As Zanu PF factions destroy each other, the military will have a huge say as to who would take over from President Mugabe.


As Zanu PF factions destroy each other, the military will have a huge say as to who would take over from President Mugabe.


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.


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.


Latest news, entertainment and sports.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


ZANU-PF is impressed with the ongoing preparations for its 16th National Annual People’s Conference set for Masvingo this month.

The party’s Secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo toured the conference venue last Friday accompanied by other party officials

Speaking after touring the Masvingo Showgrounds, venue for the conference, Dr Chombo lauded the Masvingo political leadership for perfect preparations.

The conference runs from December 13 -17 under the theme “Moving with Zim-Asset in Peace and Unity.’’

More than 5 000 delegates are expected to attend the conference. Dr Chombo said it was incumbent upon the national Zanu-PF leadership to craft content that befitted sterling preparations made for the indaba.

“I want to say to the Masvingo political leadership keep it up. You are doing a very good job and there is very good progress on the ground which sets the stage for a very good conference,’’ he said.
“Now we are turning our attention to the content of the conference so that we make fruitful discussions during our conference. We want to give our people the message of hope which they will carry to the majority of Zimbabweans after the conference. The good work that is being done here should also be matched by the content of discussions that we are going to have,’’ he added.

Dr Chombo said he was impressed by the preparations. “I am very impressed with everything that I have seen. The roads are in good shape. The toilets are coming up together with the plumbing. Tents are also coming up together with the dining facilities and I have no doubt that we will end up with a very good conference.’’

Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa paid tribute to Dr Chombo and his team.

She thanked the Zanu PF Masvingo political leadership for working in unity.
“I am very impressed with the level of enthusiasm which everyone one of us here is showing towards making sure that we have a “mother of all conferences”.

“The Zanu-PF national leadership is also keeping us on our toes and I am happy with the level of unity among those organising the conference,’’ said Cde Mahofa.

Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko are expected to visit Masvingo soon to make sure everything is in place for the conference. herald


GOLD prices have rapidly fallen and this has caused panic in miners and gold dealers, forcing them to hold onto their precious metal hoping that the prices will soon normalise.
On Friday the highest grade of gold was attracting a price of $35 per gram, down from $41 in October.

Gold density is measured in what is termed specific gravity (SGs). Figures released by the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) pegged prices of the various grades of gold ore as follows: SG 90 percent and above — $35,48/g; SG above 85 percent but below 90 percent- $34,92/g.

SG above 80 percent but below 85 percent stood at $34,17/g; SG above 75 percent but below 80 percent at $33,80/g. Fire assay cash prices were at $35,67/g and fire assay transfer was at $36,04/g.
ZMF chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha said the fall in gold prices was as a result of falling prices of the metal on the global market.

“The decreases in gold prices are caused by fluctuating gold prices on the international market and we have to follow global trends,” said Mr Takavarasha.

“Gold prices are determined by the London Bullion Market Association and global prices were recently at around $40, and are presently around $35.”

A gold dealer, Mr Zithelo Chengu said the fall of the gold price had numerous repercussions to them and the miners as it disturbed their operations.

“Miners incur costs of about $25 in the mining of a single gram of gold and $41 is a reasonable price. For that price to suddenly fall means them suffering in operations costs. This means there is a loss of about $3 000 on a single kilogramme of gold which is about salaries of six to 10 workers.’’

He said the downward spiralling of the prices left them in a position of uncertainty and said this would likely cause the miners to withhold their gold and that would in turn affect the metal market. Chronicle


A Runde Rural District Council councillor Nomore Nyoni who is suspected to be a serial EcoCash fraudster, has been arrested after he allegedly deposited fake notes with an EcoCash agent in Bulawayo.

Nyoni (38), a councillor for Ward 6, Zvishavane rural, was linked to the fraud case in which he allegedly deposited $505 after he was arrested on Friday as a suspect in a case of armed robbery.

Investigations by The Chronicle have revealed that Nyoni has previously been arrested for 18 similar cases which date back to 2014 and are still pending at Bulawayo’s Tredgold Magistrates Court.

The case numbers include; CID Frauds Bulawayo DR 26/06/14, Bulawayo Central CRs 79/06/14, 94/ 06/14, 101/06/14, 107/06/14, 108/06/14, 130/06/14, 144/06/14, 20/06/14, ZRP Hillside CRs 12/07/14, 83/07/14, 100/07/14, 114/07/14, 58/09/14, ZRP Luveve CR 67/06/14 and ZRP Bulawayo Central IRs 4799/14, 4800/14, 4867/14.

Acting Bulawayo Metropolitan Province police spokesperson, Abednico Ncube confirmed the councillor’s latest arrest.

“I can confirm that we arrested a man for a case of fraud. The suspect deposited fake US$ notes with an EcoCash agent,” said Asst Insp Ncube.

Sources close to the case said Nyoni approached Moreblessing Mambara (22), a registered EcoCash agent in Cowdray Park on September 6 and gave her fake $500 and a genuine $5 note.

The fake notes had the following serial numbers; two by $100 notes, serial numbers LBV86969926Q, two by $50 notes, serial numbers ML04381949A, and three by $50 notes with serial numbers ML02239479A. The other $50 fake note has not been recovered as it is suspected to have been given to another client.
Nyoni is said to have arrived at the EcoCash shop at around 5PM and attempted to make a transaction but later changed his mind.

“Nyoni arrived at the EcoCash shop in the company of an unidentified accomplice and the two were driving a white Toyota Corolla which didn’t have number plates.

“He pretended he wanted to cash-in $505 into his wallet with number, 0785 444 148. He handed over $505 to the agent who verified the notes and found them all to be genuine. When Mambara was about to process the transaction, Nyoni changed his mind and took the money back, suggesting he would come back later,” said the source.

The source said Nyoni returned within five minutes and said he wanted to proceed with the transaction.

“He had swapped the genuine notes amounting to $500 with fake notes which he gave to the agent together with the genuine $5 note. The agent this time did not check the notes and processed the transaction,” said the source.

The source said after about 30 minutes, the agent discovered the notes were fake and reported the fraud at Luveve Police Station.

“When Nyoni was arrested by police in connection with a an armed robbery case, he was found in possession of a cellphone whose serial numbers, according to Econet records, matched the one used in fake notes fraud. This led to his arrest for the fraud case,” said the source.

Details of the armed robbery case could not be established yesterday.
In January 2015, Nyoni and two other men were arrested for defrauding several EcoCash agents and supermarkets through depositing fake US$ notes and using false identity documents.

In September this year, Nyoni was arrested and found with fake notes amounting to $950 in Masvingo following a high speed car chase after attempting to buy at a supermarket.
He was arrested again for allegedly being part of a syndicate that defrauded EcoCash agents in Hwange, Binga and Victoria Falls.

Detectives recovered five identification cards, belonging to different people in his possession. Chronicle


Four people died on the spot while 11 others were injured when an Intercity cross border coach from Zimbabwe collided head-on with a truck in Louis Trichardt town in South Africa’s Limpopo Province yesterday.

Limpopo police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed the accident.
He said the bus was enroute to Johannesburg.

“We confirm the accident that occurred around 4AM this morning (yesterday) killing four people on the spot and injuring 11 others. All the injured are admitted to Polokwane Provincial hospital. The coach and the truck were travelling along the N1 highway. We are not able to determine the cause of the accident as both drivers died on the spot.
‘‘The other two people who died were passengers in the truck,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ngoepe.

The Intercity coach driver has been identified as Bekezela Stanford Sibanda (35) of Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo.

The names of the other three deceased persons who include the truck driver could not be released as their next of kin are yet to be informed.
Sibanda’s family members said yesterday that they were not comfortable speaking to the media.

An Intercity official in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ms Yolanda Vilakazi said she was not sure of the condition of the injured passengers.

“Officials have gone to the hospital to check on the injured passengers. The information that we got in the morning is that we lost a driver on the spot,” she said.

A passenger who survived the accident unscathed, said she was still in shock because the truck went right through the front of the bus. “I have never witnessed such a head on collision in my life. I do not know what really caused the collision because like most passengers, I was asleep. I was woken up by the noise of the impact, only to find half of the truck in the bus,” said the passenger who preferred anonymity.

Meanwhile, Colonel Ngoepe said another accident that killed seven people on the spot had just happened in Makhado town but the identity of the victims could not be immediately established.

“This brings our death toll today to 11, which is bad for a single day. Drivers need to be more careful on the roads, especially during this festive season that we are approaching.”
In January, four people were killed while 29 others were injured when the driver of an Eagleliner cross border coach lost control resulting in the bus overturning near Louis Trichardt.

Last December, a Zimbabwean woman died while eight others were seriously injured when another Zimbabwean cross border coach veered off the road and overturned near Makhado town in Limpopo province. The accident came hardly four months after nine Zimbabweans died on the same road when a commuter omnibus rammed into a stationary Zambian haulage truck near Naboomspruit.

The N1 highway is one of the busiest roads in South Africa as it links the neighbouring country to the rest of Africa. chronicle


THE Department of Immigration is set to introduce iris scanning security machines to curb counterfeit travelling documents and acts of terrorism.

Speaking at the Awards of Excellency for the Department of Immigration last Thursday, Principal Immigration Director Mr Clemence Masango said the department had been undergoing restructuring since 2007.

He said they had so far registered a number of successes, which included computerisation of the department.

“We are also looking at introducing iris scanners as a way of curbing travel document fraud and also enhancing security. We know there is a lot of counterfeiting of documents and in this era of terrorism it is important that we improve on our security travel documents,” he said.

Mr Masango said the recently introduced online visa application processing facility had managed to stamp out corruption among the department’s officers.
“We manage to come up with an online visa application processing facility which has enhanced the way we deliver our services in that we have modernised. We have become more efficient and we have also significantly managed to reduce corruption mainly because there is no more personal contact between our officers and clients.

“Even revenue has significantly increased as this has also become a tool of plugging the loopholes. If resources permit, it is also the department’s vision to introduce a call centre to allow clients to call in on general inquiries or to register complaints or compliments,” he said.

Mr Masango said the awards were meant to recognise and reward service excellence, honesty and outstanding performance of the immigration officers.
He said this would not only motivate the recipients but other officers.

The awards were sponsored by Huawei Zimbabwe.
Huawei Zimbabwe managing director Mr Albert Yang chronicled how the Immigration Department had continuously supported the company in processing visas and work permits for their global ICT experts to travel to the country for various projects.

“As a long-term investor and responsible corporate citizen in Zimbabwe, Huawei wishes to see a well-developed Zimbabwe,” he said. Chronicle


What was meant to be a union of two lovers —Sulumani Chimbetu and Linda Samuriwo turned nasty as Sulu’s ex-wife — Marigold Mutemasango with whom he has two children, turned up at the ceremony uninvited and caused a scene.

The wedding that took place in Harare on Saturday was delayed by four hours as a result of attempts by Marigold to stop the wedding at Zimbali Gardens in Greendale, Harare.
She came with documents which she said were proof that she was still legally married to Sulu as well as an affidavit which she said was meant to stop the wedding.

Sulu’s lawyer had to quickly intervene and ensure she was taken away. The lawyer ended up spending the better part of the wedding at the gate to ensure Mutemasango did not return to disrupt the wedding proceedings. Security was immediately beefed up.
The determined Mutemasango however came back to the wedding venue twice but all her efforts to stop the wedding were in vain.

Eventually, after being signalled that the matter had finally been settled, Sulu made his way to the venue escorted by his best man, Jah Prayzah.
Thereafter the bridesmaids followed and eventually the bride — Linda Samuriwo.
It was clear, the bride was quite distressed as she did not seem quite happy during the first part of the wedding, especially considering that this was not the first time that Marigold had stressed them. Two years ago, the two ladies made a scene at the maintenance court in 

Harare after Marigold claimed an upward review of the maintenance of Sulu’s two children. She lost the case and Linda poked fun at her saying: “Waedza but zvaramba ka?” (you tried but it didn’t work out hey?).

Unfortunately, because of the delays, superstar, Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi who had made his way to the venue well on time to play a fatherly role, had to leave before the wedding started because he had another wedding to attend in Kwekwe. Also, due to the tight security at the gate, a number of top companies representatives who wanted to support Sulu were 
turned away.

The wedding, despite the initial disruptions, went on well with man of the moment, Jah Prayzah, undeniably stealing the show as people were thrilled by his presence. Jah Prayzah was escorted by his lady, Rufaro. Also part of the bridal team was Tryson Chimbetu, Sulu’s former band member  Slomo and businesswomen Gina Duri and Cynthia Sithole.

Sulu also used his wedding day to launch his latest nine-track album — Jamboree. However, it was not a good day as the launch at Belgravia Sports Grounds was attended by a few people. Chronicle


OUTGOING Premier Soccer League sponsor Delta Beverages has called for sanity in the administration of the game in order for the corporate world to gain confidence in the system.

Delta Beverages’ six year marriage with the flagship league in the country officially comes to an end this month but indications were high that they will renew that relationship but squabbles in the game that has seen suspension of the league’s chairperson Peter Dube seems to have dampened those hopes.

Delta Beverages’ marketing executive Maxen Karombo said the organisation was extremely worried with the state of affairs in the game. Karombo was speaking at the 2016 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Soccer Stars of the Year awards banquet in Harare on Friday.
In an interview after his keynote address in which he said Delta Beverages was not prepared to make any promises in terms of sponsorship renewal, Karombo said until sanity returned to the game, they were not prepared to renew the sponsorship.

“At the moment we don’t have the PSL chairman making it difficult for us to engage in any negotiations for possible sponsorship renewal. We honestly don’t know what will happen until there is total sanity in football. It is incumbent upon football authorities to put their house in order and everyone who is a stakeholder in football must demand sanity,” said Karombo.

However an impeccable source who was at the high table, said the marketing executive told former PSL chairman Twine Phiri that Delta Beverages were on their way out of football because of the squabbles.

“He was very blunt, Delta Beverages will not be part of football next year. He however left room for speculation but what was clear was that the sponsors are not amused at all,” said  
the source. Chronicle


Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has dismissed the so called Dickson Mafios declaration, saying those who think it’s a departure from the endorsement of President Robert Mugabe are a misguided.

Addressing people at the Bulawayo provincial fundraising dinner, Cde Mphoko said all provinces have endorsed President Mugabe as the party’ sole presidential candidate for 2018 general elections.

He explained that while the president is trusted to the point of being given full authority of the party and government issues, there is no guarantee that the same trust can be vested in any other party leader, hence the need to look beyond President Mugabe by looking at some constitutional issues which could be abused to compromise the party in future.

He said all those who are crucifying Cde Dickson Mafios understand the constitutional implications but are trying to misrepresent it given their selfish motives on the party issues.

Turning to the fundraising issue, Cde Mphoko said it is disturbing to note that some blue-chip companies that are performing well are not willing to help the party in its fundraising activities yet they are the direct beneficiaries of its policies.

Over US$20 000 was raised in cash and kind with the Mphoko family donating more after they gave the party US$3 000 and fuel for the vehicles that ferry delegates.

The fundraising dinner in Bulawayo was held in preparation for the Zanu PF national conference to be held in Masvingo from the 13th to the 17th of this month.


Parliament is modernising bereavement benefits for Members of Parliament (MP), hiking the $1 500 previously paid on the death of a serving lawmaker to $2 500 in a new scheme that will better assist parliamentarians in what can be an extremely difficult time.

The planned new bereavement support payment will provide a higher lump sum payment than currently is offered and more lawmakers will be able to claim this full support.

Southerton MDC MP Gift Chimanikire had noted that the bereavement benefit system was “particularly outdated” and asked the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to explain government policy on funeral assistance when an MP passes away.

The cost of even the most basic funeral can drive families into debt, MPs have said, as they urged for an overhaul of the support system.

But Mnangagwa said a new parliamentary policy document on funeral assistance has addressed the issue and government had modernised the bereavement benefit system.

“Treasury concurrence has been sought for a once-off payment of $2 500.  This amount was revised from $1 500 that was previously being paid on the death of a serving MP. 

“The family of the deceased MP is entitled to $2 500 as funeral assistance. This is in accordance with the parliamentary policy document on funeral assistance.”  
The purpose of funeral benefits is to help with the funeral costs when a member passes away.  

Mnangagwa said if the government fails to pay the benefits in time due to one reason or the other, it remains indebted to fulfil this obligation in the shortest possible time.  

“The government acknowledges that there has been a delay in the paying of these benefits to the intended beneficiaries, but government has pledged to ensure that this backlog is cleared by 31 December, 2016,” he said. daily news


A much-respected and long-standing Harare provincial magistrate last week retired from the courts after years of distinguished service.

Vakayi Chikwekwe has taken up a job as Gweru City Council’s new chamber secretary.
Chikwekwe is credited with being a key figure in ensuring the survival of the lower courts and clearing a huge backlog of cases.

He was the longest serving provincial magistrate for Harare after spending more than three years in that office.

Chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe told a farewell gathering convened at Harare Magistrates’ Courts on Friday: “I am truly heartbroken to lose Chikwekwe. He was a corner pillar in my operations. 

“When I brought him to Harare, I looked at his stature and was sceptical that he would manage the mammoth task of running Harare province as it is by far the busiest operation in Judicial Service Commission.

“…I tell you this that if Harare coughs, the whole department catches the flu but Chikwekwe acquainted himself very well.”
According to Guvamombe, by November 16 this year, Harare received 73 277 cases and completed 73 216. 

“This was not a small feat by any standard. It is what Chikwekwe superintendent on. The only consolation we get is from knowing that the country will still benefit from his expertise in the Local Government ministry.”

Senior public prosecutor Michael Reza said Chikwekwe related very well with his subordinates during his time of service.

“Your appointment means that there is something very good in what you do that other bodies would also want to experience,” Reza said.  

Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti, now the acting head, said: “He was such a passionate man and it was a pleasure to work with him. Indeed, it is a loss on our department and a gain for local government.”

Chikwekwe said: “When I joined this profession, things were not all rosy and the terrain was tough at times. I have learnt a lot and cannot express how grateful I am for the cooperation of every one of you.

“I am into writing as I am in academia. My publications are a contribution into the legal field. 
“On the other hand I could say it’s a hobby,” said Chikwekwe holding his latest publication — An introduction to the legal system of Zimbabwe.

Chikwekwe has two other pending publications — Principles of Family Law which he co-authored with Silvia Chirawu and A Guide to the Law of Evidence in Zimbabwe. daily news


The country’s smaller opposition parties yesterday moved to pacify MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, after he appeared to slam the door shut on Thursday on the prospects of him working with his former comrades who deserted him and the MDC over the years, saying he did not see the sense of crafting a coalition with people who had previously made it clear that they did not want to work with him.

Speaking at a media conference in Harare, the representative of the 13 parties who met in South Africa last week without Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joice Mujuru to advance the scope for an opposition alliance ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, Simba Makoni, said nobody would be left out from the deliberations.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday after Makoni’s conciliatory remarks, which came barely 24 hours after Tsvangirai’s outburst, said by reaching out to Tsvangirai so promptly and publicly, the 13 small parties which met in Cape Town last week may have done enough to placate the former prime minister in the short-lived government of national unity, whose support of any mooted opposition coalition was key.

“We commit to reaching out to other leaders … we are not assuming that because they did 
not come to Cape Town therefore they will not come to Nyanga for example, when we meet again before the end of this year,” Makoni, who is also the leader of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) said.

“We are not enough as the 13 of us, hence the need to engage others. We gave ourselves up to before the end of this year to come up with a structure and working strategy for the coalition. We are committed to doing what is necessary to achieve this noble objective whose time has come for the benefit of Zimbabweans.

“Nobody was left out. This is what the facilitator told us, saying he made three trips here and met every one of us, including Tsvangirai and Mujuru’s representatives. But each of us took a decision whether to attend or not to attend.

“Our meeting was meant to explore the prospects of working together and we hope to have engaged each other in all the areas that are necessary. Numbers are important in any election ... ,” Makoni added.

The parties which met in Harare yesterday included the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Zapu, the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) and the MKD.

Addressing journalists at his party’s Harare headquarters on Thursday, Tsvangirai had appeared to slam the door shut on the prospects of him working with his former comrades who deserted him and the MDC over the years.

He also said he had not seen the need for him to attend the Cape Town meeting, which not only involved people who had left his party, but was also unclear in terms of its objectives.
Political observers who spoke to the Daily News then inferred that among the prominent figures that Tsvangirai may have had in his sights was PDP leader Tendai Biti who once served as the MDC’s secretary-general before he acrimoniously parted ways with Tsvangirai.

“You don’t leave a party and go to the side and say let’s have a coalition. Why did you leave in the first place?" Tsvangirai asked rhetorically.

“I hope that everyone will understand that working together is a process of building trust among participants ... I did not go (to the SA meeting) because there was no reason for me to attend. How do you introduce a subject which you have not planned with me?

“That does not mean that I am underplaying the need for a coalition, but I don’t even know who was co-ordinating the talks and what mandate he has? Besides, have we failed as Zimbabweans to sit down and talk amongst ourselves? Do we need outsiders to organise us? That is why I did not see it necessary to go to that meeting,” Tsvangirai added.

Before that, the absence of both Tsvangirai and Mujuru at the Cape Town meeting had appeared not to go down well with Biti, who went on to cast doubts on the formation of the mooted grand coalition in the country.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult in Zimbabwe to have coalitions, there are a lot of egocentric and selfish actors in our discourse, but I think we have to do better," Biti said on social media.

“We have to go beyond these individuals and establish a matrix of working together because that’s what our people want. It’s not about me or what the next leader of a political party wants. So we have to put our people first, so we can reconstruct this country after the mess and collapse caused by Robert Mugabe,” he added.

Analysts have consistently said that a united opposition fighting with one purpose would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at this time when the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail nonagenarian is battling to keep his warring Zanu PF united.
Since Mujuru joined hands with Tsvangirai and marched with him in the streets of Gweru in August this year — in a rare public display of unity among the opposition — there have been growing calls by fed-up citizens for the formation of a grand opposition alliance.

And speaking to the Daily News in October after defeating Zanu PF in the Norton by-election, independent legislator Temba Mliswa said among the lessons that long-suffering Zimbabweans and the country’s brutalised opposition could learn from his stunning victory then, was that they could once again defeat Mugabe and Zanu PF, just as Tsvangirai and the MDC had done in 2008.

However, and notwithstanding his dim view of his former comrades, Tsvangirai was quick to add on Thursday that the opposition’s plans for a grand coalition were alive, although this would be a process rather than an event. Daily news


Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao yesterday declared that he will never support Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s alleged bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe in another dramatic twist to the battle to replace the 92-year-old ruler when he eventually leaves office.

Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew and a member of the Zanu PF politburo, becomes the second minister to publicly thrash Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions after Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo.
Moyo has accused the VP of using state institutions such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to target his rivals in order to clear his path to State House. 

Zhuwao told The Standard in an exclusive interview that Mnangagwa’s supporters had not given up their campaign for the leading Midlands politician to succeed Mugabe, even after the party sought to end factionalism with the expulsion of the VP’s nemesis Joice Mujuru in 2014.

“Those who were supporting Mnangagwa, I see that they are still going on with their bid to have him succeed the president,” Zhuwao said. “Because of this, I have been made to take a position on the issue of succession and my position is very clear, I will not support those who are saying the VP should succeed the president.

“The challenge here is that the people that claim to be supporting VP Mnangagwa are doing it in a manner that seems to want to give the impression that vice-president Mnangagwa was appointed to succeed President Mugabe,” he added.

The minister, who denied that he belonged to a Zanu PF faction known as G40 alongside Moyo and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, appeared to suggest that the VP’s campaign for the top post was doomed.

“I think they will be shocked and surprised because it is those very same people who are doing a great disservice to the VP,” he said.

“They [war veterans] said that he must succeed the president and if he does not, there will be blood on the floor.

“That alone, is a blow to the VP. As a Zanu PF member, I must not be intimidated to support the VP but must be allowed to do it freely.

“So when you threaten me, I will definitely look at his envisaged government, that if people oppose him he would kill them, and that to me is damaging.

“People in Zanu PF must be allowed to make choices without being intimidated with death or war, like what the so-called supporters of VP ED are doing.

“Surely we can’t allow a country to be run by people who threaten to kill when they get state power and machinery,” he added.

“The effect of the Mutsvangwa declaration was to move me away from supporting the candidature of VP Mnangagwa because I have to freely make my own decision without undue fear or intimidation. 

“So with that, if at this point in time, I would not support VP Mnangagwa at all.”

A section of Zanu PF is pushing for the amendment of the party constitution to restore a clause stipulating that one of the VPs must be a woman in an effort to elbow out Mnangagwa.
Some also want to restore the post of VP to be filled through elections as they believe the Justice minister cannot win an internal poll.standard


Fifteen years after former Agriculture deputy minister Roy Bennett was evicted from his Charleswood farm in Chimanimani at the height of land invasions, over 500 settlers are now occupying the once thriving and productive piece of land.
But the new settlers face the agony of inadequate agricultural inputs, difficulties in accessing education and health facilities, while child marriages are now the order of the day.

Under the leadership of Bennett, the 7 000-hectare farm was a net exporter of coffee, earning the country millions of dollars in foreign currency annually.

The farm also boasted of being a major maize, horticulture, and livestock producer, employing over 2 000 workers during the peak of the season.

Charleswood had over 40 coffee out-growers who received training courtesy of Bennett, the former MDC-T treasurer general.

However, today the farm, which used to be the envy of many in the country, has become a pale shadow of its former self.

The new owners of the farm — cash-strapped Arda, settlers and Russian owned DTZ-Ozgeo — have reduced the property to a shell.

DTZ was stopped from mining diamonds early this year by government together with other diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa.

Zanu PF councillor for Ward 12 Mike Chimene chronicled a host of challenges they were facing, which included lack of education and health facilities.

All these challenges started after the eviction of Bennett, with mining activities also taking centre stage.

“We don’t have a secondary school. Our children travel long distances to school, about 13km to 16km,” he said.

“We only have a primary school at Charleswood. Those who are attending secondary schools travel to Chikukwa [13km] and Nyahode secondary school [16km]. just imagine walking such a distance, they get tired.”

“As parents, we are forced to find accommodation near their schools and pay rentals.

“Our major challenge is that our children are marrying each other, since they are more independent. We spend two to three weeks without seeing them.’’

Chimene added: “We also do not have a clinic. We travel almost 16km to access a clinic and this is not convenient at all for us and we have since approached the relevant authorities.’’

The councillor also chronicled tales of rampant child marriages in the compound, but believes it is something that is being addressed.

Chimene said most settlers who had offer letters from government were A1 farmers with two and half hectare plots each while there were only 12 A2 farmers.

“We have good soils and we grow maize, beans and potatoes. We are doing well but we don’t have inputs and we need irrigation for us to perform effectively,” he said.

The primary school also faces a number of challenges such as the shortages of classrooms, textbooks, teachers and accommodation.

The arrival of settlers and mining activities at the school increased the school’s enrolment number from 300 to almost 700.

Centre for Research and Development director James Mupfumi said they met the local councillor, traditional leaders and Charleswood Primary School headmaster mid this year to discuss lack of employment and opaque mining operations by the Russians.

Mupfumi said the headmaster was asked how the school benefitted from the exploitation of resources in the community.

“The headmaster said the school was initially a farm school that had a small catchment area and could only accommodate less than 300 pupils.

“However, with the establishment of the mining activities in the area, relocations have been done and the number of pupils in the school has risen up to 691,’’ he added.

“This has led to accommodation problems classes were not adequate.

“Consequently, the school is now using an old tobacco barn block as classrooms and a makeshift classroom block. Still, these are not adequate to accommodate all the pupils.

‘The school does not have adequate accommodation for its teaching staff.’’

Mupfumi said out of 17 teachers, only five could be accommodated at the school.

He said there was an urgent need for more classrooms, textbooks, classroom furniture, accommodation for teachers and an early child development centre.

The human rights activist was worried about the state of affairs at the farm as he blamed DTZ for not helping the local communities with development.

“Russian diamond mining operations produced no tangible benefits for the community, except a water tank at the school and a classroom block.

“Diamonds were being sorted in Penhalonga, depriving the local community of employment,’’ he said.

“People there prefer farming rather than mining, and council is not receiving revenue from the mining company.
There is no clinic and secondary school.

“The primary school has no furniture and pupils are learning in makeshift classroom blocks belonging to Arda.’’

Mupfumi said they were training community leaders on public policy issues related to the exploitation of natural resources for them to approach local governance institutions to demand better service delivery and accountable governance of their resources.

Gladman Maronde bemoaned the high unemployment rate in Chimanimani district after Bennett’s eviction.
“Bennett, who was known as Pachedu [between us] was very influential.

“He was eloquent in our local language. He employed almost 2 000 people around Chimanimani district.

“He would send lorries to every corner of the district such as Biriwiri, Chikukwa, Machongwe, among others to transport workers,’’ he said.

“We all benefitted. Yes, we can talk of black empowerment, but we are missing him [Bennett] because we all benefitted from his services.’’

Most villagers praised the former Chimanimani MP.

“I don’t want to say much about Bennett because I will be victimised,” said one elderly woman.

“But the white man was just good to us. He made sure that we had everything we needed, including jobs and food.”
Airtime vendor Gladys Machongwe from Nedziwa said she and her husband once worked for Bennett.

“It’s almost 13 years now [since Bennette left]. I am now selling airtime to take care of my family,’’ she said.
Petros Mbarure, who now lives in Chipinge, said his family benefitted from Bennett.

“I grew up in Chimanimani but my family used to work for Bennet. They were paid weekly. Every person wanted to work for Bennett,’’ he said. standard


FORMER Labour deputy minister, Tracy Mutinhiri yesterday said her family is now living in fear after suspected Zanu PF supporters allegedly tried to abduct her son.

The alleged abduction attempt came two months after the death of the former Zanu PF MP’s daughter, Belinda in a mysterious car accident. She believes her daughter was murdered.

Mutinhiri, who is now an MDC-T activist after falling out with the ruling party, claimed she had information about people that were plotting to abduct members of her family.

This comes after she raised the red flag over the death of her daughter Belinda who died in a road accident in September.

Mutinhiri said she had never tasted peace after her troubles with Zanu PF.

She claimed to have information concerning a basketball academy, which offered her son (name withheld) a coaching job in a bid to lure him into South Africa where they were allegedly going to make him “disappear.”

“There are people studying patterns and interests of my children,” she said.

“ In the case of my son, basketball is his passion and they offered him a coaching job through this dubious academy so that they travel to South Africa from where he was not going to come back ever again.”

Mutinhiri said she went around gathering information about the academy and authorities disowned it, prompting her to press the panic baton.

She said she then received information on the planned abduction allegedly orchestrated by people within Zanu PF.

Asked why she and her family would be targeted, the sobbing Mutinhiri responded: “I don’t know. I was once in Zanu PF and I was expelled. I then joined a party of my choice.”

“I don’t know why they are following me now. Suddenly they are targeting me and my children.

“My other child Belinda died in unclear circumstances and they are planning this once again,” she added.

“These are people from Zanu PF and I don’t know what amuses them by killing people.

“I don’t know why they don’t value people’s lives. Something must be done and these culprits must be brought to book and must be exposed.

“I don’t know why they enjoy causing agony for another person.”

Mutinhiri said she had information to support her claims that Belinda was murdered.

The former Marondera East MP and ex-Zanu PF women’s league political commissar, said she was not afraid of exposing those trailing her family. standard


Former Finance minister Tendai Biti has been the most vocal supporter of a coalition of opposition parties to tackle ageing President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 elections and rescue Zimbabwe from being led by a 94-year-old.

Biti, an ex-MDC-T secretary-general, even appeared ready to bury the hatchet and join hands with Tsvangirai to end the reign of one of the world’s oldest and longest-serving leaders.

At one time he had formed what appeared to be a loose alliance with former vice-president Joice Mujuru.

However, Mujuru and Tsvangirai have shown little enthusiasm about forming a coalition with other parties, probably in the comfort that they have the biggest numbers behind them.

The former prime minister seemed to confirm those fears last week when he lashed out at former party members who were now proposing coalition talks after forming their own outfits.

Biti lost it, hitting Tsvangirai below the belt when he tweeted: “Only a fool believes he or she holds a patent over this struggle. There is no Zimbabwean bigger or better than the other.”

The MDC-T leader infamously called on other opposition parties to join his “big tent”, insinuating that he has more supporters and at one point called himself the main character in the battle to topple Mugabe’s regime.

Besides Tsvangirai’s ego, analysts believe the rivalry between the former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions leader and Mujuru is stalling efforts by opposition parties to form a coalition.

While most credible opposition parties agree that the best way to dislodge Mugabe is through a coalition, some of them have been dragging their feet and ducking the issue by making unreasonable demands.

Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said as long as the opposition leaders were pre-occupied with the question of who would lead the envisaged grand coalition, chances that it would come to fruition were slim.

“There is a tussle over who should lead the coalition, [MDC-T leader] Morgan Tsvangirai believes he deserves to be the leader.

“His deputies believe that in an event that he does not want to, it should be someone from their side,” Mandaza said.

“[Zimbabwe People First leader] Mujuru too believes she can and deserves it.

“So in the process, before we talk about other mechanisms and below structures the people are fighting over the top leadership.”

He added: “In my view, the talks should be centred on the processes and policies as opposed to individuals and positions.

“Yes, positions are important, but we must first find common ground on issues, reforms and agree on what would make Zimbabwe great again through reforms, then we can talk about positions. There has to be concessions and sacrifices on both ends.”

So far smaller opposition political parties have formed a loose alliance dubbed the Coalition of Democrats (Code) which is an agreement to guide them towards forming a coalition ahead of the 2018 polls.

Code comprises the likes of Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD), Welshman Ncube’s Movement for Democratic Change, Elton Mangoma’s Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe as well as the little-known Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment led by Gilbert Dzikiti.

Last week the parties intensified their talks in neighbouring South Africa but Mujuru and Tsvangirai stayed away.

It remains unclear who will lead a grand coalition or how it would operate, but political parties said they would be guided by principles of working and cooperating with others in an equal, open and respectful manner, respect and observance of collective decision-making, equality, diversity, tolerance, and respect for all and each other, non-violence, tolerance and the peaceful resolution of issues and conflicts, among many other principles.

MDC-T and ZimPF did not sign the Code document and there are reports that the two parties would form their own coalition.

Analysts believe an opposition alliance without Mujuru and Tsvangirai would be ineffective.

Tsvangirai, having lost thrice to Mugabe since he formed his opposition party, has an advantage of a known support base which since 2000 has been hovering above one million voters, while Mujuru, with her liberation war experience, brings on board the support of war veterans and access to state machinery — a feat that the former trade unionist has failed to achieve for long.

Mujuru also brings public service experience and an understanding of Zanu PF political dynamics due to her stint with the party and in government for 34 years, a decade of which she served as Mugabe’s deputy.

Outside the Code forum, other parties have been working together under National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), but there is little progress in forming a strong and united force to challenge Mugabe.

Under Nera, both Tsvangirai and Mujuru are vocal, although the coalition’s main thrust is to push for electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 polls.

Another political analyst, Alexander Rusero said the coalition talks could also be hindered by “inflated egos” among the political players.

“There are two issues that would cause the coalition to fail; firstly, you have a collection of personalities with big egos.

“No one seems to be willing to compromise on who would lead the coalition and this would make the whole process fail,” Rusero said.

“Also, you have in these political parties intra-conflicts that are working against the coalition.

“Until such a time when they resolve these intra-fights, they will never agree.

“So long as the coalition is not being pushed by the masses who are the voters but the leaders themselves, it would fail.”

He added: “The coalition should not be about removing Mugabe and Zanu PF but bringing on board a wholesome of changes that would inspire political participation of the people.”

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu, said his party was committed to a coalition and it had mandated Tsvangirai to negotiate with all political players who share the same vision with the mainstream opposition. standard


THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating former National Social Security Authority executives over shady investments which could have prejudiced the authority of millions of dollars.

Nssa board chair Mr Robin Vela told The Sunday Mail that they were also roping in the police.

According to a forensic audit on the acquisition of Celestial Office Park, Nssa was prejudiced of about US$13 million while tender procedures were flagrantly flouted.

Auditors identified former general manager Mr James Matiza, investments director Mr Shadreck Vera and property investments manager Mr Samuel Chiduza as those liable for the investment boob.

Mr Vela said, “The board noted that; (a) the findings of the report (forensic audit) were of such grave and disturbing nature to warrant the board taking serious (commensurate) action. (b) That the board needed to send a clear message not only to current senior Nssa executives but to other national institutions entrusted with public funds as well.

“Cognisant of the above, and the lack of co-operation with Grant Thornton by the former Nssa executives, the board resolved to report the matter to the relevant legal authorities. The above has been done in concurrence and with the consent of the Minister (Cde Prisca Mupfumira).”

Although Zacc acting secretary Senior Assistant Commissioner Silas Pondo and Commissioner in charge of Investigations Mr Goodson Nguni declined commenting yesterday, reliable sources revealed that investigators were keen on interviewing the former Nssa executives.

“We have already gone through the Nssa forensic audit and action is certainly going to be taken against those who flouted the law,” said a Zacc official.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not immediately comment as it was unclear whether Nssa had already made a police report or not.

Nssa was constituted and established in terms of the Nssa Act of 1989 (Chapter 17:04) and is a statutory corporate body tasked by the Government to provide social security.

It administers pensions and other benefits schemes as well as the Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme.

However, the parastatal has been under the spotlight for the wrong reasons, particularly related to shambolic investments which prejudiced the authority of close to US$100 million. The Matiza-led executive bought Celestial Office Park in Harare for US$32 million from Matay-Kingdom on 29 September, 2014. It allegedly ignored a Bard valuation report which priced the property at US$24 million, a difference of a whopping US$8 million.

Auditors noted that Nssa could have built a similar structure for only US$27 338 386.

Documents at hand show that GreenPlan valuators had valued Celestial Office Park at US$36,5 million as at 15 June, 2014.

Eventually, Nssa forked out US$34 089 758, inclusive of other charges.

Part of the audit report reads, “Given the significant difference of US$12, 5 million between the two market values derived by the independent valuers, one would have expected both reports to have been tabled for discussion and Bard valuation included for determining the offer for bargaining purposes.

“The agreement of sale entered into with Matay-King did not adequately protect the authority’s interest. Lack of a due diligence on potential tenants on the part of Nssa prior to acquiring the property and non-compliance with State Procurement Board guidelines in relation to the construction of an access road to Celestial Park as well as breaches of Nssa’s own policies in respect of acquisition of property investments.”

Mr Vela said the board recently conducted a skills audit and embarked on the second phase of its restructuring exercise which saw 13 middle managers lose their jobs.

“The board recognised that these painful measures are necessary for sustained viability in an increasingly challenging operating environment where the authority’s goal remains to deliver a living pension to its pensioners.”


IMPORTING United States dollars is expensive to the Government hence people must embrace bond notes as a way of preserving the foreign currency reserves in the country, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said this on Friday, about a week before he presents the 2017 National Budget whose tone is expected to shape the economic path the country will take at a time it has introduced the use of bond notes.

“We have had to import US dollars from America, we have actually had to use money in the nostro accounts to pay for the importation of physical cash,” said Minister Chinamasa.

He said the country should not abuse the US dollar which he said must not be used to buy trinkets and “cheap useless” things but goods and services that are necessary to push the economy forward.

“Pano unototenga mazhanje, ipwa, mbeva ne US dollar (you buy mazhanje, sweet reeds and mice with the dollar) and things like that, it has never happened anywhere. The measure that we have introduced is to move away, the only way we can make US dollar available in this country is through exports. That foreign currency is hard earned foreign currency and should not be used to buy useless things when you get it,” said Minister Chinamasa.

He said through the introduction of bond notes, the Government was moving away from an overly liberalised foreign exchange market to one which is managed.

“We have set out our priorities on the usage of foreign currency that we earn. The bond notes are coming to support the goose that lays the golden egg. We are going to support exporters through issuance of bond notes,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa said it was surprising that workers in the country were crying to earn US dollars yet they were not exporting anything.

“It’s not yours (US $) because you did not make it but if you are an exporter you are in a special category and we are going to be supporting exporters in order to boost the availability of US dollars in our economy. As we go forward you shall observe a quicker turn around in our economy because we are starting to do the right thing. Bond notes can only be used to circulate and as a medium of exchange locally thereby preserving the hard earned foreign exchange which is the US dollar,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa said the introduction of bond notes into the market had gone well although teething problems were being faced, but were being sorted out.

The issue of how the country will move forward comes as civil servants eagerly await to hear if there is a concrete affirmation from the Government on payment dates of bonuses. Last year by November, the Government had started paying bonuses for some civil servants, while some got it this year. sunday news


ALL villagers intending to brew traditional beer popularly known as “seven days” must get an operating licence from their local authority which will specify the amount brewed, amount that will be sold and the day and time it will be sold, police have said.
The call by police comes at a time it has emerged that at least 40 murder cases have been reported in Masvingo Province between January and October this year, some linked to beer brawls.
Addressing traditional leaders, church leaders and villagers at Chinorumba High School in Zaka during police’s anti-murder campaign on Thursday, the officer commanding Masvingo Province, Senior Assistant Commissioner Martha Mafolo, said according to the Traditional Beer Act Chapter 14:24, those selling traditional brews are expected to have an operating licence.
The Act mandates that everyone who brews beer should have a licence, failure of which he or she can be prosecuted.
She said it was worrying that the province continues to record high cases of murder although this year’s figure was 11 percent lower than the 45 cases reported during the same year last year.
“As your officer commanding police in Masvingo, I want to express my disappointment over the rate at which you kill each other in the province. Since January this year to end of October, police have received 40 cases of murder compared to 45 cases in the same period last year. While the figure is less than last year in the period under review, it remains a cause of grave concern,” said Snr Asst Comm Mafolo.
She said the figures showed that in every month, at least four people are killed in Masvingo and Zaka district was the worst after recording 12 cases in the 10 months although still lower than the 17 cases reported within the same period last year.
She said from the four policing districts in the province which are; Masvingo Central, Masvingo West, Chiredzi and Masvingo East which covers Zaka, the latter accounts for the highest number of murder cases every month.
“We have identified a number of avoidable disputes which lead to people to fight and subsequently resulting in loss of life.
Some deaths are a result of domestic violence between children and parents or between married couples where they end up fighting. Some murder cases emanate from beer brawls between patrons, between boyfriends and girlfriends, child abuse, robbery, witchcraft accusation, to name but just a few,” she said. Snr Asst Comm Mafolo said some of the reasons why people were committing murder were silly.
“Some reasons used to commit murder are silly, like a father who beat his son to death over farting. Is that the reason why an innocent boy can lose his life? Parents, let us exercise some form of restraint when we get angry.”
She challenged traditional leaders to counsel their subjects so that they do not engage in violence and urged members of the public to seek counselling from church elders, chiefs and family members when there is a dispute. Over the years, Masvingo Province has topped in the number of murder cases raising concern among the police.