Disaster as man stabs girlfriend to death after discovering her affair with his brother

A 30-year-old Beitbridge man brutally murdered his 20-year-old mistress and attacked his cousin-brother following allegations that the two were having an affair. The local tabloid, H-Metro, reports that Jortham Taruvinga, an airtime vendor who was roma…

A 30-year-old Beitbridge man brutally murdered his 20-year-old mistress and attacked his cousin-brother following allegations that the two were having an affair. The local tabloid, H-Metro, reports that Jortham Taruvinga, an airtime vendor who was romantically involved with Sithembiso Ncube for 12 months, fatally stabbed her following an altercation over allegations that she was having […]

Thabo Mbeki hails Robert Mugabe as a true African patriot

Source: Thabo Mbeki hails Robert Mugabe as a true African patriot | News24 Former president Thabo Mbeki has lauded the work done by former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, calling him a combatant and true African patriot. “He was a great patriot, a defender of Africa’s independence, a defender of Africa’s interests. He was very principled […]

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Source: Thabo Mbeki hails Robert Mugabe as a true African patriot | News24

Former president Thabo Mbeki has lauded the work done by former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, calling him a combatant and true African patriot.

“He was a great patriot, a defender of Africa’s independence, a defender of Africa’s interests. He was very principled and very brave. He was able to speak out in defence of those [Africa’s] interests,” said Mbeki on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a memorial for Mugabe that was held by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal in a packed Durban City Hall.

Mbeki lashed out at Western countries, saying the UK and US, in particular, were adamant that Mugabe should be removed from public office

“That is why many people of the world didn’t want him. For us, he was a fellow combatant and a leader who would never ever abandon our struggle for liberation.”

Mbeki said when he was president, former UK prime minister Tony Blair contacted South Africa and proposed that Mugabe not run for president.

Blair calls for Mugabe to be removed

He said Blair and other countries said that if Mugabe continued to stay in power, it had to be for a maximum of six months.

“We had a lot of interaction with them. In the end the British government under Tony Blair said it was ready to use force to remove Robert Mugabe. I’ve said this before, and Tony Blair said I was not telling the truth.”

Mbeki said a security adviser had publicly stated that Blair’s administration often discussed removing Mugabe, but that in the end, southern African countries did not support the move.

“Blair said he did not get rid of Mugabe because it wasn’t practical since surrounding African countries showed lingering support for him and would have opposed any action… And indeed, we opposed it strenuously, because we are saying, the Zimbabwean people have a right to determine their own destiny.”

Mbeki added to a round of applause: “There is nobody who is going to come from London and decide for Zimbabweans on how they should govern.”

He said this proved the vigour and strength Mugabe had for African independence.

“In the end, the reason we had people from so far away planning to overthrow an elected leader of Zimbabwe was because this was a tried and tested African patriot. He stood very firm for the liberation of the continent. He was a great actor in the interest of the countries of the south.”

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Inflation affecting tourism sector pricing: Matamisa 

Source: Inflation affecting tourism sector pricing: Matamisa – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 17, 2019 BY MTHANDAZO NYONI ZIMBABWE’S tourism sector is in a catch-22 situation, with players now failing to even budget on a monthly basis due to price instability. The southern African nation is currently under economic siege, with inflation reaching alarming levels due to […]

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Source: Inflation affecting tourism sector pricing: Matamisa – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 17, 2019

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

ZIMBABWE’S tourism sector is in a catch-22 situation, with players now failing to even budget on a monthly basis due to price instability.

The southern African nation is currently under economic siege, with inflation reaching alarming levels due to the continued devaluation of the local currency after the central bank recently removed exchange rate controls on the bond note.

Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Paul Matamisa told NewsDay Business that price instability was rendering tourism uncompetitive while threatening its viability and growth.

“We are certainly affected. You can’t make a budget even on a monthly basis because it is not going to be relevant in two weeks’ time, it would have changed. So when you are working like that certainty in terms of the business outcome and so on is not there,” he said.

“So we are seeing a situation whereby people are being shortchanged in planning, as a result. So we are affected, the prices keep on changing and things are not at all assured they will be the same tomorrow. Tomorrow it’s different.”

Matamisa also said they were also being affected by the exchange rate, which changed regularly.

“The other thing which is mainly affecting us is obviously the question of the value of the US dollar in comparison to the RTGS dollar. So that’s where most of these problems are actually emanating from,” he said.

Pleading with businesses and individuals to stop speculative behaviour, he added: “There is always an element of human fear which leads them to price beyond what one should be charging simply because they think that tomorrow this item would have gone up and that creates problems. That’s where we may get some form of inflation and pressure coming from.

“On the issue of products, although they are available, sometimes they are not being made available because a few people fear that the price of sugar might go up tomorrow. So you will not be able to project well and people would be making guessed sort of decisions which makes it difficult for one to run a business,” he said.

Tourism is one of the country’s biggest foreign currency earners, having raked in about US$335 million in 2018.

 

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‘Mangudya’s monetary measures hollow’ 

Source: ‘Mangudya’s monetary measures hollow’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 17, 2019 A COCKTAIL of measures unveiled by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya in his midterm monetary policy statement fall short of stimulating economic growth and market confidence as the economy continues in freefall. Mangudya last Friday announced a raft of measures which […]

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Source: ‘Mangudya’s monetary measures hollow’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 17, 2019

A COCKTAIL of measures unveiled by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya in his midterm monetary policy statement fall short of stimulating economic growth and market confidence as the economy continues in freefall.

Mangudya last Friday announced a raft of measures which include broadening money supply through an injection of notes and coins, introduction of a US dollar-denominated bond market and increasing bank capital requirements. He also reviewed upwardly interest rates.

Introduction of US$-denominated savings bonds

Introduced in September 2017 to mop excess liquidity from the market, savings bonds mopped up $1,96 billion worth of liquidity as of December 2018.

As such the move has been attributed as one of the reasons behind the decline in annual growth in money supply in the economy. Last week, Mangudya announced a new regime of savings bonds denominated in US dollars.

The bond has an interest rate of 7,5% per year; minimum tenure of one year, tax exemption, in line with government policy, liquid asset status, tradable and acceptable as collateral for overnight accommodation by the RBZ.

The motive to introduce a forex-denominated savings bond might have come after witnessing a paradigm shift in the appetite for the bond following the promulgation of local currency in June this year.

To whet market appetite, Mangudya announced that the interest rate on the Zimbabwe dollar savings bonds shall soon be reviewed to account for developments on the domestic Treasury Bill market and to motivate banks to provide meaningful return on local currency deposits.

Economist Kipson Gundani said by introducing a US bond market, Mangudya was putting a vote of no confidence on the recently introduced Zimdollar, adding this was testament to the waning local currency reception.

“To me this is a vote of no confidence to the local currency by the governor. Why giving an option to invest in US dollar when we have a local currency?” Gundani queried.

“To me, it signals depreciation of local currency. The sad reality is that the local currency is weak and does not inspire confidence and savings. So RBZ realised that for them to inspire savings they have to offer a bond which is denominated in US dollars,” he said.

Another economist, Prosper Chitambara, concurred, saying by introducing US dollar savings bond, government was re-dollarising the economy.

“Government is re-dollarising the economy. You cannot issue a bond with a currency which is not yours. It’s sort of dollarisation,” he said.

Cash crisis

The cash crisis became more pronounced in 2016, a result of excessive money creation through Treasury Bills and overdrafts. Soft money, therefore, became dominant to the detriment of physical cash. Since then, authorities have failed to stem what has now become a chronic cash crisis.

Mangudya said the central bank would continue to inject additional notes and coins on a gradual basis, to support production and lessen the inconvenience caused by physical cash shortages to the transacting public.

This is despite past similar numerous vain promises by authorities. Citizens are bearing the brunt of cash shortages as they are forking out 60% to get cash from mobile money agencies.

Generally, cash must be 15% of the total money circulating in the economy but is currently below that threshold.

“To me it points to the fact that we don’t have the optimum cash in circulation. Right now the cash in circulation is averaging 7% against the 10%-15% threshold. We have about $600 million cash in circulation against total deposits of about $10 billion. I hope they will inject the money by monetising the existing RTGS [real time gross settlement] balances.

“If they introduce the fresh notes in circulation, the conclusion from economic actors is they will be money printing. Economic actors can take positions that are inflationary. We need to deal with the arbitrage behaviour in the economy fuelled through mobile money agencies,” Gundani said.

Capitalisation of banks

In a desperate bid to address banks’ liquidity, the central bank increased the capital requirement from the $100 million which was US denominated to ZW$200 million. The move was done in line with the devaluation of value which came after the introduction of local currency which dented banks’ capacity to lend.

According to the report by brokerage research firm IH securities titled The Zimbabwe Banking sector: Navigating a Challenging Monetary Space, released recently the currency reforms created a mismatch between foreign currency-denominated assets and liabilities on some banks’ balance sheets. The distortions have stifled the financial institutions’ lending capacity, the report says.

Gundani said increase in capital requirement was a drop in an ocean as such will not provide the much-needed cushioning for banking sector stability.

“It’s a nominal increase. The $100 million was in US dollar terms. Now US$1 is equivalent to ZW$16. With this in mind, banks will be capitalised in nominal terms, but will be very weak to carry out their duties. This puts the financial services sector into a shaky mode and threatens the protection of depositors funds,” Gundani said.

Interest rates hike

Mangudya introduced a 70% bank interest rate from 50% to take account of developments on inflation and the exchange rate. He said he expected inflation, which was at 176% end of June, to start declining.

Chitambara said the interest rate would haunt the productive sector.

“It’s a double-edged sword. On the other side, they want to stop speculative lending, but this will genuinely hurt production,” he said.

Chitambara’s sentiments were also echoed by Gundani, who said: “The 70% hike is chilling. If you look at the lends to deposit ratio in June 2018, it was 41% and it’s now 37%.This means there is no creditor available.

“This will choke demand and we will see a downward spiral of productive borrowing. We need to come up with rates that incentivise productive borrowing. We need solutions that stabilise inflation and come up with proper lending rates.”

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Zimbabweans forking out for cash as crunch worsens

Source: Zimbabweans forking out for cash as crunch worsens | Fin24 Cash-starved Zimbabweans are forking out premiums as high as 55% to get cash on the black market in the troubled Southern African country, as liquidity shortages worsen. Fin24 spoke to agents of EcoCash – the biggest and most widely used mobile money payment and […]

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Source: Zimbabweans forking out for cash as crunch worsens | Fin24

Cash-starved Zimbabweans are forking out premiums as high as 55% to get cash on the black market in the troubled Southern African country, as liquidity shortages worsen.

Fin24 spoke to agents of EcoCash – the biggest and most widely used mobile money payment and transfer platform, owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe – who indicated that the premium had risen from around 35% in the previous week to around 55% currently for people seeking hard cash.

Demand for cash in the troubled Southern African country has spawned a massive hike in cash premiums, they said.

In an effort to rally support for the Zimbabwe dollar, the country’s central bank withdrew ZW$400m from the banking system in June, but the move has not halted speculative attacks on the currency and exacerbated the current physical cash crunch.

People looking for cash buy from mobile money agents such as EcoCash. It works as follows: those with electronic balances can withdraw money electronically from their banks and transfer it to their mobile money wallets. Once the money has been transferred to mobile money wallets, it’s then transferred to mobile money agents or dealers, who then charge a premium for cash.

For instance, a person seeking cash amounting to ZW$100 will have to pay ZW$155 electronically or via a mobile payment platform.

An EcoCash agent told Fin24 he sources cash from the black market at a premium and tops up his own spread.

“We source the cash from the black market a slightly lower rate. My spread on this money is not that big. I get commission for all the transactions that I do as an agent,” he said.

Even many retailers in the country have factored in the premium for cash into the price of goods, adding to the mounting costs faced by Zimbabweans.

More cash

But this could be coming to end if Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya is to be believed.

In his monetary policy statement on Friday, he said the central bank would issue more notes to respond to strong demand for cash.

“The increase in the demand for physical cash has worsened cash shortages, as reflected by unending queues at most banks in the country.

“In addition, visitors to the country, including tourists, are failing to access cash for their domestic transactions, as they are supposed to buy local currency cash from banks or bureaux de change,” Mangudya said.

“Failure to get cash is undermining confidence in the local currency as well as forcing economic agents to resort to the illegal transactions in foreign currency and to selling cash at a premium.”

Mangudya said based on the country’s historical cash levels and that of neighbouring countries, the currency in circulation is estimated to be around 10-15% of broad money supply.

“The Bank will continue to inject additional notes and coins on a gradual basis, to […] lessen the inconvenience caused by physical cash shortages to the transacting public,” Mangudya added.

He warned the cash injections would not result in an increase in money supply, as banks would use existing RTGS (real-time gross settlement) balances for cash.

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US dollar/Zimbabwe dollar official and black market rates today…ZW$ loses value

The current bank exchange rates for the ZWL$ today are as follows: USD = ZWL$13.8555 ZWL$ = RAND1.0609 Data according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Black Market Rates: USD = ZWL$17.00 zimrates USD = ZWL$17.00 zwl365 USD = ZWL$17.00 bluemari USD = BON…

The current bank exchange rates for the ZWL$ today are as follows: USD = ZWL$13.8555 ZWL$ = RAND1.0609 Data according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Black Market Rates: USD = ZWL$17.00 zimrates USD = ZWL$17.00 zwl365 USD = ZWL$17.00 bluemari USD = BOND11.00 zimrates More: Marketwatch