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.

Friday, 28 February 2020

TWO BOYS STRUCK AND KILLED BY LIGHTNING


TWO boys were struck and killed by lightning in Hwange while collecting wild fruits.

Matabeleland North acting police spokesperson Sergeant Namatirai Mashona confirmed the incident which occurred in Kamativi, Gale 4 village, under Chief Pashu on Monday at about 3PM. She identified the deceased as Ponoza Muleya (8) and Shibbo Muleya (4).

Sgt Mashona said the two were with another juvenile, Vigilant Muleya (6), who was also struck but only sustained minor injuries.

“On 23 February at around 3PM, the trio went to a bush about 300m from their homestead looking for wild fruit.

It started raining and there was lightning. In fear of thunderstorms and lightning, the father, Khumbulani Muleya, sent his son, Akili (11) to the bush to call the juveniles,” she said.

Sgt Mashona said Akili found the juveniles lying motionless with Vigilant struggling to stand up. He rushed home to alert his father who proceeded to the bush and found the two lying on the ground under the umunyii tree whose branch had also been struck by lightning.

Vigilant told his father that they had been struck by lightning.  A report was made to the police who attended the scene and noted slight burns on the bodies.  Chronicle

HOUSE FIRE : LAWYER SUES ZESA


A BULAWAYO lawyer is suing Zesa for US$50 000 after his house was gutted by fire following an electric spark which emanated from contact between overhead live cables.

Mr Job Sibanda, through his law firm Job Sibanda and Associates, has filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Zesa and its insurer, Cell Insurance Company as defendants.

In papers before the court, Mr Sibanda said he lost an assortment of goods, which included household property, building material and kitchen utensils when his house in Bulawayo’s Harrisvale suburb was burnt down in September 2018. 

He said Zesa being the country’s sole distributor of electricity should be held liable for the fire, which destroyed his property.

“On September 9, 2018, a fire caused by an electric spark on the overhead cables, one of which is connected to my house, destroyed a four-roomed outbuilding on my property including all the moveable property inside the building. The spark was caused by branches of a tree underneath the cables, which came into close contact with the live cables,” said Mr Sibanda.

He accused Zesa of negligence, saying the power utility should be held legally accountable for failing to properly maintain the cables.

“The first defendant negligently failed to properly maintain the cables in question by allowing a tall tree near my house to grow underneath the cables and was thus an act of negligence,” he said. 

Mr Sibanda wants an order directing the defendants to pay him US$50 000 or the equivalent in local currency at the prevailing interbank rate.

“The reasonable cost to replace the outbuilding structure to its previous state would be in the sum of US$50 000 or its equivalent at the prevailing interbank rate at the time of payment. Although Zesa has admitted liability through the second defendant (Cell Insurance) for the fire and loss suffered, the power utility has failed or neglected to pay the money despite demand,” he said.

Mr Sibanda wants Zesa to pay legal costs. Zesa and Cell Insurance, through their lawyers R Ndlovu and Company and Danziger and Partners, have filed notices of appearance to defend the summons. Chronicle

BUSINESS DEMANDS PRIORITY FUEL ALLOCATIONS


Industrialists and farmers want special treatment in fuel allocations if fuel supplies are not readily available so that they can continue to produce.

They fear that licensing more service stations to sell fuel in foreign currency could lead to greater dollarisation of the economy, reducing their competitiveness.

As they no longer get special treatment for fuel allocations they were spending production hours in queues like any other motorist.

At some fuel stations, they allege, corrupt attendants connive with some customers and sell to them for a kick-back.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) immediate past president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe said the shortages of fuel have adversely affected production. “Fuel is the enabler of everything and should be stabilised. From agriculture to mining, everyone heavily depends on fuel.

“Yes, Government has allowed those with free funds to import fuel and sell it in forex, but this should be a temporary measure.”

Mr Jabangwe said selling fuel in forex will only benefit those who accessed it, while the majority who earn the local currency will continue to struggle. 

“There should be no segregation in accessing fuel,” he said. “Those who import using their money want to recoup their expenses and they will continue selling in hard currency.”

Mr Jabangwe said selling fuel in forex could lead to the re-dollarisation of the economy, a move the country is not ready to adopt.

“It is very difficult for the economy to re-dollarise,” he said. “We do not have enough forex reserves to sustain that because it will mean that one needs hard currency to buy basics like tomatoes.

“The dollarisation of the economy will affect the competitiveness of our local industry.”

Farmers’ union representatives want farmers to be given priority fuel allocations.

They said maize farmers required at least 100 litres of diesel for each hectare from land preparations up to harvesting, while tobacco farmers require about 200 litres a hectare. 

Federation of Farmers’ Unions president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said agriculture produced 60 percent of the raw materials needed by the manufacturing sector and should be prioritised in fuel allocations.

“Everyone is in agreement with us that Zimbabwe’s economy is driven by the agricultural sector,” he said. “This sector is also among the largest employers in the country from household to commercial levels.

“Sixty percent of the raw materials that power the manufacturing sector come from agriculture. In the past, farmers would get special fuel supplying facilities and would buy it at wholesale price, but now we are being made to queue for long hours just like any other motorist and this is adversely affecting production.”

Mr Chabikwa said his membership had the potential to increase production if they got the necessary support from Government and other stakeholders.

“We should not re-invent the wheel and we should not kill the hen that lays the golden egg,” he said. “Tobacco farmers are the most affected by the prevailing fuel shortages.

“Those with an irrigated crop are now busy harvesting. There is a lot of trailer work involved at this crucial stage and this requires a lot of fuel as tobacco has to be transported from the fields to curing barns and then to the auction floors.

“We have the capacity to improve the production of crops like maize, wheat, soyabeans and all horticultural products and the forex we are using to import some of these products will then be channelled to other essential services like drugs, fuel and power importations.”

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Mr Shadreck Makombe said farmers should be allowed to access fuel directly from the National Oil Infrastructure Company, so that they boost output.
He said it will be a loss for farmers to be forced to buy fuel in foreign currency because the producer price of their products was paid in local currency.

“Every farming process requires a lot of fuel, especially diesel, but we are not accessing it,” said Mr Makombe. “Thorough investigations should be done at service stations and flush out all unscrupulous elements fuelling the black market.

“We cannot continue living at the mercy of middlemen who usually get preferential treatment at service stations.” Chronicle

CID BOSS SEEKS DISCHARGE


THE officer-in-charge of CID Gweru, Detective Inspector Leonard Gwandu, facing criminal abuse of office charges for allegedly releasing a vehicle stolen from South Africa held by the police as an exhibit, yesterday applied for discharge at the end of the State case.

Gwandu appeared before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa on charges of criminal abuse of office.

Through his lawyer Mr Nomore Hlabano, Gwandu pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded to March 13 on $1 000 bail. Mrs Msipa is expected on that date to make a ruling on the application made by Mr Hlabano.

Mr Hlabano told the court that the State, led by Ms Namatirai Chipere, had failed to prove its case of criminal abuse of office against his client and hence his reason for application for discharge.

He said the State failed to provide documentation from Interpol and Toyota South Africa to show that the vehicle was allegedly stolen and smuggled into the country.

Mr Hlabano added that the State, aware of the existence of such important documentation, did not provide it to the court. 

Last week, State witness, Detective Sergeant Mlabeni Sibanda said Gwandu released the stolen Toyota Hilux double cab valued at US$27 000 to Kwekwe businessman Shepherd Tundiya who had bought it from a Harare car dealer.

Det Sgt Sibanda said it was communicated to Gwandu that there were 10 such stolen South African registered vehicles and Toyota South Africa and its clients were making follow ups.

Of the 10 vehicles, Det Sgt Sibanda said two were in Gweru including the one which was released to Mr Tundiya by Gwandu.

The court heard that releasing the stolen vehicle showed favour to Mr Tundiya since Gwandu had information to the effect that the vehicle had been stolen and smuggled into the country.

Det Sgt Sibanda said: “There are 10 such vehicles stolen in South Africa which are being tracked by Toyota South Africa. Two of these vehicles are in Gweru and the others are scattered around the country.

“We had made an appointment with Toyota South Africa together with its customers whose vehicles were stolen from them so that they come and identify the vehicles for possible repatriation to South Africa. This vehicle in question was supposed to be released to Toyota South Africa instead of Tundiya.”
  
The State alleges that on December 14, last year, Gwandu released a Toyota Hilux valued at US$27 000, which was confiscated from Mr Tundiya after it was discovered that it had been stolen from South Africa.

Allegations are that Mr Tundiya, who had been arrested on October 16 last year in connection with the motor vehicle, was acquitted at the Gweru Magistrates Court on December 13.

The following day Gwandu allegedly released the stolen vehicle to the businessman without following due procedure.

The State further alleges that the car was stolen in South Africa from one Thomas Blom of CMH Toyota and was being investigated by Alberton Police Station in South Africa under case number 233/11/2017.

 The State said the vehicle was supposed to be handed to South African police but the accused person handed it to Mr Tundiya. Chronicle

TEACHER COLLAPSES, DIES AT SCHOOL


A Grade Three teacher at Mtshede Primary School in Bulawayo collapsed and died during a Physical Education (PE) lesson at the school grounds yesterday, police have confirmed.

Freddy Murimirajaoba (53), originally from Mount Darwin, Mashonaland Central province and had been teaching at the school for more than 10 years started complaining of a headache and dizziness at around 9AM and was rushed to the headmistress’ office.

“He had not been reporting for duty for almost two weeks. The headmistress got worried and telephoned him to report for duty and he came on that day. While he was doing PE at the school grounds with his pupils he complained of a throbbing headache. Moments later he fell down,” said a teacher who asked not to be named as he was not cleared to talk to the media. 

The teacher said they were informed by a pupil that Mr Murimirajaoba had collapsed.

“We had to rush to the school grounds and we took him to the headmistress’ office where we administered first aid as he was no longer talking. One of the teachers called an ambulance and it took about three hours to come. His body was collected from the school at around 12pm,” said the source.

The Bulawayo City Council recently announced it would be prioritising emergency cases as fuel shortages were making it impossible to provide full ambulance services for the city.

Chronicle visited Mr Murimirajaoba’s family in Gwabalanda suburb and spoke to his younger brother Nigel Murimirajaoba who said the family is deeply saddened. 

“We are shocked and we didn’t expect this. He just complained of a throbbing headache for three days then we were shocked to receive sad news that he had passed away,” he said.

He said his brother’s body was taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals for post-mortem.

“My brother is survived by a wife and a child. At the moment I can’t say when he will be laid to rest because we are still waiting for our relatives who are based outside the country to arrive, then we will make a final decision,” he said.

Bulawayo Police Spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said: “We are investigating a case of sudden death which occurred at Mtshede Primary School where a 53-year-old man collapsed. An ambulance was called and he was pronounced dead at the school premises. His body was taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals for a post-mortem. He had not been reporting for duty for some time due to poor health.”

Provincial Education Director for Bulawayo province Mrs Olicah Kaira said:

“I can confirm that a senior teacher who was stationed at Mtshede Primary School collapsed and died at the school. I can’t specifically say how many years he had served because due to my busy schedule I had not checked his file but what I know is that he was a senior teacher who had served for more than 10 years. As the teaching fraternity we would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family.” Chronicle

ZIM,BOTS SIGN SEVEN BILATERAL AGREEMENTS


Zimbabwe and Botswana yesterday signed seven bilateral agreements covering housing, education and health, reaffirming their commitment to develop their economies.

The agreements were signed at the close of the Second Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC).

Presidents Mnangagwa and Mokgweetsi Masisi presided over the closing session yesterday, after four days of intense engagements among top Government officials. 

Relevant Cabinet ministers from the two countries signed the seven bilateral instruments, which cover a range of socio-economic development issues, on behalf of their governments.

The agreements covered: mutual legal assistance in criminal matters; a memorandum of understanding on health matters; sport development; cooperation in the field of media information and publicity; provision of sustainable, affordable and functional low-cost housing; cooperation in technical, vocational education and training; and employment and labour.

The agreements add to the six bilateral instruments that were signed during the first session of the BNC in Harare last year.

In his remarks, President Mnangagwa said the high-level bilateral platform helped the two countries identify common challenges and new opportunities that should be addressed between now and the third session of the BNC next year. 

“I am pleased to note that this session has witnessed the signing of MoUs and agreements, which set the foundation for our broader cooperation in the identified areas,” he said.

“We must apply greater determination towards the full implementation of these agreements for the benefit of our two countries and peoples.

“There is no doubt that in working together and consistently, we can achieve much more. Let us introspect and ask ourselves whether we have exerted enough energy and shown adequate commitment to realise progress in our cooperation.”

President Mnangagwa said both leaders were keen to ensure the success of the bilateral engagements.

He urged officials at the technical level from both countries to demonstrate zeal, focus and a sense of urgency through speedy implementation of the agreed positions.

President Masisi reiterated his country’s support for Zimbabwe, including the call for the lifting of sanctions imposed on the country. 

He concurred with President Mnangagwa on the need to ensure the swift implementation of agreements and decisions throughout the year, as opposed to waking up a few weeks before the convening of the next BNC.

This year’s BNC saw the two leaders exchanging views on regional, continental and international issues of mutual interest and concern.

In a joint communiqué issued at the end of the BNC, the two leaders reaffirmed the significance of the BNC as a bilateral instrument to give strategic direction to the growing ties between Zimbabwe and Botswana.

They renewed their commitment towards the speedy conclusion of joint regional projects such as the Points Techobanine Heavy Haul Railway Line, which is a vital trade corridor envisaged to contribute towards greater regional integration.

They emphasised the need to speed up the completion of joint infrastructure projects, increased synergies on clean energy generation, environmental cooperation and unlocking earnings from their rich wildlife resources.

Botswana and Zimbabwe have set aside substantial areas for wildlife conservation and have coordinated joint programmes such as the convening of the Elephant Summit in Kasane in May last year and the Africa Wildlife Economy Summit in Victoria Falls in June.

“This collaboration is expected to facilitate the contribution of the wildlife estate towards sustainable economic and ecological benefits for the local communities, and Africa as a whole,” reads the communiqué.

The BNC underscored the need for increased private sector collaboration as a key element in the implementation of economic decisions. 

In this regard, a business forum was held on Wednesday focusing on manufacturing, textiles and clothing, and services such as finance and insurance.

Botswana and Zimbabwe committed themselves to working closely towards the attainment of the regional integration agenda, in particular the SADC industrialisation agenda.

The two Heads of State expressed concern over the outbreak of Covid-19 in China and the serious health risks it poses to humanity.  They expressed solidarity with the government of China and commended its efforts in dealing with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa returned home yesterday afternoon. He was welcomed at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by his two Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, service chiefs and other senior Government officials were also present at the airport.

The President underwent coronavirus screening at the airport, and got to see a brief demonstration of the COVID-19 surveillance equipment sourced by Mimosa Mine. Herald

ZACC PROBES RELEASE OF RG OFFICER


The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is investigating circumstances leading to the release of a top Registrar General’s Office staffer Gorden Tsuro from jail, amid complaints of an irregularity.

Tsuro, who was in 2012 jailed three years for attacking his wife with an axe, unlawfully enjoyed freedom for seven years following the dismissal of his criminal appeal until last year when The Herald unearthed the scandal.

He was in November last year arrested and locked up in prison, but a month later the prosecution consented to the reinstatement of his 2013 appeal.

The prosecution, in a space of days after reinstatement of the appeal, again consented to Tsuro’s release on bail.

The Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) last week asked ZACC to investigate circumstances surrounding the release of Tsuro on bail, saying the prosecution might have acted improperly.

This week, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo confirmed receipt of a complaint from SACU, saying investigations had already begun.

“We have opened investigations into the matter”, said the ZACC boss. Head of SACU, Mr Thabani Mpofu, last week wrote to Justice Matanda-Moyo asking her to look into how an officer in the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) consented to the reinstatement of Tsuro’s appeal and release on bail after the appeal had been struck off the roll because he (Tsuro) had missed deadlines to pursue his appeal.

The Herald exposed the irregularity last year after Tsuro, who was sentenced to three years in jail in 2012 for attacking his wife with an axe, had his appeal dismissed by the High Court in 2013 after he failed to pursue the matter.

After the dismissal of the appeal, he was supposed to be sent back to the magistrates’ court to be committed to prison to serve his sentence, but he continued enjoying his freedom for six years with some thinking he had been acquitted by the High Court.

He was only arrested and committed to prison at the end of last year.

Investigations by The Herald revealed that Tsuro briefly showed up at work upon his release this year and went into his office, much to the surprise of his colleagues who thought he was serving jail time.

Authorities at the RG’s Office immediately suspended Tsuro to allow them to have an appreciation of his case after they read in The Herald that he had been committed to prison to serve his three-year-jail term.

Tsuro (49) was on June 26, 2012, convicted of seriously injuring his wife, Ms Rosemary Charlie, after striking her with an axe during a domestic dispute.

He was initially charged with attempted murder, but then Harare regional magistrate Mr William Bhila found him guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

On the same date, Tsuro’s lawyers, Mupindu & Mugiya, filed a notice of appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court, but this was not pursued.

In terms of the law, such a dismissal of the appeal must be followed by the issuance of a warrant of arrest to apprehend the convict and commit him or her to prison. Herald

MUDENDA REJECTS ZANU PF MP'S REQUEST


SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday turned down a request by Zanu PF MPs to have service stations designated for them to enable them to get fuel without enduring long queues.

This was after Zanu PF MP for Chimanimani Joshua Sacco had made the suggestion, saying the prevailing fuel shortages were hampering legislators’ work in their constituencies as they spend time in fuel queues.

“We are struggling to get fuel, especially MPs from rural constituencies so I was suggesting that we could have service stations designated for us so we can easily access it,” Sacco said to a mixture of howls of disapproval from MDC MPs and approval from his ruling party colleagues.

MDC MP for Zengeza West Job Sikhala was particularly vocal, shouting at the top of his voice that there was nothing special warranting legislators to deserve such special treatment.

In the end, Mudenda ruled that while Sacco’s point was valid, it was Parliament’s role to give priority to national considerations as opposed to institutional ones.
“We have to contextualise the point in the national interest. While it is true that MPs need to be mobile, it must be considered that we represent people in the constituencies who also need to be mobile,” Mudenda ruled to applause from the opposition bench.

However, when the issue was also discussed in the Senate, deputy president Mike Nyambuya agreed that special service stations for legislators were necessary.

Nyambuya requested Energy deputy minister Magna Mudyiwa to arrange designations of fuel stations specifically for legislators.

Responding to the call, Mudyiwa assured Nyambuya that the issue would be considered and called on Parliament to officially come up with their request.

“As government we control Petrotrade and some suppliers are independent.
“We know legislators are given Puma coupons, but Parliament must come to us and sit down so that we arrange a special filling station for them,” Mudyiwa said to the approval of Senators.

Nyambuya said he would take it upon himself to follow up on the matter. Daily News

“I am personally going to take this matter up. I know the suffering of our honourable members trying to get fuel,” Nyambuya said. Daily News

EX MINISTER SUES FOR $300K


FORMER Industry and Commerce minister Michael Bimha has filed a $300 000 suit against a Harare man, whom he accused of causing an accident which damaged his Land Rover Freelander 2 in 2018.

In the application, Bimha cited Thomas Tuso, Tonderai Mageje and Clarion Insurance Company (Private) Limited as respondents.

Clarion Insurance Company (Private) Limited was cited as an interested party to the application for being Mageje’s insurance policy provider.

Bimha said he was claiming compensation from Mageje, who was involved in the accident during the course of his duties and was employed by Tuso.

He said Tuso was also liable to the damages as the employer, adding that at one point he reportedly agreed to pay compensation on Mageje’s behalf.

“On or about June 8, 2018 at Creative Harare and at around 9:50am, the second defendant (Mageje) in the course of his duties and employment was involved in an accident with plaintiff (Bimha)’s motor vehicle namely, a Land Rover Freelander 2 registration number ADL3330 thereby damaging the said vehicle.

“The second defendant admitted liability and was consequently arrested by police and was caused to pay a fine of $15 at Avondale Police Station, as an admission of guilt fine,” Bimha’s lawyers said.

According to court papers, Tuso allegedly agreed to pay for all the costs that would be incurred in repairing the vehicle.

He reportedly assured Bimha that he would ensure all the spare parts required for the repairing of the motor vehicle were made available by September 30, 2018.

“Plaintiff has been deprived the use of his motor vehicle for the period from date of accident to date. Plaintiff incurred costs to hire another motor vehicle at the rate of $120 per day from June 8, 2018 to February 28, 2019 thereby incurring the sum of $32 400.

“From the period March 1, 2019 to date, plaintiff has incurred costs of hiring another motor vehicle at the rate of $300 per day which amounts to $108 000. Plaintiff has therefore incurred a total cost of $140 400 as a result of hiring an alternative motor vehicle,” he said.

The respondents have not yet filed a response to the application, which is still pending before the High Court. Daily News

SOUTH AFRICANS TO BE FLOWN FROM WUHAN


South Africans will be evacuated from Wuhan city, China, as fears over the coronavirus — named COVID-19 — continue to grow.

So far, 132 South Africans have requested to be brought home — and will be quarantined for three weeks when  they arrive back in the country.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan in November last year. So far, nearly 2,800 have died from the outbreak.

In a statement on Thursday night, the presidency said President Cyril Ramaphosa had directed the repatriation of SA citizens from the Hubei province city.

It was decided, the statement said, to repatriate the SA nationals “after due consideration of the circumstances, and following several requests from the families of South Africans in the city”.

“It is estimated that there are 199 South Africans citizens in Wuhan, as per the latest consolidated list from the department of international relations & cooperation. At this stage, 132 of them have expressed the desire to be repatriated. These compatriots are currently living under lockdown conditions following the outbreak of the coronavirus,” the statement said.

However, none of those have been diagnosed with the virus “nor have they exhibited any symptoms thereof”.

“Upon arrival in SA, they will be placed in quarantine for 21 days as an additional precautionary measure,” the presidency said.

Various government departments — including health, defence, international relations and co-operation, home affairs and social development — have been tasked with assisting those who do return home.


NO CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN ZIM :GOVT


THE Ministry of Health and Child Care yesterday confirmed that they had so far picked two suspected cases of Covid-19 which both tested negative at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in the last two weeks.

The latest case was the body of a 21-year-old man who died in Kenya enroute to Zimbabwe from China. Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Dr Portia Manangazira confirmed the second suspected case of a university student who was studying in China.

“A 21-year-old Zimbabwean student studying in China arrived in Nairobi between 10 and 15 January after a long illness.

“When he wanted to proceed to Harare, he was denied due to the state of his illness so he stayed in Nairobi at a local hospital for two and half weeks.

“He was then discharged and stayed in Kenya for a week where he later died. “So when the body came to Zimbabwe it had been tested for Covid-19 in China and Kenya and we also did tests at our laboratories and it tested negative.

“Even the postmortem confirmed that he had not died from the virus.

“However, we supervised the burial as a suspected case of coronavirus because he had been at the virus’ hotspots,” she said.

Recently, Government in partnership with Mimosa Mines bought state-of-the-art equipment for the coronavirus port health surveillance screening at all the eight points of entry.

Dr Manangazira said the state of the art equipment will ensure effective response progress across the country’s entry ports and hospitals in regard to coronavirus (COVID-19).

“With the thermo scanners and cameras that have been donated by Mimosa we will be able to equip all our eight points of entry including the three airports and five ground ports. 

“This state of the art equipment minimises contact between the person using the equipment and the one being checked,” she said. H Metro

I'M TOCKY'S FATHER


TOCKY Vibes has rubbished claims by an old man from Glendale in Mashonaland Central, that he is his father.

Born John Vashico, the self-confessed HIV positive grandpa, has become the talk of the farming community of Glendale and surrounding farms for his miserable lifestyle amidst claims that he is Tocky’s father.

Known for hopping from place to place begging for left overs in homes, funerals and even public places, Vashico is in serious need of help – even psychological help if Tocky’s story is anything to go by.

H-Metro took time to sit down with the old man to hear the story that he has preached as gospel truth to the whole of Glendale.

He claimed to have fathered 10 other children beside Tocky and also confessed to neglecting them. 

In an interview with H-Metro at his compound at Fox Farm, which is on the verge of decimation following the expansion of Eastview suburb encroaching the compound area, Vashico said misery was now his middle name.

“I have been living in poverty for the greater part of my life despite being blessed with 11 biological children who are living large.

“Some are in Harare, Mazowe and Chitungwiza but they are no longer catering for me. I know I neglected them at some point but I’m really sorry for what happened,” he said.

Asked how he was surviving, the frail-looking Vashico said: “I move around collecting left overs at funerals, homes and public places like bars and even at the bus terminus in bins.

“I sell some of the left over like sadza to those breeding pigs for ZWL$10 for a bucket.

“If I get nice stuff from the left overs, I also eat some of them for survival.

“I have been leading this life for a while  and when I heard that you were coming here, I said ‘the Lord has heard my prayers’ but to be honest, it’s not easy for an old man with 11 children and of course several grandchildren to be leading such a shameful life.”


Asked why he neglected his children, he blamed it on their cultural beliefs which give mothers full control of children.

“Originally, I am from Malawi and full responsibility of children used to be given to mothers. We were only there to give them children and provide here and there but things have changed now.

“During our time when we were very religious, we used to take some of the beliefs seriously but it’s no longer the same as compared to the old days when culture was still culture,” he said.

He, however, said he was ready to make up with his children and lead a normal life since he was reduced to a pauper.

Vashico said his marital woes started when he lost his first wife Rosemary Toro, which saw him resorting to alcohol abuse to ease stress. 

“I broke up with my first wife Rosemary Toro years back. I went on to marry other women like Lenia Mwale and now I am staying with another woman called Junior Miti.

“We don’t have children with the current woman I stay with since she can’t give birth. In other words we are just staying together and we don’t have children.

“It’s unfortunate she could not be here when you came and she has gone to the shops.As for my broken family, I am just begging for forgiveness.”

The self-confessed HIV positive man suspects his condition could be worsening as he is developing a lump close to his manhood.
  
“I have been taking my ARVs religiously and I make sure that when they are running out, I go and queue for them with others at the local clinic.

“As you know, people on ARVs require nutritious diet and I do appeal to people to help us if they can.

“Today I am happy because I managed to but a 5kg of mealie meal from menial jobs but it is never enough to sustain me.

“I would be happy if I can get a proper diet and I think one of my children will be able to buy me something delicious after reading this stories.”

On his alleged feud with Tocky Vibes, Vashico said it was expected of the chanter to hate him but he now wants peace. He seemed convinced that the Zimdancehall star is his flesh and blood despite Tocky having proof that his real father is a truck driver in South Africa and that his mother is none of the women mentioned by the Glendale man. 

“I know Tocky is bound to dislike me because I never stayed with him.I would be lying to say I stayed with him but he is my son and I have nothing to prove or hide.

“I hear he is doing well in Harare and I will be happy if he could come here and forgive me. In my case, I have forgiven him already and he should also do the same.

“I once attended Tocky Vibes’ show when he came to perform in Bindura along with Freeman but I was shut out.

“When I went to his parked car, there were these beautiful fat women there who blocked me. I then proceeded to the venue but I was blocked when I was about to see him.

“I was close by the stage but the security blocked me and I came back home empty-handed.”

Despite the embarrassment, Vashico says he is an avid follower of Tocky’s music.

“I always play his music here using homemade banjos which I keep at home. I was once a musician in my right and I can sing well.

“I wish him the best wherever he is and I hope I could meet him one day,” he said.

Despite wallowing in poverty, Vashico has some life skills which can take him places if well managed.

“To be honest with you, I am a farmer and traditional healer.

“I can heal cancer and other ailments at the compound but my patients underpay me. I can heal STIs, back pains and even cancer like I said before if people adhere to what I tell them.

“The only problem is that some of the patients don’t want to pay while others don’t return afterwards.

“Unlike most sangoma who can punish his defaulting patients, I prefer forgiving them because I know very well that one day or the other they will come back,” he said.

On a parting shot, Vashico said all he wanted at the moment was support. “As you can see, I am a sick man and I need basics like cooking oil, mealie-meal, beans among other foodstuff for HIV patients like us.

“My only fear at the moment is that I might die without uniting my family. To my kids, they must also know that I still remains their father despite our differences,” he added.

But it is his claim to be Tocky Vibe’s father that has made him popular in Glendale.

All the facts – albeit minus a DNA test – points to this old man’s claims being a big fat lie but he has stuck to his story. H Metro