JUST IN: Farmers worry over double billing 

Source: JUST IN: Farmers worry over double billing | The Herald February 20, 2019 Tobacco farming is a source of livelihood for many Zimbabwean farmers Ellen Chasokela Herald Reporter Farmers have called on Government to clearly state the ministry responsible for collecting land rentals to avoid double billing. The farmers said they were paying rentals […]

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Source: JUST IN: Farmers worry over double billing | The Herald February 20, 2019

JUST IN: Farmers worry over double billing
Tobacco farming is a source of livelihood for many Zimbabwean farmers

Ellen Chasokela Herald Reporter
Farmers have called on Government to clearly state the ministry responsible for collecting land rentals to avoid double billing.

The farmers said they were paying rentals to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement while local authorities that fall under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing were also demanding the same.

The levy, initiated through the Finance Act No 8 of 2015 provides for land rentals of $3 per hectare, and $2 unit tax per hectare for A2 farmers while A1 farmers pay $15 annually.

Speaking during a land policy review workshop held last week, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU) president Mr Shadreck Makombe said they had written to Government to address the issue and were still waiting for a response.

“It becomes an expense for a farmer with an average of 500 hectares to pay $2 500 land tax and also cattle levy to marketers and auctioneers,” he said.

“The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement should collect the money and forward it to Treasury which should then allocate it to the respective local authorities.

“Farmers are willing to pay the tax, but are concerned about how it is being used. They are complaining over lack of meaningful development in their areas in terms of infrastructure such as roads, clinics and schools.”

Zimbabwe National Farmers Union (ZNFU) chief executive Mr Edward Dune said the union appreciated the introduction of land rentals.
Mr Dune, however, said it was cumbersome for farmers to pay land rentals twice to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and to local governance offices.

“It is our view that Rural development levy be deducted from land rentals. The ministry should be capacitated to collect the rentals and levies for onward transmission to local authorities,” he said.

Mr Dune said other issues raised by farmers were corruption in the allocation of land which resulted in double allocations.

“Councils in some instances are issuing land permits in A2 farms resulting in double allocation and this is impacting negatively to productivity due to propelled litigation costs,” he said.

Mr Dune said it was the union’s view that the land policy should address the socio-economic issue of women empowerment and inheritance.

“The union recommends land transfer mechanisms, activated by death of a spouse, to be created and the technicalities be made known to the general populace,” he said.

“The bankability of the 99year leases is affecting agricultural growth. We expect 99 year leases to unlock the value of land thereby guaranteeing productivity.

“Financial institutions should have confidence in the bankability of the 99year lease and be able to financially support farmers to increase productivity.”

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Calls to review NAC Act 

Source: Calls to review NAC Act | The Herald February 20, 2019 Senior Reporter People living with HIV and Aids are lobbying for a review of the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe Act, and the appointment of a National Aids Council (NAC) chief executive who is living openly with HIV and Aids. NAC is hunting […]

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Source: Calls to review NAC Act | The Herald February 20, 2019

Calls to review NAC Act

Senior Reporter
People living with HIV and Aids are lobbying for a review of the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe Act, and the appointment of a National Aids Council (NAC) chief executive who is living openly with HIV and Aids.

NAC is hunting for a new CEO following the retirement of Dr Tapuwa Magure in December last year.

In a letter dated February 17, addressed to the Ministry of Finance, Health and Child Care, Parliament and related committees and the National Aids Council board, 17 activists, a majority of whom are running Aids service organisations said a quarter of the NAC board should comprise people living with HIV.

“We are calling for the review of National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 15:14),” read part of the letter. “The Act is outdated and no longer in tandem with the HIV revolving trends, therefore, it needs an overhaul to align it with the current HIV trends. A quarter of the NAC board should be members living openly with HIV.

“We urgently call for the appointment of the NAC CEO, preferably a peer model as someone living openly with HIV and AIDS with a track record in civil society.”

They called for the removal of the NAC executive, recommending a new secretariat incorporating new people from civil society. The activists also demanded NAC to stop funding cancer activities, arguing that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

“As people living with HIV, we are saddened at the recent developments in the NAC and the economic situation of Zimbabwe, they said. This is affecting our well-being and health, including that of our families,” reads the letter.

Meanwhile, the NAC has called for applications from interested candidates to fill in the position of CEO. According to the advert, interested applicants must possess at least a Masters’ degree in Public Health, Health Sciences, Social Sciences or Business Administration. The applicant must also have 10 years’ experience in a senior management position and experience in the field of HIV.

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Dismissal of Masvingo Magistrate Mr Madhibha unfair 

It is true that Magistrates and judges have to be competent. They have to measure to the standard expected of them by discharging their duties efficiently, effectively and judiciously. Source: Dismissal of Masvingo Magistrate Mr Madhibha unfair . – The Zimbabwean They also have to discharge their duties with utmost good faith, without malice and […]

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It is true that Magistrates and judges have to be competent. They have to measure to the standard expected of them by discharging their duties efficiently, effectively and judiciously.

Source: Dismissal of Masvingo Magistrate Mr Madhibha unfair . – The Zimbabwean

They also have to discharge their duties with utmost good faith, without malice and also they are expected to be impartial when adjudicating on any case. lt does not matter as to who is involved in that case.

The law knows no status or rank. If the judiciary personnel aforementioned fail to live up to these expectations or to abide by the regulations of the JSC, they can be discharged from performing the services that they are employed to render to the government and the public.

What l find ambiguous and questionable about the dismissal of Mr M is that he has been working for many years and then all of a sudden he gets dismissed. This is my view is questionable.l think someone is playing politics here. This is just like in the dismissal of the Public prosecutor (PG)which is also attributed to politics. Thus why we need an autonomous judiciary entity in Zimbabwe. If Mr M had been dismissed for taking bribes, then it would be a fair dismissal. But with the reasons stated in this paper, it is surely unfair to dismiss a man that has worked for so many years summarily like that. Something must be wrong somewhere.

Does it mean that for all these years he has been not performing his duties as expected of him?. Then if that is the case, the Minister or previous Ministers who have been in charge of the justice department are the ones to blame. Thus because they have not been doing their jobs properly. Moreso, his immediate supervisor(s) are equally to blame. Surely someone who has been his boss must also be dismissed if that is the case. This goes on to show that there is mismanagement of the judiciary department in Zimbabwe.

This also means that all the cases which he dealt with for all the years in which he was a magistrate have to be reviewed as they were not handled properly. Justice means fairness. So, there was no fairness in the cases that he handled. So, if people who were convicted by him come forward and submit their complaints, what will the department of justice do?

Would they review their cases? Another issue which is questionable about the reason for his dismissal is that magistrates and judges follow guidelines and the law when adjudicating on cases. The guidelines set the threshold of cases. So, one wonders why now Mr M is dismissed for being incompetent in handling cases. And the cases cited (of the bus driver), cannot justify his dismissal.lt is possible that when he dealt with that case he followed the guidelines. Even if the public complains, that cannot be a reason to dismiss him as he is vested with the authority to judge cases according to what the law stipulates. A person who is alleged to have committed a crime of murder can have their case discharged by the court if the magistrate or judge deems it fit.

So, it does not matter that in the case in question there was a loss of life involved. If the circumstances and facts point to that someone is not guilty of the alleged crime, then the court has the right to discharge them of the alleged crime. So, in my view, Mr M was unfairly dismissed. The only reason there could be politics. My views without bias or prejudice.

By Njabulo.libertyatliberty at gmail dot com

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Inaction as a curse in climate change deliverables 

Source: Inaction as a curse in climate change deliverables – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 18, 2019 guest column:Peter Makwanya Despite climate change being just a buzz word and phenomena, with the media mouth-pieces and platforms screaming about climate change universals and ethical considerations — including climate action practices, all forms of climate change coverages around the […]

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Source: Inaction as a curse in climate change deliverables – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 18, 2019

guest column:Peter Makwanya

Despite climate change being just a buzz word and phenomena, with the media mouth-pieces and platforms screaming about climate change universals and ethical considerations — including climate action practices, all forms of climate change coverages around the world should translate into meaningful action strategies.

As they practise these climate fundamentals, they will be advocating for life-long learning and skills to form sustainable climate action strategies, relevant in the new information age and world order.

For these climate change fundamentals to succeed, it would depend on how information is communicated through a wide variety of world media platforms.

It is the manner in which climate change information is communicated to specific audiences, which should prompt people and other stakeholders into action or in a manner that will demoralise or disempower their will, soul, intrinsic motivation as well as eco-conscious desire for environmental sustainability.

In this regard, how climate change knowledge brokers, communicators, scientists and policymakers talk about climate change challenges, should excite people and lead them into
action.

Indeed, people, as sustainable audiences, require some transformations in the manner they visualise or interact with the environment, by nurturing their creativity and spirits of innovations.

Although widespread climate change coverage is important in empowering people with powerful eco-conscious ideas, it is the manner in which it is done, which should be effective.

Responses to the climate change fundamentals and translating them into sustainable actions or resilience would require the spirit of Ubuntu/humanism, urgency and pro-activeness.

That is the desire to examine one’s surroundings objectively, while influenced by relevant and appropriate world views, in order to identify the missing links or gaps in their immediate environment.

As individuals who are assertive and conscious of their surroundings, relevant authorities need to structure and come up with achievable and measurable goals.

Policymakers and relevant authorities should go it simple and practical rather than being overwhelmed by their own objectives.

While it is always good to be ambitious, planners should not be slaves of their objectives.

The objectives are not meant to kill people, but to transform and deliver them from climate change challenges in order to realise their climate goals.

For these reasons, they need to establish interactive and dialoguing relationships with their environment, in reciprocal situations, rather than an eco-freak relationship.

The spirit of humanism and environmental stewardship would always be the appropriate starting point for creative thinking and innovations for climate action strategies.

Climate change information should be audience and context-specific in order for it to save a purpose and translate into deliverables.

The language used should not be threatening, but empowering to help transform people into true environmental stewards and nature heroes.

The poor also need to have their place in the climate action strategies framework so as to be climate literate.

Context-specific communication strategies lead to climate solutions, which translate into climate actions.

Climate information messages need to be concrete, effective in communication and proactive in action, and should prompt many people into creative thinking and pathways to
change innovations.

Even policymakers should enact policies that evoke a spirit of action or desire to correct environmental imbalances.

This also requires climate scientists to be open in their community of practices as well as to establish some working relationships with stakeholders, especially the media
and universities.
What the media communicate should never divert the people or other stakeholders’ attention from the pressing environmental challenges.

Instead, people’s attention should be strengthened, modified, re-directed and rejuvenated into a variety of framework goals.

In this regard, knowledge of audiences would save to situate each and every individual into their community of practices determined by their situations, needs analysis, qualifications or immediate community environmental concerns.

This would require local initiatives to tackle local problems using the local perspectives and local resources.

People already have ideas or what needs to be done in order to tackle climate challenges, but they lack inspiration, appropriate voices and guidance.

The ability to be or not to be heard becomes the missing link in rural development and, in particular, climate change adaptations.

All in all, and above everything else, objectives need to be designed according to the needs of local communities, their desires and challenges.

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