Top stories January 1-5


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Why no cash- Zimbabwe has found an easy scapegoat for the current cash shortage in the country. Foreign business owners, who have to comply with the country’s indigenisation regulations by today, are not banking their proceeds and do not pay tax. According to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, at least 90 percent of the foreign businesses that had applied for compliance with the indigenisation laws do not have bank accounts. They are also not registered with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. NIEEB chief executive Wilson Gwatiringa said: “This means they are not paying tax and that their money is not being accounted for in the banking system.” Some 800 foreign-owned companies are said to have applied for compliance. Reports have said as much as US$4 billion is circulating outside the formal banking system, in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe to import 150 000 tonnes of maize
Zimbabwe is to import 150 000 tonnes of maize from South Africa but has so far only received 300 tonnes, Deputy Agriculture Minister Davis Marapira said today. Reports say some 2.2 million Zimbabweans will need food assistance before the next harvest in April. The government says it has 300 000 tonnes in its strategic reserves. The country harvested less than 800 000 tonnes of maize last year. Annual consumption is estimated at 2.2 million tonnes. Though more land has been set aside for maize this year, the country is only expected to produce 1.3 million tonnes.

 

Zimbabwe to seek re-admission to the gold bullion exchange
Zimbabwe is to seek re-admission into the London Bullion Marketing Association by the end of the first quarter this year, secretary for Mines Francis Gudyanga said today. It was removed in 2008 after gold production declined to just over 3kg a year. Production has been picking with 14 tonnes being produced in 2012 while last year’s target was 17 tonnes. Gudyanga said the government would be implementing various measures to ensure that all gold produced in the country was channelled through Fidelity Printers and Refineries, which resumed operations last month. “We are putting in place new measures, by the end of the quarter we would have established a pattern, it is a tall order but I think it is achievable with all these measures that we are putting in place,” he said.

 

Baba Jukwa again
After almost six months in the doldrums, Baba Jukwa, who took the nation on a three-month joy ride in the run-up to the 31 July elections, has bounced back. Today, he claims, President Robert Mugabe has collapsed. “If it is true that he has died,” he wrote, “they are likely to keep his body refrigerated until security chiefs pass the nod to announce. When that will be? It could even be 6 months later. This is the way to do it in line with protocol. Meanwhile pray for your country Great Zimbabweans so that there is no bloodshed.” Baba Jukwa claimed that security at State House in Harare had been tightened because things were not well but apparently Mugabe is on his traditional annual holiday in the Far East. The Movement for Democratic Change queried why he had the guts to go on holiday while the country is facing a serious economic crisis.

 

Fit as a fiddle
The Deputy Director of Information for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Psychology Mazivisa today said President Robert Mugabe was fit as a fiddle and the party was preparing to celebrate his 90th birthday next month. He was responding to rumours spread by the faceless facebook character Baba Jukwa who claimed yesterday that Mugabe had collapsed. Baba Jukwa said if Mugabe had indeed died, it would be at least six months before the nation was told. “Certainly there is nothing new about these reports as we hear about them every year. Our president in very much alive and we will be celebrating his birthday in a month’s time. He is as fit as a fiddle,” Mazivisa said.

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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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