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.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

MALEMA FRAUD CASE THROWN OUT

A South African judge struck the corruption case against fiery opposition politician Julius Malema off the roll on Tuesday, saying that the firebrand leader had waited too long for the trial.

Malema was charged with money laundering, racketeering and corruption related to a government contract worth 52 million rand ($4 million) awarded by a provincial department to a company in which he held a stake through his family trust.

The charges against Malema were first brought by prosecutors in September, 2012.
Judge George Mothle stressed that the court had four ways to proceed before it.

The State requested a postponement to August 24 to allow accused number 5, Kagisho Dichabe, to recover from illness.

Alternatively, the State wanted to proceed with the trial despite Dichabe's absence.

Judge George Mothle ruled that neither of those were options were possible. The trial had already been delayed since 2012, while also continuing trial with one of the accused absent would be inconsistent with the law.

The court could have granted that the trials be separated, but the State had not applied to separate the trials, and therefore could not rule on that.

It's only option therefore, Mothle ruled, was to strike the matter off the roll.

The State can lay charges again at a later date.

“I am free to go and represent my people. I am ready if they [the State] wants to reinstate charges," said Julius Malema outside the High Court i

NUN'S NUDE PHOTO SHAME : BANK TELLER IN COURT

Regina Mundi High School headmistress, Sister Concilia Jangara’s nude pictures saga has sucked in a CABS bank teller who stands accused of conniving with three fake B-Metro reporters to extort more than $1,200 from the Roman Catholic nun.

Tsitsi Kahari, 41, of Labsur Farm in Marondera, and her accomplices, Mike Chimutanda, 41, of Acacia Grove, also in Marondera, Tenias Mapfune and Showan Ndlovu whose addresses and ages were not given, allegedly threatened to publish the nun’s nude pictures unless she paid them $1,208.
Mapfune and Ndlovu are on the run.
Chimutanda, however, attempted to clear the two in the extortion case when he told the court that he doesn’t know them.
Kahari, a CABS bank-teller, appeared before provincial magistrate, Musaiwona Shotgame, facing one count of extortion.
She was not asked to plead and was remanded out of custody on $100 bail to August 14.
Prosecuting, Bonwell Balamanja told the court that on July 9 this year at Regina Mundi High School in Gweru, Kahari connived with her accomplices Chimutanda, Mapfune and Ndlovu to extort $1,208 from Jangara, the headmistress of Regina Mundi Girls High School in Gweru.

Chimutanda has already made an initial appearance at the same court facing a similar charge. The court heard that Chimutanda posed as a B-Metro reporter and had in his possession, Jangara’s nude photos.

It was not said in court how Chimutanda got hold of the nude pictures. “Chimutanda told Jangara that he could assist in stopping the publication of her nude photos if she paid them $1,208, 00 which Jangara paid into Kahari’s CABS account,” said Balamanja.
Kahari then facilitated the withdrawal of the money by Chimutanda by giving him her bank card together with the pin number, the court heard.

Balamanja told the court that Chimutanda proceeded to CABS Marondera branch ATM and withdrew the money. “Kahari, Chimutanda and their accomplices who are still at large, allegedly shared the money among themselves,” said Balamanja.

Further investigations by the police revealed that Kahari’s younger sister had introduced Chimutanda to her. The investigations also revealed that there were at least four transactions that were made in withdrawing the money.

Jangara who later discovered that she had been duped, reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of Chimutanda and Kahari. chronicle

FOREIGNERS NOW CONTROL GOVT ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE, SAYS MINISTER

INFORMATION and Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira yesterday disclosed that government’s economic intelligence data was being handled by a foreign-controlled company, EOH Holdings, an arrangement he described as a security risk.

He said EOH, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company, had acquired 49% shares from local firm Twenty Third Century Systems and its subsidiaries. The system allows businesses to track customer and business interactions and data management programmes.

Mandiwanzira made the remarks while addressing participants at an e-government policy drafting workshop in Nyanga.

“We are concerned that this company which is a major implementer of SAP (systems applications products) projects for government is now foreign-owned. It’s owned by EOH Holdings which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange,” Mandiwanzira said.

Israeli IT expert Asher Bohbot is the single largest major shareholder in EOH.

“Government concern is on the fact that they have been major implementers of government projects. The chances, if anyone intends to be funny, are that it potentially exposes strategic government information to foreigners,” he said.

“It will be easy for anyone to gather economic intelligence of this country. It allows anyone to have economic intelligence on the country, for example, all values of imports and exports carried,” he said.

Some of Zimbabwe’s institutions linked to the system include Finance and Local Government ministries, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, power utility Zesa, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, National Railways of Zimbabwe and other parastatals.

Mandiwanzira said there was need for government to review its options in order to mitigate the potential risk of information that is strategic getting into “undesirable hands”.

“We are not suggesting that through the sale by Twenty Third Century our fears will come true, but our fear is now higher,” he said.

“From a business point of view, the sale of 49% of EOH is an excellent commercial transaction, but from where we sit as government, it’s a terrible deal,” he said.

He said government would come up with a strategy to mitigate the fears.

BONYONGWE GETS NEW CONTRACT

President Robert Mugabe has extended Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) director-general Happyton Bonyongwe’s contract by another year, NewsDay has learnt.

This comes amid reports that Bonyongwe was facing an imminent ouster over his alleged links to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Sources said Bonyongwe, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and Prisons Commissioner-General Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi, were targeted for ousting as a victorious Zanu PF faction suspected them of being Mujuru allies.

Although State Security minister Kembo Mohadi refused to comment on the issue, government sources said Bonyongwe had his contract extended by a year, meaning Mugabe still wants him to be the chief spy.

“I am sorry I have no comment on that, what’s your interest?” Mohadi said before switching off his mobile phone.

In the clearest sign that some top Zanu PF and security agents were against the CIO head, First Lady Grace Mugabe last November singled out Bonyongwe while she was addressing cross-border traders at her Mazowe orphanage prior to the ruling party’s congress. Disputed WikiLeaks diplomatic cables a few years ago also linked Bonyongwe to the Mujuru camp.

Most of the service chiefs had their contracts unilaterally extended for a two-year period in 2012 during the era of the inclusive government.

Chihuri’s contract has been extended a record 14 times since he was first appointed as police boss in 1994 after taking over in 1993 as acting police chief.

His first contract expired in 1997.

CHIHURI : WE BLOCKED MDC FROM SEIZING POWER

POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has all, but confirmed that State security agents played a critical role in stopping the opposition MDCs from dislodging the ruling Zanu PF party from power and brutally thwarted opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s’ “regime change agenda” since 1999.

Speaking at his graduation ceremony at the Mt Carmel Institute of Business Intelligence in Harare where he was conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree on Saturday, Chihuri said the details of police’s brutal purge on opposition activists formed part of his thesis titled Policing in Zimbabwe, Pre-Colonial, Colonial and Post-Independent Zimbabwe.

He accused the main opposition MDC-T of trying to use violence to unseat Zanu PF, but said police managed to keep it “at its minimum.”

“The Western-funded opposition parties wanted to cause chaos in the country and this needed a ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) that was firm and the force kept violence at its minimum,” Chihuri said.

He said his thesis had 40 chapters focusing on the role of the police in the pre- and post-independence era including his era at the helm of the ZRP.

“There was an illegal regime change agenda and policing under the inclusive government was neither easy,” Chihuri said without elaborating.

Chihuri blasted the “illegal sanctions by the European Union and United States after government undertook the land reform programme”, saying this compromised the operations of the force.

Opposition parties and civic society groups have often accused police of being partisan and biased towards Zanu PF.

Chihuri was one of the three graduands who were conferred with a PhD. The other two are Timothy Chivinge and Samuel Makore.

Forty-five other students graduated with diplomas in Business Intelligence among them Assistant Commissioners Garikai Masocha, Panganayi Sande, Matembo Nyirenda and Elliot Muswita.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Abigail Moyo and several members of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Air Force of Zimbabwe and others from the corporate world also graduated at the same ceremony.

Rector of the institute Professor Mufaro Gunduza said the country needed business intelligence for the economy to tick. newsday

Monday, 3 August 2015

ROBBERS POUNCE ON TWO SERVICE STATIONS, STEAL $30K

EIGHT armed robbers pounced on two service stations in Chinhoyi and stole money and goods worth nearly $30 000. The incident occurred last Friday at around 1:45am.

The robbers were driving a Toyota Harrier and were armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a pistol when they pounced on a guard manning the PetroTrade Service Station.

One of them struck the guard once with a metal bar before tying his hands with tape and also taped his mouth to prevent him from making noise. They broke into the service station’s convenience store and gained entry into the manager’s office. The robbers stole a computer, a Chubb safe containing $1 280 and PetroTrade fuel coupons and motor oil stock all valued at $28 600 before hot wiring a Nissan Vannette truck parked outside.

The robbers loaded the loot and left in the two vehicles. After the robbery, six of the robbers allegedly proceeded to Trek Petroleum Service station in the same town in the stolen Nissan Vannette truck.

They drove to the pump and asked the attendant to fill their truck with 20 litres of petrol.
As the attendant was about to start refuelling, one of the robbers jumped out of the truck and grabbed him from the back demanding all the money he had.

Others joined in and they searched him and took away $505 from his pockets while two others went to the office and ordered the attendant to surrender all the cash.

They took away $354 from his pockets, but panicked after seeing another truck coming to refuel.
They fired a shot in the air and drove off at high speed. Police investigations are in progress.

CON : LIFE IN JAIL IS TORTURE

A jailbird condemned to life imprisonment over 20 years ago has approached the Constitutional Court contesting the punishment on the grounds that it is torture, inhuman and degrading treatment which violates the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Obedia Makoni was given a life sentence in April 1995 for murdering his girlfriend after finding her being intimate with another man.

Through his lawyer, Mr Tendai Biti, Makoni is now seeking an order declaring the life sentence without judicial review or parole unconstitutional.

He wants the court to nullify sections 112 and 115 of the Prisons Act (Chapter 7:11), which he argues contravene sections 51 and 53 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Section 51 provides that every person is entitled to inherent dignity in their private and public lives and the right to have that dignity respected and protected, while Section 53 provides for freedom from torture, cruel and inhuman treatment.

The two sections under the Prisons Act, Makoni argues, are unconstitutional because they deny the right of parole to prisoners and were no longer justified in an open democratic society as envisaged by the Constitution.

“I do not question the right of State to impose life sentence in respect of serious offences,” said Makoni. “It is my respectful contention that imposition of a life sentence that literally means life that is not subject to judicial review or parole amounts to physical, psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It is therefore unconstitutional.”

Makoni argues that Zimbabwe is a member of the international community and was bound by several conventions and instruments that deal with rights of prisoners.
“It should be bound by a growing amount of jurisprudence on the rights of prisoners,” said Makoni.
“It is my contention that life imprisonment cannot literally mean life. The denial of parole rights to prisoners serving life imprisonment is unconstitutional.”

In the application, Makoni contends that he had been a good and exemplary prisoner who had served 20 years. “I have paid my dues to the society and contend that subjecting me to a further day in prison amounts to cruel and degrading punishment.”

Makoni further argues that life imprisonment robs a prisoner of hope.
“My dignity, my expectations have been crushed,” he said. “And to think that only death will set me free from the walls of Chikurubi is surely unacceptable.”

Makoni has now been granted the position of a senior “prison officer”.
He now performs various duties like the summoning of prisoners with visitors, supervising the preparation of prison meals, hygiene, among others.

His prison garb has the highest rank which can be granted to any prisoner on good behaviour.
Makoni claims in his papers that he is free to roam around Chikurubi without supervision and prison officials have confidence in him.

“Yet despite this good behaviour, I have absolutely no hope of being granted any amnesty or release,” he argues.

The Commissioner of Prisons and Correctional Service, Retired Major General Paradzayi Zimondi and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are cited as respondents in the constitutional application.
They are yet to file their responses to the application, which was filed in the Constitutional Court recently. herald


PROVE YOU ARE NOT A GHOST WORKER

Government says the onus is on the 3 000 civil servants struck off the payroll last month to prove they are bona fide workers to have their salaries reinstated.
This comes amid reports that some civil servants were drawing salaries without setting foot at their workstations, while several schools, especially in rural areas, were manned by two headmasters and close way before official dates.

Some people who left the civil service years ago are still drawing salaries, while some go on leave without signing any documents. Government ceased July salaries for the 3 000 civil servants because they were not present at their work stations when it conducted a head-count in March.

The physical count, ordered by Cabinet, is expected to weed out ghost workers.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday said there would be no problems for those who would prove their status.

“It is no longer business as usual because we want efficiency and discipline in the system,” Minister Mupfumira — who is also the Acting Minister for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services — said.

“We are not retrenching or firing anyone from the service, but it is just cessation of salaries because we have to pay someone for work done.

“We cannot pre-empt the audit because since it was ordered by Cabinet, there are steps which should be followed. The 3 000 workers are not only teachers, but include other civil servants who were not present when the head-count was done.

“Those affected will have their salaries reinstated after proving that they exist in the system.”
Minister Mupfumira said the civil service audit revealed that some civil servants were getting salaries, yet they were employed elsewhere.

“It is clear fraud and perpetrators should be dealt with. We have been paying people who have not been going to work and some of them are double-dipping and there is no one supervising them.”

In one of the cases traced by Government, a person based in Australia is still drawing salary from the Government, yet he was not offering any services here.

It is understood that over 63 schools had two headmasters each, while other schools in Murehwa, Mhondoro and Chimanimani closed days before the official closing dates. Both headmasters were drawing allowances that come with the post.

“Audit teams were only told by villagers that the schools had closed well before the official dates and this means Government will be paying teachers who are not providing full service delivery and this should stop,” Minister Mupfumira said.

She said during the civil service audit, it was discovered that some people were on leave without signing the requisite forms. Minister Mupfumira said Government would punish heads of departments who assisted in those fraudulent activities.

“We are not saying people should not go on leave, but just like any other business operations there are rules which should be followed,” she said.

“You go to a station and you are told someone is on leave and you ask for papers, there is nothing. You even check with our pay point, the Salary Services Bureau, and they do not have any paper to support that and this means someone is swindling Government.”

If one goes away without filling leave forms, he or she creates a “committed expenditure” to Government and gets paid cash in lieu of leave when he or she retires.

Minister Mupfumira said some bona fide workers were coming forward through the respective structures and their salaries would be reinstated.
“We did the audit in March and the instruction was that if you were not at the work station you should go to the district offices with the relevant documents,” she said.

“Some did so between April, May and June and some never bothered to do so until the Civil Service Commission took a decision to cease their salaries. Real workers are coming forward.”
Government called for the audit as more than 80 percent of the revenue collected is going towards salaries, starving other sectors like infrastructure development.

In his 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Government would cut the civil service wage bill to 40 percent. herald

MNANGAGWA : KICKBACKS DESTROYING ZIM

CORRUPTION is at the centre of price distortions and needs to be dealt with if the country is to realise effective economic development, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

Speaking at an Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSA) annual dinner on Friday, VP Mnangagwa challenged the business sector to adhere to strict corporate governance principles.

He said the problem of kickbacks and bribe-taking was rampant in the private and public sectors and should be urgently dealt with.

“The prevalence of bribe-taking, offering kickbacks and favouritism must be eliminated in all our business deals both in Government and the private sector as it is costing us a lot in terms of overpriced goods and services,” said VP Mnangagwa.

“If we, as a nation, do not address issues of country risk both from a socio-political aspect at a macro level, investors as we know them are risk averse and if we are to attract responsible capital then we should reduce the risk associated with the way we do business.”

VP Mnangagwa said it was important to create a conducive environment to attract Foreign Direct Investment. He said, the economy could have performed better if good corporate governance enforcement mechanisms were in place.

“As we aspire to resuscitate our economy, good corporate governance is a prerequisite which should be embraced as an essential element of doing business,” he said. “It is not beneficial for individual companies, but is essential for enhancing the stability and competitiveness of our economy.

“This is so because good corporate governance serves to attract and safeguard investment for the realisation of national objectives which in our case are currently identified through the Zim-Asset objectives.”

VP Mnangagwa said poor corporate governance cost the country huge sums of money through the salarygate scandal by senior managers in state enterprises and parastatals. The scandal was unearthed last year.

He said several financial institutions were collapsing, while ordinary people were failing to get their salaries on time and in some cases losing their jobs.

VP Mnangagwa said he was optimistic of a change in behaviour following the launch of the National Code on Corporate Governance. The president of ICSA, Mr Lovemore Kadenge said the National Code is likely to effect behaviour change in parastatals as the organisation was recently awarded the green light to have an oversight on parastatal performance in terms of adherence to good corporate governance.herald

HARARE BANS WEEKEND STREET VENDING

Harare City Council has, with immediate effect, banned weekend street vending in the Central Business District following an outcry by motorists and the public.
The city’s principal communications officer Mr Michael Chideme confirmed the development in an interview with The Herald yesterday.

He said the ban was part of a cocktail of measures aimed at bringing back sanity in the city.
“Harare City Council has scrapped off on-street weekend vending along Park Lane, Rezende and Park Street to allow other users to access the roads,” he said.

The streets were a hive of activity on weekends as vendors sold wares ranging from second-hand clothes to fruits.

“The decision follows widespread concerns by motorists, business operators and weekend shoppers who have been complaining over failure to access businesses, offices and other services along these roads,” added Mr Chideme.

He said council had provided enough space for vendors outside the city centre from which to operate.
Mr Chideme urged informal traders to stick to designated trading sites to avoid unnecessary clashes with council. Most of the on-street weekend traders sold second-hand imported clothes and shoes.
Government has since banned the importation of second-hand clothing.

Last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the ban sought to reduce competition between imports and local products, a factor which had adversely affected the local industry.

BROKE GOVT STRUGGLES TO PAY PENSIONERS

Government has moved and staggered pay dates for all pensioners for this month from last Thursday (July 30 2015) to August 7 and 13. In a statement yesterday, Public Service Commission Secretary Mrs Pretty Sunguro said, “The Public Service Commission wishes to advise that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has staggered pensioners’ pay dates as from the 7th to 13th of August.”
“All war veterans, war veterans’ spouses and children’s’ pension, ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees’ spouse and children’s pension and national heroes’ spouses and children’s pension will be paid on Friday, August 7.”

Mrs Sunguro stated that the rest of the pensioners will be paid on Thursday, August 13.
She said any inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.

Pensioners usually receive their monthly salaries around the 28th of each month and have been recently pushed between the 5th and 10th of the month.

HRE KOMBI CRASH KILLS FOUR

A commuter omnibus plying the Dzivarasekwa/CBD route this morning rammed into the trailer of a haulage truck at the intersection of Tynwald and Bulawayo Road next to Mr Maplanka.

The accident left 4 passengers dead with 16 injured 5 of whom are in a serious condition.

THREE FIGHT FOR HARARE TOP JOB

Jostling for the Harare Town Clerk position has begun with three candidates already positioning themselves for the top post that will be vacated by Dr Tendai Mahachi whose contract expires end of this year.

The three, Mrs Josephine Ncube, Dr Prosper Chonzi and Dr Cainos Chingombe are already serving within council departments.

Mrs Ncube is currently the Acting Town Clerk and Director Corporate Services and Housing Department, while Dr Chonzi is the City Health Director.

Dr Chingombe is the Director of Human Capital and Public Safety.

Dr Tendai Mahachi was placed on forced leave by council to pave way for investigations into the alleged paying of hefty allowances to council executives, among other issues.

He is also being accused of lying about his age and refusal to disclose his salary.

Dr Mahachi’s contract is expiring on the 31st of December and according to the Harare City Council’s Human Resources Committee Chairperson, Councillor Wellington Chikombo, Dr Mahachi’s chances of returning to his job are slim.



MALEMA : I WANT MY DAY IN COURT

Embattled EFF party leader Julius Malema says he has been longing for his day in court, and is confident he will win his trial in Polokwane, where he faces charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering among others.

Addressing members of his party outside the High Court in Polokwane where his case had just been postponed, Malema challenged the National Prosecuting Authority to allow his trial to start on Tuesday. 

"Let me die for my sins... Let me be persecuted for my sins," Malema said.

"Let me have my day in court. Let me speak for myself. Let my side of the story be heard... I'm not scared."

His trial was postponed after one of the accused, Kagisho Dichabe, was reported to be ill and be in hospital.

Dichabe's lawyer handed a medical certificate to the court. Malema however, took a swipe at the NPA, accusing it of taking direction from politicians. 

He challenged the NPA to be neutral and allow for him to be tried separately from the ailing Dichabe. 

"The NPA has been trying to get postponements and they are now using the sickness of my co-accused," said Malema. 

"I do not want any postponement," he said.

Malema said his conscience was clear. He claimed to have never stolen from anyone, adding that he had never even "stolen a pen at school". 

Scores of EFF members held a night vigil in Polokwane on Sunday night. They gathered close to the court before the proceedings started, singing and dancing and demanding that their leader be cleared of any wrongdoing. 

Malema, thanked them for their support but ordered them to go back to work on Tuesday.

"Let Julius Malema take it from here," Malema said. "All of you, do not worry about me," he said, emphasising that this was his battle to fight and not that of the party as a whole. 

Addressing EFF members who had come to court to support him, Malema said they could not abandon their parliamentary duties for his sake. 

"You cannot abandon the mandate of 1.1 million for one person," he said. "I am an accused and I was accused long before the EFF [was formed]," Malema said. 

"I say don't come tomorrow, not because I don't appreciate your support, but because I know many of you go through pain to get here," he said. 

He called on continued support through prayer.  He thanked his family and friends for their support, making special mention of his wife. 

"You got married to a man who is in trouble," Malema said with a chuckle.He said he is confident that he will come out victorious in the trial. 

"But rest assured, we will never lose. We will win this battle," he said. 

Malema and his co-accused, On-Point Engineering directors Kagisho Dichabe and Lesiba Gwangwa are facing charges of racketeering, fraud, corruption and money-laundering.

According to court papers, Malema allegedly had business ties with Gwangwa. Malema's Ratanang Family Trust is an indirect shareholder in On-Point Engineering.

The State alleges that Malema and his co-accused misrepresented themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52m contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering.

It was alleged that Malema used some of the money to buy a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.

All three are out on bail.

 

MUTASA ON FAMILY : I HAVE LOADS OF KIDS

HARARE - Daily News Chief Writer Fungi Kwaramba interviewed Former State Security minister Didymus Mutasa about his health, family and regrets at 80 years. Below are the excerpts of the interview.

Q: Cde Mutasa congratulations on your 80th birthday, isn’t it now time for you to retire from politics?

A: Thank you very much. No I don’t think I should retire from anything, I should actually take more responsibilities now more than ever before.

I feel much wiser and quite interestingly concerned about our people’s welfare and any other issues that the country should be concerned about.

I feel for instance that we should be thinking about how our suffering people are going to get to next year when things are this bad.

Q: I see you are spotting a beard these days, why?

A: I am going back to my youth days except that it is whiter while at that time it was nice and black. But I feel this white beard is not bad.

Q: Do you have siblings?

A: No they all passed away and I am left alone, I look after a lot of people including my sisters’ children.

Q: How many children do you have?

A: (muses) I have married quite a number of times and I have quite a number of children. My first wife gave me three children and I think those are the best known. Then I married my present wife Gertrude, we have two children together. I also have Sabina with whom I have one child and Sarudzai with whom I have three boys including the last one who is four years old.

Q: Do you think things should have been done differently after Independence?

A: I am looking back at our constitution. I liked the constitution we had at independence when we had a titular president and a prime minister.

Looking at the present chaos, with our two houses we should have made the Upper House the house of chiefs and let them use that house to discuss issues of concern to the country and they would choose one of their own as President of the country. We missed out on that.

Q: What is your favourite food?

A: I have none. I have left food issues to my wives. They cook what they want and I eat whatever they cook.

Q: What about music?

A: Again I have none really that I feel special about, but there was music that was played by Jim Reeves, he is my favourite musician but you don’t find that music anymore.

Q: They were rumours that you had collapsed and died, do you suffer from any ailment?

A: I am still fit as you can see. People say I have collapsed and I am dead but since I came back from India with my wife my health is good. I can run as fast as my four-year-old boy.

Q: You have friends buried at the Heroes Acre are you attending Heroes day this year?

A: Unfortunately no, I didn’t go to Independence Day celebrations because I don’t feel I have any friends within the current administration who I can mark the day with, if I want I can have my own celebrations with Mai (Joice) Mujuru, Rugare Gumbo, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and the best place will be in private. I can’t bear a day with fake people.

Q: Are you worried about not being buried at the Heroes Acre?

A: I don’t mind. I have been taken out of the heroes realm but that is not what I am after, I will be very happy to be buried at my roots in Madzangwe with my forefathers, that is my wish.

Q: Where is People First?

A: It is getting off the ground slowly and it is usually difficult when you are starting, but now it is all over the country especially in Matabeleland. So many people are behind us.

Q: Themba Mliswa, your nephew, says Mai Mujuru is scared and holding back the struggle. Is she the best candidate to lead People First?

A: There are no doubts about her, we recently met her and endorsed her as our leader, for quite a number of reasons.

All of us in People First must apologise not only to the people we have misruled but to the entire world, you don’t run a government like we did up to 2014, I mean you break your own constitution into pieces, good heavens, we can’t repeat that, Mai Mujuru would never do that.

Q: How are you surviving outside politics, do you run any business?

A: I don’t have any businesses.

Q: What about the many properties you are said to have like houses in Rusape.

A: The Rusape house they are talking about I bought with my money, they are persecuting me now through (Manicaland province minister) Mandi Chimene. When I bought it they didn’t give me the receipt or title deeds of that house.

Q: But you were the godfather of Rusape, who could dare you when you were still minister?

A: You must have heard such things from very ignorant people, you will be told that this is the only minister to whose house we would go, do they do that to a person they fear. I was never a godfather, I was a man of the people.

Q: Bhasikiti recently took a lady who was following him to the police, do you feel safe here?

A: (pointing) At that corner there, there is always a car parked purposelessly.

Those people are from CIO, wasting meagre resources chasing shadows. They should not station anyone there, I want them to come in and we will give them tea or a hot meal because we are hospitable, but they make people stay in the mountains watching me, why?

Q: So you are being watched?

A: I don’t care; they have been watching me since the sham congress.

Q: Are you not afraid?

A: Not a bit, they can do anything and the moment that happens the world would know.

TOMANA : MUGABE ABOVE THE LAW

Embattled Prosecutor General, Johannes Tomana, says President Robert Mugabe is above the Constitution and that, therefore, anybody who insults him should face the full wrath of the law.

Speaking at a three-day workshop that was organised by his office to assist prosecutors in the discharge of their functions in Harare, Tomana effectively argued that Mugabe had more rights than other Zimbabweans.

“Let me say it here now, that insulting and undermining the office of the president is not trivial. It must be prosecuted and demands the highest penalty that is provided for under the Constitution and the law.

“The reason why the presidency is a protected institution even by the Constitution itself…he is the only person who is above the Constitution in the sense that he may not be prosecuted during his tenure of office and he may not be sued during his tenure of office…,” he said.

Tomana added that it was on the basis and principle of obeying the president that the insult law  had been crafted.

This speech comes hot on the heels of the strident calls for Tomana’s resignation or dismissal, after he questioned whether all cases involving sex with girls under the age of 16 should be treated as rape.

He emphasised yesterday that his office was apolitical, as he called on Zimbabweans to respect Mugabe.

And in a thinly-veiled attack on Constitutional Court judges who have previously dismissed Mugabe insult cases, Tomana said that it was not prudent for Mugabe to be called a “goblin”.

“We have heard some comments that have come from the courts, one that is on record is the one that refers to some statement that was made about the president as being a goblin and there is a judgment that is saying that, well we know that he is not a goblin and therefore why should it be an issue that somebody has called him a goblin and therefore it is not an offence.

“This has confused a lot of people. The understanding of undermining the office of the president has been interfered with in a way. But for us, we understand why that provision of the law is there,” Tomana said.

Constitutional Court judges in January this year expressed concern over the arrest of people for making political statements that had no bearing on Mugabe.

This followed a Constitutional Court application filed by MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, who challenged his arrest after he allegedly called Mugabe a goblin.

However, Tomana said that insulting the president was not allowed in the context that as a leader Mugabe had followers.

“…most of you and most of us belong to this part of the world and we come from the black race and according to what we know culturally, we all understand what a goblin is.

“Chikwambo munochiziva handiti. Munhu ane chikwambo haatyise? (I believe you all know a goblin. Is it not true that a person who has a goblin is frightening?), would you want to follow munhu ane chikwambo (somebody who has a goblin), would you want to be led by somebody waunoziva kuti anoroya (that you know practises witchcraft).

“Do you see that it does have an effect and an impact on people who actually have an obligation to have the trust to be able to follow the leader and you say he is a goblin and you say it is trivial,” he said.

He told the prosecutors that the idea of respecting Mugabe was not optional, adding that his office was protected by law.

“… if it was optional to obey him and then he says for example let’s indigenise the economy, do you think the economy would be indigenised if it is optional for the citizens to be able to obey or respect him? It would not happen.

“The reason why that law is there is that law and order does not exist in a vacuum, it will happen organically where certain rules, certain laws are being obeyed,” he said. daily news

SEXUAL BOAST BACKFIRES

A ZAKA woman in Masvingo who forever rue the day she boasted about her husband’s amazing performance in bed to her friend. 

She caught her friend and her husband having sex in the garden. The love triangle  was heard at Chief Ndanga’s traditional court where Ezekiel Chinjeke from Chinjeke Village was dragged to court by Jealous Mutumwa from the same village. 

Mutumwa told Chief Ndanga that Ezekiel lowered his dignity in the village by sleeping with his wife Agnes Mutumwa. 

Ezekiel, who was denying the accusations was, however, left with egg on the face when his wife Zadziso Mauro produced his clothes and underwear and that of Agnes which she took after she caught them red-handed having sex in her garden.
 
Asked by Chief Ndanga why she committed the offence, Agnes said her friend was the reason of her actions after she bragged to her about her husband’s good performance in bed. 

She said her actions were also out of anger after Zadziso advised her to divorce her husband and find another man sexually gifted like her husband. 

“I did it out of anger after Zadziso bragged saying her husband has a big manhood and was good in bed. She courted my anger after she said I should divorce my husband and find another man like her husband. I then secretly went to her husband and told him everything that Zadziso had told me. Her husband then asked me to accompany him to their garden where we later had sex. She caught us in the act and took our clothes and underwear,” Agnes told the court. 

Agnes later demanded her clothes and underwear from Zadziso saying she was afraid that she might bewitch her as punishment for sleeping with her husband.

Passing judgment Chief Ndanga ordered Ezekiel to give Mutumwa a beast as compensation for sleeping with his wife.

MUGABE'S CABINET DIVIDED OVER JOB CUTS

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet is not reading from the same script over proposals to cut the civil service wage bill after Public Service Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday appeared to contradict Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s announcement that government is preparing to reduce its work force.

Chinamasa, announcing the Mid Term Fiscal Policy review on Thursday, said the government intended to cut the wage bill from 83,4% of its expenditure to 40%.

However, Mupfumira yesterday told State media that government had no plans to retrench.

“We are looking at cost cutting. There is a distinction. The process that is underway, therefore, is not to fire people, but cutting expenditure . . . No one will be fired,” she said.

Chinamasa had said he would be working with Mupfumira on the rationalisation exercise after the government completed a head count for civil servants.

“Cabinet has given a directive to the minister responsible for the Public Service, in conjunction with the minister responsible for Finance, to urgently propose remedial measures to gradually bring down the share of the wage bill in the budget from over 83% to under 40%,” he said.

“Significant progress over the exercise to develop measures to rationalise the wage bill has been made, with the Public Service Commission having also completed the physical head count for all civil servants as part of the staff audit.

“Cabinet will be considering the full package of necessary proposals in the next couple of weeks.”

The main opposition MDC-T yesterday described the policy discord in government as indicative of “a chronic paralysis of policy inconsistencies and a serious lack of planning”.

Early this year, Chinamasa courted Mugabe’s ire when he proposed a raft of measures, which included scrapping civil servants’ bonuses.

Mugabe later reversed the decision and publicly chastised Chinamasa, accusing him of rushing to announce the move without seeking Cabinet approval.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the policy inconsistencies among Zanu PF ministers indicated lack of co-ordination.

“The fact that one minister indicates right and less than a week, another minister from the same government, same party and who seat in the same Cabinet indicates left on the same policy shows that Zanu PF is failing to plan and they are planning to fail,” Gutu said.

He said the bloated civil service which Chinamasa now wanted culled was created by the ruling party.

“It is their skunk and they must skin it. Zanu PF employed those ghost workers who are doing absolutely nothing, but get a salary every month,” he said.

“Government must just bite the bullet and fire these ghost workers. But because it’s their people, they are even afraid to deal with them,” Gutu said.

Angeline Chitando, acting president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, dismissed Chinamasa’s statement saying they were political.

She said her organisation would rather listen to Mupfumira because Chinamasa had no authority to discuss labour issues.

But economist Godfrey Kanyenze said he could not understand how Mupfumira planned to cut down on the wage bill without retrenching.

“Where do you cut when the whole budget is employment? The real issue is 83% is going to employment costs. Therefore, that is the tree that we must cut,” Kanyemba said.

“It’s almost like the bonus issue — it’s politics. These areas are highly sensitive.”

MLISWA TORMENTORS DRAGGED TO COURT

THREE Zanu PF members who allegedly terrorised former Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa’s workers at his Spring Farm in Karoi in May, appeared at the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court on Saturday facing assault and theft charges.

Nigel Murambiwa (30), Tapiwa Masenda (27) and Chinjai Kambuzuma (32) were granted free bail and remanded to August 14 by Chinhoyi magistrate Nyaradzo Ringisai.

It is the State case that the ruling party supporters invaded Mliswa’s farm ahead of the June 10 by-elections and repeatedly assaulted the politician’s employees with sticks, iron bars and logs accusing their boss of seeking to contest the by-election as an independent candidate.

The suspects also allegedly stole the farm workers’ kitchen utensils and other valuable goods worth $1 000 during their stay at the farm.

Mliswa eventually lost the by-election to Zanu PF candidate Keith Guza. The three are being represented by Mike Mutsvairo.

ZESA TO SWITCH OFF DEFAULTING CUSTOMERS

THE Zimbabwe Electricity and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has threatened to switch off over defaulting customers on the post-paid meter system starting this week accusing them of neglecting to pay their electricity bills.

The outsanding bills have ballooned to $1 billion, the Zesa subsidiary has said. ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri told NewsDay yesterday that the debt had stalled most of the power utility’s expansion projects.

“People are defaulting on the payment plans that they made. We have automated the payment plan platform. The moment one defaults on the payment plan they will be switched off. The disconnections will begin this week,” Chinembiri said.

He said when the company introduced payment plans for its customers there was a slight improvement in payments but after a while customers started to default again.

The power utility has close to 500 000 of its customers on prepaid meters and about 100 000 still on post-paid meter system.

“We have sent specifications for some more prepaid meters and we are waiting for the State Procurement Board so that we go to tender,” he said.

Chinembiri said the $1 billion debt owed by various customers that include commercial and domestic consumers had made it difficult for the utility to service its financial obligations and also to access fresh capital from financial institutions.

The debt has also reportedly stalled expansion projects at Kariba and Hwange Power Station, which are meant to boost power generation and reduce load shedding.

Zimbabwe produces 1 256 megawatts (MW) of electricity against a local demand of 1 950MW. newsday