EASTERN NEWS | Chimene feared Mugabe's axe

MUTARE - Outspoken Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister — Mandiitawepi Chimene — has revealed that she feared losing her job during President Robert Mugabe’s recent Cabinet reshuffle due to the rampant smuggling of second hand clothes coming through her province.

The forthright Chimene also said government needed to do more for the Small to Medium Enterprises sector, including vendors, as they had become part of the economy despite being in the informal sector.

Speaking at an event organised by the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) to provide social security for the informal sector, Chimene said the second hand clothes that had flooded almost every province in the country, were finding their way through Manicaland.

“All bales are coming into the country through Manicaland. I even feared that in the reshuffle, I would be kicked out for failing to stop them.

“I’ve never seen any bale but there are so many . . . Vendors are selling illegal imports. We should rather first arrest them before we even do anything.

“We should first deal with the legality of their wares before we should even look at their selling points,” Chimene said.

She challenged Nssa to build infrastructure for informal traders across the country to avoid them engaging into running battles with police over selling their wares in undesignated areas.

“We are government to give service to the people . . . We need to learn from China which built a huge 5-kilometre stretch market that houses various business enterprises. I want Nssa to build that market.

“We are now subjecting our people to being street vendors. We have removed the dignity from our people yet we have authorities that have the money. You can build us such a market — we have these people to take care of,” said Chimene.

“Where is their security if they are exposed . . . and their wares confiscated? These are the people who are now anchoring the country’s economy.

“Internationally, SMEs are now recognised because they are now in charge of the economy. How can you have vendors in charge of the economy? ” she asked.

Chimene said the informal sector should also be encouraged to bank but that depended on the banks assuring them they would get their money whenever they needed it.

“We also need to convince them to bank and then also allow them to also access their money when they want it.”

Zimbabwe has over six million people trading in the SMEs sector controlling over $5 billion mostly cash transactions, according to statistics.



...as she orders demolition of dilapidated buildings

Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene has ordered Mutare City Council to raze down dilapidated buildings to spruce up the eastern border city’s image.

Addressing informal traders at a Nssa workshop recently, Chimene said she would engage council with the proposal to have some of the old buildings such as those with corrugated iron sheets which were on their last legs.

Chimene said the owners had the option of doing the demolition job themselves failure of which she would order council to unleash bulldozers.

“There are old buildings that are messing up our town, they should be razed. We are going to take a position, I’ll talk to council.

“We should tell people with old and dilapidated buildings that no longer fit town status to either pull them down or we pull them down,” Chimene said.

She said beyond replacing old buildings council should also look at improving the Sakubva bus terminus and vegetable markets which she described as an eye-sore after they have remained unchanged for decades.

“Msika weHuku is an eye-sore. I was born when it’s in that state, went to war, came back and now I’m minister and should not leave it like that when Nssa is there.

“I’m talking to physical planning department so that we establish our own roadport. Let’s establish a good route for our people to be comfortable,” Chimene said.

Chimene, who is also the leader of the  Zimbabwe-China Friendship Association said council should also consider privatising refuse collection and cleaning services and bill businesses for the work, just like what China has done in its model for cleaning cities.

“China privatised cleaning of towns, with tricycles. Those people with business they are levied. Everyone with a business is levied daily, which is money that is paid to those who maintain the streets. That is another business for SMEs,’ said Chimene.


Day-old chicks shortages set to ease

SHORTAGES of day-old chicks are expected to ease within the next three weeks after government removed duty on egg imports to allow producers to increase following the ravaging avian flu which seriously affected the poultry industry.

As a result of the avian flu, Zimbabwe has experienced serious shortages of day-old chicks and limited supply of eggs and chicken meat.

Manicaland Poultry Producers Association chairperson Enock Mbendani said the exemption of duty on fertilised egg imports and the licensing of six poultry companies with import permits was expected to ease the crisis.

“There are still shortages in the supply of chicks resulting in their prices going up but in the next three weeks, supplies will start to improve.

“Government issued Statutory Instrument 124 which has made possible the exemption of duty on imported fertile eggs and six local companies were issued with import permits,” Mbendani told the Eastern News.

Before the avian flu, government had maintained a 40 percent duty on imports of fertilised eggs from Europe.

Most poultry producers are importing fertilised eggs from Spain.

Mbendani had previously said without the removal of duty to allow importation of more eggs, poultry producers would struggle to meet the market demands.

Zimbabwe’s largest poultry and table eggs producer — Irvine’s — was hardest hit by the avian flu outbreak, which cost the company $7,3 million in May.

Avian flu severely affected the supply of chicken, breeding stocks and table and hatching eggs.

Following the crisis, the department of Livestock and Veterinary Services ordered Irvine’s to depopulate all poultry and quarantine its Lanark Farm, which houses half of its breeder and laying chickens.

The company was forced to reduce production hours and in addition, it did not renew contracts of fixed-term workers, retirees and those who are past retirement.



Mutare museum remembers Plowes

MUTARE Museum is running a memorial exhibition in remembrance of the works of one of the founding members — Darrel Herbert Plowes — who died last year.

Plowes died on October 19 last year and had a rich history with Mutare Museum dating back to 1957.

National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe eastern regional director Paul Mupira said the exhibition was meant to publicly appreciate ad acknowledge Plowes’ contribution to the institution.

“He was a member of the Museum Society that contributed to the founding of this museum. He made substantial contributions to the establishment and development of the museum especially in the Botany/Zoology and Antiquities Department,” Mupira said.

Mupira said in preparation for the official opening of the museum in 1964, Plowes contributed a series of colour enlargements of local wild flowers.

He also sold the museum his Darrell Plowes Egg Collection in 1976 and also built extensive bird and butterfly collections which are all on display at the exhibition.

Mupira said the museum has more than 1 500 objects in its collections contributed by Plowes.

Plowes had 24 journal publications and two books from his researches in natural sciences which also saw him discover many new plants that are named after him including a butterfly species — Aloeides plowesi.

The opening of the exhibition was also attended by National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe board members Job Torindoh and Dave Scott.

“We felt he (Plowes) did a lot for the community which is not a light feat and we felt we needed to honour him by also participating,” Torindoh said on the sidelines of the launch of the exhibition last Friday.

Des Becker said in a homily to Plowes people of Manicaland should embrace him as a true Samanyika as he was passionate about the region having made contributions in both agriculture and natural sciences.

“Darrel loved Mutare and spent many years here, so I think it is only fair to acknowledge this, and adopt him, by declaring him a true Samanyika!” Becker said.

He said beyond his contribution to the museum’s antiquities, botany zoology, Plowes was an agriculturist who made a great contribution since his work as a pasture research officer at Matopos between 1949 and 1952 before he was later appointed provincial agricultural officer for Manicaland.

“Darrel, along with his colleagues, laid an amazing foundation for the country as a whole in the conservation ad extension services section, in the then ministry of agriculture.

“In particular the upgrade of rural agriculture, via the setting up of training centres which offered courses to the local farmers to encourage them to adopt modern farming practices,” Becker said.

Plowes helped set up Rowa Training Centre and encouraged the late local philanthropist Sir Stephen Courtauld to contribute towards the setting up of Kukwanisa Training Centre in Mutasa and many others.



Footballer attacker a fugitive

THE MAN who brutally attacked a service officer and footballer was a fugitive from justice, the court has revealed.

Hardwork Mushati, who has been charged with attempted murder after he attacked footballer and soldier — Kudzai Mwaramba last week during a brawl for the control of a car wash area — had been running away from the law for more than a year.

Mushati attacked Mwaramba with a machete resulting the Buffaloes defender losing part of his arm in the horrific attack.

Prosecutor Matthew Chimutunga told the court that Mushati was a wanted man who had been evading the police for more than a year after he skipped trial in a case of assaulting his daughter.

The court was also told that Mushati had assaulted police officers and unlawfully left their custody in 2016.

According to court records, Mushati resisted arrest by constables Magwenzi and Masendeke on May 19, 2016 when they wanted to arrest him over the assault of his daughter.

He claimed they had no right to interfere with his family, the court was told.

The two cops accompanied by constables Chirindo, Makwanda, Haruperi and Wedzerai returned the next day and arrested him at Tisu Tisu Bottle Store.

They took him to Hob House Police Post from where he again escaped custody and ran away despite being handcuffed.

When he was eventually brought to court following his re-arrest, he absconded his routine remand appearance until he was arrested for the machete attack on Mwaramba.

Mushati has been slapped with attempted murder for his machete attack on Mwaramba whose Buffaloes team in currently chasing the Eastern Region title which could guarantee the army side promotion to the Castle Lager premiership next year.

He has been remanded to October 31.

Mwaramba’s career appears to be as good as over after part of his hand was amputated following the machete attack. He is recovering at Mutare Provincial Hospital.


Concerns over road fuel transportation

PRESSURE is mounting on government to ban the transportation of imported fuel by road to allow maximum and consistent usage of the Feruka Oil Pipeline which links Mutare and Harare.

The Feruka pipeline, which has the capacity to pump 180 million litres of fuel per month, receives its fuel from Beria in Mozambique and transports it to Harare in Msasa where fuel tankers can pick up deliveries.

Over 35 percent of fuel is transported by road into the country from Mozambique despite the existence of a pipeline from Beira through Mutare to Harare.

Delegates at the One-Stop-Border-Post (OSBP) awareness campaign workshop held in Mutare this week said the ban on road transportation would reduce the fuel costs and road damages.

Director of Industry and Commerce Constance Zhanje admitted that pipeline use was more ideal and beneficial to the country.

“Indeed the ministry of Transport has been discouraging this, promoting the use of the pipeline. There has been some challenges with the pipeline that’s why we had these freight trucks being used.

“It’s an issue of concern to everyone. It will cost us more in taxes and more money to be channelled to road infrastructure.

“Pipeline is cheaper and that cost of using haulage trucks is translating to a higher final consumer fuel price,” Zhanje said.

The ministry of Energy and Power Development has since 2014 been pushing for the use of pipeline for all fuel, including transit fuel to avoid its leakage amidst rampant smuggling.

The pipeline would pump fuel from the Mozambican port of Beira to the Feruka oil refinery in Mutare before further transportation to Msasa in Harare.

An estimated 30 to 50 million litres of fuel is being hauled by trucks through the Beitbridge and Forbes border posts destined for other countries laying to waste government investments in the Beira Corridor pipeline and Beitbridge-Bulawayo Rail.

In 2011, Government introduced $0,04 cents per litre road fuel levy to try and force importers to use the cheaper mode of transport.

It costs $0,08 cents a litre to transport fuel by the pipeline from Beira to Msasa in Harare.

However, the haulage companies charged 0,09 a litre over the same distance.

The country has made efforts in raising the pumping capacity of Feruka oil pipeline linking Beira and Harare fuel depot after introducing drag reducers in a bid to increase fuel supplies.

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