Monday, April 12, 2010

War vet fired for denouncing Mugabe

THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWA) has fired one of its top members after he denounced President Mugabe for continuously holding on to power.
Maxwell Marange, who was the association’s chairman in Manicaland Province, chanted slogans denouncing Mugabe in 2007 at the Meikles Park in Mutare during a march organized to support the aging leader’s presidential candidacy in the 2008 elections
But Marange took everybody by surprise when he took to the podium and chanted: “Pasi naMugabe”!!! (Down with Mugabe).
Marange was among Zanu PF supporters who felt Mugabe was not the appropriate candidate to stands on behalf of Zanu PF in the 2008 harmonized poll.
He went on to lose to Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader but he refused to step down on the grounds the victor had not garnered the required 51 percent votes and therefore there was need for a run –off.
The run –off was marred by violence which forced Tsvangirai to drop out of the contest leaving Mugabe un-opposed. But the run- off was so discredited both at home and abroad forcing Mugabe into negotiations with Tsvangirai to form a unity government.
Marange was not available for comment but officials from the war veterans’ association confirmed the developments.
However, other war veterans are insisting he must be brought back saying when he denounced Mugabe he was merely expressing his own opinion.
“Marange was just saying what he thought was good for the party,” said a war veteran based in Mutare. “After all he was right because we saw what happened. We lost the election and by the grace of God we forced a run- off. It is not health for people to think that Mugabe is always right.”
But Ephraim Zibuke, the association’s vice-chairman in Mutare District said: “As the hosting district we wrote a report on the issue which we copied to Zanu PF provincial chairman, Provincial Intelligence Officer and secretary general ZNLWA Manicaland Province. We wonder whether those saying Marange should be reinstated are saying Marange was right.”
A report outlying Marange’s charge reads: “On arrival at the Meikles Park after the march from the Chiefs’ Hall, the hosting chairperson of the province was given the floor to address the gathering."
"Cde Marange chanted his slogan. In the process he was advised by the people in the gathering to raise his hand in the process of making his slogan. Cde Marange started afresh and in the process of his slogan he said ‘Down with the President’, a move which irked the gathering.”

Former CIO linked to Nyanga bank heist

THE ring-leader in the fatal shootout between police and a group of armed robbers last Saturday morning is a former security aide to Dydmus Mutasa, minister of presidential affairs.
Security sources on Wednesday said the ring leader was a Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) operative who was assigned to Mutasa for the greater part of 2008.
He is one of two arrested during the shoot –out along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare around 2 am.
Detective Sergeant Joseph Maximus (29) was shot in the abdomen and chest in the process.
The third suspect, John Jeremin, also known as John Katsande, of 1016 Mabvazuva in Rusape, escaped. He was already on the police most wanted list and is considered armed and dangerous.
Police have since arrested two of the robbers and recovered US$59 000 and R4 000 believed to be part of the money looted after the Nyanga heist.
The information came to light after a crack team from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) from Harare interrogated the father of the operative at his rural home at St Faith, Rusape.
Sources said during the interrogation the CID team recovered a gun which was then linked to the robbers’ ring – leader.
“His father told the investigating officers that the gun belonged to him and that he was indeed one of the robbers involved in the Nyanga heist,” said a security source.
The sources said the CIO operative moved around with Mutasa during the 2008 harmonized elections and the bloody presidential run- off.
There was widespread violence in Headlands even during the harmonised elections which were relatively peaceful throughout the country.
“The guy has always been violent,” said another source. “He always thought he was above the law especially the days he was with Dydmus Mutasa.”
The robbers struck the bank last Thursday, making off with US$116 000 and R14 000 after they sprayed ZB Bank tellers with an unidentified substance in the eyes before raiding their cubicles.

Mines portifoli committee barred from entering Chiadzwa

MUTARE – The government on Wednesday barred parliamentarians from the Mine and Energy Portfolio committee from touring the Chiadzwa diamond fields on a fact finding mission amid allegations of underhand dealings involving senior officials in both government and Zanu PF.
The 13-member committee was also denied entry at Canadile Mining offices in the eastern border city on the grounds they did not have a police clearance.
The parliamentarians were yesterday stranded in Mutare after they were denied access to visit Chiadzwa by Chris Mushowe, the governor and resident minister for Manicaland who declared that Chiadzwa was a “highly” protected zone.
Mushowe reportedly wrote to the police advising them it was not proper for the parliamentarians to visit Chiadzwa on the grounds “they will pick diamonds which are all over the place”.
Despite being cleared to tour the diamond fields on a mission to inspect the operations of companies licensed to mine the precious stones, the MPs were told not to proceed to Chiadzwa.
The committee also wanted to hold public hearings with people from the Chiadzwa community on activities in the diamond rich area were human rights violations by state security agents are said to be rampant.
Chindori Chininga, committee chairperson, declined to comment saying he was ready to speak with the media.
Mushowe was also not available, his mobile phone was not reachable.
But Moses Mare, MP of Chiredzi West, who is a member of the portfolio committee, said by barring them the government was attempting to conceal the goings on at Chiadzwa.
He said they had been given a green light to tour Chiadzwa by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) to supervise activities there and to hold public hearings with people from the community. The ZMDC has entered into controversial joint ventures with Canadile Mining and Mbada Diamonds to extract diamonds from Chiadzwa.
”We have had problems in entering the area,” Mare said. “The governor is refusing us entry saying this is a protected area. He said we will pick up diamonds which are all over. There is something they are trying to hide. If at all there was transparency they would have allowed us to visit.”
“The governor always tours the place so does that mean he picks up diamonds?”
He said his committee was surprised that they did not face any difficulties when they visit other diamond mines – Murowa Diamonds and River Ranch.
“We are an organ of government and we are the owners of the diamonds fields. They are trying to make this a Mafia industry,” Mare said.
Mare said the committee has previously toured the diamond fields in Chiadzwa without facing any resistance from the government.
He said the committee will not relent on its efforts to establish the goings on at the diamond rich area where senior government and Zanu PF officials are alleged to be involved in illegal transactions. There were also reports suggesting Chinese nationals were also sighted at the fields mining diamonds. This could, however, not be independently verified.