THE MILITARY

As Zanu PF factions destroy each other, the military will have a huge say as to who would take over from President Mugabe.

THE MILITARY

As Zanu PF factions destroy each other, the military will have a huge say as to who would take over from President Mugabe.

PROPHET WALTER MAGAYA

He is a controversial prophet who continues to draw large crowds with his promise of miracles. But as his popularity soars he faces all sorts of allegations. So far he has survived.

TSVANGIRAI THE SURVIVOR

Two secretary generals tried to topple him but failed. His wife walked out but returned home. Now MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is plotting his way to State House.

NEWSDZEZIMBABWE

Latest news, entertainment and sports.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

WE ARE LOSING $5M EVERY DAY : ZNCC


Businesses in Zimbabwe are losing millions of dollars per day as a shutdown protest - called for by the country's biggest labour union body - continues over a sudden 150% hike in fuel prices.

Most businesses were closed by midday on Monday, when violent protests that started in high-density suburbs spread to the central business district of Harare.

Businesses, at least in Harare, remained closed on Tuesday, amid social media threats of unspecified action to those who defied the call to stay away.

The country's biggest labour union body, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, called for the 3-day stayaway after the government announced that the price of petrol would increase from $1.31 per litre to $3.31/l, the highest in the world.

According to AFP, five Zimbabweans have been killed in the fuel hike protests.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Christopher Mugaga said businesses, and retailers in particular, stood to lose at least $5m for every day they were closed.

"We have looked at it. We are talking of an average $5m per day in sales, especially in the retail sector. This also comes in a month we have lost a lot of productive hours in fuel queues. So January will be the lowest in terms of productive hours," said Mugaga.

While only CBD and high-density outlets were closed Monday, those in wealthy suburbs, such as Sam Levy Village, Zimbabwe's most affluent mall, remained closed on Tuesday amid social media threats.

At noon on Tuesday, social media platform WhatsApp seemed not to be working, with many taking to Twitter to express their dismay with government action.

Some businesses also fell victim to looting, with at least two outlets belonging to Botswana retail Group Choppies having been looted.  Fin24

DA LEADER : LESSONS FROM ZIMBABWE


The crisis in Zimbabwe should serve as a warning to SA that liberation movements still cannot be trusted to deliver, DA leader Mmusi Maimane suggested on Tuesday.

Addressing the Cape Town Press Club, Maimane criticised the ANC’s record in government since 1994, citing its “failure to address unemployment, inequality, poverty, crime and social unrest”.

“As we grapple with our own path forward, we could also do well to reflect on the situation in Zimbabwe right now. They too were asked to believe that a new leader [Emmerson Mnangagwa] of a failed liberation movement [Zanu–PF] would steer them towards a different outcome. And now they are discovering that a government runs on systems and not individuals. If those systems are broken, it doesn’t matter who is in charge,” said Maimane.

Zimbabwe, which is facing its worst economic crisis in a decade, came to a standstill this week as protesters took to the streets over the country’s latest staggering  fuel-price hike and the worsening socioeconomic situation.

More than four people have reportedly died in the protests, but this has not yet been confirmed.

“This is the story of liberation movements and their splinter parties everywhere,” said Maimane.

“The ANC — along with every other so-called revolutionary party that has sprung up recently like mushrooms in the forest — desperately wants you to believe that you still need to be liberated from something or someone. That’s all they know, and so they create imaginary enemies and wage imaginary wars. Their language, their ideology and their ideas got stuck a long time ago,” the DA leader said.

“The more they fail at being a government, the more they will try to convince you that you need them for the struggle. And, having destroyed the systems and the institutions that make up a government, they will ask you to put your hope and your trust in individual leaders, personalities whom they will try to elevate to icons.

“But that’s not how a government works. That’s not how a capable state is built. If you want a better government, then you have to choose a better government. I believe the DA is that government,” he said.

Maimane said unemployment, along with unfair access to scarce jobs, is at the core of SA’s problems.

“Every other challenge we have — poverty, inequality, crime, social unrest — can be solved if we can find a way to put more people into jobs. Or, seen the other way round, if we can’t secure a dramatic turnaround in our unemployment rate, all our efforts to curb the other ills in our society will be in vain.

“The ability of a party to enable and nurture job creation should be the make-or-break factor when choosing a government in SA,” Maimane said.

He said this was why the launch of the ANC’s election manifesto on Saturday was a “red flag”.

“The most telling moment from his [President Cyril Ramaphosa’s] entire time at the podium [at the manifesto launch] was the number he put forward as his target for job creation: 275,000 per year, which is the number that emerged from his jobs summit in October of last year. The ANC can’t even stop our unemployment rate from going up, never mind bring it down. But there is an even bigger problem with this number of 275,000: it’s not enough. In fact, it is not even close.”

Maimane said there are now 9.8-million unemployed South Africans, and even if SA’s labour force remains the same size it would take more than 35 years, at Ramaphosa’s rate, to clear that number.

“And it is widening because we have a government that deliberately puts up barriers between the insiders and the outsiders … whether through legislation such as labour laws and the new national minimum wage, or through corrupt and criminal practices like jobs for pals and jobs for sex, this ANC government continuously builds walls between the haves and the have-nots.” Business Day

RAMAPHOSA MUST INTERVENE : BITI


Zimbabwean opposition official and former finance minister Tendai Biti has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the country’s economic and political crisis, which has left three people dead.

The country went into a violent shutdown after the biggest trade union called a strike against a more than 100% increase in the price of fuel to a staggering $3.11 (R42.83) per litre for diesel, and $3.33 for petrol.

This is more than three times the price of petrol in SA. The fuel hike gave Zimbabwe, one of the poorest countries in the world, the dubious honour of having the highest fuel prices in the world, heaping more misery on a population struggling with a shortage of foreign exchange that has seen the country run short of basics such as bread.

Zimbabwe’s information minister Monica Mutsvangwa on Tuesday said the three people killed included a police officer.

As the biggest country in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), SA was "the big brother. It cannot pretend to be otherwise," Biti said in an interview on Tuesday.

"I don’t know how many dead bodies Sadc wants to see before they will move on what is clearly a crisis. The lives of African people matter, and they should matter to the Sadc.

Biti is the deputy national chair of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which the Zimbabwean government has blamed for the latest violence.

The MDC unsuccessfully challenged the outcome of elections held in July 2018, alleging that the governing Zanu-PF victory had been secured via vote rigging.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who seized power from Robert Mugabe with the help of the army in 2017, was declared the winner of the presidential race with 50.8% of the vote, compared to 44.3% for MDC leader Nelson Chamisa. 

Mnangagwa was in Russia on Tuesday to meet President Vladimir Putin and told state-owned RIA Novosti news agency that he would ask for loans from Russia.

Mnangagwa did not say how much Zimbabwe wanted to borrow, and encouraged Russian companies to explore for gas and oil in the country.

He is also scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland next week.

"The bottom line is that we are being led by a rogue regime, following a sham election," Biti said. Ramaphosa "and his fellow Sadc member presidents must show leadership here."

The crisis in Zimbabwe was not a foreign-affairs issue for SA because the consequences "will be directly visited" on the country, he said.

Ramaphosa met with Chamisa just over two weeks ago. The opposition leader said he had sought the SA leader’s help in addressing Zimbabwe’s economic crisis.

While Chamisa posted about the meeting on Twitter, the presidency did not issue any statement about it, and has not commented on calls for Ramaphosa and the Sadc to force the Zimbabwean government to accept mediation, referring queries to the department of international relations & co-operation. 

Protesters barricaded roads and burned tyres in Zimbabwe on Monday January 14 2018 as anger over the worst economic crisis in decades spilled onto the streets.

Neither the department, nor the Sadc responded to requests for comment.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said on Tuesday that 13 people had sustained gunshot wounds in and around Harare. At least 200 people were arrested.

Zimbabwe’s mobile phone networks and internet were partially shut down, with one industry source saying the systems had been jammed, with many users complaining of limited access.

Zimbabwe's economy has been in crisis since hyperinflation wiped out savings between 2007 and 2009, when the Zimbabwean dollar was abandoned in favour of the US currency.

Zimbabweans mainly rely on electronic payments as US dollar notes are in short supply. The local "bond note" currency, introduced in 2016, is little trusted and falling in value.

AFP

VIDEOS : MUTSVANGWA ON SHUT DOWN


Tuesday, 15 January 2019

US ISSUES ZIMBABWE SECURITY ALERT


Security Alert:

Continued street blockades and military checkpoints, disruption of social media sites and Whats App, reports of police abuse and violence across Zimbabwe.

Location: Across Zimbabwe

Event:

In response to protests over fuel shortages and price hikes, police dispersed tear gas against protesters in Bulawayo, Harare, and Mutare on January 14. On January 15, the Embassy received reports of clashes between security forces and residents in satellite neighborhoods in Harare and Bulawayo. The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights reported that 26 people sustained gunshot wounds since the protests started on January 14.

Most grocery stores, schools, and businesses are closed across Zimbabwe in response to threats posted by anonymous protesters on social media threatening businesses, schools, fuel stations, and local transport with physical harm if they continue to operate. There have been limited reports of stores being looted.

There are wide-spread reports of internet disruption affecting social media websites, and cellular data resulting in the loss of What’s App, text messaging, phone calls, and local internet.

The Embassy recommends that you shelter in place, monitor local media for updates, including Voice of America on Channel 909 AM in Harare and on short-wave 4930, 7210 and 12120 kilohertz frequencies, and try voice calls and text messaging as a communication method until cellular data is restored. Harare International Airport and the Victoria Falls Airport remain open for business. Fast Jet, one of the main airline operators in Victoria Falls, announced that it had closed operations and all flights until January 22.

Actions to Take:

• Stay away from the Harare Commercial Business District, Chitungwiza, Damofalls, Epworth Hatcliff, Dzivarasekwa, Kadoma, downtown Bulawayo and its western suburbs.

• Avoid demonstrations and all public gatherings

• Exercise increased caution

• Monitor local news stations for updates

• Be vigilant and take steps to enhance your personal security; and

• Remain alert for potentially dangerous situations.

Assistance:

United States Embassy Harare, Zimbabwe

2 Lorraine Drive

Harare, Zimbabwe

Tel: +263-867-701-1000

SHUTDOWN PLUNGES HOMES INTO DARKNESS


When the Zimbabwean government ordered internet service providers to shutter parts of the web in an effort to curb anti-government protests, it also plunged homes into darkness because people can’t pay their utilities online.

Most people in the southern African nation use Econet Wireless Zimbabwe's Ecocash mobile-phone payment system for daily transactions.

They buy electricity in units of $5 or less and almost all domestic users are on prepaid meters, so many buy for $1 at a time.

According to Zimbabwe’s Finance Ministry, less than 5% of commercial transactions in the country involve cash, mainly because it’s hard to find. Instead Zimbabweans use Ecocash or bank cards.

"Tonight will be spent in darkness," said 42-year-old John Pedzesai, who sells plants on a sidewalk in the capital, Harare. FIN24

MASIYIWA : GOVT ORDERED BLACKOUT


US SENATORS ATTACK ED OVER BRUTALITY, BLACKOUT


Unites States Senators Chris Coons and Cory Booker have urged Zimbabwean officials to respect the rights of protesters and restore access to social media, internet and telephone services following a nationwide protests staged by local people over the country’s economic crisis.

In a statement, Coons (Democrat, Delaware) and Booker (Democrat, New Jersey) said the current situation in the country is worrying as state security agents have launched a crackdown on protesters amid reports of several deaths, arrests and detentions.

The two, who are members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “We are deeply troubled by reports of deaths, widespread arrests, beatings, and harassment of protestors by security forces of the Government of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean people have the constitutional right to protest peacefully and express themselves regarding developments in their country.

“Government officials and security forces must respond with professionalism and respect for human rights and the rule of law. We also call on the Government of Zimbabwe to rescind the directive ordering communication service providers to cut or restrict access to social media, internet, and telephone services. Such abrogations of constitutional and basic legal rights are not what the people of Zimbabwe were promised under President Mnangagwa.”

Coons and Booker said Zimbabwean authorities should urgently address people’s concerns. “… Instead, the government should work to meet the basic economic and social needs of its people. We strongly urge the Zimbabwean authorities to resolve the current situation through dialogue and non-violent, fully legal means, and for protesters to exercise their constitutional rights peacefully. Under no circumstances should the Zimbabwean government disregard the constitutional rights of its citizens, engage in the illegal suppression of expression and assembly, or employ the disproportionate use of force or extralegal violence to respond to the current situation.”

Coons and Booker are among several other senators who were in Zimbabwe before the country held its elections last July won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his ruling Zanu PF party.

The poll results were challenged by the Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa, who lost the case in the Constitutional Court which cited lack of evidence in nullifying the election outcome.

The country was facing serious economic problems before the harmonized elections and worsened soon after Mnangagwa was declared winner by Priscilla Chigumba’s Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Mnangagwa recently announced fuel price increases of up to 150% in a nation with an unemployment rate of over 80%. voa

GOVT : CHAMISA TRYING TO UNSEAT ED


Zimbabwe’s government has accused the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance for the outbreak of violence in the country, following a call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions for a complete shutdown of businesses and work.

Addressing journalists at a news conference Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the shutdown and the ensuing outbreak of violence which has claimed lives, is the work of the opposition, though the leader of the MDC party Nelson Chamisa and his party members have remained largely silent on the call to by the ZCTU and others, to shutdown the government.

“Pursuant to this nefarious agenda, the MDC Alliance activated its notorious terror groups, which include the so-called Democratic Resistance Committee and para-military vanguard," said Mutsvangwa.

Mutsvangwa, who accuses the opposition and organizers of the shutdown of attempting to overthrow the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, warned that such a move would have consequences.

"Threats to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government by force and install an unelected person as president of Zimbabwe will be thwarted - it won't work.”

The shutdown, called in reaction to increased prices in fuel and shortage of basics including cash and food, coincides with President Mnangagwa’s trip to various countries in Eastern Europe, including Russia, and also Switzerland for the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mutsvanga said the shutdown and the violence that has erupted between members of the security forces and citizens, was aimed to bring unnecessary attention to the country.

"The timing of these events is instructive in two ways, they come against the background where his Excellency the President ED (Emmerson) Mnangagwa is out of the country. And two, they are intended to undermine … the ongoing re-engagement efforts of the president to market Zimbabwe at high level forums such as at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland," Mutsvangwa said.

President Mnangagwa has declared that Zimbabwe is open for business and has pushed for Zimbabwe’s readmission into the international community, which has imposed sanctions on the country due to allegations of human rights violations and lack of rule of law.

The opposition has denied any involvement in the shutdown, but has challenged Mnangagwa’s legitimacy following his July 30th election victory, which was decided by the Constitutional Court. voa

EFF ATTACKS MNANGAGWA BRUTALITY


SOLDIERS PATROL STREETS IN ZIM

 (Reuters) - Soldiers patrolled city streets in Zimbabwe on Tuesday and confrontations with angry civilians threatened to boil over, a day after violent protests led to the death of three people, including a police officer.


Monday’s unrest followed sharp increases in fuel prices decreed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, five months after post-election violence during which six people died when the army intervened to quell trouble.

Zimbabweans accuse Mnangagwa of failing to live up to pre-election promises to kick-start growth, having seen their purchasing power eroded by rampant inflation. As security forces faced accusations of heavy-handedness and more protests threatened to break out, Labour Minister Sekai Nzenza said public workers would get a monthly supplement of between 5 and 23 percent of their salaries from January to March while wage negotiations with unions continued.

  Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told reporters that a police officer was stoned to death by protesters in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo. She said two other people died during protests in Chitungwiza, south of Harare, and Kadoma, west of the capital.

 Mnangagwa, who is on an official visit in Moscow, said Zimbabwe was interested in receiving Russian loans and might need Russia’s help in modernizing its army, RIA news agency reported.

 The president has also promised a clean break from the repressive regime of his long-time predecessor Robert Mugabe, who was forced out in a de facto coup in November 2017. But critics accused Mnangagwa of resorting to Mugabe-style tactics to contain the current unrest. 

 In Harare and Bulawayo, banks, schools, businesses and the stock market remained shut as many residents stayed at home. Security forces deployed to stave off further demonstrations, witnesses said, and people in Harare said they could no longer access the internet.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said she was not aware of an internet shutdown and Zimbabwe’s three mobile telecoms firms had no immediate comment.

“We are suffering. Mnangagwa has failed this country. Enough is enough, we no longer want this,” protester Takura Gomba said in Warren Park, a Harare township, while retreating with others as soldiers approached in trucks.

 A human rights lawyers’ group said it had received reports of soldiers and police breaking into homes in townships overnight and assaulting suspected demonstrators. Military and police spokespeople said they could not comment for the time being. Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Additional reporting by Joe Brock in Johannesburg; Editing by Mark Heinrich  

CIVIL SERVANTS GET CUSHIONING ALLOWANCE

Government has with immediate effect directed that civil servants be awarded a ‘cushioning allowance’ of between 22,7 percent and 5 percent per month on a sliding scale between January and March.


 According to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Dr Sekai Nzenza, the intervention will not affect the ongoing negotiations between Government and its workers for a cost of living adjustment. “This once off payment is meant to mitigate against the erosion of disposable incomes. 

It must be noted that this is a Government offer and not a negotiated intervention,” said Dr Nzenza in a statement. “Henceforth, negotiations for cost of living adjustments (COLA) will commence, leading to the comprehensive 2019 April review, and thereafter annually every April.”  Herald