Sunday, 30 October 2011 11:22
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
BINGA — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday claimed President Robert
Mugabe last week told him he now wants to retire, but was being forced to
stay by Zanu PF elements fearing his departure will quicken the party’s
Tsvangirai’s remarks at a rally in Binga have brought a new dimension into
speculation surrounding the 87-year-old leader’s health status.
Mugabe last week reportedly flew to Singapore for the seventh time this year
to seek medical treatment.
He reportedly suffers from prostate cancer that is spreading to other organs
and creating tumours.
“On Monday during our meeting, Mugabe said he is now tired and wants to quit
and rest but he said elements in Zanu PF do not want him to step down,”
Tsvangirai told hundreds of villagers.
“He said further, there are divisions (in Zanu PF) and if he goes now the
party will collapse.” Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara meet every Monday to review work of their coalition government.
Efforts to get a comment from Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba yesterday
were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable.
Zanu PF is expected to endorse Mugabe as its candidate for elections
expected next year.
But the veteran ruler has not received the ringing endorsement he usually
gets against such Zanu PF gatherings where provincial structures stampede to
give him a public backing.
There is speculation that Zanu PF structures are undecided about Mugabe’s
candidature given his mounting health problems. Reports that Mugabe wants to
retire after ruling Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 are not new but he
has often dismissed them as wishful thinking by his detractors.
Tsvangirai also warned his supporters against engaging in political violence
ahead of next year’s elections.
He said perpetrators of political violence must learn from the case of Moses
Chokuda, an MDC-T activist killed by Zanu PF chairman Jason Machaya’s son
and other Zanu PF activists.
Chokuda’s family refused to bury his remains for almost three years until
Machaya was forced to give them 25 head of cattle and US$15 000 in cash to
appease his avenging spirit.
“Be warned against committing acts of violence in the name of MDC or Zanu
PF,” Tsvangirai said. “People should learn from the Chokuda case. You cannot
just kill people and expect to get away with it. We politicians will be at
our homes and vengeful spirits will be haunting you alone.”
The premier was on a tour of Matabeleland North province.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 11:34
BY PATIENCE NYANGOVE
MEMBERS of Parliament who have not been paid sitting allowances since their
election in 2008 will not get anything from government after principals in
the unity government blocked a plan that will have seen them taking home
thousands of US dollars, The Standard has learnt.
Early this month, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric
Matinenga had told the House of Assembly that Parliament was now ready to
pay the MPs their outstanding allowances.
He said it had been recommended that each MP would be given US$75 per
sitting backdated to 2008 and Parliament was calculating what each
legislator was owed.
But the MPs got the shock of their lives at a joint caucus meeting on
Thursday when they were told that the three principals — President Robert
Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara — had written a letter instructing Parliament to stop the
The principals instead recommended that the MPs only start getting their
sitting allowances from November 1. If Mugabe’s plans to have elections next
year, it will mean the legislators would only get remunerated for less than
12 months out of five years.
Their terms were supposed to end in 2013. Zanu PF chief whip Jorum Gumbo,
his MDC counterparts Edward Mkhosi and Innocent Gonese were the bearers of
the bad news and were nearly manhandled by the angry MPs, sources said.
“There was near war with the MPs accusing the whips and (Parliament’s)
Standing Rules and Orders Committee of giving them a raw deal,” said an MP
who wanted to remain anonymous.
“Things were so bad that Gumbo and Gonese were barred from leaving
Parliament. “Gumbo wanted to rush to a Copac meeting but could not go.”
Gumbo yesterday confirmed the development.
“Yes it was officially announced by the executive that MPs will not be
getting their sitting allowances as from 2008 to October 2011,” he said.
Zanu PF’s Goromonzi North MP Paddy Zhanda said the u-turn by the executive
“It’s wrong to deny us what is rightfully ours on the basis that we have
other sources of income,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate and as MPs, our
question is who is doing voluntary work in Zimbabwe?
“We are the least paid in the whole region. Do your own investigations and
you will see what I am talking about.” Another Zanu PF MP said the three
principals had failed to respect the separation of powers by involving
themselves in issues of MPs welfare.
He said the same ministers who blocked the payment of the allowances drew
“salaries of US$3 000 a month” and also benefited from Parliament’s car loan
scheme for MPs.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 11:39
BY NQABA MATSHAZI
POLICE yesterday disrupted MDC-T rallies in Matabeleland North despite a
court order that the meetings could go ahead. Information gleaned from MDC-T
officials indicated that more than 30 anti-riot police officers, armed to
the teeth, ordered the cancellation of a rally in Lupane and Binga in which
party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai was due to address.
Menacing police officers arrived in a number of trucks and threatened to
shoot people in Binga as well, where masses had gathered to listen to
The police officers told the expectant crowd and MDC-T officials that they
had not come to negotiate and were neither obligated to follow court orders,
MDC-T officials said.
Police are reported to have said the court order was fake and that they only
took instructions from their boss. A distressed Tabitha Khumalo, the MDC-T
deputy spokesperson, described the mood as tense in Lupane, saying people
feared that police could unleash violence and arrest their supporters.
“They have not arrested anyone so far, but they have besieged the houses of
party leaders in Matabeleland North,” she said. Khumalo said the houses were
being searched and she was not sure what steps the police would take from
The party’s organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa described police actions as
unbelievable, saying the police should not be allowed to trample on people’s
“Since independence we have moved backwards,” he said. “This is utter
disrespect of the people and the prime minister,” he said from Binga.
Police claimed they did not have the manpower to supervise the rally and
thus could not allow it to go ahead.
Since the inclusive government was formed two years ago, the MDC-T has not
been allowed to hold rallies in Lupane, as police have cracked down on each
The latest police action follows the disruption of another MDC-T rally in
Nkayi last weekend after plain clothes policemen ordered the cancellation of
Despite Tsvangirai’s protestations that he had the same executive powers as
President Robert Mugabe and that law enforcement agents were subservient to
him, the police would have none of it.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson, Edmore Veterai’s mobile phone was
off and could not be contacted for comment.
POLICE DEFY MAGISTRATE'S ORDER
Lupane and Binga magistrates Takudzwa Gwazemba and Stephen Ndlovu
respectively had on Thursday and Friday okayed the MDC-T to go ahead with
their rallies, describing actions by the police as “unlawful”.
In her ruling, Gwazemba ordered the Lupane rally scheduled to take place at
St Paul’s to go ahead without any interference from the police.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:30
BY JENNIFER DUBE
HARARE residents are planning a series of demonstrations to protest against
the worsening water shortages even after council admitted that it was
overwhelmed by the problems.
A number of the capital’s high suburbs have entered their third week without
running water after major disturbances at council’s Morton Jaffray water
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) yesterday claimed its leaders were being
harassed by police who wanted to stop the demonstrations against service
The lobby group had planned to start the demonstrations last Friday in Glen
Norah and Highfield but had to revise its plans after police reportedly
harassed its leaders.
Demonstrations are now planned for tomorrow in Mabvuku and Tafara, areas
worst affected by the water cuts.
The residents also plan to lay siege on Town House for two days beginning on
“We are facing problems with the police who think we want to upstage
government,” Shumba said. “Our leaders in the communities are being
Mabvuku residents last week said they had gone for more than two weeks
without running water despite settling their bills on time.
The residents, who have previously gone for more than two years without
water, now rely on community boreholes drilled by the United Nations
“I wake up early so I can be in the water queue by 4am at the latest because
the queue can be very long such that when you arrive late, you may only
fetch water after midday,” a resident, Nyarai Chingono said.
“But sometimes even if we arrive early, some bouncers from the community
arrive later and start filling their containers ahead of us and we have to
wait until they are done.
“The bouncers also sell water to people at the end of the queue, charging
US$1 for a 20-litre container.”
The residents said some schoolchildren had had to skip classes because of
lack of water while others arrived late after first helping their families
Fears of a renewed cholera outbreak continue to mount with the prolonged
Some households have since installed rainwater harvesting tanks with hope
for relief during the rainy season.
“A number of households have installed water harvesting equipment with
assistance from an American non-governmental organisation,” Gogo Tembi Rego
“We hope this will provide us with temporary relief during the rainy season.
“But we still look forward to the authorities to provide a lasting solution
to these problems.”
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:32
BY PATIENCE NYANGOVE
THE county’s biggest unions representing teachers have criticised the
government’s audit of the civil service to identify ghost workers saying it
was shrouded in secrecy.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) started the verification of the skills
and payroll last week and the exercise will run until November 15.
It is a follow up to the comprehensive audit of the civil service done by
Ernest and Young (India) on behalf of the Ministry of Public Service, which
exposed thousands of ghost workers.
The audit revealed that the payroll had more than 75 000 ghost workers, most
of them unqualified Zanu PF militia and supporters.
It revealed that a staggering 6 861 workers were employed in one day in one
The PSC and Zanu PF heavily criticised the audit saying it was not conducted
Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said although they had not been formally notified about the
audit, he felt that it was unnecessary.
“I am not aware that the PSC is carrying out another audit. however, this is
clear testimony that Zanu PF continues ducking and diving,” he said on
“There was an audit conducted by (the late Public Service minister Eliphas)
Mukonoweshuro, why should he die and another audit starts?
“It’s a scandal being engineered by those who want to do the audit.”
Majongwe accused Zanu PF of trying to clandestinely employ people loyal to
it under the guise of an audit.
“Zanu PF did create this situation where it wants to parachute people into
the civil service before the pending elections so as to rig elections,” he
claimed. “The whole point is to create confusion.”
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) president Tendai Chikowore had not
even seen the Earnest and Young audit report.
“Even myself, I haven’t seen the report,” Chikowore said.
“We have not been furnished as yet with the report.”
Chikowore said the PSC audit had a number of flaws.
Teachers from Midlands province have complained that PSC officials failed to
turn up for meetings they organised.
“As for the way the audit is being done, if it’s true that there is no PSC
staff to interview them then that is irregular. That is not the way it
should be done,” she said.
Public Service minister Lucia Matibenga refused to comment on the matter
referring all questions to PSC chairman Mariyawanda Nzuwa, who was not
available for comment.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:33
By Nunurayi Jena
CHINHOYI — A number of children are dropping out of school in resettled
areas in remote Doma near Mhangura citing long distances they have to travel
Many of the affected children, who live in Chengeta and Chisase, have to
walk as much as 20km to and from school.
Parents are also being forced to delay enrolling their children with some
starting Grade 1 at the age of nine instead of seven.
In urban areas children can now enroll for Grade 1 aged five or six.
A teacher at Doma Primary School who wanted to remain anonymous because he
was not authorised to speak to the media said most children in the area did
not proceed to secondary education because schools were few and far between.
“Because of the long distance children walk to school in the resettled areas
most children are dropping out of school after completing Grade VII,” he
A pupil at Doma Primary said she has to wake up at dawn for her to be at
school on time. But she is never early at school, usually arriving after
9am. She also has to leave school early to reach home before dusk as the
area has dangerous wild animals.
However, Edgar Tozivei Seremani, a parent, believes it is not the distance
that forces children out of school but the high tuition fees demanded by
Seremani, who is a farmer, revealed that he failed to raise US$10 per term
for the levy and US$1 per week for teachers’ incentive for his child who had
to drop out of school.
“The levy we are asked to pay is too high yet the teachers are not doing
their job as they spend most of the time loitering in the staff room,” said.
Government policy stipulates that children in rural areas are not supposed
to pay tuition fees but a levy agreed between school authorities and
Mashonaland West regional education director Sylvester Mashayamombe said it
was “regrettable” that some children were failing to access education
because there were no schools.
He said it was the duty of rural district councils and parents to build new
schools. — By Nunurayi Jena
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:34
BY JENNIFER DUBE
THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) says gold panners are threatening
key infrastructure in Bindura town as they dig winding tunnels in search of
the precious mineral.
Robert Rwafa, the EMA Mashonaland Central provincial manager told
journalists during a recent tour of the town that houses at the National
Railways of Zimbabwe compound were some of the structures threatened by the
illegal mining activities.
He said the agency had since discovered that the panners were hired by
people claiming to own mining claims issued by the government.
“Even those digging a few metres away from the town centre are said to be
claim holders,” Rwafa said.
“But where is the mining commissioner’s office when these people leave open
pits and gullies all over town?
“These gullies are affecting the beauty of Bindura and exposing children
from nearby houses to dangers of falling into these pits.
“All this destruction could be avoided if we consulted each other.”
Some of the panners claimed they were forced into illegal mining by economic
Tatenda Kasambarare (20), said he was forced into gold panning after he was
expelled from school where he was doing Form IV for failing to pay tuition
“I also have to raise enough to buy food at home and also for my siblings’
school fees,” he claimed.
Although Kasambarare said the panners knew that the pits they dug were
supposed to be back-filled, evidence on the ground showed massive damage to
The panners said some of the pits they had abandoned were as deep as 10
Rwafa also accused Chinese miners of worsening the situation by using heavy
machinery and emptying large amounts of waste into rivers.
Tendayi Nyamuguru, a lecturer in the department of environmental science at
Bindura University said gold panning in the town was now a health and
“These pits are likely to collapse during the rainy season, something which
may lead to the loss of lives and they can also be breeding ground for
mosquitoes,” Nyamuguru said.
“What we need is strong political will for a vigorous awareness campaign
aimed at teaching both legal and illegal miners about the importance of land
Police officer commanding Bindura Kudakwashe Nhakwi said they had raided the
panners on a number of occasions but sentences imposed by the courts were
not deterrent enough.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:36
BY JENNIFER DUBE
THE way slain MDC-T activist Moses Chokuda’s avenging spirit tormented his
killers and their families left Gokwe terrified and captured the imagination
of many Zimbabweans.
So fearful was Midlands governor and Zanu PF provincial chairperson Jason
Machaya, whose son was one of the killers, he did not hesitate to part with
35 head of cattle and US$15 000 to compensate Chokuda’s family.
Chokuda died in March 2009 at the hand of Farai Machaya, brothers Edmore and
Bothwell Gana as well as Abel Maphosa.
The murderers were recently jailed for up to 18 years after inordinate
delays in their case.
But the move by Machaya to compensate the Chokudas, who for almost three
years had refused to bury their son’s remains, ensured the conclusion of
what might be one of Zimbabwe’s most intriguing murder cases.
Chokuda’s remains were finally buried in Gokwe last Saturday after the
family performed some rituals.
Now observers believe his case could be used as a template to address the
problematic issue of political violence and impunity.
Phathisa Nyathi, a prominent historian said the case was a lesson that
whoever spills blood should face the music.
“It should be a lesson to other people,” Nyathi said. “It shows that if you
allow yourself to be used, it does not affect the person who gave the order,
but it affects you the murderer.
“The sender is very safe, and the one who spilt blood suffers.”
The case, according to Nyathi could also reopen debate on the power of
traditional belief systems in resolving conflict.
“The traditional system worked in this case because in our African culture
imprisoning a culprit does not help at all,” he added.
“When such things happen in our culture, what is important is to reestablish
the lost equilibrium, the lost harmony, the injured social relations.
“The Shona have the best solution to this; the operation of ngozi where the
murderer has to pay.”
While serving a jail sentence would go a long way in punishing the
murderers, Nyathi said the avenging spirit would have continued to torment
them after prison had they failed to “make amends with the injured”.
He cited the example of the Gukurahundi atrocities in the 1980s, which he
said “will never affect those who gave orders, but willing agents and their
“It will cost your parents, while those who sent orders are comfortable in
their offices,” Nyathi said.
Organ of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses
Mzila-Ndlovu, said while anticipating that people can forgive each other,
the government’s reconciliation programme was flawed.
He said as a result his MDC party was trying to convince its partners in the
unity government to support a process that will promote disclosure about
past human rights violations.
“We prefer an approach which starts with acknowledgement of the atrocities,
for example those perpetrated by the 5th Brigade, which make the greater
part of the national healing project,” Mzila-Ndlovu said.
“If you look at the Chokuda case, there was acknowledgement.
“We are not going to achieve anything by just saying that people should
forgive each other.
“The justice that happened in the Chokuda family has to be extended to the
5th Brigade victims whereby the courts sentence the perpetrators to long
“There has never been any acknowledgement, no arrests, no justice in the
fifth Brigade massacres cases.”
Mzila-Ndlovu added that it was obvious getting this justice was not going to
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association leader Professor Gordon
Chavhunduka said the Chokuda case would help them drive home the point that
traditional systems can work in fostering healing.
“The message is that we should use traditional systems,” Chavhunduka said.
“In 1980 after the war, the Zanu PF government used traditional experts to
go around the country and talk to people about reconciliation.
“It has a lasting effect because people respect traditional systems.”
He said although the court system works, people were still more inclined
towards their traditional beliefs.
Jesuit priest Father Oscar Wermter said there could be many similar cases.
He also supported the view that the traditional system could work, “but it
is not enough”.
“This is not an individual case, there are many cases like this, and
therefore many victims,” said Wermter.
“Human life cannot be paid for because once a family has lost a father,
there is no replacement for that father no matter the payment.
“So what we need is to address the issue of political violence in general,
whereby parties continue to blame each other.”
The best solution, Wemter said, was to address the culture of violence which
has become deeplyembedded in Zimbabwe’s political fabric.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:21
BY NQABA MATSHAZI
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has opened a hornet’s nest with calls for
the legalisation of homosexuality, a hugely divisive subject in the country.
Speaking in Britain last week, Tsvangirai said he hoped the new constitution
would come up with freedom for sexual orientation, immediately drawing the
ire of Zanu PF and cultural activists in Zimbabwe.
The prime minister has been questioned on why he seems to say one thing to a
Zimbabwean audience and another to a foreign audience.
“Women make up 52% of the population...There are more women than men, so why
should men be proposing to men?” Tsvangirai asked then, speaking after
Mugabe at a function to celebrate Women’s Day.
“That issue is not debatable, it’s not up for discussion. It’s just madness,
insanity. The ancestors will turn in their graves should we allow this to
happen,” Mugabe had said.
Tsvangirai’s new stance, observers said would feed into Mugabe’s rhetoric,
as homosexuality was hugely frowned upon as un-cultural and un-African.
Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa has also laid into Tsvangirai, saying
the prime minister’s call was not genuine but rather he was telling his
“sponsors” what they wanted to hear.
Zanu PF accuses Tsvangirai of being a pawn of the West, particularly Britain
Britain has already threatened to cut aid to countries that criminalised
homosexuality and Tsvangirai’s statements could have been meant to please
them, Zanu PF charges. “I know personally he doesn’t believe it. He has said
so many times in the cabinet,” Chinamasa said.
An analyst, Dumisani Nkomo reckons Tsvangirai should have kept quiet on the
issue and rather waited for the completion of the constitution-making
“The problem is that at the moment the majority of Zimbabweans are not
necessarily in agreement with that and he can play into Mugabe’s hands
through that statement,” he said.
Nkomo said Tsvangirai’s statements were not calculated and Mugabe was going
to go to town accusing the prime minister of trying to smuggle gay rights
into the constitution.
He said, following Tsvangirai’s statements, gay rights could turn into a
major election campaign tool, in the next election.
While Tsvangirai may be able to ride this storm, analysts claim that Mugabe
would exploit this and the prime minister may yet live to regret saying
Leader of a faction of the MDC, Welshman Ncube has turned the knife in the
back of his former colleague, claiming he lacked consistency on policy.
“He lacks a clear point of view and consistency,” he told a rally in Nkayi
on Friday. “He says one thing when he is in Europe and he says another when
he is with (President Robert) Mugabe. Leaders should be clear and consistent
Ncube’s charge probably stems from that only last year, Tsvangirai was
singing from the same hymn book with Mugabe claiming homosexuality should
not be legalised.
The lone voice so far backing the MDC-T leader’s call for inclusion of gay
rights in the constitution, is the Gays and lesbians Association of Zimbabwe
(Galz). “We urge him to have the courage to stand by his laudable respect
for human rights in the face of the propaganda and unpopularity that will be
generated by the Zimbabwean media around his position,” the association said
in a statement last week.
Galz said it did not expect every Zimbabwean to embrace gay rights or the
issue of homosexuality.
“But we do expect Zimbabweans — and our political leaders in particular — to
understand and promote the fundamental, inalienable and indivisible nature
of human rights, including non-discrimination on the basis of race, gender,
tribe, culture, sexual orientation or political affiliation,” the
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:29
BY FORTUNE MOYO
BINGA — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was on Friday greeted by placard
waving villagers during his tour of Matabeleland.
Tsvangirai, who appeared to be playing into Zanu PF’s hands when he told the
BBC last week that gay rights were also a “human right,” was eventually
forced to address the thorny issue at a rally in Binga.
Villagers in Lupane and Tsholotsho carried placards with messages such as,
“No to homosexuals.”
Speaking at a rally at Pashu Secondary School in Binga South, Tsvangirai
said he did not understand why people were making such a fuss about his
views on gays. “I am not gay, but I will not persecute someone who wishes to
make his or her own choice about their sexual orientation, it is their own
business,” he said.
But he admitted that homosexuality was a “very controversial subject” in
Zimbabwe. “Surely we cannot spend time talking about gays and lesbians. Do
you think that I have time to be responding to what I meant or did not mean
when I made reference to the issue of gays? There are more serious issues to
talk about, such as how to take care of the well-being of the people,”
Tsvangirai told the rally.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 11:45
BY RUTENDO MAWERE
GWERU — Mysterious fires that have destroyed about 15 cars parked at homes
in Zvishavane has left the sleepy mining town searching for answers. The
fires, which are believed to have started late at night on different dates,
have stoked up fear.
Police have since imposed a 10pm curfew to try and catch the criminals to no
avail. Fainos Mare, a local businessman of Charlesinn suburb became the
latest victim after his Nissan hardbody truck was set on fire.
“My Nissan Hardbody pickup was reduced to ashes on Thursday night,” he said.
“It is clear it was deliberately burnt because they used firewood near the
He added: “I suspect that those burning vehicles could be owners of security
companies to instill fear into the Zvishavane residents so that they look
for guards to look after their property.
“We also suspect that it could be those companies that also deal in alarm
systems.” Mare said they were disappointed by Zvishavane police’s failure to
stop the crime.
“These police officers just take notes and do not assist in any way,” he
claimed. “It is better that we do not have the police force at all because
I feel they are useless.”
A Vehicle Inspection Department official identified as Takesure Mugarisanwa
had his house partly burnt after his car was set on fire. Zvishavane Town
council chairman, Alluwis Zhou said they were at a loss on what was
happening in the town.
“The whole town is confused at the moment as to what is happening,” he said.
“Together with the police we have tried our level best but so far nothing
has been found.
“We have no idea who is engaging in such destructive acts but it seems most
people suspect insurance companies. “It can also be the security companies
that have sprouted here because since the problem started a number of people
have engaged the services of security guards.”
Zvishavane police could not immediately comment on the matter but earlier in
the week they told state media that they had not made any breakthrough in
Sunday, 30 October 2011 12:16
BY NQABA MATSHAZI
PRISONS boss, Paradzai Zimondi has been sucked into an ownership wrangle
over a conservancy in Kariba, amid allegations that he was benefitting
financially, despite not being a director or a shareholder.
A retired army colonel, Thomas Ngwenya claims that Zimondi and other
directors of the conservancy, Wesango Safaries, conspired to have him
removed from the list of directors and this has seen him being prejudiced of
dividends since 2004.
In papers filed before the Bulawayo High Court, Ngwenya accuses the Zimbabwe
Prison Service (ZPS) boss of chairing a meeting in October 2009, where a
resolution was passed to recapitalise the company that runs the conservancy,
an agreement which he says is a nullity and void.
Also cited in the court papers are the other directors, Agnes and Epmarcus
Kanhanga, Richard Chingombe and the Registrar of Companies, in a suit where
Ngwenya is demanding US$10 000.
Chingombe is an heir to the estate of Amos Chingombe and Ngwenya charges
that his appointment was unprocedural. The defendants have since entered a
notice to defend.
Ngwenya, who holds a quarter of the shareholding, says he has not received a
dividend for 2004 to 2009 and only received a Mazda twin cab in 2008 as part
of the dividend of that year.
The former military man says he was unprocedurally removed from the director’s
list and this had seen him being prejudiced of an income, despite trying to
solve this, he says, he was forced to approach the courts, as he had not met
In this regard, Ngwenya wanted the court to have his directorship restored
and that the Registrar of Companies be compelled to include his name in the
list of directors. He also sought to have the appointment of Chingombe as a
director to be rescinded, as the meeting that named him was unprocedural and
Ngwenya also sought to compel the other directors to release management
accounts, bank statements, financial statements, minute books and annual
returns from 2005 to 2010.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 12:17
BY LESLEY WURAYAYI
THE Iranian Clinic of Red Crescent Society (ICRCS) recently donated US$30
000 to the Zimbabwe Red Cross to help fund its operations. Speaking at the
handover ceremony, clinic manager Amin Hamidzadeh said the donation will go
a long way in helping the organisation fulfill its mandate of providing aid
to the vulnerable in society.
“This is just a start for great things yet to come from the Iranian
community regarding aid which is in line with strategy 2010, ensuring all
Red Cross Society organisations are well-funded so as to fulfill their
mandate,” Hamidzadeh said.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:40
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
ZANU PF has accelerated the controversial indigenisation drive by dangling
shares grabbed from foreign-owned companies in exchange for votes in the
next elections, political analysts have said.
But the populist community ownership trusts could plunge the country, still
smarting from a decade-long economic decline, into deeper crisis as it will
scare away foreign investors.
The party has started dishing out shares in the hope of recapturing its
disillusioned supporters as well as grabbing swing voters who are not
solidly committed to any particular party ahead of the elections.
President Robert Mugabe has demanded polls next year while his main rival
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai insists on a level electoral playing field
A fortnight ago, Mugabe officially launched the
Chegutu-Mhondoro-Ngezi-Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust, which he said
was designed to economically empower indigenous people.
But his critics dismissed it as a “vote-catching strategy,” similar to the
ruinous land grab policy.
Mining giant Zimplats gave 10% shareholding to the local community as part
of the scheme.
It will also surrender US$10 million to the local community to be disbursed
over a three-year period.
Under Zimbabwe’s contested empowerment laws, foreign firms must cede at
least 51% of their shareholding to locals.
The architect of the schemes, Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation
and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere said the schemes were critical towards
achieving broad-based empowerment after the “successful” conclusion of the
land reform programme.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora dismissed the empowerment programme
saying it smacks of Zanu PF clientelism, cronyism, corruption and political
Since 2000, Zanu PF has dished out vast tracts of productive farmland
grabbed from commercial farmers to party loyalists.
In recent years, Mugabe has drawn most of his votes from the farming
communities, who are ordered to vote for Zanu PF or risk losing the
“The political polarisation is such that only those in privileged positions
and those who supported Zanu PF will benefit from this so-called
empowerment,” said University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer John
“It ceased to be a government programme because the MDC-T has washed its
In the past, thousands of Mugabe’s supporters have been favoured with jobs,
properties and other privileges at a great cost to the economy.
Judging from the land invasions, analysts said the “clientelism” strategy
could shake Tsvangirai’s support base if all the community share
beneficiaries were to vote for Mugabe.
In previous polls, Zanu PF dished out farming implements and food in
exchange for votes. It has also used political violence with limited
But Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe chairman Jonah Gokova said just like the
land reform; the empowerment programme will only benefit Mugabe’s cronies.
“During the land invasions, Mugabe said he was empowering the poor but they
voted against him in the 2008 elections,” Gokova said.
“People are not fools. They know it’s a vote-buying gimmick.”
Economic analyst Daniel Ndlela described the policy as noble but feared that
it will be abused.
He said similar policies were pursued to empower disadvantaged Aborigines in
Australia and American-Indians in America.
“As a policy, you cannot run away from it but it has to be transparent and
non-political,” Ndlela said.
“These are the conditions for sustainability.”
Ndlela expressed concern that the policy was heavily politicised and forced
companies, some of which were not making any profits, to contribute.
“Will they not forget it soon after elections?” he asked. “It should go
beyond political rhetoric.”
Makumbe said Zanu PF officials had already positioned themselves to grab
shares in foreign-owned firms like they did with farms, which are now
Sunday, 30 October 2011 12:03
BY BRIAN HUNGWE
THE next few weeks could prove to be the most trying in the career of
Zimbabwe’s 87-year-old President Robert Mugabe. Until now, it would have
been unthinkable for him to doubt the support of his Zanu PF party at the
gathering of the party’s annual jamboree.
But party insiders say the country’s leader, who has been in power for 31
years, was stunned by recent disclosures by the whistle-blower website,
WikiLeaks, that his close allies spoke to US diplomats about his political
With elections beckoning, the reality is that a string of his top officials
in his party believe he is now a liability and want him to go before
presidential polls slated for next year. Insiders say he would like to stand
for re-election, but because of the WikiLeaks exposures, the President is
now weighing his options.
The diplomatic cables — covering the period 2004 to 2010 — were relayed to
Washington from Harare, containing details of secret meetings US diplomats
held with top army officers and Zanu PF officials.
The meetings took place without the knowledge of Mugabe and his supposedly
omnipresent spies. The general consensus is that although the top Zanu PF
leadership wants Mugabe — who has cancer, according to the cables — to go,
no-one is brave enough to tell him that to his face.
Party insiders say Mugabe is not too sure how to deal with his enemies from
within, especially those officials he thought would keep party secrets under
lock and key.
On the 7th floor of the imposing Zanu PF headquarters overlooking the
capital, Harare, party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo has been making a study of
the documents. In the right hand corner of his office is a bookshelf and a
file written in bold letters “Wikileaks”.
“The people who were talking to the Americans clearly take themselves and
the Americans more seriously than they take us. My feeling is that (the
WikiLeaks) issue might have ruffled feathers,” he admits.
So are heads going to roll at the annual conference in December when Mugabe
is expected to seek Zanu PF’s endorsement to serve another five-year term?
“We will cross the bridge when we get there,” Gumbo said. It is not even
clear, he says, if Mugabe’s future will be on the agenda as “according to
party constitution, the president of the party is a candidate for any
(presidential) elections that are held”.
“He is likely to be endorsed,” he added. The top party officials implicated
in the diplomatic cables of plotting against Mugabe have powerful party
constituencies which he cannot afford to alienate by punishing them.
Vice-President Joice Mujuru is wife to late army general Solomon Mujuru, a
kingmaker, believed to have pressured Mugabe to step down during party
Mujuru has a huge support base within Zanu PF, as does party legal affairs
secretary and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is understood to have
muted the idea of forming a new party to challenge Mugabe. Dozens of others
were named in the cables and Mugabe has indicated he would like them
But there seems to be limited options for Mugabe. He may be damned if he
acts and damned if he does not. If he does not, he will come out as a weak
leader and his party will go into elections divided. If he does act, he will
also divide the party.
For a lawyer and author Petina Gappah, it is good to hear senior figures
question Mugabe’s continued leadership, but she questions their motives.
“The people who were talking to the Americans clearly take themselves and
the Americans more seriously than they take us,” says Gappah.
“If anything, this is a God-sent event which will go a long, long way to
unite people, scare cowards. That makes me angry,” she says.
Political commentator Brian Raftopolous sees the closed-door chatter as a
historical problem for the party, now in its 48th year.
“Succession issues have never been dealt with openly in Zanu PF. There has
also been violence and death and all kinds of skulduggery. It’s really the
inability of a liberation party to transform itself into a democratic
party,” he says. — BBC
Sunday, 30 October 2011 14:16
BY NDAMU SANDU IN SEOUL, Republic of Korea
ZIMBABWE owes Republic of Korea US$2,8 million for tractors delivered during
the farm mechanisation exercise four years ago and the delay in clearing the
debt has stalled the processing of a US$50 million line of credit, a top
official said on Wednesday.
If the money is repaid, the suspension of the line of credit would be
lifted, said Young Chul Baik, honorary consulate of the Republic of Zimbabwe
“I arranged the US$5 million facility. Korea supplied tractors and Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe paid US$2,2 million and the US$2,8 million was not paid,
meaning default,” he said, adding that the Korean government has suspended
credit lines to Zimbabwe.
“Minister Biti must pay, but he is against what (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
governor) Gideon Gono had done.
“That is why he didn’t pay, even after the Insurance Corporation of Korea
announced that they were promised payment. If you pay the US$2,8 million,
they will give you US$50 million immediately,” said Baik, who is also the
chairman of Taesung Chemical Co. Ltd.
RBZ embarked on a farm mechanisation programme in 2007 to boost agricultural
production as part of its quasi-fiscal activities.
The quasi-fiscal activities were stopped in 2009 when an amended legislation
governing the activities of the RBZ directed it to concentrate on its core
Some of the equipment bought under the farm mechanisation programme was
auctioned to offset debts after those who were owed money by RBZ obtained
writs of execution.
According to the Trade Insurance Act, an insurance arm, K-sure, was set up
as an official export credit agency to promote Korea’s exports, overseas
investment and other businesses by providing credit insurances and
Korea’s K-sure operates under the ministry of Knowledge and Economy.
In July RBZ announced that it was disposing of its shareholding in seven
“According to the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) they must approach me,
but they didn’t,” Baik said.
Baik said he had written letters to the RBZ committee on disposal and Gono
asking for permission to identify a local partner he can work with.
“Without an agreement with me, that project will not go anywhere because
Zimbabwe does not have any technical expertise,” Baik said.
He said the shareholders injected US$12 million at inception. He said the
project has been turned into a white elephant since it is not operating.
“Since the end of 2007 there has been no production. It used to produce, but
the Reserve Bank took the diesel and didn’t pay,” he said.
“Now, it is four years no payment: where is the working capital?
“If we are not operating, you can imagine the cost of maintenance, huge
maintenance costs,” he said.
“One of the bidders came to me because they needed technical support. I
asked the buyer, do you have money? He said he does not have and I asked,
how are you going to do it and he said once he gets support from me they are
going to get financing from the bank,” Baik said.
Baik said he told the prospective investor to look for money to repay the
loan since the project is a viable long-term venture, which can only declare
a dividend in 10 years.
“It is a good project, the only one in Africa and once we have done well we
can export technical expertise.”
Sunday, 30 October 2011 14:05
BY NDAMU SANDU IN SEOUL, Republic of Korea
YOUTH Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour
Kasukuwere told Korean business executives on Wednesday that their
investments in Zimbabwe are safe despite the move to seize foreign-owned
At a dinner hosted for the executives by the Zimbabwean delegation that was
in the Asian country on a study tour, Kasukuwere said the empowerment of
locals was meant to achieve a “win-win situation” for all stakeholders.
“The process of empowerment is not meant to stifle investments in the
country, but to achieve a win-win situation,” he said.
“We want Korean investment and we will make sure that investments by Korean
business people are protected.”
According to the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, locals must have at
least 51% shareholding in all foreign-owned companies operating in Zimbabwe.
The ministry has already concluded discussions with major mining houses and
will now move to the manufacturing and financial sectors.
Kasukuwere was head of a Zimbabwean delegation that was in Korea to look at
the success story of the Asian nation backed by locals and how its
experiences could be replicated in Zimbabwe.
The delegation comprised State Enterprises and Parastatals deputy minister
Walter Chidhakwa, National Indigenisation and Economic Board chairman David
Chapfika and NIIEB chief executive officer Wilson Gwatiringa among others.
The delegation toured Korea’s small-to-medium enterprises, where it learnt
how the sector was contributing to the growth of the economy.
Once one of the poorest countries in the world, Korea has transformed in
four decades into one of the best countries in terms of economic development
and is now spreading its tentacles across the world.
It has now set its eyes on Africa and hosts the Korea-Africa Industry
Cooperation Forum annually.
On Wednesday, Korea pledged its support for Africa saying the continent
faces a golden opportunity for development.
“As for Korea, supporting Africa’s development is an international
obligation as well as a means of pursuing national interests,” said Deung
Hun Chun, president of Korea Institute for Development Strategy.
He said the “virginity” of Africa should be the source of its future
competitiveness and a blue print for sustainable development of global
Korea is offering concessional loans to African countries as well as
technical assistance through its Knowledge Sharing Programme.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 14:06
BY KUDZAI CHIMHANGWA
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) says increasing imports at a time when
growth in exports is sluggish has negatively affected Zimbabwe’s economic
In its Zimbabwe Monthly Economic Review for October, the bank noted that
over the period January to September 2011, provisional data indicates that
exports amounted to US$3 153,40 million while imports raked in US$6 265,27
“This resulted in a cumulative trade balance of US$3 111,88 million over the
period of review.
“On a monthly basis, however, the trade balance declined from US$872,49
million in August 2011 to US$508,84 million in September 2011,” said the
AfDB in a statement.
Under the government’s Medium-Term Plan (MTP), the country’s current account
improvement is premised on both exports growth in response to investment and
“Exports are forecast to increase at a faster rate than growth in the rest
of the economy reflecting dominance of the mining sector,” reads the MTP
The MTP also targets a current account deficit of not more than 5% of GDP by
“The trade balance structure remains a potential challenge to the management
of the current account,” said the AfDB.
Government expects the current account deficit to improve from US$1,6
billion in 2011 to US$1,2 billion in 2012.
Although the AfDB commended Zimbabwe’s improved economic governance, based
on the Finance ministry’s budget strategy paper (BSP), Government Works
Programme and the Medium-Term Plan, experts contend that the business
environment needs to be transformed in order to pursue export-led growth.
Following years of protracted political wrangling among the leading parties,
which led to negative ripple effects on the economy, Zimbabwe’s
manufacturing sector experienced an unprecedented slump in production levels
resulting in massive corrosion of the export sector’s performance.
Over 95% of the country’s mining sector output is exported, but the AfDB
notes that the general trend shows that the indigenisation law was
negatively impacting on the performance of the stock market and the economy
However, under the BSP, domestic capacity utilisation is projected to
increase to 60% and in the process reduce the high quantities of imports,
with particular emphasis on basic commodities.
Food imports are expected to decline by 31,1% under the BSP.
Finance minister Tendai Biti re-introduced import duty on basic commodities
such as maize meal and cooking in a bid to improve local industrial capacity
utilisation as well as to stimulate local production of stock-feed.
Duty on salt, flour and rice remains suspended until December this year.
The BSP also projects an improvement in the balance of payments position
from a deficit of US$789,7 million in 2011 to a deficit of US$438,2 million
in 2012 on account of growth in exports and reduced imports.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 14:03
BY JOHN KACHEMBERE
THE National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) says the re-introduction of
duty on some basic commodities by the Ministry of Finance will impact
positively on the economy.
Finance minister Tendai Biti in August re-introduced import duties ranging
between 10 to 25% on basics such as maize meal and cooking oil and other
commodities such as potato chips, baked beans and mixed fruit jam.
The move resulted in unjustified price increases.
In a recent report the NECF said despite reports of price increases, the
re-introduction of duty was positively impacting on the economy.
“The task force’s analysis established that the cost structures of the
manufacturers of the selected basic commodities did not change as a result
of the re-introduction of duties.
“Whatever changes might have occurred, were results of shifts in commodity
prices on the international market,” reads the NECF report in part.
The NECF, which was created to ensure the attainment of socio-economic
goals, based on the concept of smart partnerships between the public and
private sectors, said as a result of the re-introduction of duty, National
Foods re-opened its Bulawayo plant while Cairns Foods’ Mutare branch resumed
operations on October 1.
In addition, the companies have increased the number of operating shifts and
hence creating employment.
But at the same time, manufacturers lack raw materials to fill the gap.
“Most local manufacturers of the commodities, whose duties were
re-introduced, rely on the seasonal supply of key raw materials which are
agro-based, which invariably leads to a high raw material inventory to
guarantee the security of supply for these materials.
“Besides the high cost of financing operations with borrowed money, the
flooding of cheap imports coming in duty-free on the market, led to locally
produced key products becoming uncompetitive.”
Some analysts argued that after a decade of decline, the Zimbabwean economy
now once again needs infant industry protection.
“The restoration of duty will certainly result in significant revival of the
industry, as capacity utilisation is set to increase.
“With more companies escalating their ability, we are going to witness local
companies gaining competitive edge,” said prominent economist Johannes
Chiminya however, said constant power outages and lack of raw materials and
working capital might work against the full recovery of the local industry.
The NECF study also noted that most manufacturers whose products benefited
from the re-introduction of duty, had doubled capacity utilisation from 21%
to 46%, especially in Harare and Bulawayo.
“Despite this increase, more excess capacity still exists, for instance,
National Foods still has capacity to meet the increasing national demand at
“It has employed 2 000 more workers. Victoria Foods has restarted three
milling plants to meet demand and has employed more people.
“Olivine now has 1 200 employees. More importantly, the companies have
intentions of raising prices due to the Zesa’s 31% tariff increase, which
would translate into 53% extra cost.
Increased capacity utilisation had also led to the production of the
much-needed offals by the livestock industry, saving them from importing the
same from neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Malawi, the NECF added.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 14:00
BY LESLEY WURAYAYI
AS the mobile phone industry continues to turn into a cutthroat trade,
service providers are fighting hard to outdo each other, with the latest
innovation being mobile banking.
In a country where statistics are hugely inaccurate and not regularly
available, the country’s three mobile phone service providers, Net One,
Econet and Telecel, claim they are reaching out to Zimbabwe’s unbanked
population, whom they say make a huge percentage of the population.
The companies claim they want to reach out to rural customers and those that
have no access to banks, as they continue to diversify in the hope of luring
Due to the growth of use of mobile phones in developing countries, mobile
operators are cashing in on the convenience that the mobile phones offer.
While this may be a new innovation in Zimbabwe, Kenya was a trendsetter,
having mobile phone company Safaricom introducing M’Pesa, the cash transfer
system sometime ago.
Recently, Econet launched a mobile money transfer system, but the company
says this should not be mistaken for mobile banking.
“The misconception that EcoCash is mobile banking is false, it is a mobile
money transfer, more like a mobile wallet,” Curtis Takawira, an official
from Econet said.
Telecel, on the other hand, have come up with a system that they claim is
technically different from Ecocash, as it offered a variety of products to
The company partnered with banks under the ZimSwitch banner, saying this
gave them wider coverage across the country.
“Telecel has entered into a partnership with ZimSwitch that allows ZimSwitch
member financial institutions to provide mobile banking services through
Telecel mobile network,” Francis Chimanda, from Telecel, said.
Their advantage, Telecel says, is that their clients can make their
transactions at either supermarkets, post offices, stores or any outlet with
a ZimSwitch Ready sign.
“Our charges are low but viable. Telecel and its banking partners would wish
to see many of those who have not previously had a bank account brought into
the banking system through mobile banking,” Chaminda said.
They hope that their affordable services and the strength of the reputations
of the partnered financial institutions can be expected to increase
confidence in the concept.
Despite the money cash transfer system being new, it is already receiving
rave reviews from people who have used it.
“EcoCash is extremely convenient and a well thought out initiative. Though
it’s still in its early stages we are yet to see if it will be recognised
brand. People hate the inconvenience of banks so it might be a success
story,” Lizwe Chitanganya, a Harare resident, said.
“I don’t even know there are transaction charges but obviously that’s always
a deterrent to such services.”
Convenience was cited as being the major factor why the mobile transfer
system could prove to be a hit with Zimbabweans.
“Well, it is not different from other money couriers like Western Union,
just that it’s more convenient sending money while you are at home or
anywhere,” Busi Matinhure said.
Shiana Nazareth said, “What I like the most is that I can purchase airtime
anytime and send money to my friends and siblings. It’s really a good
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:59
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
SCIENCE and Technology minister Heneri Dzinotyiweyi (pictured right) says
government must lift the ban on genetically modified (GMOs) foods insisting
they have been scientifically proven to be safe for human consumption.
His call comes at a time when over 1,7 million people, mostly in the rural
areas, are said to be at the verge of starvation due to hunger.
Dzinotyiweyi’s appeal is supported by the Grain Millers Association of
Zimbabwe, which has also called on government to lift a ban on GMOs to avert
hunger amid widespread food shortages.
Dzinotyiweyi, a former University of Zimbabwe Dean of Science told
Standardbusiness that GMOs remained banned because there was no unanimity in
government as far as their use and consumption was concerned.
“From a scientific angle, nobody has shown that such products are unsafe,”
Dzinotyiweyi said. For us, as a developing country, to say they are unsafe
would be wrong.”
He added: “With the way the world is going, we cannot survive on
superstition. We have to respect scientific evidence and go along with it
that GMOs are good and boost food production.”
The former UZ lecturer urged farmers and millers to confront government so
that it can lift the ban of GMOs.
“I hope affected constituencies such as farmers and millers can confront
government on this with a desire to arrive at a conclusive position, which
is of interest to both the country as a whole and to themselves,” he said
Government banned the importation of genetically modified grain citing
health and environmental reasons.
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:45
By Tarisai Shumba
Statistics show that Zimbabwe still has an incredible 28% of its total
landmass set aside for wildlife areas and made up as follows:
lAbout 14% for National Parks,
lAbout 12% for Campfire and Forestry
lSome 1,9% for Conservancies.
Unfortunately, though, only conservancies have been able to generate income
and, thus, manage their wildlife assets as well as tourism and hunting
infrastructures to maximise the use of these assets. Due to the abysmal
reputation of Zimbabwe as an international tou rism destinations even
conservancies have difficulties of making ends meet.
National Parks and Campfire have not fared any better. National Park’s camps
and lodges are in poor condition as are roads and water supply for the
Proactive game management normally includes game counts and aerial surveys.
Few, if any of, such management tools have been applied in the state-owned
assets for some time now. Therefore, understanding the composition of
wildlife herds; initiating conservation and proactive management practises
are difficult, if not impossible. Compare this to running a business without
a regular stocktake of stocks and assets and no auditing of financial
statements: Management and owners would run around like headless chickens
and unable to make responsible decisions. That is the situation prevailing
in National Parks.
As stated by one of the former director generals: “About 90% of all income
in parks is derived from hunting concessions sold in National Parks. Hunting
in National Parks? This must be a Zimbabwe special!
Generally, National Parks are kept for the appreciation and recreation of
the local population as well as overseas guests, not for hunting safaris.
Parks should therefore earn entry fees if their offer of what to see and how
to enjoy is acceptable. The latter is clearly not the case; otherwise why
would the tourism gate receipts amount to less than 10% of revenue?
As admitted by PWMA director general, Vitalis Chadenga, and what is now
public knowledge, Zimbabwe has lost about 80% of its national wildlife in
the past 12 years.
While Chadenga is in charge only since early last year, his minister Francis
Nhema has held the portfolio of Environment for over 12 years. A minister
who has overseen the destruction of the largest asset under his control, an
asset that is a national as well as international heritage must be named a
national failure. But he is still in cabinet and allowed to continue
mismanaging his portfolio.
We have recently received the: Ministry of Environment And Natural Resources
Management, Strategic Plan 2: 2011 – 2015
Indeed, the plan makes good reading. But the plan’s implementation is
chaired by a minister and his staff who have the dubious record of
destroying the assets under their control. What credibility, if any, does
this plan have, therefore?
Mismanagement is not countered by making a good plan but by firing the
management which failed and by appointing new and credible managers, in this
case politicians, who will work on and implement an industry embracing
Unless drastic changes are forthcoming in heading and manning the Ministry
of Environment, the national asset of wildlife will continue to be
Wildlife-based tourism accounts for over 10% of GDP and employment. Will
this government; this Cabinet leave the fate of such a large contributor to
Zimbabweans wellbeing in the hands of incompetent politicians who have
proved beyond doubt that they have no interest or ability of managing their
responsibility for our National asset of wildlife?
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:44
By Nevanji Madanhire
I saw a new bin in Harare last week. The bin was beautiful and carried the
legend: Keep Harare Clean. It also had painted on it the graphic of a
pedestrian throwing litter into it. Another sign on it was the recycle sign.
It was an exhilarating experience. The previous week Harare Mayor Muchadeyi
Masunda had texted hailing The Standard for its anti-litter crusade.
Interestingly, other newspapers, particularly public ones, have also picked
up the fight against litterbugs. All very marrrrvelous!
I would like to emphasise the importance of bins being beautiful. The
message to send around to the people should be that “bins are cool”. If the
bins are ugly they negate the purpose they are supposed to serve. If a bin
is an eyesore in itself, people would not wish to be associated with it. It’s
an interesting observation; people throw their litter at unsightly bins
instead of into them. The result is a mess.
Now that the City Fathers have taken the first step of providing bins at
strategic points they must ensure two things; that the bins are emptied
regularly and that they are kept in good shape. Those that have become
misshapen should be replaced by new ones. This is going to be expensive,
reason why our business community should lead on this one by identifying
with the anti-litter campaign and providing bins regularly; they can put
their signage on them.
But the success of this crusade depends on the public’s response. The bins
are there to be used, not simply to decorate the motorways. But how can this
message be drilled into the minds of people long used to throwing their
rubbish all over the place?
Zimbabweans have engaged in successful campaigns before. The HIV and Aids
awareness campaign is one such. I can hear readers sighing and saying how
could I liken the anti-litter campaign to the anti-HIV/Aids campaign! But
this demonstrates how seriously we should take the litter issue. One thing
that made the anti-HIV/Aids campaign a success was the totality of its
thrust. It was on radio and television. It rang everywhere until our ears
Campaigners went into schools and factories; messages were pasted everywhere
including in buses and trains. It was total immersion! Now thanks to this,
statistics show that the incidence of new HIV infection has declined
considerably and continues to do so.
The same can be done about litter; there should be campaigns in schools and
on factory floors, in buses and in trains until the message is drummed home.
The campaign should go further and educate the public on the different types
of litter. Recently, I noticed a very disturbing trend; people are burning
heaps of litter in the middle of the road or wherever they are found. The
intention might be good but that is not the right thing to do. Not only does
the burning pollute the air but also the resulting fumes are pregnant with
gasses that have other diverse effects on the environment. We have all head
about the depletion of the ozone layer due to the discharge of
chloro-fluro-carbons. Burning rubbish also produces other toxic gases that
can trigger asthma and irritate mucus membranes.
Litter can be separated into five categories namely, simple trash, organic,
plastic, paper and metal. It is important that the public are made aware of
this. Almost all litter can be recycled, hence burning should absolutely be
only as a last resort
In some countries bins are properly marked to indicate which sort of litter
should be placed into which bin (see illustration). This means it becomes
easier for litter collectors to know exactly where they should take contents
of the bins. Recyclers’ job is also made easier as they would have been
saved the onerous task of extracting what they want from mixed bins.
The anti-litter campaign is now poised to go full-throttle nationwide, watch
Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:43
By Benjamin Chitate
Prominent political commentator, Rejoice Ngwenya’s recent contribution in
which he predicts victory for the Professor Ncube-led MDC-N adds very little
value to Zimbabwe’s political discourse, besides exonerating Robert Mugabe
of all the crimes he and his party have committed and continue to commit
that have been a stumbling block to efforts by the newcomers in government
from both the MDC-N and MDC-T.
To start with, he calls Morgan Tsvangirai Zimbabwe’s perennial presidential
aspirant, when every Zimbabwean knows that Morgan Tsvangirai has contested
only two presidential elections, one of which he lost, and the other one
which he won in 2008. To accuse him of not being the substantive President
of Zimbabwe is to celebrate the mayhem that followed Tsvangirai’s election
victory in 2008, which has been condemned by the entire world.
The sole purpose of Ngwenya’s article was to obviously prop up MDC-N and
backstab the MDC-T as he heaped praise on the MDC-N ministers in government
and failed to acknowledge a single positive contribution made by MDC-T. It
is surprising that Ngwenya decided to ignore completely the fact that Zanu
PF has been throwing spanners into efforts by all non-Zanu PF ministers.
MDC-N officials have been detained or arrested — I recall an incident when
the majority of the MDC top leadership had problems with the police during a
tour of Matabeleland North province, and Ngwenya knows pretty well that the
Police Commissioner-general himself, Augustine Chihuri, is a card carrying
Zanu PF member who has refused to co-operate with Home Affairs co-minister
Theresa Makone. It will be expecting miracles to expect Makone or MDC-T
alone to have any influence on the police force, and instead of blaming
Makone, Ngwenya would be better off contributing ideas on how Zimbabweans,
whether they are MDC-N, MDC-T, Mavambo, NCA, ZCTU — you name it, can drum up
pressure on Chihuri and Mugabe to restore peace and order rather than attack
Makone. Any attack of that nature should only be expected from Zanu PF and
those who intentionally or unintentionally support Mugabe and Zanu PF
It could be true that the urban centres under the control of the MDC-T have
had water problems; it could be true that Sipepa Nkomo’s efforts on the
Zambezi River water project have not brought water in the two years that he
has been in office, but with the state of the infrastructure and what is
needed to achieve the intended results, it would have been a miracle to
expect any meaningful change in two years. Given the state of the economy,
which every sane Zimbabwean will rightfully blame on Mugabe and Zanu PF for,
every Zimbabwean should be putting pressure on Zanu PF and Mugabe to behave
responsibly. No development can take place without financial injection, and
we all know how proceeds from Zimbabwe’s minerals are being abused by Zanu
PF, amid reports that some of those proceeds are not going into Treasury.
Rejoice Ngwenya needs to re-think before he starts blaming anyone else apart
from Mugabe and Zanu PF for lack of development, because development can
only take place with financial resources.
Rejoice even goes further to celebrate the harassment on tormented
Zimbabwean Ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region,
Ambassador Zwambila, who he describes as having a new lead role as Australia’s
rendition of Desperate Housewives. Many Zimbabweans with an interest in
knowing the truth would be interested in hearing from Rejoice what detail he
has on the stories that have been created around Ambassador Zwambila. Please
Rejoice, be elaborate, we all want to know what you know about the
allegations around Ambassador Zwambila. What if it turns out to be that
Ambassador Zwambila is being framed? If you don’t have the facts, you better
Zimbabweans from all walks of life, including those in MDC-N, should wish
for the extinction of dictatorship. I don’t get Ngwenya’s point in accusing
Tsvangirai of calculating MDC-T’s parliamentary domination on Zanu PF’s
extinction. If anything, Tsvangirai may have predicted a landslide victory
for his party, and that does not translate into wishing that Zimbabwe
becomes a one party state. Tsvangirai has not barred any other party
interested in contesting the elections, but every Zimbabwean knows very well
that he and leaders of other political parties other than Zanu PF, have been
calling for a free and fair election in which everyone interested should
participate. Please stop putting words into Tsvangirai’s mouth.
If Ngwenya really needs Zimbabwe to be progressive, he should point out
where exactly ministers from across the political divide have failed so that
those who are not living to expectations can correct their mistakes for the
good of Zimbabweans. While he wants to portray ministers from the MDC-N as
the super performers in government, we have had some of them claim that
their work is being affected by Zanu PF’s throwing spanners into the works.
Who is Rejoice trying to fool?