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.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

KUKURA KURERWA BUSES TO GO UNDER THE HAMMER

Former transport powerhouse Kukura Kurerwa is set to lose its fleet of buses and haulage trucks at a liquidation auction sale scheduled for next week.

The auction will be conducted on November 23 at Hammer and Tongues in Harare.
The auction comes after former employees obtained a writ of execution to attach the property to recover over $442 000 in unsettled salaries and terminal benefits.

The workers, through the National Employment Council (NEC) for the Transport Industry, successfully registered the Labour Court judgment before Justice David Mangota in June this year.
The writ of execution was subsequently granted on July 26, paving way for the attachment of the property.

The debt-ridden transport company owed its creditors in excess of $2 million, which it failed to settle on top of $1,6 million plus interest borrowed from a local financial institution.

In August, the company’s director Mr Patrick Nyariri approached the High Court seeking to have the company placed under liquidation.

This was after Mr Nyariri had petitioned the court seeking an order for the firm’s winding up in terms of Section 206 of the Companies Act on the basis that the shareholders had held an extraordinary general meeting and passed a special resolution for the move. Herald

ARMY DISMISSES DOCS AUGUST SHOOTINGS REPORT

THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) yesterday dismissed allegations raised by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) that the army was responsible for the shooting of civilians on August 1 as false, saying the ZDF position was clearly stated to the Commission of Inquiry and the ZADHR report should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

Responding to an article in the Daily News that claimed the military had taken a body from the morgue in a desperate bid to tamper with evidence, Director Defence Forces Public Relations Colonel Overson Mugwisi said if the ZADHR had any evidence to assist the inquiry, they should present it to the Motlanthe Commission.

“The Zimbabwe Defence Forces position on the 01 August shooting incident was clearly stated through evidence given to the Commission of Inquiry on post-election violence.

“Allegations against the Zimbabwe Defence Forces attributed to the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) purporting that ‘the military had, in one of the ugly incidents witnessed, forcefully taken away a body from the morgue, in a desperate bid to tamper with evidence’ are false and should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve.

‘‘If the ZADHR has any evidence that can assist the ongoing inquiry on unfortunate deaths from post-election violence, they should present it to the Zimbabwe Republic Police experts or Commission of Inquiry seized with the investigations,’’ Col Mugwisi said.

The ZADHR yesterday panicked after releasing a questionable report trying to pre-empt the findings of the Commission of Inquiry set to investigate the August 1 disturbances that resulted in the death of six people.

In their report, ZADHR scandalously concluded that the six were killed by the military without proffering any evidence as to how they arrived at the claims.

They also alleged intimidation of MDC-Alliance supporters by Zanu-PF, which has nothing to do with the medical evidence they purported to present.

This is despite the fact doctors have no expertise in ballistic materials to certify that the bullets used were from the ZDF armoury.

In a rushed statement that further exposed the organisation, ZADHR sought to justify their funding by making claims that they were apolitical.

The statement was directed to The Herald after it made some inquiries on certain issues that cast aspersions on the credibility of their report.

“ZADHR wishes to alert members of the public, the Mothlante-led commission and all Zimbabweans that there are concerted efforts by the State media to dismiss the recently launched report by ZADHR on post-election violence,” reads part of the statement.

“ZADHR is in possession of communication of a State media journalist who has been enquiring all day about the sources of funding for ZADHR and whether or not ZADHR is linked to political parties.

“For the avoidance of doubt and to set the record, the ZADHR board states that ZADHR is non-partisan, as its constitution bars office bearers from holding any political office.
“ZADHR is a membership-based organisation whose core activities are funded by its members. ZADHR also has strategic partnerships with development partners who also fund government health programmes.”

Political analysts yesterday roundly condemned the report by ZADHR, saying it was more of a political statement than a medical compilation.

Harare-based political analyst Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi said: “The doctors’ report on the August 1 events falls short of being a medical report, but mere political commentary,” he said.

“It shows, though regrettably, the serious levels of polarisation that have infiltrated our medical sector and our hospitals in particular. The doctors have strayed and gate-crushed into a technical area which they have not an iota of knowledge over.

“The question of whose gun released the bullet is not a matter of guessing and speculation, but one under the purview of the arms and ballistic experts following technical processes of testing cartridges. It is, therefore, worrisome that doctors who are supposed to be the leading figures in scientific research become dangerously speculative and experimental.

“One hopes such speculation and hearsay will not become a habit when it comes to examination of patients.”

Mr Mugwadi continued: “By and large, the report is more of bus stop political gossiping than a medical report. If this coterie of mischievous doctors was concerned with the political questions of August 1, then they should have presented their accounts of the events before the Commission of Inquiry than drag a whole respected profession of medicine in a doomed bid to score cheap political outputs much to the disdain and chagrin of an anxious nation.”

Another political commentator Mr Godwine Mureriwa said: “Their sentiments or conclusions are as prejudicial as the notorious presumption by the MDC-A that elections can never be free, fair and credible if they do not win an election.

“It’s a tired and futile regime change agenda they have pursued since September 11, 1997 when the MDC was launched. They seek to revive Western funding under the guise that the army, and by extension the State, violates human rights when it is them who are throwing spanners into the democratisation and reform agenda of the new dispensation.

“Humiliated in electoral processes and the courts, they now resort to medical surgery and politics for survival. At the end of the commission work, once again they will have egg on the face.”

Political analyst Mr Richard Mahomva said: “The report falls short of contributing to constructive dialogue as already initiated through the Government’s open sphere approach to auditing the August 1 altercation.

“The report conclusively projects the Government as the major villain behind the post-election violence. The report is acutely antagonistic and feeds into the opposition anchored narrative of concealing the source of anarchy which undermined the constitutional due process of election management by ZEC.” Herald

MAN BEATS UP INAPPROPRIATELY DRESSED PREGNANT WIFE

A MAN from Bulawayo has appeared in court for assaulting his pregnant wife for dressing ‘inappropriately’.

Betram Lunga (29) of Matshobana suburb punched Pretty Malabwe (24) for wearing shorts in public. Lunga pleaded guilty to physical abuse charges when he appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube.

“I was angry because of the way my wife was dressed. If she had met my relatives dressed in that manner they would have concluded that I married a prostitute. She is pregnant and she was wearing a tight short in public,” he said.

Mr Ncube fined Lunga $100 or 90 days in prison. Mr Kenneth Shava for the State told the court that on Saturday last week at around 6PM, Malabwe was at Munga shops in Matshobana suburb sitting with a friend when Lunga approached them and asked her why she was wearing shorts.

He said Malabwe in response told her husband not to worry about what she wears because he does not buy her clothes.

Mr Shava said Malabwe’s response angered Lunga who then punched her several times with fists. He also threatened to assault her with an empty bottle, the court heard.

Lunga was later restrained by his father and Malabwe managed to escape and reported the assault to the police leading to Lunga’s arrest. Chronicle

CASPER TELLS LOCAL RAPPERS : COLLABOS ARE EARNED

Multi-award-winning rapper, Cassper Nyovest has commended Bulawayo rapper Cal Vin whom he collaborated with three years ago saying he was one artiste from Zimbabwe who had earned a collaboration with him.

Speaking during a Press conference in Harare this past weekend, Cassper who performed at the well organised RSVP Concert at Glamis Stadium said collaborations should happen naturally unless if one pays for it.

Local up-and-coming rappers who had attended the conference in their numbers had suggested that Cassper, who runs the successful Family Tree record label in South Africa, signs up artistes like Takura of the Mai Mwana fame.

“Cassper, you’ve been here (Zimbabwe) for quite a while. Are you going to get to a stage where you’ll work with a local artiste who’ll have performed well at the concert?” quizzed one rapper.
Cassper simply responded: “Those things happen authentically. It’s never ‘I’m going to Zimbabwe to look for talent’. It’s always something that catches you and happens authentically.

“For example, I had a collaboration with Cal Vin — I was just on radio (ZiFM Stereo) and I heard the song (Z’khupan’). I liked it and did a remix and he ended up winning awards for that song.”
He said when he collaborated with Cal Vin, he did not have intentions of signing him up and recording his works at his studios.

“It wasn’t me trying to put him on, but I genuinely had an interest in the song.”
However, Cassper who has a Zimbabwean — Nadia Nakai under his label and a band mainly comprised of Zimbabweans, said this did not mean that he did not have intentions to work with local artistes.

“I’m always up to it, always looking. I don’t think it works when we make it a talent search — it just has to happen authentically . . . unless you’ve got money.”

On the responsibility that comes with being a public figure that most youngsters look up to, Cassper said: “The responsibility is heavy and I’m aware of it. I make conscious decisions to lead and influence in a positive manner, but I also forgive myself when I say or do the wrong thing. I’ve got a temper and sometimes I lose it on camera and say the wrong thing. I look back and I’ll be embarrassed but it’s something I learn from.

“The key is to keep a balance on the personal — who you’re and the brand — what you present. I don’t think people like a perfect human being because that thing doesn’t exist.”
The Tito Mboweni hit-maker explained his behaviour on social media where he often brags about his riches saying he was deliberately doing this to inspire others, especially those from where he comes from.

“I post a lot about how I live — the luxury, cars, house and watches. Some people might look at that as flashy, but I do that to inspire people from the same place as I.
“If I hadn’t seen that from someone else, I wouldn’t have thought that it was possible.”
Reflecting on his relationship with SA hip hop star HHP who suffered from depression and allegedly committed suicide, Cassper said he had also gone through depression.

“I’m actually one of the people who went through depression. I deal with anxiety from time to time and it’s something I’m trying to find a way to address.”

Cassper who is working flat out on his #FillUpMosesMabhida concert taking place on December 1 in Durban said his new look — bald head and long beard does not translate to a new sound. He said the new album was however meant for the South African audience as it will have a kwaito feel.

“I’m releasing an album on the 1st of December and it’s a fully kwaito inspired album. I’ve gone back to my basics — my foundation of why I love music on this album.

“It’s not a new sound, but it’s the first time I’m going fully kwaito, fully South African,” he said.
He said his most recent tracks like K’sazobalit were mostly inspired by American Trap music, something he deviated from on the new album.

To up-and-coming rap artistes, Cassper said they need to focus on producing music that resonates with people from where they come.

“They need to start at home, research and connect with their people. You’ve got a whole country full of people and I think the biggest mistake we make as musicians is trying to appeal to everyone outside of where you live. My dream was to make it in America and when I started travelling there, I realised there was millions of rappers trying to make it there.

“I noticed that I can’t leave my country to try and make it in America, especially with something that started there — hip hop. That’s why I’m going back to my culture.” Chronicle

Friday, 16 November 2018

AFM WAR : RIVALS BANNED FROM CHURCH SERVICES

THE battle to control the Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe (AFM) has intensified with top officials from rival camps barring each other from attending services at the church’s Bulawayo branches.

AFM, one of the biggest and oldest Pentecostal churches in the country, has of late been rocked by divisions pitting two warring parties — one led by the church’s former president Dr Aspher Madziyire and another led by his former deputy, Reverend Cossam Chiangwa.

The group which is challenging the leadership of a faction aligned to Dr Madziyire’s camp has approached the High Court seeking an order interdicting their rivals from interfering and disrupting any of their services in Bulawayo.

AFM (Bulawayo West Province), through its lawyers, Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Pastors Kizito Kawonde, Ntelezi Masuku and Jacob Katsekera as respondents.

The trio is allegedly aligned to Dr Madziyire’s camp.
In his founding affidavit, the church’s Bulawayo West provincial overseer, Rev Tamuka Zvavahera said the three pastors were no longer members of the church after they were relieved of their positions following the expiry of their terms of office.

“In terms of the church constitution, the three respondents could only serve in office for a period of three years from the date of their elections and that period has lapsed leading to the termination of their services,” he said.

Rev Zvavahera said the terms of office for the three respondents lapsed at the same time as those of the former national executive, which was headed by Dr Madziyire.

“There was an unsuccessful attempt by the respondents to delay elections by trying to amend the constitution and it failed,” he said.

Rev Zvavahera said through the council of elders, an extra-ordinary general meeting of the works council was convened on September 22 during which an interim executive was appointed.
He said an elective council meeting was convened on October 20 and a substantive four-member executive led by Rev Chiangwa was subsequently elected into office.

“Pursuant to the meetings of September 22, 2018 and October 20, 2018, and my appointment as provincial overseer for Bulawayo West, I assumed my roles including the general administration of the affairs of the assemblies that fall within my jurisdiction,” said Rev Zvavahera.
He said soon after his appointment, the respondents and their followers disrupted their services at their branches in Pumula, Gwabalanda, Luveve and Cowdray Park.

“This continued and unlawful interference is what has prompted this application and we seek that this court declares the actions of the respondents to be unlawful and grant an interdict in our favour so that we can continue to worship in peace,” said Rev Zvavahera.

“The respondents have shown that they have no regard for the rule of law. They are divisive and have disrupted the smooth running of church services and pastors and congregants are now living in fear as their safety is under threat.”

The respondents through their lawyers, Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners, said they were still members of the church, arguing that the meetings which were conducted to elect a new leadership were in violation of the church constitution. They said the application is intended to be used by the applicants to block them as legitimate leaders from controlling church properties.

In his opposing affidavit, Pastor Kawonde said he was still the church’s provincial overseer for Bulawayo West.

“I am surprised that the deponent of the founding affidavit refers to himself as the provincial overseer for Bulawayo West province. This application is also an attempt by the splinter faction to hijack control of church properties, which control cannot be validly gained as the applicants must face the legal consequences of their secession from the church and their attempt at creating parallel leadership,” he said.

Pastor Kawonde said the church has embarked on a process of constitutional reform, which the applicants are opposed to as they feel the reforms on governance is a threat to their current control of church assemblies.

The AFM fights have allegedly mainly centred on Dr Madziyire’s firm hold to office for 15 years while the Rev Chiangwa group has been pushing for fresh elections to choose new leaders. Chronicle 

GOVT TO SEIZE ILL GOTTEN WEALTH

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday gazetted the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and Exchange Control Act) Regulations, 2018 which empowers Government to seize assets of people who fail to disclose the source of their wealth.

In Statutory Instrument 246 of 2018 published in the Government Gazette yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Government may issue an unexplained wealth order in respect of properties with no full disclosure.

“The High Court may, on an ex-parte application made by an enforcement authority, make an unexplained wealth order in respect of any property if the court is satisfied that each of the requirements for the making of the order is fulfilled,” reads part of the SI.

“An application for an order must specify the person whom the enforcement authority thinks holds the property.”

The effect of the order on unexplained wealth is that: “The property is to be presumed to be tainted property for the purpose of any proceedings taken in respect of the property under this Act, unless the contrary is shown.”

An unexplained wealth order has effect in spite of any restriction on the disclosure of information, but does no confer the right to require a person to answer any privileged question, that is to say a question which the person would be entitled to refuse to answer on grounds of legal professional privilege in proceedings in the High Court.

The High Court may make an interim freezing order in respect of the property if the court considers it necessary to do so for the purpose of avoiding the risk of any confiscation order, benefit recovery, civil forfeiture order or property seizure order that might subsequently be obtained being frustrated.
President Mnangagwa also made changes to the Exchange Control (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 (No 6) in the same Government Gazette published yesterday.
The SI criminalises illegal foreign currency dealings.

“Dealings in foreign currency is hereby amended by the insertion of the following subparagraph after subparagraph (ii) or otherwise deal in currency (not being an authorised dealer), that is to say to do anything in relation to currency that is specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of the definition of “deal” in section 2 otherwise than in accordance with these regulations.

“Section 46 (“Presumption”) of the regulations is amended by the insertion of the following subsections, the existing section becoming subsection (1) “(2) If any authorised officer or police officer acting to enforce section 4 finds any person frequenting, loitering in or lingering about any public place in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable suspicion that he is or she is dealing in currency in contravention of section 4(1)(a), such a person may be required by the officer to give an explanation of his or her presence in or about the public place and of his or her conduct thereat, and to produce to the law enforcement agent any identity document, and to show to that agent any currency or property in his or her immediate possession or under his or her immediate control, and to account to the agent for his or her possession or control of the same.” Herald

ED LAUNCHES DEFENCE UNIVERSITY

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday officially launched the Zimbabwe National Defence University and called on the institution to proffer ideas and innovations that will spur the country’s economic growth.

The President was also appointed the Chancellor of the university before the launch ceremony, while earlier on he had led the ground-breaking ceremony of the university’s innovation incubation hub.

“The emergence of this university is not only timely, but also opportune as it enhances the development of human capital in various disciplines in the context of defence, security and the protection of our territorial integrity,” he said.

“The university is joining the higher and tertiary education sector following a paradigm shift with regards to the contribution of institutions of higher learning to the revival, industrialisation, modernisation and growth of our country.

“To this end, the university must proffer, dynamic, cutting edge ideas, insights, skills and innovations that will set our country on a new economic growth trajectory. I, therefore, challenge the university to complement other institutions of higher learning in areas of research needed to understand and authoritatively analyse contemporary national issues using both theoretical and empirical tools for pragmatic and realistic outcomes.”

President Mnangagwa said defence, security and strategic studies were now part of curricula for many universities and their graduates, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, were contributing to the growth of their economies.

“In this vein, the university must develop a broad and comprehensive education system with a responsive curriculum where students appreciate the broader socio-economic, technological and political aspirations illuminated by an all encompassing strategic thought of national peace and security,” he said.

“You must, as an institution, develop leaders with the ability to operate and think creatively, ‘without the box’, in an unpredictable and complex world.”

President Mnangagwa challenged the university to earn the ‘think tank’ status by coming up with solutions to the country’s challenges and maximising on the abundant opportunities.

“ZNDU can leverage on the Government’s engagement and re-engagement policy to develop partnerships and linkages with other universities and similar institutions from across the world,” he said. “I also exhort you to always protect the academic integrity of this important national institution by guarding against fraud and plagiarism in scholarship.”

President Mnangagwa said the institution should contribute towards modernisation of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure development, energy and tourism, among other sectors.
He reiterated Government’s commitment to improve and develop infrastructure within the country’s institutions of higher learning.

“I am aware that the university is seized with the implementation of transformative infrastructure, development programmes and projects; which entail the construction of a new administration block, residence for staff and students, library and convention centre,” said President Mnangagwa.

“These projects also include the construction of an innovation incubation hub, the ground-breaking of which we witnessed today (yesterday).”

The ceremony was attended by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, service chiefs and other senior Government officials.
The institution that was initially called the National Defence College was transformed into a university in March last year. Herald

BIGWIGS CORRUPTION CASES : CHIEF JUSTICE ATTACKS MAGISTRATES

CHIEF Justice Luke Malaba yesterday breathed fire over some magistrates’ lackadaisical approach to high profile corruption cases, which has resulted in the collapse of cases and unjustified release of suspects on bail.

Addressing 46 magistrates manning the Special Anti-Corruption Courts at a training workshop in Harare, the judiciary boss said the lax approach by some magistrates was tantamount to “laundering of criminals”.

The two-day training meant to sharpen magistrates’ skills on how to effectively preside over corruption cases was attended by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi and other key players in the criminal justice system.

Minister Ziyambi, Police Acting Commissioner General Stephen Mutamba, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission’s head of investigation Mr Lovemore Findi and Zimbabwe Law Development Commission deputy chair, Mr Jonathan Zowa, presented papers at the crucial anti-graft training workshop.

Chief Justice Malaba urged judicial officers to treat graft cases with the seriousness they deserved.
The call came at a time Zimbabweans were criticising the entire justice delivery system over making noise when arresting public figures for corruption, but failing to effectively prosecute.

“When people are arrested for corruption, a lot of noise is made,” said Chief Justice Malaba. “The next thing we hear of the granting of bail without good reasons. Some of the cases ended with some order for permanent stay of prosecution.

“Do you think we can safely say we have a functionary criminal justice system under the circumstances? All the system would have done is to launder the criminals. Let us not be placed in the roles of facilitating the laundering of criminals.”

Chief Justice Malaba called for severe penalties for those convicted of corruption cases so that the punishment is deterrent.

“Where an accused person has been properly convicted of corruption, the sentences imposed by the courts must reflect the Government’s and the society’s expectations on the punishment to be meted out to offenders,” he said.

“To that end, severe penalties must follow every conviction for such offences.”
Chief Justice Malaba said magistrates should not allow themselves to be captured by financially powerful criminals because they will end up making funny decisions that impact negatively on the security and the economy of the country.

“Do not let the politics of corruption and power influence you,” he said. “At the end of the day, you make funny decisions. We have the laws to effectively deal with corruption, we have the systems in place, we have the body (magistrate) but we do not have the mind. The mind is being manipulated. It is being used by criminals.”

Chief Justice Malaba urged magistrates to turn a blind eye on the status of an accused person, but to deal with the case brought before them in terms of the law.

“You are not there to be influenced by the status of the person before you,” he said. “Have I not seen him on television? Is he not a minister?
“Once you think of the status of the accused person, just know that you have lost it as a judicial officer.

“You do not think of the person before you, but look at the allegations before you, what the law says and do justice. Once you do that, then be rest assured of our support and protection.”

Chief Justice Malaba urged magistrates to be in control and not to succumb to the delaying tactics by some legal practitioners or prosecutors who always sought postponement of cases.

“To be honest with you, we are acting unconstitutionally,” he said.
“Every case by virtue of the constitutional demand, must be expeditiously dealt with. There is no option. You are the presiding officer and you are in charge of the proceedings. If you have been allowing defence counsel to cause havoc in your court, that is the very basis of failure to understand your job. You have the responsibility to put a stop to all this. Who has the power of remand? It is you. It is neither the prosecutor nor the legal practitioner. They will, of course, abuse you if you do not know how powerful you are as a magistrate. That is the game of corruption. If you continue remanding cases when the witnesses are there, frustrating them and the investigations are complete, that is what we call corruption.” Herald

DNA TO IDENTIFY BUS ACCIDENT VICTIMS

GOVERNMENT will undertake DNA testing to identify victims of the accident that occurred near West Nicholson who were burnt beyond recognition on Thursday night.

The National University of Science and Technology (Nust), Applied Genetic Testing Centre (AGTC) which usually provides the DNA testing services said it is ready to assist.
Thirty-two people died after an explosion suspected to have been caused by a gas cylinder on a Zvishavane-Musina bound bus near West Nicholson.
Some of the victims were burnt beyond recognition.
In an interview yesterday, Civil Protection Unit director Mr Nathan Nkomo said insurance companies will pay for the scientific identification of those victims who were burnt beyond recognition.


Government usually engages Nust’s AGTC to conduct the DNA tests in such disasters.
Mr Nkomo said Government is concerned about the increase in the number of fatal road accidents involving buses.


“We are really disturbed by the increase in road accidents claiming many lives. Only a week ago another accident involving two buses that occured just outside Rusape, claimed 46 lives. We are told more than 30 people were killed in this West Nicholson accident in Matabeleland South province,” said Mr Nkomo.

AGTC director Mr Zephaniah Dhlamini said Government was yet to contact the university regarding the DNA services for the West Nicholson bus accident victims.

“We are always ready to assist when such disasters occur because we have everything needed to do the job.

In cases like this we work with the Government pathologist. What normally happens is that the pathologist identifies whether the deceased is a male or female and estimate the body’s age before we conduct the tests,” said Mr Dhlamini. Chronicle

BOY BURNS TO DEATH IN CANDLE INFERNO

A five-year-old child died in a raging inferno on Thursday morning after the room he was sleeping in caught fire.

The tragedy, which occurred at around 2am at Lower Gwelo Mission, under Vungu Rural District Council, traumatised the local community.

At the time of the incident, the minor, Clive Dube is said to have been sleeping alone in the bedroom while his grandmother, Mrs Memory Mthombeni (54), a teacher, was in another room marking books.
Mr Daniel Gumbo, a neighbour who was among the first to attend the scene, said that the fire was caused by a candle that Mrs Mthombeni had left on, as she went to mark books possibly because the child was afraid of the dark.

“It appears as if while the grandmother was marking the books she fell asleep in the lounge and was only awoken by the smoke which had started choking her.
“Unfortunately by the time she woke up the room in which the child was sleeping was already engulfed by the fire,” said the shaken Mr Gumbo.

A family member, Ms Grace Mthombeni said the death of the child took them by surprise and it was a loss that the family is finding hard to deal with.
Ms Mthombeni said funeral arrangements are underway and the child is expected to be laid to rest on Sunday.

She said she could not narrate the circumstances of the death because she was not present when the incident happened.

“The best person to narrate this is his grandmother but she has since been admitted in hospital, her blood pressure went up due to shock and stress so we can not disturb her,” she said.

Gweru Chief Fire Officer Mr Emmanuel Musemwa said: “I can confirm that a five-year-old juvenile passed on in a fire when the room he was sleeping in caught fire. The fire was caused by a candle that ignited the entire house. We attended the scene at around 4am and managed to retrieve the body but unfortunately none of the property was salvaged.”

Midlands Police Spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko said investigations are underway. “Police in Maboleni are investigating a case where a five-year-old boy was burnt to death after the house he and his grandmother were in caught fire.

“As police in the Midlands Province we appeal to members of the public to desist from hoarding fuel, gas and other flammable substances. They should also switch off any electrical gadgets which are not in use.

“People should also desist from keeping all naked flames unattended as this may cause destruction of property and loss of life,” said Insp Goko. Chronicle

PRESIDENT MOURNS BUS VICTIMS

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday afternoon expressed devastation following the death of 30 people who died in a road accident in Gwanda’s West Nicholson area on Thursday night.


The accident is believed to have been caused by an explosion of a gas cylinder with some of the victims being burnt beyond recognition.

In a statement posted on his Twitter wall, President Mnangagwa said he was grieved to learn of last night’s accident as the nation still had fresh memories of another one which claimed 47 people in Manicaland last week.

“I was devastated to learn of last night’s tragedy, the second major accident in recent weeks. The thoughts and prayers of a grieving nation go out to the wounded and the families of those killed. We will ensure they get the care and support they require,” said President Mnangagwa.
Minister visits survivors

He urged motorists and members of the public to be cautions on the roads.
“As the police investigate the circumstances that led to this tragedy, I urge all my fellow citizens to be extra cautious on the roads – check the safety of your vehicles, slow down, put safety first. We all have a role to play in saving lives and making Zimbabwe a safer country,” he said.

ED OFF TO ADDIS ABABA

President Emmerson Mnangagwa left Harare for Addis Ababa to attend the 11th African Union Summit.

The summit will look at how the continental body can reduce its interdependency on the donor community.


The summit, scheduled for this weekend, will see Africa Union Chairman President Paul Kagame of Rwanda present his findings after two years of exhaustive research and possible areas of generating revenue for the continental body.