Posts tagged as: street

Zimbabwe: Finance Minister Denies Black Market Exists

Photo: Daily Monitor

U.S. dollars (file photo).

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa torched a storm in Parliament this Wednesday after he professed ignorance a bourgeoning black market where money is being traded at rates of over 30 percent.

Zimbabwe has, for more than two-years, been struggling with monetary authorities seemingly unable to address the problem despite the introduction of a surrogate local currency.

However, the scarce US dollar, the country’s main currency since government ditched the worthless Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, is available on the black market at huge premiums.

On Wednesday Zanu PF legislator for Shamva South Joseph Mapiki was the first to question Chinamasa about government policy on the sale of money at a time depositors are struggling to access their deposits from banks.

“What is government policy regarding cash barons who are selling money at rates as high as 35 percent?” queried Mapiki.

In his response, Chinamasa said he was not aware of such illegal transactions, pledging to investigate the matter.

“I would like to suggest that he writes down his question so that I can examine and understand if what has been said is true because I don’t know about it,” said the minister.

This prompted an outburst from both sides of the house, forcing him to say, “Barons selling money, that is outside the law.

“The Reserve Bank has been arresting some who would have done that.”

Chinamasa added that such regulation fell under the central bank.

Are you still the minister of finance?

However, opposition legislators queried his sincerity in claiming no responsibility for the current cash shortages and the burgeoning black market.

Prince Dubeko Sibanda, MDC-T MP for Binga North, said, “I want to find out if the Honourable Minister is still responsible for Finance and is still staying in this country?”

Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya added, “Banks all have queues but if we go behind Parliament at the 4th Street Bus Terminus, they are selling (money) in broad light.

“We want the minister to tell us if his inaction means it’s his money.”

Mapiki further claimed that Indian and Chinese nationals have become a ready source for money on the black market but none of them have been punished.

Chinamasa, who was initially dismissive of the issue then made a U-turn claiming offenders, including some banks and their managers, have since been fined.

“There is no law to send then to jail but the Banking Act allows the central bank to impose penalties. We agreed in cabinet for the law to be there, we are drafting the bills.”

Zanu PF MP for Zvimba West Ziyambi Ziyambi weighed in saying a law would not eliminate the illegal money market when banks are also aiding it.

“Even banks are selling it because when they ask clients to deposit money when they want to go outside where do they think we could have got it from?,” he said.

Opposition legislators could be heard shouting that it was absurd that those politically connected can still import Rolls Royces when the majority cannot withdraw even bond notes.

The speaker Jacob Mudenda then ruled that Mapiki requests written responses from Chinamasa on the issue which he admitted to be important.

Fani Munengami, MDC-T Glen View North legislator reminded the minister to include an answer on when John Mangudya would resign in accordance to his declaration to quit office if bond notes were devalued and inefficient.

South Africa: Crowds Outside Court Where Mother Appears for Alleged Killing of Newborn

“No one knows what’s in her heart,” a woman in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court told curious bystanders as they waited for a mother to appear on Tuesday morning for allegedly killing her newborn son.

Other women at the court door nodded, adding, “nobody’s perfect” and “only God can judge”, just minutes before 32-year-old Dalene Petersen appeared in the dock.

She was arrested on Sunday after her baby was found under a mattress at a home in Juksei Street, Beacon Valley.

Residents at court, who did not want to be identified, claimed Petersen had choked or strangled the baby. Another alleged that the baby was a love child.

Wearing a pink hooded top and grey pants, Petersen stood before Magistrate Alvira Bezuidenhout for the first time on a charge of murder.

She was asked whether she would like to hire an attorney, use legal aid or represent herself.

“I will represent myself,” she replied softly.

Bezuidenhout warned her that the charge was serious. She then decided to choose legal aid.

Prosecutor Farieda Jacobs said they were following up on bail information.

Escaping the crowds

Petersen would, thus, remain in custody for a week. Her family rushed out of court to escape the crowds.

Her four kids had been placed with a family friend, said Sihle Ngobese, spokesperson for Social Development MEC Albert Fritz.

He said they had become aware of the case after community members approached Fritz to see if he would intervene.

The Mitchells Plain Crisis Forum’s Faizel Brown told News24 outside court that they condemned the killing in the strongest terms.

“That said, obviously we still need to understand the events of this case.”

Brown said the government needed to intervene to put an end to innocent lives being lost.

“We are calling on the Premier of the Western Cape [Helen Zille] to put up a commission of inquiry into child killings. A child commissioner needs to be appointed to deal with their safety.”

Citizens could report abandoned, abused, neglected or missing children to the police or to the social development department hotline on 0800 220 250.

Source: News24

South Africa

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Investigations in Mdee’s Case Complete, Prosecution Tells Court

By Faustine Kapama

INVESTIGATIONS into a trial of Kawe Member of Parliament (MP) Halima Mdee are complete, the court was told yesterday. The 39-year old politician stands accused of abusing President John Magufuli.

Senior State Attorney Mutalemwa Kishenyi, before Senior Resident Magistrate Victoria Nongwa at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, asked for a date to conduct preliminary hearing.

The magistrate granted the request and adjourned the case to October 11, 2017. During the preliminary hearing session, the prosecution is expected to give more particulars, showing how the lawmaker under Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) ticket committed the offence.

In the case, the prosecution alleges that Mdee committed the offence on July 3, this year, at Chadema headquarters along Ufipa Street in Kinondoni District in the city. She is alleged to have in sulted the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, the act which, according to the prosecution, was likely to cause breach of peace.

Before her arraignment, the opposition lawmaker was locked up following an order by Kinondoni District Commissioner (DC) Ally Hapi, for inflammatory statements against the President.

The DC was quoted as saying that as the Chairman of the Peace and Security Committee in the district, he had ordered the law enforcers to arrest Mdee and hold her for interrogation for not less than 48 hours before further legal measures.

DC Hapi derived his powers from some provisions in the Regional Administration Act that empowers Regional Commissioners (RCs) and District Commissioners (DCs) to order confinement of citizens for 48 hours.

Ordering Mdee’s detention, Mr Hapi told reporters that his district is not a place for politicians to utter inflammatory statements against government leaders and abuse the president.

Tanzania

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Zimbabwe: Residents Bash Hospital Boss Over ‘Urinating in Public’

By Lovemore Meya

A Chitungwiza Central Hospital chief counsellor was assaulted by residents, who caught him urinating in public. Reki Jimu (46), who is also a pastor, was beaten up by four residents. The matter, which happened on August 29, is now before the Chitungwiza Magistrates’ Court. The prosecutor Mr Tendai Katonha said Jimu was walking along Mabvazuva Street towards the Aquatic Complex when he decided to relieve himself by the roadside.

He was hit with a stone on the hip by an unknown person.

The court heard that as he was writhing in pain, three people approached him and beat him up.

They accused Jimu of urinating at their workplace.

Jimu allegedly tried to escape, but was cornered.

The court heard that the fourth suspect Kenneth Sandason (30) joined in and kicked Jimu as he was still on the ground.

Sandason was arrested after Jimu reported the assault to the police.

He denied the charges when he appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Oliver Mudzongachiso last week.

His trial begins tomorrow.

Zimbabwe

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South Africa: Johannesburg Mayor Launches R600 Million Sandton Transport Project

A R674m Sandton public transport loop, which apparently created 260 000 employment opportunities, was launched by City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba at the Sandton Gautrain station on Tuesday.

Mashaba said the loop – which the city will pilot from September 18 and until December – will provide efficient movement around Sandton. It will run along Rivonia Road, Fredman Drive, and Fifth Street among others.

Mashaba explained that the project was inherited from the previous administration, but that due to that administration’s decade-long neglect of infrastructure maintenance in the city, more work had to be done.

“This upgrade is intended to ease traffic congestion, it’s intended to link Sandton to the community of Alex, and improve access to transport systems with reduced travel times thereby accelerating our city’s economic growth,” he said.

For more than two years the city has been working on improving pedestrian space in the form of sidewalks, more cycle lanes, upgrading infrastructure around traffic signalisation and building two bridges over the M1 freeway – one for pedestrians and one for the Rea Vaya bus service – to link Alexandra township and Sandton.

During the pilot period, the city will welcome public feedback on whether the project is meeting its intended objective or not.

Prioritising non-motorised transport and public transport

Mashaba said the City of Johannesburg’s economic growth was reliant on infrastructure investment in Sandton, and that transport was essential to the economic development of any nation.

Provincial MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi said plans also included those who use the road for purposes other than driving.

“Increasingly we must construct our roads in a way that accommodates different [types of] road users, and not just motorists,” he said.

Vadi said non-motorised transport and public transport should be prioritised.

“Gauteng’s population is increasing every day,” he said.

Citing census reports, Vadi said the rise in population was likely to increase over the next few years and that unless the city acts now, it would not be able to build itself out of transport congestion.

James Tannenberger of the Sandton Central Management District said they had realised that a car-based system in the often heavily congested Sandton area would place its status as a competitive and investment node in the city at risk.

He said there was a need for transport-oriented development to cater for the approximately 10 000 people who commute to and from the township of Alexandra daily.

“You’re not going to attract investment and development into Sandton unless you can get people in and through Sandton,” Tannenberger said.

Source: News24

South Africa

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South Africa: Gauteng Roads and Transport On Temporary Closure of Road P158 (N14)

press release

The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport hereby notifies motorists that Road P158 on the N14 South of Pretoria will be temporary closed from Saturday, 02 September 2017 to Sunday, 03 September 2017.

This is due to Bridge 2348 demolition process that is scheduled to take place between 18h00 and 06h00.

The Bridge, situated between Eeufees and Swartkoppies Interchanges, was constructed in 1965 and carries two water pipes belonging to the City of Tshwane.

The decision to demolish the bridge was taken by the Department after confirmation by the City that the water pipes will be decommissioned and the bridge will no longer be in use.

The following roads will be closed from 18h00 on Saturday, 02 September until 06h00 the following day:

N14 – From (M18) Christina de Wit to Eeufees Road

N14 – From M10 to Eeufees Road (M7)

N14 – From (R101) Kgosi Mampuru Street Interchange to (M10)

The department apologises for the inconvenience that may be caused to motorists during the demolition process.

Issued by: Gauteng Roads and Transport

South Africa

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2,000 Tanzanite Mining Firms ‘Evade Taxes’

Photo: Daily News

Tanzanite.

By Deus Ngowi

Mirerani — As the government gears to establish a tanzanite processing zone, the move has been proved essential as most of the jewel is smuggled, resulting in revenue losses.

Local leaders here have volunteered information that out of about 2,000 companies engaging in tanzanite mining, a mineral that is only available in Tanzania, do not pay taxes to the Simanjiro District Council as required by the law.

Endiamtu Councillor, Mr Phillemon Oyogo and Tanesco Street Chairman, Mr Justin Sarakikya, ‘Ngumee’ said the investors are getting the precious jewel without being accountable in terms of taxes.

Mr Oyogo (Chadema) said if all respective dues were paid to the district council, Simanjiro would be much developed, providing social services and tak ing people out of poverty.

Addressing reporters who toured the mining area, the councillor said there are more than 1,960 registered companies operating at Mirerani in Manyara Region, but only 10 out of them pay the required dues.

Mr Oyogo said that the non-compliance has resulted in poor service delivery by Simanjiro District Council, questioning why such a situation is tolerated while in other areas, companies were shouldering their responsibilities by making local towns prosper.

He said that he was armed with documents from the council of companies that pay the levies as passed by Simanjiro councillors. He added that it did not ring into the mind why only 10 companies pay taxes, calling upon district authorities to take swift action so that the government gets its fair share.

He hinted that the matter will be tabled before a full council meeting here so that new and urgent directives are issued to contain the situation sooner than later. “The Simanjiro District Council is having tough time in carrying out its daily duties to the community due to lack of sufficient funds, while we have one of the wealthiest mines in Tanzania. It is time to act to redress the situation,” said Mr Oyogo.

Commenting on the same, Mr Sarakikya said it was absurd that day-to-day calls by the central government on traders to pay taxes was ignored by the small-scale investors. “What we hear from these people are only complaints against huge scale investors and their quest to cover more areas.

But, they make money through their mines and do not bother to pay the required taxes,” said the chairman.Mr Ngumee said if the situation is not properly addressed it would count to double standards, something he said is not the picture that the district and Tanzania as a country has to show.

He noted that as days unfold, names of companies and people engaged in such shoddy deals, making millions of shillings but pay none, should be unveiled so that everybody shoulders the responsibility as envisaged by the laws and rules of the country and local government authorities.

Manyara Regional Commissioner (RC), Dr Joel Bendera said recently that 500 acres have been set aside at Mirerani for a processing zone of the gemstones and all tanzanite will have to pass through the place.

The centre dubbed ‘Umambe’ will operate along the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) so as to improve economy of the district, region and country as a whole.

Tanzania

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Namibia: Telecom Cable Theft Leaves Around 500 People Offline

For the past three month’s copper thieves have targeted the same Windhoek suburb of Pioneerspark for the third time, leaving Telecom Namibia customers without telephone lines and broadband internet.

According to Telecom Namibia’s spokesperson, Oiva Angula, the latest theft affected about 500 individual customers across the surburb.

The thieves plundered thick copper cables from the underground network of Telecom Namibia last week, pulling the plug on hundred home telephone lines and internet connections.

Telecom Namibia technicians found a 600 pair primary cable copper cable again cut and stolen after an investigation when a fault was reported by a customer without services in the suburb last week.

“Technicians have started working throughout the day on Friday to try to restore connections. The theft incident took place along David Hosea Meroro Street last night. We hope to have everyone back in service by next week Tuesday afternoon, 22 August,” Angula said.

Telecom Namibia copper cables were stolen for the first time in the area on 20 May this year when thieves dug up a manhole and got hold of a 600 pair copper cable and the services were progressively restored on 26 May.

The second cable theft incident happened on the evening of 1 June when a Telecom Namibia copper cable was damaged when thieves attempted to cut and steal a 1600 pair cable in a manhole with a sharp object. This incident happened along Bernt Carlson street, between Hendrik Witbooi Drive and Erasmus Street in Pioneerspark Extension 1, affecting customers along the following streets: Erasmus, Duncan, Dixon, Palmer, Kreft, Ebner, Davin, Carew, Fabri, Du Toit, Pfohl, Rath, Schepman, Heyn, Stoss, Range, Kindt, Gramovski, Pabst and Geiger.

Angula said that the cables were spliced by Telecom’s technicians and services restored the afternoon of 5 June.

“We appeal to customers in this area to be on high alert and to report any suspicious activity to the Police. Telecom Namibia offers a reward for any report that leads to a successful prosecution of any case of vandalism or theft of its network infrastructure. Meanwhile, we apologise to all the affected customers in the Pioneerspark area for the inconvenience caused and ask for their patience and understanding,” Angula concluded.

Namibia

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Kilimani Residents Team Up With Leaders to Clear Campaign Posters

By Kennedy Kangethe

Nairobi — Kilimani residents worked together with their elected leaders on Saturday in an ‘election posters cleanup hour’ in what they say marked the start of a five-year active partnership between the residents and their elected leaders.

The cleanup was flagged off at 11am and another one at 2pm outside the Ethiopian Orthodox church running for two hours each.

Several residents: members of the business community, informal traders and youths signed up to participate in the exercise which received support from the County Government of Nairobi.

“The cleanup was also an opportunity for participants to discuss the ward and hopes for the constituency. And provided and opportunity for residents to see how they can participate in making the area progress,” said Constant Cap of the Kilimani Project Foundation.

Nairobi Governor-elect Mike Sonko has hired 1,000 youth to clear campaign posters in the capital.

The youth are working under the Sonko Rescue Team – Sonko’s charity organisation and have already cleared posters at Uhuru Park, Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya Street, Uhuru Highway, and they have also cleared garbage in Ngara and at Muthurwa market.

Kenya

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South Africa: President Jacob Zuma Launches Brics New Development Bank, 17 Aug

press release

President Jacob Zuma will tomorrow, 17 August 2017, preside over the official launch of the African Regional Centre of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The BRICS bloc of countries signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank at the Sixth BRICS Summit in July 2014 in Brazil, and the Seventh BRICS Summit marked the entry into force of the Agreement on the New Development Bank. The NDB headquarters were officially opened in Shanghai, China in February 2016.

Another key resolution taken at the Summit was to establish regional offices that would perform the important function of identifying and preparing proposals for viable projects that the New Development Bank could fund in the respective regions.

President Zuma will be joined at the launch by the President of the NDB, Mr Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Ministers and other dignitaries.

Members of the Media are invited to the launch as follows:

Date: Thursday, 17 August 2017

Venue: 135 Daisy Street, Sandton

Time: 08h30

Members of the Media must please send their details to Jabulani Mulambo at Jabulani.Mulambo@treasury.gov.za / Patience Mtshali at Mtshalip@dirco.gov.za / Vukile Mathabela at vukile@presidency.gov.za.

Issued by: The Presidency

South Africa

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