by Tichaona Chifamba
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) on Monday increased
fuel prices again and also implemented a new pricing model which
takes into account transportation costs to various parts of the
Harare and Mutare will have the cheapest
maximum pump price of 10.32 per liter for diesel and 10.01
Zimbabwe dollars per liter for petrol, while the resort town of
Victoria Falls will have the highest maximum pump price of 10.86
dollars per liter for diesel and 10.56 dollars per liter for
"The petroleum prices applicable in the various cities
represent the maximum pump prices taking into account the
:Operators may however, sell below the cap depending on their
trading advantages," ZERA said in a statement.
Fuel prices have gone up several times in 2019, starting with
a 150 percent increase in January which saw the price of petrol
go up from 1.64 dollars per liter to 3.39 dollars when the local
currency was still pegged at par with the U.S. dollar.
Zimbabwe government warns
as opposition plans countryside protests
by Gretinah Machingura HARARE
Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe
government said on Wednesday it is aware of plans by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to continue
demonstrations and warned that police stand ready.
The warning comes after the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC party
intends to hold anti-government protests at growth points and
smaller towns, starting this Friday after its planned
demonstrations in major cities and towns were foiled last week.
The police and the courts banned the planned marches in
Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru on safety grounds.
It is understood that the opposition party has since notified
police in Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Mashonaland West
Provinces about their intention to protest at growth points and
smaller towns in the provinces on Friday and Saturday.
However, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain
Mathema said the planned demonstrations were a clear sign of the
MDC’s intentions to continue disturbing peace in the country.
He said government was aware that the timing of these
demonstrations was meant to draw global attention ahead of the
United Nations General Assembly next month, state news agency
New Ziana reported.
"We are quite aware that the opposition and its partners
intend to hire buses and other vehicles to ferry people to
various centers in the country for unlawful gatherings," he
"Let me reiterate that anyone caught on the wrong side of the
law will be dealt with without fear or favor.
"Vehicles used to promote lawlessness will certainly be
impounded by the police."
Mathema said government was concerned that the constitution
was being misused to foment disorder and anarchy in the country
and to further divide and polarize the nation.
"The nation cannot afford to be having demonstrations on a
daily or weekly basis.
"The economy suffers as attention is taken away from key
activities which as a country we should be focused upon," he
The minister also warned diplomatic missions and
non-governmental organizations against interfering in local
He reminded the diplomatic missions of the Vienna Convention
on Diplomatic Relations which spells out the duties of
diplomats, including respecting the laws and regulations of the
Diplomats, he said, were also duty bound not to interfere
with the internal or domestic affairs of a sovereign country.
"My ministry is therefore concerned by the security
implications of these diplomatic missions’ interference and
visits to private residences of some opposition political party
leaders under the guise of diplomatic engagements," he said, in
apparent reference to the alleged recent visit by U.S.
ambassador to the residence of a senior MDC party official ahead
of last week’s foiled demonstrations.
Mathema said government was also aware of plans by the
opposition to rope in civil servants in the demonstrations
through main labor body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
"Let me assure all peace loving and law abiding citizens that
the law enforcement agents are on high alert to deal with any
acts of lawlessness in the country," said Mathema.
Mnangagwa warns ‘rule of law applies to all’
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said
on Wednesday that the rule of law in Zimbabwe equally applied to
every citizen, including foreign-funded organizations operating
in the country.
Responding to questions on the government’s alleged crackdown
on the opposition, Mnangagwa, who is in Japan attending the
seventh edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African
Development (Ticad 7), told the media that there were no "double
standards" when it came to the application of the rule of law,
state news agency New Ziana reported.
There has been an outcry by the main opposition MDC and some
non-governmental organizations over bans by the police and the
courts on planned anti-government protests starting mid-August
for security reasons.
Some opposition supporters still took to the streets and
clashed with the police, resulting in several arrests being
"There is not an incident where the rule of law has been
breached, not even one incident.
"We apply the rule of law.
"Those who commit crime, the law must apply," Mnangagwa said.
He said observance of the rule of law was not meant to please
outsiders but was for the good of Zimbabweans.
"Zimbabwe is a unitary state and our laws apply to every
citizen, whether you are in the opposition or are in government
or you do not belong to any political party at all, if you
commit murder you get arrested; corruption or any violent act
you get arrested; that is the rule of law which we observe," he
Zimbabwe not moved by
Western hostility, says vice president
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe Vice President Kembo Mohadi said
Thursday Zimbabwe is not moved by the hostility that it is
getting from some Western countries as most of it is historical.
Speaking to journalists after meeting outgoing United Nations
(UN) resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli, Mohadi said it was
unfortunate that some Western countries now believed their own
lies about Zimbabwe, state news agency New Ziana reported.
"There are members of the UN, especially those from the West,
that have demonized us, and they have ended up believing what
they are saying.
"But those that come here to Zimbabwe and witness things for
themselves, they found that Zimbabwe is a different country
altogether," he said.
Mohadi said despite the lack of support from Western powers,
Zimbabwe would rise again.
"We are a resilient nation, we will find our way.
"We will chart our way, and we will get there, with or
"So they will join the bandwagon later on," he said.
The vice president was reacting to criticism by the European
Union and other Western embassies on the way Zimbabwean police
handled opposition demonstrators recently.
He commended the good relations between Zimbabwe and the UN,
which rendered immense support to the country when it was struck
by Cyclone Idai in March this year.
"Every year we get something like half a billion dollars from
the UN (for development projects).
"About 442 million U.S. dollars came last year to provide us
support for projects in health, water, education and also food
security," he said.
Zimbabwe not considering
any amnesty to de-congest correctional facilities
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s prisons are overcrowded and are
currently accommodating 19, 500 inmates, above a carrying
capacity of 17, 000, a cabinet minister said Wednesday.
The government, however, said it is not considering any
amnesty to de-congest the correctional facilities, the state
news agency New Ziana reported.
Early last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pardoned at
least 3,000 prisoners under a presidential amnesty in an effort
to reduce the prison population.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi
Ziyambi said the government has since realized that official
pardons do not help in reducing prison population.
"We gave an amnesty early last year but within a month we had
almost the same population (as before the amnesty)," he told
legislators in the National Assembly.
"So we realized that (giving pardons) is not the solution."
Instead, Ziyambi said the government would prioritize
investments in new prison facilities across the country.
He said plans were in place to build a female open prison in
Marondera and also to expand the existing Chikurubi Maximum
Security Prison in Harare.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS)
currently operates 46 correctional facilities throughout the
Ziyambi said due to economic hardships, the prison services
was facing operational challenges and called for support to the
ZPCS in various forms.
"If you want to donate to our prisons you are most welcome,
what you need to do is to write to the Commissioner of Prisons
detailing the nature of your donations," he said.
Zimbabwe civil servants
accept salary adjustment offer
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwean civil servants have provisionally
accepted a 76 percent cost of living salary adjustment offered
by the government with effect from Aug. 1 while negotiations for
higher wages continue, state media reported Wednesday.
The Herald newspaper reported Wednesday that the least-paid
worker will now earn 1,023 Zimbabwe dollars (about 102 U.S.
dollars) per month, up from 582 dollars per month.
The decision to accept the government offer followed a
meeting between the civil servants’ umbrella representative
body, the Apex Council, and government representatives led by
Secretary for Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Simon
Masanga at a National Joint Negotiating Council meeting on
Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander said that a cost
of living adjustment of the total package would be implemented
from beginning of August.
Alexander said they had provisionally agreed to the offer
while they continued with negotiations.
"It must be reiterated that this is a provisional agreement
meant first and foremost to allow the government to cushion its
impoverished civil servants." she said.
"Our substantive demand of 4,750 dollars, which is
benchmarked against the interbank rate, still stands and
negotiations still continue towards that end," said Alexander.
The government last week offered the 76 percent cost of
living adjustment which the Apex Council neither rejected nor
accepted but went back to consult its members and on Tuesday
gave the feedback that sealed the deal.
However, teachers on Monday rejected the offer, insisting
that the employer pays them nothing more than 4,600 Zimbabwe
dollars per month, which the government says it cannot afford.
Zimbabwe may pull out of
CITES due to restrictions in ivory trade
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe is considering pulling out of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (CITES) in order to fully benefit from its
conservation of natural resources, President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrading of
a 6.5 km stretch along Harare-Chirundu Highway on Monday,
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe would express its reservations before
pulling out of the body, if need be, the state-controlled Herald
newspaper reported Tuesday.
At its 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES
in Geneva this week, the body rejected a proposal by Southern
African Development Community (SADC) countries to open trade to
clear existing stockpiles of ivory, with Zimbabwe sitting on 600
million U.S. dollars worth of stock.
The President said the clearing of the ivory stockpile would
help conservation efforts through procurement of equipment and
fences for buffer zones to curtail human-wildlife conflict.
"We are sitting on ivory stockpiles worth 600 million U.S.
dollars. It’s a lot of money we can use for big projects.
"Our wild animals are being discussed in Geneva (at the
ongoing CITES summit), an irrelevant place to the animals.
"We now know what to do about the issue." he said.
The president said it was unfair that Zimbabwe carried the
burden of conserving its wildlife, but did not benefit from the
Zimbabwe is battling to keep its elephant population which
stands at 84, 000 against a carrying capacity of around 56, 000.
"Just the day before Sunday, they were saying we cannot sell
products from our wildlife, but we rejected that.
:We cannot be denied such a privilege by people who no longer
have the elephants.
"They now know elephants from pictures and films," he said.
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was looking forward to cooperating
with Japan in promoting sustainable wildlife management.
CITES rejected the proposal by Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana
to open the trade of ivory to clear existing stockpiles,
claiming that it would encourage poaching and reverse gains in
The countries have always argued that they need the funds to
help protect the animals from poaching and enhance conservation
Lack of disposable incomes
bites into Zimbabweans’ recreational activities
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Prevailing economic hardships are hitting
Zimbabweans on the recreational front where they are cutting
consumption in such habits as smoking and taking alcohol.
Leading cigarette manufacturer British American Tobacco
reported Monday that in the six months to June 2019, total sales
volumes declined by 20 percent versus the same period in 2018.
"This was driven be shrinking consumer disposable incomes.
"The premium brand, Dunhill, recorded a decline of 87 percent
compared to the same period in prior year driven by the
company’s inability to import Dunhill as duties are requiredin
foreign currency," said Chairman Lovemore Manatsa while
presenting the company’s unaudited financial results for the
He said that the company’s value for money brands Madison and
Everest declined by 21 percent and the low value for money brand
Ascot declined by 2 percent.
However, that despite the drop in volumes revenue was 9.6
million Zimbabwe dollars (48 percent) higher than the same
period in 2018, driven by price increases targeted at containing
an increase in costs.
"This resulted in a gross profit increase of 8.9 million
Zimbabwe dollars which is 61 percent up compared to the same
period last year, driven by the positive impact from raw
materials sources at lower prices," he said.
In the liquor sector, lager beer volume from Zimbabwe’s
biggest beverage manufacturer Delta Corporation declined by 57
percent for the first quarter to June 2019, compared to the same
period in 2018, because imbibers’ buying capacity has been
Delta said, however, that the traditional sorghum beer volume
in the country grew by 2 percent versus the same quarter in 2018
and product supply had remained consistent despite difficulties
in accessing imported packaging materials and services.
Some people who can no longer afford the higher beer prices
are also resorting to cheaper spirits and illicit brews.
Zimbabwe government to
feed urban poor as effects
of national drought and economic hardships take toll
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwe government is
working on providing food aid in urban areas to ensure an
estimated 2.2 million food insecure people living in towns do
not go hungry, with a pilot project on identifying the
vulnerable already taking place in the settlement of Epworth to
the south of Harare in conjunction with the World Food Program.
Parameters will be set for identifying more beneficiaries,
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza
told the government controlled media.
She was speaking to The Herald after a workshop sponsored by
the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and attended by
government officials and donors in Nyanga over the weekend which
reviewed the social welfare strategy in a bid to maximize
"We are going to be working more closely with the World Food
"We will work in rural areas, but we also have the urban poor
and already we know from the ZimVAC (Zimbabwe Vulnerability
Assessment Committee) report that we have got about 2.2 million
people in the urban areas in need of food.
"So, currently we are working with the World Food Program on
a pilot project in Epworth on how we can identify the
beneficiaries in an urban area to provide them with adequate
food." she said.
Nzenza said the government wanted to ensure that there was an
effective distribution system of food aid, from the state grain
procurer the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to the district and
"The challenge we are experiencing now is that the GMB
vehicle can get to the GMB depot, they may get to the district,
but from there to ward level that’s where transporters are
charging something like 10 Zimbabwe dollars, 20 Zimbabwe dollars
per bag," she said.
"Where do people get that money?
"Moreso, they want the money in cash.
"So, we are in conversation now, going forward with DDF
(District Development Fund) and the army to see how we can speed
up the processes of delivering food to the remotest village,"
Zimbabwe has revised upwards the budget for humanitarian
support to 464 million U.S. dollars amid indications that about
5.5 million people are food insecure following a severe drought
in the 2018/19 agriculture season and the devastating effects of
Tropical Cyclone Idai which swept parts of the country in March.