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Zanu PF plans to deal with rogue members

November 11, 2012 in Politics

Masvingo — Zanu PF has threatened to discipline members that flout the party’s
rules in their bid to seek election as it prepares for primary elections
ahead of national plebiscite next year.


The party’s spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said democracy would take its course
in choosing parliamentary aspirants that would represent Zanu PF in next
year’s elections.

“We cannot impose candidates. That is unacceptable,” said Gumbo on Friday.
“But of course, we have not yet completed the criteria for running the
primary elections.

“If there is anything of that nature, we will have to look into it. We will
engage the provincial leadership and they will have to explain.”

Gumbo’s comments came as jostling for Masvingo North has become intense in
the constituency.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Stan Mudenge, a Zanu PF
politburo member, who was also the Minister of Higher and Tertiary
Education, last month.

Mudenge collapsed and died in his room at Great Zimbabwe Hotel, where he was
due to deliver a speech at a workshop.

Three aspirants — Jacob Chademana, Lieutenant Colonel Davison Charambira and
Davis Marapira — are eyeing the seat.

Charambira and Chademana, the headmaster of Victoria Junior Primary School,
confirmed to The Standard that they would start campaigning once they got
the green light from Zanu PF.

The party banned campaigning until election dates were announced.

Chademana is linked to a faction sympathetic to Vice-President Joice Mujuru,
while Charambira is said to be close to Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s

Former Masvingo governor, Dzikamai Mavhaire is linked to the Mujuru camp and
another ex-governor and Chivi-Mwenezi Senator, Josiah Hungwe to the
Mnangagwa faction.

Zanu PF has dispatched its politburo members and other senior officials to
mobilise support in the country’s districts ahead of next year’s elections.

Battle for Masvingo North brewing
commenting on the electoral contest in Masvingo North, Chademana said, “It
will be a mammoth task. I am certain Marapira and Charambira are also
interested, while other dark horses are also said to be waiting for the
dates to be announced.”

“As of now, the election criterion has not yet been set, so we are all
aspiring Zanu PF candidates.”

Charambira was also upbeat about his chances.

“Democracy will be at play. But my chances are great. So the people will
speak once campaigning starts,” he said.

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Harare City Council attaches residents’ properties

November 11, 2012 in Local

Harare City Council last week attached household goods from several
residents for failing to pay rates.


Some of the residents now fear they could lose their houses.

A messenger of court last week swooped on the defaulting residents in Rugare
and Kuwadzana high-density suburbs, attaching everything from fans to sofas.

“They sent me a letter of final demand last week and my son went to talk to
officials at the city treasury department, where he was given up to today to
pay US$100,” Eveline Njazi of Rugare said on Friday.

“But the messenger of court came yesterday (Thursday) and attached our
household goods.”

She added: “My son only got the money later in the day and when he went to
the council offices today he was told that the property can only be released
after payment of US$350.”

Njazi owes the city council US$1 050,80 in unpaid rates.

The messenger of court attached a four-piece sofa set, a room divider, a
kitchen table, two fans, a carpet and a heater.

The 50-year-old widow said she now lived in fear of eviction from the house,
together with her two unemployed sons.

Her only source of income is the National Railways of Zimbabwe’s Widows’
Pension Fund, which pays her an average of US$13 per month after bank

“We are just living in this house, but we are no different from those who
have been evicted,” Njazi said.

“There is no one who wants to access somebody’s services for free, but we do
not have the money”.

She said her family had no way of raising the money and was waiting to hear
from the council, if what it attached tallied with the debt.

Several other residents in the suburb also received letters of final demand
last week and were running around sourcing money so that they could pay.

“I owe them US$500 and they sent me a letter last week,” a man who
identified himself only as Gidza said.

“We have tenants renting some rooms in the house, but what we realise from
the rent is not adequate for our day-to-day needs, so how can we prioritise
paying for water which we sometimes go for months without. It’s unfair.”

Move unwise: Mazorodze
Mazorodze said it was disheartening that the attached properties were being
sold for a song.

One woman’s deep freezer, which was attached over a US$1 000 plus debt, was
allegedly sold for US$64, he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi, were

But Rugare councillor, Peter Moyo, raised the issue at a full council
meeting on Thursday, expressing shock that people in his ward were having
their property attached without a council resolution.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, whose name appears in some of the summons seen by
The Standard, told the meeting that he had not authorised the attachments.

The attachment of residents’ properties come at a time when the local
authority is failing to provide basic social services such as clean water,
collection of refuse, maintenance of roads or traffic lights.

Water from the council is usually dirty and smells of human waste.

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Chaos on Harare streets

November 11, 2012 in Local

TRAFFIC lights in most parts of Harare’s central business district (CBD) are
not working, making it a nightmare for both pedestrians and motorists.


As a result, they are forced to negotiate dangerously through congested
streets, especially during rush hours.

The absence of functional traffic lights in the CBD has resulted in numerous
accidents and traffic jams.

Motorists who spoke to The Standard blasted the Harare City Council for
failing to repair traffic lights.

“Traffic lights at corner (Nelson) Mandela and Fourth Street have not been
working for close to two weeks now. I am surprised that the authorities are
doing nothing,” said one motorist, Tawanda Dendedza.

Another motorist, Anna Meki, who was involved in an accident last week at
the corner of Samora Machael Avenue and Sam Nujoma, said she was shocked to
find out that traffic lights near the President’s office were also not

President Robert Mugabe’s offices are housed at the nearby Munhumutapa

“I was involved in an accident because of the confusion there. the robots
were not working,” said Meki.

Harare City Council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi, said the council was
working to rectify the problem.

“It has come to our attention that there are some traffic lights that are
not working, but we are looking into it,” said Gwindi.

Police’s traffic spokesperson, Tigere Chigome, would not comment.

Motorists fear the situation could get worse with the onset of the rainy

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Byo council trashes MDC-T youths’ request

November 11, 2012 in Local

BULAWAYO — MDC-T Youth Assembly’s lobby for the conferment of the Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai with the freedom of the city status appears to
have crumbled.


The city fathers have not yet deliberated on the matter since the request
was made last year in August.

Bulawayo City Mayor, Patrick Thaba Moyo said the local authority had not
seen the request by the party’s youth league.

“No one can lobby for that. Only the city council decides on who should be
given such a status. It is the duty of the council to see how someone
qualifies to be given that status.

“Those who say they are lobbying, please tell them they cannot lobby for
such issues.”

MDC-T Bulawayo Youth Chairman, Bekithemba Nyathi said they had not sent the
request to the mayor but to councillors.

“The issue might not have reached the Mayor officially, but we met the other
councillors for consensus,” said Nyathi.

He said though the councillors have a prerogative of deciding who should be
honoured, the people of Bulawayo had the right to propose names.

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Zanu PF sharpens daggers against dissenting voices

November 11, 2012 in Local

THE on-going arrests and intimidation of President Robert Mugabe’s political
rivals and civil rights activists by State security agents is a precursor to
worst things to come as the country prepares for elections next year,
observers have said.


They said it has become a norm that towards elections, the country
experiences an upsurge in political violence and arrests of those critical
of Zanu PF and Mugabe’s administration.

The observation comes following last week’s arrest of three key staffers of
the Counselling Services Unit (CSU), a registered medical clinic that
provides counselling and referral services to victims of trauma.

The three are accused of spraying some MDC graffiti on an information centre
in Bulawayo last month in contravention of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) described the arrests as driven
by “paranoia” as the unit provides medical counselling care for victims of
police brutality and political violence.

The union warned of more arrests as dates for elections, which Mugabe
insists would be held in March next year, draw near.

“This incident is a forerunner of more shocking raids, arrests, intimidation
and detentions that are to follow as the country gets ready for elections in
2013,” said ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo.

“This is not only an attack on the CSU but also an attack on the broader
human right defenders network because within that network, CSU has been
doing sterling work in providing medical and counselling care for victims of
police brutality and political violence.”

The unit assisted several victims of political violence in the 2008
elections. The MDC-T claims that at least 500 of its supporters were killed
by Zanu PF and State security agents during that time.

Several MDC-T activists were also arrested on allegations ranging from
perpetrating violence to petrol-bombing police stations but most of the
cases crumbled like a deck of cards in the courts.

The last few months have seen several raids and arrests of human rights
activists, journalists and MDC-T officials.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director, Abel Chikomo has since last year
been a victim of harassment by law enforcement agents. He was charged of
leading an unregistered organisation.

The State withdrew the charges but said they would continue by way of

Political analysts said Chikomo, like other human rights defenders, was on
the radar of the State security agents because his organisation has been
assisting victims of organised violence, including those of political

“If you look at it, security agents only target those organisations or
people who were or are helping victims of political violence,” said one

“These arrests are political and they will definitely increase as we head
for elections. He (Mugabe) is sharpening his daggers.”

In August, more than 20 police officers raided the Gays and Lesbians
Association of Zimbabwe (Galz) office in Harare and confiscated computers,
digital versatile discs, pamphlets, compact discs and various documents.

The officers claimed that GALZ was in “possession of pamphlets and fliers
with information that promotes homosexuality for distribution”.

Mugabe, who of late has been preaching peace and co-existence, is against
homosexuals and has previously labelled them as “worse than pig and dogs”.

In 2008, another human rights activist Jestina Mukoko, who heads the
Zimbabwe Peace Project, was abducted and tortured by State security agents
because her organisation was documenting cases of rights abuse across the

She is now suing the State.

Mugabe’s political rivals in the coalition government have not been spared.

A fortnight ago, Elton Mangoma, MDC-T deputy treasurer-general and minister
of Energy and Power Development in the inclusive government, was summoned to
attend court in Bindura on charges of insulting the President.

Several other officials are facing the same charge.

“What is unsettling is that the arrests come at a time when the inclusive
government should be working hard on improving critical reforms before the
country goes for the referendum and elections in 2013,” said the MDC-T in a

“It is an affront to democracy and we call for an immediate end to these
illegal acts by the State and Zanu PF.”

US embassy in Harare shocked by arrests
The United Sates Embassy in Harare was equally shocked by the arrests.

It said there was a worrying trend in Zimbabwe of deploying security agents
to threaten political activists and those who provided support to victims of
intimidation and abuse.

“In the lead up to national elections, the United States looks to the
government of Zimbabwe to ensure that all security sector leaders and groups
strictly follow President Mugabe’s call for non-violence; and that they also
follow a policy of non-interference in democratic processes, including no
harassment, intimidation, or hints of retribution,” said the Embassy in a

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Residents’ associations threaten to sue Zesa over inflated bills

November 11, 2012 in Local

Residents’ associations in Harare have threatened to sue the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) should it fail to refund consumers it
has been overcharging since last year.


The Administrative Court recently nullified Zesa tariffs increases effected
in September 2011, technically forcing the power utility to revert to 2009

This was after a successful legal challenge initiated by the Confederation
of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).

Residents, who have always complained about exorbitant charges against a
poor service — received the ruling with joy.

Harare Residents Trust (HRT) executive director, Precious Shumba last week
vowed to ensure that consumers got their money back.

“To the residents, the nullification of the rates which were introduced in
September 2011 means that Zesa has to recalculate the bills that were
overcharged and credit the accounts of residents that were affected,” he

“If for any reason, Zesa fails to implement the Administrative Court’s
decision, then the HRT will have no option but to take the matter to the
courts seeking legal redress. Alternatively, being the most popular route
for residents, widespread demonstrations targeting Zesa will be undertaken
with the objective of forcing Zesa Holdings to comply with the law.”

Shumba said last month alone, the HRT intervened in nearly 80 cases relating
to chaotic Zesa billing.

HRT has handled 987 cases since the beginning of the year, up from 400 cases
last year.

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) chairman Simbarashe Moyo said
the administrative court ruling was a clear testimony of how difficult life
was for residents.

“Zesa’s inconsistencies have prejudiced residents for a long time,” Moyo
said. “First there was the estimated billing, then the US$30 and US$40 set
by government for high and low density suburbs respectively.

He added: “Then came the era of unjustifiably high tariffs which turn out to
be illegal more than a year down the line.”

Moyo said Zesa must cancel all outstanding bills and start on a new note
based on the prepaid meters they promised to install.

Zesa last week said it had so far installed 19 000 prepaid meters
countrywide. It assured ratepayers that power woes, would soon be over as it
targets to complete the installation of the meters within 10 months.

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Mini-hydro power station changes lives

November 11, 2012 in Community News

MUTARE SOUTH — Access to modern and cheap energy remains a pipe dream for
most families in the rural areas across the country.

But that is now a problem of the past for the rural community of Chipendeke
in Mutare South, which is generating electricity from a micro-hydro project.

The US$75 000 project, a community initiative sponsored by a
non-governmental organisation, Practical Action Southern Africa, is designed
to improve the lives of people living in rural areas.

So far at least 400 households, clinics and schools in Chipendeke — 70km
south of Mutare — are already using electricity from the project for
cooking, lighting and even to power their electrical domestic gadgets.

A recent visit to the area by Standardcommunity revealed that life had
changed for the better for the community following the commissioning of the
project, which has a capacity to generate 25 kilowatts of energy.

One of the beneficiaries of the project, Misheck Mukundwa (33) said the
venture had assisted the community to raise income to sustain their

“People can now afford to pay fees for their children and buy food from the
sale of produces from the irrigation scheme,” he said.

A smallholder farmer, Shadreck Mudiwa said the project had enabled him to
boost agricultural production at Chipendeke Irrigation Scheme.

“The availability of electric power has encouraged us as farmers to produce
more food for the community and for resale in the city,” said Mudiwa. “We
used to incur losses when our perishables turned bad. But now we can
refrigerate them before taking them to the market.”

A local environmentalist, Brian Makumbe said the introduction of electricity
in the area had reduced environmental degradation as people now used less
firewood for cooking and lighting.

“We really appreciated this kind of initiative because it brings development
and sustainable management of the environment,” said Makumbe. “We expect
villagers to save the forest because they have an alternative source of

A nurse at Chipendeke Clinic said before the advent of electricity, staff at
the health centre used to light candles to enable surgical operations at

Storing drugs was also a major challenge.

“We can now operate at night and store our medicines in the refrigerator.
The biggest challenge was that of pregnant mothers who wanted to deliver at
night. They had to bring their own candles,” said a nurse who declined to be

A teacher at a local school, Maxwell Zenda said he expected the pass rate in
schools in the area to improve as students would now have enough time to
study and prepare for exams at night.

Clinics and schools pay US$0,10 per kilowatt while business and households
pay US$0,32 and US$0,15 respectively for the electricity.

Business entities pay more because they derive profit from the project.

The project has also created employment for the locals.

A team of villagers was trained in managing the vending system, installation
of prepaid meters and updating database for users and electrical components.

Improving access to modern energy services
The Chipendeke project is part of a five-year regional micro-hydro project
called Catalysing Modern Energy Service Delivery to Marginal Communities in
Southern Africa.

The main aim is to improve access to modern energy services and increase
uptake of renewable energy technologies.

The project seeks to remove the policy, technical and institutional barriers
that limit the development and use of renewable energy sources to meet the
energy needs of poor, off-grid communities.

According to Practical Action, access to electricity in rural areas in
southern Africa remains low with Malawi on 0,05%, Mozambique 0,7% and
Zimbabwe 19%.

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Tower lights turned into base stations

November 11, 2012 in Community News

CHITUNGWIZA — Residents here have expressed outrage over the local authority’s
decision to allow telecommunication companies to turn tower lights into base


They said the arrangement deprived them of street lighting at night, leaving
them at the mercy of criminals who terrorised their suburbs.

Chitungwiza council is renting out the tower lights to telecommunication
companies as part of efforts to raise revenue.
Residents however, are complaining that boosters are now the dominant
feature in the town, yet most neighbourhoods remain in the dark.

They queried the logic behind entering into a deal which did not force the
telecoms companies to repair street lights.

One of the residents who identified himself as Chris Vancols of Zengeza 1
said: “While we are not against progress, council should have insisted these
companies repair tower lights as part of their rental arrangement.”

Vancols operates a secondhand goods market near a dysfunctional tower light
that has been converted into a base station.
He cannot operate at night because of lack of lighting.

Econet rehabilitates towers: Makuni
Kezito Makuni, the technical director for Econet said the use of the towers
was part of their infrastructure sharing policy.

“Once Econet gets authorisation to use a particular tower, we completely
rehabilitate it. This includes making repairs to the lighting. While
maintenance however falls on councils, Econet continues to supply lighting
materials for the towers,” said Makuni.

“For using the towers, Econet pays rentals to urban councils, which they in
turn use to fund service delivery to our communities, including supply of

Shame Gurure (32) of Unit O in Seke said council must channel the money they
get from renting out tower lights to repairing the lighting structures for
the benefit of the community.

“Council should repair tower lights since they are now renting them out,
where is the money going?” asked Gurure.

The residents attributed increased cases of muggings and robbery in
Chitungwiza to the absence of tower lights as robbers take advantage of the

“It’s good that these base stations will improve network coverage but
without any lighting we will continue losing cell phones or worse still, our
lives,” said a man who identified himself as Masvikepi of Unit M in Seke.

It could not be established how much the companies were paying for the tower

Telecel communication and branding manager Obert Mandimika said the exercise
was part of efforts to improve service delivery.

“We placed our equipment as part of measures to speed up out turnaround time
in terms of reaching out to subscribers and council has approved it,” he

He said arrangements were being made to restore the functionality of the
tower lights as part of the company’s social responsibility.

Newly-appointed Chitungwiza Town Clerk, George Makunde said he did not have
details of the deal and promised to make inquiries.

“It’s normal procedure for council to rent out its property,” said Makunde.

“However, I am still to be briefed on the contents of the deal between
council and telecommunication companies.”

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Peace returns to Domboshava

November 11, 2012 in Community News

PEACE and tranquillity have since returned to Chinamhora community in
Domboshava, which was recently hogged by a series of murders that disrupted
the locals’ economic and social life.


Christopher Chidziva, who is reigning Chief Chinamhora, attributed the
return of peace to efforts by the church in the community.

Addressing thousands of the African Apostolic Church congregants at
Domboshava Showgrounds last week, Chief Chinamhora said they had to seek
divine intervention following a spate of murders in his area.

“As you know, in the previous months the Chinamhora community was befallen
by a spate of murders that saw fear gripping the area,” said Chief

“At the height of the killings, I phoned ‘Mudzidzisi’ [Paul Mwazha]
requesting him to come and pray over the issue but he assured me he would
come at a later time but would pray from where he was. I am glad today we
have regained our peace and everything has returned to normalcy.”

The African Apostolic Church is led by Archbishop Mwazha.

Last week’s church gathering was attended by worshippers from Harare,
Chitungwiza and surrounding areas who heeded a call by the local leadership
to converge for prayers over the gruesome murder incidences in Domboshava.

Over 300 people, most of them locals, attended the church service.

One headman Murapi also thanked the church for ensuring that peace and
harmony returned to the area.

“We have been engaging Christians from different denominations and a few
weeks ago we held prayer sessions with leaders from local churches and we
are really grateful for the support given during the difficult period,” he

Six men were in September murdered in Domboshava, five of them using the
same method, raising suspicions that a gang of dangerous criminals was on
the prowl.

The five, four of them murdered as they left Showgrounds business centre,
were believed to have been hit with blunt objects on their heads while their
bodies had bruises.

As panic gripped the area, social and economic activities were disrupted as
nightclubs and shops closed early for fear of the murderers.

This led the police to beef up security in the area and intensify night

Blessing Kunaka and Joshua Chibonda have since appeared before a Harare
magistrate facing three charges of murder, one of attempted murder and two
of armed robbery.

An alleged accomplice, Dirayi Chibhobhoribho was said to be on the run.

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Liquidity challenges to persist — Gono

November 11, 2012 in Business

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has warned that
liquidity challenges will persist as Zimbabweans continue facing stringent
conditions to access lines of credit.


Gono told stakeholders attending the Zimbabwe Independent Banks and Banking
Survey meeting last week that out of the offshore facilities worth US$2
billion approved by the External Loans and Coordinating Committee (ELCC),
only US$899 million has been drawn down since the beginning of the year.

“. . . against such low utilisation levels of 42% realised this year to
date, the country will continue to face persistent liquidity challenges,”
Gono said.

Gono said notable issues that have affected utilisation levels include
facilitation fees, deposit requirements and various legal aspects, which
sometimes take up to six months to be fulfilled.

Zimbabwe is facing liquidity challenges and has failed to get lines of
credit from multilateral financial institutions.

The situation has been complicated by the inability of the central bank to
print money under the multi-currency environment.

Gono said under the auspices of the multiple currency system, major sources
of liquidity and broad money for the Zimbabwean economy, comprised export
earning, diaspora remittances, offshore lines of credit, foreign direct
investment and portfolio inflows.

“To the extent that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has not been issuing
currency under the multiple currency system, there is need to ensure that
these streams of foreign currency inflows continue to meaningfully
contribute to liquidity levels in the economy,” Gono said.

Under the multi-currency environment, RBZ is a bystander, as it cannot
intervene in a crisis.

Central banks in Europe have been able to intervene in the euro crisis by
using or adjusting their monetary policies through introducing austerity
measures as and when needed.

An austerity measure is an official action taken by governments through
central banks in order to reduce the amount of money that it spends or the
amount that people spend.

This ultimately has an effect on the liquidity position of a country’s
financial markets.

RBZ rendered ineffective
Without the ability to control a country’s monetary policy and implement it,
RBZ is ineffective in introducing austerity measures when needed.

“Determining a monetary policy and implementing it, is at the core of any
central bank and for as long as we don’t have a local currency, RBZ will
always have limited impact in the smooth operations of financial markets in
Zimbabwe,” an investment banker said.

“The best RBZ can do now is being a regulator of our local financial
markets, but a regulator without ability to introduce relevant instruments
to ensure smooth operations of our financial markets, in case they are
needed, is weak. And only through a monetary policy are you able to
intervene effectively.”

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Inaugural Diamond Conference opens

November 11, 2012 in Business

THE inaugural Diamond Conference opens in Victoria Falls tomorrow as
Zimbabwe plans to tap knowledge on how it can harness diamond resources.


This comes at a time the country is exporting rough diamonds, which means
that it is exporting labour to various countries, notably India.

Prince Mupazviriho, Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary, told
Standardbusiness on Friday the conference was meant to gather ideas on how
the country could develop the industry, having attained Kimberley Process

“The conference will look at how we develop the industry, having attained
compliance. We will share information on how we can develop our own
systems,” he said.

Mupazviriho said the conference would help the country on how it can
complement the Diamond Policy.

The conference will bring together key stakeholders in the industry, that
include officials from the World Diamond Council and Antwerp Diamond Centre,
among others.

Zimbabwe mines diamonds from Murowa and the resource-rich Marange fields.

Four companies — Marange Resources, Mbada, Diamond Mining Corporation and
Anjin —are mining on concessions in Marange, which are owned by the Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

ZMDC wholly owns Marange Resources and is in a 50-50 joint venture with
other partners in DMC and Mbada. A Chinese consortium is operating with the
army in Anjin.

Diamond revenue was expected to plug the gap and was projected to reach
US$600 million this year.

Minister Tendai Biti has been accusing diamond producers of not remitting to
the fiscus.

Diamond producers and the Ministry of Mines say sanctions have had an effect
on the prices of diamonds and hence are affecting revenue.

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Budget expected to revive industry

November 11, 2012 in Business

FINANCE minister Tendai Biti presents the last national budget of the
inclusive government on Thursday, amid expectations he would provide the
stimulus needed for the manufacturing sector that has recorded a dip in
capacity utilisation.


A survey released by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) last
week showed that for the first time since the use of multi-currencies,
capacity utilisation had gone down to 44,2% from the 57,2% recorded last
year, painting a gloomy picture in the outlook.

The survey came after Biti had cut projected growth for this year to 4% from
an earlier forecast of 5,6%.

Analysts said last week, the dip in capacity utilisation should jolt
government into action to introduce policies that help revive the industry.

James Wadi, chief economist at regional banking group BancABC, told
Standardbusiness the budget should provide ways to revive the manufacturing
industry, “given what it has said”.

He said while industry required money, some of its requirements were
non-monetary, such as the provision of an environment conducive to attract

Wadi said government had to honour Bilateral Investment Promotion and
Protection Agreements (Bippas), so as to unlock the external lines of credit
needed to boost the economy.

“We have to honour that and the moment we start acting otherwise it sends
wrong signals to investors,” he said.

The local manufacturing sector is beset by a string of challenges, notably
power outages and ageing equipment that has pushed up the cost of
production, meaning local products are more expensive compared to imports.

Zimbabwe has become a supermarket economy, with imports flooding the shops.

Exports for most commodities have been reduced and as a result, the economy
is not generating foreign currency receipts.

Regrettably, imports continue to increase thereby widening the trade gap.
The little money generated locally would go to imports, starving other
sectors of the economy of funding needed for revival.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono told the banking sector’s
stakeholders last week that improved export capabilities required that the
country’s investment image be improved.

“This remains key in the meaningful attraction of both domestic and foreign
direct investment into key productive and export sectors of the economy in a
manner that improves the competitiveness of domestically produced goods and
services,” Gono said.

Gono said the “country’s import dependency syndrome must be shed off through
the implementation of comprehensive structural policies that promote the
resuscitation of domestic industrial production”.

“This would assist in bridging attendant supply gaps that have sustained the
importation of finished goods largely from South Africa and the Far East,”
Gono said.

Biti has in the past indicated that he would increase some taxes as way of
generating more revenue.

However, analysts say, there are some low-hanging fruits that can be
harnessed to raise more revenue for the economy. “We have porous borders and
why should we not automate?” Wadi asked, adding that the same could be done
on tollgates.

He said automation would remove the human intervention and there was an
assurance that the money would come.

In its submissions, CZI said there were high levels of corruption at border
posts, especially at Beitbridge and the long transit times spent obtained a
hamstrung to trade.

Wadi said such a mismatch was not unique to Zimbabwe but obtains in other
countries in the region. However, Wadi said other countries had managed to
raise offshore financing for infrastructure.

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Under Mugabe: Robin Hammond Records the Suffering of Zimbabwe
Robin Hammond—Panos for Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award
Impoverished people living near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, made a home from an empty plot of wasteland. Their previous dwelling was destroyed in Operation Murambatsvina.

In December 2011 Robin Hammond, then a neighbor of mine in Cape Town, arrived in Zimbabwe for what he’d planned as his longest trip yet to a country, and a story, he knew well – several months documenting that country’s decline. There are worse places in Africa and there are plenty of uplifting stories to be had in Zimbabwe. But in the context of the stunning progress Zimbabwe achieved in its first decade of independence, its collapse over the next two is nonetheless remarkable – and the main reason Robin has covered the country so extensively since 2007. “There are very few countries that have fallen as far as fast as Zimbabwe,” says Robin. “These are educated people with high expectations who are now living in really extreme poverty.”

For months, living on a grant from the Carmignac Foundation, Robin worked his way across the country, getting to know Zimbabweans, living with them, sharing their lives. He discovered a hidden urban poverty that most journalists, myself included, have missed. “Robert Mugabe’s only been screwing it up for 20 years, so there are still some half-decent roads and buildings,” says Robin. “But you get into some of these places and they’re vertical city slums: no power, no water, no jobs. And the atmosphere. I’ve been to Congo and Somalia and all those kinds of places but I don’t think I’ve seen people as scared as the people in Zimbabwe.”

As Robin discovered, there was good reason to fear. In March, as he photographed a farm in the east of the country that had been seized by the regime, he was arrested and held overnight. A few weeks later in mid-April, he was arrested a second time as he tried to take pictures of Zimbabwean refugees crossing the Limpopo River into South Africa. In 2007 I did five days in a Zimbabwean prison in the same part of the country. Robin was held for four weeks. Most of his time was spent in a five-meter-by-10-meter cell with 37 other inmates. The prisoners had a concrete floor to sleep on, blankets infested with lice as their only covering, one toilet between 250 and, for food, slop infested with weevils. Many of his fellow prisoners had been inside for years. Eventually, Robin was deported. “They did a pretty good job of making me feel afraid,” he says.

After arriving in London, then relocating to Paris, Robin began assembling his work. What emerges in these stunning, fearful pictures, now being published in a book and shown at an exhibition which opens this week at Chapelle de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, is an arrestingly original portrait of a country whose nightmare is far from over. Robin’s pictures lay bare in unprecedented fashion the depth of Zimbabwe’s destruction and how, for millions, there is no recovery, nor even much hope of one.

Yet, with a fresh election expected next year, hope persists. Robin says Zimbabwe has taught him a cruel lesson about that: how hope might keep you going, but how it can also be dangerous. Robin learned that for himself in prison. “When you’re told you’re going to be let out that day, then you have to go back to your cell, that can be really depressing,” he says. “You have to set your mind to the idea that you could be there for months.” For Zimbabweans, hope has proved even more perilous, says Robin. A curiosity of Mugabe’s 32-year rule has been how, even as he plundered his country, ruined it, and killed and beat his challengers, he has never extinguished his people’s belief in change. The Zimbabwean President holds elections, shares power with the opposition and negotiates a theoretical transition with Zimbabwe’s neighbors. None of these initiatives have come to anything. But to those who ponder Mugabe’s survival – about why Zimbabweans haven’t staged a second revolution – Mugabe’s repression provides one answer and his careful nurturing of hope the other. Even now, says Robin, “Zimbabweans are eternally optimistic. They always think the next election will be the one to change their lives.” It is a testament to Robin’s art and courage that the way those expectations have been so mercilessly – and so deeply and comprehensively – disappointed has rarely been better captured.

Alex Perry is TIME’s Africa bureau chief.

Robin Hammond is a photojournalist based in South Africa.

National Geographic Magazine will be publishing a story next year that will feature the work from this project. The series will also be on display from Nov. 9 through Dec. 9 at Chapelle de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris, with an opening reception on Nov. 8.

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