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.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

MASSIVE ROW OVER SHIRI ESTATE

THE family of late national hero and Cabinet minister Perrance Shiri has questioned the authenticity of documents used by the Master of the High Court Eldard Mutasa to handle his vast empire.

A decorated national hero and ex-Air Force of Zimbabwe commander, Shiri became Agriculture minister soon after President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over in a November 2017 coup and served in that capacity until he succumbed to COVID-19 on July 29 last year.

Some of his children have, through their lawyers, written to Mutasa on several occasions, arguing that the estate administration documents were not authentic.

Shiri’s estate beneficiaries also challenged Mutasa’s appointment of former Attorney-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele as executor when the late Agriculture minister had a family trust with its own executor.

They claimed that Gula-Ndebele had shown bias in executing the estate as he had un-procedurally given authority to undeserving relatives to use Shiri’s property, namely his nephew Bornwell Chitanda who is now staying at the deceased’s property in Borrowdale after moving out of his Hatcliffe home to occupy the house which had key documents and family safes.

But Chitanda yesterday said: “I was asked to stay at the late minister’s house because there was no relative staying with him at the time of his death. I am just looking after the property. I know nothing about the late minister’s documents to do with his estate. I wouldn’t concern myself with his estate because I am not a beneficiary anyway.”

The matter is now being investigated by police under reference ER5/2021 with the hope that the estate does not fall into wrong hands.

Shiri’s children argued that Mutasa had used a 1995 will, which the late minister had disregarded after registering a family trust with one of his children Rufaro Stephanie Shiri as executor, but who some family members are allegedly wanting to muscle out.

According to documents seen by NewsDay, the late Agriculture minister’s children, Rufaro Stephanie reportedly with the support from sisters Tatenda and Cynthia, accused the Master’s office of using fraudulent documents to deprive them of their inheritance.

“The estate issue has ceased to be a family issue as portrayed to the public and government. People are using government letterheads and offices to execute their fraudulent activities. Mr Gula-Ndebele was appointed executor both dative and testamentary, was the Master’s Office confused on what role to give to him since the family trust has its own executor? His (Mutasa) letter appointing him as administrator was stamped on August 20, 2020, but signed on August 21. Was the stamp stolen on the 20th and someone who was not supposed to sign signed his letters of administration,” Stephanie queried.

The children also questioned the addition of other individuals to benefit from the estate among them Tawanda Zulu and Tanaka Stephanie Shiri who they claimed her real name was Tanaka Musvamhiri, yet they were allegedly not Shiri’s biological children. Zulu has been given Shiri’s farm under unclear circumstances through a letter reportedly signed by the late minister.

“After approaching the Agriculture ministry officials who had worked with our father they happened to confirm the offer letter existed and that the farm had been subdivided, but the question is if the farm was truly subdivided, and if the Agriculture minister chairs the committee for subdivision of farms. Why did he decide to write to himself stating he wanted his farm to be given to Tawanda Zulu, whom he had not given the name Shiri and (though) (he) had stayed with the family for 10 years. The letter can only be read over the phone and had been read on the phone with ministry officials requiring a family meeting to release the letter. No one has ever seen a hard copy of the letter, but what we can confirm is it’s on the ministry’s letterhead,” she said.

But Gula-Ndebele dismissed the allegations in heated exchanges with Stephanie and her sisters’ lawyers.

Shiri’s estate was registered on August 3, 2020 by his daughter Stephanie.

“If Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele knew he was an executor, why didn’t he register the estate? Under the laws and statues of Zimbabwe, a family meeting is done to appoint an executor and the decision lies among deceased’s spouse and/or children. Such a meeting was not done,” Stephanie said.

“The Master of High Court has records of all wills and trusts and it is his duty to scrutinise wills and approve if they can be used to administer one’s estate. The 1995 will in particular, has the following grey areas: (for instance) the marital clause states that: In the event of death of any of my daughters, her inheritance will go to her children. If the daughter has no children at the time of her death, her share of the inheritance will be shared equally among her.”

She added: “The clause eliminates Mr Titus Takudzwa Chikerema Shiri. I believe when the will was registered in 1995 according to the document we have only three children listed. Titus being one of them!  How could he have been included in one clause and eliminated in the marital clause.  How did the deceased know that Titus would not be able to marry and would not die, but the daughters would die and clearly states their children were to benefit and or siblings if there were no children?

“Today, Titus is no more, he died in 2013, he had been allocated a house in the will, had no children, what is going to happen to that house since the will eliminated him in the marital clause?  The clauses also suggest that he no longer has male children which people could have derived from the trust and the reason why Titus was eliminated in the new documents is because he doesn’t exist, he died in 2013.”

Stephanie confirmed that Gula-Ndebele was once Shiri’s lawyer, but argued that as an interested party, he should not have drafted and executed the will.

“Witness names are not there, only signatures present, no names with ID numbers. At the time of my father’s death, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele was no longer his lawyer.”

She added that the documents provided to Gula-Ndebele as executor had many disparities.

“The document Acceptance of Trust as Executor MHC 11 on the top left part is printed by Printflow (Private) Limited and the signature used to sign that document is not Sobusa Gula-Ndebele’s.

“The bond of security for the issue of letters of administration to executor also on the top left part is printed by Printflow (Private Limited) on the top right reference number 63911-0 MHC 52 333 (J). Letter of administration is on the other hand printed by the Government Printer, Harare M.H.C.16,” she said, adding that the bond of security document and letters of administration did not have the Master’s signature and stamp.

She also argued that there were two copies of letters of administration — the one with the government emblem date-stamped on August 20, 2020 and deemed to have been signed by one D Gutu (for the Master of High Court) on August 21, 2020.

“These are to certify that ……. (But) how do they certify that he (Gula-Ndebele) has a letter of administration with no official stamp or signature from the Master. This letter was only issued on the 29th of August 2020, while the one with the government emblem was issued on the 21st of August 2020, weren’t they supposed to be done on one day?  The letter to certify him as executor has no stamp and no signatures,” Stephanie questioned.

She added that according to every document provided, Gula-Ndebele was appointed executor dative and testamentary.

“Executor dative is an executor that is appointed by the Master of the High Court where the deceased died without a will (intestate and/or real executor doesn’t wish to accept the appointment).  So on whose behalf was he being appointed executor testamentary on executor nominated by will?” Stephanie asked.

Documents show that Shiri in 1995 appointed Gula-Ndebele as executor of his will and administrator of his estate together with late General Solomon Mujuru in the event that Gula-Ndebele would have failed to perform his duty properly. But Mujuru died in 2011 in a mysterious inferno at his Beatrice farmhouse.

In the will, Shiri bequeathed 50% of his bank savings, insurance policies to his now late son Titus and the other half of savings to his children Tatenda and Cynthia Shiri, and all his other children who were yet to be born and to come.

A death notice filed at the Master’s Offices indicated that three more children Tawanda (adopted son who stayed with his family for 10 years before he reportedly moved out), Stephanie and Tanaka were also listed as beneficiaries of Shiri’s estate.

“So this implies even those that Gula-Ndebele would want to include can only benefit from the savings and nothing else which then nullifies his distribution account which allocates shares to Tawanda Zulu and Tanaka Musvamhiri also in the overall estate distribution,” Stephanie argues.

Yesterday, Tanaka responded: “I do not dispute the documents that are being used by the Master of the High Court. I accept them as authentic. I can’t comment further, but I insist that I am the late minister’s daughter and I have proof to that effect.”

Zulu said: “I can’t comment on the matter. Those who are making claims on the authenticity of the documents are better placed to answer your questions.”

On April 12, 2021, Stephanie wrote to Mutasa requesting to be appointed as executrix dative of her father’s estate, since Gula-Ndebele as the executor testamentary had allegedly failed to register the estate following her father’s death.

On May 17, 2021, she wrote another letter requesting for the removal of Gula-Ndebele as the executor of Shiri’s estate, accusing him of neglecting his duties.

She also accused the executor of a litany of issues including failing to register the estate, read the will on time and to urgently address important issues for estate administration.

Stephanie recommended her lawyer to be appointed as executor of the late Shiri’s properties, in place of Gula-Ndebele and implored Mutasa to carry out investigations on suspected fraudulent acts on her father’s estate.

“Sometime in December 2020, the executor refused me the right to legal representation, violating my constitutional right to legal representation by a lawyer of my choice,” she stated in the letter.

“This is why my lawyers have been writing directly to the Office of the Master of the High Court because the executor refused them the opportunity to represent me. I, therefore, now appeal to your high offices as the Master of the High Court to remove the executor from office in terms of section 116 of the Administration of Estates Act (Chapter 6:01).”

She asked Mutasa to convene a meeting of the beneficiaries, with two sisters, Cynthia and Tatenda to appoint an executor.

But, Mutasa in response stated that there was no need for a meeting to deliberate on the dictates of section 116 of the Administration of Estates Act.

“We note that Ms Rufaro filed an objection to the account, which the executor has already filed. The estate appears to us to be almost finalised,” Mutasa said in a May 17, 2021, letter.

“What remains is to address the issues you raised as the basis for your objection to the account which we have forwarded to the executor and now awaits his responses before the office takes a position.

“On the issue of registration of the estate, please note that any of the interested parties connected to the deceased could have registered the estate and what Ms Rufaro did was completely in order. There was no need to wait for the lawyers to attend to the registration.”

Yesterday, Mutasa said: “I am not allowed to comment to the media without authorisation from the Judicial Service Commission secretary. I have to seek his authority first.”

Stephanie questioned why the Master’s Office had failed to remove Gula-Ndebele as executor of the Shiri estate given Shiri’s children’s misgivings over how the estate was being handled.

“We, therefore, appeal to the leadership of this country to see to it that those involved in these shenanigans are brought to book. This poses a serious security threat to us as beneficiaries if it’s not addressed urgently. We believe we still have a lot to benefit from our father’s colleagues, but there are people who would want to taint them for no reason. All culprits should be brought to book,” Stephanie said.

Gula-Ndebele was recently at the centre of a messy wrangle which erupted over the distribution of another hero’s estate which includes several houses, a farm, residential stands and cash. Newsday

SECRET BALLOT FOR ZANU PF POLLS

Zanu PF has employed the secret ballot system ahead of its district executive elections to be held next week.

In a circular dated September 9 and signed by acting political commissar Patrick Chinamasa addressed to all provincial chairpersons, the elections will run between September 20 and 26.

The district executive elections will lead to provincial elections, likely to be held on October 9, according to party insiders. The party is still to lift the ban on members who want to contest for the provincial posts to campaign.

“The party’s district elections shall be conducted through the basket system and by secret ballot in order to achieve fair representation of all the party branches within the respective party district boundary,” Chinamasa wrote.

“Apart from the positions of the three chairpersons of the three wings, elections for the remaining 117 posts should be divided equally by the number of party branches in the district. Each branch will elect its quota to represent it in the district executive committee.”

The coming in of the district executive elections is likely to push the revolutionary party into an election mode ahead of the looming provincial election that has given birth to massive smear campaigns and mudslinging as party bigwigs position themselves for influential positions.

Chinamasa added that each branch should have at least a single polling station to avoid chaos.

“Each party branch will have one polling centre which is the place where the branch ordinarily assembles for its meetings. The voting process should be conducted in a manner as to avoid crowding in order to comply with the current COVID-19 restrictive measures.

“Candidates who are elected at the branch centres and who constitute the basket, will meet at the usual district executive committee meeting centre to elect from among themselves, the rest of the membership of the district executive committee,” read the circular.

The ruling party is currently undergoing a massive restructuring exercise and mobilising for five million votes ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections. Newsday

 

ED HANDS OVER FIVE NEW BUSES TO THE MILITARY

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday handed over five brand new buses to the military and police and pledged three more for each of the State security agencies by year-end. This comes as the general public is faced with a severe public transport crisis following the banning of privately-owned kombis at the start of the COVID-19-induced lockdown last year.

Government recently also promised to set up exclusive hospitals, garrison shops and shopping malls in barracks in what observers said was tantamount to pampering the security sector ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.

Mnangagwa handed over two buses to the Zimbabwe National Army, one for the ZNA headquarters while the Presidential Guard, Airforce of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Republic Police received one each.

He pledged to procure more buses for the security sector to address their transport needs.

He said: “Some buses are on the high seas, we should be able to have another batch in October, another batch in November and another in December.” Newsday

 

 

CHINESE MINER TO DISPLACE 12 000 VILLAGERS : MDC A

 

LOCKDOWN HAS WOKEN ME UP, SAYS BEV

PHENOMENAL dancer Beverly Sibanda says the Covid-19 pandemic has made her realise she can easily eke out a living as a video vixen.

She said club performances were strenuous as compared to video performances with a well-knit script.

The 28-year-old says she was managing to put food on the table by starring in fellow artistes’ videos on Covid-19 induced lockdown.

She also said she has been charging fees for promoting other entertainers’ works as well as hyping individuals’ special events through video drops.

She however told H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle that she doesn’t regret close to a decade of entertaining mainly drunkards and imbibers in various night clubs.

“It’s unfortunate that there are so many things that we have not been doing in a professional manner over years which are being corrected now,” said he Sexy Angels boss.

“In my case, I’m a talented dancer who has made a name for herself but there are some things that we have been overlooking for years.

“For instance, many people began to look for my services to feature in their videos but then we were charged less or nothing hoping to make a name for ourselves but the tables have changed.

“I’m only realise it now that I can easily make money as a video vixen as is the case with dancers in other countries,” she said.

The dancer who once tried singing and even recorded one album, said versatility and making sacrifice have made her realise her potential.

“For the greater part of the lockdown when most of peers were stranded, I was busy as a video vixen.

“To date, I have featured in a number of videos including Patati Patata alongside rhumba giant Koffi Olomide, Rayvanny  and our own Roki.

“A week ago, Baba Harare and Sulu sought for my services where I featured in one of their forth-coming videos that we shot in Zvishavane.

“Other artistes who sought for my services comprise Enzo Ishal, Simba Majekete who is based in Cape Town, South Africa   among other upcoming musicians,” she said.

Asked how much she was charging for her services, Bev said:

“It’s private and confidential but just know that we are no longer doing charity work.

“It takes a lot for a woman to be attractive from looks, structure and body.

“As such, I can’t afford to do things for free because I’m not growing any younger.

“Gone are the days when we used to be duped under the guise of getting exposure because exposure doesn’t pay the bills.

“In showbiz there are people who benefit a lot by using artists on the pretext of giving them exposure which is unhealthy for us,” she added.

With the Government loosening the Covid-19 restriction under Lockdown Level 4, Bev said she was more than ready for the dance floor once mass gatherings are permitted.

“I’m now more than ready for the stage because the stage remains part of my life.

“I can do anything else but I don’t see myself quitting dancing for good,” said the multiple award-winning dancer. H Metro

WOMAN BURNT AS CLEANSING CEREMONY GOES WRONG

 A 20-year-old Chitungwiza woman sustained serious head burns in a cleansing ceremony gone wrong.

Millicent Moffat had her face and hair burnt at a shrine in St Mary’s by Tawonei Chaziva, 47, popularly known as Madzimai of Johanne Masowe yeChishanu.

Madzimai told H-Metro that she lit her prepared mixer of paraffin, cooking oil and a black cloth for cleansing leading to the mishap.

“To be honest with you I left Millicent in the house and went to a private clinic where I bought medication after she got burnt,” said Madzimai.

“I used a small amount of paraffin and that is what caused the fire and the cloth covering her head caught fire which rapidly spread.

“I was cleansing her for evil spirits causing misfortunes in her life. She wanted to go to South Africa for greener pastures hence the need for prayers. It is true that I have been concealing information surrounding the tragedy fearing arrest and gossip mongers.

“Millicent has been helping my daughter with extra lessons during lock down. She has been lodging at one of our neighbours’ houses but for the past two months she is under my roof,” said Madzimai.

Madzimai, a vendor, lied to health workers that Millicent got burnt while cooking and she has been denying neighbours access to meet Millicent to avoid truth coming out.

Millicent said her condition was now better. “I was affected much that my face got swollen; to me it was like something more than burning,” said Millicent.

“My face changed and I took some photographs and kept them for remembrance. The wounds are too painful but I am recovering well.

“One of my relatives sent money for medication and I do not blame Madzimai for this. It was like a spiritual attack and I thank God to be alive,” said Millicent.

Millicent, the only child in her family, has been staying with her step-mother following death of her mother. H Metro

GRADE THREE BOY KILLS SELF

A nine-year-old boy from Epworth committed suicide under unclear circumstances on Friday morning.

Farai Munemo, 9, a grade three pupil at Queensdale Primary School was found hanging on a rope tied to the wooden beam ceiling after being told off by his mother.

Social media reports purporting that the death was a murder and the boy had been hit in the head and hanged by his step mother referred to as “maiguru” were dismissed by both the police and the boy’s family.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told this publication that no foul play report or arrests have been made as alleged by social media rumours that a relative had hit the child with an iron bar leading to his death.

The father also dispelled the rumours saying there’s no ‘maiguru’ in the family and murder allegations are unfounded.

H-Metro spoke to the devastated father Michael Munemo at their home in Glenwood Epworth area who said he’s yet to comprehend how his nine-year-old and first born son is capable of committing suicide.

He said: “Mwana aiterera, but suicide, I don’t believe he could intentionally commit suicide at his age because we know our son very well.

“I could be wrong but it could be spirits behind this or television movies from which he picked up some things because he was too playful.

He added: “On the day, I received a call from neighbours telling me to urgently come back home and I got so worried because they couldn’t tell me over the phone that my son had hanged himself.

“I got home to see my son lying dead on the bed, he was taken down by neighbours and I feel so sorry for my wife who is still crying up to now.

“My son would not commit suicide just because his mother told him off, I am devastated”

Munemo sobbed as he revealed that he was about to cover the ceiling with boards before his son hanged himself to the wooden beam.

“If I had just put these boards maybe this could have been avoided or maybe if he had gone to school but it was his day off from school.

“I got married in 2009 and he is the first born of my three children.

“I want to advise parents and guardians to closely monitor their kids, especially what they watch on television,” he said.

Audio messages from the mother, Felistas Mundere, narrating the ordeal have gone viral on social media.

“I only told him to stop beating up the child and he went to the spare room and he went for good my child Farai.

“It’s hard, I didn’t even beat him up, I wonder what kind of spirit got into him Farai.

“It’s hard to take in because I couldn’t hear him scream or anything, it’s hard,” she sobbed.

 

H-Metro contacted the head mistress for Queensdale Primary School Mrs Chiripanyanga and she confirmed the incident.

“I cannot say much on this matter, it’s really sad but I can only refer you to the relevant authority, she said.

In an interview, Mental health expert and catholic priest father Tendai Reki Mashayamombe, said it is a mental health issue.

“These are purely mental health issues and one of the reasons is influence from social media and television.

“It’s not the time to blame anyone but to holistically look at the family setup. “It’s true that they know their son but there are other things that they do not know about their son.

“There could be factors and forces unknown to the parents, for instance, his school, friends or neighbourhood, these are the areas that surround a child.

“It’s unfortunate that the nine-year-old has to take his own life but these are the ages that children suffer from identity crisis.

“They even feel guilty when they do something that is wrong and also wanting to be very good is a mental health issue,” he said.

Farai Munemo was laid to rest on Sunday at Zororo Memorial park. H Metro

AIRFORCE BOSS SACKED ME WITHOUT NOTICE

AIR Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) commander Air Marshal Elson Moyo, who is being sued by a former subordinate he fired last year for trespassing into a gold mine in Kwekwe, has approached the High Court to defend his decision.

Air Marshal Moyo fired Mr Thembelani Ndlovu, an AFZ serviceman, last year in June for allegedly trespassing into Goodhope Mine in Kwekwe sometime last year.

The mine belongs to one Armstrong Mapanga. Air Marshal Moyo argued that Mr Ndlovu’s dismissal was fair and above board.

Mr Ndlovu is challenging his dismissal and accuses his former employers of violating his constitutional right by discharging him without conducting a disciplinary hearing.

Mr Ndlovu has filed an application for review at the Bulawayo High Court citing Air Marshal Moyo and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commission as respondents.

In his founding affidavit, Mr Ndlovu, who is a self-actor, said he was dismissed from the AFZ without notice.

Air Marshal Moyo, through the Civil Division in the Attorney-General’s Office, yesterday filed a notice of opposition challenging Mr Ndlovu’s application.

In his opposing affidavit, Air Marshal Moyo said the termination of the applicant’s service was done in accordance with the law.

“Authority to sit a board and inquire into the applicant’s suitability to continue serving in the AFZ was obtained through a convening order. Moreover, a member of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces may be subjected to both criminal and disciplinary law in respect of the same set of facts,” Air Marshal Moyo said.

“The applicant cannot therefore exceptionally rely on the outcome of the proceedings in the criminal court without also looking at the disciplinary proceedings.”

Air Marshal Moyo said in discharging Mr Ndlovu, he relied on the reasons that were proffered by the board of suitability in its recommendations.

“The applicant’s behaviour fell short of the required standards of a member of the disciplined force. I, therefore, exercised my discretion judiciously and fairly having taken into consideration the factors in question,” he argued.

Air Marshal Moyo said Mr Ndlovu became aware of his discharge from the AFZ in June 2020 and therefore had ample time to prepare and lodge his application for review before the lapse of time.

“The applicant failed to display a sense of urgency as it took him 14 months to seek condonation. It is humbly submitted that the applicant’s delay was inordinate. His explanation is not at all satisfactory thus the case is doomed to fail on review,” he said.

Air Marshal Moyo said Mr Ndlovu was examined by the board and responded to all its questions. “The applicant was asked if he wanted legal representation to which he declined. This is contrary to his averment that his right to legal representation and to be heard was violated,” he said.

In his application, Mr Ndlovu argued that the respondents’ decision to fire him was arrived at in a malicious manner.

“There was also bias, malice and procedural irregularities in the manner in which the process was conducted,” Mr Ndlovu said.

Mr Ndlovu said he was taken to the Kadoma Magistrates’ Court on allegations of trespassing and the charges were withdrawn before plea.

“Subsequently, the second respondent (Air Marshal Elson Moyo) discharged me from the Air Force of Zimbabwe without any notice whatsoever. Further, he never conducted any disciplinary hearing in terms of the Defence Forces Act and as such his decision is a nullity at law,” he said. Chronicle

CID DIRECTOR BLOCKED MY PROMOTION FOR 15 YEARS

A STATE witness yesterday nailed suspended CID director Commissioner Crispen Charumbira, in a matter he is charged with criminal abuse of office, accusing him of blocking his promotion during the 15 years he was serving as a police officer.

Comm Charumbira allegedly attempted to stop his junior officers from arresting suspected drug and gold dealers.

Constable David Manyandure told the court that Comm Charumbira blocked his promotion for the past 15 years he has been in service despite having proper qualifications.

He said this while giving evidence as a State witness. Responding to Comm Charumbira’s question on why he was never promoted over the past 15 years, Cst Manyandure said:

“It was not possible because of the accused who was holding my papers. I have proof to that effect,” he said.

Cst Manyandure told the court that he was academically qualified and had a number of Memorandum of Good Work awards under his belt, which he was given in recognition of his good performance at work.

“There was nothing that could have stopped me getting promoted considering my academic qualifications and Memorandum of Good Work that I attained during my service. But because of the accused person I failed to get promoted. There was a time when he called my Officer in-charge Madekuchekwa to strike me off from the nominal roll for promotion,” he said.

Cst Munyandure expressed confidence that he will be elevated when the police force enlist officers for promotion.

“It is only that promotion time is not due, but I believe next time when the police elevates its members I will also get promoted,” he said.

He alleged that Comm Charumbira removed him from the CID section and he only returned when he got suspended.

“Since the day the accused was removed from the position of heading CID section my things have started moving on well. I am now back at CID as a detective,” he said.

Cst Manyandure acknowledged that there were no phone records that proved that Comm Charumbira called him and his other team members to stop arresting suspects.

The matter is expected to continue today with Cst Manyandure testifying. Mr Ephraim Zinyandu prosecuted while regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna presided. Herald

HRE CITY COUNCIL TO SPLASH US$1M ON TIPPERS HIRE

THE cash-strapped MDC-led Harare City Council is planning to splash US$1 million to hire 10 tippers, a dozer and front end loader instead of buying the equipment, raising eyebrows of suspected underhand dealings.

A quick search on the Daws Plant & Machinery Zimbabwe website showed that a single, Howo Sino truck 20 cubic tipper costs US$59 200 and calculations show that with US$1 million council could purchase 16 tippers.

But in a joint Environmental Management and Finance and Development committee meeting held last week, the city fathers resolved to hire for two months than buying the equipment.

The minutes from last week’s meeting partly read that “council approves the dump clearance plan that is to be implemented in residential areas by the acting director of works from mid-August 2021 to mid-October 2021.

“That council approves an approximate expenditure of US$1 275 516 in hiring the trucks.”

According to the breakdown, council had budgeted a total of US$986 850 or $83 882 250 and US$897 750 or local currency $76 308 750 was set aside for hiring 10 tippers for dump clearance for all suburbs.

For the spreading and compaction of waste (Golden Quarry), the local authority proposed to hire a D8 dozer for US$40 500 or $3 442 500 and a front end loader for US$48 600 or local currency $4 131 000.

Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme yesterday said council was turning down the proposal.

“We are not hiring. The costs were requested to see whether it was worthwhile to hire. It was deemed not necessary to hire so we are not hiring. We do not have the budget for hire,” he said.

However, a councillor who spoke on condition of anonymity said the councillors endorsed the plan during the full council meeting.

“We endorsed the deal and said we would be using the devolution funds to hire the machinery,” said the councillor.

According to the council minutes, an estimated sum of $170 million was required to repair the refuse management critical fleet.

The local authority also noted that an estimated sum of $35 million was required for maintenance of at least 45 pieces of refuse management fleet until December 2021. Herald

ED PREPARES TO HEAD TO THE UK, MEETS UK ENVOY


President Mnangagwa yesterday met British Ambassador Melanie Robinson and discussed his forthcoming trip to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be hosted by Britain in Glasgow.

Britain invited President Mnangagwa to attend the global conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow next month but while this was necessary and expected as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it also provides an opportunity for continued progress in normalising Anglo-Zimbabwe relations.

Besides acting as a boost for the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement efforts, President Mnangagwa’s visit will also unlock trade opportunities with the Western world, which dovetails with Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

The President’s visit is also expected to boost Zimbabwe’s chances of making its case to the global community, including the British Foreign Office for the re-admission into the international community particularly the Commonwealth, from which it withdrew in 2003 at the height of a diplomatic tiff between Harare and London in December 2003.

In 2019, President Mnangagwa met Commonwealth secretary-general Mrs Patricia Scotland on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly where she expressed satisfaction with the reforms that Harare was instituting and implementing.

President Mnangagwa spoke with Ambassador Robinson for over an hour, with the two discussing several bilateral issues affecting the two countries.

Of late, Britain has been deporting Zimbabweans with criminal records in that country, a normal process and a sign of shift in policy by London, which has over the years given sanctuary to Zimbabweans. In an interview soon after their marathon meeting, Ambassador Robinson said their discussion was productive as it centred on the pending visit.

“I had a fruitful meeting with His Excellency, the President. We were talking about his upcoming visit in the UK for the Conference of Parties (COP26); there are climate change talks we are hosting in the UK in November. We talked about climate change, its importance in providing successful outcomes for Zimbabwe and other countries that are vulnerable to climate change.

“We talked about Zimbabwe’s important role in tackling climate change. We also talked about UK-Zimbabwe relations and how much it can influence the President’s visit,” said Mrs Robinson.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Fredrick Shava concurred saying much of the discussions were on the UK trip by President Mnangagwa.

The climate change talks will bring together Heads of State and Government, climate experts and campaigners to agree on a coordinated action to tackle climate change.

The COP26 summit will bring together parties to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Britain has been chosen to host the major event together with Italy.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said President Mnangagwa will lead a Zimbabwean delegation and present the efforts that Zimbabwe is undertaking in the face of climate change.

Some of the measures include the various afforestation and reforestation programmes, conservation agriculture (Pfumvudza/Intwasa) and emitting less on its growth trajectory towards Vision 2030.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the implementation of renewable energy projects in the country and use of more efficient low emission technologies in thermal power plants also reflected Government commitment towards reducing emissions.

“The nation is informed that Zimbabwe is a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose major objective is the stabilisation of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

“These gases contribute to climate change. This objective is being fulfilled through the Paris Agreement of 2015 on climate change, which mandates all countries to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through nationally determined contributions,” she said.

 The targets will be reviewed every five years. Herald

ZEC SCOFFS AT RIGGING CLAIMS

Allegations of election rigging are normally raised by political parties that would have failed to field agents at polling stations to observe the conduct of polls, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said.

Commissioner Joyce Kazembe said as the electoral management body, they have always wondered the legal basis upon which such political parties make the allegations when they would have abdicated the legal expectation for them to appoint agents at all voting centres.

Comm Kazembe was making a contribution during a virtual interface with Parliament’s portfolio committee on Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

The interface, which was supported by the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust was meant to appraise legislators on media regulations.

“There are certain polling stations, which had no polling agents from major opposition parties, but they were raising allegations of rigging. We really do not know the basis of these allegations.

“These polling agents must be present 24 hours including during counting of votes so that they append their signatures on the results that would be send to the national command centre here in Harare. So these are allegations, we really do not know where they come from,” said Comm Kazembe.

In 2018, the MDC-Alliance leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa raised allegations of rigging when he lost to Zanu PF leader, President Mnangagwa.

Mr Chamisa launched a constitutional legal challenge against President Mnangagwa’s electoral victory, but failed to prove the allegations as it emerged that he had not fielded polling agents at most voting centres.

The Constitutional Court led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba found the challenge not having any merit before dismissing it.

Turning to ZEC’s role in monitoring the media, Comm Kazembe said there was need for legal reforms to capture technological changes that have evolved over the years from when the current legal framework was promulgated.

“The media conduct is currently governed by laws promulgated a long time ago, in 2008. The regulations have not been amended or aligned to the 2013 Constitution,” said Comm Kazembe.

She said some of the proposed amendments sought to deal with social media which disseminated hate speech during election period targeting mostly women.

“We need to monitor social media. But sometimes social media can be slippery.

“We have submitted these documents to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs so that they can take to Parliament. We are anxious to know what became of these proposals,” she said.

The committee chaired by Matabeleland South Proportional Representative, Ms Sipho Mokone (MDC-T) resolved to engage the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi. Herald