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.

Friday, 4 September 2015

SOME MPs PESTERING CHILD PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR SEX

Three Members of Parliament are being investigated for pestering some child parliamentarians for sex. A  deputy minister from Masvingo is said to be among the three.

Zimbabwe has a junior parliament composed mostly of school-going children. The three legislators are reportedly asking for sexual favours from child parliamentarians in return for bank rolling their programmes and other activities in the province.

The Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children has instituted an investigation following chilling accounts of sexual demands by the parliamentarians. 

The chairman, Lungani Zwangovani, confirmed the development.
“These are serious allegations that will even worry President Robert Mugabe. We are going to leave no stone un-turned in our probe,” he said.
Zwangovani said the probe would involve interviewing the affected child parliamentarians and if anything criminal is discovered then the legislators would face possible prosecution. “We are not going to have any scared cows on this issue,” he added.

Some of the child parliamentarians said that they were undertaking several projects as mandated by the junior parliament and had approached MPs for assistance.

“We are being sexually abused by the MPs who ask for sexual favours from us,” said one of the girl legislators. “One of the MPs asked me whether I was chosen to be a child parliamentarian because of my beauty and body structure before asking to be intimate with me,” she said.

Some of the girls gave chilling accounts of how the MPs were abusing them sexually. As a result the child MPs have stopped asking for donations from MPs in the province. The affected MPs, whose names have been withheld pending the results of the enquiry, refuted the allegations. Zimbabwean

JAILBREAK TRIAL : INMATES HAD MOBILE PHONE

Inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Prison had access to a cellphone which they were using to communicate with outsiders.

 This came out during the ongoing trial of the nine inmates who are facing charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody. Lucky Mhungu and Lucky Matambanadzo told the court that they were handed a cellphone by one Taurai Dodzo to phone  the police or the media and report what was happening as they feared for their lives.

 Presenting their defence outline, the two were on different occasions given the cellphone which had a dual sim card to make a call. However, Mhungu said he could not make a call using the available cellphone as he had no knowledge on how the phone functions since he had been in prison for a long time.

 Matambanadzo almost left the court in stitches as he repeatedly described how he was beaten by prison officers on the fateful day. The inmates who have presented their defence outline are complaining of food shortages at Chikurubi, but Matambanadzo said he was once beaten by prison officers for not eating his food.

 The two are facing charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody and inciting violence.

DANGOTE LOOKS BEYOND MUGABE

AFRICA’S richest man, Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote, whose net worth was US$17,5 billion as of yesterday, according to Forbes magazine, is looking well beyond President Robert Mugabe’s rule as he moves to invest billions in cement, power and coal projects at a time most investors are sitting on the fence jittery due to Zimbabwe’s hostile business environment.

This comes as it has also emerged Dangote — who is worth more than Zimbabwe’s annual Gross Domestic Product which stands at about US$13,66 billion and about five times its annual budget — has arm-twisted government for exemption from its controversial indigenisation laws spooking investors to secure full ownership of his investments.

Dangote on Monday met Mugabe and his ministers to get the go-ahead and assurances of security of his investments in a country notorious for trampling on the rule of law and property rights.

While investors fear Zimbabwe’s political risk — rooted in the interface between politics and business — and toxic policies, ministers said in private briefings the Nigerian business magnate was coming to Zimbabwe as he was now looking far beyond Mugabe (91), widely seen as on the sunset of his long political career as the country sits on the cusp of a new dispensation.

“Dangote is taking a long term view on Zimbabwe,” a senior government minister who met the Nigerian mogul told the Zimbabwe Independent this week.

“He knows the president (Mugabe), given the perception he is part of the problem, is going to go soon one way or another. He has informed advisors and uses risk assessment firms to analyse the environment and make decisions.”
The Independent has been monitoring Dangote’s behind-the-scenes manoeuvres since July and has information showing how he managed to get a breakthrough.


Dangote’s trip was facilitated by a Nigeria-based Zimbabwean and television personality, Josey Mahachi and her husband Olusegun Babajide Agbeniyi (a television producer).
Mahachi and Agbeniyi — who wedded in 2013 in Harare — have been in the country since July and managed to convince Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who they engaged privately, to lobby Mugabe to allow Dangote to invest on his terms.

In an interview Mahachi, who is the face of Dstv talkshow programme: Click Africa, said she was facilitating the investment for the love of her country. “You meet people with the potential to invest and because of the love of one’s country one is pushed to sell the investment idea to them. We are happy because something concrete is coming out of our efforts to turn around our economy,” she said adding: “I will be relocating to Zimbabwe to make sure such an investment is protected and handled properly.”

When it comes to investors seeking to navigate turbulent emerging markets and unstable countries like Zimbabwe, their main fears resolve around unexpected and arbitrary changes in government policies detrimental to their investments.

Another minister said: “Investors like Dangote know how to deal with such unstable environments like ours. Even if we have problems, Nigeria is worse from a political risk perspective. I mean there is literally a civil war going on there, with Boko Haram wreaking havoc but then there is oil and investors still go there.

“So Dangote knows there are resources in Zimbabwe and the president (Mugabe) will go, so he is positioning himself. He is an investor with foresight as he wants a head start. Mind you a lot of investors have been coming here to assess the situation; from the United States, Britain, France, Denmark, China, Russia and many other countries. Dangote came to invest here so that he has a first mover advantage. In business that’s very important, not always politics and these succession stories you hear all the time.”

A leading research institute, Oxford Economics risk assessment firm, NKC African Economic, recently added Zimbabwe to its potential conflict zones or flashpoints watch list as the country’s economic situation fast deteriorates, citing Mugabe’s raging succession power struggles as a destabilising factor.

Officials say Dangote had to meet Mugabe and his relevant ministers because most aspects of the government-related policy and procedures are risks beyond his control, for example, granting of mining concessions, licences and permits, taxation, and various contracts to be signed with the government.

“Dangote is mainly concerned with risks related to uncertainties in the government policy and regulation, hence he needed to meet the president, but he is looking beyond the current situation,” one official said.

Even though some senior ruling Zanu PF officials want Mugabe to run for re-election in 2018 until 2023, insiders say he might soon bow out due to health problems or political pressure associated with the current economic meltdown. Mugabe is however known for his stubborn resistance to pressure, although he cannot defy health complications, dotage and frailty.

Government ministers this week said Dangote and his advisors believe this is the most opportune time to enter the Zimbabwe market because the country is moving towards the end of Mugabe’s rule even if they cannot say exactly when that will be.

This reality though is now openly acknowledged in government as Mnangagwa and First Lady Grace Mugabe recently spoke about the situation in Zimbabwe in future-sounding terms looking beyond Mugabe.

Although Zimbabwe has signed investment agreements with Russia and China in recent months after long negotiations, Dangote came to Harare and decided to invest.

Sources that were in the closed door meetings between Mugabe and Dangote said the Nigerian industrialist would be exempted from the controversial indigenisation policy which require foreign investors to surrender at least 51% to locals and remain with 49% or less. “Mugabe told Dangote of the various investment opportunities in Zimbabwe, in agriculture and the mining sectors especially,” a source said. “He then assured him that his investments will be protected as the indigenisation policy will be waived for him. Dangote assured the president that on Monday next week his team which comprises geologists, engineers, lawyers and the chief strategist will be in the country to do feasibility studies as well as paperwork.

“He also said one of his intentions is to construct a plant which will employ close to 1 000 people producing 1,5 million tonnes of cement per year.”

Although China and Russia have signed multi-billion dollar investment deals with Zimbabwe, they have been treading cautiously as they fear their investments could sink in this unstable environment.

Last year in August Chinese leaders told Mugabe in Beijing he needed to resolve his succession problems and ensure leadership renewal, as well as embrace serious reforms to get game-changing investment. The same message was communicated to Mnangagwa when he visited China in July. independent

EXPIRED ARV DRUGS TRIGGERED RIOTS

One of the convicts accused of masterminding a foiled jail-break at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison yesterday accused the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services of giving inmates expired antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs.

This emerged as the trial of incarcerated Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura, Blessing Chiduke, 25, Luckmore Matambanadzo, 39, Luck Mhungu, 38, Taurai Dodzo, 47, Thomas Chacha, 37, Thulani Chizema, 32, Jacob Sibanda, 28, and Elijah Vhumbunu, 38, opened at the Harare magistrates’ courts.

The attempted prison break broke out at lunchtime on March 13 at Chikurubi in Harare just after inmates had been released to have their lunch. The inmates allegedly protested against the type of relish — vegetables — they had been given, which they did not want.

In the melee, 23 inmates and 19 officers were injured.

The inmates are being charged with attempt to escape from lawful custody, malicious damage to property and assaulting or resisting a peace officer.

Chiduke, an armed robber serving an 18-year jail term, told the court that the protests were sparked by the inhumane treatment they were exposed to, including being given expired ARVs.

“We continued to air our grievances to prison officials but to no avail. They kept telling us that the government was economically crippled and there was nothing that could be done about the situation,” he said.

“Prisoners requested to see the Justice minister and parliamentarians but were told the minister had better things to do and legislators never get time for us.”

He told the court that prisoners sang throughout the night of February 14 in retaliation to insults hurled at them by prison officers on duty.

“This officer told prisoners that they were foolish because he was having a nice time with their wives while they languished in prison,” Chiduke said.

“He mockingly said that after completing his duties he would go home and prisoners’ wives would fry sausages for him before he quenches his sexual appetite.”

According to Chiduke, this did not go down well with inmates who started “grumbling and murmuring”.

“He said we were being served sadza with expired Royco mixed with water. He mocked us saying only pigs would fail to tell the difference,” he said.

“Prisoners felt infuriated since we had been having that meal for at least one week.”

A delegation accompanying the deputy commissioner general later visited prisons and promised to rectify the situation but nothing changed.

“We were then told to tighten our belts and prepare for another round in the doldrums. We spent days locked in the cells and on the day in question we were served sadza with some strange leaves,” Chiduke said.

Chiduke said he was not part of the team that spearheaded the violence and said he actually made efforts to quell the protests.

Meanwhile, Gumbura, through his lawyer Tapson Dzvetero, denied masterminding the foiled prison break.

“The charges are fabricated against him as a person who has attracted much hype in the media because of the rape cases he was convicted for,” he said.

“It is a malady and choreographed attempt to have him convicted for something he never committed.” daily news

MUTASA : ZANU PF WILL DIE WITH MUGABE

As Zanu PF continues to be ravaged by its seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars — amidst Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown which is blamed on the ruling party’s misrule — a former close confidante to President Robert Mugabe, Didymus Mutasa, says the party will implode completely when the nonagenarian leaves office or dies.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday as the country’s decades-long political and economic crises escalate, the former Presidential Affairs minister also said the only thing that could save the country from dying with Mugabe and Zanu PF was if the embattled nonagenarian passed on the leadership baton now.

“The situation in the country is dire, and the economy is in the intensive care. You can hardly find a bank that will lend you money these days. I know this as a new farmer myself. How then are people supposed to prepare for the new farming season, for example?

“In the meantime, we hear all the time that the VPs are fighting among themselves, and we hear that this one and that one are also fighting. They (post-congress Zanu PF leaders) accused us of plotting to destroy the party. Now, who is destroying the party?

“Of course, they were lying when they expelled us from the party and they know that. We were expelled from our party by mafikizolos. The President was misled and now we all fear that the party will not last long,” Mutasa said.

The softly-outspoken politician added that since he had committed his life to politics and fighting for democracy, he — along with former Vice President Joice Mujuru and “other like-minded people” — were dedicating their time to building the rival “original Zanu PF to fast-track the end of the post-congress Zanu PF”.

Asked why it was taking so long to get the “original” Zanu PF that uses the slogan People First going, Mutasa said “even a baby takes nine months, after being conceived, to be born”.

“Because they destroyed our party, we are now starting something new. As people who have politics in their blood, hamumire muchitarisa mahumbwe atiri kuona aya (we won’t entertain the nonsensical shenanigans taking place in the post-congress Zanu PF). A child takes nine months and we are going to make the announcement (about the People First movement) soon.

“Zanu PF is going to go. Musangano unosimbiswa nemukuru wawo. Panoenda mukuru ndipo panoenda musangano wacho. VaMugabe vachaenda neZanu PF (A party is made strong by its leader. When the leader goes the party also goes. Mugabe will go with Zanu PF). This is because he is refusing to pass on the baton,” Mutasa said.

Asked further if his expulsion from the ruling party together with other party stalwarts, on untested allegations of plotting to oust and kill Mugabe, as well as fanning factionalism had healed the post-congress Zanu PF, Mutasa said things had, to the contrary, worsened.

Mutasa spoke as a new war has broken out in the strife-torn ruling Zanu PF over the frail nonagenarian’s state of health and his capacity to remain at the helm of the party and the country.

This follows typically off-colour utterances by Mugabe’s controversial wife, Grace, at a recent rally in Mashonaland West, as well as ill-judged comments by the embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa that he made to a London-based magazine and over which he is receiving factional stick.

Speaking at Murombedzi Growth Point, the gaffe-prone Grace said, “Don’t criticise me because you hate my husband. Time will come when president Mugabe is gone, (and at that point) you will regret and wish that the president was around” — in remarks that some in Zanu PF interpreted as meaning that all was not well with Mugabe.

On his part, Mnangagwa — answering a seemingly innocuous New African magazine question on the post-Mugabe scenario — said, “We shall miss him (Mugabe) dearly (when he leaves). He is an outstanding leader and human being” — in comments that have placed him in the eye of a humongous storm in the ruling party which is wracked by deadly factional and succession wars.

Zanu PF insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the hullabaloo about the well-being of Mugabe reflected the ugly divisions that continue to devour the ruling party, and how many ambitious bigwigs were already thinking about life after the nonagenarian who is increasingly showing his advanced age and declining health.

During the recent burial of High Court judge Andrew Mutema at the Heroes Acre, Mugabe moved around with the assistance of Grace, taking brief rests as he followed the undertakers.

And during official opening of the Harare Agricultural Show, Mugabe moved around with the assistance of Mozambique president Filipe Nyasu, and the nonagenarian has also lately cut down on the length of his speeches as calls for his retirement or resignation grow.

Mnangagwa’s remarks on the post-Mugabe future were publicly criticised by the minister of Higher Education, Jonathan Moyo, on Twitter — who went on to say the sentiments were “premature”.

“This (latest Zanu PF) war is about the health of the president and how this impacts on the multi-layered quests by various interested parties to succeed him, even as they all pretend that they are engaging in this fight for him and that they don’t want him to pass on,” a central committee member said bluntly.

The Daily News first broached the sensitive subject of whether Mugabe was still fit to rule in its relaunch issue in March 2011 — following nearly eight years of its forced and unjust closure by the nonagenarian’s government.

In addition to his advanced age and increasingly poor health, which is commensurate with people of his age, and which often sees the nonagenarian making frequent and costly State-funded visits to the Far East for medical attention, Mugabe is also having to contend with arguably his biggest political challenge since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in April 1980 — an open rebellion by many senior members of his ruling Zanu PF party who are impatient to see him leave office.

Analysts and spokespersons for opposition political parties who have previously spoken to the Daily News have said that it is time the nonagenarian stepped down as he had also allegedly now become a “lame duck” and “absentee” president who was often travelling outside the country on “frivolous” missions or for medical attention than actually governing the country.

MINISTER : CELLPHONE FARMERS HAVE COST ZIM

MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has lashed out at the newly-resettled farmers describing them as “cellphone farmers who have failed to produce enough food for Zimbabwe”.

Addressing guests at the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) 75th national congress cocktail in Mutare on Wednesday, Chimene said the “cellphone farmers” had created shortages of maize-meal country-wide, forcing the country to extend a begging bowl to neighbouring countries.

“Cellphone farmers are worse because they are a threat to the nation and they can bring disaster among us,” Chimene said.

“It’s not everyone who got the farms and we cannot all be farmers, but those that got the farms are failing to utilise them. Those that got the farms were very lucky, but why are we failing to produce anything from those farms? We do not tolerate that.

“We have to fight pests and droughts and the requirements of inputs. If we fail to have adequate inputs required to do farming, then it is another war. Farming is a war and we need to feed so we need serious people.”

Earlier, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya had also said there was need to remove politics from farming.

“We should take farming as a real industry because farming forms the backbone of our economy,” Mangudya said.

ZFU executive director Paul Zachariah said there was need for total revival of the agricultural sector.

“If we are to talk of serious agriculture in this country, we still have a long way to go. The private sector and government should own up to their mandatory and complementary roles if we are talking of total revival of agriculture,” Zachariah said.

Government in 2000 launched the land reform programme which saw over 4 000 white commercial farmers losing their farms to the landless black farmers. newsday

DANGOTE DEAL STINKS : MLISWA

FORMER Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa yesterday blasted government for “mortgaging the country’s resources for nothing in unclear investment deals” involving foreigners.

Mliswa told NewsDay that the recent mega deals between government and Nigerian business magnet Aliko Dangote raised a stink as no due diligence checks had been made to ascertain if the deals would benefit the country as claimed.

Dangote jetted into the country on Monday in pursuit of several deals which were hurriedly approved by Cabinet. His technical team is now expected next week to finalise the deals.

“It was surprising that Dangote was being treated like Father Christmas arriving at a kindergarten school. It is also surprising that Cabinet has met and approved his business proposals, but we even don’t know his proposals,” Mliswa said.

“In the past we also approved the Chinese and Russian deals, but we don’t see anything tangible on the ground.

“This is just an admission of the failure of the local indigenisation policy. This is a betrayal of our own businesspeople who have gone through hard times and stood by this economy, and yet we see opportunities being given to an outsider even though there are many capable people here,” he said.

He also alleged that government was determined to pull down local businesspeople.

Mliswa said the major investment deals government was entering into were unlikely to come through considering that there were no supporting industries in the country, and also that the country’s power generation capacity had taken a nosedive.

Mliswa said efforts should be focused on finding ways to curb corruption and reviving struggling industries in the country.

“Such desperation exposes our leaders. We are not excited by this Dangote man and from now on we will see a lot of clever people coming to Zimbabwe where they are guaranteed of getting things cheaply,” he said. newsday

 

MUGABE NOW UNDER SIEGE, SAYS TSVANGIRAI

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday claimed that President Robert Mugabe was operating an unstable government, was under siege from Zanu PF internal fights, and could not cope with the demands of an imploding economy due to his advanced age.

Speaking to NewsDay in an interview at his Harvest House party headquarters, Tsvangirai predicted doom and gloom for the country. He accused Mugabe (91) of creating an environment conducive for chaos by failing to address the country’s economic woes.

He said Mugabe failed to restore public confidence during his recent State of the Nation Address.

“Let’s be fair, the man is under siege. His government is unstable because of the current internal machinations, the economy is imploding and the party is also imploding and he can’t do anything because of his advanced age. Age is a factor, the world has moved from the rhetoric of imperialism and all that,” Tsvangirai said.

The MDC-T leader vowed to resist any future attempts to railroad him into a deal to rescue the Zanu PF regime.

“We helped the people but also helped Zanu PF to survive. We won’t resurrect Zanu PF again,” he said.

“We have to agree on issues. That was the case before and if before 2008 we were in a similar position, what stops us now? We went into government to tackle issues, but there was so much dishonesty and insincerity during the GPA days and so we no longer talk of GPA, but elections.

“My view is there is a glaring contrast between the GNU days and the current situation of doom and gloom, it is very painful that whereas you should have a positive trajectory, we have sunk to even greater chaos.”

He said it was possible to have dialogue among political parties for the good of the country, adding he was the first to suggest such a move a year ago.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe must move away from the rhetoric of saying Zanu PF will go it alone.

MNANGAGWA'S NKOMO UTTERANCES CONDEMNED

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been roundly condemned for claiming that the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo served “white interests”, with former Zanu PF politburo member Cephas Msipa describing the remarks as “outrageous” and divisive.

A clearly apoplectic Msipa said he did not know what Mnangagwa meant and was itching to hear him clarify his statement. “I do not know what he is talking about,” Msipa said.

“I was shocked by Mnangagwa’s statement. I respect Mnangagwa and I hope he will correct it because it is not true that Nkomo did not stand for the interests of black people.”

In an interview with the New African magazine, Mnangagwa said the late Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith had confided in him that President Robert Mugabe had defeated the likes of Nkomo, Zanu founder the late Ndabaningi Sithole and others because they did not represent the interests of blacks.

But it is the mention of Nkomo, a founding member of the liberation struggle, that has ruffled feathers. “People like Mnangagwa joined Zapu that was led by Nkomo and he [Mnangagwa] was sent for training in China by Nkomo,” Msipa said.

“It will be interesting for him to tell us what he himself thinks about Nkomo because in the interview with New African magazine, he was quoted saying that was what Smith had told him about Nkomo. I do not think we can take that seriously.”

Msipa said he was looking for an opportunity to meet Mnangagwa and ask him why he had uttered such a statement about Nkomo.

“His [Mnangagwa’s] statements are hurting some of us who were under the leadership of Nkomo,” the former Midlands governor added.

“I was shocked by such outrageous statements. All the people in this country call Nkomo Father Zimbabwe because of what he did to bring majority rule to this country. Of all the people, Nkomo suffered and sacrificed for this country from 1957 to 1980. If it were someone else, who said he [Nkomo] faltered, other than Mnangagwa, I could understand.

“I speak for many former Zapu people and I feel hurt by the statements. Nkomo, together with Mugabe, stood for black people. 

“They led their parties, Zanu PF and Zapu, and also led freedom fighters, Zanla and Zipra, and negotiated together in Geneva, at the Lancaster House Conference and others, until we reached majority rule. That speaks volumes of Mugabe and Nkomo.”
Msipa said Zimbabweans should not engage in divisive politics, but must remain united and respect Nkomo because he was unable to defend himself as a person as he passed on.

Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa yesterday also said Mnangagwa’s utterances were surprising, as Mugabe was the first person to talk about reconciliation and engaging whites after the 1980 elections.

“That is surprising because Mugabe was the first person after the elections who immediately talked about reconciliation with the whites, guaranteeing their safety and telling them that their farms would not be taken away,” Dabengwa said.

“On the other hand, we had Nkomo who went about telling the whites that the Lancaster House Constitution did not go down well with the black majority, for example on land, where it was agreed nothing would be done regarding the issue for a period of 10 years. Nkomo told them this was unsustainable and would only be a time bomb waiting to explode as long as blacks did not have the land." newsday

MASVINGO, CHINESE FIRM IN $60M DEAL

China CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd and Masvingo City Council have signed a $60 million memorandum of understanding (Mou) for the upgrading of a sewage plant and the water reticulation system.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the civic centre in Masvingo yesterday, Minister of State for provincial affairs Shuvai Mahofa said the MoU sets the tone for the fulfilment of the country’s blueprint ZimAsset and urged local authorities to embrace the concept of public private partnerships.

She said the upgrading of the sewage and water reticulation system will add value to infrastructural development in the city as it gives room to build many houses thereby reduce the housing backlog.

“We are happy that this Mou marks a long lasting relationship that our local authority and the Chinese company have in developing the sewage and water reticulation system. These PPPs will go a long way in addressing many developmental gaps for local authorities.

“It is in line with our economic blueprint ZimAsset especially in areas of infrastructure and sanitation,” said Minister Mahofa. City chief engineer Tawanda Gozo said under the MoU, council is expected to make a financial and technical proposal to CAMC for the sewage upgrading project.

He said the $60 million facility is already under utilisation and council is in the process of preparing acquittals.

“We have received the $60 million already and the same company has again asked us to provide them with the technical and financial draft on the sewage upgrading project,” said Gozo.

“After assessing the draft we will then apply for borrowing powers to our parent Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will receive the money on behalf of government and we will borrow from them.”
He said the council has been getting 21 megalitres of clean water pumped from the system and they are looking forward to doubling the capacity after the upgrading.

CAMC spokesperson and engineer Wang Kailong said his company is committed to investing in Zimbabwe.

“We are committed to investing in water and sewage reticulation. We will provide Masvingo council with both financial and technical areas where we will transfer knowledge,” said Wang.

BROKE GOVT FINALLY PAYS PSMAS

Premier Medical Aid Society has received at least $80,9 million from Government to date with the bulk of the money going to its investment arm, Premier Service Medical Investments for the procurement of drugs and working capital.

PSMI owns clinics and pharmacies that have been experiencing shortages of drugs and failing to pay workers’ salaries on time.

In a statement yesterday, PSMAS managing director Mr Henry Mandishona, said of the $80,9 million it received, $75,3 million had gone to PSMI leaving the remainder ($5,6 million) to be shared by other service providers.

He, however, said the society continued to face operational challenges.
“The society continues to operate in a challenging environment characterised by declining business volumes coupled with reduced propensity and capacity to spend. The coming in of the above challenges meant that the society had to review its payment model so as to ensure maximum utility for the scarce resources.”

MAHACHI TO GET HIS GOLDEN HANDSHAKE

Harare town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi is set to get a windfall from his employer following the termination of his contract of employment on three months’ notice was technically superseded by the amendments to the Labour Act, it has been learnt.

The full council was supposed to endorse the decision before President Mugabe signed into law the Labour Act, but it did not sit last week. The Harare Municipal Workers Union claims that the city has set aside $4 million as a golden handshake for the ousted town clerk.

This is according to a letter written by the union to Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, requesting that he intervenes and direct the city to pay workers’ outstanding salaries since it had the money.

The city has, however, dismissed the claims.Yesterday, the full council endorsed the decision  to terminate Dr Mahachi’s contract which was made by the human resources and general purposes committee last week, but said it will be in terms of the applicable law.

At the special council meeting, mayor Bernard Manyenyeni was authorised to negotiate a package with Dr Mahachi’s lawyers Magwaliba and Kwirira and brief the council on the outcome.

Moving the motion human resources and general purposes committee chairperson councillor Wellington Chikombo, said Dr Mahachi had been on forced leave for over a month and it was prudent for the city to terminate his contract so that both parties could move forward.

“We resolved to recommend the termination of contract of employment for the town clerk in terms of the applicable law and that his worship, the mayor, be mandated to engage the town clerk pertaining to the termination of the contract of employment.

Councillor Peter Moyo urged council to negotiate in good faith for the benefit of both parties.
“We do not want to condemn our senior workers to poverty, this has to be a win-win situation,” he said.

Acting mayor Tranos Moyo, said council would deal with the matter professionally for the benefit of the residents. Dr Mahachi demanded a golden handshake from the city and among his 22 demands, he wants the city to give him a mansion in Belvedere and two top of the range vehicles.
According to a letter written by his lawyers to mayor Manyenyeni, Dr Mahachi, who earned more than $27 000 monthly, wanted the city to pay him more than $100 000 for every year he served the city.

He joined the city in 2007. Dr Mahachi is currently on an indefinite forced leave for reportedly stalling the city’s succession plan and rationalisation of executive salaries, among other issues.
His lawyers Magwaliba and Kwirira, said the demands were based on comparative packages paid upon the termination of the contracts of employment of other persons in similar positions occupied by Dr Mahachi. herald

Thursday, 3 September 2015

MAN RAPES FRIEND'S WIFE, OFFERS RABBIT

 FILABUSI man allegedly raped his friend’s HIV-positive wife, resulting in her contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). He then gave her a rabbit to buy her silence, a court heard.
Never Mhlanga, 33, of Nkankezi area is alleged to have forced himself on his friend’s wife to quench his sexual desire before he pleaded with her to conceal the alleged offence after bribing her with the rabbit.

When the woman’s husband came back home he was hungry so he asked his wife to cook the rabbit before going to buy a knife in a bid to attack the alleged rapist, but was dissuaded from doing so by his uncle.

Mhlanga pleaded not guilty to rape charges when he appeared before regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza. He came up with an alibi, claiming he had been in the company of two other men identified as Sibangani Msipha and Gift Ncube.

“When I got to the complainant’s homestead, I stood outside waiting for her to sell me tobacco shavings. She rendered me the service but before I left, she asked if I had caught anything from my hunting. I told her I had caught two rabbits and I gave her one of the rabbits,” Mhlanga said.
He was remanded in custody to today for continuation of trial.

However, the alleged rape victim told the court that when Mhlanga arrived at her homestead, she let him inside the house since he was not a stranger to her. She said Mhlanga was carrying a small axe and his hands were soiled with blood while his shirt also had blood stains.

“My husband was away when he arrived. After I gave Mhlanga the tobacco shavings, I then asked him to pay but he indicated that my husband owed him five rand. I then asked the accused to leave my house as I wanted to sleep but he remained seated and got up some few minutes later,” said the woman.

“He held my hand which was carrying a torch and switched off the torch. He told me to stop behaving like a child saying “ufuna inyawo” (Ndebele slang for he wants sex) since my husband was away.”
She said she tried to resist but got scared that she could be killed as Mhlanga had put the axe under his armpit. “He tore my tights, tripped me to the ground and raped me. He also ejaculated inside me. He then got off and started apologising saying he did not know what had got into him,” she added.

“He then took out a rabbit from the bag he was carrying and gave it to me saying it was for relish and asked me not to tell anyone about the incident before he left.”
The woman who said she was HIV positive, claimed that Mhlanga also infected her with an STI.

The torn skin tights and panties the woman was wearing on the day she was allegedly raped were brought to court as exhibits.

She said she told her husband of her ordeal. Her husband who was hungry asked her to cook the rabbit since they had no other food.

The woman’s husband said at first he bought a knife to stab his friend, but was advised against doing that by his uncle.

“At first I didn’t believe it because Mhlanga was a friend I trusted very much. I was angry that he had the guts to see my wife’s private parts. Later I proceeded to the shops and bought a knife I intended to stab him with, but I was stopped by my uncle who advised me to let the police deal with him,” he said.

Regional prosecutor Johannes Tlou said Mhlanga committed the alleged crime on July 11 this year at around 4AM.

“The accused person grabbed the complainant’s hand and asked to have sexual intercourse with her but she refused. He pushed the complainant to the wall, grabbed the complainant by the neck and lifted his knee and pressed it on the complainant’s stomach,” he said.
“He then started fondling the complainant and he tore the complainant’s tights. He pushed her to the floor and pushed the complainant’s panties aside and had sexual intercourse with her once without her consent.”

The woman and her husband reported the matter to the police leading to Mhlanga’s arrest.

BOY (9) SHOOTS BROTHER

A nine-year-old boy accidentally shot and injured his brother with a pistol in the stomach in Waterfalls last Thursday morning.

The boy got hold of his father’s gun which had been left unsecured in the bedroom. Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the incident saying the victim, aged 10, sustained minor injuries in the mishap.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm a shooting incident committed by a nine-year-old boy on August 27, 2015 in Waterfalls, Harare.

“On the said date at around 1000 hours, the father of the two boys who owns some businesses in Harare left his two sons aged nine and 10 years at his residence,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the two boys entered their father’s bedroom and got hold of an unsecured firearm.

“The younger boy tampered with the firearm and accidentally shot his elder brother in the stomach, who sustained moderate injuries,” she said.

The injured boy was taken to a local hospital for treatment and police are still investigating the case.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba urged members of the public to secure their firearms in the appropriate  gun cabinets and that they were not accessible by children.

This is not the first time that unsecured firearms have been found in wrong hands especially of children. In 2012, two Harare teenagers allegedly ambushed and shot at six cars on separate occasions in one night while wearing camouflage.

Taylor Cameron (19) and his 17-year-old friend were charged with 10 counts of attempted murder after they allegedly hatched a plan in July 2012 to shoot at motorists passing through the intersection of Leopold Takawira Street and Cork Road.

It was alleged that they hid in a ditch and shot at motorists passing through the robot controlled intersection.

MUGABE APPOINTS TWO MORE MINISTERS

President Mugabe yesterday appointed Cde Clifford Sibanda as Minister in Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office while Cde Tabitha Rudo Kanengoni-Malinga becomes Minister in VP Phelekezela Mphoko’s office. The appointments are with immediate effect.


“The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck J M Sibanda, has announced the appointment of Ministers of State in the Offices of the Vice Presidents by His Excellency, the President Cde RG Mugabe, in terms of Section 104, subsection (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20,” said Acting Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Mr Regis Chikowore in a statement last night.

Cde Sibanda is the Member of Parliament for Bubi in Matabeleland North as well as Home Affairs, Defence and Security Services parliament’s portfolio committee chairperson while Cde Kanengoni-Malinga was until her appointment, Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture.

Cde Kanengoni-Malinga is also Member of Parliament for Mazowe Central Constituency.
Both of them were elected as legislators during the July 31, 2013 general elections.

In his brief as chairperson of Home Affairs, Defence and Security Services portfolio committee, Cde Sibanda had been making inquiries on the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison jailbreak early this year, which saw some inmates shot dead while prison warders injured in the ensuing melee.

The committee invited senior prison officials and also conducted site visits at the prison to have an appreciation of the security situation.

Cde Sibanda’s committee had also toured landmine areas in Chiredzi, Masvingo province and Burma Valley Manicaland province to appreciate the extend of the problems in the country.

HRE-BEITBRIDGE HIGHWAY WIDENING BACK ON

The government has floated a tender for the preliminary and engineering design for Harare-Beitbridge road which will pave way for the construction of the highway which has been condemned by most road users.

The rehabilitation, dualisation and widening of the highway had failed to take off as a consortium of local business people under Zimhighways had challenged the floating of the tender in the courts.

The consortium has now withdrawn the litigation.

In a statement, Zimhighways Consortium states that they have agreed with the government through the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that they will be able to participate in the next tender for the upgrading and dualisation of the highway.

In a statement, the Coach and Bus Operators Association told its members that the construction of the road will be split into four segments namely: the 120 km stretch between Harare and Chivhu, the 147 km distance between Chivhu and Masvingo, Masvingo to Rutenga’s 149 km and 135 km from Rutenga to Beitbridge.

Efforts to get official communication from the government proved fruitless as the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Obert Mpofu referred all questions to the Permanent Secretary, Mr Munesushe Munodawafa, whose mobile phone went unanswered.


NKOMO WAS A SELL-OUT, SAYS MNANGAGWA

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has sensationally claimed the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo lost the 1980 general elections to Zanu PF leader, then Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe because he represented interests of the white minority.

Mnangagwa, in a recent interview with the New African magazine, claimed the former late Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith confided to him and Mugabe that Nkomo and Zanu founder, Ndabaningi Sithole lost the elections because they did not represent the interests of the black majority.

Nkomo and Sithole participated in the elections under PF Zapu and Zanu Ndonga tickets respectively and lost to Mugabe, in elections where they alleged electoral fraud.

Mnangagwa told the New African magazine that Smith, in a meeting held in Mount Pleasant after the elections, said Mugabe won the polls because he was a principled leader compared to the two.

“In 1980, just after the elections in Zimbabwe, but before Mugabe, who was PM-elect was inaugurated, we were at a place in Mount Pleasant in Harare when Mugabe said he wanted to talk to Ian Smith, the outgoing PM and the generals. I was then Mugabe’s personal assistant and head of security . . . Once inside the room, Smith said: “Mr Mugabe, before you speak, I want to say something.” Mugabe said: “Ok, go on.” Then Smith said: “Mr Mugabe do you know why you won this election?” Mugabe said: “Why?’” Mnangagwa told the New African magazine.

He added: “Smith said: ‘Me, as Ian Smith, I represent white interests and I have been championing white interests, but I have been able to call other African leaders to discuss issues with them. People like (the late James) Chikerema, Joshua Nkomo, Ndabaningi Sithole, Chief Chirau of Zvimba and others.”

“All these lost elections because the African people of this country have realised that these leaders do not only stand for the interests of the black people, they can also be swayed by me to represent white interests. But you have not met me. You have refused to meet me. So the people know that you are the only one who represents their interests. So Mr Mugabe, you should be grateful to me for not having met you.”

Mnangagwa was responding to a question on what he thought had kept Mugabe in power since 1980.

The VP added: “. . . You see, I am telling you this story to say that President Mugabe has survived because he is a principled leader. He makes sure, eh, champions the interests of the people.

“So his people, the majority in this country, stand with him in good and bad times, and he does not desert his people. This is why he has survived. That is the secret.”

Following his claim that Nkomo, one of the founders of the nationalist movement, represented white interests, Mnangagwa is unlikely to win any friends in the south western parts of the country, where his support is shaky due to his alleged role in the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s, which claimed an estimated 20 000 lives.

Mnangagwa’s claims were likely to be met with scepticism, as Nkomo was rewarded with the nickname, Father Zimbabwe for his role in the country’s fight for independence.

In 1978, Nkomo met with Smith after a meeting of Frontline States, where he demanded a government to the liking of the Patriotic Front — Zanu and Zapu — and an end to the internal settlement and that Mugabe would have to be part of any agreement, according to a report from The Blade, an American newspaper.

Since his appointment as Vice-President, Mnangagwa has claimed Zapu leaders wanted him killed, an accusation the revived party’s leader, Dumiso Dabengwa has strenuously denied.

 

 

DANGOTE : ZIM MUST OPEN UP

Billionaire and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, says Zimbabwe must open up to foreign investment by relaxing its stringent visa conditions and improve on the ease of doing business.

Dangote — with a net worth of $17,2 billion according to Forbes Magazine — told Tourism minister Walter Mzembi on Monday that his visit to Zimbabwe was only made possible by the ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“My last call to... Mzembi is that he works at investing in an open airs system so that investors can enter into the country freely,” he said.

Mzembi concurred with Dangote and said there was need for the country to adopt an open-boarders policy aimed at embracing investors from emerging economies such as Angola, Nigeria, Egypt, India and South Africa.

“Nigeria is in category C and its citizens are required to apply for visas in their country before they come here. This means we are keeping at bay more than

17 000 millionaires in Nigeria who are willing to invest here with our visa conditions,” he said.

Information gathered by businessdaily in the past four weeks indicates that while Zimbabwe is reviewing its visa regime, only a few and little-known countries such as French Polynesia and Estonia would be upgraded to category B — which does not require visas — while economic powerhouses such as India and Nigeria are excluded.

Dangote, who met President Robert Mugabe and several government ministers during his visit to Zimbabwe, expressed interest to invest in the country that has been in economic decline for more than a decade.

“We had a very, very good meeting with the president and I told him that we... decided to invest in three areas, one is power, second one is cement and third one is coal,” he said.

“...so we are here and we will invest,” he said.

The Nigerian billionaire, who is likely to spend close to $400 million on the cement plant — to produce a million-and-a-half tonnes of cement a year, making it the biggest in the country — also raised a red flag over Zimbabwe’s ease of doing business environment.

“You know, there are so many permits and whatever, but the government promised to accelerate the process — and as soon as we get things right, we will move,” he said.

Dangote, whose investment group last month opened a cement plant in Ndola, Zambia to add to his other plants in South Africa, Senegal, Ethiopia, Congo Republic, Gabon and Tanzania, could not divulge when his planned investments in Zimbabwe could take off due to the country’s bureaucracy and red-tape.

“The time frame for the investment is dependent on getting all the documentation, for instance the mining licences, but if we get everything this year, we will start construction by the first quarter next year. We will move very fast, but that all depends on the government,” he said.

Dangote’s call comes at a time when Zimbabwe is under pressure to aggressively improve the overall business environment and investment climate to attract meaningful levels of investment.

Zimbabwe is 171 out of 189 countries on the World Bank’s 2014 ease of doing business index, a situation attributed to negative perceptions of the country’s policies such as its land redistribution drive as well as the current crusade to localise control of all foreign-owned enterprises.

Economic analysts have also singled out policy inconsistencies as one of the reasons behind low foreign direct investment inflows into the country.

I'M TOO OLD, SAYS MSIPA AS HE QUITS

Cephas Msipa has announced he is stepping down as patron of the Zimbabwe Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Association (Zeppdra) saying he no longer had the mental or physical strength to carry out the job.

The retired and hugely-respected Zanu PF elder, 84, said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months and has had to recognise his incapacity to adequately fulfil the role entrusted to him as patron of Zeppdra, which represents over 15 000 liberation war collaborators.

In a letter to War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, Msipa said he had been overwhelmed by the challenges facing the association, currently divided between two bitterly-opposed rival camps.

He leaves the office vacant until a successor is chosen.

“I hope you are aware that I have been patron of Zeppdra since its inception. There are a number of problems which you may have to look at as you can see from the attached letter,” Msipa said in his letter to Mutsvangwa.

The long-serving ex-Zanu PF politburo member complained that the warring association’s leadership, pointedly former chairman Victor Kuretu, did not respect him.

Kuretu and his deposed executive is locked in a leadership wrangle with a rival group led by interim secretary-general Percy Kuzvinzwa.

“Cde Kuretu ignored my recommendation under point seven of my letter and went ahead to hold elections which were hurriedly done after 12 years,” Msipa complained.

“Despite your busy schedule, I recommend that you meet the two groups and solve these problems besetting Zeppdra. As patron, I rely on moral suasion which is not enough. In any case, I am too old to be running around to solve these problems.”

The power struggles in Zeppdra can be traced back to 2013 after the association passed a vote of no confidence on the Kuretu-led executive amid allegations of incompetence, corruption and insubordination.

An ad hoc committee led by Francis Kunaka was set up to run the affairs of the association for three months pending congress.

The no confidence vote was passed in the presence Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, who was national chairman at the time.

The December 1, 2013 no confidence vote, according to minutes seen by the Daily News, was unanimously endorsed by over 200 members drawn from across the country.

The Kuzvinzwa interim executive has also written to Mutsvangwa discrediting Kuretu and his is executive as incompetent and for abusing the association’s Progressive Insurance funeral policy fund.

“Zeppdra’s position is that we want congress as soon as yesterday but first and foremost, we want you to appoint an independent board to run the association until the congress is held,” Kuzvinzwa wrote on August 25, 2015.

He said Zeppdra had not held a congress, audited its books, while the trust fund and the Insurance fund had not been audited since 2009. daily news

 

MUGABE IN PANIC MODE

Faced with the twin threats of a collapsing economy and mass unrests, President Robert Mugabe is being forced by the dire economic situation in the country to embark on a cocktail of reforms of Zimbabwe’s “medieval” investment terrain, in a desperate bid to stimulate both local and foreign direct investment.

This comes as economists have warned that the country has hit the depths of humanitarian and economic despair that were last experienced in 2008, when Zimbabwe’s seemingly unending political crisis precipitated an economic meltdown of monumental proportions which culminated in the death of the Zimbabwe dollar.

At the same time, and as the country’s economy continues to implode — resulting in rising poverty levels, as well as heightened company closures and job redundancies — more and more observers are predicting the imminent explosion of social unrest and debilitating mass actions, with the latest think tank to envisage such doom and gloom being NKC African Economics (NKC) — a unit of the world famous Oxford Economics of the UK.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said there was no doubt that the changes to the country’s investment terrain, that Mugabe and his Zanu PF government were embarking upon, had been forced on Harare by the deteriorating economic situation in the country -- particularly as the nonagenarian had once vowed that no one would force him to amend or tweak laws such as those relating to indigenisation.

They said it was in this light that the minister of youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Christopher Mushowe, had recently said that the laws compelling investors to cede 51 percent of their investments to locals would now only be mandatory in the mining sector.

Mushowe said investors in other sectors would be able to negotiate with the government regarding what proportion of their businesses they could sell to locals.

“The only area where we do not entertain negotiations is mining, because as indigenous Zimbabweans, our contribution is the (mineral) resource. In other sectors, proposals are considered case by case. We are saying to the investors, if you come, your investment is safe, but we encourage you to partner locals,” he said.

This is a major climb-down from what Mugabe asserted in August 2013, when he vowed to carry the “final phase of the liberation struggle” and “final phase of total independence through the total indigenisation of the economy”.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that our objective of total indigenisation, empowerment, development and employment is realised,” Mugabe said then.

And on Monday, when Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, announced plans to invest in Zimbabwe’s power and mining sectors, and to construct a 1,5 million tonne per annum cement grinding plant in the country, those stringent conditions were finally and truly put on the back burner.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that apart from working to relax the country’s stringent visa requirements, authorities also promised Dangote that they would “revise all the other laws” that had long been castigated as hostile to foreign investment.

“While many people may not realise this, the recently passed Labour Amendment Bill was another carefully-considered strategy by the government to clear some of the hurdles that are often cited by investors as reasons they will not bring their money to Zimbabwe,” one insider said.

Economist Godfrey Kanyedze concurred yesterday, saying the labour amendments were “the way to go”.

“We need to be as inclusive as possible on the labour laws, and the softening stance on the Indigenisation Act is equally welcome because the previous stance did not help matters,” he said.

Asked if investors were now likely to stampede to Zimbabwe, Kanyedze warned that “capital is a coward. It waits until it realises that you will walk the talk”.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti said Mugabe and his government could not be trusted to keep their word.

“It doesn’t matter what Zanu PF tries to do, they are not capable of executing anything. Nobody trusts them and Zimbabwe must jettison them and start afresh,” he said.

A fortnight ago during his uncharacteristically short State-of-the-Nation Address, Mugabe unveiled a 10-point plan, which he hoped would unlock the potential of small to medium enterprises in the country, promote joint ventures and public-private partnerships, and attract investment.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is also currently in the country to review the second phase of Zimbabwe’s Staff Monitored Programme (SMP), which could see a resumption of aid from the Bretton Woods Institution to the country, which has arrears amounting to $10 billion.

But Biti said sarcastically that no amount of “mascara” could hoodwink investors into pouring their money in Zimbabwe.

“The so-called 10-point plans are just ruses meant to hoodwink the IMF. This is drama for the IMF to see. If they are really serious, why not repeal the Indigenisation Act completely,” Biti said.

The former Finance minister, whose proposals for a staff audit of the country’s bloated civil service were stymied by Zanu PF, said the ruling party should first respect property rights, stop land invasions and bring back Itai Dzamara before putting out its disingenuous plans.

“They are spending money as if it grows on trees. The fact is, you eat what you kill. They should bring order in the diamond sector and arrest the corrupt ministers. As long as we have morons in government then we are doomed. These people have redefined the word failure,” Biti said.

Analysts have said contrary to the government’s propaganda, the Zimbabwe economy was “definitely dying”, as manifested by worsening liquidity challenges, company closures and job losses.

Speaking in recent interviews with the Daily News’ sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday, the analysts — who laid the blame squarely on Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF for the country’s myriad problems — also lamented the fact that the nonagenarian appeared “completely clueless” about finding solutions to the problems.

The World Bank has said Zimbabwe’s economy will at best grow by a miserly 1 percent this year, the country’s lowest growth forecast since dollarisation, although many economists say this is way too optimistic and that the economy is in fact already in recession.

Economists also say Zimbabwe cannot afford a further contraction of the economy as the country is already grappling with high unemployment, estimated at up to 95 percent — which has forced many, including university graduates, to resort to street vending for a living.

Zimbabwe is currently without balance of payment support from multilateral and bilateral financial institutions and donors due to huge debt arrears and a dismal repayment record. daily news