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Rape case Kereke wants to suppress

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:01


MUNYARADZI Kereke, a senior policy advisor to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
governor Gideon Gono, has been accused of raping his 12-year-old niece. She
was 11 years old when the alleged rape took place last year at the
businessman’s home.

Kereke is also accused of sexually assaulting the girl’s 15-year-old sister.
In the past two weeks, Kereke has splashed several advertisements in
newspapers accusing two Standard journalists of asking for bribes from him.

He claimed to be a victim of blackmail but was trying to suppress the
publication of the rape case. In the adverts Kereke denies the accusations.

The case was first reported at Highlands Police Station CR0202/11/10 and
transferred to Borrowdale Police Station CR37/11/10. This was because
Vainona suburb, where the alleged rape took place, falls under Borrowdale
Police and not Highlands.

Highlands Police Station recorded statements from both girls on November 1
2010. The statements indicate the incident happened on August 22 around 0300

After the incident the little girl informed her elder sister and aunt. A
medical report by Dr E T Chanakira at Parirenyatwa on November 1 2010
indicates that the minor’s hymen was broken and penetration was effected.

It also further says the girl had not started menstruation and had had no
previous intercourse. According to the doctor’s report two fingers could
enter into her vagina after the alleged rape.

The children’s guardian said he had on several occasions sought audience
with senior police officers over the issue who categorically told him that
the matter was beyond them.

“I have lost faith in our police force here in Zimbabwe,” said the guardian.
“I respect the law in its entirety. I will continue to pursue this issue
until justice is attained.”

The girls’ legal representative, Charles Warara of Warara and Associates
Legal Practitioners has written several letters to the Officer-in-Charge of
Borrowdale Police Station, Chief Inspector Mbiringa.

Some of the letters were copied to the Attorney General’s Office and Police
General Headquarters (PGHQ) addressed to the Commissioner-General.

In one of the letters dated December 11 2010, Warara expressed fear that all
the people involved in the matter might be victimised.

He said the AG had been advised of the matter as a step to try and protect
everyone involved in the matter “as it seems there is real danger to the
family of the victim and everyone who will fight on the side of the victim”.

“You already know that the accused is armed and he can do anything in the
circumstances, but you have done nothing about such danger to society,” said

In another letter dated January 13 2011, to officer in charge of Borrowdale
Police Station, Warara expressed concern that no headway was being made into
the rape issue.

“We note with concern that you do not seem to want to take any action in
this matter and we are by copy of this letter requesting the Attorney
General to advise us if nothing will be done so that we can apply for a
right to do private prosecution if the Attorney General declines to
prosecute the rape case,” he said in another letter also copied to the AG’s

In a letter dated February 21 2011, officer-in-charge ZRP Borrowdale said
the matter was investigated and the docket is currently at the AG’s office.

“This was prompted by the correspondence you copied to the Attorney General
and to the Commissioner General hence they had to have a sight of the
docket,” said the police.

Efforts to get a comment from AG Johannes Tomana were fruitless yesterday.
But Warara last week said there has not been any progress since his last

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New radio licences a ‘farce’: Tsvangirai’s office

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:38

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office on Friday slammed the awarding of
Zimbabwe’s first independent radio licences to companies aligned with
President Robert Mugabe as a “farce”.

“Yesterday’s (Friday) granting of the two licences is the final nail in the
coffin of media plurality in Zimbabwe. It is unacceptable,” Tsvangirai’s
spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said.

Tamborinyoka said the announcement “is a farce that flies in the face of
true media reforms and media plurality in Zimbabwe. Zimpapers publishes The
Herald newspaper, a media vehicle for Mugabe’s Zanu PF party. Mugabe and
Tsvangirai had agreed to name new members to the BAZ, but the announcement
came before the changes were made, the spokesman said.

Media in Zimbabwe have operated under strict rules for the last decade, with
several newspapers forced to shut down while local journalists and foreign
correspondents have been deported and harassed by police.

Media reform remains one of the key disagreements between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, who accuses the 87-year-old of riding roughshod over reforms
agreed to in their ruling unity pact.

“The reconstitution of BAZ is one of the outstanding issues in the Global
Political Agreement and therefore the two awards are basically a non event,”
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said.

“The Zanu PF front has given licences to Zanu PF-related institutions and
that does not translate to the liberation of the airwaves but strengthening
of Zanu PF’s monopoly in both print and electronic.”

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Mandiwanzira upbeat on radio licence

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:30

JOURNALIST-cum entrepreneur, Supa Mandiwanzira is upbeat about his recently
won broadcasting licence despite the criticism surrounding it. The
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) last week announced that
Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications and Zimpapers were the recipients of the
two free-to-air national commercial radio broadcasting licences, prompting
an outrage from media organisations which dismissed the process as a farce.

The announcement met criticism from the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe
and the Zimbabwe Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)
among others who said the outcome was predictable given the constitution of
BAZ, widely believed to be a Zanu PF front.

But Mandiwanzira yesterday said he did not understand why people, who did
not contest were criticising his win yet those who lost congratulated him.
“John Masuku of VOP congratulated me but Misa is criticising me yet I employ
its chairman Njabulo Ncube,” Mandiwanzira said.

“If I am such a bad media owner, why is Njabulo not protesting by resigning
from my Financial Gazette where I am the chairman?
“For those who say there will be no diversity, do they watch Talking
Business? Do they read The Patriot? Do they read the country’s leading
business weekly, the Financial Gazzette? Is the content the same?”

He said the content in all the outlets he has interests in will differ as
does content in the various Zimpapers and Alpha Media Holdings’
Mandiwanzira added that he has never declared the party he supports to
anyone for people to start linking him with any political party.

“Who else deserves a licence other than me?” he said. “Am I not Zimbabwean?
“For those who are basing their criticism on my being a former Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation journalist, SW Radio Africa’s Jerry Jackson, VOP’s
Masuku and most Studio 7 staffers are also former ZBC employees and that is
not a crime because ZBC was the only institution available to give us
broadcasting experience.

“Those who think The Patriot, Zi FM or the Financial Gazzette should not
exist simply because they are owned by Supa are enemies of the media.”
Mandiwanzira said he has worked for serious global news organisations and
his reputation was unparalleled.

“Journalists should actually be happy that one of their own won the licence
instead of writing negatively about me,” he said.“Politicians should have
applied for licences if they wanted them and those who have complaints about
the application and adjudication process should have complained when the
process was underway, not when it has been completed.

“For those who missed the process, BAZ recorded everything on video and I am
sure they can make that available to anyone who wishes to see what

He said his radio, which will be on air within six months, will do what will
make him make money as a business person while being guided by continuous
research into what the listeners want.

Mandiwanzira is the biggest shareholder in Zi FM with 70% followed by Hebert
Nkala (15%), a South African company, Urban Brew, (10%) and Molice
Mandinyenya (5%).

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2011 great year for education, but...

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:57

The year 2011 was the best teaching year in a long time, although more still
needs to be done to make education more accessible in the country, Education
minister David Coltart said last week.

Coltart said unlike in other recent years, there were less strikes this
year, allowing pupils and students more days in class. “We spent much of
this year laying a good foundation for the rehabilitation of the sector,”
Coltart said. “The Education Transition Fund (ETF) went a long way in
ensuring that primary and secondary schools got enough textbooks for all

The international donor community, led by the United Nations Children’s Fund
(Unicef), early this month launched the second phase of the ETF, starting a
massive nationwide distribution of at least seven million textbooks to the
country’s secondary schools.

This exercise brought to more than 22 million the total number of textbooks
procured and distributed to primary and secondary schools as a way of
assisting government as it struggles to restore normalcy in the sector, once
the envy of the region.

Other positives this year include embarking on a curriculum review and
Statutory Instruments relating to education which will come into effect next
year, Coltart said, adding that a lot was also done towards assisting
schools to improve their administrative duties, especially in the area of
data capture with computers being distributed to many schools.

“We have also completed a five-year strategic plan and that will be
presented to cabinet soon,” he said.

More still needs to be done: Students

Students Solidarity Trust coordinator Simba Nyamanhindi agreed that there
were some positives which justified the celebration of this year’s
International Education Week a week ago.

“There was a marked improvement in terms of availability of education
although accessibility remains an issue especially because of the fees which
remain high,” Nyamanhindi said.

“The multi-currency system and the prevailing political environment all
helped bring some normalcy in the sector. “The ETF has also gone a long way
in alleviating the plight of especially primary school pupils.

“Generally, education is now available but more needs to be done to make it
universally accessible.” Nyamanhindi said the re-establishment of the grants
scheme for tertiary education is one of the ways which can help improve

He added that although halls of residence at the University of Zimbabwe were
re-openned, accommodation too remained a problem as these were unaffordable
to many and students continued renting in nearby suburbs.

In a statement, the MDC Youth Assembly equated tuition fees to “exorbitant
learning fines”. “As the students of Zimbabwe, we are the gross source of
the much needed human capital for the attainment of economic growth and
sustainable development, or at least equitable development,” part of the
statement read.

“Demanding the reinstatement, in full, of the grants, the scrapping of the
insane user fees, the accordance of fundamental freedoms and our rights is
what our blood is worth.”

Coltart admitted that gaps remained, citing dropout rates as an example.
“Sadly, we are a long way away from attaining the millennium development
goals, especially regarding primary school education,” he said. “Education
remains very inaccessible to an unacceptably high number of children.
“Dropout rates are unacceptably high as parents and guardians cannot afford
the fees.”


Coltart said government needed to prioritise education and allocate more
funds to the sector for it to fully recover. “While I am grateful for what
the minister of finance allocated us, the funds are still insufficient,” he

“We are spending way more on foreign travel than on education and that is a
warped priority. “We were allocated a non-salary amount of US$66 million
last year and only US$14, 8 million has been received so far compared to
US$50 million spent on foreign travel.”

Coltart said the US$27 million allocated for the rehabilitation of schools
in last week’s budget was also very little as he had 8 000 schools,  which
meant that each school would get US$3 300 to cater for its needs.

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Harare upgrades traffic lights

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:53

THE City of Harare has embarked on a US$4,4 million programme to upgrade all
traffic lights in an effort to reduce congestion, which has become a
nightmare for both motorists and pedestrians.

Harare City Council acting operations manager (public lighting) Calvin
Chigariro said the new traffic management system would improve traffic flow
thereby reducing the number of accidents occurring at intersections.

Motorists who violate traffic laws can also be captured on cameras, he said.
“This implies that traffic violations can be monitored without the need of
physically deploying police details at the junctions,” said Chigariro.

Harare’s traffic signalling system consists of a total of 186 controlled
intersections, of which 75% of these are not functioning properly. Chigariro
said the new system will also reduce maintenance costs as no bulb
replacements are necessary, a move which would save almost US$ 30 000  per

Chigariro added that the project would facilitate improved maintenance
through early detection and reporting of faulty signal operation. He said
the programme is being hampered by lack of finance as the local authority
relies heavily on money paid by ratepayers.

Apart from improving the traffic system, the council is also seeking to
reduce power consumption through use of energy-saving mechanisms. The city’s
director engineering services Engineer Philip Pfukwa said several
manufacturers were pursuing research and development into lighting that
could replace the current high intensity discharge lamps.

He said the new lights are now functioning in some parts of the central
business district.The system is buttressed by the use of CBD solar traffic
The city would need at least US$1,8 million to complete the project.

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Sexual abuse rife in police – Makone

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:49

Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone has said sexual harassment of women
was rampant in government departments, including the police force, which she

Makone, who is Zimbabwe’s first female Home Affairs minister, said her
presence in the ministry has opened up a can of worms as female workers now
reveal their ordeals at the hands of their unruly superiors.

For a long time, she said, cases of sexual abuse were being swept under the
carpet. “I think it was my presence there as a woman that gave other women
the power to write to me and tell me what they were experiencing,” said

“There were piles and piles of letters with sexual harassment complaints and
I said I was going to resolve these issues. Little did I know that this is a
man’s world.”

She was speaking during an award ceremony organised by the International
Images Film Festival (IIFF) for Women last week held to reward women who
have made outstanding contributions to the film industry and their

Makone said efforts to deal with the perpetrators of the sexual abuse were
scuttled by fear of victimisation. Said Makone: “I insisted there should be
investigations and told them (the victims) to write letters with their names
and those of the abusers but there were no names attached to these letters.

“My heart burns because I know these injustices are still taking place and
there is no hope for these women.” It was disheartening that people who are
supposed to act as custodians of the law are at the forefront of violating
human rights, she said.

The Home Affairs ministry encompasses the police, Immigration Department and
Registrar General’s Office. “How can you be treated unfairly in the
department of police, immigration or the registrar general’s department?
Violence is happening (even) in the police force. That suffering is
happening right now,” said Makone.

According to statistics, one in three working women at all levels in
Zimbabwe is reported to be subjected to sexual harassment at the workplace
while 38 percent of women have been victims of some physical, sexual or
psychological abuse.

Makone said cases of sexual abuse of women at workplaces also extend to the
private sector as well. “I did experience sexual harassment and you had to
decide to fight or leave,” said Makone. “But in the end I had the last laugh
because I stood my ground and made the noise.”

Makone’s sentiments were provoked by scenes from a South African film, A
Country for My Daughter, which showed incidents of women being sexually
abused even at the hands of the police.

She urged women film makers to come up with stories that reflect what is
happening in society if they are to remain relevant.

1 in 3 working women prone to sexual harassment

According to statistics, one in three working women at all levels in
Zimbabwe is reported to be subjected to sexual harassment at the workplace
while 38% of women have been victims of some physical, sexual or
psychological abuse.

Makone said cases of sexual abuse of women at workplaces also extend to the
private sector as well. “I did experience sexual harassment and you had to
decide to fight or leave,” said Makone. “But in the end I had the last laugh
because I stood my ground and made the noise.”

Makone’s sentiments were provoked by scenes from a South African film, A
Country for My Daughter, which showed incidents of women being sexually
abused even at the hands of the police.

She urged women film-makers to come up with stories that reflect what is
happening in society if they are to remain relevant.

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Call for inter-party unity

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:48

BULAWAYO — Civic groups in Matabeleland have called for a unity pact among
the structures of political parties in the region to ensure a united
movement for the development of the under-developed province.

According to Bulawayo Agenda, multi-party democracy has not brought
development to Matabeleland, hence the need for Zanu-PF, MDC, MDC-T and Zapu
to unite on the cause for the betterment of lives of Matabeleland people and
the region.

Thabani Nyoni, the Executive Director of Bulawayo Agenda on Friday said, as
a result, the local- based civic organisation had begun a process of
facilitating dialogue between structures of political parties in
Matabeleland to forge a united front for development.

“We have been holding consultative meetings in the region and the major
highlight on these meetings is the need for political parties that campaign
in Matabeleland to come up with a political pact.

“As Bulawayo Agenda, we feel that issue is very important and we are now
facilitating dialogue among political parties centred around that because as
much as we support multi-party democracy, we feel this should also translate
into meaningful change of people’s lives,” Nyoni said in an interview.

Calls for a united front amongst political parties have however been met
with resistance from the Welshman Ncube led MDC which recently said it does
not exist for the purposes of forming coalitions but to contest political

According to Bulawayo Agenda, its consultative meetings and research also
show that devolution of power has been a major call by political parties and
civic groups in the region.

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Farming group denies Zapu links

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:47

Founder Member of Insiza Shangani Farmers Association, Jabulani Phetshu
Sibanda, who is also a Zanu PF stalwart, yesterday lambasted Zapu for
portraying his organisation as an affiliate of Zapu and threatened to pull
out of it.

This was after Zapu spokesperson, Methuseli Moyo was quoted as claiming that
Zapu members of the association were angry over Zanu PF’s attempts to extort
donations for its conference from the association members by force.

Sibanda said farmers in Insiza and Shangani areas did not all belong to
Zapu, but some were members of Zanu PF, MDC and MDC-T. He said for Zapu to
portray itself as the owner of the association was malicious and destructive
to the organisation which was founded with the core objective of pursuing
independent and non-partisan farming activities in the area.

Zanu PF and Zapu allegedly locked horns over the former’s attempts to force
the farmers to donate towards the party’s conference set for Bulawayo
between December 6 and 10.

Sibanda said they founded the Insiza Shangani Farmers Association in the
year 2000 with Bathandi Mpofu and Molly Mpofu, among others. He said after
the formation of the association, they then incorporated numerous farmers in
the area.

“The organisation was apolitical but was based on the ideology of Zanu PF
because Zanu PF was the only party with a clear land policy then. The
constitution of the association deals with farming. It was aimed at dealing
with the issue of inputs and the pegging of farming land,” said Sibanda.

“The mention of Zapu in the association is not what we planned for in the
first place. There are many people from other political parties.” Sibanda
said Zapu must respect other members in the association. He said since the
association was founded under the ideology of Zanu PF, there was nothing
wrong with the party asking for the donation from it.—BY SILAS NKALA

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Nando’s ad pokes fun at Mugabe

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:43

Own Staff
SOUTH African fast food giant, Nando’s, has released a tongue in cheek
advertisement depicting Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe as the “last
dictator standing”.

The advertisement, which uses look-alikes, was launched last Thursday and
some fear that Nando’s may have crossed the line and risked its Zimbabwean

Mugabe is featured as a lonely man in the 46-second advert after the demise
of fellow dictators such as executed Libyan strongman, Muammar Gaddafi,
former Ugandan leader, Idi Amin and apartheid leader PW Botha.

The advert starts with Mugabe laying a place for Gaddafi at a lavish dinner
table before falling back into a nostalgic moment where he and the Brother
Leader played cheerfully, shooting each other with toy water guns.

Mugabe is then shown with former executed Iraqi strong man, Saddam Hussein
as they make sand angels in the desert. The scene then shifts to the
Zimbabwean leader playing with Botha on a swing, as Mugabe naughtily grabs a
hat from the former South African leader.

Finally, Mugabe is shown with Amin driving around in a tanker holding hands,
as if re-enacting a scene from Titanic. In the background the theme music
being played is Those Were the Days.

Mugabe is then shown sitting alone at the long dinner table, with the advert’s
secondary theme that this has been a tough year for dictators around the

Gaddafi was killed by rebels last month after more than 40 years in power,
while Amin and Hussein also had inglorious exits from power. Mugabe’s
spokesperson George Charamba could not be reached for a comment as his
mobile phone was not reachable.

Nando’s has over the years been rolling out what some may say are
“politically incorrect” adverts, with the most popular in recent times being
one that featured ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema.

Last year South African pop outfit, Freshly Ground were forced to cancel a
show in Zimbabwe after they released a spoof of Mugabe’s continued stay in
power, titled Chicken to Change.

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Intra-trade can be remedy for Africa’s woes, say experts

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:21


THE African continent can use trade to extricate itself from poverty if it
deepens intra-trade and value-add products, speakers at a regional
conference said last week.

Experts told participants at the inaugural Africa Trade Forum (ATF) in Addis
Ababa that there are opportunities for intra-Africa trade to be exploited
for the benefit of regional member countries.

Lamin Barrow, African Development Bank (AfDB) representative in Ethiopia
told the forum that the crisis in the euro zone and other emerging threats
that might lead to a global economic slowdown provides an urgency to reflect
a new vision of Africa’s “economic diplomacy through enhanced intra-African

“While the continent might not be under immediate threat from the direct
consequences of these challenges, our reliance on primary commodity exports
make it impossible to escape the medium to long-term impacts — the more
reason we should boost intra-African trade,” he said.

He said that intra-African trade was low stagnating around 10-12% at a time
other regions have increased trade among themselves. The low intra-African
trade, he said, has many far reaching implications for sustained growth and
poverty reduction in Africa.

In Europe, intra-trade is 72%, in Asia 52%, and 48% in North America. In the
Middle East, intra-trade is 16%. This low intra-African trade means there is
scope for expansion, according to exports.

“… it is evident that there is scope for expansion in regional trade,” said
Abdoulie Janneh, UN under-secretary general and the executive secretary of
Economic Commission for Africa.

African Trade Ministers have proposed that one way of boosting intra-trade
is through accelerating the process of setting up a continental Free Trade
Area (FTA).

According to statistics, harmonisation of regional economic communities’
trade policies through a continental FTA would result in an additional US$34
billion in intra-African exports, just from eliminating current intra and
inter-REC tariffs. If non-tariff barriers are tackled through improved trade
facilitation, intra-African trade could rise to about 22% in the next 10
years showing that intra-African trade can be optimised.

Barrow said, as the continent pushes for increased intra-trade, transaction
costs have to be examined to lower the cost of doing business through
commensurate investments in regional and national infrastructure and
improved policy harmonisation among African countries. Zimbabwe has been
trading primary commodities with no value addition.

In addition, because the country is picking its pieces after a decade of
recession, the finished products are expensive compared to those obtaining
in the region due to the high cost of production.

Oswell Binha, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president told
Standardbusiness that the country needs to have a long-term vision, identify
its comparative advantage and create the necessary environment for
businesses to operate.

“We need to start identifying critical markets we have not been able to
serve. Mauritius is begging for Zimbabwean products and we need to revisit
on the traditional products we used to supply them before,” he said.  He
said that the country can intensify trade in services “because we are better
placed to call the shots in the region”. According to Binha, there is need
for political will and Zimbabwe must cease to talk politics but business.

Regional blocks’ trade growing

Janneh said recent analysis in the forthcoming Economic Report on Africa
2012 shows that some regional economic communities have exceeded the
intra-African growth.

“Intra-Comesa trade offers one such example growing by at least 35,4%
between 2009 and 2010, rising from US$12,7 billion to US$17,2 billion,” he

He said intra-African growth can be accelerated by regional value chains
which have contributed to high intra-regional trade elsewhere. This, he
said, has helped firms in other parts of the world to be key players in
global value chains.

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Three scoop maths olympiad

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:19

Three students were awarded prizes at the 24th edition of the annual
Mathematics Olympiad at a function held in Harare last week. The Mathematics
Olympiad is an annual contest organised and sponsored by Old Mutual and the
University of Zimbabwe Mathematics department which aims to identify and
reward mathematics talent at high school level.

Kudakwashe Tiriboyi of Highfield 1 High School scooped the first prize which
entailed a certificate and a gold shield while Luke Du Toit of St John’s
College won the second prize, a certificate and silver medal.

The third prize, also certificate and silver medal, went to Gerald
Kasungesunge of Goromonzi High School. A total of 166 students qualified to
make it to the final round but the three boys came out tops.

Old Mutual Managing Director Jonas Mushosho said that the Olympiad was a
very important event on the Old Mutual calendar. “Mathematics is a key
driver in the development of the country,” said Mushosho. “Through Maths we
are able to solve the problems we face in life and it is a respected and
accepted measure of performance.”

Guest of Honour at the function Professor David Mtetwa lauded the
competition and urged the students to be analytical, systematic, and

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Biti appeals for wise political leadership

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:15


FINANCE minister Tendai Biti (pictured) has appealed to the country’s
leadership to make sustainable decisions that guarantee the economic growth
trajectory achieved since the adoption of the multi-currency regime in 2009.

Speaking at a post-budget breakfast hosted by the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries (CZI) in Harare on Friday, Biti said the budget formulation
process was the result of a series of consultations and prudent measures
albeit under constrained fiscal space. “It will be important for the
political leadership of the country not to squander the relief given to the
people of this country. We need sustainable decisions,” said Biti.

Zimbabwe is next year expected to register a 9,4% economic growth rate on
the back of political stability and adherence to a cash budgeting framework
among other measures.

“We need to convince our (international) partners that we are bankable, it’s
all basically an issue of trust,” Biti said. He said economic growth would
be curtailed if the seizure of farms and private properties continues

Developments during the first half of the year to June 2011, indicate that
average capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector improved to about
57,2% compared to 43,7% last year.

The 2012 budget is focused on themes such as growth with jobs, inclusive
growth, efficient growth and sustainable growth.
Minister Biti noted in his 2012 budget presentation that most industries,
particularly out of Harare, remain distressed with high unemployment levels

The unemployment rate tops 75%. Biti said the little business activity there
is anchored on commercial activities of retailing; liquor undertaking, small
to medium enterprises and vending all mostly supported by incomes of public

The finance ministry will co-ordinate financial sector support to industry
to the tune of US$60 million for a broader Industrial Revival Fund, a move
which local industry lobby group, CZI commended.

Rameck Masaire, a member of the CZI standing committee on economics and
banking called for restraint in penalties for companies that fail to
formally register with tax authorities.

He pointed out that local companies are constrained in terms of capacity to
fiscalise as wider problems that are inherent in the economy serve to hamper
any such efforts.

“The problem is not about the lack of compliance but is reflective of bigger
problems. We need to address practical challenges before penalising
business,” said Masaire.

Minister Biti in his budget statement proposed a penalty of a maximum of
US$25 per point of sale, for each day that the taxpayer remains in default
with effect from the first of January 2012.

Non-compliant taxpayers would also be required to pay an additional amount
of Value Added Tax (VAT) equivalent to the estimated revenue loss
attributable to non-compliance with the VAT Fiscalised Recording of Taxable
Transactions Regulations.

Masaire pointed out that the objectives and appeals system within the tax
regime needed to be revamped while the fiscalised registers implementation
still needs to be sanctioned. “We noted that there are no changes in
corporate tax. The effectiveness of presumptive tax needs to be evaluated to
encourage SMEs to contribute to the discussion and formalise,” said Masaire.

Biti addressed major concerns: Kanyekanye

CZI president Joseph Kanyekanye said Biti had taken critical issues raised
by industry into consideration as reflected in his budget statement.
“The budget is consistent with the Medium-Term Plan, there was little
political populism in this budget, it was a rational decision. We wouldn’t
want more deficits on the back of consumption,” said Kanyekanye.

“As CZI, we are of the view that where there is semblance of local industry
being able to supply particular products then duty on imports of the same
product should be restored,” he said.

Kanyekanye also suggested the adoption of a legal basis on the tenure of the
multi-currency regime that would provide comfort to people and investors in
the country.

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Sex strikes are an effective tool for change

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:12

The tragedy about the response to my call for a sex strike at a rally in
Magwegwe on November 6, was that it exposed a much bigger and fundamental
problem facing this nation’s new generation in this new age of techonology.

The fact that young journalists working with young editors could publish a
distorted version of a sex strike can only mean that none of them had heard
or read of the concept of a sex strike or where it had been practised.

A sex strike can be broadly defined as a method of non-violent resistance in
which one or multiple persons refrain from sex with their partner(s) to
achieve certain goals. It is a form of temporary sexual abstinence. Sex
strikes have been used to protest many issues from water resources to
employment equity.

In the year 2011 alone, several sex strikes have been undertaken with great
success, for example; Marleen Temmermann, a Belgian politician and member of
Senate called for a sex strike to break the deadlock in the formation of the
Belgian government. She called on the spouses of Belgian politicians to
withhold sex until they formed a government.

In June 2011, in the small Columbian town of Barbacoas, women went on a sex
strike demanding the construction of a tarred road for the town of 40 000
inhabitants who previously could only access the rest of the country through
a treacherous mountain road. The strike ended when army engineers began
construction on the road in late August.

The latest Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the
safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in
peace-building work”.

Of interest to this debate is the work of Leymah Gbowee, in which she
encouraged a sex strike in Liberia aimed at ending the 14-year-old civil
war. Gbowee chronicles her story in her new biography Mighty Be Our Powers:
How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War.

Most feminists around the world agree that sex strikes are possibly the most
effective tools in many democratic struggles. While I expected a challenge
to the efficacy of a sex strike, what was surprising was the level of
ignorance on the subject, particularly from young people given the fact that
in the majority of the recent “revolutions” that have taken place from the
so-called Arab-Spring to the electoral changes in Zambia was through the
youth that have mobilised people through the social media. A simple Google
search on sex strike gives one numerous examples on where and how this
strategy had been used.

The second surprise for me were the nature of comments from women given that
for time immemorial in their relationships with men, women have used sex as
either punishment or reward. Even Bill Clinton in his biography admits to
getting the couch treatment during the Monica Lewinsky drama.
The No Vote No Sex Campaign therefore should at the very least be understood
by every sexually active female.

The legitimate question could be on whether women are sufficiently angry and
committed to democratic change or like the risks we have taken before with
unprotected sex, will we continue to allow irresponsible men who refuse to
take action to effect change? The question that remains is whether we, as
women, will choose sex over the vote?


Priscila Misihairabwi-Mushonga is an MP and a Zimbabwean Feminist.

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Free trade talks kick Africa into future

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:07

As we mark Africa Industrialisation Day this Sunday, we should keep our eyes
firmly on the first days of December. An important process which started
three years ago will then begin to move forward decisively. It promises to
be an important instrument for the future of trade and industrialisation in

The first round of negotiations to establish a free trade area covering 26
countries in Southern and East Africa will kick off on December 8 in
Nairobi. It is envisaged that the negotiations will be completed in 36

The three trade blocs involved — the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa (Comesa) — decided in October 2008 in Kampala to move
towards a free trade agreement.

The intention is to boost intra-regional trade because the market will be
much bigger, there will be more investment flows, enhanced competitiveness
and the development of cross-regional infrastructure.

Industrialisation, making goods to sell instead of selling primary products,
is a possible and also necessary spin-off. Competition with older
established and also bigger emerging economies might be a stumbling block
initially, but the huge new market may make it possible for locally
manufactured goods to compete with those imported from outside the FTA.

Close to 600 million people live in the FTA with a gross domestic product of
US$1 trillion — suddenly we are boxing in the same weight division as China,
India, Russia, Brazil, the US and the EU.

Africa Industrialisation Day is exactly about switching the eyes of the
world to this continent, to promote the need for building factories – but it
is becoming easier because the continent is already being touted as the next
economic frontier, as the place to be because the future is here.

For some confirmation of this, look at some figures: Africa’s combined
consumer spending in 2008 was US$860 billion and will be US$1,4 trillion in
In 2040 there will be 1,1 billion Africans of working age with 43% now under

Urbanisation enhances growth – Africa already has 52 cities with more than a
million inhabitants, more than Europe. In 2030  50% will be living in
cities. Africa’s returns on FDI are the highest in the world.

South Africa, with its advanced and sophisticated economy, is best suited to
take advantage offered by such an expanded market. Already the World
Economic Forum (WEF) has rated South Africa first in the world for the
strength of our auditing and reporting standards and for the regulation of
securities exchanges.

The soundness of our banks — rated second in the world — is an important
asset in these troublesome days when banks everywhere else are shaky.
Add in the certainty offered by the recently announced National Development
Plan, which sets out the country’s path until 2030, and it is clear that
South Africa’s competitiveness will be enhanced.

We know that our fellow BRICS countries started their upward economic trend
based on their huge domestic markets. With the establishment of the FTA,
South Africa will now have a market which will be 12 times bigger than the
50 million customers it now has.

It is understood that the road setting up the FTA could be rocky. The
Minister of Trade and Industries has pointed out that negotiations over
industrial policy could be tough. South Africa has just set out to implement
its Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) and talks around the trade in
manufactured goods will be of particular concern.

But South Africa does have an advantage. As the minister correctly pointed
out, that unlike exports to the rest of the world, a high percentage of
exports into Africa are already made up of value-added products.

Other problems would be the levels of protectionism between African
countries, restrictive trade permit needs and very obvious economic
disparities. Additionally, the fact that three existing trade blocs aim to
merge into one is a stumbling block as they are at different levels of
integration with different rules and regulations. All of this will be part
of the negotiations that start next month.

Fact of the matter is that economic growth in all participating countries
will be boosted by increased intra-regional trade. For Africa as a whole at
the moment, this stands at only 12% of all cross-border trade whereas in
Asia the figure is rising toward 50% and in the European Union 80%.

The FTA would also be an important building block towards achieving the
vision of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity in
1963 — a continent-wide African Economic Union.

The December talks may truly be the first concrete sign of Africa rising to
take its rightful place in the world.

Matola is the CEO of Brand South Africa.

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Kereke must have his day in court

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:04

Two young girls — one of them preteen and the other just in her teens —
reported to Highlands police station that they had been sexually assaulted
by Munyaradzi Kereke, a senior employee of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Their harrowing tales, painstakingly recorded at the police station in front
of police officers who appended their signatures to the girls’ written
testimonies, make sad reading.

A doctor’s report corroborates one of the victim’s stories. The report, done
by Dr E T Chanakira, was presented to the police and the copy in our
possession bears the stamp of the officer-in-charge of a Harare Suburban
District and that of a commissioner of oaths. It’s dated November 5 2010.

The victims’ lawyers Warara and Associates wrote to the Officer-in-Charge of
Borrowdale police station on December 17 2010 asking why the accused person
had not been arrested in a case which had been duly reported.

The letter was copied to the Attorney-General and the Commissioner-General
of the ZRP. We also reproduce Warara’s letter. There was no immediate
response from the police prompting Warara to write a follow-up letter on
January 13 2011.

The officer-in-charge of Borrowdale then responded a month later on February
14 2011 saying the matter had been investigated and the docket was at the
Attorney-General’s Office.

Surprisingly, to date no arrest has been made. It is common cause that
Kereke is a powerful, well-connected personage. Recently, he had journalists
from this newpaper picked up by the police and incarcerated overnight over a
civil rather than criminal matter.

Over the past week or so he has bought yards of space in national newspapers
portraying himself as the victim of some conspiracy yet this newspaper was
only interrogating his probity.

It is every decent newspaper’s calling to protect the weak from the
powerful. It is interesting to note that every article that has brought The
Standard into trouble has sought to do this. All the troubles we have
endured show the unfettered power of certain individuals in our society.
This must end.
Kereke must have his day in court.

Quote of the week

"The BAZ is clearly an illegitimate body; it  must  be  reconstituted.
Clearly the airwaves have not been freed, this has maintained Zanu-PF’s grip
on the broadcasting sector,” said Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for MDC-T

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Editor's Desk: Bed-hopping Tsvangirai soiling his own image

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:10

When we were schoolchildren many years ago, one of our teachers came for a
lesson with his zipper undone.The boys looked down in shame while the girls
giggled in mischief.

But one of the more precocious boys wrote something on a piece of paper and
threw it at the teacher. The teacher read it and walked out of the
classroom; he returned a few minutes later with all his dignity restored.

At break we mobbed the boy who had thrown the little paper at the teacher
asking him what he had written. He said he had written only three letters of
the alphabet “XYZ” which meant, “close your zip”.

Can someone write the same three letters and please throw them at Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai? In the wake of his November marriage, or
whatever it was, no one knows what he will do next. Sing Zuma-style Mtshina
Wami, Mtshina Wami (Bring my machine gun) or like Silvio Berlusconi, host
bunga-bunga parties?

President Jacob Zuma is a former guerrilla who was, we guess, good with his
Kalashnikov but as he inched towards the presidency the world got to know
his AK47 was hardly the only machinegun he was an expert at.

November madness! — What is wrong with the month of November? People say
there shouldn’t be any celebrations in November; no marriages, no weddings,
no parties! No one, until last week, had explained to me why this was so.

A friend told me that November, in Shona called Mbudzi or Month of the Goat
is considered sacred in Shona culture because it is the month that marks the
beginning of the rainy season and the beginning of the Shona calendar.

It is the month when the cropping season begins and cattle regain their
weight because of the new grass after the long dry season. It is also the
month when nanny-goats give birth, hence the name. People therefore shelved
all ceremonies to concentrate on planting and looking after the goats’ kids.
Quite fascinating!

It is because of this that whatever Tsvangirai did is deemed taboo. But in
the new circumstances marked by urbanisation can we still be talking about
goats? The real taboo that Tsvangirai committed was that he made yet another
woman pregnant.

Why is this taboo? How much bed-hopping can a man continue to do in this age
of HIV and Aids? The fight against Aids needs role models. As leader of one
of the biggest parties in the country, Tsvangirai is well-placed to play
that role. But Locardia is not the only woman in the recent past to confirm
that the premier does it without a condom, taking a shower perhaps, after
the act! Can some cartoonist begin to put a small shower on his head as
controversial South African cartoonist Zapiro does with Zuma?

Tsvangirai is loved in this country and respected the world-over for the
change he has brought to this country but it will be these little
indiscretions that will begin to eat away his armour.

November madness! November was also the month that the onslaught on the
freedom of the press reached new heights. Newsrooms were invaded by the
police and journalists taken away and locked up.  Forget about the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act which had hitherto been used as
the weapon of choice to suppress the media.

There is a more obnoxious piece of legislation called “criminal defamation”.
With this tool any journalist who publishes the truth about how the powerful
are involved in acts that break the law and disadvantage the poor is picked
up by the police and locked up. Instead of seeking damages through the civil
process, the powerful want to first punish the scribes. What is interesting
is that police are fully complicit in this. Instead of advising the offended
official of the proper channels to follow, they pander to his whim.

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is a constitutionally set up body to
deal with complaints on published articles considered defamatory by
individuals. It then arbitrates and where damages are due the offending
newspaper has to pay. Many journalists and media organisations are not
against this aspect of the ZMC; it is its licensing role that they loathe.

There is also the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ). It was set up
to allow journalists and their organisations to self-regulate. One of its
key functions is to arbitrate between members of the public who feel
aggrieved by what the media publishes and the offending publications.

But many powerful individuals in politics and business choose to ignore
these and instead seek to punish journalists by having them locked up.
Incidentally, individuals who continue to use this legislation are linked to
the former ruling party Zanu PF.

What we haven’t heard is an outcry from the other two parties in the
inclusive government against this patently unconstitutional legislation and
its continued abuse.

The awarding last week of free-to-air radio licences to Zimpapers and AB
Communications shows how low Tafataona Mahoso and his Broadcasting Authority
of Zimbabwe (BAZ) can sink. Not only is the body unconstitutional, its also
clearly partisan.

Its chairman, Mahoso, has never hidden his political affiliation. He is Zanu
PF through and through. For him to scandalously award the licences to
organisations so blatantly affiliated to Zanu PF is not only shameful but
flies in the face of what the Global Political Agreement (GPA) sought to do.
One of the clauses in the GPA advocates for the opening of the airwaves so
independent players can also play a part. BAZ has not done this; instead it
has tightened Zanu PF’s grip on the dissemination of information.

The MDCs must reject this and ensure the BAZ is properly constituted and
applications for radio licences are re-invited. If need be the assessment of
the applications must be done by a body chosen by the new BAZ which would be
non-partisan. No organisation that is affiliated to any political party
should attain a radio licence; radio stations should never be used for
propaganda purposes.


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