In real terms Zimbabweans are arguably the richest Southern Africans. Unlike South Africa, there are not many credit facilities in Zimbabwe. And the few facilities available are open only to people who are formally employed, particularly civil servants.

Unemployment in Zimbabwe is hovering above 90%. So those in the formally employed sector who can enjoy the limited credit facilities constitute only about 10% of the employable population. The civil servant body is about 235 000 strong and comprise the majority of that 10%. The highest paid civil servant takes home about US$600.

With these statistics it is hard to explain the opulence exhibited by Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans drive top of the range Mercedes, Range Rovers, Toyota Prados and Land Cruisers, Chryslers, etc. In South Africa most people drive cars on hire purchase, but Zimbabweans pay cash for their cars.

Just visit the upmarket suburbs of Borrowdale, Vainona, Greendale and Mount Pleasant and observe how people pull down good houses and replace them with mansions within weeks. The level of opulence there is obscene. And there are no mortgages here folks! The fellows pay cash for the properties. They pay lots of money to pull the houses down, and lot more money to build the mansions.

You may be saying to yourself it is diamond money. You could have a point. But how many of us have access to the diamond money? The answer is not many. So is the money coming from tobacco? Some of it yes, but certainly not most of it. So where is most of it coming from? I have just been told the secret and I have started the process so I hope the money will start to roll in as soon as I am done.

I am not selfish so I want to share the secret with all of you, so all of us can be rich. I used an old newspaper as a toilet paper in the pit latrine the last time I was in the rural areas. My eye was caught by an article in the business section of the paper, which quoted an economic analyst as suggesting that when more people get rich, aggregate demand increases, and that comes with many benefits to the economy. I don’t know if the analyst was correct, but let us just get rich together, all of us including the analyst, and see what happens.

Here is the clue. But it is not for the faint-hearted. You need to have a big heart, and you must be a believer in the power of African science. You need to have a close relative who died of diabetes. On the night of the second Saturday after the first anniversary of his/her death, kill a black tomcat and take him to the cemetery together with two bean seeds (sugar beans). This entire ritual must be performed while naked.

When you get to the cemetery, dig a hole in the grave of your relative and place the dead tomcat in that opening. Place the two bean seeds in one ear of the tomcat and cover the hole with soil to totally bury the tomcat. Urinate on the covered hole and walk back home. Don’t run and don’t look back even if you are startled.

Every night thereafter you must return to the grave, naked, with a wooden cup of water and irrigate the place where you buried the tomcat until the bean seeds have germinated. After the bean seeds have germinated, you reduce your number of visits to the grave to only once a week, to irrigate the plants. You must remember to be nude at all times when you perform the ritual, and never to run or look back.

You will do this until the plants bear fruit. Continue with the routine until the fruit is ripe, when the pods get dry, crack open and the seeds fall out. From the night you pick up the first seed, you will have to go back to the grave every night, naked, to pick up the seeds until you have picked up the last seed. Each time you bring the seeds home, you will put them in a black pouch that you will keep buried in the garden.

On the night that you pick up the last seed, count all the seeds in the black pouch, boil the seeds and eat them naked facing the direction of Great Zimbabwe. After that you will make a million US dollars each year, up to the number of the bean seeds that you will have harvested from grave.

How does that sound? A great idea to make easy money in Zimbabwe, isn’t it? After all this is the only explanation I can find for how so many are living the high life.

I will be waiting for your feedback after you start rolling in big bucks!

(Source)

One insurance company is now offering cover against political violence, although premiums have yet to be announced. The Insurance and Pensions Commission recently granted Champions Insurance Company the nod to introduce the insurance cover. There was no insurance cover in Zimbabwe for loss of property as a result of political violence, even if the property was insured under the assets cover.

Champions Insurance underwriting and business development manager Ms Immaculate Musonza said last week that cover was for financial loss arising out of politically related actions.

“We are the only Zimbabwean cover holder for all political violence risk representing Lloyd’s in Zimbabwe and this cover is for areas that are not catered for by the assets insurance,” said Ms Musonza.

“The cover protects against losses by war, riots, civil disturbance, terrorism and looting.

“It means that any properties damaged as a result of those actions will be insured.

“The fact that our reinsurers have accepted to have this cover in Zimbabwe is actually a statement that Zimbabwe is not a high political risk because obviously no insurance company would want to invest in a country where the risk is high,” she said.

Ms Musonza said the adoption of the cover would also attract foreign investment since businesses would be insured in case of any eventualities.

“Political violence here can be managed because our police are quick to react, but there is still need to insure properties because riots can start anytime,” she said.

Ms Musonza said her company partners Lloyd’s of London and Mapfre Assistencia of Spain in insuring against damages caused by politically motivated violence.

She said Champions Insurance reached an agreement with Lloyd’s syndicates who would share Zimbabwe’s risk with Watkins, Canopius, Ironshore, Hiscox, Hardy and Channel Syndicate.

Ms Musonza said IPEC recently approved the cover that caters for immovable property, plant and machinery and vehicles.

Zimbabwe became the 23rd African country to adopt the policy, with regional countries South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Madagascar and Mozambique already offering it.

Ms Musonza said the cover targeted corporates, while individuals were also welcome as long as they proved that the property was theirs.

Politically motivated arson attacks became a common feature in Zimbabwe over the past few years.

This led to serious losses after buildings and properties were burnt down.

MDC-T youths were implicated in various politically motivated petrol bombings that targeted individuals’ houses and police stations ahead of the March 2008 harmonised elections

Early this year, suspected MDC-T activists allegedly petrol bombed the Zanu-PF provincial offices in Gweru, shattering windowpanes.

Timber worth more than US$600 000 was also burnt down at Zanu-PF’s Joshua Nkomo district offices in Matapi in Mbare in a suspected arson attack by MDC-T activists.

There were also suspected arson attacks at Masvingo and Chiredzi Magistrates’ courts that left court records and office property destroyed.

Property worth thousands of dollars was looted last year in Harare at Gulf Complex after some youths went on a rampage targeting foreign-owned shops.

(Source)

Zimbabweans have in the last four years seen enough of what a dysfunctional government constitutes, President Robert Mugabe has said, urging the electorate to “vote wisely” in the elections scheduled for March next year.

The state-owned Herald online reported on Friday that the 88-year-old veteran leader told scores of people in Hwange to “ensure the country does not form another inclusive government”.

Mugabe said the coalition government he formed in 2008 with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is also leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, had failed to deliver.

He said discord and bickering in the government of national unity (GNU) had reached a level where it was now difficult to implement development programmes.

“We have seen Bulawayo’s [the country’s second largest city] economy going down. We have seen the agriculture sector go unsponsored… If you go to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, he always says there is no money, there is no money. If there is no money what are you doing to get it? You cannot think of other ways of getting it or even borrowing,” Mugabe said.

“Some people come to you and say Zanu-PF is not good. We want development and progress, but some people just want pleasure,” he said.

Freedom fighters

Mugabe said those who wanted to change the situation in the country were interested in other issues like “changing women” – seemingly making reference to Tsvangirai whose reputation has in the last days been tarnished by his alleged love affairs.

“We are going for elections and you have seen what our country should never do again.

“Please do not get us into that trouble again. That is not our way of doing things. Freedom fighters are people who want to move ahead.

“That is why you see me at this age still fighting and I will continue fighting because I cannot let down those heroes who are gone. I have a responsibility for you.”

He said land reform, indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes were at the heart of rebuilding the economy and improving the livelihood of ordinary people.

(Source)

Apparently rattled by Zanu PF’s recent coup utterances, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has moved to deal with the threats to free and fair polls and a smooth transition of power.

He called for a meeting of the MDC-T top brass on Wednesday where a decision was made to take the matter up with the regional and continental guarantors of the Global Political Agreement.

Justice minister and Zanu PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo recently reportedly joined a growing list of Zanu PF and army leaders who have threatened a coup were Tsvangirai to win the forthcoming elections.

Tsvangirai also told an audience at a New Zimbabwe lecture series meeting last night that Chinamasa and Gumbo’s utterances stood as proof that Zanu PF had conceded electoral defeat and warned he would only participate in a free and fair election whose result would be respected.

“I have news for Chinamasa that there are soldiers within our file and ranks who will not join the Chinamasa coup,” Tsvangirai said.

“Zimbabwe, Sadc and the African Union (AU) will not allow an unconstitutional government. The next elections should have an uncontested outcome.”

Tsvangirai said Chinamasa and Gumbo were not elected officials, but were in office at President Robert Mugabe’s benevolence.

He said the two were simply singing for their supper which they should take “before sunset”.

He said they would be answerable for their utterances after the elections which he was sure of winning.

On Wednesday, Tsvangirai met his party’s standing committee and they resolved to take up Chinamasa’s coup threats with Sadc and the AU.
Mugabe has said he wants elections held next March, but last night Tsvangirai said no date had been set as yet.

He said the two of them needed to agree first after media, security sector and other electoral reforms.

Earlier in the day, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the standing committee meeting on Wednesday.

“The standing committee discussed routine things, including preparations for elections and as well as utterances by Chinamasa and Zanu PF people that our victory will be disturbed by the army.

We know Zanu PF is timid and frightened so it wants to threaten people into fear. We will take this issue with Sadc and other international bodies,” said Mwonzora.

“Sadc must ensure that there are free and fair elections whose results will be respected. The MDC wants to make sure that the will of the people of Zimbabwe is respected and that results of the elections are given effect to.”

Gumbo said he predicted a chaotic situation if Tsvangirai won as the army would not stomach that.

“I can say it will be a mess, that is what I can tell you. It will be messy. We will be asking for too much from our guys (the military) to accept these people who we all know fought against them and were responsible for the deaths of many comrades,” he was quoted as saying.

Chinamasa reportedly told the British media the army would not allow Tsvangirai to rule if he wins the next elections.

“…We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn’t that clear?” Tsvangirai is reported to have confronted President Robert Mugabe over that and the two are said to have agreed Chinamasa’s utterances were in bad political taste.

(Source)

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has reportedly fired his senior secretary Mr Ian Makone and three other high-ranking officials for allegedly meddling in his marital affairs.

Officials that were reportedly thrown out of the PM’s Office yesterday are protocol officer Mr James Maridadi and policy implementation principal director Pastor Lazarus Muriritirwa. Mr Gandhi Mudzingwa was redeployed from the PM’s office to MDC-T’s Harvest House headquarters. However, Mr Tsvangirai has no authority to make staff changes in his offices because civil servants can only be fired or redeployed by the Public Service Commission, their employer.

This is not the first time Mr Maridadi has been reassigned in the same office. In 2010, PM Tsvangirai wanted to fire Mr Maridadi as his spokesperson, but was told by the PSC that he did not have such powers. It is understood that the PM made the drastic changes at the instigation of his wife Ms Elizabeth Macheka. Sources said Ms Macheka threatened to walk away from the marriage if the three remained his confidantes.

Reports say UK-based law lecturer Mr Alex Magaisa replaces Mr Makone. It was not clear who would take up Mr Maridadi and Pastor Muriritirwa’s posts. PM Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Mr Luke Tamborinyoka could neither confirm nor deny the changes. “The Prime Minister reserves his right to make alignment and appointments from Cabinet ministers (from his party) to staff in his office and Harvest House.

“If he has made the changes that you are talking about, then there will be a formal announcement. But one thing I can assure you, to show that there are holes in what you are saying, if you come to the Prime Minister’s Office in December 2012 or January 2013 or beyond, you will see Mr Makone in the PM’s Office.”

Mr Tamborinyoka declined to comment on Mr Makone and his colleagues’ fate in the premier’s office.

In separate interviews with The Herald yesterday, Mr Makone, Mr Maridadi and Pastor Muriritirwa could not shed more light on the developments.

“If there are any changes, there will be a formal announcement. That is the formal procedure,” said Mr Makone without elaborating.

Pastor Muriritirwa said: “I cannot comment on that. Ask Luke (Tamborinyoka).”

Mr Maridadi promised to contact The Herald, but was not answering his mobile phone later in the night. Sources said Mr Makone was accused of paying legal costs to lawyers who represented PM Tsvangirai’s estranged wife Ms Locardia Karimatsenga in their court cases. Pastor Muriritirwa has not been spared because of the role he played in the PM’s courtship with a South African woman, Ms Nosipho Regina Shilubane. Pastor Muriritirwa acknowledged introducing PM Tsvangirai to Ms Shilubane.

Ms Shilubane said in her court affidavits that she had her first sexual encounter with PM Tsvangirai at Pastor Muriritirwa’s Borrowdale house. The reasons behind Mr Maridadi’s sacking were not clear last night, but it is widely believed that they were linked to his relationship with the Makone family. Mr Maridadi was subsequently reassigned to the protocol desk. Meanwhile, more officials are reportedly going to be reassigned for their alleged role in the PM’s love and sex woes.

(Source)

Zimbabwe should be a powerhouse in Africa but its stagnant political leadership under President Robert Mugabe is holding it back, good governance advocate Mo Ibrahim said on Monday.

The founder of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance told AFP that Zimbabweans needed to “get their act together” if the country headed by 88-year-old Mugabe was to end its political impasse and move forward.

And African leaders should be brutally honest in criticising heads of government who drag their countries down, the Sudan-born telecoms tycoon said.

He was speaking after his foundation announced that for the third time in four years it would not award its Prize for Achievement in African Leadership – the world’s biggest individual prize — as no suitable candidates were found.

Ibrahim said: “Zimbabwe should have been a success story. It is a wonderful country with wonderful resources but unfortunately is at a political impasse. That is really a problem.

“We really hope the Zimbabwean people will somehow come together to resolve this impasse and enable the country to move forward.

“It’s unfortunate to have this kind of stagnation in the political scene which is affecting the performance of the country.

“The Zimbabwean people are among some of the best-educated Africans and very enterprising. So let’s hope that they get their act together and somehow we see Zimbabwe rising again.”

A shaky power-sharing government was formed in 2009 following violent polls. Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai struck a deal to avoid a tip into a full-fledged conflict.

“The past generation, most African leaders came from freedom-fighting, liberation movements. A good fighter is not necessarily a good governor. It takes different skills to run a country,” Ibrahim said.

Zimbabwe ranked 47th out of 52 African countries in the 2012 Ibrahim Index unveiled on Monday, with a score of 34 out of 100 – making it the worst-performing country in the otherwise high-ranking southern Africa.

Ibrahim said there was a “collegiate atmosphere” among African leaders where they do not criticise one another publicly.

“We hope this is changing. We need to have the courage to stand up and say look, this is wrong,” he said.

“If you look in a mirror and see an ugly face, maybe you are really ugly. It’s not the fault of the mirror. We need to be a little bit more brutal in order to move forward. We need more honesty to say the tough things.

“We should be free to really say the truth wherever it is needed.”

(Source)

The signing into law of the Electoral Act signals the disbandmentof machinery which political parties and civil society groups claim had formed the backbone of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF vote-rigging.

But with shock-troopers who reportedly include soldiers, the militia and war veterans still at Mugabe’s disposal, many fear the electoral law changes are only one step towards fully dismantling the tightly-knit machinery to enablecredible polls.

Notwithstanding that the new law deals with many contentious issues such as the role of Registrar General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede, who is now under the control of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), violence on the ground remains a threat, stakeholders said.

But many things have also changed for the better, at least on paper.

While the voters’ roll has been a closely guarded document, kept under the hawkish control of Mudede, the new Act entitles election candidates to anelectronic constituency voters’ roll, while the national voters’ roll will be available to all in electronic formula at a reasonable price.

“Our objective is to ensure that elections are free and fair,” said Zeccommissioner and prominent law lecturer and researcher Geoff Feltoe.

“All the provisions are aimed at proper administration of the electoral process to make sure it runs smoothly, is transparent and works on the ground,” he said.

The Electoral Act, which Mugabe recently assented, brings a new complexion to the election playground, previously blighted by violence, late release of election results and electoral thuggery, stakeholders said.

Feltoe said the new law is an attempt to allay fears of electoral fraud.

“We are trying to improve the electoral process and we have in the Act a law that will ensure that we have free and fair elections. This law will make sure that the electoral process runs smooth,” said Feltoe.

Section 18 (2) of the Electoral Act provides that the RG is subject to the direction and control of Zec in registering voters. The Act also snatches the voters’ roll from Mudede’s armpit.

While it took a record 36 days to announce results of the March 2008Presidential elections amid accusations by the MDC that Zec, then led by High Court Judge President George Chiweshe was cooking up numbers, the new Act tries to plug this.

Reads section 29 (h) of the Act: “… a declaration by the chief elections officer shall be made not later than (i) five days after the polling day or last polling day, as the case may be, in the presidential election or runoff presidential election concerned.”

Section 21 (Cap.2:13) of the Act gives the electorate greater access to the voters’ roll.

Recently, a freelance journalist was arrested at the instigation of Mudede as he sought to inspect the voters’ roll.

The issue of ghost voters also seems addressed in the new Act.

While in the past, powers to remove deceased persons from the secretivevoters’ roll rested in Mudede, the Electoral Act introduces a new provision that would allow the constituency registrar to remove dead and disqualified voters from the roll on the basis of a sworn statement by a mother, father, sister, son, daughter or other direct descendent of the dead voter.

Letitia Kazembe, the Zec acting chairperson, said the law brought significant changes to the electoral environment.

“This Act will certainly have an impact on Zec operations because it changes the manner in which some of the processes are conducted,” she said.

“There are new provisions to deal with political violence and intimidation that involves other players like the courts,” said Kazembe.

Under the Electoral Act, candidates found guilty of perpetrating or promoting violence will be forced to drop out of the race.

“A court which convicts a person of an offence involving politically-motivated violence or intimidation committed during an election period, may, in addition to any other penalty it imposes on the convicted person, prohibit him or her from campaigning or taking any further part in the election,” reads a section of the Act.

Obert Gutu, an MDC senator and the deputy minister of Justice and Legal Affairs said the new law will make it difficult for electoral thieves to cook-up results.

“The new Act guarantees that polling will be ward-based as opposed to polling station-based,” Gutu said.

“This is very important, particularly in rural areas, where Zanu PF’s penchant for forcing villagers to vote for it is well-documented. It will be very difficult for village heads and other Zanu PF mandarins to literally force their subjects who to vote for and where,” said Gutu.

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube said the Act would make it difficult to rig polls but emphasised the need for a new constitution and the repealing of other repressive laws such the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).

“There are important clauses in the Act such as the demand for equal access to media and the introduction of polling station-based voting and this will certainly reduce the possibility of election rigging,” Qhubani Moyo, the party’s policy director said.

In previous elections, members of the police and army were forced to vote separately from the rest of the population and were supervised by their superiors, in a voting process which stakeholders condemned.

Each soldier or police officer was allegedly forced to vote for Mugabe under the supervision of commanders.

But under the Electoral Act, voting by police and defence forces away from their constituencies because of duty will happen in advance of the election at special polling stations established for that purpose under the control of Zec.

Feltoe, who is also a law professor at the University of Zimbabwe, said political parties can now monitor voting by members of the uniformed forces who will vote 16 days prior to the actual voting date.

The 16 days limit will allow Zec to ensure that ballots will be posted to constituencies.

Innocent Gonese, the MDC chief whip in Parliament, said the new law removed the spectre of secret voting by soldiers and the police.

“This Act will give more transparency in the collating of ballots and will also ensure that soldiers and police officers who used to vote secretly are now monitored by all political parties,” said Gonese.

However, parties say the Electoral Act is only the beginning towards implementing an election road map that would ensure truly credible elections.

“The Act alone does not guarantee that the election will be free and fair,” Gutu said.

“There is a cocktail of other measures that have to be put in place. Pieces of legislation such as Posa and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) should not be abused and misused by the police in order to ban or curtail the activities of political parties other than Zanu PF,” Gutu said.

Without giving references, Feltoe said there was need to realign some laws with the new Act to ensure transparency. Zanu PF legislator and lawyer Paul Mangwana said the Act would “certainly” improve the electoral playing field but rejected assertions that Zanu PF used to rig elections.

“The new act improves the electoral system in so many ways such as the establishment of polling station-based voting,” he said.

Asked on whether Zanu PF used to rig previous elections, Mangwana said vote stealing “has always been next to impossible” in Zimbabwe because of the use of serial numbers.

“I have participated in the electoral process since 2000 and it is not possible to rig elections,” Mangwana said.

“Every ballot can be traced to a voter because they have serial numbers. No party is able to rig elections in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mangwana, who is also a co-chairperson of the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) which is drafting a new constitution, claimed he was unaware that soldiers used to vote under supervision of commanders in previous polls.

(Source)

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has put himself on a collision course with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, who accuse him of sabotaging the MDC-T and council projects to de-popularise the party ahead of elections.

Party insiders have argued that Chombo’s actions were meant to ensure the MDC-T and its councillors were viewed as non-performers by the electorate.

This came as Chombo last week instructed council to stop a 3 000-unit housing project in Budiriro, ordered an investigation into how the tenders were awarded by council and threatened to fire over 30 MDC-T councillors on graft allegations.

“As soon as I get information on those corrupt councillors, I will act. My hands are itching to act. We have written to the Prime Minister (Tsvangirai) to seek his report on councillors, but we have not been answered,” Chombo said.

However, his deputy Sessel Zvidzai yesterday said Chombo should “stop politicking”.

“The Budiriro project is a public-private partnership between council, (financial institutions) Old Mutual and CABS and anyone who tries to stop such projects will be mischievous. There is demand for housing in this country and 3 000 houses would have gone a long way to assist the homeless. He (Chombo) is just being political and denying people an opportunity to be house owners,” Zvidzai said.

“On the threats to fire 30 councillors, the party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti wrote to him telling him of our position on the 12 councillors. What else does he want? We gave him the names of corrupt councillors in Chitungwiza, but he has done nothing on them. He must apply the first-in first-out principle and deal with those in Chitungwiza first.”

Masunda, however, said he had nothing to hide hence the probe must go ahead.

“I welcome the probe as I have nothing to fear because I have never been in the business of keeping any skeletons in my cupboard. I certainly don’t intend to start doing so now. By the way, the chairman of CABS is Leonard Tsumba, the former Reserve Bank governor. I am the chairman of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Zimbabwe,” Masunda said.

“It would appear to me that it’s all about electioneering and jockeying for his (Zanu PF) party’s position in the urban electorate within Greater Harare in view of the elections that are looming on the horizon.”

Documents gleaned by NewsDay showed that Zanu PF was now “afraid” of MDC-T council projects as they would “de-popularise the party ahead of elections”.

Fired Harare Zanu PF member Joshua Gore, who is appealing his expulsion to party national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo, exposed the Zanu PF plot saying he was being persecuted for “siding with the enemy and making the enemy popular at the expense of Zanu PF”.

“Charges against Gore (are that he) de-popularised the party and strengthened the enemy by failing to promote party interests by siding with a person (businessman Alex Mashamhanda) whose intention was to de-popularise the party through proceeding in a development where he knew fully well that it is not in the interest of Zanu PF as objections had been lodged to that effect,” read Gore’s letter of expulsion.

(Source)

The explosive and high profile divorce case pitting Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, and his estranged wife Jocelyn Mauchaza Chiwenga finally kicked off at the High Court on Monday.

Jocelyn Chiwenga (left), the enstranged wife to commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Constantine Chiwenga leaves the High Court with her legal team after a pre-trial conference of her divorce case. (Picture by Annie Mpalume, Daily News).

Jocelyn is demanding $40 million from Chiwenga’s new wife as damages for allegedly offending her feelings and cohabitating with her partner. The army chief married Mary Mubaiwa, a former supermodel and ex-wife of former Zimbabwe soccer international player, Shingirai Kawondera.

Last year in November Jocelyn Chiwenga, claimed her marriage involved periods of physical and emotional abuse by her husband. She claimed that her husband used to beat her up and then send her to Malaysia for treatment.

Jocelyn said Chiwenga also threatened to shoot her if she ever reported the assaults to the police. “If anything happens to me after the publication of this story, the nation should know it came from Chiwenga,” Jocelyn said at the time.

Last week the couple both made an appearance for a pre-trial conference that was presided over by High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu. The media has been gagged from covering the potentially explosive case.

Chiwenga is represented by lawyers Thakor Kewada and Advocate Richard Fitches while Jocelyn is represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu and Susan Brunet. Jocelyn who married Chiwenga in 1998, says by marrying him during the subsistence of her marriage, Mary had greatly disrespected and hurt her.

“Defendant (Mary) has in full knowledge of plaintiff (Jocelyn)’s marriage to Constantine Guveya Chiwenga commenced cohabitating with Constantine Guveya Chiwenga and entered into an adulterous relationship with him,” reads part of Jocelyn’s summons and declaration filed in the high court.

“The gross impudence and insult to the plaintiff caused by the public and open conduct of the defendant in purporting to have married Constantine Guveya Chiwenga having aggravated the damages sustained by plaintiff,” she said.

Out of the $40 million that Jocelyn is demanding, $20 million is for contumelia inflicted upon her by Mary while the other $20 million is for loss of consortium. Jocelyn maintains that her marriage to Chiwenga is still valid because the pair never terminated their marriage.

In 2008 Jocelyn harangued and harassed Tsvangirai and journalists who had accompanied the MDC leader on a tour of supermarkets in Harare after Mugabe’s scorched earth policy of price freezes which left shop shelves empty.

She caused a scene at the Makro Wholesalers at Hillside in Harare, where she threatened to ‘take away’ Tsvangirai’s ‘manhood.’ In a fit of rage, she also slapped freelance photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, while two other journalists sustained minor injuries in the ensuing fracas.

(Source)

Zimbabwe’s almost $11 billion in debt puts it in “distress” and impedes the southern African nation’s sustainability because it’s 113 times gross domestic product, the International Monetary Fund said.

The country’s total external debt is “estimated at $10.7 billion at end-2011, of which 67 percent of GDP are in arrears,” the fund said on a statement on its website.

“The large debt overhang remains a serious impediment to medium-term fiscal and external sustainability.”

Government operations recorded a cash deficit of 0.6 percent of GDP last year, even though revenue generated was better than expected, while two salary increases “raised employment costs by 22 percent, crowding out social and capital investment,” it said.

The IMF said the effect of the salary increases was worsened “in early 2012 by an increase in employee allowances and unbudgeted recruitment.”

(Source)

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