Parliament Notifies ZEC Of Tshabangu Recalls

PARLIAMENT has notified the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of 18 vacant seats in the National Assembly and Senate following last week’s recall of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators. Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda confirmed yesterday that Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda and President of the Senate Mabel Chinomona had written to ZEC on the latest round of recalls.

“Yes, the letters notifying ZEC of the vacant seats were sent; it was the first thing to be done as per legislative requirement,” said Mr Chokuda.

In terms of the law, elections to fill the vacant seats are supposed to be held within 90 days of declaration of the vacancies. ZEC deputy chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa confirmed that the elections management body had received the letters.

“We received the letter of notification of the vacant seats on Thursday (last week) from the Speaker and President of the Senate,” said Amb Kiwa.

“We are now working on notifying the President so that he makes a proclamation to set the dates for by-elections.

“As per requirement, the by-elections have to be conducted within 90 days.”

Parliament last week announced the recall by CCC interim secretary-general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu of six National Assembly legislators and seven others elected through proportional representation. The affected MPs are Admore Chivero (Chegutu West), Stephen Chatiza (Goromonzi West), Gift Siziba (Pelandaba), Tapfumaneyi Madzimbauto (Seke), Oliver Mutasa (Zvimba East), Amos Chibaya (Mkoba North), Emma Muzondiwa (Midlands proportional representative) and Machirairwa Mugidho (Masvingo proportional representative). Others are Constance Chihota (Mashonaland East proportional representative), Monica Mukwada (Manicaland proportional representative), Sekai Muungani (Midlands proportional representative), Linnet Mazingaidzo (Harare proportional representative) and Daphane Gutsa (Mashonaland East proportional representative).

Mr Tshabangu also recalled Webster Maondera, Jameson Timba and Vongai Tome, Editor Madzamise and Ralph Magunje from Senate.

Ambassador Kiwa also said preparations for the December 9 by-elections were on course.

“Preparations of the December 9 elections are now at an advanced stage and ZEC has now released preliminary polling stations,” Ambassador Kiwa added.

“We are adequately prepared for the elections.”

Last week, ZEC gazetted 513 preliminary polling stations that will be used in the December 9 by- elections. Sunday Mail

*Polls meant to consolidate our democracy — Muswere*

ZIMBABWE routinely holds elections when they are due to strengthen and consolidate its democracy, and attacks on State institutions by the European Union (EU) through the bloc’s 2023 Harmonised Elections Observer Mission final report are an affront to the country’s sovereignty, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere has said.

He also said Government will not stand by idly while the country’s institutions come under unwarranted attacks.

Addressing a press conference in Harare yesterday, Minister Muswere said the report was focused “on a closed episode of our national political cycle”.

The elections, he said, met the country’s legislative requirements.

“The Government is fully aware of the EU EOM’s irregular nocturnal meetings with opposition political players outside conventional election observation parameters,” said Dr Muswere.

“We also know that the EU disbursed campaign funds to a particular opposition party in flagrant violation of the Political Parties Finance Act.

“We also have substantial evidence of the EU EOM’s clandestine operations with other Election Observer Missions (EOMs) for the purpose of manipulating their reports to discredit the election outcome.

“At the same time, the Government is aware of the colonial traditional reactionary aspersions of those perennially inclined to subvert the will of our people by misrepresenting facts about Zimbabwe’s political environment before, during and after the elections.”

He also reiterated that none of the political parties that contested the polls filed an election petition, a development that lends legitimacy to the status quo.

“Section 93 of the Constitution provides for the legal processes to be followed in the event that there are election disputes.

“However, after the announcement of the election results, there was no legal challenge to the process or the outcome of the election, which gave legitimacy to the status quo.”

The EU’s report sought to impugn Zimbabwe’s democratic processes, added Minister Muswere.

In addition, it also suggests that prosecution of political players translates to political persecution.

“However, no one is above the law and our law will never be selectively applied to exonerate criminality.

“Being a political player does not provide one with the privilege of immunity,” he said.

Minister Muswere said the independence and integrity of Zimbabwe’s Judiciary was sacrosanct.

*Zim sets new wheat record*

THE country’s record wheat haul, which now stands at a staggering 465 000 tonnes, could potentially lead to a decline in prices for basics like bread, it has been learnt.

The harvest from this year’s winter wheat crop is 100 000 tonnes more than national demand, which presently stands at 360 000 tonnes.

Flour is a major ingredient in many staple foods such as bread, pasta and pastries.

Soft wheat, which Zimbabwe produces, is typically milled into flour and used to make a wide range of foods, including bread, muffins, noodles, pasta, biscuits, cakes, cookies, pastries and cereal bars.

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairperson Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said the country could export some of the soft wheat in return for only 30 percent hard wheat to meet the market standards of bread.

“To us, this is the smartest way of doing business. We will not need foreign currency to import,” he said.

“What this means is, once we have enough flour at a reduced price as tabled by Government, the flour price, bread price and the price of other wheat products will eventually drop.”

Over the past five years, Government has made deliberate interventions to boost wheat production.

Agriculture expert Mr Basil Nyabadza said there was also need to decentralise bakeries to get maximum benefit from rising production of the cereal.

“If we can come up with one price for all bread consumers across the country, with a bakery station in one town, it means if that particular bakery is producing for the local population only, the price may be lower.

“Let us reduce transportation costs of bread and products through rural industrialisation,” he said.

Another record

The country has surpassed its winter wheat output target for the second successive season.

Chief director responsible for agricultural engineering, mechanisation, post-harvest agro-processing and soil conservation in the Ministry of Lands,

Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Engineer Edwin Zimunga, said: “We can safely say wheat harvesting is complete. From the mechanisation view, we are now shifting focus to land preparation for the summer cropping season.

“Government’s investment in wheat production continues to pay off handsomely, as farmers have successfully harvested over 465 000 tonnes, representing a new record in wheat production.

“We have reason to celebrate as our farmers really answered the call from the Government to fight for food security. It is clear that the initiatives are yielding results.”

Initially, Government had set a target of 408 000 tonnes this season, but later reviewed it upwards to 420 000 tonnes, before later settling at a target of 440 000 tonnes.

The 440 000-tonnes target was motivated by the announcement of favourable pre-planting producer prices, which attracted farmers to increase hectares under production to 90 192 hectares, up from last year’s 78 000 hectares.

Uninterrupted electricity and water supply for irrigation also further made it possible for farmers to follow good agronomic practices, leading to an improvement of production per unit area.

With enhanced Government extension services, the average yield per hectare rose to between 5,1 tonnes and 5,3 tonnes, compared to last year’s 4,3 tonnes per hectare.

Added Engineer Zimunga: “If you remember, we made the pre-planting producer prices announcement in time to motivate and assure farmers that their labour will get paid handsomely. State media

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