LOCAL government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, has criticised former empowerment ministers Francis Nhema and Chris Mushowe saying the two were just tea-drinking layabouts when in charge of the portfolio.
Nhema was fired from government by President Robert Mugabe early this year after heading the ministry for one and a half years.
He was succeeded by Mushowe who had a short stint at the ministry before he was redeployed to the ministry of media information and broadcasting services.
Addressing the launch of a youth fund in Harare Wednesday, Kasukuwere said the two had done nothing to push the indigenisation agenda.
“We do not want minister who just make noise when given cabinet positions and every minister must account for what they do,” Kasukuwere told those attending the event, most of them Zanu PF youths.
“There were some ministers who were appointed to lead the youth ministry; what they did was just sitting and having tea in office.
“You are not hired to drink tea; you are hired to empower the youth.”
Kasukuwere then heaped praises on key ally and current youth minister, Patrick Zhuwao and urged him to continue pushing “our government’s indigenisation policy”.
Kasukuwere bulldozed implementation of the empowerment programme after government adopted the policy.
He forced compliance with the law which requires that foreign companies cede to locals 51 per cent of their operations.
It has since emerged that none of the deals Kasukuwere claimed to have sealed in the mining sector were concluded.
Kasukuwere also faced stiff resistance from the central bank governor, Gideon Gono, when he tried to force foreign-owned banks to comply with the law. source-newzimbabwe
FORMER Industry Minister Welshman Ncube’s MDC party has fingered President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party as being behind the slew of arrests of journalists in the past few days.
In a statement Wednesday, the MDC said Mugabe and his lieutenants have in the past few weeks “threatened the media hence the arrests”.
“The MDC condemns the continued assault on the media in an endeavour to suppress the freedom of the press by the state apparatus,” the opposition party said.
The statement is a reaction to the recent arrests of state media journalists Mabasa Sasa, Brian Chitemba and Tinashe Farawo “for exposing the police’s involvement in the poaching of wildlife at the Hwange National Park”.
“(These) are shameful acts of cowardice and a blatant violation of the national constitution as well as International human rights charters which Zimbabwe is a signatory to.
“These arrests come on the heels of chilling threats to journalists by President Mugabe, his wife Grace and permanent secretary for Media, Information and publicity George Charamba for exposing ugly factional fights within Zanu PF and we are therefore persuaded that the order for the degrading violent arrests came from the higher echelons of Zanu PF,” the statement added.
The MDC said the arrests are designed to intimidate the journalists and “cover up for these serious crimes which we know will suck in senior Zanu PF officials who have been involved in criminal activities and plundering proceeds from the country’s wildlife for years while getting state protection”.
The opposition party called on Mugabe to allow “justice (to) take its course” adding “we call for the full and thorough investigation of the police’s involvement in the poaching of wildlife at Hwange National Park”.
“The culture of intimidating journalists each time they expose corruption within the regime must be stopped forthwith. The MDC believes the honour of the journalism profession is seriously under threat in the country when it should be preserved,” the party said.
Sasa, Chitemba and Farawo have since appeared in court on charges of publishing falsehoods and granted US$100 bail each. They will reappear in court again on November 27.
Meanwhile, The Herald assistant news editor Takunda Maodza who was also arrested for allegedly soliciting a bribe was also granted US$50 bail.
Mugabe and some senior officials in his administration as well as his wife, First Lady Grace have in the past few months complained over what they called “sensational media reporting and publication of falsehoods”.
Mugabe’s spokesperson Charamba promised “the hammer would fall on the media”. source-newzimbabwe.
photo-permanent secretary for Media, Information and publicity George Charamba
The UK has halted all flights between Britain and Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, saying there is a “significant possibility” a bomb caused the Russian plane crash at the weekend.
YOUTH and indigenisation minister, Patrick Zhuwao, on Wednesday threatened to seize foreign-owned companies he accused of meddling in local politics.
The minister made the threat as he attacked a pro-Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa youth group, the Zimbabwe Youth Action Platform (ZYAP).
Zhuwao was addressing the launch of government’s $10 million national youth fund in Harare when he blasted the youths, accusing them of fronting for white interests.
This comes after ZYAP held a press conference Tuesday where they claimed that local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, higher education minister Jonathan Moyo and Zhuwao were disrespectful to war veterans.
The leader of the youth grouping, Tonderayi Chidawa, further accused Zhuwao of ruining the country through the manner in which he is pushing for the indigenisation policy.
The youths further threatened to embarrass the three ministers at public events such as state functions at the National Heroes Acre.
Zhuwawo hit back Wednesday, saying the Mnangagwa-linked youths were not fronting war veterans but were being used by whites to peddle an anti- indigenisation agenda.
He said government would now be forced to identify such foreign-owned companies and seize them.
“You have not been sent by war veterans but by the whites and I want to tell you right now that go back and tell them that I am coming for you with indigenisation,” Zhuwao shouted to thousands of ululating Zanu PF youths who attended the event.
“We are not going back with indigenisation and let the foreigners know that you cannot use our youths,” he said.
“You cannot attempt to tarnish the image of war veterans; they are ours and they are the ones who taught us how things are done.
“So, foreign-owned companies please do not attempt to get involved in the politics of this country because we will know your foot prints and we will deal with you.”
Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) presidential aspirant Phillip Chiyangwa does not know what the abbreviations FIFA and COSAFA stand for.
Chiyangwa displayed his ignorance when he appeared on ZiFM stereo radio current affairs programme hosted by Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa this week.
The flamboyant businessman was sharing his manifesto with soccer fans.
A caller from Australia, Masimba, asked Chiyangwa: “What does FIFA COSAFA and CAF stands for?”
Instead of answering the simple question, Chiyangwa went ballistic and started shouting, accusing the caller of spending too much time in the west.
“Wa fonerei iwewe taura zvine musoro, ndozvinonetsa mukagarisa kuvarungu munotinetsa. musingade kupota muchibatsira Zimbabwe (why have you called, can you ask something sensible, that’s the problem with people who have overstayed in the west, you are one of the people who don’t even want to assist in building Zimbabwe).”
“What have you done for this country?” shouted Chiyangwa.
Then the caller said a lot of people,including his own mother, wanted to know if Chiyangwa was the right person to lead ZIFA.
“I don’t talk about your mother, it’s you who called, what have you done even to help your family and even assist Zimbabwe, not even in football but in whatever here?”
“Chi chaura kubatsira kuno kuZimbabwe iwewe what have you helped Zimbabwe with, this is one person I’m not going to answer.”
But the caller insisted that Chiyangwa should answer the question.
Ruvheneko then interjected and came to Chiyangwa’s rescue, telling the caller that her guest was not going to answer the question.
“He said he is not going to answer and if you have any other question I will give you the opportunity to ask since you called us all the way from Australia,” said Ruvheneko.
But Chiyangwa cut in, saying he had already made up his mind and was not going to answer any more questions from Masimba.
“No, no, no I don’t want to take any more questions from you and I don’t want to dignify your stupidity here, I don’t want to talk to you,” said Chiyangwa.
FIFA stands for International Federation of Association Football while CAF stands for Confederation of African football. COSAFA means Council of Southern Africa Football Associations.
HARDLY a week since his return from India where he nearly fell, President Robert Mugabe Wednesday left for Tanzania for the inauguration of that country’s newly elected leader, John Pombe Magufuli.
Magufuli is independent Tanzania’s fifth president while Mugabe has been in power since 1980.
His (Mugabe) friend and mentor, Tanzania’s first president, Julius Nyerere, stepped down in 1985.
Mugabe was invited as African Union chairman.
He was seen off at the Harare International Airport by government ministers including VPs, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
Mugabe will join several heads of state and government as well as Nigerian prophet TB Joshua who arrived in Dar es Salaam two days ago for Magufili’s inauguration.
President Mugabe was recently in Asia where he attended the India-Africa summit held in the capital, New Delhi.
A video footage showed Indian PM Narendra Modi helping Mugabe break his fall after the 91-year old leader lost balance and nearly tumbled while walking up the podium.
Mugabe was going to greet Modi when he missed a step and stumbled.
An alert Modi immediately stepped forward and extended his hand to hold Mugabe’s before helping him up the podium.
The two promptly shook hands with Mugabe pretending as if all was well.
But soon after the handshake, the Indian leader yet again came to his guest’s rescue as he, with the assistance of two other aides, helped Mugabe to step down the podium.
Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, later attached a spin to the incident, brushing it aside as “minor”.
The 91-year old leader still keeps a punishing schedule-flying around the world- despite evidence that his body is failing.
In all his trips, Mugabe travels with a huge entourage which includes foreign affairs people, body guards and doctors among other aides. source-newzimbabwe
IT would probably have been buried in the billions of online news pages that are published online every day, but by taking up the cudgels to counter claims that Swaziland’s leader took 15 wives, 30 children and over 100 servants with him to India, the country’s monarchy-friendly leading publication may be keeping the story alive.
Mswati was one of tens of African leaders who attended last week’s India-Africa Forum summit as New Delhi struggles to carve out a high profile in Africa. African delegates were treated to lavish spectacles and even richer gifts, before the two sides shook hands on a $10.6 billion deal for cheap loans and grants.
It was essentially an all-expenses paid tourism trip—India’s mix of soft-power and people-to-people connections approach has struggled for traction in Africa, eclipsed by rival China, even as the two Asian countries deny they are anything other than partners for the continent.
The four-day bonanza yielded notable moments, including pictures showing African leaders clad in Indian garb—bar Robert Mugabe, a strident critic of the West but who chose to remain in a suit. Early explanations were that the Indians requested measurements from all African countries, but Zimbabwe did not respond.
But in Delhi, Zee Media, which brands itself as India’s largest news network, run breathless news stories on Mswati’s lifestyle (including the obligatory reference to the Reed Dance). According to the reports, picked up by other Indian outlets, his entourage to India included 15 Emakhosikati (wives), 30 children and more than 100 servants, in addition to a posse of members of government.
At least 200 hotel rooms in a five-star, $230-a night, New Delhi establishment were booked a week in advance, outlets reported.
Defending the king
The Swazi Observer, a royal house mouthpiece that lays claim to nearly half the country’s print market readership, did not take the reports lying down, terming them “blatant lies” and “totally fabricated”.
“There is absolutely nothing like that,” the paper reported Foreign Minister Mgwagwa Gamedze as saying. “The King is accompanied by one Inkhosikati – LaFogiyane – as it has always been the norm. Whenever the King travels, he is accompanied by only one Inkhosikati and this is known by every Swazi.”
The minister also took umbrage at the children count.
“Where did they get this figure? Does the King even have 30 children in the first place? Most of the King’s children are back at home. There are only two or three of the King’s children who are here as part of the delegation, one therefore wonders what the intentions of such a report are,” the minister said, and called for corrections.
The Swazi Media Commentary, a recognised blog run by University of Swaziland former journalism lecturer Richard Rooney and which documents human rights issues in the country, also came in for criticism.
The blog “is known for carrying negative reports about the royal family and government” and published the India reports “as though they were fact”, the Observer said.
“The facts about the trip are that whilst in India, His Majesty and his delegation met with several financiers and potential investors who have shown great enthusiasm in coming to set up in Swaziland,” the paper added, before reeling off a list of India-backed deals that were discussed.
Upgrade to royal wings
The investors may come in handy—the kingdom is reported to be facing a severe financing crisis that has seen some pension payments stopped, even as the government approved the leasing of a private jet—an upgrade on the current one which has in the recent past suffered the indignity of being impounded over debt— for Mswati.
According to our sister publication Mail & Guardian, industry sources estimate the annual cost of leasing an A-340 [jet] – over and above running costs and fixed costs such as insurance – at about $9-million.
The country’s GDP is $3.8 billion—or about 20 times the king’s personal fortune, the upper limit of which is estimated at $200 million—in addition to having absolute control of the treasury.
“He lives lavishly, using his kingdom’s treasury to fund his expensive tastes in German automobiles, first-class leisure trips around the world and women. But his gross mismanagement of his country’s finances is now having dire economic consequences. Swaziland is going through a severe fiscal crisis,” M&G said in a weekend investigative report. Mail and Guardian Africa
LAND wars have escalated in Zimbabwe after the government recently gazetted 23 farms, 18 of which are in Matabeleland, for resettlement of landless peasants, following another 198 that have been gazetted since 2011.
The farms have since been allocated to their new owners amid physical confrontations and legal wars, with farm labourers throwing their weight behind their white employers against the new farmers.
According to the General Notice of 2015, land is being acquired lawfully in terms of Section 72 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“It is hereby notified that the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement acquires for and on behalf of the State, the land identified in the schedule for purposes of agricultural settlement under section 72 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” reads the notice.
“The ownership of the acquired land with full title therein vested in the State is with effect from the date of publication of this notice in the Government Gazette.”
Some of the farms which were acquired include Lot 6 and 7 of Maguga measuring 303,5140 and 303,5142 hectares respectively in Umzingwane district.
Other pieces of land acquired by the State in Umzingwane District are Springvale Estate measuring 1 355,0835 hectares registered under African Distillers Limited and Subdivision 14 Woodlands measuring 114,2303 hectares as well as Lot 7 of Kirtons Farm measuring 101,5774 hectares.
In Umguza district, five farms were also gazetted, including Umvutcha B measuring 316,2214 hectares, Lot 1 of Umguza Agricultural Lots of Umvutcha measuring 21,4843 hectares and Helenvale Block measuring 393,0028 hectares. In Matobo District, Lushongwe of Last View
(1 285,24 hectares), Matopo Vale
(202,7447 hectares) were also gazetted.
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement minister, Douglas Mombeshora announced that the government acquired farms that were gazetted as part of the fast-track land reform programme which began in 2000.
“This is an ongoing programme which started in 2000 under the Land Reform. In fact, farms are acquired every day and redistributed because all agricultural land belongs to the state,” said Mombeshora.
The government claims over 300 000 households have benefited from the programme since 2000.
The allocation of Maleme Farm in Matobo District, Matabeleland South, owned by David Cunningham, torched the anger of communities from surrounding villages who had been benefiting from the farm through employment opportunities.
An official from the President’s Office identified as Rodney Mashingaidze tried to annex the farm, but was stopped after the intervention of Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Cunningham had been given notice to stop operations on December 19, 2014 and prepare to hand over the property to a new owner in February.
Mashingaidze allegedly invaded the farm and took an inventory in the presence of the police declaring that the removal of anything from the farm would be considered theft.
Ebenezer employs over 60 locals, while 80 villagers into chicken farming are benefiting from the farm through a poultry out-grower scheme. The scheme operates through Maleme Farm and produces over 750 000 birds per year with each farmer earning annual profits of between $3 000 and
The farm currently supplies over 50% of Matabeleland’s layer birds to small-scale farmers, while its Shalom campsite provides training facilities for farmers under the Turning Matabeleland Green (TMG) programme.
Officials at the farm said to date 3 000 rural farmers had been trained.
Maleme Farm also supports Induna Primary School in the area. The local community, including churches, were strongly against the acquisition of Maleme Farm and circulated a petition to bar its takeover.
Recently, Mombeshora took a white commercial farmer, Michael Norman Conoly, to court seeking his eviction from Boxwell Farm of McGee in Bulilima District.
In a lawsuit filed on October 13 at the Bulawayo High Court, Mombeshora said he was suing Conoly in his capacity as the minister responsible for the administration of the Land Acquisition Act.
Mombeshora said the plaintiff lawfully acquired the land for resettlement.
He said the beneficiaries were identified after applying for land and were subsequently issued with offer letters.
“Despite demand and the land having been lawfully acquired, the defendant has failed or refused or neglected to vacate the farm and make way for the said new offer letter holders,” he said.
President Robert Mugabe’s deputy chief secretary, Ray Ndhlukula, in August 2015 invaded Centenary Farm, leading to the eviction of 75 people from the farm, some of whom had been staying at the property since the 1960s.
Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers Matabeleland chairperson Benedict Moyo was reportedly allocated Boxwell Farm, while one Ashton Ndlovu was allocated Banovallum Farm.
Ndhlukula was recently sentenced to 90 days in jail for contempt of court after he refused to vacate the farm as ordered by the High Court.
The Supreme Court, however, subsequently struck the case off the roll after establishing that Ndhlukula’s appeal had a technical fault.
On September 18, 2014 a government delegation visited Boxwell Farm and ordered Conoly to vacate Boxwell and Banovallum farms although they did not have offer letters.
In another case, Matobo South legislator Never Khanye (Zanu PF) was embroiled in a fight with Dave Waddy over Mhlahlandlela Mineral King Ranch after reportedly securing an offer letter.
Waddy runs a tourism attraction centre called Big Cave in Matobo District.
In February this year, Khanye lost a court battle against Waddy over the same farm after Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha ruled that he must not interfere with the farm operations.
Khanye, through officers from the lands ministry, invaded the ranch in violation of the court order.
Waddy then filed a High Court application seeking an interdict barring Khanye from settling on the ranch and on September 28, Justice Francis Bere upheld the February 20 judgment.
Justice Bere further ruled that the ministry erred by parcelling out Mhlahlandlela Ranch when it was not designated for resettlement.
He said the farm in question was not in an agricultural terrain and could, therefore, not be acquired under the Agricultural Land Acquisition Act.
Mugabe recently expressed anger over some 163 white farmers in Mashonaland East province still owning land and vowed that his administration would step up efforts to acquire the last remaining farms still in white hands.
The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) estimates that there are between 300 and 400 white farmers remaining in the country compared to 4 500 in 2000.
The current wave of farm seizures is, however, concentrated in Matabeleland.
In 2014, Zanu PF-linked invaders seized a Bulawayo city council-owned farm and Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa’s Ruby farm in Nyamandlovu.
CFU director Hendrik Olivier, said the crackdown was deliberately planned.
“It would appear that this is just more people who need farmland and they are just picking off the remaining couple of (white) farmers who have already lost land, but are fortunate enough to still be on a small piece of land. Now they are taking that away too,” said Olivier.
By his own admission, Mugabe, in a speech to mark his 91st birthday celebrations early this year, said the farms given to the new black owners were too large.
In 2011, Zanu PF’s Department of Land Reform, Resettlement and Agriculture recommended that the remaining 198 white-owned farms be gazetted for resettlement.
Manicaland had the biggest number of farms yet to be gazetted (106), followed by Matabeleland South (59) and Matabeleland North (17).
Mashonaland East had eight white-owned commercial farms, Masvingo (three), Mashonaland West (one) while Mashonaland Central had none.
As at 2011, about 424,24 hectares had been gazetted for urban expansion.
Over 223 former commercial farmers are under prosecution for failure to vacate gazetted land after the expiry date as required by the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act chapter 20:08 of 2006. by Silas Nkala. Source-newsday
Hong KONG — Two travellers from Zimbabwe were yesterday arrested at Hong Kong International Airport yesterday after 36kg of suspected ivory products were found in their luggage.
The two men, aged 29 and 47, were intercepted as they arrived in the city from Harare via Dubai.
“During customs clearance, customs officers found about 19kg of suspected ivory products concealed in a tailor-made vest inside the hand luggage of the 47-year-old man,” the customs and excise department said.
“About 17kg of suspect ivory products were found in the hand luggage of the 29-year-old man.”
The haul was estimated to be worth about HK$360 000 in Hong Kong, according to the department.
Customs officers handed the case to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation department for further investigation. The department oversees matters relating to ivory in Hong Kong.
Under the protection of endangered species of animals and plants ordinance, any person found guilty of importing an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of HK$5 million and two years in jail.
In September, customs officers detected four cases of ivory smuggling at the airport.
On September 29, a man, 26, from Nigeria was arrested and 16kg of suspected cut ivory stashed inside the pockets of a tailor-made vest and underpants were found in his luggage when he arrived in the city. The haul was worth about HK$160,000.
On September 25, officers seized 13kg of suspected ivory products worth about
HK$130 000 and arrested a 27-year-old man from Zimbabwe at the airport.
On September 6, officers confiscated 51kg of suspected cut ivory pieces worth HK$510 000 hidden in two airmail parcels which had arrived from Zimbabwe via Amsterdam.
On September 2, another 24kg of suspected ivory worth about HK$240 000 was found hidden in a parcel arriving through the same destinations.source-newzimbabwe