Chiefs demand answers on Gukurahundi

Source: Chiefs demand answers on Gukurahundi | The Standard (Local News) By NQOBANI NDLOVU Traditional leaders in Matabeleland have written to the South African parliament requesting permission to be allowed to present “facts” about the 1980’s mass killings in Matabeleland and Midlands as they push for an independent investigation into the atrocities known as Gukurahundi. […]

The post Chiefs demand answers on Gukurahundi appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Chiefs demand answers on Gukurahundi | The Standard (Local News)

By NQOBANI NDLOVU

Traditional leaders in Matabeleland have written to the South African parliament requesting permission to be allowed to present “facts” about the 1980’s mass killings in Matabeleland and Midlands as they push for an independent investigation into the atrocities known as Gukurahundi.

Chief Vezi Mafu (Maduna) of Filabusi in November 2018 petitioned the United Nations (UN) seeking the setting-up of an independent inquiry into the Gukurahundi massacres.

The government reacted angrily to Maduna’s UN petition amid reports that he has faced persecution since then, but that has not deterred the traditional leader.

In a letter dated January 12, 2019 and addressed to the speaker of the South African parliament, Matabeleland chiefs requested to be “afforded an opportunity to be allowed to formally present the facts about the genocide that occurred in their region of Zimbabwe.”

“Of concern, the genocide was perpetrated upon the Ndebele people by the government of the day.

“The government of the day is still in office and evidently does not take this matter seriously.

“It is blatantly obvious that this government does not wish to address this matter, hence our wish as traditional leaders to directly engage you,” reads in part the letter signed on behalf of the Matabeleland traditional leaders by outspoken Ntabazinduna chief, Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s role during Gukurahundi continues to be questioned, and has faced protests in Pretoria, South Africa, and at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo over the emotive issue.

Mnangagwa’s predecessor, Robert Mugabe, dispatched the Fifth Brigade — an army unit trained by the North Koreans — in the early 80’s to to supposedly quash what he claimed were insurgents bent on overthrowing him, resulting in the killing of over 20 000 civilians.

Mnangagwa has said he is prepared to apologise if recommended by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, but traditional leaders doubted the president’s sincerity in soberly addressing the issue.

“As traditional leaders, we live within these affected areas, within the Ndebele nation and we are mindful that this matter of the unresolved genocide has the potential to seriously destabilise the country and indeed the Southern African Development Community region,” the letter added.

“The warning signs are already written on the wall, just as they were in Kenya and Rwanda.

“From our perspective, it is only the international arena that can do justice to this issue for it is unrealistic for a perpetrator of genocide to then investigate and prosecute themselves,” the letter adds.

The post Chiefs demand answers on Gukurahundi appeared first on The Standard.

The post Chiefs demand answers on Gukurahundi appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

1:1 cost Zim $2bn annually, says Ncube 

Source: 1:1 cost Zim $2bn annually, says Ncube – The Standard February 24, 2019 BY FIDELITY MHLANGA  ZIMBABWE’S currency controls which saw bond notes being pegged at par with the United States dollar cost treasury an estimated $2 billion, a government official has revealed. Finance minister Mthuli Ncube told a business meeting on Friday that […]

The post 1:1 cost Zim $2bn annually, says Ncube  appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: 1:1 cost Zim $2bn annually, says Ncube – The Standard February 24, 2019

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA 

ZIMBABWE’S currency controls which saw bond notes being pegged at par with the United States dollar cost treasury an estimated $2 billion, a government official has revealed.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube told a business meeting on Friday that the increase in the price of fuel last month was the beginning of a process to liberalise the exchange rate system.

“A fixed exchange rate system is expensive. We were running a fixed exchange rate system, which cost us close to $2 billion a year because we were using USD as both a transactional currency and reserve currency,” he said.

“Let’s be honest, the one-to-one was punishing exporters in addition to taking away from exporters to fund your consumption habits.

“We were also borrowing and getting deeper and deeper into debt. And we were borrowing in an advance way such that the credit standing globally has gone down.”

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last Wednesday floated the exchange rate and introduced an interbank exchange system in which the rate will now be determined by the market.

Ncube said monetary reforms started last year when the central bank directed banks to separate hard currency deposits from realtime gross settlement (RTGS) system balances.

“Currency reform started on the 1st of October with the separation of accounts,” he said.

“Let me say one thing; when I said a domestic currency is coming in 12 months, I was doing you a favour.

“I was preparing your minds, that’s my job, to say don’t be shocked when the monetary policy is announced, what I meant is market rate.

“And here we are with the RBZ governor, we are done.”

Ncube said the government was now paying salaries on a cash basis, a position, which he pledged to stick to for the next two years.

“We are now spending what we have. We are determined that we need to carry on like that for the next two years. It should always be like that. We are living within our means,” he said.

“Our job now is to keep the tap closed and live within our means and not go into an overdraft facility.

“We have set a limit for ourselves at 5%, it should be 20%, but we want to keep it at 5%.We want independence of the central bank.

“We will keep our fiscal tap closed to make sure that as government we are not the source of growth of money,” he said.

He added that treasury was making progress with the International Monetary Fund in terms of concluding discussions around the staff-monitored programme.

The post 1:1 cost Zim $2bn annually, says Ncube  appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Mugabe slams Mnangagwa: ‘You can’t do without seeing dead bodies, what kind of a person are you?’

Former President Robert Mugabe has castigated his predecessor Emerson Mnangagwa for sending soldiers to brutalise protesting civilians. Mugabe was speaking at his Blue Roof mansion in Borrowdale where hundreds of invited guests were celebrating his 95t…

Former President Robert Mugabe has castigated his predecessor Emerson Mnangagwa for sending soldiers to brutalise protesting civilians. Mugabe was speaking at his Blue Roof mansion in Borrowdale where hundreds of invited guests were celebrating his 95th birthday. He said, “Vamwe vanofunga hukuru hunoreva kuponda vanhu, handizvo!” (Some believe being a leader entails murdering people, that’s […]

ZBC set for major overhaul

Source: ZBC set for major overhaul | The Standard (Local News) The big interview BY VENERANDA LANGA INFORMATION minister Monica Mutsvangwa says Zimbabweans must brace themselves for a raft of media reforms as her ministry moves to align various laws with the constitution. Mutsvangwa (MM) told our senior reporter Veneranda Langa (VL) that the major […]

The post ZBC set for major overhaul appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: ZBC set for major overhaul | The Standard (Local News)

The big interview BY VENERANDA LANGA

INFORMATION minister Monica Mutsvangwa says Zimbabweans must brace themselves for a raft of media reforms as her ministry moves to align various laws with the constitution.

Mutsvangwa (MM) told our senior reporter Veneranda Langa (VL) that the major thrust of the reforms will be to improve access to information and to guarantee freedom of expression.

She also revealed that the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) was set for a major overhaul. Below are excerpts from the interview.

VL: What are the media reforms that we can expect from your ministry in the short term?

MM: The new reforms are meant to align our laws to the constitution and modernise our media landscape as well.

These reforms are inspired by the aspirations and value systems set in our constitution.

We have taken those as the minimum standard, but we did not end there.

We went for the gold standard by incorporating different international conventions that Zimbabwe is a signatory to.

In the short term you would expect that once our boards have been cleared, then we will licence other players to operate in the broadcasting space.

You will continue to see our efforts to depolarise the industry and the country at large.

VL: What are the Bills that are likely to come before Parliament? What will be the difference between the envisaged new legislation and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)?

MM: I believe I should bring the Bills before Cabinet within the next three weeks, after which we will trigger the parliamentary process. The difference with the new information Bills will be that we are not mixing unrelated issues.

Media regulation is a separate issue from issues of the right of access to information as guaranteed by section 61 of the constitution.

Those issues should not be mixed as was the issue with AIPPA.

Issues like criminal defamation are also put off the law. In terms of protection of privacy, we have focused on the protection of personal information given to public and private bodies and not use the law as a means of hiding public officials from accountability and scrutiny.

We have also removed the issue of “controlling” the media and are now centred on “regulating”.

On freedom of information, we have also proposed that it’s not only public bodies, which should provide access to information, but private ones as well, as long as the information is of public interest or is used to protect rights.

VL: Are we likely to have broadcasting reforms? When are we likely to see new television licences issued?
MM: Principles to amending the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) are ready for presentation to Cabinet.
Keep an eye on the post-Cabinet briefing. Once Cabinet has taken a position on the proposals, the public will be informed.

Regarding licensing, as I said before, that depends on the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board being in place.

Once that is done, BAZ will issue licences. Regarding online services that do not use the finite frequency spectrum, BAZ will issue those on a continuing basis without any need to call out (for applications).

We have consulted the Attorney-General on this and we are advised that we do not need a board in place to issue these licences.

VL: There are reports of bad blood between you and your deputy, Energy Mutodi, especially over his utterances on social media. At one time he suggested that there must be a Cabinet reshuffle and you were seen as one of his targets. How do you relate with your deputy?

MM: There is no bad blood between my deputy Honourable Mutodi and I, as we are both appointees of the president.

Government decisions are made in Cabinet where I sit as the minister.

Anything outside of that forum is hearsay, speculation, wishful thinking or plain gossip.

Within the ministry, the permanent secretary is the government accounting officer.

The deputy minister is there to help the two in the ministerial commission. Our jobs are very clearly defined.

Regarding what transpires on social media, I am sure the pertinent bloggers can best answer for their posts that lie out of the purview of my ministry.

As regards possible reshuffles — that is strictly and solely the domain of the president, who is the nationally elected head of the executive.

I dare not and will not ever stray where even political angels fear to tread.

VL: There are also reports that on several occasions presidential spokesperson George Charamba has dismissed whatever your ministry has said. An example is the issue of Charamba’s comments that people should not believe everything posted on Mnangagwa’s official Twitter account as there are people trying to put words into his mouth. Your ministry runs another Twitter handle which tells people to believe in everything posted on Mnangagwa’s account. What should people believe?

MM: The President has unequivocally pronounced himself on his Twitter account.

He said that’s his account and what is posted there are his views and positions.

I don’t need to continue to assert the authority of his Twitter handle because he has done that himself.

VL: Is there some truth in reports that Charamba is still pulling the strings within the Information ministry?

MM: I am in charge of my ministry. I wouldn’t know what other people want to do or are thinking of doing.

They would be the best people to answer for themselves.

VL: Can you give the nation an update on Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri’s health conditions following announcements that they were seriously ill?

MM: I have no current update on Honourable VP Chiwenga. On Defence minister Honourable Muchinguri, she is fine.

I believe you have seen her attending public engagements in a good state of health.

You have seen her with His Excellency the president at the India-Africa hub and other engagements.

She has been coming to her office and attending public engagements.

VL: There are reports that Zimpapers editors that were recently suspended or fired were victims of your interference and that you wanted to appoint your loyalists. What is your reaction to that?

MM: Caesar Zvayi is not fired and I am sure he can affirm that. He is actually still working for Zimpapers in a more expansive role than before.

Zimpapers group is a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-traded company. Its corporate governance conforms to the ZSE rules.

As a growing stable, Zimpapers and its board have the corporate discretion to deploy its staff as it sees fit.

The ministry keeps an arm’s length relationship with the Zimpapers group. Our nominal influence is exercised through a trust as one of the many shareholders.

Through this channel, we recommend policy directions. We are not involved in personnel issues.

VL: Can we look forward to a reformed ZBC because people have been complaining that their programming is not up to standard? If so, what will be the improvements?

MM: ZBC reported having a challenging technical problem, hence their unfortunate and inadvertent failure to broadcast the monetary policy statement (last Wednesday).

They also experienced some of these hitches during the Motlanthe Commission sittings. We are addressing the challenges.

But from a policy point of view, they are a national broadcaster and should run current affairs programmes of national interest when they do occur.

We have programmes to turn around ZBC as well as help change its public image.

We will revamp its image and the quality of its programmes.

The post ZBC set for major overhaul appeared first on The Standard.

The post ZBC set for major overhaul appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Mugabe warns ED

Source: Mugabe warns ED | The Standard (Local News) BY XOLISANI NCUBE Former president Robert Mugabe yesterday warned his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, that power does not last forever as he strongly condemned the deployment of soldiers to quell the January 14 protests. Mnangagwa on February 16 boasted that he deployed the army to deal with […]

The post Mugabe warns ED appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Mugabe warns ED | The Standard (Local News)

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Former president Robert Mugabe yesterday warned his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, that power does not last forever as he strongly condemned the deployment of soldiers to quell the January 14 protests.

Mnangagwa on February 16 boasted that he deployed the army to deal with violent protesters despite complaints by human rights groups that soldiers had allegedly killed at least 17 people and raped several women.

Mugabe, who was toppled by the army in 2017, took advantage of his 95th birthday celebrations held at his Harare mansion to launch a renewed attack on Mnangagwa, telling him that he was not God.

According to accounts by some of the invited guests, Mugabe’s speech was emotionally charged, which could be an indication that his relations with his protégé are strained once again.

Jealousy Mawarire, the spokesperson of the Mugabe-linked National Patriot Front, first posted about Mugabe’s outbursts on Twitter.

He quoted the former Zanu PF leader saying: “You are at the top, you want to glorify yourself.

“You are not God. Today you are at the top, tomorrow you will be at the bottom, know that.

“God has His own way of punishing rogues and cruel people.”

Mugabe then thundered: “I am telling you in your face. I don’t care what will happen to me.”

He said the army must stop killing people and return to the barracks.

“People should love their army, they should not fear the army,” he said.

Several people confirmed that Mugabe made the remarks, but were unable to give more details as the celebrations were still on by the time of going to print.

Mugabe fired Mnangagwa as his deputy in November 2017 before the army, led by then commander and now Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, moved in to topple him a few days later.

Last year, Mugabe also used his private birthday celebrations to attack Mnangagwa and on the eve of the July 30 presidential elections told his supporters not to vote for the Zanu PF leader.

However, the two appeared to have mended their relations after the elections and Mugabe said he now accepted that Mnangagwa was the new leader.

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa yesterday condemned Zanu PF supporters that were terrorising people in Harare South and threatened to descend on them.

Officiating at the burial of former Cabinet minister Callistus Ndlovu at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, Mnangagwa said action should be taken against the culprits.
He cited Harare South where his nephew Tongai Mnangagwa is the MP.

“Let us desist from divisive politics. Such kind of politics has no place in the new Zimbabwe,” he said.

“We condemn in strongest terms actions by some hooligans with a hidden agenda who went about attacking people in Harare South while in Zanu PF regalia and destroyed people’s stores and merchandise, destabilisations of peace” .

“This is criminal, this will not be tolerated.”

Ndlovu’s burial resembled a military parade as it had more soldiers than the usual Zanu PF supporters.

Ndlovu (83), also a member of the Zanu PF central committee, collapsed and died a week ago in South Africa where he was being treated for pancreatic cancer. Ndlovu is survived by his wife Angeline, five children and seven grandchildren.

The post Mugabe warns ED appeared first on The Standard.

The post Mugabe warns ED appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Dirty rags and drugs: Period poverty in Zimbabwe driving women to desperate measures

Source: Dirty rags and drugs: Period poverty in Zimbabwe driving women to desperate measures | The Independent Chiratidzo Chikona, 17, ties up dirty rags she finds on the floor to use as sanitary pads Towels and tampons are unaffordable to many in the country (File photo) ( AFP/Getty ) Period poverty is pushing women in Zimbabwe to desperate measures – and […]

The post Dirty rags and drugs: Period poverty in Zimbabwe driving women to desperate measures appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Dirty rags and drugs: Period poverty in Zimbabwe driving women to desperate measures | The Independent

Chiratidzo Chikona, 17, ties up dirty rags she finds on the floor to use as sanitary pads

Towels and tampons are unaffordable to many in the country (File photo)

Towels and tampons are unaffordable to many in the country (File photo) ( AFP/Getty )

Period poverty is pushing women in Zimbabwe to desperate measures – and the homeless are bearing the brunt of the crisis, according to campaigners.

Seventeen-year-old Chiratidzo Chikona has been sleeping rough in the capital Harare for five years. She has not used proper sanitary items since she started menstruating.

“Here in the streets, we survive on the food we pick from the bins or handouts from well-wishers and the little money we get from begging,” she says. “We use it to buy a decent meal from time to time.”

With pads a “rare luxury”, Chikona ties up dirty rags that she has found on the floor.

Homelessness is a prevalent issue in Harare, with some 5,000 children thought to be living on the streets, according to government figures. Young girls and women will sleep on the pavements in groups to try to avoid being attacked or raped.

Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe, an organisation working to end period poverty in the country, warns that the situation is critical, and that some homeless women have been driven to street drugs in the absence of painkillers.

In one such case, a 15-year-old girl sleeping rough in Harare Gardens park has become addicted to sniffing glue after being unable to get painkillers to help with her period pain.

“The teenager experiences painful stomach cramps and usually has no pain relievers – so to escape the period pain, she sniffs glue to intoxicate herself,” Theresa Nyava, SAZ executive director, tells The Independent.

Scores of girls and women gathered in Harare last year for the “Happy Flow Campaign” march demanding more affordable sanitary items – but women say that no change has been made since then – and with inflation on the rise in Zimbabwe, they are still being priced out.

The average cost of a packet of sanitary towels is around $5 (£3.87) but salaries are typically less than $400 a month.

Mhamha Manungo lives in the rural village of Domboshava and says she cannot afford to buy her two teenage girls sanitary products on the meagre income she earns selling maize.

“One bucket of maize is now only enough to buy a single packet of pads, which are now going for $5 … I cannot afford to sell four buckets of maize per month just to buy pads, otherwise the family will go hungry,” she tells The Independent.

“Periods are now a nightmare for me each month,” agreed a female security guard in the town of Chitungwiza, south of the capital, adding that her monthly salary of around £193 can barely sustain her.

“I just buy one packet… I no longer feel comfortable each time when I will be at work while on my period,” she says. She requested her name not be used, citing privacy concerns.

Cultural taboos – particularly strong in the rural areas of the country – also mean women often feel unable to talk about their periods with the male breadwinners in the family, SAZ’s Nyava warns.

“Girls feel they can’t ask for money to buy sanitary ware or pain relievers – they just silently suffer in solitude from the effects of period poverty,” she says.

Manungo is now teaching her daughters to make pads from scraps of old clothes they no longer wear.

“This is the only way for them to go to school when they are on their time of the month at the moment, as we don’t have other options,” she says.

The post Dirty rags and drugs: Period poverty in Zimbabwe driving women to desperate measures appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

LATEST: Ex Minister Mzembi sets up base in Jorburg, puts lavish Harare mansion on market (SEE PRICE)

Former Cabinet Minister Walter Mzembi has put his palatial Harare mansion on the market for a princely $2 million amid speculation the 55-year-old politician is finalising moves to flee the country to avoid possible imprisonment on corruption charges. …

Former Cabinet Minister Walter Mzembi has put his palatial Harare mansion on the market for a princely $2 million amid speculation the 55-year-old politician is finalising moves to flee the country to avoid possible imprisonment on corruption charges. One of the four real estate companies engaged to sell the house, Kennan Properties, last week confirmed […]

Outcry as Zimbabwe Plans to Export Baby Elephants to China

Plans by the government of Zimbabwe to export as many as 35 baby elephants to China has sparked an outcry among wildlife conservationists who say proper procedures haven’t been followed. Source: Outcry as Zimbabwe Plans to Export Baby Elephants to China – The Epoch Times An African elephant and her baby are pictured on Nov. 18, […]

The post Outcry as Zimbabwe Plans to Export Baby Elephants to China appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Plans by the government of Zimbabwe to export as many as 35 baby elephants to China has sparked an outcry among wildlife conservationists who say proper procedures haven’t been followed.

Source: Outcry as Zimbabwe Plans to Export Baby Elephants to China – The Epoch Times

MUTARE, Zimbabwe—Plans by the government of Zimbabwe to export as many as 35 baby elephants to China has sparked an outcry among wildlife conservationists who say proper procedures haven’t been followed.

They also raise concerns about China’s significant role in the global trade in endangered species.

Investigations by wildlife protection activists reveal that the baby elephants, some as young as 2, were separated from their mothers and are being held in pens at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park while preparations are finalized to send them to China, where they will be put in zoos.

The export plan has been roundly condemned by local and international wildlife conservationists, who say the removal of young elephants from the herd is highly damaging—not only to the young elephants but to the entire herd.

According to Sharon Hoole, a Zimbabwe animal rights activist with the U.K.-based group Bring Back Our Rhinos, the Wildlife Act stipulates that certain criteria must be followed before wildlife can be sold, and the government hasn’t adhered to that.

“There’s supposed to be public stakeholder consultation, parliamentary consultation. … Even during the capture they have to meet a criteria where representatives of citizens, stakeholders, and animal welfare services have to be involved,” Hoole said in an interview.

“This capture and export of the baby elephants is illegal because these criteria haven’t been met, but they don’t care about that because they know no one will do anything. So we have to do something.”

baby elephants at a national park in zimbabwe
Baby elephants photographed recently in a pen at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. (Andrew Mambondiyani for The Epoch Times)

Wildlife expert Mike Hitschmann, who runs the Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, said a big concern is that China has one of the world’s worst track records when it comes to the illegal trade in endangered wildlife species.

According to the U.S.-based Wilson Center, experts say the Chinese demand for wildlife products is driving the global trade in endangered species. The experts said many wild animals, particularly tigers, bears, and rhinos, are farmed en masse in China and treated inhumanely. Tigers are bred for the production of luxury items like tiger bone wine and tiger skin rugs, and bears are “milked” for their bile for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

Hitschmann said China’s relationship with Africa is another part of the problem, it’s one of blatant neocolonialism, which flourishes in countries that have questionable governments and gives Beijing the upper hand.

“Zimbabwe is no exception and basically whatever the Chinese want or need they can now get it—whether it be our mineral resources or our natural resources in the form of wildlife,” he said.

“With the advent of the new government under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, there has been no improvement. In fact, it appears as if the situation is worsening.”

Hitschmann said that from the time the Chinese presence first started to increase in Zimbabwe, most of the country’s reptile species, such as tortoises and turtles, as well as rhinos, have been negatively affected. Now it’s elephants, and he’s worried about the populations dwindling.

Tinashe Farawo, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, denied the government is capturing baby elephants for export to China.

“We are known for being leaders in wildlife conservation and we cannot capture baby elephants for export,” he said. “We can only capture sub-adults—that’s if we want to capture any elephant at all [for export]. We only capture young adult elephants which are no longer dependent on their mothers. But in this case, we are not doing that.”

Farawo said Zimbabwe had more 80,000 elephants, twice the country’s carrying capacity of 40,000.

“We last culled the elephants in 1987 and the numbers are growing, hence we are experiencing conflicts between humans and elephants. About five people have been killed by elephants this year,” he said.

two people at a nature reserve
Mike Hitschmann (L) in the field at Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, Mutare, Zimbabwe. (ZENWE Trust)

However, Hitschmann said claims of over population are false and are being used as a basis for opposing the worldwide ban on the ivory trade and to justify the removal of elephant calves from the wild for export to Chinese zoos and theme parks.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, this is the fourth time since 2012 that Zimbabwe has captured baby elephants for export to China—a total of 108 elephants—despite broad opposition.

Hitschmann said other issues for Zimbabwe’s elephants are poor management practices that have allowed for increasing human encroachment on protected areas such as national parks, and poor political decisions that have resulted in less available land overall for wild animals.

He believes effective wildlife management requires “out of the box” thinking, such as if one particular area has a high elephant population that threatens the biodiversity, then herds can be relocated together to areas where there are no elephants, including other countries in Africa.

“In this way, we do our bit to slow down their overall population crash, it keeps the elephants in Africa which is their environment, and it makes good business sense because we need tourists to come and visit elephants in Africa—not in China.”

The very fabric of America is under attack …

Our freedoms, our republic, and our constitutional rights have become contested terrain. The Epoch Times, a media committed to truthful, responsible journalism, is a rare bastion of hope and stability in these testing times.

While other media may twist the facts to serve political agendas, we deliver stories while upholding our responsibility to society.

We’ve reported truthfully on the current U.S. administration from the start. We reported on the real possibility of a Trump victory in 2016. We’ve led reporting on the Chinese communist threat since 2000; we have been exposing communist thought in our government, schools, universities, popular culture, and media; and we, like no other media, are rigorously investigating and exposing the unscrupulous agents working to subvert our society.

Stand with us in advancing a truly independent and truthful media—the way a free press was intended to be, as a cornerstone of the Republic. Your contribution allows us to continue piercing through the surface narratives of mainstream media, and provide you with a full picture.

The post Outcry as Zimbabwe Plans to Export Baby Elephants to China appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

ED must prioritise winning public trust to turn around the economy

Source: ED must prioritise winning public trust to turn around the economy – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 23, 2019 Editorial Comment THE monetary policy presented by the central bank governor, John Mangudya, remains very much the talk of the country, and rightly so because of the ramifications the policy wroughts to the economy and the public […]

The post ED must prioritise winning public trust to turn around the economy appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: ED must prioritise winning public trust to turn around the economy – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 23, 2019

Editorial Comment

THE monetary policy presented by the central bank governor, John Mangudya, remains very much the talk of the country, and rightly so because of the ramifications the policy wroughts to the economy and the public in general. It is not a secret that the 1:1 peg for the United States dollar against the surrogate bond note currency was unsustainable, quantified by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube at a breakfast meeting yesterday at $2 billion per year.

That is a costly price to pay for policy failure and intransigence, and the decision to scrap the peg brings a welcome end to a failing monetary policy.

While the larger section of the business community lauded the move, which while expected would not have surprised anyone who has had dealings with successive Zanu PF governments, which have so far valued political expediency more than logic if it had not happened.

Question marks still remain if the move represents the best solution to the country’s deeper economic crisis.

It appears that, for the umpteenth time, Zimbabweans have to deal with a new currency; one called Real Time Gross Settlement dollars. Even in a movie script for the absurd, its difficult to craft something so gleefully ridiculous.

Every self-respecting business person is treating the move with caution, which is unlikely to tamper the demand for black market dollars and ease inflation, unless the official interbank rate, which comes into effect on Monday, rapidly catches up with the unofficial rate of exchange.

It needs no clairvoyant to explain that Zimbabweans have very little trust in the economic management abilities of the Zanu PF government and fears remain that the whole facade could trigger a return to the hyperinflation era.

It could work, but requires utmost discipline from government and for the central bank to keep the liquidity low to keep the exchange rate stable. Even then, President Emmerson Mnangagwa desperately needs to regain public trust, but in the 15 months of his rule since the army forced long-time strongman Robert Mugabe out in a coup in November 2017, he has shown no inclination and even capacity to work for that trust. Brutality by security forces in putting down public dissent has only widened the distance between the new leader and his subjects.

Government efforts must, therefore, include not just fiscal discipline, but convincing a sceptical public that it finally has a solution that has long eluded its predecessors, and that Zimbabweans can look forward without any trepidation and fear for the future.

The post ED must prioritise winning public trust to turn around the economy appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Mr President, you have the keys to opening investment opportunities 

Source: Mr President, you have the keys to opening investment opportunities – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 23, 2019 Just saying: Paul Kaseke SINCE taking office after the 2017 coup, President Mnangagwa’s administration has rallied behind the theme: “Zimbabwe is open for businesses.” This has hardly yielded any tangible results and if anything, public opinion suggests that […]

The post Mr President, you have the keys to opening investment opportunities  appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.

Source: Mr President, you have the keys to opening investment opportunities – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 23, 2019

Just saying: Paul Kaseke

SINCE taking office after the 2017 coup, President Mnangagwa’s administration has rallied behind the theme: “Zimbabwe is open for businesses.”

This has hardly yielded any tangible results and if anything, public opinion suggests that Zimbabweans are in a worse off position than they were prior to the coup and investors have not come flocking in as claimed previously.

In my view, the reason for this is that government has failed to read the signs of an investor friendly country and furthermore, has failed to get the basics of investor confidence right.

There are many economic reasons why Zimbabwe is in the mess it is, and these have been articulated by various economists.

It’s not my plan to engage on these, but one common aspect that keeps being flagged as a precondition for engagement and investor confidence is the rule of law.

The rule of law, at its simplest, means that all individuals are subject to the law and that it must be adhered to by all. In terms of the traditional rule of law theory, where there are laws, they must be followed and nobody, including members of the Executive, is exempted from the law.

Additionally, orders of the courts must be respected. In our Constitution, the rule of law is both a founding value and principle of the Republic.

One of the biggest challenges in Zimbabwe under former President Robert Mugabe’s administration was the erosion of the rule of law.

This was manifest through the wanton disregard of laws, including those relating to property rights and freedom from torture.

Court orders were of little effect in most cases as the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other arms of the State ignored these.

Who can forget the numerous land invasion cases that were decided in favour of farmers, but were dismissed and condemned by the former President and his government?

Or the orders to reinstate mayors that were ignored by government? Who can forget the forced evictions on Arnold Farm in Mazowe, contrary to a court order?

The lengthy and unlawful detention of Zipra supremo Dumiso Dabengwa and others in the 80s and the deportation of two journalists, Winter and Andrew Meldrum, who were cleared of wrong doing by the courts, but remained guilty in the eyes of the government, comes to mind

An entire thesis can be written on what the previous administration did to erode the rule of law, but the ‘new dispensation’ is proving no different and at this rate it may well beat the track record held by the Mugabe administration (hard to separate the two since a lot of people have served under both administrations including the President himself).

I must admit to having had hopes that things would be different, but alas, not a week goes by without the Constitution being undermined and the rule of law ignored. Let’s place this in context with some examples to show what I mean.

The President has used subsidiary legislation to amend primary legislation, but this has also been done by his ministers.

It is now common cause that Parliament as the primary law maker, is the only competent body to amend primary law (statutes) and the Constitution is clear on this, but the President continues to use constitutionally repugnant laws like the Presidential Temporary Measures Act to amend laws.

The first challenge is that the Act confers the power to make regulations, but the President has, in some cases, used it to do more than that and secondly, the only proper way to amend legislation is for Parliament to do so since it enacted the laws.

This is a clear breach of our separation of powers doctrine which the country is founded on.

The security sector has embarked on a series of unlawful detentions and arbitrary arrests, contrary to the dictates of the rule of law and the Constitution.

The Human Rights Commission has already released a report on these and other issues despite the government’s denial of these acts.

The number of acquittals and the flimsiness of the charges brought against many individuals arrested during the #ShutDownZimbabwe protests is evidence of the arbitrary nature of the arrests.

The Motlanthe Commission indicated in no uncertain terms that the State’s response to the protests was both disproportionate and incompatible with the law. This has not ceased and if anything, there has been a heightened degree of continued disproportionate and lethal force by State security agents. Not only is this contrary to our Constitution, but to international law.

Instead of condemning the acts by those involved, the President has now seemingly endorsed it and threatened more for future protests, which he believes are caused by a third hand bent on removing him from office. Regrettably, the government has rubbished the report released by the Human Rights Commission, an independent constitutional commission, which is mandated to investigate human rights abuses. This too shows a disregard for the law since s235 of the Constitution is clear that the commission must be respected and allowed to work without interference. In fact, s244 of the Constitution places the government under a responsibility to action reports from the commission and to ensure that it informs it of measures it will take to remedy violation of rights reported by the commission.

Speaking of the army, there is still the question of the unlawful deployment of the forces around the country in violation of s213 of the Constitution, which requires the President to inform Parliament of where and why the army is deployed, whenever it is. Opposition legislators have raised this question, but the ministers seem to duck and dive and avoid the question altogether.

Since the rule of law requires an adherence to and respect of the law, a misuse of the law is a violation of the rule of law, yet the government has, on several occasions, made such blunders. One recent example is the appointment of the Prosecutor-General. His appointment is technically invalid on the basis that the President did not follow the set-out process and procedure once he rejected the first submitted names. Embarrassingly, during the last protests, the government purported to have a legal basis to shut down the Internet or restrict access by relying on the Interception Act. Not only does the Act not speak to the kind of power the government believes it had, but it was exercised by the wrong functionary as the High Court later declared. All these are indications of a government that is at odds with the rule of law.

One major thing that investors are attracted to is the existence of a functional, stable and reliable legal system because they can be guaranteed that should a dispute arise, it will be resolved fairly and in accordance with the country’s laws. Currently, there is no legal certainty on the enjoyment of rights because this depends on the government, ultimately. This is undesirable. We have seen that court orders are of little value in most cases where government is involved. The State security apparatus ignores these orders and, therefore, there is sometimes no enforcement of judicial orders. All these factors make it difficult for anyone to seriously invest in Zimbabwe. After all, history has shown that government, through its various agencies and regulatory groups, can ultimately frustrate a business or force it to close down if it does not meet its terms. There is no point in globetrotting and asking for investors to invest when the fundamentals of business do not exist. What guarantees do investors have that their investments are protected from government abuse or arbitrary forfeiture? How do they know that government will not unilaterally acquire interests in a company or interfere with its management? These are the basics that any investor is likely to ask before considering investing. If government cannot commit itself to the rule of law, then Zimbabwe is certainly not open for business…just saying!

Paul Kaseke is a legal adviser, commentator, policy analyst and former law lecturer with the Wits Law School & Pearson Institute of Higher Education (formerly Midrand Graduate Institute). He serves as senior managing partner and current group chair of AfriConsult Firm. He writes in his personal capacity. Feedback: justsaying@paulkasekesnr.com or follow him on Twitter @paulkasekesnr

The post Mr President, you have the keys to opening investment opportunities  appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.