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.

Monday, 23 October 2017

NUST STUDENTS HELD HOSTAGE

A COMMUTTER omnibus crew allegedly kidnapped 18 National University of Science and Technology (Nust) students on Friday night and held them hostage at a house in Bulawayo’s Paddonhurst suburb for more than one hour.
The students had allegedly refused to pay a 50 cents fare to the city centre from campus, in line with the Bulawayo Public Transporters Association (Bupta)’s recent announcement that students would be charged 30 cents.

The conductor of the Bupta affiliated kombi is alleged to have demanded 50 cents around 8PM.

An argument allegedly ensued as the students refused to pay the extra 20 cents.
The driver is alleged to have stopped at Mac’s Garage along Gwanda Road where he locked the kombi and threatened to beat the students saying he is used to dealing with people who refuse to pay fares.

When the students did not give in to the threats, the driver allegedly sped off, threatening to dump the students at a bush far away from the city centre.

“We thought he was going to kill us over 20 cents. We were so scared and some of us sent messages to our parents telling them we were being kidnapped. Later I sent them the registration number of the kombi, which was ACZ 8741,” said a student on condition of anonymity.
The driver sped to his employer’s house in Paddonhurst where he parked the locked kombi.
Miss Gamuchirai Mahendere, one of the students said she feared for her life when she saw the driver diverting to Paddonhurst. She said she stays in Hillside suburb and she had to hire a taxi to take her home because there were no lifts after 10pm when the crew released them.

The kombi owner, identified only as Mr Gondwe drove the students back to the CBD after one of them threatened to call the police.

The students said the incident had traumatised them and they would avoid boarding kombis at night.

Bupta Chairperson Mr Albert Ncube said the matter would be investigated today.
He said he suspected the kombi involved does not have the permit to ply the City centre-Nust route.

“The driver risks being fired as kidnapping and holding people hostage is a criminal offence. We do not condone or tolerate such conduct,” said Mr Ncube.

In a letter to Nust student representative council last month Bupta said it had slashed fares from 50 cents to 30 cents to help students who are struggling financially.

“Looking at the financial situation in our country whereby cash is very scarce and difficult to get, Bupta Ltd has seen it fit to reduce fares for you as students. Every morning starting Tuesday 19/09/2017 Bupta will deploy 100 kombis or even more depending on your numbers from City Hall to the university for only 30 cents,” the Bupta letter reads.

The decision which was a cause for celebration for Nust students did not go down well with Expricos Taxis drivers who said the fare reduction amounted to unfair competition .

The drivers at one time tried to block Bupta kombis from picking students from the campus. Chronicle

PAY JOY FOR CIVIL SERVANTS

CIVIL servants have hailed the Government for proposing to pay all the civil servants their salaries within the same month of work.

This comes as Government released pay dates for this month which will see all the civil servants being paid by October 31.
In the past some civil servants were paid their salaries the following month. The Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe received their salaries on Tuesday while the health sector was paid their salaries on  Friday.

Police and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services will be paid their salaries tomorrow while the education sector will be paid on Friday.

The rest of the civil servants, who usually receive their salaries on the following month, will be paid their salaries on October 31.

Pensioners will receive their allowances on November 3 while the grant aided institutions will be paid their salaries on November 7. In an interview yesterday, Apex chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander said: “We want to actually applaud Government for paying all civil servants within the same month. This is something which we have always been clamouring for and something which is the right thing to do.”

Mrs Alexander commended civil servants for being patient even during difficult times.
She said as a union they are now focusing their energies on the housing projects with development in the area at an advanced stage. Herald

MAN SHOOTS FATHER DEAD

A 36-YEAR-OLD man from Binga, who allegedly shot his father dead in cold blood after the old man refused to let him inherit his homestead while he was still alive, is on the run.
Fullback Sibanda, an alleged notorious gangster, is said to have shot Janika Sibanda (64) at point blank range with a double barrel shotgun on Thursday around 9PM.
Villagers rushed Janika of Nampande Village under chief Sinakomas, to Binga District Hospital.

Police confirmed Janika died in Kamativi at 8AM on Friday as he was being transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo. His body was ferried to Kamativi Clinic mortuary.

Villagers told The Chronicle that Janika had set up a homestead for his son next to his.
“Fullback seemed to struggle to maintain the homestead. He went to his father and demanded to take over the old man’s homestead as part of his inheritance,” said a villager who asked not to be named.
“The two had been fighting for some days and before the shooting, the two had fought again,” said the source.
According to villagers, Fullback is a criminal on the police wanted list for several crimes which include cyanide poaching, smuggling and robberies.
A source close to the family who preferred anonymity said Fullback shot his father while he sat next to his mother outside their bedroom hut.

“We suspect he used a double barrel gun because he fired once but Sibanda sustained two wounds,” he said.

A neighbour who spoke on condition of anonymity saying he feared for his life, said Fullback, who now spends most of his time in neighbouring Zambia, is alleged to have returned home with a mission to evict his father from his homestead.

“Fullback returned home a few days ago and has been fighting with his father since then. He was telling him to move out of the homestead, saying he wanted to develop it.
“His father refused, saying he had given him another home next to his and had even given him a bigger portion of the family fields,” he said.

Binga District Medical Officer Dr Welcome Mlilo confirmed Janika’s death.
“We received a patient who had four gunshot wounds. We suspect he may have been shot twice and both bullets exited on the other side. He was shot on the right arm.

“The man lost a lot of blood and he passed on along the way to Mpilo Central Hospital where we had transferred him for emergency surgery,” he said.

Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Sipiwe Makonese said she had not yet received the report.

It is suspected Fullback may have escaped to Zambia. chronicle

TOO MANY MINISTRIES CONFUSE MUGABE

Government has made clarifications on the nomenclature of some Government ministries following the recent Cabinet reshuffle. In a statement on Friday, Acting Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr Regis Chikowore said the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda had made the clarifications.

“The chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr M. J. M. Sibanda has clarified the nomenclature of five Government ministries following the recent Cabinet reshuffle by His Excellency the President, Cde R.G. Mugabe, which saw some of them being reconfigured,” reads the statement. 

“The ministries are as follows: Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Ministry of Tourism, Hospitality Industry and Environment, Ministry of Water Resources Development and Climate and Ministry of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.”

Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo, who is the Zanu-PF spokesperson is the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister, while Cde Edgar Mbwembwe, the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is the Tourism, Hospitality Industry and Environment Minister.

Water Resources Development and Climate Minister is Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, while Cde Saviour Kasukuwere is the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, with Cde Makhosini Hlongwane heading the Ministry of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

President Mugabe swore in three new Cabinet ministers and four Ministers of State.

The three Cabinet Ministers are Retired Major-General Happyton Bonyongwe (Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs), Cdes Mbwembwe and Chiratidzo Mabuwa (Youths, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.


The Ministers of State are Dr Paul Chimedza (Provincial Affairs, Masvingo) Cde Webster Shamu (Provincial Affairs, Mashonaland West, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu (Provincial Affairs, Matabeleland North) and Ambassador Maboyi Ncube (Provincial Affairs Matabeleland South). Herald

MAN CLEARED OF RAPING BROTHER'S DAUGHTER IN 1999

A 67-year-old man, who was being accused of raping his brother’s daughter in 1999, was last Friday acquitted by a Harare magistrate due to lack of evidence. The complainant, who is now 33-years-old, was alleging that her uncle, who was 49-years-old then, raped her on the day her father was buried.

She was 14-years-old at the time. The man denied the charges when his trial opened before magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo. Through his lawyer Mr Lovemore Madhuku, he then successfully sought to be discharged at the close of the State’s case.
In her evidence during trial, the victim told the court that she did not have her family’s support to take the matter further, but only reported to the police after listening to a radio show which encouraged rape victims to report such cases.

She told the court that the matter was swept under the carpet by her family then. In his ruling, Mr Makomo said the way the complainant would change her story during cross-examination made the court doubt her testimony.

He also said that the medical report, which was tendered by the State, did not show any evidence, hence the court could not rely on it.

“We cannot go to the defence case to buttress the State’s case,” said Mr Makomo.
“The State failed to prove its case. The State should have called more witnesses to corroborate the complainant’s testimony because it was her word against that of the accused.

“She was medically examined this year when she was already sexually active and is now a mother, hence there is no evidence to rely on the medical affidavit.”
The man, in his defence outline, said the charges levelled against him were malicious, saying that his family members were fixing him after he refused to participate in some traditional rituals which they were conducting.

“This rape allegation arose as part of the strategy by members of his family to force him to participate in the aforesaid witchcraft rituals,” said Mr Madhuku.

“The whole strategy was either he participate or will be accused of rape. “It is impossible for him to contemplate a scenario of a sexual relationship between him and the complainant whom in the African custom is his daughter.”

Mr Madhuku also questioned why it took the alleged victim too long to report the matter to the police.

It was alleged that sometime in August 1999 the accused raped his niece while she was preparing tea for him. Herald

COP LOSES $2 500 IN CAR DEAL

A 34-YEAR-OLD man from Gweru has been arrested for allegedly duping a police officer of $2 500 after promising to buy him a car at a Messenger of Court auction. Manyewu Javangwe of Mkoba 7, was last week arraigned before Gweru magistrate Ms Vimbai Makora facing theft charges. He was remanded to next Friday on $50 bail after he requested time to seek legal representation.

The State case against Javangwe was that on May 5 ,2017, Constable Whatmore Mudimu stationed at Gweru Central Police Station told Javangwe that he was looking for a second hand car and he agreed to assist.
After three days, Javangwe phoned and told Mudimu that there was an auction at the Gweru Messenger of Court and that there was a white Iveco bus on auction.

The court heard that Javangwe advised Mudimu that he was a regular customer and he could influence the auction proceedings. The court also heard that on May 9, Mudimu transferred $1 500 into Javangwe’s account through RTGS and gave him $500 cash.

The court heard that on May 11, Javangwe demanded an extra $500 so that the vehicle could be released. Mudimu deposited the money into the same account, the court heard.
It is the court’s case that Javangwe did not buy the vehicle, but converted the money to his personal use.

The matter was reported to the police leading to his arrest. Mr Andrew Marimo appeared for the State.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

HRE TO HIKE WATER CHARGES

Harare City Council’s proposal to hike water charges for domestic use has provoked a strong reaction from residents already struggling to settle their bills. In its $319,5 million budget for 2018, council proposed to increase water charges for high-density suburbs to 70 cents from the current 25 cents for 1-10 cubic metres.

For 11-20 cubic meters, the charge rises to 80 cents from 50 cents and for water above 20 cubic metres council proposes an increase to a $1 from 75 cents. For low-density areas, council wants to raise water charges from the current 40 cents to 70 cents for 1-10 cubic metres, while for 11-20 cubic metres would rise from 80 cents to $1,20.
For 20 cubic metres council proposes an increase to $1,50 from $1. If the budget tabled last week is approved, it means turning on the tap in the capital will be more costly for already hard-pressed residents.

The proposed increases belie claims by Harare council, which announced last week that it would slash industrial and commercial fixed water charges to $25 from $50 and scrap fixed water charges for low and high-density areas if the $319,5 million budget was approved.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) said council wanted to deceive residents.

“The so-called scrapping of fixed water charges is a massive deception by the City of Harare,” said HRT on its Facebook wall. They propose to actually increase the cost of water.”

HRT director Mr Precious Shumba warned residents not to be fooled by council’s proposal to cut fixed water charges as the move did not make sense when the local council was raising water charges through the back door.

“The increases in the cost of water in my view is the back door privatisation of water services,” said Mr Shumba.
“The socio-economic impact of this increase will be felt shortly across the capital, and given the fragility of the economic situation, a lot of residents will sink in debt.”
Harare public relations manager Mr Michael Chideme could not be reached for comment yesterday as he was said to be out of the country.

Harare has proposed to scrap industrial and commercial fixed water charges to $25 from $50 and scrap fixed water charges for low and high-density areas in its $319, 5 million budget for 2018.

Fixed charges are currently $9 and $4 for low-density and high density areas respectively. Presenting the budget at Town House on Friday, finance and development committee chairman Councillor Luckson Mukunguma said the city expected to realise $269,3 million, from which salaries and allowances will chew up $114,8 million.

The remaining $154,5 million would go towards service delivery. Much of the revenues are expected from increased water sales and enforcement of property tax payments for domestic, industrial and commercial stands and buildings. HCC also plans to expand refuse collection to areas that were not covered before.

Harare is proposing to float international tenders for the procurement of imported water treatment chemicals. There are also plans to buy locally manufactured water treatment chemicals and other goods and services direct from the manufacturers.

Last year, the city had proposed a $448 million budget for 2017 which Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere rejected, saying it was too high.

He then approved a revised budget of $328,2 million after the local authority trimmed it by more than $100 million. Herald

BLOODY SCANDAL AT NBSZ

The National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has inexplicably changed its status from a non-profit making organisation to a private limited organisation, a move that could explain the high cost of blood and blood products, The Herald can reveal.

Investigations by The Herald revealed that the sole blood transfusion institution in the country is now registered under the Companies Act Chapter 24:03 as National Blood Service Zimbabwe (Private) Limited with 17 directors listed on the CR14 form.
It is not clear why the company changed its status, but paperwork in The Herald’s possession shows the change could have taken place in 2013 following the release of damning results from a special investigation into the company by auditing firm, Ernst and Young, in October the previous year.

The report exposed serious abuse of funds by executives, which included loans of over 200 percent of employees’ basic salaries and channelling of funding of blood-for-mothers coupons under the European Union’s 2011 project towards salaries.

The report also noted that the company did not have a policy on how payments of board sitting allowances, travel expenses or medical consultancy fees to doctors should be made.

It further noted that there was no policy for retirement, retrenchment, medical aid, leave and pension. On corporate governance issues, the report noted that there were instances when the NBSZ board and board committees were not informed of significant business transactions either involving the then chief executive Mr David Mvere or by board chairperson, retired Justice Leslie George Smith.

The board then, comprising representatives from Government, who included Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals chief executive Mr Thomas Zigora, National Aids Council finance manager, Mr Albert Manenji, Association of Health Care Funders of Zimbabwe chief executive Mrs Shylet Sanyanga and a blood donor, Mrs Christine Shaamano, was dissolved under unclear circumstances with speculation rife that they had become “thick-headed” as they sought answers regarding results of the Ernst and Young investigation.

Justice Smith, who has been on the board since 1977 remained and is still NBSZ board chairman, raising eyebrows on his continued interest. He is deputised by former CBZ Holdings board chairman Mr Elliot Mugamu, who was forced to resign from the bank earlier this year for alleged malpractice and unprofessional conduct. 

NBSZ has been receiving grants from Government through the National Aids Council as a not-for-profit voluntary organisation.

Asked if it was Government policy to support private companies, secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Gerald Gwinji said Government supports organisations that play a role in providing critical services to the nation. He however said such organisations should be registered as private voluntary organisations (PVOs).
  
“These can be civil society organisations and other entities registered largely as PVOs. They are therefore not state enterprises but private not-for-profit organisations,” said Dr Gwinji.

However, according to NBSZ’s 2016 annual report, it received about half a million dollars from donations, $400 000 of it from NAC, long after it changed its status to a private company.

Interviews by The Herald at NBSZ regarding these developments raised suspicion that the company changed its status to avoid accountable to any interested authority thereby evading scrutiny on their financials.

“It is understood that the company exports some blood products. No one really knows how much comes from that and how it is accounted for,” said a source who requesred anonymity.

“Coupled with those issues in the report and subsequent developments, we do not know whether the price of blood is justifiable,” said the source.

A letter dated 9 June 2017 addressed to NBSZ from renowned lawyer Mr Rodgers Matsikidze, who himself is a loyal blood donor, indicated there was need for an urgent extraordinary general meeting to deliberate on the company’s legal status, participation at annual general meetings, composition of the board of trustees and the management structure.

In a follow-up interview regarding his letter, Mr Matsikidze said there was no way NBSZ could attract donor funding if it remained a private institution.

“We are worried by the price of blood and blood products which has remained far beyond the reach of ordinary Zimbabweans yet affordable in neighboring countries,” said in the letter.

Mr Matsikidze said many people were dying as they could not afford the cost of blood. It costs $100 per pint at Government institutions and $120 in private institutions but far cheaper in neighbouring countries.

Zambians access blood for free at public health institutions as it is paid for by Government while in Malawi the cost is $42 a pint.

Pregnant women and road traffic accidents are the major consumers of blood in Zimbabwe.

“What this means is, the model they are using does not work and people cannot continue suffering when the blood itself is donated,” said Mr Matsikidze.

“The issue of blood is a national concern and we cannot entrust this responsibility with certain individuals without Government being involved,” he said.

“Sadly, Government has no control in the current set-up,” said Mr Matsikidze.

Efforts to get a comment from retired Justice Smith were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable. Health and Child Care Secretary Dr Gwinji said Government was seized with the matter.

He said Government was in the process of determining the motive and true nature of the change of status.

“The issues that have emerged with NBSZ have prompted the Minister (of Health and Child Care) to work on a possible framework to restructure the organisation and redefine its relationship to Government for better accountability purposes and strengthen the legal framework for Government’s oversight role on the entity,” said Dr Gwinji.

He said Dr David Parirenyatwa was expected to share specifics of the proposal with Cabinet.

Community Working Group on Health executive director Mr Itai Rusike said alleged poor governance and accountability issues at NBSZ were worrisome.

He said Government and Parliament should play a pivotal role to make sure recommendations from auditors are implemented.


“To attract donors to fund the institution, the financial books and accounting procedures of NBSZ should be a public matter. Further, the auditors should be changed at stipulated intervals for accountability reasons,” said Mr Rusike. herald

MZEMBI FUMES : UN SYSTEM STINKS

Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Walter Mzembi has said the United Nations (UN) system needs urgent reform, starting with its agencies following a decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to rescind its appointment last week of President Mugabe as goodwill ambassador in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa.

WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus rescinded his decision yesterday, bowing to sustained pressure from Western countries, the main funders of the UN agencies.
“I am personally a victim of the goings-on in the UN system. You cannot reform it at the top unless you start with its building blocks or pillars, the UN Agencies, bottom up and my own experiences at the UNWTO are in themselves a global case study on the need for reform,” Minister Mzembi said.

Dr Mzembi lost in his bid to be UNWTO secretary general in controversial circumstances earlier this year when he was still Minister for Tourism. This was despite his sterling performance in helping Zimbabwe co-host the UNWTO general assembly in 2013.

Dr Mzembi said President Mugabe remained committed to the fight against NCDs despite the machinations of the West which has maintained a ruinous sanctions regime on Zimbabwe for nearly two decades for redistributing its land to poor blacks.

“The inordinate noise around the designation of the President (Mugabe) as WHO, AFRICA Global Ambassador for Africa does not assist the cause in the first place. If anything, it is WHO that has benefited tremendously from its decision in nominating President Mugabe to lead the fight against NCDs through media amplification of WHO itself, and curiosity by the general public on what really are NCDs, by tagging the name Mugabe to the debate. On a name recognition scale, this name beats them all but it is our business to protect its brand equity from unnecessary besmirching,” said Dr Mzembi yesterday.

“So on the balance, it’s wiser to let go, and help WHO focus on its mandate while we focus Zimbabwe on its membership obligations. That notwithstanding, the President will carry on with his passion for NCDs which are killing over 40 million people per annum with 80 percent of them from the developing world. That, more than the global ambassadorship, was the motivation, saving lives and answering SDG Goal 3.4 and that is to cut premature deaths from NCDs by a third going forward to 2030. We respect the WHO decision as much as we respected their initial decision to honour our President,” Dr Mzembi said.

Political analysts said the decision was a result of bullying by the West. Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said he was not surprised by Dr Ghebreyesus’ about-turn.
“It is not surprising at all. A heavy and hard stick has been applied on the director. The Western monsters say ‘either you are with us or you against us’. Their hegemonic capitalist monopoly is so pervasive and ubiquitous. It continues to be a neo-colonial albatross around Africa’s neck,” said Mr Mureriwa.

“The West are hypocritical bullies and this is why we pulled out of the Commonwealth. The move to rescind the appointment (of President Mugabe) is malicious and barbaric, yet it only hardens us to protect our independence and sustain our sovereignty. Right is might and we will never allow wrong to override right. It’s about principles,” Mr Mureriwa said.

He added that the decision by WHO justifies urgent calls to reform the UN system.
“What has happened is the reason why the UN system has to be reformed and democratised so that it does not pander to the whims of a few powerful nations. It’s clear that the UN agencies are not independent and can be rail-roaded into making decisions that please a few nations,” he added.

Analyst and lawyer Mr Tendai Toto acknowledged that Dr Ghebreyesus acted under immense pressure to reverse his decision.

“The ambassadorial role has been rescinded after immense pressure and campaign by the global powerful and heavyweights as a way of embarrassing Zimbabwe. One asks the question, what goodwill and ingenuity was there in the appointment in the first place? And of what validity and substance is the rescission of that appointment? It presents a global diplomatic circus that leaves many to wonder if WHO is a serious and solid world organisation,” Mr Toto said.

Writing on Facebook, a Mr Jonathan Shoniwa said the appointment was an acknowledgement in the first place of something that President Mugabe had done.

“The people that appointed him are serious medical professionals, what had they seen? Vangavaoneyi? And where has it gone to?” he querried.

He also slammed Zimbabweans who were at the forefront of calling for the reversal of President Mugabe’s appointment.

“It’s sad because the people at the forefront (of calling for the rescinding of the award) were Zimbabweans, decrying their own. This appointment was not about one man, but the country, Brand Zimbabwe. It had the potential to open doors for our young medical students, for the country’s health sector and the economy as a whole,” he said.

In his statement announcing the rescission of the appointment, Dr Ghebreyesus tacitly admitted that he had been pressurised to act.

“I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns, and heard the different issues that they have raised. I have also consulted with the Government of Zimbabwe and we have concluded that this decision is in the best interests of the World Health Organisation,” reads part of his statement. herald

WHO REVOKES MUGABE APPOINTMENT

(Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been removed as a WHO goodwill ambassador, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday following an outrage among donors and rights groups at his appointment.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who made the appointment at a high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Uruguay on Wednesday, said in a statement that he had listened to those expressing concerns.

“Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment,” Tedros said in a statement

Mr Tedros said he had consulted with the Zimbabwean government and decided that rescinding Mr Mugabe's position was "in the best interests of" the WHO.

He said he remained "firmly committed to working with all countries and their leaders" to build universal health care.

LANDMARK RULING ON STATUTORY RAPE

 In a landmark ruling that has potential to trigger public outcry, two learned judges of the High Court have ruled that, depending on the circumstances, statutory rape does not usually warrant a custodial sentence.

The ruling by High Court judges Erica Ndewere and Owen Tagu flies in the face of the harsh sex laws on the country’s statute books that have provisions for jailing sex offenders for as long as 10 years.

In their ruling, the judges set free four men who were serving jail terms for having sex with minors after adjudging that the convicts were victims of incorrect sentencing.

According to court papers accessed by the Daily News on Sunday, the quartet of Tinashe Makamba (20), Benice Sahumbe (25), Marshal Muchabaiwa (25) and Farai Kapirikwete (19), had applied for reviews of custodial sentences imposed on them.


Makamba had been jailed for 18 months for bedding a 13-year-old girl, while Sahumbe was thrown behind bars for 18 months for impregnating his 15-year-old girlfriend.

Muchabaiwa had been jailed for 18 months for helping himself to his 15-year-old girlfriend, while Kapirikwete was serving 24 months jail term for having sex with his 15-year-old lover.

The 2013 Constitution set the minimum age of consent at 18.
In their joint judgment, Ndewere and Tagu, ruled that perpetrators were actually “victims of incorrect sentencing”.

“The four cases herein are of the same nature. Accused persons in all four matters were rightfully charged of having consensual sexual intercourse with minors. However, in all cases, all the accused persons succumbed to the same fate of incorrect sentencing,” Justice Ndewere said in a ruling delivered on May 17, but was only released two weeks ago.
Justice Tagu concurred with the ruling, court papers indicate.

The judges pointed out that while the law clearly states that those convicted of statutory rape could be condemned to up to a decade in jail, the general trend in such cases was that perpetrators were allowed to get away with light fines.

“The purpose of this provision is clearly to deter the vulnerability of minors from sexual abuse which, at law, they are deemed not to have capacity to consent to sexual activities. However, it is the salient facts in casu, which make me conclude that the respective learned magistrates grossly misdirected themselves on sentence. In all instances, the accused persons were in love with the complainants and the sexual intercourse was consensual in all cases,” noted Ndewere.

She went on to quote previous cases in which other judges had been lenient on these sex offenders.

“However, having sexual intercourse with a minor remains a crime, in spite of the complainant’s willingness. But then the sentencing should be appropriate. The sentencing trends on sex with minors otherwise referred to as statutory rape have been dealt with in depth by the late (Justice Arnold) Mutema in the case of State versus Tshuma HB 70/13. From that judgment, it is apparent that non-custodial sentences are usually passed in such offences,” she said.

The court then substituted the custodial sentences imposed on the four with light fines.
Makamba’s sentence was reduced to a fine of $200 alternatively one month jail.

Sahumbe was fined $300 fine (or two months in jail) the same as Muchabaiwa, while Kapirikwete had 23 months knocked off his sentence to leave him with one month, alternatively $200 fine.

However, because the four — who were all jailed last year — had served a better part of their sentences, the court ordered their immediate release from jail.

“It is therefore correct to conclude that, depending on circumstances, statutory rape does not usually warrant a custodial sentence,” Justice Ndewere pointed out.
The ruling, flies in the face of Zimbabwe’s punitive sex laws.

Section 70 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) [Chapter 9:23] reads: “Subject to subsection (2), any person who: Has extra-marital sexual intercourse with a young person or . . . shall be guilty of sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person, as the case may be, and liable to a fine not exceeding level twelve or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or both.” daily news

TEEN KILLS RIVAL OVER GIRL

A 15-year-old Form One pupil at Batanai High School in Redcliff has been arrested for allegedly killing a 21-year-old man after a dispute arose over a girl at the same school attending Lower Sixth.

The incident happened on Saturday last week and has left residents of the small town shocked.

The boy appeared before Kwekwe magistrate Mr Story Rushambwa on Monday facing a murder charge.

He was remanded in custody to 30 October pending bail application. Prosecuting during the teenager’s brief appearance in court, Mr Nyasha Ndoro told the court that the boy was in the company of the girl in question whose name was not mentioned in court when the now deceased arrived.

“The deceased arrived at the girl’s place with the intention to enquire about his lover as per norm,” said Mr Ndoro.

Upon arrival, the court heard, the teenager started hurling obscenities at the man accusing him of dating his girlfriend.

The girl, a Lower Sixth pupil at the same school, tried to intervene but failed to calm the boy.
“He (the teenager) suddenly grabbed a chair and struck the man on the head and he fell unconscious,” Mr Mr Ndoro said.

He was ferried to Kwekwe General Hospital before being transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where he died on admission. The teenager was then arrested. Sunday News