End fuel crisis once and for all

Source: End fuel crisis once and for all | Daily News THERE is an urgent need for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Cabinet to deal with the fuel shortages that have once again hit the country. There have been long queues of vehicles since last week at virtually all filling stations. Resultantly, public transport has […]

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Source: End fuel crisis once and for all | Daily News

THERE is an urgent need for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Cabinet to deal with the fuel shortages that have once again hit the country. There have been long queues of vehicles since last week at virtually all filling stations.

Resultantly, public transport has been affected, leaving the travelling public stranded for long hours. Other operators are capitalising on commuters’ desperation by hiking their fares at a time when the majority of Zimbabweans are struggling to make ends meet.

Commuter omnibus fares have been pegged at a minimum $1,50 RTGS for the shortest routes, which a lot of people cannot afford.
This has become a nightmare for long-suffering Zimbabweans whose disposable incomes have been drastically eroded after decades of economic mismanagement by the ruling Zanu PF regime.

The president has been on record calling all Zimbabweans to leave politics behind and work hard so as to revive the country’s economy.
While it is every citizen’s wish to oblige to the president’s call, is it not a stinking embarrassment for the ruling elite to see queues stretching for kilometres being the order of the day at filling stations?

What economic growth would we expect when all the productive people are spending thousands of productive hours in fuel queues? How do people move their goods and services to the market without fuel? This country has for years been struggling with fuel shortages with the chief culprits being the shortage of foreign currency, which is a result of corruption, mismanagement and policy inconsistencies at government level.

To president Mnangagwa, Cabinet and your recently-appointed advisors, it is your duty and responsibility to provide the answers to this ever-recurring crisis. More so, create a favourable atmosphere that enables various economic sectors to generate enough foreign currency to meet the country’s requirements.

We thought the massive January 150 percent fuel price hike would solve the crisis for good but this has turned to be nothing but solving a problem with another problem which resulted in security nightmare as people responded angrily by demonstrating against the move.

This fuel crisis is yet another indication of Mnangagwa’s tiredness in addressing the issue of fuel and other critical issues like currency reforms that have caused chaos in the economy.
Yes President Mnangagwa you have constantly called on Zimbabweans to be patient. But for how long?

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LATEST: ‘More mass demonstrations loom’

AN independent policy research organisation says the country is likely to experience more protests until the government addresses issues of concern to the majority of Zimbabweans. Speaking at the end of a two-day conference titled First Year of the Sec…

AN independent policy research organisation says the country is likely to experience more protests until the government addresses issues of concern to the majority of Zimbabweans. Speaking at the end of a two-day conference titled First Year of the Second Republic: Continuing With the Old or Breaking With the Past, Sivio Institute executive director, Tendai […]

‘Zim courts politicised, militarised’

Source: ‘Zim courts politicised, militarised’ | Daily News HARARE – Recent mandatory jail sentences of rioters which range from one year to 5 years are stiffer compared to those imposed in Smith’s regime, lawyers and analysts contend. The harsh sentences being passed by the courts on suspected rioters of the 14 January three-day stay away strike […]

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Source: 'Zim courts politicised, militarised' | Daily News

HARARE – Recent mandatory jail sentences of rioters which range from one year to 5 years are stiffer compared to those imposed in Smith’s regime, lawyers and analysts contend.

The harsh sentences being passed by the courts on suspected rioters of the 14 January three-day stay away strike called by labour unions after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent  which led to street violence and looting.

There is fear of possible links between an alleged militarised prosecution and the sentences as most of the more than 1000 people were unlawfully arrested mainly from their homes by security agents some of whom have no powers to arrest.

Recently, hundreds of Zimbabwean lawyers marched in the capital to demand justice for people detained in jail and others facing fast-track trials.

Rights lawyer Jeremiah Bamu who has handled a series of the public violence cases since former President Mugabe era said the sentences being induced were even stiffer compared to those imposed in Smith’s regime.

“In a 1962 public violence case, R vs Mashotonga held by the Southern Rhodesian Triangle magistrates court the compound employees had damaged property during a riot and the Federal Supreme Court sentenced them to six months imprisonment with hard labour.

“Another one, R vs Libele of 1957 two accused persons who were first offenders were convicted of public violence. They were sentenced to three months imprisonment with hard labour and to receive six cuts with a cane

“…now current sentencing trends are out of odds with punishments in similar cases. What is disturbing is that a more democratic and independent Zimbabwe is giving stiffer sentences, more harsh than those imposed in colonial Rhodesia,” Bamu said.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said one would be excused to draw possible links between an alleged militarised prosecution and the sentences. “We once again see here the State politicising the judiciary for political ends. The sentences are ridiculous, heavy handed, excessive and political.

“We have not heard about the arrest and sentencing of soldiers who killed civilians on August 1 or during the time the protests happened. This tells you it’s all politics and no justice, no legality,” said Saungweme.

Seasoned lawyer Alec Muchadehama said due process was not followed in the public violence cases and the manner of arrests in itself is objectionable.

Muchadehama said in the court it is now emerging that these protesters were unlawfully arrested mainly from their homes by security agents comprising soldiers, police and the Central Intelligence Organisation some of whom have no powers to arrest.

“Arrests were dragnet in violation of constitutional provisions that provide that a person must be promptly advised of their arrest. When they were arraigned before the courts the Prosecution immediately requested to have them tried and courts acceded to that prejudicing them the opportunity to prepare.

“They used a blanket approach to the trials and convictions were sustained on unreasonable grounds. This has resultantly clogged the courts because convictions are now being challenged through appeals,” said Muchadehama.

Political analyst MacDonald Lewanika said the indiscriminate nature of the sentences and fast track nature in which some of cases were conducted shows that rather than justice, the state is more intent to send a lesson.

“In doing so the trial processes have been mostly irregular and borderline illegal with some suggestions of collusion between the courts, the police and prosecution services, as well as state witnesses coaching. As a result, most of this punishment does not fit the crimes, with some of the sentences being gross miscarriages of justice,” said Lewanika.

Human rights lawyer Marufu Mandevere said we have seen a serious shift in the manner that prosecutions have been done with respect to the public violence cases. “The cases were fast tracked with shoddy investigations but still matters were allowed to go into court.”

Social analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said he is a liberal property rights advocate who condemns all forms of property violations. “But our judiciary is compromised. At least 4500 white citizens had their properties plundered but not a single criminal was arrested. This is not justice but political revenge. A custodial sentence is malicious and political. They should be fined and released immediately.”

Lawyer and politician Obert Gutu said a judicial officer is normally guided by the gravity of the offence as well as the accused’s mitigating circumstances when handing down an appropriate sentence.

“In certain statutory offences, the law stipulates the minimum sentence that has to be handed down on a convicted offender, so in those type of cases, the judicial officer’s hands are tied unless there are special circumstances that warrant the imposition of a lesser sentence.

“I haven’t carried out a comprehensive study to ascertain the severity of the sentences that are being imposed on convicted protesters countrywide. However, in the event that the convicted protesters’ lawyers feel that the sentences being imposed are disproportionate and that they induce a sense of shock and outrage, the option of an appeal against both conviction and sentence or against sentence only, is always available,” said Gutu.

He added that as an experienced lawyer himself “I am unable to simply condemn the severity of the sentences that are being imposed against convicted protesters without satisfying myself, through a perusal of the relevant court records, that there has been a gross miscarriage of justice.”

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said these sentences are looking like diktats rather that products of a disinterested and impartial justice system.

“One begins to think that the ones being convicted are being used as examples, which is not what the law is designed for or should do.

“What has raised eyebrows is the harshness of the sentences, ranging up to five years, which probably tie in with utterances from the political leadership. There is a perception that we are witnessing political trials,” said Gwede.

Social analyst Tawanda Chimhini said we have a recent constitutional judgement that orders the disengagement of the services of security officers from the National Prosecution Authority.

“This decision by the court is quite revealing in the wake of alleged militarisation of key state institutions.

“Now in relation to the unusually harsh sentences being given to persons found guilty of crimes linked to the January protests, one would be excused to draw possible links between an alleged militarised prosecution and the sentences. One could also draw attention to complaints by the Zimbabwe Law Society over the fast tracking of cases associated with the January protests. All these developments are not isolated and raise a concern around access and delivery of justice,” said Chimhini.

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Eddy Nyatanga sues Coventry 

Source: Eddy Nyatanga sues Coventry – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 2, 2019 BY GARIKAI TUNHIRA ZIMBABWE National Soccer Supporters Association president Charles Eddy Nyatanga has taken Sports minister Kirsty Coventry to court, alleging that she erred in appointing a Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) director-general and in denying Zimbabwe an opportunity to host the Council of […]

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Source: Eddy Nyatanga sues Coventry – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 2, 2019

BY GARIKAI TUNHIRA

ZIMBABWE National Soccer Supporters Association president Charles Eddy Nyatanga has taken Sports minister Kirsty Coventry to court, alleging that she erred in appointing a Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) director-general and in denying Zimbabwe an opportunity to host the Council of
Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament later this year.

In his application filed at the High Court yesterday under case number 1650/19, Nyatanga is seeking to invalidate the appointment of SRC director-general Prince Mupazviriho, whose appointment Nyatanga said violated section 24 of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act (Chapter 25:15).

Nyatanga also wants an order declaring Coventry’s pronouncement that Zimbabwe was incapable of hosting the Cosafa 2019 edition null and void, saying what she had said was “unlawful, invalid and in contravention of the minister’s powers in terms of the SRC Act”.

Through his lawyers Deme Attorneys, Nyatanga said he only got to know that Mupazviriho had been appointed SRC director-general from newspaper articles.

“… it was reported that the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Misheck Sibanda) made an announcement of a list of persons that the President had reassigned, Mr Prince Mupazviriho’s name among the list. No further detail was provided on the particular role to which he was reassigned,” Nyatanga said.

“Surprisingly, there is no record of any announcement of the SRC board inviting applications, calling for interviews or appointment of SRC director-general in accordance with the SRC Act. In actual fact, as a matter of public record, there is no SRC board in existence at the moment contrary to requirements of the SRC Act.”

He said Coventry was yet to appoint an SRC board yet she continued to work “closely” with Mupazviriho as SRC director-general.

“The respondent’s announcement of her decision, on behalf of the Zimbabwean government and ZIfa, was improper and beyond the scope of her powers in terms of the SRC Act. The decision was not for the respondent to make or announce as Zifa had only sought government guarantee in order to make an informed decision,” Nyatanga said.

“Mr Mupazviriho’s appointment as SRC director-general is invalid and void at law.”

Coventry is yet to file her heads of argument.

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UPDATED: Court gives managers trade union rights

Source: UPDATED: Court gives managers trade union rights | The Herald March 2, 2019 Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter Workers in managerial positions have a right to form and join trade unions of their choice which promote and further their interests, the Supreme Court has ruled. The superior court made the landmark ruling in the […]

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Source: UPDATED: Court gives managers trade union rights | The Herald March 2, 2019

UPDATED: Court gives managers trade union rights

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Workers in managerial positions have a right to form and join trade unions of their choice which promote and further their interests, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The superior court made the landmark ruling in the case in which the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) was challenging the decision of the Registrar of Labour to register a union representing bank managers.

The Registrar had accepted registration of the Banking and Finance Managers Union of Zimbabwe (BAFMUZ). But BAZ held the position that managers cannot be members of a trade union because they represent the interests of employers.

However, Justice Bharat Patel this week upheld the lower court’s decision saying there was nothing sinister at law for managers to form or join a trade union that represents their interests.

He ruled that the appeal could not be sustained and that Section 45 of the Labour Act allows the registration of BAFMUZ as a trade union to represent the interests of managerial employees in the banking sector.

The judge also ruled that the registration of the BAFMUZ to represent managers would certainly not be unconstitutional and that such registration could not be regarded as being contrary to public policy.

“It follows that the findings and decision of the court-a quo cannot be factually impugned or legally impeached and must, therefore, be upheld,” said Justice Patel, dismissing the appeal with costs of suit.

Justice Patel said it was indubitable that a managerial employee is an employee, hence it should be accepted that he is entitled to the protection of all the rights correlative to that status.

“These include the right to collective representation at the work place,” he said.

“This is simply recognised in several key provisions of the Labour Act.

Section 4(1) of the Act gives every employee “the right if he so desires, to be a member or an officer of a trade union” and “the right to take part in the formation and registration of a trade union”. Said Justice Patel: “It follows that the court-a quo was undoubtedly correct in arriving at that conclusion.”

BAZ took the matter up to the Supreme Court following a Labour Court ruling in October 2015 in which president the court upheld the legality of BAFMUZ.

Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Mawire and Associates acted for BAFMUZ, while Adv Tawanda Zhuwarara instructed by Kantor and Immerman argued the matter for BAZ.

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JUST IN: ED Mnangagwa government pulls another shocker, increases duty by 300%

CUSTOMS and excise duties shot up threefold to the bond note value yesterday following government’s gazetting of Statutory Instrument 32 of 2019, ushering in the new currency, RTGS dollar. The central bank last week devalued the local RTGS currency and…

CUSTOMS and excise duties shot up threefold to the bond note value yesterday following government’s gazetting of Statutory Instrument 32 of 2019, ushering in the new currency, RTGS dollar. The central bank last week devalued the local RTGS currency and pegged it at 2,5 against the United States dollar from 1:1 and Zimra moved to […]

Zimbabwe hikes customs, excise duty by 300%

The government has issued in a new currency, which is mostly virtual. Source: Zimbabwe hikes customs, excise duty by 300% – The Citizen Zimbabwean bond notes. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has hiked customs and excise duties by 300 percent, it emerged on Saturday. This came as Government Gazette statutory instrument 32 of 2019 ushered […]

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The government has issued in a new currency, which is mostly virtual.

Source: Zimbabwe hikes customs, excise duty by 300% – The Citizen

Zimbabwean bond notes.

Zimbabwean bond notes.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has hiked customs and excise duties by 300 percent, it emerged on Saturday.

This came as Government Gazette statutory instrument 32 of 2019 ushered in a new currency, the real time gross settlement (RTGS) dollar. The RTGS dollar is largely a virtual currency, with the bond note released in 2016 also now classified as virtual currency.

A statement by Zimra explained how the new duty regime would work.

“The new currency affects clearance of designated goods by converting current balances in the nostro FCA [foreign currency account] prepayment account to ZWR at the prevailing exchange rate with the USD.

“All foreign currency payments then appear on the payment receipt or prepayment receipt as ZW RTGS dollars,” the statement said.

Zimra added that the prepayment account would be used to clear designated goods. “All values on the bill of entry and form 49 would be reflected in RTGS dollars although payment would be made in forex,” the tax collector said.

With the increase in the customs and excise duty, it will have a ripple effect on the prices of goods. In January, Zimbabweans protested against drastic fuel price hikes announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The protests left 17 people dead and more than 80 others wounded, according to civic society organisations, following a brutal and bloody crackdown by the military, police, and spy agents.

An independent policy research organisation this week warned that the country was likely to experience more protests until the government addressed issues of concern to citizens.

It said there had been a change in the cycle of protests since Mnangagwa’s rise to power following an effective coup in November 2017 and a disputed election in July 2018.

Sivio Institute executive director Tendai Muriswa said intervals between major protests had been shortened to four months under Mnangagwa’s administration as compared to up to seven months during former president Robert Mugabe’s lengthy stay in power.

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Latest on Harare West MP Joana Mamombe who was arrested by 9 CID detectives

MDC Alliance legislator for Harare West Joana Mamombe has been taken to Harare Central Police station where she has been charged with attempting to overthrow and subvert a Constitutionally-elected government (Treason). The charges stem from an incident…

MDC Alliance legislator for Harare West Joana Mamombe has been taken to Harare Central Police station where she has been charged with attempting to overthrow and subvert a Constitutionally-elected government (Treason). The charges stem from an incident when she addressed a Press Conference on 14th of January 2019 at Civic Center, Malborough, just as the […]

Doubts remain over Zimbabwe’s new currency

In this edition: Zimbabwe struggles to convince consumers of the stability of its new currency. The RTGS dollar is still viewed as volatile by many. Also, political instability in Burundi has given rise to an increase in the number of online videos appearing to show people being abused. Finally, one of Africa’s most prestigious film […]

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In this edition: Zimbabwe struggles to convince consumers of the stability of its new currency. The RTGS dollar is still viewed as volatile by many. Also, political instability in Burundi has given rise to an increase in the number of online videos appearing to show people being abused. Finally, one of Africa’s most prestigious film festivals celebrates its 50th anniversary. Fespaco opens its doors in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou.

Source: Across Africa – Doubts remain over Zimbabwe’s new currency

 

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Botswana’s president denies report of $600 million loan to Zimbabwe 

Source: Botswana’s president denies report of $600 million loan to Zimbabwe | Reuters GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswana’s president on Friday dismissed a report that the country had offered Zimbabwe a $600 million diamond-backed loan and said his government had only offered to guarantee a $100 million private credit line for Botswana companies to invest in […]

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Source: Botswana’s president denies report of $600 million loan to Zimbabwe | Reuters

President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswana’s president on Friday dismissed a report that the country had offered Zimbabwe a $600 million diamond-backed loan and said his government had only offered to guarantee a $100 million private credit line for Botswana companies to invest in their troubled neighbor.

Zimbabwe’s secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs was quoted in the state-owned Herald newspaper on Tuesday saying Botswana had offered to lend Zimbabwe $500 million to support its diamond industry and another $100 million for the local private firms.

“I want to clarify these reports that we are giving Zimbabwe hundreds of millions in loans. That is totally untrue,” Mokgweetsi Masisi told reporters in Gaborone, a day after visiting Zimbabwe for business and trade mission.

“We are not giving them a single loan. The only thing we gave them yesterday were medical supplies made in Botswana and supplementary feeding worth 2.1 million pula ($197,600).”

There is $100 million credit from private banks in Botswana and Zimbabwe to help Botswana private companies, Masisi added.

“What we have demanded, which we are waiting for, is a letter of guarantee from the Zimbabweans to counter our own guarantee,” he said.

Masisi also said Botswana, which is the largest producer of diamonds by value, would help Zimbabwe with its diamond trade because “it would be useful and strategic for Botswana” as it aims to become a global center of diamond trading.

Zimbabwe’s diamond sector has struggled since the government kicked out private companies from the eastern Marange fields in early 2016 after they declined to merge under the state-owned mining company.

Relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana have improved following a strained period when Botswana’s ex-President Ian Khama, who stepped down in 2018, routinely criticized Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe for holding on to power for too long.

A military coup in 2017 forced Mugabe to resign, ending his 37-year rule.

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