Top Stories

Ncube unveils 2020 budget, Education gets lion’s share

By Staff Reporter

FINANCE Minister, Mthuli Ncube (pictured) has unveiled a $58,6 billion budget with the Education Ministry receiving the largest chunk of the cake, at $8.5 billion dollars.

Presenting his budget in parliament on Thursday, Ncube also raised the tax-free threshold from $700 to $2000 with effect from 1 January 2020.

The treasury boss also said all civil servants shall receive their 2019 bonuses this November with the tax-free threshold at $1000.

Minister Ncube also allocated $6.5 billion dollars towards Health, $2.2 billion to Higher and Tertiary Education, $3.11 billion towards Defence and War veterans.

He also introduced targeted subsidies on roller meal, cooking oil and standard bread to cushion the ordinary man from ever rising costs of the staple commodities.

Among some of the highlights was the provision of funds towards sanitary wear for pupils doing Grade 4 to form 6.

In his 2020 budget, Ncube also said dam construction will be prioritised at a time citizens were struggling with access to water.

Ncube’s $58,6 billion-dollar budget marks the first time in 10 years the Zimbabwean budget has been pegged in local currency, a sign that authorities were not going back on their decision to revert back to the national exchange.

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Soldier runs amok, guns down wife, mother-in-law hospitalised

By Staff Reporter

A SERVING Zimbabwe National Army junior officer on Sunday night ran amok, shooting his wife dead and also directing the gun on his mother-in-law whom he left nursing bullet wounds.

Aaron Mlambo committed the shock offence on his wife, Evelyn Precious Madawu and her mother in Chitungwiza’s Manyame suburb on Sunday midnight using what witnesses say was an AK47 rifle.

The wife died on the spot while her mother is receiving treatment at Chitungwiza hospital.

The couple is said to have decided to terminate its relationship due to endless marital problems with the now deceased wife having decided to return to her parents’ Chitungwiza home where the tragic incident happened.


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Minister Joram Gumbo picked up by ZACC

By Staff Reporter

MINISTER of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Policy Implementation and Monitoring, Joram Gumbo was Monday picked up by officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on allegations involving shady dealings within the Zimbabwe Airways.

His arrest was confirmed by Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo.

He faces criminal abuse of office charges.

Gumbo is also being charged for allegedly authorising renovations at a relative’s house, prejudicing government of $1 million. He allegedly intended to turn the property into Zimbabwe Airways headquarters.

Gumbo was in May this year removed as Transport Minister and deployed in the less influential portfolio amid concerns he was failing to invent solutions to the country’s crippling energy crisis.

He becomes the second serving Minister to be arrested on corruption related claims during Mnangagwa’s two years at the helm of the country.

In July this year, then Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira was arrested and later fired from government on corruption allegations involving US$95 million.

She is still on trial.

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Magombeyi beaten up on his hospital bed

By Staff Reporter

EMBATTLED doctors’ union leader, Peter Magombeyi (pictured) was on Tuesday physically attacked by an unidentified man in a shock incident that has followed a chaotic 10 day period of his alleged abduction and hospitalisation.

The incident is said to have happened inside a private Harare hospital in which he has been admitted since he emerged from an alleged abduction ordeal last Thursday.

When the media visited Harare’s Avenues Clinic end of business on Tuesday, there were sharp exchanges between Magombeyi’s lawyers and police officers over the incident.

Magombeyi, who claims abduction and torture by unknown persons, was allegedly attacked on his hospital bed and again in the corridor.

The drama happened in the presence of his father who has been on his son’s hospital bed since he got admitted.

As a result of the incident, it is said, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Union acting president sustained injuries on his arm, neck and back.

It was not clear on whether police arrested the attacker, who was rumoured to be a serving police officer.

The incident followed chaotic scenes earlier in the day in which police defied a High Court order barring them from stopping Magombeyi from leaving the hospital upon his discharge.

Lawyers were forced to recommend the readmission of the young doctor in the health facility after police insisted they were acting on orders by their superiors to keep him detained.

Police have besieged the private hospital to prevent Magombeyi from leaving the hospital for advanced treatment in South Africa.

The Zanu PF led government has accused the union leader of faking his abduction while working with enemies to soul its image.

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Mugabe never voted for Chamisa, ex-CIO boss

Staff Reporter

FORMER President Robert Mugabe (pictured) did not vote for Nelson Chamisa of MDC but cast his vote for Zanu PF candidate and eventual winner Emmerson Mnangagwa in last year’s Presidential elections.

This was revealed by former CIO top boss Isaac Moyo, who is now Director-General in the President’s Office following the death of the one-time powerful leader in Singapore on Friday.

Moyo was assigned by the President to facilitate communication between the latter and the Mugabes.

On the eve of elections last year, Mugabe, still showing bitterness over his overthrow by Mnangagwa with the help of the military, told both local and international media he was going to vote for one time party enemy, MDC.

However, Moyo told State media this weekend former First Lady Grace Mugabe opened up to him that her husband decided against his decision to vote Chamisa.

“Of course here and there, there were also moments we had our tensions,” said..

“I remember when I first went to see him after his press conference, where he announced he was going to vote for Chamisa. We really had an exchange that day, but what then emerged was that he said despite having threatened to vote for Chamisa, he actually did not vote for Chamisa and I was told on how on the eve of the elections, he had agonised, he could not sleep.

“According to the former First Lady, he had woken up around 2am somewhere and he said he could not sleep and the idea that he would go and vote for Chamisa was rebuffed, he could not do that.

“And the former First Lady said she then encouraged him to follow his real wishes and to vote for comrades he has always been with and not to worry about the small matters between them, and so the former First Lady, with the concurrence of Cde Mugabe himself, said he had not voted for MDC, but he had voted correctly, I found that fun and I enjoyed the story.”

Ever since the coup, Mugabe had shown great anger towards Mnangagwa, his one-time top aide for the betrayal.

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Sick Mugabe, Tsvangirai unqualified for 2018: Nkosana Moyo

By Staff Reporter

FORMER Industry Minister and 2018 presidential hopeful, Nkosana Moyo says President Robert Mugabe and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai were too ill to stand for any election next year.

He was speaking Friday during a low key engagement meeting with youths in Harare at Moto Republic, a private venue that is a stone’s throw from State House.

The Alliance for People’s Agenda (APA) frontman lamented African politics he said were far removed from those practised in developed countries where leaders would automatically fall out of any presidential race if they had any health challenges.

“You know that we put a get-well message to President Morgan Tsvangirai. Realistically, both President Mugabe and President Tsvangirai are unwell.

“These are things that people are going to consider as we look into it. If this was in the US, just on the basis of health alone, they would not qualify to run,” Moyo said.

President Mugabe has kept his ailment a closely guarded secret although there are wide beliefs he suffers from prostate cancer.

The 93-year-old leader has spent millions of scarce foreign currency flying out to Singapore to receive some treatment.

His spokesperson George Charamba has defended the veteran leader’s unpopular decision to visit foreign doctors saying there was everything correct with seeking specialised treatment found outside.

Tsvangirai, similarly, is battling colon cancer which has left a lot of doubt over his capabilities to see through a rigorous 2018 campaign schedule.

Reports say he has been airlifted to South Africa again following his deteriorating health.

In his comments, Moyo said he sincerely believed the two must exit the political arena adding that he harboured no ill-feelings against fellow Africans who were not feeling well.

Moyo said he still had respect for the two politicians he credited for contributing a lot in their different ways during the country’s different political eras.

“As we campaign, our view is that we do not make personalised comments about either President Mugabe or Mr Tsvangirai. Because we think that is wrong. It fails also to value their contribution.

“I am saying these gentlemen are not as qualified as I am to help Zimbabwe recover in terms of the economy but what I have never said is that they have not made a valued contribution,” Moyo said.

“President Mugabe has absolutely contributed in getting us where we are. Mr Tsvangirai has made a major contribution in MDC in making Zimbabwean citizens wake up to their responsibility to face up to their government and disagree when necessary.

“This has come to fruition largely because of their actions,” he said, but still insisting they must admit their eras have passed.

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CEOs to pay back unjustified salaries: Chombo

By Nkosana Dlamini

FINANCE Minister Ignatius Chombo (pictured) says government will soon be forced to demand back millions squandered through unjustified perks by extravagant executives running the country’s loss making entities which ran a combined loss of $270 million in 2016.

The Treasury boss was addressing State entities CEOs, permanent secretaries, boards, State commissions and other senior staff employed by the country’s 107 business units.

In his address, Chombo said parastatals continued to hemorrhage the fiscus as it emerged some executives were awarding themselves three bonuses in a single year.

He said government will soon turn the heat on the culprits by demanding back some of the monies.

“A recent forensic audit of one entity revealed that management had paid itself two bonuses in 2012 and three bonuses in 2013 and mostly likely four bonuses in 2014,” Chombo said.

“Nothing can justify this squandering of such public funds. My ministry will be acting to ensure recovery of such unjustified payments from all those who benefited there from.”

Chombo said some entities that have proven less viable could soon be reduced to ordinary departments under line ministries.

“Directing scarce resources into restructuring or recapitalising potentially salvageable State entities will serve no purpose if the often wilful, wasteful, bad habits of management are not addressed and addressed in a manner which leaves no room for doubt that government is very serious indeed in its determination to ensure strict compliance with the principles of sound corporate governance,” Chombo said, adding that a law to end the rot was being finalised.

“Since previously published corporate governance frameworks and codes have not been taken seriously and in order to emphasise its seriousness of intent in this regard, government has developed a Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill which together with its associated implementation regulations is expected to become law at the end of this year.”

Addressing the same event, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda said a 2016 survey of 93 State entities revealed a combined loss of $270 million.

Of these, Sibanda said, 70 percent of them were found to be technically insolvent.


The country’s parastatal bosses have long been accused of creaming off the enterprises through salaries and allowances running into hundreds of thousands.

Former Premier Service Medical Aid Society group CEO, Cuthbert Dube was in 2013 found to have been earning nearly $500,000 in monthly salaries and allowances while other top managers within the health insurer took home amounts of up to $200,000.

Following the revelations, government moved to impose a cap on all salaries paid to executives but it has emerged the directive was never complied with while government has done nothing about it.

The Zanu PF led government has often been accused of paying lip service to promises to end the rot with accusations the country’s entities were a cash cow and a patronage tool for the ruling party.

Government is seen to be reluctant to either close down of privatise some of the entities which have been found to be procuring raw materials and services from top government officials who run private businesses.


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Congress no Mnangagwa lynching job: Chombo

By Staff Reporter

ZANU PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo (pictured) has denied the party extra-ordinary congress slated for December this year was intended to dislodge Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa by President Robert Mugabe.

Chombo, the country’s finance minister, was speaking to the State media, adding, the feared Zanu PF leader had the powers to send any of his lieutenants packing without convening a congress.

President Mugabe and wife, Grace have come out guns blazing accusing the embattled VP of harbouring a plot to remove the veteran leader from power.

Accusations against Mnangagwa climaxed into a recent politburo video presentation by Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo detailing how the country’s number 2 was constructing an elaborate plot to capture key state institutions, among other manouvres, to position himself for takeover.

President Mugabe has since moved to strip the Midlands strongman of his Justice portfolio and further remove his allies during a recent cabinet reshuffle laden with attempts to manage succession politics.

The 93-year-old leader has also sponsored a party move to turn the Zanu PF national people’s conference into an elective one with speculation rife the wily politician could be considering replacing his once trusted ally with his wife.

President Mugabe is also seen clearing the decks for his chosen successor, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi.

But with everything pointing to a Mnangagwa ouster come December, Chombo has played down wide beliefs the congress shall see the last of the country’s ambitious VP.

Chombo said the hastily arranged elective congress would instead be a party platform to review biometric voter registration, the 10-Point Plan for Economic Growth, the State Constitution and national policies.

“Our party calendar and Government calendar do not tally, so in the year that they do not sychronise, we may decide to have an Extraordinary Congress to make sure that we are prepared.

“This is not new. It will not look at individual issues; we focus on national party issues. The removal of people from certain positions, just like the Cabinet reshuffle, the President can do it anytime. So, let’s not be arrogant and suggest for him,” Chombo said.

The Zanu PF top official further said President Mugabe had no reason to try to camouflash the removal of any of his lieutenants with a congress.

“The constitution provides for the President as the one centre of power. He can use his discretion and does not need Congress. I cannot run the party based on wishes of individuals. I run the party on the dictates of the party constitution,” Chombo said.

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Tsvangirai ignites 2018 poll campaign

By Staff Reporter

MDC Alliance presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai emerged from a lengthy health related sabbatical Friday to rally the anti-Zanu PF front into action as different parties buckle up for what should be an absorbing 2018 campaign stretch.

With competition for political space virtually ignited by the launch of two rival coalitions this week, Tsvangirai has moved to issue a Friday directive for allies to start merging their ground operations.

This follows a meeting the substantive MDC-T leader had with fellow coalition partners as the political market ripens for the crunch 2018 polls.

“The principals resolved that all party organs nationally from the branches to the provinces must convene to establish alliance coordinating committees and immediately organise joint activities with specific preference to voter education and registration mobilisation at every level,” Tsvangirai said in a brief press statement.

“The national organisers of respective parties shall spearhead this programme with immediate effect.

“The principals also established various national alliance committees which include communications organising and networks, international relations, legal services and electoral reforms, youth and women.”

MDC leader Welshman Ncube was appointed spokesperson of a merger that reunited the former MDC allies.

Formed among seven different parties, the MDC Alliance has its work cut out after the Zanu PF led government has adamantly refused to level the political playing field even after persistent demands to do so by opponents.

Reality struck for the MDC Alliance this week when two rival opposition coalitions emerged this week to compete for space on the country’s political arena.

However, little is expected of the other groups whose leaders’ popularity is yet to be tested in national polls.

Although fragmented, the country’s opposition groups are keen to reverse the tide of voter apathy that have seen stronghold provinces in the western parts of the country fail to register as many people during the current Biometric Voter Registration exercise.

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MPs stage mini-job action over their dues

By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S MPs Friday refused to start their pre-2018 budget seminar before they were addressed over their long outstanding allowances and the disbursement of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocations by Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo.

The mini-job action was staged just as they prepared to start the seminar at Harare’s Pandhari Lodge.

MPs are owed in excess on $15 million by government while they are also demanding CDF allocations before their terms expire next year.

When the meeting was about to start Friday morning, Tafara-Mabvuku legislator James Maridadi (pictured) asked for MPs to be excused in order to have a closed door meeting with Chombo.

“I would like to humbly suggest that all people who don’t answer to the words ‘Member of Parliament’ leave this room so that we can discuss this issue once and for all.

“I am unhappy that we have over 300 MPs but there is less than half of that here,” Maridadi said.

National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda tried to block the discussion insisting the MPs’ outstanding allowances would be paid in due course but was overwhelmed by legislators from all represented parties who insisted the matter should be ironed out immediately.

Journalists, presenters to the seminar and parliament’s support staff were all asked to vacate the auditorium for a meeting that lasted over an hour.

Zimbabwe’s MPs earn $2000 a month and are also entitled to sitting allowances of $75.

They are also demanding government to honour its pledges to issue them with iPads and lapstops.

The Friday incident was a carryover from Thursday’s in which MPs refused to debate motions before the house as they demanded the payment of their dues.

The decision to confront government over unpaid allowances comes just when the political campaign season starts with a good number of them likely not to return after next year’s polls.

MPs are apprehensive they may not receive their outstanding allowances after many of those from the previous parliament failed to receive all their dues by the time they ceased to be legislators.

The country’s lawmakers have often been accused of putting a lot of energies towards issues to do with their welfare while failing to display the same amount of zeal on issues to do with the plight of ordinary citizens who voted them into parliament.

Zimbabwe’s parliament has failed to put the country’s extravagant executive to account in their exercise of an oversight role on the governing arm of the State.

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