Visiting S.African ‘King Bungane III’, Apologises For Xenophobic Attacks On Foreigners


A SOUTH African king who is visiting Zimbabwe has apologised for the xenophobic attacks that took place in his country earlier this year, describing the attacks on foreigners as a regrettable episode in the continent’s history.  King Bungane III of the royal kingdom of Embo sent out a profound condolence message to families of the victims of the horrific attacks in isiZulu.

Ironically, the attacks are reported to have been triggered by statements by another South African king, Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu Kingdom, who was also expected in Zimbabwe together with his Embo counterpart, but opted out at the last minute.King Zwelithini’s daughter Princess Nonkosi, however, graced the event. King Bungane is in Zimbabwe for a wedding of a family friend held yesterday in Gwanda, and is expected to attend the official opening of a 1 000-seater Brethren-in-Christ church in the same town today. Speaking during a Press conference at a hotel in Bulawayo yesterday, the Embo king condemned the attacks and killing of foreigners by his countrymen.

“We are in deep pain about the killings and the foreigners who were lost during the xenophobic attacks . . . we deeply apologise about the lives that were lost. We are one as Africans and we will continue fighting for such acts to stop. What causes people to fight is that they are not aware of their purpose as Africans,” said the king in his message.

King Bungane blamed the xenophobic attacks on the artificial borders that were put in place by Europeans when they colonised Africa.

He chronicled the Embo kingdom’s history, which he traced back to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), adding that some of his ancestors also had roots in Zimbabwe, while he also had cousins in several other countries on the continent. The Embo kingdom’s people, the AmaHlubi, are led in present-day South Africa by their king, Isilo Bungane III, who also takes this name from previous rulers of the AmaHlubi. One of the best known of these rulers of AmaHlubi was king Langalibalele who resisted domination when the British came to rule over Natal and impose themselves on the native communities there.

The Embo king said Africans were one people and his kingdom would fight against the idea of artificial borders between African states. He added that his kingdom would also push for Africa to use one currency as a way of uniting people and making them aware that they were one people.  “We totally do not subscribe to the notion of violence. We clearly believe that we are one regardless of isiNdebele that is interrelated to isiZulu. We condemn the killing of our brothers, we condemn the killing of our sisters. We deeply, deeply condemn this.

“Remember that conference in Berlin that divided us. That is where the problem started. We don’t subscribe to that. We don’t believe in borders because we say we are one. We as the Embo are saying we are going to fight against that and we must have one currency because we are one. “We as the people of Embo are one. If you go to South Africa you will find us, Sudan you will find us and in Ghana it is the same thing. Then how do you kill such people? We as Embo people don’t believe in the notion of fighting or swearing because we believe if I swear at you I might be swearing at my cousin,” he said.

King Bungane III, however, refused to be drawn into discussing the statements made by King Zwelithini which are largely believed to have sparked the xenophobic attacks.

“I don’t believe I’m the right person to discuss this. I think the qualified person to talk about this is King Zwelithini. I cannot talk on his behalf or on behalf of his kingdom. If you ask me a question about the Royal Kingdom of Embo I will answer that,” he said. King Bungane is leading a delegation of artistes and chiefs who are scheduled to attend the official opening of the Brethren-in-Christ church, whose construction was financed by South Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman Mr Justice Maphosa and South African business mogul Mr George Moyo.

The two businessmen are also the organisers of the events and Mr Maphosa’s younger brother, Justin, is the one whose wedding was graced by King Bungane. Last month King Zwelithini was reported to be coming to Zimbabwe as part of the guests for the wedding and the official opening of the church, but he later cancelled his intended visit after it drew a lot of excited interest among locals. However, the organisers of the event yesterday said King Zwelithini was never invited for the three-day fiesta which kicked off on Friday night with a free gospel music concert.

“I must make it clear here that King Zwelithini was never invited for this function. The king who was invited is King Bungane, the one you are seeing. That is the correct position,” said Mr Moyo.

Asked on how much the two businessmen had used in building the church, holding the free gospel concert as well as catering for the expenses of the artistes, Mr Maphosa was evasive. Instead, he chose to blast the media for previewing the events, particularly his brother’s wedding which he said was a private function. Reports from Gwanda are that journalists were barred from covering the five-star wedding which literally ground business in Gwanda to a halt.

King Bungane is accompanied by Princess Nonkosi, Chief Zwide KaLanga and a host of South African artistes among them Staon of Bongo Maffin and jazz crooner Tsepo Tshola.

The artistes are billed to perform at the official opening of the Brethren-in-Christ Church Tinomuda Chakanyuka – Source-sundaynews





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‘1.5m Zimbabweans, To Go Hungry By End Of 2015’- World Food Programme (WFP)

Mugabe must go

AROUND 1.5 million Zimbabweans are predicted to go hungry this year after a dramatic fall in maize production, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

Around 16% of the population are expected to be ‘food insecure’ at the peak of the 2015-16 lean season, the period following harvest when food stocks run especially low – a 164% increase on the previous year, the WFP said.

Zimbabwe’s staple maize crop of 742,000 tons is down 53% from 2014-15, according to data from the South African Development Community.

The problems in Zimbabwe are being felt across the region known as the ‘maize belt’, making an estimated 27 million people ‘food insecure’ in southern Africa due to droughts, inadequate farming methods and political and economic instability.

“The situation in Zimbabwe is more extreme than most countries in the region, but it is not unique”, WFP spokesperson David Orr told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Zimbabwe is particularly bad because it was hit very hard by the drought, which was severe this year.”

Less than a quarter of Zimbabwean children between the ages of 6 and 23 months receive the recommended minimum acceptable diet for adequate nutrition, and 56% of all children between the ages of 6 and 59 months suffer from anemia, the WFP said.

Over two million

Some analysts have expressed doubts about government figures due to the politics surrounding the issue, and say the number of people in Zimbabwe who will be short of food is believed to be over 2 million.

Large quantities of maize will have to be imported because of the fall of about half in Zimbabwe’s maize crop, which compares with a fall in output of 20 to 30% across the region, Orr said.

The country’s food output rose 82% in 2013/14 from the previous year, and the sharp fall this year shows how unstable agriculture is across southern Africa as a whole, the WFP said.

Orr said the WFP plans to provide food aid to Zimbabwe in September, but is desperately short of funds.

“We are looking at bringing food assistance during the lean season, which begins earlier than usual this year,” he said.

“We’re not going to be able to reach all 1.5 million in need. Our aim is about half that number. We are nowhere near fully funded; in fact we are still desperately in need of funding.” Thousands of small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe fear they will go hungry this winter after abandoning traditional staples like maize, sorghum and groundnuts for tobacco, a cash crop known locally as “green gold”, but which was also hit by the drought. by Reuters. source-newzimbabwe


Zimbabwe Job Cuts Are A ‘Recipe For Arab Spring’, Style Uprising Warns Labour Union


ZIMBABWE’S beleaguered workers have appealed to President Robert Mugabe to invoke his powers to end more job losses as he prepares to amend the country’s harsh labour laws.

Speaking during a street demonstration in Harare’s CBD Saturday, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders rubbished the proposed labour amendment law saying it sought to perpetuate the exploitation of workers.

They insisted the law does nothing to free workers from capricious “capitalists” who are ensconced in top positions in both government and the judiciary.

In a petition to the public service ministry, the ZCTU demanded an end to “the madness by invoking Presidential Emergency Powers until the the new Labour Act is in place”.

Short of that, the ZCTU wants Public Service Minister Prisca Mupfumira to use her own powers under current laws to halt the jobs haemorrhage.

The labour group warned the country risked sliding into an untenable state of increased criminality among citizens and civil disobedience akin to the Arab Spring.

“This is a recipe for political instability as disgruntled workers will turn against their government for failure to protect them,” read the petition.

“The Arab Spring is such an example in which there was social unrest, particularly in Tunisia where the death of a vendor whom the state failed to protect sparked the unrest.”

Government says the proposed Labour Amendment Bill which has passed through both houses of assembly will to end untoward victimisation of ordinary workers by employers.

Law changes

The state further says its envisaged law will also carry on board, the concerns of struggling firms battling the effects of a comatose economy.

But ZCTU vice president Peter Mutasa told about a hundred placard-waving protesters Saturday afternoon that the Bill, contrary to its intended purposes, was an oppressive law.

“We will not read too much into a Bill which has been authored by businessmen in Cabinet, debated by businessmen in Parliament, a Bill that will further be interpreted by businessmen in the Supreme Court,” he said.

Speaking during the same occasion outside Mukwati building, ZCTU president George Nkiwane urged ordinary workers to resist state hegemony which has seen government sneak in a clause which empowers it to meddle in trade unions affairs.


“All along we erroneously thought change was going to come naturally, but it now seems we now have to rise and force the change ourselves,” said Nkiwane.

“It’s us the workers who are supposed to lead the change.”

Nkiwane said the state had baulked in its constitutional responsibilities to protect citizens but had turned a “security threat” to its own people.

The ZCTU boss said the labour Bill was anti-worker in that it allows employers leeway to escape paying retrenchment packages to workers, adding it will remain tough for poor employees to receive their dues.

More protests

ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo also weighed in, warning “the biggest employer”, government, that his organisation was planning more protests to demand fair labour practices.

“Government has joined the band wagon of chasing away workers without paying them benefits,” he said, adding, “So we are rolling these activities so that the authorities, the capitalists understand what we want.”

Meanwhile, ZCTU lawyers were forced to secure an early morning High Court injunction to reverse an earlier police ban on the street march.

The law enforcers were adamant the protest march was uncalled for as Parliament was in fact in the process of addressing their concerns.

Police earlier this month disrupted the workers group’s first march and briefly held trade union leaders and journalists covering the event.

Saturday’s march by the ZCTU was also attended by labour lawyer Munyaradzi Gwisai and Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of the rival COZITU.

The workers however failed to hand their petition to the authorities as they found Mukwati Building deserted. source-newzimbabwe

‘Tightening Economy Triggers Mass Exodus Of Zimbabweans Into South Africa’-Economist Eddie Cross

Eddie Cross

ECONOMIST Eddie Cross has claimed that the tightening economic situation in Zimbabwe has triggered a mass exodus of Zimbabweans into South Africa.

In an article titled The deepening crisis in Zimbabwe, Cross has estimated that up to 5 000 people a day are now crossing the country’s southern border into South Africa, a number he said could translate to more than 40 000 a week or two million people by the end of this year.

“Some will return but the majority will stay and seek new lives. Can South Africa take such an additional burden at this time? I think not,” said Cross.

Cross, who is also the Movement for Democratic Change Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South, has blamed the mass exodus into South Africa, from where only months ago Zimbabwean were fleeing from xenophobia attacks, on Zimbabwe’s worsening economic situation.

“Every aspect of life is affected by the economy and how it is performing. Despite the statements by the pundits, our economy has resumed the downwards slide that characterised the economy from 1997 to 2008. Inflows to State coffers have shrunk and suddenly there is no money in the markets. Companies are retrenching staff or simply winding up their affairs. Human flight has resumed with a vengeance into any country that will have our economic refugees.

“The agricultural sector is in dire straits and will contract again this year – reflecting a continuous and rapid decline in output and activity since the farm invasions began in 2000. This year the situation is compounded by a very poor season and a nationwide shortage of spending power. Unlike 2008, the shops are full of everything you might desire or need. But this time people simply do not have the money to buy what they see in the stores. Real hunger and deprivation is now common in all rural districts,” said cross.

Cross warned that “company closures will accelerate”, while investor sentiment will continue to influence incoming investment.

“The consequences will be fully established by year end – hospitals unable to function except as mortuaries and schools becoming day care centres for young people who will not get an education. The Diaspora will strive to keep their extended families fed but there will be little money left over for anything else,” noted Cross.Source: fingaz

Immigration Turn Away J’Burg Musician Dan Tshanda From Bulawayo J.M International Airport

Dan Tshanda

POPULAR musician Dan Tshanda was on Wednesday turned away from the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport in Bulawayo after failing to produce proper travelling documents to immigration officials.

The South African Ndivhuwo hit-maker, who last performed in Bulawayo three years ago, was expected to meet fans and show organisers at the Selbourne Hotel in the city on Wednesday afternoon ahead of his show at Hartsfield Rugby Ground on August 29.

Speaking from his base in Johannesburg, Tshanda said he was turned away for using an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) as his passport was stolen three weeks ago.

“I was using an ETD which was rejected by the Zimbabwe immigration officials. I was turned away when I landed in Bulawayo and had to board the next flight back to Johannesburg,” Tshanda said.

He said he had to urgently get an ETD to travel as his passport was stolen recently.

“My passport and other documents were stolen three weeks ago. I applied for a passport and it’ll be out on Friday.”

A Zimbabwe immigration official who preferred anonymity said: “We haven’t received such a report that someone was turned away.

“However, we don’t accept South African TTD (Temporary Travel Document) or ETD because they don’t accept ours.”

Despite the hiccup, Tshanda assured fans that he and his Dalom Music stable would make it for the Bulawayo show.

“Fans should be rest assured that I’ll be there for the show. They should come in their numbers and enjoy Dalom Music as I’ll bring Dalom Kids, Montana, Splash, Matshikos and old school Afro-pop artiste, Sydney,” he said.

Tshanda said he would not be travelling with Patricia Majalisa, a former member of the Dalom Kids who broke away from the stable years ago.

“Unfortunately there’ll be no Patricia. We’ve enough acts to quench the thirst for Dalom Music which is popular in Bulawayo and other parts of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Tshanda is one of the most followed musicians in Matabeleland as he has a huge fan base. At one point, he visited the country twice in one year for a series of shows. Source: chronicle

Victoria Falls Municipality CraftsNew Law, Banning And Criminalising Open Air Worship


THE Victoria Falls Municipality which, a few months ago, announced plans to ban open space churches says it is crafting a by-law that would empower it to arrest those who disobey the order.

A number of churches have sprouted along the highway on the buffer zone, which is reserved as an animal corridor forcing the council to take the bold step, which these church organisations have been ignoring.

The council feels the proliferation of open space worshipers would have a negative bearing on tourism as they are now a common feature along major roads in the resort town.

Town Clerk Christopher Dube announced at last week’s full council meeting that members of open space churches will be arrested if they defied a council order for them to move.

“We have a challenge with open air churches and they are defiling the environment by cutting down trees,” said Dube.

“Since you are aware that we have engaged these churches, we are now going to put sign posts stating that open space churches are illegal on those sites and we have briefed the police about the issue because we can’t allow people to defile the environment.

“If they refuse they are going to be arrested because we have come up with a by-law which we are finalising and will empower us to deal with them.

However, the development is likely to spark war between the local authority and open space worshipers, particularly the apostolic sects and the Zionist churches.

The Town Clerk has recently said the local authority was not against people worshipping, but condemned the defiling of the environment.

Victoria Falls Town falls is situated within the Zambezi National Park and human made activities should be controlled according to conservation laws.

A few years ago, the Bulawayo City Council clashed with worshipers when the local authority resolved to ban them from worshiping under trees.

The idea was dropped after a stiff resistance from the churches.source-newzimbabwe


Gutu Villagers Survive On Snot Apples (Matwohwe/ Xakuxaku) As Food Crisis Deepens

mupanda-797x280 (1)

“When you visit their homes you find heaps and heaps of chewed matohwe waste and this is a very painful experience.”

GUTU Rural District councilors have demanded that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) returns maize delivered to the parastatal by local farmers as hunger is now ravaging the area with villagers reportedly surviving on wild fruits.

Zanu PF councilor for Ward 13, Vitalis Watungwa recently told a full council meeting that people in his area were now surviving on snot apples (matohwe/xakuxaku) – a sweet wild fruit that ripens during winter.

Watungwa warned that if government does not urgently act on the situation villagers in his ward would soon starve to death.

“Some families in my ward are living on matohwe; they eat nothing the whole day except this wild fruit and only have one meal at night.

“When you visit their homes you find heaps and heaps of chewed matohwe waste and this is a very painful experience,” said Watungwa.

Following debate on the issue, councilors unanimously agreed that GMB should immediately pay or return grain delivered to the troubled parastatal GMB by local farmers.

The meeting was temporally adjourned as the councillors immediately invited GMB Gutu depot manager Precious Shoko to find out what schemes were in place to help the starving villagers.

Shokohowever told the full council meeting that the pararstal had no money to pay farmers who delivered grain, adding she was not in a position to say whether her organisation could return the maize delivered by farmers or not.

She promised that the issue of food shortages within the district would be solved once the government has received a report that is currently being complied by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC).

Gutu district administrator Roy Hove weighted in to say the committee has just completed a survey on the food crisis in the district and government will only move in to help the masses once it has received the report.

He added that President Robert Mugabe has not declared a state of disaster as he is still waiting for the report.

The councilors later tasked the DA and GMB officials to look into the possibility of the parastatal urgently returning all the maize which has not been paid for and not wait for the ZIMVAC report. source-newzimbabwe. photo-Gutu mupandawana growth point


‘At Least 16% of 13 million Zims Face Food Insecurity’ – Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet)

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ZIMBABWEANS, already reeling from a crippling economic meltdown, are facing widespread food shortages that are likely to reach unprecedented levels.

At least 16% of the country’s estimated 13 million population faces food insecurity, especially in rural areas, a regional food security watcher has said.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) in its latest update, said hunger is already stalking poor Zimbabweans particularly in the southern parts of the country.

“Rural food insecurity for the 2015-16 consumption year is estimated at 16 percent (1.5 million people) of the population during the peak lean season from January to March 2016, compared to 6 percent last season. Livelihood options are projected to be constrained in most of the country, but especially in the south.

“Safety-net interventions by Government and partners is limited and lean season humanitarian assistance is expected to be lower than average due to a challenging funding situation,” said Fewsnet.

The group said households in most parts of the country will likely require food aid before year-end when their meagre reserves run out.

“Households in most southern provinces are currently facing Stressed Integrated Phase Classification (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, which are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October through December,” the agency said.

Since the government embarked on its controversial and often violent land reform program, Zimbabwe has suffered food shortages as the agricultural sector, formerly the fulcrum of the economy, nosedived.

Fewsnet said in most northern districts the majority of households are “consuming own-produced cereals from recent harvests and are experiencing Minimum (IPC Phase 1) outcomes”.

“However as households finish their own-produced stocks from October onwards, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes are expected through December,” the group said.

The country’s traditionally dry areas in the south are the worst hit.

“Most households in the southern areas are increasing reliance on market purchases for staple cereal, which is pushing up prices to levels averaging 38-46% above previous year prices and 35% above the national average.

“Due to an undersupply of maize grain on most southern markets during the outlook period, maize meal demand and prices are also expected to increase to levels above the previous year,” said the report. source-newzimbabwe


Zimbabwe Government To Launch Africa-Wide Campaign To End Child Marriages

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Government will this week launch an Africa-wide campaign to end child marriages, Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Nyasha Chikwinya said yesterday. The campaign will be launched in Harare. Minister Chikwinya said her ministry was fast-tracking the implementation ofresults-oriented actions against child marriages and rape.

“This is to strengthen a zero tolerance attitude towards child marriages and push for the drafting of legislation particularly on this issue,” she said.

“To raise more awareness on this menace against children, my ministry will be launching the African Union campaign on ending child marriage on July 31.”

Minister Chikwinya said child marriages and abuse had reached alarming levels and Government needed to put this to an end.

“The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2014) indicates that 32, 8 percent of women aged 20 and 49 were married before their 18th birthday.

“We expect various stakeholders, small to medium entrepreneurs, development partners and civil organisations to grace our launch as this is a national cause,” she said

She said legislation on child marriages would help deal with perpetrators according to the law.

“We acknowledge that child marriages are a form of sexual exploitation of children, laws have to be set to immediately address this problem,” she said

“My ministry will push for mandatory sentencing of rape and sexual abuse perpetrators, which will act as deterrent measure to child sexual exploitation.”

Minister Chikwinya said Government will engage all stakeholders to find ways to curb child marriages.

“We want pieces of legislations amended and we will not sit and let our girls be defiled by sexual perverts, who are taking advantage of the law,” she said.

The AU campaign against child marriages is a continent-wide campaign that has so far been launched in 10 other African countries.

The African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa encourages governments across the continent to set the minimum age of marriage at 18 years.

The Campaign also focuses on strengthening families and communities to protect their children, and ensuring they have access to key information and services of quality. Child marriage remains a brutal reality for millions of girls in Zimbabwe and most other African countries, denying them the right to live healthy, to enjoy their childhood to the fullest and fulfilling lives.

Development experts say poverty, lack of education, gender stereotyping, discrimination and negative religious practices have resulted in millions of these girls being married off before their 18th birthday.

Zimbabwe is one of the 40 countries in the world with an unacceptably high rate of child marriages, where girls enter into marriage before they turn 18. According to the 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2014), 32,8 percent of women aged between 20 and 49 reported that they were married before they were 18 while 24,5 percent of girls between 15 and 19 years are currently married.

Currently the country’s customary law and the marriage Act have not been realigned to take into consideration the legal age of majority and the age of sexual consent for girls as outlined in the Constitution. by Samantha Chigogosource-herald

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