A war has broken out within the MDC tent. Leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Secretary General Tendai Biti are at each other's throats. The only one smiling is ageing leader, President Robert Mugabe.


Musician Alick Macheso whos is divorcing his wife, Tafadzwa, could be in trouble after his treatment of nhova was exposed. The treatment could be seen as child abuse and Macheso could, possibly, face arrest.


Cuthbert Dube has been re-elected the boss of Zifa to a chorus of boos within the football fraternity. Dube said he was not bothered as the people who voted wanted him to lead Zifa again.


Open war has broken out in the ruling party with the two factions, one believed to be led by Joice Mujuru and another by Emmerson Mnangagwa squaring off. Mugabe is on his last five year term and succession is now on the cards.


Latest news, entertainment and sports.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Mavambo Kusile Dawn party leader, Mr. Simba Makoni, has challenged President Robert Mugabe to come clean on his wife’s public statements in which she has attacked perceived rivals ahead of Zanu PF’s elective congress in December and take appropriate action since he appoints all ministers.

Addressing a press conference in Harare on Tuesday, Makoni accused First Lady Grace Mugabe of straying into the territory of the head of state by making negative assessments of the competence and performance of government ministers as well as re-defining the attributes and functions of the office of the vice president.

The first lady recently alleged that Vice President Joice Mujuru is corrupt and should be “baby dumped” at the forthcoming elective congress in which she is assured of landing the powerful post of secretary of the party’s Women’s League. Mrs. Mugabe linked Mrs. Mujuru, whose husband Retired General Solomon Mujuru, died in a mysterious inferno at his farm about two years ago, to irregularities in the mining of diamonds in Zimbabwe.

The vice president is said to habour presidential ambitions together with her suspected bitter rival, Justice Emmerson Mnangagwa. The two have already dismissed allegations that they want to succeed 90-year-old President Mugabe.Makoni noted that the first lady’s recent ‘Meet the People’ tour and entrance into the political arena has left the Zanu PF government destabilised with more emphasis now being put on gaining or maintaining political office than solving the country’s economic and other problems.

The former finance minister said Zanu PF and the nation should resist what he believes are attempts by the First Family to create a Mugabe dynasty in the country.Makoni told the press conference that while Mrs. Mugabe is the wife of the Head of State and Government of Zimbabwe, she is not a state functionary and did not deserve huge state logistical, security, communications and resources deployed in her service.

Mrs. Mugabe, who’s expected to take over the leadership of the Zanu PF women’s wing at the party’s December congress, on Friday held her last meet the people rally in Marondera after addressing meetings in all the country’s provinces.Before the tour all roads were leading to her Mazowe farm with activists, including church leaders, apparently being summoned to endorse her nomination publicly.

Makoni expressed concern at Mrs. Mugabe’s attack on Vice President Mujuru and senior party officials saying this was unprofessional, adding by doing so she was showing her disrespect of the people of Zimbabwe.He said though he was related to the late General Mujuru, utterances by Mrs. Mugabe at one of the rallies that political parties like Mavambo and the Movement for Democratic Change were formed at the Mujurus’ house were false.Makoni further said the huge resources used during Mrs. Mugabe’s meetings and rallies should have been used to alleviate hardships being encountered by millions of Zimbabweans every day.

The meetings, he said, had paralyzed government as ministers, senior civil service and security chiefs attended the meetings which he said were not national but party events.

Makoni dismissed Mrs. Mugabe’s accusations that some senior Zanu PF officials were vote-buying ahead of the December elective congress, saying she is the chief vote-buyer as she has been handing food and agricultural inputs at her rallies, something he said has never done since she got married to President Mugabe.He urged parliament to investigate ministers who were following the First Lady during her rallies as well as finding out whether state resources were not used to finance party activities.

The first lady officially takes over from Women’s Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri as leader of the Zanu PF Women’s Leagues at the December congress.Speculation is rife that President Mugabe is positioning his wife to succeed him. Some political analysts think that Muchinguri is being lined up to replace Mrs. Mujuru, who has not responded to Mrs. Mugabe’s utterances about her alleged corruption, vote-buying and allegedly helping in the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change and Mavambo Kusile Dawn parties, among other issues. Voa


The shortage of hospital beds at Kwekwe Central Hospital has been alleviated after the institution received electric beds, equipment and medical sundries.

The donation was handed over by the Zanu PF legislator for Kwekwe Central Cde Masango Matambanadzo amid reports that some patients, mostly pregnant women, were being forced to sleep on the floor due to shortage of beds.

Women who gathered to witness the handover of the equipment said the new beds will improve the situation, especially in the maternity ward. Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Patricia Mupanda, expressed gratitude to the legislator saying the donation will help ease some of the challenges that the hospital is currently facing.

Addressing the gathering at the handover ceremony, Cde Matambanadzo said he was moved by the situation at the district hospital and felt obliged to assist the institution so as not to compromise the quality of health care service. Cde Matambanadzo donated 10 electrical hospital beds and medical sundries with an estimated value of US$4 000.

The district hospital is the main referral centre within Kwekwe and nearby Zhombe. Zbc


TWO Grade Seven pupils at Dreinfontein Primary School in Mvuma, drowned on Thursday, after they had sneaked out of school for a swimming session together with others in Shashe River.

The unfortunate incident occurred in the afternoon when the children had just completed writing their last examination. Sources at the boarding school, said an unknown number of Grade Seven pupils disappeared from the school premises and went for a swim.
School head, Allois Mukurumbira confirmed the incident.

He, however, said he was not in a position to comment further and referred questions to the Midlands Provincial Education Director, Agnes Gudo.

A source at the school said on Thursday last week,the group of pupils escaped from the school premises during lunch time, after agreeing to go for a swim in Shashe River, which is near the school. The group was led by one of the boys who eventually drowned.
“This tragic incident happened on Thursday afternoon, during lunch time. The children left the school as a group. I don’t know the specific number and they were led by one of the two boys who eventually drowned. The drowned boy was a day scholar who knew the local area very well,” said the source.

“Upon realising that their colleagues were drowning, the other boys rushed to the school, to inform the school authorities, who immediately called the police. When the police arrived at the scene, the two kids were already dead. They, however, managed to retrieve the bodies. Their bodies were taken to Muonde Mission Hospital for postmortem. The day scholar lived at Muonde hospital in Mvuma and the other, a boarder, was from Birchenough Bridge”.
A senior member of staff at the school who preferred anonymity said the two boys were both buried on Sunday.

Acting police spokesperson for Midlands, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende confirmed the incident. She, however, could not give details, saying her office was waiting for a full report from the relevant station. 


President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady, Grace Mugabe, have returned home from Rome, Italy, where they attended the beatification mass of Pope Paul VI.

Cde Mugabe, a devout Catholic and the First Lady joined other political and religious leaders and more than 70 thousand Catholics from around the world for a double mass that was presided over by Pope Francis at the Vatican city.

President Mugabe was welcomed at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Joice Mujuru, the Senior Minister of State, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo and the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Professor Jonathan Moyo.

The Minister of State for Harare province, Cde Miriam Chikukwa, the Chief Secretary to the President, Dr Misheck Sibanda, politburo members, the Zanu PF Harare leadership, service chiefs and other senior government officials were also there to receive him.


Oscar Pistorius has just been jailed for five years for killing Reeva Steenkamp.
Judge Thokozile Masipa said :" I am of the view that a non-custodial sentence would send a wrong message to the community.
On the other hand, a long sentence would not be appropriate either, as it would lack the element of mercy.


The Zanu-PF Politburo meeting, which is expected to deal with serious allegations of corruption, subversion and abuse of office levelled against Vice President Joice Mujuru, which was scheduled for tomorrow has been moved to Thursday.

Party spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo confirmed the changes yesterday.
“The Politburo meeting will now be held on Thursday to make way for the Cabinet meeting that will be held on Wednesday (tomorrow),” Cde Gumbo said.

Cde Gumbo could not divulge the agenda of the meeting, but apart from VP Mujuru’s case, the party’s national elections directorate is expected to present final guidelines for elections at the National People’s Congress in December.

Members of the directorate chaired by Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo met in Harare yesterday to conclude the guidelines.

Other party officials who attended the meeting included national commissar Cde Webster Shamu, party spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo and Politburo member Cde Charles Tawengwa.

“The meeting was about fine-tuning areas that we will be presenting to the Politburo on Thursday,” said Cde Gumbo. “The issues are to do with the Congress preparations. We are ready to present to the Politburo. There are no contentious issues at all.” herald


ANTI-RIOT police had to be called, to restore order at a funeral wake of a Sizinda man, who committed suicide over his wife’s alleged infidelity, on Sunday evening. Memory Sibanda reportedly ran amok, pelting her in-laws and residents with stones, after some of them had accused her of causing her husband, Davison Chikukwa, popularly known as Diva, 33, to kill himself.

Residents who had come to grieve with the family scurried for cover after they were caught in the crossfire. The funeral wake degenerated into a ‘war’ as Sibanda’s in-laws retaliated by throwing stones back at her.

Chikukwa allegedly committed suicide by poisoning, hours after he was shown steamy messages exchanged between his wife and a neighbour on October 10. Before killing himself, Chikukwa had told close friends that he was tired of his wife’s misdemeanours, as well as brutality at the hands of Tshabalala Police, who detained and beat him up, each time his wife made a false report.
His body was discovered in Selborne Park last Thursday, in an advanced state of decomposition. The couple had three children.
Residents who spoke to Chronicle, expressed anger at Sibanda, whom they accused of driving her husband to an early death, by ill-treating him and her infidelity.
“This woman has been a problem, each time she didn’t want her husband home, she’d call in Tshabalala police. We suspect she connived with them to get Diva arrested.

“He would sometimes spend three nights in the cells, without her making a follow up,” said a resident who declined to be named.
The resident said Chikukwa had been a troubled soul for a very long time and his friends would bring him food and pay admission of guilt fines on his behalf to secure his release.
“She only loved his money, she didn’t care about him and we suspect that she was having an affair with someone at Tshabalala police station, as a week wouldn’t lapse without him being arrested,” added the neighbour.
On Sunday afternoon, the residents’ association met to discuss how best they could assist the bereaved family financially, as the body had stayed long without burial.

“At the meeting, we resolved that we go and give them something, but on our arrival at the home, we were greeted by stones from the widow. She was throwing stones all over the place, and there was retaliation from her in-laws and residents,” said the neighbour.
“We weren’t expecting that from a woman who had just lost her husband, but we understand that her in-laws weren’t amused by her behaviour, and the revelations that it was her infidelity that had led Diva to commit suicide,” said the neighbour.
Grace Sibanda, one of the late Chikukwa’s confidantes, who spoke to him on the day he disappeared, said Diva was disturbed by his wife’s conduct.

“On October 10, Diva came to my house and told me that his wife was having an affair with one of their neighbours and said it was the neighbour’s wife who came with her husband’s phone, to show him 15 steamy and pornographic messages from Sibanda,” said Grace.
She said the neighbour’s wife had already called Sibanda about her discovery.

“He said he had asked his wife about it ,but she had blatantly denied the affair. He then told me, he would rather go to South Africa to live with his brother or kill himself. Seeing his anger, I then invited another resident, Mathambo Nkomo, who also counselled him and he left the place, a bit better,” said Grace.
Chairperson of the Sizinda residents’ association, Zanyiwe Moyo said the residents were saddened by Diva’s death. She said they were waiting for his burial today, before lodging an official complaint against Tshabalala police officers, who they said brutalised the late Diva.
“The purpose of the residents’ association is to assist each other and this family was not registered in our books, but we resolved to assist them bury the young man, whose body has already decomposed. We’re also going to take action against Tshabalala police who failed to do their duties properly, but took sides and emotionally traumatised this man, leading to his death,” said Moyo.
Memory and Chikukwa’s family refused to talk to Chronicle, saying the issue was private.
The late Chikukwa is expected to be buried at West Park Cemetery, in Bulawayo, today. chronicle


Three Tobacco Sales Limited Company bosses, who were accused of duping a businessman of $600 000 in a failed horticulture business deal, have been acquitted.
The court upheld TSL directors, Washington Matsaire, its former chief executive officer Richard Musvaire and the finance director Peter Mujaya’s application for discharge on the basis that there was no proper complainant before the court. The court said the transaction was a commercial one between Tobacco Sales Services and Zazu (Private) Limited and yet Yakub Mohammed, who had no authority from the company to act on its behalf or make the complaint, claimed to be the complainant.

Matsaire, Musvaire and Mujaya were relieved when the magistrate ruled that there was no case against them and that the court could not persecute people where there was no proper complainant before the court; it was not for the court to force the accused persons on their defence. The State had not shown that the three accused persons acted improperly or made any misrepresentations and therefore without such evidence, there was no basis for putting them on their defence.

Mr Mohamed conceded when questioned at the end of the State case, if the accused persons had acted personally, the court papers say. He also accepted that they had actually acted for a company and that they had not done anything personally wrong.

The court also queried the ownership of the land where the flower growing business would have been set up saying the status of the farm was not clear and it was not the duty of the court to perpetuate underhand dealings.

“Apart from Yakub Mohammed, who tried, but failed, to make reference to fraud, none of the other witnesses called by the State even knew the charge or the reason why the accused were in court,” the trio argued in court.

“He has no basis whatsoever for the accused to be put on their defence and with all due respect to the State, it has failed to establish a prima facie case,” they said. Matsaire, Musvaire and Mujaya were represented by Addington Bexley Chinake of Kantor & Immerman while Mr Michael Reza appeared for the State.


THREE Zimbabweans, who are among those that died when a Synagogue Church of All Nations building in Nigeria collapsed, are yet to be brought home, six weeks after the incident.
Nigerian authorities say the bodies will not be repatriated until DNA testing is conducted to positively identify those who died, a process that will need their family members to travel to Nigeria for the tests.

The Zimbabwean government has all but denied that there were three Zimbabwean lives lost in the building collapse, saying they were only aware of one, an MDC-T official, Greenwich Ndanga.
There were reports that the bodies of the victims were decomposing in Nigeria and there was need for DNA tests on the bodies to establish their identity.

But authorities in that country have vehemently denied the. According to the chief medical director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Adewale Oke, his institution was ready to conduct DNA tests for the victims and their relatives.

He said they did not have any problems doing the DNA and identification of victims of an air crash in Lagos when the fatalities were about three times the number of victims of the church building collapse.

“The specimen for DNA is being taken here in Lagos and in South Africa because we do not want the 85 families to come to Nigeria,” he is quoted as saying. He was emphatic that the DNA testing had to be done in South Africa because of the number of South Africans involved in the collapse and for proximity to the relatives of the victims.

“When we had the Dana air crash we did not have a comprehensive laboratory. “We had some labs in Nigeria that claimed they could do DNA, but we wanted to be sure, so we sent the tissues to a laboratory in the United Kingdom to be sure that we are doing the right thing. 

“Now because we know that there are 85 South Africans involved, we decided this time that we would use a renowned South African lab considering that it will be difficult to bring 85 South Africans to Nigeria.
“Because when you are taking specimen, you have to take specimen from the relatives of the deceased. “If we have to do it outside South Africa, it will mean those relatives will have to come to Nigeria for us to take tissues.
“Our experts are here taking specimen from Nigerian relations while the South African experts are taking specimen from the South African relatives,” Oke said. 


A member of Johane Masowe yeNguo Tsvuku will spend one and half years in prison for assaulting a client at their shrine leaving him with a fractured limp after accusing the man of stealing his clothes.

Madzibaba Timothy Noita (33) of St Mary’s in Chitungwiza, pleaded guilty to assault charges before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Lazarus Murendo.

He was sentenced to two years in prison with six months of the term suspended for five years. Noita was jointly charged with fellow church mate, Samson Mapfumo (27) who was remanded to tomorrow for trial on US$50 bail.

Prosecutor Mr Edmond Ndambakuwa proved that on October 9 this year at around 6pm, George Tagara (20) of Manyame Park was at Zinamwe shops in the same location.

Tagara had spent some days with Noita and Mapfumo together with other congregants at their shrine along Hunyani River. And after the prayer sessions ended, he was advised to go home.

Surprisingly, on the fateful day, his friend came with a message claiming that someone wanted him at the shrine.

They immediately left for the shrine and upon arrival the court heard that Noita asked Tagara if he saw his clothes.

Tagara said he had no knowledge of the said clothes and this triggered a misunderstanding between the two as Noita accused him of theft. Noita started assaulting Tagara with Mapfumo asking him to carry their victim to the river so that they would not draw the attention of the public.

They carried him to Hunyani River where Noita assaulted Tagara with an iron bar on both legs as Mapfumo joined in the assault. As a result, Tagara suffered a fractured limp. herald


VICE-PRESIDENT Joice Mujuru’s camp has reportedly regrouped following a two-week-long public tongue-lashing by a rival faction fronted by First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Informed sources told NewsDay at the weekend that Mujuru loyalists regrouped soon after Grace’s final rally on Friday, which was almost disrupted by Zanu PF youth activists sympathetic to her over the use of the slogan “Down with Gamatox” while others chanted “Down with weevils”.

Some Zanu PF youths denounced Mujuru and her alleged faction, labelling them “Gamatox”, in apparent reference to a toxic fumigant used long back to protect grain against weevils.
Mujuru sympathisers hit back, describing their rivals as weevils bent on destroying Zanu PF from within.

Grace publicly dressed down Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairman Ray Kaukonde accusing him of fanning factionalism and funding the Mujuru camp. While some politburo members and Mujuru loyalists yesterday conceded Mujuru had no choice, but to remain calm in the face of the storm, they said they would use their majority in the politburo to turn  the heat on Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction.

“Does she (Mujuru) have an option? No! But one day is a long time in politics, and once all these issues are brought forward for discussion in the politburo, we will see how it will turnout,” the politburo member said.

“There is no one really who is clean. But they (Mnangagwa faction) have been smarter in roping in Grace although it is shortlived. Mujuru is a victim hence (President Robert) Mugabe must protect her. All these allegations have not been proved, so why the fuss? It’s a game we are also watching.”
The move came as political analysts strongly warned Mugabe against appointing his wife, Grace, as Vice-President, saying the move could trigger a serious political backlash and cause Zanu PF to crumble.

 The warning also came following reports of underhand manoeuvres by party hawks to allow Grace or outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri to grab the Vice-Presidency from Mujuru through major surgery to the party constitution allowing Mugabe to appoint his second-in-command.
But, analysts urged Mugabe to resist the ploys because he could be reduced to a faction leader and also to protect Mujuru from the vicious attacks on her person by Grace.

 Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya said: “I don’t think Mugabe will be that daft to allow his wife to be Vice-President. What is, however, permissible is the elevation of Muchinguri to be VP.
“That will have traction because we have never had a VP from Manicaland in the history of Zimbabwe. That one would persuade people to back it. Manicaland has had a raw deal in terms of having people in the Presidium in Zanu PF and in that regard, they have had a raw deal.”
Ruhanya added: “They have to deal with Mujuru in a civilised manner because any uncivilised manner will not be good for the party.”

Another analyst, Takura Zhangazha, said the ongoing vicious fights within Zanu PF were a reflection of Mugabe’s failure to address the ruling party’s succession matrix.
“She (Grace) doesn’t have the experience and definitive party support, she is hanging on her husband and it’s not enough. She has limited experience and limited party support which she is trying to cajole for her support,” Zhangazha said.

“Her approach has been controversial and confrontational. The group pushing for Grace is the same group pushing for Muchinguri. They have been confrontational and they have put their cards on the table rather too early and it will be difficult to gain support and outwit the tradition of never firing anyone in the Presidium who only leaves power if they die.”

Political analyst Charles Mangongera also said the move to push Grace to assume the Vice-Presidency was not wise.

“I think Mugabe is becoming more inclined towards accepting that (the Mnangagwa-Grace faction), but I think that will quicken the rupture of the party,” Mangongera said.
“Their challenge is that in their attacks, while they have managed to isolate Mujuru the individual, it’s clear that there is a larger group, some of them senior members in the party, and the issue is how to eliminate politically or physically the person (Mujuru) and how to eliminate Mujuru the idea in the other group.”

He added: “The group has many people, some of them senior in the party. If they eliminate her politically or physically, it can’t kill the idea. They can always come back with a different name.”
On the wisdom pushing for Grace to take over from Mujuru, Mangongera said: “They may have been forced into some kind of retreat. If there is strategic thinking, the backlash they got, I think it’s clear that it is an unpopular move and they will go back to the table to push for Muchinguri, but she is extremely unpopular.”

Mangongera said Muchinguri’s decision to relinquish power to Grace might have been prompted by the realisation that she had no support in the structures and would lose to anyone the Mujuru camp would have forwarded.

“The problem is Mugabe has been on the balcony all along watching people dancing on the dance floor, but he has decided to be on the dance floor and someone will step on him and if he reacts, he will be slapped. If I were him, I would have stayed on the balcony,” he said, referring to Mugabe’s clear backing of the Mnangagwa and Grace faction.

Meanwhile, anti-riot police yesterday gathered at Africa Unity Square in anticipation of an anti-Mugabe demonstration by a group of civil society activists led by Itai Dzamara.
When NewsDay visited the park in the afternoon, some of the police were lying on the lawn, ready to disperse the demonstrators.

Dzamara last Friday petitioned Mugabe calling on him to step down for failing to stem the economic collapse. Vendors selling wares at the recreational park said riot police were deployed at the park in the morning.

“We saw some of the riot police chasing illegal taxis, but we also heard that others had been deployed to quell a possible demonstration. They have been milling around in the park since morning,” said a vendor who refused to be identified. newsday


CBZ Bank Limited has taken Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Temba Mliswa to court over a $2,7 million debt emanating from loans advanced to the politician’s tobacco company to buy the crop in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

The commercial bank lent Cde Mliswa’s Saltlakes Holdings money to buy tobacco from farmers and the politician bound himself as surety and co-principal debtor. Saltlakes did not pay back the loans as per agreement, resulting in the bank filing the lawsuit in which Cde Mliswa and Saltlakes are cited as defendants.

In the summons filed at the High Court on October 6 this year, CBZ argued that it released $2 million to Saltlakes to finance the company’s business of buying tobacco from farmers.
In terms of the agreement signed by the parties on February 17 2011, $1 million was released to Saltlakes, being a carry-over of facilities from the 2010 tobacco buying season.
Another $1 million was released to Saltlakes as working capital to finance the purchase of tobacco in the 2011 season.

According to the agreement, Saltlakes was obliged to pay back the first loan of $1 million by December 31 2011 and the second one expired on December 31 2012.
It was the parties’ agreement that Saltlakes would pay collection costs, bank charges and legal costs on an attorney and client scale in the event that the bank sued for non-payment of the debt.

The parties also agreed that interest would be charged on the figure. Saltlakes breached the agreement and, despite numerous demands, the company has not repaid the loan.
“The first and second defendants (Saltlakes and Cde Mliswa) breached the terms of the overdraft loan facility agreement by failing to repay the principal amount and interest fully and punctually when they fell due in terms of Clause 9 of agreement,” read the plaintiff’s declaration.

By October 6, interest had accrued and the debt had ballooned to $2 745 092,72.
CBZ wants the money to be paid back with interest calculated at the rate of 28 percent per annum from the date of issuance of summons to the date of final payment.

In a related case, Bak Storage Private Limited is suing Saltlakes for $94 272, being unpaid storage fees for bales of tobacco that were warehoused at Bak Storage’s premises.
In excess of 26 000 tobacco bales were taken to Bak Storage between October 31 2008 and June 2009 as per agreement.

Bak Storage offered some additional services like sewing of the bales, sorting of the bales, handling of the bales and others for a fee. It is Bak Storage’s argument that Saltlakes did not pay the bill despite demand.

That prompted Bak Storage to file summons claiming the money. In response, Saltlakes filed a counter-application demanding payment of $2 million, being compensation for tobacco bales damaged while in storage.

The case is yet to be heard at the High Court. herald


At least 50 police recruits escaped death by a whisker after a tent they were using during training at Lowdale Training Centre in Shamva was struck by a bolt of lightning, injuring three of them last Thursday.

While official figures indicated that there were 50 recruits and three were injured, impeccable police sources at Morris Depot said there were 60 recruits and 15 of them were injured, eight seriously.

The sources said of the eight seriously injured, six were still admitted at Morris Depot Camp Clinic by yesterday, while two were at Parirenyatwa Hospital. The sources said the bolt of lightning struck while the recruits were on a shooting training session.

But police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday said all the affected recruits had since resumed training. “Three recruits sustained minor injuries and were taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital for further management,” he said.

“They were admitted for two days and later discharged.” The incident involving recruits from Morris Depot occurred between 6pm and 7pm, while the 15 injured were all females.
The number of instructors who were accompanying the recruits could not be established, but seven of the recruits were examined and discharged after their degree of injuries was said to be minor.
Although details were still sketchy by yesterday, police sources said the recruits were conducting a shooting exercise at the farm as part of their training. They were struck by lightning following rains that were experienced in some of parts of the country last Thursday.
The Herald understands that recruits usually undergo one-week training sessions at the farm, conducting shooting exercises with FN rifles and other weapons as part of their training.

This was the first incident in which recruits and members of the police are struck by lightning during training in the country. Several people have been killed, while others were injured after being struck by lightning in recent months and years.

In February this year, several people were left homeless after five homesteads were struck by lightning in Muzarabani. Last year, 38 people were struck by lightning across the country during the rainy season.

Lightning is described by experts as a powerful sudden flow of electricity (an electrostatic discharge) accompanied by thunder that occurs during a storm.
The discharge will travel between the electrically charged regions within a thundercloud, or between a cloud and another cloud, or between a cloud and the ground.

The charged regions within the atmosphere temporarily equalise themselves through a lightning flash, commonly referred to as a strike if it hits an object on the ground.
There are three primary types of lightning: from a cloud to itself (intra-cloud or IC); from one cloud to another cloud (CC) and between a cloud and the ground (CG).

Although lightning is always accompanied by the sound of thunder, distant lightning may be seen, but may be too far away for the thunder to be heard.


Harare City Council has approved a shuttle bus service between the city’s four major bus ranks to improve convenience of the commuting public.

A group of minibus owners is operating the service.

In line with the policy to regulate the movement of public transport, council has designated six pick and drop points to be used by the shuttle service.

Ten minibuses that
clearly marked ‘Shuttle Service’ on the front and rear have been cleared to offer the service.

The shuttle service will pick and drop passengers along Fifth Street at the Fourth Street Bus Rank, Corner Fourth and Jason Moyo, Food world (between Angwa and Orr Street), Chinhoyi and Speke Avenue, Bute and Arbercon Street and at TM Supermarket along Kenneth Kaunda Street.

Drivers of the shuttle service are identifiable by reflector bibs written “Shuttle Service” on the back and front.

Meanwhile council has designated pick and drop points for commuter public transporters using the Bindura, Mazowe, Chiweshe, Shamva and Mvurwi routes.

They will pick and drop passengers at the corner of Sam Nujoma and Fife Avenue.

Commuters and transporters are urged to adhere to the designated pick and drop points to avoid contravening the city by-laws.


A former police officer appeared in court yesterday charged with extorting $5 000 from a Glen View medical doctor.

Basil Kichima (42) appeared before Harare magistrate Milton Serima and was remanded in custody to today when the magistrate is expected to make a bail ruling.

It is the state’s case that on October 9, at around 1600hrs, Kichima and his two accomplices still to be apprehended, allegedly confronted the complainant, Taziva Makata, at his Glen View surgery. They allegedly accused the complainant of buying stolen property.
Kichima and his alleged accomplices produced ‘fraudulent acquired’ ZRP identity cards, and told the medical doctor that they were police detectives stationed at Harare central police station.

They allegedly accused the complainant of purchasing stolen medical equipment, a suction machine for his surgery. After laying the charges, Kichima and his team allegedly ordered the complainant to accompany them to their motor vehicle.

At this juncture, the accused and his accomplices allegedly threatened Makata with unspecified action if he was to resist their demands.

Kichima and his alleged accomplices drove into the city centre with the complainant, and went on to demand an undisclosed sum of money from the medical doctor, for the matter to be swept under the carpet.

The court heard that the accused drove to Pomona food court where the complainant’s wife came with $4 000 that was subsequently given to the accused and his accomplices. After handing over the ‘bribe’, the accused and the complainant proceeded to Barclays bank where the doctor withdrew $1 000 and gave it to the ‘bogus cops’ as part of the bargain.
The complainant was later dropped at Jameson hotel, while the accused and his accomplices drove away.

Makata then reported the matter to the police. Upon arrest, Kichima was found in possession of a police identity card registered in somebody’s name. The state has lined up witnesses to testify in the matter. zimbabwe mail


MDC's Nelson Chamisa has turned to his God as tensions within the party rise ahead of congress.

He wrote :"Jesus Christ, I love you. I thank you Lord for teaching and enabling me to remain calm and silent in the circumstances of great storm and turbulence .I know that the battle is not mine but yours Jehovah.You carry me my Lord!"

Chamisa is said to have confronted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai over the reported fisaco in Mutare.  He asked Tsvangirai what he had done wrong and if it was true that he (Tsvangirai) had been telling people that there was a near fist-fight between them in Mutare. Tsvangirai responded that there had never been a verbal altercation or finger-pointing but told Chamisa to his face that he had belittled him after refusing to be introduced during the nomination process,” said an insider.
“Chamisa remained stone-faced and the matter died a natural death.”
Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, tried to wriggle out of the issue when askedby the Zimbabwe Mail.

“The president has since dismissed those reports as rumours, he has said there was never an altercation. This is congress time and some people would like to invoke Tsvangirai’s name either to promote or demote certain interests but there is no rift between the two,” said Tamborinyoka without elaborating which platform Tsvangirai had used to express his feelings over the matter.

In a related matter, Tsvangirai yesterday moved quickly to pacify disgruntled ‘prodigal son’ Job Sikhala, whose bid to gate-crush into the top echelons of the party suffered a still birth at the weekend.

High level sources confirmed Tsvangirai had called Sikhala, moments after his MDC-T national executive resolved to confine Sikhala to the lower reaches of the party, “at least up to the national executive and not the standing committee”.

“Tsvangirai called Sikhala and assured him he would do all he can to get him to contest the position he has been nominated for (deputy organising secretary),” The Zimbabwe Mail heard yesterday.


THREE men who protested against the bussing of people to First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rally held in Gwanda last Monday have been spared imprisonment, but will perform community service for 30 days while the trial of a fourth man who refuted the claims began on Friday.

Blessed Sibanda (24), Dumisile Sibanda (18) and Clearance Sibanda (18), all pleaded guilty to charges of public violence when they appeared before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe.
The three brothers were each sentenced to 10 months behind bars, but were lucky to escape prison life after the magistrate suspended three months on condition that they each pay back the complainant $83 being the value of the damaged rear view mirror of a Toyota Hilux.

The remaining seven months were wholly suspended on condition that each of them completes 245 hours of community service at Makwe Clinic. In sentencing the three, the magistrate took into consideration that they had not wasted the court’s time by pleading guilty.

Prosecutor Edward Ndlovu said last Sunday at around 6pm the three were at Makwe business centre together with Phosani Sibanda who denies the charge, when they got into a scuffle with Sibongile Sibanda and her husband Morgan Sibanda who were organising transport to ferry Zanu PF supporters to Mugabe’s rally.

Sibongile, who claims Phosani is an MDC-T activist, is the chairperson of the United Women Miners’ Association, a shadowy small-scale miners grouping linked to Zanu PF.

“The accused persons, who were also at the business centre, started shouting, accusing Sibongile of organising transport to Grace’s rally and calling her (Sibongile) a prostitute,” the prosecutor said.
“The accused persons and others who are still at large started throwing stones indiscriminately and assaulting people and in the process assaulted Sibongile and Morgan using open hands, booted feet and stones, destroying a rear view mirror of their Toyota Hilux.”

Both Sibongile and Morgan suffered moderate injuries. Phosani told the court police and the army were sent to round up his siblings. He denied the charges saying they were fabricated. southern eye


A WIDOW from Bulawayo’s Pumula South suburb collapsed and later died in hospital after receiving a notice of intention to attach her property from the city council over unpaid bills amounting to $306.

Her family is now blaming the local authority for causing the death of their mother.
Patricia Mpofu, 57, a mother of six, died on Monday last week at Mpilo Central Hospital after council officials handed her a notice to attach her prized four-piece sofa set, four-plate stove and a steel kitchen cabinet.

A Chronicle news crew visited the family yesterday afternoon and found a handful of mourners and relatives who said the old woman was buried at West Park Cemetery on Friday.

Mpofu’s daughter, Siboneni, said her mother was deeply stressed by the notice and could not come to terms with the looming loss of her property, leading to her death. “We’ve been trying so hard to settle the debt and have been paying something every month. The debt would, however, rise each month due to interest.

“When she was informed that she would lose her property she would always say to us her sofas were worth more than $300,” said Siboneni who broke down during the interview.
She could not recall the exact date the notice was served but said it was on a Friday evening when she last conversed with her mother before she collapsed the following day.

“On Friday evening, we sat in the dining room and talked for about an hour, pondering on where we would get the money to save our property. She was so stressed and everyone could see that my mother wasn’t the same person.

“On Saturday afternoon, she said she was feeling hot and dizzy. She called out to me asking for water before collapsing,” recalled Siboneni. She said her mum was rushed to hospital and on Monday, a police officer visited the family, informing them of her death.
The news crew was shown the notice from a council debt collector dated August 13, 2014 with attached bills.

“This is to advise you that in the event of the above case, a warrant of execution/ejectment/delivery, has been issued at the instance of the judgment credit, represented by the plaintiff’s legal practitioners.

“Execution of this warrant will take place at 22232 Pumula South on 13/08/14,” read the notice.

Siboneni said after receiving the notice, her mother went to council offices to negotiate payment arrangements but the officials insisted they would come and seize her property. She said since then her mother’s condition had deteriorated.

Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo could not be reached for comment while the area councillor (Ward 27), Siboniso Khumalo said he was not aware of the incident.
“I’m not aware of the incident but it must be a very painful experience for the family. I’ll definitely visit them and pass my condolences,” said Khumalo.

Council has been widely criticised for attaching property worth more than the debt accrued by residents before auctioning it for a song.

The local authority resorted to dragging thousands of residents to court and attaching property to recover unpaid bills after the High Court ruled against water disconnections.
Some residents have complained about inaccurate meter readings by council, which they blamed for inflated bills. chronicle

Monday, 20 October 2014


A 12-YEAR-OLD boy from Emganwini suburb in Bulawayo allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his mother’s bedroom with a scarf over yet to be disclosed reasons yesterday.

Ferdinand Makonye, a Grade Seven pupil at Senzangakhona Primary School in the same suburb, was found dead in the room by his aunt, Mercy Faranai, who had come from a church service at around 1PM.

When a Chronicle news crew visited the family home at house number 1402, the boy’s body was still tied to a burglar bar with a scarf. Faranai could not respond to questions as she continuously wept.

However, a tenant at the house said Ferdinand was left alone in the house by Mercy around 10AM. “We all went to church leaving the boy alone. When Mercy arrived at about 1PM she went to the bedroom and called Fed twice but got no response,” said the tenant who requested anonymity.

“She then went close to him and noticed that Fed had hanged himself.” The tenant said Faranai came to her screaming and wailing that Fed had taken his life.

“When I went into the bedroom, Fed was hanging with his foot on top of the bed while his neck was tilted towards the curtain. He used a blue scarf to hang himself,” said the tenant.
The tenant could not explain the circumstances leading to the boy’s death.

A neighbour who declined to be named said Ferdinand was a happy boy who used to play with other children.

“I’m shocked and surprised by this incident. The distance between the ground and the burglar bar where he is supposed to have hanged himself is very short. He was a bit taller,” said the neighbour.

Ferdinand’s mother is reported to have visited her husband in Maphisa on Monday last week leaving the children under the care of Faranai and Ferdinand’s elder brother.
Scores of residents including Senzangakhona school teachers had yesterday started arriving at the family home to pass their condolences.

Police took the body to a city hospital mortuary. This is not the first time that a pupil at Senzangakhona Primary School, situated in Emganwini, has “committed suicide”.

In August this year, 10-year-old Zwivhuya Buhle Mlaudzi was found hanging from a tree at her family home. chronicle


A Victoria Falls-bound National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) passenger train derailed on Sunday night with some passengers escaping with minor injuries.

The accident occurred at Mpopoma Siding, a few kilometres from the main railway station. Sources who spoke to Radio Dialogue said they had a loud noises and went out to investigate. “The accident occurred at around 9pm. I was inside the house when I heard a loud noise and I rushed outside to investigate.

“When I got outside I realised the noise was coming from passengers of a passenger train who were scrambling to vacate two of the derailed passenger coaches. Some of the passengers sustained minor injuries,” said the source, who spoke on condition that he is not named. When a Radio Dialogue news crew visited the scene on Monday morning, NRZ workers were busy fixing the damaged rail and attempting to put back the two coaches back on the track.

Contacted for a comment, NRZ Public Relations Manager, Fanuel Masikati confirmed the accident. “The accident took place around 9pm on Sunday. It was a minor derailment, the coaches were later put back on the track. There were no injuries,” Masikati said. In August, 22 passengers escaped with injuries after a Harare-bound passenger train derailed at Heany Junction about 30 kilometres from Bulawayo. Some of the accidents incurred by the railway operator, are as a result of old locomotives that are almost obsolete. Most of NRZ’s locomotives are piling up at its workshops in Bulawayo, with few still on the rail. Radio dialogue