Top stories for April 16- 20


Biti says bringing back Zim dollar the “stupidest”thing– Former Finance Minister today said that bringing that the Zimbabwe dollar would be the “stupidest” thing that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front government could do but then ZANU-PF was known for doing stupid things. He told SW Radio: “While it will be stupid to bring back the Zimbabwean dollar let us remember that ZANU PF is known for doing stupid things. There is nothing that can stop them from printing the Zimbabwean dollar; they can print trillions of that but how will they get them into the market? They might force it on the civil servants but all service providers will reject that money.” Biti was commenting on reports from the South African media that ZANU-PF might bring back the Zimbabwe dollar to escape the funding crisis that the government is currently facing. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has, repeatedly said the local currency is not coming back any time soon and has increased the number of currencies that can be traded in the country. “There is no country in the world that has dollarized involuntarily like we did that has been able to get back to its own currency. They tried it in Cuba that failed,” Biti said. This was particularly so when for every dollar that was coming to Zimbabwe, seven were going out, he said.

Mudede added to US sanctions list
Registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede was today added to the United States sanctions list because of his critical role in the flawed elections of 31 July last year which saw President Robert Mugabe win 61 percent of presidential vote while his party the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic front walked away with more than two-thirds of the majority. The United States has refused to recognise the elections results which were endorsed by the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. Also added to the list was Sam Pa, described as an Angolan businessman and a well-known supporter of the Mugabe regime. Pa is reported to be facilitating public corruption by Zimbabwean senior officials through illicit diamond deals, and providing financial and logistical support to the government of Zimbabwe and listed people. Joining the two is Jimmy Zerenie, a Singaporean attorney based in Zimbabwe. He is a business associate of Sam Pa and acted on his behalf by facilitating illicit diamond deals between Sam Pa and senior Zimbabwean officials. Zerenie is also a director of Sino Zim Development (Pvt) Ltd, a Zimbabwe-firm was also designated today for being owned or controlled by both Zerenie as well as a senior official of the government of Zimbabwe.


Mugabe can still pack a 90-tonne punch
President Robert Mugabe who turned 90 two months ago said he can still pack a 90-tonne punch so the Movement for Democratic Change must not mistake his silence over repeated calls to take action against his regime as a sign of weakness. “Ngavarege kutiona kuti kunyarara kwatakaita vachiti ‘aah vanhu vaya ava hapasisina zvavachakwanisa kuita, vadhamba’. Tinovadhambisa. Aiwa, kana iko kamudhara ke90 years chibhakera chacho . . . i90 tonnes icho ndokutidibura nacho …..Ayaka mauto angu ndochibhakera changu aya.” Mugabe said ge did not tolerate violence from anywhere even within the MDC. “Hatidi huny’any’a pakati pedu, avo vatirikunzwa varikuda kurovana nekuti havachanzwanana. Aiwa, tinoda kuti vagadzirisane pabato ravo vari mumaoffice, zvekurovana hatizvide. Nyangwe muchirovana muri veMDC kana chii takaramba violence kare. Itai nyaya dzenyu parunyararo, gakava rinoitwa asi vanhu vanogara pasi. Kana muchisiyana vanobuda vobuda parunyararo, kana uchida kuita party yako woita parunyararo.”


South Africa capitalising on Trade Fair
South African companies that take part in the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which kicks off on Tuesday are making more money from exports after each fair according to Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe. In 2011 companies got export orders valued at R6.6million. This rose to R7.1million in 2012 and shot up to R55.6m in 2013. The Department of Trade and Industry helps South African companies to develop export markets through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme. Last year South African firms took up the largest single exhibition space of 800m² followed by China with 600m². South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner with trade heavily skewed in favour of South Africa which has virtually turned Zimbabwe into its supermarket.


Help us curb corruption- Mujuru
Vice-President Joice Mujuru today called on churches to help curb corruption which has been under the spotlight for the past five months. Although there have been major media exposures since the first case involving Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive Happison Muchechetere in November last year, there have been no major casualties including Muchechetere himself. “Vanhu havachina ganda kumeso, havachanyari,” she said. Mujuru also called on the churches to help bring back morality and human dignity to stop the widespread incidents of rape especially of children some as young as two months. She said this was appalling in a country that professed to be 80 percent Christian. Mujuru said the moral breakdown had resulted in intolerance with people killing each other over minor disagreements. “Humhondi hwanyanya munyika yedu,”she said adding that President Robert Mugabe was shocked every Monday when he received reports from the provinces because no province was spared.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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