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Nhanhanga’s journey of resilience, compassion – NewsDay

Mohair, the founder and president of Trinity International University of Ambassador School of Business, was the guest of honour at the doctorate and awards event meant to celebrate Nanhanga’s many achievements.

HUMILITY and simplicity was written all over her face as Afra Nhanhanga, donning her recent doctorate gown, walked into the auditorium at a Harare hotel accompanied by top American entrepreneur Jacqueline Mohair.

Mohair, the founder and president of Trinity International University of Ambassador School of Business, was the guest of honour at the doctorate and awards event meant to celebrate Nanhanga’s many achievements.

The American guest, who was making her debut visit to Zimbabwe, is also a business and life strategist, life coach and minister of the Word.

The strictly-by-invite event held last week was meant to celebrate the success of Nanhanga, who has transformed from a rural Zimbabwean girl to a philanthropist and businesswoman.

She has carved a niche and found her voice as an acclaimed public transporter in a male-dominated sector.

The largely reclusive God-fearing Nhanhanga is one of the directors at a local transport firm, CAG Traveller’s coaches. She started off as a bus conductor and is now a celebrated and respected bus operator.

A mother of four — three girls and one boy — Nhanhanga was initiated into the transport business at a tender age by her father.

Her father started a small business operating with a Datsun pick-up truck to transport commuters from Lusaka in Highfield to Mbare Musika and she would assist him before she became the conductor of the family’s first bus. During those years, she recalls it was a taboo for a woman to be a bus conductor.

Away from the motor spares, Nanhanga is also a fish farmer as well as a crop specialist. She is the founder of Afrason Aquaculture.

Amid the whirlwind of responsibilities at CAG Tours and Afrason Aquaculture, Nhanhanga reaches out to support underprivileged children and champion various humanitarian causes, driven by an unswerving resolve to bring about positive change in people’s lives.

She sits on several humanitarian boards and at a personal level, she takes care of many underprivileged children, providing them with necessities, love, and care. Her philanthropy work spreads far and wide to places like Karoi Prison in Mashonaland West province.

For her exploits, Nhanhanga continues to win awards. Among the awards in Nhanhanga’s cabinet include: the United Nations Global Leadership Award and being recognised as an Outstanding Global Peace Ambassador for Change, Megafest 2022 Outstanding Business Woman of the Year Award, Outstanding Woman Chief Executive Officer of the Year Gold Award at the Megafest Women Leadership awards, 50 Visionary and Inspiration Women Award.

Reflecting on her journey with the guests at the event, Nanhanga described her expedition as that which encapsulates the essence of resilience, hope, and compassion.

Her sentiments revealed that even the most formidable challenges can be conquered with unwavering determination.

“My path, from the simplicity of humble beginnings to the intricate mosaic of a successful businesswoman, serves as a testament to the unwavering belief that obstacles are stepping stones, not barriers,” she noted.

“Guided by an unshakable faith, I have come to realise that my purpose extends beyond business. I am a vessel of hope for generations to come. My story radiates the belief that dreams can be transformed into reality through steadfast perseverance.”

She continued: “At the age of 22, a phase when uncertainty often takes hold, I chose to forge ahead with determination. My unyielding dedication and ceaseless work ethic led to the recognition of numerous accolades and awards, affirming my place as one of Zimbabwe’s most sought-after female entrepreneurs.”

“For the first CAG Travellers Coaches bus, it was not easy to wake up at 3am and start work at 4am in Kuwadzana to Mbare, sleeping around 11:30pm every day, no off, no holiday. There are some years I have forgotten the events, what I only know is I was working,” she recalled.

“I never knew God would wipe away my tears. During my first days, I would cry endlessly. I was bullied by men, I was chased out of transporters’ meetings.

“I was called names by my fellow women. The list of what happened to me is endless. My Nokia phone was my best friend. I used to play the snake game.

Nhanhanga said the University of South Africa’s gesture to bestow her with an honorary entrepreneurship degree reinforced her commitment to pushing boundaries.

“My journey is not merely a tale of professional accomplishments, it’s a narrative of overcoming hardships — from swimming across rivers to shattering stereotypes and crafting success from adversity,” she said.

“It is about seizing opportunities, transitioning from a bus conductor to establishing a reputable bus company. My story reverberates the strength that emerges from breaking down barriers and inspiring others in the process.”

In recognition of her contribution to Zimbabwe’s business sector, Nhanhanga has also been bestowed with a doctor of philosophy by America’s Trinity University of Ambassadors.

She was awarded the degree during the United Nations Global Women Foundation ceremony.

The businesswoman is also a holder of an honorary degree in entrepreneurship courtesy of the leading distance education institution in southern Africa, the University of South Africa for her charitable work in Zimbabwe and holds various business awards in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“Whether knitting jerseys for prisoners or immersing myself in humanitarian endeavours, my intent is to create ripples of compassion,” she said.

“I am not solely an entrepreneur, I am a symbol of empowerment, illustrating that we can breach confines and uplift others as we ascend.”

She continued: “As we collectively reflect upon my journey, I hope my story ignites a spark within each of you — a spark that propels you to challenge norms, chase aspirations, and usher in meaningful change.

“My legacy surpasses mere accomplishments. It encapsulates the spirit of unwavering determination, compassion, and the fervent drive to elevate those in need. May my journey inspire you to defy limits, pursue dreams with unwavering zeal, and harness the power within you to cultivate change.

“May my narrative resonate as a testament that, irrespective of our starting point, we have the capacity to inspire and transform lives.”

Nhanhanga acknowledged that her husband, Edson Chinhamu, and younger brother, Samson, have also been of great help in growing CAG into a huge, respected brand in Zimbabwe’s public transport sector.

Following her short stay in Zimbabwe, Mohair posted on Facebook that: “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr Afra for an unforgettable time in Zimbabwe. The sheer magnificence of Victoria Falls was only rivalled by the celebration of Dr Afra’s remarkable achievements throughout the years.

“My heart is filled with profound humility, gratitude, and overwhelming joy. This experience has forever transformed my life, leaving an indelible mark. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to join us in April 2024, as we embark on a journey to Zimbabwe and Zambia, not only to witness the breathtaking beauty of the region but also to support and empower the youth.”

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Six die in plane crash

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By Staff Reporter

A plane believed to be owned by Rio Zimbabwe, has reportedly crashed in Mashava this morning killing six people.

According to state media reports, the plane was  travelling from Harare to Zvishavane when it crashed.

It is also reported that it was going to transport diamonds but developed a technical fault before it plunged into Peter Farm in the Zvamahande area.

All passengers and crew allegedly died on the spot.

Unconfirmed reports state the plane might have exploded mid-air before hitting the ground.

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RioZim owner, five others die in plane crash

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By Staff Reporter

A plane believed to be owned by Rio Zimbabwe, crashed in Mashava this morning killing six people.

According to state media reports, the plane was  travelling from Harare to Zvishavane when it crashed.

It is also reported that it was going to transport diamonds but developed a technical fault before it plunged into Peter Farm in the Zvamahande area.

All passengers and crew died on the spot.

Unconfirmed reports state the plane might have exploded mid-air before hitting the ground.

Top journalist and filmmaker, Hopewell Chin’ono said some the deceased are Rio Zim owner Harpal Randhawa and his son.

“I am deeply saddened with the passing of Harpal Randhawa, the owner of Rio Zim who died today in a plane crash in Zvishavane.

“Five other people including his son who was also a pilot, but a passenger on this flight also died in the crash,” wrote Chin’ono on X.

Chin’ono said he first met Harpal in 2017 through a mutual friend and businessman, Kalaa Mpinga who owned Mwana Africa mines.

“Through him I met many people in the business, diplomatic, and political worlds.

“My thoughts are with his wife, family, friends and the Rio Zim community,” he added.

Rio Zim company secretary Gova said a full statement will be issued.

“I am not in a position to address the media right now. We will however be issuing a statement as soon as possible,” he said.

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Leveraging our own natural resources for development – NewsDay

Zimbabwe has operational mines already producing gold, nickel, platinum, coal, chrome and diamonds.

THE growth in global demand for lithium has led to an increasing number of new mining investments in Zimbabwe. Sabi Star mine became the latest lithium extraction operation to be commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in August.

It is reasonable to expect more capital to be assigned in that sector, as Zimbabwe is ranked as having the sixth-largest lithium deposits, worldwide.

The country is also at the threshold of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction. A locally-owned entity named Alabara resources is reported to be establishing a new CBM mine, after feasibility studies proved the availability of commercial quantities of the resource.

Vast CBM resources are understood to be available in the Matabeleland North province of the country, particularly in Lupane, Gwayi and Hwange.

Around five more corporations are carrying out explorations in the province, with strong indications that, they too will be into commercial production before 2025.

On the other hand, Invictus Energy, an independent oil and gas company, is at advanced stages in the quest to prove the existence of oil and gas in the Cabora Bassa Basin.

A production sharing agreement was established as far back as January, 2021, with the framework on how the corporation and government will split the extracted oil between each other once discovered.

Apart from the possibility of new resources, Zimbabwe has operational mines already producing gold, nickel, platinum, coal, chrome and diamonds.

Government revenue from the extractive sector is mostly generated through royalties charged on the minerals, taxes and profit sharing, in the case where mining joint-ventures have been established between the government and private sector.

Since mineral resources are non-renewable, it is crucial for the government to establish a framework, which it will use in order to ensure that revenue from the extractive sector is utilised for economic diversification and development.

Additionally, the responsible management of funds gathered from the mining sector will permeate the creation of a resilient economy, which will be more impervious to external shocks. It will have more fiscal space to meet all budget requirements and transfer some of the mineral wealth to future generations through the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe.

Available channels for value creation

There are essentially three methods, which the government can use to link resource revenues to development. The methods are not exclusive, meaning that, they can be utilised as a combination.

Firstly, revenues from taxes, royalties and profit sharing may be used to finance the countries’ development agenda. If human development is a priority, then education, healthcare, provision of clean water and electricity, are likely to be the programmes of choice.

With transformational revenues, cash payments to either local communities where extraction is taking place, or to a considerable section of the country’s population, can be targeted.

Whereas, if public infrastructure or economic diversification are more urgent, then funds will be routed to those areas.

Secondly, the government can encourage “local content” policies, which promote the use of local suppliers in procurement and employment. In the case where local suppliers to the extractive sector need capacitation, revenues may be assigned towards their capacitation through investments in machinery, certifications, and other capital requirements.

For organisations, which employ locals, marginal tax concessions may be offered. It is crucial to outline that extractive projects, such as oil, gas and other minerals, characteristically take 10 or more years from exploration to significant or peak productivity.

For this reason, local procurement and employment frameworks will utilise much of the miners’ available funds, before significant production starts.

The exploration and construction phases will typically involve industrial-level procurement, specialised and general employees.

Thirdly, it has become the tradition that several extractive corporations provide local community investments in order to strengthen their “social capital” (local approval).

In some cases, companies establish roads, bridges, irrigation, schools or clinics. Government should encourage such developments wherever the corporations are operational. Collaborative effort between government and the miners is also desirable.

A case in point is when a company has enough funds to build a school or clinic but does not have the capacity or assurance that it will be able to pay recurring expenses such as  salaries.

In that regard, the company may build the infrastructure, whilst the government takes ownership of the recurring expenditures.

Defining development goals

At the outset, the government needs to set development goals, which it will to link to the inflows of natural resource revenues. This means that a predetermined portion of revenues from extractives will be directed to fund these goals. When there is clarity on the developmental targets, the connection between revenues and the development agenda is more direct and effective.

Measurability of the impact of resource revenues also becomes possible. The development targets may include spending the earned revenues on economic diversification, cash transfers, education, health, clean water, electricity, infrastructure, etc.

If the country is to achieve sustainable and robust growth, then resource revenues should be earmarked for economic diversification. A look at the experiences of Nigeria and Indonesia, describing how they invested their oil revenues, may provide pertinent lessons for Zimbabwe. When Nigeria began to experience significantly high oil revenues (1960- 1973) there were accompanying major forex inflows.

This led to a sharp appreciation of the local currency (naira).

Subsequently, agricultural and other exports, which were dependent on a relatively weaker naira, for their competitiveness, became more expensive in US dollar terms.

As a result, the agricultural sector suffered terribly, which drove the nation to be even more dependant on oil. On the other hand, in Indonesia, the oil and gas revenues were used to subsidise the agricultural sector through the provision of fertilisers, irrigation, roads and other rural infrastructure, where agricultural activity was concentrated.

The strengthening of the local currency, therefore, had limited impact on reducing the competitiveness of agricultural products in both the local and foreign markets.

Thus, farming thrived in Indonesia and continued to grow until it became a major agricultural nation, globally. From comparable starting points, before the discovery of oil, it eventually took Nigeria, until 2008, to reach the level of human development that Indonesia reached by 1980.

In the same manner, Treasury in Zimbabwe should focus on strengthening other sectors of the economy, such as export-agriculture, strategic manufacturing (niche or key products such as oxygen, textiles, tobacco processing, fertilisers), etc.

With regards to export-agriculture, funds may be availed for extension services, contract farming, transportation, storage and administration. This will increase forex-inflows and uphold both local employment and economic growth.

Unlike funding subsistence farmers, which drains fiscal revenues, yearly, export-oriented farming will yield income for both government and households, which preferably, should be rural-based.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe can drive these diversification programmes.

A portion of the revenues may be used to make cash transfers to local communities where the extraction of resources is occurring. This may be particularly desirable for peri-urban and rural areas, as the additional income will ignite economic activity in the isolated regions.

With substantive cash payments, the areas may become industrialised or contribute significantly towards reversing urbanisation and pressure on public services in the cities.

As an example, paying a monthly stipend of US$2 per each individual in the rural areas may have a direct cost to Treasury of US$22 million per month, or less.

Rural inhabitants are around 11 million; using an estimated country population of 16 million, according to the World Bank, with the rural portion making 67,4% of the figure.

If commodity revenues are transformational (major), the payments seem possible. Such disbursements may be exactly what it takes to spark burgeoning rural economies. With vigorous rural economies, Zimbabwe’s overall economic potential will be fully unlocked.

In 2022, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz), published a research document titled Beyond geographies of inequality: Public Education Financing in Post-Covid Zimbabwe.

The findings of the research were that 63% of rural pupils dropped out of school in 2022, and most of them are girls. The cost of education remains restrictive, especially to the less-affluent urban and rural residents.

A lack of reading and numeracy skills was also observed in rural pupils, with an incidence of 85% and 86%, respectively. Further, the educational infrastructure and quality of teachers is not up to par, whilst the lack of access to clean water and electricity do much to compound the experiences of students subject to rural education.

The impetuous challenges, which these circumstances will bring to the students and their communities, in the next few years, include poverty, unemployment, social isolation, inequality and underdevelopment.

If the government is keen on reversing or mitigating some of these challenges, then a portion of Treasury’s income from the extractive sector needs to be channelled to rural areas.

When there is fiscal capacity (extra revenue), this should be a priority area. Government spending may earmark, completely free education in those parts of the country.

Additionally, incentives such as free meals, books, and, or, uniforms, will motivate the pupils to complete their classes, at least from grade one, to Ordinary Level.

Leveraging resources in this manner will offer multiple direct and indirect benefits, including the reversal of urbanisation and subsequently, pressures on public services such as water, electricity and waste management in the cities.

Deepening investments in reliable electricity generation, provision of clean water and public infrastructure will also be viable designations of the resource revenues.

Managing risks and expectations

In some cases, the citizens may wrongly interpret that a discovery of new resources directly means that they are to immediately shift from poverty to wealth. Therefore, when there is no management of such expectations, there is bound to be discontent, which, in worst cases, may break into insurgency.

This has been the situation in the Niger delta, where local communities feel deprived of the region’s oil resources. Closer to Zimbabwe, armed-conflict broke out in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, on the same basis.

It is thus vital for government to convey the delays that should be expected by the public in enjoying the effects of new resource discoveries.

A number of risks also need to be managed, for the prudent administration of revenues. Chiefly, it is vital to resist spending revenues before they are earned. This can be done when a government borrows, with the target of using future income from the extractive sector, as a means to repay the borrowed amount.

In 2012, Zambia borrowed US$750 million to fund projects in energy and transportation, with the expectation that copper production would continue to drive economic growth.

However, just two years later, copper prices fell by 30% and the local currency (Kwacha) depreciated. Further, the country’s credit rating was downgraded, owing to concerns over its ability to service its growing public debt. Zambia is now on an IMF programme to resolve its debt overhang.

Since prices of commodities are volatile, it is judicious to forecast revenues based on average or lower price-levels. Using highest-possible prices in revenue forecasting is not advisable.

Additionally, for commodities with extremely volatile prices, revenues must not be committed towards recurring expenditures. Rather, once-off or capital investments are suitable in such cases. Ultimately, it is crucial for government to maintain policy consistency, from the time when exploration for resources commences to the construction of mines.

Without consistency in government policy, investments will be delayed or rerouted to other destinations, apart from Zimbabwe.


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