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2024-02-24 06:29:25 *Mnangagwa Blasts Countries Weighing Down Zim's Efforts To Honour Creditors* Zimbabwe is committed to honouring its obligations to bilateral and multilateral creditors even as it is weighed down by the unjustified burden of economic sanctions, President Mnangagwa has said. Sanctions notwithstanding, the country has been addressing the debt overhang, a testament to its commitment to servicing the debt. Speaking at a New Year reception he hosted for Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations at State House in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the support of the international community remained essential in Zimbabwe’s endeavours. “The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to honouring its obligations to bilateral and multilateral creditors. To this end, in 2023 Zimbabwe made significant progress in addressing the debt overhang. “I pay tribute to our high-level facilitators, His Excellency former President Joachim Chissano and Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, who continue to advance this process under the structured dialogue meetings. “The support of development partners who have embraced this dialogue process is most welcome and appreciated,” he said. While progress has been made in Zimbabwe’s debt restructuring efforts, President Mnangagwa said it was “regrettable” that some individual countries were pushing for reforms founded on their conditions and preferences. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Such stances, he said, had seen the country reeling under punitive Western imposed measures which all but threatened the country’s developmental prospects. He expressed gratitude for the support rendered by the African Union and SADC in calling for the removal of sanctions. “I take note that, while progress has been made, the continued insistence by individual member States for Zimbabwe to fulfil reforms based on their conditionalities and preferences is regrettable, and underlines the need for greater goodwill and honesty in the process. “Notwithstanding the progress, Zimbabwe continues to bear the brunt of illegal sanctions. These sanctions continue to weaken our efforts to chart our development path without undue interference,” President Mnangagwa said. “I express my gratitude for the continued solidarity which Zimbabwe has received from SADC, the AU and progressive nations in our fight against the illegal sanctions. I once again call for the immediate and unconditional removal of the sanctions.” President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was ready to strengthen co-operation and partnerships with all friendly countries at all levels. This, he said, would see through the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as respective countries’ national goals. “The Government of Zimbabwe is ready to strengthen co-operation and partnerships with your respective jurisdictions at the level of Government-to-Government, business-to-business and people-to-[eople. This will allow Zimbabwe and your countries to deepen all areas of co-operation for the realisation of the SDGs and national priority areas for the benefit of our people. Together, in unity of purpose, we can achieve more. “We are pleased to highlight that, in line with our engagement and re-engagement policy, Zimbabwe has opened new missions in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Equatorial Guinea. We envisage that this direct representation will facilitate greater economic interactions with host countries,” said the President. Under the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra, the President said the country stood ready to welcome foreign investments from the diplomatic corps’ respective jurisdictions. “On the economic development and investment front, we look forward and stand ready to welcome capital from your jurisdictions. Zimbabwe is Open for Business. “Through the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, investment processes are now more efficient in line with international best practices. To further strengthen the enabling economic environment, the backbone infrastructure with regards energy and power is continuously being developed. The Hwange Units 7 and 8 expansion project has had a positive impact. “In mining, the recent discovery of gas, oil and vast lithium deposits as well as our value addition and beneficiation drive are all propelling our efforts to become an upper middle-Income Society by 2030,” he said. President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe requires the support of the international community to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and emphasised the country’s commitment to peace and dialogue in times of conflict. This comes in the wake of disturbances in the Middle East that have seen the loss of lives and destruction of infrastructure. “Meanwhile, we look forward to your support in various areas, including Zimbabwe’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2027-2028. “Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none. We, therefore, reaffirm our commitment to peaceful co-existence and dialogue as a means to resolve conflicts around the world. “We continue to call for lasting solutions to challenges in the Middle East and full implementation of UN resolutions with regards Western Sahara,” he said. Zimbabwe, said President Mnangagwa, was committed to putting in place critical enablers for regional and continental trade and engagements. This has seen the Second Republic embark on a massive infrastructure development drive. “Infrastructure development remains key to enhancing our connectivity as a land-linked country. Hence, the prioritisation and modernisation of cross-border infrastructure development projects remain priority areas of my Government. Equally, Zimbabwe is determined to put in place the critical enablers to accelerate the regional and continental integration agenda. “To this end, the ongoing rehabilitation of roads and ports of entry is earmarked to contribute to the shared aspirations of SADC and the African Union. “The expansion project of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport has enhanced our passenger capacity, while providing the supporting infrastructure for tourism and transport services. I express my gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for this signature project,” he said. President Mnangagwa said his administration was also working on ensuring Diaspora participation in the country’s economic development. “Under the Second Republic, no one and no place is being left behind. My Government is, thus, scaling up the involvement and participation of our Diaspora in the national development agenda. “Efforts are being targeted towards ensuring that the economic dividends of our Diaspora, coupled with their diverse skills and experiences, spur modernisation, industrialisation and sustainable development. “These efforts, combined with the contribution of local industry, foreign direct investment and other strategic partnerships, are positively impacting on our economy,” he said. As the incoming Chair of SADC, President Mnangagwa reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s commitment to furthering the AU’s Agenda 2063. “As you may be aware, Zimbabwe will host the 44th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August this year. As the incoming Chair of SADC, I reaffirm my commitment to furthering goals and aspirations of our region, in line with the AU Agenda 2063. I look forward to your support in this regard. “I also invite you to participate and support my Government in hosting the 56th Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which begins next week,” he said. The President expressed gratitude to various development partners for their support as Zimbabwe continues to consolidate its food security. “We are grateful for the co-operation from various development partners to augment our domestic efforts to realise sustained food security, while also building greater community resilience and adaptive capacities. “Further, my Administration acknowledges the bilateral and multilateral efforts that saw our country contain the outbreak of cholera earlier this year,” he said. President Mnangagwa also expressed the country’s sympathy with countries affected by climate change induced natural disasters. He said Zimbabwe stood ready to scale up efforts to mitigate the phenomena’s negative impacts. “We gather at a time when climate change-induced disasters continue to destroy our environments, economies, lives and livelihoods. Natural catastrophes are affecting several countries. Zimbabwe empathises with affected jurisdictions both on the African Continent and beyond, who continue to lose livelihoods and property as a result of climate change. “To de-risk the effects of this undesirable phenomenon, concerted multilateral efforts must be scaled up under the architecture of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Zimbabwe is ready to play its part in this regard,” said the President. In a speech read on his behalf by Egyptian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Salwa Mowafi, the Dean of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations, Mr Jose Ela Ebang Mbang, said Zimbabwe was making invaluable contributions at all levels. “We recognise the significant contributions of the Republic of Zimbabwe in regional, continental and international quarters. Indeed the world needs Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe needs the world,” said Mr Mbang who is also Equatorial Guinea Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava said Zimbabwe was committed to continuously nurturing relations with other countries under the engagement and re-engagement diplomatic drive. *Herald*
2024-02-24 04:09:28 *New Vaccine To Fight Deadly Malaria Parasite* The World Health Organisation (WHO), in collaboration with the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, has created new vaccines to help protect children against Plasmodium falciparum, the world’s deadliest malaria parasite. The organisation released a statement on Tuesday announcing that it now has two vaccines to protect against the world’s deadliest malaria parasite. “After decades of development, the world has two vaccines to help protect children against Plasmodium falciparum – the world’s deadliest malaria parasite,” the organisation said. Hanna Nohynek, chair of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE), said in a press conference last October that the addition of a second vaccine is expected to close the gap between supply and demand, and has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year. “With a limited supply of only about 18 million doses expected to be available through 2025, the addition of a second vaccine is expected to close the gap between supply and demand, and has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year,” said Hanna Nohynek. The organisation referred to the disease as a complex enemy, noting that there are now two vaccines to combat it. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- They assured the public of the vaccines’ safety, stating that the vaccines used in immunisation programs are safe and effective. “WHO has granted prequalification status to both vaccines – the final vetting process to ensure that the vaccines used in immunisation programmes are safe and effective – and has said that the choice of product ‘should be based on programmatic characteristics, vaccine supply, and vaccine affordability’ in individual countries.” The organisation emphasised its hope that having two vaccines produced by different companies will ensure sufficient supply to protect all children living in malaria-affected areas. “The hope is that having two vaccines produced at different manufacturing sites by different companies will ensure that there is sufficient vaccine to help protect all children living in areas affected by P. falciparum malaria, saving hundreds of thousands of young lives,” the organisation said. *CITE*
2024-02-24 04:09:12 *Coltart Distances Self From CCC Treasurer General Post* Bulawayo Mayor David Coltart has distanced himself from claims by his Harare counterpart Jacob Mafume, that he is the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Treasurer General. Coltart, a well-known ally of former CCC leader Nelson Chamisa, said he did not want to be drawn into Mafume’s muddy games. Mafume is battling for control of the once-powerful opposition party after Chamisa’s dramatic resignation earlier this month. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- He has claimed that the party’s leadership structure should be based on MDC Alliance’s 2019 structures which would make him party Spokesperson and longtime ally Tendai Biti Vice President, positions none held in CCC. Mafume had also told online HStv that these positions had been agreed upon, name-dropping Coltart and former MDC Alliance Secretary General Hwende in his misrepresentation. “I ceased being Treasurer General ages ago. As I wrote in my statement recently I refuse to be drawn into any zero-sum game,” said Coltart on X, Friday. Mafume, Biti, Welshman Ncube and Lynette Karenyi-Kore have claimed leadership of the CCC with the last three being appointed co-presidents who will operate on a rotational basis. Another faction led by Chamisa ally and former CCC Spokesperson Promise Mkhwananzi also claims to be in charge. A third fronted by self-styled Secretary General Sengezo Tshabangu has rewarded itself for pruning Chamisa loyalists from parliament by awarding each other seats in the Senate. Added Coltart: “The future of Zimbabwe depends on all genuine democrats finding each other and working jointly to defeat tyranny.” Chamisa is expected to announce a new movement, following his decision to dump the CCC which he said had been heavily infiltrated by Zanu PF, the CIO and insincere comrades within the struggle for democracy. *NewZW*
2024-02-24 04:08:59 *SA Supreme Court Dismisses Motsoaledi Appeal Against Termination Of ZEPs* The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed with costs an application by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to appeal a Gauteng High Court in Pretoria judgment declaring the termination of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme to be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. This is according to GroundUp. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- In a ruling handed down earlier this month, the court said the application for special leave to appeal was dismissed on the grounds that there was no reasonable prospect of success. The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF), the primary litigant in the matter, said this meant the High Court ruling remained valid, unless the matter is referred to the Constitutional Court. “The ZEP permits are therefore valid and allow holders to continue living in South Africa on the same terms and conditions prior to its unlawful termination,” the HSF said.The case was brought by the HSF and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa after the minister announced the end of the programme in 2021. In their ruling, Judges Colleen Collis, Gcina Malindi and Mandlenkosi Motha (writing as the court) said the minister had made no attempt to solicit representations from those affected before he took the decision. The invitation was “meaningless”, they wrote, and from affidavits before the court, it appeared that there was a “notable disdain for the value of public participation”. The judges said the minister’s failure to consult, made the decision to terminate the programme unfair and irrational, because no attempt had been made to assess the impact on the ZEP holders and their children and the current conditions in Zimbabwe. In November 2023, the HSF launched an urgent application seeking an “enforcement order” of the June 2023 ruling after the minister, failing to get leave to appeal from the Pretoria court, indicated he was intent on appealing by petition to the SCA. But the judges dismissed the application, saying it was not needed and that their judgment guaranteed the rights of ZEP holders until at least June 2024, despite the pending appeal. *GroundUp*
2024-02-24 03:51:21 *Search For Missing Elderly Tourist In Victoria Falls* A 67-year-old Australian tourist has gone missing at Victoria Falls, sparking a search operation involving the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). The incident was reported by Zimparks' Director of Communications, Tinashe Farawo, who confirmed that a team of search personnel, including drone operators, sniffer dogs, and trackers, are actively searching for the missing individual. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- "We can confirm that a 67-year-old Australian tourist has gone missing within the Victoria Falls area," Farawo stated. "Search efforts are currently underway, involving our Zimparks reaction team and members of the ZRP. We are utilizing all available resources, including drones, sniffer dogs, and experienced trackers, to locate the missing tourist as quickly as possible." Victoria Falls is one of the world's largest waterfalls and a major tourist destination in Zimbabwe. The current search operation underscores the importance of safety precautions at Victoria Falls, particularly for solo travellers or those venturing beyond designated viewing areas. Zimparks routinely advises visitors to stay on marked paths, adhere to safety instructions, and avoid swimming in unauthorized areas due to strong currents and potential wildlife encounters. This developing story is being monitored closely. Updates will be provided as further information becomes available. *SourcesMedia*
2024-02-24 03:51:00 *Sikhala Appeals Against Incitement Conviction, Sentencing* Convicted former legislator Job Sikhala has filed an appeal against both his conviction and sentence for inciting public violence, according to court papers filed at the High Court. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Sikhala was sentenced in February to a suspended nine-month jail term on charges of inciting public violence stemming from social media posts. The charges were related to the murder of political activist Moreblessing Ali in 2022. The High Court papers confirm the appeal, stating: "The Appellant hereby appeals against the whole judgment (conviction and sentence) of the Magistrate's Court... wherein Appellant was convicted of the crime of contravening Section 31(a)(iil) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act." Sikhala's lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, had previously expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict and announced their intention to appeal. He characterized the appeal as a "registration of our displeasure" with the lower court's decision. This marks the latest development in a long-running legal case surrounding Sikhala, a prominent figure in Zimbabwe's opposition movement. He was previously convicted in May 2023 for obstruction of justice and received a suspended sentence. He was released from prison earlier this year after spending nearly two years behind bars. The appeal's outcome remains to be seen, with the High Court yet to schedule a hearing. The case highlights the ongoing legal challenges faced by opposition figures in Zimbabwe and the complex political landscape of the nation. *SourcesMedia*
2024-02-24 03:50:46 *Mnangagwa Blasts Countries Weighing Down Zim's Efforts To Honour Creditors* Zimbabwe is committed to honouring its obligations to bilateral and multilateral creditors even as it is weighed down by the unjustified burden of economic sanctions, President Mnangagwa has said. Sanctions notwithstanding, the country has been addressing the debt overhang, a testament to its commitment to servicing the debt. Speaking at a New Year reception he hosted for Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations at State House in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the support of the international community remained essential in Zimbabwe’s endeavours. “The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to honouring its obligations to bilateral and multilateral creditors. To this end, in 2023 Zimbabwe made significant progress in addressing the debt overhang. “I pay tribute to our high-level facilitators, His Excellency former President Joachim Chissano and Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, who continue to advance this process under the structured dialogue meetings. “The support of development partners who have embraced this dialogue process is most welcome and appreciated,” he said. While progress has been made in Zimbabwe’s debt restructuring efforts, President Mnangagwa said it was “regrettable” that some individual countries were pushing for reforms founded on their conditions and preferences. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Such stances, he said, had seen the country reeling under punitive Western imposed measures which all but threatened the country’s developmental prospects. He expressed gratitude for the support rendered by the African Union and SADC in calling for the removal of sanctions. “I take note that, while progress has been made, the continued insistence by individual member States for Zimbabwe to fulfil reforms based on their conditionalities and preferences is regrettable, and underlines the need for greater goodwill and honesty in the process. “Notwithstanding the progress, Zimbabwe continues to bear the brunt of illegal sanctions. These sanctions continue to weaken our efforts to chart our development path without undue interference,” President Mnangagwa said. “I express my gratitude for the continued solidarity which Zimbabwe has received from SADC, the AU and progressive nations in our fight against the illegal sanctions. I once again call for the immediate and unconditional removal of the sanctions.” President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was ready to strengthen co-operation and partnerships with all friendly countries at all levels. This, he said, would see through the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as respective countries’ national goals. “The Government of Zimbabwe is ready to strengthen co-operation and partnerships with your respective jurisdictions at the level of Government-to-Government, business-to-business and people-to-[eople. This will allow Zimbabwe and your countries to deepen all areas of co-operation for the realisation of the SDGs and national priority areas for the benefit of our people. Together, in unity of purpose, we can achieve more. “We are pleased to highlight that, in line with our engagement and re-engagement policy, Zimbabwe has opened new missions in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Equatorial Guinea. We envisage that this direct representation will facilitate greater economic interactions with host countries,” said the President. Under the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra, the President said the country stood ready to welcome foreign investments from the diplomatic corps’ respective jurisdictions. “On the economic development and investment front, we look forward and stand ready to welcome capital from your jurisdictions. Zimbabwe is Open for Business. “Through the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, investment processes are now more efficient in line with international best practices. To further strengthen the enabling economic environment, the backbone infrastructure with regards energy and power is continuously being developed. The Hwange Units 7 and 8 expansion project has had a positive impact. “In mining, the recent discovery of gas, oil and vast lithium deposits as well as our value addition and beneficiation drive are all propelling our efforts to become an upper middle-Income Society by 2030,” he said. President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe requires the support of the international community to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and emphasised the country’s commitment to peace and dialogue in times of conflict. This comes in the wake of disturbances in the Middle East that have seen the loss of lives and destruction of infrastructure. “Meanwhile, we look forward to your support in various areas, including Zimbabwe’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2027-2028. “Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none. We, therefore, reaffirm our commitment to peaceful co-existence and dialogue as a means to resolve conflicts around the world. “We continue to call for lasting solutions to challenges in the Middle East and full implementation of UN resolutions with regards Western Sahara,” he said. Zimbabwe, said President Mnangagwa, was committed to putting in place critical enablers for regional and continental trade and engagements. This has seen the Second Republic embark on a massive infrastructure development drive. “Infrastructure development remains key to enhancing our connectivity as a land-linked country. Hence, the prioritisation and modernisation of cross-border infrastructure development projects remain priority areas of my Government. Equally, Zimbabwe is determined to put in place the critical enablers to accelerate the regional and continental integration agenda. “To this end, the ongoing rehabilitation of roads and ports of entry is earmarked to contribute to the shared aspirations of SADC and the African Union. “The expansion project of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport has enhanced our passenger capacity, while providing the supporting infrastructure for tourism and transport services. I express my gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for this signature project,” he said. President Mnangagwa said his administration was also working on ensuring Diaspora participation in the country’s economic development. “Under the Second Republic, no one and no place is being left behind. My Government is, thus, scaling up the involvement and participation of our Diaspora in the national development agenda. “Efforts are being targeted towards ensuring that the economic dividends of our Diaspora, coupled with their diverse skills and experiences, spur modernisation, industrialisation and sustainable development. “These efforts, combined with the contribution of local industry, foreign direct investment and other strategic partnerships, are positively impacting on our economy,” he said. As the incoming Chair of SADC, President Mnangagwa reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s commitment to furthering the AU’s Agenda 2063. “As you may be aware, Zimbabwe will host the 44th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August this year. As the incoming Chair of SADC, I reaffirm my commitment to furthering goals and aspirations of our region, in line with the AU Agenda 2063. I look forward to your support in this regard. “I also invite you to participate and support my Government in hosting the 56th Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which begins next week,” he said. The President expressed gratitude to various development partners for their support as Zimbabwe continues to consolidate its food security. “We are grateful for the co-operation from various development partners to augment our domestic efforts to realise sustained food security, while also building greater community resilience and adaptive capacities. “Further, my Administration acknowledges the bilateral and multilateral efforts that saw our country contain the outbreak of cholera earlier this year,” he said. President Mnangagwa also expressed the country’s sympathy with countries affected by climate change induced natural disasters. He said Zimbabwe stood ready to scale up efforts to mitigate the phenomena’s negative impacts. “We gather at a time when climate change-induced disasters continue to destroy our environments, economies, lives and livelihoods. Natural catastrophes are affecting several countries. Zimbabwe empathises with affected jurisdictions both on the African Continent and beyond, who continue to lose livelihoods and property as a result of climate change. “To de-risk the effects of this undesirable phenomenon, concerted multilateral efforts must be scaled up under the architecture of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Zimbabwe is ready to play its part in this regard,” said the President. In a speech read on his behalf by Egyptian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Salwa Mowafi, the Dean of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations, Mr Jose Ela Ebang Mbang, said Zimbabwe was making invaluable contributions at all levels. “We recognise the significant contributions of the Republic of Zimbabwe in regional, continental and international quarters. Indeed the world needs Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe needs the world,” said Mr Mbang who is also Equatorial Guinea Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava said Zimbabwe was committed to continuously nurturing relations with other countries under the engagement and re-engagement diplomatic drive. *Herald*
2024-02-24 03:50:27 *Failure To Pay Costs Gets Recalled CCC Lawmakers Appeal Struck Off Supreme Court Roll* The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal filed at the apex court by the first batch of CCC legislators ousted October last year from both the national assembly and the senate on the orders of self-proclaimed interim party secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu. This followed their failure to pay US$5,000 security for costs. Their first appeal was struck off the roll in December last year. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- In the subsequent case, it emerged that the MPs had not paid, relying on the fact that their initial application was not heard. They were of the view that the fee should have covered the latter appeal. “The present appeal was deemed abandoned for failure to pay costs,” Advocate Lewis Uriri, lawyer representing Tshabangu said. “The present appeal was filed on December 13. The appellants were obligated to enter sufficient security within 30 days. “We submit that has not been done. The appeal was then deemed dismissed and abandoned. “My learned friends take two points. That they tendered the security for costs in the appeal itself. “The second point they take is that they trans-located the costs that have been paid in SC631/23. SC631/23 involved an appeal by the same parties against the same judgement. “Security was agreed at US$5,000 and paid in November 2023. “The appeal was struck off the roll. My learned friends submit that the money paid in SC631/23 is good security. “We submit differently. That money was for SC631/23. It cannot be transferred to the present appeal.” Representing the MPs, Advocate Amanda Sihle Ndlovu admitted that payment of security costs had not been made. “I have been informed that the letter was uploaded but has not been approved by the registrar. “There is an acceptance that the security of costs has not been done according to the law. By operation of the law, it has been deemed dismissed,” she said. Ndlovu also asked the court to pardon the defence for failing to do as expected saying it was not willful. “I would pray that each party pays its own costs. “This situation is because of a communication between the parties. “It was an issue that had to be responded to by the respondents. “It was not one born out of contempt or attempt to prejudice the respondents. There is no malice intended on the part of the applicants; so we pray that each party bear its own costs,” she said. *ZimLive*
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2024-02-23 15:20:13 *Zinara Cracks Whip On Road Contractors Doing Shoddy Work* The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has tightened its screws on companies contracted by the government to rehabilitate national roads after some companies were blamed for substandard work. The developments come after an outcry against private companies over shoddy work after some of the rehabilitated roads developed potholes within a few months. Government rolled out the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) in 2021 after President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the country’s roads a national disaster. Under ERRP, the government is targeting to rehabilitate 10 000 kilometres of roads countrywide, but mainly urban and trunk roads. However, there is concern over shoddy work by some contractors, with the government threatening to blacklist them. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Zinara chief executive officer Nkosinathi Ncube told the Zimbabwe Independent that the road administrator will not pay contractors that fail to meet the required standards and specifications. “After a road authority has submitted its interim payment certificate (IPC), it invites a Zinara engineer to undertake thorough quality checks and confirm that the work was done according to the specifications laid out in the scope works,” he said. “If the work does not meet the required standards and specifications, Zinara does not pay. This model of monitoring and evaluation of projects will go a long way in improving the quality of road works being undertaken.” Ncube added that the parastatal has more technical capability to examine and approve road construction projects carried out by local authorities prior to the completion of drawdowns for payouts. “Over the past year, we have increased our technical capacity through the engagement of provincial engineers who play a critical monitoring evaluation and support role for road authorities throughout the country,” Ncube said. “They are equipped and qualified to inspect and certify road works undertaken by road authorities before drawdowns of disbursements are done.” The Zinara boss said the state-controlled parastatal is continually working with stakeholders to increase funding available for disbursement road authorities. Zinara is continually working with various stakeholders to increase funding available for disbursement to road authorities. However, Ncube also revealed that the organisation does not raise funds to build new roads. According to him, the institution was also exploring ways to improve the value of disbursements to local authorities for them to deliver more efficiently on the ground. He said they are also exploring disbursing value preserved disbursements in the form of fuel or even capital items such as machinery. Zinara said the e-tolling project is currently underway whose tender process recently closed and we will soon be appointing a vendor. “We are confident that our strategic agenda for the year is robust enough to help us to achieve our intended (goals),” Ncube said. In January this year, our sister paper the Standard reported that the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is set to receive a ZW$12 billion windfall from Zinara for road rehabilitation. According to latest council minutes, Zinara has indicated that the local authority’s allocation for this year is ZW$12,1 billion, an amount which is, however, far below the ZW$117 billion the city requires for routine and periodic maintenance works. “The city intend(s) to use 30% of the allocation, ZW$3 637 287 936,08 for routine maintenance and ZW$8 487 005 184,21 for periodic maintenance. The routine maintenance works would comprise of pothole patching, localised pavement reconstruction works, signage, road markings and street lighting repairs city wide, while periodic maintenance would include reconstruction works on Wellington road, Murchinson Road and Luveve 5 roads,” the minutes read. The council noted that priority roads needing urgent rehabilitation were 23,1km long and would cost an estimated US$20,6 million or ZW$117,3 billion using the central bank auction rate of US$1 to ZW$5 790, 0545 as of November 30 last year. “Due to budgetary constraints, the city would have had the capacity to rehabilitate the top seven roads contained in the key priority roads table (10,8km) estimated to cost US$5 650,790. “The source of funding would be Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme 2, council’s own revenue stream and devolution funds," the minutes state. *ZimInd*
2024-02-23 15:19:36 *'Wine Loving Spirit' Gets Woman Raped, Impregnated By 'Cleansing' Sangoma* A sangoma from Epworth, Darlington Mabudo (49), who allegedly took advantage of a woman he was ‘cleansing spiritually’, raped and impregnated her while they were travelling together, appeared before Harare Magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje yesterday. He was charged with rape and was admitted to US$100 bail. He will be back in court on March 11. Prosecuting, Miss Ethel Mahachi alleged that sometime in May 2023, the complainant who is aged 21 was selling fish at the Auction area in Epworth, Harare, when he met Mabudo who told her that he wanted fish but he had no cash on him. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- He persuaded her to accompany him to his house but along the way, Mabudo introduced himself to her as a spirit medium. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- He allegedly told her that she had a bad spirit which needed to be cleansed and gave the complainant his phone number to call him if she wanted to be cleansed and went away. Therefore, the complainant informed her mother about the matter and the following day the complainant’s mother accompanied the complainant to Mabudo’s place to be cleansed. Mabudo told the complainant that she owed him US$150 for cleansing but she told him that she had no money. Instead, she offered to accompany him wherever he went to cleanse other people such that she would get free service. In that same month of May, Mabudo invited the complainant to accompany him to Shamva, where he had a ceremony at Tembo homestead and was able to convince the house owner to offer them one room. Before they could sleep every day, Mabudo told the complainant that the spirit that was on her wanted some wine to stay happy and offered her wine to get drunk. However, the complainant saw some sperm on her pants every day in the morning but never asked Mabudo about the issue for the three weeks they stayed in Shamva. The two then moved to Westgate, where Mabudo wanted to perform a cleansing ceremony again for three weeks. Mabudo kept on giving the complainant wine and had sexual intercourse with her without her consent. The matter came to light after the complainant eloped with another man and Mabudo went to confront the complainant’s husband and threatened him to leave his wife. It is understood that the man and the complainant went for a scan and the pregnant woman showed that she was eight months pregnant and this did not tally with the days of her husband. The complainant’s husband then told the complainant to go to Mabudo’s place. This is when the complainant made a police report at Epworth Police Station alleging that she was raped as she did not recall any day having sexual intercourse with Mabudo but only saw sperms on her private part and pant during the days when she was moving with him. *Herald*
2024-02-23 15:19:19 *Mangudya Denounces Fears Of Corruption In Mutapa Investment Fund* Incoming chief executive officer of the Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF), John Mangudya, has allayed fears of corruption around the fund after government exempted firms under the fund from following procurement law. There are 22 companies under the MIF, with billions of dollars worth of assets. Given the value of these firms, concerns around corruption have arisen as President Emmerson Mnangagwa exempted these companies from following the demands of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act. “Billions worth of assets, yes (are under the MIF),” the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, who is scheduled to retire on April 30 and be replaced by John Mushayavanhu, the former CEO of FBC Holdings Limited, told businessdigest. “I think there is a negative single narrative that bothers everyone in this country. The single narrative is about corruption.” ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- He added: “I think if it was a product, one could buy it, but it appears that it’s recklessly being used in this country whereby everyone goes to corruption with a negative single narrative which doesn’t help the country. “Having said that, you need to first understand the mandate of Mutapa so that you can understand where I am coming from.” He said the MIF’s fundamental mandate was to create value and wealth for current and future generations. Creating this wealth will be done by leveraging the 22 firms under the MIF to attract international investment that can then be channeled into critical capital projects. Mangudya said a diagnostic assessment of MIF revealed too many bureaucratic processes. “If you look at NetOne, for example, it is competing with Econet. But, NetOne, like other entities, are in a competitive environment. If you give them some bottlenecks like let’s if they want to procure a base station, Econet will go buy one tomorrow while NetOne is still waiting,” he said. “Therefore, you cannot tell me that (exempting NetOne from the procurement law) is being corrupt. It (exempting MIF firms from the procurement law) is being done in good faith. Don’t tell me corruption is removed by being removed from PRAZ (Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe). I am not sure if people know what they are talking about.” He said that the companies under MIF were investee firms or portfolio companies that needed to be “sweated”. “We need to sweat them so that they create value, wealth for the country. How do you do that? Obviously, we look at their governance structures, you need to enhance their performance,” Mangudya continued. “By doing so, the money comes out and they become profitable. That profit is what we will then use to invest into the future generation for the country.” Responding to Mangudya’s comments, procurement law expert Advocate Method Ndlovu said oversight could not just lay with the MIF’s management. “I totally disagree with him. The establishment of anti-corruption entities is a testimony that corruption exists and hinders the attainment of vision 2030. So now, power rests in a few board members, illegally appointed for Christ’s sake. Who shall check on them?” he asked. “Mutapa Fund was established through a statutory instrument and not an act of parliament per the law. What it does is that it takes state-controlled institutions like POSB, Allied Timbers and NRZ to fall under it. By doing so it results in a ripple and multi effects.” He said some of these ripple and multifaceted effects included increasing corruption. The removal of the MIF from the Act also means firms under the fund can be easily disposed of. *BusinessDigest*
2024-02-23 15:19:03 *Li Song: The Dodgy 'Ivory Queen' Behind Cyanide Scandal* As reported by The NewsHawks, Zimbabwean authorities are accused of protecting a controversial Chinese businesswoman, Li Song, who is currently involved in an illegal cyanide scandal, revealing her connections that penetrate political, diplomatic and business circles, while police and the environmental agency are reluctant to take action despite evidence of wrongdoing. It now turns out that Li is also involved in wildlife trade and deals, particularly concerning elephants, earning herself the moniker Ivory Queen. This comes amid allegations that the police and Environmental Management Agency officials have been compromised by Li, a spooky and dodgy businesswoman currently facing charges of fraud, perjury and salting away foreign currency from Zimbabwe to her offshore Chinese accounts. After her cyanide scandal in Bulawayo recently, which we have been reporting on since two weeks ago, and her murky wildlife deals, some involving baby elephants, the key question is: who is Li? An investigation by The NewsHawks shows that Li is a dodgy Chinese businesswoman who came to Zimbabwe over 10 years ago and settled herself into business in various sectors, including leather processing, mining and wildlife trade. Over the years, she has made money, used it to establish and fund an elaborate network of political and business connections, making her untouchable. Although she has been described by sources in Beijing as a “small Chinese koi in a Zimbabwean political and business pond”, her wildlife stock-in-trade and underworld business networks have made her an influential player, particularly because it is also said she has local political, business and security brokers “in her pocket”. Although her history remains significantly murky, details about Li are now fast emerging. Li was born on 20 January 1972 in Henan province, the third-most populous province in central China’s Yellow River valley with a population of over 100 million people. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- During the probe, The NewsHawks obtained her background information, including her Chinese passport and Zimbabwean identity card details. She arrived in Zimbabwe more than 10 years ago and established herself in the local business sector. She then met and married an Italian businessman, Francesco Marconati, also described as controversial. Li and Marconati later established Eagle Italian Leather Products (Pvt) Ltd in Marondera in 2014, producing leather products and other accessories for the Zimbabwe army, police and prisons. As a result, she established deep links with state security service institutions and senior government officials. Her connections run up to the level of ministers and Office of the President and Cabinet. Apart from running Eagle Tannery, where she was a director, Li also ran Queen’s Mine with her ex-husband Marconati, a gold mine located 55 kilometres northeast of Bulawayo along the Bulawayo-Eastnor Road. In 2015, she established Sino-Zim Wildlife Foundation as chairperson. It was a joint venture between Chinese conservationists and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority purportedly to protect wildlife. The foundation hit the ground running with a donation of US$500 000, and a small plane for use in anti-poaching activities. The plane came with trainers to ensure that ZimParks has personnel to pilot on its own. “Sino-Zim Wildlife Foundation will coordinate efforts of China to mobilise support for conservation in Zimbabwe,” she said at the time. “We are going to work hard to resolutely fight poaching and illegal transportation and sale of animal products.” However, her record is riddled with allegations of corrupt and savage wildlife deals. Now Li is currently is the eye of a big storm for illegal buying, transportation and storing of cyanide — a very dangerous fast-acting chemical used in mining and by poachers to kill wildlife — in violation of health and environmental laws and public safety protocols with impunity. The illegal 40 tonnes of cyanide, including a 1.1 tonne pallet secretly moved into a separate storeroom for covert operations, was discovered at a warehouse in Bulawayo. It is now linked to an attempt to cover up her tracks on illegal externalisation of funds in court as part of manufactured evidence and poaching, especially of elephants. Zimbabwean authorities are unwilling or unable — or both — to act against her. Apart from the cyanide scandal, Li currently stands accused by her ex-husband Marconati of serious charges of fraud, perjury and illegal externalisation of funds. The NewsHawks is on her trail and investigating who she really is since she is so well-connected up to the Office of the President and Cabinet, ministers and high government officials, security service chiefs, diplomats and business executives. Further investigations show that Li is the woman who has been in controversial Zimbabwean elephants sales that benefit only corrupt dealers and politicians. In 2016, Zimbabwe sold 35 baby elephants to China, which the authorities described as “sub-adults”. It was reported as the worst kind of wildlife abuse as the animals were torn away from their mothers in the wild and exported to zoos in China. The calves, some as young as two years old, were first held in pens in the Hwange National Park, while travel crates were prepared and documents finalised for their more than 11 000 kilometre transportation. That was the fourth time since 2012 that Zimbabwe has captured and exported baby elephants to Chinese zoos — a total of 108 elephants — despite opposition from other African countries, elephant experts, and non-governmental organisations, including the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International (HIS). In October 2017, HSI obtained exclusive footage of 14 young elephants awaiting export to Chinese zoos, after their capture from the Hwange National Park by ZimParks. The footage showed the calves being beaten and kicked as they were being sedated and taken away to the park’s holding pens. Several juvenile elephants in earlier shipments had died during transit or after arrival. It was shocking to see photos of the few surviving baby elephants, standing alone in dark, barren cells after their arrival in China. The exports were even more disturbing given that China and Zimbabwe have in the past failed to conform with requirements under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). In 2016, when China sought imported elephants from Zimbabwe, a team of Zimbabwean inspectors who travelled to China to assess the facilities the elephants would be housed in found them inadequate. The inspectors reported that most of the zoos showed signs of poor treatment of the animals and recommended the elephants remain in Zimbabwe until appropriate holding facilities in China were completed and assessed for compliance. Despite this recommendation, the elephants were exported to China without such reforms being implemented. Zimbabwe’s repeated capture and export of infant and juvenile elephant calves sparked global condemnation because of the horrific conditions under which the young elephants are kept. Elephant expert Dr Joyce Poole, widely regarded as the world’s leading elephant communication specialist, at the time described the activities as “tragic and morally reprehensible”. The African Elephant Coalition (AEC), a coalition of 32 African elephant range states, repeatedly spoke out against the capture and trade of wild baby elephants for captivity. HSI co-led a report on challenges to the trade in wild-caught African elephants with the AEC, and our staff is now attending the AEC’s summit in Kenya where we expect to hear strong objections raised over this most recent and brutal capture of wild baby elephants. In defence of the practice, then Zimbabwean minister of the Environment Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri said the country intended to increase the rate and range of wildlife exports as part of a scheme to raise funds for conservation. “The Chinese have inquired about more elephants, baboons, hyenas, lions, among others, and we will sell them more without hesitation. We are not going to apologise to anyone,” she said. In January 2018, HSI/Africa and 33 partners submitted a letter to Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa pleading for a halt to the horrific abuse and practice of capturing elephants from the wild for captivity. African elephants are currently listed as a threatened species with less than 500 000 remaining in the wild, and the global community is increasingly in agreement on the need to conserve these animals. Keeping elephants and other wildlife alive is key to economic progress in many African nations, including Zimbabwe, because millions of tourists trek to these countries to see them, especially through the Zambezi Valley from Mana Pools in the north down to the Victoria Falls in the northwest via Hwange National Park. There are also a lot of elephants in Gonarezhou in the remote southeast corner of Zimbabwe in Masvingo province on the border with Mozambique. By ripping baby or young elephants from their mothers and sending them to lives diminished by captivity in zoos overseas, Zimbabwe set itself on a path that will not only decimate its wildlife, but will also further compromise its standing in the eyes of the world. Li also exports animal hides and crocodile skins, as well as owning an array of other companies, as indicated on the CITES data base. She uses various routes across Africa to export her loot. Various reports say Li has a variety of dubious business ventures and unethical business links in Zimbabwe, in partnership with various ministries and officials across Zimbabwe. Li is said to have played an active role in identifying markets for the “mass exportation” of Zimbabwean elephants. Other animal activists, like the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), have in the past also implicated Li. “We believe she brought some wealthy Chinese people into the country in connection with the exportation of the elephants and she is apparently connected with high-ranking officials in the government ministry (environment),” said the ZCTF at one time. She shuttles between her home in Shanghai, her African base in Harare and her North American base in Ottawa. She is a fixer who acts on behalf of various Chinese and Middle Eastern wildlife buyers across Africa. In wildlife trade, a quota is set and certain companies or individuals are given the permit to trade. In Zimbabwe this is the company and the individual who has the sole rights to trade in elephants dead or alive. The controversial sale of elephants from Zimbabwe to other countries, mostly China, forcefully came back to the spotlight when a Swiss author and filmmaker Karl Ammann uncovered not only shocking cruelty against animals, but also deeply-entrenched and often dangerous levels of corruption and other criminal activity. Ammann investigates and documents vast amounts of unaccounted for cash connected to the trades. These revelations also did little to lessen criticism of Zimbabwe’s decision to capture wild elephants and sell them off to foreign zoos. The numbers did not add up. Zimbabwe exported 32 young elephants to China in 2019. The sale caused an uproar as it happened amid legal action to halt the shipment. Zimbabwe also went ahead with the export just before CITES implemented a landmark rule change that would have made it near-impossible to do that. ZimParks released a list of elephant sales since 2016. On the list, ZimParks declared the income it earned from the elephants and what it spent the money on. It also named individuals in connection to the trades. ZimParks named Liang Zhao, a Chinese diplomat, as being involved in the 2016 and 2019 trades. It named Qin Wei and Elske Burger in the 2017 and 2018 trades, respectively. Most of the sales were to venues in China, with one additionally to the United Arab Emirates. ZimParks declared an income per elephant of between US$31 000 and US$41 500. But Ammann, who has been investigating the international trade in elephants for years, brought attention to trading documents connected to the sales. They appear to show that some of the Chinese recipient venues declared a cost per elephant of around US$125 000. That seemed to be the case, for example, for both Longemont Animal World and Xiongsen Animal World. These venues received the elephants controversially sold in 2019, but ZimParks said the payment it received for the elephants going to those venues was US$31 000 each. This means a discrepancy of US$94 000 per elephant in those cases. Ammann further highlighted a document that showed China set “duty free import quotas for elephant, rhinos and pretty much everything else” in 2019. As such, he said, there would be “no need for a buyer to under- or over-declare the purchase price”. Meanwhile, the filmmaker says a “well-informed animal dealer” in South Africa told him that there was a “US$100 000 price tag” on the elephants Zimbabwe sold to Dubai Safari Park in 2018. But Zimbabwe said the payment for each elephant going there was US$41 500. So there was a US$58 500 discrepancy per elephant in that transaction. A major concern in relation to these unaccounted for funds is that allegations of bribery and kickbacks abound within the CITES wildlife trading system. Li is in the mix of these deals, especially on the sale of Zimbabwean wildlife, and other dodgy business ventures. *NewsHawks*
2024-02-23 15:18:48 *Police Accused Of Dragging Their Feet Behind Cyanide Scandal* The 40 tonnes and 1.1 tonne pallet of cyanide secretely and illegally stored at a warehouse in Bulawayo remain there as compromised police, Environmental Management Agency (Ema) and government officials fail to take serious action against shady Chinese businesswoman Li Song behind the brazen criminality. This has badly exposed Zimbabwe’s law enforcement agents and regulatory bodies as captured by the Chinese dealer who has penetrated the whole system, and now appears to be above the law. A well-placed source in Bulawayo said: “The police, Ema and government officials are failing to intervene, hence the dangerous cyanide chemical remains illegally stored at the warehouse facility which is not even designed for that purpose. This issue was reported to the police and relevant authorities more than a month ago, but they haven’t taken any serious action against those involved,” a source said. “This is really shocking, but telling. How can police, Ema and government officials be scared of one Chinese woman? Are her political, diplomatic, state security, business and underworld networks so powerful that they can override the system? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark [something is wrong].” Authorities are facing serious accusations of protecting Li who has a vast network of high-level connections penetrating political, diplomatic, state security services and business circles over an illegal purchase of cyanide to cover up tracks on charges of externalisation of foreign currency, as well as wildlife poaching activities. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Documents seen by The NewsHawks say police, Ema and government officials are protecting Li (52), who bought and stored about 40 tonnes of cyanide illegally at different places in a bid to use it in court to obstruct the course of justice or defeat the ends of justice by producing it as evidence of a product imported using money she unlawfully sent offshore to China. Part of the cyanide was given to her friend Wayne Jardine, a Bulawayo-based businessman and professional hunter. It is feared that cyanide was used for poaching of wildlife. Cyanide — a deadly fast-acting chemical — has been used by criminal syndicates to poison Zimbabwe’s wildlife amid poaching and killing of animals for their money-spinning body parts. Documents show that former Posryn Properties (Pvt) Ltd director Marida Maria Magdalena Van Der Spuy, a South African national, had secretly ordered the illegal storage of the cyanide unbeknownst to her co-directors in criminal contravention of health and safety laws on behalf of Li. The cyanide was stored at 105 Plumtree Road, Bualwayo, owned by Posryn Properties. Documents say it was bought from Curechem Overseas (Pvt) Ltd located on 1 Williams Way, Msasa, Harare and then transported to its Bulawayo branch whose address is 28 Josiah Chinamano Street, after it was shipped to Queens Mine in Bubi district, on the orders of Li, but rejected by Francesco Marconati, her estranged husband, who is also a co-owner and director of the mine holding company. Curechem is a leading supplier of chemicals with a head office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and offices in sub-Saharan Africa — Zambia, Tanzania, India, Mozambique, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. “This cyanide issue is a big scandal. Song is facing fraud and externalisation of foreign currency charges. She was reported to police by her ex-husband Marconati who was a co-director with her at Eagle Italian Shoes,” a source told The NewsHawks last week. “The company supplies the Zimbabwe National Army, Zimbabwe Prison Service and Zimbabwe Republic Police, among other state institutions, with leather shoes, helmets and baton sticks. As a result, Li has connections with the Office of the President and Cabinet, government ministers and senior officials, state security structures and diplomats. She also has connections in business and that makes her a powerful person, although she operates in the shadows and the underworld. It is rare to even see her photos as she does not want to be photographed by anyone. I doubt that even Marconati has her pictures.” After their divorce and fallout as directors in their various companies, Marconati filed charges of fraud, perjury and externalisation of forex against Li, triggered by a dispute between the directors in 2020. In October 2021, Marconati wrote a letter of complaint addressed to Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and copied to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), saying police assistant commissioner Jealous Nyabasa and his subordinates were protecting Li. Even in this cyanide scandal, Nyabasa’s name has cropped up. Investigating officers in Bulawayo and their bosses in Harare, including Nyabasa, are baulking at acting against Li after police reports have been filed against her and there are numerous witnesses. Ema has also been prevaricating. It was pressured to issue a seizure order on the cyanide, but still allowed Li to get away with a slap on the wrist, mild reprimand and a small fine of about US$1 000. However, Ema is under pressure and scrutiny by some well-connected private investigators who want it to act with tough measures. Li and her colleagues are said to have told complainants that nothing will happen to her. It is said secret manoeuvres are now being made to get the National Prosecuting Authority to drop charges against her as the cyanide scam has been exposed, making it difficult to produce the chemical as evidence of a product imported to justify externalisation of foreign currency. Investigations have shown that contrary to Li’s claims that she has imported the cyanide for the Queens Mine, a gold mine located outside Bulawayo in Bubi district, Matabeleland North region, that she co-owns with Marconati – who rejected the product when she tried to get the holding company to store it for her – it was bought in Harare and transported for storage in Bulawayo. The cyanide would have been used in court as evidence of an imported consignment to prove that she had not externalised funds, but paid for the “imported” chemical cargo offshore. The cyanide was initially warehoused at Curechem Bulawayo after it was rejected by Marconati as a director of Queens Mine. However, documents show that Curechem Bulawayo wrote to Li and her team in September last year, saying it was unable to store “more of stocks which the Queens Mine rejected”. “We need to know where we should put the product,” one email written by Curechem to Li says. Investigations show that the cyanide was bought from Curechem Harare last year in June and immediately transported to Bulawayo. It was then sent to Queens Mine where it was rejected by Marconati. From there it went to Curechem Bulawayo and then sent to 105 Plumtree Road, Bulawayo, a property owned by Posryn Properties. Documents say Van Der Spuy, who had been terminated for cause by Posryn on 9 January 2024, instructed the workers at Posryn, which she managed, to use the company’s warehouses to store the cyanide illegally, with Jardine’s collaboration. The cyanide was discovered on 12 January 2024 after a routine inspection by the other two Posryn directors, according to a police report that was made on 19 January 2024. The directors immediately reported the illegal find to the police and Ema. However, police and Ema are prevaricating instead of taking decisive action. Despite issuing a seizure order, Ema is also now flinching again. Zimbabwe is a signatory to an international treaty on the use and handling of cyanide. According to Zimbabwe’s Hazardous Substances Act, cyanide can only be sold to qualified customers in the mining and chemical industries by expert chemical distributors. Most of these customers are gold miners who need to possess Ema licences permitting them to transport, store hold and use cyanide. Qualified chemical distributors must obtain a licence from the Mining and Mineral Development Department first. Song is not following the laws that govern the purchase, transportation and storage of cyanide, documents say. On 12 January the directors of Posryn Properties, where the cyanide was illegally and covertly stored, discovered the product at their premises, 105 Plumtree Road, Bulawayo, and immediately reported the discovery to the authorities. They investigated the issue and discovered that it was Van Der Spuy, a wayward director of Posryn Properties until termination of her contract on 9 January 2024, who ordered workers to hide the cyanide at the premises, one document says. Investigations show that Van Der Spuy ordered her subordinates, innocent Posryn workers, to allow for the storage of cyanide with the assistance of Jardine who took a “1.1 tonne pallet and stored them secretly away at another small storeroom.” Sources involved in the investigation say the problem is three-fold: That cyanide is illegally transported and stored, some of it was removed and possibly used for poaching, and police and Ema authorities are reluctant to act against Li due to her high-level political, diplomatic, security and business links. A lot of animals in Zimbabwe are killed for their parts, for instance elephants for their tusks, rhinoceros for their horns and crocodiles for their skins. The parts are money-spinning in local and international markets, particularly Asia. Wildlife crime is big business. A Posryn Properties spokesperson said last week it had reported the matter to the police and the company is willing to help with investigations. However, the police are not acting. Sources say they are protecting Li and other offenders. The Bulawayo-based investigating officer, only identified as Detective Chief Inspector Dube, did not wish to comment. Jardine admitted to unlawfully storing cyanide at the warehouse, while Van Der Spuy said receiving and storing cyanide illegally was “a problem”. *NewsHawks*
2024-02-23 12:12:06 *Mass Demolitions: 'Creation Of A New Land Market Driven By Power & Politics'* Government's ruthless demolitions of poor and vulnerable people’s houses across the country and other structures to deal with illegal land occupations and buildings is mainly driven by three factors: politics, power and money, informed sources told The NewsHawks. The sources said President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi are using power and politics to create a new land market where money would be the main determinant of land occupations and settlements, not Zanu PF’s chaotic policy of seizure and possession. “The minister has made it clear to us in government what’s going on here. Land belongs to the President, which means he uses his power for its spatial distribution, and his politics of patronage and loyalty influences the dynamics of it,” one government official said. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- “But in the end, money will take centre stage and the land will now be sold at market rates, creating a new land market which is driven by power and politics. It’s a symbiotic relationship.” Since the beginning of February, there have been reports of demolitions of illegally built houses and settlements in peri-urban communities including, for example Gutu and Mushandike in Masvingo province, Chipinge in Manicaland, Dema and Goromonzi in Mashonaland East and different other places where people had acquired stands from land barons and traditional leaders mainly for housing. Although victims of “Operation Murambatsvina-like demolitions” may get a temporary reprieve as the bulldozing of houses grinds to a halt amid a huge public outcry, the fact remains in authorities’ minds that land belongs to Mnangagwa who indeed wants to show that “land belongs to the President”, which is why he is flexing his political muscle. Demolitions are not new and have similarities. In the days and weeks after “Operation Murambatsvina” (Clear Filth) was launched on 19 May 2005, police burnt, bulldozed and destroyed tens of thousands of properties around the country. The destructions resulted in the mass evictions of urban dwellers from housing structures and the closure of various informal sector businesses throughout the country. According to the United Nations, 700 000 people — nearly 6% of the total population — were forcibly evicted from their homes, made homeless or lost their source of livelihood. The evictions and demolition of houses and market stalls, and the manner in which they were carried out, constituted serious human rights violations, according to critics and civil society groups. Yet the demolitions’ brutality is not new and has been influenced by many political, social and spatial development considerations, which entail changes in the distribution of activities in spaces and linkages between them through conversion of land and property. The context of the demolitions is the inter-related process of illegal land allocations, with razing down of houses at the nexus of social contracts around chaotic distribution informalised by the ruling Zanu PF party-state and government, particularly after the 2000 land reform programme. In this current situation, sources say Mnangagwa wants to use demolitions for political purposes to create a new patronage system in which political affiliation, persuasion and loyalty become central to land allocation and distribution. This is necessary as he contemplates a third term or putting a proxy in power after 2028. Politicised demolitions would force people to support Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, or at least pretend to do so, to get and keep land without paying or without forking out sub-market rates. The sources said it is also the government’s intention to sell the land after demolitions to create a new market in which ordinary people pay fair value for land that Mnangagwa and other Zanu PF leaders got free. The sale of land would bring money for the virtually dry state coffers, local authorities and officials who would be managing the corrupt system, a new cash cow. A source told The NewsHawks: “To be sure, the demolition of informal houses and structures is not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. What is new is some of the political actors, policy approach, frequency and intensity, as well as the motives and visibility which do vary. What is new is the intensity, frequency, agency (visibility and changing dynamics of its triggers and mechanisms of its unfolding in specific contexts). “There are three objectives of the demolitions: politics, power and money. These are the real underlying motives. From the top, that is the Office of the President and Cabinet down to the minister’s office and government officials’ positions, they are all aware of the agenda. The President and the minister of Justice know very well what this is all about. It’s an elite project being driven by those who own land and houses which mostly they didn’t even buy in the first place. It’s hypocrisy of the worst order. “Of course, the rule of law must apply whenever there are illegal activities and criminality, but it must be applied even-handedly not just on the poor and vulnerable as the situation shows at the moment.” Illegal land occupations and developments, followed by demolitions, go as far back years as Churu Farm in 1992, demolitions after 2000 including Murambatsvina and after 2010 up to now. New social movement of the poor in Harare and other cities emerged soon after the context of jambanja (the Fast-Track Land Reform Programme) to provide or facilitate access to peri-urban housing plots for thousands of “urban poor” residents or the subaltern. This put into the spotlight the government’s land-use frameworks and policies, spatial development issues and demand and supply dynamics of access to land, especially for housing. While the land occupations and settlements are illegal, the demolitions are equally unlawful. Since 2015, local authorities, particularly in Harare and Chitungwiza for instance, have embarked on a spree of house demolitions. The local authorities have contended that the demolished houses were built “illegally” either on land that was reserved for other purposes or without the necessary procedures having been adopted. The constitution of Zimbabwe has a number of provisions against arbitrary eviction, and provision of adequate shelter as well as the standards against which administrative decisions and conduct is to be measured. There are numerous constitutional provisions that should be complied with in order to bring the ongoing house demolitions within the scope of the constitution. More specifically, section 74 provides protection against arbitrary eviction in the following terms: ”No person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.” Arbitrary eviction may be defined as the: “… permanent or temporary forceful removal of individuals, families and or communities from their homes or land which they are occupying.” Invariably, arbitrary evictions occur when there is no regard paid to due process and there is no mechanism followed to hear those who will be affected. Likewise, in the context of demolitions, a demolition would occur when a part or whole of a dwelling is destroyed against the will of the occupants and without following due process. Therefore, where homes are demolished without a court order the demolitions will be a direct breach of section 74 and any law that authorises the demolition of houses without a court order contravenes section 74. In this respect, it is common cause that where government, local authorities have carried out demolitions without court orders, and municipal by-laws under which the demolitions are taking place and make no provision for the obtaining of a court order as a pre-requisite, are in direct breach of section 74. However, section 74 does not define what exactly the term “home” means and entails, as no judicial interpretation of the provision by the Zimbabwean courts has been made. The evictions and demolitions are done without compliance to section 68 of the constitution which provides for the right of every person to administrative justice through judicial conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair. That is why the courts have from time to time intervened, although politics always trumps the law. *NewsHawks*
2024-02-23 09:49:40 *Industry Screams As RBZ Halts Forex Payments* The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has turned the heat on industry and commerce by failing to release allotted hard currency -estimated to be over US$3m – from the foreign exchange auction trading system, the captains of industry and commerce have said. The business leaders claim that the central bank stopped making payments in November last year, meaning the backlog has grown to more than 120 days or four months, a situation which is afflicting pain on local companies. The crux of the matter is that companies have been severely harmed by the onerous requirement that those who take part in the forex (FX) auction system, which hasn’t been operating since the beginning of this year, are required to surrender the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent to the central bank in advance. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- This has forced the frustrated companies to bear the cost of the RBZ settlement delays as they are sourcing the greenback from the black market, where the premiums are punitive. Despite the implementation of the willing Buyer Willing Seller foreign exchange trading system, which is managed by banks as a component of efforts to liberalize the exchange rate, the market’s volumes are still extremely small. Business executives who are frustrated stated that the backlog has left their organisations struggling with limited working capital holdings, some of which are negative, and reduced leverage ratios, raising doubts about their capacity to fulfil short-term obligations. They claimed that as a result, businesses were finding it difficult to survive. They said that the RBZ has not made an effort to get in touch with the companies to explain why payments were abruptly stopped as well as potential timelines for clearing the backlog. “….We are in a difficult position right now given various headwinds in the economy hence we need an urgent payment to ensure smooth flowing of the operations. Some of our members are owed as back as the start of November 2023. Given that situation, companies are strained as they depend on that money for day to day running of the companies,” the president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce , Mike Kamungeremu told Business Times on Tuesday this week. He added: “The thing is that a company would have taken all the Zimbabwe dollars to buy United States of America dollars on the auction but with no payment over a period of over 120 days means the company will have a huge hole in its coffers.” He said prompt guidance on the auction operation’s continuation or discontinuation should come from the central bank. In agreement with Kamungeremu, Kurai Matsheza, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, told Business Times that the backlog has left a significant hole in the balance sheets of numerous businesses, as these companies require the funds to increase output during this unstable and uncertain period of the economy. ” Some of our members are still to be settled for November auctions, but with auctions having not taken place this year, we’re hopeful they will catch up,” Matsheza said. According to him, the industry is worried about the amount of time that has passed without receiving its money because they no longer have Zimbabwean dollars to pay for the responsibilities that call for local currency. The central bank, according to captains of industry, did not communicate with the market or attempt to advise it on the decision. All efforts to get a comment from the departing RBZ governor, Dr. John Mangudya, were futile. However, RBZ sources with knowledge of the situation told Business Times that the Monetary Policy Statement will signal to the market the central bank’s stance on the matter. “Since November, export receipts have drastically gone down due to prices of the commodities on the international market hence we could not get as much, that is why we have that gap. We will certainly give direction on auction and backlog settlements soon. The good thing is that the forex backlog is not accumulating because the auction has not been active since the beginning of the year,” a source said. According to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Professor Mthuli Ncube, the government would shortly implement and tighten policies meant to restore economic stability and confidence while removing chances for exchange rate arbitrage. *BusinessTimes*
2024-02-23 09:49:17 *Lack Of Social Security Leaves Old-Aged Zimbabweans Wallowing In Poverty* Zimbabwe is on the brink of a wave of old-age poverty in the current working generation that according to the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency’s latest report, is not only employed mostly in the informal sector, but is also informally employed. An informally employed person does not contribute to NSSA and does not have a contract of employment according to ZimStat. The root of this argument lies in the staggering statistic that nearly half of the country’s labour force is employed within the informal sector, with no safety nets of social security to rely on during retirement years. “The informal sector (non-agriculture) comprised 43,7 percent of the employed population, and the agriculture sector accounted for 22,3 percent (out of total employed population),” the latest report reads. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Further, informally employed persons were 86,8 percent of all employed persons, according to ZimStat. “Of all persons employed in non-agriculture sectors, informally employed persons constituted 83,8 percent,” stated ZimStat in a media briefing. Such a predicament paints a grim picture of the future for many Zimbabweans and calls for urgent attention from policymakers, economists and society at large. Dominance of the informal sector in Zimbabwe’s labour force although sometimes celebrated, has far-reaching implications, particularly concerning retirement and old-age social security. It has also emerged that even some workers in the formal sector face same predicament as a number of firms have since disbanded pension schemes arguing values have for years been eroded by inflation. Analysts say with a significant portion of the population engaged in informal activities such as street vending, small-scale farming and artisanal mining, traditional avenues for retirement savings, such as pension schemes and other formal employment benefits such as medical insurance and loans, are often inaccessible or non-existent. As a result, workers in the informal sector are left vulnerable to financial insecurity in their later years when they will be prone to many health-related challenges. Without a reliable source of income post-retirement, many elderly Zimbabweans face the prospect of destitution, unable to afford necessities such as food, shelter and healthcare. This not only threatens the well-being of individuals and families, but also places strain on social welfare systems and exacerbates existing inequalities within society. Furthermore, the lack of social security provisions perpetuates a cycle of poverty, as elderly individuals may be forced to rely on support from family members who are themselves struggling to make ends meet. This places additional burdens on younger generations, hindering their ability to pursue education, employment and economic mobility. Analysts believe that addressing the issue of old-age poverty in Zimbabwe requires a multifaceted approach that acknowledges the complexities of the informal sector and its integration into the broader economy. However, several key challenges stand in the way of implementing effective solutions. Economist, Tinevimbo Shava said, transitioning workers from the informal sector to formal employment presents logistical and regulatory challenges. “Many informal businesses operate outside the purview of Government oversight, making it difficult to enforce labour standards, taxation, and social security contributions,” he said. “Establishing accessible and affordable retirement savings mechanisms for informal sector workers is essential but challenging. Traditional pension schemes may be impractical or unaffordable for individuals with irregular or low incomes, necessitating innovative approaches to financial inclusion and literacy.” Zimbabwe’s economic volatility and inflationary pressures further complicate efforts to address old-age poverty. Fluctuations in currency value and purchasing power erode savings and undermine long-term financial planning, leaving retirees particularly vulnerable to economic shocks. Commenting on the issue, economist Dr Prosper Chitambara noted; “The prevalence of informal employment in Zimbabwe underscores the need for comprehensive social protection policies that extend to all segments of the population. Prioritising investments in education, healthcare and infrastructure can empower informal workers and lay the groundwork for sustainable economic development.” Another economist, Gladys Mutsopotsi-Shumbambiri said; “Effective collaboration between government, civil society and the private sector is essential for addressing the systemic barriers to retirement security faced by informal sector workers. “By fostering an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and innovation, Zimbabwe can unlock the potential of its informal economy while safeguarding the well-being of its aging population.” Renowned economist Professor Tony Hawkins, weighed in and said; “While formalising the informal sector is a laudable goal, policymakers must tread carefully to avoid unintended consequences such as job displacement or increased inequality. “Targeted interventions that promote skills development, access to credit and social protection can empower informal workers to transition into more secure and sustainable livelihoods.” The spectre of old-age poverty looms large, fuelled by the prevalence of informal employment and the absence of social security protections. To avert this crisis, concerted efforts are needed to formalise the informal sector, expand access to financial services and strengthen social safety nets for vulnerable populations. Failure to act risks consigning future generations to a fate of hardship and deprivation, underscoring the urgency of addressing old-age poverty as a top priority for policymakers and society as a whole. *BusinessWeekly*
2024-02-23 09:48:56 *...As Thousands Call For His Arrest* Over 16 000 Zimbabweans have signed a petition calling on police to arrest Zimbabwe’s ambassador-at-large, Uebert Madzanire, alias Uebert Angel, after he was implicated in an alleged money laundering and gold smuggling scam by international news channel, Al Jazeera. The petitioners also want the British government to freeze Angel’s assets. The petition was initiated by a United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean, Cathy Fikile Tshezi. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- “The president of Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Henrietta Rushwaya (Emmerson Mnangagwa’s niece) and Uebert Angel have been involved in money laundering and smuggling gold out of Zimbabwe to Dubai,” the petition read. “There are other nationalities involved in this cartel. As Zimbabweans, we strongly believe that all assets in the United Kingdom that belong to Eubert Angel should be frozen as there's is evidence that they were acquired illegally. It is now time for all Zimbabweans all over the world and those who sympathise with us to bring this to an end, and we take action by signing a petition that Uebert Angel has to be arrested for the crimes he has committed. The billions that are laundered and gold smuggled can help build back the economy of Zimbabwe.” The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) also called on Zimbabwean authorities to stop politicising the Al Jazeera's Gold Mafia documentary. “ACT-SA is deeply disturbed by spirited efforts from some politically exposed persons (PePs), their sympathisers and other authorities who are politicising Al Jazeera’s exposé,” an ACT-SA statement reads. “Instead, the exposé should be taken positively to inform investigations and bring to book all those fingered in the scandal. The stance taken by some PePs and authorities shows clearly the lack of political will to fight corruption, yet the level of corruption exposed by Al Jazeera has the potential of bleeding the Zimbabwean economy. The amounts of money lost through the Gold Mafia are too huge and would have significantly improved the ailing Zimbabwean economy.” *AMH*
2024-02-23 09:47:40 *Attempt To Pulldown Gold Mafia Series Gets Uebert Angel Kicked Off YouTube* President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ambassador-at-large Uebert Angel, born Uebert Madzanire has been banned from YouTube after he allegedly attempted to pull down Al Jazeera’s Gold Mafia investigative documentary which exposed him as a key player in alleged gold and money laundering activities in Zimbabwe. The four-part investigative series also purported that Mnangagwa had a close relationship with gold smugglers and money launderers, who claimed they were making regular payments to the President to ensure protection. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Data analyst Team Pachedu told NewsDay that Angel tried to remove the content several times before being banned from YouTube for violating the terms of service. “When you make a complaint, YouTube automatically notifies the other party that somebody is violating its copyright for IT (information technology) to get videos. So the other party is involved throughout the process of what's going on. “That's how we managed to know because we knew the party that was involved. Angel has been trying to send requests in an attempt to remove Gold Mafia content until YouTube banned him,” Team Pachedu said. Team Pachedu said Angel was now desperately luring people to follow him on Facebook. “Right now he is using another channel called UebertAngelplus on Facebook which was not being used. They have managed to load over 100 videos in the past three days, but the main account has been banned, which was YouTube,” Team Pachedu said. Team Pachedu also published a letter written by YouTube addressed to Angel giving reasons why they refused to remove the content from the platform. “Hi Uebert Angel, We are concerned that your copyright notification may not be valid for some or all of the videos identified in your notification,” partly read the letter. “Please keep in mind that in many countries, it is legal to use copyrighted works in specific ways without the owner’s authorisation, particularly for transformative purposes such as news reporting, parody, commentary, or review. “Some countries protect such uses under doctrines of ‘fair use’ or ‘fair dealing’, while others allow for specific exceptions to copyright protection.” Efforts to get a comment from Angel were fruitless. Last month, Angel through his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku, dismissed allegations made against him by the documentary, saying his words and actions were never real but a classified national intelligence operation which was staged. *NewsDay*
2024-02-23 05:50:55 *Top South African Judge Impeached For 'Protecting' Jacob Zuma* In a historic move, South Africa’s parliament has impeached one of the country’s top judges for misconduct. An investigation found that John Hlophe, the leading judge in Western Cape province, tried to influence justices at the country’s top court in a case relating to former President Jacob Zuma. He approached two justices in 2008 to see if they would support Zuma in a decision relating to a corruption case. Hlophe always denied the accusation. The long delay between the alleged offence and his impeachment was a result of a lengthy appeals and investigations. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- The removal of a judge is unprecedented since the start of the country’s democratic era in 1994. A second judge, Nkola Motata, was also impeached for disorderly conduct and racial outbursts relating to a 2007 drunk-driving accident. Motata, who has since retired, was a High Court judge in Gauteng province at the time of the incident. He also denied the accusation. President Cyril Ramaphosa will now have to sign-off the decision and set a date for their formal removal. The judges will then lose all benefits, including a lifetime salary worth over 1m rand ($53,000; £42,000) a year, a car allowance and comprehensive medical care. Hlophe was the first to be impeached on Wednesday evening with MPs voting by the required two-thirds majority. The decision was backed by the governing African National Congress (ANC) as well as the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) plus other minor parties. A last-ditch attempt by Hlophe to halt his possible removal was thrown out by a court just hours earlier. His impeachment was quickly followed by that of Motata. An investigation by an oversight body, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), found that in 2008 Hlophe had made contact with two of the eleven judges of the Constitutional Court in an attempt to sway a ruling in Zuma’s favour relating to a matter in his arms-deal corruption case. Zuma has denied the corruption allegations and there is no suggestion that he had anything to do with Hlophe’s actions. Neither impeached judges have responded to the MPs’ decisions, but Hlophe had argued in court papers that the role of parliament was not simply to rubber stamp findings by the JSC but to do its own investigation. ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula said the party welcomed parliament’s decision, while the DA’s Glynnis Breytenbach said her party felt vindicated after “years of the ANC government dragging its feet” on the judges’ removal. “We may have waited 15 years for this moment, but the impeachment of Judge Hlophe, or any judge, has profound implications for judicial integrity in South Africa. It underscores the importance of upholding the highest ethical standards, the rule of law, and the constitution among judicial officers. “It also sends a clear message that no-one, regardless of their position or influence, is above the law,” Breytenbach said. Opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters voted against the impeachments, with MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane arguing that the judges were remorseful and should be allowed to live the rest of their lives in peace. “Can we let Judge Motata, in his misjudgement, be left to enjoy his retirement at home. We know that Hlophe was highly qualified and did his work with dignity. Punish this ANC government,” she told parliament, to cheers from her party’s benches. Lawyer and the co-ordinator of advocacy group Judges Matter, Alison Tilley, told the BBC the removals were an important moment in the country’s history. “It has taken time but it shows the systems to hold the judiciary to account do work. There are mechanisms that are now in place that give us confidence that a similar process would not take as long.” *BBC*
2024-02-23 05:50:37 *Zambian Kwacha Africa’s Best Performing Currency In 2024* Zambia’s kwacha is Africa’s best performing currency against the U.S. dollar so far this year after the central bank sharply tightened monetary policy, but analysts said it would strengthen sustainably only if the country attracts more foreign investment. The kwacha has rallied 13.8% to 22.8 against the greenback in 2024, according to LSEG data, after the central bank raised commercial banks’ reserve ratios and then hiked interest rates earlier this month, in a bid to reverse a decline in the currency that had pushed up inflation (ZMCPIY=ECI), opens new tab. “The kwacha’s performance this year has been remarkable,” said Danny Greef, Co-Head of Africa at research firm ETM Analytics. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Zambian officials have blamed the country’s stalled debt restructuring, now in its fourth year, for stymieing overseas investment and weakening the kwacha. But copper production, the southern African state’s major foreign exchange earner, has also fallen despite government efforts to boost the sector. “The measures that we have taken… are meant to stem some of the demand, which we thought was excessive as we anticipate supply, which mainly comes from the mining sector,” Bank of Zambia governor Denny Kalyalya told a public forum on Tuesday. The kwacha has weakened slightly this week from 22.5 to $1, but is still more than 20% stronger than the record low of 27.23 reached on February 6. “What is expected is an adjustment that will stabilise around the 21-22 per dollar,” economist Munyumba Mutwale said, adding that increased foreign currency flows were required for the kwacha to make further gains. The government is now concluding arrangements for new investors to take over Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines, while other companies including KoBold Metals are undertaking exploration with commitments to fund new projects. “To address the structural imbalance between kwacha- and hard-currency liquidity, it is crucial that the government keep to the fiscal consolidation path and balance of payments reform to establish an attractive policy environment,” said Imgard Erasmus, a senior economist at Oxford Economics. “The conclusion to the external debt restructuring exercise will also be instrumental to providing clarity on the outlook for hard-currency- and fiscal obligations, and unlock pent-up portfolio- and fixed investment flows into the country.” *Reuters*
2024-02-23 05:49:58 *ZUJ, YOJA Disturbed By Sir Wicknell's Conduct Towards Female Journalist* Media representative bodies have come out to castigate businessman Wicknell Chivayo who is being accused of harassing a female journalist who was pursuing a story. Reports show that the journalist has since filed a police report against the alleged uncomfortable moves by the businessman. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) Secretary General Perfect Hlongwane says Chivayo’s actions are a danger to society. “ZUJ is quite [disturbed] by recent threats and intimidation and cyber attacks on journalist Rutendo Maraire by Wicknell Chivayo. “We want to unequivocally express complete displeasure at such criminal acts meant to calm and gag journalists from freely executing their role of informing the nation and holding authorities to account who think that they are numerous ways that these issues can be resolved instead of threatening the journalists,”Hlongwane said. Young Journalists Association (YOJA) spokesperson Lovejoy Mtongwiza said :”As YOJA we are deeply concerned by the report that businessman and socialite Wicknell Chivayo threatened young journalist Rutendo Maraire who attempted to get a comment for the article she was working on. “The threats to journalists are unacceptable.” *BusinessTimes*
2024-02-23 05:49:43 *Supreme Court Buries Mashamhanda In Loss Of US$1.5 Million Home* Prominent Harare businessman, Tendai Mashamhanda has lost his bid to save his US$1,5 million upmarket home after Supreme Court judges ruled he acquired the property fraudulently while under judicial attachment. In December last year, the High Court ordered his eviction ruling that the house was bought through a fraudulent process. Mashamhanda, son of the business mogul Alex Mashamhanda of Mashwede Holdings, bought the Highlands property for US$230 000 from Harare lawyer Pihwai Chiutsi. The house was fraudulently sold to him while it was under judicial attachment sometime in September 2017. Bariade Investments, PVT LTD subsequently purchased the property at a valid Sheriff’s sale in circumstances where it had already obtained defective title. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Mashamhanda obtained tainted title to the property on 5 May 2022 and has been in occupation of the property from 2020. He challenged eviction by filing a Supreme Court appeal arguing that he made massive developments on the property to the tune of US$1,500,000 in a period spanning 5 years. The business mogul resisted eviction claiming an improvement lien over the developments he effected on the property. He argued that in terms of section 74 of the constitution, he cannot be evicted from his home “without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances”. “Firstly, I challenge the right of eviction without paying me for the huge improvements I effected to the property. “I believe that I have an improvement lien which gives me the right to remain in occupation until the respondent has compensated me for the improvements,” he said in his appeal. In response, Bariade Investments resisted the application for stay of execution on the premise that Mashamhanda was an illegal occupier of the house. The company also said he effected improvements on the house in flagrant violation of an extant court order to the contrary. The judge ruled in favour of the company stating that onus was on Mashamhanda to prove that the money claimed was justified. “To make matters worse, before me, the applicant was unable to demonstrate how he had arrived at the value of one and a half million United States dollars. “Above all, when challenged he was unable to demonstrate that the improvements he allegedly made on the disputed property were lawful structures. “All this he could easily have proved by producing evaluation reports, approved architectural drawings and inspection reports. “This he failed to do. He could not provide even an iota of evidence in this regard. He also failed to prove that these were necessary improvements which the respondent could have effected left to his own devices,” said the judge. In this case, the judge said, the odds, the law and the balance of convenience favour the respondent which has done nothing wrong to be deprived of its property rights specifically protected by the laws of the land. The apex court said Mashamhanda failed to discharge the onus of proving that he has any reasonable excuse for clinging onto the property. “In the final analysis, I hold that the applicant has failed to meet the requirements of the test for stay of execution set out in the Cohen case and other related precedent supra,” the judge ruled. Following this ruling, Bariade Investments has since written to the sheriff for execution of the judgement. “Now that the application for stay of execution has been dismissed, we kindly request you to proceed with execution as a matter of urgency given the delays caused by that application,” wrote Gill Godlonton & Gerrans lawyers representing the company. Mashamanda has accused several judges of corruptly influencing the case against him and has lodged a number of complaints with the Judiciary Services Commission and the Justice ministry. The businessman is also demanding the resignation of named judges including chief justice Luke Malaba for being corrupt. *ZimLive*
2024-02-23 05:49:31 *Zim Debt Unsustainable IMF Warns* Zimbabwe’s mounting domestic and external debts are like a ticking time bomb that could blow at any moment, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Multiple analysts said the debt is a contributing factor in Zimbabwe’s current predicament of financial turmoil. According to them, if the government does nothing, the situation will probably get worse. Wojciech Maliszewski, the head of the IMF team that was in Harare recently said Zimbabwe’s debt level was unsustainable. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- At the end of September 2023, Zimbabwe’s public and publicly guaranteed debt was estimated to be worth US$17.7bn, up from US$17.6bn at the same time in 2022. Zimbabwe has faced major difficulties in repaying its domestic and international debt for the last five years. Due to its incapacity to pay its debts, the nation is presently categorized as being in debt distress. “The IMF is currently precluded from providing financial support to Zimbabwe due to its unsustainable debt situation based on the IMF’s Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) and official external arrears, “An IMF financial external debt, including the clearance of arrears and reform plan that is consistent with durably restoring macroeconomic stability, enhancing inclusive growth, lowering poverty and strengthening economic governance,” said Maliszewski. The unsustainable debt has constrained the government from accessing foreign loans except from a few creditors because there are no guarantees. The IMF declared Zimbabwe ineligible for the funding window and the general resources account due to the accumulation of arrears in external payments. In addition to stopping the disbursements of the country’s existing loan facilities, other international funders—who normally take a cue from the IMF—such as the World Bank (WB), the African Development Bank, and traditional creditors from the Paris Club, among others, also declared the nation ineligible for new loans. Failure to meet international debt payment obligations has left the country out of the international financial markets. This implies that the country can only tap into domestic savings for borrowing which seriously limits investment opportunities at a time when the country requires financial resources in line with its aspirations of becoming a middle income country by 2030. While tapping into the domestic debt market provides a sound alternative and does not expose the country to foreign exchange risk, it has the potential to crowd out private sector borrowing, thus hampering investment and output growth. The country has been battling deep macroeconomic headwinds, which continue to severely hamper the functioning of the economy but has not been able to borrow from international lenders because of the unsustainable debt and arrears of around US$5bn to the World Band, the African Development Bank and other international financiers. In 2015, Zimbabwe made an attempt to clear its debt arrears under the Lima Strategy. LIMA was premised on a non-HIPC debt resolution strategy designed to clear debt Arrears amounting to US$1.8bn owed to the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank after which the government would commence negotiations towards a resolution with the Paris Club Zimbabwe has already cleared its overdue obligation to the IMF in October 2016. However, the country cannot acquire new debt from the international financial institutions and other creditors until they clear all the arrears they owe to other creditors such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Paris Club. IMF said it will maintain an active engagement with Zimbabwe and continues to provide policy advice and extensive technical assistance in the areas of revenue mobilisation, expenditure control, financial supervision, debt management, economic governance, anti-corruption and macroeconomic statistics. According to Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion, Professor Mthuli Ncube, the government has decided to control borrowing and expenditure in order to pay off its existing debt. “We agreed on that. But also we agreed that as we seek this quest for stability, we must continue with the measures that we’ve put in place for government to live within its means, for government to manage its borrowings, which we can afford to pay for our borrowings in order to borrow more,” Professor Ncube said. *BusinessTimes*
2024-02-23 02:50:00 *Zimbabweans Say Authorities ‘Could Have Done More’ As Cholera Ravages Nation* When Priscilla Moyo’s husband Brian returned home to Harare from Mvurwi, about 100km north of the capital on Sunday night, he seemed well. By 11pm, he was battling diarrhoea. When his situation was still the same on Tuesday morning, 39-year-old Moyo took him to a nearby clinic in Budiriro, the city suburb where they live. On arrival, she was told that her husband had cholera. “He is being treated right now in there,” she said dejectedly pointing in the direction of a grey tent, a makeshift treatment ward at the clinic. “He is on an intravenous drip and they say he might go home today.” Across Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces, a deluge of cases of cholera infections is crippling health facilities in the Southern African country. Some patients like Brian, have recovered. Others have not been as lucky. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- Jessica Muzambezi, a young mother in the same suburb, lost her two-year-old son to cholera. “A burst sewer in my area caused the death of my son. The authorities did not attend to the sewer for two weeks,” she told Al Jazeera. As of Tuesday, 25,780 cases of cholera have been recorded in Zimbabwe since the epidemic began last year. While the official government death toll stands at 470, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is coordinating the mobilisation of resources for the anti-cholera campaign in conjunction with Zimbabwean authorities, put the number at 528. Children remain the most vulnerable, with a third of all cases affecting youngsters aged 15 and below. And many Zimbabweans say the government is to blame. *A Persistent Problem* Zimbabwe’s sewage system, part of its inherited colonial infrastructure, has been overwhelmed as the population grew from about 3.7 million in 1960 to 17 million today. And potable water remains unavailable in many parts of the country, as the struggling economy is yet to update that infrastructure. That, experts say, has made it easy for cholera, an infectious disease primarily transmitted through contaminated water or food, to spread rapidly. In 2008, as many as 4,000 people died from cholera in the country during what is regarded as one of the worst episodes of the epidemic on the continent. Then, like now, the public health crisis was caused by poor sanitation and a lack of clean water. It was worsened by a crumbling healthcare system that deteriorated as the world’s worst hyperinflation crisis – peaking at 79.6 billion percent on a month-to-month basis – surged in Zimbabwe, rendering the local currency useless. The government of then-president Robert Mugabe blamed Western governments for the disease outbreak. Senior officials in his administration said the cholera epidemic was the outcome of a “serious biological chemical war” and a “calculated racist terrorist attack” being waged against Zimbabweans. More than 15 years later, the city is facing another public health crisis, with the capital being the hot spot again. While infections are rising nationwide, Harare, the country’s most populous province, has the highest concentration of new cases, accounting for a third of the total. A quick drive around southern suburbs of the city like Budiriro, Glen View, and Highfield reveals dozens of tents donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) being manned by local health professionals. Zimbabwean authorities have also been distributing vaccines to minimise the impact of the epidemic. The country has received 97 per cent of the 2.3 million doses approved by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision( ICG) as of February 12, with more to come later in the month. According to UNICEF, 1.5 million people (67 percent of the target population) had received an oral cholera vaccine (OCV) dose as of February 14. In January, the health ministry launched Operation Chenesa Harare – a campaign named after the Shona word for “clean up” – after residents resorted to using undesignated dumping sites to cope with piling rubbish. Some say the garbage was left to pile up in the first place because not enough resources had been allocated on time. *‘It’s Only Fiction’* But there are fears that the mitigation efforts are coming too late and just as importantly, do not tackle the root of the problem. Some experts and activists also argue that the authorities have yet to learn lessons from the past. Joyleen Nyachuru, a resident of Glen View and a community water alliance leader, is one of them. She blames local and central governments for the latest epidemic. “They could have done more to minimise the impact of cholera on residents by coming together to contain raw sewer leaks and should have worked together to upgrade the old sewer infrastructure that continues to break down,” Nyachuru told Al Jazeera. “In Glen View, we have 12,800 houses and each house has four to five households. This means each house houses 15 to 20 people using the same house and the same toilet,” she said, adding that the authorities need to provide clean potable water to every resident of the city to curb cholera. For years, the city has not pumped water to many Harare households. Now, water flows through the taps once a week in most southern suburbs. Rubbish is still a common presence on street corners in the city despite government intervention. This, according to Nyachuru, has also compounded the cholera situation. Precious Shumba, director of the nonprofit Harare Residents’ Trust agrees. “The major problem is that underground water and sewerage pipes are aged and sand blocked, resulting in numerous leakages along the water and sewerage infrastructure network,” Shumba told Al Jazeera, adding that sewer bursts in industrial areas of the city also stay unfixed for long periods. But Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume said in addition to the vaccination programme, city authorities have intensified sewer repairs and are working on improving potable water supply to the city. Things would change for the better soon, he told Al Jazeera. “The numbers have gone down significantly and we are confident we will turn the cholera tide,” Mafume said. But his comments have not pacified most residents of the city who say they are now used to flowing sewage and being forced to find their own solutions. “On the ground, the authorities are doing nothing … when the city says it will fix or is fixing our problems, it’s only fiction,” Nyachuru said. “They [officials] were only on the ground during the Chenesa Harare campaign. After the campaign, nothing has been happening.” *AlJazeera*
2024-02-23 02:39:19 *Nalvany's Mother Shown Son's Body, Kremlin Pressing For A "Secret Burial"* Alexei Navalny's mother has said she has been shown his body, but that the Russian authorities are pressuring her to allow a "secret" burial. In a video address, Lyudmila Navalnaya said she had been brought to a morgue where she signed a death certificate. The former opposition leader's press secretary said a medical report presented to Ms Navalnaya stated he died of natural causes. Navalny's widow has said he was killed by Russian authorities. Lyudmila Navalnaya said the law required officials to hand over her son's body, but that she was being "blackmailed" as they refused to do so. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- She alleged authorities were setting conditions for the burial of her son, including the place, time and manner of his burial. She said: "They want to take me to the outskirts of the cemetery to a fresh grave and say: 'Here lies your son.'" Ms Navalnaya travelled to the northern Russian town of Salekhard following the news of her son's death in a nearby penal colony six days ago. She has previously been denied access to her son's body, on Tuesday appealing personally to Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow her to bury him. In Thursday's address, Lyudmila Navalnaya said she was being threatened by the authorities. "Looking into my eyes, they say that if I do not agree to a secret funeral, they will do something with my son's body." She said she was told by investigators: "Time is not on your side, the corpse is decomposing." Lyudmila Navalnaya was speaking in a video posted to her late son's YouTube channel, and finished the address by demanding his body be returned to her. There was no immediate response from Russian authorities. Separately, on Thursday US President Joe Biden met Mr Navalny's widow Yulia and his daughter Dasha Navalnaya in San Francisco. "The president expressed his admiration for Alexei Navalny's extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia," the White House said in a statement, adding that the US was preparing to issue new sanctions on Russia. Navalny died in a prison colony on 16 February. Prison officials said he had fallen ill following a "walk". But Yulia Navalnaya has claimed that he was killed on the orders of Mr Putin and vowed to continue his struggle. The Kremlin has denied the allegations, calling Western reaction to the death "hysterical". Political scientist Tatiana Stanovaya said that the decision to show Ms Navalnaya her son's body indicated authorities wanted to persuade her to "make a deal." "The body is given back, but under the condition that the funeral does not become a political event," she wrote in a post on her Telegram channel. In August 2020, the former opposition leader was poisoned using the Novichok nerve agent by a team of would-be assassins from the Russian secret services. Airlifted to Germany, he recovered there before returning to Russia in January 2021, where he was imprisoned. Attempts at commemorating his death have been met by a heavy-handed response from Russian authorities, with makeshift monuments cleared and hundreds arrested. *BBC*
2024-02-23 02:29:38 *Geo Pomona Soccer Pitch Gets FIFA Certification* Geo Pomona Waste Management has successfully obtained FIFA certification for its soccer pitch, marking a remarkable transformation from a dumpsite to a world-class sports facility. Speaking during the certification ceremony Thursday, Sports deputy minister Emily Jesaya praised the initiative, emphasizing the importance of sustainable development and repurposing neglected spaces for community benefit. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GcF1QekPJGY57VZmiRMw0x --------- "The certification of Geo Pomona Waste Management soccer pitch by FIFA is a testament to the power of innovation and dedication in transforming environmental challenges into opportunities for community development and recreation,” she said. Geo Pomona CEO, Delish Nguwaya, expressed gratitude for the recognition and highlighted the company's commitment to sustainable development . "Our vision extends beyond waste management; we strive to contribute positively to the communities we serve. The FIFA certification is a testament to our dedication to creating spaces that enhance the quality of life for everyone,” he said. The site, once known for spewing a heavy stench from rotten waste,has undergone a radical transformation under Geo Pomona's waste-to-energy project. The company invested in state-of-the-art waste management technologies and partnered with environmental experts to repurpose the site. The result is not only a pristine sports facility but also a symbol of sound environmental stewardship. FIFA representative Cemil Nadir Sahin who tested and certified the pitch commended Geo Pomona for its commitment to sustainable development. "FIFA is delighted to recognize Geo Pomona Waste Management's efforts in repurposing a former dumpsite into a FIFA-certified soccer pitch. This achievement not only aligns with our commitment to promoting the sport globally but also emphasizes the importance of environmental responsibility,” he said. Local residents and sports enthusiasts have welcomed the transformation, expressing their excitement about having a FIFA-certified soccer pitch in their community. Jane Makarichi, a resident said, "This was once a place we avoided due to the smell, and now it has become a source of pride for our community. The certification by FIFA is like a dream come true for us.” "It's incredible to see how our community has been revitalized. The Geo Pomona initiative has not only provided us with a top-notch sports facility but has also improved the overall environment and quality of life for everyone here. We can't thank them enough." The facility is expected to become a hub for sports activities, tournaments, and community events, fostering a sense of unity and pride among residents. *NewsDay*
2024-02-22 18:59:21 *Ex-Brazil Star Dani Alves Jailed Four Years For Rape* A court in Spain has found former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves guilty of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub. He has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison. The 40-year-old, who is one of the most decorated footballers in history, had denied sexually assaulting the woman in the early hours of 31 December 2022. His lawyer had asked for his acquittal and Alves can appeal against the sentence. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- As well as handing Alves a four-and-a-half year sentence, the court ordered him to pay €150,000 (£128,500) to the victim and said he should face five years' probation afterwards. Prosecutors said Alves and his friend had bought champagne for three young women before luring one of them to a VIP area of the nightclub with a toilet which she had no knowledge of. They argued that it was at this point he turned violent, forcing the woman to have sex despite her repeated requests to leave. Alves had maintained she could have left "if she wanted to". However, the court found that she did not consent. In a statement, the court said there was evidence other than the victim's testimony that proved that she had been raped. It said Alves had "abruptly grabbed the complainant" and thrown her to the ground. He had then raped her while preventing her from moving as "the complainant said no and wanted to leave", it added. The woman said the rape had caused her "anguish and terror", and one of her friends who was with her on the night described how the 23-year-old had cried "uncontrollably" after leaving the bathroom. Alves has been held in pre-trial detention since January 2023 and has changed his testimony on a number of occasions. He first denied knowing his accuser only to claim later that he had met her in the toilet but that nothing had happened between them. He then changed his version of events again, saying that they had had consensual sex. "We were both enjoying ourselves," he alleged. The prosecution had asked for a nine-year prison sentence. In Spain, a claim of rape is investigated under the general accusation of sexual assault, and convictions can lead to prison sentences of four to 15 years. The law was changed recently to enshrine the importance of consent under the so-called "Only Yes is Yes" principle. Alves played more than 400 times for Barcelona, winning six league titles and three Champions Leagues across two spells with the club. He was also part of Brazil's 2022 World Cup squad. *BBC*
2024-02-22 16:54:56 *JUST-IN: 2024 Grade 7 Exam Fees Gazetted, Grade 6 Pupils Can Stagger Payments For 2025* The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) has announced examination registration fees for the October 2024 Grade 7 examinations. In a statement, ZIMSEC said the 2024 Grade 6 classes are allowed to register and make staggered payments towards their final examinations in 2025. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- The examination fees are pegged in United States dollars but parents and guardians can pay the fees using the currency of their choice, that is, Zimbabwe dollars, United States dollars, or South African rand. ZIMSEC said: _The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council would like to inform its valued stakeholders of the gazetted examination registration fees for the October 2024 Grade 7 examinations._ _The 2024 Grade 6 classes can register and make staggered payments towards their final examinations in 2025._ _The 2024 examination fees are pegged against the USD however, Parents and Guardians are advised to pay the fees using the currency of their choice (ZWL, USD or RANDS)._ _Parents and Guardians who wish to make payments in ZWL must make payments at their respective centres during the period of 19 March to 26 March 2024 using the interbank rate of the 19th of March which shall be confirmed to all Examination centres by ZIMSEC._ The closing dates for registration must be confirmed by the school/ centre to avoid any inconveniences, ZIMSEC said. The Grade 7 2024 termly examination fees for all subjects for learners at public schools, local authority, and not-for-profit Mission schools have been pegged at US$10 while learners at private schools, colleges, and private candidates will pay US$22. The Grade 6 2024 termly examination fees for all subjects for learners at public schools, local authority, and not-for-profit Mission schools have been pegged at US$5 while learners at private schools, colleges, and private candidates will pay US$11. Added ZIMSEC: _No payments should be made directly into the ZIMSEC account by Parents/ Guardians, all payments should be made to the respective school/ examination centre._ *Pindula*
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Authorities also seized the Starlink router and antenna. In a statement on Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority said San He Mining Company had paid the fine at the Bindura Magistrates Court for the offence of “wilfully possessing and or operating a radio station without a licence or authorisation from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (PRAZ).” Prosecutors said police were tipped off by PRAZ on December 5 last year that the company was using the high speed satelite-based internet from Starlink, a company owned by Elon Musk. Zimbabwe’s Information Communication Technology minister Tatenda Mavetera has confirmed that Starlink has applied to roll out its internet service in Zimbabwe, but POTRAZ is yet to issue the necessary approvals. In the interim, POTRAZ has warned that it will clamp down on people using Starlink which has been licenced in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique in the region. Tests conducted by technology blog TechZim last year showed Starlink broadband had download speeds of 130 Mbps in Harare, compared to the average 20 Mbps offered by state company TelOne. *ZimLive*
2024-02-22 09:17:35 *Man Jailed 54 Years For Stealing 49 Cattle* A Gweru court sentenced a man to 54 years in jail on Monday for stealing 49 cattle from six families in a rural area, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said. Tinodakufa Hove, 36, was convicted of six counts of stock theft by the Gweru Magistrates Court after a year-long investigation that involved tip-offs and cattle exchanges with villagers, the NPA said in a statement. Hove, who denied the charges, stole the cattle between March 2022 and July 2023 from Lalapanzi, a farming community about 200 km south of the capital Harare, where cattle are a symbol of wealth and status. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- He sold some of the stolen cattle to butcheries in Zvishavane, a mining town in central Zimbabwe, where police recovered 16 of them and returned them to their owners, the NPA said. Zimbabwe has a mandatory minimum sentence of nine years for each count of stock theft, a law that has been challenged as harsh and disproportionate by human rights groups. But the government and some traditional leaders have defended the law, saying it deters cattle rustlers who threaten the livelihoods of rural communities. Police said they recorded more than 11,000 cases of livestock theft last year, leading to over 5,000 convictions. They also launched a crackdown on illegal movement of cattle, in collaboration with the veterinary department, to curb the crime. *Agencies*
2024-02-22 09:17:18 *Russia Mulls Establishing Manufacturing Plants In Zimbabwe* A Russian Federation business delegation is set to visit Zimbabwe on an investment mission, with the setting up of manufacturing plants in the country already under consideration. The Rais (head) of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mr Rustam Minnikhanov, said this after meeting Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga at the Kazan Kremlin on the sidelines of the Phygital Games of the Future Kazan 2024 which were officially opened last night by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his speech, President Putin said his country has always welcomed the promotion of sports and its noble humanitarian value and the games were their gift to the sporting world. VP Chiwenga was one of the international guests at the official opening ceremony. But before the games’ opening, VP Chiwenga engaged with Tatarstan authorities to pursue areas of cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two nations. Tatarstan is a republic of the Russian Federation and is known for its high-tech and high-level manufacturing industry as well as a powerful agricultural sector. President Mnangagwa has been on a drive to lure investment and the interest of the Russians to expand business with Zimbabwe shows that big global economic players are taking note of the developments in the country. Mr Minnikhanov said there are possibilities for enhanced cooperation with Zimbabwe and is looking forward to getting the relationship going. “Very soon our delegation will come and visit your country to work preliminarily on all of the issues and I am sure that the visit of this delegation will provide a strong impetus to advance relations with Tatarstan and the Republic of Zimbabwe within the Russian and Zimbabwean relations,” he said. “We will form the business mission that will come and visit the Republic of Zimbabwe and I am sure that we can find areas where we can arrange something and utilise the potential of the enterprises.”” “In terms of agriculture, that will be the supply of equipment and technology related to irrigation. I believe that there are many possibilities. There are positive examples of cooperation where we are supplying vehicles, machinery equipment, helicopters . . . rubbers, plastics, a very big segment can be in agriculture, specifically, the supply of products from Tatarstan. “There is a big need in your country in terms of irrigation systems, we have vast experience and we are willing to collaborate in this issue of irrigation equipment to help you to solve it. “There are issues related to education, medicine, sports tourism. You are a unique country and tourists come and visit with great pleasure in your country.” After the meeting with the head of Tatarstan, VP Chiwenga met the first Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of Tartastan, Mr Nailevich Lenar Garipov. Deputy Minister Garipov was in the company of representatives of several companies in the agricultural sector involved in dairy, genetics, breeding among others. After the meeting, VP Chiwenga and his delegation toured some of the companies. “For the meeting with the Vice President we invited a number of companies to demonstrate their capacities,” said Deputy Minister Garipov. “The specific dimensions where we feel this cooperation could be fruitful is areas such as refining equipment production and selling equipment as well as organising localisation of equipment manufacturing as well as help in the knowledge transfer.” Speaking afterwards, VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe was open for business and is ready to open new avenues of cooperation with Russia. “There is huge potential for investment in agriculture and many other sectors,” said VP Chiwenga. “We are already cooperating with the Russians in many areas so what we want is to improve this cooperation and improve trade for the benefit of our people. They will be coming home and specific areas will be discussed where this cooperation can be enhanced. “In Zimbabwe, agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and the success of its value chains contributes significantly to the growth of our industries. I have taken this opportunity to visit agricultural institutions and companies in Kazan, to appreciate the investment models as well as the support being rendered to small scale farming.” *Herald*
2024-02-22 09:16:58 *Russia Mulls Establishing Manufacturing Plants In Zimbabwe* A Russian Federation business delegation is set to visit Zimbabwe on an investment mission, with the setting up of manufacturing plants in the country already under consideration. The Rais (head) of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mr Rustam Minnikhanov, said this after meeting Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga at the Kazan Kremlin on the sidelines of the Phygital Games of the Future Kazan 2024 which were officially opened last night by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his speech, President Putin said his country has always welcomed the promotion of sports and its noble humanitarian value and the games were their gift to the sporting world. VP Chiwenga was one of the international guests at the official opening ceremony. But before the games’ opening, VP Chiwenga engaged with Tatarstan authorities to pursue areas of cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two nations. Tatarstan is a republic of the Russian Federation and is known for its high-tech and high-level manufacturing industry as well as a powerful agricultural sector. President Mnangagwa has been on a drive to lure investment and the interest of the Russians to expand business with Zimbabwe shows that big global economic players are taking note of the developments in the country. Mr Minnikhanov said there are possibilities for enhanced cooperation with Zimbabwe and is looking forward to getting the relationship going. “Very soon our delegation will come and visit your country to work preliminarily on all of the issues and I am sure that the visit of this delegation will provide a strong impetus to advance relations with Tatarstan and the Republic of Zimbabwe within the Russian and Zimbabwean relations,” he said. “We will form the business mission that will come and visit the Republic of Zimbabwe and I am sure that we can find areas where we can arrange something and utilise the potential of the enterprises.”” “In terms of agriculture, that will be the supply of equipment and technology related to irrigation. I believe that there are many possibilities. There are positive examples of cooperation where we are supplying vehicles, machinery equipment, helicopters . . . rubbers, plastics, a very big segment can be in agriculture, specifically, the supply of products from Tatarstan. “There is a big need in your country in terms of irrigation systems, we have vast experience and we are willing to collaborate in this issue of irrigation equipment to help you to solve it. “There are issues related to education, medicine, sports tourism. You are a unique country and tourists come and visit with great pleasure in your country.” After the meeting with the head of Tatarstan, VP Chiwenga met the first Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of Tartastan, Mr Nailevich Lenar Garipov. Deputy Minister Garipov was in the company of representatives of several companies in the agricultural sector involved in dairy, genetics, breeding among others. After the meeting, VP Chiwenga and his delegation toured some of the companies. “For the meeting with the Vice President we invited a number of companies to demonstrate their capacities,” said Deputy Minister Garipov. “The specific dimensions where we feel this cooperation could be fruitful is areas such as refining equipment production and selling equipment as well as organising localisation of equipment manufacturing as well as help in the knowledge transfer.” Speaking afterwards, VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe was open for business and is ready to open new avenues of cooperation with Russia. “There is huge potential for investment in agriculture and many other sectors,” said VP Chiwenga. “We are already cooperating with the Russians in many areas so what we want is to improve this cooperation and improve trade for the benefit of our people. They will be coming home and specific areas will be discussed where this cooperation can be enhanced. “In Zimbabwe, agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and the success of its value chains contributes significantly to the growth of our industries. I have taken this opportunity to visit agricultural institutions and companies in Kazan, to appreciate the investment models as well as the support being rendered to small scale farming.” *Herald*
2024-02-22 09:16:46 *ED Makes More Promises To Restless Youths* President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday pledged empowerment opportunities to youths, but groups representing the restless young population immediately thumbed their noses at the promises saying the poverty afflicting them required more than mere mouth-watering promises. Delivering his speech yesterday during the National Youth Day celebrations in Masvingo whose theme was: Positioning youth empowerment and development towards achieving vision 2030, Mnangagwa said: “We will create undermy government opportunities for empowerment through programmes such as the Presidential Heifers Pass-On Scheme, Integrated Youth Schemes Development and Agriculture Mechanisation Schemes. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- “I call upon you young people to develop partnership and viable business synergies which generate income as well as improve your quality of life. You don't need to leave the country in order to improve your life. You can do jobs that can uplift your life.” In separate interviews, youths, however, said Mnangagwa’s speech was uninspiring because of his government’s basket of unfulfilled promises since he came into office in 2018. They said there was nothing to celebrate on the National Youth Day because they were wallowing in poverty and failing to make ends meet. Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) president, Emmanuel Sitima said they were in mourning and had nothing to celebrate. “We are mourning the death of democracy and the reversal of the gains of the liberation struggle,” Sitima said. “At the centre of the liberation struggle there was the land question and the right to vote (universal suffrage), but due to the system Robert Mugabe created, we are witnessing that right being bastardised.” “As youths, we have nothing to celebrate on this day. This youths day comes at a time when thousands of students are deferring their studies due to lack of fees.” Zinasu UZ member, Tatenda Kutsirayi, said Mugabe was “the chief architect of the problems youths are facing on a daily basis”. “As students we condemn and equally dismiss the brouhaha and bravado by heretic and questionable characters of the government to celebrate the youths while the youths are waking up on the blessing of an empty stomach and a jobless existence so they should not try to celebrate us once a year,” Kutsirayi said. “The youths should be celebrating at their workplaces daily, they should celebrate at their campuses every semester, but it's so unfortunate that corruption is on steroids and the youth employment and needs are stagnant." In a statement, Youth Decides Zimbabwe said there was no political will to improve the plight of the country’s youths, citing the failure to implement the National Youth Policy (2020-25). "We are dismayed by the lack of progress towards the enactment of the National Youth Bill which would provide a legal framework for young people,” the youth group said. “We call upon the government, the private sector, the civil society, and the international community to recognise and support the potential and agency of young people as key drivers of change and development.” The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) also said there was little to celebrate as seen by many young people taking to drugs and other illegal substances to escape from their daily struggles. “Unfortunately, the day comes at a time when there is little to celebrate — a time when youths are grappling with drug and substance abuse challenges, youths are used as tools for political violence, and youths are victims of fear-induced apathy in civic and democratic processes,” ZimRights said. “In a normal economic democratic developmental State, the youth bulge in Zimbabwe should mean high productivity; high gross domestic product, low unemployment rate; productive human capital; pro-youths policies and equal youth representation in governance. “Eighty percent of Zimbabwean youths are unemployed; youths are underrepresented in Parliament and are largely abused as tools for politicking. Zimbabwe is in a poly-crisis and the youths are the worst affected.” The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum lamented violence against children. “There is and can be no place for violence against children in a modern and progressive democratic society,” the forum said. “The forum underscores that a child's best interests are of paramount importance as captured under section 19 of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe.” *NewsDay*
2024-02-22 09:16:30 *Zimbabwe Joins Global Energy Forum* Zimbabwe has become a full member of the International Energy Forum (IEF), with the organisation immediately declaring that it will work with Harare on the energy transition and exploring how it can expand the electricity grid to integrate new baseload and renewable energy sources. The announcement was made in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia yesterday where Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube participated in a signing ceremony. “Zimbabwe is pleased to join the International Energy Forum to promote dialogue with fellow members on pressing energy issues. “Closer collaboration with the top actors in the global energy market is of great value to Zimbabwe as we seek to reduce energy poverty and enhance energy security, while facing up to the challenges caused by price inflation, climate change and geopolitical uncertainty,” said Prof Ncube. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- IEF secretary general Mr Joseph McMonigle said: “The IEF is pleased to welcome Zimbabwe as a full member, bringing our community of African members to 23 countries. “The IEF is committed to ensuring that Zimbabwe’s and Africa’s voices are heard in the global energy dialogue, especially the urgent need to scale up the supply of reliable and affordable energy to eradicate energy poverty, which is a prerequisite for development. “We also look forward to collaborating with Zimbabwe on the energy transition, exploring how it can expand the electricity grid to integrate new baseload and renewable energy sources.” President Mnangagwa visited Saudi Arabia in November last year for the Saudi-Africa Summit and Zimbabwe was invited to join the IEF, realising the potential it has in respect of the shift to green energy following the discovery of lithium and gas. Mr McMonigle met President Mnangagwa during his visit to Saudi Arabia and the two discussed Zimbabwe’s potential role in the global energy sector. With vast lithium deposits in Gwanda, Mutoko, Goromonzi and Fort Rixon, among others, Zimbabwe is expected to contribute up to 25 percent of the world’s lithium demand this year. Apart from lithium, Zimbabwe has vast iron ore reserves, with a massive US$1 billion Dinson steel plant set to start operating soon in Manhize. The IEF is the world’s largest organisation of energy ministers accounting for more than 90 percent of global energy trade, now with 73 member countries. Its mission is to promote energy security through dialogue between producers and consumers. The IEF was founded 33 years ago to promote dialogue between members of the International Energy Agency and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Today, the IEF has more members than both groups combined, including many unaligned countries including Argentina, China, India and South Africa. It is expected to hold its 17th ministerial meeting in May this year. The 73-member countries making up the IEF account for 90 percent of the world energy market. The IEF is the global home of energy dialogue, promoting energy security, market stability and transparency and the energy transition. *Herald*
2024-02-22 05:43:57 *Human Rights Record Deteriorated In 2023* Zimbabwe’s human rights record worsened in 2023, with findings by Human Rights Watch (HRW) showing a deterioration in electoral integrity, civil liberties, gender equality, land rights and a surge in the silencing of dissenting voices. The country has been locked in election mode since the 2023 August general polls, as a result of controversial recalls of elected MPs from the main opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) by self-proclaimed secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu. Key observer missions including the European Union Observer Mission and the Southern Africa Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) condemned the disputed elections, saying the polls did not meet the the requirements of Zimbabwe’s constitution, Electoral Act and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. “There were also concerns about the impartiality of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission prior to and during the elections. The climate of threats, intimidation, repression, and violence against political opponents severely undermined the electoral environment,” reads HRW in its 2024 world report. “The government’s failure to investigate and prosecute abuses primarily committed by ruling Zanu PF party supporters and state security forces entrenched the culture of impunity, especially ahead of the August 23 elections.” ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- On election night, government security forces raided the offices of the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), arresting nearly 40 staff and volunteers and confiscating laptops, phones and other equipment. “The raid and arrest prevented an independent, non-partisan verification of the official results as announced by the Zimbabwe Election Commission. A spokesman for the police told local media that the raid was because the two organisations were conducting an illegal parallel vote tabulation exercise,” HRW said. When Mnangagwa was sworn in on 4 September, only presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, out of the 16 expected Sadc heads of state, attended the ceremony. Other Sadc members sent representatives to the inauguration, with the exception of Zambia. HRW said the government has been further closing the civic space, with Zimbabwean authorities revoking the registration of 291 non-governmental and civil society organisations in January 2023 for “non-compliance with the provisions of Private Voluntary Organisations Act.” “This was in concert with the government’s efforts to enact repressive laws in 2023, most notably an amendment to the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act. In February, President Mnangagwa claimed that the PVO Amendment Bill was necessary to protect and defend the country’s sovereignty from destabilising foreign interests,” said the HRW report. Last year, experts from the United Nations called on Mnangagwa not to sign the Bill into law, stating that “the restrictions contained therein will have a chilling effect on civil society organisations, particularly dissenting voices”. However, while the PVO Bill lapsed upon dissolution of the 9th Parliament, Mnangagwa had sent the Bill back upon the commencement of the 10th Parliament with reservations for reconsideration, without clear reasons. On 14 July, Mnangagwa also signed into law the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill of 2022, commonly referred to as the “Patriotic Bill”, seen as a grave threat to freedoms of association and expression. The law empowers the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute anyone it considers to be undermining the country or using false statements to paint a negative picture of the country to foreign governments. “A leading non-governmental organisation, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, argued that the provisions of the law were ‘vague, lack certainty, are imprecise, and are thus prone to abuse by law enforcement [and] could be interpreted broadly and subjectively to criminalise the legitimate conduct of those asserting their freedom of expression’.” There was also a continuation of arbitrary arrests and weaponisation of the law against government critics, denying those arrested the presumption of innocence, the right to bail, and access to a fair trial, HRW said. Opposition politicians were jailed, with Job Sikhala spending 595 days in pre-trial detention at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison following his arrest in June 2022 while representing slain CCC activist Moreblessing Ali. Sikhala has been reconvicted for publishing falsehoods. On 28 April, Jacob Ngarivhume (pictured), leader of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe, was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting public violence over a 2020 protest call he posted on X, before his release in December. Opposition MP Joana Mamombe and activists Netsai Marova and Cecillia Chimbiri were abducted, tortured and sexually assaulted on 13 May 2020, but were later charged for staging their kidnapping, before their acquittal in July 2023. “In 2023, there was a pattern of arrests, charges, and criminal proceedings that amount to attacks on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, without any accountability,” HRW said. “On January 14, police arrested, detained, and beat with batons Costa Machingauta (the opposition CCC MP for Budiriro, Harare) and 25 others. They were charged with participating in an illegal gathering and disturbing public peace in what police said was an illegal meeting at the MP’s house in Harare.” “On March 4, police shut down the show of a popular musician, Wallace Chirumiko. Popularly known as ‘Winky D,’ the reggae-dancehall artiste had released an album that contained lyrics against social and political injustice, corruption, and the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe.” The government has been under fire for lack of gender inclusion in social and political activities. “A troubling feature of the election was the low number of female candidates, and the number of women in Parliament has been declining. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights expressed concerns about violence against women voters and candidates ahead of the last election,” reads the report. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have faced police harassment and sexual and physical assaults. In September, a man committed suicide in fear of police arrest for sodomy. The Criminal Law Act makes acts of ‘sodomy’ punishable with a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment. Zimbabwe’s laws prohibit same-sex marriage.” HRW said there has been a decrease in land rights, with the government designating mining and commercial projects without adequate consultation. In July, a court ordered Labenmon Investments, a Chinese mining company, not to prospect or conduct exploration or any form of mining activity in four villages in Mashonaland East province without following due process of the law. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights represented communities in Mutoko, Mashonaland East province, against another Chinese mining company, Zim Win Mining (Private) Limited, which had commenced lithium mineral exploration activities in the area, resulting in the displacement of families, damage to land and destruction of livelihoods. *NewsHawks*
2024-02-22 05:43:40 *Labour Union Criticises "Zionist" Approach Towards 'Sabhuku' Land Deals* The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has criticized the government’s “Zionist” approach in dealing with illegal occupations of land on the back of fears that the nation is slowly backsliding to the 2005 demolitions. The remarks follow country-wide evictions affecting thousands of households. To date such demolitions have taken place in Masvingo affecting Village 9 in Summerton Resettlement Area under Chief Bere, Zero Farm in Nemanwa under Chief Mugabe and Matabeleland South’s Nyandeni village. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- Many occupants facing demolitions had settled in the areas for decades only to be hauled before the courts of law for illegal land occupation. Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday, ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo implored government officials to respect human dignity above any other interests. He expressed worries that the blitz is taking place without consideration of the consequences on the affected people, especially women and children, leaving thousands homeless. “Land is a right and thus should be accessible to all individuals. In the past, we have noted regularisation of informal settlements for political expediency. Now that elections are over, politicians are looking the other way as if nothing is happening. “We are faced with a humanitarian crisis, we expect the government to approach the issue with cool heads. A ‘Zionist’ approach towards alleged illegal settlers is not a solution,” said Moyo. He warned that current developments are likely to backslide the nation into the ill-fated 2005 Operation Murambatsvina. The ZCTU said it stands against the perpetuation of exclusionary colonial laws that continue to malign the poor. Moyo said while some villagers are being evicted from their ancestral lands in the colonial style to pave way for so-called investors without due care to where they will go, some are being evicted by greedy ‘chefs’ who want more land for themselves. The same laws being invoked to evict villagers are also undermining the authority of traditional leaders who settled the villagers in the first place. These villagers were not settling themselves, but they got a go ahead from traditional leaders and in some cases, they got a go ahead from lands officers. “The same laws being invoked to evict villagers are also undermining the authority of traditional leaders who settled the villagers in the first place. These villagers were not settling themselves, but they got a go ahead from traditional leaders and in some cases, they got a go ahead from lands officers. “The operation has exposed our government’s ineptitude. It left the villagers undisturbed for decades only to bombard them with evictions on short notice. If our leaders have the conscience and time for some soul searching, they would realize their errors and omissions,” he said. Moyo urged the government to admit that it erred in resettling the villagers through traditional authorities and underscored that the operation smacks of a political witch-hunt designed to instill fear in the rural populations for self-serving sadistic political control of peace loving Zimbabweans. *NewZW*
2024-02-22 05:43:25 *Watchdogs Slam Protection Of State Entities* Governance watchdogs has demanded that President Emmerson Mnangagwa discard his gazetted General Notice 164B of 2024 which exempts 21 key state entities from complying with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act, saying the government’s commitment to promoting transparency and accountability is questionable. Last week, the government gazetted the general notice, but did not state how Parliament would exercise its oversight functions to promote good governance. Zimbabwe’s corruption fight is in a shambles, resulting in the country scoring badly on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- The country scored 24/100, from 23/100 in 2023, falling behind the regional average of 33/100, while ranking 149 out of 180 of the most corrupt countries across the world, according to the latest CPI released by civil society organisation Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ). The country maintained its position as southern Africa’s most corrupt country, according to the 2023 CPI report. The index measures perceptions of public sector corruption levels in 180 countries around the world. The entities Mnangagwa has unilaterally exempted from scrutiny are: AFC Commercial Bank Limited, Aurex (Private) Limited, Bindura Nickel Corporation Limited, Fidelity Gold Refinery (Private) Limited, Freda Rebecca Gold Mine Limited, Great Dyke Investments (Private) Limited, HomeLink (Private) Limited, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), Jena Mines (Private) Limited, Kuvimba Mining House (Private) Limited, National Venture Company (Private) Limited, NetOne Cellular (Private) Limited, Printing and Minting Company of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, RESZIM Investments (Private) Limited, Sandawana Mines (Private) Limited, Shamva Mining Company (Private) Limited, Tel-One (Private) Limited, The People’s Own Savings Bank of Zimbabwe, Trojan Nickel Mine Limited, Zimbabwe Alloys Limited. This week, a natural resources watchdog, the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), said the exemption of these entities from compliance with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act undermines transparency and accountability. “We call upon the government to set aside this proclamation and uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, sustainable development and, above all, the constitution of Zimbabwe. We call upon Parliament to exercise its oversight role by summoning responsible ministers to explain President Mnangagwa’s reasons for circumventing the constitutional and legislative provisions for procurement of goods and services by public entities,” CNRG said. “Furthermore, removing certain companies from the procurement laws could also have negative consequences for the environment and local communities at a time environmental crimes are on the rise.” “Proper environmental assessments, social impact studies, and community consultations are integral parts of the procurement process. Circumventing these procedures poses the risk of irreversible environmental damage and further marginalisation of local communities who rely on these resources for their livelihoods.” In May last year, a similar General Notice 635 of 2023 surfaced, announcing the exemption of public procurement of construction equipment and materials, biomedical and medical equipment, medicines and drugs, vehicles including ambulances, laboratory equipment, chemicals and accessories, hospital protective equipment, and repairs and maintenance servicing of hospital equipment and machinery. However, the move was thwarted by an alert media, sparking a public outcry, resulting in then Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda saying that the government notice was fake. Critics however said the publishing and withdrawal of the notice showed that there is confusion in the government, mainly fuelled by internal power struggles in the regime which has two political factions, one led by President Mnangagwa and the other one by his deputy Constantino Chiwenga, battling to control the levers of state power and resources. This week, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) told The NewsHawks that Mnangagwa should consider reversing the decree to ensure transparency. “The purpose of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act is to ensure transparency, accountability, and efficiency in public sector transactions. This is noble and every leader should be seen to be promoting these values,” Obert Chinhamo, the ACT-SA director, told The NewsHawks. “I suspect that he might have been ill-advised since the exemptions create a fertile ground for unrestricted looting, chicanery and personal enrichment. This swims upstream against international best practice. The President should reconsider his decision and reverse it. We demand more and more transparency in state-owned enterprises.” Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) programmes manager John Maketo said the exemption of the 21 entities is an enabler of corruption. “Corruption thrives in darkness. Preferential treatments and lack of public scrutiny are enablers for corruption. Opportunity plus rationale create fertile ground for corruption. In this case we see more opportunity for underhand dealings,” Maketo said. A natural resources watchdog, the Centre for Research and Development (CRD), said exemption of major mining conglomerates implicated in corruption shows that Zimbabwe is becoming a full-blown kleptocracy. In a kleptocracy, corrupt politicians enrich themselves secretly outside the rule of law, through kickbacks, bribes, and special favours from lobbyists and corporations, or they simply direct state funds to themselves and their associates. “This means the establishment of kleptocracy. The closed door policy is meant to mask opacity in beneficial shareholding,” said James Mupfumi, the CRD director. “It is only a few months ago that a chief executive officer at the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) lost his job for rejecting a forced purchase of shares worth an inflated US$400 million including inflated consultancy fees to a private platinum mining entity in the Great Dyke owned by the usual suspects. Without oversight, it is clear that these entities will serve the interests of political elites and their private investors.” *NewsHawks*
2024-02-22 05:43:11 *Media Slams Threats From Military, Chivayo* Journalists have come out in defence of their colleagues who are under attack from the military and controversial moneybag Wicknell Chivayo over two articles they have been investigating. NewsHawks News Editor Owen Gagare is reportedly under constant surveillance by Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) operatives, some of whom have openly threatened him following the release of an explosive report on corruption that involves three top generals. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- Chivayo on the other hand stands accused of threatening ‘to deal’ with a junior reporter at Sources Media who had sought a comment from him regarding his flashy fleet of vehicles. He had been asked questions regarding his continued dishing out of top-of-the-range vehicles to pro-Zanu PF artists. Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) described the two incidences as direct attacks on the profession. “ZUJ unequivocally expresses complete displeasure at such criminal acts meant to cow and gag journalists and the media from freely executing their role of informing the nation and holding authority to account,” read its statement. “We find Chivayo’s threats and attacks on the young journalist and those from the military on Gagare appalling, uncalled for, and unacceptable.” NewsHawks has since announced it has suspended all investigations into the military. Maraire reported Chivhayo’s threats to the police who have confirmed receipt of her report and are handling it at the national headquarters level. “Sad day for Zimbabwean journalism as NewsHawks is forced off investigating a case involving senior military officers. “Intimidation tactics used to silence journalists are not only unethical but also raise serious questions about the transparency and accountability of those involved,” said Young Journalists Association (YOJA) spokesperson Lovejoy Mutongwiza. “We also call on the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and related state security agencies to ensure the safety of Maraire,” he added about the young journalist’s case. *DestinyMedia*
2024-02-21 17:48:11 *Mnangagwa 'Offered Third Term In Office'* A Zanu PF lawmaker on Wednesday said Zanu PF had “offered” President Emmerson Mnangagwa a third term in office after several party officials chanted a slogan that the 81-year-old “will still be there in 2030.” Mnangagwa began his second and final term after winning disputed elections last August, but there is a new push among his loyalists to amend the constitution to scrap term limits. The amendment would require affirmation by two thirds of lawmakers in the National Assembly, and again in the Senate. Even then, the constitution says the incumbent cannot benefit from an amendment to a term limit provision, requiring movers of such a plan to take it to a public referendum. “Zanu PF Masvingo province today offered President ED Mnangagwa a third term in office as president of Zimbabwe,” Bikita South MP Energy Mutodi wrote on X while attending Youth Day celebrations at Mushagashe Training Centre in Masvingo, attended by Mnangagwa. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- He added: “Amid cheers, whistling and ululations, the provincial chairman Robson Mavhenyengwa chanted the slogan ‘2030 vaMnangagwa vanenge vachipo!’ to a deafening applause.” Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who took to the podium to introduce Mnangagwa, also repeated the slogan. “Your Excellency, before I invite you to take the podium, I was thrilled by the new slogan. Allow me to chant the slogan,” Mohadi said. Mnangagwa’s second and final term expires in 2028, and the slogan’s crafters appear to be suggesting that he will be well into his third term in 2030. Mnangagwa made reference to the new slogan during his speech, remarking: “Those saying Mnangagwa will be there in 2030, was there any suggestion that I won’t be there? Only one person knows when I’m going, and that’s Jehovah.” In a 2018 interview with CNN, months after coming to power through a military coup, Mnangagwa said he would respect the constitution and serve just two terms. “The maximum is two terms, for any president, and I will abide by that,” Mnangagwa said. In another interview with Zimpapers Television Network ahead of the August 2023 elections, Mnangagwa said: “I am going for my second term, this is my last term.” Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is on a trip to Russia and missed Wednesday’s event, is the frontrunner to replace Mnangagwa as Zanu PF’s leader. Attempts to extend Mnangagwa’s time in office would rile his supporters and stoke factionalism in Zanu PF. *Explainer: Hurdles To Extending Mnangagwa’s Time In Office* Under section 328(5) of the constitution, a Bill to amend the Constitution must be passed by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly and the Senate before it becomes law. In addition, if the Bill seeks to amend the Declaration of Rights or Chapter 16 (which relates to agricultural land) it must be approved at a national referendum before it can become law. Section 91(2) is not part of the Declaration of Rights nor does it fall within Chapter 16 of the Constitution, so it can be amended by a two-thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament to remove the presidential term-limits. Section 328(7) of the Constitution provides that an amendment to a term-limit provision ‒ and section 91(2) is a term-limit provision ‒ which has the effect of extending the length of time that a person can hold a public office such as the presidency does not apply to anyone who held that office, or an equivalent office, before the amendment. This means that even if two-thirds of the members of Parliament were to pass a Bill extending or revoking the term limits imposed by section 91(2) of the Constitution, the Bill would not permit President Mnangagwa to stand for a third term in office. The only way to permit him to stand for a third term would be to repeal section 328(7), but this would require a national referendum in addition to a two-thirds majority in Parliament: see section 328(9). *ZimLive*
2024-02-21 12:06:06 *Cops Dragged To Court For Causing Urinary System Problems After Assaulting Suspect* A man who was being held as a theft suspect has taken two police detectives to court accusing them of assault which he claims has caused him some urinary problems in his system. The accused are Criminal Investigations Department (CID) detectives, Wellington Kurai Mlambo, 43, and Gracious Selemani, 35, both stationed at Braeside police in Harare. The complainant who has not been named in court papers filed an assault report against the detectives claiming the abuse caused him some problems with his urinary system which often sees him bleed while passing urine. Mlambo and Selemani were arraigned before Harare magistrate Ruth Moyo who granted them US$100 bail. The two are also facing another charge of criminal abuse of office as public officers. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- They will be back in court on March 18 for their routine remand. Their two accomplices only identified as Wagoneka and Chidhakwa are still on the run. It is alleged that the four came across the complainant in Mbare and accused him of receiving stolen property. According to court papers, the complainant denied the allegations before the officers took him to the station while assaulting him, forcing him to admit the allegations. “The accused demanded money for the release of the complainant and he advised them that he had US$150 at home. “The complainant’s brother, Isaac Mutsura was assigned to wait with the money at Mbare Musika Taxi Rank,” prosecutors alleged. The court heard at around 12PM, the four escorted the complainant to the taxi rank and met Mutsura. It is further alleged that upon arrival, they ordered him to get into their vehicle, and handcuffed him together with the complainant. The officers also alleged that Mutsura is a receiver of stolen property. The complainant later handed over US$150 to Selemani. The State further alleges that after getting the bribe, the four then demanded a US$15 fine, claiming that it was for failure to maintain a second hand goods register. After reportedly agreeing that the police officers would take the US$15 from the US$150, the four then agreed to let the complainant and his brother free. The complainant discovered that he was injured in his privates after he left the police station. *ZimLive*
2024-02-21 12:00:58 *Sacked Top Judge Drags Mnangagwa To Court* Fired top judge Justice Erica Ndewere has resuscitated her challenge over her “unlawful” dismissal from office in 2021 by dragging President Emmerson Mnangagwa to court. Ndewere was fired by Mnangagwa after a tribunal set up to investigate her recommended that she be dismissed for gross incompetence. The judge was accused by the Judicial Service Commission of wrongly quashing a prison sentence imposed on a thief and taking too long to deliver judgments. However, Ndewere claimed that she was being victimised for resisting Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s interference. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- In her submission, Ndewere cited Mnangagwa as the respondent, arguing that he failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation enshrined in section 187(8) when he removed her from the office of a judge on account of the “invalid, unlawful recommendations” of the Simbi Mubako Tribunal. She also argues that Mnangagwa did not file an opposing affidavit, dismissing the one filed by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi as inadmissible hearsay. “He (Mnangagwa) cannot delegate this responsibility in such serious matters taking into account that the constitutional obligation enshrined in section 187(8) of the Constitution is specific and one which is only exercisable by him. Consequently, there is no valid opposing affidavit before the court,” the application read. “In any event, the opposing affidavit purportedly deposed to by Ziyambi Ziyambi constitutes inadmissible hearsay. Ziyambi Ziyambi is the Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. He does not share the constitutional obligation enshrined in section 187(8) of the Constitution with the President. "He does not know what the President received, read and considered when he removed me from office. Only the President does and no affidavit confirming the averments in Ziyambi Ziyambi’s affidavit. “Therefore, his affidavit is inadmissible hearsay. In terms of the rules, only a deponent who can swear positively as to the facts can make an affidavit and Ziyambi Ziyambi, who could not have been lawfully involved in the entire process, cannot, therefore, swear positively to the averments he has made.” Ndewere argues that Mnangagwa deliberately misconstrued Proclamation 3 of 2021, which gave the Simbi Mubako Tribunal an “option” to extend its lifespan by a further six months “after swearing in of members”. Ndewere says Mnangagwa acted on invalid recommendations in her dismissal. “Applicant was discriminated against when SI [Statutory Instrument] 107/12 was not followed in her case, but SI 107/12 was used by the Chief Justice to appoint a panel of judges to investigate male colleagues Justice Benjamin Bere, Justice Webster Chinhamora and Justice Thompson Mabhikwa,” she averred in her submissions. “Applicant was discriminated against when she was singled out for charges for misconduct for breaching section 19(1) of Statutory Instrument 107/12, but no other judge who had not completed reviews of reserved judgments within three months was charged for misconduct. “Justice Benjamin Chikowero expressed surprise in his court judgment when he recused himself from hearing my case, that he was seeing his name in a memorandum dated February 6, 2019, along with my name and other judges for allegedly not completing his work, but he was never charged and no one ever spoke to him about it. Other 17 judges who were mentioned in several memoranda along with me were never charged for gross misconduct,” Ndewere submitted. Ndewere was suspended in 2020 before her dismissal the following year after granting bail to then MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala. *NewsDay*
2024-02-21 11:55:32 *200,000 Tonnes Of Free Grain From Russia Shipped To Zimbabwe, 5 African Countries* Russia shipped 50,000 tonnes each to Somalia and the Central African Republic and 25,000 tonnes each to Mali, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and Eritrea, Russia’s agriculture minister said late on Tuesday that Moscow had completed its initiative of shipping 200,000 metric tonnes of free grain to six African countries, as promised by President Vladimir Putin in July. Russia shipped 50,000 tonnes each to Somalia and the Central African Republic and 25,000 tonnes each to Mali, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and Eritrea, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev told Putin during a meeting, according to transcript on the Kremlin’s website. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- Putin had promised to deliver free grain to the six countries at a summit with African leaders in July, soon after Moscow withdrew from a deal that had allowed Ukraine to ship grain from its Black Sea ports despite the war Russia has been waging. The deal, known as the Black Sea grain initiative, had helped lower prices on the global market. But Putin argued it was failing to get supplies to the countries in most urgent need. “After the Russia-Africa summit, we have been maintaining relations (with African countries and building cooperation,” Patrushev told Putin. “As a result, we were able to deliver this volume of wheat to these countries quite quickly.” He also told Putin that Russia expects to export up to 70 million metric tonnes of grain in the 2023-2024 agricultural year. In the previous season, Russia shipped 66 million tonnes worth almost $16.5 billion, he added. The 2023-2024 agricultural year started July 1, 2023, and lasts until June 30, 2024. *Reuters*
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2024-02-21 06:08:28 *Radio Presenter Nabbed For Shooting, Kidnapping* Radio presenter, Dj Edias “Mafight” Sibanda has been arrested in connection with a shooting and kidnapping case that occurred in Mutare on Sunday. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said that the presenter was taken into custody by the police in Harare yesterday. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- “The ZRP confirms the arrest of radio presenter or DJ Edias (Mafight) Sibanda (33) in Harare today (Tuesday). “This is in connection with the shooting incident and kidnapping case which occurred in Mutare on the 18th of February 2024,” he said. *Zimpapers*
2024-02-21 06:08:12 *Mliswa, Didymus Mutasa Clash Over Land* A fight for vast tracts of land pitting former Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa, a private developer and former minister Didymus Mutasa has spilled into the public domain with Mliswa accusing his partners of land heist. Mliswa claimed that there has been an attempt to entice him with US$1 million to “bribe” him out of Muungwe Investments that holds title to Muungwe, Lepasi Falls and Utandi estates in Rusape. The land in question is held under Deed of Transfer number 7972/2008, Deed of Grant number 6600/2008 and Deed of Grant 8874/2008. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- Mliswa, Mutasa, Martin Naivada Mutasa and Mabel Mananiseyi Maril Dete are listed as directors of Muungwe Investments. The fallout between Mliswa and other directors follows the release of minutes of a meeting allegedly held on January 14 this year in Rusape authorising Mutasa (Didymus) to enter into a land development agreement with Brobondo (Private) Limited on the land in question. Mliswa owns 10% shares in Muungwe Investments. Addressing the media at Media Centre in Harare yesterday, Mliswa said corruption in the country had become sophisticated. “They (private land developer) wrote to my lawyers offering me US$1 million for the 10% and I said no as the value of that land was more than a million dollars,” Mliswa claimed. “If I wasn’t a director and shareholder why did they offer me a million? Why are they so generous yet there are so many hospitals that need help?” Mliswa warned the public against buying housing stands on the disputed pieces of land. “I wish to advise members of the public that there has neither been a company’s shareholders, nor a directors’ resolution authorising the development and or sale of stands to the public,” he said. “In the absence of such approval, it is my reasonable suspicion and conclusion that the development is a fraud.” Mliswa said he has instituted legal proceedings under HCHC42/24 against Brobondo and its partners. “Further, I shall approach law enforcement agents to investigate possible criminal conduct,” he said. “Members of the public are, therefore, warned and advised not to risk their hard-earned money on the current development which is a nullity on account of there being no requisite corporate approvals ... until either the lawsuit I have instituted is concluded or the development and sale of stands is regularised and sanctioned through a proper corporate action.” However, Brobondo company boss Blessing Madanhe accused Mliswa of raising dust through baseless accusations. Madanhe remained adamant that the project was going ahead despite sustained attacks from Mliswa. “In terms of phase one, the land survey has been done,” Madanhe said. “The first phase comprises about 600 stands that cover residential, commercial and industrial. “Very soon we are going to resume road construction for phase one, preliminary stages for road opening have been done. We are ahead of our schedule.” Madanhe said he was at a loss why Mliswa was attacking them. “In all fairness we are a professional entity, we respect the laws of this country. We do not participate in any transaction that militates against the law as we are fully compliant in terms of the laws of this country,” he said. “This land is a privately owned piece of land. All the allegations that have been thrown around by him are misplaced to tarnish our name. “We have not collided with him on any transaction, and we have not done anything wrong with his personal person. “We are currently engaging in a matter before the High Court where he is seeking certain matters from the court. l am sure being a former legislator he knows that it is wrong to discuss a matter which is before the courts,” he added. The land dispute further spotlights the thorny land question in Zimbabwe where land barons mostly linked to ruling Zanu PF party have been accused of grabbing vast tracts of land and selling them to desperate homeseekers. Government recently embarked on an operation of removing suspected illegal settlers across the country triggering an outcry. The mass evictions have spilled into the courts after some of the alleged illegal settlers were arrested. The exercise has since been suspended in the wake of countrywide outcries. *NewsDay*
2024-02-21 05:45:02 *Media Warned: Lead Reporting On Military "May Invite Some Responses"* The Government has urged the media to treat matters to do with the country’s security establishments with care and sensitivity and desist from leading internal processes that might be taking place in the organisations. This comes as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces has informed the nation that it was premature to make conclusions about allegations made by an online news organisation, The NewsHawks, which sought to impute corruption on three General officers in the ZDF. The ZDF has also warned social media mischief makers who doctored its original statement responding to an article by The NewsHawks in which the news organisation sought to besmirch other people in the military command in its story about the three General officers. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- In its article published last week, The NewsHawks, quoting unnamed sources, claimed that ZDF had fired three army commanders after they were allegedly implicated in a multi-million dollar housing scandal. In an interview yesterday, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications) Mr George Charamba said the media should exercise caution when dealing with matters of national security establishments. “We continue to urge the media fraternity to treat stories to do with security structures of this country with utmost care and sensitivity. “The ZDF has got its own internal processes to investigate any allegation against any of its members and it is always prudent for the media to follow, rather than seek to lead such a process. Leading through advocacy muddies the water and may invite some responses, which may not be that palatable,” said Mr Charamba. The NewsHawks has since issued a statement saying it had frozen articles to do with ZDF’s three commanders. The news organisation went on to play a victim card, by chronicling incidents where it claimed that it had received backlash arising from its stories about security establishments. Commenting on the statement from The NewsHawks, Mr Charamba said the media should appreciate that security concerns of a country take precedence ahead of one’s preferences or values. “Whatever your values or priorities might be, nothing surpasses or rises above the security concerns of this country,” said Mr Charamba. In its response to the story, ZDF said it had launched an investigation into an alleged corruption case by three general officers to establish the veracity of the allegations. It slammed the media particularly The NewsHawks for peddling falsehoods about the organisation and individuals associated with it. “The Zimbabwe Defence Forces wishes to reaffirm and reassure the public of its commitment to the rule of law, discipline, presumption of innocence and zero tolerance to corruption in whatever form and whatever level,” it said. “The Zimbabwe Defence Forces, however, notes with great concern attempts by NewsHawks and other media outlets to peddle falsehoods about the organisation and individuals taking advantage of the alleged corruption matter currently under investigation. The public will be apprised on any developments and outcomes in due course.” Following the statement from the ZDF, some social media mischief makers issued a doctored press statement purporting to be emanating from the military establishment. The statement imputed misdemeanour on senior persons of the military command, which the ZDF denounced. “The ZDF, however, notes with great concern that some mischievous social media players have now doctored the last three paragraphs of the statement to distort the content of the original response by the ZDF to the NewsHawks. “In that regard, the ZDF dissociates itself from the letter purported to be from the ZDF headquarters circulating on social media, which is different from what it had posted,” reads the statement. *Herald*
2024-02-21 05:44:04 *CCC Leadership To Beg "The State & Tshabangu" To Get Party Back* The recalls of over two dozen Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmakers and over 60 councillors by Sengezo Tshabangu were done without the knowledge of the party’s senior leadership, interim leader Prof Welshman Ncube said on Tuesday. Tshabangu recalled the elected representatives after imposing himself as interim secretary general, capitalising on the party’s lack of a clear structure and apparently willed on by the Zanu PF Speaker of Parliament, whose party craved a two thirds majority in the National Assembly. Tshabangu, now installed as a senator for Matabeleland North, recently claimed in an interview that he made the decisions as part of a collective which included Ncube and Tendai Biti, former deputies of Nelson Chamisa who quit the CCC last month saying it has been “contaminated” and “hijacked.” ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- “The truth of the matter is that I as an individual learnt for the first time about the first wave of recalls from a friend in the diaspora…,” Ncube told CITE in an interview aired Tuesday. “I read the letter (to parliament) and it was signed by Sengezo Tshabangu. I said but Sengezo Tshabangu is not the interim SG of CCC. I called him and said, ‘Tshabangu, there is letter surely it must be fake? It bears your signature and your name. Did you sign it?’ He said, ‘yes, I wrote it.’ I said, ‘like how? Why would you do something like that without even telling some of us?’ He said, ‘we knew that you would not approve, but we did it.’ “The second phase of recalls happened when we were mourning my late mother. The people who came to the funeral said 73 people had been recalled. I again called Tshabangu and said, ‘have you recalled these people?’ He said, ‘no, I haven’t recalled them.’ “Then, when 23 people were recalled, I call him again and I say, ‘you said to me you haven’t recalled anybody.’ And his answer was, ‘I said I haven’t recalled 73 people, I didn’t say I didn’t recall 23 people.’ “This couldn’t have been happening if Tshabangu was not his own man, if Tshabangu was controlled by me. And I know for a fact that vice president (Tendai) Biti also didn’t control Tshabangu, he was as much in the dark as I was.” Ncube said suggestions that they supported the recalls, or even actively drew up the names were from people who “love to create scapegoats because we have become deceitful, because we no longer value honesty.” Chamisa’s shock exit has seen the CCC going back to the 2019 structures when the party was still known as MDC Alliance. Ncube is holding the rotating presidency for 90 days before he hands over to Biti for a similar period and eventually Chikanga MP Karenyi Kore, who has also been named as the party’s leader in parliament. Ncube said he hadn’t spoken to Chamisa for more than two months. “These differences to arise in life,” he said. “Some of us believe if you’re fighting the struggle against Zanu PF, a Zanu PF government which you characterise as autocratic, as authoritarian, as having accumulated centred power then we must be the antithesis of this, we must therefore demonstrably be the opposite of Zanu PF. We must do, while in opposition, the things we will be expected to do when we are in government. “You cannot run an autocratic, an authoritarian and theocratic opposition and then expect sincere, genuine people to believe that once you’re in power you will no longer believe in these things. “For some of us we remained faithful to those values and principles which required us to be the antithesis of Zanu PF, to believe in democracy, transparency, accountability and making decisions based on debate and let the most persuasive ideas win the day in the structures, forums and organs of a political organisation. The moment you don’t do that you no longer have a political party you actually have a Jim Jones political organisation. “These are the genuine differences and people should not gloss over them and begin to label people this or that. We differ on these things, let the public judge whether or not we should be holding onto the values that first brought us together in the first place.” Admitting that the new CCC leadership did not have “100 percent control of the party” as they face opposition from Chamisa loyalists, Ncube said the CCC’s standing committee had given the leaders a mandate to engage the state and Tshabangu “so that we can unconditionally get our party back.” “In a democratic environment, in a multi-party country the state recognises the organs of the official opposition,” Ncube said. “We need to be able to engage the two so that we can reassert the authority of the party. We might fail, we might succeed, but we hope that we will succeed.” Chamisa, a popular figure who has led the opposition since 2018, is reportedly weighing forming a new party after declaring that he “wants nothing to do with CCC.” *ZimLive*
2024-02-21 05:25:02 *ED Disheartened By Continuous Gaza Attacks Despite ICJ Ruling* President Mnangagwa has welcomed the ruling handed by the International Court of Justice directing Israel to do all it can to prevent the deaths of Palestinian civilians, punish incitement to genocide and provide the much-needed humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. The ruling by the ICJ followed an appeal by South Africa, imploring the Hague-based international court to interdict Israel from committing crimes of genocide against defenceless Palestinians. The President said this in a letter addressed to former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad, who had earlier on written to him calling for decisive action against Israel for brutally killing innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. ---------- To join our groups follow: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JkkprEdP6UZ27gaC7kkfzc --------- In his letter, President Mnangagwa said he concurred with the former Malaysian PM’s call for action against Israel. “I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated February 8, 2024, regarding the ongoing Israel attacks on Palestine. I noted with grief your genuine concerns on the current status quo of the conflict,” said President Mnangagwa. He said Zimbabwe has been following events in the Gaza Strip “closely since the commencement of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza strip, and also welcomes the decision of the International Court of Justice calling on Israel to take all possible measures to prevent the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people”. “It is disheartening that Israel continues to attack the Gaza Strip with impunity and I am anguished by the bombings of Rafah refugee camp which is against International Humanitarian Law,” said President Mnangagwa. “The Government of Zimbabwe reiterates its call for the continued political process that will expeditiously yield a lasting ceasefire and lead to the realisation of a fully independent State of Palestine, according to the 1967 UN Security Council Resolution and Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995. Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.” In his letter, Dr Mahathir noted that the world was witnessing the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli armed forces. “This is in complete disregard for human rights which I am sure you uphold. (Benjamin) Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister says arrogantly that nobody can stop Israel from continuing its genocide war. “Already 25 000-plus Palestinians have been killed. Many more wounded, 70 percent of those killed are women, children and babies. Even the sick are not spared,” said Dr Mahathir. He described Israel’s conduct as inhumane and “unworthy of our civilisation”. “It must be stopped. Apart from charging Israel in the International Court of Justice, the world needs to enforce the finding of the ICJ. The world can do this by breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel and perhaps apply sanctions against it,” Dr Mahathir said. “Whatever maybe the cause of the war against Gaza, genocide is not justified. Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel. So, I hope your good nations will help save the lives of people by the measures I have suggested.” South Africa has approached the ICJ to have Israel directed to prevent all the violence and genocide attacks against Palestinians in Gaza. The United States, an ally of Israel, has since threatened South Africa with punitive sanctions over its litigation against Tel-Aviv. On February 6, during the 118th Congress 2nd Session, the US House of Representatives introduced a Bill titled, “US-South Africa Bilateral Relations Review Act”, which seeks to impose sanctions on South Africa. Over 29 000 Palestinians have been killed and 68 291 wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7 last year. The ICJ will also hear a case against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. In a first-of-its-kind case, at least 52 countries will present arguments on controversial Israeli policies in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and occupied East Jerusalem. It’s the largest number of parties to participate in any single ICJ case since the court was established in 1945. Israeli authorities, since 1967, have illegally occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, part of Palestine under the United Nations-determined division of historic Palestine in 1948, running a system that restricts the citizenship rights of Palestinians, hampers their free movement and strips them of ancestral lands. Between 1967 and 2005, Israel also directly occupied Gaza and since 2007, it has imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the coastal enclave. *Herald*