Thursday, August 04, 2016

Bond Notes Same as Tissue Paper: Mujuru
OPPOSITION Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, at the weekend, equated the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s proposed bond notes to toilet paper, which will not attract any commercial value, despite government’s frantic efforts to sanitise them.

By Everson Mushava/Paidamoyo Muzulu

Addressing party supporters at former ambassador, Agrippa Mutambara’s farm near Bindura in Mashonaland Central Province, Mujuru said it was illegal for government to benchmark the proposed notes against US dollar without the consent of the US government.

“Take note; don’t be fooled to think that you now have your own currency when you don’t have. They (bond notes) are worthless papers, toilet tissue. You will lose all your livestock to buyers, who will give you the worthless papers,” Mujuru, who served as President Robert Mugabe’s deputy for 10 years, before she was kicked out of government and Zanu PF in 2014 on charges of plotting to unseat the veteran politician, said.

“You (government) say we are printing bond notes in Germany, the money should be supported when you print it. You say you were supporting it with $200 million. If it is supported by US dollars, did America allow you to do that? This is illegal.”

The central bank has announced plans to introduce bond notes sometime in October to mitigate an acute shortage of cash, which has forced banks to introduce stringent cash withdrawal caps. Despite widespread resentment by citizens and opposition political parties over the move, the cash-strapped Zanu PF government has vowed to continue with the project.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the bond notes, to be traded at par with the green back, will be supported by a $200 million facility from Afreximbank.

Meanwhile, MDC-T youths yesterday threatened to roll out a series of anti-government protests this month under #MyZimbabwe campaign to force Mugabe to address the country’s deteriorating economic situation.

MDC-T youth secretary-general, Lovemore Chinoputsa, said they will join hands with other civil society actors, who have been demonstrating against the Mugabe regime.

“August will be a month of fighting the regime through all democratic and peaceful means at our disposal,” he said.

Mujuru sues Mugabe over import ban

July 31, 2016
Zimbabwe Standard

Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader, Joice Mujuru says she has now turned to informal trading for survival and has dragged President Robert Mugabe to the High Court, challenging the move to restrict the importation of basic commodities.


In a High Court challenge filed through her lawyers, Hamunakwadi and Nyandoro Law Chambers, Mujuru said Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016 promulgated by Industry minister Mike Bimha restricting the importation of goods such as milk, cereals, juices and furniture was illegal and unconstitutional.

“In terms of section 134 of the Constitution, a statutory instrument can only be made directly in terms of an Act of Parliament. Statutory instrument 64 of 2016 is ultra vires the Control of Goods Act and therefore illegal, null and void and of no force or effect,” reads Mujuru’s application filed on Friday.

In her founding affidavit, the former vice-president said she had now turned to informal trading as a way to support her family as a widow, arguing the ban on imports had affected her trade.

“When the economic situation in the country deteriorated in the last few years, most Zimbabweans resorted to importing goods and reselling them at a modest profit,” Mujuru said.

“The goods listed by the second respondent [Bimha] starting from 24 to 36 formed the bulk of those imports. Importers only had to pay import duty, where applicable.”
The ex-VP said the High Court should set aside the SI and declare it null and void.

“The statutory instrument is the most insensitive piece of legislation ever to be enacted in independent Zimbabwe,” Mujuru argued.

“By stroke of a pen, the second respondent [Bimha] effectively banned the importation of almost all goods that sustained the lives of millions of Zimbabweans, who, because of the severe economic difficulties, survive by engaging in the informal trade.

“I can say with absolute confidence that statutory instrument 64 of 2016 has injected poverty in informal traders’ lives and has brought misery to the ordinary and suffering Zimbabweans.

“I am pained to note that the second respondent has had no qualms in resorting to a piece of legislation authored by Ian Douglas Smith of Rhodesia.”

SI 64 now requires a permit from the Industry ministry for the importation of several goods. The ban on imports sparked protests that resulted in the burning of a Zimra warehouse at the Beitbridge border post.

According to government, the move was aimed at promoting local industry which was suffocating due to the influx of cheap imported goods.

Mujuru’s application is also supported by Marian Chombo, the former wife of Home Affairs minister, Ignatious Chomo, who also deposed of an affidavit.

Mugabe, Bhima and the Attorney-General’s office listed as the first, second and third respondents respectively have 10 days to respond to the court challenge and if they fail , the case will be heard as an unopposed matter.

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