisters support you
when they do not have confidence in your products? Charity begins at home;
it’s time you start building confidence in your brothers and sisters by
producing good high quality products.
Do not feel insulted my children in the SME sector, I am putting more
emphasis on you because you are contributing about 60 percent of the GDP and
also employing around 65 percent of the employed population, so you are very
important to my rehabilitation. You have challenges which are well known
like infrastructure, high utility bills, load shedding and unavailability of
These should only affect your product quantity not quality. Your efforts my
children should also be supported by Government policies, it should be
teamwork, for example if Zimra can reduce or completely exempt duty on all
imported raw materials.
This will bring competitive prices on your products and will stand against
imported products. The Government as the biggest buyer should also be biased
towards locally produced products and not accept imported products when the
same product is available locally. If locally produced products are
expensive, let’s look at the costs of producing and come up with a solution
to cut costs. You can still build confidence among financial institutions by
learning to pay back in time what you borrow.
There are still solutions with the financial institutions; you can let them
control the finances which they lend to you until you can stand on your own.
That way the risk of them loosing their money is very minimal and along the
way you will learn how to control finances. I have also realised most of you
my children despite your potential to do well, you lack corporate governance
basics in your business.
The same person normally the owner of the business does almost everything
including the sensitive bookkeeping part which he or she has no knowledge
of. Please you should have division of labour, let accountants do your book-
keeping, let marketers do your marketing, let researchers help improve your
products quality, let HR people employ and manage your employees
Do not call your cousin who cannot even write his name to come and manage a
business you started from zero because you are afraid employees will steal
when you are away. There are a lot of consultant companies who have a lot of
business security systems that suits your business requirements and with
today’s technology you can actually know whatever is happening at your
workplace from anywhere in the world. All these different departments
complement each other and bring growth to your companies. You should also
attend different business training seminars to further your business
As for you my children in farming you should know your soils, what they
require to give you good yields. You should know the right time to prepare
for your planting, should understand the changing rainfall patterns and know
the right crops that suit the new pattern. You should know the farming
modules that give you more tonnage per hectare. You also need the right
trained personnel as farming is not just about putting seeds in the soil and
waiting for germination. You should also know when to practise crop rotation
so as to maintain your good soils. If we do the right things at the right
time even with our tight budgets there will not be any need to import
chickens, milk, tomatoes, maize, wheat or even eggs.
Yes, you can do it my children; I still have faith in you. Please my
children I want my smile back, let me smile again as I look forward to
celebrating my 33rd birthday next year.
Melvin Marembo is the Vice Chairman of the Harare Chamber of SMEs and also
the chairman of Emancipated Entrepreneurs of Zimbabwe. Email at
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 31st December 2012.
My opinion piece yesterday ‘Zimbabwe: The Problem with Drones’ , has
elicited interesting feedback except that it was not about the dreaded these
inventions also called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
It was about a mistake that I made when I referred to the white rhino as an
endangered species. From the conversation below, you can see how it was
resolved after which I checked on the official position(quoted with full
acknowledgements). But, it’s the emails first before the New Year!
firstname.lastname@example.org 3:58 AM (10 hours ago) to me
Mashiri, it is the black rhino that is endangered and not the white rhino.
Even a grade 1 pupil know this and u say u are doing phd !
Clifford Mashiri <email@example.com>
11:38 AM (2 hours ago) to kizitomm
Sorry for the error. Just an oversight. That won't take away my PhDs!!!
Others have done worse things than misclassify rhinos.
Considering the distance from Africa, and the time since I left, I think
many will pardon me for that mistake.
I am enjoying my studies like anything. Have a nice new year.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri
According to the Worldwildlife:
“Southern white rhinos were thought to be extinct in the late 19th century,
but in 1895 a small population of less than 100 individuals was discovered
in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. After more than a century of protection and
management, they are now classified as Near Threatened and about 20,000
animals exist in protected areas and private game reserves. They are the
only rhinos that are not endangered” (available on their website
It is my sincere hope that the good intentions of my paper will not be
drowned by typographical errors made unintentionally to beat the publishers’
deadline. Many thanks are due to the zimbabwesituation.com.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, PhD candidate in International Relations (COU) and
Social Sciences (LSBU). Zimanalysis2009@gmail.com