By Tichaona Sibanda
13 July 2012
Former MP for Nkayi, Abednico Bhebhe, says he expects Robert Mugabe to
honour the Supreme Court judgement that ordered him to call by-elections, if
he wants to panel beat his battered image.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s Election Watch program on Friday, Bhebhe said
he is happy with the outcome of the case that has dragged for years and
hoped ‘sincerely that Mugabe can salvage his reputation by calling for new
elections before the end of August this year.’
‘We do not rule out the possibility of Mugabe ignoring the judgement, but as
he prepares for his retirement he should use this opportunity to cleanse his
image and try to preserve the little that remains,’ Bhebhe said.
He continued: ‘If he then decides to ignore it then it would be unfortunate
because he will actually carry all the burden of all the sins that he has
committed for over the years to his grave.’
The former legislator was with the MDC led by Welshman Ncube when he lost
the Nkayi seat in 2009. He is now the deputy organising secretary of the
mainstream MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
He and his colleagues, Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East) and Norman Mpofu
(Bulilima East), were expelled from the MDC-N after they were accused of
undermining the party and its leadership three years ago. The expulsion
meant they lost their seats in parliament.
Soon after, the three MPs took their case to the High Court and won, with
the judge ordering that by-elections had to be held. But Mugabe appealed to
the Supreme Court, arguing the government had no money to conduct the polls.
But a full Supreme Court bench on Thursday unanimously dismissed Mugabe’s
appeal and ordered ‘new elections to fill the vacancies as soon as possible,
but no later than August 30, 2012.’
Even with all the joy he’s feeling following the judgement, Bhebhe seems
unable to bury his hard feelings toward, Ncube, the man who orchestrated his
‘This judgement is proof someone has erred along the way. It is about
proving who is right and who is wrong. It is about proving who represents
people and who does not represent people.
‘It is about proving that some political parties or political leaders are
dictators. They don’t consult when they take decisions, of which this is
exactly what Welshman Ncube did,’ Bhebhe claimed.
He accused Ncube of allegedly working in cahoots with ZANU PF and urged the
people of Nkayi to demonstrate that they were not consulted by speaking very
loudly in the anticipated by-election.
‘I have been fighting a war battle for three years and I was not fighting
Ncube but I was fighting against Mugabe, who is President of ZANU PF.
‘This now proves that the two were working together…the other one was used
to fire me and the other one was used to block me,’ he said.
Asked what this judgement meant to the people of Nkayi, Bhebhe quickly
replied: ‘They are disgruntled, they are unhappy, querying the leadership of
this country as to why they are neglecting them.’
‘The law in Zimbabwe clears states that every constituency in Zimbabwe is
supposed to be represented at all the time. In other words, what it means is
the people of Nkayi have been short changed by the government, which
excluded them in decisions taken in parliament.’
13 July 2012
The drafting of the new constitution is costing $1,000 a word, if you take
into account the final cost, which is expected to be $45 million.
The select parliamentary committee (COPAC) that is drawing up the draft is
spending $100,000 a week on sitting allowances, travel and accommodation.
And despite the fact that COPAC was set up in April 2009 the new
constitution still isn’t ready, despite assurances that it would be released
But reports on Friday, once again, said it was nearly ready, it just needed
‘a polish’, according to Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Eric Matinenga, who said: “Everything has been agreed on and it is safe for
me to say the principals should expect the document anytime from now.”
Once source told us that Prime Minister Tsvangirai would be getting his
draft on Sunday and this week COPAC invited companies to bid for the
printing of the constitution.
And when we finally get the constitution, then we have to have a referendum.
That will cost $30 million.
So $75 million will have been spent on a constitution that the President
just ignores when it suits him anyway.
Wouldn’t it have been cheaper and easier just to copy South Africa’s
constitution, which is regarded as one of the best in the world?
13 July 2012
The NewsDay newspaper is reporting that the new draft constitution will help
control the powers of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). As the
horse trading has continued over the constitution the newspaper says one of
ZANU PF’s concessions was the move to put the administration of the CIO
under an Act of Parliament.
The CIO has always fallen directly under the President’s office, but sources
told the newspaper that the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee
said the draft proposed significant changes in the way the CIO operates.
They said the proposals will see the CIO directors reporting to a minister
instead of the President and that the head of the CIO will be appointed by
the president for a 5 year term, that is only renewable once.
The President will also appoint commissioners to the Intelligence Services
Commission after approval from Parliament.
Although Zimbabweans will welcome anything that helps curb the powers of the
feared CIO they also understand that Mugabe and ZANU PF are masters at
negotiating and watering down the powers of the opposition. Although
appearing to give in on various issues, they maintain their hold on key
ones. This week they showed their mastery of this game by forcing the MDC to
give in over the human rights bill, ensuring that no abuses before 2009 can
be investigated and prosecuted.
Zimbabweans also know that Robert Mugabe as president ignores the
constitution when it suits him. In 2000 the Supreme Court ruled that Capital
Radio had the right to broadcast because freedom of speech was enshrined in
the constitution. One week after that ruling Mugabe used his presidential
powers to have the radio station shut down at gunpoint.
By Alex Bell
13 July 2012
The developers behind a new shopping mall that is set to be built in a wetlands area in Borrowdale are being urged to rethink the building site, because of the environmental impact the construction will have.
Building work for the Mall of Zimbabwe, which has been commissioned by Vice President Joice Mujuru, is meant to get under way soon despite public resistance to the plans and the lack of an independent environmental impact assessment report.
Dorothy Wakeling from the Conservation Society of Monavale (COSMO), a conservation group that has been advocating for the protection of the wetlands areas, told SW Radio Africa on Friday that moving the site of the mall was a realistic option that should be discussed.
Wakeling described the wetlands as ‘sponges’ that are critical for the water supply of Harare, explaining how they absorb water in the rainy seasons and release the water in the dry seasons when it is needed.
“The wetlands are like sponges that release water slowly into the streams and into other water bodies. So we have 6.5 million people in this catchment basin that are dependent on the water that these wetlands give us.”
She added: “We don’t have any other way of getting water. There is 50% less water going into Lake Chivero than there was 15 years ago. These wetlands are absolutely critical in the supply of drinking water to the city. It’s simple. There’s nothing complicated about it.”
Wakeling explained that for all these reasons, it was crucial to protect the areas from being built over, because of the potentially devastating environmental impact this would have. She said there are many alternatives that should be considered, and in the case of the Borrowdale shopping mall, relocating the site is an option.
“There has to be some discussion about this at high level,” she said, adding: “We’re not saying ‘don’t do it’. We’re saying ‘relocate it.”
The Harare city council this week reportedly approved construction of the mall, despite media reports that it was resisting the move. According to the state run Herald newspaper, the Council’s environment management committee met on Tuesday gave its approval to the plans, which are yet to be approved by the full Council.
Chairman of the Council’s business committee, Thomas Muzuva, was quoted as saying that the plans have been approved by Cabinet and councillors had no power to stall the development of national projects.
“It’s a national project. Cabinet has approved the project. Council is a substructure of Central Government. We cannot be seen going against national policies. Council has no power over Cabinet decisions. We cannot fight Cabinet,” he said.
Observers have said that the Council appears to have been forced into approving the plans, possibly by local government Minister Ignatius Chombo who is believed to be involved in the mall’s construction. A full Council meeting is expected to take place in the next two weeks, where it is already assumed full approval will be given.
To hear the full interview with COSMO’s Dorothy Wakeling Listen here
Nompumelelo Moyo Bulawayo, July 13, 2-02 - The Water Resources Minister
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo on Thursday named an advisory council for the long
awaited National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project which is meant to bring
water to arid Matabeleland.
Nkomo told Radio VOP that he had appointed Zimbabwe Commercial farmers Union
President, McDonald Khumalo, as chair with his deputy as Ndaba Mazibuko and
historian, Phathisa Nyathi (secretary).
The Minister said the advisory council was one of the major recommendations
that came up at the June 2010 all stakeholders meeting. It is envisaged the
council, which will be apolitical, will ensure that the interests of the
various stakeholders in Matabeleland are represented.
"The mandate of the councillors is to capture needs, aspirations and
interests of citizens,” said Nkomo.
Government had secured $864 million from the Chinese Exim Bank and China
International Water and electric, had since been instructed to move on-site
in preparation for implementation of phase one of the project, which is the
construction of the Gwayi-Tshangani Dam. The US$8 million allocated to
treasury in 2012 budget will be channeled towards sight establishment costs.
The China Dalian International Technical Group, a Chinese state owned
company, and the contractor of MZWP, vice-chairperson, Fan Hu, said they
will carry out soil and geographical surveys on site and preliminary design
together with engineers from the Ministry of Water and the water body, the
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).
The three year project is broken into two phases - a 245 km long pipe line
that will be constructed from Gwayi-Tshangani Dam to the City of Bulawayo
and the 122 km long pipe line that will be built from Zambezi River to
The project is considered as the panacea to the perennial water shortages to
the second major city of Bulawayo. It is expected to bring sufficient water
to two million people. Along the pipe line, an irrigated green belt will be
formed to promote local agriculture production and related agribusiness
industries, increasing employment.
The MZWT chairperson, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, said the new advisory council was
inheriting a relay baton stick as the project was long overdue.
by Staff Reporter
BULAWAYO’S water problems will be over in three years, a minister declared
on Thursday as he announced that the Chinese government had committed US$1,2
billion to a long-mooted plan to draw water from the Zambezi River through a
Water Resources Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said Chinese contractors were
this week beginning work on the project which was first drawn up by British
settlers in 1912.
When complete, the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Pipeline will create a
“greenbelt of agricultural activity” along its length, Nkomo told a news
conference at a Bulawayo hotel.
“The government has secured funding to the tune of US$864 million from the
Chinese Exim Bank. The $864 million has been budgeted for by the Chinese
government,” Nkomo said.
“One of our contractors, China International Water and Electric, has since
been instructed to move on site. The $8 million allocated by Treasury in the
2012 budget will be channelled towards site re-establishment costs.”
He said the Chinese would this year allocate a further $345 million in their
budget to complete the project.
The project will be implemented in phases, with the first stage being the
completion of the Gwayi- Shangani Dam which would receive water from the
The second phase will see the construction of a pipeline from Gwayi-Shangani
Dam to a reservoir in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb.
The third and final phase will be the construction of a 245km pipeline from
the Zambezi River to the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.
The parched Matabeleland regions traditionally receive low rainfall, and the
urban expansion around Bulawayo has put pressure on the city’s water supply
dams forcing the local authority to invoke rationing measures.
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who attended the press briefing,
said the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project could be “bigger than Chiadzwa”
in its economic impact – reference to the diamond discovery in the east of
“The scope of the development that will be brought by the completion of the
project is difficult to fathom,” Chombo said.
“Local authorities must plan the activities that will take place along the
canal. In my mind, I am seeing a corridor of people growing crops, animal
husbandry, residential infrastructure with modern tarred roads, sewer
systems and shops.
“I also see a fruit growing industry complete with packaging and canning
factories. Let us not wait to start planning when the water finally reaches
Dumiso Dabengwa, the chairperson of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust,
said it was a fulfilment of one of the dreams of the late Vice President
“Diverse opinions always exist but national interest is of paramount
importance. We welcome this breakthrough without reservations,” said
Fan Hu, the vice chairman of the China Dalian Technical Group (CDIG) – the
contractor which will build the pipeline – said the project would provide
enough water for about two million people and all industrial activity in the
“It will take three years to complete. We are looking at the establishment
of a greenbelt along the pipeline on which we expect the economy of
Matabeleland to be built. Significant growth of the national economy is also
expected to result from the project,” said Fan.
Chombo said “people’s appetites have been aroused countless times over the
project” and hoped the Chinese government’s intervention was the
breakthrough which had eluded successive governments and private trusts
By Alex Bell
13 July 2012
MDC-T supporters in Makokoba on Friday demonstrated against worsening
factionalism in the party’s Bulawayo structures, which has resulted in a
number of defections.
The infighting took a dramatic turn this week when the outspoken MDC-T MP
for Bulawayo East, Tabitha Khumalo, was demoted from her role as deputy
spokesperson for the party. Khumalo received a letter, signed by party
President Morgan Tsvangirai, relieving her of her duties to speak on behalf
of the party in a move described as an attempt to halt the factionalism.
Khumalo is believed to belong to a faction led by Matson Hlalo, a Senator
representing Mzilikazi, which is involved in a bloody battle to wrestle
control of the province from Gorden Moyo, the chairman. Moyo, with the
support of the deputy President of the party Thokozani Khupe, beat Hlalo to
the post of provincial chairman. But the fall-out between the two has torn
the province into factions since the party held elections for its structures
The tensions in the province have led to several defections, with most of
the party cadres crossing the floor to the MDC formation led by Welshman
SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme reported that the
protesting group of Makokoba residents on Friday were demonstrating their
concern about the defections. He said they were voicing support for the
party’s Vice President Khupe, and were “empathically supporting the party as
“The demonstration culminated in a meeting where a petition was handed to
the MDC-T Bulawayo Chairman Gorden Moyo. But Moyo refused to open the
petition, which was sealed in an envelope, saying their actions were against
the MDC-T’s constitution,” Saungweme reported.
Moyo apparently urged the protesters to let the party officials deal with
the situation and not turn to such demonstrations to air their grievances.
Written by Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Friday, 13 July 2012 15:54
HARARE - Close to 2 000 employees at TelOne stand to lose their jobs when it
completes an ongoing system upgrade.
The digitalisation of its operations will result in the jobs being made
Newly appointed TelOne board chairperson Amos Mashingaidze said the company’s
workforce of plus 2 500 employees was blotted and needs to be trimmed to
“The labour force is too big with little revenue streams, so how are we
going to pay them? There will be strikes,” he told Parliament’s Media,
Information and Communication Technology portfolio committee.
"There is no way we can avoid the normal labour process of retrenchment.”
Mashingaidze said the company, which is also prioritising its data business,
has traditionally employed a lot of people due to its lack of new generation
“When we were using analogue and antiquated technology, it required a lot of
technicians and diggers, but when we move to digital technology it is about
According the current plan, workers who can be retrained will be equipped
with new skills necessary to run the new technology while others will be
“The problem is some people have over 30 years in TelOne and all these years
technology has always been moving.”
The board is looking at restructuring the company’s structure in line with
other international fixed telephone network models which includes human
Currently, TelOne has a lot of employees who are in acting capacity
including the managing director who is said to have been in acting for seven
Responding to this, Mashingaidze said the company will advertise for a
substantive managing director within two weeks.
“With the managing director, we will be able to identify the right skills
for the other key positions,” he said.
It, however, remains unclear whether or not the proposed retrenchment
exercise will depend on whether or not TelOne is able to activate its mobile
telephone network licence.
Last year, TelOne was granted a GSM network licence by Postal and
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe to become the fourth
company after state-controlled NetOne, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and Telecel
The company is yet to launch its GSM service, despite being given a
frequency under the new universal licence.
Indian-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited has been linked to acquiring
a 51 percent stake in TelOne for an undisclosed sum.
However, the technological advancement from current analogue exchanges to
digital equipment is premised on TelOne’s ability to secure a technical
Written by Wendy Muperi, Staff Writer
Friday, 13 July 2012 15:34
HARARE - Britain on Wednesday gave Zimbabwe a $19 million four-year grant to
provide bursaries for marginalised secondary school female students.
Officially launching the programme in Guruve, Education minister David
Coltart described the British government as an “all-weather friend”.
“On behalf of government I am most grateful for the gesture made by the
British to the education sector,” Coltart said.
“Let me share with you that DFID this year committed $73 million to
supporting education efforts in Zimbabwe.”
The grant released through the Department for International Development
(DFID), and administered by the Campaign for Female Education (Camfed), will
benefit at least 24 000 girls from 28 rural districts with comprehensive
bursaries between 2012 and 2016.
Coltart said government should prioritise the empowerment of girls through
education for national development.
“Though the relations between our two governments have not been good, the
British people have continued to support us. Through the cooperation, we
have managed to restore stability in the sector. The new bursaries we are
launching today are a great and timely complement to allow girls who would
otherwise not benefit from such valuable and commendable investments,” he
“The education of a girl child is one of the most important task and
prerequisite of any government for sustainable economic growth and
development. A government that neglects the education of a girl child
condemns itself to a bleak future,” said Coltart.
“To put it in context, the Zimbabwean government this year has allocated
only some $5 million dollars on non-salary expenditure,” he said.
Dave Fish, head of DFID in Zimbabwe, said the programme will change lives of
the girl child.
“This programme will transform lives and communities. It helps the most
vulnerable girls with the basics — school and exam fees, uniform and
“Things that a young lady needs to stay in school and do well,” said Fish.
Camfed director Angeline Murimirwa said there was need for a multi-sectoral
approach for the country to achieve satisfactory progress in education.
Since February this year, the UK government has committed over $350 million
to help ensure the poorest people in Zimbabwe have access to basic services
such as education, health, water and sanitation.
The Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council body is for the first time
electronically marking some examination papers, according to the body's
public relations officer.
by Nqobani Ndlovu
Zimsec began marking the June examinations last Friday, using the electronic
The marking session ends on 30 July. “We are happy because, for the first
time, Zimsec is marking scripts electronically for Ordinary Level
Mathematics Paper 1and Integrated Science Paper 3 during the June marking
session,” the Public Relations Officer, Ezekiel Pasipamire, said in a
The development, if adopted on a wide scale, is hoped to restore credibility
to Zimsec that over the years has been dogged by inefficiency in the marking
The local examinations body has been accused of mixing up results, failing
to meet deadlines and losing scripts.
Zimsec took over the running of public examinations in the nineties after
the government dumped the Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.
Students, however, still have the option to sit for the Cambridge
examinations which are still locally available.
Zimsec, which depends on government grants and examination fees charged on
candidates who sit for Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations, has over
the years been faced with financial problems and lack of resources to
effectively run examinations.
July 13 2012 at 06:13pm
File picture - Kudakwashe Chiveura prepares to catch a cricket he has dug up
to eat. Zimbabwe's annual inflation slowed to 3.97 percent in June, from
4.02 percent in May, due to the easing of transport costs. (AP
Harare - Zimbabwe's annual inflation slowed to 3.97 percent in June, from
4.02 percent in May, due to the easing of transport costs, the national
statistics agency said Friday.
The southern African country's economy has stabilised over the last three
years, after a decade-long downturn which saw runaway annual inflation
reaching an official peak of 231 million percent, before the government
A power-sharing government formed in 2009 between long-time political rivals
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dumped the
worthless local dollar in favour of the US dollar and other regional
Goods that were in short supply or unavailable returned to the shelves, but
prices have continued to fluctuate according to the cost of importing.
Zimbabwe relies on imports mainly from neighbouring economic giant South
Africa after the economic meltdown forced factories to downsize, close or
relocate to neighbouring countries. - Sapa-AFP
By Alex Bell
13 July 2012
The right of Zimbabwe’s scattered Diaspora to vote in the coming elections
has not been secured in the Electoral Bill, as part of what SW Radio Africa
has been told is a ‘horse trading’ deal with ZANU PF.
The Bill is in the process of being passed without the critical amendments
needed to allow the Diaspora to vote, despite pledges from the MDC-T to
fight on behalf of the Diaspora.
SW Radio Africa has since been told that there are no plans for this fight,
because an agreement by the leaders in the unity government has already been
reached to prevent Zimbabweans abroad from voting.
A source said on Friday that this agreement means the details of the Bill
were already decided before it was introduced to Parliament, as part of a
deal to implement the terms of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). This
agreement, signed in late 2008, formed the basis of the unity government,
which has been stalled for nearly four years.
The full implementation of the GPA is a key step towards fresh elections in
Zimbabwe, but ZANU PF has been resisting the key reforms that it agreed to
when it signed the GPA. SW Radio Africa’s source said that some key
amendments to the Electoral Bill had to be left out, in order to force ZANU
PF into agreeing on this outstanding GPA issue.
It has been a controversial week for Zimbabwe’s parliament, after the Human
Rights Commission Bill was passed on Tuesday night with an agreement that no
human rights abuses before February 2009 will be investigated. This amnesty
means that the perpetrators of the Gukurahundi genocide, the 2008 election
violence, and numerous other incidents will get off scot-free.
This Bill, like the Electoral Bill, was an outstanding issue in the GPA and
was already negotiated and pre-decided before being put before Parliament.
But MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa on Friday that
there is no reason to panic, because the new constitution will require these
critical laws to be amended anyway. He admitted that the MDC-T allowed the
Bills to go through Parliament, because they are banking on the amendments
that he said will be made when the new constitution is in place.
“We are very confident. We finished the final stages of the new constitution
today (Friday) so the Bills will have to be revised to be in line with this
constitution. This provides for voting rights for all Zimbabwean citizens
and this will be a key amendment. So people shouldn’t worry,” Mwonzora said.
13th July 2012
The High Court trial of 29 MDC members, accused of murdering a police
officer in Glen View last year, will resume on Monday.
The MDC maintain the charges were trumped-up with a view to harassing the
MDC and all the accused maintain their innocence. So far the trial has
confirmed this, with state witnesses giving conflicting and contradictory
The 29 have been on remand for more than a year. Some of them have been in
jail for the whole of that time, with reports of torture, assaults and
denial of medical treatment.
One of those who has been in jail for over a year is Gapara Nyamadzawo. It’s
reported that he is now seriously ill and even the state is agreeing that he
needs urgent treatment. On Tuesday prosecutor Chris Mutangadura informed
presiding High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu of the prisoner’s grave
Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, one of Nyamadzawo’s
lawyers, said they are trying to have him attended to by a private doctor.
He said: “We tried to talk to the officer-in-charge that he (Nyamadzawo)
should be attended to urgently, but he asked us to bring a court order first
before a doctor is allowed.
Lawyers are now in the process of trying to get that court order.
(AFP) – 7 hours ago
HARARE — Zimbabwe on Friday unveiled a seven-member team for the London
Games with two-time Olympic gold medalist Kirsty Coventry their leading
medal hope, local organisers said Friday.
Coventry won a gold and three silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to
add to her gold, silver and bronze from Athens four years previously.
The 28-year-old joins a Zimbabwe team that includes marathon trio of
Cuthbert Nyasango, Wirimai Juwawo and Sharon Tavengwa, rowing pair Jamie
Fraser Mackenzie and Micheen Thornycroft and triathlete Christopher Felgate.
"Kirsty is on track to win the country a couple of medals," Zimbabwe Olympic
Committee president Admire Masenda told AFP.
"We are happy to have seven athletes qualifying out of the 16,000 athletes
to participate at the London 2012 Olympics," he said, but bemoaned the lack
of support for sport in the cash-strapped country.
"As a country we haven't invested adequately in sport, the funding isn't
adequate," he said.
Coventry will compete in the 100m and 200m women's backstroke as well as the
In 2008, at the height of economic meltdown in Zimbabwe, long ruling
President Robert Mugabe gave Coventry $100,000 for bringing back home the
four medals from Beijing, praising her as a "golden girl."
She was also awarded with the country's diplomatic passport.
Zimbabwe has won only eight Olympic medals since independence in 1980, with
the women's hockey team grabbing gold in Russia.
13 July 2012
South Africa-based Zimbabwean gospel singer Prosper Mateva last weekend scooped the African Gospel Music Association award (Agma) for being the best discovery of the year.
According to NewsDay newspaper the 29-year-old Gweru-born artist became the first-ever Zimbabwean to win an Agma at a ceremony held in London last Saturday night.
Agma serves as the face and voice for the African gospel/Christian music community worldwide.
Mateva beat nine other contenders from across the continent in the discovery of the year category.
Speaking to NewsDay Mateva said: “I feel so excited that I am representing not only myself, but the nation as a whole, as by the grace of God, I’m the only and first Zimbabwean to win the award. It’s a highly competitive and prestigious award, so I’m over the moon.
To listen to Prosper Mateva click here
by Hon. Elton Mangoma
Ministerial Statement by Energy Minister Elton Mangoma to the House of
Assembly on measures being taken by the government to ease the country’s
power crisis. Delivered on Thursday, July 12, 2012:
Mr Speaker Sir, I have found it necessary to brief this House of elected
representatives on what we are doing in the Ministry to ease power outages
in the country.
Zimbabweans across the country and in all spheres; from housewives to
business people, have a sad story to tell about the power cuts they
experience every day in their homes and in the factories.
Mr Speaker Sir, it is the duty of government to explain the measures we are
taking to alleviate the plight of the people. The solution might not come
tomorrow, but the people of Zimbabwe deserve to know that we are working
flat out to mitigate the situation which deteriorated way back due to
non-investment in this critical sector. There was no way we could resolve in
three years a decay process that began decades ago.
Nevertheless, I rise to make public our efforts in redressing this national
It is a challenge that has affected a cross section of people from the big
corporates in Harare and Bulawayo to clinics and health centres in
Chendambuya and Gokwe; from schools in Filabusi to the ordinary power
consumers in Budiriro and Pumula.
Mr Speaker Sir, it is no laughing matter; but they say the most popular
words in Zimbabwe are “Magetsi auya”. As government and as a Ministry, we
are aware of the mammoth task before us and we want to assure you that we
will discharge of our national duty to the best of our ability.
The power supply in the country is inadequate leading to massive load
shedding in all the sectors. This is on the backdrop of:
# No new generation capacity having been created in the country since 1984.
# A serious shortage of capacity in the region because of increased demand
in their countries coupled with no new investment.
# Lack of maintenance, particularly from 1998 to 2009 leading to serious
degeneration of both Generation and Transmission and Distribution
# Low and unviable tariff over the past decade (some correction made in
# Low funding from Treasury and high level of debtors.
# The economic revival has put pressure on the demand for electricity and
particularly on domestic consumers, who had absorbed the electricity that
was available from Industry and Mining.
MEASURES BEING TAKEN
The measures being taken are divided into Generation capacity and supply
side activities, Demand Side Management and Institutional changes. All these
will work towards alleviating load shedding and increasing the power for
enhanced economic activities. The supply side is further split into short,
medium and long term measures.
GENERATION CAPACITY AND SUPPLY SIDE ACTIVITIES
Short term (900MW)
Optimisation of Hwange Power Station (250MW)
Mr Speaker Sir, Hwange Power Station has an installed capacity of 950MW. It
however has been producing between 300 to 500 MW. This is a result of poor
maintenance, and lack of alignment of the production facility.
For example, the stage two turbines (generations) have a capacity to
generate 220MW each, but the boilers are such that you can generate around
150MW. Improving the boilers can increase the capacity to 200MW each. Work
to identify what needs to be done is underway.
Poor maintenance management is exemplified by the current saga on units one
and two where we had the rotors down and management concentrated on getting
them fixed without attending to ancillary equipment at the same time. Now
the rotors have been repaired, but work on the stator only commenced last
month. Measures are being put in place to avoid such sloppiness including
skills enhancement and greater team work.
Repowering Small Thermals (120MW)
All the small thermals can produce, with constant coal supply 200MW,
compared to the current 60-80MW. Short term coal supplies can be increased
by more cooperation and minimal investment at Hwange Colliery Company (HCC),
so that they produce the required type of coal.
Immediate steps are being taken to modify the boilers, so that they can use
the same thermal coal as Hwange Power Station. This is an 18-month
programme. ESSAR will lease Munyati Power Station and they have indicated
that they can make it produce 140MW.
Gairezi Hydro (30MW)
ZPC has applied for a licence to construct the Gairezi hydro scheme. This is
estimated to cost $90 million and the project will take 18-24 months. The
licence will be issued this month and finances are being arranged. It will
be necessary to work with OPC to avoid the delays of the State Procurement
Lupane Coal Bed Methane (500MW)
Mr Speaker Sir, there is need to map and determine what resource there is in
Lupane. This is then followed with the construction of a gas fired plant in
Lupane. The first phase involves the drilling of exploratory wells. As soon
as these wells are drilled, instead of closing the wells or flaring the gas,
the gas will be directed to a series of machines that generate between
5-10MW. These machines will be hired from Agreko. It becomes possible to
generate electricity almost immediately after the wells are drilled.
After mapping and determination, a mining plan is then determined. The
mining plan is then executed taking into consideration the level of resource
and what it will be used for. The current proposed uses are electricity
generation and fertilizer production.
Mining can start immediately after resource mapping with the gas from the
mining wells also being directed to more hired machines. This term is called
Temporary Generation. These will only be removed after the commissioning of
the Permanent Plant.
There are three parties already interested in the resource mapping and
determination phase, who will do it on behalf of ZPC. Funding has already
been secured for this phase.
Solar Into Grid (100MW)
The main thing that makes solar technology more expensive is the need to
produce and store during the day for use at night, when you cannot produce.
The current situation is that electricity is short during the day so there
is no need to produce and store. Generating without storing will bring the
tariff to between 10c-12ckwh, which is within the current tariff structure.
Solar plants can be put up very quickly. Current discussions are centering
# Should this be one plant or a number of them.
# Signing of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to buy all the power produced
for a fixed period (consideration between 5-10 years).
The main issue is acceptability of Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and
Distribution Company as a party to the PPA.
Solar Panels on Homes
Mr Speaker Sir, we have currently agreed with a housing cooperative in
Mutare that they put solar panels as part of their roofs. The electricity so
generated will be used within their homes and the surplus fed into the grid.
At night the homes will then be supplied by ZESA. At the end of the month,
the account will then be settled depending on the power produced and
consumed. The flow of electricity will be measured using a Reverse Meter.
This policy can be extended to anyone although it may be more applicable to
new housing complexes as the panels will be part of the cost of the roof,
and therefore no extra investment required.
There is a programme under Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to produce
solar lamps locally targeted to retail at $10 or less. REA is working with
local industry to make sure there is significant value addition in this
project. It will then lead to localisation of technology and job creation.
Designs are at an advanced stage.
Treasury has provided $1,5m to this project, which will enable particularly
school children to buy these lamps in instalments. The lamps are earmarked
for rural schools. The involvement of industry means that a lot more solar
lamps can be produced for commercial purposes to be made available to the
generality of the public. These solar lamps are a good source of lighting
when the electricity goes out.
Mr Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe used to import as much as 500MW firm power from
SNEL, EDM, HCB and ZESCO. At the moment the only firm power is 100MW from
HCB. The demand for electricity within the region has been growing, to a
point now where whatever can be produced is utilised. The likely immediate
source of imports is EDC and HCB. Negotiations are underway.
Botswana is likely to commission a power plant soon. EDM is being persuaded
to export to us the power (50MW) they are currently exporting to Botswana.
Zambia is likely to commission Kariba North expansion next year and dialogue
is taking place now.
Mozambique is planning to do Temporary Generation at their Southern Gas
fields and this will add additional generation. We have registered our
interest. Payments done to reduce our debt make us worth considering.
DEMAND SIDE MANAGEMENT
The tender board awarded tenders to:
# Solahart Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd (Zim)
# Nyamezela Consulting Engineers cc (RSA)
# ZTE Corporation (China)
# Finmark Marketing (Pvt) Ltd (Zim)
These tenders exclude Harare and Bulawayo, which are the two places with the
greatest need. The tenders are for supply and fix. Contracts signed are to
ensure that those who quickly install their meters are allowed to install
additional ones so as to roll out as quickly as possible and not be held by
laggards purely on the basis that they won a tender. It is proposed to use
the same tender winners on the same performance basis for Harare and
The roll out is expected to start next month (June 2012) and be completed
within 10 months. The current prepaid meter platform is being upgraded to
handle different types and increased number of meters.
Prepaid Meter Platform Tender
Mr Speaker Sir, a tender was floated, adjudicated and awarded to REVMA. The
adjudication process was fraudulent. All other tenderers who proposed
external hosting were disqualified as it was a specific requirement that the
platform be based at ZETDC. The adjudicators knew but presented REVMA as a
direct supplier until the contract signing stage when REVMA wanted to be
paid 60 cents per transaction.
Discussions with State Procurement Board (SPB) indicated that REVMA had not
misrepresented their position, but that the adjudicators had falsely
misrepresented the facts. As a result SPB could not reverse their award. The
only recourse is for ZETDC to approach the Administrative Court for the
nullification. ZETDC has now been directed to approach the court. Any award
must now be based on those who show on the ground that they have a system
Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs)
The contract for the supply of CFLs has finally been signed (21/05/12). It
is hoped that the first batch of one million lamps will be delivered on 30
June 2012. Installation of the lamps will commence around mid-July.
The installation of the 5,5 million lamps, estimated to be completed by
October 2012, will save evening peak electricity equivalent to 180MW.
Mr Speaker Sir, biogas is a sustainable, environmentally friendly source of
energy. It is mostly used for heating and cooking purposes, and thereby
releasing electricity for other purposes. A Zambian expert has been engaged
for the purposes of technology transfer through the construction of
prototype digesters. Three sites that have been identified are:
# Mbare Musika – Vegetable market
# Harare Hospital
# Roosevelt Girls High School
There is need to identify two other users covering:
# Farm environment
# Domestic dwelling
The work on all these prototypes is expected to commence in June.
Local constructors are expected to gain knowledge and insight into the
construction for future propagation. Treasury budgeted $1,5 million for this
purpose. The funds are sufficient to cover other educational and health
institutions in all the provinces. REA is the implementation agent.
The residue after the gas has been used is very good organic fertilizer.
Local industry is being involved in the manufacture/adaptation of gas
stoves. The cooking system at Harare Hospital will be completely revamped.
Hwange and Kariba Expansion Projects (900 MW)
Hwange (600MW) and Kariba (300MW) expansion projects are currently being
tendered for. The tenders are due to close on June 5, 2012. (Been advised
SPB moved closing date to July 3, 2012). There are now four (4) tenderers
for each project. The main issues to be considered are:
# The availability of funding to carryout projects. An alternative plan to
fund Kariba South expansion has reached an advance stage.
# The technology to be used to create the cavity at Kariba – the type of
blasting/drilling – due to the weak rock formation.
# The Ministry of Finance had written advising abandoning the tender process
at Kariba in favour of Sino hydro, following the agreement they signed with
China. It is recommended to carry through with the tender as scrapping it
now could cause legal complications and further delay the project.
The projects are expected to take around 48 months.
Hwange-Western Areas (1000MW)
Mr Speaker Sir, this is a new project that will result in the construction
of a coal fired power station in the Western Areas Coal fields. The Western
areas coal fields concession was granted to ZPC by Cabinet in July 2010 for
the purposes of attracting investors into power generation.
Promising negotiations are underway with China Railways International (CRI).
The main issues are:
# That the power plant will belong to ZPC 100%
# That a mining venture is formed between ZPC and CRI
# CRI will operate the power plant for the benefit of ZPC until the loan has
It is estimated that the power plant will take around 3-4 years to
construct, after a 6-12 month period of surveying and designing.
Independent Power Producers (IPPs)
A number of IPPs have been licensed. The three big projects are Sengwa
(2400MW) Lusulu(2000MW) and ESSAR (600MW).
Bindura Gas Plant (2200MW)
Mozambique has discovered vast natural gas quantities in the Rovuma Basin.
We have expressed our interest to have access to the natural gas.
The idea is to pipe the gas from Rovuma Basin, through the bridge at Tete to
Bindura. A gas fired power station is then constructed in Bindura and feed
into the Bindura-Songo transmission lines (This is similar to what Ghana has
done with the Nigerian Gas).
The gas pipeline then extends to Harare, where it will be piped to the
residential areas for cooking purposes, (like in most of the developed
countries). This whole plan can be replaced by the Lupane CBM depending on
the quantum of the resource.
Mr Speaker Sir, Zambia and Zimbabwe agreed on February 10, 2012, to embark
on the Batoka hydro project with a total capacity of 1600-2000MW. It was
agreed to proceed on a BOT basis under the leadership of the Zambezi River
Authority (ZRA). Zimbabwe agreed to pay Zambia $70.8million for the CAPCO
assets. $10m has since been paid. Interest has been agreed at $114 million
and there is no repayment plan. Zimbabwe has already asked Zambia for
interest not to be paid.
A detailed geological survey was done in 1994. It may be necessary to carry
out some confirmatory geological survey, together with an Environmental
It is envisaged that the ZRA in consultation with the two countries will
finalise the BOT framework soon so that they call for interested parties to
put forward their proposals. The main issues to be considered are the legal
and commercial issues and leave room for the interested parties to compete
on issues like design and technology.
The Great Inga
The Great Inga hydro project is proposed on the Congo River in the DRC. This
can produce upwards of 40,000MW. This project is too big for the DRC and
requires a regional approach. If this is constructed it will change the
economic fortunes of the region. It requires strong leadership and project
design skills to make all the political leaders comfortable with the
project. Hydro power is cheap and it is worth the time spent on promoting
OTHER INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES
Mr Speaker Sir, the funding of ZESA by Treasury has been minimal, despite
the provisions that have been made in the budget. A verbal agreement has
been reached with the Minister of Finance to deduct the subsidy to Sable
Chemicals and Government’s indebtedness to ZESA against the funds paid by
The Zimfund promised some $30m as urgent intervention. This money was paid
in by the Donor countries almost a year ago. No disbursements have been made
Restructuring of ZESA
Mr Speaker Sir, it is proposed to restructure ZESA to make it more efficient
and responsive to the consumers, whilst at the same time, setting up a
mechanism, which will make it easy for Independent Power Producers have a
level playing field.
ZESA Holdings was supposed to be only an instrument of holding shares in the
successor companies. Instead it morphed into a huge bureaucracy negating the
very point of establishing successor companies. In 2002 the Transmission
business was legislated to be separate from distribution, only to be
It is proposed that:
# ZESA Holdings be collapsed into a National Grid Services Company (NGSC)
and move all the legacy debts to this company. It will be 100% Government
owned and it will not be privatised. NGSC will be responsible for
Transmission, Market and Systems Operation. It will have the “reserve
# ZETDC will transform to Zimbabwe Distribution Company (ZDC) and be
responsible for Distribution of Electricity.
# Each of the companies will have a separate Board which will report
directly to the shareholder.
These companies will be:
# Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)
# Zimbabwe Distribution Company (ZDC)
# National Grid Services Company (NGSC)
# ZESA Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd (ZENT)
Establishing an Electricity Industry
Almost 90% of all the spares and services to ZESA are from outside our
borders. There is no doubt that the engineering capacity at Independence was
so high and yet we are not reviving it. Local content of Hwange Power
Station was over 50%.
ZESA has been a major consumer and the spending power it has can be used as
a catalyst for the revival of the local electricity industry. On top of
this, our own engineers have excelled in the region and beyond.
Mr Speaker Sir, this requires deliberate targeting and formation of
partnerships. ZENT has been improving its manufacturing capacity, for
example, they now can produce 500 transformers per month. We can therefore
not allow transformers from outside at the expense of knocking out this
In the same vein, ZPC organised a workshop with the local industry so that
they can hold each other’s hands as they build the industry together. This
requires flexibility in the rules of the SPB.
The projects listed under IPP indicate that even if a quarter of them are
realised, it is a lot of work. This is the time to ensure that the capacity
is here to tap and localise the investment resource whilst at the same time
creating the much needed jobs.
Creating local capacity will also reduce the time it takes to carryout
repairs. For instance, generator 3 at Harare Power Station has been out for
more than a year, with the rotor alignment waiting for its turn in South
Africa. We need to empower our people by making them partners in the supply
of services and spares.
POLICY DOCUMENT LAUNCH
In early 2010, Cabinet approved the Energy Policy document. Over this period
series of workshops have been held with stakeholders in order to refine the
policy and prepare for implementation. The product of those consultations
has been completed, thanks to the assistance by UNDP.
It is planned to launch the document in July.
Mr Speaker Sir, I wish to assure the House that we are aware of the plight
facing the people of Zimbabwe. We share with them the grief and misery of
not having a reliable power supply.
I pledge to be making these ministerial statements to update the public on
the progress in instituting these measures. We owe it to the people of
I Thank You!
The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) notes with grave concern
media reports that the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity
Honourable Webster Shamu on Wednesday, 11th of July 2012 implored newspaper
editors to demonstrate ‘national pride’ in their coverage of national
leaders and national issues. The VMCZ is further concerned that Minister
Shamu is reported to have apologised to Augur Investments representative,
Mr. Ken Sharpe, who was also present at the meeting, for a story that
appeared in the Daily News about the company’s construction project in
While it remains the prerogative of Minster Shamu to interact with media
editors, as and when his office and the editors concerned freely do so, the
VMCZ is concerned that the Minister chose such a platform to seek to insist
on the media exercising ‘national pride’, when in effect the democratic role
of the media is fundamentally that of working in the best and democratic
public interest. This means that the role of the media is to report on all
public matters freely, fairly, accurately and in a balanced manner.
Further to this, where the Minister has apologised on behalf of the media to
a complainant, he has set a precarious and undemocratic precedent
proposition to seek to have a media complaint resolved in a manner that is
arbitrary and without requisite notice. The Minister would do well to be
advised that media houses and editors have internal media complaints
processing mechanisms and have all agreed to the VMCZ Media Code of Conduct.
It is in this vein that the VMCZ humbly advises the Minister and his
colleagues as well as principals in cabinet that complaints against the
media or media stories can be amicably resolved through the VMCZ’s Media
VMCZ also humbly urges any members of the public, inclusive of Mr Sharpe,
that have any complaints about a published story to approach the newspaper
editor of the relevant media publication. If they are not satisfied with the
response of the editor or media house they are free to approach the VMCZ
Media Complaints Committee with their grievance.
For further information contact:
Programme Officer -Advocacy and Complaints
Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe