Local News

Govt sets up commission to assess Plumtree on water management

GVT SETS UP COMMISSION TO ASSES PLUMTREE TOWN ON WATER MANAGEMENT
Harare, July26, 2012(New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government on Thursday appointed a six-member commission to assess the capacity of Plumtree Town Council to take over management of water and sewer reticulation from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority(ZINWA).
Water Resources Development and Management (WRDM) Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said the town recently approached his Ministry requesting to take over the running of the services.
“After receiving such requests, it has always been the policy of the Ministry to handover water supply and sanitation services to local authorities once the Ministry is satisfied that the requesting local authority has the capacity to run and maintain these services,” he said.
WRDM engineering director Albert Mawere chairs the commission, whose other members include finance director in the same Ministry Enock Magaisa and Local Government, Rural and Urban Development deputy director responsible for local and urban authorities Morgen Hungwe.
Gweru Town Council engineer Johns Nanthambwe, Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) national coordinator Hasios Mashingaidze and ZINWA director for water supplies Israel Rwodzi make up the rest of the commission.
The ZINWA Mzingwane Catchment currently runs Plumtree water supply and sewerage services.
Nkomo said the team would evaluate the capacity of Plumtree on key areas which include technical and administrative capacity to manage water and sewerage treatment works.
“It is my expectation that all consultations should not take more than a month,” he said.
Nkomo appealed to members of the commission to work diligently as their recommendation stood to affect the lives of thousands of residents of the boarder town.
“It is my fervent hope and belief that the commission shall be able to work within the stipulated time frame so that we can make the relevant decisions.
Some local authorities are battling to supply water and render sanitation services to residents which have resulted in the resurgence of diseases like typhoid and cholera.
New Ziana

Senators ignore civil servants petition not pass reviewed budget


Harare July 25, 2012 (New Ziana) –Senate on Wednesday ignored the petition by civil servants not to pass the mid term budget that Biti presented last week as the Upper House approved Bills that put the reviewed financial plan into effect.

The Senators however expressed concern at the continued failure by the government to improve lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

The Finance Bill and the Appropriation Bills sailed through without amendments but Senators took time to express displeasure at the government's failure to get the economy going.

So angry were some of the Senators that they told Minister Biti while debating the Budget that the whole cabinet should come before the Upper House to explain the reasons for their failure to get things moving.

Biti, in the mid-term budget, presented a gloomy picture of the economy as he cut by 10 percent the 2012 National Budget of $4 billion budget while the economic growth rate for this year was also slashed to 5.6 percent from 9.4 percent.

He pointed to poor revenue performance and slack performance by critical sectors of the economy, especially agriculture, as the major reason for the economy's uninspiring performance.

Chief Musarurwa said those in charge of the economy should put aside their political differences for the benefit of the country.

“What we need from you is to put aside your differences and work together to build this country,” he said.

Gwabalanda Senator, Agnes Sibanda said cabinet should explain to the senate why the economy appeared to be stuck.

The Senators also expressed concern on government's failure to address the plight of civil servants.

“We do not even want to see people on strike,” said Senator Damian Mumvuri of Rushinga.

Senators argued that teachers, who make up a significant part of the civil service, were critical for the development and should have their welfare addressed.

“We are not saying this must be in monetary terms but there can be other incentives,” added Mumvuri.

Mwenezi-Chivi Senator Josiah Hungwe said it was critical that government prioritized critical areas to avoid problems such as the current stalemate with civil servants.

The civil service is up in arms with the government for failing to review their salaries since the beginning of the year when the cost of living has gone up.

Meanwhile, the Senate and the House of Assembly have adjourned to September 3.

New Ziana

Zanu PF to meet again to finish analysing draft Constitution

ZANU PF POLITBURO TO MEET AGAIN FRIDAY TO DECIDE ON DRAFT CONSTITUTION
Harare July 25, 2012 (New Ziana) -The Zanu PF politburo will on Friday convene a special meeting to finish examining the new draft Constitution before announcing a formal position.
Negotiators from the three political parties in the inclusive government last week produced a draft after more than two years since the process began mainly due to squabbling amongst the parties.
Some of the contentious issues that had stalled formulation of the draft included dual citizenship, homosexuality, devolution of power and executive appointments.
Once approved through a referendum, the new supreme law would guide the country to the next general elections.
Zanu PF secretary for information and publicity Rugare Gumbo told journalists at the party headquarters that they had not completed examining the draft.
“The review did not end today. It is going to be completed on Friday,” he said.
Gumbo said the party’s GPA negotiator Patrick Chinamasa who is also Justice and Legal Affairs Minister had been “walking” the politburo members through the draft.
Meanwhile, Gumbo said the party had readmitted businessman Daniel Shumba and Goodwill Shiri as ordinary card carrying members.
Shumba, a former Masvingo provincial chairman was dismissed from the party in 2005 after he attended the controversial infamous Tsholotsho meeting and later on went to form his own party the United People’s Party (UPP).
Shiri from the Midlands, was expelled from the party after he stood as an independent candidate against the party’s candidate in the 2005 elections.
“They are readmitted as ordinary card carrying members and they would have to go back to their cells,” said Gumbo.
New Ziana

Zim fixes cotton producer prices

GOVERNMENT FIXES COTTON PRICE
Harare July 25, 2012 (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government on Wednesday announced new cotton producer prices which range between USc77 and USc84 per kilogram for the lowest and highest grades respectively.
Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made warned that ginners who did not comply with the new prices risked loosing their licenses.
Made said cabinet had agreed that USc77 per kg would be paid for grade D, USc79 for grade B whilst USc81 and USc84 would be paid for grades B and A respectively.
“Farmers who have already sold their crop at low prices should be given their balance.
“We are making it clear that companies should not continue underpaying farmers when they have to meet all their operational costs,” he said.
Made said government came to this position after thorough consideration of farmer’s production costs.
“Government represents everyone, farmers and ginners, so it is my hope that this is fair to every party,” he said.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union second vice president Berean Mukwende said the move was positive news for farmers.
“The season now has direction. Cabinet has been the only source of our hope and today they have delivered,” he said.
Zimbabwe Commercial Famers Union vice president Stansalays Goredema expressed confidence that ginners would pay the stipulated prices.
“We wait to see how ginners are going to handle it,” he said.
Goredema said if ginners complied, the season would be a better one.
Representatives of merchants declined to comment on the development saying they wanted to consult with their superiors.
Merchants had been offering between USc36 and USc50 per kg of the white gold with farmers demanding something between USc75 and US$1, 20 per kg.
As a result of the stalemate, many farmers had been holding on to their cotton waiting for the government to intervene.
Cotton production in Zimbabwe is expected to rise from 250 000 tones last year to about 280 000 tones this year.
New Ziana

Delta to commission two new packaging plants

DELTA TO COMMISSION TWO NEW PACKAGING LINES
Harare July25, 2012(New Ziana)-Delta Corporation Limited said on Wednesday it will commission two new packaging plants at its Harare and Bulawayo depots before the end of the year.
The company said the Harare plant would be commissioned next month at the Southerton depot while the Bulawayo line would be unveiled in November.
Briefing shareholders at the company’s an annual general meeting Delta Corporation chief executive officer Pearson Gowero said the company wanted to meet demand during the festive season.
“New packaging line at Southerton will be commissioned mid-August and the new PET (plastic) line in Bulawayo will be commissioned in November,” he said.
“This will substantially reduce the supply pressure during peak periods whilst enhancing efficiency and productivity across the sustainable metrics,” he said.
The Southerton bottling line would be the third since the country adopted multiple foreign currencies in 2009
Gowero said the new plants would increase production by 400 00 hectolitres per year.
“We will increase annual production to 600 000 hectolitres from the current 200 000,” he said.
He said the company was not exporting at the moment.
“We are not formally exporting at the moment although some of our products find there way into the region,” he said.
Gowero bemoaned failure by local sugar refiners to meet bottlers’ grade forcing them to export.
“Currently we are importing sugar because local companies cannot produce the quality we want. It’s not due to a shortage because local refiners are also exporting,” Gowero said.
Delta says the improvements in trade execution through investment in cold drink and merchandising equipment and point of sale material, has resulted in the market share position remaining at well above 95 percent by volume in the lager beer business.
New Ziana

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