RBZ directs banks to relax terms for borrowers 

Source: RBZ directs banks to relax terms for borrowers | The Herald Dr Mangudya The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has directed banks to relax credit granting requirements as it moves to provide credit support to firms that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent national economic lockdown. The Covid-19 pandemic and the […]

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Source: RBZ directs banks to relax terms for borrowers | The Herald

RBZ directs banks to relax terms for borrowers
Dr Mangudya

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has directed banks to relax credit granting requirements as it moves to provide credit support to firms that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent national economic lockdown.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent national lockdown undermined the viability of business concerns and naturally banks are likely to show reluctance to offer loan facilities.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, banks were not so keen to offer credit to business concerns as reflected in the 2019 loan to deposit ratio of just 36,6 percent against an international benchmark of approximately 70 percent.

The RBZ attributed the subdued 2019 loan to deposit ratio to “cautious lending approach adopted by some banking institutions.”

But with the damage to economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which left some businesses without income, banks are now likely to show even more reluctance to offer loan facilities.

According to economist John Robertson, some firms, will struggle to support loan application as the flow of income might not keep pace with debt repayment.

The tourism sector for example, which is expected to require loans for working capital support, will not see an uptick on revenue for a little longer.

Government anticipates a consequent fall in tourism business, with the country set to lose between US$500 million to US$1,1 billion in potential tourism revenue in 2020 from the projected revenue of US$1,4 billion.

Under such scenarios, Robertson is of the opinion that only firms that can support loan applications by showing good reasons for confidence that income flows will keep pace with debt repayment commitments, will be able to overcome the anxiety of lenders.

“But, with purchasing power falling and strong evidence that shrinking production volumes will cause price instability, banks everywhere are becoming increasingly cautious about offering overdraft facilities, particularly while deteriorating market conditions seem very likely to upset sales forecasts,” he said.

Central Banks steps in
The central bank has, however, sought to step in and has asked banks to relax some of their credit granting requirements.

Appearing before the Budget and Finance Parliamentary Committee RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya said the central bank had asked banks to relax their single borrower limits.

A single borrower limit is a legal lending limit which a bank can lend to a single borrower or per customer.

Before the new measures, the single borrower limit, was 25 percent but has now been relaxed to 35 percent of net capital base per bank, according to Dr Mangudya.

“We have also asked banks to look at their credit risk structuring because of Covid-19, some of their customers will not be able to pay on time because they had no revenue and sales.”

Listed entity First Capital Bank has already indicated that clients constituting 6,5 percent of the loan book, including tourism sector, have requested for restructuring of their loan facilities and repayments.

Dr Mangudya said banks needed to look at the performance of their customers and give grace periods and moratorium for paying their facilities.

He said banks will have to conduct loan classifications and provide provisions for their customers that are not able to pay.

He, however, emphasised that such relaxed terms should not be extended to wilful defaulters but only to those who are of good risk.

The central bank has also asked banks to defer payment of dividends during this period unless they can prove otherwise the need to pay.

Reporting requirements for banks and the financial services sector have also been relaxed, said Dr Mangudya. —ebusinessweekly.co.zw

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LAPTOP THIEVES BASHED

Two cunning thieves got a thorough bashing over the weekend
after stealing a laptop from a 12-year-old girl at a free Wi-Fi hotspot in
Harare.

The duo, Jaison Musarirwa, 18, and Prince Chasi, 24, from
Rugare met instant justice in Warren Park 1 af…

Two cunning thieves got a thorough bashing over the weekend after stealing a laptop from a 12-year-old girl at a free Wi-Fi hotspot in Harare. The duo, Jaison Musarirwa, 18, and Prince Chasi, 24, from Rugare met instant justice in Warren Park 1 after they allegedly approached a 12-year-old girl who was browsing the internet at a ZOL free Wi-Fi hotspot and hoodwinked her into leaving a laptop

Silencing the guns: Creating a conducive environment for Africa’s development: Forum commemorates Africa Day 

Today, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) joins the rest of Africa in commemorating Africa Day. The African Union (AU)’s theme for 2020 – Silencing the guns: Creating a conducive environment for Africa’s development – provides an opportunity to reflect on progress and challenges in attaining peace and development in Africa, including in Zimbabwe. Source: […]

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Today, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) joins the rest of Africa in commemorating Africa Day. The African Union (AU)’s theme for 2020 – Silencing the guns: Creating a conducive environment for Africa’s development – provides an opportunity to reflect on progress and challenges in attaining peace and development in Africa, including in Zimbabwe.

Source: Silencing the guns: Creating a conducive environment for Africa’s development: Forum commemorates Africa Day – The Zimbabwean

In May 2013, Heads of States and Governments of the AU signed the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the formation of the African Union. In so doing, the leaders committed to the ideals of the rule of law, democracy, respect for human rights, regional solidarity, promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and youth. In 2015, African leaders adopted Agenda 2063, a vision and action plan for Africa born out of a realization of the need to prioritize peace and security, social and economic development, continental and regional integration, and democratic governance. The primary goal is to provide African countries with an environment conducive for development.

The aspirations of the AU align with the founding values and principles of good governance as captured in section 3 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013 (the Constitution). This year’s Africa Day comes days after Zimbabwe commemorated the Constitution’s 7th anniversary on 22 May 2020. In spite of the alignment of values and aspirations in the AU’s framework of principles and in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, many in Zimbabwe are yet to see, experience and live the promise of the Constitution.

The Zimbabwean economy continues to decline against the backdrop of a bad human rights record. As the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic, violations of fundamental human freedoms and liberties continue to be recorded. Hundreds of violations have been recorded by the Forum since the start of the COVID-19 national lockdown, including assault, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions and attack on journalists. The recent abductions and torture of three opposition political youth leaders which made headlines globally, drew the latest attention to Zimbabwe’s long-held record of human insecurity and vulnerability. This is a record enabled by a State that is unable to protect its citizens – and is in most times, actively involved in the violations both by commission and omission. Zimbabwe is subscribed to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and has a duty to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights of its peoples as provided in that Charter.

Much have been invested by the Zimbabwean government in painting the country as being under a new dispensation, shaped by a new ethos. Evidence on the ground speak otherwise. Without respect for human rights, sound governance and a culture of constitutionalism, Zimbabwe will remain behind in Africa’s peace and development agenda, slowing down the advancement of its peoples and becoming a liability to African as a whole.

As Zimbabwe and the continent commemorate Africa Day, the Forum takes the opportunity to remind the Government of Zimbabwe of the duty it owes to its citizens to make this day meaningful, as a celebration of our security and prosperity. The primary duty lies upon the government of the people, to deliver the Africa promised in our continental agenda, which agenda is similarly captured in our own Constitution. The Forum further calls on unity of purpose among all in Zimbabwe to ensure that we focus more on things that unite than divide us, as both Zimbabweans and Africans.

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On 7th Anniversary of the constitution do not amend but implement and comply 

ON the seventh anniversary of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is extremely saddened by government’s failure to fully implement, the wilful violation and the wanton disregard of some progressive provisions of the supreme law. Source: On 7th Anniversary of the constitution do not amend but implement and comply – The […]

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ON the seventh anniversary of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is extremely saddened by government’s failure to fully implement, the wilful violation and the wanton disregard of some progressive provisions of the supreme law.

Source: On 7th Anniversary of the constitution do not amend but implement and comply – The Zimbabwean

22 May 2020 marks the seventh year of the coming into force of the
Constitution, the highest law that was approved by the majority of
Zimbabweans who voted in the constitutional referendum held in March
2013.

For ZLHR, the seventh anniversary of the Constitution being in 2020 is
not just symbolic but an important opportunity to assess progress in
the implementation of the Constitution, take stock of the achievements
made, the lessons learnt and the challenges that lie ahead in
enhancing a critical foundation to incrementally nurture a democracy
in Zimbabwe.

The enactment of the Constitution was premised on facilitating a
constitutional journey from the shame of the country’s past to the
promise of the future which delivers on its democratic promise and
transformative aspirations.

Since its adoption in 2013, the Constitution has become a symbol of
the hopes and aspirations of Zimbabweans and some citizens have sought
to assert their fundamental rights and freedoms as enshrined in the
‘Declaration of Rights’ and held state and non-state actors to account
for their transgressions in fulfilling their constitutional
obligations.

While the coming into effect seven years ago of the Constitution
signalled the dawn of a new era and a break with the past, an
assessment by ZLHR over the past seven years shows that the “new”
Governance Charter is just a paper tiger as authorities remain
reluctant to fully implement it and continue to wilfully violate its
progressive provisions.
More concerning for ZLHR are the commonplace contraventions of the
Constitution by duty-bearers, with continuing impunity.

Although some laws have been amended or promulgated to align or comply
with the Constitution, a number of gaps still exist.

Of great concern to ZLHR is government’s increasing reliance on
governing through promulgation of subsidiary legislation contained in
a record Statutory Instruments promulgated during the era of the
so-called “new dispensation”.

ZLHR is disconcerted that the Constitution is already being amended
for the second time with the gazetting of Constitutional Amendment
(No.2) Bill 2019, that seeks to consolidate the power of the President
and erode the power of the legislature to effectively exercise checks
and balances on the Executive in certain matters and also has negative
implications on the independence of the judiciary and the
Prosecutor-General amongst other issues.

This rapid amendment of 27 sections of the Constitution is not
reasonably justifiable and undermines the national objectives set out
in Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

It is worrying and shocking that law enforcement authorities continue
to misinterpret and selectively misapply laws to suppress people’s
fundamental freedoms and rights while citizens are brutalised,
abducted, disappeared and tortured in violation of their right to
personal security, the right to human dignity and freedom from torture
or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Local authorities and central government continue to contravene
fundamental protections of freedoms and rights to property, freedom of
profession, trade and occupation, provision of health care services,
potable water, and freedom from arbitrary eviction.

ZLHR holds the President of Zimbabwe, including the Ministry of
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and other line ministries
accountable for failing in executing their primary responsibility of
ensuring that the Constitution is respected, protected and fully
enforced. These primary duty-bearers must act in a manner that
respects, protects, and upholds the principles and values for which
people voted.

ZLHR wishes to remind the Executive, of the voluntary commitments the
twenty-six (26) member delegation made on behalf of the Government of
Zimbabwe in November 2016, during the United Nations Human Rights
Council Universal Periodic Review during the session that was held in
Geneva, Switzerland. The ‘26-member government delegation’ was led by
the incumbent President, His Excellency Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa,
in his capacity as the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs at that time.

As provided in the Working Group Report during the 34th Session, it is
reported that the Zimbabwe delegation accepted most (noting a few)
recommendations on the Constitution from the following countries;
Australia, Czechia, Egypt, France, German, Ghana, Iran, Ireland,
Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Congo, Republic of
Korea, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo,
Uganda and United Kingdom. These United Nations (UN) member states
encouraged Zimbabwe to align laws with Constitution, fully implement
and comply with the Constitution.

On its part, over the years, Zimbabwe has also proposed 190
recommendations to other UN member states that have come under review
during the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism. This process is a peer
to peer review by countries on state of compliance with UN human
rights obligations.

On its part, ZLHR will keep demanding enforcement and accountability
for the actions or non-actions of those with obligations to ensure
government’s adherence to the principles of constitutionalism, respect
for the rule of law and human rights treaty obligations. Honest and
firm compliance, respect for constitutionalism and political will is
required if people are to be empowered to assert their constitutional
rights and freedoms.

Therefore, ZLHR calls on the government to;

•    Take urgent action to align the country’s laws with the Constitution
and to make the vision a reality.

•    Urgently implement outstanding legislative reforms and harmonise
laws to the Constitution.

•    Ensure that the attitudes, conduct and behaviour of all state
officials and agencies conform to the standards set out in the
Constitution and that non-state actors are also held to account where
they fail to respect and uphold the Constitution.

•    Foster a culture of constitutionalism through respect for the
supremacy of the Constitution.

•    Ensure that all security services members comply with the provisions
of section 208 of the Constitution which prescribes their conduct and
foster harmony and understanding between them and civilians.

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FUEL CRISIS SET TO WORSEN

DESPERATE motorists are set to endure more anguish at fuel
pumps, after authorities admitted at the weekend that they were struggling to
get foreign currency to import petrol and diesel, the Daily News reports. 

This comes despite the global glut …

DESPERATE motorists are set to endure more anguish at fuel pumps, after authorities admitted at the weekend that they were struggling to get foreign currency to import petrol and diesel, the Daily News reports.  This comes despite the global glut of oil and prices tumbling to record lows on the international market due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The situation is that we have issues

Abduction saga; Zim journalists to endure weekend in jail 

Following arrest for violating COVID-19 order Source: Abduction saga; Zim journalists to endure weekend in jail – The Zimbabwean Journalists Samuel Takawira and Frank Chikowore stand with a police detective outside a court in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 23, 2020. (Columbus Mavhunga/VOA) TWO Zimbabwean journalists will spend the weekend in jail pending the determination of their […]

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Following arrest for violating COVID-19 order

Source: Abduction saga; Zim journalists to endure weekend in jail – The Zimbabwean

Journalists Samuel Takawira and Frank Chikowore stand with a police detective outside a court in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 23, 2020. (Columbus Mavhunga/VOA)

TWO Zimbabwean journalists will spend the weekend in jail pending the
determination of their application for release from prison custody on
bail.

The two journalists Frank Chikowore, a freelance journalist and Samuel
Takawira, who works for 263Chat appeared before Magistrate Manase
Masiiwa at Mbare Magistrates Court in Harare on Saturday 23 May 2020
after they were arrested on Friday 22 May 2020 by some Zimbabwe
Republic Police members at Parktown Hospital in Waterfalls suburb in
Harare while allegedly filming and interviewing some victims of
abduction and torture currently detained at the medical facility and
charged with contravening section 11(b) of Statutory Instrument 83 of
2020, Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment)
(National Lockdown) Order, 2020.

Prosecutors alleged that Chikowore and Takawira, who were represented
by Paidamoyo Saurombe and Tonderai Bhatasara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights failed or refused without sufficient cause to comply with
any request made or direction given by a police officer when they
allegedly sneaked into the High Dependency Unit at Parktown Hospital
to interview Harare West legislator Joanna Mamombe and MDC Alliance
party youth leaders Cecelia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, who are
currently hospitalised at the medical facility after they were
abducted and disappeared and tortured by some yet to be identified
people.

Prosecutors charged that Chikowore and Takawira were arrested by
Detective Constable Collin Makore, who was reportedly providing
security at the medical facility for allegedly failing to observe the
social distancing rule between themselves as well as not maintaining
social distancing with the detained victims of abduction and torture.

In their bail application, Saurombe and Bhatasara argued that
Chikowore and Takawira must be released from custody on bail while
prosecutors opposed their freedom bid.

This prompted Magistrate Musiiwa to postpone the matter to Tuesday 26
May 2020, where he will hand down his ruling on the journalists’ bail
application.

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ED RUNNING OUT OF TIME

PRESSURE is mounting on the country’s political leadership
to put their differences aside and hold much-needed dialogue to help end the
country’s deepening economic crisis, the Daily News reports.

This comes as life for ordinary citizens is worsenin…

PRESSURE is mounting on the country’s political leadership to put their differences aside and hold much-needed dialogue to help end the country’s deepening economic crisis, the Daily News reports. This comes as life for ordinary citizens is worsening by the day, with the hapless Zimbabwe dollar crashing against major global currencies — setting off a fresh wave of price increases of basic

SELMOR, JAH PRAYZAH IN CONTINENTAL CONCERTS

CELEBRATED local Afro-jazz songstress Selmor Mtukudzi is
the only Zimbabwean musician engaged to share the stage with renowned African
musicians today in celebrating Africa Day to musically raise awareness on the
impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) …

CELEBRATED local Afro-jazz songstress Selmor Mtukudzi is the only Zimbabwean musician engaged to share the stage with renowned African musicians today in celebrating Africa Day to musically raise awareness on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the continent. At the Africa Day music showcase dubbed WAN Music Concert, Selmor will join the continent’s A-team for a two-hour performance.