Week 19

Een wekelijkse selectie artikelen uit Zimbabwaanse kranten

Zimbabwe loses US$9b to corruption

Zimbabwe has for the past five years lost about US$9 billion to corruption with the country only managing to recover a measly US$100 million in assets of the looted funds, it has emerged.

With Zimbabwe’s national budget averaging US$4,5 billion in recent years, it means that the US$9 billion lost to corruption in the last five years was enough to cover the country’s needs for two years.

Speaking at a Financial and Asset Recovery training workshop for law enforcement officers in Harare yesterday, Prosecutor-General Justice Loyce-Matanda Moyo said corruption had become endemic in Zimbabwe.

Participants at the workshop were drawn from the National Prosecution Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

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ZiG stalls disbursement of govt funds

Government has delayed disbursing funds allocated under the 2024 National Budget due to the recent introduction of the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion minister Mthuli Ncube has said.

He said the ZiG, launched through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mushayavanhu’s monetary policy statement early last month, had delayed the release of the 2024 budgeted funds.

Appearing before the joint Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance and Industry and Commerce yesterday, Ncube said the delay had also been caused by the reprocessing of documents recorded using the abandoned Zimdollar.

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Schools pegging fees in US dollar, black market rates warned

Government has warned public and private schools to desist from charging school fees exclusively in United States dollars or pegging at illegal black market rates.

This comes on the back of complaints by parents who say schools have pegged school fees in forex, with no option to pay at the prevailing Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) rate.

This is in variance with President Mnangagwa’s call for Zimbabweans to embrace and defend the gold-backed local currency, which has been embraced by manufacturers.

A survey conducted by The Herald at various schools showed that most were only accepting US dollar payments.  In cases where the ZiG was accepted, it was pegged using the black market rate.

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Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye…When May Day Becomes “mayday” : Luke Tamborinyoka

Today is May Day, that historical day when we celebrate the toiling workers across the world who keep the global economy ticking and who slug it out every day to feed their families through the rigour of hard, honest work.

On the other hand “mayday” is an international distress signal whose origin is attributed to Frederick Mockland, then a senior radio officer at Croydon airport in London in the United Kingdom.It was Mockland who came up with the idea of “ mayday ” as an appropriate distress signal because it sounded like “ m’aider ”, the French word for “ help me .”

My main point this week is that in Zimbabwe, “ May Day ” has become “ mayday ” as the country’s remaining workers, including our civil servants, are all living in perpetual distress owing to poor salaries and very poor working conditions.

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Women key to peace, security: Govt

Women’s participation in decision-making processes is essential for Zimbabwe to achieve sustainable peace and security, a senior government official has said.

Speaking during the launch of the Zimbabwe National Action Plan on Resolution 1325 in Harare last week, Women’s Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “We recognise that our nation’s sustained peace and security can only be achieved when women’s perspectives are fully integrated into the policy and decision-making arenas.

“This plan reflects our unwavering belief in the power of women to contribute to the advancement of peace and security. It acknowledges their immense potential as agents of change, peace builders and leaders. By implementing this plan, we commit to amplifying women voices, protecting their rights and harnessing their invaluable contributions to building a peaceful nation.”

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Mines minister’s job on the line over ZiG

Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando and his deputy Polite Kambamura will be sacked should they fail to provide minerals to back the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency, it has been revealed.

This comes as Treasury is moving to designate parallel market dealings in foreign currency as money laundering and stipulate stiffer and harsher penalties on those caught dealing in forex to help shore up ZiG’s value.

Last year, miners were mandated to pay half of their royalties in the mineral they mine to shore up the central bank’s reserves with the Mines and Mining Development ministry tasked with the collection of the minerals.

The ZiG currency is currently swimming against a very high inflationary current that continues to significantly erode public and private incomes as well as consumer spending power.

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ZiG notes, coins stutter onto market

The Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) bank notes and coins were rolled out yesterday with several banks failing to satisfy demand while the general public expressed caution over the new currency introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) early last month.

A snap survey conducted by NewsDay yesterday indicated that the majority of banks had no cash fuelling scepticism among the banking public which had waited for close to a month for the notes and coins.

NewsDay established that banks were only issuing coins and ZIG10 notes.

The highest denomination is ZiG200.

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More measures to bolster demand for ZiG

The Government will soon announce more fiscal measures to create and sustain demand for ZiG as part of moves to ensure increased use and stability of the recently introduced local currency, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said yesterday.

Prof Ncube said this when he appeared before a joint sitting of the Portfolio Committees on Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion and that of Industry and Commerce.

Some of the measures that have already been put in place include the requirement that companies pay 50 percent of taxes commonly referred to as quarterly payment dates (QPDs) in local currency while new tax-free threshold for the ZiG currency has been set at ZiG1 356

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Govt introduces fresh tax to keep forex inland

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube says government will tax US$0,02 for every US$1 leaving the country to ensure forex availability locally, as the State desperately tries to protect the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency introduced a few weeks ago.

For years, the formal financial institutions’ foreign currency supply has been dwindling despite central bank estimating that there was potentially US$2,5 billion unbanked in the economy.

In Statutory Instrument (SI) 80 of 2024 published in the Extraordinary Government Gazette dated May 3, 2024, government will retain US$0,02 for every US$1 leaving the country.

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Workers’ Day turned into ‘Slave Day’

Unions representing workers across the country have concurred that Workers’ Day has turned into “Slave Day commemorations” because of poor pay and working conditions.

May 1 was first designated as an international labour day by the International Socialist Congress in 1889, and it was subsequently made a holiday.

In separate interviews, workers’ unions said the commemorations had lost their yesteryear lustre as employees live from hand to mouth.

Zimbabwe Congress for Trade Unions (ZCTU) national organiser, Michael Kandukutu, said workers had nothing to celebrate.

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