MDC TRUCE

Morgan Tsvangirai says the internal MDC strife is over. Many in his party do not believe him as the purge of pro-Biti officials continues.

MUGABE AND GRACE

President Mugabe was so angry when the EU did not invite his wife for the EU-Africa summit. He decided he would rather not go than be without his dearest wife, Grace. He is a 90-year-old man who requires his wife by his side all the time.

OBSCENE SALARIES POSTERBOY

Cuthbert Dube has been re-elected the boss of Zifa to a chorus of boos within the football fraternity. Dube said he was not bothered as the people who voted wanted him to lead Zifa again.

ZANU PF WARS

Open war has broken out in the ruling party with the two factions, one believed to be led by Joice Mujuru and another by Emmerson Mnangagwa squaring off. Mugabe is on his last five year term and succession is now on the cards.

NEWSDZEZIMBABWE

Latest news, entertainment and sports.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

LECTURER LOSES $3 800 LOBOLA MONEY TO PROPHET

A University of Zimbabwe lecturer lost US$3 800 bride price to his church leader and a self-styled prophet belonging to an apostolic sect during prayer sessions.

Archiford Kurauone Mtetwa (34) of Broadlands Road, Mt Pleasant, in Harare joined Johane Masowe weChishanu apostolic sect in August 2013 after consulting with his friend George Machaya, a member.

The sect operates at an open space in Unit N, Chitungwiza. In March this year, Mtetwa had plans to marry his fiancée but was facing some problems and he asked his pastor Wisdom Hapunga for guidance.

Hapunga began praying for Mtetwa for the marriage to be successful. Mtetwa fell ill towards the day prompting him to visit Hapunga for some prayers since his health was deteriorating. During the sessions, Hapunga claimed to have prophesied that Mtetwa was going to die in a road accident after paying lobola.

He said Mtetwa’s life was at stake since someone was bewitching him forcing the latter to delay the marriage. Hapunga ordered Mtetwa to bring the money for cleansing. Later Hapunga handed Mtetwa two pieces of red cloths to wrap the money in separate batches of US$3 800 and US$400.
Mtetwa returned the money to Hapunga who was in another room before ordering him to kneel for the prayers.

During the prayer Hapunga swapped the cloth containing US$3 800 with the one he had stashed with some guava leaves and placed it into Mtetwa’s hand. Mtetwa was reminded not to open or use the money when he returned to his house and would do so after Hapunga’s instruction.

The following day, Hapunga bought a car for US$3 300 and later called Mtetwa to meet him for prayers that would be conducted at the Great Dyke. After a prayer at the mountains, Hapunga told Mtetwa that he could not locate the money which he claimed was stolen at Westgate by some people who practise satanism.

The matter was reported to the police leading to Hapunga’s arrest. Hapunga was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to theft charges before magistrate Mr Lazarus Murendo.
One year was suspended for five years and six months were set aside on condition he pays back $3 800 to Mtetwa.

He would be in prison for three and half years. Mr Tendai Mukariri prosecuted.

USA FREEZES ZIM EMBASSY ACCOUNT

FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday said he was shocked after the USA froze the Zimbabwe embassy bank account in Washington.


Speaking at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference at the ZITF, Minister Chinamasa said he was shocked when Zimbabwe embassy officials told him last week that their bank account had been frozen and they had failed to access their salaries.

“I could not believe it when I was told that the US had frozen the embassy account and this created problems because we could not send money to pay the embassy workers their salaries.
“We advised them to open a new account with a different bank, but this was not possible as every other bank gave them flimsy excuses,” said the minister.

The bank account was only unfrozen after Zimbabwe took the matter up with the US State Department whose Office of Foreign Assets Control has been prejudicing Zimbabwean firms of millions of dollars in seized funds.

The West’s sanctions regime is estimated to have cost Zimbabwe over US$42 billion in revenue since the turn of the millennium. While Ambassador Wharton said the bank account had since been unfrozen, Minister Chinamasa rapped the action, saying it was wrong for the US to have taken it in the first place.

“I know that the account has been unfrozen, but why do that in the first place? The account was only opened after talking to the  State Department. Why go that far?” asked Cde Chinamasa.
He bemoaned the existence of the illegal western sanctions saying they were placing the economy under siege. He said he had not wanted to talk about the issue at the business forum but had no option as the US ambassador was also present.

Cde Chinamasa said it was, however, important for people from all sectors of the economy to unite and work towards success in spite of the sanctions.
“I am not saying all this to frighten anyone, but I want people to know where the landmines are and I want us to find a way to tip-toe around the landmines.
“We should not be fooled by Americans who tell us all sorts of reasons for the sanctions. The reason is the land reform programme. This programme has been very expensive for the country. It has come with huge costs,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking at an exhibition of President Mugabe’s iconic images at the ZITF, the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Professor Jonathan Moyo commended the US for its presence after years of boycotting the exposition. He said their participation will give them an understanding of how harmful the sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe were.

Prof Moyo said time had come for the US government to promote trade with Zimbabwe after the broad endorsement of the July 2013 harmonised elections convincingly won by Zanu-PF.
“Time has come for them to promote trade. You can’t come here saying you are an honest broker and show one hand and hide the other with hostility and animosity. We receive them with both hands and ask them to show the two hands and stop the behaviour they have been doing since 2001. We will be keenly following what they do after this,” he said.

Prof Moyo said the country was going to restore normal diplomatic relations with everyone in the international community.

“One of the things that make us really believe that after the 2013 elections, the general atmosphere in the country even as we speak now is reminiscent of spirit of 1980 is among other things exemplified by the presence of even our detractors. You see in 1980, we won against our detractors but after the victory, we celebrated with them, they came and became part of a new order. And we are seeing that again. Yes there have been serious quarrels over the last 15 years where our independence, a very important asset was under attract and we defended successfully as shown by the absolute majority in the elections,” he said.

BROKE GOVT MOVES PENSION PAY DATE

The Finance Ministry has moved the pensions pay date for this month from tomorrow to next Wednesday. In a statement yesterday, Civil Service Commission Acting Secretary Mr Clifford Matorera said: “The Civil Service Commission advises that the Ministry of Finance (Treasury) has moved pensions pay date from the 25th of April to the 30th of April 2014.”

Mr Matorera said the change in pay dates had been necessitated by adjusted pension payments and back-pays.

The Finance Ministry last week moved pay dates for a chunk of the civil service for this month from Tuesday to today due to challenges in transmission of funds caused by the Independence and Easter holidays.

Last week, a smaller portion of Government workers including soldiers and teachers received their salaries with increments back-dated to January 2014. Government and civil servants signed a salary deal in January and the least paid civil servant will earn US$375, inclusive of allowances.
The lowest paid teacher/nurse now earns a basic salary of US$284 and US$116 and US$100 in transport and housing allowances.

ROBBERS IN MIDNIGHT RAID ON BUSINESSMAN AND LOVER

A prominent businessman enjoying a good time with his lover in a car were attacked by four robbers.

The two were left naked and heavily bruised from attacks from four suspected robbers. Travolta Matekenya (34), who has interests in passenger transportation, was with a female companion identified as Tarisai Zvimba (21) at Karoi town council truck-in around midnight on April 18 when four men approached.

The men ordered them to open the doors but they refused and they smashed the front windscreen with stones before force opening the doors. They yanked the two out of the vehicle, a Toyota Funcargo, before demanding money and their cellphones.

Acting Mashonaland West police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ian Kohwera confirmed the incident adding that investigations are still in progress. “We are handling a matter in which a couple was robbed of money, cellphones and a car while they were meeting at a secluded place,” he said. The gang started assaulting them with fists and feet before tying their hands and legs.

They took away US$300, an I-pad and two cellphones before driving away in the vehicle leaving the two naked on the scene. The two, however, managed to untie themselves and got a lift from a truck that was passing by before making a report.

They sustained swollen faces and bruises from the assault and were taken to Karoi Hospital where they were treated and discharged. Asst Insp Kohwera urged people to desist from parking at secluded places and not to move around with a lot of money.

WE ARE NOT DEMOLISHING OUR HOUSES

Chitungwiza residents, who were allocated stands on undesignated areas, have vowed not to demolish their houses until the government allocates them alternative places to stay.

This comes just a week before the three week ultimatum that was given by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo lapses.The Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association says no voluntary demolitions have occurred as yet as the residents want to be issued alternative places to stay.

The association’s chairperson, Mr Arthur Taderera said though they do not condone corruption and its ill effects, demolishing houses that were bought legally from the council and council-accepted cooperatives is a violation of human rights.“The residents are resisting demolishing their own houses, where will they stay? The government knew about this, they should have taken measures against the land barons not innocent residents,” he said.

Mr Taderera said the government and the Chitungwiza Municipality should bear the brunt for allowing a few land barons to take advantage of innocent home seekers by illegally allocating stands.Section 74 of the new Zimbabwean constitution states that, “No person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.”On the 13th of this month, Dr Chombo led a ministerial delegation which visited houses that are built close to the cemetery and in wetlands.

A total of 4000 illegally built houses are to be demolished.

MINISTER, AIRMAN FARM WRANGLE SPILLS INTO COURT

A protracted legal feud over the occupation of Bloomfield Farm in Mazowe has spilled into the High Court following futile efforts to evict 17 people by an Airforce officer.
A court date is however yet to be issued on the legal battle over the control of the 206 hectare Bloomfield Farm of Mazowe, pitting 17 on one hand and the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.

The civil dispute which is now in its second year appears in High Court records under case number HC 707/14.According to High Court records, the battle of the farm sucked in the Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Fortune Chasi, who is the member of National Assembly for Mazowe South Constituency.

Chasi accused Penias Kazingizi, an Air Force of Zimbabwe officer of using military force to evict the 17 plaintiffs from the farm.However, Kazingizi’s legal counsel, Group Captain Albert Murove from the Directorate of Litigation and Training in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said allegations by the Deputy Minister and the plaintiffs is without merit as Kazingizi is the sole owner with the legitimate and full rights of the farm as he was issued an offer letter from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.In an eviction notice and in the summons issued against 16 of the plaintiffs, Kazingizi said he has been disrupted from farming, owing to vandalism, sabotage, illegal mining, illicit brewing of kachasu and violence, among other unlawful disturbances.

LATEST ON MAIDS' $700 000 THEFT CASE JUDGEMENT

Judgement in the case of three Belvedere housemaids, accused of stealing US$700 000 from their employer, has been postponed for the second time.
Harare magistrate, Mr Themba Kuwanda indicated that the judgement is not yet ready. The three suspects; Euna Tsekwete of Shamva, Rebecca Kawe of Zengeza 4 and Sheila Nyandoro of Unit K in Chitungwiza, who were employed by Jamil Farogh allegedly stole US$700 000 which was in a kitchen drawer.

The state, represented by Mr Michael Reza alleges that one of the accused, Kawe discovered the money and connived with the other two accused persons. It is believed that the accused resigned within a month after allegedly stealing the money which they splashed on luxury vehicles and houses.The state further alleges that the crime was detected after a relative of one of the accused reported the matter to the police which led to the arrest of the three.

MUTASA : CHINA HAS FAILED US

The government says the Chinese have not been forthcoming as expected in helping Zimbabwe rebuild its economy.

Presidential Affairs Minister, Didymus Mutasa says Zimbabweans are on their own and as they seek to rebuild the economy, must realise that it is local resources that are key to take the country on a growth and development pattern.

“The Chinese have not been forthcoming. We cannot look East or West. We need to look within ourselves,” Mutasa said. Mutasa, who was giving a lecture at the National Defence College in Harare, also spoke about his involvement in the Green Fuel saga, which has hogged the media as he blasted two individuals;  Themba Mliswa and Mr Basil Nyabadza for acting in their personal interests.

“They have acted not in the interest of government but their personal interest,” he said. Mutasa said government remains clear that the project must operate on the 51-49 percent shareholding structure in favour of government.

MURDERED ZIMBABAWEAN WOMAN IN TWO HUSBANDS MYSTERY

THE Zimbabwean, who was allegedly killed by her Namibian husband last week, could have had two husbands at the time of her death, police said.

According to crime coordinator Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa, Siphiwe Masuku (43) was apparently married to two Namibian men.Nghishidimbwa, however, said the police are currently looking for the first husband.“We have discovered that Masuku married her first Namibian husband years ago when she arrived in Namibia. She then recently also married Chabi Owaseb whom we suspect killed her and then committed suicide. We are looking for her first husband to establish if they were still married,” Nghishidimbwa told The Namibian on Monday.

Masuku’s body was found between Windhoek and Okahandja close to Okapuka Ranch, where it was apparently dumped, while Owaseb’s body was found hanging in his shack in Havana.

UZ LOSES DIPLOMA CASE

A class of 40 University of Zimbabwe former students who graduated with post-graduate Diploma in Law (Conciliation and Arbitration) in 2011 will now get their certificates after the High Court ruled that the students deserved the qualification.

Justice Joseph Mafusire nullified the university’s decision to downgrade the qualification to a mere law diploma and ordered the institution to award the 2011 group with post-graduate diploma certificates. Post-graduate diploma is a higher qualification that requires one to first possess a degree before enrolling for the programme while a diploma could be obtained by someone who holds five Ordinary level subjects.

Despite possessing first degrees and having used the post-graduate study material and examination question papers UZ wanted to award the students with mere diplomas.The operative part of Justice Mafusire’s judgment reads:“It is ordered that the diplomas issued to the applicants be and are hereby declared to be Post-Graduate Diplomas in Law (Conciliation and Arbitration).“The respondent (UZ) be and is hereby ordered to issue the applicants with the diplomas referred above.“The respondent be and is hereby ordered to pay the costs of suit,” ruled Justice Mafusire.

It was the court’s finding that the decision to downgrade the qualification was unreasonable.“I considered that the respondent’s decision to switch, in midstream, and in the manner it did, the designation of the course from post-graduate diploma to a mere diploma, was grossly unreasonable.“That is to say, the decision was so grossly unreasonable as to be irrational and outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the issue to be decided would have arrived at it,” he said.

ZIMBABWE CONSIDERS ZIMDOLLAR RETURN

Zimbabwe is weighing the reintroduction of the national currency it abandoned in 2009 in favor of the U.S. dollar as it struggles to meet its monthly wage bill, three members of the ruling party’s decision-making body said.

While the revival of the Zimbabwe dollar would allow the government to print money to meet its needs it could damage the popularity of President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, said the people, who asked not be identified because the discussions are private. Patrick Chinamasa, the country’s finance minister, didn’t answer calls made to his mobile phone.

Zimbabwe abolished its national currency in 2009 after inflation surged to 500 billion percent the year earlier, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, and the party lost its parliamentary majority in elections while retaining the presidency. Last year Mugabe, 90, won re-election and Zanu-PF defeated the Movement for Democratic Change to regain control of parliament and end a four-year coalition government.

The party’s politburo is trying to decide whether it will do more harm to its image by reintroducing the currency and meeting its wage commitments or continuing to use foreign exchange, protecting the country’s citizens against inflation, the people said. A majority of politburo members are currently against its reintroduction, they said.
       
Between 2000 and 2008 the economy contracted by 40 percent, according to the IMF, and millions of Zimbabweans emigrated to countries including neighboring South Africa. Since the use of the dollar and other currencies including the South African rand was permitted in 2009 the economy has expanded every year.

“We’ll just die, we can’t go back to 2008,” said Jehosephat Dambadza, a furniture-maker in Harare, the capital, said in a telephone interview. “If they bring back the dollar it will quickly deteriorate to worse than then, we’ll have nothing.”

This year the economy has slowed with sales of consumer goods falling as much as 30 percent in February and revenue collection declining by a 10th, according to the Treasury. Consumer prices fell for a second month in March, while wages accounted for 58 percent of government expenditure in February. Pay increases agreed to by the government earlier this year were delayed.

Together with soldiers and police Zimbabwe has about 285,000 government workers.
       
“It’s physically possible to reintroduce the currency,” Christie Viljoen, an economist at NKC Independent Economists in Paarl, South Africa, said in an interview. “They could force civil servants to take the Zimbabwe dollar as payment and they could force banks to stock them.”

Chinamasa said the government will alter its plan to force all foreign-owned companies to sell or cede 51 percent of their assets to black Zimbabweans. The government will now impose local ownership rules that will differ “sector-by sector,” he told reporters in Harare yesterday.

Companies including Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. have ceded stakes in their Zimbabwean assets.

“Zimbabwe has big economic problems. They have a huge current account-deficit and a fiscal shortfall,” Viljoen said. “They need money from somewhere and they’re running out of options. Reintroducing the Zimbabwe dollar could be an option.” Bloomberg

BABY OKAY AFTER MUM LEAPS TO HER DEATH

THE baby whose mother committed suicide by leaping out of the second floor of a hospital maternity ward in Bulawayo last month is in safe hands and growing well, a close relative said yesterday.Epifania Dube, 20, from Zimbili resettlement area killed herself days after giving birth at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH)’s Lady Rodwell maternity ward.

Dube’s body was found outside the maternity building by the hospital’s security personnel on March 17. She reportedly left a suicide note accusing her in-laws of “hating her”, and apologised to her husband Deadline Ngwenya, 24, for infecting him with HIV.

Ngwenya’s uncle, Jerusalem Phiri told Chronicle yesterday that the baby, who had stayed in hospital because he could not feed, was in safe hands and growing well.

“After Dube’s burial, we discussed as relatives and we agreed that the baby would be taken care of by his father’s relatives. His grandmother, who stays in the same village is taking care of him and we are happy that he is a healthy baby,” said Phiri.

He was, however, shocked by reports that their daughter-in-law left a suicide note which he said they had not seen.

“We had not stayed with her and there was no reason to hate her. She came with her relatives to inform us of her pregnancy and we accepted her as our daughter-in-law. It was agreed that she would go back home and come back after giving birth. When she gave birth, we received the news with joy and looked forward to her coming home. We were shocked to learn that she had committed suicide,” said Phiri.

He told Chronicle that the family still did not understand why Dube committed suicide, adding they were yet to see the suicide note that she allegedly left behind.

“What worries us is that we did not see the suicide note that our daughter-in-law left. We approached the police but we did not manage to get the letter. We are appealing to anyone who might have the letter to give it to us so that we know what really happened to her. It is unfortunate that Dube committed suicide and left her newly born baby behind, but as parents of the little boy, we are prepared to take care of him,” said Phiri.

Dube was buried at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo last month. At the time of her death, patients who were with her at UBH told Chronicle that she had left a suicide note that was taken by the police. Police could not immediately comment on the case yesterday.

MAN KILLED AT A PARTY

PARTY turned into a funeral recently when a man from Bulawayo’s Emakhandeni suburb was brutally assaulted following a row with fellow party goers over a cellphone. Ayibongwe Ncube, 25, died after being assaulted during a row over a cellphone at a birthday party in Emakhandeni.
Prosecutors say five men went after him with bricks, booted feet and fists after he had refused to give them a cellphone.

So savage was the attack that it left him bleeding from the head and unable to speak. Promptly dumb after the assault, Ncube had to improvise sign language while narrating his experience to a relative.

He died before being taken to hospital due to the severity of the head injuries he had sustained during the attack.

Bhekimpilo Sibanda of New Lobengula and Mvusi Nyathi, Valentine Nyathi, Mgcini Mabena, Ackim Nyathi all of Emakhandeni appeared before Bulawayo magistrates yesterday facing murder charges. They pleaded not guilty, but were told to apply for bail at the High Court.

Prosecuting, Caroline Matanga said on April 12 at about 10PM, Ncube was tasked to braai some meat by their host, Lindile Ndlovu. “His friend Clinton Ncube gave the now deceased a cellphone to provide light since there was not enough light at the braai place. Clinton then left Ncube as he proceeded to the shops to buy some more beer for the party,” she said.

Two of the alleged killers, said Matanga, approached Ncube and demanded to have the cellphone he was using, claiming that it was theirs. “Ncube refused to give them the cellphone explaining that he was not going to give them the cellphone in Clinton’s absence,” she said.

“The argument degenerated into a fight as the two started assaulting the deceased with fists. The other three accused persons also joined in and assaulted him using bricks, fists and booted feet.”
The prosecutor said Ncube escaped to his aunt’s house in the same area, but failed to narrate the ordeal due to the seriousness of the injuries. Instead, he used signs to communicate that he had been assaulted at the party.

She said Ncube died later in the night as a result of the head injuries before he could be taken to hospital.

“He was seriously injured and therefore struggled to get to his aunt’s house. When he got to the house, he was already bleeding from his head,” said prosecutor. “When he arrived at the house he could not narrate what had happened. He managed to use signs to tell his aunt that he had been assaulted at the party.”

The trial continues on May 6.

MY WIFE HAS DENIED ME SEX FOR OVER 10 YEARS

A man has approached the courts complaining that his wife has denied him conjugal rights for more than 10 years.
Godfrey Ruwande alleges his wife Abigail Chingwa has denied him sex since 2003.
Ruwande told Harare Civil Court magistrate Gamuchirai Siwardi that Chingwa engages in extra-marital activities and assaults him if he questions her.

He said Chingwa stopped bedding him after she began an affair with a man he suspects to be her workmate. “She has been denying me conjugal rights since 2003 when she started seeing another man,” Ruwande said.

“She assaulted me when I asked for intimacy because I was suffering sexually. She once locked me out of the house after assaulting me when I caressed her hoping she would give in to my advances.

“Abby threatened to kill me and since 2003 she has been sleeping on a sofa which she has turned into her bed. I also saw a love message in her mobile phone from her boyfriend.”
Ruwande pleaded with the court to evict Chingwa from their matrimonial home and to return the keys to the house.

Chingwa refuted her husband’s allegations, saying she has never assaulted him. “I dispute everything that he is saying,” argued Chingwa.

“The message he is alleging belongs to my sister who was using my phone to receive messages from her husband.” Magistrate Siwardi dismissed Ruwande’s application, saying the assault only occurred once and he should have filed a police report.

She said Chingwa cannot be evicted from the house because it was their matrimonial property. daily news

ECONET'S RETAIL BANK TO LAY OFF STAFF

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet)'s retail banking subsidiary Steward Bank is retrenching as part of strategies to contain costs and streamline operations, businessdaily has established. According to sources, the bank will shed 127 workers.

It has already served them with retrenchment notices pending finalisation of their packages.
“I can confirm that what you have enquired about is true. Put your questions in writing so that we can respond accordingly,” a senior bank official said.

Econet’s corporate affairs manager Ranga Mberi said the group could not comment while Steward Bank had not responded to e-mailed questions. Early this year, Steward Bank closed some of its outlets under a “branch consolidation exercise”.

The financial institution —with 20 branches as of January 2014 — has already shut five units but could not project how many more would be closed. It said it was in talks with Lifestyle Holdings (Lifestyle), the former owners of the bank, whose furniture retail outlets houses most of its banking outlets.

“As you are aware, the majority of the bank’s branches are within Lifestyle Holding outlets. There are progressive discussions between the two organisations to establish Lifestyle’s strategic perspective particularly on its geographical footprint as this has a significant bearing on the bank. Thus we will be able to have certainty on the nature and extent of the consolidation once this engagement has been completed,” the bank’s official told businessdaily then.

“Our branch consolidation is both internally and externally driven. While we have a good idea about our internal plans, we do not have much control on externally-driven dynamics,” he added.
However, while staff from the affected branches had been absorbed within the bank, the official said it was premature to provide a credible assessment of the impact on workers in terms of job losses “since the extent of the exercise hasn’t been concluded”.

Early last year, Econet increased its stake in Steward Bank — then TN Bank Limited — from 45 percent to 97,96 percent in a cash and share swap deal. Under the transaction, Econet paid cash for 830 417 TN Bank shares while 72 542 997 shares were exchanged for Econet’s.

Steward is currently capitalised to the tune of $76,9 million. At the end of last year, Econet said Steward Bank was sound and would not be affected by the prevailing liquidity crisis. This was on the back of several indigenous banks facing viability challenges and struggling to fund depositors’ withdrawals.

Econet’s chief executive Douglas Mboweni said since taking over the financial institution, the group had implemented tough restructuring measures. “We brought in experts who looked very carefully at what was needed to operate a bank successfully in a market with no lender of last resort.
“We cleaned up the balance sheet, wrote off bad loans, and fully recapitalised the bank. We eliminated all systemic weaknesses,” he said.

Mboweni added that “in a market with no lender of last resort, the shareholder of the bank must be very strong financially and the bank must be properly capitalised.” He also said that funds from EcoCash, the group’s mobile money transfer service, are managed through a special trust arrangement set up with the approval of the Reserve Bank, and the trust has its own independent trustees, who have nothing to do with the bank or its shareholders.

“We do not touch that money. If you send money, we have it, and we do not lend it. If every single person came for their money tomorrow, we will have it. We have every single cent of that money. If an agent fails to pay, we will pay, and if the bank fails to pay, Econet will pay,” he said. daily news

TOP COP FACES THEFT CHARGES

The officer-in-charge of Matapi Police Station in Mbare connived with a constable and stole $3 105 paid in fines, a Harare magistrate heard yesterday.

Officer-in-charge Linia Zvobgo, 51, of 17697 New Craneborne Harare and constable Tawanda Forgive Dube, 25, of 40 Mondynes Drive, Mandara, appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe facing theft of trust property charges.

The pair was remanded in custody pending their bail application. The State opposed bail on the basis that there was a high likelihood that accused persons would interfere with witnesses. The state also fears that Zvobgo might threaten witnesses since most of them were her subordinates.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that between March and April this year, Zvobgo was the custodian of keys to the safe and state property. She was responsible for the overall running of the police station.

Dube was responsible for preparing charge sheets to facilitate banking of money with the Clerk of Court. Zvobgo and Dube reportedly received $3 105 as deposit fines and receipted the money for purposes of banking. Dube and Zvobgo did not deposit the cash in the bank or with the Clerk of Court and ZRP Harare Province Finance Section, but allegedly converted the money to their own use.

GRANNY KILLS HUBBY OVER SEX

A grandmother in Gutu has hacked her husband to death with an axe last week after he accused her of starving him of his conjugal rights.
Rosemary Chivhanganye, 52, appeared before Gutu magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini facing murder charges. Chivhanganye is accused of fatally axing her husband Shandu Muzhanye after the two quarrelled on why she had denied him sex for almost three months.

It is the state case that on April 14, Muzhanye, who was allegedly drunk, arrived at his homestead in Musiiwa village under Chief Mukaro in the evening and confronted his wife.
It was further alleged that Muzhanye demanded to have sex with his wife in front of their 13-year-old daughter, accusing his wife of denying him sex.

The wife allegedly turned down her husband’s demand. After a heated argument, Muzhanye rushed into the house and grabbed an axe. The wife attempted to run away from the kitchen hut but was blocked on the door by the charging husband. He allegedly attempted to strike his wife but she blocked the axe using her hands. She armed herself with an axe and hacked her husband on the head.
Muzhanye allegedly collapsed, bleeding profusely. He died on the spot.

A police report was made leading to the arrest of the granny. The magistrate remanded her out of custody to June 2. Agatha Gabriel appeared for the state.

POWER CUTS HIT ZITF

INTERMITTENT power cuts rocked the opening day of the 55th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo yesterday leaving some exhibitors livid and questioning whether the country was serious about attracting foreign direct investment.


An official at the South African pavilion said the power cuts were a drawback for potential investment and would make any would-be investors hesitate. “This is day one and it’s before midday, but we have already had three power cuts.

“This surely does not do any good for Zimbabwe. Investors are discouraged from setting up base in a country that does not guarantee sufficient power supply,” the exhibitor who declined to be identified, said.

ZITF chairperson Bekithemba Nkomo told a press briefing yesterday that they were not 100% sure of the cause of the power cuts, but were generally happy with the first day of the country’s premier trade exhibition.

“We are happy that the first day kicked off on a good note although some exhibitors are still putting up their stands. “We hope fruitful business engagement will take place during the three days,” he said.

Asked why some firms had reduced space as compared to previous years, Nkomo said it was because of financial constraints. “Some companies reduced the size of stands taken up, but in my view the quality seems to be a little bit higher,” he said.

Nkomo also said they hoped President Robert Mugabe would officially open the ZITF on Friday.
Congo Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso had been pencilled in to officially open the fair, but pulled out citing pressing engagements in attempts to solve the Central African Republic conflict.
Dispute the power cuts, exhibitors were seen entertaining guests at various stands.

Foreign countries that had set up shop include the United States, which made a return to ZITF after a 10-year absence, China, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and Zambia. China is the biggest exhibitor at this year’s fair occupying more than 1 000m2 up from 600m2 in 2013, but there are no known companies, just small to medium enterprises. South Africa also increased its space uptake from 700m2 in 2013 to 800m2 this year.

Some local parastatals and government departments’ stands were still empty by yesterday afternoon with no sign of activity. Officials from the office of the President and Cabinet were still preparing their stand whose theme centres on the new economic blueprint ZimAsset.

The fair is running under the theme “New ideas to New Heights” and will feature product groups like machinery and expertise for infrastructure development, manufacturing processes and equipment for innovation, among others.

The major highlight of the exhibition would be the annual one-day premier business conference slated for today in partnership with the National Economic Consultative Forum. The conference, which draws captains of industry, government officials and foreign exhibitors, runs under the theme “Technology and Innovation: A key pillar for ZimAsset’s successful implementation” and would be officially opened by Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Other speakers at today’s business conference include Finance and Industry and Commerce ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Mike Bimha respectively, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Charles Msipa and Econet Wireless boss Douglas Mboweni, among others.

Chinamasa is set to focus on innovative funding of ZimAsset, the case of joint ventures, private-public partnerships and special economic zones. Meanwhile, some South African exhibitors yesterday complained that parts of their exhibits were still stuck at Beitbridge border post.

TSVANGIRAI : I AM BROKE

FORMER Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said he could no longer assist an MDC-T founder member who died recently because he was broke.


Tsvangirai told mourners at the funeral wake of Freggy “Mutambu” Dhungwa in Mbare, Harare, that the party’s supporters should not despair. He again hit out at those pushing for his ouster.
“I would help him here and there, but it happened that I got broke and he also got broke. We will one day get there,” said Tsvangirai. 

“We will get to Canaan, but these people born in the wilderness have a problem, they don’t know how this started. No one is against change here, even Zanu PF people miss us because of what we offered in the government of national unity.”

Tsvangirai’s lifestyle came under scrutiny after he moved to government built mansion in Highlands from his humble Strathaven family home in Harare. He has also been criticised for spending lavishly on women.

Commenting on the divisions bedevilling his MDC-T, Tsvangirai claimed President Robert Mugabe was working hard to destroy him so that the opposition party would sponsor a weak candidate that will face Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.

He claimed the 90-year-old leader was working with the MDC-T renewal team which is calling for his resignation as party leader. Tsvangirai said Mugabe and State security agents were plotting his downfall. He said this was confirmed by the Zanu PF leader’s Independence Day speech on Friday.
“I heard Mugabe speak on Independence Day saying we should leave rebels alone,” he said.

“I asked myself why he is so kind to them. We got you, now you have come out in the open for sending them.” The former trade unionist said Mugabe, at his advanced age, was now history and the MDC-T was focusing on forming the next government after gaining experience as an opposition party and as a party in government.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora had earlier told NewsDay that Mugabe and his party had co-opted State security agents in their “project” to destroy the opposition party and the Tsvangirai brand.

“From the comments of President Mugabe we now know who is behind the destabilisation of the MDC-T,” he said.“Fortunately neither he nor his junta will be able to destroy the MDC-T. For us in the MDC-T, freedom of expression does not mean violating resolutions of the national standing committee, national executive and national council for leaders not to discuss important party matters through the press.”

Mwonzora added: “It appears that Mugabe is too old to remember what has been happening in his own party. “A few years ago he and his party fired Dzikamai Mavhaire (now Energy minister) for suggesting that Mugabe must resign. 

“Not so long ago, he was furious and ruthlessly punished most of his provincial chairpersons for a meeting in Tsholotsho.” He said rebels in the MDC-T should not rely on Mugabe for protection.
Former MDC-T deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, who is said to be working with the party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti, has called for Tsvangirai to step down saying he was a liability to the MDC-T brand.

Tsvangirai said those who were calling for his resignation were not founding members of the party. He said Dhungwa was one of the founding members of the MDC-T who were resolute on sticking to the founding values of the party. 

“In terms of how the party started up to now, these are the founders, they are not stakeholders, but they are shareholders,” said Tsvangirai. “Nothing can be done in the absence of shareholders. If you are a stakeholder, you will just come like Mangoma and say I am here.” 

But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said Tsvangirai was “mad” and a dictator who should give the people what they want. “Who takes him seriously, he has reached a level of, for lack of a better word, madness. I don’t think he is himself,” he charged.

“The reality is the MDC is in disarray and they should accept that they should give the MDC people reform they want because they claim to be democratic. They are dictatorial and authoritarian.”
MDC-Team spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Tsvangirai was the one working with Zanu PF by his continued stay in a government house for free and having married a Zanu PF woman.

LIVERPOOL MIGHT WIN TITLE : SUPERSPORT HITS BACK AT ANGEL

South African media company SuperSport International (Pty) Ltd has said Spirit Embassy Church leader Prophet Uebert Angel’s US$1,5 million lawsuit over publication of an alleged prophecy by the latter that Liverpool would win the English Premier League soccer title was premature.The media house argues that it was not yet known if the alleged prediction on Liverpool’s victory would be false because the premiership was still on.

 Prophet Angel sued SuperSport over an article on the company’s website saying the Zimbabwean church leader allegedly prophesied that Liverpool Football Club would win this year’s English Premiership League title.

Prophet Angel denies ever predicting the outcome of the premiership and that attribution of the prophecy to him was false, malicious and defamatory. He argues in his suit that he never made such a prediction and if Liverpool fail to win the title, his followers will lose confidence in him.

In the defendant’s plea filed this month, SuperSport’s lawyer Advocate Eric Morris — instructed by Atherstone and Cook law firm — argued that defamation can only be proved if Liverpool fails to clinch the title.

“Defendants admit that the words quoted were published, but continue to deny that they were defamatory and point out that the event predicted has not as yet transpired so as to make it impossible to state whether or not such words are false.”

It is also argued that Prophet Angel failed to properly cite the names and addresses of the two defendants in the case, thereby breaching Order 3 of the Rules of the High Court of Zimbabwe.
The lawyers argue that Prophet Angel wrongly cited SuperSport as the first defendant when the company is called SuperSport International (Pty) Ltd. They also say the prophet wrongly cited the second defendant as MIH Group when its proper name is MIH Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

The company’s lawyers say Multichoice Africa is an independent company registered in Mauritius and that its property cannot be attached in settlement of SuperSport International’s debts.
“Funds for DSTv subscriptions are paid to Multichoice Africa Limited, a company with limited liability, registered in terms of the laws of Mauritius and a company which has no connection of any nature whatsoever with the first and second defendants, so that the defendants have no call on the assets of Multichoice Limited whose assets cannot be attached under Section 15 of the High Court Act,” reads the plea.

In the article published on www.supersort.com at the end of December 2013 (“Zimbabwean prophet predicts Liverpool to win title”), Prophet Angel was quoted saying: “Liverpool, I am with you this year and God has shown me he is returning you to your glory days.”