Mugabe appeals for $100m as floods wreak havoc in Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe had earlier in the week declared southern Zimbabwe disaster areas after villagers were left marooned as major rivers burst their banks.

“It is apparent that extraordinary response measures to alleviate suffering of citizens of this country in communal, resettlement and urban areas have to be intensified,” Mr Kasukuwere said.

“I am therefore appealing to the development partners, private sector and general public, inclusive of those in the Diaspora, to rally with the government to support the emergency relief programmes in line with policy which requires that every citizen has a responsibility to avert and/or limit the effects of a disaster.”

Zimbabwe was emerging from a prolonged drought that left four million people in need of food aid last year.

The rains associated with the la Nina weather phenomenon, have left 74 schools damaged while 70 dams burst throughout the country, Mr Kasukuwere said.

Transport Minister Joram Gumbo said the government was mobilising funds to repair five bridges on major highways that were swept away by the floods.

“Our roads have deteriorated to the extent that some sections of the national road network have become impassable,” the minister said.

President Mugabe recently declared roads in Harare a state of disaster after incessant rains caused potholes.

Zimbabwe has over the years relied on donors to feed the majority of its population because of the poor performance of the economy.

The country’s once thriving agriculture industry collapsed a decade ago after President Mugabe embarked on a controversial land reform programme that displaced close to 4,000 white commercial farmers.

 

Source: Today

Zimbabwe government bans the beating of children

Zimbabwe’s High Court has outlawed corporal punishment for children both at school and in the home.

The ruling comes after a parent complained that her child in grade one, a class for six-year-olds, had deep bruises after a beating by a teacher.

Linah Pfungwa said her daughter had been punished for failing to have her reading book signed by guardians as proof she had done her homework.

The constitutional court will have to confirm the judgement.

The BBC’s Shingai Nyoka in the capital, Harare, says if upheld, it would transform the way parents have disciplined their children for centuries in the southern African country.

Some parents are criticising the ruling, while rights groups says it is long overdue, she says.

Ms Pfungwa, who filed her application with support from the Justice for Children’s Trust, said her child was severely assaulted with a rubber pipe.

“My child suffered major bruises and I took photographs and pictures of the same,” the state-run Chronicle newspaper quotes her as saying.

“She had deep bruises on her back and she could hardly sleep properly. I posted the pictures of my daughter on our WhatsApp group for other parents to observe and it turned out that other children had also been assaulted.”

In her application, Ms Pfungwa said that children should not be subjected to any form of violence and such corporal punishment breached their rights under Zimbabwe’s Constitution.

She argued that other forms of discipline should be used for children.

“If my child misbehaves, I ground her by denying her access to television as well as denying her pocket money or other goodies like sweets and presents,” she said.

“If she does well, I reward her by presents or extra hours of watching television.

“My child is well-behaved and well-brought up simply as a result of the dialogue that I use as a means of discipline.”

Justice David Mangota agreed that corporal punishment for children was unconstitutional and said that parents and teachers should not lay their hands on children even if they misbehave.

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe turns 93, vows to remain in power.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest national ruler, turns 93 on Tuesday, defiantly vowing to remain in power despite growing signs of frailty and failing health.

He will celebrate with his staff in a private ceremony in Harare while supporters use state media to send their annual gushing messages of goodwill and congratulations.

The main celebrations will be held Saturday at Matobo National Park outside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, and are expected to attract thousands of officials and ZANU-PF party faithful.

Mugabe has ruled out any prospect of retiring soon, saying that ZANU-PF officials believe there is no “acceptable” alternative.

“The call to step down must come from my party… In such circumstances I will step down,” the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying in an interview aired late Monday.

“They want me to stand for elections… If I feel that I can’t do it any more, I will say so to my party so that they relieve me. But for now, I think I can’t say so,” he said.

“The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, a successor who to them is acceptable,” Mugabe added.

The veteran leader came to power when Zimbabwe won independence in 1980 and his rule has been criticised for ruthless repression of dissent, election rigging, and for causing the country’s economic collapse.

– Advanced age –
Several incidents in recent years have highlighted his advanced age — including a fall in February 2015 at Harare airport.

In September of the same year he read a speech to parliament apparently unaware that he had delivered exactly the same address a month earlier.

Despite growing calls to step aside, his party has endorsed him as its candidate for general elections next year, and he remains widely respected as a liberation hero by other African leaders.

On Friday, his wife, Grace, claimed that Mugabe would be the voters’ choice even after he dies.

She has also vowed to use a wheelchair to transport him to election rallies if needed.

Mugabe has avoided naming a successor, and his party is divided between factions hoping to succeed him.

Grace, 51, was appointed head of the ruling party’s women’s wing in a surprise move that could make her a possible successor to Mugabe.

Another leading candidate is Mugabe’s vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Last year, security forces brutally quelled a series of street protests in Harare, a rare public expression of opposition to Mugabe’s regime.

According to Bloomberg News, Zimbabwe’s economic output has halved since 2000 when many white-owned farms were seized by ZANU-PF supporters, leaving the key agricultural sector in ruins.

 

Source: Guardian

“Give Donald Trump a chance”, says 93-year old Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe.

President Donald Trump should be given a chance to prove himself, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe says.

He went on to express his support for Mr Trump’s America-first policy, saying “America for Americans” and “Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans”.

It is unusual for the veteran head of state to publicly back any US president.

The US imposed sanctions such as travel bans and an assets freeze on Mr Mugabe and his allies in 2001.

The sanctions were imposed over allegations of human rights abuses and election rigging.

Zimbabwe’s government says they caused the country’s economic collapse.

Most experts however blame Mr Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned farms, which used to be Zimbabwe’s economic backbone.

With Mr Trump’s reputation for being unconventional, Mr Mugabe is hoping his administration might decide to lift the sanctions.

“Give him time,” Zimbabwe’s leader said of Mr Trump in an interview aired ahead of his 93rd birthday on Tuesday.

“Mr Trump might even re-look [at] the sanctions on Zimbabwe.”

President Trump has caused global uproar over his policies, including his ban on people from seven mainly Muslim countries entering the US, although this has been overturned by the courts, and his pledge to rebuild the US economy on “America-first” principles.

Mr Mugabe is unfazed by such policies as he seems to identify with Mr Trump’s brand of nationalism.

“When it comes to Donald Trump… talking of American nationalism, well America for America, America for Americans – on that we agree. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans,” Mr Mugabe said.

As far as the nonagenarian president is concerned, there is more hope with Mr Trump in the White House than if it had been Hilary Clinton.

“I was surprised by his election, but I did not like Madam Clinton to win either,” he said.

“I knew she could slap sanctions on us as a legacy.”

President Mugabe, Africa’s oldest head of state, also repeated that he is not ready to step down from power.

“The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am,” he told state media.

His Zanu-PF party has endorsed Mr Mugabe as its candidate in elections due next year.

Last week, first lady Grace Mugabe said if the party were to field his corpse, he would still win.

 

Source: BBC

Mugabe Fit to Rule at 93, Court Rules

Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has dismissed a case that sought to question the capacity of 93-year-old president, Robert Mugabe.

The court however said the plaintiff could appeal the decision within 30 days. The dismissal centred largely on the premise that due court processes were not followed.

An activist with the Takamuka social movement, Promise Mkwananzi, went to court to seek to prove that Mugabe – who turns 93 this February, was unfit to hold office given his advanced age.

This is just a convenient excuse for the Constitutional Court to bite the bullet, so we are saying that we are going to reapply within 30 days as prescribed by the rule of the constitutional court and relaunch this issue.
Even though most political watchers said they case was bound to fail, he has affirmed that he will appeal today’s ruling.

‘‘This is just a convenient excuse for the Constitutional Court to bite the bullet, so we are saying that we are going to reapply within 30 days as prescribed by the rule of the constitutional court and relaunch this issue,’‘ he said.

He says there was enough grounds to prove that the President lacked the capacity to occupy the office, citing statements that the president had made. Statements he describes as ‘‘clearly not in the spirit of the constitution.’‘

Mugabe is the only man to hold the office of president in the southern Africa country since its independence from the British. The country heads into elections next year and the ruling party wants him to run. The country has been hit by political protests which peaked last year.

A drought in the region has been worsened by a crippling economy which is suffering from acute currency crisis.

 

Source:

http://www.nan.ng/news/mugabe-fit-rule-93-court-rules/

 

Zimbabweans to donate 150 cows for Mugabe’s birthday celebration

Citizens of Southern African nation, Zimbabwe have reportedly been asked to make provision of at least 150 cattle towards the celebration of president Robert Mugabe’s coming birthday as he turns 93 on February 21.

Mugabe has been in power since 1980 when the country gained independence from Britain.

He is also known for extravagant birthday party, which usually would run into millions of dollars.

The state-owned Herald newspaper revealed that this year’s birthday bash organisers said they aimed at realizing at least 150 heads of cattle to serve about 100 000 guests at the occasion.

A Zanu-PF lawmaker, identified as Never Khanye, pointed out that the donations were voluntary, but added that large-scale farmers in Matabeleland South, the venue of the birthday party, must donate a cow each to appreciate the president.

He told the newspaper, “We have set a target to raise 150 cattle for the event. We are appealing to well-wishers to do so willingly and not to come again tomorrow and say we were forced.

“All A2 farmers who got offer letters must donate a beast each for this event and those that will fail we will take it that they don’t appreciate what the president has done for them.”
Youth league of the ruling Zanu-PF said last month that Mugabe’s birthday should be celebrated like that of Christ.

National youth leader of the party, Kudzai Chipanga insisted that the veteran leader’s birthday should not be seen as an “ordinary day.”

He said, “To us, February 21 is not just a day. To us, it is a special day we treat in the same manner Christians treat December 25, the birthday of Jesus Christ.

“I don’t want to be blasphemous, but in my humble view, President Mugabe is second to Jesus Christ. He is our saviour, so his birthday means a lot for us the youths of Zimbabwe.”

Cash-strapped Zimbabwe offers workers land instead of bonuses

Zimbabwe authorities offered residential land to government employees in lieu of annual bonuses, unions said on Thursday, rejecting a proposal that suggests the cash squeeze gripping the country is unlikely to ease this year.

The southern African nation’s economy stagnated last year, fanning anti-government protests and compounding President Robert Mugabe’s problems ahead of national elections due in 2018.

Public sector workers are paid an annual bonus equivalent to a month’s salary every November and December, but the government – which spends more than $250 million monthly on salaries – has not said when it will make the 2016 payment.

Owning residential land is sees as unattractive as most plots lack basic amenities such as roads, electricity and sewerage, making them difficult to settle on or sell.

Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, described the government’s offer as “madness” and said unions rejected it at a meeting on Wednesday.

Unions also turned down a second offer to pay half the bonus in cash and the rest in “non-monetary” benefits that the government did not spell out.

“The government should just pay what is due to the workers and not cry about financial problems,” Majongwe said.

He said the government last month signed another deal with unions allowing more than 500,000 state workers to buy residential land from councils at below market prices.

“Let us say they give us the land today, what happens at the end of the year when the 2017 bonuses are due?”

Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira, who attended the meeting alongside the finance minister and central bank governor, said they would meet the unions again on Feb 20.

Cecilia Alexander, who chairs the Apex Council that groups all state sector unions, said the council would give its final position on the proposals in February.

Without balance of payments support from international financial institutions, Mugabe’s government spends more than 80 percent of its budget on salaries.

Facing unprecedented protests over cash shortages and falling living standards, it dropped plans last September to cut public sector jobs and bonuses.

 

Source: www.reuters.com

Zimbabwean Pastor arrested after prophesying Robert Mugabe’s death

A prominent pastor in Zimbabwe, Patrick Mugadza, was arrested on Monday after prophesying that President Robert Mugabe, 92, will die on October 17, 2017, police and the pastor’s lawyer said.

 

Mr. Mugadza, from the Remnant Pentecostal Church based in the northern town of Kariba, had become famous by holding a one-man demonstration in 2015 against Mugabe, whom he accused of being incompetent.

 

The Southern African country has seen growing protests against its leader of 37 years, whom critics accuse of ruining the economy, but who nevertheless intends to seek re-election in 2018, when he will be 94 years old.

 

Mr. Mugadza said in December that Mr. Mugabe would die on October 17 and urged him to pray hard if he wanted to avoid that fate.

 

Mr. Mugadza was arrested in Harare on charges of undermining the authority of the president, but the charge was then changed to criminal nuisance, his lawyer Gift Mtisi said.

 

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba confirmed the arrest.

 

Mr. Mugadza is not admitting to the charge against him, “as he is arguing that what he said was given to him by God during a prayer,” Mr. Mtisi said.

 

Local Government Minister Savior Kasukuwere said the authorities would clamp down on priests raising alarm.

 

“These prophets are becoming reckless and careless, they need to be put on a leash,” he said.

 

Last year, another pastor, Evan Mawarire, launched a protest movement against Mr. Mugabe on social media.

 

Mr. Mugadza’s arrest came as the ruling party prepares to throw a huge party to celebrate Mugabe’s 93rd birthday on February 21.

 

The pastor is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe holds first public interviews for Chief Justice

Zimbabwe held its first ever public interviews for the vacant post of Chief Justice on Tuesday.

The public interviews was to reflect President Robert Mugabe’s reduced authority under a constitution adopted three years ago in the southern African country.

In the past, Mr. Mugabe had sole authority to appoint the head of the judiciary, but the 2013 charter required candidates to be interviewed by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), a panel of mostly senior judges and lawyers.

Mr. Mugabe then chooses from three names submitted by the JSC.

A University of Zimbabwe law student last week asked the High Court to stop the interviews, arguing that the process was not transparent since the candidates were colleagues of, and known to, the interviewing panel.

The High Court on Sunday ruled in favour of the student, who also wanted Mr. Mugabe alone to appoint the Chief Justice.

The government says it plans to change the constitution to give Mr. Mugabe that sole responsibility but the JSC, which employs all judges and magistrates, appealed the decision at the Supreme Court, automatically setting aside the High Court ruling.

The JSC decided early on Monday to interview three candidates, which was broadcast live on state television.

The candidates are; Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Constitutional Court Judge Paddington Garwe and Chairwoman of the Electoral Commission and Secretary of the JSC,Rita Makarau.

Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe Announces Retirement

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe , has finally announced his retirement. The Zimbabwean president has always maintained that he would die in office.

Speaking to a group of war veterans at the weekend, Mugabe admitted that the country’s economy is crumbling and said he would retire.

The Southern African country’s currency is in poor shape and banks running out of cash, the country is also feeling the pinch of a crippling drought.

However, the ruling party, ZanuPF said Mugabe will still be contesting in the country’s next election in 2018 and if he is re-elected, he will only retire in 2023, when he turns 99.

He told “war collaborators” that he believes he had now “defeated the British and Americans and that he understood times were difficult in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe had dismissed demands by once stalwart war veteran supporters to quit, saying he was in power by popular vote and accusing critics of plotting his ouster with longtime Western opponents.

The 92-year-old Mugabe, the only President Zimbabwe has had in 36 years of independence, was addressing thousands of Zimbabweans who rallied to support him, a few days after veterans called him a corrupt dictator.

“As long as the party says continue, I continue…If I still have the energy, I still have the life, the blessings of God, I will continue,” Mugabe said in a 50-minute address.

“There was a time, some years ago, when Zimbabwe seemed important, that it could be a powerhouse in the region, but that moment has long gone, and now it is hard to find anyone who can forecast how it can repay its debts even with a new leadership, let alone attract foreign investment,” said a Harare-based financial analyst.

Mugabe also acknowledged that there were factions within ZanuPF but that they would come together ahead of the next elections.

Veteran Zimbabwe political analyst Brian Raftopoulos says chances that the fractured opposition could win the next elections are “bleak.”

I’ll retire ‘properly’ – Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 91, has, for the first time, hinted on his retirement, while also admitting that the country’s economy is crumbling, reports said on Monday.

 

According to the State-owned Sunday Mail newspaper, the nonagenarian said that he had used his time in office to “fend off the West’s spirited machinations to destroy Zanu-PF and the ideals the party stands for”.

 

Mugabe said that if he were to retire, he would do so “properly”.

 

It was however, not clear what he meant by “properly”.

 

Mugabe said this during a meeting with war collaborators in Harare over the weekend.

 

The veteran leader said he believed he had now “defeated… the British and Americans…”, adding that he understood times were difficult in Zimbabwe, a report by eNCA said.

 

“We are in a critical time… for regime change”, Mugabe was quoted as saying.

 

Meanwhile, the state broadcaster, ZBC, reported on Monday that several Zanu-PF provinces had endorsed Mugabe as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.

 

Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South provinces “all passed a confidence vote to Mugabe’s leadership”, the report said.

 

If Mugabe is re-elected, he will only retire in 2023, when he turns 99.

Zimbabwe court drops charges against hunter who helped kill Cecil the lion

A Zimbabwean court has thrown out charges against a local hunter accused of failing to stop the killing of the country’s most prized lion by an American dentist, his lawyer said on Friday.

Walter Palmer, a lifelong big-game hunter from Minnesota, touched off a global controversy when he killed Cecil, a rare black-maned lion, with a bow and arrow outside Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe in July last year.

While Zimbabwean authorities said Palmer had legal authority to hunt, they were stung by the international outcry and charged local hunter Theo Bronkhorst, who assisted Palmer, with failing to prevent an unlawful hunt.

Bronkhorst’s lawyers then applied to the High Court in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo to set aside the charge, arguing it could not have been an offence under the country’s wildlife laws if Palmer had a permit to hunt.

“The court granted us that prayer yesterday – that the charges be quashed. So I cannot imagine the state coming back again charging him with the same charge,” said Lovemore Muvhiringi, a lawyer for Bronkhorst.

Cecil had been fitted with a collar to track his movements but strayed outside the confines of Hwange National Park and was then shot. Bronkhorst was accused of laying bait to lure Cecil out of the park. Palmer said at the time that no one in his hunting party realized the targeted lion was Cecil.

Wildlife hunting is an important revenue source for the southern African country, which is grappling with its worst shortage of cash since it dumped its inflation-ravaged currency in favor of the U.S. dollar in 2009.

Conservationists worldwide were outraged when Zimbabwe’s government announced in October last year that Palmer would not be charged over Cecil’s killing because he had obtained legal authority to conduct the hunt.

But the government said Palmer would be free to visit Zimbabwe only as a tourist, not a hunter, in future, implying he would not be issued the required permits.

Zimbabwe student fined $50 for demanding Jobs from Mugabe.

A Zimbabwean student who demanded jobs from President Robert Mugabe during a graduation ceremony last week at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has been sentenced to two weeks behind bars or pay a $50 fine.

According to New Zimbabwe .com, student activist Advance Musoki pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal nuisance in contravention of section 46 of the criminal law.

Musoki appeared at the Bulawayo magistrates court on Tuesday.

Musoki was arrested last Friday at NUST in Bulawayo for “raising a placard as students fight for their future, with bleak employment opportunities”.

Pleading for lenience, Musoki’s lawyer Mehluli Dube from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said that his client was unemployed and had no savings in his bank account.

“Your worship, the offender is unemployed and has no savings in the bank. He did not waste the courts time in denying the charge,” Dube was quoted as saying.

Discontent is rising in Zimbabwe amid cash shortages, massive unemployment and the Mugabe government’s resolute refusal to back down on bond notes, a surrogate currency that many fear will bring back the hyperinflation and shortages last seen in the pre-2008 crisis.

In September, another student Tonderai Dombo was arrested at a graduation ceremony at the main University of Zimbabwe in Harare for holding up a placard demanding jobs.

He was later released – but then summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the university.

We are happy you are still in one piece – Mugabe tells Zuma.

A clearly-shaky President Robert Mugabe has told President Jacob Zuma: “We are happy you are still in one piece in spite of what the papers are writing every day.”

Speaking at the opening of a Bi-National Commission in Harare on Thursday, the 92-year old leader told his South African counterpart: “Comrade president, we need each other even more now than before.”

Both leaders are facing growing calls for them to step down, Mugabe from #ThisFlag protesters and Zuma in the wake of the #StateCaptureReport.

Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, said Zimbabwe and South Africa “face renewed assaults on our independence and sovereignty”.

The Zimbabwe president spoke in a much weaker voice than normal and hesitated at times during his speech. There have been concerns over his health for a long time.

Following a couple of embarrassing stumbles in public in recent months, cameras from the state broadcaster resolutely refuse to focus on the nonagenarian as he walks to a podium to give a speech. Thursday was no different, with the cameras fixed on the seated audience.

Mugabe uses special powers to introduce unpopular new bank notes.

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has used his presidential powers to push through shock regulations declaring bond notes legal tender in an apparent bid to block court challenges to the controversial new banknotes.

Analysts immediately said the move was unconstitutional.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in a statement: “It has been decided that the legality of bond notes as legal tender in Zimbabwe should be put beyond any measure of doubt.”

“It is to this effect that the president has today gazetted statutory instrument 133 of 2016 Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Amendment of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act in issue of bond notes regulations 2016.

“The measures that have been gazetted under presidential powers regulations will fortify and underpin the existing legal framework for the issuance of bond notes,” said the statement.

The bond notes are officially being introduced to promote exports, but likely too to plug chronic shortages of US dollars.

Stop terrorising Zimbabweans or we’ll impeach you – Church leaders tell Mugabe

He’s not as well-known as protest pastor Evan Mawarire. But this Zimbabwe church leader’s brave plea to President Robert Mugabe to stop terrorising protesters or face impeachment may attract the attention of the authorities.

Already questioned by police and arrested at least once during the past few months, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya is one of five Zimbabwe church men who this weekend penned an open letter to the 92-year-old Mugabe asking him to “stop unleashing terror on citizens for expressing genuine grievances.”

Mugabe’s government has attempted to stamp out a growing wave of on-and now off-line protests that began in April with frustrated social media posts by #ThisFlag pastor Mawarire. He is now in exile.

But activists and now church leaders have taken up Mawarire’s baton, finding ways round a police ban on demonstrations in central Harare and most recently, an attempt to limit the use of the national flag as a symbol of opposition to Mugabe.

Magaya (not to be confused with the more famous Zimbabwe “prophet” Walter Magaya) and the heads of four other smaller Christian groups including the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance and the Zimbabwe Pastors’ Fellowship said they were “disturbed by the increasingly restive populace and the brutal show of force by state machinery.”

Mugabe’s heartlessness

They said they wanted Mugabe to admit the country was heading for “total collapse” and be willing to engage in talks. “If you fail to address these issues by September 28, we will be forced to exercise our democratic right to petition parliament to impeach you,” their statement reads.

Magaya, who heads the Divine Destiny Network and has spoken out against Mugabe’s “heartlessness” before, was reportedly arrested last month as he tried to take part in an anti-government demonstration in Harare.

In January he was questioned by police over his attempts to make churches and opposition parties speak with one voice on injustice.

The statement does not have the backing of bigger Christian groups in Zimbabwe like the Apostolic sects and the prosperity gospel churches of popular prophets like Emmanuel Makandiwa.

Commenting on the statement on website NewZimbabwe.com, one reader described Magaya and his colleagues as “useless clowns”.

Zimbabwe’s police force shows no sign of toning down its often-harsh clampdown on protesters despite an outcry over recently-circulated pictures of the lacerated buttocks of two female protesters who were allegedly beaten by police.

National police chief Augustine Chihuri was quoted by the privately-owned Newsday on Monday as saying that criminals would never “thank the police for thwarting their criminal intents”.

“It would be analogous to a rat thanking the cat for patrolling its home,” Chihuri said.

Thousands Of Zimbabweans Lose Money As MMM Crashes

Thousands of people, among them civil servants and vendors, have lost thousands of dollars to fraudulent online pyramid scheme MMM Global Zimbabwe after it collapsed recently. The social financial network, which relied on an accelerating number of new members to pay off the old, abruptly terminated its services last week leaving participants stranded.

This comes as Econet’s mobile financial service platform, EcoCash yesterday distanced itself from the pyramid scheme. Participants claimed they were using EcoCash for their transactions.

Zimbabweans have in the past months been joining the online investment scheme in droves in a bid “to get rich quickly”. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe warned people that the scheme was fraudulent and there was no legal recourse in the event they lost their money.

The central bank said MMM, which advertises its operations through a website and recruiting agents, was not a registered or regulated entity. EcoCash yesterday said: “We have noted that some of these pyramid schemes are allegedly advertising in a manner that suggests that the Ecocash facility is a medium for prospective members to deposit their money. This is not correct.

“We advise our valued customers and all stakeholders that Ecocash is a licensed mobile payment platform that enables customers to make financial transactions such as sending money, buying prepaid airtime as well as paying for goods and services within the confines of the law of Zimbabwe. EcoCash promotes safe and legal transactions but will not be held liable for any losses arising from the use of EcoCash to engage in illegal activities such as Ponzi schemes.”

The scheme advertises itself as a mutual aid fund under which recruited members contribute money to assist others and are promised investment returns of 30 percent per month. Some of the people left counting their losses told The Herald that they received emails that the scheme had been suspended until September 15.

“All along things were moving in the right direction and we now have nowhere to claim our investments,” said Mr Tinashe Muza of Harare.

“When we started putting our funds in the scheme one could get assistance within seven days but things later changed to 14 days and when we were shut out the waiting period was 21 days. What it simply means is that the number of people in need of help has outnumbered the number of people joining. Right now we have nowhere to get our money which we invested.”

MMM stands for Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox and takes its name from its founder, Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi of Russia. He founded MMM in 1989 and the scheme was declared bankrupt three years later leading to the disappearance of Mavrodi until his arrest in 2003.

Another victim, Mrs Rosemary Mawonde said: “We never thought the scheme would end this way as we believed that by using EcoCash to do the transactions, things were in order. I am surprised that EcoCash is also distancing itself from the scheme and it is clear that I will never recover the $300 that I invested.”

While some people who were skeptical about the scheme started with small amounts, it is believed some poured in thousands of dollars anticipating higher returns. The RBZ said the schemes were fraudulent as existing investors were ‘paid money not from genuine market investment of their funds, but from contributions made by new investors, until a point when the scheme can no longer attract new investors,”

“The participants are made aware that they make their money by recruiting new members who in turn must recruit more members,” warned the Central Bank.

We’re Worried About Violence Shown By Some Zimbabwean Police – EU

Ahead of a planned national stay-away in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, the EU has expressed its concern at rising cases of police violence towards protesters.

“Use of force should only be considered as a last resort,” the EU delegation to Zimbabwe said on Tuesday in a statement likely to anger officials close to longtime president Robert Mugabe, which says Western embassies are behind the wave of protests currently rocking this southern African nation.

In power in Zimbabwe for the last 36 years, Mugabe is taking an increasingly hard line on protesters, with police using tear-gas, batons and water cannon to beat back not just those taking to the streets but also bystanders unlucky enough to be caught up in the chaos.

The #Tajamuka pressure group behind Wednesday’s stay-away has urged Zimbabweans to avoid the streets and any confrontation with police – but it’s still not clear how widely this protest will be followed.

Anti-Mugabe campaigners held two stay-aways in July but only the first was widely followed.

No single leader of the protests

Analysts say many in Zimbabwe’s struggling economy simply cannot afford to take time off while others – including schools – were ticked off by the authorities for responding to the strike calls. Schools are on holiday in Zimbabwe this month.

On social media there are complaints that few are aware of the strike call (though it has received the backing of the Combined Harare Residents Association, which has members in the capital’s townships). Since the leader of the #ThisFlag protest movement, churchman Evan Mawarire, was forced into exile last month, protests have been staged on a near-daily basis by a variety of groups.

There is no single leader of the protests.

Clearly worried by footage and pictures of police turning on protesters in Harare recently, the EU said: “Police have a duty to facilitate the conduct of undisturbed peaceful demonstrations and petitions.”

Earlier on Tuesday the main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he’d visited a 62-year old woman seen being kicked by police outside a court in Harare on Friday.

Lillian Chinyerere “sustained shoulder injuries and is now hard of hearing” but still wants to take part in the next protest, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party said.

92-Year-Old Zimbabwean President, Mugabe Refuses To Relinquish Power, Says Until He Dies

he 92-year-old Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, on Thursday in Harare maintained that even though is party would choose a successor, he planned to contest the next election in 2018.
Mugabe, who would be 94 by 2018, insisted that he would still seek his last five-year term under a new constitution that would see him through to 99 years old.

The 92-year-old Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, on Thursday in Harare maintained that even though is party would choose a successor, he planned to contest the next election in 2018.

He said with reference to the UN Chief, Ban Ki-moon statement calling on African leaders not to
cling to power, Mugabe responded that he would continue “until God says ‘come’’.

Mugabe, who turned 92 on Sunday, said he had no intention of stepping down in spite being Africa’s oldest leader and the only president Zimbabwe has known since independence in 1980.

He said as the president he still remained in charge of day-to-day running of his government.
Grace, his wife, a powerful figure in ZANU-PF in her own right, told party supporters that he was the only one who could keep Zimbabwe “intact and peaceful”.

She added that she would push him in a wheelbarrow to work if he was unable to walk.
Eldred Masunungure, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, noted that from analysing the political situation, his political speeches, his political actions, it is increasingly becoming clear that he is gunning to be there for as long as he lives.

He said in spite his old age, Mugabe remained the glue holding together his fractious ZANU-PF, which dominates the political scene.
Masunungure said the president enjoyed support from the military, an institution that has been a major pillar of his long rule.
Meanwhile, many Zimbabweans followed his health with keen interest, especially after assertions by Wikileaks that he might have prostate cancer, which he denied.

They said with Mugabe having ruled for 36 years, some people fear the government could be paralysed and the country riven by instability, should he die without resolving the succession issue.

Zimbabweans recalled that in 2015 he read out the wrong speech in parliament, which the opposition seized upon to question whether he was still of sound mind, though the president’s spokesman blamed his aides.
They noted that his life presidency aspirations could frustrate the feuding big-hitters of his ruling ZANU-PF party, who have been trying for years to position themselves for a post-Mugabe political era.

Critics blame Mugabe for many of the problems facing the country.
They said his policies, including the seizures and redistribution of white-owned commercial farms, drove one of Africa’s most promising economies into nearly a decade of deep recession until 2008 that cut its output almost in half.

Source: Vanguard

Zimbabwe’s First Lady To Get Wheelchair For Mugabe To Continue Governing

Zimbabwe’s first lady says she plans to get a “special” wheelchair for her 91-year-old husband so can continue to rule.

Speaking at a political rally on Saturday, Grace Mugabe told supporters that she would get a wheelchair for her husband, President Robert Mugabe, to use.

In the televised speech, Mugabe, 50, vowed to push the wheelchair herself, taking a swipe at critics who say her husband is too old to govern.

Mugabe told supporters she would ensure her husband remains in power as long as he can still speak.

Credit: AP

Man Crowned Winner At Mr Ugly Pageant, Runner-Up Accuses Judges Of Being Bias

A 42-year-old unemployed man was crowned Zimbabwe’s ugliest man at a pub pageant in Harare — but the contest turned ugly when the runner-up accused judges of bias.

Maison Sere, who was missing several teeth and dressed in torn overalls, beat off five other contestants for the $500 Mr Ugly prize a large sum in a country facing massive unemploment.

“I want to thank God for winning this title, last time I came fourth. I just want to thank the judges for recognising me as the winner,” Sere told journalists during a night of festivities Friday attended by 200 revellers.

But William Masvinu, a three-time Mr Ugly winner who walked off with a $100 second prize this year, cried foul.

“The judges were not fair, the organisers must look for new judges to start the contest afresh. I did not lose today,” Masvinu said.

Show organiser David Machowa said he created the pageant in 2012 to celebrate “beauty in ugliness”.

“The show last night was very successful, and I still have plans to host Mr Ugly world,” he said.

Credit: Yahoo

“I Don’t Plan To Succeed My Husband As President” – Robert Mugabe’s Wife

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wife Thursday denied harbouring ambitions to succeed her husband, pledging instead to support the 91-year-old’s next presidential bid.

“I am standing here as the wife of the president as well as the person you chose to lead the women’s league. It ends there,” she told ruling party supporters at a rally in the capital.

“I do not need any other position.”

Grace Mugabe, 50, said her focus is on leading the ZANU-PF women’s wing and that she would support Mugabe when he seeks re-election, even if he is wheelchair-bound by then.

Pin Grace Mugabe Wife Of Zimbabwean

“Some have laughed at me saying Mugabe’s wife must be mad. I said we will put Mr Mugabe in a wheelchair and go for elections,” she told a crowd of about 5,000 supporters.

Zimbabwe’s next presidential election will be held in 2018.

Mugabe is Africa’s oldest leader, and has been in power since independence in 1980.

Speculation is rife over his health with doubts as to whether he would be fit enough to campaign for re-election.

Grace has become increasingly powerful since her elevation last year to lead the ZANU-PF women’s wing.

Late last year she led a campaign to expel former vice-president Joice Mujuru who had been seen as Mugabe’s heir.

Many saw her as aiming to succeed Mugabe when she went on a series of rallies, and in one of her speeches said she had the right like any Zimbabwean to contest for any political position.

She bemoaned factionalism within ZANU-PF, saying it threatened to tear the party apart.

“Stop factionalism because factionalism is dividing the party.”

“You can only silence me by shooting me and killing me, you are not going to silence me. I am not going to be gagged, I am not going to be intimidated,” she said.

ZANU-PF has been riven by factionalism over Mugabe’s succession for years, with the veteran ruler avoiding naming a successor.

Adeola Of Sahara TV Brings ‘Keeping It Real’ Web TV series To An End After President Mugabe Encounter

Adeola Fayehun of Sahara Reporters have been forced to bring her popular weekly show Keeping It Real, to an abrupt end after the backlash she received all over Africa after her encounter with Mugabe during the May 29th Presidential inauguration.

I confess, I will really miss her show even though I hated the way she attacked GEJ in some of her episodes, but It’s still a good show and I have learned a lot about what goes on in some African countries and the world in general.

Wishing her success in her next project. Watch her last episode Below

OMG! See Zimbabwe’s New Exchange Rate, $1 For 35 Quadrillion Old Dollars

Zimbabweans will start exchanging “quadrillions” of local dollars for a few US dollars next week as President Robert Mugabe’s government discards its virtually worthless national currency.

The southern African country started using foreign currencies including the US dollar and South African rand in 2009 after the Zimbabwean dollar was ruined by hyperinflation, which hit 500 billion per cent in 2008.

At the height of the country’s economic crisis, Zimbabweans had to carry plastic bags bulging with banknotes to buy basic goods. Prices were rising at least twice a day.

From Monday, customers who held Zimbabwean dollar accounts before March 2009 can approach their banks to convert their balance into US dollars, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, said in a statement.

Zimbabweans have until September to turn in their old banknotes, which some people sell as souvenirs to tourists.

Bank accounts with balances of up to 175 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars will be paid $5. Those with balances above 175 quadrillion dollars will be paid at an exchange rate of $1 for 35 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars.

The highest – and last – banknote to be printed by the bank in 2008 was 100tn Zimbabwean dollars. It was not enough to ride a public bus to work for a week.

The bank said customers who still had stashes of old Zimbabwean notes could walk into any bank and get $1 for every 250tn they hold. That means a holder of a 100tn banknote will get 40 cents.

The bank has set aside $20m to pay Zimbabwean dollar currency holders.

Credit: Guardian

Miss Zimbabwe 2015 Dethroned Over Nude Photos

Miss Zimbabwe Pageant officials today announced that they have dethroned its reigning queen, 25 year old Emily Kachote, following the publishing of her nude photos in a National tabloid just weeks after she was crowned Queen on April 26th.

The Zimbabwean tabloid had in May carried a report and published nude photos of Queen Emily, claiming she shared the photos on a Whats-app group. Emily was questioned and she confessed to sharing the photos on the whatsapp group some months before she became queen. Ironically, Emily’s dethronement comes a year after her predecessor was dethroned for the same reason.

Telegraph UK Praises Sahara Reporter’s Journalist For Thrashing President Mugabe

Compared to the BBC’s John Simpson or CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Adeola Fayehun from Nigeria is not exactly a global name in the world of television reporting. This week, though, she made broadcasting history as she did something that all few African reporters have ever dared do: ask one their ageing dictators when the hell he is going to quit.

As this video from Ms Fayehun’s TV channel shows, the feisty reportress ambushed Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe during a visit to Nigeria last weekend, asking the 91-year-old: “Are you going to step down?”

To the fury of his assorted security goons, she then refused to go away as they tried to push past her, repeating the onslaught like an African Jeremy Paxman. “Mr president, don’t you think that it’s time
you step down sir, so you can rest? When will there be change in Zimbabwe, sir? Is there democracy in Zimbabwe?”

Footage of her grilling of Mr Mugabe has now become a viral hit on among internet users in Africa, for whom it’s all too rare to see a leader publicly challenged in such fashion.

Yet while it may seem like nothing more than a piece of entertaining televisual theatre, take it from me, this kind of buttonholing takes quite a bit of guts. Waylaying any head of state is a nerve wracking enough experience at the best of times, and when it’s someone like Mugabe, there is every chance of a roughing up if he doesn’t like the drift of the questions (remember the vicious beating that his bodyguards once gave to the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell).

Not only that, in many parts of Africa, reporters can also find themselves arrested if they pull stunts like the ones Ms Fayehun did, especially if their target is a visiting heads of state. It hopefully says much about press freedoms in Nigeria these days that the Nigerian police did not apparently see fit to intervene – and that they let reporters near Mr Mugabe in the first place.

Indeed, at the risk of perhaps reading too much into it, this little episode says much about the changing politics of Africa in the 21st century. On the one hand you have countries like Nigeria, which despite its many problems, has just completed yet another relatively peaceful election, where the outgoing president has handed power without a fuss to his successor, Muhammadu Buhari. And on the other, there are still Cold War era gerontocrats like Mugabe clinging to power in the likes of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Hits Back At Nigerian “Boko Haram” Scribes

 Zimbabwe has reacted angrily to Nigerian journalists who ambushed President Robert Mugabe during the recent inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari, the newly-installed leader of the West African country.

Journalists identified as reporters from Sahara News ambushed Mugabe and his African Union (AU) delegation demanding that he steps down from his position as Zimbabwe head of state.

The scribes hurled abuse at the 91-year-old leader who has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980.

However, Harare has hit back, with outspoken Minister of Information, Prof. Jonathan Moyo likening the journalists in question to “brothers and sisters of Boko Haram.”

The Islamic militant Boko Haram has over the years embarked on a reign of terror in Nigeria where it has killed thousands and displaced about 2 million.

“If Nigerian journalism has come to this, then God help Nigeria since nobody has monopoly over such uncouth misconduct. It is a sad tale of a man biting a dog when journalists make news they should be covering,” Moyo said.

“Free countries have rules, including diplomatic courtesy, not the display of Boko Haram journalism. Of course, those are human beings, but are they journalists or Boko Haram,” asked Moyo.

Relations between Zimbabwe have sometimes been frosty over the years. Mugabe has previously labeled the West African country as a corrupt nation.

Former Nigeria head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, courted detestation from some Zimbabwean political leaders during his stint as mediator to the deadlock between Zimbabwe and former colonialist, Britain at the turn of the millenium.

Credit: CAJ News

Mugabe Appoints New VP

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has named hardliner Emmerson Mnangagwa as his vice president, putting the former justice minister in pole position to succeed the veteran leader.

Mugabe announced the appointment at the headquarters of his ruling ZANU-PF party to loud applause, a move that comes just days after he sacked one-time presidential hopeful turned rival Joice Mujuru as vice president in a major purge.

Nicknamed “Ngwena” (The Crocodile) because of his ruthlessness, Mnangagwa has held various senior posts in the country’s defence and internal security apparatus. “I assured the president, I want to assure the party, its leadership, that I will remain loyal, committed and uphold the correct line of the revolution,” Mnangagwa said, describing the appointment as an “honour”.

The appointment caps a mass purge of rivals by the 90-year-old Mugabe in a bid to end fierce feuding within the ruling ZANU-PF party over who will eventually succeed him.

Analysts say Mugabe is increasingly concerned with making sure his family is secure after he steps down or leaves power. Mnangagwa is reputed to be one of the richest men in the country and is also renowned for his stern demeanour and tough talk.

Watch How President Mugabe Plans to Make His Wife Succeed Power

Ninety-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is – quite literally – paving the way for his wife’s ascent to power. In another sign of the First Lady’s growing clout, Harare residents awoke on Tuesday to a new street, Dr Grace Mugabe Way, leading to the conference center where Africa’s oldest leader may this week anoint his chosen political successor.

The veteran former guerrilla leader, who has manned the helm of the southern African country since the end of British rule in 1980, has never said whom he would prefer to take over when he retires or dies. What little certainty there was has been blown apart this year by the meteoric political rise of his wife, a 49-year-old one-time government typist nicknamed ‘Gucci Grace’ for her reputed shopping skills. Grace’s controversial receipt of a PhD in September, scathing assaults on Vice-President Joice Mujuru and open admissions of political ambition have stirred talk Mugabe is planning to keep Zimbabwe’s leadership in the family.

Credit: Wochit

 

Malawi Diplomat Called Mugabe ‘Idiot’ Refuses Zimbabwe post

A Malawian diplomat who once reportedly described Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as an “idiot” said Monday he had turned down a posting as his country’s top envoy to Harare.

“I am sure there are other Malawians more amenable to serving at that particular post at this particular time,” Thoko Banda said in a statement seen by AFP.

Banda’s scathing insult to neighbouring Zimbabwe’s long-serving head of state was recalled by social media last week, shortly after he was named as Malawi’s high commissioner (ambassador) to Zimbabwe.

Banda was widely quoted as telling Germany’s The Foreigner magazine in 2006 that “Zimbabwe has an idiot — I am sorry, I know you are recording — but they have an idiot for president.

“This guy Robert Mugabe, I hope that he lives a long time, so that one day he can go before an international tribunal. He is a horrible man.”

Banda said in his statement Monday that he had an “extensive history of effective human rights advocacy and I would never sell out my human rights commitments just for a position.”

Banda, who has served previously as a diplomat in Japan and Germany, said he was not consulted on his Harare appointment by President Peter Mutharika and was “surprised” to learn of it through the media.

Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister George Chaponda refused to comment, telling AFP: “Ask Mr Banda himself.”

Malawi and Zimbabwe, both members of the Southern African Development Community, have enjoyed cordial diplomatic relations in the past.

Credit: Yahoo News