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More ZANU PF Save Conservancy ‘looters’ named

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
06 September, 2012

A more detailed list of military officials and top ZANU PF chefs, given
concessions in the Save Valley Conservancy, was revealed this week and the
list reads like a who-is-who of the Mugabe regime elite.

The Conservancy is the current focus of a ZANU PF land grab campaign that
has also exposed divisions within the party. A group of ZANU PF chefs known
as the ‘Masvingo Initiative’ claim to have taken over the Conservancy,
ignoring warnings about the destruction their actions will bring to the
wildlife and tourism sectors.

The group, including Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge, Masvingo
Governor Titus Maluleke and war vet Shuvai Mahofa, were earlier this year
given 25 year land leases in the Conservancy and recently granted hunting
licences by the National Parks chief Vitalis Chadenga.

In the name of ‘indigenisation’, this Masvingo gang appointed some of their
own officials as the new Conservancy leaders, after invading the area and
disrupting a Conservancy management meeting last month.

A more detailed list has now been revealed by the independent Newsday
newspaper, and it includes several active and retired officials from the
military, intelligence and ZANU PF structures.

Among them are the Health deputy minister Douglas Mombeshora, ZANU PF
central committee member Enock Porusingazi, war vet leader Joseph Chinotimba
and the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s son, Tongai.

Charles Taffs from the Commercial farmers Union (CFU) told SW Radio Africa
that he could not confirm whether the names on the new list were involved in
the Save takeover, but he said there is definitely massive looting of Save
Conservancy taking place.
“These individuals would appear to be positioning themselves to make a huge
amount of money. I think it is high time the rest of the world takes a stern
position against what is happening in this country,” Taffs said.

Taffs explained that if the United Nations World Tourism Organisation goes
ahead with their General Assembly in Victoria Falls next year, the whole
event would be a farce against this chaotic background of looting.

“The Save Conservancy looting is the tip of the iceberg of what is happening
in this entire country and looting , pillaging and raping of land and
mineral resources is just astronomical,” Taffs explained.

He added: “What really upsets me is that the rest of the world has sat back
and allowed this rape and pillaging to continue until such a time as its
affected one or a couple of the high-powered investors from their own
country.”

The full list of beneficiaries published in Newsday:

Lieutenant Colonel David Moyo, Major General Gibson Mashingaidze, Retired
Colonel Claudius Makova, Assistant Commissioner Connel Dube, Major General
Engelbert Rugeje, Brigadier General Livingstone Chineka, Masvingo Provincial
Intelligence Officer Chibaya,

Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge, Health deputy Minister Douglas
Mombeshora, ZANU PF Central Committee member Enock Porusingazi, MPs Ailess
Baloyi, Abraham Sithole, Samson Mukanduri, Noel Mandebvu, Shuvai Mahofa,
Titus Maluleke and Ronald Rundava.

Health deputy minister Douglas Mombeshora, ZANU PF central committee member
Enock Porusingazi, war vet leader Joseph Chinotimba and the late
Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s son, Tongai.

ex-Tourism secretary Sylvester Maunganidze, Nelson Mawema, Farai Mukota,
Bertha Chikwama, one Motokai, Chiefs Gudo and Mundau Tshovani, Tafadzwa
Ngarande, Ray Musimbwa, Grey Mushava, Josiah Pasi, Jeddy Jaboon, Gladman
Chibememe, Masvingo provincial administrator Felix Chikovo, Elliot Takawira,
believed to be related to the late former ZANU PF vice-president Leopold
Takawira among others.


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Minister says Zimbabwe to seek regional help for economy


(AFP) – 2 hours ago
HARARE — Zimbabwe will seek funds from southern Africa to help finance its
budget as the country battles effects of a nearly decade-long downturn,
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Thursday.
"I am appealing to our colleagues in the SADC (Southern African Development
Community) countries," Biti said in an address on the state of the economy.
"I have secured an appointment two weeks from today, with South African
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan where we are going to ask for budgetary
support to the tune of $100 million.
"Another thing we are doing is appealing to our friends in SADC. We are also
in discussions with the Angolans for a $50-million credit facility."
Zimbabwe's powerhouse neighbour South Africa, the continent's largest
economy, will also be asked to make good on a line of credit promised in
2009 to the tune of 500 million rand ($60.4-million, 47.8-million euros), he
said.
Biti said although the economy was stable since the hyperinflation-crippled
local dollar was dropped in favour of foreign currencies, money was short in
both the government and the private sector.
"I regret to announce that the economy still remains depressed with funding
challenges for both private and public sectors, irrespective of the
prevailing stable macroeconomic environment and some output improvements in
sectors such as mining," said Biti who in July cut the year's growth
forecast from to 5.6 percent from 9.4 percent.
He blamed low economic performance on lack of money to fund productive
projects, low foreign investment, high unemployment, a high debt overhang
and uncertainty and delays over the constitution-making process.
Zimbabwe's economy has shown signs of recovery since veteran President
Robert Mugabe and long-time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a
unity government after 2008 poll chaos.
Biti said revenue collections were still falling short with $257.4 million
collected in July against a $271.2 million target and $269.2 million in
August against a target of $280.7 million.
The gold-mining sector was on course to attain the annual target of 15,000
kilogrammes, while inflation was on the slide due to the depreciation of the
South African rand against the dollar.
He said payments for imports rose by 30 percent from the same period last
year to reach $5.1 billion.


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No money for civil servants bonuses: Biti

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

06/09/2012 00:00:00
by Brian Paradza

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has said the government urgently requires about
US$400 million in additional revenues to finance crucial expenditures,
warning that already restive state workers could go without their
traditional 13th cheque unless the money is found.

Presenting his latest state of the economy review Thursday, Biti said he was
looking to the country’s reputed Marange diamond wealth to provide funding
for this year's civil servants bonus payments as well as the planned
constitutional referendum.

“We will be engaging the Mines Minister (Obert) Mpofu to give to Caesar what
belongs to Caesar,” he said. “We have to find at least US$400 million in
circumstances where our revenue is under-performing to the tune of US$30
million per month.”

“Over the years, we had been setting aside revenue in readiness to the civil
servants’13th cheque but due to the under-performance of the economy it has
not been possible, so far, to set aside any resources to cater for the 2012
bonus.

“We have engaged the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development with the view
of accessing both the outstanding and future diamond revenue.”

Biti said the government also needs about US$130 million to finance the
2012/13 agricultural season, adding the funds had to be found before
December.

He conceded that the country’s economic prospects remained bleak citing high
unemployment levels, low foreign investment, the lack of liquidity as well
as low capacity utilisation in the productive sectors.

Zimbabwe’s heavy debt burden was also blocking any new financing resulting
in various projects being put on hold.

“Since the announcement of the Mid-term Fiscal Policy Review the economy has
remained depressed with funding challenges for both the private and public
sectors,” he said.

“Exports and imports maintained an upward trend cumulatively reaching
US$2,16 billion and US$5,1 billion respectively by end of August 2012. This
gives a half year trade gap of about US$3 billion reflecting faster imports
growth during the period.”

Biti also revealed that the government plans to follow-up on pledges made at
the 2009 SADC summit in Swaziland where regional countries committed to help
provide funding for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.

Botswana met its US$64 million pledge this week while South Africa is still
to provide about with US$100 million with another U$50 million expected from
Angola.

In addition, the government is also hoping for a favourable outcome when it
engages the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on the 23rd
of this month over Zimbabwe’s US$10,1 billion debt.


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Civil servants strike looms

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 19:40
Tinashe Madava, Senior Reporter

A CRIPPLING civil servants strike is looming amid revelations restive
teachers, who constitute the bulk of the government workforce are mulling
industrial action when schools open for the final term next Tuesday.
Sources in the civil service said public workers, particularly teachers,
were vividly disgruntled with the way government has handled their
grievances.
Government is the country’s single largest employer with close to 236 000
workers. An effective strike by all civil servants would affect operations
of a number of institutions with the education sector likely to be the
hardest hit by virtue of teachers forming the bulk of the civil service. The
strike would also affect the writing of public examinations between October
and December.
Teachers are particularly unhappy with their monthly salaries, which are way
below the poverty datum line of around US$600. The lowest paid civil servant
gets US$250 per month.
Representatives of teachers’ unions who spoke to The Financial Gazette
indicated that a strike was highly likely in the new school term although
they wanted to hold consultations with their membership first.
“We are saying enough is enough. Parliamentarians are demanding money,
farmers are demanding money, and we also want some money. If this issue is
not handled with care, one cannot rule out a strike,” said Raymond Majongwe,
leader of the militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe in a telephone
interview with this newspaper this week.
Sifiso Ndlovu, the chief executive officer of Zimbabwe Teachers Association
(ZIMTA) also expressed frustration with government inaction over civil
servants’ salary demands.
“There is no response from the employer. Indications are that there is not
going to be any positive response in the foreseeable future,” said Ndlovu
when asked whether there were any signs that government would respond
positively to civil servants’ demands.
The ZIMTA boss said that it was unlikely that teachers will go on strike
next week as schools open since his union was still to consult with its
members on the way forward.
“But other unions are agitating for a strike,” added Ndlovu.
The new chairperson of the Apex Council, a body representing all government
workers except those in the security sector, David Dzatsunga also hinted
that civil servants were restless as they felt all their previous efforts
were being ignored by their employer.
“We have worked on the premise that government will always say that they don’t
have money. Civil servants believe that what are wrong are the priorities of
government. Normally, when Members of Parliament demand money they are given
but when civil servants say they want money they are told that there is no
money in government. This is not something that we are ready to believe,”
said Dzatsunga, who is also the president of the College Lecturers
Association of Zimbabwe.
The new Apex Council leader said civil servants representatives had tried to
meet the Minister of Public Service, Lucia Matibenga on Monday but failed as
they were told that she would not be in the office the whole of this week.
“We want her to know that it is urgent that we meet. We want a roadmap to
see the way forward as we engage with government, then we will sit and plan
with members,” added Dzatsunga.
But he was cautious when asked about the impending strike.
“It will be premature for me to say that we will go on strike because much
will hinge on Matibenga’s response to our demands,” he said.
Government has previously said it has no money for any salary increase and a
meeting between Matibenga and the Apex Council in July saw the civil
servants coming out empty handed. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has also said
there was no money for salary hikes and sarcastically said he will next
time join the civil servants when they go on strike.
In a show that the Apex Council means business this time around, Dzatsunga
said the new executive has strengthened its structures in order to be more
effective when they engage with their employer.
Civil servants demonstrated in the streets of Harare in July and handed a
petition at Parliament in which they called on government to urgently
address they grievances for a salary increase.
They last had a salary increase in July last year and government had
promised to effect another increase in January this year. This never
happened.


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Govt gets 9perc from US$456m diamond revenues

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

06/09/2012 00:00:00
by Garikai Chaunza

ZIMBABWE sold diamonds worth about US$456 million by August this year but
Treasury only received US$41 million from the proceeds, Finance Minister
Tendai Biti has said.

“We are disappointed to note that diamond revenue continues not to reach the
treasury. If we look at diamond sales as of the end of August, we had sold
Diamonds worth US$456 million,” Biti told NewZimbabwe.com Thursday after
presenting his monthly economic review statement for last month.

“Mbada Diamond Company sold gems worth at least US$200 million and Anjin
Investments about US$125 million but nothing was remitted to the Treasury.”

Four companies, all of them joint ventures between the state-owned Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and private investors, are operating
at the Chiadzwa diamond fields in the eastern Manicaland province

However, Biti said the country was not benefiting from what officials claim
to be one of the world’s richest diamond finds in recent years and called on
his Mines counterpart to ensure transparency in the exploitation of the
gems.

“So we are pleading with the Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert
Mpofu, to give us the diamond money so that we can be able to pay our
struggling government workers,” he said.

“We are also saying Mpofu give us the diamond money so that we give some of
it to the Energy and Power Development Ministry for electricity. If we get
that money we will also be able to pay school fees for the country’s
vulnerable children.”

Biti has since cut his 2012 national budget from US$4 billion to about
US$3,4 billion blaming poor revenue inflows from diamond mining where he had
expected about US$600 million this year alone.

The Chiadzwa diamonds remain a source of constant friction in the coalition
government with Biti and his MDC-T party accusing Zanu PF of deliberately
diverting the revenues from Treasury.

However, some of the companies operating in the area said Biti overstated
the potential contribution of diamond sales when he put together his 2012
national budget and was now trying to blame them for his mistake.


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Zimbabwe Chiefs Want to Join JOMIC

http://www.voazimbabwe.com

Jonga Kandemiiri
05.09.2012

Traditional chiefs in Zimbabwe say the three political parties in the
inclusive government should allow them to be part of the Joint Monitoring
and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) in order to boost the activities of the
committee.

They said JOMIC, tasked with overseeing the operations of the coalition
government, will continue facing problems in its quest to bring peace in
communities unless it brings them on board as they are closely connected to
the people.

But some critics said JOMIC is not in a position to fully tackle some of the
political challenges even if it grants powers to chiefs as most of them are
accused of being Zanu PF sympathizers.

The critics said some of the chiefs are suspected to have been involved in
perpetrating violent activities in the run-up to the 2008 presidential
election.

JOMIC chairman for September, Elton Mangoma of the Movement for Democratic
Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was not available for
comment . But sources confirmed that the chiefs want to be part of the
committee.

Chief Edson Chihota said they would use their traditional powers to deal
with perpetrators of violence in the same way they settle domestic disputes.

"We live with the people and as a result we are convinced that we can have a
very crucial role to play in JOMIC," said Chief Chihota.

Most Zimbabweans believe that chiefs are supposed to be apolitical.


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ZANU PF shielding Kunaka and his Chipangano group

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 September 2012

The MDC-T MP for Mbare, Piniel Denga, on Thursday blasted ZANU PF as being
responsible for government’s failure to fight crime. He said they are more
concerned with protecting their own politicians than ordinary citizens.

‘The problem with ZANU PF today is that it doesn’t have the political will
or leadership to stamp out crime. Instead of fighting crime, they’re busy
encouraging Jim Kunaka to rob commuter omnibus operators in broad daylight,’
Denga said. Kunaka and his Chipangano gang use Mbare as a springboard to
launch their violent activities.

‘Instead of making the criminal justice system work for all Zimbabweans and
keeping them safe from criminals ZANU PF, which controls the security
sector, is only interested in protecting the members of its closed, crony
circle.

Last week operators of minibuses in the country officially lodged a police
report against Kunaka and his Chipangano militia, for extorting money from
minibus drivers.

‘It’s over a week since this complaint was lodged with the police and
nothing has happened to Kunaka who still walks scot-free, fund raising for
ZANU PF by stealing money from drivers.
Denga told SW Radio Africa that in constituencies like Mbare, ZANU PF’s
violent policies had left the poverty-stricken fending for themselves.

‘People in Mbare have been left alone when what they needed was a partner or
partners to empower them, someone to give them a hand onto the ladder of
prosperity.

‘But what you get is Chipangano extorting money from market holders,
blocking all developmental projects like housing and a food court in the
suburb. What they don’t realize (ZANU PF) is that voters do not forget and
they will have their say in a ballot box,’ Denga said.
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said despite police complaints
against Kunaka and his group, Chipangano are still forcing minibuses to pay
extortion fees of $2.

‘He’s getting protection from the police and I believe there is no
individual from the security services who has an appetite to arrest Kunaka.
He’s such an influential figure with the Harare province of ZANU PF that it’s
believed he may be a front for some of the politburo members running
businesses in the capital,’ said Muchemwa.


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Chisumbanje farmers want their land back from Rautenbach

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 September 2012

The MDC-T legislator for Chipinge South has said villagers who lost their
land through the construction of the Chisumbanje ethanol plant are still
waiting for a cabinet resolution of how they will be compensated.

Three years ago Macdom Investments took over Chisumbanje Estate from the
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA). The ethanol plant is
owned by controversial businessman Billy Rautenbach who has strong links to
ZANU PF ministers.

In 2009 the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in the President’s
Office, Didymus Mutasa, gave Rautenbach permission to take over 5,000
hectares of land at ARDA’s Chisumbanje Estate to grow sugarcane, to be used
in the production of ethanol fuel. On 19th March 2009, 16 days after the
formation of the inclusive government, Mutasa reportedly signed a letter
authorising Rautenbach to operate the ethanol project at Chisumbanje, but
never disclosed this to Cabinet.
Local MP Meke Makuyana said the company also illegally grabbed thousands of
hectares of additional land from farmers in Chisumbanje.

‘According to a contract that they signed with ARDA, Macdom is only entitled
to 5,112 hectares of land, which is in black and white. We also pointed out
this to a cabinet task force team that visited the plant recently, led by
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara,’ the MP said.
‘The villagers were promised compensation for the land they lost and that
they would get their land back which had been taken away by the estate. My
understanding is that cabinet has already discussed the issue and we are
waiting for a response.’

The US$600 million Green Fuel ethanol plant has stopped production after
running out of storage space as the company struggles to push its product on
the local market.

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma recently shrugged off attempts by the company
to try and arm-twist the government into forcing mandatory blending of fuel
for all motorists.

The Minister said despite calling for mandatory blending at all fuel
stations, the company had not put in place logistics on how it will blend
the fuel.

This led to Makuyana complaining that the whole project has raised tensions
in his constituency with counter-accusations between farmers, villagers,
plant owners and politicians of sabotage.

‘You have a group of farmers and villagers accusing Macdom of sabotaging
their livelihoods. On the other hand you have officials from Macdom accusing
certain politicians of sabotaging the project, while politicians are
accusing Macdom of wanting to arm twist government.

‘It’s a mess and I hope the cabinet committee set up to look into the matter
would resolve the crisis,’ the legislator added.


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RBZ refusing to pay retrenched workers

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
06 September, 2012

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has been accused of ignoring the
desperate plight of 1,546 staff members, who were retrenched last year and
promised a series of payments that have not been honoured.

The workers have said it is public knowledge that the RBZ raised at least
$9.7 million from the sale of some assets, but the bank only paid out the
first $5,000 of what had been promised. The payments stopped and the workers’
medical aid and school fees benefits were cancelled.

The case was assigned to an independent arbitrator who ruled that the RBZ
should pay the workers the full balance due. But the bank appealed against
the ruling and in court papers filed through their lawyers only committed to
pay the money when more assets were sold. But this never happened. The bank
paid out another $5,000 instead, leaving some retrenched workers in bad
situations as they had borrowed in expectation.

Bank officials are reportedly ignoring requests for a meeting to explain
what has happened.

Webster Ngundu, who chairs the Retrenched RBZ Workers Committee, described
the workers’ situation as a humanitarian crisis. He told SW Radio Africa
that several former RBZ workers had committed suicide after the bank failed
to fulfill its promises. He said others had died from the stress caused by
the resulting crisis.

“The families are no longer on medical aid. That was terminated. Many of the
children, including mine, are at home because we cannot afford the school
fees. Education is a right. So it’s not just the retrenched workers
suffering. It is their families, multiply by six and you get the number
affected,” Ngundu explained.

Many of the workers were evicted from their homes and others lost property
that included their cars, refrigerators and furniture to loan sharks who
they had borrowed money from.

Ngundu said the point man appointed by Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono has
ignored their pleas and refused to meet with them to explain why payments
are not being made.

“We were given the HR manager at the bank, Elliott Rwatirera, as the point
man. But he has not performed to our satisfaction. Sometimes we write to him
and he does not respond. We invited him to a meeting to explain to the
retrenched workers why they have not been paid. He did not show up,” Ngundu
explained.

Ngundu added that Gideon Gono himself has not been helpful or sympathetic.
When the former RBZ chairman was told about the first staff member to commit
suicide, he allegedly said ‘Mamhepo ekumusha kwake’, meaning it is just bad
spirits from his rural home.

The retrenched workers now plan to appeal to parliament to set a date and to
appoint a committee that can look into what has happened. Ngundu said they
have written to parliament and are waiting for a response.


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ZBC Launches Anti-Copac Draft Constitution Program

http://www.radiovop.com/

Harare, September 06,2012- Zanu PF has amplified its Parliament led draft
constitution (Copac)rejection voice by introducing a two hour long program
on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)’s Power FM radio .

The program POWER TALK launched this week on Power FM formerly Radio 3 is
aired every Monday and Tuesday between 2100hrs and 2200hrs and is co-hosted
by Oscar Pambuka and Kudzai Mtunami.

Power Talk is heavy advertised on all the four ZBC radio stations including
its two television stations.

Only Zanu PF sympathisers are invited to the program where they lambast not
only Copac draft constitution but the two MDC formations which are Zanu PF
partners to the Global Political Agreement .

The state broadcaster during the program does not open phone lines for the
public to respond and share their opinion on the topic.

This is done without giving the two MDC formations and Copac team’s chance
to reply.

Zanu PF is opposed to the COPAC draft constitution which it says recognises
gay rights which are alien to Zimbabwe.

The party is also claiming that the draft constitution left out the views of
the people and should not be adopted.

Giving these reasons Zanu PF amended Copac draft constitution and
forwarded the amendments to its partners in the inclusive government for
adoption.

But MDC parties have refused it thereby creating a deadlock which last week
attracted Sadc facilitation team.

President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team however, failed to unlock the
deadlock which is expected to be broken by a special SADC summit for
Zimbabwe.

Zanu PF wants to revert to the old Lancaster House Constitution which gives
it electoral advantage if the deadlock fails to be broken.


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Chiefs Waylay Mzembi To Demand For Answers In Conservancy Saga

http://www.radiovop.com

Harare, September 06, 2012 - The Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi was
yesterday forced to have an impromptu meeting with angry chiefs who want
Zanu PF officials invading conservancies evicted from the Lowveld area.

Mzembi met the weary looking chiefs who had been waiting for him at the
doorsteps of his office at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) house at
around 3 pm.

He had an exchange with them for about 15 minutes on the staircases leading
up to the elevators to his office. He had to leave a business delegation
that had also turned up for a meeting with him and went to entertain the
visibly exhausted chiefs.

He later walked with them across Samora Machel Avenue to Charter House where
the meeting to discuss the stormy Save Conservancy issue finally took place.

The chiefs want top Zanu PF officials who recently invaded the conservancies
in the Lowveld evicted from the area.

The chiefs on Monday begged government at a press conference to spare the
conservancy from the controversial indigenisation policy and accused the
Environment ministry which has been spearheading the exercise of only
empowering a few politically-connected individuals at the expense of
communities.

Among the chiefs was Chief Gudo, Felix Chindava, a representative of Chief
Tshovani, and Willis Chauke who stood in for Chief Sengwe. They met Mzembi
on behalf of their communities.

The complaints by the chiefs come as Zimbabwe Prepares to host the United
Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference next year in August in
Victoria Falls.

The European Union has since threatened to impose sanctions on the event if
the invasion of the conservancies mainly owned by Germans, Italians,
Americans, Dutch, and South African nationals are not protected from the
controversial empowerment policy.

Situated along the banks of Save River, the conservancy is respected
worldwide as a leader in wildlife management and research.


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Speaker Moyo: Parliament Rightfully Summoning Gono For Hearings

http://www.voazimbabwe.com

Irwin Chifera
05.09.2012

The parliamentary agriculture committee has a right to recall Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono if it still wants him to clarify
issues regarding the central bank’s quasi-fiscal activities, says Speaker of
Parliament Lovemore Moyo today.

Moyo was responding to questions from journalists on claims by some sections
of the media that the agriculture committee was personalising issues and
victimising Gono by continuously calling him to reveal beneficiaries of the
farm mechanisation programme

"Legislators act on behalf of parliament and committees are tasked
conducting business of the house of assembly," said Moyo.

Gono appeared before the agriculture committee more than two months ago and
said he needed about six months to compile a list of beneficiaries as the
central bank has retrenched three quarters of its staff.

Although he told the committee that the distribution of farming equipment
was impartial, indications are that only those with Zanu PF links benefited.

But addressing parliamentarians at a workshop organised by the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights on the oversight role of parliamentary committees,
clerk of parliament Austin Zvoma said some portfolio committees were
deviating from their mandates.

Pedzisayi Ruhanya, PHD candidate at Westminster University, told VOA those
who are against the release of the list of beneficiaries of the farm
mechanisation programme could have benefited from the scheme crafted by
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.


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SADC to tackle constitution deadlock: Kikwete

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

06/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

SADC’s Troika organ is set to tackle Zimbabwe’s stalled constitutional
reforms at a meeting scheduled for next month, its chairman and Tanzanian
President Jakaya Kikwete has said.

The MDC formations have since appealed for the regional body’s intervention
after the constitutional reform process stalled as the GPA parties bickered
over amendments proposed by Zanu PF to a draft released in July.

The regional body, with South Africa President Jacob Zuma as its point-man,
has been helping GPA parties negotiate key political reforms as well as a
road map to new elections after the violent but inconclusive polls of 2008.

Speaking at the end of the Troika meeting in Dar es Salaam, Kikwete
confirmed that a Summit to be convened between October 7 and 8 would address
Zimbabwe's deadlocked constitution making process as well as the Madagascar
crisis.

"We wish to see free and fear election in Zimbabwe while we look forward to
seeing a democratic government re-constructed in Madagascar," Kikwete said.

The MDCs have rejected amendments proposed by Zanu PF, accusing the party of
coming up with a new draft altogether which restores sweeping powers to the
Presidency and throws out, among other issues, key provisions relating to
devolution and dual citizenship.

Zanu PF claims the July COPAC draft ignored contributions from members of
the public and says its amendments are aimed at aligning the document with
views expressed by Zimbabweans during the process’ national outreach
programme.

A proposal by Zanu PF for GPA principals to discuss its amendments and,
possibly, reach a compromise solution has also been rejected by the MDC’s.

Writing a new constitution was part of a raft of reforms expected to lead to
elections for a new government, replacing the coalition administration.


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ZIPRA Says Zanu PF Are Fraudsters

http://www.radiovop.com

Bulawayo, September 06, 2012---ZIPRA War Veterans Association chairman
Buster Magwizi said Zanu PF is are a bunch constitutional fraudsters who
want to cause chaos in the country by rejecting Constitutional Parliamentary
Select Committee (COPAC) draft constitution which was signed by its
negotiators.
“Zanu PF is committing a serious constitutional fraud by rejecting the Copac
draft, their negotiators signed the document and we don’t see any reason why
there are dumping it now. They just want to cause unnecessary confusion so
that we can hold elections under the current Lancaster House constitution
which is very impossible

“They should stop this behavior and allow the constitution making process to
be completed with the holding of a referendum,” Magwizi told journalists in
Bulawayo on Wednesday.

ZIPRA sentiments came at a time when Zanu PF aligned Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) led by Jabulani Sibanda says
it supports Zanu PF rejection of the Copac Draft constitution.

Despite putting their signature to a draft constitution agreed to by
negotiators from all three parties in Copac the Zanu PF politburo claimed it
carried out its own ‘audit’ and is seeking to amend the draft.

The Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed on September 15, 2008, commits
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the two MDC factions led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube to a new
constitution that will pave way for a free and fair election.

The two MDC factions endorsed the draft, but Zanu PF’s politburo sat on four
occasions during which it amended the draft before handing out copies to its
rivals last week.

Last week Tsvangirai declared a deadlock with Zanu PF on changes to the
draft constitution and called for SADC to intervene in the impasse.


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Scale of graft shocks Mugabe

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 19:44
Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has been shocked by the extent of asset-grabbing in
Masvingo Province by heavyweights in his party following complaints raised
by traditional chiefs in southern Zimbabwe who met him recently.
The ZANU-PF leader’s meeting with three chiefs from Chiredzi highlights
growing divisions in the party as members trade accusations and
counter-accusations over graft, greed and favouritism.
Chiefs in Chiredzi are not happy with the handling of black economic
empowerment initiatives in the area.
These include opportunities arising from the Tokwe Murkosi Dam construction
project; the parcelling out of sugar estates and ranches; the issuance of
leases at Save Conse-rvancy; and various other empowerment projects in the
province.
Communities have been sidelined in the allocation of conservancies at Save
Conservancy, with only a few ZANU-PF bigwigs benefiting. Parks and wildlife
director, Vitalis Chadenga has been named as being on the list of those who
benefited from the conservancies along with Stan Mudenge, Shuvai Mahofa,
Josiah Hungwe, Alois Baloyi and Brigadier General Engelbert Rugeje, among
others.
Interestingly, Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke and his son George each
received a share of the Save Conservancy.
It is feared that the divisions playing out in Masvingo could have a
negative effect on the party’s performance in the next elections as the
majority feel being used to enrich a few.
The scrambling for riches has left ZANU-PF ministers, Members of Parliament,
chiefs and other senior army officers from the province at each other’s
throats, as an elite few continue to reach for the feeding trough.
The free for all situation forced Chief Gudo, Chief Tshovani and Chief
Sengwe to arrange a meeting with President Mugabe to expose ZANU-PF bigwigs
laying their hands on everything that is at stake.
Chief Gudo from Chiredzi said they met President Mugabe sometime this year,
claiming the ZANU-PF leader was surprised that only a few were benefitting.
“He (President Mugabe) directed that Vice President Joice Mujuru deal with
the issue,” he said.
He said multiple beneficiaries; some from outside Chiredzi or Masvingo
Province, were accessing wealth in the name of indigenisation, while locals
wallow in poverty.
For example, of the 827 people granted sugar cane plots only 24 were said to
be from Chiredzi.
Denford Masiye, the chairperson of both the Lowveld Indigenous Business of
Zimbabwe and the Chiredzi Rural Communities Development Initiative, a trust
constituted by the three chiefs, said he attended the trio’s meeting with
the President and they were planning to meet him again because problems were
escalating in the province.
“I was their spokesperson when we met the President. It was an exclusive
meeting between the President and the three chiefs. We met him because
problems were not being solved at provincial level by Governor Maluleke. We
had also met the Lands Minister (Herbert Murerwa) but it was not helpful,”
he said.
“In that meeting, the better term to use is that the President was shocked
about what is happening. One of the things that surprised him was that three
chiefs from outside Chiredzi were granted sugarcane plots, but local chiefs
were not allocated anything.”
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, could not be reached immediately
for comment yesterday.
Differences have emerged between Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter
Mzembi and Local Government, Public Works Minister Ignatius Chombo, who
could not be reached for comment, over the handling of the Tokwe Murkosi
project.
Mzembi has also differed sharply with Environment Minister Francis Nhema
over the issuance of hunting leases to senior ZANU-PF members.
ZANU-PF bigwigs involved in the deals have dismissed allegations of improper
conduct saying they were merely beneficiaries of the indigenisation and
empowerment programme being spearheaded by their party.
Mzembi admitted this week that there was a “political ping pong approach” to
opportunities emerging from the Tokwe Murkosi project, adding that he was
aware of politicians waiting in the wings to pounce on opportunities ahead
of communities.
“The community can carefully be drafted into a viable estate and plantation
programme that would change their lives for the better forever if we avoid
the current political ping pong approach. I am aware of pre-construction
scavenging around potential opportunities from this project, but let the
people in the area know that they can stop all that with the power reposed
in them. What they need is focused, courageous, selfless leadership to take
them to their promised Canaan,” said Mzembi.
ZANU-PF has always been criticised over the manner it undertakes its
empowerment projects as fat cats continue to benefit at the expense of the
masses.
The manner it rolled out the land reform was also punctuated by multiple
farm ownership by a handful of its members.


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Census chaos persists

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 19:37
Tinashe Madava, Senior Reporter

The chaos that unraveled at the start of the 2012 population census has
trailed the exercise to its end amid complaints that whole wards in some
areas were not enumerated while irregularities in the payment system
surfaced this week.
The Financial Gazette can exclusively reveal that while the Finance Ministry
has released US$8 million for the payment of enumerators, most of them had
signed vague contracts that did not specify how much they were going to get
and those that have been paid some money have received paltry amounts.
On top of that, those that have been paid had to sign that they have
received some money without necessarily indicating how much they had been
given, according to information obtained this week after investigations.
Such irregularities over payments have raised serious concerns of possible
graft with most enumerators who spoke to The Financial Gazette saying they
feared certain individuals were siphoning money from the census kitty for
personal gain.
Teachers formed the bulk of the enumerators while soldiers, who caused
mayhem at the beginning of the counting exercise, also participated, albeit,
in lower numbers.
But it is the graft allegations emanating from the teachers who have been
paid that are worrying. While reports had said enumerators will get between
US$700 and US$800 for the two-week exercise, those who spoke to this paper
said they had only been given amounts ranging from US$150 to US$250.
Some teachers’ representatives confirmed their members had come forward
complaining about the low monies and the alleged irregularities in how they
were being made to sign for the money received without indicating the actual
amount.
“Yes we have had members coming forward saying they had only been given
US$150 a few days ago. They said they were being told to sign without
indicating the amount. The exercise is fraught with inconsistencies,” said
Raymond Majongwe, leader of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe.
He added; “They were made to sign contracts that do not specify anything
such as payment dates, how much they will get etc. It is a very big
challenge. We cannot proffer any help”.
Sifiso Ndlovu, chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association
concurred.
“The rate is not clear as well as the payment date, but let me get more
information from the grassroots,” said Ndlovu.
But the director general of Zimstats, Mutasa Dzinotizei indicated that the
amounts paid were only a first round of payments, which would be followed up
with another round.
“We have paid them part of the money due to them in the first round of
payments. What they are getting is dependent on the duties one performed
during the census exercise, whether one was an enumerator or a supervisor,
it depends on the duties performed. But for the first round, every
enumerator should be paid US$150,” he said.
Asked about the allegations that those who had received money were not being
asked to indicate how much they had been paid, the Zimstats director said
that it was an operational issue before launching into tirade on how
journalists were bent on discrediting the 2012 census.
The 2012 population census begun in chaos amid reports that ZANU-PF wanted
to populate the enumerators’ posts with members of the security sector in
order to influence the outcome as a way of manipulating an imminent
delimitation exercise done before polls to demarcate constituencies.
This is the fourth population count. Other censuses were held in 1982, 1992
and 2002.
In all these years, the Ministry of Education through the teachers took the
lead with other various departments of government giving support.


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Save Conservancy, Zim shoots self in foot

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 19:29
Tinashe Madava, Senior Reporter

THE Zimbabwean political scene is like a tainted tiara. While the country is
blessed with vast natural resources, bickering and looting has seen the
majority of the country’s population benefiting very little in a sea of
abundance.
The Save Valley Conser-vancy is the latest among a growing list of political
war zones unravelling in the country under the guise of black economic
empowerment aka indigenisation.
The move by government to issue hunting permits to 25 black “aspiring”
ZANU-PF safari operators at the Save Valley Conserv-ancy in the Lowveld has
torched a storm among the local community, conservationists as well as
political foes.
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Francis Nhe-ma,
has come under fire for awarding the permits that would allow ZANU-PF
bigwigs to bring rich clients to hunt down the game, particularly exposing
the endangered rhino, sparking a bitter war of words among cabinet
colleagues.
Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)
have come out guns blazing accusing Nhema of parcelling out plots at Save
Conservancy without regard to the bigger picture: threats to Zimbabwe’s
co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UN-WTO)
Congress with neighbouring Zambia next year.
The beneficiaries, among them, senior ZANU-PF poli-ticians Shuvai Mahofa,
Stan Mudenge, Titus Maluleke and other top military officials were granted
the leases at Save Valley Conservancy, a prime wildlife sanctuary in the
Lowveld, four months after a report by the Parlia-mentary Committee on
Natural Resources had condemned the occupation of the conservancy.
The legislators, drawn from the three political parties, signatories to the
Global Political Agreement, had recommended that conservancies must not be
allocated to individuals at the expense of whole communities who were
earmarked to benefit in the spirit of indigenisation.
They recommended that the Natural Resources Ministry should award leases
through share transfers, joint ventures and community trusts in a move
reminiscent of the Campfire projects.
But this did not happen.
Instead, Nhema’s move made a mockery of the parliamentary committee that
sort to bring sanity to the chaotic land reform programme in the wildlife
sector.
The committee had concluded that: “These beneficiaries were merely imposed
to conservators despite assurances from the Ministry of Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment that there was a transparent system in place
to identify indigenous partners through the Zimbabwe Investment Authority’s
independent board using the databases for both foreign and local investors.”
Yet in some circles, the debate has since assumed racial overtones where
white farmers are seen as resisting the coming in of black farmers in the
sector.
Such reports have been consistent with the land ref-orm exercise.
A Chegutu district lands officer had to resign after being labelled a “white
sympathiser” when he gave evidence in court that tended to support a white
farmer.
Charges of double dipping, aiding and abetting poaching against the black
licence holders by the white farmers were met with counter-accusations of
unwillingness to work with indigenous people and outright greed levelled
against the white farmers.
Yet, the beneficiaries of Nhema’s benevolence have also received farms under
the land reform exercise.
One reader who left a comment on The Financial Gaz-ette website, Progress
Mupopoti, has lambasted Nhema and labelled politicians as being “greedy” for
mus-cling into the Save Valley Conservancy
“Why do you give greedy politicians the opportunity to plunder our natural
resources in the name of indigenisation?
“A wise man should have co-opted communities around Save Cons-ervancy into
wild life conservation through forming trusts with direct interest into
companies of conservators.”
Mupopoti said for many years locals have wat-ched with envy, while
politicians harvested rich rewards from the land reform programme, leaving
locals in abject poverty.
“We therefore don’t see much of a difference, when it comes to empowerment,
between the former and new conservators. The communities are the biggest
losers in this stand-off and will remain losers until such time governance
restores the power to communities and when environmental issues become
governance issues,” added Mupopoti.
In a recent interview with this paper, vice-chairperson of the Save Valley
Conservancy, Wilfred Pabst, also labelled Nhema’s move as an enrichment
exercise that had nothing to do with indigenisation.
“We were not consulted. Everyone, including our chairman (Basil Nyabadza)
was taken aback. It has nothing to do with indigenisation. There is a lot
more going on,” said Pabst.
Now, there are revelations that the country risks a ban from the United
States Fish and Wildlife Service, emanating from the chaos in the Save
Valley Conserv-ancy saga, a move set to cost the country US$30 million in
safari business.
Trophy exports to the US constitute 80 percent of the hunting industry’s
total exports.
The hunting season runs from April to November each year and some critics
have questioned the wisdom of awarding hunting permits in the middle of the
hunting season.
Some analysts have said the country’s image has been dented ahead of the
co-hosting of the UNWTO general assembly next year.
The tourism indaba is also under threat from revelations that officials in
the Ministry had doctored information in their bid document with the effect
of misrepresenting facts on the ground.
All this has raised the question why the country is constantly shooting
itself in the foot.


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War vets demand national report

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:45
HARARE - A group of war veterans have warned the Parliamentary select
committee (Copac) that they do not want to be forced into another
“liberation struggle” over differences that can easily be resolved through
dialogue.

Jabulani Sibanda, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veteran Association
chairperson, told a Harare press conference that the select committee must
produce outreach reports in order for Zimbabweans to compare what people
said and what has now been captured in the draft.

“Maybe it is another liberation coming in the form of that, but we cannot
put our people through that when we can sit and talk,” he said.

Zimbabwe was born out of a 15-year struggle, thus its independence must be
protected from “future colonisation”, Sibanda added.

He said an analysis of Zimbabwe’s constitution-making process shows that the
pattern or process has been compromised.

According to the Copac website, the current Constitution is a product of a
compromise agreement reached at the Lancaster House Conference in 1979
between the outgoing colonial government and the incoming nationalist
government at the end of the war of liberation.

“The current Constitution is widely regarded as inadequate and has many
shortcomings that need to be addressed, despite it being amended a record 19
times,” Copac says.

Sibanda lashed out at Copac employees for digressing from their mandate of
capturing people’s voices.

“Bring the argument back to what the people said, where is the national
report?” Sibanda questioned.

“Why were the people’s voices captured? Because of this very reason now that
everyone is claiming that this is what the people said, this is what the
people said,” he said.

He said during the writing of the draft, Copac made the mistake of
consulting the country’s political principals instead of referring to the
document.

“You find that there are issues that were not even in the questionnaire that
are now in the draft like the National Prosecuting Authority, are we now
copying South Africa?”


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Unity govt dysfunctional: Mugabe

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:50
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday reiterated his statements that
the coalition government was so dysfunctional that it is even failing to pay
its workers.

The Zanu PF leader said this at the opening of a Research and Intellectual
Expo and said it was time to call time off this uneasy power-sharing
administration with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change.

“The government cannot continue to say that we do not have money. Since the
beginning of the year we have been saying there is no money and this means
the government is not functioning,” said Mugabe.

His comments, however resonate with other coalition government players such
as Finance minister Tendai Biti, who recently lamented the dysfunctional
state of the inclusive government and blamed on constant bickering and
policy inconsistencies.

Mugabe, who was addressing several intellectuals and scholars drawn from
across the country, called upon institutions of higher learning to help
contribute in efforts to resuscitate the economy, especially struggling
industries.

“For us to resuscitate our industries, colleges, polytechnics and industries
you should lead the way in this endeavour,” he said.


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Prime Minister’s lover claiming US$15,000 in maintenance

http://www.swradioafrica.com

Staff Reporter
6th September 2012

Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo, Morgan Tsvangirai’s ex, is claiming US$15,000 in
monthly maintenance. She filed the claim at the civil court in Harare on
Wednesday.

It remains unclear as to whether she was his lover, his mistress, or his
customary wife.

Locadia claims Tsvangirai paid lobola to her parents in November last year,
he claims he paid damages. She is saying she requires $15,000 a month
because during their relationship she became accustomed to a high standard
of living.
She also maintains that she was pregnant, became ill, and that Tsvangirai
continued to pay her hospital bills in South Africa. She says she
subsequently suffered a miscarriage.

Locadia maintains Tsvangirai is refusing to be in contact with her and has
ignored letters to settle the matter out of court, leaving her no choice but
to claim through the civil court.

There was clearly something very strange about this relationship and
suggestions that the CIO were involved have some credibility. The
relationship seemed to have been almost choreographed, as was the
information fed to the media.

But concern has been expressed about Tsvangirai’s love life, as he has been
linked to numerous women since the death of his wife in 2009. His choices
have often seemed less than wise.

Locadia’s sister is a ZANU PF MP and on September 15th he will be
formalising his marriage to Elizabeth Macheka, daughter of a ZANU-PF
politburo member. Media reports also say that Macheka is widow to airforce
wing commander Masimba Sasa Guma, who allegedly led a number of violent farm
invasions on white owned commercial farms, between 2000 and 2002.

Macheka is 25 years younger than Tsvangirai.

Breakdown of Locadia’s $15,000 monthly maintenance claim:

$3,000 rent
$4,000 groceries
$1,500 clothing allowance
$500 electricity
$1,200 telephone
$500 maid
$300 gardener
$1,000 vehicle and fuel
$700 medical aid
$250 water
$1,700 for hair and beauty
$350 driver.


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Sixteen months since the arrest and detention of 29 MDC members

http://www.swradioafrica.com

Staff Reporter
6th September 2012

On Wednesday the MDC-T issued a statement reminding people that it is now
sixteen months since the arrest and detention of 29 MDC members. They are
being held on what the MDC-T call false charges, after the murder of police
officer Petros Mutedza in Glen View, Harare last year.

Their trial was recently postponed indefinitely after one of the accused,
Gapara Nyamadzawo, became seriously ill and was eventually sent to a private
hospital after legal appeals, due to the very poor treatment he was getting
in the prison hospital.

Despite the fact that all bail requests should be considered urgent, the
Supreme Court is yet to set down their bail appeal.

All 29 accused have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and some even
have video proof to show they were not near the scene of the crime at the
time.
The MDC-T have said the charges are nothing more than harassment.
The start of the trial was constantly delayed, using weak excuses such as
Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu excusing himself to attend a funeral. When it
finally began in June one state witness, Joshua Daka, said Mutedza may have
died of injuries suffered when he fell off a vehicle driven by a fellow
policeman.

Testifying a day after the court made an inspection of the crime scene, Daka
said he saw Mutedza running to a parked vehicle as people started throwing
stones at him. When he got to the vehicle and opened the passenger door, the
driver sped off and he fell, hitting the tarmac hard.
All the state witnesses have provided conflicting evidence.


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Zim should strengthen multi-currency regime

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:11
HARARE - Zimbabwe should concentrate on strengthening the multiple-currency
regime if real economic growth is to be achieved, economists say.

Vitaliy Kramarenko, a centre coordinator with the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) said introduction of the multicurrency system brought significant
stability in the country hence the need to retain it.

“Zimbabwe should strengthen the multi-currency to ensure its sustainability
and further leverage its benefits,” said Kramarenko in his presentation on
Zimbabwe’s currency regime and monetary policy in Victoria Falls.

He argued a premature reintroduction of the Zimbabwean dollar and
de-dollarisation by decree could give rise to significant economic
challenges.

“If the public does not welcome the new currency, defacto dollarisation
would continue, creating a risk of disintermediation in the banking system,”
he added.

Zimbabwe adopted the South African rand and American dollar in 2009
following a decade of hyperinflation and economic stagnation.

Kramarenko said the country should however, avoid deviation from fiscal
discipline and labour market rigidities in order to enhance effectiveness of
the prevailing currency regime.

Under such conditions, he added, attempts at monetary policy and lender of
last resort functions would be largely ineffective and could in fact be
destabilising.

Recapacitating the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to assume its role as the
lender of last resort, he added, is key to the currency system.

“There is need to complete restructuring of RBZ to create confidence. For it
to assume its role as banker to government, there is need to deal with the
RBZ debt issue.”

Speaking on the same subject, Zesa chief executive Josh Chifamba said
dollarisation had helped the utility company to collect more and useful
revenue from consumers.

“Predollarisation, people could pay an equivalent of $1 for 10 months and we
had to import most of our things in United States dollars.”

Macroeconomist and director for Econsult Botswana, Keith Jefferis said
though, it was possible to introduce a new Zimbabwe currency, its
credibility would be an anthill task as it was eroded during the
hyperinflationary environment.

“The currency would be workable in the context of a currency board
arrangement or CMA (quasi fiscal board). CMA offers several advantages,
despite some drawbacks, on balance it is the most attractive option,” said
Jefferis.

Jefferis concurred with Kramarenko’s remarks saying the country’s
hyperinflation and monetary control history proved there was need for a
currency system that guarantees economic stability.

“A credible nominal anchor for prices is an essential pre-requisite of a
sustainable monetary and exchange rate policy arrangement,” he said Since
the introduction of the multi-currency regime three years ago,
Zimbabwe has become a lucrative market due to availability of hard currency.

Inflation rates have also stabilised while the gross domestic product
registering growth.


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Zimbabwe man fined for Mugabe death joke


(AFP) – 8 hours ago
HARARE — A Zimbabwe court fined a man $150 (120 euro) for joking that
President Robert Mugabe had died, a daily newspaper reported Thursday.
Cleapas Manangazira, 34, was convicted for undermining the authority of the
president in a court in central city Gweru.
Manangazira joked to police about Mugabe's death when the bus he was
traveling in stopped at a tollgate on the road to Gweru, according to the
privately-owned NewsDay.
"Why are you police officers sitting here. Don't you know the President is
dead," prosecutors quoted Manangazira as saying.
"We are coming from putting a tombstone on Mugabe's grave. Did you hear me
people? Mugabe is dead."
Bus drivers tried to silence him but the man went on joking about the
long-time ruler.
The conductors then told the bus driver to take Manangazira to Gweru police
station, where he was arrested.
Reports surface often on arrests for slandering Zimbabwe's long-time
president and breaching the strict public order law.
Usually those found guilty receive light jail sentences or fines or are
ordered to do community service.


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Cattle rustlers decimate herds

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

A syndicate of cattle rustlers is reportedly wreaking havoc in the Somabhula
resettlement area and has been accused of working in cahoots with a local
butcher who slaughters the animals for re-sale.
05.09.12
11:03am

by Dumisani Ndlovu

According to farmers from the area, the men drive cattle for several
kilometres before slaughtering them. Although official figures are
unavailable, it is estimated that more than 20 cows have been stolen over
the last two months.

The latest victim, Happious Chiwenga, lost four cows in June. He said the
rustlers and butchers operated from Zvishavane, Shurugwi and Gweru.

“I woke up in the morning and discovered that my six cattle were missing. I
reported the case to police who took long to respond,” said another victim
who added that he suspected the police were also part of the syndicate.

A Zimbabwe Republic Police Neighborhood Watch Committee branch officer, Mion
Hlakuvana, said people knew who the men committing the crimes were, but
would not report them.

“The suspects are known but the problem is that the victims do not want to

confront them or directly name them,” said Hlakuvana. “The perpetrators must
face the full wrath of the law. It is disturbing to see such high profile
criminals walking scot-free.”


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Tsvangirai In US For Democrat Convention

http://www.radiovop.com

Cape Town, September 06, 2012 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party has taken a swipe at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for abandoning a
critical principals meeting to attend the Democratic Party Convention in the
United States, a report said on Wednesday.
Tsvangirai was invited by the US President Barack Obama to the Democratic
Convention where Democrats are expected to endorse Obama as their
presidential candidate for the elections set for November.

A report by the Herald online said Tsvangirai had hurriedly left for the US,
ignoring a meeting where political principals were expected to, among other
things, discuss amendments made to the country’s draft constitution by
Zanu-PF.

According to the report, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed
Tsvangirai was in North Carolina at the invitation of the Democratic Party,
which he said shared the "same interests and principles" as the MDC.

"He is there with the full mandate of the party as he is on a drive to
strengthen our international relationship with other countries.

"The constitution-making process was completed and we now have a draft
constitution.

"It is President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party who are trying to rewrite the
Global Political Agreement and refusing that document to go the second all
stakeholders’ conference."

Mwonzora said there was no need for principals to meet to discuss the draft
constitution.

Bad political investment

However, presidential spokesperson George Charamba rubbished Mwonzora's
claim, saying it was clear Tsvangirai favoured foreign interests ahead of
national issues.

"It is clear where the priority of the MDC president lies. He values his
spectator status in front of the mini drama of the Democratic Party more
than he does issues to do with the future of his country.

"His interest is always outward, it is never inward. There is also a
compelling reason for him to do so. He is going to assure the Americans
after the Freedom House survey, which projected him as a bad political
investment for the Americans," he said.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, said Tsvangirai
confirmed the widely-perceived view that he was a loyal servant of the west.

"This confirms what we have always been saying that his [Tsvangirai]
interests are not here. He is a servant of those countries that used him and
this is where my uncle Morgan Tsvangirai has gone to.

"It is a shame and people should put a clear distinction between politicians
with good leadership qualities and those politicians who are occupying
public offices without substance," he said. - News24


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Statement from MDC-N


MDC Press Statement in Response to media reports that:
Prof. Welshman Ncube will face a parliamentary probe pertaining to the Essar
deal
6 September 2012

The MDC wishes to state in the clearest of terms that the widely reported
recommendation by few misguided MDC T and ZANU PF parliamentarians for
government to institute a probe into the alleged misconduct and corruption
by Prof. Welshman Ncube in the awarding of the Essar deal is not only
nonsensical, false, defamatory, scandalous and malicious but a desperate act
by those who have been out thought, out organized and out articulated and
are now resorting to unorthodox means as they cannot stop the green machine
.
The MDC wants to state it clearly that Prof. Ncube like all other party
deployments to government has discharged his duties with the highest level
of prudency and honesty. Our political party always demands the most
stringent adherence to best practice and regard for transparency in the
discharge of public affairs from all its officials in all arms of
government.
We wish to unequivocally and without any prevarication place it on record
that the accusations being leveled against Prof. Ncube are not only spurious
but pejorative and profane, sorely aimed at injuring both the person and
political credibility of Prof. Ncube as both a public servant and leader of
the MDC.
The MDC insists that should the ill thought probe be instituted by
government on Prof. Ncube then a full announcement should be made to the
public and that those that have found it convenient to set aside their
well-known political disputes to pursue a common cause of embarrassing Prof.
Ncube will eat their self-served humble pie with the same amount of brouhaha
and bravado.
We believe that parliamentary oversight should not be used as a forum for
displaying petty jealousies. Parliamentary privilege should not be abused to
make unsubstantiated accusations against our country’s guests such as Essar.
When Hon. Madzimure says that money exchanged hands corruptly, one would
expect the Honourable member to avail that same information to the law
enforcement agencies. That level of reckless and careless statement
unfortunately only serves to discredit our legislature. Parliamentarians
should abuse the parliamentary privileges to assassinate characters of
hardworking and progressive Zimbabweans like Professor Ncube.
We stand with Prof. Ncube in the space he occupies as the President of the
MDC and state for the record that we believe that he has done all his work
for the good and prosperity of our country. Not only are his intensions for
this country noble but his actions are above reproach. Such assaults on
Ncube and the Party will not stop our resolve and fight for democracy that
entails empowerment of local communities through devolution of power.
Nhlanhla Dube
MDC National Spokesperson


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Is The West Lusting For Robert Mugabe Again?

http://ugowrite.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/is-west-lusting-for-robert-mugabe-again.html

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

Two interesting incidents that played out on the international scene
recently clearly underlined the profound confusion of values that has crept
into Western policies and attitudes towards President Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe. Late in May, the United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation
(UNWTO) announced the choice of President Mugabe as a United Nations
Ambassador for Tourism, despite the fact that the international travel ban
and other sanctions imposed on him by the United States (US) and the
European Union (EU) were yet to be lifted. He was warmly welcomed into the
prestigious “leaders of tourism” group with his Zambian counterpart, Michael
Sata.

At Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, where Sata and
Mugabe met to sign an agreement with the UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb
Rifai, Mugabe must have been surprised and elated to hear Rifai say this
about his own Zimbabwe: "I was told about the wonderful experience and the
warm hospitality of this country … By coming here, it is a recognition, an
endorsement on the country that it is a safe destination." Following this
May 28, 2012 agreement, Zambia and Zimbabwe will jointly host the UNWTO
general assembly in August 2013.

Reactions to this development were prompt and unsparing. Human rights groups
across the world and government functionaries in EU countries condemned it
in very strong terms, just as Canada immediately announced its decision to
withdraw from the UNWTO. But while Canada maintained that Mugabe’s
appointment was the key factor that inspired its decision to terminate its
membership of the global body, UNWTO stated that Canada had already
withdrawn its membership two weeks before Mugabe was invited to join the
body. According to a report in the Embassy – Canada’s Foreign Policy
Newspaper, Canada had on May 12, 2011, “formally communicated to the UNWTO,
in a letter not made public, that it wanted to withdraw its full membership
in the agency, according to Sandra Carvao, the UNWTO’s communications chief.
It didn’t say why. ‘According to UNWTO Statutes, withdrawal is effective one
year after the formal notice (12 May 2012),’ wrote Ms. Carvao in an email to
the Embassy May 31.”

And while the controversy raged, the UNWTO weighed in with a “clarification”
that smells and tastes like an after-thought. It denied that it had made Mr.
Mugabe a tourism ambassador stressing that the same letter it sent to him
was equally “sent to all heads of state and government worldwide and aims to
raise awareness of the potential of tourism for development, job creation
and economic growth.” Well, no matter what the UNWTO chooses to say it did
or did not do, what cannot be denied is that Zimbabwe and Zambia will
jointly host the UNWTO general assembly next year, with Mugabe starring
prominently and savouring positive global spotlight.

The world was still trying to come to terms with this development, when by
mid-July, the media went to town with screaming headlines that the European
Union (EU) has announced itsintention to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe, some of
which were targeted at Mugabe and his inner circle players. The Telegraph
(UK) quoted a Foreign Office spokesperson as saying that changing situations
in Zimbabwe had compelled the EU to review its position. “Since these
measures were last reviewed in February we have heard a number of calls,
including from the MDC-T and their partners in the Inclusive Government, for
us to show flexibility in order to support the process of reform. For us
what matters is putting in place what's needed for free and fair elections,
in line with the requirements of the EU Measures, and meeting the key points
of progress that are promised along the way,” the spokesperson said.

If the EU expected this gesture to provoke jubilations in Harare, it must
have been sorely disappointed. Spokesman for Mugabe’s party, the Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), Rugare Gumbo, underlined
the party’s suspicion of this move, accusing the EU of harbouring “an agenda
to weaken Zanu-PF,” adding rather defiantly that such a move “will not work.
We will always get help from the East (Asia).” The party thinks the EU’s
real intention is to position itself properly to influence the next election
against it.

Now, even though Mugabe has a very fashion-conscious wife whose love for
designer dresses and jewelries is widely acknowledged, was it not nave of
the UK and the EU to think that the Zimbabwean president must have been
having sleepless nights over his inability to holiday and shop in London or
Paris? No doubt, the 88 year-old fox in Harare knows full well that
bitterness in the UK towards him is still very deep mainly because of his
“land reforms” which had displaced white farmers from their vast farmlands
and forced many of them to leave the country. Securely wrapped in his
memory, too, is the disastrous fate of his late friend, Muammar Gaddafi, who
had allowed himself to be seduced by similar gestures of rapprochement from
the West, only to soon realize that it is only the foolish butterfly that
hastens to think that by flying like a bird, it has become a bird, instead
of a bird’s prey. Indeed, Mugabe knows that the only thing that can assuage
the US and EU strong feelings against him is an opportunity to humiliate him
out of power, pick him up immediately and parade him helpless, handcuffed
and grossly diminished before the world, and then finally liquidate him at
The Hague with an overdose of the Charles Taylor treatment.

Mugabe told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in 2009 that the United States and
Britain are hell-bent on successfully executing what he calls their “regime
change programme” in Zimbabwe which he says, “is aimed at getting not just
Robert Mugabe out of power, but Robert Mugabe and his party out of power?”
And that “naturally means,” he said, that “we dig in, remain in our
trenches.”

Now digging in and remaining in their trenches have been at a very grave
cost to Zimbabwe and its people. Mugabe is a man ruled by fear – the fear of
tomorrow; the fear of losing power and the great security and grandeur it
provides him. And so, whoever he considers, rightly or wrongly, as a
possible tool in the hands of his enemies (read the US and UK) to bring him
down is visited with the worst kind of ruthlessness. Thus, a reign of terror
has become the worst nightmare of Zimbabweans, with human rights violations
reaching unprecedented heights. Whether the situation would still have
degenerated so badly, if Western powers were not breathing down his neck in
their desperation to achieve a “regime change” and teach Mugabe a lesson of
his life, would make an interesting study.

But the painful reality is that Zimbabweans have suffered terribly under
Mugabe, and his vigorous attempts to explain it away remains exasperating,
especially, as it is public knowledge that himself, family and cronies are
insulated from the unimaginable suffering Zimbabweans have been through
under his watch. In due time, he ought to be called to account, but what
many people are not agreed upon is whether that should happen at the
International Criminal Court (ICC) sitting at the Hague, which ought to have
been named the “Special Court for African Leaders Who Fell Out With the
West.”

The problem with this court is that whereas it kindles hope in Africans that
there is now a judicial platform with the capacity to duly prosecute their
errant leaders and serve as deterrent to others, there is also this
unavoidable feeling of sadness and humiliation arising from what the
existence and nature of this same court says about them and their place as
Africans in the world. Now did Robin Cook, former British Foreign Minister,
not say the following about the ICC on BBC Newsnight some years ago: “If I
may say so, this is not a court set up to bring to book prime ministers of
the United Kingdom or Presidents of the United States.”

Now, one can really understand why this court is circulating serious
discomfort across Africa . And one may even ask: Would Robert Mugabe be
today hounded by Western powers and targeted for an indictment at The Hague
if he did not undertake the Zimbabwean “land reforms” which displaced the
white farmers from their vast farmlands, even if he was operating the worst
repressive regime in Africa ? Indeed, it is difficult to sell the viewpoint
that it is the concern and care about democracy and the suffering of poor
black Zimbabweans that are fueling the current global anti-Mugabe strong
feelings. Well, Mugabe is even out there boasting that he had to fight a
crude, repressive, British colonial regime to bring democracy to Zimbabwe,
so who should preach democracy and human rights to the other, he appears to
be asking. Postures like these have helped to deepen the estrangement and
mutual dislike between Mugabe and his erstwhile friends.

In the Western world, frustration is setting in due to the failure of every
effort, overt and subterranean, to bring Mugabe down. The Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, despite massive Western
support has only managed to become the weaker party in a power-sharing
arrangement brokered for Zimbabwe by South Africa after the disputed 2008
elections. And with the hope of democratically unseating Mugabe and his
ZANU-PF dimming with each passing day, and Tsangirai appearing increasingly
uncomfortable with being widely labeled a Western stooge, predictions about
the likely situations that may emerge are becoming pretty difficult.

Incidentally, Zimbabwe’s economy appears to be showing signs of recovery,
thus denying the West another very potent tool it has so far deployed in its
overwhelming campaign against Mugabe. In fact, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) in November 2010 stated that Zimbabwe was "completing its second
year of buoyant economic growth.”

With many years gone already and the ever defiant Mugabe ageing gracefully,
with Zimbabwe and its rich minerals still in his grip, strong yearning for
his downfall appears to have given way to desperate expectations of his
death. And so, each time Mugabe jets out to Singapore for what his
spokespersons tersely describe as “routine medical check up” the Western
media would go frenzy with screaming headlines about a sick and dying
Mugabe. The most embarrassing happened last April. Following a rumour by an
obscure Zimbabwean online newspaper, virtually all the major and minor
papers from London to New York and the rest of the world celebrated with
screaming headlines that Mugabe was down with prostate cancer “dying” or
“fighting for life” in a Singapore hospital. Some even reported that he had
named a successor. But as a lively Mugabe flew into Harare a few days later
and emerged from the aircraft looking (in his own words) “as fit as fiddle,”
the embarrassment was monumental within Western media circles.

When Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in 1980, Mugabe was a darling of
the West especially, the UK, which promptly awarded him an honorary
knighthood. He made enchanting reconciliatory speeches and gestures at the
end of the bitter liberation war from which Britain was able to reassure
itself that Mugabe would be always be trusted to remain a “good boy,” and
would never undertake any measures that would affect British interests in
Zimbabwe where a tiny minority of white settlers controlled a greater
portion of farmlands to the great disadvantage of the vast majority of black
Zimbabweans. (This was despite Mugabe’s claims that at the Lancaster House
discussions, they had agreed with the British that there would be “land
reforms.”) And for the next ten years, while Mugabe undertook policies that
ushered the country into prosperity in manufacturing, mining, agriculture
etc., he was celebrated by the global media and feted in Western capitals
from where glowing tributes always flooded his doorsteps.

It is widely believed that Mugabe’s land reforms which largely contributed
to his present troubles with the Western world were not totally informed by
patriotic motives – to let black Zimbabweans benefit from equitable
redistribution of the lands. Those who hold this view point to the fact that
the recovered lands ended up mostly in the hands of his cronies and fellow
war veterans. The belief was that the land reform policy was a desperate
political move to consolidate his hold on power at a time it appeared to be
slipping from his hands. And this has proved a very costly decision for him
and his country. Indeed, Zimbabwe has practically passed through the valley
of the shadow of death.

And now that Mugabe’s relationship with the West has further worsened, he
has begun to respond to new advances from eager suitors from the East. These
have now come in with ideas and projects to stimulate growth in Zimbabwe. In
February 2011, Zimbabwean authorities announced that the Chinese will over
the next five years undertake in the country massive investments worth $10
billion dollars (6.19bn). This sounds like a huge windfall, although more
discerning minds would rather see what is happening as replacing the much
despised British economic domination with that of the Chinese. Reports
abound of how Zimbabweans who work with these Chinese are treated like
slaves in their own country, while Mugabe is out there boasting that
situations are a lot better in his country. Indeed. Although about two years
ago, a Zambian friend showed me a 40 billion Zimbabwean dollar bill which he
said could not buy a loaf of bread, what is clear is that Zimbabwe appears
to have, at least, discovered the path to economic discovery. And with this,
Mugabe and his ZANU-PF would even dig in further and remain in their
trenches till the bitterest end.

Could it be then that these developments are causing the Western world to
rethink its terms of engagement with Mugabe in order not to lose out to
their competitors from the East in the mad scramble for Africa? Is this new
thinking and attitude represented in the seemingly panic and confused
gestures we saw in the UNWTO appointment and the EU’s moves to lift
sanctions on Zimbabwe? Is Mugabe then having the last laugh?

A reader in South Africa posted this comment on an online report about the
UK and EU decision to lift sanctions on Mugabe: “The British Government does
not act out of charity.
It is scrapping sanctions on Mugabe because Britain needs Mugabe more than
Mugabe needs Britain. It may not be about the oil stupid! But it certainly
is about the 40 other exploitable minerals sitting under Uncle Bob's feet.
The 4000 or so white farmers that must be disgusted by this are mere
"collateral damage" in the war for Zimbabwe's resources.
Remember why Mugabe is hated, he gives land and minerals to the black poor.
Highly inconsistent with the UK’s extractive multinational capitalist
approach.”

Quite interesting, but what then happens to Mugabe’s horrible human rights
record over which the Western world has raised ear-splitting cries? Across
the world, many regard him as a mass murderer who should be tried in an open
and unbiased court and made to pay severely for his crimes if found guilty?

Will he now go free just because the West was unable to extract its pound
flesh from him or will he have his day in a Zimbabwean court some day, soon?
Or will his eventual successful reconciliation with the West (though he
appears to be meanwhile playing Andrew Marvell’s “His Coy Mistress”) simply
obliterate those horrible records against him name? When will Africa develop
the capacity to bring rogue African leaders to book on its own soil and for
its own good? This should provoke a lot of serious thinking in Africa.

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