by Tichaona Chifamba
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The delay
by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya to announce
the 2019 Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) has left the business
community in limbo as they cannot effectively plan for the new
year without the necessary guidance over monetary issues.
The MPS, which is usually issued between the end of January and
early February, has been delayed this year amid reports of
disagreements between Mangudya and Finance and Economic
Development Minister Mthuli Ncube over currency issues.
The delay showed that the monetary element is a major issue
to the current economic challenges facing the country, economic
analyst Clemence Machadu told Xinhua in an interview.
"Monetary authorities are at a crossroads as they know that
this time around huge monetary decisions are not only inevitable
but indispensable to recalibrate the economy and set it in the
right trajectory, as opposed to scratching-the-surface methods
of yesteryear," he said.
Machadu added that the delay in announcing the monetary
policy was due to the policymakers’ failure to arrive at a
consensus in terms of a sustainable solution or their
unpreparedness to deal with the consequences of those measures.
"The central bank also seems to be in jittery mode as its
previous monetary policy’s measures have caused market and
pricing distortions and they are trying to be more careful," he
"But these delays have put the economy in a wait and see
"The beginning of the year is a period when companies plan
their strategies of the year ahead, basing on policy measures
pronounced by both fiscal and monetary authorities," Machadu
"The current scenario leaves businesses, the investing public
and other economic agents with only conjectures on what the
likely scenarios are, as there is no policy direction," he said.
The delay could also result in needless distortions arising
from uncertainties about the future, with the parallel market
also taking over the duties that are supposed to be played by
the central bank, Machadu said.
"The monetary policy drives economic activities in various
sectors and its delay leaves market participants and other
economic agents with no policies to be guided by.
"Already, there are plenty of policies which are long
overdue, such as the industrial policy, trade policy, local
content policy ...
"We therefore cannot afford to create a culture of delaying
critical policies that different stakeholders require to make
key decisions, especially given how we are in desperate need for
foreign investment," he said.
Frequent mine disasters
call for review of informal mining activities in Zimbabwe
by Gretinah Machingura HARARE
Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe has many
disused gold mines, some abandoned by struggling big mines, and
these have become death traps as scores of poverty-stricken
people descend on them, usually under the cover of darkness, in
search of the yellow metal.
While the artisanal miners have been credited with helping
boost the country’s gold output in recent years, calls are
growing for the government to formalize such operations.
The country produced a record 33 tonnes of gold in 2018,
spurred by increased production from small-scale miners.
However, appeals for safe and legal mining have been rising
after the flooding of two gold shafts last week that killed at
least 24 people.
Eight other people were rescued alive, after spending four
nights underground in neck-deep waters.
Henrietta Rushwaya, president of the Zimbabwe Miners
Federation, urged the government provide land to "formalize
activities of illegal miners."
"Let’s have people forming cooperatives so that they can mine
in properly allocated land," he said.
The government has struggled with funding challenges over the
years to equip small-scale miners so that they mine safely.
After the mine disaster in Battlefields, about 100 km
southwest of the capital Harare, a government minister has also
called for tightening of security at disused mines.
It has since been revealed that the disaster struck when the
miners were engaging in unauthorized mining during the night at
Rio Zim’s mining location and another shaft that belongs to a
"The problem with artisanal miners is that they always take
risk, for instance Eldorado Mine was closed but they still went
"It’s a huge challenge we have as a country," said justice
minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
At least 14 illegal miners died at Eldorado Gold Mine in
September last year after a shaft collapsed.
The government ordered the sealing of all access points to
the mine following the tragedy, but several other illegal miners
died at the mine last month after the collapse of another shaft.
Rio Zim has since issued a statement, warning of the dangers
of illegal mining and highlighting the need for concerted
efforts to promote safe and legal mining activities in the
"It has always been the company’s view that not only is
unauthorized mining a violation of property rights but most
importantly, it is extremely dangerous and if not controlled,
regrettable tragedies such as the current one will persist.
"It is therefore vital that government and the mining
industry as a whole work together in promoting safe, legal and
authorized mining activities," Rio Zim said.
Mines minister Winston Chitando said the government will now
review the Battlefields mining disaster with a view to changing
mining policy and implement a raft of measures to foster safety
and formalization of illegal mining activities.
He said formalization of artisanal miners will help the
government control mining activities.
Gold is one of the key minerals in Zimbabwe, and generated 45
percent of mineral exports in 2018, up from 40 percent in 2017.
More than 500,000 people are engaged in artisanal gold mining
in Zimbabwe, according to the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines.
Zimbabwe state media
issues stern warning to perceived authors of civil unrest
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s state-run Herald newspaper on Monday
issued a strong warning to perceived authors of civil unrest,
particularly the main opposition MDC Alliance, that the
government will descend heavily on them since violence cannot be
The government has accused the MDC-Alliance and its partners,
including the labor body Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, of
having spearheaded the Jan. 14-16 demonstrations that later
turned violent as rioters began looting shops and destroying
The largest circulating daily newspaper in the country said
the opposition had "chosen a very dangerous path of violence in
an effort to win power which has eluded them in democratic ways
in the last 20 years."
The paper said it has noticed renewed vigor by the
"Western-funded party" to make the country ungovernable.
"No Government in any part of the world can watch while
people torch police stations and target armories in search of
weapons, as witnessed in the violent demonstrations of
"Once we reach such levels, then government knows it is no
longer dealing with an ordinary demonstrator who has a genuine
"In such cases, the State always reacts accordingly to
protect the integrity of the country and other citizens who
become victims of lawlessness," the paper said.
It said it would be naïve for the opposition to think they
can take violence to the government and expect to be treated
"Our advice to those who intend to participate in future
violent demonstrations is that they should be well aware that
apart from facing the wrath of the law, they can be left with
permanent scars, both physically and mentally," it said.
attempts by person
to wrestle operations at white-owned farm
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwean government is investigating
circumstances surrounding a video circulating on social media
where a white farmer is being asked to cede half of his farm to
a person who claims to have obtained an offer letter from the
government to occupy the land.
"Regarding a circulating video depicting a land dispute on an
unidentified farm, government seeks more information so as to
facilitate an investigation.
"Government policy regarding the need for normalcy to obtain
on farms still holds.
"Our economy requires sanity and productivity on all farms,"
a tweet by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and
Broadcasting Services said on Monday.
The unidentified farmer from Chipinge, southeastern Zimbabwe,
filmed the video in which he told a policeman that he was aware
that an offer letter for half his farm had been signed on Jan.
10, 2019, and he was contesting it.
"My lawyers have advised me not to have any interaction with
the apparent so-called beneficiary Mr Mbudzana and not to allow
him on the farm, so that’s the position until I hear from the
High Court," he said.
The police inspector said the farmer had no right to bar a
beneficiary from entering the farm unless he had a court order
and that he was being charged with occupying gazetted land
without lawful authority.
The person claiming to have been offered the land, Ashirayi
Mutirikwi Mawere, also visited the farm and told the farmer’s
manager, Richard Bolton, that he would in due course take over
the manager’s house on the farm.
Brandishing an offer letter, Mawere demanded to be shown the
229 hectares of land on which he would settle, while the farmer
said the whole two lots on his farm were fully developed
The farmer said he had a successful integrated export
operation for which he was about to start the process of
acquiring a 99-year lease in line with the government’s land
He reminded Mawere that there was plenty of empty land and
unused farms in Chipinge District which he could use.
The incident is reminiscent of the events that happened in
the early 2000s when landless blacks invaded white-owned farms
in often violent scenes which left several white farmers dead.
Eleven rescued, twenty four dead, many still trapped in
Zimbabwe gold mine