Mujuru hits Mugabe with imports lawsuit

HARARE - Former Vice President and now Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, has filed a lawsuit against President Robert Mugabe and his administration over the government’s controversial import ban on basic consumer goods.

This comes as it emerged last week that South Africa is seething over the ban which Pretoria says is unfair and transgresses Sadc’s regional trade protocols.

A meeting which was supposed to have taken place between Industry minister Mike Bimha and his South African counterpart, Rob Davies, to resolve the impasse is yet to happen, with the Zimbabwean side said to be dithering about a definite date for the mooted tête-à-tête.

In her lawsuit, Mujuru lists Mugabe as the first respondent and argues that the imports ban is in fact escalating poverty levels among ordinary Zimbabweans.

She said by requiring a permit for the importation of basic goods, the government had to all intents and purposes banned the importation of those goods by the poor, as they could neither afford the permits nor manage to access the acquiring process.

“The said statutory instrument is the most insensitive piece of legislation ever to be enacted in independent Zimbabwe.

“By stroke of a pen, the second respondent, (Mike Bimha, the minster of Industry and Commerce) effectively banned the importation of almost all goods that sustained the lives of millions of Zimbabweans, who, because of the severe economic difficulties survive by engaging in informal trade.

“Despite being a former vice president, I have turned to informal trade to survive. I am a widow, mother, war veteran and grandmother. Statutory 64 of 2016 made it impossible for me to continue with my informal trade … it has a negative and drastic impact on millions of the people.

“It has injected poverty in the informal traders’ lives and misery to the ordinary and suffering Zimbabweans. I am pained to note that the second respondent has had no qualms in resorting to a piece of legislation authored by Ian Douglas Smith,” Mujuru argues further.

The government imposed a ban on some consumer goods imports last month, saying this was an endeavour to not only reduce imports in the wake of worsening cash shortages, but also to stimulate local industry.

But the decision backfired spectacularly when deadly riots paralysed operations at Beitbridge Border Post early this month, with protesters burning a Zimra warehouse in the process.

Under  Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, the government banned the importation of coffee creamers, Camphor creams, white petroleum jellies, body creams, baked beans, potato crisps, cereals, bottled water, mayonnaise, salad cream, peanut butter, jam, maheu, canned fruits and vegetables, pizza bases, yoghurts, flavoured milk, dairy juice blends, ice-creams, cultured milk and cheese, among other products.

South Africa, through its Department of Trade and Industry (dti), has formally expressed grave concern over the imports ban.

“The adverse impact on South African exporters cannot be underestimated and the dti continues to be responsive to affected exporters and to make representations to the government of Zimbabwe,” a South African government official said last week.

But meetings that had been arranged between Bimha and Davies have not materialised as the Zimbabwean minister was said to be “busy”.

“I still have not met him (Davies). I have been too busy and I also did not manage to travel to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (meeting) held in Kenya this month, where I had thought we would meet,” Bimha said last week, during the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) congress.

Comments (10)

mai mujuru stop peeing zimbabweans in the face

truth - 31 July 2016

Truth (Jonathan/Nathaniel) - why don't you stand by your comments, and use your real name.

david taylor - 31 July 2016

@david taylor,i stand by my comments regardless of whatever name i use,the truth remains the truth however i take offence at wanna be whiteys like yu patronising me to the extent of telling me what to do,so at @david taylor go and tell your mbuya/gogo kuma rizeva to as people ta adress her by her name than to come with your idiotic suggestions on a platform meant for serious issues affecting this country which my father fought to liberate while your father was aiding smith

truth - 31 July 2016

Truth mu C10 guys. Dont worry about him. There people who just oppose foe the sack of opposing vakaita sana truth. Stop saying rubbish truth, thats rubbish.

batanai - 31 July 2016

@Truth you just need to be ashamed of yourself, I doubt very much if you are living in Zimbabwe or maybe you are one of the thieves beneffitmng frm your masters draconian legislations, which are done to boosts their business in the companies which they have shares. If you are a true zimbo, you should be ashamed ask Wafawarova who now sees sense

marcus - 31 July 2016

This is a good move by Mujuru. The government must do an impact analysis first before implementing a policy as detrimental to people's lives as this. Why can't the govt itself do something to promote investing in the country and recapacitate industries? The govt could do some of the following: i) eradicate corruption ii) guarantee investment security iii) remove discriminatory policies iv) give tax breaks to new investors etc. The govt can do so much instead of just burdening the people by restricting what they can or cannot import.

Inyika - 1 August 2016

U truth wetheru r fucken CIO and u r Mugabe's toilet paper we don't care.Go to hell wth yo zanu.I told u to leave this daily news online.Its for educated and level headed people.U Zanu satanists go to Herald.Mhata yamai vako.The ordinary people r suffering whlst people lyk truth are busy drinking Mugabe's urine.

beche ramai vako truth - 1 August 2016

I am not a supporter of Zimbabwe People First but let me congratulate Dr. Amai Mujuru for the courage of taking the President to court on issues affecting Zimbabweans. Mugabe is ill-advised by the thieves surrounding him and these are the same people who force him to remain in power even when he can no longer reason at all. By banning importation of goods from South Africa while the country's industrial capacity is operating at around 36% is nonsensical. Those operating are companies for ZANU PF bigwigs who would like charge exorbitant prices and make unreasonable profits. All democratic minded people let us rally behind amai Mujuru for a good cause the government has to reverse the ban.

mangoos - 1 August 2016

Zanu pf n it's gvt marwadzo. How can th gvt pass a policy that is half baked...a policy that hurts its people more than it benefits?? Where is th common sense?

Dhewa - 1 August 2016

Amai madii kuti ziiii henyu kwakungotsvaga mbiri chete uku

MORGAN ROBERT - 1 August 2016

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