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


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


He is a controversial prophet who continues to draw large crowds with his promise of miracles. But as his popularity soars he faces all sorts of allegations. So far he has survived.


Two secretary generals tried to topple him but failed. His wife walked out but returned home. Now MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is plotting his way to State House.


Latest news, entertainment and sports.

Saturday, 1 October 2016


ALL is set for today’s MDC-T 17th anniversary celebrations in Bulawayo barring any last-minute attempts by the police to block the event.

MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairperson Gift Banda told Southern Eye yesterday that the police had sanctioned today’s celebrations to be held at White City Stadium under the theme MDC @17: Redefining the End Game.

He urged Bulawayo residents, including those supporting other political parties, to gather at the stadium to celebrate the party’s 17-year journey and to forge alliances ahead of the next general elections.

“Everything is in place. We got the clearance letter on time and we had (by yesterday) not received any last-minute communication to the effect that the celebrations cannot go ahead as planned,” Banda said in a telephone interview.

The Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) one-year anniversary celebrations only went ahead after police made an about-turn and overturned an earlier ban.
The police had banned PDP’s birthday celebration days before the event, citing alleged terrorism fears.

“It is our anniversary and we urge everyone associated with the MDC-T to come in their numbers, and also, it is time for our silent supporters to come and celebrate with us as we chart a path to better the lives of all Zimbabweans,” Banda said.

The MDC-T celebrates 17 years after undergoing several splits since the party’s formation in 1999, the major one taking place in 2005 when Welshman Ncube and others severed ties with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party over differences over participation in the senatorial elections.

Banda also said officials from MDC-T coalition partners under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) such as ZimPF, MDC, PDP and Zapu, among others, would grace the event.

Opposition parties under Nera are jointly pushing for electoral reforms, and analysts have said this is a necessary step towards forming a coalition pact towards and during the next elections to unseat Zanu PF. newsday


 Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo has threatened to withdraw degrees from graduands who engaged in a wild-cat protest against President Robert Mugabe during a graduation ceremony at University of Zimbabwe on Thursday.

Moyo used Twitter to show his anger over the students’ actions. “Just because one is Mr Dombo does not mean they should throw stones everywhere anytime. Disrupting a graduation ceremony can cost a degree!” Moyo warned.

Moyo was referring to former Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) president Tonderai Dombo’s unprecedented protest in which he stood on his chair and waved a placard in Mugabe’s face demanding jobs. Mugabe, who is the institution’s chancellor, was getting ready to cap over 3 000 students.

While there were rumours that at least three Masters graduates had refused to be capped by Mugabe, Moyo scoffed at the suggestions.
“The claim that any graduate refused to be capped at UZ yesterday is only true in the heads of the lot of fakes out there!” the Higher Education minister said.

Moyo also took issue with the other protesters who it appeared he had identified.

“If varsity dropouts like Bill Gates can create jobs, then graduates like dreadlocked Thembinkosi Rushwaya should be expected to do better!” he said, adding a picture of the other two demonstrators.
Dombo shocked all when he stood on his chair facing Mugabe and raised a placard with the words: 

“Graduates today, marovha mangwana (loafers tomorrow), tipei mabasa (give us jobs).”
Mugabe’s aides immediately leapt at Dombo and whisked him away to avoid further embarrassing the 92-year-old Zanu PF leader, whose administration has been under a barrage of criticism both at home and abroad.

Dombo yesterday confirmed he had been released after paying a $10 fine.
“We slept at Harare Central Police Station and the three of us along with Alexander Mukamba and Rushwaya were asked to pay a fine for criminal nuisance,” Dombo told NewsDay.
Zinasu, through secretary-general Makomborero Haruzivishe, denounced Dombo’s arrest, describing it as an infringement of the student’s rights.

Tajamuka/Sesijikile social movement also condemned the arrest, arguing Mugabe had an obligation to provide the 2,2 million jobs he promised in 2013.

Lawyer and People’s Democratic Party president Tendai Biti said the UZ could legally withdraw the degrees.

“It is not possible because those protesters are no longer students because they have graduated. They obtained those degrees because of academic conduct, not as a donation,” Biti said.

“Even if they were a result of donation there is still procedures and legal routes to be followed. They can take away Grace (Mugabe First Lady)’s degree because it was an honorary one.”

Mugabe has since July this year braved demonstrations from members of the public, political parties and civic groups, bitter over his alleged misrule, non-delivery of his government’s promised jobs, police brutality and government plans to introduce bond notes despite resistance from the citizens. newsday


Plans are afoot to have an open prison for female inmates as part of a strategy to rehabilitate and integrate them back into society. Connemara Open Prison caters for male inmates only. 

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services said rigorous screening is done before one can be placed in an open prison. In a speech delivered during Africa Prisons and Correctional Service Day commemorations on Thursday in Lupane, the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs, Cain Mathema, said such a facility ensures that family relations and ties are kept open and intact.

“When inmates go on home leave they interact and stay with their families thus preparing for their release. Upon release, the re-integration process would have commenced while one is serving their prison term,” said Minister Mathema.
“Plans are also underway to establish another open prison for females and Government has already approved its establishment. Progress on the implementation is being stalled by inadequate resources. However, as soon as resources permit, execution of the project will commence in earnest.”

The Minister said the country was recording an upsurge in criminal activities due to low economic activity. He urged the public to be innovative and not rely on some other people for employment opportunities.

ZPCS’ acting officer commanding Matabeleland North Assistant Commissioner Modi Nkomo and her deputy Chief Superintendent Greenfield Bulala, officers commanding prisons and inmates attended the event.


Friday, 30 September 2016


MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday told Bulawayo councillors that the party would be instituting investigations on the allegations of corruption that has led to five of them being suspended by the Government recently.

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, recently suspended deputy mayor Gift Banda together with Clrs Charles Moyo (Ward nine), Mzama Dube (Ward 25), Reuben Matengu (Ward 21) and James Sithole (Ward seven) over a raft of allegations involving underhand dealings and rampant corruption.

Mr Tsvangirai, who arrived in Bulawayo yesterday morning for the party’s 17th anniversary celebrations at the White City Stadium today, met the councillors before later chairing the national executive which also met in the city.

“Tsvangirai called all the councillors and addressed them on the recent suspensions by Government. He said while the party stood with its councillors, an internal party investigation would be conducted to gauge veracity of the matter,” said an insider.

“In the meeting, Tsvangirai said Zanu-PF wants to suspend the entire council but before the party makes any statements, it needed to conduct its own investigations. He also said he wanted to tell us that he will talk about the matter during the celebrations to the effect that the party would conduct investigations. Tsvangirai said he wanted to tell us first so that we won’t be taken by surprise.”
Mr Banda yesterday confirmed the meeting between councillors and Mr Tsvangirai but would not be drawn to divulge details saying, “We don’t discuss party issues in the press.”
Mr Tsvangirai is reportedly under pressure from a clique within the MDC-T that wants the party to also suspend the councillors over the allegations of corruption.

“The main target is Gift Banda, a key ally of vice president Thokozani Khupe, so there is a push to suspend those councillors because there is a precedence of Chitungwiza where councillors were suspended from the party under similar circumstances,” said a source.

Ms Khupe reportedly leads a faction engaged in a tussle with another led by Mr Nelson Chamisa who was recently appointed along with Engineer Elias Mudzuri as additional vice presidents of the MDC-T.

“The clique wants the matter to be taken to the portfolio committee who will forward it to the legal committee and then relayed to the national executive committee before the national council makes a decision on whether they are suspended or not basing on the findings of the investigations.”

There was chaos after the party’s national executive council meeting when youths allegedly organised by Bulawayo South legislator Ms Dorcas Sibanda came to the party’s provincial offices chanting Mr Chamisa’s name.

“There is a plot to organise the same youths to chant Chamisa’s name during the celebrations tomorrow in a bid to denounce Khupe and show her that she does not have influence in the province. The Khupe camp on the other hand insists that the numbers would tell who is powerful in Bulawayo,” said the insider.


Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has once again slammed some High Court judges for being “lazy” and creating a backlog, with one judge only handing down two judgements last year while other judges had written more than 300.

Justice Chidyausiku hit out at Justices Samuel Kudya, Alphas Chitakunye and Prisciilla Chigumba for failing to conclude cases during their interviews to be considered for elevation to the Supreme Court on Thursday.

It merged that Justice Kudya had only handed down two judgments last year while Justice Chitakunye handed 69 judgments, something the Judicial Service Commission said was a cause for concern.

Justice Charles Hungwe, who was part of eight judges to be interviewed, was commended for writing more than 100 judgments in a year.

“The pressure in the Supreme Court is more than at the High Court. Why should the Commission be convinced that you will write more judgments at the Supreme Court when you have not been writing at the High Court. Some of your fellow judges have written 330 judgments while you have written two,” said Chief Justice Chidyausiku, while interviewing Justice Kudya.

“If it was a small difference of about say 10, I would understand, but a discrepancy of about 200, we have problems with that.”
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba weighed in saying: “You wrote 12 judgments in 2013, it means you are not really working.”

In response, Justice Kudya said he was once Acting Secretary of JSC, a position which consumed some of his time.

He said in some of the instances he disposed some of the cases during pre-trial management meetings where one party would eventually withdraw.
“So you are saying you are disposing the cases through arbitration and not through judgments?” asked Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

Justice Kudya said he is in a specialised court — the Fiscal Court — where he is the only judge, adding that he receives large volumes of documents which he needs to go through.

“The 24 hours I have in a day are not enough to deal with a tax case. I am surprised I have not had a nervous breakdown. I have most of the time taught myself. I have no one to consult, one judge who used to do such cases is Retired Justice (George) Smith and he is now a consultant of most of the parties that appear before me, making it impossible to consult him,” said Justice Kudya.

“Another judge is Justice (Ben) Hlatshwayo but he is now at the Supreme Court. I would not want to bother him since I know he is a busy man.
Besides if I consult him what if he is to deal with the very case that I would have consulted on appeal.”

Justice Chitakunye said he sits on the African Union Commission on Human Rights and that entails travelling a lot and reading voluminous documents and hinted that could be one of the reasons for lower output.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku said if that was the case, the JSC might consider not to second judges to the continental body if their work was being compromised.
The judges were also taken to task on why they had a higher number of their cases overturned on appeal. Herald


A KOMBI tout from Bulawayo has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old pupil in a bush at Ngozi Mine.

Twinlock Moyo (21) of Cowdray Park suburb appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Stephen Ndhlovu facing a charge of having sexual intercourse with a young person.

He was not asked to plead and was remanded out of custody to October 7. In a warned and cautioned statement, Moyo said he did not know his girlfriend’s age.

The pupil, whose name has been withheld for ethical reasons, also lives in Cowdray Park suburb and is a Form Two pupil at a school in Mzilikazi suburb.
Prosecuting, Ms Sibekithemba Dube said the tout had been having a relationship with the pupil for some time. Ms Dube said on Tuesday night, Moyo went to the juvenile’s home and asked to take her for a walk.

“On September 27, 2016, at around 7PM, the accused person went to the complainant’s place of residence and asked her to take a walk with him,” she said.
The girl agreed and they went to a bushy area near Ngozi Mine landfill site where they had sexual  intercourse.

Their secret allegedly came out in the open when they met the girl’s uncle on their way home.

“After the encounter, the accused person accompanied the complainant to her place of residence and on their way they came across the complainant’s uncle who demanded to know what was going on,” said the prosecutor.

The complainant confessed and the uncle engaged the juvenile’s mother and they reported the matter to the police.Chronicle


Zanu-PF secretary for Women Affairs Mugabe, yesterday said the Zanu-PF Women’s League was in full support of the party’s two Vice Presidents, Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.

She dismissed any wrong insinuations and misunderstandings drawn from the women’s cry to be represented in the party’s presidium as implying efforts to remove one of the two VPs.

Speaking at a Women’s League National Assembly Meeting in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said the proposed amendments to a section of the Zanu-PF constitution were wrongly misinterpreted as a strategy by the women to oust one of the reigning VPs, stressing that the Women’s League was solidly behind the VPs’ leadership.

“Your Excellency, just to put the record straight, our resolution was misunderstood and misinterpreted. The resolution was never meant to dispense with anyone. On this note, I wish to assure ubaba uVice Presidents and Second Secretary, Cdes Mnangagwa and Mphoko that you have our full support,” said Dr Mugabe.

During the 15th National Annual People’s Conference in Victoria Falls last year, the Women’s League resolved to push for the amendment of the revolutionary party’s constitution to allow for the appointment of a female Vice President.

They wanted Article 7 (1) (b) of the ruling party’s constitution amended to reinstate the previous provision that one of the two VPs and Second Secretary shall be a woman.
The women gave the party up to end of 2016 to effect the amendment ahead of the 2019 Congress.
Yesterday, the women hailed Government, under the leadership of President Mugabe, for making great strides in promoting gender equity.

“It is gratifying to note that among our National Assembly members are women, whom you elevated to positions of decision-making both in the Party and Government, to promote gender equity as well as to dilute the male-dominated political space.

“In this regard, Cde President, on behalf of the members of the Women’s League National Assembly and on my own behalf, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your invaluable support.

“Furthermore, we appreciate the initiatives undertaken by Government under your (President Mugabe) wise stewardship in transforming the lives of women in Zimbabwe through progressive policies and legislation enacted since 1980,” said Dr Mugabe.

She urged the private sector to play its part in complementing Government efforts to empower women.

“In this regard, we call upon the private sector to take a cue from the initiatives being undertaken by Government towards attaining 50:50 gender representation at all institutional levels as the constitutional obligation equally applies to them. We are hoping that the newly formed Gender Commission will work tirelessly towards the realisation of this constitutional requirement,” she said.
The Women’s League hailed President Mugabe for his stance against child marriages.

The First Lady reiterated the women league’s support for the President in in 2018 elections.
“We want to reiterate our first resolution passed during the 15th National Annual People’s Conference that is, ‘to support President Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe as the sole candidate for position of President and First Secretary for Zanu-PF as well as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for 2018 and beyond’.” Herald


A  teen small house found in bed with her lover has been stripped naked and splashed with urine.

Florence Chizinga of Budiriro 5 was humiliated before a crowd by her lover Shadreck Manyika’s wife only identified as Mai Shantie.

Mai Shantie teamed up with her friend and stripped and clapped Florence while the crowd called her names after she caught her between the sheets with Shadreck.

Shadreck accommodated Florence, believed to be pregnant, after Mai Shantie left the house to visit her parents.

“Mai Shantie must have been tipped by someone that her husband had accommodated this lady and she returned quickly and found the two caressing and kissing each other in her matrimonial bedroom,” said the neighbour.

“The lady was attacked and splashed with urine after she threatened to stab herself with a knife and that did not go down well with the crowd.

 “Mahure haadi kujaidzwa, ndamufundisa chikoro chaasina kudzidziswa namai nababa vake,” Mai Shantie was heard saying.

Shadreck hired a taxi and whisked Florence away with the help of neigbours who stood with him as the crowd bayed for her blood.



President Mugabe says rumour mongers are destroying the ruling party.

“We are united at the top. Whatever people might say, we just continue and continue to do our work. Lots of things have been said about my VPs and we have said let’s do our work and ignore them. Serve the people and that’s it.

“Rumours hatidi, hatidi marumours isusu. Talk to the people using the voice of unity, language of unity and not language of division. Don’t divide.

Rumours hatidi, running from one area to another. No that’s not Zanu-PF. You may see the information coming to you, fine. But you should not be the rumour monger yourself nekuti dzimwe nhema dzinotitemesa musoro, dzimwe dzehuroyi dzimwe dzei aah. Unosvika kupi nadzo uchiti pautautu hwedu apa, tinotovareva. Chero mumwe auya oti musapiwa maranjisi navanaMnangagwa anenge azodzwa vanenge vabva kun’anga dzavo. Iro ranjisi rine makoko! Kana! takabvira kupi nerwendo urwu tiri pamwechete? (Some make allegations of witchcraft meant to divide us not knowing that our unity dates back many years ago)

“This is 2016, takararama jeri tiri tose tikabuda, kunana Mozambique tiri tose, tikaona independence tiri tose. Muroyi azouya nhasi? ( We were together in jail and later released, we were together in Mozambique and we witnessed out independence together so today we have a wizard among us?) Ndingade kuziva anonzi ndiye muroyi wacho, inonzi ndiyo n’anga yacho ndogoionawo ini. (I would like to know the one who is said to be a wizard or to see the so called inyanga)
“So let’s be united. But unity must recognise others who do not belong to us. Leave them in peace.”

President Mugabe commended youth secretary, Cde Kudzai Chipanga, for organising the One Million Man march, which he said went on well.
He said the youths were important in the party as they were the future and heirs of the inheritance.

“Vana Chipanga tinoda kukutendai. I am glad you are here. Mukomana uyu akaorganiser One Million Man March yakavhundutsa. That was a demonstration of what we can do in the future and the party. So we say to you well done, congratulations. Ndimi the youths vanotumwa nanamai vanodefender vanamai nababa. Ndimi vagari venhaka and you should be worried about the future of the party much more than the Women’s League.

President Mugabe said factions did not have any place in the ruling party as Zanu-PF operated on organs and not factions.

“To hell with factions I would say. The party knows nothing that is a faction. Our constitution doesn’t allow factions, we only have party organs but you will find people wanting to divide the party.

“There had been some instances by outsiders thinking the party is divided, demonstrating and appealing nationally for persons within the party to join and I am glad they have been shown that our party is not that stupid,” he said.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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