Category Archives: News

Breaking: Former Parly speaker dies

BULAWAYO’s first black mayor and former Speaker of Parliament, Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, has died.

BY SILAS NKALA

Ndlovu died early this morning at his Luveve 4 home after being unwell for quite a while.

He was 87.

Ndlovu held quite a number of influential positions in government, the ruling Zanu PF party and former PF Zapu. He was PF Zapu’s last national chairman before the signing of the Unity Accord.

At one point, Ndlovu served as deputy Senate president and at the time of his death he was a Zanu PF central committee member.

Zanu PF Politburo member Jonathan Moyo yesterday tweeted to confirm Ndlovu’s death, describing him as fountain of wisdom.

“Naison Kutshwekhaya Ndlovu: 1930 – 2017, a fountain of ubuntu-wisdom, a beacon of revolutionary experience & a key pillar of national unity,” he posted.

More to follow…

Zanu PF youths, war vets square off

WAR veterans have scoffed at President Robert Mugabe’s upcoming provincial campaign rallies organised by Zanu PF youths, NewsDay has established.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association’s spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association’s spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya

The ex-freedom fighters described the sojourns starting this weekend as a wild goose chase which would not revive the veteran politician’s waning support base ahead of the 2018 general elections.

Mugabe is, starting this Saturday, expected to embark on a whirlwind tour of the provinces to mend gaping cracks within his faction-ridden ruling party and drum up support as he faces a massive challenge from a likely coalesced opposition party grouping.

Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya yesterday said the planned rallies would not achieve much in mobilising the electorate to vote for Zanu PF as the majority of the ruling party’s youths were still politically immature, serve for the likes of youth secretary Kudzanai Chipanga and a few others.

But, Zanu PF youth spokesperson, Evelyn Mpofu yesterday brushed aside Mahiya’s claims, saying the rallies would succeed with or without the war veterans’ support.

Said Mahiya: “It is not the number of people that gather or the number of rallies that they will have, but it is about revising the process of the revolution that requires political orientation to produce a generation that is politically conscious.”

He added: “The meetings are necessary to Chipanga because he wants to show the President that he can mobilise huge numbers. Even though they are saying that everyone is welcome to attend, probably there will be more youths who will attend.

“Chipanga is trying to convince the President that he has the capacity to bring more people together and war veterans will be rendered useless and in the process they will be attacking war veterans.”

The war veterans’ spokesperson equated the rallies to the infamous Zanu PF million-man march held in May last year, which he said lacked political significance after most ex-fighters boycotted the event. Mahiya warned residents in areas targeted for the rallies to brace for intimidation and being frog-marched to the rallies to boost the numbers.

“In some instances, there will be rowdy youths that will be forcing people to attend. If they are to mobilise people they should do it peacefully. We urge communities to organise and protect themselves from being forced to attend those rallies and those structures should also resist violence,” he urged, adding that the $5 billion demanded by Zanu PF youths under the guise of economic empowerment projects was a ploy to loot State resources to sponsor the party’s campaign programme.

Zanu PF national youth commissar, Innocent Hamandishe said despite all the critism, the rallies will go ahead.

“The rallies are so necessary,” Hamandishe said, adding that the war veterans might not see the value of the rallies now, but they will certainly work in Zanu PF’s favour.

He said by holding the rallies, the youths were not seeking conflict with anyone including war veterans.

“Youths alone will not be able to make Zanu PF win. We need women and war veterans. It’s team work,” he said.

Concerning the $5 billion reportedly demanded by youths for various projects, Hamandishe said they were seeking real empowerment and not the little money they have been given in past.

“If you look at the money that was previously given an individual, something like $2 000-$3 000, it is like a salary to others and there is no meaningful project that we can do. We are demanding that an individual be given something like $20 000,” he said.

In 2012, government through the National Youth Fund mobilised $40 million from various banks and disbursed it as loans for various Zanu PF youth projects, but the majority of the beneficiaries failed to repay the loans after squandering the funds.

Mujuru’s proposal on coalition leader shot down

POLITICAL analysts have shot down former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s call for primary elections to select a single opposition candidate to stand against President Robert Mugabe in next year’s general elections, describing the proposal as untenable.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

NPP leader Joice Mujuru

NPP leader Joice Mujuru

The analysts said the proposal was complicated and unlikely to succeed, given the high levels of mistrust among opposition leaders already involved in coalition talks.

Mujuru, who heads the National People’s Party, made the proposal during a campaign rally in Chitungwiza last week.
Political analyst, Llyod Sachikonye described the idea as too complicated.

“It looks too complicated. I understand they may want to be seen to satisfy two levels of democracy which are internal democracy and competition but I think this is too complicated,” he said.

“One possible approach is to decide and agree where a particular party is stronger and then field one candidate.

The challenge is how to judge how a certain party is stronger in a particular constituency. The formula looks messy and complicated although the democratic intention is good because they will be looking for a popular candidate,” he said, adding there was high likelihood of misunderstandings.

Another analyst, Eldred Masunungure, said: “They want to demonstrate that they are a force to be reckoned with and that they have enough candidates for all those constituencies. It’s a bargaining tool and if they stick to their own candidates it will defeat the spirit and the practice of a coalition.

“That will not be sustainable and it will be the death of that coalition. What she said is clearly not in the spirit of a coalition. It appears as if the negotiations that lie ahead have failed and it might be read by critics in her party and other coalition partners as a statement that they have abandoned the coalition talks.”

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said: “She doesn’t understand how coalitions work. Primaries destroy confidence in individuals who have capacity but with no grassroots influence. I prefer meritocracy to populism.”

Activist, Farai Maguwu, said creating winners and losers in a coalition might be problematic in creating a conducive environment to working together.

“As I see it the coalition roadmap is fraught with many pitfalls and danger warning signs. It’s a mix of oil and water. If such primaries are going to happen how are they going to create the electoral register? This will no doubt create winners and losers that will lead to serious divisions.

“But what is more interesting to me is how this coalition talk can be manipulated by the ruling party by keeping the opposition extremely busy with the impossible till election day,” Maguwu said.

But MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said they will not be drawn into discussing the alliance in public.

“The MDC has a standing national council resolution whereby all coalition deliberations are headed by president Morgan Tsvangirai. This helps us to ensure and maintain consistency and message discipline. For the record, we don’t negotiate in public.

MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi, said his party had not yet endorsed the decision to hold primary elections.

“Going to primary elections or not will come from negotiations that are currently taking place. I don’t know where she got it because we did not sign a memorandum of understanding with the party you are talking about. I cannot predict the outcome of something that is being cooked. We are still talking and everything will be contained in the agreement.”

Parly committees chairpersons threatened by ministers: Mudenda

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, has disclosed that some parliamentary committee chairpersons are living in fear after receiving various threats mostly from Cabinet ministers angered by their oversight duties.

by VENERANDA LANGA

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda

Speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust (Sapst) in Harare last Friday, Mudenda hailed Sapst for helping capacitate the committees to carry out their duties without fear or favour.

“We shall continue to protect the Constitution which stipulates that all institutions and agencies of government at every level are accountable to Parliament. This places an onerous responsibility on MPs,” Mudenda said.

“Some of my chairmen of committees have been threatened by ministers who say to the chairman you want to take over my ministerial responsibilities — why is your committee so inquisitive? My answer is that it is not the committee that is inquisitive — it is the Constitution that is inquisitive and says all State institutions and agencies must be accountable to Parliament, and if you do not like that then let us amend the Constitution.”

Mudenda said he gets disgusted by some ministers that do not have the humility to accept recommendations by parliamentary committees.

“Some ministers do not have the humility to accept recommendations of parliamentary committees. We are now at the crest and members of the Executive are beginning to gel in now and are working very closely with Parliament.

“Last Monday, I got a letter from the Ministry of Justice saying it is indeed the responsibility of Parliament to uphold the Constitution. They said they admit that there has been a slow process of alignment of laws and even suggested that their ministry’s committee on alignment of laws meets with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice so as to speed up the process of alignment,” Mudenda said.

Sapst executive director, John Makamure, announced that they will soon introduce a certificate in legislative studies.

“In the next 10 years, Sapst will be an established key institution in Southern Africa and will diversify its funding base. We have formed an endowment fund for the organisation to be self-financing so that we do not continue to rely on donors. Sapst will introduce a certificate in legislative studies,” Makamure said.

Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Chokuda, said Sapst is currently looking at strengthening the Public Finance Management Act, and has been providing MPs with budget guidelines, as well as assisting in taking Parliament to the people through supporting public hearings on Bills.

‘Boycotting 2018 elections akin to endorsing Zanu PF’

OPPOSITION parties have urged their supporters, particularly youths, to actively participate in next year’s general elections, saying boycotting the plebiscite would be an indirect endorsement of the Zanu PF misrule.

BY SILAS NKALA/VENERANDA LANGA

Mabvuku/Tafara MP James Maridadi

Mabvuku/Tafara MP James Maridadi

The calls came as opposition leaders are planning to enter into a coalition deal that would see them sponsor a single candidate to challenge Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe in next year’s presidential race.

People’s Democratic Party chairperson, Lucia Matibenga, told party supporters during Africa Day commemorations in Bulawayo last week that opposition parties could not risk boycotting the upcoming elections, as that would inadvertently extend Zanu PF rule.

“Everyone in Zimbabwe has a reason to be angry with Mugabe and his Zanu PF. If you are not angry with Zanu PF it means you are not alive or you are not normal,” Matibenga said.

“When your children are struggling to go to school because you have no money, when you have no job to get paid and struggle to get cash, you have a reason to be angry. You must come out in numbers to vote against Zanu PF.

“At the moment all of us in Zimbabwe are not registered to vote. When the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission comes out to register voters we must all go and register as voters. This is the opportunity given to all of us to change government. Do not tell us that you did not vote. Some are saying they do not support Zanu PF, but do not go to vote. You must simply tell us that you have voted for Zanu PF, because by not voting it means you are saying the status quo must prevail.”

While addressing a different forum in Harare last week, Mabvuku/Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) also decried the apathetic behaviour of youths during election time.

“The issue that pains me is that people are saying the youths are the game-changers in our country, but when elections and voting day comes the youths will be playing a game of pool,” he said.

“Then after elections they say we want jobs, but where would those jobs come from if youths do not participate in choosing leaders?”

Maridadi warned youths against being used as tools to perpetrate political violence during elections.

“You must stop begging for money for beer from political leaders, or engage in political violence,” he said.

Seke man hands self to police after killing friend

A 34-YEAR-OLD Seke man has handed himself to police after he allegedly fatally struck his friend with a shovel and dumped the body in a well after the deceased taunted him as being HIV positive.

by JAIROS SAUNYAMA

David Chakahwata of Ditima Village, under Chief Seke, reportedly surrendered himself at Dema Police Station on May 24 this year after killing Thomas Taderera over the alleged offensive remarks. Mashonaland East acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Tendai Mwanza could not be reached for comment yesterday, but police sources in Marondera said the incident occurred as the pair was fetching water from a nearby well.

According to sources, Chakahwata struck Taderera twice on the face and neck, killing him instantly after being angered by the remarks.

After committing the heinous act, Chakahwata dragged Taderera’s body and threw it into the well together with the shovel.

He then allegedly handed himself in at Dema Police Station, leading to his arrest.

Govt urged to deal with statelessness, rights and welfare of children

GOVERNMENT has been urged to accede to the 1954 United Nations Conventions relating to the status of stateless persons and the 1961 UN convention on the reduction of statelessness, as well as to expedite the implementation of Article 6 (4) of the African Charter on the rights and welfare of the child.

by VENERANDA LANGA

The issues came out in a report presented in Senate last week by Midlands senator Lillian Timveous (MDC-T).

“Failure to ratify the 1961 Convention to reduction of statelessness reflects negatively on the government of Zimbabwe’s failure to fulfil citizen’s social, economic, civil and political rights,” Timveous said.

“In my research I was shocked to find out that we have over 10 500 refugees at Tongogara Camp east of Harare from the Democratic Republic of Congo (8 100), Burundi (over 700), Rwanda (700) and over 700 from Mozambique and the camp is overcrowded.”

Timveous said the school at the camp was ill-equipped and had poor infrastructure.

“There is a lot happening there such as malnutrition, and believe me, there are so many children at this camp. The issue of birth certificates and identification cards is really an issue.”

She said Zimbabwe must ensure that everyone has a right to nationality in order to meet the requirements of sustainable development goal 16 which says everyone must have a legal right to identity, including birth registration.

The Constitution also provides for fundamental human rights and freedoms incorporating the rights of children to a name and provision of identity documents.

Timveous said there is need to maintain comprehensive birth registration and civil registration systems within Zimbabwe with a view to prevent statelessness.

Manicaland senator David Chimhini said statelessness remained an emotive issue with about 10 million people who were stateless in the world.

“Individuals, women and children are particularly exposed to risks of statelessness and that is why the Gukurahundi issue has remained emotive. We need to be sober whenever we are discussing this post-independence unfortunate period.

“The office of the Registrar-General must be flexible and make it easy for people to obtain identity documents and remove unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy which makes it difficult to obtain identity documents,” Chimhini said.

‘Zanu PF MP’s ‘no-go area’ remarks reckless, barbaric’

THE MDC-T has described Zanu PF’s Uzumba MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa’s recent remarks declaring his constituency a “no-go area” for opposition parties as reckless, barbaric and meant to incite violence ahead of next year’s polls.

by STAFF WRITER

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu

Last week, Mudarikwa declared that no opposition party activities would be allowed in his Uzumba constituency, claiming that all the 80 000 people in the constituency would vote for President Robert Mugabe.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu described Mudarikwa’s statements as “barbaric”.

“The remarks by Mudarikwa, at the official handover of an irrigation scheme sponsored by World Vision in Mudzi district, cannot go unchallenged, and indeed, these thuggish and threatening remarks are clearly indicative of an intolerant and violent politician,” Gutu said.

“It is well-documented in the annals of the political history of Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP), that this particular constituency invariably experiences extreme and barbaric politically-motivated violence during every election since the year 2000,” he said.

Gutu claimed hundreds of opposition MDC-T supporters were murdered in cold blood in UMP during the violent 2008 Presidential election run-off.

“Many women in this district were savagely raped and sexually molested by known Zanu PF political thugs and hoodlums. The homesteads of MDC supporters were burnt down and millions of dollars’ worth of property belonging to opposition supporters was looted and destroyed.

“It is apparent that politicians in the mould of one Simbaneuta Mudarikwa actually aid and abet the acts of wanton political violence that are routinely perpetrated against MDC supporters in UMP. As an MP, it is highly inappropriate and completely out of order for Mudarikwa to publicly boast that Zanu PF has virtually made his constituency a no-go area for opposition political parties,” he said.

The opposition said Mudarikwa’s statements are proof that Zanu PF is already rigging the 2018 elections through instilling fear on citizens.

Hurungwe launches night-time HIV and Aids voluntary testing, counselling

KAROI — It is around 5pm on Saturday when officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe National People Living with HIV and Aids and other stakeholders start pitching tents near popular night clubs within Karoi high density suburb of Chikangwe.

BY NHAU MANGIRAZI

Some women are busy visiting butcheries lined up near at least four night clubs scattered around the premises including grocery shops.

A woman volunteer’s voice, calling on everyone to get tested for HIVcompetes with the high volume of music from one of the night clubs. She is relentless and some people begin to pay attention to her calls.

“Come and get tested and know your HIV status. Your health is important,” she said.

Within a few minutes several people including teenage girls and boys, women as well as men queue up to be tested.
In less than an hour the long queue winds up past vegetable and later a braai stand.

People here are expressing their joy that at least the service is available at the opportune time near their homes.
Among them are commercial sex workers and imbibers.

For a moment, the voluntary and testing officers are overwhelmed by the response ignited through the moonlight HIV and Aids testing initiative in the small farming town situated about 204km northwest of Harare.

“We are getting many people compared to regular testing and counselling at the referral hospital and clinic around town.

“It is encouraging that many people are coming under the cover of darkness to be counselled and tested,” said one of the officials.

The programme launched by Hurungwe District Hospital with the assistance from National Aids Council and other stakeholders started on a high note providing night-time voluntary testing and counselling.

There were clinical officers and nurses on-site for patients to get HIV counselling.

Hurungwe district medical officer, Annamore Mutisi, confirmed that the initial results were encouraging for both health staff and the community at large.

“Although we are still to make comparisons of turnout, it is encouraging that it was impressive from the community response. This may be because of the stigma on new HIV infection rates, knowledge of HIV status are hampered by community commitment. The thrust and onus is for us to go where people are and let them come on their own when they are relaxed without pushing them to the wall,” she said.

Chikangwe had 229 people tested, while a site in central business district had 120 people tested.

“What is impressive is the fact that these numbers are high compared to what we normally go through at the hospital or clinics daily. The reasons are that as a referral hospital, our services are too broad and such services of testing and counselling may affect those who wish to come due other commitments,” Mutisi said.

Chikangwe site is where the majority of tobacco farmers spend most of their time when they fail to access cash due to cash the crisis affecting the nation.

They spend their time in pubs near the site.

A farmer who identified himself as Togara, whose village is under Chief Kazangarare, welcomed the move.

“We hardly get time to visit clinics to be tested when we are in town rushing to get cash at banks. However, this move is welcome. We hope they will visit more business centres around Hurungwe,” he said.

An official who was part of the team said more men were tested during the exercise.

“We used to say women are conscious about their health but this move has proven us wrong as almost 60% of those tested were men. Generally, men are shy to visit hospitals seeking medication, but during the exercise they are coming in droves,” he said.

Mutisi said plans are afoot to have similar moonlight testing centres around the district to meet global Sustainable Development Goal target to end the Aids epidemic by 2030.

This is likely to be achieved through 90-90-90 push where by 2020, at least 90% of people who are HIV infected will be diagnosed, 90% of people diagnosed will be on anti-retroviral treatment and 90% of those who receive anti-retrovirals will be virally suppressed.

The Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (Zimphia) Aids related deaths declined by 77% countrywide in the last decade.

National Aids Council monitoring and evaluation director, Amen Mpofu, recently said Zimbabwe managed to prevent 1,7 million deaths, 55% of expected Aids-related deaths since 2001.

He added that three million new HIV infections were averted during the same period.

According to World Health Organisation, viral suppression is when a person’s viral load — or the amount of virus in an HIV-positive person’s blood — is reduced to an undetectable level.

Recent findings by CDC Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis revealed that Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are progressing to reach the targets.

“Our global efforts are having a measurable impact in countries with some of the most severe HIV epidemics,” said CDC Global HIV and TB director Shannon Hader.

Teen maid killer to be mentally examined

THE High Court has ordered a mental examination of a Gweru teenager who allegedly killed her family’s 41-year-old maid, following a brawl over a missing cellphone memory card.

By Stephen Chadenga

The order was made by Justice Martin Makonese on Friday when the 15-year-old boy appeared in court charged with murder.

Allegations are that the boy allegedly struck the maid, Nyarai Kadonzvo with a metal hoe several times on the head before he poked her eyes out with a kitchen knife.

The juvenile was staying with Kadonzvo while his parents were working in Mozambique.

The court heard that on January 3 last year, the two had an argument over a memory card, which belonged to Kadonzvo.

In the heat of the altercation, the boy struck the maid with the hoe before stabbing her twice on both eyes.

The maid succumbed to the injuries and the boy dragged her body and dumped it in the toilet.

Neighbours became suspicious and alerted the police after failing to get satisfactory answers on the maid’s whereabouts.

Police then stormed the house in Mkoba 20 two days after the incident and recovered a blood-stained hoe and knife from the scene.

After being cornered, the suspect allegedly attempted to commit suicide, but was rushed to Gweru General Hospital where he was later discharged into police custody.

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