THE MILITARY

As Zanu PF factions destroy each other, the military will have a huge say as to who would take over from President Mugabe.

THE MILITARY

As Zanu PF factions destroy each other, the military will have a huge say as to who would take over from President Mugabe.

PROPHET WALTER MAGAYA

He is a controversial prophet who continues to draw large crowds with his promise of miracles. But as his popularity soars he faces all sorts of allegations. So far he has survived.

TSVANGIRAI THE SURVIVOR

Two secretary generals tried to topple him but failed. His wife walked out but returned home. Now MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is plotting his way to State House.

NEWSDZEZIMBABWE

Latest news, entertainment and sports.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

NO BOYCOTT, WE WILL FIELD RECALLED COUNCILLORS : MDC A

The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance’s Bulawayo provincial executive has resolved to field all the eight councillors who were recently recalled by the MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe in the upcoming by-elections. 

Khupe’s MDC-T had by last week recalled 84 councillors throughout the country, paralysing most local authorities dominated by the MDC Alliance. 

The most affected were Harare, Bulawayo, Marondera, Gwanda, Beitbridge and Victoria Falls. The recalls effectively crippled Chamisa’s party which controlled the majority of the country’s 32 urban councils. 

Yesterday, MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial executive committee resolved to field all the eight recalled councillors and to hold primary elections in ward eight which fell vacant following the death of councillor Ronia Mudara in July this year.

Party provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza confirmed the developments, adding that they were confident of reclaiming the seats despite the unfavourable political environment. 

“The Bulawayo provincial executive met on Sunday and unanimously agreed that all the recalled councillors, save for those under disciplinary hearings, should contest in the impending by elections. We are saying these councillors did not do anything wrong and were simply recalled for supporting our president (Chamisa). They were voted for by the people and we are confident that the people will vote for them again,” Chirowodza said.

He, however, expressed concern over the confusion likely to arise after Khupe indicated that she was now MDC Alliance leader and her candidates would contest the forthcoming by-elections on an MDC Alliance ticket.

“This boils down to the impartiality of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) if they will allow a party to use its competitor’s name during elections. But the truth is that Zec has rules which clearly state that no competitor must use or impede another by using its name as this constitutes obstruction of the other. 

“If they are going to be allowed to use the symbols and names used by others this creates a lot of confusion,” he said.

Meanwhile, MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti and his old party People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have approached Parliament seeking to stop the planned recall of the recently elected Harare mayor Jacob Mafume by Khupe’s party. 

“Parliament has already made a decision that the MDC Alliance is a coalition and has allowed the MDC-T to recall Members of Parliament, while we disagree with that position, we have a responsibility to protect the PDP which is now part of the party called the MDC Alliance,” he said. 

Mafume’s position hangs in balance after Lucia Matibenga’s PDP faction last week wrote to Local Government minister July Moyo recalling him from council. Newsday.

DAMAGED US DOLLAR NOTES VALID : US EMBASSY

BADLY damaged, dirty or even torn United States dollar notes remain valid for all transactions and can be exchanged as legal tender.

This comes as some businesses and individuals have been rejecting soiled or older US bank notes, an unpopular practice that has inconvenienced the public. 

However, in a notice posted on its official Twitter handle yesterday, the US embassy said damaged notes, as long as they are more than half of the bill, with recognisable security features remain tradable because they are not mutilated currency. 

“Any badly soiled, dirty, defaced, disintegrated, limp, torn, or worn out currency note that is clearly more than one-half of the original note, and does not require special examination to determine its value, is not considered mutilated,” reads the statement. 

Mutilated currency is classified “as currency which has been severely damaged — to the extent that its value is questionable, or security features are missing”. 

Some retailers have been rejecting soiled US dollar notes, which are still in use as the Government slowly de-dollarises, all the while allowing the use of free funds in the economy as well as duty payments. 

In line with the Government’s position, most of the country’s major retailers are quoting their prices both in local and US dollars. 

A member of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Monetary Policy Committee, Mr Eddie Cross, said while merchants can reject some notes based on how worn out they could be, the holders can always approach a bank to get cleaner bills. 

“Commercial banks are responsible for replacing damaged or soiled notes. If a note is soiled beyond use, the merchant has a right to refuse the note, the individual should take it to the bank and the bank should credit his account or give  him a new note with the bank. The RBZ recognises the problem but it also recognises it takes a lot of money to print or get new money,” said Mr Cross. 

In July this year, police launched a blitz targeting traders who were refusing to accept bond notes and coins due to fake news that they would be demonetised. 

As a standard practice, when cash is deposited in banks fairly frequently, banks remove worn and soiled notes and send them to the Reserve Bank for destruction. This in that normal system would see older notes, such as the bond notes, gradually being moved out of circulation. 

Traders eager to accept all payment types, and who readily accept bond notes, have noted that at times people tender such badly creased and soiled notes that it is hard to ascertain if they are fake or genuine. Herald

INDIGENISATION LAW DID NOT MAKE SENSE, SAYS CHINAMASA

GOVERNMENT rolled out an ill-conceived indigenisation policy for political expediency during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era, Zanu PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa has said. 

Addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Harare yesterday, the former Finance minister said the law had to be revoked under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration because it was ill-conceived and did not make sense. 

He added that the policy was a G40 project meant to empower individuals, instead of benefiting the nation. 

“I need also to add here, about the 51:49%, we abandoned it precisely for this reason. It was not well thought, to say an investor can bring $100 million and an individual overnight claims a 51% stake of it,” Chinamasa said. 

Zanu PF said it was working on a new document which would allow 90% of the economy to be in the hands of Zimbabweans and, instead, act on empowering communities as opposed to individuals. 

“As the document will explain, we are going to be empowering communities, not individuals. We cannot just get an individual who says ‘I am already 51% richer’ in an investment which has come into a country. If you are paying something, no problem,” Chinamasa said. 

The indigenisation policy caused a stir in Mugabe’s government, with Chinamasa and then minister Patrick Zhuwao clashing over implementation of the policy. 

It was seen as one of the major reasons why foreign direct investment fled to safer destinations as investors either sold their stock or steered clear of Zimbabwe fearing they would fall foul to the law. 

Chinamasa claimed most of those bad laws were being imposed unconstitutionally on government by the G40 faction fronted by then First Lady Grace Mugabe. 

“Members of Cabinet who were G40 decided to take advantage of the advancement in age of the former President, and were reporting directly to the former First Lady in Mazowe, where decisions of Cabinet would be reversed. Now that is a serious onslaught on a national Constitution,” Chinamasa said. 

Grace, according to Chinamasa, became a de facto President, pulling all the strings in Mugabe’s government and reducing Cabinet ministers to mere figureheads. 

“That you have people outside who are not the President, totally usurping Executive powers to make decisions of an executive nature, then you have a person like (Saviour) Kasukuwere talking about constitutionalism. I think it was in the public glare that Kasukuwere and his friends in Cabinet were hanging on very strongly determinedly to the apron strings of the former First Lady and the skirts. What constitutionalism did he find there on the aprons of Grace Mugabe’s skirts?” he asked rhetorically. 

Grace once publicly told party supporters that she used to give orders to Mugabe’s deputies — Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko. 

Chinamasa accused former G40 members of wanting to use South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party to weave their way back into Zanu PF. Newsday

CHIYANGWA DRAGS MINISTER TO COURT OVER CHINHOYI STANDS

 Property developer and businessman, Philip Chiyangwa, has approached the High Court seeking an order to compel Local Government minister July Moyo to issue him with a land permit in respect of Sinoa Citrus Farm Estate in Chinhoyi which he has already subdivided into residential stands. 

Chiyangwa’s firm Madoch Planning Partnership (Pvt) Ltd recently filed a court application citing Moyo, Lands minister Anxious Masuka and Municipality of Chinhoyi as co-respondents in the matter. 

In his founding affidavit, Chiyangwa accused Moyo’s ministry officials of failing to issue him with a permit for the land despite the local authority in the province having already consented to the development of a housing estate. 

“This is an application for a compelling order to compel the first respondent (local government minister) to grant the applicant’s (Chiyangwa and Madoch Planning) subdivision application permit in respect of a piece of immovable property known as Subdivision 1, of Sinoa Citrus Farm Makonde in Mashonaland West Province which subdivision permit was applied for in 2016 and the first respondent has to date not issued such,” Chiyangwa said.

The businessman said he was issued with an offer letter for the land on October 29, 2002. 

“I am duly advised that the offer letter constitutes exclusive lawful authority for the use and occupation of the property described therein being Subdivision 1, of Sinoa Citrus Farm Makonde in Mashonaland West province. The farm is approximately 3 477,40 hectares in extent,” he said.

“Despite complying with all the necessary requirements as provided for under section 43 of the Regional, Town and Planning Act, the first respondent’s provincial planning officer has failed to provide me with the subdivision permit of the remaining extent of Sinoa Citrus Estate (Calm Valley), otherwise known as the property.”

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing. Newsday

CIVIL SERVANTS, GOVT PAY TALKS COLLAPSE

GOVERNMENT salary talks broke down last week, with teachers saying they will boycott classes when schools reopen for examination classes next week as a result.

The Apex Council, an umbrella body for all government employees, confirmed the development yesterday as teachers’ unions said they would officially declare their planned strike action today. 

“We had a breakdown last time and we couldn’t agree and there was no talk of how, when and what with the government,” Apex Council spokesperson David Dzatsunga said.

“It was just a case of taking your jacket and leaving with no agreement and that’s where we are,” he said. 

Dzatsunga said the Apex Council would this week meet to map the way forward, adding that he had not yet been briefed on the position taken by teachers.

“We are not yet briefed on that and maybe we will hear their position in our meeting sometime this week. What we know is we had a meeting (with the government) that broke down, but obviously we will have to hear what they will have to say,” he said. 

Public Service minister Paul Mavima confirmed the standoff, but said there was room for further negotiations.

“They failed to reach an agreement last week. However, that should not close the door for negotiations. I am going to kickstart those negotiations again this week,” he said.

Civil servants have frequently gone on strike since 2018 as the local currency has tumbled, fuelling inflation and eroding incomes. 

Citizens have also lost faith in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s economic revival plans, but government claims its efforts are being sabotaged by the opposition and foreign elements pushing a regime change agenda. 

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday said she was still optimistic of a breakthrough in the talks. 

“Government is negotiating in good faith and remains optimistic that both sides find each other and find a common ground. It tabled an offer to its workers and they indicated that they were not happy with it. But this is a matter under negotiation and that’s what the National Joint Negotiating Council is here for,” she said. 

“It’s a forum where two polar positions are brought together for a joint common position. This scenario does not indicate a strike is going to take place, but that parties have to regroup and review their positions so they can come together to try to find each other again.” 

Two weeks ago, nurses ended a three-month job boycott to give negotiations a chance. 

Teachers yesterday said they would not return to work next week, as government insists on reopening schools beginning with examination classes on Tuesday. 

Teachers’ organisations confirmed the industrial action yesterday, adding that they would officially announce the decision today in Harare. 

Inflation is above 700% and teachers say their salaries have not kept pace, with the average salary the equivalent of between US$30 and US$35, against their demand of US$520 per month.

In a circular distributed on Sunday, the country’s biggest teachers union, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta), said: “Teachers have been hard hit by the economic decline since the adoption of RTGS [real time gross settlement] as an official currency. As a result, the living conditions of teachers are now (incomparable) to anything human.

“We are concerned that the economy has self-dollarised and transport fares are now charged in United States dollars and rand on most routes.” 

Added Zimta: “We are appalled by the wide and unjustified disparities in basic salaries between teachers and other public servants and that school fees, rentals, medical insurance, funeral insurance and clothing are now out of reach for the educators.” 

The teachers body said the decision to reopen schools was done without consultation, adding that schools were ill-equipped to comply with COVID-19 preventive measures. 

“After wide consultation of all our 42 000 members across all the country’s 10 provinces, the Zimta national executive hereby declares that all educators will not be able to report for duty on September 28 for the opening of schools since they are incapacitated.” 

The teachers are also demanding COVID-19 allowances realised out of an agreed position and not “through the benevolence of His Excellency President Mnangagwa”.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said there was no going back on the strike. 

“The die is cast and a united position will be given (today) and that united front is clear that the teachers are incapacitated and unless they are capacitated by the government, we don’t foresee them going to school,” he said. 

“Our position is very clear, that we want a united front of teachers and that united front includes all the nine teacher unions. We believe that (making) isolated declarations is not the best position. The best foot forward is a united front because we have realised that we need to bury our differences for a common cause for our teachers because they have no special shop for professionals from any union.” 

Government last week set September 14 as the schools opening date for Cambridge examination classes and September 28 for the commencement of Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) examination classes.

The Zimsec examinations start on December 1, 2020. Newsday

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING : CHIWENGA TELLS HEALTH WORKERS ON THEIR PAY

 VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has said Government is committed to improving conditions of service for its workers. 

VP Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister, on Saturday toured a Covid-19 isolation centre at Zimbabwe Aids Project (ZAP) Clinic in Victoria Falls where he commended health staff for “the good work” they have been doing since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Health workers had declared incapacitation on June 18 as they downed tools but reversed their decision early this month after engagement with the VP. 

They returned to work following a decision by their representative body — the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) to give dialogue a chance. 

Speaking to health staff at ZAP Clinic and Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Fungai Musinami-Mvura soon after the tour of the facility, VP Chiwenga said negotiations between Government and workers’ representatives are underway as he reiterated Government’s commitment to improving conditions of service for its workers. 

He commended the work of health workers. 

“Keep up the good spirit and that’s what we want. But as regards your conditions of service something is happening. I will not tell you the percentage we have given you but you will see once negotiations are over. But we expect you to work the same way you have been working,” said VP Chiwenga in a brief chat with staffers at the facility. 

During the tour he said he was impressed by the facility, which is one of the two isolation centres in Victoria Falls, the other one being Mkhosana Clinic. 

ZAP isolation centre has eight rooms and a capacity of 16 patients. The facility was furnished by the Victoria Falls business community with the help of Oak Foundation in United Kingdom, working with Victoria Falls based Jafuta Foundation. 

It has a portable X-ray machine, a portable ventilator, blood gas analyser, a GeneXpert machine, water iodiser and a hood among other equipment sourced for fighting Covid-19.

The equipment will also be handy post Covid-19 as it will be used to provide the much-needed service in Hwange district especially for tuberculosis and HIV and Aids patients as well as attending to fractures. 

Earlier in the day, VP Chiwenga had toured Victoria Falls International Airport where he was also impressed by its readiness to receive tourists after all Covid-19 health protocols have been put in place. 

The VP said Government wants all frontline workers at ports of entry to have personal protective equipment.  Chronicle

NO SHORTAGE OF FOREX IN ZIM, SAYS MTHULI NCUBE

 Zimbabwe has no shortage of foreign currency, but rather a problem of allocating foreign currency through formal systems, now being addressed by measures that include the auction system, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said at the weekend. 

Speaking during the meeting of the Mashonaland West Zanu PF Provincial Coordinating Committee in Chinhoyi on Saturday, Prof Ncube said while the nation was moving towards economic transformations through its key sectors including farming, mining, ICT and tourism, the stability of the local currency and more foreign currency inflows would eradicate some anomalies existing in the retail and financial sectors. 

“We don’t have any shortage of foreign currency as a country. But we just have a shortage of foreign currency through the formal channels. This is, however, what we are fixing through the auction system and new more favourable fundamentals to address the economic challenges. 

“As a nation, we were worried and had envisaged a drop in remittances by as much as 10 percent. But God surprised: our remittances are actually up 30 percent. So we have enough foreign currency which means we just have an allocation problem. But we are also fixing that,” he said. 

On June 23, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) replaced the interbank market with weekly foreign exchange auctions to determine the Zimbabwe dollar exchange rate. 

The new system has generally led to the rebuilding of market confidence, improved access to foreign currency for companies, stabilised the exchange rate and prices as most companies applying for forex getting it. 

The Tuesday auctions are aimed at selling foreign currency retained by exporters, which must either be used or sold within 30 days, at the discretion of the exporter or be subject to compulsory sale after 30 days. 

Prof Ncube said the stability brought by the auction system to the local currency, making it stronger. Government measures are expected to ensure that exchange rate and prices remained stable.

He was responding to a member of the PCC committee who had raised concerns over extra charges that people were incurring to access foreign currency from banks for buying farming equipment and machinery outside the country. 

“As a Government, we have always desired to improve the salaries and welfare of the civil servants and talks are also underway to discuss the US$75 Covid-19 allowance. We also expect private players to play their role in improving salaries of their workers. Herald

MORE WOES FOR SIKHALA : NPA WINS SUPREME COURT FIRST ROUND

The National Prosecuting Authority has won the first round in what promises to be a long legal process in its attempt to prosecute MDC-Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala over allegedly subversive statements he made last year. 

A Supreme Court judge, Justice Lavender Makoni, has reinstated the authority’s application to seek leave to appeal against a High Court ruling that Sikhala did not have to be tried on the charges. 

The next step is another Supreme Court judge deciding whether or not the authority can appeal. If that judge rules it can, then a bench of three Supreme Court judges will hear the appeal. If the authority wins its appeal then Sikhala will go to trial, probably before a magistrate. 

Sikhala was acquitted on a technicality by Masvingo High Court judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze after his defence team led by Ms Beatrice Mtetwa made an application for exception, that is a dismissal on a point of law, on the subversion charges. 

In upholding the exception to the charges by Sikhala Justice Mawadze made a finding that the politician’s alleged utterances, even if proved to be true, disclosed no offence.

The National Prosecuting Authority then sought leave to appeal that legal finding before the Supreme Court but necessary papers were missing in the application and were not brought to the court in time so the application fell away. 

Mr Edmore Makoto, appearing for the Prosecutor General’s office before Justice Makoni said there had been problems getting a copy of the court record from Masvingo, where the High Court was sitting when it heard Mr Sikhala’s original application, and then the Covid-19 lockdown delayed matters further. 

Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, appearing for Sikhala, said the State had done nothing for three months and the court should therefore favour individual liberty. 

Reinstating the application to seek leave to appeal, Justice Makoni found that among other issues the matter raised an important jurisdictional question, which is how far can a judicial officer go, in exception proceedings, in determining the meaning to be ascribed to words in a charge sheet. 

“A reading of the charge sheet reflects that it follows the wording of the statute and as framed discloses an offence,” she said. “The critical issue is how the words allegedly uttered are interpreted in view of the totality of evidence that might be led by the State. I should hasten to add that a stand-alone interpretation of the words allegedly uttered . . . may not necessarily give a true meaning of the words and the import thereof in relation to the allegations.” 

Justice Makoni said it was the legal finding of the High Court that the words did not disclose an offence that will be tested on appeal. She, therefore, ruled that there are prospects of success in the actual application to seek leave to appeal and so reinstated that application. 

Justice Mawadze had acquitted Sikhala saying the court could not put the politician on trial based on semantics. 

He also said Sikhala did not contravene Section 22 of the Constitution as the State had built a case against him basing on statements taken out of context. 

Justice Mawadze also ruled that the prosecution had failed to understand the difference between overthrowing a president as an individual and a Government. 

In the defence outline and before the acquittal, Ms Mtetwa argued that her client could have been referring to the removal of the President through a legal process like impeachment and not necessarily overthrowing through violence means. Herald

Monday, 21 September 2020

EX MINISTER CONVICTED

Former Midlands Provincial Governor, Jason Machaya was yesterday convicted for abuse of office by a Gweru magistrate. 

Machaya, together with former Midlands Provincial Physical Planner, Chisayinyerwa Chibururu, have been facing charges of abuse of office involving the sale of State land in Gokwe. 

The two pleaded not guilty to the offence, but trial magistrate, Ms Charity Maphosa, found them guilty and remanded them in custody for sentencing today. 

Machaya, who is represented by lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama has been facing charges of abuse of office involving residential and commercial stands on State land in Gokwe totalling about 17 000 to some land developers, which the court argued was inconsistent with his duties. 

The court proved that Machaya did not have any lawful responsibility to allocate State land to developers and entities, arguing it is the responsibility of the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. 

Machaya further received 1 791 commonage stands from the said land developers and entities after which he parcelled out 1 185 of the commonage stands to different individuals.

Mr Muchadehama submitted a letter from a medical doctor indicating that Machaya was not feeling well and could not stand court, but Mrs Maphosa said he was fit and would be sentenced to today. 

The value of stolen money was put at $60 000. In the case of Chibururu, the court heard that he acted in connivance with Machaya. Mr Garudzo Ziyaduma prosecuted. Herald

ED TO ATTEND VIRTUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 President Mnangagwa will today join other Heads of State and Government in the virtual opening meeting of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

The opening proceedings, which run from today to Saturday, are being held virtually for the first time in line with Covid-19 mitigatory protocols that have been put in place across the world. 

In his address, President Mnangagwa is expected to take the opportunity to reiterate calls for the unconditional removal of illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country, resulting in untold suffering to citizens in the last two decades. 

The sanctions were imposed after Zimbabwe embarked upon the irreversible land reform at the turn of the millennium. The United States imposed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) of 2001 on Harare, along with an Executive Order 13288 of March 2003, which has been renewed yearly, while the European Union introduced its own measures in February 2002, but lifted most of its embargoes in 2014. 

Zidera effectively blocks Zimbabwe’s access to international finance and credit. Under international law, international sanctions need to be authorised or imposed by the UN Security Council, which was never done in Zimbabwe’s case, making the sanctions  illegal. 

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, yesterday said: “As you are aware, it’s the same time every year that the whole world gathers in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Every member of the United Nations including Zimbabwe, attends. 

“However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this has not been possible and as a result of that, the United Nations General Assembly for the first is going to be held virtually and it is in this context that this week is a major week of activities about the United Nations debates, statements and all the other issues.” 

Dr Moyo said besides the UN celebrating its 75th anniversary, it also aims to close the inequalities gap to achieve social justice, in line with this year’s theme. 

“This resonates very well with the context and direction which President Mnangagwa and his Government are following,” he said. 

The Second Republic has prioritised provision of safety nets including payment of schools fees, providing subsidised roller meal and disbursements of cash transfers to the poor, especially now that many citizens have been hard hit by Covid-19. 

Dr Moyo said apart from the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the UN, speakers including the Secretary General, presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council, youth representatives and Heads of States, among others, are expected to deliver speeches. 

The 75th session of the UN General Assembly opened on September 15, but the first day of the high-level general debate is today. 

The special event to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN took place yesterday, under the theme: “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”. Herald

KAUKONDE ALLOCATED TWO FARMS TO UK-BASED SISTER

The legal dispute over the status of a 1 000ha farm in Goromnzi has sucked in former Mashonaland East Governor Ray Kaukonde who is now under investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) for possible criminal abuse of office during his tenure for allegedly allocating the land to his sister without an offer letter. 

Mr Kaukonde reportedly allocated his United Kingdom–based sister Mrs Thokozani Gwizo, two State-acquired farms currently under the control of a company known as Whiteside Farms (Private) Limited. 

The farm company and its majority shareholder are now appealing in the High Court a ruling by the Land Commission in January this year that the farms were acquired by the State in 2006, with Whiteside claiming that the farm was delisted from possible acquisition in 2002. 

The appeal was lodged in March this year. 

Mrs Gwizo appears to now be involved because those lodging complaints claim she is allegedly a director of the company that owns a majority of the shares of Whiteside, giving that company two potential strings to its bow in its arguments for continuing occupation by either owning the land or acting for the person who was allocated the land if indeed it was expropriated. 

Zacc has opened investigations into the allegations against Mr Kaukonde and Mrs Gwizo, Zacc spokesperson Mr John Makamure confirmed yesterday but without giving details. 

“The matter is still under investigations,” said Mr Makamure adding, “I cannot divulge any further information.” 

The investigations against Mr Kaukonde and his sister arose after several reports were lodged with the anti-corruption body in February this year following other letters written since 2018 by former Dynamos secretary-general Mr Brian Kashangura, former Warriors coach Mr Sunday Chidzambwa and Mr Learnmore Muzvidziwa complaining about Mr Kaukonde and alleging illegal occupation of State land by Mrs Gwizo. 

The Land Commission ruled when the matter came before it that the land occupied by Whiteside Farms is State land and was acquired by Government in 2006 and that Whiteside Farms and its majority shareholder Ketchewan have been in occupation of the farm for 19 years without tenure documents. 

Ketchwan has 66,6 percent of the authorised share capital in Whiteside Farms, which in terms of their agreement entitled them to the two farms. Harare lawyer Mr Brian Mataruka and Mr Langton Manyozo are reported to be the directors and shareholders of Whiteside Farms, which is now contesting the Zimbabwe Land Commission decision declaring the two farms as State land. 

In a letter attached to their court application filed at the High Court in March this year, Mr Mataruka argued that the two farms in question belong to Ketchwan on account of their beneficial ownership and purchase of shares in Whiteside Farms. He was resting his case on the claimed delisting in 2002 of the land. 

In earlier letters to the authorities he dismissed claims by Mr Kashangura and his colleagues that Mr Kaukonde corruptly allocated the farm to his sister. 

“The wide and spurious allegations contained in the founding papers filed by Kashangura and his colleagues in respect of Kaukonde unlawfully offering the farm to Thokozani Gwizo are rejected as being baseless and untrue,” said Mr Mataruka in a letter on  December 3, 2018. 

“All legal processes in terms of the prevailing laws of the country were duly followed as at the time. There is a valid agreement which remains between ourselves and the then shareholders of Whiteside Farms and as stated . . . Mr Gordon Banks with the representatives of the then shareholders of the company is available to testify to this effect.” 

He implored the land investigating commission to throw away the alleged dispute that had been filed by Mr Kashangura and his colleagues against Mr Kaukonde. 

In his letter, Mr Mataruka offered to provide the Land Commission with information and documents on the matter plus give oral evidence to assist the commission in achieving a just and equitable process. 

In the same letter, the lawyer counter-accused Mr Kashangura and his colleagues of using underhand and fraudulent means to try to obtain offer letters to the farms in question through officials of the Lands Ministry. 

But the Land Commission acting chairperson, Mrs Tendai Bare, in opposing the Whiteside Farms application to overturn the commission’s decision, said the commission was called upon to decide whether the farms in question were privately owned and whether Mr Kashangura and his colleagues could lay any claim to the farm. 

She said the commission considered the affidavit by Mr Banks but was swayed by the submissions of the Ministry of Lands and of the Deeds Registry that confirmed the farms were State land. 

Mr Mataruka and his colleagues were given the opportunity to make written submissions to the commission responding to the allegations that had been made by Mr Kashangura, Mr Chidzambgwa and Mr Muzvidziwa, said Mrs Bare. 

“The Lands Commission is not obliged to hold a hearing and practised good administrative justice by considering submissions from both parties and carrying out its own independent investigations so she argued that the High Court should uphold its decision. Herald

WHATS IN A NAME