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


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


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.


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.


Latest news, entertainment and sports.

Friday, 30 September 2016


THE Zanu PF Women’s League will today convene its national assembly ahead of the party’s December annual conference amid reports of a fresh push to bring back the women’s quota system aimed at ousting Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the succession wrangle in Zanu PF rages on.

Zanu PF is divided on factional lines with the Mnangagwa faction fighting a war of attrition with the rival G40 faction over President Robert Mugabe’s succession.

G40 has coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe and has been pushing for Mnangagwa’s ouster since he was appointed vice-president in December 2014.

The push has been resisted by war veterans, some organs of the party as well as state institutions such as the military which have fought in Mnangagwa’s corner.

Ahead of last year’s conference in Victoria Falls, the Women’s League pushed for a resolution that one of the vice-presidency positions be reserved for a woman. They, however, failed to push through the resolution during conference amid strong resistance from the Mnangagwa camp which pushed for an ex-Zapu female member to be a vice-president, arguing the last female vice-president was from the Zanu side.

The women’s demand was then parked. But the matter is far from over. Insiders said some Women’s League members want the issue revisited at the party’s conference in December this year.

“We made a resolution in Victoria Falls that the quota system should be back. We even proposed a timeline and we are now preparing for another annual conference without the implementation of the resolution,” said one source. “We will discuss the issue when we meet on Friday.”

Grace and her allies have also been contemplating turning the December conference into an extraordinary congress where the vice-presidency will be up for grabs.

The women’s assembly, with support from the Youth League, is planning rallies to drum up support for a woman vice-president in a bid to ratchet up pressure on Mnangagwa for him to crumble in the heat of the suffocating race. Mugabe will attend and address the Women’s League assembly.


In the aftermath of scathing criticism from Botswana’s President Ian Khama which frayed bilateral relations, President Robert Mugabe has snubbed an invitation to the neighbouring country’s 50th independence celebration in Gaborone.

Instead, Mugabe is attending the Zanu PF Women’s League conference in Harare. Top government sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the decision not to attend was made easier by Harare’s diplomatic tiff with Botswana over Khama’s recent remarks calling on Mugabe to step down.

Notwithstanding the frosty relationship, Khama extended the invitation after Mugabe delivered a speech at the Heroes stadium in Lusaka at the inauguration of Zambian President Edgar Lungu a fortnight ago.

However, Harare this week faced a dilemma as to whether to attend the celebrations after Khama, in an interview with Reuters, said it was time for Mugabe to go and allow new leadership.

Asked if Mugabe, who came to power after independence from Britain in 1980, should accept the reality of his advancing age and retire, Khama said: “Without doubt. He should have done it years ago. They have got plenty of people there who have got good leadership qualities who could take over. It is obvious that at his age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he is not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament.”

The official sources said Mugabe’s decision was also informed by the fact that he will be travelling next week to Tunisia and Dubai, where he frequents for unclear reasons.

“Khama invited the president while in Zambia, but we were shocked by his (Khama’s) undiplomatic remarks afterwards. This put us in a dilemma. We had to decide whether to attend the celebrations, which also clashed with the scheduled Women’s League conference.

“Our worry was that not going could be misconstrued to mean a snub over Khama’s remarks,” the source said.

However, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba yesterday said Mugabe’s refusal to attend the celebrations was not a snub.

“Yes, the president will not go to Botswana, but the reason of not attending is not what you think (Khama’s remarks). He will not attend because it has clashed with the party’s Women’s League conference,” he said. “We are not saying that Botswana’s celebrations are not important, but it has clashed with another important conference which is a build-up to the (Zanu PF) December’s annual people’s conference. We will obviously send a representative to Botswana.”

Charamba said Khama’s remarks have nothing to do with Mugabe not going to Botswana as his remarks have not dented Zimbabwe’s relations with Botswana.

“Our relations with a state are not determined by an individual or one person’s remarks, therefore we have no problem with Botswana. Remember, a state is made up of people and institutions,” he said.

Charamba said Zimbabwe’s relationship with Botswana dates way back to the liberation struggle and is broader and larger than what an individual thinks or says.

Botswana government spokesperson Jeff Ramsey could not be reached for comment yesterday as government landline phones were not being answered. He also had not responded to questions e-mailed to him.

Charamba would not reveal the purpose of Mugabe’s visit to Tunisia and Dubai, saying he does not discuss the president’s itinerary with the media. Zimbabwe independent


A LOCAL bank has rejected President Robert Mugabe’s teenage son Bellarmine Chatunga’s predatory US$380 000 loan application to fund his obscure businesses and lavish lifestyle as it seeks to contain non-performing credit to politically exposed persons on its books, it has been established.

Informed banking sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that Chatunga (19) — Mugabe’s last born — approached a local commercial bank, BancABC through its branch in Mt Pleasant last month pushing for a loan at its corporate finance division to fund his nondescript businesses and extravagant way of life.

Chatunga is well-known in social circles for profuse drinking and hanging out with a harem of girls.

This comes as the Independent has also found out that as of June BancABC’s total politically exposed persons debt portfolio stood at US$2,28 million. The list of the bad debtors includes politicians, bankers, military commanders and judges, although the majority of BancABC’s politically exposed persons are sugarcane farmers in Chiredzi in the Lowveld under an out-grower facility.

Chatunga’s failure to secure a loan from BancABC is a rare example of prudent credit risk assessment by a local bank as most of them would be keen to lend to such a high-profile and well-connected individual — even if he is a teenager — as he comes from the First Family which can potentially offer political protection in times of trouble.

While banks are supposed to conduct risk assessments on their clients whatever their station in life, in Zimbabwe the well-connected always secure loans even if they do not have adequate or quality collateral, sometimes entirely without security.

This has contributed to non-performing loans (NPLs) which two years ago scaled over US$700 million before Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (Zamco), a special purpose vehicle set up by government to clean up the balance sheets of financial institutions, was established. As at December 2015, Zamco had acquired NPLs amounting to US$357 million.

Most banks in the market made profits during their recent reporting season largely because they sold off NPLs worth millions. Zamco’s portfolio is dominated by technically insolvent state enterprises, big corporates, well-connected individuals and banks.

Most individuals, businesspeople and companies in Zimbabwe have made money by corruptly using Mugabe’s name and Zanu PF networks, or name-dropping.

Chatunga’s loan application came at a time when his own family business empire, Gushungo Holdings, has been surviving on bank loans which it is struggling to service.

Gushungo Holdings, touted as a model of success to sanitise the disastrous land reform programme, is reeling under an unsustainable US$20 million debt. The situation has been exacerbated by perennial losses incurred by its subsidiary Alpha Omega Dairy (Pvt) Ltd, forcing the First Family to seek bailouts to rescue the company.

Sources said the President’s son — who has business interests in retail and entertainment — had a meeting with Lincoln Farai Chirinda who works for BancABC’s corporate finance department to get money. His proposal, the sources said, was however rejected by the financial institution, citing high political risk.

“Chatunga approached the bank around August 23 for a loan. He wanted to secure funding for his business interests, but this application was rejected by the corporate finance department,” a banking source said. “The bank is currently owed millions by many politically exposed individuals and businesses, and thus its management is now strict on lending.”

BancABC managing director Joe Sibanda could not be reached for comment as he was said to be in a meeting with the group chief executive John Vitalo. Chatunga could also not be reached for comment.

BancABC is a member of the Atlas Mara Group which is co-owned by former Barclays Plc CE Bob Diamond and billionaire Ashish Thakkar. The acquisition was the first major deal by Diamond who was forced out of the global bank last year when it was fined US$450 million for allegedly manipulating the Libor interbank lending rate.

Atlas Mara has embarked on a major restructuring exercise that could result in up to 35% job cuts at ABC Holdings — BancABC’s parent company — and its Dubai office. Around US$8 million is expected in savings annually.

Atlas Mara has moved to lower its cost-to-income ratio which had risen to 102% in the six months to June from 95% in prior year as expenses rose.

While official figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show there has been a decline in the banking sector’s non-performing loans to 10,05% as at June 30 2016, from 10,82% as at 31 December 2015, and a peak of 20,45% as at 30 September 2014, some banks such as BancABC have recorded bad debts levels above the industry level.

The declining trend in NPLs, according to the central bank, is a reflection of successful efforts by banks to reduce their exposure to non-performing assets, including strengthening of credit risk management systems and intensified collections and workout plans, among others.

The banking sector has not been spared the challenges affecting the wider economy. Challenges in the banking sector include cash shortages and liquidity crunch, payment gridlocks, low confidence among the banking public and a limited number of quality borrowing clients. Deposits in the banking sector have improved while credit to the private sector has gone down, resulting in a reduction in loan-to-deposit ratios.

Central bank sources said BancABC’s gross interest income earned from interbank placements, Treasury Bills, government and corporate bonds during the first six months of the year was US$0,743m against a budget of US$1,27m.

“The overall level of risk in the Bank was rated high as at 30 June 2016, and on a stable trend. During the period, credit, compliance and business risk, were above the bank’s risk appetite,” a source said. “Credit risk was considered extreme as at 30 June 2016, and on a stable trend. The loan book decreased from US$332 million as at 31 March 2016 to US$317 million as at 30 June 2016. The nonperforming loans ratio decreased from 34,3% to 26.28%.
Actual non-performing fell from US$114 million to US$83,4 million. The ratio is expected to fall to 22% by end of Q3 (end of September) with Starafrica Corporation (US$16,9m) likely to be closed during that period.

“The bank has started using the new tighter Risk Acceptance Criteria which is expected to result in higher credit quality being underwritten. Active monitoring and early engagement of problematic relationships is also being done.” Zimbabwe independent


HEADS are expected to roll at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) as the tax collector has completed a forensic audit that exposes massive corruption and fraudulent conduct by top executives.

A statement detailing major findings of the audit is expected to be released today.
The forensic audit report, compiled by HLB Ruzengwe, has been submitted to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa for examination and presentation to the government before being publicised.

The Zimra board commissioned the audit in May after sending Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi and five other senior executives on paid leave after questions were raised over the importation of vehicles.

Executives sent on forced leave include loss control director Charlton Chihuri, Anna Mutombodzi (commissioner customs and excise), Tjiyapo Velempini (director ICT and infrastructural development), Charles Manjengwa (director internal audit) and Sithokozile Thembani (director human resources).

Findings of the audit are coming at a time the government’s revenue collector is losing millions of dollars to wheeler-dealers who process counterfeit undervalued import documents to smuggle vehicles into Zimbabwe.

Questions have also been raised on Zimra’s procurement processes and financial affairs.
According to sources, the audit has unearthed irregularities regarding the revenue collector’s vehicle loan scheme and the importation of cars by the five executives, executive perquisites, salaries, loans to senior management, staff secondment and the procurement of goods and services, among others.

Sources said the audit findings seem to suggest that Pasi could have been complicit either by acts of commission or omission, or both. He is thus in the firing line.

Efforts to get a comment from Zimra board chairperson Willia Bonyongwe yesterday were fruitless as she was not reachable throughout the day.

“The audit mentions a number of issues that expose the breaking of the law. Obviously the Customs Act was breached when the five executives imported those vehicles.“The Act is clear that the responsibility lies with the owners and the blame cannot be apportioned on the agents alone,” said a source who preferred anonymity.

“The executives drove those cars for more than four months without realising that the correct duty was not paid, it’s very unlikely. The audit questioned the use of disreputable agents contrary to an internal vehicle policy. For these months no one acted on the executives and the irregularities.”
The audit is said to also question payments made to former Zimra director for human resources and administration, Christine Msemburi, who was seconded to the World Customs Organisation. The audit also questioned her tax payments to the revenue body.

Among the findings is fraud and falsification of academic qualifications by Chihuri. Zimra has since opened a fraud case (CR 2151 /09 /16) at Harare Central Police Station.

Chihuri is accused of allegedly misrepresenting to Zimra that he holds a degree in economics from the University of Zimbabwe yet he does not hold such a qualification.
Zimra also contracted chartered accountants Deloitte and Touché to carry out an audit into suspected impropriety in the awarding of information communication technology (ICT) contracts at Zimra.

The source said the audit covering ICT systems and procurement is expected to be completed in the next two weeks. 

Auditors had also been tasked to look into possible misconduct in the procurement for services and equipment, including renovations carried out at Zimra’s Kurima House offices in Harare.
The audits are expected to also cover the procurement of uniforms, asycuda (automated system for customs data) validation system and the construction of Chirundu Border Post. 

The forensic audits cover the period January 2014 to August this year. independent


THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)’s deploymet of commandos and military intelligence servicemen to Equatorial Guinea to protect President Robert Mugabe’s counterpart Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is proving controversial as the West African strongman comes under increasing scrutiny and pressure after appointing his son as vice-president in June.

Nguema has become more paranoid ever since he survived a foiled coup plot in 2004, and as domestic dissent over his repressive rule rises. A failed coup d’état by Simon Mann and 69 mercenaries in 2004 led to a close friendship between Mugabe and Nguema although, ironically, the West African leader eventually forged a close relationship with the British mercenary. 

Questions are being raised over the constitutionality and legality of the deployment which is shrouded in secrecy and controversy. ZDF spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwiri said there is a bilateral agreement between the two countries formalising the troop deployment.
“There is a bilateral agreement between the two countries,” he said. Under Section 213 of the constitution, any troop deployment for maintaining law and order together with police, peacekeeping or protecting Zimbabwe’s interests abroad should pass through parliament.

“With the authority of the President, the Defence Forces may be deployed outside Zimbabwe — (a) on peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations Organisation or any other international or regional organisation of which Zimbabwe is a member; (b) to defend the territorial integrity of a foreign country; (c) in fulfilment of an international commitment; or (d) in defence of Zimbabwe’s national security or national interests,” stipulates the constitution.

“By a two-thirds majority of the total membership of parliament at a joint sitting of the Senate and the National Assembly, parliament may resolve that a deployment of the Defence Forces outside Zimbabwe should be rescinded.

“Where parliament has resolved that a deployment of the Defence Forces outside Zimbabwe should be rescinded, the president must take all practical steps to withdraw the Defence Forces, taking due account of the need to ensure the safety of Zimbabwean personnel and equipment.”

Asked by MDC-T MP Jessie Majome in parliament in March on why government had sent a contingent to Equatorial Guinea during last year’s African Cup of Nations soccer tournament, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi said: “With regards to the deployment in question, there was no situation of war in the country or threat of war and the purpose was not to engage in combat operation, but merely to ensure a safe and peaceful environment and safety for the African Cup of Nations tournament in support of and at the request of the host nation.”

“In light of the nature of business for which the Defence Forces were deployed, we did not consider it necessary for His Excellency to cause parliament to be informed because there was no military action, which would have involved direct loss of life to soldiers through military action, neither did it involve expenditure of fiscal resources, which parliament directly controls as all resources were provided by the host nation. Furthermore Mr Speaker, deployment or movement of troops within the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is a daily routine. For instance, we have troops moving to various friendly countries for purposes of military training and co-operation, diplomatic assignments, business trips and peace support operations. If we were to report all these to parliament, this would mean coming to parliament on a daily basis.”

Sources said besides the initial deployments, 100 men were deployed to Equatorial Guinea early this month after the same number of soldiers returned from service to bolster Nguema’s security. 

But ZDF commander General Constantino Chiwenga in November last year said a contingent had been deployed to the oil-rich nation to train its military officers following an urgent request by Nguema, further hinting they could also be assigned any other task, something which raises eyebrows.

“The Equatorial Guinea had realised some training deficiencies on their defence forces, hence the request. In line with the ethics of our defence, I want you to remain professional and undertake this mission and any other additional tasks given to you,” Chiwenga said during a send-off ceremony.

“Internal events leading into 2016 include the holding of the national congress by the ruling party followed by general elections. It becomes critical that you exercise caution as you safeguard the lives of men and equipment of the Zimbabwe contingent.”
Military sources said there is an army aircraft which returns to Zimbabwe every mid-month with soldiers who would have spent a month in Equatorial Guinea.

“One hundred soldiers left this week when the administration plane arrived. It brought back the 100 people who spent the July-August month,” a source said.
“The other 100 who should go mid-October are already camped at the One Commando barracks.”
The Zimbabwean soldiers are understood to be paid a monthly allowance of US$300 under this controversial arrangement.

While some people question the legality of the deployment, constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku, however, said there was no constitutional breach as long as the forces were not deployed to engage in combat.

On March 7 2004, Mann and his gang of mercenaries were arrested in Zimbabwe when their Boeing 727 jet was seized by security forces during a stopover at Harare International Airport where they planned to pick up weapons worth £100 000. The men were charged with violating the country’s immigration, firearms and security laws and later convicted in Equatorial Guinea for plotting a coup d’état.

Mann was pardoned by Nguema after serving 15 months of a 34-year jail sentence at the end of his trial in the capital, Malabo. He had been extradited to Equatorial Guinea after serving a four-year sentence in Zimbabwe.

Despite trying to overthrow Nguema, Mann is now ironically his security advisor. independent


FIVE police officers armed with knives allegedly raided the home of a State witness in a bribery case and beat him up in an effort to stop him from testifying against them in court.
The cops, a court heard yesterday, threatened to kill Mr Claudius Chauke during the mafia-style attack at midnight.  They allegedly told him that they were members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

The cops allegedly advised Mr Chauke that it would be good for his well being if he kept away from the witness box. Although he insisted all five were policemen, only Malvin Ndlovu (36) an assistant inspector, admitted he was a police officer in court.

The other four members of the terror gang — who were not named in court and are still at large — were said to be civilians.

Ndlovu appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Stephen Ndlovu charged with extortion and criminal abuse of office.

He appeared alongside an accomplice, another police officer, Trymore Gore (34) who allegedly demanded a bribe together with Ndlovu from Mr Chauke but did not go to threaten the witness at his home.

The magistrate remanded Gore out of custody.  Ndlovu had been initially remanded out of custody as well but his conditions were altered after the State proved that he had interfered with State witnesses.  The magistrate remanded him in custody to October 6.

Mr Chauke failed to appear in court at an initial trial date after the alleged midnight attack by the five-man gang.  He was later summoned to court and revealed that he could not come to court as he feared for his life.
“They came to my house at night and told me that they were from the President’s Office,” said Mr Chauke.
“They threatened to kill me if I testified against them in this court. They said they would slit my throat if I ever set foot in this court. Accused 1 (Ndlovu), held me by the collar and assaulted me with open hands.

“I had to leave my home and go to stay at my place of work at a mine in Inyathi. I promised them that I would not come to court, Your Worship, and I had to keep my word because I was afraid. That’s why I did not come to court.”

The State, led by Mr Busani Moyo alleges that on June 11 this year at Cowdray Park police station, Ndlovu and Gore arrested Mr Chauke for malicious damage to property.

Mr Moyo said: “Chauke’s former girlfriend had teamed up with friends to assault him, and they proceeded to the police first to file a report against him. When Chauke arrived at the station to file his own report, he was subsequently arrested by Assistant Inspector Ndlovu and Constable Trymore Gore.”

The court heard that the accused persons told Mr Chauke they were going to detain him in the cells until Monday since it was a Friday and refused to take his report.

“The accused persons then demanded $150 from the complainant to release him to go and seek medical attention as he had been assaulted earlier during the day. Chauke handed $100 to Ndlovu and $50 to Gore. He was then released on the same day,” said Mr Moyo.

It is the state’s case that Mr Chauke later filed a report against the two cops.
“While investigations were in progress, the officers allegedly reimbursed him and drafted a withdrawal affidavit statement for an illiterate Chauke so that he could withdraw the complaint,” said the prosecutor.

The affidavit was commissioned and he tendered it to the police. Chronicle


Harare City Council has unveiled a $447 million budget for 2017, with the bulk of the funds earmarked for service delivery, while a third will be allocated towards salaries. 

This is a 30 percent increase from 2016 but the city said it will not increase charges for its services. The bulk of the money will be raised from water sales. The budget has been increased by $104 million from this years’ $343 million budget. The city said 29,9 percent of the budget would fund salaries and allowances to the tune of $116,3 million, while the remaining 70,1 percent would go towards service delivery.

Presenting the budget, Acting Finance and Development Committee chairperson Councillor Luckson Mukunguma said payroll costs would be monitored on a monthly basis, with necessary cuts being effected where necessary.

“Elsewhere, I have put a case for the treatment of salaries and allowances to employees in service delivery fields such as health, street cleaning, refuse removal, water production, fire fighting and pipe drainage as part of service delivery costs.
“It cannot be said that City of Harare operations are largely labour intensive and with that understanding, the city’s administration has accordingly made representations to the relevant authorities,” he said.

He said there were no tariff increase proposals for main line services in the 2017 budget due to deflationary pressures, receding disposable income, liquidity constraints, company closures, burgeoning debtors and general mutation of the economic landscape.

Clr Mukunguma said council position was that before tariff increase proposals could be contemplated, the city must first plug revenue leakages manifesting themselves and the appropriate and systematic regularisation of previously illegal settlements.

The bulk of the money is expected to be raised from increased water sales proposed to rake in $133,7 million and property tax for domestic, industrial and commercial at $124,7 million, while refuse collection will chip in with $26,8 million. herald


The official opening of the 4th Session of the Eighth Parliament by President Mugabe has been moved from the 4th to the 6th of October 2016. 

No reason has been given for the change of plans. The President is expected to set the legislative agenda for the new session. Acting Clerk of Parliament Mr Anthony Malunga said all invited guests would be allowed to use their invitation cards as they remained valid despite the change of dates.

“The Acting Clerk of Parliament would like to inform all Members of Parliament and the general public that the date for the official opening of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament by his Excellency the President, Cde R.G. Mugabe, has been moved from the 4th to the 6th of October 2016 at 1200hrs in the National Assembly Chamber,” said Mr Malunga.
Mr Malunga, however, said all Members of Parliament of both the Senate and the National Assembly would resume sittings on the 4th of October 2016 at 1415hrs and 1430hrs respectively.

Some of the laws that are likely to be on the next Parliament session’s legislative agenda have to do with cyber-crimes following the abuse of social media for destabilisation purposes.

This week, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, said Zimbabwe had formulated the National Cyber Security Policy on computer crimes such as data protection, electronic transactions and commerce to ensure that commercial activities were protected and regulated.

The Bills that are expected to deal with cyber-crimes include the Cyber Security Bill, the Data Protection Bill and the E-Commerce Bill.


FORMER Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure has been taken to court for failing to pay a $20 000 loan he borrowed from CBZ Bank.

The bank has, through its lawyers Gutu and Chikowero, filed a High Court application seeking an order compelling Madzimure to pay the debt and costs of the suit.

In case HC9489/16, CBZ alleges that Madzimure borrowed $15 000 from the bank through an overdraft facility which was supposed to be paid by the end of March 2014.

“Pursuant to the agreement, the plaintiff lent to the defendant the sum of $15 000. The defendant breached clauses 4 and 9 of the agreement in that his account fell into an unauthorised overdraft and all the money due under the account was not repaid by March 31, 2014,” part of the summons read.

Owing to interest of 13% per year and 3% facility fees, the debt rose to $20 395, which the legislator had allegedly failed or neglected to pay, resulting in the court action.

“CBZ would be entitled to charge the defendant interest at a rate of 13% per annum, plus 3% facility fee, which interest rate could be altered, on notice to Madzimure, should that be deemed necessary by CBZ,” the summons read. newsday


COALITION talks are top of the agenda as MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai leads his party in its 17th anniversary celebrations in Bulawayo this weekend.

Sources in the party said Tsvangirai will use the celebrations to gauge his supporters’ mood on the mooted grand coalition, which is likely to see the National Electoral Reforms Agenda parties forge an alliance against President Robert Mugabe.

“The time for a coalition is now full circle and it will be a major issue at the anniversary celebrations in Bulawayo. Tsvangirai is expected to test the mood,” a source said.

MDC-T vice-president, Nelson Chamisa confirmed that a coalition will be discussed among other issues, which include strategies to unseat Mugabe.

“We are alive to the fact that we need to unite to fight the common enemy, which has turned this nation into a laughing stock and the party will take the opportunity to discuss that issue in Bulawayo,” he said.

Chamisa said the party will also try to come up with an alternative to level the political playing field in the event the government refuses to implement electoral reforms.

“We will talk about how to deal with this intransigent regime in the event that they remain stubborn and do not implement the much needed reforms. So the anniversary celebrations will be huge in that regard,” he said.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said the celebrations set to be held at the White City Stadium will run under the theme MDC @17: Redefining the End Game.

“The president will be at the celebrations. He will deliver a keynote address, chronicle the journey of tears and blood that we have travelled and deliver the way forward. He will also talk about coalitions and other strategies as we move forward,” he said. newsday


It was an emotional interview as dancer and vocalist Pamela “Gonyeti” Zulu intermittently broke down on Wednesday when she narrated the story of her alleged sexual abuse by former employer Jah Prayzah. She began with a disclaimer.
“I did not want this information to go public. I just got angry in a meeting last week and spilled the beans in front of other people. We were only five in the meeting and tempers flared until I reminded him about his sex escapades in anger. It is embarrassing to share a story of sexual abuse with the world and I thought the issue would end in the meeting. I was surprised to see a story about it in a newspaper and I feel so bad, but I don’t have anything to hide anymore,” she said.

Gonyeti was referring to a story published by our sister paper H-Metro on Tuesday in which Jah Prayzah’s lawyer Eddie Hamunakwadi was quoted as saying she was seeking compensation for sexual abuse in addition to claiming outstanding unpaid fees for her services in the band.

The gorgeous vocalist denies asking for compensation for sexual abuse and said she is heartbroken because the issue has gone public. She said all she wanted was to get her outstanding allowances for the work she did for the band.

She admitted having been abused sexually without protection by Jah Prayzah on numerous occasions for the past three years to safeguard her job, but insisted she had no plans to make the sensitive issue public.

“Many women do not disclose issues related to sexual abuse because they are afraid of stigmatisation. I was one of them. What will people say when they know Jah Prayzah had sexually abused me without protection? I had to live with it. I had to please my paymaster. Now they have told the world about it and the most painful thing is that Jah Prayzah is saying I am lying. Why would I lie that I slept with him? Why would I lie to embarrass myself . . . ” for a moment she could not continue as she wept uncontrollably.

Gonyeti said the sexual abuse was the main reason why she left Jah Prayzah’s Third Generation band.

“I asked myself why I was hanging on when I was being abused in many ways. I was a sex slave and I was also not getting paid for my services in the band. I just had to keep pleasing my master with my body, my voice and my energy for nothing. I just said ‘enough is enough’ and I quit the band. Honestly, the issue of sexual abuse was personal. Now they have told the world about it and everyone will see me as a dirty person.”

The energetic dancer said during tours, other band members would share hotel rooms and Jah Prayzah, as the boss, was always booked alone and he abused that scenario to have quality time with his subordinate before and after shows.

“I always shared the room with Stimela (Fatima Katiji, the other female vocalist) and I would be called to the boss’ room and leave her alone. We also met at various places in Harare during the week when we were off duty. That was the life I led at Third Generation. It was risky because I knew many other girls that Jah Prayzah was involved with.

“He has many girlfriends among his fans and we knew most of them. When such a person continuously demands unprotected sex, it becomes dangerous. He says he does not fear contracting any sexually-transmitted infections because he is circumcised.”

Gonyeti said she is now being terrorised by some of Jah Prayzah’s female fans on social media.
“I left the fans’ WhatsApp group and they continue adding my number and using abusive language towards me. Some of the ladies say there is nothing special about being sexually abused because they have also slept with Jah Prayzah.”

As her voice cracked and tears rolled down her cheeks, Gonyeti said she regrets being involved with Third Generation because the memories will haunt her forever, especially because the issue is now public.

She said when she first saw Jah Prayzah as an unknown artiste and assisted him to record his first albums, she did not know the relationship would grow into a sad tale.

“I first met him at Jazz 105 when he was a supporting artiste to our band Jabavu Drive. I was the lead singer at Jabavu Drive and he liked my voice. He asked me to do backing vocals for him in the studio and I did most of his early songs including the album ‘Ngwarira Kuparara’ before I even joined his band.

“My first album as a full-time band member was ‘Tsviriyo’. The relationship began professionally, but he took advantage of his growing fame to abuse me.”

She said she is taking a legal route to recover her salary arrears and would not want her attention to be distracted from the real cause of her confrontation with her former employer.
Efforts to get a comment from Jah Prayzah were unsuccessful as he is currently in South Africa shooting a video for the track “Mdhara Vachauya”.

However, Gonyeti who now fronts her own band called Horse Power said she will soldier on despite the emotional spell and focus on her solo career.

“This is a trying time, but I have to look ahead. I have a career to maintain and I will not make it if this issue affects me emotionally to a level where I cannot concentrate on my own projects. We are moving on and I am glad with the assistance I am getting from my manager Filda Muchabaiwa. We hope things will work well. We cannot continue dwelling on the past yet we want to move forward.”

Muchabaiwa — popularly known as Mama Filo — was Jah Prayzah’s manager when he was still chasing fame and she said she is disappointed by his approach to the Gonyeti issue. herald


A soldier based at KGVI in Harare reportedly masqueraded as a committee member of the presidential scholarship programme and swindled two people of close to $1 000 on the pretext that he had secured scholarships for them to study abroad.George Zino (35), a corporal, allegedly demanded $550 from each victim which, he said was for tuition and modules for the first semester.

He would in turn give the unsuspecting students forms with a fake date stamp inscribed “Ministry of Higher Education scholarship trust principle (sic) director”. Zino appeared before Mr Tendai Mahwe charged with fraud.

He was remanded in custody to today for bail application. The prosecutor, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in September 2014, Zino called his former schoolmate (name not given) and advised him that he was part of the committee which was selecting students for the Presidential Scholarship Programme.

Zino further misrepresented to the complainant that he was in a position to assist all his relatives to secure the scholarship.

He added that for the scholarship to be processed, $550 was required which he said was for tuition and modules for the first semester, the court heard.
As a result, the complainant got interested and told Zino that he wanted his sister Brenda Chiringa to be part of the scholarship. The complainant, the State alleged, managed to raise $350 and asked to pay the balance later and Zino accepted.

Thereafter, the complainant gave his sister the money which she then handed over to Zino who in turn gave Chiringa an “acceptance form” with a fake stamp purported to have been stamped by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.

He also gave her a paper which he said was a student contract form.
According to the State, the forms had a date stamp inscribed “Ministry of Higher Education scholarship trust principle (sic) director”.

The accused told complainant that the first semester would start in April the following year.
After the complainant had made a “deal” with Zino which he thought was genuine, he also informed his friend who also fell for the deal and referred his wife Stella Mamvura to the accused.

Mamvura was asked by Zino to part with $550 which she did, the court heard.
She was again told that the first semester would start in April last year but nothing materialised and Zino became evasive.

The court further heard that in May this year, the complainants saw a Press statement which was placed in the local newspapers by Minister Christopher Mushohwe stating that those who were swindled through presidential scholarship had to call his office.
They responded and made a report to the police. Herald


Five Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) executive members accused of denigrating President Mugabe, will remain on remand following the dismissal of their application challenging placement on remand.

Douglas Mahiya, Francis Nhando, Victor Matemadanda, Headman Moyo and Hoyini Samuel Bhila, are facing charges of undermining the authority of the President. In dismissing the application, magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande, said the facts as outlined by the State, disclosed an offence.

“The issues that the defence is raising, are triable issues,” she said. “Facts as outlined in the form 242 (request for remand form) clearly disclose an offence. The issue of whether or not the acting Prosecutor General has authority to issue a certificate does not arise at this stage because it is not required for the purposes of remand. The application is hereby dismissed.”

Ms Makwande remanded the matter to October 17. In their application through their lawyers, challenging remand, the five said the communiqué they are accused of authoring falls within the realm of political rights enjoyed in terms of Section 67 (2)(d) of the Constitution.
They said the person mentioned in the communiqué has not challenged the contents there-off.

“This communiqué, which was not authored by the accused, is merely a challenge by the authors to the governance of the country,” they said.

“The authors complained of the perceived erosion of the values of the liberation struggle, the neglect of the masses who are suffering and the persecution, decimation and expulsion of war veterans.

“They sign off by withdrawing their support for ‘a leader who has presided over untold suffering of the general population . . .’”

The group had also demanded that the State be ordered to produce a certificate of prosecution from the Prosecutor-General. Herald


A WOMAN who allegedly teamed up with her husband and his brother to stage an armed robbery at Molsky Distributors (exclusive distributors of Savanna Tobacco brands) in Bulawayo where more than $20 000 was stolen, has told a court her husband forced her to take part in the crime.

Azellia Madzorera (24), an accountant at Molsky Distributors and her husband Craig Shamu (27) appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mrs Adelaide Mbeure on Wednesday.
Shamu’s brother, who is still at large, allegedly brought a toy gun from South Africa which was used in the fake robbery. Madzorera told the court that her husband threatened to divorce her and take away her five months old daughter if she refused to take part in the robbery.

The magistrate altered her plea to not guilty. She was facing two charges; deliberately supplying false information to the police and theft while Shamu faced a theft charge.

In her defence outline, Madzorera said: “I could not bear to lose my child and my marriage so I was compelled to play along. My brother-in-law came on Friday from South Africa and it was agreed that the plan be executed on Monday.”
During cross examination, Mr Godfrey Mukumba, Madzorera’s boss, said there was no evidence directly linking her to the offence.

“Madzorera remained by herself when I left. When I got back she told me all the money that was supposed to be taken to the bank had been stolen.

The only evidence that I can present to this court is that part of the money was recovered at her place of residence and some of it was recovered through her husband who led us to Harare where they had stashed some of it,” he said.

Miss Mbeure last week sentenced Madzorera to four months in jail for supplying false information to the police. She suspended one month on condition of good behaviour for three years.

Madzorera is currently performing 105 hours of community service at Hillside police station for the remaining three months. Miss Mbeure convicted Shamu of theft on his own plea of guilty but withheld sentence until the end of Madzorera’s trial.

Mr Francis Mvalo for the State told the court that the trio hatched a plan to fake a robbery in August. The court heard how Shamu’s brother, Edwin Marufu, took $12 000 of the loot to Harare where he stashed it before proceeding to South Africa.

“Accused person arrived at work on September 12 and she sorted money for banking. In the afternoon she called her husband who was waiting in the city centre telling him the money was ready. He took a taxi to Famona where his wife’s company is,” he said.

“Shamu took $20 675 from the safe, tied his wife’s hands and legs and covered her mouth with industrial tape. He left the toy gun on top of the safe and went away. He took the cell phone that his wife had used to call him and destroyed it to conceal evidence.”Chronicle


THE Member of Parliament for Nkulumane constituency, Killian Sibanda, has been ordered to pay $250 per month for the upkeep of his daughter after the mother of one of his children found out that he earns more than $2 000 per month.

Achiwangani Maseko, the child’s mother, through her lawyer Mrs Doreen Phulu of Vundhla-Phulu and Partners, dragged Sibanda to court seeking an upward variation of maintenance from $90 to $556.

Bulawayo Magistrate Mr Manasa Musiiwa granted the upward variation.
In passing his ruling, Mr Musiiwa said the new discoveries justified the increase.
“The respondent neglected to disclose all his finances. Applicant went a step ahead to inquire on his income. It is inevitable under the circumstances to accept a variation upwards. However, $550 is not justifiable.

“Respondent is ordered to pay $250 per month. He will pay fees directly to the school account, cater for stationery and medical expenses,” he said.
Mrs Phulu told the court that Sibanda had not been honest with the court about his income.

Mrs Phulu said the new discoveries warranted an upward variation.

“Considering that the child has a medical condition, there is a need for medical aid. The child is also growing up and needs to start attending crèche. The recommended crèche needs $440 whereas the medical aid will cost $110 per month. A special diet for the child will cost about $100 per month so the money being asked for is quite reasonable,” she said.

“As a Member of Parliament your Worship, he engages in campaigns that help less privileged and handicapped children yet his own child would be suffering the same plight. Besides, with such an income, offering $90 as upkeep is just an insult to his child.”
Mrs Phulu said to show that the money is not being sought for personal gain, Sibanda can deposit the money straight into the creche’s bank account and the medical aid money straight to the relevant account.

“Surely your Worship with such a status in the community, it wouldn’t be fair to have a child without medical aid especially considering that the baby has a health condition that needs attention time and again,” said Mrs Phulu.

Sibanda appeared in court in April and offered to pay $40 for his child’s upkeep.
His second appearance saw him adding $50 bringing the maintenance fee to $90.chronicle


High Court judge Justice Priscilla Chigumba reportedly solicited for a $20 000 bribe from one of the parties in a case she was presiding over, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) revealed yesterday.

JSC chairman Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said they were considering referring the case to President Mugabe for him to set up a commission to look into the matter.
This came out during an interview in which Justice Chigumba was among eight High Court judges that were being interviewed by the JSC to be considered for elevation to the Supreme Court.

Justice Chigumba was grilled by members of the JSC led by Chief Justice Chidyausiku over a complaint that it received to the effect that the judge had sent an agent to solicit for a bribe from a Mr Kanokanga who was one of the parties in a case in which she was presiding over.

Justice Chidyausiku said the JSC had received a written complaint from Mr Kanokanga and said while they had asked Justice Chigumba to make a written response, she was obliged to comment on the allegations since the commission was troubled over the allegations given that she was now seeking higher office.

“I think you are aware that Mr Kanokanga, who was a party in a matter that you presided over has alleged that you, through a third party (name supplied) solicited a bribe for yourself and he refused and paid a price of losing the case. Obviously, the commissioners are really troubled by these allegations,” said the Chief Justice.

“There are certain aspects of his complaints that have a ring of truth, particularly where he said the agent was invited to a restaurant where you and this other person were having lunch. He also said this agent had information pertaining to the details of the proceedings when in fact he was not present in that court and then of course, the possibility that the alleged agent had fabricated this story. Unfortunately, as an interviewing panel, we do not have the investigative machinery to determine where the truth lies.”

Mr Kanokanga, said Chief Justice Chidyausiku, alleged that he had been impoverished as a result of the judgment which saw him being evicted from premises in the central business district.

“Like Caesar’s wife, a judge has to be beyond reproach. That’s the difficulty that the commission finds itself. Obviously, the JSC has the option of referring the matter to the President for a judicial inquiry to be appointed. That is something that we have to consider. The complaint that was made is in such a way that we cannot really just dismiss it without a proper inquiry. It may as well be that the person that is alleged to be your agent took advantage either of your relationship and fabricated this whole thing — that may be one scenario or that thing never happened at all,” said Chief Justice.

In response Justice Chigumba denied the allegations.
She said Mr Kanokanga, by his own admission, was not mentally sound.
“Mr Kanokanga, during the course of the trial, had indicated that as a result of this eviction, he had become unable to function and had to be treated by doctors for a mental disorder which arose as he said, from the fact that he had been impoverished by the eviction. He was very bitter. So, to answer your question, I did not directly or indirectly do or cause anything to be done which, is inconsistent with my oath of office as a judge or my duty to dispense justice without fear or favour or prejudice. I would like Mr Kanokanga, if he has any evidence that he can avail to the commission of whatever it is, that he is alleging to avail such evidence because an allegation which is baseless and without foundation, in my view, ought not to be allowed to influence anything that is adverse towards me unless and until it is substantiated,” said Justice Chigumba.

“Just because I was seen having lunch with someone does not mean that I am responsible for that person’s actions. The question that you put to me that Caesar’s wife ought to be beyond reproach, my response to that is I have already taken oath of office of being a judge. Because I took an oath of being a judge, I think that my word or my moral probity ought to be believed, the presumption should be, I am telling the truth until such time evidence is placed before the commission that something untoward happened.”

Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba weighed in, “The issue of alleged impropriety on your part, is a matter of great concern to the commissioners. Do you know this eating outlet which is opposite St John’s College? How does this person place you at that eating place which you have not been to for a long time in the manner he says you were with this person who approached him (Mr Kanokanga) and said you wanted $20 000? Your position, of course, in your reply is that this should be dismissed as a matter of madness,” said Justice Malaba.

“Well, he is a self-confessed sufferer of mental disorder. I have no idea of what was happening in his head. He did say that he takes medication for chronic depression. He did say he blames the owner of the commercial premises for evicting him because it rendered him unable to operate. I do not know what effect my judgment had on him,” said Justice Chigumba.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku also took issue about the inclusion of his name and that of Judge president George Chiweshe as her referees on her curriculum vitae.

But Justice Chigumba said it was an oversight as she had forgotten to update it.
Other High Court judges that were interviewed were Justices Charles Hungwe, Alphas Chitakunye, Francis Bere, Joseph Mafusire, Nicholas Mathonsi, Samuel Kudya and Lavendar Makoni. herald

Thursday, 29 September 2016


Former vice president Joice Mujuru's last ditch attempt to stop the Zimbabwe central bank bringing in bond notes failed on Wednesday - but not everyone will be disappointed.
If the story of Zimbabwe's last lot of "paper money" is anything to go by, there will be fortunes to be made. Or at the very least, bills to be paid off quickly.

The Constitutional Court in Harare this week dismissed an application from Mujuru challenging the forced introduction of the notes next month, according to legal watchdog Veritas. The court said that it was too soon to determine if laws governing the introduction of the notes were unconstitutional. 

Analysts say the ruling means the notes will have to be introduced first before a challenge can be heard.

Many Zimbabweans fear a rerun of the hyper-inflationary era that peaked in 2008, when savings were wiped out and an average month's salary, once withdrawn, was enough for perhaps one grocery shop.

But some are scenting a chance to make money. Here are some of the ways Zimbabweans were able to take advantage of bearer cheques, bond notes' predecessors.

Paying all government bills: As hyperinflation climbed, some shops and service providers quietly refused to serve you unless you paid in forex. But government offices were forced to accept bearer cheques. Run up a rates tab with the city council? You could buy "mabearer cheques" on the black market for a fraction of the real value of your bills. 

This also worked if you needed to pay bills at state institutions including schools and universities. Prominent Zimbabwean advocate Fadzayi Mahere shared a message this week she'd had from a local student on social media welcoming the soon-to-be-brought-in bond notes because he is currently struggling to pay his tuition fees. "This young man supports bond notes," she tweeted.

Paying off debts: If you had a bank loan or a mortgage between 2006 and 2008, it suddenly became very easy to pay it off. You could trade just a small amount of forex on the black market, get paid out with bags of bearer cheques and settle your Zimbabwe-dollar-denominated bond in record time. This time round, Mugabe's Gushungo Holdings is rumoured to be in serious debt. Reports have put the total amount at anywhere between $4m and $20m.

Unfortunately Zimbabwe's rather large external debt (more than $7b) will not be payable-offable in bond notes (though there may be ways round this: see below).

Buying forex: This only worked if you were in government or extremely well-connected. Locals receiving remittances or payments from outside the country into Zimbabwean accounts were paid out at the official, very low exchange rate in bearer cheques. Bad luck for them - but great news if you were well-connected. You could demand to buy that forex your compatriots had been forced to surrender. And you could pay for it at that same very low exchange rate. Hard cash for free, or just about.

Money-changing and money-burning: This was a lucrative earner for youths at the time. Money-changing involved what it says: selling forex for ever-increasing amounts of the local currency. Money-burning involved finding ways of making money out of vast amounts of bearer cheques trapped inside local bank accounts. Selling shares on the local stock exchange and using the proceeds to buy shares on the JSE or LSE was one way of doing this.

Of course, the advantages of bearer cheques were (mostly) short term. School fees became affordable but teachers got fed up of being paid in worthless money and skipped Zimbabwe in their thousands. Banks lost money. Councils stopped providing services. Shortages of food and fuel hit: no business wants to be forced to sell for nothing. 

Eight years later, supporters of bond notes insist that they will in no way resemble bearer 
cheques. Central bank chief John Mangudya has staked his career on them, offering to resign if they don't work out.
For most Zimbabweans though the fact remains: once bitten, twice shy. News24


The immediate past President of the UZ SRC, Tonderai Dombo was arrested today when he brandished an anti-Mugabe placard as President Mugabe capped over 3 600 graduands.
His placard read “Graduate today, rovha mangwana.” There were record number of first class passes and the record number of doctorate degrees conferred at the ceremony.

Professor Nyagura said the UZ is open to capture the knowledge generated by society so as to sustain and further develop the intellectual and cultural base of the country.

The graduation ceremony saw 3 637 graduands being conferred with doctorates, degrees and diplomas from nine faculties and the college of health.

Among the graduands were the youngest ever student in the 61 year history of the university to have enrolled at the institution, Maud Chifamba who attained a Bachelor of Accountancy Honours Degree.

It also saw the graduation of the pioneer students of the Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences Technology.

In his opening remarks at the occasion , Professor Nyagura said the UZ has embraced ZIMASSET by using its own resources, artisans and expertise to expand living and learning space at the institution.

"In this regard the institution has constructed a complex with 10 state of the art lecture rooms with a combined sitting space of 1000, a pharmacy laboratory which can accommodate 130 students an engineering computer science laboratory with 100 state of the art computers  and additional 3 lecture rooms and huge lecture theatre that accommodates  1 100 stuudents," said Professor Nyagura.

He also reiterated that the UZ has created an environment which has the capacity to support high quality research, high quality teaching and high quality learning.

It has also reviewed its curriculum to promote innovation, application of science and technology and entrepreneurship.

Professor Nyagura noted the university has advanced into providing training in forensic science, geospatial intelligence and aeronautical engineering.

The graduation was punctuated by song and dance from the UZ choir, but the crowd went into frenzy after the proceedings as they began celebrating their achievements.

Some of the prominent graduands at the ceremony were CIO Director General, Retired Brigadier General, Happyton Bonyongwe, Minister of State in Vice President's office Phelekhezela Mphoko, Cde Tabeth Malinga, military officers Major General Sibusiso Moyo and Colonel Lucky Bangidza, as well as legislator Pscychology Maziwisa, most of whom attained Master of Science Degree in  International Relations.

Ministers Kembo Mohadi, Saviour Kasukuwere, legislators and the business fraternity which included bankers and industrialists were among those who witnessed the graduation ceremony.