Category Archives: National

Breaking: Former Parly speaker dies

BULAWAYO’s first black mayor and former Speaker of Parliament, Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, has died.

BY SILAS NKALA

Ndlovu died early this morning at his Luveve 4 home after being unwell for quite a while.

He was 87.

Ndlovu held quite a number of influential positions in government, the ruling Zanu PF party and former PF Zapu. He was PF Zapu’s last national chairman before the signing of the Unity Accord.

At one point, Ndlovu served as deputy Senate president and at the time of his death he was a Zanu PF central committee member.

Zanu PF Politburo member Jonathan Moyo yesterday tweeted to confirm Ndlovu’s death, describing him as fountain of wisdom.

“Naison Kutshwekhaya Ndlovu: 1930 – 2017, a fountain of ubuntu-wisdom, a beacon of revolutionary experience & a key pillar of national unity,” he posted.

More to follow…

Zanu PF youths, war vets square off

WAR veterans have scoffed at President Robert Mugabe’s upcoming provincial campaign rallies organised by Zanu PF youths, NewsDay has established.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association’s spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association’s spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya

The ex-freedom fighters described the sojourns starting this weekend as a wild goose chase which would not revive the veteran politician’s waning support base ahead of the 2018 general elections.

Mugabe is, starting this Saturday, expected to embark on a whirlwind tour of the provinces to mend gaping cracks within his faction-ridden ruling party and drum up support as he faces a massive challenge from a likely coalesced opposition party grouping.

Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya yesterday said the planned rallies would not achieve much in mobilising the electorate to vote for Zanu PF as the majority of the ruling party’s youths were still politically immature, serve for the likes of youth secretary Kudzanai Chipanga and a few others.

But, Zanu PF youth spokesperson, Evelyn Mpofu yesterday brushed aside Mahiya’s claims, saying the rallies would succeed with or without the war veterans’ support.

Said Mahiya: “It is not the number of people that gather or the number of rallies that they will have, but it is about revising the process of the revolution that requires political orientation to produce a generation that is politically conscious.”

He added: “The meetings are necessary to Chipanga because he wants to show the President that he can mobilise huge numbers. Even though they are saying that everyone is welcome to attend, probably there will be more youths who will attend.

“Chipanga is trying to convince the President that he has the capacity to bring more people together and war veterans will be rendered useless and in the process they will be attacking war veterans.”

The war veterans’ spokesperson equated the rallies to the infamous Zanu PF million-man march held in May last year, which he said lacked political significance after most ex-fighters boycotted the event. Mahiya warned residents in areas targeted for the rallies to brace for intimidation and being frog-marched to the rallies to boost the numbers.

“In some instances, there will be rowdy youths that will be forcing people to attend. If they are to mobilise people they should do it peacefully. We urge communities to organise and protect themselves from being forced to attend those rallies and those structures should also resist violence,” he urged, adding that the $5 billion demanded by Zanu PF youths under the guise of economic empowerment projects was a ploy to loot State resources to sponsor the party’s campaign programme.

Zanu PF national youth commissar, Innocent Hamandishe said despite all the critism, the rallies will go ahead.

“The rallies are so necessary,” Hamandishe said, adding that the war veterans might not see the value of the rallies now, but they will certainly work in Zanu PF’s favour.

He said by holding the rallies, the youths were not seeking conflict with anyone including war veterans.

“Youths alone will not be able to make Zanu PF win. We need women and war veterans. It’s team work,” he said.

Concerning the $5 billion reportedly demanded by youths for various projects, Hamandishe said they were seeking real empowerment and not the little money they have been given in past.

“If you look at the money that was previously given an individual, something like $2 000-$3 000, it is like a salary to others and there is no meaningful project that we can do. We are demanding that an individual be given something like $20 000,” he said.

In 2012, government through the National Youth Fund mobilised $40 million from various banks and disbursed it as loans for various Zanu PF youth projects, but the majority of the beneficiaries failed to repay the loans after squandering the funds.

Parly committees chairpersons threatened by ministers: Mudenda

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, has disclosed that some parliamentary committee chairpersons are living in fear after receiving various threats mostly from Cabinet ministers angered by their oversight duties.

by VENERANDA LANGA

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda

Speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust (Sapst) in Harare last Friday, Mudenda hailed Sapst for helping capacitate the committees to carry out their duties without fear or favour.

“We shall continue to protect the Constitution which stipulates that all institutions and agencies of government at every level are accountable to Parliament. This places an onerous responsibility on MPs,” Mudenda said.

“Some of my chairmen of committees have been threatened by ministers who say to the chairman you want to take over my ministerial responsibilities — why is your committee so inquisitive? My answer is that it is not the committee that is inquisitive — it is the Constitution that is inquisitive and says all State institutions and agencies must be accountable to Parliament, and if you do not like that then let us amend the Constitution.”

Mudenda said he gets disgusted by some ministers that do not have the humility to accept recommendations by parliamentary committees.

“Some ministers do not have the humility to accept recommendations of parliamentary committees. We are now at the crest and members of the Executive are beginning to gel in now and are working very closely with Parliament.

“Last Monday, I got a letter from the Ministry of Justice saying it is indeed the responsibility of Parliament to uphold the Constitution. They said they admit that there has been a slow process of alignment of laws and even suggested that their ministry’s committee on alignment of laws meets with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice so as to speed up the process of alignment,” Mudenda said.

Sapst executive director, John Makamure, announced that they will soon introduce a certificate in legislative studies.

“In the next 10 years, Sapst will be an established key institution in Southern Africa and will diversify its funding base. We have formed an endowment fund for the organisation to be self-financing so that we do not continue to rely on donors. Sapst will introduce a certificate in legislative studies,” Makamure said.

Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Chokuda, said Sapst is currently looking at strengthening the Public Finance Management Act, and has been providing MPs with budget guidelines, as well as assisting in taking Parliament to the people through supporting public hearings on Bills.

Govt urged to deal with statelessness, rights and welfare of children

GOVERNMENT has been urged to accede to the 1954 United Nations Conventions relating to the status of stateless persons and the 1961 UN convention on the reduction of statelessness, as well as to expedite the implementation of Article 6 (4) of the African Charter on the rights and welfare of the child.

by VENERANDA LANGA

The issues came out in a report presented in Senate last week by Midlands senator Lillian Timveous (MDC-T).

“Failure to ratify the 1961 Convention to reduction of statelessness reflects negatively on the government of Zimbabwe’s failure to fulfil citizen’s social, economic, civil and political rights,” Timveous said.

“In my research I was shocked to find out that we have over 10 500 refugees at Tongogara Camp east of Harare from the Democratic Republic of Congo (8 100), Burundi (over 700), Rwanda (700) and over 700 from Mozambique and the camp is overcrowded.”

Timveous said the school at the camp was ill-equipped and had poor infrastructure.

“There is a lot happening there such as malnutrition, and believe me, there are so many children at this camp. The issue of birth certificates and identification cards is really an issue.”

She said Zimbabwe must ensure that everyone has a right to nationality in order to meet the requirements of sustainable development goal 16 which says everyone must have a legal right to identity, including birth registration.

The Constitution also provides for fundamental human rights and freedoms incorporating the rights of children to a name and provision of identity documents.

Timveous said there is need to maintain comprehensive birth registration and civil registration systems within Zimbabwe with a view to prevent statelessness.

Manicaland senator David Chimhini said statelessness remained an emotive issue with about 10 million people who were stateless in the world.

“Individuals, women and children are particularly exposed to risks of statelessness and that is why the Gukurahundi issue has remained emotive. We need to be sober whenever we are discussing this post-independence unfortunate period.

“The office of the Registrar-General must be flexible and make it easy for people to obtain identity documents and remove unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy which makes it difficult to obtain identity documents,” Chimhini said.

‘Zanu PF MP’s ‘no-go area’ remarks reckless, barbaric’

THE MDC-T has described Zanu PF’s Uzumba MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa’s recent remarks declaring his constituency a “no-go area” for opposition parties as reckless, barbaric and meant to incite violence ahead of next year’s polls.

by STAFF WRITER

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu

Last week, Mudarikwa declared that no opposition party activities would be allowed in his Uzumba constituency, claiming that all the 80 000 people in the constituency would vote for President Robert Mugabe.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu described Mudarikwa’s statements as “barbaric”.

“The remarks by Mudarikwa, at the official handover of an irrigation scheme sponsored by World Vision in Mudzi district, cannot go unchallenged, and indeed, these thuggish and threatening remarks are clearly indicative of an intolerant and violent politician,” Gutu said.

“It is well-documented in the annals of the political history of Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP), that this particular constituency invariably experiences extreme and barbaric politically-motivated violence during every election since the year 2000,” he said.

Gutu claimed hundreds of opposition MDC-T supporters were murdered in cold blood in UMP during the violent 2008 Presidential election run-off.

“Many women in this district were savagely raped and sexually molested by known Zanu PF political thugs and hoodlums. The homesteads of MDC supporters were burnt down and millions of dollars’ worth of property belonging to opposition supporters was looted and destroyed.

“It is apparent that politicians in the mould of one Simbaneuta Mudarikwa actually aid and abet the acts of wanton political violence that are routinely perpetrated against MDC supporters in UMP. As an MP, it is highly inappropriate and completely out of order for Mudarikwa to publicly boast that Zanu PF has virtually made his constituency a no-go area for opposition political parties,” he said.

The opposition said Mudarikwa’s statements are proof that Zanu PF is already rigging the 2018 elections through instilling fear on citizens.

Zimbabweans in SA urged to renew permits before expiry date

UNCERTAINTY has gripped thousands of Zimbabweans based in South Africa after the host country announced on Wednesday that all special dispensation permits issued since 2009 are expiring on December 31 this year.

BY SILAS NKALA

South Africa Home Affairs minister, Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize

South Africa Home Affairs minister, Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize

In a statement, South Africa’s Home Affairs minister, Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize, urged Zimbabweans with valid passports to renew their permits before the expiry date to avoid deportation.

“The impending expiry of these permits has caused much anxiety with a great many of the 245 000 successful applicants. The Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit Current (DZP) permit-holders, who wish to remain in South Africa, after the expiry of their permits, can reapply for the ZSP, subject to certain conditions,” Mkhize said.

She said these conditions include, but are not limited to a valid Zimbabwean passport, evidence of employment, business or accredited study, and a clean criminal record.

Mkhize said successful applicants will receive new permits valid until December 31, 2020.

“Applications can only be made between June 1 2017 and December 31 2017. Applications must be made via visa facilitation services (VFS), and adjudicated by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Applications will begin online, with appointments given for in-person finalisation at a visa facilitation centre,” she said.

“An administration fee will apply but is yet to be divulged. ZSP permit-holders who wish to stay in South Africa after the expiry of the ZSP, must return to Zimbabwe to apply for mainstream visas and permits under the Immigration Act, subject to the relevant requirements.

“The expiry date of those DZP permits which expire after December 2017, is being brought forward to December 31 2017. This of course now provides VFS with a significant challenge — the processing of an additional 245 000 applications in just 3 months.”

This means that there are 80 000 potential applicants per month.

The minister said her government had opened four new offices in Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, to facilitate the vetting of applicants and issuance of new permits.

A representative of Zimbabwean immigrants in South Africa, Ngqabutho Mabhena, confirmed the anxiety among Zimbabweans, with some expressing doubts on South Africa’s capacity to process all applications before the deadline.

‘Unlicensed drivers cause spike in road accidents’

A TOP government official has blamed unlicensed drivers for causing a spike in road accidents.

By Nhau Mangirazi

A-KOMBI-DRIVER-BREAKS-THE-LAW-BY--DRIVING-THROUGH-PAVEMENTS-IN-THE-CBD-pIC-Hilary

Speaking at the official launch of the Accident Vehicle Fund consultative meeting in Karoi last week, Transport and Infrastructural Development director, Allowance Sango, said motorists driving public service vehicles were either unlicensed or underage, hence the increase in road accidents.

“We are facing challenges because we have too many ghost drivers in our roads. They do not have the required documents including driver’s licenses. Most of the drivers driving public transport are less than 25 years old without a minimum of five years’ experience to drive public transport. If you ask for a licence, they produce a blue one that is fake, another blue car registration book, a blue identity card is fake,” he said.

“What this reveals is that we have fake drivers on our roads and these are ghosts. The only proper document soon after afforded a chance to travel is a death certificate that awaits him after accident. As passengers, we fall into the trap of ghost drivers fuelling accidents on our roads.’’

Sango added that according to a 2016 survery produced by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration, 90% of imported cars are not officially registered with the Central Vehicle Registry, turning the country’s roads into a jungle.

“There is need to embark on Command Vehicle Accident Fund to cater for those affected by accidents so that they can be compensated to meet funeral and medical expenses,” Sango said.

Speaking at the same event, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe representative, Clifford Gobo, said neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Namibia and South Africa have already established a similar road accident fund.

“We must be wary of how the funds will be managed since it will be public funds,” Gobo said.

Dump Zanu PF: Dabengwa tells flood victims

ZIMBABWEANS should dump Zanu PF come 2018 elections because of the ruling party’s insensitivity to the plight of flood victims, opposition Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa said.

Dumiso Dabengwa

Dumiso Dabengwa

Dabengwa made the remarks recently while donating building material which included 140 bags of cement to residents of Cabatsha in Bulawayo whose homes were destroyed by the Cyclone-induced heavy rains early this year.

“Since inception, Zapu has stood true to its founding principles and values where genuine and true empowerment involves giving our people means and freedom to work and cater for their human needs,” Dabengwa said, while addressing some of the beneficiaries.

He accused Zanu PF of dumping people, mostly the underprivileged, only to remember them at election time.

“It is never our policy to spoon feed our people since it creates a dependency syndrome and leave the people vulnerable to political manipulation as displayed by Zanu PF and MDC-T. As it is they forgot to come here and play their patronage with you since disaster struck last year, but be sure to see them early 2018 when they come for your vote in the general elections.

“Be wise and be vigilant. Know where you put your trust and welfare when you go to the ballot box. Only Zapu answered to your distress call despite us being out of government both locally and nationally,” Dabengwa added.

The government has since sent a begging bowl to the international community for financial aid to refurbish some of the infrastructure, particularly roads, bridges, schools and clinics, destroyed by the heavy rains. — Online

Zanu PF plots provincial shutdown

ZANU PF is plotting a shutdown of Mashonaland East and is reportedly forcing schools in the province to release their buses and trucks to carry supporters to President Robert Mugabe’s rally slated for next Saturday at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera.

By Jairos Saunyama

President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe

The ruling party, which is often accused of using force and intimidation to get support, has allegedly ordered school authorities in the province to provide buses so that youths and other people can be ferried to the rally.

Although Zanu PF provincial youth league chairman, Kevin Mutsvairo could not state the source of the 58 buses so far secured for the rally, sources told NewsDay Weekender that schools had been marshalled to provide the transport for the rally, where the 93-year-old leader will interact with the youth.

“We are at an advanced stage as far as mobilisation of people and resources ahead of the big day is concerned,” Mutsvairo said.

“So far, we have secured 58 buses and 69 lorries. Everything is in place and we are still mobilising for more transport resources because we are expecting thousands of youth.”

The rally kickstarts a series of countrywide gatherings, which will see Mugabe addressing the youth in the country’s 10 provinces.

The Zanu PF youth league said close to 100 000 youths are expected at Rudhaka Stadium to listen to Mugabe, who is on a nationwide tour to meet the youth and mobilise support ahead of 2018 general elections.

Although the stadium cannot hold such a multitude of people, Zanu PF claims it will ensure the small soccer ground and its terraces accommodate all the people from the province’s 23 constituencies.

Zanu PF secretary for youth, Kudzi Chipanga told delegates, who attended a preparatory meeting recently that each of the 23 constituencies in the province would provide 4 300 youths, with MPs instructed to mobilise people to attend or risk political office.

In preparation for Mugabe’s visit, Marondera Town Council, with help from the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority, on Thursday embarked on a massive rehabilitation of the road that links Harare-Mutare Highway and Rudhaka Stadium.

NewsDay Weekender witnessed workers with heavy vehicles and machinery busy patching potholes and widening the road.

The move has angered residents, who accused the council of hypocrisy and only being concerned about service delivery when Mugabe visits.

Efforts to get a comment from town clerk, Josiah Musuwo were fruitless yesterday.

Mugabe the bishop of dictators: Biti

Former Finance minister and People’s Democratic Party leader (PDP), Tendai Biti has said most youth in the country now think it is now normal to be vendors on the streets and to see dilapidated infrastructure at companies such as National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).

BY SILAS NKALA

Tendai Biti

Tendai Biti

Addressing PDP supporters during Africa Day celebrations in Bulawayo on Thursday, Biti accused President Robert Mugabe of destroying a once-vibrant economy.

He accused Mugabe of plotting to have his wife, Grace, succeed him as President.

“There is a headmaster of dictators. Bishop, papa, Pope of dictators, and he is this old man called Robert Mugabe. He inherited the country when it was the jewel of Africa, the country has turned into a torn pair of trousers,” Biti said.

“People have no jobs, companies are closing, there is no money. This is a country with the largest constituency of lodgers 37 years after independence, they are still called mukomana wekuseri (lodgers).”

He said 37 years after independence, many homes still had no electricity, while 63% of the population use the bush as toilets.

“There is a third generation, which has never been employed and do not know what a payslip is. They think this is normal to sell cigarettes, to sell tomatoes. No, it’s not normal,” Biti said.

He said companies such as NRZ, which used to be engines of economic growth in the country, now had overgrown grass with no meaningful activity taking place there.

“They (youth) think it’s normal that when you go to company premises, you find churches holding services there,” Biti said.

“This is normal to Mugabe and his Zanu PF. What we want to tell you is that another Zimbabwe is possible. All Zimbabweans have the right to enjoy the benefits of independence. What is wrong for one to go to work and get paid? Most of us now think dealing, violence and crime are the only ways to survive.”

He said Zanu PF had taught people to survive on deals, most of them illegal.

Biti said economic revival could not be addressed through clandestine deals.

“The country’s economy must be brought to life through foreign direct investment. We cannot solve the economic problems through the so-called command this command that. Foreign direct investment cannot be achieved when there is a wrong team. PDP will build this economy at the rate of 7% per annum. In our manifesto we will emphasise on that,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Zapu leader, Dumiso Dabengwa said people were suffering more than they were under the colonial regime.

Dabengwa challenged people, who feel the pain and suffering under this government to come out in numbers to register to vote in 2018, saying staying at home would mean Zanu PF ruling the country forever.

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