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, 22 October 2016



TWO boys allegedly gang-raped a 17-year-old girl at a Gweru hotel during a party at which the three got drunk.

One of the boys who is aged 16 has been arrested while his accomplice is on the run.
The boy, whose name has been withheld as he is a minor, allegedly raped the teenager without protection.

The accused, a pupil at Matininira High School in Mkoba suburb in Gweru appeared before magistrate Mr Musaiona Shotgame facing rape charges.
He pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody to November 11. Prosecuting, Mr Michael Kazomba said on August 14 this year at around 5PM, the accused together with his friends took the complainant for a party at a local hotel.

“Upon arrival at the hotel in the company of the accused person, the complainant started drinking beer and later she got so drunk that she slept on a bench.

“The accused then took the complainant to another room and locked the door. The accused removed all of the complainant’s clothes and raped her,” said Mr Kazomba.

The court heard that when the accused had finished raping her, he called one of his friends who also forcibly had sexual intercourse with the complainant.

The age of the other rape suspect who is on the run was not given.chronicle


THREE men armed with a gun held a businesswoman hostage at her home in Beitbridge before robbing her of R9 000, $100 and seven cellphones on Thursday.

The gunmen attacked Ms Chifumulo Moyo (80) while she was relaxing with two workers at her house along Arcacia Avenue at around 5PM. A source who preferred anonymity said the three robbers knocked at the gate and asked for water.

“Ms Moyo was sitting at the veranda with her maid called MaMoyo and her gardener Mr Shakemore Makono.” “Shakemore opened the gate for the   three men and offered them seats on the veranda.
“One of them produced a small gun and pointed at the three. One grabbed Ms Moyo and twisted her arm, the other grabbed the gardener by the collar and the third one dragged the maid into the house,” said the source.

The source said the robbers force marched Ms Moyo and Mr Makono into the house, where they threatened to shoot them if they did not hand over cash.

Fearing for her life, Ms Moyo is said to have ordered her maid to takeout the safe keys from the wardrobe.

“MaMoyo took out the keys and handed them over to one of the robbers who unlocked the safe and took R9 000 that Ms Moyo had collected from her food outlet and her truck stop.”
“The robbers also got away with seven cell phones that were in her bedroom and $100 cash. The seven phones that include Samsung Galaxy smart phones, are worth R 5 400,” said the source.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said he had not yet received the report. chronicle


ERRATIC water supply in Harare and other cities poses a serious danger of an outbreak of water-borne diseases, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said yesterday as he issued a Cholera and Typhoid alert.

Harare has confirmed 60 cases of typhoid so far. The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory has also confirmed three other typhoid cases in Mutare and Masvingo.
Harare City Council recently introduced a five-day water rationing schedule forcing residents to turn to the bush. Some are digging shallow wells as taps are dry.

“This is an emergency because once you do not have enough water it impacts on sanitation and once you have poor sanitation you are already inviting water borne diseases,” said Dr Parirenyatwa. He warned of a potential outbreak of diseases like Cholera and Typhoid.
“The impact might not be serious now but when it rains and there are flash floods, all this dirt will be washed away into shallow and unprotected water sources. This is when you see an increase in water borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

He said his Ministry engaged experts from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate to try and find workable solutions. Dr Parirenyatwa said they were told that drilling boreholes was not a solution.

“I understand from the Ministry of Water that if we continue to sink more boreholes, the water table is also depleted even more. We just hope that there would be rains soon and when we finally receive the rains, please do not drink water from shallow wells and treat water from unprotected sources at the point of use,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

He said Government was on high alert and health teams have been activated. “We are very alert. We want our people to know that now is the time to be very careful of the water they drink otherwise we will have a severe outbreak of typhoid, cholera or diarrhoea.

“Our people must be very alert. If the water is suspicious let us boil it at the point of use,” said Dr Parirenyatwa. According to Harare’s rationing schedule, middle and low-density suburbs are enduring up to five days a week without water. Supplies to Chitungwiza have also been reduced from 27 to 15 mega litres a day.

This has worsened the already bad situation in the dormitory town. herald


Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya, yesterday said the State’s continued failure to provide him with a trial date was disheartening and causing him anxiety.The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa sought another postponement, citing that although investigations were complete, Magaya’s docket was still at the Prosecutor General’s office.

“We indicated last time that the docket was to be sent back to the police for further management,” said Mr Mutizirwa. “Investigations are complete and yesterday (Thursday), the docket was sent to the Prosecutor General’s office for perusal.”

In response, Magaya’s lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya said State’s approach to the matter was so disheartening. “Accused is tempted not to trust the State. They made a promise that investigations would be complete by October 15,” said Mr Rubaya.

“They made another promise that investigations would be complete at least today (yesterday). Further remands create anxiety to an accused person, more so when one is facing rape.”
Mr Rubaya added that the medical examination State was dealing with was not of a “dinosaur” to warrant such a long time. “There are only two witnesses who are critical and probably the medical examination,” he said.

“Magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande, told the State to put its house in order or accused will be removed from remand. “I will not trust the chameleon nature of the State of constantly changing colours and taking the court for granted.

“Why is State punishing accused person? He is paying legal bills with a guarantee that on the next remand date he will be provided with a trial date.

“Allow accused his freedom, his social standing requires his time, presence and conscience. Give State all the time in the world. Court should balance the interest of justice and the interest of the accused.”

In his ruling Harare magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe, said it was worrisome whether State investigates to arrest or arrests to investigate.

“The State should give cogent reasons in such applications and not mislead the court.
“They ought to honour their undertaking to give a trial date on November 15.

“However, since State has conceded that the accused person has been religiously coming to court, I see no reason why accused person should not be given his passport and have reporting conditions scrapped.”

The matter was remanded to November 15. Magaya was represented by Messrs Rubaya, Everson Chatambudza and Oliver Marwa. He is accused of raping a 25-year-old congregant. herald


PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday conferred degrees on 642 graduands at Lupane State University’s seventh graduation ceremony. Twenty five graduates were from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, 372 from Humanities and Social Sciences who included 20 students who graduated with Masters of Social Science degrees in Development Studies and 245 were from the Faculty of Commerce.

In his address LSU Vice Chancellor Professor Pardon Kusaziwa Kuipa said the university had launched its 2016 to 2020 strategic development plan in line with Zim-Asset.

“The process of developing the Strategic Development Plan was also coordinated by a strategic planning committee which conducted both internal and external stakeholder consultations. The formulation of the Strategic Development Plan was also informed by the country’s economic development blue print- ZimAsset and President’s 10 point plan for economic growth,” said Prof Kuipa.

He said the Strategic Development Plan has seven strategic directions that shall guide operations during the five-year period.
“The plan’s emphasis reflects a desire by the University to raise its profile in research, teaching, community service and resources mobilisation,” said Prof Kuipa. The Vice Chancellor said the university had begun relocating 145 students and 95 staff members from Bulawayo to Lupane.

“We have had to make painful sacrifices such as outsourcing the catering services since our kitchen and dining hall are not yet usable.

Secondly, we have had to ask staff members to share the hostel accommodation with students as staff apartments are not yet complete,” he said.

Prof Kuipa appealed to government to allow the university to recruit more staff to enable it to
introduce more programmes.

“The Government staff recruitment freeze has made it difficult for the university to either introduce new programmes or recruit senior academics to strengthen the quality of teaching, learning and research. May I take this opportunity to appeal to government to allow us to recruit new staff to enable us to introduce more programmes,” said Prof Kuipa.

He appealed to Government and other well-wishers for financial support to complete the students’ hostels and staff accommodation.
Prof Kuipa said the females constituted 60 percent of yesterday’s graduates.

Among the graduates were Chief Khulumani Mathema from Matabeleland South who graduated with a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Development Studies and former Chronicle general manager Mrs Sithembile Ncube who graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce honours degree in Enterpreneurship.

Present at the graduation ceremony were Vice President Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, Higher and Tertiary, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, his deputy, Dr Godfrey Gandawa, permanent secretary Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga, Matabeleland North Minister of State, Cde Cain Mathema and Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Cde Obert Mpofu and his wife Senator Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu among others.


THOUSANDS of people thronged Cecil John Rhodes Primary School grounds in Gweru yesterday to pay their last respects to the national hero Cde Cephas George Msipa who will be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare today.

Cde Msipa was 85 when he died at the West End Hospital in Harare on Monday.
From as early as 7:30AM people from all walks of life started trickling into the school grounds as they waited for the body of Cde Msipa’s body from a church service that was held at Church of Christ in Windsor Park, Gweru.

Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, described the late Cde Msipa as a humble, honest and fair person.

He said if there was one minister who was not corrupt; it was Cde Msipa who wanted things done in a proper manner without cutting corners.

“He was one of the people who excelled in education before he became a headmaster and subsequently the president of teachers under the then Rhodesia Teachers Association. The whites fought him and the organisation before he was fired for standing against colonialism,” said Cde Mumbengegwi.

“He was an honourable man, who was very humble and would speak his mind, he was honest and had a sense of fairness,” said Cde Mumbengegwi.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said Cde Msipa was leaving behind a legacy in the form of the CG Msipa trust which he said had benefited more than 600 underprivileged students.
Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Jason Machaya said Cde Msipa sold his only farm to fund the trust.

He said as the chairperson of the Midlands Lands Committee in charge of allocating land, the late nationalist had shocked everyone by allocating himself a piece of virgin land where there were no structures.
“I was shocked to see the undeveloped piece of land he got himself, we them forced him to move to a farm near Gweru which because of his love to assist the underprivileged students, he sold to fund their education,” said Cde Machaya.

“Vamunyoro, vamafirakureva, vamudavanhu is gone and we will miss him so much. President Mugabe once said if the government had more honourable people like Cde Msipa, the country would prosper.”

The National Heroes Acre, Cde Machaya said, carries the richness of a people’s struggle against the brutal oppressive regime and therefore, Cde Msipa deserved to be buried there.
“There lies the leadership of a people’s revolution, those who sacrificed their lives to bring change in the country. It is an honour to have the national hero’s status bestowed on him,” he said.

Midlands Provincial Administrator Cde Cecilia Chitiyo said there were more than 20 buses that had been provided to the province to ferry relatives and mourners to Harare for Cde Msipa’s burial today at the National Heroes’ Acre.

She said Government and private players had sourced the buses. After a church service at the primary school, there was time for body viewing before the body was flown to Harare.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo province has joined the nation in mourning Cde Msipa.

The Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Cde Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo yesterday said Cde Msipa groomed some of the country’s leaders.
She said the province is fully convinced that Cde Msipa served the country with distinction and his contributions will never be forgotten.

“As Bulawayo we would like to join his Excellency the President Cde R. G Mugabe and the nation at large in mourning the death of a liberation hero and icon Ubaba Cephas George Msipa,” she said.

Minister Moyo said Cde Msipa stood with the people of Matabeleland and the region was proud to have associated with him.

“He has always been a friend. You would find him in the region during important gatherings because although he was a Midlander, he associated with the people of Matabeleland. His leadership assisted us a lot in understanding politics and also learning to forgive, he didn’t keep grudges against anyone,” she said. Herald


The Coca-Cola Company has given notice of its intention to terminate the bottler’s agreements with Delta Beverages and its associate Schweppes Holdings Africa Limited. This follows the combination of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV/SA (AB InBev) and SABMiller Plc. Delta and its associate Schweppes produce and sell TCCC brands under bottler’s agreements with TCCC.
“This Notified Intention has been given on account of AB InBev becoming an indirect shareholder in Delta Corporation Limited following the combination of AB InBev and SABMiller Plc,” said Delta in a cautionary statement. Delta said it was considering the ramifications of the notified intention which may have a material impact on the company’s business.

“No changes to the operations of the company and its associates are anticipated at this time, hence the company will continue to operate in the usual manner in the meantime.”
The group advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the company and should consult professional advisers until such time as a further announcement is made. Delta gained 5,07c at the close of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange trades yesterday to 84,14c.

Analysts say that it is still too early to speculate on the direction the business will take as talks around the disengagement are still to start as this was just a notified intention but also noted that there are a lot of options which would not disenfranchise Delta shareholders
AB InBev is a key Pepsi Beverages bottler in Latin America while SABMiller dominated Coke’s bottling in Africa. Not only are Coca-Cola and PepsiCo global rivals, but international reports often speculate that Coke is one of the eventual takeover targets of the ever-acquisitive AB InBev.

Last year, the Wall St journal reported that Atlanta-based Coke has change-of-control clauses that would allow it to buy back SABMiller’s soda bottling and distribution assets or sell them to someone else.

Friday, 21 October 2016


ZIMBABWE has cleared its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after paying $108 million to the global finance body on Thursday.
IMF’s director of communications Mr Gerry Rice confirmed the payment in a statement yesterday.
“On October 20, 2016, Zimbabwe settled its overdue financial obligations to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) of the IMF. Zimbabwe had been in continuous arrears since 2001,”said Mr Rice.

“To settle these obligations, which amounted to SDR 78.3 million (about US$107.9 million), Zimbabwe transferred part of its SDR holdings kept at the IMF to the PRGT account. Zimbabwe is now current on all its financial obligations to the IMF.”


Talks between former Vice President Joice Mujuru and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), which were meant to result in the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader shelving her court action against the imminent introduction of bond notes, are dead in the water after the parties failed to reach agreement on Wednesday.

This comes as ordinary Zimbabweans, business, civil society and opposition parties have all said that they are opposed to the planned introduction of the much-distrusted surrogate currency next month.

Wednesday’s hush-hush meeting in Harare between Mujuru and the RBZ had been arranged by the under-pressure central bank to pave the way for the smooth roll-out of the
surrogate currency whose planned introduction has caused panic among many Zimbabweans.

Mujuru has said she wants to know which law the RBZ will use to back the introduction of the bond notes, which she argues, are illegal.
“We note that at the end of the meeting you confirmed that you are going ahead with the introduction of the bond notes on October 31st, 2016.

“We indicated to you that a Statutory Instrument is out of the question in such a critical issue … and we are instructed to advise that our client is convinced that your refusal to disclose the envisaged instrument is sufficient evidence that the introduction of bond notes will infringe her constitutional rights,” Mujuru’s lawyer Gift Nyandoro, who accompanied the ZPF leader to the RBZ on Wednesday, said in a letter to the central bank yesterday.

“It is most likely that you will proceed without any lawful basis as you did with bond coins, as there is no way an Act of Parliament can be lawfully enacted between now and 31st October 2016.

“Alternatively, you will proceed by way of a Statutory Instrument. As aforesaid, this is unlawful in itself. Unless we hear from you regarding the nature of the envisaged framework for the bond notes by close of business on Monday October 24, 2016, our client’s assumptions in our letter of September 29, 2016 will remain and we shall have no option but to return to the court with an appropriate application,” he added.

This came after Mujuru filed a lawsuit against the RBZ, President Robert Mugabe and the government at the Constitutional Court imploring the apex court to declare the introduction of the bond notes unconstitutional.

However, the ConCourt, said it was not going to deliberate on her application because it was both premature and speculative in the absence of a law governing the bond notes, prompting her to demand from the RBZ the nature of the legal instrument it was going to use in backing the proposed currency.

Efforts by the Daily News yesterday to get comment from RBZ governor John Mangudya and his deputy Khupukile Mlambo did not bear fruit.

But Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently told Parliament that the government would soon craft an enabling law to back the bond notes.

“It is (bringing bond notes) going to be reality. We are going to live with it ... We are in the middle of crafting legislation to introduce the bond notes,” Mnangagwa said during a luncheon at the official opening of the current Parliamentary session.

However, economists and legal experts say the delays in crafting the law could be the reason why the RBZ has postponed the launch of the bond notes from the end of this month to early November at the earliest. On its part, the central bank has said it will be introducing bond notes worth $75 million next month, in a move aimed at providing incentives for exporters and easing the country’s severe cash shortages.

But as the Zim economy continues to die, opposition to the introduction of the bond notes has been increasing, with the business community, MPs, church leaders and ordinary citizens expressing their displeasure at the surrogate currency.

In its contribution to ideas for the 2017 national budget, the influential Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) revealed that its members had rejected the surrogate currency in toto  instead advocating for the greater use of the South African rand.

“The announcement of bond notes has caused widespread panic ... While the bond notes make sense as a technical solution we have completely failed to sell the concept to our members.

“Confidence is too low for the introduction of the bond notes in the meantime and we therefore recommend the cancellation of the plan and have them replaced with the rand. 

“We also suggest that the minister of Finance starts presenting his budget in rand instead of United States dollars ... Business will encourage its members to use Rand,” CZI vice president Sifelani Jabangwe said.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has also warned that bond notes will further destabilise the country’s battered economy.

“The advent of the bond notes has brought some uncertainty into the economy, and this is exacerbating the existing liquidity challenges because everyone wants to keep their US dollar cash. There is a serious confidence issue on this matter,” said Zimra board chairperson Willia Bonyongwe.

The pending introduction of the bond notes has caused panic among ordinary Zimbabweans and traders alike, who have been swamping banks in a bid to withdraw their savings. Daily news


As the fall-out between President Robert Mugabe on one hand, and many war veterans and liberation stalwarts on the other, continues to escalate, further stunning claims have emerged regarding Zanu PF’s kangaroo courts during Zimbabwe’s difficult struggle for independence in the 1970s.

War veterans who disagreed strongly with the nonagenarian then, and who allege that they were locked up in inhuman dungeons as a result, say Zimbabwe’s long-ruling leader and his close lieutenants did not just want to punish them at the time, but also wanted them dead.
The chilling claims come as analysts, civil rights organisations and opposition parties have warned that Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF will increasingly resort to using violence to remain in power as the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections beckon.

They also follow Mugabe’s recent threats that disgruntled war veterans who have served divorce papers on him, on account of Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic rot, would be punished severely — in similar fashion to the barbaric treatment that was meted to dissenters during the country’s liberation struggle.

Among the dozens of prominent former freedom fighters who were caged in the filthy pits in Mozambique at the time were current police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri, the late Wilfred “Dzinashe Machingura” Mhanda, Bernard “Parker Chipoyera” Manyadza, former ZBC boss Happison Muchechetere, the late journalist Alexander Kanengoni and Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) elder Rugare Gumbo.

Gumbo and Manyadza told the Daily News in separate interviews that Mugabe was then seemingly consumed by the desire to see them die in the dungeons — with their lives only being spared by the merciful intervention of the late Mozambican president Samora Machel at the end of Zimbabwe’s bush war.

The straight-talking Gumbo was brutally purged from the warring Zanu PF in late 2014, along with former Vice President Joice Mujuru and former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa — all of whom are now leading players in Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) which is set to take Mugabe and the ruling party head-on in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

The purged former Zanu PF stalwarts were accused of the serious, but untested crime of plotting to oust and assassinate Mugabe, allegations that Gumbo says many current ruling party bigwigs and war veterans now regretted not having spoken against.

“The man is cruel. He has no feelings at all for the human race, but his family alone. He treats human beings as animals and has no compassion. We spent a bad six months in the dungeons and were it not for ... Machel we would have died in there because Mugabe has no feelings for humanity,” he said.

Gumbo, a member of the wartime Dare ReChimurenga (War Council) which directed the venerated liberation struggle while Mugabe and other nationalists were in detention, described his nemesis as “utterly ruthless”, particularly when he felt threatened.

“Look, people are suffering and yet he does not address that. He just thinks about his family and his close associates. It is a pity that Mugabe wants to rewrite history. I once said this in 1980 that Zimbabwe was making a mistake in electing a cruel person. Look at us now,” Gumbo said with a mixture of pain and disdain.

On his part, Manyadza said Mugabe “has always been mean, very cruel”, which was the reason why the nonagenarian had thrown them into dungeons in the late 1970s on “non-existent charges”.

“The man is ruthless. It is shocking that when war veterans are asking for what we fought for — that is democracy, good governance and the rule of law — they are punished. The revolution has been hijacked by people who have no understanding of what we went through,” Manyadza told the Daily News.

In a statement in response to Mugabe’s threats against pro-democracy activists and war veterans who are criticising the nonagenarian, Mujuru subsequently demanded that her former boss tells the nation the whereabouts of several Zimbabweans who have gone missing over the years, after being abducted by suspected State agents.

“We are shocked as Zimbabwe People First by Mugabe’s rants. It is quite alarming that of late he has been using the spectre of macabre and grossly horrifying human rights abuses perpetrated by him, his government and his merchants of violence to ward off political opposition to his rule,” Mujuru said through her party’s spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire.

Her party also said Zimbabweans had every reason to be worried by Mugabe’s threats given that the increasingly isolated and frail nonagenarian had unfettered control over the State’s coercive levers of power.

“We believe that Mugabe’s threats are not hollow, or just the rants of an old, tired and desperate leader. We are fully aware that there are citizens who have disappeared and up to now there is no trace of where they are being held, if they are still alive.

“Names that quickly come to mind are Rashiwe Guzha and Itai Dzamara because these were widely publicised ... there are many who did not get the publicity that the two got, but are still missing, and their families are living with the pain of their inexplicable disappearance every day,” the party said.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News last year, Gumbo also narrated in spine-chilling detail how Mugabe and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had allegedly caused his arrest and detention in the dirty dungeons during the liberation struggle.

The emotional Gumbo said then that so desperate was his situation at the time, that he thought that it was a matter of time before he met his maker — with his erstwhile comrades only being restrained from killing him by Machel, who decreed that he “did not want innocent blood on his soil”.

“VaMugabe has said it before and even Mnangagwa has also said that they arrested us and threw us in pits, but they have not said the whole story,” he said, adding that the “current barbarity”, raging chaos and brutal purges in Zanu PF were nothing new — and merely “history repeating itself”.

Gumbo drew parallels between what happened in exile four decades ago with the anarchy that was currently devouring the ruling party.

He said the “terrible ordeal” that he suffered then began after he and other members of Dare reChimurenga clashed with Mugabe over the direction of the liberation struggle, leading to his “barbaric detention” together with other comrades that included the late Henry Hamadziripi and Mukudzei Mudzi.

“We disagreed on the treatment of Zanla commanders who had been arrested. The official position was that they would be released after three months, but they did not come.
“We also wanted to know what happened in Zambia (including the ruthless quashing of the Nhari rebellion) and this didn’t come out. Those were the allegations that we were charged with and we were then subsequently arrested.

“We were tried before a kangaroo court that was presided by the president himself and they alleged that we were plotting a coup. We were then thrown in a pit. Fortunately, Machel said he did not want blood on his land and thus we survived because of the mercy of Samora.

“It was the Zanla commanders and the Dare reChimurenga that mounted the struggle and not Mugabe or the late Edgar Tekere who directed the war,” Gumbo charged.

The blood curling narrative by the former Cabinet minister in Mugabe’s government runs contrary to the yarn that has been repeatedly spun by lapdog State media that Gumbo survived the ordeal on the goodwill of Mugabe and the late Vice President Simon Muzenda.
Gumbo said while he would never forget this “horrible nightmare”, he was no longer bitter about it and would never seek revenge against his tormentors, even though he and his 
“innocent comrades” had been “treated worse than dogs”.

“The holes were six metres deep and I think four metres wide. It was hell on earth and we all thought we were going to die. At one point, the holes were filled with soil and only our heads were left protruding, but we survived the ordeal,” he said. Daily news


The government, taking its begging bowl to Russia and Malaysia in search of a bailout to halt economic implosion, is making frantic last-minute efforts to mobilise US$1,2 billion out of the US$1,8 billion required to settle arrears to international financial institutions (IFIs) as the Lima Plan falls into disarray.

Time is running out for the debt-ridden government to settle its arrears to preferred international financiers — World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) — in order to access AfDB bridge financing.

It has since emerged that Zimbabwe’s arrears clearance strategy, known as the Lima Plan, is now dead in the water due to a powerful lobby against it on the domestic and international fronts and failure by government to implement far-reaching reforms.

However, the IMF is understood to be working on a new programme for Zimbabwe.

Sources said this comes at a time the IMF still has questions on the introduction of bond notes set to be introduced later this month. It is understood the government could also be considering an alternative to the arrears clearance plan.

Government sources revealed Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya has taken the begging bowl to Russia and Malaysia in a desperate bid to seek funding for sectors such as agriculture.

Contacted by the Zimbabwe Independent, Mangudya confirmed that he visited the two countries after the just-ended IMF annual meetings in Washington DC.

“I went to Malaysia to discuss the settlement of an old debt that occurred during the period of the Bilateral Payments Arrangement between Malaysia and Zimbabwe signed in 1991 and operational in 2000.

“In Russia I was exploring the possibility of importing agricultural inputs,” Mangudya said in an interview.

IMF country representative Christian Beddies told the Independent that Zimbabwe was still committed to clearing its arrears, but would not disclose the timelines.

He said the country also requires more economic reforms before fully engaging with the international community.

“As we understand, the Zimbabwean authorities still plan to clear the arrears to the IFIs within a determined period of time. The authorities are working on finding new financing, notably to be able to pay the arrears to the World Bank (US$1,2 billion out of a total of US$1,8 billion),” Beddies said.

“At the same time, they are working on moving forward crucial economic reforms, so that they ensure the financing and adjustment combination needed to tackle Zimbabwe’s serious economic difficulties.”
He added that the country requires “credible” economic reforms before it can fully re-engage with the international community.

“For Zimbabwe to qualify for a financial programme, the authorities need to come up with a credible reform programme that has the support of all the stakeholders, especially at the domestic level. These reforms should meaningfully address the structural challenges that have been hindering economic growth and exacerbating the existing fiscal and external vulnerabilities.

“The support of the international community will be equally crucial in providing the financing for accompanying these reforms,” he said.

In April last year, government launched a joint exercise with preferred creditors to explore options to clear US$1,8 billion in arrears.

This plan was presented last October in Lima, Peru, and was amended in May 2016 to include repayment of IMF arrears (US$120 million) using Zimbabwe’s Special Drawing Rights resources at the fund; repayment of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) arrears (US$896 million) using a term facility syndicated by the African Export and Import Bank and Lazard Frères; and repayment of International Development Association (IDA) and AfDB arrears (US$260million and US$601 million respectively) with a bridging facility from Afreximbank to be financed from future IDA development policy operation and AfDB’s transitional support facility.

Failure to settle the arrears by December 31 will sound the death knell on the ambitious Lima Plan first proposed in Lima last October.

The country’s debt overhang at US$10,8 billion continues to be a major impediment to its re-engagement with the international community. Zimbabwe independent


SCANDAL-RIDDEN state-owned mobile phone operator NetOne is choked with a debtors’ balance of close to $74 million from government entities, politicians and private sector companies due to weak internal controls among other factors, Zimbabwe Independent has established.

This is revealed in an audit report on NetOne titled Provision of Comprehensive Forensic Investigation Services to NetOne Cellular Services compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers Zimbabwe (PwC) on behalf of the Auditor-General.

NetOne CE Reward Kangai was sent on forced leave in March after the company’s board sanctioned a forensic audit into the affairs of the country’s second-largest mobile phone operator.

The report shows the amount of money government entities owe NetOne rose to US$5 075 197,05 last year from US$1 166 080,70 in 2009. The Office of the President accounted for US$907 280,41 of the total debt as of 2015, up from US$80 286,61.

NetOne, the report further showed, was also owed US$13,2 million in 2015 in roaming and interconnection fees from US$3,5 million registered in 2009.

“We obtained the debtors’ balance as at January 18, 2016 and noted that the balance for debtors older than 90 days was US$73 818 487,23 … We sampled the top 35 highest debtors and traced their balances from 2009 to 2015. This was to assess the net movement on the debtor balances between the years,” the report reads.

“We noted that 25 out of the 35 sampled debt balances kept growing over the years without termination of services as stated in the credit policy. This happened despite the majority of the debt balance above 120 days not being services.

“While defaulting customers should be disconnected within 90 days to minimise risk of exposure to defaulting debtors, consideration should be given to essential services such as defence forces, the police and any such institutions of national security.”

The report also shows that in 2011, NetOne management proposed to write off part of the debt to the tune of US$28 million before the board rejected the proposal. Direct customers then owed NetOne US$4,9 million; the defunct Zellco US$15,3 and Firstel US$8 million.

“We investigated why the debt grew as it did over the years. The growth can be attributed to several factors including reduction in commission rates, application of the fixed charge on non-performing contracts. We also noted that Firstel would be invoiced by NetOne for services but Firstel would not remit the full invoice amounts between 2009 and 2015,” the report further reads.

The debt stock of private companies owing NetOne, the report revealed, rose to US$1,4 million in 2015 from US$176 337,45 in 2009.

Turning to recommendations, the auditors proposed an approved and up-to-date procurement policy and procedures manual for the mobile phone operator.

Last month the Independent reported that the company made shady payments totalling US$32 million to several firms without documentation.

Payments totalling US$32 124 987,65 were made to 10 contractors without paperwork in a glaring abuse of public funds, the report said.

The companies include Essar Tubes and Towers which received US$6 168 854,59; Gemalto (US$3 064 374,11); Huawei (US$1 586 248,79); Masimba Holdings (US$3 528 714,03); Bopela Group (US$913 174,24); Sectional Poles (US$987 822); Technotree (US$50 000); Intervoice Convergys (US$7 122 029,99); Redan (US$1 693 086,13) and Nokia Siemens (US$7 010 684,77), bringing the total to US$32 million.

“The probe revealed that NetOne operated 35 bank accounts with 13 banks which increases the risk of complicit and fraudulent activities by management as it may be difficult to efficiently keep track of transactions in the different accounts,” reads the report.

“What was also suspicious was that management had different signatories for the different accounts and, on average, bank reconciliations were done 10 days after the transactions.”

The final report also revealed Kangai made changes to the employment contracts of key managerial personnel without board approval and further allowed them to receive cash in lieu of holiday allowances.

“This resulted in NetOne paying a total of US$274 418,11 to senior management for the holiday allowances during the period under review (last five years). Some of those who benefitted from the payment include: Kangai US$135 701,94; the late finance director Matavire Dzimbanhete who received US$23 589,93; sales and marketing director Spiwe Ndoro who pocketed US$55 264,15; finance director Godfrey Tarupuwa who was paid US$41 726,01 as well as chief technical officer Darlington Gutu who received US$18 136,06,” the report said. “The encashment of holiday allowances by NetOne directors contravenes established best and common practice. It is best and common practice that such allowances as the holiday one have a ceiling. The forensic audit also revealed that management paid themselves, without board approval, a total of US$211 102,20 in special incentives for excellent work done.”

NetOne financial results show that the company incurred a loss of US$3 million in the full year to 2015 despite a 20% growth in revenue to US$120 million.

On the contentious matter of base stations, the report said NetOne had been operating without any formal policies or procedures governing the acquisition of base stations.
Controversial sites where Kangai presided over the installation of base stations include Avondale Christian Church, and Number 103 Good Hope, which is owned by Joyce Kangai, an aunt to the suspended MD. zimbabwe independent