Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | May 28, 2009

Biti clips Gono’s wings

Zimbabwe finance minister Tendai Biti has successfully pushed through central bank reforms that are meant to clip the wings of bank governor Gideon Gono.
Gono, whose appointment has remained an outstanding issue of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has vowed not to leave the Reserve bank.
Mugabe has also come out in full support of the embattled governor but the Movement for Democratic Change insists that he must be fired.
Said Biti: “It is important that we restore the legitimacy, credibility and integrity of the reserve bank, so I’m pleased to advise that Cabinet has agreed on the fundamental amendments to the Reserve Bank Act.”
Some of the reforms of the RBZ Act include amendment of section 6, 7 & 8 of the central bank to ensure that it sticks to its core business, that of crafting the monetary policy, stabilization of the Zimbabwe dollar and supervision of the banking sector.
“There will also be reforms around, the composition of the board which will play an oversight role to the bank. The board will ensure that there is fiduciary responsibility and compliance with the Act. We are taking what are currently the core functions of the bank to a specialized monetary policy committee,” said Biti.
There will also be reforms relating to curtailment of the central bank to borrow. The Reserve bank has borrowed more than US$1 billion during Gono’s controversial tenure.
“There will be provisions that will force the liquidation and rationalization of all non-core assets and companies such as Homelink, Fiscorp so that the bank remains trim, lean clean and legitimate,” said Biti.
“We will remain focused in reforming our institutions. There is nothing that will distract us from executing that mandate of making sure that we reform our institutions,” said Biti, in a thinly veiled reference to Gono’s media onslaught.
Biti said that Zimbabwe was still surviving on “cigarettes and alcohol” taxes as the economy was under-performing although inflation was going down.
Speaking at the launch of his ministry’s website, Biti said Zimbabwe had since the formation of an inclusive government by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in February, collected about US$174 million which showed a shortfall on the US$200 million the government had earmarked to collect.
“Seventy percent of the amount that we have collected is going towards civil service allowances, so we have major challenges in that we do not have fiscal space.
The structure of the receipts is also very skewed and are reflective of an economy that is not healthy at all. Direct taxes and corporate taxes are still less than 12 percent of our income when in a normal tax structure should be 55-60 percent of our income. So we are still continuing to rely on customs duty and excise duty which is not good enough. No country in the world has survived on cigarettes and alcohol,” said Biti.
He said many of the wild and unbelievable economic figures were beginning to stabilize. Inflation since January has averaged negative three percent and the government was targeting that by December inflation will be at “very most not more than four-five percent.”
A budget review has been set for mid-July, according to Biti.

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Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | February 26, 2009

This blogs has won an award

I am thrilled by having received special congratulations for this blog by the waxal.
The WAXAL — Blogging Africa Awards (BAA) are an initiative of Panos Institute of West Africawith the partnership of Highway Africa,
www.highwayafrica.com and Global Voices, globalvoicesonline.org
My blog, although not having won the ultimate prize, received special congratulations from the Jury.
Join in my joy.

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | January 17, 2009

Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe

Morgan Tsvangirai returned to Zimbabwe on Saturday after two months in self imposed exile.
Tsvangirai told journalists at Harare International Aiport on his arrival that he was happy to be back home.
He said talks with president Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara would resume and his party was committed to finding a lasting solution to the problems Zimbabwe was facing.
“The MDC will not be bulldozed to enter into an agreement which does not represent the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people,” he said.
The talks are set to resume Monday under the facilitation of South African president Kgalema Mohlante, former SA president Thabo Mbeki and Mozambican president president Armando Guebuza.

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 4, 2008

Are we now Zim’s official opposition?-ZANU PF

The meeting of the leadership of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party which began Friday morning is expected to at least shed light on the electoral decision set to either change the political landscape of Zimbabwe or drag the country into the dustbin. Are we now the official opposition, ZANU PF seems to struggle to stomach this.

  The politburo meeting has the key to unlock the political impasse in the country and loosen the tense atmosphere hovering over Zimbabwe.   Two critical issues may arise from the meeting, one, if the ZANU PF politburo decides to push for a runoff with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)’ Morgan Tsvangirai the country will be locked in election mode for the next three weeks.  That election mode, on one hand, if the past elections are anything to go by, will be characterized by violence and chaos as ZANU PF tries to regain lost ground in the house of assembly elections in which ZANU PF lost to the MDC.  That period will mean that uncertainty in business will rise, fast forwarding the economic demise which is already in motion, pushing inflation nearer to the million percent mark, while the Zimdollar will continue to plummet against major currencies.   On the other hand, if ZANU PF concedes that Mugabe exchange residential addresses with Tsvangirai, the nation will simply move on with expectations for a new political, economic dispensation. Those expectations that many have placed in the ballot box against the MDC candidates, will place a great challenge on Tsvangirai and the MDC government.   Will Tsvangirai and the MDC live up to expectation is for all to judge. But first, the results of the elections must be made public.  In the next instalment I will explore the probable cabinet line up that Tsvangirai will announce if he were to be sworn in, tomorrow, on Monday or next month.

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | April 3, 2008

ZANU PF now officially main opposition party

ZANU PF, which has led Zimbabwe since attaining independence in 1980 has officially been confirmed as the new main opposition following the release of the final batch of seven house of assembly results early this morning.Out of the contested 206, ZANU PF managed 97 seats, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Tsvangirai 99, MDC Mutambara 10 and an independent Jonathan Moyo one (1) as he retained his Tsholotsho North parliamentary seats.The final results show that neither major party has an absolute majority and even when the results of three by-elections caused by death of candidates are known, neither will have the 106 seats needed for an absolute majority. Absolute majority can only be attained if the two MDC parties and Moyo were to form a coalition which would take their total to 110.
Besides the 206 seats contested on Saturday, Muzarabani South was won unopposed by ZANU PF and three by-elections are pending following the death of MDC candidates. While the MDC-Tsvangirai is likely to win at least two of these, since one is Redcliff and the other is in Bulawayo, it cannot gain the 106 seats needed to hold a majority in the House of Assembly.

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | August 30, 2007

It can only get better

Thursday was the most interesting and captivating day I have had so far in Berlin. We went through the Learning pyramid, forgetting curve and many such mind boggling themes and principles, which, I must confess were totally new to me.

I did not know that training can be this exciting.

On the sidelines, I hugged Rita and Sabine and was happy to see Werner Eggert and Joachim. Joachim was one of the two trainers who trained us in Multimedia and Online Journalism in 2005, also in Berlin. You can imagine my joy!

Just as we were enjoying the re-union, two fellow Zimbabweans, John Mokwetsi (The Standard) and Itai Mushekwe (Zimbabwe Independent) came by. They are attending the Multimedia course. Welldone fellows, at least you are following my footsteps, but was it not better for you to wait for me to come and train you in Zim. maybe you took the opportunity to run away from the empty Zimbabwe shelves. Anyway enjoy your stay in Berlin.

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | August 29, 2007

Training of Trainers gets underway in Berlin

The Training of Trainers programme started in Berlin on Wednesday with a group of 15 Trainers in attendance.

Conrad Dube Mwanawashe

I am also attending this important programme. My first impression is that I have come to the right place at the right time. A day spent in that lecture hall at Inwent has ushered new ideas and new methods of conducting training. My training programmes will be exciting from now , I hope.

A great team of Lecturers/Trainers Heidemarie Hecht, freelance lecturer and research associate at the Free University of Berlin with 30 years experience training and teaching staff at university level and Gabriela Soare, a certified trainer in communication science took us through the first session.

The way they conducted the pre-programme inventory was marvelous, interactive, participatory and fun.

The next six weeks will sure transform us into effective trainers.

Posted by: Conrad Mwanawashe | August 20, 2007

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