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2024-06-23 12:48:12 *Banks Cautious As Cryptocurrency Framework Takes Shape* At the forefront of Zimbabwe's financial landscape, discussions are brewing over the potential adoption of cryptocurrencies, though local banks remain cautious about fully integrating them into their services. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) are collaborating on a regulatory framework aimed at facilitating the trading of virtual assets within the country. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- During the inaugural Capital Markets Conference in Nyanga, it became evident that while the framework is under development, Zimbabwean banks are not yet equipped to handle the complexities of cryptocurrency trading. Fanwell Mutogo, CEO of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, emphasized that local banks view cryptocurrency as a new and evolving field that requires thorough research and preparation before mainstream adoption. Despite previous regulatory hesitations, including outright bans on cryptocurrencies, recent global market trends have prompted a reconsideration. With the global cryptocurrency market reaching a valuation of US$2.42 trillion, there is growing interest in exploring these digital assets locally. RBZ's exploration into digital currencies is exemplified by its introduction of a gold-backed digital token. This move marks a shift towards embracing digital financial instruments that offer stability through physical asset backing, contrasting with the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Financial analyst Ranga Makwata highlighted the potential benefits of cryptocurrency adoption in Zimbabwe, citing factors such as economic instability and a tech-savvy population eager for alternatives to volatile local currencies. He stressed the importance of establishing a robust regulatory framework to mitigate risks associated with digital currencies, including cybersecurity threats and financial literacy gaps. Makwata urged regulatory bodies to focus on enhancing public understanding of virtual assets while fostering collaboration between traditional financial institutions and cryptocurrency platforms. By addressing these challenges, Zimbabwe could leverage cryptocurrencies for economic growth, financial inclusion, and technological advancement. As discussions continue, the path towards integrating cryptocurrencies into Zimbabwe's financial ecosystem remains a balancing act between innovation and regulatory caution, aiming to unlock the potential benefits while managing inherent risks.
2024-06-23 12:48:02 *Police Launch Blitz On Rowdy Touts; 140 Arrested Countrywide* IN a bid to restore order and protect travellers, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has launched a comprehensive crackdown on touts operating across the country. In a statement, police spokesperson, Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said the blitz code-named “No To Touts,” aims to arrest and prosecute the gangs, which harass, threaten, and force passengers to board public service vehicles and pirate taxis. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- “The Zimbabwe Republic Police has launched a comprehensive operation dubbed, ‘No To Touts’ throughout the country to specifically ensure that all touting activities by gangs who are harassing, threatening and forcing travellers to board public service vehicles and pirate taxis are arrested and taken to court. “As of June 20, 2024, a total of 410 touts had been arrested and taken to court for the legal process to run its course,” said Nyathi. ZRP has coordinated with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to ensure suspects appear in batches, with no option for deposit fines at police stations. “ZRP has engaged the JSC for all suspects arrested to appear in court in batches. In this regard, no deposit fines will be accepted at police stations.” Police also issued a strong warning to public service vehicle operators and crews, stating that they will face consequences if found to be employing touts. “Public service vehicle operators and their crew are strongly warned against employing touts. The operators will also face the due consequences of the law if evidence points to them as employers of touts. “In the same vein, pirate taxis or mushikashika vehicles who are also using touts to perpetuate illegal activities such as picking and dropping passengers at undesignated points will not be spared,” added the police spokesperson. The decisive action by police comes in response to the growing menace of touting, which has long plagued Zimbabwe’s public transportation sector. Touts, often part of organised hoodlums, harass and intimidate travellers, forcing them into vehicles against their free will and sometimes even resorting to violence. *NewZW*
2024-06-23 12:47:45 *PVO Amendment Bill Goes For Second Reading In Parly* The Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill [H. B. 2, 2024] has gone through a second reading in Parliament with the government advocating for an expeditious streamlined registration process to prevent fraud, claiming charities were racing to register as trusts. This was raised by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi on behalf of the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, July Moyo, during the Second Reading of the PVO Amendment Bill in Parliament on Thursday. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Ziyambi said when the Bill was first introduced, the Financial Action TaskForce, the world’s money laundering police, stated that some charitable trusts are misused to channel funds to fund terrorism and other criminal activities, as well as laundering criminal activities proceeds by buying properties in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. The justice minister insisted the Bill is necessary to improve the administration, accountability and transparency of charities in Zimbabwe. “The legal word for charity in our country is Private Voluntary Organisation. Under our law, every charity that uses money collected from the public or donated from a foreign Government or agency is required to be registered as a PVO in terms of the Private Voluntary Organisation Act, which Bill is before you and that is the Bill we seek to amend,” Ziyambi said. However, opposition members were against the Bill saying the government could not bring such a bill when it had just extended a begging bowl to feed citizens and that private voluntary organisations have done extreme work, including capacitation of Parliament itself while ruling MPs claimed NGOs pretended to help people yet had ulterior motives. Ziyambi acknowledged the support that NGOs provided but said few may be tempted to use the guise of charity to carry out undesirable, harmful activities. He claimed the government is aware some charities acted in a politically partisan manner by directing money to favoured political parties or candidates. “Partisan assistance using foreign money or money collected from the public under the guise of charity must never be allowed to influence the outcome of national or local elections,” Ziyambi said. “In many developed countries, this kind of behaviour is understood to be harmful to the very idea of charity. In the United States, you cannot register any organisation as a non-profit organisation for tax purposes if that organisation campaigns or canvasses for any political candidate or party.” In that context, Ziyambi stated the PVO Bill seeks to clean up the space in which PVOs may operate, adding the government knew for some time that some charities have completely bypassed the Private Voluntary Organisations Act by forming “trusts” sanctioned by the Registrar of Deeds, Companies, and Intellectual Property. Ziyambi said any trust registered for “charity purposes,” using foreign money not generated by their own activities or investments, or using money collected from members of the public at large, must be required to register as a PVO under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act for accountability on the sources of their funds and use. “It was realised that the procedures for registration under the Act need to be streamlined and expedited. This is why some of these charities have chosen the route of forming trusts sanctioned by the Registrar of Deeds, Companies and Intellectual Property,” Ziyambi said. “We cannot run the risk of charities of a public character being used as a cover for theft, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering or partisan political activity.” Opposition MP, Edwin Mushoriwa said assuming the Bill was meant to comply with the Financial Action Task Force, the point was the government should actually work with civic societies to curb terrorist funding, money laundering. “This Bill wants to make sure that it attacks the foundation of private voluntary organisations,” he said. “This Bill does not seek to streamline administrative procedures. In fact, this Bill will make it even extremely difficult for PVOs to operate.” Mushoriwa argued the Bill gives the Minister too much powers, contrary to the provisions of Section 68 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution. “This is actually very dangerous to give the Minister a blank cheque, not only to cover the current PVOs, but it also gives the Minister to bring other institutions that are not currently under the ambit of this Bill,” he said, claiming the government just wanted to prevent PVOs from undertaking political lobbying. Another opposition MP, Caston Matewu, said the Bill could allow the Registrar to terminate contracts of employment for NGO employees. “How does a Registrar go into a private NGO and terminate employment contracts of them? This is unheard of,” he said. “The Bill also introduces civil and criminal penalties which can be imposed on the board members that will discourage the rightful people, the philanthropists from actually associating with any NGO as they fear the law can be used against them.” Howeve,r Zanu PF MP, Benjamin Ganyiwa said Zimbabwe was once colonised and most of the NGOs are funded by those colonisers, therefore their ulterior motives must be questioned. “What are they seeing in our nation? We are representing people in the constituencies and you will see some of the NGOs coming, pretending to want to help people but they have ulterior motives and want to be helped themselves,” he said. Zanu PF MP Taurai Dexter Malinganiso added even though Zimbabwe does not have terrorism, it could not stop Zimbabwe from enacting laws deterring such. “We have just discovered oil, we have just discovered gas, and these minerals have been known to be a cause of a sponsored uprising for that matter and in recent history, we have Nigeria where there is ISIS. If we do not have such laws, organisations that are seemingly conventional might be abused for the purpose of sponsoring instability and in our case, for purposes of regime change as always has been the case,” he said. *CITE*
2024-06-23 10:02:49 *ZACC Faces Twitter Hacking Scandal As Controversy Grows* By Judith Matanire Last night, Zimbabwe was thrown into turmoil as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) issued a startling public notice revealing that their official X account had been compromised. Signed by Commissioner Thandiwe Mlobane, the notice confirmed suspicions of a security breach and urged the public to disregard recent tweets from the handle. The commission asserted their last control over the account on June 20, 2024, at 18:25, leaving a gap of almost three days during which unauthorized posts were made. The controversy began with a series of incendiary tweets posted by an individual purporting to be a senior ZACC employee, using the handle @MhepoYeNyika. The tweets, written in both Shona and English, exposed internal discord and accusations of high-level corruption within the commission. One particularly damning tweet criticized the handling of cases involving convicted ZANU PF affiliate and alleged money launderer Wicknell Chivayo, suggesting that the commission was sidestepping serious charges in favor of superficial distractions. The posts quickly spread across social media platforms, sparking intense debate among citizens and raising questions about the integrity of ZACC's internal operations. Supporters of the alleged whistleblower lauded the bravery in exposing corruption, while skeptics questioned the authenticity of the claims and the security measures in place at the commission. In response to the breach, ZACC reassured the public of its commitment to combat corruption and stated that efforts to regain control of the compromised account were underway. However, the incident has cast a shadow over the commission's credibility at a time when public trust in governmental institutions is already fragile. This development comes shortly after ZACC issued an ultimatum to Chivayo and two others—Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu—to present themselves for questioning regarding various allegations or face arrest. The ultimatum itself had already stirred controversy, with political activist Mahere criticizing what she perceived as unequal treatment under the law. "We need new leaders," Mahere tweeted, expressing frustration over what she viewed as preferential treatment for high-profile individuals accused of wrongdoing. As Zimbabweans await further updates from ZACC regarding both the hacking incident and the allegations made against prominent figures like Chivayo, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges facing the country in its fight against corruption. The aftermath of this breach will likely shape public perception of ZACC's effectiveness and transparency in the days to come. *Nhau/Indaba*
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2024-06-23 08:10:51 *BREAKING: Zimbabwe Corruption Watchdog X Account Hacked* The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has reported that its official X (formerly Twitter) account was hacked. The incident came to light following a controversial post from the compromised account, suggesting internal pressure to divert attention from the arrest of prominent businessman Wicknell Chivhayo, focusing instead on minor distractions. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The post, allegedly made by a senior ZACC employee using the alias @MhepoYeNyika, stated, "It is my sworn duty to stand for truth and justice and to reveal to the public the deplorable level of corruption that has plagued our country. Instead of arresting and charging
2024-06-23 04:20:20 *Next Cup Of Nations Finals To Start In December 2025* The next Africa Cup of Nations finals have been put back six months and will now be played from Dec. 21, 2025 to Jan. 18, 2026, the Confederation of African (CAF) football announced on Friday. The 2025 tournament in Morocco was supposed to take place in mid-year but has been shifted because of FIFA’s new expanded Club World Cup with 32 teams in the United States next June and July. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- CAF has also postponed the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations by 12 months to July 5-26 next year. That is also being hosted in Morocco. Dates for the two tournaments have been keenly anticipated as CAF previously acknowledged struggling with a crowded international calendar. “The announcement of the dates of the AFCON in Morocco 2025 took much longer than expected, as there were complex and at times challenging discussions with various interested parties, in the light of the extensive international and domestic match calendars,” said CAF president Patrice Motsepe. “CAF is committed to protecting and advancing the interests of African players, (who are) playing in football clubs in Europe and worldwide. CAF is also committed to building mutually beneficial relationships with the other football confederations and FIFA,” he added. Competing at the Cup of Nations in the middle of the European league season causes a dilemma for European-based African players, who have to decide between club or country. To alleviate this, CAF previously decided the finals would be moved to mid-year, every odd year, from 2019 onwards. But since the mid-year tournament in Egypt in 2019, African football’s governing body have gone back on their decision and hosted the last two finals in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast at the start of the year. Moving the 2025 finals to a December kick off, rather than January, is to avoid a clash with the expanded Champions League in Europe. The 2025 finals were to be a showcase for Morocco to bolster its summer tourism profile and also look to prove their capability ahead of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain, but it is now scheduled for the winter months. The 2025 Cup of Nations qualifiers will be played in the next three international windows in September, October and November this year in quick-fire campaign after which the 24 finalists will wait more than one year before the finals kick off. *Reuters*
2024-06-23 04:19:59 *Chivayo’s Allies Face Extradition if They Fail To Return For Questioning* Controversial Zimbabwean businessmen Wicknell Chivayo’s business partners, Mike Chimombe, and Moses Mpofu are facing the prospect of extradition if they do not voluntarily return to Zimbabwe to face questioning by authorities. The trio, who are currently believed to be residing in different countries, have been embroiled in a series of controversies and legal battles that have caught the attention of international law enforcement agencies. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The businessmen have been under scrutiny for their alleged involvement in a range of illegal activities, including financial mismanagement, corruption, and fraud. Wicknell Chivayo, a well-known figure in Zimbabwe’s energy sector, has been particularly notorious for his controversial dealings, especially related to government contracts for energy projects. Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu, who have also made names for themselves in various business ventures, are accused of being complicit in these activities. The charges against Chivayo, Chimombe, and Mpofu stem from allegations that they misappropriated funds meant for large-scale development projects. Chivayo, for instance, has been accused of failing to deliver on several high-profile energy projects despite receiving substantial government funding. His involvement in the Gwanda solar project, where millions of dollars allegedly went unaccounted for, has been a focal point of the investigations. Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu are implicated in related schemes, where they are suspected of using their influence and business connections to facilitate and benefit from the misappropriation of public funds. These activities have not only tarnished their reputations but also raised significant concerns about the impact on Zimbabwe’s economy and public trust in the business community. The Zimbabwean authorities have been ramping up efforts to bring the businessmen to justice. This includes issuing warrants for their arrest and seeking the cooperation of international law enforcement agencies to ensure that the trio cannot evade justice by remaining abroad. If Chivayo, Chimombe, and Mpofu do not voluntarily return to Zimbabwe soon, extradition proceedings could be initiated. Extradition is a complex legal process that involves the cooperation of the host countries where the businessmen are currently residing. It requires substantial evidence and diplomatic negotiations to ensure that the individuals can be brought back to face charges. The Zimbabwean government is reportedly in contact with several countries to facilitate this process. The potential extradition of Chivayo, Chimombe, and Mpofu has sparked widespread public and political debate in Zimbabwe. Many citizens are calling for swift and decisive action to hold these businessmen accountable for their alleged crimes. There is a growing demand for transparency and justice, particularly given the significant sums of public money involved. Political analysts suggest that the outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for Zimbabwe’s efforts to combat corruption and restore confidence in its business and governmental institutions. The case has also drawn international attention, with observers noting that it could set a precedent for how similar cases are handled in the future. As the situation unfolds, all eyes will be on how the Zimbabwean authorities manage the extradition process and the subsequent legal proceedings. The businessmen’s legal teams are expected to challenge any attempts at extradition, potentially leading to prolonged legal battles in multiple jurisdictions. In the meantime, the Zimbabwean public and international community will be watching closely, hoping that justice is served and that this case marks a turning point in the fight against corruption in the country. The fate of Wicknell Chivayo, Mike Chimombe, and Moses Mpofu remains uncertain, but one thing is clear: the pressure is mounting, and the world is watching.
2024-06-23 04:03:45 *Legal Action Initiated Against Pension Funds For Compensation Delays* The Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) has launched legal proceedings against approximately 50 pension funds for their failure to submit proposed pre-2009 compensation schemes. This move, confirmed by IPEC Commissioner Dr. Grace Muradzikwa, is in response to their non-compliance with Statutory Instrument (SI) 162 of 2023. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Dr. Muradzikwa stated in a recent interview that these actions mark a crucial step towards addressing long-standing grievances from pensioners and policyholders. These individuals have been advocating for compensation following substantial losses incurred due to the country's shift from the Zimbabwe dollar to a basket of foreign currencies in 2009. The currency conversion severely devalued pension funds, leaving many without adequate financial security during retirement. "We are pursuing legal action against approximately 50 pension funds that have failed to comply with the submission requirements," noted Dr. Muradzikwa, emphasizing the regulatory commitment to uphold accountability within the sector. The compensation process has been fraught with challenges, compounded by technical complexities and the need to ensure fair and comprehensive restitution. Initially targeted to begin earlier this year, the timeline has extended, prompting Dr. Muradzikwa to urge patience among stakeholders. "While progress is being made, unlocking the full value for compensation remains a formidable task," she acknowledged. Among the pension schemes reviewed, only Mimosa Pension Fund has received approval thus far, with others instructed to revise their submissions to meet regulatory standards. Martin Tarusenga, General Manager of the Zimbabwe Pensions and Insurance Rights Trusts, voiced concerns over the stringent compliance measures outlined in SI 162, labeling them impractical and potentially prejudicial to pensioners. The impact of the pension fund losses has reverberated through Zimbabwe's financial landscape, prompting a shift in savings behavior. Many citizens are now turning to alternative investments, particularly real estate, viewed as a more tangible asset with potential for long-term appreciation. Sylvester Nyika, a financial analyst based in Harare, highlighted the broader implications: "The erosion of pension fund values has significantly undermined public confidence in traditional schemes. This has catalyzed a surge in alternative investments, notably property, despite its liquidity challenges." While the compensation efforts are a positive development, rebuilding trust and fortifying the pension sector will be pivotal in safeguarding future retirement security. *Bar patron mistakenly stabbed to death in fracas over game of pool* A BAR patron watching a heated game of pool was mistakenly stabbed on the stomach and died of injuries sustained in the attack. The incident occurred Thursday in Marange, Manicaland province. Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) confirmed the death of 23-year-old Raymond Jorina at Gomorefu business centre. “Police in Marange arrested Ambrose Munhuumwe (32) in connection with a case of murder which occurred at a bar in Gomorefu business centre, Marange on June 20, 2024 in which Raymond Jorina (23) died. “The suspect allegedly swung an okapi knife towards a patron whom he had an argument with over a pool game. The suspect regrettably missed and stabbed Raymond Jorina who was watching the pool game,” police said in a statement. The victim reportedly sustained a stab wound on the stomach and died on admission at a local clinic. *NewZW*
2024-06-23 04:03:30 *ARTUZ Condemns Police Brutality Against Disabled Member, Demands Justice* THE Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has castigated the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for brutalizing its senior member who is living with disabilities, describing the attacks as a “blatant violation of constitutional rights.” ARTUZ Harare province secretary general, Ronald Hondongwa, was arrested together with the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim leader Jameson Timba and 78 others over the weekend on allegations of holding an unlawful meeting. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- In a statement, ARTUZ alleged Hondongwa was beaten by State security forces resulting in damage to his prosthetic leg and injuries to his only functional hand. As a result, Hondongwa has gone for days without bathing. Furthermore, ARTUZ noted Hondongwa has been denied bail despite being a deserving candidate. “It’s distressing to note that Ronald Hondongwa’s artificial leg was damaged while in State custody, and he sustained injuries to his only functional hand. “He hasn’t been able to bathe for four days. Struggling to walk due to the broken artificial leg, he is facing significant hardship. We hope that bail will be granted soon to provide him relief and the opportunity to address his needs,” said ARTUZ. The teacher’s representative body said it was saddened by recent developments in the country bordering on closing democratic space. “ARTUZ is outraged by the arrest and police brutality against our Harare province secretary general, Ronald Hondongwa who was viciously attacked by State security forces while peacefully commemorating the Day of the African Child with CCC youths. “This is a blatant violation of the constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and association, enshrined in Section 58,” said ATRUZ. The teacher’s representative body pleaded with the regime apparatus to respect people’s rights. “We demand that the police and all State agents respect the rule of law and the rights guaranteed in our Constitution. “Police brutality is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.The continued crackdown on democratic space in Zimbabwe is a grave concern,” further said the union. ARTUZ warned of retaliatory action, calling for citizens to join in. “We will not stand idly by as the State tramples on the hard-won liberties of the Zimbabwean people! Enough is enough! If we remain silent in the face of such egregious injustice, we become complicit in these abhorrent acts of State-sponsored violence. The time for action is now. “We call on all citizens to join us in condemning this tyranny. Only through collective action can we put an end to these attacks on our fundamental freedoms. “ARTUZ will not be cowed by intimidation tactics. We will continue to fearlessly advocate for the rights of our members and all Zimbabweans. “The government must respect human rights and uphold the constitution, or face the wrath of the people,” reads the ARTUZ statement. *NewZW*
2024-06-23 04:03:18 *Zimbabwe Power Cuts Worse On Low Generation, Imports* Zimbabwe's state power firm has deepened electricity cuts due to inadequate imports and after maintenance at a major plant and less generation at another cut power supply, state media reported on Friday. Most urban areas have for the past three weeks experienced unplanned power cuts, at times lasting for 12 hours. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- A combination of reduced output at the 750 MW Kariba hydro power station due to annual maintenance and the shut down of one unit at the 400 MW Hwange thermal plant has reduced electricity generation by 600 MW. Zimbabwe produces around 1,100 MW of electricity against a peak demand of 2,000 MW and imports up to 500 MW during peak periods, but power is fast becoming scarce as suppliers in the southern Africa region face rising internal demand. The bulk of Zimbabwe's electricity imports come from Mozambique, but it also buys from Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo. ZESA spokesman, Fullard Gwasira told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that the company was only managing to buy half of its electricity import requirements. "The current load shedding that is being experienced in the country is a result of the annual maintenance at Kariba Power Station, depressed generation at Hwange and low imports," said Gwasira. "Owing to power generation challenges being experienced by our traditional suppliers, Zimbabwe has only been able to secure half of its import needs from the region." Maintenance at Kariba is scheduled to end on Sunday but Gwasira said this would only slightly ease the power cut. The electricity cuts are hurting an economy that has just started to recover from a decade of decline. Industrial output has increased from 10 percent at the start of the year to 40 percent after a new unity government formed between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in February brought stability. Energy and Power Development Minister Elias Mudzuri told Reuters last month that ZESA planned to ramp up output at Hwange to 750 MW by restarting another generating unit at Hwange while another 90 MW would be produced from a smaller plant. *Reuters*
2024-06-22 19:35:36 *Mnangagwa Legitimacy Challenger, Sybeth Musengezi, Acquitted Of Electoral Fraud Charges* Zanu PF activist Sybeth Musengezi has filed an application at the Harare Magistrates’ Court seeking to dismiss electoral fraud charges being levelled against him. Musengezi stands accused of falsifying his address and Zanu PF membership, something prosecutors allege he used to illegally register as a voter in the Hatcliffe constituency. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Allegations were that sometime in 2012, Musengezi, acting in common purpose with Allen Chisuko and Taurai Mutimbanyoka, misrepresented to Zanu PF that he stayed at No. 4315 Hatcliffe Extension, Harare for him to join as a member of the ruling party’s Muzinda 1A District. In his appeal, Musengezi argued that the state erred by considering speculative evidence and failing to consider relevant factors. “The state has failed to make out even a prima facie case that there was any misrepresentation made by the accused. Thus, at least one of the essential elements for the crime of fraud is missing,” Musengezi says in his application. “There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the accused provided the information about his address to Zanu PF. “None of the State witnesses were present when the alleged misrepresentation took place and none of them even stated to whom the alleged misrepresentation was made.” The activist argued that the state had insufficient evidence to proceed with trial. In his appeal, the activist trashed the state’s position, citing discrepancies and assumptions he argued were not supported by evidence. “The State’s case rests entirely on the Zanu PF cell and branch sheets and on an assumption, which is not backed by any evidence whatsoever, that it must have been the accused who provided the information contained therein. “However, that assumption is contradicted by the evidence before the court.” Musengezi also argued that the state’s case was based on a Zanu PF cell and branch sheet collected in a haphazard manner. “None of the state witnesses could give first hand evidence about how any of the information contained in the Zanu PF cell and branch sheets had been collected as none were present. “Therefore, none of the state witnesses could dispute the defence’s contention that the Zanu PF cell and branch sheet information is collected in a chaotic and haphazard manner, whereby information is routinely collected about people not in their presence. “Even more catastrophically for the State’s case, the Zanu PF cell and branch sheets were proven to be full of errors relating to other members,” read parts of the appeal. Musengezi’s court troubles followed an earlier challenge he made against President Mnangagwa’s legitimacy, something observers attach to Zanu PF’s endless factional infighting. *ZimLive*
2024-06-22 17:24:03 *Mutapa Fund Urged To Plug Corruption In ‘Opaque’ Parastatals* A FINANCIAL expert has urged the Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF) to urgently plug corrupt activities in all State enterprises under its purview as a starting point towards attainment of its objectives. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- MIF, formerly known as the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe, is a purse formulated by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act (Chapter 22:20), which has about 20 parastatals under its purview. It was renamed after the re-election of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, doing so by using Statutory Instrument 156 of 2023. Some experts believe that if properly rolled out, the MIF will go a long way to create a capital powerhouse which will open up low-cost financial streams for local companies in a move which will unlock thousands of jobs among other benefits. The developments come on the back of rampant rot within the country’s parastatals, which have seen the maintenance of shambolic records of accounts and haphazard management practices leading to untold losses. Year after year, the Auditor General’s reports have flagged out unimaginable misconduct within the parastatals requiring urgent attention. But speaking to recently, financial analyst, Owen Mavengere, said there is a need to deal with rot at most State enterprises. “The MIF must establish clear and transparent procedures for all transactions and decisions within the parastatals. This includes regular audits and public reporting to ensure accountability. The type of reporting should be per the guidelines in the Public Finance Management Act. “The project will not be successful if it fails to strengthen oversight and governance systems to create an independent oversight body in each subsidiary entity, to monitor activities and enforce anti-corruption measures. “The Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission (ZACC) or the Office of the President and Cabinet would be great partners in coming up with such structures. “Over and above, the whistleblowing culture must be encouraged and well protected within the MIF institution,” he said. *NewZW*
2024-06-22 14:09:38 *One Person Killed, Over 200 Injured In Kenya Anti-tax Demonstrations* One person was killed and at least 200 people injured across Kenya in Thursday's nationwide protests against government plans to raise $2.7 billion in additional taxes, an alliance of rights groups and the police watchdog said. Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters in the capital Nairobi, the five rights groups, which include Amnesty International and the Kenya Medical Association, said in a joint statement late on Thursday. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The presence of spent cartridges implied the use of live rounds, they said, adding that more than 100 protesters had been arrested across Kenya. The Independent Policing Oversight Authority said on Friday it had documented the death of a man "allegedly as a result of police shooting and several serious injuries suffered by other demonstrators including police officers." The 29-year-old man died during treatment to a wound on his thigh at a hospital on Thursday night, according to a police report seen by Reuters. The report did not state how he was injured. Gillian Munyau, mother of the dead man, Rex Kanyike, who worked at a casino in Nairobi, said his friend had told her a plainclothes officer had shot him while they ran away from teargas. "If someone is fighting for their rights, why use live bullets? Had he been armed, we would have understood. But he was just walking with his friend," Munyau told Reuters outside a mortuary, where she had gone to collect her son's body. Munyau told privately-owned Citizen Television that Rex's friends told her police officers who had past him being attended to offered no help. "The officers said "let him die there" and continued walking by," she told Citizen Television. Nairobi county police commander Adamson Bungei did not answer phone calls from Reuters seeking comment. "We commend the several thousands of protesters, many of whom are youthful, for picketing peacefully (and) exhibiting restraint and decorum despite provocation by police," the rights groups said. Protesters want the government to abandon its finance bill, saying it will choke the economy and raise the cost of living for Kenyans who are already struggling to make ends meet. The International Monetary Fund, however, says that the government needs to increase revenues to reduce the budget deficit and state borrowing. Earlier this week the government softened its position a little, with President William Ruto endorsing recommendations to scrap some of the new levies, including on car ownership, bread, cooking oil and financial transactions. Despite the widespread demonstrations, which broke out in 19 of Kenya's 47 counties, lawmakers passed the finance bill in its second reading on Thursday, moving the contested tax proposals to their next stage for approval. Lawmakers are expected to meet on Tuesday to vote on proposed changes to the bill, which parliament's budget committee says would blow a 200 billion Kenyan shilling ($1.56 billion) hole in the 2024/25 budget, and compel the government to make spending cuts. *Reuters*
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2024-06-22 07:55:00 *Zimbabwe Faces Endless Exodus Of Health Workers Amid Decreasing Salaries & Worsening Conditions* After a decade of service as a nurse in the public sector and very little to show for her years of toil, Letina Chiwongotore has thrown in the towel. The 35-year-old is packing her bags for the UK, no longer able to bear mounting economic hardships. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare staff have been fleeing for several years to escape low salaries and poor working conditions in a country that seems unable to overcome its economic problems. Earlier this year, the Zimbabwean government converted the $300 COVID allowance it had been paying to nurses to a permanent salary. Nurses now take home an average of $255 every month after tax. The payment in US dollars, although small, has been welcomed by the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) as nurses had previously been paid in local currency. With hyperinflation, the local currency had almost completely lost its value, rendering the nurses’ salaries and pensions of retired nurses virtually worthless. However, this salary is substantially lower than that paid back in 2018 when nurses received $540. Meanwhile, civil servants’ organisations estimate that the minimum wage should be $840. *Years Of Brain Drain* Zimbabwe’s health care system has been crumbling under the strain of decades of brain drain, fuelled by economic and political instability since the late 1990s, which has caused high inflation and the collapse of the local currency. Health workers’ salaries have not been spared the inflation amid currency woes, forcing many professionals to migrate in search of better opportunities abroad. By 2000, 51% of Zimbabwe’s doctors and 25% of its nurses were already practising abroad. By 2019, the UK’s National Health Service employed 4,049 Zimbabwean healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and clinical support staff. As if that was not enough, more than 4,000 health workers, including more than 2,600 nurses, left Zimbabwe in 2021 and 2022 alone, according to official statistics. Aside from the UK, health workers have sought employment in Canada and Australia. Between September 2022 and September 2023, some 21,130 Zimbabweans were given visas to work in the UK, many of those being nurses and care workers, according to that country’s Home Office data. Late last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) went on record, saying that 4,600 Zimbabwean health workers had left the country since 2019. *Crippling Effect On Health* The brain drain of health professionals from Zimbabwe has had a crippling effect on the country’s public health system and on health outcomes. For example, in 2021 life expectancy was 58.5 years, a two-year drop from the already low 60.7 years in 2019, according to WHO figures. This is also lower than the average life expectancy for Africa, which was 63.6 years in 2021. The growing shortage of healthcare workers is endangering the lives of patients in hospitals that are already poorly equipped. HIV, respiratory tract infections and neonatal conditions – mostly preventable and treatable – are the three biggest killers. Tuberculosis infection has worsened since 2021. Infectious diseases, maternal, perinatal and “nutritional conditions” including malnutrition are responsible for 47% of deaths. However, non-communicable diseases are on the rise, accounting for almost 40% of deaths. The few Zimbabwean nurses that remain in the country’s crumbling healthcare facilities are having to attend to ballooning numbers of patients. This has caused a domino effect, accelerating the exodus of health workers who cannot manage the work load and face daily demoralisation in under-resourced facilities. Melina Chiwara, a 28-year-old nurse, says that she is struggling to cope with the growing workload and deteriorating working conditions. Chiwara, like thousands of others who have left the southern African nation, says that she too will soon join the quest for a better life abroad as she can no longer manage. Government withholds proof of qualification Desperate to stem the brain drain, the government has resorted to withholding the verification letters that thousands of nurses and doctors need to secure jobs abroad. These letters confirm health workers’ qualifications. In addition, it is time-consuming and costly to get a passport. Incensed by the ongoing recruitment of health workers by wealthy countries, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga threatened legal action last year against the recruiting countries. “If one deliberately recruits and makes the country suffer, that’s a crime against humanity. People are dying in hospitals because there are no nurses and doctors. That must be taken seriously,” said Chiwenga. However, despite the challenges, many qualified health workers are still opting to leave, taking lower-paying jobs as care workers in the UK in particular, as these jobs will enable them to support families back home. “I will be going to the UK because I can’t keep on offering my nursing services for peanuts. I am tired. If I don’t get all my relocation papers in order, I will settle for any dirty job in the UK and at least earn something [more] meaningful than remaining in this jungle,” Chiwongotore told Health Policy Watch. *‘The Heart Belongs At Home ’* Nurse Setfree Mafukidze relocated to the UK three years ago with his wife and four children. For years, Mafukidze had toiled at a clinic in Chivhu, a town located approximately 140 kilometres south of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. Now living in Somerset in the UK, Mafukidze asserts that “most nurses are better off outside Zimbabwe than they were in Zimbabwe.” The starting salary is around $34,000 per month. “Nurses earn enough to survive within the UK because most of the nurses are not required to pay school fees for their children if they have any,” said Mafukidze. “They don’t need to pay for healthcare services either unless one chooses to go private. The normal healthcare services here are always free for nurses, while in Zimbabwe if a nurse falls sick, you need to do crowdfunding to help them – yet they are the people that sustain the healthcare,” said Mafukidze. Since Zimbabwe was placed on the WHO ‘red list’ of countries with critical health worker shortages, the UK has stopped recruiting its health workers. News of not-so-rosy conditions have also started to filter back to remaining health workers. “It’s unfortunate that, with the UK now being flooded by migrant healthcare workers, shifts for care workers are now scarce. I have heard of inflation and increased cost of living there as well. I no longer see myself leaving any time soon,” said Warren George, a 30-year-old nurse who has opted to stay in the country. For those nurses already abroad, even as they pride themselves after fleeing from Zimbabwe, they remain attached to their country despite the odds. “The heart belongs home. Most nurses and doctors want to be home, but home doesn’t provide the tools for the trade. Home doesn’t provide good mental care to its workers,” said Mafukidze. *Health Policy Watch*
2024-06-22 07:54:48 *Econet Zimbabwe Consolidation Leads To Staff Voluntary Separation Offers* In the wake of shareholder approval for the consolidation of EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe Limited’s fintech operations into Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited, management has initiated voluntary separation offers for EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe Limited employees. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The consolidation, part of a previously announced Scheme of Reconstruction by Econet Wireless and EcoCash Holdings earlier this year, received shareholder endorsement during an Extraordinary General Meeting on April 17, 2024. The decision to consolidate was driven by the aim to streamline operations, eliminate duplicate roles, and optimize synergies across the businesses, ultimately safeguarding shareholder interests. A company spokesperson stated, "Management has commenced the implementation of the Scheme of Reconstruction. As consultations with stakeholders progress, eligible staff members have been given the opportunity to consider voluntary separation." The fintech entities transferred to Econet Wireless under this scheme include EcoCash (Private) Limited, VAYA Technologies Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, Econet Insurance (Private) Limited, Econet Life (Private) Limited, MARS Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, and Maisha Health. This move marks a strategic realignment aimed at strengthening operational efficiencies and positioning the consolidated entity for sustained growth in Zimbabwe's competitive telecommunications and fintech sectors.
2024-06-22 07:54:37 *Sharp Increase In Prison Population Dominated by Males: ZimStat* Zimbabwe's National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has revealed a significant rise in the prison population during the first quarter of 2024, with a total of 24,068 individuals incarcerated. According to the latest data released by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS), males constitute a staggering 97.2 percent of the total inmate population, amounting to 23,401 individuals. In contrast, female inmates make up just 2.8 percent, totaling 667 individuals. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The primary reason for imprisonment continues to be theft, reflecting 23 percent of all cases, followed by assault at 17.9 percent, burglary at 9.3 percent, and robbery without firearms at 6.5 percent. ZimStat noted that the increase in prisoners from the previous quarter underscores a rising trend in incarceration rates, raising concerns over the capacity and conditions of Zimbabwe's prison facilities. Among the incarcerated, young adults aged 25 to 29 constitute the largest demographic group, followed closely by individuals aged 20 to 24. Interestingly, ZimStat also highlighted a notable decrease in crime rates among individuals aged 30 and above. "The majority of new prisoners reported previous employment before admission, with 54.5 percent indicating employment prior to incarceration," stated ZimStat. Male prisoners accounted for 55.6 percent of those previously employed, while 59.5 percent of female prisoners reported unemployment before imprisonment. Furthermore, the report highlighted that crimes leading to female imprisonment predominantly involved theft (24.5 percent), assault (14.2 percent), migration-related offenses (13.7 percent), drug-related offenses (6.1 percent), and burglary (5.5 percent). Conversely, for males aged 65 and above, 26.1 percent of cases leading to imprisonment were related to rape. As authorities grapple with the implications of these statistics, ZimStat's data provides critical insights into the demographics and offenses driving Zimbabwe's prison population surge. *ZCA*
2024-06-22 04:47:33 *Child Pregnancy Crisis: 680 Minors Impregnated in Six Months* In a stark revelation at a recent workshop organized by the National AIDS Council, Zimbabwe faces a distressing surge in child pregnancies. Between January and June 2023, 680 girls aged 10 to 14 sought antenatal care after becoming pregnant. Dr. Owen Mugurungi of the Ministry of Health and Child Care shared these alarming figures, underscoring the urgent need for action. Additionally, statistics highlighted that 51,376 pregnancies were recorded among 15 to 19-year-olds during the same period, with 9.7% of them also testing positive for HIV. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Zimbabwe, grappling with 1.3 million HIV cases, including 750,000 women, is now intensifying awareness campaigns and legal measures against child pregnancies and marriages. Despite progressive constitutional provisions like gender equality, recent laws prohibiting underage marriages, and ongoing efforts by leaders and educators, the crisis persists. Acting Health Minister Professor Paul Mavima described the statistics as deeply troubling, emphasizing the need for robust family guidance and educational interventions. Efforts are underway to bolster preventive measures within the education system and to engage traditional and religious leaders in combatting the issue. Professor Mavima commended initiatives led by First Lady Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa aimed at educating youth on self-care and responsible behavior. While statistics on arrests related to underage pregnancies remain pending, courts have been actively prosecuting offenders. Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, national authorities, including traditional and religious leaders, are urged to enhance preventive measures and support systems. As the nation grapples with these challenges, concerted efforts are underway to safeguard the well-being and future of Zimbabwe's young population.
2024-06-22 03:57:27 *Government Vows To Crackdown On Counterfeit Products* The Zimbabwean government has raised alarms over the escalating presence of counterfeit products in local markets, highlighting the urgent need for a concerted effort from all stakeholders to tackle this growing issue. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu, expressed deep concern about the proliferation of counterfeit goods, emphasizing the risks they pose to consumers and the country’s fledgling manufacturing sector. He called for collaboration between the government and business community to combat the spread of these unregulated and uncertified products. "Counterfeit goods have inundated our domestic market, posing significant risks to consumers as they lack adherence to quality standards. I urge businesses, especially those whose brands are targeted, to join hands with the government in addressing this menace," Minister Ndlovu asserted. He also warned perpetrators of the legal consequences they face, underscoring the government's commitment to protecting local industries and the gains made since the introduction of the national currency. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) echoed these concerns, noting that counterfeiting exacts a heavy toll on the economy, costing billions annually and jeopardizing thousands of jobs across sectors such as clothing, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. CZI President Joseph Gunda emphasized the detrimental impact on innovation and investment in sectors already struggling against unfair competition from low-quality, cheaply produced counterfeit goods. In response to these challenges, the government has intensified efforts to enforce consumer protection laws, with the Consumer Protection Commission reporting prosecutions of approximately 2000 businesses for various violations, including the sale of underweight and counterfeit products. As the government and industry leaders collaborate to mitigate the adverse effects of counterfeit goods, the focus remains on safeguarding consumers and preserving the integrity of Zimbabwe's manufacturing capabilities amidst these economic challenges.
2024-06-22 03:57:13 *....As ZEC Denies Allegations Of Improper Procurement* The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has addressed recent social media rumours alleging improper procurement of election materials for the 2023 Harmonised Elections. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission states that it had no contract for supplying election materials with either Wicknell Chivayo, Mike Chimombe, Moses Mpofu or Scott Sakupwanya. It also claims it did due diligence on inflated invoices from SA supplier Ren-Form CC Acting Chief Elections Officer, Ms. C. Ngandini, issued a statement to clarify the situation and assure the public of the commission’s adherence to procurement regulations. “We have noted with great concern social media posts and rumours circulating online that are causing public alarm and despondency,” said Ngandini. “We would like to put it on record that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has no contract nor did it procure any election material from or through individuals being mentioned in the reports.” Ngandini emphasized that all materials for the 2023 elections were obtained following strict procurement regulations. “There was due diligence as all tender processes were subjected to oversight,” she stated. “We challenge all those alleging that the Commission has a contract with the three individuals to come forward and present the same.” Meanwhile, Harare lawyer Tino Chinyoka commented on the recent controversy involving the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and social media allegations. “To be fair, the social media reports never said ZEC had any contract with the three individuals or any other persons. Rather, it’s quite clear that it is being claimed that ZEC had contracts with companies, and these individuals are only alleged to have been given ‘commissions.’ It’s very easy to deny something that’s not been said, and one hopes the Commission is not hiding behind legal sophistry here.” Addressing the financial aspects of the procurement, Ngandini declared that the actual amounts spent were significantly lower than those being speculated online. “We want to also publicly declare that the actual amounts used for the procurement of all the election materials were far less than the figures being mischievously circulated on social media. All election materials procured during the 2023 Harmonised Elections were delivered on time,” she noted. Ngandini further clarified that the commission had verified with the suppliers, who confirmed in writing that there were no contracts with the individuals mentioned in the rumours. “The Commission has also checked with the supplier who categorically stated in writing that they did not have any contract with the same individuals for the supply of election materials during the 2023 Harmonised Elections. Furthermore, there were no third parties between the Commission and all election material suppliers,” she said. The ZEC’s statement strongly refuted any allegations of misconduct. “Any statements suggesting a contractual link between ZEC and these individuals for the supply of the 2023 Harmonised Elections materials are inaccurate, misleading, and mischievous and therefore should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve,” Ngandini asserted. “The Commission assures all its stakeholders that all procurements were above board.” This clarification aims to dispel the rumours and reaffirm the commission’s commitment to transparency and integrity in its operations.
2024-06-22 03:56:55 *ZEC Bought Toilets, Vests Worth US$9 Million 6 Days Before Election, They Never Arrived* Corruption allegations engulfing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) have deepened after ZimLive was shown evidence that the elections body ordered 2,000 non-flushable toilets on the eve of the August 2023 elections at a cost of US$7.6 million. The toilets, priced at an astronomical US$3,800 per unit when they retail for about US$300 in South Africa, were only delivered in April this year – eight months after the election. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Questions will also be asked of the finance ministry’s chief paymaster, permanent secretary George Guvamatanga, who okayed the payment on September 7, two weeks after the election had been held. At the heart of the alleged corruption in ZEC’s 2023 election procurement is a South African company, Ren-Form CC, which ZimLive now understands was paid over US$100 million, more than double the US$40 million it was previously thought to have received in several contracts. Ren-Form CC was awarded the contracts without a public tender. Legal documents suggest Ren-Form CC was a vehicle used by controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo and associates Mike Chimombe, Moses Mpofu and Scott Sakupwanya to siphon millions of dollars from the public purse through inflating invoices. Ren-Form transferred millions of dollars in “commission” to accounts linked to the four business associates. The money was used to purchase luxury cars and fund lavish lifestyles. Well before Ren-Form CC was appointed, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba met the company’s executives in the company of Chivayo, Chimombe and Mpofu, according to documents which emerged after a fallout between the businessmen. A string of leaked voice notes that Chivayo sent to his business associates also suggest Chigumba, Guvamatanga, CIO director general Isaac Moyo and chief cabinet secretary Martin Rushwaya have all been paid bribes for facilitating the corrupt contracts or expediting payments. They all deny wrongdoing. ZEC had secured most election materials by August 17, 2023. But on that day, the elections body inexplicably decided on a new order for 125,000 reflective vests and 2,000 non-flushable portable toilets to be used during the election. The bill for the vests, at US$13.50 each, came to US$1,687,500 while the toilets set the taxpayer back by US$7.6 million, according to invoice number 1557-2 sent to ZEC by Ren Form CC. Justice Chigumba was listed as the contact person on the invoice. The invoice also billed ZEC for an outstanding amount for “security paper” for US$44,511.79 and US$623,000 in “extra charges for air charter to deliver V11 Light Boxes due to late payment and to meet deadline.” The total on the invoice came to US$9,955,011.79. ZimLive understands none of the items on the order had been delivered when Zimbabweans went to the polls on August 23. ZEC did nothing to cancel the order, and the finance ministry, on September 7, 2023, settled the full invoice by instructing its bankers CBZ to debit treasury’s account number 107-21537300105 and pay Ren-Form CC’s Standard Bank account number 002742659 the full amount of US$9,955,011.79. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it is investigating ZEC’s election procurement and the three businessmen Chivayo, Mpofu and Chimombe for money laundering. *ZimLive*
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2024-06-21 18:50:38 *Mukumba Finally Arrested, Appears In Court Over Mutare Violence* Prominent figure in the transport industry and chairman of Inter Africa Buses, Leonard Mukumba has been arrested and appeared in court yesterday on charges of inciting violence at the Sakubva market. Mukumba, who had been on the run, was finally apprehended and brought before the Mutare Magistrates Court. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Mukumba, 52, faced charges related to violent incidents that occurred in May 2024. The violence erupted following a dispute over the queuing system for loading passengers at various termini in Mutare, which Mukumba’s transport company and other operators had agreed upon to resolve loading challenges. The situation escalated when Mupfumi Buses withdrew from the arrangement, leading to confrontations between rival groups of rank marshals. On May 23, 2024, Mukumba allegedly mobilized his aligned rank marshals to commit acts of violence. The incidents included attacks on Mupfumi bus loaders Farai Chitsa and Vincent Mupindu, who were assaulted with machetes, golf sticks, and sjamboks. Another Mupfumi bus loader, Calvin Munjoma, was forcibly taken to Golden Hotel and assaulted. The violence culminated in a chaotic scene at Greenmarket, Mutare, where rank marshals armed with machetes and golf sticks assaulted people and damaged property. Following his arrest on June 20, 2024, Mukumba appeared before Provincial Magistrate Tendai Mahwe, with Sandra Mlambo prosecuting. He was legally represented by Ashley Mutungura of Mutungura and Partners. Mukumba was granted bail under strict conditions to ensure he does not flee and to maintain public order. The bail conditions include posting a bail amount of US$1,000, continuing to reside at his given address in Glenlorne, Harare, not interfering with witnesses and reporting to ZRP Borrowdale in Harare every last Friday of the month. The court remanded the case to July 22, 2024, for further hearings. The reports lodged at ZRP Mutare Central (CR 267/05/24, CR 265/05/24, CR 286/05/24, and CR 309/05/24) and CID Law and Order (DR 08/06/24) detail the severity of the violent clashes instigated by Mukumba’s mobilized rank marshals. *263chat*
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2024-06-21 10:56:35 *Warriors Drop Seven Places On FIFA Rankings* AFTER a poor performance during the just-ended CAF World Cup Qualifiers which saw them losing to Lesotho (0-2 ) and South Africa (3-1), Zimbabwe’s senior men’s football team have dropped seven places in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The Warriors are now ranked 129th in the World as Argentina maintained its top spot. On the African continent, Zimbabwe is now ranked 38th, five places down the ladder from the 33rd position that they were previously occupying. Zimbabwe’s best FIFA ranking ever was attained in 1994 when they were ranked 39 in the World. The current position of 129th is two times higher than the team’s worst ranking (131th ) which was recorded in 2009. Meanwhile, Liberia is currently the biggest climber on the FIFA rankings after climbing ten places up the ladder to occupy position 142, their best in history. *NewZW*
2024-06-21 10:56:19 **Crisis Hits PSH Over Fraudulent Practices in VMMC Programme** Population Solutions for Health (PSH) is grappling with a credibility crisis following the dismissal of employees involved in fraudulent activities within its voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) initiative. The organization took action after community mobilizers raised concerns over both financial misconduct and allegations of sexual impropriety. Noah Taruberekera, PSH's executive director, acknowledged the situation, clarifying that while allegations of sexual harassment were investigated and found inconclusive, a separate inquiry into the VMMC program uncovered systematic data falsification. "We thoroughly investigated claims of sexual harassment and found no conclusive evidence, although there were indications of possible inappropriate relationships," Taruberekera stated. "However, our investigation into the VMMC program revealed significant data manipulation resulting in financial losses amounting to US$44,000. Each instance of fraud prompted us to reimburse donors to safeguard their contributions and uphold our commitment to community support." The fraudulent practices involved inflating the number of circumcisions conducted in specific areas of Harare by recycling client data. This breach not only compromised financial resources but also eroded trust in PSH's operations. "As a result of our findings, we terminated contracts for twenty employees across various roles implicated in this fraud, including community health workers and clinical staff," Taruberekera affirmed. PSH emphasized its zero-tolerance policy towards workplace misconduct and fraud, reinforcing this stance through mandatory annual code of conduct and safeguarding training for all employees. These measures aim to uphold ethical standards, legal compliance, and organizational values while fostering a culture of transparency and accountability. Taruberekera highlighted PSH's commitment to open communication and whistleblower protection, underscoring the organization's dedication to promptly investigate and address any reported concerns. The organization remains focused on restoring trust among stakeholders and ensuring that donor resources are responsibly utilized to benefit the communities it serves.
2024-06-21 10:56:00 *Human Rights Watchdog Demands Release Of Opposition Leader, Activists* Human rights watchdog has said the arrest of opposition CCC leader Jameson Timba and 78 party activists is part of a “disturbing pattern of repression” and demanded their unconditional release. The group was arrested on Sunday and charged with disorderly conduct and holding an unsanctioned meeting at Timba’s Avondale residence where they were commemorating the International Day of the African Child. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Among those arrested is a nursing mother who is detained with her baby, and a 17-year-old minor who has since been released to the custody of his parent. Khanyo Farisè, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for Southern Africa in a statement said, “The arrest and continued arbitrary detention of 77 opposition members who had peacefully gathered at a private residence is part of a disturbing pattern of repression against people exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. “Zimbabwean authorities must immediately and unconditionally release these opposition members and drop all charges against them.” She urged authorities to uphold Zimbabwe’s constitutional and international human rights obligations. “Authorities must promptly, thoroughly, impartially, independently, transparently and effectively investigate allegations that some of those arrested were tortured while in police custody and bring to justice those suspected to be responsible. “Authorities must also ensure those affected receive urgent medical attention.” *NewZW*
2024-06-21 10:55:49 *Legal Challenge Mounts Against RBZ Over Foreign Currency Access* Political activist Linda Tsungirirai Masarira has taken the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to court, citing the central bank's failure to provide an alternative platform for ordinary citizens to access foreign currency. This challenge comes in the wake of recent crackdowns on illegal forex trading, which have resulted in arrests of suspected dealers and citizens resorting to informal markets for their currency needs. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Under Zimbabwe's multi-currency system, goods and services like passports and fuel are priced exclusively in foreign currencies, posing challenges for those earning in the local currency, Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG). Masarira argues that the RBZ's regulatory framework limits access to forex, exacerbating the situation for everyday transactions. In her urgent High Court application, Masarira asserts that the RBZ must amend its policies to allow easier access to foreign currency through authorized bureaux de change or banks. She criticizes the current legal framework, which she claims infringes on citizens' rights by failing to ensure adequate forex availability in formal channels. "The existing restrictions force ordinary citizens into informal markets," Masarira stated in her application. "This not only complicates everyday transactions but also perpetuates a cycle of financial insecurity for those dependent on foreign currency for essential goods and services." Masarira further proposes expanding the willing-buyer-willing-seller trading mechanism to include ordinary citizens, enabling them to purchase forex for domestic transactions without the burden of proof of international payments. Since the reintroduction of the Zimdollar alongside other foreign currencies in 2019, Zimbabwe has struggled to stabilize its currency system, leading to ongoing economic challenges and disparities in access to forex. Masarira suggests collaborative efforts between the RBZ and telecommunications companies to facilitate easier access to forex via mobile money platforms, which could serve as informal bureaux de change for small transactions. The case remains pending in the High Court as Masarira awaits a judicial response to her plea for broader access to foreign currency in Zimbabwe.
2024-06-21 10:55:35 *Malawi President Names New Deputy After Plane Crash Kills Predecessor* Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera appointed Michael Usi as his vice president on Thursday, after the previous vice president was killed in an airplane crash last week. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Former Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others were killed when the military plane they were travelling in crashed in a forest on June 10. Chilima was expected to challenge Chakwera in next year’s presidential election. Usi will be sworn into office on Friday, a government statement said. He previously served as minister of natural resources and climate change and was a close ally of Chilima having served as his running mate. *BBC*
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2024-06-21 10:54:29 *Ministers Face Disciplinary Action From Mnangagwa For Snubbing Parliament* SPEAKER of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has revealed a list of cabinet ministers who evade Parliament business without giving any explanation to President Emmerson Mnangagwa. During Wednesday’s Question and Answer session, Mudenda said ministers who continue to miss the house business would soon face unspecified action from the President. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- The speaker was responding to a point of order by Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) Dangamvura MP Prosper Mutseyami, who said it was now “cast in stone” that on Wednesdays ministers snub Parliament. The Speaker responded, “I want to assure you Hon. Mutseyami and the House that I have written to His Excellency the President indicating the rosters of Hon. Ministers who appear to be constantly absent in the House, contrary to Section 107 (2) of the Constitution. I want to believe that His Excellency the President will take the necessary action accordingly. These included “The Hon. Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Prof. M. Ncube; Hon. Dr. Mombeshora, Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. O.C.Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence; Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Hon. Garwe, I thought I saw him here – Minister of Local Government and Public Works, I was advised that he was proceeding to Victoria Falls, but he indicated that he will attend to question time here. Hon. B. Rwodzi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. T. Mnangagwa, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. Dr. Masuka, Minister of Lands; Hon. V. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands; Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education; Hon. S. Sibanda, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education; Hon. Mupamhanga Jnr, Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training; Hon. Jesaya, Deputy Minister of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture; Hon. Sanyatwe, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. D. Phuti, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Hon. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines; Hon. A. Gata, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. R. Modi, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce and Hon. Y. Simbanegavi, Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development.” *NewZW*
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2024-06-21 08:14:20 *Zimbabwe Faces Significant Data Breach Concerns, Potraz Warns* In a stark revelation, Zimbabwe's Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) disclosed a staggering breach of approximately 50 million passwords between July 2022 and February 2023. This alarming disclosure came during a data protection workshop held in Gweru, where Potraz emphasized the critical need for consumer safeguarding in the digital age. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Tsitsi Mariwo, Potraz's Director for Data Protection, underscored the perilous landscape of the digital economy, cautioning that without robust consumer protections, the consequences could be disastrous. "In our increasingly interconnected world, the responsibility to secure personal data rests squarely on individuals. Failure to do so can result in severe repercussions such as identity theft and cyber fraud," Mariwo affirmed during her address. The workshop also highlighted a notable incident involving a University of Zimbabwe student who illicitly accessed the school's computer network, manipulating accommodation allocations for personal gain. This incident, amounting to a financial loss of US$3000, exemplifies the vulnerabilities within Zimbabwe's educational and digital infrastructures. Potraz's Deputy Director for CIRT and Enforcement, Evidence Mazhindu, echoed concerns over Zimbabwe's overall cybersecurity readiness, noting that even critical infrastructures are not immune to hacking threats. Mazhindu emphasized the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures across all sectors to mitigate such risks effectively. Despite Zimbabwe boasting 9.9 million internet and data subscribers, a significant majority remain unaware of their rights under the Cyber Security Act, with a startling 77% unfamiliar with redress mechanisms in the event of a data breach. Potraz, designated as the country's Data Protection Authority, has been actively engaging stakeholders through sensitization initiatives nationwide, including workshops in Harare, Masvingo, Mutare, Bulawayo, and now Gweru. The workshop in Gweru marks a critical step in Potraz's mission to empower Zimbabweans with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect their data and ensure lawful, fair, and responsible data handling practices across the nation. As digital threats continue to evolve, Potraz remains committed to fostering a culture of vigilance and compliance in data protection throughout Zimbabwe.
2024-06-21 08:14:00 *Mash Central Rocked By Teen Pregnancies* TEEN pregnancies are increasing at an alarming rate in Mashonaland Central province after nearly 3000 cases were recorded last year coupled with over 490 early marriages. Statistics from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development show that 2924 teen pregnancies were recorded in Mashonaland Central province in 2023. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Provincial Director for the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Small and Medium Enterprises Development Mrs Judith Hove told the ZBC News that 492 early marriages and 2842 cases of gender-based violence were also recorded in the same year. “When we compare figures from 2022 to 2023 the figures are going higher because people are now aware that we need to report this scourge. Our awareness campaigns are also bearing fruit which is why you see figures for men are also going higher as more men are reporting. We are leaving no place unattended as we are going to all places that we could not reach,” she said. The alarming figures have jolted authorities into action with traditional leaders being roped in to implement by-laws on ending early marriages. The by-laws which were first implemented in Shamva will be applied in other areas under the recently launched ‘Not in My Village’ campaign led by the National AIDS Council and Young People Network on SRHR, HIV and AIDS. “As Chiefs, we will do everything in our power to reduce the scourge in our area, we thank the National Aids Council they have opened our minds and alerted us. They have shown us the real problem areas which are our mines, and farming areas, especially the compounds because there are no village heads to alert us so we will ask the government to assist us in ending this pandemic. We are treating it as a pandemic,” said a chief. “We are making by-laws as a province. We started at district level and now at provincial level, so we will be able to mitigate some of the challenges we are facing. Therefore, we welcome this initiative they have taught us, it started in Shamva and greatly helped us,” added another chief. Mount Darwin and Mazowe districts have the highest figures of teen pregnancies at 1369 and 1279. Mbire District recorded the highest number of early marriages at 235, while Muzarabani has 94. 2842 gender-based violence cases were recorded in total, with Shamva leading at 623 cases in a development attributed to high artisanal mining activities. *ZBC*
2024-06-21 04:49:19 *Zambia Seeks SADC, AU Intervention In Diplomatic Dispute With Zimbabwe* The Zambian government has officially appealed to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) for assistance in resolving an escalating diplomatic dispute with neighbouring Zimbabwe. This appeal comes in the wake of comments made by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a recent visit to Russia, which Zambia’s Foreign Minister, Mulambo Haimbe, has characterized as a significant affront to Zambia’s national sovereignty. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- During a televised meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Mnangagwa accused the United States of utilizing Zambia as a strategic tool to isolate Zimbabwe within the region. Mnangagwa’s comments have sparked considerable concern and debate in Zambia, with the government viewing these remarks as an unfounded and serious allegation against its foreign policy and international alliances. Foreign Minister Haimbe addressed the issue before the Zambian Parliament today, emphasizing the need for immediate and decisive action from regional bodies to address what he termed an “unwarranted attack on Zambia’s sovereignty.” Haimbe stated that Zambia expects both the SADC and the AU to facilitate a thorough and conclusive resolution to the diplomatic rift. He expressed confidence that these organizations, which are integral to regional stability and cooperation, would take the necessary steps to mediate the dispute effectively. Zambia says it has appealed to SADC and AU to help resolve the diplomatic dispute with Zimbabwe. Foreign Minister Mulambo Haimbe says Mnangagwa’s recent remarks in Russia were “an unwarranted attack on Zambia’s sovereignty”, and Zambia wants the matter “decisively and… — newZWire (@newswireZW) June 20, 2024 “The statements made by President Mnangagwa are not only baseless but also damaging to the spirit of unity and mutual respect that underpins our regional cooperation,” Haimbe remarked. “We call upon SADC and the AU to address this matter decisively and conclusively to preserve the integrity of our regional partnerships.” The root of the dispute traces back to Mnangagwa’s assertions regarding the presence of a United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) office in Lusaka. Mnangagwa suggested that this military cooperation could pose a security threat to Zimbabwe and the broader region. This claim was met with swift rebuttal from Zambian officials, who argue that AFRICOM’s presence is intended to bolster security and stability, rather than undermine it. Haimbe, in his parliamentary address, clarified that the AFRICOM office in Lusaka is part of a broader initiative to enhance regional security cooperation and capacity-building. He stressed that Zambia’s collaboration with the United States is transparent and should not be misconstrued as an act of regional destabilization. “The AFRICOM office is aimed at strengthening our security infrastructure and fostering greater cooperation in combating transnational threats,” Haimbe explained. “It should not be viewed as a security risk but rather as a testament to our commitment to regional peace and stability.” The parliamentary debate highlighted the urgency and sensitivity of the situation, with several members calling for calm and constructive dialogue between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lawmakers emphasized the importance of maintaining strong bilateral relations and the need for diplomatic channels to remain open. The appeal to SADC and the AU signifies Zambia’s desire for a collective regional approach to conflict resolution, reflecting a commitment to the principles of solidarity and mutual respect. Both organizations have a mandate to facilitate peace and security among member states, and their involvement is seen as crucial to de-escalating tensions. As the diplomatic community closely watches this unfolding situation, the resolution of this dispute will likely serve as a critical test of regional cooperation mechanisms in Southern Africa. The outcomes of the interventions by SADC and the AU could set significant precedents for how such disputes are managed in the future. Zambia’s proactive stance in seeking multilateral mediation underscores its dedication to preserving regional harmony and its unwavering commitment to its sovereignty. The nation now awaits the response of its regional partners in navigating this complex diplomatic terrain. *zimbabweanmail*
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2024-06-21 04:34:59 *Opposition Activists Remain In Jail As Officer Leaves Mid-Testimony For Wife's Emergency* Panganai Gwati, the Investigating Officer in the matter Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists are accused of stoning police officers on Thursday abandoned the witness stand midway through his testimony after receiving news that his pregnant wife had been hospitalised in Rusape. The suspects will further languish in jail awaiting the finalisation of their bail. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Prosecutor Thomas Chanakira asked for a postponement of the hearing stating that no one was there to continue with the testimony. “The IO has received a message from his pregnant wife who is in Rusape so there is no one who can continue to give evidence. “He needs to rush to Rusape because the wife is in hospital,” he said. The presiding magistrate Ruth Moyo rolled over the hearing to this Friday “for further clarifications.” The court heard that provisionally two witnesses are supposed to testify. Gwati gave his testimony on Wednesday nailing the interim CCC leader Jameson Timba and his 79 co-accused whom he accused of being violent. He said the activists stoned police officers and also promised to cause terror in their homes. He denied having brutalised the activists telling the court that as police officers they always use minimum force when arresting suspects. The activists however insist they were physically abused by the arresting details who forced them into a dirty swimming pool. Some of the suspects had visible injuries while some sustained fractures during their arrest. They also accused the police of humiliating them by making female suspects strip their tops in the presence of men. On top of that, their lawyers submitted that their clients were made to mimic sexual movements while lying on the ground. On Thursday the case continued with the lawyers cross-examining Gwati. One of the lawyers, Webster Jiti asked Gwati if it was a crime to protest in Zimbabwe and he said it was not. Under cross-examination, Gwati also said it was not unlawful for politicians to sit down as a group and deliberate. Gwati confirmed that no law in Zimbabwe prohibits people from gathering at a private residence. The activists are being represented by Jiti and other rights lawyers including Jeremiah Bamu, Agency Gumbo, Kelvin Kabaya and Tinashe Chinopfukutwa among others. Thomas Chanakira is representing the State. Jameson Timba’s son, Shaun who was arrested along with the activists has been granted US$100 bail. His lawyers argued he was only at the Avondale residence to deliver a Father’s Day gift. *NewZW*
2024-06-21 04:34:47 *Pornography Tops Zimbabwe’s Internet Use* Zimbabweans are spending an inordinate amount of time watching pornography online, according to statistics from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz). The data reveals that adult entertainment and related websites are among the most frequently visited sites in the country. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Evidence Mazhindu, Potraz's CIRT & Enforcement Deputy Director, attributes this trend to idleness and a lack of productive activities among Zimbabweans. "People are spending too much time online, and instead of using the internet for productive purposes, they are indulging in pornography and other non-essential activities," Mazhindu said in an interview with ZiFM Stereo News. Mazhindu believes that authorities need to invest more in ICT research initiatives to address this issue. "We need to find ways to promote responsible internet use and encourage people to use technology for productive purposes," he added. The statistics also show that betting and social media sites, such as Facebook, are among the top ten most visited sites in Zimbabwe. The trend has raised concerns about the impact of pornography on individuals and society as a whole. Excessive pornography consumption has been linked to addiction, social isolation, and decreased productivity. Moreover, it can perpetuate harmful attitudes and behaviors towards women and marginalized groups. As Zimbabwe grapples with this issue, it is essential to consider the broader implications of excessive pornography consumption and work towards promoting responsible internet use.
2024-06-21 04:34:34 *Zimbabwe's Debt Burden Balloons To US$18 Billion* Zimbabwe’s debt crisis has surged to a staggering US$18 billion, posing significant threats to national development and access to global financial markets. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Addressing legislators in parliament on Wednesday, finance deputy minister David Mnangagwa said the country’s debt burden was still undergoing validation and reconciliation. This includes the US$1.9 billion recapitalisation of the Mutapa Fund and an additional US$1.2 billion assumed from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). “Our debt figures are still going through some validation and reconciliation,” Mnangagwa said. “There has been US$1.9 billion recapitalisation of the Mutapa Fund and an additional US$1.2billion that was assumed from the RBZ. “These would still need to be reconciled and validated before they are entered in the debt profile. “That process is still underway.” Mnangagwa also said debt reported to the African Development Bank in April stood at US$2.7 billion higher than the approved budget for this year which was still going through a validation process. Government’s efforts to address the crisis are being hindered by unclear fund usage, with 76 percent of external bilateral debt (approximately $6.2 billion) in arrears. Paris Club members, which include: the US, Germany, France, Japan, and Britain are owed US$4.1 billion, with nearly 98 percent in default due to Zimbabwe’s economic crisis. Government’s appeal for debt forgiveness and penalty waivers has so far been unsuccessful. The United States stopped participating in a critical debt restructuring program in January due to alleged lack of progress on human rights abuses, electoral reforms and crackdown on opposition politicians *ZimLive*
2024-06-20 15:24:45 *Government Warns Schools Over Unapproved Fees, Paid Extra Lessons & Civvies* Any school found to be charging unapproved or exorbitant fees may face strict disciplinary measures, including the suspension of the institution’s operating license, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has warned. This action comes as some schools across the country continue to demand funds for extra lessons or other activities not sanctioned by the ministry. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- For instance, schools hold activities such as civvies day, where learners do not wear their uniforms and must pay to wear their home clothes. In some schools, teachers provide paid extra lessons outside regular school hours, prompting concerns from parents that if they do not pay for these lessons, their children are dismissed early while those who pay remain in class. Some teachers charge an extra US$10 or more per child each month for these extra lessons. Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Angeline Gata, said the ministry takes school fee policies and practices “very seriously” as they directly impact the accessibility and affordability of education for all children. “It is a clear policy of the government that all fees charged by schools must be approved by the (Permanent) Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education (in the ministry),” Gata said. The deputy minister said the fee approval process ensures that school fees are kept at reasonable and affordable levels without placing undue financial burdens on parents and guardians. “Any school found to be charging unapproved or exorbitant fees will be subject to strict disciplinary measures, including the potential suspension of the school’s operating license,” Gata said. Gata added that schools are strictly prohibited from introducing activities or programs that demand additional payments from pupils beyond the approved school fees. “This includes the practice of requiring pupils to wear ‘civvies’ to school, which often incurs extra costs for parents,” said the deputy minister. Such activities are viewed by the ministry as attempts to make education unnecessarily expensive, Gata said, adding that they are against the principle of providing accessible and inclusive education for all. The deputy minister said teachers are also barred from conducting paid extra lessons outside of normal school hours. “The regular time allocated for teaching should be sufficient for pupils to acquire the required knowledge and skills,” Gata said. “Any reports of teachers engaging in unauthorized extra lessons for financial gain will be thoroughly investigated and met with appropriate disciplinary action.” If the ministry receives reports or concerns from parents about such practices, the deputy minister said they would dispatch a team of inspectors to investigate. “The Ministry will continue to monitor and investigate such practices, and swift and decisive action will be taken,” Gata said. “The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that all schools adhere to Government’s policies and regulations with the ultimate goal of providing quality, accessible, and affordable education for every child in Zimbabwe.” *CITE*
2024-06-20 15:24:32 *Apostolic Sect Leader Faces Legal Scrutiny Over Child Welfare Neglect* The trial of Madzibaba Ishmael, a prominent leader in an Apostolic sect, and seven associates has reignited public concern over child welfare standards within religious communities. Allegations brought against them include neglecting minors under their care by failing to secure essential documents such as birth certificates. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- In a dramatic courtroom session, a key witness from the births and deaths registration department detailed multiple violations observed during an official visit to Lily Farm in Nyabira. The prosecution's case was bolstered by Farai Gatusa, who testified that efforts to register births and deaths were obstructed by Madzibaba Ishmael himself. Gatusa further revealed discrepancies in the timing of birth certificate issuances, suggesting attempts to circumvent legal scrutiny. The charges encompass a range of offenses from ill-treatment of minors to unauthorized burials and failure to report vital events to authorities. Village head Nzwanai Musonza, another witness, expressed surprise during his testimony, having believed that proper notifications were being made for funerals he officiated. In defense, Madzibaba Ishmael and his co-defendants argued they bore no legal responsibility for the minors and claimed no complaints had been lodged against them by children or their guardians. They denied any wrongdoing regarding burials or legal procedures, attributing misunderstandings to the communal lifestyle at Lily Farm. Magistrate Christine Nyandoro underscored the gravity of the accusations, emphasizing the upcoming trial date of June 27th. The case has sparked a contentious debate locally, raising broader questions about child protection and compliance within religious sects. As the legal proceedings unfold, the trial is poised to set a precedent regarding the accountability and duty of care owed to vulnerable members of religious communities in Zimbabwe. The outcome may influence future cases, potentially shaping policies aimed at safeguarding children's rights nationwide.
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2024-06-20 11:33:55 *Justin Sammons Named Zimbabwe Cricket Coach* Zimbabwe Cricket said Wednesday it had appointed South African Justin Sammons as its new men’s head coach. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Sammons was a former batting coach with his home country’s national team, the Proteas. Dave Houghton resigned as Zimbabwe’s head coach last year after the country failed to qualify for the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup in the U.S. and West Indies. Sammons will lead Zimbabwe for the first time in a five-match T20 series against India in Zimbabwe beginning July 6 in Harare, where all the T20s are being played. Dion Ebrahim, a former Zimbabwe batter, is Sammons’ assistant coach. Ebrahim represented Zimbabwe in 29 tests and 82 ODIs between 2001 and 2005, and has been a part of the coaching staff with the New Zealand senior men’s team. “We are delighted to confirm Justin as head coach of the Zimbabwe senior men’s national team. He brings a wealth of coaching experience and a reputation of identifying, nurturing and developing some of the best young talent in South Africa,” Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said in a statement. *ZimLive*
2024-06-20 11:33:42 *EU Allocates €3 Million To WFP For Southern Africa* The European Union (EU) has pledged €3 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to bolster climate resilience in vulnerable urban communities across Southern Africa. The initiative targets Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar, aiming to mitigate the impact of climate shocks that severely affect livelihoods. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- This funding follows insights from COVID-19, revealing gaps in social protection systems across sub-Saharan Africa, particularly for urban residents. The project, building on lessons learned from its 2021 phase, will collaborate with regional, national, and local authorities to develop guidelines under the Southern African Development Community. Over a two-year period, the project will enhance the capacity of disaster management authorities, social welfare agencies, and local governments to coordinate preparedness and response efforts in cities. This multi-sectoral approach seeks to empower urban communities by improving resilience through targeted cash transfers, ensuring dignity and promoting self-reliance. Lola Castro, WFP’s acting regional director for southern Africa, expressed gratitude for the EU's support, emphasizing its role in strengthening urban community readiness against recurring hazards. Southern Africa faces heightened malnutrition rates and widespread food insecurity exacerbated by severe droughts linked to El Niño. Even before these climatic challenges, the region struggled with socio-economic issues and high food prices. The collaboration between WFP and the EU underscores their commitment to humanitarian principles and their shared vision of a hunger-free world. This contribution aims to alleviate immediate humanitarian needs while building long-term resilience in Southern Africa's urban centers.
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2024-06-20 11:33:21 *Zimbabwe Plans To Install First Floating Solar Panels At Kariba Dam* Zimbabwe plans to install floating solar panels by early next year at the world’s biggest man-made freshwater reservoir, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy Development. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- An initial 150 megawatts of solar on the surface of the Kariba Dam will be the start of the project, Gloria Magombo, secretary for energy and power development, told reporters at a briefing in the capital, Harare. The private sector has applied to install 600 megawatts, she said, declining to provide details. Lower water levels at Kariba, which straddles Zimbabwe and Zambia, have caused an increase in power cuts. The Zambezi River Authority has reduced water allocation for power generation due to a drought. The shortages have triggered a search for other technologies to boost capacity. The government also plans to install floating panels at the Mutirikwi Dam and there’s been steady interest from the private sector for more projects, Magombo said. *Bloomberg*
2024-06-20 11:33:10 *ZANU PF Faces Backlash For Parliament Debate Restrictions* In recent parliamentary sessions, the ruling party ZANU PF has drawn criticism for its handling of discussions, raising concerns about democratic processes in Zimbabwe. Speaker Jacob Mudenda and Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi have come under fire for their roles in limiting debate, effectively stifling opposition voices. Last week, Mudenda blocked deliberations in the National Assembly regarding President Emmerson Mnangagwa's controversial remarks about Zambia's international relations. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Mnangagwa, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, criticized Zambia's alleged ties with Western powers, suggesting it posed a regional security threat. Mudenda deemed foreign relations issues off-limits for parliamentary discussion, sparking outcry from opposition members. Similarly, this week saw Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi intervene to prevent debate on the arrest of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party activists. The arrests occurred during a gathering at interim leader Jameson Timba’s residence, where activists reportedly faced mistreatment. Gezi dismissed the matter, asserting that parliamentary sessions were not the forum to discuss arrests, advising lawmakers to seek recourse through other channels. Political analyst Ruben Mbofana condemned these actions, highlighting the weakened role of the opposition in holding the government accountable. He underscored the essential role of a robust opposition in a functional democracy, criticizing the current lack thereof in Zimbabwe. Mbofana expressed concerns over the implications for Zimbabwe's democracy, warning against unchecked executive power and the suppression of dissenting voices. "The ruling party's dominance in parliament reflects a troubling trend where accountability and transparency are sidelined," Mbofana remarked. "This undermines democratic principles, allowing the government to act with impunity, from stifling parliamentary debates to quashing dissent." The controversy escalated as images emerged of CCC activists in court with visible signs of torture, allegedly inflicted following their arrest. The activists had gathered to commemorate the Day of the African Child, according to party officials, further intensifying calls for accountability and justice. As Zimbabwe navigates these challenges, the spotlight remains on the need for robust democratic institutions that uphold the rights of all citizens and ensure transparent governance. The events in parliament underscore broader concerns about political freedoms and the rule of law in the country.
2024-06-20 08:53:55 *South Africa's Ramaphosa Vows To Fight Inequality As Power-sharing Begins* A weakened South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged on Wednesday that his new multi-party government would work to improve basic living conditions for all citizens as he was sworn in for a second term in office. ---------- To join our groups follow: --------- Ramaphosa's African National Congress will be sharing power with five other parties after it was humbled in a May 29 election, losing its parliamentary majority for the first time in 30 years of democracy. The voters "have been unequivocal in expressing their disappointment and disapproval of our performance in some of the areas in which we have failed them," Ramaphosa said at his inauguration ceremony in the capital Pretoria. He said the voters wanted everyone to have enough food, decent homes, clean water, affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply, well-maintained roads, good care for the sick and elderly, quality schools and other basic services. "Today, I stand before you as your humble servant to say we have heard you," he said. "In this moment we must choose to move forward, to close the distances between South Africans and to build a more equal society." The ANC remains the largest party after the election, followed by the pro-business Democratic Alliance, a critic of the ANC's record in office which has agreed to join the new government. *Ideological Divisions* While investors have welcomed the inclusion of the DA, which wants to boost growth through structural reforms and prudent fiscal policies, analysts say sharp ideological divisions between the parties could make the government unstable. Just before the election, Ramaphosa signed into law a National Health Insurance bill that the DA says could collapse a creaking health system. It was unclear what would happen to that law under the new government. The DA advocates scrapping the ANC's flagship Black economic empowerment programme, saying it hasn't worked -- a highly contentious topic in a nation grappling with huge inequalities, some inherited from apartheid. Ramaphosa has yet to announce the make-up of his new government, to be negotiated with members of the new alliance. A former liberation movement, the ANC came to power under Nelson Mandela's leadership in the 1994 elections that marked the end of apartheid and had long been unbeatable, but it lost its shine after presiding over years of decline. *Poverty & Crime* Weary of high levels of poverty and unemployment, rampant crime, rolling power cuts and corruption in party ranks, voters punished the ANC, which lost millions of votes on May 29 compared with the previous election in 2019. "Our society remains deeply unequal and highly polarised," Ramaphosa said. "We are divided between those who have jobs and those who do not work, between those who have the means to build and enjoy a comfortable life and those who do not." African heads of state and dignitaries from as far afield as Cuba, a historical friend of the ANC, gathered outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria, seat of the South African government, to bear witness to Ramaphosa's inauguration. A ceremony full of military pomp and pageantry began with inter-faith prayers by Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and traditional African religious leaders, reflecting the country's diversity. Military helicopters flew past in blazing sunshine, trailing South African flags, to cheers from the audience. *Reuters*