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.

Monday, 27 June 2016

NO PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR ZANU PF BIGWIGS

Zanu-PF is mulling exempting its hardworking Members of Parliament from being subjected to primary elections as part of efforts to ensure that the party registers a resounding victory in the forthcoming 2018 general elections.The announcement was made by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko last Wednesday in Mukumbura District, Mashonaland Central Province while addressing senior party and Government officials during a briefing where he had toured Government departments at the border post.

He later addressed thousands of people, the majority of whom were Zanu-PF supporters. In his address to senior party members, VP Mphoko urged sitting Zanu-PF legislators to work hard in their constituencies to ensure that the revolutionary party registered a landslide election victory in 2018.
VP Mphoko told party and Government officials that he was touring several areas to establish the state of preparedness of Zanu-PF ahead of the harmonised polls.

“The ball is in your court. We are saying all hardworking MPs should be exempted from primary elections. If you are not working in your constituency then do not blame us. We want people to work,” said VP Mphoko.

The statement was received with jubilation by Zanu-PF Mazowe North candidate, Advocate Martin Dinha who assured VP Mphoko that he would ensure that he worked hard so that he was guaranteed of the right to represent the party in 2018.

Adv Dinha, who is also Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Minister, will be representing Zanu-PF in Mazowe North constituency by elections set for July 23, to fill the vacancy that occurred following the death of Engineer Edgar Chidavaenzi two months ago.
VP Mphoko said he was moving around all provinces assessing the implementation of Government’s economic blueprint Zim-Asset ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.

Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central Provincial chairperson Cde Dickson Mafios warned legislators not to blame party leadership if they were found to be lazy and subjected to primary elections.

“We are watching you. We need people who work hard. Only those MPs who are hardworking in their constituencies will benefit from this. If you are not working hard and you are a Missing Person, do not blame party leadership,” said Cde Mafios.

In his brief to VP Mphoko, Adv Dinha rapped the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Ministry for misdirecting the $20 million facility it got by constructing most schools in urban areas ignoring rural areas.

“Honourable VP, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education got a $20 million loan facility, but strangely it is constructing schools in urban areas like Kuwadzana, yet here parents are being asked to mould bricks, scrounge for money for roof sheets for the schools; yet we all know that most of them are not gainfully employed.

“Is it prudent for the ministry to construct schools in areas where parents already have the means and ignore rural schools where some children walk more than 20 kilometres to the nearest school. It is also in the rural areas where Zanu-PF had been registering landslide election victories,” said Adv Dinha.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education secured a $20 million facility from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting countries for the construction of schools.

VP Mphoko said the Ministry was one of the ministries that he superintended and he will be convening a meeting with all the ministries he oversees next week. herald

500K BEAM FUNDS DIVERTED TO BUY FOOD HAMPERS FOR STAFF

The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare diverted almost $500 000 meant for the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) to buy food hampers for officials at a time Government is struggling to clear the backlog in tuition and examination fees for disadvantaged pupils.

In her December 31, 2015 report, Auditor-General Ms Mildred Chiri noted that Treasury, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, released $7 million to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare for BEAM, but half a million dollars was diverted to buy food hampers for staff.

The welfare ministry has been failing to pay fees for thousands of vulnerable children. It owes schools about $27 million.

“During the year under review, Treasury released $7 million for the programme (BEAM). Despite arrears amounting to $39 000 as at December 31, 2015, the ministry used $419 968 to meet expenditure not related to BEAM objectives. The risk is that BEAM may fail to meet its objectives if its resources are utilised for expenditure other than advancing the education of the disadvantaged,” reads Ms Chiri’s report.

In its response, the Ministry admitted diverting the money but appeared to dispute the figure.

“It is acknowledged that a total of $239 250 was used to finance staff hampers as per ministry policy and Secretary’s approval. Ideally, this cost should have been met from institutional provisions but unfortunately Treasury did not release the requisite funding over the period. This payment was done using the 10 percent amount,” reads the response from the Ministry.

But Ms Chiri dismissed the claims of 10 percent saying it was a far-fetched assertion.
“The 10 percent that the ministry is basing this expenditure on appears remote from the administration of BEAM,” said Ms Chiri.

BEAM is based on a policy and legal framework that is designed to provide quality education to children, including specific policies aimed at supporting orphans and vulnerable children.

In 2014 representatives of teachers’ unions said BEAM was largely benefiting children from well-to-do families at the expense of the vulnerable. The unions urged Government to review Beam selection criteria as the limited resources were not always going to the most deserving cases.

In another case, Ms Chiri observed that nine Members of Parliament took delivery of vehicles under the Parliamentary Motor Vehicle Loan scheme valued at $315 000 without 
signing loan agreements.

She also noted that Parliament of Zimbabwe had not taken action to recover vehicles from 26 MPs that were recalled by their political parties.
The vehicles were worth almost $1 million.

Parliament admitted its failure to ensure that MPs signed loan agreements in respect of the vehicles they took.

“Parliament is engaging the Members to rectify the error,” responded Parliament to audit enquiries.

It also said that the delay in taking action was because the legislators were challenging their expulsion.

“The process to effect the recovery commenced in 2015 and the final letters of demand were sent to members in February 2016,” reads Parliament’s response.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

BLIND RAPIST REFUSES TO STAND TRIAL

COURT officials last Friday struggled to drag a 76-year-old visually impaired man into a courtroom as he refused to stand trial for allegedly raping a 3-year-old girl.


 Ndawana Phinias Ndlovu of Lupanda Village under Chief Mabhikwa later attempted to undress in the courtroom in protest as he refused to respond to questions from the magistrate.

Hwange regional magistrate Mrs Dambudzo Malunga did not ask Ndlovu to plead and remanded him in custody to July 8.
The magistrate ordered that he be examined by two psychiatric doctors. Prison officers and court orderlies had to intervene to subdue Ndlovu. Ndlovu allegedly raped the toddler on May 20 this year.

“On May 20, at 9am the little girl was playing behind the accused’s bedroom hut when he lifted her and entered the room with her,” said prosecutor Mr Tawanda Sigauke.

While in the hut, Ndlovu allegedly placed the girl on a bed and undressed her before raping 
her once, the court was told.

It is alleged that Ndlovu was disturbed by a female relative who came looking for the girl and entered his bedroom hut where she caught him raping the minor.
A report was made to the police leading to Ndlovu’s arrest.

ZUPCO PAYS OUT $800K IN TRAFFIC FINES

The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (zupco) in 2014 lost over $800 000 in traffic fine expenses alone after operating some of its buses without the necessary travelling documents, Auditor-General Ms Mildred Chiri has revealed.


Ms Chiri exposed this in the 2015 Auditor-General’s annual report, stating that weak corporate governance structures were rampant within state enterprises.

The report ending December 2015, also exposed a number of grey areas in the parastatal with new evidence showing that zupco has several properties not registered in its name.
“There was a sharp increase in traffic fines in all of the company’s divisions as compared to the prior year,” she said.

“The company’s buses were fined for operating without spare tyres, route permits, certificates of fitness and insurance cover.

“Passenger safety may be compromised while financial loss can be endured as a result of traffic fines, breakdowns and uninsured vehicles being involved in accidents.”

The report said in total zupco lost $806 118 to traffic offences in the year 2014 and the state enterprise continue to lose revenue due to poor management.

In response to the report, zupco management said all buses unfit for the road would not be dispatched for duties.

ZESA POURS MILLIONS INTO FAILING FIRM

Zesa Holdings has come under fire for awarding tenders worth millions of dollars to a local electrical firm that is failing to deliver despite being paid handsomely. Repeated offers of contracts to Pito Investments when it is failing to perform have raised suspicion that senior managers at the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) could be conniving with the firm’s officials to milk the power utility.

This comes amid revelations that Pito Investments once won a tender to supply 30 tonnes of silica gel, but delivered “stones” and was still paid $138 000 in public funds.
Silica gel is used to prevent forming of moisture in electricity distribution transformers, and the “stones” supplied by Pito Investments did not have the properties to absorb moisture.
The Herald last week exposed the company for recently supplying wrong underground cables in a $6,8 million tender it was awarded six years ago. ZETDC had paid a $1,1 million deposit to Pito, but the firm brought 1 kilovolt cables instead of 11kv cables.

Despite that history, ZETDC went on to award the firm another $7,2 million tender for the supply of 3 000 distribution transformers and paid a deposit of $1,9 million. Pito is failing to deliver on the tender, forcing ZETDC to turn to its sister company, Zesa Enterprise, for the transformers.

ZENT is also failing to meet ZETDC requirements. On the latest tender, ZETDC managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri confirmed receiving wrong material instead of silica gel from Pito Investments. “Pito won a tender in 2013 for the supply of 30 tonnes of silica gel,” he said.

“Payment was made for the full consignment. The 30 tonnes they delivered failed the test and they had been paid $138 000. The company was asked to collect its ‘silica gel’ and replace it with the correct product. They collected their product from us and are yet to replace the silica gel. Pito has produced shipping documents for 15 tonnes of silica gel which is still in transit.”

Pito managing director Mr Allex Chideme confirmed “erring on the contract”. “We have the shipping documents to replace the whole consignment we got from India,” he said.

“I can show you and the things are in Durban. We have the stocks which were rejected and the Indians have rejected them. The rejected product is at our offices in the store house. They did not manufacture the silica gel properly. It’s silica gel but it was not properly manufactured. We had to buy another product. Tanzwa nekurohwa nenewspaper shamwari yangu, come and let’s sit down.”

A source said the firm had delivered “stones” which did not have absorbent characteristics of silica gel. “Silica jell is granular, the size of coarse salt and blue in colour,” said the source.

“What they delivered is more like stones, which explains why it failed tests. Silica gel absorbs moisture and changes its colour from blue to white. The one supplied when it was tested it was discovered that it does not have the properties to absorb moisture. It (silica gel) is used in transformer breathers to prevent moisture entrance into the transformer. In brief, Pito’s stones did not have any absorbent characteristics.”

Added the source: “There are supposed to be tests before making any payment and what is happening leaves one to suspect that senior managers are conniving (with Pinto) and making a killing out of these contracts.

“How can you pay without being satisfied by the product? It’s also either the engineers are incompetent or procedures are not being followed somewhere somehow.” The source said there was no need to continue awarding the contracts to Pito Investments when it was failing to deliver. herald

ZIM TO IMPORT MORE POS MACHINES

Zimbabwe’s banking industry will soon be importing more point of sale (POS) machines to reduce reliance on cash by the transacting public in line with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) measures to promote the use of plastic money.

Officials in the financial services industry confirmed to the ZBC News over the weekend that bankers agreed last week to import more POS machines to reduce reliance on cash   transactions in light of the current liquidity challenges.

Graduate School of Management Director, Dr Nyasha Kaseke said the use of plastic money in the form of credit, debit and pre-paid cards is important because it is convenient and less risky than cash transactions.

"That is the way to go, otherwise this economy may not function smoothly,” he said.

Research carried out by a private financial consulting firm revealed that about 70% of transactions by the rural population are through cash.

However, an economic commentator, Mr Tapera Chikandiwa said the reduction by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on electronic and other transaction charges, is a reflection of  commitment and confidence that non-cash transactions will ease the liquidity challenges.

"There is no other way to solve the cash challenges than opting for the use of the plastic money, and this is  critical on economic development,” Mr Chikandiwa said.

In several parts of the world, plastic money is widely used, with South Africa and Kenya having achieved major successes.

The RBZ is targeting to achieve 80 percent use of plastic money in five years.

MPHOKO DEFENDS HOTEL STAY


VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday dismissed allegations of corruption against him and his son Siqokoqela as he explained his stay in a Harare hotel, saying there was a mudslinging campaign by detractors seeking to soil his name.

Addressing journalists after handing over day-old chicks to members of the Nketa community here, VP Mphoko denied private media reports that he was corrupt.
The private media claimed recently that VP Mphoko allegedly tried to secure a $350 million loan at 20 percent interest on behalf of Zesa Holdings from Botswana’s Capital Management Africa (CMA).

It was further reported that the Vice President, taking advantage of his son Siqokoqela’s links with the Botswana-based firm, wanted Zesa to get a $350 million loan at 20 percent interest per annum .

Siqokoqela allegedly holds 5 percent stake in CMA and was said to have been directly involved in structuring and negotiating the loan.

President Mugabe, the reports said, allegedly blocked the deal which would have seen Zimbabwe paying $70 million in interest on the loan.

“There are accusations being made against me that I’m corrupt. It’s also said that I’ve overstayed at the hotel,” said VP Mphoko.

“First thing, I’m not corrupt. I don’t need anybody’s money. God gave me what I have. I’m 76 (years) now. I’m not looking for anything. I don’t want President Mugabe’s position. He (President Mugabe) appointed me to be a Vice President because John Nkomo had died, I didn’t take anyone’s position. I didn’t take anyone’s wife, and I have my children, my home and my own life is God-given. It is corrupt people who are saying I’m corrupt.”

Tajamuka last Friday held a demonstration at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare alleging that VP Mphoko had overstayed at the hotel.
The group, through messages on social media, also called for a boycott of Choppies supermarkets’ products.
“We run Choppies, it is a people’s shop. Our low prices have forced every retailer to reduce theirs. They can’t overcharge because people would opt for Choppies. They want to tell lies and say I’m corrupt as a justification so that when they go and attack Choppies, they would have misled people,” said VP Mphoko.

“I know the people who are responsible. They know that I’m not corrupt. I have a very clean record throughout my life and that is the biggest problem they have. I don’t have any record of transgression. For them to carry out their plot they need to soil my name first but it won’t work.”

VP Mphoko said before his appointment, he stayed in private hotels but moved to the Rainbow Towers as per Government requirements.

“The day I was appointed VP of this country, I was staying at Meikles Hotel. According to Government regulations, I had to move out of Meikles because it is a private hotel. I moved to a Government hotel which is Sheraton (Rainbow Towers). The Government has got shares there,” he said.

VP Mphoko also dismissed accusations that he refused to move into a Government house bought for him by the State in Harare.

“People don’t know what they are talking about. The house that the Government has bought me is not even worth $3 million. It’s $1 million and something. I live in a Government hotel. It’s as good as staying in a Government house. It’s as good as (Morgan) Tsvangirai who is staying in a Government house. Tsvangirai is staying in a Government house which is as good as staying at Sheraton.”

VP Mphoko said before moving into the house acquired for him by the Government, it has to meet laid down security standards.

“The Presidency is an institution governed by strict security, strict protocol not anything outside that. Long back I used to drive from South Africa, park my car along the road and sleep but I can’t do that now. The men I travel with can’t allow me to do that,” he said.

“People talk about things they don’t know. My house even here in Bulawayo has been turned into a Government house in the sense that protocol and security are dominating.

“Those who are talking have failed. They know it because they want me to be like them. I will never be because my life is governed by prayers and God. All their efforts will not work.”
herald

ZINATHA : MANHOOD ENLARGEMENT HERBS BOGUS

THE Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) has described as bogus traditional healers who claim to offer male organ enlargement medicine as a survey has shown that of more than 50 000 healers who were called to come forward with the natural medicine by a United Kingdom company for a fee, no one did.

Zinatha president Mr George Kandiero told Sunday News last week that research by his organisation has also established that no such traditional medicine exists.

Mr Kandiero warned of possible serious health ramifications if members of the public use the male organ enlargement medicine prescribed by the bogus traditional healers.
He challenged anyone who has had their male sexual organs enlarged to come out in the open and give testimony.

“In all my 24 years as a traditional healer I have never come across such medicine. Some two years ago, as Zinatha we were tasked by a UK-based Consultancy Company to come up with a natural substance that can enlarge male organs.

“We put adverts in the media, approached all our 50 000 or so members asking anyone who had such a remedy to come forward but no one did. The money was good but no one could provide us with the medicine.

“We have also done researches through our committee on research and documentation and no such medicine was found. If there is anyone who had their organ enlarged let them come out in the open,” he said.

Mr Kandiero said the traditional healers and herbalists who were selling “male enlargement” medicines were blatant crooks bent on hoodwinking desperate Zimbabweans.

He urged people to consult registered and licenced traditional healers and not gamble with their health by engaging bogus practitioners.

“If you hear anyone making such a claim that they can enlarge male sexual organs that person is an outright crook. These people are simply taking advantage of desperate people.

“Something needs to be done to protect people from falling prey to such bogus traditional healers,” he said.

MUGABE HAS LOST HIS MARBLES, NOT MOVED BY ECONOMIC DECAY

At a time when everyone is agreed that life in Zimbabwe is bad and there is need to re-engage with other countries, President Robert Mugabe is actually thumbing his nose at the West, something that both his friends and foes say is a sign that the 92-year-old has lost his marbles.

Just last week, the nonagenarian appeared determined to scuttle his broke government’s re-engagement efforts with Western powers, saying that Zimbabweans would rather suffer than accept conditional assistance from the international community.

Mugabe’s position is a stark contradiction to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya who have been engaging international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund.

Analysts canvassed by the Daily News said the nonagenarian leader is not concerned with the current economic decline but more worried about maintaining his grip on power.
Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said “Mugabe is surrounded by liars who are feeding him with lies”.

“...Mugabe may fail to appreciate the plight of the people because he has everything at his disposal. He gets all he needs. He is also of advanced age and is oftentimes misinformed by those surrounding him who tell him untruths to cover their own flaws, incompetence and corruption. We can’t really blame a man of his age for failing to understand fully what’s around him.

“He is also isolated from reality and often made to see only positive things by his advisers and ministers. Leaders by their nature get isolated; more so when their energy levels to visit the people on the ground start waning due to advanced age.”

Saungweme said Zimbabwe desperately needs the international community and donor partners to avert a crisis.

“The majority of our people are suffering and are leading undignified lives due to poverty and hunger. There are no jobs for them to provide for basics needed for a life with dignity. At the same time human rights continue to be stamped upon by both State and non-State actors. This must change and we can’t go it alone. We need external help. We need donor funding, we need foreign aid, and we need NGOs and UN to come in.”

Another political analyst Shakespeare Hamauswa said Mugabe is ever in a belligerent mood and has seen the worst of economic decay under his watch so much that he has ceased to care.

“I think the Zimbabwean situation regarding that issue goes beyond Mugabe’s character. It has to do with how the political discourse has been constructed since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“The West was then labelled enemy and the coming of sanctions cemented that conception. Therefore, parameters of re-engagement from Mugabe’s view are different from the generality of Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, the character of Mugabe has an effect on how he responds to such issues. He seems to be on the revenge side and ever ending fighting mood.

“I also think Mugabe has seen the worst of economic decline such that he is not pushed by the crisis but presumably by what he calls economic struggle. His position in power seems unthreatened by the developments currently obtaining in the country so he has nothing to fear.”

The Welshmen Ncube-led MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwai also chipped in saying the only solution for this country to go forward is to make sure that Mugabe resigns.
“It is imperative for Zimbabwe to substitute Mugabe with an energetic player who will score the required goals. Zimbabwe has a documented governance crisis regardless of our position on literacy rating in Africa.

According to Chihwai, Mugabe’s vitriolic attacks on the West are not justified given the situation on the ground.

“Mugabe is too pompous and flamboyant for nothing, thumbing his nose at the West while Zimbabwe burns. He has failed to arrest the chaos that has erupted as a result of his corrupt ministers and a decomposing economy.

“He should speak for himself not for us because Zimbabweans are not interested in his sludge. The MDC has a plan to normalise relations with the West and unlock economic growth. Our desire as MDC is to see Zimbabwe leaping forward.”

The analysts’ sentiments cement what Chinamasa said this week when he appealed to Zimbabweans to put aside their differences and work together in wooing investors from across the globe. Daily News

SPOT FINES SCAMS EXPOSED

THE charging of spot fines by traffic police officers has once again come under the spotlight with the Auditor-General’s office revealing that there were serious inconsistencies on the charging of spot fines by the police.

According to the 2015 annual report by the Auditor-General, Mrs Mildred Chiri, the inconsistencies were noted at 10 traffic police depots in the country.
In her review of the police’s accounts and activities, Mrs Chisi noted that 10 traffic police’s depots were discovered to have inconsistences in the charging of the spot fines, where the officers were charging above or below the prescribed levels.

“Contrary to the national deposit fines schedule which requires that officers charge fines as prescribed therein, I noted that there were inconsistencies in the charging of fines at Bulawayo Traffic West, Hwange, Beitbridge Urban, Victoria Falls, Chinhoyi, Karoi Central and Chegutu Traffic Police Stations as the officers were receipting fines above or below the prescribed levels,” reads part of the report.

Mrs Chiri, in her report, revealed that this was not the first time that they had raised the anomaly but it had also been included in the 2014 annual audit. She noted that the implication of this irregularity was that it negatively affected service delivery and public confidence in the police force.

In response to the findings of the Auditor-General, the police noted that; “The issue has been addressed through printing and distribution of 6 000 reference copies. Distribution is in progress.”

Still on the same issue the Auditor-General revealed that the police were once again caught on the wrong side of the law as they were receipting more than one offence on one ticket.
Mrs Chiri revealed that the matter was once again raised in her previous report but had seemingly been ignored by the police.
 

Only traffic police depots in the Matabeleland region were caught offside by the AG in this irregularity.

“Police officers are required to issue a ticket on each offence which must not exceed level three ($20). However, I noted that Bulawayo Traffic West, Victoria Falls and Plumtree Traffic police stations were receipting more than one offence on one receipt resulting in fines being charged exceeding $20 despite that the issue was raised in my prior year audit,” reads part of the report.

In response the police, while acknowledging the recommendations, instead noted that the statutory requirement was silent on the number of offences to be receipted on one admission of guilt form.

“The audit observation has been noted. The position is that police should not accept fines exceeding level three per each traffic offence, a position which the organisation is conversant with.

“The statutory requirement is silent on the number of offences/charges to be receipted on one admission of guilt form (Z69J receipt). However, in the interest of reaching common ground, police have been directed to adhere to the recommendations,” responded the police officials. sunday news

GIRL (13) : I FEASTED ON HUMAN FLESH

IN a terrifying case of suspected witchcraft which has once again put African science on the spotlight on whether it is real or not, a 13-year-old girl from Inyathi in Matabeleland North’s Bubi District has confessed to have stayed in a granary for four days in the company of four goblins and six neighbours during which they feasted on dead people’s flesh.

So scary is her story that when the community came to be aware of it, they labelled her an outcast and forced her out of the village and she is now housed at Musasa Projects offices at Inyathi Business Centre. Musasa champions women’s rights.

In an interview at Inyathi on Thursday, the girl, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, but is from Wensley Village and is a pupil at a local primary school, claimed she started eating human flesh in 2013 with her family and even stayed in the granary for nine days.

In the latest incident, she alleged another villager, Mr Smart Mkhwebu, kidnapped her and locked her in the granary where she stayed for three days and came out on the fourth day. However, Mr Mkhwebu denied any wrong doing.

“It was in the evening when Mkhwebu came to collect me and locked me up in the granary. It was for the second time since I once stayed there for nine days in 2013 eating dead people’s flesh. We were 11 in the granary. I was with six of my neighbours and four goblins which are short people with long beards but they died sometime ago. I slept there and did not eat anything or went to the toilet. I only went with the crew to the graves where I would wait for them to eat the flesh inside the graves. I did not eat because I had no appetite,” she said.

The girl said the group used a stick to open graves before they got inside. The girl said at funerals, one of the group members would put a mark, which would make it easier for them to open the grave when they return at night.

“We would open the grave using a stick then get inside. We would hit the grave with a stick then it would open. This time around I just stood outside the grave and did not eat anything. The crew would come out before sunrise then we go back home using a basket which stretched,” said the girl.

The girl also claimed that her mum was a witch.
“She is the one who has umuthi, traditional herbs to bewitch anyone. Almost everyone in this village eats dead people’s flesh because I used to see them. My mum taught us to eat that flesh while my father was away. He is the only one in my family who has never tasted the juicy meat.”
When Sunday News visited Mr Mkhwebu he chased the crew away, pleading his innocence. However, he confirmed that the girl was found in his granary.
“I saw the girl in my granary. I never put her inside. She came by herself. When I saw her I called the police and they came to collect her. Why does everyone think I am a wizard? Why did you come to get a statement from me while the police haven’t done so, who do you think you are? Get away from my home. I don’t want to see you again. I will buy the newspaper and see what you are going to write about me,” thundered Mr Mkhwebu.
The girl’s father told Sunday News that he was worried when his daughter disappeared but later knew she was locked in the granary after he used traditional herbs and a piece of paper which he pricked with a needle.
“On Sunday when I got home all the doors were open and my child was nowhere to be found until someone found out that she was living in a strange dilapidated old house. We went there with my son and saw her but she came out using a window which she broke and ran away. When she came back later in the evening she said she had been called by Mkhwebu, our neighbour.

Then the following day she disappeared. I traced her spoor leading to Mkhwebu’s homestead so I went there and asked him to give me back my child but to no avail.

“Out of anger I took a piece of paper then I wrote my child’s name using a red pen. After that I used a needle to prick the paper and said ‘. . . mntanami buya ekhaya, lapho okhona bahluphe bakuvulele ubuye endlini’ (my child come back home, wherever you are bother them until they set you free). After that I used herbs and did the whole procedure to get my girl,” he said.

The father said after pricking the paper he went out and that is when Mr Mkhwebu’s granddaughter allegedly came out and took sand of where he had stepped before she dug a hole and put some traditional herbs while he was watching.

“After she dug the hole I went and dug it again and I added my herbs too. I also took sand of where my girl had stepped on and I said ‘mntanami asambe endlini’ (my child let us go home). The problem is that whenever my girl disappears she is found inside that granary. 

She once disappeared and went there naked and I found her clothes by the granary door.
“On Thursday the police found my child inside the granary. Our village head Polite Moyo said we should look for a traditional healer so that we find out who is bewitching us but why would I do that when everything is so obvious?”

Efforts to get a comment from the village head were fruitless as he was not at his home and his cellphone was not reachable. sunday news

INTRODUCE SIN TAX, GOVT URGED

Government is broke and everyone knows that, hospitals are on the deathbed and the signs are there to see but beneath all the gloom people continue to smoke and drink.
Puffing up their worries and sipping their sorrows away, many seem immune to the worsening economic situation.
 
But, that is most certainly not the case, notwithstanding falling beer prices. However, their addictions are “sinful”, at least to some experts who now want a sin tax imposed on alcohol and cigarettes.

The experts say government must consider introducing sin taxes so as to fund the country’s crippled health sector.

Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (Ledriz) senior economist Prosper Chitambara said the southern African country — which has a high burden of disease and infections — must cut down on military expenditure and use the money towards health.

“Developed countries spend 20 percent of their (Gross Domestic Product) GDP on health per capita, however Zimbabwe only spends on average $120 per year for health on each person,” Chitambara said at a health budget meeting in Harare last Monday.

“Military spending and debt servicing are the two areas of current government expenditure that tend to take the lion’s share of the fiscal space, to the detriment of the health sector

Zimbabwe should learn from countries such as the Philippines that have introduced a sin tax or a corrective tax. Corrective taxes, or ‘sin taxes,’ are levied on goods and services that are considered to be bad for the individual or society at large. Examples include taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and products and activities with negative environmental consequences.”

In the 2015 National Budget, the ministry of Health was allocated $300 million — which is half of the required 15 percent approved under the Abuja Declaration.

Chitambara said sin tax could improve fiscal revenue streams while promoting good public health.

“A review of literature in a number of countries has demonstrated that tobacco taxes reduce tobacco consumption while providing a stable and reliable source of fiscal revenues. Government must rethink its focus and delivery mechanisms.

“Reducing unproductive expenditures, particularly those of a recurrent nature, should be the first option. This can be achieved by cutting back on military expenditure as well as reducing foreign travel and embassy expenses,” said Chitambara.

His sentiments come on the backdrop of resolutions made by world health practitioners and ministers, including Zimbabwe’s David Parirenyatwa, for individual countries to look into how they could mobilise resources for health.

“One of the things we spoke about was how our own fiscus should be able to provide a solid base into health funding, the private sector and then donors and funders are the last option because they can opt out anytime,” said Parirenyatwa after a meeting in the Vatican City recently.

According to a recent World Health Organisation estimate, every year some 100 million people become impoverished and a further 150 million face severe financial hardship as a result of health care payments.

Only about 1, 2 million Zimbabweans are said to be covered on health insurance in the country.

ZANU PF ABUSING MUGABE, SAYS MSIPA

Former Midlands governor, Cepha Msipa has accused Zanu PF of abusing President Mugabe by allowing him to cling onto power despite his advanced age.
The former minister said the 92-year-old leader should be resting, but was forced to stay on because of problems facing the party, chief among them factionalism.
“Zanu PF, I have said it before and I will say it today, we are punishing him. Zanu PF is Mugabe,” he said.
“They know that without Mugabe, there is no Zanu PF. They know that without Mugabe, perhaps they will not win an election.”
He continued: “That’s the problem. They are holding onto him because of their selfish reasons. Of course he loves his party, so he doesn’t want them to lose hence he continues.
“But then, what happens? What’s the future? He cannot go on forever, at some point [he will have to leave]. I don’t know, really. I really don’t know.
“He has done a lot, [he] led during the struggle, he led here with [Joshua] Nkomo, led us to victory and we got our Zimbabwe together. That is a lot of achievement and, of course, there are some areas he failed.”
Msipa — who retired from active politics in 2014 — said Zanu PF was facing many challenges that also mirrored problems bedevilling Zimbabwe.
He said Mugabe’s government was clueless, adding it was time “they swallow their pride” and “open up for dialogue to ensure the calamity does not reach the tipping point”.
“While we should not be prophets of doom, what is happening at the moment is not good for the country. Clearly, this is our country. We will sink or swim together,” the former Zanu PF politburo member said.
Msipa said Mugabe was not to blame, but accused his lieutenants of bringing the country to its knees through unbridled corruption.
“Most of the people around him were not there at the beginning of the struggle. It’s people who have joined because of other agendas. They come not so much to correct things, but for selfish reasons,” he said.
“A lot of people who are coming now are thinking of themselves, not of the people they represent,” he added.
He said liberation war veterans like him had nothing to show for the sacrifice they made because they joined the armed struggle to free Zimbabweans.
Msipa said the new crop of Zanu PF leaders were lining their pockets, building mansions and living luxurious lives, in sharp contrast to the suffering being endured by many.
The former Zapu senior official said during Zimbabwe’s formative years, Mugabe and his Cabinet prioritised development and ministers were given monthly targets.
However, the work ethic died over the years, with government officials channelling their energies to wealth accumulation.
He said soon after coming into power, Mugabe rejected a government offer to install tap water at his Zvimba rural home, saying ordinary people should benefit first.
Msipa, who was the Water minister at that time, said he decided to take the project to the then Deputy Prime Minister Simon Muzenda’s rural home after Mugabe refused to have his home installed with piped water.
He said it was possible Mugabe had changed with time. “Maybe power corrupts,” he said with a beaming smile. Standard

PAY CUTS LOOM IN ZIM

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa says government and the private sector can cut salaries and wages to align their employment costs to the operating environment.
Speaking at TelOne’s annual general meeting on Friday, Chinamasa commended the parastatal for aligning its costs to the prevailing economic environment.
Last year, TelOne effected a 15% cut in salaries and wages across the board to contain costs in the wake of declining revenue on voice calls attributed to the harsh economic environment and the use of social media applications such as WhatsApp.
“I want to commend you highly for aligning your employment costs to the operating environment. the decision that you took to undergo a 15% cut in salaries and wages needs to be emulated not only in the private sector, but also in government. It’s a very positive decision, a very courageous one that you took in order to align your costs to the operating environment,” Chinamasa said.
He said Econet had also cut salaries to align its costs with the operating environment, a move he also commended.
“They [Econet] have also, like you, forgone bonuses. This is in order for you to survive during this difficult period. So I commend you on that,” he said.
Chinamasa’s remarks come as government’s coffers have been depleted due to low revenue inflows. However, although they receive relatively modest salaries, ministers and senior government officials are pampered with huge allowances.
An attempt by Chinamasa to forgo bonus payments for the civil service was overturned by President Robert Mugabe who gave the minister an angry public reprimand. Government is now struggling to pay salaries, with some employees expected to get their June salaries next month. Standard

AUDITOR-GENERAL : I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED

Every year the Auditor-General Midred Chiri produces reports exposing corruption in government departments, local authorities and parastatals but none of them has led to the prosecution of people implicated in the pilferage, neither has there been any efforts to recover the lost revenue.
Chiri’s office last week produced three reports and she lived up to her reputation of shining light into the darkest government corridors as she exposed brazen corruption involving tenders and ghost workers.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa presented the reports covering State enterprises and parastatals (SEPs) and local authorities as well as audits of fund accounts run by ministries.
The reports revealed losses of several millions of dollars through lack of good corporate governance, failure to repay loans resulting in accrual of interest, gross financial mismanagement, fraudulent activities and other financial misdeeds.
In an interview with The Standard last week, Chiri said she remained committed to exposing graft and would not be intimidated by anyone.
“The AG is not scared to expose corruption through the Auditor-General’s reports because she will be executing her mandate as provided for in the constitution,” she told The Standard last Friday.
“As you may be aware, the AG’s reports incorporate management comments provided by the board or accounting officers of ministries, SEPs, or Local Government, and this gives a balanced view.”
She said as a follow-up on her reports, boards and accounting officers of ministries, Local Government and SEPs would be summoned by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) to provide more information and updates on steps to be taken to address issues raised during audits.
“The cases of financial indiscipline are dealt with in line with the provisions of the Public Financial Management Act (Chapter 22:19),” she said.
The Public Financial Management Act provides for appointment of the Accountant General and staff to provide for the regulation and control of public entities, administration and repayment of loans by the State, and matters pertaining to fiscal misconduct of public officials, among others.
“The Auditor-General is mandated to produce an annual report covering the whole of the public sector, which includes central government, parastatals and SEPs, and local authorities,” she said as she explained her job.
“The report may be in three volumes specific to each sub-sector but it is considered as one report.
“Since my appointment, I have been producing the annual reports. In addition to these, I have produced 15 Value For Money reports that were all tabled in Parliament,” she added.
Chiri said her motivation to expose corruption and irregularities was guided by international auditing standards.
The AG welcomed Chinamasa’s recent announcement that a Bill to deal with issues of corporate governance would be brought before Parliament.
“I believe that to some extent, as an addition to the current controls, the Bill, if crafted into law, will enhance accountability,” Chiri said.
In some countries, the PAC sits with members of the Anti-Corruption Commission and police so that they immediately arrest corrupt government officials implicated in the scams, or get further information that might assist them in investigating corruption.
Chiri said she valued the work of the PAC in interrogating audit reports.
“Communication already exists between PAC, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc),” she said.
“The law can always take its course even without the presence of the ZRP in the PAC meetings interrogating audit reports.”
Despite exposing a lot of fraudulent activities at government institutions and local authorities, Chiri said her office was not spared from challenges facing government institutions such as lack of resources.
“I feel that the powers of the AG’s Office as given by the Constitution are adequate as there are other arms of government to collaborate with,” she said.
According to Chiri, there has been an improvement in the implementation of some of the recommendations she makes in her reports regarding accountability.
Chiri was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General on February 24 2004 before the post was changed to Auditor-General through the new Constitution.
She holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of Zimbabwe and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries (FCIS) as member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Acca), and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
She is also a registered public accountant (RPACC) and currently she is studying for a Masters in Business Administration.
Her stint in the government audit department began in 1983 when she joined the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General as an audit assistant, and rose through the ranks to the position of Comptroller and Auditor General (now Auditor-General).
Some of her achievements include managing to clear a backlog of the annual Comptroller and Auditor General’s reports which had lagged behind since the year 2000.
She is also acclaimed for reformatting the annual reports to include key audit findings which are then presented in a narrative form in response to stakeholders’ concerns that the audit reports needed to be simpler and easier to understand, as opposed to being too technical.
Among her plans to improve the office’s output, Chiri wants to expand the Value for Money and Information Technology units, as well as introduce Forensic and Procurement Audit units, and professionalising her office and staff.
Among the accolades she won in her career is the Chartered Secretary of the year award for 2010 from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) for promoting transparency and accountability in the Auditor-General’s office. In 2016 she received an award from the Women’s Institute of Leadership called the Women’s Top Leadership Excellence Award for the Government Sector.
She is a board member of the Intosai Development Initiative — a Norway-based international organisation that capacitates supreme audit institutions (Auditor-General’s offices) through training. Standard

MUJURU ATTACKS GLOBE TROTTER MUGABE

Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru yesterday threw the gauntlet at President Robert Mugabe, accusing her former mentor of wasting money on endless foreign trips at a time the majority of Zimbabweans were suffering due to his misrule.
Addressing her maiden rally in Harare, the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader said Zanu PF leaders were like fools who spent time and energy discussing immaterial things instead of working on turning around the economy.
This year alone, Mugabe has gobbled over $60 million on international travel even when the country was facing total economic collapse, as evidenced by the government’s failure to pay its workers on time.
In apparent reference to Mugabe, Mujuru said: “Our traveling this year should be limited because there is a lot of work to do for the people. You cannot be boarding airplanes always because there is a lot of work for people this year.”
“After a year you should take stock of what you have done for the people,” she said amid thunderous applause from thousands of her supporters gathered at an open area near Rainbow Towers hotel.
Mujuru said ZimPF was taking off at a fast pace, adding many people were disgruntled by Zanu PF’s failure to tackle important issues.
“From the day we started, it was like we lit a matchstick at a gas station. Everyone was waiting for the formation of a party which is all inclusive even to those who were not interested in politics,” Mugabe’s former deputy said.
“When people heard there was a political party called People First they were saying ‘Mai Mujuru we were blaming ourselves asking what we were doing [in Zanu PF] when madzana mbwanana achitambwa nemazidinga aya’ [fools were playing with people’s lives],” she said.
Mujuru described her party as an all-inclusive democratic movement which had the energy to work for the people.
The former Mount Darwin MP was accompanied by ZimPF elders, among them Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo.
Officials from the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party among them Willas Madzimure and Jacob Mafume, also attended the rally.
Mujuru said they were working towards restoring Zimbabwe’s lost glory.
“We are national democrats and we believe in putting people’s interests first ahead of everything,” she said.
“We are Zimbabweans who seek to restore the dignity, economic, political and social emancipation of all people who sacrificed their lives for all to achieve political independence without discrimination or dehumanisation.
“We are ready to work with those who respect the values of the Zimbabwean people as they exercise their right to freely choose without fear or cohesion in order to achieve our total peace, democracy and prosperity for all.”
Mujuru said she went through a traumatising time when Zanu PF leaders were propagating lies against her including calling her all sorts of names.
She said police were yet to question her about alleged corruption almost two years after First Lady Grace Mugabe threatened to expose her.
“Up to today we haven’t gone to jail or been summoned by police. Even in the roadblocks, we go through them especially when I go to the farm but we haven’t been told to stop and go to jail,” Mujuru said. We said let’s keep silent. They can’t open a docket for keeping silent.”
She added: “I want to come in the open and thank the people on the support and prayers.
“They were trying times and it was very traumatizing but your support, your prayers were truly amazing. May God bless you.”
She added: “Today I stand to tell you the truth. Everything said about me was a lie. Those who were used to create the lies have now come in the open and revealed how they were abused.
“No lie can lie forever,” she said adding that she was speaking on behalf of other Zanu PF officials that were expelled from the party for allegedly supporting her plot to overthrow Mugabe.
Mujuru said she differed with Mugabe and others in Zanu PF on how to tackle problems facing the country hence her expulsion.
She accused Zanu PF leaders of lacking the zeal to work for the people as they sought to only enrich themselves.
“Some of us wanted people’s views to be pronounced in the party. We knew that in the party we said (iwe neni tine basa) but where is it now,” Mujuru said.
“Our position was always put people first. If you fought for people to be free they should be free. Our colleagues were not willing hence the expulsion.
“Will that be painful that we have been expelled because we have a mentality of going back to the people,” she added, accusing Zanu PF leaders of being self-centred.
Mujuru said ZimPF was not an extension of Zanu PF or a proxy of anyone and vowed never to return to the ruling party. Standard

GOVT TO INJECT $50M BOND NOTES

The Government expects to inject $50 million in bond notes into the economy by the end of year despite resistance from the general public.
The bond notes will be introduced under the $200 million export incentive facility guaranteed by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the cost of the facility, which was around 5% per annum on drawn down amounts, would be borne by government. He said the capital would be preserved from the proportion of the exports supported by the facility.
“At the rate at which the country is exporting, we anticipate that bond notes equivalent to around $50 million will be in the market by end of December 2016,”he said.
Last month, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya said he would introduce bond notes in the form of a 5% export incentive as one of the measures to address the cash shortages gripping the economy.
The bond notes will be in denominations of $2, $5, $10 and $20.
However, the move has been met with resistance from the public, who see it as an attempt to revive the Zimbabwean dollar which was decommissioned last year.
The local unit was dumped in 2009 in favour of a multicurrency regime that had the United States dollar, South African rand, Botswana pula and the British pound.
RBZ contends that the facility is meant to incentive exports, with exporters receiving an additional 5% of their export proceeds in bond notes. RBZ said an exporter would receive a 5% incentive on any exports which would be given by the bank after a request has been made to the central bank.
Chinamasa said the bond notes would be at par with the United States dollar and no one would be forced to use them, especially if they were not exporters.
The country’s main exports are platinum, gold, tobacco, ferrochrome and chrome, which are Zimbabwe’s highest foreign currency earners.
Chinamasa said the central bank was monitoring cash deposit trends within the various banks, where it was generally noted that cash deposits had declined by an average of 40% during the month of May 2016.
He said RBZ was assessing banking trends for high cash generators that included wholesalers, retailers, fuel dealers and mobile phone companies. The exercise started on June 3.
Chinamasa said some players were selling cash, engaging in illicit deals and were not depositing cash.
Analysts say high bank charges and low interest on deposits were chasing away depositors. Standard