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2023-09-23 06:28:58 *SA To Host AGOA Summit Despite US Threats* Despite US threats that it should be moved to another country, South Africa will continue to host a summit between the US and beneficiaries of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in November. To join our groups follow: In a joint statement on Wednesday, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel confirmed that the summit will start in Johannesburg on 2 November. In June, a group of both US Democratic and Republican legislators asked the White House to move the summit away from South Africa and warned that the country looked set to lose its AGOA status. This was in response to a US allegation that South Africa had dispatched arms to Russia via a sanctioned Russian ship that docked in Simon’s Town in December 2022. However, an independent report commissioned by the SA presidency found that it was offloading equipment ordered by state arms procurer Armscor in 2018. The US politicians also pointed out that South Africa held joint military exercises with Russia and China, and in April, authorised a Russian military cargo plane subject to US sanctions to land at a South African air force base. By allowing South Africa to host the summit, it would serve as an “implicit endorsement” of the country’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine and may also be a possible violation of US sanctions law, they added. But Tai said that she looks forward to visiting South Africa to discuss “shared priorities” and explore opportunities to make AGOA more “transformative”. “As President Biden has said, the future is Africa,” Tai said. *News24*
2023-09-23 06:28:44 *Health Sector Brain Drain Forces Zimbabwe To Rethink On Innovation* Zimbabwe continues to pursue rigorous human resources development by training more personnel to plug gaps created in the health sector due to brain drain, President Mnangagwa has said. For years, Zimbabwe has lost experienced health personnel mostly to the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. Addressing a high-level meeting on progress towards universal coverage during the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, the President said Zimbabwe remained committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030. To join our groups follow: President Mnangagwa noted that in this digital age, the country had implemented an integrated health management system, while bottlenecks were being addressed through continuous training programmes. This, he said, was in line with Zimbabwe’s new Comprehensive Health Sector Strategy. “We are modernising our health infrastructure by availing state-of-the-art, fit-for-purpose health facilities with appropriate diagnostic and treatment equipment. “My Government has scaled up research and development oriented innovation hubs to foster localised diagnostic and treatment solutions,” President Mnangagwa said. Zimbabwe has a free user policy for all primary care services, said the President, and a free package of services is provided at clinics across the country. Further, Zimbabwe is strengthening its community health centres systems by building healthcare centres in every village to enable the early screening and detection of diseases. President Mnangagwa said concerted efforts were being made to address non-communicable diseases through an integrated care delivery strategy focused on alleviating the burden among vulnerable children and young adults, by increasing the accessibility and quality of chronic care services. His administration was rolling out state-of-the-art community health centres such as the one in Stoneridge, Harare Province, which has a capacity of 22 beds. It has an outpatient, maternity, ART and inpatient facilities. The President commissioned the health centre in May last year. It is among 30 clinics being constructed across the country by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa. Apart from the Stoneridge Health Centre, Cowdray Park Health Centre in Bulawayo was commissioned by the President on August 2 this year. In the Midlands Province, Mberengwa’s 20-bed Mataga Mini Hospital has also been completed, and offers maternity, laboratory, dispensary, counselling and male and female paediatric services. The other health facility is Runyararo, which is in Chimanimani. The health centres are being constructed by the Government in conjunction with NMSI of the United Kingdom. *Herald*
2023-09-23 06:28:12 *Power Problems Drive Zimbabwe To Woo America's General Electric* Representatives of General Electric (GE), an American multinational conglomerate and world leader in providing energy solutions, yesterday met President Mnangagwa in New York to discuss various power projects the company is undertaking in Zimbabwe. To join our groups follow: Speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting, president of International Growth Markets at General Electric, Ms Heather Chalmers, described the engagement as positive. “We discussed various power projects in Zimbabwe, including Hydro,” she said. In 2019, a consortium comprising Power Construction of China and General Electric won a bid to build the 2 400MW Batoka Gorge hydropower station, about 50km downstream from Victoria Falls on the Zambezi river under a Build, Operate and Transfer model. The proposed US$4,5 billion project across the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe was set to transform Matabeleleland North as townships with facilities such as banks, shops, private offices and other ancillary infrastructure would be constructed. The project was envisaged to create 4 000 jobs and provide a third of the two nations’ power needs. Power generated from the station would be shared equally between Zimbabwe and Zambia while the Zimbabwe River Authority, which is jointly owned by the two governments, would be the implementing agent. ZESA Chairman Dr Sydney Gata, who also attended the meeting between President Mnangagwa and General Electric, said the company was critical to both Hwange Thermal and Kariba hydro power stations. “We are working together with General Electric in the supply of equipment and spares for Kariba South, the new power station, as well as for Hwange, the old power station,” he said. Dr Gata added that ZESA expected to work with General Electric in re-powering Hwange unit 6 as well as other projects in Mozambique. “They (GE) are very good in the entire chain of designing, manufacturing, construction, commissioning and operation. “Its a unique privilege to be engaged with them (GE) and we thank His Excellency for this opportunity. “They are our automatic partners because they own the technology,” said Dr Gata. *Herald*
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2023-09-23 06:16:20 *Report Says Doing Business In Zimbabwe Too Risky* In a move that will dent Zimbabwe’s chances of attracting foreign direct investment, an international risk assessment firm has ranked the country as the most risky for doing business and with the least score of reward after investment. The damning report released by Control Risks and Oxford Economics Africa showed that Zimbabwe’s chances of safer returns were slightly more than 2%. Control Risks is a specialist risk consultancy that helps create secure, compliant and resilient organisations. Oxford Economics is a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis with a worldwide clientelle base comprising more than 1 500 international corporations, financial institutions, government organisations, and universities. While President Emmerson Mnangagwa has touted the “Zimbabwe is open for business mantra”, the country continues to attract negative publicity on the backdrop of political instability, high inflation and inconsistent economic policies. The Africa Risk-Reward Index 2023 puts Zimbabwe as the country with lowest reward scores and highest risk. In explaining the position, the index states that: “The position of each country is defined by its risk and reward score. Zimbabwe is at 7, 65% risk and at 2,53% reward scores.” The index illustrates the evolution of the investment landscape in major African markets and provides a grounded, longer-term outlook of key trends shaping investment in these economies. It also offers a comparative snapshot of market opportunities and risks across the continent. To join our groups follow: Zimbabwe is ranked to have close ties with China and Russia. Other countries that ranked poorly in the report include Ethiopia at 7,64%, Democratic Republic of Congo at 7,53%, Cameroon at 6,53%, Uganda 6,22% and Egypt at 6,3%. “These countries are those that have seen the biggest positive movement in their overall risk-reward scores between 2022 and 2023. For some countries this is due to increasing reward scores, for some to declining risk scores, and for some a combination of both,” the report read. German-based economist Durban Marukutira said the report was consistent with trends elsewhere in the economy. “It corresponds with banks de-risking that led to the exit of Barclays and Stanchart citing country risks and a volatile currency, Gold Mafia and the attendant Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) that is associated with it and disputed elections,” he said. Political analyst Romeo Chasara said Zimbabwe would continue to attract negative investment outlook because of disputed polls. “The global markets and capital have adopted a wait and see attitude towards Zimbabwe. It is unfortunate that the country continues to hold disputed and inconclusive elections. “It boggles the mind that it is relatively safer to invest in war-torn DRC than in Zimbabwe. The country should put its politics right,” he said. *NewsDay*
2023-09-23 06:16:05 *Police Boat Sinks In Kariba* A Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) boat capsized and sank in Lake Kariba, leaving the crew struggling to save themselves in yet another accident in one of Africa’s largest man-made water reservoirs. While the details surrounding the accident were not yet available, a widely circulated video showed the harrowing scene of policemen crying out for help as rescue boats raced against time to reach the victims who were drowning. To join our groups follow: Department of Waters and Inland Lake captain Adan Nyekete confirmed the accident, saying the boat was on a test run. “We have received reports of the boat which capsized in Lake Kariba. The said the boat was on a test run when the accident happened when water entered through its bottom and the vessel started sinking,” Nyekete said. The incident has sent shockwaves in the Kariba community after another boat accident claimed the lives of four people near the Nyaodza fishing camp recently. Meanwhile, stakeholders have called for a comprehensive review of maintenance protocols and safety equipment provisions for boats in Kariba, with concerns mounting over the safety standards of water vessels in the region. *AMH*
2023-09-23 06:15:54 *Property Developers Scream Over Currency Volatility* The impact of currency volatility is taking a toll on property developers as non-traditional investors are joining the bandwagon into the “dead asset” in a bid to preserve value, BusinessDigest reports. Zimbabwe's macro-economic environment has over the years remained uncertain with persistent exchange rate volatility and inflationary pressures increasing the cost of doing business. In the midst of this, it has become expensive for property developers to deliver on property development and building maintenance. To join our groups follow: In an interview with businessdigest this week, Mashonaland Holdings managing director Gibson Mapfidza said the exchange rate volatility had seen construction projects becoming very expensive. “The secondary impacts are far reaching for the entire economy. For instance, we see non-traditional property investors joining the bandwagon of investing into the ‘dead asset’ in a bid to preserve value and especially as part of application of lessons learnt in 2008,” Mapfidza said. “We have seen these big institutional investors locking capital, which otherwise should have gone to financing productive sectors of the economy, into big land banks and, in some cases, brick and mortar, which new developments do not necessarily respond to the property market needs. Some of these new assets go for years without occupancies.” Inevitably, Mapfidza said the new entrants ate into the margins of the asset class, especially given the available vacant stock across the property market. These developments are coming at a time there has been vast migration of tenants from the central business district (CBD) to urban outskirts. These movements have also been driven by deteriorating infrastructure around the CBD to defer periodic and scheduled maintenance of buildings. Mapfidza said this has partly contributed to the current urban decay in certain parts of the CBD. “Another secondary impact is that loss of value of rentals forces property owners to defer periodic and scheduled maintenance of buildings. This has partly contributed to the current urban decay in certain parts of the CBD,” he said. “A stable economic environment enables property to establish sinking funds per building, which caters for scheduled building maintenance requirements. “These sinking funds were wiped out in 2008 and property owners simply gave up on re-establishing these given the recurrent episodes of hyperinflation.” He, however, added that while the primary impact of currency volatility on any investment was that it erodes the value of the investment, the dual currency regime had to a larger extent helped plug that value leakage. “I think there is a lot of work to be done on the infrastructure side to support the buildings' investment. The country is in a significant bulky infrastructure deficit including roads, railway, water, sewer, energy and community facilities including stadiums, hospitals and schools,” he said. “With an enabling public-private-partnership investment framework, institutional funds would naturally go into bulky infrastructure development, which is currently in deficit. However, the Joint Venture Act of 2015 does not provide for viable investment returns and, as such, this patient capital won’t go there.” The managing director said there was a need for the government to attend to such issues and to allow investors to deploy resources at terms that enable the private sector to flourish. *BusinessDigest*
2023-09-23 06:15:40 *Guinea Junta Leader Justifies Coups In Africa* The recent coups in Africa are attempts by militaries to save their countries from presidents’ “broken promises,” the head of Guinea’s junta said Thursday as he rebuffed the West for boxing in the continent of more than 1 billion people. Col. Mamadi Doumbouya, who was sworn in as Guinea’s interim president following the coup in 2021, told the U.N. General Assembly that beyond condemning the coups, global leaders must also “look to and address the deep-rooted causes.” “The putschist is not only the person who takes up arms to overthrow a regime,” he told the gathering of world leaders in New York. “I want us all to be well aware of the fact that the real putschists, the most numerous, are those who avoid any condemnation — they are those … who cheat to manipulate the text of the constitution in order to stay in power eternally.” Guinea is one of several nations in West and Central Africa that have experienced eight coups since 2020, including two – Niger and Gabon – in recent months. To join our groups follow: The military takeovers, sometimes celebrated by citizens in those countries and condemned by international organizations and foreign countries, have raised concern about the stability of the continent, whose young population of at least 1.3 billion is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the planet’s people. Doumbouya accused some leaders in Africa of clinging to power by any means — often including amending the constitution — to the detriment of their people. In Guinea, he said he led soldiers to depose then-President Alpha Conde in the September 2021 coup to prevent the country from “slipping into complete chaos.” He said the situation was similar in other countries hit by coups and was a result of “broken promises, the lethargy of the people and leaders tampering with constitutions with the sole concern of remaining in power to the detriment of collective well-being.” Doumbouya also rebuffed attempts by the West and other developed countries to intervene in Africa’s political challenges, saying that Africans are “exhausted by the categorizations with which everyone wants to box us in.” “We Africans are insulted by the boxes, the categories which sometimes place us under the influence of the Americans, sometimes under that of the British, the French, the Chinese and the Turks,” the Guinean leader said. “Today, the African people are more awake than ever and more than ever determined to take their destiny into their own hands.” While the Guinean leader defended the coups in his country and elsewhere, concerns remain about the effectiveness of such military takeovers in addressing the challenges they said made them “intervene.” In Mali, where soldiers have been in power since 2020, the Islamic State group almost doubled the territory it controls in less than a year, according to U.N. experts. And in Burkina Faso, which recorded two coups in 2020, economic growth slowed to 2.5% in 2022 after a robust 6.9% the year before. “Military coups are wrong, as is any tilted civilian political arrangement that perpetuates injustice,” said Nigerian President Bola Tinubu. As the leader of West Africa’s regional bloc of ECOWAS, he is leading efforts of neighbors to reverse the coup in the region. “The wave crossing parts of Africa does not demonstrate favor towards coups,” he said. “It is a demand for solutions to perennial problems.” *AP*
2023-09-23 05:57:03 *Industry Cries Foul Over Tough Regulatory Costs* The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) this week reiterated its call for Zimbabwe to improve its regulatory environment, saying current taxes and fees were too harsh for businesses to thrive. Businesses have been pushing the government to put in place favourable regulatory policies, including the tax regime. They say such policies are vital to help companies grow. To join our groups follow: CZI president Kurai Matsheza told delegates attending a meeting between business leaders and new Industry and Commerce minister Sithembiso Nyoni that regulatory obligations were draining companies. “For us in business generally, we have done a study and the overheads arising from regulations, just complying with the regulations, is 18,8% of the (total) overhead costs. It is a huge number to just comply with regulations,” he said. “What we look for is an enabling environment so that our businesses can grow.” The CZI boss said the manufacturing sector was now lagging behind other sectors in terms of contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). “The big sector is (now) retail and distribution. Mining has been growing, agriculture has been growing. It is now at 13% (of GDP), ahead of manufacturing,” Matsheza pointed out. The CZI boss also said the country should prepare to trade under the African Continental Free Trade Areas (ACFTA). “The issue of AfCFTA is for sure coming and it is on our doorstep and we need to be ready for it when it comes,” he said. Last week, Finance and Investment Promotion minister Mthuli Ncube said Zimbabwe’s insurance sector should begin the groundwork to help it tap into opportunities to be unlocked by AfCFTA. AfCFTA, a US$3,4 trillion bloc by GDP, came onto the scene in 2021, bringing together the region’s economies with a combined 1,5 billion people. Experts say several of its features, including the removal of duties in 90% of goods originating within its members, make it a vehicle for Africa’s economic transformation. They estimate that when AfCFTA is fully operational, Africa GDP will grow at an estimated rate of 6% per annum to about US$66,4 trillion in the next 50 years. *Independent*
2023-09-22 16:13:55 *Nhau/Indaba Entertainment Diary* Find a spot to hang out with family or friends as Zimbabwe’s talented entertainers are ready to liven up things this weekend. Here is what is in store for you: To join our groups follow: *Harare, Bulawayo Jazz Festivals* Those who have a deep sense of jazz music are in for a showdown this Saturday as the Zimbabwe Jazz Community Trust and Alliance Francaise present the Zimbabwe Jazz Festival. Show starts at 2pm until 10pm with advanced tickets selling at US$15 and US$20 at the gate. Artists to expect include Max Vima, Cool Crooners, The Travellers Band, Victor Kunonga, Vera, Nicholar, Patrick Lupi, Filbert Marowa and Friends. Fans in Bulawayo have been afforded a free show tonight at Alliance Française de Bulawayo and should expect live performances from greats like Mahlaba, George Phahlane, Ngoma iNgoma and Josh Meck all the way from Harare. *Busy Weekend For Ba Sharo* Sungura ace Alick ‘Baba Sharo’ Macheso has four gigs lined up for his legion of fans across the country and in the region this weekend. Tonight he will be in Harare at Warren Park 1 Bar “Pakanzuru” where he will be supported by Amadhuve Sasha and The Madhuve Legacy Band. Admission: $5. Tomorrow he heads to Mutoko for a live performance alongside his sons Esau and Tatenda at Nyamakwere Lodges from 8pm. Admission: $5. On Sunday he will cross the eastern border into Mozambique at Horizonte Lodge in Tete. Admission: 350MTS. The talented artist will finish off his live performances on Monday at Complexo Chakucia, Chitima. Admission: 350MTS *Tammy Moyo In Atlanta Georgia* Amapiano Queen, Tammy Moyo will perform live in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States this Sunday at a gig commemorating 50 years of hip hop music. The gig will also see talented poets showcasing their lyrical prowess on stage. *Sulu, Andy Muridzo @Club Manake* Dendera kingpin Suluman Chimbetu and talented contemporary artist Andy Muridzo promise fireworks with live performances at Club Manake in Ruwa tomorrow. The Gig dubbed “Summer Jamboree Party” is expected to keep fans off their seats all night from 8pm. Admission: $5. *Big Sunday With Sulu, Peter Moyo* Sungura artist Peter Moyo and his Utakataka Express Band will tonight entertain fans at Cresta Oasis with a gig dubbed “Executive Sungura Nite” starting at 6pm. Admission: $5. Tomorrow he will head to Glen View 1 shops, PaGanaz for a live performance from 8pm. Admission: $5. Lastly on Sunday, it will be a fusion of dendera and sungura music as Peter and Suluman Chimbetu (sons of legends) clash at Steak House in Waterfalls for a gig dubbed “Summer Big Sunday from 2pm. Admission: $5. *Allan Chimbetu Serenades Banket* Dendera music crooner Allan Chimbetu will be live on stage tonight at Pelargos Junction Inn, opposite Banket Sports Club from 8pm. Admission: Cover Charge. *Mbeu @Gava’s* Contemporary artist Mbeu will be at Gava’s Restaurant in Harare until 5pm where he will be entertaining revellers during the Chibuku Super Banana sampling promo where there are lots of prizes to be won. *Progress Chipfumo Returns To City Sports Bar* Free-spirited musician Progress Chipfumo and The Sounds of the Motherland will tonight serenade his fans at City Sports Bar, downtown Harare from 8pm. Admission: Cover Charge After this gig, he will head to Bindura’s Club 1160, KwaPiki to light up “Chairman’s Birthday Bash. He will be supported by Dymand and Reflex Mau$a. DJs Fox, Jnr, G Man and Calez will be taking turns on the decks. *Killer T Invades Mutare* Talented dancehall chanter, Killer T will be in Mutare this weekend and promises his fans in Manicaland a worthwhile concert as he performs live at Pick n Save for the Mutare Cup Clash. _If you have any events lined up, do not hesitate to inform us via the link_: *Nhau/Indaba*
2023-09-22 04:51:23 *Hit Amazon Motoring Show Stars Filming In Zimbabwe* Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond have been filming an episode of The Grand Tour in Zimbabwe. The hit Amazon motoring show is entering its fifth season after being paused since 2021 due to Covid-19. Clarkson let the cat out of the bag about their presence in Zimbabwe on Wednesday after posting a picture on Instagram with May and Hammond while standing under the famous Flamboyant Tree in Honde Valley, Manicaland Province. To join our groups follow: “Good to be back,” Clarkson wrote. A picture also emerged online of the trio at a restaurant in the picturesque Eastern Highlands. The former Top Gear stars were first spotted at OR Tambo International Airport after getting off a British Airways flight by a motoring fan on September 17. When the fan using the name Penny Jane wondered what they were doing in South Africa in a post on X, Clarkson replied: “Changing planes.” A crew member then posted a picture on Instagram showing the wing of an Airlink plane, presumably bound for Harare, writing: “Hello Africa.” Clarkson has never hidden his love for Southern Africa, having previously filmed Top Gear in Botswana and Mozambique, and episodes of The Grand Tour in Namibia and South Africa. In April this year, he entered a gift shop in Victoria Falls and told stunned staff that he was looking for a present for his newborn granddaughter. For a long time, an informal ban on the BBC by the Zimbabwe government ensured Top Gear could not be filmed in the country. A military coup in November 2017 ousted the late strongman Robert Mugabe and Clarkson revealed in a December 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly that he was itching to do a programme in Zimbabwe. “I love southern Africa, so filming there is a joy. Now, fingers crossed we’ll be able to go film in Zimbabwe next year now that that’s become available,” Clarkson said. There is something else Clarkson likes about filming in Africa – less stringent health and safety rules. “They simply don’t understand what you mean by health and safety,” he said. “You can do anything you like. Anything is possible. And it’s beautiful, the weather is lovely and you’re uninterrupted by any of the things that curse the western world.” Hit shot … Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s hit motoring show is in its fifth season on Amazon The Grand Tour sees the trio explore exotic parts of the world in an array of vehicles. For the Zimbabwe episode, Clarkson, May and Hammond are driving a blue Lancia Montecarlo; a purple 1974 Triumph Stag and a yellow Ford Capri RS3100. Fans have been speculating online about other locations they are visiting – and many said they would like to see them at the Victoria Falls. “I was hoping to see the Victoria Falls, but that’s literally on the other side of the Eastern Highlands. Alas, we have no idea of their route, where did they start exactly, nor where they are going,” wrote @michaelloda9 on Reddit. Another fan of The Grand Tour was impressed with their choice of the Eastern Highlands to film a segment of the show. “Nyanga is a beautiful place. Mountains, wattle forests, crystal clear rivers that you can drink from. For scenery, I would place it on a par with Scotland. Perhaps less rain,” wrote @JimBean. Well, Victoria Falls is where they might be headed next. An advertisement in the local Chronicle newspaper on Thursday said the Victoria Falls Bridge on the border with Zambia – famous for bungee jumps – will be closed for an hour on September 30. The advert inserted by Emerged Railway Properties Management said the bridge closure between 10.30AM and 11.30AM “is to facilitate a government-sanctioned filming project at the bridge.” Coincidence? We think not! *ZimLive*
2023-09-22 04:50:39 *Kuvimba Sitting On 820K Tonnes Of High Grade Lithium Ore* Zimbabwe's largest resource firm, Kuvimba Mining House (KMH) is sitting on 820 000 tonnes of lithium stockpiles at Sandawana Mines as the group positions itself to benefit from the globally sought after mineral, NewsDay Business can reveal. KMH, which is 65% owned by the government, snapped up Sandawana Mines in 2019 and has so far injected US$56 million, transforming it into one of lithium producers in the world. Zimbabwe is the sixth-largest producer of lithium in the world. To join our groups follow: The mine, once owned by Rio Tinto, was one of the world’s largest emerald mines, before it shut down in 2010 after production collapsed and it lost markets. Addressing journalists after a consultative meeting held with traditional leaders in Zvishavane this week, KMH chief executive officer Simbarashe Chinyemba said the vast lithium stockpiles were of the highest grade. “Our current stockpile is more that 820 000 tonnes of lithium with an average grade of just under 2%. This is high grade lithium we have mined so far,” he said. “Our capacity to mine is greater than 100 000 tonnes per month. This explains the number of stockpiles we have.” Chinyemba underscored that the bulk of resources pumped into reviving Sandawana Mines were mobilised internally, and plans to attract investment capital outside would be of a “strategic nature.” “The majority of resources we have put at Sandawana have been internal. We are still committed to doing that," Chinyemba noted. “Any external resourcing that would happen particularly from a finance side will be of a strategic nature. As you know, in business you want to mix your capital structure between internal and external funding.” Owing to KMH’s capital injections into Sandawana Mines, primarily to undertake comprehensive exploration work, the value of the asset has shot up to between US$2,5 billion and US$3 billion. KMH concluded its first exploration programme at Sandawana Mines in July with an estimated 30 million tonnes of lithium ore extracted. The firm is currently conducting a feasibility study based on plans to set up a beneficiation plant with capacity to process 4,5 million tonnes of lithium annually. KMH has also embarked on rehabilitating and developing infrastructure at Sandawana and surrounding areas. It will construct a 150 kilometres of road network at a cost of US$110 million. KMH has also outlined plans to upgrade the electricity infrastructure from the current 3 megavolt-amperes (MVA) to 20MVA to meet power requirements for the mine. A feasibility study for a 60 megawatts power plant is also on the cards. *NewsDay*
2023-09-22 04:50:24 *Norton MP Tsvangirai Clashes With Schools Over Non-Payment Of Fees* Recently elected Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator, Richard Tsvangirai has been told to “slow down” following his alleged petition discouraging school authorities in his constituency against sending away school kids over fees non-payment. Tsvangirai allegedly petitioned sixteen schools in his constituency. In one of the letters seen by addressed to one of the schools’ SDA Chairperson, the lawmaker warned that education standards in the constituency are at risk due to the errant conduct of sending kids away. To join our groups follow: “It has come to my attention that many students are being sent back home on a daily basis because they have not paid their school fees. In my constitutionally mandated role of legislation and more importantly, in this regard, that of representation, I am deeply disturbed by such developments,” reads the letter in part. The lawmaker said while the fees are important for the schools to function properly, that priority coupled with the need to keep children in schools as part of their basic rights must maintain a sound balance to achieve the constituency’s bright future. “It is in light of this that I write to your good office, requesting a meeting so that we can find clarity and understanding of the issues raised above. I would very much appreciate it if we could come to a favorable understanding,” the letter said. However, some school authorities in the constituency accused Tsvangirayi of jumping the gun. “While we have noted his concerns. Our expectations are that before registering displeasure and reminding us of how important education is, as though to imply that in our capacities as SDAs leaders with students enrolled at the schools are unaware of that, he should have first sought to engage the schools and appreciate how such matters are handled,” an SDA chairperson who preferred anonymity said. The SDA leader argued that sending away learners at all schools is never done unilaterally as it is a result of proper and thorough consultation from fellow parents who in turn mandate SDAs to effect such decisions. He alleged that the letters had also triggered anger in most school administrators and social media groups in the constituency. Contacted for comment, Tsvangirai said the letters he wrote are not confrontational or an order per se, but a mere route towards constructive dialogue. “I wrote these letters in a bid to engage and seek clarity on the matters at hand. I do not think there should be any problem with that,” he said. *NewZW*
2023-09-22 04:50:11 *US Voices Concern Over Post-Election Intimidation In Zimbabwe* The United States of America (USA) government through its embassy in Harare has raised concerns over reports of continued politically motivated violence and intimidation of opposition members in the post-election period. “We are concerned by reports of continued politically- motivated violence and intimidation post-election. To join our groups follow: “Every person, no matter their political affiliation, has the right to live free of fear and to be treated fairly under the law,” reads a post by the embassy on X. Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members among them MPs and councillors have had their properties torched, been abducted and tortured. Opposition spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi on Wednesday said Epworth ward 4 councillor Noel Rungano had been abducted and dumped after he was tortured. “The wife of Epworth Ward 4 councillor Noel Rungano reports that Cllr Rungano was abducted at his home by unknown assailants in the heart of the night. “Our welfare and security departments have tracked and found him severely assaulted. They have since taken him to the hospital. “We continue to denounce political violence & restate the fact that Mr. Mnangagwa could not have won the elections and yet be so bitter and vindictive. We expected him to be celebrating his ‘victory’,’’ Mkwananzi said. Sunningdale MP Maureen Kademaunga, recently appeared in court on charges of attempted murder and malicious damage to property that were later dropped by the State. “There’s a broad crackdown against the opposition, which includes the use of law enforcement and the judiciary,” human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart said after her release. A local councillor for CCC Womberaiishe Nhende and a relative were allegedly pulled out of their car by an unidentified man, shot with a stun gun and handcuffed. The two were bundled into a pickup truck and driven about 70 kilometers (more than 40 miles) outside of Harare, the capital, where they were whipped, beaten with truncheons and interrogated, and injected with an unknown substance, their lawyers say. CCC released a video showing Nhende’s sjamboked back. *NewZW*
2023-09-22 04:48:38 *...As Ramaphosa Says Sadc Did Not Invalidate Zim Elections* Election observers from the Southern Africa Development Community did not invalidate Zimbabwe’s elections but merely pointed to challenges that will be addressed at the appropriate time by relevant authorities, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said. President Ramaphosa, who is in the United States attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that the challenges that were raised by various observer missions are not unique to Zimbabwe but have been recorded even in the US. “If one looks at that report, it actually says there were challenges with regards to a number of things that have got to do with the election. Many countries throughout the world have such challenges; the United States is a prime example with regard to the last election. To join our groups follow: “They (observers) have said in the report, as I read it, that certain things need to be improved. They have not declared the election as invalid, unfree, and unfair; they have highlighted certain challenges.” President Ramaphosa said what the observers have is a draft report that will be submitted at the SADC next summit to be held in Harare around June next year. “Where there is lack of transparency, they (observers) need to come up with the details and I would say, yes, let the details be put forward so that we can deal with them. “So, we are waiting to receive that report at the SADC level so that we can deal with it because if anything, it was an interim report. So, once the report is put to the SADC body, we will then debate it and we will also hear representations from Zimbabwe as well as the SADC observer mission.” Recently, the South African President called for a fair judgment on Zimbabwe’s electoral processes saying worldwide, elections can never be held and concluded without glitches. He said most general elections not only on the African continent but the world over were marred by contestations and disputes among political parties and their candidates, so contestations in Zimbabwe should not be blown out of proportion. “The issue of democratic elections, elections are quite messy most of the time. There is no real perfect election I can tell you that. This is the contestation amongst candidates and parties, and it often results in disputes and doubts and certain practices not being fully adhered to. It happens all over the world even in what we could say it’s a big democracy, America, I mean look what happened in the last election in America, those who claim that they are the best democracy in the world, it also happens to them,” said President Ramaphosa. “So, let’s not really harshly judge the outcome of elections in our continent, I think the participants of the countries that go through these elections often say they listen very carefully to election observers and they pick up a lot of lessons, experiences and recommendations and advice, similarly that’s what would be happening in the most recent election on our continent which is Zimbabwe.” *Herald*
2023-09-22 04:48:22 *SA Opposition Leader Accuses Ramaphosa, ANC Of “Siding With Dictatorship”* South Africa is bearing the brunt of leadership ineptitude of Zimbabwe’s ruling party Zanu PF which has led to migration chaos overburdening the country’s social services. These are the sentiments of South Africa’s opposition leader Mmusi Maimane who castigated President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stance against Zimbabwe’s sanctions at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recently. Maimane accused Ramaphosa and the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) “siding with dictatorship” To join our groups follow: “You are on the wrong side of history and are hurting both South Africans and Zimbabweans by supporting this dictator. You have chosen to stand with the oppressor. “South Africa pays the price for the dictatorship in Zimbabwe. We pay in healthcare, in housing and social services,” said Maimane. South Africa is home to an estimated 700 000 Zimbabweans with many undocumented trekking down south in search of greener pastures. Some Zimbabweans in South Africa are living in dire straits with many resorting to find shelter in abandoned buildings as they run away from economic malaise up north. On Monday Ramaphosa while addressing at UNGA said his country has been overwhelmed with Zimbabweans as a result of illegal sanctions imposed on the Southern African country by the West. “The sanctions that are also being applied against South Africa’s neighbour, Zimbabwe, should also be lifted as they are imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans, but also have a collateral negative impact on neighbouring countries as well such as my own country, South Africa,” said Ramaphosa. *NewZW*
2023-09-22 04:48:04 *Poll Dispute: Mbeki Urges Mnangagwa To Do 'What’s In The Best Interests Of Zimbabweans’* Former South African president Thabo Mbeki says President Emmerson Mnangagwa should ask himself “what’s in the best interests of Zimbabweans?” in order to move the country forward after disputed elections last month. Speaking to the SABC in New York, United States, where he is attending meetings at the United Nations, Mbeki offered no solutions to the current crisis but appeared to suggest that a power sharing government – like the one he brokered in 2009 – can resolve the political crisis which is harming Zimbabwe’s prospects of ending an unrelenting economic crisis. To join our groups follow: “In 2008 when the Zimbabweans could see that the elections had not produced a winner, they decided let’s get together as Zimbabweans for five years and see what we can do together,” Mbeki said in the interview broadcast Thursday. “What must inspire you is not to say I’m a leader of the people of South Africa or ANC president, but to say ‘what would be in the best interests of the country?’… People are holding onto political positions. What’s in the best interests of Zimbabweans in a situation of this kind?” Drawing parallels with his own removal as ANC president, Mbeki said he could have put up resistance – as Mnangagwa is doing with SADC observer mission findings – but in the end decided to “go along with the wrong decision” triggered by the ruling of a judge who said he and others in his government were involved in a political conspiracy to criminally charge his then deputy, Jacob Zuma. “In the interests of what happens to South Africa, I thought it was best to say let’s go along with this wrong decision, because to have said ‘No’, to say ‘I’m not going,’ would have created an enormous crisis,” he said. Mbeki said SADC troika chairman Hakainde Hichilema, the Zambian president, still needs to make a decision on the report of the SADC election observer mission which concluded that the elections did not meet regional and international standards on democratic elections. He told the SABC: “I’ve not been very close to the Zimbabwe (election) processes. But as far as I know, after the SADC observers had made their comments virtually saying as far as they are concerned the elections were not representative of popular opinion, and submitted their report to the chairman of the SADC organ President Hichilema of Zambia, I don’t know what happened after that. I would presume that then the SADC organ would have had to study the report and make a decision or suggest what is to be done. “After the 2008 elections which were very disputed, and then the second round of the presidential elections was marked by a lot of violence, the Zimbabwe parties agreed that the only way to respond to this reality is that we must come together in a government of national unity. It was a response to what had happened during the elections.” The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said Mnangagwa won the August 23 elections with 52 percent, while rival Nelson Chamisa polled 44 percent. Foreign observers noted widespread intimidation, arrests of local election monitors to stop parallel vote tabulation, disruption of opposition rallies by the police, compromised judges and a lack of transparency by ZEC which has swatted calls to publish analysable polling station results. Mnangagwa has named a cabinet and is determined to lead the country for what is his second and final five-year term, but Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change is demanding a re-run of the vote under SADC and African Union supervision. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Mnangagwa sought meetings with SADC chairman Joao Lourenco, the president of Angola; South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa and Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi in what appeared to be a desperate push to win their backing as his government continues a relentless charge to undermine the report of the SADC observers. Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party are concerned that Hichilema – who boycotted the inauguration in Harare on September 4 – could trigger an extraordinary summit to discuss the observer mission report and in the process raise questions about his legitimacy. *ZimLive*
2023-09-22 04:46:57 *...Slams West's Hypocrisy, Sanctions* President Mnangagwa has condemned the double standards of some powerful nations that preach peace, human rights, good governance and democracy during the day but clandestinely sponsor conflicts and unconstitutional changes of Government under the cover of darkness for selfish interests. In his address to the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States yesterday, President Mnangagwa told the world how Zimbabwe peacefully held its elections and produced an outcome that reflects the will of the people. The general debate is being held under the theme, “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability for all”. To join our groups follow: “Zimbabwe continues to entrench democracy, constitutionalism, good governance, and the rule of law, following the recently held 2023 Harmonised General Elections. “I am pleased to highlight that our country enjoyed peace, before, during and after our free, fair, transparent and credible elections,” the President said. During the recently held harmonised elections, President Mnangagwa and his party Zanu PF won by a landslide. However, some Western countries produced adverse post-election reports as the results did not go in favour of their preferred candidates. In his remarks at UNGA, the President slammed such conduct from some powerful states as that is a threat to multilateralism and the Charter of the United Nations. “We strongly condemn tendencies by some powerful countries who preach peace, human rights and democracy and yet clandestinely fund conflicts and the unconstitutional changes of governments, for their own narrow interests. “We, further, condemn the use of unilateral and illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool at the disposal of some powerful nations, such as those sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and countries like Cuba. Such actions hamper the trust, global solidarity and multilateralism we desire. It is important that we channel our collective efforts towards building peace and driving forward our development agenda, for shared prosperity. There is much more that unites us, than that which divides us.” The country has been under crippling economic sanctions that were imposed by the Western world as chastisement for the land reform programme that redressed colonial land imbalances. “Zimbabwe has been under the illegal, unilateral economic sanctions for 23 years, imposed by some Western countries. These sanctions were designed to subjugate the sovereign will of the Zimbabwean people. We, therefore, demand that the unjustified unilateral sanctions be unconditionally lifted, including those imposed on countries like Cuba. We remain grateful for the support and solidarity of progressive countries in the comity of nations,” President Mnangagwa said. For the inclusive development of the world, he said, it is imperative to recommit to the “United Nations Charter, multilateralism, solidarity, justice and the peaceful settlement of disputes for sustainable development and a shared future”. “This calls on us all to respect the sovereign equality of nations, big or small, poor or rich. By working together, we can harness our expertise and learn from one another to strengthen international institutions for the accelerated attainment of Agenda 2030. The impact of conflicts, terrorism, climate change-induced natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and the rising prevalence of disease and pandemics, especially in the developing world, deserve our urgent attention. “Regrettably, progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals has been uneven, while global solidarity has been tested and self-interest superseded co-operation. We have a duty to reignite our commitment to the principles of the 2030 Agenda and rekindle the spirit of multilateralism.” Sanctions aside, the President told the global interactive Indaba that Zimbabwe has made huge strides in the economic empowerment and emancipation of its citizens, achieving sustained economic growth, the highest in the region, and also food security both at household and national levels. “In spite of these debilitating sanctions, the people of Zimbabwe have become masters of their own destiny. This is anchored on a philosophy that as a people, we have the duty and responsibility of developing our country, using our own domestic resources. Partners and investors are welcome, guided by our own vision and national priority areas. “We are recording unprecedented development and economic success milestones. For the last three years, our country has been the fastest-growing economy in our Southern African region. “Further, Zimbabwe is prioritising the eradication of poverty and improving the quality of life of our people, particularly, those in rural areas. The empowerment and capacitation of communal and small-scale farmers have seen us realise food and nutrition security at both household and national level. With effect from this year, our country will become a net exporter of wheat,” he added. To accelerate action on the SDGs, President Mnangagwa said the world must scale up investments in people and communities by ensuring access to quality education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation for all. He said the creation of economic opportunities, decent jobs and entrepreneurship, especially among women and the youth, must remain a priority for the world to achieve Agenda 2030. For sustainable development to take place, the President added that there is a need to reform global financial institutions to unlock funding for developing countries. “The current exclusionary architecture, dominated by a few States, is failing to deliver the requisite resources for countries to finance their developmental priorities and other pressing health and environmental challenges. The shortcomings in the last round of SDR allocations, should be addressed. “Zimbabwe supports the Stimulus Package proposed by the United Nations Secretary-General. We further call for the long-term concessional loans, increased access to unused Special Drawing Rights, as well as the use of modalities such as debt cancellation and restructuring as stimulus for developing countries to grow their economies and build greater resilience.” He also reiterated his call for the establishment of a fair and inclusive global security architecture saying the maintenance of peace and security should never be the preserve of a privileged few. *Herald*
2023-09-22 04:46:45 *Re-Election Was "Credible" ED Tells World Leaders At UNGA* President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described his re-election last month as a product of a “credible” poll, telling world leaders Thursday his administration has “entrenched good governance” and brought “unprecedented development” in Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa was delivering his address at the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York. To join our groups follow: The Zimbabwean strongman has earned criticism at home for stifling free poll campaigns with the enjoyment of other basic freedoms still being curtailed. His recent re-election has been flagged as fraudulent by regional and international poll observer groups that oversaw Zimbabwe’s controversial plebiscite. However, Mnangagwa was still able to tell the world the poll was free and fair. “Zimbabwe continues to entrench democracy, constitutionalism, good governance and the rule of law, following the recently held 2023 harmonised general elections. “I am pleased to highlight that our country enjoyed peace, before, during and after our free, fair, transparent and credible elections,” he said. As has become the norm with Zimbabwean leaders at the UN summit, Mnangagwa urged the scrapping of sanctions imposed against the country by the West at the turn of the century. He said the measures imposed two decades ago “were designed to subjugate the sovereign will of the Zimbabwean people”. Mnangagwa said sanctions have not stopped Zimbabwe from using its own domestic resources to leverage “unprecedented development and economic success”. “We are recording unprecedented development and economic success milestones,” he said. “For the last three years, our country has been the fastest growing economy in our Southern African region. “Further, Zimbabwe is prioritizing the eradication of poverty and improving the quality of life of our people, particularly, those in rural areas.” However, despite claims of economic success by their leader, a great majority of Zimbabweans are still struggling for basics such as daily meals. The country battles recurrent power outages while the once self-sufficient working class has been forced to take up extra and often degrading forms of generating income to supplement tiny wages. *ZimLive*
2023-09-22 04:44:22 *...As CCC Says Stance Is A Grand Looting Gimmick* Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Fadzayi Mahere says the move by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to amend the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Act on Wednesday is a ploy to loot public funds “without any restrictions”. In an X post on Thursday, Mahere said ‘’President Mnangagwa’s amendment of this law was illegal, as it breached Parliament’s section 134 of the Constitution. “Mr Mnangagwa’s “amendment” of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Act “legalises” looting on a grand scale.” Under Statutory Instrument SI 156 of 2023, Mahere said, ‘’the new Section 20A allows them (Mnangagwa’s administration) to loot ‘without restriction’ and in USD. “He has usurped the lawmaking function of Parliament in breach of section 134 of the constitution.” President Mnangagwa in terms of section 2 of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act Regulations, amended the Sovereign Wealth of Zimbabwe Act and renamed it to Mutapa Investment Fund which shall constitute a board known as Mutapa Investment Fund Board. To join our groups follow: Under section 20A Transfer of funds and in respect of the investments made under the new Act, the Fund may without restriction or delay in a freely convertible currency transfer funds into and out of Zimbabwe. ‘’Contributions to capital, such as principal and additional funds to maintain, develop or increase its investment; proceeds, profits from the assets, dividends, royalties, patent fees, licence fees, technical assistance and management fees, shares and other current income resulting from any investment of the Fund under this Act; proceeds from the sale or liquidation of the whole or part of an investment or property owned by the Fund; payments made under a contract entered into by the Fund, including payments made pursuant to a loan agreement; earnings and other remuneration of foreign personnel legally employed in Zimbabwe by the Fund or in connection with an investment of the Fund or any transfer of funds shall be allowed only after paying all tax obligations imposed on the amount,’’ read part of the new Section of the SI. Mahere added Mnangagwa amended the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act under SI 156 of 2023 to “give himself the power” to exempt certain public transactions from application of the Act. Amendment of section 3 of Cap. 22:23, Section 3 (“Application of Act”) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act [Chapter 22:22] is amended by the insertion of the following provision to subsection (6). “Provided that a declaration under this subsection may be published as soon as possible after the event which gave rise to it if the event happened in the context of a natural or other disaster or other emergency.” Insertion of subsection after subsection (8): The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in consultation with the Authority, and by notice in the Gazette, may exempt from the application of this Act a prescribed public entity operating in competitive markets or which is managed under a management contract by a third party which is not a public entity and which third party owns not less than thirty per centum of the entire issued shares of that public entity, for such period as shall be specified in the notice.” President Mnangagwa through the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) has over the past five years put in place more than 300 Statutory Instruments (SIs). *NewZW*
2023-09-22 04:43:44 *New Mutapa Fund Takes Over Shares In 20 Entities* The Government shareholding in a large block of 20 State-owned companies has been transferred to the Mutapa Investment Fund, the upgraded and renamed Sovereign Wealth Fund, including mines, major power stations, the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe, NetOne and TelOne, Cottco and Zupco. This vesting converts the Mutapa Investment Fund into a huge entity with assets worth billions of dollars overseen by the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion, but with a board of 10 members. In a Statutory Instrument gazetted on Tuesday, President Mnangagwa invoked his Presidential Powers to temporarily amend the Investment Laws to rename and upgrade the old Sovereign Wealth Fund and transfer the shares in the 20 State-owned enterprises to the Mutapa Fund. Some of the newer entities, such as Kuvimba Mining House, were set up with the Government shares already held by the old Sovereign Wealth Fund, but many arose a couple of decades ago from the conversion of parastatals into State-owned companies. To join our groups follow: The State-owned shares in these now move to the Mutapa Fund. The original Sovereign Wealth Fund, created in 2014, was designed to build up a portfolio of State-owned investments for the benefit of future generations. These could be in companies owned entirely by the State, or in joint ventures with outside or private shareholders. It is a State-owned investment fund established from the balance of payment surpluses, official foreign currency operations, the proceeds of privatisation, Government transfer payments, fiscal surpluses and resource earnings. The fund was created in 2014 following the enactment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act, but was only funded when the Second Republic decided to make budgetary provisions and resurrect what had been just a name without any assets. While President Mnangagwa used his temporary powers to make the changes, Parliament will be asked to make these permanent sometime over the next six months before they fall away. “There is hereby established a Sovereign Wealth Fund, to be known as the ‘Mutapa Investment Fund.’ The fund is a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its own name and, subject to this Act, doing everything that bodies corporate can do by law,” reads the new law. The State-owned shareholdings transferred to the Mutapa Investment Fund are those in: Defold Mine, Zupco, Kuvimba Mining House, Silo investments, National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, Cold Storage Commission Limited, Petrotrade, People’s Own Savings Bank, NetOne, National Railways of Zimbabwe, TelOne, Arda Seeds, Zimbabwe Power Company, PowerTel Communications, Allied Timbers, Telecel, Air Zimbabwe, Industrial Development Corporation, Cottco and Hwange Colliery Company. The regulations provide for the establishment of a board of the fund which will be constituted by 10 members and the procedure within which it will be appointed. The board consists of the top two staff, the chief executive and the chief investment officer, plus eight others members, including the chairperson, appointed by the President after consulting the Finance Minister. Members need to be people of recognised integrity, have proven competence in finance, investment, economics, business management or law, and represent the diversity of the peoples and communities of Zimbabwe. The board also has to be gender balanced. Members of Parliament cannot sit on the board given their oversight role, and neither can those with criminal records. Half the board need to be men and half women, with the chairperson and deputy chairperson of different genders. The regulations spell out how the fund will be used by empowering the board to invest those funds not immediately required for use. The shares held by the Government of Zimbabwe (whether in the name of the Government or on its behalf by any named Minister or Ministry) in the 20 listed companies became vested in Mutapa Investment Fund on Tuesday and form part of the initial capital of the fund without any transfer, conveyance or other instrument, reads the regulations. Within 21 days, the shareholder register of the 20 concerns will need to show the change, and the 20 entities will need to deliver to the fund’s chief executive officer the appropriate share certificates issued in the name of the Mutapa Investment Fund. The Fund has been found to be necessary in any economy as a way of ensuring inter-generational equity such that current wealth can be passed on to future generations. It will become more handy given the country’s endowment with its natural resources such as gas, lithium, gold among others. The Fund will also be used as a way to create the Government balance sheet to put value to State assets. *Herald*
2023-09-22 04:43:31 *Brito Bags Warriors Top Job* The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has appointed Brazilian-born Highlanders coach, Baltermar Brito as interim manager of the country’s senior men’s team. He will be assisted by Bongani Mafu and Genesis Mangombe. “The Normalisation Committee (NC) settled for the trio after an extensive recruitment and consultative process based on regional, continental, and global confederations’ guidelines. The NC set the coaches’ term of engagement to end at the same time with its mandate so that the next board will have the opportunity to recruit its own coaches,” ZIFA said in a statement on Thursday. To join our groups follow: According to ZIFA, Brito, who holds the UEFA Pro coaching license, will lead the Warriors in an invitational match to celebrate Botswana’s Independence Day next week. Thereafter, the gaffer will take the squad to the African Nations Championships next month and the World Cup qualifiers in November among other assignments until June 2024. *NewsDay*
2023-09-21 19:24:46 *Zanu PF Activists Jailed For Protesting At HQ* Twelve Zanu PF activists who caused a scene at their party headquarters on Tuesday calling for the removal of the Harare Youth League chairman Emmanuel Mahachi have appeared in court charged with public violence. To join our groups follow: Melisa Master, 27, Ireen Makuvire, 50, Ernest Thuola, 35, Tinashe Nheya, 27, Prince Chatendeuka, 36, Tafara Rusere, 30, Edson Chabvuta, 30, Larson Masenda, 43, Rosewiter Munhava, 34, Wellington Mutsvangwa, 32, Blessed Kadumba, 28, and Portia Mhishi 35 were remanded in custody pending a bail hearing. They briefly appeared Harare magistrate Apolonia Marutya. Prosecutors say the group went to Zanu PF headquarters on September 19 demanding the removal of Mahachi from his post. “The accused persons unlawfully… disturbed the peace, security or order of the public by chanting Zanu PF party slogans and chanting ‘Mahachi must go,’ ‘Pasi neGwekwerere’,” according to the prepared charge sheet. “They were wearing black T-shirts inscribed ‘Mahachi must go’. The accused persons were told by the police to stop what they were doing but they turned a deaf ear and continued to act in common purpose to disturb the peace.” *ZimLive*
2023-09-21 17:51:59 *Cop Caged For Stealing Copper Cables From President's Precabe Farm* A police officer stands accused of theft involving copper cables and solar panels from both President Mnangagwa's Precabe Farm and the adjacent Brownland Farm. Musa Mukuli, aged 40 and a member of the police intelligence division stationed at Nehanda police camp, allegedly engaged in theft of copper cables from these neighboring farms located in the Sherwood Block. He purportedly committed these acts in the company of three other accomplices, who are currently evading capture. Mukuli's criminal activities came to a halt when he tried to steal solar panels from Brownland Farm. Alert security personnel apprehended him during the attempt. To join our groups follow: Mukuli has appeared before Kwekwe Magistrate Ms. Samukelisiwe Gumbo, facing charges of violating provisions of the Electricity Act. He has been remanded in custody until September 22. According to the prosecution, on September 7, Mukuli, along with his three accomplices, namely Brandon Ncube, William Wurayayi, and an individual identified as Jameson, targeted Precabe Farm. They stole copper cables from a water pump house, but their actions were interrupted by vigilant security personnel. While the others managed to flee, Mukuli wrestled with the security officers, overpowering them and making his escape. Subsequently, on September 14, around 11 PM, the group conspired to steal solar panels from Brownland Estate Farm. They removed three 335-watt solar panels supplying power to a borehole and concealed them in a nearby bush. However, security personnel from neighboring Precabe Farm detected their activities and tracked them down. As they attempted to flee in a Honda Fit vehicle, security personnel apprehended Mukuli, while the other three managed to escape. Interviews conducted by authorities led to the recovery of the stolen solar panels, which were hidden in a bush near the scene, establishing a connection between the solar panel theft and the earlier copper cable theft. The security personnel subsequently referred Mukuli to the Criminal Investigation Department in Kwekwe, culminating in his appearance in court. The State was represented by Ms. Michelle Daraja. *Chronicle*
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2023-09-21 09:41:04 *Currency Conundrum Hits Industry* Industry is struggling to deal with the growing dichotomies, particularly with regards to currency conundrum as it is getting harder to forecast business outcomes, captains of industry have warned. The executives asserted that they were working overtime in a bid to tide over the country’s currency crisis and vigorously pushing the government to develop a clear de-dollarisation roadmap , as failing to do so would cause serious macro-economic difficulties that would have a terrible impact on business. To join our groups follow: The government in 2020 announced a de-dollarisation roadmap outlining how the economy will transition over a period of five years up to 2025. The executives, however, are advocating for the multi-currency’s existence to be maintained past 2025, saying that the Zimbabwe dollar’s status as the country’s sole legal tender should be supported by sound local currency fundamentals. “Topping the list is the need to genuinely deal with the boomerang effects of monetary and fiscal threats, with the government of Zimbabwe immediately coming clean on the state of the de-dollarisation strategy in the context of the usage of both local and foreign currencies. “We strongly believe that monetary stability remains a cornerstone to business sustainability, particularly as we struggle to deal with legacy issues of value erosion, extraordinarily high corporate mortality rate, high taxes, death of individual savings, a crippling exchange rate regime and high inflation,” CEO Africa Roundtable chairman Oswell Binha said. He added: “Whilst the National Development Strategy [NDS]1 places a cap of 2025 to mark the end of multi-currencies in Zimbabwe, monetary economists and the business sectors believe the country is not yet ready for a Zimbabwe dollar as a mono-currency. Zimbabwe’s currency crisis can be checked by extending multi-currency usage up to 2030, unlocking the credit market necessary for medium to long-term financing.” The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Kurai Matsheza weighed in saying currency issue remains a topical issue in this country and must be dealt with forthwith to inspire confidence. “We have had difficulties over the past years and we need a clear roadmap as to where we are heading before we become clueless in 2025. The year 2025 has been set as the deadline by which the multicurrency system will end. We need to create and follow through the clear roadmap of what it is that we want to do as a country towards addressing currency issues,” Matsheza said. He said the government should be the best promoter of the local currency and the bulk of the taxes should be demanded in Zimbabwe dollar so that the authorities can encourage the use of the local currency. “Lets have a clear roadmap on the Zimbabwe dollar, if we rush it, this may cause other dislocations in the economy. There is a huge need for some steps that encourage the use of the domestic currency,” he said. The national public debt, which is over US$17bn the unfavorable current and trade balances, the rising political risk, the problems with the energy supply, and the dynamic geopolitical risks, according to Binha, continue to be threats to the growth and sustainability of the Zimbabwean economy. “Of concern is (also) the puzzle of the split between local and external debt, particularly the inability of the country to repay accumulating arrears and penalties in the process, which has an irreparable dent to the achievement of medium policy objectives. The country has formal structures, processes and procedures which, if followed, will result in optimal management of the country’s debt. We risk running an insolvent government if debt contraction is not checked. “We believe that government commitment to follow the established and tested macroeconomic management processes will have a knock-on effect on re-establishing lost trust and confidence. The country must be seen to be rewarding hard, honest work. The Roundtable remains at your disposal for robust discussions on these, among other issues. We will continue to provide guidance to you and the entire team at the ministry (of industry and commerce). We do have important feedback from several investment missions we have undertaken during the life of the new dispensation, most of which are relevant as you embark on another journey beyond NDS1,” Binha said. Matsheza expressed concern about how the state of the economy as a whole will be impacted by the declining industry performance. “You are taking over an industry that has been on a decline as the industry is now contributing just above 11 % of the Gross Domestic Product from 25%. In an economic transformation of a country, industrial transformation should be at the centre of that as without it the country will not develop the way we want,” Matsheza said. *BusinessTimes*
2023-09-21 09:40:36 *"Tame The Traffic Jungle" Becomes Cash Cow For Corrupt Cops* Rogue police officers have taken advantage of the ongoing blitz dubbed “Tame the Traffic Jungle” to take bribes from desperate motorists, Business Times has established. Investigations this week show that while the police were intensifying the blitz that has so far seen over 500 drivers arrested for operating without road permits, at least 250 for reckless driving and over 7000 for operating pirate taxis, some details have been soliciting and receiving bribes ranging between US$5 to US$10, even more for serious offences. To join our groups follow: Over 19000 have been arrested for various offences under the operation that has seen police collaborating with local authorities and various arms of government to restore order in the city that they say had become a “jungle” to lawlessness mainly exhibited by motorists. Business Times witnessed several cases where police received bribes in different parts of Harare including the central business district, Warren Park suburb, along Chiremba Road, Kambuzuma and other areas. Along Chiremba road, one of our reporters took time to observe and captured on camera the police officers in action taking bribes from motorists. Two police officers manned what appeared to be a suspicious roadblock close to OK Mart and upon stopping the vehicles, the two took turns to direct motorists to a nearby post where they placed the bribe money as the cops avoided being caught with cash in their pockets as it constitutes a criminal offense. A quick check by our reporter showed that the drivers would hide the money behind huge stones as directed by the police officers who would later collect the money at the end of the shift. In a space of 20 minutes, over five people had visited the “cashbox” to deposit money. Evidently, even ramshackle commuter omnibuses were allowed passage despite the condition of their vehicles. It later emerged the operators would have paid different amounts of money to the police manning roadblocks for them to be allowed a day’s shift unhindered. This also happened in several parts of the city where motorists, in separate interviews confirmed the deed. One of the reporters witnessed cops demanding bribes in Kambuzuma, close to Thuli Service station. “Our vehicle was flagged down by two police officers who claimed the vehicle was overloaded. We were four in the back and two in the front seat, the driver being the third. The driver went out, briefly spoke to the police officers, came back to collect money then went back to them again,” the witness said. “After paying, we proceeded with our journey as if nothing had happened,” she added. The police have also devised a new trick to avoid being caught with bribe money by their superiors through working in cahoots with some kombi crews and taxi drivers who will pass on the loot to them after duty. Also in the scheme are airtime and newspaper vendors operating within their vicinity who were used to keep safe money clandestinely collected from errant kombi crews in case their bosses pounce on them. Another act of corruption was seen along Harare-Bulawayo Road in Warren Park where police, who were supposed to be executing the blitz were heard soliciting for bribes. Victims of the bribe-taking cops included unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles who were allowed passage after paying. “I was driving a vehicle without the ZINARA license so I argued with them that I could not spare any money to give them since I was already on my way to pay. One of them forced himself in my car and I offered US$10 and I was allowed to pass,” one of the victims said. This is not the first time police have been involved in corrupt activities. In 2014, a police sergeant based at Mazowe Police Station was found dead in a suspected case of suicide after he failed to account for cash recovered from his car at a roadblock along Harare-Bindura highway during a spot-check by one of his superiors. Six police officers were arrested in Epworth in 2016 after they were caught with unaccounted for cash by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC). National Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the long arm of the law will catch up with all bribe-seeking cops and bribe-offering motorists. “We are monitoring the situation and if there are police officers asking for bribes, if they are members of the public, especially motorists who are offering bribes, we will effect arrests.” *BusinessTimes*
2023-09-21 04:50:35 *Health Ministry Official In The Dock For Abusing Vehicle Rebate Facility* Two employees of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare yesterday appeared in court on charges of violating the Government’s scheme allowing civil servants to import vehicles duty free. Driver Samuel Gerald Doma and general hand Ruzvidzo Bote were facing fraud charges when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa who remanded them out of custody on $100 bail. To join our groups follow: In 2019, the Government introduced the civil servants motor vehicle rebate scheme which is governed by Statutory Instrument 52 of 2019 of Customs and Exercise [General] [Amendment] Regulations, 2019 in which civil servants who had served in the civil service for 10 years and above were allowed to import motor vehicles up to a specific value for each employment grade without paying import duty. After purchasing vehicles of their choice from abroad, eligible civil servants would attach their motor vehicle purchase invoices to an application for rebate which they submit through their ministry who in turn would make recommendations to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for the issue of a letter of authority granting the civil servant the rebate to import the vehicle under the facility. The civil servant would then be required to take the issued letter of authority and attach an application to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for the rebate clearance letter. Armed with that Zimra letter, when the vehicle arrived at the border, the civil servant would then submit the rebate clearance letter to ZIMRA customs official at the border to allow the vehicle to enter into the country without paying import duty as long as the value of the vehicle fall within that set for the grade of that civil servant. It is alleged that sometime around November 2022 Bote bought a Nissan Latio motor vehicle in Musina and started the process of getting the rebate on customs duty. He asked Doma for help since Doma is also into part-time business of buying and importing of vehicles on behalf of people. Bote then gave Doma his application for rebate and all documentation necessary so that he took them to their Ministry of Health and Child Care head office in Harare. Sometime in December last year, Bote then asked Doma how to speed up the process since authorisation from Ministry of Finance was taking long. Doma then indicated that he could sort things out. He took the motor vehicle purchase invoice and bill of lading from Bote and proceeded to generate a fake rebate letter in the name of Bote and delivered it to him. Further to their common purpose Bote then proceeded to present the fake rebate to Zimra officials at Beitbridge for the pre-clearance procedure knowingly that he had not been cleared by Ministry of Finance. But the Zimra officials let in the 2013 Nissan Latio belonging to Bote duty free through the fraudulent rebate letter. The state alleges that as a result of the misrepresentation ZIMRA suffered an actual prejudice for the duty not paid which Is yet to be quantified. The vehicle has since been seized by ZIMRA. *Herald*
2023-09-21 04:50:23 *CCC Kicked Out Of Rented Property* Opposition CCC, whose leader Mr Nelson Chamisa cannot account for the US$2,5 million received from donors ahead of the August harmonised elections, has been kicked out of rented property in Belvedere, Harare, The Herald can report. Mr Chamisa, who leads a party without structures nor constitution, now finds himself at the apex of a formation with no fixed abode after he was ejected from the Belvedere house due to failure to pay rentals. Having lost control of the former united MDC headquarters, Harvest House in central Harare, the CCC has been hopping from one rented house to another, and often the party leaves the properties amid threats from irate landlords over non-payment of their dues. Apparently, this is the same situation in Belvedere where Mercy Dunatuna Muvhundusi (MDM) Attorneys, who are representing the unnamed clients, gave Mr Chamisa and his workers the marching orders. To join our groups follow: “We represent the property owners of Number 10 Beal Road, Belvedere, Harare. We are advised by our clients that sometime in May 2023 you entered into a verbal agreement in terms of which you were to lease the main house excluding the main bedroom. The rentals for the property were pegged in the sum of US$1 000,00 per month. “Our clients further advise that for the months of July and August 2023, you paid rentals in the sum of US$800,00 instead of the agreed amount of US$1 000,00,” reads the letter in part. Apart from failing to pay the full sum in rentals for the main house, Mr Chamisa also took occupation of a cottage at the same property adding to his bills which he characteristically could not settle. “We are further advised that in September 2023, you took occupation of one of the cottages at the house. The rentals for the cottage and security deposit were in the amount of US$900,00. Despite that you have taken occupation of the cottage, you have failed or neglected to pay the rentals and the security deposit. “You thus owe our clients rental arrears in the total sum of US$1 300,00. As such you are in breach of the lease agreement. As a result of the breach, our clients have decided to cancel the lease agreement with immediate effect. This letter thus serves as notification of cancellation of the lease agreement between yourselves and our client”. With CCC having breached the lease agreement, the property owners are determined to eject the party or they will, through their lawyers, seek further legal remedies. “In light of the fact that you are in breach of the lease agreement, there is no requirement on our part to give you notice to vacate. You are therefore required to vacate our client’s premises forthwith failing which we shall institute legal proceedings against you for your eviction and holding over damages, and the costs of such proceedings at a legal practitioner and client scale shall be to your account. Be guided accordingly,” reads the letter. Recently, it was revealed that the European Union handed Mr Chamisa US$2,5 million when he visited The Netherlands before the elections. Instead of paying polling agents at the more than 12 000 polling stations, Mr Chamisa pocketed the money. The status quo, apart from creating fresh cracks in the opposition party, has also exposed Mr Chamisa’s dictatorial inclinations, proving the Americans, who refused to fund his political campaign because he had no structures and that the party uses his personal account for any transactions, right. *Zimpapers*
2023-09-21 04:50:11 *Zimbabweans Top List Of Arrested Border Jumpers Into South Africa* South Africa’s recently instituted Border Management Authority (BMA) has revealed that 35,000 people have been arrested while trying to sneak into the country since April 1, with Zimbabweans topping their list. The BMA fingered Beit Bridge Border Post as their biggest source of illegal migrants on a list that includes six others such as Maseru and Ficksburg into Lesotho; and Lebombo into Mozambique. To join our groups follow: Speaking on South African news channel eNCA, BMA Commissioner Michael Masiapato said they were confident of successfully putting an end to border jumping along the 250km stretch boundary with Zimbabwe and other ports of entry. “Generally, I would say our border with Zimbabwe which is about 250km in terms of the distance is one of the biggest generators of illegal migrants,” said Masiapato. “That is where the majority of those that were intercepted were trying to enter the country from. “We also have some huge numbers in terms from Lesotho into the Republic.” BMA which started operations on April 1 will be officially launched at the busy Beit Bridge Border Post, where hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have passed legally and illegally headed to South Africa, by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Added Masiapato: ““On the 5th of October in Beit Bridge the President Cyril Ramaphosa is going to officially launch the BMA as a third law enforcement authority. We are confident that it will make a contribution and assist in addressing the problems.” A more than two decade long economic crisis has seen the influx of Zimbabweans not just in South Africa for greener pastures, but other countries across the globe too. An estimated two million are said to have moved to South Africa over the past decade alone, with thousands more leaving each month. Millions are also estimated to have migrated outside Africa where jobs within developed countries’ health sectors are readily available for trained individuals. A relatively stable economy, job opportunities and better living standards have made South Africa a go-to for most Africans, with some coming from as far North as Somalia and as far West as Nigeria. All of these have been deemed excess baggage and accused of straining the country’s public services by various senior officials in the South African government. An operation to flush them out, Operation Dudula, turned violent last year after fuelling xenophobic attacks on foreigners. *NewZW*
2023-09-21 04:49:08 *...Renames Sovereign Wealth Fund To Mutapa* President Emmerson Mnangagwa has changed the name of Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe (SWFZ) to Mutapa Investment Fund through Statutory Instrument (SI) 156 of 2023 gazetted on Wednesday. SWFZ is a State-owned investment fund established from the balance of payment surpluses, official foreign currency operations, the proceeds of privatisation, government transfer payments, fiscal surpluses and resource earnings. To join our groups follow: It was created in 2014 following the enactment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act. “There is hereby established a sovereign wealth fund, to be known as the ‘Mutapa Investment Fund’ ... The fund is a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its own name and, subject to this Act, doing everything that bodies corporate can do by law,” partly reads the Government Gazette. The SI also established a board to administer the fund. It shall consist of the chief executive officer; the chief investment officer; eight members, including the chairperson, appointed by the President after consulting the minister of Finance and Investment Promotion. Mnangagwa used Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Investment Laws Amendment) Regulations, 2023 to change the name. *NewsDay* *Star Africa Workers Resist Retrenchment* Sugar producer Star Africa Corporation Limited has served retrenchment letters to 75 workers, but the workers have refused to sign arguing that their employer’s decision was illegal. The company’s chief executive officer Robson Nyabadza in a letter to one of the employees (name withheld) said the termination was in terms of the employment contract and the law. The contract entered into between starafricacorporation and the retrenched workers could be terminated by either party on three calendar months’ notice. To join our groups follow: “We regret to advise you that the business has decided to terminate your employment contract in terms of the employment contract and the law. Notwithstanding the effective date of the termination, you are hereby directed not to report for work with immediate effect as the company has opted to pay you cash in lieu of notice period,” partly read the retrenchment letter. “The termination benefits due to you will be September salary, three months’ salary in lieu of notice period and cash in lieu of accrued leave, if any. For the avoidance of doubt the three months shall run from October 1 to December 31. The terminal benefits will be paid to you over three months.” Nyabadza could not be reached for a comment yesterday. United Food and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe general secretary Adoniah Mutero confirmed seeing the letters and vowed to challenge the retrenchments. “It’s an unlawful act not supported by any law. The alleged common law was repealed by Amendment No 5 and the current law (Labour Amendment No 11) did not reinstate the abolished common law position,” he said. “In fact, the employer should seek guidance from subsection 4a of section 12 of the Labour Amendment Act. Otherwise, he is just arrogant by making impossible experiments with the law. It’s a futile experiment any(way). We will challenge unilateralism. We are beyond the era of master-servant.” *AMH*
2023-09-21 04:48:53 *President Sends PVO Bill Back To Parly* President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declined to sign the controversial Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill into law, and has sent it back to parliament for reconsideration. United Nations experts had urged Mnangagwa to reject enacting the bill that would severely restrict civic space and the right to freedom of association in the country. The Senate passed the bill on February 1, 2023, and it has been awaiting Mnangagwa’s signature since then. Legal watchdog Veritas, in an update on Wednesday, said Mnangagwa has kicked the bill back to parliament. To join our groups follow: “He has now, according to Parliament’s Status of Bills, sent the bill back to parliament with reservations, in terms of section 131(6) of the Constitution,” Veritas said. “We do not know the president’s reasons for referring the bill back to parliament: whether he considered it unconstitutional, because it certainly is, or whether he had other reservations about it. No doubt his reasons will be explained to the National Assembly in due course.” Rights groups and lawyers had warned that the bill gave disproportionate and discretionary powers to the newly established Office of the Registrar of PVOs. The Registrar’s powers include the ability to consider, grant or reject the registration of PVOs, with little to no judicial recourse against such decisions. The bill’s requirements would also immediately render existing organisations, operating lawfully as trusts and associations, illegal. Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who steered the bill in parliament in the face of fierce resistance by opposition MPs, claimed the bill would stop PVOs from meddling in the country’s political affairs and limit them to their mandate. PVOs that defied the law would be deregistered. “I think parliament has done a good job. The bill was debated and there was general support for [it],” Ziyambi said in February. Veritas said it had not seen the version of the bill that was sent to the president for his signature after a process of tidying up by lawyers in the Attorney General’s office. “Where a bill has been referred back to parliament in terms of section 6(b), the Speaker must without delay convene a sitting of the National Assembly, which must— (a) reconsider the bill and fully accommodate the president’s reservations; or (b) pass the bill, with or without amendments, by a two-thirds majority of the total membership of the National Assembly; and in either case the Speaker must cause the bill to be presented to the president without delay for assent and signature and must give public notice of the date on which the bill was sent to the president,” Veritas said. The section gives the National Assembly only two options. It must either amend the bill so as to meet all the president’s objections and reservations, or it must by a two-thirds majority resolve to override the president’s objections. In either event it must send the bill back to the president who must then, in terms of section 131(8), either assent to the bill or refer it to the Constitutional Court for an opinion as to its validity. Veritas added: “These constitutional provisions are not well thought out: Firstly, the National Assembly has the sole right to decide what to do when the president sends a bill back to parliament: the Senate has no role in the proceedings, even though it may have passed the bill originally.” Veritas says it hopes the National Assembly will abandon the bill, which was met by a chorus of local and international criticism over its restrictive clauses on non-governmental organisations. In February, UN experts voiced concern over the bill, telling Mnangagwa: “It is not too late for the president to change course.” The experts raised concerns about the prohibition of any “political affiliation” and unjustified restrictions on PVOs’ ability to obtain funding, including foreign funds. The vagueness or non-definition of many provisions in the bill also raised concerns that the proposed law will be misapplied. “While one of the stated aims of the Bill is to counter terrorism and money laundering in Zimbabwe, the restrictions contained therein will have a chilling effect on civil society organisations – particularly dissenting voices. By enacting this legislation, authorities would effectively be closing an already shrinking civic space,” the UN experts said. The UN experts submitted an analysis of the bill to the government in 2021, concluding that the law was incompatible with international human rights obligations, in particular the right to freedom of association. *ZimLive*
2023-09-21 04:48:39 *Suspension Of ZEC Funding Will Not Strain Zim-EU Relations: Govt* Government yesterday said the European Union’s withdrawal of financial support to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will not strain Zimbabwe-EU relations. It said ZEC, the body in charge of electoral processes, is funded by the State and other funding partners. The EU announced on Tuesday that it had withdrawn its three-year financial support to the ZEC, worth US$5 million, ostensibly because of irregularities in the August harmonised elections. To join our groups follow: President Mnangagwa was re-elected while the ruling Zanu PF party won a majority of Parliamentary, Senate and local councils countrywide. In a statement last night, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said although the EU has suspended financial support to ZEC, the country will continue to foster cordial relations with all the countries in the global village. “The Government has always maintained the mantra as espoused by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none, which is also in line with our policy thrust of re-engagement and engagement with all the nations and institutions of the world,” said Dr Muswere. “We remain fully committed to working with the various institutions and funding partners, including the European Union. “The ZEC is fully funded by the State through the Consolidated Revenue Fund managed by the National Treasury but the Government has also always welcomed other donor partners whose help is to assist in capacity building and strengthening State institutions.” He said Government has been consistent in providing ZEC with the required funding for elections. “We appreciate efforts by the European Union and other donor partners who have chipped in to assist in capacity building through the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), a vehicle through which donor partners provide electoral assistance.” In a statement on Tuesday, the EU said it was withdrawing funding from ZEC, citing alleged lack of transparency and independence of the electoral body. It said it took the decision based on an adverse report on the August 23 elections by its election observers, and a few other groups, mainly Western, that observed the polls. On its part ZEC said it was grateful for all funding support it received from the EU and recognises that funding partners are at liberty to interact with it within the confines of the Electoral Act and the laws of Zimbabwe as they deem fit. “ZEC wants to reiterate that the support received through ZIM-ECO augments what is provided by the State and thus is not solely dependable on the Project itself,” said the electoral body. In the 2023 election, activities which included voter education, voter registration, voter inspection and polling itself, the Government of Zimbabwe availed millions of dollars against the ZIM-ECO Project support of US$5 million which was projected to cover the tenure of the Project (2022-2024). “The Government of Zimbabwe has been consistent in providing required funding and has never failed to fund elections in any regard.” *Herald*
2023-09-21 04:48:27 *Summit On Zimbabwe Polls To Be Held By SADC: Ramaphosa* SADC is set to summon Zimbabwean authorities and representatives of the SADC election observer mission to discuss contents of a damning report on Zimbabwe’s just-ended elections. This was revealed Wednesday by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa while speaking to SABC on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York. According to the SADC observer mission preliminary report, the Zimbabwean election which ushered President Emmerson Mnangagwa back into power and restored Zanu PF’s parliamentary majority, was fraught with irregularities and did not meet regional and international benchmarks governing the running of credible polls. To join our groups follow: Ramaphosa, who has come under fire at home and abroad for both congratulating and attending Mnangagwa’s inauguration, said the SADC observer mission report merely pointed out challenges to be addressed as opposed to it declaring the Zimbabwean poll as unfree and unfair. “If one looks at that report,” Ramaphosa said, “it actually says there were challenges; challenges with regards to a number of things that have got to do with the election. “Many countries throughout the world have such challenges; the United States is prime example with regards to the last election. “They (observers) have said in the report, as I read it, that certain things need to be improved. “They have not declared the election as invalid, unfree and unfair; they have highlighted certain challenges.” According to the SADC election observer mission report, Zimbabwean institutions key to the running of the controversial poll failed to conduct themselves in an independent and transparent manner. Ramaphosa said, “what was said by representative of the observer mission still got to discussed in SADC because it’s not a final report.” He added, “Those are challenges that need to be addressed. “Well, there is lack of transparency, they (observers) need to come up with the details and I would say, yes, let the details be put forward so that we can deal with them. “So, we are waiting to receive that report at SADC level so that we can deal with it because if anything, it was an interim report. “So, once the report is put to the SADC body, we will then debate it and we will also hear representations from Zimbabwe as well as the SADC observer mission.” Ramaphosa on Tuesday repeated his demands for the unconditional lifting of Western imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in his address to the UN General Assembly. He said sanctions were also hurting his country which was forced to carry their burden of a calamitous Zimbabwean economy in one form or another. The South African leader is viewed a disappointment by both his countrymen and Zimbabweans for failing to use his country’s influential status as a regional leader and a model democracy to deal with the root causes of the troubled neighbour’s endless crisis. *ZimLive*
2023-09-21 04:46:33 *Zifa Eye Mourinho's Friend Brito For Warriors Job* Highlanders look resigned to surrendering Baltemar Brito to the Zifa Normalisation Committee, who are running out of time to appoint a Warriors coach for immediate assignments in CHAN and World Cup qualifiers. The Portuguese coach has emerged the front-runner for the hot seat following a round of interviews conducted by the ZIFA Normalisation Committee in the last few days. And on Tuesday, the Normalisation Committee chairman Lincoln Mutasa wrote to his Bosso counterpart Johnfat Sibanda indicating they were eager to engage the 71-year-old until the end of their tenure in June next year, and pave the way for the incoming ZIFA board to make their own substantive appointments without interference. To join our groups follow: There was no official comment from Bosso last night following a meeting of the executive to discuss an approach by the interim Zifa leadership. “The Normalization Committee would like to request your Executive permission to engage one of your employees in the name of Brito Baltemar Jose Oliveira for a possible appointment as the interim Senior Men National Teams Coach. Whereas he has indicated he is in permanent employ of your esteemed organization. “It is in that light of integrity we hereby pray you shall find it beneficial to release him for envisaged national duty during this interim Normalization period,” wrote Mutasa. Highlanders spokesperson Nozibelo Maphosa said the club was still to respond to ZIFA’s request. “We have received the letter from ZIFA and we are yet to respond to their request. Brito is contracted to Highlanders until the end of the year,” she said. But Bosso chairman Johnfat Sibanda told our Bulawayo Bureau they will not stand in the way of their coach. “This is an honour to us Highlanders and a huge seal of approval to the entire system. We take this with pride hence our non-hesitation to agree to have the coach take up this huge responsibility of driving our senior national team as it resumes its duties after the unfortunate suspension by FIFA,” said Sibanda. Brito is probably the most qualified among the coaches in the domestic league. His curriculum vitae was enhanced by his working associations with legendary Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho. The Bosso coach is a UEFA Pro coaching licence holder with vast experience, having worked as Mourinho’s assistant at FC Porto in Portugal, Chelsea in England, and Inter Milan in Italy. During that spell, he won two UEFA Champions League titles, one UEFA Cup, two English Premier League titles, as many Portuguese and Italian Championships, and one FA Cup. If Bosso grants the request, Brito would need to start work as soon as possible to prepare the Warriors for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers set for November. The news of Brito’s appointment also divided fans yesterday with some in support and the other section pessimistic, as they feel ZIFA should go for a coach with a strong reputation, and drawing comparisons with South Africa’s Hugo Broos and Avram Grant of Zambia. Apart from his associations with long-time friend Mourinho, Brito was not able to entirely establish himself in the world of coaching. At most he has been a nomadic coach, as his online profile shows. In June 2010, he was appointed head coach at C.F. Os Belenenses in the Portuguese second level, but was sacked the following month before the season had even started. He also had stints at Al-Ittihad in Libya and Al-Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates and in May 2013, after a series of poor results, Brito was fired by Grêmio Esportivo Osasco in the fourth tier of the Sao Paulo State football league in Brazil. He returned to Al-Ittihad in 2013-14 season and the following year was assistant at Esperance in Tunisia. He left for Greece after one season to join AEK Athens as assistant for the 2016-17 season. Then in January 2018, Brito became head coach at Union Titus Pétange in the first Luxembourgish league. He left the club in December 2018 and landed another role at Highlanders last year. Brito is contracted to Bosso until the end of the year and will still be a Highlanders employee by the time the Warriors plunge into the World Cup qualifiers in November. Zimbabwe are expected to return to international football when they play Rwanda away from home before they host Nigeria in group encounters of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. They will also play Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, Rwanda and Lesotho with the top team at the end of the round robin qualifiers qualifying to the World Cup finals to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026. The ZIFA Normalisation Committee is also set to appoint the Mighty Warriors coach today. The coach is expected to quickly select the players that will go into camp early next week ahead of the COSAFA Women’s Championship which will run from October 4 to 15 in South Africa. *Zimpapers*
2023-09-21 04:46:17 *Real Madrid Seal Victory Through Injury Time Goal* Jude Bellingham scored an injury-time tap-in as Real Madrid left it late to beat Champions League debutants Union Berlin at the Santiago Bernabeu. Bellingham's strike was his sixth goal in six matches for Madrid since joining Los Blancos this summer. Federico Valverde's 94th-minute shot deflected into the path of the England midfield who tapped into an empty net. To join our groups follow: Union, in their first Champions League match, were unable to respond with just one minute remaining. Carlo Ancelotti chose to play Jude Bellingham in a more advanced number 10 role, and the former Borussia Dortmund and Birmingham City star once again excelled. He was integral to the Spanish La Liga side's creativity in attack as they racked up 22 shots to their opponent's three. And, for the third time already in his Real career, the 20-year-old netted a winner for Los Blancos inside the final 10 minutes. Indeed, without Bellingham's goals Real Madrid would be nine points worse off just six matches into the season. While Real Madrid were lifting the 2017-18 Champions League title, Union Berlin were still in the second tier of German football Real Madrid were deserved winners, having twice hit the post in the second half, although Union looked set for a fairytale draw at the home of the record 14-time winners. The hosts, semi-finalists in last season's competition, started brightly as Joselu headed Bellingham's teasing cross over the bar. But Ancelotti's side failed to kick on in the first period, although they themselves were rarely threatened by the visitors. In the second half, Real were a team transformed as Lucas Vazquez crossed for Rodrygo who struck the outside of the post in the 51st minute with an acrobatic effort. Nine minutes later, Union keeper Frederik Ronnow tipped Joselu's header on to the woodwork. Ronnow also made a series of fine saves to keep out Rodrygo and Luka Modric, while Joselu poked a late volley narrowly wide. But, in the final minute of injury time, Union Berlin failed to deal with a short corner and Valverde's hopeful shot ricocheted into the path of Bellingham, who rolled the ball in from two yards out. Union, who five years ago were playing in the second tier of German football, will hope to bounce back when they host Sporting Braga in their next Champions League Group C match in 13 days' time. Real Madrid travel to face Napoli on the same day. *BBC*
2023-09-21 04:46:01 *...As Arsenal Punish PSV* Arsenal returned to the Champions League in style as they started their first campaign in six years with an impressive win over PSV Eindhoven at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners wrapped up victory in their opening Group B game with a scintillating first half display that saw them race into a 3-0 lead on a rain-soaked night in north London. Bukayo Saka opened the scoring after eight minutes, pouncing on a rebound when PSV keeper Walter Benitez could only push Martin Odegaard's into the England winger's path. Saka was involved again when Arsenal doubled their advantage 12 minutes later, laying the ball perfectly into Leandro Trossard's pass for a smooth low finish after Gabriel Jesus had broken clear. To join our groups follow: Jesus was outstanding and thoroughly deserved to add Arsenal's third seven minutes before half-time with a rising drive that gave Benitez no chance. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made a host of second-half changes with Sunday's derby at home to in-form Tottenham in mind, but his side still retained complete control, and Odegaard made it 4-0 with a powerful 20-yard strike with 20 minutes left. Elsewhere in Group B, French side Lens held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw in Spain as they played in their first Champions League match in 20 years. Arsenal had been waiting for this day since 2017, and the home crowd celebrated their return to the Champions League with a thunderous roar before kick-off as the tournament's anthem rang around Emirates Stadium. And manager Arteta could hardly have wished for a better outcome as Arsenal dominated from the outset, those two early goals emphasising their superiority over PSV and a giving them a control they never looked like relinquishing. Striker Jesus was a perfect leader of the line, scoring one, helping to create another with a surging break, and also forcing a superb diving save out of keeper Benitez after some outstanding footwork. David Raya was again chosen ahead of Aaron Ramsdale in goal, and while he was hardly examined, he showed again why Arteta rates him so highly by demonstrating safe handling in conditions difficult as well as some excellent distribution with the ball at his feet. The added bonus for Arteta was that Arsenal's victory was so comfortable that he was able to make changes early to keep players fresh for that fixture against Spurs on Sunday. Saka, Jesus, Trossard, Declan Rice, and Oleksandr Zinchenko were all given an early night to conserve energies for what is shaping up as one of the biggest games of the Premier League season. The Gunners' spirits could not be higher after following up their vital win at Everton last weekend with a display full of enough of their trademark fluency to outclass their Dutch opponents. *BBC*
2023-09-21 04:45:48 *Bayern Trounce Struggling Man Utd* Manchester United were given a taste of what could have been as Harry Kane helped Bayern Munich to victory over Erik ten Hag's struggling side in a high-scoring and eventful Champions League opener. It was no secret that the Red Devils would have liked to have signed Kane from Tottenham in the summer, but instead England's captain and record goalscorer opted for a career in Germany that has begun in stellar fashion. To join our groups follow: At the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, the 30-year-old claimed both an assist and scored from the penalty spot - after a VAR check to rule Christian Eriksen had handled in the box - to take his tally of goals this season to five in five games in all competitions. It was a timely strike from Kane too as it came just after Rasmus Hojland had scored his first United goal to make it 2-1 early in the second half and give his side some hope of a result. Before that, goalkeeper Andre Onana had undone a disciplined start from the visitors with a shocking error to allow Leroy Sane's drive to slip under him and find the net in the 28th minute. Four minutes later, Serge Gnabry struck low and accurately inside the far corner to make it 2-0. It is to the visitors' credit that they came out swinging to try and make a contest of it but their current fragility and lack of options from the bench as a result of numerous injuries undermined their ability to compete. Casemiro showed dogged determination to smuggle a second in for United to give them a glimmer of hope but Mathys Tel snuffed that out by hammering a Bayern fourth high into the net in added time. United were not finished, with Casemiro heading home Bruno Fernandes' free-kick from close range with almost the last kick of the game, but it was too late. An opening-game loss at the six-time champions of Europe will not define the campaign, especially with FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray - who drew 2-2 earlier on Wednesday in Istanbul - both more beatable in the group, but they are now in dire need of a response to restore some focus and faith. After a 2022-23 campaign of progress, United are again sailing in choppy waters. Last season, Ten Hag looked to have steadied one of European football's biggest ships following the failure of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tenure and the ill-advised interim experiment with Ralf Rangnick. Having led them to a first piece of major silverware in six seasons and back into the Champions League, optimism was high at the club ahead of this campaign. But three defeats from the first five league games - their worst league start in a decade - has seen this rapidly evaporate and now they must digest a humbling start to their European campaign. It could have been different. They could, and probably should, have led inside five minutes as Alphonso Davies' timely tackle stopped Facundo Pellistri tapping in but set up Christian Eriksen to fire an effort from close range straight at Sven Ulreich. Similarly, at the start of the second half, had they been able to test Bayern's resolve for longer at 2-1 rather than conceding again inside five minutes they may have taken something. And then at the end they showed fight to forge Casemiro's double only for that to be made moot by their soft concession of a fourth. This is a United side undone by early-season results, injuries and costly moments of ineptitude. Onana's error was a shocker and one a side with such fragile confidence can ill afford. It was followed by a period where players seemed happier to hide than rally in the face of adversity. Before Wednesday's game, Ten Hag bemoaned that he had yet to field his strongest XI during his tenure and maybe it is only fair to judge him and his side this season when they are closer to that? But this is still a United side with talent in it and one that needs to not only win at Burnley on Saturday but do so convincingly. *BBC*
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2023-09-20 07:02:37 *State & Witnesses Delaying Mubaiwa Trial* State inertia coupled with absence by the trial magistrate and witnesses in some instances, have both combined to further delay Vice President Constantino’s former wife, Marry Mubaiwa’s attempted murder trial. Her trial was Tuesday postponed for the third time this month due to the unavailability of the magistrate. To join our groups follow: Similarly, on 7 September, former health deputy minister John Mangwiro, a key witness in the matter, also did not turn up. When the case returned on September 13, court could not sit either because the trial magistrate was on leave. Mubaiwa is accused of attempts to finish off her then husband when the former military commander was battling for life from an ailment at a South African hospital back in 2019. During past trial episodes, Mangwiro said Chiwenga was airlifted to China to get medical treatment after the alleged attempt on his life. “I reported the incident to the President. “I would update him on the interference that she (Mubaiwa) was causing. “He was very worried about whether she wanted him dead. “We were all very worried and the agreement was that he needed to be in a very safe place; so, we decided to take him to China,” Mangwiro said. He said when they finally took Chiwenga to China, his chest drain had been removed by Mubaiwa. Mangwiro is now expected to take the witness’s stand on October 23 when trial continues. The medical doctor will be cross-examined by Beatrice Mtetwa, lawyer for Mubaiwa who denies the charge. *ZimLive*
2023-09-20 07:02:25 *Civil Servants Drag Govt To Court Over Labour Laws* Civil servants organisations have dragged government to court over “retrogressive labour laws” which they claim are violating their rights to collective bargaining. A collective bargaining agreement between an employer and a registered trade union contains terms and conditions of employment or any matter of mutual interest concluded between them. To join our groups follow: In a High Court application, the Civil Service Employees Association, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Teachers Association, Educators Union of Zimbabwe and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe argued that the laws have resulted in civil servants being victims of abuse at workplaces. The unions through their lawyers, Matika, Gwisai and Partners, argued that some provisions of the Public Service Act should be nullified. “Applicants are applying for a declaratory order in terms of section 85(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The application seeks to nullify some provisions of SI 141 of 1997, s19(1), s20 and s31(1) of the Public Service Act [Chapter 16:04]. “The mentioned sections are not consistent with provisions of s203(1)(b) and s65(5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 20) Act, 2013 which states that the conditions of service of members of the Public Service including their salaries, allowances and other benefits must be determined through a collective bargaining process which resultsin a collective bargaining agreement which process must involve trade unions andemployee associations and organisations,” partly read the application. The civil servants accused government of disregarding labour rights and unilaterally reducing their salaries without going through the collective bargaining process. “The government has maintained retrogressive labour laws, completely disregarding labour rights provided for by the 2013 Constitution. The same is happening with the unlawful 40% cap of earnings in foreign currency for employees in parastatals and public entities. This attacks their right to collective bargaining,” the government workers asserted. They further claimed that unilateralism on fixing conditions of service had led to civil servants being victims of abuse at the workplace. “In October 2018, for example, the government unilaterally slashed salaries from US$540 to US$30 without going through collective bargaining. Government is now in the habit of introducing and withdrawing allowances willy-nilly, without any consultation whatsoever with workers. “Teachers even lost legally provided for vacation leave after it was illegally unilaterally altered by the employer,” they said. The civil servants said the application sought to end authoritarianism in the civil service and create a democratic dispensation in line with section 65(5) of the Constitution. “Teachers are not being paid for management of Continuous Assessment Learning Activities, they are not paid for invigilation and re-grading remains a challenge. All this is a result of unilateral decisionmaking by the employer. Right to collective bargaining will put an end to this. “The National Joint Negotiation Council, an entity created from the unconstitutional SI 141 of 1997 is also set to be disbanded,” they further vowed. The High Court is set to hear the case tomorrow. *NewsDay*
2023-09-20 07:01:43 *Sandawana Bags Advantage In Lithium Mining Tiff* Sandawana Mine, owned by Kuvimba Mining House (KMH), has been granted temporary relief after a private mining company, Avoseh Investments(Pvt) (Ltd), was interdicted from extracting lithium ore in its territory. The two companies are squabbling over boundaries, with Sandawana claiming that Avoseh is mining lithium from a 25-hectare block falling within its mining claim. Sandawana and Avoseh have two other cases filed separately pending before the High Court. In the latest development, Sandawana filed an urgent application at the High Court seeking an interdict against Avoseh, arguing that it is encroaching onto its claim. To join our groups follow: Sandawana, cited as the applicant in the court papers, has a registered mining claim ‘Lith 15’ (Registration Claim GM 8172 BM). On the other hand, Avoseh has a registered mining claim ‘Sandawana AV8’ (Registration Number 17332BM). As a result of the encroachment squabble, there is a mining area which is disputed between the two parties which each party claims to be its area. When the confrontation began, Sandawana approached the Midlands mining commissioner. This was after noticing that Avoseh was still extracting lithium from a disputed area. The provincial mining director then investigated the case and gave a determination in favour of Avoseh. This was on 24 April 2023. The commissioner said Sandawana had failed to maintain its beacons in breach of section 51(7) (beaconing of locations) of the Mines and Minerals Act. Sandawana was then ordered to confine itself to its original beacons. Sandawana then took the matter to the High Court for review. Sandawana in its appeal argued that the provincial mining director has no jurisdiction to deter[1]mine the dispute and that his findings were grossly unreasonable. The mine also filed a court application for a declaratory order under case number HC 3572/23 seeking a nullification of the Avoseh claim. On the other hand, Avoseh also filed an application for a declaratory order under HC 4766/23 wherein it is seeking an order for the nullification of Sandawana’s ‘Lith 15’ mining claim. The three matters were consolidated under HC 4770/23 and are pending. It is on this basis that the applicant is seeking an anti-dissipation interdict in order to bar Avoseh from continuing with the extraction of lithium pending the determination of these matters. “The ground for this is that Avoseh’s claim was registered on ground which was not open to prospecting and pegging and that the registration was done in violation of the environmental management laws,” read court papers. Sandawana said it risks being prejudiced if Avoseh continues mining its lithium. In a recent judgment High Court judge, Justice Esther Muremba ordered Avoseh to stop its mining activities on the claim. “The applicant is perfectly entitled to bring an application for review to this court. “I am therefore satisfied that the applicant has thus established that it has a prima facie right to have the dispute between the parties determined to finality. “Clearly the interdict that the applicant is seeking is justified. The interdict is also important in that it protects the applicant’s interests in the mineral pending the outcome of the review application. “It is common cause that right now the first respondent is continuing to mine on the disputed area. “If this continues, lithium being a finite re[1]source will be exhausted. It means that if the judgment in the review matter turns in favour of the applicant, that judgment will be a brutumfulman (an ineffectual legal judgement). “Therefore, it is my considered view that it is necessary to grant the application so as to preserve the reslitigiosa pendente lite. “I am satisfied that there is no other satisfactory remedy other than the interdict being sought which will preserve the reslitigiosa (interim interdict for stay of execution) and immediately arrest the harm that the first respondent is causing,” she ruled. In opposing the application, Avoseh said it is carrying out all its mining operations lawfully. Avoseh said Sandawana must establish that it has “a prima facie right, even if open to doubt; that an infringement of such a right is imminent; that it will suffer irreparable harm if the interim relief is not granted; that there is no other satisfactory remedy and that the balance of convenience favours the grant of such an interdict.” Avoseh also said for it to carry out mining operations on its mining claim, it satisfied all the requirements set out in the Mines and Minerals Act. It said as such it is carrying out all its mining operations lawfully. The respondent also submitted that an interdict cannot be granted to stop lawful conduct. Through its lawyers, Avoseh also argued that it has a clear right to the lithium ore that it is mining on its registered claim. Also cited as respondents in the matter were Mines permanent secretary, Mines minister and the Environmental Management Agency. *NewsHawks*
2023-09-20 07:01:28 *Zimra Introduces New Tax System* The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is set to introduce a new tax system next month in a bid to revolutionise the tax administration terrain in the country through an efficient, effective, and easy-to-navigate system based on a digital platform. Known as the Tax and Revenue Management System (TaRMS), it is a product of ZIMRA’s business process re-engineering (BPR) programme launched in 2022. The BPR identified digitalization as the key aspect of improved service delivery to ZIMRA’s diverse clients. The TaRMS commenced in 2022 following an intensive user needs analysis and assessment. To join our groups follow: It is being introduced to close the gaps that have historically affected efficient revenue collection. This is also in line with the authority’s shift towards automation and digitalization. ZIMRA commissioner-general Ms Regina Chinamasa said the advanced automation system expected to go live on October 12 would not only address the revenue collection but also help trade facilitation. It is also expected to address challenges that ZIMRA has been facing including revenue leakages. This is in addition to being more user-friendly, a key enabler for ensuring voluntary tax compliance. “Faced with the persistent system challenges, ZIMRA benchmarked with good practices in revenue administration and supporting systems and identified system gaps necessitating the modernisation agenda undertaken from 2020,” said Mr Chinamasa during a stakeholder engagement meeting to unpack the new system on Monday. “ZIMRA made a decision to identify, acquire and implement a robust simple, user friendly, highly automated, reliable business driven Tax and Revenue Management System that is compliant with internationally good practices.” The engagement process was to enable stakeholders to conceptualise, engage and understand the operational modalities of the new system. “This is critical as it has an overall impact of enabling domestic resources mobilization for social and economic growth and prosperity of the nation,” said Ms Chinamasa. Some of the TaRMS benefits include a user-friendly self-service portal, reduced cost of compliance, reduced human intervention and overall improved service delivery. Speaking on the sidelines of the stakeholder engagement meeting, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO) business analyst Mr Collins Kanondo commended the new system saying it would promote voluntary tax compliance. This would help SMEs be more tax-compliant and enhance their contribution to the fiscus. “It is a welcome development which brings great convenience. SMEs want convenience. Already tax compliance is not easy so if you make it very difficult, compliance levels among SMEs will be low. “We are quite confident about this. The SMEs are now dealing with big clients and to get a contract with those big companies you need tax clearance,” said Mr Kanondo. In the 2024 Budget Strategy Paper, Finance and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said achieving the target revenue collections was underpinned by tax administration initiatives that enhance enforcement and tax compliance, in particular, of business processes and adoption of new technology. Next year, Prof Mthuli Ncube projects to collect $30,7 trillion. “Expansion of the (tax) base through embracing emerging industries, including those in the informal sector, as well as capturing the digital marketplace where sellers and buyers of goods and services converge through e-platforms will ensure that eligible taxpayers contribute towards national development,” said Minister Ncube. The TaRMS project was jointly funded by the Treasury and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The African Development Bank said domestic taxes “are crucial to national transformation and economic viability hence an efficient tax collection process becomes imperative.” *Herald*
2023-09-20 07:01:16 *Access Forex Group CEO Retires* Money transfer agency, Access Finance Group co-founder and chief executive officer, Raymond Chigogwana is set to retire from the firm effective 1 October. Access Finance Group is the holding company for Access Finance, Access Forex and Quick Access. To join our groups follow: Chigogwana was appointed as the inaugural Group CEO of Access Finance in 2014. In a statement on Tuesday, the group said Salim Eceolaza will take over as CEO from 1 October. Chigogwana is credited for ‘tremendous growth’ which saw the firm becoming a formidable player in the remittances and financial services sector. “Raymond’s vision, drive, and performance focus, combined with his commitment to serving the best long-term interests of the company, have materially strengthened Access Finance Group,” it said. The incoming CEO, Eceolaza served as the inaugural Group Finance Director for Simbisa Brands Limited, steering its unbundling from Innscor Africa Limited and subsequently overseeing its listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Eceolaza was thereafter appointed as the Managing Director of the Simbisa Group’s Kenyan arm where he significantly grew business performance and operations. He co-founded IH Group, a prominent capital markets advisory and corporate finance business with a distinct focus on the Zimbabwean market. “Salim joins the business as a representative shareholder and with his added backing , has a mandate to solidify the group’s positioning on the global stage, grow our financial inclusion competiteveness, and strengthen our relationship with local and international partners. “The Board of Directors and Management wish Raymond all the best in his well-deserved retirement and thank him for his contribution. Likewise, we congratulate Salim on his appointment and wish him all the best in his new role,” said the group. *ZimLive*
2023-09-20 07:01:04 *15pc Drop In Gold Production* Zimbabwe's gold production fell 15 percent to 19,3 tonnes in the first eight months of the year partly due to lack of funding by the small-scale miners to modernize operations. According to data from the Fidelity Gold Refinery (FGR), Zimbabwe’s sole buyer of the “yellow metal,” output during the first eight months of the year was 15 percent ahead of 22,3 tonnes delivered during the same period last year. The small-scale miners-traditionally the largest contributor to the country’s gold production have in the past decried the unwillingness of the banking sector to avail loans to the sector to modernize operations and boost production. To join our groups follow: Zimbabwe is expecting to produce 40 tonnes of gold this year from 35.3 tonnes last year. In an interview on Tuesday, Gold Miners Association of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Irvin Chinyenze said it was still premature to “authoritatively conclude” that the 40-tonne target would not be met. “We cannot pre-emptively say the target will or will not be met because there are a number of variables which contribute to the meeting of or failure to meet that particular target,” said Mr Chinyenze. “There are some challenges within the sector and most notable is capitalisation. The financial services sector is not amenable to lending to small-scale miners without collateral as a banking requirement. To that end, we have had challenges in accessing financing and more so financing at reasonable lending rates. “That on its own has serious obstacles towards boosting production and reaching the set targets because we are struggling to capitalize operations,” he added. Between January and August this year, the small-scale mining industry delivered 11,7 tonnes compared to 14,7 tonnes in the same period last year. Large-scale miners produced 7,7 tonnes between January and August this year compared to 7,6 tonnes in the corresponding period in 2022. Gold is Zimbabwe’s single largest foreign currency earner. Other factors that have contributed to a decline in gold production include pricing distortions, Mr Chinyenze said “We have the issue of pricing distortion relative to the RTGS official rate and the parallel market rate. “Where we secure some of our consumables…some suppliers use the parallel market rates…(and) that pushes up the price because we get the U.S dollar at premium rates. *Herald*
2023-09-20 06:59:38 *Zim Sanctions Affecting South Africa, Neighbouring Countries: Ramaphosa* The illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West are causing untold suffering among ordinary citizens and neighbouring countries, and should be lifted, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, said yesterday. Addressing the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States, President Ramaphosa also called for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Cuba some 60 years ago. “South Africa continues to call for the lifting of the economic embargo that was imposed 60 years ago against Cuba,” he said. “An embargo that has caused untold damage to the country’s economy and the people of Cuba as well. To join our groups follow: “The sanctions that are also being applied against South Africa’s neighbour, Zimbabwe, should also be lifted as they are imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans, but also have a collateral negative impact on neighbouring countries as well such as my own country, South Africa.” President Ramaphosa and many African presidents have been consistently calling for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West, mainly the United States. The European Union, Britain, Canada and other countries, have also imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe but have been reviewing them after realising they were unjust, and that Harare is keen to engage and re-engage with the rest of the world under President Mnangagwa’s foreign policy mantra, “friend to all and enemy to none”. It is only the US which has continued to tighten the sanctions at the behest of the opposition, with a view to making the economy “scream” so that Zimbabweans turn against the ruling Zanu PF party and replace it with the CCC, which has morphed from the MDC. The CCC was soundly defeated in last month’s harmonised general elections, despite attempts by detractors to undermine the local currency against the US dollar, resulting in price increases. ZANU PF won 136 National Assembly seats against the CCC’s 73 while President Mnangagwa, who was the Zanu PF presidential candidate, received 52,6 percent of the total votes cast against CCC’s Mr Nelson Chamisa who got44 percent. Eight other presidential candidates got 3,4 percent of the total 4 561 211 votes cast during the August 23 and 24 elections. The call for the removal of sanctions by President Ramaphosa comes ahead of October 25, which was declared by SADC as a day of solidarity against sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. During its 39th SADC Summit in Tanzania in 2019, Southern African leaders agreed to set October 25 as a day when they can collectively voice their disapproval of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe at the turn of the millennium by the West. The sanctions came as a response to the Land Reform Programme that Zimbabwe embarked upon from the year 2000 to correct colonial land ownership imbalances that saw a few white people owning large tracts of land while the majority blacks contended with small and largely unproductive pieces of land. More African leaders are expected to call for the lifting of the sanctions during the UNGA. Meanwhile, Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was the first to address UNGA yesterday, said he was back in New York in “the honourable capacity of president of Brazil”, thanks to the “victory of democracy in my country”. “Brazil is finding itself again with itself, with our region, with the world and with multilateralism. Our country is back to make its due contribution to facing the main global challenges,” he said. President Mnangagwa, who arrived in New York yesterday, is expected to address the UNGA tomorrow. The 78th UNGA is running under the theme, “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.” *Herald*
2023-09-20 06:59:23 *...As Diasporans Plan To Ambush ED At UNGA Over Disputed Polls* President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday flew into the eye of a storm in New York for the 78th United National General Assembly (UNGA) where several Zimbabweans based there are planning to demonstrate against his disputed victory in last month’s elections. Mnangagwa’s attendance at the conference comes soon after the beginning of his second term in office after he was declared winner of the disputed August 23 to 24 presidential race with 52,6% of the vote against Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa’s 44%. To join our groups follow: Chamisa has since rejected the results describing the election as a “gigantic fraud” and his CCC party has been piling pressure on the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to spearhead a fresh election. Mnangagwa has been berated for flying to New York while leaving behind a restless nation following last month’s controversial elections. Several world leaders including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are not attending the summit reportedly due unsettled home backyards and other geopolitical challenges. Political observers yesterday told NewsDay that Mnangagwa should have sent a representative to New York while he dealt with challenges at home. Protesters in New York are premising their demonstrations on Mnangagwa’s alleged rigging of the just ended polls which were marred by reports of human rights violations. CCC chairperson for the North American province Tawanda Dzvokora confirmed to NewsDay yesterday that the protests are on tomorrow. “The protesters are Zimbabweans citizens in North America. The protests involve all Zimbabweans, it’s not about the CCC. We urge every Zimbabwean to continue rallying for fresh elections,” said Dzvokora. “A petition will be handed to the United Nations on Thursday with the key demand being fresh elections. The elections were sham and flawed. “We reject that election; we want free and fair elections. Even Sadc indicated in its report that the elections failed to meet regional and international standards.” He said the protesters wanted the UN, Sadc and African Union to intervene in order for Zimbabwe to hold credible elections, adding that Mnangagwa did not deserve to attend the conference due to his “reputation of rigging polls”. “Our petition is questioning why the United Nations invited Mnangagwa to attend the conference after such a political crisis in the southern African country,” he said. Mnangagwa last week told a Zanu PF politburo meeting in Harare that he would speak his mind at UNGA. Mnangagwa says he won the election urging the aggrieved parties to approach the courts. Meanwhile, UK-based former Ntabazinduna Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni was among a number of activists who condemned Mnangagwa’s journey to the US. Ndiweni accused Mnangagwa of trying to gain legitimacy at the international arena. “But what is new in the current situation is that due process in the international arena takes its course, and a bit longer than what people may want. We have a situation where paperwork is being tabled from the observer's missions. “That paperwork will not lie idle; it has to be escalated and is currently being escalated in the various regions in which those observers are from,” Ndiweni said. He said Mnangagwa's attendance at the UN meeting was useless and wasteful. “We know that the end game has begun and will end soon. I, therefore, foresee that there will be a new government very soon,” Ndiweni said. One of the co-ordinators of a social movement, Joshua's Witnesses Revolutionary Movement, Dumisani Nleya, also condemned the UN’s invitation to Mnangagwa. “We should understand that it started with the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres congratulating Mnangagwa on his stolen victory,” Nleya said. “It is (with) utter disgust that we see the institutions that are watchdogs and are meant to uphold human rights across the world, celebrating, engaging and welcoming an undemocratically inaugurated leader like Mnangagwa.” South Africa-based Zapu spokesperson Mso Ndlovu said: “He may be shameless, but he is not naive. Since the heist of 23 August, he has been quick to insulate his theft by establishing a government when everyone expected the opposite. “He sees opportunities for international engagement as a pretext for recognition and wouldn't let that pass. Harare is a huge crime scene,but no amount of gerrymandering will cleanse the filth of 23 August unless Mnangagwa decides to engage all Zimbabweans to find a sustainable political solution.” Mnangagwa is expected to address the General Assembly tomorrow. *NewsDay*
2023-09-20 06:59:10 *EU Punishes ZEC, Suspends US$5 Million Grant* The European Union (EU) has suspended its US$5 million Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) three-year grant following wide concerns over its poor handling of the just-ended Zimbabwean elections. Zimbabwe’s controversial poll saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa re-installed for a second term in succession while his party Zanu PF kept its parliamentary majority. To join our groups follow: The poll was however condemned by SADC, EU and other international observer missions for failure to meet both regional and international benchmarks set for it to be considered credible. ZEC’s often opaque operations skewed in favour of the incumbent were found to be a major impediment to the running of a free and fair poll. Similarly, Mnangagwa’s main opponent Nelson Chamisa of CCC, rejected the outcome of the poll he dismissed as a gigantic fraud. In a Tuesday statement, EU announced it was withdrawing its grant based on the concerns raised by election observers on the poll. “The European Union (EU) has formally communicated its intention to suspend its 5 million USD financial support for the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) to both the Ministry of Finance and Investment Promotion and ZEC. “The project supporting ZEC, which is managed by UNDP and scheduled to run until December 2024, is currently under scrutiny due to concerns raised by several international Electoral Observation Missions (EOMS) regarding the independence and transparency of ZEC during the 2023 harmonised elections. “The recent preliminary statements from multiple EOMs, including the EU EOM, have raised concerns about ZEC’s management of the electoral process, particularly regarding its independence and transparency,” EU said. In November last year, EU entered into an agreement with Zimbabwe’s finance ministry to fund ZEC in the tune of US$5 million with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) managing the fund. Funds from the agreement termed the ZIM-ECO2 were meant to enhance ZEC’s capacity to conduct the electoral process, with the aim of contributing to the improvement of the entire electoral cycle, not limited to elections alone. In December last year, EU officially entered into the ZIM-ECO2 project with UNDP in availing a total contribution of US$4.7 million, of which approximately 1 million Euros have been spent. EU however said it would continue closely monitoring developments in Zimbabwe and reaffirming its commitment to collaborating with the government, independent commissions, civil society, and other stakeholders in promoting democracy, human rights and rule of law. *ZimLive*
2023-09-20 06:57:27 *African Civil Society Groups Denounce Trophy Hunting* The campaign by African civil society groups against trophy hunting, including the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), is gaining traction, with the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill that bans the importation of hunting trophies now at committee stage in the British House of Lords, The NewsHawks has learnt. In June, CNRG director Farai Maguwu was among 103 wildlife conservation experts throughout Africa — including Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe — who sent an open letter to members of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, urging them to support a Bill to ban the importation of hunting trophies to the UK ahead of a parliamentary debate on the issue. To join our groups follow: While several pressure groups have been in support of the Bill, first passed by the House of Commons in March this year, the British trophy hunting industry has mounter a well-resourced counter lobby campaign in an attempt to pre[1]serve the practice of trophy imports. According to a committee stage briefing seen by The NewsHawks, the trophy industry has been positioning trophy hunting as “a necessary evil”, claiming that it generates vital revenue for community development and local conservation efforts. This has seen amendments to the Bill being proposed to allow hunters to continue to import trophies, including of endangered animals such as elephants, rhinos and polar bears, if they can meet certain criteria around purported “conservation benefit”. However, civil society says trophy hunting has not been beneficial to host communities, worsening conflict and poverty. “The purported benefits of trophy hunting to local communities are highly exaggerated. Trophy hunting makes up only a tiny fraction of economic activity, estimated to be as low as 0.03% of GDP across 8 trophy hunting nations in southern Africa. Of this small percentage, of[1]ten very little makes it to the local households,’ according to the committee stage briefing by civic society. “Removal of animals can have ripple-effect negative conservation impacts, such as increases in infanticide in territories where male lions are killed, and the disruption of complex social or territorial structures of animals including African elephants and leopards. Trophy hunting has also been linked to other negative impacts including genetic erosion, as animals are taken out of the gene pool, and phenotypic changes (alterations of physical characteristics) e.g., horn size.” It added: “These impacts in turn can also compound other threats that species face, including climate change, habitat degradation and poaching. Trophy hunting industry claims that funds derived from trophy hunting reduce poaching, are also generally unfounded.” As previously reported by The NewsHawks, trophy hunting has been worsening human-wild[1]life conflict in Zimbabwe, while increasing the wanton killing of elephants. The country has been losing close to 1 000 elephants per year to killings, according to CNRG director Maguwu. “It is very serious in that every year we put up about 500 elephants for slaughter by trophy hunters. The hunters usually target the biggest of elephants in the herd and then take whatev[1]er they want as a trophy back to their country,” Maguwu told The NewsHawks. “It is a practice that is very much supported by many governments in Africa, and they say that it is meant to sponsor conservation. Governments give licences for people to come and do that. “So, this is a very endemic problem in that every year, at least 500 elephants are put up for trophy hunting. Add to that, we have got poachers which means that we may be losing at least 1 000 elephants per year. Very soon, elephants will be an endangered species.” Maguwu said local communities are also bearing the brunt of hunting and poaching activity. Zimbabwe has an estimated 82 000 elephants, which is more than twice the national target population envisaged in the 1980s. The population has grown exponentially since the 1990s, but illegal killings have continued. The increase in the elephant population has put a strain on resources and has led to increased conflict between elephants and humans. In 2022, a total of 60 people were killed by elephants in Zimbabwe, compared to 72 in all of 2021. Zimbabwe’s overtures to pull out of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) have also been projected to increase the wanton slaughter of endangered species such as elephants and rhinoceros mostly by criminal syndicates. *NewsHawks*
2023-09-20 06:57:15 *...As Govt Threatens To Take Over Councils* Government has threatened to reintroduce commissions to run local authorities which fail to deliver on their mandates. In remarks aimed at the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)-dominated urban councils, Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti, said government would not appoint an acting mayor in failed councils but replace them with commissions. He made the threats while superintending over mayoral elections at the Chitungwiza Municipality on Monday this week. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has accused opposition councillors of running down councils. The Zanu PF government has in the past been in the habit of expelling mayors and deputy mayors in opposition-run urban councils. Appointment of commissions to run council business was commonplace during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s reign when he used former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to do the hatchet job. For instance, the City of Harare had no elected mayor for more than two years after MDC mayor Elias Mudzuri was fired in April 2004. Chombo’s predecessors replaced suspended mayors with acting mayors. Muguti said: “To the incoming 27 members, I do not want any surprises or nonsense in council chambers. I don’t want to hear fights in council chambers, Zanu PF versus CCC. You have that bad reputation, Chitungwiza.” He warned the councillors against neglecting service provision. To join our groups follow: “If you repeat what you did last year, I don’t want to lie to you. This time around, there will be no acting. I will put a commission in place. I have warned you. “I don’t want to hear fights. You have been elected and there is nothing to fight about. Work together as Zimbabweans. You can debate or argue, but when you walk out that door, you have a decision that benefits Chitungwiza,” he said. Muguti also warned councillors against engaging in corrupt activities. “There is a policy you had last year where you gave each other graves. Stop It. Free graves are outlined in the office of the Minister of State through social welfare. We have been doing this since 1980. “In all your wards, there are social welfare officers. We know the poor people in your area. What you were doing last year, councillors identifying poor people and deciding who to dish out graves to. You think I did not know that some of you were selling the graves for US$500,” he said. Muguti said councils should make all their resolutions public. “When you see us arresting you, it is because you would not have been transparent with my office. The chamber secretary is there to guide you when you have your meetings. Don’t override him because he is your lawyer. If he tells you, ‘the law says don’t do this,’ don’t do it. This is coming with a very stern warning. “We don’t do workshops for the ease of generating allowances. We do them to enhance each other’s capacity. So you would rather do one workshop for three days than a scenario where today you are in Kariba and tomorrow you are in Masvingo,” he said. Accusing some councils of accumulating as much as 500 litres as fuel allowance, he declared: “All that is nonsense. We will not tolerate that because that’s abuse of office.” Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association director Marvelous Micheal Kumalo said commissions were not good for accountability and transparency purposes. “The Constitution of Zimbabwe is clear that elected officials are accountable to the electorate and it also says local authorities are run by councillors directly elected by the electorate. That is why the practice and habit of hiring mayors from non-elected councillors was abolished,” he said. “It is all meant to promote that elected leaders account to the electorate not otherwise. So my point is, an appointed commissioner will be accountable to the appointing authority and not to the electorate.” He said residents associations were opposed to decisions made without residents' input. “We do not want partisan politics to be pursued in the name of administration and supervision of our local authorities, mainly those run by the opposition movement,” he added. However, Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust chairperson Shepherd Chikomba said he was in support of Muguti’s stance. “We will support the establishment of commissions if these councillors fail again because we cannot just sit down seeing mistakes that were done the past 10 years. We are giving them another chance,” he said. “We are worried that we are not going anywhere in terms of development. Councillors take being elected as a way to fatten their pockets.” *NewsDay*