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Mugabe, Tsvangirai must reveal cash sources
There are mounting calls in Zimbabwe for both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to say where they have received their money. Mugabe recently launched a $20 million agricultural input scheme for farmers, while Tsvangirai handed over up to $300,000 as a maintenance settlement to his ex-partner Locardia Tembo. It is not clear in either of the cases where the funds came from. What is certain is that the money did not come from Treasury or from the salaries of the two heads of state. The Zimbabwean Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture – David Coltart – on Sunday said all leaders had a duty to be transparent. Mugabe should reveal the source of the inputs he donated on Saturday, Coltart said through his Twitter account. Seeds, fertiliser and dipping chemicals worth around $20 million will be given to 800,000 farmers. The money apparently came from “well-wishers”. Coltart’s urge for transparency was echoed by former Independent MP Margaret Dongo, who said Tsvangirai should say whether donors handed him the money he allegedly gave his former wife. – Eyewitness News, Johannesburg

Public toilets a thing of the past in Chitungwiza
Residents in Chitungwiza have raised alarm on the state of public toilets around the town which is now life threatening. Most public toilets are located at shopping centres but the municipality appears to have given up on maintaining these essential facilities since most of them are no longer functional and have been completely neglected. A recent tour around the town exposed a health time bomb that is just waiting to explode at almost all shopping centres around the town. Retailers who operate flea markets and shops at most of these shopping centres feel that the municipality is short changing them since they pay rates every month yet they have no access to such vital services. In an interview with the reporter Mrs Matore (30) who operates a flea market at Huruyadzo expressed dissatisfaction with the council authorities. “I pay a monthly licence fee to council and their municipal police are very strict in making sure that you pay the money but we are not able to access such an important service. The toilet is no longer in use and we have to find alternatives and sometimes we are forced to go into bars so that we can relieve ourselves and these bars are filled with drunk men who mistake you for a prostitute.” said Mrs Matore. – Chitungwiza Bulletin

CCZ Concerned About Quality of Bulk Water
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has raised concern over the quality and price of bulk water being sold by many companies in and outside Harare. A recent survey carried out by the consumer watchdog said some of the companies were drawing their water from dams, rivers and boreholes. “Asking the water suppliers, they all indicated that they sourced their water from boreholes, sadly no one can vouch for that and that leaves consumers vulnerable to drinking unsafe, untreated water sourced from potentially unhygienic conditions,” CCZ said in a statement. The CCZ added there were suspicions that companies were taking water from the Harare City Council taps, which many residents no longer drink because of numerous safety concerns. “There are concerns as to the cleanliness of the water, the tanks used to move the water and the cleanliness of the processes the water undergoes before its final destination — the consumer,” CCZ said. The organisation said the shortages of clean, safe water have reached “seismic” levels and urged municipalities to honour their duty of ensuring that consumers have sufficient water. The fact that local authorities were failing to supply clean water to residents has given rise to an illegal water sector where some unscrupulous individuals are starting companies to trade in the precious liquid. “It appears to us, there is a free-for-all situation in the water market where certain individuals and or companies are profiting from the water situation to make a quick buck at the expense of desperate and unsuspecting consumers,” said CCZ. “It concerns us from whose permission the companies are selling water and why at such high prices! Whose companies are they?” CCZ found that the companies were charging between US$60 and US$120 for 5 000 cubic metres of water both within and outside Harare. “The charges by the water suppliers are not only ridiculously high, but morally reprehensible in an environment where the vulnerable have a right to protection through low cost tariffs.” – The Standard

Action: Please email the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and ask them what actual pressure they are putting on the relevant authorities to investigate and make accountable the supply and sale of water in Zimbabwe. Email them on: ccz1 [at] mweb [dot] co [dot] zw or ccz2 [at] mweb [dot] co [dot] zw

Traffic woes mount in Harare
For the past months, Harare Central Business District (CBD) has been experiencing an increase in traffic jams to the extent that a motorist now needs to spend 30minutes to an hour just to cover a stretch of 2 kilometres. With authorities remaining mum on the way forward to end this driving nightmare in Harare, some economists have bemoaned how the country could be losing money as people now have to spend more of their time trapped in traffic webs. ‘If you look around the city now, you find many traffic lights are not working and this is contributing to the traffic chaos in the city and also the designing of our bus termini system adds to the crisis as commuter omnibuses have had to transverse through the city centre just to drop passengers and this causes problems,’ says the Harare Residents Trust. – Community Radio Harare

Chiredzi man in trouble for striking Mugabe portrait over employment woes as Magistrate refers case to Supreme Court
Zimbabwean police have charged a Chiredzi man for undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe after he allegedly struck the octogenarian leader’s portrait in a bar in frustration over failing to secure employment. Regis Kandawasvika aged 35 years was arrested on Tuesday 30 October 2012 and charged with contravening Section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act after he allegedly held President Mugabe accountable for failing to secure employment despite having obtained six Ordinary Level subjects during his educational pursuits. Kandawasvika reportedly uttered the following words; “Ndiri kutambura nokuda kwehutongi hwezimudhara iri Robert Mugabe. Ndine masabhujekiti six pa’O’ Level kasi handina basa rekuita. Handidi kana kumboriona zimudhara irori. Ikozvino gwendo runo riri kuenda kamwe chete”, which the police translated to mean, “I am suffering because of the ruling of this old man Cde Robert Mugabe. I have six ‘O’ level subjects but I have no job. I don’t want to see this old man. This time he is going one way”. Kandawasvika, who was represented by Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) was granted $20 bail by a Chiredzi Magistrate on 31 October 2012 with conditions not to interfere with State witnesses and to continue residing at the given residential address until the matter is finalised. – Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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