Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Zimbabwean transport sector ramshackled

Posted: April 23, 2010 in 1

Posted by Clayton Moyo

The permanent secretary in the ministry of transport and infrastructural development has revealed the dilapidated state of the transport sector especially the roads maintenance as carnage takes a toll along highways.

Partson Mbiriri told delegates at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference hosted by the ZITF in partnership with the National Economic Consultative Forum in Bulawayo yesterday that roads in the country have been used for over 40 years without complete resurfacing.

The permanent secretary said potholes are being patched up as the ministry cannot afford to completely resurface the roads. He said government is collecting up to $1.3 million on the country’ s 22 tollgates but it is not sufficient to attend to the run-down state of the roads. More funds are collected from the Zimbabwe National Road Authority of which Mbiriri said it is mostly obtainable through the fuel levy.

“When we are selling fuel the road fund is alive, when we are not there is no road fund and therefore our activities in terms of maintaining the road are limited,” he said.

The aviation sector is also facing severe problems as Air Zimbabwe’ s aircraft is more than 20 years old except for the Chinese MA60s and the Joshua Mqabuko and Victoria Falls airports also need major renovation.

“Our aircraft is twenty years of age except the MA60s,the 737s are now 20 years plus unable to compete on the international front. We need to inject fresh capital and fresh and fresh equipment in Air Zimbabwe, over and above that we need to curtail loss making areas- routes and frequencies. In other words we need to trim Air Zimbabwe and in trimming Air Zimbabwe, there is no running away from the need for Air Zimbabwe to have a manpower size that relates to the equipment.

At the moment we have a hundred and seventy odd persons per aircraft when the standard international size is half that, thus sixty workers per aircraft and the more people you have treading on each other’ s toes, the more you are spending on unnecessary overheads,” the permanent secretary said.

The railway tracks and the locomotives have also outlived their span. The youngest locomotive in the National Railways of Zimbabwe is over 25 years old. Mbiriri said there is a need for replacement of the coaches as the rehabilitation will only realise a short lease of life from the revamped locomotives.

The Zimbabwe International Business Conference was attended by high profile government officials who included Vice President Joice Mujuru, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara and several ministers.

Consumers crashing ZESA.

Posted: April 15, 2010 in 1

ZETDC
Posted by Clayton Moyo

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), says consumers are crippling the power utility as they are not paying their dues.

The ZETDC is a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings and it is the only licensee in the country which purchases power locally or through imports and has 756 000 customers throughout the country.

Addressing stakeholders at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) public hearing at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo yesterday the managing director of the company Ernest Muchaya said most power consumers are not paying their bills to the utility.

Domestic users are owing 128 million dollars, commercial users have an outstanding amount of $93million, the industries have not paid up to $44 million and farmers are the least debtors at $43 million.

Furthermore ZEDTC has unsettled bills with its local and regional suppliers.

“I owe a $100 million for imports and you know what it means,” the managing director said, “If you owe someone, they would want to limit the risk and I owe $156 million to ZPC, this is the internal generating company, they bill me and I haven’ t paid this much.”

Muchaya also told stakeholders who included businesspeople, residents and civic organisations that in the Matebeleland region, 28000 customers have never settled their bills since February last year and Harare metropolitan has 73000.

The power utility needs a capital injection of $383million for the provision of spares and equipment. The injection also needs to compensate for the vandalised assets of ZESA. The power supplier says it is losing most of its assets to vandalism and theft as cannot adequate provide security for its property.

Government failing to protect children

Posted: April 11, 2010 in 1

...idle, Paurina Gwanyanya Mpariwa

Article by Clayton Moyo

Zimbabwe is still failing to protect children from forced labour and sexual abuse as been revealed by United States Embassy 2009 Human Rights Report.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare responsible for the monitoring and administration of child labour laws is reportedly lacking capacity to do so as there is a shortage of personnel for the inspection.

Children under the age of fifteen living in areas around Chiadzwa diamond mining fields have been subjected to carrying mining activities under the guard of soldiers, the report claims. It is also alleged that teenage girls working in these mine fields are being sexually exploited by state security forces and other male illegal miners.

Elsewhere in Shurugwi, the report reveals that children between the ages of 12 and 16 are engaged in mining of gold in abandoned gold mining shafts under unhealthy and dangerous environments.

“In other areas children panned for alluvial gold and used dangerous chemicals, including mercury, in purification processes,” reveals the report.

Reports from non governmental organisations also reveal that some children are forced to work in farms and plantations. These children are reportedly being used as domestic labourers by family members. The worst affected children are AIDS related orphans. In some cases they are not paid for their labour as their employers claim that they are assisting the children with shelter.

The report also reveals that it is not only children in rural set-ups who suffer from forced labour and denial of education, in cities children are commonly work as street vendors and as guards and car cleaners.

Tsvangirai misleading and ignorant: Mzila

Posted: March 27, 2010 in 1
Mzila

Deputy Minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu

Article by Clayton Moyo

Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara slammed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai early this week for misleading people about elections. This was revealed by deputy minister of foreign affairs Moses Mzila Ndlovu.

Mzila says Mutambara told Tsvangirai that instead of focusing on the whole agenda of the Global Political Agreement he is now shifting on to quarrelling that is not necessary. Mutambara was commenting on the meeting convened by the Prime Minister on Monday at the Parliament Building.

According to the Prime Minister’ s office, the meeting was supposed to address the tension rising between cabinet members and the legislators on the parliamentary portfolio cross- examinations of ministers. Mutambara reportedly told the Prime Minister that he was not supposed to convene the meeting instead he could have solved the issue within his office.

Mutambara further told Tsvangirai that hostilities between legislators and ministers were originating from competition within parties. Tsvangirai had been roped into the squabbles due to ignorance.

In the meeting, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Speaker of Parliament Lovemore were further exposed by former speaker of parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa revealed a number of issues that Tsvangirai and Moyo were not aware of. Firstly, Mnangagwa pointed out that the meeting convened by Prime Minister was not under the regulations of the Standing Rules and orders Committee.

The Standing Rules and Orders Committee is the policy making body at parliament. It is mandated to consider all such matters concerning parliament, as it shall deem fit.

“There were many technical issues that were pointed out which the Prime Minister as the leader of government was not aware of,” Mzila said, “It then became an exposure on his part, his ignorance on what is supposed to be happening.”

The other concern raised in the parliament by the Prime Minister was poor attendance of parliamentary sessions by the ministers. Mnangagwa told the house that ministers are supposed to have office accommodation at the parliament. He said poor attendance was also compounded by lack of office accommodation. Mzila says the speaker of parliament was surprised by that as he was not aware of it.

Furthermore Mutambara also lambasted mines and mining development minister for saying the parliamentary portfolio committee on mines, energy, environment and tourism has to deal with his deputy Murisi Zwizwai. Professor Mutambara told Mpofu that the issue concerning the mining sector in the country is not about him defending himself against accusations raised by the portfolio committee.

Meanwhile, Deputy minister Mzila further told zimnews the Zimbabwean parliament is failing to work because of polarisation.

“The problem with our parliament with is that they are not rising above petty political differences. They all go to parliament with an agenda of their party. If a minister from their party fails to deliver, they feel they should be quiet and that compromises the effectiveness of parliament.”

War veterans association in chaos

Posted: March 22, 2010 in 1

Article by Clayton Moyo

Chinotimba

Joseph Chinotimba

There seems to be no chance of reconciliation in the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association as the rival faction leaders continue tongue-lashing each other. This comes after the Jabulani Sibanda led faction of the association held a national congress on Saturday re-instating the incumbent.

Joseph Chinotimba who resigned before the congress forming a splinter group denounced the congress held by Sibanda’ s followers at Bindura. Chinotimba boycotted the meeting and today told zimnews that the association is yet to hold proper elections.He lambasted the congress saying Sibanda was the presiding officer, election officer and election candidate.

Chinotimba, the former vice chairperson of the association had resigned with eleven other members of the executive following the Sibanda ‘s refusal to concede to a suspension. Sibanda is being accused by his former colleagues of misappropriating the resources of the association.

In an interview with zimnews, Sibanda accused Chinotimba of being used by powerful individuals to destroy the association. He snapped at Chinotimba saying he is mad. Sibanda also also alleged that ZANU PF is being destroyed by the same people who are influencing Chinotimba to revolt against his leadership.

Sibanda said his congress faced problems as police officers tried to block it. Reports say when the police officers tried to block delegates from attending the officers were already late as most of them had already arrived.