Local News

Civil servants petition Parly

CIVIL SERVANTS PETITION PARLY
Harare, July 24, 2012(New Ziana) -Civil servants on Tuesday petitioned the House of Assembly and the Senate not to pass the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review statement which Finance Minister Tendai Biti presented in Parliament last week.
Civil servants took to the streets in protest against Biti’s failure to make provision for increasing their salaries in his statement.
Biti argues that the wage bill continues to rise having so far consumed 70 percent of the original budget while revenue inflows continued to thin, making it impossible to effect a salary increase.
In a petition also delivered to the Finance Ministry, the Apex Council implored both Houses not to pass the review budget.
“The Apex council would like to register its disgruntlement with the national budget review statement presented to Parliament last Wednesday which failed to provide relief to the long suffering government workers,” read part of the statement.
“Since independence, 2012 is the first time in history of labour in the public sector that the government only reviews workers’ allowances and fails to raise their salaries.
“As public sector workers, we bank on the collective conscience of legislators not to pass the mid term budget statement review as it does not address the plight of civil servants.”
Outgoing Apex council chairperson Tendai Chikowore presented the petition to Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma who accepted it on behalf of Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo and Senate President Edna Madzongwe.
Chikowore informed Zvoma about the treatment they had received at the Finance Ministry where they were denied entry and were forced to leave the petition under the door.
“We want to make it clear that we have been to the Ministry of Finance and that they have refused to accept the petition.
“That is a serious issue which we will not take lying down,” she said.
Accepting the petition, Zvoma said he would forward it to the respective Houses where it would be debated.
According to the Mid Term budget the wage bill which was originally expected to consume at least 57 percent of the budget would eventually balloon to 73 percent by the end of the year.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 235 000 public servants who have been agitating for a salary increase that would see the least paid worker getting paid at least US$525 for the least paid worker.
The lowest paid civil servant currently earns $235 monthly.
New Ziana

Low turn out to civil servants demo

LOW TURN OUT MARS CIVIL SERVANTS MARCH
Harare July 24, 2012 (New Ziana) –There was low turnout to the protest march that civil servants organized on Tuesday with union leaders accusing members of cowardice and lack of interest in addressing their plight.
The march was in response to the failure by Finance minister Tendai Biti to address their longstanding grievances in his mid-term fiscal policy review statement last week.
Biti, who slashed the country’s national budget by about 10 percent, insisted that employment costs continued to rise against thin revenue inflows making it impossible to adjust civil servants salaries.
Outgoing Apex council chairperson Tendai Chikowore said it was difficult to lead people who did not take their plight seriously.
“It is very difficult task to lead people who are cowards. This is why we are having this sort of gathering here it is because of people who do not know that they have a problem.
“It is these people who always want to complain that the leadership has failed us but when leadership says let us do this they let the leadership down,” she said.
Chikowore warned that the government would not take civil servants seriously unless they did not mobilize themselves properly.
“There are repercussions in having a handful marching because as you march you want to have the strength behind you because once they realize that there has not been that strength, then we are doomed to fail.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe however downplayed the low turnout saying the message that they had put across was important.
Majongwe said it was important to present a unified front in their fight to have wages increased.
Pubic Service Association president Cecilia Alexander said;
“We are going to take it to the streets because negotiations are not getting us anywhere. This is the beginning we are not going to rest. We cannot be made slaves in our own country,” she said.
Meanwhile, the civil servants failed to deliver their petition to Finance Minister Tendai Biti as he was not at his office.
A security guard informed the civil servants entourage that was accompanied by police officers that none of the Ministry officials were present.
After futile negotiations with the guard the civil servants left the petition under the door before proceeding to Parliament Building.
Chikowore who was leading the demonstrators expressed disappointment at the treatment they received at the Finance Ministry.
“This is treating common civil servants as terrorists and you do not even open the door for them. It is something which is totally unacceptable,” she said.
Alexander said “The level of arrogance that I witnessed today just showed us that workers are not being accorded the respect they deserve by the Ministry.”
Zimbabwe has an estimated 235 000 public servants and they are demanding a minimum salary of US$525 per month.
New Ziana

SIRDC to unveil new maize seed variety

SIRDC TO AVAIL NEW MAIZE SEED AT AGRIC SHOW
Harare, July, 24, 2012 (New Ziana)-The Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Center (SIRDC) said on Tuesday it will unveil a new drought tolerant maize seed variety at the Harare agricultural show to be held next month.
SIRDC chief executive officer Robson Mafoti said the seed the new seed variety, SIRDAMAIZE 133, would be readily available on the market soon after the unveiling.
“The seed takes about four months and two weeks to mature, pollinates very well and is suitable for areas which receive marginal rainfall,” he said.
Mafoti said at least 110 tonnes had so far been harvested from the previous farming season and was currently being packaged.
“We are still harvesting and it is progressing well.”
He expressed optimism that production would surpass the 200 tonnes of seed which had been set as a target.
The new seed variety comes after the country experienced erratic rainfall patterns in 2011 leading to reduced production and food shortages.
According to the final crop assessment which the government conducted, at least 500 000 hectares of maize out of the 1 689 000 hectares planted last season were written off due to erratic rainfall patterns.
New Ziana

Zim to allocate 1 percent budget to R&D

GOVERNMENT TO FUND SCIENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
HARARE July 24, 2012 (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government is committed to allocate at least 1 percent of the national budget for scientific research and development in a bid to develop the sector, a cabinet Minister said on Tuesday.
Science and Technology Minister Heneri Dzinotyiwei told New Ziana that funding research and development was critical for the country to adopt emerging technologies.
“As Government we have made a commitment to invest at least 1 percent of the budget on research and development.
“We however invite private sector participation in research activities,” he said.
Dzinotyiwei urged the private sector to engage the government and come up with modalities and incentives to invest in the sector.
“I encourage the scientific community to create strategic partnerships and collaborations that will ensure expansion and growth of technology and research.
“We hope to see institutional and multi-sectoral collaborations that pool resources and expertise towards development and research,” he said.
He said the funds would eable the country to engage in international research collaborations.
Dzinotyiwei noted that benefits from science increased proportionally with the rise in funding.
He said science and technology should be made popular to reach the majority of the population living in the countryside.
The government in March launched the second science, technology and innovation policy whose aim is to make science and technology an integral part of both individual and national development.
New Ziana

Mining fee collections surge

MINING LICENSE FEE COLLECTIONS SURGE
Harare July 24, 2012 (New Ziana) – The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is collecting on average $1 million in mining license fees every month, up from US$279 000 before the levies were reviewed in January this year.
The government increased the mining fees as part of efforts to discourage speculative holding of claims in a move that players in the sector widely criticized.
The fees range between $3 000 and $5 million.
Ministry officials told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts that the earnings were surging in line with increased activity in the sector.
“Out of that money we retain 25 percent,” Ministry chief accountant Mateo Mateo told the committee.
In terms of the standing arrangement between it and Treasury, the Ministry retains 25 percent of revenue collected to fund its own operations.
Permanent secretary Prince Mupazviriho defended the high license fees saying the increase was not a revenue generating initiative.
“We increased those fees to make sure that mining companies increase their production,” he said.
“The fees are a fixed cost. If you are not productive on that land then you are forced to relinquish it,” he added.
The government argues that most companies holding on to mining claims were using them to push their asset value up while they were not productive on the ground.
To curb the practice, the government now requires miners to pay between $500 and $3 000 per hectare of land held as a claim by any individual or company.
The government also introduced the “use it or lose it” principle to encourage productivity in the sector.
New Ziana

Photo Gallery 

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/536265img1.jpg

Kids talk to soldier dad in Ir

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/168258img2.jpg

U.S. lacks mechanism to accura

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/133965img3.jpg

US Tank and Cryogenics has ove

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/507035img4.jpg

The Black Hawk helicopter seri

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/371478img5.jpg

Listen to child soldiers, woun

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/774443img7.jpg

Helicopters carried US and Afg

Rioting has erupted at a march to commemorate the killing of a 15-year-old boy who was shot by Greek police in 2008. Officers fired tear gas at scores of hooded See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/571155img14.jpg

We left the observation post t

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/205742img16.jpg

Street Battles As Army Tackles

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/564842img17.jpg

Thousands of Troops Are Deploy

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

Latest comments