President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe with First Lady Grace at a ZANU-PF rally. The nation of Zimbabwe celebrated 27 years of national independence on April 18, 2007.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
By Features and Political Editor
PRESIDENT Mugabe arrived home yesterday to a thunderous welcome by thousands of war veterans and Zanu-PF supporters where he warned profiteering businesses that they risk being taken over by the Government if they do not stick to set pricing levels.
The President, who was on his way from the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, said profiteering businesses would not be allowed to continue fleecing consumers.
"Kuti macompanies apiwa opportunity yekuti vashave hupfumi, vazvivake asi vachivakawo nyika, vanobva vada kuenderera mberi nemitengo yavo. Iyezvino tasvika zvakare zvekunzwa kuti panyaya yemitengo yavakuenderera mberi zvakare.
"Aiwa, kwete tinoda kuti vane macompany vazviongorore. Ndirikutaura ndichiri kuno ku airport ndisati ndasvika kuti ngazviongororwe. Patakatarirana ipapo ndo patinoda kuoona mitengo iri. Vemabhazi, vetransport, OK tinozviongorora, tirikuzviongorora zvese izvozvo. Hatidi kuti tisvitsane pakutandanisa, kuti titandanisane futi, zvino tavakuzosvika pakuti hatitandanisane chete, totorerana.
"We will have to seize the companies, and the services idzodzo, whether transport or any other service being rendered by a company or organisation. Kana zvisingaitwe nemutowo kwawo iye zvino we will take over the companies. Tirikukuyambirayi, twasanukai, nyika ndeyedu tose."
The President’s warning comes in the wake of the emergence of extortionate prices on several supermarket shelves that are stocking imported products or brands that are not on the list of controlled commodities.
A survey by our sister paper, The Sunday Mail, last week showed that the price madness that prompted the Government to introduce price controls three months ago has reared its ugly head again as products slowly return to supermarket shelves.
Although most of the products that have returned to the shelves are not classified as basic, consumers expressed concern over their high prices, saying most of the goods were still essential.
President Mugabe said the customer is king and should be accorded due respect.
"Macustomers vanhu vanokutengerai, vanokubhadharai kuti muvafambise. Ndivo vamunosungirwa kupa rukudzo nokuti ndivo vanokupaika mari yekuti mupfume, hupfumi hwamunahwo hunobva kumari dzavo ava. Ko zvino kana vari ivo vanokuraramisai, hamukwanisewo here kuona kuti varikurarama sei?"
The President said the recently passed Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill would ensure that mineral wealth is exploited for the benefit of Zimbabweans who should own at least 51 percent of any concern. He said investors who were not willing to abide by the law should ship out as Zimbabwe has the requisite manpower to take over the running of the companies.
"Nhasi uno tava nemurawo mutsva unoti iwo migodhi, ose macompany ose arikushava zviri pasi pevhu, maminerals, nyika yedu inosungirwa kuwana chikamu chinopfuuura 51 percent, 51 percent at least, 51 percent ndiyo yatinoti tiwane.
"Zvino chinzwa zvirikuita maBritish. Hanzi ah vanhu vedu vachatorerwa, zvauya zviye zvakaitika panyaya yevhu. Ko makore ese aya manga muchichera zvicherwa izvi muchituta goridhe, muchituta hupfumi hwese hwanga huri pasi muchiendesa kunyika dzenyu? Zvino nhasi tavakuti aiwa matombo aya akacherwa haamere pakare ka, haana kuita sezvidyarwa.
Goridhe rabva harichadzoka, madiamonds abva haachadzoka, platinum yabva haichadzoka, kana yacherwa yacherwa, hatingasare tirimumakomba tigoti makomba iwaya chii chakabvamo? Chakaenda kupi? Kunopundutsa ani? Ivo vekunze? Tirambe tichingokumbira vekunze? Kana vasingauye, ngavarege kuuya, let them not come, the resources are ours.
The minerals are ours. We are offering partners, good partners, friendly partners, a share, 49 percent or there about. If they won’t take it, hard luck, we will give it to our people."
The President said Zimbabwe has geologists, metallurgists and many skilled persons who can set up vibrant companies, but such people should be duty-bound to adhere to ethical business practices.
The President recounted and explained the rousing speech he delivered to the UN General Assembly that was, however, blacked out by the US media. This, the President said, showed how intolerant and unfree the American society is. The President urged Zanu-PF supporters in Harare to not only turn out in their thousands to welcome him at the airport, but to use those numbers at election time to deliver a crunching victory for the people.
He said Westerners, led by the British and Americans, do not want to see a free people with sovereignty over their territory and resources which is why Zimbabweans had to be vigilant and jealously guard their independence.
In New York, the President met with and held high-level talks with UN Secretary-General Mr Ban ki-Moon, whom he warned not to let his office be abused by countries with vested interests against Zimbabwe. He also met Sadc chair Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa who officially told him that Sadc would boycott the European Union-Africa Summit if Zimbabwe is not invited; and Iranian leader Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with whom he discussed how agreements struck under the aegis of the Zimbabwe-Iran Joint Commission can be expedited.
Ministry spearheads projects for women
GOVERNMENT is committed to improving the standards of living for women in Zimbabwe through self-help projects to fight drought-induced hunger and poverty in rural areas, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Cde Oppah Muchinguri, has said.
She said her ministry was in the process of establishing self-help projects at the grassroots level to cater for marginalised women.
"Our ministry is spearheading as many income-generating projects as possible across the country to ensure that women and children get enough assistance from Government," she said in a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr Perpetua Gumbo in Chipinge on Saturday at Maunganidze Congregational Centre during the St Luke’s Jekenishen Women Fellowship 12th anniversary.
She expressed hope that the recently introduced food processing projects would alleviate drought-induced hunger in rural areas.
"We have realised that we have abundant fruits here in Chipinge that could be processed and benefit a lot of families in terms of income and food. Our women should be involved in these projects as they could also earn foreign currency for the country," added Cde Muchinguri.
She urged people to form groups to ease the distribution of inputs and other resources provided by the Government.
Cde Muchinguri said her ministry was working closely with other stakeholders in the agricultural industry with the objective of promoting food processing enterprises to process cassava and sweet potatoes into flour.
"I want to challenge ward co-ordinators to ensure that inputs are put to good use and to work together as a team for the development of the country," the minister said.
She warned that the Government would not hesitate to prosecute those who abuse strategic facilities and resources that are meant to turn around the economy.
The St Luke’s Jekenishen Women Fellowship is undertaking different self-help projects that include baking, interior décor and horticulture.
The church is also looking after poor children that it equips with skills to develop themselves.
Cde Muchinguri donated $200 million to the fellowship towards the sustenance of existing projects and the establishment of new ones.
The leader of the women’s fellowship, Mrs Rumbidzai Pferedzai, praised Cde Muchinguri for the donation, saying this was clear testimony of the ministry’s commitment to improving the lives of women in the area.
"We welcome the donation as it would go a long way in changing the lives of many women here in Maunganidze. As a church, we are going to make sure that all the projects prosper as is the mandate from Government," Mrs Pferedzai said.