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.
As many people continue to lose their lives through accidents on our roads, debate is now raging on what should be done to stop the carnage. The country’s poor road network, dangerous driving, unroadworthy vehicles and police corruption are issues that need to be addressed without delay.
The government wants to demolish all illegal structures in Zimbabwe’s towns and cities. But this is becoming a political hot potato as the party supporters say they feel used.
They call their brand, Polikem. Their love brewed in the Big Brother House has captivated Africa and the pair are capitalising on their new found fame. Elikem says he will marry Pokello but cynics say the union will crumble when public interest wanes.
Friday, 6 December 2013
The party's national council met today and resolved to expel from the party the following councillors. In Mutare; Clr Pamela Mutasa, Clr Richard Bhiza and Clr Farai Mupfura. In Redcliff; Clr Chikwiri, Clr Duro and Clr Majaji.
In Victoria Falls; Clr Morris Nyathi, Clr Robson Salimu and Clr Rich Muguni.
"The MDC found these councillors guilty of subverting the will of the electorate in general and blatantly disobeying the party’s directives," said the MDC in a statement. The councillors are accused of receiving bribes from Zanu PF.
The MDC Council welcomed the ruling by the High Court which was handed down on Monday, nullifying the parliamentary election result forKwekwe Central. By ruling that the Kwekwe Central parliamentary election was rigged, the Bulawayo High Court effectively confirmed that the national election was a huge farce, which was manipulated and corrupted by the military and intelligence to give Zanu PF a stolen victory.
"The shenanigans and dirty tactics that were employed in Kwekwe Central are similar to what transpired in most constituencies across the country. The Council called upon SADC and AU to revisit their positions on the July 31 elections, now that the court has confirmed that the elections were rigged and considering the response which has been very clear and sharp from the business community, investment vehicles and the economy in general."
Unable to contain his fury, Assain Chivaura, 33, who is a pastor with Light House Ministries, dragged the lover out of the vehicle and punched him several times in the face before smashing the windscreen of the vehicle.
The lover, Desire Duvayi, reported the case to the police leading to Chivaura's arrest.
The pastor, who is also a Schweppes employee, appeared before Masvingo provincial magistrate, Langton Ndokora, Thursday charged with assault.
He pleaded guilty, telling the court that he had acted out of anger after finding his wife making out with her lover at their matrimonial home.
The magistrate sentenced him to two a wholly suspended 60-day term in prison.
Mhlophe accused Ncube of visiting Ndlovu in the evening on July 25, 2011, at about 8pm.
On that day, Ncube and his friend Mandlenkosi Moyo were cycling to a nearby business centre from visiting Ndlovu at her homestead.
It is said that in a fit of jealousy, Mhlophe, 24, ambushed the two men at a nearby bush near Valley Irrigation Scheme armed with a stone and spade. On Tuesday, the trial of Mhlophe of Mhlasi Village failed to resume before former Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Ndou.
Justice Ndou, who is on the bench to complete his partially heard cases, postponed the matter to Wednesday next week. The defence counsel Byron Sengweni of Dube-Tachiona and Tsvangirai, wants to invite a witness whose whereabouts are, however, unknown.
Angeline Munyeriwa assisted by Gugulethu Ndlovu from the Attorney General’s Office, told how Mhlophe ambushed Ncube and Moyo at Valley Irrigation Scheme. It is alleged that Mhlophe allowed Moyo to pass by and he immediately hit Ncube with a stone on the head resulting in him falling down.
Mhlophe allegedly went closer to where Ncube had fallen and used a spade to hit him twice on the head. Ncube sustained a deep cut and started bleeding profusely, according to the medical and post-mortem reports.
The State alleges that Mhlophe picked up Ncube’s bicycle and rode off leaving him lying unconscious while Moyo had already fled leaving his bicycle as well and went to make a report to the police.
Mhlophe was arrested on July 26 and the bloodstained bicycle, spade and clothes were recovered from him.
Meanwhile, the trial of Danis David Konson, who allegedly shot his girlfriend twice for ending their relationship was postponed to next year. Justice Lawrence Kamocha who is presiding over the matter pushed it to the first week of the High Court 2014 term because Konson was ill on Tuesday.
Konson allegedly shot Siphathisiwe Ncube on the head and right thigh at Mateteni Business Centre in Tshongogwe, Lupane District in September last year when he learnt that she was now staying with another man.
He had reportedly opened a shop for her at the business centre.
For South Africa, the death of its most loved leader comes at a time when the nation, which basked in global goodwill after apartheid ended, has been experiencing labour unrest, growing protests against poor services, poverty, crime and unemployment and corruption scandals tainting Zuma's rule.
Zuma and his ruling African National Congress face presidential and legislative elections next year which are expected to reveal discontent among voters about pervasive poverty and unemployment 20 years after the end of apartheid.
This has led to speculation that the Zimbabwe dollar could bounce back as the liquidity crunch continues to hit the nation.
“From time to time when the need has arisen, the company has over the years relied on contract staff, including former employees and will continue to do so,” said Terence Machawira, Fidelity’s legal counsel, in written responses to the Daily News.
“The issue of staff recalls in preparation for the resumption of currency printing that you have alluded to is news to us,” he said, adding that the resumption of use of local currency was the prerogative of government.
“As a high security printing company, we remain prepared and continue to seek currency printing business both locally and globally,” he said.
The southern African country ditched its local currency in 2009, after it had been rendered useless by hyperinflation which peaked at 231 million percent, in favour of a basket of multiple currencies that includes the United States dollar, South African rand and the Botswana pula among others.
Talk of Zimbabwean dollar return evokes sad memories for the majority of people in the country who lost their life earnings with the introduction of the multiple currency system.
At the height of the hyperinflation, the country became almost idle as industries closed down, while multi-national companies relocated to neighbouring countries and most local businesses were just operating at a loss.
The unemployment rate rose to over 80 percent and over three million people reluctantly left the country for menial jobs in neighbouring countries. Although the new government has repeatedly tried to calm the market by dismissing rumours of an imminent return of the local currency, speculation has been rife that the Zanu PF-led government might prematurely re-introduce the discarded currency.
Speaking at the pre-national budget conference in Victoria Falls recently, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa ruled out the return of the Zimbabwean dollar and said he did not want to hear any more questions about the local currency.
“The multi-currency system will remain for the next five years,” Chinamasa said.
“I do not want to continue being asked that question. It is going to be a multi-currency regime.
“The multi-currency system will be the form and basis of our programmes for the next five years. Let that be clear to everybody. We might actually add more currencies to the cocktail of the currencies we are using now, depending on how that currency will be benefiting the country.”
However, the former liberation movement indicated in its manifesto that it was keen on bringing back the currency.
At a personal level, he was a great inspiration; his life an unparalleled testimony to the capacity of humanity to withstand all odds for the greater good of a people.
We in the MDC feel a great void and we are greatly aggrieved at the sad and tragic loss of this icon.
Madiba passed the endurance test and sent a great lesson that the predicament of an individual is subordinate to the cause of a people. That a man could spend 27 years in prison and still maintain his humility and capacity to forgive is enough testimony to the greatness of the man the world has lost today.
I met him once and we had a frank exchange on the situation in Zimbabwe. He told me that the country had taken a wrong turn and that President Mugabe had led the nation to the brink of political and economic turmoil and that he would personally do all he could to persuade the Zimbabwean leadership to see sense. Unfortunately, his health deteriorated and now he has died with the Zimbabwean crisis taking a turn for the worst and with the country saddled with a legitimacy crisis arising out of yet another stolen election.
I also visited his cell at Robben Island and was inspired by the life of a great man who endured so much but had no bitterness and vengeance after so much pain.
Africa should continue to produce more Mandelas who think more about the people than personal power; for whom the people’s welfare is more important than the selfish pursuit of personal power and glory.
He has left an indelible imprint but still continues to inspire our unarmed democratic struggle against oppression and unbridled repression. We will carry your torch and continue with the struggle for a better life for the people of Africa and all we can do is celebrate a life well lived for the benefit of the oppressed people of Africa and the world.
Go well, Madiba and rest in eternal peace.
Movement for Democratic Change
On Monday, Chronicle spotted Sibanda being led to a police vehicle which was parked at the New Government Complex premises in Gwanda Town.Sources close to the woman, 38, who requested anonymity, told Chronicle that Sibanda had in the past months been demanding sexual favours from his workmate who is based in the rural areas.
However, yesterday he declined to comment, saying he did not want to discuss the issue as it was his personal life. But a source said: “On July 27 this year, Sibanda summoned the woman to his office over a disciplinary issue. When she entered the office, Sibanda locked the door and directed her to sit on a sofa and she complied.”
After locking the door, Sibanda is said to have gone straight to where the woman was seated and shocked her when he started to make some sexual moves on her. Further allegations are that after a long struggle, the woman managed to free herself.
“On seeing that he had failed he became angry and threatened to terminate her employment if she ever reported what had happened to anyone. He then unlocked the door and the woman left,” said the source.
Fearing that Sibanda would facilitate her dismissal from work, the woman did not immediately report the matter to the police but told a colleague about the incident on the same day. She was then advised by others to make an official complainant against Sibanda.
On Monday this week, she gathered courage and reported the matter to the police who in turn acted swiftly by arresting Sibanda. He was taken in for questioning and later released.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Christopher Ngwenya yesterday confirmed receiving the report. “I can confirm that we received such a report and the accused person is assisting police with investigations,” he said.
Sibanda is expected to appear in court on Tuesday facing indecent assault charges.
Bobbley Mlilo (55) of Cowdray Park in Bulawayo pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Lupane magistrate Aelene Munamati. Prosecutor Wilberforce Ngoshi told the court that on November 11 at around lunch time, Mlilo asked the girl to clean his cottage.
When it started raining, Mlilo went over to his cottage and told the girl to shelter inside. He told her to sit on his bed, but she sat on the floor. Ngoshi said Mlilo then started fondling the girl and ordered her to lie down, but she refused.
He only stopped when another pupil came to the cottage. The girl went away and reported the incident to her aunt. The girl’s aunt devised a way of proving the allegations and wrote a letter to Mlilo asking him to pay $50 or buy lunch for them every day. Mlilo responded apologising, and with the evidence, the aunt made a police report.
Asked why he fondled the girl Mlilo said: “I do not know what had come over me. I just saw myself doing it.”
The magistrate said as a person in authority, parents looked up to him to protect their children and he betrayed the trust parents and the government had placed on him.
Sources at the giant Zvishavane asbestos mine said ZETDC demanded a payment of $58, 000 before they could restore power. “Power was disconnected on Tuesday last week. Management raised $50,000 and paid to the power utility. Electricity was reconnected yesterday (Wednesday). This means the mine spent a week without electricity,” said a source.
Concerned workers told Chronicle that ZETDC’s action resulted in the flooding of the mine shafts.
They said the high power bill and subsequent disconnections were affecting efforts to turnaround the fortunes of the asbestos mine.
“We are struggling to fend for our families and our patience is fast being eroded by the developments taking place at our workplace. The Government should intervene for the sake of the welfare of workers. We have suffered enough,” said a disgruntled worker.
ZETDC regional manager for the southern region Engineer King Dube refuted claims his organisation disconnected Shabanie Mine. He also denied ever demanding a payment of US$58,000 to reconnect the asbestos mine.
Said Eng Dube: “We cannot ask them (Shabanie Mine) to pay such a ridiculous amount. As far as we concerned they are connected. Ask your source when we disconnected Shabanie because I am not aware that they were disconnected. How can we ask them to pay such amounts when they have been failing to pay all along?”
However, this was in direct contrast to views expressed by the National Assembly Member for Zvishavane-Ngezi, John Holder. Holder said he was disappointed with the development at the mine.
He said many families whose breadwinners were employed by the mined continued to suffer while sister ministries fought.
“The disconnection of power at the mine is quite disturbing, I am not happy at all. I phoned the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Fred Moyo who is a colleague, informing him about the development. President Mugabe spoke about the mining sector playing a pivotal role in resuscitating the economy but it appears other people are not supportive of that position,” said Holder.
The Zvishavane-Ngezi legislator said the mine employees were now spending crucial production hours clearing water from the shafts as a result of the power disconnection.
Cde Holder: “The mine team is busy dewatering to keep the water levels low. What the power utility did is an act of sabotage in my view. Someone does not want the mine to run. The mine is under Government administration and has a life span of upwards of 40 years. Its products have a ready market on the world market. This is why I think someone is deliberately sabotaging the mine.”
Cde Holder said the mine management was not helping the situation as it was avoiding him.
He said management was avoiding him over the welfare of workers.
The teenager, who was playing football with mates, was trying to reach out for his soccer boots when tragedy struck shortly after 8.30am.
His horrified pals – who all were hanging around the same exposed wire moments before – made frantic calls to the emergency services after Mpala fell to the ground. A teammate, who declined to be named, said: “We’re always here for our training sessions and this soccer field is usually used for a number of matches.
“Today, we met as usual and Shepherd was writing down our names while we were preparing for our training. We were all sitting under the tower light. Soon after writing our names, he tried to reach out for his soccer boots and touched a naked live wire with his hand. He fell to the ground and we realised that he was not moving.
“We immediately called an ambulance which responded swiftly. The paramedics confirmed that he was dead and left his body.” The police took his body to the mortuary. The visibly shaken teammate expressed shock over Shepherd’s death, saying they never thought the electric cord was dangerous.
It had been exposed for months, he said.
Residents blamed the Bulawayo City Council for the teenager’s death, saying they reported a number of naked wires to the local authority but nothing was done.
“We’re not happy about what has happened here. The city council must be held accountable for the death of this young man. As concerned residents, we phoned Zesa and asked them to do something about the naked wire. Officials from Zesa attended but told us that it was the responsibility of the council to fix it. We phoned the council but nothing was done,” said Alick Gumede, the chairman of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association in Ward 13.
He added: “This is a big trap that has robbed a young man of his life. I think we must institute legal action against the responsible authorities for such negligence.
“If the tower light was in a bush where there are no people we would understand, but this is a soccer field where young people play on a daily basis. Something must be done to stop such irresponsibility.”
Zesa Matabeleland region general manager Lovemore Chinaka referred all questions to the council and said the streetlights were the local authority’s responsibility. The city council’s senior public relations officer, Nesisa Mpofu, said: “We’re aware of the incident but we have not yet received full details of what transpired.”
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo said: “We received a report of the sudden death of a young man on a football field and the matter is under investigation.”
Siwela is suspected to have skipped the country ahead of the determination this week.
He was supposed to have appeared together with his co-accused Charles Thomas and John Gazi before judge Justice Nicholas Ndou on Wednesday and yesterday, but he was nowhere in sight.
The State, represented by Lovack Masuku and Samuel Pedzisai, unveiled a letter allegedly written by Siwela which they said they got from one of Siwela’s lawyers Sindiso Mazibisa.
“I received correspondence from Mazibisa written by accused three (Siwela). It appears he has gone out of the country,” Masuku told the court. In his ruling Justice Ndou ordered that a warrant of arrest be issued against Siwela.
Justice Ndou also dismissed an application for discharge by Thomas saying since he was found in possession of subversive flyers, there were no clear reasons why he should not be placed on defence to prove his case.
“Application for discharge by accused one (Thomas) is dismissed and he must come back for his defence case on January 7, 2014,” Justice Ndou said. Justice Ndou acquitted Gazi saying evidence brought to court did not link him in any way with the distribution of the said subversive flyers and there were a lot of contradictions in evidence brought to court against him by the witnesses.
This has deepened controversy surrounding the mandatory blending of fuel consisting of 15% ethanol and 85% unleaded petrol. Car manufacturers say the blending should not exceed 10% ethanol as that will damage mostly Nissan cars.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) CEO Gloria Magombo announced mandatory blending to E15 with effect from last Saturday. Fuel wholesalers and retailers were given up to 10 days to clear their current stocks after which they are expected to comply with the new regulations.
The increase in ethanol blending came after Zera wrote to car manufacturing and assembly companies requesting feedback on the impact of increasing blending of ethanol and unleaded fuel by 10%, 15% and then 20%.
Sources said most car dealers were uncomfortable with this as some warned an increase in ethanol content would be harmful to vehicles. Ethanol is corrosive. A letter from Nissan Zimbabwe addressed to Magombo, dated November 8 2013, a copy of which is in the possession of Zimbabwe Independent, says locally assembled Nissan cars could only take a maximum of E10.
“Reference is made to your communication of the 19th of September, where you were requesting feedback on the possible impact of 15 and 20% ethanol ratios blending on the gasolene vehicles supplied locally by Nissan Zimbabwe,” reads part of the letter, written by Nissan Zimbabwe’s after-sales manager Mehluli Khumalo.
“Kindly note that consultations have been made with Nissan Technical Centre Africa (NTCAF) and the following is the summary on the findings after intensive studies on different engines already distributed locally:
Nissan vehicles are designed to take a maximum 10% ethanol blended gasolene ONLY. If this percentage is exceeded, Nissan products will have to have most fuel injection components changed and various rubber components installed into the fuel systems redesigning them to cater for a higher ethanol blend;
Any use of ethanol blend higher than 10% will render all Nissan products fuel systems UNWARRANTABLE;
As a mitigatory measure, every unit will need to be covered by a very costly field fix which will take a long time to institute as this will involve redesigning the different components of the different models for the units to be able to cater for the higher ethanol blend, and Nissan Zimbabwe therefore requests Zera to ensure that the existing fleet will have access to fuel with a maximum of strictly 10% ethanol for future success operation.”
Magombo confirmed to the Independent this week some car dealers were against an increase in blending, but said there was nothing Zera could do as it was implementing government policy.
“We received the letters you are talking about as part of (the) consultation process, but the government has already taken a policy position on the issue.The government makes policy and we are there just to implement and advise,” she said. “After our consultations, we compiled a report to the ministry and made recommendations and whatever we received from the manufacturers was forwarded to the government. I suggest you speak to the government because they are the policymakers.”
Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire could not be reached for comment. Lilian Muungani, the spokesperson for Green Fuel which produces the ethanol for fuel blending, referred questions to Zera.
A government official, however, said authorities were pushing hard for an increased use of blended fuel as part of efforts to reduce the country’s importation bill. Zimbabwe consumes an average of 1,5 million litres of petrol a day, but consumption continues to rise owing to an increase in cheap car imports, especially from Japan. Zera recently said fuel blending had resulted in the country saving about US$4 million every month.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said her organisation understands the need for fuel blending as it helps reduce the country’s importation bill at a time a severe liquidity crunch is gripping the country.
“It’s something that has been adopted as a policy by the government so that we can reduce our import bill. Whatever we save can be used in other sectors such as education and health so this can be beneficial,” she said. “But if there are concerns from reputable organisations and individuals, then there should be more dialogue. We had discussions on E10 and it’s important for discussions to be held on E15 because we don’t want motorists to be disadvantaged.”
Zera announced mandatory blending of fuel ethanol at the level of 5% ethanol and 95% unleaded petrol on August 15, following the issuance of an ethanol production (mandatory blending) licence to Green Fuel on August 5. The announcement was made two weeks after the July 31 elections, but during the inclusive government era, then Energy minister Elton Mangoma resisted the project, arguing motorists should have a right to choose the fuel they want to use. independent
Nikuv, which deals with population registration, births and deaths, marriage and divorce issues, ID cards, passports, immigration and citizenship, agriculture, security matters and elections, landed a new contract after the July 31 general elections.
This is not the first time Nikuv has been working on Zimbabwe’s identity documents. It produced the current e-passports, also known as biometric passports, which contain an electronic chip encoded with surname, given name, date and place of birth and gender information. It also includes a digital
picture of the bearer’s face.
Nikuv had already been producing biometric passports for Zimbabweans, but it recently got a new contract to continue doing the job. This follows its controversial role in the run-up to elections where it was paid at least US$10 million by Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede’s office in a blitz of mysterious deposits between February and the day before the July 31 polls.
Sources in the RG’s Office told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that Nikuv has been rewarded for its role in the disputed elections through a fresh contract for the production of passports.
“Nikuv has totally taken over the production of passports from government printers (Fidelity) who were in charge of the printing of the passport booklet,” a source said.
“In the past, their (Nikuv) role was just to input data and digitalise the passport with Fidelity Printers doing the printing. But now Nikuv will expand its role to include the control of the entire e-passport production process.
“It will produce a new digitalised document that will eliminate counterfeit passports and also allow the country to match international e-passport standards. Its role will now include designing procedures, supplying special chemical products and passport issuance workflow. This will include the provision of the passport issuing equipment and passport booklets, including their security features.”
Sources said Nikuv’s operations will be conducted from new spacious offices at the army headquarters at KG VI in Harare. The new premises are an upgrade from the small one at the same place where they operated from prior to the elections.
During the elections, Nikuv officials found themselves crammed in a room dubbed the “Situation Room” along with some security chiefs from the Joint Operations Command — which comprises heads of the police, army, prisons and Intelligence services — to map out election scenarios and the outcome.
“Renovations are currently taking place and Nikuv is now installing high-tech digitalised fingerprint equipment which will replace the traditional ink fingerprint-captured data,” another source said. “Go there and see it for yourself.”
The Independent yesterday visited the new premises, but failed to gain entry after being told by security personnel that it was out of bounds to the public. The area was teeming with security details from the state and private firms. Uniformed soldiers could be seen milling around.
Sources also said a number of employees from Makombe Building, where Mudede’s offices are, have since relocated to KG VI. Nikuv initially also had a small office at Makombe Building. It also operated from Avondale and Borrowdale. Contacted for comment on the new Nikuv contract, Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi said his ministry was not responsible for awarding tenders.
“We do not award tenders; all we want is a perfect job to be done. If you want to know why they (Nikuv) got a tender then ask those responsible because awarding of tenders is not our prerogative,” Mohadi said.
Nikuv’s Zimbabwe representative Ron Asher refused to comment on the current developments.
“I am sorry my friend I have nothing to say, especially to newspapers,” Asher said.
However, an official familiar with Nikuv operations said: “Besides these election issues, they got the contract because their system issues an advanced machine-readable passport which is highly secure and tamper-proof. This dramatically improves service to the public and ensures internationally recognised identification.”
Mudede’s cellphone went unanswered after repeated attempts to talk to him. In the build-up to the July 31 elections and after, the Independent carried several articles based on information which showed Nikuv, which was accused of rigging elections in Zambia in the 1990s, was deeply involved in the polls. The company handles voter registration, elections and results.Nikuv was formed in 1994 and acts as an integrator of information technology (IT) projects for governmental sectors. It initiated its activities on the African continent in 1994 in Nigeria and has since expanded to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, Ghana, Botswana and Angola.
The company has been working with the Home Affairs ministry since 1999, supplying equipment, producing passports and handling electoral issues.
The youthful Dziva represents the ruling party in the National Assembly under the women’s quota for Midlands Province.
She was just two minutes into her maiden speech, a response to President Mugabe’s address at the official opening of the current session of Parliament, when she suddenly swooned.
Zvimba East legislator Francis Mukwangwariwa (Zanu-PF) helped her up and took her back to her seat, after which fellow party legislator Mandy Chimene (Makoni South) and Matabeleland South provincial representative Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) attended to her.
Dziva was then taken to the clinic at Parliament Buildings and then to another health facility in Harare.
Takesure Musara (20), of Section 3, Kambuzuma, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before magistrate Arnold Maburo who remanded him in custody to today for sentence. Prosecutor Oscar Madume told the court that on Tuesday this week at around 1200hrs, Musara was driving a Nissan Caravan omnibus along Chinhoyi Street in Harare heading in the southern direction while in the company of an unidentified bus conductor who was touting for passengers while standing by the vehicle passenger door.
The court heard that at the time Musara had seven passengers on board. The State said when Musara was approaching the intersection of Chinhoyi and Bank streets, he saw two police officers who were on patrol and he suddenly engaged his vehicle into reverse gear and in the process knocked down a pedestrian who was crossing the road behind him.
The pedestrian, Raphel Mbanje, sustained injuries that led to his death on the spot. According to the court papers, the police allege Musara failed to keep proper lookout of the road behind and failed to sound the horn or failed to stop or act reasonably when the accident was imminent.
Meanwhile, Mbanje’s father-in-law Albert Mashatise told NewsDay yesterday that the deceased would be laid to rest at Chimukoko Village in Mudzi today. In an interview on the sidelines of Mbanje’s funeral wake in Eastview, Mabvuku, the deceased’s widow Lillian said her husband had died while he was on his way to look for school fees for some of his seven children.
“Our children had not been going to school because we had no money. On the day that he (Mbanje) died he had received a promise to get some money and he wanted to collect that money so he could come back and pay the fees. He died before he was able to do that,” a visibly distraught Lillian said.
Since August, the matter (CR 45/08/13) at Mutare Rural Police Station, has not yet been set down for trial at Mutare Magistrates’ Court. The case that occurred under Chief Zimunya has been dragging, with the girl’s parents more interested in preserving their relations instead of protecting her interests.
The girl’s father deposed an affidavit that sought to have the case withdrawn citing the relationship existing between the parties.
“My father was arrested on August 19 2013 by ZRP St Webergh’s Base for raping my daughter (name withheld),” he said. “I now wish to withdraw the charges against the accused because of the following reasons:
1 We sat down as a family and resolved that this case be solved at family level.
2 The accused begged for forgiveness and the whole family accepted his apology.
3 We also resolved that we should maintain our good relationship with the accused person.
4 The accused is now old and has a family to look after and if sent to prison, his health and family will suffer.
5 As I am the eldest son to the accused, I have wilfully withdrawn this case without any due force or influence from anyone.”
The girl’s mother also deposed a related affidavit seeking the withdrawal of the case. The Victim Friendly Court is now seized with the matter and child rights activists are fuming over the development.
Justice for Children’s Trust programmes director and lawyer Mr Caleb Mutandwa said the attempt by the parents to have the matter withdrawn was a violation of the child’s right to protection.
He said the parents or anyone who tried to influence the child or the justice system to withdraw the charges was guilty of obstruction of justice.
“That is a clear violation of the child’s right to protection of the law,” he said “Our Constitution protects the children from any form of abuse and we must take that seriously. Whoever tries to cover up or influence the child to drop the charges is also committing an offence of obstructing the course of justice and that person should be charged.”
Harare lawyer and retired regional magistrate Mr Peter Kumbawa said such behaviour by parents and guardians were contributing to the large numbers of unreported cases of sexual assault in the country.
The women made the unsolicited remarks outside the Harare Magistrates’ Court Building after attending a court session where four of Gumbura’s wives are being charged alongside four other female church members with possession of pornographic material.
The women, led by the most senior of Pastor Gumbura’s 11 wives, Queen Bunga, admitted the pornographic material (pictures of some of the wives taken in the nude) were recovered at their Marlborough family home.
Bunga said there was nothing wrong about the nude pictures of her colleagues since they were secured in a place where no other person had access to except themselves and their husband.
The nude pictures, she said, were taken for the purpose of testing a new printer that Gumbura had just bought.
“These are our personal pictures captured at the time when we were testing our new printing machine. We were photographing one another in the nude and having fun among ourselves, but they were not meant for publication,” the wives’ spokesperson, Bunga, said.
Gumbura’s wives attracted public attention outside the courthouse by their loud proclamation of unity among them as the pastor’s wives. They invited journalists to take pictures of them and write their side of the story, accusing the media of being biased against their husband.
Gumbura has 30 children with his 11 wives.
“We do not want biased coverage of what is happening to us and our husband ‘the Man of God’,” said Gumbura’s second wife Bunga with the other six who were also at the court agreeing with her.
“I am the vice-president (second wife) in our family and I speak on behalf of my husband’s other wives in the absence of his first wife who has already left (the courts).
“We want the country to know that we are a united family which lives large, as you can see. Each and every one of us owns a house and a car. It is for this reason that some former members of our church are jealous and have decided to blackmail our husband and our family.”
Bunga said Gumbura’s “empire” had attracted a lot of enemies especially one Christian church in Belvedere which she claimed was instrumental in influencing Gumbura’s former flock to concoct rape allegations against the pastor.
“We are being portrayed as ‘Satanists’, but we are not. We are Christians and we believe in Jesus Christ and our church has its own doctrine just like any other church in this country,” Bunga said.
She further said given an opportunity, she would form a polygamy association to champion the cause of all women living in polygamous marriages.
Gumbura’s fifth wife, Choice Neganye, chipped in saying she was not surprised by what was happening since her twin sister (now married and living in South Africa) was not happy with the idea that she (Neganye) had married a polygamous man. She claimed her sister had tried all the tricks in the book to cause her marriage to Gumbura to fail.
“I know that my twin sister and her husband are also part to the grand plan to destroy our family and husband,” Neganye said. Another of Gumbura’s wives, Amadeus Mutakwa, a mother of six, said: “We are not being abused by the pastor at all, and we will never be.
He is such a loving husband and we all love him. There are few men who know how to love their wives in the manner that the pastor does.”
A youthful female church member who was with Gumbura’s wives, Moreblessing Takawira, said she had been approached by Gumbura’s wives to join them as his 12th wife. She said she was considering the offer and had told the pastor’s wives that.
Bunga and the rest of Gumbura’s wives confirmed Takawira’s story. The women challenged the media to visit their different homes to confirm their claims of affluent lifestyles. Gumbura’s wives and the church members that are facing charges of pornography possession were yesterday remanded to January 7. They are being represented by Rekai Maposa.newsday
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr Paul Chimedza said that Government was already working on modalities to scrap the Aids Levy as a way of easing the tax burden on workers.
After scrapping the Aids Levy, the reports claimed Government would introduce the National Health Fund that it would wholly fund.
In an interview yesterday, Minister Parirenyatwa, however said the Ministry had no such plans at policy level.
“We have not discussed or made any policy on any healthy levy,” he said. “We are still crafting the way forward and we are lobbying Government to give us a separate budget item for cancers. If there is any policy made I will announce.”
Minister Parirenyatwa lauded the Aids Levy saying it had made immeasurable contribution in fighting HIV and Aids.
“I think we must make it clear to the nation that the Aids Levy is one of our best practices which is now being copied by other countries in the region,” he said.
“We need to correct that article as a Ministry because I think there was a misquotation.”
Minister Parirenyatwa said the Aids Levy was generating US$35 million annually. He said about 50 percent of the money was being channelled towards the acquisition of Anti Retroviral Drugs, while the remainder was being used for advocacy, awareness, education and administrative purposes. “We are getting US$35 million per year from Aids Levy and that has pushed us in getting ARVs,” he said. “As such, we are not removing the Aids Levy.” herald
Minister Mnangagwa said this while responding to a question Joseph Chinotimba who wanted to know whether it was not possible for President Mugabe to use his presidential powers to pardon the former Zanu-PF Central Committee member so that he could come back and contribute to the country’s economic development.
“It is true what the honourable member has said that President Mugabe is a kind-hearted person but he has also never chased anyone from the country. If there is anyone who is outside the country then it is that person who knows the reason why they are outside. Maybe the honourable member (Cde Chinotimba) may get in touch with him since he knows his whereabouts and find out why he is away.
“Zimbabwe is a peaceful country and everyone is welcome to come but if there is something wrong he (Mr Makamba) did then maybe he would be afraid to come but it will be only him who knows that,” Minister Mnangagwa said.
Mr Makamba went into self-imposed exile in 2005 after being charged with violating the Exchange Control Act. He skipped bail and fled the country as the state prosecuted him on charges of allegedly externalising £3,7 million, US$2,1 million and R15 million.
Mr Makamba is an entrepreneur with a diverse portfolio of interests covering telecommunications, retail, mining and consultancy. He came to prominence as a disc jockey at ZBC and was part of a consortium that was awarded a licence to operate the country’s second mobile operator Telecel.
Ever since going into self-imposed exile, Mr Makamba has set temporary bases in many countries.