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Two more district hospitals for Harare

November 25, 2012 in Local

PLANS are at an advanced stage to turn two clinics into district hospitals
in Harare to relieve pressure on referral hospitals in the capital city.

Report by Our Correspondent

One hospital will be in Mabvuku while the other one would be in one of the
Western suburbs, and are expected to open their doors to the public mid next

Speaking at a health meeting organised by the Community Working Group on
Health last week, City of Harare’s health services director, Prosper Chonzi
said government had availed US$2 million for the refurbishment of clinics to
turn them into provincial hospitals. He said the hospitals were expected to
offer minor theatrical services and offer admission facilities to patients,
especially pregnant mothers.

Chonzi said the establishment of the district hospitals would also reduce
the number of unemployed graduate nurses currently being churned out by
provincial and referral hospitals.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health, Blessing
Chebundo said the move was overdue considering that the proposal had been
standing since 1976.

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Harare’s underground water under threat

November 25, 2012 in Local

THE water table in Harare is fast dwindling and the city’s boreholes may run
dry if the uncontrolled drilling of boreholes continues, a recent report by
a local geologist warns.


The report by Tim Broderick, a renowned geologist, notes that most of the
rock material under Harare was notoriously poor for the development of
underground water and the city should come up with plans to create
artificial wetlands, while preserving the existing ones.

“The chaotic drilling of private boreholes in response to a failure in the
regular supply of municipal water, notably across the northern suburbs of
Harare, peaked through the years 2007 to 2009,” the report reads.

“There would seem to be no doubt that the increased abstraction of
groundwater through this dense array of borehole use is aggravating drawdown
of the water table.”

Following years of failure to provide tap water, the City of Harare, like
many others, advised residents to start drilling boreholes and digging
shallow wells.

Suburbs affected by serious water shortages include Mabvuku, Tafara and
newer ones such as Mainway Meadows. In the more affluent neighbourhoods,
residents also drilled boreholes to augment Harare’s water supplies, which
often dried out.

When running water is available, it usually comes out dirty and smelling of
human waste, making it unfit for drinking purposes, even for other domestic

Broderick says much of the southern portion of Harare, which includes Amby,
Msasa, Waterfalls, Hatfield, Highfield and the western suburbs was situated
on granite rocks, which made it difficult for the water to be accessed
through boreholes, but is easily available through hand-dug wells.

These areas are, however, in the vicinity of wetlands and the digging of
boreholes affects rain run-off into Harare’s main water sources and this
could affect the availability of water when there is a poor rainfall season.

Broderick, in the report published by Kubatana, paints a gloomy picture of
the abstraction of groundwater, suggesting that the Zimbabwe National Water
Authority (Zinwa) should tax users of boreholes in an effort to preserve the

“If borehole water users cannot recognise the excesses of their use of this
delicately balanced resource through, say the over irrigation of gardens and
road verges, then it is up to the sub-catchment councils to earn their keep,
provided for in the payment of quarterly ‘monitoring fees’ on registered
boreholes, by enforcing the sound management principles provided for by the
water law, regulations and standards that exist,” the report reads.

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Outcry over MDC-T directive on primaries

November 25, 2012 in Politics

THERE is an outcry in the MDC-T over attempts by the party leadership to
spare sitting legislators from facing primary elections, with some aspiring
candidates describing the move as “undemocratic”.

The aspiring MPs insisted that all legislators and councillors must be
contested to prove that the MDC-T was as democratic as it claimed.
The Standard last week spoke to several aspiring parliamentary candidates
across the country who spoke strongly against the party’s attempts to
“impose” sitting MPs, saying it was against the principles of democracy.

They said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai could lose the moral ground to
demand free and fair elections from President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF
should his endeavours to spare sitting MPs from being contested succeed.

Many of the aspiring MPs preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation but
expressed concern that the party was “fast learning from Zanu PF” which has
imposed candidates in the past.

Primary elections are a mechanism by parties to select the most popular
candidates who are most likely to win in the respective constituencies. They
are considered the most democratic intraparty method to select political
contenders, while ridding constituencies of unpopular candidates chosen by
entrenched party elites.

In Chinhoyi constituency, aspiring MP and MDC-T Chinhoyi district chairman,
Edward Kadewere spoke strongly against sparing sitting MPs from primaries,
saying the party was protecting mediocrity.

“What the leadership is doing is wrong and they know it. It is all about
delivering and if they failed then they have no place in the party,” said
Kadewere. “They were given the chance and if they failed, let the people
decide, and another thing is that those who came up with such a decision are
sitting MPs who are protecting their seats.”

Suspended Mutare mayor Brain James, who is reportedly eyeing Mutare Central
constituency, said he was advocating for primaries to be held in all areas
to choose MPs and councillors.

“People must be given the chance to choose who they want to be led by, I
advocate that primaries be held in all areas,” said James. “All candidates
must be tested in primaries.’

James could neither confirm nor deny that he was interested in contesting
incumbent Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese.

“I am keeping an open mind and I am a servant of the people,” he said.

Another aspiring MP for Kambuzuma in Harare, who requested anonymity for
fear of victimisation said, attempts by the party to block real primary
elections was an indication of the lack of democracy in the MDC-T.

He intends to contest against MP Willis Madzimure.

“There would be no difference between us and Zanu PF, which is saying it
will only allow cadres of good repute to contest in primary elections,” he
said. “We want a fair game; our party is morphing into another Zanu PF, mark
my words, time will tell. These guys just want to protect themselves knowing
they have done nothing for the people.”

Zanu PF’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa recently said his
party would only allow “cadres of good repute” to contest in primary

This after indications that some constituencies had over 10 candidates
aspiring to represent the party in parliamentary polls slated for next year.

Several other aspiring MDC-T MPs in Masvingo, Midlands and Bulawayo also
expressed disappointment over the party’s new measures to protect the “old
guard” from ending up in the political wilderness.

Chegutu West aspiring candidate, former Chegutu mayor Francis Dhlakama
okayed the move saying it was “wise” to first fill what he termed the
“orphaned constituencies” before coming up with a consensus on those with
sitting MPs.

“Since we do not know when the elections will be held, I think it is a good
idea for the party to concentrate on the orphaned constituencies and then
deal with those with MPs to avoid unnecessary animosity among members,” he

But MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora defended the system, saying there was
no evidence primary elections were the most democratic, arguing that in some
circumstances this arrangement produced undesired results.

“Contrary to what people believe, endorsements are not meant to protect
sitting MPs; the system actually exposes them and is unfriendly to
underperforming MPs,” he said.

“It is not a tested fact that the primary election is the most democratic
system, in some cases it has produced undesired outcomes.”

System favours incumbents — Mwonzora

The party spokesman said the endorsement method allowed constituents to
evaluate their MPs and their previous election promises were put to test.

“This system is as old as the MDC, it is how we have always done things,” he
explained. “Democracy means the involvement of the people and so even when
MPs are endorsed the people are involved and that is democracy.”

Mwonzora, however, also described the endorsement system as a “natural
advantage to the incumbents”.

He said the process was less cumbersome and inexpensive compared to
primaries, but sitting legislators had to be endorsed by at least two thirds
of the party’s structures in the constituencies.

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Mujuru is second in command — Gumbo

November 25, 2012 in Politics

GOKWE — Vice-President Joice Mujuru is the second most senior official in
Zanu PF and government after President Robert Mugabe, the party’s
spokesperson and politburo member, Rugare Gumbo said last week.


He said those who claimed to be senior to Mujuru, apart from Mugabe, were

“Don’t lie to people or play Mickey Mouse games with the party hierarchy;
Mujuru is the most senior person in the party only after President Robert
Mugabe, she is the highest person in the party and presidency then the rest
follow,” said Gumbo, who was speaking at the launch of a food and nutrition
security programme in Gokwe.

Gumbo’s statements could be a direct jibe to Defence minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who on several occasions has widely reported in the press as the
second in command after Mugabe.

Army Commander, General Constantine Chiwengwa recently said that Mnangagwa
was the only member of the first Zanu PF politburo and hence more senior in
the party than anyone.

Zanu PF central committee member, Victor Matemadanda also made similar

“He is the face of Zimbabwe … He was the second person after President
Mugabe to join the liberation struggle; the rest of us and others in the
party leadership followed later and served under his command,” he said.

Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa have denied leading factions in the party in their
bid to succeed Mugabe.

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Zanu PF chefs in Manicaland fight over community share trust

November 25, 2012 in Politics

ZANU PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has accused Manicaland
governor, Christopher Mushowe and the party’s provincial chairman, Mike
Madiro of “personalising” the ownership and composition of the Marange
Community Share Ownership Trust.


Tempers flared last week at the party’s provincial coordination committee
(PCC) meeting in Mutare, with Mutasa — who is considered to be the Zanu PF
godfather in Manicaland province — accusing the two of “misleading” the
party when the trust was formed.

“You [Mushowe and Madiro] are biased because you both hail from Marange and
Zimunya respectively. You are misleading us into accepting the trust,” said
a visibly angry Mutasa.

“You are selfish persons who masterminded the formation of Zimunya/Marange
Ownership Trust at the expense of other districts in Manicaland and that is
very wrong”.

He added: “We want a provincial ownership trust as opposed to a district
trust because the provincial structure is inclusive and ideal.”

Mushowe had just given a summary report to appraise the PCC over the trust.

Zanu PF Manicaland provincial spokesperson Gorden Chikwanda also said his
party was supportive of the provincial trust rather than the district trust.

“Yes, we want the provincial trust other than those that focus on particular
areas or districts.

“This [provincial ownership trust] is ideal because it will benefit the
whole province,” said Chikwanda. “We have areas such as Chipinge which do
not have diamonds but they need to be empowered by proceeds from the
diamonds fields.”

Mushowe denied wrongdoing adding that he was just implementing a Cabinet

“It is a Cabinet decision that comes up with policies and guidelines in the
formation of Community Shares Trusts and we are just mere implementers,” he

But Mutasa responded saying laws were enacted to be amended.
“Laws on community shares trusts are not cast in stones; they can be changed
to suit the needs of the people.

“The same Cabinet can still change them if lobbying is done,” said Mutasa.

Madiro said it was important to be objective.

“We should always speak with one voice in everything. It seems we have a
very serious problem here in terms of our modus operandi as a party,” said

“We are not sticking to our pronouncements and regulations. If we undermine
our own policies, we will be undermining ourselves in the process.”

The Zimunya/Marange community Share Scheme Ownership Trust was launched by
President Robert Mugabe in July as a way to empower the community in the
diamond-rich area.

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Welshman Ncube in political quandary

November 25, 2012 in Politics

AFTER the MDC fired eight of its legislators last week, questions raged on
whether this was a genius masterstroke or the party had authored its demise
as it has sacked a majority of its elected parliamentarians.


The MDC led by Welshman Ncube said it fired the legislators for allegedly
working with the MDC-T, but the fired legislators instead claimed they were
under the stewardship of deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Ncube and Mutambara are engaged in mortal combat over who leads the party
and the matter has since been referred to the Supreme Court.

One of the fired legislators, Lupane Senator Dalumuzi Khumalo laughed off
his axing, claiming he was led by Mutambara.

“I do not belong to Ncube,” he said. “We remained with Mutambara and we are
waiting for the court verdict.”

Asked what would happen if Mutambara lost his appeal, considering that he
had lost at the High Court, Khumalo curtly responded, “We will cross the
bridge when we get there”.

Among those fired is Umzingwane MP Nomalanga Khumalo, who is also the deputy
Speaker of Parliament.

But the MDC on the other hand claims the fired legislators did not belong
with Mutambara and were instead using that as a cover for their duplicitous

“These legislators and councillors have not been honest and helpful to the
party and the leadership that helped them go to parliament,” MDC deputy
spokesman, Kurauone Chihwayi charged. “We took the appropriate action at the
appropriate time.”

Chihwayi said in firing the legislators, MDC was flexing its muscles and it
had done its homework.

He vowed that the party would retain the seats held by the renegade
parliamentarians in the next elections expected early next year.

But political analyst, Effie Ncube said the move was an acknowledgement of
the divisions within the party.

“The move raises questions about its timing; it may send the wrong messages
to the electorate considering how close we are to elections,” he said.

But Ncube rapped the legislators who had been fired, saying they should have
declared that they were no longer part of the MDC, instead of waiting to be
pushed out.

He also dismissed claims by the legislators that they belonged to the
Mutambara faction, saying they just wanted to use it as a cover so that they
do not get fired from parliament.

Ncube said it was time for the MDC to introspect to see where they were and
if it was where they wanted to be.

National University of Science and Technology lecturer, Lawton Hikwa said
the case was tricky because a political matter had been turned into a legal

He said conclusions could only be drawn after the end of the court case.

“The irony, however, is that unelected officials are firing elected
representatives,” he observed.

Hikwa said, as an analyst, he had to wait for the court verdict, as it could
render the firing null and void.

The MDC led by Ncube has had an uneasy relationship with most of its
legislators since the 2008 presidential election run off.

This led to the firing of three legislators, among them Abedinico Bhebhe,
who is now the deputy secretary of the MDC-T, on allegations of working with
the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led party.

The other two are Njabuliso Mguni MP for Bulilima East and Norman Mpofu for
Lupane East.

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Harare City Council returns attached property

November 25, 2012 in Community News

THE Harare City Council last week started returning some of the properties
it had attached from residents of Rugare suburb over non-payment of rates.


One of those who got her property back was Eveline Njazi, who was recently
featured in The Standard after council took her four-piece sofas, a room
divider, a kitchen table, two fans, a carpet and a heater.
She owed the local authority US$1 050,80 in unsettled bills.
“The property was brought back by Municipal Police,” Njazi’s son, Josias
said. “They brought back everything although the sofa was damaged and I had
to repair it.”
Josias said he still could not afford to settle the huge bill but promised
to pay whatever amount of money the family got until the debt was cleared.
“We have not yet received any communication from the municipality but the
local councillor [Peter Moyo] advised us to pay what we could and that is
what we are going to do going forward,” he said.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) communications officer, Charles Mazorodze said
the trust had recorded more than 500 cases of attachments in Rugare alone.
Out of those cases, only two residents had reported receiving their property
by Thursday last week.
“The problem is that the residents are being told to go and collect the
goods at a warehouse in Southerton and that is an extra cost to the
suffering residents,” Mazorodze said. “One of the people got their property
back but the kitchen unit was damaged.”
He said the HRT was preparing to take the council to court over the issue of
serving residents with letters of final demand and property attachments,
which he said was a form of harassment, considering that the city was
providing a shoddy service.
For several years, the council has been failing to provide clean running
water or to collect refuse, regularly exposing residents to diseases.
Efforts to get a comment from Harare City Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi
were fruitless last week

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Outrage as Green Fuels auctions stray cattle

November 25, 2012 in Community News

CHISUMBANJE — A local ethanol producing company, Green Fuels has been
accused of confiscating villagers’ cattle that would have strayed in the
sugarcane plantations and selling them to the company’s staff at paltry
prices through auction.


Villagers who spoke to The Standard last week said they were losing a lot of
livestock, mostly cattle to Green Fuels, who are using the Stock Trespass
Act to confiscate their livestock.

The Act provides for the impounding of stray livestock.

Green Fuels owns two estates —Rating Investments and Macdom Investments —
that grow sugarcane which is used in the production of ethanol.

According to the villagers’ representative, Oliver Chikumba, people living
in areas such as Kondo, Mwacheta, Maronga and Musapingura have lost scores
of their livestock through the auctions.

“Security guards at Green Fuels impound cattle and donkeys they find near
their sugarcane fields.

“They will charge US$4 for one beast for a day and if the owner fails to pay
the amount, they will auction the livestock among themselves for just a few
dollars,” explained Chikumba.

He said the company had a provision for owners of the cattle to work at the
plantations as a general hand until such a time when they cleared the

“With the meagre wages they are paying, one will work for several months to
save his or her livestock from being auctioned,” said Chikumba.

“We have evidence of cattle which were sold for US$30 each and donkeys which
were auctioned for just US$3 each.

“In rural areas, people’s wealth is invested in livestock and destroying
people’s wealth in such a manner is disheartening considering that this is
our source of livelihood.”

He called on the government to protect the villagers before they lost all
their animals.

The Standard saw some receipts bearing the Green Fuels Estate, Rating
Investments logo, where villagers were made to pay a fine to get back their

One was receipt number 17701 of September 9 this year, when one Innocent
Maposa paid US$224 to recover eight of his cattle that were kept for seven
days by Rating Investment’s security.

Chipinge council enforcing stock trespass act

Green Fuels spokesperson Lilian Muungani said it was Chipinge Rural District
Council that was responsible for enforcing the Stock Trespass Act.

“In line with the Acts governing the operations of local authorities, the
Chipinge Rural District Council is the authority over all cattle impound
fees and stray animal auctioning programmes. Where the local authority has
no infrastructure to directly administer such by laws, affected institutions
are issued with licences,” said Muungani.

“As such, we had been running a council sanctioned and registered animals
impound programme in order to prevent the damage being done to the crops by
villagers intentionally herding their cattle into the crop.”

She added that Green Fuels was cognisant of the social value of cattle in
the area and there were plans to assist villagers with livestock feeds.

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Unfreeze nurses’ posts, government urged

November 25, 2012 in Local

GOVERNMENT has been urged to reconsider its policy of freezing the
employment of nurses.


Parliamentarians, civil society members and health workers who last week met
in Harare at the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) meeting said all
the critical vacancies in the health sector needed to be filled to prevent
unwarranted loss of lives.

They said a proposal by government to send nurses to other countries for
employment was not sustainable.

“The proposal to ‘export’ nurses with two years’ experience together with
newly-trained nurses would bleed Zimbabwe’s services of qualified people,”
noted the meeting. “We need to employ health workers in Zimbabwe to address
the needs of Zimbabwe’s public and health system.”

CWGH is a community organisation that advocates for access to efficient
health services at grassroots level.

CWGH executive director, Itayi Rusike recently told The Standard that the
decision by the government to export nurses was ill-advised.
The country’s health institutions are under-staffed, with some clinics in
rural areas staffed by unqualified personnel, putting lives of patients at

It is estimated that Zimbabwe has more than 2 500 trained nurses who cannot
be employed by the health sector.

The government in 2007 introduced the concept of bonding of nurses for a
period equal to the student nurse’s training period.
The meeting added that the country needed adequate, well-trained and
equitably distributed health workers who worked in decent working

It was also highlighted that there was need “to motivate public health
workers through training, incentives, living wages, and safe work

Increasing public resources to health and government budgets to primary
health care could also help improve the situation in the health sector, the
meeting said.

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Senior policeman up for stock theft

November 25, 2012 in Local

A senior police officer based in Kwekwe is expected to appear in court soon
in connection with a stock theft case in which a Midlands farmer lost 17
head of cattle.


The police officer, a senior assistant inspector, is being jointly charged
with a Kwekwe-based farmer and his nephew.

The case was supposed to have been heard at the Kwekwe Magistrates Courts on
Thursday but was “suspended until further notice”.

Allegations are that sometime in 2011, the farmer teamed up with his nephew
and workers at his farm in Kwekwe rural and stole cattle from the
neighbouring Doon Farm owned by 49-year-old James Matemayi.

It is alleged the workers would feed the cattle on molasses and stock feed,
strategically throwing the cattle food around in such a way that the beasts
ended up in a kraal in the accused’s farm.

The workers would then secure the entrance to the kraal once they felt they
had enticed an adequate number of beasts.

Allegations are that the police officer would then go to inspect the animals
and provide the farmer with livestock clearance certificates.
The certificates are normally issued by the police after thorough
investigations to authenticate the ownership of the cattle before any
transactions and movement of livestock.

It is alleged the accused farmer would then transport the beasts to an
abattoir in Kwekwe town.

Matemayi claims he lost five bulls, five cows and seven calves in the

He reported the trio to Kwekwe and Gweru police after receiving a tip off
from some of the accused farmer’s employees who also wrote witness’s
statements detailing how they carried out the operation.

A senior officer in police’s anti-stock theft unit confirmed the case was
reported under docket number 72/09/11, which was forwarded to Kwekwe
Magistrates’ Courts.

However, there are fears that the case could be swept under the carpet as
other police officers are said to be working flat out to block the accused
officer’s prosecution.

Efforts to get a comment from the accused police officer were fruitless last

Acting officer commanding police in the Midlands Province, Assistant
Commissioner Learn Ncube, said he would contact police in Kwekwe for details
regarding the case.

Earlier in the year, police national coordinator for anti-stock theft,
Bernard Dumbura said incidents of stock theft and illegal movement of cattle
were rampant.

Dumbura told the media that some people who bought cattle bribed police
officers so that they could have the cattle cleared.

Police arrested 1 070 people over stock theft- related cases while 148
butcheries were closed for selling uninspected meat products in a
countrywide operation c

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Meikles ventures into mining

November 25, 2012 in Business

MEIKLES Limited has announced the formation of a wholly-owned subsidiary to
tap into the lucrative but capital-intensive industry.

Report by Our Staff

The new entity, Meikles Resources, has an objective to focus on the
development of mining and resource opportunities in the country.

Profits from Meikles Resources “are expected to exceed those anticipated for
the entire group as presently constituted over the coming years and will
therefore be of material significance”, according to Meikles board chairman,
John Moxon.

Meikles Resources would be a holding company with subsidiaries focusing on a
particular mineral.

It would have a US$150 million purse for all the minerals under its wings.
Meikles Limited would work with a technical partner for each and every
mineral, who would provide both expertise and inject a portion of capital.

More details of the new company could not be obtained last week as Meikles
executives cited confidentiality clauses signed with technical partners that
bar them from disclosing certain information.

In a statement accompanying the group’s financial results for the six months
ended September 30 2012, Moxon said Meikles Resources has commenced
exploratory mining operations “on one opportunity and will start full mining
as soon as the full extent of the resource has been established”.

Moxon said the company would combine local and international skills and
financial resources within the framework of its indigenous status.

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Banking sector frets over Biti’s reforms

November 25, 2012 in Business

THE ramifications of Finance minister Tendai Biti’s move to control charges
and interest rates were felt across the banking sector last week with
executives warning that such a move would kill the industry.


In his 2013 National Budget, Biti decreed that no bank charges should be
levied on deposits up to a maximum of US$800.
Biti said any term deposit of US$1 000 and above held over a period of at
least 30 days and above should attract an interest of at least 4% per annum.

He said the government would be coming up with a Statutory Instrument
informed by a Memorandum of Understanding between financial institutions and
the central bank stipulating thresholds of applicable fees, charges and
interest rates.

The effective date of the Statutory Instrument would be January 1 2013.

Biti said lending rates would be subjected to a maximum rate of not more
than 10% above a bank’s weighted average deposit rate, inclusive of all

The latest measures came at a time Biti said banks had rejected moral
suasions as pleas to review bank charges and interest on both lending and
deposit fell on deaf ears.

Executives who spoke to Standardbusiness said the measure had the unintended
consequences of “killing the goose that lays the golden eggs”.

“Something is going to suffer big time,” an executive said warning “some
banks will fail”.

“Local banks have exposure to industries as they are the ones oiling it.
Biti should have acknowledged that banks that do not have capital are the
ones oiling the industry.”

The executive said if Biti had sat down with bankers, they should have
prescribed measures to boost the banking sector.
Chief among the measures was the need for government to mobilise money to be
given to locally-owned banks for on lending to the rest of the economy.

In an analysis of Biti’s policy directive on banks, leading brokerage firm
MMC Capital warned that the measure was “more likely to be heavier on the
smaller banks, since only five banks control about 56% of the total banking

“The analysis of the 2012 half-year results for banks indicates that the
industry average of the Net Interest Income-to-Total Income ratio stood at
45%. What this means is that banks are still leveraging more on non-core
banking activities [non-interest income],” MMC said.

“The removal of bank charges means that the total income of the banks will
be reduced, thus trimming profits”.

According to statistics from MMC in the half year ended June 30 2012, the
total profitability for the banking sector was around US$63 million and
profitability in 2013 is under extreme pressure unless, either deposits grow
aggressively to offset this impact or banks are aggressive in lending.

MMC said while it was a welcome development to put interest on deposits, the
move “will however, increase banks’ cost of funding which will exert further
pressure on interest margins, and thus profitability”.

Analysts say the move to introduce controls on charges and interest rates
was akin to the reintroduction of price controls that failed the nation.

They said Biti was dragging the sector to the bad old days of controls when
government engaged in a futile war with market forces.

“It is obviously some kind of financial repression, or failure on the
authorities to learn from our own history of controls,” an economist said.

Other observers felt that looking at the banking sector as troublemakers was
ill-informed as there were several factors that determined interest rates.

“Higher interest rates mean that an economy is not performing in terms of
exports. Banks have managed to bring interest rates down since dollarisation
and the authorities are ignoring that,” an executive said.

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Zimbabwe: A breeding ground for fraudsters

November 25, 2012 in Business

ZIMBABWE is one of the four countries in Africa that contributed the bulk of
fraud cases valued at US$2 billion in the first half of the year, according
to a latest report released by KPMG, one of the leading global auditing

Report by Our Staff

The report — KPMG Africa Fraud Barometer — said Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and
South Africa contributed 74% of all fraud cases in Africa.

The findings are a slap in the face of government’s efforts to lure
investors and help rebuild the economy, poised for a third consecutive year
of growth after a decade of recession.

The government’s medium-term plan projects that foreign direct investment
would contribute 20% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2015 up from
the current 4%.

In an analysis on the increase in fraud cases in Zimbabwe, Emilia Chisango,
partner at KPMG Zimbabwe, said fraud had been increasing, especially after
the dollarisation of the economy.

“With dollarisation, the basic economic fundamentals started to apply,
resulting in significantly reduced income streams for certain classes of the
society who were engaged mainly in the informal sector where returns were
quite significant,” Chisango said.

“Those with reduced sources of income tend to resort to fraudulent
activities to sustain their lifestyles.”

Chisango said as a result of the tight liquidity in the market, there had
been significant mushrooming of fraudulent microfinance institutions that
lend money at inflated interest rates and in turn accept deposits at
attractive interest rates.

She said while there were a number of genuine such institutions, fraudsters
had preyed on this by purporting to own microfinance institutions and
offering rates which are significantly higher.

Once they collect a sizeable amount of deposits, they often disappear with
it altogether.

“There are more fraudulent transactions involving individuals, though the
ones where companies are affected tend to be of significantly higher values.
We believe that the level of reported cases is actually indicative of the
actual levels of fraud happening in the country,” Chisango said.

Overall, the KPMG report showed that fraud and misrepresentation had the
highest reported cases at 37%, a decrease of 10% from the previous six
months. Most fraud is committed by government officials (18%), followed by
business people (15%) and employees (14%).

The report said in the period January 1 to June 30, 2012, a total of 503
cases were reported compared to 520 recorded in the same period last year.

The value of the reported cases during the period dropped to US$2 billion
from US$3,3 billion recorded in the same period last year.

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Sunday View: Child offenders evidence of societal failure

November 25, 2012 in Opinion

As the world celebrates the rights of children on International Children’s
Day, let us take a moment to reflect on how we protect children in Zimbabwe.

Opinion By UNICEF

There has been considerable coverage in the media recently, of cases of
children who break the law, with some of these children committing acts of
abuse against other children.

For those children who are the survivors of this abuse, we must continue to
invest in the services that provide them with emergency medical care,
support in their pursuit of justice through the courts and linking them with
the counselling and personal support that they need to recover.
When the offender and offendee come before the courts, our emotional
response towards them is very different. Quite rightly, we look with
sympathy on the survivor and outrage at the injustice of the crime committed
against them.

We direct anger at the alleged child offender and demand harsh and
uncompromising punishment. But we forget that these children are, in many
ways, very similar and they are both victims of a more collective failure by
their community. The care and protection system is in need of urgent repair.
We must work from the premise that no child is born bad, yet — as we have
seen in these cases — some children commit horrendous acts of abuse against
other children.

So if they are not naturally bad people, why do they hurt other children?
The sad fact is that most children who perpetrate abuse have been abused
All forms of child abuse are preventable. But if we are to break this cycle
of violence, we need to recognise that our current system is, in many ways,

For many children, the adults who are supposed to protect them from abuse
either abuse the child themselves, or do not speak out when they see it.

By using beatings as a form of discipline and by allowing convicted adult
perpetrators off with light sentences, we send children the message that
abuse is not important or worthy of doing anything about.
Currently, there are less than 100 social workers who can implement the
statutory provisions in the Children’s Act that are designed to prevent and
respond to child abuse, and less than 10 specialised clinics for child
survivors of abuse.
Children are not mini adults, even when they appear to behave like they are.
And they are entitled to our protection. Instead, we allow for the
prosecution of children as young as seven years of age and provide only a
handful of government lawyers to provide free legal assistance.

If convicted, a child offender often receives punishments which date back to
the colonial era such as “lashes” or a custodial sentence, and do nothing to
address the societal failures that led to the behaviour in the first place.
Of course, child survivors of abuse have the right to demand justice, even
if the abuse is perpetrated by another child, but neither should have to do
this on their own.

Current efforts to scale up the Victim Friendly System and the Pre-Trial
Diversion Programme are commendable — and should be rapidly accelerated. We
need more specialised courts, clinics, more dedicated children’s lawyers and
social workers and greater support to Victim Friendly Units within the ZRP.
There is also one simple and achievable change that could be made right now.
Every child who comes before the court — for whatever reason — should have
legal assistance and courts should demand this as a pre-requisite for
hearing a case. At the same time, these children deserve a dedicated,
qualified social worker.

Together, these professionals can ensure that the justice system is fair and

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Take the initiative: Create your own future

November 25, 2012 in Editorial

People are successful because they have made a clear, unequivocal do or die
decision to be successful. People are unsuccessful because they have not
made that decision. — Brian Tracy
Comment by Phillip Chichoni

There are 270 days left for the World Tourism Organisation’s General
Assembly that is to be held jointly in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe and
Livingstone, Zambia next year.

I was reminded of this event in two ways. First, ZTV is running a daily
countdown. Secondly, an ambitious young entrepreneur told me how he is going
to make a killing supplying a certain commodity at the event.

I have heard several such stories of making killings at big events before:
The 2010 soccer World Cup finals in neighbouring South Africa; the recent
Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and many other events which have come and
gone. Unfortunately very few of those who plan their big breaks around other
people’s events succeed.

Decide where you want to go
Every success story starts with a conscious thought in the mind: the future
you want to create.

The great entrepreneurs who have built global computer companies, successful
banks, big construction companies and revolutionary communication firms, all
decided in their minds that it was what they wanted to achieve. Without a
great goal, there is no passion, motivation or resilience.

You can decide to work and grow in a bank, or you can decide to build your
own bank. The bigger the goal, the more likely that you will achieve
something great. Jim Collins noted that few people attained great lives, in
large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.

(Good to Great — Random House Business Books). Do you have a big, hairy and
audacious goal? If not, take time to create one, or your future will be just
ordinary and boring.

Plan how you will get there
Every successful achievement needs a plan of execution. Planning is not just
for new entrepreneurs who need to get investors or financiers.

Those definitely need written plans so that potential financiers can see and
analyse their new ideas. But growing businesses need to plan even more. When
you are running a one-person business, you can usually have the plan in your
head, taking the necessary actions as and when you can.

However, as the business grows, you will need to plan together with other
people in your business. These are the managers and heads of departments who
will help drive your business to the big future that you desire. Most
businesses are struggling, not only because the economy is difficult, but
because they do not take time out to plan. Many challenges can be overcome
if people put their heads together, plan and think of new ideas.

Make a difference in the lives of others
One mistake that some entrepreneurs make is to want to make money first.
Truly successful people do the things they love and that make a difference
in the lives and work of others. The desire to help others is the mark of
the most successful entrepreneurs. Henry Ford decided to make cars that an
ordinary person could afford, at a time when cars where only for the
extremely rich.

Bill Gates and IBM made personal computers available and affordable to
ordinary people, when the focus of IT firms at the time was on systems for
big firms. Similarly was Steve Jobs, who wanted to bring joy and
entertainment to people though convenient and aesthetically beautiful
gadgets like the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Building a business centred around your own benefit and profit is a recipe
for failure. You can make a quick buck, like some business owners did during
the unforgettable economic crisis of the past decade. The majority of those
hyperinflation “dealers” have disappeared. Survivors had to change their
approach to business.

Phillip Chichoni is a strategic business planning consultant who works with
entrepreneurs and growing businesses. You may contact him by email on, or visit

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Editor’s desk: When surrogate power vanishes: Ask Kunonga!

November 25, 2012 in Editorial

Not so long ago, an Elder at an Anglican parish in Harare passed on and was
going to be buried at a cemetery designated for people who had contributed
much to the church.

Comment By Nevanji Madanhire Editor

After all the rites had been observed and the cadaver dressed up and placed
in the casket ready for the last trip, who emerges but an emissary of
Nolbert Kunonga’s. No, the Elder can no longer be buried at the special
cemetery because the cemetery now belongs to Kunonga.

The body had to be taken back to the mortuary while alternative burial
arrangements were worked out.

Such was the power Kunonga had assumed for himself, it was like he had power
over life and death. But everyone who knew how power works knew Kunonga’s
power was sham; much like the power of a petrol attendant during a fuel
crisis! Remember how this poor chap suddenly becomes a god, making company
CEOs jump, (determining even how high they jumped) before he pours the
precious liquid into their Mercedes Benzes!

It’s called surrogate power; the power given unto an individual, to bear and
to wield, by a circumstance.

Let me compare this to surrogate motherhood. The surrogate mother carries
and delivers a child for another woman who may not be able to carry the
child herself. A fertilised egg is usually inserted into the womb of the
woman, where it develops and is then delivered.

The surrogate mother is often paid for her services but once the child is
born, it is handed over to its genetic mother.

The surrogate mother suffers all the burdens of pregnancy and the pangs of
labour, but the child is not hers and she will not have any residual
interest in it when she has delivered it.

She may bask in the pride of womanhood when she is carrying the baby in her
womb and may revel in the feelings of motherhood as the foetus plays around
in her womb. But the child is not hers because she has been paid for her
pains. One can imagine the emptiness the surrogate mother feels on handing
over the child to its genetic mother!

The pain of surrogate motherhood is in its transiency; so must be the pain
of surrogate power! When fuel becomes readily available, the petrol
attendant resorts to his servile role and offers to clean everyone’s
windscreen and check the air in their wheels. The motorist tells the
attendant to jump and the attendant now asks how high!

But Kunonga should hang his head in shame. He was probably paid for his
services by the offer of a free farm and the support of the security

Whoever gave him the surrogate power probably thought by using the highly
emotive issue of homosexuality, Kunonga would bring all the Anglicans along
and translate each one of them into a vote.

The Anglicans saw through all this and refused to budge. It was a
troublesome surrogate pregnancy for him and in the end, the child was not
even delivered.

But Kunonga is hardly the only person who has wielded surrogate power during
the subsistence of the Zimbabwean political crisis; that is why his dramatic
fall should be a salutary lesson to those among us who have gone to extremes
at the service of those in power who use them to fight their own battles.
Examples of these abound.

A case in mind are those who on a daily basis commit acts of political
violence on behalf of certain individuals who pay them for their services
but when the long arm of the law stretches out, the masters are nowhere to
be seen.

It may not just be the long arm of the law, for that is sometimes an ass,
but traditional justice, as in the Gokwe case where some individuals used
the same assumed power to murder political opponents but were left alone in
the face of the vengeful wrath of an angry spirit. [The Shona people believe
in ngozi and even rocket science cannot change them on this belief.]

When Kunonga is eventually called upon to pay for his misdeeds, such as the
failure to pay rates and power bills, the genetic mother of his
transgressions will be nowhere to be found.

The worst that can happen to him is to lose his home to the hammer to raise
the US$300 000 or more that his faction owes everybody.

The Kunonga and Gokwe cases are the two extremes in a country that has been
torn apart by the lack of the rule of law. In between them are a plethora of
other cases that will yet be brought to book.

There are the transgressions of paramilitary groups in suburbs, the violence
said to have been perpetrated by people in the uniformed forces over the
years and other crimes that have been committed in the name of certain
individuals or parties.

Corruption is one such crime; many politicians have taken advantage of the
lax observance of the law and the patronage system to enrich themselves
overnight in an openly criminal manner. But the chickens will eventually
begin to come home to roost!

But what has Kunonga done to the image of the heterosexual male in Zimbabwe?
That it’s cool to rape children in orphanages?

That it’s cool to turn churches into brothels and destroy monuments to our
education and civilisation such as St. Augustine’s Mission by looting the
money parents have paid to see their children through school?

That it’s cool to kick old women and their children out of church buildings
so that they pray under trees where they are at the mercy of the elements?

That one can bar the whole world from their annual pilgrimage to one of the
world’s most important shrines, just for the sake of massaging one’s own
ego? All this in the name of fighting homosexuality of which not a single
case he has brought to the open!

The Zimbabwean crisis is the Hydra, the snake-like monster which in Greek
folklore had uncountable heads, which when one was cut several grew in its
place. The Zimbabwean crisis has manifested itself in politics, sport, the
arts, and, God bless Zimbabwe, in the church.

Kunonga’s demise will be replaced by other more complex problems. But only
the restoration of the rule of law and its observance will lay the
foundation for the resolution to the crisis.

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Comment: Harare must create a win-win scenario

November 25, 2012 in Editorial

The decision by the Harare City Council to return property seized from
residents who defaulted on paying rates shows officials are now listening to
people’s concerns.

Comment By Editor

Council three weeks ago instituted unprecedented property seizures that
mainly targeted the poorest of the poor in a bid to recover debts.

The property seizures in Rugare, Kuwadzana, Dzivarasekwa, Mabvuku and Tafara
caused much alarm and despondency in the suburbs where residents were now
living in fear of the Messenger of Court.

As reported in this publication last week, a family in Rugare was left
counting only empty plastic bottles as their property after their sofas, a
room divider, a kitchen table, two fans, a carpet and a heater were all

The family and many other affected people with no means of income, could not
hire lawyers to stop the attachment of their property.

These property seizures showed insensitivity on the part of city fathers who
failed to show compassion and an appreciation of the economic difficulties
pensioners and other unemployed people face.

Some of these people can hardly secure three square meals a day, and have no
capacity to raise money to pay council which provides erratic services.

It is the predicament of these people that made the council’s action

Instead of punishing residents, council is advised to strategise on first
improving service delivery to a level that will make residents see value in
paying for it.

So far there is little incentive for residents to pay for astronomical water
and refuse bills when their taps are always dry and bins are not collected.

A win-win scenario in which council provides a service that is satisfactory,
with Harare residents paying for it, is what is needed.

In the event that residents fail to meet their obligations, council should
give them ample time to raise the money, instead of unleashing the Messenger
of Court on their homes.

Such an arrangement would go a long way in addressing the challenges faced
by the two parties without creating unnecessary animosity between them.

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