Zacc, Zambia unit sign anti-graft MoU 

Source: Zacc, Zambia unit sign anti-graft MoU | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019 Justice Matanda-Moyo Leonard Ncube in Livingstone, Zambia THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Zambia to fight cross-border economic crimes. The development comes as Zimbabwe is making frantic efforts to recover […]

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Source: Zacc, Zambia unit sign anti-graft MoU | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019

Zacc, Zambia unit sign anti-graft MoUJustice Matanda-Moyo

Leonard Ncube in Livingstone, Zambia

THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Zambia to fight cross-border economic crimes.

The development comes as Zimbabwe is making frantic efforts to recover money and assets stashed outside the country obtained through proceeds of crime, said ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo.

Justice Matanda-Moyo and ACC acting director general Mrs Rosemary Nkonde-Khuzwayo presided over the signing ceremony in Livingstone, Zambia.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, on the sidelines of a Fast Tracking UNCAC Implementation conference, Justice Matanda-Moyo said the agreement was a milestone in achieving best practices in the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“Today we are here to formalise this collaboration,” she said. “The MoU will include collaboration in the exchange of information, joint investigations, mutual assistance in the recovery of proceeds of crime and exchange of skilled personnel among others.”

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Fighting corruption needs collective effort

Source: Fighting corruption needs collective effort | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019 Fradreck Gorwe Fighting corruption requires collective cooperation by both individuals and relevant institutions like Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to achieve the goal of eradicating the cancer. The sentiment was echoed throughout panel discussions held at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Global […]

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Source: Fighting corruption needs collective effort | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019

Fighting corruption needs collective effort

Fradreck Gorwe

Fighting corruption requires collective cooperation by both individuals and relevant institutions like Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to achieve the goal of eradicating the cancer.

The sentiment was echoed throughout panel discussions held at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Global Ethics Day 2019 in Harare yesterday. The celebrations ran under the theme “Combating Corruption in Zimbabwe.”

Among the representatives who graced the event were official from ACCA, ZACC, the Public Accounts Portfolio Committee and Transparency International. Being sought were robust discussions on how best the problem of corruption can be dealt with more from a professional point of view.

Global Ethics Day is an annual, international day set to interrogate the role of ethics in the present world.

Organisations and institutions are encouraged to hold lectures, film screenings, debates and panel discussions on ethics with a view to protect the environment.

The position tallies with President Mnangagwa and his administration position as well as calls for concerted efforts to fight the cancer of corruption.

ACCA introduced an ethics and professional skills module in 2007, which students have to be well acquainted with ahead of attaining membership to the association. The module was updated in 2017. As described by the association’s marketing head Takesure Famba in his opening remarks, ethics forms the hard core of the ACCA qualification.

“As accountants we have the right to uphold values and pursue ethical conduct,” he said.

Speaking at the event, ZACC manager for public education and publicity Munyaradzi Magiga, implored everyone to cooperate to end corruption that is instrumental in slowing economic development.

He suggested that accountants and all intellectuals should uphold moral values and shun corrupt tendencies as they constitute part of the society’s opinion leaders and role models to identify with.

“If we had to join hands during the liberation struggle and managed to achieve the benefits we are enjoying today, why now when it comes to the fight against corruption we fold hands and point fingers to individuals and institutions (ZACC) to play the part on our behalf? We all have the responsibility,” he said.

Magiga further claimed ZACC has the necessary support from the Government in delivering its mandate and he applauded the new dispensation for further tooling the commission.

“With the new dispensation we were well equipped with arresting powers and the power to interrogate corrupt reports to finality. We are getting the necessary support from ministries and the parliament,” he added.

The call was made to proffer more proactive rather than mere reactive solutions to the corruption scourge.

Mr Magiga alluded to the importance of having personnel from various disciplines in order to conform to compliance issues and such that investigations will not be disturbed because members are not versed in particular disciplines.

Also given that corruption can be a mindset and a result of behavioural inclinations, he suggested the introduction in curricular of courses to deal with corruption.

Chairperson of the Public Accounts Portfolio Committee Tendai Biti also noted as key priority the fight against corruption which he said requires urgency. He pointed to the need to tackle corruption in its various forms of institutional or corporate, illicit financial flows, and under-invoicing (by accountants) to mention a few.

“Our work at the Public Accounts Portfolio Committee taught us that we have to put corruption issues at the top of our minds.”

Also as part of submissions during the panel discussions, Transparency International identified the need for judicial integrity and the digitalisation of court records, which practices the Government is currently pursuing to reform the judiciary.

The event has come at a time the new dispensation has taken the stance of not tolerating corruption.

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Sadc endorses Moza elections

Source: Sadc endorses Moza elections | Herald (Top Stories) Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter Sadc Election Observer Mission headed by Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri yesterday certified the Mozambican elections as peaceful and consistent with the regional body’s principles governing democratic elections. In its preliminary statement issued by Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri in Maputo yesterday, the […]

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Source: Sadc endorses Moza elections | Herald (Top Stories)

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

Sadc Election Observer Mission headed by Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri yesterday certified the Mozambican elections as peaceful and consistent with the regional body’s principles governing democratic elections.

In its preliminary statement issued by Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri in Maputo yesterday, the regional bloc comprising 61 observers said the political and security situation of presidential, legislative and provincial elections were peaceful with campaign rallies in areas observed proceeding unhindered, a situation that went on until voting day.

President Mnangagwa, who chairs the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, appointed Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri to head the Sadc Election Observer Mission.

“The Mission observed that the 15 October, 2019 elections in Mozambique were held in line with the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015),” she said.

“The Mission also observed that CNE (National Electoral Commission) generally discharged its mandate in terms of the Constitution and Electoral Law of Mozambique including conducting training of polling officers, police, judges and journalists.”

Sadc commended the signing of the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement between the Government of Mozambique and Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO), on 6 August, 2019.

The mission expressed concern on sporadic armed insurgencies in the northern parts of the country, as well as attacks on civilian vehicles in Manica, Sofala and Cabo Delgado provinces.

It also took note of the isolated incidents of violence and attacks reported in some districts such as Gondola, Gorongosa, Manhiça and Xai-Xai.

“In addition, despite the natural calamities caused by cyclones Idai and Kenneth that largely affected the provinces of Sofala and Cabo Delgado, the Technical Secretariat for the Administration of Elections (STAE) managed to provide tents, which were used as polling stations in areas where infrastructure was destroyed,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

“The Mission is of the view that these developments did not compromise the overall conduct of the elections in the country.”

Some challenges were also observed which included the disputes surrounding the registration of voters in Gaza province, the outcome of which is yet to be advised by the Attorney-General, inadequate arrangements in some polling stations to enable the people with physical disabilities and special needs to vote, the tying up of the validity of voter registration to each electoral cycle in terms of the law which the mission felt it might pose financial and administrative challenges.

On access to the media, the mission said despite allegations of bias against the public media by some stakeholders, the mission observed that advertisement of campaign messages was generally extended to political parties in the elections.

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Man sprays poop on clothes after robbers pounced on him while relieving self in bush

A 60-YEAR-OLD man who was relieving himself along Bulawayo-Beitbridge road soiled himself as two unidentified men pounced on him and robbed him of cash and two cellphones. A source close to investigations said the 60-year-old man (name withheld) was tr…

A 60-YEAR-OLD man who was relieving himself along Bulawayo-Beitbridge road soiled himself as two unidentified men pounced on him and robbed him of cash and two cellphones. A source close to investigations said the 60-year-old man (name withheld) was travelling to Beitbridge and parked his Toyota vehicle at the 313km peg. He went to a […]

Govt targets 10pc growth in exports

Source: Govt targets 10pc growth in exports | Herald (Business) Minister Moyo Michael Tome Business Reporter Government is determined to ongoing reforms to facilitate growth in exports of goods and services by at least 10 percent annually from about US$4,5 billion currently to US$7 billion by 2023, a Cabinet Minister said. Foreign Affairs and International Trade […]

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Source: Govt targets 10pc growth in exports | Herald (Business)

Minister Moyo

Michael Tome Business Reporter

Government is determined to ongoing reforms to facilitate growth in exports of goods and services by at least 10 percent annually from about US$4,5 billion currently to US$7 billion by 2023, a Cabinet Minister said.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo, said this while addressing delegates to the ZimTrade Annual Exporters’ Exporters Conference, which was held in Bulawayo yesterday.

Running under the theme “Rethink, Reform and Export”, the conference’s objective was to foster ways to grow exports to secure foreign currency while also containing the county’s trade deficit.

In line with the devolution drive by the Government, the conference was held in Bulawayo bringing together the Government, local exporters, industry players, academia, researchers and sector experts to discuss best approaches to addressing challenges faced by local businesses.

“The main strategic goal is to increase total exports of goods and services by at least 10 percent annually from around US$4,5 billion in 2018 to US$7 billion by 2023, and to US$14 billion by 2030.

“The country needs to increase value added exports and companies need to be supported in every way possible to competitively produce for export.

There is need to inculcate and entrench an export culture among our enterprises across the sectors,” said Minister Moyo.

He said his ministry hit the ground running putting in place necessary exemptions of permits on some products to reduce time spent by exports in transit given that some of the produce is perishable.

Furthermore, he indicated that initiatives were being formulated to extend the bracket of exempted exports particularly the non-strategic agricultural produce.

He said, “I am happy to report that action is being taken by some departments, with the National Biotechnology Authority having suspended indefinitely the requirement for GMO certification permits on horticulture exports.

“Engagements are ongoing on some recommendations particularly on the issue of export permits for non-strategic agricultural commodities such as horticulture products.

“He implored other arms of Government and other critical areas of authority to step up towards the creation of a relaxed business environment that is investor friendly thereby restricting barriers causing the country to be ranked poorly on the competitiveness index.

“Government and business alike need to rethink the way we have been operating and how we can all contribute towards making the environment around us conducive to do business.

“In line with current efforts to revive the economy, the theme: ‘Rethink. Reform. Export’ resonates very well with the urgent need for ease of doing business reforms to address an array of issues affecting exporters.

“The rethinking process will also allow us to self-introspect and identify areas where we have been found wanting and where our actions are hindering the growth of exports,” said Minister Moyo.

This year’s edition of the exporters’ conference was graced by regional and international buyers from countries that include Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, Mozambique, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United Kingdom.

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Editorial Comment – Chitungwiza council: Something must give in 

Source: Editorial Comment – Chitungwiza council: Something must give in | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019 It has come to our attention that things are not well at the Chitungwiza Municipality. It is now a known fact that power struggles, mudslinging and illegal land dealings have become the order of the day at Chitungwiza Municipality […]

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Source: Editorial Comment – Chitungwiza council: Something must give in | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019

Editorial Comment – Chitungwiza council: Something must give in

It has come to our attention that things are not well at the Chitungwiza Municipality.

It is now a known fact that power struggles, mudslinging and illegal land dealings have become the order of the day at Chitungwiza Municipality while service delivery is collapsing fast.

The collapse is so monumental that the council is now failing to supply safe drinking water to its residents for at least three consecutive months.

So bad is the situation that some desperate residents have now resorted to open defecation. How sad, with the rainy season on the onset? It goes without saying that mass open defecation is a recipe for disaster during the rainy season.

Drinking water is now fetched from unprotected open wells and with seepage from the contaminated Hunyani River near St Mary’s where members of the apostolic sects conduct their baptism sessions almost every day and, where companies dump their untreated waste.

This flies right into the face of Section 77 of the country’s supreme law which states that “every person has a right to safe, clean and potable water”.

In other words, the local authority is violating the people’s right to safe, clean and potable water.

Those who strive to have clean drinking water have to pay up to $2 per bucket to those who illegally drilled boreholes on their 180 square metre stands.

However, the water appears clean, but its safety is not guaranteed.

The disturbing development puts the town at a serious risk of a cholera outbreak.

It really boggles the mind how a council worth its salt can relax and concentrate on illegally parcelling out land while people are squatting all over relieving themselves on the streets due to lack of water.

A number of top council officials are in court over illegal sale of land while the town clerk was suspended for misconduct.

The theatrics by council leadership, which saw the mayor being assaulted by residents while serving the town clerk with a suspension letter is totally unacceptable, especially, at a time when the town is sitting on a health time bomb.

It is high time council leadership should put political fights and power struggles aside and collectively work towards improving service delivery.

Most playgrounds and other breathing spaces have since been invaded and illegally allocated to individuals for construction of houses.

As if that is not enough, the leadership is always at each other’s throats. Fighting will not solve the water crisis in Chitungwiza, but the leaders must come up with solutions to the problem.

Chitungwiza should work towards having its own dam that supplies the whole town with water, and not rely on Harare City Council, which already has its own challenges.

The idea of constructing Muda Dam in Seke Rural into a giant water source for Chitungwiza is a noble one, but council leadership needs to unite and collectively source funding for the project.

With the current infighting, Chitungwiza will never achieve the goal.

However, Chitungwiza deserves a pat on the back for embarking on a noble project to drill boreholes, with reports that the local authority is targeting at least 25 boreholes.

Such a move will also go a long way in improving the water situation in the suburb.

Already, Chitungwiza, which is divided into Seke, St Mary’s and Zengeza, has a total of 189 boreholes, but only 57 are functional.

The planned 25 boreholes will bring to 82 the total number of functional boreholes, a development that will go a long way in mitigating the water crisis.

A number of boreholes, part of the 189, have since been decommissioned because of contamination.

The water reticulation system was designed to last for up to 20 years only, but has now been in use for 44 years with most of the water lost through leakages.

Apart from that, the town is also using an outdated manual system to pump water. The council needs about US$320 million to install a new water system and construct Muda Dam.

Infighting has also stalled revenue collection at Chitungwiza Municipality amid reports that the figures have drastically fallen over the past few months.

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‘Zim to cut expenditure in 2020’ . . . However economic activity will improve beyond next year, says UK think-tank

Source: ‘Zim to cut expenditure in 2020’ . . . However economic activity will improve beyond next year, says UK think-tank | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019 Business Reporter ZIMBABWE is likely to cut public expenditure next year on the back of falling revenues and economic contraction, according to a report by United Kingdom-based Economist […]

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Source: ‘Zim to cut expenditure in 2020’ . . . However economic activity will improve beyond next year, says UK think-tank | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019

‘Zim to cut expenditure in 2020’ . . . However economic activity will improve beyond next year, says UK think-tank

Business Reporter

ZIMBABWE is likely to cut public expenditure next year on the back of falling revenues and economic contraction, according to a report by United Kingdom-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

However, the UK headquartered think-tank, a unit of the Economist Group, has projected that economic activity in Zimbabwe would improve beyond next year and this will boost revenue collection and public spending.

“The Government expenditure will decline in 2020 as revenue falls and as avenues for financing to support expansive programmes remain limited,” said EIU.

“In 2021-24, as revenue increases, expenditure will rise steadily, as the Government seeks to repair infrastructure following years of underinvestment, support broader economic growth and maintain the substantial public-sector wage bill.”

Aid inflows into the country will remain sizable, given the mounting humanitarian crisis stemming from the economic crisis, and exacerbated by the ongoing drought.

“Greater access to external credit will arise only if Zimbabwe successfully implements reforms and clears arrears to international institutions,” said EIU. “Currently, we do not expect to see a resumption of IMF financing within the forecast period.”

Fiscal deficit is expected to narrow slightly to 6,3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 due to improved revenues.

Zimbabwe is currently financing fiscal deficits through domestic borrowing, mainly using Treasury bills as the country remains largely cut off from international financial markets.

Lately, Treasury has struggled to raise targeted amounts through TBs, underlining the huge disconnect between inflation realities being experienced by investors and expectations of policy makers.

Market analysts say investors believe inflation will continue trending upwards, despite the Government seeing monthly inflation dropping to 10 percent by of this year.

The EIU said the Zimbabwean dollar is expected to largely stabilise next year before it starts firming against the US dollar on the back of growing confidence in the domestic currency.

The local currency would fall to an average $16 against the US dollar next year, but will be considerably weaker on the black market. It said the suppression of demand through limited access to the currency would continue to temper depreciation, which “we believe would be much more rapid otherwise”.

According to EIU, the domestic currency would firm to an average of $10 against the greenback in 2021, and to an average of 6,1 the following year, as inflation moderates, exports increase and the country realises more foreign direct investment.

In February, Zimbabwe moved away from the fixed-rate regime after it introduced the interbank market to allow importers and exporters to trade the RTGS dollars and other foreign currencies with the rate initially pegged at 2,5 against the US dollar. Since then, the exchange rate of the RTGS has dropped to 14,9 against the greenback on the interbank.

The local currency is, however, even weaker on the parallel market where it is trading round 20.

While the think-tank projected a deepening economic crisis this and next year, it has projected the “crisis” to abate, largely due to improved domestic energy, agriculture and mining production. This would improve Zimbabwe’s foreign reserves position, supporting the currency and moderating soaring inflation, said the think tank.

“We expect inflation to average 165,5 percent in 2020, after averaging an estimated 205,2 percent in 2019,” said EIU. Rapid inflation has been driven by sustained currency weakness, particularly on the parallel market, foreign-exchange shortages and the ongoing drought, which has severely reduced agricultural and hydropower production. Inflation would, however, fall sharply in 2021, to 8,3 percent, owing to a strengthening of the currency and the high base of comparison.

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City Parking rakes in $1,3m a month 

Source: City Parking rakes in $1,3m a month | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019 Herald Reporter Harare’s traffic parking utility, City Parking, has given the authority about $1,3 million from parkades and parking lots across the city. Since its inception in 2013, City Parking has contributed $9 320 000 and a new contribution model agreed […]

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Source: City Parking rakes in $1,3m a month | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019

City Parking rakes in $1,3m a month

Herald Reporter

Harare’s traffic parking utility, City Parking, has given the authority about $1,3 million from parkades and parking lots across the city.

Since its inception in 2013, City Parking has contributed $9 320 000 and a new contribution model agreed with the local authority has seen a jump in contributions in the past few months.

“This year, City Parking has contributed an average of $1 320 000 per month from May-September on a rate agreed upon by council, whereby we pay 16 percent of what we collect, and we have religiously paid plus or minus $400 000,” Mr Simon Muzviyo, managing director of City Parking, told The Herald yesterday.

Mr Muzviyo said City Parking, a privately-run company in which Harare City Council is the sole shareholder, had tightened control on financial management to avoid leakages while the company’s books of accounts are audited by external auditors.

He said the parking operation had perennially made losses.

“Before privatisation, the parking account at City of Harare used to incur a deficit, and was being bailed out by the rates accounts,” he explained.

“The privatisation strategy had the immediate effect of eliminating the deficit situation from the parking account.

“We are now talking about the parking function contributing to council fiscus, instead of the City Treasury subsidising the parking function.”

He said the company wanted to ensure a functional and efficient system.

“A well-functioning parking operation is one that creates adequate parking bays to enable the transacting of business in the CBD,” said Mr Muzviyo.

“Availability of parking space in the CBD is regulated by limiting parking time per area per motorists through the levying of higher fees for long parking bay occupation, penalties for overstaying in parking bay and application of punitive measures for non-compliance.

“An effective parking system is one that encourages high turnover and use of a parking bay in the CBD.

“Such a system creates parking space for other persons to park and transact business in the CBD.

“The failure to provide parking space in the CBD to those wanting to do business militates against the growth of business in the CBD.”

He said their mandate was to ensure that parking in the CBD is shared by motorists who want to transact business in the CBD.

“It is impossible to have adequate bays for all motorists who want to transact in the CBD: accordingly, the parking fee actually acts as an incentive for motorists to vacate bays so that others may use them to transact business,” he said.

There are about 6 000 parking bays in the CBD.

He revealed to The Herald that the operations of touts and street people who  charge less for their services than City Parking was a challenge.

A total of 1 200 bays had been rendered unoperational as they hd been illegally taken over by different stakeholders.

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Varsity uniforms proposal sparks outrage

Source: Varsity uniforms proposal sparks outrage | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019 Prof Murwira  Blessings Chidakwa Herald Correspondent People from all walks of life, including Government officials, yesterday reacted with outrage to a proposal by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) for tertiary institutions to introduce uniforms for female students, ostensibly to avoid sexual abuse. Women’s […]

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Source: Varsity uniforms proposal sparks outrage | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019

Varsity uniforms proposal sparks outrageProf Murwira

 Blessings Chidakwa Herald Correspondent

People from all walks of life, including Government officials, yesterday reacted with outrage to a proposal by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) for tertiary institutions to introduce uniforms for female students, ostensibly to avoid sexual abuse.

Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni equated the proposal to the abuse of women.

“We shouldn’t respect the uniform, but the person,” she said. “It means we are saying our men have no respect for women, but uniforms. The issue is not about uniforms, but respect for each other as human beings. There is no reason why we should abuse other people.”

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said the idea was not a law.

“Universities Acts have no statutes that regulate wearing of uniforms,” he said.

“However, it is a very free country and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion as this is not a directive.”

University of Zimbabwe’s Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union secretary-general Wilbert Muzaruwetu said the issue was not about what one wore, but perceptions.

Instead, he said, ZGC should do a survey of at least 50 000 people and see if it would come up with such recommendations.

SAYWHAT, a non-governmental organisation, said a dress code for the  students would be an act to further reinforce the dictates of patriarchy in which society was always policing the dressing of women.

“Having a dress code cannot be sustainable way of addressing the issue, what needs to be changed are the attitudes of the perpetrators, transformation of gender norm is needed in which men can respect women and their rights irrespective of what they are wearing,” said the organisation in a statement.

“The proposed solutions must not be skewed towards putting the blame on women. Having a dress code is tantamount to direct indictment that women are being sexually harassed because of the clothes they wear.

“There is limited correlation on the two as societies have witnessed that even women who dress in the so-called modesty and decent ways are sexually harassed, while others become victims of rape while dressed in long skirts and dresses.”

The uproar arose after ZGC legal and investigations manager Ms Delis Mazambani is alleged to have said: “During the weekend, the students can then wear whatever they want, but when attending lectures, they need to be guided on how to dress and this makes it easier for lecturers to pinpoint that according to the university’s policy you are not dressed appropriately.”

Following media backlash, ZGC through its chairperson Margret Mukahanana said the message was blown out of proportion, as one of their officials only made reference to the uniform issue as an example during a public lecture with a local university.

“The commission’s series of sexual harassment at tertiary institutions continues this morning (yesterday) at ZOU,” she said in a statement. “Our previous engagements with such institutions have been very successful.

“We look forward to get another progressive meeting with students and staff at ZOU.”

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President speaks on prices, doctors’ strike

Source: President speaks on prices, doctors’ strike | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019 President Mnangagwa addresses delegates at the launch of the Zimbabwe National Trade Policy Vision and Export Promotion Strategy and the 2019 ZimTrade Annual Exporters conference at ZITF in Bulawayo yesterday.— Picture: Eliah Saushoma Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter President Mnangagwa yesterday warned businesses […]

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Source: President speaks on prices, doctors’ strike | The Herald 18 OCT, 2019

President speaks on prices, doctors’ strikePresident Mnangagwa addresses delegates at the launch of the Zimbabwe National Trade Policy Vision and Export Promotion Strategy and the 2019 ZimTrade Annual Exporters conference at ZITF in Bulawayo yesterday.— Picture: Eliah Saushoma

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

President Mnangagwa yesterday warned businesses against relentless price increases, saying the Government will be forced to take action against such practices.

He said a meeting will be held next week between the Government and business to find ways of resolving unwarranted price increases.

The President also warned striking doctors, who have been absconding from duty for nearly two months, and said Government was aware of external forces propping up their illegal industrial action.

He was speaking while addressing the first edition of the Rural District Councillors Meeting, where he touched on welfare issues affecting the generality of the population.

“Wherever I am going these days, people are complaining about the ever-increasing prices of basic commodities, saying you promised to whip such business into line. So where is that whip?

“As a father, you don’t discipline your children every time they do something wrong, but just warn before taking any action.

“However, I think we have reached a point where action has to be taken because we don’t see any reason why there is this continuous rise in prices.”

President Mnangagwa said the meeting with the business community, being organised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, will give the Government an opportunity to appreciate their challenges.

He said the Government secured funding for the establishment of Silo Shops, mainly in rural areas where the most vulnerable live.

“We now have the funding and we have identified seven commodities that would be subsidised,” said President Mnangagwa.

“These include mealie-meal, salt, sugar and cooking oil, among others. These shops target the rural populace who are facing the most difficulties.”

On the doctors’ strike, President

Mnangagwa said Government was aware that some doctors were working with external forces to destabilise the health sector.

“Two months ago, we raised their salaries and they came back again saying the value of the money had been eroded and we offered them a 30 percent increase which they rejected and we increased it to 60 percent which they rejected again,” he said.

“After going through what is happening, we have discovered that there are a few individuals who are getting outside influence and then coming to influence others to continue with the strike. But what we are saying to the doctors is that you are Zimbabweans and the sick people are also Zimbabweans.

“There is no country that doesn’t have problems, so we should sit down and talk while you are at work. But if you insist on being stubborn, we will see where it will get you to. You might think what you are doing is right, but we will see what will happen at the end.”

The doctors have refused to go work even after the Labour Court ruled that their actions were illegal.

President Mnangagwa told the gathering that he will launch a further 100 Zupco buses before the end of this month, as Government continues to work towards cushioning citizens from high transport costs.

“I will be launching these (100 buses) before the end of the month and I have agreed with the Minister (of Local Government Cde July Moyo) that the distribution be done with a bias towards rural areas this time,” he said.

“I think we have done a bit for the urban areas.”

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