Top stories for July 26-31


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Why Chinamasa is not bringing back the Zimdollar – Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday the multiple currency system was there to stay in Zimbabwe.

He said the government could not bring back the Zimbabwe dollar because the conditions were not yet right. According to a statement availed on NewZimbabwe.Com Chinamasa said the Zimbabwe dollar would only return when there is: sustainable economic growth; a sustainable current account position; industry competitiveness; sufficient international reserves without which the local currency will be under immense pressure; and restoration of confidence in the banking system and economy.

“Given the current state of the economy where real sector activities remain depressed, industry remains uncompetitive and the balance of payments situation remains acute, it is ill-advised to re-introduce the Zimbabwe dollar. Government is committed to ensuring policy consistency and predictability in order to restore confidence and stimulate economic activity. It is in this spirit that government would want to reiterate that the multi-currency is here to stay,” he said.

The Zimbabwe dollar was phased out in 2009.

I wouldn't even ask for a bottle of water from Kurotwi, Mpofu says in bribe case

Transport Minister Obert Mpofu alleged to have demanded a US$10 million bribe from Lovemore Kurotwi in a billion-dollar diamond deal yesterday said he was a successful businessman and would not have asked for even a bottle of water from Kurotwi because he knew his status. Kurotwi is charged with defrauding the government f US$2 billion together with former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation chief executive Dominic Mubaiwa. 

“It is a serious joke that (Kurotwi) would make this allegation, which he did not make before the President. It is drama by Mai Mtetwa and her team and it is just the nonsense that people say when they are in a tight corner,” Mpofu said referring to Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. 

“I know Kurotwi, and considering my status, I would not even ask for a bottle of water from him let alone the US$10 million. It was just some drama meant for the consumption of the media and the whole thing is nonsensical. I am a businessman who has been operating for a long, long time. I can even employ these guys,” Mpofu said pointing at Kurotwi and Mubaiwa according to The Herald.

Kurotwi was behind Core Mining which entered into a joint venture with the ZMDC to run the Canadile Mining at Chiadzwa.  Core mining was kicked out after the discovery of the “fraud”. Mpofu was Minister of Mines at the time.

Mzembi’s ministry under fire

The Ministry of Tourism which has been under Walter Mzembi since 2009 came under fire from the Public Accounts Committee after it transpired that it bought six second hand vehicles for US$60 000 and spent US$5 271 servicing one of the vehicles.

The ministry did not follow government procurement procedures. Permanent secretary Josephine Nhekairo admitted that her ministry breached government regulations but said this was because of delays in releasing funds by Treasury. 

Mzembi was named as President Robert Mugabe’s best minister and he has been coming up with wild ideas which have not endeared him with the public. He has said Zimbabwe will bid for the 2034 soccer world cup and wants to capture a slice of the 300 million tourists inspired to travel for spiritual or faith-based reasons.

He said Zimbabwe should open up its skies to boost the number of airlines landing at Harare international airport from the present 16 to more than 48 that were landing at Harare in 1999.

Obert Mpofu’s one-man ministry

Transport Minister Obert Mpofu ran the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation single-handedly from 20 February 2009 to 13 June 2009 a court was told during the trial of Lovemore Kurotwi and Dominic Mubaiwa who are charged with defrauding the government of US$2 billion.

Mpofu who was Mines Minister at the time is reported to have demanded a US$10 million bribe from Kurotwi to mine diamonds in Marange under his company Core Mining. 

Mpofu said he would never have asked for anything, even a bottle of water, from Kurotwi because Kurotwi did not have any money.  The ZMDC is a joint partner in all the diamond operations at Marange.  Mubaiwa was the chief executive of the ZMDC. Core Mining and ZMDC formed a joint company Canadile Miners to mine diamonds in Chiadzwa.

Kurotwi is alleged to have misled the government into believing that an Israeli conglomerate BSGR was backing his company. Mpofu admitted meeting Kurotwi and “two whites”  alone in Bulawayo and several times at his office in Harare. He said he did not keep any minutes of the meetings but kept notes but  he could not give those notes to Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.

 

Scramble for Mugabe’s ear

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front senior members are falling all over each other to get President Robert Mugabe’s ear as the party prepares for its elective congress in December. Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said Mugabe had expressed dismay at the number of people that are coming to him to seek his personal endorsement.

ZANU-PF is holding its congress in December this year and most people had hoped that Mugabe would step down to give way to a new leader in preparation for the 2018 elections. The next party congress is in 2019.

Already some people have endorsed Mugabe, who is 90, to stand. The Women’s League also wants his wife, Grace to stand as leader of the league. 

The move is said to have upset the Joice Mujuru faction as Mujuru, backed by secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, is trying to ensure that people follow party protocol and the constitution because she is next in line should Mugabe die in office.

The party has no second vice-President since the death of John Nkomo in January last year.

 

Chinotimba in trouble

Buhera South Member of Parliament Joseph Chinotimba has been taken to court by the Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Workers Union.

The Union wants him to stop masquerading as its president and stop meddling in the union’s affairs. 

The Union’s lawyer Joel Mambara says Chinotimba ceased to be president of the union when he resigned from the Harare City Council where he was a municipal policeman and entered into politics in 2008.

ZURCWU secretary –general Benard Dhanda said three presidents had led the union since Chinotimba stepped down but he has not bounced back claiming to be  “Life President” and even suspended Dhanda. The union said Chinotimba had even instructed its bank to stop all withdrawals and other transactions from the account. 

(39 VIEWS)

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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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