PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, says he is keen to end Zimbabwe’s worsening political and economic crises through dialogue but has been kept waiting by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, a visiting cleric said yesterday. This comes as dialogue betwe…
Source: Worker up for mealie-meal theft | Newsday (News) BY DARLINGTON MWASHITA A BLUE RIBBON FOODS employee in Bulawayo has been fined $500 for stealing 40kg of mealie-meal from his workplace. Elvis Maroro (23) of Njube, who was employed as a packer, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Adelaide Mbeure on […]
BY DARLINGTON MWASHITA
A BLUE RIBBON FOODS employee in Bulawayo has been fined $500 for stealing 40kg of mealie-meal from his workplace.
Elvis Maroro (23) of Njube, who was employed as a packer, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Adelaide Mbeure on Tuesday.
The magistrate fined him $500 with an option of two weeks in jail if he failed to pay.
The court was told that on March 15, Maroro stole 4×10 kg packs of super refined mealie-meal at Blue Ribbon Foods’ Belmont factory.
On his way home, Maroro was spotted by two security guards carrying his loot. The guards immediately arrested him and handed him over to police officers who were on duty at Blue Ribbon Foods.
The value of stolen and recovered mealie-meal was $660.
The government has refused to give in to former vice president Phelekezela Mphoko’s request to have his pension paid in United States dollars. Mphoko approached the court declaring government’s decision to withhold his US$320 000 pension il…
Source: Beitbridge, Musina: Twins separated by a river | The Herald Beitbridge Border Thupelo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau URBAN development and the provision of quality services to citizens has been a perennial headache for most governments and local authorities across the globe. The quest to collaborate on a number of service and economic delivery issues has […]
Thupelo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
URBAN development and the provision of quality services to citizens has been a perennial headache for most governments and local authorities across the globe.
The quest to collaborate on a number of service and economic delivery issues has seen many local authorities either in an urban or rural set ups entering twinning arrangements.
This helps authorities in terms of peer review and implementing harmonised systems to achieve sustainable economic growth.
Such an initiative is envisaged as one that can bring the fraternal twins in the form of Beitbridge Town, north of the Limpopo, in Zimbabwe and Musina Town, south of the Limpopo, in South Africa to an even growth in terms of people-centred services.
Development patterns in the twin towns are different, if one is to look into the globalisation dream of having the two as a single city when it comes to urban renewal and resilience.
In general terms, although Beitbridge town has been developing rapidly in terms of infrastructure and property in the last decade, it still has problems when it comes to service delivery, infrastructure and water pollution issues.
Musina has its own fair share of problems, but has been doing fairly well in addressing them.
This scenario has brought in a general consensus among experts and all the well-meaning citizens that the two towns must work together to ensure that they grow on the same wavelength.
Essentially, these (towns) can be viewed as one urban development centre separated by a river (the Limpopo), a bridge and a border post with similar challenges on service delivery, infrastructure and pollution.
Beitbridge is Zimbabwe Government’s cash cow, while Musina plays a critical role in terms of international trade for South Africa.
Both towns are moving towards modernisation into medium cities (a medium city would have abundant services, but not as many as a large city), though unfortunately, Beitbridge town is lagging behind in some areas while the South Africans seem to be getting everything right.
Dusty streets and roads are common in Beitbridge while Musina has been moving at lightning speed in addressing such areas.
Already, other countries in Sadc are now avoiding the use of Beitbridge Border Post due to the unavailability of ideal basic services, coupled with the deplorable state of key infrastructure.
The population in Zimbabwe is increasing in general with some people moving to small towns and cities.
It is understood that population growth in Beitbridge is driven by its proximity to South Africa and location at one of the busiest inland ports in Sadc. A closer look at the two towns shows that they share the same burden when it comes to handling the transit population.
An estimated 14 000 people in transit access the two countries daily through the same towns with an estimated population of 70 000. Further, the numbers have been increasing by 10 000 annually due to several push and pull factors.
According to Beitbridge Business Association chairman, Mr Nkululeko Milidi, there are a lot of areas in which the two councils may collaborate to steer economic growth.
“There are quite a lot of challenges for both towns to match economically on a win-win basis. Firstly, on the home front we have health issues for instance our sewer system needs upgrading,” said Mr Milidi.
“There are also national policy issues that need review to steer progress, for instance, the repatriation of foreign currency dividends, should they wish to invest in our town, issues of taxation and other charges which seem to be levied on our side only, and attending to issues relating to the free trade area.
“On the South African side, these are minimal though they need to address border queues and treat travellers with respect and also respect transport system bilateral arrangements.
“In terms of business, we can take advantage and bring it further to our doorsteps entities like second-hand vehicle sales, Asian retail, and wholesale shops and other essential services”.
Beitbridge town clerk Mr Loud Ramakgapola said they were working on a twinning agreement with Musina.
“We want to twin Musina and explore areas of common interest and currently are working on trying to bring Musina Municipality onto the table for a draft MOU before we tie up things,” he said.
“We will also engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the South African Embassy in Zimbabwe for guidance.
“The other area we are looking at working together is the Special Economic Zone. You will realise that both towns have been given that status by their governments and we want to explore how we can work together on that aspect”.
Mr Ramakgapola continued: “We understand Musina has another partnership with Makhado Municipality on the Special Economic Zones and for us, this is an opportunity to share common areas of economic development with Musina. Both of us are at the same stage which is the inception stage of the Special Economic Zone”.
He said the two towns share the Limpopo River which they should leverage on to realise socio-economic development benefits.
According to the town clerk, Limpopo province generally has a shortage of water though it is in abundance in Zimbabwe from various water bodies, among them the Zhovhe Dam.
“If we come up with the right agreements, Beitbridge can be a centre of supply of water to Limpopo Province of South Africa. However, this depends on who between us and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority will run this project that could be a big forex earner for the municipality.
“In the same vein, as a municipality, we are working on promoting the river frontage. We want to see the economic use of the river frontage.
“Already, we are looking for investors in the hospitality industry who can develop lodges, crocodile farming, a golf course and some beach sport along the river frontage,” said Mr Ramakgapola.
He said the town had investment opportunities in areas including shopping malls, business complexes, hospitality, light and heavy industries.
The official said one contractor had already been appointed to construct a shopping mall and ground-breaking will be done soon.
He said the mall will be a game-changer for Beitbridge town.
“We are encouraging other investors to look at mall development as opposed to small individual shops. At the same time, we are working on the Highway thoroughfare where we want to attract the top of the market investors.
“So far, two top brand companies have shown interest in the Highway thoroughfare and are sure we should in the next 12 months see big changes in the town,” said Mr Ramakgapola.
The town clerk said they had also lined up a number of infrastructure development companies in the town.
These, he said would include the construction of water reservoirs, a fire station, upgrading water and sewer reticulation systems and construction and rehabilitation of roads.
Mr Ramakgapola said the town needs a massive capital injection to attend to water, sewer and roads.
“In the next two to five years, we should deliberately work on these two service delivery areas to make our town the true face of Zimbabwe.
“Further, we need to invest in the ‘yellow equipment’.
“That is the acquisition of a grader, TLB/back loader, an excavator, tippers, motorised jetting machine, compressor tippers, and all related road equipment,” he said.
Like any story of separates, twins’ time will tell when the two towns will start moving on the same wavelength with a shared vision.
The difference in funding models where South Africa operates with a decentralised funding model for capital projects and Zimbabwe still uses the centralised system, which often results in delays or failure to implement capital projects.
Many travellers who frequent both towns will bear witness that something is amiss in the growth of the two fraternal twins when one compares infrastructure and economic development aspects.
Since the turn of the millennium, Musina has managed to lure investment with the construction of many state-of-the-art buildings and shopping complexes.
On the other side of the river, Beitbridge has only the Zesa Pension Fund complex to show and the recently closed 140-bed hotel funded by the National Social Security Authority.
The hotel which was being leased by the Rainbow Tourism Group closed doors before actualisation due to viability issues.
Hotels have been closing at a rapid pace in Beitbridge in the last three years, while accommodation business is booming south of the Limpopo River.
In June 2016, South Africa launched a logistics hub in Musina which is set to ease the cost of doing business and promote regional and international trade among Sadc.
The hub is a brainchild of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and is a culmination of a partnership between, Lion Share, Burbey Group, Barloworld, Mac, and Transnet.
Under the new order, goods will be shipped by rail from Durban and then offloaded to trucks at Under the new order, goods will be shipped by rail from Durban and then offloaded to trucks at Musina Intermodal Terminal (MIT), for further transportation to Zimbabwe and other countries north of the Limpopo River.
Logistics for goods destined for Durban and overseas markets will be transported in the same manner.
Despite having just three rail tracks at the local Transnet station, in Musina, South Africa has managed to capitalise on the opportunity.
On the other side, Zimbabwe has failed to transform Beitbridge into a dry port considering that the local railway station has tracks that can carry at least 21 trains at any given time.
It is sad to note that besides Musina and Beitbridge lying on the Africa Union’s (AU) North-South corridor, the latter still lags behind on developmental issues though both governments are milking the same transit cow.
Source: Hwende seeks removal from remand | The Herald Chalton Hwende Yeukai Karengezeka Court Correspondent MDC-Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende has approached the High Court seeking his removal from remand until the State concludes its investigations pending trial on allegations of subverting a constitutionally elected Government. has approached the High Court seeking his removal from remand until […]
Yeukai Karengezeka Court Correspondent
MDC-Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende has approached the High Court seeking his removal from remand until the State concludes its investigations pending trial on allegations of subverting a constitutionally elected Government.
has approached the High Court seeking his removal from remand until the State concludes its investigations pending trial on allegations of subverting a constitutionally elected Government.
He was arrested on the charge in March last year.
Hwende allegedly posted on his Twitter handle messages that had the effect of inciting people to revolt against the Government both in his personal capacity and as a Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana East constituency.
Since then, he has been on routine remand at least 11 times before the Harare Magistrates’ Court, and is expected to appear again today.
In his application, he cited magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa as the first respondent and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as the second respondent.
He wants the dismissal of his application on further remand to be set aside.
Hwende argues that his application for removal from remand was dismissed on August 19 last year on the basis that the State would avail trial date with expedition.
“The basis of the application was that one year has lapsed since my initial remand and the State had not made any progress on the trial date,” said Hwende in his founding affidavit.
Hwende said the decision by the magistrate to throw out his application on the basis of irregularities was irrational, unjustified and biased against him.
Source: Zinara corruption saga opens can of worms | Herald (Top Stories) Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter Former Zinara chief executive Mr Frank Chitukutuku approved 51 questionable contracts that prejudiced the road administrator of more than US$39 million in connivance with rural district officials and road engineers. The well-knit scam sucked in Mr Chitukutuku’s successor Engineer […]
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Former Zinara chief executive Mr Frank Chitukutuku approved 51 questionable contracts that prejudiced the road administrator of more than US$39 million in connivance with rural district officials and road engineers.
The well-knit scam sucked in Mr Chitukutuku’s successor Engineer Moses Juma who reportedly approved eight of the dubious projects. It is understood that Zinara had resolved to report all cases of a criminal nature to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the police.
For Zinara to make payment for any project, there should be an Interim Payment Certificate (IPC) generated by the contractor, approved by the supervisor (Rural District Council chief executive or district road engineer) and Zinara chief executive as the accounting officer.
Documents seen by The Herald showed that Mr Chitukutuku and Eng Juma were conniving with RDC chief executives and road engineers to approve payments based on either fake or questionable IPCs.
The documents showed that no evidence was presented as to why six companies were paid over US$20 million.
The companies included Atlanta, which was paid US$9 million for concrete stones that were not delivered for the Norton-Harare Road and Madz which was paid US$3 650 000 for a non-Zinara funded project in Wedza.
For this project, auditors concluded that the “contractor was paid for unknown reasons.”
Other projects where payments running into millions were made included companies such as Badon, Haingate and Fremus.
A company called Bermipools which is not even registered by the Registrar of Companies was contracted to do re-gravelling of Juru-Mwanza Road in Goromonzi, prejudicing Zinara of US$1 356, 909 23 after it emerged that only eight percent of the expected work was done.
It also emerged from the summary audit documents that the board had not authorised the payment. Out of the 57 projects that Mr Chitukutuku and Eng Juma oversaw, only 32 were completed, but still queries were raised.
For instance, a company called Drawcard completed its project for CBD roads, but was overpaid and there was no proof for contract variation approval.
Drawcard’s project was valued at US$1 167, 050,09, but the company was paid US$1 816 814, prejudicing Zinara of US$649 763, 91.
In another case, Madz completed a project along the Wesleydale-Chirirangwe road where Zinara paid US$1 345 349,52, yet the tender was supposed to be given to a company called Joystone which was the lowest bidder. In several cases, payments were done without the board’s approval prejudicing Zinara.
A company called Notify was overpaid for the construction of Ilitshe bridge which was left incomplete at five percent.
The company’s project was valued at US$1 599 991,08, but was paid US$1 895 650.
In technical terms, at five percent a contractor would have been paid what is known as mobilisation fees for moving equipment to the project site.
Zinara acting chief executive Engineer Moses Chigonyati could not be reached for a comment.
However, a senior Zinara official who refused to be named said: “A decision has been taken that all the criminal cases should be reported to the relevant prosecuting authorities this week. After the trials, Zinara will do a follow up to recover all the looted funds.”
Source: ‘Law must punish anti-Zim elements’ | Herald (Africa) zanu pf secretary for War Veterans Cde Douglas Mahiya (centre), war veterans and members of Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans (COZWA) congratulate Cde Raymond Chiwara (left) after he was elected the substantive COZWA chairperson at a congress in Kariba at the weekend Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau […]
Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
PARLIAMENT should push for a punitive law that deals with citizens who demonise the country and serve foreign interests, war veterans leader Cde Douglas Mahiya has said.
Addressing delegates at the Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans (COZWA) congress in Kariba last weekend, Cde Mahiya, who is the ZANU PF Secretary for Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees expressed concern over some Zimbabweans who denigrate their country and frustrate efforts to revive the economy.
Cde Mahiya said currency manipulation was one of the major causes of price increases of basic commodities.
“There are apparent obstacles put in place to reverse the people’s gains against settler colonialists and stop the gains of the liberation struggle.
“The children of war veterans have to reinforce the new economic war that Zimbabweans are currently involved in. There are laws in war, we are at war with the imperialists. You are here to strengthen the philosophy of this country,” said Cde Mahiya.
He said the Government and all stakeholders should take decisive steps to halt the runaway exchange rate and resultant price instability.
Cde Mahiya said the country’s revolution was at a phase where economic emancipation and empowerment were taking centre stage.
“In this war we have seen the exchange rate going up and it is being caused by what they say tracking the Old Mutual Implied Exchange Rate (OMIR) using mostly the Ecocash platform. We have stepped up and we want this thing to stop by whatever means,” he said.
The war veterans’ leader said the opposition MDC-Alliance should not be allowed to continue hobnobbing with forces bent on reversing the gains of the liberation struggle.
“Parliament should come up with laws that deal decisively with some people in the MDC-Alliance because of their apparent lack of disregard for the country. Can whatever they are doing to this country ever be tolerated? The answer is no. That issue has to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” he said.
The congress elected Raymond Chiwara of Mashonaland East province as COZWA chairperson, Kholani Mbambo (vice chairperson), Lenin Samhembere (political commissar), Fortunate Murombo (secretary for finance) and Believe Marandu (secretary general).
Source: ED breaks own COVID-19 decree | Newsday (News) By Everson Mushava PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday broke his own decree banning all public gatherings in excess of 100 people by addressing a rally attended by thousands of supporters in Nyanga, less than 24 hours after he made the refrain to contain the outbreak of the […]
By Everson Mushava
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday broke his own decree banning all public gatherings in excess of 100 people by addressing a rally attended by thousands of supporters in Nyanga, less than 24 hours after he made the refrain to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus which is causing havoc in global markets.
Mnangagwa claimed that his decree would only come into effect tomorrow, but his explanation rang hollow after neighbouring Zambia recorded its first two confirmed cases of the virus and South Africa reported a spike to 116, including 13 community infection cases.
As of yesterday, 27 countries
on the continent had reported 576 cases and 15 deaths.
In Zimbabwe, officials reported one new suspected case of the virus at Beitbridge Border Post of a woman from Malawi who was in transit to her home country from South Africa, bringing the number of suspected cases to 15.
The first 14 suspected cases were negative, but international carrier, Emirates, yesterday suspended flights to Harare and Lusaka for 60 days as a precautionary measure.
On Tuesday, Mnangagwa declared a state of national disaster to tackle the possible outbreak by cancelling the 40th Independence Day celebrations, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, sport events and public gatherings of more than 100 people, including church meetings.
He opted to keep schools open, a move criticised by teachers labour unions as unnecessarily placing the school children at risk.
Mnangagwa, who is today expected to launch a coronavirus national preparedness and response plan, said the ban on travellers from coronavirus hostpots would come into effect starting tomorrow, March 20, but the ban on gatherings of over 100 people, sporting events was for the next 60 days, signifying immediacy.
He sought to explain the contradiction at the Nyanga rally after commissioning a pump house at Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme in the same district.
The rally was held at Bumhira Secondary School.
“So now, you have the right to assemble the way you did today. Today (yesterday) is 18, tomorrow (today) 19, and Friday, 20, that is when my decree will be effective,” Mnangagwa said, making a mockery of his own ban.
While Zimbabwe has yet to record a positive test, coronavirus the fast-spreading disease, which originated in Wuhan, China, has now infected over 200 000 people and caused nearly 8 500 deaths in 164 nations, with some countries now under emergency lockdowns only seen during wartime and governments are pledging billions in cash to bail out depressed economies.
Teachers yesterday said government should shut down all schools and institutions of higher learning and called the refrain to remain open an unnecessary risk.
“Schools are the most dangerous places for the spread of any pandemic, moreso given the fact that some schools have an enrolment of more than 2 000 pupils and in the event of a single person getting infected with the virus, the vector spread effect could be so swift given the number of students and various families from which they come from,” Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said.
Civil society organisations also said Mnangagwa should ban use of the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco) buses to arrest the possible outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
The heavily subsidised Zupco buses are often overloaded, with a single bus carrying as many as 150 passengers per trip, and civic society organisations said this would expose many people.
National Consumer Rights Association advocacy and campaign manager Effie Ncube said the risk of people contracting COVID-19 from their loved ones and from gatherings, including the overcrowded Zupco buses, remained very likely despite the cancellation of ZITF and Independence Day celebrations.
Yesterday, there was pandemonium at Beitbridge District Hospital after a female patient exhibiting symptoms of the disease arrived to an unprepared institution.
A visit by Parliament last week at the border post showed a lack of preparedness.
Confirming the case, Matabeleand South provincial medical director Rudo Chikodzore said: “I have received that report and we have sent testing kits to Beitbridge. I do not have a lot of detail now, but will forward it to head office as soon as we are clear.”
Health minister Obadiah Moyo said more than 9 505 travellers had been screened at the country’s ports of entry and 378 put on surveillance.
The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory had tested 14 suspected cases of COVID-19 and said all were negative.
Yesterday, Mutare mayor Blessing Tandi said the council’s infectious hospital was ill-equipped to handle cases of the novel coranavirus as it needed almost
US$400 000 to be refurbished.
He said suspected cases would be transported to Wilkins Hospital in Harare.
Chitungwiza Municipality yesterday said it would soon embark on door-to-door awareness campaigns in the wake of the deadly virus. Mayor Lovemore Maiko said the move would be aimed at reducing the risk of infections.
— Additional reporting by Vannessa Gonye, Rex Maphisa, Kennedy Nyangani, Silas Nkala and Nizbert Moyo
Source: Teachers give ED ultimatum to fire Mthuli – NewsDay Zimbabwe The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fire Finance minister Mthuli Ncube within seven days or face crippling protests by members of the association. By Brenna Matendere In a letter dated March 16 delivered at Mnangagwa’s Munhumutapa […]
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fire Finance minister Mthuli Ncube within seven days or face crippling protests by members of the association.
By Brenna Matendere
In a letter dated March 16 delivered at Mnangagwa’s Munhumutapa offices in Harare on Monday, Artuz president Obert Masaraure said Ncube had failed to rescue the country from the deepening economic crisis, hence the need to relieve him of his duties.
Part of the letter read: “While there are many causes to the economic meltdown facing the country, which among others is rampant corruption, Ncube’s ministry is of critical national importance and as such requires a competent person who can steer it to turn around our economic fortunes.
“In this regard, Ncube has failed in his totality and the only immediate remedy is for you to remove him within seven days, failure to which we will publicly call for his removal through democratic means guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
“We hope you will act expeditiously on our request and remove Ncube from office for gross failure to deliver on his mandate. His continued occupation of that office constitutes a national security risk as he continues to heap pain on long-suffering citizens.”
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was unavailable for comment when repeatedly sought.
Masaraure said Ncube had been an impediment to several proposals tabled before him for the betterment of the lives of Zimbabweans, mostly the working class.
“The working class has become victim of Ncube’s failed economic policies,” he said.
The transitional stabilisation programme, which birthed the obtaining economic ills was his initiative.
Organised labour rejected the International Monetary Fund-supported programme and labelled it Economic Structural Adjustment Programme 2 or Esap, the disastrous 1990s programme.
“Our salaries were slashed from over US$500 to the now US$55… Ncube might not be the only evil confronting us, but the position he occupies is so critical for any turnaround strategy of our economy.”
Masaraure called upon the other unions to join Artuz in protests between March 23 and 27 to push for Ncube’s dismissal if Mnangagwa snubs their demand.
Zimbabwe is facing serious economic challenges that have seen workers’ salaries eroded by hyperinflation.
Source: Zanu PF appoints new information director | The Herald Cde Mugwadi Shelton Muchena Herald Correspondent Zanu PF has appointed Cde Tafadzwa Mugwadi as director of Information and Publicity. He takes over from Cde Danny Musukuma, who was relieved of his duties sometime last year. Zanu PF secretary for Finance Cde Patrick Chinamasa confirmed the […]
Shelton Muchena Herald Correspondent
Zanu PF has appointed Cde Tafadzwa Mugwadi as director of Information and Publicity.
He takes over from Cde Danny Musukuma, who was relieved of his duties sometime last year.
Zanu PF secretary for Finance Cde Patrick Chinamasa confirmed the appointment yesterday.
“Yes, I can confirm that Cde Mugwadi is now the party’s director of Information and Publicity,” he said. “He officially started his duties on Monday.”
Before his appointment, Cde Mugwadi was part of the Zimpapers’ Knowledge Centre team. He resigned from Zimpapers this week and promises to revamp Zanu PF’s information department. Cde Mugwadi holds an BSc Honours Political Science and a Master of Science Degree in International Relations from the University of Zimbabwe.
He is also a PhD candidate.
Said Cde Mugwadi: “It’s time to get down to serious business. It’s a position of trust and responsibility and yes, I will do my best to fulfil the expectations of the party leadership and our membership.
“There are seniors at the party to learn from.” Zanu PF Mashonaland West Youth League chairperson Cde Vengai Musengi hailed the appointment.
He said it showed that Zanu PF had confidence in young blood. “We are happy because youths are now being given positions of trust,” said Cde Musengi.