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.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

ZAPU, MUJURU FEUD OVER GUKURAHUNDI

DUMISO Dabengwa’s Zapu has implored ZimPF leader, Joice Mujuru to join forces in advocating for the operationalisation of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) in order to deal with the Gukurahundi issue.

The party said her alleged secret programme of dealing with the emotive issue was suspect.

Mujuru told South Africa television station eNCA on Wednesday that she had visited Gukurahundi victims at squatter camps in Bulawayo, as part of her programme aimed at addressing the issue.

The former Vice-President also claimed to have consulted traditional leaders in the affected areas about the 1980s mass killings that President Robert Mugabe described as “a moment of madness”.

Zapu deputy national spokesperson, Iphuthile Maphosa said Mujuru’s claims raised more questions than answers, saying this will not resolve the issue or absolve the perpetrators.

“For Mujuru, a member of the government then and whose husband was commanding the army, to make such claims raises more questions than answers, especially, on her moral worthiness,” he said.

“Mujuru must believe we are naïve to believe she knew nothing about the Gukurahundi genocide now that she openly absolves the perpetrating government and wholesomely taking responsibility for the killings.”

Maphosa said Mujuru, if genuine, must advocate for the operationalisation of the NPRC to deal with the issue and hold perpetrators accountable.

“We advise the ZimPF leader to instead follow the Constitution and advocate, with us, for the expeditious operationalisation of the NPRC, which will conduct public hearings on Gukurahundi in which victims and perpetrators will come forward and make their depositions,” he said.

“This will pave way for public admission of responsibility by the perpetrators, while victims can begin to be healed in all forms. No secret redress programmes will solve this or absolve those who are guilty either by commission or omission.”

Mujuru first touched off a storm when she revealed plans to visit mass graves of Gukurahundi victims, in particular the Bhalagwe detention centre in Kezi, with some Matabeleland-based groupings, accusing her of toying with the issue for political gains.

ZimPF, however, said groupings and political parties questioning Mujuru’s initiative were misdirecting their anger over the mass killings, adding they should instead confront Mugabe and others fingered in the atrocities. Newsday

YOUTHS BACK DISMANTLING OF ONE CENTRE OF POWER

ZANU PF bigwigs are reportedly canvassing for the adoption of a contentious resolution that requires President Robert Mugabe’s deputies to be selected through a vote.
Sources within the Zanu PF youth league told NewsDay Weekender yesterday that the resolution has since been smuggled among those already passed by the youth wing.

Mashonaland Central chairman, Dickson Mafios stirred debate after he announced the province had resolved that Mugabe should not appoint his deputies. He argued the two Vice-Presidents should be selected through elections, alleging some unscrupulous leaders appointed to senior positions were abusing their positions to position themselves in the succession matrix.

Youths from several provinces have so far thrown their weight behind the resolution viewed as a plot to oust Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is among those leading the race to succeed Mugabe.

Youth league secretary for administration, Severinoh Kazizi said resolutions were still be compiled and these were expected to be ready by Monday.

“We are still compiling them and we are yet to meet, but they will be there by no longer than Monday. We are still compiling those from the provinces,” he said.

Asked if the one-centre of power resolution was passed, Kazizi responded: “It’s obvious.”

Zanu PF youth officials in different provinces said they agreed to smuggle the resolution, although it came after agreements had been reached over what to present at the conference.

“This came as an afterthought following a resolution by Mashonaland Central. To try and influence the position, some provincial persons went on to praise the resolution in the media and some provinces had to smuggle it to their existing resolutions,” the source said.

“There is a lot of canvassing, especially, on provincial leadership and most of them have bought into the idea. The idea is that the women’s league will do the same and, obviously, the resolution will pass in Masvingo.”

Meanwhile, a newly-established outfit of children of former freedom fighters, Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans’ Association (Cozwa) has thrown its weight behind the resolution to have Mugabe’s deputies elected.

One of the brains behind the formation of Cozwa, Munyaradzi Shoko told a media briefing that, while they have endorsed Mugabe’s candidature in the 2018 elections, they were strongly behind the Mashonaland Central resolution.

“I support what the Zanu PF youth league said together with Mafios that the VPs must be voted for just like what the first secretary position, the mandated of leading the people should come from the people and I think thus very fair to everyone,” he said.

“This is why we are having problems of factionalism because when they are appointed, they became too ambitious and overlook the pole of the people on ground.” Newsday

KASUKUWERE REVERSES LAND DEALS

LOCAL Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has ordered Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to stop land allocations or leases to councillors, latest council minutes reveal.

Kasukuwere has also directed BCC to reverse a council resolution to allocate Parklands Townhouse stands to councillors James Sithole (ward 7) and Charles Moyo (ward 9), the report of a finance and development committee meeting reveals.

Sithole and Moyo were among the five Bulawayo councillors, including deputy mayor, Gift Banda, that Kasukuwere suspended in September over allegations of corruption and illegal land deals, among others.

Sithole, Moyo and Mzama Dube (ward 25) had their suspension lifted last month, but Kasukuwere went on to direct council to reverse land allocations, as a probe on councillors continues.

“I refer to a special council meeting held on March 10, 2016, which, among other things, made a resolution that Parklands stands 15943 measuring 3,7222 hectares and 15945 measuring 2,273ha be allocated to Sithole and Moyo, respectively, in terms of section 152(2) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15),” Kasukuwere wrote to BCC in a letter dated November 2.

“In terms of section 314 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15), I, hereby, direct council to rescind the afore cited resolution. Furthermore, council is directed to put on hold all allocations, leases and any land-related matters involving councillors. Therefore, be guided accordingly.”

The council minutes said the finance and development committee debated the matter and councillors resolved to comply with the directive.

Kasukuwere said a government probe team deployed to Bulawayo unearthed rampant corruption over tender processes and illegal land deals among councillors, among others.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association initially raised a red flag over the rate at which councillors were allegedly grabbing land in the city leading to the government sending an investigation team to get to the bottom of the matter.

MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora, however, dismissed the suspensions as politically motivated, saying Kasukuwere always had an axe to grind with the opposition-led council to weaken it. Newsday

MUDENDA READS RIOT ACT

SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda on Thursday chided MPs for leaving the House during debates resulting in adjournments due to lack of a quorum.

Mudenda said MPs were seeing “specks” in the eyes of ministers, who they often accuse of bunking Wednesday’s question and answer sessions, yet they also had “planks” in their eyes, as they abandon debates on various motions and causing the lack of a quorum.

“I have not only raised similar concerns, but I have also deplored very disturbing trends by some MPs, who only attend sittings for a very short time before leaving the House. I have learnt that some MPs have not taken heed of my concerns relating to quorums in the National Assembly,” he said.

“Indeed, it has become a chorus in the august House for MPs to clamour for Vice Presidents, ministers and deputy ministers to attend Parliament in order to answer questions as provided for in section 107(ii) of the Constitution, and it, therefore, follows that, as MPs, we should lead by example by religiously attending sittings.” He said the MPs’ conduct was a waste of taxpayers’ money.

MDC-T chief whip, Innocent Gonese complains almost every Wednesday that ministers were not attending question and answer sessions.

The opposition has also threatened to invoke contempt of Parliament charges against ministers, who did not attend the sessions.

But, Mudenda used Matthew 7 vs 2-4 to remind MPs of their own transgressions of leaving the House during debates, resulting in lack of a quorum.

“It is written: ‘For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother let me take the speck out of your eye while there is still a plank in your own eye?”

He said MPs might be morally compromised if they saw the specks in ministers’ eyes while ignoring the planks in their own eyes.

Opposition MPs did not take kindly to his words and tried to interject and raise points of order against the ruling, but Mudenda refused to entertain them, saying they must respect and appreciate their constitutional obligations.

He said in view of the truancy, he had requested the Parliament legal team and procedural subcommittee to propose appropriate sanctions to effectively end bunking of the National Assembly business. newsday

Friday, 9 December 2016

PARASTATAL BOSSES SALARY INCREASES FROZEN

Government has frozen salary increases for public enterprise bosses, most of whom have been earning mega salaries at the expense of service delivery. The freeze also covers additional benefits. Prices and fees charged by public enterprises such as electricity, rates and water have also been frozen, with any reviews considered on merit. Salaries and prices charged by utilities for water and electricity have been identified as major cost drivers in production. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced the measures on Thursday.

Presenting his 2017 National Budget proposals, Minister Chinamasa said the Office of the President and Cabinet was now coordinating work in the development of a consistent remuneration framework for boards and executive management of State enterprises, local authorities and other public entities.

He said the current remuneration formats, inclusive of salaries, allowances and other perks, bore no relationship to performance. He announced a freeze of reviews of all remuneration and benefits of bosses at these entities with effect from January 1, 2017 pending finalisation of a new Public Sector Remuneration Framework.
“Once the proposed frameworks have been approved, the Office of the President and Cabinet, and the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency will assume the monitoring and evaluation role to ensure effective implementation.”

On the performance of public enterprises, Minister Chinamasa said where Cabinet had made specific decisions on the restructuring of a parastatal or a public enterprise, all responsible line ministries would be required to develop implementation plans.

The implementation plans should include specific targets, while implementation would be monitored by the Office of the President and Cabinet. Minister Chinamasa also announced that prices and fees charged by public enterprises, including electricity, rates and water had been frozen.

He said the move was necessary to allow for economic recovery and to complement other initiatives that Government had put in place to improve production and productivity. These include the Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which restricts imports of goods that can be locally manufactured and the introduction of bond notes to improve cash supply.

Since the introduction of SI64, some companies are now operating at full capacity while the general performance of the industry has improved. Herald

TRY IT : CHOMBO DARES MUGABE CHALLENGERS

Zanu PF members seeking to either challenge President Mugabe’s authority or propose changes to the party’s constitution must come out in the open and test their popularity, Secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo has dared. In interview ahead of the party’s 16th National People’s Conference to be held in Masvingo from December 13 to 17, Cde Chombo said the one centre of power principle anchored on the party’s First Secretary was intact.

He touted the party’s democratic credentials saying members were free to raise issues they felt were important. He also acknowledged the existence of factionalism in the party, but said such ructions were not enough to destroy it.

“I can categorically state that the one centre of power, in this particular case the centre being President Robert Mugabe, is very much intact. It is cemented and there is absolutely no doubt about it,” said Cde Chombo.
“I know there are some malcontents out there who wish it was not so but this is what it is. The President is very much in charge and in control, very much loved and preferred. “I would dare anybody who thinks he or she has clout to come in and stand against the President. That person will be beaten to shreds like a prodigal child.”

He explained that as a democratic party, zanu-pf gave districts power to assess the performance of the party and make recommendations.

“Everyone has the freedom to raise anything. The issue is will others support you in what you are bringing forward? If it is a good idea, you will get traction. If it is not a good idea, it will dry in the wind. That is how things work. We are a democratic party and system,” he said.

He went on: “There is one centre of power, that is why we changed the constitution. But if you want to recommend a change of the constitution, you also have to bring your own arguments and we don’t shy away from them, they make the party strong. We are very clear.” Herald

RBZ TO ACT ON BANK CHARGES

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is working on reducing bank charges and withdrawal fees in response to a national outcry from the transacting public. Due to the persistent cash shortages in the economy, banks have continually reduced the maximum withdrawal limits from about $200 in June to as low as $40 presently. 

However, charges levied on bank transactions remain the same and are not proportional to the reduced withdrawal limits.

Depositors have accused banks of “robbing” them of their hard-earned money through repeat charges levied on a series of withdrawals. RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya (pictured) said yesterday that the central bank was aware of the issue and would soon announce measures to protect depositors.
“Indeed, we are working on reducing the bank charges to ensure that banking services are not punitive and that they promote financial inclusion,” he said. Dr Mangudya would not be drawn into giving details about the new measures, which he said would be finalised next week.

Banks have been making a killing from the banking public for the past few months and depositors have appealed to the Government for protection. Desperate depositors continue to flood banking halls to withdraw their cash despite its shortage and numerous charges. Some depositors are spending nights in queues.

A snap survey conducted by The Chronicle yesterday revealed that for one to withdraw $75, which is made up of $50 and $25 in bond notes, they have to part with $5,50. This is in addition to monthly service charges of $5 or more.

The public has called for the crafting of a law that compels banks to deduct charges only once and allow people to withdraw their salaries without being charged on ensuing transactions.

Bank charges were last revised in June when Dr Mangudya set the maximum Real Time Gross Settlement charge at $5 from $10 while Automated Teller Machine charges did not change at $2,50.

Electronic funds transfer presently attracts a minimum fee of 33 cents and a maximum of $2,10, while a Point of Sale transaction of up to $10 attracts a charge of 10 cents, and transactions above $10 will be charged 45 cents, a reduction from $2,50. Chronicle

4 500 GRADE SEVEN PUPILS IMPREGNATED IN ZIM

At least 4 500 Grade Seven pupils countrywide, the majority of them girls, dropped out of school this year after falling pregnant or getting married, Parliament heard on Thursday. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora, however, told the National Assembly that the pupils were free to rejoin school at a later stage as young “mothers, wives, fathers or husbands”.

Presenting a Ministerial Statement in the National Assembly on Thursday, Dr Dokora said of the 329 549 candidates who wrote Grade Seven examinations this year, at least 4 500 would not proceed to Form One.

“A total of 305 549 will enrol in day secondary school with effect from Monday, 12th December, 2016. Sadly, 4 500 of our girls and boys will not be seeking Form 1 places in 2017, having regrettably left school owing to pregnancies and marriages,” said Dr Dokora.

“We have said in 2017, the ministry will inaugurate a campaign against early marriages working in conjunction with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, whose minister is Hon. (Nyasha) Chikwinya. So, we are also mounting a campaign. UNFPA have agreed to work with us and have already been in the field. So, we will heighten that,” said Dr Dokora.

The statement about the 4 500 school dropouts attracted a barrage of questions from legislators who wanted to know what policy framework Government would introduce to curb the scourge. Gweru Urban MP Mr Cecil Zvidzai (MDC-T) said he was concerned that the girls were preyed by unscrupulous people with “fat” pockets.
“The girls might have been taken advantage of by the rich, ‘sugar daddies’ and ‘sugar mummies’ and are going to be consigned into permanent poverty as a result of having been taken advantage of particularly at that early stage. I would have expected the minister to talk to us around how he is going to deal with these 4 500 unfortunate cases,” said Mr Zvidzai.

Matabeleland North MP Dr Ruth Labode (MDC-T) surprised the House when she proposed that pupils be given condoms saying according to the Demographic Health Survey, they were dying because of HIV/AIDS, abortion and early pregnancies.

“A Form 1 child, for me is aged around 12 years or 13 years, but what has happened here, these children were indulging in sex and this is confirmed by the Demographic Health Survey. For me, it raises a policy issue. What should we be doing Hon. Dokora? There is an issue here. We should allow these children to access health services; everything else that you access from the condom to everything. Let them access it because they are dying,” said Dr Labode.

In his response, Dr Dokora said the pupils could rejoin informal learning at a later stage.
“As to the 4 500 boys and girls that I made reference to, the boys left school to marry and the girls left school on account of pregnancy or to also get married. So, the way you treat that has to be differentiated. We have non-formal education stream and in this year, the statistics show that 28 000 have participated in the non-formal education sector. They can come back as young mothers and fathers/husbands and continue, not in the full-time programme but in the part-time educational programme. They are welcome,” said Dr Dokora.

He said Parliament was free to further interrogate on the prudence of giving pupils condoms or not. “As to whether this now leads to say give condoms in the schools, I think that is another debate and I would benefit from the wisdom of the House,” said Dr Dokora. herald

POVERTY NO EXCUSE, MAGISTRATE BERATES UNI STUDENT

A NATIONAL University of Science and Technology (NUST) student was yesterday ordered to pay $60 a month towards the upkeep of his two children.


Leo Maposa who is on attachment, was dragged to court by his ex-girlfriend Ms Nomvelo Halimana who was demanding $300 maintenance a month. Ms Halima said Maposa was a drunkard who was not taking care of his children.
Maphosa said he could not afford to pay maintenance because he was not being paid where he was on attachment.

“Your worship, I am a student and l don`t get paid where l` m attached. I`m still depending on my parents who are paying for my education,” said Maposa.

Bulawayo Magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya said poverty was not an excuse for neglecting one’s children.

“You cannot come to court and plead poverty. Instead of making an offer you are busy telling the court that you don`t have money. That was the first thing that you were supposed to think before ‘making’ these children,” he said.

Mr Tashaya ordered Maposa to pay $60 maintenance starting this month.

BOYS SCHOOLS HIV HOTSPOTS

THE National Aids Council has expressed fears over possible same sex relationships at Bulawayo’s boys only schools.

NAC provincial Aids coordinator Mrs Sinatra Nyathi said all boys’ schools were a hotspot as the environment made it easy for boys to engage in risky behaviour. She said same sex relationships in boys’ schools could be fuelling HIV.

“We have noticed that when boys are not mixed with girls at schools, they tend to display unruly behaviours. We have reports of boys who abuse drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviour during Vuzu parties and we cannot rule out the issue of same sex relationships which is slowly creeping into our schools,” said Mrs Nyathi.

“Unfortunately due to policy, we do not have evidence neither can we conduct studies related to such as we know that our society does not readily accept the existence of same sex relationships. The same situation is likely to be obtaining at  girls only schools though these are not part of our hotspots.”
Mrs Nyathi said they were also having challenges reaching out to minors as policy does not give them permission to go straight to them because of their age.

“You will notice that besides all boys’ schools, we have a growing trend of teenage sex workers in our suburbs. These sex workers, who include boys, then fail to access health care and important HIV prevention interventions because of their age. For example we are now rolling out Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in some districts but those teenage sex workers cannot access it or get tested because of their age,” she said.

“I encourage parents to freely discuss HIV with their children and be able to accompany them for HIV testing and counselling. They need to stop imagining that adolescents are angels who are not yet indulging in sex.”

NAC recently identified Bulawayo’s HIV hotspots which include densely populated suburbs, sports bars, lodges and guardrooms.

With an HIV prevalence rate of 18,7 percent, the third highest in the country above the national average at 14,6 percent, Bulawayo is considered an HIV hotspot.

According to the World Health Organisation, an HIV and Aids hotspot is a geographical area or location with evidence of a high prevalence of HIV, STIs or behaviours that put people at risk of acquiring HIV infection. Chronicle

MAT NORTH BACKS ONE CENTRE OF POWER

ZANU-PF Matabeleland North has thrown its weight behind the status of President Mugabe as one centre of power in the ruling party with the mandate to appoint his deputies and members of the Politburo.

Party provincial chairperson, Cde Richard Moyo said the support for the one centre of power principle was included in the structure’s list of resolutions ahead of the 16th Annual People’s Conference to be held in Masvingo next week.

He said the principle, adopted at the 6th National People’s Congress in December 2014, was still relevant and an effective way to deal with divisions in the party.

“We reiterated in our resolutions that as we agreed at the 2014 congress, President Mugabe remains one centre of power.The concept prevents unnecessary headaches and divisions in the party as the President is empowered to appoint his two deputies and Politburo members  as opposed to members voting,” said Cde Moyo.

He said the province had also endorsed President Mugabe as the Zanu PF candidate for the 2018 elections.
“We also endorsed President Mugabe as the party candidate in the 2018 elections. He has led the party in successive electoral victories and we have confidence that he will do it again for the party in 2018,” said Cde Moyo.

Last month, our sister paper The Herald reported that Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central acting provincial chairman Cde Dickson Mafios backtracked on his attempt to pass a controversial resolution that sought to strip President Mugabe of his status as the one centre of power in the party with the mandate to appoint his two deputies.

It was further reported that, under pressure from provincial and district executive members who accused him of smuggling in the controversial resolution, Cde Mafios and his brother who is also Zanu-PF national commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, called for an extraordinary provincial coordinating committee meeting and claimed the resolution was for the 2019 congress.

This is despite the fact that the meeting at which the ‘Mafioso resolution’’ was read had been called to discuss resolutions for the forthcoming 16th National Annual People’s Conference to be held in Masvingo next week.

Cde Moyo said preparations for the conference were at an advanced stage with all delegates from the provinces having been accredited.

“We have also arranged transport for delegates who will be going to the conference next week. Each district has its own bus that will ferry delegates,” he said.
The conference will run from December 13 to 17.

GHANA OPPOSITION LEADER WINS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Ghana's main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, has won the west African country's presidential election with an absolute majority over President John Mahama, two influential private radio stations said on Friday.
In his first comment since the election, Mahama said on Twitter on Friday he would wait for official results, in a seemingly softer tone from Thursday when a senior member of his National Democratic Congress (NDC)camp said Mahama was ahead.


"Let's allow EC (Electoral Commission) to carry out its constitutional mandate. We'll make Ghana proud no matter outcome" of the election, he said in a tweet on his official account.
Ghana's record of peaceful elections since 1992 and regular changes of government through the ballot box stands as a beacon in a region that has seen a series of civil wars and coups.

Mahama fought the election against the backdrop of an economy that has slowed since he took power in 2013, in part because of lower global prices for the West African country's exports of gold, oil and cocoa.

Joy FM radio and Citi FM based their projections on results from Wednesday's election given at the constituency level ahead of an official final tally that the electoral commissioner said would likely be announced by Saturday.

Joy FM's website showed Akufo-Addo winning with 53 percent of the vote and Mahama on 45.2 percent, based on a count of 218 constituencies out of 275 in total. Citi FM gave Akufo-Addo 54.8 percent based on 190 constituencies.

If confirmed, it would be a bigger victory than recent presidential elections. Akufo-Addo said on Thursday he was "quietly confident" of victory and his party had also picked up 49 seats in parliament to give it a majority.

The government is mid-way through an International Monetary Fund program to restore fiscal stability in the face of an increased budget deficit, elevated inflation and a currency that has halved in value since 2014.

Akufo-Addo's New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the government mismanaged national finances and has promoted its own plans for job creation in line with its free market ideology. Reuters

MINISTER : BANKS MUST CAP LOAN INTEREST RATES

Commercial  banks in Zimbabwe must start applying caps that will limit their lending rates to a few percentage points above the National Social Security Authority (Nssa)’s five percent benchmark interest rate,  a Cabinet minister has said.

Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira said all banks must lower rates on existing and new loans after agreeing with the central bank.

Mupfumira said banks had reneged on past pledges to the Reserve Bank to lower their rates, which had given Zimbabwean lenders one of the highest returns-on-equity in Africa.
Businesses in the country have long complained that high commercial lending rates, which average 18 percent or more, hobble corporate investment, while individuals say the high cost puts borrowing out of reach of many.

Zimbabwe’s main interest rate on lending to productive sectors is pegged between six percent and 18 percent per annum, while rates for consumptive lending range from 10 percent and 18 percent.

Mupfumira blasted financial institutions for quoting high lending rates even on struggling civil servants despite getting cheap funds from State-run pension fund, Nssa.

An irate Mupfumira on Tuesday said she would meet with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya to implore him to review the high cost of borrowing.
“Banks receive funds from Nssa at five percent interest. I made an analysis and these banks are charging astronomical figures and I think you need to do something about it,” Mupfumira told Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa at an engagement with civil servants to appraise them of their conditions of service and non-monetary incentives.

A report on the banking industry released in April by advisory firm, MMC Capital, reported that Zimbabwe’s banks made combined profits of $128 million during the full year to December 31, 2015, a 62 percent increase from $79 million after-tax profits recorded the previous year.

The trend has continued as the performance of the banking sector thrives despite the negative macro-economic indicators.

“They are being given money at five percent and there is no one charging less than 10 percent, they are all charging between 11 and 18 percent interest,” Mupfumira said.

“And then we hear banks are making profits. We see it all the time. It’s not their money; it’s your money,” Mupfumira said, this time directing her remarks to Apex Council — a grouping of civil servants’ representatives.

“I will meet with the governor and . . . Chinamasa. They have to deal with these banks and building societies because there is no reason why they should charge high interest rates.

“The president (Robert Mugabe) has said banks should charge two percent, that’s what the president wants. You can’t take people’s money and then you charge the same people 10 percent.”
With industry on its knees amid mass company closures, thousands of Zimbabweans who lose their jobs have taken out loans and are struggling to pay off their debts. Defaulters have remained on the rise as the ailing economy continues to hit ordinary citizens hard.

Observers have warned that caps on commercial lending rates could cause banks to restrict lending.
Mupfumira, however, praised Nssa’s brain child, the National Building Society (NBS) — which came into being a result of an investment through the National Pensions Scheme (NPS) fund and the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund — as the only bank serving the needs of civil servants.

The bank offers a 9, 5 percent interest rate payable over a 25-year period, with 30 percent of the housing loans reserved for civil servants. daily news

MPHOKO'S $50M CASE THROWN OUT

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has once again lost in the High Court, with costs, in his staggering $50 million lawsuit against Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) — publishers of the Daily News, the Daily News on Sunday and the Weekend Post.


In a judgment delivered on Wednesday, Justice Lavender Makoni threw out Mphoko’s appeal against an earlier defeat that the VP suffered in the same matter, after Judge Joseph Musakwa had also dismissed his lawsuit after he failed to attend a pre-trial conference in person — choosing instead to send an official from his office, Themba Ndlovu, to represent him.

“The urgent chamber application by the applicant is dismissed and the applicant is ordered to pay the respondents wasted costs … the applicant used the wrong procedure in seeking to rescind judgment.
“The pre-trial conference is not a formality. It is an essential part of the proceedings and the judge will have put aside other work and studied the pleadings in order to prepare for the conference. It is therefore in the extreme to wait until the time scheduled to advise the court that parties are unable to attend,” Makoni ruled on Wednesday.

Mphoko’s lawsuit followed a June 5, 2015 article that the VP took exception to, which was based on an interview with firebrand former war veteran’s leader Jabulani Sibanda.
In the story, Sibanda claimed that Mphoko had sold out during the liberation struggle when he allegedly diverted weapons meant for the late Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu to Zanu — a move that Sibanda further claimed could have led to the needless deaths of thousands of people.

But Mphoko had continued to argue that his failure to appear in person during the pre-trial conference had been necessitated by the fact that he was attending to State business at the time, adding that in any event he had sent a representative to stand in for him.

His lawyers also argued in vain that in terms of the rules of the court it was allegedly acceptable for one to send a representative during a pre-trial conference.

However, ANZ’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, successfully argued that Ndlovu was a stranger to the case’s proceedings and could thus not represent Mphoko in any way.
He also said Mphoko had exhibited “a bad attitude” towards his case by failing to attend the pre-trial conference in person, in addition to following the wrong procedure in the case and making an exorbitant claim.

“He (Ndlovu) had nothing to do with the court process,” Muchadehama said, adding that Mphoko’s claim was personal, and also arguing that only a company could send a representative, or a parent stand in for a child in court.

“Ndlovu could not have known or justify applicant’s claim of $50 million, he was not able to tell how the applicant (Mphoko) has been defamed, so he was of no use,” Muchadehama said.

“Everything about the procedure has been wrong and he seeks the court’s indulgence. He is claiming $50 million. That kind of claim would appear to prove he is not serious with his claim.

“The amount is so high as opposed to what can be taken to be serious by this court. Given precedence, nobody has been granted such an amount. His claim is almost like a dream,” the ANZ lawyer had also argued.

In earlier papers responding to Mphoko’s claims that his reputation and status had been diminished by the story, Muchadehama said, “Defendants (ANZ chief writer Fungi Kwaramba, Group Editor Stanley Gama, ANZ itself and its printing division Printco) will say that they do not know what plaintiff’s claim to fame is.

“They do not know of his immense contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe. Defendants will put the plaintiff to the proof of his claims.
“Defendants will say that the amount of damages being claimed by plaintiff (Mphoko) is ridiculously high and constitutes a petit patio,” Muchadehama said in the defendant’s plea.
“For this reason, plaintiff’s claim must be dismissed with costs.”

Commenting on the High Court’s latest ruling in ANZ’s favour, Gama thanked Muchadehama and the courts for upholding the rule of law irrespective of the “station” that parties to court processes occupied — adding ruefully that it was “always of concern” when people in high office such as Mphoko appeared “too thin-skinned and unnecessarily litigious”.

“Let’s give credit where credit is due, President (Robert) Mugabe and Mphoko’s co-deputy, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have never sued the media despite being at the receiving end of worse negative press from the Fourth Estate.

“But even more importantly, it is hugely problematic when those either in the presidency or the Cabinet, who wield immense executive powers, also come across as thin-skinned, belligerent and litigious.

“Our hope is also that at some point those of our people who are in senior leadership positions will come to realise that it is not ideal, unbefitting and ultimately not very helpful to Zimbabweans’ quests to build a fair, egalitarian and desperately needed democratic society,” Gama said. daily news

AS GRACE SPLASHES ON $1,3M DIAMOND RING

Government is so stone-broke that it cannot afford to avail funds to placate restive war veterans amid faltering efforts to woo them back to Zanu PF, War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube has revealed.

The retired colonel’s confirmation of a cash flow crisis follows reports that President Robert Mugabe has dangled a carrot to former freedom fighters to attend the December 13-18 Zanu PF conference in Masvingo following indications that disgruntled members of the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) will boycott the event.

ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said many war veterans would not be attending the annual conclave, citing bribery and misrepresentations of their grievances by the War Veterans ministry.

Dube told the Daily News this week that his ministry was operating on a shoestring budget and were struggling to fund the war vets’ day-to-day activities. “We don’t have money, we are still far behind in terms of paying school fees for war veterans’ children,” Dube said.
“We are struggling to pay fees.”

He also dismissed claims that the ministry was bribing some war vets to attend the Masvingo assembly. “ . . . where do you think we can get money to bribe war veterans so that they can attend the conference?

“I am going to meet them (war veterans) so that I can hear what they are trying to say. Our job is to unite all war veterans.”

Dube revealed that it had taken his ministry a lot of lobbying to convince Mugabe to approve the purchase of 13 Ford Ranger vehicles for the ex-combatants’ parent ministry.
Mahiya had earlier in the week described this year’s Zanu PF conference as a celebration of war veterans’ ouster from the ruling party by the G40 faction.

“The ministry has gone as far as picking up war veterans who they are giving money to attend the conference so that the president will think that the war veterans are there.
“We were not invited to the conference because at the helm of the party we have a G40 cabal. So, obviously, they don’t want to see us attending their function. There is bad blood between us and the G40.

“They will be celebrating victory to have a conference without war veterans, which is contrary to what we always say. Zimbabwe was born out of the liberation struggle, and the war was fought by war veterans who are surprisingly not invited. They want to remove all veterans from the party.”

This comes as the nonagenarian and his brawling ruling party have been working hard to heal the widening rift between them, and the former freedom fighters who ended their 41-year relationship with the Zanu PF leader after releasing a damning communiqué on him in July.

Since then, Mugabe and Zanu PF have been dangling gifts to the war vets, including cash, land and vehicles in a bid to strengthen the ruling party ahead of the crucial forthcoming polls — after their initial thuggish methods failed to coerce the disgruntled ex-combatants into line.

In 2013, the leaders of the war veterans insisted that their members were still owed $18 000 each, arguing that the Z$50 000 they were paid in 1997 was only a down payment of the Z$500 000 government had agreed to pay them. daily news

ZANU PF FACTIONS SQUARE UP AHEAD OF CONFERENCE

TENSION is simmering in Zanu PF ahead of the ruling party’s annual conference scheduled for Masvingo next week, amid reports that plots and counter plots are underway as feuding factions prepare to meet after a gruelling year of internal strife.

Sources say both factions in Zanu PF, namely G40 which consists of young Turks who have coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe and Lacoste which is aligned to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, are lobbying their supporters across the provinces not to be intimidated and attend the conference in their numbers.

“Both factions have members on the ground meeting their supporters so that they can be accredited for next week’s jamboree,” the source said.

“Zanu PF members have been holding late-night meetings in preparations for the forthcoming annual meeting,” the source said, adding: “This has been characteristic of all Zanu PF conferences where plots and counter plot take centre stage.”

The plots also come at a time G40 is pushing for the scrapping of the “one centre of power” which gave President Robert Mugabe the sole responsibility to appoint his deputies as well as members of the politburo.

This comes amid indications the plot to amend the party’s constitution was being pushed by G40 and could have been masterminded by Mugabe in his Machiavellian manoeuvres designed to re-align his succession process and re-assert control over his fractious organisation.

To members of G40, attempts to throw out the “one centre of power” provision is considered a new strategy to oust Mnangagwa who is regarded by some as a frontrunner in the race to succeed Mugabe.

In a move that has set the cat among the pigeons, Zanu PF’s Mashonaland Central province challenged the ruling party’s “one centre of power” principle which empowers Mugabe to appoint his deputies and politburo members.

During its inter-district meeting in preparation for this month’s annual conference, the province resolved that the much-touted “one centre of power” principle — ushered in through an amendment to the party constitution in 2014 — should be adjusted to allow members to elect the vice-presidents.

However, the proposal has met stiff resistance from Zanu PF provinces across the country, particularly Mnangagwa’s supporters.

As preparations for the annual conference being held at a total cost of US$4 million gathers momentum, central committee members and legislators have been forced to contribute 400 kilogrammes of meat each.

Zanu PF’s 16th national annual people’s conference will run from December 13-17 under the theme “Moving with Zim-Asset in Peace and Unity”.

According to sources, some central committee members in the province received phone calls from Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa ordering them to contribute 400 kgs of meat as well as bags of mealie-meal and millet.

Sources said Mahofa gave the central committee members until December 10 to submit their contributions. This is contrary to Mahofa’s remarks last week where she expressed enthusiasm over preparations for the party indaba.

According to sources, state enterprises, depending on their financial state, were indirectly forced to contribute to the dinner dance held in Harare last month with each table ranging from US$10 000 to US$100 000.

Ministries with revenue-collecting parastatals such as the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and Zimbabwe National Roads Administration are as usual expected to take the tables with the highest price tags.

Last weekend, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko pressured companies in Bulawayo to contribute to the conference saying they were beneficiaries of the party’s policies. independent

DIASPORANS CAN LIFT ECONOMY : CZI

Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries (CZI) president, Busisa Moyo, has urged the government to craft a comprehensive Diaspora policy and improve relations with its citizens in the Diaspora to entice them to invest back home.

Addressing stakeholders at a rebranding workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in Bulawayo on Wednesday, Moyo said the future of the country lies in “leveraging our largest province, the Diaspora, to invest or lead investment as opposed to consumption”.

“I have been on many (investment) missions and the Diaspora community is our biggest impediment. We arrived in Washington, this other time, and another Zimbabwean had already been there telling potential investors to forget about Zimbabwe since it is a basket case,” he said.

“We are fighting against each other. They will end up asking us why we can’t have a meeting in Zimbabwe and sort our differences.”

Moyo said Zimbabweans working in most South African hotels work under inhumane conditions.

“It is time that, as a government, we package our skill and send our young people out, government to government, so that they work with dignity. They can then come back home and bring the skills that they would have earned there.”

Principal director in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mary Mubi, told the meeting that the country had a functional Diaspora policy.

“We now have a Diaspora policy, which has been taken around a few countries,” she said. “I am of the view that, like countries such as Eritrea, we should, around Christmas time, have an occasion where we invite Diasporans so that they get to learn about new policies that the government has, so that they can go out and be ambassadors, and to innovate around it.

“The issue of the Diaspora is one that is being taken seriously. The policy is under the Economic Planning ministry. There has also been talk about trying to get the Diaspora to sit on boards because they know what they are doing.”

Speaking at the same event, Botswana-based Zimbabwean businessman, Arnold Moyo said the government needed to improve its relations with its citizens in the Diaspora.

“There is a perception here that all people in the Diaspora are there for political reasons,” he said. “Some of us are there for economic reasons. When we go to the embassy in Gaborone, Botswana, we can’t talk to the staff there, as they shut us out.”

Bulawayo-based artist and civil society activist, Cont Mhlanga said Zimbabwe was suffering from “an overdose of political branding”, at the expense of commerce, culture and other faces of the nation.

CHINAMASA'S DESPERATE MEASURES

FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday announced desperate measures to bankroll the 2017 National Budget, with strange proposals to further tax airtime and mobile data to fund the health sector, while keeping mum on the contentious issue of payment of bonuses for civil servants.

In his $4,1 billion budget, which was largely dismissed by economists and opposition parties as hollow, Chinamasa proposed a 5% levy for every dollar spent on airtime to fund the new Health Fund Levy, with effect from January next year.

Opposition MPs described the budget as a mere rhetorical blunt statement, which failed to tackle the relevant issues on the ground and dismissed it as anti-poor people.

“Government aims to attain the highest possible level of health and quality of life for all citizens, as this allows full participation in the economic development of the economy, and in order to attain this vision, every citizen has to access comprehensive and effective health services,” Chinamasa said.

“It is critical that all economically active individuals contribute towards funding health services, and it is, thus, proposed to introduce a health fund levy of 5 cents for every dollar of airtime and mobile data, under the theme Talk, Surf and Save a Life.”

He said the resources to be collected from the Health Fund Levy would be ring-fenced for the purchase of drugs and equipment for public hospitals and clinics because the shrinking tax base had constrained government’s capacity to invest in the public health delivery system, which is now being augmented by resources from development partners.

The budget, which came two days after President Robert Mugabe’s dour State of the Nation Address, was also silent on civil servants’ salaries and bonuses.

Instead, Chinamasa only announced plans to launch a housing project for civil servants with beneficiaries contributing $50 monthly towards servicing of their residential stands.

In another desperate measure likely to squeeze local authorities and power utility, Zesa, Chinamasa announced a tariff freeze on water and power – a move dismissed as populist and meant to endear the ruling Zanu PF party with the electorate ahead of the 2018 elections.

“This will include charges on water, power, rates, local taxes and environmental requirements, among others. Any increase in prices will have to be justified and considered on its merits,” he said.

In another move also seen as meant to curry favour with the electorate, Chinamasa reintroduced the Constituency Development Fund, where each constituency would receive $50 000, but opposition MPs dismissed the move as a campaign gimmick.

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance chairperson, David Chapfika defended Chinamasa, saying the Treasury chief had tried his best to ensure there would be money for critical sectors given the constrained fiscal space.
Chinamasa also announced a freeze in salaries and allowances of boards and management of State enterprises and parastatals, local authorities and other public entities.


He said the Office of the President and Cabinet was co-ordinating work towards development of a consistent remuneration framework.

“The employment costs for 2016 from January to October 2016 were $2,63 billion, which is 91% of total revenues, and this put too much pressure on the National Budget and it should not be repeated in 2017,” Chinamasa said.

To support women’s reproductive health, he proposed duty-free raw material imports for sanitary wear.

The Finance minister said in order to protect local bus assemblers, resuscitate downstream industries, as well as create employment, government in 2014 had introduced customs duty of 40% on imported buses.

He said he was now proposing to ring-fence importation of 30 luxury buses at a reduced rate of 50% for 12 months.

On traffic fines, he said driving a vehicle without a windscreen wiper will attract a $10 fine, up from $5; driving without head or side lights will attract a fine of $10, up from $5, cutting corners when turning right will attract a fine of $15, up from $10; overtaking over a solid line has gone up from $20 to $30, and the fine for having non-functional footbrakes has gone up from $20 to $30 to reduce carnage on the roads.

On paraffin, he said there had been a surge in import volumes of the liquid, which was being abused by people mixing it with diesel to achieve higher profit margins.

Chinamasa said to curb this, duty on paraffin would be aligned with that of diesel at a rate of 40 cents per litre with effect from January.

The biggest allocation from the budget was to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, which got $803,7 million, followed by Home Affairs, $364,4 million, and the Defence ministry, which got $340,5 million.
The Health ministry got $228,9 million of which $223 million will go towards staff salaries.


Contrary to public expectations, Chinamasa allocated a paltry $9,8 million to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and $2 million to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.

Chinamasa said the austerity measures he announced would only bear fruit if policy inconsistencies in government were addressed, saying they were derailing his re-engagement efforts with international financiers and poking holes in the country’s economic recovery prospects.

DEFROCKED LAWYER DUPES HOMESEEKERS

A deregistered Harare lawyer is said to be part of a syndicate reportedly duping home seekers of their money by advertising non-existing stands in newspapers and using fake documents. 

It is the State’s case that Wesley Kanda, who was deregistered last year, acts as a practising lawyer before processing title deeds and drafting fake agreements of sale. Kanda is jointly charged with Thulani Dziva (48), Davison Chirume (40), Nyambuya Tendai (41) and Moses Chikwata (48).

They appeared before magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti recently charged with fraud.
Prosecuting, Mr Peter Kachirika alleged that on November 27 the gang placed an advertisement in a local newspaper stating that they were selling a residential stand in Mt Pleasant, Harare, for $28 000.

After seeing the advert, Lawrence Nyamusodza became interested and called the supplied number, which was answered by Dziva, the court heard.

It is alleged that Dziva misrepresented to Nyamusodza that his name was Elijah Sithole, who happens to be the legitimate owner of the stand.
The court heard that the five accused persons made arrangements for Nyamusodza to view the stand, which he did on November 28.

Dziva then advised the complainant to meet him at Kanda’s “offices” on the pretext he was his lawyer.

It is the State’s case that Dziva, in the company of Chirume and Nyamusodza, proceeded to No. 98 Fife Avenue, where they met Kanda.

It is further alleged that Kanda gave the complainant a copy of fake title deeds and assured him that he had done due diligence on the said property. An agreement of sale was drafted and the complainant was given a copy together with the deed of transfer.

They agreed that Nyamusodza would transfer the purchase money into Kanda’s account.
However, before he could transfer the money, Nyamusodza went to the Deeds Office to verify the authenticity of the deed of transfer, the court heard.

It is alleged that Nyamusodza was advised that it was fake and he alerted police at the Deeds Office.

Together with the police, he went back to Kanda’s “offices” and Dziva was found in possession of an identity card bearing Sithole’s name but with his (Dziva) face on it. He was arrested on fraud charges and he implicated his accomplices. Herald

Thursday, 8 December 2016

SHOT WOMAN SUES COPS

A BULAWAYO woman has dragged the police to court demanding $10 000 compensation after a Plumtree cop allegedly shot her on the leg while pursuing a vehicle which was suspected to be carrying smuggled goods.

Ms Constance Tshuma was a passenger in a Granvia vehicle whose driver ignored police orders to stop in November 2014.

Police officers allegedly opened fire on the car that was travelling along the Bulawayo-Plumtree, without first firing warning shots, according to the injured passenger.
Ms Tshuma told Plumtree magistrate, Mr Taurai Manwere yesterday that a bullet went through her right foot and pierced her left foot.

She said police officers did not fire any warning shots before aiming at the vehicle.
Ms Tshuma said she was demanding $10 000 as reimbursement for medical expenses and inconveniences caused by the incident.

“I was in a Granvia vehicle that was coming from Botswana going to Bulawayo when police fired a shot at the vehicle. A bullet hit my right leg, went through and hit my left foot.
“I was hospitalised for six weeks as a result of the incident and I even lost my job. The incident left me traumatised and scared. I am therefore demanding $10 000 as compensation,” said Ms Tshuma.

She said she was supposed to undergo further treatment for the injuries she sustained.
Ms Tshuma said on the day she was shot, the vehicle’s driver, Mr Mbonisi Mpofu was stopped by three cops who were manning a roadblock at the 98 kilometre peg along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road.
She said the cops were looking for smuggled goods and they recovered pairs of shoes hidden under the car seats. She said they ordered the driver to go to the police station but he sped towards Bulawayo.
“Instead of making a u-turn the driver sped towards Bulawayo. The cops pursued us in a private car and they caught up with us at the 40 kilometre peg and they blocked the road. The driver was then forced to stop but to my amazement the cops fired at the vehicle. They told us to disembark but I couldn’t move and that is when I realised that a bullet had hit both my legs,” she said.

Ms Tshuma said she was first taken to Marula Clinic and was later transferred to Plumtree District Hospital from where she ended up being admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals.
Ms Tshuma, who is being represented by Mr Shepherd Chamunorwa said she can no longer wear closed shoes, kneel, squat or stand for a long time because of the injuries she sustained.

Representing the defendants who comprise the Officer in Charge of Plumtree Police Station, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and the Minister of Home Affairs- Dr Ignatius Chombo, Chief Superintendent Ngavi from the Police Legal Services Department said the cops fired at the Granvia in self-defence.

“The driver was instructed to stop at the roadblock but he fled. When the cops caught up with him they tried to stop him but he directed the car to them with an intention to run over them. The cops were left with no option but to shoot at the vehicle. In fact they did not shoot at the body of the vehicle. They first fired warning shots and after realising that the driver wasn’t complying they shot and deflated a rear tyre,” he said.

Chief Supt Ngavi said Ms Tshuma might have been injured during the incident but not as a result of shots fired by the cops.

He said police intercepted the vehicle as they were in pursuit of four murder suspects that were travelling in the Granvia. The matter will continue before Mr Manwere on January 17. chronicle