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Zim: Chinese mining firm not paying

May 17 2012 at 04:56pm

Chinese diamond firm Anjin failed to remit revenue from its operations in
Zimbabwe's controversial Marange fields in the first quarter of this year,
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Thursday.

“We have not received a single cent from Anjin, yet Anjin is seven times
bigger than some of the other (diamond) companies,” Biti told reporters
giving his monthly fiscal statement.

Anjin is in a joint venture with the Zimbabwe government, as are three other

Biti said there were suspicions the funds were funnelled elsewhere, outside
the government central coffers.

“Clearly, we fear as the ministry of finance that there might be a parallel
government somewhere in respect of where these revenues are going, and are
not coming to us.

“There is opaqueness and unaccountability surrounding our diamonds.”

Anjin along with Diamond Mining Corporation, Mbada and Marange Resources are
mining the gemstones in Zimbabwe's eastern Marange area, where activists
have reported gross rights abuses.

Zimbabwe government owns a 50 percent stake in all the four companies.

Biti said Anjin's failure to pay in proceeds from its diamond sales could
impact negatively on Zimbabwe's $4-billion budget for 2012 where at least
$600 million was projected to come from diamond sales.

Total revenue collections for the first quarter of 2012 stood at $287.9
million against a target of $320.2 million, with the shortfall blamed on
“underperformance of diamond revenue.”

“Diamond revenues have been underperfoming since January to 2012, with only
$30.4 million remittances received for the period January to March 21,
 2012,” he said. The target was $122.5 million.

Biti said he has complained to leaders in the power-sharing government over
the diamond revenue shortfall.

He said Zimbabwe's economy, which went into a tailspin amid a political
crisis before the creation of unity government three years ago, continued to
recover with gains in the mining, manufacturing and energy sectors.

Inflation will remain in single digits but might be higher than anticipated
if revenue shortfalls continue, said Biti. - Sapa-AFP

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Without Diamond Revenues, Zimbabwe Gov't Programs In Jeopardy

17 May 2012

Studio 7 Reporters | Washington

Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Thursday the country was failing
to meet its budget revenue targets owing to lack of transparency in the
marketing of Marange diamonds – a key component of the 2012 national budget.

Presenting his state of the economy address in Harare, Biti said lack of
funds may force the government to suspend some of its capital projects and
fail to pay civil servants.

He said the drying up of diamond revenues, subdued crop harvests, a rise in
fuel prices and rentals will have an adverse effect on this year’s Gross
Domestic Product projections.

Biti, who projected economic growth of 9.4 percent this year, said “… it’s
foreseeable that major projections will be revised downwards”.

Revenues in the first three moths of this year were $771 million compared to
a target of $870 million.

The finance minister said he suspected there was a parallel government
clandestinely overseeing the marketing of Marange diamonds as treasury is
not receiving revenues from diamond mining companies operating in the
Chiadzwa area.

Biti accused one of the biggest mining companies operating in the Manicaland
region, Anjin Investments, of not submitting any returns to treasury this

Reacting to Biti’s address, Masimba Kuchera of the Zimbabwe Coalition on
Debt and Development said lack of accountability and transparency in the
mining of diamonds in Marange will impact negatively on critical capital

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), announced this
week that the rise in the prices of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, utilities
and rentals drove year-on-year inflation from 3.98 percent in March to 4.03
percent in April.

Zimstat said the month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation
fell from 0.80 percent in the same period to 0.14 percent while non-food
inflation for the month of April fell to 0.21 from 0.26 percent in March.

Economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labor and Economic Development Research
Institute of Zimbabwe said Zimstat figures did not take into account a lot
of inflationary pressures.

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Shamu Ordered To Probe Zanu (PF) Disputes

Harare, May 17, 2012 - A special session of the Zanu (PF) politburo has
tasked its national commissar, Webster Shamu, to probe allegations of
vote-buying and imposition of candidates in several provinces where the
outcome of District Coordinating Committees (DCC) have been disputed.

President Robert Mugabe re-election bid is said to be in tatters due to
factionalism in Zanu (PF) resulting in the revolutionary party on Wednesday
convening an extraordinary politburo in attempts to deal with divisions
within the party.

Party insiders told VOP that the special session of the politburo was a
no-holds-barred affair as members sought to deal with the fissures in Zanu
(PF) seen threatening President Mugabe’s re-election in polls he wants held
this year, with or without a new constitution.

"Shamu has been tasked to go back to the provinces to assess the discord
around the recent district coordinating committees’ elections. He has been
asked to nullify results where they were irregularities province by
province," said a politburo member after the meeting.

The same member added that the stalled constitution-making process was
discussed at length and it was resolved that the Parliamentary Constitution
Select Committee (COPAC) be pushed hard to produce an acceptable draft
within 10 days.

Another politburo source said it was reiterated at the meeting that
President Mugabe was the sole candidate for Zanu (PF) in the polls the
politburo stated should be held this year without fail.

Zanu (PF) spokesman Rugare Gumbo confirmed Shamu's task.

Gumbo said Mugabe was very unhappy with the divisions of the party.

“The national commissariat team has been asked to visit all areas were
disputes arose. Where there are irregularities they will organise re-runs,”
said Gumbo. “We have decided to give him (Shamu) another chance. He has
another mandate to nullify results or have re-runs,” he added.

“Fireworks, it is a creation of the media. It was an open and frank meeting.
One of the best so far this year,” said Gumbo.

On the constitution-making process, Gumbo said the politburo demanded that
COPAC complete the constitution by the end of May.

A report presented at the last politburo meeting revealed that the party was
ravaged by a myriad of problems, top among them factionalism, an indication
that problems bedevilling Zanu (PF) were deep than what was initially

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Zanu PF in marathon crisis meeting

17/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Gilbert Nyambabvu

THE Zanu PF politburo met for seven hours Wednesday in a “no holds barred”
meeting aimed at tackling deepening divisions ahead of crucial elections the
party insists must be held this year.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said:
“People are not happy. The President is also not happy with what is
happening, but we (Zanu-PF) have survived a lot of crises.

“We have had a number of crises, but we always resolve them. We are happy we
have been open and frank to each other. This is the best Politburo meeting
we have had for some time.”

And in apparent refference to speculation President Robert Mugabe's would be
successors were teeing up for the top job and worsening divisions, Gumbo
said the party had reaffirmed its current leadership structure, headed by
the veteran leader and his two deputies, Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo.

“There is no split. There is one President, two Vice-Presidents, National
Chairman (Simon Khaya Moyo) and a Secretary for Administration (Didymus
Mutasa). If you are organising somewhere, then you are a destabilising
force. The party recognises the structure that is there,” Gumbo said.

Factionalism appears to have worsened in the party as the succession
front-runners position themselves to take-over power amid speculation over
Mugabe’s health and, at 88, his ability to see through another punishing
election showdown MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

A privately-owned weekly last week quoted Defence Minister, Emmerson
Mnangagwa – who is said to lead one of the main Zanu PF factions against
another backing Mujuru – as saying he was “ready to rule”.

But Gumbo insisted that should the need to choose another leader arise the
party would respect its hierarchy according to which Mnangagwa does not have
a prayer since he is behind Mujuru, Nkomo, Moyo and Mutasa.
He also said Wednesdays meeting agreed that Mugabe remained the party’s
candidate for the new elections.

“We re-affirmed that elections will be held this year and our candidate will
be President Mugabe … the politburo also wants the issue (of the
constitution) completely resolved by the end of this month (so that
elections can go ahead),” he said.

Meanwhile, the politburo also ordered its national commissar, Webster Shamu
to deal with problems in party structures across the country where a
restructuring exercise has degenerated into chaos with allegations of vote
buying and the imposition of candidates.

“We had an extensive discussion and there were a lot of areas of concern. We
talked about the imposition of candidates and elections not having been run
in a democratic manner,” Gumbo said.

“People spoke their mind. Where there have been errors, we need to look into
that. There are areas where there is need to re- look and ensure that things
are done properly.

“We will give the political commissar another chance to go into areas where
there is concern and, if he needs to nullify the results, he will nullify
and we will have re-runs.”

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Politburo orders re-run of disputed DCC elections

By Staff Reporter 16/05/2012 21:41:00

HARARE - The embattled President Mugabe's party Zanu PF's Extraordinary
Politburo Meeting has assigned the national political commissariat team to
go and conduct re-runs in all areas with disputed DCC elections.

Speaking to journalists soon after the Zanu-PF’s supreme decision making
body meeting, Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo
said it was a no-holds barred discussion which lasted for over seven hours.

Gumbo said the presidium is not happy with what has been going on during the
DCC elections held in some areas.

"We had a comprehensive report from the National Political Commissar on the
restructuring exercise, in particular on the DCC elections. There was an
extensive discussion on that and obviously there were areas of concern, and
as a result we gave the Political Commissar another opportunity to go back
and address those areas of concern; where there is need for re-runs, those
should be conducted," said Gumbo.

He said the party is behind the candidature of President of the party,
Robert Mugabe for the upcoming elections expected this year.

"We discussed a number of issues, for instance, we re-affirmed that
elections are going to be held this year and our candidate is our President.

Gumbo said anybody else in the so-called factions is not following the party’s
constitution and dictates, and is rather referred to as a destabiliser.

Where irregularities are revealed, Webster Shamu has been asked nullify the
results and conduct fresh polls.

There have been reports of imposition of candidates during the Zanu-PF DCC
elections, especially in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.

“We had a report from the Zanu-PF national political commissar, Shamu, on
what transpired in the restructuring exercise, in particular the DCC. We had
an extensive discussion and there were a lot of areas of concern.

“We talked about the imposition of candidates and elections not having been
run in a democratic manner.

“People spoke their mind. Where there have been errors, we need to look into

There are areas where there is need to re-look and ensure that things are
done properly,” said Zanu-PF spokesperson Gumbo.

He added: “We will give the political commissar another chance to go into
areas where there is concern and, if he needs to nullify the results, he
will nullify and we will have re-runs.”

Gumbo said yesterday’s Politburo meeting was “very open and frank”.

He said nothing was left untouched during discussions, including debate on
succession, but did not give details on the subject.

He said no one, including the President, was happy with what transpired
during DCC elections in some provinces.

“People are not happy. The President is also not happy with what is
happening, but we (Zanu-PF) have survived a lot of crises.

“We have had a number of crises, but we always resolve them. We are happy we
have been open and frank to each other. This is the best Politburo meeting
we have had for some time,” he said.

The Politburo reiterated that national elections would be held this year
without fail.

“We re-affirmed that elections will be held this year and our candidate will
be President Mugabe,” Gumbo said.

He said Copac had been given up to the end of this month to complete the
constitution-making process to pave way for a referendum and elections.

“Politburo wants the issue (constitution) completely resolved by the end of
this month,” Gumbo said.

He dismissed reports of fissures in Zanu-PF as mere speculation.

“There is no split. There is one President, two Vice-Presidents, National
Chairman and a Secretary for Administration.

“If you are organising somewhere, then you are a destabilising force. The
party recognises the structure that is there,” Gumbo said.
The Politburo also discussed the food situation, preparations for the winter
wheat and the state of industries.

The meeting started after midday and ended late last night.

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Elections by March 2013: Mutambara

17/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Lebo Nkatazo

THE coalition government cannot remain in office beyond March 2013, but at
least seven key political reforms must be implemented before elections for a
new administration can be held, deputy premier Arthur Mutambara has said.

Speaking during a Parliamentary Question and Answer session Wednesday,
Mutambara said the coalition government cannot legally remain in office
beyond March next year.

“In March 2013 this Parliament expires; in March 2013 Mugabe’s presidency
expires. Consequently, this current Cabinet expires in March 2013,” he said.

“So, if you ask me about the ultimate deadline, the ultimate deadline is
March 2013. However, in-between the timing of our elections is a function of

“If you are to ask my own view, I would say we need to spend time carrying
out these reforms and not bickering, so that come election time, we are able
to say the people have spoken.

“All of us can then embrace and endorse the outcome of those elections.
However, all this must be done with an understanding that success or
failure, we cannot possibly go beyond March 2013.  March 2013 is the end of
the road.”

Mutambara insisted though that several key political reforms need to be
completed to ensure the election outcome is not disputed and the country
ends up with another negotiated settlement as happened after the
inconclusive 2008 ballot.

“The discourse in the country should be about the processes and those
processes must be done well. Musakanganwe chezuro ngehope. The reason why we
are in an Inclusive Government is because our elections were problematic,
they were inconclusive,” Mutambara said.

“For us to do that we must go through these reforms very carefully; the
Constitution, media reforms, political reforms, electoral reforms, national
healing, and security sector alignment, economic reforms.

“This means seven types of reforms.  These reforms require time and that
time will determine when our elections will take place.”

Mutambara’s time frame is in line with a recent suggestion by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangira that a viable election was only feasible at the beginning
of next year.

The MDC formations are pushing for the implementation of reforms they claim
were agreed as part of their coalition deal with President Robert Mugabe and
his Zanu PF party.

But they face stiff opposition from Mugabe who insists new elections must be
held this year and has threatened to name date for the ballot even before
ongoing constitutional reforms are completed.

Following a meeting of its politburo Wednesday, Zanu PF again declared:
“Elections will be held this year and our candidate will be President
Mugabe … the politburo also wants the issue (of the constitution) completely
resolved by the end of this month (so that elections can go ahead).”

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Zuma Insists On Adoption Of Election Road Map

Harare, May 17, 2012 - South African President Jacob Zuma, the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) appointed mediator in the Zimbabwe
crisis, insists on the adoption of an elections roadmap before Harare calls
for fresh polls.

President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) have been on an over-drive demanding
that fresh polls, to bring closure to the coalition government, be staged
this year with or without a new constitution.

But information emerging from Zuma's office in Pretoria indicates the South
African leader is sticking to his guns that apart from an agreed elections
roadmap between Zanu (PF) and the two formations of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe should go to the next polls under a new
constitution crafted by the three political parties signatory to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).

Zuma international affairs advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, said in an telephone
interview, Zuma and SADC, the guarantor of the GPA together with the African
Union, were insisting that the election roadmap be followed despite the
noise from Zanu (PF) quarters.

“The facilitator has said that there is a roadmap that was signed off by the
principals and this should be followed. Conditions for free and fair
elections must be met first before any election,” Zulu told Radio VOP.

“We cannot be the ones to determine when Zimbabwe goes for elections but
there is a roadmap. SADC has taken a position that a conducive environment
must be attained first for elections to take place,” said Zulu.

The elections roadmap defines milestones and signposts that must be executed
and implemented before the next election.

These milestones and signposts include the lifting of sanctions, the
constitutional process, media reform, electoral reform, rule of law, freedom
of association and assembly, legislative agenda and the actual election.

Asked about Zuma failure to visit Zimbabwe to deal with the political
impasse in the coalition government, Zulu blamed delays on undertaking a
tour of duty to Harare to “a busy schedule.”

She denied speculation that Zuma’s mediation was in limbo.

“There is no way it is in limbo. Mediation efforts are continuing. The
facilitation team will come to Zimbabwe soon. We have all been travelling.
We will come after their visit to the EU,” said Zulu referring to the recent
European Union visit by a team from Zimbabwe appointed to lobby for the
lifting of sanctions.

“Secondly, mediation cannot be in limbo because the principals are talking.
What the facilitator is expecting is that the principals must be working on
a day to day basis. We are in constant touch with the principals,” added

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Zimbabwe sees lower growth

May 17 2012 at 03:59pm
By Reuters

Zimbabwe may cut its economic growth projections for this year, while
inflation forecasts could be higher than previously expected, Finance
Minister Tendai Biti said on Thursday.

Since 2009, the southern African country has been recovering from a decade
of decline, but the economy remains fragile with coalition government
partners President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
bickering over policy.

Last year Biti projected the economy was expected to grow by 9.4 percent in
2012, driven by strong performances in mining and agriculture.

“The first quarter of the year has been an extremely difficult period. We
have not been able to meet our revenue targets. The key cause is
non-performance of diamonds,” Biti told reporters during a quarterly
economic update.

“It's foreseeable...that major projections will be revised downwards.”

The government generated $30.5 million from diamond sales from Marange
fields in the first quarter of this year, far below the target of $123

Biti decried what he called “opaqueness” in the sale of Marange diamonds,
which have in the past grabbed global attention over charges of human rights
violations by the army. Harare denies the charges.

Revenues in the first three months of this year were $771 million compared
to a target of $870 million.

Biti said economic growth could also be affected by falling global demand
for minerals, which accounted for nearly three quarters of Zimbabwe export

The maize output for this year was 968,000 tonnes, Biti said, far below last
year's 1.35 million tonnes.

“The resultant general decline in maize production will have an adverse
impact on the overall agriculture output and this year's GDP projection,”
Biti said.

A rise in the price of pump fuel and rentals and planned food imports would
continue to stoke inflationary pressure.

Zimbabwe headline consumer inflation rate quickened to 4.03 percent in
April. The government has put a target of below five percent by the end of
this year.

Biti said, however, gold output reached 3.1 tonnes during the January-March
period and that the country was on course to produce 15 tonnes this year. -

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Zimbabwe lost US$30bn in Zisco deal: Mutambara

17/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Lebo Nkatazo

ZIMBABWE may have given away a US$30 billion asset for just over US$700
million when it sold Ziscosteel, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has
told parliament.

The Ziscosteel deal – signed amid much fanfare with President Robert Mugabe,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube in
attendance – was one of many “bad deals” which must to be restructured,
Mutambara said.

Essar Africa acquired a majority interest in the steel manufacturer - now
renamed NewZim Steel - for about US$750 million late last year but
production is yet to begin with the deal appearing stalled over the transfer
of ore reserves owned by the Redcliff-based company’s mining subsidiary,

Ncube blamed his Mines counterpart, Obert Mpofu, for the problems after
Essar warned it would stop paying workers’ salaries until the mineral
transfers were completed. But Mpofu said the problems had nothing to do with

In stunning revelations in Parliament on Wednesday, Mutambara said the
government realised that it had sold a key asset on the cheap and was now
scrambling to salvage the situation.

Asked by MPs how a deal which was commissioned by President Robert Mugabe
with much pomp and circumstance had suddenly hit the skids, Mutambara said:
“The answer is very simple: guilty as charged! We were blind, deaf and
dumb – that is the confession from Cabinet. We did not know better or we
were just clumsy ... total dereliction of duty.”

He said there was no discussion of the quantity of iron ore involved when
the deal was agreed, adding that the government was now trying to
restructure the deal.

“It was as if the value is zero and yet back in India, Essar listed their
acquired asset in Zimbabwe as valued at over US$20 billion… In terms of
Essar, the story is that the iron ore involved is to the tune of US$30
billion of asset and the investment from Essar is a maximum of US$700
“How do you give an asset worth US$30 billion in exchange for US$700

But Mutambara says the government must move ahead and sign all necessary
documents to allow production to resume.

“We cannot make Essar the victim of our ignorance or incompetence. Neither
should we fail to protect our people and the national interest,” he said.

“What we are trying to do is to find a way to salvage the jobs and the
investment but learn our lessons so that in future we do not commit the same
blunders.  So yes, I think we must take responsibility that we did not do a
good job.”

Mutambara said the Essar deal was just but one of many “bad deals” concluded
by the government which were ultimately prejudicial to the country.
“It is not the first time we have done this.  We have done this with
Zimplats, Mimosa, Anglo and in Chiadzwa,” he said.

“[So] this story is not [only] about Essar. It is about Zimplats, Chiadzwa,
Mimosa, Unki and Anglo because in all these arrangements, when we
negotiated, we never spoke about the value of the mineral involved.

“We have to change our ways and become smarter. We must always insist on the
value of the un-mined asset. So ‘guilty as charged’ is the response.”

He called for the establishment of a Mineral Exploration Company to
establish the quantity and value of all minerals, insisting the government
cannot afford to run the country without knowledge or understanding of its
geology and mineralisation.

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Fresh Cholera Outbreak Worries Residents of Zimbabwe's Chiredzi Town

17 May 2012

Obert Pepukai & Tatenda Gumbo | Washington/Masvingo

Officials in Masvingo Province, south-eastern Zimbabwe, have confirmed a
fresh cholera outbreak in the sugar-producing town of Chiredzi, which has
killed two people since Monday.

About a 100 cases have been recorded, and authorities are blaming the
recurrence on serious water shortages.

The outbreak is particularly bad news for the town, which lost more than a
dozen lives to the epidemic last year. Health officials have since deployed
teams to administer treatment and assess the situation.

Most people in Chiredzi rely on boreholes for drinking water, but many
others use canal water meant to irrigate sugar cane plantations. Such water
is highly susceptible to contamination.

Head of Epidemilogy and Disease Control in the Health Ministry, Dr. Portia
Manangazira told VOA people should seek medical care immediately if they
suspect they have been infected.

"We urge people to prevent early if they are not feeling well, and go to the
clinic so they can get help," said Manangazira. "With cholera, people die
within a few hours of feeling the signs and symptoms due to dehydration."

The water borne disease is characterized by vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea
which cause severe fluid loss, leading to dehydration. It can cause death in
24 hours if not treated.

Health officials said the fight to contain the disease is being hampered by
serious food shortages in the area.

Chiredzi Central lawmaker Moses Mare said the situation was tense as the
population fears for the worst.

He said the lack of properly working water purification pumps has heavily
affect people in the area, as two pumps aren't functional and the remaining
pump has been stagnant.

"We are going to have a number of meetings advising the community to boil
water before drinking because we are having a serious problem in town with
the purification plant," said Mare.

Zimbabwe experienced a severe cholera outbreak in 2008 that left at least
4,293 dead by 2010. A deepening political and economic meltdown made it
difficult for authorities to respond effectively.

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MDC-T members to plead not-guilty in cop murder case

By Tichaona Sibanda
17 May 2012

All 29 MDC-T members accused of killing police inspector Petros Mutedza last
year will plead not guilty to charges of murder, their lawyer said on

Defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba said indications from the High Court are
that the trial for the ‘Glen View 29’ will probably start early next month.
Police in Harare accuse the group of fatally assaulting Mutedza at Glen View
3 Shopping Centre on May 28 last year.

Kwaramba told SW Radio Africa that all his clients will deny any involvement
in the murder with the MDC-T insisting all its members have a strong alibi.
Since the murder and arrests police have been tight-lipped about the
progress of the investigation.

A source told us an examination of the police’s handling of the case shows a
series of missteps, including sloppy work, and interference by politicians
from ZANU PF that impeded the investigation and may make it harder to secure
a conviction.

With doubts shadowing the quality and scope of the police and prosecution
work, what happened on the afternoon 28 May 2011 may come to rest on the
testimony of unreliable eyewitnesses.

The MDC members are still in remand prison since February when they were
indicted for trial. Others have been in remand prison for nearly a year
since their arrest in May last year. The group in custody includes Solomon
Madzore, the chairman of the Youth Assembly and Last Maengahama, a national
executive member of the party.

High Court Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu last month postponed indefinitely
the bail ruling of the group after the state submitted its opposition to
bail claiming the accused are a flight risk.

The MDC released a statement on Wednesday raising serious concerns about the
living conditions of the group. Rebecca Masvikeni and Yvonne Musarurwa are
staying in solitary confinement in the male section at Chikurubi Maximum

‘It is also worrying that the 29 are being denied bail while seven police
officers who were involved in the murder of Luxmore Chivambo in Shamva
earlier this year have already been granted bail by the same courts upon
first reading.

‘Nearly 12 months after the Glen View incident, no evidence linking the 29
activists to the murder has been presented in court,’ the MDC-T said.

Promise Mkwananzi the Youth Assembly secretary-general told us they’re
demanding the immediate release of their members saying they condemn the
state and the judiciary’s manoeuvres in continuing to imprison, persecute
and harass innocent and peace-loving Zimbabweans.

‘The law says a person must be assumed to be innocent until proven
otherwise. They are in custody for a crime they did not commit and there are
witnesses who can provide testimony exonerating our members.

‘The reason why this case has taken long to go for trial is because the
police are struggling to build a case against them,’ Mkwananzi said.

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Women Groups Demand Lawmaker Apology Over HIV Gaffe

17 May 2012

Violet Gonda | Washington

Zimbabwean women organizations and activists are demanding an apology from
lawmaker Morgan Femai of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai for saying women should make themselves less attractive to help
reduce the spread of the deadly HIV/Aids virus.

Activists took to social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook, attacking
the Chikomo Senator for the comments that were published in the
state-controlled Herald newspaper.

Attending a lawmaker's conference in Kadoma on how to curb the spread of
HIV, Femai is reported to have said women should make themselves uglier and
have fewer baths to make them less attractive to men, adding this way, they
can help cut new infections.

Women's groups have branded his statements irresponsible.

But Femai has come out in the open, telling VOA’s Violet Gonda his
statements were taken out of context.

“It’s not exactly what I said but as you know these reporters, some of them,
align with other political parties and cook up stories.”

“How can a man at this age say that? I have got my mother who is a clean,
modern lady and my wife also is a modern lady - and I always give my wife
money to go for hair-dressing.

“I cannot walk with a woman who doesn’t bath! I don’t know where he
(reporter) got it from. How can I say women must not bath? I like women, I
like them all, and I have been working with women’s organizations since
2000, why now should I say women should not bath?” Femai asked.

Some of his colleagues present at the workshop, however, said that the
lawmaker did make the comments but in jest.

Femai is now threatening to sue the newspaper which also quoted him saying
‘women should always have bald heads, lose weight and dress shabbily as HIV
is spreading at an alarming rate because men are finding it difficult to
resist attractive and well-dressed women’.

Women’s rights groups and HIV/Aids activists are demanding an apology from
the senator for being ‘reckless and irresponsible’.

But he says he will not apologize for something he did not say.

“People should wait and see whether I am wrong or right because I can’t
apologize for something which is still being investigated as I have told you
I have handed the case to my lawyers to deal with it. So people will know
the truth in the near future.”

Meanwhile, Tabitha Khumalo, MDC Tsvangirai formation deputy spokesperson and
legislator for Bulawayo East, has also come under fire from gender activists
for saying all men cheat.

She said women should keep their husbands’ mistresses close to avoid
transferring sexually-transmitted diseases.

The outspoken legislator was reacting to recent comments by Vice President
Joice Mujuru that most marriages fail because wives sometimes fail to submit
themselves and end up confronting other women they think will be seeing
their husbands.

Monika Mandiki, a health and women's issues consultant, said Khumalo’s
statements are “extremely irresponsible and reverse the gains that women
have made towards empowerment and gender equality.”

A defiant Khumalo says she stands by her comments.

“It’s very sad that is what they are saying because the problem I have
realized with the people of Zimbabwe is that the real issues that are
affecting the people of Zimbabwe they don’t want to debate about them," she

“It is an open secret that this is happening. Men are having extra marital
affairs. Surely why would I want women to die of HIV/Aids and perpetuate the
issues of small houses?"

The outspoken legislator said women need to come up with new strategies to
deal with the issue of philandering husbands.

“The man is the perpetrator of this but we have failed to convince him to
protect himself in order to protect his family,” Khumalo added.

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Zimbabwe Army Accused of Recruiting Militia To Shore Up Mugabe

16 May 2012

Blessing Zulu | Washington

The Zimbabwe National Army has reversed its decision not to recruit more
soldiers as it intensifies its operations to prop President Robert Mugabe
and his Zanu PF party ahead of possible general elections.

Citing budgetary constraints, Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa last year
announced the army was going to downsize from 55,000 to 40,000.

He said Zimbabwe did not “harbor any aggressive intentions and would not
interfere in the internal affairs of other countries” raising the need for
army to be streamlined.

But this week in an interview on the sidelines of a training exercise in
Mutoko, Mashonaland East province on Tuesday, Major General Martin Chedondo
said the army will lower its standards to accommodate youths from all
villages into the army in its latest recruitment drive.

Army sources say recruitment started in January through out the country.
This comes amid reports that most soldiers were going on forced leave
because of inadequate food supplies in the barracks.

The security forces, coordinated by the Joint Operations Command, which
brings together army, police and intelligence chiefs, are sympathetic to
Zanu PF and are plotting ways to shore up Mr. Mugabe's campaign.

Morale is said to be very low in the army forcing many to quit.
Unprofessionalism and low salaries are said to be the major contributors to
the massive resignations.

About 50 top army and police officers - ranking from colonel to
major-general - were reportedly in Mutare two weeks ago for a meeting on
elections with the Zanu PF's provincial coordinating committee at Mount St
Mary’ Teachers College in Manicaland province.

Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya, a PhD candidate at Westminster
University in London, told VOA that Chedondo's utterances show the army is
building a militia and not a professional army.

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Businessman loses $300m HSBC lawsuit

By Staff Reporter 16/05/2012 22:22:00

LONDON, United Kingdom - A Zimbabwean businessman with links to Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-(PF) has failed in a US$300 million lawsuit against a British
bank which reported his request to transfer nearly US$28 million to his
other account in France to authorities.

Jayesh Shah sued HSBC in 2006 after the bank reported his requested transfer
as “suspicious” to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which had the
effect of temporarily freezing his account.

Shah and his wife argued at the Court of Appeal in London that as a
consequence of HSBC’s decision, they had been stigmatised in Zimbabwe and
suspected of criminal activity.
Shah claimed his assets in Zimbabwe had been seized and frozen by

The case was closely watched by other banks who were concerned that they
could be exposed to legal action by customers for simply complying with
their obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Jayesh Shah and his wife Shaleetha Mahabeer sued HSBC in 2007 for more than
$300 million, claiming that delays in executing four transfers from their
account for over $38 million caused the losses. They said they were
stigmatized in Zimbabwe and suspected of money launderingbecause of HSBC,
causing authorities there to freeze and seize their assets.

The Zimbabwean police were alerted by a former employee of the couple who
didn’t receive a payment, the court said today. The ex-employee told police
that Shah was suspected of money laundering in the U.K., leading them to
seize his investments.

The banking sector files thousands of suspicious activity transactions or
SARs to SOCA each year.

Ruling in favour of HSBC, Mr Justice Supperstone found that it was not the
bank’s delay in executing the payment instructions and its failure to
provide information but the Zimbabwean authorities’ own pre-existing or
independent concerns that led to the losses by Shah and his wife.

The judge also said in his ruling that “in my judgment Mr Shah was able to,
but did not, take reasonable steps to mitigate or avoid his loss”.

Shah, a customer with HSBC Private Bank for eight years, first transferred
$28 million to his HSBC account in London from an account at Crédit
Agricole, the French bank.

When he tried to transfer most of the money back to Crédit Agricole in 2006,
he was told by HSBC that “it could not effect the transaction because it was
complying with its UK statutory obligations” as the bank had made a
Suspicious Activity Report to a regulatory authority.

HSBC told Shah that it was complying with its statutory obligations but
declined to provide any further information to them or their solicitors.

Shah, who has business interest across Southern and Central Africa, had
filed the huge claim for losses and reputational damage which he said
resulted from HSBC’s actions.

Daren Allen, partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, who acted for HSBC in the
case, said there had been considerable debate about the obligations owed to
the customer of a bank when it had made a suspicious activity report to the

He said the court decision would “be welcomed by firms who feared they may
be liable for damages for simply complying with their legal obligations
under the Proceeds of Crime Act”.

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Zimbabwe Rights Lawyers Want Probe Into Police Custody Death

17 May 2012

Blessing Zulu | Washington

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has been given 72 hours to furnish the family
of a suspected armed robber, Tendai Batsirai Dzigarwi, with circumstances
surrounding his death after he was allegedly shot dead while in custody on
March 19.

Police claim Dzigarwi and his alleged accomplice Emson Ngundu were shot dead
in a foiled escape attempt.

But the family alleges the two were murdered, prompting them to refuse to
bury him until a post-mortem report detailing the circumstances of his death
was provided.

According to High Court papers, police had told the family they would give
Dzigarwi a pauper’s burial if they refused to bury him within 21 days.

A state pathologist, Dr Ageuro-Gonzalez, conducted the first autopsy March
23, but the family claimed they were not shown the results. They then
approached the High Court seeking an order for a second post-mortem.

Dzingarwi family lawyer, Tawanda Zhuwarara of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights told VOA that results of the second postmortem conducted by a South
African pathologist have shown otherwise, prompting the court to give the
police an ultimatum.

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Police in Zimbabwe label TB Joshua a false phophet

By Lance Guma
17 May 2012

A ZANU PF plot to block a visit to Zimbabwe by popular Nigerian preacher
Temitope Balogun (TB) Joshua gathered steam on Wednesday when a senior
police officer labelled him a ‘false prophet’ that people needed to be aware

At the centre of the story is the fact that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
reportedly invited TB Joshua to be the guest speaker at the National Day of
Prayer set for May 25, on Africa Day. Many in ZANU PF believe Tsvangirai
will benefit politically from the visit and appear determined to block it at
all costs.

Over a week ago pro-ZANU PF church leaders were wheeled out by the state
media to make claims that TB Joshua was not welcome in the country and that
his teachings were allegedly “judgmental, partisan and unorthodox.” This
week senior police officers most of whom are pro-ZANU PF joined in the

It’s reported “senior police officers were shown a video that allegedly
exposes TB Joshua as a womaniser and sorcerer.” The video entitled “TB
Joshua’s evil doings finally revealed” was screened at the Police General
Headquarters in Harare after being downloaded from video sharing website You

The involvement of the police coincides with reports this week that an
investigation had been launched into a Harare church which was run by
fraudsters who claimed to be affiliated to TB Joshua’s church. Dozens of
people were made to pay money in return for trips to see the prophet in

Next to attack TB Joshua was the excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert
Kunonga. The man who forcibly grabbed Anglican Church property and used
police and ZANU PF militia to violently target parishioners not loyal to him
claimed TB Joshua’s prophecies were driven by Satanism and were “diabolic.”

Referring to TB Joshua’s prediction of the death of Malawian president Bingu
wa Mutharika, Kunonga claimed, “TB Joshua uses evil powers which are satanic
and satanic powers can also work. TB Joshua’s visit does not scare me
because he is not God. What are people scared of? What is he coming for?
Does he have power to take life?”

In February this year TB Joshua set tongues wagging in Zimbabwe after his
prophecy that an African leader would die within 60 days. Although he did
not specify the location, Zimbabwe was abuzz with speculation given Mugabe’s
ailing health and frequent trips to Singapore for treatment.

It eventually came to pass that the Malawian president died of a heart
attack, not long after the prophecy. But TB Joshua has since made another
prophecy that another old African president will fall critically ill and be
hospitalised. These prophecies are not going down well with ZANU PF given
Mugabe’s health and surrounding speculation.

Last year, leaked US diplomatic cables quoted central bank Governor Gideon
Gono telling the American Ambassador that doctors had told Mugabe he had
prostrate cancer and could die in 2013. It’s easy to see why ZANU PF is
uncomfortable with a visit from TB Joshua, especially at Tsvangirai’s

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Nigerian 'prophet' rattles Zanu-PF

17 May 2012 11:57 -

Zanu-PF is rallying against Nigerian prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua's visit
in fear of his tendency to anoint new leaders, writes Ray Ndlovu.

A tug-of-war has erupted between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic
Change over a proposed visit to Zimbabwe by famed Nigerian prophet Temitope
Balogun Joshua for a “national day of prayer” on May 25.

President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has found ready support in mounting
resistance to Joshua’s visit from the country’s largest and most influential
religious body, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe.

The fellowship brings together more than 100 churches in Zimbabwe and said
it was wary of Joshua’s intentions.

Its president, Goodwill Shana, said: “We think it is important to get into
the country people who can help the country to move forward and not people
who are judgmental … We don’t want judgmental teachings and that is why we
don’t subscribe to his [Joshua’s] teachings.”

The MDC, which is understood to have invited Joshua, now appears isolated
because Zanu-PF has used the occasion of his visit to drum up support from
local charismatic churches.

Political observers say the new alliance between Zanu-PF and the fellowship
will result in the party emerging stronger. It has been on a concerted drive
to lobby for allies in the charismatic church beyond the traditional core of
support it enjoys from the Apostolic and Anglican churches, the latter of
which is led by renegade bishop Nolbert Kunonga.

Political hegemony
In September last year the Mail & Guardian broke the story of a Zanu-PF plan
to lean on priests and use the pulpit’s pulling power to canvass votes for

Underlying the animosity over Joshua’s visit is Zanu-PF’s interest in
preserving its political hegemony. Zanu-PF hawks view the Nigerian preacher
as being involved in the business of “anointing” new leaders because he
prophesied the victory of Ghanaian President John Atta Mills in the country’s
2009 run-off election, the rise to power of Joyce Banda as Malawi’s new
president after the sudden death of Bingu wa Mutharika last month and former
French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s defeat to François Hollande.

Fearful that Joshua may use his visit to “anoint” archrival Morgan
Tsvangirai, who visited the pastor at his Synagogue Church of All Nations in
Lagos, Nigeria, in September 2010, Zanu-PF hardliners are refusing to take
any chances.

Joshua recently told his congregation that he was headed to a “troubled
Southern African nation”, an announcement that sent the rumour mill into
overdrive as speculation rose that he was coming to Zimbabwe.

But Zimbabwe immigration officials this week denied that they had received a
visa application from Joshua’s office. The visit now looks increasingly in
doubt because it takes immigration officials at least seven days to process
a visa application.

Joshua’s visit
It will be a huge blow to ordinary Zimbabweans who have been looking forward
to the visit.

The MDC-linked home affairs co-minister, Theresa Makone, said she did not
yet have any details on the status of Joshua’s visit.

Unable to afford the trip to Lagos, ordinary Zimbabweans have been following
Joshua on free-to-air satellite broadcaster Emmanuel TV, on which they have
been captivated by his prophecies, miracle healings and use of anointed

Laurence Sithole (24), a university student, said: “I welcome the visit by
the man of God, but am deeply grieved by how he has been vilified by
politicians and the media.”

Anastasia Moyo (49) said: “I strongly object to efforts to block his coming
to Zimbabwe because many of those that oppose him are well able to fly to
Nigeria to consult him or be part of his congregation. I don’t think it’s a
solution to block him in fear of his prophecies, because he can still make
prophecies about Zimbabwe while in Nigeria.”

Several top-ranking Zanu-PF officials, such as Kembo Mohadi and Oppah
Muchinguri, have attended services at Joshua’s church and Manicaland
governor Christopher Mushowe was spotted in its congregation on Sunday.

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Zimbabwe poachers target rare anteaters amid growing Asian demand for exotic animal parts

By Associated Press, Published: May 17

HARARE, Zimbabwe — An animal welfare group in Zimbabwe says poachers are now
targeting rare anteaters because of a growing demand for exotic animal parts
for Asian traditional medicine.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Thursday
that the outer scales of a young male pangolin, a rare type of anteater that
is legally protected, were recently removed by poachers in northwestern

The body of the anteater was recovered from poachers. The scales appeared to
have already been sold, the group said.

It was one of three incidents reported this year involving poaching of the
endangered nocturnal creature seen by many Zimbabweans as a symbol of power
and mystery.

The scales are thought to have value in Asian medicine as a traditional
remedy for a host of conditions.

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Successful Pangolin Recovery




156 Enterprise Road, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 4 4497574

15th May 2012
Harare, Zimbabwe

ZNSPCA Makes the Year’s Second, Successful Pangolin Recovery.

The Zimbabwe National Society is pleased to report the successful
recovery of a female Cape Pangolin (Manis temmincki) on  11th May 2012
from Mudamusasa in North Eastern Zimbabwe.

Initial reports indicate that individuals had procured the pangolin
with the intention of re-selling it. The rescued pangolin was examined
by ZNSPCA veterinarians and assessed as healthy.

Following instruction from The Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management
Authority the pangolin was handed over to The Tikki Hywood Trust. This
pangolin has now been fitted with a tracking device and released into
a safe, wildlife area.
(see image ZNSPCA1)

Earlier this year the Society made its first recovery of this species,
being a juvenile confiscated from a Mozambican National along
Zimbabwe’s north-eastern border.  This young pangolin is currently
under rehabilitation at the Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe where it is
recovering well.

ZNSPCA remains gravely concerned at the increasing number of specially
protected species, such as pangolins, that are being poached within
the country. By way of illustration and in an incident dating back to
March of this year, game scouts in Sebungwe, North Western Zimbabwe,
recovered from poachers the remains of a Cape Pangolin. The scales of
the young male  had been removed, reflecting the growing demand for
exotic animal parts particularly by practitioners and proponents of
Chinese Traditional Medicine.
(see image ZNSPCA 2)

The Cape Pangolin remains a specially protected species since 1975
under Zimbabwean Law and is also listed under CITES Appendix II.

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ZCTF Critical Crane Appeal!


Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

17th May 2012

This is a very urgent appeal for help. The ZCTF are in desperate need of donations to try and raise funds for a Bonfiglioli truck mounted crane capable of lifting 16 tons. We have located a second hand crane, which will cost us £20 000 to have fitted to our truck. This is including the PTO pump, which is needed to operate the crane.

BUSH-BASH (Rocking For Wildlife!)
We would like to draw your attention to a musical event called Bush-Bash (Rocking For Wildlife!) on Saturday 26th May 2012. This event is being held, in aid of the ZCTF, to help towards raising some funds for the crane. If you are in or around the London or Surrey area and are looking for something to do, please come along to the event, to support this cause, and help us raise some funds. You can find out more about Bush-Bash and get tickets online from:

Bush-Bash Poster

WHY WE NEED THE CRANE The ZCTF often have to take truck loads of food out to starving animals and a lot of our invaluable time is wasted while we are trying to raise funds, or trying to find someone to donate the use of a truck. The time wasted sadly results in animals dying. Thanks to an international donor, we have been fortunate enough to purchase a truck (images below), but we desperately need a crane to load and offload it. It is often very difficult and expensive to find people who can help with loading and offloading, so a crane would save us a lot of money, time, and most importantly, save animal's lives, in the long run.

The ZCTF also do game relocations and we have the same problem with loading animals onto the truck. With a crane, it would be a simple matter of putting the animals into a container, and then loading the container onto the truck with a crane - the same again with offloading. At the moment, we are unable to use the truck for game relocations because it is impossible to lift a container onto the truck without a crane. Many animals are dying unnecessarily, so we are asking you, members of the public to please come forward and help the ZCTF at this critical time.

Make a donation today. Any amount, no matter how big or small, will be very gratefully received.
  ZCTF truck
ZCTF Truck

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213

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Election Support Network Empowers Locals Ahead of Polls

16 May 2012

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network has launched a program to empower
electoral administrators in the country ahead of possible early elections
that President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party want held this year,
though many believe the polls will only be called next year.

ZESN is working with the Australian Electoral Commission, the International
Foundation for Electoral Reforms, the International Institute for Democracy
and Electoral Assistance, UNDP and the United Nations Electoral Assistance
Division in this capacity-building program.

Last week ZESN held a five-day training workshop in Bulawayo that drew
participants from over 30 civic society organizations to deal with electoral

ZESN Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava told VOA her organization is trying to
educate the communities to avoid problems that have been encountered
previously in the country.

Chipfunde-Vava said ZESN wants to raise awareness within communities about
the electoral process, in particular encouraging and educating people on why
it is important for them to vote.

ZESN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations formed to co-ordinate
activities pertaining to elections in the country. It's main focus is to
promote democratic processes and free and fair elections.

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Diamonds funding parallel government: Hon Biti

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Diamond revenue has been under-performing since January 2012 raising fears
there could be a parallel government in place, a government official has

Presenting his state of the economy report for March 2012, Hon Tendai Biti,
the Finance Minister said revenue collection amounted to US$287.9 million
against a target of US$320.2 million, whose shortfall emanated from the
under-performance of diamond revenue.
“There are challenges of opaqueness. As Ministry of Finance, we fear that
there might be a parallel government in respect of where the revenue is
going and not coming to Treasury. This economy needs every resource it can
get including diamond revenue.

Diamond revenue has been under-performing since January 2012, with only
US$30.4 million received by treasury for the period January to March 2012.
This is against a target of US$ 122.5 million,” he said.

Hon Biti slammed Anjin for not remitting any revenue yet it is the biggest
mining company in Marange.

“There are four major mining companies in Marange. One of these companies,
Anjin, has not remitted a single cent to Treasury. The Constitution of
Zimbabwe is very clear: all fees, taxes and other sources of revenue in
Zimbabwe shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), so
the constitution is clearly being breached because not every cent is being
accounted to the CRF. We bear the brunt because everyone looks at the
Ministry of Finance, yet people do not look at where the money is coming
from,” he said.

MDC maintains that, there be transparency in diamond revenue as this will
turnaround the face of our country’s economy. Every Zimbabwean should
benefit from the proceeds of the diamonds in jobs, technology,
infrastructure and investment.

Hon Biti said the economy is likely to suffer a decline in value due to the
failure of Treasury to realise budget revenue targets, reduced demand for
export commodities which affects the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ,
the rising imported inflation against the background of high oil and global
food prices and the general decline in maize production.

The minister said there was a disaster in the energy sector with unresolved
challenges at Hwange thermal power station where the generating units have
outlived their lifespan by 21 years.

“The plants should have been replaced and new generation plants put in place
in 1990 but nothing was done. There is need to put up two new generators in
Kariba South to increase the generation capacity,” he said.

On inflation, Hon Biti said for the month of March, there was a downward
reduction of inflation and the month-on-month inflation slowed down with
housing and education continuing to be major inflation drivers.

He, however, said the wage bill continues to gobble 70% of the total revenue
and deprives  government an opportunity to attend to other obligations like
health, education and recurrent expenditure.

The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish!!!

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Chinese should respect Zimbabwe labour laws

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The labour-based MDC Party continues to fight for a broad based upliftment
of the people by ensuring that everyone has decent shelter, food, education,
health care facilities and jobs.  However, MDC notes with condemnation the
abuse instituted on the people of Zimbabwe by Chinese nationals who own
businesses mainly in retail, construction, mining and confectionery.

The abuses range from long working hours for Zimbabweans,  paltry wages,
assaulting workers,  disrespect of health and safety regulations,
non-remittal of pension contributions and union dues and prohibiting workers
from participating in trade union activities.

MDC demands that such labour law violations be stopped forthwith.

The government should bring the matter to the attention of the Chinese
government so that it encourages its nationals to abide by the laws of this
country. Should this abuse continue, the MDC calls upon every law abiding
citizen to boycott Chinese products until they learn to treat workers with
the respect and dignity.

Over the last five years, there has been an influx of Chinese businesses of
all forms in Zimbabwe. Instead of aiding development and growth of the
economy, the Chinese have brought nothing new except exploiting the locals
and overshadowing them.

The understanding of most Zimbabweans was that China is a socialist country
which promotes the well-being of the poor but we see the darkest side of
capitalism being practiced.

As a social democratic Party, the MDC subscribes to the promotion of a
strong human rights abiding community seeking to protect Zimbabwe’s socially
marginalised citizens.

Zimbabweans deserve respect and dignity much as we have shown hospitality to
the Chinese.

Hon. Paurina Mpariwa
MDC Secretary for Labour

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